Rubio: This is a very unusual political year; Huckabee talks next steps after suspending campaign

On 'The Kelly File,' presidential candidate details how he will handle Trump's attacks, win the nomination


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," February 2, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight. Iowa is in the rear view and it's on to New Hampshire. The first in the nation primary exactly one week from tonight, and the electorate there, very different from the one in Iowa.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. Back in New York after a busy few days in Des Moines -- by the way, we loved the Iowans.  Tonight, virtually every candidate is either in New Hampshire or about to make their way there. Just 24 hours after Republican voters in Iowa selected Ted Cruz as their winner and Donald Trump and Marco Rubio as number two and number three. All three of those men have already hit the trail, looking to build on that momentum. Watch.


SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Last night, the men and women of Iowa sent notice across this country that it's going to be decided by the grassroots. It's going to be decided by the men and women here in this room.

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The headline is, winner of the night, Marco Rubio. Trump, humiliated. How come the person that comes in third on many of the networks is being covered like it's one of the great victories in the history of politics in this country?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Vote for me, because if I'm our nominee, we are going to beat Hillary Clinton and it won't be by a flip of a coin. No state in the country demands more of their candidates than New Hampshire does. And you should, the role you play is so important.


KELLY: Tonight, we will be joined by Marco Rubio to ask him about his strong showing in Iowa and his plans for New Hampshire. Plus, we'll ask Governor Mike Huckabee about who he's endorsing after he bowed out of the race following a disappointing finish last night.

Tony Perkins is here to talk about Ted Cruz, the evangelical vote, and South Carolina, which is right after New Hampshire.

But we begin with Dana Perino, who is co-host of "The Five." And former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, and Marc Thiessen who is a Fox News contributor and former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

Good to see you both. Marc, let's start with --


KELLY: What Donald Trump said today about, he doesn't like the media coverage with respect to Marco Rubio's third place finish versus his second place finish and he did make an admission today that he does thinks skipping that last debate hurt him but he said he would have done it all over again.

THIESSEN: Yes. That's ridiculous. He basically said that if I -- I was able to raise $6 million for the vets, so I would trade first place for $6 million for the vets any day. That's absurd. Donald Trump could have shown up to the FOX debate. He admitted that the FOX debate probably cost him Iowa. He would -- if he had shown up for the FOX debate, he could have won Iowa and on another night raised $6 million for the vets or better even yet, he could have written a check for $6 million for the vets.

He kept telling us how rich he is. So, that's just an excuse. What happened was, everybody was looking forward to New Hampshire right now but Donald Trump missed an opportunity to take Ted Cruz out of the running, and it was a mistake. He didn't show up in the debate, he didn't show up for the last job interview. And so now Ted Cruz comes into New Hampshire with a lot of momentum. And that's bad for Donald Trump.

KELLY: But does he have a fair point Mark when he says, why is everybody talking about Marco Rubio like the second coming when he came in third. He came in behind me. He's saying, why don't they talk about me? Like old poor Trump, he's been humiliated.

THIESSEN: Well, first of all, he came -- he came, he says Ted Cruz barely won Iowa. He came within 1.2 percent of being third place. So he barely won second place. And second of all, the reason second is a loss is because he was leading. The reason third is a win for Rubio is because he came from behind. He gained something like eight or nine points to get up to 23 percent. So that's the reason why everybody is talking about Marco Rubio, is because Donald Trump fell in the polls and Marco Rubio rose dramatically.

KELLY: But I said moments ago, Dana, New Hampshire is a totally different ball game. And Trump is way ahead there in the polls and the electorate looks almost nothing like what we saw in Iowa.

DANA PERINO, "THE FIVE" CO-HOST: Right. In Iowa, you have one of the most secular -- sorry religious states, and the evangelical states in the country, and New Hampshire is the most secular. So Donald Trump, when he says that he is disappointed in the press coverage, I think really is that he raised expectations so high. And what I saw him do at the end of the night last night is this sort of lower expectations going into New Hampshire.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

PERINO: I still think he wants to win, but I think that he realized that was a mistake. New Hampshire, these are a lot of independent folks. They call it that for a reason. And what you saw, I think the other reason they're talking about Marco Rubio, is after the debate, Megyn, that's when we knew that a lot of people would still change their mind and we saw that in the Luntz Focus groups and that's why Marco Rubio was able to climb those eight to nine percentage points in order to get to third, almost to second. That's why he has momentum going into New Hampshire. And I think that he will probably place first or second in New Hampshire.

KELLY: Wow, lots of big predictions. Because now he's hoarding down, what, now fourth or fifth. I mean, New Hampshire, Dana, is a much more competitive state for the so-called establishment candidates, whatever you want to call them.


KELLY: But I include for purposes of this question. Rubio and that, it's Rubio, it's Jeb, it's Christie, it's Kasich. And they're all, Dana, gunning for Rubio right now. And he's going to take a lot of fire this week.

