Exclusive: Rick Perry explains dropping out of 2016 race on 'Hannity'

Former Texas governor goes on 'Hannity' to reveal how he came to the decision


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 14, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." Tonight, Donald Trump draws a massive crowd at a campaign event in Dallas, Texas. We're going to have highlights in just a minute.

But first, in the 2016 race for the White House, outsider candidates continue to surge in the polls. And standing by tonight at the "Hannity" big board is "Fox & Friends First" co-host Ainsley Earhardt. It's amazing!

AINSLEY EARHARDT, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS FIRST": It's getting very interesting now, Sean. Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson are really starting to pull away from the rest of the Republican presidential field. A new ABC News/Washington Post national poll has Trump leading the way with 33 percent. Dr. Carson comes in second with 20 percent. That is a sizable lead over Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, who all registered in the single digits.

Now, Sean, the same poll brings more good news for Donald Trump. The Republican front-runner is closing in on Hillary Clinton now. In a head- to-head matchup, Clinton has just a 3-point advantage over Donald Trump among registered voters. The result, 46 to 43 percent, as you can see.

Also tonight, Sean, we have new numbers out of New Hampshire showing voters are continuing to lean toward the outsider candidates. A new Monmouth University poll shows Donald Trump leading the way in the Granite State with 28 percent. Dr. Ben Carson is in second place with 17 percent.  Ohio governor John Kasich comes in third and is followed by two other outsider candidates, Senator Ted Cruz, who's known for taking on his own party, and then former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

But Sean, for now, it seems that voters -- they really want a candidate who doesn't have close ties to the Washington establishment. So we're going to see if this trend continues. I'll keep you posted.

HANNITY: Two outsiders with over 50 percent of Republican support at this stage. Pretty amazing. All right, thank you, Ainsley. Appreciate it.

And earlier tonight, Donald Trump had a huge rally in Dallas. Here's some of the highlights.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You notice what's missing tonight? Teleprompters!


TRUMP: No teleprompters.

The polls come out, and we're really killing it. We are killing it!


TRUMP: But we're going to have so many victories and they're going to be great victories, and we're going to have them all the time because we have an amazing country. We have a country that is dying -- they just want to have victory. We don't have wins anymore. We don't have it.

Remember, do you want a rock star? Do you want a -- he's not a rock star. We have an incompetent president. This is not a rock star.


TRUMP: We have a president that doesn't know what the hell he's doing!



HANNITY: Now, also, Donald Trump's rivals continue to go after him.  Now, last week, the Republican front-runner made headlines for a comment that he made about Carly Fiorina and her appearance, saying that the former Hewlett-Packard CEO doesn't look presidential. Now, Trump did clarify his comments, saying that he was talking about her persona, not her looks.

At first, Fiorina just brushed off the comments, but a super-PAC supporting her candidacy has put out this ad. Take a look.




FIORINA: And look at all of your faces. The face of leadership.  Ladies, note to Democrat Party. We are not a special interest group. We are the majority of the nation.


FIORINA: This is the face of a 61-year-old woman. I am proud of every year and every wrinkle!



HANNITY: Here with reaction, senior editor at NationalReview.com Jonah Goldberg, and from The Washington Times, Charles Hurt. Guys, good to see you.

All right, I'm making a prediction. I think it's pretty simple. I think you're going to see almost every candidate, because of these surging numbers that are sustained, Jonah -- it looks like we've got a lot of battles lining up here. Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson. What do you think? Is that a preview of coming attractions for Wednesday?

JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW: Oh, I think a lot of these guys and gal understand that it's coming up on crunch time to get attention. You know, Donald Trump has sucked out a lot of oxygen, a lot of media time from the rest of them. And they want to get on the board. They want the get noticed. You saw Bobby Jindal with his Hail Mary pass criticizing Donald Trump. And I think we're going to see more of it.

HANNITY: Yes. Let me play the back and forth between Ben Carson and Donald Trump from earlier this weekend. Charles, take a look at this.


TRUMP: I don't think Ben has the energy. Ben is a nice man, but when you're negotiating against China and you're negotiating against these Japanese guys that are going to come at you in waves, and they think we're all a bunch of jerks because our leaders are so stupid and so incompetent and so inept -- we need people that are really smart that have tremendous deal-making skills and that have great, great energy.

DR. BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, it doesn't bother me because I recognize I have plenty of energy -- you know, operating on people for 10, 12 sometimes greater than 20 hours at a time, making critical decisions after many hours of intense work...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But Dr. Carson, you...

