How the media fueled Walker's rise and fall; WH papal welcome list offends conservatives

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," September 21, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, new fallout from a shocking announcement as the Republican once considered the most promising presidential contender announces he's leaving the race for the White House.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. Today, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who not long ago considered the favorite to win the GOP nomination, became the second republican to leave a crowded 2016 field. And on the way out, he delivered a clear message to the rest of the candidates by taking a direct swipe at businessman Donald Trump.  Watch.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-WIS.: Sadly the debate taking place in the Republican Party today is not focused on that optimistic view of America. Instead, it has drifted into personal attacks.  To refocus the debate on these types of issues will require leadership. I was sitting in church yesterday, the pastor's words reminded me that the Bible is full of stories about people who were called to be leaders in unusual ways. Today, I believe that I'm being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field.

With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately. I encourage other republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner.  This is fundamentally important to the future of the party, and more importantly to the future of our country.


KELLY: It was just two months ago that Governor Walker appeared poised to do very well in Iowa. The first contest in the nation. His national numbers were near the top, too. But after two lackluster debate performances, a new national poll out this morning showed an almost complete collapse of a campaign once expected to challenge the top tier.

Joining us now on this and more tonight, presidential contenders Governor Mike Huckabee and Governor Chris Christie. Plus, FOX News contributor Marc Thiessen and host of "MEDIA BUZZ" Howie Kurtz.

Marc and Howie, we go to you first. Marc, your reaction, you were somebody who helped Governor Walker write a book not long ago and know him fairly well. Know him fairly well. There was no hint of this, the campaign had been tweeting out updates on his chances in Iowa and the full steam ahead message a couple of hours before seemingly out of nowhere he said, I'm done.

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, you know, I'm shocked but I'm not surprised. This is a Scott Walker I know. I mean, first of all, I'm just a huge admirer of Scott Walker as you know, I wrote a book with him, got to know him, got to know his family, I spent a lot of time with him in Wisconsin. And this is a guy who stood up to 100,000 union protesters and didn't flinch. He's a fundamentally, good, compassionate guy. But, you know, he didn't have to get out today. The fact is, he could very easily have slimmed down his campaign, focused in on Iowa, waited for a moment to re-emerge.

John McCain did that with some success in 2007. And, you know, people say, he's like a new Tim Pawlenty. If Tim Pawlenty have stayed in the race, he'd probably would have been the frontrunner at some point. He did the humble and patriotic thing, which was, to step out for the good of the country, for the good of the party so that vision that he believed in for the Republican Party, a hopeful, optimistic vision can emerge. And some consensus can cover on the candidates who can carry that message and opposition to Donald Trump.

KELLY: What's amazing, though and I'll get to the Trump thing in a second. But what's amazing is, just in August, in August, he was at eight percent. Now today he's at less than one percent in a CNN national poll.  But in August he was at eight percent. So, it wasn't that long, about a month ago, and he was tied for fourth there, Howie. He was tied for fourth. I mean, to say at this point in the race there's no coming back, even in the face of that CNN poll?

HOWIE KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": Well, Scott Walker, in my view, is a charisma challenged candidate. Perfectly competent governor, but kind of a bland and boring guy who had trouble hitting major league pitching and he found himself competing in a trumped up environment. So by the end of his campaign, here's a kind of soft spoken mid westerner, he would be shouting a crowd, I am intimidated, and even musing about building a wall on the Canadian border. It wasn't really him. He was trying to tap into the anger that propelled Donald Trump to the top of the hit and it wasn't working.

KELLY: How about those comments on his way out, Marc, that's two of the GOP field, Rick Perry, well respected former Governor of Texas and now Governor Scott Walker, on their way out, taking direct aim at Donald Trump.  Is it fair?

THIESSEN: Oh, I think it's very fair. I think there are some -- there are a lot of Republicans who are very worried about Donald Trump and the vision he's bringing for the party which is not a hopeful optimistic vision. It's not the vision of Reagan. I mean, Scott Walker said in that statement, he stood there on the debate stage at the Reagan Library, and realizing this is not the Republican Party that Ronald Reagan built and that Ronald Reagan believed in. That he wants a candidate with a hopeful optimistic vision and if it wasn't going to be him, he wanted to get out of the way and hopes other people who share that view and are not doing well will get out of the way. Because the only way Donald Trump wins this nomination is he has got now 24 percent in the CNN poll, that means 76 percent are for somebody else. The only way Donald Trump wins the nomination if conservatives -- hopeful optimistic conservatives are divided amongst a bunch of different candidates and he divides in --

KELLY: But to blame Scott Walker's problems on Donald Trump is a bridge too far, Howie, is it not?

