How will Donald Trump do on the big debate stage?

Business mogul downplays expectations ahead of debate on 'Hannity'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 3, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." Tonight, Donald Trump continues to dominate the 2016 GOP presidential field. In a brand-new national Fox News poll released just earlier this evening, Trump is leading the pack with 26 percent.

Here to explain is "Campaign Carl" Cameron. It's a pretty big number, Carl. What's going on?

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It's a record breaker, Sean. Yes, it's a record breaker. And there's been a lot of movement in our poll since the last one we had a month ago, Donald Trump leading with 26 percent. That's huge, and no candidate's gotten that high to this point.

Jeb Bush runs second and is now the only other candidate in double digits at 15. Scott Walker slipped from double digits to 9 percent since June. Ben Carson is running fourth with 7 percent. Ted Cruz has 6 percent. But wait. We have to switch a page here. He's tied with Mike Huckabee, who is also at 6 percent.

Then comes Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, tied at 5 percent. Chris Christie and John Kasich are both at 3 percent. Kasich's campaign is less than three weeks old, and he has actually moved into the middle of the 17- candidate pack. Christie's been hovering around 3 percent in the FOX poll for a couple of months.

Trump has now scored higher than any other Republican in the FOX poll this year, though about a third of Republicans also say that they're not -- they're never going to vote for Trump. Trump in the last few days has been trying to actually tone it down a little bit, even downplaying debate expectations, saying he's never done it and will be facing political pros.

In the case of Jeb Bush, he's been holding steady in the mid-teens for a while now. And his campaign and the super-PAC that supports him independently have raised more money than any other candidate.

And then there's Scott Walker, fallen out of teens -- fallen out of the teens into the single digits, but the Wisconsin governor has been battling Bush for a long time, and he is also leading the polls in the lead-off caucus state of Iowa.

And because of these ties, Sean -- this is pretty interesting -- 17 candidates all under 25 percent, 26 percent, there's lots of races within the race because there's so many of them tied.

HANNITY: What about the rest of the field, Carl?

CAMERON: Well, the rest of the field, the remaining seven candidates, are all essentially virtually tied in a dead heat since they're within the poll's margin of error and they have less support from the actual total of the margin of error.

Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum are tied at 2 percent. Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal are tied at 1 percent. And George Pataki, Lindsey Graham and Jim Gilmore are all scoring less than 1.

Today, Christie was actually urging everybody to just calm down, saying, Look, the election isn't going to be for seven months. But they are all scrambling like crazy ahead of the FOX debate Thursday. Those who make the top 10 in an average of recent polls will debate at 9:00 PM Eastern, and those in the other seven, whoever they may be, will be debating at 5:00, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, "Campaign Carl" Cameron, thank you, sir.

Joining me now with reaction, from The Weekly Standard, Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr., and Fox News contributor Michelle Fields.

Good to see you all. Donald Trump tried to downplay a little expectations today. And he was on "Fox & Friends" and -- Oh, I'm not used to this debate thing. Here's what he said.


TRUMP: I've never debated before. That's all these guys do. They debate. They don't do anything, but they debate. Every night, they go in a debate with somebody. You know, I haven't done that. But I think I'll do fine, and I look forward to it, actually.


HANNITY: What do you -- good downplaying of expectations?

MICHELLE FIELDS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think he's going to do great. I think he should go in there, be himself, talk like how he's been talking.  People like that he sounds genuine, that he speaks from the heart, that he's not giving talking points. But also, he needs policy proposals. He needs more substance. So I think if he does that, he's going to be fine.  He's a superstar.

PETER JOHNSON, JR., FOX LEGAL ANALYST: Staggering, unprecedented numbers that we're seeing, 26 percent out of 17 candidates! And it shows you how smart he is. He's making the point right there that the politicians are saying, Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

HANNITY: It's true.

JOHNSON: And he's saying, I don't debate. I get results. And people want to hear that in this atmosphere.

HANNITY: Very shrewd.

JOHNSON: Very smart.

HANNITY: He actually...

JOHNSON: Very smart.

HANNITY: Stephen Hayes, he actually did something interesting. He put this up on Facebook because, you know, we're soliciting questions from Facebook and Twitter for the debate. He put up his own question for the other candidates.


TRUMP: I'd like to ask all of the candidates -- that is politicians and really non-negotiators, people that don't negotiate jobs and lots of other things -- how are you going to make America great again?


HANNITY: What do you think of that? Do you think that'll make the cut, Stephen?

