Ted Cruz: Anti-amnesty candidate can win a general election

Texas senator expands on immigration, bank bailout remarks from FBN debate on 'Hannity'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight...

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're lucky in Ohio that you struck oil. That's the one thing.

HANNITY: The 2016 GOP candidates squared off in last night's Republican debate.

SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For those of us who believe that people ought to come to this country legally and we should enforce the law, we're tired of being told it's anti-immigrant.

HANNITY: Texas senator Ted Cruz is here tonight with reaction to last night's showdown.

And Governor Chris Christie lashed out at Hillary Clinton.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wait until you see what Hillary Clinton will do to this country and how she will drown us in debt!

HANNITY: The New Jersey governor is here tonight with more.

Plus, it's one of the most talked about moments from last night's debate.


TRUMP: You should let Jeb speak.



HANNITY: Ohio governor John Kasich also joins us.

'Hannity" starts right here, right now.


HANNITY: And welcome to "Hannity." The fourth Republican debate is now in the books, and tonight, many pundits are saying that Texas senator Ted Cruz had one of the strongest performances of the night. Now, he came out swinging on the topic of illegal immigration and more. Watch this.


CRUZ: If Republicans join Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose! The politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande, or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press!

And I will say for those of us who believe people ought to come to this country legally and we should enforce the law, we're tired of being told it's anti-immigrant. It's offensive!


CRUZ: I am the son of an immigrant who came legally from Cuba to seek the American dream, and we can embrace legal immigrations while believing in the rule of law!


HANNITY: Joining us with reaction, the man himself, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Texas senator Ted Cruz. Senator, I thought you had a huge night last night. Congratulations to you.

Let's go to -- the number one poll-tested line of the night was that line on immigration that you used. You're tired of it. You know, We're being told we're anti-immigrant. It's offensive. Explain more.

CRUZ: Well, Sean, thank you. It's great to be with you. You know, I have to say, I suspect an awful lot of Republicans were having the same reaction I was as we were listening to the debates, which is that we saw one Republican after another giving an ode to amnesty, one after the other saying how we needed to be compassionate and we needed to just forgive the 12 million who came here illegally and presumably put them all on a path to citizenship.

And I got to say my reaction as I was listening to that, I was just getting angrier and angrier. Look, there is nothing compassionate about a bunch of politicians saying, I'm so compassionate, I'm going to give away your job, because Hat's what they're saying. None of them are losing their jobs, but they're happy to tell working men and women across this country that your job can be taken away by people coming here illegally!


HANNITY: Senator, let me ask you that point because you're right, the more people that cross the border, more competition -- we have 94.5 million Americans that are out of the labor force right now. And it also drives down wages. But is another point. Conventional wisdom, we hear this all the time, Senator, is that, Oh, if Republicans are too hard on illegal immigrants, it's going to cost them the Hispanic vote. What is your answer to that?

CRUZ: That it's utter nonsense. Number one, in 2012, when I was running for Senate in Texas, I won 40 percent of the Hispanic vote at the exact same time that Mitt Romney was getting clobbered with 27 percent of the Hispanic vote nationwide. And when I ran for Senate in Texas, I was unambiguously against amnesty. We can compete vigorously in the Hispanic community without abandoning our principles.

But number two, if we just agree with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on amnesty, Republicans will lose. Why? Because millions of working men and women, millions of Reagan Democrats will stay at home to say, To heck with all of them. They're all in the pocket of the big banks and wall Street and K Street and the lobbyists. They don't care about us.

The way we win, Sean, is we run a populist campaign fighting for working men and women who want to believe again in the promise of America, and we run it against the bipartisan corruption of Washington! And I'll say this. If Republicans nominate a candidate who has embraced amnesty, it means we give up that issue in 2016. It means both candidates, the Republicans and the Democrat, will be supporters of amnesty. That is a ticket to losing this general election!

HANNITY: It's fascinating what emerged last night. One of the things I liked the most about -- you have a few fans back there, Senator.

One of the things I liked -- we got -- last night, I thought the best debate inasmuch as we got a comparison, people comparing and contrasting economic plans, America's role in the world and foreign policy and on this immigration debate. Everybody seemed to agree we've got to secure the border. That never happens. Everybody says it will happen.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: So let's say we do secure the border. Then they have the question of those people that broke our laws, didn't respect our sovereignty. What do we do?

