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Journal Editorial Report

Will outsider momentum endure as 2016 race moves south?

This is a rush transcript from "Journal: Editorial Report," February 13, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

PAUL GIGOT, FOX NEWS HOST:  This week on the "Journal: Editorial Report," Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders riding a wave of voter dissatisfaction.  A big win in New Hampshire.  Can they maintain the momentum as the race moves south?  

Plus, the Republican candidates gearing up for tonight's high-stakes debate.  Will a clear Trump alternative emerge from the pack?

And Hillary Clinton in an uphill battle for young women voters.  So why are they flocking to Bernie Sanders?  Find out after these headlines.  

(FOX NEWS REPORT)

GIGOT:  Welcome to the "Journal: Editorial Report."  I'm Paul Gigot.

In New Hampshire, voters took their dissatisfaction to the polls, handing victories to Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders and billionaire businessman, Donald Trump.  Both candidates are still a long way from the White House.  So will their outsider appeal endure as the presidential race moves south?  

Let's ask "Wall Street Journal" columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; editorial board member, Dorothy Rabinowitz; and assistant editorial page editor, James Freeman.  

Dan, I think we saw in the debates Thursday night, the Democratic establishment hit back and Hillary Clinton wrapped herself around President Obama.  Let's listen.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The criticism that we heard from is that right Sanders about our president, I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama.  

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This is -- Madam Secretary, that is a low blow.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT:  Dan, low blow, but effective or not?  

DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR:  I think it's probably pretty effective considering where she's going.  Hillary Clinton -- well, among her problems, one of the big ones is that people say she's not likable.  She's saying, if you don't like me, how do you like the president of the United States, the first African-American president, Barack Obama, who selected me -- she keeps saying selected me to be his secretary of state, trusted me.  And now, voters were going down to South Carolina and the south where the minority voters are presumably going to decide the election.  And she's wrapping --

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT:  They love President Obama.  

HENNINGER:  They still love President Obama.  And she is trying to isolate Bernie Sanders as he wants to be an outsider in the Democratic Party, in South Carolina and the southern states.  

GIGOT:  His appeal, Dorothy, in New Hampshire, if you look at the exit polls, clearly, he's more authentic progressive than Hillary Clinton.  A genuine man of the left.  The voting block in the Democratic Party, had they moved that far left as Bernie clearly is.  

DOROTHY RABINOWITZ, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER:  Well, the young people have and I think we should stop using the word authentic.  

(LAUGHTER)

GIGOT:  He's authentic.  You don't think he believes what he's saying.  

RABINOWITZ:  I do, but that's not what we mean by that.  Bernie is I think a member of the hard left.  No matter how often he talks about Socialists, our great democracy.  When you hear the venom in his voice when he discusses our wars, when he discusses Vietnam and our great guilt, we have essentially ruined the universe in Bernie's terms, until a president like him.  

GIGOT:  But the question is, can they sell enough inside the Democratic Party to get him the nomination.  

RABINOWITZ:  Well, I don't think so, but he will get a run for Hillary's money from the vast audience of women and young men who don't know the history.  They don't remember a character like this from the early days, who speaks with a voice of something that, you know, members of the oldest, oldest, hardest left understand and he's going to give them a free college education, put that together.  

GIGOT:  Let's move on to Trump.  His appeal is different, seems to me, if you look at the exit polls.  It's not about ideology so much, maybe on the issue of immigration is there, trade, but it's his appeal, attitude, his persona.  I'm going to shake things up in Washington, bring change.  

JAMES FREEMAN, ASSISTANT EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR:  That's right.  While he has the strongest support of non-college educated blue collar worker, he's got broad support across all demographics.  It's a coalition of people who are fed up, ticked off, not just with the Obama economy, but really the whole direction of the American government, feel like they've been laid to politicians.  

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT:  Staying power?

(CROSSTALK)

FREEMAN:  I question his staying power as people look into that business record.  Once he goes beyond the development business that he inherited, he pretty much fails in the big venture, airline, casino, et cetera, so --

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT:  Do people care about that though?  

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT:  That's the question.  

FREEMAN:  That's essentially what he's saying and I think here we are with very troubled market in the U.S. economy slowing.  You might say this plays to his strength to focus on economic issue, but I think as people dig into, as Dan noted this week, that 45 percent tariff, that tax he wants to put on a lot of goods we buy from overseas, they make think twice.

