This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," April 19, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, we are down to the final stretch now in the Republican race for the nomination, and experts now say Donald Trump's path to winning a majority of the delegates is plausible but perilous. And we are officially now looking at the most dramatic political cliff-hanger in the last 40 years.
Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. We are now just six days out from the next big contest in what has proven to be a wild and unexpected campaign season. Next Tuesday, five states will vote in the so- called Acela primary, a reference to the high-speed train that services the northeast corridor. In all 118 total delegates are up for grabs in that Acela primary. And while those contests are important, front-runner Donald Trump is already setting his sights on another primary, less than two weeks from tonight. Indiana. A state political watchers say could make or break this entire election.
If Ted Cruz dominates there, he could shut down Trump's path to 1237. If Donald Trump wins that state handily, he may have this thing sewn up. At a rally there today, the front-runner again complained about the nominating system and then a short time later down in Florida, Trump's chief rival worked not the voters but the party elite, holding private audiences with the folks who control the rules and some of the votes. And Ted Cruz had a message for Donald Trump in hitting back. Here's Mr. Trump followed by Senator Ted Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's rigged for the lobbyists. It's rigged for the donors. And it's rigged for the special interests. It's dishonest. They can take the delegates. They can put them in airplanes and fly them to resorts. They can have dinners with them. They can put them in hotels. Essentially what they're saying is they can buy the election.
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald whines about it is unfair that he doesn't get more delegates. You don't hear me up here complaining and whining, gosh, it is so unfair that New York Republicans have their votes count more than double what Texas Republicans have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: In moments, we'll be joined by Larry Sabato to talk about the path forward for Trump and Cruz. We'll also be joined by a member of President Reagan's cabinet, Bill Bennett who is an alternate delegate in this race.
But we begin with our chief political correspondent campaign Carl Cameron reporting from Washington, Carl?
CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Megyn. Trump had a huge night in his home state crushing both of his rivals and making it mathematically impossible for Ted Cruz to reach the 1237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the convention in July. Trump was actually in Indiana today where he met with the GOP Governor Mike Pence a conservative member of the Republican establishment that he has been bashing for the last two years. Trump held a rally where despite efforts by his new team of experienced Washington insiders to bring his candidacy to a new level, the insults and the personal attacks continued.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Indiana has lost one in five manufacturing jobs since China joined the World Trade Organization 2002. Ted Cruz supports Chinese currency cheating, lying Ted Cruz, lying Ted. Lies. Oh, he lies. You know Ted. He brings the Bible, holds it high, puts it down, lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON: Cruz got blanked last night, zero delegates. Today he went to Florida to court Republican National Committee members at their final planning meeting before the convention in July. He admitted that like John Kasich it is no longer possible for him to win the nomination unless there is a contested convention. But he argued that Trump won't make it either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: I'm not going to reach 1237 and Donald Trump is not going to reach 1237. We're going to arrive in Cleveland with me having a ton of delegates and with Donald having a ton of delegates. And at that point it is going to be a battle to see who can earn the support of the majority of the delegates elected by the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON: Kasich came in second in New York and picked up four delegates. He too is in Florida tonight courting Republican National Committee members with the assertion that when the delegates get to Cleveland in July, they will realize that he's the most experienced and polls best against Clinton. It is still possible for Trump to reach 1237 and win the nomination outright, but there are still 15 states left to vote and by most estimates, he will have to win at least the 57 percent of the remaining delegates with both of his rivals trying to trip him up at every turn -- Megyn.
KELLY: Carl, thank you.
CAMERON: Well, you heard Ted Cruz arguing that no one is getting to 1237 before the convention. Is he right? Larry Sabato is the Director of the University Of Virginia Center for Politics.
Larry, great to see you. So, you say there are five things that Trump needs to do to win this thing outright before getting to the convention and conversely that Ted Cruz needs to stop him from doing.
Number one is, do more than just win all five states next Tuesday in that Acela primary. What do you mean by that?
LARRY SABATO, UVA CENTER FOR POLITICS EDITOR: Trump is obviously going to win those states. I think he's well ahead. But what did he do last night in New York? He exceed expectations. I don't know of anybody who projected 90 delegates for him out of 95. He needs to repeat that in at least some of the states next Tuesday because, Megyn, he's going to need every delegate no matter what last night looked like on the way to getting 1237 by the time we get through this process, June the 7th.
KELLY: The next one is win Indiana. Tell us.
