'The Five' preview the first presidential debate

Latest national polls reveal virtual deadlock


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," September 26, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone, I'm Dana Perino along with Kimberly Guilfoyle, Juan Williams, Eric Boling and Greg Gutfeld. It's 5 o'clock in Hempstead, New York City. This is "The Five."


PERINO: Welcome to a very special edition of "The Five," live from Hofstra University, (inaudible) America has been waiting for, for the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As many as 100 million people are expected to watch it all unfold. We're excited to be here ahead of tonight's big showdown. We thank all these guys, because I don't think any other show has had this kind of treatment. So, how are the candidates prepping in the final moments? We begin with Fox team coverage. Carl Cameron is following the Trump campaign and Jennifer Griffin has the latest on team Clinton. We go first up, Campaign Carl, take it away.

CARL CAMERON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Dana. Well, Donald Trump has spent the last several days getting ready for this debate. Probably spent more time in Trump Tower preparing for this than just about anything else he has done and more time back in the tower than during his ferociously busy campaign for this general election. And he was scheduled to be here an hour ago, actually, to go through and have a walk through and take a look at the stage at this moment. We're told now that that's been pushed back and Trump won't actually arrive here at Hofstra University until another hour from now. Then he will get his walk through. He will go behind closed doors and then the debate starts at 9 o'clock. He has spent a tremendous amount of time in the last month and a half to giving policy speeches with a teleprompter which aides say has helped shape his ability to talk more articulately, more crisply, more precisely about policy tonight. He will be working very hard to try to show that he has the type of temperament, and he has the fitness, and the command, and the reserved - - and the ability to stay reserved and not take bait from Hillary Clinton tonight, to show that he can be a full-fledged commander-in-chief. On the other hand, he also wants very much to give Hillary Clinton every opportunity to show voters why the Trump campaign argues voters don't like her. Whether it's because she gets pedantic or defensive or she begins to obfuscate in tap dance. Trump will be looking for ways to try to get under her skin just as he keeps himself on guard to avoid her to trying to get under his. Dana?

PERINO: All right Carl, thank you so much. Let's now go to Jennifer Griffin with the latest on what Hillary Clinton is doing. Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dana, we've just learned that Hillary Clinton is still in, at her home in Long Island. Debate prep is now over, but she did, in fact, miss the walk through here. She decided to skip that walk through and she will be coming here, driving to Hofstra with her husband Bill Clinton, a little while from now. What we have learned in the meantime, speaking to her communication director, Jen Palmieri, is that she did not do a complete mockup, a complete 90-minute debate today. She was prepping up until a little while ago, but what she has done a complete mockup of a couple of them, we've told, we've been told in recent days. But the moment that, you know, we've reported that her, that her longtime aide Philippe Reines was the stand-in for Donald Trump. He has known for his combativeness. But what really threw her or what we are told he threw out at her at the beginning of one of these mock debate is he came out as nice Donald Trump. Donald Trump who praised his opponent and congratulated on her on passing that great glass ceiling, becoming the first female presidential candidate of a major American party. So they are preparing for everything at this moment. We know yesterday that when she went to visit her daughter Chelsea, that she went, we think, to her granddaughter Charlotte's birthday party. She was seen coming out of that Kids Club in the Flatiron District before meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And, so, what we know is that for the past four days, Hillary Clinton has been prepping, doing debate prep at the hotel about 17 minutes from her house, the Doral Arrowwood Hotel in Rye Brook, New York. Back to you, Dana.

PERINO: All right, Jennifer, thank you so much. So what can we expect from the candidates on the debate stage tonight? Their camps weighed in with this.


TIM KAINE, DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know this is about Hillary Clinton. When the lights are bright like they are now, she brings the A-plus game to the table. Trump is a performer and an entertainer. I'm not taking that away from him, but he can't get away with like doing the 15-second thing and then, and then, you know, walking away, not taking questions.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: He will answer the question as they are asked. He's not going to be robotic and scripted, you know, we know Hillary Clinton is. People want to see a future commander-in-chief president of the United States who is nimble and resilient and can answer questions that haven't been preprogrammed in their head through all this secretive debate prep.


PERINO: Raising the stakes even higher, the latest national polls show a virtual deadlock ahead of tonight's debate. A new Quinnipiac poll at the race is too close to call with Clinton at 44 percent, Trump at 43, but third party candidate are included. And a Bloomberg poll has Trump ahead of Clinton, 43 to 41 in a four-way race. I don't know why they are booing, because I thought they liked it. Let me start this way. Greg, it was a year ago when there were still 17 republican candidates. So we did say on "The Five," one debate, we would pay money to see with between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Are you ready?

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Oh, I can't wait.

CROWD: Greg! Greg! Greg!

GUTFELD: Thank you. There is less space between these polls than between (inaudible).


GUTFELD: This race is tighter than Ren,e Zellweger's face. And by the way, you know what's amazing?