PERINO: He does. And I think they've probably had to anticipate that.  But I think also New Hampshire is very practical. In all of the polls, he is the only Republican that is able to beat Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire in a general election matchup.

KELLY: So, OK, but Chris Christie didn't get that memo. Because he's already going after Rubio hard, Mark. And the problem for Rubio, as we saw with Cruz last week at the FOX debate is, when you stick your head up, you get whacked. Right? When you do well, the other candidates -- that's my interpretation of what they're doing. And the question is, whether Rubio can sustain it. Because so far, he's sort of run this gentlemanly campaign where he tries to obey, you know, Reagan's 11th commandment by not going after his fellow Republicans but it's about to get ugly.

THIESSEN: It is about to get ugly. And what's interesting about Rubio is that he's going to get it from above and from below.


THIESSEN: He's going to get it from the Trump and Cruz, the outsiders, and he's going to get it from the bottom, from the establishment candidates, because he's really not an establishment candidate. I mean, if you think about this, he was the guy who ran as a Tea Party insurgent against the establishment candidate to get to the Senate seat. He has one of the most conservative voting records. He's not an establishment candidate, but he appeals to the establishment and to moderates because he has such a hopeful optimistic message.

So he is what the only candidate probably out there, who can straddle both the establishment and the outsider lanes. And so, the outsiders want to take him out and the establishment guys want to take him out. But that also means, the reason for that is because he is the one who is so strong against both of them and probably against Hillary Clinton because that's the candidate they worry about the most, someone who can unite the Republican Party and go after her.

KELLY: So, Dana, speak about the importance of these next few days, because what we're learning about New Hampshire is that the reports say the voters there are fickle, fickle, but that's not what you want in a voter, that's -- you want loyal. They're fickle and the "Chicago Tribune" reporting today that they well over half of the GOP voters there have yet to make up their mind. So, they're there, they're there for the getting.

PERINO: So, all of the candidates are going to be there for the next several days. There's a very important thing happening Saturday night.  Just like last week going into Iowa, there is a Republican debate on Saturday night.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

PERINO: And I'm assuming that all the candidates are going to show up to that because they don't want to make that mistake. And for somebody like John Kasich, he could really make a strong stand in New Hampshire. Then there's this question about, where do you go from there? I think that Marco Rubio, I heard from a congressman that's supporting him that said, Marco Rubio almost surprised himself last night, and so if he can now do that step change into being one of the leaders of that PAC that you just talked about, Kasich, Christie, Jeb, then he might be able to do very well.  But these next two days are absolutely critical because people haven't made up their minds.

KELLY: It's incredible. Half the electorate up for grabs. So, it really is though a horse race there. Thank you both so much.

THIESSEN: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: And breaking tonight, fresh off his better than expected results in Iowa, Senator Marco Rubio is here to talk about his chances for New Hampshire.

Plus, we have new details on the secret to how Senator Ted Cruz scored his big victory. Tony Perkins will join us on that. And we'll show you how Hillary Clinton pushed some Sanders' supporters a little too far, when the KELLY FILE comes back.


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll look back over the years of my involvement in the very first job I had, and I know -- I know --




RUBIO: If I am our nominee, and I will be our nominee, thanks to what you have done here in this great state --  


When I am our nominee, we are going to unify this party and we are going to unify the conservative movement.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)  When I am our nominee, we will unite our party, we will grow our party, and we will defeat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or whoever they nominate.



KELLY: That was Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio last night after surging in the Iowa caucuses. He tied Donald Trump when it comes to number of delegates. Ted Cruz will get eight, Trump and Rubio will both get seven and he scored 23 percent of the vote well above what the polling had projected. But it isn't just Iowans that Senator Rubio has won over.  Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was today praising the senator's conservative credentials. Listen.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Speaking from -- I don't like this idea that Marco Rubio is all of a sudden being labeled as an establishment candidate. I know that Rubio's got the baggage of that gang of eight bill, and I know that in many people's minds he's got the baggage of wanting to grant the current number of illegal citizenship, I understand that. But I hear that Marco Rubio is no moderate Republican centrist. I don't see Marco Rubio as anything other than a legitimate, full throated conservative. Nobody's pure and nobody is ever free of making mistakes.


KELLY: Joining me now, Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio, great to see you.  Congratulations on your performance last night.

RUBIO: Well, thank you. We felt great about it. And it's great to be here in New Hampshire. We're excited about New Hampshire, as well.

KELLY: Let's start with Rush Limbaugh's comment. Do you agree that you are no moderate centrist?

RUBIO: I have as conservative of a record as anyone that is running for president. The difference is, I have a conservative record but I can also grow the conservative movement. In that sense, we can't just win with the people we have now, we have to unify the people we have now. But we have to go out and convince more people that conservatism is the right approach for America. I've done that and will do that. We're going to go to people that struggling under student loans, the single mothers struggling paycheck to paycheck, the hardworking families across this country who are living the way that I grew up and we are going to convince them that conservatism is the right way forward for them and for our country.

