This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," March 12, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST, "THE KELLY FILE": Breaking tonight. You are looking live at the streets of Chicago, where earlier tonight, violent protests broke out before a rally for presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The scene inside the event was described as chaotic. And as the A.P. reported, it seems for the first time the number of protesters equaled that of Trump supporters. That reality forcing Mr. Trump and his team to cancel the event just moments before it was set to begin out of an abundance of caution. We are live on the streets of Chicago, for a complete Fox coverage for you tonight.
Joining us first with more, jour Fox Business Network Jeff Flock who is live on the scene in Chicago. Jeff, get us up to speed.
JEFF FLOCK, FOX BUSINESS REPORTER NETWORK CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary night here in Chicago, a town that's been home to a lot of protests over the past couple of months. But tonight, we're on the street as rally goers, these are Trump rally goers, their cars leaving their venue now. Being jeered by protesters. The protesters are still here. But it was an extremely large crowd of protesters that had come to make their voice known against Donald Trump. And I think what shut it down, it's fair to say, Megyn is, perhaps you can hear us, as these people make their way out through this cordon of protesters, I think what did it is there was a large number of protesters that got in.
As you know, and so these other rallies, they've been able to eject individual protesters. This was such a large group, however, a lot of people -- originally protesters tried to get tickets to the event and not come to the event so it would be a small event. Well, others went inside and they were such a large group that it became clear that nobody was going to be able to eject all of them. And at that point, Mr. Trump and his team made the decision to shut it down. Big celebration after that. People here on the streets of Chicago, I would say numbering, if not many hundreds, probably thousands of people outside, celebrating that they had, in effect, shut this rally down and silenced Mr. Trump, at least for tonight. It continues, as you see, these are Trump supporters that are shaking their fists at the Trump opponents who are being blocked off by police. It's been an extraordinary night in Chicago, a town that has had a number of extraordinary protests over the course of the past several months -- Megyn.
KELLY: Jeff, what group are the protesters from? Are they identifiable?
FLOCK: I will tell you that this is an extremely diverse, or at least it has been. And maybe you can even see in the faces that you look out across the street from us. A very diverse crowd. There are some Bernie Sanders' supporters. There are students who don't like the fact or didn't like the fact that Donald Trump was going to be on their campus holding a rally. Young, old, certainly Democrats in the crowd. I talked to a few Republicans in the crowd who said, they just didn't want Donald Trump as their nominee, and didn't want his brand of hate speech to be heard in their town. And they felt they needed to come out and be heard themselves.
KELLY: Are we able to speak with any of them, Jeff or are the cops keeping the media away from the people?
FLOCK: Oh, no, we've been able to speak with them throughout the night. Now, they're on the other side of the street right now, but let's see if I can -- what we've got, you know, we've got people on both sides of the street. I probably don't want to go off and get in the midst of the crowd there, but maybe the police would -- well, let's see. Well, no, there are obviously people coming by here. The police have moved over to try to keep people apart. And they've done a good job. You know, you talk about violence. There's been scattered outbursts, but largely not a problem. Police have done a very good job of keeping people, protesters and Trump enthusiasts apart. I don't know -- hey Dutch, walk over here with me so that we can show Megyn, if we can, the folks that are protesting here. Here's a guy holding a sign, quite well dressed. Can you tell me, sir, why you're here tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here in support of Bernie Sanders, and against the policies that Donald Trump has.
FLOCK: Why did you think it was important for you to be heard tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'm a youth. This is my first year, election year that I'm allowed to vote and I wanted to make my voice heard.
FLOCK: Do you feel that you -- in doing this, shut down Mr. Trump's rights -- to his First Amendment rights to be heard?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel as if the people gave a reaction that was adequate of what they were feeling. So, if the city felt that Trump didn't reflect what they wanted, the so be it, let the city speak.
FLOCK: Megyn, hold with me one second because this is what has also been going on tonight. This is a Trump supporter here, and these are folks that are opposed. They've been having debates on the street all night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fox News, Fox News, Fox News, Fox News, Fox News, Fox News --
FLOCK: You've been having --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fox News, Fox News, Fox News, Fox News --
FLOCK: Can you say something --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fox News, Fox News.
FLOCK: -- why are you here tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here because I'm a taught to be a Chicagoan because Chicagoan do not like Donald Trump and his bullshit ideas. And I'm very proud to be a Chicagoan today. You can pan the camera around and see how many people are opposed to Donald Trump in the city of Chicago. I'm very proud to be a Chicagoan today.
FLOCK: Thank you. I want to listen to -- student. That's college today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a USC alumni, you ashole. All right?
FLOCK: Let's try to keep the language down. But these kinds of debates Megyn, have been going on, on the streets of Chicago all night tonight. Trump supporters, folks that oppose, and there has not been any violence, I will say. But interesting to see this sort of thing kind of just take place before our eyes and cameras tonight.
KELLY: Indeed. I don't know that that gentleman is making the impression he wishes to make in opposing the candidate he opposes. Jeff, good to see you. We'll be right back to you. Stay safe. I want to get over to John Roberts who is also in Chicago on the streets there. John, what do you know?
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Megyn, good evening to you. John -- John is a Trump supporter. He's one of the lone Trump supporters in a sea of anti-Trump folks. John, first of all, why are you supporting Donald Trump?
JOHN, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Oh, there's really only one reason that -- there's only really one reason that I support him, that would be his economic plans. I feel that money speaks everything. Now, what I feel is that money speaks -- I'm sorry, I can't speak.
