Did John Harwood earn 'worst debate moderator ever' title?

CNBC under fire for liberal media bias after third Republican debate


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," October 29, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Eric Bolling, along with Kimberly Guilfoyle, Juan Williams, Melissa Francis and Greg Gutfeld. It is 5 o'clock in New York City and this is "The Five."

The third GOP debate went down last night. I might be uniquely qualified to say this to CNBC -- what the hell were you doing? I used to work there. The debate was bill as your money, your vote, but CNBC showed it can be as biased as the mothership, NBC. The moderators focused not so much on the economy or money, more on fantasy football, comic books and gotcha moments, and the candidates? Let's just say they didn't appreciate the lefty leaning.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The democrats have the ultimate super PACs: It's called the mainstream media.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media. And you look at the questions: Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don't you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ted, you want me to answer, you want to answer?



CHRISTIE: Because I got to tell you the truth, even in New Jersey what you're doing is called rude, so.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody said it was going to be three hours, three and a half, including them. And about two minutes, I renegotiated it down to two hours, so we can get the hell out of here. Not bad. Not bad.


JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Just For the record the debate was always going to be two hours. Senator Rubio.

TRUMP: That's not right. That is absolutely not right. You know that. That is not right.


BOLLING: All right. So I said, uniquely qualified. But guess what, you worked there as well, Melissa. John Harwood.


BOLLING: He was on the attack last night. What's that all about?

FRANCIS: You know it's amazing because they've gotten so much criticism today for being left-leaning. What's most amazing I think about CNBC is that you look at those moderators and they believe they're playing it down the center. I mean, that's really what is most upsetting and infuriating, and sort of distressing and delusional about so much of the media is you could hold a gun to John Harwood's head and he would say that he played it down the center. He is not biased, he was not looking at from one side or the other, and it's just -- I mean, it's categorically not true when you watch it.

BOLLING: You know, and -- Greg, yesterday we talked about maybe hearing something about the debt, maybe hearing -- talking a little bit about job creation, wages. We got comic books, you know, comic books and fantasy football questions?

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: You know what the debate was? It was the opposite of a book. You know when you read a book. It imports information into your brain and you feel smarter. That this debate was a knowledge extraction machine, which meant the longer that you watched it, the dumber you got. So after two hours, I had the IQ of a nectarine. And suddenly, John Harwood made sense to me because I was dumb enough to understand him. Bu the way, we have to admit, though. If, you know, if you think that these moderators were operatives of the left, you're wrong, because they failed miserably.


GUTFELD: The republicans love it when this happens because these are fat pitches down the middle. You can hit out. When media bias exposes itself, people like Cruz and Christie. It's great for them because everybody loves the sound of the media getting smacked. So don't believe for a minute that people are upset at them because they love the opportunity to trash them.

BOLLING: Well, but the RNC came out.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Agree that -- yeah.

BOLLING: And Reince Priebus said.

GUILFOYLE: Very quickly. Yes.

BOLLING: He was ticked off with CNBC. He thought it was atrocious. I want to ask (inaudible) K.G.


BOLLING: The RNC vets, all of these debates, right? The RNC, you know, they knew that CNBC was going to put up three likely lefties as the RNC to blame?

GUILFOYLE: They can't control the questions. I mean that's -- but guess what, then, you know, in the free market debate economy, don't go to CNBC next time. You just played yourself out, tapped out.

BOLLING: Yeah, and the good news is.

GUILFOYLE: Because they were disrespectful to the whole process. They did themselves and their network, their careers, no favors last night. It was embarrassing. I mean, they were amateur hour, strictly JV.

BOLLING: Now you were a debate moderator, were you surprised at some of the questions are coming from them?

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Well, I don't think there's any question, they came off as mocking and condescending, and it was a clear pattern. So I'm not saying -- I mean, I'm aware of how much republicans, as Greg was pointing out, love to attack the media, right?

GUTFELD: I'm one of them.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. It's red meat.

GUTFELD: I mean it's like living of them.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. Check it out. There's red meat. So the candidates know that they can play to the audience because the press is a villain, but let me just say, CNBC was trying to get attention from the very start, Eric.


WILLIAMS: The way they started that thing, with no talk, it was awful. It was like what is going on? Are you having a debate or are you not having a debate?


BOLLING: They led up to that debate, Juan, saying, that no one has ever asked the debt question. No one.


WILLIAMS: I'm talking about the start. The very -- like when the camera went on.

BOLLING: I know, but I'm saying, in the days leading up to the debate. Carl Quintanilla was talking about what he was gonna look -- what he's going to ask. What direction.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, but the problem is.

BOLLING: And it was money and financial.

WILLIAMS: They should have done -- that would have been substantive.

FRANCIS: But that was great.



WILLIAMS: But I'm saying, I don't think there was intellectual.

GUILFOYLE: They did.

WILLIAMS: I have no problems with tough questions for candidates.


WILLIAMS: And in fact, CNBC and John Harwood have been saying today, that if you're running for president, you should be able to get in the ring. But here's the problem, no intellectual substance, no real rigor to the question. And when you say to somebody.

GUILFOYLE: But that's true.

WILLIAMS: You're a comic book candidate.


WILLIAMS: Well that means that you want to be the center of attention.

FRANCIS: No. I think.

BOLLING: Of course, of course.

FRANCIS: You had to get in there, debate was supposed to be about money. The first thing you would say is, give me three things that would you do out of the gate to cut spending. Give me three things would you do on day one to cut entitlements, to get this country back under control. I mean, ask real questions. Ask math questions. Analyze things. They didn't do any of that. I mean, they're asking about fantasy football, bless their hearts.