GIGOT:  The other candidates really did give him a pass in New Hampshire.  He was not attacked.  They attacked each other and so, Trump, I think emerged mostly unscathed.  

HENNINGER:  Yeah.  And he emerged as the new Donald Trump.  We've been reading about how his campaign decides, yeah, he was doing a positive message and toning it down in New Hampshire and this worked for him, so we're getting a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde candidate, who will go into the south being more positive, not being as negative.  I think they understood he was beginning to be a little bit too much and you couldn't sustain that persona through the entire primary.  

GIGOT:  But it's going to be fascinating to watch how he'll react to the attacks coming in South Carolina, Dorothy.  There's no question they have to go after him, the other candidates.  

RABINOWITZ:  Yes, they do, and they will.  

GIGOT:  Thank you.

When we come back, the remaining Republican presidential hopefuls gear up for tonight's South Carolina debate.  Ted Cruz claims that it's now a two- man race between him and Donald Trump.  But can the other Republican candidates still break out?  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The only candidate who can beat Donald Trump is me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIGOT:  A high-stakes debate tonight in South Carolina for the Republican presidential candidates vying to be the alternative to Donald Trump.  Ohio governor, John Kasich, finished a distant second to Trump in New Hampshire, followed by Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.  So, what will it take to break out of the pack as the GOP race moves south?  

We're back with Dan Henninger and James Freeman.  And Wall Street Journal editorial board member, Mary Kissel, also joins us.  She's host of "Opinion Journal" on WSJ Live.

John Kasich finished second, well clear of the others.  Also ran, if you will.  But his campaign is now saying the one primary they must win is Michigan, March 15th.  That's a month from now, James.

(LAUGHTER)

And we've got South Carolina and the southern primaries between now and then.  What's kind of strategy is that?  

FREEMAN:  I think the conventional business wisdom is that he put his time in New Hampshire and now he's in trouble because he doesn't have the organization in the south.  I think what the New Hampshire second-place finish did for him, separating himself from rest of the moderates is now --

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

FREEMAN:  -- will cause people in the south to look at this guy. Obviously, he's got a big chance tonight in terms of the debate.  I think he's going to have the chance in free media to make his case.  And I think what conservative are going to find is a pretty appeal guy, especially when you look at the alternatives, not just in terms of real achievements on tax and budget reforms, both in Washington and in Ohio, but an appealing guy who -- and I'm hearing this from conservatives, not just the moderate --

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT:  Right.

FREEMAN:  -- in New Hampshire -- he's talking about, he's got an optimistic vision, yes, we've got problems, but we can solve them.  

GIGOT:  OK, let's -- go ahead, Dan.

HENNINGER:  One quick point.  Cruz's strategy is based on running through the south and getting hard conservatives to vote for him.  The Kasich people I think would say but he cannot win in Michigan or Ohio, and when we get there, I'm going to win.  

GIGOT:  That's what they say.  

Let's go and listen to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, what they're saying about each other on the air.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  I got the Trump action figure.  

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  What does he do?  

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  He pretends to be a Republican.  

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  I'd bail out for the banks.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  Too big to fail.  

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  I give money to Pelosi, even Anthony Weiner.  

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  Hey, Hillary, I'll give you money to be my friend.  

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  Come to my house, Mr. Trump.  

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  That is a lousy house.  I'm going to take your house with imminent domain and park my limo there.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  What kind of man talks from both sides of his mouth on amnesty for illegals on national television and still denies it?  He took more than a million dollars in sweetheart loans from Wall Street banks and fails to disclose as required by law.  Who runs a campaign accused of dirty tricks to try to sabotage Ben Carson with false rumors?  Ted Cruz, the worst kind of Washington insider.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT:  Well, those are uplifting messages, Mary.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  Yeah.  That's right.  

GIGOT:  I think this shows that Cruz and Trump feel that they have to go after each other.  And is that going to create an opening for one of the others, if not Kasich, then maybe Bush or Rubio?  

KISSEL:  It could.  Really, to take Trump down, you have to go after his ideas and what they mean, and you a little bit of that in that eminent domain ad, although I don't think that's a particularly effective ad, and you have to talk about the unpredictability of Trump.  What would he do if he were commander-in-chief?  Would he lose 40 states, Democrats retake the Senate.  That's what would recreate the opening.  Trump has taken a lot of winds out of Cruz's sail and I think that's why you're seeing Cruz go after him.  

