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Kelly File

Ted Cruz goes toe-to-toe with Donald Trump on citizenship

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," January 15, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, just 24 hours after the big Republican debate. Media outlets across America are now declaring this contest effectively a four-man race. And tonight, two of the four will be right here.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. Seven men squared off last night and one of the most entertaining debates of the 2016 election cycle. But when the dust settled, analysts declared the regular season is now over and the playoffs are finally here. But are they right? We'll have more on that in a moment.

First, National Journal saying, South Carolina debate crowns a GOP final four that Trump shows he is a front-runner. Rubio and Cruz duke it out and Christie hangs tough. Townhall arguing Trump Cruz and Rubio pulled away from the pocket's last night's debate. And National Review with a similar take. Saying, the Republican primary is increasingly focus on four men. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie.

In moments, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be here. Plus, we'll have in-depth analysis from the life of Chris Stirewalt and Howard Kurtz. Bret Baier, one of my co-moderator at the next debates which happens on January 28th. And then we will speak with Dana Perino about the biggest price of all. The general election in which of these guys could possibly best Hillary Clinton.

But we begin tonight with Frank Luntz and his focus group. They got the chance to speak to one of the other candidates that made very big headlines last night. Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Watch this.

FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: Senator Ted Cruz.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Senator, what would you want this South Carolina audience to know about you and your candidacy?

SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, listen, rather than give a speech you guys have endured a two-and-a-half hour debate. So the last thing you need is filibustering. I do think we saw some good contrast tonight. I do think we had a good opportunity to compare the candidates, compare our records, compare our vision. I thought, by the way, I thought FOX Business did a fabulous job moderating. I haven't always thought that. But this one, I thought there were good questions. You know, what I would like to do rather than yabber at folks is just have a conversation. I mean, I would love to ask you guys, what do you wish had been asked? What do you wish we had been talking about?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to hear about the health care. How are we going to change that?

CRUZ: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many health care feels and how it fears for the future of our country and health care? How can we change it if you're elected?

CRUZ: Listen, health care is fundamental to all of us. I think we need to start by repealing every word of ObamaCare. I think ObamaCare has been a disaster. Excellent.

(LAUGHTER)

I've never seen those dials. I watched them on TV but never seen them.

LUNTZ: There's your score right there. You have an 83-86.

CRUZ: But well, listen, once we repeal ObamaCare, nobody thinks we're done. We need common sense health care reform and I think it needs to follow principles of expanding competition, expanding the marketplace, and empowering consumers to make health care decisions in consultation with their doctors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say repeal, how easy is that to actually do?

CRUZ: So, it's a great question. It is not easy to do. And the sad reality is an awful lot of politicians in Washington, both Democrats and a lot of Republicans, are largely resigned to ObamaCare being a permanent feature of our economy. The only way I think we can repeal it is to make this election a referendum on repealing ObamaCare and also on adopting a simple flat tax. Those are the two big legislative packages that I'm running on. Neither one of those could get done today in Washington.

But if we come out of November 2016 with a mandate from the people, you change the rules, you change the dynamics in Washington. There is an old joke that politics is Hollywood for ugly people. Which my wife says I resemble that joke.

(LAUGHTER)

But, you know, that -- go back to 1981. Think about the last time we beat what I call the Washington cartel. The career politicians in both parties that get in bed with the lobbyists and special interests. The Reagan revolution came from the people and this was this incredible tidal wave that changes Washington. And, you know, in 1981, Tip O'Neill, the democratic speaker of the House, told Ronald Reagan, don't even send your tax plan over. It is dead on arrival. I've got 20 votes to kill it. And Reagan didn't go and try to cajole him and use his Irish wit.

Reagan went over their heads. Reagan went to the American people, made the case to the American people. People began lighting up the phones. And tip saw his votes disappearing, 20 became 19, became 18, became 17. And that's how we got tax reform cutting the top rate from 70 percent to 28 percent. That's the only way we actually repeal ObamaCare is that same sort of grassroots movement from the people.

