This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," October 26, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight with less than two weeks to go until Election Day, new Fox polls tonight show Hillary Clinton's lead cut in half, and that's not all.
Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. With team Clinton struggling under a recent avalanche of negative press, new Fox polling suggests, she is now enjoying just a three-point advantage over Donald Trump nationally. And only half of the lead that she enjoyed just last week. It's also within the margin of error meaning the two might actually be tied.
Fox polling shows Mrs. Clinton with a 44 percent to Trump's 41 percent marking. Now they both have seen a drop for Clinton -- she has seen a drop in points in her advantage as well as a two-point boost for Trump since just last week. Look at that.
New battleground polling suggests Clinton may be struggling in some must- win spots as well. As political watchers start to ask whether the shape of this race is changing in the final stretch. Governor Mike Huckabee is here along with Karl Rove and Larry Sabato.
But we begin tonight with Trace Gallagher in our West Coast Newsroom with the very latest numbers and what might be behind them. Trace?
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, they say bad news comes in threes. And for Hillary Clinton, that's proving true. First came the e- mails released by WikiLeaks showing Clinton aides bashing Catholics, fighting with each other and time and again questioning Hillary's judgment. Now the latest leak appears to show Hillary Clinton sent emails to President Obama from her private server calling into doubt the President's assertion that he learned about the private server from the news just like everyone else.
Next came the undercover tapes from the conservative group Project Veritas appearing to catch Democratic operatives explaining how to commit voter fraud and incite violence at Trump rallies, and a new video shows Democratic consultant Bob Creamer telling donors and potential donors how connected he is to both Hillary Clinton and President Obama. You will recall Creamer visited the White House more than 300 times. Creamer has already resigned his position. And topping off Clinton's trifecta of bad news are the ObamaCare numbers from the administration itself announcing that premiums for mid-level plan will rise in 39 states by an average of 25 percent.
Now to the polls, the Bloomberg Politics poll has Donald Trump up by two points in do-or-die Florida. That poll shows critical Independent voters are narrowly breaking Trump's way. Back in 2012 Florida Independents broke for Obama over Romney. In Arizona, the first Monmouth University poll there has Trump up by one point, 46 percent to 45 percent although among early voters, Clinton appears to have the advantage putting a lot more pressure on Republican voter turnout on Election Day. And in New Hampshire, Monmouth has Clinton leading by four points but that's down from nine points in September. Clinton's unfavorable rating in New Hampshire is also getting worse, then again so is Donald Trump's -- Megyn.
KELLY: Trace, thank you. Joining us now with more. Karl Rove, FOX News political contributor and former staffer under President George W. Bush and Larry Sabato, the director of Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Great to see you both.
Karl, I feel like we diminish your credentials there. He was like, one of the most --
Right. Some minion. He's the man who got the guy elected. Okay. So great to see you both. Karl, what do you make of these numbers and the changing map? Because at least, this Fox News poll shows some serious tightening. He's cut in half and it's down to three.
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's good news for Donald Trump. Let's be careful about reading too much into one poll. This was a three-point advantage for Clinton on the four person ballot. And a five point advantage for her on the two candidate ballot. Both of those showing movement from last week. And in that, they represent all of the polling that we're seeing. If you take the Real Clear Politics Average, a couple of weeks ago, it was just over a week ago, it was 7.1 points. Today on the four way race, it's 5.4.
On the two point race, it's 5.6. This follows the trend of the last five presidential elections. Whoever was trailing in the middle of October closed the race up over the last two, two-and-a-half weeks of the campaign. This goes back to Bob Dole in 1996, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry, '04, McCain in '08, and Romney in '12. They all closed it up and that's happening apparently again this time.
KELLY: Larry, do you agree with that?
LARRY SABATO, UVA CENTER FOR POLITICS DIRECTOR: Not fully. I agree with most of what Karl said. There's no question that there's a little tightening based on the fact some Republican partisans are finally coming to Trump. Not all of them. There are a lot of never Trumps but some of them are coming onboard and his favorabilities in the Gallup ratings at least have gone up about eight points. Now that's not equivalent to votes. That's favorability. But, you know, let's give the big picture here.
And Karl was hinting in this. There were three other national polls by respectable pollsters released today at the very same time. One of them showed Clinton up by nine. The second one showed Clinton up by nine. And the third one showed Clinton up by 14. Which one is right? Of course you're going to say, well, it's our FOX poll. I'm going to tell you, as I always do, Megyn, I'm a broken record, use the polling averages and the polling averages don't show that much change.
