SPECIAL REPORT

Debate expectations for Republican presidential hopefuls

Insight from the 'Special Report' All-Stars

 

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," September 16, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: There is this big debate happening tonight. For some debate preview, we bring in a special panel. Joining us from site of tonight's debate, the Reagan Library, editor-in-chief of Lifezette and radio host Laura Ingraham; and from Dallas former syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz. Thank you both for being here.

Neil let me get your thoughts first. Setting the table here, obviously Donald Trump, Ben Carson riding high in the polls. Thoughts from a conservative's point of view what to look for tonight?

NEAL BOORTZ, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think that from the conservative/libertarian point of view, Ben Carson doesn't bother me at the top of the polls, the other gentleman does. But Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, the viable candidates like Rubio and the rest of them, we don't have time to name them all at this point. They need to maintain their dignity. Put forth some good policy objectives in an entertaining and informative manner so that they will be ready to step forward and take command of this race once the Trump clown car heads back to the circus here in a couple of weeks, as it most certainly will.

BAIER: Ok. The tweets and e-mails can go to @nealboortz, I think

Laura Ingraham out there at the Reagan Library, listen, Trump has said he knows he's going to get attacked or at least expects it. Set the table for us.

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO HOST: Well, the excitement here is palpable, for obvious reasons. I think a lot of these candidates are trying to break through, because most of them are in single numbers. When you're in single digits, you've got to do something -- you have to do something bold.

I think you have to walk a fine line, you know, take on Trump, but take on the issues. And don't look like you're denigrating Trump supporters, which in New Hampshire, the latest poll is at 40 percent, or in Florida, where he's leading in two polls by about 15 points on Jeb Bush. So you want to look presidential at the Reagan Presidential Library, obviously. We have big problems facing this country. We have grass roots voters who are absolutely apoplectic at Washington's corruption and leadership. And they want someone I believe, who's going to shake this up. I don't know who that's going to be, but tonight there are a number of these candidates who if they don't make a big statement, I think their days are number. I think they have to have a bold appearance today.

BAIER: Yes. Let's talk about that. I mean Scott Walker, who else? Chris Christie? I mean are they in danger of --

INGRAHAM: They're two and three points. Yes. They are at two and three points in most state polls and in many national polls. And the state polls are what matters. Look, I think all eyes are still going to be on Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump, Marco Rubio for sure. But these single-digit candidates have got to emerge as a credible alternative both to more of an establishment Jeb Bush and a Donald Trump - Ben Carson.

That is hard to do because of course they're very different candidates with different appeals for different people.

BAIER: Yes, Neal, you talked about libertarians and Rand Paul has not taken off, either. I mean he has been out anti-establishment by other people in the field.

BOORTZ: Well, I think that a lot of people who call themselves conservative libertarians are very alarmed by his foreign policy positions. They think they may be in fact suicidal.

But Laura hit the nail right on the head as she usually does. The whole Trump phenomenon is about voters being sick to death of the current Republican leadership that promises and promises and then never delivers. These candidates have to show that if you put me in that position of power, I will deliver. I won't be stopped.

BAIER: Yes. And Neal you mentioned Dr. Ben Carson, who is really climbing up the polls. He's seeing an amazing rise in a short period of time. And there are a lot of people with questions about whether he has the policy chops to be able to take the Oval Office.

BOORTZ: Well, I'm not worried so much about policy chops. Is he intelligent enough to put the right people around him that can advise him on policy? He is obviously a brilliant man, and there's a lot of people that are thinking, you know, maybe now is the time to try a non-politician, a non-career politician in this spot. Of course, that's Donald Trump as well, but I think Ben Carson would earn a great deal more respect internationally.

BAIER: And quickly Laura, last word. Who do you think has to have the biggest night tonight?

INGRAHAM: I think Marco Rubio has to have a big night. I think Jeb Bush has got to have a big night. I think Donald Trump has to start decorating the Christmas tree a little bit. I mean we know the funny lines. We know he's entertaining. Americans want to hear about solutions.

I want to end with one Reagan quote. He said "If you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat." People think Reagan was affable, and he's like this really optimistic guy. But he knew how to turn up the heat on situations and people when necessary. So I think you're going to see that from a lot of the candidates tonight -- Bret.

BAIER: Laura and Neal, thank you very much. We'll be watching and full analysis afterwards right here on Fox News Channel.

BOORTZ: Thank you.

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