Primary Preview; More Earnings Reporting Today; Race For Delegates; Clinton Targets Trump In Ad; Presidential Primary Pretzels - Part 1

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Clinton Targets Trump In Ad; Presidential Primary Pretzels - Part 1>

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MARIA BARTIROMO, FBN ANCHOR: We've got your top stories right now, 6:00 a.m. on the East Coast. The battle for the East underway; polls opening right now in Connecticut. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton holding strong leads there and hope for a sweep of today's contest. Candidates on the offensive, fighting for every delegate up for grabs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- collusion, and in business you go to jail for that; but it's collusion, where they're coming together because they are getting beaten badly.

JOHN KASICH (R-OH) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Negative is what works; okay? But over the long-haul, over the long-haul people want to be hopeful. We're just going to keep plugging and I need your support tomorrow, after we finish this; hopefully I won't screw this up.

TED CRUZ (R-TX) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you're a conservative, there's only one proven conservative in this race. The differences between me and Donald Trump are night and day. Donald pretends to be an outsider."

(HEADLINES)

BARTIROMO: All those stories coming up in the program this morning; and with me this morning Fox Business Network's Dagen McDowell; former Senator and Donald Trump's Supporter, Scott Brown; and, Republican Pollster Lee Carter. Good to see you, everybody.

SCOTT BROWN, FORMER SENATOR AND DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Good to see you.

DAGEN MCDOWELL, FBN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.

LEE CARTER: Good morning.

BARTIROMO: Good to see you.

BROWN: Good to be here.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us; good to see you on set, Senator. We've got a can't-miss lineup this morning: Cruz Campaign National Spokesperson Ron Nehring is with us; legendary radio talk-show host, Larry King joins us, talking about the interviews that he has had over the years with Trump, Clinton, et cetera; Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, got to get his take on where oil is this morning; and Trump Organization Executive Vice President Eric Trump joining us. All ahead; don't miss a minute of it.

We are kicking it off right now with our top story: Super Tuesday 3 has arrived. The polls open right now in Connecticut and they will open in the four remaining states in under an hour. Donald Trump still holds that commanding lead in the delegate race with 118 delegates up for grabs on the GOP side today. On other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battling it out for the 462 available candidates. Candidates on both sides of the aisle hitting the campaign trail in a last ditch effort to secure those votes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Kasich is doing worse than many of the people that left months ago. I mean, if you look at Marco Rubio, he did much better than Kasich. He had -- he to this day has more delegates. This is just a guy, who is a stubborn, who eats like a slob, and shouldn't have press conference while he's stuffing stuff down his throat.

CRUZ: The John Kasich campaign announced that they're pulling out of Indiana, leaving this as a direct one-on-one choice for the people of Indiana between our campaign and Donald Trump. That choice is important for the country, and I'll tell you, it's been 46 days since the last republican debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's chicken.

[Laughter]

CRUZ: It's hard to dispute that.

[Laughter]

HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: At some point, if you want to be president of the United States you have to get familiar with the United States; you've got to spend with Americans of all sorts and backgrounds.

KASICH: I've chosen to take a path of telling people, yes, the problems are real, but we can solve these problems and I'm trying to peddle hope. Now hope, in the short-term doesn't get you a lot of attention because hope is too positive, negative is what works.

BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The reason, I think, that we have done so well is that we are doing something very unusual in modern American politics, we're telling the truth.

[Cheers and Applause]

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: Joining us right now Democratic Strategist, Harlen Hill, here in the studio, along with Republican Strategist Lisa Booth. Good to see you both.

LISA BOOTHE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Good morning, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Harlen, let me kick it off with you. Big contest today. What are you looking at, as far as the biggest surprise, most important state today, on the democratic side?

HARLEN HILL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, on the democratic side I think the race is pretty much baked. I think that Hillary's lead, especially when you factor in super delegates, is insurmountable at this point. I am now turning my attention from that side of the aisle to the Republican side.

I'm a Democratic strategist. There's 120 campaigns all over this country, and I think that Hillary's track record of lies, deceit and fraud, her 30 years of scandals from, you know, Benghazi to the e-mail scandal, it just means that she's untenable candidate, in my opinion. So I'm looking at my republican options.

BARTIROMO: And they are?

HILL: Donald Trump.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

HILL: That's it.

BROWN: Wow! I'm in shock.

BARTIROMO: That is a wow.

BROWN: I'm in shock.

HILL: I'm not the only one.