GUTFELD: They can't raise one question, though, and I think I already know the answer, but we, when we are saying that NBC, we're accusing NBC -- CNBC of mean questions.


GUTFELD: Which is exactly what.

FRANCIS: No, no.

GUTFELD: No, that's what -- can let me finish.


GUTFELD: We are accusing them of asking say pointed sarcastic mocking questions.


GUTFELD: Trump accused Fox News of asking mean and unfair questions.

WILLIAMS: No, no. Here's the difference.

GUTFELD: Are we different? That, I want know the difference.

WILLIAMS: So the difference is, I think that there was substance and there was a real point. If you asked Trump a tough question.


WILLIAMS: Say about immigration, and his comments about Mexicans.


WILLIAMS: Guess what, he really said that stuff. And it's an opportunity for him to respond.


WILLIAMS: But when you say to somebody, "Oh, you know what, I think you're a comic book character. You are a comic." What is that? All that's saying is, "I think I'm better than you."

GUILFOYLE: Yeah, but the moderator.


GUILFOYLE: Personal attack, which was inappropriate.

BOLLING: And it was so.


BOLLING: It was billed and sold as an economy.


BOLLING: Debate. That's why CNBC scored the debate. I'm sure if they had said, "Hey, we want to do a highly political left-leaning debate with you, RNC." The RNC would say "no. We're not going to do it." They don't have -- they can say no.

GUTFELD: But the other thing, too, is they were -- it wasn't just biased, they were incompetent.



GUTFELD: They were tripping over.

GUILFOYLE: Terrible.

GUTFELD: Themselves. They were cutting off people without listening to the answer. They didn't have the research.


BOLLING: Can I make one -- Carl Quintanilla, I think he is a fine journalist. I like Carl.

GUTFELD: He's from Wall Street Journal.

BOLLING: I've known him a long time. I think Becky Quick asks a lot of good questions on the show -- on the morning show as well. This could come from the top down. Mark Hoffman may have leaned on them.

GUTFELD: They might.

BOLLING: To lean left.

FRANCIS: I disagree with you. And this is coming from the person that was told, you know, that I was disrespecting the office of the president when I went in and asked mathematical questions about Obamacare at the time. I mean -- so I don't actually think it came from the top over there. I think it's really hard to do a debate. And it takes a ton of prep and you have to be on the facts. I just don't think they did enough homework.

GUTFELD: Yeah, they didn't.

FRANCIS: I mean, I don't think.


FRANCIS: They prepared well.

WILLIAMS: Because in fact, when the candidates would say, where are you getting that from? They didn't have an answer and then Trump had the wonderful response where Trump said, "Yeah, you guys write this up. You make it up."

GUTFELD: Yeah, but it was from his website.


BOLLING: In fact Rubio said to Harwood, "Hey, you have to correct your own."


BOLLING: "Piece that you wrote." And he said, "No, I didn't." He did. Apparently, what happened in boulder didn't stay in boulder. The frustrated candidates didn't hold back after the debate.


CHRISTIE: The moderators just didn't do their job last night. And a number of areas, not only were the questions snarky and divisive and non- substantive. They were just biased.

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We turned this into a game show. And those of us who are running, you know we're doing this with a very serious intent. And I just sometimes feel like that the whole process has gotten out of control.

BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think they obviously had an agenda. And when I compare them to the kind of questions that were asked of the democrats in their debate, the difference is night and day. The audience was able to pick up on the bias.

RAND PAUL, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I saw more unity among the republicans field, mainly because they were all unified against the moderators and the crowd also sensed that, that the moderators seemed to be a bit biased with all of their questions.

CRUZ: And in these debates, the media tries every question is an insult, every question is an attack, every question is asking one republican to attack another republican. You know they don't do that to the democrats.


BOLLING: To your point.


BOLLING: They had a lot to talk about.

GUTFELD: Yeah. You know what? You realize that the moderators are like actors, playing moderators in an HBO movie about evil republicans. And they were like, they were like drunks on rider mowers, they were all over the place. It was -- it was pure ineptitude. Not -- and I think their ineptitude creates the bias in a way.

FRANCIS: Well I think -- they just got outmatched.


FRANCIS: I mean they just got outmatched. They just -- they didn't have the debate skills. They didn't have the prep to go with it. It was kind of like, you know the moderators got rolled by the candidates and it makes the job harder for the next group up. I mean, luckily, Maria and Neil can handle it, but it just -- also they got rolled like so many substitute teachers.

BOLLING: They got no match, Melissa, because they went off of what they know. They went off-script. They didn't stay with the money script, the finance script.


WILLIAMS: You know what the script was? Get attention for CNBC.


WILLIAMS: Introduce their.

FRANCIS: But it worked, then. It worked then.

WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know if it worked, Melissa, because I don't think more of them. I think less of them.

GUTFELD: Well now, CNBC is now called, don't see NBC.

BOLLING: Well, there you go.


WILLIAMS: But they -- let me make one last point. So they let.


WILLIAMS: They essentially, from my perspective, let the candidates off the hook because the candidates -- it take Cruz for example.

BOLLING: Because they are playing in the.

WILLIAMS: Cruz is able to -- instead of answering questions.

BOLLING: Juan, Juan, they're swimming in the political pool. They don't know that stroke. They know the money stroke. They're swimming in the money stroke. They would have had the upper hand.

GUILFOYLE: But they didn't take it. And the point is that they did a disservice to everybody who actually cares about the issues and wants to actually hear what they have to say about the economy. Wants to hear what they have to say about their ideas for taxes.


GUILFOYLE: Plans that they have -- to be substantive. There's -- all these candidates have been attacked and said, "Hey, listen we want to know some substance here. What is your specific plan? Not floating, you know, loose rhetoric about what you think you're going to do, making cuts? Get specific."