KURTZ: I think it so. I watched the series -- with Scott Walker.  First, he kind of ducked a bunch of questions. And then he blamed the media gotcha game, partially true. But a candidate has to be able to handle all questions. Then he suddenly seemed indecisive. I mean, this guy, Governor of Wisconsin, took three different positions on birthright citizenship an issue pushed by Trump in seven days. So, it's not all Trump. I've never seen, Megyn, a presidential candidate drop out and then urge others to do so. I think though, we have to keep this in mind. A lot of these guys in the low single digits, they could keep going. You don't need that much money you get on the debate stage. But he has a day job.  He has a state to run. And I think that by bowing out now with dignity, he avoids a situation where perhaps he becomes a little bit of a laughing stock in the campaign and hurts him at home. So, I think he was a wise man.

KELLY: All right, so who benefits -- Marc, I'll ask you. Who benefits because -- let's talk about the latest poll, the CNN poll that came out today shows Trump is still leading the pack at 24 percent, however, it's a significant fall for him from where he was. I think what, eight points? Fiorina jumps up from three percent to 15 percent. Carson falls I think five percent. He was at 19. And Walker didn't have many percentages to give. He had less than half of one percent. However, that doesn't mean nobody benefits from him dropping out, Marc. Who does?

THIESSEN: Well, I think first of all, he does have a lot to give in the sense that first, I think you'll see in subsequent polls that come out that he's probably not at less than one percent, he's probably in the two, three, four percent. But he also has donors who were backing him and he has a great operation in Iowa. So those people -- he put together a fantastic operation. He was the leader in Iowa for a long time. But a lot of people came and dedicated themselves to him. There's a lot of candidates who are going to want that infrastructure.

KELLY: Uh-mm.

THIESSEN: So I think there's an opportunity for a lot of people to benefit. I think Marco Rubio probably benefits the most, because he's one candidate out there who has this hopeful, optimistic vision of America.  And so I think he's going to make a big play for both, for Walker's donors and his infrastructure and his supporters.

KELLY: We're going to talk about what happened to Trump and Fiorina in that latest poll. Donald Trump has a very different sounding message tonight in the wake of that point which we will discuss, next. Guys, thank you both so much.

THIESSEN: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: We also have new developments tonight in another campaign trail controversy, with a major Islamic group calling for Dr. Ben Carson to drop out of the White House race because of his comments about Muslims and the White House. James Rosen has the fallout. And then Chris Stirewalt is here on how Dr. Carson's political enemies may pounce.

And Donald Trump breaking his silence after critics attacked him for what he didn't say at a rally last week.

Plus, President Obama is under fire for the guests he has invited to greet Pope Francis at the White House. Presidential candidates Governor Mike Huckabee and Governor Chris Christie are here on Governor Walker and on that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there any pushback from the White House with the kinds of people who were issued invitations for the Pope's arrival?


KELLY: Breaking tonight. New reaction from across the media and the 2016 presidential field with republican Dr. Ben Carson refusing to back down after the head of the nation's largest and most controversial Muslim advocacy group calls on him to quit the presidential race. The Council on American Islamic Relations reacting today to a statement that Dr. Carson gave yesterday in response to a question, when the doctor was asked by Chuck Todd of "Meet the Press," the following question, you'll hear the exchange, Dr. Carson said he would not support a Muslim for president.  Listen.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS, "MEET THE PRESS": So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?

DR. BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I don't. I do not.  I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.


KELLY: Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen in Washington for us tonight with the very latest. James?

JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, good evening. It's not hurting us, that's for sure, Ben Carson's campaign manager is quoted as saying today. He cites a surgeon fund-raising and 100,000 new Facebook friends all since Dr. Carson made those controversial comments on "Meet the Press." And the candidate himself as you note is doubling down, telling The Hill newspaper that the next commander-in-chief should be, quote, "Sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran." Muslims feel that their religion is very much part of your public life and what you do as a public official and that's inconsistent with our principles and our constitution," Carson said. Adding, if a Muslim presidential candidate publicly rejected all the tenants of Sharia, and live the live consistent with that, then I wouldn't have any problem," unquote.

