How significant is first GOP debate?; Rubio responds to dip in poll numbers

How the debate will impact the White House race  on 'The Kelly File' #GOPDebate


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," August 5, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, the biggest event to date in campaign 2016 is now just 24 hours away and at the center of the political universe is the battle ground state of Ohio.

Welcome to "The Kelly File" everyone, I'm Megyn Kelly reporting live from Cleveland. By this time tomorrow night the top ten republican presidential contenders will be going head to head for the first time in a debate right here. And before this arena is filled, before the candidate takes the stage, before the first question is even asked and I assure you it has already been drafted, we are hearing that this debate will have an impact on the White House race like few before it ever have and the reason in two words, Donald Trump.


KELLY: Joining me now, Bill Burton, he's the former White House deputy press secretary under President Obama, Howard Kurtz, the host of Fox News' "MediaBuzz" and our Chris Stirewalt who is our Fox News digital politics editor. Thank you so much all of you for being here, live with us.



KELLY: So, Stirewalt knows that the debate questions have been formulated. And they are -- it's not time for that. Tomorrow. Okay, tomorrow.


KELLY: Let me start with you, Chris.


KELLY: Donald Trump, everybody says it is a Donald Trump debate. I don't know.

STIREWALT: Look, he obviously has some decisions to make about what message he wants to be. Presidential, et cetera. I think too much is put into this because of two things. What drives this debate are these questions. And the questions that you and Bret and Chris are asking is going to be what drives this debate. And these are tough questions. These are Tasmanian devil questions.

KELLY: Oh, what?

STIREWALT: These are tough.


You know, he spun around and stuff but it was hard.


So, the point is, these questions are what the candidates should be worried about. They shouldn't be worried about, not this one liner with Donald Trump. They should be worried about answering these questions. The other thing that they ought to be careful about is, frankly, there are some guys who are tough debaters up there. Ted Cruz is up there. Mike Huckabee is up there. There are some guys who are really good. They are thinking only about Trump. They are going to get their clock clean by somebody else.

KELLY: Well, you know what else people don't think about is, we as the debate moderators and the debate team, we are charge with trying to keep equal time among these candidates and we've made up a promise to try to do that. So, if it is spinning out of control and if one candidate like Trump or whoever is getting tons of time, we're going to have to cut that off and move on to other candidates if somebody keeping the master time list. So, it just -- it won't happen that Trump has got 30 minutes and somebody else has got ten.

STIREWALT: Good luck cutting Trump off. But --

KELLY: You know I can do it.


You know I can do it. Howie, let me ask you because you have been hearing a different kind of messaging from Donald.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": Here is the news flash, Donald Trump is toning it down. He hasn't said anything inflammatory, or taken a whack at anybody's head in a week. He is such a dominant frontrunner right now Megyn that he realizes that he doesn't need to be Don Rickles candidate, hurling out insults. Everybody is tuning in to this arena tomorrow night, they want to see if he is a wild man the way -- or does he seem reasonable.

KELLY: He is actually dialing it back. Not just with respect to his criticism of the other candidates. But media people too. He hated Chuck Todd. He said Charles Krauthammer was a clown and a moron. And now that's all be reversed.

KURTZ: All those idiots and losers.

KELLY: We remember what was said, it's like a couple of weeks ago.

KURTZ: I know but this is the sign of a guy moving from outside agitator to maybe being a plausible nominee. There is no point anymore.  He may punch back from people he who thinks unfairly criticize him but there's no point anymore in ridiculing individual journalists. After all (INAUDIBLE) treat with a little bit of respect.

KELLY: Well, and it seems like the guys on the debate stage, he's telegraphing to them, I won't cut you if you don't cut me. Like, I will cut you if you cut me first. Bill, let me ask you. As a person who actually works with the man who is now our president, you were there, you were with him while they were getting him ready. You guys were all getting ready for a night like tomorrow night. What do you think is going on behind the scenes in these camps and how high do you think they view the stakes?

BILL BURTON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think that this debate is actually one of the most important primary debates that we have ever seen. People haven't anticipated a debate like this ever. Probably even when you look back to '07 and '08 when President Obama was running, you know, there would be moments that happened along the way, Reverend Wright, thinks like that where people would want to see how do the candidates respond in the debate setting but nothing like this where Donald Trump is coming and changing the whole thing. So, right now you have a bunch of aides who are scared out of their minds that their candidate is going to do something that's going to cause massive problems for them. But nobody is out there thinking, oh, I can't wait until tomorrow because my guy is going to clean their clock.

