Will Cain, S.E. Cupp talk brokered convention and the GOP race

What would a brokered convention look like? And why does it favor Santorum and even Gingrich, but not Mitt Romney? Will Cain and S.E. Cupp joined Glenn on radio today to discuss the increasingly likely outcome to the GOP nomination race.

Full Transcript of the interview is below:

GLENN: You know, let me bring on Will and S. E. I mean, you see the people that have our point of view over at CNN. They are all dead inside, aren't they?

CAIN: No comment.

GLENN: Well, S. E. ‑‑

CAIN: At the promised land this morning.

GLENN: You were at the promised land this morning?

CAIN: No, you're in the promised land ‑‑

GLENN: Oh, we are.

CAIN: This morning. You're down there in God's country every day. I'm still up here.

GLENN: I'm telling you, come on down here. We have studios here. Just a lot more people that make sense down here. Is S. E. On the phone?

CUPP: I'm here, boss.

GLENN: Hi, how are you doing, S. E.?

CUPP: I'm great. How are you?

GLENN: Good. Now everybody at MSNBC, there's not even a ‑‑ there's not even a moderate conservative over there, is there?

CUPP: I mean, it's not an easy ‑‑ it's not an easy gig.

GLENN: Yeah.

CUPP: But someone has to do it, right?

GLENN: I know. I know.

CUPP: I feel like a brave soldier going in there every day.

GLENN: I want to talk to both of you about what happened last night. First, Will, what is ‑‑ what are the ramifications of a brokered convention and do you think this is what we're headed towards?

CAIN: I think it's a possibility. The ramifications of a brokered convention, though, I don't think really turn out that differently than the kind of course we're seeing paved here for this election which is I think the most likely outcome of a brokered convention is, also, that Mitt Romney becomes the Republican nominee for president.

GLENN: Why?

CAIN: Well, let me ‑‑ look, let's do this, Glenn, and I hope I'm not, you know, speaking to something that everybody already knows here but what is a brokered convention and how does it, how does it work? You know, as we have all these primary elections in these states, we see the popular vote come out and, for example, last night, you know, Rick Santorum wins the vote in Mississippi and Alabama but that translates into delegates that each of these states send to the convention and raise their hands and vote for one of these guys according to how the vote in their state and their district went. And most of these guys are bound for at least one vote at that convention to vote in reflection of how their state voted. But in succession of votes, should no one have the majority of the delegates at which the number is 1,144, these delegates become progressively unbound and then they can be persuaded, they can be horse‑traded, they can be arm‑bent to switching their votes to other guys. But if we go to a brokered convention and Mitt Romney has let's say 1,000 or 900 or 1100 and Rick Santorum has, I don't know, five or 600, I don't see the scenario where you can talk 500 or 600 delegates into switching to Rick Santorum. It's possible, it's just improbable.

PAT: But there's no path really here. Do you see any path, Will, for Newt Gingrich to win this thing because he seems to be counting on a brokered convention.

CAIN: He's 100% counting on it. I was on with one of his surrogates this morning, and he admits it, this is what we're doing. Our sole strategy left is to deny Mitt Romney his path to nomination. By the way, Santorum camp is being candid now. They realize they have a very probable path to getting 1,144 delegates. They have to have something like 70% of delegates from hereon out.

PAT: Santorum does? That's almost impossible.

CAIN: Deny Romney getting the 1,144 and push this thing to a convention and see what happens on the floor.

PAT: So you're saying that's pretty much everybody's goal?

GLENN: So then wait. So why would you ‑‑

CAIN: Except for Romney.

GLENN: Except for Romney? Well, you got that one.

PAT: Who's your guy, right? You're a Romney guy?

CAIN: Me?

PAT: Yeah.

CAIN: I'm ‑‑ I don't know. I don't have guys. I don't do this guys thing. What I do is I look at each one of these guys and say ‑‑

GLENN: Oh, stop it, stop it. Stop it.

CAIN: I'm a conservative ‑‑

GLENN: Tell me who you'd vote for ‑‑ don't. Don't. I have the power to terminate you right now. Don't. Don't do it. Just tell me who you're voting for if you have a gun to your head and you had to vote today.

CAIN: Romney.

GLENN: Romney is your guy? Okay, good.

STU: Don't you love how we get treated here? Will's trying to answer this question honestly.

GLENN: We all are like that. Look, I don't think anybody ‑‑ I don't know anybody.

GLENN: Who's for Romney that's really, it was like, "Oh, my gosh, Romney's my guy." I get it. I get it.

STU: Romney mania hasn't taken over you're saying.

GLENN: It hasn't. It hasn't. So I get it. But, you know, you think ‑‑ and I've watched you enough. You think that he's the best guy for the economy, et cetera, et cetera.

CAIN: Exactly.

GLENN: S. E., let me go to you for a second. Is Santorum your guy?

CUPP: Yeah, if I had to vote today, I would vote for Santorum.

GLENN: Thank you for answering that question.

STU: (Laughing.)

GLENN: Okay.

STU: Wow.

GLENN: Now let me ‑‑ now let me ask you this. I think ‑‑

CUPP: My only goal, boss, my only goal at this job is to make you like me more than you like Will Cain.

GLENN: Oh, that's done.

CAIN: You got that covered, S.E.