Now, the head of the Council on American Islamic Relations or CAIR said, his group was shocked that such views came from a current candidate.


NIHAD AWAD, CAIR, NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Not long ago, some people thought that a Catholic could not be president. An African-American could not be president. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. We ask Mr. Ben Carson to withdraw from the presidential race because he's unfit to lead, because his views are in contradiction with the United States constitution.


ROSEN: At the White House today, President Obama's spokesman expanded the indictment to the entire republican field.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think what's particularly disappointing to many observers, including me, is that we haven't seen a significant outcry from all the other candidates in the republican race. And it's for the same reason, because they're chasing for the same votes.


ROSEN: Now, what about the voters? In June, the Gallup organization found nearly half of Republicans, 45 percent of them, saying they could see themselves voting for a Muslim presidential nominee. Only 66 percent of Democrats said, they would vote for an evangelical Christian nominee.  Overall, Americans feel differently saying, nearly three to one, they would vote for an evangelical Christian nominee. A figure that drops down to six and 10 for a Muslim nominee again, that's the public at large not broken down by party affiliation. In short Megyn, religion is now officially an issue in 2016.

KELLY: Uh-mm. James, great to see you.

ROSEN: Likewise.

KELLY: Well, several of Dr. Carson's fellow republican candidates weighed in today with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal getting attention for calling out the media, Governor Jindal's campaign releasing a statement writing, "This is a dumb game that the press is playing. It is an absurd hypothetical question calling it a, quote, gotcha game."

Chris Stirewalt is our Fox News digital politics editor, he's with us now. All right. So, was it absurd? Because what happened on "Meet the Press" was Chuck Todd said, you know, this is what's happened with Donald Trump. Should a President's faith matter? Carson goes on to talk about well, if it's inconsistent with the values of America, maybe. And then he asks, so do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution."  And that's when Dr. Caron stepped in it.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Ahah! And I like that the guy from CAIR, all he wants Ben Carson to do is just quit. He only has one request. Just quit the race. That's all we're asking you --

KELLY: We have to talk about CAIR. First, stick with -- whether it was it a gotcha question because the next question about CAIR --

STIREWALT: No, it's not.

KELLY: I'm looking forward to that discussion.

STIREWALT: Not a gotcha question. You're allowed to ask somebody if that's true. And now, whether or not Ben Carson wants to politicking his answer, and respond oh, now, Chuck, I am not going to play your games. But I will say this that what matters to America is America and wonderfulness and winning an excellence and just drive on bet. But Ben Carson said something that you're supposed to say in your inside voice, not your outside voice. He confused the two voices. And he said something that I bet more than the 40 percent of the people who are in that poll that said, they wouldn't support a Muslim, I supposed that number is higher, maybe substantially higher but people do lied to pollster sometimes. And Carson just shouldn't have said it.

KELLY: But is it going to be a problem for him because, you know --


KELLY: -- many people are saying that's outright bigotry.

STIREWALT: Well, it's going to be a problem for him. A lot of things are going to be a problem for him. The last time he got a lot of media attention, people said, I really like this guy. He said some stuff about having sex in prison that he really regretted --

KELLY: That it makes you gay.

STIREWALT: Well, he did say, he said -- there was this sort of a sexual smorgasbord, approach that was going on.

KELLY: Oh, gosh, let's get to CAIR.


KELLY: And he went off the rail. All right. So, he has got things to answer for, but right now his campaign is saying, it's not hurting us.  We're fine. We'll stand by the answer. CAIR. So, the Council on American Islamic Relations kind of they're shocked. He should withdraw. He is unfit to serve. Just so the audience remembers. This is the same organization that's been designated a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates, that is, according to a FBI special agent who testified in court, a front group for radical terror organizations, that even Chuck Schumer has said, has intimate links with Hamas and ties to terrorism. So that is the group that is very indignant over Dr. Carson's irresponsible statements and comments today.

STIREWALT: And remember, it is always in the interest of pressure groups to create the notion of an impending apocalypse. And it is always in their best interest to say, do you see that the torches are lit, the pitchforks are out, they're coming for us. It's perfectly within Ben Carson's right as a citizen and as a candidate for president to say that he wouldn't be comfortable with a Muslim as commander-in-chief. That is certainly within his rights. But it is in the interest of the President of the United States and it is in the interest of CAIR to suggest that there is a clock or a cabal that is forming inside the Republican Party or nationally that seeks to disenfranchise or unperson Muslim-Americans, and because that's good for a business and good for their narrative.