BROWN: No, you're not, and I think that's appropriate because that's what I'm hearing from a lot of my democratic friends, they're like, yeah, anybody but Hillary. When you're talking about Trump, and Trump is an option, you may not like what he says and how he says it but, in fact, what he's doing is he's talking about things that everybody is talking about maybe doing it not in a smooth way but he's bringing out things that people are really, really concerned about. He's not like the others.

BARTIROMO: What was the straw that broke the camel's back for you, in terms of you saying, okay, 30 years of these lies from Hillary Clinton, I'm done.?

HILL: Yes, well, I knew it pretty much going in to this cycle that I wasn't going to vote for her; so I supported Sanders. I'm not a democratic socialist, I'm a pretty moderate democrat actually but I feel so strongly that she should not be in the White House that I was willing to vote for him. With Sanders comes things like higher taxes and a lot of socialist programs that I'm actually not really happy with. I consider myself a Reagan Democrat, we are not a dying breed; there's still a lot of us out there and so when it became clears that Sanders had no chance, I am looking at my other options.

BARTIROMO: Dagen?

[Laughter]

MCDOWELL: I'm just like, --

BROWN: What do you say?

MCDOWELL: But, Harlen, how realistic is it that Sanders' supporters would actually go and vote for Donald Trump?

HILL: It's only realistic if he starts to articulate how his policy is really very similar to Sanders. They're talking about the same problems, everything from trade to some foreign policy and nation building at home.

MCDOWELL: And the biggest issue is the fact that they've not taking money from Super PACs.

HILL: Well that's another one.

MCDOWELL: That's a huge uniting factor.

HILL: Huge uniting factor and, you know, how we take on, really, the ruling class in the country. I think there's a lot of commonality between the Republican establishment and the Democratic establishment.

BARTIROMO: Isn't that interesting Lisa Booth in DC? How do you see the race today? What's most important from your standpoint; and Harlen here basically giving us this explanation in terms of why he has given up on the democratic side.

BOOTHE: I know, and it's very interesting. I think this is a perspective that a lot of Americans share right now. They look at the system as broken; the look at the system as corrupt. They believe government has failed them. That's why you have seen that in polling that distrust in government is so high. That's why you see someone like Bernie Sanders appeal to someone like Harlen, in the sense that he's talking about blowing up the system.

Same thing to be said for Donald Trump. He's talking about blowing up the system. I think that's also why you see this narrative that he's been driving of a rigged and corrupt system, why it is resonating with voters. We saw on the most recent "Wall Street Journal" poll that 62-percent of the republican voters think that the candidate with the most votes should be the nominee. This is a message that has been working for him. He has also seen an uptick in polling in states like Indiana, California; an uptick in national polls as well. I believe it all stems from that belief and that feeling from a lot of voters, across the political spectrum, that the system is broken.

BROWN: Harlen, let me ask you a question, when you look at Bernie, for example, I served with him, he's been there, he's been a politician, quite frankly, forever. To think that he's an outsider is really not true.

HILL: Right.

BROWN: When he was there when they had the super majority, he did nothing. All the things that he's talking about, income inequality, dealing with a lot of the issues that you were drawn towards, --

HILL: Yes.

BROWN: -- he did nothing. How is it working that people are saying, oh, my gosh, he's knew; he's vibrant; he's different; when, in fact, he's part of the system?

HILL: Sure, I mean, he's certainly part of the system. Look, he's not truly an anti-establishment candidate. I think that's why you can actually -- you can make the same argument for Cruz. He has been there for a little while -

BROWN: Right.

HILL: -- and he's not established very much. Now, I mean, he's really an entrenched part of the system. He and Kasich are really colluding, not to win, but to undermine Donald Trump and a plurality of Republican voters. And, so, we've seen these former -- formerly anti-establishment candidates, from Sanders to Cruz, are really part of the problem now.

BARTIROMO: Is that going to ultimately help Trump?

HILL: I think so, absolutely.

BARTIROMO: The fact that Cruz -

HILL: Absolutely.

BARTIROMO: -- and Kasich are getting together?

LEE CARTER, PARTNER, MASLANSKY AND PARTNERS: I don't think you're alone in this. I've been out there talking to voters for a while and there's a lot of people out there who say if it's not Bernie, I'm going to Trump, and if it's not Trump I'm going to go for Bernie. It's like they're so, so different and yet the sentiments underneath it is the same.

