Democratic strategist: Dems underestimate Ted Cruz; Carson: Leaders must have both confidence and humility

'Hannity' guests talk anti-Trump edition of National Review, infighting erupting in 2016 race


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST (voice-over):  Tonight, just 10 days until the Iowa caucuses.  We'll have reaction to the latest FOX news polls.


HANNITY:  Plus, National Review tries to take down Donald Trump, and the GOP front-runner fires back.

TRUMP:  People don't even think about The National Review.  So I guess they want to get a little publicity.  No, that's a dying paper.

HANNITY:  Then, the rivalry between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz intensifies, both candidates releasing attack ads against each other.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I want immigration reform to pass, and that allows those who are here illegally to come in out of the shadows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Trump colluded with Atlantic City insiders to bulldoze the home of an elderly widow for a limousine parking lot at his casino.

HANNITY:  All of that, plus Charles Krauthammer on Hillary Clinton's disastrous week and disastrous campaign.  And Dr. Ben Carson is here with his final pitch to you, the voters, before the Iowa caucuses.

"Hannity" starts right here, right now.


HANNITY:  And welcome to "Hannity."  And tonight, brand-new FOX polls have been released.  Donald Trump leads nationally with 34 percent, Senator Ted Cruz is in second with 20 percent, Senator Marco Rubio in third place with 11 percent.  Now, they're followed by Dr. Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.

Here with reaction, from The Weekly Standard, Steve Hayes, the co-host of the hit show, "The Five" Kimberly Guilfoyle, and the host of the other hit show on the weekend, the host of "Justice," Judge Jeanine Pirro.  Good to see you all.

All right, really, I think national polls don't matter.  It's all about Iowa, all about New Hampshire.  Two polls yesterday had Trump up by 11 and 10 respectively.  Does that seem to mean late-breaking people are beginning to go towards him in Iowa?

JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, "JUSTICE WITH JUDGE JEANINE":  Yes, it seems the undecided at this point are going with Donald Trump.  Donald has predicted if he wins Iowa, you know, almost game over.  And this hit by The National Review is something that is totally inconsistent with what the people want!

HANNITY:  Let me hold it up.  Yes, it is interesting.  But this is not the first time.  They did this to Newt in December of 2011, prior to the last race, and actually claimed that he wasn't a conservative.  Not the first time.

PIRRO:  Did they do it to Mitt Romney, the guy who started "Obamacare," or did it, like, a...

HANNITY:  No, they did it to Newt Gingrich, the solid conservative that brought Republicans into power for the first time in 40 years.

K.G., what do you think of both the polls and National Review?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST "THE FIVE":  I think the polls are consistent with the momentum and what we've been seeing in terms of the traction and the amount of, you know, media attention, the way that he's been a newsmaker.

And look, he's working very hard, Trump is, to get these numbers.  He's out there.  He's doing more interviews than anyone else.  So this is how you earn it.  This is how you win it.

And as for National Review, I was -- quite frankly, I was a little bit disappointed and surprised.  I want to see a Republican in the White House, and I want someone who's going to win.  And I don't think it's right at this point to be cannibalizing one another.

HANNITY:  Well, Steve Hayes, let me ask you this.  And my first thought when I read this -- and there are some people I really like a lot that signed onto this -- but where was National Review, when, in fact, the Republicans were going back on their promise against (sic) repealing and replacing "Obama care" and using the power of the purse or holding up the mantle of challenging a sitting president and stopping executive amnesty, which was the Republican promise in 2014?

I didn't see any special National Reviews, Republicans do this.  You know, I think that's a valid criticism, no?

STEPHEN HAYES, FOX CONTRIBUTOR:  Certainly, National Review has been leading the fight in many ways, with The Weekly Standard and others, challenging the Washington establishment and the crony capitalists here in Washington.  I mean, you think...

HANNITY:  Some have been excellent, you're right.

HAYES:  Authors like Andy McCarthy and Rich Lowry has done that, Jonah Goldberg has written those articles suggesting that the establishment that people in Washington...

HANNITY:  But not a special edition headline.

HAYES:  Yes, I think -- I think that they thought that this Trump ascendancy was worth a special edition.  And it includes a number of people.  I mean, it's interesting for me to see people try to cast National Review and these contributors as part of the Washington conservative establishment.  It's preposterous.  I mean, it includes authors like Erick Erickson, like Brent Bozell.  I mean, nobody's calling these people establishment.

So I think that's just the wrong thing.  And nobody should be surprised when an opinion magazine has opinions.  That's what they do.  They're perfectly within their rights to do it.  They're not on a team.  They don't have -- they don't have to...


HAYES:  ... to pump anybody up.

HANNITY:  They can do whatever they want.  I'm not critical at all.  Rich Lowry is our friend.  I want to be very clear about that.  Yes?

PIRRO:  He's our friend.  There's no question.


