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Ted Cruz: Trump will continue cronyism, corporate welfare in DC; Marco Rubio: As president, Clinton would need to pardon herself

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 20, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, the Iowa caucuses are just 12 days away and the rivalry between GOP front-runners Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz is intensifying. Now, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average, the two candidates are neck and neck in the Hawkeye State, Donald Trump in first with 28.8 percent of the vote, Senator Ted Cruz right behind at 26.6 percent.

Here with reaction, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Texas senator Ted Cruz. Senator, good to see you again. Welcome back.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sean, great to be with you.

HANNITY: I got to tell you, this has really become a slugfest in the minds-- I have friends that support you. I have friends that support Trump. It's palpable! And there's even -- there's almost, like, an anger that's building between the two camps.

From your perspective, how do you see this competition?

CRUZ: Well -- well, listen, I agree that Donald seems to be getting very angry. I mean, he's rattled and he's tossing out a lot of insults. I have no intention of responding in kind. I don't intend to insult him. In fact, I like Donald. I respect him. And I'm interested in getting into a mud-slinging fight. So if he wants to do that, that's his choice, but I won't be doing it.

What I will be doing is keeping the race focused on issues and substance. I think that's what the voters expect. I think that's what they deserve.

And right now, the men and women of this country are trying to make the determination who is best prepared to be commander-in-chief. And who can we trust to be a consistent conservative.  We're tired of getting burned. Who can we trust to actually deliver on and do what they say they'll do?

HANNITY: Do you now see this as a two-man race? I mean, I'm looking at polls, obviously very tight in Iowa. It's pretty much a fight for second place, according to the polls in New Hampshire. You're in second place in South Carolina, second place in Florida, second place in Georgia, first place in Utah in a poll that came out this week.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: Is it a two-man race in your mind?

CRUZ: You know, Sean, I think it very much is becoming a two-man race between me and Donald. And you know, one with of the really strong signs of that is you're seeing the Washington establishment dumping their candidate.

So for example, a lot of the establishment had been behind Marco Rubio. They've decided now he doesn't have a path to victory. They're moving to Donald Trump. And we're seeing that more and more.

And you know, it's kind of curious. Donald is publicly bragging about how all the big establishment players are getting behind him, and his criticism of me is he said I went to Washington and actually stood up and fought in Washington, and Donald has said, well, the problem he has with me is that I won't go along to get along in Washington. I won't cut deals. And Donald has promised he'll go to Washington, he'll cut deals, he'll go along to get along.

Now, I got to tell you, Sean. You know the conservatives across this country. I don't think the problem with Washington is that we haven't had enough Republicans willing to cut deals with the Democrats. The problem is, Republican leadership cuts deals every day with the Democrats, like this horrible omnibus bill that funded a trillion dollars, funded all of Obama's big government priorities.

And the establishment seems to have made a determination Donald Trump's guy they can make a deal with who will continue the cronyism and corporate welfare and bail-outs for big banks. And I think we're seeing conservatives getting behind us, and we're seeing the Washington establishment getting behind Donald Trump, interestingly enough.

HANNITY: It's interesting you reveal it that way because I've always thought the establishment despised both of you. And -- which -- and I don't mean that in a bad way. I'm a proud insurgent supporter, if you will, in this election because, like you, I feel that Washington Republicans failed us.

When you say you're going to fight -- for example, in 2010, the promise was repeal and replace ObamaCare. They wouldn't use the power of the purse. In 2014, it was stop executive amnesty.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: They funded it and they've now punted it to the courts. How do you fight that battle if you get to be commander-in-chief? Explain the process in which you would be able to do that.

CRUZ: Look, the only way to fight that battle, I believe, is with a strong conservative president. Congressional leadership -- they're simply not going to lead. But with a strong conservative president, it's an altogether different world.

For one thing, the way Obama has abused his power, the tool he has used most often is executive authority. He's abused his constitutional power. The silver lining of that is everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power.

That's why I've pledged on day one to rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action done by Barack Obama. It's why I've pledged to direct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and prosecute any criminal violation. It's why I have pledged to end the persecution of religious liberty in the federal government. It's why I've pledged to direct the Department of Education to end Common Core. A strong, vigorous executive can undo the damage of the Obama administration.

HANNITY: You know...

