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Kelly File

Kasich addresses controversy over women voters comment; Ryan responds to critics on Trump rise

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," February 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, the Republican race for the White House hitting a critical new stage. Over the next eight days we may learn more about the eventual nominee than we have since this all started 11 months ago.

Good evening and welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly.  Tonight your guide to this decisive next stretch, the Republican race taking on a furious pace accelerating from the first three contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to an increasingly national race.  Playing out in states across this country. Tomorrow the candidates square off in the Nevada caucuses. Wednesday they go face-to-face with the voters and yours truly in a "Kelly File" town hall broadcast from Queensbury Theater in Houston, Texas.

Then on Thursday, the contenders debate for the final time. Five days before the most significant day on the election calendar to debate to date.  It's not the last debate. Fox News has got one on March 3rd. Tuesday March 1st is Super Tuesday. Voters in 13 states from Georgia, to Texas, to Massachusetts, all head to the polls. Nearly one quarter of all the delegates at stake are up for grabs.

We have a powerful panel tonight to take you through all of this. Chris Stirewalt, Charlie Hurt and Steve Hayes are here. But first we begin with Chief Political Correspondent Carl Cameron, who is on the ground in Las Vegas, Nevada where voting starts in about 24 hours. Carl?

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Megyn. It's Vegas baby. And judging from the body blows and head shots in the last day-and-a-half, you would think that there is a prize fight by tomorrow night on the trip. Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are just going at it. Donald Trump has a sizable lead in what little polling there's been here, a little run-up to the Nevada caucuses. He is favored to win. He's got a hotel here, he would be then the winner of three of the first in the nation four states having won New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.  Now, having said that, what may even be more interesting is the battle that will play out tomorrow between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Cruz today had on fire a staffer. He had been on defense for quite some time. Marco Rubio called him out, wanted to make the point that there was an event over the weekend, another one of this supposed dirty trick and that it was a record really of Ted Cruz with too many deceitful underhanded political tactics. And that will be in some way resolved tomorrow with this exception, Megyn. The Nevada caucuses don't have much history, they've only been to prior to this in the turnout with seven percent and 12 percent. Tomorrow's turnout is expected to be 10 percent, that's about 50,000 votes total, maybe as many as 70,000. But still a small number and now the battle has so escalated that as you said, Super Tuesday, the upcoming debates and what happens this week are very, very important as Marco Rubio tries to coalesce a lot of the establishment mainstream Republicans and Cruz tries to get off defense, and get back on offense against Trump -- Megyn.

KELLY: Carl Cameron, thank you.

Joining me now for more, Chris Stirewalt, our Fox News digital politics editor. Charlie Hurt who is a political columnist for The Washington Times. And Steve Hayes who is a Fox News contributor and senior writer for The Weekly Standard. Good to see you all.

So, Chris, you say this next week is actually a make-or-break week for Ted Cruz in particular. Why?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Well, Ted Cruz was believed to be the kind of Iowa winner, the kind of evangelical favorites that could do what the ones in the past had and in 2008, 2012, there was this thing that happened, Iowa picked a guy and then he lost in the stretch run. This time Cruz looked like he was going to be different. He had infrastructure, he had lots of money, he had billionaire backers. And he had large national name identity. However, going forward, it has been too bad contest for him.

And the one in South Carolina was particularly unfortunate for Senator Cruz because he did not do well with people he needed to do well with. He lost the evangelicals to Trump. He lost in places, he came in behind Rubio in places that should have been breadbaskets for him. And this is a troubling sign, he needs a win or his campaign is going to lose steam quickly.  

KELLY: Well, if he gets a big win in Texas, he's in very good stead. I mean, that's a lot of delegates available for him potentially. Steve, what about this dustup that he had. Cruz fired his communications guy, Rick Tyler. And, you know, basically said, I'm not running that kind of campaign. Some people came out and said it's too harsh. Rubio came out and essentially said, you need to look inward, Ted Cruz. How does this play out?

STEVE HAYES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I don't think it actually makes the charges go away. I mean, I think that was what they were trying to do is put this behind them by firing Rick Tyler, essentially scapegoating Rick Tyler and saying, now that he's gone, all the problems will be gone. He hasn't been the source of their problems. I think there have been other questions raised by their candidates, by other news outlets that Cruz has yet to answer. And I think that is what will continue to dog him as he goes forward.  

KELLY: But aren't we pretending that the other campaigns are squeaky clean?

(LAUGHTER)

HAYES: No, no, no, no.