LUNTZ: But they are very skeptical. And I want the second row to answer this question. I'm going to start with you. I asked you all what you think of Congress. And none of you like the Republicans there, even though you're all Republican, give the senator a word or phrase to describe what you think of Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do-nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Traitors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hate to say this, but with all due respect, it's a big embarrassing joke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yep.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Out of touch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I say traitor except for you. Because I started to read your book.

CRUZ: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say, unprincipled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Weak.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inept.

LUNTZ: So, it's a way it close out this segment. Why are you different?

CRUZ: Well, listen, I agree with everything that's been said. I mean, people are frustrated out of our minds. For one thing we keep winning elections. We won a tidal wave election in 2010. One control of the House. We won another tidal wave election in 2014 and what does leadership do? Funds all of Obama's priorities. It funds ObamaCare, it funds amnesty. It funds the Iran deal, it funds the Syrian refugees. I mean, it's nuts. And the only way to change it, look, is coming from the people. You know, what I tried to do in the Senate from day one is been two things, tell the truth and do what I said I would do.

And I promise you, by the way, as bad as you think it is, it's worse. Susan mentioned very kindly that she is reading my book. You know, the whole book is what I call the Washington cartel. It's about telling the inside story. Where what's happening is, leadership in both parties are not listening to the people who elected them. They are listening to the big money in Washington and the only way to change it is going back to the last time we did it. Building grassroots movement. Why all of my time is in the grassroots trying to energize, trying to empower because frankly I can't break the cartel, but you can. That's the only power strong enough. It is the people rising up and forcing the elected officials in both parties to listen to them and be accountable to them.

LUNTZ: Do you guys agree to that? Does he sound different to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

LUNTZ: You will get a chance to ask him -- wait. Does he sound different to you? Yes or no? Who says he sounds different than the typical member of Congress, raise your hands.

Not bad. Who says he doesn't? Two people. What question would you ask Senator Cruz?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question I would ask you is, what makes you think you can beat Hillary Clinton?

LUNTZ: Great question.

CRUZ: Great question. It is the single most important question. I think our country is in crisis. If we keep going down this road, we will going to lose our country. My daughters are seven and five. I'm scared for the country they inherit if we don't win. Now what we hear over and over again on TV from all the folks in Washington, is the way we win is to run to the middle. Is to run and basically to run Democrat-like. That's what we're told. And I'm a numbers guy, a data guy. We got to win.

If you look at the last election, we won, 2004, you compare it to 2008 and `12, the single biggest difference is the millions of conservatives who showed up in '04, who stayed home in '08 and stayed home in bigger numbers in '12. And they fall basically in two categories. Evangelical Christians and Reagan Democrats, blue collar working class, I think the number one issue if we were going to win in 2016, is how do you bring those millions of conservatives back to the polls? And I'll tell you, Heidi and I before we launched the campaign, I mean, we spent a lot of months in prayer thinking about it.

You don't lightly throw a young family with two little girls into the insanity of a presidential race. And the biggest factor that led us to go forward is that I look at the other candidates, people who I like and respect, I don't see any other candidates who I think are likely to energize and mobilize and inspire those millions of conservatives that have been staying home and to bring together that old Reagan coalition. And the reason I decided to run is that I think based on the record I've built of standing and fighting for conservative principles over and over again that I'm in the best position to bring the evangelicals back, to bring the Reagan Democrats back, to reassemble that Reagan coalition and that's the only way I believe we win.

LUNTZ: How many of you think, if it is Ted Cruz versus Hillary Clinton, how many of you think Ted Cruz wins?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No question.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLY: How about that?

Joining me now, Chris Stirewalt, our FOX News digital politics editor and Howie Kurtz, host of "MediaBuzz" right here on FNC. It's pretty extraordinary to see that exchange moments after he was up on that stage, and it does speak to Ted Cruz's gift of, you know, being able to articulate his positions and where he stands so well. Let me start with that last piece, Stirewalt though. The piece about the millions of conservatives who stayed at home. I've read a lot of pieces saying that is a myth and that is not true and that the way the Republicans actually have to win this year, and you tell me, this is just what I've read from smart people, is to get -- is to peel off some of the Obama coalition.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Well, first, I like how they ask, do you think you could beat Hillary Clinton when he was standing right there. What the heck were they going to say? No, this guy is a loser. Get him out of here. They are both right. Ted Cruz is right is that what we are talking right here are white males essentially in the upper Midwest. We're talking about Ohio. Pennsylvania. Wisconsin. We're talking about those voters. They underperform.

