Glenn Beck explains why he is endorsing Ted Cruz, reacts to Trump's attacks

On 'The Kelly File,' radio host opens up about why he made the first White House endorsement of his career


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," January 25, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight after nearly a year of campaigning and debating, attacks and rebuts, rising and falling political fortunes. We are now exactly seven days away from the first votes cast in the race to select the next president of the United States.  Exciting. But first, the Republican candidates face one final test. That could change everything. The last debate before voting begins is this Thursday night. The Fox News Google debate in Iowa.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to "The Kelly File." I'm Megyn Kelly.  We have brand new Fox polls and analysis out of Iowa. In the top three, businessman Donald Trump surging back to the lead of the pack. Overtaking Senator Ted Cruz who fell back to second. Then in third, Senator Marco Rubio. This weekend, Mr. Trump spoke about the strength and loyalty of his supporters.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people, my people are so smart. And you know what else they say about my people, the polls. They say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK? It's, like, incredible.  


KELLY: Also on Saturday, Senator Cruz received his most anticipated endorsement yet from one of the most influential conservative voices in the country, Glenn Beck.


GLENN BECK, FOUNDER, THEBLAZE: For the first time in 40 years of broadcast, I have found a man that I know I can look into his eyes and his word is his bond. That's why today I have officially endorsed Ted Cruz.


Why I've officially endorsed Ted Cruz to become the first Hispanic-American president.


KELLY: In moments, we'll be joined by Mr. Beck who also had some choice words for Trump this weekend and then a Trump supporter will be here to respond.

But first, a breakdown of the state of the race.

Chris Stirewalt is our Fox News digital politics editor, he is in Iowa where we're holding our debate on Thursday. And Howie Kurtz is host of "MediaBuzz." Good to see you both. How is the site looking Chris, is it ready for us?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: And it is Easter and I'm the bunny. I am so excited, I cannot even tell you, this feels really good.

KELLY: Me too.

STIREWALT: I'm glad we're here.  

KELLY: Me too. See you on Wednesday but the debate is Thursday night.  Just don't be confuse. All right. Let's talk about what happened.  Because it's an extraordinary swing from what we saw just a month ago, put the numbers on the board. Donald Trump now at 34 percent, 11 points over Ted Cruz. And look where it was just, what, less than, you know, couple of weeks ago where Ted Cruz had a four-point margin over, well, yes, four- point margin over Donald Trump and now completely flipped plus Trump has gained and he's up 11 points now. Chris, how does it happen?

STIREWALT: Well, look, obviously the Trump attacks were part of it, but I think another part of it is this. This is what Iowa does. This is Iowa's jam.

KELLY: It's a fickle bunch?

STIREWALT: This is how -- well, like this, last time four years ago, Ron Paul was the guy, he had Iowa, everybody wrote the story about the coming libertarian revolution and blah, blah, blah, blah, and he said, Rick Santorum who from Pennsylvania? He shot up to the top. Iowa breaks late, Iowa decides late and Iowa doesn't like to be told what to do. And these folks are chewing on this real good.  

KELLY: Howie, when you look at the internals of this poll, Donald Trump shored up his numbers with white evangelicals and with those describing themselves as very conservative. And that helps explain some of the gains he made versus just a couple of weeks ago. How is it the attack, you know, saying Cruz took money from banks, is it the Sarah Palin endorsement? What do you think it is?

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": I think it's the fact that he stayed in the Holiday Inn express in Iowa.  

KELLY: That's was just last night.

KURTZ: How badly he wants to win.

KELLY: It couldn't possibly be.

KURTZ: And he went to church. Right. Look, the attacks have been relentless. He had Cruz on the defensive talking about being born in Canada. He had him -- he's out now calling him a nasty guy and all of that. Sure, people are making up their minds late as they always do in the Iowa caucuses. Trump's so confident -- I interviewed him the other day, he said, you know, African-Americans are going to like me more than they like Barack Obama. That's the guy who's really feeling it. But there's one cloud over these Trump numbers and that is, you look at the internals, nearly half of those who are Trump supporters in the state of Iowa right now would be first-time caucus goers. And who knows how many of them will actually show up --  

KELLY: Uh-hm. Show up and stay there. Chris, all along we've been looking at two presumed leans toward this nomination, the establishment lean and then the so-called, you know, insurgent or outsider lean and Cruz and Trump have been battling in that second lane. But as he seems to be inching closer to winning a couple of these states, Trump sounds like he doesn't have quite the messaging down when it comes to who he is. In which lane he really wants to participate in. Listen here.


TRUMP: I think they're -- I want to be honest, I have received so many phone calls from people that you would call establishment, from people generally speaking conservatives, Republicans, that want to come to our team.

