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Lewyn Addresses America

A little politics, a little urbanism- I also blog 100 percent on urbanism at https://www.planetizen.com/user/63 and http://www.cnu.org/blog/194

Someone on Facebook suggested that Trump might ultimately come out ahead in the popular vote, because absentee votes lean Republican.

I tried to prove/disprove this thesis by going to the RCP (Real Clear Politics) webpage the Sunday after the 2012 election.  It seems to me that if Obama’s lead at that point was larger than his ultimate lead (that is, if Romney gained votes after that Sunday due to absentee ballots) the argument would be persuasive, if not not.

In fact, Obama only led by 2.7 points the Sunday after the election, but ultimately led by more than 4 pts.  So this statistic supports the idea that Clinton’s lead will grow- maybe D-leaning California just counts votes more slowly.  Not that it matters; the rules are what they are, and Trump is President under those rules.

Fun facts about election 2016:
1. Right now it looks like Trump actually got at least a million fewer votes than Mitt Romney. But Clinton got about six million fewer votes than Obama in 2012. Democrats voted with their feet.
2. Despite Democrats’ hopes that the “women’s vote” would help them, the gender gap (the difference between women’s R vote and men’s) was only slightly larger this year according to exit polls: 11 points this year (53 pct Trump men, 42 women), 8 in 2012 (52 Romney for men, 44 for women).
3. Democrats thought the Latino vote would make up for lost working-class whites. But Trump actually did better among Latinos than Romney, though not by a statistically significant margin (29 pct vs 27 pct).
4. Late deciders favored Trump by a 49-39 margin (I assume the other 12 percent didn’t answer or voted third party). People who decided before October were 51-46 Clinton.
5. Only 2 percent of people had favorable opinions of both candidates. Among people who disliked both, Trump won 49-29 (with lots of third party votes etc).

The polls are all over the lot, ranging from Trump by 5 to Clinton by 5.  The RCP (Real Clear Politics) average is Clinton by 2.  I am inclined to go with this; it seems to me that the Trump bubble of last week has run its course.  Even though the FBI news of yesterday (kinda sorta clearing Clinton) comes too late to do her much good, it does deprive Trump of one last chance for momentum.   On the other hand, at least some polls I have seen suggest that Republicans are basically more enthused about this election than Democrats, so I don’t think Clinton will rise to her pre-Halloween heights.   Since third party candidates usually lose steam over time, I am guessing that both Johnson and Stein do a bit worse than the polls.  So I am guessing something like:  Clinton 49 Trump 47 Johnson 4 Stein 1

 

This is close enough for a long night, and it is possible (though unlikely) that Trump could win in the Electoral College with this margin. (I think Trump clearly has an electoral college advantage;

 

Realclearpolitics.com says that there are 203 votes solid/leaning Clinton and 164 solid/leaning Trump (which sounds about right).   So I’m just going to focus on the tossups.

 

Maine- Maine votes partially by congressional district, instead of giving all four votes to the winner.  RCP says the 2nd District of Maine is a tossup.  The only recent poll shows Clinton very slightly ahead so I’ll give it to her, as well as the state as a whole.

New Hampshire- Friday I would have said Trump wins but most recent polls say Clinton.  My guess is that this may be a state where the FBI’s news puts her over the top .

Pennsylvania- Not one poll taken after Nov. 1 shows Trump leading.  Clinton

Virginia- Ditto – Clinton.

North Carolina- I think the decline of Trumpmentum gives Clinton a shot.  But I find it hard to imagine Dems winning if the national popular vote is as close as I think it will be, so reluctantly I call it for Trump (179 Trump)

Georgia- Closer than I expected but even so Trump is in the lead here. I think Trump.  If Clinton wins here, then we will know that the most pro-Clinton polls are right. (195 Trump)

Florida- The post Nov 1 polls lean ever so slightly towards Clinton, and big Hispanic turnout in early voting might put here over the top.  But Florida is usually about 1 pt more Republican than the nation as a whole, so I am guessing Trump by a 2000-like margin (224 Trump)

If this is NOT close in either direction it is a very big deal.

Ohio- The polls here range from Trump by 7 to Clinton by 1.  Clinton would have to win big nationally to win here.  So Trump (242 Trump)

Iowa- polls pretty similar to Ohjo and so the result will be too-Trump (248 Trump)

Michigan- A poll here and there shows a tie but not one shows Trump ahead.   So I call Michigan (and nearby Wisconsin too) for Clinton.  If he wins here he will be winning so big nationally that he won’t need it.

Colorado- See Michigan.

Nevada- A week ago I would have said Trump.  But most recent polls show a tie and lots of buzz about how early voting favors Clinton.  So I say Clinton with great reluctance.

New Mexico- Solid Dem, not sure why RCP calls this a tossup. Clinton.

Arizona- No polls from this week so hard to call.  But last week’s polls range from a 1 pt Clinton lead to a solid Trump lead, so I’ll say Trump (259 Trump)

Grand total: Clinton by a whisker (279-259).  The West will put her over the top!

States I am least certain about: Fla and NC- I changed my mind about both as I was typing.  If I am wrong, Clinton is at 323.  But I think she’d have to gain another point or two of nat’l popular vote to get there.

 

Senate- This looks like a good Republican year; the Trumpmentum of last week meant that there is not going to be the top to bottom Dem sweep that they needed to get the Senate.  RCP says with no tossups its 46-46 (including one D pickup, Illinois) and most of the 8 tossups are in red states.  So going state by state (again just the tossups)

 

Pa- Here you have two week candidates, incumbent Republican Pat Toomey (too conservative for the state) and Dem machine favorite Katie McGinty (who I think ran for something a few years ago and did quite poorly in the Dem primary).  The most recent polls are mostly almost a week old (the last one was a five day tracking poll that ended Friday).  The range has been from Toomey.  My guess is Clinton coattails pull her in. (D pickup)

New Hampshire-  Sen. Ayotte seems to have consistenly run ahead of Trump and so should be reelected.  The most recent polls are divided but RCP shows her with a Clinton-like lead (R hold) Having said that, if this turns out to be a bigger than expected Clinton victory, the Republicans could lose this one and/or NC

Florida- Not one poll has shown Sen, Rubio behind (R hold)

North Carolina- Polls are divided, as in the Presidential race.  But Sen. Burr seems to be running slightly ahead of Trump,which should be enough to put him over the top (R hold)

Indiana- A month ago, Evan Bayh was leading the race to take this open seat.  But polls show a Democratic meltown here, as his Republican challenger has established name recognition and hammered away at Bayh’s years as a lobbyist (R hold)

Missouri- Polls show a close race but Trump is winning big here and his coattails should save Sen. Roy Blunt (R hold)

Wisconsin- Two weeks ago I would have called this a Dem pickup.  But the November polls show a tie or even a lead for Sen. Ron Johnson (R hold).

Nevada- Harry Reid’s seat.  My guess is that this goes the way the Presidential election goes, so if Clinton wins here, Catherine Cortez Masto holds the seat for Dems.  Also, the most recent polls lean in her direction; this is one of the few close seats where the Democrat has gained ground over the past month (D hold)

Bottom line: the only seats changing partisan hands this year will be Illinois and Pennsylvania (so that’s a 52-48 Republican Senate).

Seats I am least sure about: Wisconsin, NC, NH, Pa.  I could easily see 53-47 R or 51-49 D.

 

House- Generic ballot news grim for Dems.  Just saw a poll showing Republicans ahead for first time.  My guess is Dems only gain a third of the RCP tossups, which puts them at 197 (D + 9).

 

Governors- GOP picks up WV, NH, Vermont.  Dems pick up Indiana, NC.

R + 1 (32-17 R).

I was on an airplane during the second debate so I couldn’t see it, but I thought I would read the transcript and add my thoughts (IN CAPS).  I was pretty horrified by Trump’s remarks about special prosecutors- really one of the most disturbing things he said this campaign.  Otherwise they were both adequate.

COOPER: Thank you very much for being here. We’re going to begin with a question from one of the members in our town hall. Each of you will have two minutes to respond to this question. Secretary Clinton, you won the coin toss, so you’ll go first. Our first question comes from Patrice Brock. Patrice?

QUESTION: Thank you, and good evening. The last debate could have been rated as MA, mature audiences, per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators assign viewing the presidential debates as students’ homework, do you feel you’re modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?

CLINTON: Well, thank you. Are you a teacher? Yes, I think that that’s a very good question, because I’ve heard from lots of teachers and parents about some of their concerns about some of the things that are being said and done in this campaign.

And I think it is very important for us to make clear to our children that our country really is great because we’re good. And we are going to respect one another, lift each other up. We are going to be looking for ways to celebrate our diversity, and we are going to try to reach out to every boy and girl, as well as every adult, to bring them in to working on behalf of our country.

I have a very positive and optimistic view about what we can do together. That’s why the slogan of my campaign is “Stronger Together,” because I think if we work together, if we overcome the divisiveness that sometimes sets Americans against one another, and instead we make some big goals — and I’ve set forth some big goals, getting the economy to work for everyone, not just those at the top, making sure that we have the best education system from preschool through college and making it affordable, and so much else.

If we set those goals and we go together to try to achieve them, there’s nothing in my opinion that America can’t do. So that’s why I hope that we will come together in this campaign. Obviously, I’m hoping to earn your vote, I’m hoping to be elected in November, and I can promise you, I will work with every American.

I want to be the president for all Americans, regardless of your political beliefs, where you come from, what you look like, your religion. I want us to heal our country and bring it together because that’s, I think, the best way for us to get the future that our children and our grandchildren deserve.

CLINTON AT HER BEST- RESPECTABLE BUT OH SO SLEEP INDUCING

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.

TRUMP: Well, I actually agree with that. I agree with everything she said. I began this campaign because I was so tired of seeing such foolish things happen to our country. This is a great country. This is a great land. I’ve gotten to know the people of the country over the last year-and-a-half that I’ve been doing this as a politician. I cannot believe I’m saying that about myself, but I guess I have been a politician.

GOOD

TRUMP: And my whole concept was to make America great again. When I watch the deals being made, when I watch what’s happening with some horrible things like Obamacare, where your health insurance and health care is going up by numbers that are astronomical, 68 percent, 59 percent, 71 percent,

PRETTY SURE THIS IS AN EXAGGERATION

when I look at the Iran deal and how bad a deal it is for us, it’s a one-sided transaction where we’re giving back $150 billion to a terrorist state, really, the number one terror state, we’ve made them a strong country from really a very weak country just three years ago.

IF THEY WERE SO WEAK HOW COME REPUBLICANS WERE SO SCARED OF THEM? BUT HAVING SAID THAT I CAN’T REALLY EXPECT ANY REPUBLICANS TO SAY ANYTHING POSITIVE ABOUT THE IRAN DEAL

When I look at all of the things that I see and all of the potential that our country has, we have such tremendous potential, whether it’s in business and trade, where we’re doing so badly. Last year, we had almost $800 billion trade deficit. In other words, trading with other countries. We had an $800 billion deficit. It’s hard to believe. Inconceivable.

MR TRUMP, YOU’RE NO MILTON FRIEDMAN.

You say who’s making these deals? We’re going the make great deals. We’re going to have a strong border. We’re going to bring back law and order. Just today, policemen was shot, two killed. And this is happening on a weekly basis. We have to bring back respect to law enforcement. At the same time, we have to take care of people on all sides. We need justice.

But I want to do things that haven’t been done, including fixing and making our inner cities better for the African-American citizens that are so great, and for the Latinos, Hispanics, and I look forward to doing it. It’s called make America great again.

COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump. The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behavior for today’s youth? We received a lot of questions online, Mr. Trump, about the tape that was released on Friday, as you can imagine. You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?

TRUMP: No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understood what was — this was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.

You know, when we have a world where you have ISIS chopping off heads, where you have — and, frankly, drowning people in steel cages, where you have wars and horrible, horrible sights all over, where you have so many bad things happening, this is like medieval times. We haven’t seen anything like this, the carnage all over the world.

And they look and they see. Can you imagine the people that are, frankly, doing so well against us with ISIS? And they look at our country and they see what’s going on.

Yes, I’m very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things.

I AM NOT SURE WHAT “ONE OF THOSE THINGS” MEANS. I THINK HE’S TRYING TO SAY “WHAT I DID WAS BAD, BUT TODAY’S ISSUES ARE MORE IMPORTANT.”  BUT I JUST WISH HE WOULD MAKE THE POINT A BIT MORE COHERENTLY

I will knock the hell out of ISIS. We’re going to defeat ISIS. ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum that was left because of bad judgment. And I will tell you, I will take care of ISIS.

COOPER: So, Mr. Trump…

TRUMP: And we should get on to much more important things and much bigger things.

COOPER: Just for the record, though, are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?

TRUMP: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.

THAT’S NOT REALLY A YES OR NO IS IT?

COOPER: So, for the record, you’re saying you never did that?

TRUMP: I’ve said things that, frankly, you hear these things I said. And I was embarrassed by it. But I have tremendous respect for women.

COOPER: Have you ever done those things?

TRUMP: And women have respect for me. And I will tell you: No, I have not. And I will tell you that I’m going to make our country safe. We’re going to have borders in our country, which we don’t have now. People are pouring into our country, and they’re coming in from the Middle East and other places.

We’re going to make America safe again. We’re going to make America great again, but we’re going to make America safe again. And we’re going to make America wealthy again, because if you don’t do that, it just — it sounds harsh to say, but we have to build up the wealth of our nation.

 

COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: Right now, other nations are taking our jobs and they’re taking our wealth.

COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: And that’s what I want to talk about.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, do you want to respond?

CLINTON: Well, like everyone else, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hours about what we heard and saw. You know, with prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them on politics, policies, principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve.

Donald Trump is different. I said starting back in June that he was not fit to be president and commander-in-chief. And many Republicans and independents have said the same thing. What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn’t represent who he is.

But I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is. Because we’ve seen this throughout the campaign. We have seen him insult women. We’ve seen him rate women on their appearance, ranking them from one to ten. We’ve seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter. We saw him after the first debate spend nearly a week denigrating a former Miss Universe in the harshest, most personal terms.

So, yes, this is who Donald Trump is. But it’s not only women, and it’s not only this video that raises questions about his fitness to be our president, because he has also targeted immigrants, African- Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims, and so many others.

WELL HE INSULTS ALL AMERICANS EQUALLY.  THAT SEEMS FAIR.

So this is who Donald Trump is. And the question for us, the question our country must answer is that this is not who we are. That’s why — to go back to your question — I want to send a message — we all should — to every boy and girl and, indeed, to the entire world that America already is great, but we are great because we are good, and we will respect one another, and we will work with one another, and we will celebrate our diversity.

CLINTON: These are very important values to me, because this is the America that I know and love. And I can pledge to you tonight that this is the America that I will serve if I’m so fortunate enough to become your president.

RADDATZ: And we want to get to some questions from online…

TRUMP: Am I allowed to respond to that? I assume I am.

RADDATZ: Yes, you can respond to that.

TRUMP: It’s just words, folks. It’s just words.

HE HAS THE BEST WORDS

Those words, I’ve been hearing them for many years. I heard them when they were running for the Senate in New York, where Hillary was going to bring back jobs to upstate New York and she failed.

I’ve heard them where Hillary is constantly talking about the inner cities of our country, which are a disaster education-wise, jobwise, safety-wise, in every way possible. I’m going to help the African-Americans. I’m going to help the Latinos, Hispanics. I am going to help the inner cities.

She’s done a terrible job for the African-Americans. She wants their vote, and she does nothing, and then she comes back four years later. We saw that firsthand when she was United States senator. She campaigned where the primary part of her campaign…

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump — I want to get to audience questions and online questions.

TRUMP: So, she’s allowed to do that, but I’m not allowed to respond?

RADDATZ: You’re going to have — you’re going to get to respond right now.

TRUMP: Sounds fair.

RADDATZ: This tape is generating intense interest. In just 48 hours, it’s become the single most talked about story of the entire 2016 election on Facebook, with millions and millions of people discussing it on the social network. As we said a moment ago, we do want to bring in questions from voters around country via social media, and our first stays on this topic. Jeff from Ohio asks on Facebook, “Trump says the campaign has changed him. When did that happen?” So, Mr. Trump, let me add to that. When you walked off that bus at age 59, were you a different man or did that behavior continue until just recently? And you have two minutes for this.

TRUMP: It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly, I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.

IT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE HE’S EVEN TRYING TO CLAIM HE CHANGED

If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action. His was what he’s done to women. There’s never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women. So you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women.

TRUMP WANTS TO GO THERE?  IF IT WEREN’T FOR ALL THE CONFIDENTALITY AGREEMENTS THAT HE MADE HIS EX WIVES SIGN, I’M GUESSING THERE’D BE SOME PRETTY JUICY STORIES ABOUT TRUMP

Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously. Four of them here tonight. One of the women, who is a wonderful woman, at 12 years old, was raped at 12. Her client she represented got him off, and she’s seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman is here with us tonight.

IF YOU DON’T LISTEN CAREFULLY HE MAKES IT SOUND LIKE CLINTON RAPED KATHY SHELTON.  ACTUALLY IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BILL- SHE REPRESENTED A MAN ACCUSED OF RAPING KATHY SHELTON. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/09/why-donald-trump-just-attacked-hillary-clinton-for-defending-an-accused-child-rapist-explained/

 

So don’t tell me about words. I am absolutely — I apologize for those words. But it is things that people say. But what President Clinton did, he was impeached, he lost his license to practice law. He had to pay an $850,000 fine to one of the women. Paula Jones, who’s also here tonight.

NOT FOR ANYTHING AS BAD AS WHAT TRUMP TALKED ABOUT

And I will tell you that when Hillary brings up a point like that and she talks about words that I said 11 years ago, I think it’s disgraceful, and I think she should be ashamed of herself, if you want to know the truth.

(APPLAUSE)

RADDATZ: Can we please hold the applause? Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes.

CLINTON: Well, first, let me start by saying that so much of what he’s just said is not right, but he gets to run his campaign any way he chooses. He gets to decide what he wants to talk about. Instead of answering people’s questions, talking about our agenda, laying out the plans that we have that we think can make a better life and a better country, that’s his choice.

When I hear something like that, I am reminded of what my friend, Michelle Obama, advised us all: When they go low, you go high.

(APPLAUSE) And, look, if this were just about one video, maybe what he’s saying tonight would be understandable, but everyone can draw their own conclusions at this point about whether or not the man in the video or the man on the stage respects women. But he never apologizes for anything to anyone.

CLINTON: He never apologized to Mr. and Mrs. Khan, the Gold Star family whose son, Captain Khan, died in the line of duty in Iraq. And Donald insulted and attacked them for weeks over their religion.

He never apologized to the distinguished federal judge who was born in Indiana, but Donald said he couldn’t be trusted to be a judge because his parents were, quote, “Mexican.”

He never apologized to the reporter that he mimicked and mocked on national television and our children were watching. And he never apologized for the racist lie that President Obama was not born in the United States of America. He owes the president an apology, he owes our country an apology, and he needs to take responsibility for his actions and his words.

TRUMP’S GREATEST HITS

TRUMP: Well, you owe the president an apology, because as you know very well, your campaign, Sidney Blumenthal — he’s another real winner that you have — and he’s the one that got this started, along with your campaign manager, and they were on television just two weeks ago, she was, saying exactly that. So you really owe him an apology. You’re the one that sent the pictures around your campaign, sent the pictures around with President Obama in a certain garb. That was long before I was ever involved, so you actually owe an apology.

SOME CAMPAIGN STAFFERS SPREAD SOME RUMORS- NOT REALLY COMPARABLE TO THE BIRTHER CAMPAIGN.

Number two, Michelle Obama. I’ve gotten to see the commercials that they did on you. And I’ve gotten to see some of the most vicious commercials I’ve ever seen of Michelle Obama talking about you, Hillary.

So, you talk about friend? Go back and take a look at those commercials, a race where you lost fair and square, unlike the Bernie Sanders race, where you won, but not fair and square, in my opinion. And all you have to do is take a look at WikiLeaks and just see what they say about Bernie Sanders and see what Deborah Wasserman Schultz had in mind, because Bernie Sanders, between super-delegates and Deborah Wasserman Schultz, he never had a chance. And I was so surprised to see him sign on with the devil.

THE TITANIC DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, WHO CAN SWAY MILLIONS OF VOTES (SARCASM)

But when you talk about apology, I think the one that you should really be apologizing for and the thing that you should be apologizing for are the 33,000 e-mails that you deleted, and that you acid washed, and then the two boxes of e-mails and other things last week that were taken from an office and are now missing.

BETTER PEOPLE THAN HILLARY CLINTON HAVE SCRUBBED THEIR EMAIL FILES (JUST GOOGLE GEORGE BUSH EMAILS OR ROMNEY EMAILS).

And I’ll tell you what. I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor.

THIS IS REALLY TRUMP’S NADIR.  CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF OPPONENTS SEEMS PRETTY PUTINESQUE TO ME.  THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOR IS MUCH MORE PROBLEMATIC TO ME THAN THE ODD SEXIST REMARK.  BUT UNFORTUNATELY MOST AMERICANS PROBABLY THINK ITS JUST FINE.

When I speak, I go out and speak, the people of this country are furious. In my opinion, the people that have been long-term workers at the FBI are furious. There has never been anything like this, where e-mails — and you get a subpoena, you get a subpoena, and after getting the subpoena, you delete 33,000 e-mails, and then you acid wash them or bleach them, as you would say, very expensive process.

So we’re going to get a special prosecutor, and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, I want to follow up on that.

(CROSSTALK)

RADDATZ: I’m going to let you talk about e-mails.

CLINTON: … because everything he just said is absolutely false, but I’m not surprised.

TRUMP: Oh, really?

CLINTON: In the first debate…

(LAUGHTER)

RADDATZ: And really, the audience needs to calm down here.

CLINTON: … I told people that it would be impossible to be fact-checking Donald all the time. I’d never get to talk about anything I want to do and how we’re going to really make lives better for people.

So, once again, go to HillaryClinton.com. We have literally Trump — you can fact check him in real time. Last time at the first debate, we had millions of people fact checking, so I expect we’ll have millions more fact checking, because, you know, it is — it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.

(APPLAUSE)

RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton…

COOPER: We want to remind the audience to please not talk out loud. Please do not applaud. You’re just wasting time.

RADDATZ: And, Secretary Clinton, I do want to follow up on e- mails. You’ve said your handing of your e-mails was a mistake. You disagreed with FBI Director James Comey, calling your handling of classified information, quote, “extremely careless.” The FBI said that there were 110 classified e-mails that were exchanged, eight of which were top secret, and that it was possible hostile actors did gain access to those e-mails. You don’t call that extremely careless? CLINTON: Well, Martha, first, let me say — and I’ve said before, but I’ll repeat it, because I want everyone to hear it — that was a mistake, and I take responsibility for using a personal e-mail account. Obviously, if I were to do it over again, I would not. I’m not making any excuses. It was a mistake. And I am very sorry about that.

But I think it’s also important to point out where there are some misleading accusations from critics and others. After a year-long investigation, there is no evidence that anyone hacked the server I was using and there is no evidence that anyone can point to at all — anyone who says otherwise has no basis — that any classified material ended up in the wrong hands.