They underperform 2012 there. Those folks are not the Obama coalition. And Republicans expected them to turn out and they were not there. That having been said, that ain't going to feed the bulldog. Republicans needs to be able to do both things at once. They need to walk and chew gum. They need to get their coalition strengthened and revitalized but simultaneously be able to do well with, yes Hispanic voters, yes, Asian voters, yes younger voters. But first and foremost, what do they have to do? They have to succeed with female voters --

KELLY: Women.

STIREWALT: -- and especially female voters who have college degrees and are more affluent.

KELLY: Uh-hm. Howie, do you agree before we went to that segment with the headlines that this is now a four-man race?

HOWARD KURTZ, "MEDIA BUZZ" HOST: No. I think it is a two-person race with Rubio and Christie having had good -- at the moment.

KELLY: Cruz and Trump you're saying?

KURTZ: And Ted and Trump. Yes. But here is the thing, I mean, Ted is a good talker. As we saw right there. And he stood up to Trump. And that helped him. But it remains to be seen whether the Texas debate champion is built for the kind of New York Street fighting he needs for Trump. And speaking of New York, you know, we all in this business Megyn, we score who scored who landed the punch, who deflected the karate chop. From talking to civilians and listening to the media echo chamber, I think that that exchange that we say Trump won over New York values, when he invoked the heartbreak and the bravery of 9/11 may have been more than just winning the moment. In talking to civilians as I say, I think a guy who's known for a bombast and insults was able to project a more compassionate site in a way that could resonate beyond just a few news cycles.

KELLY: Uh-hm. Chris, last night, people were saying, Rich Lowry was suggesting, if Trump wins Iowa and New Hampshire, he runs the table. And that's it. Today, there were some push back on claims like that by people like Charlie Cook saying, hold on. There is a whole lot more delegates that come after those initial states. And when we get to March, that's where we get into the winner take all and suggesting it is not really going to be done after Iowa and New Hampshire. Your thoughts.

STIREWALT: When it comes to picking a president, picking a nominee, you eat like a cowboy. Cowboy's only got one dish. So, he can only eat one thing at a time.

KELLY: Beans.

STIREWALT: Usually beans. That's Mel Brooks. But you only can have one, and through the month of February, you can only have one election at a time. So how you do in Iowa affects how do you in New Hampshire. Which affects how do you in South Carolina. Which affects how you do in Nevada. Which then talks about going into March where you get two big days plus a Michigan primary. There's a lot of interconnectedness. There's a lot of inner dependency here. So, here is what I would say, to anybody who says, well, you win there, she wins that, you run the table, it's over. Yes. Or no. We don't know this cycle. We don't know what it is like to have a person with a hundred percent name ID who is creating absolute snap crackle pop in the electorate like Donald Trump is.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

STIREWALT: But in both directions. We don't know how this is going to pan out. So, we would be fools to sit here --

KELLY: Go ahead, Howie.

KURTZ: I would just say this. If Ted Cruz doesn't get Iowa after getting expectations so high, he will miss his best chance to slow down the Trump express.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

KURTZ: And by the way, Washington Post top political writer has a story today with the headlines, can Donald Trump actually be the Republican nominee. And I would say, can it actually be after all these months of Trump being dominants that we are still asking that question. Of course he can. Whether he will be stopped is another question.

KELLY: Great to see you both. Thank you.

STIREWALT: You bet.

KURTZ: Thank you.

KELLY: Long night for them. And I appreciate them staying out and doing this.

Well, as we mentioned, one of the men who finds himself in the so-called final four after last night's debate will join us in moments. We will ask Governor Chris Christie about the controversy that continues to dog him as he tries to defend his record.

Plus, would you vote for a candidate you like even if you believed they could not beat Hillary Clinton? Dana Perino is just ahead on how that question could start changing this race.