KELLY: How do they watch it? How do you think the support teams watch the debate? Do they go to a private room? Do they sit there nail biting? What?

BURTON: Well, people sit and they watch it and, you know, it is a little different now because Twitter is so much more important than it was even back in 2007. So, they are sitting there and they are also engaging.  They have their whole media teams. But I just want to go back to something that Chris said. You know, I actually don't think they are worried about the questions that much because they are going to say what they're going to say. And then the interaction --


The good questions are not the ones that are scripted. It's the ones that happens in the exchange.

STIREWALT: You never had to do a Fox News debate. No, I'm serious.  So the point here isn't to do -- if I may -- the point here is that these questions are designed to not let them off the hook. There has to be an affirmative thing that you have to say --  


STIREWALT: You have to answer something in these questions. These are -- they are designed to say I know what you said about this but what about that?

KELLY: The dodge and lead will be readily apparent, all the viewers at home, if they choose to go that route and they may very well chose to go that route. But, you know, the question is whether this is actually not to be too grandiose about it because Fox News is hosting it, and I'm a co- moderator but is this actually, because they have the potential to change the course of history? I mean, one of these guys could be out by 11:00 tomorrow night?

KURTZ: I don't think it will change the course of civilization, perhaps.

KELLY: Okay. Yes.

STIREWALT: Okay. The Republicans decided they want to wait to start their nominating process because they thought it was too long, it beat up Mitt Romney, he got into the general election and then loss. So, they waited. You know what they did. They freighted and freighted and freighted tomorrow night. They freighted and freighted this debate because now, there is no Iowa straw poll. This is the first debate. The stage is crowded. The stakes are high. They are worried about Trump. Hillary Clinton showing no vulnerability. It is all swirling, they're coming here.  And yes, it's a pretty big deal.

KELLY: Go ahead, Howie.

KURTZ: The reason I talk about moments in this debate is that you will have the huge audience for the FOX debate tomorrow night but then you have the media echo chamber. And ten candidates are not going to get sound bites that replay in segment after segment and newscast after newscast.  There isn't no rumor in such a crowded field. So there will be Trump undoubtedly. And maybe Jeb and Marco or somebody else. And that is what these other candidates are hoping for some kind of moment where it doesn't have to be a zinger but it has to be something memorable.

BURTON: I think that's right. I think that right after the debate, it will be very hard to tell who actually won it. I think you will find out in the days that follow. If you think back to the South Carolina debate in 2007 where President Obama said he would speak with Ahmadinejad if he thought that that can be a progress. In the moment, it was this onslaught of media and people saying, oh, this is a huge gap, he really screwed up. And I was on a conference call with the President the next day, then senator. And he was like I'm not backing down from that, that's what's I really think. If that is what we need to do. And we fought that fight and we won the public opinion battle on that.

KELLY: Yes, wait, I remember that. Charles Krauthammer -- I remember that.


STIREWALT: Foot note.

KELLY: You know, the thing if you ask me and I could be wrong. But I feel like the frontrunners other than Trump because he is going to be himself, I think.


KELLY: You know, he said he is not really preparing, he's just going to go out there and be himself. I don't know. I mean, some of their articles today says sort of the post policy debate for Trump. He said, he's not setting up on policies. He is not going to go out there and say, I am who I am and I am ticked off like the rest of you and here is why.  But you take it Jeb Bush, you take it Scott Walker, one of these guys who are along the top who really thinks that they could get it if Trump collapses.


KELLY: They have a lot to lose. Jeb Bush did not get good reviews from his performance in New Hampshire on Monday night. And I think the expectations for somebody like Jeb Bush is pretty high. Right? He's a Bush. He's a two time governor. He should be smooth. He should come out here and be able to rock it. And if he doesn't, you know, could this be a campaign employee?

STIREWALT: One of the things that I love most about Americans is that they don't spend as much time thinking about politics as we do. They live their normal lives. They do decent things instead of sit around and think about what politicians say all the time. These debates are moments when decent ordinary people tune in and they say, I guess I have a civic duty, I have to pay attention to what these chuckle heads in politics are doing.  So, they tuned in. And then its flashcards, Jeb Bush, okay, flash card, yes or no? Scott Walker. Flash card. Do I like this guy? Do I not like this guy? The comfort level.

KELLY: But in a moment that your impression could be formed or collapsed, I mean, a stutter, one wrong word, a look of uncertainty, a dodge when you are asked a direct question.

