Sign in to comment!

Hannity

Mike Pence: Donald Trump's vision won the debate

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 5, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, Indiana governor Mike Pence is giving the Trump campaign a big boost after his performance last night at the vice presidential debate.

Now, the governor focused on substantive issues that matter to you, the American people and voters, despite, of course, being interrupted by his opponent, Senator Tim Kaine, a whopping 72 times. Now, the RNC has put together a video montage of all the instances where Kaine tried to cut in.  It's over four-and-a-half minutes long!

Here are just a few examples.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

GOV. MIKE PENCE, R-IND., VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: ... heavy-handed approach...

TIM KAINE, D-VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You both have said Vladimir Putin...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: Thank you, Senator. I'll...

KAINE: You guys have praised Vladimir Putin as a great leader.

(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: ... Senator, we do have...

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: Hold on a second, Governor.

PENCE: It's my time, Senator, to speak.

KAINE: Why did Donald Trump say that?

PENCE: I just never was...

KAINE: Why did he say that?

PENCE: Well, look -- look, it's -- you know...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: ... not exactly the way he means it. But I'm telling you...

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: Look, can you defend it?

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: You want to use a bar (ph) brush (ph) against, Mexico now?

PENCE: He also said -- national prayer breakfast...

KAINE: This is important.

PENCE: Too many families...

KAINE: Let -- let...

PENCE: ... around the country...

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: Governor, why don't you trust women to make...

PENCE: ... crisis pregnancies...

KAINE: ... this choice for themselves?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, joining us now in a cable exclusive is 2016 Republican vice presidential nominee Indiana governor Mike Pence. Governor, 72 times!  What were you thinking?

(LAUGHTER)

PENCE: Hey, Sean. Good to be with you from here in Pennsylvania. We just started our bus tour, and it's great to have a few minutes with you. Look, I was honored to be there. And I know some people say that we might have won the debate. I leave that to you and to others.

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: ... on the debate.

HANNITY: OK.

PENCE: Well, I think Donald -- I think Donald Trump won the debate. I think Donald Trump's vision to make America great again won the debate.  And I said that today at a rally in Virginia, and tonight here in Pennsylvania. And I really think that vision for a stronger America at home and abroad, if we -- if we -- if we did any good last night, it was that we were able to communicate that vision and the clear choice the American people face. And I was frankly humbled and honored to be able to be there on his behalf.

HANNITY: All right, both on Twitter and in speeches earlier today, Donald Trump was praising your performance. But yet you still have liberal media outlets are saying, Oh, there's -- Donald Trump's angry, or so on and so forth. I don't believe the media, but I want to ask you, is there any truth to those reports, and did you talk to Donald Trump after the debate?

PENCE: I talked to him a couple times after the debate, and he just -- he couldn't have been more enthusiastic and more encouraging about congratulating me.

And again I have to tell you, I'm just -- I'm just so honored to stand with Donald Trump in this campaign. He has given voice to the aspirations and the frustrations of the American people like no American leader since Ronald Reagan. And to be able to be there, to be on that stage, and with my family all present and so many friends remembering us in their prayers to be able to make that case was -- it was just a great privilege for me.

He was excited about it. I was humbled by his encouragement. And we just got our head down here on the bus trail. I know he's out west and drew another big crowd today.

We're just going to put our head down and keep working to drive that message about his vision to make American great again, and really, the failed policies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that have weakened America's place in the world, stifled America's economy, and they promise more of the same. We're going to make sure all of that is clear to the American people in the next 33 days.

HANNITY: All right, so after two debates, it's very clear what the Clinton/Kaine strategy is. They want to dump the kitchen sink on Donald Trump, and what Donald Trump said 20 years ago, what Donald Trump said here and there and everywhere.

The one thing that I think came out loud and clear last night is you weren't having any part of that. You were talking about substantive issues. And that means -- I don't think Hillary and Kaine can talk about the last eight years of the economy when you have -- you know, we've doubled the debt. We have the lowest labor participation rate, worst recovery since the '40s, 12 million more Americans in poverty, 8 million more on food stamps.

How can they possibly defend that because they want to double down on that?  And as you pointed out, repeatedly, want to raise taxes, increase spending.  So that's off the table, right? They can't talk about the economy, so that's why they're talking about Trump?