The establishments, the media, the special interest, the lobbyists, the donors. They're all against me. I'm self-funding my campaign. I don't owe anybody anything. I only owe it to the American people to do a great job. They are really trying to stop me. Everybody knows it. Everybody sees it. We're going to win.


KELLY: So that comes out after, you know, he's up there saying, you got to go establishment -- they're calling me, just last Friday he said something, you got to go a little establishment. Your thoughts?

STIREWALT: I think Trump is now thinking in terms of running the table, winning every race, acclimation nomination, and if he can take his supporters, now, we talk about first-time caucus goers. You know, when we look at past caucuses, we're talking eight or nine out of ten caucus goers have caucused before, not a lot of new blood comes in. Trump's got a big bet. He can bring a lot of Democrats into the process. A lot of Independents into the process. Create these new voters. Then if he could partner up with establishment figures who prefer him over Cruz, who would just be a told wrecking ball for them and they know it, if he could create this synergy, then he would have sort of the conservative wing of the party that we've thought of as the Republican base for a long time. He'd have them in a vice grip between these new voters, Independents, Democrats, and some Republicans, plus an establishment group and that would be pretty tough to beat.  

KELLY: What do we know, Howie, about Trump's ability to get folks out to the caucuses which can be a lengthy process? I mean, not necessarily getting there, but caucusing.  

KURTZ: Well, he's got an organization in Iowa. And I don't think it's as strong as Cruz's organization and perhaps some of the others. The other hand, clearly the people who really like Donald Trump are very motivated.  That's how he's drawing thousands and thousands of people to these rallies.  But you hit on a real important wrinkle there, Megyn, which is Trump now does seem to be not denying that he'd like to be the establishment candidate. I asked him about that. I said, Cruz says you're the establishment candidate and he didn't deflect it. He mentioned Bob Dole, ultimate figure of the old Republican establishment who'd been very critical --

KELLY: Bob Dole loves the establishment.  

KURTZ: Yes, yes, yes.  

KELLY: Thanks.  


KURTZ: So, you know, Trump who's run against the establishment this whole year and now he's got Sarah Palin to vouch for him with the conservatives.  He's I think broadening a little bit perhaps looking beyond Iowa and wanting to not just be in that anti-establishment --

KELLY: All right. Before we go, Stirewalt, what do you make of it? If you had to say now, if you had to predict who's going to win Iowa, come on!  If you had to, what would you say?

STIREWALT: This debate is going to be a big, bang, boom.  

KELLY: Oh, the debate! I forgot there's a debate first.  

STIREWALT: This whole sucker is going to rerack on Thursday evening because the stakes are high and the losers, as some people would say, in this race, know that they're facing the double elimination round and people are going to act crazy, unpredictable things are going to happen. It's going to get weird in there. And this race will look totally different, I promise, on Friday, than it does today.

KELLY: Can't wait. We are all very psyched for Thursday night. We are ready. And looking forward to it. Guys, great to see you.  

KURTZ: Same here.  

STIREWALT: You bet.  

KELLY: See you both in Des Moines.  

Up next in a "Kelly File" exclusive, the story behind a key presidential endorsement from one of the most well-known conservatives in the United States.  


BECK: The time for silliness and reality show tactics is past. It's been fun.


KELLY: Glenn Beck is here on his first ever pick for president and the backlash he's already seen as a result.  

Plus, Karl Rove on the race for Iowa and why he says it's likely to be a wild ride in the final stretch.  

Plus, new reaction tonight to a Texas grand jury's decision to bring criminal charges against the filmmaker behind the undercover videos at Planned Parenthood. No charges against Planned Parenthood. Judge Andrew Napolitano is here on the late breaking news.




BECK: I can't believe I actually have to say this, but for the first time in a long time, the press was right. I am here to announce that I am officially endorsing Ted Cruz to become the first Hispanic president of the United States.



KELLY: Breaking tonight, Ted Cruz getting a historic endorsement from one of the most iconic conservative voices in the country, Glenn Beck taking to the campaign trail in Iowa Saturday throwing his support behind a presidential candidate for the first time in nearly 40 years of broadcasting. And with most experts suggesting the GOP race may be down to just two candidates, in particular, in Iowa, Mr. Beck's endorsement of one of those men came with a lengthy and repeated warning about the other.


BECK: Mr. Trump is saying over and over again on the road, I will make America great again. I will make America great. That's not true. It's not even possible. Each of us, as individuals, living our own dreams, making our own way, charting our own course, that is what makes America great.


Anything else, anything else is faith in self and it is empty, it's the human ego, and it is arrogant, and it is dangerous.  


