New Polls Show Trump and Clinton in Statistical Dead Heat; Washington State Republicans Award Cruz 40 Delegates; President Obama Lifts



Washington State Republicans Award Cruz 40 Delegates; President Obama Lifts

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MARIA BARTIROMO, FBN ANCHOR: (HEADLINES) On to the race for the White House; a dead heat now. New polls show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are neck-and-neck, in both support and unfavorability; searching for clues in the EgyptAir crash, submarines now looking to retrieve the plane's black boxes in the Mediterranean Sea. The very latest developments, coming up. (HEADINES). Plus, deal of the day, Bayer offering to acquire Monsanto for $63 billion. The combination creates the world's largest agricultural chemical company. (MARKEY HEADLINES).

All those stories coming up, right here, this morning; and with me this morning, Rhino Trading Partners Michael Block; "Wall Street Week" host, Anthony Scaramucci. Good to see you guys.



BARTIROMO: It feels like a busy day with the Bayer deal.

BLOCK: Yes; there's a lot going on with this deal and, you know, with Monsanto, we were just talking about this, people are looking for a higher bid than this 122. This is a starting point. We are going to hear more about this.

BARTIROMO: Okay, so maybe this is gets a number of other companies moving, as well, in the sector.

BLOCK: The whole space is definitely going to be -

BARTIROMO: We will be watching that. As you can see, Monsanto already trading up this morning. Actually, the Bid and Ask pretty wide there, $100.45 but $111.22 on the Ask.

We have a can't-miss lineup this morning. FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano is with us. Former Massachusetts Senator and Donald Trump Supporter Scott Brown with us; and former House Majority Leader Tom Delay. You don't want to miss a moment of it, so stay with us this morning.

We kick it off right now with politics. New polls out over the weekend show that party frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are now in a statistical dead heat, Clinton leads the presumptive GOP nominee 46-percent to 43-percent among registered voters in the latest "Wall Street Journal"/NBC News poll; a difference within the poll's margin of error making it a statistical tie. Meanwhile the new "Washington Post"/ABC poll shows both candidates viewed unfavorably by a majority of voters with nearly six out of every ten having negative impression of both Trump and Clinton. Surprisingly, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate with a net favorability rating.

The candidates trading blows over the weekend as both claim the other is unqualified to run for president.


DONALD TRUMP (R) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE via telephone: We can go on for days. When you look at her decisions, just bad judgment; she suffers from bad judgment. That's Bernie Sanders saying it. He has been rather nice to her. He didn't pick up on the emails, which I think was a big mistake. I'm going to pick up big league because, frankly, she shouldn't even be allowed to run for president; but she has bad judgment and therefore should not even be qualified to run as president.

HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we don't respond to Donald Trump, which I am doing, as you have seen. I've said he was unqualified to be president; I believe that deeply. I'm going to keep focused on Donald Trump because I will be the nominee, I will be running against Donald Trump and in the Fall, and I do not want Americans and, you know, good thinking Republicans, as well as Democrats and Independents, to start to believe that it is a normal candidacy; it isn't.

BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need a campaign, an election, coming up, which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked. I don't want to see the American people voting for the lessor of the two evils.


BARTIROMO: Joining me right now, former George W. Bush Senior Official, Horace Cooper, along with "Weekly Standard" writer Michael Warren. Good to see you both, Gentlemen. Thanks so much for joining us.

Horace, let me kick this off with you: what's your take on what how close these polls are getting right now?

HORACE COOPER, SENIOR OFFICIAL, GEORGE W. BUSH via satellite: The polls are very interesting because what they are showing is Hillary's negative continue, and maybe are increasing, but Donald Trump negatives are decreasing. Normally when you have two figures that are as widely known as these two, they don't have a lot of flexibility in being able to improve their favorability versus unfavorability. If Donald Trump continues on his trend, this could end up being an election with a fairly sizable ability to win six, seven or eight points.

BARTIROMO: How do you see it Michael?

MICHAEL WARREN, WRITER, "WEEKLY STANDARD" via satellite: It's interesting. It sounds like most Americans, or most voters, agree with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, somehow, that the other is not qualified to be president. It really is as unprecedented situation here where you have the so unpopular candidates, one of them the likely to be the next president. And so I think you have a different situation, different dynamic going on, where people are not voting really positively for their candidate, but more negatively against the candidate they don't like. That's something I don't know that we've seen before. There's always been some sort of enthusiasm for at least one of the candidates running.