I take classified materials very seriously and always have. When I was on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I was privy to a lot of classified material. Obviously, as secretary of state, I had some of the most important secrets that we possess, such as going after bin Laden. So I am very committed to taking classified information seriously. And as I said, there is no evidence that any classified information ended up in the wrong hands

RADDATZ: OK, we’re going to move on.

TRUMP: And yet she didn’t know the word — the letter C on a document. Right? She didn’t even know what that word — what that letter meant.

You know, it’s amazing. I’m watching Hillary go over facts. And she’s going after fact after fact, and she’s lying again, because she said she — you know, what she did with the e-mail was fine. You think it was fine to delete 33,000 e-mails? I don’t think so.

She said the 33,000 e-mails had to do with her daughter’s wedding, number one, and a yoga class. Well, maybe we’ll give three or three or four or five or something. 33,000 e-mails deleted, and now she’s saying there wasn’t anything wrong.

And more importantly, that was after getting a subpoena. That wasn’t before. That was after. She got it from the United States Congress. And I’ll be honest, I am so disappointed in congressmen, including Republicans, for allowing this to happen.

Our Justice Department, where our husband goes on to the back of a airplane for 39 minutes, talks to the attorney general days before a ruling is going to be made on her case. But for you to say that there was nothing wrong with you deleting 39,000 e-mails, again, you should be ashamed of yourself. What you did — and this is after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.

COOPER: We have to move on.

TRUMP: You did that. Wait a minute. One second.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you can respond, and then we got to move on.

RADDATZ: We want to give the audience a chance.

TRUMP: If you did that in the private sector, you’d be put in jail, let alone after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you can respond. Then we have to move on to an audience question.

CLINTON: Look, it’s just not true. And so please, go to…

TRUMP: Oh, you didn’t delete them?

COOPER: Allow her to respond, please.

CLINTON: It was personal e-mails, not official.

TRUMP: Oh, 33,000? Yeah.

CLINTON: Not — well, we turned over 35,000, so…

TRUMP: Oh, yeah. What about the other 15,000?

GOOD HIT

COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn’t talk while you talked.

CLINTON: Yes, that’s true, I didn’t.

TRUMP: Because you have nothing to say.

CLINTON: I didn’t in the first debate, and I’m going to try not to in this debate, because I’d like to get to the questions that the people have brought here tonight to talk to us about.

CLINTON SOUNDS EVASIVE HERE

TRUMP: Get off this question.

CLINTON: OK, Donald. I know you’re into big diversion tonight, anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way it’s exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you. But let’s at least focus…

TRUMP: Let’s see what happens…

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Allow her to respond.

CLINTON: … on some of the issues that people care about tonight. Let’s get to their questions.

COOPER: We have a question here from Ken Karpowicz. He has a question about health care. Ken?

TRUMP: I’d like to know, Anderson, why aren’t you bringing up the e-mails? I’d like to know. Why aren’t you bringing…

COOPER: We brought up the e-mails.

TRUMP: No, it hasn’t. It hasn’t. And it hasn’t been finished at all.

COOPER: Ken Karpowicz has a question.

TRUMP: It’s nice to — one on three.

QUESTION: Thank you. Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, it is not affordable. Premiums have gone up. Deductibles have gone up. Copays have gone up. Prescriptions have gone up. And the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the cost down and make coverage better?

COOPER: That first one goes to Secretary Clinton, because you started out the last one to the audience.

CLINTON: If he wants to start, he can start. No, go ahead, Donald.

TRUMP: No, I’m a gentlemen, Hillary. Go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Secretary Clinton?

CLINTON: Well, I think Donald was about to say he’s going to solve it by repealing it and getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. And I’m going to fix it, because I agree with you. Premiums have gotten too high. Copays, deductibles, prescription drug costs, and I’ve laid out a series of actions that we can take to try to get those costs down.

But here’s what I don’t want people to forget when we’re talking about reining in the costs, which has to be the highest priority of the next president, when the Affordable Care Act passed, it wasn’t just that 20 million got insurance who didn’t have it before. But that in and of itself was a good thing. I meet these people all the time, and they tell me what a difference having that insurance meant to them and their families.

But everybody else, the 170 million of us who get health insurance through our employees got big benefits. Number one, insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Number two, no lifetime limits, which is a big deal if you have serious health problems.

Number three, women can’t be charged more than men for our health insurance, which is the way it used to be before the Affordable Care Act. Number four, if you’re under 26, and your parents have a policy, you can be on that policy until the age of 26, something that didn’t happen before.

So I want very much to save what works and is good about the Affordable Care Act. But we’ve got to get costs down. We’ve got to provide additional help to small businesses so that they can afford to provide health insurance. But if we repeal it, as Donald has proposed, and start over again, all of those benefits I just mentioned are lost to everybody, not just people who get their health insurance on the exchange. And then we would have to start all over again.

Right now, we are at 90 percent health insurance coverage. That’s the highest we’ve ever been in our country. COOPER: Secretary Clinton, your time is up.

CLINTON: So I want us to get to 100 percent, but get costs down and keep quality up.

COOPER: Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.

TRUMP: It is such a great question and it’s maybe the question I get almost more than anything else, outside of defense. Obamacare is a disaster. You know it. We all know it. It’s going up at numbers that nobody’s ever seen worldwide. Nobody’s ever seen numbers like this for health care.

It’s only getting worse. In ’17, it implodes by itself. Their method of fixing it is to go back and ask Congress for more money, more and more money. We have right now almost $20 trillion in debt.

Obamacare will never work. It’s very bad, very bad health insurance. Far too expensive. And not only expensive for the person that has it, unbelievably expensive for our country. It’s going to be one of the biggest line items very shortly.

We have to repeal it and replace it with something absolutely much less expensive and something that works, where your plan can actually be tailored. We have to get rid of the lines around the state, artificial lines, where we stop insurance companies from coming in and competing, because they want — and President Obama and whoever was working on it — they want to leave those lines, because that gives the insurance companies essentially monopolies. We want competition.

THERE ARE SOME SUBMARKETS WHERE THIS WOULD DO SOME GOOD (E.G. SHORT TERM HEALTH INSURANCE).  BUT BY AND LARGE ITS NONSENSE- THE PRIVATE INSURANCE MARKET WAS A MESS BEFORE OBAMACARE EVEN IN STATES WITH COMPETITION, FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT PRIVATE INSURANCE WILL ALWAYS BE HYPEREXPENSIVE WITHOUT THE BARGAINING POWER OF EMPLOYERS

You will have the finest health care plan there is. She wants to go to a single-payer plan, which would be a disaster, somewhat similar to Canada. And if you haven’t noticed the Canadians, when they need a big operation, when something happens, they come into the United States in many cases because their system is so slow. It’s catastrophic in certain ways.

But she wants to go to single payer, which means the government basically rules everything. Hillary Clinton has been after this for years. Obamacare was the first step. Obamacare is a total disaster. And not only are your rates going up by numbers that nobody’s ever believed, but your deductibles are going up, so that unless you get hit by a truck, you’re never going to be able to use it.

HE’S NO WORSE THAN ANY OTHER REPUBLICAN ON THIS STUFF

COOPER: Mr. Trump, your time…

TRUMP: It is a disastrous plan, and it has to be repealed and replaced.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, let me follow up with you. Your husband called Obamacare, quote, “the craziest thing in the world,” saying that small-business owners are getting killed as premiums double, coverage is cut in half. Was he mistaken or was the mistake simply telling the truth?

CLINTON: No, I mean, he clarified what he meant. And it’s very clear. Look, we are in a situation in our country where if we were to start all over again, we might come up with a different system. But we have an employer-based system. That’s where the vast majority of people get their health care.

And the Affordable Care Act was meant to try to fill the gap between people who were too poor and couldn’t put together any resources to afford health care, namely people on Medicaid. Obviously, Medicare, which is a single-payer system, which takes care of our elderly and does a great job doing it, by the way, and then all of the people who were employed, but people who were working but didn’t have the money to afford insurance and didn’t have anybody, an employer or anybody else, to help them.

That was the slot that the Obamacare approach was to take. And like I say, 20 million people now have health insurance. So if we just rip it up and throw it away, what Donald’s not telling you is we just turn it back to the insurance companies the way it used to be, and that means the insurance companies…

COOPER: Secretary Clinton…

CLINTON: … get to do pretty much whatever they want, including saying, look, I’m sorry, you’ve got diabetes, you had cancer, your child has asthma…

COOPER: Your time is up.

CLINTON: … you may not be able to have insurance because you can’t afford it. So let’s fix what’s broken about it, but let’s not throw it away and give it all back to the insurance companies and the drug companies. That’s not going to work.

COOPER: Mr. Trump, let me follow up on this. TRUMP: Well, I just want — just one thing. First of all, Hillary, everything’s broken about it. Everything. Number two, Bernie Sanders said that Hillary Clinton has very bad judgment. This is a perfect example of it, trying to save Obamacare, which is a disaster.

COOPER: You’ve said you want to end Obamacare…

TRUMP: By the way…

COOPER: You’ve said you want to end Obamacare. You’ve also said you want to make coverage accessible for people with pre-existing conditions. How do you force insurance companies to do that if you’re no longer mandating that every American get insurance?

TRUMP: We’re going to be able to. You’re going to have plans…

COOPER: What does that mean?

TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you what it means. You’re going to have plans that are so good, because we’re going to have so much competition in the insurance industry. Once we break out — once we break out the lines and allow the competition to come…

COOPER: Are you going — are you going to have a mandate that Americans have to have health insurance?

TRUMP: President Obama — Anderson, excuse me. President Obama, by keeping those lines, the boundary lines around each state, it was almost gone until just very toward the end of the passage of Obamacare, which, by the way, was a fraud. You know that, because Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, was said — he said it was a great lie, it was a big lie. President Obama said you keep your doctor, you keep your plan. The whole thing was a fraud, and it doesn’t work.

PROBABLY TRUE FOR THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF PEOPLE, JUST NOT FOR EVERY SINGLE PERSON

But when we get rid of those lines, you will have competition, and we will be able to keep pre-existing, we’ll also be able to help people that can’t get — don’t have money because we are going to have people protected.

And Republicans feel this way, believe it or not, and strongly this way. We’re going to block grant into the states. We’re going to block grant into Medicaid into the states…

BLOCK GRANTS DON’T REALLY WORK FOR SOMETHING LIKE MEDICAID- STATES WILL JUST THROW MONEY INTO RANDOM PROGRAMS INSTEAD OF GIVING PEOPLE INSURANCE.

COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: … so that we will be able to take care of people without the necessary funds to take care of themselves.

COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.

RADDATZ: We now go to Gorbah Hamed with a question for both candidates.

QUESTION: Hi. There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, and I’m one of them. You’ve mentioned working with Muslim nations, but with Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, you’re first.

TRUMP: Well, you’re right about Islamophobia, and that’s a shame. But one thing we have to do is we have to make sure that — because there is a problem. I mean, whether we like it or not, and we could be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem. And we have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on, they have to report it.

As an example, in San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people.

SEEMS HARD TO BELIEVE- I CAN’T IMAGINE THAT PEOPLE MAKING BOMBS HAVE A LOT OF HOUSE PARTIES.  BUT IT IS A COOL MENTAL PICTURE: I IMAGINE VISITORS SAYING “I LOVED THEIR PARTY, BUT THERE WERE BOMBS ALL OVER THE FLOOR. DON’T PEOPLE PICK UP AFTER THEMSELVES ANY MORE?

Horribly wounded. They’ll never be the same. Muslims have to report the problems when they see them.

And, you know, there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that, it’s a very difficult situation for our country, because you look at Orlando and you look at San Bernardino and you look at the World Trade Center. Go outside. Look at Paris. Look at that horrible — these are radical Islamic terrorists.

And she won’t even mention the word and nor will President Obama. He won’t use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name. She won’t say the name and President Obama won’t say the name. But the name is there. It’s radical Islamic terror. And before you solve it, you have to say the name.

AM SURPRISED HE DIDN’T MENTION MUSLIM IMMIGRATION, KIND OF A KEY PROPOSAL OF HIS

RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton? CLINTON: Well, thank you for asking your question. And I’ve heard this question from a lot of Muslim-Americans across our country, because, unfortunately, there’s been a lot of very divisive, dark things said about Muslims. And even someone like Captain Khan, the young man who sacrificed himself defending our country in the United States Army, has been subject to attack by Donald.

I want to say just a couple of things. First, we’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington. And we’ve had many successful Muslims. We just lost a particular well-known one with Muhammad Ali.

CLINTON: My vision of America is an America where everyone has a place, if you’re willing to work hard, you do your part, you contribute to the community. That’s what America is. That’s what we want America to be for our children and our grandchildren.

It’s also very short-sighted and even dangerous to be engaging in the kind of demagogic rhetoric that Donald has about Muslims. We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines. I’ve worked with a lot of different Muslim groups around America. I’ve met with a lot of them, and I’ve heard how important it is for them to feel that they are wanted and included and part of our country, part of our homeland security, and that’s what I want to see.

It’s also important I intend to defeat ISIS, to do so in a coalition with majority Muslim nations. Right now, a lot of those nations are hearing what Donald says and wondering, why should we cooperate with the Americans? And this is a gift to ISIS and the terrorists, violent jihadist terrorists.

We are not at war with Islam. And it is a mistake and it plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are. So I want a country where citizens like you and your family are just as welcome as anyone else.

NEITHER OF THEM DISCUSSED THE REAL ISSUE SEPARATING THEM (MUSLIM IMMIGRATION).

RADDATZ: Thank you, Secretary Clinton.

Mr. Trump, in December, you said this. “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice. We have no choice.” Your running mate said this week that the Muslim ban is no longer your position. Is that correct? And if it is, was it a mistake to have a religious test?

TRUMP: First of all, Captain Khan is an American hero, and if I were president at that time, he would be alive today, because unlike her, who voted for the war without knowing what she was doing, I would not have had our people in Iraq. Iraq was disaster. So he would have been alive today.

GREAT HIT.  WHAM!

The Muslim ban is something that in some form has morphed into a extreme vetting from certain areas of the world. Hillary Clinton wants to allow hundreds of thousands — excuse me. Excuse me..

RADDATZ: And why did it morph into that? No, did you — no, answer the question. Do you still believe… TRUMP: Why don’t you interrupt her? You interrupt me all the time.

RADDATZ: I do.

TRUMP: Why don’t you interrupt her?

RADDATZ: Would you please explain whether or not the Muslim ban still stands?

TRUMP: It’s called extreme vetting. We are going to areas like Syria where they’re coming in by the tens of thousands because of Barack Obama. And Hillary Clinton wants to allow a 550 percent increase over Obama. People are coming into our country like we have no idea who they are, where they are from, what their feelings about our country is, and she wants 550 percent more. This is going to be the great Trojan horse of all time.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXTREME VETTING AND MODERATE VETTING?  HAVING SAID THAT, THE MAN AS A POINT.

We have enough problems in this country. I believe in building safe zones.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING CAMPUS LEFTISTS ARE FOR

I believe in having other people pay for them, as an example, the Gulf states, who are not carrying their weight, but they have nothing but money, and take care of people. But I don’t want to have, with all the problems this country has and all of the problems that you see going on, hundreds of thousands of people coming in from Syria when we know nothing about them. We know nothing about their values and we know nothing about their love for our country.

GOOD

RADDATZ: And, Secretary Clinton, let me ask you about that, because you have asked for an increase from 10,000 to 65,000 Syrian refugees. We know you want tougher vetting. That’s not a perfect system. So why take the risk of having those refugees come into the country?

CLINTON: Well, first of all, I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us. But there are a lot of refugees, women and children — think of that picture we all saw of that 4-year-old boy with the blood on his forehead because he’d been bombed by the Russian and Syrian air forces.

TODAY’S 4 YEAR OLD BOY IS TOMORROW’S BORED TEENAGER WHO TAKES UP A LITTLE JIHAD

There are children suffering in this catastrophic war, largely, I believe, because of Russian aggression.

UM, NO- ITS BECAUSE JIHADISTS REVOLTED AGAINST ASSAD AND THEN RUSSIA CAME IN TO HELP BECAUSE THE US WOULDN’T  And we need to do our part. We by no means are carrying anywhere near the load that Europe and others are. But we will have vetting that is as tough as it needs to be from our professionals, our intelligence experts and others.

YES, LIKE ITS SO EASY TO VET A SEMI LITERATE PEASANT FROM ALEPPO. PLEASE.

But it is important for us as a policy, you know, not to say, as Donald has said, we’re going to ban people based on a religion. How do you do that? We are a country founded on religious freedom and liberty. How do we do what he has advocated without causing great distress within our own county? Are we going to have religious tests when people fly into our country? And how do we expect to be able to implement those?,

ISLAM ISN’T LIKE OTHER RELIGIONS ANYMORE. IT JUST ISNT.

So I thought that what he said was extremely unwise and even dangerous. And indeed, you can look at the propaganda on a lot of the terrorists sites, and what Donald Trump says about Muslims is used to recruit fighters, because they want to create a war between us.

UNLIKE THE MUSLIM-INCINERATING WARS HILLARY SUPPORTS, WHICH, HEAVENS TO BETSY, ISLAMISTS WOULD NEVER USE IN THEIR PROPGANDA

And the final thing I would say, this is the 10th or 12th time that he’s denied being for the war in Iraq. We have it on tape. The entire press corps has looked at it. It’s been debunked, but it never stops him from saying whatever he wants to say.

TRUMP: That’s not been debunked.

CLINTON: So, please…

TRUMP: That has not been debunked.

CLINTON: … go to HillaryClinton.com and you can see it.

TRUMP: I was against — I was against the war in Iraq. Has not been debunked. And you voted for it. And you shouldn’t have. Well, I just want to say…

RADDATZ: There’s been lots of fact-checking on that. I’d like to move on to an online question…

TRUMP: Excuse me. She just went about 25 seconds over her time.

RADDATZ: She did not.

TRUMP: Could I just respond to this, please?

RADDATZ: Very quickly, please.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton, in terms of having people come into our country, we have many criminal illegal aliens. When we want to send them back to their country, their country says we don’t want them. In some cases, they’re murderers, drug lords, drug problems. And they don’t want them.

And Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, said that’s OK, we can’t force it into their country. Let me tell you, I’m going to force them right back into their country. They’re murderers and some very bad people.

GOOD HIT

And I will tell you very strongly, when Bernie Sanders said she had bad judgment, she has really bad judgment, because we are letting people into this country that are going to cause problems and crime like you’ve never seen. We’re also letting drugs pour through our southern border at a record clip. At a record clip. And it shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

ICE just endorsed me. They’ve never endorsed a presidential candidate.

ICE IS A GOVERNENT AGENCY AND DOESN’T ENDORSE PEOPLE (THOUGH I THINK HE MEANS THEIR UNION)

The Border Patrol agents, 16,500, just recently endorsed me, and they endorsed me because I understand the border. She doesn’t. She wants amnesty for everybody. Come right in. Come right over. It’s a horrible thing she’s doing. She’s got bad judgment, and honestly, so bad that she should never be president of the United States. That I can tell you.

I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT UP OPEN BORDERS REMARK FROM RECENT WIKILEAKS FILE.

RADDATZ: Thank you, Mr. Trump. I want to move on. This next question from the public through the Bipartisan Open Debate Coalition’s online forum, where Americans submitted questions that generated millions of votes. This question involves WikiLeaks release of purported excerpts of Secretary Clinton’s paid speeches, which she has refused to release, and one line in particular, in which you, Secretary Clinton, purportedly say you need both a public and private position on certain issues. So, Tu (ph), from Virginia asks, is it OK for politicians to be two-faced? Is it acceptable for a politician to have a private stance on issues? Secretary Clinton, your two minutes.

CLINTON: Well, right. As I recall, that was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called “Lincoln.” It was a master class watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment. It was principled, and it was strategic.

And I was making the point that it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want to do and you have to keep working at it. And, yes, President Lincoln was trying to convince some people, he used some arguments, convincing other people, he used other arguments. That was a great — I thought a great display of presidential leadership.

But, you know, let’s talk about what’s really going on here, Martha, because our intelligence community just came out and said in the last few days that the Kremlin, meaning Putin and the Russian government, are directing the attacks, the hacking on American accounts to influence our election. And WikiLeaks is part of that, as are other sites where the Russians hack information, we don’t even know if it’s accurate information, and then they put it out.

We have never in the history of our country been in a situation where an adversary, a foreign power, is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election. And believe me, they’re not doing it to get me elected. They’re doing it to try to influence the election for Donald Trump.

CLINTON: Now, maybe because he has praised Putin, maybe because he says he agrees with a lot of what Putin wants to do, maybe because he wants to do business in Moscow, I don’t know the reasons. But we deserve answers. And we should demand that Donald release all of his tax returns so that people can see what are the entanglements and the financial relationships that he has…

RADDATZ: We’re going to get to that later. Secretary Clinton, you’re out of time.

CLINTON: … with the Russians and other foreign powers.

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: Well, I think I should respond, because — so ridiculous. Look, now she’s blaming — she got caught in a total lie. Her papers went out to all her friends at the banks,Goldman Sachs and everybody else, and she said things — WikiLeaks that just came out. And she lied. Now she’s blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln. That’s one that I haven’t…

(LAUGHTER)

OK, Honest Abe, Honest Abe never lied. That’s the good thing. That’s the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you. That’s a big, big difference. We’re talking about some difference.

But as far as other elements of what she was saying, I don’t know Putin. I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together, as an example. But I don’t know Putin.

GOOD

But I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are — she doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia. I know nothing about Russia. I know — I know about Russia,

NOW THAT’S A QUICK FLIP FLOP

but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there. I have no businesses there. I have no loans from Russia.

GIVEN THAT YOUR TAX RETURNS ARE SECRET I FIND THIS HARD TO BELIEVE.

I have a very, very great balance sheet, so great that when I did the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, the United States government, because of my balance sheet, which they actually know very well, chose me to do the Old Post Office, between the White House and Congress, chose me to do the Old Post Office. One of the primary area things, in fact, perhaps the primary thing was balance sheet. But I have no loans with Russia. You could go to the United States government, and they would probably tell you that, because they know my sheet very well in order to get that development I had to have.

Now, the taxes are a very simple thing. As soon as I have — first of all, I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. Many of her friends took bigger deductions. Warren Buffett took a massive deduction. Soros, who’s a friend of hers, took a massive deduction. Many of the people that are giving her all this money that she can do many more commercials than me gave her — took massive deductions.

I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. But — but as soon as my routine audit is finished, I’ll release my returns. I’ll be very proud to. They’re actually quite great.

SO OBVIOUSLY FRAUDULENT IT HURTS.

RADDATZ: Thank you, Mr. Trump.

COOPER: We want to turn, actually, to the topic of taxes. We have a question from Spencer Maass. Spencer?

QUESTION: Good evening. My question is, what specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes?

COOPER: Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.

TRUMP: Well, one thing I’d do is get rid of carried interest. One of the greatest provisions for people like me, to be honest with you, I give up a lot when I run, because I knock out the tax code. And she could have done this years ago, by the way. She’s a United States — she was a United States senator.

She complains that Donald Trump took advantage of the tax code. Well, why didn’t she change it? Why didn’t you change it when you were a senator? The reason you didn’t is that all your friends take the same advantage that I do. And I do. You have provisions in the tax code that, frankly, we could change. But you wouldn’t change it, because all of these people gave you the money so you can take negative ads on Donald Trump.