KELLY: What do you make, though, when you look at the numbers in the Fox poll -- we like it -- we like it every night not just tonight, all the nights. We believe in our peeps. But, Karl, the question, for you, the Independents he do making a difference in the Fox poll. You have Independents favoring Trump over Clinton by 13 points now. He had a seven- point advantage with them last week, and two weeks ago he had no advantage with the Independents. They were tied. So in two weeks' time he's flipped it on Independents big time. Big league.
ROVE: Well, let's be a little careful. Again, I agree with Dr. Sabato. Don't look to just depend upon one poll. But it also say, inside any poll when you're talking about Independents, they're a relatively small segment of the entire sample so you have greater deviation among that sample size. The smaller the sample size, the more unpredictability, the more it bounced around, and particularly with Independents who tend to be weakly anchored to any choice. It's where they are today.
And that's again, good movement for him but the question is going to be where are they in 13 days and today is no determination of where they're going to be at the end. Let me mention one other thing that Dr. Sabato brought up, he said, there's been minor movement. And I agree there's been minor movement. But let's put this into dimension, in clear perspective. Ten days ago, 7.1 today, 5.4. In the four-way race, 5.6 percent. That's nearly a two-point drop on a base of seven. That's movement. And that is the greatest movement, but it's steady movement, probably not enough to guarantee that this race gets down -- flips by the end unless it speeds up but it's nonetheless detectable movement when you average in all the polls.
KELLY: Mm-hmm. Larry, we talked last night on the program about how our FOX News Decision Desk who we use on election night, they do what you do. You know, they look at the Electoral College and how it's shaping up. They moved the second Congressional District of Maine left, they moved Iowa left, they moved Indiana left. You know, from like tossup to leans whatever. I can't follow it all. They moved it one step left is the point, in toward Hillary. And so, do you still see the Electoral College map doing that, too, in the states that matter, moving left as opposed to right?
SABATO: Not uniformly. That's interesting because actually on Iowa, for example, we have it as a total tossup, it's one of only two states we have as a complete tossup. So I don't completely agree but, yes, I have Hillary Clinton well ahead based on literally, you know, hundreds of polls that are included in the polling averages for each of these states.
KELLY: Let me just stop and ask you something. Last night on the show, we had a little debate. People may have seen it about polls and whether we should believe them. And, you know, Newt Gingrich was here saying he does not believe them and they're two alternate universes. The one in which the poll shows live and then the real one where Trump is winning. What say you?
SABATO: I don't agree with that to be honest with you. Because I don't believe any single poll but if you put all the polls together while you can't wash out all the error and there is loads of error in every poll, you can wash out some of the error and you're also getting a gigantic sample. So, I think that makes it more accurate. And just one fact I want to throw in Megyn before we finish. Do you know as of today one-tenth approximately of the people who are going to vote in this election have already cast their ballot.
KELLY: That is amazing.
SABATO: Ten percent. Every day it goes up by millions, as Karl knows, because he's been through this. And so we're into Election Day.
KELLY: So, Karl, if you were advising Donald Trump at this point, I mean, does he need a game changer with two weeks left? You know, his momentum is going the right way. But there's only two weeks left, 13 days actually.
ROVE: Yes. Well, first of all, he needs to be more consistent. I don't think it was useful to spend today dedicating his hotel in Washington, D.C., complimenting Newt Gingrich on having a food fight with you last night. That was not a good use of today. I mean, he has 13 days. Every one of those days is precious and the day that he spends talking about his hotel in Washington is not a day that he pushes the narrative of change and depicts himself as being the candidate for change and her as the candidate of the status quo.
So, yes, he needs something to help divvy this up. Because right today, he leads in states, you know, everybody has it sort of slightly different. But as I look at, he doesn't even have all the Romney 206 electoral votes. He doesn't have North Carolina, he doesn't have Arizona sewn up. I think he is probably got Utah and Maine, too, which would give him, you know, 287. But that ain't 270, it's 187. So, he needs to shake this up somewhat.
KELLY: Guys, great to see you both.
SABATO: Thanks, Megyn.
ROVE: Thanks for having us.
