Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich weigh in on the fight for New Hampshire

Republican presidential candidate on 'Fox News Sunday'


This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," February 7, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I’m Chris Wallace reporting from Manchester, New Hampshire.  

Today, the governors.  They started it's the front runners in the GOP race for president.  Now, they're fighting just to stay alive.  


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  You have not been involved in a consequential decision where you had to be held accountable.  You just simply haven't.  


JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  How tough is it to take away property from an elderly woman?

TRUMP:  Let me talk, quiet.  

GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  He thinks he can impose anything he wants.  He's not a king.  He's a president.  

WALLACE:  We'll talk with all three as they battle in the GOP establishment lane against a rising Marco Rubio.  

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This notion of Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true.  

CHRISTIE:  There it is.  There it is -- the memorized 25-second speech.  

WALLACE:  And see if they can put a dent in the Iowa frontrunners.  

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We’re going to build a wall.  We're going to triple the border patrol.  

TRUMP:  We're going to replace Obamacare with something so much better.  

WALLACE:  Kasich, Bush, and Christie live only on "Fox News Sunday."

Then, the battle between the two Democratic candidates gets downright nasty.  

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Secretary Clinton does represent the establishment.  

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Enough is enough.  If you’ve got something to say, say it directly.  

WALLACE:  We'll ask our Sunday panel whether Bernie Sanders put an end to the Clinton coronation.  

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE:  And hello again from Fox News in New Hampshire.  

We're just outside downtown Manchester, on the campus of Saint Anselm College.  There is snow outside but here in Davidson Hall, the fire is glowing, and in just two days, voters head to the poll in New Hampshire.  

Well, last night, the Republican candidates debated one more time.  The goal for several of them to take down Rubio and to join Trump and Cruz in the top tier.  

In a few minutes, we'll talk with the three governors, Christie, Kasich and Bush, all fighting to stay alive in the GOP race.  

But first, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron on winners and losers, and there were some of both in last night's debate -- Carl.  


First of the nation voters tend to wait until the very last minute to make up their minds.  So, last night's battles are sure to have an effect on their decisions.  Marco Rubio surging in the polls got hit by Chris Christie for inexperience and repeating canned, memorized lines.  


CHRISTIE:  He simply does not have the experience to be president of the United States to make these decisions.  

RUBIO:  I think the experience is not just what did you but how it worked out.  Under Chris Christie's governorship of New Jersey, they've been downgraded nine times in their credit rating.  

CHRISTIE:  That's what Washington, D.C. does, the drive-by shot at the beginning, with incorrect and incomplete information, and then the memorized 25-second speech.  

RUBIO:  Chris, your state got hit by a massive snowstorm two weeks ago.  You didn't want to go back.  They had to shame into going back.

This notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true.  

CHRISTIE:  There it is. There it is, the memorize 25-second speech.  


CAMERON:  Donald Trump defended his support for eminent domain and Jeb Bush called him out for how he's used it.  


TRUMP:  They all want the Keystone pipeline.  The Keystone pipeline without eminent domain, it wouldn’t go 10 feet, OK?  You need eminent domain.  

BUSH:  What Donald Trump did was use eminent domain to try the property of an elderly woman on the strip in Atlantic City.  That is not public purpose.  That is downright wrong.  

TRUMP:  A lot of times --  

BUSH:  How tough is it to take away property from an elderly woman?  

TRUMP:  Let me talk, quiet.  

A lot of times --  



CAMERON:  Eminent domain is unpopular in New Hampshire.  There has been a project proposed years to bring power lines from Canada throughout North Country and it has been stalled by residents' objections.  

John Kasich needed a good light night last night, and he got good reviews.  The governors really seemed to reassert themselves yesterday.  Now, Chris, it's just a sprint for the next two days until the polls close on Tuesday night.  

WALLACE:  Carl, thanks for that.  

That now to the first of the three governors stopping by our Manchester set here today -- the man at the center of the Marco Rubio episode, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  

And welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."  

CHRISTIE:  Thanks for having me, Chris.  

WALLACE:  Your takedown of Marco Rubio and that's all I can call it, was the story of the night.  Here is one more clip.  


RUBIO:  From protecting the people of Florida from eminent domain abuse, to bringing accountability to the V.A., to the Girls Count Act, and to sanctioning terrorist groups, I’m proud of my service in the United States Senate.  

CHRISTIE:  The fact is -- the fact is when you talk about Hezbollah sanctions act that you list as one of your accomplishments, you just did, you weren't even there to vote for it.  That’s not leadership.  That’s truancy.  


WALLACE:  So, Governor, what do you think last night's debate revealed about Marco Rubio?  

CHRISTIE:  Well, first off, I think it revealed something about what you need to be president of the United States.  You have to be tested.  You have to be prepared.  You have to be experienced.  You have to be ready.  

And quite frankly, that's what I tried to show the folks last night that I am tested and prepared and ready.  What I’ve been saying about Senator Rubio was on full display last night.  He's just simply not ready, Chris.  He's a good guy but he's not ready to be president of the United States.  

WALLACE:  You showed and you have been a long time prosecutor, you showed how skilled you are at that as Rubio seemed almost to unravel like a witness under cross-examination personally on that stage.  How did you feel?  

CHRISTIE:  I felt justified, because I’ve been saying this for a long time.  I don't think that people have been really listening.  But the fact is there were a lot of people watching and listening last night.  

And it's not about Marco Rubio.  It's about our country.  It's about the American people.  

We've had a president for seven years who was the first United States senator who never managed anything in his entire life and our government is unraveling.  We have the Russians and Ukraine in Crimea.  We have Syria falling apart, Libya falling apart.  

We have our economy growing at 0.7 percent and middle class wages are going backwards.  We don't need another on-the-job training in the White House.  We need someone that has done this stuff and I’ve done it.  

So, what I felt last night when I was doing that was I’m glad the American people are getting to see this before they make a mistake.  

WALLACE:  But according to the Real Clear Politics average of the recent polls here in New Hampshire, you are running sixth at this point with less than 5 percent support.  There are some political observers who watched last night and said, you know, you really hurt Rubio, but did you help yourself in a position that you're in now which is not too good?  