STEPHEN HAYES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I'm skeptical. He probably needs a little more specifics on that.

Look, I think the challenge for Donald Trump is it's not going to be enough necessarily for him to be himself and do the kind of things that have gotten him to this striking number in this poll and to lay out a series of detailed policy proposals. That's not who Donald Trump is.  That's not who he's been. I'd be surprised if tries to be that in the debate on Thursday, although I think it would be smart for him to do it.

HANNITY: Well, I think both you and Michelle agree on that. I agree on that. I think the American people more than anything else, they want to know that they're going to elect somebody that's going to solve our problems, get people back to work, off of food stamps and out of poverty and show that America is strong once again.

Let me go to some of the comments Donald has made about other GOP presidential candidates and ask you if -- whether or not we expect to see this on Thursday. Watch this.


TRUMP: They don't even like him. They're from South Carolina. He's from South Carolina. They don't even like him.


TRUMP: I think he's an overrated guy. I think that I have much better hair than he does.

Rick Perry -- he did a lousy job on the border. When he was governor of Texas, what a horrible job he did. Worse than him, though, is Jeb Bush.  Jeb Bush is a disaster in so many different ways.


TRUMP: Again, I don't know her. I never met her. And she looks very nice, but she got fired viciously at Hewlett-Packard. I don't mean like a little bit. You know, business is my game.


HANNITY: Would Trump, Peter, be wise to stay away from that during the debate?

JOHNSON: Well, you know, unless he's insulted. But Trump's got to be who he is. It's kind of like Popeye, I am what I am. If it takes spinach, then that's what it takes.

That's what Americans are looking for. They're looking for some meat and potatoes. And the minute he starts to sound like weasely, whiny politicians with half answers, that's when he starts to lose support. He's come an incredibly long way. You know, a lot of folks were calling him a clown at the beginning. They doubted whether he would get into the race now. Now I think who's calling who names?

HANNITY: It is interesting. Stephen, I'll go to you. You're pretty much a Trump critic. I thought that my friend, Mary Matalin, had good advice, that other Republicans can learn from him, that they can speak their mind, that they don't have to be so guarded in their own way, and that they would benefit from their outspokenness. Is there a lesson to be learned from Trump here?

HAYES: Yes, I think there is. Look, I mean, I think that's been true before Donald Trump. Republicans would do much better to actually just say what they believe and make their arguments the best they can without worrying about polls and focus groups.

But I think Donald Trump is not going to do well if he's asked -- if he just hurls insults at the other candidates. It might channel a certain level of frustration among the Republican base. Again, a frustration that I share. But it's not going to be enough. I mean, if you call Jeb Bush a disaster, you have to explain why Jeb Bush is a disaster. If you go after...


JOHNSON: And I agree, and I think Steve understands that he's a serious guy. He's a seriously successful guy. And I always disclose that I represented him in the past. I'm not involved with his campaign. But to say that he's not a serious guy based on his record of success...


FIELDS: And he's not just attacking. I mean, he's gone after Jeb Bush for Common Core. So it's not just he's just attacking him and saying he's a loser.

I think what people like about him is Donald Trump is willing to talk about issues that a lot of the Republicans don't want to, like immigration.  He's forcing everyone to have this conversation. And they like him because so many Republicans, all they say is -- they stick to their talking points, I love America, I love Ronald Reagan. They don't talk from the heart, and people feel like Donald does.

HANNITY: How -- but on two big issues -- Republicans said they would repeal and replace "Obama care." They never did it. They never used the power of the purse. They said they'd stop executive amnesty. They never did it. So conservatives like myself -- I feel betrayed! They say the right things. They never follow through.

JOHNSON: And big media, big politics, big business -- their heads are exploding that smaller-minded Americans (INAUDIBLE) small average little Americans, regular people, regular people that are watching the FOX News Channel and other channels are getting an opportunity to be heard. And that really disturbs them!

FIELDS: And they also like that Trump doesn't have to ask anyone for money. I think he ought to bring that up in the debate. Every -- he should say everyone on the stage is taking money and begging billionaires for money except me. I think Americans like that, that he's not kissing up to a bunch of rich people.

HANNITY: It's going to be one heck of a ride on Thursday night, I'll tell you that.


HANNITY: All right, guys, good to see you all. Thank you. Stephen, thank you.

And coming up, in studio, rare appearance, the "great one," Mark Levin, will be here to share his thoughts on the upcoming Republican debate, Donald Trump's rise in the polls.