KELLY: Cruz is the only one who's resorted to anything on tour --  

HAYES: No, no. Absolutely not. No, I mean, look, if you go back and you look at the exit polling in South Carolina, Donald Trump's campaign was judged to have been the most unfair of the campaigns. And certainly Marco Rubio, you can tell just by his response, the statement that they put out responding to the firing of Rick Tyler by Ted Cruz was tough, was a tough response, he said basically it's not about Rick Tyler, it's about Ted Cruz and the lies start from the top. So, no, they're all playing dirty. The question is I think, who is able to put those charges and allegations behind him in a way that lets him move forward and gain a pool of the voting -- Republican voting electorate.  

KELLY: So, Charlie, right now the race is Trump's to lose. I mean, he's well positioned not only in Nevada. I mean, the polling there is bad apparently and weird. I would want to look at my notes. In a 2008 Republican caucuses, the polling average gave Mitt Romney a five-point advantage over John McCain, Romney wound up winning by 38 points.

(LAUGHTER)

So, they don't poll so well in Nevada. They do other things really well.  But the polling is not as great. So, it's Trump to run away with including on March 1st Super Tuesday. And then as we move forward to March 15th.  What does he need to do? Right? Because does he play it straight? Does he not mess it up? Or does he just be himself and keep saying, you know, the incendiary things which have worked so well for him thus far.  

CHARLIE HURT, WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Well, I think that for the time being, Megyn, that, you know, Donald Trump is going to continue to be Donald Trump, although I do think I could foresee, you know, as soon as, you know, Super Tuesday. We start seeing some modulation of that, some toning it down a little bit to go forward. Because at some point, he does need to sort of answer some of the questions that a lot of people are asking about it, whether its presidential to say some of the things that he said on, you know, on stage and in public.

But I think that the real -- I agree with what Chris said earlier, you know, the real -- the real person who has all his chips on this race, and he's flooding Nevada is Ted Cruz, because you cannot lose the evangelical vote. If that's your strategy, you cannot lose the evangelical vote to Donald Trump in South Carolina. And yes, you're right. He does have Texas and he should win Texas. He's only a handful of points in the latest polls above Donald Trump there, but you cannot build a winning Republican primary campaign on just your home state and Iowa.  

KELLY: Chris, what about Kasich and Carson? I mean, who does it hurt?  And who does it help that they remain in this race?

STIREWALT: Trump. It helps Trump. Of course it helps Trump. Because all Donald Trump needs to be the Republican nominee is for nothing to change.  He needs things to stay exactly as they are and he will become the Republican nominee.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

STIREWALT: What he needs to not happen is for Kasich and Carson to follow Jeb Bush's lead and go, because their vote share is much more likely to go to Rubio than anybody else's, of anybody at all, and for Cruz, the question is, how much of that vote is available to Trump and how much is available to Rubio. We don't know until we get there. But for Trump, the coalescing of the field is the problem.  

KELLY: Before I let you go, Steve. You have any doubt that Trump is going to win Nevada unhandily tomorrow night?

HAYES: No, I mean, if I were placing bets, that's where I would do it. On the other hand, if you look at past caucuses, the candidates with the best ground operations who spent the most time there, have cultivated their supporters, often surprised. So, I wouldn't be surprised with anything at this point.  

KELLY: This is the real candidate casino, not like the fake candidate casino, you guys play a special which I love. Great to see you all.

(LAUGHTER)

STIREWALT: You bet.

KELLY: Well, my next guest is a veteran campaign adviser who has seen it all when it comes to running for president. He is featured prominently in an amazing new political documentary over on Showtime, it's a series called "The Circus." And it follows campaigns real time and then you see sort of the summation on show time. Watch this clip, where we will see or guest Mark McKinnon greeting his old boss, George W. Bush on the campaign trail in South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of a high noon/ok corral aspect to all this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, captain. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're looking great.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to see you. I appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm listening to "put me in coach".  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Yes, sir. That's our theme song.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to see you, how does it feel? Reporting for duty?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, reporting for duty.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How nice to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States, George W. Bush.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you. I understand that Americans are angry and frustrated, but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustration. We need someone who can fix the problems, so please welcome a man I am proud to call my big little brother, Jeb Bush.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

JEB BUSH, R-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I ask for your support next Saturday. I ask for your prayers for our family. God bless you all.  Thank you very much for coming.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bringing out -- bringing out the whole Bush family.  You know, that's the way the Bushes roll. They want to make sure that they don't leave anything on the field.  

In any campaign that's down, you're looking for a life preserver.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: And it was not to be. Mark McKinnon was chief media adviser to five successful presidential primary and general election campaigns, including former President George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

Mark, great to see you. Fascinating series. I know you say it's like being in the cockpit of a campaign. As somebody who's been through this so many times, tell us you what you find most interesting about documenting it, being the one, the historian on the trail?

