This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 22, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." Tonight, it was a showdown on Capitol Hill as Hillary Clinton testified before the Benghazi select committee. Now, in just a moment, we'll get reaction from Senator Marco Rubio and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
But first, here's how it all went down earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Understanding what happened in Benghazi goes to the heart of who we are as a country!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your experts knew the truth. Your spokesperson knew the truth. Greg Hicks knew the truth. But what troubles me more is I think you knew the truth!
HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We did the best we could with the information that we had at the time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this pile in 2011, I see daily updates. When I look at this pile in 2012, I only see a handful of e-mails to you, and I can only conclude by your own records that there was a lack of interest in Libya in 2012.
CLINTON: No one ever came to me and said we should shut down our compound in Benghazi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm not saying shut it down. I'm saying protect it.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, D-MD.: The Republicans are squandering millions of taxpayer dollars on this abusive effort to derail Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there's no evidence for a video-inspired protest, then where did the false narrative start? It started with you, Madam Secretary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How come not a single person lost a single paycheck connected to the fact that we had the first ambassador killed since 1979? How come no one has been held accountable to date?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a matter if you knew about them. It's a matter of what you did about them. And to us, the answer to that is nothing.
CLINTON: I think the insinuations do a grave disservice to the hard work that people in the State Department, the intelligence community, the Defense Department, the White House did.
GOWDY: We're going to find the truth because there is no statute of limitations on the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Here with reaction, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Florida senator Marco Rubio. Senator, welcome back to the program.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, Sean.
HANNITY: First, general impressions about today.
RUBIO: It goes back to what I've been saying from the beginning, We need to focus on this very carefully. Benghazi was a very dangerous city. The Red Cross had already pulled out of Benghazi at the time. The Brits had already pulled out of Benghazi at the time. Our own facility had been attacked with a firebomb previously to that.
Despite all of this, the State Department made a decision to leave that consulate in Benghazi open. I would say that that right there is a red flag. They should have known that they shouldn't have been there.
But let's suppose they decide to stay there. If you decide you're going to stay there, then you have to ensure that you have sufficient security for that facility. Again, they failed to do that. The attackers breached it very quickly and happened to catch the ambassador there and killed him, and of course, three others lost their lives, as well, as a result of that. So they had insufficient security for the facility.
In fact, they had outsourced the security to Libyan militias. And then on top of that, there was no plan in place of extraction. If, in fact, there was an attack, they did not have military assets nearby to respond quickly and save lives.
It was a massive incompetence at every level, and the buck stops at the top. If Hillary Clinton's going to go around taking credit for her time as secretary of state, then she must take responsibilities for failures that happened at the State Department under her watch. And this was the costliest of all in terms of human lives, American lives!
HANNITY: She's been doing an awful lot of bragging about her advice that she gave on the issue of the bin Laden raid. I think raised a good point -- then she's equally accountable.
The whole issue -- 600 individual separate requests for additional security -- as you pointed out, they had outsourced it to the Libyan militia, which I think is insane. We know the ambassador sent a cable saying that al Qaeda training camps were right there in Benghazi!
So the question is -- she got Sid Blumenthal's e-mails. She responded to them. How could she not get 600 separate requests for additional security because they're concerned about it there?
RUBIO: That's exactly right. That's the incompetence level in this. Look, they should have known Benghazi was incredibly dangerous. And that alone should have anchored a debate about whether or not we should retain a facility there. If they decide to keep a facility there, then you have to make sure that that facility is accurately -- acceptably secured, and that's not what happened here, as you saw how quickly it was breached.
And more importantly, as I already pointed out, the security -- the perimeter security was outsourced to a Libyan militia. And then on top of that, you have to have an extraction plan in place, the ability to bring military assets quickly to respond to any threat of life that might exist. That also was not in place.
So all three of these things tell you there was a massive systemic failure here, and the buck has to start at the top, and that would be Hillary Clinton during her time at the State Department.