WARREN: So this is a different thing than I think we have ever seen before.

BARTIROMO: How do you deal with that it, Anthony Scaramucci? As a major fundraiser yourself, trying to raise money right now for Donald Trump?

SCARAMUCCI: Well there's no question there's huge demand out there, Maria, so all that nonsense about the Republican donors not rallying behind Donald Trump isn't true.

BARTIROMO: Oh, really?

SCARAMUCCI: Absolutely not; I mean, maybe there are pockets of it but the broad consensus is the Republicans want to win and they are going to consolidate around him.

I have a question for Horace, because you're saying 6 or 7-percent; that's like a Reagan landslide. So take us through the next three of four months of how that happens.

COOPER: Well it's more like a George Herbert Walker Bush victory over Michael Dukakis, but here is what I'm looking at: you're seeing in March and April what was a ten or 11-point gap, when you looked at the "Wall Street Journal" poll or the "Washington Post" poll, where Hillary of Donald Trump. Most that was because of the negatives that were associated with Donald Trump. His have declined; and you normally don't see that kind of drop.

If he is able to continue that trend, that would lead to a significant amount of space for a larger-size victory.

SCARAMUCCI: Do you think your boss will come out and endorse him?

COOPER: I am looking and I am seeing a large number of the Republicans come together for consolidation. Now, will the president -- former president actually come out and endorse Donald Trump, it may not matter because of this insurgency impression that he's able to leave people. But what I will say is you're starting to see people show up, in the primary, and perhaps they're going to show up in the general, that have stayed off the voter roils for over a decade or longer.

BARTIROMO: Horace, what about the story making waves over the weekend; and that is, Washington State Republicans snubbing Donald Trump in delegate elections. They supported Ted Cruz 40 to 1 in pledged delegates. I mean, come on, Cruz is not even running anymore.

COOPER: There's no doubt that are a lot of people have yet to come to terms with who the nominee is going to be. If you may recall, Mike Huckabee stayed in the race, in 2008, almost till the end and there were still people voting for him even though there wasn't any chance of it. The difference we are seeing here is that while John McCain's numbers weren't nearly as strong this close out, they waited until after the convention before the closing between him and Barack Obama. We are seeing a tightening much earlier.

Hillary's campaign still continues; she hasn't wrapped up the democratic primary yet.

BARTIROMO: Who do you think, Michael, that Hillary should be looking to for running mate? Who do you see as the choices out there?

WARREN: Well if she we wanted to sure-up the problems she has within her own party, she might choose Bernie Sanders. I don't think that's totally likely --

BARTIROMO: Would that be helpful to her; you think?

WARREN: Possibly; look, I do think - we're talking about these poll numbers and Hillary Clinton sort of depressed poll numbers from what we expected at this point in the race, and a lot has to do with the fact that there are a significant number of Democrats, you know, this is still an open primary race somewhat in the democratic side, who are dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton. So if she can pick somebody from her left, maybe not Bernie Sanders; maybe somebody like Elizabeth Warren, have two women on the top of the ticket -


WARREN: -- that could, I think, sure-up these problems she has with the Democrats who look at her and think, really; this is who we are going with the nominee?

BARTIROMO: What do you guys think about that? Wouldn't Elizabeth Warren or even Bernie Sanders take the whole ticket so much farther to the left and actually be a negative for her?

BLOCK: Absolutely. You know, Michael, we are looking at the unfavorability ratings and they are high among the candidates, that's what we lead with here. You look at Donald Trump, perhaps he's going the right way in head-to-head. You may agree or disagree with that. The point is this: Senator Warren, with all due respect to her and what she's trying to accomplish, or Bernie Sanders, anyone from the left, is Hillary going to be able to reduce those unfavorability ratings if she stays to the left here? Does she have to move to the center? What's your thought on that? How does she do that, if so?

WARREN: I don't know to be honest because this election is so, sort of, backward in the way that we generally think of things; right? You run to the right or the left, depending on your primary, in the primary, and then you run to the center in the general but Donald Trump is kind of all over the ideological map here. So I think, you know, we kind of have to set aside any of these sort of conventions, even when it applies to Hillary Clinton.