ROBERTS: Hey, guys, give him a chance to speak, all right? And we'll come to you in a second. Yes. We'll come to you in a second. Let him speak. All right? Go ahead, John. Tell us why you're supporting Donald Trump.
JOHN: I feel that money speaks a lot. Like if we look in the case of Hillary Clinton, her money and her endorsements, they speak -- they -- I'm sorry, I can't speak with all of this.
ROBERTS: Yes, okay, I understand. Yes. You have a lot of people behind you who are trying to disrupt you here. But you were here to see him clearly tonight. Are you disappointed that you didn't get a chance to see him?
JOHN: Yes, I was disappointed. Unfortunately there was a gentleman that came up and, you know, kind of took over the stage and it was a lot of fight and it's really disappointing to see, you know, a lot of -- I'm not saying all of these, but a lot of these protesters say that there's hate here. However, I feel that they demonstrated hate when we came here peacefully. You know, I came with a ticket, and you know, obviously they did, as well.
JOHN: But I just feel that it's a bit of hypocrisy and I just don't feel right about it.
ROBERTS: What is the hypocrisy, the fact that they're shutting down Donald Trump's First Amendment right to free speech and your ability to go see him and listen to him?
JOHN: Well, aside from that, also just like I said, the hate factor. They said that, you know, he's hating, you know, against certain groups. However, this -- I'm sorry --
ROBERTS: That's okay. Go ahead. Just look at me. Just keep your eyes on me. Go ahead.
JOHN: I just feel that, you know, as soon as the riot began, I don't want to call it a riot --
JOHN: But as soon as it began, protesters began taking supporters signs and ripping them, and it was really just devastating to see. Everyone was there peacefully to see Trump. And just to see such like hate and violence, you know, and then accuse him of hate and violence, it was a bit of hypocrisy. It was disappointing.
ROBERTS: Well, John, thank you so much for talking to us. Really appreciate it.
JOHN: Thank you.
ROBERTS: We'll see if -- there was a fellow who wanted to express his views, but I can't see him now. He seems to have disappeared. Megyn, if I find him I'll get back to you but right back to you in New York.
KELLY: John, just get us updated for those of us who are just getting up to speed on this story. This began at a Trump rally.
KELLY: He was going to go and rally the crowd there. Illinois is a big state on Super Tuesday. Did it ever get off the ground or had the protesters infiltrated from the start and then what happened?
ROBERTS: I wasn't here in the early going of this, because I actually flew up from St. Louis, Missouri, with Donald Trump on his 757, landed and came here through the horrible Chicago traffic. Got here just about half an hour before the rally was supposed to start. It was supposed to start at 6:00 Central Time. 6:00 went by. 6:30 went by. The crowd seemed to be fairly peaceful, but you could tell that there was some undercurrent going on here. What's interesting is that when I was flying up with Mr. Trump, he told me we're expecting a huge crowd in Chicago, maybe 25,000, 30,000 people in a building that only holds 10,000. And I'm getting indications, he told me, that it could be rough.
Now, maybe he was reflexing just on the nature of Chicago politics, looking back at the 1968 in the convention, the big protest that happened during the Democratic convention here in 1996 but -- or he had some intel that maybe from the Secret Service or his advance team that there were a lot of protesters who were in the crowd. But where we normally see maybe 20, 30 protesters in a large Trump event, there were hundreds of protesters who were embedded in this crowd. And they knew that once he got up there on the stage, there was going to be some trouble, Megyn.
So, the fact that there were thousands of people still outside, many, many protesters across the street as well, shouting taunts at each other. The potential for violence was such that the Chicago police obviously got with the Secret Service that went to campaign and said, probably better if we postponed this for another time. And maybe another venue, because you're here at the University of Illinois. Obviously, there are a lot of different aspects to the political discourse that goes on here. It's quite a mosaic of political views. And if you come back here again to try to do another rally, I expect Megyn that the same thing might just happen all over again.
KELLY: You know, John, Moveon.org had been encouraging people to show up at some of these rallies and protests as our information. Is this is this a MoveOn crowd? Is this a MoveOn crowd because they've been encouraging folks to show up?
ROBERTS: I don't know if it's a MoveOn crowd. I mean, it could be. But most of the people here that we've heard from vocally seem to have been Bernie Sanders supporters. A lot of Black Lives Matter supporters, the Mexican flag there. So, clearly some folks who have immigration as one of their primary issues. But you're dealing with a very large student body. You know that student bodies are very diverse in their political thinking. There are a lot of people who obviously tilt to the left side of the political fence and they just wanted to make their views known. And they thought that perhaps in the way that Marisa Johnson, the Black Lives Matter activist in Seattle did when she shut down a Bernie Sanders event in front of a very progressive crowd, this crowd wanted to shutdown Donald Trump's right to free speech, and they certainly have accomplished their goal tonight -- Megyn.
KELLY: Uh-hm. And you can see the disappointment on that young man's face John that you interviewed John, talking about how it was just unfair. I mean, it's not how it's supposed to work. You want to make your case, you make your case, go for it. Go for it, don't --
ROBERTS: Yes. You know, he was obviously very disappointed. And people who are exiting the parking garage here, and I think as Jeff Flock pointed out, all the people who are going to this event parked in that garage. So you have Trump supporters coming out and their cars and the crowd yelling at them. But this young man, he's clearly -- because he's still over here holding his Donald Trump sign, so he's definitely very firm in his political beliefs, but he was trying to talk to me -- he definitely was getting intimidated by the people behind him. Well, let's talk to this fellow for a second. Come on over here. Come on over here. You're clearly not in the Trump camp. What were you here tonight to do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would rather not answer that question.