SABATO: You correctly mentioned Indiana. That is May 3rd. Always watch the itineraries of the candidates. Where did Trump go after his big New York win? He didn't go to any of the states that are voting next Tuesday. He went to Indiana that's voting on May 3rd because he knows he needs to win it or come very close to winning it if he's going to stay on the path.
KELLY: How does it look there? I mean, how do you see Indiana shaking out right now?
SABATO: It's close. It bears a lot of resemblance to Missouri, and you remember Missouri was decided by two-tenths of one percent of the vote, for the statewide delegates. Trump edged out Cruz. And it doesn't have to end the same way obviously, but that is going to be a critical state. Those are delegates that both sides need Trump to win on the first ballot, Cruz to stop him from winning on the first ballot.
KELLY: Number three is, win at least a majority of delegates in West Virginia's primary, which is on May 10th. How important is that? It's a weird state when it comes to voting.
SABATO: Yes. Boy, Megyn, we could waste the rest of your show talking about the peculiarities of the --
KELLY: Let's not.
SABATO: And I was going to say -- but let's not do it. People ought to look into that though, because it's an outrage how they're allocating delegates. Somehow Trump has to convert what I think will be a very solid majority vote for him in West Virginia into delegates. And it isn't going to be easy.
KELLY: So, expect to hear more about it being rigged when we get to West Virginia primary on May 10th. Number four, be competitive in Oregon, Washington and New Mexico. Some of these are mail-in voting. I mean, I guess are these Cruz favored states?
SABATO: A lot of people think that Cruz will do well in at least two of those three states, New Mexico who knows. Oregon and Washington State seems to me that to probably both sides are going to get some delegates out of there, but, boy, the mail-in balloting system makes it almost impossible to predict.
KELLY: Right. So, there's drama built in. And last but not least, win California and capture two-thirds or more of its delegates. Let me ask you this, if Trump surprises in Indiana and takes that state, and I realize it's not winner take all, could Ted Cruz still shut him down when they get to California, or you know, given the way California is looking right now? Would that not be possible if Trump really runs away in Indiana?
SABATO: It would be difficult, but it is possible. According to our calculations anyway, Trump is going to have to win about two-thirds of the Congressional districts in California. He's going to need somewhere around 118 delegates out of 172 given to California. That's doable for him, but he has to maintain the momentum from the big victory last night and the probable big victories next Tuesday.
KELLY: Uh-hm. And then there's some Cruz leaning states in there. So the question about momentum is out there. Larry says possible but perilous at his crystal ball. Keep your eye on that. Larry, great to see you.
SABATO: Thanks, Megyn.
KELLY: So, from the time we started talking about a contested Republican convention, people have been talking about a white knight. That would be some third party who is not even running right now who might show up to accept the nomination if the party remains divided. If neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz can get the required delegates on the first or second ballot, how likely is that that the white knight swoops in? Well, when we went to the computer tonight and searched new stories for the term white knight, we got 142,000 responses. Of course some may have been about, you know, palaces.
Our next guest is Bill Bennett. He may end up being one of the voting delegates in Cleveland. He served as secretary of education under President Reagan and he is the author of the new book "Tried by Fire." Bill, great to see you.
Bill Bennett: Thank you.
KELLY: So, that, I know that you're now hearing a new name when it comes to white knights. Paul Ryan has said, it's not going to be me. Stop looking at me. And now you're hearing party elites throw out another name. Tell us who it is.
BENNETT: Well, I heard the name Mitch Daniels today, which is interesting given the coincidence of Trump going to Indiana.
BENNETT: But there are all sorts of names. It may be a roundtable of knights. I'll be Secretary Arthur if they need me.
KELLY: You've got the right hair.
BENNETT: Yes. Thank you. It's good for something. It's good for something.
KELLY: Is there -- you know this party well, better than anybody. What are the odds of somebody like Mitch Daniels coming out of this as the nominee?
BENNETT: I don't think they're great, Megyn. I think it's going to be one of those three. And I think -- I can't question Larry's microanalysis, but let's look a little bit macro at this. There is momentum. I mean, Trump really won big in New York. And Cruz finished third, a dismal third. Very bad for Cruz. Remember, Cruz told Kasich when it became mathematically impossible for Kasich to win, he said, you should drop out of the race. Has anybody made that suggestion to Cruz? I don't think so.
KELLY: Kasich. Kasich has.
