Donald Trump talks hosting 'SNL,' immigration battle; Rubio calls personal finance criticism a distraction

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 9, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." Over the weekend, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hosted "Saturday Night Live." And according to reports, Trump's highly anticipated appearance gave "SNL" a huge ratings boost -- as a matter of fact, the highest since 2012. Now, in case you missed it, here are some of the highlights.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But the truth is, I'm a nice guy. I don't hold grudges against anybody. Like Rosie O'Donnell.  The fact is, when I showed up for rehearsal, Rosie was here to support me.  Come on out, Rosie.

AIDY BRYANT, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Sir, as I have told you several times, my name is Aidy Bryant and I'm a cast member on this show.

More On This...


    TRUMP: Call me on the cell phone.


    TRUMP: Enrique!

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I brought you the check for the wall.

    TRUMP: Oh, that's so (INAUDIBLE)



    TRUMP: What is it?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the American people, sir.

    TRUMP: What?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're just sick of winning! They're winning so much. It's just too great, sir.

    TRUMP: Look, I know how they feel. It's exhausting.

    If you think that's how it's going to be when I'm president, you're wrong. It's going to be even better!


    HANNITY: All right, joining us now with reaction is the author of "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

    It looked like you had a great time. Did you have fun doing that?

    TRUMP: I did. It was really fantastic. And I was so happy to see when the numbers came in the following day, the ratings, it was really -- it made me very happy to see it because it is a lot of work and it's a lot of pressure, frankly. You know, you're on the -- you know if you make a little mistake, you're going to be criticized very badly for it.

    So people treated me very nicely, and the number of viewers -- I guess it was almost 50 percent higher than the opening night, which was with Hillary and Miley Cyrus. So I can tell you Lorne Michaels and everybody over at "Saturday Night Live," Sean, they were very happy.

    HANNITY: Did you -- were there some skits that you felt were a little too over the top? It was reported that maybe you didn't want to do this.  I'm in the middle of a presidential campaign. Did that happen?

    TRUMP: Yes, there were. I mean, I could have done some things that would have been wildly popular, but I thought it would have been inappropriate. They had one, you know, conceivably, where you attack Ben, and I didn't think that would be nice under the circumstances.

    And they had a couple of others that were a little bit risque, and I thought maybe it wouldn't have been so good.

    HANNITY: Let me...

    TRUMP: It would have been good, I think, for viewers. I don't think it would have been good for me in terms of running for an election.

    HANNITY: We showed the moment where the, quote, "president of Mexico" says, Here's the check for the wall. There was another moment, Larry David, because we had the controversy leading into this appearance. -- let me show that and ask you if this was an opportunity for you. Let's roll the tape.


    TRUMP: And we're going to have a lot of fun tonight!

    LARRY DAVID, COMEDIAN: You're a racist.

    TRUMP: Who is hell is -- oh, yes. I knew this was going to happen.  Who is that?

    DAVID: Trump's a racist!


    TRUMP: It's Larry David. What are you doing, Larry?

    DAVID: I heard if I yelled that, they'd give me $5,000.


    TRUMP: As a businessman, I can fully respect that. That's OK.


    HANNITY: In a way, for those that have been critical of you, was that an opportunity to say, This is ridiculous?

    TRUMP: I think so. You know, it was something that I approved, and it was even my idea to a certain extent. And I thought so. Larry was fantastic. He's a great guy. And he said, Let's do this, because people are saying, Well, maybe somebody in the audience will say this. I said, well, maybe we can do it first. That'll be great.

    And it was really -- it was played all over the world. That whole thing was -- I mean, many of the parts. I think the Mexican wall might have been the most popular thing that came out, the check. and it was a check for $200 million (sic) or something. It was just fun.

    HANNITY: Well, I asked that question...

    TRUMP: And the next line was, Well, I don't need this much money.  You know, I held up the check. I said, well, I don't need this much money.  I think it was for -- yes, it was, like, $200 billion or something.

    So it was fun. But you know, very true in a lot of ways. I will build a wall. The wall will be built. It'll be a real wall. It'll be done properly. People will not -- all you have to do is ask Israel how do walls work because there are walls that work, believe me. And this wall will work.

    And people will come into the country, but they'll come in legally.  And everyone's going to be happy. We'll stop the drug trade. We'll stop a lot of things that are happening right now. It's a cesspool right now, what's going on, and people are coming in that are, you know, loaded up with drugs and they're selling drugs.