HANNITY: All right, Senator, to me, this is a before, during and after issue. Before, security was denied, 600 separate requests. During, I interviewed people that were at the annex. They told us there was a stand-down order given. Two individuals, including Ty Woods -- they defied that order to help save fellow American lives! We still don't have sufficient answer, even recognition that it was given.
And then we have two separate issues on the after part. And that is Clinton e-mailed her family and said this was an al Qaeda-like group that made the attack the night of the attack. The next day, she told the Egyptian prime minister, We know the attack in Libya had flog to do with a film. It was a planned attack.
So it seems before, security denied, during, assistance denied, after, a lie and a coverup. And she knew the truth! What should be the consequences for an elaborate lie like that?
RUBIO: Well, look, it gives you great insight into the way they conduct their performances and how they do things. That Sunday, they sent Susan Rice on the talk shows to say that this was what it was, and even while she was already expressing significant doubt about whether that was the case.
And again, it goes back to the narrative at the time. They did not want the narrative to be that there were radicals active in Libya. They wanted the narrative to be that the operation had been successful, that Libya was transitioning. And they didn't want the narrative to be that there were organized groups on the ground capable of conducting terrorist attacks.
So they wanted it some sort of spontaneous things, you know, caused by a video in the West. Of course, it had nothing to do with the video. They knew that very early on. At least she sure did. And yet she stood by and said or did nothing while different individuals in the administration were going out and telling people that this, in fact, was a spontaneous attack led by a handful of people, not an organize terrorist plot to kill Americans.
HANNITY: You know, we had the announcement yesterday by Joe Biden, Senator. You now, by the way, have gone up pretty significantly in polls. You're now in double digits in many of them.
Would you prefer to run against Hillary? Do you think a person that is viewed by 60 percent of America as dishonest and untrustworthy could be elected president?
RUBIO: I don't. And I think if you look at the trail of behavior here over a long period of time, she has always felt and the Clintons have always felt that they operate above the law, that there's a set of rules for one group of people and then a set of rules for them.
And I think credibility is the most important thing, one of the most important things a president needs. And obviously, if we are the nominee, we look forward to exploring those differences.
But I think the bigger problem she has is how far to the left she continues to move in order to keep up with Bernie Sanders. if you saw the debate last week, what you're basically seeing is a Democratic Party that's being taken over by a radical left-wing element within that party.
I mean, Bernie Sanders is an avowed and admitted socialist. He talks about how he wants the U.S. to be like Denmark and Norway and other countries such as this, as far as the government's role. And you can see that on issue after issue, she is chasing to cover her left flank. And I think that's going to be a big problem, these extremist positions that they're adopting.
HANNITY: All right, Senator, we really appreciate your time. Thanks for being with us.
RUBIO: Thank you.
HANNITY: And when we come back, you'll hear from a family member who lost a loved one during the Benghazi terror attack. And does he think of Hillary Clinton's testimony?
But first tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOWDY: You need to make sure the entire record is correct, Mr. Cummings!
CUMMINGS: Yes, and that's exactly what I want to do!
GOWDY: Well, then go ahead!
CUMMINGS: I'm about to tell you. I move that we put into the record the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, that was just one of the many tense moments earlier today on Capitol Hill. When we come back, former New York City mayor and former U.S. attorney Rudy Giuliani is here with reaction.
And then later -- well, it's been a good week for Donald Trump in the polls. Dr. Carson also had a good week in Iowa as a poll came out today. Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will be here to weigh in on that and Paul Ryan and much more straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madam Secretary, there was no balance. There was -- there was no -- there was two pages out of 270 pages. You talked about a lot of things in there. You talked about a lot of improvements that didn't have anything to do with diplomatic security in any material way in that report.
GOWDY: You need to make sure the entire record is correct, Mr. Cummings!
CUMMINGS: Yes, and that's exactly what I want to do!
GOWDY: Well, then go ahead!
CUMMINGS: I'm about to tell you. I move that we put into the record the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal. We're going to release the e- mails, let's do the transcripts. That way, the world can see it!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, those were just some of the few tense moments, or actually many, during today's Benghazi select committee hearing.
Here with reaction, former prosecutor, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, good to see you, sir.