Then Uncle Joe Biden, crazy Uncle Joe, is reportedly considering joining the 2016 presidential race, and it is apparently making Hillary very nervous. Ed Henry, Bret Baier -- they'll be here to debate that with all the details.

And you don't want to miss Frank Luntz's focus group. That's straight ahead.



HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So Donald Trump continues to dominate in the polls. And with the first Republican debate slated to air this Thursday night right here on the FOX News Channel, how will Donald Trump hold up against his GOP rivals? Well, in recent weeks, Donald Trump has not held back. And here's what he said recently about this big debate.


TRUMP: I am who I am. I don't know. I've never debated before. I'm not a debater. I get things done, whether it's this or whatever. I build.  I create jobs. I don't talk about it, I get it done. Politicians talk about it. You know, these guys debate every night of their life. That's all they do is debate. They debate all over the place, and nothing happens.


HANNITY: Here with reaction, author of the brand-new book "Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future" - - I call him the "great one" -- Mark Levin, rare in-studio appearance. My brother! How are you?


HANNITY: Good to see you, sir. You know, you say we live in a post- constitutional America.

LEVIN: Right.

HANNITY: This book I think is a very consequential book, like most of your books, deep thinking, real hard-hitting. We are headed to bankruptcy.  You start this book out and you say, Can we simultaneously love our children and betray their generation and generations to come? Republicans, Democrats -- aren't they really both equally to blame?

LEVIN: Well, they are now. We have a Republican Congress, and we haven't made a single step in progress toward advancing liberty or constitutionalism. The point of this book -- really, there's two things.  One is to people our age and older to say we're destroying this country for the next generation, the massive debt, the unlimited immigration, the phony environmental movement.

You saw the president today with another fiat that's going to destroy industries and kill jobs. Across the board, the minimum wage is an attack on youth employment, young employment. So that's for us.

And then I want young people to know you have to steer yourselves and inform yourselves. You're not going to get this information in college or high school or through the media or the culture. You need to inform yourselves and you need to learn and know that this is an attack on you more than anybody else!

HANNITY: You know, and you go back to great philosophers and our founders and our framers and the Federalist Papers and Burke and Montesquieu and De Toqueville. You really lay the foundation. You eviscerate leftism! You eviscerate the ideology as a failed ideology.

Do you think America's waking up to that fact, or is America literally risking a decline that it can never recover from?

LEVIN: I don't know. But I do know this. If we don't fight this, that's inevitable. And I think a lot of the Republicans think that this radical left agenda is inevitable. And I think the left thinks they're on a high now. They're running away with the country.

My attitude is, from the grass roots up, whether it's the Reagan revolution, the Tea Party revelation, or young people in this country joining with their parents and their grandparents, we do need to take this country back.

And what I've done in this book, I've taken every major issue that I think is out there right now, whether it's the debt, entitlements, and so forth, immigration, and I address it, what the left has done to this country, how they're eviscerating our traditions and our institutions. And I'm trying to shine a light on it so young people can see it. And I've done it in a way I think that hasn't been done before.

HANNITY: You know, again, "Plunder and Deceit" -- so there's no Social Security lockbox. You talk about that. You talk about the debt.  Social Security secure is bankrupt. Medicare is bankrupt. "Obama care" premiums are going to go up on average 40 percent a year.

And then we see politically right now, Donald Trump is leading in all the polls, 26 percent in the most recent poll, Donald Trump, non- politician, bold, outspoken, iconoclastic. Is this related to what you're describing?

LEVIN: It is related to it. I think what Trump has done here is people aren't even sure where he stands on all the issues. They just know they are sick and tired of politicians.

You know, people say, I have a resume, I've been a governor, I've been a senator, I've been a congressman. And a lot of people are saying, Well, that's the problem because you guys aren't getting anything done.

I think the conservative base has been lied to repeatedly. In 2010, we gave them the House. In 2014, we gave them the Senate. These guys go home, these Republicans, they lie about what they're going to do on "Obama care." They funded every penny of it. They lie what they're going to do about immigration.

But what I'm saying here is, look, we should not give up on our children and grandchildren, give up on the next generation. Why would we allow the left to control their fate? Why do we allow the left to control all these institutions? And so that's why I go through really like a prosecutor's brief, issue after issue, trying to expose what the left has done, and then beyond that, trying to explain what we need to do.

HANNITY: You cite different polls in the book. And this is -- most Americans now think that for the first time, the next generation will be worse off than the previous generation. That's profound. That's...

