Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” conservative commentator weighed in Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) win in the GOP presidential primary in Wisconsin a night earlier and what that means for his opponent, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
Buchanan speculated on all the possibilities, particularly regarding Cruz, who he said was being used by the GOP establishment. Ultimately, however, Buchanan said the best option would be if Trump and Cruz were to partner up. He also added that if Cruz and Trump were to not come together, he could see Trump working to make a deal with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) or Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) for their delegates.
Transcript as follows:
HANNITY: Welcome back to “Hannity.” So last night, Senator Ted Cruz had a victory in Wisconsin in that primary, leading some analysts to predict that the odds now of a contested convention are higher than ever. And if this happens come July, my next guest believes that Republican delegates should unite around Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in order to lock out the establishment.
Here now to explain, author of “The Greatest Comeback,” Patrick J. Buchanan. Sir, I totally and completely agree with you. The only problem I see at this moment in time, Cruz supporters hate Trump supporters. Trump supporters hate Cruz supporters. And what you’re asking is that they do the right thing, and they will have the power to do that, won’t they.
PAT BUCHANAN (R), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They will, but you’re exactly right in the point you just made. Both of them have what they perceive as vital interests. They’re not fond of each other. And each of them wants to be the nominee. So that might militate against their getting together.
For example, Trump might say, Look, I want to put something together that enables me to get the nomination on the first ballot, but if I don’t get it there, I’m not going to get it, and I don’t really care about Ted Cruz getting it, if I don’t. So you’ve got a — you don’t have a — you have a partial commonality of interests between the two of them.
HANNITY: And what about Marco Rubio? Marco Rubio still has more delegates than John Kasich, who’s still in the race!
BUCHANAN: I think — I don’t know how well — whether he can trade, but I’ll tell you, here’s what — here’s what I think’s going to happen and I think should happen. I think Trump should really focus — I agree with you, you know, give up the Twitter account, focus in on New York, try to get as many of those 95 delegates, keep winning right on up to that convention, go out there, go after the unbound delegates and then go after the delegates that might be bound to other candidates or who can trade them.
And Rubio might be in that particular game, and try to win this on the first ballot because I can tell you, Sean, I think if Trump doesn’t win it on the first ballot, Trump doesn’t win it because I think it breaks apart. An awful lot of folks that are in the Trump camp now are there because they’re pledged for one ballot or something like that. And once they’re no longer pledged, they’re gone.
HANNITY: All right, what about all of a sudden the new-found establishment love for Ted Cruz? Because we both know…
HANNITY: Let’s be real here. The establishment doesn’t like Ted Cruz.
BUCHANAN: They’re telling…
HANNITY: They might have helped him in Wisconsin. Wasn’t that more of an effort to just stop Trump?
HANNITY: And wouldn’t the establishment be just as happy to deny Trump and Cruz the nomination?
BUCHANAN: Sure. They’re telling Cruz, Why don’t you go up there? You’re going to get a big medal if you can go up there and take that hill, Ted.
HANNITY: Yes! Exactly. So are you — no, seriously, are they using…
BUCHANAN: They will be…
HANNITY: … are they basically — yes.
BUCHANAN: They will be at the burial of Ted Cruz after he takes down Trump, if he takes down Trump. But Cruz is a smart guy. He has to know this. But I think I see signs that he clearly is moving toward the establishment now because I think he figures, Look, they can’t take Trump and they may have to take me, so why don’t they get together with me now, and if we can stop Trump on the first ballot, I get it on the second ballot.
And you watch. And then I will do a deal with those folks, you know, to improve our conduct, et cetera, take certain things they want, certain things we want. I think that’s the coalition…
HANNITY: So the guy — assuming the votes keep going pretty much proportionally the same way they’re going, that would mean the guy that had the most states won, the most votes, the most delegates — they disenfranchise those voters. What happens to Trump voters? Are they going to just sit back and say, Oh, OK, we’ll support Ted, or are they going to get angry? I would vote they get angry.
BUCHANAN: Well, here’s — here’s what I think, Sean. I think there is a really battle between Cruz and Trump. And everybody knows Cruz has run second. He’s run a terrific race. He’s won a lot of primaries and delegates, and Trump is ahead of him.