KELLY: All right. Last question. Last question. Is this a reflection on Trump and the statements he made about Muslims or didn't make about Muslims on Friday which then turned into statements he did make over the weekend? I mean, this is what some people say is the problem with Donald Trump in this race is that he'll say a lot of things that inject a lot of issues into a race that may wind up either causing damage to other Republicans or leading them to damage himself.

STIREWALT: One dog starts barking, a lot of dogs end up barking before the evening is through. There is no question about that. I would say that for Trump, though, he's reached a point in his campaign where he stands alone. He's probably happy today that Ben Carson was the one being sweated over the questions of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

KELLY: Uh-mm.

STIREWALT: But it will be him that will eventually -- the bill will come due for him on whether or not he believes that the President is a Christian or not, or whether he believes the President was born in Hawaii or not.

KELLY: Uh-mm. There's the Muslim controversy. There's the birther controversy. I've got to go, they're really wrapping me. Can I get a one statement from you with Walker dropping out?

STIREWALT: Good guy, patriotic act, classy.

KELLY: So are you. Great to see you.



KELLY: Well, we also have a new twist tonight in those attacks on Donald Trump as critics accuse him of failing to defend the President at a campaign stop last week. We're going to get to that next, with the National Review's Rich Lowry and Trump's former adviser Roger Stone is here as well.

Plus, remember that 14-year-old student who was arrested after bringing to school a mysterious electronic device that looked a whole lot like a bomb? Well, this whole story may have changed. Thanks to a report from one observant engineer. And wait until you hear it as Judge Napolitano joins us live.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This child, nothing against him personally, never built a clock. He did not invent a clock or build it. And I'm going to show you why.


KELLY: Breaking tonight on the heels of the dramatic controversy over Dr. Carson's remarks about Muslims, we are also now seeing new fallout for Donald Trump. The republican presidential frontrunner has now offered a series of explanations for what happened at a town hall meeting last Thursday when he failed to challenge a man who questioned President Obama's faith and his citizenship.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a problem in this country, it's called Muslims. We know our current president is one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know he's not even an American.

TRUMP: We need this question. It's the first question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But any way, we have training camps rolling where they want to kill us.

TRUMP: Uh-mm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's my question, when can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We're going to be looking at a lot of different things. And, you know, a lot of people are saying that. And a lot of people are saying, that bad things are happening out there. We're going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.


KELLY: Rich Lowry is here, he's editor of National Review. Along with Roger Stone who is Trump's former political advisor. But first, Trace Gallagher is live in our West Coast Newsroom with the complete story.  Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, hours after the controversial question was asked at that town hall meeting in Rochester, the Trump campaign claimed that Donald Trump never heard the accusation that President Obama was a Muslim saying, all he heard was a question about training camps and that it's the media who wants to make this issue about Obama. Two days later, the "I couldn't hear it" excuse went silent, replaced by a few different arguments beginning with the First Amendment, Trump posting on Twitter, quote, "If I would have challenged that man, the media would have accused me of interfering with that man's right of free speech. A no win situation." And then Trump said, he's not morally obligated to defend the President followed by this. Watch.


TRUMP: And then I said, if somebody made nasty statements or controversial statements about me to the President, do you think he would come to my rescue? I say, no chance, no chance.


GALLAGHER: Trump said, it's the first time in his life he's caused controversy by not saying anything. But on ABC's "This Week," he said this. Watch.


TRUMP: I don't talk about other people's faith. Not appropriate for me to talk about somebody else's faith.


GALLAGHER: Unless, of course, he's talking about the President's birth certificate. Listen.


TRUMP: He may have one, but there's something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he's a Muslim, I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want that. Or he may not have one. But I will tell you this, if he wasn't born in this country, it's one of the great scams.


GALLAGHER: When asked whether he would be comfortable with a Muslim president, Trump said, quote, "Some people have said it already happened frankly," -- Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.

Joining me now, Rich Lowry and Roger Stone. Great to have you both here. All right. Rich, so you know, obviously Trump's explanations for this have been a little inconsistent. You know, I didn't hear him. But I did hear him but I don't think it was appropriate to challenge him because of the free speech and so on and so forth. But is this a negative for him or net positive for him? Some people have said, this is a nice distraction from the press that had been out there, which was that he had a lackluster debate performance.

RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW EDITOR: Right. In the short term it may help him. Because the model for Trump here, he performs extremely poorly in the debates, then immediately there's some other controversy that distracts attention from his performance. That's what happened the first time. That's what happened the second time here and then a lot of Trump's supporters frankly for some understandable reasons get their backs up when he's attacked by the press. But I have a lot more respect for this guy if he actually stood by things he said instead of insulting our intelligence.

This is at the level of saying oh, I insulted Carly's face, but I really was talking about her persona. He didn't hear the question? He clearly heard the question and reacted to it at the time. And the idea that you violate someone's First Amendment rights by disagreeing with them at a town hall? This is a guy who had a journalist removed by force briefly from one of his press conferences, so he's not shy about disagreeing with people and expressing his disapproval of what they say or their conducts. That's all, it's just ridiculous.

KELLY: Roger, what do you think is really going on here?

ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP POLITICAL ADVISER: You know the sad fact is, that there's a very substantial number of Americans and even a greater number of Republicans who wonder about whether the President is a Muslim.  I think this is because of his policies, which are clearly soft on radical Islam. You think three years ago when Trump raised the birther question, people were aghast. By the way, he zoomed to the number one position in the polls leading Mitt Romney at that time, based I think solely on suspicions about that issue. So those who think that Trump will be damaged by this or that Dr. Carson will be damaged by this, I think will be surprised. There is a constituency for this within the Republican Party, which nobody wants to talk about but which is very definitely there.

KELLY: Go ahead, Rich.

LOWRY: Well, look, and we've had democratic presidents who have been soft on radical Islam for decades. Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school every Sunday and was incredibly weak on radical Islam. Bill Clinton famously carried that thick Bible to church a lot of Sundays, incredibly weak on radical Islam. So, it's possibly wrong on foreign policy and wrong on a whole host of other issues, and not respect for religious liberty and still be a Christian. And some of us who opposed Obama for years when Trump was still out there praising Hillary Clinton, we thought it was very important and it was a window into Obama's world view what Jeremiah Wright said and it's very simple. Jeremiah Wright was his pastor, not his Imam.

KELLY: All right. Let me ask you this, because obviously Trump has - - whether intentionally or not -- changed the subject from the debate about to what he has said about Muslims or didn't say about Muslims. The question now Roger is whether, you think the media, the mainstream media in particular is running with this and bashing Trump and for that matter, Carson with it, without any context. And by that I mean, referencing effect that the one of the main people to first pour fuel on the whole birther controversy was Hillary Clinton. And she came out on Friday and was disgusted with what Donald Trump -- she was disgusted. And yet, with the interview with "60 Minutes" back in 2008 which "The New York Times" called, "the sleaziest moment of the campaign," she said this. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim?

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course not. I mean, you know, there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you take Senator Obama his word that he's not -- you don't believe that he's Muslim?

CLINTON: No, there's nothing to base that on, as far as I know.


KELLY: Roger?

STONE: Trump is accused of trying to have it both ways by not slapping the guy down, or responding, by saying nothing. But Hillary Clinton, you just heard her try to have it both ways. The truth is, Jimmy Carter's middle name was not Hussein. A very substantial number of people wonder, because of the policies of this administration, about whether the President is a Muslim. This is not going to hurt Trump and it's not going to hurt Carson.

KELLY: They may wonder, but should a presidential candidates like Trump be saying that or at least condoning it with his silence?

STONE: I don't think he commented either way. Look, this is a flap.

KELLY: But what about his comment that some people believe we already have a Muslim in the White House?

STONE: When Trump loses the control of the narrative in this race, when you get away from issues, you have these kinds of distractions.  Presidential politics is supposed to be about big sweeping issues. The sooner Trump can get back to an issue agenda and flush out how he's going to make America great, the better off his campaign will be.

LOWRY: Get back to issues agenda, when has he had an issues agenda?

STONE: Did you miss his immigration proposal that was very specific?


LOWRY: But at least he did write down some policies on immigration, he hasn't done anything else, and his answer on this Muslim question was typical of Trump. One, he spoke like an eighth grader, I hear bad things are happening. That's so sophisticated.

STONE: You're right, he's not an ivy leaguer. He's not elite.


LOWRY: We're going to have a great policy, and he never tells us what it actually is.