KELLY: Now, as you know, one of your competitors took a shot at you today, Governor Chris Christie, who is really hoping to perform better in New Hampshire than he did in Iowa. Here's what he had to say about you coming in New Hampshire and your performance. Listen.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not the boy in the bubble, OK? We know who the boy in the bubble is up here, who never answers your questions, who's constantly scripted and controlled because he can't answer your questions. So when Senator Rubio get here, the boy in the bubble gets here, I hope you guys ask him some questions, because it's time for him to start answering some questions. He wants to say this race is over and it's all him, it seems to me that he should have to stand across from you and answer your questions --  


KELLY: Do you take offense at him calling you a boy, a boy in a bubble?

RUBIO: Look, I think Chris didn't perform very well last night in Iowa.  And sometimes if people get disappointed, they react poorly. As far as answering questions, Megyn, I've been with you at least once a week. We did a debate. You've asked me tough questions --

KELLY: Lots of them.

RUBIO: Others have asked me tough questions. I answer tough questions all the time.

KELLY: He says you are too scripted. You are very smooth. Your acceptance, not acceptance, but your remarks last night were amazing. You were so articulate, there was no teleprompter. To those who say, oh, he is scripted, is that scripted or is that just how you talk?

RUBIO: Well, that's how I believe. And obviously when you're running a campaign, you're driving a message. But why would I tell people anything other than what I believe passionately? Look, I believe this is the greatest country in the history of the world. But that's not automatic.  Every generation is going to have to do its part. And if we have another four years like the last seven, we are not going to remain a great country.  And that's why this is a time for urgency. I'm urgent about -- I feel a sense of urgency about getting this right. And I try to communicate that.  I'm about to do it here in New Hampshire and every chance I have to go on your show, I will try to do it as well.

KELLY: Well, I will vouch for you that you have come on the KELLY FILE regularly and you always sit for the tough questions and I'll know for the record you never complain, never once, even if we ask really tough questions which I appreciate.


KELLY: OK. But I want to ask you this, so now that you're, you know, we got the Marcomentum as they call it. You know who is going to come after you both guns blazing. His name starts with D, and last name starts with T. And you're going to be right in middle crosshairs for him now that you're giving him a run for his money. How are you going to handle Donald Trump's attacks on you?

RUBIO: Well, again, we've dealt with that earlier in the summer. And we'll dealt with it. If someone says something that's not true or I think it's below the dignity of the presidency, we'll address it. But I'm not going to get off the topic of why I'm running to begin with. Again, I didn't get into this race to fight with other Republicans. I'm more than happy to talk about policy differences. We do have policy differences and we'll discuss those. But I really want this campaign to be about ultimately nominating the right person, a real conservative that will unify the party, grow the conservative movement and then win the election.  Hillary Clinton cannot be the president of the United States. And that's what I'm going to focus on. And if someone says something it's not true, we'll address it, but we're going to keep our focus on what matters here.

KELLY: There are still so very many Republicans running for president.  And I know New Hampshire has a way of being a clearinghouse for that. But let me get specific with you. Do you think it's time for Jeb Bush to drop out?

RUBIO: No, I don't think it's time for anybody, I mean, they've been working so hard. Look, I respect these people that are running. This is hard. They're working just as hard as I am. They have right to see it through. I do think it's time for the Republican Party to begin to coalesce and of course that's what this process is about. Coalesce around someone that can win. We have to beat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and I can tell you who they're the most afraid of, it's me.

Hillary Clinton attacks me five times for every one time that someone else is attacked and there's a reason for that, Megyn. They know that if I'm our nominee, we're going to win. And so I think it's time for voters to start coalescing. The candidates they worked hard, they deserve to see this through. At least in New Hampshire, you'll never hear me either calling for someone to drop out or you'll never hear about me making up rumors that someone is dropping out in order to try to get votes.

KELLY: What is winning for you in New Hampshire? No Republican in modern history has ever gone on to win the nomination without winning either Iowa or New Hampshire. But right now you are not poised to win New Hampshire according to the latest polls anyway. So, what is winning for you there?

RUBIO: Well, I think the first lesson about last night is, polls are snapshot in time, the voters are making up their minds very late in these races as we did very well with the voters that made up their minds in the end. And the other thing that I would tell you about, this is a very unusual political year. I mean, you have nine or ten legitimate candidates running four scale campaigns on the ground here in New Hampshire. So I think some of the rules that have applied in the past are not operative this time. But let me just say this, and I know this sounds perhaps a little simplistic, but my goal is to get as many people as possible to vote for me in New Hampshire.

And I think if that's our plan everywhere we go, when this process is finished at the end of it, we're going to have more than a half the delegates and we will going to be the nominee. How we get there, I don't know if anyone can predict that in the year like this. There's been a lot of twist and turns in this campaign. I think you will agree with that.

KELLY: There certainly have. Great to see you, Senator. All the best.

RUBIO: Thank you, Megyn. Thanks for having me back on.