    And a lot of great people are coming through, but a lot of people are coming in that should not be coming through the border. And this has nothing to do with anything. It's just we need a wall. We need it badly.  You see what's happened. You look at Kate in San Francisco. You look at Jameel (ph) in Los Angeles. I mean, crime is unbelievable, what's going on.

    HANNITY: Let me ask you about that...

    TRUMP: We'll straighten it out. People -- and by the way, people will come into the country, but we're a country of laws. They'll come in legally.

    HANNITY: You -- I read your book, which you just released. And you seemed to soften a hair where you maybe wanted to revise and extend your remarks somewhat when you said the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are honest, decent, hard-working people who came there to improve their lives, their children's lives.

    TRUMP: True.

    HANNITY: But do you think that if you had a do-over, you would have said that first, and we're also getting murderers and rapists, which we also know to be a fact, too?

    TRUMP: Well, you know, look, I say -- I speak very bluntly. And I think we have to speak -- it's not politically correct maybe sometimes. I think the way I said it was proper. I think people looked at it -- you know, it was very interesting. When I made my opening remarks, everybody thought I made a wonderful speech. And we went for about a week-and-a- half, and then all of a sudden, somebody said, Oh, wait a minute. Maybe we could interpret it a certain way. And they misinterpreted what I said.

    So I don't think I'd do anything differently. I'm number one in the polls, as you know, in every single -- I think I'm number one in every single state. I'm now number one again in Iowa. I had lost Iowa for a period of time, and I didn't quite understand it.

    HANNITY: Well, let me ask you about it...

    TRUMP: I think I would have done exactly what I'm doing.

    HANNITY: Because the last two -- you're right, the last two Iowa polls has you in the lead, the last two national polls, Fox News, Quinnipiac have you in the lead, last two New Hampshire polls, since (ph) 84 days until the Iowa caucuses. Why do you think you had the hiccup? And number two, you know, what are your plans -- as I was asking you last time, they're now -- everyone's telegraphing they're coming after you with all -- you know, guns blazing and a lot of money in negative ads.

    How are you going to counter that?

    TRUMP: Well, if they do, I go after them times 10. I mean, that's what the deal is. And you know, there's no reason for that. I think for the Republicans, that's a very bad thing for the Republican Party. But if they do, I come after them times 10, and that's the way the game is played, I guess.

    I will say there wasn't much of a hiccup, Sean, because most of the polls had me in number one. And then a poll came out, I think it was CBS, where I was a little bit behind. And people thought about it as though bigger than Benghazi -- they were talking about bigger than Benghazi, the one poll, finally, and they were so thrilled.

    But there wasn't much of a hiccup because if you look at New Hampshire, if you look at South Carolina, if you look at Nevada, no matter where you look, I was number one. You look at the state of Florida, the great state of Florida. I mean, all of them number one.

    Now I'm number one again in Iowa, and which I'm very -- you know, I was very surprised to see that I was a little behind in Iowa because I have such a great relationship with the people of Iowa. In fact, I'm going there again next week.

    HANNITY: Yes.

    TRUMP: So I was a little bit surprised.

    HANNITY: Let me...

    TRUMP: So I don't think it was as much of a hiccup as you said.

    HANNITY: Well, in other words, it did break your streak of being in the lead in the polls. All right, let me ask you about Ben Carson. You said four times in one day that he had a pathological disease. He's admitted that he had anger issues when he was a young kid, that he did go after his mother with a hammer, that he nearly tried to stab somebody.

    The issue came out -- I thought he actually gave a pretty good explanation about the ROTC and West Point. But my question to you is, why do you say a pathological disease, when the narrative of his life story is that he changed his life from that point forward and then he became a student and then he became a doctor and followed his dream?

    TRUMP: Because he wrote it. I didn't say it, he wrote it. He wrote that in a book. He wrote in his book that he had a -- either pathological disease or a pathological temper, or there was something. Actually, one of the shows called it disease, and I don't know if that's the word he used, but pathological was used, and I think the word might have been "temper."

    But you know, pathological's a very serious word. When you say that you're pathological about something -- like, usually, you associate it with the word "liar," he's a pathological liar. But he actually wrote that word in his book. That wasn't me saying it. And I was surprised, frankly, that it was put in the book. And it was reported very lightly.