HILL: It's because they are talking about the same issues, everything from campaign finance reform to trade. They are just talking about it in different ways, they have different solutions. If Trump can just recalibrate his message, very slightly, I think he can appeal a lot of democrats. I'm thinking of starting a PAC, you know, Democrats for Trump, and really trying to reframe issues that Trump is talking about so that Democrats can understand it.

BARTIROMO: Of course, jobs - go ahead, Lisa.

BOOTHE: To reiterate that point, too, to drive that a little bit further, I think they're also both appealing to an electorate and individuals that feel left behind by this economy.

You look at Bernie Sanders, who is going so well among millennials and you look at student loan debt. The average student loan debt for 2015 was $35,000. So you're looking at millennials who are leaving college facing a mountain of debt, who can't find jobs in the economy; or Donald Trump who is appeal to go blue-collar workers who have been left behind with recent advancements in technology and jobs being brought overseas.

The irony regarding the student loan debt and the economy is the fact that you see democrats, the Democratic Party talking about issues like income inequality. When you look at the rich that have gotten richer under President Obama's policies, and the middle class, who have been left behind, --

BARTIROMO: Yes.

BOOTHE: -- yet you have the individuals like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders who only exacerbate those problems. So there's a little bit of an irony there.

BARTIROMO: Which is why we wanted to show you the unemployment rates in a lot of the states - in all of the states that we are talking about this morning because if you look at Connecticut, Rhode Island, those are the two states that are above the national average; obviously national average five percent, 4.9-percent and that's where we're looking at the situation in Pennsylvania; even lower in Maryland and - and Delaware, but Connecticut 5.7-percent, Rhode Island, Dagen, 5.4-percent unemployment. That is why this issue is resonating and the jobs and the businessman is resonating.

MCDOWELL: Right; and Hillary Clinton is essentially running on Barack Obama's economy, that she's running on that and the people voting for her expect his policies to be continued in the follow-on administration. That's what so perplexing to so many voters is like, the reason that Sanders and Trump are finding the support that they are is because both people on the right and the left feel like the economy stinks and the dog- gone government is the problem and not the solution.

HILL: You know the craziest thing is that Obama's economy has been worst for the people of color.

BROWN: Yes.

HILL: The highest uninsured rates are among people of color. The highest unemployment rates are from people of color.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

HILL: And yet so many of my friends continue --

BARTIROMO: No acknowledgment - no acknowledgement of that.

CARTER: Right.

HILL: It's really shocking.

BARTIROMO: What were you going to say, some of your friends what?

HILL: Well some of my friends - you know, I have friends - I mean, I have friends that are graduating with quarter million dollars in debt and no job prospects.

BARTIROMO: You're right.

BOOTHE: I think that -

BARTIROMO: Lisa, go ahead; final word. Go ahead.

BOOTHE: Well, no; I was just going to say, I think that highlights the difference between the perception of a voter and the reality because you look at someone like Governor Kasich and he's talking about I've done all of these things. I've done all these things; but what really matters for voters is their gut-level reaction to candidate, how does the candidate make me feel? Do I believe them, even if some of the evidence isn't necessarily there to support the argument? It's a perception; it's a gut feeling.

BARTIROMO: Yes; it sure. Harlen Hill, Lisa Boothe, good to see you both. Thanks so much.

BOOTHE: Thank you so much; have a great day.

BARTIROMO: All right; we will see you soon. Make sure to tune in tonight for our special coverage of all the action. Tonight, Super Bowl -- Super Tuesday 3, it is the Super Bowl of the election actually. It all starts at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, tonight, right here on the FOX Business Network. Do join us tonight, special coverage.

[Laughter]

BARTIROMO: Straight ahead, forget Monopoly money. A global competition has named one bank note the best in the world. Which country took home the coveted prize? We'll tell you, next.

And, today's primary choices have you twisted in knots? You might need salty, doughy snacks after hitting the polls. The Philly pretzel factory brought us special presidential pretzels in honor of National Pretzel Day; that's coming up later in the show. You don't want to miss it. National Pretzel Day?

MCDOWELL: Is that Cruz or Nixon?

[Laughter]

BARTIROMO: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back; the April ingredient's coming into play as early as today with part of the central United States is getting ready for an outbreak of severe storms, including tornadoes. FOX News Senior Meteorologist, Janice Dean at the Weather Center with the latest. Janice, good morning.