KELLY: Well, the minute Governor Mike Huckabee suspended his presidential campaign, one big question was immediately asked, and we will see if he answers it with an endorsement, just ahead.

Plus, Ted Cruz took Iowa by storm. But can he repeat that in the coming weeks?

Tony Perkins, who has endorsed Senator Cruz, will weigh in on what to expect in New Hampshire and South Carolina, which is right after that, when we come back.


CRUZ: You know, one of the things that we're seeing in Iowa but also New Hampshire and across the country is that old Reagan coalition coming together of conservatives and evangelicals and Libertarians, and Reagan Democrats. That's what it takes to win.




CRUZ: What we saw last night was we saw that old Reagan coalition coming back together again.


We saw conservatives and evangelicals and libertarians and Reagan Democrats, all stands together saying, what on earth are we doing?


KELLY: Senator Ted Cruz giving a nod to Iowa's evangelical voters moments ago in South Carolina. That group was critical to his success in Iowa. So many of them turned out, they represented more than six of every ten caucus goers. A new record. But there are growing questions as to whether Senator Cruz can carry that momentum into a state like New Hampshire where evangelical voters made up just 21 percent of the electorate back in 2012.

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council and author of "No Fear: Real Stories of a Courageous New Generation Standing for Truth."  Tony, good to see you.


KELLY: You must be feeling pretty good.

PERKINS: Well, it was a good night. It was a good night and I think the takeaway last night for conservative voters is, don't listen to the polls or the pundits but vote your values and that's what people did and we saw what came out of.

KELLY: The quality that mattered most in choosing who to support, by overwhelming the top answer was someone who shares my values.


KELLY: And if you felt that way, you voted for Ted Cruz. This is a return of values voters in Iowa for sure.

PERKINS: The values voters are back. It's the return on the values voters. Look, these are issues, they care about all the issues. They're not monolithic. They're not single issue, but they want to know someone that has a faith construct, a world view similar to theirs. That gives them comfort in knowing how they're going to make decisions then ultimately what kind of decisions they're going to make.

KELLY: What does that mean for New Hampshire? Because the conventional wisdom is he can't win there.

PERKINS: Well, I mean, it's a more challenging state, no question about it. But his message is actually resonating with non-evangelicals, as well.  People who are concerned about the direction of the country. They're angry about the political establishment of both parties, not solving America's problems. And so I think he's going to take the same message there. It's going to connect with voters. Now, will he place first? I don't know.  But I think he'll do well. And in South Carolina, another state that has a lot of evangelicals, is up next.

KELLY: What's interesting about Ted Cruz is he's a limited government guy.  He is a limited government guy. You would think that would play well in New Hampshire. But right now he's not soaring in the polls there, is it the evangelical thing hurt him there?

PERKINS: No. No. Let's not get too hung up on the polls. Look at what just happened in Iowa. We were told that Donald Trump was going to run away with Iowa, if we had this surge of turnout which we said a record in turnout, but those new voters, most of them were evangelical and they went to Ted Cruz.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

PERKINS: So what he's doing, and this is a message to Republicans. Oh, you can't have a candidate that's too conservative because we might lose the general election. Look, we've tried that in the last two election cycles. When you have a candidate who is in the middle of the road, that's not going anywhere. I mean, the only thing in the middle of the road, yellow stripes and usually dead animals. So, you need somebody that drag them clearly on the right side.


KELLY: Thank you for that image. He's, we're showing him in South Carolina. There's a reason he's there now. Now he's going back to North Carolina, to New Hampshire right after this. But you've been to South Carolina recently. That looks better for Cruz. What are you seeing and hearing there?

PERKINS: It's good, it's positive, I mean, but look, Marco Rubio had a good debate last week. I was there watched it. He did well. He always does well. He is connecting with more moderate evangelical voters as it's described. Those not as conservative. I think he's going to, he's going to get some of the vote in South Carolina. But I think increasingly those who are libertarians, those two are Tea Party, those who are evangelical, are going to be attracted to Ted Cruz, because he's a constitutional conservative. They know the construct by which he will operate.

KELLY: The latest numbers we have, this is back in 2012, evangelical voters in South Carolina, 64 percent. So if they vote the way Iowans did, he's got a real shot there and that's what he's hoping to do. He says his campaign has staying power, resources and broad appeal.

PERKINS: It's a first. He does have -- he's positioned and prepared.  This is the first time we've had a conservative come out of Iowa that has a nationwide organization and money in the bank.

KELLY: But the acceptance speech, whatever, I kept saying acceptance. Not acceptance. But the victory speech, it went a little long.

PERKINS: All right. I'll talk to him.

KELLY: All right. A little, little long. You have to give Donald Trump that point. Tony, great to see you.

PERKINS: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: Pollster Frank Luntz and his Focus Group hit the nail on the head with their predictions for Iowa. How about that? He is here tonight with the forecasts for New Hampshire.

Plus, we'll show you the Hillary Clinton comments that had Bernie Sanders folks losing their minds when we come back.