KELLY: Also tonight from awkward to ugly, wait until you see how some of Hillary Clinton's closest staffers are now describing her in the latest hack emails from WikiLeaks. We'll talk with David Wohl and Robert Zimmerman about it, next.
Plus, we dug in with what's happening with ObamaCare in some of the key swing states. And Chris Stirewalt is here on how this could impact the vote.
Then Governor Huckabee joins us live to talk about what happened at a Trump event that turned ugly when protesters defaced the American flag.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm standing up for the American flag that stands for all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Breaking tonight, less than two weeks until Election Day and hacked emails from the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta are raising new questions about Mrs. Clinton and her candidacy. A recent batch of emails published to WikiLeaks features some of Mrs. Clinton's closest staffers questioning her instincts and her judgment especially when it came to how she was handling her email scandal.
For more on that, we go to our chief national correspondent Ed Henry. Ed.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, as soon as Hillary Clinton's email scandal broke she, of course, downplayed it significance. In her top advisers suggested again and again this was just another unfair attack from the right. That's not what they were saying in private. A close aide Philippe Reines is bluntly admitting in a March 7th, 2015 e- mail, there is just no good answer for the server. We need to gut through the process phase, get them all out there, and let the content do the talking. Three days later though, the aides that are not confident, they had good answers, let Clinton go out to a news conference at the United Nations and suggest she did have the answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I have absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: One of many statements Clinton made that day that have come under fire. And the new WikiLeaks shows that led to infighting among some of her advisers. After "The New York Times" first revealed the existence of a private email account, liberal activist Neera Tanden who in earlier e- mails wrote that Clintons instincts are terrible and that apologies are her Achilles heel teed off on Sheryl Mills by saying, quote, "Why didn't they get this stuff out like 18 months ago. So crazy." John Podesta agreed replying, "Unbelievable." "I guess I know the answer," concluded Tanden, "they wanted to get away with it."
Though in fairness, Reines who in one email joked Clinton is the emailer- in-chief did say the candidate showed hold a transparency day to release e- mails and transcripts of Wall Street's speeches way back in March of 2015. If they had listened to him a lot of this may not have happened -- Megyn.
KELLY: Ed, thank you. Joining us now, David Wohl, attorney and Donald Trump supporter, and Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic strategist and Hillary Clinton supporter. Good to see you both.
DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY: Good evening.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Hi, Megyn.
KELLY: Robert, tell us about this Neera Tanden, she is emerging as the MVP of these emails. She is very frank and seems to tell it like it is.
ZIMMERMAN: Neera Tanden is one of the great, great talents, really one of the superstars of public policy and national politics.
KELLY: And so, she is saying Hillary's instincts can be terrible, she wanted to get away with it with the emails and the server.
ZIMMERMAN: Megyn, we don't know that she was saying that. All we know is that these are hacked emails that were stolen by Russia.
KELLY: They haven't denied it.
ZIMMERMAN: Excuse me, let's point out. Russia has already been documented editing emails they released during the Democratic convention and fabricating emails through Guficer.
KELLY: All right. But with all due respect to your argument, there were some that people had, you know, created fake that were online and the Clinton camp was quick to say those are fake. We have not heard that. And you know what? This sounds like Neera. I know her a little bit.
ZIMMERMAN: Actually, it really doesn't, Megyn.
KELLY: Yes, it does. Come on! She's a straight shooter --
ZIMMERMAN: The real outrage --
KELLY: -- unlike the way you're being right now. She knew it just like the American people know it, David, that they wanted to get away with it. That's why they didn't put it out there that she was using the private server.
ZIMMERMAN: Megyn, can we stop embracing Russia? Russia strategy of undermining our democracy, by validating their emails and watching Donald Trump --
KELLY: We've mentioned that many times and we've done whole segments on it. But now we're going to talk about what Neera is saying. Go ahead, David.
WOHL: Megyn, this is like a shoplifter getting caught by surveillance video and then saying the surveillance video is lying. I mean, look, Hillary Clinton is arrogant, she's cavalier, she's reckless but she's not dumb, Megyn. She basically went into this sort of like a white collar criminal case I had recently where the person involved in it basically, let me get this straight, had assurances from the top of the food chains that there would be no consequence to their actions. This is exactly -- very similar but it was an embezzlement case.
ZIMMERMAN: Larry, Larry --
WOHL: I find that to be similar. That has got to be what happened here, Robert, is the FBI's investigation pointed to criminal conduct. There's no question about it. All the agents involved in the investigation --
ZIMMERMAN: Larry, Larry --
KELLY: Let me ask you this. Hold on. Hold on.
