GOP race heats up ahead of CNN debate; Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and Mike Huckabee talk strategy

Presidential candidate speaks out on 'The Kelly File' about standing up for Carly Fiorina, low poll numbers


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

MEGYN KELLY, HOST, "THE KELLY FILE": Breaking tonight with less than 48 hours to go before the next big Republican presidential debate showdown.  The candidates are warning, expect the brawl vowing to take on the frontrunner head on.

Welcome to “The Kelly File,” everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. As the big debate nears new polling among registered Republican voters shows two candidates now hold more than 50 percent of support. Donald Trump at 33 percent followed by Dr. Ben Carson at 20 percent. No one else even hits the double digits with Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio rounding up the top five, all below ten percent. All five of them will be among the 11 people on the prime time debate stage Wednesday night and many are starting to acknowledge that they must do something to stand out. And they hope to take support away from the frontrunners.

Governor Scott Walker saying, quote, "I think we're going to step it up and be more aggressive this time. Senator Rand Paul telling the AP, "I am not going to sit quietly by and let the disaster that is Donald Trump become the nominee." And it goes on.


GOV. JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll campaign hard, if someone comes at me, bam, I'll come back at him.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But by the way, stay tuned on September 16th. We may be changing tactics. Oh, oh. He's going to go nuclear now.

CARLY FIORINA, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's important to draw a contrast between myself and Donald Trump I will, between myself and Jeb Bush, or Ben Carson or anyone else, I will.


KELLY: Tonight, we have three of the governors who will be on that debate stage. Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee. But we begin with Marc Thiessen, a Fox News contributor and former chief speech writer for President George W. Bush along with Howard Kurtz, host of Fox News' “Mediabuzz.”

All right. So, the latest polling shows Trump's higher than ever.  Ben Carson surging as well. And the stakes for this debate, Marc, are now very high as the candidates who remain below those two seem to see this as a big opportunity.

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It's a big opportunity and a big challenge for them. I mean, as you pointed out, Ben Carson and Donald Trump together have 53 percent of the vote. Jeb Bush and his ABC News poll has dropped down to eight percent, first time he's been below 10 percent in any of those polls. And all of the candidates combined, if you look at all those pictures that you had up on the screen before, of everybody but Ben Carson and Donald Trump, they're all at 41 percent together. So, this is a field where all the outsiders are doing well and the politicians are in single digits.

KELLY: Okay. But there is risk to these candidates, Marc, in attacking Donald Trump because he'll say just about anything in response.

THIESSEN: He will, absolutely. And we can see that just in the ugly attack he just had on Carly Fiorina, who has handled that with incredible class. I think she's poised to have a real breakout performance and she's a threat to Donald Trump because she's an outsider like Donald Trump and Ben Carson is. She's very affable. She did very well in the undercard debate and she actually took on Donald Trump in that debate but he wasn't on the stage to respond. This time he's going to be on the stage to respond. And we can see a back-and-forth between them. And she's smart.  He's going to have a hard time handling her and so, we'll see how she does.

KELLY: Ben Carson is a surgeon but she cuts with a surgeon's precision. And it will be interesting to see the two of them on a stage together.

Howie, we just thought a remarkable event with Donald Trump's speaking to 20,000 people in Dallas, Texas. Governor Scott Walker is coming up in a minute, he spoke tonight to a crowd of 110 people.

All right. And that underscores some of the problems that some of these other guys are facing in this race. However, you look at the screen, Fox News had it, CNN had it, Fox Business had it.


KELLY: MSNBC had it. Wall to wall. We broke away for O'Reilly but wall-to-wall coverage. It's a huge advantage for him.

KURTZ: And I can't defend it journalistically. Even Trump is now joking about her, every speech she gives is carried live. And the fact is the other candidates in this environment where it's all Trump all the time, not just on TV but in newspapers, websites, Twitter, you name it. Many of them are in a position of almost having to attack Trump just to get a little ink or air time. But there's a danger here. If creating a moment as we all talk about in the pregame chatter, if it feels false or artificial or staged, there can be backlash. You can't just go out there and insult Donald Trump, you have to wait for a natural moment when you can jab or count on something that he says.

KELLY: Uh-mm. And Marc, when you look at the polls, like the CNN polls that just came out, you can see such a difference between how the core of the GOP base feels about Donald Trump and the general electorate.  He is surging - I mean, the core of the GOP base is loving the man and when you take it to the general election, it's a very different story.