GLENN: That was done before we hired Will. That was done before we hired Will. But I want you to know I could turn on you like that and be on Will's side at any moment.

CUPP: Don't worry. I am on my toes. I am on my toes.

GLENN: So the ‑‑ the Santorum strategy, I mean, he said yesterday ‑‑ and he really talked me right back into the ‑‑ onto the bandwagon and that is every time we've gone with a mushy moderate, we lose. Bob Dole ‑‑

CUPP: John McCain.

PAT: John McCain.

GLENN: Gerald Ford. We lose. You need somebody who is really standing up. So what is his strategy if ‑‑ the way Will explained the, you know, the convention, he's not going to be able to pull that off.

CUPP: Well, like Will said, it's improbable but not impossible. And I think, I think you're right that every year we buy into a largely media‑driven narrative that, you know, the far right is dead, social issues don't matter, we're all going to come to the center and we need moderates. It's just not the way we vote. We don't vote ‑‑ we don't elect moderates in this party. We want someone who is a visceral. We want someone who when we leave the voting booth we feel good about ourselves. We feel like we stood up for something, you know, bigger than a guy, stood up for a cause, and Mitt Romney's problem right now is that he has yet to define for us what that cause it. Santorum's cause is clear. He is a social conservative, he is a staunch social conservative, he is a Christian and so we get his message. And he is hoping certainly that that message over the next, you know, few months before the convention really resonates with the rest of the country.

GLENN: So ‑‑

CUPP: And this idea of inevitability and moderation sort of falls by the wayside.

GLENN: So Will, what is it that the pound of flesh that they are expecting to get from Romney, tell me what you think Gingrich and Santorum, if they don't think that they can win it, what is it that they would be trying to trade Romney for?

CAIN: That's a great question. I think for Gingrich, answering on his behalf, I don't think there's any answer beyond he has a personal animus to Mitt Romney at this point. For Santorum I think he does, I think he ‑‑

GLENN: So wait. Wait, wait. So couldn't Santorum, if that really is his motivation, couldn't Gingrich say I'm giving all my delegates to Santorum and close that gap for Santorum?

CAIN: You can't give your delegates. What he could do is he could drop out of the race.

STU: Yeah, yeah.

CAIN: Thus unbinding his delegates and then persuade them to go Santorum's way, which I'm not convinced, you know, he would be, he would be sending 100% of his delegates over to Santorum. But there is just no logical outcome for Newt Gingrich.

GLENN: Well, you're just saying that because you're in the bag for Newt Gingrich.

CAIN: Exactly. Exactly. I'm almost like a paid speaker for him at this point, all right? No, for Santorum, though, I think he thinks he can win.

GLENN: I think he does, too.

CAIN: I think he still, however improbable the chance is, a possibility he comes out of that convention with the win. What does he hope to get out of it? You know, I don't know. Does he think there's a vice presidential ticket there for him? I think that's doubtful. You know, I don't know what he sees in it. I think he thinks he can win.

GLENN: Okay. One last question, S. E. or Will, whoever knows this. Have you heard the tale now that Romney is looking at, you know, his people are looking at a possible vice presidential running mate of the governor of Puerto Rico.

CUPP: You know, I did hear that. We actually did deep stakes last night on the Real News and, you know, Governor Fortuno I've met a bunch of times, he's a fantastic guy, by the way, he did endorse Romney. And I have heard that that is a consideration but I've heard, you know, six months ago, boss, you and I shared an elevator and we talked about how Rubio was locked up and then three months ago Chris Christie was locked up. I mean, these kinds of rumors trickle out and ‑‑

GLENN: But I will tell you this, I will tell you this: The governor of Puerto Rico, does anybody even know if that's constitutional, but the governor of Puerto Rico would be a game‑changer. I think.

CUPP: Absolutely. Absolutely. He's smart, he is Republican, he's young, he's revitalized that territory in many ways. I mean, if you want to talk about how great Puerto Rico is, bring in Governor Pataki. He's got a house there and loves it, loves it there. He will tell you all about the things that Governor Fortuno has done.

GLENN: Yeah. The unfortunate part of that is you have to talk to governor Pataki.

STU: Do you want ‑‑ no one ever is going to like you. You realize that?

GLENN: I realize that. They don't already. Especially Will. Yes, Will.

CAIN: Yeah, I'd give you this one historical parallel of the game‑changing ability of your VP pick. I know nothing but the governor of Puerto Rico. S.E. knows about him. That's good somebody does here. But I will say this, in '76 the last time there was talk of a brokered convention when Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan approached the convention with neither having the number of delegates needed to win the nomination, Ford had a slight lead in both, Reagan picked the senator from Pennsylvania, I think his name was Schweiker or something who was seen as a moderate or liberal. He did that to balance out his ticket because he was seen as a staunch conservative, and it made some of his supporters defect from him, thus giving the nomination to Ford. So last time we had one of these, you know, these airtight conventions, possibly brokered, the VP pick carried a lot of weight.

GLENN: Okay.

STU: Yeah, Gingrich is apparently tossing around the idea of Rick Perry as a VP, just trying to get that out there so hopefully he can lock up that ‑‑

GLENN: Not going to happen. It's just not going to happen.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: Okay. Thanks, guys, appreciate it.

CUPP: Thanks.

CAIN: Thank you.

GLENN: Tonight Real News on GBTV.com.

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