CHRISTIE:  Well, listen, none of those polls were taken after last night, were they?  And what people saw last night, millions of people saw last night was that I’m ready to be president of the United States.  And --


WALLACE:  How do you show that?  Because I mean, I know you showed the flaws in Rubio.  But how did you show your leadership just because you took him down?  

CHRISTIE:  No, remember something, Chris, he tried to come at me.  I answered him every time because I’ve been tested.  

And, by the way, who do you want on that stage against Hillary Clinton?  Do you want -- do Republicans want to see someone who can absolutely answer Secretary Clinton's every parry in a debate in September so that we actually win the presidency?  Or do we want to see someone who will crumble in front of Hillary Clinton?  That’s extraordinarily important.  

And, by the way, this is about the American people, Chris.  We need an experienced president.  We need a successful presidency.  The American people desperately need it.  

And I have been tested, whether it was rebuilding my state after Hurricane Sandy or standing up to the Democratic legislature or teachers union, I’m tough enough to take on Hillary Clinton, but more importantly, tough enough to take on the problems that face the United States.  

WALLACE:  Rubio tried to get into your record, and not terribly successfully.  But let me try a little more successfully.  I mean, you have had bridgegate which involved some of your top aides.  You have had nine credit downgrades in New Jersey on your watch.  New Jersey has the eighth slowest job growth since the recession ended in 2009.  

Those are not badges of honor.  

CHRISTIE:  Yes, except you're using dated material. Chris.  This year, 2015, New Jersey had the greatest job growth in 15 years, in 15 years.  That spans five different governors.  This year, we created over 60,000 new private sector jobs in New Jersey.  

And, by the way, we’ve cut spending $2.3 billion --

WALLACE:  What about the downgrade and the fact that since the recovery -- and this January information -- you're still the eighth slowest state in job recovery?  

CHRISTIE:  Chris, we were the slowest state when I became governor, the slowest state.  And I’m working with the Democratic legislature that won't do everything I want to do but with the stuff I have forced them to do, we now moved up the chart.  And I’m not going to let anybody insult the people of New Jersey who have worked hard to bring our state back.  

By the way, in the midst of all that, too, we were hit with the second worst natural disaster in American history that devastated our state and in light of that, to have us come back that we’ve had in 2015, it’s extraordinary.  And the people of New Jersey deserve great credit and I’m honored to lead them.  

I’m not going to let (ph) Marco Rubio or anybody else, even you my friend, insult the people that I represent every day.  

WALLACE:  I’m not insulting your people.  I’m just citing --  

CHRISTIE:  Oh, no --  

WALLACE:  I’m citing your record.  

CHRISTIE:  It's their state.  It's not just my state.  It's their state, like it's our country.  And I’m not going to allow them to insult the effort of the people of New Jersey.  They’ve done a great job.  I help along as much as I can.

WALLACE:  Let’s bring your record.  Let me ask you about one of the other governors, because you say you have to be the top governor coming out of New Hampshire.  

CHRISTIE:  As far I could be.  

WALLACE:  OK.  Well, there are three of you, and we're going to talk to all of you one after the other.  Your super PAC attacks John Kasich for the fact that between Congress and being governor of Ohio, he spent eight years on Wall Street.  But, Governor, your wife works on Wall Street.  In fact, she's the primary bread winner in the Christie family.  The major industry donor to the Christie campaign and super PAC is the financial industry.  So, what’s wrong with Wall Street?  

CHRISTIE:  First of all, my wife is not running for anything.  

WALLACE:  I know that.  


CHRISTIE:  My wife is not running for anything.  And what that points out is that Governor Kasich, what the super PAC says, is that Governor Kasich was there when Lehman Brothers went down.  He was the managing director when it went down, and he voted in Congress for bailouts to the banks and for special interest loopholes.  

It's not about how much money he made.  It's about how much money when he was in Congress he let others make.

And that's what the point of the commercial is, not anything else.  And, by the way, as I said last night, John is a good governor.  I’m just better.  

WALLACE:  What about the argument -- and this is our last question -- that you've got four of you, three governors and Rubio in the so-called establishment lane.  You're all bouncing against each other.  And that, ultimately, whatever divides you, you would all like to see one of you win versus Trump or Cruz.  

At some point and how quickly do all of you need to coalesce around one of them --  I know you hope it will be you -- but coalesce around one of you to take them on?  

CHRISTIE:  Well, listen, all week, the media is trying to make that we coalesce around Marco Rubio.  After you saw that performance last night, do you think they should be coalescing around Marco Rubio?  Do you think that’s the kind of performance, that’s the kind of leadership that we want to see on the stage against Hillary Clinton?  

Bottom line, Chris, is this is about the American people and changing their lives.  And you know what?  We need a strong, tough president.  Hillary Clinton is one of the toughest political fighters in this country.  And she's going to fight like crazy.  


WALLACE:  So, this is going to go on for a while, those bumper cars?  

CHRISTIE:  You bet it is to go on for a while, so that the voters actually decide.  You know, you guys make me laugh -- 180,000 people voted in Iowa.  And you want to end the race.  

WALLACE: I don't want to -- I asked --

CHRISTIE:  No, this is what you're saying.  

WALLACE:  I asked a question.  

CHRISTIE:  No, but, Chris, the question implies a position.  Should you all coalesce if you're bumping up against each other?  Listen --

WALLACE:  I think you’re in for a position, but we’re going to have to leave it there.

CHRISTIE:  Well, that’s it.  Listen, infer, imply, at least we’re both using the words right.  Here’s the thing, here’s the thing, there’s no reason to coalesce after 180,000 people in Iowa had voted in a caucus.  Let's let some people vote.  Let’s voters -- by the way, last night, what they saw is instructive.  It's instructive and needs to be seen.  

And my strong leadership needs to be seen and Senator Rubio's robotic performance needs to be seen too.  

WALLACE:  Governor Christie, thank you.  

CHRISTIE:  Great to you have on, Chris.  

WALLACE:  Did you say "great to have you"?  