GUILFOYLE: And they were ready to do that.

GUTFELD: To -- your point about Harwood, trying to nail Rubio on his tax plan. And Rubio called him out on it. Harwood lied on television. He lied.



BOLLING: We have that right here. Yesterday, Greg asked me, what do I expect from Harwood? I said, I thought he shouldn't be a GOP debate moderator, he leans far left. Check it out. He practically fell off the left side of his moderator chair. Harwood used the debate stage to attack the GOP candidates, rather than do his job.


HARWOOD: You've done very well in this campaign so far by promising to build a wall and make another country pay for it. Like send 11 million people out of the country. Cut taxes $10 trillion without increasing the deficit.

TRUMP: Right.

HARWOOD: And make Americans better off because your greatness would replace the stupidity and incompetence of others.

TRUMP: That's right.

HARWOOD: Let's be honest.


HARWOOD: Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign? You give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent, as to people in the middle of the income scale. Since you're the champion of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, don't you have that backward? The leading republican candidate, when you look at the average of national polls right now is Donald Trump. When you look at him, do you see someone with the moral authority to unite the country?



BOLLING: How about going to try this, ask a fair question, John. Get an answer, we, the viewer, will decide for ourselves.

GUTFELD: Yeah. That Harwood thing is probably more, is bigger than people think. He denied that he corrected it.


GUTFELD: And he said he was right. And I saw Podhoretz -- John Podhoretz, put it up there on Twitter.


GUTFELD: He legitimately lied to Rubio and then lied basically to America. That's a big deal. Harwood should.


WILLIAMS: He misunderstood. I mean, I think that he -- I'm not sure he lied. I mean because he.

GUILFOYLE: Oh my, God.

WILLIAMS: You can make mess with the numbers. But he clearly misrepresented and he misspoke and he should be man enough to say, "I was wrong."


WILLIAMS: But I will say this, I thought the moment of the debate was Ted Cruz, right?


WILLIAMS: When Ted Cruz is asked, what about your plan, right?


WILLIAMS: For cutting, for finances, for economics -- he doesn't have to answer. He just goes after the press.


BOLLING: And K.G., not only that, he also lied about CNBC, originally had a three-hour debate scheduled.


BOLLING: Donald Trump said, "I'm not doing three, he said I'm doing two. CNBC fought.


WILLIAMS: Ben Carson jumped in bed with Donald Trump, so to speak.


BOLLING: And then they - the two of them got the debate changed. Harwood unequivocally said it was the other way around.

GUILFOYLE: Right. So he's lying again. I mean, this is terrible. I would agree with Greg, there should be some kind of repercussions for this. And by the way, thank God that they put an end to that and it wasn't three hours, because that was just -- it was bad.


GUTFELD: The repercussion should be -- Harwood should go work at MSNBC.


GUTFELD: He watched by viewer.


FRANCIS: If you look at the top of the debate and where Harwood was asking that original question about trying to fact-check Donald Trump's numbers. I thought he was gonna go with in, actually do some math and say, how are you gonna cut.

GUTFELD: Yes, yeah, yeah.

FRANCIS: And come in because that's what business reporting is supposed to be all about. That we have the capability to do the math and the training, so you go and you fact-check their numbers.


FRANCIS: For the American public, who doesn't have that background.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, they should do that.

FRANCIS: Instead, he took a hard turn.

WILLIAMS: Well, but the question is.

FRANCIS: Are you a comic book.

WILLIAMS: So here's the question.

FRANCIS: Where's the question?

WILLIAMS: Here's the question. So our debates now.

GUILFOYLE: They're just gonna call that.

WILLIAMS: Basically, like Huckabee said, you know, comedy shows?

GUTFELD: It is. Well, the problem is people don't have enough time because there are so many candidates.

GUILFOYLE: But it is.

GUTFELD: But ironically, Harwood is the cartoon.


GUTFELD: He's a cartoon cut-out of the left-wing.

GUILFOYLE: Of a moderator.

GUTFELD: Biased moderator.

BOLLING: There is good news. FBN, Fox Business, as of this date.


BOLLING: Guarantee will focus on.

GUILFOYLE: November 10th.

BOLLING: The economy.


BOLLING: Lots of things.


BOLLING: That CNBC was supposed to. The way they sold it, but couldn't come through.

All right, don't move because up next, we're going to talk about the awkward Bush/Rubio feud that played out on stage last night. We're gonna also hear both of their reactions to their fight today. And mark your calendars that GOP -- next GOP debate that I was just talking about is coming up on the Fox Business Network in less than two weeks, that's November 10th, don't miss it. We'll be right back.


GUILFOYLE: One of the most talked-about moments of the debate last night was when the two politicians of Florida went after one another, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.


JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term and you should be showing up to work. I mean literally, the Senate, what is it like a French work week? You get like three days where you have to show up? You can campaign. Or just resign and let someone else take the job.

RUBIO: As I listened to Jeb as he walked around the country and said that you're modeling your campaign after John McCain. That you're going to launch a furious comeback the way he did, by fighting hard in New Hampshire and places like that carrying your own bag at the airport. You know how many votes that John McCain missed when he was carrying that furious comeback that you're now modeling on?


RUBIO: I don't remember you ever complaining about John McCain's vote record. The only reason why you're doing it now is that we're running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is gonna help you.


GUILFOYLE: Today, though, the two took a softer tone.


BUSH: People work in part-time and they want to work full-time. A lot of people are frustrated with their jobs, all across this country, but continue to show up to work, a lot of people that can't take time off, unless they get a deduction in their pay. I mean, that's the real world.