RUDY GIULIANI, R-FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Good to see you, Sean.
HANNITY: OK, you have been at the forefront. People forget that this committee was the first to discover the e-mails.
But before we go there, let's talk about 600 requests for security denied. Let's talk about Hillary saying this is a terrorist attack not related to a video before she makes that narrative.
GOWDY: I think you have to divide this in several parts. So let's do first before the attack. There are either one of two explanations. Either she's the most incompetent secretary of state in the history of the United States -- 600 requests for security. She lets other people decide it. One of them was a bombing, in which the hole was so big that a tank could go through. It's inconceivable...
GOWDY: ... that the secretary of state...
HANNITY: The Red Cross had pulled out. The British pulled out. We had already had a firebomb at the embassy.
GIULIANI: So she has to -- we either have to believe that she's the most incompetent secretary of state in history. In other words, 600 requests, a bombing of this facility, and she does nothing about it, and she leaves the decision to her subordinates, which means she's a non- existent secretary of state.
Or we have to believe that she's lying. And the reason they did it is because, as Marco Rubio has pointed out, they wanted a narrative that Libya was a success. And I thin -- here's the big political problem for Hillary following this hearing. Hillary owns Libya now.
Hillary exerted pressure on Obama to take out Gadhafi. Gadhafi was a neutered (ph) despot. He had given up his weapons of mass destruction. He was a problem (ph) for his own people. But his own people are going through much worse problems now than they did under Gadhafi. And she's the one who was the architect of that.
And they wanted a narrative that everything was OK in Libya. That's why they didn't send in extra security. They didn't send in extra security because to send in extra security would have been an admission that they had created chaos, they had let hell break loose in Libya, Obama and Hillary, but with Hillary's advice. And I think that's why she did nothing about those 600 requests for security.
HANNITY: Well, she took Sid Vicious Blumenthal's e-mails. She responded to him, which has to -- it raises the question 600? That's crazy.
All right, then you have -- you're right to break this down into components. Before -- you just dealt with it.
HANNITY: During -- I interviewed people that were told to stand down. They told me they were at the annex but they didn't...
GIULIANI: Well, I was on -- I was on Sunday morning television with Susan Rice when she...
HANNITY: That Sunday.
GIULIANI: ... that Sunday. And I was sitting -- I was sitting in the room, getting ready to go on, and I heard her say this is because of the Mohammed video.
HANNITY: YouTube video.
GIULIANI: And I said in a rather loud voice a word that begins with "B," bull...
HANNITY: You're known to be outspoken.
GIULIANI: OK. I knew it wasn't a spontaneous attack. The guys had submachine guns and large weapons. She knew it the moment it happened. Now, Susan Rice works for Hillary Clinton. Why didn't Hillary Clinton correct that? Why didn't she correct that?
HANNITY: They went weeks advancing this narrative!
GIULIANI: So have one of my assistant U.S. attorneys, they go into court, they say something false to the judge. I find out about it, I correct it. She didn't correct it! She let it stay out there for 14, 15 days!
HANNITY: The evidence today -- Clinton e-mailed her family that night and said it was an al Qaeda-like group that did this. The next day, she told the prime minister of Egypt, We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film, it was a planned attack.
GIULIANI: So then how could she have her subordinate go on television two days later...
HANNITY: Wait a minute. I got -- I got a montage of them -- let me go to the montage to remind people. So they knew that day and day after it was a terror attack, but this is the lie they told you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have no information to suggest that it was a pre-planned attack. The unrest we've seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims -- many Muslims find offensive.
SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: What sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful, very offensive video that has offended many people around the world.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As offensive as this video was -- and obviously, we've denounced it and the United States government had nothing to do with it -- that's never an excuse for violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And Jim Jordan confronted her over this today, an amazing rebuke of what they have been telling you, the American people!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO: You're looking at an e-mail you sent to your family. Here's what you said. At 11:00 o'clock that night, approximately one hour after you told the American people it was a video, you say to your family, Two officers were killed in Benghazi today by an al Qaeda-like group. And most significantly, the next day, within 24 hours, you had a conversation with the Egyptian prime minister. You told him this. We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: Well, this actually then seals the case in the sense that before, you don't know whether she's incompetent or she's lying. Now we know they're lying because they knew from the very, very beginning that this was a spontaneous attack, one they hadn't prepared for, one they should have been prepared for. It happened on September 11, Sean. My goodness.