But — and I say that about a lot of things. You know, I’ve heard Hillary complaining about so many different things over the years. “I wish you would have done this.” But she’s been there for 30 years she’s been doing this stuff. She never changed. And she never will change. She never will change.

We’re getting rid of carried interest provisions. I’m lowering taxes actually, because I think it’s so important for corporations, because we have corporations leaving — massive corporations and little ones, little ones can’t form. We’re getting rid of regulations which goes hand in hand with the lowering of the taxes.

SOLID

But we’re bringing the tax rate down from 35 percent to 15 percent. We’re cutting taxes for the middle class. And I will tell you, we are cutting them big league for the middle class.

And I will tell you, Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes, folks. You can look at me. She’s raising your taxes really high. And what that’s going to do is a disaster for the country. But she is raising your taxes and I’m lowering your taxes. That in itself is a big difference. We are going to be thriving again. We have no growth in this country. There’s no growth. If China has a GDP of 7 percent, it’s like a national catastrophe. We’re down at 1 percent. And that’s, like, no growth. And we’re going lower, in my opinion. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that our taxes are so high, just about the highest in the world. ‘

FALSE

And I’m bringing them down to one of the lower in the world. And I think it’s so important — one of the most important things we can do. But she is raising everybody’s taxes massively.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes. The question was, what specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes?

CLINTON: Well, everything you’ve heard just now from Donald is not true. I’m sorry I have to keep saying this, but he lives in an alternative reality. And it is sort of amusing to hear somebody who hasn’t paid federal income taxes in maybe 20 years talking about what he’s going to do.

But I’ll tell you what he’s going to do. His plan will give the wealthy and corporations the biggest tax cuts they’ve ever had, more than the Bush tax cuts by at least a factor of two. Donald always takes care of Donald and people like Donald, and this would be a massive gift. And, indeed, the way that he talks about his tax cuts would end up raising taxes on middle-class families, millions of middle-class families.

Now, here’s what I want to do. I have said nobody who makes less than $250,000 a year — and that’s the vast majority of Americans as you know — will have their taxes raised, because I think we’ve got to go where the money is. And the money is with people who have taken advantage of every single break in the tax code.

And, yes, when I was a senator, I did vote to close corporate loopholes. I voted to close, I think, one of the loopholes he took advantage of when he claimed a billion-dollar loss that enabled him to avoid paying taxes.

I want to have a tax on people who are making a million dollars. It’s called the Buffett rule. Yes, Warren Buffett is the one who’s gone out and said somebody like him should not be paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. I want to have a surcharge on incomes above $5 million.

ALSO SOLID

We have to make up for lost times, because I want to invest in you. I want to invest in hard-working families. And I think it’s been unfortunate, but it’s happened, that since the Great Recession, the gains have all gone to the top. And we need to reverse that.

People like Donald, who paid zero in taxes, zero for our vets, zero for our military, zero for health and education, that is wrong.

COOPER: Thank you, Secretary.

CLINTON: And we’re going to make sure that nobody, no corporation, and no individual can get away without paying his fair share to support our country.

COOPER: Thank you. I want to give you — Mr. Trump, I want to give you the chance to respond. I just wanted to tell our viewers what she’s referring to. In the last month, taxes were the number-one issue on Facebook for the first time in the campaign. The New York Times published three pages of your 1995 tax returns. They show you claimed a $916 million loss, which means you could have avoided paying personal federal income taxes for years. You’ve said you pay state taxes, employee taxes, real estate taxes, property taxes. You have not answered, though, a simple question. Did you use that $916 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes for years?

TRUMP: Of course I do. Of course I do. And so do all of her donors, or most of her donors. I know many of her donors. Her donors took massive tax write-offs.

IF HE’S SO PROUD OF IT WHY’D HE TRY TO HIDE IT?

COOPER: So have you (inaudible) personal federal income tax?

TRUMP: A lot of my — excuse me, Anderson — a lot of my write- off was depreciation and other things that Hillary as a senator allowed. And she’ll always allow it, because the people that give her all this money, they want it. That’s why.

See, I understand the tax code better than anybody that’s ever run for president. Hillary Clinton — and it’s extremely complex — Hillary Clinton has friends that want all of these provisions, including they want the carried interest provision, which is very important to Wall Street people. But they really want the carried interest provision, which I believe Hillary’s leaving. Very interesting why she’s leaving carried interest.

But I will tell you that, number one, I pay tremendous numbers of taxes.

DOESN’T THIS CONTRADICT WHAT HE SAID ABOUT NOT PAYING TAXES? I’M CONFUSED

I absolutely used it. And so did Warren Buffett and so did George Soros and so did many of the other people that Hillary is getting money from. Now, I won’t mention their names, because they’re rich, but they’re not famous. So we won’t make them famous.

COOPER: So can you — can you say how many years you have avoided paying personal federal income taxes?

TRUMP: No, but I pay tax, and I pay federal tax, too. But I have a write-off, a lot of it’s depreciation, which is a wonderful charge. I love depreciation. You know, she’s given it to us.

Hey, if she had a problem — for 30 years she’s been doing this, Anderson. I say it all the time. She talks about health care. Why didn’t she do something about it? She talks about taxes. Why didn’t she do something about it? She doesn’t do anything about anything other than talk. With her, it’s all talk and no action.

COOPER: In the past…

TRUMP: And, again, Bernie Sanders, it’s really bad judgment.

WHAT DOES BERNIE SANDERS HAVE TO DO WITH IT?

She has made bad judgment not only on taxes. She’s made bad judgments on Libya, on Syria, on Iraq. I mean, her and Obama, whether you like it or not, the way they got out of Iraq, the vacuum they’ve left, that’s why ISIS formed in the first place. They started from that little area, and now they’re in 32 different nations, Hillary. Congratulations. Great job.

GOOD HIT!

COOPER: Secretary — I want you to be able to respond, Secretary Clinton.

CLINTON: Well, here we go again. I’ve been in favor of getting rid of carried interest for years, starting when I was a senator from New York. But that’s not the point here.

TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it? Why didn’t you do it?

COOPER: Allow her to respond.

CLINTON: Because I was a senator with a Republican president.

TRUMP: Oh, really?

CLINTON: I will be the president and we will get it done. That’s exactly right.

TRUMP: You could have done it, if you were an effective — if you were an effective senator, you could have done it. If you were an effective senator, you could have done it. But you were not an effective senator.

COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn’t interrupt you.

CLINTON: You know, under our Constitution, presidents have something called veto power. Look, he has now said repeatedly, “30 years this and 30 years that.” So let me talk about my 30 years in public service. I’m very glad to do so.

ACTUALLY SHE ONLY HELD OFFICE FOR A DOZEN YEARS

Eight million kids every year have health insurance, because when I was first lady I worked with Democrats and Republicans to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Hundreds of thousands of kids now have a chance to be adopted because I worked to change our adoption and foster care system. After 9/11, I went to work with Republican mayor, governor and president to rebuild New York and to get health care for our first responders who were suffering because they had run toward danger and gotten sickened by it. Hundreds of thousands of National Guard and Reserve members have health care because of work that I did, and children have safer medicines because I was able to pass a law that required the dosing to be more carefully done.

When I was secretary of state, I went around the world advocating for our country, but also advocating for women’s rights, to make sure that women had a decent chance to have a better life and negotiated a treaty with Russia to lower nuclear weapons. Four hundred pieces of legislation have my name on it as a sponsor or cosponsor when I was a senator for eight years.

I worked very hard and was very proud to be re-elected in New York by an even bigger margin than I had been elected the first time. And as president, I will take that work, that bipartisan work, that finding common ground, because you have to be able to get along with people to get things done in Washington.

COOPER: Thank you, secretary.

CLINTON: I’ve proven that I can, and for 30 years, I’ve produced results for people.

COOPER: Thank you, secretary.

RADDATZ: We’re going to move on to Syria. Both of you have mentioned that.

I THINK MANY AMERICANS WISH BOTH CANDIDATES WOULD MOVE TO SYRIA AND STAY THERE!

TRUMP: She said a lot of things that were false. I mean, I think we should be allowed to maybe…

RADDATZ: No, we can — no, Mr. Trump, we’re going to go on. This is about the audience.

TRUMP: Excuse me. Because she has been a disaster as a senator. A disaster.

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, we’re going to move on. The heart-breaking video of a 5-year-old Syrian boy named Omran sitting in an ambulance after being pulled from the rubble after an air strike in Aleppo focused the world’s attention on the horrors of the war in Syria, with 136 million views on Facebook alone.

But there are much worse images coming out of Aleppo every day now, where in the past few weeks alone, 400 people have been killed, at least 100 of them children. Just days ago, the State Department called for a war crimes investigation of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and its ally, Russia, for their bombardment of Aleppo.

So this next question comes through social media through Facebook. Diane from Pennsylvania asks, if you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? Isn’t it a lot like the Holocaust when the U.S. waited too long before we helped? Secretary Clinton, we will begin with your two minutes.

CLINTON: Well, the situation in Syria is catastrophic. And every day that goes by, we see the results of the regime by Assad in partnership with the Iranians on the ground, the Russians in the air, bombarding places, in particular Aleppo, where there are hundreds of thousands of people, probably about 250,000 still left. And there is a determined effort by the Russian air force to destroy Aleppo in order to eliminate the last of the Syrian rebels who are really holding out against the Assad regime.

Russia hasn’t paid any attention to ISIS.

ISN’T ISIS REBELLING AGAINST ASSAD?

They’re interested in keeping Assad in power. So I, when I was secretary of state, advocated and I advocate today a no-fly zone and safe zones. We need some leverage with the Russians, because they are not going to come to the negotiating table for a diplomatic resolution, unless there is some leverage over them. And we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground.

But I want to emphasize that what is at stake here is the ambitions and the aggressiveness of Russia. Russia has decided that it’s all in, in Syria. And they’ve also decided who they want to see become president of the United States, too, and it’s not me. I’ve stood up to Russia. I’ve taken on Putin and others, and I would do that as president.

I think wherever we can cooperate with Russia, that’s fine. And I did as secretary of state. That’s how we got a treaty reducing nuclear weapons. It’s how we got the sanctions on Iran that put a lid on the Iranian nuclear program without firing a single shot. So I would go to the negotiating table with more leverage than we have now. But I do support the effort to investigate for crimes, war crimes committed by the Syrians and the Russians and try to hold them accountable.

YOU MEAN, LIKE YOU AND THE REST OF CONGRESS WAS HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR OPERATING SHOCK AND AWE— OH WAIT, THAT NEVER HAPPENED.

RADDATZ: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: First of all, she was there as secretary of state with the so-called line in the sand, which…

CLINTON: No, I wasn’t. I was gone. I hate to interrupt you, but at some point…

TRUMP: OK. But you were in contact — excuse me. You were…

CLINTON: At some point, we need to do some fact-checking here.

TRUMP: You were in total contact with the White House, and perhaps, sadly, Obama probably still listened to you. I don’t think he would be listening to you very much anymore.

Obama draws the line in the sand. It was laughed at all over the world what happened.

Now, with that being said, she talks tough against Russia. But our nuclear program has fallen way behind, and they’ve gone wild with their nuclear program. Not good. Our government shouldn’t have allowed that to happen. Russia is new in terms of nuclear. We are old.

GIBBERISH- THEY’VE HAD NUCLEAR WEAPONS SINCE THE 1940S.  MAYBE HE MEANS THEY ARE A LITTLE AHEAD SOMEHOW?

We’re tired. We’re exhausted in terms of nuclear. A very bad thing.

NOTHING WORSE THAN TIRED NUKES

Now, she talks tough, she talks really tough against Putin and against Assad. She talks in favor of the rebels. She doesn’t even know who the rebels are. You know, every time we take rebels, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else, we’re arming people. And you know what happens? They end up being worse than the people.

WORSE THAN WHAT PEOPLE?  BUT I THINK I UNDERSTAND THIS POINT- YOU CAN NEVER TELL WHAT THESE “REBELS” THINK

Look at what she did in Libya with Gadhafi. Gadhafi’s out. It’s a mess. And, by the way, ISIS has a good chunk of their oil. I’m sure you probably have heard that. It was a disaster. Because the fact is, almost everything she’s done in foreign policy has been a mistake and it’s been a disaster.

SEEMS PRETTY RIGHT TO ME

But if you look at Russia, just take a look at Russia, and look at what they did this week, where I agree, she wasn’t there, but possibly she’s consulted. We sign a peace treaty. Everyone’s all excited. Well, what Russia did with Assad and, by the way, with Iran, who you made very powerful with the dumbest deal perhaps I’ve ever seen in the history of deal-making, the Iran deal, with the $150 billion, with the $1.7 billion in cash, which is enough to fill up this room.

But look at that deal. Iran now and Russia are now against us. So she wants to fight. She wants to fight for rebels. There’s only one problem. You don’t even know who the rebels are. So what’s the purpose?

GO GET EM, DONALD!

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, your two minutes is up.

TRUMP: And one thing I have to say.

RADDATZ: Your two minutes is up.

TRUMP: I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS. And Iran is killing ISIS. And those three have now lined up because of our weak foreign policy.

WELL PUT!

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, let me repeat the question. If you were president…

(LAUGHTER)

… what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? And I want to remind you what your running mate said. He said provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in air strikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.

TRUMP: OK. He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree. I disagree.

RADDATZ: You disagree with your running mate?

TRUMP: I think you have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS.

ALSO THE NUSRA FRONT (AL QAEDA)

We have people that want to fight both at the same time. But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and it’s Iran, who she made strong and Kerry and Obama made into a very powerful nation and a very rich nation, very, very quickly, very, very quickly.

I believe we have to get ISIS. We have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved. She had a chance to do something with Syria. They had a chance. And that was the line. And she didn’t.

RADDATZ: What do you think will happen if Aleppo falls?

TRUMP: I think Aleppo is a disaster, humanitarian-wise.

RADDATZ: What do you think will happen if it falls?

TRUMP: I think that it basically has fallen. OK? It basically has fallen. Let me tell you something. You take a look at Mosul. The biggest problem I have with the stupidity of our foreign policy, we have Mosul. They think a lot of the ISIS leaders are in Mosul. So we have announcements coming out of Washington and coming out of Iraq, we will be attacking Mosul in three weeks or four weeks.

Well, all of these bad leaders from ISIS are leaving Mosul. Why can’t they do it quietly? Why can’t they do the attack, make it a sneak attack, and after the attack is made, inform the American public that we’ve knocked out the leaders, we’ve had a tremendous success? People leave. Why do they have to say we’re going to be attacking Mosul within the next four to six weeks, which is what they’re saying? How stupid is our country?

RADDATZ: There are sometimes reasons the military does that. Psychological warfare.

BRILLIANT (SARCASM)

TRUMP: I can’t think of any. I can’t think of any. And I’m pretty good at it.

RADDATZ: It might be to help get civilians out.

AND TERRORISTS TOO! STOP ARGUING WITH THE MAN!

TRUMP: And we have General Flynn. And we have — look, I have 200 generals and admirals who endorsed me. I have 21 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients who endorsed me. We talk about it all the time. They understand, why can’t they do something secretively, where they go in and they knock out the leadership? How — why would these people stay there? I’ve been reading now…

RADDATZ: Tell me what your strategy is.

TRUMP: … for weeks — I’ve been reading now for weeks about Mosul, that it’s the harbor of where — you know, between Raqqa and Mosul, this is where they think the ISIS leaders are. Why would they be saying — they’re not staying there anymore. They’re gone. Because everybody’s talking about how Iraq, which is us with our leadership, goes in to fight Mosul.

Now, with these 200 admirals and generals, they can’t believe it. All I say is this. General George Patton, General Douglas MacArthur are spinning in their grave at the stupidity of what we’re doing in the Middle East.

RADDATZ: I’m going to go to Secretary Clinton. Secretary Clinton, you want Assad to go. You advocated arming rebels, but it looks like that may be too late for Aleppo. You talk about diplomatic efforts. Those have failed. Cease-fires have failed. Would you introduce the threat of U.S. military force beyond a no-fly zone against the Assad regime to back up diplomacy?

CLINTON: I would not use American ground forces in Syria. I think that would be a very serious mistake. I don’t think American troops should be holding territory, which is what they would have to do as an occupying force. I don’t think that is a smart strategy.

OMG, I ACTUALY AGEEE WITH SOMETHING SHE SAID ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY (HEAD SPINNING)

I do think the use of special forces, which we’re using, the use of enablers and trainers in Iraq, which has had some positive effects, are very much in our interests, and so I do support what is happening, but let me just…

DO THEY GET TO COMPETE IN THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS AFTER THE WAR IS OVER?

RADDATZ: But what would you do differently than President Obama is doing?

CLINTON: Well, Martha, I hope that by the time I — if I’m fortunate…

TRUMP: Everything.

CLINTON: I hope by the time I am president that we will have pushed ISIS out of Iraq. I do think that there is a good chance that we can take Mosul. And, you know, Donald says he knows more about ISIS than the generals. No, he doesn’t.

There are a lot of very important planning going on, and some of it is to signal to the Sunnis in the area, as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, that we all need to be in this. And that takes a lot of planning and preparation.

IF THERE’S ONE THING SHE’S GOOD AT, ITS PREPARATION.

I would go after Baghdadi. I would specifically target Baghdadi, because I think our targeting of Al Qaida leaders — and I was involved in a lot of those operations, highly classified ones — made a difference. So I think that could help.

I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq. And I know there’s a lot of concern about that in some circles, but I think they should have the equipment they need so that Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground are the principal way that we take Raqqa after pushing ISIS out of Iraq.

RADDATZ: Thank you very much. We’re going to move on…

TRUMP: You know what’s funny? She went over a minute over, and you don’t stop her. When I go one second over, it’s like a big deal.

RADDATZ: You had many answers.

TRUMP: It’s really — it’s really very interesting.

COOPER: We’ve got a question over here from James Carter. Mr. Carter?

QUESTION: My question is, do you believe you can be a devoted president to all the people in the United States?

COOPER: That question begins for Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: Absolutely. I mean, she calls our people deplorable, a large group, and irredeemable. I will be a president for all of our people. And I’ll be a president that will turn our inner cities around and will give strength to people and will give economics to people and will bring jobs back.

Because NAFTA, signed by her husband, is perhaps the greatest disaster trade deal in the history of the world. Not in this country. It stripped us of manufacturing jobs. We lost our jobs. We lost our money. We lost our plants. It is a disaster. And now she wants to sign TPP, even though she says now she’s for it. She called it the gold standard. And by the way, at the last debate, she lied, because it turned out that she did say the gold standard and she said she didn’t say it. They actually said that she lied. OK? And she lied. But she’s lied about a lot of things.

TRUMP: I would be a president for all of the people, African- Americans, the inner cities. Devastating what’s happening to our inner cities. She’s been talking about it for years. As usual, she talks about it, nothing happens. She doesn’t get it done.

Same with the Latino Americans, the Hispanic Americans. The same exact thing. They talk, they don’t get it done. You go into the inner cities and — you see it’s 45 percent poverty. African- Americans now 45 percent poverty in the inner cities. The education is a disaster. Jobs are essentially nonexistent.

I mean, it’s — you know, and I’ve been saying at big speeches where I have 20,000 and 30,000 people, what do you have to lose? It can’t get any worse. And she’s been talking about the inner cities for 25 years. Nothing’s going to ever happen.

WELL, NEW YORK’S INNER CITIES ARE DOING A LOT BETTER THAN THEY USED TO BE.  BUT THEN AGAIN THAT’S NEW YORK.

Let me tell you, if she’s president of the United States, nothing’s going to happen. It’s just going to be talk. And all of her friends, the taxes we were talking about, and I would just get it by osmosis. She’s not doing any me favors. But by doing all the others’ favors, she’s doing me favors.

YOU CAN TALK TALK TALK YOU CAN BICKER BICKER BICKER https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ9U4Cbb4wg

COOPER: Mr. Trump, thank you.

TRUMP: But I will tell you, she’s all talk. It doesn’t get done. All you have to do is take a look at her Senate run. Take a look at upstate New York.

COOPER: Your two minutes is up. Secretary Clinton, two minutes?

TRUMP: It turned out to be a disaster.

COOPER: You have two minutes, Secretary Clinton.

CLINTON: Well, 67 percent of the people voted to re-elect me when I ran for my second term, and I was very proud and very humbled by that.

SHE WAS BARELY OPPOSED

Mr. Carter, I have tried my entire life to do what I can to support children and families. You know, right out of law school, I went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund. And Donald talks a lot about, you know, the 30 years I’ve been in public service. I’m proud of that. You know, I started off as a young lawyer working against discrimination against African-American children in schools and in the criminal justice system. I worked to make sure that kids with disabilities could get a public education, something that I care very much about. I have worked with Latinos — one of my first jobs in politics was down in south Texas registering Latino citizens to be able to vote. So I have a deep devotion, to use your absolutely correct word, to making sure that an every American feels like he or she has a place in our country.

And I think when you look at the letters that I get, a lot of people are worried that maybe they wouldn’t have a place in Donald Trump’s America. They write me, and one woman wrote me about her son, Felix. She adopted him from Ethiopia when he was a toddler. He’s 10 years old now. This is the only one country he’s ever known. And he listens to Donald on TV and he said to his mother one day, will he send me back to Ethiopia if he gets elected?

You know, children listen to what is being said. To go back to the very, very first question. And there’s a lot of fear — in fact, teachers and parents are calling it the Trump effect. Bullying is up.

AT LEAST BETWEEN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IT IS!

A lot of people are feeling, you know, uneasy. A lot of kids are expressing their concerns.

So, first and foremost, I will do everything I can to reach out to everybody.

COOPER: Your time, Secretary Clinton.

CLINTON: Democrats, Republicans, independents, people across our country. If you don’t vote for me, I still want to be your president.

COOPER: Your two minutes is up.

CLINTON: I want to be the best president I can be for every American.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, your two minutes is up. I want to follow up on something that Donald Trump actually said to you, a comment you made last month. You said that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are, quote, “deplorables, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.” You later said you regretted saying half. You didn’t express regret for using the term “deplorables.” To Mr. Carter’s question, how can you unite a country if you’ve written off tens of millions of Americans?

CLINTON: Well, within hours I said that I was sorry about the way I talked about that, because my argument is not with his supporters. It’s with him and with the hateful and divisive campaign that he has run, and the inciting of violence at his rallies, and the very brutal kinds of comments about not just women, but all Americans, all kinds of Americans.

And what he has said about African-Americans and Latinos, about Muslims, about POWs, about immigrants, about people with disabilities, he’s never apologized for. And so I do think that a lot of the tone and tenor that he has said — I’m proud of the campaign that Bernie Sanders and I ran. We ran a campaign based on issues, not insults. And he is supporting me 100 percent.

COOPER: Thank you.

CLINTON: Because we talked about what we wanted to do. We might have had some differences, and we had a lot of debates…

COOPER: Thank you, Secretary.

TRUMP: … but we believed that we could make the country better. And I was proud of that.

COOPER: I want to give you a minute to respond.

TRUMP: We have a divided nation. We have a very divided nation. You look at Charlotte. You look at Baltimore. You look at the violence that’s taking place in the inner cities, Chicago, you take a look at Washington, D.C.

We have an increase in murder within our cities, the biggest in 45 years. We have a divided nation, because people like her — and believe me, she has tremendous hate in her heart. And when she said deplorables, she meant it. And when she said irredeemable, they’re irredeemable, you didn’t mention that, but when she said they’re irredeemable, to me that might have been even worse.