CHRISTIE:  Yes, I’ve pretty much taken over the show.  


WALLACE:  I was going to say --  

CHRISTIE:  Yes, it's over, buddy.  

WALLACE:  Really?  

CHRISTIE:  Let’s switch chairs.  I'll take the rest of the day off.  Let me interview Bush.  I'd love to.  

WALLACE:  I’m sure you would.

Governor, thank you.  Thanks for coming by.  

Boy.  Wow.  That was a good night, not that good.  

That’s two more governors jockeying to be the establishment favorite coming out of New Hampshire, we'll sit down with John Kasich and Jeb Bush as "Fox News Sunday" continues from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.  


WALLACE:  Welcome back to New Hampshire where we're now just two days from the first in the nation primary.  

Joining us now, Governor John Kasich of Ohio.

And, Governor, welcome back.  

KASICH:  Thank you, sir.  

WALLACE:  With all the fuss over Marco Rubio last night, you said something big that seemed to me kind of flew under the radar.  You said, in your first 100 days as president, you will submit a comprehensive immigration reform plan to Congress, including a path to citizenship.  

KASICH:  No, no, I didn't say path -- it’s a path to legalization.  

WALLACE:  Path to legalization, excuse me.

KASICH:  Well, I mean, what I proposed is, look, first of all, we're going to freeze all federal regulations for one year and have a vice president begin to deregulate, look at things that don't make sense, get rid of them.  Number two, we're going to have tax cuts for businesses and for individuals.  Number three, we're also going to restrain government so we can get to a balanced budget.  

Number four, let's get the border fixed.  Number five, let's start working on Social Security all within 100 days.  

WALLACE:  Let's go back to number four, because you didn't say, let’s just get the border fixed, you said and you’re quite right -- comprehensive immigration reform including a path to legalization.  

KASICH:  Yes, right.  

For those that -- look, here's the deal: Finish the wall.  Have a guest worker program where people can come in and work and go home, and then for the 11.5 million who are here and not committed a crime since they've been here, then a path to legalization.  And --

WALLACE:  What about the argument and you hear this from a lot of Republicans that you have to fix the border.  

KASICH:  Yes, you have.  

WALLACE:  Before you even begin to discuss legalization.


KASICH:  No, you’d get it all done.  Just get the border done and do the whole thing.

And, look, Chris --  

WALLACE:  Do it at the same time.

KASICH:  Yes, I’m not -- if somebody says we have to sequence it, I don't have a problem with that.  If they say, OK, first get the border, then six months we do this -- that's just a little detail.  But we need to get it done.  

And, look, I’ve done 100 town hall meetings here.  I’ve met with more people in New Hampshire face-to-face than anybody running for president.  I’ve done this all over the country.

The country is ready for solutions.  Contrary to what we hear from the pundits, the country wants answers, and they want them to be conservative answers.  

But they don't want to just say, "OK, forget it, we don't care what the Democrats think."  People say, "How are you going to bring people together?"  They ask me that all the time.  And you know what?  I’ve done it all of my career.  

WALLACE:  OK.  You point out.  You just had your 100th town hall.  I think the only person who’s ever had more is John McCain.

KASICH:  We got more coming.  

WALLACE:  You better hurry.  You spent almost two months here.  

KASICH:  Well, we are -- yes.

WALLACE:  You know, I looked at your cash on hand, you're almost broke.  

KASICH:  No, I don’t know that that’s true.

WALLACE:  I think you have $1 million which is not a lot of money in campaigns.  

Anyway, here’s my question.


WALLACE:  Don't you have to finish first here among the so-called four establishment candidates?  

KASICH:  First of all, I’m not an establishment candidate.  I have never been in the establishment.  I’m not anti-establishment.  

WALLACE:  You spent 18 years in Congress.  

KASICH:  Yes, you know what?  I shook the whole system up.  I’m offering budgets against my own president, trying to get to a balanced budget when I thought he fell short.  I reformed the welfare system.  

I was involved in restricting -- in reforming the Pentagon as a Republican.  I said after we did welfare, I said, if you're going to reform welfare for the poor, we ought to reform it for the rich -- I did all those things.  

WALLACE:  I asked you in the debate, you said you're kind of an inside-outside guy, or a hybrid.

KASICH:  Right, right.

WALLACE:  But don't you have to finish first among the so-called hybrids?  

KASICH:  All I have to do is finish to a point that we all think we did well here, and we're going to do well.  I have an army of people, Chris, the best ground game.  Gordon Humphrey says best ground game than he's seen in 40 years.

Look, here's the situation; there’s -- people want to be with the winner rather than make one or would be a leader rather than make one.  A lot of people have money.  We do well here.  

First of all, we are organized.  We're on the ground in South Carolina.  We have people.  There we have people in Nevada.  Look, Mississippi right now, we have election tomorrow and I’d win because of Trent Lott.  


KASICH:  We’re in Michigan.  We're all over the place.

WALLACE:  All right.  The knock on you and quite frankly, watching TV here in New Hampshire the last few days, I see these negative ads over and over again.  

KASICH:  I haven't run any.  Isn't that interesting?  I actually run a positive campaign.  

WALLACE:  Well, OK, but the knock on you is that you're the, quote, "Obama Republican" as the ad puts it.  I’m sure you've seen it.  

KASICH:  No, I haven't but --  

WALLACE:  Well, OK --  

KASICH:  We can look at it.

WALLACE:  Here’s one.

KASICH:  OK, good.


AD NARRATOR:  Common Core, Obama's Medicaid expansion, tax increases.  Barack Obama?  No.  John Kasich.  


WALLACE:  Now, net-net, we checked it out.  You have raised some taxes, but you overall --  

KASICH:  No, no.

WALLACE:  Let me finish.


WALLACE:  You have some raised taxes.  But net-net you’ve lowered taxes.  

KASICH:  By $5 billion.

WALLACE:  But all the rest of that is true.  

KASICH:  But wait a minute.  First of all, we cut tax business $5 billion, more than any governor in America.  There is nobody balanced as many budgets as I have.  Cut as much taxes.

WALLACE:  But you are for Common Core.  You did support Obamacare.