PENCE: Well, look, and don't leave out foreign policy. I mean, Hillary Clinton is the architect...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: That was my next question.

PENCE: ... the foreign policy of the Obama administration. I mean -- I mean, literally, she travels the world, and -- and Americans are less safe today than the day that Barack Obama became president of the United States.  The world is more unstable today.

And to your point, our economy is struggling. Their answer is more of the same weak and feckless foreign policy that leads from behind, and more taxes, more regulation, more of the war on coal, more of ObamaCare. And to be able to be on that stage and lay out that contrast to the best of my ability last night, but also lay out Donald Trump's vision for strong, broad-shouldered American leadership on the world stage, rebuilding our military, cutting taxes, repealing "Obama care," having smarter and tougher trade deals -- it was just very encouraging to me.

And to your point, I have to tell you, to hear Senator Kaine kind of go through their litany...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: It's robotic. It's, like, one...

PENCE: ... turn to me and say...

HANNITY: I will repeat what they told me to say. I will repeat it again.

PENCE: Well...

HANNITY: That's what I felt like I was watching!

PENCE: And then he said -- and then he said, and here's the insult-driven campaign...

(LAUGHTER)

PENCE: ... (INAUDIBLE) must have been a focus-grouped somewhere. I thought the insult-driven campaign -- Hillary Clinton said half of Donald Trump's supporters were a basket of deplorables, were irredeemable, were not America. And the only thing she ever said she regretted was saying half!

HANNITY: Well...

PENCE: And so, you know, the point of the matter is that we've got major challenges facing the country today at home and abroad. And as I said in Virginia and said in Pennsylvania here tonight, is, you know, this campaign is about restoring strong American leadership at home and abroad, getting this economy moving again, upholding our Constitution, holding the highest standards of integrity in the highest office in the land. And Donald Trump and I are going to keep focusing on that agenda to make America great again.

HANNITY: Frank Luntz is going to join us coming up later in the program tonight. He was with a group of undecided voters in Ohio. Twenty-four of those undecided voters gave the debate to you, only 4 to Senator Kaine.

The best line that he dialled from you last night is what you just said, and that is about the basket of deplorables and the 33,000 emails.  Interestingly, the worst line -- and we'll show this on our dials -- the worst line was Tim Kaine again bringing up Donald Trump's taxes.

And I thought it was very effective. Are you saying, Senator, that you'd pay more than what your -- the government and the law says you're supposed to pay? You know, who's going to -- who is going to pay more? If Hillary wants to pay more, I want to hear that. I want to see that she did that because she once deducted her underwear or at least Bill and Hillary deducted underwear on their tax returns!

PENCE: I have to tell you, that was a remarkable moment. I don't think I ever got an answer from Senator Kaine, but I did say, Do you take deductions because I take...

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: I know!

PENCE: ... I take all of our deductions. Look, Donald Trump -- obviously, the tax returns that came out in the last week showed that 20 years ago, Donald Trump hit some hard times. Literally, he had enormous losses in his businesses, and yet he found a way using the laws of this country to brilliantly steer his way back from those operating losses to create a business that is worth billions today, that's employed tens of thousands of Americans.

And that's the kind of comeback America needs today. Donald Trump is going to lead an American comeback -- stronger America in the world, a growing economy here at home, one that's built on the foundation of upholding our Constitution, our most cherished ideals. And if I was able to communicate that to anyone looking in last night...

HANNITY: Oh, that came through...

PENCE: ... I'm grateful for the privilege.

HANNITY: You know, it's interesting because after that, he wrote "The Art of the Comeback." And The New York Times, of all places...

PENCE: Right.

HANNITY: ... because they broke this story, they actually said that this is, you know, one of the greatest comebacks.

Here's where I see this election going. We're 34 days out. It seems that this is as big a choice an election as I've seen in my lifetime, and I follow politics every day, as you know.

But we're either going to raise taxes or we're going to drop the top corporate rate to 15 percent and incentivize business to invest and build manufacturing centers and factories here. We're either going to be energy- independent or put coal companies out of work, coal miners out of work.  We're either going to put Supreme Court originalists or activists on the court. We're going to have a president that says "radical Islam" or not, a president that vets refugees, as our intelligence officials tell us to do or not because ISIS will infiltrate.