BENNETT: Well, yes, okay, all right, Kasich has. But Cruz isn't going to do it. I'm also a little curious about the auspices here of this meeting here in Florida, aren't you? I mean, Cruz --
KELLY: Didn't they say that this is the RNC, you know, that they meet three times a year and this is just par for the course and that Cruz is down there making his case as I guess Kasich is going down there as well.
BENNETT: Was he invited? Was Kasich invited? Was Trump invited?
KELLY: I don't know. You're the party guy.
BENNETT: I don't know. Would Trump not go because of the establishment here? That's the question. But, you know, there's something else going on, which is because a lot of the analysis is about the 1237 as it should be. But I am seeing a growing sentiment even on part of some people who don't like Trump that the guy who gets the most votes if it's a lot, if it's 1100 or so, well, those delegates may just lean in that direction because this criticism that Donald Trump is making is having some impact about, you know, votes should translate to delegates.
KELLY: But do you see -- you know, there's sort of this anti-Trump faction in the party that ideologically is opposed to him. And they want to see Ted Cruz go down there and work for those delegates because they're banking on it getting to a second ballot, the conventional wisdom being if it gets that far, Trump cannot win.
BENNETT: Yes. They want anything or anybody but Trump. And that's why it's called, you know, Stop Trump, anybody but Trump, Never Trump. But you know, they need to think, too, this may be the nominee of their party. They could step up a little bit. You know? They could try to make an effort to talk to Donald Trump. You know, they could take the high road. You took the high road, Megyn. You know, these guys weren't hurt, insulted, you know, put down by Donald Trump, as you were. You went over there to see him, which I think was impressive, if I might say, because this guy is important.
I know it's your job, and this guy may be the president of the United States. So people have closed their minds on this and closed the door. And I don't think they should because they need to think about what it is that this guy is saying that is resonating with so many people. And if it's not Trump, is there a big enough group inside the Republican Party, inside the Republican faithful, to win an election?
KELLY: Well, thank you for your kind of words. I was very much hoping to turn a page with him on that score and hopefully we have now. Bill, always a pleasure.
BENNETT: We just want to know what happened, we just want to know what went on.
KELLY: Well, hopefully we'll have an announcement for you. Stay tuned.
BENNETT: Okay. Thank you.
KELLY: Good to see you.
So, all three campaigns now have key people at the RNC meeting that just started in Hollywood, Florida. You know, they have ambassadors down there and in some cases the candidate himself. We also have an ambassador. There he is, Ambassador Stirewalt. And he's our insider. He's here next with some breaking news from the meeting.
Plus, big news breaking on ObamaCare this week as the country's biggest insurance company pulls out. Marc Thiessen and Robert Zimmerman are here on what this means for your health insurance.
Plus, the $20 bill is getting a new face on front. But not everyone likes the choice. And one of the critics, Dr. Ben Carson, is here to explain why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BEN CARSON, R-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love Harriet Tubman. I love what she did. But we can finds another way to honor her. Maybe a $2 bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: The states who run the delegate allocation process for their states. The Republican Party writes rules for the nomination of the Republican Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: That was RNC Chair Reince Priebus speaking just a couple of hours ago right here on FOX as the Republican National Committee launches its last big meeting before the summer's convention in Cleveland. And the GOP is hearing pitches from the candidates and determining whether any of the convention rules should be changed. That's a decision that has the potential to undermine which candidate becomes the Republican nominee. With the stakes that high, we wanted a "Kelly File" insider down there to get us information.
So we sent this guy, Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt to get us the real story. He's in Hollywood in Florida where the RNC is meeting.
All right. Chris, so what is the mood there? What are you hearing?
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Well, look, normally, this meeting is attending to about the verb and crackle as seafood night at the Country Club. But this year it's on. And the reporters are all here and the buzz is high. But really what's happening is the Republican Party is freaking out. A collective freak-out is taking place because they're afraid of their convention. They're afraid of getting slaughtered in the fall. And they are running for life rafts. They're looking for a way out of it. The campaigns are here trying to reassure them and tell them it's possible. John Kasich was here today.
I talked to people that heard his briefing, and what he said and basically said, white knight will ride in, I'll be that white knight. We don't care what anybody voted for. It doesn't matter if I don't win anything. I'll just be the guy at the end. And I don't think that was very convincing for a lot of people. Ted Cruz was here. Now he's the guy that these people like, that the rank and file -- he's a Republican, they're Republicans. He's conservative, they're conservative. Rank and file Republicans who make up the party apparatus across country. We see this in contests around the United States, they like him.
