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tv   The Kelly File  FBC  January 31, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am EST

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♪ tonight, a campaign season unlike any other, it's a dramatic turn. >> before getting to the issues let's address the elephant not in the room tonight. donald trump has chosen not to attend. >> last four questions have been rand, please attack ted, chris please attack ted, jeb, please attack ted. let me just say this. >> it is a debate, sir, let me tell you who is not qualified to
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be the president of the united states. hillary clinton. >> that is a book where you changed your position on immigration. you used to support a path to citizenship. >> so did you. >> but you changed the book. >> so did you, marco. >> all but one of the republican presidential hopefuls face off in des moines, front runner donald trump a last minute no show, offering the rest of the field to make their voices heard before the all-important monday caucuss. >> i have had more 2:00 a.m. phone calls that everybody here put together, making life and death decisions. >> i don't think have you to give up your liberty for a false sense of security. >> there is the establish lane, antiestablishment lane, then, the kasich lane. >> if i'm the nominee we'll defeat hillary clinton and turn this country around after seven years of the disaster that is barack obama. >> the republican candidates have made more than 300 trips to the state combined, and if history is an indicator, many
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iowa votes are still up for grabs. making this night perhaps the most important of all. so who impressed? >> the caliphate of isis has to be destroyed. have a no-fly zone in syria. >> i will apologize to nobody for the vigorousness for which i will fight terrorism, go after isis, hunt them down and utterly destroy isis. >> barack obama wants america to be like the rest of the world. we don't want to be like the rest of the world. we want to be the united states of america. and that is why hillary clinton can not win this election. >> frank luntz and his focus group are here, and we'll speak with ted cruz, fresh from the debate stage and we'll have all star analysis.
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the kelly file starts right now. >> and hello again from des moines, different location, but still here, moments ago, seven of the top republican presidential contenders faced off for the final time before the iowa caucuses. the candidates addressed what is wrong with washington, addressed illegal immigration, the threats from isis, social issues and their own inconsistent statements. but perhaps one of the biggest stories of the night, not their attacks on one another, but on democratic front runner, hillary clinton. charles krauthammer is with me now, charles, your thoughts. >> hello there. i am ready for your question. i thought this was a very interesting evening because the absence, well, i don't say why. there was a very spirited
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debate, much more substantive than any other and there was almost none of the earlier debate. it did not having to do, i thought with the kind of personal level we heard before. i'll leave it to the viewers to figure out why. secondly, i thought it was interestingly the best night that jeb had in all of the debates and i might say he might have had the best night of the group in this debate. he was very strong. he had one moment where he kind of flipped back to marco rubio on the question of immigration. kind of a reversal. >> i had that. >> yes. >> we have that. >> yes. >> let's take a listen then we'll get your thoughts. >> yes. >> interesting that jeb mentions the book. that is the book where you changed your position on
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immigration. >> you used to support the path to citizenship. >> so did you, marco. >> when you led the charge with the gang of eight you supported it because you asked me to. there is never going to be a perfect bill. but when you didn't do that, and you asked people to support, you shouldn't cut and run. just stick with it. that is what happened. he cut and run. that is a tragedy. >> but, megyn. >> there is not going to be any consensus on this issue unless we enforce our immigration laws. >> go ahead, charles. >> what i find ironic here, rubio turned strongly against bush. i thought this is one debate where bush did very well. i thought in his own way,
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christie did well. he has a way of coming in after the others and arguing and rising above it and saying this is why you need to do it, etc., when he had that line about you need a dictionary to explain washington speak into ordinary english, setting himself aside. he didn't have a soaring moment, but i thought he did well. cruz and rubio were the most interesting. each of them had their moments. cruz had a rocky start when attacking you, the moderators for trying to cause arguments debate between you. the crowd was not very appreciative of that. rubio had his rockiest night. i think on immigration, the contradiction of what he said a few years ago and now, he had a