We're either going to build a wall, protect our borders for national security and economic reasons or not. We're either going to put education back to the states or not.

There was a story today, 215 vets died, according to an IG report, because our VA failed them again even still! This is as big a choice as I've seen.

Do you think the American people are going to see that? Do you think they'll get sick of the robotic lines of Hillary and Kaine as this 34 days unfolds?

PENCE: Well, it's my hope that the American people will see. This isn't an election between one leader that's going to take America this much further up and another one that'll take it a little bit less than that.

I say this all the time. And it's the reason why I joined this campaign in a heartbeat. This is a choice between whether we're going to continue to go downhill to a weaker America on the world stage, to a struggling American economy, walking farther and farther away from our constitutional principles, or whether we're going to stop, turn around and march back up the hill to a stronger America on the world stage, a stronger military, an economy that is growing and constitutional principles that are adhered to and respected.

I think it's a choice...

HANNITY: You know...

PENCE: ... between up and down. And I have to tell you the crowds that I see, the enormous crowds that come out for Donald Trump at every rally, the hundreds of people that come out to our rallies today in Virginia and Pennsylvania, are all evidence that there are more and more Americans every single day seeing that choice clearly. And they're going to choose to make Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America!

HANNITY: Isn't one of the most important decisions any executive makes is the people that they hire and put around them? Didn't that come through loud and clear, that he made a pretty good choice with Governor Pence, inasmuch as you won this debate. You won it on substance. You were never on defense. You weren't going to play their game. And you exposed their tactics.

Do you see Trump appointing a lot of people like you if he's elected?

PENCE: Well, number one, I'm very humbled by your esteem (ph) and your kind comments. But look, there's no question, the way he -- the way he's led in business is because he has the capacity to draw around him women and men of enormous caliber and enormous ability. I'm humbled to be a part of this team...

HANNITY: Yes.

PENCE: ... but I'm just a part of a world class team. And if we have the privilege of serving, I promise you it's going to be men and women of extraordinary ability, extraordinary intellect, just like he led that incredible comeback in his business, he's going to lead a great American comeback for all of the American people.

HANNITY: Governor...

PENCE: And I just -- I couldn't be more humbled or honored to be a part of it.

HANNITY: ... we better reverse this decline. We're in deep trouble.  Anyway, good to see you, Governor. Great job last night. Thank you.

PENCE: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: And coming up, Laura Ingraham is straight ahead. Also, Frank Luntz did dial last night's VP debate with a group of undecided Ohio voters. Wait until you see what they have to say.

And Rudy Giuliani -- he'll join us in studio with a preview of the second presidential debate. That's happening this Sunday in St. Louis.

That and more tonight on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: Hillary Clinton had a private server in her home that had classified information on it...

(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: ... 30 seconds.

PENCE: ... about drones...

QUIJANO: Governor, Mr. Trump has...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: Ronald Reagan said a nation without borders is not a nation!  Donald Trump is committed to restoring the borders of this nation, securing our nation...

QUIJANO: So Governor, how would the millions of undocumented immigrants leave? Would they be forcibly removed?

PENCE: We would know a lot more about it if Hillary Clinton would just turn over the 33,000 e-mails...

QUIJANO: All right, let's turn back to...

PENCE: ... that she refused...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: ... her private server, we'd have...

QUIJANO: Senator Kaine, if you had intelligence...

PENCE: ... a much better picture of what the Clinton Foundation...

QUIJANO: Senator Kaine...

PENCE: Donald Trump has created tens of thousands of jobs and he's paid payroll...

(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: Senator, I'm give you...

PENCE: ... property taxes...

HANNITY: ... about 30 seconds to respond, and I have a question...

PENCE: The only issue on taxes is Hillary Clinton is going to raise...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, that was last night's VP debate moderator. And joining us now, FOX News contributor, editor-in-chief of Lifezette, nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham.

As annoying as Kaine was...

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: I mean, she's literally -- very time Pence is making a good point, if Kaine didn't interrupt him, then she interrupted him. I'm, like, this is driving me nuts!