He's more like them than any of the other candidates. And now we have Trump's team here, and they're running a double message. On the one hand, Trump's out in Indiana talking about filth and Ted Cruz and lying and crooked --
STIREWALT: Da-da-da-da-da. We're all the way back to full and we'll be at scummy Ted in a week, I'm sure. But down here it's a totally different message. Down here the message from team Trump to these guys, I've talked to people who have been part of the woo and the message is, Donald's not so bad. We're not -- we don't want anything bad to happen at the convention. And if you just give us what we want, everything will go smoothly. We're not -- I would say the shortest way I could say it is, the complaint from team Trump about crookedness will cease to exist if it's crooked in their favor.
STIREWALT: And basically that's what they're asking for.
KELLY: So, meantime, Ted Cruz's whole game is to try to woo unbound delegates into woo delegates who will be free in the second ballot. And Bill Bennett our last guest, he told us before the show, that he heard Ted Cruz personally spent half an hour on the phone with one delegate in Pennsylvania trying to, you know, convince that person to come over which is okay, you're allowed to do it, but he is working those delegates.
KELLY: Trump, meantime, is working the voters out in the states. So, there are two tracks here going on. What is happening down in Florida in terms of, you know, the so-called establishment? Are they warming to Donald Trump? Are they warming to Ted Cruz? Because you say they should like him, but he's been hated by the establishment, too.
STIREWALT: Oh, exactly. So Ted Cruz is standing on the precipice of one of the great rip-offs in the history of electoral politics, which is this. If the Republican establishment out of a combination of fear of riots, fear of violence at the convention, fear of ugliness, if they fall in line behind Trump out of that fear combined by with the emoluments. Because remember, Trump is spending the money now, he is hiring the consultants, he's on K-Street, he's playing the game. So, if they fall in behind Trump, that means that they could change the rules in such a way that Ted Cruz's chance for that 90-yard kickoff return to win the nomination in Cleveland, they could shut that off for him, and that's what Ted Cruz is facing, is that the party elders, the party establishment, could hose him at the end.
KELLY: Trump sees that as the current system as a steal, that, you know, the voters say what they want, and then the party steals the vote. And you're suggesting that, you know, if Cruz plays by the rules and the rules get changed, that is in essence a steal for him. So basically what you're telling me is that the honeymoon is potentially on between Trump and the party.
STIREWALT: This isn't the honeymoon. This is like that first long weekend that a couple spends together. Nobody belches. Everybody is on their best behavior. They're trying really hard to be somebody they're not. So, they're not on the honeymoon yet. They're just at that cabin with that hot tub for the weekend.
KELLY: You wake up in the morning, you go put on like a little lip gloss. It's a little like, okay, yes this is --
STIREWALT: Right. Like, oh, I just was sitting here like this. Yes. Exactly. I haven't gone to the bathroom in months.
KELLY: Great to see you, Chris.
STIREWALT: You bet.
KELLY: He's fun. Well, a major blow for hundreds of thousands of people when it comes to ObamaCare. As the country's biggest insurance company says it's out. It is pulling out of the system because it says it cannot afford the losses. Is this the beginning of the big run for the exits?
Plus, is Bernie Sanders steps up his attacks on Hillary Clinton, there are growing questions about whether he may be doing permanent damage to her and her chances if she becomes the nominee in the fall.
Dana Perino and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz are next. Don't miss that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I have said is if you're going to get paid $225,000 for a speech, must be a pretty good speech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: From the World Headquarters of the Fox News, it's "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly.
Growing controversy for Democrats today after Hillary Clinton's big win in New York. Despite Secretary Clinton racking up big numbers and looking more and more like she will be the nominee, Senator Bernie Sanders says he's staying in this race and plans to keep the heat on Mrs. Clinton and that could be a problem. Political analysts are now asking if candidate Clinton is suffering permanent damage from attacks like these. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: In the last filing report, her major Super PAC listed 25 million in special interest funding, including 15 million from Wall Street. Secretary Clinton has given speeches behind closed doors to Wall Street firms for $225,000 a speech. Must be an earth-shattering speech! Must be a speech written in Shakespearean prose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Joining me now, Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Great to see you.
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, D-FLA., CHAIR, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Thanks.
KELLY: So, you have to give him points on that one, Shakespearean Prose, although who would pay $225,000 to listen to that. The question is legitimate, though, about whether he is hurting her. In the same way many people think the ongoing Republican race maybe hurting the ultimate nominee. Is this prolonged race on your side hurting her if she becomes the nominee?
