have watched that first hour of debate and i'd like to start by getting their halftime estimates have watched that first hour of debate and i'd like to start by getting their halftime estimates of who is doing well. let's begin with chuck todd, moderator of "meet the press." what do you think? >> it was interesting that the moderators put trump on the defensive right from the start. that opening question about do you pledge to stay in the republican party. >> it was the most efficient way of doing it.
i want in anyone in the stage to raise your hand if if you will not pledge to support the republican thom knee and the one hand in the middle goes up. trying to unilaterally push back on trump. the other takeaways is jeb bush seems -- maybe it's nervous, not unsteady, but he seems ten ewe wous. scott walker has struggled to show himself. of the three front runners, they all seem shaky. >> any big stumbles? >> i haven't heard a real stumble.
it's telling how immigration, if jeb bush isn't the nominee it's going to be because of immigration. he got booed. >> but he also got applause. it was interesting the crowd reaction. >> maybe it was some of his crowd. i think we learn of the issue if jeb bush doesn't get the nomination, it's going to be because of immigration. >> immigration may have occupied the largest single space as a subject in the first hour with chris wallace leading them through immigration questions. but your assessment of where we stand at halftime. we have watched that first hour. >> actually i think there was some pretty big news tonight and it came right at the top. if donald trump runs as an independent in the fall of 2016, hillary clinton is the next president of the united states. full stop. >> let me just say in the middle of this interchange with trump,
he said to be clear, you're standing on a republican primary campaign stage and stressing that if there is a third party run, this nominee who comes off this stage will lose. >> this is just the basic math of american politics. what was sho interesting and surprising to me is i expected that trump was going to temper rise and say i expect to support the nominee of the party. i think it's going to be me, but my anticipation is i'll support whoever gets nominated. a year from now he would say circumstances have changed and i'm going to run any way. he would do what he's done so often in the past and change his mind without a backward glance. instead he did the ballsier thing in this conservative auditorium where he was booed, he just went right out there right at the independent voter and said, you know what, i'm so anti-establishment i'm not going to kiss up to these people in the party.
most americans don't care about party loyalty. but the people watching and the people who vote in republican primaries -- that's okay because he was never going to be the republican nominee any way. it's just a question of how many votes he gets in that process and how anxious he is to keep going after somebody else is the nominee. >> i think he still wants to do this. he would like to find a way to expand his republican pie. i think he does want to try to be embraced by the party. but if i'm the other candidates on stage, i jump on this all the time. he's not one of us. >> the wonderful trumpism of this is it's all bluster. he doesn't have the money to run as an independent. he's going to be the cheapest spender in this campaign. if you look at the spending now, it's all just flying a plane. that's all he does with his campaign money. and the cost, what it takes to get on the ballot in 50 states chrks is a very difficult
exercise -- >> easier today than it was. the internet makes it easier. think about what perot did. >> you have to buy those signatures. >> you do. it's about $3 to $5 a signature. it's going to take $10 to $15 million enterprise. >> he's not going to do it. we have a donald trump watch party in iowa. i'm not sure if we're connecting with them yet. if we can get that watch party up, we'd love to check in with it. there he is. you're in des moines. you're at a trump watch party. what's the reaction there so far? >> reporter: waukee, iowa, we have 50 to 60 people. the thing is we're suggesting that the people are backing down as soon as these questions are being thrown at trump. the people here are saying they are setting him up. it's the purpose of the debate tonight is to push back. the reality is these people here, they are in it through the
long haul. several people haven't caucused before and this is exactly what to expect. people that weren't part of the culture. when you're talking about the iowa caucuses, the silent majority and if these people won't be changing their minds, you don't need that much. also out here you have a campaign chair u of this campaign. in terms of the donald trump supporters, they are feeling confident and doesn't look like they are going to change. >> what was their reaction in the room there when he refused to pledge to support the republican nominee? the answer that got him boos in the debate hall, what was the reaction in that room of trump supporters? >> reporter: cheers, they are in it for donald. not necessarily the republican
party at this point. one woman was leaning between the trump and questioning whether she could support him. he said he needs to standby the party. but for the rest of the people here, this is a donald trump campaign. they are taking names, signing people up. >> all right, you're in a donald trump room, thank you for checking in with us. we're going to the political editor for "the boston globe." i want to go to a question that chuck referred to already, which was the question to donald trump about things he has said about women in the past. public statements he's made about them calling some women individuals, fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals and trump's response to that was only rosy o'donnell, which some trump supporters seem to accept as an answer.