WOHL: Charges should be filed and, guess what, they weren't.
KELLY: All right. This is what I want to ask Robert. Because what we've seen in these emails, you know, it's one of those, you kind of walk away thinking with friends like these who needs enemies. But, you know, of course no one would fare very well with all of their emails were made public, in their defense. But they complain about her judgment. They complain about what they perceive as a lack of her core. That there's no message, that she seems to be relying on the speechwriters for everything as opposed to the one, you know, dictating to them what she stands for and it leaves you with a sense of hollowness.
ZIMMERMAN: Megyn, what she'll leave with you the sense of hollowness and outrage is the fact that you have Vladimir Putin and Russia trying to undermine our democracy.
Excuse me, Megyn, let me finish my point. Excuse me, Larry. I didn't interrupt you.
ZIMMERMAN: And let's be clear about this. Let's be clear about this.
KELLY: He changes it every time, David. It's kind of fun.
WOHL: I'll be Larry or Moe.
ZIMMERMAN: I'm so sorry, David.
KELLY: It's David.
ZIMMERMAN: But let's be clear about this. The fact that Russia is, in fact, undermining our democracy trying to sabotage our election and we're not talking about that, that Donald Trump is embracing Vladimir Putin's agenda.
KELLY: Can you just talk about the emails? Are you going to defend her or not?
ZIMMERMAN: No, because the issue, because Megyn, you can't talk about the emails because you have no idea if they're valid. What we do know, it's been documented that they've been edited.
KELLY: I have to go.
WOHL: For ten years, every WikiLeaks release has been accurate for ten years. There is no question about it.
ZIMMERMAN: And Russia doesn't spread false stories.
KELLY: So with just a dozen days to move the needle, Donald Trump today went to the must win state of North Carolina. And Governor Mike Huckabee is next on the plan for the final stretch of this campaign.
And with ObamaCare jumping by big double digits, has the Trump team been handed a major political weapon? Stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Every prediction they made about this law was a lie, and I said it was going to be no good before it was ever passed. If we don't repeal and replace ObamaCare, we will lose our health care system forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: From the World Headquarters of Fox News, it's "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly.
KELLY: With a dozen days to move the needle, Governor Mike Pence tonight is in Colorado Springs imploring Republicans to vote for the GOP nominee saying, come home, come on home. Well, Donald Trump earlier held a rally in the must-win state of North Carolina, he is polling neck and neck there with Hillary Clinton, and he is suggesting that these swing states are starting to break his way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: We're going to win North Carolina, I'll tell you. We're going to win Florida, too. Actually we're going to win Florida, too. We're going to win Ohio, and we're going to win Iowa.
We will win! We will win! We will win! We will win!
TRUMP: We're winning in a lot of states.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Chief political correspondent Carl Cameron reports tonight from that last rally. Carl?
CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Megyn. It's clear as we head into the final stretch the pace of the race is accelerating a tremendous amount, more events, a lot more polls, and more controversy. Today Trump went to his hotel in D.C. and here in North Carolina later in the day had another event where he was talking to African-Americans and minorities and laid many of their problems at the feet of illegal immigration and Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: One of the greatest betrayals has been the issue of immigration. Illegal immigration violates the civil rights of African-Americans. That's what's been happening.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
No group has been more economically harmed by decades of illegal immigration than low-income African-American workers.
CAMERON: Clinton today mocked Trump saying, he was trying to take care of business but hasn't been taking care of the voters. Tomorrow Clinton will be here in North Carolina campaigning on the trail for the first time with First Lady Michelle Obama while Trump will head to Ohio for three major rallies -- Megyn.
KELLY: Carl, thank you.
Well, our next guest is a team Trump insider who had this to say on Sunday. "If the GOP loses the Senate it's not because candidates ran with Donald Trump but because they ran from him. No time for wimps and wusses."
Joining me now Fox News contributor and former presidential candidate, not a wimp nor wuss, Governor Mike Huckabee.
Great to see you, Gov. So let's start with someone -- wimp, wuss, or something else, Jason Chaffetz who after that "Access Hollywood" tape broke came out and said, I'm done, I'm done, and withdrew his endorsement of Donald Trump. And yet, tonight, he tweeted out, I will not defend or endorse Donald Trump but I am voting for him. Hillary Clinton is that bad.
GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, she is that bad. I mean, what we've learned --
KELLY: But how do you rate him? What is he? Is he a wimp, is he a wuss, what is he? So, he's withdrawing the endorsement --
HUCKABEE: He's beginning to grow a little spine. Any Republican, anybody who understands how corrupt the Clintons are, who gets it, that she is surrounded by people who have never told her no, she sets up a private e- mail server, she lies to Congress, she destroys evidence that's under subpoena, she treats foreign governments like they're a piggy bank for the Clinton Foundation to make her family rich. She violates the law whenever she wants to. She knows she's not going to get caught. She uses the government agencies like the FBI and the IRS like they're her own personal toys to go after political opponents.
Good gosh, Megyn, is there any Republican who has breath left who could stand back and let that happen without doing everything they can to stop it, and the only roadblock in the way to that level of corruption that would forever taint our government is Donald Trump.
HUCKABEE: Like him or not, he's the shot we've got and we'd better get behind him with energy.
KELLY: Well, that's the question. Do they like him better than they like her? They don't seem to like either one of them.
HUCKABEE: They'd better. They'd better.
KELLY: But let me ask you whether you think Trump is doing what he ought to be doing these last 13 days. He came under some fire today for being at the opening of the old post office, a building, you know, he's put a lot of money into and a lot of work into. And he was like, hey, I deserve a day to go. But he came under significant criticism for wasting half a day and we only have 13 days left. Do you agree?
HUCKABEE: You know, it's nonsense. If Donald Trump had gone into some type of cathedral to pray, laid on his face and prayed out loud to God for two hours, the people would have said he was wasting his time because God wouldn't hear him. Look, these people who are criticizing it for opening his hotel are nonsense. Let me tell you what that hotel represents. It's about the only thing in Washington, D.C., that actually works. It's one of the few things --
KELLY: So, we'll see.
HUCKABEE: -- in that city that was ever brought in it under budget and on time. Nothing else in that town works. If nothing else, it's a great way for Donald Trump to say, just like I built this hotel, that's how I am going to lead this country because I know how things are supposed to work. We need somebody who will be that champion.
KELLY: There was a remarkable exchange outside of the event involving -- I just want to explain this so that -- there was an anti-Trump protester who took on the daughter of a U.S. veteran over the U.S. flag. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My father has fought for this country in the army, this is a disgrace.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is right. Do you want to know why? That flag.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am standing up for the American flag.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, stop marching this flag. That American flag won't (muted)...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It stands for all of us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That (muted) flag, what does it mean to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're trying to say this God given nation. It's a nation that was taken from its Native people so how is it a God given nation? It's not. You took it. You took it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Thoughts on that?
HUCKABEE: You know, it just stuns me that somebody who grew up in this country could believe that we are what that latte sipping idiot must have been thinking when she said that. Gosh, Megyn.
KELLY: Tell us how you really feel.
HUCKABEE: Look, I'm a person who has grown up living the American dream. I worked my butt off to get through college. Nobody in my family, no male upstream for me have ever graduated high school.
I love this country because I understand that I'm living on one of the few places on God's given planet in which a person like me growing up like I did could live the life I've been able to live.
But I didn't do it by going and screaming and burning the flag. I did it by respecting this country and especially appreciating the men and women who shed their blood so I could live with liberty, freedom and opportunity and take advantage of it.
My gosh, what's happened to this country? What are we teaching these people if they don't have at least a modicum of appreciation for what these veterans have done to make us free? God help us if there are many people who think like that idiot.
KELLY: So you're not -- going to put you down in the not a fan category for her -- the sentiment she was expressing.
HUCKABEE: Not a fan. No.
KELLY: And before I let you go can I just ask you one more, so much emotion, right? She felt it deeply.
KELLY: And we've seen that -- we see that in the country right now, you know, left versus right, blue versus red, Hillary versus Trump and the supporters on both sides.
It always gets especially bad right before the election, 2012 the same, 2008 the same. Do you feel it, too, and do you think whoever wins there will be a healing, or is this -- is this especially divisive this year?
HUCKABEE: It is especially divisive but the healing comes if we have a leader who will start fixing things and start bringing equality back.
Why I worry about Hillary is not about her being a democrat. Look, I've known Hillary a long time. I know exactly while this election is coming to the end because I've seen it, I've lived it, I've experienced it, and that's what scares me.