SCHULTZ: Well, I don't think so. And I think, you know, really, you can point to the evidence that we have in New York last night when exit polls showed that seven in 10 New York voters coming out of the polling place were energized and enthusiastic about our candidate and less than 40 percent of Republicans said that. And, you know, you've got Republican senators and other elected officials and candidates deciding not to even attend and announcing that they won't attend the Republican National Convention.
So, I mean, at this point in 2008, our primary was much more divisive than this one has been, and while I'm very proud of both of our candidates for really focusing on substantive issues in our debates and throughout this campaign, I do continue to caution them to not really get intense and divisive so that it harms our ability to come back together.
KELLY: Uh-hm. And what do you think, though, even though you're right about the numbers of the Democrats who say, I'm okay with either one, I prefer this one, but I'll go.
KELLY: Her negatives are going up. I mean, they always go up in these contests, but her negatives are pretty high, chairwoman. Her image that record at record lows or near record lows among many major demographic groups. Men she's minus 40, women, she's minus nine, whites, she's minus 39, white women, minus 25, white men, she's at minus 72. These are record numbers especially compared to Barack Obama four and eight years ago.
SCHULTZ: Well, I mean Megyn, bottom line, you do the head-to-head matchup and either one of our candidates beats any of the Republican candidates. And when you are looking at energy and enthusiasm, that's really what is helping voters decide whether they're going to go out and be motivated enough to vote for a candidate, work for a candidate, organize, knock on doors, make phone calls.
And so, those are the kind of stats that I want to see when it comes to the momentum that either one of our candidates is going to have going into a general election, going into the convention, and ultimately going head-to- head with the republican nominee. The Republicans are still at civil war. Donald trump who's almost for sure going to be their nominee has been at the throat of Reince Priebus and the rest of the RNC.
So, they're not talking about substantive issues. They are mired in chaos. So, that contrast is going to bode well for us when it comes to a general election because we're getting ready to make sure we can be prepared for the general election and they're still fighting.
KELLY: Hillary got in some trouble recently as she did a skit with Mayor Bill de Blasio here in New York where they made a reference -- he made a reference to CP, and that is understood as a racial slur, colored people. It should be said as married to a person of color and has two children who are also, but they played it off like they meant cautious politician. Then she came under fire for participating in this, even from some of her advocates. Did she make a mistake?
SCHULTZ: You know, I have been asked over and over to comment on different aspects or things that each of our candidates have said. I just think it's not appropriate for me to weigh in on things like that. That's better asked of the candidates themselves and the people that are specifically advocating on behalf of those candidates. I'm focused on the general election.
KELLY: That is officially the ten-foot pole and our cue to wrap it. Great to see you. Thank you so much for being here.
SCHULTZ: Thanks, Megyn.
KELLY: So as we mentioned a moment ago, the Wall Street Journal released a poll saying 56 percent of voters have a negative view of Hillary Clinton, meaning her negative ratings outweigh her positives by 24 points as you can see here. With more on what this could mean for the general election, Dana Perino, who's co-hosting "The Five" and author of "And The Good News Is," which is now out in paperback. Dana, great to see you.
DANA PERINO, "THE FIVE" CO-HOST: Lighter.
KELLY: Very nice. I'll buy, I'll buy another one.
PERINO: It's got new material but still less weight.
KELLY: And Mother's Day is coming.
PEPRINO: That's true.
KELLY: What did you make of what she said? What jumped out at you?
PERINO: A couple of things. I don't think it is Bernie Sanders that is driving down Hillary's numbers. I think Hillary Clinton is driving down her own numbers because she's not been able to put forward a compelling reason for her campaign. And the other thing is, the Super PACS in particular America Rising and American Crossroads, they have been hammering Hillary Clinton on trustworthiness and honesty for about 18 months and I think that is certainly having an effect.
So, while the Republican race, all things she said are true, chaotic, the numbers on the Republican side for at least for Donald Trump, even worse, Ted Cruz is not much better, that is all true. But I do think turnout on the Republican side being what it is, her negative numbers being what they are, it's very difficult I think with 100 percent name ID to move those numbers significantly in the next few months.
KELLY: What do you think -- when you do the head-to-head matchup, if it's Hillary versus Trump, you know, she beats him in most of these polls and her overall numbers are better than his when it comes to this favorable, but you know his response is, give me time.
PERINO: Give me a chance.