So the reality is, this proves that what is going on here is -- what's going on here is there's an election. They don't want the narrative out that they failed in Libya. Now, a couple years later, they failed even worse.
Hillary owns Libya. In this presidential campaign, if the Republicans don't take Libya and just put it right on Hillary...
HANNITY: Where it belongs.
GIULIANI: ... then we haven't carried out a campaign. She's running on her record as secretary of state. Her record as secretary of state is incompetent, and then lying for political purposes in order to cover up what actually happened.
HANNITY: Here's the amazing thing. Nobody knew about the private e- mails or the private server because of the committee. (sic) I'm going to put up on the screen because...
GIULIANI: Now you're getting into my -- into my 13 possible violations...
HANNITY: I think you're actually up to 16.
GIULIANI: I'm up to -- I found two bonus ones, yes.
HANNITY: OK, two bonus ones.
HANNITY: But now the FBI -- the president signals on "60 Minutes" that he doesn't think she compromised national security, which the FBI, I know from my sources, is furious about.
GIULIANI: Well, they should be furious about it. The president shouldn't be commenting on an ongoing investigation and telling them the result. Imagine pressure that puts on the -- on the -- on the agents? But thank God, FBI agents -- I worked with them all my life, U.S. attorney, associate attorney general -- thank God FBI agents are honest men and women.
HANNITY: But if they find violations to what you have identified here as -- as 15 to 16 separate violations, especially if they find the e-mails that she hand-picked and her team hand-picked to erase and then wiped the server clean, and she obstructed justice on top of violating the laws as it relates to how you secure e-mails, anybody else would go to jail!
GIULIANI: Well, there's no question about it. I mean, first of all, right on the face of all those facts is it is a crime to handle sensitive, confidential and classified material in a grossly negligent manner. That wasn't a grossly negligent manner?
HANNITY: Of course it was.
GIULIANI: I mean, that -- it's almost the definition of grossly negligent to put it on a private server in a garage...
HANNITY: No, no, in a bathroom.
GIULIANI: Oh, I'm sorry.
HANNITY: I hate to correct the record. All right, Mr. Mayor. Thank you. Appreciate it.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
HANNITY: Coming up -- Hillary Clinton claims increasing security at the consulate in Benghazi before the terror attack that killed four Americans was not part of her job as secretary of state! We have reaction from a family member who actually lost a loved one there.
And then later tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why has no one been held accountable? How come not a single person lost a single paycheck connected to the fact that we had had the first ambassador killed since 1979?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, so Hillary says she's taking responsibility for what happened in Benghazi, but did she take extreme ownership, like real leaders do? There's a big difference. Two former Navy SEALS will explain.
Plus, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will be here to weigh in on brand-new 2016 poll numbers and on the potential of Paul Ryan becoming the next speaker of the House, straight ahead.
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So the Benghazi select committee has been denounced by Democrats as being nothing more than a political ploy to take down Hillary Clinton, but it's so important to remember why this committee was formed, four great Americans murdered on the night of September 11, 2012, and their families -- they deserve answers. And so do we as citizens. So how did they feel about the hearings today, and what did they get out of Hillary Clinton?
Joining us now to respond is Michael Ingmire. He's the uncle of Sean Smith, a U.S. diplomat. He was one of the four killed in Benghazi. Michael, first, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
MICHAEL INGMIRE, NEPHEW KILLED IN BENGHAZI ATTACK: Oh, thank you so much!
HANNITY: So here's what we learned -- 600 separate security requests. And Hillary is saying the day of and the day after, Oh, it's not related to a YouTube video. This was a terror attack -- the exact opposite of what was told you and the American people. Your reaction.