GIGOT:  I don't think you can just say -- Mary makes a good point.  You can't say Trump is not a conservative or Republican.  People know he's not really a conservative.  But you have to show that -- almost have to go another level down and say what does it mean if you have a trade war.  What does it mean if he is the commander-in-chief and cozies up to Putin?  

HENNINGER:  Yeah, and I think that's what the other candidates in the debate are going to have to do to sort of start pulling back from his support.  

I will say about those ads, Paul, that that is a taste of what the Democrats are going to dump on either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump if they are the nominee, from start to finish.  The two candidates who are the most vulnerable to that kind of negative advertising.  

GIGOT:  Do you think Rubio can make a comeback?  

FREEMAN:  I don't really see it happening for him, because I think what that debate revealed is a legitimate problem, that he has trouble going beyond the talking points, and especially in this economy we're in, he may have particular trouble because he's studied on foreign policy.  

GIGOT:  I think I disagree because I think he has a chance in South Carolina because of his foreign policy focus.  And I think he's going to hit Ted Cruz very hard on his anti-defense bill vote, which is a very big issue in South Carolina.  And I think Rubio might come back.  Elsewhere in the country are going to give these guys another look.  

KISSEL:  I think it's hard to argue you have experience when you just sat on a committee.  That was the attack line that Rubio came out with this week.  

(CROSSTALK)

KISSEL:  Look, I like Rubio personally.  But I think he has to have a perfect debate.  If anything, the New Hampshire exit poll shows that voters are paying a lot of attention to these debates.  

HENNINGER:  There's a debate within a debate with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.  
They are competing for the third slot at least in South Carolina.  That will be interesting to watch.

GIGOT:  All right.  Thanks.  Thank you all.

Still ahead, Hillary Clinton facing an uphill battle for one group of voters in particular.  So, why are young women flocking to Bernie Sanders?  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE:  You have to help.  Hillary Clinton will always be there for you.  And just remember, there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other.  

(CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT:  That was former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's message to young women voters in New Hampshire last week.  But apparently, they didn't take it to heart.  Exit polls in the Granite State show Clinton losing to Bernie Sanders by wide margins with women under the age of 45.  

Here's how Mrs. Clinton responded to the New Hampshire outcome in Thursday night's debate.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  I have spent my entire adult life working towards making sure that women are empowered to make their own choices, even if that choice is to not vote for me.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT:  We're back with Dorothy Rabinowitz and Mary Kissel.  And "Wall Street Journal" editorial writer, Kate Bachelder, also joins us.  

So, Kate, why isn't this -- there's a generation gap among women voters in the Democratic Party.  Why isn't the first woman president pitch working with young voters?  

KATE BACHELDER, EDITORIAL WRITER:  OK, well, I think two things are going on here.  The first is that when Hillary graduated from Yale Law School, her class was about 10 percent women.  Today that number is almost even at 45 percent.  Young women have just lived a different experience and the facts on the ground have changed.  And so I think they see that Hillary is not their only option to represent them.  

But the second thing is that the threat of internal damnation is just not a great --

(LAUGHTER)

GIGOT:  You don't think that carries you over the finish line?  

BACHELDER:  I think that's pretty insulting.  

GIGOT:  How much is it that younger women are just further to the left than the older generation and the Democratic Party and, therefore, Bernie is more simpatico with their idealism?  

BACHELDER:  Absolutely.  I think that's also at play and there's also a certain artificialness about Hillary, and people think she's not necessarily sincere about supporting feminists.  There's all this background with her.  

GIGOT:  And, Dorothy, Madeleine Albright, do you think that pitch is better than Kate apparently thinks it is?  

(LAUGHTER)

RABINOWITZ:  Well, it is.  Poor Mrs. Albright did not count on the humorness of our political age.  

GIGOT:  So you think that was a --

(CROSSTALK)

RABINOWITZ:  She meant it in spirit, but I think at another time, you could have gotten away without that.

(LAUGHTER)

Much, much more poisonous.  And in a genuine way was Gloria Steinem who was very serious when she said, you're going where the boys are to be going after -- you know --

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT:  Basically, young women want to -- because, young men like Bernie, they want to get dates.  That was her message.  