COOPER: She said some of them are irredeemable.

TRUMP: She’s got tremendous — she’s got tremendous hatred. And this country cannot take another four years of Barack Obama, and that’s what you’re getting with her.

COOPER: Mr. Trump, let me follow up with you. In 2008, you wrote in one of your books that the most important characteristic of a good leader is discipline. You said, if a leader doesn’t have it, quote, “he or she won’t be one for very long.” In the days after the first debate, you sent out a series of tweets from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., including one that told people to check out a sex tape. Is that the discipline of a good leader?

GOOD HIT BY MODERATOR

TRUMP: No, there wasn’t check out a sex tape. It was just take a look at the person that she built up to be this wonderful Girl Scout who was no Girl Scout.

COOPER: You mentioned sex tape.

TRUMP: By the way, just so you understand, when she said 3 o’clock in the morning, take a look at Benghazi. She said who is going to answer the call at 3 o’clock in the morning? Guess what? She didn’t answer it, because when Ambassador Stevens…

NEITHER WOULD TRUMP, HE’D BE BUSY TWEETING UP A FEUD WITH SOMEONE

COOPER: The question is, is that the discipline of a good leader?

TRUMP: … 600 — wait a minute, Anderson, 600 times. Well, she said she was awake at 3 o’clock in the morning, and she also sent a tweet out at 3 o’clock in the morning, but I won’t even mention that. But she said she’ll be awake. Who’s going — the famous thing, we’re going to answer our call at 3 o’clock in the morning. Guess what happened? Ambassador Stevens — Ambassador Stevens sent 600 requests for help. And the only one she talked to was Sidney Blumenthal, who’s her friend and not a good guy, by the way. So, you know, she shouldn’t be talking about that.

FACT CHECKERS POINT OUT THAT THIS IS MISLEADING.  STILL, IT IS TRUE THAT THE LIBYAN EMBASSY WANTED MORE SECURITY (THOUGH I SUSPECT REQUESTS LIKE THIS HAPPEN ALLTHE TIME- IS THERE ANY EMBASSY THAT SAYS TO WASHINGTON, “YEAH, WE COULD USE LESS SECURITY”?)

Now, tweeting happens to be a modern day form of communication. I mean, you can like it or not like it. I have, between Facebook and Twitter, I have almost 25 million people. It’s a very effective way of communication. So you can put it down, but it is a very effective form of communication. I’m not un-proud of it, to be honest with you.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, does Mr. Trump have the discipline to be a good leader?

CLINTON: No.

TRUMP: I’m shocked to hear that.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: Well, it’s not only my opinion. It’s the opinion of many others, national security experts, Republicans, former Republican members of Congress. But it’s in part because those of us who have had the great privilege of seeing this job up close and know how difficult it is, and it’s not just because I watched my husband take a $300 billion deficit and turn it into a $200 billion surplus, and 23 million new jobs were created, and incomes went up for everybody. Everybody. African-American incomes went up 33 percent.

And it’s not just because I worked with George W. Bush after 9/11, and I was very proud that when I told him what the city needed, what we needed to recover, he said you’ve got it, and he never wavered. He stuck with me.

And I have worked and I admire President Obama. He inherited the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That was a terrible time for our country.

COOPER: We have to move along.

CLINTON: Nine million people lost their jobs.

RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, we have to…

CLINTON: Five million homes were lost.

RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, we’re moving.

CLINTON: And $13 trillion in family wealth was wiped out. We are back on the right track. He would send us back into recession with his tax plans that benefit the wealthiest of Americans.

RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, we are moving to an audience question. We’re almost out of time. We have another… TRUMP: We have the slowest growth since 1929.

RADDATZ: We’re moving to an audience question.

TRUMP: It is — our country has the slowest growth and jobs are a disaster.

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, Secretary Clinton, we want to get to the audience. Thank you very much both of you.

(LAUGHTER)

We have another audience question. Beth Miller has a question for both candidates.

QUESTION: Good evening. Perhaps the most important aspect of this election is the Supreme Court justice. What would you prioritize as the most important aspect of selecting a Supreme Court justice?

RADDATZ: We begin with your two minutes, Secretary Clinton.

CLINTON: Thank you. Well, you’re right. This is one of the most important issues in this election. I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real-life experience, who have not just been in a big law firm and maybe clerked for a judge and then gotten on the bench, but, you know, maybe they tried some more cases, they actually understand what people are up against.

Because I think the current court has gone in the wrong direction. And so I would want to see the Supreme Court reverse Citizens United and get dark, unaccountable money out of our politics. Donald doesn’t agree with that.

I would like the Supreme Court to understand that voting rights are still a big problem in many parts of our country, that we don’t always do everything we can to make it possible for people of color and older people and young people to be able to exercise their franchise. I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose, and I want a Supreme Court that will stick with marriage equality.

Now, Donald has put forth the names of some people that he would consider. And among the ones that he has suggested are people who would reverse Roe v. Wade and reverse marriage equality. I think that would be a terrible mistake and would take us backwards.

I want a Supreme Court that doesn’t always side with corporate interests. I want a Supreme Court that understands because you’re wealthy and you can give more money to something doesn’t mean you have any more rights or should have any more rights than anybody else.

So I have very clear views about what I want to see to kind of change the balance on the Supreme Court. And I regret deeply that the Senate has not done its job and they have not permitted a vote on the person that President Obama, a highly qualified person, they’ve not given him a vote to be able to be have the full complement of nine Supreme Court justices. I think that was a dereliction of duty.

I hope that they will see their way to doing it, but if I am so fortunate enough as to be president, I will immediately move to make sure that we fill that, we have nine justices that get to work on behalf of our people.

RADDATZ: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. Thank you. You’re out of time. Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: Justice Scalia, great judge, died recently. And we have a vacancy. I am looking to appoint judges very much in the mold of Justice Scalia. I’m looking for judges — and I’ve actually picked 20 of them so that people would see, highly respected, highly thought of, and actually very beautifully reviewed by just about everybody.

But people that will respect the Constitution of the United States. And I think that this is so important. Also, the Second Amendment, which is totally under siege by people like Hillary Clinton. They’ll respect the Second Amendment and what it stands for, what it represents. So important to me.

Now, Hillary mentioned something about contributions just so you understand. So I will have in my race more than $100 million put in — of my money, meaning I’m not taking all of this big money from all of these different corporations like she’s doing. What I ask is this.

So I’m putting in more than — by the time it’s finished, I’ll have more than $100 million invested. Pretty much self-funding money. We’re raising money for the Republican Party, and we’re doing tremendously on the small donations, $61 average or so.

I ask Hillary, why doesn’t — she made $250 million by being in office. She used the power of her office to make a lot of money. Why isn’t she funding, not for $100 million, but why don’t you put $10 million or $20 million or $25 million or $30 million into your own campaign?

I SUSPECT THE MONEY ALL WENT TO LEGAL FEES.  I DON’T THINK SHE’S ALL THAT RICH.

It’s $30 million less for special interests that will tell you exactly what to do and it would really, I think, be a nice sign to the American public. Why aren’t you putting some money in? You have a lot of it. You’ve made a lot of it because of the fact that you’ve been in office. Made a lot of it while you were secretary of state, actually. So why aren’t you putting money into your own campaign? I’m just curious.

CLINTON: Well…

(CROSSTALK)

RADDATZ: Thank you very much. We’re going to get on to one more question.

CLINTON: The question was about the Supreme Court. And I just want to quickly say, I respect the Second Amendment. But I believe there should be comprehensive background checks, and we should close the gun show loophole, and close the online loophole. COOPER: Thank you.

RADDATZ: We have — we have one more question, Mrs. Clinton.

CLINTON: We have to save as many lives as we possibly can.

COOPER: We have one more question from Ken Bone about energy policy. Ken?

QUESTION: What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?

COOPER: Mr. Trump, two minutes?

TRUMP: Absolutely. I think it’s such a great question, because energy is under siege by the Obama administration. Under absolutely siege.

WELL THEN HOW COME THE US IS ALMOST SELF SUFFICIENT NOW?  FRACK BABY FRACK

The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, is killing these energy companies. And foreign companies are now coming in buying our — buying so many of our different plants and then re-jiggering the plant so that they can take care of their oil.

We are killing — absolutely killing our energy business in this country. Now, I’m all for alternative forms of energy, including wind, including solar, et cetera. But we need much more than wind and solar.

And you look at our miners. Hillary Clinton wants to put all the miners out of business. There is a thing called clean coal. Coal will last for 1,000 years in this country. Now we have natural gas and so many other things because of technology. We have unbelievable — we have found over the last seven years, we have found tremendous wealth right under our feet. So good. Especially when you have $20 trillion in debt.

I will bring our energy companies back. They’ll be able to compete. They’ll make money. They’ll pay off our national debt. They’ll pay off our tremendous budget deficits, which are tremendous. But we are putting our energy companies out of business. We have to bring back our workers.

You take a look at what’s happening to steel and the cost of steel and China dumping vast amounts of steel all over the United States, which essentially is killing our steelworkers and our steel companies. We have to guard our energy companies. We have to make it possible.

The EPA is so restrictive that they are putting our energy companies out of business. And all you have to do is go to a great place like West Virginia or places like Ohio, which is phenomenal, or places like Pennsylvania and you see what they’re doing to the people, miners and others in the energy business. It’s a disgrace.

WEST VIRGINIA WAS DECLINING LONG BEFORE OBAMA

COOPER: Your time is up. Thank you.

TRUMP: It’s an absolute disgrace. COOPER: Secretary Clinton, two minutes.

CLINTON: And actually — well, that was very interesting. First of all, China is illegally dumping steel in the United States and Donald Trump is buying it to build his buildings, putting steelworkers and American steel plants out of business. That’s something that I fought against as a senator and that I would have a trade prosecutor to make sure that we don’t get taken advantage of by China on steel or anything else.

You know, because it sounds like you’re in the business or you’re aware of people in the business — you know that we are now for the first time ever energy-independent. We are not dependent upon the Middle East. But the Middle East still controls a lot of the prices. So the price of oil has been way down. And that has had a damaging effect on a lot of the oil companies, right? We are, however, producing a lot of natural gas, which serves as a bridge to more renewable fuels. And I think that’s an important transition.

We’ve got to remain energy-independent. It gives us much more power and freedom than to be worried about what goes on in the Middle East. We have enough worries over there without having to worry about that.

So I have a comprehensive energy policy, but it really does include fighting climate change, because I think that is a serious problem. And I support moving toward more clean, renewable energy as quickly as we can, because I think we can be the 21st century clean energy superpower and create millions of new jobs and businesses.

But I also want to be sure that we don’t leave people behind. That’s why I’m the only candidate from the very beginning of this campaign who had a plan to help us revitalize coal country, because those coal miners and their fathers and their grandfathers, they dug that coal out. A lot of them lost their lives. They were injured, but they turned the lights on and they powered their factories. I don’t want to walk away from them. So we’ve got to do something for them.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton…

CLINTON: But the price of coal is down worldwide. So we have to look at this comprehensively.

COOPER: Your time is up.

CLINTON: And that’s exactly what I have proposed. I hope you will go to HillaryClinton.com and look at my entire policy.

COOPER: Time is up. We have time for one more…

RADDATZ: We have…

COOPER: One more audience question.

RADDATZ: We’ve sneaked in one more question, and it comes from Karl Becker.

QUESTION: Good evening. My question to both of you is, regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?

(APPLAUSE)

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, would you like to go first?

CLINTON: Well, I certainly will, because I think that’s a very fair and important question. Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald. I don’t agree with nearly anything else he says or does, but I do respect that. And I think that is something that as a mother and a grandmother is very important to me.

GOOD

So I believe that this election has become in part so — so conflict-oriented, so intense because there’s a lot at stake. This is not an ordinary time, and this is not an ordinary election. We are going to be choosing a president who will set policy for not just four or eight years, but because of some of the important decisions we have to make here at home and around the world, from the Supreme Court to energy and so much else, and so there is a lot at stake. It’s one of the most consequential elections that we’ve had.

THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL SINCE 2012 I THINK!

And that’s why I’ve tried to put forth specific policies and plans, trying to get it off of the personal and put it on to what it is I want to do as president. And that’s why I hope people will check on that for themselves so that they can see that, yes, I’ve spent 30 years, actually maybe a little more, working to help kids and families. And I want to take all that experience to the White House and do that every single day.

RADDATZ: Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: Well, I consider her statement about my children to be a very nice compliment. I don’t know if it was meant to be a compliment, but it is a great — I’m very proud of my children. And they’ve done a wonderful job, and they’ve been wonderful, wonderful kids. So I consider that a compliment.

I will say this about Hillary. She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She’s a fighter. I disagree with much of what she’s fighting for. I do disagree with her judgment in many cases. But she does fight hard, and she doesn’t quit, and she doesn’t give up. And I consider that to be a very good trait.

GOOD

RADDATZ: Thanks to both of you.

COOPER: We want to thank both the candidates. We want to thank the university here. This concludes the town hall meeting. Our thanks to the candidates, the commission, Washington University, and to everybody who watched.

RADDATZ: Please tune in on October 19th for the final presidential debate that will take place at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Good night, everyone.

 

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during their presidential town hall debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Washington University in St. Louis, October 9, 2016.Photograph by Shannon Stapleton—Reuters

 

It seems to me that the FBI Director’s report on Hillary Clinton’s emails was the best possible outcome for the Republican Party.

If he had recommended indictment (assuming that the Justice Department followed his recommendation) the Democrats probably would have found a better nominee.

If he had condoned Secretary Clinton’s conduct, the email scandal would disappear, and Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump would grow.

But by condemning her conduct, the FBI Director has created a “worst of both worlds” situation for the Democrats- the email scandal won’t harm Clinton enough to justify  nominating someone else, and yet will continue to get publicity, thus reducing or eliminating her lead over Donald Trump.

My comments are IN CAPS.

 

Moderators Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace introduced the candidates and the debate began.

BAIER: Let’s get started.

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, as you may have heard, the 2012 Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney, had some things to say about you today.

He said your domestic policy will lead to recession, he’s said your foreign policy will make us less safe, and then he listed what he said are your personal qualities. Quoting now Romney on Trump, quote, “the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd, third-grade theatrics”.

(CHEERING)

He challenged you to answer with substance, not insults. How do you answer Mitt Romney, sir?

TRUMP: Well look, he was a failed candidate, he should have beaten president Obama very easy.

He failed miserably, and it was an embarrassment to everybody, including the Republican party. It looked like he went away on a vacation the last month. So, I don’t take that, and I guess, obviously, he wants to be relevant. He wants to be back in the game.

As far as domestic policy and trade which is killing our country, he said free trade and I believe in free trade also. But, if you look at China, and you look Japan, and if you look at Mexico, both at the border, by the way, where they’re killing us.

Both at the border, and with trade — and every other country we do business with we are getting absolutely crushed on trade. And, he said free trade, I say free trade great. But, not when they’re beating us so badly.

With China we’re going to lose $505 billion dollars in terms of trades. You just can’t do it.

Mexico, $58 billion dollars.

Japan, probably about, they don’t know it yet, but about $109 billion dollars.

Every country we lose money with. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve got to reduce — we have to redo our trade deals 100 percent. I have the greatest business people in the world lined up to do it. We will make…

(BELL RINGING)

TRUMP: … great trade deals.

(CHEERING)

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, Romney also talked about your position on race, and the controversy over your failure to denounce David Duke on Sunday. You have repeatedly disavowed him since then, but I’d like to go deeper than that. What are your views on the Klu Klux Klan, and white supremacists?

TRUMP: I totally disavow the Klu Klux Klan. I totally disavow David Duke. I’ve been doing it now for two weeks, this is your — you’re probably about the18th person that’s asked me the question. It was very clear, that question was also talked about in the form of groups. Groups, I want to know which groups are you talking about? You have to tell me which groups?

Ultimately, he got to the Klu Klux Klan, which obviously I’m going to disavow. And, by the way, if you look on my Twitter account, almost immediately after the program they were disavowed again.

You know, it’s amazing. When I do something on Twitter, everybody picks it up, goes all over the place. But, when I did this one nobody ever picks it up. Take a look at my Twitter account.

WALLACE: Thank you, sir.

TRUMP: Thank you. Thanks.

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Senator Rubio, three weeks ago you said, quote: “I don’t do the personal attacks, primarily because it’s not who I am, because I think it’s beneath the office that I’m seeking but also because I don’t want to embarrass my kids.”

But in the past week you’ve mocked Mr. Trump’s tan. You’ve made fun of his spelling. You called him a con artist. You suggested he wet himself backstage at the last debate, along with other vulgar jokes and jabs. So what happened?

RUBIO: Yes, you know, Bret, let me say something. This campaign for the last year Donald Trump has basically mocked everybody with personal attacks. He has done so to people that are sitting on the stage today. He has done so about people that are disabled. He has done it about every candidate in this race.

So if there is anyone who has ever deserved to be attacked that way, it has been Donald Trump, for the way he has treated people in the campaign.

Now that said, I would much prefer to have a policy debate. I hope that’s what we will have here tonight. Let’s have a policy debate…

TRUMP: And we will.

RUBIO: … let’s talk about Donald Trump’s strategy and my strategy and Ted’s strategy and John Kasich’s strategy when it comes to ISIS. And on health care and on the important issues facing this country.

But let’s be honest too about all this. The media has given these personal attacks that Donald Trump has made an incredible amount of coverage. Let’s start talking again about the issues that matter to this country. I’m ready to do that starting right here right now tonight.

BAIER: Mr. Trump, your response?

TRUMP: Well, I also happened to call him a lightweight, OK? And I have said that. So I would like to take that back. He is really not that much of a lightweight. And as far as — and I have to say this, I have to say this. He hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands. I have never heard of this. Look at those hands. Are they small hands?

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: And he referred to my hands, if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee.

BAIER: OK. Moving on.

KELLY: OK, Senator Cruz, you say that you are the true conservative in this race. But 15 states have voted now, and you have won only four of them. You have lost repeatedly with what is supposed to be your core voter groups, including evangelicals and conservatives.

Hasn’t your brand of conservatism been rejected by an electorate that appears to be more taken with Mr. Trump’s populist message?

CRUZ: Well, Megyn, you know, at the end of the day for the folks at home, this is not about the insults back and forth between the candidates. This is not about what attacks we can throw at each other. This is the people at home who are struggling through seven years of Barack Obama.

This is the single moms who are working two and three jobs, 28, 29 hours a week because their hours have been forcibly reduced because of Obamacare. This is the truck drivers and the steel workers and the mechanics with calluses on their hands who have seen their wages not grow year after year after year while the cost of living goes up.

This is all the young people coming out of school with student loans up to their eyeballs that aren’t able to find a job.

And I don’t think the people of America are interested in a bunch of bickering school children. They are interested in solutions, not slogans. It’s easy to say, make things better, make things great. You can even print it and put it on a baseball cap.

But the question is, do you understand the principles that made America great in the first place? As president, I will repeal every word of Obamacare. I will pull back the regulators that are killing small businesses.

And we will pass a simple flat tax and abolish the IRS. And what that’s going to do, Megyn, is small businesses are going to explode. We are going to see millions of high-paying jobs. We are going to see wages going up. We are going to see opportunity.

That’s where our focus needs to be. That’s where my focus is. And that is why our campaign is the only campaign that over and over again has beaten Donald Trump to date, and it’s why we are the one campaign that going forward can and will beat Donald Trump in this election.

KELLY: Go ahead, Mr. Trump. TRUMP: I have heard Ted say that over and over again on television, that he is the only one that can beat me. Just, for the record, I have won 10. He has won three or four. Last week, in fact, on Tuesday, I was a half a million votes higher than him. I was a million votes higher than Marco, 1 million votes. That’s a lot of votes. And was by far in first place.

So I keep hearing that he is the only one that can beat me but he is getting beaten very, very badly. So where does this come from? Where does it come from?

KELLY: Go ahead, Senator Rubio.

RUBIO: Yes, I would just say a couple of things. There is no doubt that Donald has done well in these elections. There is no doubt about that. The numbers are there.

Here is what the numbers also say. Two-thirds of the people who have cast a vote in a Republican primary or caucus have voted against you. They do not want you to be our nominee.

 

WHICH MEANS ABOUT 80 PERCENT HAVE VOTED AGAINST RUBIO

RUBIO: And, the reason why is because we are not going to turn over the conservative movement, or the party of Lincoln or Reagan, for example, to someone whose positions are not conservative. To someone who last week defended Planned Parenthood for 30 seconds a debate stage. To someone, for example, that has no ideas on foreign — someone who thinks the nuclear triad is a rock band from the 1980’s.

TRUMP: Oh yeah, you’re…

RUBIO: … To someone who time and again on issue after issue has not proven that he has the principals…

(BELL RINGING)

RUBIO: … That outline what the conservative movement has been about. And, as Ted said, the things that made America great.

America is great because of the conservative principles of limited government and free enterprise, and a strong national defense…

KELLY: … OK…

RUBIO: … And, our nominee needs to be someone that stands by those things…

KELLY: … Alright…

RUBIO: … Donald has not demonstrated that.

KELLY: … Go ahead, Mr. Trump, and then we’re going to have to go to Governor Kasich.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Very nice words, but happens to be wrong. CNN just came out with a poll two days ago that…

RUBIO: … (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: … That national poll — excuse me…

RUBIO: … (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: … The national poll — a national poll where he’s at 15, he’s at 14… RUBIO: … (INAUDIBLE)…

TRUMP: … And, I’m at 49, so when he says 75 percent, that would mean that 80 percent of the people don’t dig you, and I’m back down to 50…

RUBIO: … Of all the people on this stage, he performs the worst against Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: Wrong…

RUBIO: … If you’re our nominee, we will lose…

TRUMP: … I beat Hillary Clinton. I beat Hillary Clinton in many polls…

RUBIO: … You lose by (INAUDIBLE) points (ph). She will wipe you out.

TRUMP: I beat Hillary Clinton in many polls…

RUBIO: If you’re our nominee (INAUDIBLE)…

KELLY: … Hold on, Senator, hold on…

TRUMP: … I think I’m talking…

RUBIO: … Oh, excuse me (INAUDIBLE)…

TRUMP: … I beat Hillary Clinton…

KELLY: … Hold on, hold on, hold on…

TRUMP: … I hope you think (INAUDIBLE)…

KELLY: … The audience cannot understand when you’re talking over each other. Finish your point, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: … I beat Hillary Clinton in many polls. The Cue (ph) poll just came out. I beat Hillary Clinton in a recent Fox poll, I beat Hillary Clinton in USA Today, I beat her today in a poll in Ohio. I beat — I’m the only one that beats Hillary Clinton.

I beat — and I have not started on Hillary yet. Believe me, I will…

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: … start soon. I haven’t even started.

KELLY: OK.

BAIER: Governor Kasich, today you admitted that you have a narrow path to the nomination through a contested convention. Today also Mitt Romney proposed that Republicans should vote for Senator Rubio in Florida. They should vote for you in Ohio. They should vote for Senator Cruz in states that he can beat Mr. Trump to prevent Mr. Trump from getting the nomination.

So, do you buy Romney’s blueprint, and can you say tonight to your Florida supporters that they should vote for Senator Rubio to get a contested convention?