This is not personal. I'm not attacking his character. I'm just saying that people need to show up to work to vote.

RUBIO: I haven't said disparaging word about him and I won't. I have admiration for him, he's considered my friend and I have personal affection towards him. I'm not running against Jeb Bush, nor am I running against any of the other republicans in this race. I'm running for president.


GUILFOYLE: OK. So that was a smart approach because there's a lot of people that are supportive of both Jeb and Marco Rubio, and Marco Rubio was helped tremendously to get to where he is by endorsements and help from Jeb Bush and other people that Jeb is connected to. So do you like that they softened it up today? And what do you think of the moment last night?

GUTFELD: Yeah. I said in the green room, that I thought the whole thing was a set-up. That Jeb gave it to Rubio, so that Rubio could like a hurricane crushing a trailer park, which is what he did to Jeb. I mean, it really -- it really didn't work for Jeb. I mean he went to ambush. Bush went to ambush Rubio, and he got ambushed. It felt almost like he did it on purpose. It wasn't a pretty scene.


GUILFOYLE: What kind of person who want to get that kind of.

GUTFELD: Well he wants -- I don't know.


BOLLING: He -- unfortunately, Jeb is that awkward. That --


BOLLING: If you think about this for one second, Jeb released this attack on Rubio prior to the debate. So Rubio knew that was going to come.

GUTFELD: Coming.

BOLLING: It was like a day before the debate. So what do you do is Rubio, you wait for that? Here's how we're going to respond to it.


BOLLING: So he had a great response, he takes Jeb out at the legs, instead of coming back again, where Jeb could actually have made a point about Rubio missing his vote.

GUILFOYLE: What would you've said?

BOLLING: I would say no. I'm a Florida -- I live in Florida. You're my senator, you have to make votes. If you're not going to make votes, then get out. The problem is it came off as awkward, it came off as mean- spirited. It came off as almost faux anger.

WILLIAMS: It came off.

BOLLING: The bottom line is.

GUILFOYLE: And he did say, "I care."

BOLLING: I just tell you something.

GUILFOYLE: He did say, "I care."

BOLLING: I got to tell you.


BOLLING: He may have a lot of money in the PAC. He's going to have hard -- Jeb is going to have a hard time raising solid, real dollars that he can spend on a campaign now because he can't use the PAC money on the campaign. He's going to have a hard time because I think that money is going to go to Rubio.

WILLIAMS: Well in fact, Rubio's people are saying that Bush's people are now contacting them.


WILLIAMS: To say we're getting on board. But you know.

GUILFOYLE: He put that out there, anyway, though.

WILLIAMS: But you know, at the end of the day, the two stories that real


WILLIAMS: Stand out to me. One is that, apparently, Bush has got Danny Diaz is knocking on the CNBC trailer saying, "Hey, hey. Hey. What about my guy? This isn't fair, we don't think we're getting enough time." But that's, you know, that's -- if that story is true, that's a desperation story. But you think of this, this is the end of October. I think it was today, October 29th or something, and I can't think of a candidate that's had a worst month than Jeb Bush.

FRANCIS: Well, and not only that. I mean, they say that you don't choose a candidate based on, you know, a few minutes on the stage, that really -- it should be about, and he doesn't -- Jeb Bush has a tremendous economic record when you look, you know, the way he cut taxes and job creation and personal wealth.


FRANCIS: In Florida or whatever. But you have to be able to win an argument, if you're going to be a president. You have to be.

GUTFELD: You got to be persuasive.

FRANCIS: Yeah, you got to get people over to your point of view. You've got to be able to convince people to do what you want and to follow you. That's one of (inaudible). It's like being a CEO. It's one of the things that you've got to do in the job and I thought Marco Rubio stood out there and he was able to say, he was able to say, you know, "We can't come out here and attack each other" while he was attacking Jeb Bush.



BOLLING: You can you see Jeb is just not having a good time.



BOLLING: If you don't enjoy the process, it's time for you to move on.

WILLIAMS: I think he's second to bottom in terms of speaking time. And that's a bad sign for a guy who clearly needed a breakout performance.

GUILFOYLE: He's also somebody who is clearly qualified, capable and has the, you know, requisite experience to be president of the United States. You have to let that, like take down that frustration you feel and you got to connect.

GUTFELD: But you that.

GUILFOYLE: With all the experience of the world is not going to matter if you don't connect.

GUTFELD: Would you -- what you're say something it's the new kind of politic that the resume and the competence isn't enough. You've got to think on your feet.



GUTFELD: And Marco Rubio thought on his feet. And it was quite persuasive.

WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know.


BOLLING: He may not of punch (ph) on a street.


BOLLING: Because if you're Rubio.


BOLLING: You know a day earlier.


BOLLING: You know this attack is coming.

WILLIAMS: You know it was telegraphed.



GUILFOYLE: He was ready for it. He turned. He was measured and then.

WILLIAMS: Because the fact is he had missed a lot of votes. And the hometown state paper is calling for him to get out. But, you know.


GUTFELD: Those are facts that are unnecessary.

WILLIAMS: I didn't mean to bring it up. You know, I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings.


WILLIAMS: But I will say this. I thought one of the problems.

GUILFOYLE: You're my Juan.

WILLIAMS: I'm sorry.

GUILFOYLE: Keep on talking.

WILLIAMS: Excuse me.

GUILFOYLE: Stop talking.


GUILFOYLE: There's another view (ph).


GUILFOYLE: Keep on. Get your rap on. So here's the deal.

BOLLING: You got another?

GUILFOYLE: I got another few.



WILLIAMS: Yes, yes.

GUILFOYLE: There's the Hatfield and the McCoy's, right?