THIESSEN: It is a very different story. His numbers on honest and trustworthy are worse than Hillary Clinton's. She is seen as more honest and trustworthy than Donald Trump. So, with the general electorate, that's true. But interesting thing in that ABC News poll also found that he's effectively tied with Hillary Clinton in a one-on-one matchup. She has 46 percent, he has 43 percent. So, you know, the issue is usually in an election when a candidate like this is surging, when Howard Dean was surging back in 2004, eventually voters look and say, is this person electable, can we win with this candidate? And if Donald Trump is polling even with Hillary Clinton, then the electability factor might not be a negative against it.

KELLY: Uh-mm. We're going to get to this in our next segment with Governor Walker, Howie. But on the subject of electability, and you know, this is what we were asking the candidates about in the first round of questioning at the last GOP debate. The reason yours truly asked Donald Trump about his controversial comments on women, was because as I pointed out in the question, he is likely to face a female nominee across the aisle and Hillary Clinton is already saying that she would love to debate Donald Trump. And so, at what point do you think, if at all that weighs in with the Republican primary voters. So far they seem to like that rhetoric and it's not a deal breaker for them.

KURTZ: Well, it's one of the reasons it's interesting to see how Carly Fiorina does and how Trump handles jabs coming from a woman. But the thing is, as Trump has surge in the polls, a lot of the full match-ups, the hypothetical match-ups against Hillary now has him within a few points.  So, he has in a way a stronger argument if he holds up in this ruling process, then others might. But you know, the focus on this CNN debate, is going to be Trump versus whoever. As long as that whoever's name, Carly, Ben or Jeb --


KURTZ: Because for the moment, isn't that much -- the other candidates unless they take such a swing of Trump, its actual feisty cup maybe little blood.

KELLY: Do you agree with that Marc? Because these other --

THIESSEN: I don't.

KELLY: These other candidates seemed to be promising to get more air time. And you heard what Rand Paul said in particular.

THIESSEN: Yes. I'm not sure if I agree with Howie. Because, I mean, if you look at guy who surged out in the last debate, it was Ben Carson who he didn't take a jab at anybody. He was just Ben Carson. And he came out and he's running a positive optimistic hopeful campaign, he took a swipe at Donald Trump the other day and then he probably went home and prayed about it and decided it was a mistake and apologized. And he's at 20 percent.  He's at 20 percent. I think what these candidates need to do, they're going to look desperate, Rand Paul looks desperate when he attacks Donald Trump.

Bobby Jindal looks desperate when he attacks Donald Trump. These candidates have to be themselves. They have to make the case. You know, Jeb Bush has to say, here's my case for why I should be president, here's how I'm going to shake up Washington. Scott Walker, John Kasich, they have to be themselves and present an alternative vision that is appealing the way Ben Carson did or else they'll going to look desperate.

KELLY: It's going to be interesting to watch Trump and Carson in particular. Trump continued to attack Carson over the weekend suggesting that, he's worse than Jeb, like Ambien for insomnia. And then Carson came out on ABC and said, you don't have to be loud to be energetic. We shall see. We shall see.

KURTZ: He's an okay doctor.

KELLY: He's an okay doctor. Great to see you both.

THIESSEN: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Well, when Donald Trump last week attacked Carly Fiorina for her looks, Governor Scott Walker came to her defense and quickly. And he's with us tonight on the new twist in that fight.

Plus, Governor Chris Christie is just ahead to talk about the Wednesday showdown and a new show of support for him from a well-known beauty queen.

And then the court clerk who was locked up for refusing same-sex marriage licenses goes back to work today. We will ask Governor Mike Huckabee what he thinks about this. And why he thinks this was a case of criminalizing Christianity before Judge Andrew Napolitano explains why he thinks the Governor maybe dead wrong.


KIM DAVIS, ROWAN COUNTY CLERK: I'm here before you this morning with a seemingly impossible choice, my conscience or my ability to serve the people that I love. Obey God or a directive that forces me to disobey God.


KELLY: Breaking tonight, Carly Fiorina trying to turn the tables on Donald Trump. In two days, the pair will share a debate stage for the first time. Just last week, Trump attacked Carly's looks in a "Rolling Stone" article saying, quote, "Look at that face. Will anyone vote on that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?"

Now, Carly is firing back. Watch.


FIORINA: Ladies, look at this face and look at all of your faces, the face of leadership, the face of leadership in our party, the party of women's suffrage. This is the face of a 61-year-old woman I am proud of every year and every wrinkle.