PIRRO:  But this smacks of the establishment pushing back on the Republican Party.  Donald Trump is the favorite of Republicans.  And for them to come out and say if he gets elected, he's going to trample conservative ideals on behalf of populism is needless and crude as Donald.  Are they saying that we're crude, that we don't know what we need?  It's almost like Obama saying, I know what's good for you.  Don't tell us what's good for us.  We know what's good for us!


HAYES:  It's a magazine -- it's an opinion magazine.

PIRRO:  Sure.

HAYES:  They have opinions.  They back them up.  I think they argued quite persuasively that Donald Trump isn't a conservative, hasn't been a conservative, and would do damage to the conservative movement.

Perfectly -- people are perfectly free to disagree with them and make arguments.  But the implication that it's somehow improper for a magazine of opinion to make these arguments is preposterous!


HANNITY:  Let me read what they said about Gingrich in December of 2011. "Gingrich's colleagues were right to bring his tenure as speaker to an end, his character flaws.  His impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked ideas made him a poor speaker of the House."  They even accused him of not being a conservative.

So Kimberly Guilfoyle, I ask you this question.  I think it's -- I Steve's right.  For seven months, people have questioned the legitimacy of Donald Trump's conservatism.  Clearly, a lot of people believe that he would -- at least populist -- you know, he's going to control the borders, he's going to have a tough plan on ISIS, economic -- he's laid out his plan.  I think he -- they've made their case for a long time now, and it doesn't seem to have hurt him.

GUILFOYLE:  No, I don't think -- I think this is actually going to help him.


GUILFOYLE:  I really do because I think it's going to motivate his supporters and people that don't want to be preached to and say, Listen, I'm going to support who I believe can take this country in the right direction.

He's been able to turn things like this into positives time and time again, and that's why he's been sucking all the oxygen out of the room from the other candidates.  You see him with a commanding national lead.  You see him now gaining in Iowa.  So wait and see what happens.  And if he takes Iowa, then I predict that he's going to take the other three.

HANNITY:  You know, Steve, a lot of what was written here talked about Trump's temperament.  And I remember a guy who I loved to interview, and I thought the world of, William F. Buckley.  And I could play, although I'd probably get in trouble, some highlights of debates that he had with Gore Vidal, were not exactly peace-loving moments of civility.

HAYES:  Yes.  No, I mean, and look, politics can be a very tough sport, and people who enter this business either as a candidate or on the opinion side should be well equipped to take arrows and slings and everything else.

Having said that, I do think that Donald Trump is a little bit different. I do think that -- you know, if you look at the kinds of arguments he's made, whether mocking Carly Fiorina's face or denigrating John McCain for his war heroism, making fun of a disabled reporter, all of those...

HANNITY:  OK, but Ted Cruz hasn't done that...

HAYES:  ... things it seems to me would...

HANNITY:  ... and the same people...

HAYES:  ... would suggest...

HANNITY:  ... you mentioned, you know, a lot of which hate Ted Cruz!  So it's going to be an insurgency year one way or the other, and I think that has...

HAYES:  Yes, I'm not...

HANNITY:  ... lot of people shaken up.

HAYES:  Look, I'm not making an argument for or against Ted Cruz.  I'm just saying, to answer your specific direct question about Donald Trump, I think if people are -- if people have questions or concerns about his character or temperament, whatever word you want to use, I think it's fine for people to have those and to express...


HAYES:  I'm a little surprised more conservatives who support Trump don't share those concerns, honestly.

PIRRO:  Look, here's the bottom line.  The establishment is scared!  Donald Trump is beholden to no one.  The American electorate knows it.  The Republicans know it.  And the fact that there aren't these attacks against Ted Cruz, pro-amnesty, now he's -- now he's against it...

HANNITY:  No, they're out there.


HANNITY:  In fairness, by the way...

PIRRO:  Yes, but I didn't see front page articles, people joining together.  
This is the one hand washing another...

HANNITY:  No, you've got Bob Dole.  You've got Trent Lott.  You've got -- you've got every Republican in D.C. hates him, I would argue, Kimberly, because Ted Cruz embarrassed them because he was willing to fight and use the power of the purse to defund "Obama care."  And he embarrassed them.

GUILFOYLE:  Right.  And my point simply is I just feel like the party should come together at a certain point.  If they were going to do this, maybe do it sometime earlier.  This seems to me to be a little bit pro-Cruz in terms of doing this to maybe shave points off of Donald Trump going into Iowa, which -- hey, it's an opinion magazine and...

HANNITY:  All right, last question.  I want to ask, yes or not.

GUILFOYLE:  ... they're entitled to do it.

HANNITY:  Will we have an insurgent nominee for the Republican Party?

PIRRO:  We will not only have an insurgent nominee, we will have a president who's an insurgent!


GUILFOYLE:  I like the judge's pick and her call.


HANNITY:  Steve Hayes.

GUILFOYLE:  The ruling is in!

HAYES:  Yes, I'd say better than a 50/50 chance that it'll be...