WILLIAMS: Yes, yes.

GUILFOYLE: There's Bush and Rubio.

WILLIAMS: Yes, yes.

GUILFOYLE: Kasich and Trump.

WILLIAMS: Let's see.



GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Folks, we got to wake up. We cannot elect somebody that doesn't know how to do the job.

TRUMP: First of all, John got lucky with a thing called fracking (ph). Number two. This was a man that was a managing general partner at Lehman Brothers when it went down the tubes. Just thirdly, he was so nice, he was such a nice guy and he said oh, I'm never going to attack. But then his poll numbers tanked, he's got (inaudible) why he's on the end. And he got nasty.


TRUMP: And he got nasty.

KASICH: First of all, Ohio does have an energy industry, but we're diversified. And secondly, when you talk about, me, being on the board of Lehman Brothers, I wasn't on the board of Lehman Brothers, I was a banker and I was proud of it and I traveled the country and learned how people make jobs.


GUILFOYLE: All right, E.B.?


BOLLING: This is.

GUILFOYLE: Got some rock and glass at this table, yeah.

BOLLING: Think about the strategy for o ne second. That was early in the debate. And Kasich took a little shot at Trump and he went right at him. Look at him, (inaudible), his numbers are so bad he's at the end. Every other candidate goes, whoa, wait a minute. He's really get.


BOLLING: I'm not going to go there. And what happened? Huckabee said he's wearing a Trump tie. Someone else said Trump would be a better president than Hillary. I mean, the strategy is working for Trump.

GUILFOYLE: Yeah, and he was actually pretty well behaved last night. Still funny, he held his own. He's like, OK, I'm a man in the middle and you know, you guys on the end not doing so well.

FRANCIS: Yeah. I mean, it's hard to argue with that and you watch Kasich sitting there, making notes, you know it was like thinking about what he's going to come back with, and that's just hard. I mean, when you're sitting there and you're in an argument. You don't want to be scribbling down your comeback and then leading it off the paper. It's just going. I mean, it's just looks sort of sad.


FRANCIS: Although, I do read my papers here, so please (inaudible).


WILLIAMS: The Trump people are saying today that.

GUILFOYLE: They're highlight.


WILLIAMS: They, in terms of the Twitter, Facebook response, they won. And I think they may have something here. You know, Bush as I say, I think he looks like a guy who hasn't run for office, and I think it's eight years or more, he's just out of practice.

GUILFOYLE: He's a little rusty?

WILLIAMS: But -- yeah. But I thought it was wrong.


WILLIAMS: I thought Trump was deaf and not as angry.


WILLIAMS: As he's been in the past.

BOLLING: What about your best friend?

WILLIAMS: Oh I thought.

BOLLING: Ben Carson.

WILLIAMS: Ben just looked like he was -- I don't know, not -- you know.

GUILFOYLE: Low. Say low energy.

WILLIAMS: Well, I can't say that.


WILLIAMS: Is that rude?


GUILFOYLE: It's funny, though.

WILLIAMS: All right.

GUILFOYLE: Yeah. OK, great. Greg?

GUTFELD: I thought, you know, Kasich has a heck of a resume. He's a persuasive guy, but his fault was he should have stuck to his own achievements. And instead of just stopping there, he linked his achievements to an attack on Trump which then -- that opened up the cage to unleash the lion. And then it shows -- the benefit that Trump has is he's jargon-free. Every single one of these jabs, it doesn't have any political language to it. It's -- you're at the end. Everybody at home understands that. It's like a thanksgiving, you know, you send a crazy person.


GUTFELD: At the end of the table. And you said.


GUILFOYLE: That's what you said.

GUTFELD: That's what I said.

GUILFOYLE: Oh no, we're on the end.

GUTFELD: Yeah, we're on -- but I mean.


GUILFOYLE: I'm on the end for a reason. Let's be honest.



GUTFELD: And you send your hips.



GUILFOYLE: It's like get up.


GUILFOYLE: All right, fine. We got to go. There's like half the show is gone now, the A and B block.


GUILFOYLE: Because it ate it like a big Pac-Man. All right, even though two republican candidates have dropped out of the race, the debate stage was still packed last night and Greg has an idea on how to make the upcoming debates less cramped and more informative for voters, next. (inaudible).


GUTFELD: Last night's debate was like a big box of free kittens -- you really don't notice when one goes missing until one goes missing. I'll be listening to Carly and think, "What happened to Rand? Did he go out for a perm? Where did Ben Carson go? Is he sharpening his large camping knife?  And what about Huckabee? Did he take a hike-abee?"

The event's structure doesn't help. The disorganized moderators, they were like parents overrun by kids at Halloween, and all they had was circus peanuts.

It's no surprise that we learned nothing. And then to add insult to injury, Jim Cramer just shows up out of nowhere.


GUTFELD: He always sounds like he's talking during a bowel movement.


JIM CRAMER, CNBC: Dr. Carson, in recent weeks, a number of pharmaceutical companies have been accused of profiteering for dramatically raising the prices of life-saving drugs. You have spent a lifetime in medicine. Have these companies gone too far? Should the government be involved in controlling some of these price increases?


GUTFELD: An overinflated balloon.

So if candidates aren't going to leave, and we can't force them to leave, then can I propose a new model? Let's "Five" this thing. Meaning get rid of the moderators and divide the candidates into three groups of five. Let them sit around a table, talk issues, and we listen for three one-hour programs. There we find out who they are, how they deal with people and, most important, how persuasive they can be.

Look at Lindsey Graham, a brave oddity. He'd be lost in a sea of suits, but in a small group, he kills.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How about a round of applause for Boulder, Colorado? This is a beautiful place.