KELLY: Governor Scott Walker. He came to Fiorina's defense last week and will be on that debate stage on Wednesday. Governor, good to see you tonight. And so, you came out with a tweet, you've done it before, and said Trump's personal attacks against Carly Fiorina are plain inappropriate and wrong, it's time for these shameless attacks to end. But they don't end, Trump has made similar comments in the past and he's made a lot of comments that people find incendiary. And yet, the American public, at least a good portion of them are embracing Donald Trump in a big way. Why?

GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think there's a sense of frustration with Washington and so they're looking for outside voices but in the end I think people don't want this out of the next president. What they want is someone who is going to stand up with real solutions and someone who has actually been tested. And that's the case I'm going to make on Wednesday, it's the case I'm going to make every day between now, and February 1st when the first caucus votes are cast.  And every day they're after and the way to the nomination.

Hopefully into the presidency and that is, if you want someone who has been tested, I've been tested unlike anybody else on that stage, if you want someone who is actually took on Washington, if you want to wreak havoc on Washington, we've actually got real solutions to do that. And I just believe in the American people. They want someone who is for something, not just against something and not just about personal attacks. I'm about moving this country forward.

KELLY: Why did you feel the need to speak out?  

WALKER: And that's like today I am talking about labor reform.

KELLY: I want to talk to you about that in a minute. Why did you feel the need to speak out?

WALKER: Well, I just think people are sick and tired of it. You can have your differences, you can make his case. Yes, stand up for whatever issues you want. I think that was part of the initial appeal, not just for him but for a couple of the other outsiders. Hey, there are people who've never been elected anything. Maybe they are saying things that people here in bars and restaurants across America. But I think the more people listen to this, the more they realized, this is not our party, this is not the country, this is certainly not the country I grew up in. People have clear differences of opinions but you don't have to trash talk other people to do it. You can stand up and lead. And that's where we're all about. We're all about lead.

KELLY: I know today, you got up and you made a bold proposal when it comes to labor, basically promising to do at the federal level, some of what you've done at the state level to get rid of the National Labor Relations Board and to make the entire country, a right to work country which would require the approval of Congress as opposed to just a state here, a state there. Of course the AFL-CIO came out and said his campaign is floundering so he does what he always does when he can't think of real solutions, he attacks workers. Your thoughts.

WALKER: Well, what I attacked was the big government union bosses.  And of course they're scared of this. They've been scared of this before.  Why? Because every time they tried to intimidate us, we didn't back down.  They sent in over 100,000 protesters and not keep by their capital, we didn't back down. They tried to recall me and my state senators, we didn't back down. They tried to make me want to attack targets last year in the real elect, we didn't back down. What they don't like about this is not just our ideas. They know that I won't back down and I'll actually deliver on this. And what they feel the big government union bosses, they feel they're threatened because I'll go after them and any politician that they have in their pocket.

KELLY: Yes. What about -- let's talk about the poll numbers.  Because they have fallen in your case. The latest Quinnipiac poll in Iowa put you at three percent, which is a 15-point drop in two months. Trump is at 27 percent. Monmouth in New Hampshire puts you at two percent. He's at 28 percent. You were 11 percent on a national basis early on, now you're at four percent. Is it time for a change in strategy?

WALKER: For us, four years ago at this point, in the late spring in the summer of 2011, my polls were so low, Time magazine called me, Deadman Walker. We came back and we won that recall election with more votes, more actual votes in a higher percentage that we did in November of 2010. Why?  Because we start to work, we actually talked about common sense conservative forms and then we show that they worked. I believe that if Americans want someone who can fight and win, get results and do it without compromising. Yes, these other guys are interesting right now but in the end I think people are going to come back to proven results. People can actually lead and that's what we show in Wisconsin, we can do it in -- Wisconsin, we can do it in Washington.

KELLY: Need a quick answer because we're almost out of time. But what's your debate strategy for Wednesday quickly?

WALKER: Be aggressive. Show passion, show the kind of energy that got to us that recall victory in Wisconsin. If we can do that, we can win in Washington.

KELLY: Governor, it's great to see you.

WALKER: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: Well, the Miss America pageant went political when one contestant attacked Donald Trump last night and praised Governor Chris Christie. Governor Christie joined us next because we told him we were going to talk about that with his plan for Wednesday night.

Plus, we'll speak with the man who just wrote a new book on Donald Trump.

Also, Dr. Phil is here on the shocking story of the former Olympian turned escort. The latest in the Baltimore six trial and why he thinks American voters are so angry with the folks in Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are not dumb. They remember that and it doesn't happen. They are sick to death of it. And so they say, look, stop a car, go out on a highway and stop a car and put that sons bitch in charge. You would have a better shot.