And then, it's the Powerball winner who wasn't. Horrifying new details on how one poor nurse with the terrible, terrible son, went from thinking that she won the billion dollars to learning it appears to have been a cruel prank.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I said he supported Sonia Sotomayor, who is one of the most liberal justices on the Supreme Court because he supported her nomination. He denies it. This is a quote, politicker New Jersey on July 17th, 2009, this is a quote. I support her appointment to the Supreme Court and urge the Senate to keep politics out of the process and confirm her nomination.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: That was Senator Marco Rubio just hours ago reacting to his clash with Governor Chris Christie at the FOX Business Network debate last night. Mr. Rubio and Christie found themselves in a sort of mini debate over Governor Christie's record on everything from the Supreme Court as you heard there, to gun control and even common core. Governor Christie joins us in a moment to respond.

But first Trace Gallagher is here with how the fact checkers scored this. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, PolitiFact says the Governor Christie's claim that he did not support Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is flat out false. We found out that he certainly did call her nomination and historic moment that should make the Latino community and all-Americans proud but it is also clear that she would not have been at the top of Chris Christie's list. Quote, "While Judge Sotomayor would not have been my choice President Obama has used his opportunity to fill a seat on the Supreme Court by choosing a nominee who has more than proven her capability, competence and ability."

Christie also claims he never wrote a check to Planned Parenthood but in a New Jersey star Ledger Article from September of `94, Christie was quoted saying, I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution and that should be the goal of any such agency to find private donations." Christie is now convinced he was misquoted. The Washington Post says, he was either misleading voters in `94 or is doing so now. As for Christie supporting common core educational standards, turns out he did before he didn't. He said quote, "This is one of those areas where I've agreed more with the President than not."

But last year, he said, again quoting, "It's been five years since common core was adopted. Truth is, it's not working." Christie also claims common core has been eliminated in New Jersey and while it has been substantially cut back, it has not yet been eliminated. When it comes to gun control, Chris Christie has used his experience as a federal prosecutor to argue both sides. In 2009, the Washington Post wrote that as a federal prosecutor, Christie saw that a certain gun control measures can help take illegal guns away without infringing on second amendment rights. Now he's become more pro-gun rights saying, quoting, "The biggest reason I changed my mind was my seven years as a federal prosecutor" -- Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.

Joining us now, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican candidate for president. Governor, good to see you. Thanks for being here.

So, what do you make of these? Let's just tick through them quickly. Because I want to give you the chance to respond. On Sotomayor, you tell me, you seemed to be saying, I didn't want her, she wasn't my choice. But you did ultimately throw your support behind her. So when Rubio said you supported her, what is wrong about that?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is wrong. Because what I said was, she wasn't my kind of judge. She would not have been my choice. And she is not somebody that would have wanted on the bench. But what I did say afterwards Megyn was that, she deserved an up or down vote. And people should give her an up or down vote the same way I demanded that they give Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts in an up or down vote.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: But you said specifically, I support her appointment to the Supreme Court. I support her. You called it a historic moment. An inspiring success story that should not only make the Latino community proud but all- Americans.

CHRISTIE: It is an inspiring success story for the Latino community. It doesn't mean I would have appointed her to the Supreme Court. I clearly said that I didn't. I wouldn't have supported her to the Supreme Court.

KELLY: OK.

CHRISTIE: So, the fact is though, Megyn, this is the stuff that you do if you're United States senator, and this is why nothing gets done down there. Because you take people's words out of context. You don't give it a complete meaning. And then you create gridlock. I mean, that's what Marco has been very good at, when he showed up for work.

KELLY: He is trying to paint you as a guy who is pretty liberal and not as conservative as he is. And so, that's why he is taking off his example. Let's talk about the Planned Parenthood one.

CHRISTIE: Megyn, wait a second, Megyn. Before -- Megyn --

KELLY: Go ahead.

CHRISTIE: Megyn, before we go on, I mean, it is kind of funny that the guy who is the author of the gang of eight amnesty bill, he coauthored it with Chuck Schumer, that granted amnesty, to people who are here illegally, is now saying that someone else is not a conservative. And as soon as the heat got turned up there, he turned tail and ran.

KELLY: But now I want to tick through these with you. Because I know you can defend your record --

CHRISTIE: Sure.