HANNITY:  Oh, it's better...

HAYES:  ... either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.


HANNITY:  I'd would say it's more like 90/10 at this point.  But we'll see.  All right...

GUILFOYLE:  Put some bucks down in Vegas.

HANNITY:  Thank you, guys.

And coming up, more on The National Review controversy going after Donald Trump.  Charles Hurt, Austan Goolsbee -- they will weigh in.

And then later tonight, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are now taking their rivalry to the airwaves, two brand-new political ads.  We'll show them to you tonight.

And also, all of this and 2016 presidential candidate Dr. Benjamin Carson on this busy news night tonight on "Hannity."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We are watching a nor'easter across the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast with heavy snowfall totals for parts of D.C., west of the D.C. area.  In some cases, we could see upwards of two feet of snow heading into Philadelphia and New York as the storm system continues to crank off the Northeast coastline.

It will be with us until Sunday, with winds in excess of 60 to 70 miles per hour, bringing coastal erosion, as well as high tide and flooding...

HANNITY:  All right, welcome back to "Hannity."  National Review is taking on Donald Trump.  The publication has put out an entire issue called "Against Trump," and it features articles and essays from some writers and talk show hosts.  In it, they argue that Trump should not be the Republican nominee.

Well, last night, the editor of National Review, Rich Lowry, explained why he and some others are trying to stop Trump.  Watch this.


RICH LOWRY, FOX CONTRIBUTOR:  The point we're making, it's up to conservatives who think that Donald Trump, whatever his virtues are, doesn't truly understand the ideas and principles that make this country great -- it's up to those conservatives to stand up and say, No, sorry, we oppose this.

If you truly are a conservative, you believe in ideas and principles.  It's not just attitudes.  It's not just who you dislike.  It's limited government.  It's the Constitution.  It's liberty.  Those are the things that truly make this country special, and they are basically afterthoughts to Donald Trump.


HANNITY:  All right, naturally, Donald Trump, predictably -- he fired back.  
Take a look.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The National Review is a dying paper.  It’s got -- its circulation is way down.  Not very many people read it anymore.  I mean, people don't even think about The National Review.  So I guess they want to get a little publicity.  But no, that's a dying paper.


HANNITY:  Now, Trump also took to Twitter to respond, writing, quote, "The late, great William F. Buckley would be ashamed of what has happened to his prize, the dying National Review."

Here with reaction, from The Washington Times, Charles Hurt, and Democratic strategist, great buddy with Barack Obama, his best friend, former economic adviser to him, who gave us this economic disaster, Austan Goolsbee.  Sorry, Austan.  I'm kidding.  How are you, my friend?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FMR. OBAMA ECONOMIC ADVISER:  There was no Depression.  We won.

HANNITY:  You know, let's start with this.  Let's go back, Charles, to National Review, December 2011, guy by the name of Newt Gingrich was in the race.  And they actually wrote about Gingrich, "He's the -- is not -- Gingrich is not the only candidate whom we believe conservatives should regretfully exclude from consideration of the presidency.  Governor Rick Perry has done an exemplary job in Texas, but seemed curiously and persistently unable to bring gravity to the national stage."

So they said that about Newt Gingrich, the guy who brought Republicans back to power after being in isolation, out of power for 40 years.  They said it about probably the most successful governor in the last decade, Governor Rick Perry.

So I'm not sure how to take it.  Your reaction.

CHARLES HURT, WASHINGTON TIMES:  Well, and also, you know, I think it's also interesting to look back at 2012, when these very same people endorsed Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney was somebody who had flip-flopped on all the -- the most important issues that Republicans hold most dear, on abortion, national health care, taxes. You know, Mitt Romney had even disparaged Reagan at one point.

And these very same people, they -- not only did they not see fit to chase him out of the race, but they ultimately endorsed him.  And so I think that, you know, things like this start to sort of strain your credibility.

HANNITY:  Well, you know, that's a great point.  In other words -- one of the big criticisms which I actually felt was unfair about Mitt Romney was that he was a flip-flopper.  I think Mitt Romney would have been a great president, far better than the anointed one, Austan's buddy there, Barack Obama.

I love doing this to you, Austan.  Don't -- it's not personal.  All right, let me ask you...

GOOLSBEE:  I won the bet, and you had to pay.


GOOLSBEE:  You had to take me to dinner.

HANNITY:  I took you and your wife to dinner, and your wife was not included in the original bet!  I paid double!

GOOLSBEE:  It was delicious!

HANNITY:  All right, I'm glad.

GOOLSBEE:  It was delicious.

HANNITY:  All right, here's my question for you.  You have a very unique perspective.  You told me six, eight months ago, Don't underestimate Ted Cruz.  You know Ted Cruz.  You've debated Ted Cruz.  You were once the national debate champion, and he was a national debate champion, as well, from Harvard.

You think Ted Cruz has been underestimated from the beginning.