LEVIN: And it's a fact.

HANNITY: It is a fact.

LEVIN: And it's fact because (INAUDIBLE) civil society, not because of the private sector, not because of the individual, not because of wholesome families, and so forth, but because of central government policy.  And it's been really heightened under Obama. But it is a constant attack on our traditions.

When he talks about fundamental transformation, what he's talking about is destroying the American lifestyle, shutting down coal mines today, shutting down steel mills, shutting down fisheries.

HANNITY: All right, but here -- here's where we are. You're right.  We've been deceived. We've been lied to. Really, I think you can argue that the money was stolen from the Social Security trust that was supposed to be put in a lockbox. There's no lockbox.

So as we look at all of these issues, I see that Republican governors have been reform-minded. I think they've done...

LEVIN: Some.

HANNITY: Some, not all. Some have done a good job. Some have transformed their states. But I don't see Washington Republicans as that bold alternative, a revitalized party that Reagan talked about. Do you see that this election is the tipping point? Do you see that conservative emerging?

LEVIN: There are several good candidates running. There are several that I...

HANNITY: Who? Who...


LEVIN: I'm not going to get into -- there's a bunch of them that I like. But you're only giving me five minutes. So I can go through each one...


HANNITY: ... minute nine. But go ahead.


LEVIN: I can tell you this. What I'm looking for and I think what conservatives are looking for is somebody who's principled and is reliably principled now, and somebody who can take the conservative message to the American people and connect it up with what's going on today.

I think one of the reasons why Trump is so popular is, first and foremost, he took that immigration issue and turned it around completely.  No, everybody isn't coming here because they love us. No, everybody's not coming here because they want to take jobs Americans aren't doing. A lot of people are coming here who are not honorable, and a lot of people are coming here who don't want jobs, they want to participate in the welfare state.

HANNITY: You talk about the plunder, the deceit, the debt, Social Security, education, immigration, the environment, all these issues, national security -- you're going to come back later in the program, and you call for what you say, a new civil rights movement. You have an answer. We'll get to that when you join us later in the program.

LEVIN: All right.

HANNITY: I love the book, "Plunder and Deceit," the "great one," Mark Levin. He'll join us later.

But first, Hillary Clinton is starting to get very nervous after reports all weekend surfaced that Joe Biden could enter the 2016 presidential race. We'll check in with Ed Henry, Bret Baier. They're next with reaction.

Then later tonight...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am against the fact that you're insulting my intelligence because I'm for Donald Trump!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You donated to Hillary!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You donated to Schumer!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You donated to...



HANNITY: All right, New Hampshire voters -- they told pollster Frank Luntz their opinions about the 2016 GOP field. We're going to show you that video and more. He's here to explain straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So crazy uncle Joe Biden is considering a run for the White House in 2016. Now, this comes as Hillary Clinton's favorability and trustworthiness poll numbers continue to sink with potential voters. So what does it mean for Clinton? How worried is her campaign?

Here with more -- he's on the campaign trail -- Ed Henry. Ed these numbers aren't looking good for her! And crazy uncle Joe is really thinking about it, right?

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sean, what's interesting is that Hillary Clinton -- those numbers on whether she's honest and trustworthy -- she's been underwater throughout this campaign. We should point out he still has a commanding lead in the Democratic primaries, but she hasn't been able to shake off Bernie Sanders. She now has the possibility of Joe Biden.

This story was first broken by Fox last Thursday night when we reported that Joe Biden's chief of staff was sitting down with big Democratic fund-raisers checking out whether or not he could raise the money to get in late and challenge Hillary Clinton.

You saw over the weekend Maureen Dowd reporting in The New York Times that Beau Biden, before he tragically died, had directly told his father he wanted him to run. He didn't think the Clintons should just be handed the presidency or the Democratic nomination.

And I think if you look at the new Fox poll out tonight, it's interesting. Hillary Clinton's, again, still strongly in the lead, but she's dropped 10 points from June. She's gone to 61 percent to 51 percent among Democratic primary voters. Bernie Sanders, Democratic socialist senator, is up to 22 percent. Joe Biden only at 13 percent in this poll.  But again, he's not in. We don't know if he's going to get in or not.

And in terms of how worried Hillary Clinton is about that, it's very interesting as the timing of these leaks come out about Biden thinking more seriously about this, all of a sudden, Hillary Clinton has announced that she's starting her TV ads, first TV ads of the campaign starting Tuesday in Iowa, New Hampshire.