MARK MCKINNON, FORMER CHIEF MEDIA ADVISOR TO PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, there's -- I've always thought that there's so much fascinating human drama behind the scenes of a presidential campaign, the candidate, the candidate's families, the staffers, the people covering the race. There was just this amazing ecosystem of drama and pathos, and humor and pain, that's just dramatic, an entertaining and informative that most of the public never sees, and sometimes there have been documentaries six months or a year after an election, but I've always thought it would be incredible if viewers could see not only kind of what's happening, but as it's happening in real time. That's what we're doing with "The Circus."

KELLY: How real is it? I mean, is it like Kardashian real or is it like, real, like you know, they know the cameras are there. So that's the question. You know, what are we seeing, real emotion or what are we seeing?

MCKINNON: Well, what we've discovered is that after about 30 seconds, they forget that the cameras are there. And the thing that voters are really hungry for these days in politics is authenticity. They want to see what candidates are like when they're not doing the speeches, when they are not doing the talking points. They want to see how they interact, with family and staff.  

KELLY: Well, let's go through a couple of them. Let's go -- so who are the ones that you have followed so far?

MCKINNON: Well, we've followed everybody.

KELLY: All right.

MCKINNON: And we're following everybody on both sides of the race.  

KELLY: All right. So, let's talk about Ted Cruz, for example, everybody says, he's almost the most hated man in Washington. His wife loves him. I know his former roommate in school who says he's a great guy. What have you seen?

MCKINNON: Well, and I worked with him on the 2000 campaign. And what we've showed with Ted Cruz, we got on the buzz with him, and some great scenes of him that showed a sense of humor, a lightness, it showed him, it's like interacting with his staff and campaign people. That's why today was an interesting development. I talked to him about it today.  

KELLY: In a kind way?

MCKINNON: Not only just what happened but you know, when you -- yes, yes, I mean, it just showed a human way, when you have to, you know, let a friend and staff go, what is that like?

KELLY: All right. How about Marco Rubio? Are you with him after that New Hampshire debate?

MCKINNON: Yes.  

KELLY: I mean, what was that like for him when he realized he had messed up in that debate and was not going to go out for him?  

MCKINNON: Well, it was fascinating, it was really interesting, because nobody goes through politics in a presidential campaign, nobody wins, without going through a lot of adversity. So, we really were able to document, you know, what happened, when he got knocked down, could he dust himself off? Could he admit failure and be competitive enough to get back in the race which he is done? And the thing that really impressed me about Rubio more than anything was, he just has a really competitive vein, I mean, the guy is really competitive in a good way.

KELLY: And a thirsty man, but we've been over that.

(LAUGHTER)

How about Donald Trump? What did you observe behind the scenes with him, his interactions with his families, his family and staffers?

MCKINNON: Well, you know, I mean, he's just very -- he as real family man.  He's got a lot of family. His son was out here today in Elko. And he was terrific. I mean, he's just been --

KELLY: Donald Jr. or Eric?

MCKINNON: Donald Jr., he's at for the last two or three weeks. And he's good. I mean, he's got the chromosomes as well. And he gave a speech today and was terrific. But really great interaction with his family.  Shows what kind of a family man Donald Trump is. You know, a lot of family interaction and compelling stuff.  

KELLY: It's great stuff. I'm jealous. I wish I could be everywhere like you are in experience it, but I will just watch "The Circus" and you will take me through it. Mark, great to see you.

MCKINNON: Thanks for having me on.

KELLY: All best.

Well, as we mentioned, moments ago, after weeks of getting hammered for what rivals called dirty tricks, Senator Cruz today fired a top staffer.  We have got new details tonight on the inside story.

Plus -- Governor John Kasich is here next to respond after top players in the GOP reportedly tell him, it's time to get out?

And then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan joins us tonight as some media outlets are asking whether he could be the final Republican pick for president? We'll explain how that would work, just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Breaking tonight, Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz has asked his communications director to resign. After what Cruz's critics called another lie. That is the critic's term. It is the latest in the list of accusations that Cruz is fielding from the Trump, Carson and now Rubio campaigns.

Trace Gallagher has the details. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, at the very heart of the story, is a 21 seconds video published by the student newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania. It shows Marco Rubio walking past Ted Cruz's far and a Cruz campaign staffer who was reading the Bible. The audio is muffled. But here's five seconds of how the Daily Pennsylvanian subtitled what they thought Rubio said. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Got a good book there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