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hard time arguing out of that box. >> my own view on that was why, why is it, why would you not show the audience what he said in his own words? why is it more effective for anchors so sit there and repeat it? we'll make sure it's in context and fair, and it is something. the video portion is something to see them on camera saying the things and then, having to explain them. there is no question that senator rubio has flipped on this issue significantly and it is a problem with him for a lot of g.o.p. voters. >> you showed for cruz, he came out for legalization, which he now says was a sham, and didn't mean it. cruz, i'm not sure his argument is a better one but he made a better one tonight and wiggled out of it with slightly more finesse and a sense of
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conviction than rubio did in explaining the way his contradictions. so it was an interesting array. i thought, i mean, i have a lot of affection for rand paul, i disagree with him more on the issues than other candidates but does show libertarianism as a critique of the main stream conservatism, i don't think he affected his standing but having him on the stage was an addition. >> what did you think of ted cruz's manner? normally, he gets in there and fights for air time. normal live. maybe not less so? >> i thought so. i think this wasn't i tried to go the whole segment without saying his name. but i'm going to fail. i think in the absence of trump. >> you should feel free. >> because i think there wasn't
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that presence hanging over him. and remember, among the field on the stage, he was a front runner. so he was sort of wanting to sit more on his lead than he would if trump were there. i thought one of the most-interesting aspects of the debate is how little people went after trump. the only one who did, and i thought it was a nicely-delivered hit was by jeb. he came out against the demonization of the other, particularly muslims in response to the immedia to the video that had been shown on you tube. and i thought he made a forceful defense of his position on how to act in, with isis in the middle east. particularly since the question had kind of a hook on it. mentioning the failures of his brother's policy in the middle east. he side stepped it and i thought
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he handled it very well. >> charles, great to see you. >> my pleasure. >> well, at the end of the night, the candidates wanted to do well. and that is essentially, this is a job interview for them, right? voting beginses on monday, they want to have george washington's job. what we care about is what the voters think. pollster frank luntz put together a focus group in iowa, zeroing in on issues that matter most. joining me now, frank luntz and his focus group, hi, frank. >> megyn, you asked probably the toughest questions of the debates, gave the candidates no room to wiggle. you pressed them. and he responded. i want to begin with the most-important and impactful most of the debate. your challenge of marco rubio, and watch how well he did on immigration. take a look. >> it was. we're not going to round up and
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deport 12 million people but we're not going around handing out citizenship cards, either, it will not be un-constitutional executive orders like the ones barack obama forced on us. >> what is your reaction? >> i want to show the audience at home how many of you walked in here supporting marco rubio? raise your hands? three of you. how many of you are going home most likely to vote for rubio. raise your hands? that is the impact of a single debate. describe rubio. >> organized. >> presidential. >> powerful. prepared. eloquent. >> game changer. >> electable. >> attractive opportunist. >> explain what you saw tonight. you dialled two hours worth. what did you see? he was honest and believable.
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and didn't berate the other candidates on stage. he was positive and put hillary in her spot as far as computers and benghazi. what was it? tell me? >> he is articulate but tells it like it is. he's very believable. he doesn't start attacking other people, other than -- >> he's staying on the game plan. he's in the worried about negatives. >> you're the youngest person in this room. were you able to vote in the last election? >> yes. i was. >> this will be your second time. is it because rubio is younger? what attracts you to him? >> no. not because he's younger, it's because he's aspirational. you know when he's going to do something, it's going to be what he says. he is honest and seems like he has a vision for this country. >> i have to tell you very few people feel that way about politics. they see it as negative.