STONE: He's scheduled to give us an economic proposal at the end of the month. Let's see what it looks like, Rich.

KELLY: All right, great to see you both. Thank you for being here.

Well, when Governor Mike Huckabee saw the guest list for the Popes visit to the White House, he called it a "classless decision by the most anti-Christian administration in history," Governor Mike Huckabee and Governor Chris Christie, both just ahead on the Pope's visit to America and the White House.

And the breaking news on Scott Walker, we'll ask him about that as well as the new polls on the 2016 (OFF-MIKE). Plus, we will have a dramatic new twist for you in the story of that 14-year-old student who brought a mysterious device to school. He said it was a clock that he built from scratch, he was lauded by many as a hero. Wait until you see what one engineer is now saying in a twist.

And the View has made a lot of controversial statements over the years, but tonight, see what they've now done that has advertisers abandoning the show. Stay with us.


KELLY: Well, new fallout today after reports claim that senior Vatican officials are upset with the White House guest list, of those who will greet Pope Francis at his welcome ceremony on Wednesday. Those invited include the first openly gay Episcopalian bishop, transgender and gay rights activists, including those who have protested this Pope, and supporters of President Obama's health care law, which was criticized by many Catholics for its violations against church teachings on contraception. Today, the White House Spokesman Josh Earnest denied any dispute with the holy seed, take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the White House feel about inviting people to this ceremony to reflect a broad diversity instead of just Catholics who might agree with one particular set of policies?

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The White House planned the ceremony that would ensure that Pope Francis would receive the warm welcome that reflects the warm feelings that 30 million Americans have about him and his leadership.


KELLY: Joining me now, Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie, Governor Mike Huckabee, also here, we're going to start with Governor Huckabee tonight. Governor Huckabee, you are not happy with that guest list. Tell us why.

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Megyn, if I were hosting a group of alcoholics anonymous, I wouldn't set up an open bar. If you're going to host the Pope, for heaven's sakes, bring the best and most faithful Catholics you have, people who would give their right arm to be able to meet his holiness. Megyn, I'm not Catholic, but I have great respect for the Catholic Church and for the Pope, and when he comes to America, it's only fitting that we put out the very best kind of welcome possible. And I'm not sure that inviting people who are openly at odds with the Vatican, who have criticized the Pope for his positions and the church's positions on abortion and on euthanasia, why do you put them in the very likely position where they would be photographed with him and make it a very embarrassing moment.

KELLY: Is it an opportunity to expose the Pope and those who surround him with another point of view?

HUCKABEE: Well, if it is, that's not the appropriate place for that.  If the President wants to host a summit and the Pope agrees to come to such a summit so they can sit down and talk, but you know I'm not sure that President Obama needs to school and lecture Pope Francis on Catholic doctrine and why he's wrong. Last time I checked, it's the Pope supposed to lecture Christians, not the other way around. So unless Obama now has decided that he really has a greater depth of theology and a better understanding of scripture than the Pope himself, and boy, for a long time we thought that Obama had a pretty high opinion of himself, but this would really take it to a whole new level.

KELLY: Let me switch gears with you right now. Because we began the show tonight talking about Governor Walker announcing that he's out of the race, which stunned a lot of people. Did it stun you?

HUCKABEE: In many ways it did. I certainly think the timing of it.  I said this after Rick Perry made his exit. I happened to be in St. Louis and spoke right after he did, so I saw him immediately after. And there's something that I can say that not many people truly understand, because not that many people have for President and never got to get out, I have. Let me tell you this, the only thing harder than getting into a Presidential race is getting out of one. It is harder to stop than it is to start.


KELLY: What do you make of his comments and Governor Perry's comments on the way out, that Donald Trump is part of the reason they're leaving, and that they hope other candidates will get out so that the front-runner right now will be challenged and they hope removed.

HUCKABEE: Look, we have a primary. The way you get out is that you get beat, you run out of money. But I don't have any intentions just in case you wanted to know that I'm going to announce that I'm getting out.  I'm staying in. You know, Megyn, if all the others would like to drop out and endorse me, I would be very, very happy about that.

KELLY: You keyed up my next guest perfectly, I'll ask him for you, Governor Huckabee, great to see you.

HUCKABEE: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Here with more, Republican Presidential Candidate Governor Chris Christie. No is probably the answer.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For me to get out? Not going to happen. Sorry, Mike. Not going to happen tonight.