RUBIO: Not many answers in it. Especially in that one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: The video went viral and the Cruz Spokesman's Rick Tyler put it on Twitter and Facebook. But Marco Rubio claims he didn't say, there were not many answers in the Bible, he said all the answers are in the Bible.  Rick Tyler agreed he got it wrong and deleted the post. Here he is apologizing on "America's Newsroom" prior to getting fired this morning.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK TYLER, TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN FORMER SPOKESMAN: I would not knowingly post something I knew to be false. But you're right. The judgment about what he said was wrong, and so I apologize about that.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Marco Rubio accepted the apology, but still attacked the Cruz campaign, saying, quote, "At some point, there has to be some level of accountability," calling it, "a very disturbing pattern of deceptive campaigns." And it does come on the heels of the Cruz campaign being accused of spreading separate rumors that Marco Rubio and Ben Carson relieving the race. Still the firing came as a surprise, considering just last night the Cruz campaign thought that Marco Rubio was overreacting to Tyler's mistake. Today the tone shifted. Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It turned out the news story he sent around was false, but I'll tell you, even if it was true, we are not a campaign that's going to question the faith of another candidate.  

"The Daily Pennsylvanian" has now removed the subtitles -- Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.

Well, another campaign trail controversy this evening, this one involves Ohio Governor John Kasich, and fallout from remarks he made earlier today that when he first ran for office back in 1978, women actually left their kitchens to campaign for him. Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How did I get elected? I didn't have nobody for me. We just got an army of people who -- and many women who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and to put yard signs up for me all the way back when, you know, things were different.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First of, I want to say your comment earlier about the women came out the kitchen to support you, I'll come to support you, but I won't be coming out of the kitchen.  

KASICH: I got you, I got you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Joining me now, Republican candidate for president and Governor of Ohio John Kasich. Governor, great to see you. I can certainly say that, if it were my husband, he would say, for the love of God, get out of the kitchen. No one wants you in here. You do bad things in here.

KASICH: Look, here's the thing. You know, back when I started, we used to do these town halls, but they were held in homes, they were called coffees.  And we did some at the breakfast table, and some we did, you know, in the living room. And I have to tell you that there's no question a large part of my career was fueled by women who decided to join the effort and help me to get elected.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

KASICH: But, you know, let's be real about this. You know, my -- my campaign manager is a woman. She used to be my chief-of-staff. And if I'm president, who knows, she'll have one of the highest positions in the country. I have a lieutenant governor who's a woman. You know, the situation is I appointed a lady to the Ohio Supreme Court. You know, obviously a woman, and I have a number of very influential woman cabinet members. So, you know?

KELLY: Back in 1978 when you first ran for office, 70 percent of women were not working out of the home full time. They just weren't. The vast majority of women were at home in that year full time, and things have changed a lot since then. I assume you know that.  

KASICH: You know, Megyn, you know, I operate on the high wire. I'm not using that. I'm not scripted. I don't have a teleprompter. And every once in a while you say something and you know, maybe you didn't say it exactly the way you should. But, look, I'm not going to change that.  We've had a teleprompter and scripted candidates and presidents. It's time to move on and be real.  

KELLY: Uh-hm. Listen, as somebody who has said many stupid things on the air, I can relate. I understand. I think you get a pass on a couple. You know, consistently then the people have to look at you but --

(LAUGHTER)

KASICH: I got you. Exactly.

KELLY: I have heard that many. All right. So, let's talk about campaign 2016 because after South Carolina, the conventional wisdom is, oh, we'll look, the pressure is on Governor Kasich and Ben Carson to get out now.  Because the, quote, "establishment" has consolidated around Marco Rubio, and I look at the campaign headlines, or the headlines on the campaign trail today. National Review -- hard for us to see what legitimate purpose is served by either of them staying in. Red state -- for the sake of the country, get out of the race. You and Carson. Jeb Bush showed leadership by getting out, do the same thing and on it goes. To them you say what?

KASICH: Well, it sounds like a bunch of Washington insiders, Megyn. Look, they didn't think I would get in the race, nobody thought that I would raise the money. Nobody thought I could do well in New Hampshire and I did. I never expected to do that great in South Carolina, as I told you.  But we do expect, look, I had 1,000 people tonight here in Richmond. I had over 1,000 people earlier at George Mason. We have people joining the campaign who are fundraisers, some of whom raised money for Jeb Bush. We have our political team expanding. And I'm not going to listen to a bunch of lobbyists insiders. I never have. I'm an independent person.

And frankly for the first time in this campaign, my message is starting to be heard. And that's why we're getting crowds. So, everybody else, just sit back. I really don't have a lot of interest in what these people have to stay. I have people who come to me and say, we need you to stay in, you're hope for us. And that's where we're going to do. We'll see where it goes. Don't count me out, Megyn.  

KELLY: I'm not counting anything. Let me ask you whether --

KASICH: Yes.

KELLY: -- Some people are speculating. And you one could even argue in some instances salivating over the prospect of a Rubio/Kasich ticket. Is that something you would even consider?  

KASICH: Well, if you reversed it, if there was a Kasich/Rubio ticket, you know?  