CLINTON: I am a progressive who gets things done --  




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the World Headquarters of Fox News, it's "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: Breaking tonight, Hillary Clinton has officially won the Iowa caucuses, just in case you're just getting caught up after last night. But there are new questions over some bizarre voting rules and what turned out to be the closest Democratic Iowa caucus race in history. The campaigns are in New Hampshire today. Mrs. Clinton celebrating her razor thin victory. She squeaked out a win by four-tenths of a percentage points, but today her opponent Senator Bernie Sanders had a thing or two to say about it.

Chief White House correspondent, Ed Henry, live on the campaign trail in Manchester, New Hampshire. Ed?

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Megyn. It's interesting because of these Byzantine (ph) rules with the caucuses specifically in Iowa. Some of it got pretty interesting. If you look at this video, there were actual precincts that were so close. They were being decided by coin flips. You heard a little bit about this today, and six of them, in fact, went to Hillary Clinton in -- by coin flip. And the chances of somebody winning six coin flips in a row, you've heard this, is one in 64 it seems a bit odd.

But the Des Moines Register is pointing out tonight that the delegates decided were decided by coin flip on the county level, not statewide. So, these were less significant. NPR meanwhile is reporting that there were some coin flips, by the way, that Hillary Clinton's camp won, pouring some cold water on the idea that this was the deciding factor.

Nonetheless, Sanders as you noted here in New Hampshire then I told reporters that he wants to take a look at this, because he -- he's confused by it. He thinks this is not how a democracy should be run. But he's also politically savvy enough to not make a big stink about this and he's saying, he's looking forward that he's happy that he came back from 50 points down to make this almost a tie with Hillary Clinton. And he says, he's looking past her to the general election. While Clinton says, that she's declaring victory and that she's going to come back here in New Hampshire. Watch.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will not only win the general election, but we will create a government in Washington that works for all of us.

CLINTON: I am so thrilled that I'm coming to New Hampshire after winning Iowa.


I've won and I've lost there. It's a lot better to win.


HENRY And right and so she's talking about that, and what I was saying about the coin flips, I meant to say, that the Sanders camp, NPR saying won some of the coin flips, as well as the Clinton camp and the bottom line is Clinton camp is referring back to, yes, she has lost some in won some in Iowa 2008. It's humiliating for her, but then she came back strong here, as you know, Megyn, in New Hampshire, and won that primary. They're hoping to do the same here, but the latest Fox poll has Clinton down here 22 points.


HENRY: Megyn?

KELLY: Ed, on those coin tosses, do we know what she calls? What were they calling?

HENRY: I heard -- in some of the video, I heard tails. There could have been other ones .

KELLY: I know (ph).

HENRY: . what they're calling at.

KELLY: Maybe you believe they always call heads.

HENRY: And through (ph) and investigate it.

KELLY: That's -- that's crazy talk.

HENRY: Well that -- that might be for you.

KELLY: Can you call .

HENRY: A lot of people call tails.

KELLY: . just go back and confirm that reporting. Viewers at home don't -- don't listen to that.

HENRY: Right.

KELLY: . until we have that confirmed. Ed, thank you.


Well, there's also new reaction tonight to an awkward caught on tape moment at Bernie Sanders' Iowa campaign headquarters last night. All of the senator's supporters were gathered there. And watch what happened when Hillary Clinton's end of the night speech was on in the crowded ballroom.


CLINTON: I am a progressive.


CLINTON: I'm honored to stand .


CLINTON: . over the years on this, very first job I have.


CLINTON: I know .


KELLY: Joining us now, Robert Zimmerman, who's a Democratic National Committee member, Clinton supporter and co-founder of Zimmerman/Edelson Public Relations. And Nomiki Konst, who's also a Democratic National Committee member and national co-chair of President Obama's 2012 Gen44 campaign. Great to see you both.



KELLY: It's interesting to me because there, you know, the media loves to talk about the civil war on the Republican side as they won (ph), but the Democratic side do not look that unified to me.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, you know, Megyn --

KELLY: "She's a liar." I mean, that -- that's -- that was a little like wow. Go ahead Robert.

ZIMMERMAN: You know Megyn, what really troubled me as I saw those volunteers asking like the Republican presidential candidates. Actually, they were better behaved because the Republican presidential candidate .


KELLY: Presidential candidate (ph). Those were Bernie supporters.

ZIMMERMAN: . are busy -- are busiest hacking (pH) each other's lives.

KONST: That's your future, Robert.

ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry?

KONST: You're insulting the future of the Democratic Party that was a small group .


ZIMMERMAN: It's not insulting .

KONST: . intended (ph) toward the party.


ZIMMERMAN: . throughout, Nomiki. I'm -- does not -- obviously, they were rowdy. There's no excuse for that kind behavior. But it certainly was better than watching the Republican presidential candidates attack each other on their citizenship, their religion, even attacking each other's lives. So, yes, we had our rowdy moment there, but you got a spirited debate, the Democratic Party, about how to strengthen of our middle class, make college more affordable, how to build our economy and raise .