INGMIRE: Hillary Clinton is a serial liar. Hillary Clinton really has a difficult time maintaining a consistent level of truth, and that was proven today and it's been proven before.
HANNITY: So at this point in time after, all that has gone on and the families now are left having lost loved ones and they're still maintaining this lie and they still deny the security and I talked to the people at the CIA annex, they -- the stand-down order still exists -- what do you have to say to her as she goes before this committee today and advances the same narrative?
INGMIRE: I think Mrs. Clinton really should consider resigning from ever running for any public office at this point. You know, she's incompetent. If she's not duplicitous, she's definitely incompetent, and neither personality trait really belongs in the office of the president.
HANNITY: Hearing 600...
HANNITY: Hearing that 600 separate security requests were made and they were denied, do you blame them for what happened?
INGMIRE: Absolutely. I blame them for instituting an illegal regime change, for running guns, for lying about it, for not protecting our people. That's the first rule of thumb for military protocol, you never leave anyone behind. And if you can't rescue them and keep them whole, you at least bring home the body. And it's just horrific that we have this woman and this current president running this fiasco!
HANNITY: All right, Michael, again...
INGMIRE: What a sham!
HANNITY: Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Thank you again for being with us.
Now, following the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, many Americans demanded that someone, anyone in the Clinton State Department be held accountable for ignoring requests for that security at the diplomatic compound. At today's hearing, Congressman Mike Pompeo pressed Hillary Clinton on that very subject. Remember, nobody was held accountable. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE POMPEO, R-KAN.: Not a single person lost a single paycheck connected to the fact that we had the first ambassador killed since 1979. How come no one has been held accountable to date?
CLINTON: Well, Congressman, the Accountability Review Board pointed out several people working in the State Department who they thought had not carried out their responsibilities adequately, but they said that they could not find a breach of duty. But there was a process that was immediately instituted and which led to decisions being made.
POMPEO: Yes, ma'am. The decision was to put these back at full back pay and keep them on as employees. That was the decision that was made as a result of the processes that you put in place!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Here with reaction, authors of an incredible new book. It's called "Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win." Jocko Willink and Leif Babin are with us.
Guys, the book is amazing. I love anybody that can become a Navy SEAL. You watched these hearings today. You guys both served in Ramadi. and my question is, do we fight to win wars anymore? You know, I listened to this. When 600 requests for security come in and it's denied, I'm thinking we're leaving them as sitting ducks. Why do we do this?
LEIF BABIN, CO-AUTHOR, "EXTREME OWNERSHIP": That's a great question. And my only answer to that, Sean, is just an absolute lack of leadership, certainly on extreme ownership, which we found to be a foundational principle which is key to any team success.
HANNITY: Isn't that's what's expected of you?
BABIN: Exactly. And that means taking ownership of problems and mistakes. And it's really about having a brutally honest assessment of the facts. And I think here, there was a political agenda in place that trumped the actual facts on the ground and those requests.
HANNITY: Yes. Jocko, when you think about this -- you ever hear of a case -- and I interviewed the guys at the CIA annex. They're hearing, No, you can't go, you can't go, you can't go. They defy orders and go anyway, risking their entire career to save their fellow Americans! Did you ever hear of an incident like that?
JOCKO WILLINK, CO-AUTHOR, "EXTREME OWNERSHIP": I think there's instances like that have taken place throughout history, by Americans that will disobey orders because their comrades or brothers in arms are at risk. And that's what Americans do. Those are true Americans there.
HANNITY: You know, both of you in Ramadi -- when I hear the cities Ramadi and Mosul and Tikrit and Fallujah, you know, I start thinking -- you guys served there. You guys know men that died there and lost limbs there and bled there. And then we pull out early. We did the same thing, 58,000 lives in Vietnam, 5,000 in the Iraq war, so many others injured.
Should America ever fight or commit to any war any longer if we're not in with a plan to win? I know that's a tough question, but as somebody who fought, what do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer is absolutely not. We should have a plan to win. And that's the responsibility of leaders to articulate that plan. They have to believe in the plan themselves, and if they -- they can believe it, then they can get others to believe in it so the troops can actually go out, execute and win.