KASICH:  Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  First of all, Chris, I propose taking 104 federal education programs, putting them into four buckets and sending them to the states.  I have been clear from the very beginning that I support high standards and local control.  

That’s exactly what we do in Ohio.  Our state school board approves the standards and the local school boards are the ones that create the curriculum.

I’m for total local control.  Not for anything out of Washington.  The education programs are all going to be moved back to the states.

WALLACE:  Common Core is all local control, and you have said proudly that you're for higher Common Core standard.  

KASICH:  I’m for high standards which are state school board approves, OK, and they're going through it again with a local boards of education, approving the curriculum with the advice and consent of parents.  It's actually in our budget proposal.  You can't be more local than.  

WALLACE:  Let’s take a look at --

KASICH:  Let's talk about Obamacare.  

WALLACE:  Yes, let's look at, because you talk about it in one of your ads.  Let's run that.  


KASICH:  My record: I cut taxes, balanced budgets, created jobs and rejected Obamacare without leaving anyone behind.  


WALLACE:  Now you say rejected Obamacare.  There are a number of leading conservatives who say that's flat wrong because --  

KASICH:  Yes, go ahead.

WALLACE:  -- you pushed for the expansion of Medicaid, which is a pillar of Obamacare.

KASICH:  Chris --  

WALLACE:  In fact, you pushed for it -- you pushed for it so hard, you went around your Republican-controlled state legislatures to impose it, expansion of Medicaid.  

KASICH:  Can I explain this?  

WALLACE:  Absolutely.  

KASICH:  OK.  Ronald Reagan expanded Medicaid five times.  I can expand Medicaid without having to have Obamacare.  Number one --  

WALLACE:  But it was part of Obamacare.

KASICH:  Can I finish?  It doesn’t matter.  We can expand it without Obamacare.  

What I’ve said is, first of all, I’d repeal Obamacare.  Secondly, I’m in court suing people to stop Obamacare.  Thirdly, we did not create a state exchange under Obamacare.  

And the fact is, is I will repeal it.  And what I’m going to do is I’m going to health care system to a point where it's really free market-driven by paying for hospitals and doctors that deliver quality health care at lower prices.  

So, don't try to hang me up on Obamacare.  I don't like it because it raises -- it doesn't control the cost of medicine.  Secondly, it hamstrings small business.  And thirdly, it's driven up the cost of health insurance in my state by 80 percent.  

Reagan did it five times by expanding Medicaid.  And, by the way, our Medicaid program has gone from over 10 percent growth to 2.5 percent in my second budget.  

WALLACE:  Governor --  

KASICH:  Yes?  You mean, that’s it?  

WALLACE:  -- it’s a pleasure to --

KASICH:  I want to talk longer.  


KASICH:  Listen, isn’t it interesting?

WALLACE:  I want to be 6 feet tall but that's not going to happen.  You’ve got to go.  

KASICH:  Here's the last thing.  I have run a completely positive campaign about bringing people together.  The establishment, quote, "establishment people" have spent $5 million, $6 million, $7 million running ads against me.  


KASICH:  You know, wouldn't it be great if we could win being positive, huh?  


KASICH:  All right.  Thank you.  

WALLACE:  Say good-bye.

KASICH:  All right.  Good-bye, everybody.  

WALLACE:  And as you gracefully leave, now, we're going to pull that out and we're going to bring in Governor Bush --

KASICH:  I’m all -- they wired me in here.  You got it?  

WALLACE:  OK.  You're all set.  

KASICH:  OK.  Thank you.  

WALLACE:  You can take that with you.  


WALLACE:  OK, thank you.

A year ago, Bush was the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination.  Now, after finishing sixth in Iowa, the governor of Florida, who is now being hocked in, is pinning his president hopes and a comeback in New Hampshire.  

Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

BUSH:  Great to be with you.  That was a quick transition.  Never done it this way.  It’s kind of cool.  

WALLACE:  It is sort of like cool.  It’s like everybody stopping by.  I feel like a barber, one chair, no waiting.  

BUSH:  I need a haircut.  

WALLACE:  You had your own dustup last night with Donald Trump over the issue of eminent domain.  Let's remind people of that.  Here it is.  


BUSH:  To turn this into a limousine parking lot for casinos is not public use.  

TRUMP:  He wants to be a tough guy.

A lot of times you'll have -- you’ll have and it doesn't work very well.  A lot of times --

BUSH:  How tough is it to take away property from an elderly woman?

TRUMP:  Let me talk, quiet.  A lot of times --  


TRUMP:  A lot of times --  



WALLACE:  What do you think that revealed about Donald Trump and how did you feel when the governor, eight-year governor of the state of Florida when he shushed you?  

BUSH:  You know, look, it doesn't look like he's a president when he acts that way.  And it's pretty easy to make him act that way.  That's the problem.  He doesn't sound like a conservative when he embraces eminent domain to use police powers of government to take private property for public use.  That is outrageous.

And if you had to pick the one thing conservatives go crazy about is this.  This is -- in our state, we actually amended our constitution after the Kelo decision to assure that it never happen.

He tried to take the property of a 75-year-old woman to use it, to tear down, to turn it into a parking lot for limousines for high rollers going to his failed casinos.  This is not the same thing as a pipeline or a bridge or interstate highway.  

WALLACE:  How bad a night for your former protégé Marco Rubio?  

BUSH:  Well, you know, he is so scripted.  

He's so gifted.  He's a great speaker.  But he came across as totally scripted and kind of robotic.  

And he just missed the sense of -- the question was about leadership.  Can you make -- can you make a tough decision?  And Marco is gifted, but he's never had the chance to actually make a tough decision like governors do.  

I mean, every time I think about it, I think about eight hurricanes and four tropical storms and 16 months where -- you can't script that.  You got go out and be all in to help people and we did.  

WALLACE:  Now, your super PAC spent $20 million attacking Rubio.  Here is a clip from one of those ads.  


AD NARRATOR:  Marco Rubio ran for Senate saying he opposed amnesty, then he broke his promise, joining with liberal Democrats to co-author the path to citizenship bill.  