how does that play in new hampshire where you have been covering this so closely? >> first of all, bravo for that question. i didn't see that one coming at all. the interchange that happened after that, he really pushed back. it and almost insulted her. it says something about the base of the republican party when we watch the reaction. he very much insulted john mccain and now he's insulting meghan kelly. that said, as i just said, he's made these insulting remarks before and it's done nothing to his poll numbers. i don't think it's going to change any time soon. he has to make a huge mistake, something so gravely offensive at this point for him to really get knocked off that perch any time in the next couple weeks. >> sabrina, political reporter, your assessment of where we
stand at halftime since we have all watched that first hour of debate. any high point you want to refer to? >> i think what was really interesting was to watch the different approaches that some of these candidates took in dealing with donald trump's presence on that stage. two senators in particular, rand paul and marco rubio, whose campaigns have struggled to get off the ground, they had a different way of approaching donald trump and approaching this debate. rand paul came out early and aggressively. he went after trump when e he wouldn't take the pledge not to run as an independent. e he also sparred with him over support for health care. he really engaged with trump. whether or not e he got a real response wasn't clear. he didn't get too many cheers for doing that. marco rubio, he seems to have come out a as an early winner. he stuck a lot more to policy when offered a chance to engage he passed on it. except he donated to everyone but him.
he didn't seem to acknowledge him. he seemed to focus more on the policy issues at hand. that made him seem more statesman like. early reaction seems to imply marco rubio gained a lot from the first debate. >> i want to quote when rand paul said. he jumped in there in the middle of donald trump's first answer about this pledge to fidelity to the republican party. rand paul didn't wait for anyone to invite him in. and what he said was he's already hedging his bet on the clintons. he was playing on that recent news that bill clinton, of all people, had had an encouraging phone call with donald trump when donald trump was thinking about running for president. >> this is the son of somebody who ran as a libertarian, was a republican member of congress, then ran as a libertarian and has always been the republican party feared that ron paul. i'm just saying there's a a
little bit of irony to this. i found rand paul tonight obviously his campaign really got shaken up when basically a family member gets indicted in a scheme back in 2012. >> it's one of his in-laws part of his political circle. >> i think rand paul made a decision tonight. he's leaving nothing to chance. he jumped in on that. he wanted to have that moment. he jumped in and had a chris christie moment. i feel like you're seeing rand paul, maybe acting a little desperate, but he wants to do whatever is possible to show his campaign has life. on the clinton front, i expected to hear trump use that as an opportunity to go after hedging bets. what about the people giving money to jeb bush and hillary clinton? >> before we take a break, i want to point out rand paul is at 4.8% in the polls. he was the third lowest ranking
guy in the polls to get into this debate. and he may not have helped himself in that little sniping, but that's the danger of these debates with this many people in it. someone down there a at 4.8% can take a whack at trump that doesn't help him, but might end up helping people slip from trump over to the other front runners. >> possibly, but you have to remember republicans can't stand obama. they can't stand clinton and they also can't stand political correctness. so when he brought that up, he basically helped to continue to make himself gaffe proof. he was say figure you think that what i u said is a gaffe or what i said was wrong or i'm not entitled to change my mind, that's a form of political correctness that you're supposed to be against as a conservative. so i don't see trump suffering in this debate o or getting chipped away at. rand paul is in deep trouble
because he's a dove in a hawkish political context. and so he's going to really have to pull off something to get back into this. "the washington post" is reporting that ted cruz has the most searches. >> we're going to have live updates of what's going on in this second hour of the debate when the debate goes to commercials, we'll have chris matthews and the crew in cleveland watching the debate live. we'll check in with us about the latest action in this debate, which we can't see because we're out here talking about that amazing first hour. we're got a lot more coming up.