KELLY: So, I would love to hear your defense. The Planned Parenthood thing is in black and white. The Washington Post says, you said it, you say I was misquoted. It is a pretty detailed explanation of, you didn't want public funds going to Planned Parenthood. That is what you were trying to tell them.

CHRISTIE: Correct. Yes.

KELLY: But in making that case, they say, you got specific and said, look, I support them privately with my personal contributions. That should be the goal of any agency to find private donations. They completely busted that up? They got that totally wrong? Did you dispute it at the time?

CHRISTIE: No. Here is how they got it wrong, Megyn. What I said was, that organizations like that should be supported with private funds. And I do that. Not that organization. That organizations like that should not be getting government funding. And that's how they messed up the quote.

KELLY: How about the gun?

CHRISTIE: And I don't hold it against him. Because he works for me now.

KELLY: Because last time, last night on the guns, you touted the fact that you once proposed a ban that you once vetoed a bill that would have banned future sales of this .50 caliber rifle. But isn't it true that you were the one who first proposed that ban on the .50 caliber rifle? Before you were against it, you were the one proposing it?

CHRISTIE: No, it was a commission that I put together, it was a group of folks who made recommendations to me. I look forward at all those recommendations, and then the legislature came back and what they wanted to do was not only ban future sales, they wanted to confiscate guns that have already been purchased and I said, you know, this bill just goes too far and I vetoed it.

KELLY: But you were the one who proposed a ban on the .50 caliber rifle, right?

CHRISTIE: Megyn, a group of people who are putting forward advice to me on a whole range of gun control and gun related bills put that forward. It was forwarded out of the governor's office. And the legislature did not do what we asked them to do. Here is the problem with Senator Rubio. Last night he rattled off a bunch of things that his awful research guys have given him. Then when I started answering back, he didn't answer back last night, when I was on the stage. He waits until he gets to New Hampshire. And you'll notice, look at the split screen, when I'm talking to him, he can't even look at me.

He cannot even look at me after making those charges. And so, you know, the fact is that Marco has a lot of guts when I'm not standing next to him. But last night when I'm standing next to him, he would not have brought it up if Neil Cavuto would not have brought it up himself in the question. And then when I answered it and he has the opportunity, he could have said right back to me, no, Governor you're wrong, those defenses are wrong. He certainly argued back and forth enough with Ted Cruz last night. Why didn't he take a look at me and tell me that I wasn't telling the truth when I was saying, he was being disingenuous. Because he didn't have the guts to do it. Because he knows that he is twisting the facts like any senator does. They twist the facts. Filibuster. And he didn't, you know, he couldn't justify his position.

KELLY: Maybe he was embarrassed that you guys were wearing the same outfit. It's like, that's how, you know, women do it at a party. Just try not to make eye contact. It's awkward.

(LAUGHTER)

Governor. Thank you for doing this.

CHRISTIE: Well, you know, I always send Marco my tie choice beforehand. And if he disregards it, then that's up to him.

KELLY: That's right. That's on him. All the best.

CHRISTIE: On him, Megyn.

KELLY: See you soon.

CHRISTIE: Thank you.

KELLY: It is awkward, right? That's why I have to wear something like this with a collar blocking. Because you never know what's going to happen.

So now you have heard from Governor Christie. You heard from Senator Cruz. What about the rest of the field?

Bret Baier is here next with his takeaway from the showdown in South Carolina and what it means for the next debate hosted by FNC on January 28.

Plus, after a son pulled a billion dollar Powerball prank on his mother, her boss steps in to try to make it right. A story you have to see straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUBIO: Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being commander-in-chief of the United States. Someone who cannot handle intelligence information appropriately cannot be commander-in-chief. And someone who lies to the families of those four victims in Benghazi can never be president of the United States.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: That was Florida Senator Marco Rubio last night scoring points on democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton with the reference to both her e- mail scandal and to the ongoing questions over how she handled Benghazi and the terror attack that happened there September 11th, 2012.

Joining me now, host of "Special Report" and one of my co-moderators in the upcoming FOX News debate Bret Baier. So, Bret, we are lucky, because we get the last crack at these guys before the actual voting begins and with the Iowa caucuses. And the next debate is January 28, just in case people aren't aware.