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they don't think anyone is honest. but, megyn, this is the highest test of the night. this is the highest test. when marco rubio showed a little bit of humor and respect for american heros, the dials just went through the roof. >> i think bernie sanders is a good candidate for president. of sweden. we don't want to be sweden. we want to be the united states of america. and hillary clinton is disqualified for being the commander in chief of the united states. >> that is why he's going to come across as a guy hard for the democrats to attack and most electable. >> is he the most electable? >> yes. i think he does appeal to a lot of folks. there was unsurety with back and forth with the immigration
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thing, he continued to put the focus on hillary, which i like. when they got back and forth between each other, i didn't care for that. when they started to differentiate themselves with opposition, i thought he made marks. >> how many of you think marco rubio can defeat hillary clinton? raise your hands. how many of you think he will be the nominee? we've got a way to go. here is the question everybody wants the answer to, was donald trump impactful in his not being on air? you're going to get a surprising reaction. whether he made a mistake and how it impacted other candidates who did participate. >> all right. thank you very much. we'll be back to you in a bit. >> also ahead, one of the candidates you just saw on stage is here, on his way to share thoughts after leaving the stage. right after the break, texas senator, ted cruz. >> chris, i would note the last
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four questions have been rand, please attack ted, marco, please attack ted, chris, please attack ted, jeb, please attack ted. let me just say this. >> it is a debate, sir. >> no. no. a debate is a policy issue. i will say this. gosh, if you say that one more mean question, i may have to leave the stage. i think it landed last tuesday. one second it's there. then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people. seven. i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson.
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you know, you claim it is tough talk to discuss carpet bombing. it is not tough talk. it is a different military strategy than what we've seen from barack obama. barack obama right now has degraded our military. you know, just two weeks ago was the 25th anniversary of the first persian gulf war. when that war began, we had 8,000 planes. today we have about 4,000. when that war began, we had 529 ships, today, 272. you want to know what carpet bombing is? what we did in the first persian gulf war, 1100 air attacks per
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day. saturation bombing that utterly destroyed the enemy. >> that was a big moment for senator ted cruz talking about rebuilding the u.s. military, joining me now, texas senator and candidate ted cruz. >> good to see you. >> great to be back. >> i think that was one of your greatest moment. many people made an issue about the carpet bombing issue. how do you think it went? . >> i feel very good about it. i think voters got a clear contrast. you know, here in iowa, 93 hours out. it is -- this is the time people are making their decisions. i think you saw a real contrast between campaign conservatives and a candidate who has been a consistent, proven conservative over and over again. that is what people are looking for across the country. >> it's a different dynamic tonight because we were missing
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the front runner. how did that change the experience for you? >> we were joking it was like voldemort, he who shall not be named. >> we wanted to discuss the issues at got into agreement that you didn't have any gratuitous insults. i think that is what the voters deserve, an exchange where you can compare views and vision. >> the attacks seems focused on hillary clinton and less on each other. you heard frank luntz's focus group liked. >> we have got to win in 2016. i think the stakes have never
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been higher. there is an urgency about this election. if we go under this eight more years down this road, we risk losing the country. >> do you think that is getting lost? some debates fizzle and these sort of, you know, big moments but you and senator rubio -- >> i don't think it's being lost. we're doing a bus tour across iowa. on monday, we'll go out 99 counties and senator chuck bradley does that every year. everywhere we go, we're seeing this incredible excitement. we were in a town of 600 people. 150 came out to our event. 25% of the town. i think people are really, they're scared about what their kids are inheriting and that urgency is really driving the excitement. >> that is it. it's incredible to think the
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voting begins. let's talk about the exchange you and i had. let's play a clip. >> is that an act? it was convincing. >> the amendment is 38 words. anyone can go online and ted and read what it says, anyone here illegally is permanently unable for citizenship. i introduced a series of amendments, the fact that each amendment didn't fix every problem didn't mean i supported the rest of the bill. >> so, what i was trying to get at there is the bill offers legalization and citizenship, you tried to take away citizenship. i was checking your record to see does ted cruz want
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legalization or didn't he? i think the report supports you did not want it. but i was trying to get to you is it just seems weird for the average person to see the acting when you're trying to sell it saying i want the bill to pass. >> i said i want immigration reform to pass. >> you also said the bill. >> i didn't say the bill. >> i played it. that was the first one. >> when i said is that i want immigration reform to pass. i laid out on my website an 11 page plan that i would like to have pass. we've got to secure the borders and stop illegal immigration. we need to -- >> you're talking about people coming out of the shadows. it seems like acting. >> well, look. what i often do when debating democrats, ways debating chuck schumer there. the language of the democrats to show their hypocrisy. it wasn't about that.