    And hey, look, I hope everything's OK with Ben. I've gotten along great with Ben. But you know, he's having a hard time. The pyramids are solid structures. You can't put grain in the pyramids because they're solid structures, other than a little -- a little thing for the pharaohs in the bottom, as you understand, OK?

    But the pyramids, as an example, they were not built for grain because they're solid. These are very strong, solid structures. They don't have beams going across connecting and big hollow spaces underneath. You know, they're solid. So I don't quite get that one.

    But there were other things. But the word "pathological" was used in his book by Ben.

    HANNITY: All right, we'll take a break. We'll come back. We'll have more with Donald Trump coming up right after the break.

    Now, tomorrow, of course, the big Fox Business debate. We're going to ask him what his strategy is going in.

    And then later, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio. He's here to explain how he is preparing for tomorrow's showdown as new questions about his personal finances are called into question.

    Plus, the one and only Mark Steyn is here to break down the GOP field.  That and David Limbaugh as "Hannity" continues.



    HANNITY: As we continue on "Hannity," we continue with 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Mr. Trump, I know a lot of outrageous things are said during campaigns. A political action committee came out with an ad exploiting children, attacking you, one of the worst ones I've ever seen in my career following politics.

    I want to play a little of it and get your response. Let's roll tape.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Donald Trump. Screaming down of my country (INAUDIBLE) use offensive words.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So here's a few of our own.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're Latino kids born in the USA!

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yo, Trump, you may be high in the polls.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) racist suckers!

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But (INAUDIBLE) come through me!


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see, the Constitution make me a citizen.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you hate (INAUDIBLE) because I'm brown.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you say you're a patriot?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you want to tear the Bill of Rights?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm an American.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my home.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't take my rights away.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't like our Constitution and what it stands for, get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of my country.


    HANNITY: What is your reaction to that?

    TRUMP: I think it's sad. It's pathetic. It's been horribly received. People that actually were somewhat opposed to me are now big fans of mine. They thought it was a disgrace that an ad like that could take place, that they'd use that kind of language with children.

    They think the people that, frankly, put them up probably are, like many of our politicians, incompetent because it's a virtually incompetent ad. But to use children with that kind of language is disgraceful. I've actually gotten a lot of support because of those ads.

    HANNITY: Let me ask you about you and Marco Rubio have had a back and forth going. And you actually said that Marco Rubio can't even handle his own credit card, how is he going to be able to handle U.S. finances? His retort was, well, his father never lent him a million dollars to get his business started.

    Why do you think this is such an important issue because the back and forth continues?

    TRUMP: Well, it's not my issue. This is an issue that's been brought up about Marco. This has nothing to do with me. This all came out of the Jeb Bush fight with Marco, and people have been talking about his credit cards and his use of credit cards.

    This is not my issue with Marco. I couldn't care less. I mean, it's an issue that he'll resolve, hopefully. And I'd like to see him resolve it. But this is not my issue with Marco. This is an issue that's been going on for a while.

    HANNITY: Let me ask you -- you also talked about -- and some people - - and it's been written about on National Review in particular, I think have been particularly hard on you -- and you talked about your transition from being a Democrat to a Republican. And what you said was, you know, you saw what liberal Democrats were doing to the country. You said, A single payer is not going to work here and that this wasn't really an evolution. You say it's who you've always been, but you saw how bad the left's policies, the impact that it's had on the country.

    Can you explain that maybe to some conservatives that say, Well, he just recently became a Republican?

    TRUMP: Well, it's not recent. It's a long time ago. But Ronald Reagan became -- you know, Ronald Reagan was a liberal Democrat, essentially, and he decided and as he grew old older -- and this does happen with quite a few people, he became a Republican, a somewhat conservative Republican, actually. And he was terrific.

    And I was a Democrat, and I was also in a city that was almost entirely Democrat. You know, if you look at Manhattan and New York City, where had I worked and had my business and started my business, and you know, everybody was Democrat. The Republicans don't even run people for many offices because they have no chance.

    So you know, you grow up in that environment. But as time went by, I just liked the conservative principles much more. I think they work more.  I think they work better. And I just...

    HANNITY: How would you...

    TRUMP: ... gravitated toward that.

    HANNITY: For example, I consider myself a Reagan conservative. I'm a registered conservative in New York, which you can do and you can't do in a lot of states. If you had to explain to somebody in just a few words, how do you describe yourself politically?