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, all those points, Sean, that we were talking about last week that we were anxious to have mentioned in the first debate -- the server, you know, (INAUDIBLE) going on the server or the foundation or, you know, the stuff with the border -- all of that was -- they were such great points, and every time he started talking about it -- Oh, oh, Mr. Pence -- and she never did that to Kaine. Kaine routinely didn't answer the question that was asked, and she never seemed to interrupt Kaine. I noticed that right off the bat.

But the great thing about Mike Pence is because he was in our business, Sean, of talk radio, he just talked right over her! I loved that!

HANNITY: Yes, I just -- look, and it was so effective. It was -- they didn't lay a glove on him! And he just sat there. OK, here comes the robotic list...

INGRAHAM: Yawning, yes.

HANNITY: ... that they are going to mention every time. And meanwhile, they're not talking about, you know, 12 million more Americans on food stamps, 8 million more in poverty, doubling our debt. They're not talking about Syria, ISIS, Benghazi, radical Islam! And I'm sitting there, saying, Stop! I don't care what Donald Trump said 20 years ago! It's getting old!

INGRAHAM: Yes, I don't think -- I don't think most people care about that.  And it's why they are continuing to try to shift the discussion to that.  If the narrative stays on America in decline, China on the rise, and this is how I'm going to make things better, you're going to have more money in your pocket if I'm president, if you want job, you're going to be able to get a job, a better opportunity and have more money for your family -- if that's what conversation is, Trump wins all day long.

HANNITY: Yes.  All right, so there's a big battle going on -- it was in The New York Post today -- between Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper over who gets to, I guess, trash Trump the most or gets to ask the tough question.

Let's go back to the first debate because Lester Holt from the opening question that was predicated on false notion about the economy...

INGRAHAM: Yes.

HANNITY: ... then on Trump and Iraq, and then on birtherism and other issues. Watch how wrong Holt was in the first interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: There's been a record six straight years of job growth, and new census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation.

Mr. Trump, a lot of these are judgment questions. You had supported the war in Iraq before the invasion. What makes your...

TRUMP: I did not support the war in Iraq!

HOLT: For five years, you perpetuated a false claim that the nation's first black president was not a natural born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy.

Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.

TRUMP: No. You're wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Wrong on stop and risk...

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: ... wrong on Hillary and Mark Penn's memo and Sid "vicious" Blumenthal pushing birtherism, wrong on the state of the economy and wrong on Trump's position on Iraq!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: This is now -- it's two-on-one every debate now.

INGRAHAM: Right. And I think Trump just has to go into this debate on Sunday just knowing that. I think he does know that. I think he knows that this is their goal. Their goal is to make sure he doesn't become president of the United States. Their goal is not to make him look better.  Their goal is not to let him finish a thought. Their goal is to help him, you know, retire or go back to reality TV.

And he's got to know that, and he's got to stay right on point. It's not about him. It's not about his businesses. It's about the American people and it's about making this country, as his motto is, great again and how he's going to do it.

Hillary has no record to stand on, which is why she's doing that. Again, he stays on -- this is the people's government, as he said yesterday, Sean.  He said, It's not about me, it's about you. I like that. I think that was a very good turn of phrase that he used yesterday, and I think we'll see more of that.

HANNITY: Yes. All right, last point. What advice -- maybe learning something from last night, what advice do you give to Trump? What should he take out of this debate going into Sunday's debate?

INGRAHAM: I think Mike Pence showed a lot of grace last night and graciousness. He complimented Tim Kaine. And he talked about his faith, which I think is important. And he thanked the people for being there, which Trump did, as well.

But I think that moment of grace -- a little charm, a little more smiling.  Donald Trump is very charming. He's -- really, he's a people person. I think this forum could be excellent for him...

HANNITY: Yes.

INGRAHAM: ... if he remembers those things -- a note of grace, a note of strength, a note of, you know, humility. A little bit of that goes a long way. And I think it just reassures people. And I think he's -- he does that. I mean, I've seen him do that.

HANNITY: Yes.

INGRAHAM: And it's really inspiring.

HANNITY: And also as CEO, he picked his first -- his closest guy. What does a great CEO do? They put good people around them.

INGRAHAM: Exactly.

HANNITY: That's how they're successful. All right, Laura...

INGRAHAM: And Pence was terrific. Thanks.