CRUZ: But secondly, when it comes to Congress, a president that is prepared to say to congressional leadership, If you send me a bill that is filled with corporate welfare, that's filled with pork, that's filled with cronyism, I will veto it. That's what Reagan did, and it changed the entire direction of this country. That's exactly what I'm committed to doing, as well.

HANNITY: Let's talk about the trajectory of the race. When you were recently on my radio show, you said, no, Iowa is not a must win for the Cruz campaign, for your campaign.

Talk about the path for the primary, through the primary, and tell me in a general election what states do you believe a Ted Cruz candidacy could put in play against either Hillary or Bernie or maybe Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, I don't know, if Hillary, in fact, got indicted?

CRUZ: Well, we'll start with the primary, where you asked. I think we are all in in each of the first four states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada. We've got amazing teams on the ground in each of the first four states.

What we're seeing is conservatives coming together behind our campaign, and we're seeing the establishment coming together behind Donald Trump's campaign. I like those odds. There are more conservatives than there are the establishment. I believe we're well positioned to do really well in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada. And then 10 days after South Carolina is Super Tuesday, the SEC states -- Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas.

I think Super Tuesday is going to be an amazing day for our campaign, where conservatives say, We don't want someone who views the job of president as, Let's expand the role of Washington, let's cut more deals with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, let's have more cronyism and bail-outs.

And you know, we're seeing real distinctions on the issues. So for example, Donald Trump enthusiastically supported the TARP bail-out of big banks. I opposed it. He enthusiastically supported Barack Obama's stimulus plan. He thought it should have been bigger. I think it was a disaster and a waste of money.

Actually, Donald not only supported both of those, but he argued that ObamaCare should be expand to make it socialized medicine for everyone. Actually, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have basically the same health care plan. I disagree. As president, I will sign legislation -- we will repeal every word of ObamaCare!

So there's a sharp policy distinction, and I think in the primary, Republican voters want a conservative. They don't want a deal maker who has written checks and supported Hillary Clinton and Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and Chuck Schumer.

HANNITY: Let me ask you...

CRUZ: They want instead a principled Reagan conservative.

HANNITY: Maybe Donald Trump took the biggest shot at you today. He actually compared you to Hillary Clinton. I want to ask you about that. And you had two people come out, one against you and one for Donald Trump -- Governor Palin's endorsement. She had endorsed you for the Senate, and Governor Branstad and his comments saying anybody pretty much but Ted Cruz. Your reaction to all those comments.

CRUZ: Oh, listen, Sarah Palin -- I love Sarah Palin. I wouldn't be in the Senate without her support. She's made her decision for 2016. That's her prerogative. Regardless of that decision, I will remain a big, big fan of Sarah Palin's.

And I do think the decision of who is the consistent conservative, who's the genuine conservative -- that's a decision that's going to be made by the men and women of Iowa, by the men and women of New Hampshire and South Carolina and the states that are voting.

As for Governor Branstad, you know, it's actually interesting. That is an example of the establishment getting behind Donald Trump, of the Washington cartel getting behind Donald Trump. You know, and in fact, the governor's explanation for why is he wants a leader like Donald Trump who will continue the mandates, the ethanol mandate, in fact, expand it.

You know, my view is we should have no mandates at all, no subsidies, no Washington picking winners and losers, no cronyism, but rather a level playing field. That's why my tax plan is a simple flat tax, 10 percent for everybody, no mandates, no subsidies for oil and gas, no subsidies ethanol, for wind, for solar, for anybody else.

Washington is not in the influence playing business. We bring power back to the people. I think that's what the Republican voters are looking for.

HANNITY: And when we come back, we'll have more with Senator Ted Cruz. He'll give his closing arguments heading into Iowa.

But coming up next...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: (INAUDIBLE) Did you wipe the server?

HILLARY CLINTON, D-N.Y., FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What, like, with a cloth or something? No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: You mean, like, with a cloth or something? Anyway, a new report reveals that Hillary Clinton had e-mails that were beyond top secret on her private server. Now, could this new development put her behind bars? Senator Ted Cruz will weigh in.

Also tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENA DUNHAM, ACTOR: I cannot talk about Hillary Clinton without also acknowledging the horrific gender attack on every aspect of her character that she endures from the media.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, some of Hillary Clinton's biggest supporters, like Hollywood liberal Lena Dunham -- well, now reportedly second-guessing Hillary over her role in her husband's numerous scandals.