KELLY: Give me time. I haven't started on her. And the reality is, we have seen him take out -- how many were there? They were 18? Now it's down to 13.
PERINO: About 14 candidates, right, who are now on the way side.
KELLY: Talented, well-liked republicans.
KELLY: And so, does that make sense his argument?
PERINO: I think that his supporters will say that and I think that you know what? I can see that. If the stars align and he's able to go after her, remember what he did just a few months ago when they were going to attack him on like sexual harassment type things and Donald Trump said, don't you dare.
KELLY: On sexism.
PERINO: On sexism.
KELLY: Because the thing is, Hillary Clinton is going to get tied to Bill Clinton's actions and to her support of her husband, the president, during that time.
PERINO: That's right.
KELLY: If that's the lane we're going down in this race.
PERINO: And so -- and maybe what they'll do is just try to cancel each other out. But I would also submit that Donald Trump has also not been under withering attacks from the left yet. And that is coming.
KELLY: Some, some. She's put out a few.
PERINO: She's put out a few, but the whole kit and caboodle that comes with Hollywood, most of the mainstream media, that hasn't really started yet.
KELLY: Do you believe they're holding back? They have attack ads on him or they have research that they're holding back.
PERINO: I don't know.
KELLY: We've heard that. David Brock, the guy who runs Media Matters and Hillary's surrogate incredibly.
PERINO: I don't know. I mean, if you're Donald Trump and you're so well-known and I don't know -- I don't know what else there is to know, right? So, maybe they do have things that nobody has ever heard about. But he's been able to weather most of the storm. She's weathering the storms but in a way that basically has her under water at 56 percent negative.
KELLY: Understanding that Trump's unfavorables are higher than Cruz's by about 9 points or so, do you still think she'd rather run against -- which one do you think she'd rather run against, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump?
PERINO: I think she would not want to run against John Kasich, governor of Ohio, because he's the only one that actually shows in a head-to-head that he could beat her. I think that they used to think that they would love to run against Donald Trump. I think they've changed their mind on that, that makes them nervous and I also...
KELLY: Because they know how to run against Ted Cruz. They understand that.
PERINO: They do.
KELLY: That's familiar.
PERINO: Right. The math with a Ted Cruz --
KELLY: War on women. All of the stuff.
PERINO: It's exactly the same. It's 2008 and 2012. She's got that on coalition. As long as Bernie Sanders helps bring his people along, solid. But you know what? We don't know. Nobody -- we haven't seen two front- runners with this high of negatives ever run against each other. So, it's going to be very interesting and can they move those numbers up enough? Well, even if they can't, if those are the last two choices, someone is going to win.
KELLY: Could be like the Eeyore election. I don't have a tail. Dana, great to see you.
PERINO: He's adorable.
KELLY: Well, when ObamaCare -- Eeyore, that is -- when ObamaCare took effect, a lot of critics warned that the insurance companies would never be able to handle the losses. Now that prediction has come true for America's largest insurance firm. Mark Teasen and Robert Zimmerman are next on what this means for the program and the country and for you.
KELLY: Developing tonight, the largest health insurance company in America getting out of the business of ObamaCare. Insurance giant United Health Group says the exchanges are costing them more than a billion dollars in losses and other insurance companies are warning the soaring costs are going to mean some tough decisions for them as well. Trace Gallagher live tonight with the details. Trace?
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, United Healthcare reported losing $475 million in ObamaCare exchange funds last year and is on target to lose $650 million this year. So, by the end of 2017, the company will only operate exchanges in a few states like Nevada and Virginia, the full list has not been released. Here is what it means numbers-wise. Of the 11 million people currently enrolled in state exchanges, 795,000 are in United Health.
Most of them will have to shop for a new plan altogether. And in Florida alone, nearly 300,000 people will now have only one insurance company to choose from. That's bad because when there is no competition, premiums almost certainly will rise. The Obama administration is downplaying the pullout with the Health and Human Services spokesman saying, quoting here, "the marketplace should be judged by the choices it offers consumers, not the decision of any one issuer."
And experts agree this isn't the death nail for ObamaCare, but it is a strong signal the system isn't performing the way it was meant to. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield says health care spending for people in the exchanges is 22 percent higher than for employer-based insurance. In other words, ObamaCare enrollees are paying less and using more. Aetna, Anthem, Humana and several Blue Cross plans have also reported losses.