ANNOUNCER: From the World Headquarters of Fox News, it's the KELLY FILE with Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: Breaking tonight with a series of new polls showing Trump continuing to do well in early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa.  The question of the week becomes what to expect from the debate this Wednesday night. In a moment, we will put that question to presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

But first, the man who just wrote a new book on Donald Trump, Michael D'Antonio, the author of "Never Enough," the aptly name, "Never Enough."  Michael, great to see you tonight. You spent a long time studying Donald Trump, you spent over ten hours interviewing, you interviewed his children.  Yes, it's an unauthorized biography because ultimately he decided he had enough of you. What is your overall, give us your summary of who you think he is.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR, "NEVER ENOUGH": Well, he had enough of me because I spoke with someone he didn't approve of. So, it wasn't you. So, we know that I was safe there. He's a person who is authentically himself and I think this is the thing that captures people. It's not necessarily what he says but how he says it. And he spent his entire life developing this persona that is now who he is.

KELLY: You talk in the book about how he is a very positive thinker.  I mean, we see that. That is to his credit, no?

D'ANTONIO: It is. It's the Norman Vincent Peale, "The Power of Positive Thinking." And although Dr. Peale had some deficiencies when it came to theology, he was a great positive psychologist. So, he promoted, put yourself out there, claim what's yours and go for it. And Donald certainly does that.

KELLY: How do you square that with your other conclusion, which is he likes to play the victim.

D'ANTONIO: Well, you know, I think he sees everything in personal terms, so if you can test something with him, if you ask him a tough question, if you are want something that he wants, he takes it personally.  So, as he told me, I fight back ten times harder than someone who attacks me.

KELLY: Uh-mm.

D'ANTONIO: So, it's both positive where he is concerned but also very negative where anybody who opposes him maybe this time.

KELLY: Even when it's just a perceived attack and not an actual one.

D'ANTONIO: Absolutely.

KELLY: Finally, I just think what's interesting, you said, don't be fooled, Donald Trump does have a big heart and you told some lovely stories about the charitable work he's done and the help he's given to others.

D'ANTONIO: He does. He's a personally kind man. He was very gracious with me. You have to like him when you're in his presence alone.  He's extremely charming. The American people will have to decide if he adds up to a president for them, though.

KELLY: Michael, great to see you. Thank you for being here.

D'ANTONIO: Thank you.

KELLY: Well, the candidates aren't the only ones attacking Trump these days. At last night's Miss America pageant, Miss Alabama took a shot at the Republican front-runner while sharing some phrase for a couple of his rivals. Watch.


MEG MCGUFFIN, MISS ALABAMA: I think Donald Trump is an entertainer and I think he says what's in a lot of people's mind. But I think that the Republican Party should be absolutely terrified of all the attention that he is taking from incredible candidates like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, who could absolutely do the job of president of the United States.


KELLY: Joining me now, presidential candidate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is now officially just offer her an invitation to move to New Jersey.

CHRISTIE: Sweet home Alabama.


KELLY: Does she raise a good point that she talked about the attention he is taking from other candidates to her is terrifying?

CHRISTIE: Well, I don't know if it's terrifying. The fact is, that's one of the things that Donald has always been very good at. But the fact is that that we have to do the job. We have to do the job to make sure that people hear our voices.

KELLY: You need to be more exciting and then we would cover you more.

CHRISTIE: Well, I don't know about that. But I think right now what we need to do is to make sure that we have given people exactly what we want to do for this country and to let them know how frustrated we are, too, by the way the government is failing them. And it will come around.

KELLY: Uh-mm. If you want to talk about, you know, wall-to-wall coverage, presidential candidate, you refer her to MSNBC, back and during the Bridgegate --


KELLY: I mean, not even Trump could get beat with you on that.

CHRISTIE: Not I would say, I would beat even Trump then. Absolutely.

KELLY: All right. Let's talk about, I asked Scott Walker about the polls, your polls not that great either. Right now the latest ABC News poll puts you at one percent. You were at three percent in July. And the Monmouth New Hampshire poll puts you down at two percent. Trump has 28 percent. Why would voters think you can still make it?

CHRISTIE: Well, because it's September, Megyn and the election is not held tomorrow and we have campaigns for a reason. You know, we have all this time to campaign so that people can really evaluate you. And the fact is, I don't worry about that stuff. I really don't.

KELLY: How do you overcome that deficit?

CHRISTIE: Well, let's say. Where was Ben Carson four weeks ago? He was in single digits. Now he's in the 20s. How did that happen?