HANNITY: Yes. What do you think when your hear of Ramadi based on your experience and now it's in the hands of ISIS?
WILLINK: The black flag of ISIS flying over Ramadi absolutely disgusts me. Like you said, we lost friends there, we lost brothers, and there's nothing more horrible than knowing that it's fallen into enemy hands for what could be for a long time.
HANNITY: You guys wrote this book. To me I think it is like a must- read for anybody that wants to be successful in life, because you talk about taking the discipline, the military discipline that both of you learned as SEALs and applying it to business and your personal life. Explain that.
BABIN: It absolutely applies. And if you have -- discipline equals freedom is a mantra he Jocko taught me and really kind of permeated our entire task unit which enabled us to succeed. And so discipline, standard operating procedures gave us the freedom to execute at a very high level.
And that's something that applies directly to your personal life. You want more time in your schedule, you wake up early, you get your workout out in --
HANNITY: Whoa, whoa, hang on. How more earlier do I have to wake up? All right, go ahead.
HANNITY: No, but you're right. I get up early and do my martial arts. I don't feel like doing it every day. I'm sure there were days at hell week you wish you could sleep in. Did you get five hours sleep that week?
BABIN: Something like that.
HANNITY: Well, I just think it is a great book. Congratulations to both of you. Thank you for serving your country. Thanks for all you've done for us. Thank you both for being here.
BABIN: It's an honor to serve. Thank you.
HANNITY: Thank you.
Coming up, it's been a huge week for Donald Trump. A new poll reveals a large number of voters think he will win the GOP nomination and that he has the best chance to win the general election. But another poll shows that Trump is trailing Dr. Carson. That's in Iowa. Huge numbers for him in Massachusetts. When we come back former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is here with reaction.
PATRICIA STARK, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Live from America's news headquarters, I'm Patricia Stark.
Congressman Paul Ryan making it official that he's running for speaker of the House. The Wisconsin Republican declared his candidacy after getting unified support from all of the GOP's major caucuses. House Republicans will select their candidate for speaker next Wednesday. The full House will vote Thursday.
A U.S. service member is dead following a raid to free hostages from an ISIS compound in northern Iraq. It's the first American troop member to be killed in Iraq since the U.S. began its campaign against ISIS in 2014. Some 70 people were freed during the raid.
The Homeland Security Department is sounding the alarm after two Secret Service agents were found sleeping on the job. The agency says travel fatigue, overtime shifts, and long working hours were partly to blame. The agents have been referred for disciplinary action.
I'm Patricia Stark. And now back to "Hannity."
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Turning now to the 2016 Republican presidential race, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is having a huge week in the polls. In the latest ABC News/"Washington Post" poll he has a whopping 42 percent of Republican voters believe he will likely win the GOP nomination, 43 percent think that he has the best chance to win the general election.
In the state of Massachusetts, of all places, Donald Trump is in the lead with a staggering -- get this -- 48 percent of the vote. The closest competitor, Dr. Ben Carson, has 14 percent. Marco Rubio is the only other contender hitting double digits in the bay state at 12 percent.
But in a brand new Iowa poll released by Quinnipiac University, Dr. Carson is in the lead with 28 percent, Donald Trump in second with 20 percent. Senators Rubio and Cruz round out the top four.
Here with reaction, author of the brand new book called "Duplicity," former speaker of the House, FOX News contributor, Newt Gingrich. There were five to six polls this week that had Trump in the lead. The only one that he might not be happy with is the Iowa poll but every other one has him extending his lead. How do you examine this?
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: First of all, I think there is a lot of momentum for Trump right now. And I think the more people watch him the more they begin to think he's real, that he's not just a flash in the pan or what have you.
But I also think that -- and I know you're close to him and you know him well, he is really going to have to confront the reality. This is rough and tumble stuff. This is like the Super Bowl. We're not playing chess or checkers here.
And, for example, Dr. Carson has a tremendous following among evangelicals who are a very big part of the Iowa base. So he's going to be in a real struggle with Carson in Iowa. I think presently my prediction is you're going for see a bunch of establishment super PACs all pile on Trump and start running and attacking Trump because they've got to be terrified.