GUTFELD: What's amazing to me, I'm shocked that none of the major networks are carrying this debate, only Fox News is. (inaudible) CNN isn't covering it. MSNBC, they're all sticking to regular programming.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Reruns, reruns.

GUTFELD: Reruns of "I Love Lucy."

BOLLING: Lots of applauds (ph) or something.

GUTFELD: Exactly.

BOLLING: Yeah, it's amazing.

GUTFELD: I can't believe only Fox News and FBN and the Spice Channel are carrying the debate.

BOLLING: That's important.

PERINO: Well, we're not going to miss it. We're going to be here. Eric, what do you think is going to happen?

BOLLING: I think it's fantastic. I took a walk over to the spin room. It's magnetic over there, electric .

PERINO: Spinning.

BOLLING: . it's spinning.

GUILFOYLE: Spinning.

BOLLING: And then there was an old (ph) row, media row. It's amazing. Hundred million people plus how many more on digital (inaudible)? These people at Hofstra .

PERINO: (inaudible).

BOLLING: All there. Watch this. Watch this. Ready.

CROWD: Eric! Eric! Eric!

GUILFOYLE: Eric trained them.

BOLLING: That's what -- it's not just here in Hofstra, it's everywhere. The country is waiting for tonight.

PERINO: How about you, Juan? It's a (inaudible). It's a tight race. The first debate usually, you got 2.5 percent above in the polls after the first debate is considered the winner? What do you think will happen?

WILLIAMS: What I know what's interesting to me is I like the inside game. So, when I went over there today, I was just curious. Now they set up the podiums, so as to diminish Donald Trump's height advantage and stature next to Hillary Clinton, make sure that they appear similar. Hillary Clinton is apparently won the opportunity to have the first question or make the first opening statement. They each get two-minute opening statements and there are not going to be any direct questions. So she can ask him a question, he can ask her a question, it will come from the moderator. And then once the moderator gets a response, at that point, there will be some interaction between the two of them. And finally, no breaks, Dana.

PERINO: That sounds like marriage counseling.


PERINO: It's like down -- and not that I've been. I haven't.


PERINO: (inaudible). Kimberly, you did a Facebook live earlier today.


PERINO: You were talking about just the atmosphere here and the students.

GUILFOYLE: Yeah, taking walkthrough to the all students which are fabulous over here at the university.

CROWD: (cheering)

GUILFOYLE: (inaudible), a lot of enthusiasm.

CROWD: (cheering)

PERINO: I mean (inaudible).

GUTFELD: I don't think that --


GUTFELD: I don't think this is happening over at the CNN or the MSNBC. I don't think it's happening there.

PERINO: What gives you that idea?

BOLLING: Especially since they're not televising that debate.


GUILFOYLE: Yes. Who started that rumor?

BOLLING: (inaudible).

PERINO: So would you have any last minute advice for any other candidates?

GUTFELD: Resist the urge, whatever the urge is. You know the --


GUTFELD: You know the insult that sounds great in your head?

PERINO: (inaudible).

GUTFELD: Sometimes it is better in your head. I have learned this many times on "The Five."

PERINO: You are lying.

GUTFELD: I have to go to the office.


GUTFELD: I'm asked why, why, why.

GUILFOYLE: And you get the e-mail, why?

GUTFELD: Also, you steal from your opponent. It wouldn't be such a bad thing for her to have a zinger and for him to have a fact.

BOLLING: Yeah, very --


BOLLING: I have a couple.



BOLLING: I think she is going to be, try and they will gonna try -- Hillary is going to try to lure him into the -- what his temperament? That temperament thing is it's been huge; it's been the most effective ad. I think she -- he should push back on that. Stay calm. Don't brawl with her. Don't be the bully. Also, stay on message. The message is, you're -- she's the insider, I'm the outsider. This is worked through the primaries. Stay on that, stay on message. And then again, one more time, Hillary, how much is a gallon of gas? Here is a quick question. She's not going to be able to answer that.

PERINO: I don't understand why you think that Hillary -- that Donald Trump would know the answer to that more than Hillary Clinton.

BOLLING: Listen.

GUILFOYLE: No, I don't know.

BOLLING: I said he's better prepared than she is.

PERINO: Neither of them drives themselves.

GUILFOYLE: Dana, what about -- I think the thing that when you talked about as well on your show is about the (AUDIO GAP), that something when you do the polling, actually it sticks and resonates that people have a lot of dissatisfaction, distrust with her about her credibility, ability to be commander-in-chief because of this e-mail scandal more than anything else. It tends to be resonating even more than the health questions. So if I were Donald Trump, I would try to get in to make those points and get a few attack points on her in that regard.

PERINO: Juan, earlier this weekend, or over the weekend, might have been five hours ago, like all the time is running together for me, but Stuart Stevens who was the .