KELLY: The debate a lot of people believe.

CHRISTIE: Well, okay, so we have another one that's coming Wednesday night, I'll have another one in October, and we'll have another one in November. And we'll have two in December --

KELLY: You'll have in January --

CHRISTIE: Right. So, the point is that there's lots of opportunities. And I could tell you from campaigning a lot in New Hampshire and in Iowa, that those folks are not even close to making up their minds.

KELLY: Really?

CHRISTIE: Oh, absolutely.

KELLY: Then why do you think the numbers are so high in favor of Trump and Carson and sort of the outsider --

CHRISTIE: Well, you ask people today. The other thing you have to look at in those polls is that they ask people, have they definitely made up their mind?

KELLY: Uh-mm.

CHRISTIE: And you have about less than a quarter of those people, most of those polls say they definitely made up their minds, which means 75 percent of the electorate is still up for grabs. That's pretty good.

KELLY: Uh-mm. So knowing all that, and understanding what happened with Carson in the last debate, what is your debate strategy this time around?

CHRISTIE: Be myself. I mean, you know, I think if you try to hard, people see that. That's not what they want in a leader. What they want in a leader is somebody who is strong and knows who they are and hear. And that's what exactly I'll show people on Wednesday night.

KELLY: Here's a tough question for you. Some of the GOP candidates got hit the last time in the press after the debate because Donald Trump said some things that many found offensive and they said, why didn't the other GOP candidates stand-up and say, you know, what, that's not appropriate. Would you do that? Do you think that's fair to put the burden on the other candidates to call out a candidate on the stage for an answer that's inappropriate?

CHRISTIE: Life isn't fair. Okay. So, we have to worry about what's fair and what's not fair. Here is what it is, if I feel like there's something I want to say, you know me, I've never hesitated for a moment to say it.

KELLY: Uh-mm.

CHRISTIE: And if there's something I need to say on Wednesday night, I will say it. But we're also running for president of the United States and I think people want to hear about our ideas for the country's future.  And not just getting the food fight, like I've watched this Jeb Bush, you know, Donald Trump food fight. Let me cool on something, nobody cares.

KELLY: About their food fight?


KELLY: Why not? What do you mean?

CHRISTIE: Nobody cares about that. Do you think anybody around the country, who is middle class family sitting around the kitchen table tonight worrying about how they're going to pay for their kids' college?  How are they going to --

KELLY: Well, but the exact one candidate or the other, they want to see how he's doing. I mean, what the conventional wisdom was Trump was hurting Jeb with that low energy thing and he needed to fight back.  

CHRISTIE: They want to see what they're going to do for the country, not should Jeb be speaking Spanish and is he low energy --  

KELLY: Uh-mm.

CHRISTIE: -- and is Donald said nice things about Hillary Clinton or not at one point in his life in vice versa.

KELLY: Let me challenge you on that. If they want to hear all about that, then why would we put on, you know, something with Jeb Bush talking about the economy or Scott Walker talking about labor unions, why doesn't anybody watch that?

CHRISTIE: Well, it may be that they just don't agree with or like what they're hearing from those candidates.

KELLY: Right. We have to put on more Chris Christie talking about --  

CHRISTIE: Well, that's exactly right. Your ratings will go through the roof.


Skyrocketing. Skyrocketing. You want ratings? Christie's ratings.  Ratings, Megyn --

KELLY: Governor, it's fun.

CHRISTIE: -- total ratings. Big, very big. How's that? Is that good.


KELLY: Thank you, sir.

CHRISTIE: Good to be here, Megyn. Thank you very much.

KELLY: Well, one of the most controversial women in the country is back at it today. As the court clerk who refuge marriage licenses for same sex couples insists she is not changing her ways. Governor Mike Huckabee is next on Kim Davis, the constitution and his role in the race for President.

Plus, Dr. Phil is here on the increasingly angry American electorate, what is going on in his personal life, and his unbelievable interview with the mother, wife and former Olympian, who was leading a double life as a Vegas escort.


DR. PHIL MCGRAW, PSYCHOLOGIST: So if you were with somebody for an hour, you would get 600 bucks, two hours, $1,000.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And many times huge amounts of tips.  




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to have this conflict. I don't want to be in the spotlight, and I certainly don't want to be a whipping post. I am no hero. I'm just a person that's been transformed by the grace of god and who wants to work, be with my family. I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience.