CARSON: ... having unexpected situations come up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You -- you actually apologized...

CARSON: You don't have to be live (ph) to be energetic.


HANNITY: And Charles, let's assume that Carson and Fiorina and Jindal -- well, Jindal won't be in the main debate. But Jeb and Rand, all these guys decide it's time to go after Trump night. How does he respond most effectively? And are they running a risk by taking him on?

CHARLES HURT, WASHINGTON TIMES: Oh, I think they absolutely run a risk by taking him on, and...

HANNITY: But do they really? They're all in single digits. Why are they running a risk?

HURT: Well, exactly. They have very little -- very few chips to put on the table. But I mean, ask Rick Perry whether taking on Donald Trump is a good idea.

But quite frankly, I've sort of admired all along, been impressed by Donald Trump's sort of strategery (sic) thinking throughout all of this entire process. He's been very wily about who to go after and how to go after people.

And I actually think that this -- you know, this business of going after Carly Fiorina and going after Ben Carson -- I think that's the first major mistake that he has made. I don't think that -- and maybe it doesn't -- obviously, it doesn't reflect right now in the poll, but at long term, I think it's very unwise...

HANNITY: That's a good point.

HURT: ... for him to go after (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: And actually, Newt Gingrich made a -- had a similar bit of advice for him, to stay focused on the issues. Jonah, if he -- there's two ways I think he could go. If he hits the cadence and the tone and as measured as he was against Jorge Ramos, I think he wins. If he gets angry and lashes out and it gets personal, I'm not sure it works in his favor this time.

GOLDBERG: You know, look, I think that's right. I mean, I'm the first to concede, you know, I'm not a big fan of Donald Trump, he's defied the law, as -- it's the cliché now to say that he's defying the laws of political gravity. Well, there are other laws of gravity at work -- entertainment gravity.

It is entirely possible that if all he does is lash out and throw insults and sort of fakes his way through Bible verse questions and all the rest, that some people are going to say, Well, I've seen this show before.  It's getting old.

His best bet, if he can do it -- and I'm very skeptical -- if he can move to the substance and come in and show that he's done his homework, I think it would help him a lot. But that has not been his strategy so far.  It's been the Donald Trump show so far, and that could get old.

HANNITY: You know, I got to disagree a little bit, though, Jonah, because I've interviewed him a number of times. I asked him specifics. He gave, you know, his support for health care savings accounts with a lot of specificity, also on the economy, some questions I would ask him and dig down deep into some things. I think he's been more specific than people have given him credit for.

But yes, does he know everything about ISIS and ISIL and Sunni and Shia that everybody else that has been around politics for all these years knows? Probably not.

HURT: Yes, no, look, I would also argue that...


HURT: And I would also argue that the first big thing that he went after, which was the toughest problem Washington faces, which is immigration -- it's a very, very thorny issue. That -- that -- his plan for dealing with immigration was a very, very smart, sophisticated plan.

Obviously, people concentrate on, you know, building the wall and they make fun of that and whatever, but everything else in terms of internal enforcement and the touchback provisions -- all of the stuff that the media has ridiculed him about, they're wrong. It's actually...


GOLDBERG: Charlie, I agree with you entirely. It is a serious plan.  People can have disagreements about it and all the rest. But it's a serious plan. National Review said so. Lots of -- Mark Kerkorian (ph), lots of serious people have said so.

He does not talk about it with nearly the level of seriousness that is on the page. You know, he talks about how, We'll just let back the terrific ones in, and all that kind of stuff. He talk much better -- he writes a better game than he talks when it comes to serious public policy.

HANNITY: All right. We're going to let it go. A lot coming up.  Guys, thank you.

Coming up -- disastrous, I mean, horrific, scary poll numbers if you're a Clinton supporter. Bernie Sanders is now crushing her by double digits in both Iowa -- get this -- and he's up 22 points in New Hampshire.  Ainsley Earhardt has all the details. She's back with full report.

Plus, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is here to weigh in on the Clinton e-mail scandal as a new report reveals her server might not have been wiped clean.

And then late last week, former Texas governor Rick Perry announced he was dropping out of the 2016 race. Why did he do it? And who might he be supporting? We'll ask him those questions as he joins us tonight in an exclusive interview here on "Hannity."



HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Hillary Clinton was once thought of as the inevitable Democratic nominee for president, but tonight some shocking new poll numbers shows that Clinton's campaign could be in very serious trouble.

Back at the "Hannity" big board is "Fox & Friends First" co-host Ainsley Earhardt. These numbers are not good.

EARHARDT: Yes, they're not good at all, for Hillary at least. Sean, listen to this. After months of being mired in controversy, Hillary Clinton is now behind the self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie Sanders, by double digits in two key states. According to a new Yougov/CBS News poll, Sanders has opened up a 10-point lead over Hillary Clinton in Iowa. And that's not all. In New Hampshire, Sanders is now beating Clinton by a whopping 22 points.

This all comes as the scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton's private server continues to develop. Just last week, the Justice Department told a federal court that Clinton had the right to delete personal e-mails from her server.

However, according to The Washington Post, Platte River Networks, the tech company responsible for maintaining Clinton's personal server, indicated the server has not been wiped, meaning all of the e-mails that Hillary Clinton chose to delete can be retrieved.

Sean, interesting information. We'll see what they can find out.  Back to you.

HANNITY: Pretty interesting. We're following it. Thanks, Ainsley.

And joining us now with more reaction, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. All right, Sanders, the curmudgeon...


HANNITY: ... you know, cranky old 73-year-old socialist, up by 10 in Iowa, 22 in New Hampshire! And get this. Her support in The Washington Post/ABC poll has gone down 21 percent among Democrats to a low of 42 percent. What do you make of this?

RUDY GIULIANI, R-FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Well, what I make of it is that she's in serious trouble. And watching her campaign deal with it as a campaign issue, to me, as a person who's been a lawyer a lot longer than a politician, is a terrible mistake. Hillary needs a really good criminal lawyer.


GIULIANI: I mean, she is -- she...

HANNITY: This is important because I've been quoting...

GIULIANI: She's in serious jeopardy.

HANNITY: Explain.

GIULIANI: Well, there are any number of statutes that, if you take the facts as true -- and again, they may not be -- you would have a prima facie case. The whole UVS (ph) situation, conflict of interest, possible bribery, possible explanation for why she deleted the e-mails, which you could argue to a jury as an inference of guilty knowledge because if there's any communication between her and anyone from the Clinton -- Bill Clinton side, where they were getting $1.2 million in speaker's fees, $600,000 to then...

HANNITY: Foundation.

GIULIANI: ... to the foundation, then $30 million loan to the foundation, any connection at all, you got a bribery case.

But you got a conflict of interest case just to start. And you can use that wiping out of e-mails -- you would get a charge to the jury that that creates the possibility of an inference of guilty knowledge.

HANNITY: So this goes deeper than the Espionage Act. This goes deeper than inappropriate handling of classified materials.

GIULIANI: Well, there's also a statute that makes you responsible for grossly negligent handling of sensitive government information. Now, tell me that, from what we've heard, she wasn't grossly negligent...


HANNITY: ... in a bathroom of a mom and pop shop?

GIULIANI: That nobody's ever heard of.

HANNITY: Nobody's ever heard of.

GIULIANI: And that one is a -- that's a fairly small statute. I think that's a misdemeanor. But it's still a year or two in jail. Now, if you also find on that server, which apparently wasn't wiped out with a cloth, as Hillary said. or anything else, it wasn't...

HANNITY: You mean with a cloth?


GIULIANI: But if you find on there classified information, now you got some very serious...

HANNITY: Classified, or information she was hiding from the Benghazi Select Committee or information related to the Clinton Foundation.

GIULIANI: Then you have obstruction of justice. I mean, we can go on and on and on.

HANNITY: So talk about this because if the server company says it wasn't wiped clean, I got to believe forensics, computer forensics experts...

GIULIANI: Well, you got one or two possibilities, right?

HANNITY: ... at the FBI...

GIULIANI: It wasn't wiped clean and we're going to get it, or somebody else did. Who?

HANNITY: Russian. The Russians.

GIULIANI: Yeah, but who? But who wiped it clean? Who did it?

HANNITY: Well, that's the next question.

GIULIANI: Yes. And do the Russians, do the Chinese, do just hackers have a good many of these things? This is a story that has only begun.

HANNITY: But the odds of the Obama administration and the Justice Department indicting her are limited as they try to make a justification last week that it was OK that she had a private server for the first time.