KELLY (?): But as you're saying that .

ZIMMERMAN: . build on infrastructure.

KELLY (?): . the screen next to you is -- provides some evidence of some nastiness beyond the fight for the middle class.

KONST: Yeah.

KELLY: Nomiki, let me ask you, because, you know, the -- the entrance polls last night showed most important quality, honest and trustworthy, is that what you felt?

KONST: Trustworthiness.

KELLY: Sanders -- they went for Sanders, 83 percent to Clinton's 10 percent.

KONST: Yeah.

KELLY: What does that tell you?

KONST: Yeah, I mean, this is a battle between experience, which those -- those entrance polls said that those over 60 valued experience and those under 44 valued trustworthy and honesty. I was in the room and I went to the caucuses and I talked to a lot of young people, and I was -- I was personally shocked, because I'm of the belief that Democrats don't care about the e-mail story. But I was really shocked to see how many young people, especially young women, and I have them on camera, I'm going to post it online later today, so you can see these interviews at the caucuses, that -- that some of the universities. They all talked about the trustworthy factor and what that shows me is that those are people who don't trust Hillary, who are not going to turn out if she is the general election nominee and that's bad for Democrats because if -- if this .


ZIMMERMAN: But let's remember, Nomiki.

KONST: . millennial don't turn out .

ZIMMERMAN: . you're telling half the story here.

KONST: . and millennials don't -- hang on, hang on, hang on. If millennials don't turn out in the general election, down ballot -- well, Democrats don't win in states. Democrats won't win the presidency. So .

ZIMMERMAN: But Nomiki .


KONST: . ultimately, the fact not .

ZIMMERMAN: . you have known that .


KONST: . a choice .


KELLY: Go ahead Robert.

KONST: ... is Bernie Sanders.

ZIMMERMAN: OK. Let's be -- let's be realistic here. Yes, Bernie Sanders did well with young people. There's no question. But Hillary Clinton won in Iowa last night because she was able to forge a coalition.

KONST: Not by .

ZIMMERMAN: She was able to forge a coalition, winning strongly with voters 45 years and older and voters who focused on the economy, health care, how to fight terrorism. Those where she did particularly well with the entrance -- with the entrance polls. So this was a state in Iowa that was tailor made (ph) for Bernie Sanders .


KONST: Well, he did well in .


KELLY: Can I ask you -- let me ask you a question, Nomiki.

KONST: That's not true.

KELLY: Why -- they -- so they -- she said .

KONST: Yeah.

KELLY: . she was on camera saying, "I am a progressive." And you -- we heard the Bernie Sanders' crowd erupt with -- with "boo" and then "She's a liar."

KONST: Right.

KELLY: They don't believe that she is a progressive. So, does she need to run as a progressive as a -- as a more leftist Democrat to win the general? Because when she gets to the general, won't their doubts about her progressiveness come -- come back to help her? In other words, those people she needs to get in the middle may like the fact that -- that many believe she is not quite as left as she says she is.

KONST: Well, I think number one, and I'm a former Hillary supporter and I respect her and I acknowledge her experience. But you got to let go of these labels like progressive, because to younger people, they don't like labels. They want to know that she cares about them. She cares about the issues that concern them. She feels their pain, as Bill Clinton used to say. You know, she understands their concerns and that's what Bernie Sanders is doing, right now, and that's what speaks to the future of the Democratic Party.


ZIMMERMAN: But it's also .


KELLY: Is it this -- that he feels their concern .

ZIMMERMAN: . point out .

KELLY: . or it's all -- it's like all the free stuff that he says he's going to give them.

KONST: Well, I don't think it's about free stuff. I think that if you're negotiating, you don't negotiate from the middle and that's something that Democrats need to learn from Republicans. You now (ph) negotiate from your ideal situation and you come to the middle with the other side, and Bernie Sanders has negotiated more with Republicans than any other senator and congressmen .


ZIMMERMAN: Let's go in the past .


KONST: . so he is the most pragmatic choice.


ZIMMERMAN: . to talking points and do with some reality here.

KELLY: Go ahead, Robert.

ZIMMERMAN: First and foremost .

KONST: Talking points? I'm not surrogate (ph) .


ZIMMERMAN: . first and foremost .


KONST: You're the surrogate (ph).

ZIMMERMAN: . let's point out that Hillary Clinton has demonstrated not only progressive values but the ability to get results and the most important point here, Megyn, is when you talk about whether Hillary Clinton is moving too far to the left, the issues she's campaigning on respect for the rights of LGBT Americans, immigration reform, invested .


KONST: She was gun cell (ph) of LGBT .


ZIMMERMAN: . raising the minimum -- raising the minimum .

KONST: . marriage equality two years ago.


ZIMMERMAN: . wage. Don't interrupt, Nomiki. These are the issues that define the main stream of America today.

KELLY: All right.