ROBERTS: That's fine. Why don't you just answer with your sign? Trump supporter up here? Veterans for Trump?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They gave me the sign. I was a Chris Christie guy. Before that, I was Ben Carson before they started washing him down. Too bad. He was a good man.
ROBERTS: Both Ben Carson and Chris Christie are with Donald Trump. So, perhaps by default, were you at the rally tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Couldn't get in.
ROBERTS: You were one of the people -- one of the thousands of people out here on the streets waiting to get in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ROBERTS: What do you think of the fact that the protesters shut this down tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beauty of freedom of speech it allows people to reveal what complete imbeciles they are.
ROBERTS: Hey, hey, let's keep it clean. All right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 1980, Ronald Reagan came to my high school, I was a sophomore, 14, 15-years-old. As a sophomore in 1980 on Halloween, Reagan came to my high school. And we got to hear what he had to say. That's all I wanted to do is hear what he had to say. We had one protester. People let the guy talk. Now you got these little children like this, I don't like you, they won't let me even listen to a guy to see if I want to see what he has to say. I want to see what he has to say unfiltered by the media, instead of little clips, like when he said about Muslim immigration, he said until we figure out what the hell is going on. When you turn on news clips, all you hear him say is everything up to that point. You know, let me just hear it unfiltered. But instead you have all these people shutting us down. You can't even listen. Like I said, I was for Chris Christie and then Ben Carson before that.
ROBERTS: As you know, clearly Donald Trump is a polarizing figure. Did you expect to something like this would happen in a place where this rich and diverse opinions -- Chicago?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't think it would be this bad. But I saw some people on Facebook that friended me, I'm not sure why, they're talking about going here and getting tickets so people wouldn't show up. They were hoping for an empty hall. How sad is that? Just go. See what he's got to say. Seek out the opinions you don't like. Maybe a light will come on, or maybe you're be more reassured if you're right. Either way, let a person talk. And instead you have this. What this country has come to since 1980, when people just let Reagan talk, to this.
ROBERTS: All right. Well, thank you for speaking with us. Young lady, come on over here. You're making a lot of noise. Come and talk to me, instead of just yelling and shouting obscenities. What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
And why did you want to shut down the Donald Trump rally tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I don't want to give my reasons. I really don't. No. No.
ROBERTS: You just don't want to shut it down, tell us why?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to give out my reasons.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Anybody want to give us the reasons as to why they wanted to shut this down? All right, no problem. We'll forgive you. All right. Megyn, let's toss it back to you.
ROBERTS: John, thank you. We'll be back to you in a moment.
Joining me now by phone, Dr. Ben Carson, one of the man you just heard mentioned, Dr. Ben Carson who endorsed Donald Trump just today. And Dr. Carson, your reaction to seeing the scenes on the streets of Chicago tonight?
DR. BEN CARSON (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (on the phone): Well, you know, it's very sad that so many particularly of the younger generation are being taught that if you don't like what somebody has to say, you have the right to interfere with their freedom of speech. This is a very dangerous precedent. And I think it's probably a place where the media can actually do some good. They can start talking about, you know, some of our basic freedoms, like freedom of speech and why it's important since they're obviously not being taught that in school.
KELLY: Uh-hm. And you know what the other side always says, when we the media or anybody else raises the issue of First Amendment speech in this kind of situation, they talk about their right to protest, and their right to be heard in the manner in which they see fit.
CARSON: Well, you know, everybody's rights stop at the point where it interferes with someone else's right. You know, the famous saying, your right to swing your fist stops at my nose. And so obviously if your expression is shutting down somebody else's planned expression, you're interfering with their rights. And that's something people need to be taught. And I don't think that is being taught in a lot of the universities now. And you see the professors themselves manifesting the same type of intolerance. And they're teaching that tolerance is only one way, and one direction. They don't have to extend it to anybody else.
KELLY: Uh-hm. Doctor, you know that Donald Trump's critics, well, they're not going to say, they've already said that he invited this, that he has encouraged violence at some of his rallies, he's had harsh language about punching protesters in the face and then yesterday there was very unfortunate incident where one of the attendees at Trump's campaign event punched an African-American man in the face, seemingly unprovoked, and later said he should have killed him. There is anger about the tenor and tone that we've seen at some of these rallies.
CARSON: And there's no question that those of us in leadership positions should be attempting to calm people down and teach people to respect each other. And not encouraging, you know, them in the other direction. And that's something that we all need to be thinking about. But it's going to be a huge problem for our country if we don't do something about it now. A house divided against itself cannot stand. And I personally believe that, you know, this works in favor of those who want to fundamentally change America. And the rest of us needs to be thinking about that.
KELLY: What about that, Dr. Carson? Because you all along, I mean, this is an interesting dynamic between you and Mr. Trump. We had political analysts on this show talk about how you were both outsiders, but you were sort of polar opposites. You know, he's sort of -- he's the big personality and full of bombast and, you know, says things like, punch them in the face. And you're this gentle soul who was also an outsider but a gentle soul who wanted to calm the conversation down. I remember once asking, how do you get people to listen to you and you said, talk quieter?
KELLY: Yes, talk softly and try to lower the temperature. What do you see here as an opportunity for Mr. Trump when it comes to leadership?
CARSON: Well, I think this is a perfect opportunity for him to talk about the fact that this nation is founded on a number of rights, and when we talk about the bill of rights, begin to emphasize that and talk about that, and to indicate that just because you disagree with what someone says, on either side, the right side or the left side, you don't have the right to interfere with their ability to say it.