GIULIANI: Well, first of all, all of this information is coming out of the Justice Department. Last time I checked, that's a President Obama agency. So this could be, you know, death by a thousand cuts.

HANNITY: Well, we're already beginning to see the signs of it. She's down 10 in Iowa. She's down 22 in New Hampshire. If she lost those back- to-back to Bernie Sanders, it would be huge news. On top of that, her support for (sic) women has literally dropped to 31 percent. She's losing in head-to-head matchups against Donald Trump. So obviously, this is now impacting the campaign.

GIULIANI: There's no question about it. And you can't run away from it. She has given no coherent explanation of it. In fact, as we've talked about on this show, she has given several contradictory explanations of it.  And that's the worst possible thing you can do from a political point of view.

From a legal point of view, all those things can be used against you, if you ever end up being a defendant in court, as prior contradictory statements.

HANNITY: Do you suspect Biden, do you suspect Al Gore maybe or John Kerry or any other -- maybe Elizabeth Warren -- who do you think gets in the race? Who could fill that void?

GIULIANI: Well, I would say Biden and Kerry are sitting in the wings and thinking about it. You can tell -- Biden seems conflicted somewhat.


GIULIANI: But you can hear a candidate sometimes when you hear Joe.  And then sometimes, you can hear a guy who...

HANNITY: Would he be a good candidate? Hasn't been in the past.

GIULIANI: I don't know. This is a new time, a new kind of election...

HANNITY: Really is.

GIULIANI: ... with new rules. And I don't think any of us understand them yet.

HANNITY: Because 72 percent of Americans believe politicians cannot be trusted and that Washington's dysfunctional

Do you think, as somebody that knows Trump better than anybody, because he's flourishing in these polls, big debate this week -- do you think he could go all the way?


HANNITY: And win?

GIULIANI: I'm not going to tell you he will go all the way...

HANNITY: But he can.

GIULIANI: I mean, it could still be possible that Bush could...

HANNITY: Or anyone else, right?

GIULIANI: ... pull it together, or Rubio or Chris Christie could pull it all together.


GIULIANI: I know you say no, but I...


HANNITY: Some, I don't think so.

GIULIANI: I see Chris as a strong candidate in New Hampshire.


GIULIANI: However, the idea that you discount them...

HANNITY: I'm not discounting anybody.

GIULIANI: ... or anybody discounting them, not being able -- and the idea that he's not substantively solid is wrong. When you see him questioned on issues, he knows as much about them...

HANNITY: I can tell you...

GIULIANI: ... as everyone else.


HANNITY: He answers substantively, you're right.

GIULIANI: Well, and then you see him on Jimmy Fallon. He knows how to make fun of himself.

HANNITY: He's funny.

GIULIANI: And I also think, don't discount Ben Carson. That's sort of the anti-Trump outsider.

HANNITY: Yes, that's true!

GIULIANI: Like two polar opposites.

HANNITY: They take over 50 percent of the...

GIULIANI: Here's what they share in common...

HANNITY: Outsiders.

GIULIANI: ... just exactly what you said -- outsiders, no Washington dirt on their hands, a new approach. And both of them have the tendency to speak honestly to people and...


HANNITY: Yes. All right, Mr. Mayor, good to see you.

GIULIANI: Thank you.

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


CARSON: We have to be extra cautious. You know, we need to tighten it up and be very careful because we cannot put our people at risk because we're trying to be politically correct.


HANNITY: So as these immigrants from Syria and Iraq now this spirals out of control, this whole crisis, should America be responsible for taking in tens of thousands of refugees even though our intelligence agency says, Hey, guess what? ISIS and al Qaeda might infiltrate the refugee population.

That and much more. And former governor Rick Perry will join us to explain why he dropped out of the 2016 race. And is he ready to make an endorsement?

That's coming up right here on "Hannity."



RICK PERRY, R-FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: Today, I'm suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.

We have a tremendous field of candidates, probably the greatest group of men and women. I step aside knowing our party's in good hands as long as we listen to the grass roots, listen to that cause of conservatism. If we do that, then our party will be in good hands.


HANNITY: All right, that was former Texas governor Rick Perry on Friday announcing he's suspending his presidential campaign. He joins us now in a "Hannity" exclusive to explain why he ended his run for the White House, former Texas governor Rick Perry.

Governor, welcome back. Good to see you.

PERRY: Good to be with you, Sean.

HANNITY: I will say this. I always thought you were a great candidate. I thought your record in Texas was as appealing -- and I just - - I'm really surprised, to be honest. Are you surprised?