KASICH: You know, this so much about process. It frankly is boring to me. I would like it clear though, since we’re talking about polls, I beat Hillary Clinton by more than 11 points, and the reason it happens…

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: … In one poll…

KASICH: … The reason it happens…

TRUMP: … In one poll…

KASICH: … You know, the reason is because, as the Democrats tell me all the time, I can get the crossover votes. You see, because throughout this campaign I’ve talked about issues, I have never tried to go and get into these scrums that we’re seeing here on the stage. And, people say everywhere I go, “you seem to be the adult on the stage.”

(APPLAUSE)

In terms of — you know, Mitt Romney’s a great guy, but he doesn’t determine my strategy. The fact of the matter is I’m running for president because I worked hard to fix this country when I was in Washington as the Chairman of the Budget Committee where we had some of the most significant job growth after we balanced the budget.

We had wages going up, it was very successful in Ohio. Our wages grow faster than the national average. We’re up over 400,000 jobs. We paid down, back in the old days, they paid down half a trillion dollars of the national debt. It’s a formula that works. And, I believe that formula will work when I return to Washington as the president.

And, by the way, I won’t need on the job training because I know how to do all of this, and within the first 100 days I will have a plan that will pass the Congress because…

(BELL RINGING)

KASICH: … It is reasonable, and I can bring both sides together…

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: … But Governor, this is all about process. For voters, they need to see a path to get to the nomination if they’re going to support you.

On Super Tuesday you finished in single digits in nine out of 11 states. So, you can see that your path is through a contested convention. How do you…

KASICH: … Well, Bret, I think we’re all really there. I mean, the simple fact is that, you know, you all wrote me off. You wrote me off before I even got to New Hampshire, then when I finished in New Hampshire you wrote me off in the South, then you wrote me off in Super Tuesday.

I split delegates in Vermont with Donald Trump, I finished second in Massachusetts, and we won delegates in Virginia. But, guess what? It’s now March Madness and we’re heading up North to the place — to my turf, OK?

(CHEERING)

KASICH: And, let me just tell you this, I will win Ohio, and I am going to move all across this country, and over time as people begin to finally hear my message — you know what people say, Bret, to me all the time?

Why don’t they give you any time on the debate stage? Why is that?

(CHEERING)

KASICH: So now all of a sudden, I’m starting to get it, and what I want the people to know is, I know how to bring people together, Republicans and Democrats. I have successfully, both at the federal level and the state level brought economic growth, wage growth, and economic security to this country.

And I want to go back and do it again, and I’m going to keep talking about my message of bringing people together and motivating people in the neighborhoods that realize they don’t need somebody from Washington galloping in. There are many things they can do where they live, because the strength of our country is in our neighborhoods and our families. And I’m going to keep doing this.

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Thank you.

WALLACE: Well, then, we want to focus now on the economy, which is one of the top issues on Facebook, with 6.6 million people discussing it online. A lot of that conversation is happening here in Detroit, where the unemployment rate is 10.9 percent. That’s more than double the national average.

Senator Rubio, you have taken to calling Mr. Trump a con artist who portrays himself as a hero to working people while he’s really been, in your words, “sticking it” to the American workers for 40 years. But he has built a big company that employs thousands of people. Question. How many jobs have you created?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, government doesn’t…

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

First of all, Chris, my point is exactly right. He has spent a career of convincing Americans that he’s something that he’s not in exchange for their money. Now he’s trying to do the same in exchange for their country. This is a fact. He talks about these great businesses that he’s built. He inherited over $100 million.

TRUMP: Wrong. Wrong.

RUBIO: And with that money, he lost more money than he made.

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, it’s not your turn. You’ll get your turn, sir.

(CROSSTALK)

RUBIO: He can start tonight by announcing that all the Donald Trump clothing will no longer be made in China and in Mexico, but will be made here in the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

And on the issue of job creation, I find this interesting. The private sector creates jobs. The jobs of those of us in public service are to put in place policies that allow the economy to grow.

That’s the problem with the Democratic Party. They think government is what creates jobs. Government does not create jobs.

Now, the way you create jobs is you make America the easiest and the best place in the world to start a business or to expand an existing business. If you go on my website, marcorubio.com, you will see a real plan to fix our taxes, to roll back regulations, to repeal and replace Obamacare, not just lines around the states. Serious policies and proposals.

WALLACE: Sir? Mr. Trump, I’d like you to respond. You have 30 seconds to respond. But as part of that, could you respond to his specific assertion about Trump Collection clothes, which you say some of it is made in Mexico?

TRUMP: This little guy has lied so much…

RUBIO: Here we go.

TRUMP: … about my record.

RUBIO: Here we go. It’s personal.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: He has lied so much about my record.

WALLACE: Mr. Rubio — Senator Rubio, why don’t you let him finish?

TRUMP: And I will tell you this. First of all, I got a call from my sister and brother tonight, and they said we had no idea Dad gave you $200 million. Believe me, I started off with $1 million. I built a company that’s worth more than $10 billion. And I say it not in a bragging way, but that’s the kind of thinking we need.

Very low debt, tremendous cash flow. My financials are all — they’re all in there with the federal elections. You’ve seen them. Everybody has seen them. I say it only because that’s the kind of thinking this country needs with $19 trillion in debit. Believe me.

(APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: But wait one second. Specifically and quickly on the question, will you promise that you will — and how soon will you move your clothing collection, the clothes that are made in China and Mexico?

TRUMP: They devalue their currencies. I will do that. And by the way, I have been doing it more and more. But they devalue their currencies, in particular China. Mexico is doing a big number now, also. Japan is unbelievable what they’re doing.

They devalue their currencies, and they make it impossible for clothing-makers in this country to do clothing in this country. And if you look at what’s happened on Seventh Avenue, and you look at what’s happened in New York with the garment industry, so much of the clothing now comes out from Vietnam, China, and other places. And it’s all because of devaluation.

By the way, the Trans-Pacific, if you look at the TPP, a total disaster, which, by the way, Marco is in favor of, they need — it is a disaster for our country. It’s trying to be approved by various people, including President Obama. And I’ll tell you something. The biggest problem with that is: They don’t take into concurrence the devaluation. They’re devaluing their currency.

WALLACE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Trump. Senator Rubio?

TRUMP: And they’re killing — they’re going to…

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Wait, wait, Senator Rubio.

RUBIO: The answer is, he’s not going to do it. And you know why? Because there are plenty of clothing makers in America.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

RUBIO: If you go on my website, marcorubio.com, everything we have on there is made in America. The reason why he makes it in China or Mexico is because he can make more money on it. That’s why he’s doing it.

And the second point, you see what happens, again, when you challenge him on a policy issue. You asked him about the economy, and the first thing he does is launch an attack about some little guy thing. Because he doesn’t have answers.

TRUMP: No, no. I have very good answers.

RUBIO: And he’s asking us to make him the president of the United States of America.

(CROSSTALK) (APPLAUSE)

RUBIO: This is not a game.

TRUMP: I know what’s happening with the economy. You don’t know a thing.

RUBIO: Well, then answer the economy question.

TRUMP: You haven’t employed in your life one person.

RUBIO: But he doesn’t answer the employment question.

TRUMP: I have employed tens of thousands of people.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: You haven’t employed one person.

RUBIO: You ever heard of Trump Steaks? You ever heard of Trump Vodka?

TRUMP: Oh, you know what? You know what? Take a look at Trump Steaks.

RUBIO: All of these companies he has ruined.

TRUMP: By the way, that’s the other thing…

RUBIO: Trump Steaks is gone. You have ruined these companies.

TRUMP: Mitt Romney…

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: … false, totally false. And now the funny thing is he didn’t talk about the hundreds of really successful jobs, the buildings all over the world that have made a fortune.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: I have a policy question for you, sir.

RUBIO: Let’s see if he answers it.

TRUMP: I will. Don’t worry about it, Marco. Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it little Marco, I will.

RUBIO: All right, well, let’s hear it big Donald.

TRUMP: Don’t worry about it, little Marco.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Gentlemen. Gentlemen.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: You have got to do better than this. TRUMP: This guy has a number one — the number one absentee record in the United States…

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, I would like to ask you a policy question.

TRUMP: He doesn’t show up to vote.

WALLACE: Your proposed tax cut…

TRUMP: That’s why the people in Florida do not like him.

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, your proposed tax cut would add $10 trillion to the nation’s debt over 10 years, even if the economy grows the way that you say it will. You insist that you could make up for a good deal of that, you say, by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse.

TRUMP: Correct.

WALLACE: Like what? And please be specific.

TRUMP: Department of Education. We’re cutting Common Core. We’re getting rid of Common Core. We’re bringing education locally. Department of Environmental Protection.

NOT A DEPARTMENT – IS HE THINKING OF NY STATE (WHICH HAS A DEPT BY THAT NAME)?

We are going to get rid are of it in almost every form. We’re going to have little tidbits left but we’re going to take a tremendous amount out.

We have various other things. If you look at the IRS, if you look at every single agency, we can cut it down, and I mean really cut it down and save. The waste, fraud, and abuse is massive.

Larry Kudlow, great guy, everybody respects him, said my plan for taxes and tax cutting is the best by far of everybody.

WALLACE: But, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, your numbers don’t add up. Please put up full screen number four. The Education Department, you talk about cutting, the total budget for the education department is $78 billion.

And that includes Pell grants for low-income students and aid to states for special education. I assume you wouldn’t cut those things. The entire budget for the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, $8 billion.

TRUMO: OK.

WALLACE: The deficit this year is $544 billion. That’s more than a half trillion dollars. Your numbers don’t add up, sir.

TRUMP: Let me explain something. Because of the fact that the pharmaceutical companies — because of the fact that the pharmaceutical companies are not mandated to bid properly, they have hundreds of billions of dollars in waste.

We don’t bid properly. We don’t have proper bidding procedures. The reason we don’t is because they take care of all of the senators, all of the congressman, and they don’t bid. They don’t go out to bid. WALLACE: Mr. Trump…

TRUMP: Take a look — excuse me. You are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars…

WALLACE: No, you are not.

TRUMP: … if we went out to the proper bid. Of course you are.

WALLACE: No, you’re not, sir. Let’s put up full screen number 2.

You say that Medicare could save $300 billion a year negotiating lower drug prices. But Medicare total only spends $78 billion a year on drugs. Sir, that’s the facts. You are talking about saving more money on Medicare prescription drugs…

TRUMP: I’m saying saving through negotiation throughout the economy, you will save $300 billion a year.

WALLACE: But that doesn’t really cut the federal deficit.

TRUMP: And that’s a huge — of course it is. We are going to buy things for less money. Of course it is. That works out…

WALLACE: That’s the only money that we buy — the only drugs that we pay for is through Medicare.

TRUMP: I’m not only talking about drugs, I’m talking about other things. We will save $300 billion a year if we properly negotiate. We don’t do that. We don’t negotiate. We don’t negotiate anything.

OF COURSE HE’S BEING SILLY HERE, AS WALLACE POINTS OUT

KASICH: Can I…

WALLACE: No. I promise I will get to you in a moment, sir.

Senator Cruz, one of centerpieces of your campaign, in fact, you mentioned it again tonight, is that you will abolish the IRS. Question though, who will collect the taxes that you are still calling for? Who will oversee to make sure that people pay the taxes that they rightfully owe? And who will check on the various tax deductions and tax credits that you still want?

CRUZ: So my simple flat tax I have rolled out in precise detail how it will operate where every American can fill out our taxes on a postcard. And if you want to actually see the postcard, see all the details, you can find them on our Web site. It’s tedcruz.org.

When he we get rid of all the corporate welfare, all the subsidies, all the carve-outs in the IRS code, it dramatically simplifies it. And under Obama, the IRS has become so corrupt and so politicized we need to abolish it all together.

Now, at the end of that there will still be an office in the Treasury Department to receive the postcards but it will be dramatically simpler.

IN OTHER WORDS, RENAME THE IRS?

CRUZ: And let me take a moment, Chris, to go back to go back to this exchange that was going on.

In between all of the insults, let me point out the specificity that was lacking. It’s very easy to say, “Let’s cut waste, fraud, and abuse.” I’ve rolled out a detailed plan to cut $500 billion in federal spending, specifying exactly what I would cut.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s easy to say it, but one of the great disconnects to all the people, all of the voters, I understand the folks who are supporting Donald right now. You’re angry. You’re angry at Washington, and he uses angry rhetoric.

But for 40 years, Donald has been part of the corruption in Washington that you’re angry about.

(APPLAUSE)

And you’re not going to stop the corruption in Washington by supporting someone who has supported liberal Democrats for four decades, from Jimmy Carter to John Kerry to Hillary Clinton. You’re not going to stop the corruption and the cronyism by supporting someone who has used government power for private gain. Instead, we need a president who stands with the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: Governor Kasich, I promise I will get to you. But you do get 30 seconds to respond, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: Well, all of a sudden, I hear for 40 years I’ve been involved in Washington. I have been supporting people for many years. And these people have been politicians, and they’ve been on both sides, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives. I’ve supported everybody, because, until recently, I wasn’t a politician, and I hope maybe you don’t all consider me a politician right now. I hate the term politician.

But I’ve been supporting politicians. A recent article somewhere said Donald Trump is a world-class businessman who goes out and he does get along with everybody. I’ve supported Democrats, and I’ve supported Republicans. And as a businessman, I owed that to my company, to my family, to my workers, to everybody to get along.

Part of the problem we have in Washington, Chris…

WALLACE: Mr. Trump…

TRUMP: … is it’s total gridlock. Nobody gets along. We need people to get along. We need to be able to get things done.

THIS ILLUSTRATES THE ABSURDITY OF PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS. ON THE ONE HAND, PROMISE TO CUT GOVERNMENT BACK.  ON THE OTHER, PROMISE TO MAKE DEALS.  BARRING A LIBERTARIAN PARTY SWEEP OF CONGRESS YOU PROBABLY CANNOT HAVE BOTH.

(APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: Governor Kasich, Democrats, as you know, will make income inequality a big issue in the general election. You support raising the minimum wage, although you say not to the $15 an hour that Democrats are talking about. Mr. Trump opposes any increase because he says it will price American workers out of the world market. Is he wrong about that? No increase in the minimum wage?

KASICH: Well, well, wait a minute, first of all, I didn’t say I was for an increase in the federal minimum wage. I said in Ohio we increased it modestly every single year. So I’m not for a federal minimum wage increase.

WALLACE: But you did talk about states doing it.

KASICH: Well, states — if states want to do it, they ought to sit down with businesspeople and the lawmakers and figure out what will work. But hold on a second here with everything else.

I’m the only person on this stage who actually was the chief architect of balancing the federal budget. It’s not a theory for me. It’s not — it’s not some — you have to know how to put everything together. And you know, I spent 10 years of my life to get there, and I did not do that because I’m worshiping at some balanced budget shrine.

The reason I did it is when you have commonsense regulations, lower taxes on individuals and businesses, and you have a fiscal plan that makes sense, the job creators will expand employment. And what happened? When I was there, the jobs were exploding. Bill Clinton’s tried to take credit for it. When I went to Ohio, we’re up 400,000 jobs. It’s the same formula.

But it isn’t easy. I fought the entire Washington establishment and won, because when you balance a budget, you must affect every single thing. Everything in the federal government specifically. You cannot get there with theories or broad statements, and you have to be willing to take the heat. In fact, I fought a Republican president, who I thought was not offering constructive proposals to fix this economy.

So when we talk about all this, there’s one person on this stage and one person who’s been a candidate for president in either party that restored economic strength, growth, a balanced budget, paid down debt, cut taxes, the things that people in this country want. No theories. Reality.

(APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: Thank you, Governor.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: All right. Let’s talk immigration for a little bit. Senator Cruz, let’s start with you. You have repeatedly touted how you have stood shoulder to shoulder with Senator Jeff Sessions to fight illegal immigration and amnesty. But Senator Sessions just endorsed Donald Trump. If voters want Jeff Sessions-style immigration policies, isn’t their choice rather clear?

CRUZ: Yes, their choice is very clear. If you look to the actual record — you know, Donald mentioned a moment ago that he was just doing business when he was writing checks to liberal Democrats. But that’s not, in fact, the checks he was writing.

Listen, we could all understand if you write a check to a city commission because you’re looking for a zoning waiver on building a building. That may be corrupt, but you could understand real estate developers doing that.

CRUZ: That’s not what Donald Trump did. Donald Trump supported Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan. Donald supported John Kerry over George W. Bush. If you don’t like Obamacare, Donald Trump funded Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi taking over Congress to pass Obamacare.

On immigration, if you don’t like amnesty, if you don’t like the Gang of Eight, Donald Trump funded five of the eight members of the Gang of Eight $50,000.

And let’s talk about this election. The choice Republican primary voters are making is who is best prepared to stand up to Hillary Clinton and beat Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump has written checks to Hillary Clinton not once, not twice, not three times. Ten times. And four of those checks were not to her Senate campaign. It wasn’t that she was the New York senator and it was a cost of doing business. It was to her presidential campaign.

Donald Trump in 2008 wrote four checks to elect Hillary Clinton as president.

KELLY: OK.

CRUZ: So I’d like to ask Donald, why did you write checks to Hillary Clinton to be president in 2008? It wasn’t for business. And how can you stand on a debate stage now with her and say you don’t think she should be president?

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Actually, it was for business. It was. It was. It was for business. I pride myself, including outside of the United States. I’m doing almost 120 deals outside of the — which I hope to be able to stop very soon and let my children handle it — but we’re doing many, many deals outside of the United States.

I support politicians. In 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton. I supported many other people, by the way. And that was because of the fact that I’m in business. I did support very heavily Ronald Reagan. I also supported George Bush, by the way.

KELLY: All right. Mr. Trump…

CRUZ: But what would you say…

KELLY: Well, stand by — stand by, Senator Cruz.

CRUZ: … to Hillary Clinton on the debate stage when you wrote her a check in 2008, wrote her four checks to be president?

TRUMP: Let me tell you, something, Ted. The last person that Hillary Clinton wants to face is Donald Trump. That I can…

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Let’s move on. And with all due respect, we have — we have questions. We have questions.

TRUMP: That I can tell you.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: No, no, no. Hold on. Hold on. We can do more of this later. Mr. Trump, hi.

TRUMP: Hello.

KELLY: How are you doing?

TRUMP: Nice to be with you, Megyn.

KELLY: Great to have you here.

TRUMP: You’re looking well. You’re looking well.

KELLY: As are you.

(APPLAUSE)

Back in January, you gave an off-the-record interview to the New York Times. It was apparently audiotaped. Now, a recent report in Buzzfeed citing sources at the Times reports that in that interview you expressed flexibility when it comes to your immigration policy, specifically with respect to your promise to deport the 11 million people who are now living here illegally. You have suggested that you may have expressed some flexibility when it comes to the size of the wall that you want to build. But did you tell them, specifically, that you are flexible when it comes to your deportation plan?

TRUMP: I don’t know exactly what — when you talk about off the record. First of all, Buzzfeed? They were the ones that said under no circumstances will I run for president. And were they wrong. But a lot of people said that.

Then, I did have a meeting with the editorial board of the New York Times, a very nice meeting. Many of those things were off the record, I think at their suggestion and my suggestion. And I think being off the record is a very important thing. I think it’s a very, very powerful thing.

And I will say this. These three gentlemen have gone off the record many times with reporters. And I think they want to honor it, and I would always honor that.

I will say, though, in terms of immigration — and almost anything else — there always has to be some, you know, tug and pull and deal. And, you know, when I watch Ted stand on the Senate floor, I had great respect for what he did. He stood there for a day-and-a- half or something. In the meantime, what came of it? Nothing. You have to be able to have some flexibility, some negotiation.

Now, sometimes you ask for more than you want and you negotiate down to the point. I may have discussed something like that with the New York Times, but I would never release off-the-record conversations. I don’t think it’s fair, frankly, to do that to anybody.

KELLY: How flexible are you on this issue?

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

TRUMP: Not very flexible. No, not very flexible. I give the example — I’m going to build a wall. I’m the one that wants the wall. I’m the one that can build the wall.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s going to get built. And by the way, Mexico is going to pay for the wall. I can tell you that. Mexico is going to pay for the wall.

(APPLAUSE)

But — and I used an example. And this isn’t necessarily what was said, but whatever was said, the wall’s 50 feet high. Is it going to be 45 feet or 40 feet? That could very well be. That could very well — he wants it to be higher.

(LAUGHTER)

That could very well be. But there’s always give and take. There’s always negotiation. And the best negotiator that knows what he’s doing will make a great deal. But we need give and take in government. If you don’t have give and take, you’re never going to agree on anything.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: I CAN MAKE SPEECHES BUT I REALIZE CONGRESS WON’T PAY FOR THEM.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Senator Rubio, you not only supported the failed immigration reform effort through the Gang of Eight, but you’re still on record as favoring an eventual path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. And in addition…

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

… you favored in-state tuition for Florida illegal immigrants. You’ve been hitting Mr. Trump hard on this flexibility discussion with the New York Times, but his supporters might say at least his opening stance was tough.

RUBIO: Well, first of all, let me say that on the issue of the off-the-record, that’s not up to the New York Times. That’s up to you, Donald. If tonight you tell the New York Times to release the audio, they will do it, and we can exactly see what your true views are on immigration…

TRUMP: Fine (ph).

RUBIO: … because it is a major issue, in your campaign that you’ve made a center issue. Now, as far as my record on it is concerned, I absolutely want to solve this issue. And I did the best we could in a Senate that was controlled by liberal Democrats and Harry Reid in the hopes that the House, made up of conservatives, would take it up and make it even stronger. And I said that repeatedly at the time.

I’m not just saying that now; I said it throughout that process. We do need to do with this issue.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

RUBIO: When I’m president it will not be dealt with the way it was done in the Senate.

It will be done first and foremost by bringing illegal immigration under control and proving it to the American people. And only after that is done can anything else happen.

AND DO THIS HOW?  HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN ITS UNDER CONTROL? WILL IT BE BEFORE YOU LEAVE OFFICE?

And it will be something the American people support. We’ll see what they are willing to support. It’s not going to be an executive order and we’re not going to ram it down their throats.

KELLY: Mr. Trump, we will let respond, but will you release the tapes? Will you authorize of The Times to release the tapes?

TRUMP: I will say one thing, what Marco said is — I understand it. He is talking about a little give and take and a little negotiation. And you know what? That’s OK. That’s not the worst thing in the world.

There is nothing wrong with that. I happen to be much stronger on illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed me. And if he endorses you, believe me, you are the strongest, from Arizona.

But give and take is OK. And I thought what he said is OK. We may differ on the degree. But what he said to me is OK.

KELLY: Will you release the tapes?

TRUMP: No. I never do that. I would not do that. I don’t think — I have too much respect — if I deal with you off the record, if I deal with Bret or Chris off the record, I have too much respect for that process to say, just release everything. I would not do that.

KELLY: OK. Stand by. We’re going to continue this right after the break. We have more.

BAIER: Coming up, more with Megyn on immigration, plus questions on other top issues, including the war on terror. The “FOX News Republican Presidential Debate Live from Detroit” continues after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Welcome back everybody to the FOX News Republican presidential debate, live from the FOX theater here in Detroit. Let’s get back now to the questions.

Mr. Trump, your campaign website to this day argues that more visas for highly skilled workers would, quote, “decimate American workers”. However, at the CNBC debate, you spoke enthusiastically in favor of these visas. So, which is it?