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it wasn't about that. >> you're trying to put the lie to that? to read your testimonials on this, that is how i read it. >> that is exactly right. they said it was all about bringing people out of the shadows. i said great, you should be happy to take citizenship off the table. and chuck schumer responded there is no reform, we'll chill the whole thing. the joke is now the new term for illegal immigrants is undocumented democrats. when the hypocrisy was shown to the american people that, is one of the reasons we're able to kill it. that is why jeff sessions said if ted wasn't there, it would have passed. >> i thought is he lying about this? the records support you. it's just, you know, the -- you're running on being outside of the cartel. it seemed a little cartely. you're playing a cartely game.
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>> i don't think it is at all. i said i was opposed to amnesty. and when i got to the senate i was opposed to amnesty. do you know what is interesting? in the republican field i'm the only republican running who opposes amnesty and a pathway to citizenship. marco rubio and hillary clinton and donald trump all three of them support a pathway to citizenship. donald trump says we should send people home but let them back in and become citizens. that is called touch back. it's a form of amnesty, the trump touch back. they fly home, touch the ground and come home as citizens. i am the only republican running who opposed amnesty every day and will do so as well. >> you do have a consistent record on that. i'll give you that and we did look back on that. congratulationss. >> thank you very much, nice
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job. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> still a lot more to come with bret baier, considerate stirewalt, look at them, there they are. >> you're not going to hear a lot of polished political speech from me, but you will hear the truth. i have had more 2:00 a.m. phone calls than everybody here put together, making life and death decisions.
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and visit to learn how you can get it for free. chris, boy note the last four questions have been rand, please attack ted, marco, please attack ted, jeb, please attack ted. let me just say this. >> it is a debate, sir. >> we killed his line at the end. he said no matter how mean you are to me i'm not going to leave. joining me now, bret baier, and the man you just saw, chris wallace, anchor of "fox news sunday". >> we haven't spoken yet. i had to run. >> did you make the elevator? >> i did. yes. >> i thought it was good and substantive. i was worried they were somehow sedated, like something was
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going wrong. and i expected them to come out full guns about trump. but they, i think, collectively, each, individually, made the case that you know, we're not going to talk about it. >> why give him the air time, they appeared to feel. i asked ted cruz if they had an agreement, he said no, it happened organically. i guess nobody was in the mood to acknowledge the man who is the front runner. >> it isn't they go after trump, they didn't go after each other. look. it's a debate. you want to get contrast and people, and they have different opinions on different issues and repeatedly, we'd set it up. i was asking rubio about christie's position on a bunch of issues and rubio said why don't you go to my website i was like, thank you, senator. it tells you, what is going on in their minds.
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he said i didn't know, i wanted to get my message in. we did talk to him afterwards. they said rubio said and others said they blocked out how many questions they thought they could get in the remaining blocks. these guys, that shows to show you they've been now, seven debates and get it. >> they realize the value of the air time. senator, saying rand paul added something to it for him. i thought so, too. he is the spicy guy at the end and other guys are like wait, what? and the person who took a lot of incoming tonight was hillary clinton. >> they made it, i mean i thought that is part of it. they seem, even if informally to have a nonaggression pact. and a lot of them, all of them in a sense were going to turn their fire on barack obama and hillary clinton instead of fighting instead of the party
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let's focus on the general election. >> good thing is that we didn't have to switch back and forth between outlines. before we came on the air we were interrupted whether or not donald trump would come or not. there was buzz he might come at the last minute. so i have my nontrump outline and trump outline. >> and a w-o trump without trump and with trump. with trump was called trump surprise outline. it was all of the questions going to be reconfigured and it didn't happen. >> this is it. these are the two. this is all no trump, and this is megyn, trump, surprise. this one did not happen. >> no. it did not. >> listen, i thought it was substantive. for voters in iowa, that is issues and what they want to hear. i thought immigration back and forth was brilliant.