PERRY: Well, we think we have a great record, as well. And I think when people take a look at it -- but we knew this was going to be a tough race. There was what, upwards of 17 people in it.

But we knew early on that there were two things that we had to take care of, two things that needed to go away, if you will, and another thing that needed to happen. One of those was the indictment, this indictment by the Travis County district attorney's office, this drunk DA that had used this office, we think, for political purposes, and did the same thing to Tom Delay, lasted 10 years and had a real corrosive effect on our ability to raise money.

The other thing that we knew had to happen was we needed to be on the main debate stage on August the 6th. We missed it by just a few percentages of one point. So when those two things didn't happen, it had a very negative impact on our fund-raising through the summer. And it's kind of like flying an aircraft when you run into unexpected headwinds, you better find a safe place to land. And that's exactly what we did last Friday.

HANNITY: A lot of other candidates, though, have billionaire backers.  You didn't have a billionaire backer?

PERRY: Well, the bottom line is that these campaigns, you have to have the dollars to be able to run a staff. You have to be able to keep your offices open and pay for the travel that you do. And either you're a billionaire or you have a billionaire backer.

And you know, the real issue for us was that we ran into those headwinds with this indictment and not being on that main debate stage.  Those are two very powerful impacts that we had to deal with.

HANNITY: It's very dangerous because, you're right, I watched Tom Delay's case very closely, 10 years, nearly bankrupted him. If it didn't - - I don't know the status of his personal finances. But we seem to be criminalizing political differences here. And I thought the indictment was unfair. What's the status of it now?

PERRY: Well, one of the charges was thrown out and the other one's, you know, kind of hanging around. We full well expect for these things to go away. But the political opponents, they did their damage. They let that be a very corrosive effect on the process.

And I agree with you, I think that the American people, and certainly the people of the state of Texas, need to be very, very concerned when a governor doing their constitutional duty of vetoing gets criminalized for that. You know, people don't understand that. People shouldn't understand that. And we, as Americans, need to get back to -- government needs to be fearing the people, not the other way around.

HANNITY: Well, there's a Washington Post/ABC News poll out today, and it shows that 72 percent of Americans think the politicians cannot be trusted. Fully two-thirds think that Washington, D.C., government is dysfunctional. I agree on both points.

You talked about a grass roots conservative candidate. Are you willing to step out and say who might fit into that category at this point?

PERRY: It's way too early. We've got a lot of vetting to do. And we've got to get away from all of this hot rhetoric. We got to get into talking about solutions. And that's one of my great concerns is that, you know, this has become reality TV, rather than really serious.

When you look at our party, the party of Lincoln, the party of Reagan -- these were people who were great individuals, but their ideas are what live. Their ideas are what we grasp as Republicans.

And we've got to get back to that and have our candidates talking about really big ideas, big ideas like race and poverty that I talked about, big ideas about how to secure the border, and not just rhetoric.  And all too often, we hear rhetoric. We don't hear real solutions.

HANNITY: The two leading candidates for the Republican nomination now, both have no political experience, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. I know that Donald Trump and you had a back and forth a little bit during this campaign. He then tweeted out, when you got out, he said that you're a terrific guy. "I wish him well. I know he'll have a great future."

What does that tell you when over 50 percent of Republican voters are going for an outsider right now?

PERRY: Well, it tells me that Donald Trump got that right when he talked about...

HANNITY: You being a terrific guy.

PERRY: ... when he talked about Rick Perry...


PERRY: Yes, sir, I agree with him.

HANNITY: The fight's over, right? Well, you also...

PERRY: Well, listen...

HANNITY: But you talked about...

PERRY: ... this never was a fight. This was about -- this was about issues. This was about tone. This was about -- I just think it's really not in the Republican Party's best interests for us to be using rhetoric that is so inflammatory, so hot --

HANNITY: Are you talking about Trump, though? I mean, it sounds like you're talking about --

PERRY: I am.

HANNITY: Do you think he's bad for the party? You don't think he's a conservative? What is your criticism?

PERRY: I laid it out I think very clearly is that the conservative principles is what the Republican Party has been about, those conservative principles that allowed minorities in Texas, whether you're African- American or Hispanic, to get ahead because you got to keep more of what you worked for. We went to the second highest high school graduation rates in the country over the last decade. We put regulatory and legal policies in place that allowed for the most dynamic job creation environment in America. That's what I'm talking about. We need to have conservative principles, not hot rhetoric.