CARSON: And if he starts saying that, and he encourages, you know, Hillary and Bernie to start saying that, and, you know, get it to be a common thing to talk about, I think it will have an effect on the atmosphere.
KELLY: One interesting thing we're seeing is, this doesn't appear to be all Black Lives Matters protesters or a racial issue. It seems to be mixed groups --
CARSON: I don't think what they even know what they're protesting about. I mean, you saw there a couple of protesters and they asked them, what are you protesting about? And I don't want to talk about it because I don't think they know.
KELLY: One does wonder although that was a young, that was a young Hispanic woman who may not have --
CARSON: But there was a man before that -- yes, there was a man before that that said basically the same thing.
KELLY: And in Trump's defense, we also saw an interview with our own Jeff Flock with a very angry, rude punk who was, you know, swearing on national television, getting right up in the face of a man who was clearly a Trump supporter and antagonizing him. And you know, clearly whether that's the best ambassador for the brand trying to oppose what they claim is too much anger and too much bombast. I mean, you see this happen, Dr. Carson, we've seen Black Lives Matter protests under President Obama. And it just feels like what we're seeing from the electorate this go around is they are angry. There are so many Americans angry right now.
CARSON: They are angry. And it's up to the leadership to take responsibility to give them some perspective and to calm them down. That's what leaders do. And that's leaders on both sides have that responsibility. And if they don't do it, we're going to suffer significant consequences. It's going to be a long, hot summer, and we don't need that. And now is the time to be thinking about it. And now is the time to stop that from occurring.
KELLY: Yes. We're looking at Chicago in March. We're a few months away from Cleveland in July.
KELLY: We'll see what that brings. Doctor, great to speak with you. Thank you for joining us tonight.
CARSON: You too. Thank you, Megyn.
KELLY: It's been an extraordinary scene on the streets of Chicago tonight and you tip your caps to the Chicago P.D. which is, much like the NYPD, they know how to handle a crisis the masses and they know how to handle the crises, and they train for it and they're professionals. And you can see just watching John Roberts' live shot earlier where, you know, the cops were lined up, shoulder to shoulder, the horses were lined up, one after the other. Managing the crowd. There you can see some of that on screen left right now. And it appears that things have settled down. And there was, these were violent protests. People were angry and there was some moments of violence. But not too many, and it's been very well controlled.
I want to tell the audience that we are getting word that Donald Trump may speak momentarily and Ted Cruz may speak momentarily. They're appearing at an event, at least Cruz is, and Trump possibly maybe. We're trying to find out whether this initial report is true. There's a Republican dinner in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and we are expecting Ted Cruz to speak in moments. We'll see if he addresses this, as more and more members of this presidential race or participants in this presidential race appear to be weighing in. You can bet we'll going to hear from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who may have a thing or two to say. They've already -- President Obama has already gone after Donald Trump.
In fact, just tonight he went after Donald Trump and unleashed on him. Pretty feisty remarks about him tonight. And so all eyes for the moment are on Donald Trump and how he handles this situation in Chicago where his First Amendment free speech rights have been shut down. The right of those to listen to him. And as that one gentleman put it so well, I just wanted to hear him for myself. Just wanted to hear him for myself. That was shut down by folks who have an agenda, and that's fine. You can depose Donald Trump, go for it. But is this the way? Is this the way to shut down the ability of Chicagoans and those who have travelled in some cases for miles and miles and waited for hours and hours to get in, to have their say and hear him for themselves, for all these people know they weren't Trump supporters. Maybe that gentleman would have walked away saying, you know, what? He's not for me, we'll never know now. Because they shut down their right to listen to the front-runner on the Republican side.
We saw this not long ago with Ben Shapiro, remember? He went to a university to talk about free speech. And what did those who opposed his message do with the university? They shouted him down loudly, violently, loudly, angrily. They set off the fire alarm so that he could not be heard. And so his message, which may have run contrary to that of those on campus, could not be heard although he gave it a hell of a try. This is what we've seen over and over this year. Remember, look, look at the anger. Look at this, the punches being thrown. You can see the tempers run high. And Dr. Carson has a strong message for those watching this events, these events and the leaders involved, which is, let's lower the temperature. Let's lower the temperature. You know the anger is running hot in this country right now.
On that score, I'm joined right now by Kat Pierson. Katrina Pierson who is a national campaign spokesperson for Donald Trump. Katrina, your thoughts on what we're seeing tonight?
KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON (on the phone): Hi, Megyn. You know, all of America can see just how we are losing our country. As you mentioned, this was an opportunity for Mr. Trump to exercise his free speech, because people who wanted to hear him. And he was shut down. And this is interesting more importantly because you see the social media, some of these socialist and anarchists groups who were pushing people to come and attempt to shut this down, the reports of Moveon.org being involved. And you can see very clearly on the inside where people were Bernie Sanders' supporters. They were taking other Trump people's signs and ripping them up and throwing them around and honestly, this is what we know from the left. This is Alinsky rules for radicals on full display. Ridicule, keeping on the pressure, create the threat, because the threat is more terrifying. Violence on the other side pushes people to sympathize with you. You pick your target, freeze it and personalize it, this is exactly how the left operates.
KELLY: How, you know, to what extent, I asked you about this, which has been brought up elsewhere, to what extent do you believe that Trump's own rhetoric at his rallies and in particular some of the violence we have seen at his rallies, some of the violent clashes with protesters, who often are
African-American, has fed into what we are seeing tonight?
