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tv   Smerconish  CNN  December 19, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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checking each and every one. but there is a great deal of concern here. the vast majority of the refugees are indeed exactly who they say they are, asylum seekers looking for a better life. poppy? >> sara sidner from lesbos. i'm hoppy harlow in new york. i'll see you it an hour. "smerconish" begins now. i'm michael smerconish. after spending the week in las vegas for the gop debate, here's what i'm wondering. is this the year of the great experiment? do we finally learn what happens when the republican party nominates a pure die-hard conservative? think ted cruz. instead of a pragmatic who politics don't check all of the ideological boxes like marco rubio, jeb bush or maybe donald trump. the pure ifs note that the most decisive victories in the last 35 years have been with die-hard conservatives, ronald reagan and george w. bush.
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they say what the party nominates more establishment types, like bob dole or john mccain, mitt romney, those candidates lose. and it sounds compelling. but there's an alternate history. one that begins not with reagan, but with the drubbing that a very conservative, barry goldwater took in 1964. this school of thought says that today, even reagan himself couldn't get nominated in a party dominated by tea party freedom caucus types. mccain, romney, they didn't lose because they were insufficiently conservative. but because of the contortions that were demanded of them by evangelical christians and other social conservatives in primary and caucus season. maybe if romney had run as the reasonable republican who governed the bluest state in the nation, instead of as i severe conservative, he could have beaten obama. instead, his many flip flops made him damaged goods in the general. so what's the answer? probably that no experiment will finally settle the debate,
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because neither side would accept the outcome. if cruz is nominated and loses badly to clinton, conservatives will blame the media, and say, well, moderates took a walk. and if trump, rubio, bush, kasich or christie gets nominated and loses, the retort will again be they were insufficiently pure. for the republican party, good is perceived as the enemy of the perfect. and as a result, victory, it seems elusive. i've got a lot of voices to weigh in on politics today, including sarah palin, tom ridge, and the political powerhouse of bob beckel, peter wayner and e.d. hill. first up, i wanted to talk to somebody who has been seeing this rift opening up ever since the days of richard nixon, for whom he worked. >> joining me now is patrick buchanan. patrick, merry christmas, thanks for coming back to the program. >> merry christmas to you, michael. >> will you respond to the argument that, for a republican to win the white house, you've got to increase the nonwhite
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vote, and you can't get that done with a pure conservative? >> well, i think there's no doubt about it, that the republican party has got to increase its penetration and vote among minority voters. they did very badly. but, of course, barack obama was exceptionally strong. african-americans, he won them 24-1, i think in 2008. i agree with that, michael. but you also need to get out the republican base, and the entire republican party. you need to unite the party. and frankly, if you look at what donald trump offers this year, there is an x factor, michael. this enormous excitement going on where you can get 15,000 people in a hangar in mesa, arizona, in december. at the same time, you take a look at the turnout for the -- for these debates. i mean, 27 million or something like that for a republican debate? so something is going on out there that goes beyond the traditional demographic breakdown.
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>> as i just mentioned, in vegas, i heard a lot of people say maybe this is the year we run the experiment. because there's this argument within the party, do you go for a bridge builder, or a so-called pure conservative? you wrote a column recently about what happened with goldwater in '64, and you seemed to come down on the side that says you run the pure conservative, and be damned for those moderates who might get in the way. >> michael, the difference this year is let's take goldwater is a pure conservative, say in ted cruz. in june of the election year, goldwater was down over 50 points. cruz is now running within four or five points of hillary rodham clinton, so it's a much closer natural race. but i do agree that demographically, and given the blue wall the democrats have established for those 18 states that have gone democratic six straight times, it is an uphill climb for a republican to win that election. one thing they've got going for
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them, though, you've had two years of barack obama, and the demand for change in this country, and you can see it over there with bernie sanders, 2 million contributors, the demand for change in this country is extraordinary, michael. >> i heard from some conservatives in vegas, and they said, look, we're not going to make the mistake we made in '08 or 2012. mccain was not a real conservative. romney was not a real conservative. and my response was to say, they had to so contort themselves in the nomination process that they lost the credibility that they needed to win a general election against obama. but you know how it is, pat. everybody likes to look at a cycle and say, see, there, i told you. maybe this will be the cycle where we settle this once and for all. >> but let me -- let's talk about mccain. he was down eight points when i was out at the denver convention for the democrats. and i said obama is going to win this thing, and i was -- the next morning, right after obama's speech, what did mccain do? he picked sarah palin, all right? and she gave a stunning speech at that convention.