   And all too often we heard this rhetoric out of Donald Trump that was very offensive to individuals. We need to be bringing people to the Republican Party who believe that there our principles. One of the things, I've been in politics for 30 years, but I will give you my read on that and a lot of people in the state of Texas unquestionably, we've pushed back on Washington, D.C. Nobody fought Washington any harder than I did. But Donald Trump's bullets going through Washington went through and hit people like myself, hit people like all of the governors that are on the stage, for instance.         I don't believe this is the only profession in the world that your experience ought to be held against you. I think it matters to have really good, qualified individuals who have a record of success. Now Washington, that's a different deal.

HANNITY: I agree with you.

PERRY: We do need to blow that place up figuratively.

HANNITY: I have said many times there's a difference between the Republican conservative governors and what these Republicans in D.C. are doing by capitulating and afraid of their own shadows that they'll be blamed for a government shutdown.

   As you leave this part of the race, I assume we'll hear from you as the process unfolds. You do have a lot to be proud of, including the best job creation record in the country during the Obama years in Texas. And we wish you well, governor. Hope you come on often.

PERRY: We will, Sean. God bless you and thank you for what you do for the Republicans and for the conservative effort out there.

HANNITY: I appreciate it, governor, thank you.

And coming up, Middle East refugee crisis continues to spiral way out of control. It has now become a hot button topic on the campaign trail.  Should the United States be welcoming in these immigrants with open arms, especially when our intelligence community is saying that ISIS and Al Qaeda might infiltrate the refugee community? Andrea Tantaros is here tonight to weigh in.

Then later tonight --


CARSON: There's no question that the GOP has a very excellent opportunity by paying attention to some of the communities that they have neglected.


HANNITY: Ben Carson's rise in the polls. Why aren't voters drawn to outsider candidates? That and more as “Hannity” continues.      

HANNITY: Welcome back to “Hannity.” The refugee crisis in Europe is now spiraling out of control. And after accepting over 40,000 refugees this weekend along, German is now close to reaching its limit. This news comes after the administration announced late last week that the U.S. in fact will accept 10,000 refugees. This migrant crisis has now become a huge topic on the campaign trail. Watch this.


TRUMP: Europe is handling it.  Germany has been very generous so far, which is very surprising to me, to be honest with you.

CARSON: We cannot put our people at risk because we're trying to be politically correct.

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We should do our part as should the Europeans, but this is a broader, global crisis.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We do have to be careful with this. And we should have a warm and welcoming heart, but we also just can't accept the whole world to come here either.

CARLY FIORINA, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The United States honestly, sadly, cannot relax our entrance criteria. I mean, we are having to be very careful about who we let enter this country.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know see how we can lead the free world and turn our back on people who are seeking it. We should take the Statue of Liberty and tear it down.


HANNITY: Joining us with reaction is former deputy national security adviser for the Clinton administration, Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, and the co-host of "Outnumbered" Andrea Tantaros. Nancy, let me start with a simple question. The State Department and intelligence agencies have stated, quote, that they believe that ISIS and Al Qaeda will attempt to infiltrate the refugee population in an attempt to get to both Europe and here. That means the likelihood is that they very well could get here. Why would we take one person and put one American at risk based on what they're telling us is likely to happen?

AMBASSADOR NANCY SODERBERG, FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT: Well, first of all, they're already doing that. We've had them trying to get Americans to go over there, some Americans have gone over there. The issue of the refugees, you have to remember, we have the best screening process in the world. And I am confident that as we let these refugees into this country --

HANNITY: You're confident of that, but I can tell you that -- you can say that, but we've had refugees before. For example, we took Uzbeks into Boise, Idaho, and in fact some of them were terrorists. Excuse me, but my own question is considering they probably have very little documentation, probably don't have a driver's license, probably don't have a birth certificate, when you look somebody in the eye and you ask them are you a terrorist, are you sympathizing with ISIS and Al Qaeda?


SODERBERG: Sean, we know better than that. We have decades of experience in doing this. Look, I've called this for years. We can go in and look at their background, where they're from. We're good at it. And the bigger question here is --

HANNITY: No, I like my question. Answer it.

SODERBERG: I did answer your question. We can screen it and make sure that doesn't happen.

HANNITY: Can you say with 100, here's my question.