TRUMP: I’m changing. I’m changing. We need highly skilled people in this country, and if we can’t do it, we’ll get them in. But, and we do need in Silicon Valley, we absolutely have to have.

So, we do need highly skilled, and one of the biggest problems we have is people go to the best colleges. They’ll go to Harvard, they’ll go to Stanford, they’ll go to Wharton, as soon as they’re finished they’ll get shoved out. They want to stay in this country. They want to stay here desperately, they’re not able to stay here. For that purpose, we absolutely have to be able to keep the brain power in this country.

(APPLAUSE)

YOU WANT SOMEONE WHO WILL RIGIDLY HOLD TO OUTDATED IDEAS, TRUMP NOT YOUR MAN.

KELLY: So you abandoning the position on your website…

TRUMP: … I’m changing it, and I’m softening the position because we have to have talented people in this country.

KELLY: And you’re not releasing the discussion with the New York Times behind closed doors…

TRUMP: … That is correct.

KELLY: Which will have some asking whether, on your immigration policies, you’re really just playing to people’s fantasies, which is a tactic…

TRUMP: … No, I’m not playing.

KELLY: … you praised in your book, The Art of the Deal.

TRUMP: I’m not playing to anybody’s fantasies, I’m playing to the fact that our country is in trouble, that we have a tremendous problem with crime. The border is a disaster, it’s like a piece of Swiss cheese. We’re going to stop it, we’re going to stop people from coming into our country illegally. We’re going to stop it.

(APPLAUSE) (CHEERING)

KELLY: Senator Cruz, not long ago you propose quintupling the number of these foreign worker visas. After you announced for president, you reversed yourself, citing reports that the program was being abused. But, that abuse had been around long before your 180. In fact, it was so bad that just a few months earlier that a bipartisan group of senators called for an investigation and you declined to join them.

Isn’t it a good thing that the American public didn’t trust Ted on that one?

CRUZ: Well, the abuse of the H1-B program has been rampant. On the face of that H1-B abuse, I have proposed, and promised as president that I will impose a 180 day moratorium on the H1B program to implement a comprehensive investigation and audit because you got U.S. companies that are firing American workers, bringing in foreign workers, and forcing them to train their replacements.

And, I would note that is not dissimilar to what we discovered at the last debate concerning the hotel that Donald owns down in Florida. Down in Florida that hotel has brought in hundreds of foreign workers, and afterwards it was really striking.

I watched the CNN interview Donald did where he explained, he said, well the problem is you can’t find Americans who are qualified, or who want to work as waiters and waitresses. Now, let me ask the people here, how many people have worked as a waiter or waitress?

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ: Millions across this country. That is an astonishing statement. You know, Marco’s Dad started as a bartender. My Dad started washing dishes, and yet, you know how many Americans wanted those jobs?

GOOD HIT!

(BELL RINGING)

CRUZ: Roughly 300 applied, Donald hired 17. And, that’s why this New York Times tape is so troubling because what’s been reported is that Donald told the Editorial Board of the New York Times what I’m saying on immigration, I don’t believe. I’m not going to build a wall, I’m not going to deport people, this is all just rhetoric for the voters.

Now, if he didn’t say that, he has an easy solution. Simply release the tape.

But, for everyone at home who’s mad at politicians that lied to us, Donald’s record right now as he standing here…

KELLY: … OK.

CRUZ: … His record right now is one of repeatedly hiring illegal aliens…

KELLY: … Times up, sir…

CRUZ: … abusing (ph) American workers…

KELLY: … Go ahead, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: First of all I’ve had tens of thousands of people working for me, most of which are — 98, 97, 98 percent of the people in this country, from this country. I’m very proud of it. You have a club in Palm Beach, Florida called the Mar-a-Lago Club, it’s a very, very successful club. It has a very short season, it’s called, the Season, and it goes from November until March.

It’s a few months, five months at the most. People don’t want a short-term job.

OH PLEASE

They don’t want — so, we will bring people in, and we will send the people out. All done legally, all done with the process that’s…

(BELL RINGING)

TRUMP: … Approved by government in Palm Beach, or West Palm Beach. We bring people in, we bring them out. We want to hire as many Americans as we can, but they don’t want part-time, very short part-time jobs.

KELLY: Understood. Thank you.

RUBIO: That’s not accurate. I’m sorry, Megyn, that’s not accurate. That’s my — there were at least 300 Americans that applied last year, none of them were hired. Some of them…

TRUMP: … Wrong…

RUBIO: … have been interviewed…

TRUMP: … That’s wrong.

RUBIO: … They were not hired…

TRUMP: … Wrong…

RUBIO: … And, here’s why he does it this way, let me explain why he (INAUDIBLE) H2-B…

TRUMP: … Wrong…

RUBIO: … Because when you bring them in this way, when you bring someone in on one of these visas they can’t go work for anybody else. They either work for you or they have to go back home. You basically have them captive, so you don’t have to worry about competing for higher wages with another hotel down the street. And, that’s why you bring workers from abroad.

You argue that you’re here to fight on behalf of the American worker, but when you have chances to help the American worker…

(BELL RINGING)…

RUBIO: … but when you have chances to help the American workers, you’re making your clothes overseas and you’re hiring your workers from overseas.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Go ahead, sir.

TRUMP: The — the — the other hotels during the season, they do the same thing. They take in a lot of people, because you can’t get them. They take in a lot of people. Long-term employees, we don’t do that, but short-term employees, we have no choice but to do it, and other hotels in that very, very hot area. It is a very hot area.

RUBIO: There were Americans in that hot area.

TRUMP: It’s very, very hard to get people. But other hotels do the exact same thing. And just so you understand, just again, this is a legal process. This is a procedure. It’s part of the law. I take advantage of that. There’s nothing wrong with it. We have no choice.

KELLY: All right.

CRUZ: Donald, you could resolve this issue very quickly by simply…

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

… releasing the New York Times tape. Because, listen, maybe it’s right.

TRUMP: This wasn’t on the subject.

CRUZ: … that you didn’t tell them you’re misleading the American people. If that’s the case…

TRUMP: Tapes were not on the subject, but that’s…

CRUZ: If you didn’t tell them that, the tapes will prove you’re innocent.

KELLY: OK.

CRUZ: But if, in fact, you went to Manhattan and said I’m lying to the American people, then the voters have a right to know.

TRUMP: No, no. You’re the liar. You’re the lying guy up here.

(CROSSTALK)

CRUZ: Because we’ve been lied to too many times.

TRUMP: You’re the — you’re the one. You’re the one.

CRUZ: Why don’t you release the tapes? Release the tapes.

TRUMP: You’re the one. Now, let me just tell you. Let me just tell you.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. I’ve given my answer, Lyin’ Ted. I’ve given my answer.

KELLY: All right. Let’s leave it at that.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

Let’s leave it at that. We have more to get to.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

BAIER: Gentlemen, the next topic to discuss is terrorism. Senator Rubio, ISIS is a big topic of conversation on Facebook. We have a map that shows theconservation about ISIS around the country. You proposed sending a larger number of American ground troops to help defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq…

RUBIO: That’s correct, and Libya.

BAIER: … but military commanders say the biggest ISIS threat to Europe in particular now is coming from Libya, not Syria.

RUBIO: Correct.

BAIER: So just to be clear, if you’re for putting more U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Syria, are you also ready to send U.S. ground troops on the ground in Libya?

RUBIO: Well, Bret, what I’ve argued from the very beginning is ISIS — in order to defeat ISIS, you must deny them operating spaces. This is how ISIS or any radical group, for that matter, can grow. It’s how Al Qaida was able to carry out 9/11, is that the Taliban gave them an operating space in Afghanistan.

Today that operating space has largely been based in Iraq and Syria, but I’ve been warning about the Libyan presence for the better part of two years. So they need to be targeted wherever they have an operating space. They do need to be defeated on the ground by a ground force made up primarily of Sunni Arabs themselves. This is a radical Sunni movement. They can only be defeated if they are driven out and the territory is held by Sunni Arabs. But it will require a specific number of American special operators, in combination with an increase in air strikes. And that will include, if necessary, operating spaces in Libya, which, in fact, they are using to project into the Sinai against Egypt and ultimately into Europe, as well.

BAIER: Governor Kasich, would you put ground troops in Libya?

KASICH: Well, first of all, just to be clear, not only did I serve for 18 years on the Defense Committee, more than anybody on this stage, but, secondly, I was called into the Pentagon after 9/11 to help Secretary Rumsfeld with some of his difficulties.

I will say, look, let me tell you what happened with Libya. And I pointed out in the last debate — Hillary Clinton worked aggressively to depose Moammar Gadhafi. We had no business doing it. He was working with us. He was cooperating with us. He denuclearized. And now they pushed him out, and now we have a fertile ground for ISIS.

WELL  STATED, GOVERNOR!

Fortunately in Libya, there’s only a few cities on the coast, because most of Libya is a desert. The fact of the matter is, we absolutely have to be — and not just with special forces. I mean, that’s not going to work. Come on. You’ve got to go back to the invasion when we pushed Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. We have to be there on the ground in significant numbers. We do have to include our Muslim Arab friends to work with us on that. And we have to be in the air.

AND IF THEY LEAVE LIBYA, WHERE DO THEY GO NEXT?

And we — it should be a broad coalition, made up of the kinds of people that were involved when we defeated Saddam. Now, you’ve got to be on the ground and in the air both in Syria and Iraq. And at some point, we will have to deal with Libya. I am very concerned about ISIS getting their hands on the oilfields in Libya and being able to fund their operations. The fact is cool, calm, deliberate, effective, take care of the job, and then come home. That’s what we need to do with our military foreign policy.

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Mr. Trump, just yesterday, almost 100 foreign policy experts signed on to an open letter refusing to support you, saying your embracing expansive use of torture is inexcusable. General Michael Hayden, former CIA director, NSA director, and other experts have said that when you asked the U.S. military to carry out some of your campaign promises, specifically targeting terrorists’ families, and also the use of interrogation methods more extreme than waterboarding, the military will refuse because they’ve been trained to turn down and refuse illegal orders.

So what would you do, as commander-in-chief, if the U.S. military refused to carry out those orders?

TRUMP: They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me.

THEY DIDN’T REFUSE BUSH AND CHENEY, SO WHY SHOULD THEY REFUSE TO DO QUESTIONABLE THINGS NOW?

HAVING SAID THAT, GIVEN AMERICA’S HABIT OF ENGAGING IN DUMB WARS, A PRESIDENT WHO THE MILITARY IGNORES MIGHT NOT BE SUCH A BAD IDEA.

BAIER: But they’re illegal.

TRUMP: Let me just tell you, you look at the Middle East. They’re chopping off heads. They’re chopping off the heads of Christians and anybody else that happens to be in the way. They’re drowning people in steel cages. And he — now we’re talking about waterboarding.

This really started with Ted, a question was asked of Ted last — two debates ago about waterboarding. And Ted was, you know, having a hard time with that question, to be totally honest with you. They then came to me, what do you think of waterboarding? I said it’s fine. And if we want to go stronger, I’d go stronger, too, because, frankly…

(APPLAUSE)

… that’s the way I feel. Can you imagine — can you imagine these people,these animals over in the Middle East, that chop off heads, sitting around talking and seeing that we’re having a hard problem with waterboarding? We should go for waterboarding and we should go tougher than waterboarding. That’s my opinion.

BAIER: But targeting terrorists’ families?

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And — and — and — I’m a leader. I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.

BAIER: Even targeting terrorists’ families?

TRUMP: Well, look, you know, when a family flies into the World Trade Center, a man flies into the World Trade Center, and his family gets sent back to where they were going — and I think most of you know where they went — and, by the way, it wasn’t Iraq — but they went back to a certain territory, they knew what was happening. The wife knew exactly what was happening.

They left two days early, with respect to the World Trade Center, and they went back to where they went, and they watched their husband on television flying into the World Trade Center, flying into the Pentagon, and probably trying to fly into the White House, except we had some very, very brave souls on that third plane. All right?

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Senator Cruz, you were mentioned.

TRUMP: I have no problem with it.

BAIER: Senator Cruz?

CRUZ: Bret, you know, I think the American people understand that yelling and cursing at people doesn’t make you a tough guy.

TRUE

We need a commander-in-chief that, number one, will rebuild the military, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1981 coming out of the weak Jimmy Carter administration. He passed tax reform and regulatory reform. The economy took off. It generated millions in high-paying jobs, trillions in new revenue. He rebuilt the military, bankrupted the Soviet Union, and won the Cold War.

As president, I will do the exact same thing with radical Islamic terrorism. We will rebuild this military so that it remains the mightiest fighting force on the face of the planet. And then, when I am commander-in-chief, every militant on the face of the Earth will understand that if they go and join ISIS, if they wage jihad against the United States of America, they are signing their death warrant.

ALL THOSE EXTRA SHIPS AND PLANES DIDN’T DO MUCH GOOD AGAINST GUYS WITH BOXCUTTERS

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: But, Senator Cruz, in 2013, you said you were open — you were open to the possibility that Edward Snowden had performed a considerable public service, you said back then, in revealing certain aspects of the NSA procedures. Many of your colleagues in the Senate, including Senator Rubio, called him a traitor. It took you until January of this year to call him a traitor and say he should be tried for treason. Why the change of heart? And why did it take you so long?

CRUZ: Well, Bret, as someone who spent much of his life in law enforcement, I believe you should start with the facts and evidence first before ending up with the verdict. When the news first broke of the United States government engaging in massive surveillance on American citizens, that was a very troubling development, and it’s why the United States Congress acted to correct it.

Now, at the same time, I said in that initial statement that if the evidence indicated that Edward Snowden violated the law, he should be prosecuted for violating the law. And, indeed, since then, the evidence is clear that not only does Snowden violate the law, but it appears he committed treason. Treason is defined under the Constitution as giving aid and comfort to the enemies of America, and what Snowden did made it easier for terrorists to avoid detection.

BY TELLING AMERICANS THAT THEIR GOVERNMENT WAS SPYING ON THEM?  SEEMS LIKE A STRETCH, TO PUT IT MILDLY.

And Snowden’s comments afterwards, and his behavior afterwards, he fled to Russia, he fled to China. His conducts afterwards indicates that he was not a whistleblower, but instead he was undermining the ability to defend this country. But we need a president who isn’t rash, who doesn’t just pop off at the — at the hip, but waits to see what the facts are and then acts to defend this country.

INSTEAD THEY POP OFF WHEN THEY ARE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.  READING THIS MAKES ME WISH RON PAUL WAS ON THE STAGE.

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Mr. Trump, you’ve repeatedly deflected calls for specific national security or defense policy plans with the claim that you’ll ask the best people when you become president, and take their advice.

So who are the best people? Can you reveal two or three names that you trust for national security?

TRUMP: I think Richard Haass is excellent. I have a lot of respect for him. I think General Keane is excellent. I think that there are — I like Colonel Jacobsvery much. I see him. I know him. I have many people that I think are really excellent but in the end it’s going to be my decision.

When you just asked the question about Snowden, I will tell you right from the beginning, I said he was a spy and we should get him back. And if Russia respected our country, they would have sent him back immediately, but he was a spy. It didn’t take me a long time to figure that one out. Believe me.

But I would get the best people, people that I’d be comfortable with. And we will do the right thing.

KASICH: Bret, it’s very interesting to note, I think it’s for the good of the record here that they took a survey of foreign policy magazines, 700 foreign policy experts, who would be the best person to conduct foreign policy of all the candidates in the race?

I received 55 percent of the vote. Jeb Bush received 30 percent of the vote. And everybody else, none of them made double digits. And that’s because you have to have the experience.

SURPRISINGLY THIS IS TRUE (THOUGH MY SUSPICION IS THAT THIS REFLECTS KASICH’S EXPERTISE LESS THAN IT REFLECTS ACADEMICS’ VAGUE FEELING THAT KASICH IS GENERALLY MORE MODERATE SO HE MUST BE MODERATE ON FOREIGN POLICY TOO)  http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/02/19/snap-poll-who-will-make-the-next-best-foreign-policy-president-trump-syria-scholars/?utm_content=buffera9b84&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

And you know, we hear about Ronald Reagan rebuilding the military. I was there when Ronald Reagan rebuilt the military. I worked with him. I was there when Ronald Reagan rebuilt the economy. I was there, and I worked with him. I knew Ronald Reagan.

AS THE MONKEES WOULD SAY: “WE’RE THE OLD GENERATION, AND WE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY”

And I’ll leave it right there with what comes after that. You can figure that one out.

BAIER: Governor Kasich, thank you.

KELLY: We’re going to have more questions for the candidates right after this break. And during the commercial break, join us for a — Facebook live on the FOX News Facebook page and tell us what you think about tonight’s debate in the comment section.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BAIER: Welcome back to the historic Fox Theater in downtown Detroit and the Republican presidential debate. Let’s get right back to the questions.

KELLY: Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is they believe you tell it like it is. But time and time again in this campaign, you have actually told the voters one thing only to reverse yourself within weeks or even sometimes days. We’ve teed up just three examples in a videotape,similar to those we used with Senator Rubio and Senator Cruz in the last debate. The first is on whether the war in Afghanistan was a mistake. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: What about in Afghanistan? Do you believe that American boots should stay on the ground in Afghanistan to stabilize the situation?

TRUMP: We’ve made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place. That thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave. Just as I said that Iraq was going to collapse after we leave.

(UNKNOWN): About Afghanistan, you said we made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place.

TRUMP: We made a mistake going into Iraq. I’ve never said we made a mistake…

(UNKNOWN): Our question was about Afghanistan. That day on October…

TRUMP: Well, OK, I never said that.

(UNKNOWN): … was on Afghanistan.

TRUMP: OK. Wouldn’t matter. I never said it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Next, on whether we should accept…

TRUMP: Should I respond to that first?

KELLY: Two more, and then you’ll have the floor. Next on whether we should accept the Syrian refugees…

TRUMP: You’ll be here a long time.

KELLY: On whether we should accept the Syrian refugees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O’REILLY: Do you object to migrants who are getting out of the Middle East and North Africa? Do you object to them coming to the USA?

TRUMP: I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, with what’s happening, you have to. It’s living in Hell in Syria; there’s no question about it. They’re living in Hell.

HANNITY: Are you saying absolutely people from Syria, the Middle East, should we allow any of them into this country?

TRUMP: Look, from a humanitarian standpoint, I’d love to help, but we have our own problems. We have so many problems that we have to solve.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Most recently, on whether President George W. Bush lied to get us into the Iraq war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction; there were none. And they knew there were none.

I don’t know if he lied or not. He could have lied. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. I guess you’d have to ask him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: And there are many other examples. So how is any of this “telling it like it is”?

TRUMP: Well, on Afghanistan, I did mean Iraq. I think you have to stay in Afghanistan for a while, because of the fact that you’re right next to Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons, and we have to protect that. Nuclear weapons change the game.

And I was always against going into Iraq. In fact, I — believe me, I was always against it. There was some cases where I sort of — in one interview with a great friend of mine, and yours, Howard Stern — said that — said that…

(LAUGHTER)

I said very meekly, long before we went in, I said very meekly, well, maybe, maybe, I don’t know. By the time it got to that point, I was always against Iraq. But Afghanistan, I felt — and in that one, if you notice, I corrected it the second day. OK? Second question? KELLY: There are several examples, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: No, no. But…

KELLY: We went through the Afghanistan being a mistake. Within one day, you reversed yourself on Syrian refugees.

TRUMP: Now on — let me explain that. You’re right. Let me explain. First time the question had been put to me, it was very early on. The migration had just started. And I had heard that the number was a very, very small number.

By the second day, two or three days later, I heard the number was going to be thousands and thousands of people. You know, when they originally heard about it, they were talking about bringing very, very small numbers in.

And I said, begrudgingly, well, I guess maybe that’s OK. It was not like, “Let’s bring them in,” because I think we should build a safe zone in — we should really — what we should be doing is building safe zones so they can stay in their own country and not go all over, and at least this way we’re not going to have the problem. That’s what we have to do.

(APPLAUSE)

LIKE THE BIBLICAL REUBEN, TRUMP IS AS UNSTABLE AS WATER

But just — just to set — because I fully understand what you’re asking. When I first heard the question, first time the question was ever asked to me, first time I really had known about the question, the migration had just started. I was very much like, OK, by the time I went back and studied it, and they were talking about bringing thousands and thousands, I changed my tune. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

KELLY: But the point I’m going for is you change your tune on so many things, and that has some people saying, what is his core?

TRUMP: Megyn, I have a very strong core.

(APPLAUSE)

I have a very strong core. But I’ve never seen a successful person who wasn’t flexible, who didn’t have a certain degree of flexibility. You have to have a certain degree of flexibility.

(APPLAUSE)

You can’t — for instance, let’s say, on — on the second question, you can’t say it’s OK, and then you find out it’s not OK, and you don’t want to do anything. You have to be flexible, because you learn. I mean, before I knew the question was asked by Bill, and the next day, or the couple of days later, the question was asked by, by — you know — I was asked by a number of people, actually. I was asked by Sean, but I was asked by a number of people. But by that time, the number had increased significantly.

KELLY: Sean was the next day after Bill.

TRUMP: The next day. But I had learned. I mean, nobody had ever asked me the question. This was brand new. But — and I really mean it. You have to show a degree of flexibility. If you’re going to be one way and you think it’s wrong, does that mean the rest of your life you have to go in the wrong direction because you don’t want to change?

(APPLAUSE)

I GUESS BETTER TOO FLEXIBLE THAN  NOT FLEXIBLE ENOUGH.

KASICH: Megyn.

TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE)

KELLY: Go ahead, Governor.

KASICH: I did 200 meetings in New Hampshire, I don’t know how many in Michigan now. In these townhalls people come in and they’re very emotional meetings. And, you know what they really want to know? If somebody tells them something, can they believe it?

And, the reason why people are so upset in this country is because politicians all the time tell them what they want to hear. And, they go to Washington, or they go to the state capital, wherever, and they don’t deliver on those promises.

You know, when I ran for Governor of Ohio, I said not only would we balance the budget, but we would cut taxes. People said that can’t be done. I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t believe it.

We cut taxes in Ohio more than any governor in the country, and $5 billion dollars worth of tax cuts — we’re not running a surplus in Ohio. But, you see, what’s getting in the hearts and souls of the people is they want change, and they keep putting outsiders in to bring about the change, then the change doesn’t come. Then they put more outsiders in because we’re putting people in that don’t understand compromise. They don’t understand policy…

(BELL RINGING)

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: … They’re getting more and more frustrated with the system which is why we must pick somebody that has a record of achievement, not just talk.

KELLY: OK.

KASICH: Not just talk, but a record of achievement. That’s how we’ll restore credibility..

RUBIO: … This isn’t just about flexibility.

KELLY: Go ahead, Senator. RUBIO: There’s a difference between flexibility and telling people whatever you think you need to say to get them to do what you want them to do.

(CHEERING)

RUBIO: And, that’s what Donald has done throughout his career.

TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE)

RUBIO: Well, he did, and that’s why Trump University…

TRUMP: … That’s not right…

RUBIO: … Is so relevant here. I saw this video last week where he’s sitting in front of a camera saying we’re going to hire the best people, and I’m going to hand pick them. There are going to be hand picked and instructors, the best instructors in the world. One of them, but the way, was the manager at a Buffalo Wild Wing. And, that’s who they hired to do this, and people borrowed money, and they signed up for this fake university.