And you also have the fact that that's just two days before the Republican debate, of course, right here on Fox in Cleveland. And so it gives her a chance to try to frame her message before Republicans fight it out, Sean.

HANNITY: She took this questionable step of intervening with UBS, the problem that they were having with the IRS, while she was secretary of state. They ended up donating $600,000 to the Clinton Foundation and another $32 million in loans to foundation programs. And she had 60 major firms that lobbied her State Department during her tenure that donated $26 million to the foundation. Add that to the questions now about classified information on her e-mail server, which she said she didn't have, she's got major ethical issues now!

HENRY: The problem for her is that these are self-inflicted wounds.  When you mention the e-mail server, something she did, clearly outside the bounds of what other cabinet secretaries, Democratic, Republican administrations have done. You talk about the Clinton Foundation -- in the case of UBS, the campaign insists, Look, the foreign minister from Switzerland raised this case of the Swiss bank facing tax evasion charges.  They say it was completely in bounds for the secretary of state to intervene in the case.

However, as you know, big money went to the Clinton Foundation. Also $1.5 million in speaking fees to Bill Clinton from UBS. So all of this -- these are the kinds of things that have provided an opening for Joe Biden or some other Democrat to get in here.

HANNITY: All right, Ed Henry on the campaign trail. Thanks, Ed.  Appreciate it.

HAYES: Thank you.

HANNITY: Here with more reaction, one of the moderators for Thursday's big Republican debate -- he's a good friend, the hose of "Special Report," Bret Baier is back with us. Bret, good to see you, sir.


HANNITY: All right, I call him crazy uncle Joe.


HANNITY: All right, Vice President Joe...

BAIER: That's you.

HANNITY: He is a gaffe machine. When you really think about it, he said about Barack Obama the first mainstream African-American who is articulate, bright and clean. He went on to say his state was a slave state. They're going to put you back in chains. You can't go to a 7- Eleven or Dunkin Donuts without a slight Indian accent. Is he the answer to the Democratic Party's woes?

BAIER: Well, listen, there is concern, as Ed mentioned, about Hillary Clinton being upside down on the honest and trustworthy numbers across the country. There is concern that you're seeing this surge from Bernie Sanders not as much in the national polls but really in New Hampshire, some polls just trailing by a few points.

And I think that there is concern that there won't be a vigorous fight in the Democratic Party that they feel that they need to have. So I do think that the going consensus here in Washington is that Biden gets in.

HANNITY: Yes. I think your job as a debate moderator is a very difficult one. And by the way, you're going to be great at it. I know you. You want to be fair. The complaint, if you go back in 2007 and '08, not about you but some of the other moderators, was that they were trying to trap Republicans into some social issues that would come back to haunt them in a general campaign, or a general election.

What are you looking for in these debates? You're going to have 10 people on that stage. That's a lot of people.

BAIER: It is a lot of people, Sean. We're looking for substance.  We're looking for these candidates to address some of the things they've said, some of the things they've done in their past.

We're looking for -- if you look at any major poll, FOX News, Associated Press, any poll of things that matter to people, the top responding items, those topics, that will be part of the questioning. So it will run the gamut.

And I think that at the end of the day, we would like people to say that was fair. People got a chance to speak. It was fair to all candidates on the stage. And it was tough. And I think that, you know, last time, we had that result. Hopefully, we'll have that result this Thursday.

HANNITY: Well, I have no doubt about that at all. And you'll know tomorrow, when you start "Special Report," the decision will be made as to who gets in these debates?

BAIER: We should know by "Special Report." These polls -- I don't think there's going to be any surprises by the time we get to tomorrow, but we'll see. John Kasich appears to have moved up a bit in a number of different polls. He's doing very well in New Hampshire. And those guys are really the ones on the bubble.

But we should point out that all the candidates will be on the stage in Cleveland. There's the 5:00 to 6:00 PM Eastern time debate with Bill and Martha that will have the seven remaining candidates.

HANNITY: That's a good point.

BAIER: And we're going to use some of that tape later on the primetime broadcast.

HANNITY: All right, we'll look forward. I'll see you in Cleveland on Thursday night. Really looking forward to it, Bret. As always, we'll be watching tomorrow night. Thanks so much.


HANNITY: All right, coming up next tonight right here on "Hannity"...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is the boss that I have to constantly follow around and fix all of this stuff that he's broken with his mouth.