SODERBERG: You can never answer any question with 100 percent. The bigger question is --

HANNITY: Can you say with 100 percent certainty that you can filter out any infiltration of ISIS and Al Qaeda from the refugee population?

SODERBERG: I'm confident that we can filter out ISIS from these groups.

HANNITY: That's 100 percent?

SODERBERG: Yes. I am sure that we can make that we are not letting ISIS into this country.

HANNITY: Andrea, do you think we can?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST, “OUTNUMBERED”: No, I don't. Why would I trust the federal government with anything? They can't keep data records straight.  They say that they could verify the Tsarnaev brothers, that slipped through the cracks. You look, there has been a consistent failure time and again by this administration and past administrations. Big government doesn't do the screening well. And Sean, they even said it would take about two years to vet one of these refugees to figure out their background. So no, I don't trust, nobody one --

SODERBERG: Sean, let me jump in --

HANNITY: I always do not trust that it will only be 10,000 refugees.  And by the way --

HANNITY: Yes, 10,000 is the beginning of 200,000.

TANTAROS: That's right.

SODERBERG: I don't agree with that.

TANTAROS: This is not our problem to fix. But what makes sense to me is that we have an administration currently that is calling out the Russians for aiding Assad in fighting ISIS. OK, if Assad leaves Syria, who takes over? ISIS. Have we lost our mind in Washington, D.C.?

HANNITY: I have one last question. Nancy, we have 94 million Americans out of the labor force, 50 million Americans in poverty, and 46 million Americans on food stamps. We're going to absorb a population where, according to an article that came out last week, 91 percent become government dependent when they come from these countries as refugees. How do you justify the job competition? How do you justify when we can't even take care of Americans right now because of the amount of money it costs?

SODERBERG: That is exactly the wrong question. When we let refugees into this country, they don't become welfare. They become part of the major --

HANNITY: Not true.

SODERBERG: Steve jobs is --

TANTAROS: No, they don't. They don't assimilate. People that want to come here.

SODERBERG: I let you finish. And 40 percent of the fortune 500 companies are immigrants or sons and daughters of those immigrants. This is major crisis that we helped create. We're helping to solve it.

HANNITY: And if you're wrong, Americans can die, right? And if you're wrong --

SODERBERG: I am not wrong. And you're focusing on the wrong issue.  We can keep Americans safe.

HANNITY: No, I like my focus. My focus is the right thing.

SODERBERG: We have --

HANNITY: Wait a minute. As our national security --

SODERBERG: You might as well say Al Qaeda --

HANNITY: -- Americans will die, Nancy. That's just the facts.

SODERBERG: You have to be confident that we can do this right.

HANNITY: I'm not confident.

SODERBERG: And it's the right thing to do.

HANNITY: The same government that can't even set up a website and I should be confident of them? Really?

SODERBERG: Yes. These are --

HANNITY: Really?

SODERBERG: We know how to do this and we do it right and it's the right thing to do.

TANTAROS: We don't do it right. We don't do anything right. Taking Islamic refugees -- are they coming to your house, Nancy?

SODERBERG: You are --

HANNITY: Would you take --

SODERBERG: I have. I teach at the university where we take refugees every year.

TANTAROS: No, no, no, can they come live with you?

SODERBERG: They're the best students that we have.

TANTAROS: Are you volunteering -- you're not answering the question.  Can they come to your house and stay?

SODERBERG: That's not the question.

TANTAROS: No, that is a great question.

SODERBERG: The right way to do this and do we have the -- is it the right thing to do? And it is.

HANNITY: We got to go.

TANTAROS: This is a liberal household, the two-time Obama voters.  Will they take them? I guess not. Nancy didn't answer, so I guess she doesn't want refugees in her house.

SODERBERG: That's the wrong question.

HANNITY: I like the question. That's the right question.

HANNITY: Coming up, Dr. Ben Carson surging in the polls. Deneen Borelli, Juan Williams, Bo Dietl are here to explain why is he resonating with the voters so well, straight ahead.  


HANNITY: Lynyrd Skynyrd. Welcome back to “Hannity.” 2016 Republican presidential candidate and political outsider Dr. Ben Carson is seeing a meteoric rise in the polls over the weekend as he explained how he would deal with illegal immigration. Take a look.


CARSON: Until we seal our borders, everything else is irrelevant.  But let's say we get them sealed, because certainly in the Carson administration that would be done within this first year. You also turn off the spigot that dispenses the goodies so that people don't have any incentive to come here.