KURTZ: Oops. But there is such a thing -- there is such a thing as expectation. So, people who don't follow politics intently will still have a certain expectation of a Jeb Bush, or Scott Walker, or sitting governor as Donald Trump, you know, they have heard so much about it. So, he has a pretty low bar to clear frankly.   


KURTZ: And the others, they may not know --

KELLY: I have to go but I can't go without asking you Bill, as a Democrat, is there anybody who's coming on the stage tomorrow night who you are a little worried about?

BURTON: I would say because Donald Trump is in the race, he's kept people from rising up, people like John Kasich who is not really given a fair shot in the media. And I think if you look at somebody like that who is a popular governor in this state, whose economy is doing pretty well, he hasn't been given a lot of oxygen. I think tonight in his hometown arena, it could be pretty interesting.

KELLY: So, you like having Trump in this debate?


BURTON: I do. Very much.

KELLY: We like it, too. Great to see you all. Thank you so much.

BURTON: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: To be continued tomorrow night. Well, our political coverage continues next with Florida Senator Marco Rubio on what the political press is now saying about him. Plus, how he is preparing for tomorrow night.

And then, dramatic new revelations in the Hillary Clinton e-mail and server scandal. See what the FBI is now doing and whether Mrs. Clinton was caught telling a whopper to reporters this investigating this story. We'll play you the tape.

Plus, even after some strong attacks on Republicans in the past, President Obama managed to say something today that stunned even his critics. Charles Krauthammer joins us on that.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Just because Iranian hardliners chant "Death to America," does not mean that's what all Iranians believe.




SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This election cannot be like the other ones. But we do not live in ordinary times. The world is changing and so must our policies.


KELLY: That was Florida Senator Marco Rubio just hours ago in Cleveland in town for tomorrow night's big GOP debate. Following his campaign launch in April, Senator Rubio received high marks for his commending speech, and saw strong poll numbers in the weeks to follow. In recent weeks however, those numbers have dipped some leaving some political media outlets asking if this senator has a problem on his hands.

Joining me here tonight, Florida Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio. This is what I love Senator Rubio. This is what they -- they are wondering whether -- I love this, this is America today. They're wondering whether your message of optimism and hope is just not connecting with the voters. They are saying you need to connect more with people's anger.

RUBIO: Well, obviously there are things that wrong in this country.  We have to acknowledge it. But this is a great country. It can be greater. And that is what the campaign is about. We need a country that fulfills its potential and we are not. And so my message has been that from the beginning, it's been that way for 10 or 12 years. I believe it's the greatest country in the world. I wouldn't trade places with any other country.  

KELLY: Do you think that's what happened -- I don't want to make this about Trump. But do you think that is what is happening with Trump, that he is doing that because, you know -- I'm not going to take it anymore?

RUBIO: Like I said, I'm not a pundit. I'm a candidate. I'm running for office. All I can do is tell people my message, who I am, what I would do if elected and then people get to decide. And I think they are ready to decide. Half the country is on vacation literally. And so, this is just the ups and down.

KELLY: Does the half support you because --

RUBIO: Maybe, good question, Megyn. Now, you know these polls go up and down. I've been higher than those numbers. I've been lower than those numbers. I am not worried about a poll right now. I am more concerned about whether we are being consistent in our message communicating it to people. I want people to understand not just who I am but why I'm running.  And that to me is what is important at this stage.

KELLY: Talk about the money. Because one of the things they say, you know, may be problematic for you is you've raised a total of about 45 million so far. Jeb Bush is raised a total of 114 million. And that is important in politics.

RUBIO: Yes. It is. The question is not how much you raise, the question is, do you raise enough to be able to communicate your message?  And we are confident that we will. Now, we are not going to be the leading fundraiser in this race. And we understood that going in.

KELLY: Trump is on TV every day, every night.

RUBIO: Well, again, these campaigns like I said, I mean, these are long journeys. There are going to be ups and downs along the way.  Tomorrow night is a big night. A lot of people for the first time are going to start to tune in to this campaign seriously. But after tomorrow night, there's going to be other debates and other twists and turns in the road. So, I'm not worried about one day, one week or one month. It's really about the long term.

KELLY: How are you preparing now? What do you do?

RUBIO: You know, the truth is that when you have been both, you know, involved in the issues of the day debating those and also out there on the stamp, you've been answering these questions for a while --

KELLY: You're going to hey, you haven't been answering these questions.