PERINO: . campaign manager and a prepped Mitt Romney for debates, he had a suggestion for Hillary Clinton, not hadn't heard, which is to say -- just forget about being likeable and just prosecute the case relentlessly.


PERINO: Do you think that's something that she might consider doing?

WILLIAMS: Mistake, I would think. Because I -- remember, she's the first woman. And so one of the suggestions I've been hearing repeatedly today is, she's got to smile. And a lot of people take that as, oh, that's a misogynous comment, the first woman has this much. She can't be serious. Nobody says that about a guy. But I think it's just simply true. She's got to come across as personable, authentic. And remember --

GUILFOYLE: He should smile, too, though.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. Oh, I --

GUILFOYLE: You think?

WILLIAMS: Yeah. But I --

PERINO: He will.

WILLIAMS: I don't think anybody saying that to him. I think they're saying it to her for a specific reason that they think of her as the prosecutor.

GUTFELD: But Juan, first they've got to find the software that makes her smile.

WILLIAMS: There you go.

GUTFELD: And I don't think that's been developed yet for Hillary 7.0.

BOLLING: Here is the thing, though. Al Gore got in trouble for the facial expressions.

PERINO: And sighing.

BOLLING: And that's to (inaudible), I expected the size .


BOLLING: And the facial expressions? Donald Trump does that a lot, though. Every single debate, you know he hears something he doesn't like, he will - -

PERINO: But people kind of like it with him.

BOLLING: And they do. I wonder if it's going the opposite for them.

PERINO: Back in Al Gore, it seemed like he was being a jerk when Trump does it kind of funny, for some people that like him. You know like -- it's like his followers.

GUTFELD: What happens? Could it be like a romantic comedy where they fall in love?

PERINO: Well --

GUTFELD: You know how they start at the beginning .


GUTFELD: . and they hate each other?

GUILFOYLE: You know Juan likes to be like that --

GUTFELD: I mean, halfway through. They're staring into each other's eyes and then they just kiss.

PERINO: Well, there is something a little bit different, Juan, this time around, which is, a lot of people when they finally get to the point, the two opponents kind of know each other from governing circles. These two actually know each other from social circles.

GUILFOYLE: Weddings.


PERINO: Do you think that will change anything?

WILLIAMS: Well, no. But you know what I think, there's a lot of animus to be just once about, and one of the difficult is for Hillary Clinton is, I don't think people want her to be the one to somehow remind people how much she doesn't like Trump or that he doesn't like her of all the things, because they don't want to get in .


WILLIAMS: . to a name calling deal, but because if it starts, though, I will say this Dana. It's to his disadvantage if he's gonna go up there and call her Crooked Hillary. That just doesn't play well. But on the other hand, if she was to somehow start that, it would also, I think be an error for her.

PERINO: All right. Any last thoughts, Kimberly?

GUILFOYLE: Yeah. I just think this is a really big opportunity for both of them. I think they both have a lot to gain in terms of showing that they are presidential. That they have the ability, the stamina, the wherewithal to be commander-in-chief and get up there and look presidential. Don't take cheap shots. And show people that you have respect for the office of the president. Yeah, I think that's going to be important.

GUTFELD: You know if, but if people want to get a taste of more politics, go to ESPN, they have Monday night football. And the protest -- and the football players are going to be protesting the no touch policy at the local strip clubs.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my God.

WILLIAMS: That could be --

PERINO: I mean you will want to see that.

GUTFELD: They're going to be sitting down during the national anthem.

PERINO: Rig (ph)! All right, coming up, the spotlight will also be on debate moderator Lester Holt, should his job include fact-checking the candidates during tonight's face-off? More on that when we return at this very special edition of "The Five." Now more music from the Hofstra Pep band.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, one, two, three, four!


GUILFOYLE: Welcome back to a special edition of "The Five" live from Hofstra University. Our big focus tonight will also be on debate moderator Lester Holt, and whether or not his role should include fact checker during the live showdown. Clinton's camp says they're worried Trump will not be telling the truth. While Trump's team claims Clinton is gaining the rest. Watch.


ROBBY MOOK, HILLARY CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We are concerned that Donald Trump may lie, he may throw misinformation out there and Hillary will have to spend all of her time trying to correct the record rather than talking about the things she wants to.

CHARLIE ROSE, CBS "THIS MORNING" CO-HOST: What do you expect the moderator to do?

MOOK: Well, all that we're asking is that the record be checked, and so if Donald Trump lies, which he has repeatedly done in the past, that be simply checked.

CONWAY: I think that the Clinton campaign has clearly been gaining the rest. Have been talking to the media for a week now saying, it's your job to make sure that Donald Trump is checked -- fact-checked in real time. I'm just surprised the campaign manager would try to lower expectations that dramatically for his own candidate. But look, they know that campaign is -- campaign debates are not Hillary Clinton's sweet spot.