CRUZ: Well, look, I think we need to solve this problem one step at a time. You don't have to solve everything at once. That's the fallacy of comprehensive reform. We need to start with actually securing the borders. And one of the nice things is that, actually, existing federal law is quite robust. If you look at federal law, it is federal law today that there should be 700 miles of double-layered fencing built along our southern border.

HANNITY: Yes, where is it?

CRUZ: The Obama administration, we have about 30 miles built. If I'm elected president, we will build all 700 miles. What's missing is the presidential will to get it done!


HANNITY: Senator, I agree, but isn't it -- listen, you have been probably the most bold and outspoken against Republicans that have been weak and timid and surrendered, and especially on "Obama care," especially on executive amnesty.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: And my question to you is, this now seems to be a battle, that the lines are drawn on the more conservative wing of the Republican Party, where you stand as an insurgent that is even hated by establishment types. So for their argument -- Oh, conservatives can't win a general election -- I don't believe that, by the way. But what is your argument back to that?

CRUZ: Listen, I believe in not following a pattern that doesn't work. Every time we nominate a candidate who runs to the mushy middle, we get clobbered. And one thing that is abundantly clear. If we nominate another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole or a John McCain or a Mitt Romney, all of whom are good, honorable, decent men -- but what they did didn't work.

If we do it again, the same millions of conservatives that stayed home in '08 and '12 will stay home in '16. It doesn't make any sense.

I think this election is going to be like 1980, that we're going to win by doing exactly what Reagan did, by painting in bold colors, not pale pastels. We got to bring people out, and the way you do that is you give them a reason to vote.

You know, one of the reasons I thought last night was such a great debate is we finally saw some clear policy contrasts, whether it was on amnesty, where a bunch of those candidates on stage were embracing amnesty, and I was proud to take the other side, or whether it was on bail-outs.

You know, I had an exchange midway through the debate with another candidate who was embracing the idea that we ought to be bailing out Wall Street and we ought to be bailing out big banks. And yet it was striking, Sean, three, four, five candidates on that stage were asked, Would you bail out big banks? Not a one of them was willing to answer the question. They bobbed and weaved and talked back and forth.

And that's why I jumped in and said, You want an answer to that question? The question (sic) is no. We shouldn't be bailing out giant banks. What about mom and pop? What about Main Street? We shouldn't be using taxpayer funds to continue the cronyisms and bailouts. And if I am president, there will be no bail-outs for the rich and powerful!


HANNITY: All right, Senator, stay right there. We're going to come back, and let me ask you about foreign policy questions that came up last night, economic questions. More with Senator Cruz after the break.

Also coming up tonight...


CRUZ: Washington is fundamentally corrupt. There are more words in the IRS code than there are in the bible. And not a one of them is as good.


HANNITY: Senator Cruz explained his tax plan last night. We'll ask him about it.

Then later, Ohio governor John Kasich and New Jersey governor Chris Christie -- they will be here to weigh in on the GOP debate as we continue.




CRUZ: Washington is fundamentally corrupt. There are more words in the IRS code than there are in the bible. And not a one of them is as good.

My simple flat tax says that for a family of four, for the first $36,000 you earn, you pay no taxes whatsoever. Above that, every American pays 10 percent across the board, a flat fair tax, which means that no longer do you have hedge fund billionaires paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. This plan eliminates the payroll tax, eliminates the death tax, eliminates the corporate income tax and it abolishes the IRS.


HANNITY: All right, that was Senator Ted Cruz during last night's GOP debate vowing to eliminate the IRS as part of his comprehensive tax plan.

By the way, I think we now know, after these last two debates, you were the national champion from Harvard in debating. I think these two debates have been very good for you, Senator.

Let me give you an opportunity -- because so many Americans are suffering -- nearly 95 million Americans out of the labor force, 46 million Americans on food stamps, 50 million in poverty, median income down, health care costs going up, really, really hard times.

CRUZ: Right.

HANNITY: So I want to give you the time now to explain this plan so people understand it.

CRUZ: Well, my simple flat tax is exactly what it says. It's a flat tax of 10 percent for everybody. And what it would produce is incredible economic growth. The non-partisan Tax Foundation estimates that this would produce 4.9 million new jobs, that this would increase capital investments, things like new factories, by 44 percent, and that the after-tax income of every single income group in America would go up by double digits, at least 14 percent.