And, these people owe all this money now, and they got nothing in return for it, but you are willing to say whatever you had to say…

(BELL RINGING)

RUBIO: … To get them to give you their money…

KELLY: … Go ahead, Mr. Trump…

TRUMP: … We’ll find out when we have the (INAUDIBLE)…

RUBIO: … And, we’re not going to do that to our country…

TRUMP: … And, by the way, just so you understand…

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: … This is a case I could have settled very easily, but I don’t settle cases very easily when I’m right. Ninety-eight percent approval rating, we have an “A” from the Better Business Bureau…

RUBIO: … That’s false…

TRUMP: … We have a 98 percent approval rating from the people who took the course. We have an “A” from the Better Business Bureau. And, people like it. Now, he’s saying they didn’t learn.

We have many, many people that will be witnesses. Again, I don’t settle cases. I don’t do it because that’s why I don’t get sued very often, because I don’t settle, unlike a lot of other people.

We have a situation where we will win in court…

(BELL RINGING) TRUMP: But, many of the people that are witnesses did tremendously well, and made a lot of money…

RUBIO: … That’s false…

TRUMP: … By taking the course.

KELLY: Go ahead, Senator.

TRUMP: You’re going to see, you don’t know…

RUBIO: … The Better Business Bureau gave it a “D” minus.

TRUMP: You’re going to see, you’re going to see.

KELLY: … It’s Senator Rubio’s turn…

TRUMP: … No, no. Before they had the information…

RUBIO: … Go on my website, Marco Rubio.com…

TRUMP: … Before they had the information…

KELLY: … Senator Rubio, standby, let him finish his point, and then I’ll give you the floor…

TRUMP: … Before they had the information it got — it is right now an “A”, once they had the information…

RUBIO: … (INAUDIBLE) this anymore.

TRUMP: … The only reason that is was a “D” was because we didn’t care — we didn’t give them the information…

RUBIO: … A third of the people (INAUDIBLE)…

TRUMP: … When they got the information it became an “A”…

KELLY: … With respect — wait. With respect…

TRUMP: … Marco you don’t know (INAUDIBLE)…

KELLY: … With respect, we went back and looked at this…

TRUMP: … Yes.

KELLY: The rating from the Better Business Bureau was a “D” minus…

(CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) TRUMP: … (INAUDIBLE)

KELLY: … that’s the last publicly available rating in 2010, and it was the result of a number of complaints they had…

TRUMP: … But it was elevated to an “A”…

UNIDENTIFIABLE MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

KELLY: … That’s never been publicly available.

TRUMP: … I can give it to you. I can give it to you tomorrow..

KELLY: … Let’s just bring the viewers up to speed, let’s just bring the viewers up to speed.

TRUMP: … It was elevated to an “A”.

KELLY: Let me just set the record, and then you guys can have at it. There was Trump University, which was a business that you started, and it was marketed…

TRUMP: … Small business…

KELLY: … to many people, and now there is a class-action of over 5,000 plaintiffs against you, Mr. Trump…

TRUMP: … Right…

KELLY: … And, it involves veterans, and it involves teachers, and it involves so-called little guys, working class, and lower- working class and middle class who say that they were fleeced, who say that it was as scam. The class has been certified, and in that case you counter-sued the lead plaintiff alleging that you were being defamed.

That case was thrown out against her…

TRUMP: … The lead plaintiff is now getting out of the case because it’s so bad for her…

KELLY: … But, what happened was…

TRUMP: … Excuse me, the lead plaintiff signed a letter saying how great it was, and it on tape saying how great it was.

KELLY: OK, no, but — standby. But, what happened in that case was you counter-sued her. The court threw out your counter-suit, and made you pay almost $800,000 dollars in legal fees of hers, and you made the same argument about 98 percent of the people being happy with Trump University. And, that woman in particular signing a survey saying she liked it while someone was standing over her shoulder…

TRUMP: … She’s trying to get out of the case. She’s trying to get out of the case…

KELLY: … And this is what — standby, this is what the Court of Appeals found. They said that the plaintiffs against you are like the Madoff victims…

TRUMP: Oh, give me a break… KELLy: … This is what the Court of Appeals said.

TRUMP: Give me a break.

KELLY: This is what the court of appeals said.

TRUMP: Give me a break.

KELLY: They found that victims of con artists often sing the praises of their victimizers until they realize they have been fleeced.

TRUMP: You know what, let’s see what happens in court. This is a civil case. Very easy to have settled. Could settle it now. Very easy to have settled. Let’s see what happens at the end of a couple years when this case is over, OK?

KELLY: It has been going for five years.

TRUMP: Yes, it has been going for a long time.

KELLY: Go ahead, Senator.

RUBIO: I spoke to one of the victims yesterday.

TRUMP: We’ll win the case.

RUBIO: I spoke to one of the victims yesterday.

TRUMP: One, one of the victims.

RUBIO: No, there are several. Obviously there are so many, I can’t talk to them every day. I spoke to one of them, he told me exactly what happened. They signed up for this course because they believed Mr. Trump was this fantastic businessman, that Donald is going to teach them the tricks of the trade.

They signed up. They paid $15,000 for this course. They were asked for additional money for this course. If they really wanted the real secrets of success, they had to pay even more money, and so they did.

And you know what they got in these courses? Stuff you can pull off of Zillow. When they finally realized what a scam it was, they asked for their money back.

And you refused to give them their money back. Why don’t you tonight…

TRUMP: I gave many people their money back. RUBIO: Then why don’t you tonight say you’re going to give the money back to everybody who wants…

TRUMP: Let me just…

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: OK. Senator Rubio, let him answer.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Let him answer.

Go ahead, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: We will see who’s right at the end of a few years. But all of the — almost all of the people, many, many people signed what’s called the report card at the end, did you like the course, how did you like it.

Almost all of them said it was terrific, OK? With letters, with this. Some of them are on tape saying it was terrific. Let’s see what happens at the end of three years.

KELLY: With respect, Mr. Trump, one-third of the plaintiffs in that case demanded refunds. So it’s not the case that 98 percent were…

TRUMP: I gave some refunds to people because if they asked for the refunds in a certain period of time, and we gave refunds to people.

KELLY: OK.

TRUMP: But let’s see what happens at the end of three years. Let’s see who’s right.

KELLY: Still a pending litigation.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: It’s called pending litigation.

RUBIO: Megyn, this is why this is relevant to this election.

KELLY: All right. Senator Rubio then Senator Cruz. Go ahead.

RUBIO: This is why, because he’s trying to do to the American voter what he did to the people that signed up for this course. He’s making promises he has no intention of keeping. And it won’t just be $36,000 that they lose, it’s our country that’s at stake here.

The future of the United States and the most important election in a generation,

WELL, THE MOST IMPORTANT SINCE 2012 ANYHOW.  THOUGH I THINK IT COULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT IN A GENERATION IF RUBIO IS PRESIDENT AND STARTS WW 3 WITH RUSSIA. (JUST GOOGLE RUBIO AND “WAR WITH RUSSIA” IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE).

and he’s trying to con people into giving them their vote just like he conned these people into giving him their money.

TRUMP: Let me tell you the real con artist. Excuse me. Excuse me. The real con artist is Senator Marco Rubio who was elected in Florida and who has the worst voting record in the United States Senate.

He doesn’t go to vote. He’s absent. He doesn’t go. Now, the people of Florida can’t stand him. He couldn’t get elected dogcatcher. The people of Florida — the people of Florida — and by the way, I know he’s going to spend $25 million on ads. Without that he wouldn’t have a chance. He’s 20 points south.

The people in Florida wouldn’t elect him dogcatcher. He couldn’t get any — he’s right now 21 points down to me. And, you know…

KELLY: OK.

TRUMP: … again, there will be a lot of advertising. It’s the only thing that might save him. But I doubt it.

RUBIO: Notice that’s not an answer.

KELLY: I’m coming to you next. But go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: He scammed the people of Florida. He scammed people. He doesn’t vote. He doesn’t show up for the U.S. Senate. He doesn’t vote. He scammed the people. He defrauded the people of Florida.

KELLY: With respect, you’ve made that point.

Go ahead.

RUBIO: There’s no — as you can see in his answer, it’s always the same thing.

TRUMP: You defrauded the people of Florida, little Marco.

KIND OF A STRETCH.  IF YOU VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO’S YOUNG ENOUGH TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT, YOU ASSUME THE RISK THEY WILL MISS A FEW VOTES.  AND HOW OFTEN DOES ONE VOTE MATTER IN THE SENATE THESE DAYS ANYHOW?  HINT: NEVER

RUBIO: He has defrauding people out of things, and not just — and not just, by the way, on the issue of Trump University. He had another development in Mexico that he had nothing to do with except his name on the building. People put money into that building.

TRUMP: That was licensing.

RUBIO: They lost their money. Yes, licensing, but you told them you owned the building. So they gave him his money. They lost their money. Time and again…

KELLY: All right. Stand by. I will come back to you. Senator Cruz wants to weigh in. You’re coming back.

Go ahead.

CRUZ: Megyn, let me ask the voters at home, is this the debate you want playing out in the general election? The stakes in this election are too high. For seven years, millions of Americans, we’ve been struggling, wages have been stagnating, people are hurting, our constitutional rights are under assault.

And if we nominate Donald, we’re going to spend the spring, the fall, and the summer with the Republican nominee facing a fraud trial…

TRUMP: Oh, stop it.

CRUZ: … with Hillary Clinton saying…

TRUMP: It’s just a minor case. It’s a minor case.

CRUZ: … why did you give my campaign and my foundation $100,000?

TRUMP: It’s a minor civil case.

CRUZ: And with Hillary Clinton…

TRUMP: Give me a break.

CRUZ: … pointing out that he supported her four times in her presidential race.

TRUMP: It’s a minor civil case.

CRUZ: Donald, learn not to interrupt. It’s not complicated.

TRUMP: There are many, many civil cases.

CRUZ: Count to 10, Donald. Count to 10.

TRUMP: Give me a break.

CRUZ: Count to 10. The stakes are too high and if you are one of the 65 to 70 percent of Republicans who recognize that nominating Donald would be a disaster, then I ask you to come join us. If you’re supporting other candidates, come join us.

We welcome you to our team because we’ve demonstrated not once, not twice, not three times, but five separate times we have beat Donald. And if you don’t want him to be the nominee, then I ask you to stand with us as a broad coalition of people who believe in the Constitution, believe in freedom, and want to turn this country around.

KELLY: Go ahead, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: I don’t believe these politicians. All talk, no action.

SEEMS LIKE PROJECTION HERE.  THEN AGAIN, I THINK “NO ACTION” IS THE BEST ARGUMENT I’VE HEARD FOR VOTING FOR TRUMP.  THE LAST THING I WANT FROM MOST PEOPLE NOW RUNNING IS ACTION.

I’m standing here listening to — I’m hearing him say about a percentage. CNN, he gets 15. That means 85 percent, based on what you’re saying, of the people don’t dig you, number one, number one. Is that a correct statement? How do you get — are you at 15 in the new CNN poll? Do you believe in CNN? I mean, I know we’re with FOX. But CNN spent — CNN…

CRUZ: All right, I’ll respond…

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: CNN spent a lot of money on a poll, just came out. I’m at 49. He’s at 15. He tells me about 65 percent of the people. It’s not 65 percent of the people. If you go by that, 85 percent of the people.

Then he goes, we have five. And — well, excuse me, I won 10. I won 10 states. If you listen to him, it’s like — I won 10 states. Everybody knows that on Super Tuesday Trump was the winner. There wasn’t one person that didn’t say that. Even the two people on your left and right said we did a great job. So how does he take — how does he take five and say it’s better than 10?

KELLY: Go ahead, Senator.

TRUMP: I am by far the leader. But if you listen to a politician, he’ll try and convince you otherwise.

KELLY: Senator Cruz, go.

CRUZ: All right, well, Donald lives by the polls every day. He tweets about the polls.

TRUMP: No, I don’t. No, I don’t.

CRUZ: He’s told us to look to the CNN poll. Well, that’s a very good poll to look to, because that CNN poll showed that head to head Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton by 8 points. He doesn’t just lose close; he loses by 8 points. That same poll he told you to look at shows me beating Hillary Clinton.

(APPLAUSE)

We cannot mess this up. And, by the way, the last four polls in a row, when you nominate a candidate who literally has been on every side of every issue, and in the course of this debate may be on two other sides before we’re done, that’s not how you win. And the stakes are too high. (CROSSTALK)

KELLY: All right. I’m going to let Mr. Trump — I’m going to let — let me just…

TRUMP: According to your poll…

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: I’m going to let you respond to that, Mr. Trump. I’m going to then go to you, Governor. You’re up next.

TRUMP: … I know, but your recent polls have me beating Hillary Clinton, and very, very easily.

KELLY: OK. Do you want to weigh in?

KASICH: All right, look, honestly, when I see people at these meetings, these town halls, where we take massive questions, and I get to spend time with them. Last night, there was a woman that came to tell me about the loss of her 15-year-old son, who took his own life.

See, there’s people in this country — and Ted’s right — their wages haven’t gone up for so long, they see the rich get richer, they believe, and they’re not moving. And they put their money in the bank, and they got no interest on their money. They receive none. And their sons or daughters are living in the basement because they can’t get a good job after they rang up so much college debt.

What people are hungry for is, who can fix this?

YES, THAT WOULD BE NICE- BUT RIGHT NOW I THINK I’D SETTLE FOR “WON’T START WORLD WAR III”

People want to know who — what can you do to solve the problems in Washington, to make sure that we have stronger job growth and better wages? But you know what else they’re yearning for? They want to believe that they have the power to fix things where they live, and they want the power back, so they can begin to do things in their community.

Now, listen, this has been going on for a long time here. And I appreciate the discussion back and forth. But there are a lot of people out there yearning for somebody who’s going to bring America back, both at the leadership level and in the neighborhood, where we can begin to reignite the spirit of the United States of America. And let’s stop fighting.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Governor, thank you. Gentlemen, thank you.

WALLACE: Much more to come live from the Fox Theater, including where the candidates stand on the social issues facing the country. The Republican presidential debate continues in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Welcome back, everybody, to the Fox News Republican presidential debate. We want to get right back to the questions.

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: We are here in Detroit. The top issues in Michigan, according to Facebook, are displayed in a word cloud you’re taking a look at. The second biggest issue is clean water. That, of course, is directly tied with the situation in Flint.

Senator Rubio, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have both been to Flint. They are both running ads in this state focusing on that, focusing on supporting Flint and fixing the problems, showing images of people in Flint thankful that they’re there.

Without getting into the political blame game here, where are the national Republicans’ plans on infrastructure and solving problems like this? If you talk to people in this state, they are really concerned about Flint on both sides of the aisle. So why haven’t GOP candidates done more or talked more about this?

RUBIO: Well, I know I’ve talked about it, and others in our campaign have talked about it, and other candidates have talked about it, as well. What happened in Flint was a terrible thing. It was systemic breakdown at every level of government, at both the federal and partially the — both the state and partially at the federal level, as well.

And by the way, the politicizing of it I think is unfair, because I don’t think that someone woke up one morning and said, “Let’s figure out how to poison the water system to hurt someone.”

(APPLAUSE)

But accountability is important. I will say, I give the governor credit. He took responsibility for what happened. And he’s talked about people being held accountable…

(APPLAUSE)

… and the need for change, with Governor Snyder. But here’s the point. This should not be a partisan issue.

ON THE ONE HAND, WE’RE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY- ON THE OTHER HAND, IT’S THE OTHER PARTY’S FAULT.  SEEMS SLIGHTLY CONTRADICTORY The way the Democrats have tried to turn this into a partisan issue, that somehow Republicans woke up in the morning and decided, “Oh, it’s a good idea to poison some kids with lead.”

STRAW MAN.  MY SENSE IS THAT THE LINE OF ATTACK ON SNYDER AND HIS AIDES ARE BEING ACCUSED OF SOMETHING LIKE THIS:  “WE ACCIDENTALLY POISONED SOME PEOPLE WITH LEAD.  BUT LET’S NOT SPEND MONEY DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT, BECAUSE WE’RE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES.”  AM I WRONG?   It’s absurd. It’s outrageous. It isn’t true.

(APPLAUSE)

All of us are outraged by what happened. And we should work together to solve it. And there is a proper role for the government to play at the federal level, in helping local communities to respond to a catastrophe of this kind, not just to deal with the people that have been impacted by it, but to ensure that something like this never happens again.

BAIER: Thank you, Senator.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Governor Kasich, the city of Detroit has long suffered with urban blight, broken street lights, dilapidated and vacant houses, and so on. In 2013, Detroit actually declared bankruptcy, which helped, but the schools here remain a big problem. They’re $3.5 billion in debt and are some of the most troubled and poorly testing in the country. The kids too often go to classrooms that are unsafe, falling apart, infested with rodents and insects. Experts say the schools could go bankrupt by next month.

Question to you. If the federal government bailed out the auto industry here in Detroit, should it also bail out the Detroit schools?

KASICH: Well, look, first of all, I think the mayor now is controlling the schools. This is not much different than what happened in Cleveland, Ohio, where the African-American Democrat mayor, the union, and business leaders came to see me and said, “Would you help us to pass legislation to really create a CEO environment so that we can take control of the schools?”

We even invested in a buyout plan, where we bought out the teachers who had been there a long time, because there were so many young teachers who had been laid off who were so enthusiastic to get back in the schools. It worked beautifully. Cleveland’s coming back. The Cleveland schools are coming back because of a major overhaul.

REALLY? I DON’T THINK PEOPLE I KNOW IN CLEVELAND FEEL THAT WAY

It’s the same thing that has to happen in all of our urban schools. And, frankly, look, if I were president, I’d take 104 federal programs, bundle them into four buckets, and send it to the states, because fixing schools rests at the state and the local level, and particularly at the school board level.

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: Now, I also believe — I also believe that you need to introduce vocational education in those schools.

SCHOOLS EVERYWHERE ALREADY HAVE VOCATIONAL EDUCATOIN You need mentoring in those schools. And you need to have a situation where people can have an alternative forum to get a degree. And you need school choice, both vouchers and charter schools. All of those things can come together to help, Megyn.

But here’s the bottom line. And I’ll go quickly. We as adults have to fight in our neighborhoods, in our communities, for our children’s education. Put the politics aside, and everyone in this room can play a role in lifting their schools and lifting the students who are in those schools, because too much politics gets in the middle of it, and where we focus as adults, and put children first, we see tremendous results. And the people of this town are going to rise. And they need to be involved. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: For — for half a century, as you all know, Detroit was the symbol of America’s industrial might: 300,000 manufacturing jobs in this city. At last count, there are now fewer than 30,000 manufacturing jobs here, and the unemployment rate in this city is 11 percent, twice the national average.

Senator Cruz, I know that you have general plans for tax reform, but what specifically would you do to bring manufacturing jobs back to America and train residents of cities like Detroit to do those jobs?

CRUZ: Well, Chris, thank you for that question. Let me start by observing that Detroit is a great city with a magnificent legacy that has been utterly decimated by 60 years of failed left-wing policy.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, Henry Ford revolutionized automobile manufacturing and brought automobiles to the middle class. During World War II, Detroit provided — funded the arsenals of democracy to help us win World War II. In — in the 1960s, Detroit was the Silicon Valley of America. It had a population of 2 million people, had the highest per capita income in the country.

And then, for 50 years, left-wing Democrats have pursued destructive tax policies, weak crime policies, and have driven the citizens out. (APPLAUSE)

This city now has just 700,000 citizens. There are vacant homes, one after the other after the other. Crime has been rampant, and it is an outrage. And let me say to folks in the media: That is a story that the media ought to be telling over and over again, the destruction of left-wing policies and the millions who have hurt because of it.

BOILERPLATE PARTISAN NONSENSE.  PLENTY OF PLACES WITH MUCH MORE LEFT-WING LEADERS THAN DETROIT ARE MORE PROSPEROUS.

(APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: Well, I was going to say, I’ll give you 30 seconds to try to answer my question. What specifically would you do to bring manufacturing jobs back to Detroit and to train the residents here to do those jobs?

CRUZ: The way you bring manufacturing back to America is, number one, you lift the regulations. As president, I will repeal Obamacare, the biggest job-killer in America.

I will pull back the federal regulators, the EPA and all the regulators that are killing small businesses and manufacturing.

And my tax plan, which is a very, very detailed plan on the website, tedcruz.org, is what’s called border adjustable. We get rid of all the taxes. We get rid of the corporate income tax and the death tax and the Obamacare taxes and the payroll tax. And we replace it with a 16 percent business flat tax that is border adjustable, which means all exports are entirely tax-free and all imports pay the 16 percent business flat tax. That’s a 32 percent differential.

What that will do, Chris, is bring millions of manufacturing jobs back to this country, bring the steel industry back to this country, create an environment where when we compete on a fair and level playing field, American ingenuity can beat anyone. But right now, the federal government isn’t giving us a level playing field.

NONE OF THIS IS PARTICULARLY DETROIT SPECIFIC, BUT THEN AGAIN CRUZ ISN’T REALLY TALKING TO DETROITERS HERE.

WALLACE: Thank you, Senator.

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Gentlemen, the next series of questions will be on social issues. Governor Kasich, the last debate, you were asked a question about religious liberty, in a hypothetical situation where a same-sex couple approaches a cupcake maker to do their wedding. Here’s what you said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASICH: If you’re in the business of selling things, if you’re not going to sell to somebody you don’t agree with, today I’m not going to sell to somebody who’s gay, then tomorrow maybe I won’t sell to somebody who’s divorced.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Governor, some faith leaders got nervous about that answer. Do gay marriage dissenters have rights?

KASICH: Well, look, first of all, I try to be a man of faith every day as best as I can, and I try to focus in my faith on the dos and I think the don’ts will take care of themselves once I get the dos right, which is humility, and loving my enemy, and caring for my neighbor.

But secondly, look, you’re in the commerce business, you want to sell somebody a cupcake, great. OK? But now if they ask you to participate in something you really don’t like, that’s a whole ‘nother issue, OK? Another issue.

KASICH IS FOR SELLING CUPCAKES.  NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

Here’s what I’d like to see happen. The Supreme Court ruled, I don’t agree with the ruling. I’m of favor of marriage between — you know, traditional marriage, a man and a woman. What I hope was going to happen after the Supreme Court ruling is things would settle down.

If you go to a photographer to take pictures at your wedding, and he says, I’d rather not do it, find another photographer, don’t sue them in court. You know what, the problem is in our country — in our country, we need to learn to respect each other and be a little bit more tolerant for one another.

NOT REALLY RELEVANT TO ANYTHING A PRESIDENT DOES, BUT NEVERTHELESS WELL PUT.

And at the end of the day, don’t go to court. Can’t we have common sense in America? That’s the way it used to be. And there was a book written called “The Death of Common Sense.” We need to bring it back.

But at the end of the day, if somebody is being pressured to participate in something that is against their deeply-held religious beliefs, then we’re going to have to think about dealing with the law.

But you know what, I’d rather people figure this out without having to put another law on the books and have more arguments in this country. Why don’t we come together as a country, respect one another, love one another and lift this country? I think that’s what people want.

So thanks for asking.

BAIER: Senator Cruz, the U.S. Supreme Court obviously declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, a decision you have criticized. Given the current status of the law, do you believe a gay couple should be able to adopt?