RUBIO: Well, maybe. No, the topics I think the topic you have been talking about for a while. And I think that the real advantage is that you know what you believe and you've talked about it in the past, it is a lot easier to communicate.

KELLY: Are you going to dodge and weave? I mean, do you think you'll really answer the question --

RUBIO: I hope not. No, I mean, I like to answer questions. I think people deserve it. We are choosing the president of the United States.  This is not a county commissioners. It is the most important political job in the world and it deserves the scrutiny and the attention that it is going to get. Not just tomorrow night but in the weeks and months to come.

KELLY: Are there any nerves -- you are only human.

RUBIO: Yes. Sure. I have never done this before. I have never run for president. This is a big stage. I wouldn't call it nerves. I certainly think there is an excitement about being part of something like this.

KELLY: We have nerves as moderators. Bret, Chris and I talked about how -- and we have the questions written down. We know what they are. You have the hard job.

RUBIO: Well, I wouldn't say nerves in terms of fear but certainly nerves in terms of understanding, this is a pretty big deal that you get to be a part of this, that you get to talk to the country about its future.  You know, very few Americans ever get a chance to do what the ten of us and the others that are on the stage tomorrow are going to do. That's a pretty exciting opportunity.

KELLY: So, you want to deliver your message. So, I get that. But, you know, what is the one thing you want people to take away about Marco Rubio?

RUBIO: Well, I have a debt to this country I will never repay. I mean, this is not just the nation I was born. And it literally changed the history of my family. And the reason why I am in public service, the reason why I am running for president is I want this to continue to be a country where people can do for their children what my parents did for me.  The purpose of my parent's life was to give me a chance to do all the things they never could. That makes us different from the rest of the world. And the reason I am running for president is I want this to continue to be that kind of country.

KELLY: That's nice. I hope I didn't steal your closing statement for tomorrow.

RUBIO: Well, I have said it so many times before that --  

KELLY: All right. Let me hear it again tomorrow night at about 11:00. Great to see you.

RUBIO: Thank you.

KELLY: See you tomorrow.

RUBIO: See you tomorrow.

KELLY: All the best.

Well again, the Fox News GOP primary debate begins at 9:00 Eastern Time tomorrow. Yours truly will be moderating along with Bret Baier and Chris Wallace. And then "The Kelly File" is immediately after the debate with Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer. Frank Luntz will be here with some real time feedback on the candidate's performances with the focus group of GOP voters. Don't miss that. That will be really great.

Plus, new polls show that immigration remains a top concern for voters ahead of tomorrow night's debate.

And tonight Ann Coulter and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas will tell us what they think the voters should be listening for.

Plus, new controversy for Hillary Clinton tonight as a bombshell report raises new questions about whether or not she has been truthful about her e-mail server, the messages she sent and the story she is on camera telling in the weeks after the story broke. Don't go away.


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am confident that I never sent nor received any information of classified at the time it was sent and received.


KELLY: Breaking tonight new revelations from the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal as major new questions arise about her private server and an alleged whopper she appears to have told about classified information. Let's start with the server. In March of this year, Mrs. Clinton claimed there was no issue in maintaining government e- mails on a private e-mail server in her home in Chappaqua in New York as this server she said was set up for former President Bill Clinton under the watch of the secret service. You know, there are big advantages to living with the former commander-in-chief. Listen. Listen.


CLINTON: The system we use was set up for President Clinton's office and it had numerous safeguards. It was on property guarded by the Secret Service and there were no security breaches. So, I think that the use of that server was started with my husband certainly proved to be effective and secure.


KELLY: But now it turns out her e-mails, that is our e-mails were not maintained by the State Department or on Bill Clinton's server as she claims but were on an entirely different server. One established for her 2008 campaign which was not disclosed and it was reportedly set up and handled by staffers with limited training and handed off to an outside company. On top of that Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly maintained that there is nothing to this e-mail scandal because she never dealt with classified information there, period end of report. Listen.


CLINTON: I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e- mail. There is no classified material. So, I certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.


KELLY: There is no classified material. Well, then the news broke that two inspectors generals for the intelligence community in state believed she did improperly maintain classified information. And what did she do in response to that allegation? She doubled down.


CLINTON: I am confident that I never sent nor received any sent information that was classified at the time it was sent and received.


KELLY: I never sent classified information. And then a federal judge issued an order demanding that Mrs. Clinton tell her e-mail story under oath and guess what just happened. Late last night Mrs. Clinton's team changed its story. Now it's no longer there was no classified information.  Now it's Mrs. Clinton had no documents that were, quote, "marked classified at the time."