Now what does that mean? That means if you're a single mom, if you're working making $40,000 a year, that's about an extra $5,000 in cash in your pocket to feed your kids, to help make ends meet.

And what's critical -- you know, you look at young people coming out of school right now, and they're scared, they're demoralized, they've got student loans up to their eyeballs. They don't know if they're going to get a job.

Tax reform is an incredibly potent tool to produce economic growth and to get back -- the last time we faced this kind of stagnancy was under Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. And what did Reagan do? He came in with a massive tax reform plan, and it prompted incredible economic growth.

HANNITY: Let me ask you because John Kasich will be on later -- he seemed to -- he didn't mention you by name, so I don't know if he was talking about you, but he seemed to be making the case that these are not revenue-neutral, that some of these promises that some of the candidates are making are sort of pie in the sky.

Explain the revenue side of this coming into the government and how is it revenue neutral, et cetera.

HANNITY: Right. So the revenue side of this -- and all of the numbers are on our Web site at TedCruz.org. So if you want to go look at the numbers, you can look at all of the numbers at TedCruz.org.

Over 10 years, federal tax revenue on a static basis, which is not counting for growth, it would cost roughly $3.6 trillion. On a dynamic basis, because that actually counts what happens in counting growth, it would cost roughly $768 billion, less than a trillion.

Interesting enough, my plan, the simple flat tax not only has among the least revenue impacts of anyone's plan on that stage, but it also produces more jobs and growth than just about anyone. And most of the others are fiddling around the edges. We need to move towards every American filling out their taxes on a postcard, and we need to abolish the IRS. It is corrupt!


CRUZ: It is targeting American citizens! And it's time to get rid of it!

HANNITY: Let me...

CRUZ: And Sean, we can get that done.

HANNITY: If we were to do that, take in the repatriated money from multi-national corporations that keep it offshore because they're going to be taxed so heavily -- if you add in the energy independence quotient to all of this, and if we made America the corporate tax haven of the world -- I keep making these points...

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: ... what is the growth potential? Because I'd like to see all those Americans out of poverty, off of food stamps and back to work.

CRUZ: The growth potential is immense. Since 2008, we have averaged 1.2 percent growth a year. It is anemic. Historically, America's averaged 3.3 percent growth a year. I believe we can get back to 5 percent growth a year.

You know, JFK had 5 percent growth because he did what? He did tax reform and regulatory reform. These are the policies that work.

And Sean, let me focus on one aspect of my simple flat tax that I think is particularly powerful. It is 10 percent for individuals and a 16 percent business flat tax that applies to everyone. That means giant corporations no longer pay 0 percent while small businesses get hammered. Everyone pays the same fair rate.

But one of the really powerful aspects of it is that it is border- adjustable, which means if you're a farmer, if you're a rancher, if you work in manufacturing producing goods for exports, you pay 0 percent. You don't pay that 16 percent tax because all exports are tax-free. That gives our farmers and ranchers and manufacturers an enormous advantage.

And on the flip side, every import that comes in from any country across the world gets that 16 percent tax applied to it. What that does -- by the way, right now, you know, Europe does that to us.


CRUZ: When we export to them, they put their taxes on our goods, but we don't do it back. I think we need to be on a level playing field.

And one of the sharpest divides last night was a number of Republicans who were willing to stand with the lobbyists in Washington, willing to stand with the cronyists. I think we should be standing with working men and women. It's one of the reasons -- for example, there are several Republicans who support and are embracing TPA and TPP. I don't think we should be giving in to Obama's plan...

HANNITY: Oh, my gosh!

CRUZ: ... to undermine U.S. sovereignty, to undermine our immigration law and...

HANNITY: 5,600 pages!

CRUZ: ... to hurt working men and women.

HANNITY: Who can read that?


HANNITY: All right, Senator, it's good to see you. And our very best. Thank you for being with us tonight. We appreciate it.

CRUZ: Thank you, Sean. God bless. And let me give you the welcome from the folks here at the Dixon (ph) VFW in New Hampshire.


CRUZ: They love you, Sean!

HANNITY: Thank you, Senator. I appreciate that.

And coming up next tonight here on "Hannity."..


GOV. JOHN KASICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a silly argument! It's not an adult argument. It makes no sense.