None of those companies are planning to pull out, but some are planning to merge and analysts say all of them will look to increase premiums. Now, the states have the power to reject rate increases, but then the catch-22 is they also risk losing more insurance companies. Megyn.
KELLY: Trace, thank you. Joining me now with more, Marc Thiessen, who is a Fox News contributor and former chief speech writer for President George W. Bush and Robert Zimmerman, who is a Democratic strategist and DNC committee member. Good to see you both.
MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening. Good to see you Megyn.
KELLY: This is not good, Marc. This is not good.
THIESSEN: No, this is not good at all. This is -- I mean, the commercial insurers are hemorrhaging money on ObamaCare. United lost a billion dollars, billion with "b" in just two years by participating in this exchange and the reason is simple. There are more sick people coming into the exchanges than there are healthy people to pay for them. And they're not alone. You've got Highmark, which is the fourth largest Blue Cross Blue Shield member in the country, $773 million in losses.
Health Services Corporation, $2 billion in losses. Blue Cross of North Carolina, $400 million in losses. And so what's happening is, when these insurers are losing money, they have three choices. They can scale back their coverage. They can -- and provide less doctors, they can raise prices or they can get out. And more and more of what you're seeing is they're going to start getting out.
KELLY: Robert, I mean, is this not a failure? I mean, you tell me how this is -- how the administration can be comfortable with this and say the system is working.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, actually, when capitalism works, ObamaCare succeeds and that's really what's going on here. I mean, Marc, really, you got to start watching Fox News more because if you did, you would know the Fox Business Channel reported that Anthem and Cigna are in fact expanding their care, their coverage in the marketplace and reaching out and trying to get more people to enroll through them, through the health insurance marketplace.
It's also important to point out, while I know that you're concerned about the health insurance industry, certainly United Healthcare's stock has gone up 70 percent since the marketplace has opened for ObamaCare and the big five stock market has gone up -- their stock shares have gone up for 75 percent. The point simply here Megyn is that the more competition you have, the better it is.
Marc and I both agree on that. And in this situation, we have a matter where United Healthcare simply overpriced their marketplace. In fact, in three big marketplaces, Ohio, Florida and I believe in Texas, in those three marketplaces, 95 percent of the people who were applying for health insurance could go to a company and get it cheaper than United Healthcare provided. They were too expensive. They weren't competitive. That's why they failed. That's why other insurance companies are now --
KELLY: Go ahead, Marc. Let him respond Robert. Go ahead.
THIESSEN: Well, one of the reasons why they're so expensive is because the Obama administration put all these mandates on what they have to cover. So, they have to provide contraception for elderly people and all the rest of it. So, these are the things that the Obama administration forced on the insurers and that they have to provide.
And then you have all these sick people coming in and using coverage and not enough healthy people coming in. But the problem -- what's happening, Megyn, it's not a death nail for ObamaCare, but a fundamental change is happening. What's happening is that the commercial insurers are getting out and they are being replaced by Medicaid providers who are offering low bare-bones plans that basically mirror what they offer at Medicaid people, which is the worst -- the coverage we provide for the poorest of the poor in this country, and so you have...
ZIMMERMAN: Marc, I just have to point out.
THIESSEN: Now, hold on, Robert.
KELLY: Let him finish.
THIESSEN: So, you have three-quarters of people in the ObamaCare exchanges had commercial health insurance before they were forced into ObamaCare. Now, they're being forced not only into Obamacare where they were -- in getting government subsidized healthcare, but into Medicaid-style government healthcare. So, this is a bad deal for them.
ZIMMERMAN: I just want to point out, Marc, that in fact, we have more insurance companies now competing per state than ever before. In 2014 there were eight -- on the average, of eight insurance companies per state, 2015 there were nine. Now in 2016, there are roughly -- approximately ten insurance companies per state competing in the ObamaCare marketplace. That's competition. That's why ObamaCare is expanding their services to 20 million citizens who are paying less for insurance.
KELLY: But Robert, the facts are that it's not just United, that many other companies say they are losing money, a lot of money, nearly a billion dollars, in some cases. And so, people are worried if they're going to lose the plan they chose and the doctors said they're now going to. My question for you, therefore, is whether this becomes an issue for the Democrats in an election year.
ZIMMERMAN: Actually, this was an issue in the last presidential election. You saw President Obama win very handily. I don't believe it's going to be an issue.
KELLY: But this type of thing hadn't yet begun because -- ObamaCare is frontloaded with the goodies.