    TRUMP: Well, I'm a conservative person. I would say that Republican Reagan conservative maybe would be another way of doing it. I was a big fan of Ronald Reagan. I thought a lot of him. And I would have to add the word Republican because I am. I'm a Republican. But I'm a Republican conservative. And we have to throw Reagan in there because, you know, I just -- I believed in him.

    HANNITY: All right, Mr. Trump, thank you for your time. As always, we appreciate it.

    TRUMP: Thank you very much.

    HANNITY: And coming up next tonight right here on "Hannity"...


    SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn't inherit any money from my parents. I've worked very hard throughout our life. I had to borrow money to go to school. Luckily, I've been able to pay back that loan. I have one principal debt in the world, which is the mortgage on the home that my family lives in, like most Americans.


    HANNITY: Senator Marco Rubio under attack for personal finance issues. He's here to set the record straight.

    Later tonight, Mark Steyn. He's here to preview tomorrow's Fox Business Republican debate.

    All of that, and also growing racial tension on the campus of the University of Missouri. The president resigned today. That and more.  We'll check in with David Limbaugh as we continue.


    HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Senator Marco Rubio continues to climb in the polls, and with that comes extra scrutiny by the mainstream media and from his fellow Republican rivals. Now, in an effort to put questions about his personal spending to rest, well, Rubio's campaign over the weekend released more of the senator's credit card statements.

    And joining us now, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Senator, especially with Donald Trump, who I just asked about, you know, it seems to be a back and forth with you and him that, Well, if he can't control his credit card, how is he possibly going to manage the nation's finances. And what's your response to him?

    RUBIO: Well, look, I'm not sure someone who's, like Donald Trump, that's taken four companies into bankruptcy should be lecturing anyone about finances.

    I think what he's referring to is the credit card statements from my time as the leader of the Republican Party House campaigns. We've released those, and they show that -- what I've always said, and that is the overwhelming majority of the expenses on that card that were secured under my personal credit were for political uses. And any time there was a personal expense, I paid for. The party never did.

    This is an issue we dealt with back in 2010 when Charlie Crist tried to raise it. But I think it's more of an effort, particularly from the left and some in the media, to distract from the central issue of this campaign which is the finances of the American people.

    You know, we have millions in this country that have given up looking for work. We have record numbers of people under Barack Obama living on government dependence. The unemployment numbers among minorities and young people are higher than among the general population. For the first time in 35 years, we have more businesses failing than starting.

    This is what this campaign needs to be about. And we should spend as much time focused on those issues, which I know the left doesn't want to focus on because they want to distract from the failures of Barack Obama, failures that Hillary Clinton only wants to expand upon.

    HANNITY: Especially after the last debate, you have now -- you are now third nationally in the Quinnipiac poll, the Wall Street Journal poll.  Two polls in Iowa now have you in third place. Two New Hampshire polls have you in third place, solid third place behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

    How do you account for this rise? And how do you take it to the next level?

    RUBIO: Well, you know, one of the things I've never tried to do is spend a lot of time thinking about polls because they're going to go up and down. We've obviously been up in these polls, down, back up again and down. The only polls that matter are when they show up at that Iowa caucus and a week later in New Hampshire to vote. And between now and then, these voters have reserved the right to change their mind multiple times.

    So what I'm going to do is I'm going to focus on the message of my campaign. We'll answer questions, and so forth, but we're going to focus primarily on what this campaign is about.

    And for me, it's about the millions of people that are saying to themselves, We feel like we no longer even belong in our own country. We have a government that's completely out of touch. People with traditional values are being ostracized, demonized, called haters and bigots.

    We have an economy that's leaving people struggling with the daily cost of living, young Americans straddled with student loans, businesses that can't survive. Small business formation in America is down. And then around the world, we're being humiliated by the Chinese, by Vladimir Putin, by Iran, by radical jihadists. These are the issues that people are really upset about, and it seems like no matter who we elect, nothing changes.  That frustration needs to be met.

    HANNITY: So let me ask you...

    RUBIO: We need to be realistic about our challenges.

    HANNITY: So the first -- you're -- you get elected president of the United States. I agree with you. I feel the same way about the nearly 95 million Americans out of the labor force, 50 million in poverty, 46 million on food stamps, median income down, health care costs up. People are really suffering and struggling.

    So your first 100 days, you'll do what to get the economy back rolling so it will help those people?