TRUMP: All I can say is you're lucky in Ohio that you struck oil. That's the one thing.


HANNITY: Ohio governor John Kasich and Donald Trump got into a heated exchange during last night's debate. Governor Kasich is here next with reaction.

Then later, New Jersey governor Chris Christie will weigh in on his debate performance. That and more as we continue straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." It was one of the most talked- about moments of the debate when Ohio governor John Kasich and Donald Trump had a heated discussion over immigration. Watch this.


TRUMP: We either have a country or we don't have a country. We are a country of laws. Going to have to go out, and they'll come back, but they're going to have to go out, and hopefully, they get back, but we have no choice if we're going to run our country properly.

KASICH: If people think that we are going to ship 11 million people, who are law-abiding, who are in this country, and somehow pick them up at their house and ship them out of Mexico -- to Mexico? Think about the families! Think about the children!

Come on, folks, we all know you can't pick them up and ship them across -- back across the border. It's a silly argument! It's not an adult argument. It makes no sense.

TRUMP: All I can say is you're lucky in Ohio that you struck oil. That's for one thing.


HANNITY: All right, joining us now, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ohio governor John Kasich. The interesting moment -- look, I know you really well. I felt last night, you weren't you for some reason. Not that moment, but you were trying to interrupt, and I just didn't feel you had your normal cadence. Am I right or maybe was that a strategy?

KASICH: No, Sean. I mean, look, I'm very, very concerned about winning next fall, and there are a lot of ideas out there that just simply don't add up. And you know that when the bright light comes on next fall, that whoever our nominee is is going to have to present their programs. And if their programs don't add up, if they're not solid, then I'm very fearful that we won't win the election. I'm very fearful that Hillary Clinton will win the election.

So, you know, I wanted to make a number of points about, you know, what's the proper level of tax cuts, how do we get the budget balanced, what do we do on immigration. And you know, all I'm trying to do is make sure that we present a program that can stand the light of day come next fall, and a conservative program.

HANNITY: Let me -- let me go to Trump's point because I believe the country has shifted on immigration. I think people see what has happened to Europe because of the immigration issue. I think it's a bigger issue than it was a year ago. And people that don't respect American law and sovereignty -- they don't respect it. They come into our country illegally. It has cost this country and states billions and billions for our educational system, our criminal justice system, our health care system.

And it's a massive problem, and both parties seem not to want to build that wall. And I think the reason that...

KASICH: Well...

HANNITY: Listen, I think some Republicans want cheap labor and I think Democrats think they'll have a voting base for generations to come. Am I wrong?

KASICH: That's not my position, Sean. I want that wall built. You know, I just was with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. And the head of it said, you know, he disagrees with me on the wall. And I said, Well, look, when you lock your doors on your house at night -- he said, I do. And I said, Well, a country has the right to lock its doors.

So I mean, first and foremost is to take care of the border. Secondly, if anybody then comes across the border, they ought to be automatically sent home. I think we ought to have a guest worker program so people can enter, work and then go back.

But for the 11 million that are there that have been law-abiding, I just want a practical solution. They pay a fine, no path to citizenship. I don't believe in a path to citizenship, but a path to legalization. Anything other than that is not practical.

And I will tell you this. If this is the message of the Republican Party come next fall, that we're going to go and round these people up and ship them out, I got to tell you -- I'm the governor of Ohio. I don't think you win Ohio with that kind of a message.

So I want to win. I want to be practical. We're not giving anybody a free pass. We need to absolutely get the border secure. And we need to rein in this visa program where people come in the country and they just never leave.

So because I say they should stay here -- if they violated the law, by the way, they either go to jail or be deported. But of course, the border has to be built, and of course we have to regulate who flows in and out of this country.

HANNITY: All right, now, let me go back to the economic issue because you had a point of debate. You seem to believe -- and I have praised you for your work as the head of the Budget Committee and the architect of the last balanced budget and the last surplus and your work as governor. You've done the same thing.

But you seem to be critical of all the other candidates' plans. You don't believe their numbers add up. You think that they're unrealistic. I heard a lot of good ideas from a lot of different candidates there last night. I even liked the penny plan that Rand Paul talked about.

KASICH: Oh, yes.

HANNITY: I liked the repatriation idea. I like that idea of energy independence.

KASICH: I agree with that, too.

HANNITY: Energy independence...

KASICH: I do, too.