KELLY: Well, it's obvious. But what about the way I asked?

KASICH: Look, no, Megyn, I don't run for second place. And let me explain. I'm beating Hillary Clinton by 11 points, more than any other Republican in the race according to "USA Today." I'm now tied for third in the national polls. Look, I have always made the establishment nervous, because I don't take orders from them, from K Street or a bunch of lobbyists sitting up the top of some hotel. I've shaken the system up the entire time I've been in politics. And look, I've spent very little money, this family folks have spent $50 million. I spent like five, you know, and we're doing just fine.  

KELLY: Last question, you have an ad out today that sort of parlays off of that extraordinary moment you had with that young man on the campaign trail in South Carolina. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being president is more than the economy or health care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was really in a dark place for a long time, but I've found hope and now I've found it in my presidential candidate that I support, and I would really appreciate one of those hugs you've been talking about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a place for quiet strength. The Oval Office.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New Day for America is responsible for the content of this advertising.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: That was the PAC, not you, but that was narrated by Tim Allen. The comedian. He was on THE KELLY last week saying how much he liked you. How much do you think -- how much of an impact do you think that hug had on your campaign?

KASICH: Well, my immediate reaction in hearing about that ad is I don't like it.  

KELLY: Why not?

KASICH: Look, because I just don't like that. I think it spoke for itself. And, look, I'm not going to yell at my people who, you know, I'm not even connected to take something off the air. But I'm not comfortable with that. Look, a woman tonight talked about five suicides in her family.  Earlier today, a lady came and talked to me and hugged me and told me about an autistic child, an adult child, and a 16-year-old that has a mental illness. If I can be able to touch people, and have them safe to come and talk about things they care about, that's great. But I just -- I'm just -- something strikes me wrong about it. I haven't thought about it, Megyn, but I mean, what can I say?

All I can tell you is this -- this country is going to work best when we have leaders in Washington and when where we live in our own communities that we put things together in strength, and things and not wait for somebody to come in and try to straighten out our schools or our neighborhoods. We need to do it ourselves. So, anyway, it was a precious moment, but they've been happening for six months. And that sort of longing is why you stay in this race. And I'm excited about the future here.

KELLY: Great to see you, Governor.

KASICH: Thanks, Megyn. God bless.  

KELLY: Well, we are hearing again and again this year how voters are angry, and mostly with Congress. So up next, we will put the question to Speaker Paul Ryan, who is here live. Why is he making everyone so upset?  He's here to respond.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: A growing question tonight about the direction of the republican parties and how Donald Trump managed to secure his second primary victory over the weekend in South Carolina. Some folks blame President Obama and a general sense of frustration among some voters who maybe casting their ballots for the very first time.

Others think our next guest can claim credit for fueling Trump's rise and he just so happens to be Speaker of the House. Congressman Paul Ryan is a republican out of Wisconsin and current speaker of the House of Representative. Great to see you.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Good to be back with you.

KELLY: So, there's a piece in "The American Thinker" where the writer suggests that you have fueled Donald Trump's rise because you are tone-deaf to the concerns of republicans, for example the Budget Bill that went through, had no money for a border fence. It funded Obama's "Executive Amnesty Program." It allowed funding for the Refugee Program. It allowed funding for sanctuary cities, so they say you don't get it.

RYAN: Yeah, well, first of all, this is what divided government is. The problem with divided government is you can't get everything you want, number one. Number two, I inherited this mess from the earlier congress. Everybody kind of knows that this Budget Bill was done basically before I became speaker four months ago, but we also got some very good conservative wins.

We had very good Pro-Life writers. We got very good writers on the Internal Revenue Service. We got a lot of good conservative wins.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: People hear that and they say, he's talking about compromise. We hate compromise. That's why also a lot of people love Ted Cruz.

RYAN: I know.

KELLY: They say, you know, die trying, die trying.

RYAN: You know what, I find myself giving civics lessons all the time these days. The problem we have is ...

KELLY: Am I going to get one now?

RYAN: Maybe a short lesson, maybe two sentences. For a bill to become a law, it has to pass the house, then the senate and then the President sign it into law.

KELLY: Schoolhouse rocks.

RYAN: And you have a liberal progressive presidents who won't sign conservative bills into law, they don't go into law. We put abolishing ObamaCare and defending Planned Parenthood on the president's desk, he vetoed that. We don't have the votes to override that veto. He's vetoed six bills we've sent to him in the last few months. We don't have a veto -- we don't have the votes to override those vetoes.

KELLY: On that point, realistically, if this electorate puts a republican in the white house and flips the senate back to the Dems, which a lot of people believe will happen, but the republicans hold the house. Is anything going to change?

RYAN: I don't think that's going to happen. If we win the White House, I think we keep the senate.

KELLY: You think so?