KELLY: Glenn Beck is the founder of TheBlaze and a number one New York Times bestselling author of "The Immortal Nicholas."

Glenn, it's great to see you. So why now after 40 years did you feel compelled to come out and endorse a candidate?

BECK: Couple of reasons, Megyn, I've never endorsed anybody for any office at all mainly because half my career nobody cared. The second half, I never wanted to put my name on somebody. My credibility, I've worked hard for, and I don't -- I'm not going to put my name on some guy and have him go to Washington and not be that guy. Ted Cruz I have watched and I told him, you know, 40 years ago when he went into the Senate, I said, you know, I don't know if I trust you, you say all the good things, but if you go to Washington I'm going to be your worst nightmare if you start to be a weasel.

And I've watched him closely and he has not. He has done the tough thing.  He has been, you know, David against Goliath in his own party, against other party, in the media. Nobody will stand with this guy, and yet he's never backed down from the fight. He says, I believe it, this is what I said I would do, I'm going to do these things.  

KELLY: But you know his detractors including Donald Trump see that as not necessarily a positive. Trump calls him a nasty guy who can't get along with anyone.

BECK: That's right.

KELLY: Called him a whack job. Said he tells lies and he is using his, you know, inability to get along with people in Washington as a negative in terms of getting things done.  

BECK: Here's the part. Donald Trump said this weekend that he is going to -- look, he has to cut deals and we have to be part of the establishment.  I'm quoting him. I'm going to have to be part of the establishment to be able to get things done. Well, that's the problem. That's what stopped me with Rand Paul. I love Rand Paul, but when he made a deal with Mitch McConnell, I didn't know if I could trust him. People are tired of deal making. Especially when it's not rooted in something. So, the second reason I decided to endorse Ted Cruz is "A," I believe him, but the second thing is, I really truly believe, and I have a very long record and people made fun of me when I said the caliphate was coming.

They said it was absurd and it would never happen. And Megyn, I tell you, I feel strongly about this, that there are a lot of great people in the Republican Party that you could vote for, a lot of them, and that I could vote for. Donald Trump is not one of them, and the next guy who comes into office is going to finish the fundamental transformation that was started by Woodrow Wilson and accelerated through Barack Obama. We're going to -- we're headed for real trouble. Islamic trouble, economic trouble, and civil unrest in the next four, five years.

This next president is going to either finish and we're going to become a nation where the pen and the phone are the way to rule, or we're going to have somebody who has the constitution in their bones and they're going to repoint this cornerstone and set it right and give us a new start.  

KELLY: But why, why do you, you know, obviously Donald Trump is the frontrunner by a lot.

BECK: I know.  

KELLY: And so conservatives are backing him to some extent. Moderates are backing him to some extent. And the country, the GOP, does not feel the way you do. How did you get to this sort of divide where you're over here and most these Republicans are over here?

BECK: Because I've always been that guy. I mean, you know, Megyn, when I was working there, I was always kind of the guy who's out.  

KELLY: But we loved you.

BECK: I know. And I've always loved you. But I've always been the guy who is kind of going and marching to my own tune. And I'm, you know, the one thing I do know are progressives. If there's anything I know, it's a progressive, and this is a very dangerous thing, and I warned -- when I was on FOX, I did several episodes on the fact -- this is why I've only spoken at CPAC one time and they ever invited me back because I said, the progressive cancer started from the Republicans and it is in your own party.

And I tried to warn on Fox, I did a show -- the biggest one you could remember is the one where I did with the pendulum and I said, here's Barack Obama, he's pulled it back so far, it's going to swing the other way and unless you root yourself in the Constitution, when that swings back, you're going to have another guy with a pen and with a phone and he's going to do bad things.  

KELLY: Why would you believe that about Trump? I mean, what he says is, I am a dealmaker, he's an executive, I'm worth several billion dollars and I have a history of proving I can get things done, that I win, as he puts it.  

BECK: That's not -- that's great for a CEO, but that's not the job of a president. The president -- first of all, does not create jobs. He doesn't jam things down your throat. The president is not supposed to rule by dictate or edict or executive power. He is supposed to make sure that the government acts and behaves the way it's supposed to. When he raises his hand, I will protect and defend the constitution of the United States.  When we head into trouble, and trouble is coming, you want a guy who says, look -- I mean, let me say this.

We have Lindsey Graham on record saying, I don't have a problem with the NSA spying because, you know what, we're at war. We have, I think it was John McCain who said, you know, I love freedom of speech, but, you know, there's times that that has to be curbed. You have Barbara Mikulski talking about the Second Amendment and she said just last week, don't talk to me about this constitution, let's get this done.

KELLY: It is irritating at times, isn't it?

BECK: You got to root it in the Constitution.  