HANNITY: You do not want to miss this focus group. Pollster Frank Luntz asked New Hampshire voters how they feel about Donald Trump. He's here next.

And then later tonight...


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC "HARDBALL": What's the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist? You're chairman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, D-FLA., DNC CHAIR: The relevant debate that we'll be having over the course of this campaign is what's the difference between...



HANNITY: She can't answer the question! She can't explain the difference! Maybe because there is no difference. We'll get to that.

More with the "great one," Mark Levin. He'll rejoin us as we continue.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So with days to go until the first GOP debate we sent our team of producers to capture a focus group with pollster Frank Luntz in the all-important primary state of New Hampshire in order to learn what Republican voters really think about this GOP field.  Here's what the focus group said about Donald Trump being a possible Republican nominee.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a live sitcom we're watching here. You better watch what you ask for because you just might get it. And it won't be good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people of the United States are agreeing with what he is saying. They're standing up and they're clapping, and the other Republicans better start making fun of him, because they made fun of Ronald Reagan, and I think Donald Trump could possibly become the next president of the United States of America.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not a fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People have not done his homework. People have not done their homework on Donald Trump. Look at his books. He's been all over the fence on issues over the years. He changed views like he changes his underwear. Already six out of 10 people, six out of 10 independents have already said they will not vote for Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't care. It doesn't matter. The people of the United States -- and I am against the fact that they are saying that low information voters -- I am against the fact that you are insulting my intelligence because I am for Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He donated to Hillary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't care. I don't care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He donated to all these Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does Donald Trump stand for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Making America great again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me the program.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want a president that's going to do what the taxpayers wants him to do and what the constitution says he's supposed to do, not what Donald wants Donald to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he'll get the jobs, but I also think he'll get the right people to bring the constitutionality back of this country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- have an intimate sense of what this constitutional Republican is supposed to --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All he has to do is read. All he has to do is read.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's worth $10 billion. He's worth $10 billion.  He doesn't know how to create jobs? How can you say he doesn't know how to create jobs when he is worth $10 billion?


HANNITY: Wow. Here to help us break down the results of that focus group, the man himself, Frank Luntz. All right, so one of the producers told me that literally you mentioned Donald Trump's name and for eight minutes they just fought without you saying a word. You being quiet for eight minutes is impossible.

FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: The only thing more impossible is you going for eight minutes without speaking.


HANNITY: Guilty as charged.

LUNTZ: I could have walked off the set and they would have had this debate. And Trump will watch this and say it's not fair. The fact is, Sean, you love him or you hate him, but you have an opinion. Your emotional about it. And it was one of the best focus groups I've ever done. This is what Trump is causing all across the country, this wonderful explosion of passion. And it might actually be good in the short term because it lets people communicate what they're mad at at Washington.

HANNITY: I love the infusion of energy if nothing else, and I think that Republicans can learn to be more outspoken, a little more free and a little less guarded. Let's go over it. You asked them about the comments about John McCain, and that exploded. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's going off track with the whole John McCain thing. That just blew it out of the water. He does not have to be politically correct. He can say anything he wants. He owes nobody anything. But he went wrong with that. And he's just off the rails.

LUNTZ: Who was offended by what he said about John McCain, raise your hands. Who is not offended? You weren't offended by it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It didn't offend me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John McCain is a war hero. Everyone knows it.  John McCain didn't win the election and Trump wanted to get the headlines to get votes.

My problem with Trump is I'm worried that he is going to go rogue and run as a third party candidate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not offended by what I said about John McCain. For one, I come from a military family. I listen to what the veterans are saying about John McCain and his record. And Donald Trump is spot on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They mistreat him and keep making fun of him and calling him names, then I wouldn't blame him if he started a third party.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are we not concerned this guy has a communication issue? We're going to put a guy in the bully pulpit that just keeps saying "You're fired"?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is the boss that I have to constantly follow around and fix all of the stuff that he's broken with his mouth because it's cheap and easy when you shoot it out and then somebody's got to clean up your mess.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HANNITY: What's it about equally split, those that liked him, those that didn't like him?

LUNTZ: No, it was about two to one, which is what the polling shows.  So for every one person who really liked him, there were two people who didn't. But that said, Sean, there is no candidate, not Bush, not Rubio, not Walker, there is none that has the same kind of passion.

And this is why Trump isn't going away. And I want your viewers to understand this, that passion means they will stay with him regardless of what the media says, regardless of what happened in the debate. And frankly, I think Trump is going to be a 25 or even 30 percent within the next 30 days.