All of that plus presidential GOP candidate Senator Marco Rubio is here tonight on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." There is a major development in Hillary Clinton's ongoing server scandal. Now, as our own Catherine Herridge first reported, e-mails on Clinton's unsecure server were found to have contained information that was beyond top secret.

Now, despite being under FBI investigation and mounting evidence against her, now, Clinton has used nearly every excuse in the book to try and brush this scandal aside. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, D-N.Y., FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal e-mail account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two.

I think that it might have been smarter to have those two devices from the very beginning.

I did not receive nor sent anything that was classified.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: (INAUDIBLE) Did you wipe the server?

CLINTON: What, like with a cloth or something?

No. By the way, you may have seen that I recently launched a Snapchat account. I love it! Those messages disappear all by themselves!

My use of personal e-mail was allowed by the State Department. It clearly wasn't the best choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: My favorite is, "Like with a cloth?

Back with more reaction, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz. Senator, this seems to be getting more serious. The intelligence community inspector general, Charles McCullough, laid out findings after review by the intelligence agencies identifying several dozen additional classified e-mails, including Special Access Programs, SAP, a level of classification beyond top secret.

Now, that would be a huge -- that would be multiple felonies that we're talking about here.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: Do you suspect she might not end up being the nominee but might end up being indicted?

CRUZ: Listen, these are very, very serious charges coming from the inspector general. The SAP files, which is the higher level of classification -- the reason they get that higher level of classification because you can reveal intelligence collection methods and sources. The reason it has that classification is you don't want our covert operatives at risk, potentially at risk of being compromised or even kidnapped or murdered by revealing the information, the intelligence that they have collected.

And for her to have this on an unsecured server that I guess it was reported was in a bathroom somewhere -- that is a very, very serious allegation. And I would note General Petraeus was criminally prosecuted. Right now, the Obama Pentagon is trying to strip him of one of his stars for doing what appears on the face to be much, much less than Hillary Clinton did.

It really raises the suspicion that the Obama White House is behaving as it always does, putting politics ahead of the law and ahead of defending this nation's interests and national security.

HANNITY: I want to go back to what came up in the debate, this "New York values" issue. It was an issue that came up that I took personally, and the result was I got many invitations to become citizens of other states, or certainly move to those states.

But Andrew Cuomo said this about conservatives. I want you to listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, D, NEW YORK: Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that's who they are and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York because that's not who New Yorkers are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I'm pro-life. I am pro-Second Amendment. I'm pro-traditional marriage. I'm not anti-anything. That is a pretty severe thing for the governor of a state to say, basically saying I'm not wanted in this state. And they do take a lot of my tax money, I will point out to you, nearly 10 percent state, nearly 4 percent city tax. Your reaction.

CRUZ: Well, look, that comment reflects the arrogance of the big government liberals who have been running New York politics for a long time. That comment manifests exactly what New York values are.

And you know, I would note that the phrase "New York values," when I wrought it up, it came originally from Donald Trump, from his own words. He did an interview with Tim Russert, long interview, where he explained his views that he was very, very, very pro-choice, that he supported partial-birth abortion, which is really an extreme view on the issue of life, that he was in favor of partial-birth abortion and he was open to gay marriage because he had been born and raised in New York, and his background -- he said he has the views of New York and that New York views and New York values are different, and he explicitly says they're different from Iowa values.

Well, he's right in that. And it's interesting that Donald took such offense when I repeated his own words and said, Well, he reflects New York values.

HANNITY: And you apologized to New Yorkers on my radio show.

CRUZ: I did, indeed. I apologized to the millions of conservatives in New York who've been abandoned by liberal politicians. I apologized to all the men and women that want to work in New York but can't because Governor Cuomo's banned fracking, and so they don't get high-paying jobs that people just south in Pennsylvania get.

I apologized to all of the African-American children who Mayor de Blasio tried to throw out of their charter schools, which were giving them lifeline to the American dream. And I apologized in particular to the cops and to the firefighters and all the 9/11 heroes, who had no choice but, stand and turn their back on Mayor de Blasio because over and over again, he sides with the criminals and looters rather than the brave men and women in blue!

HANNITY: Let me give you an opportunity -- we're going to be in Iowa next week, so I assume we'll have you on the program at least one more time before the Iowa caucuses, but -- and in fairness, I'll give Mr. Trump -- I agree this is right now looking like a two-man race -- an opportunity do so, as well.