Looking at their academic standards, the only way I could have gotten into this university is to be invited to this debate tonight.

BECKY QUICK, MODERATOR: What are the three apps that you use most frequently on your cell phone?

GRAHAM: No. 1, Fox News. Sorry about CNBC.

So to the Chinese, when it comes to dealing with me, you've got a clenched fist or an open hand. You pick. The party is over, to all the dictators.  Make me commander-in-chief and this crap stops.

Good God, look who we're running against. The number one candidate on the other side thought she was flat broke after her and her husband were in the White House for eight years. The number two guy went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon, and I don't think he ever came back. If we don't beat these people, who the hell are we going to beat?


GUTFELD: Oh, man. He's Felix Unger with a machete.

Anyway, if we don't fix this thing, all we're going to get are hyperactive moderators -- never on FNC, of course -- and rushed platitudes from candidates trying in vain to be memorable. Frankly, I'd rather watch "Scandal."


GUTFELD: And "Scandal" is awful.

GUILFOYLE: No, it's not.

GUTFELD: It's awful.

GUILFOYLE: It used to be.

GUTFELD: "Scandal" has gone downhill, and it is terrible. You have to watch it recently. It is the worst show.

GUILFOYLE: I just watched it last Thursday.

GUTFELD: Back to the -- back to...

GUILFOYLE: Back to the debate.

GUTFELD: Back to the topic. Is it time to thin the herd? Or is it time to split the herd?

GUILFOYLE: I actually like your idea. I think it's very smart. You want to see how they're able to relate to other people, sit at a table. I like that. Because you're going to get to know more about them. The ends, the guys on the ends, split ends...

FRANCIS: A group like this? Where everybody gets along and lets each other talk. And all that kind of stuff?

GUILFOYLE: That's what we do.

GUTFELD: Everybody knows what we believe in. Everybody knows.

GUILFOYLE: As I was saying. As I was saying, and I think it would be good. Because you get to know their positions. I'm going deal with you later, Francis.

But instead of you've got what, how many talks? Two seconds of this. Two minutes for this guy and that's -- what did you learn about them as a candidate? How are you even supposed to survive and sustain and actually connect with the voters if they can't even hear what you have to say about the issues?

GUTFELD: Eric, if you subtracted all the questions asked by moderators, think of all the time you could have.

BOLLING: No doubt, but think about how long it took us to take our turn.  When we first started the show. It's like five people trying to jump in.  And especially when the stakes are -- you want to be president of the United States. It might not be as organized as this show.

FRANCIS: So I have a question.

GUTFELD: She's proving your point.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. Melissa, 35 interruptions.

FRANCIS: If it was, like, five would you want to be at Donald Trump's table or not? Because it's going to be the table that gets the highest ratings, but he's also going to steal the lunch money from everybody he's sitting down with.

GUTFELD: But OK. At this table, you can keep moving around. That's the thing. And the audience can vote. It's like a -- it's like a rap battle without the...

BOLLING: Will there be cocktails?

GUTFELD: I think there should be cocktails.

WILLIAMS: Let me -- let me just say.

GUTFELD: You would like it.

WILLIAMS: So guess who was watching the debate last night? Hillary Rodham Clinton, and she was tweeting about the debate. Right? And she said ultimately, in her opinion, 10 candidates, zero ideas. And she goes on and on.

And I'm thinking to myself -- you know, these candidates, they didn't break out.

GUTFELD: Because they don't have time.

GUILFOYLE: They weren't even asked proper questions. Why are you insulting them?

WILLIAMS: You can ask anything, but if you have something to say, I'll tell you...

GUILFOYLE: Like Lindsey Graham.

WILLIAMS: Well, the real answer to your question, Greg, which is you know, so let's thin the herd. How do you -- I mean, there's just no way Rand Paul can justify it. I think Christie had a good debate, by the way, but again I just don't see that he's picking up any seats.

GUTFELD: Pataki, it's time for Pataki to pack-it-in-ee.

WILLIAMS: Well, all those four, I think. Maybe Graham could come on the big stage.

GUTFELD: I want Graham on the big stage so bad.

GUILFOYLE: Mitt Romney would (ph).

GUTFELD: I think he's the most interesting person out there right now.  And I don't even agree with half of his stuff. But I listen to him, and I go -- I agree with him on terror. I agree with -- he is the most forceful person on terror out there.

BOLLING: He's the first guy who's saying it like it is. Because he doesn't have anything to lose.

GUTFELD: That's true.

BOLLING: The other ones still think they're enemies.

WILLIAMS: Does Bush stand?

GUTFELD: I think -- I don't know. I don't see it happening.

GUILFOYLE: Meaning when? I mean, everybody is going to stay in until the FOX debate.

BOLLING: No, no, no, no. To Iowa. I would say...

GUTFELD: Till Rolamy (ph).


GUTFELD: All right. The candidates took a break from attacking one another to target another opponent, Hillary Clinton. You know what's ahead. A montage, next.


FRANCIS: She wasn't at the debate last night, but many of the Republicans preferred to take on Hillary Clinton rather than one another.


CHRISTIE: I know who the pessimist is. It's Hillary Clinton.

The middle class has $2,300 less in their pockets than the day that Barack Obama got elected president, and now they say Hillary Clinton proposing a third term of economic policy for -- for our country.

CARLY FIORINA, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is the height of hypocrisy for Mrs. Clinton, to talk about being the first woman president when every single policy she espouses and every single policy of President Obama has been demonstrably bad for women.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Last week, Hillary Clinton went before a committee. She admitted she had sent emails to her family, saying, "Hey, this attack in Benghazi was caused by al Qaeda-like elements." She spent over a week telling the families of those victims and the American people that it was because of a video.