KELLY: All right. Wait. I want to stop you there. Because we have much more to discuss with Glenn as you can hear, including the attacks that have come down against him since this announcement became public and his thoughts on another endorsement that occurred last week, that of Sarah Palin for Donald Trump. Stay tuned.


TRUMP: Glenn Beck, be on my show, be on my show. Every time I see him, he's a weird guy. He's always crying. He's always -- he's a weird dude.



KELLY: Well, Glenn Beck's endorsement of Ted Cruz and his pointed attacks on Donald Trump have been reverberating for days already. But Mr. Trump has had plenty to say about Senator Cruz and his latest endorsement.  Responding on the very same day that Glenn Beck hit the campaign trail.  


TRUMP: Glenn Beck, he'd call me, will you be on my show? It wasn't that I didn't want to do his show. I'm so busy. I wasn't able to do it. I wouldn't do his show. So, he got very hostile. Once he got very hostile, I didn't want to deal with it. His show is failing. He's failing. He's always crying. You know, I like cryers a little bit, but not that much. I think crying is fine. But I mean, I see this guy, he's a sad sap and he cries.  


KELLY: Back with us now, Glenn Beck.

BECK: Well, the crying part is true, but I called him after months of saying that he was a horrible candidate, and I didn't -- our producer called him once at the end of August. And then at the first week I think of September, he said that if I wanted him on, I would have to personally call him and they wouldn't make an appointment for me. I just had to try to catch him. And I said, I'm not playing that game. So, we only offered him one time, we called him twice, only offered him a chance to come on because I thought it was a little unfair to say these things and all I wanted to ask was, what's your pivot point?

KELLY: Uh-hm.

BECK: You say you were diehard for abortion including partial-birth abortion, and now you're not. I can understand that. I can understand people -- I believe in redemption and changing your mind. I've changed my mind on things. Tell me what your pivot point was.  

KELLY: He has a story about that, about someone he knew who had the baby and changed his views on abortion. She grew up to be a terrific kid.  

BECK: Yes. A little bit. It doesn't --

KELLY: But you're looking for -- I mean, obviously he's changed his position on --

BECK: On almost everything.  

KELLY: Many issues.  

BECK: Almost everything.  

KELLY: So, you're saying to believe it, you would need to see some sort of life transformation. Some sort of --  

BECK: What happened, I mean, look, everybody understands, you know, this is why missionaries don't like to go to rich neighborhoods because rich people aren't listening. You know, I don't want to, hey, come on in, and tell me how to change my life and start going to church and living a different lifestyle? My life is sweet. Why would I change it? When people are distressed and in trouble, that's when they have true transformations. So, if a guy has lived a progressive lifestyle, his whole life, he doesn't like guns, he's for abortion, he's for universal health care. Last year he was saying that we should have universal health care and the government should pay for everything.  

KELLY: You know that people know all this and they don't mind.

BECK: I don't. I don't.

KELLY: And it's what's been surprising to so many has been Sarah Palin's endorsement because she and you used to sound very much the same on these issues. You know, sort of Tea Party-esque, small government, out of your business, completely pro-life. Would never endorse somebody who, you know, was wobbly on that or the Second Amendment or any of these issues. And yet she came out full throttle for him last week. Full throttle. May have been helping. Because now he's up 11 points in Iowa according to the latest Fox News poll over Ted Cruz.

BECK: I can't speak for Sarah Palin. I mean, I like Sarah Palin. I disagree with her strongly. I don't know what happened to her. You know, I don't know. I really don't know. I know I haven't changed my position.  And it's not personal. It is based on the Constitution and I'm so -- I'm so vocal about this because I feel the same way I did about the caliphate.  Nobody listened to me on the caliphate. The time to worry about the caliphate was when I was talking about it. Now the caliphate is a reality.  The time to deal with a progressive in the Republican Party is right now.  

KELLY: So, what do you envision? I mean, if Donald Trump wins this nomination and, in fact, could win the presidency, what do you envision?

BECK: Can I ask you a question? Let me ask you a question. Megyn, have you ever heard anyone talk about his supporters or talk about, to say, I can go on 5th Avenue and shoot people and my supporters are not going to -- they're not going to move.

KELLY: That was a new one.

BECK: Does that bother you as a journalist?

KELLY: That was a new one.  

BECK: Okay. When he said a month ago, you know, who is it that Putin has shot? They say that he's shot all these journalists. You know, and I'd never shoot journalists. Even though I hate him --

KELLY: What he said to Jeff Scarborough was our country's killed a lot of people, too.  