And then those who are here, we have to recognize that we can't just round them up. But we can give them an opportunity to register. I would give them a six-month period. And if they register and they have a pristine record, they haven't been causing problem, I would give them an opportunity to become guest workers.


HANNITY: Here now with reaction, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, Fox News contributor Deneen Borelli, and former NYPD detective Bo Dietl. Juan, what do you think about the rise of Ben Carson? Would you consider voting for him?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Yes, I certainly -- well, he's a friend, so yes. He's a guy I go to football games with, so I like him a lot. I must say, he said some things that I thought were really wild and wacky, you know, Obamacare is slavery, the whole thing about gay rights.

HANNITY: That is how I feel, because that's how I feel about most of what you say.  

WILLIAMS: OK, but I'm just saying I don't think you expect to vote for me for president. But I would vote for Ben because I like him so much.  But I like his heart. I'm not sure, like, when I just heard him talking about immigration which is the critical issue on the Republican side, and he says I'll give them the opportunity to register so that they can become legal workers or something. Well, he's got to make that promise up front if he expects anybody to actually follow through and register. Otherwise he's got the same problem that we have right now.

HANNITY: He just made the promise.

I am tired every election season the race card is played.  Republicans, Al Gore said, don't want to count you in the census. The James Byrd ad against George W. Bush. It's played all the time. I don't buy that false narrative. Does Dr. Benjamin Carson's rise in the polls, does it not show people that conservatives in fact are inclusive?

DENEEN BORELLI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: And conservatives have always been inclusive.

HANNITY: It's a false narrative.

BORELLI: Yes. You have the left that plays the race card every chance they get because it's a sign of desperation. But this is a great opportunity or Republican candidates to build a relationship with black voters and also establish that trust factor with them and also to point out the failures of progressive policy that have harmed urban communities over the years.

HANNITY: Democrats vote, black America votes 90 some odd percent Democrat. Would they vote for Ben Carson, the Democrats?

BORELLI: I hope they look at his story.

HANNITY: It's inspiring, isn't it?

BORELLI: It is. It's very inspiring because he grew up in a broken household. He is a great success story.

HANNITY: Agreed.

BO DIETL, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: You know, I am big Donald Trump guy, obviously, but I'll tell you what. I like listening to Dr. Carson. I could really vote for the guy. The guy really is very, very smart. And he hit upon things, he said if I was the president, the states in the cities would enact what they're supposed to be doing. In other words when we round up these people committing crimes you get them the hell out of here.  Also the fact that, let's face it. You can't look at all blacks and say they're going to be Democratic voters.  

HANNITY: The history is they get 90 percent of the Democratic vote, vote Democratic.

DIETL: Baltimore, Chicago, all these cities that are controlled by Democratic mayors and Democratic city council. And there's more African- American --

HANNITY: Tell Juan Williams that. Tell Juan.

WILLIAMS: I agree with Bo. Bo and I are on the same page. I have written books about it. I think it's not race. This is like the whole issue of why don't you see the NAACP civil rights leaders marching against the drug dealers, against the people with the guns shooting each other?

Let me just say with regard to that Dr. Carson, he said on this network on Sunday in a conversation with Howie Kurtz, he said, you know what, the Republican Party needs to do more in terms of outreach because they have a lot of opportunity --

HANNITY: It's a political answer.


BORELLI: -- to discuss the progressive policies, how they harm black communities, promote school choice, lower taxes, less regulations, which will promote job growth.

DIETL: My big thing is the crime in the black neighborhoods. These kids are dying, like that little girl in Ferguson. You know what, where is my black leaders? But the important thing here, Sean, is to do something.  Put programs into inner cities. Do something right. Just don't throw cheese to people and make them eat government cheese.

HANNITY: Government cheese.

DIETL: You've got to teach these kids a trade and make them something with responsibility.

HANNITY: Good to see you all.


HANNITY: Go, Bo, and look at Dr. Carson's numbers. They're amazing.

All right, when we come back, we need your help. Our "Question of the Day" is next, straight ahead.  


HANNITY: Welcome back to “Hannity.” Time for tonight's "Question of the Day." So which Republican rival do you think, based on the new polls, would pose the biggest threat to Donald Trump? Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity and let us know what you think.

That's all the time we have this evening. We hope you will set your DVR so you never miss an episode. We take attendance. We get very upset.  Thanks for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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