Here is what I want whether it's Trump -- and I hope to God it I is -- but the fact is I believe Donald Trump understands the people out there in America who swing, hammers, stand on concrete floors, deliver four plates up and down their arm to a table of diners.
I think Donald Trump has at least an appreciation for the people who do the work that often is neglected. I don't think Hillary could give a rip about the people who are out there lifting heavy things and getting their hands dirty and greasy.
She looks at them as the great unwashed, people unworthy of her...
HUCKABEE: ... other than to be put in her basket of deplorables. That's my prayer. That's not about partisanship. It's about making America -America again. And as Trump might say, to make it great again.
KELLY: Governor, great to see you.
HUCKABEE: Thanks, Megyn.
KELLY: Well, in the middle of the ObamaCare debate we heard warnings that premiums would skyrocket, that healthy folks would not sign up and that the whole thing would start to collapse and we were told that was all nonsense and it was a bunch of Fox News B.S., and now we're seeing all of that come true.
So, will this help Donald Trump at the polls with less than two weeks to go? Chris Stirewalt is next on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The Affordable Care Act has done what it was designed to do. It gave us affordable health care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: That was President Obama just last week talking about how affordable it is to have ObamaCare.
But now we are learning that not only our premiums jumping by 25 percent on average, they are up almost double or triple that number in some swing states, and that could lead to some political fallout on election day.
Trace Gallagher he's on our West Coast newsroom with the numbers. Trace?
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, as the candidate Hillary Clinton has aligned herself very closely with President Obama defending his economic record and praising him for pushing through ObamaCare.
Now she find herself having to defend ObamaCare numbers that come from the administration itself.
You mentioned 25 percent average premium increases in 39 states, but it's the premium increases in battleground states that may prove most damaging to camp Clinton like a 40 percent increase in North Carolina, 53 percent in Pennsylvania, 116 percent in Arizona.
Back in September, well before the administration released these numbers a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found 6 in 10 adults said the candidates' plans to address the cost of health insurance would be very important to their vote for president.
And now health care is Donald Trump's number one talking point. He tweeted, quote, "ObamaCare is a disaster. Rates going through the sky. Ready to explode. I will fix it. Hillary can't. Hash tag ObamaCare failed. And here is Trump on the trail. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: From the beginning I said it wasn't going to work, and it didn't work. It didn't work. And it's going to get worse. And Hillary Clinton wants to keep it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And, yes, Hillary Clinton does want to keep it, but she is also calling for modifications. Watch.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
CLINTON: We're going to really tackle that. We're going to get co-pays and premiums and deductibles down. We're going to tackle prescription drug costs and we can do that without ripping away the insurance that people now have.
(END VOICE CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Meantime, Senate candidates in tight races are also jumping on the anti-ObamaCare bandwagon. Megyn?
KELLY: Trace, thank you. Well, Chris Stirewalt is also with us tonight. He's host of "Perino & Stirewalt: I Tell You What."
So, Chris, this is a political issue. It's number one for Donald Trump and it remind people of an issue that helped the republicans capture the Senate just -- yes, right?
CHRIS STIREWALT, CO-HOST, "PERINO & STIREWALT": And the House.
KELLY: And the House a couple years ago.
STIREWALT: And remember the lie of the year, remember that thing? If you like your -- blah, blah, blah.
KELLY: If you can keep your plan, you can keep your plan, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, period.
STIREWALT: Not so much. Period, asterisk. The reality that we face today is that probably by now almost 10 percent of all the people who will vote in this election have already voted. The clock is running. The sand -- like sands through the hourglass, these are the ballots of our lives.
KELLY: But 90 percent haven't.
STIREWALT: You make a good -- you make a good point.
KELLY: See my math? See what I did there?
STIREWALT: Journalism math. We did it. The reality for Donald Trump is this is the perfect moment to have this talking point because this is something that appeals to the voters that he's talking about, the people that are hurt here are not lower income people.
The people who are hurt here are not upper income people, these are middle class -- the middle of the middle class and a lot of these are suburban voters and they happen to be in some very important swing states.
KELLY: Yes. Well, you look at the numbers, Arizona 116 percent increase, Chris. A 116, North Carolina, 40 percent. These are not -- we're not talking about rich voters who can -- who can handle a couple hundred bucks extra on these -- on these rates.