GOOLSBEE:  Yes, I do.  I think, first of all, you know, not to play into your mindset too much, but as a Democrat, I'm loving this.  I'm loving that you got The National Review setting its sights on Trump.  You got other parts of the establishment going after Cruz.  And they're going after each other.  That -- whatever takes the focus off, let's hope we don't get into a civil war within the Democratic Party.

HANNITY:  Oh, you already have that going on.

GOOLSBEE:  The Republicans -- and I'm nervous about that.

HANNITY:  Yes, I bet you are.

GOOLSBEE:  The two things I will say is, one, I think the Democrats underestimate Cruz.  I think there's -- I think there's a building idea among the Democratic strategists that Trump might reshuffle the deck in a way they don't understand, so they'd like to get Cruz because he's more traditionally somebody they can go after.  And I think that's a little dangerous.

But the second is, I think Trump is, in a way, perhaps committing the same thing that happened to Romney.  You remember when Romney ran against first Cain, then Santorum, then Gingrich, he went to each primary, and right before the primary, he would dump loads of money on them and outspend them by a great amount and beat them.  And kind of he learned that as his move.

But when you got to the general, you couldn't really do that because Obama had as much money as he had.  I think what Trump has done is drown these people with more media attention, so when he runs this attack ad on Cruz, he's gotten free media.  They played his ad over and over all day.

HANNITY:  All right, but let me -- let me...

GOOLSBEE:  And when it comes to general, I don't think he'll be able to do that.

HANNITY:  Let me challenge you loving this intramural battle, which is going to happen in any primary, and let me remind you, Austan, that the woman who was supposed to walk into this nomination is now down 27 points in one poll in New Hampshire, and is losing to...

GOOLSBEE:  I agree.

HANNITY:  ... the curmudgeon 73-year-old cranky socialist in Iowa!

GOOLSBEE:  It's not good.  It's not good.

HANNITY:  And she might get -- and by the way, did I mention the inspector general of the intelligence community?

GOOLSBEE:  Oh, now...

HANNITY:  That's not good, either!

GOOLSBEE:  Now you're back on that again.


HANNITY:  ... the guy that was appointed by Obama!

GOOLSBEE:  She's not going to be indicted.  Look, I -- as you know, Bernie Sanders is not my preferred candidate.  I'm for Hillary Clinton.  I agree she's -- you know...

HANNITY:  Maybe you can help her stay out of jail.

GOOLSBEE:  ... trying to build a movement -- he's trying to build a movement-style thing, and that does play well in Iowa.


GOOLSBEE:  So I think the Democrats have got their own problems, for sure.

HANNITY:  Not the least of which, Charles, is that inspector general report-- Mike Mukasey in The Wall Street Journal laid out a devastating case for indictment of her!  This could be the wildest election year we've ever seen in our lives!

HURT:  Oh, absolutely.  And quite frankly, you know, I've sort of wondered about the timing of this National Review thing.  Why now, six months, more than six months after Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he is going to be a major, major actor in the primary, why are they now coming out with this?

Well, I think the reason that they're coming out with it right now is because it's the first time that they've begun to realize that not only is Donald Trump very likely poised to win the Republican nomination now, he's in a very good position to win the Republican nomination and then win the White House as a Republican.  And that scares the absolute wits out of people.

HANNITY:  Well, here's my question.  They didn't endorse Ted Cruz, either.  And yet, you know, between the two of them, they've got well over – almost 60 percent of the vote!

HURT:  You know, I don't know...

GOOLSBEE:  If not more.

HURT:  I don't know how effective any of this is going to be.


HURT:  And I certainly don't think it's going to hurt -- do anything to hurt Donald Trump.  But I think one of the problems is you go out and you endorse Ted Cruz, I don't think it's going to help Ted Cruz, either.

HANNITY:  All right, Austan, if Hillary does get indicted, are you going to visit her and bring her a cake with a file in it?


GOOLSBEE:  I'm just nervous that if Ted Cruz wins and becomes the president, he's going to come back and try to pay me back for all the times I beat him in debates!


HANNITY:  So you were a senior and you were beating up on a lower-classman.  Oh, I understand that.  And you're proud of that.

GOOLSBEE:  Yes.  It was good fun, though.

HANNITY:  All right.  Thank you both.  Good to see you.

GOOLSBEE:  You bet.

HANNITY:  And coming up next, tonight, this busy news night on "Hannity"...


CRUZ :  I want immigration reform to pass, and that allows those who are here illegally to come in out of the shadows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Trump colluded with Atlantic City insiders to bulldoze the home of an elderly widow for a limousine parking lot at his casino.


HANNITY:  Donald Trump, Ted Cruz release political ads both attacking each other.  Peter Johnson Jr., Geraldo Rivera, Melissa Francis -- they are here tonight to react to that, and of course, the growing rivalry.

And then later, Dr. Ben Carson will be here to make his closing arguments on why he thinks he should be the GOP nominee.

That and much more, 10 days out of Iowa, tonight on "Hannity."