how about helping everybody? not just one sector and that's the power of my plan. it's bold. >> a lot of people were amazed by donald trump's e lead in the polls, but four years ago while her main cane was pushing his plan, he was also way ahead in the polls. he had much higher than trump was now. he was beating mitt romney by 7 points. gingrich went up from there. and then rick santorum went up from there. 16% said they didn't know who they were going to vote for them. it turned out her main man kain never had to learn who was president. >> ask me who is the president of u beck stand, i'm going to say i don't know. do you know?
up in a variety of ways in this first hour. we're going to go to chris matthews in cleveland because the debate has gone into a commercial on fox news. and the debate team in cleveland has been watching every minute. chris matthews, what's going on? >> well, lawrence, i think there have been some winners already in the first hour. and some non-participants almost. who has done well? >> i think so far you have huckabee, who i think finished strong just now. he was a a little weak in the beginning. marco rubio, i think he's been very steady and grown in his presence. and even ted cruz, ted cruz is sort of showed why he is good at this type of thing. he just very concise and to the point in his answering. how this translates tomorrow
morning, we'll see. but they have put themselves in a good position. >> i think marco rubio has done really well, has been smart, concise and strong. i think chris christie has done well in his responses on 9/11 and some of those issues. i think donald trump is reaching his audience. love him or hate him, he's reaching his base. i don't know how women are going to react. >> rough stuff. >> she asked him a tough question. >> she documented it too. >> if you call women fat pigs and slobs, dogs s that the way the president of the united states -- >> people have daughters and might wonder what kind of a president. >> fantastic job by john kasich tonight and marco rubio pop scott walker has been flat and out of his depth on foreign policy questions. ben carson totally out of his depth. incoherent at times. doesn't understand national security issues.
donald trump, we're really going to see with megyn kelly's question. if he gets away with that answer, which no other candidate could conceivably get away with it. . >> let me suggest one person that's been strategic all night, marco rubio. he's constantly reminded the audience, yes, i'm 47 years old. we need somebody young because times have changed. amazon makes a fortune, no stores. notice things are different. >> on the future, that's what he's talking about. kasich has been right on. >> solid governor. >> can't say that enough times. my father was a mailman. >> christie has been strong. >> really? >> i think john kasich, he's
tapping into that vein of the pro-growth, republican, opportunity, conservatism. i don't think jeb bush has been bad tonight, but jeb bush hasn't been as good as kasich has. and it will be interesting to watch the fallout as we see the two brackets form. and i think rand paul has had a very bad night tonight. >> kasich's defense of taking the medicaid money was absolutely a great defense. it could sell with republican primary voters and it's terrific for general election candidate. >> absolutely. >> we're looking at the expert on this in terms of the electoral map. we're looking at two young guys, kasich in ohio and florida which is one of the most important states there is. three two guys would make a ticket. i'm not sure top or bottom, but your thoughts? >> top or bottom remains to be seen, but you're beginning to see the beginnings of an outline
of what this nomination could ultimately look like. i agree, kasich has been strong tonight. rubio has been strong tonight. but let's not get ahead of ourselves. this is the first debate. >> i want to get one point. what did everybody think open question of jeb bush's performance the first hour? >> i thought he was flat. he's smart, he's coherent, but he's not punching through. >> i thought it was steady. i agree, i thought he could have punched through more than he has so far. he's not taking himself out of it, but i think he could have been a little more pun jant. >> middle of the pack performance at best. not someone who is standing out as a future president, a future nominee of the party. someone that you look and say, wow, this person is talented in a way you look and you see so many people out there seeing marco rubio for the first time.
