Deja vu: Will 2016 be another Bush-Clinton contest?

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," April 10, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Well, one of the biggest 2016 concerns depending on who you ask is whether name recognition may actually hurt two of the leading candidates. While the original Clinton-Bush campaign of 1992 was quite some time ago, a number of political analysts are now suggesting that the shadow of the past could cloud the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.

Here is Charles Krauthammer on "The Kelly File" Thursday night.


CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I think unfortunately for Jeb it will be a major factor. And it is not in any way his fault. You know, he could have been Jeb Smith. Now, he has advantages of being a Bush. He has the donor base. Well-known. Successful and a great family in which he grew up. But it is a big liability.

So what would you want to run if you're a GOP strategist? You want to run someone young and fresh and new and who sort of projects to the future. When you go to Bush, unfortunately for him, and again it's not his fault, it brings back the memories. And then you've negated the factor that you had in the fact that people really don't want a Clinton again.


KELLY: Trace Gallagher joins us from Los Angeles with a look back.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, during the 1992 presidential run, the sign in Bill Clinton's Little Rock campaign office read, quote, "It's the economy, stupid." And it was the economy that proved to be the Achilles heel of President George H.W. Bush.

Looking back, political experts say, the fact that Bush could neither fixed the economy, nor convince the American people that he cared about their economic problems, is what helped to undermine his attempt to win a second term.

And while Bush was having trouble conveying his economic message, the former Arkansas governor was quickly earning a reputation as a savvy communicator.


THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BILL CLINTON: We all agree that there should be a growing economy. What you have to decide is who's got the best economic plan. And we all have ideas out there. And Mr. Bush has a record. So I don't want you to read my lips. And I sure don't want you to read his. I do hope you will read our plans.


GALLAGHER: And experts say when President Bush broke his read my lips no new taxes pledge, he alienated many in the growing conservative movement who believed the time was right for a third party challenge.

Billionaire Ross Perot then became the most-successful third party candidate in more than 80 years. Considered that at the end of the gulf war George H.W. Bush's approval ratings soared to 89 percent. Two years later he got just 37 percent of the popular vote. And Bill Clinton captured the White House ending 12 years of Republican reign.

Clinton's eight years in office saw the dawn of the dot com era and a robust economy. But his presidency will long be remembered for scandal.


CLINTON: I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie. Not a single time. Never.


GALLAGHER: In 2001 President Clinton handed the office back to President Bush, George W. Bush, whose presidency was quickly defined by the terrorist attacks of 9/11. A moment in history unlike any his father or predecessors had faced.


GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people --


And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.



GALLAGHER: President Bush was cheered at ground zero, but heavily criticized for the war in Iraq.

In 2008 it was supposed to be Bush handing the office back to Clinton. Hillary Clinton was far and away the early favorite, until she failed to fend off the momentum of a senator from Illinois.

Now nearly a quarter century later Bush v. Clinton is again a very real possibility.

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