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NEW YORK:  His fingerprints are all over that bill.  


WALLACE:  And while you don't control the super PAC, your campaign ran a full-page ad this week in a local paper.  Eight Republican speakers of the Florida House, they say, quote, "While Senator Rubio is a tremendous political talent, he is not the best choice to serve as commander-in-chief."  And now --

BUSH:  Exactly.  

WALLACE:  I know there are other people that are focused on him.  But my question is, other than the fact that he's beating you, why go after Rubio so hard?  

BUSH:  That's an important point.  The people that know us best like Marco and they pick me, the three statewide elected officials, all the speakers other than one that served prior to him and after him, a majority of the House and majority of the Senate, they've had a chance to work with both of us.  They pick me by, like, three quarters to 90 percent of them.  

The simple fact is: I’m a leader.  Marco is a gifted, young man.  And there's a big difference.  

We're running for the presidency of the United States here.  We're not running for the back bench in the United States Senate.

WALLACE:  Now, I know you don't like this question.  But the fact is, you know, you were on record supporting him to be Romney's choice.  I understand it was for vice president.

BUSH:  Yes.

WALLACE:  Not president.  But that would be a heartbeat away.  

BUSH:  He also recommended --  

WALLACE:  You said you cried for joy when he was elected in 2010.  

BUSH:  Absolutely.  Yes.  Absolutely.

WALLACE:  So, were you wrong then?  

BUSH:  No, I’m not.  I wasn't wrong then.  He's a gifted person.  I was excited that he beat Charlie Crist.  And I did support him for vice president.  

Guess what?  He supported me for vice president with Mitt Romney.  Romney decided to go a different direction from both of us.  

We're talking about the presidency of the United States right now.  And we're living in dangerous times made worse by Barack Obama.  We need someone with a steady hand that can be a commander-in-chief that can make these tough decisions.  

WALLACE:  Do you think the guy that was on that stage last night, who you endorsed for vice president, could be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

BUSH:  I’m going to support the Republican nominee.  (AUDIO GAP) how committed I am.  

WALLACE:  How crazy you are?  

BUSH: Yes, exactly, because Donald Trump is the guy that has the -- is completely unsteady about this stuff.  But Hillary Clinton would be an unmitigated disaster for this country.  And we need to unite behind the candidate.  

I think it's going to be me, to be honest with you, because I think I have the proven record -- solid, consistent, conservative record.  You cannot have someone who is not a conservative running as the nominee for the conservative party.  

WALLACE:  You started this campaign running as your own man saying that you are shaped by your, quote, "own thinking."

BUSH:  Yes.  

WALLACE:  But this week, you brought in your beloved mom, 90-year-old -- she would be mad at me for saying that -- Barbara Bush.  

BUSH:  She's happy it with.  

WALLACE:  Former first lady.  

And your super PAC is now running ads in South Carolina featuring your brother.  Here's a clip.  


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT:  I know Jeb.  I know his good heart and his strong backbone.  Jeb will unite our country.  


WALLACE:  Was keeping your family at such a distance for so long a mistake?  

BUSH:  No.  Look, there’s no conflict here.  I’m running for the presidency of the United States.  I have to share who I am, show my life experience, what my ideas are to fix the mess in Washington.  

But I’m a Bush.  And I’ve never -- I’ve never tried to disown that.  I’m totally blessed to be Barbara Bush's son and the brother of George W. Bush, and the greatest man alive is my dad.  

And I think the timing of this is appropriate.  People are just -- this is the beginning.  I know there’s a tendency to kind of want to create -- you know, create a narrative where it's all ending.  Well, we haven't really elected a single delegate yet.  Iowa just started.  And on Tuesday, New Hampshire will shape this election.  

WALLACE:  Well, you talk about that.  And I’ve gotten that dustup with Christie and Kasich before you.  You know, there is an argument that there are four of you in --

BUSH:  I heard the comments.  

WALLACE:  The establishment lane.  

BUSH:  Rewind the tape.  I think both --  


WALLACE:  But there’s Rubio and the three governors and the argument is that if you're going to beat Trump and Cruz, sooner rather than later, you need to get together, pick one or let the voters pick one and back that person.  

BUSH:  Let the voters decide this like they always do.  They have this great ability to filter out the stuff that’s not important, to focus on the things that are.  And that's why I feel confident about this.  

People are giving me a look as well as other candidates, and we're starting to rise up here because we spent a lot of time here.  We’ve got a great ground game.  I feel good about Tuesday.  

WALLACE:  Finally, Senator Lindsey Graham, who has endorsed you, backed you here in New Hampshire, says if you don't beat Rubio --    

BUSH: He didn't say that. He said, if I get crushed by Rubio or something like that, that would be a problem. I'm not going to get crushed by anybody.

WALLACE: Well, he said -- the words he used is, "you're toast."

BUSH: Yes, but he didn't say -- he said beat -- beat -- getting beat by Rubio was not what he said. He said if I get --

WALLACE: So it’s OK? I mean you -- I mean obviously it's not OK, but you could survive if you get beat by Rubio?

BUSH: Chris, you -- there’s some secret squirrel meeting that you guys get to where you decide whether, you know, who wins and who loses. Marco Rubio came in third place in Iowa and he was coronated. So I can’t I can't control that. That’s -- I'm just going to work my heart out.

WALLACE: But you're not -- you're -- you’re on to South Carolina is the point.

BUSH: Yes, Wednesday morning -- Wednesday morning I have my first event in South Carolina and we're scheduling the Nevada trip, too.

WALLACE:  Governor Bush --

BUSH: Take care.

WALLACE: Always a pleasure to talk with you. Thank you for making time for us on this very busy weekend.

BUSH: Yes. Am I -- (INAUDIBLE) off --

WALLACE:  No, no, you can sit -- you can sit right where you are. There’s no more switching.


WALLACE:  And we will track what happens over the next 48 hours.

BUSH: Thank you.

WALLACE:  Thank you, sir.

BUSH: Thanks.

WALLACE:  Up next, our special New Hampshire Sunday group joins us to discuss last night's revealing Republican debate and what to look for out of the granite state.



BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To think that I would just walk away ten minutes before the caucus and say, forget you about guys, I mean who would do something like that?

CRUZ: Ben, I'm sorry.


WALLACE:  A key moment from last night's final Republican debate just hours before the voting starts here in New Hampshire. And it's time now for our special Sunday group. Anchor of "Special Report," Bret Baier, Julie Pace, who covers the White House for the Associated Press. We're honored to have former New Hampshire Republican Governor John Sununu. We’re actually honored to have all of you, but especially him. And James Pindell, political reporter from The Boston Globe.

So, Governor Sununu, your reaction to last night’s debate. Who helped themselves? Who didn’t?

JOHN SUNUNU, R-FMR. NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: I certainly think the general consensus that the governors did well is -- is correct. I think the three of them acting in concert really reinforced the message they were trying to give, that experience is important. I think Senator Rubio did step in it a couple of times, but I -- I think a lot of folks have missed the two nuggets Rubio got out of the night. I think his answer on life energized the pro-life community and there is a huge chunk of folks out there that really do think that President Obama is messing the country up on purpose. And even though he repeated it three times and got criticized for it, I think he at least got a nugget of benefit from those folks that -- that think he was on target.

WALLACE:  Julie, you were the lead reporter who wrote the -- the big AP story overnight. Your thoughts? How bad was the Rubio meltdown? And are -- are we talking about Rick Perry oops territory here?

JULIE PACE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, if you talk to voters in New Hampshire who are undecided about Rubio, one of the questions that they do have is about his experience. About the fact that he has only been in the Senate for one term. Does he have the qualification? And I think that this could reinforce for some of those voters that there may not be another level or he may just be too cautious and scripted.

At the same time, a lot of those voters want somebody who is a good communicator, who is able to maybe bring more people into the party. But the -- the challenge for him is going to be that there are a lot of undecided and if this is seen as a really tough night for him, they could move to one of these governors, who did have, I think, a strong night.

WALLACE:  Bret, you've been all over the state the last few days and I want you to sort of take big picture. Your sense of this race and the -- the degree to which last night's debate reshaped it?

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST, "SPECIAL REPORT": Well, I think it does shuffle the deck. I think Donald Trump is a beneficiary because going in he has a big lead. I talked to him last night after the debate and he said, I was just looking for the clubhouse, in golf terms. You know, he was just kind of playing it safe. And I think he's finding the clubhouse. And we'll see how the Rubio moment changes things.

I -- I do think it was nice that Governor Christie welcomed you to your show. You know, pleased with that.

WALLACE:  I was very -- very grateful.

BAIER: I think the key thing in New Hampshire, Chris, as we talk about, is the 40 percent undeclared here. And they can either vote in the Democrat or Republican primary. They can go in that day, decide. And you're talking about a lot of people that can shift just for that day. John Kasich may benefit that way, too.

WALLACE:  James, you've been following this, you know, we’re -- except for Governor Sununu, we all come up here just before. You've been following this for months. Your sense of the race, your sense of the debate, is Trump holding on to his lead? Which of the -- the four -- and, boy, they hate it when I say that, the four so-called establishment candidates, is gaining traction here?

JAMES PINDELL, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Yes, I think that cut (ph) by a couple of things. Number one, all week the question about Trump is not whether or not he will take himself out by something he says or some rival will take him out, it’s really a question about his ground game. The same question we had following Iowa. Can he actually get these people out to vote?

Now, they have really put a lot of effort in, in the last month, but how efficiency and how targeted those efforts are? And, look, when you go to his rallies, we’ve got to be honest, a lot of the people are not from New Hampshire. The people who are working in his call centers are people who are so devoted to him, they have moved up here for the last three weeks.

But in terms of that establishment lane, I think we saw one key thing flip this week, and that is, for so many months, this campaign has been about the anger of the base and whether or not these candidates actually get it. Right now we're starting to see a little bit of a flip among some of the rank and file on who could actually beat Hillary, who could actually beat Bernie? And that’s what Marco Rubio was able to ride that wave earlier this week. Now there are some questions about it. I mean I don't know how many people watched the debate last night, if we’re being honest, this Saturday night’s debate, but the news coverage that Marco Rubio had such a bad night will have an impact.

WALLACE:  I was going to say, I mean, do you -- you’ve got to think that this --

PINDELL: Oh, yes, no, it’s going to absolutely have an impact.

WALLACE:  And if -- and to the degree we’re talking about late deciders, to have this happen to him two days before the primary is not --

PINDELL: Yes. One-third of Republican voters say they're still making up their minds. And Bret’s right, this is all about the independent voters right now. And they’ve got a number of different choices. Yes, Donald Trump is winning them on the Republican side. John Kasich is obviously doing well, trying to appear to them. But then there’s a question about Bernie Sanders. I mean his lead here is based on three things. He’s from nearby --

WALLACE: But, let’s wait.


WALLACE:  We’re going -- we’re going to --

PINDELL: OK. Very good. Very good.

WALLACE: We’re going to talk about Democrats in the next one, so hold that thought.


WALLACE:  Governor Sununu, I think it's fair to say, I've been reading your clips, to put it mildly, you are not a fan of Donald Trump. I got to say, I thought he had a pretty good night last night.

SUNUNU: Actually, I thought he didn't. I thought he flubbed the imminent domain issue badly, which is an important issue to Republicans. I thought his answer on conservatism might get him a "C" in an English class but it will get him an "F" in political science amongst conservatives. And I really do think he made a fool of himself on his answer on health care, that he’s going to put a program in and it will keep people from dying in the streets. There was nothing there.

PACE: I actually think that he had a good night for two reasons. One, he started right off the top reminding voters of some of the things that he said in this campaign that got him a lot of support from the beginning. His positions on immigration, his position on blocking Muslims from coming to the U.S. And then the focus on Marco Rubio took a lot of the attention away from him in terms of direct attacks from his rivals, with the exception of Governor Bush. And I think he emerged relatively unscathed. If you were looking to go after him and try to -- to knock him down in New Hampshire, I’m not sure that many of his rivals accomplished that.