BECK: No, no, no, but he actually said from the stage, I'll never kill a journalist. Well, no, I'd never kill a journalist. Now, he says he was joking and I think he was joking, but do you really think that that's appropriate to joke? I mean, I think this guy is such a narcissist that it spells trouble when you give him this much power. But again, saying these things -- I have nothing to gain and everything to lose, this guy black balls and plays hard ball. I get it. I'm a big boy. I can take all the punches and look at me. I mean, there's lots of things to make fun of.  

KELLY: Ah. I think the crying is kind of sweet. I liked it in John Boehner. I admire it in you. I'm the same.  

BECK: But the thing is, this isn't about me, it isn't about Donald Trump.  It's about our country and the constitution. I will protect and defend the constitution of the United States. That's what I've always been for, and this, I believe, is our last opportunity to set things right. When trouble comes, just like in World War 2, would you round up Japanese people? I know I wouldn't. But when people are afraid, when they're hungry or we're at war, they'll violate all kinds of principles.


BECK: Let's not start with a guy who doesn't know the principles.  

KELLY: Glenn, always great to see you.  

BECK: Good to talk to you.  

KELLY: Glenn Beck, everybody.  

BECK: Thank you.  

KELLY: So, what do Trump supporters think about all this? Well-known attorney and big Trump fan, David Wall, is here next to react.  

Plus, with Iowa's track record for dramatic surprises, what should we expect one week from today? Karl Rove is here with his magic whiteboard.  Next.  



BECK: This isn't about me, it isn't about Donald Trump. It's about our country and the Constitution. I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That's what I've always been for. And this, I believe, is our last opportunity to set things right.

When trouble comes, just like in World War II, would you round up Japanese people? I know I wouldn't. But when people are afraid, when they're hungry, or we're at war, they'll violate all kinds of principles. Let's not start with a guy who doesn't know the principles.


KELLY: That was Glenn Beck moments ago on the reasons that he is against Donald Trump becoming the next President of the United States. Much less the GOP nominee.

Here to respond, attorney and Trump supporter, David Wohl. So, you are 100 percent pro-Trump, David. Good to see you.


KELLY: Let me ask you this, before this whole dustup with the endorsements, did you like Glenn Beck?

WOHL: You know, I did. There was a point in time where I did like Glenn Beck. And he's right about the whole caliphate thing. He predicted that before anyone else did. So, he was dead on with that but...


KELLY: So, let me start with that.


KELLY: What if anything this endorsement that he's given Cruz and the criticism he gives Trump do for you?

WOHL: It's neither here nor there, Megyn. I mean, honestly, I think if anything it's going to bolster Trump's support even more.

KELLY: Like everything.

WOHL: I don't know that he really -- pardon?

KELLY: Like everything does.

WOHL: Well, everything. He's the Teflon Donald, Megyn. I mean, everything you do to attack him, whether directly or indirectly just increases his support.

KELLY: Why? Why is that?

WOHL: And that don't losses anything that can be done about that. I think that, you know, Trump's platform is one thing. And I think Beck ignores it to a large extent. I mean, he's pro-Second Amendment; he wants to defund Planned Parenthood. He wants to keep the mortgage interest rate deduction.


KELLY: His point wasn't that he did...

WOHL: He wants to stop immigration from terror state.

KELLY: His point -- but let me just respond.

WOHL: Go ahead.

KELLY: His point wasn't that those aren't Trump's current positions. His point was not long ago, he had the opposite positions. And I didn't see the pivot point, he said.

WOHL: Yes.

KELLY: What in his life would explain such major shifts on so many issues?

WOHL: Well, Ted Cruz was for amnesty before he was against it. Ronald Reagan was a democrat before he was a republican. Barack Obama was against gay marriage before he was for it. It's part of the political evolution and Trump is going through that now.

And when he says what he says, and he tells people this is my position on things, people believe him. He's a sledgehammer that transcends politics, Megyn. And that's what's so amazing about him that I've never seen in a political candidate ever. I've been voting for 36 years.

KELLY: You don't have to tell us. It's a...


WOHL: So, well, I'm just before it, so.

KELLY: Now just for the record, Ted Cruz has never supported citizenship. There's a debate about whether he supported legalization. But let me ask you this, because Trump as we mentioned in the other segment, has, he's getting a little close to the line on whether he really is establishment. How does he really feel about the establishment? This is what I'm referring to. I'm curious to your reaction. Watch.


TRUMP: You know what, there's a point at which let's get to be a little establishment; we got to get things done, folks, OK? Believe me, don't worry. We're going to make such great deals.


KELLY: What do you make of that?

WOHL: I think he negotiates absolutely. But you know what, in Donald Trump's history, if you look at his negotiation, he comes out on top. And that's the critical issue. The republicans have owned the House and Senate for years now and all they've done is got down on their knees and say, whatever you want, Mr. Obama. And that is what's fueling this pro-Trump fire, Megyn.