JANICE DEAN, FOX NEWS SENIOR METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Maria; I'm glad we're talking about this because we could see the potential, as you mentioned, for severe storms including tornadoes. So let's take a look at it: we've got the current temperatures. You can see where we have the colder air, north and west of the cold front, where we have moist unstable air ahead of it. Those are the main ingredient's that we need for the potential of severe storms. We already have a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for parts of Kansas and Nebraska, and we have seen some of these thunderstorms turn severe, right on the border between Kansas and Nebraska. Our setup will start this afternoon and continue into the overnight and into tomorrow, where we think all of those atmospheric conditions are going to come together for hail, damaging winds and possibly a tornado outbreak. So very concerning.

Not only threat for severe storms but heavy rainfall in areas that don't need to see it. Not only are we going to see the threat for severe storms, but heavy rainfall in areas that don't need to see any more rain. So flooding is going to be a concern; and more rain. It's so cold on the backside of the rain we are going to see inches of snow in the mountains.

Also want to talk about the potential for showers and thunderstorms across primary states today; five states going up to vote. We could see showers and thunderstorms. We don't think we're going to see severe storms but we could see some thunderstorms late in the day today. So, if you're going out to vote, take your umbrella with you and we will certainly keep you posted throughout the day. Maria, back to you.

BARTIROMO: All right, Janice; thanks so much, Janice dean. New video out this morning showing the moment one of the Paris attackers blew himself up inside a caf‚ in last year's November massacre. Cheryl Casone with that and the mornings headlines now; Cheryl, good morning to you.

CHERYL CASONE, FBN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria. (HEADLINES).

BARTIROMO: That's true, and they all look pretty, by the way. Thanks, Cheryl. Coming up next, from Apple to Facebook, it is all eyes on technology this morning. What to expect from the big names reported this week? That's going to affect the tone for tech. Plus, swimming 30 stories up; the new pool set to grace the New York City skyline. We will take you there; back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back, first-quarter earnings season in full swing. This is the peak weak. We're getting a slew of big ticket earnings reports that will likely drive market action today. Names like Proctor and Gamble, DuPont and T-Mobile all reporting before the bell, and then after the market closes tonight we will hear from technology heavyweights, Apple, Twitter and EBay. I want to bring in Federated Investors Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager RJ Gallo. RJ, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.

RJ GALLO, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND SENIOR PORTFOLIO MANAGER, FEDERATED INVESTORS: Good morning; thank you for having me.

BARTIROMO: So what do you do in the face of all of this data? You've got all those first-quarter earnings. This is a peak week. A third of S&P companies report earnings this week, so we'll get a real window into the corporate sector. At 8:30 a.m. this morning we get durable goods out. We've got PMI's, that's the Purchasing Managers Index, and the Consumer Confidence Report. What's your take on the broader backdrop, in terms of the economy and how it drives markets?

GALLO: Well, you're right; it's a really heavy week. As far as the economy is concerned, it's pretty clear that this first-quarter that's behind was a deceleration, a slowdown. That said, we are still expecting GDP to be positive, sounds like low standard, but still positive; and we are looking for a recovery as we look forward into the rest of 2016.

This week, of course, we are going to get a lot of data. The earning season is particularly important because risk assets have been on a rollercoaster during this calendar year. Obviously, they are up sharply from the February lows. We don't want earnings to disappoint too much because we wouldn't like to see additional market volatility like we had a few weeks or months back.

As far as GDP is concerned, that's a key, looking backwards, and want to see it suggest whether or not we have some strength going forward; in particular, the consumer and what's happening on the inventories front might give light as to where we are headed.

BARTIROMO: We know this is a backward looking indicator. We've basically have seen what happened in the first quarter, but nonetheless the GDP, this week, is expected to be up 6/10's of a percent.

BROWN: It's anemic.

BARTIROMO: Wow! Talking about an anemic situation here.

BROWN: And you have recalibration every time there's - oh, we're going to, to be at 2-percent and then it gets refocused down to .5, .6, .7. I'm hopeful that at some point we are going to start talking, the candidates are going to start talking about the economy and how we get out of this sluggish economy because, don't forget, Hillary Clinton will actually be continuing on, Dagen, as you said, with Barack Obama's policies. You can see now, in a perfectly timed storm, that all these earnings are coming out, growth is anemic and they are talking about everything except the economy.

MCDOWELL: She actually wants to make the tax code more complicated than it already is --

BROWN: Raise taxes; yeah, that will help.