But closing arguments, policy differences, foreign policy, the Iranian deal. What would a Ted Cruz, Senator Cruz, President Cruz, White House look like versus, in your mind, a Donald Trump White House?

CRUZ: Well, Sean, every one of us has had the experience of supporting politicians who say good things on the campaign trail and then they don't do what they say. It's why people are so frustrated with Republican leadership in Congress because we were promised if we had Republican majorities in Congress, they would do something. They wouldn't just cut deals with Harry Reid and the Democrats.

So what I would suggest to voters -- don't listen to what any of the candidates say on the campaign trail. Campaigns' rhetoric is cheap. Ignore what I say. Ignore what Donald says. Look to our records. Who has actually stood up and fought?

If you say you're going to take on Washington, when you have stood up and led the fight? For example, every Republican says they oppose ObamaCare. The question you ought to ask, in 2013, when we had an epic drag- down battle, where were you in that fight?

I was standing with millions of Americans leading the fight against ObamaCare. Mr. Trump was nowhere to be found. He was not part of that fight. He didn't show up for that fight.

In 2013, when Harry Reid and Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer came after the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, millions of Americans rose up to defend our constitutional rights. Once again, I was proud to lead that fight. Once again Mr. Trump was nowhere to be found. He had been advocating previously for restricting so-called assault weapons. And when it came a time to defend the Second Amendment, he wasn't there.

And even on amnesty -- you know, on the campaign trail. Donald likes to talk a lot about amnesty. Well, we had an epic drag-down battle in 2013 on amnesty, where President Obama and Chuck Schumer joined with establishment Republicans like Marco Rubio to push through a massive amnesty plan. And it passed the Senate. It was about to pass the House. You remember, Sean, Republican leadership in the House was going to join with the Democrats and pass it over the objections of Republicans.

And I stood shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and millions of Americans defending our sovereignty, standing against amnesty, fighting to secure the borders.

On the other side was Marco Rubio, who was with Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama. And missing from the entire battle was Donald Trump! If he cared about this issue so much, where was he when the fight was on the verge of being lost, and if millions of us hadn't risen up, Barack Obama would have granted amnesty to 12 million people here illegally and we would have lost this battle?

And what I would suggest is as the scriptures tell us, you shall know them by their fruits. Don't listen to the words of the candidates, look at the walk and the action. That's how we determine.

And I'll make one final point. The most important determination anyone is making in this election is who's prepared to be commander-in-chief. Who has the experience, who has the knowledge, who has the clarity of vision, the strength and resolve and the judgment to keep this country safe?

If I am elected president, we will defeat radical Islamic terrorism. We will utterly destroy ISIS, and Iran will not get nuclear weapons. I will rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal.

Donald Trump has pledged to keep the deal in place and try to negotiate! You don't negotiate with the Ayatollah Khamenei, who chants "Death to America," you defeat him! And we need a leader who doesn't get rattled by the latest drop in polls, who doesn't wake up in the morning with a frenzy of tweets, but rather has the clarity of vision and strength to keep this country safe.

That's what I'll do as president, Sean, and I think that's why conservatives are uniting behind us across all the country. It's why the establishment is headed to Donald.

HANNITY: All right, Senator, we'll be in Iowa most of next week, and we'll, hopefully, see you and all the other candidates there. Thank you so much. Only 12 days to go. Here we are. Game time.

And coming up -- the countdown to Iowa is on, and Senator Marco Rubio continues to surge in the polls. We'll ask Senator Rubio about his strategy to win the Republican nomination. That's next.

Also, later tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENA DUNHAM, ACTOR: I cannot talk about Hillary Clinton without also acknowledging the horrific gender attacks on every aspect of her character that she has endured from the media.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: A new report in The New York Times says Hollywood liberal Lena Dunham is singing a very different tune behind closed doors and now questioning Hillary Clinton's role in her husband's past scandals.

All of that, plus Herman Cain joins us to weigh in on the 2016 race tonight as "Hannity" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So the Iowa caucuses are only 12 days away. The GOP rivals are making their final case to voters all across the Hawkeye State.

Here now to make his final arguments, highlighting his campaign differences, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio.