HANNITY:  And welcome back to "Hannity."  So with just 10 days to go until Iowa, the candidates -- well, they've been hitting the campaign trail hard.  Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have been trading jabs over the course of the week, and now both campaigns have released new political ads.

Now, let's take a look at Trump's first, his latest ad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sounded like you wanted the bill to pass.

CRUZ :  Bret, of course I wanted the bill to pass, my amendment to pass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The amendment would have allowed undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. permanently and obtain legal status.  So how do you square that circle?

CRUZ:  Actually, Bret, it wouldn't have.

TRUMP:  People want to take back their country.  We want to do it in a humane way, but we have to have a country.  We don't have a country right now.  We have people pouring in.  They're pouring in and they're doing tremendous damage if you look at the crime, if you look at the economy.  We want to have borders.  To have a country, you have to have borders.  We don't have borders.


HANNITY:  Now, Senator Cruz -- he responded in kind with an attack ad of his own going after Donald Trump's past.  Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Eminent domain, fancy term for politicians seizing private property to enrich the fatcats who bankroll them, like Trump.

TRUMP:  I think eminent domain is wonderful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It made him rich, like when Trump colluded with Atlantic City insiders to bulldoze the home of an elderly widow for a limousine parking lot at his casino.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He doesn't have no heart, that man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Trump won't change the system, he's what's wrong with it.

CRUZ:  I'm Ted Cruz, and I approved this message.


HANNITY:  All right, here with reaction, FOX News senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr., from the FOX Business Network, our sister station, Melissa Francis.

Wow!  What do you think?

MELISSA FRANCIS, FOX BUSINESS:  Yes, I mean, those ads were tremendous.  I mean, the Cruz one, it really hurts.  I mean, that was an interview that went on right here.  You really watch Cruz stumble.  It's something that's so out of character for him.  He's so eloquent.

HANNITY:  Very articulate.

FRANCIS:  He's so good at speaking.  The back and forth is so much, but I really think that Trump, you know, won the week again.  And we keep seeing that week after week.  I mean, he got the endorsement from Palin.  He got the endorsement out of Iowa.  He's got the National Review attacking him, which is only good for him.

HANNITY:  Jerry Falwell, Jr..


HANNITY:  It wasn't an endorsement, but it was pretty...


HANNITY:  ... pretty glowing comments.  Peter?

PETER JOHNSON, JR., FOX LEGAL ANALYST:  Trump all the way.  I mean, not a good week for Cruz.  The National Review coming on, but it just exposes what Americans are sick of., the elites.  A lot of folks don't know what National Review is.  It's a great publication, great history, but...

FRANCIS:  Thoughtful articles.

JOHNSON:  ... they don't know what it stands for.  But what does it stand for now?

HANNITY:  You know what's amazing...

JOHNSON:  Destroy Trump?

HANNITY:  Peter, I want to ask you this because it's kind of amazing to watch because I've always felt that Cruz and Trump were the most hated people in Washington among the establishment.

JOHNSON:  Sure.  Yes.

HANNITY:  But yet you get Trent Lott and then you get some other people coming out and saying they like Trump over Cruz.  Is Cruz hated that much?

JOHNSON:  But -- but -- or has Trump earned their respect over time?  Do they believe that Trump will be, A, a better candidate, B, a better president, and C, someone that will actually carry the mantle of the Republican Party in a way that brings honor and respect to that party?  I think they've answered in the affirmative on this.

HANNITY:  Geraldo?

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX CORRESPONDENT:  I like those guys, the neocon guys.  They're OK.  The magazine is...

HANNITY:  Neocon guys?

RIVERA:  ... a very intellectual kind of, you know, bible of conservatism of that establishment type.

What they don't get is that it is the very flexibility of Donald Trump.  It is -- to people like me, it is the fact that I'm sure he'll never deport migrant families that have citizen children.  I'm sure that he'll be in favor of gay marriage.  I'm sure that he will not attack Roe v. Wade.

HANNITY:  How could you be so sure?

RIVERA:  I'm sure because I know him to be a generous and compassionate and thoughtful person with New York values, for goodness sake!


RIVERA:  I think The National Review totally misses...

HANNITY:  Keep going.  You're hurting him.  Keep going.


RIVERA:  ... in this fight to get the nomination, which he will definitely get, but I will definitely help him if he wants to be elected president.  The National Review attacked Mitt Romney for authoring the origin of "Obamacare."  You know...


HANNITY:  Rick Perry -- in December of 2011, they went after Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich.

FRANCIS:  But the very things Geraldo's talking about are exactly the things that people love about Trump.  I mean, he really hit the nail on the head.  They say, He can't stick to anything.  He's always changing his mind.  People who love him say, I love him because he changes his mind.  
You know, he's out there.  He's not stuck in one way.  He's doing other things.

And when you talk about the other folks that are out there supporting him, I don't think it's because they love him and they believe in him.  They see the train leaving the station, and they want to get on board.