STIREWALT: No, a lot of this will be of offset with the welfare component of this. There is -- there are subsidies here. But even so...
KELLY: Who pays for that?
STIREWALT: .. there is the corruption here -- well, you know who. And in the name...
KELLY: All of us.
STIREWALT: That's right. So, we certainly have that component in those states and we look up to Pennsylvania where Donald Trump's probably not going to be able to close at the end but republicans are desperate to hold on to the Senate majority and it's Pat Toomey there, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, and other republicans are trying to hold on in blue states.
This is exactly the kind of argument that they can make to their voters to say, look, maybe you're voting for Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket. But, my goodness, have a check on her when she comes in. If she comes in to office so that we don't end up with something worse.
KELLY: Good to see you, Chris.
STIREWALT: Yes, ma'am.
KELLY: Joining us now Austan Goolsbee, who was President Obama's chief economist, along with Avik Roy, one of the country's foremost experts on health policy and a health adviser to previous republican presidents.
Great to see you both.
So, let me start with you on this, Avik. We had you on all the time when we launched The Kelly File and the ObamaCare was a big story and it was having problems, the roll up and so on, and you were predicting left and right that there were -- that it wasn't going to work.
That there would be rate hikes, that the premiums would go sky high, that there would be rate shock. You were mocked as having launched the cheap and misleading shot. Do you feel vindicated and how did you know?
AVIK ROY, FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITY CO-FOUNDER & PRESIDENT: Well, I mean, I'm not at all happy to be right. I feel very sorry for the people whose premiums have an accumulative basis gone up on an average of 126 percent over the last four years.
We've been talking about this 25 percent or 22 percent rate hike for 2017. The cumulative effect since ObamaCare went online is in average of 126 percent.
So, yes, there are some people whose incomes are close to the poverty line who are benefiting from taxpayer funded subsidies. So, they're not going to see those premiums.
But for a lot of people in the middle class, a lot of people who are struggling to afford health insurance, they're seeing big hikes. And that's why when ObamaCare was launched, the Congressional Budget Office projected that 21 million people would be enrolled in these exchanges. Only 12 million are as of 2016.
KELLY: What about that, Austan? The numbers have fallen short considerably and you can hear the consumer displeasure when you talk to folks who are suffering these rate hikes.
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER OBAMA CHIEF ECONOMIST: Yes, I'm not disputing that there are markets where they have had less take up than was predicted and that's why those costs are coming in higher.
KELLY: Right. They don't have enough healthy people in the risk pool.
GOOLSBEE: But I think this is misleading on two counts. I think this is -- be a little careful.
First this is only for people who are buying their health care on the exchanges. It's around 3 percent of the country.
For 97 percent of the country, that what we're talking about here has no bearing on them at all. And health care costs inflation overall in the economy has been the lowest in 50 years.
And the second is these rate increases are high percentages, but the overall affordability in most of the markets is still quite good.
So you got more than 70 percent of people are able to buy health insurance at less than 75 bucks a month which is far less than, "a," what they were able to buy before there was ObamaCare I think what most people are able to buy in...
KELLY: OK. Avik is smiling. And it's not the nice kind of smile. It has a tinge of mocking to it. Go ahead, Avik.
ROY: Well, not mocking but, you know, there are about 30 million people who are supposed to enroll in exchange based insurance under the original projections, and another 10 million people who were supposed to buy insurance in the off-exchange individual market.
That's more than 13 percent of the country not three percent of the country. And those are the people whose premiums are going up.
Austan mentioned that yes, 70 percent of the people who are signed up now are benefiting from subsidies now, but there are tens of millions of Americans who aren't signing up because they can't afford the premiums, they can't afford the co-pays, they can't afford the deductible.
So, this problem is going to continue and I think what's going to be very interesting is in 2017, in 2018, have we reached a plateau of how many people will sign up for these ObamaCare based exchanges.
And another thing I should mention, Megyn, you know, people talk about the subsidies. Well, the subsidies are going to -- are going to cover everything. The subsidies over the long term only grow at a formula that's indexed to inflation.
KELLY: No, that's confusing.
ROY: So, if premiums on the exchange grow 6, 10 percent a year...
KELLY: Your point is, they're not going to cover everything.
ROY: They're not going to cover everything.
KELLY: Austan, I will give you the final word.