GUILFOYLE: Meanwhile, an official with the debate commission caution against moderators fact-checking.


JANET BROWN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: I think, personally, if you start getting into fact-checking, I'm not sure what is a big fact, what's a little fact? And if you and I have different sources of information, does your source about the unemployment rate agree with my source? I don't think it's a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopedia Britannica.


GUILFOYLE: OK. So a lot of back and forth between the two camps, Dana, where each side is trying to say -- and this is interesting, because you really see a big push from Robby and what others to say, "Hey, we don't feel to feel that it's Hillary Clinton's place to have to fact-check and correct Donald Trump." And they're trying to push that message also this morning about the POLITICO article saying that, "Oh, this is somebody who doesn't tell the truth." Kind of a little bit of a switching around in terms of the attack.

PERINO: Well, I can get it from there. If I was put in their shoes, I might have done the same thing. I do think it is most effective if the candidates -- himself or herself, is able to do that themselves. You don't have to do it. The moderator doesn't have to do it. He just set the conversation. They're not gonna -- there are rules about how they can interact with each other and then Lester Holt, I think one of the hard things is making them adhere to the rules, especially the time of used.

GUILFOYLE: Poor Hester Holt. We're going to pray for him tonight. Bolling.



BOLLING: It's not a bipartisan debate commission; it's a nonpartisanship debate commission.


BOLLING: Which means there's no partisan whatsoever. And they have come up with a rule that the debate moderation not in fact, fact-check the comments that come from the two, the two candidates. I think it's important to understand, it's called the moderator.


BOLLING: You moderate the debate, you moderate the amount of time, the pace of the show; not be the judge, not be the fact-checking judge. So, I think it's smart. I think -- I hope Lester Holt will lay back on trying to fact- check everything. You can't have every fact on every comment made. You can't have that at your disposal. So -- and I think Chris Wallace, the final debate has said, he will, in fact, let them debate and let them -- let each other fact-check each other.

GUILFOYLE: Now you remember Greg, the whole controversy with Mitt Romney and Candy Crowley --


GUILFOYLE: He's got a lot of chit-chat, some chatter after the debate saying that she, perhaps, shouldn't have fact-checked Romney.

GUTFELD: You know, I think that, we live in era where nobody cares about facts anymore, right? This has been a pretty fact-free 2016. And you think about when you come up with stats about what's going on in law enforcement or starts about climate change, people make up their minds on an emotional level these days, and they're just -- nobody is listening anymore. And I think that the moderator is kind of like a three-way mirror in today's myth (ph). It's to show you all, how everything looks all around. He's not supposed to, you know -- but the question is, if somebody lies to you, what lie insults you the most? Like if the lie, if the lie -- when somebody lies to you and it is -- they expect you to be dumb enough to believe that lie. That's the person you don't vote for.

GUILFOYLE: There you go. So Juan, what about tonight and the role of Lester Holt? How should he does (inaudible) --

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, there's a lot of equivalency going on here between Clinton and Trump, but the reason at this issue is so large, has to do with the fact that when you look at the major claims made by the candidate, Trump is rated as having made like 60 percent false claims versus about 13 percent for Hillary Clinton. And so, people are saying, well, it's not fair. You are grading Trump by a different system if you don't say --

GUILFOYLE: It's like grading him on a curve.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. What's the truth? What's really going on? I don't think given the pressure, given what you mentioned Kimberly, about what happened with Candy Crowley in (inaudible); even if you went back in time, remember the last moderator got a lot of attention was Bernie Shaw when he asked Dukakis what he would do if he believe in death penalty and he the (inaudible) as white being raped.

BOLLING: White being killed, yeah.

WILLIAMS: And then Dana and I have argued about Max Frankel asking Ford about, you know, Russian domination, soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

PERINO: I just think Ford gets a bubble wrap on that.

WILLIAMS: OK, I'll appreciate that.

GUILFOYLE: Dana is representing him well.

WILLIAMS: I hear that.


WILLIAMS: But I'm just telling you, I think all of this adds up to a very unique position for Lester Holt, which is, he, ideally, shouldn't be an issue, but he is an issue going in.

PERINO: Well, and it wasn't necessarily just the Hillary Clinton campaign that talked about the moderator. Last week, it was Donald Trump who said .

WILLIAMS: Set them (inaudible).

PERINO: . and he probably won't get a fair deal because he's like Lester Holt is a democrat.


PERINO: Turns out Lester Holt is a registered republican, apparently. And when Kellyanne Conway was asked about that this morning, if that was a lie, and she said, "Well, no, because that would -- to lie would mean that you knew that he was a democrat." And, so there are shades of this that are .

BOLLING: Yeah, but don't forget the .

PERINO: . contrary.

BOLLING: . the vegan whopper of all lies.

GUILFOYLE: What's the whopper, it's a Big Mac.


PERINO: I'm just talking about Lester Holt.