HANNITY: Good to see you. Thank you.

And coming up -- well, last night pollster Frank Luntz -- he actually dialed the VP debate with a focus group of undecided voters in Ohio. Wow.  By a huge margin, they say that Governor Pence won, more than 80 percent, as a matter of fact.

Plus, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton get ready to square off during this Sunday night second presidential debate, this one happening in St. Louis.  We'll get a preview with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani in studio. And much more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So last night, during the VP debate, Frank Luntz conducted a focus group with undecided Ohio voters.  Now, 22 of them said Governor Mike Pence won the debate, and only 4 said Senator Tim Kaine did.

Joining us now to explain the results, the man himself, pollster Frank Luntz. And you -- by the way, in fairness, you thought Trump lost the first debate and your focus group that you did with him there.

Let's go to the issue of the interruptions. I mean, very early on, I was, like -- I wanted to throw a brick through my television because of these interruptions. Let's play the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: ... their heavy-handed approach...

KAINE: You both have said Vladimir Putin...

(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: ... get to Russia in just a moment, but I do want it get back to the question at hand...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: Thank you. Thank you, Senator. I'll...

KAINE: You guys have praised Vladimir Putin as a great leader. How can...

(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: ... Senator, we do have that coming up here, but in the

PENCE: She -- she had the Clinton Foundation accepting contributions from foreign governments and foreign...

KAINE: You are a Donald Trump -- Trump's apprentice. Let me talk about this...

PENCE: Senator, I think I'm -- I think I'm still on my time.

KAINE: Well, I think -- isn't this a discussion?

QUIJANO: These are open (INAUDIBLE)

KAINE: Let's talk about this...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: Let me interrupt you -- let me interrupt you and finish my sentence, if I can.

Hillary Clinton failed to renegotiate a status of forces agreement...

KAINE: No, that is incorrect.

QUIJANO: Gentlemen...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: And so we removed -- we removed all of our troops from Iraq and ISIS was able to...

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: But I'd like to correct...

PENCE: ... and overrun vast areas of Iraq.

KAINE: Governor, President Bush...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was not good. What did the audience say?

FRANK LUNTZ, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: No. They were complaining about it verbally. In fact, this is the loudest group that I've hosted all year.  They're watching on TV. The TV cameras are off as they're watching the debates. And they were complaining and complaining about Tim Kaine.

And as the debate went along, Kaine dropped further and further, and the number one reason was because they thought he was rude. They thought that he -- he wasn't listening to what Governor Pence had to say. He wasn't listening to the moderator.

And Sean, this is the number one rule of debates, other than don't trip when you take the stage.

HANNITY: Yes!

LUNTZ: The most important is, do not, do not talk over the moderator.

HANNITY: All right, what would Donald Trump watching this take out of this, because he's a bit of a fighter. He's combative. What should he learn from this?

LUNTZ: So there are five things. And I'm glad you asked. Number one is that they want specifics. So Trump should give them exactly what he's going to do in the first 24 hours. And the number one thing the American people want him to do is a forensic (ph) audit (ph) because they hate wasteful Washington spending.

Second is to engage the audience the way that Mike Pence actually tried to engage Senator Kaine. Ask the audience a question, Sean, because this is a town hall debate.

Third is a very simple question. Is America safer today than it was eight years ago? Mike Pence asked that question, and it is one of his highest- dialed moments of the entire debate.

Fourth, to ask viewers at home, which of us is more likely to bring about the fundamental change that you all deserve? And finally, take responsibility. Show humility. Lower the decibel level because you are interacting with real people in that debate, not a moderator.

Sean, I'm going to tell you something. If he does those things, not only will he win the debate, I think he absolutely can win this election. But that requires connecting to voters in that manner.

HANNITY: All right -- Frank Luntz -- let's go to the issue -- Pence's best moment was when he finally fought back because, I mean, Kaine was so negative and just tried to dump the kitchen sink and repeat it again and again and again. It was like a robot -- I will say this about Donald Trump. I think it gets old fast -- but condemning Hillary for her "basket of deplorables" comment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: If Donald Trump had said all the things that you've said he said in the way you said he said them, he still wouldn't have a fraction of the insults that Hillary Clinton leveled when she said that half of our supporters were a basket of deplorable! It's -- she said they were irredeemable, they were not American. I mean, it's extraordinary!