KELLY: Well, that was a defiant Kim Davis, the small county clerk in Kentucky returning to her job today with a message for her critics after being arrested for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ms. Davis is now declaring that she will not sign off on any of those licenses going forward, but she will allow her deputy to issue licenses that she claims are "unauthorized." Joining me now, Republican Presidential Candidate and Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, he today argued that the Davis Case shows "How our constitution is being shredded," and believes that this very case embodies an assault, a criminalization -- you called it of Christianity. And yet the other side says the law is the law, and you're on the wrong side of it. Even our last guess, Governor Chris Christie thinks that.

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know I understand a lot of people disagree, but if this decision had gone the other way and the Supreme Court had voted five to four, the narrowest of margins, very divided that marriage was exactly what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said it was less than four years ago, a man and a woman. I'm going to ask you something, do you think that the left and all the advocates for same- sex marriage would have said, hey, that's it, that's the law of the land, we're just going to let it go and we'll never bring it up again.

KELLY: They'd have to push for change through the legal process as they've been doing for the better part of the last decade.

HUCKABEE: What about the legislative process. Isn't that how political change is supposed to happen, we do it legislatively?


KELLY: But what happened instead was it went up to the courts.  Here's my question for you, now this is becoming a campaign issue. And the GOP candidates do not see eye to eye on the issue. If you were to win, if you were to become President Huckabee, how would you protect people like Kim Davis?

HUCKABEE: Well, first of all, I would make sure that we recognized that the law and the constitution are explicit on the first amendment guarantee of religious liberty. There is nothing in the constitution whatsoever that gives the federal government jurisdiction over marriage.  And that was one of the points that the dissenting justices made. The majority had to come up with this whole idea of the federal oversight of marriage out of thin air. There's nothing in the law, nothing in the constitution. We've got a federal government that's out of control. I think a lot of people are beginning to wake up to the fact that what was created, this magnificent form of government with separation of powers and equality of branches and checks and balances has gone amuck. And now we've got not just the federal government but one branch of it just trampling over people...


KELLY: You are going to go on the debate stage in 48 hours. And what is your strategy, Governor? Are you going to talk about this? Because one of the things that people find surprising is that you are not leading in this election with evangelicals this time around, who brought you over the top in Iowa years ago, who have loved you, who have supported you, Trump is leading with them nationwide and Carson is leading with them in Iowa.

HUCKABEE: Well, look, I think we're all somewhat baffled by the way that this has gone on so far. But I look at it this way. The evangelicals right now are all over the map, and a lot of them are going with Trump.  But this is the dating season, not the marrying season, that comes if February when the caucus has come.


KELLY: Sorry, keep going, Governor.

HUCKABEE: I just think we're going to see a lot of changes. We always do. Everybody gets all excited about this. It's the middle of September for god sake. There's a lot of ground to be covered, a lot of debates to be held. I don't think most of us who have ever been in politics very long get that worried about the polls at this stage of the game. Now, if we're looking at these kind of numbers in January, Megyn, come talk to me because we've got problems.

KELLY: All right, that will do it. You made a good point. I was married in March. It's not a bad point. Governor, it's great to see you as always.

HUCKABEE: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: Well, Governor Huckabee has been standing up for Kim Davis since almost day one. Our next guest has a different take on this case.  Judge Andrew Napolitano, you know already is here, he's our Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst.


KELLY: I love more about it, I love that you disagree with him on this case. And yet there is affability and there is a fondness.

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: He worked here and he's a lovable human being. Even if he's a little off the wall on the constitution, he's a lovable human being.

KELLY: Even if he Cray-Cray, I love him. All right, but you disagree on the law. Let me ask you about what I think is the strongest argument for Kim Davis -- that she deserves an accommodation -- that we provided -- that the Obama administration is asking for Muslim drivers who don't want to haul alcohol. So why shouldn't you give an accommodation to a Christian clerk who doesn't want to issue same-sex marriages, because title seven to -- that's the thing that requires accommodations for religious principles, it applies to public and private.

NAPOLITANO: She should have an accommodation. She absolutely should, I argued that it was wrong to put her in jail.


KELLY: Why doesn't everybody just agree? She has her objection, she's got to get an accommodation, period, end of report.

NAPOLITANO: As far as I think, the issue is now over because same-sex couples can get married in that county, it's just somebody else in that office will be signing the paperwork.

KELLY: But she didn't really get an accommodation. This is a judge ruling you have to do it, clerk's office. She is maintaining I still need an accommodation and others like me should get one as well.

NAPOLITANO: This is where I think the judge was wrong. Having been there, I can tell you how frustrating it is when you order a litigant, particularly a public official to do something and they say no. What do you do? Jail should be a last resort, not a first resort. The court should use the least force necessary, not the most force available to effectuate its will. What do you do? You take away from her office the authority to issue marriage licenses and you give it to somebody down the hall.