It seems that you're just in a solid third position. How do you push through now to get to Trump and Cruz, which I'm sure is where you want to go?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first, I think that's already happening, Sean. And in fact, as you know, as voters get closer to Election Day in these states, they make their minds up in a hard way.

And here's the bottom line. Our next president has to be someone that is going to reverse all of the damage that Barack Obama has done to America, and that's what I will do. My first day in office, I'm going to repeal every single one of Barack Obama's unconstitutional executive orders. So that means the end of all this gun control stuff, the end to all of these radical environmental policies from the EPA, the end to any sort of federal effort on Common Core. We're going to cancel any sort of federal funding of abortions overseas. We're going to end the deal with Iran.

That's just on first day in office. I'm also the only one running for president that's ever done anything against ObamaCare -- not a speech, but I actually achieved something. I led the effort and we got rid of the bail-out fund, which may very well lead to the collapse of ObamaCare. But whether it does or doesn't, when I'm president, ObamaCare is gone.

And here's something that separates me from a few of the people in this race. I am not going to cut our military. On the contrary, I am going to rebuild our military. It's going to remain the strongest in the world. And we're going to find the terrorists with our intelligence agencies. We're going to destroy the terrorists with our military.

And if we capture them alive, they are going to be sent on a one-way ticket to Guantanamo, Cuba, and we're going to find out everything they know.

HANNITY: Let's go to the -- how you see the state of this race. There was a poll that came out. You're a solid third in Iowa, solid third in New Hampshire. Take us beyond that, where you think you start winning these primaries -- not that you won't win these. I don't know -- I don't have a crystal ball, but where you think you begin to break out or your best scenario in your mind that you break out.

RUBIO: Well, first of all, anyone who knows about these states and has been there, like I Have now, you realize a lot of voters have made up their minds, but a lot of them are still waiting to make up their minds. They may have a preference today, but that'll change in the next few days as we get closer and they learn more about the candidates.

That includes the people supporting me now, by the way, so we need to continue to work hard. We are one of the few campaigns that's actually very competitive everywhere. We have a great team in South Carolina. We have a great team in Nevada, and then beyond that.

So we feel very confident about -- at the end of this process, when the delegates are counted, we are going to have more delegates than anyone else and we're going to have enough to be the nominee.

And here's what's really important, Sean. We cannot lose this election. No matter what, we cannot lose to Hillary Clinton. She is not qualified to be president. In fact, she's disqualified. She lied about Benghazi.

Now, today, we have all this news about how she inappropriately handled classified information by placing it on her e-mail server. This is an outrage. How can someone like this be commander-in-chief of the United States?

I will beat Hillary Clinton.

HANNITY: You know...

RUBIO: That's why she doesn't want to run against me...

HANNITY: Well, let me ask...

RUBIO: ... why she spends all her time attacking me.

HANNITY: The intelligence community inspector general, Charles McCullough, laid out his report, a comprehensive review by the intelligence agencies that identified, on top of the 1,300 e-mails that she said she never sent or received, that included specific intelligence known as Special Access Programs. You know what they are. SAP I guess is its acronym.

RUBIO: Right. That's right.

HANNITY: And apparently, this is a level of intelligence classification that goes beyond top secret. Now, am I wrong in my reading of the law that this would be...

RUBIO: It's very serious.

HANNITY: ... multiple felonies -- felony in every case? I mean, isn't this indictable?

RUBIO: Yes, this is very serious. And in fact, if Hillary Clinton, God forbid, were elected president, one of the first things she'll probably have to do is pardon herself.

This is very serious. Number one, obviously, there was a legal element to it. And again, we're going to leave that to the FBI and to the Justice Department.

I can tell you, when I'm president of the United States, we're going to have attorney general for whom no one is above the law. And that doesn't just mean what's happening now. This also means Fast and Furious. We don't talk about that anymore but there were reports today in the press that in the stash that El Chapo had included guns that were purchased or accessed through Fast and Furious. So there is going to be accountability. Eric Holder has never been held accountable. No one in that department was ever held accountable. We're going to look at that as well.

But moving forward, there are legal issues here. But let me just say, how can the next commander and chief be someone like Hillary Clinton who inappropriately stashes highly classified information on her own personal email server, leaving it out there to be picked apart by the Chinese, the Russians? In fact virtually any advanced intelligence agency could have gotten access for that.