BRET BAIER, "SPECIAL REPORT" ANCHOR: It's going to be fun.

KELLY: It's going to be really fun. We're getting ready with our questions now. So, those are sort of the twin issues. He went to the place that hurts for Hillary, e-mails and Benghazi. Let's just talk about that because you have done a lot of work on Benghazi, did an hour-long special, it was very compelling. And now the movie has come out "13 Hours," do you think that's going to resurrect as an issue? I mean, how big an issue in this race?

BAIER: Yes. Listen, Megyn, I think you're hearing more and more candidates raise it. I think you had Donald Trump rent out a theater in Des Moines so people could see the movie "13 Hours" as part of a, you know, a voter ploy, I think. Also you know, you heard the President mentioned Benghazi in the State of the Union. From a pop culture standpoint, the Benghazi story just by this movie will reach more people. It won't be as tough to understand in that format. So, a lot of people will likely see that movie.

Plus you have the Benghazi Committee that eventually will come out with a report with details. New details we're told that will paint the different picture behind the scenes. So I think it will factor in, if not now then in the general election.

KELLY: What do you make of the predictions we heard in the first segment? Howie Kurtz is saying he thinks it's a two-man race now. He thinks it is Trump, Cruz and you could say good bye to everybody else.

BAIER: I think two-man race is a little tough to jump there. A lot can happen, as you know, in a short period of time. A lot depends on the ground game. And we don't know until you get to the first vote.

KELLY: Don't they decide late in Iowa? Like history shows they decide pretty late, right before the contest.

BAIER: Exactly. And some of the people -- I was just there talking to a number of caucus goers, and they told me that they were leaning one way but they decided in the last two weeks, last cycle. Sometimes in the last week, so you know who shows up in the firehouse in the middle of winter is different than some poll answering a telephone call.

KELLY: And the ground game. We heard so much about the ground game in Iowa. Apparently, Ted Cruz is very organized in this respect. Trump is not. But Trump's response is you've got -- you know 6,000 people who come to one of my rallies. You're telling me they're not going to show up on voting day? Even if they don't have a history of doing it, he doesn't believe they're not going to do it this time.

BAIER: That is a fair point. There's a lot of passion on the Trump side. But also in these Trump rallies, there are people with the campaigns saying don't forget you have to register as a Republican. You know there are a lot of independents and Democrats who come out to see Trump and support Trump. That factors in New Hampshire because it is an open primary. In Iowa you have to be registered Republican.

KELLY: What do you think our challenge is with less than two weeks to go until our next debate?

BAIER: You know it is all about timing. It is all about spinning struggling plates.

KELLY: I thought that wouldn't happen this time.

BAIER: No, Neil and Maria I think did a great job with all of the exchanges.

KELLY: Agreed.

BAIER: I this we will try to get to substance but also let it breath and let them talk about the issues that are key on the trail.

KELLY: Going to be exciting. If you could only hear the debates we have behind the scenes. First we beat up on each other. Brett and Chris and I, and then we go out there...

BAIER: Then polish them down.

KELLY: Yes. Brett's always talking about the dismount. Improve on the dismount of your question.

BAIER: Always the dismount.

KELLY: And I think their questions are too wordy, great to see you, Brett.

BAIER: Good to see you, Megyn.

KELLY: Well, the Republican primary is one thing, but the general election is something else altogether. Who now has a realistic shot at winning at all and who doesn't? Dana Perino is here with new polling on the biggest question of all, just ahead. And Frank Luntz and our focus group are back with the issues that made them mad as hell. See how that may play out in early voting.

FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: How many of you are mad as hell -- everybody.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Even before the first votes are cast, this is shaping up to be an election for the history books, as so-called nontraditional candidates find themselves driving the process, and trampling all over early predictions. So what is driving the voters who are supporting those candidates? Well, Frank Luntz put that question to the focus group. Here he is with more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUNTZ: More than half of them will tell you they are mad as hell and not going to take it any more. Let's find out what our South Carolinian voters think. How many of you are mad as hell -- everybody. What are you so angry at?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we are paying as much for refugees and immigrants in this country as we are paying for our V.A. veterans care right now, $168 billion a year.