BOLLING: I didn't send any classified material like e-mail .

WILLIAMS: Oh, please.

BOLLING: . or this one. I notice Dana opened the show saying, -- or I'm sorry, Jennifer Griffin said that Hillary Clinton was coming from her house in Long Island. Not the Chappaqua home, not the estate in D.C. Remember about a year and a half ago she said we were broke when we left the White House. I mean, these are lies, too.

WILLIAMS: You know, again, to me .


WILLIAMS: . it comes across as you are trying to make an equivalence where none exists. To, you know, I find Lester Holt's position, very tricky, though, because it will be very easy for the --Trump campaign to say, there goes back the mainstream media. We knew they are against us .


WILLIAMS: . that's why I think that's tough for him. I think that Trump people, though, went for one this weekend when they said, oh, well, we're going to invite Gennifer Flowers to get even with the invitation --

BOLLING: Yeah, but Juan --


WILLIAMS: Again, there's no equivalence? Mark Cuban versus Gennifer Flowers?

BOLLING: There was a time at all that Matt Lauer moderated. He did a nice job moderating. Now a lot of people --


BOLLING: Most people thought Trump came away the victor of that .


BOLLING: . and the Clinton campaign and the left-wing media said it was terrible. Lauer did a terrible job.


WILLIAMS: I did think he did a good job because I think he hammered Hillary Clinton and he never, ever held Trump to the fire --


PERINO: Oh, come on.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, stop. Not get a riot. Back to your corner guys, you got to say (inaudible) directly ahead. You got it, Megyn Kelly joins us to pregame tonight's battle between Trump and Clinton on this special edition of "The Five," live from Hofstra University. Don't go away.



BOLLING: Welcome back to a very special edition of "The Five," live from Hofstra University. Thanks to the pep band for joining us for this hour. We're just over three hours away from a highly-anticipated Trump versus Clinton showdown.

Joining us now with a preview of tonight's epic faceoff is our good friend, Megyn Kelly. Megyn is hosting a special post-debate edition of "The Kelly File" tonight at 11 Eastern.

Now, Megyn, I'm sure a lot of people have asked you, if you were the moderator tonight, what would be the first question you would ask. I would like to know, given the fact that we may have 100 million people watching tonight, what would be the last question you'd leave the viewers with?

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Well, first of all, how'd you get a band and a pep squad?

BOLLING: It's "The Five." They follow us around.

KELLY: I think Bret and I are irritated already. Why don't we have that?


KELLY: I want that on "The Kelly File."

I would say there is nothing off limits. There's nothing off limits. These two want the highest office in the land. So I like them so much.

PERINO: Bring them with you tonight.

KELLY: If you use the right sort of decorum when you ask it, you can ask almost anything. It's how they handle it. Right? I mean, no matter how offensive the question is, they have to handle themselves with poise.

I mean, I think you could go to the Bill Clinton place with her. Right? The past. She's been so critical of Trump on this issue. And say this is what they say -- I don't think that's off limits. But you have to handle it gently and professionally. And then see how the candidates do.

BOLLING: Now we'll bring it around. Dana, do you have a question?

PERINO: Well, I do. When I left the apartment today, Peter said, "Take a moment and appreciate the historic nature of what you're going to get to do." Being a part of these presidential debates is a really big deal.

Four years ago, when you were there with President Obama, he was the incumbent president, the first African-American. And we do have the first woman nominee for one of our major parties. And so I just wonder if you -- when you're there in the room, because you were there in 2012, like, how important are those historical moments for you to just sort of absorb before you have to commentate?

KELLY: Those are my favorite nights. I mean, these are by far my favorite nights. It's so exciting, especially, these nights are the best, even better than when we're moderating, because I don't have to do any of the work. I can just sit there almost like a spectator and take it all in. You truly have a front-row seat for history.

But tonight is going to be especially dynamic, because these two personalities are so diverse. I mean, I was reading something today that said she's this policy wonk who will bone up on everything there is to know. And, you know, you name it, Syria and so on. And he could reference the size of his manhood again. I mean, they could not be any more different than they are. And that's part of the -- you know, what makes it so dynamic. Anything could happen and probably will.

BOLLING: And the likelihood of 100 million viewer audience.

K.G. has a question.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. So I was just thinking, what would your advice be to Lester Holt, since you've done the debate before and you had that powerful first question? What's kind of going through his mind at this point in the prep? Because this is such a big event.

KELLY: Well, I think he is right that he doesn't need to be the mother of all fact checkers. Right? I do think that's her job. And I think her campaign took some risks this week in borderline sounding a little weak. And like, "He better get up there." It's like, you want to be commander in chief. Like, I'm sure you can handle Donald Trump and a few stretches of the truth, Mrs. Clinton. You don't need Lester to save you.