HANNITY: One of the things you're obsessed with, and I mean this in a good way, you always talk about the tone, the tone, the tone. You dial Trump in tone. Watch this.


TRUMP: The other day Hillary Clinton got up, and she said I didn't like Mr. Trump's tone. We have people, Christians having their heads cut off in the Middle East. We have people dying all over the border, where I was right, 100 percent right. We have all of this, like, medieval times, and she said I didn't like his tone. You know who else said that? Jeb Bush. I didn't like his tone.  What does it have to do with tone? We want results. This group wants results.


HANNITY: Do you know what? That scored really well.

LUNTZ: Yes, it did. And you got to give it to him, because he speaks differently, because he didn't put sentences together the same way, because he doesn't use the same sound bites, because he says what means and means what he says, it's why he has got this appeal right now.

HANNITY: All right, let's go to Ben Carson. You did a focus group on him, and let's watch their answers.


LUNTZ: I need a word or phrase to describe Ben Carson.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Accomplished but too religious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Non-politician.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inexperienced at foreign policy.

LUNTZ: How many of you think he's qualified to be president raise your hands. One, two, so only a small number of you. Who think he's actually not qualified to be president? So a majority of you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think he knows about the outside world, Putin, Iran, Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He hasn't been involved in the system. There are better candidates out there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he would be a great surgeon general or director of Health and Human Services, but not as a president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very well intentioned but it's a big job.

LUNTZ: Is it too big a job?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For him I think so.


HANNITY: I'm watching that, if I'm Ben Carson, what I would take out of that, I've got to show people I'm up to that task, that I'm informed on these issues. How would you take it?

LUNTZ: Exactly. That they like him, they like him a lot as a person, but they're not convinced that he's the next president of the United States.

HANNITY: All right, great work as always. You're going to join us for the rest of the week. We're going to go through the other candidates.  All right, Frank Luntz, a lot of fun watching the focus groups. By the way, did you yell at them or were you nice?

LUNTZ: I was nice to them. And I'd invite anyone in the audience, go to LuntzGlobal.com and you too can be in one of these focus groups, LuntzGlobal.com

HANNITY: Thank you, Frank Luntz.

Coming up next tonight, right here, you don't want to miss it, on "Hannity."


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: What's the difference between a Democrat and socialist? You're chairman of the Democrat Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ:  The relevant debate that we'll be having over the course of this campaign is what's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?


HANNITY: DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz, she cannot seem to explain the difference between the Democratic Party and socialism. The great one Mark Levin returns. He responds to those comments and more straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Back with us to talk about his brand new book, consequential, as always, in stores tomorrow "Plunder and Deceit, Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future," I call him the great one, Mark Levin. I pulled out of your book some stats you put in there. You've got over 60 pages of footnotes in this book, which is --

LEVIN: It's a 200 page book with a bunch of end notes if people want to delve in further, yes.

HANNITY: Which I think it's valuable to your reader.

   This is stunning. For those of us who are conservative, believe in limited government, greater freedom -- look at this. Number of pages of regulations in the federal register, you go year by year, it's like 75,000 at least a year, 79,000. Total number of regulations in the federal register in the past 10 years, 768,920. Then you put in there the number of regulations issued by the executive branch, this is just the executive branch, new regulations, fiat, bypass Congress, like Obama. Then you put in the number of bills passed by Congress, which is nearly next to nothing.  They have no power anymore. How do you explain the shift in power, especially under Obama, the executive branch?

LEVIN: Well, Congress doesn't defend itself. Under the Republican Congress they surrendered the power of purse. They surrendered the power in the Senate of treaty making. The word "impeachment" is never spoken.  It's hushed but it's never spoken. There are powers that Congress have that can control a president but they will not exercise them.

And you know over the decades since the New Deal, the executive branch has seized authority and the Congressional branch has thrown authority to the executive branch. So we really have this fourth estate, this massive bureaucracy -- the EPA is the worst of it -- that is passing laws. So the whole constitutional structure has been turned on its head. We do not have a constitutional republic. We don't have a federal republic. We don't have a representative republic. We don't have a republic right now.

HANNITY: Let me ask you about the Republicans. In 2013, remember, 2010, 2012, all these guys ran on the idea they're going to repeal and replace Obamacare. So one senator, Ted Cruz, filibusters and says let's use our constitutional authority, power of the purse. He gets excoriated by the very people that made the same promise.