these guys are doing a fantastic job. >> let's look at the front runner. >> chris matthews, the debate has resumed in cleveland. chris matthews and the gang are going to go back to watching the live debate. just a note on how we're working this here. fox literally owns the debate, which is why we are not showing you video of what some of these candidates have said. we are reading you quotes of what they have said. only when the debate is officially over will we be legally allowed to show you clips and video of what happened there. we'll be right back. everyone's raving! age defy from clairol the secret? superior gray coverage that leaves hair looking 10 years younger age defy from clairol
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we're joined from the hillary clinton campaign watch party of this debate. their headquarters in brooklyn, new york. karen finney, what's your reaction to the debate as you have seen it so far? >> you know, lawrence, i will tell you what i feel like i have heard is a lot of -- they all kind of sound the same even though they are using different words and some like trump are using very different words, but when they are talking about immigration, they are not talking about a path to citizenship. when they are talking about wall street, they are not saying what they would do to reform. they are saying let's let wall street write their own rules fwen. talking about women's health,
very little regard for women's health. they said it all differently, but i feem like i heard a lot of old ideas. i did not hear any new ideas. >> where is hillary clinton watching the debate tonight? >> you know what, she's not watching the debate. she is in california. she had a meeting today with sciu and more events tomorrow. >> he's going to be going up against one of these candidates if she's the nominee. doesn't she want to get an early look of what their style is like? >> you know how this goes. we can wait a little while, let it thin out a little bit and see how people do in the next couple of debates to kind of get a sense of who is really growing as a candidate and who is not going to cut it. >> i want to get your reaction and the hillary clinton's reaction to the extent you can give it to us to this question that megyn kelly asked donald trump. i'm going to read the question
as a quote. mr. trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and don't use a politician's filter. however, this is not without its down sides when it comes to women you have called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. and donald trump's response to that was that he only did that with rosie o'donnell. >> yeah, bad answer. i would say i haven't talked to hillary clinton directly, but one of the things about donald trump that she has said when he talked about immigration language is it's over the top and very divisive and it's derogatory towards women. donald trump, he didn't even take ownership of having saying those things. he said i don't have time for plut call correctness. it just shows a lack of understanding, why maybe you shouldn't talk about women that way. i think if you couple that with what i heard when they were asked questions about exceptions for the health and life of the
mother or when they were talking about health care broadly, i did not hear concern about how we would make sure that low income women would still be able to have health care if they repeal the affordable care act and defund planned parenthood. >> before you go. there's a question that megyn kelly asked scott walker where she said to him in the body of a larger question. she said about abortion, because he's opposed to abortion in all cases including the life of the mother, he said would you really let a a mother die rather than letting women have an abortion. scott walker didn't answer that part of the question. he said pro life and i've always been pro life. >> he really didn't answer that question. politically i can understand why, but it's the kind of question that at some point he's going to have to answer because these are tough, hard choices. as you know, those z of us who are pro choice believe a woman should be making those choices with her doctor, not someone like scott walker deciding her
fate as to whether she lives or dies. >> karen finney in brooklyn, new york, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. >> take care, lawrence, anything for you. >> we're going to be back with more debate analysis right after this. you know the best thing about summer? summer pizza. and you know the best thing about summer pizza? it tastes light. it tastes fresh. and it's pizza. this summer, try our new grilled chicken margherita pizza. with roma tomatoes basil pesto sauce mozzarella and grilled, all-white meat chicken. all on our thin crust. get a large for only $12.00. and save room for dessert with our chocolate chip cookie for only $5.00 more. better ingredients. better pizza. papajohns.com.