HANNITY: ... has to be a big component of it. I would like to make America the corporate tax haven of the world so every multi-national...

KASICH: Absolutely, Sean.

HANNITY: ... corporation comes here.

KASICH: Look, my plan would actually repatriate at about 5 percent or 6 percent for the first time, and then after that, there'd be no double taxation. We'd have expensing in the first year, where companies could write off the cost of their equipment. And I would lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.

But what my concern is, is that we have one guy proposing, like, a 15 percent flat tax, but he doesn't tell you that he has a value-added tax on business. Now, Sean, if I came on this show and told you I believed in a value-added tax, you'd fall off your chair.

We have another plan where we're going to cut the taxes and it's going to ring up the debt by $11 trillion or $12 trillion. Now, I have a plan that really mimics Reagan, 28 percent top rate, capital gains tax at 15 percent, but it's in the confines of a balanced budget.

Now, look, I've done this for many years. You know, I did it in Washington. I've done it in Ohio. And you just can't wish yourself to economic stability.

HANNITY: Is it...

KASICH: I want economic growth and...

HANNITY: Is it that you're...

KASICH: ... you can get it with lower taxes and a balanced budget.

HANNITY: Is it that you're frustrated because you think they're just saying things and pulling them out of thin air and you just don't believe their plans work? Is that -- is that where...

KASICH: Well, Sean, the numbers don't add up. Look, I'm struggling with the Tax Foundation to make sure that my tax cut plan falls within the balanced budget parameters that I think is vital for our country. And if you say you're going to ring up the debt by $11 trillion or $12 trillion, you're not for that.

HANNITY: No way.

KASICH: You're not for putting another 10 or -- but that's what some of these plans propose, Sean.

HANNITY: I don't want to put another penny...

KASICH: I'm just telling you that's what happens to the debt.

HANNITY: But I actually believe...

KASICH: Go analyze them.

HANNITY: But I actually believe if you reduce -- if you eliminate baseline budgeting -- Carly said that -- if you use the penny plan, cut a penny out of every dollar -- you do that on the spending side, I don't think there's any limit to the amount of money that we can -- we can grow the economy with energy and becoming the corporate tax haven of the world. I don't even know if anybody can calculate the economic growth benefits of those things.

KASICH: Sean, we do dynamic scoring in our plan. We know it's going to cause economic growth. Our economic growth estimates would take us just shy of 4 percent.


KASICH: But you can't have a tax cut plan that takes you to $10 trillion or $11 trillion more in the hole. So don't misunderstand what I'm saying to you. I will tell you this. Next fall, when these plans get carefully analyzed, they better stand the test of time.

Look, in the last debate, I was pointing out that it didn't make any sense to call for abolishing Medicare or making it sort of an option. Now that's kind of -- I think it's kind of moved off the table, although I'm not sure. I mean, if we're a party that runs around saying we should get rid of Medicare, how do you think we're going to do next fall against Hillary?

So Sean, I want to win, and we can win with conservative ideas. And I do believe that economic growth is necessary for balancing the budget. And look, I did the penny Kasich plan, remember, back when I was in the Congress?

HANNITY: Yes. I do.

KASICH: In my plan now, I freeze all discretionary spending for eight years. I increase defense spending by $100 billion. I slow the growth of Medicare from 7 percent to 5 and Medicaid from 5 to 3. And you know, so I've got spending cuts, but I also know what can get enacted down there. And freezing discretionary spending for eight years -- that's a pretty tall order. We can get that done. And I want to ship a lot of programs home, like welfare and education. You know, so...

HANNITY: We've got to run but...

KASICH: ... we're on the same page. I just want to make sure the numbers add up, Sean, so we can beat Hillary in the fall.

HANNITY: Governor, if we don't win this election, the country -- I don't see our way out of it. I just don't.

KASICH: I agree!

HANNITY: Another four years of Obama policies are a disaster. All right, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

KASICH: Thank you, sir. All right.

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

CHRISTIE: Wait until you see what Hillary Clinton will do to this country and how she will drown us in debt!


CHRISTIE: She is the real adversary tonight!


HANNITY: New Jersey governor Chris Christie went after Hillary Clinton hard at the GOP debate last night. He will join us next to explain his strategy.

Also, we get commentary from David Limbaugh and Tammy Bruce. They're here with their thoughts on last night's debate and more.