KELLY: How big of an issue do you think this becomes politically?

NAPOLITANO: I don't think it's a big issue politically.

KELLY: There are other clerks like her already saying I'm doing the same thing.

NAPOLITANO: I know they are. But they lost this battle. The Supreme Court has reinforced the law of the land, the battle is over with.  Whatever they think of it, its history now and clerk Davis, just like a President Huckabee, if he becomes President, will take an oath to uphold the law, which means the constitution as the Supreme Court interprets it.  I agree with a lot of what the Supreme Court does but it's a final word, the final say in the meaning of the constitution, and Governor Huckabee should know that and Ms. Davis now knows.

KELLY: And if you want to push for a constitutional amendment, you can do that. It's happened before.

NAPOLITANO: It's their privilege to do so -- to attempt to do so as difficult as that is.

KELLY: Great to see you with your wonderful laugh tonight, sir.

NAPOLITANO: Good to be here.

KELLY: Well, we're also going to hear from Dr. Phil tonight, who has a theory on why the voters are so damn angry.

Plus, we will get a sneak peek of his unbelievable interview. Do you remember this woman, Suzy Favor Hamilton, emphasis on favor? The mother, wife, and former Olympian, who was moonlighting as a very pricey Las Vegas escort with her husband's complete knowledge and approval, wait until you hear this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were your rates?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My rates were $600 an hour. You have to understand the money part of being an escort fueled my mania.



KELLY: Well, in poll after poll, it is clear that the American people are fed up with Washington. Voter dissatisfaction is through the roof.  And the most popular political candidates are currently people who have zero experience inside the beltway. So what is it that is making Americans so angry? Earlier, I posed that question to one of my idols, a man with his finger on the pulse of the American psyche, Dr. Phil McGraw, a psychologist and nationally syndicated host of Dr. Phil, the number one syndicated program. And our discussion of angry American voters was just the beginning.


KELLY: Great to see you, sir.

PHIL MCGRAW, “DR. PHIL” HOST: Good to see you.

KELLY: What do you think is behind that, the anger and the extent to which the public is fed up with Washington?

MCGRAW: I think that's it. I think they're fed up with it. If you were to go back and look at all the campaign promises, all the things on either side, people talk about to do all the change that's going to come out, and it doesn't happen, they are sick to death of it. So they say, look, stop a car, go out on a highway and stop a car and put that son of a bitch in charge. You would have a better shot than somebody that you go through -- I mean it's like Miss America was on last night, they got 50 choices. We get two? Come on. Just go pick somebody and let's get somebody that doesn't have a bunch of IOU's when they take the job, because everybody sells their soul to get the job.

KELLY: Do you think that's what's behind Trump success so far in the polls, he keeps saying he a very rich man, and I'm not going to be beholden to anybody.

MCGRAW: Well, I think right now it's appealing to the frustration, it's appealing to the anger. And a lot of things being said that some people want to vent about, not all people, but some people want to vent about, but there's a lot of adjectives and not many verbs, there are a lot of adjectives, fabulous, greatest, best, but listen to the verbs. What are you going to do? That's what I'm listening for is some verbs.

KELLY: You know -- obviously Donald Trump and his non-inside-the- beltway messaging have appealed to a lot of people. Other people have described him as a bully. He's been asked about that repeatedly. What is your advice, Trump or not Trump, what is your advice for those out there who feel bullied? How do you deal with a bully?

MCGRAW: You got to take their power away, right? I mean when you poke somebody with a stick and they jump, then the bully likes to poke with a stick. When they stop jumping, they stop poking. They're looking for a reaction. And I think the worst thing you can do it take the bait. The best thing can you do is flip it on them.

KELLY: All right, let's talk about a well-known athlete by the name of Susie Favor Hamilton, who was the star runner. She never won the Olympics but she won all sorts of other competitions. And unbeknownst to the world, she became a married mother and call girl, all at the same time, and incredibly with her husband's knowledge and approval. She's going on the Dr. Phil show on Tuesday. And she tells her entire story to him.  Let's set it up with a clip because of course as he always does, he asked the most relevant question when how, how? Watch.

MCGRAW: The biggest question on everybody's mind as they watch this interview, as they read the book is how could a mother, a wife, a world class athlete, an Olympian end up advertising herself as a high class call girl on the internet hooking up with men in Vegas, L.A., Chicago, how did that happen?