KELLY: And how big of a factor is it...

WOHL: People are so sick and tired of that.

KELLY: And how big of a factor is it that Trump does not care about being PC?

WOHL: That's huge. I mean, let's face it. Political correctness, the idea that Barack Obama has pretty much downplayed the First Amendment and its importance, there's nothing bigger at this point, Megyn.

He goes in, says what he says and he's like, what, you don't like it, too bad, get out of my -- get out of my lecture, get out of my hall, I don't care. And people love that right now. It's been something that I think this tyranny of political correctness has really gotten into people's minds and really want -- people want to get rid of that. So, he's part of that solution.


KELLY: So, it feels like a way -- it feels like a way to send a message to you, it feels like a way to send a message that sort of smothering you feel you've had.

WOHL: It's huge. It's huge, Megyn, and that's it. You can't say this, you can't say that. All these groups, these militant groups that have arisen and said, you know what, if you say that, we'll get you fired.

I talked to a deputy today in court in Los Angeles where I was. And he said, you know what, I can't say anything in court. If I say something, and I'm overheard by an attorney or by a social worker, they'll let my superior know and I'll be fired for it and I'm talking about relatively innocuous stuff. And he's like...


KELLY: Well, the security guards are not supposed to be doing the talking. The lawyers like you are supposed to be doing the -- in the court's defense. David Wohl is being handsome to go in there and do the talking. No, I understood. Point taken.

WOHL: Right.

KELLY: I got to run. Great to see you.

WOHL: Thank you, Megyn. Great to see you.

KELLY: Yes. Good to see you. Well, if history is any indication, America should not expect that next week's vote results will necessarily look like this week's poll results.

Karl Rove is a Fox News contributor. He served as senior adviser to President George W. Bush as well as deputy Chief of Staff. Karl, good to see you.

So, George W. Bush won Iowa in 2004. Right? It was one of the only two times in the past, like, 30 years, Iowa has ever accurately predicted the GOP nominee.

KARL ROVE, FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I would say it was 2000 that he won, and not 2004.

KELLY: Right.

ROVE: There were no caucuses in Iowa in 2004. But, yes, in fact, he's the only republican to win Iowa, win the nomination, and win the presidency.

KELLY: So, why is Iowa not so great at predicting on the republican side, they're pretty good on the dem side, who the nominee will be?

ROVE: Well, they're not that bad -- good on the dem side in picking winners in the general election. The only two times that that's happened is 1976, with Jimmy Carter and 2012 with Barack Obama.

They do tend to pick the democratic nominee but tehy don't necessarily pick the winner in the general election.

Look, on the republican side it's because the State Caucus, the caucus in Iowa tends to be nominated by social conservatives, particularly from Western Iowa, and as a result, they tend to favor candidates who are Evangelical social conservatives.

Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, all of them ran particularly well and took the Iowa caucuses as a result.

KELLY: So, what does history show us? Are they late deciders in Iowa? Is there a huge faction that decides late?

ROVE: Well, it looks like everybody decides late. If you take 2012 and the exit polls, 46 percent of the people said that they made up their minds either on the day of the election, itself, the day of the caucus, itself, basically one out of every five caucus goers decided that day...


ROVE: ... and nearly, and nearly one out of two, 46 percent made up their minds in the last three days. So, you're going to be at the debate Thursday night, auspicious as it is going to be that night, because sometime Friday, sometime Saturday early, Saturday morning, is apparently when nearly one out of every two voters, if it looks like last time and the time before that, one out of every two voters will make up their minds in that last weekend.

KELLY: So, when you look at the polls, do you say I don't look at these polls, or do you say, no, you know, overall, you know, taking in the aggregate, they're a good predictor.

ROVE: Well, we have to decide whether or not it is 2008 or 2012.

KELLY: Hold the whiteboard.

ROVE: Yes. Here's the whiteboard. I knew you were waiting for it.

KELLY: Nice one.

ROVE: Two thousand -- two thousand eight, Mike Huckabee won. And he on -- he led going on in the final days. Eight days out. He was leading and on election day got 5.4 percent more than he was in the real clear politics average as of the time that we are today.

Mitt Romney got .8 of a percent less. John McCain jumped from fifth into third by getting 1.5 more. And Fred Thompson dropped 4.1 points and dropped from third into fourth.

But pretty much not very much movement, 2012, big difference. Rick Santorum gained between eight days out and the election day, itself, the close of the caucuses, he gained 16.7 points compared -- nearly 17 points compared to his number in the real clear politics average.