(LAUGHTER)

RABINOWITZ:  That's the name of a movie, "Where the Boys Are."  And to be so completely out of tune with the age.  And she meant it.  This is a grinding ideology that belongs exactly however, not in Mrs. Clinton's camp, as much as Bernie's camp.  And --

KISSEL:  Well, I also think female voters are affected by the same thing that male voters are, insofar as they don't find Hillary trustworthy, as has been mentioned.  And she's also running a pretty confused campaign. She wants to be associated with President Obama.  Yet she can't be as progressive as Bernie.  She tends to be as progressive.  So, look, she's just, she's not a strong candidate.  

GIGOT:  But, Mary, if you're like me and you're on the Emily's List e-mail list -- I don't know how I got on it, but I am -- and this is the fund- raising arm of the feminist movement, and they're very powerful and very influential in the Democratic Party.  They're all in for Hillary Clinton, OK?  She is their candidate.  And I think that represents sort of the institutional wing of the feminist movement.  And so, they're bringing this to bear.  Don't you think, in the end, that's going to help Hillary Clinton, particularly, as we move on to these other states?  

KISSEL:  Absolutely.  That's why it's so funny when commentators talk about the establishment, the Republican establishment.  They really should be talking about the Democratic establishment, which is fully behind Hillary Clinton.  

RABINOWITZ:  There is another element, really, in this.  If Mrs. Clinton were not running against Bernie Sanders, with all of that apocalyptic server, about the future of our country, and what he will give everybody, she would not be in this position.  What's lacking in this current generation of women is simply the education that would have come from older age, when you would have recognized that Bernie Sanders is this.

GIGOT:  I think that means you, Kate.  

(LAUGHTER)

BACHELDER:  I disagree.  I think the institutional federal movement will turn out for Hillary.  But young women will have a hard time forgetting that.  It was Gloria Steinem that thought so little of them that they couldn't choose their own presidential candidate.  

GIGOT:  What about this point about education?  Do they really think that they just don't understand what Bernie represented, represents in the past?  

BACHELDER:  I think that's absolutely part of sit, but I don't think you can overlook Hillary's lack of appeal to them.  And for all the reasons we've discussed.  I don't think so.  

KISSEL:  Well, they also need to find a job.  The Obama years have been terrible, for women.  

(LAUGHTER)

And Hillary Clinton is associated with the Obama years.  Bernie is running, really, a more progressive campaign --  

GIGOT:  That's for sure.  

KISSEL:  -- That says, I'm going to go out and get you a job.  And HE repeated that this week in the debate.  

GIGOT:  Thank you all very much.  Lots of fun.

We have to take one more break.  When we come back, our "Hits and Misses" of the week.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIGOT:  Time now for our "Hits and Misses" of the week.  

James, congratulations to the Denver Broncos.  Start us off.  

FREEMAN:  Yeah, it doesn't get any better than that.  

(LAUGHTER)

Almost as good is -- this is a hit to the politicians of both parties in Washington, believe it or not, who are about to enact a permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act.  So this keeps taxes off your e-mail, Internet access services, great for the economy, great for America.  The White House says President Obama is going to sign it.  It seems miraculous, but here it is.  

GIGOT:  All right, congratulations for that.  You've been fighting for that for a long time.  

Kate?  

BACHELDER:  This is a hit for government accountability this week.  House Republicans have released a report showing that the EPA could have prevented the Gold King Mine blowout that infected the Animas River with neon sludge last August.  The EPA has been hoping that everyone will forget about this and move on since the river isn't yellow anymore.  But House Republicans have kept on figuring out what happened there and that's a win for taxpayers.  

GIGOT:  All right.

Dan?  

HENNINGER:  Well, I'm going to give a hit to Carly Fiorina, who was left the campaign.  Mrs. Fiorina really never capitalized on her early surge or strong debate performances.  And I think that basically shows how professionalized presidential politics has become.  But nonetheless, Carly Fiorina was a very forceful advocate for conservative ideals and an amazing critic of not only of Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump as well.  And I hope in the future there are more Carly Fiorinas running for the Republican presidential nomination.  

GIGOT:  Plausible vice presidential candidate for the ticket?  

HENNINGER:  Perhaps, if they go in that direction.  I think it's more likely they'll go for a regional candidate, either Florida or the Midwest.  

GIGOT:  All right.

And if you have your own hit or miss, please tweet it to us @jeronfnc.  

That's it for this week's show.  Thanks to my panel.  Thanks to all of you for watching.  I'm Paul Gigot.  Hope to see you right here next week.  

END

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