In a lot of ways, she has an issue, I think, there's talk about third party, a sort of conservative candidate running, to challenge Trump and Hillary Clinton. There could also be somebody, if there's enough dissatisfaction on the left-side, a fourth-party candidate from the left, somebody like Bernie Sanders, who really has capture it had left's hearts and minds. So I think she has to be very careful about angrying the people in the base of the Democratic Party. So it's kind of a balancing act here and it's going to be much harder for Hillary Clinton to wrap this up than I think democrats thought, if they were facing Donald Trump, because of these problems, not just on her left but her general unlikeability throughout the country. I guess they are only saving grace that Trump is also just unlikable.

BARTIROMO: Real quick on Trump and VP candidates, who do you think? I mean, I guess he's having a meeting today with Bob Corker?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen, I -

BARTIROMO: -- would that be a potential VP?

SCARAMUCCI: You know, I'm not close enough to the situation, Maria, but my guess is he's going to pick somebody that's super-insider, super-Washington -


SCARAMUCCI: --sort of a person.

BARTIROMO: Yeah, we will see about that.

SCARAMUCCI: That's got to be his pitch. Horace Cooper, Michael Warren thank you so much, Gentlemen. We will see you, sir, thank you.

COOPER: Thanks.

WARREN: Thanks.

BARTIROMO: Still to come, Bayer's monstrous $62 billion offer, sending shares of Monsanto higher in the pre-market. Is the mega-merger actually a smart move from the companies; our experts weigh in.

Then, the biggest in music in Sin City last night. The best moments from the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, next. Back in a minute.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back, President Obama announcing the U.S. is fully lifting the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam. Cheryl Casone with the details and the other headlines right now. Cheryl, good morning to you.

CHERYL CASONE, FBN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria. Well, during the press conference in Hanoi today with Vietnam's new president, President Obama making historic announcement that United States is ending a decades old arms export embargo on the country.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The United States is fully lifting the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam that has been in place for some 50 years. As with all our defense partners, sales will need to still meet strict requirements, including those relate today human rights, but this change will ensure that Vietnam has access to the equipment it needs to defend itself.


CASONE: (HEADLINES) Well, the search is still underway for EgyptAir Flight 804, Egypt now sending submarine into the waters of the Mediterranean to look for the black boxes that contain evidence of the causes of the plane crash, including the flight data and recording of the cockpit voices. Those black books, Maris, they need them. More than 100 pieces of debris from the flight have been found and reported to Egyptian officials. All of this according to the U.S. Navy, which is aiding in that search.

CASONE: Finally this, Uber riders are more likely to accept surge pricing if their phone is about to die. This is according Uber's head of economic research. The theory is if your battery is low you might not want to wait 10 or 15 minutes to see if the surge number is going to go away; and then you're not going to get a ride at all and you're stuck. Uber, I don't know, found it very interesting that they're pulling this data and making it public. Kind of a threat, don't you think?

BARTIROMO: I don't know. Does a low-phone battery impact your decision? Michael, what about you; you taking Uber?

BLOCK: It's crazy because the whole battery thing, our phones have become more and more sophisticated and yet things eat up the battery. Now, I even have my train ticket on my phone now.


BLOCK: There's days when I'm like, I have to get my phone charged, otherwise I'm going to get kicked off the train going home.

BARTIROMO: Or your flight ticket, as well.

BLOCK: Plane tickets, you name it. Uber, you name it. Everything has become more essential, it's almost like Uber is in it with the phone and the battery people.

SCARAMUCCI: I have to show my age here. I'm in a paper-based world still, when it comes to that sort of --

BARTIROMO: You're printing out your boarding pass?

SCARAMUCCI: 100-percent, Maria.


BARTIROMO: All right, Cheryl; thank you. Coming up next, it is the deal kicking this week off with a bang, but does Bayer's $62 billion offer for Monsanto makes sense? We'll breakdown the numbers, next. Then, move over Captain America, there's a new king of the box office this weekend and they are not happy about it. The movie that flew to the top spot, next; back in a moment.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back, shares of Monsanto moving higher today. That's going to be a winner after the German drug and chemicals company, Bayer, made a $62 billion offer to acquire Monsanto, U.S. based crops and seeds specialists. This is a merger that would create the largest agriculture supplier. It's an all cash offer, valuing Monsanto shares at $122 apiece. News that the deal was about to break first reported by FOX Business Network's Charlie Gasparino. He joins us right now on the phone.

Charlie, good to talk to you. Good morning.


BARTIRMO: What's behind this?