PIERSON: Well, Mr. Trump, he has always said that to handle protesters with care in every event that we have from the very beginning --
KELLY: Wow, Katrina --
PIERSON: They always say pregame, telling them exactly what to do if there are protesters. And he has said things just off the cuff. But nothing serious. And I got to tell you this, Megyn, Mr. Trump is not responsible for other people's actions. I mean, as we have mentioned, there are people in this country who are very angry, because they have not been heard. Their rights have been ignored. They've been ridiculed by their own president for crying out loud. How much is that rhetoric pandering into this?
KELLY: But, you know, that's no excuse for violence.
PIERSON: Absolutely not.
KELLY: And I mean, Trump has, he has -- he wasn't always joking. I mean, you can hear him irritated by the protesters at his rallies, and I don't know if we have the sound bite but explicitly saying -- encouraging folks to go after protesters in some situations, saying I'll pay the legal bills, and saying in my day they would have been brought out on a stretcher, you see somebody like that, "punch them in the face." And then what do we see but one protester yesterday which we just showed you on camera punching an African-American protester in the face as the guy was just walking around. I mean, he wasn't offending, he wasn't throwing punches.
PIERSON: And that also wasn't serious when Mr. Trump said that. But we don't hear the media coverage though of previous rallies. There are hundreds of thousands of people that have come to these rallies and we never see when the protesters throw themselves into a crowd of Mr. Trump's people, start swinging, throw themselves on the floor and start thrashing, because they do need organized events to try to create chaos. This is what we call organized chaos. A lot of people are already familiar with it. This is something that Americans need to be paying attention to. Because if we do not stop this issue right now, and elect someone that is going to fight for the freedom of speech and that's going to protect Americans against the will of all of these special interest groups that feed into these socialist and anarchist organizations, we are going to lose our country.
KELLY: Hmm. Katrina, thank you.
We're going to stand you by. We've got much more to get too as you can see. The streets of Chicago remain, as she put it, chaotic tonight. And this is not at all what the Trump campaign had in mind, what those 25,000 people who showed up to hear Donald Trump had in mind, although it appears to be very much what MoveOn had in mind and many others who were there to support -- as someone as Bernie Sanders, others who are Republicans who have an objection to Donald Trump. And what are we seeing on the right side of our screen, is this where we're going to hear Ted Cruz? Yes. Okay.
So, we're awaiting Ted Cruz, who was scheduled to make previous -- previous scheduled remarks. We expect him to comment on this, no doubt. We'll go there live. We'll keep our eyes in Chicago. We'll going to squeeze in a quick break while we wait.
KELLY: Welcome back, everybody. The streets of Chicago in chaos tonight as a Donald Trump rally has been shut down by a large group of protesters who did not want the candidate to speak and who eventually got their way. Here you can see some of the scenes as we watch jubilant protesters cheering their victory at shutting down the rally. Some of Bernie Sanders sign, although it's been all over the place in terms of their ideology. These are not all democrats.
There are we're told republicans, there are some Black Lives Matter folks, there are some moveon.org folks who had been encouraging folks to show up at the Donald Trump rallies upset about what they have seen at some of his rallies recently. And then you can see, well, some of the signs; No hate, no racism, no Trump. Some of the remarks Donald Trump made earlier about slow to condemn the KKK and David Duke in how so (ph) it sounded, have upset some of these protesters, and yet many people there are upset of their right to free speech being shut down -- his right to speak and theirs to hear.
You can see tensions are running high. Joining me now on the phone is another presidential candidate in this race, and that is Marco Rubio of Florida, who is also looking to pick up some delegates here in the state of Illinois on Tuesday. And this is why they're having rallies here is because Illinois is one of the states that will vote on Super Tuesday. Senator Rubio, thank you for joining us by phone. Your thoughts on what we're seeing in Chicago.
MARCO RUBIO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it's a very disturbing night for a lot of reasons. First, let me just take a moment and tell -- thank the police department in Chicago there. Tonight is a reminder that our men and women who serve in the police departments, in law enforcement are always on the front line with dealing with all these problems. Second, let me say that it is clear. Look, this is Chicago. Protesters are an industry. It is clear just from watching some of these images that this was an organized effort, an orchestrated effort on the part of groups that wanted to disrupt an event, and then Chicago is kind of a hub for that kind of activity, there's no doubt about it.
I would also say that, you know, people have a right, whether you disagree with someone what they're about to say and I most certainly disagree with many of the things that Donald Trump says and it's for I'm running against him for president. But you don't have a right to take away the first amendment right of people to speak freely. I think you've seen some of this on college campuses recently. There was an article not long ago, I think that Ben Shapiro tried to speak on a campus.
They basically shut him down. So, I think this is kind of crossing over into the broader society and it's problematic. I will say no one is blameless here. Perhaps I wouldn't say Mr. Trump is responsible for the events of tonight, but he most certainly in other events has in the past used some pretty rough language and encouraging the crowd, you know, saying things like, "in the good old days we used to beat these people up," or "I'll pay your legal bills if you rough them up."
So, I think he bears some responsibility for the general tone of the things that are happening. As far as what's happening tonight, I mean clearly, this is an orchestrated effort by people, some of them are probably being paid to do this and I think it's just sad all the way around to see these images where, you know, it clearly -- there's some level of ethnic and racial divide in how this is playing out on television. I just think it reflects very poorly on our country. I think it's sad all the way around tonight, I really do. I'm very sad for our country.
KELLY: When, you know, when you make reference to Mr. Trump's language -- you know a lot of people think it's funny. They think that's kind of funny the stuff he says, like "oh, punch him in the face." You know, like these people are irritating, they're trying to disrupt the rallies, he's had enough. People show up now to his rallies with signs that they've already written out that read "Get them out" because that's what Trump always says, "get them out" and then sometimes he adds some more colorful language.