HANNITY: Welcome back to HANNITY. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he had a strong showing at yesterday's debate where he went after Hillary Clinton and put China on notice. Here's some of the highlights.


CHRISTIE: I believe the greatness of America is not in its government. The greatness of America is in the American people. And what we need to do is get the government the hell out of the way and let the American people win once again.


CHRISTIE: If you think that Mike Huckabee won't be the kind of president who will cut back spending or Chris Christie or John Kasich, wait till you see what Hillary Clinton will do to this country and how she'll drown us in debt. She is the real adversary tonight, and we better stay focused on Republicans on her.


CHRISTIE: If the Chinese commit cyber warfare against us, they are going to see cyber warfare like they have never seen before.

I'll tell you the thing that disturbs me the most with the Democratic Party in Washington, that they're not standing behind our police officers in this country, that they're allowing lawlessness, that they're allowing lawless to reign in this country.



HANNITY: Joining us now, 2016 presidential candidate, governor of the great state of New Jersey Chris Christie is with us. Governor, good to see you. Good night last night for you.

CHRISTIE: Thank you, Sean. It was a really good night. I enjoyed myself in Milwaukee. And now I'm back in Iowa getting ready for another town hall meeting.

HANNITY: Bobby Jindal was baiting you a lot last night. Let me play a little bit of it. You weren't going to have any part of it, which was interesting to me. Let's roll the tape.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's not a second liberal party. Let's actually cut government spending. Let's grow the American economy. Let's not just beat Hillary. Let's elect a conservative to the White House, not just any Republican.

CHRISTIE: I'll tell you, it's interesting, if you go the New Jersey, they'll call me lots of different things. A liberal is not one of them.


CHRISTIE: And I'll say this. I have great respect for Bobby's record in Louisiana. I think he's been a wonderful governor and I think he's provided outstanding leadership in that state, and I respect him for what he's done. And I think that all of us deserve that same level of respect.

JINDAL: We need a conservative, not a big government Republican.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last word briefly.

CHRISTIE: Let me just say this. It's interesting, I complimented bobby. Imagine how much time he'd want if I actually criticized him.



HANNITY: You weren't going to have any part of that. And I felt that that must have been a strategy going in because they gave you every opportunity to battle him. Tell me what was going on.

CHRISTIE: Sean, listen, I'm not running against Bobby Jindal. I'm running against Hillary Rodham Clinton. And I want a party to remain focused and keep our eye on the prize. There's no silver medals in all this, no silver medals at all. We want to win the White House back and that's what I'm aiming to do. And so you don't allow yourself to get distracted by other things. Keep yourself focused on the prize. That's what I did last night.

HANNITY: There were three big issues emerging from last night's debate -- immigration, differences in terms of economic plans, and certainly America's role in the world. Let me start with immigration. Where do you stand on the issue? Everybody seems to agree, secure the borders, secure the borders first. I would like to see that happen. What do you do after that?

CHRISTIE: E-Verify, Sean, is a the enormous thing not only to secure the border but also to deal with the problems we have here, and a biometrics system on visas to make sure that people do not overstay their visas. And 40 percent of the folks who are here illegally overstayed their visas. I think you work on both of those programs and you deal with the large bulk of the problem that we have in the United States already.

HANNITY: And the 11 million?

CHRISTIE: That's how you deal with the 11 million, Sean. If those folks can't get jobs, they're not staying. That's the bottom line. And that's why you e-Verify and you make the penalty for any employer who employs someone who is here illegally twice the amount of money they made off of that employee. That would get business' attention and get them to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

HANNITY: Did you agree with Trump when he said, you know what, the Russians just had an airliner shot out of the sky, and if Putin wants to take out ISIS let them do it. We shouldn't have to do it all of the time. What is your reaction to that?

CHRISTIE: My reaction is that's naive. And Vladimir Putin has no interest in dealing with ISIS at all. And he's there to prop up Assad, Sean. That's the only reason he's there. That's when he's brought the Iranians and the Cubans into the fight to support Assad and keep this murderous dictator in place. Putin's never had any interest in ISIS and he doesn't have any interest in ISIS now.

HANNITY: We have some differences on economic policy. You seem to be the one candidate that wants to remind everybody that the federal government has stolen from every citizen. There's no lockbox. And so, but the big question is how do you jump-start an economy, stop this record debt and deficit accumulation that we have, and get those Americans in poverty on food stamps back to work and those out of the labor force jobs?