And yet, the mainstream media is going around saying it was the greatest week in Hillary Clinton's campaign. It was the week she got exposed as a liar.


FRANCIS: Kim, I'm coming to you first...


FRANCIS: ... in an attempt to get back in your good graces.


FRANCIS: Shouldn't the No. 1 concern among Republicans be, who can beat Hillary Clinton? That should be the only criteria.

GUILFOYLE: Well, I mean, you should factor in a number of things. But ultimately, it is going to matter who can stand head to head in a general election and pull off a victory with the conservative Republican values that the country is looking for and the constituents that want to support that candidate.

What I liked there is that Rubio is not afraid to tell it like it is.  Because the fact of the matter is that Hillary Clinton did lie. She did lie. And he's not afraid to call it like it is. And you want somebody that's going to be able to stand up to her in the debate...


GUILFOYLE: And call her out on the specific things that she's done that have been bad for this country. And to point out that she's going to continue with the same failed policies of Barack Obama.

Carly Fiorina for sure can do that. Marco Rubio's demonstrated. And Chris Christie would go after her and, of course, Trump. But we know that.

FRANCIS: I think it's more extreme than that. It's for Republicans, they have to be looking at this, saying any of these people are better than Hillary Clinton. Shouldn't the No. 1 and really only criteria be who can beat her in a general?

BOLLING: Well, you're the Giants, Melissa, and before you go to the Super Bowl, you have to make sure you take care of the NFC. And then can you represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.


BOLLING: If you're Trump, you can do that because you're leading, right?  Or if you're Trump and Carson, you can do that. You can focus in on Hillary Clinton, which would be smart, instead of taking shots and punching down, right?

If you're not leading, then you've got to go after each other. I don't think that's smart strategy to say, to take an opportunity to say, "Hey, here's why you should be voting for me in a primary." And say -- and turn it into "Here's why I could beat Hillary." It's not that time yet.

FRANCIS: Or is it like dress for the job you want, not the job that you have? You get out there and you say, "If you put me up against Hillary, I can win this thing. What do you think?" No one's buying my point here.  I'm coming to you, Greg. I'm desperate.

GUTFELD: You must be if you're coming to me.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Rubio should be the nominee, based on what he said. He had a two-fer there. He nailed Hillary for criminality and incompetence. Incompetence on Benghazi and a bit of criminality on lying. And also the server stuff, the fact that she is not -- she should not be in charge of a country if she cannot protect us. In the era of cyber-terror, she is a woeful incompetent. I think that whoever drops out next, that support has to go to Rubio. I was very impressed.



GUTFELD: Can I just add one thing?

FRANCIS: Who is there to keep him (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

GUTFELD: Can I add one thing? Rubio did what Mitt Romney was supposed to do to Obama in that debate. Hit her on Benghazi. Or hit Obama.

FRANCIS: Can any of those people beat Hillary Clinton?

WILLIAMS: No. Not right now. I mean -- you know, when you're just looking at the reality, this ain't happening. And I thought, in fact, Eric, I thought they should have done more, because anti-Obama, anti- Hillary unifies the Republican Party, would attract somebody. They were going after each other.

BOLLING: They've got to get the nomination first.

FRANCIS: Ahead -- all right, ahead: should -- we're going -- should the Republican Party take some responsibility for the hostile questioning at last night's debate? That debate, next.


WILLIAMS: Republican National Committee was not happy with how the debate turned out. Gee.


REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIR: I was proud of our candidates for standing up to a pretty hostile environment. I was very disappointed in the moderators. I'm disappointed in CNBC. I thought maybe they would bring forward a pretty fair forum here tonight. But I think it was one gotcha question, one personal low blow after the other. It's almost like they tried to design a Rubik's cube for every question to take the worst element.


WILLIAMS: But should Reince Priebus and the GOP take some responsibility?  Should they have seen this coming? What do you think, Eric?

BOLLING: I think the way the process is, no, Kimberly is right. You can't ask or tell or direct questions, but you can certainly deny a moderator.  If they say, "These are who we plan to do," I think you can -- I think they could, the RNC, if I'm not mistaken, can say, "Well, then, we're not interested."

GUILFOYLE: Well, you can at least make an objection.

BOLLING: But what my point would be is, look, it's a GOP debate. It's a GOP debate. Bring in Larry Kudlow, bring him in. So what if he's not technically on the payroll.

They brought in Jim Cramer, who whether or not you like him, left or right, he still talks about money.

WILLIAMS: They brought him in. They did bring him in. But...

BOLLING: Make him a moderator.

WILLIAMS: I'm saying...

GUTFELD: But give him a laxative.

WILLIAMS: But last night, Sean Hannity...

GUILFOYLE: Don't get my face on camera when he's saying that.

WILLIAMS: I don't know how to control these people. Not my fault. You've got to realize, not my fault. I just work here.

Anyway, so last night Sean Hannity says...


WILLIAMS: ... "Well, let's have a debate with Sean Hannity..."

GUILFOYLE: Rush and...


WILLIAMS: "... Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin as the mods" -- Is that a debate?

GUILFOYLE: That's hot.

WILLIAMS: Wow. That's -- that's good.

FRANCIS: I would watch it, wouldn't you?

WILLIAMS: That's like a game show. That's what we were just complaining about.

GUILFOYLE: Hey (ph), Juan.

WILLIAMS: I'm just saying, does that make sense to you?

GUILFOYLE: You're saying that they wouldn't be able to ask good questions?

WILLIAMS: No, they'd ask good questions, but is that biased? You talk about biased.