Joining me now Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee member from New York. Clinton donor and co-founder of Zimmerman/Edelson on public relations. Robert, good to see you.

Robert Zimmerman: Good to be with you, Megyn.

KELLY: I mean, come on.

ZIMMERMAN: Oh, Megyn, I have a bigger blockbuster for you. Megyn, I have a bigger blockbuster for you. The Washington Post Chris Cillizza reported today exclusive in the Washington Post, there is no investigation.  There are no allegations of wrong doing and Hillary Clinton is not the subject of a probe because everything that she said then checks out now.  And that's the real story here.

KELLY: Bob, how does that explain the many stories I just took the audience through?

ZIMMERMAN: Because they're all consistent. In fact, the inspector generals are the one, according to Ed Henry reporting on "The Kelly File," the inspector general said, there were no classified markings on the e- mails that she sent or received. It may have happened after the fact but that doesn't change the truth that she wasn't sending or receiving e-mails.

KELLY: Okay. But no one --

ZIMMERMAN: As far as the server --

KELLY: But they are investigating to see whether classified information was in her possession and is on the server. And she has been telling us all along there is no classified information until she just changed it to --  

ZIMMERMAN: That's right.

KELLY: Well, nothing has mark classified --  

ZIMMERMAN: No, that's the point, though. How would she possibly know those are classified if it wasn't mark that way? That is why the inspector generals made the point that there was no information that was marked classified on her server.

KELLY: Somehow the inspector generals figured it out, how did they figured it out?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, they investigated it. And Megyn, also when it comes to the server the server was in the President's home.

KELLY: Right. The problem is, see, you can avoid all of this if you just do your e-mailing on the server. But she didn't do it.  Now, with respect to the server, Robert, she told us that this is going to be secured. In the Chappaqua, not to worry, I'm married to the former president --


KELLY: It all set, the Secret Service is there. As it turns out, it was some dude named Justin Cooper who set up the server --

ZIMMERMAN: Who worked for the President, who worked for the President --

KELLY: Okay. No, he is not exactly -- he is not exactly a security expert but he did helped research two President Clinton's book.

ZIMMERMAN: But Megyn you're forgetting the point that it was taken over --


Megyn, in just April of 2009 a specialist for the State Department, an intelligence IT, took over the server and managed it. So it was secure and safe and there were no breaches. Now, Megyn, I have a question for you. I assume you are going to ask Jeb Bush the same questions because as governor of Florida, he used a personal server to discuss net security issue like nuclear power plants or troop deployment, and he took this server home with him and selectively released government e-mails.

KELLY: Okay. You know what that sounds like to me? Look over here, look at this shiny and pretty over here. I mean, I am talking to you about Hillary.

ZIMMERMAN: I am trying to help you Megyn with tomorrow night.

KELLY: Why does the story keep changing -- well, thank you. I do appreciate that. I know you have my best interest at heart.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.

KELLY: I mean it. Sincerely. But why does the story keep changing?  If you tell the truth from the beginning you don't have to worry about keeping your story.

ZIMMERMAN: Megyn, the fact of the matter shows that Hillary Clinton was accurate, consistent and correct. So, ultimately the real tragedy for Republicans is they have no story here, they're going to have to talk about issues. I know you will make them do that tomorrow night.

KELLY: I guess you're right about that. Robert, so great to see you.

ZIMMERMAN: I will be cheering you on tomorrow.

KELLY: Thank you, sir. All the best.

Well, the pressure is on with less than 24 hours to go until tomorrow night's big debate in Cleveland. We will be into it. In fact, I think we are going to be taking our first break right around here at this time tomorrow night. So, it will be a full half an hour into the debate.

And former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino is here with her advice to the candidates and the lessons they can learn from some of the historic stumbles and successes we have seen in debates of yesteryear.

Plus, why did President Obama today compare Republicans to the terror supporting hardliners within the Iranian regime? Remember the promises of hope and change? Charles Krauthammer is next with an answer.


OBAMA: Just because Iranian hardliners chant "Death to America," does not mean that's what all Iranians believe.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will say this, that the reason I think I'm better as the nominee, is that I can bring this country together I think in a unique way across divisions of race, religion, region and that is what is going to be required in order for us to actually deliver on the issues.