HANNITY:  That's a part of it.  I agree with that.

JOHNSON:  That's a big, big part of it, but a lot of people...

RIVERA:  I agree with that.  The train is leaving the station.

FRANCIS:  It's leaving the station!  Get on board.  Last chance.


JOHNSON:  Everybody wants to be with a winner.

FRANCIS:  Right.

HANNITY:  But there's a lot of Democrats -- we talked about this the other night -- that are going to jump on this train if he gets the nomination.

HANNITY:  You're a Democrat.


HANNITY:  Do you...

FRANCIS:  You're a Democrat?

JOHNSON:  I am a Democrat.


RIVERA:  And I'm a Republican.  Who knew?


FRANCIS:  What is going on here?


HANNITY:  Do you believe that poll that shows 20 percent of Democrats would leave the party and go to Trump?

JOHNSON:  Oh, absolutely!

HANNITY:  Do you think he could win New York?

JOHNSON:  Absolutely.  We talked about that...

HANNITY:  New Jersey?

JOHNSON:  And Pennsylvania.


JOHNSON:  And New Jersey, because there's a lot of people that reflect his values...

RIVERA:  But he has to moderate...

JOHNSON:  ... in those states.

RIVERA:  ... this whole thing with Mexicans and Muslims.

HANNITY:  Here we go again!

RIVERA:  He's got to moderate it...

JOHNSON:  And we both agreed on that.  But people believe that in the end, he's a person of good will who wants the best for the country.

HANNITY:  He will build a wall, Geraldo.


HANNITY:  It's going to say Trump in gold letters.


RIVERA:  If you build a 100-foot wall, the Mexicans will buy 101-foot ladders.



JOHNSON:  ... the conservative movement.  We speak for the conservative movement.  Where have they been?  What have they done?

HANNITY:  I thought...

JOHNSON:  Who are they in the tank for?  And why should we have a right- wing oligarchy decide...

HANNITY:  I would argue...

JOHNSON:  ... who's a conservative and who's not?

HANNITY:  A lot of those guys -- they're not supporting Ted Cruz.  I still believe that Cruz and Trump are hated by the, quote, "establishment."


HANNITY:  And I think now they're just picking for them -- All right, maybe this one or that one -- but I'll be honest.  I think there's great hatred.  I could even see some of these people arrogantly picking up their toys, staying home and being crybabies!

FRANCIS:  Absolutely because you look at, you know, the writers in the magazine, all very thoughtful.  Most of the things they wrote were actually true.  It just doesn't happen to hurt him at all because the people who...

HANNITY:  But we've heard all of this for seven months!

RIVERA:  ... like Trump hate everyone who's been in politics before 2015.

HANNITY:  And they hate Ted Cruz, too!

JOHNSON:  But they should also understand that there's a history of "National Review" and Bill Buckley taking on New York Republicans, whether it was Rockefeller, whether it was Lindsey.  They try to destroy all those folks.  They're trying to do it to Trump.  

HANNITY:  You're not a conservative.  

JOHNSON:  I'm not.  I never said I was.  I'm a conservative democrat.  

HANNITY:  You are.  You are one of the rare breed in that sense.  


HANNITY:  All right, when we come back, the countdown to Iowa is on.  Dr. Ben Carson is here.  He'll explain his strategy to win the GOP nomination.  

And then later tonight --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A tireless secretary of state standing up against the abuse of women and girls, negotiating a ceasefire in Gaza, leading the diplomacy that keeps us out of war.  


HANNITY:  Hillary Clinton's new ad wreaks of desperation after a massive slide in the polls.  Is Hillary Clinton in a free fall?  We'll check in with the one and only Charles Krauthammer and much more tonight as we continue.   


JANICE DEAN, FOX NEWS METEOROLOGIST:  This is a Fox News extreme weather alert.  I'm Janice Dean.  We are watching a blizzard unfold across the mid- Atlantic and the northeast.  Overnight tonight we could see snowfall totals in excess of two feet for some of the biggest cities across the country.  

Taking a look at your forecast temperatures and radar, still remaining below average, and that's why this will be an all-snow event for the D.C. area as well as Philadelphia and up towards New York City.  Here are some of the computer models telling us we're going to get upwards of two feet, perhaps three feet of snow as we finally wrap this storm up on Sunday.  Moving up towards New Jersey and Long Island in some cases over a foot of snow for the New York City area.  Winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings for 30 million people, really, from D.C., Baltimore, up to Philly, New Jersey, Long Island, where we could have wind in excess of 40 miles per hour and blizzard conditions for the next 36 hours.  I'm Janice Dean.  Now back to ”Hannity.”

HANNITY:  Welcome back to “Hannity.” Now, earlier this week, Dr. Benjamin Carson's presidential campaign was dealt a horrible blow.  One of its volunteers, 25-year-old Braden Joplin, was killed in a car crash in Iowa.  After suspending some of his campaign activity, Dr. Carson is now back on the campaign trail.  He joins us from Iowa today.  Dr. Carson, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with him and you and your campaign and his family.  It's very sad to hear that, by the way.  

BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Thank you, Sean.  I appreciate that very much.  

HANNITY: Look, it's very interesting to me your poll numbers.  You had this meteoric rise in the campaign.  But you didn't fall off like other people have fallen off.  You still have in some polls double digits.  You still have hovering around there.  What do you think this means for you?  What is the state of the campaign as you see it 10 days out?  

CARSON:  Well, I see a lot of enthusiasm, very crowded venues.  And the good thing is that, you know, the reason I think I haven't fallen completely off like others have is because people recognize that many of the things I have said are true.  And they're starting to actually look at the website now.  We have a functional organization now, so when you go to the website there is actually stuff there that you can read about and understand what my values and principles are.  It makes a huge difference when you have that.  

HANNITY:  I assume you're referencing the fact that your campaign went through turmoil and people left and then some people spoke out against you, and a little intramural battle with a friend of yours, Armstrong Williams.  Tell us what happened there.  

CARSON:  Well, I would simply say that I don't want to cast anybody under the bus.  I would say people work up to their capacity, but we needed more.  So it's like a three-stage rocket.  And we had gotten stage one off, and we needed stage two.  So we had to bring on some extra boosters.  We did that.  
Some of the people didn't like it and they left.  And it's OK, but the rocket has to continue on its trajectory to its goal.  

HANNITY:  I read the story about the whole issue when you were headed to Jordan and this piece was released, and somebody had leaked it and it became a big issue with your campaign managers.  Do you feel you're beyond that?  Are you ready to make your closing arguments 10 days out of the Iowa caucuses to the people of Iowa and New Hampshire?  

CARSON:  Absolutely.  Way beyond that.  And you look at what we learned during that Jordan trip.  I had an opportunity to talk to Syrian refugees over there and recognize that, really, the best option is to resettle them in their own country.  There's a wonderful area in the northeast section, the size of Lebanon where that can be done that's controlled by the Kurds and the Christians and the Sunnis.  And they have a lot of their own people throughout the Arabian Peninsula that can be recruited, young men who can be trained as a protective force.  So there's some really excellent options for us there.  

But, you know, in terms of a closing argument, people say, but you're not a politician.  How can you solve our problems?  Well, you know, there are a lot of people who think only politicians can solve our problems.  Mostly politicians think that.  And, you know, you look at Congress, there's 9,000 years of experience there.  They're not solving the problems.  

What really solves problems is experience.  And that's why our country was designed for citizen statesmen, not career politicians.  And I've had a lot of experience, I'm sure a lot more than anybody else, answering 2:00 a.m. calls with life and death situations, putting together very complex teams to accomplish things that have never been accomplished before, recognizing that I'm not the greatest and smartest person in the world, but I am very great and I am very smart, smart enough to realize that you need --

HANNITY:  I'm great and smart.  


CARSON:  You have to get the best of them.  

HANNITY:  You have to have a little Donald Trump in you.  You have to say, look, I am great, I am smart.  I admit it.  And I don't think Donald will take issue with that.  But having confidence in your ability, confidence is very different than arrogance.  There's a big difference.  And we can't have a president that's not confident, right?  

CARSON:  You have to have confidence, but you also have to have enough humility to seek wisdom from the Lord, which I have done and which has served me extremely well, and to recognize that we are blessed in this nation with extreme talent in all kinds of areas.  And if we utilize that effectively, I think we would be on our way in no time at all.  

We need to recognize that what we're going to have to do to get back on track is stop fighting each other, because we have other people outside trying to kill us.  We need to have fiscal responsibility once again.  And a Carson administration, the first thing I do, call Congress together and tell them any budget they submit that borrows from our future, it is not getting signed.  And we need to take a leadership position in the world once again.  We can do these things.  They're not that difficult.  There's not a problem that we have that can't be solved with commonsense minus ego and politics.  

HANNITY:  All right, all my best.  Tell your friend Larry, who is probably next to you, that I said hello.  Good to see you.  


HANNITY:  Appreciate you being with us.  

And coming up next, tonight, right here on “Hannity” --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A tireless secretary of state standing up against the abuse of women and girls, negotiating a ceasefire in Gaza, leading the diplomacy that keeps us out of war.  


HANNITY:  The Clinton campaign appears desperate with that new ad after Hillary crashes in the polls.  Charles Krauthammer will have analysis.  And does he think Hillary might go to jail?  Straight ahead.  



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The world a president has to grapple with, sometimes you can't even imagine.  That's the job.  And she's prepared for it like no other -- a tireless secretary of state standing up against the abuse of women and girls, negotiating a cease-fire in Gaza, leading the diplomacy that keeps us out of war.  The presidency is the toughest job in the world, and she's the one leader who has what it takes to get every part of the job done.  

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I'm Hillary Clinton, and I approve this message.  