KELLY: Let's start with that though, because Governor Walker, who seems to be pretty beloved by most of the other candidates just in terms of what he's done in his state and so on, leaves by saying, I'm going because I want to make room for somebody who can really take on this front-runner and remove him. Do you agree with that?

CHRISTIE: Listen, I've known Scott for a long time. I campaigned for him in 2010 when he ran the first time and '12 during the recall, and I was Chairman of the RGA during '14 when he had a really tough re-elect. I have a world of respect for him. He's a great guy. He and Tonette are personal friends to me and Mary Pat. So whatever he said today, those were Scott's reasons for getting out and I respect him for what he said tonight and for what he did during the campaign and what he's done during his Governorship.  But again, I don't get into this horse race stuff. It's too early.

KELLY: It's not even a horse race. What he was saying is he seemed to be suggesting there's a danger in the Republican field right now, the ideas of the front-runner and so on, and he thinks those who are outside of that sort of category need to step down, if you have no real chance, and let the person who has got the best chance take him on.

CHRISTIE: Listen, I don't share his view. I don't think there's anything dangerous going on. I think -- fact is we're having a competition, and the competition of ideas and personalities and approach and vision will be what will determine this. That's what I was trying to say in the debate the other night, there's too much talk about the people on the stage. Let's talk about the people at home and in the audience who are really concerned.

KELLY: Your numbers went up some. They were down, now they're up three, so polling at 3 percent in the latest CNN poll. But again you know Trump, he's down but still at 24 percent, Fiorina's at 15, Carson is 14, were you surprised it wasn't higher?

CHRISTIE: No. There are 11 people on the stage. So people are going to notice different people at different times, no, not the least bit concerned about it, I'm being myself.


KELLY: To speak directly to the people, to try to get -- to what they want to hear as opposed to all the nonsense with the back and forth of the candidates.

CHRISTIE: Well, it became my theme when I sat and listened to Donald Trump and Carly bickering with each other about who made more money and who lost more money, while the guy at home on his couch, a 55-year-old construction worker who doesn't have a job, he doesn't want to hear about how much money they've made or lost.


KELLY: The moderator asked them about their history.

CHRISTIE: They went on and on, you can give an answer and they were going back and forth about it, enough already about them, enough about them. Let's talk about the people who really matter, what you're going to do for this country's future. That's what really matters.

KELLY: Do you feel like we haven't gotten to that point in this campaign?

CHRISTIE: Well, it's been hard to get to that point because it's been consumed by this other conversation, which I think is part of what Scott may have been referring to today in the talk that he gave. So I'm going to continue force us to talk about the issues. That's why I bought up entitlement reform that nobody else has, and I talked about it again at the debate. I'm going to talk about these issues and people care about those things. They don't care about how much money Donald has made, how much money Carly lost at H.P. or made in her golden parachute or any of those things. They don't care. What they care about is what is going to happen to my children? That's why I asked that question in the beginning, Megyn.  I asked them to turn the cameras to the audience, and asked them to raise to their hands, how many of them thought their children would be better off than they are.

KELLY: You're lucky they did it, would've been very embarrassing if they had ignored you.


KELLY: Anything can happen right now.


KELLY: On the set too which is very dangerous. I have some New Jersey in me too, Governor.

CHRISTIE: I know you do.

KELLY: Great to see you.

Also tonight, did the ladies on the View go to a little too far? Oh, the nurses are not happy, when they went after this woman. See why this is now costing the show big money.

Plus, a dramatic twist on the story of that 14-year-old Muslim student arrested after bringing to school an electronic device that looked a lot like a bomb. He said it was a clock. We have an update next.


KELLY: A dramatic new twist tonight in the story of a 14-year-old Muslim student arrested after bringing a mysterious electronic device to school. Officials thought it looked like a bomb. He said he built a clock from scratch. Or did he? Trace Gallagher live in our west coast newsroom, Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER: And remember, Megyn, the school and police department were widely villainized for overreacting, and Ahmed Muhammad was widely praised for his ingenuity. Mark Zuckerberg offered an internship at Facebook, President Obama offered an invitation to the White House. But when the story went national, so did a picture of the clock Ahmed claims to have invented. And some electronic experts found something very familiar about it, saying it looks astonishingly similar to this clock, sold in the 1980s by RadioShack. In fact, some experts pointed out that Ahmed's device and the old RadioShack clock share the same screen, same button, and same nine volt backup battery system. They point out that Ahmed's clock even has serial numbers and an imprint of an American flag. Experts also ask why if you're inventing a new clock would you use a 30-year-old circuit board that is unavailable today, listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see no evidence that this is any creation in it whatsoever and there was any modification or even assembly of anything to have made things out of a kit for example. This is simply taking a clock out of its case.