However, as the moderator, you have somewhat of a duty to say, "All right, you were against the Iraq War, but you did tell Howard Stern" -- right? If it's, like, ten seconds or less, I think you can get in and out. If it's a clear, you know, lie. Right? Other than that, I wouldn't touch it.

Because look what happened to Candy Crowley. I think -- my own personal view on her was she made those comments in earnest. She wasn't trying to mislead on Benghazi. She was trying to move them along, because they had gotten bogged down in the conversation too long. And in a good faith effort, I think, to just wrap it up, she said something that wasn't right.

Mitt Romney got scared, I think, that she had it right and he had it wrong. It changed the course of the election.

BOLLING: She was probably wrong, but Mitt wasn't ready. He wasn't ready to combat that.

KELLY: When you're the moderator, you're under enough pressure. Right? I mean, poor Lester. He's the one I feel the worst for. I mean, it's a privilege. But still, like, he's got to be so nervous out there. It's a lose-lose situation for him.

So if I were Lester, I would ask the tough questions, be fair to both sides, and then get the hell out of there.

BOLLING: All right. Greg.

KELLY: Stay out of it.

GUTFELD: You are really the expert in the first question.


GUTFELD: So what -- what suggestion would you give Lester Holt? What should be his first question to Donald Trump? And should it be about your first question?

KELLY: I do think the first question, especially at a debate, should be bare knuckles.


KELLY: I mean, I just think that's when they're most off-kilter. Right? They're nervous. They're only human.


KELLY: But we're journalists.

GUTFELD: Well, not Hillary. That might be a robot.

KELLY: We're journalists, so we don't care if we're mean. But that's when you want to ask them the tough questions.

Because Dana could tell us more about this. But I understand when, you know, you're in the White House, it's stressful. And they need to know how to function under pressure. So why not put a little pressure on them and see how they can do the dance?

I mean, there's so much fodder for both of these guys. And part of the drama with her will be how does her health hold up? Before, she said she's suffering from pneumonia. Is she over that? Is she going to have to give us a disclaimer about "I might be coughing"? She must be nervous if that's the case. She knows that half the country has been told she's dying. It's like one cough is going to lead to conspiracy theories.

BOLLING: Ninety minutes, though. Ninety minutes, no coughs.

KELLY: I don't know if I could do that.

BOLLING: It's going to be rough.

Can I go from one former moderator to another one, ask the question?

WILLIAMS: Obviously, when you asked that first question, it was about women. Do you think that topic comes up today? Already, the Clinton campaign is running ads...


WILLIAMS: ... that show language that Donald Trump has used in talking about women, defamatory type of language.


WILLIAMS: Does that come back tonight?

KELLY: That will be interesting. Because it's almost like let's see if she can put her money where her mouth is. Because she's -- her mouth where her money is. She's rolling out all these campaigns to hit him on that issue. Does she have the guts to say that right to him? Does she have the guts to look him right in the eye and say, "These are the thing you said. Now explain them. Now I'm here to hold you accountable, for all those little girls I put in my ad." Or will she let the ad do the talking? I mean, either way, it's a strategic move for her.

But I mean, listen, if you took any time to study Donald Trump back in August of 2015, you would have seen -- you would have seen that he has made controversial comments about women.

WILLIAMS: Without a doubt.

KELLY: So it was like back then I was just trying to see what would likely be an issue for him. And sure enough, it's become a big issue for him. But what does she have the nerve to do when he's standing right there, you know, the Donald Trump who is an infamously strong counterpuncher?

PERINO: And is there a line that she shouldn't cross? Right? Because...

KELLY: Especially on gender.

PERINO: Right?

KELLY: It's like you don't want to be up there, like, "I'm a woman and so my only issue is about women." She might be better -- one of her guests is going to be the mother of a disabled child. And that is supposedly a friendship that was born after he insulted Serge Kovaleski of "The New York Times." Or the friendship blossomed then. In any event...


GUILFOYLE: What about your special tonight?

BOLLING: We're going to talk about that in one second, but they're wrapping us. I want to show you one thing first. You guys ready?



BOLLING: "The Five." "The Five."

Thank you to Megyn. And be sure to watch a special edition of "The Kelly File," live, 11 p.m. Eastern tonight for post-debate analysis.

But up next, Greg shares his debate prep tips. That and more when we come right back with this special edition of "The Five," live from Hofstra University.

GUTFELD: Cow bell!



GUTFELD: Welcome back. All right. I've tried to get through this. I asked them to play some Slayer. They don't know Slayer.

BOLLING: Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga.

PERINO: Later on I have my cow bell.

GUTFELD: Here's my debate prep: I am going to be drunk. Really drunk.

After all, how can this thing live up to the hype? The debate is billed as two Tasmanian devils being tossed into a blender with a nitroglycerin chaser. Anything short of a zombie blood-feast will be a bust.

So what should you look for when watching? The person, on stage, who will do the least amount of damage to the country.