RYAN: Yes I do, but here's the point. What we are doing in the house is we believe we need to respect the country and respect the moment for what it is. Everything is up for grabs in 2016. Now, the Supreme Court is up for grabs. Congress is up for grabs and the presidency is up for grabs. And so the question before us in 2016 is are we going to re-claim a constitutional republic or we're going to go down this path of having this liberal progressive welfare state that President Obama has been building. Now, here is what we are going to do the in house.

We are going to give an agenda to the country, we're going to roll it out this spring and we're going to have five big areas that we think are the big areas that will make or break this country going forward. We're going to lay it out and we're going to give the people a clear and compelling choice. The way we see our job in congress -- you think people are frustrated? Try being in congress with this presidency. Think of the frustration we have.

KELLY: It must be terrible. No, but it must be terrible. When we talk about the approval ratings of congressmen to being lower than a cockroach, that's just mean and I'm sorry to say this.

RYAN: Slightly above the bubonic plague.

KELLY: But that must be very disheartening. I know some members of congress and they say it's disheartening to them because they're trying but the system is dysfunctional.

RYAN: It's disheartening. But we need the people to break this tie. So what we're going to do this year is take an agenda on economic growth, on getting people out of the poverty, on replacing ObamaCare and reforming entitlements to prevent them from going bankruptcy and paying off our debts.

KELLY: What do you mean taking an agenda? I mean, what do you mean?

RYAN: We're going to offer specific plans. We're going to say, here is what we can do with a republican president in 2017 --

KELLY: To try to get the voters --

RYAN: If you elect us, this is what we'll do because the key, Gretchen -- I mean Megyn ...

KELLY: Close.

RYAN: Megyn, sorry, I was just talking to Gretchen over there -- the key, Megyn, is we have to have the people breaking this tie. We have this divided government -- liberal president conservative congress. It's not working.

KELLY: So you don't think anything can get done unless this one party rules.

RYAN: Look at the path we are on. Seventy percent of Americans believe that we're on the wrong path. We have to do big things soon to get our country back on the right track. And so what we're going to do is offer the country --

KELLY: To try to persuade them your ideas are better.

RYAN: To try to persuade them.

KELLY: And I know you are an idea and you're a policy guy.

RYAN: Give us a republican president. Give us a president we can work with.

KELLY: But we are ...

RYAN: In 2017 we can get this country back in the right track.

KELLY: You're a policy guys, this seems to be more of a personality driven election. I mean, that people are gravitating --

RYAN: That's right.

KELLY: -- to a different kind of message. Your thoughts on that?

RYAN: Well, I think when idea contests, as republicans, I think we typically lose personality contests. And so again, that's why we're adding ideas to this. We're going to bring a layer of substance and a foundation of principles and ideas to this campaign so we can have more of an ideas contest. This is what I wish we had in 2012. You can't wait until the convention, you can't wait to the fall to then roll out your agenda.

KELLY: What about that?

RYAN: WE have to do it earlier.

KELLY: Do you think there's a chance of a brokered convention?

RYAN: I doubt that.

KELLY: Because you would have to preside over it as Speaker of the House.

RYAN: One of things -- I have six days notice to taking this job. I learned about that after I took the job.

KELLY: This is not disclosed, not disclosed. But wait, some of theories and I actually found quite a few people pitching this, is that Paul Ryan will be the republican nominee and (inaudible) will call Stephen Hawkins and others suggest the way it could happen is they take the first vote and the pledged delegates vote as they've said they will, and it doesn't go through, nobody has enough.

And that on the second vote, they're allowed to sort of go where they want, and people say we can't agree in any of these guys. Look at him, he's so handsome ...

RYAN: Oh, thank you.

KELLY: ... he's such a nice man. He's trying so hard. Mitt Romney loved him. Why don't we make him our nominee?

RYAN: No way, ain't going to happen. First of all, I think you should run for president if you're going to be president. I chose consciously a year ago, my family and I decided not to run for president. I'm not running for president. I'm not going to be the president. It's going to be somebody who is running for president. The point in the house that we're trying to make is we believe me we are frustrated.

We see the country slipping. We see the future going away from us and so we want to put it all on the table and give the country a really clear and compelling choice, so we can win a mandate. What we're trying to do is get a 1980 type of election, but for today's circumstances and issues, to get a mandate so we can fix this mess in 2017.

KELLY: Maybe the clean shave will help. We did a split screen. Check it out. See what you think. I don't know.

RYAN: So, I'm a bow hunter, and I grow a beard every deer season and no one made a point about this last year when I had a beard.

KELY: Did the deers find the beard more scary?

RYAN: I'm from Wisconsin, it's cold. If you're sitting on a tree half a day ...