GALLAGHER: Ahmed and his family have not commented about his clock being called a hoax, although the 14-year-old is preparing to change schools, go to the White House and collect tens of thousands in donated scholarship money, Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you. Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano is with me now. Judge, this we learn as the family is going to take legal action against the school and possibly against the police. So how does this factor in at all?

JUDGE NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: A lot of people, I among them, I blasted the school and I blasted the police for overreacting to this. It now appears -- I don't know what they knew at the time, but it now appears as though this was a purposeful hoax for whatever reason we don't know.

KELLY: Which is the theory of their case -- not that he was bringing a bomb to school but he was trying to play a trick on people.

NAPOLITANO: Correct. If the parents were involved in the hoax, now you have a fraud going on. Because there are two funds for him now, one is to hire lawyers to sue the school, the others is to pay for a college scholarship. One fund -- 45 minutes ago, and last we checked had $14,000 in it, the other $7,500, not huge amounts of money but money donated under fraudulent purposes.

KELLY: Possibly, that would be the argument because why does that prove anything? Maybe he just wanted to see if he could disassemble a clock and then reassemble it -- and he's 14, he says I built it.

NAPOLITANO: You know 14-year-old kids lie and exaggerate. But if this was part of a purposeful stunt and if the parents were involved in this and if everybody from Mark Zuckerberg to President Obama fell for this, this is not good. This is people overreacting because of last name or his skin color or the atmosphere of fear. We saw a clock, we assume it's dangerous, I wish race could be out of this. But all of that goes aside if this was some sort of a purposeful stunt.

KELLY: That's what he was accused of initially -- that you're not allowed to try to scare people with a fake bomb. That was their initial theory. That's why it's relevant, Judge, good to see you.

Up next, the View in a lot of trouble.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then there was a girl who wrote her own monologue, which I was like turn the volume up. And she came out in a nurse's uniform and basically read her emails out loud. And shockingly did not win.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did she have a doctor's stethoscope around her neck?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She helps patients with Alzheimer's which I know is not funny, but I swear you had to see it.


KELLY: Those are two hosts of daytime talk show the View mocking a Miss America contestant who performed a monologue about her experience as a nurse and treating an Alzheimer's patient. It's a moment they both now say they regret. But is that sincere? Back with us now, Howie Kurtz, the view is in a lot of trouble over this.

KURTZ,: This was appalling, Megyn, this is a couple of television big shots trying out for a sequel of Mean Girls, being condescending and cruel to a working class woman, who had just told her heart-felt story in a beauty pageant, about even though she's just a nurse she tried to comfort a patient with Alzheimer's. And it just did not come off, the View which is already in ratings trouble, you big corporate sponsors like Johnson & Johnson bailing out. You have the show in damage control mode, having a bunch of nurses on Friday, but it's hard to undo that kind of damage. And I don't think that sat well not just with nurses but with anybody with a heart.

KELLY: And a guest host reportedly says she heard one of them backstage saying oh, they're going to make us apologize now. And nurses everywhere are really ticked off. They're sitting there like basically why would you become a nurse? Why would she be out there with a stethoscope.  Oh, because the job of moron talk show hosts was already filled.

KURTZ: I don't think this wouldn't have happened if Barbara Walters was still running this show. This is a program that has lost its way.

KELLY: It's a shadow of its former self, it's really kind of sad.  Howie, great to see you, thank you for the update, and we'll continue to follow -- they say they're sorry, they paraded in the 50 nurses. Does that do it? Nurses of the world, let me know, @Megynkelly. We'll be right back.


KELLY: Heartbreaking news to share, a good friend has lost her husband. Jake Brewer was the husband of Fox News contributor Mary Katherine Ham. Jake died Saturday in a charity bike race. He was the father to two year old Georgia and Mary Katherine is also seven months pregnant. If you would like to help our dear friend Mary Katherine, please go to and search for Jake Brewer. We'll also put it on our Facebook page. The money will help with the children's education. Jake was just 34.

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