we're coming back in ahead of schedule because the debate has just gone to a commercial. that means we go to it cleveland to get the latest analysis from chris matthews and the gang who have been watching every minute of the debate. what's just happened? >> thank you for the break. i think one thing there's a pattern we have watched tonight. those who have not been watching have been watching your program. it's interesting that the red meat game they were going to be playing, there's been some of that. but the people that seem to be scoring are the ones who talk substance. it's marco rubio talking about youth and the future and how everything is changing in our economy. we can't go back to brick and mortar again. it's about amazon and companies that didn't exist ten years ago. it's also people talking about how they have run their states. it's been much more what strikes me is it's a lot more useful debate amid-some of the red meat throwing than might have been expected. >> one thing that just transpired is that megyn kelly asked john kasich, who is against same-sex marriage, how
he would handle it if his child were gay. and he said, i love my daughter and as god gives me unconditional love, i give my child unconditional love. so i can be against gay marriage, but the court has ruled. i recently went to a gay wedding with a friend. so you see the edges here are not that hardly defined. you see kasich is. he's coming across as a human being. earlier in the debate he explained why he accepted medicaid money under obamacare because it helped the people who were drug addicted in prisons to get out of prison wp. trump has been trump and in saying to chris wallace that, yes, out of hundreds and hundreds of deals, four of his deals went bankrupt. he took advantage of the laws of bankruptcy as everybody else in business does. he got out of atlantic city before atlantic city cratered
and he was glad of that even though it was pointed out that 11,000 people were laid off and people lost billions of dollars of investments. love him or hate him. >> he tries to double down. if you're nasty to women, but it's rosy o'donnell. and he says i left people out of work, but they weren't good guys. i liked it. i liked kasich when he talks about compassion. it has a bit of bobby kennedy but tough about physical stuff. they are poor or near poor and want health care. he says are you going to deny them health care? i wonder if there's an audience for that kind of compassion. >> i think there is. he's talking about lifting everybody up. the republican party has to be a party that's policies can lift everyone up. john kasich has given voice to
it. >> back to the debate. >> chris matthews is going back to watching the debate. the commercial is over at fox news. we're joined by richard wolf. chuck todd, jeb bush just had a moment that might be his best moment of the night. >> it was one we knew was coming. he was asked directly about his tough criticism of donald trump including the news earlier today that the fundraiser he used colorful language. >> there was a leak about using words e we can't use on air. which i think almost everyone i know has used to describe donald trump at some point. >> it's one of those you're like, well, knowing jeb bush bush denied using some of the colorful language but stood by the criticism of the tone. pivoted to obama and clinton say ing -- is he going to whack jeb or what is he going to do? he stepped in jeb's word that he
didn't say it. called him a gentleman and even said i understand why he criticized my tone and explained why he uses politically incorrect tone. and i'm listening. i'm doing it as radio, but it came across as jeb got trump to basically admit that his tone was off base. that's important to jeb. >> it is important, but the bar is -- if that's the bar for jeb bush, it's a low bar. >> i agree. he couldn't blow this one. this would have been a disaster. >> i don't think he was really
firm footed when it came to the iraq question. he should have seen that one coming. he rambled and stumbled. >> it was megyn kelly asking him about his brother's war. that was his her frad and was it a mistake. >> it was a mistake because it was faulty intelligence, but i got to hug families of bereaved families and that was important and then he starts to pivot to isis and blaming obama. it wasn't nearly crisp enough for a question he should have seen coming. contrast that to common corps, he was in heaven talking about education standards and common corps. so i just felt watching jeb bush tonight that, yes, he passed a certain bar of credibility, but he didn't do enough to land it where he needed to. >> he's acting like a cautious front runner. >> what we're going to remember about this is that john kasich
got into the game. that's a big problem for jeb bush. he's bush without the baggage. >> can i put in a little bit of caution here. sometimes the media will say, boy, candidate x looked good in the republican debate and the base of the party will be totally turned off by that. so kasich has all the makings of media darling. we have seen it for six months. media darling doesn't translate. it helped mccain for awhile in 2000 but never helped hundredth huntsman. >> if you're in the top tier into the serious competition with rubio, who is having a very good night and the republicans start -- >> the conservative winning tonight is ted cruz.