LUNTZ: Are you that mad?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am mad.

LUNTZ: Over what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our health care is going straight down the toilet. We can't convince any doctors to treat patients. Our military is not being supported. And our borders are open.

LUNTZ: This anger that people feel, it's not productive, is it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Health care. I got laid off because of ObamaCare. And it's not fair, people losing jobs, people losing money. And people aren't -- I got to buy health care now and it is $350 a month. I can't afford that.

LUNTZ: Some people have been protected by it. Some people now have health care available. Why does that make you so angry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What bothers me the most in the country is that you can't even speak the truth anymore or else you will be called a racist or bigot or any other...

LUNTZ: So political correctness, does that bother you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It bothers me very much.

LUNTZ: Because?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I have a right to my opinion without being labeled something. It is ridiculous. It has.

LUNTZ: You're calling it discrimination. How? Explain that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, because anyone who says anything has to watch everything they say, and you can't label a spade a spade. And everyone is afraid to talk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What it really boils down for me is the cultural change. I could have never imagined that in eight years of my country I could have seen such a huge cultural change.

LUNTZ: What do you mean by that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An overwhelming umbrella of everything. It goes to how we treat our veterans, it goes to how we treat our older people, and it is a cultural change. How we are educating our children or not educating our children. How we treat one another. We have a majority of Republicans in a congress and we can't get anything done. They are all voting with the Democrats.

LUNTZ: Who is mad at congress? You're Republicans. It's a Republican leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of them lie.

LUNTZ: Republicans in congress?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have lied to us. They can't get anything done. They are lying because they say they will defeat Obamacare. They've done nothing. They say they will protect social security...

LUNTZ: What do you want from them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want them to stop lying. Tell the truth.

LUNTZ: I want to understand what's going on with Republicans in congress because they've got the house and senate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want my government back. I want my government back that is supposed to be a citizen legislature, not supposed to be a political class that has taken over and it is us versus them.

LUNTZ: What do you want congress to do? They have a Democratic President.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have been timid, weak. Grow a backbone. Follow the constitution. Change it.

LUNTZ: You would impeach Barack Obama? How many of you -- seriously? How many of you by show of hands would impeach Barack Obama? Come on. Are you for real?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has broken so many laws that it is ridiculous that he is still in office.

LUNTZ: You would impeach Barack Obama?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Executive overreach.

LUNTZ: That's impeachable?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not impeachable but it shouldn't...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody should be above the law, including the President of the United States.

LUNTZ: How many people believe in term limits for members of congress?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.

LUNTZ: How many if you could, would throw every member of congress out and every incumbent and start over? That's just about all of you. In they are watching in Washington, you're in big, big trouble.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Coming up, meet the Powerball winner who wasn't. And what is turning out to be a billion dollar prank.

Up next after this break, Dana Perino on the effort to win the ultimate prize, the White House.

LUNTZ: How many of you by show of hands think at least one of them should drop out? Raise your hands.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUNTZ: How many of you by show of hands think at least one of them should drop out? Raise your hands. Ok, here we go. I am going to countdown and tell the American people which candidate should be gone after tonight, ready, three, two, one...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christie.

KELLY: One thing is absolutely clear. Frank Luntz's focus group believes someone needs to drop out of this White House race. Who should it be? That's less clear. Dana Perino is co-host of "The Five" and former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, and author of the book "And the Good News Is," good to see you.

DANA PERINO, "THE FIV"E CO-HOST: Yes, I just got back from Charleston.

KELLY: I know. You were there on a whirlwind tour.

PERINO: Yes. I haven't had a chance to be there this year so I did get a feel for the crowd.

KELLY: Obviously, Trump did very well. Cruz did very well. The question is, now that we seen to have the lanes defined, Trump and Cruz battling it out for true conservative. Or I don't know whether Trump is a true conservative in most people's view, but the alternate lane, versus Rubio and Christie. What should the American electorate think about when it comes to electability?

PERINO: One thing that comes from the discussion of the debate, which was able to meet the goal, they set out for. I would say that one is Rubio. He said himself aside. If you say who the top three are, you take three dresses into the dressing room to try on like one, two, and three. I would say Trump, Cruz and Rubio at this point.