KELLY: Oh, it's for work. You know they have like scars.

RYAN:m I've heard of those.

(LAUGHING)

KELLY: Great to see you.

RYAN: You too Megyn.

KELLY: Thanks for being here. Well, breaking tonight after a series of democratic primaries are decided by coin flips and cutting cards, folks are now asking if all of this will stand? We'll talk about that with Judge Napolitano. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When a candidate says they want to carpet bomb Isis into oblivion, would that be possible?

MICHAEL HAYDEN, RETIRED FOUR STAR GENERAL: No, and it would be immoral and would be unworthy of the republic like ourselves, and Secretary Gates is absolutely right. Remember I began by saying these are hard issues. It's infinitely gray and now in the debates very often we turn them into bumper stickers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have had Donald Trump saying he'd water board.

HAYDEN: Yeah, actually Trump says he'd water board and a lot worse, because they deserve it and we've never did anything to anyone because they deserved it. This was never looking backward. This was trying to keep America safe looking forward. People can argue about what we did, but it was never, never a form of punishment.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: That was General Michael Hayden, the only man who has ever served as director of both the NSA and the CIA, taking on some of the recent foreign policy arguments from Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz. Joining me now, General Michael Hayden, who's out with a new book called " Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the age of terror." General, great to see you.

HAYDEN: Great to see you to, Megyn.

KELLY: Unbelievable story and it's more than an opportunity for the American people to hear it directly from you. So you don't believe in carpet bombing. As for you torture and water boarding, which Trump says we should bring back. What say you as the guy who was at the CIA when we were doing that?

HAYDEN: Well, I mean, on a very practical candid basis, Megyn, I don't know that we could convince any CIA officer to do it. I think as I've said a few weeks ago that if a new president or future president wants to water board somebody, he better bring his own bucket because after CIA did this in good faith, under the opinion of the attorney general, that it was lawful, the American political system turned against it.

And that commitment to CIA officers, when they go out and do something edgy for the republic, authorized by the president, approved by the attorney general, briefed by congress and the director says, I think this is a good thing to do, they think they've got a social contract with the American republic, and it has a half-life longer than the next (off year) election and CIA officers have been taughtt that's no longer true.

KELLY: They were thrown under the bus.

HAYDEN: They will not go do this. Many people will celebrate that, but there are a whole bunch of other things that CIA officers are going to be asked to do that are on the edge that I fear they will be reluctant to do.

KELLY: And you think they should that's why the book is called "Playing to the Edge."

HAYDEN: It is.

KELLY: Because you think they should press the limits, because they are really the ones who are in large part -- charged with protecting us.

HAYDEN: Well, they work in a unique space. You go into the CIA headquarters, you look down the hall and you see this mural -- Lady Liberty -- We are the nation's first line of defense, we accomplish what others cannot accomplish. We go where others cannot go.

We have a special space for the protection of the republic. We are expected to do, we are asked to do things that no one else has asked or allowed to do to keep America safe.

KELLY: What about another proposal we've heard. This one is also from Trump, that we should be killing the terrorists' families because that will make them pay attention?

HAYDEN: You know, I say play to the edge, but there are lines. There are lines beyond which our nation should not go, all right. That's unethical, that's immoral that violates all the laws of armed conflict, and frankly, it's not even a winning hand if you jump over the moral restraints. All you've done there is to animate your enemy by your barbaric action.

KELLY: What about some of the candidates in this race. Ted Cruz and others -- Ron Paul, no longer in -- but proposed getting rid of this NSA surveillance program that you favored and implemented, and replacing it with something that Cruz argues now is actually more robust, that gives them more access to more phone records. Is that true in your view?

HAYDEN: It's a mixed bag and it's a complicated picture, all right. Now, the system we now have based upon the USA Freedom Act is NSA no longer gets to keep the data.

KELLY: Right, the phone companies keep it.

HAYDEN: Right, but it actually gets access to a bit more data than it had before.

KELY: So you like it replaced?

HAYDEN: No, no, that's a plus, all right. Let me give you my candid assessment. This is Kentucky (inaudible), so it's a broad assessment. I suspect what we've got here is kind of the 85 percent solution. If this were the best way to set this up, that's the way I would have set it up in October of 2001.

And frankly, what I do in the book is to take these and other issues like them, Megyn, and explain that we're not operating in black and white here, we're operating in continuous gray and these are always difficult decision.

KELLY: What about the Hillary matter and the disclosure of classified information, top secret information and many of these e-mails, including we're told some, you know, spy information.

HAYDEN: First of all, the most important caveat, -- I haven't seen any of these, so I really don't know what is or is not in them, but I would give you my view -- the sin here is absolutely the original sin. Once you set it up this way, this can't go to a happy place.

KELLY: The private server?

