Has the battleground map shifted?

The 'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," October 27, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think we have had enough of the Clintons, in all fairness.


TRUMP: Don't you think? We've had enough. At what point, at what point do we say it? Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person ever to seek the office of the president.


HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And so I hope after all North Carolina has gone through with the efforts to suppress people's votes, you will turn out in the biggest numbers ever to say, no, we demand the right to vote.


FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: So when you hear folks talking about a global conspiracy and saying that this election is rigged, understand that they are trying to get you to stay home.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The first lady on the trail with Secretary Clinton, also Donald Trump out and about. Let's take a look at the SR average, the poll of polls here. We have it at Clinton plus 5.2 nationally. That includes Fox News, Washington Post, ABC, IBD, TIPPS, Investor's Business Daily -- that is in this group of polls -- Pew and CNBC.

With that, let's bring in our panel, Lisa Boothe, columnist with the Washington Examiner; A.B. Stoddard, associate editor at RealClearPolitics, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. OK, Lisa, they are making the closing argument, Michelle Obama, it looked like really helping in trying to energize the turnout with young people especially in North Carolina.

LISA BOOTHE, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: That's exactly what they need to do. I think what we're looking at right now is a race that is tightening and the lead that Hillary Clinton does have are not insurmountable, whereas if you looked at this race after the "Access Hollywood" tapes leaked we were talking about potentially losing the house. So I think if you are the Republican Party, you are feeling better about the situation as far as where this -- the Senate majority holds as well as the House holds.

That being said, Donald Trump is looking at a really tough road to victory. He is not only got to keep states like Arizona, Georgia, Texas, and Utah, but he also has to flip states that Romney lost in 2012 that are going to be tough for him, looking at Nevada, Florida, Ohio as well. So I think we're looking at a tightening race that Hillary Clinton is still up.

BAIER: A.B., we see these polls about Georgia, about Arizona, Texas. Most of the experts in those states say they're not going to go blue. But there are some of the polls that are really tight, and they say maybe it's not a trend but about this election, per se.

A.B. STODDARD, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Right. If Hillary Clinton were to win in Georgia or Arizona, I don't think it's a permanent Democratic realignment in those places. But it does require more resources, you know, trying to get out the vote in Texas where it's looking close, trying to hold Arizona as a red state, where she has something more than 30 field offices and I think Trump has none.

This is still something that in the end it costs money and manpower and it's stressful as the party tries to mobilize its supporters. They don't want to be protecting Hillary trying to block in red states. Look, she would argue it's all her worth resources, because with a good ground game, what if it was close and she could push it up a point-and-a-half and take a state simply because she had the boots on the ground? That's why you see them going there and they stash the money in advance in case an opportunity like this arose.

BAIER: Charles, I want to ask you about these e-mails and what we're seeing inside them. First of all, Cheryl Mills, she's the former chief of staff for Hillary Clinton, in one of the WikiLeaks e-mails exchanges, at the end of it she points out that in a note to send it to another account, not state.gov, because she says "As a reminder, government e-mail is maintained as federal records." In other words, don't send it there if you have got something to tell me you shouldn't be -- that we shouldn't be saving.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, this brings us back full circle to where we started. The original question was, why does she have a private e-mail? She said convenience. Obviously that was ridiculous. She was carrying around a whole lot of devices. It was obvious she was hiding something.

And think about it. She set it up in 2009 before becoming secretary of state. So she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see. So we have been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost what exactly didn't she want people to see? Now we know. And as we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation and its corrupt -- I don't know if it's illegal, but corrupt relationship with the State Department. Her only defense, as we saw earlier, the Democrats are saying, well, there was nothing she did as in the Raytheon case that was corrupted by donations. You can believe that if you want. But there's a reason that people give donations in large amounts, and that's to influence the outcome of decisions. So we are getting unfolding to us exactly what she anticipated having to hide. And it is really dirty business.

BAIER: Another e-mail, Lisa, John Podesta to Robby Mook, campaign manager, says, "Did you have any idea the depth of this story?" This is when "The New York Times" breaks the e-mail private server story. Mook writes back, "Nope. We brought the existence of e-mails in research this summer but were told that everything was taken care of." Those are two top officials in this campaign saying they had no clue.

BOOTHE: I find that pretty astounding because typically when you work on a campaign, you do opposition research on your own candidate.

BAIER: That's what he is referring to, is the oppo research against your own candidate to prepare for a run.

BOOTHE: Exactly. And that's what they were doing. But the fact that they didn't know the depths of it I find very interesting, because typically individuals, especially people that are at the top like that, would be aware of all the deep, dark secrets that are potentially going to surface because what you want to do at the campaign is to get out in front of you and know what's coming to protect yourself, because clearly this is a massive campaign issue for Hillary Clinton, the fact that we're still talking about this. If you looked at polling post-FBI director Comey when he made at announcement that they're not going to bring forward a recommendation for charges, you had 92 percent of Americans that think she either broke the law or did something wrong. That is a lot of Americans who had a negative viewpoint about what she did. So this was a serious campaign issue, and I find it shocking that she is that secretive that she didn't even let the people at the top know exactly what was going on.

BAIER: A.B., we'll talk about the foundation next and some of the revelations there. But your thoughts about how this kind of evolves? And the media is -- actually it has been on some front pages. It has been on some -- breaking through.

STODDARD: Look, this is -- I'm not surprised because she's extremely secretive and she only trusts a few people. And I believe that Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills are the two that actually always know what she's doing, but there are not a lot of other people.

And you could see Neera Tanden from Center for American Progress and Podesta and others talking about, hey, maybe we could mitigate this damage. Is there any way to prevent this? The optics of this are terrible. And it always comes from the top. She feels entitled. She's completely politically sort of obtuse and tone deaf. She feels she can do whatever she wants. Nothing ever smells wrong to her. And she sort of blazes forward and then they are left to clean up a mess. That's the greasy details of the WikiLeaks e-mails show the way she conducts herself. And the people around her --

BAIER: The irony here is that it's the most secretive, obsessed with secrecy campaign, and yet now it is not secret at all. There are no secrets, and we're seeing the conversations because of the WikiLeaks, which were hacked.

KRAUTHAMMER: There was one more reason. We saw in one of the e-mails, because she could get away with it in answer to the question of why wasn't all this released 16 months ago, get it out of the way.

And that's the history of the Clintons. They have always gotten away with it, including the famous story, the Monica Lewinsky story. Clinton calls a pollster. He said what happens. He says if you confess, you are done. You have got to resign. You are out of here. So he lies for eight months. In the end, that worked. He got away with it.

BAIER: All right, next up --

KRAUTHAMMER: That's what she has learned from her 30 years.

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