if he's the conservative that takes off, that's a guy that can win 7 of the first 10 contests. >> i want to talk about kasich in new hampshire. we've been watching the campaign in new hampshire closely. there was a moment where megyn kelly asked him a long-winded question about kasich and a little bit about how he's guided by st. peter and so forth and saying would republican voters have cause to worry that because of your concern r for the poor you might expand government programs too much. obviously, referring to the medicaid expansion that john kasich accepted in ohio. kasich's line, his first line of response was, first of all, you should know that president reagan expanded medicaid three r or four times. that's the kind of answer that i think sounds pretty good but chuck todd says don't be surprised if that doesn't work with the republican base that turns out to vote. what about new hampshire? what's your impression about how john kasich handling a question
like that will play u in new hampshire? >> well, i agree with chuck. it's those kinds of answers that make him the so-called media darling. chuck also mentioned john mccain's bump when he was the media darling. where did he get that bump? it was new hampshire. new hampshire does tend to like candidates who claim to be straight talkers and who appear so authentic. that right now is working for john kasich. the other thing working for john kasich is the millions of dollars him and his superpac dumped in and he's rising in the polls there as well. i think it's not totally in love with john kasich yet by any means, but he's appearing there. voters are responding to him i'd put him in the top tier of the new hampshire republican primary and would not have said that a month ago. >> one of the stranger moments was donald trump has said i'm a businessman, i give to everybody. i give money to everybody in political campaigns as if
somehow that explains why you give to everybody. the koch brothers do not give to everybody. they only give to the right wing. so he's finally asked what did you get from these politicians when you gave them money. he said, well, whenever i ask them for anything, i u got whatever i want. >> but guess what, no politician wanted to get into that because most donors do believe what trump said. it was a very honest answer. >> here's where the honesty ends. when he's asked what you got for it, he doesn't talk about tax breaks or real estate or anything like that. he says, this is his answer, what did you get for giving money to hillary clinton? with hillary i said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. so that was what the money was for. >> i felt this was an extraordinary performance by donald trump. the biggest competition he had
was from the fox news moderators. no question about it. and he rolls with all the punches. he gives the ground. he says, yeah, the system is broken and i broke it. yeah, i stood up to those lenders and those lenders are bad people. he put on an incredible performance saying i know this system. i have worked it to my advantage. i'm the guy from the outside. campaign finance, business finance, all of politics, immigration, if you're going to play that pat buchanan, he's doing a good job. >> we heard a lot of boos for donald trump. we're going to find out whether those boos, were they from bush supporters? >> kasich supporters, when you heard the introductions, kasich got the loudest applause. it's his home state. >> e we won't know until we get a poll tomorrow.
the fox news debate has gone to commercial so we're resuming our coverage here. there's chris matthews in cleveland. now that the debate is in commercial, give us an update. >> i think to all people standing here, if chuck is still joining us, has tonight been good for your party and is it good for the nominee? >> i u think it's been very good. i have been very happy with this debate. it's just great to see, particularly in the last
exchange, some of the real fizz euros exist that how we spend the dollars on military, social issues, all that it's been really good. >> that is absolutely not a good situation because that was work for you. >> that's the big news. it's a fact. he has the option of running third party because he just claimed it. >> and he refused to say he wouldn't run as a third party candidate. i've got to say the party now, he can no longer say they are dealing with it. >> he's said on "meet the press" said the republican party is a private organization. it's a company. to keep trump out of the debates to run third party. >> not without blowing up the party. >> it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. if donald trump runs as third party, hillary clinton is president of the united states and they forfeit the election. if donald trump does that, it's bad news for republicans.
>> what's the party have to do to try to convince to let them make a run of it and run out his strength and hope he'll prove to himself he can't do well in a third party run? >> he needs to be treated with dignity and respect is what he signalled today. if he respects the nominee of the party, he's not going to do it. but ultimately it may be the case that the nominee of the party has to come in conflict with donald trump. that's why they are holding back. this becomes a difficult game of chess trying to figure out how to handle donald trump going forward, particularly for the candidates that have a shot at the nomination. >> the candidates except for rand paul, he was premeditatedly planning to attack him up front, what did the other candidates do to exploit the fact that he's sustained loyalty to the party? they run against him and beat him on that regard? >> i think what you see with these guys is they come at him how far they have come. you don't want o to ailuate him
to the point you become the nominee and there's this built up. this is going to be a drip, drip, drip over the next few debates with donald trump with the other folks on that stage. that way donald trump does more exposing himself than those candidates do. >> we're right back to the debate again. >> we're going to take a break and be back after this.