ZIMMERMAN: So, I think very frankly, you're seeing her speak not just a progressive movement but .

KONST: Authenticity.

ZIMMERMAN: . but is the future of our country.

KONST: All authenticity.

KELLY: All right.

KONST: It's all about authenticity. Robert, all you got to do is say, she's been here for two years in Iowa and it came down to a coin toss.


ZIMMERMAN: Nomiki, all I got to say is congratulations .


KONST: She can walk on in (ph) Iowa. How she's doing in the rest of the state.


KELLY: Well, I get that (ph). Great today (ph). Thank you, both.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.

KELLY: Well, breaking tonight, Governor Mike Huckabee is no longer running for president, but he may still play a very big role in this race. We'll show how when he join us in moments. And pollster Frank Luntz is getting high marks for predicting the result in Iowa. His early forecast for New Hampshire is right after this break.


FRANK LUNTZ, AMERICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT, POLLSTER, AND PUBLIC OPINION GURU: How many of you walked in here supporting Marco Rubio? Raise your hands? One, two, three of you. How many of you are going home, most likely to vote for Rubio? Raise your hands. That's the impact of a single debate.



KELLY: "Kelly File" follow up for you now on a prediction that pollster Frank Luntz and his focus group made heading into yesterday's Iowa Caucuses. It was a two-man race according to most polls. But after Thursday's debate with Fox News, voters began focusing on another candidate, whose finish in the Hawk (ph) State last night has become a headline all its own.


LUNTZ: I want to show the audience at home, how many of you walked in here supporting Marco Rubio, raise your hands? One, two, three of you. How many of you are going home most likely to vote for Rubio? Raise your hands. That's the impact of a single debate. How likely are you to stay with Marco Rubio?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hundred percent. I was actually able to see him in person last weekend and ask him a direct question about my family and their security and the way he answered it with my 10-year-old with me, it made me really solidify why I would choose him as a candidate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really moving towards Rubio. I am very impressed with Senator Rubio and the understanding when he speaks that he's giving Americans the importance of this election.


KELLY: Joining us now, Frank Luntz, who is CEO of Luntz Global and author of "What Americans Really Want. Really." Frank, great to see you. So, the focus group gets it, predicting a surge in -- in Marco Rubio's momentum and indeed that's what we saw last night.

LUNTZ: Yeah, and in fact -- and Megyn, I apologize for this, but this is what Iowa has left me. The other thing that we saw was the organization, and that's where Ted Cruz had the advantage. Donald Trump had significant support. But if you were supporting Ted Cruz, you came out and voted. So, facts (ph) let me project that one as well.

Now, let's see how that works for New Hampshire. I believe that Donald Trump's lead is so significant that no matter what happens in the debate on Saturday, Trump will still be the winner. The battle is for second place. Marco Rubio is in perfect position, because New Hampshire voters are economic voters, whereas Iowa voters were social voters.


LUNTZ: Ted Cruz is going to have to wait for South Carolina for him to show up. And the fourth prediction is watch for a surprise with Chris Christie. He's been rising in the New Hampshire polls. He's somewhere around 10 percent right now. He has the chance to show up. Trump wins, I think Rubio comes in second, Christie does better than expected and Ted Cruz is next surprise will be South Carolina.

KELLY: Wow. I mean, Rubio is nowhere near second in the polls right now, but, of course, no poll has taken account his finish in Iowa and -- and perhaps, the momentum .

LUNTZ: Right.

KELLY: . he's -- he's built. Why -- why are you saying Christie? Because the conventional wisdom is, OK, the establishment lane is going to get behind Marco Rubio now and even though Christie has put in a lot of time in the ground in New Hampshire, he did very poorly in Iowa and does not have any momentum might way coming out of there. You tell me if I'm wrong.

LUNTZ: I agree with you but because nobody asked he talks about establishment, it's not in the lexicon of the average voters. We pundits talk about it, voters do not. Christie is one of the great debaters. When - - when the chips are down, he's won a couple of these debates and I think between him and Rubio, they have the capability to turn the undecided voters. Megyn, I think up to 40 percent of New Hampshire voters can change their minds .

KELLY: Yeah.

LUNTZ: . between now and next Tuesday.

KELLY: That's what they're saying.

LUNTZ: And the best debaters -- and the best debaters do the best on election night.

KELLY: All right. Let's talk about the -- the torrent of ads that has been unleashed and will be unleashed in particular against Rubio probably Cruz now maybe Trump. He hasn't really seen a lot of negative ads some -- some, but perhaps not as much as Marco Rubio who in particular has been the focus of Jeb Bush, you dialed one of the super PAC supporting Jeb Bush. They -- they unleashed ad on Marco Rubio. Let's -- let's see how it did then you can tell us about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marco Rubio, he ran for Senate saying he opposed the amnesty, then flipped and worked with Liberal Chuck Schumer to co-author the Path to Citizenship. He threatened to vote against and then voted for. He supported his own DREAM Act and then he abandoned. Marco Rubio, just another Washington politician you can't trust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeb Bush, he's a leader, so you always know where he stands. Right-to-rise USA is responsible for the content of this message.