GASPARINO: Well, I will say this, I mean, listen, it's not a done deal until, you know, you see the paper, you see it in the paper that Monsanto agreed to it; but, based on my sources, they want to do this deal. What I've been told is they are going to approve it within the next 24-48 hours.

Here is where it becomes interesting then. You know, the Obama Justice Department, Antitrust Division has not been kind to cross-border mergers, and mergers in particular, and neither have the U.K. - the European regulators. So, I think, you know, both sides - my guess is this thing -- we are going to hear from Monsanto, based on my sources, soon that they want to do this, but then it becomes a political game. Do the U.S. regulators agree to this? Do the overseas regulators agree to this?

I mean, just remember the Deutsche Borse tried to buy the New York Stock Exchange and over something, somewhat trifling as the listing, the overseas regulators killed the deal; okay? So we are talking about something much more pertinent to everybody's life, which is drugs on this one.

BARTIROMO: I guess it's the largest deal for a German company would make for a foreign company.

But, interestingly, Michael Block, "this brings into the business lucrative but socially controversial business of genetically modified crops," this is what "The Journal" is reporting this morning, "while pairing the share of healthcare and its business."


BARTIROMO: Genetically modified crop business is highly valued.

BLOCK: Yes. I mean, we don't think there's going to be a huge regulatory overlap issue, in terms of antitrust. The problem is this company is always a lightning rod. When people who don't even know about business, when they think evil corporations, the name Monsanto comes out because of GMO.

Charlie, what's your sense, how important is this going to be? Is there going to be a lot of scrutiny because of that factor?

GASPARINO: Yes, I guess so. The press will be all over it because of that but I will say this, if you talk to -- if you do enough reading on this issue, in order to feed the world, we need GMO. We need genetically modified stuff. That is the only way the entire world is going to be fed. That's the only way you are going to eradicate world hunger and, I don't know if the Obama Justice Department or the UK - overseas regulators get that, but these are the necessary companies.

There's no way to mass-produce food without doing certain things. I think that's going to be the case that they are going to make. Listen, I shop at Whole Foods all of the time. I look at the labels, you know what I'm saying; there's no doubt about that, but I have the luxury of looking at the labels because I make enough money. This is something -- this is going to be a worthy debate about GMO's, just what they do and how important they are to eradicating world hunger. I think this deal could be the catalyst for that.

SCARAMUCCI: Charlie, let's shift gears for a second and talk a little bit about the fact that some of the major investment banks are out of this deal. One of the boutique banks, Ducera, is basically representing Monsanto. So what are your thoughts about the fact that a lot of the investment banks, the large-scale investment banks can't seem to get themselves in these M&A deals here?

GASPARINO: Well, first off, we should point out, I think, Morgan Stanley is on the other side, right?


GASPARINO: And, Maria, this summer you and I did a story about a guy named Michael Kramer who was leaving Perella Weinberg to set up his own shop. Well, guess who runs Ducera; none other than Michael Kramer. He's is one of the best not big name bankers out there. He's a restructuring expert. He's involved in Puerto Rico and he's the guy behind Ducera. This guy might be one of the best bankers in the country and created he created his own boutique.

BARTIROMO: This is the point that Anthony is making.

SCARAMUCCI: The point I'm making is it's -

BARTIROMO: It's not the large Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch's of the world.

SCARAMUCCI: It's the relationship. The technology has gotten so good, Maria, that relationship just matters more than the big infrastructure around the gigantic banks.

GASPARINO: Although I would say this, Anthony, if we're going to get into the weeds a little bit on this, you know, because of Deal feel flow, -- there hasn't been great deal flow. Aa lot of the mid-size investment banks are struggling. We should point out Perella Weinberg is thinking of merging with a small firm in Texas, just because they need to scale down. So, you know, I wouldn't be putting the spike through the heart of the major investment banks just yet on these things.

I will say this, if you have a specialist like Michael Kramer, who is really good at restructuring, who is really smart, you know, those are the firms that are going to survive. We should point out that this is not a restructure; this is on the long end. So it shows you this firm is doing some interesting things. We should point out Paul (Inaudible) doing interesting things with that Black -- I think it's a Blackstone spin-off of an investment bank as well.

BLOCK: Hey, Charlie; So Kramer is so good, that leads to this question: is $122 the end? Is Monsanto going to take that or are we going higher? Last I heard 130; what's going to happen here?