Then we hear they're going to stop in 2014, in that election cycle, they'll stop executive amnesty. They end up funding executive amnesty. So obviously they know what we want to hear, but then they can't deliver.  Why?

LEVIN: They won a majority in Congress on a lie. Didn't they? They lied their way into the majority. Look, what this is going to take is a strong conservative getting the nomination of the Republican Party. People under 45 have never had an opportunity to vote for a conservative for president. It's time. You realize Ronald Reagan won't be president if the Bush family had succeeded. And their back, and that whole force is back, and they keep beating down conservatives like we can't win.

HANNITY: What if it's Lindsey Graham?

LEVIN: It's the same thing, the same mentality. These are big government, Washington-centric Republicans. John McCain is running for reelection. Guess what. He's lurching to the right. Lindsey Graham is running for reelection, he's lurching to the right. People are sick and tired of this.

HANNITY: Let's talk about the Democrats. There was an interesting moment on Chris Matthews' show.

LEVIN: They're lurching to the left and they're staying to the left.

HANNITY: The only interesting moment he's ever had. He asked Debbie Wasserman Schultz the difference between a Democrat and a socialist. Watch this exchange.


   MATTHEWS: What's the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?  I used to think there was a big difference. What do you think it is?

SCHULTZ: The difference between --

   MATTHEWS: A Democrat like Hillary Clinton and a socialist like Bernie Sanders?        SCHULTZ: What is the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican?

MATTHEWS: Well, what is the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist? You're the chairman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist?

SCHULTZ: The relevant debate that we'll be having over the course of this campaign is what is the difference between a Democrat and a Republican.

MATTHEWS: I think there's a huge difference.


   HANNITY: What is the difference?       

LEVIN: I think the Democrats are more left wing than the socialists.        


LEVIN: I think that's the difference. I think they're more Marxist than the socialists. At least the socialists are out of the closet. We know who they are. Obama, I think, is even further left than that.

HANNITY: Let me ask you. You go through all the problems in the book that we're facing and how we're destroying this country for future generations.

   LEVIN: And who did it.         

HANNITY: And who did it. You name names. And you go through every aspect. Then you say that in your last book you talked about the liberty amendments. In this book you talk about a new civil rights movement.  Where do the liberty amendments stand and what's the new civil rights movement?

LEVIN: The liberty amendments are there and people should continue to press for a convention of the states bottom-up. I talk grassroots all the time. We believe in federalism. We believe in the 10th Amendment.  Washington is not going to correct the design that he created. Obama is on the loose. Congress is on the loose. The courts are on the loose. And Article Five, the convention of the states is what the framers gave us to fix that.

   What I've done here is I said, you know, young people, you need to stir yourselves. You need to inform yourselves. Every poll shows that you resist authority. Every poll shows that you don't like the status quo.  Every poll shows that you don't like or trust government. And yet you vote for all three of those in every election cycle.        

HANNITY: We're robbing them blind.        

LEVIN: And they're robbing themselves blind. And so what I'm saying is you need to stir yourselves, inform yourselves.         

And yet, you and I, our generations, parents and grandparents, we say what is wrong with these kids? I'll tell you what's wrong these kids.  We send them to schools that are leftwing with leftwing tenured professors.  The media is leftwing. It is endless. The drumbeat out of Hollywood, the culture is leftwing, the politicians.         

It's time that people, you, me, parents, grandparents, there are millions of us, that we be the Paul and Paulette Reveres, and we inform our kids, have them informed so they challenge the professors, so they challenge the media, so they do what needs to be done.        

I'm calling for, or pushing for, just like there was a Tea Party movement, a Reagan movement, a conservative movement, a real new civil rights movement. Al Sharpton is not a civil rights movement. He's a huckster. A real civil rights movement where we advance liberty, property, private property rights, capitalism, American sovereignty and individual sovereignty, that is what we need to do and that's what I'm pushing for.

HANNITY: This is a tipping point in terms of the survival of this republic. And this is a rallying call. Love your book. Mark Levin, the great one, catch his radio show every day as well.

   When we come back, our "Question of the Day," we need your help, straight ahead.         


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Time for your input and tonight's "Question of the Day." So who do you think is going to win Thursday's Republican debate right here on Fox? Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think. That is all the time we have left for the evening. Thank you. We hope you'll set your DVR so you never miss an episode. If you're not there I know about it. I see you at home sleeping. We hope you'll join us. We miss you.

Anyway, we'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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