HANNITY: Do you believe you are the most electable of all the candidates. Now, some polls show you are better in a matchup against Hillary Clinton head-to-head in a general election. Should electability in your mind be a factor in people considering either caucusing or voting in a primary?

RUBIO: I am someone -- the strongest conservative that gives us a chance to defeat Hillary Clinton, the best chance. This is what this has to be about. At the end of the day we have our differences in the Republican Party. We have been talking about those in this primary cycle. But eventually we are all going to be together on the same team.

We cannot allow Hillary Clinton or, God forbid for that matter, Bernie Sanders to be president of the United States. The damage that Barack Obama has done to America is so extensive. If we get this election wrong, Sean, we may not be able to turn this thing around. It may be damage, it may be permanent, and we cannot lose this election.

I will beat Hillary Clinton. She does not want to run against me. You can see that in the press releases and in the way they act towards me. But I can't wait to run against her. And, of course, I want the voters to give me that chance because we will beat Hillary Clinton and then we will reverse the damage that Barack Obama has done to this great country.

HANNITY: All right, as always, thank you, senator, for being with us.

RUBIO: Thanks, Sean. Thank you.

HANNITY: All right, and coming up, according to the "New York Times" Hollywood liberal Lena Dunham allegedly having second thoughts about Clinton thanks to Hillary's role in her husband's many scandals. Laura Ingraham joins us.

And then later tonight, the one and only Herman Cain, Mr. 999, is here in studio.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENA DUNHAM: I admired Hillary Clinton for many years. She was not content to hide her accomplishment and cede her identity to her husband. She used her time in the White House to help form the Department of Justice Office of Violence against Women, and she also promoted the call that women rapes are human rapes.

I cannot talk about Hillary Clinton without also acknowledging the horrific gender attacks on every aspect of her character that she has endured from the media.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was HBO's so-called star, Hollywood liberal Lena Dunham showering Hillary Clinton with praise. But now according to the "New York Times" Ms. Dunham's feelings about the Democratic frontrunner are much more conflicted behind closed doors.

In an article released earlier today "The Times" claimed that Lena a few months ago at a party, quote, "told the guests at a Park Avenue apartment that the chief executive of HBO that she was disturbed by how in the 1990s the Clintons and their allies discredited women who said they had sexual encounters or had been sexually assaulted by former president Bill Clinton."

We reached out to Ms. Dunham for a comment. Her spokesman told us, "Lena is fully supportive of Hillary Clinton and her track record for protecting women." We reached out to the and-a-half campaign. They don't like me. No response.

Joining us now for reaction, editor in chief of Lifezette.com Laura Ingraham, and FOX News contributor Julie Roginsky. This "New York Times" article is devastating. It says they quoted a young feminist saying Hillary is starting to look like, quote, "a craven opportunist and an apologist for a predator."

JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, can you support Hillary Clinton as I do because you support her policies and not support the behavior that her husband engaged in in the 90's if not earlier.

HANNITY: What about her role.

ROGINSKY: And not support her role in diminishing some of these women who made these allegations. Certainly there is no excuse for that.

HANNITY: Laura Ingraham, I actually have three of these women that claim to be assaulted on my radio show tomorrow. And I have interviewed them all before, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, and Juanita Broaddrick. Their stories are compelling and, to quote Lisa Myers, too credible. Your reaction?

LAURA INGRAHAM, EDITOR IN CHIEF, LIFEZETTE.COM: I think if this behavior had been a man running for president, working to undermine and besmirch the credibility and reputation of former romantic interests of his wife, I don't know. It seems like -- liberals are willing to cut Hillary a lot of slack. I don't know what Lena Dunham believes or what she doesn't believe, nor do I really care.

But I think it's quite obvious that a younger generation of women who weren't around in the 90s but who vote now are hearing a lot of these stories, Sean, and I'm glad you are having Broaddrick and Willey and Flowers on the show, but they are hearing it for the first time. So when they hear that Diane Blair, Hillary's close confidante, in her diaries recounted how Hillary called Monica Lewinski a narcissistic loony tune or how she implicitly or not so implicitly threatened Juanita Broaddrick with a tight squeeze on the hand when Juanita Broaddrick was expressing to friends what happened to her at the hands of Bill Clinton, that's the first time they are healing of it.