That's why I vote: Not to get stuff done, but to prevent stuff from getting done. The concept of limited government may be dying, so it's now about slowing the bloat.

Thanks to endless pandering, bureaucracy must expand to cover all the promises. So who do you trust: the shady bureaucrat, or the impulsive autocrat?

It's sobering. Which is why I won't be.

Tonight, we might be entertained, but will we be reassured? So ask yourself one last thing: Which one is a better fit for the world today? After all, Rome really didn't fall; it jumped.


BOLLING: No music.

GUTFELD: Discussion. Tips for the viewer?

GUILFOYLE: Tips for the viewer? Well, if you are not invited to watch it with Greg Gutfeld or Dana Perino or Bolling or Juan, you can come over to my place. I'm going to do some Facebook live.

Here's what I think you should do. Look for somebody that you feel speaks to you, that you feel confident about to entrust your family, your children, your relatives with, that has the solution in terms of the economy, national security, a good focus on immigration. There's lots of things to look for. Someone that you feel that, you know, is credible and trustworthy. I think it's very important.

GUTFELD: E.B., what should the viewers pay attention to?

BOLLING: I think this whole -- who looks presidential. Here's a great tip. Turn off the volume. Just watch for 20 minutes and see who's winning. You'll probably get a good idea of who's winning or losing the debate.

I just got informed, I have a ticket. I have a seat to get in the debate. I'm over the moon right now. These things are like getting a 50 yard line at the Super Bowl.

GUTFELD: Can we ask you how you got it?

BOLLING: I can't tell you. I would love...

GUTFELD: What did it involve?

BOLLING: I'm so happy. I can't wait.

GUTFELD: Are there pictures?

BOLLING: There might be.

GUTFELD: There might be.

Juan, what do you think? How should you watch it?

WILLIAMS: Well, you know what? I must go along with Eric on this turn down the volume. It's not what they say that's going to determine how people vote. Most people have made up their minds.

But what you do get out of these is people talking about things like physical faux pas. Right? So when Gore starts sighing, as I've said before, you know, my mom -- my late mom said, "What's that about?"

And of course, famously when George H.W. Bush started looking at his watch...


WILLIAMS: ... that made news. And a lot of people in the hall, they didn't even know this had been a big moment.


WILLIAMS: It's how they look physically, how they carry themselves, how she's dressed. You know, that's an unfair standard for a woman, but it's going to count.

GUTFELD: Dana, we'll just ignore that sexist comment that Juan Williams made. Could it be a war of silences? Like, they're afraid of faux pas? And it could just be long gaps of awkwardness?

PERINO: Yes, sure you could -- that could happen, I suppose.

It's interesting because, while those -- that's all true, the faux pas or the one-line zinger or maybe the sigh, that has nothing to do with what it would be like to be in the Oval Office...


PERINO: ... to be faced with really tough decisions. And your advisers can come to you and say, "Mr. or Madam President, we have these two decisions to make. Here's our best advice. But we have contrary decisions over here by the secretary of defense. Now it's up to you to decide." And that has nothing to do with physical faux pas. That's actually what being president is about.

GUTFELD: You know, I spent a year pretending to be a dog. What a faux pas.

BOLLING: Good Greg. Good Greg (ph).

GUTFELD: Up next our final thoughts.

BOLLING: Four of them. Four faux paws.

GUTFELD: A big face-off on this special edition of "The Five." Live from Hofstra, didn't you know? Don't go away.


WILLIAMS: Our final thoughts now before tonight's debate. Let me begin with you, Greg. It's only, like, eight days until the vice-presidential debate, about two weeks until the next presidential debate, three weeks to the one after that.

GUTFELD: I'm glad you brought up the V.P. debate. I think that's where the real excitement is. They're going to call it the thriller in vanilla. It's going to be amazing.

But it's important to note at home, this isn't the end of the world. There are two more debates to come barring a civil war. But, you know, it will be fun. But it's not going to be the apocalypse.

WILLIAMS: Dana, you anticipate racial tensions coming up tonight?

PERINO: Between the two of them? I hope not. Hopefully, both leaders will want to lead the United States can find this to be a unifying moment. But who knows? They might try to needle each other on it.

There are two more presidential debates. And one thing to keep in mind is, remember Mitt Romney was largely believed to have won that first debate against Obama. And the outcome did not turn out that way for him. So take everything with a grain of salt. Whether she's on top or he's on top, you've got two more to go. So it's important to win tonight debate, but it's not going to predict the election.

WILLIAMS: Eric, are you going to be on Twitter, on Facebook? How are you going to do it?

BOLLING: I'm going to try and be on Facebook, if I can. I'm not even sure I'm allowed to. We'll give it a shot. But I think -- enjoy this. 100 million people are going to watch. It's an event. It's a TV event. Just roll with it, have some fun with it. Don't overthink it.