Trump right now is the worse nightmare you can imagine if you're a traditional establishment Republican. He's uncontrollable. He's unpredictable. The party has been divided at least since Reagan and Kemp and I were involved in the '70s between a creative wing of the party and a control wing of the party. And the control wing doesn't like ideas very much, and it likes everything to be slow and small and a handful of people run it. The creative wing accepts a pretty high level of chaos and confusion because it believes it is part of a mass movement of millions and millions of people.
Trump and Carson, and to some extent, frankly, Cruz and Fiorina all represent this creative wing that's in an insurgency against the control wing, which has, frankly, failed to get the job done.
HANNITY: And that's 60 percent of Republican primary voters. And when you look at aggregate of the polls together, it also represents 60 percent that feel betrayed by the Republican Party.
Now, let me go back to Iowa. You are right, there is a pretty high evangelical turnout. Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum were the two latest winners in that state, maybe not the best natural constituency for Trump.
GINGRICH: Maybe not. But, look, this is like if you're going to be the frontrunner you have got to learn to be the frontrunner. He can put a base together. He did put a base together in Iowa that was very formidable. He has to go into Iowa at a retail level, do a series of town hall meetings, answer questions. He draws huge crowds, as you know.
But I think he and Carson could crowd out virtually everybody else because the sheer amount of media coverage they would get between them is so enormous. And that's a real problem. I have very great friends running who I respect very much, and they are having a real hard time getting into the game because it is so dominated by Trump and Carson.
HANNITY: Yes, the establishment, and you referred to this earlier, too. Byron York had an interesting piece out this week. They're already preparing to dump millions and millions of dollars -- apparently they now believe after months and months and months of Trump leading in the polls, they finally believe he can win. Nice of them to finally wake up to that reality. And so they're planning on negative campaign ads in the early primary states, caucus states, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. What should Trump's response be? And do they risk a backfiring in this?
GINGRICH: I think they do risk backfiring. Look, as you know, there's more than enough stuff in Trump's career that you can put up all sorts of stuff. He was a businessman in New York City. He didn't have policies. He had opinions. He shot his mouth off all the time. So you can go back and mine Donald Trump's material over the past 30 years and you have got a ton of stuff.
What he's got to say is, look, this is what ill a he do in the future. This is who I am now, and all that other stuff is junk. What he shouldn't get involved in fighting over that stuff. If they can suck him in to fighting over his past, he will shrink dramatically. But if he can rise above it and say I understand all these consultants have to spend all this money and that's how they earn a living and they're only going to negative and mean-spirited. That's OK. Here's what I want to do to make America great again. If he can say disciplined and stay focused, he'll survive it and it actually will probably backfire.
HANNITY: Historically negative campaigning works. As soon as that first attack ad goes up, should he respond in kind with his own ads?
GINGRICH: He can't respond in kind because it won't come from anybody. It's going to come from a super PAC that has a lot of money.
Now, I did notice that a close friend of his who's quite successful just announced he's putting $150 million in to start a super PAC in favor of Trump. So you can have a real running brawl by the spring.
But, look, I'm different than almost every Republican. Republicans like the world to be tidy and neat and organized. I think it is terrific to have this fight inside the party before we get to the general election. I think the strongest candidate ought to get nominated. If that turns out to be Trump, he is going to be able to take Hillary on from a position of strength. Anybody else who stumbles through this, but it is going to be an immense amount of money spent, because this is real. Trump and Carson and Cruz and Fiorina are uncontrollable by the traditional establishment, and that terrifies them.
HANNITY: I agree with you. I actually think it is healthy in the end, all of what you described.
When we come back, more with Newt Gingrich. We're going to ask him next if he thinks Congressman Paul Ryan should be the next speaker of the House, and if so, what would he outline as the first order of business? Straight ahead.