Mitt gained 3.5, stayed in second. Ron Paul fell out of first, dropped .7 of a percent and Newt Gingrich dropped a point. Excuse me, Newt dropped out of first place and Rand -- Ron Paul dropped into third from being second.

So, you know, it depends on what kind of year it's going to be. My gut is it's probably somewhere in between, but if I were -- if I were having to bet, I'd say it looks more like 2008 than it does 2012.

KELLY: I got to go, but I want to ask you quickly, Des Moines Register today, or yesterday, endorsed Rubio on the republican side, Hillary on the dem side. Does that matter?

ROVE: Yes, it does. And I think it will help Rubio with the kind of voters that he's looking for and I think it will help Hillary better that she got it than Bernie Sanders got it. But it doesn't have a big effect. It just has a minimal effect. It will probably be enough to guarantee that Rubio is in third. And where he is in the polls today solidifies that position all likelihood.

KELLY: Karl, great to see you.

ROVE: You bet. Thank you.

KELLY: Mark your calendars now. The next and final GOP debate before the Iowa caucus is this Thursday, January 28th, at 9 p.m. right here on the Fox News channel.

Yours truly will be moderating the debate alongside Bret Baier and Chris Wallace. It is the republican candidate's last chance to make their appeal to voters before the February 1st caucus. Do not miss the Fox News Google GOP debate Thursday night at 9:00.

Well, we also have new fallout over a grand jury's decision to bring criminal charges in the Planned Parenthood video case. Remember this? Where the guy went in, this group, they took these videos and they alleged that Planned Parenthood was trying to sell body parts of babies? Guess who's in trouble with the law. Not the abortion providers. Judge Naps is here.

Plus, the latest round of polls sounding new alarms for the Clinton campaign in some circles. Ed Henry reports live from Iowa. Plus, Kirsten Powers has some news from Mrs. Clinton as more and more voters say they feel the burn.


KELLY: Developing tonight, with just one week to go before Iowa, polls on the democratic side of the presidential race are tightening up.

A brand new Fox News poll finds Hillary Clinton's national lead has narrowed to its slimmest margin yet; she's now just 12 points ahead of Bernie Sanders nationally.

Last June, Mrs. Clinton held the commanding 46-point lead over Sanders. This all comes as the democrats square off tonight in a Town Hall.

Ed Henry reports from Des Moines in Iowa. Ed?

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, no better example of that bigger momentum for Bernie Sanders than what's happening on the ground here in the Hawkeye State. Hillary Clinton used to have a double digit lead.

As you can see from this new Fox Poll fresh out tonight, she's only leading by six points. So, margin of error about four points. This is almost a dead heat. Look at New Hampshire. The Clinton campaign has been discounting that a little bit because Bernie Sanders is from neighboring Vermont, but he has now opened up a massive 22-point lead.

There's fear in the Clinton camp tonight that Bernie Sanders could win both of these early contests and really shake up this race. He's doing it by running an outsider campaign with a lot of passion, but Hillary Clinton has been falling back on her resume. Listen.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, D-VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What the political revolution is about is having people stand up and say, enough is enough.

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have the experience and understanding to be able to chart a course that will not only keep us safe at home, but keep our world more secure and more prosperous and peaceful.


HENRY: You can hear the difference right there, the body language, the voice, Hillary Clinton very calm, cool, saying in a dangerous world as a former Secretary of State, I've got this, I've got the experience. But remember, she tried that in 2008, it did not work, Megyn.

KELLY: Ed henry, thank you.

Joining me now with more, Kirsten Powers, the USA Today columnist and a Fox News contributor. Kirsten, good to see you.

So, the lead that she had in Iowa is down to six points from 14 points not long ago. If Bernie Sanders wins these two states, the conventional wisdom is he may enjoy that but he's not going to enjoy it for very long, because then she's going to go down in the south, she's going to sweep and sweep up as well. Your thoughts?

KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY COLUMNIST: Yes, I think most people. The conventional wisdom, I guess I would say, is that if you have to be one of these two candidates, you want to be Hillary Clinton because she's built for the long haul.

And after you get outside of these two states that are predominantly white, look, you know, he is from a bordering state of New Hampshire so that makes sense. You can kind of give him that one. Iowa has, you know, is a predominantly white state. He comes from a predominantly white state. He's very liberal. They're very liberal. They have even a high number of socialist, for example. So, you can -- you can sort of write those off.

KELLY: Iowa is a funny state.

POWERS: It is a funny state.

KELLY: The high number of socialists from the high number of extremely social conservatives, you know?

POWERS: Yes. Yes. Now it's an interesting place. It's definitely an interesting place. And I think that once he gets down to South Carolina, for example, then we start to see the issue that he has with non-white voters, though, in the Fox News poll, one of the interesting numbers was that if you look at the national poll, she's starting to really bleed African-American voters. She is down 17 points from September.