WILLIAMS: What do you think, Kimberly? How are you going to watch?

GUILFOYLE: I think this could be a big game changer tonight. I'm excited to watch it and write about it. I'll be doing the Facebook live. Facebook mentions about it. So it's going to be one that's historic. I'm even having my little boy watch it, because it's a great moment in American history.

WILLIAMS: Keeping him up late.

GUILFOYLE: Worth it. History lesson.

WILLIAMS: All right. "One More Thing" up next.


PERINO: Welcome back to "The Five." Just moments ago Donald Trump arriving for tonight's debate. We welcome him here. And Hillary Clinton will be here soon, and then we're going to have a big debate. You've got to watch it.

It's time now for "One More Thing." Eric, you're going to go first?

BOLLING: I got it, Dana. Thank you very much. What's up, Hofstra? All right. Tell me where you're from and who you're voting for. Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from Philadelphia. I'm voting for Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Gutentag (ph). From New York.

BOLLING: Who are you voting for?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nate Sedacker, from Jersey, Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, baby!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brian Naples. I'm from Brooklyn. I'm voting for Hillary.

BOLLING: What about you back there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm undecided. It's going to depend a lot on the debate.

BOLLING: On tonight?


BOLLING: Tonight's debate will make you decide?


BOLLING: What's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jamie Dibella. Donald.

BOLLING: Where are you from?


BOLLING: Who's from far away? Anyone from Texas?

GUTFELD: He's just going to go on for a while?

PERINO: I don't know.




BOLLING: There you go, guys. Send it back to you.

PERINO: All right. Juan, we'll kick it over to you next.

WILLIAMS: Well, I just want to remind everyone, on this day in 1960, the first ever televised presidential debate took place. It was John F. Kennedy against Vice President Richard Nixon in front of 66 million people. Many think tonight's debate could be the highest rated of all time. But that would mean it would have to surpass 80 million people who watched Ronald Reagan take on Jimmy Carter in 1980.

And then a bunch of people may wonder, well, how much will this debate really change anything? Because in 1976, guess what? Gerald Ford saw a 13 point bump after his debate against Jimmy Carter.

PERINO: Even with the other thing.

WILLIAMS: I'm telling you.

PERINO: I told you. All right.

I did something fun yesterday. If you go to Du Jour, which means "day," right?

GUTFELD: I guess.

PERINO: "Of the day." Dot com. They have a thing that was like you do your day in pictures. So 24 hours with Dana Perino. There's funny captions. Jasper, of course, is featured prominently.

But yesterday was unusual, because I worked all day doing "FOX & Friends," all the way to doing "I'll Tell You What" with Stirewalt. It was a lot of fun. So you can check that out. Very millennial thing to do, and I loved it.

GUILFOYLE: Very cute.

GUTFELD: Very millennial.

PERINO: All right. Greg.

GUTFELD: Very millennial.

PERINO: You're next.

GUTFELD: So millennial.

Anyway, President Obama -- you remember him -- he was on with Anthony Bourdain on CNN to discuss the very important topic of putting ketchup on your hot dog.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN: Is ketchup on a hot dog ever acceptable?


No, I mean that. That's one of those things like -- well, let me put it this way. It's not acceptable past the age of 8.

BOURDAIN: My daughter is 8, and she put ketchup on eggs the other day. And I didn't know what to do, what good parenting called for at this point.

OBAMA: An intervention.


GUTFELD: So brave. So strong. No, not Syria. Not terrorism. But I'm going to come out against a condiment.

You know what that is? That's an attack on culture. There were some people that were born and raised on ketchup on a hot dog, and you are denigrating them. That is offensive.

PERINO: Isn't Franco-American, you know -- that's basically, like, ketchup and hot dogs. Because it's tomato sauce and it's like, you know, franco spaghettio.

GUTFELD: Waging war on America. I knew he wasn't born here, Juan.

WILLIAMS: I'm telling you.

GUILFOYLE: I like ketchup, mustard, no relish or onion. And I also wouldn't mind some chili on there.

PERINO: She knows how to do a hot dog.

OK, Kimberly. You're next.

GUILFOYLE: All right. So I've got a very touching "One More Thing." So listen to this story out of Muncie, Indiana. Exactly 72 years after being wounded in combat, 91-year-old World War II veteran and Marine -- his name is Junior Howell -- was awarded the Purple Heart last week.

More than 100 family, friends and strangers watched as the prestigious award was given to him. Howell was a teenager back then. He was wounded fighting in the South Pacific by shrapnel. Now, due to previously overlooked medical records, he wasn't given the award until just now.

And upon receiving the award, Howell remarked that, quote, "It's the end of World War II for me." So congratulations to him.

PERINO: Congratulations.

GUILFOYLE: Thank him for his service.

PERINO: Great way to end the show. Thanks to the Hofstra University pep band, dance team and cheer team. Stay tuned for "Special Report," up next.

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