CHRISTIE: Economic growth, Sean. And this president's not interested in economic growth nor is Hillary Clinton. They're interested in income redistribution. And so that's why my tax plan gets rid of every loophole and deduction except for the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable contribution deduction. It lowers rate to at or below the Reagan level from the mid-1980s where we saw extraordinary economic growth with those rates under President Reagan. We can replicate that again. Under my plan we will. And we will get rid of a whole bunch of IRS agents on top of it as I said last night.

So it's time to get our economy growing again and get the absolute burden of regulation off the backs and out of the pockets of small businesspeople with regulations like Dodd-Frank and Obamacare and the EPA and OSHA. We need to curb that back. I got rid of one-third of the regulations in my first year as governor that my predecessor put in place. I'll bring the same focus to regulatory reform as president. Those two things combined along with changes in our corporate tax system and repatriation of the money from overseas will get our economy growing at four percent or greater. If we do that, we're going to really be helping the American people at every income level.

HANNITY: Would you move to get America energy independent and how long do you think it would be?

CHRISTIE: Absolutely right. And we are on the verge of it, Sean. I absolutely would. We have to drill for more oil. We have to explore for more natural gas. We've got a 100-years supply underneath this country and we need to get it.

And the other thing we need to do is to partner with our neighbors in Canada and Mexico, not cancel the Keystone pipeline like this radical liberal environmentalist Barack Obama has done and Hillary Clinton agrees with.

And we need to work with Mexico who is now denationalizing their energy industry so we can invest in it. We will have North America be the energy continent in a Christie presidency. That will allow us to be energy independent, drive down costs, create manufacturing jobs, Sean, and also allow us to be stronger around the world and not have Europe depending upon Putin for energy.

HANNITY: All right, governor, I see a lot of people are waiting for you. We appreciate your time. Thanks for being with us.

CHRISTIE: Sean, thanks for having me tonight. I look forward to seeing you soon.

HANNITY: You bet.

And coming up next tonight here on "Hannity" --


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I'm not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place when the United States is the strongest military power in the world.

SEN. RAND PAUL, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How is it conservative to add $1 trillion in military expenditures? You cannot be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you are not going to pay for.


HANNITY: David Limbaugh, Tammy Bruce are here with reaction to the most talked about moments from last night's GOP debate. That and more straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Last night's GOP debate did not disappoint. Here are some of the highlights.


RUBIO: I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I'm not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place when the United States is the strongest military power in the world.

PAUL: How it is conservative to add $1 trillion in military expenditures? You cannot be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you're not going to pay for.

CARLY FIORINA, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Big government has created a big business called politics. We must take our government back.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can't continue to be the policemen of the world. We owe $19 trillion. We have a country that's going to hell.

JEB BUSH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're not going to be the world's policemen, but we sure as heck should be the world's leader. That's a huge difference. Without us leading, voids are filled.

DR. BEN CARSON, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have no problem with being vetted. What I do have a problem with is being lied about and then putting that out there as truth.


GOV. JOHN KASICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Come on, folks, we all know you can't pick them up and ship them across -- back across the border. It's a silly argument. It's not an adult argument. It makes no sense.


TRUMP: All I can say is you're lucky in Ohio that you struck oil. That's the one thing.

KASICH: We can't ship 11 million out of this country. Children would be terrified and it will not work. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've had a good --

TRUMP: I've built an unbelievable company worth billions and billions of dollars. I don't have to hear from this man, believe me.


HANNITY: All right, who won, who fell short? Joining me now with reaction, author of the brand new book "The Emmaus Code, Finding Jesus in the Old Testament," David Limbaugh, FOX News contributor Tammy Bruce. Winners, losers?

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think that everybody who is not liking what the establishment has done is the winner. It was clear that Jeb Bush needed to do something last night that would explain why we should have a man from the same family, a third one, to be in the White House in 25 years. He did not explain that. It wasn't clear. There is so much talent on that lineup.

HANNITY: There really was. The conservatives were the winners last night.

BRUCE: Yes, exactly. So conservatives are the winners. Jeb Bush, John Kasich representing the old ways, did not do well. I think thought ultimately also that it's Rubio who seems to be the inheritor of the establishment. That could be a negative for him. Ted Cruz then comes out to being the person who now has an opportunity to show a certain kind of depth, that he is the conservative, though, that he can respond and relate to everyone.