SUZY FAVOR HAMILTON: It started on our 20th wedding anniversary and we wanted to do something fun, crazy. So we decided to jump out of an airplane in Vegas and then we decided probably, more me that we wanted to make this fantasy that people talk about come true. And so we arranged a threesome. We had the threesome. Afterwards, I was amazed how fantastic this experience was, and I kept telling Mark, don't you feel different? So I had like this life changing moment after that threesome.

MCGRAW: How does having a threesome get on your bucket list? Why that instead of going on an African safari, exploring caves?

HAMILTON: I've always been a very sexual person. So my husband and I, we've always explored different things, we were part of the mile high club. That was always who I was. We just thought let's spice it up. And you know what believe it or not, a lot of people have threesomes. When I got into escorting, I saw that.

MCGRAW: You knew at that moment that wasn't a one-time deal for you.

HAMILTON: I knew I was going to come back to Vegas and have some fun.

KELLY: Good times.

MCGRAW: Well, there's more to the story. She's a mother living in Wisconsin, two kids, she's given promotional speeches for Disney.


MCGRAW: I mean, Disney. And she's doing this a lot and -- so mother, wife, suburbs. You know, she's living the dream, right? And so she decides she's going to go off and do this. Her husband says, ok.

KELLY: What does that say about him?

MCGRAW: He's part of the show.

KELLY: Whose behavior is more bizarre?

MCGRAW: Well, I asked him about that. I said forget Dr. Phil, just husband to husband, you got to tell me, under what theory does this make sense? Is there any other way to put it?

KELLY: Pretty soon it was a twosome, Susie Favor Hamilton and some other unknown dude and he was cut out it have all together and paying her.

MCGRAW: And he was driving her sometimes to these appointments.


KELLY: Unbelievable. That airs on his show tomorrow. Well, Dr. Phil is known for his incredible interviews with the fascinating people.

Up next, I get a chance to turn the tables a bit and ask the good doctor about himself before he shares some advice for anyone looking for a little light at the end of the tunnel.


KELLY: Dr. Phil has interviewed countless Americans about some of their darkest troubles. Today, I got the chance to ask him how that job affects him. And he offered some advice for anyone who may be feeling a little hopeless right now.


KELLY: Some days you go to the darkest corners of the country and the darkest stories there are. Does it still affect you? Does it depress you ever?

MCGRAW: It doesn't bother me at all. You know, it does -- you get sometimes --you got to learn to compartmentalize it. You either look at as you deal with problems all day or you deal with solutions all day. That's not just semantics. This show we had yesterday with this woman that had her baby cut from her stomach at seven months by a woman she met on Craig's List, that was really a story of victory and survival and triumph. And I looked at that young woman and I thought, wow. What guts. I mean to hang in and fight for her life and get to that phone and get help and then start piecing her psyche back together to the point that she can live a life and put one foot in front of the other and dig her way out of this. It was inspirational.

KELLY: This last question and this is one of the reasons why I ask that. I think a lot of people look at the news today and they feel depressed. You know, they're mired in it in a different way. Maybe it's not one woman's story, but its unemployment and it's ISIS and it's just more and more bad news and politicians sniping at each other and so on.  And what advice do you have for those people who feel down about it, who feel hopeless about the future of the country and the current state of it?

MCGRAW: You can get overwhelmed by what you expose yourself to. You got to be careful what you spend your time focusing on. If you spend your time focusing on messages of dread and doom, you're going to walk away feeling dread and doom. But let me tell you something, I've been walking around New York today. It's a beautiful day out there. It's a Chamber of Commerce day. I'm walking down the streets and police officers are yelling and waving. We're taking pictures and joking and laughing. I hear all these messages about how horrible law enforcement is in America. These are brave men and women that stand in the gap between us and harm's way. And I celebrate those people every day. We should celebrate them every day. You just got to think about balancing your life. I think that's important.  There's a lot of good going on. Look at my two grandchildren. And I think if this is the future of our country, I feel good about it. They're smart, they're bright. If we just don't screw them up.

KELLY: Amen to that, great to see you.

MCGRAW: Good to see you.


KELLY: Well, Dr. Phil and his no nonsense message has been very helpful to yours truly in life, and love, and otherwise. His hit show can be seen across the country in syndication so check out your local listings.  We'll be right back.


KELLY: Tune in tomorrow, we've got Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Rand Paul, plus Brit Hume wow. Let us know what you think of Dr. Phil's message,, on twitter @MegynKelly, I know that feeling of looking at your kids and feeling so hopeful. Don't you? Thanks for watching. I'm Megyn Kelly.

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