KELLY: Well, that was back in 2008 when then Senator, Barack Obama stood on the stage vying for the Presidency, promising he would be a different kind of leader, one who would bring the country together. But after more than six years of what both sides describe as a toxic political climate, it's clear it has not happened.  Despite that, the President still drew a stunned reaction from Conservatives today when he compared Republicans raising questions about his Iran deal to the terror-supporting hard liners within the Iranian regime. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because Iranian hard liners chant death to America does not mean that is what all Iranians believe. In fact, it's those -- it's those hard liners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It's those hard liners chanting death to America who have been most opposed to the deal. They are making common cause with the Republican caucus.


KELLY: Charles Krauthammer is a Fox News Contributor and Author of Things that Matter, now out in paperback with an added chapter on the age of Obama. Charles, good to see you, how about that?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well I mean, it's vintage Obama, the demonization of his opponent, the lumping them together with people chanting death to America -- I must say is a new low for the President, which is saying a lot considering how he does demonize the opposition, and question their motives. But what is even worse here is how delusional he is. He is pretending that those who chant death to America are some kind of KKK fringe in Iran. The people leading the chant of the revolutionary guards, the army, the parliamentary leaders, and of course as he always calls them, Obama always does, the supreme leader himself in a speech he made just a few days after the signing of the agreement. The chants break out death to America, death to Israel, and the ayatollah said may Allah hear your prayers. This idea that somehow he has been strengthening the moderate is simply absurd. What he is doing is he's made common cause with the hard liners, meaning the government, by removing the sanctions, by giving them a clear path to a bomb, an arsenal of bombs in ten years, and not just a path, but in ten years they will have an arsenal that will be legitimated and considered perfectly ok by the international community. He is the one who is going to be giving tens of billions of dollars to the hard liners, meaning the government and the ayatollah, which will be used for terror activities for expanding its influence and suppressing its people. And one more point -- when the moderates were out in the streets, the students demonstrating against the regime in 2009, specifically the people he says that the Conservatives, the Republicans are abandoning, Obama sided with the ayatollah. Shooting people in the streets, there was graffiti on the walls in Tehran that said Obama, Obama, are you with us or against us? Those were the demonstrators, those were the ones who don't shout death to America, looked to Obama and they got nothing.

KELLY: You know the question is whether the administration is sort of in a suspension of disbelief. Because you have got President Obama talking about how this death to America stuff is just rhetoric from people who seem to be separated from the leaders. At the same time John Kerry says to Jonah Goldberg in a fascinating interview, he asked him whether he believes that Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map, and Kerry says I don't know the answer to that. He says they didn't make the bomb when they had enough material for 10 to 12. He doesn't know whether Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map, Charles. We just pulled a couple of quotes from the ayatollah in the not too distant past. The regime is a cancerous tumor. It will be removed. This barbaric wolf-like and infanticidal regime of Israel which bares no crime has no cure, but to be annihilated on and on and on about how -- oh here is one. It has to be erased from the map. So I mean it is pretty on point.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, then you have to ask yourself what really is going through Kerry's head. After all, the man who negotiated with pres -- the so-called moderate foreign minister said exactly the same thing to an interviewer during the negotiations. It isn't as if these are extremist wild statements. Look, it is a fundamental principle of the Islamic regime founded in 1979 to the expulsion of the influence of the United States, the domination of U.S. allies, meaning the gulf Arabs and other Arabs in the region. And the most important ideologically is the eradication of Israel as a way to redeem the Islamic idea that lands that were once controlled by Islam have to remain under Islam and particularly Israel because it is in the middle of the Middle East, and because it includes Jerusalem. This is a fundamental principle of theirs, and that Kerry and Obama seem to dismiss is really shocking. And you wonder how can you negotiate if you have no conception of the real ideology and intentions of your enemy.

KELLY: Charles, great to see you. See you tomorrow night.

KRAUTHAMMER: My pleasure, yes.

KELLY: Well, at this time tomorrow the American people will be treated to a debate already being described as nothing short of historic.  We'll see. We hope. And you can bet that immigration will be a hot topic right here in this arena that you're looking at right now.

Up next, Best Selling Author Ann Coulter, and Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, next on what they think the voters should be listening for.


KELLY: Breaking tonight, new polls ahead of tomorrow night's first Republican Presidential Debate show a significant number of voters are very focused on what these candidates are going to say about one issue, immigration. In a moment we will be joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas who came out as an illegal immigrant himself. But first, we begin with Ann Coulter, an Attorney and Author of Adios America, the left's plan to turn our country into a third world hell hole. Always fun to see you. So this is big for you. This issue was obviously going to get attention at any presidential debate, but then we saw Kate Steinle murdered and we saw Donald Trump come under fire for his comments about immigration. What specifically are you going to be looking for tomorrow night?