RUBIO: Yeah, see the thing is though, when you want to be president -- look, one of the appeals of Donald Trump I believe is that he says what a lot of people wish they could say but it's not politically correct to say or it's not polite to say. And he says -- he says it on a big platform and people love it, cathartic. The problem is that when you're going to be president of the United States or when you're running for president or when you are president, you can't just say whatever you want.
These words have real consequences. Donald Trump has a big platform right now. He's the frontrunner in the Republican Party and everybody is paying attention to what he's saying and these words have consequences -- when you're president even more so. Again, I want to be clear. I am not telling you that what happened there tonight is something I blame him for because I will tell you that those people that are there are professional protesters, in an array of different interest groups.
I guarantee you some of these people are being paid to do this, and you can see it just in the interviews afterwards as well. But I am saying he does bear responsibility for some of the other things that have happened at his events including people being punched in the face, allegedly a reporter also being roughed up the other day. I think there's blame to go around here and I think it reflects -- we are entering a kind of a very disturbing moment in our political discourse in this country that is reaching a boiling point that I believe has very significant repercussions, not just for this election, but for the future of this country.
We are being ripped apart at the seams as a nation and as a people right now. And I think the president bears some blame for that as well in terms of some of the rhetoric reviews. You see some of it reflected on college campuses as well.
KELLY: How do you think this portends for the 2016 race, both the primaries on Tuesday and the republican race and then the general election in November?
RUBIO: I don't know. I haven't given it thought and to me quite frankly, that is something very -- I think the bigger issue is what's happening in America right now. Look, there's real significant anger and frustration at the direction of our country. People feel every major institution has let them down, the media, academia, organized religion, the political parties, the political process. People are hurting and they're upset and they're angry. And I think it's the job of leaders not to stoke that anger, but to use that anger and channel it in a way that allows us to reach solutions as opposed to stoke that anger in a way that drives us to a political victory on a given election year.
You know, the president flirted with this himself. I mean, President Obama has spent the last eight years dividing Americans along haves and have-nots, along ethnic lines, racial lines, gender lines in order to win elections. I think this has gone to the next level here and you know, we're seeing the consequences of it and that, in combination with the fact that, you know, I think there's a need to remind people that the first amendment allows people to disagree with issues and say things you don't agree with, which obviously is just being lost here. And then this sort of sense now on the left that if you don't like what someone is saying, you have the right to just shut them down as you see happen on many college campuses across America and you saw tonight there in Chicago.
KELLY: It will be interesting to hear more from Trump, he who has defended some of his fans at times violent behavior by saying they're very angry, you know, they're very angry. And it is clear that some of the people protesting this rally tonight and what Trump has said and what he stands for, they are very angry, too. And you know there's a question about how they should be responded to. Senator Rubio, so glad you could join us. Thank you for being here tonight.
RUBIO: Thank you.
KELLY: Joining me now with more, another republican candidate for president, Ted Cruz -- no, I'm sorry. Hold on. He's speaking live. Let's listen to him.
TED CRUZ, PRESIDENTIAL CANIDATE: We will have a respectful, substantive, issues-based discussion. But we can have differences in terms of how to turn this country around. We have genuine and real differences in this country, but we can do so in a way that appeals to our better angels instead of our worst instincts that seeks to pull us together and unite us instead or tear us apart. You know, we've seen for seven years a president who often at times of crisis has sought to divide us -- sought to divide us on racial and ethnic lines, on religious lines, on class lines.
America's better than this. We don't have to tear each other apart. Instead, we can work together for positive, proactive solutions to the real problems facing this country. Americans want jobs. We want our wages going up. We want opportunity again for young people. And we ought to be having a positive, meaningful discussion about what policies will expand opportunities for the next generation to achieve the American dream. With that, I'd be happy to answer some questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
CRUZ: I think the decision should be based on public safety. But I think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment, when the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence to punch people in the face. The predictable consequence of that is that it escalates and today is unlikely to be the last such instance. We saw earlier today in St. Louis over 30 arrested. That's not how our politics should occur.
You know, the city of Chicago in 1968 saw some ugly days when politics descended into hatred and instability and even violence. And it is my hope that in 2016 that we can appeal to our better angels and avoid going down that road once again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
CRUZ: You know, at the end of the day, finding Donald Trump's policies is a difficult endeavor...
... because Donald speaks of problems. He speaks about jobs going overseas, but when asked for a policy to fix it, he has yet to propose one. Other than his magic cure-all of negotiate better deals -- we'll have better deals to solve every problem. You know, I don't think that is a meaningful solution to the problems we're facing. I think we need economic policies to bring jobs back, to bring wages up. My campaign has from day one been focused on substance and issues and policies.
How do we fix the economy? We fix the economy by lifting the burdens on small businesses, because 2/3 of all new jobs come from small businesses. And we do that through repealing ObamaCare, through pulling back the federal regulators that are making it harder and harder for small businesses to survive. And we do that through passing a simple flat tax and abolishing the IRS. Those are meaningful policies that will bring back ...
CRUZ: Look, today what I'm focused on is an appeal to civility in the democratic discourse. You know, it was nice last night at the debate, that the debate did not feature the candidates insulting each other, making derogatory comments about each other's physical appearance, about their body parts, about spray tans. But that's not what politics is supposed to be about. Politics at the end of the day is not about any of the candidates. It's not about me, it's not about Donald, it's not about Hillary or Bernie. It's about you. It's about the American people. It's about our kids. It's about our future of this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, why is Illinois important on Tuesday? Specifically Illinois.