I don’t think there’s a great walk-out, a reason for it, if they come down to it, and neither of them’s got a majority, and eventually on the second ballot, Cruz emerges.
If, however, they come walking in, the establishment does, and tries to take down Cruz and Trump and plant somebody from the establishment…
BUCHANAN: … after the rejection of the establishment is what this election’s been all about…
HANNITY: What if one of the candidates has a 300 or 400 delegate lead and then is denied the nomination?
BUCHANAN: Well, if he’s got 300 or 400 lead…
HANNITY: But shy of 1,237…
BUCHANAN: … going in, I think — well, I think then Trump — it’s up to Trump, the deal maker, to make the deal and go over the top. But I do — if you’re 400 behind — there’s no doubt about it, there’s going to be real anger, alienation and people walking out of the party if the guy they went in there for came in that far ahead in votes, states, you know, crowds, everything, and a plurality want him…
HANNITY: Who do you think — look, I don’t think polls that are accurate, you know, these hypothetical matchups. If you go by them, Kasich does the best right now. Who do you think, when push comes to shove, has the best chance of beating Hillary?
BUCHANAN: I thought it was — I would have said three weeks ago, four weeks ago Trump. For the reason I felt Trump can win states like Michigan and he can do well in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, New York, on his economic nationalism issue, on the jobs going abroad, on Hillary and NAFTA and all that.
But there’s been an awful lot happen in three weeks which have driven his negatives up pretty high. So if you ask…
HANNITY: Can he fix that?
BUCHANAN: Well, that’s the key question. Can he fix that? We saw when he took off initially, he was — nobody sort of wanted him, and all of a sudden, he did tremendously in raising himself up and reducing his negatives. But when they go up a second time, can you take him down a second time? That’s really the — you know, the $64,000 question here.
HANNITY: Well, you’ve been around this game a year or two. I mean, I would assume you have some knowledge about whether that can happen.
BUCHANAN: It can happen. I’ve seen — Ronald Reagan was down 30 points, or something like that, during that year when he won that election with carter. However, I remember Barry Goldwater was down 59 points. We did reduce it, Sean, to about 25!
HANNITY: Didn’t actually work out the way you wanted. I know.
BUCHANAN: He was great American, though.
HANNITY: Yes. Listen, I hear what you’re saying. All right, Pat Buchanan, I will say this. If they don’t unite against the establishment and the establishment is able to pull off some shenanigans, I would argue that you’re going to see a lot of people pack up and walk for good. They’re not coming back.
BUCHANAN: Let me suggest something, Sean. Go with Trump and Cruz as a ticket. As they said of the Boston Braves, Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.
HANNITY: All right, do you think that ticket would win?
BUCHANAN: I think that ticket would set the country on fire.
BUCHANAN: I really do.
HANNITY: … voodoo economics. They put that aside, but can they put aside what’s going on here?
BUCHANAN: Well, look, I — look, if you — well, the attacks on the — they’ve been savage and it seems very personal with them, also.
BUCHANAN: And it’s gratuitous and all — and it’s very hurtful, you know? And…
HANNITY: All right, so who’s going to be the VP? Would Cruz accept VP if he has less delegates?
BUCHANAN: Fewer delegates? But the thing is, the only way for Cruz to find out if he’s got fewer delegates is if he can stop Trump from winning the nomination…
BUCHANAN: … you know, on the first ballot, in which case things break apart.
BUCHANAN: And I don’t see how Trump comes back if he loses the first ballot and people start moving toward him.
HANNITY: So who are they going to move towards?
BUCHANAN: The establishment will be in there. Everybody will be in there.
HANNITY: … then they’ll move towards — you predict they’d move towards Cruz?
BUCHANAN: I — well, here’s the thing. My prediction would be that Trump will move toward a Rubio or a Kasich if he’s short on the first ballot.
HANNITY: He’ll make a deal, or do you think they would say yes?
BUCHANAN: Oh, yes. I think he’s — I think Trump will have to make a deal on the first…
HANNITY: Do you think Marco Rubio, who was called “little Marco,” is going to go along with Mr. Trump?
BUCHANAN: Well, if he called me “Little Pat” and he gave me the vice presidency?
HANNITY: All right. We got to go, Mr. — you know, you cracked me up in the “Crossfire” days. You’re still cracking me up.
All right, Pat Buchanan.
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