HAYDEN: The private server. I mean what's going to happen is people, they don't have to be ignorant or stupid or immoral or unethical, just in the press of business. They're going to put things into that system that are now going to end up in this unprotected server, and as the former director of NSA, if I could have gotten access to the server of the foreign minister of a potential adversary of the United States, even for their unclassified e-mails, I'd have moved heaven and earth to do that.

KELLY: Was it reckless?

HAYDEN: It was really imprudent and I really don't know why the permanent government, the folks -- the state would actually not have gone to the secretary and said, "Ma'am, you just can't do it this way."

KELLY: General Michael Hayden, looking forward reading the entire thing -- again, I want to get it "Playing to the Edge. American Intelligence in the Age of Terror." it is out tomorrow. Check it out. Great to see you sir.

HAYDEN: Thank you.

KELLY: Thank you for your service.

HATDEN: Thank you.

KELLY: Ahead, democrats using games of chance to determine election outcomes, but are they gambling with a possible lawsuit? Judge Napolitano will rule, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: And developing tonight, new reaction to democratic delegates being awarded by games of chance -- the latest, to the benefit of democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. On Saturday, Mrs. Clinton won the Nevada caucuses with one precinct requiring a tiebreaker to pick the winner. This is not the first time we've seen this. This one however, was done by drawing cards. She pulled the ace of clubs and beat Senator Sanders.

Judge Andrew Napolitano is Fox News' senior judicial analyst. This is done pursuant to Democratic Party rules. We saw the same thing in Iowa where several of the precincts were decided by coin toss. Originally we were told she won all seven out of seven but now today we found that it's actually, she only won half. At the time, I said it could not be possible. There's no way she won half because they said she tails every time and tails never wins.

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Right. But it did seem as though she won seven out of seven. Now, she's won four out of seven.

KELLY: Well, could he challenge? This is like mumbo jumbo.

NAPOLITANO: I don't think he can challenge it. When you submit your petition and your name was on the ballot, you sign a bunch of agreements, one of which is if there's a tie here's how we're going to break it. And the rest of the world they draw names out of a hat or they flip a coin. In Las Vegas, they pull a card out of a deck of cards and you agree. There's no appeal from that unless there was some corruption in the act of pulling the card.

KELLY: I think there should be some skill involved. I think they should make them row sham bow. That would be much more fair. At least you've got a fighting chance.

NAPOLITANO: Right.

KELLY: All right, I want to ask you first of all what General Michael Hayden just said about Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

NAPOLITANO: General Hayden and I have disagreed in a lot of things but nobody knows more about the way the NSA works and about the way the internet works and about the way you secure information on the internet than General Hayden. He just indicted her, lower case "i" by arguing the unbelievable significance to the enemy, even to our allies to want to get a leg up on us of having the Secretary of State of the United States use a non-secured server for four years and the president being aware of it and doing nothing about it.

KELLY: He raises a good point about where were the career state department employees to say, "Madam Secretary, you can't do this. With all due respect to your convenience, you can't."

NAPLOITANO: Where was the White House?

KELLY: On a subject of Hillary Clinton, she gave an extraordinary interview to CBS' Scott Pelley last week. Here's part of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Jimmy Carter famously said I will not lie to you.

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Uh-huh. Well, I have to tell you, I have tried in every way I know how, literally from my years as a young lawyer all the way through my time as Secretary of State to level with the American people.

PELLEY: When you talk about leveling with the American people, have you always told the truth?

CLINTON: I've always tried to. Always, always.

PELLEY: Some people are going to call that wriggle room that you just gave yourself -- always tried to.

CLINTON: Well no, no ...

PELLEY: Jimmy Carter said I will never lie to you.

CLINTON: You know you're asking me to say have I ever -- I don't believe I ever have. I don't believe I ever have. I don't believe I ever will. I'm going to do the best I can to level with the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Still feel uncomfortable.

NAPOLITANO: She not only lies, she lies about lying and Scott Pelley had to coax her into the truth.

KELLY: Wouldn't it have been a lie for any presidential candidate to say, I've never lied? I don't believe -- all of them lie!

NAPLOITANO: But for her to say I try to tell the truth, what the heck kind of an answer is that?

KELLY: It was more like, I try. I try. Remember we said that voice goes up, it's a tell, judge.

NAPOLITANO: It's the worst number she gets in all the polls. Dishonesty.

KELLY: It's a tough question. Great to see you.

NAPOLITANO: Pleasure.

KELLY: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: On Wednesday evening, please join us for a candidate forum. Senator Cruz, Senato Rubio, Governor Kasich and Dr. Carson all join yours truly and the voters of Texas for a Q & A just days before the big Super Tuesday vote. Hope you'll tune in. Thanks for watching everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly.  

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