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>> you talked about it being exciting section which we knew it would be. >> it's been a pleasure. >> looking forward to march. >> i know. >> back to work, immediately. >> and candidates largely opted not to go after the man not in the room. but that doesn't mean they avoided the issue altogether, watch. >> let's address the elephant not in the room tonight. donald trump has chosen not to attend this evening's presidential debate. >> let me say, i'm a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat, and ugly and ben, you're a terrible surgeon. now that we've gotten the donald trump portion out of the way. >> chris, this campaign is not about donald trump. he's the greatest show on earth. >> i kind of miss donald trump he was a teddy bear to me. we had a loving relationship in these debates and the tweets, kind of miss him. everybody was in the witness
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protection program when i went after him. >> joining me now, howard kurts and chris stirewalt. >> what did you think? >> great job. totally fun. >> what did you think? how did it go? >> for the humans running for president? >> yes. >> okay. that is important. because people are going to vote. >> you're thinking about fox news? >> yes. >> chris is part of the debate prep team. >> what a great job. for those participants, have you to say ted cruz suffered the most. he got the big advantage out of trump not being there because he was centered stage but suffered host because he took more bean balls, bang, bang, bang, on him. marco rubio had a close because of a slightly energized, medium energy jeb bush came out. rubio seemed to lose his footing a little bit. he was saying what's happening? >> who ate his wheaties?
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>> but they all looked good. >> what we saw tonight was the alternate universe we would have had if donald trump stayed on "the apprentice". i think had most of the candidates off bounds at various times, that exchange on immigration where you played the video montage of senator cruz and senator rubio's apparently conflicting statementsçó they h trouble answering questions and it was not a good moment for either one of them. it's hard to pick a winner because these guys were on the defensive and enabled chr. >> chris: -- >> jeb bush's numbers have been low. outside of jeb bush did anyone help themselves? >> jeb bush, what's happening
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now is that a third of the party is starting to think about is marco rubio the guy we need to have a more or less safer bet for the general election. they're starting to move that there. jeb bush needs to delay the decision to slow that down. i think he did a better job tonight, but rubio, the moments he was doing the full rubio and doing everything with the feelings and good words, i think he did himself better. >> how about john kasich? >> john kasich had his moments. >> i don't believe you when the raise the voice like that. >> this is not new hampshire. >> i'll tell you about ted cruz. he probably emerged the best because remember, we're in iowa. he's neck and neck with donald trump in iowa. trump didn't show up. his staff was worried he was going to be walking out of here, bloodied. that didn't happen. >> he should be given credit for
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that. >> he spoke to iowa voters. his message and what he said off the top and speaking to them will help him. >> it's not like the fox news debate moderators are known for soft ball questions. so these guys knew they came and answered. they emerged on their standings. >> it's the big league. >> thank you. >> just ahead, two former white house insiders on what they thought were tonight's surprises. >> let's begin by being clear what this campaign is about. this campaign is about the greatest country in the world and a president that systematically destroyed many things that made special. barack obama wants to change america. barack obama wants america to be like the rest of the world. we don't want to be like the rest of the world. we want to be the united states of america. you can't predict
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>> i heard what they said this, is why you need to send someone from outside of washington to washington. i feel like i need a washington-english dictionary converter, right? i heard what they both said and saw it on the video. this is what makes a difference when you're governor, you can change your mind, it's perfectly legal in this country to change your mind. but when you're a governor, you have to admit it. you can't hide between parliamentary tricks. >> joining me now, bill burton.