GOOLSBEE: All I say is what matters is the overall health care cost inflation rate and if this -- if we maintain the affordability then they will work. If we don't and we can't get people to sign up, we will have to fix it.
But for the people who lit the burgers on fire, those aren't the people who should be complaining the meat is overcooked.
GOOLSBEE: Republicans are discouraging people from signing up, so it's happening in red states.
KELLY: Great to see you both. Thank you.
ROY: Thanks, Megyn.
KELLY: Still ahead, Sheryl Crow on 2016.
KELLY: By the time Americans go to cast their ballots on November 8th, the 2016 election cycle will have been in full swing for nearly 600 days.
SHERYL CROW, SINGER-SONGRWRITER: Now I want to kill myself.
KELLY: Right. God. Now singer and activist Sheryl Crow is calling for shorter presidential campaign seasons. Moving forward.
Writing in a petition online, "We cannot sustain another lengthy slugfest like what we've witnessed for the past two years and ask both the DNC and the RNC to reform the process and shorten our election season."
Joining me now is Sheryl Crow. Sheryl, nice to see you.
CROW: Nice to see you.
KELLY: I think so many are having that same feeling. It's just -- it's too much. It's overload. No?
CROW: I mentioned it. I believe I mentioned it on The View and suddenly I was just hit from all angles. Are you really going to do a petition? Where can I sign it and...
KELLY: How can we make that happen?
CROW: What shorten the process? Well, I think that we are going to have to be really be thoughtful about it. Obviously we have to defend our freedom of speech, which is clearly something I care about because it's how I make my living.
But all I know is if this is an issue on the ballot, I'm sure unanimously people would vote to not have to go through this again and to think about starting November 9th, anyone can throw their name in the hat and start the whole thing all over again.
KELLY: First we'll have to get through the impeachment process whoever wins.
CROW: We have to get through the impeachment process. That's tricky. I'm going to have a petition for that.
KELLY: Yes. I mean, realistically, be very hard. But what you are speaking to is a larger malaise and I think a lot of voters are feeling that this is never ending and that it's so vitriolic and it's so divisive. And now it goes on for so long. It's a massive downer.
CROW: Here's the thing. Two years of a campaign does not educate anyone any more than it would have if it was six months. The argument that all these things that have been coming out in the last couple of months, they would still come out in the last couple of months.
That's when all the bombshells come out is generally right before the election.
And instead, it's really not benefited anyone, it's not been anymore enlightening. It's kind of just benefited the media outlets and political consultants and people who work on elections and super PACs and lobbyists.
We have to get away from that, we got to change the dialogue and we need to do that for the future of the country and for our kids.
KELLY: Now you are a democrat but you came from a mixed household. Right? Your mom was a democrat. Your dad, a staunch Republican.
KELLY: So how did your mom win and did it lead to trouble with you and your dad?
CROW: I mean truth be told, my mom and probably most of the women wear the pants in the family. Right? Abort, abort. No. It's -- it was funny because when I was 18 Ronald Reagan was up against the incumbent and they were going to cancel out each other's vote, so secretly they went to each of us kids and we're campaigning.
But the nice thing about it was you didn't have all of the social media and the bombardment of vitriolic dialogue that went on. You had Walter Cronkite, you had the debates, you had the newspapers.
KELLY: Yes. And then you voted.
CROW: And then you voted.
KELLY: I remember seeing you in Invesco Field back when Barack Obama accepted the nomination and that pillars and that you played and your music was beautiful.
How do you feel he fared? Because, you know, even he has admitted that the promise that I think many people felt that day that there wasn't going to be so much blue and red and vitriol and partisanship.
KELLY: And even he's admitted it was not possible.
CROW: As soon as -- you know, I think that this petition is going to address one small thing. There's so many things that needed to be addressed in our government from term limits to also the fact that our government's been in the stalemate for whatever reason and we can't have that.
I think our public figures sometimes forget that they're representing a massive constituency and that the people that are putting money in their pockets, the lobbyists, the special interests, they're -- they're getting to make the decisions. And that can't be solved with a petition. But this can.
KELLY: Got to go. Sheryl Crow is voting for Hillary Clinton. We'll find out during the break whether she really means it. We'll be right back. Thank you.
KELLY: I stand corrected. Sheryl Crow is not saying who's she's voting for. She was voting for Barack Obama last time around, but she's not saying this time.
What do you think? Facebook.com/kellyfile. See you tomorrow at 9.
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