ZIMMERMAN: Well actually, I think we've seen over time as ObamaCare has moved forward, we're seeing more people enroll. Now there are 20 million Americans who are benefitting from Obamacare and we're actually seeing our country spend less on health insurance according to the Congressional Budget Office than ever before.
KELLY: So you don't see it as an election issue? I'm just going to fill in the blanks. Robert, does not see it as an election issue and Marc does. Got to go.
THIESSEN: Thanks, Megyn. Great to be with you.
KELLY: Coming up, the Treasury Department today announced we will soon see a new face on the front of the $20 bill. And then Dr. Ben Carson annoyed the critics by offering a different plan. He's here next to explain this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: I love Harriet Tubman. I love what she did, but we can find another way to honor her, maybe a $2 bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Well, it's a story we reported on earlier this week on "The Kelly File" and today the Treasury Department made it official. Abolionist Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson as the new face on the $20 bill beginning in 2020. The reaction you heard before the break and Dr. Ben Carson set of a fierce debate today but the former presidential candidate is standing by his suggestion that Miss Tubman does not belong on the $20.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you anti-Harriet Tubman?
CARSON: No, no, I love Harriet Tubman. I love what she did but we can find another way to honor her, maybe a $2 bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Dr. Ben Carson joins us now. The $2? The $2 is like the -- nobody use the $2? What?
CARSON: The point being, we have lots of options here. We can have a $200 bill, but, you know, Andrew Jackson was the last president who actually eliminated the national debt. That's no small feat here. We also had the possibility of putting one person on the front of the bill and one on the back of the bill.
KELLY: That's what's happening. He's moving to the back. She's moving to the front.
CARSON: It doesn't matter who's on the front or who's on the back, but the point being, that would be very symbolic because, you know, Harriet Tubman was a slave, herself. Andrew Jackson was a slave owner. And to give them equality like that, I think would be a great symbol. But we need to have lots of ways to...
KELLY: But you're making Jack Lew's argument, he's saying that's what I'm doing. Jackson's there, he goes to the back and the woman who fought -- who was a slave and fought slavery and fought for women's rights as well, she's going to the front, so what's your problem, Dr. Carson?
CARSON: It's not a problem. In fact, I think, you know, there's been so many great women in the history of America. The fact that we don't have any of them on any of our currency, I think is a shame. And we have an opportunity now to do that. So that really was the point that I'm making. I don't think we necessarily have to kick somebody else out of the way.
KELLY: Especially when it's not even the lack of paper...
CARSON: We have plenty of opportunities to honor those who have done great things.
KELLY: Kind of mean, but you know, Greta was suggesting earlier we should create a new bill. Why don't we have a $25 bill, everybody wins. What do you think of that?
CARSON: That's a good possibility, too. We have lots of possibilities. All kinds of things that we can do. But, you know, as you can imagine, there will come a time when we won't have currency at all. I don't think it's all that far into the future.
KELLY: You know, you can't please everybody.
CARSON: So, let's enjoy it while we can.
KELLY: Some groups today came out and said, look, Harriet Tubman was bought and sold as a commodity and the treasury, unless it's a master of irony, is not getting that maybe she wouldn't want to be the symbol of a bill at all. Your thoughts on that?
CARSON: Well, you know, it doesn't really matter what you do, somebody's going to be offended.
KELLY: You know about this.
CARSON: You know, that's the society we live in. I do know about that. It's kind of ridiculous, but that's why I don't pay it a whole lot of attention.
KELLY: What do you think of the fact that -- you know, I get the controversy, like don't mess with the money, it's like, you know, these are sort of symbols in people's lives. What do you make of the fact that we're about to celebrate the 100-year anniversary in a few years of women's suffrage and there is no woman anywhere on -- like they couldn't find a woman who did something worthy of going anywhere on the currency?
CARSON: Susan B. Anthony.
KELLY: All she got was that crappy coin, nobody wants to use that.
CARSON: No. I think it's abominable. I think we ought to do something about it and I'm hopeful that this discussion will encourage us not to do just one little symbolic thing here but really to open it up.
KELLY: Got it. Amen, Dr. Carson. Always a pleasure.
CARSON: All right. You, too, Megyn.
KELLY: We'll be right back. The $2.
KELLY: So, tomorrow night on the program we have Herman Cain and we also have more from Stirewalt down in Hollywood, Florida, getting into that -- our special roving correspondent getting you the details. We'll see how that date is going we told you about. See you tomorrow at 9:00. I'm Megyn Kelly.
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