    RUBIO: Well, I mean, on my first day in office, we're going to start -- we're going to repeal those EPA rules, like the clean power, the waters of the U.S., all these ridiculous environmental rules that are destroying not just the energy sector but American economic growth.

    I'm going to order every government agency that's working on Common Core to cease and desist. We're going to immediately move, for example, to stop any taxpayer funding of abortions, whether it's in the United States or abroad. We're going to stop any efforts to close Guantanamo and try to transfer these terrorists either to the United States, or in some cases, releasing them to other countries. And we're going to cancel the deal with Iran. On my first day in office, we will reimpose those sanctions.

    And that's just my first day in office, and all of that will come after I put my left hand on the Bible and my right hand in the air and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States. And unlike the current president, I will actually mean that when I take that oath.

    HANNITY: You came in in 2010 as a Tea Party conservative. and you were down really even into late in that race against Charlie Crist, if I recall. I think it was -- your campaign really surged late in the campaign. And you're a Tea Party conservative.

    The only criticism that I hear about you goes back to one issue, and that's immigration and the deal that you tried to do. And it's the only one that I hear, but yet it seems to be such a big issue in this campaign.  What do you say to conservatives that may still have residual resentment and anger over that one issue?

    RUBIO: Well, look, I live in a state that's deeply impacted by immigration, and I was trying to make a difference. I was trying to produce the most conservative bill possible in a Senate controlled by Democrats and then hope that the more conservative House would make it even better.

    What we underestimated is how much people distrust the federal government. In essence, it's not enough to just pass a law that says we're going to build a wall. They want you to actually build the wall, then they'll let you move forward on the other things.

    So we reached a point in that debate where people were saying to us, It doesn't matter what the law says you're going to do or make them do.  They won't do it. The federal government will just ignore it.

    And so what I learned from that experience is that the only way forward on immigration isn't just to pass enforcement bills, but to actually do it. You're going to have to prove to the American people not just that E-verify has been implemented, not just that entry-exit tracking system is implement and not just that the wall has been built. You're going to have to prove that it's working, that illegal immigration numbers have come substantially down. And if we do that, then I think people are going to be very reasonable about how we modernize legal immigration so that it's more about merit than about...

    HANNITY: In other words, let me ask...


    HANNITY: Let me do a follow-up in this way. I think what you just said about stopping the Iranian deal, the things you'd do with the EPA your first day in office I think is very appealing to conservatives who are going to be voting in this primary. And I think -- you have told me now for a long time that you thought it was a mistake going along with that immigration deal.

    But I think people want one more step further, in that if you didn't respect our laws and sovereignty, you don't get citizenship. Are you prepared to say that?

    RUBIO: Well, that's the majority -- first of all, I don't think we're even going to get to that stage of the debate until we've done those other two things. I don't even think you're going to get to that until you get to the other two things that I talked about, which is the enforcement and then dealing with the second part, which is the modernization.

    Now, the majority position in our party is that it should stop at just a work permit. And as I've said before, you know, that's the majority position. As I've said, I personally am open to allowing people to apply for a Green Card after 10 years have passed and they've passed a background check and they've learned English, if they've paid a fine and paid taxes, and 10 years after all of that has happened, I'm personally open to allowing people to apply for a Green Card. That is not a majority position in my party. And so I don't know what the circumstances are going to look like in 10 or 15 or 20 years from now, whenever that process begins.

    HANNITY: But before...


    HANNITY: ... just to be clear, before any discussion of this, the borders will be 100 percent secure, before you even are willing to talk about it.

    RUBIO: It's not even about discussion. You can't even move to the second step, which is modernizing legal immigration, until you haven't just passed laws on enforcement, you have to put it in place and you have to prove that there are results.

    HANNITY: Yes.

    RUBIO: And if the American people see, OK, there are results, it's actually happening, then you've been able to deal with that distrust that they have. You can't say, Trust us, we're going to do it. It has to happen. They have to see it. And when that's happened, I think that's the key that unlocks the door to the other reforms that are needed, like the one that I think is really important.

    We have to change our legal immigration system to a merit-based system. In the 21st century, people should be coming here on the basis of what they can do, what skills they have, not whether or not you have a relative living here. That's a dramatic and important change for us to make because it reflects the realities of the 21st century economy.