BAIER: But we're not talking about somebody here, Ted Cruz.


BAIER: Who, who for Ted Cruz, I don't think had his best debate night. He’s obviously really good in that environment. But because of the Rubio-Christie exchange at the beginning, largely the night went away for Ted Cruz and he probably benefits in the long run. Because all of the governors had a good night, that dilutes the fact that Rubio had such a bad night and Trump, you know, kind of sails towards the clubhouse.

WALLACE:  Then --

BAIER: And Cruz --

WALLACE:  And let me bring that up with you, Jim, in the -- in the seconds we have left, because what we were seeing going into that debate was that Trump's lead, still sizable but it was slow -- it was slipping away and it was slipping away to Rubio.


WALLACE:  So if Trump had a relatively good night, Governor Sununu to the contrary notwithstanding, doesn't that actually stand Trump in good stead?

PINDELL: I think this was a very good night for Donald Trump for those exact same reasons. And, remember, this was a really confusing week in terms of that establishment lane if we want to talk about. Rubio definitely rose. That made sense. But the other three did not go down. Just Chris Christie went down. Kasich and Bush really held their own. So it’s going to be interesting to see -- and, remember, when we talk about going up, we’re talking about going up almost within the margin of error. So this thing is a -- is a jump ball.

WALLACE:  All right. We have to take a break here, panel. But when we come back, we'll turn to the Democratic race. Is Hillary Clinton in danger of losing her frontrunner status to Bernie Sanders?

Plus, what you would like to ask the panel over the battle over who is the more progressive Democratic candidate? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @foxnewssunday and we may use your question on the air.


WALLACE:  A look at the riverfront in beautiful, historic Exeter, New Hampshire.

Bernie Sanders, who represents neighboring Vermont in the Senate, is holding on to his double digit lead over Hillary Clinton here in New Hampshire. And the self-described Democratic socialist has drawn into a dead heat nationally with Clinton. Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry has the latest on a tightening Democratic race.


ED HENRY, FOX CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Chris, Hillary Clinton may already be looking past New Hampshire to the south, but Bernie Sanders is not going away easily.


HENRY (voice-over): Hillary Clinton making history as the first female president is no longer a slam dunk, so friends like Madeleine Albright are getting anxious.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other.

HENRY: Despite those dramatic stakes, Clinton is spending most of this Sunday over 700 miles from Manchester, in Flint, Michigan, trying to look presidential about the water crisis.

CLINTON: It is totally unacceptable, in the United States of America, to have allowed this to happen.

HENRY: Except the once inevitable nominee has hit a major roadblock on that road to the Oval Office, namely Bernie Sanders.

SANDERS: Being part of the establishment is -- is in the last quarter having a super PAC that raised $15 million from Wall Street.

HENRY: Plus, there’s the lingering FBI investigation into her e-mail and plunging poll numbers. Sanders has now surged into a dead heat nationally according to Quinnipiac, which in December gave Clinton a 31 point lead. Her aides believe when they get to battlegrounds like South Carolina, where she has a big edge with African-Americans, Clinton will prevail.

CLINTON: I think it's time to end the very artful smear that you and your campaign have been carrying out.


HENRY: Some Democrats are frustrated it took so long for that push back against Sanders. And now he's raising more money than Clinton, which gives him the fuel for a long struggle for this nomination.


WALLACE:  Ed, thanks.

And we're back now with the panel.

We asked you for questions for the panel and we got this on Twitter from Paul J. Elliott. He tweets, "Hillary Clinton, sponsored by Goldman Sachs, a progressive? "

Julie, how badly do you think that the big speaking fees and the millions of dollars in campaign contributions from Wall Street, how badly do you think that's hurting Clinton?

PACE: I think it’s where she’s most venerable. I think put the e-mails aside. I know that everyone wants to talk about that. I think opinions on that are baked in. But she doesn't have a good answer on why she accepted the money for these speaking fees, I think in part because there isn’t a great answer. It was widely expected that she would run for president and she still went to these banks. We haven't seen what she said when she spoke to Wall Street executives. And every time that Bernie Sanders brings that up, it reinforces a narrative about her, but also a narrative about him.

WALLACE:  Do -- do you think because it came up in the debate whether she would release the transcripts -- and I love that her pollsters said I don't think voters are interested, like he’s going to decide what voters are interested in -- do you think she can make that stick, not release those transcripts?

PACE: I think that now that the question that has been asked, I think that it becomes a lot harder for her to not release them. At the same time, we have no idea what’s in those speeches, so there could be a reason why they don't want to release them.

WALLACE:  Bret, what struck me watching that really interesting Democratic debate this week is that the Clinton coronation is over. And even if Hillary Clinton ends up winning the nomination, it's only going to be after a long, bitter battle with Bernie Sanders that’s going to keep pushing her further and further to the left.

BAIER: No, that's exactly right. And I went to that event this week with Joel Benenson, the chief strategist for Hillary Clinton, in which they said that Quinnipiac poll was an outlier and they think by the time they get to South Carolina everything is going to get back together for Hillary Clinton. The problem is, is that momentum means something. And movements mean something. And if -- if Bernie Sanders has a -- has a huge win here in New Hampshire, he's going to have a bounce that's going to, you know, give him a second look by all kinds of different parts of the Democratic Party.

WALLACE:  In addition to which he's got millions of dollars in the bank. There’s nothing that's going to force him to get out of this race.

BAIER: Exactly. And that is a problem for Hillary Clinton. If she's vulnerable, I agree, I think that this Wall Street thing is -- is a big vulnerability. And what’s in that transcript? Maybe it's some warm and fuzzy language about Goldman Sachs. But the e-mail thing, let's not forget about it.

WALLACE: Well --

BAIER: It is serious.

WALLACE:  And I want to get to that because in the debate Clinton was asked how confident she is that the FBI investigation will turn up nothing about her private e-mails and classified information on that. Here was her response.


CLINTON: I am 100 percent confident. This is a security review that was requested. It is being carried out. It will be resolved.