KELLY: The lines did not look so good.

LUNTZ: Look - they aren't so good. Jeb Bush will spend when this is all over $100 million. Unprecedented for a super PAC and that money has been wasted. If I was a donor, if I was one of these people who contributed half a million, I would demand my money back with interest. All of these ads have failed. They've got another one with Marco's boots and it stands whether Nancy (ph) is not just strong. His boots are made for walking. It's crap. I don't know any other way .

KELLY: Oh. It's crap (ph).


LUNTZ: . it's not persuasive. It's doesn't turn voters. I cleaned up my language for you. I do not want to get turn off the air.


But when -- when I play these ads to these focus groups, they use the actual word to describe their reaction.


LUNTZ: It's a waste of money and it actually helps Rubio and it hurts Bush at the same time.

KELLY: Oh, really. So, it has the reverse effect but intended?

LUNTZ: Because it makes people angry. They're angry at the person who hosts the ads. You heard the end of that. It says Jeb Bush is -- is a leader. What people hear is, Jeb Bush is running a negative ad against his friend, Marco Rubio and they hate it.

KELLY: Yes. I can just picture this meeting with Frank where they -- they call him in and they say, "We want you to take a look at couple of ads." You're the guy -- you wrote, you know, words that were -- and so -- and -- and they watched his face and he looks up and he says "crap, I say. It's crap."



LUNTZ: Yeah, but you have to understand in these private meetings, I don't use the "C" word.

KELLY: Oh, that's good.


LUNTZ: I think the "S" word .

KELLY: I mean, I think they were (ph).



KELLY: Great to see you.

LUNTZ: Thank you.

KELLY: All right. We'll have him back in a week and will see how he did in -- on this New Hampshire prediction. Well, we have Governor Huckabee here tonight. He has just left the race for the White House and a certain Republican candidate will be in his hometown tomorrow. Coincidence? The governor is next.



TRUMP: And in Iowa, they said, "Don't go to Iowa. You don't play in Iowa. Me, and I said, why? I know people in Iowa. They are great people. They said, "No, no. It's not going to work." If you go there, there's not -- well still, I said, "I have to do it. I want to go there." And I went there and I think we did really well. We did really well.


KELLY: That was Donald trump who's headed to Little Rock, Arkansas, tomorrow. There he was today thanking the people of Iowa for giving him a second place finish last night. But one of Iowa's favorite candidate did last (ph) well, and just 24 hours ago, left in. Governor Mike Huckabee sent his simple tweet, saying, he was suspending his campaign for president. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee joins us now.

Governor, it's great to see you. So, first, let's start with the news. Do you plan on making an endorsement when Trump comes through Arkansas tomorrow?

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: No. Megyn, I've said have all along. I didn't know he was going. I'm not going to be in Arkansas tomorrow. And I really don't have any intention of making an endorsement any time soon. I certainly reserve the right to make an endorsement at some point, but I don't see it happening right now. I mean, I've got a lot of things I'm trying to clean up the loose ends, pick up the pieces of a long year of campaigning and putting everything I had into something that just didn't turn out.

So, you know, my perspective now is not to focus on endorsing somebody. Not sure that it would mean that much. I'm going to get, you know, to putting life together.

KELLY: What .

HUCKABEE: But you know what, I want to say this and I think it's an important perspective, Megyn.

KELLY: Sure.

HUCKABEE: Losing an election is not losing your life. You know, it's more the life than this, and what I've experienced, sure (ph), I've -- I've been flattened and I've been disappointed, I've been hurt by all of it. But no more so than all those Americans who put their heart and soul into starting a business and then losing it. All the people out there that worked 30 years for a company and then saw their job shipped to Mexico or China.

You know, I think about the fact when you lose an election, you really get to identify with the people that you said you were running to be able to identify with. So, my perspective is, look. This is a great country and a kid like me that grew up in a little wren house on Second Street in Hope, Arkansas, to even get on the stage, what an amazing opportunity. It was -- to live in the United States. And tonight, I count my blessings to be in the United States of America and to be able to be part of this amazing place called America.

KELLY: Governor, you launched your campaign on "The Kelly File," and you have come back many times.


KELLY: We've been very grateful for that, and if I may be so bold as steal a line from my colleague Sean Hannity, "You're a great American." Thank you for what you've done for our country ...


KELLY: And thank you for being with us here on "The Kelly File," and sharing your thoughts.

HUCKABEE: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: All the best to you, Gov. We'll be right back


KELLY: Great time in Iowa who just poll -- just the friendliest, nicest people in New York and we were walking around as New Yorkers like what is -- what is this? Oh, friendliness. It's -- it's kindness. Oh wow! Anyway, now, it's on to New Hampshire. Who are you rooting for there? Let us know at or on twitter@megynkelly. Thank you so much for watching. I'm Megyn Kelly. This is "The Kelly File."

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