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Well, I think people should be looking for every other candidate on stage thanking Donald Trump, because otherwise it would have been me and a few other political obsessive watching. Now you're going to have ratings like -- if not the Super Bowl, at least the World Series I'd think because Donald Trump is there. But one of the main things we look for is this nonsense about -- oh yes, of course, we want to secure the border, but not a wall. Look, if they won't put a wall on the border they are not serious about it. Chris Christie saying yes, we want to secure the border, but I have seen the human spirit. A wall won't work. You have Jeb Bush saying it is an act of love. You have various others saying no, no, no, we are going to have drones and high technology, drones and high technology on the border is a synonym for no wall. What is a drone going to do? So we can watch them run across the border? That's great. Our country's being ruined but at least we will be entertained.

KELLY: What about -- because the supporters on the other side look at the polls like this one from CBS News, and they say the American people are behind doing something to allow people to stay. Look at this, Republican voters believe immigrants in the U.S. illegally should be allowed to stay, 55 percent. Does that mean the Republicans are against you on this?

COULTER: I don't think so. I think it's the way questions are asked.  That is very personal. You don't want to feel like you are being mean to the people who are here. A lot of them are admirable, a lot of them are good people. That shouldn't be the question for someone running to be the President of the United States. The question should be does this help America? And I like to ask them how many immigrants are enough? We already have 42 million immigrants in this country. These guys all talk about how they want to go back to the era of Reagan and they'd be Reagan.  Well, in the '80s when Reagan was elected, 1 of every 16 people residing in America was foreign born. Today is it one in seven. At what point -- we have 42 million now, 100 million, 200 million? How many are enough?

KELLY: For the 11 or 12 million who are here now it is impractical, if not impossible to talk about deporting them.

COULTER: Well, I like Romney's answer to that. Of course you verify and they'll go home the same way they came. Everyone made fun of Mitt Romney for saying they'd self-support, and it's so impractical -- there aren't 12 million, they're at least 30 million. Ok, so let's say 30 million, how are 30 million going to self deport? Are you going to round them up, we won't round them up to get them here, they're going to go home the same way they came.

KELLY: Ann, thank you.

COULTER: Thank you.

KELLY: She's always entertaining.

Roughly three years ago, Time Magazine ran a cover story about the then-12 million people living in America illegally. It was written by Jose Antonio Vargas, the man you see in the center of that picture, and he is now the Editor of, and Founder of He joins us tonight. Jose, good to see you again, and in that article...


KELLY: We're here and you wrote we are Americans. We are here just - - and we're here just not legally. And here you are still with no change in status.

VARGAS: I actually agree with what Ann Coulter just said. Which is that what do you want to do with us? Does America really want to deport -- I mean you know I mean again, Ann is trying to ask a really hard question that no presidential candidate in the Republican field has really answered with specifics. What do you want to do with us? Unfortunately, Rick Perry is not going to be at that big debate, but let's say in Texas for example, 1.7 million undocumented people in Texas. Half of the construction workers in the state of Texas are undocumented. What would Texas do without undocumented construction workers? What would California do without undocumented migrants and farmers and workers that do these jobs? So again, what do you want to do with us? And by the way you're in Ohio.  You're in Ohio, there are about 12 million people in Ohio. That exact same number of undocumented immigrants in this country. Do you want to deport all of Ohio?

KELLY: What do you think -- what do you make of the fact as an undocumented immigrant yourself about the fact that Donald Trump has surged so in the polls, notwithstanding his comments, very controversial about illegal immigrants?

VARGAS: I actually think that speaks to just how little the American public knows about the issue, at least the ones supporting Donald Trump.  The facts that are not really out there when it comes to how Donald Trump talks about this issue. I mean two things that I think are really crucial, 40 percent of the undocumented population in this country overstayed their visa. They didn't cross that border. We have spent since 9/11 $100 billion in border enforcement. How many more billions of dollars should we spend as a country? And by the way, Megyn, you just had Marco Rubio a few minutes ago in his book -- in June 2012, called the American Sun. He actually wrote and I quote this in his book, "If my kids went to sleep hungry every night, and my country didn't give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn't a law no matter how restrictive that would prevent me from coming here." I hope by the way that question get asked to Marco Rubio tomorrow night.

KELLY: That is why Ann doesn't like Senator Rubio anymore, because he switched once his bill didn't get through to enforcement. And do you think there is any candidate on this GOP stage who is arriving tomorrow night, who you could ever get behind, Jose?