    HANNITY: All right, Senator. Good to see you, as always. And good luck in the debate tomorrow night. We always appreciate your time. Thank you.

    RUBIO: Thank you.

    HANNITY: And coming up, Mark Steyn reacts to our interviews with Donald Trump and Senator Marco Rubio.

    Then later, racial tension on the University of Missouri's campus now forces that school's president to resign. David Limbaugh from Missouri will be joining us in our studios straight ahead.


    HANNITY: -- that school's president to resign. David Limbaugh from Missouri will be joining us in our studios straight ahead.


    HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So the next GOP debate hosted by the Fox Business Network is now less than 24 hours away. Joining me now for pre-debate analysis as well as reaction to our interviews with Donald Trump and Senator Marco Rubio, the author of the brand new book "A Disgrace to the Profession, New York Times bestselling author, our friend, Mark Steyn is back.

    So we got two tiers now. We've got Trump/Carson. We've got Cruz/Rubio. And you've got all these guys that aren't really making the mark now. We're 84 days out. What do they have to do? What are you looking for tomorrow night for somebody to break through?

    MARK STEYN, AUTHOR, "DISGRACE TO THE PROFESSION": Yes. They have to demonstrate that they're still in the game. I think it's particularly important for Jeb Bush and for Carly Fiorina, who basically is cruising on nothing but the fact that, she's what they call on Broadway a critic's darling, and she has these great nights in debates and it doesn't quite translate into anything afterwards.

    HANNITY: But the first two did. After the second debate --

    STEYN: A little bump. A little bump. And then it fades. But it's not -- it doesn't seem to sustain.

    And I think also it's going to be interesting to see how Ben Carson, who is basically just had this irresistible rise so far, whether he -- how he reacts to the rather wobbly week he's had with these accusations from "politico" and company.

    HANNITY: Don't you think it was a net plus in the end, though, because, it sort of was a continuation of theme started in the last debate that the media is abusively biased, their questioning was over the top, it seemed like the moderators wanted to join the debate themselves. They had an opinion and they expressed it.

    STEYN: Yes.

    HANNITY: And it seemed like a win for the Republicans and a loss for the media.

    STEYN: Oh, no, and I think Ben Carson reacted in absolutely the right way. I mean, by the way, he's running on biography. The last candidate to run purely on biography was Barack Obama in 2008, and his memoir is full of complete total balderdash from beginning to end. If you recall, he has this thing about how his step-grandfather in Indonesia died a heroic death fighting for his country's independence against the horrible Dutch imperialists. And it turns out that in reality he died because he fell off a chair while he was trying to change the curtains. And that -- instead of the press hectoring Barack Obama about that and saying, well, maybe you could, you know, do an awareness --

    HANNITY: Or the health care story.

    STEYN: -- how you should secure the ladder and be careful when you are changing the drapes, they gave him a complete pass on that. And so the message here is you stand up to these people. You don't play on their terms. And you kick them in the teeth when they come after you. And both Trump and Carson have been doing that.

    HANNITY: So let's start with the top tier. If you're Donald Trump, if you're Ben Carson, what do you plan on tomorrow night?

    STEYN: Well, I think Trump is in a pretty good position because his main rival was Carson, and it may be that Carson, the shine is just off him just in time for Iowa. With Carson, I think it's interesting because no one can quite explain Carson. He had these debates. The CNN one he didn't say anything. He was on national TV for three hours and said not a word, and his numbers just rose into the stratosphere afterwards. So we're dealing with a different kind of phenomenon here. And I think for him, the question is just whether he can neutralize some of these attacks and preserve his general likability.

    Trump, I think, has played actually a brilliant game. And the people who talk about Trump as an idiot, he's now been in the lead since he entered this campaign. That's unprecedented in presidential politics for an outsider like this. And he has this almost unerring instinct for when to say something and when to sit back and let the other guys go at it like a bunch of --


    HANNITY: "Saturday Night Live" was a homerun for him. I think in a lot of ways it took issues off the table that were there. Here's the check for the wall, and Larry David in the back.

    Let me move on to the second tier.

    STEYN: Yes.

    HANNITY: So what would you tell Cruz and Rubio who had a nice bounce after really good debate performances the last time? What do you tell them?

    STEYN: Well, I think with Cruz, he has to do what he did last time, which is to have one moment that is the moment -- as you said, Sean, they're going to be teaching in debate school for years to come. That's the side of Cruz that is -- separates him I think from the crowd. He can think on his feet. He's brilliantly nimble. He has this terrific memory.  And all he has to do is just punch through and have one moment like that that is the moment that's replayed over and over again.