MCDOWELL: -- the complete opposite from what you hear on the republican side. I want to ask RJ though about the overall valuation of the market. As of mid-day yesterday, 17.8 times forward 12 months earnings and that's a premium to what we have seen in recent history. Does the market really look like a buy here?

GALLO: Well, my equity colleagues have been a bit cautious about the U.S. stock market for significant portions of recent weeks. Obviously we are quite a bit off the lows as I mentioned before. I think the equities guy here at Federated would agree that the Market doesn't look cheap. We, on the fixed income side, are focusing primarily on valuations and rates and the credit spread sectors, on rates; we think rates should back up a little bit from where they are. We have seen some of that in recent weeks but the relatively muted pace of growth that we just discussed should top them off at a pretty moderate level.

Then, on spreads, we continue to remain positive in the parts of the fixed income market of the more economically sensitive, credit sensitive assets, like high yield corporates, which we still like.

BARTIROMO: Yes, so -

GALLO: The equity markets and high yield corporates are obviously related. The earning season very important for both.

BARTIROMO: But you have the Fed meeting and the Bank of Japan meeting. How does that play into all of this, RJ? The Federal Reserve kicking off that two-day meeting today. Are you expecting a move in interest rates and what do you expect out of the Bank of Japan come Thursday?

GALLO: Well here in the United States we don't expect the Fed to change official interest rates at today's meeting; it starts today. Of course we'll get the results tomorrow. The improvements from the crazy start of the year have been just to tentative, the economic momentum, as we've mentioned, has clearly slowed even if we are expanding at marginal rates. I think it's highly unlikely that the Fed would move official interest rates at this meeting.

All eyes will be on the tone of the Fed's statement. That first paragraph in the FOMC statement describes how they see the economy. How will they assess the first-quarter slowdown that we're obviously going to see in the data in a couple of days? How are they going to assess the improvement in financial conditions, which is obviously stimulative? I think on net, they're on hold.

Over recent years, they've been sharply declining the expected level of the Fed's fund rate through the dot plot and we have a pretty cautious Fed -

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GALLO: -- with a pretty cautious Fed Chair at the helm.

BARTIROMO: All right; we will leave it there. No expectation then for the Bank of Japan meeting, which I know a lot of people are focused on as an even bigger impact. RJ, good to see you, sir; thanks so much.

GALLO: Thank you very much.

BARTIROMO: RJ Gallo. Straight ahead, how would you like to take a dip in the sky? Take a look at this: at the end of this year you can do just that, at a new pool 300 feet into the air. We will have these unbelievable photos and the details of this new pool, right here in New York City. Then, the primary lines might not be the only ones who weigh in today, retailers giving out free pretzel in honor of National Pretzel Day. We have some in the studio. The Philly Pretzel Factory putting a twist on a salty staple, without the weight. They brought dough in the shape of presidential candidates faces, straight to us. All the details on that, coming up.

Now, who is that middle one? Is that Donald Trump?

MCDOWELL: With the money sign.

BARTIROMO: Of course, of course; and the hair. Love it!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Good Tuesday morning, everybody. I'm Maria Bartiromo. It is Super Tuesday number three. Your top stories at 6:30 a.m. on the east coast this morning.

The battle for the east underway in full swing. False opening right now in Connecticut. They have been open in Connecticut about 30 minutes. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton holding on strong leads. Hoping for a sweep of today's contest.

In a town hall last night, both Clinton and Bernie Sanders addressed the future of this race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have the greatest respect to Senator Sanders. But really what he and his supporters are now saying just doesn't add up. I have 2.7 million more votes than he has. I have more than 250 more pledged delegates. Of course, we are going to work together. As I said, I share a lot of the same goals.

BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Reach out not only to my supporters, but to all of the American people with an agenda that they believe will represent the interests of working families, lower income people, the middle class, those of us who are concerned about the environment and not just big money interest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: We will take you direct to a polling place coming up live. Then the fired Missouri professor has a new explanation why she was terminated. The outrage coming up.

Dramatic video out of Florida this morning where a small plane crashed into a home injuring three people. The latest on this crash investigation coming up.

Swimming in the sky, check it out. The new pull set to grace the New York City skyline. It's absolutely beautiful. As you can see it is up 300 above sea level and we are going to show it to you and tell you exactly where that is.

Markets this morning mixed. In Asia overnight, stocks were mostly higher ahead of the Bank of Japan meeting on Thursday. The Nikkei average was down about half of 1 percent. The Bank of Japan meeting being watched closely for any stimulus coming out of Japan.

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