And then she laid one after another "ism" on millions of Americans who believe that we can have a stronger America at home and abroad, who believe we can get this economy moving again, who believe that we can end illegal immigration once and for all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was a pretty powerful moment.

LUNTZ: It's because the public is so tired of insults. And what was interesting is that Hillary -- Trump has attacked Clinton, but Clinton was attacking the American people. And that was beyond the pale.

If there's one moment that causes her to lose this election, we will look back on the moment when she insulted tens of millions of people. It was a big mistake on her part. She kind of walked it back, but if you notice, she never said, I'm sorry, forgive me...

HANNITY: Yes.

LUNTZ: ... because there's no accountability with her.

HANNITY: Let's go to the email issue -- 33,000 emails deleted, and she said, Did you clean it with, like, a cloth? But now we know they used BleachBit. Now we know there was a well-orchestrated, sophisticated effort to lie and hide these e-mails. This came up last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: It's 10 cents on the dollar to the Clinton Foundation has gone to charitable causes.

KAINE: It's 90 percent.

PENCE: It has been a platform for the Clinton's to travel the world, to have staff. But honestly, senator, we would know a lot more about it if Hillary Clinton would just turn over the 33,000 e-mails that she refuses --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's get back -- Senator Kaine, if you had the intelligence -- Senator Kaine --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I think Americans instinctively know something is corrupt there.

LUNTZ: So we've asked the question, which is more important to you, to know what is in Donald Trump's tax returns or know what is inside the e- mails? We have been doing it now for about the last six weeks. And it's two-and-a-half to one they want to know about the e-mails. And the reason why, Sean, is because Trump's tax returns are personal. It is about who he is. Those e-mails are about national security and it is about the country overall. And so every time that she talks about tax returns, Trump should talk about e-mails.

HANNITY: Yes, e-mails and the speeches she gave for a lot of money. I think that would resonate, too.

All right, last one, the worst Kaine moment if Trump about the tax returns which you were just referring to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAINE: The Trump organization is an octopus like organization with tentacles all over the world whose conflicts of interest could only be known if Donald Trump would release his tax returns. He has refused to do it. His sons have said that the organization has a lot of business dealings in Russia. And remember, the Trump organization is not a nonprofit. It is putting money into Donald Trump's pockets and into the pockets of his children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: As a side note, the Trump sons have contradicted that. But putting that aside, I think that most people also recognize 18 years of audits. That's really abusive by any government agency, right?

LUNTZ: Well, the public feels that it's all a scandal, it's all a mess.  And they are hoping that one of these candidate will step above and beyond all that, look people straight in the eye as I am to you right now, and just tell them what they think, tell them how they feel.

This election is up for grabs. And the key states, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania are all within the margin of error. This town hall debate is Donald Trump's best opportunity to connect, to interact, to engage. The first candidate that asks the audience a question, I'll bet you that's the candidate that wins.

HANNITY: All right, thanks, Frank Luntz. Appreciate it.

And coming up, Donald Trump getting ready for his second presidential debate against Hillary Clinton. It's taking place Sunday in St. Louis.  Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani will join us with a preview of what we can expect. And also tonight --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: You've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I actually agree. It's the craziest thing in the world, you heard right. Bill Clinton calling Obamacare "the craziest thing in the world." Now he is trying to spin those comments. Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee and Ari Fleischer will weigh in on that and more.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton has been there for 30 years and hasn't fixed anything. She failed overseas, producing only death and destruction. She unleashed ISIS, destabilized Iraq, Syria, Libya, and put Iran onto the path of nuclear weapons.

She is merely the vessel for the global special interests bleeding our country dry. They are bleeding our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Donald Trump earlier today going after his Democratic rival. Now Governor Pence had a very strong debate last night. So will Donald Trump utilize some of his running mate's successful tactics in this Sunday's upcoming presidential town hall? Joining us now, former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani. How are you?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I'm really good, really good.

HANNITY: I think we all agree, Governor Pence did great. You've been involved in debate prep with Trump in this campaign. What would you tell us to take from what Pence did last night into Sunday and the town hall?

GIULIANI: Do the same thing.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Yes. Don't answer any more questions.