    HANNITY: And Marco?

    STEYN: And I think -- and Marco Rubio I think just has to be -- Marco Rubio is basically -- Cruz is going for -- there's Carson and Trump who are Carson and Trump. Cruz is basically the conservative choice at the moment and he hasn't got a lot of competition in there. Rubio, the establishment choice, he's the lead of the establishment. He's got to be careful that Bush and Kasich and the other establishment guys don't land anything on him.

    But he's actually -- he's nimbler than Bush. Bush is not nimble in these debates, and nor is Kasich. And if you go up against Rubio on the evidence the last time around he's going to be able to punch those guys down.

    HANNITY: What do you do if you're Jeb Bush at this point? And by all expectations going into this primary he's underperforming. He now is even at four percent in the latest poll. What would you advise him?

    STEYN: Yes. Well, he's been -- he started out this debate season standing next to Trump in number two in the first Fox News debate. And he's now moving further and further toward the end of the line. The fact is he's been unable to tell us why a third Bush in a quarter century ought to be president of the United States in a nation of 300 million people.  You're asking people to do something extraordinary, to say that the Bushs are so indispensable to the health of the republic that we need three guys from the same family to be president in a quarter century.

    If you are asking the American people to support you on that, you ought to know long before this stage what your rationale for running is.  And it's not just good enough to say that you're a competent state governor or competent administrator. You're asking the American people to do something extraordinary that would be extraordinary in any free, democratic, representative society. And you ought to have a better explanation as to why you're so indispensable than Jeb Bush does. It's amazing to me.

    HANNITY: All right, Mark Steyn, always good to see you. Thank you, sir.

    STEYN: Thanks.

    HANNITY: When we come back, racial tensions and the University of Missouri forced the school's president to resign earlier today. David Limbaugh is here next with reaction and also to talk about his new book "The Emmaus Code" as "Hannity" continues.


    HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Earlier today the president of the University of Missouri Tim Wolfe resigned from his position after growing protests and criticism by students and some faculty members over his handling of recent racial issues on campus. And just hours ago the school's chancellor announced that he will step down at the end of the year.

    Now, the university's football team also got media attention for boycotting all team-related activities and the head coach tweeting out this photo saying "The Mizzou family stands as one. We are united, and we are behind our players."

    Here with reaction, author, columnist, and the author of the brand-new book "The Emmaus Code, Finding Jesus in the Old Testament," our friend David Limbaugh. By the way, full disclosure, he has been my attorney for over two decades. You're from Missouri. You're in Cape Girardeau. You've been there your whole life. You went to the university right.

    DAVID LIMBAUGH, AUTHOR, "THE EMMAUS CODE": Yes, undergraduate and law school, yes.

    HANNITY: And I thought they were very slow in handling some of these incidents.

    LIMBAUGH: Yes.

    HANNITY: Feces in the residence hall, making swastikas. Why didn't they act faster?

    LIMBAUGH: I'm not sure why that occurred. The only thing that bothers me about all this is we abhor the racism and can't deny the perception that these incidents are very serious and pointed to systemic racism. But I don't think that there's systemic racism going on there.  And I hate for this to taint the entire university and the state. And I wish we would calm things down and understand that there isn't this kind of rampant racism that there used to be in the country.

    HANNITY: Every book you've written has been a New York Times bestseller. How many of them on politics, and you wrote "Persecution," your last book was on religion. This book "The Emmaus Code," you kind of balance between the two.

    LIMBAUGH: Yes. The first five were on politics. The second one, "Persecution," was political, but it dealt with discrimination against Christians in the United States. The last book, the sixth, the last before this one, was "Jesus on Trial." It was an apologetic defense of the Christian faith. And this one, "The Emmaus Code," is about the Old Testament and finding Jesus in the Old Testament.

    HANNITY: I'm a huge fan of your political views. I read your column every week when it comes out. And I read this. The amount of knowledge in this is spectacular to me. And the first question maybe for the viewer's sake, because I've read it, is for them, what is "The Emmaus Code"? This is a very specific incident, very specific location.