GASPARINO: Yes, Mike, listen, I can only -- I know that the deal -- my sources said last night that the deal is done over the next 24-48 hours. My guess is we are either at the price or very, very close to it; you know what I'm saying? So this seems to me that, you know, this is a price that I think both sides because they are being -- they're "constructively engaged" in this is the word that bankers use. So my guess is we are right about there.

The real question becomes, you know, Bayer can't overpay. There's an issue here. You want to pay a lot, but not overpay.


GASPARINO: I mean, it's advance and that's where we are right now.

BARTIROMO: Charlie, thanks you so much; Charlie Gasparino on the phone for us on this big deal; stocks going to rally for sure.

Still to come, the hedge fund Love barometer, Facebook, the most added stock, by investors in the first quarter. We're taking a look at what technology giant was the least loved, next. Then, the 2016 Billboard Music Award taking over Las Vegas. We'll break down the biggest winners and the best moments of the night, including this one of Britney Spears, getting great reviews of performance on this classic.

("I Love Rock and Roll" performed by Britney Spears plays)


BARTIROMO: Good Monday morning, everybody. Welcome back. I'm Maria Bartiromo. It is Monday, May 23rd. Your top stories right now with 6:30 a.m. on the east coast.

President Obama starting his Asia trip with a major announcement. He is ending the 50-year arms embargo on Vietnam. The move will pave the way for more normal relations with Vietnam. The president has also addressed the killing of a Taliban leader by a drone strike and what it says about the United States' presence in the Middle East.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It is my responsibility as commander-in-chief not to standby, but to make sure that we send a clear signal to the Taliban and others that we are going to protect our people and that's exactly the message that has been sent.


BARTIROMO: On to the race to the White House, a dead heat now. A new poll showed Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton neck and neck, both support and in unfavorability.

More than a dozen people injured after a bus crash in California meanwhile. The latest developments coming up.

The Bayer-Monsanto deal not the only one to watch today. General Electric announcing a series of deals with Saudi Arabia. GE will double its workforce in the country by 2020.

The Oklahoma City Thunder taking game 3 over the Golden State Warriors, it was a rough night for Steph Curry and company. The highlights and the lowlights ahead.

Markets this morning a mix, mix action in Asia overnight certainly after G7 finance minister meeting ended with no action on balancing monetary policy.

In Europe this morning, stocks are off of their lows, however, we are still looking at a negative story. The FT 100 down a quarter of a percent and the CAC Quarante in Paris down almost 1 percent. The DAX Index Germany weaker by 2/3 of a percent.

We are expecting a lower opening for the broader averages in the U.S. as well. Take a look at futures, fractional move certainly, but the Dow Industrials expected to be down about 20 points this morning.

On to the campaign trail we go and that is our top story, Hillary Clinton assuming the Democratic nomination despite the growing divide within the Democratic Party. Keeping her focus on Donald Trump now with a new campaign slogan.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are stronger together. We are strong together in facing our internal challenges and our external ones. We are stronger together if we work to improve economy and that's going to mean trying to get the Republicans to do what will actually help produce more jobs, like we saw in the 1990's.


BARTIROMO: And back with us right now, former George W. Bush senior official, Horace Cooper and "Weekly Standard" writer, Michael Warren.

Horace, Michael, you know, this race seems incredibly close, a lot closer than Hillary Clinton expected certainly with Bernie Sanders giving her such competition. Harris, how do you see it?

HORACE COOPER, FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH SENIOR OFFICIAL: Well, it's precisely because there's been a decline in the unfavorables of Donald Trump. When this campaign started and it appeared that it was going to be a Trump versus Clinton campaign, there were people who said, well, Hillary is very, very unliked, but she's got the benefit, she's running against a candidate who is even more unliked.

The issue as I see it is that the trend lines are switching and Donald Trump is improving his favorabilities meanwhile we don't see any such change like that happening with Hillary.

And the truth is as I've observed over about 15 to 20 years of presidential campaigns, normally your favorabilities are locked in, you might have a 2 or 3-point move, this is pretty big. If it continues it could lead to a sizable victory for Donald Trump.

BARTIROMO: Yes, let me get SCARAMUCCI Scaramucci's take on this because SCARAMUCCI, you've been spending some time with Donald Trump, trying to fundraise for him. Has he made changes? Is that why the unfavavoribilities are going down or are the Republicans now just one by one coalescing around him?