10 percent of voters still undecided? Krauthammer weighs in

Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor joins the debate on 'The O'Reilly Factor'


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 17, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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Now for the top story reaction, joining us from reaction, Charles Krauthammer. So, Charles, the recent polls say only about 10 percent of Americans are still persuadable. But with new smears every day on both sides, I'm not sure that statistic is valid. What say you?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, it's hard to know exactly what it means to be persuadable. I think what's remarkable about the two candidates is how well known they are. You go back over the last few election cycles. Did anybody -- was there a lot of people who knew about Romney before he ran? Even John McCain? John Kerry? You go back and it is very unusual to have two candidates who are universally known, name recognition up there at 90 percent.

Have been around for a good 30 years. So, opinions were formed going in to the campaign, we have now been at it for a month and a half, they are out there, I don't think there is very much new. What is new, and I think the one thing that Trump can do is the WikiLeaks stuff. That's new information coming out almost every other day. And it isn't enough to say that she is a crook or a liar or whatever, because look at what's in WikiLeaks. You got to pick three items. And there are a lot. Just pick any at random.

O'REILLY: But, wait a minute, wait a minute.

KRAUTHAMMER: And make that the point of your attack on Hillary Clinton.

O'REILLY: All right. So, if I'm Trump, then I'm going to go the open borders comment. I'm probably going to go Catholic Church and what that really is the message. But most of the WikiLeaks stuff isn't about Hillary Clinton. It's about Podesta. The campaign manager. Saying questionable things to the campaign staff or the Clinton Foundation people saying questionable things to the State Department and the State Department saying questionable things. So, there is no video or audio of Hillary Clinton saying anything and even the open border quote, "It's hard to get that in context because we don't know the whole speech." So, I don't know if that's going to really resonate as much as the Trump stuff has.

KRAUTHAMMER: No. It's not going to. Of course. A tape will beat text every time. Sex will beat corruption any time. Nonetheless, since we are not at the peak of that frenzy, we are going into the last debate. It doesn't matter if the overwhelming majority of the stuff in the WikiLeaks is about staff. You have got 90 minutes to talk about 10,000 emails. You only need one or two or three items having to do with Hillary. One of the most damaging is that she says, you've got to have a public position and private position.

That goes to the essence of her weakness that people think probably correctly most of the time that she doesn't believe in anything and that she is driven by ambition. In the WikiLeaks release today or over the weekend, you see her scolding her speechwriters because they weren't able to crystallize what her campaign is about. And I think she suggested the four fights, it sounded like a slogan for the leadership of the Chinese communist party. They don't know what it's about because it really isn't about anything.

O'REILLY: Well, it's united we're stronger or we're stronger together or - -

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes, what does that mean?

O'REILLY: Hope and change. Let's go back to hope and change. That was a good one. Now, Wallace, Chris Wallace, he is your pal. You guys hang around, had malls together and stuff. Wouldn't it be his job, rather than Trump's job, to bring the WikiLeaks stuff up and specifically say, you know, what did you mean about the open border? What did you mean about private and public? What did you mean? And then Holder to account on that? Do you expect Wallace to do that?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think he will. I think he should. And I think that's what he ought to do with either candidate. To choose something they have said and make them defend it but the point of the debate.


O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait. All right. So you think -- and so I do. I think he will bring up the WikiLeaks tape. But with Trump, if he goes back to the "Access Hollywood" stuff, I don't think he is going to do that. I don't think Wallace is going to go back to the "Access Hollywood" stuff, do you?

KRAUTHAMMER: If he does, you pivot right off it. That's the point. The problem with Trump for the last three weeks is that he has had all kinds of attacks and he simply can't get off the personal offense that he feels he has to respond to. It doesn't matter if his own dignity he won't get off of it. You and I know, everyone knows, his advisors know that he should be pivoting off and go after her weaknesses which are many. But he seems incapable of doing that.


KRAUTHAMMER: And that's why he is behind in all the polls that you have cited.

O'REILLY: Okay. Now, in your opinion, humble opinion.

KRAUTHAMMER: Not really.

O'REILLY: Can Trump win? I mean, say he has a good on Wednesday, can he close it?

KRAUTHAMMER: I don't think that he can do it himself. He needs an act of God or an act of Putin. Act of God would be some kind of medical problem with his opponent. Act of Putin would be something in WikiLeaks that links her directly to some kind of quid pro quo. Some evidence that in return for money from who knows where something tangible was given. That happens to be our standard. I think it's much too low a standard. It should be access. But we seem to accept the granting of access in return for money, that's how our system works. That's not a fatal offense. If there is something of a quid pro quo right in there, involving her directly, we heard today about the FBI and State Department wanting to trade favors. But that's underlings right down there in the bureaucracy.

O'REILLY: Right. It's got to be her.

KRAUTHAMMER: It's got to be her. And if it is there that could swing it to the point where Trump with a good close could pull it out.

O'REILLY: All right. But you know the press isn't going to report it very strongly.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, that's why God invented FOX.

O'REILLY: But we have been fair in this campaign. We're not looking to take anything out of context. At least --

KRAUTHAMMER: But if something comes up. It will be reported here.

O'REILLY: Yes. It will be reported here. That's for sure.

Charles, thanks very much.

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