    LIMBAUGH: Yes. Well, "The Emmaus road" is a story in the Bible that is told in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus encountered two of his apostles in one of his resurrection appearances three days after he had been dead and buried, yes. And they were walking along despondent because they expected the promised messiah, Jesus to be the promised messiah and redeem Israel.  He died without so much as a whimper in terms of redeeming Israel politically and militarily. And so they were all dejected. And Christ, they didn't recognize him. So he told them who he was and took them through the scriptures, meaning the Old Testament because that's the only Bible they had, and showed how every bit of it pointed to him. And their hearts then burnt within them.

    HANNITY: Nobody really understood?

    LIMBAUGH: No. That's right, because we have progressive revelation in the Bible. That's what we Christians believe, that Jesus Christ is presented in shadowy form, in prefigurings in the Old Testament, but he was more fully revealed obviously in the New Testament. But once we have the benefit of the New Testament and the writers and we do it through those lenses we can see Jesus clearly in the Old Testament and we can have our own Emmaus Road epiphany.

    HANNITY: We've been friends for all these years, and I am just impressed at the scholarly, intellectual level of study here that you have put in your life. I mean, besides politics, this is your passion.

    LIMBAUGH: I've had a lot of good mentors and I think I have been in the right direction. And I have this Logos Bible software plug and I have 21,000 books on it, all searchable. And I really am able to do incredible research. And I do it all myself. No brag. It's not that hard. But I mean --

    HANNITY: I studied theology and I had to take Latin in high school.  Trust me, the level of knowledge and the foundational knowledge that you have here is spectacular.

    LIMBAUGH: Thank you. Appreciate it.

    HANNITY: You're talk in this book and this got my interest, about salvation history, and that was interesting to me.

    LIMBAUGH: Well, yes. A lot of people think that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is just nice allegorical stories to have spiritual implications. But we conservative Christians at least believe that the Bible presents history. It's not all of history. There are all kinds of gaps. It's not all of secular history. It's a history about God's intervention in human history to present mankind an offer of salvation. It's a redemption-salvation history. So from the very beginning, from the very time that man, God offered him a plan, a route of salvation. He announced it in Genesis 3:15, where he told the serpent.

    HANNITY: You call this progressive revelation.

    LIMBAUGH: Progressive revelation, so it become more clear in the New Testament. But he told the serpent that I am going to put enmity between you and the seed of the woman, the offspring of the woman. The offspring of the woman is Jesus Christ because he was born of a woman and born of the Holy Spirit, not born of Joseph. So we know in Paul, affirmed in Galatians 4:4, that they were talking about Christ then.

    HANNITY: Between your last book and this book, it's almost like a puzzle.

    LIMBAUGH: Yes.

    HANNITY: And you're hoping to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

    LIMBAUGH: Yes.

    HANNITY: This was foretold, this was foretold, this was foretold. It is really well done. For people, Christian or otherwise that are interested the level of study you put into it is amazing.

    LIMBAUGH: Thank you. It's not just prophecies. There's typology.  There's all kinds of types and shadows and prefigurings, the covenants from the Adamic covenant all the way to the Davidic covenant, all the way through, it's all connected.

    HANNITY: It's called "The Emmaus Code," finding Jesus in the Old Testament. It's in bookstores, on David, always good to see you.

    LIMBAUGH: Thank you so much.

    HANNITY: I really appreciate the book.

    Coming up next, "Question of the Day," and our "Ask Sean" segment is straight ahead. Hope you'll join us.


    HANNITY: And time for our "Question of the Day." So what question do you want the Fox Business Network moderators like my buddy Neil Cavuto to ask to the GOP candidates at tomorrow night's debate? Just go to, @SeanHannity on Twitter and let us know what you think. Time now for the questions you sent in to our "Ask Sean" segment.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Sean. I'm wondering how you think Speaker Ryan can succeed where John Boehner clearly failed.


    HANNITY: It's a great question, and it's an unanswered question, and it's real simple. When 60 percent of the Republican base feel that Washington Republicans have failed them, you've got to reestablish trust.  Betrayed is a very strong word. My advice to Speaker Ryan and to Republicans, to get that trust back, I would come up with bold ideas that will help the country, secure the border, balance the budget, limited government, energy independence. I put all these promises on paper, sign your name, and then I'd fulfill the promises. And if they do that and they make them bold, inspired differences rather than pale pastels that Ronald Reagan talked about, the country would be in better shape.

    If you have a question, go over to Twitter, use the #AskSean.

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

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