VARGAS: Look, I'm undocumented. I'm not allowed to vote. I'm neither Republican nor Democrat. I would really like to hear Jeb Bush and his actual plans. Again, this is the number one thing that we heard from people who follow Define America online. The question is -- this is actually a question from somebody in Sacramento, how do you plan to work with John Boehner and the others in Congress who are not willing to negotiate on immigration reform so that a comprehensive bill can pass both houses? What do they actually want to do? Specifics, not talking points, not names, none of that, specifics. We want specifics.

KELLY: Tell these people to go on Facebook. We are partnering with them on this debate. And we want to ask you for questions. These are great questions. Jose, thank you.

VARGAS: Thank you, Megyn for having me. I really appreciate it.

KELLY: Always good to see you.

Well, no matter how good these candidates are in the issues, history has proven that the real make or break moments in these moments come out of the blue. Dana Perino is next with her advice for the folks taking the stage, the things they need to do, and not do to ensure success, next.


KELLY: With less than 24 hours to go until tomorrow's main event, the candidates could use whatever last minute advice they could get before taking the stage here in Cleveland. Who better to help them out than a Former White House Press Secretary? Here with her list of dos and don'ts for the debate, Dana Perino, the Co-host of the Five and Author of, and The Good News Is. They could do much worse than to take Dana's advice before they go out there tomorrow night. All right, tick through a couple of your top points on the do's list for us.

DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, a lot of what I have to say isn't suggesting the points that they should make or how they should actually say something. A lot of it is all about the non-verbal cues. So first of all, you have to remember that you're on camera at all times. So that means at all times. So there's no -- don't fidget, don't pick -- there's all sorts of things you can do to distract...

KELLY: Pick your what? They shouldn't be picking anything. Don't pick a thing.


PERINO: Nothing. Ok, everything is on camera. I don't even know if there's a side view there. I also think it's very important that you have to figure out a way to stick the landing. What I mean by that is you have to know how you're going to end a sentence. If you're on an elevator pitch you can't trail off at the end and say you know, etc, etc. You actually have to say something with a period at the end of the sentence.

KELLY: There are so many gymnastics references. Stick the landing, in a debate prep where we're talking about the dismount from our questions, like we need a different dismount. I don't know how it's going to go tomorrow. We'll be doing back flips at the end. All right, so non-verbal behavior is very important. And you pointed -- when we talked before to George W. Bush in 2000. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But can you get things done? And I believe I can.


PERINO: I loved it. I loved it. In 2000, I was a supporter of George W. Bush. I hadn't even met him yet. And I remember watching that, I remember that moment and thinking he just owned that. He didn't have to say a word. He said get out of my face, I can handle this. And the other thing is they knew that Al Gore was what they called a space invader. So it's not a moment you can practice. But he wasn't surprised that Al Gore tried to get into his space.

KELLY: That's fascinating. I've had some of those in my life and it's like really? You're in my personal space -- the cone, get out of the cone.


PERINO: Sometimes you don't have to respond to every jab. You can just have like a little look or something like what's wrong with you.

KELLY: Now unfortunately, Bush the elder made a big mistake. And to your point if you're always on camera, what did he do?

PERINO: Well, he didn't even realize that he did -- back in the day when people didn't have iPhone's and they actually had watches. People had a habit of looking at their watch all the time. He's in the middle of the debate, his opponent is droning on and on, and he takes a quick look, and he didn't even know that it was a problem. So afterwards, his staff said oh, it wasn't good you looked at your watch. What do you mean I looked at my watch? But it became a moment of -- you can't do that because it looks like you're uninterested and you just want to get out of there.

KELLY: What's the worst thing they can do tomorrow?

PERINO: I think that -- one of the things I wrote was don't get a fake tan or use bronzer that will make you look unnatural. It's not the most important thing, but I think it is kind of important and I hope that they listen to me. They have to figure out a way to have a moment. So they can't go in there with five to six goals. You need two to three goals. If you can get two, that's great.

KELLY: Yeah, the bronzer. Somehow I can't see like Jeb Bush lying in the tanning bed, but I could be crazy about that, great to see you, Dana.


KELLY: She'll be with us, we'll be right back.


KELLY: So this is it, right in this arena tomorrow night it starts at 8:50 actually. Bret, Chris and I will be up on that stage at the anchor desk and all the candidates will be right in front of us. We'll face off.  We hope you'll join us. See you tomorrow, 9:00 p.m.

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