at 3:00 in the morning. >> this means you'll do the coverage where we'll do the full real look back at the whole debate tonight. >> that's true. but i think that the three names you'll hear the northeast are marco rubio, cruz and kasich. they all -- cruz had had the best of the conservative lane. kasich the surprise of the establishment lane. and then rubio is the guy. walker, i think, the front runners, this was not a good night for scott walker. >> more from chuck todd at 11:00 p.m. thank you for joining us tonight. we'll be right back.
we are at a cleveland watch party. jane, what's the watch party? is this just a republican watch party you're at? >> this is sponsored by the american conservatives union. this is mostly conservative activists here in iowa. they know how hard it is to win a presidential election. you need to carry this state. so they like trump. we have seen john kasich take out the lane of the establishment and really impress people. he's taken on the issues that are seen as his liabilities and cheered him on when talked about medicaid expansion. marco rubio really seemed passionate who shares the values of the people here. he really surprised people. heavy a definite winner of this crowd.
>> how did the room react to donald trump, especially his refusal to pledge to support the republican nominee? >> that definitely heard shock and awe. there was a hushed crowd. how could this be? they want a candidate that can go the long way. everyone has had a couple drinks and having a fun time, but they would like to hear from everybody else as well. >> jane, thank you for joining us tonight. we appreciate it. we're joined now by halle jackson, nbc news correspondent. she's been watching the debate with trump supporters in a private house party in new hampshire. you're right there with the first actual votes are going to be cast. what's been the reaction there tonight? >> people are focusing on donald trump. this is a small group, but we wanted to get away from the campaign feel and talk to voters who will be casting ballots in the early state. trump seems to be landing his lines. a couple key moments have not been promising not to run, but
he was asked the question about his response and reaction to women. there seems to be a sense not just here but a bigger watch party sanctioned by the campaign elsewhere in the state that that is feeding the media narrative of the establishment and going after trump. folks here seem excited about him. >> thank you very much for joining us. i appreciate it. we're back here with the panel. the last question before the final statements is there's something about tz it would be in the republican debate have received a word about their campaigns? >> you got to speak to the base of the party without seeming
presummitous. and they all have fallen into the temptation, too often, i think, of proclaiming they have a direct line to god. this is not something that democrats could ever really imitate or would want to. so you have to ask yourself about phrasing the question. but fox knows its audience. the republican candidates know they have to be able to speak a language of faith to voters of faith. >> remember how george w. bush just did a great job on that question in one of the debates in 2000? his favorite philosopher was jesus and that helped propel him in the race. you have to do that. but i think the big takeaway is a bit of an alarming one for democrats. if there's a kasich/rubio ticket, this is going to be a very close presidential election.
and so the emergence, the possible emergence of john kasich, the fact that marco rubio had a good night is big news not just for republicans, but potentially for democrats as well. >> just to fwif you have the wording on the final question from megyn kelly before the final statements, i wanted to know if any of you have received a word from god on what you should do and take care of first? this is in the country that was founded on the separation of church and state, which of course, no one mentions in republican debates. >> right, that's a difficult needle to thread on that stage. even for candidates like ted cruz, who always talk about their religious believes when they are on the campaign trail. i wonder if i couldn't hear the debate, but i wonder if donald trump got a shot at that question. i would be curious for his answer to that. i think it's a much easier question for mike huckabee, john kasich has already talked about
that in these two hours. he can tackle that question well. >> thank you very much for joining us. i appreciate it. thank you to the panel. up next, "first look." it's friday, august 7th. rights now on "first look," the republican candidates came out swinging in the first prime time presidential debate. >> you're on the wrong sides of this if you're still arguing. >> i don't think you heard me. you're having a hard time tonight. >> the winners, losers, who just plain survived. major blow to president obama's deal with iran as a key senate democrat says no thanks. jon stewart goes out with a bang in one of the funniest send-offs we've seen. jenn and justin tie the knot. more on this