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Kelly File

Trump's NY gala remarks receive mixed reaction from voters

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," April 14, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Welcome, everybody.  Breaking tonight, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump just wrapping up his speech at a big Republican dinner, just days ahead of the big New York primary.

Welcome to "The Kelly File" at 9:23 p.m. I'm Megyn Kelly. For the first time since the last GOP debate, the entire Republican field is in the same room at the same time tonight. Governor John Kasich should be coming up shortly. We'll take a listen to that. And then Senator Ted Cruz who may go after Mr. Trump here in Trump's stronghold state of New York. And while we wait for all of this, we have a special show for you tonight.

Joining us live to react to these candidates and weigh in on the state of this race, a "Kelly File" focus group of Republican voters who will be casting ballots in just five days. Panel, welcome. All of you. Thank you so much for being here.

All right. So, let's start with this. I'm fascinated to know, because I was watching your faces during Trump's remarks, what did you think of that?  It was an unusual sort of speech given what we normally hear from Donald Trump. In the back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The speech was great. He was substantive. He was personable. He was funny.  It was all the best of Trump. Let me finish.  It was all the best of Trump. That's why he's leading not just in New York, but going forward, Maryland, Pennsylvania, all the way to California.

KELLY: Right here in the middle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It was a great thing. I think he was hitting on a lot of valuable points and speaking about New York. And as retired law enforcement, one of the things that really hit home with me was about 9/11, how everybody in the city came together, the values that we have here, and how we move forward and I think it was great.

KELLY: Go ahead, you ma'am, in the green.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that this man is using 9/11 and the deaths of thousands of people particularly Father Judge to get votes is disgraceful.

KELLY: Why?

(ALL TALKING AT ONCE)

He just visited the 9/11 site, what, just a few days ago. Not only that, this man is a multibillionaire. Like, he likes to tell us over and over again, but didn't he file and get a grant for small business when that was supposed to be for small businesses trying to stay open at ground zero?  It's a disgrace and he should be ashamed of himself, especially because those were his own words that Ted Cruz was talking about, with New York values. And that kind of crap that he just said, now, after thousands of people died, that man should get on his knees and pray to God for forgiveness. That was disgraceful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're looking at all the wrong way. Let me explain something to you? As I was watching this -- as I was watching this, I thought about one thing. You know who Donald Trump is? Donald Trump is me. Donald Trump is you. Donald Trump is me. Donald Trump is everyone of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, he's not me!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is every one of you. Donald Trump is the guy --

(ALL TALKING AT ONCE)

Donald Trump is -- that sit around and say, you know what? The last seven- and-a-half years have been horrible and we should do this and we should do that and we should do this. Donald Trump talked about this in Oprah about 20 years ago. He said the same things that --

(ALL TALKING AT ONCE)

KELLY: I want to ask you a question. In Trump's defense, though. How many of you live in New York? Everybody, right? How many of you have been to the 9/11 museum. Those of who haven't, raise your hand. Does it mean you don't care about 9/11? You know how it goes, you live in the city and you don't go to the stuff that's in your city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every Republican knows what he meant by New York values. He meant the --

KELLY: Ted Cruz, you're talking about?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm talking about Trump. Everybody knows, yes --

KELLY: Ted Cruz originally said, I don't have, you know, Trump has New York values.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. And every conservative Republican knows what that means.

KELLY: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It means, when you're a conservative Republican that lives in New York, you can't talk at work, you can't say things, you could lose your job because you have the wrong values. You're in danger with constant political correctness. Not one of the conservative Republicans is offended that Ted Cruz said "New York values" because that's what he was talking about. Not about 9/11.

KELLY: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Ted Cruz though, I mean, I'm a Republican, and I do support Trump. But I felt like that was offensive. I mean, I think that --

KELLY: What was offensive?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About the New York values though. I think that --

KELLY: What Ted Cruz said?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's stereotypical to say, New Yorkers this, New Yorkers that. I think they we're strong people. And even if it was about Liberals, I felt it from a conservative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And let me tell you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from Connecticut and I was offended, I mean, you know, we're all --

KELLY: When Ted Cruz saying, New York values.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Ted Cruz attacked New York values. You know, we all share those values. You don't go attacking a state or a city like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would just like to say, that I think this is the whole problem, the fact that we're arguing over values instead of going with a candidate who has experience, John Kasich, 18 years on the House Armed Services, unlike arguing over petty issues of what somebody said.  Instead of what they're actually going to do for our country.

KELLY: You, sir, with the hat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This entire phrase. This entire phrase. "New York Values" came -- the reason it came about is because two years ago, Tim Russert interviewed Trump and he said, are you for gay marriage? Are you for gun control? Are you for abortion? And Trump shrugged his shoulders, and he said I'm from New York, I've got to support New York values.

KELLY: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, even though I'm quote-unquote, "a republican." When Cruz pointed that out and then when he replayed that in his ads, Trump called him, oh, what liar, even though you can see it taped.  That's where the phrase --

(ALL TALKING AT ONCE)

KELLY: At the top. Top corner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the things you have to take into consideration, I understand this is an introductory speech by Donald Trump to the masses in New York. However, he still hasn't focused on a key points in this election. What are you going to do when you get in there? And just going back to what you mentioned earlier, in terms of him not having an understanding to what happened in Colorado, if you're going to come in and be the head of state, you need to know the playing field before you stepped in. You're running for president, you're not running for a minimal office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's winning across the country though, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is winning across the country.

KELLY: You sir, here you go. Sorry. Yep. Go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. And he brings up a great point. So, everyone is concerned about Obama came into office and that he had a very little experience. First terms Senator in the whole nine yards. So it was Ted Cruz, bingo, we don't want that. Trump has no experience. John Kasich is the only one that has state experience and federal government experience for decades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the same time, Trump owes no one anything.

KELLY: In the top in the white shirt. You sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like the fact that his speech showed a mastery of technical details.

KELLY: It was unusual. We haven't heard that level.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was refreshing.

KELLY: I wondered whether you would think it's boring because he's got details or was it fascinating because it showed you really what he does on a day-to-day basis?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A cabinet member running the Transportation Department, building, rebuilding America's infrastructure -- that's what he's good at.  Not as president.

(ALL TALKING AT ONCE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he a divider or is he uniter? This was inspiring to me, him talking about this and New Yorkers getting together and expressing their values. You know, we just discussed this. This is what we should -- this is what -- the side of him that we want to see about.  

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