CRUZ: You know Illinois is tremendously important on Tuesday. Tuesday is a big election, it's a big election nationwide and I tell you Illinois is a battleground. Right now, here in the state of Illinois, Donald Trump and I are running neck and neck. We are effectively tied. And we are campaigning hard. We are campaigning hard for support here in Illinois. This race has now become a two-man race. There are only two candidates that have any credible path to becoming the republican nominee.
It takes 1,237 delegates to become the republican nominee. I have 361. Donald has 460 and 99 more than I do. Nobody else is remotely close. And Illinois will be allocating delegates and it's allocated by congressional district, this is a battle delegate by delegate by delegate. We intend to earn 1,237 delegates, and beat Donald Trump, not at a convention, but beat Donald Trump at the ballot box. And Illinois is going to have a critical choice.
If you are an Illinois republican and you don't think Donald Trump is the best choice to go head-to-head with Hillary Clinton, if you recognize as 65 to 70 percent of republicans do, that Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton, then I encourage you to unite behind our campaign, because our campaign is the only campaign that can beat Donald Trump for the republican nomination. Indeed, we're the only campaign that...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you urging the voters of Ohio to support and vote for John Kasich because if Kasich doesn't win and Trump does, you're dead?
CRUZ: I am not remotely. I am urging the voters of Ohio and Florida and Illinois and Missouri and North Carolina -- I'm urging the voters of all the state -- I started with Ohio, that's the first one I list -- I'm urging the voters of all of those states to vote for me, to beat Donald Trump. This is not a game. It's not a game of playing back and forth. This is an election that will be decided by the people and at this point, you know, there are folks in Washington, the Washington establishment is salivating at the prospect of a brokered convention where they try to parachute in some Washington establishment choice, because they don't like what the voters have done.
I think that would be catastrophic. I think that would truly cause a revolt among the voters. If you want to beat Donald Trump, and trust me, I want to beat Donald Trump because I think if he's the nominee we lose to Hillary Clinton and we lose the Supreme Court for a generation. We lose the bill of rights. If you want to beat Donald Trump, the way to beat him is at the ballot box. And at this point, our campaign has beaten him not once, not twice, not three times, but eight separate times all across this country from coast to coast, literally from Alaska to Maine. We have beaten Donald Trump over and over and over again.
And so we are working hard to earn the votes of the men and women of Illinois, the men and women of Ohio and all across this country. We are running a national campaign in every state and if you were supporting another candidate, you know, a year ago we started out with 17 candidates. It was a wonderful, rich, diverse, talented field. And yet the field has narrowed. That's the way the primary process works.
Maybe before you were supporting some other candidate. Maybe it was Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. Maybe you were supporting Rand Paul or Mike Huckabee. Maybe you're supporting Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina or maybe now you're thinking about supporting Marco Rubio or John Kasich. Every one of them are good, honorable, decent people. They're people who I like and respect and yet none of them have any path to beating Donald Trump.
And so, if you're a voter here in Illinois and you do not want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, I ask you to join us even if you were supporting another candidate. Come, let's stand together, and unite. We will have a campaign that is focused on issues and policy and substance that lays out a vision, a vision for America of jobs, of freedom, of security. A vision of America that raises wages for everyone who is struggling.
A vision of America where the president doesn't do the bidding of the special interests and the lobbyists in Washington, but instead fights as I have done every day, for the hard-working taxpayers, for the working men and women of this country who have been left behind. We will bring back morning in America if only we stand together.
KELLY: Ted Cruz making clear that candidates do bear some responsibility for what happens at their events. Pointing out that earlier today in Missouri at a Trump rally, 30 people were arrested and we have seen growing unrest at many of these events. I want to get right to Chris Stirewalt and Barry Bennett who have been waiting -- who came in tonight in our D.C. bureau to comment on what we are seeing here. Chris, let me start with you as, you know, the guy that knows more about politics than anybody I've ever known. What's going on? What's going on here?
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NES DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Well, what's going on is probably pretty predictable which is that Donald Trump has fired up people and that the people who take a different point of view gotten fired up on their own part. I think in the short term what you will see will be beneficial to Trump in the sense that -- and you see the pictures of the Trump bros who are there and they've got their cell phones out. They came to see the show. They want to see the fight.
They want to see the action. His rallies promise those fights. His rallies promise that violence. It is an enticement for people who want to feel that fire. And i think probably in the short term for his supporters this is an enticement and it says that they're against us and they're rioting against us and we're for it. Then the question is, and this is the more significant question for his campaign, when you hear what Senator Rubio says, when you hear what Senator Cruz says and republicans think, do we want to do this until November? Do we want to have it this way?
For Trump's core supporters who believe in his message and believe in him and came to see the show and you punch him and you hit him and you do whatever you have to do. When they swing at you, you swing back said Trump today or yesterday. For the people that want that, this is going to fire them up more, they're going to want it more. It's going to intensify but the republicans have to ask themselves, is this what they want to do until November?
KELLY: What do you think, Barry? I mean, the question is whether these rallies are becoming a powder keg to the danger of those present.
BARRY BENNETT, INFORMAL ADVISOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, what we saw tonight were, you know, several hundred organized protesters -- probably professional protesters-- who rushed an auditorium and took the stage because they all believed that their free speech is more important than ours. And, you know, I think that's disgusting but it happens on college campuses every day. You know? I mean, we hear stories even in Washington of Pentagon officials being kept out of universities, you know, reporters and authors being kept out of universities and shutted down by the left who they say they're for free speech but they're not.