FRANCIS: I don't think it went bad for the Republicans last night at all.  Everybody is talking today about what a terrible job CNBC did. I mean, I think it's been wonderful for the Republicans. I actually feel bad for the hosts over at CNBC. They're getting tortured today. Eric and I are never being invited to another Christmas party.

BOLLING: Yes. It's safe to say we're never going to work there again.

FRANCIS: No. I think we've blown that.

WILLIAMS: Anyway, I don't -- I don't think that...

GUILFOYLE: Why would you want to?

WILLIAMS: ... and the GOP are to blame, because they don't control the mods. They say, Let's have a deal." And they decided how many debates.


WILLIAMS: They decided which networks. I don't see that they were involved in asking the questions.

GUTFELD: And let's face it: CNBC is not a left-wing denizen. When I'm at the gym, you know who watches it? Retired stockbrokers who fist-bump. So anybody -- anybody who was angry about the debate...


GUTFELD: I wasn't talking -- that was not about you! That was not about you!

WILLIAMS: Look, look, look. You two have to work this out.

GUTFELD: That was not about you. It wasn't about you.


WILLIAMS: There we go. All right. "One More Thing" up next. More hilarity to ensue.

GUILFOYLE: My God. That was, like...


BOLLING: All righty. Time for "One More Thing." Greg, you kick it off?

GUTFELD: As you can tell, Dana's not here. Melissa is here instead. Kind of like Dana.

GUILFOYLE: Greg's crying inside.

FRANCIS: In my dreams.

GUTFELD: But if you -- if you miss her, I did a podcast with Dana Perino.  She interviewed me on something, my book. And if you want to go to It's a fun interview. And it's on the featured item on the website. So you can find it. Go check it out.

GUILFOYLE: God, your love is strong.

FRANCIS: Isn't it?

GUILFOYLE: Your love is strong.

BOLLING: Very good. Very good.

OK. So after 35 years, China is now ending the one-child-only policy.  It's about time. What happened in Japan and is happening in the United States, declining birth rates are crushing the society. People live longer. You need younger people to replenish the money.


GUILFOYLE: Income stream.

BOLLING: But get this: over the years they've had the one-child policy, they estimate 400 million fewer births in China. So congratulations.  They're finally getting with the times.

OK, who's next? K.G. you're up.

GUILFOYLE: All right. So this is great. Everybody was watching today, because lawmakers today elected Representative Paul Ryan as the 54th speaker of the House after John Boehner's resignation. And on hand was his supporter and friend -- they ran together for president and V.P. -- Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate.  And he tweeted this cute little selfie. I got the first hashtag #speakerselfie. You've got Ryan, Romney, Ann Romney and Jenna Ryan. Isn't that cute? Very nice.

Mitt, we miss you.

BOLLING: Very good, very nice.


WILLIAMS: Well you know, I disappoint people at this table all the time.

GUTFELD: Not just the table.

WILLIAMS: I know, I know, I know.

GUTFELD: Your family, your grandkids.

WILLIAMS: Have you been talking to my wife again? Get your hands to yourself.

FRANCIS: Oh, my gosh. That took a strange turn.

WILLIAMS: Anyway so yesterday was National Chocolate Day. And you know, everybody was saying, like Dana and Kimberly said, "Hey, nobody is doing chocolate." And I said, well, I was going to do it. But then we had something else.

So today I think, you know, let me make it up. Let me try to do better in life. You know, Eric, how you're always encouraging me? So look what Brooke went out and bought.

GUILFOYLE: Brooke went and bought.

WILLIAMS: For me. Because, you know, I'm bringing it for Halloween.

GUILFOYLE: I thought you were sharing it.

WILLIAMS: I am. I brought...

GUTFELD: I think this is racist.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my gosh.

WILLIAMS: Because I'm your candy man?

GUTFELD: You are my candy man.

WILLIAMS: Check it out. So here we go. Here we go.

GUTFELD: Just give me the white chocolate.

WILLIAMS: I had to give you the white chocolate. That's what I'm going to call you, White Chocolate. There we go.

FRANCIS: Oh, my gosh.


FRANCIS: Let me do mine. Can we move on?

For the record, this has been the most fun hour of my whole entire life, apologies to my husband and my family.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my gosh.

FRANCIS: Anyway, but let me show you this. This is -- this is straight out of China. This lovely video of look at these. These are thousands of baby chicks. They're three days old. They've been shown water for the first time. They're running to go jump into water. It looks like an avalanche of peeps. I think I see Tweety Bird, Sylvester off to the side.  Look at this. Isn't that amazing? They're like three days old, and they're just running in a herd to water.

GUTFELD: You don't know that the water is boiling.

That was immediately shipped off to 20 restaurants, and they're delicious.

FRANCIS: No, no.

GUTFELD: They're delicious.

FRANCIS: No. Look at them all crowding in there and floating.

BOLLING: Where was that?

FRANCIS: China. I was wearing the color.

GUILFOYLE: Very Chinese-themed show today.

WILLIAMS: Did you ever go -- did you ever go out to, like, eastern shore of Maryland, where Purdue has all the -- it's something.

FRANCIS: So you're going to -- you're going to take us in a yucky place?

WILLIAMS: No, no, it's the baby chicks on the eastern shore.

BOLLING: How's the chocolate?

GUILFOYLE: Can I tell you this? This chocolate is absolutely delicious.

BOLLING: It's the best.

WILLIAMS: It's my favorite. My favorite chocolate.

GUILFOYLE: Milk chocolate with cornflakes. Thank you so much.

FRANCIS: Best hour ever.

WILLIAMS: You know what?

BOLLING: We've got to go. You guys continue that in the break. Up next, we're having chocolate.

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