HANNITY: And as we continue on "Hannity," the author of the brand-new book "Duplicity," he is around the country doing events and book signings, speaker of the House, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Fox News contributor. A lot of people are upset about the condition that in fact not any one congressman, part of Jefferson's rules, would be able to call for removal of speaker. Do you think he'll give in on that one big issue? Because it seems to be --
GINGRICH: I think that's not going to happen. It would require a change in the House rules, not the Republican conference rules. It has never been done before. But my sense was that he did it the right way in that he didn't rush in and try to grab the job. He said to the conference, I need to talk to all of you. He met with the freedom caucus at length. Most of them came out conditionally satisfied for the moment. And that is the most he's going to get right now.
There are some very, very deep wounds that go back to basic questions of what's happening in the country. The very things that are producing Trump and Carson and Fiorina and Cruz, those things are in the House. And Ryan is very smart. He is I think probably the smartest House Republican, and certainly the most prominent policy leader. And he's going to have to slow down, listen to all 247 members of the conference, pool them together, and recognize he's got a new job. He's now a policy wonk now. He's a process wonk. And that process of listening to people is really vital.
HANNITY: I'm listening to everything you said. I would argue that you have been the most consequential speaker. You gave use the last balanced budget. You gave us the last surplus. You gave us welfare reform. You laid out the foundation for Republicans to take power for the first time in 40 years. I remember the Renewing American Civilization tapes, for example.
So I guess when you have a frustrated base, or 60 percent of Republicans being betrayed, what advice would you give him? My thoughts would be, hit the reset button. He's not responsible for every promise before, but outline a positive agenda moving the country forward. Put it in writing like the "Contract with America," call it, I don't know, "Promises to America," and get the conference to sign on to this so that then they, therefore, have commitments they're making to people, because people don't trust them right now. Is that a good idea?
GINGRICH: It's essentially the right direction to go in. My advice would be to go out to January and February of 2017, figure out what you would like to do if you had a Republican president and a bigger Republican Senate. Come back, then, if you want to get there, what do we have to do methodically month by month.
And also recognize, and this is the place where Ryan may be uniquely situated, they have to learn to win the communications battle. You cannot allow the Democrats to dominate you. You can't allow, for example, the president to become the first commander in chief in 50 years to veto a defense bill, holding our young men and women hostage, and not make any noise about it, not communicate it, not get it across to the country.
So I think they have got to have a very aggressive communications program. And they have to have a plan that all of the members broadly sign into. Not necessarily every detail, but they've got to broadly sign into this is the America we want to get to. This is how we're going to get there. So these are the hearings we're going to have, and these are the bills we're going to move.
HANNITY: All right, Mr. Speaker, good advice for, I guess it looks like he's going to be the speaker now. So appreciate you being with us.
GINGRICH: Glad to do it.
HANNITY: When we come back, our "Ask Sean" segment is coming up next. And we need your help, a very important question about Hillary in our "Question of the Day" segment straight ahead.
HANNITY: And time for tonight's "Question of the Day." So do you think, this is kind of a silly question, do you think Hillary was honest during her testimony today? I don't think so. Go to Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you think.
And, by the way, time for our "Ask Sean" segment. Here's tonight's big question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sean, I have a simple question for you. At the Democrat debate, Hillary was asked what enemy she was most proud of. She proudly stated the Republicans. My question to you is how is she fit to lead when she's already declared that half the nation is her enemy?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: It's a great question, and, you know what, that reveals a lot about Hillary Clinton's mindset. If you disagree with her, of course you must be her enemy. Of course it must be some right wing conspiracy.
The answer, I would argue, is she's not fit to lead. Most Americans can see that she's not honest, trustworthy, that she lies, and we learned today what a failure she was on the issue of Benghazi. And 600 separate requests for security denied, and then of course she admits a terrorist attack only to her family, the Egyptian prime minister, but then an elaborate lie to we, the people. You know what, that alone should disqualify her from any future office. Great question.
Now, quick programming note. Before we go, be sure to tune in tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. for a Fox News Reporting special, "13 Hours in Benghazi, The Inside Story" anchored by our friend Bret Baier. It's tomorrow night, 10:00 eastern. As always, thanks for joining us. We hope you have a great night.
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