GIULIANI: I have probably done 11 primary presidential debates and then debates for mayor. And then I was a trial lawyer for a --

HANNITY: You're a good debater.

GIULIANI: -- an appellate lawyer and argued to the Supreme Court, so I know a lot about this. Last night's performance I would use in a class if I were teaching how to debate.

HANNITY: It was really good.

GIULIANI: It was brilliant. And you could see he let his opponent become angrier and angrier because he wasn't scoring. The whole purpose of all those attacks on Trump was to get Pence to get into the weeds of the attack and start talking about this and that and this and that.

HANNITY: And Donald Trump did do a little of that in the first debate, answering birtherism, taxes, not paying people.

GIULIANI: Forget it. He answered it all with one knockout punch when he said you can add up all the attacks, and let's even say they are true, and a lot of them aren't, but what your candidate said about the American people is much, much worse than that.

HANNITY: Isn't it get to pivot to this? Hillary, I know you memorized your lines.

GIULIANI: Of course.

HANNITY: You're a robot. Tim Kaine is a robot. We've heard it now for two debates. But I'm running because we have 12 million more Americans on food stamps, 8 million more poverty, 95 million Americans out of the labor force and we have robbed our kids blind by doubling the debt.

GIULIANI: That's the attack part. And then the answer part, I am going to lower taxes.

HANNITY: Corporate rate, 15 percent.

GIULIANI: I'm going to lower corporate rates. That's going to bring billions back and launch the jobs. I'm going to put coal miners to work.  You are going to put them out of work. That can deliver two states.

HANNITY: Sure.

GIULIANI: I'm going to renegotiate our trade deals so that when we send a car to Mexico they can't charge a 20 percent tariff on us and we charge no tariff on them. And it was the stupidity of your husband's administration that cost us jobs in Ohio and cost us jobs in Michigan and cost us jobs in Indiana and all over the country. That's what he has to do.

HANNITY: I also thought it was good that as Governor Pence did the list, I don't know, whatever you want to call it, the list, list, list, list.

GIULIANI: Xenophobia, Islamophobia, phobias I have never even heard of.

HANNITY: He just ignored it and then talked about what they are going to do to fix things.

GIULIANI: My answer to her when she does that xenophobia and this intrinsic bias, hey take a look in the mirror Hillary and maybe you're projecting.

HANNITY: Oh, good line.

GIULIANI: I'm not prejudice. You may be. I'm not.

HANNITY: Here's the reality. The only thing she's got is to try and convince the American people he doesn't have the temperament. She can't talk about the last eight years of the economy. She can't talk about her failed foreign policy.

GIULIANI: Listen to Kaine's debate last night. Now, what did Kaine do?  He spent two-third of his time attacking Donald Trump and interrupting Mike Pence. Very little defense of Hillary Clinton's positions and what she's going to do. A little bit here and there, but it was like Obama warmed over spin.

(LAUGHTER)

GIULIANI: Like ridiculous stuff. When I walked out of the debate the other night I said I always knew Hillary was ignorant on foreign policy.  Look at what she did to us. I never knew she was this ignorant on the economy. She believes she is going to tax people more and bring jobs back.

HANNITY: But isn't a real leader, an executive, you were one in New York City -- by the way, it's bigger than how many other governments and countries for crying out loud?

GIULIANI: Probably both the states that they run.

HANNITY: So my question to you is, isn't one of the most important things that an executive will do is appoint good people? And didn't Mike Pence show that Donald Trump had made a great decision here?

GIULIANI: It is the most important thing you can do. When people praise me for September 11th, I say the following. Don't praise me. I was standing on the shoulders of giants. And they think I'm being unnecessarily humble. Not true.

HANNITY: You believe that?

GIULIANI: I know it's true. I couldn't have done it. I couldn't have done it without the unbelievably heroic, from the top people, from the people that were in the room with me who almost died with me. And boy, they didn't break a sweat. They didn't break a sweat. All they were thinking about is how do we get out of here so we can help our people. To the construction workers who came to help me, thousands of construction workers, the firefighters, the police officers, the rescue workers. The people, the police officers that came from Cleveland who I got to thank yesterday. And I met 10 guys.

HANNITY: I heard you had a bigger crowd than Hillary.