CRUZ: Well, listen, adoption is decided at the state level and I am a believer in the 10th Amendment in the Constitution, I would leave the question of marriage to the states, I would leave the question of adoption to the states.

That’s the way it has been for two centuries of our nation’s history until five unelected judges in an illegitimate and wrong decision decided to seize the authority over marriage and wrongfully tear down the marriage laws of all 50 states.

Now, interconnected to this is the question of religious liberty. And at the last debate, one of my colleagues on this stage said on the question of religious liberty and Supreme Court nominees that he’d be willing to compromise and negotiate.

I can tell you, for me, there are areas that we should compromise on. Marginal tax rates, we can reach a middle ground on. But when it comes to core principles and convictions, when it comes to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I can tell the men and women at home I will never compromise away your religious liberty.

And for me, Bret, religious liberty has been a lifelong passion. I’ve spent two decades defending religious liberty, including defending the Ten Commandments before the U.S. Supreme Court and winning. Defending the Pledge of Allegiance before the Supreme Court and winning.

I CAN’T IMAGINE HIS RIVALS ARE AGAINST RELIGIOUS LIBERTY EITHER. ALSO THE FLAG, MOTHERHOOD AND APPLE PIE.

And defending the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, a lone white Latin cross that was erected to honor the men and women who gave their lives in World War I. I represented 3 million veterans for free defending that memorial and we won 5-4 before the Supreme Court.

BAIER: Senator, thank you.

Senator Cruz definitely avoided saying your name, Mr. Trump, but I think he was referring to you and your religious liberty answer. Would you like to respond?

TRUMP: I have nothing to say. I mean, generally speaking, agree with what he said. I would have certainly have rather left it to the states. I was always in favor — I was very surprised when they came up with that decision.

I would have certainly — I would have preferred had it been left to the states and I think most people would have preferred that.

BAIER: Senator Rubio, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon, obviously, pointed out, in the United States versus Heller, that like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.

Just like the First Amendment doesn’t allow you to go into a theater and yell fire, he said the Second Amendment leaves room to regulate guns. So do you agree with Justice Scalia? And if so, what limits would you draw around the Second Amendment?

RUBIO: As few as possible. The Second Amendment, as I’ve said before, is not a suggestion. It is the constitutional right of every American to protect themselves and their families. It is a right that — it is the Second Amendment for a reason.

It is right after the defense of the freedom of speech for a reason, for clearly the founders of our nation understood and the framers of the Constitution understood that you cannot have life and you cannot have liberty and cannot pursue happiness if you are not safe.

RUBIO: And the Second Amendment — when people talk about gun laws, what they need to realize is, criminals don’t follow gun laws. They’re criminals. By definition, they ignore the law.

(APPLAUSE)

But the gun rights of Americans, if you are talking to a law- abiding citizen and a gun-owner like myself, if you pass a law, I will follow whatever the law is. A criminal will not do it. They will continue to pursue these guns on the black market, where they then go out and commit crimes and they steal guns from each other.

Gun laws are not effective. They simply do not provide for safety. But they do, however, ensure that law-abiding people don’t have access to weapons to protect themselves and guns to protect themselves, but criminals always will be well armed. They don’t care about the law; they don’t follow the law. We will protect the Second Amendment when I’m president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Mr. Trump, you were once a supporter of an assault weapons ban. So do you think there should be any restrictions on the Second Amendment?

TRUMP: No, I’m a big defender of the Second Amendment. And if you look at what’s happened, whether it’s in California, where you had the 14 people killed, whether it’s in Paris — which, by the way, has the toughest gun laws in the world and 130 people killed. Many, many people in the hospital gravely injured. They will be dying. Many people will be dying in addition.

If we had guns, or if they had guns on the other side of the room, with the bullets going in the opposite direction, you would not have had 130 people killed. That I can tell you right now.

(APPLAUSE)

So I’m a very, very big supporter of the Second Amendment.

BAIER: But in 2000, you wrote in your book, “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons.”

TRUMP: I don’t support it anymore. I do not support the ban on assault.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

BAIER: Senator Cruz? Any limits to the Second Amendment?

CRUZ: Well, listen, unlike Donald, I would not support banning firearms. In that instance, Bill Clinton banned many of the most popular firearms in America. And by the way, the study showed that ban did nothing to reduce violent crime. It just took away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

ACTUALLY CRIME DID GO DOWN UNDER CLINTON

(APPLAUSE)

And let me point out, you know, it is easy for political candidates to have rhetoric and say, “I support the Second Amendment.” But you cannot say that and at the same time say what Donald just said, which is that on the question of Supreme Court nominees he wants to compromise and reach a middle ground with Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. That’s what he said in the last debate.

TRUMP: I — I did not say that. I did not say that.

CRUZ: And any justice that Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer sign off on…

TRUMP: I did not say that.

CRUZ: And I would point out, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are both Democrats that Mr. Trump has written checks to repeatedly. Any justice that those two sign off on is going to be a left-wing judicial activist who will undermine religious liberty, and we are one vote away from the Heller decision being overturned, which would effectively erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights.

If you care about the Second Amendment, then you need to ask who on this stage do you know will appoint principled constitutionalists to the court and not cut a deal with your Second Amendment rights?

BAIER: Mr. Trump…

TRUMP: So we’re listening to the all-talk, no-action politician, and he was the primary supporter of John Roberts, who gave us Obamacare.

CRUZ: That’s flat-out wrong.

TRUMP: No, it’s not. You take a look. He was the primary supporter. He pushed John Roberts, and pushed him, and pushed him, and Bush ultimately appointed him. He got appointed. And when it came his time to raise his hand and kill Obamacare, not once, but twice, he let us down, and he did the wrong thing.

This is the man that was the primary supporter. And you can read law journal, you can read whatever you want to read — I’ve read plenty of it. There was no stronger supporter of John Roberts than him. And it was a very, very big mistake.

BAIER: Quickly, Senator Cruz. CRUZ: You know, Donald has a tenuous relationship with the truth.

(LAUGHTER)

I wrote one op-ed supporting President Bush’s nomination after he made it. I would not have made that nomination. But let me point out…

TRUMP: Not what you say in the op-ed.

CRUZ: … if Donald actually cared about…

TRUMP: That is not what you said in the op-ed.

CRUZ: But, Donald, please, I know it’s hard not to interrupt. But try.

TRUMP: Yeah, I know it is. But it’s not what you said in the op-ed.

CRUZ: Breathe, breathe, breathe.

TRUMP: Lyin’ Ted.

CRUZ: You can do it. You can breathe. I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard. But just…

RUBIO: When they’re done with the yoga, can I answer a question?

WELL PUT

CRUZ: You cannot.

(LAUGHTER)

RUBIO: Unbelievable.

CRUZ: I really hope that we don’t — we don’t see yoga on this stage.

RUBIO: Well, he’s very flexible, so you never know.

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ: But you cannot, in fact, care about conservative Supreme Court justices and support Jimmy Carter for president. You cannot care about conservative Supreme Court justices and support John Kerry for president, as Donald did. You cannot care about conservative Supreme Court justices and support Harry Reid for Senate majority leader.

And you cannot care about conservative Supreme Court justices and write four checks to Hillary Clinton for her to be president if you care at all about the Second Amendment or religious liberty or anything else.

BAIER: Gentlemen, gentlemen, we’re going to move on. Thank you very much. We want to talk about some more policy questions coming up.

WALLACE: And coming up, the candidates tackle foreign policy. But first, during the commercial break, join us for a Facebook live on the Fox News Facebook page and tell us what you think about tonight’s debate in the comments section. Stay with us. More to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Welcome back, everybody. We’re going it get right back to the questions.

WALLACE: And gentlemen, we’re going to focus for a bit now on foreign policy.

Senator Rubio, you like to take a shot at Mr. Trump on the campaign trail saying that negotiating a hotel deal in a foreign country is not foreign policy. The other day you even compared him to Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, as lunatics trying to get a hold of nuclear weapons.

Please tell Mr. Trump why he’s unprepared to be commander-in- chief.

RUBIO: Well, first of all, I think, as we’ve seen throughout this campaign, Donald has not shown a seriousness about the issues of foreign policy. He just simply hasn’t.

Whether it was the structure of our military, even today he was asked a question about the issue of commanders not following his lead on killing the family of terrorists. And his answer basically was, if I tell them to do it, they’re going to do it. Now that’s just not true.

Foreign policy is not only consequential, I think much of our future now depends on it.

MADE ME LAUGH (OBVIOUS OF COURSE BUT JUST PHRASED IN AN UNINTENTOINALLY AMUSING WAY) You know, I see a lot of young people at my events around the country. I feel great when they come.

And I always them that despite the hardships of the moment, I honestly believe that today’s Millennials have a chance to be the greatest generation we’ve had in 100 years. I really do.

Because the world today has hundreds of millions of people that can afford to be their clients, their customers, their partners, people they collaborate with. But that won’t happen if the world is dangerous and it’s unstable.

And that will require strong American leadership. The next president of the United States is going to have eight years of a mess of a foreign policy to clean up. That’s why it can’t be Hillary Clinton.

And quite frankly, that’s why it can’t be someone who simply has not shown the intellectual curiosity or the interest in learning about these very complicated issues. And Donald simply hasn’t.

A LOT OF CHUTZPAH COMING FROM THE RUBIOBOT WHOSE EVERY WORD IS A WARMED OVER WALL ST JOURNAL EDITORIAL.  BUT OF COURSE TRUE.

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, your response.

TRUMP: Well, let me just say this. I’ve gotten to know Marco over a period of time, believe me, he is not a leader. Believe me.

RUBIO: But that doesn’t answer the question.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: He didn’t interrupt you. Let him talk.

TRUMP: He didn’t answer — he’s not a leader. And, frankly, when I say they’ll do as I tell them, they’ll do as I tell them. And that’s very — it’s very simple. It’s very simple.

We are in a very dangerous place. We have a depleted military. Totally depleted. We have — by the way, our vets are treated horribly. We’re going to take care of our vets. We’re going to start taking care of our vets, properly, like we should.

(APPLAUSE)

But we’re going to build up our military, and we’re going to get the equipment we want, not the equipment that’s sold to us by somebody that gave him and him and not the governor campaign contributions. OK? We’re going to get the equipment that the generals and the soldiers want.

I will prove to be a great leader. And, you know, it’s very interesting, we talk about the polls. Every single poll when it comes to ISIS and the military and the border say, by far, Trump is the best.

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, your time is up.

RUBIO: Yeah, I just want to — a couple points. Once again, he was pressed on a policy issue to show his understanding of the foreign policy, and his reaction was just to attack somebody else with a name.

Here’s the bottom line. And I’m going to repeat it again. The world today is as complicated and as complex as it has been certainly in a very — certainly in the lifetime of anybody here today. You indeed do have a lunatic in North Korea with nuclear weapons. You indeed do have the Chinese government taking over the most important shipping lane in the world. And Vladimir Putin, who you’ve expressed admiration for, Donald…

TRUMP: Wrong. Wrong.

RUBIO: You’ve expressed admiration for him.

TRUMP: Wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

RUBIO: Donald, you said he’s a strong leader.

TRUMP: Wrong.

RUBIO: He is now dividing Europe up…

OK, HE HAS TAKEN A LITTLE CHUNK OR TWO OF ONE OR TWO COUNTRIES. BUT IT STILL ISN’T THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE OF OLD.

TRUMP: He said very good things about me, and I said…

(CROSSTALK)

RUBIO: All right, I’m going to finish my statement here.

TRUMP: Yeah, finish.

RUBIO: And he’s also sowing instability in the Middle East.

RUBIO STILL STUCK IN COLD WAR MODE.   You have Iran who’s going to get $100 billion of sanctions relief. You have radical jihadists spreading all over the world. This is a time for seriousness on these issues. You have yet to answer a single serious question about any of this. Will you give us a detailed answer about foreign policy any time you’re asked on it?

TRUMP: Let me just tell you, first of all, I’ve been hearing this man so long talking about Putin. Putin said about me — I didn’t say about Putin — Putin said very nice things about me. And I say very nicely, wouldn’t it be nice if actually we could get along with Russia, we could get along with foreign countries, instead of spending trillions and trillions of dollars?

You’re talking about Flint, Michigan. You’re talking about places — we need to rebuild the infrastructure of our country. Wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with the world, and maybe Russia could help us in our quest to get rid of ISIS, et cetera, et cetera?

AMEN, BROTHER TRUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Gentlemen, you both have had a chance to talk. You both have had a chance to talk a couple of times. I’d like to move on to Senator Cruz. Senator, we have some breaking news tonight. North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, has ordered that country’s nuclear weapons to be made ready at a moment’s notice.

CRUZ: Yes. Yes.

WALLACE: And this comes just hours after the U.N. Security Council announced that — approved the toughest sanctions in two decades against that country. Assume you’re President Cruz tonight. What do you do?

CRUZ: Well, you’re right, the news is very disturbing that Kim Jong-un has put their nuclear weapons on ready state. I’m glad that we’re sending another carrier group to the South China Sea. I’m glad that Congress passed sanctions on North Korea.

But this is all the result of the failures of the Clinton administration two decades ago that negotiated a deal with North Korea lifting the sanctions, allowing billions of dollars to flow in, and they used that money to develop nuclear weapons in the first place.

What we — now we’re in a much harder position. When you have a lunatic with nuclear weapons, to some extent, it constrains your options. We need to be moving the carrier — carrier group to the South China Seas. We — we need to be putting in place missile defense, such as the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea.

We need to be pursuing space-based missile defense. One of the advantages of space-based missile defense is that if you have a missile launch in North Korea or you have a missile launch in Iran, a space-based missile defense can take out one or two or three missiles before it can cross over and do damage.

SOUNDS INFORMED, BUT I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH TO KNOW WHETHER IT MAKES SENSE.

And we also need to be putting pressure on China, because North Korea is effectively a — a client state of China. All of that will happen with a strong commander-in-chief that is devoted to keeping this country safe.

WALLACE: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Kasich, I want to move back to the debate that we heard earlier about Vladimir Putin. In December, after Vladimir Putin had some nice thing to say about Donald Trump, calling him bright and talented, your campaign ran a video suggesting that Trump might name the Russian president as his running mate. Here’s a clip.

KASICH: I’ll have to see this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): If elected, Trump promised that the dictatorial duo would, quote, “make tyranny great again.”

TRUMP: I think I’d get along very well with Vladimir Putin. I just think so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

WALLACE: That was your campaign video, sir.

KASICH: That was a pretty good one.

WALLACE: Well, OK.

KASICH: No, I…

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: If I may — sir, if I may ask my question…

KASICH: Of course.

WALLACE: I think you were kidding…

WALLACE: But it was your video and the serious question is, because the suggestion is, do you think that Donald Trump is naive about the threat that Vladimir Putin represents?

KASICH: I’m not biting. Let me take you around the world, OK? Let me — look, I’m going to take you very quickly.

In Russia, we need to tell them we’re going to arm the Ukrainians with defensive lethal weapons. And we’re going to tell Putin if you attack anybody in Eastern Europe in NATO, you attack Finland and Sweden, which is not in NATO, consider it an attack on us. And he will understand that.

WHY BOTHER? WHY SHOULD WE CARE IF RUSSIA TAKES A CHUNK OF EURABIA?  NOT THAT I THINK THAT’S LIKELY.  IF YOU’RE GOING TO THREATEN WORLD WAR III, BEST TO DO IT OVER SOMEPLACE RUSSIA NOT INTERESTED IN ATTACKING.

Secondly, I would tell the Chinese you don’t own the South China Sea. Stop hacking us. And we’re going to beef up our cyber command. And we’re going to be in a position to be able to take out your systems if you continue to do this.

Now let’s move over into the Middle East. The Egyptians, they know they’re on their last legs there because of the attack from ISIS. The Jordanians are — really have been our friends. They know that they are at risk. So do the Saudis. So do the Gulf states.

They are our allies, really, or have similar aims,

THE SAUDIS ARE NOT OUR ALLIES- WHY CAN’T KASICH GET IT THROUGH THIS SKULL?  THEY PROPAGANDIZE PEOPLE TO SPREAD FANATICISM ALL OVER THE WORLD.   we need to bring them closer to us. Turkey a critical avenue IF BY “CRITICAL AVENUE” YOU MEAN “FRIENDS OF HAMAS” YOU AGREE/. to the Middle East. We have to bring them towards the West, and not towards the East.

THIS SPEECH ILLUSTRATES WHY KASICH HAS NOT MADE THE SALE FOR ME.  HE MAY NOT BE AS EXTREME AS RUBIO, BUT HE IS STILL TOO NEOCON-LIKE FOR ME.

WALLACE: Governor…

KASICH: And we have a joint, good human intelligence. That is called a semi-trip around the world. And if you gave me more time, I’d finish the trip.

WALLACE: Governor, thank you.

KASICH: Thank you.

BAIER: Coming up, a final question and closing statements. And take a look at this. The volume of conversation on Facebook surrounding the remaining candidates over the last month. Whether that conversation is good or bad, Donald Trump clearly dominates the field.

We’ll be back with more of the Republican presidential debate live from Detroit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BAIER: Welcome back to the Republican presidential debate. Let’s get back at it.

Gentlemen, this is the last question of the night. It has been a long time since our first debate, seven months ago in Cleveland. A lot has transpired since then, obviously, including an RNC pledge that all of you signed agreeing to support the party’s nominee and not to launch an independent run. Tonight, in 30 seconds, can you definitively say you will support the Republican nominee, even if that nominee is Donald J. Trump?

Senator Rubio, yes or no?

RUBIO: I’ll support the Republican nominee.

BAIER: Mr. Trump? Yes or no?

RUBIO: I’ll support Donald if he’s the Republican nominee, and let me tell you why. Because the Democrats have two people left in the race. One of them is a socialist. America doesn’t want to be a socialist country. If you want to be a socialist country, then move to a socialist country.

The other one is under FBI investigation. And not only is she under FBI investigation, she lied to the families of the victims of Benghazi, and anyone who lies to the families of victims who lost their lives in the service of our country can never be the commander- in-chief of the United States.

BAIER: Senator…

RUBIO: We must defeat Hillary Clinton.

BAIER: Senator Cruz, yes or no, you will support Donald Trump is he’s the nominee?

CRUZ: Yes, because I gave my word that I would. And what I have endeavored to do every day in the Senate is do what I said I would do. You know, just on Tuesday, we saw an overwhelming victory in the state of Texas where I won Texas by 17 percent.

And I will say it was a powerful affirmation that the people who know me best, the people who I campaigned, who made promises that if you elect me, I’ll lead the fight against Obamacare, I’ll lead the fight against amnesty, I’ll lead the fight against our debt, and I will fight for the Bill of Rights and your rights every day, that the people of Texas said you have kept your word, and that’s what I’ll do as president.

BAIER: Governor Kasich, yes or no, would you support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee?

KASICH: Yeah. But — and I kind of think that, before it’s all said and done, I’ll be the nominee. But let me also say…

(APPLAUSE)

But let me also say, remember…

BAIER: But your answer is yes?

KASICH: But I’m the little engine that can. And, yeah, look, when you’re in the arena, and we’re in the arena. And the people out here watching — we’re in the arena, we’re traveling, we’re working, we spend time away from our family, when you’re in the arena, you enter a special circle. And you want to respect the people that you’re in the arena with. So if he ends up as the nominee — sometimes, he makes it a little bit hard — but, you know, I will support whoever is the Republican nominee for president.

(APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: Mr. Trump, I’m going to ask you a version of the same question. As we saw today with Mitt Romney, the #NeverTrump movement is gaining steam. Some people are talking about contributing millions of dollars to try to stop you. Again today, you raised the possibility that you might run as an independent if you feel you’re treated unfairly by the Republican Party.

So I’m going to phrase the question that the other three people on this stage just got. Can you definitively say tonight that you will definitely support the Republican nominee for president, even if it’s not you?

TRUMP: Even if it’s not me?

(LAUGHTER)

Let me just start off by saying…

WALLACE: Thirty seconds, sir.

TRUMP: … OK — that I’m very, very proud of — millions and millions of people have come to the Republican Party over the last little while. They’ve come to the Republican Party. And by the way, the Democrats are losing people. This is a trend that’s taking place. It’s the biggest thing happening in politics, and I’m very proud to be a part of it. And I’m going to give them some credit, too, even though they don’t deserve it. But the answer is: Yes, I will.

WALLACE: Yes, you will support the nominee of the party? TRUMP: Yes, I will. Yes. I will.

KELLY: Candidates, it’s now time for your closing statements. Governor Kasich, we’ll start with you.

KASICH: Well, ladies and gentlemen, I love being here in Michigan, and I want to say to all of you here that I have a record of being able to solve some of the biggest problems. It’s not just talk, and it’s not theory.

I did it in Washington by helping people get into a healthier economic situation. I’ve done it in Ohio. And as we’ve made progress in Ohio, we’ve left no one behind. We’ve not left behind the mentally ill, the drug addicted, the working poor, the developmental disabled, and we have raised our minority community.

And as president of the United States, I will go back to Washington, I will take the formulas that I used, and I will — I will fix the problems in Washington, and you’ll work with me as I send you power to fix your — your communities, your neighborhoods, your state, and together, we’ll restore the spirit of America. And I know you want that. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

WALLACE: Senator Rubio, 30 seconds, closing statement.

RUBIO: Well, I know this has been an unusual election cycle, as it continues, and there’s a lot of problems in America, and people are truly hurting. But this election is not just about confronting our problems; it’s also about embracing our opportunities.

I believe the 21st century holds the potential to be the greatest era in the history of the United States, if we get this election right and if we act now. If we do, if we do what needs to be done, we can leave our children as the freest and most prosperous Americans that have ever lived, and the 21st century can be the greatest era in the amazing story of America. So I ask everyone to vote for me and join our effort at marcorubio.com.

(APPLAUSE)

BAIER: Senator Cruz, your closing statement?

CRUZ: I want to talk to every soldier and sailor and airman and Marine. I want to talk to every mom and dad and sister and brother and son and daughter of someone fighting for this country. For seven years, you’ve had a commander-in-chief that doesn’t believe in you, that sends you into combat with rules of engagement that tie your arms behind your back. That is wrong. It is immoral. And in January 2017, it will end.

I want to also talk to all the police officers and firefighters and first responders who have been left behind with this president. Starting in January 2017, I will have your back.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Mr. Trump, your closing statement.

TRUMP: Thank you. I am going to bring jobs back to the United States like nobody else can. We’re going to fix our very depleted military. We’re going to take care of our vets. We’re going to strengthen our borders. And you’re going to be very, very proud of this country in just a few years if I’m elected president. Thank you.

KELLY: Thank you, sir.

 

A liberal acquaintance of mine said that Sanders was electable because he would bring new people into the electorate.

It seems to me that if this was true, Democratic primary turnout would be up.  So let’s look at the New Hampshire results:

2008 about 285,000 voters (details here)

2012 about 250,000 voters (details here).

Democrats are staying home, not turning out to vote for Sanders.  To put it another way, the total non-Clinton vote in 2008 was about 173,000; this year it was about 155,000- again down.  Clinton herself got 17,000 fewer votes.

What about on the Republican side:

2008 about 238,000 votes

2012 a little over 280,000 votes

The energy is on the Republican side this year.  Of course, this is based on just one primary- we’ll see how the rest of the primaries shape up.