WALLACE:  Governor Sununu, how serious do you think the Clinton e-mail scandal is and what about Clinton's defense, or latest defense, which is, well, some classified information turned up on Colin Powell's private e-mail, turned up on the e-mails, private e-mails, of some of Condi Rice's aides. In effect, everyone does it.

SUNUNU: You know, six months ago I was worried about her coronation. Now I'm worried that she's not going to get the nomination. The e-mails are a serious issue. Bernie has not used them aggressively. She’s gotten a free ride in that whole process. And I don't think she understands how close she is to real political and legal trouble with what's coming through the FBI. I think the behind the scenes activity of the Democratic Party in trying to keep Joe Biden propped up and ready tells more about what her situation is than anything else.

WALLACE:  What -- what -- how do you see --

SUNUNU: I think they are -- are hoping that Joe is ready to jump in quickly. The big -- some of the big donors are -- are making commitments to him that if he does have to do it, they will be there. They're just getting ready for plan b.

WALLACE:  James, your sense, are voters here following the e-mail scandal specifically or does it show up more just in a perception of her on the issues of honesty and trustworthiness?

PINDELL: Yes, it is -- it obviously did impact her trustworthiness. You saw those numbers dive since the spring, heading all the way into that 11 hour testimony. Someone was talking about the e-mails. But in terms of the Democratic primary voters, I mean Julie’s right, they -- they have -- they don't care. This is a general election issue. There’s no doubt about it. And how that flips into --

WALLACE:  You don't think that’s hurting her at all in the -- in the primaries? I mean part of her problem with Bernie Sanders is this --

PINDELL: I think it’s -- I think it adds into this idea of, oh, the Clintons and are there question marks that we have in terms of the Democratic primary voter versus sort of the enthusiasm that you have towards Bernie Sanders? But I think the two questions right now is something that we know and something that we don't know. Something that we know is that Bernie Sanders raised a lot of money. That is a very -- probably the most important metric right now. He’s raised more money than Hillary Clinton did in the last quarter. That’s a really important metric and it means he can blast on. We focus always on these polls, what’s going to happen next and next and next, but then it gets to this question of if. And if -- what Bret said, if he does really well here, I don't know, what is really well? Is really well winning by ten points? That sounds pretty good. Is winning well if he wins by six points. There is a perception that his lead here is not that big inside both campaigns.

WALLACE:  Bret, after watching the Democratic debate and seeing how, one, he argued with her on even terms and seemed to really get under her skin. And after watching him draw even, not in -- not New Hampshire, but on the national polls, should we start taking Bernie Sanders more seriously as a potential Democratic nominee?

BAIER: Listen, it's easy to buy into the Clinton argument that a number of states don't line up for Bernie Sanders. And in the African-American community, so far he does not have a lot of support. That can change. I don't think it's a fantasy to believe that Bernie Sanders could win other states.

I also come back to here in New Hampshire these undeclared voters. And they could shift for Bernie Sanders in a vote against Hillary Clinton. They could decide that day. Or they could play in the Republican Party. That’s what’s so fascinating about this state in particular.

WALLACE:  Julie, 30 seconds. I mean, you know, we’ve all thought, well, he's an interesting diversion, but he's a Democratic socialist. He’ll eventually go away. Is it time to start taking Bernie Sanders more seriously as a potential nominee?

PACE: I would like to see how he does in Super Tuesday states in the south. If he can stay competitive with Clinton in the delegate count there, then I think we definitely need to take him seriously as a potential nominee. But, even so, I think we need to take him seriously as someone who will push her for a long time in this race.

SUNUNU: The Democratic Party will never let Bernie be their nominee.

WALLACE:  All right, thank you, panel. See you next Sunday back in Washington, except for Governor Sununu, who I -- who I assume has something better to do.

SUNUNU: Yes, by far.

WALLACE:  But up next, fun in the snow as we go on the trail. Yes, here it is, on the trail in New Hampshire.


WALLACE: A look at the North Church of Portsmouth here in New Hampshire. That's a beautiful sight.

This is always one of the most interesting weeks on the campaign calendar. Surprise results in Iowa and then a mad dash to adjust just before folks here hold the nation's first primary. All the ingredients for a wild ride on the trail.


TRUMP: These people, I'd like to use really foul language. I won't do it. I was going to say they're fuel of (EXPLETIVE DELETED), but I won't say that.

CRUZ: It is no surprise that Donald is throwing yet another temper tantrum, or if you like yet another Trumper tantrum.

BARBARA BUSH, JEB BUSH’S MOTHER: He's not a bragger. We don't allow that.

TRUMP: Hello, mom.

CHRISTIE: You know who the boy in the bubble is up here, who never answers your questions, who’s constantly scripted and controlled.

RUBIO: Especially near the end, you see some desperation set in.

BUSH: To get back in the business of creating a more peaceful world. Please clap.

SANDERS: I’ve learned this, you know, about the Clinton campaign, is they are fantastic spinners. They can spin anything.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: But did you have to be paid $675,000?

CLINTON: Well, I don't know. That's what they offered. So --

RUBIO: If we get this election wrong, it might be too late for America. We can't let that happen. Are you hot? Huh? Would you like some water? I want some water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) what you think the candidate, how’s it feel. (INAUDIBLE) total violation (ph).

RUBIO: By the way, if you get a call on Tuesday night saying that I dropped out, it isn't true. It's a lie. Keep voting.


CARSON: But I'm not here just to add beauty to the stage.

CHRISTIE: And the fact is, I went back and got done and here’s --

RUBIO: You didn’t want to go back, Chris.

CHRISTIE: I went back -- oh, so -- wait a second, is that one of the -- the skills you get as a United States senator, ESP also?

SANDERS: Hold on! Hold on! Wait a second!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds like socialism to me.

SANDERS: Democratic socialism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ah, what's the difference?

SANDERS: Huge difference.




WALLACE: As I said, an interesting week.

And New Hampshire voters are notorious for making their minds up late.

Be sure to tune into Fox News Channel Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern for full coverage of the New Hampshire primary. Karl Rove, Joe Trippi and I will be back as the campaign cowboys to give you an early read when the first results start coming in.

That's it for today. Have a great week. And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."


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