GIULIANI: I did. I got a bigger crowd in two places that were bigger.

HANNITY: You got to tell Trump that. He likes his crowds.

GIULIANI: I sent Donald a little text. I said, I don't get your crowds, but I'm not doing bad. I'm beating Hillary.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor, good to see you. We'll see you, you're going to join us.

GIULIANI: Oh, yes, I'll be here for that for sure.

HANNITY: And coming up next tonight right here on HANNITY --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON: You've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Bill Clinton, by the way, calls Obamacare the craziest thing in the world. Of course he is now trying to walk those comments back. Former governor Mike Huckabee and Ari Fleischer will join us next and weigh in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So Bill Clinton is doing some serious backtracking after saying this about ObamaCare earlier in the week.  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON: The people who are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies. Why? Because they are not organized. They don't have any bargaining power with insurance companies, and they are getting whacked.

So you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: "Craziest thing in the world." Predictably now after those comments, they created a firestorm on the campaign trail. Bill Clinton is now saying he supports the disastrous health care law that he was trashing.

Here with reaction, our former 2016 GOP presidential candidate, former governor Mike Huckabee and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. It was pretty amusing. For a minute he actually stumbled onto the truth and was really passionate about it, Ari.

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They do call him secretary of explaining stuff for a good reason. He put his finger on exactly what is the problem here. When the government takes hundreds of millions of dollars from citizens, yes, it can subsidize the purchase of health care, not high quality, but health care for some other citizen. But in the process it's forcing working Americans to pay higher premiums, to lose their doctors and lose their insurance companies in many cases. Bill Clinton put his finger on exactly what is wrong with Obamacare.

HANNITY: What did you think of it, governor?

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First of all there was a real news headline in all of this, Sean. But wasn't just what Clinton said about Obamacare. It was the fact that we had an instance where a Clinton told the truth. That is a news bulletin.

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: This is what you're always a great debater.

FLEISCHER: But the truth he told was significant. He was revealing what we all knew, and that is that you can't dump millions and millions of the sickest people into an insurance program and the rates are automatically going down.

But, Sean, the single most important thing that happened as a result of Obamacare, it has changed the way people in business are doing business.  For the first time in American history, people are trying to figure out how to be small, not big, how to shrink their business, not grow their business. No wonder unemployment is so high. You have people trying to keep their total employees under 50, the working hours under 30. And that is disastrous for economic development.

HANNITY: I got to be honest. Two of the Clintons stumbled onto the truth this week, Ari, because while Hillary was talking about Bernie Sanders supporters in that tape that was released, and in that tape she's either trashing Bernie Sanders supporters that are living in mommy and daddy's basements, or she's revealing just how bad the last eight years have been for the economy, a point I often make. Lowest labor participation rate, 12 million more Americans on food stamps, 8 million more in poverty, a doubling of the debt. Which is it?

FLEISCHER: There is an obviousness to what is going on here, Sean, and it's why the American people feel this economy and this country are so far off track. And that is because we have the weakest economic recovery going since the great depression, and it's probably because of all of the policies the president has put on business, on regulations.

And if you work in business creating jobs, you feel as if the government is not on your side and you never know when they're going to turn against you again. That has made business very cautious.

Really, what the country needs, and this is where Donald Trump has a chance if he can focus on it, is somebody who recognizes what businesses go through, what the private sector goes through so we can create jobs and give Americans a chance to make it again.

HANNITY: Let me ask you both, 30 seconds each, what advice in light of Mike Pence's really great appearance last night and win last night, what advice do you give Donald Trump going into Sunday, Governor Huckabee?

HUCKABEE: First of all, Mike Pence carried on a conversation. He was relaxed. He was prepared. Tim Kaine was canned and planned. He was over- prepared. He was making a speech. And what Pence did so brilliantly was having a heart to heart conversation. When Donald Trump does that, he's fantastic. That is what I hope he does on Sunday.

HANNITY: All right, guys, good advice from both of you, appreciate it.

And coming up, a very important question of the day has to do with last night's debate. That is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: All right, time for our question of the day. So who do you think won last night's V.P. debate? Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter. We want to know what you think.

That is all the time we have this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

Content and Programming Copyright 2016 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2016 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.