So Hillary's whole selling point for her candidacy is I'm confident in my track record is a good track record. As far as I can tell she has no track record of accomplishment and she has a past of besmirching the reputation of women who have been abused at the hands of her husband.  

HANNITY: Laura, there was a really interesting column written by our colleague Kirsten Powers, and she was discussing Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton and how times have changed. And that reminded us of the comment, Hillary's close friend James Carville dragged a $10 bill through a trailer park. Imagine if that was said today. I don't remember Hillary saying, hey, James that's over the top. And now Hillary saying those who have been victims have a right to be believed.

INGRAHAM: Liberal women and liberal men get a pass. So you can have a liberal man saying horrific things and he will get a pass. But when it's an icon like Hillary Clinton who, again, as far as I can tell zero accomplishments as secretary of state except a really unstable Middle East. I don't know what her accomplishments are as a senator other than the violence against women conference.

HANNITY: Benghazi.

INGRAHAM: Benghazi, right. I don't know what her accomplishments are except she was married to Bill Clinton, the last president who did preside over a pretty strong economy after working with Newt Gingrich. That's her whole selling point. So is that enough? I don't think so.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this, a very simple question. If Hillary says victims of assault, sexual assault have a right to be believed, isn't she also saying Paula Jones has a right to be believed, Juanita has a right to be believed, Willey has a right to be believed? In that sense it's become such a fair, relevant question.

ROGINSKY: I'm not until there is evidence to the contrary. She shouldn't have said it, and the reason she shouldn't have said it is, you are right, she does have this hanging over her. Her behavior was not --

HANNITY: Times have changed.

ROGINSKY: It's not just times have changed. I remember when James Carville made that quote. I was in my mid 20s when that quote was made about the trailer park and I cringed at it then. Again, what the difficulty is here, you can support the policies and not support the personal behavior, and it is problematic for her because, as Laura --

INGRAHAM: What policies? What policies do you support?

ROGINSKY: Laura, the reality is I think her policies would do more for women, you would obviously disagree, than the policies of someone like Donald Trump.

INGRAHAM: Name three.

ROGINSKY: What policies that she would do to support? First of all I'm very strongly pro-choice, which Sean is going to freak out about.

INGRAHAM: So we can abort more and more of children, that's a winner for women?

ROGINSKY: As I said, you disagree with it, but I believe that is good for women.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGINSKY: She would support equal pay for equal work, something that Republicans oppose.

HANNITY: She paid women less at her own State Department. She could have paid them the same.

ROGINSKY: I'm answering the question.

HANNITY: She paid women less.

ROGINSKY: Sean, I worked alongside her in the Senate. Her chief of staff was a woman. Her communications director was a woman. The top people in her office were women --

HANNITY: That got paid less than men.

ROGINSKY: What men? They were the highest paid people in the office because we had the top jobs in the office.

HANNITY: Last word, Laura?

INGRAHAM: She also did something for another woman. She allowed Susan Rice to go out and tell a false story on Benghazi when she knew, she knew that that was a false story about that video. She was OK to send Susan Rice out there to do the dirty work. Is that going to be a real pal to women? I don't think so.

HANNITY: We have got to end there. Good to see you both. Thank you.

INGRAHAM: Thanks.

HANNITY: And coming up next tonight on this busy HANNITY.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I knew Donald Trump before he made the decision to run for president. So this is not a new situation for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was former presidential candidate Mr. 999, Herman Cain speaking at a Donald Trump rally back in November. Is he now 12 days out of Iowa willing to endorse a candidate? We will ask him as he joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: One of the reasons that I continue to set the record straight every day, as many of you all know, is because you have a lot of people in the media and the establishment that are trying to bring down Trump with lies and BS, and it's not going to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, that was Herman Cain back in November speaking at a rally for Donald Trump. Cain did not officially endorse him that night, but with less than two weeks to go until Iowa is he ready to endorse a candidate? Joining us now, the author of the brand new book "The Right Problems, What the President, Congress, and Every Candidate should be Working On, Mr. 999, former presidential -

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Why are you laughing?

CAIN: Every time you say "999" I laugh because I am honored that you are still talking about it.

(LAUGHTER)

I love it.

HANNITY: This has become. You were maybe an early indicator of what was to come, maybe a preview of coming attractions, your campaign. I mean, you were on top for a while.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: Newt was on top for a while. But this year the insurgent candidates are staying on top.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: Why?