POWERS: And so that -- that's significant.


KELLY: But that may -- perhaps President Obama helped stop that bleeding today because he came out and had lovely things to say about her to Politico's Glenn Thrush...

POWERS: Right.

KELLY: ... saying her campaign, he admitted, is a little bit more pros, the poetry, but said she's really warm and funny, she's engaging. He was effusive in his praise saying she can start on day one and talks all about her experience.

POWERS: Right.

KELLY: Does that help her?

POWERS: It was, you know, an almost endorsement. He's trying to stay out of the race without giving an endorsement, but he definitely made it very clear that she's his choice. And I think that that does help her to a certain extent, but she still has to be concerned and if nothing else, it's just a reminder of what happened in 2008, where in the beginning, she had the African-American voters with her.

And as people started to see that President or now President Obama, candidate Obama at that time, was a viable person that could be elected, you start to see voters shifting. The good news for Hillary is that Bernie Sanders is not Barack Obama and he also probably doesn't have this...


KELLY: Nor is he an outsider. It's kind of funny to hear -- how many years has he been in Congress?

POWERA: Exactly.

KELLY: I mean, the '60s?

POWERS: Exactly. They're very different people. And also remember that President Obama had a phenomenal organization.


POWERS: And whatever organization Bernie Sanders has, well, we have to wait and see if he's able to really change the electorate which is something he is going to have to do because also in the polls showed in Iowa she does much better among people who have caucuses before. So, you know, that's...


KELLY: Who shows up? Who turns out and exactly, who. Like what's the voting history. Kirsten, great to see you. We'll be watching you.

POWERS: Right. Thank you.

KELLY: One week from tonight.

Remember the controversy over the hidden camera videos of Planned Parenthood officials appearing to negotiate price? What they were paying for remains in dispute. Their detractors say they were paying for organs harvested from fetuses being aborted.

They say it was basically just a facility fee. Well, someone has now been criminally charged. Not Planned Parenthood. Judge Naps is next.


KELLY: Developing tonight, a Texas grand jury bringing criminal charges recommending them against the filmmaker who shot a series of hidden camera videos targeting Planned Parenthood.

David Daleiden -- I can never pronounce that -- the founder of the Center for Medical Progress was indicted on charges of tampering with a government record and purchase and sale of human organs. He was the undercover guy making the videos. Another colleague of his also charged, Planned Parenthood was not charged.

Joining me now, Fox News senior judicial analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano. Judge, what does this mean?

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: This means that a political prosecutor has injected herself in a very serious issue about whether or not Planned Parenthood was profiting from the abortion of babies by selling body parts.

Here's the backstory. The lieutenant governor, the new lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, is a very, very serious pro-life advocate. Was before he was lieutenant governor is now. He asked this prosecutor to investigate whether or not these tapes were real. Was Planned Parenthood really offering to sell body parts and did they, in fact, reference that they had sold body parts they sold?

KELLY: Which they deny.

NAPOLITANO: Which they deny. And anybody that watches these tapes can come to their own conclusion. I submit that if you watch them you will conclude that they did sell body parts and were willing to sell them in the future.

So, the prosecutor investigates this and she decides to present a case to a grand jury. We haven't seen the grand jury transcript yet, but we will. Not charging Planned Parenthood with selling body parts but charging the journalists who were testing Planned Parenthood with participating in an actual conspiracy to sell body parts.

KELLY: You mean they didn't want to buy any body parts at all.

NAPOLITANO: No, of course not. These are what we call crimes of intent. You have to intend to commit this crime. You can't just utter the words.

So, if a journalist says to Planned Parenthood, are you interested in selling body parts? That journalist now to worry about being indicted for suggesting this on.


KELLY: So, does this sound like a political hit job or what is this?

NAPOLITANO: Absolutely this is a political hit job. You used to practice law. I used to be on the bench. We both know that a skilled prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict anything. The favorite phrases you can get a grand jury, you want that ham sandwich if you want.

There's no judge there's anybody there on the other side. We won't know what this prosecutor told the grand jury unless and until there's an criminal trial.

KELLY: This is fascinating. Looking forward to getting a look at this complaint. Judge, great to see you.

NAPOLITANO: good to be with you.

KELLY: We'll be right back.


KELLY: All right. So, tune in to Fox News tonight at 11 p.m. for a special live and late edition of "The Kelly File." We're going to have live analysis and reaction to this Democratic town hall with Chris Stirewalt and Howie Kurtz, plus, many more and wait until you hear the Stirewalt headline so far. I'll give you a hint. Burn, baby, burn.

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