HANNITY:  All right, a new campaign ad released by 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton touting her so-called foreign policy credentials and readiness to take over as commander in chief.  Here with reaction, author of the number one New York Times bestseller "Things that Matter, Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics," now out in paperback, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer.  Charles, I cannot think of anybody in recent memory that has had such a horrific week as her.  Now down in Iowa behind Bernie Sanders, a 27-point deficit in New Hampshire, and the intelligence community inspector general talking about dozens of e-mails on her server beyond the classification of top secret.  Wow.  And what are your thoughts?  Does she survive this?  

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  Yes, but I would add to that catalog that appalling ad.  Is that all you've got?  You've been secretary of state for four years, and that's all you've got, a cease-fire in Gaza?  Who believes she had any real hand in that?  Everybody, you know, she traveled a lot.  

What did she accomplish in eight years in the Senate?  What did she accomplish in the White House as the co-president to Bill Clinton?  I mean, she's drawing on experience, but it shows you how thin is what she's running on.  

Now, as to what you said, I still don't believe it's going to make a difference in the end because she's running against a cranky old socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union.  It's just too implausible.  Yes, I think he's got a good shot to win Iowa.  Yes, I think for sure he wins New Hampshire.  But where does he go after that?  He goes to the south.  He represents a constituency that is the coastal liberal elites and the college towns.  And that's really it.  And with that you can't win the nomination.  

There is one person that holds a key to the future, and that is FBI Director Comey.  If he makes a criminal referral, then I think everything changes and all hell breaks loose.  I mean, even if the Justice Department refuses to pursue an indictment, it will be a scandal of the first order.  You would get resignations like in Watergate, and I think she'd have to be pushed aside, in which case I think you'd be looking at a Biden candidacy.  But anything short of that, show me a scenario where she loses to Bernie Sanders.  

HANNITY:  The fact is, though, she wasn't supposed to be in this position in Iowa.  

KRAUTHAMMER:  That's true.

HANNITY:  Mike Mukasey, former attorney general, well-respected, writing, you know, writing in the Wall Street Journal in an op-ed criminal charges are justified here.  I think this inspector general's report from the intelligence community is so damning, that from everything I know from everybody that knows James Comey, straight shooter, the evidence seems incontrovertible, Charles, and overwhelming that she violated federal laws and that felonies were committed.  How could he not recommend some type of indictment?  

KRAUTHAMMER:  Well, given the history of Obama's Department of Justice, yes, they could decline to indict.  It's been totally politicized, as you know, from day one.  So I won't put it past Obama.  If he thinks, if he thinks, his people think that she has the best chance to carry on his legacy -- remember, everything Obama has done, whatever achievements he sees as a liberal in his own mind, depend very largely on whether he gets a third term.  Reagan had a third term, the only time since 1952 that a party has held onto the White House beyond two terms.  And that helped to solidify the Bush years, the Reagan legacy.  Without a democratic in the White House, you and I know all the executive orders are cancelled on day one, and Obamacare will be a teetering wreck, and I don't think it will be able to survive a Republican president.  

But, look, I wrote in a column three months ago, I started with this line, "Unless indicted, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee."  And that is a sentence you've never seen written before about a major party presidential nominee.  But it remains true.

HANNITY:  Last question.  There has been this ongoing feud between the Clintons and the Obamas.  One has to wonder if whether or not a wink and a nod would be given to Loretta Lynch if it was a devastating report put out by the FBI and James Comey to go ahead with the indictment in the hopes that Biden wins.  Do you think Obama would prefer Biden or Hillary?  

KRAUTHAMMER:  I think he would.  But if he were making that choice a year or two ago, I think he would put his thumb on the scale of a Biden candidacy.  But right now, it's a train wreck.  She drops out.  He gets in.  Sanders has the majority of delegates.  You've got to change the rules.  The Sanders people feel betrayed at the convention, overridden.  And then you've got like a Venezuela.  The opposition wins the election.  I mean,
it's 1968 all over again.  You and I would love it.   

HANNITY:  You're right.  

KRAUTHAMMER:  And we'd pass the popcorn and we'd have ourselves a jolly time.  But the Democrats at the top are not that stupid, and I think it would be extremely dangerous for them and would put a continuation of their control of the country deeply in jeopardy.  

HANNITY:  Charles Krauthammer, always appreciate you being on, thank you.  

KRAUTHAMMER:  My pleasure.  

HANNITY:  When we come back we need your help.  Tonight's question of the day, straight ahead.      


HANNITY:  All right, time for our "Question of the Day." So who do you think won the week, or better yet, lost the week?  Who had the worst political week -- Hillary?  Just tell us.  Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter.  

That's all the time we have left this evening.  When we come back Monday, only seven days until Iowa.  Have a great weekend.  I think it's going to be the Broncos and Carolina in the Super Bowl, but I know New England is tough.  I'm not crazy.  We'll see you back here Monday.  Thanks for being with us.  


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