CAIN: Because I believe the American people have this sense of what they're looking for, and it's not the sound bites. It's not the back and forth. It's not the cage match that some people try to create. They're looking for three things. I'll boil it down to this, Sean. They're looking for leadership. They want a fighter and a winner. All of this noise about the negative attacks and stuff, some people may be responding to that. But people on Main Street, USA, and a lot of black people, they are looking for leadership. They want a fighter and a winner.

HANNITY: And who would they be most likely of the Republican field to vote for?

CAIN: Well, months ago, I picked Trump, Cruz, and Rubio. Who is leading in the polls?

HANNITY: Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.

CAIN: Now, three of my picks four months ago, they are still in the single digits for whatever reason because four months ago I was looking for, who do I think best projects those three qualities? And so far, the trend, Trump, Cruz, and Rubio. Now, relative to Iowa and relative to New Hampshire, the order that they finish I won't dare predict. But it will be one, two, and three.

HANNITY: Earlier in the show tonight I let Ted Cruz begin his closing arguments, his final arguments. You know, 12 days out of Iowa, it's going to go by fast. Tomorrow night we'll have Trump on to do the same thing. It seems to have become in many ways, in most states, a two-man race. Do you believe that?

CAIN: I believe it's still a three-man race.

HANNITY: You think Rubio is still in it.

CAIN: I think Rubio is still in it because he's very sharp.

HANNITY: He's tied for third in this poll that came out in Iowa.

CAIN: Exactly.

HANNITY: But it's Trump-Cruz in Georgia, Trump-Cruz in New Hampshire, Trump-Cruz Iowa, Trump-Cruz, they're all together. Although Cruz is winning, he has had some polls having him up in Iowa and in Utah.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: But so far it's very close.

CAIN: If Rubio's people are watching or if he's watching, I've got one big suggestion.

HANNITY: What's that?

CAIN: You've got to get bolder on tax replacements. Stop talking about tax reform.

HANNITY: Don't you think the big issue with primary voters this campaign cycle has become immigration, and hasn't that hurt him?

CAIN: It is one of them, and that has hurt him because of some of his previous stances. But of those top three, he's the only one that keeps talking about tax reform. Trump was the first one to put his tax plan on the table to replace the tax code. I rated it a seven out of ten, and he knows I rated a seven out of ten with ten being perfect. Then Cruz put his tax plan on the table. His is eight out of ten in my opinion, because you know --

HANNITY: What is mine?

CAIN: Well, I'm still working --

HANNITY: The penny plan. By the way, I would switch to a flat tax or a fair tax any day.

CAIN: That is what I am saying.

HANNITY: What does Rubio's play get?  

CAIN: Rubio?

HANNITY: Yes.

CAIN: I gave him an eight. No, no. Rubio, I give him a five because he's not talking replacement. And I keep saying you've got to talk replacement.
But they've got their consultants saying you've got to talk about tax reform.

HANNITY: Are you, Herman Cain, ready to endorse anybody tonight?

CAIN: No.

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: I have my favorites and I'm sticking with them.

HANNITY: Do you think any one of these top three of yours, Trump, Cruz, Rubio, is more electable than the other?  

CAIN: No. I think they're all equally electable once we get through the noise of the primaries.

HANNITY: Do you get the same stuff from all the supporters of all these candidates on your radio show. It drives you nuts, right?

CAIN: It drives you crazy. And it's also driving Main Street, USA crazy. I think all three of them are electable because if they have a solid message once they get the nomination, either one of them, they can beat Hillary Clinton, period.

HANNITY: If she's not in jail.

CAIN: Yes, if she's not in jail. But they can beat her because, number one, she does not project leadership. She tried to project fighter but she projects angry fighter, and she's not a winner legally. And that is a problem.

HANNITY: 999. New book is out, "The Right Problems," our good friend, Herman Cain.

When we come back, we need your help. A very important "Question of the Day" is next.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: All right, time for our "Question of the Day." So do you think it's time for Hillary Clinton to hire a criminal defense attorney? After the inspector general's report, I'd say it's time. Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

Now, earlier tonight we began the process of letting candidates start their closing arguments heading into Iowa. We had Ted Cruz and of course we also had Marco Rubio on tonight. Tune in tomorrow night. We'll have the same opportunity for 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. That's tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern, all part of the best election coverage.

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

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