They're only for their speech. And I think, you know, we can't allow this to happen. You know, both sides have to understand that you're entitled to your own ideas and if those ideas enflame you, then hold a press conference, write a book. Start a blog. But don't go in and try to silence other people. I mean, that's what we're seeing tonight. And you know, I just heard Marco Rubio say that we need to be more politically correct which, goodness gracious, that's the scariest thing I've heard a republican candidate say all year long.
KELLY: But Barry, I mean I think he is talking about, you know, about the comments we've been discussing like punch him in the face. Punch him in the face. Take him out on a stretcher. Do you?
BENNET: These guys, they didn't come for that reason. These guys came because they don't believe that we should build a wall. They don't believe we should secure our borders. They don't believe in any of the things that conservative republicans believe in. That's why they came.
KELLY: I think that's probably right. Don't you think that's probably right, Chris? It's not that these protesters showed up because of that language. It's just that that language can gin up the pre-existing anger of those already in attendance at the Trump rallies.
STIREWALT: I think if you used the same language that you use for a World Wrestling Entertainment match, if you used the same Smackdown talk then protesters know that they can come get on camera because they can become part of the show. Right? So, Donald Trump makes the protesters part of the show. He says, come and see. Come and see the beatings. Come and see the fighting. Come and do it because he plays it up. He likes to talk about it.
He used to work with professional wrestling and he uses the same kind of language and then people come. Then we would not be surprised when protesters, when you turn all the cameras on with every cable network, with every channel and everybody is tuned right in and Donald Trump says, violence and you will see fighting, and you will see beatings, and it will be intense and don't be surprised at that point, especially in Chicago, Illinois, for god's sake, of any city in America that you would see protests show up and say, let's do it. Let's have the row-sham-bow.
KELLY: In Trump's defense, he even last night at the debate, he tried to soften that message. He tried to acknowledge the anger of those who show up at his rallies and those who support him and said that he doesn't want it to end in violence for either side as he put it. You know, we've seen a couple of events. I mean, tonight, we had an extensive and exclusive interview of Michelle Fields who is a reported for Breitbart, which is a pro-Trump website and she claims that she was assaulted by Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski and actually filed a criminal complaint against him down in Florida today and video has emerged of what appears to be the incident which we had teed up for you.
We're not going to get to that tonight given what's happening, but we will show it to you perhaps on Monday we'll do that. But there have been more and more things and you heard Ted Cruz reference that or Marco Rubio reference it earlier tonight. I want to stand you guys by because we've got Rich Lowry who's on the phone. Rich, I know that, you know, you are the editor of National Review and you -- National Review came out against Trump and actually just endorsed Ted Cruz. It seems tough to pin this on Donald Trump, however, as a political matter when we've seen so much anger in the country boiling over for at least the past year.
RICH LOWRY, EDITOR NATIONAL REVIEW: Yeah, well, the first thing and most important thing to say about this is that it's wrong in a free society to disrupt and shut down a political rally. Period. Full stop. This is a mob. There's no other word for it and it's disgusting. But I have to say, you know, this is just one event. You don't want overdramatic about it but you begin to get the feeling there's something irreparable that's breaking in our political culture.
KELLY: What is it? And what do we do about it?
LOWRY: We're just so polarized. We're so racializeda -- to see black and white people shoving and punching people at this event. It's just so ugly and so depressing. And there's no healer or uniter on the horizon.
KELLY: Well, there was. I mean, I will say that that was the message brought by Ben Carson, who wound up getting rejected by the voters. John Kasich tries to offer that message but hasn't gain traction in the race. You know, the electorate seems to be going the different way.
LOWRY: Yeah, and Trump has benefited most because he has played in a very real passion out there. And he thrives on the polarization and we'll see it after this event. If anyone thought that Donald Trump was dominating the media prior to this, just wait until the wall to wall coverage of him this weekend and it's very likely he's going to benefit from it and if there's some significant percentage of republicans who look at this and understandably are disgusted by it and react against it and go and vote for Trump when they wouldn't have necessarily on Tuesday and Trump is now a martyr to free speech, that could be a decisive impact on this race.
KELLY: How do you see this playing out in November? Let's say this goes forward. You know, you've got Trump who was, you know, make America great again and then you got Hillary with Make America whole again. He's out there acknowledging he's angry and so are his supporters. She's out there
saying we need more love. So how does this -- if she and he become the respective nominees, where does this kind of thing go?
LOWRY: Well, it is just going to be a highly charged and highly negative trade. And you look at George w. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008, both of them were fresh and new on the national stage. And both of their electoral appeal was based partly on not being hated by the other side. Not being threatening to the other side. George w. Bush sold himself as a compassionate conservative.
Barack Obama, it's easy to forget now, but sold himself as a moderate pragmatist in 2008. Neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, if he's the nominee, are going to be able to do that. They're both highly polarizing figures. Their unfavorable ratings are off the charts. So, if it's the two of them, it will be one of the most negative and ugly campaigns in American history.
KELLY: And on that note, Rich, thank you. Thank you for calling in.
Lowry: Thanks so much.
KELLY: Think about -- think about where we are right now as a country. 2008, Barack Obama ran on a platform of hope and change. He was the one who was going to go to Washington and change the culture there and unite the country. There is no blue America. There is no red America.
He expressed it at the State of the Union one of his regrets was language that was too divisive and that he hadn't made good on that promise of hope and change and here we sit March of 2016 as Rich put it, black versus white, democrat versus republican, republican versus republican. And on it goes into the election season. My friend Sean Hannity is up. He has Trump. Stay tuned.
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