HANNITY: I would say Cruz and Rubio I thought had the best night.

BRUCE: I'm a fan of Fiorina, but she needs to start weaving her success into her ground game, and that is what we need to see.

HANNITY: Well said. David?

DAVID LIMBAUGH, AUTHOR, "THE EMMAUS CODE": That's interesting. I looked at it in different categories. I think that the clear losers were Paul, who committed political suicide by announcing he's basically --

HANNITY: I actually thought Rand Paul had good remarks about democratic states, about mentioning the penny plan.

LIMBAUGH: Absolutely.

HANNITY: The differences on foreign policy.

LIMBAUGH: On foreign policy, it's prohibited, the position he took. Kasich absolutely lost. He came off as a scold. I like him personally, too. I hate to say it, but he's lecturing people. You can't be conservative and bring up this compassionate conservative. He has got to be an ambassador for conservatism and yet he is telling the world conservatives proper are uncompassionate.

HANNITY: I know him. I felt and I said this to him earlier tonight, I felt he was off. I felt that's not the guy that I knew that I was seeing last night.

LIMBAUGH: He comes in like he's disgusted that the whole world doesn't pick him and he's superior. Aren't you smart enough to realize --

HANNITY: Did you think that, too?

BRUCE: I think what I watched is I thought, boy, what a great debate it would be with Jim Webb, Jeb Bush, and Kasich. You'd have the great old time liberals from the 60s, right? But that was the Democratic Party. And it's like this is where it's kind of -- and I think they all in a way know that, that the Democratic Party is not open for them anymore. Of course they've lost their way. But the voters, certainly the Republican base, I think they like everybody who is up there. Each one is so talented, it's very exciting. But this is where we get the opportunity to vet and to weave through who is there.

HANNITY: I also -- I don't think if you look at past debates that the audience is measuring their like or dislike of either Donald Trump or Ben Carson based on the debates. I thought Donald Trump had a really big moment when he showed more passion, and he's already a passionate guy, about the military and Iraq and also pointing out we don't know who we support. We have made that mistake as a country a lot of times. We think we're supporting opposition groups that will depose this dictator or that dictator. They end up being worse. Good point.

LIMBAUGH: Yes. I think Trump did things that he needed to do, which he continues to act more mature in the debates and not as flamboyant.

HANNITY: "Let Jeb speak," that cracked me up.

LIMBAUGH: Yes. That part going after an interruption, that might have been a little bad, or not bad, but it may not have played well with some. But he did well, he held his own, same with Carson. But they're viewed on a different level. They're not held to the same standard.

HANNITY: I say watch Cruz's and Rubio's number. I want to see that.

LIMBAUGH: Cruz was awesome. He's coming out like I want him to. Rubio was impressive as he always is. But I think Cruz was --

HANNITY: And Cruz was hated by the establishment go all the way, that's an interesting question.

BRUCE: Yes. That was the question with Reagan as well is that you have a man who is going to have to navigate that. If we're going to get a real conservative in the White House that is the navigation. And the establishment does have to admit it at a certain point.

Now, look, I think for the next debate it is going to be pared done even more. Chris Christie, I'm not a big fan of Chris Christie and even I'm beginning to like him. I will support whoever the nominee is. Chris Christie had a good debate, but the video on drug addiction, the nature of who he is personally, I think that we can hopefully as the base manage some of these individuals, but let's make sure that we get the best conservative, not who can be electable. Whoever is electable is the person we vote for.

HANNITY: That's well said. We're out of time. Congratulations on the success of the book. I saw you are like 10 on Amazon, "The Emmaus Code."

LIMBAUGH: It deserves it. It's an awesome book.

BRUCE: I have it. Look. There it is.

HANNITY: And coming up, we need your help. A really important "Question of the Day." I'll give you a hint, it has to do with the debate. That's straight ahead.


HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." So who do you think won last night's Republican debate? Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

And now in honor of Veterans Day, we want to shine a spotlight on the work of Building Homes for Heroes and what they're doing for injured vets. To thank those who serve our country, this week they have gifted four different Purple Heart recipients with mortgage-free homes. Building Homes for Heroes, we featured them not that long ago on this program.

That is all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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