KELLY: Does one of these make us look fat?

PERINO: That's the question -- when you put it on in front of the three- way mirror. I always have to have everything hemmed.

KELLY: Do you think Rubio's got that lane secured? So is it a three-man race or four-man race?

PERINO: I think Christie could surprise and do well in New Hampshire. Can he do that? I don't know. He hired some people. It is different groups leading up to it. One of the most important groups we've talked about on your show is women. And single women will make up 25 percent of the electorate in 2016.

KELLY: General electorate.

PERINO: General electorate. Why is that important? Because President Obama won women by 10 percent point, 55 to 44 percent in the general election, so if you look at something like Trump and Cruz they don't do that well with women. They have some room to grow, I would say. Rubio does a little bit better with women and that's an important one for him. And another one to look out though of course is Hispanics. If you look the match-up with Clintons and Hispanics, across the board, they are pretty good.

KELLY: What do you mean pretty good?

PERINO: For Clinton they are good. In terms of Latinos for Clinton, versus Trump 69 percent to 27 percent, that's a huge difference.

KELLY: Isn't that what it wound up being for Romney?

PERINO: It is better for Clinton than even for Obama when it comes to Romney, because 43, President George W. Bush won 44 percent of Hispanics in 2004.

KELLY: Is that even possible?

PERINO: Romney won 27 percent. It might not be possible. But if they don't try they won't be close to winning a general election because of demographic changes. It was estimated that Romney needed to win at least 35 percent of Hispanic vote to even hope to win general election...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Trump, he doesn't do very well with women in the general electorate. He doesn't do well with Hispanics in the general electorate. But some say he's going to peel off some Democrats, unlike other candidates. He's such a populist on certain issues, especially economic issues that he's going to pull off more Democrats than the other ways would.

PERINO: That is possibly true. I met a woman last night in the hall who said do you want to talk to a former Democrat who became a Republican because I am supporting Trump? I said sure. That might be one of the ways Obama beat Clinton, brought new voters to the table. If Trump can bring new voters, he can have a shot.

KELLY: Fascinating, 17 days to go until the first caucuses in the country in Iowa. And we'll be there, Dana, great to see you.

PERINO: Thanks.

KELLY: There have been plenty of Powerball stories this week. But this will make you feel -- you will -- you will cry in your soup. Stay tuned for that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: When a long-time nursing home employee learned she may have won it all in this week's Powerball, her colleagues and even her bosses suggested she could not be more deserving. But in one of the most brutal, evil, awful twists we have seen this week, not only did this woman not win, she may have been pranked by a member of her own family. Trace Gallagher has more from the west coast newsroom, Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER: Megyn, the 62-year-old nurse got the Powerball ticket from her boss, who bought 18,000 tickets for all of his employees and residents at his many senior care facilities. On the night of the drawing, the nurse's son sent her a cell phone picture of what he said was her winning ticket. The nurse kept working, but as word got out, the nursing home started celebrating. Then the whole party came crashing down when lottery officials got skeptical and anonymous sources started knocking down the claims.

Turns out, the woman was pranked by her son, who thought it would be amusing to tell his mom that she was $528 million richer, funny, right? Well, not so much for the rest of the nurse's family who called the prank embarrassing. The owner of the nursing home called it despicable, but has now said he's offering a nice consolation prize. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone said this is a joke I would probably want you to let her know that I am going to get her an all-paid vacation wherever she wants to go. Because this is -- this is one of those bad jokes. Not funny.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: The nursing homeowner also offered to send her family along for the vacation, but something tells me only six of the seven kids will get invited. So the so Cal winner is still a mystery, as is the Florida winner, a family in Mumford, Tennessee, claims to hold one of the winning tickets there. And as soon as the Tennessee lottery makes it official, we'll make it official.

KELLY: Ah. They have already been on TV but what proof is that? Trace, great to see you, thank you, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Go to facebook.com/kellyfile file and let me know what you thought of tonight's show, and who you think won last night's debate. Less than two weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses. I am Megyn Kelly. This is the "Kelly File."

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