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good to see you. >> what did you think? >> it was a good debate. there was a real conversation you haven't seen because of you know who not being there. >> why are people not saying donald trump's name tonight? >> he's not there. >> no, i think tonight they're right before the caucuses. people are looking at how candidates are feeling and you have a sense of who felt like they're doing well and who felt like they're not doing that well. >> what did you think, mark? >> this is amazing. this is the campaign we're supposed to have before donald trump jumped in and offended everythi everything. we were debating serious, substantive issues that might actual happen. >> that is a fascinating observation. we had our two outlines. until the last minute, you know, people were saying he might show up. you've got to be prepared. it would have looked different
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and issues would have felt very different. and if he had been there, because of the issues injected into the campaign. do you think the republicans benefit, though? >> i think absolutely. we'll find out. the big winner or loser is donald trump. if he pulls off a win in iowa he'll be a political genius for skipping this debate. if he loses narrowly, one third of the voters might change their minds. so donald trump lost, skipped the a lot of job interview. what can hurt him. >> what is your experience, bill? you are part of a team that got a president elected. this is a huge state for you guys. you won it. we're here talking about maybe huckabee surging and carson surging. >> what is funny about huckabee we had a split screen and listening to the debate. and huckabee was on stage with
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donald trump at the same time his attack ad on trump was running which was an amazing thing to watch. the weirdest thing, ever. and i've been on the winning side of the iowa caucus and losing side. i remember working for dick gephardt. he said thanks. and i thought wait, you don't hug staff if you think your campaign is going to go on. and i think jeb bush -- >> i think he felt good. >> he felt like he had nothing to lose and his bully wasn't on stage pushing him around. >> he seemed a little looser tonight and krauthammer suggested he didn't come around, he suggested he might have maybe almost won it. >> i think that is probably a
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slight exaggeration. >> i think who won it is marco rubio. i think rubio, i think we saw the reason why, he's gone from 9% to 18%, doubled support in iowa. he ignored donald trump and mostly ignored other candidates and passed up opportunities to attack christie and went after barack obama and hillary clinton. i think his best most is that hillary clinton may be the first president to pardon herself. you know? he just went after them. >> and sweden was make next. >> part of the same line there. he just went after them, he said twice, hillary clinton is going to appoint barack obama to the supreme court which is like the most horrific thought for a conservative republican. i know not for you but most of the people in the building. he said when i'm president this is what i'm going to do. >> the other thing is that
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exchange from past positions on immigration. and that is what a core part of the g.o.p. base did. and in the room, everyone applauded and there is another huge section of the g.o.p. that wants immigration reform. that is the bus marco rubio was on in 2013. >> what is interesting about that is that he made the same mistake in the first debate with you. you questioned about him about abortion he said no. no i'm electable decision. >> thank you to you both. >> it's over between us. >> up next, frank luntz return was our panel of republican voters and wait until you hear voters and wait until you hear about
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>> well, frank is talking to the focus group and has another interesting few take aways. frank? what is the story? >> megyn, watch this. donald trump watches this show religionly. stop laughing. i want to know how many of you think trump should have been in this debate today?
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>> intentional or not, he should have been on the stage but inflicted serious damage on cruz. cruz had to take the earls tonight. it is now a trump rubio contest. >> i believe he owed it to the people of iowa to come in and make closing arguments and all of a sudden this became about him. you know, what happened with fox news was to me, a lame excuse. >> someoneñi else? >> the election is too important to play games with. >> donald trump not showing up tonight, he just won iowa because he exposed the establishment for what they are. >> do you agree? >> no. >> how many of you think trump is going to win iowa? you're one of the youngest people here. >> we're too worried about being politically correct. his heing row gets him places in life.
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>> so you still believe in trump? yes. >> i don't know if i believe in him, he's a reality star. >> he has nothing to lose but, or nothing to, he had only to lose, sorry by coming tonight. he won't have gained anything. >> you think it was smart decision? >> i think very smart. >> he's shown no respect to the american people or the people of iowa. >> last one. >> too nars cisstic. >> he can find you. >> that is gary from west des moines. >> great to see you all. don't go away. want to get their hands on. if they could ever catch you.
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