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>> i remember. >> for a while, two weeks after that, mccain oddly was five points up. now, in -- then, of course, you had the whole economy thing break down. mccain handled it badly. so he went down to defeat. but the point of this is, there's a correlation. now, bush was in there for eight years. everybody wanted him gone. he's down lower than nixon almost, when nixon departed. now we've got obama, and the people have had enough of that. and the demand for change is very dramatic, michael. i agree with you, if you've got a normal thing and you run the normal demography, let's say we've got a bush-clinton race. i think clinton would be the favorite and the republicans would really have to hold ohio and all the rest of it, florida. but this could be a dramatically different kind of race, given what's going on in the united states. and what's going on in europe. look at poland, look at hungary, look at what's happening in frances and place. all of these places, the right is really moving. >> patrick, a subject you pay
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close attention to, the shifting demographic of this country. papa bush got 59% of the white vote in '88. it earned him 426 electoral votes. mitt romney got the exact same share of the white vote, and it only yielded him 206 electoral votes, largely because the face of the country has changed. that's the message i don't think the republican party has yet quite understood. >> well, i've written about that in several books. >> i know. >> michael. and i will say this. the republican party is under a death sentence. there's no doubt about it. and i urge them, back in 1990, look, let's halt immigration, a moratorium on all immigration, assimilate, americanize the folks who have come here who are poor. as they come up and go through the working class and middle class, lo and behold, like the irish and italians and the jewish and polish folks,
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suddenly under nixon back in the mid '60s, we moved them all right into the republican party, and nixon won 49 states. that hugely popular fellow, michael. 49 states. now, unless you have a time-out on immigration, and even for a long period, i think the republican party is under a sentence of death. >> as i sat in vegas at the venetian listening to the applause lines from the nine candidates on stage, i continually said to myself, it wins this audience. i don't know that it wins the nation. and that's where i think the party could come up short. you get the final word on this. >> i think you've got a very good point, michael. i was very concerned when i heard these people tell -- saying out loud, we're going to start shooting down russian planes in syria. in the cold war, eisenhower never did something like that. truman -- i mean, nixon didn't. reagan didn't. i remember when poland's solidarity was crushed, i urged the president, be tougher on them. he wouldn't do it. he sent xerox machines to solidarity.
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i think the last thing the american people want is a war with a nuclear armed power like russia over syria or -- and bashir assad. so i think the republican party is too far out in the neocon hawkish position on this, except, frankly, for cruz and trump who seem to want to get along with mr. putin. >> and for rand paul. he may not be in the same league. but i was -- >> rand paul had a great night. >> i was thrilled to have his voice on the stage, because but for rand paul and to a lesser extent cruz and trump, you're right, we wouldn't have heard that argument. and the argument is, we're not necessarily making ourselves safe every time we open a new base in response to isis. >> exactly. and what they're saying is, i think, they're national security conservatives. if the vital interests of the united states are at stake and in peril, we've got to tell our adversaries but the idea we're going to start shooting down russian planes in syria is madness. >> patrick buchanan, thank you, as always.
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>> thank you, michael. and, again, merry christmas. >> you too, sir. this and so much more to get into this week. and joining me, former mitt romney adviser, peter wayner, now senior fellow at the ethics and public policy center. conservative analyst e.d. hill and democratic consultant, bob beckel. e.d., great to finally have you here. beckel, i love you. peter, i'm glad your son's soccer season is finally over so i can get you on my program. you're first, peter wayner. react to what you heard from buchanan about the experiment. what happens if it's a pure conservative? >> well, it depends on which the conservative. who the conservative you're talking about. marco rubio is a conservative, a product of the tea party. he's a person that is a traditional conservative. i don't know that it's so much the -- where they come down on the issues, because cruz and rubio are close on the issues. a lot of this has to do with disposition temperament. and i would say that ted cruz is a crusader, and marco rubio is a persuader. i tend to break politicians down into those two categories.
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and i think that when you're a republican on the national stage, the presidential election now, where you've lost five of the last six presidential elections in the popular vote, you need to have somebody who is a persuader. i think that temperamentally -- ted cruz is problematic. reagan was a conservative and goldwater was a conservative. but they had a very, very different approach in terms of politics. goldwater had serrated edges, scared people. reagan did not. he had the ability to bring people on board. and there was a grace to him. and an ease that he had. >> so i'm hearing from peter that it's really not the issues, that it's temperament. do you agree with that? i saw you shaking your head when pat was speaking? >> yeah, i think that temperament is important. but i also think that because of that, people aren't looking -- i do not think you're going to get some extreme conservative. i don't see that -- >> does that mean ted cruz? >> yeah, it does. >> you're not going to get ted cruz. >> i don't believe so. we keep on focusing on the radical left and radical right when the majority of americans,
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if you talk to them, they're in the middle. they lean a little that way but they're looking for somebody who gives voice to their frustration with washington. and that's why nobody likes the democratic party right now or the republicans. look at obama. but look at any of the leadership. >> i so agree with what you just said. and yet you would never know it to look at the media. and i think people then falsely perceive because they've got talking heads on the far left and far right. they think that's where the country is and they're not. >> because you make money creating arguments. >> correct. >> that's what media does. but the fact is, that when you talk to people out there, you walk through an airport, you go to your fifth grade class coffee. who are they talking about? even sometimes grudgingly say i like? trump. that's it. >> bob, i want to show you a commercial. i find it very ironic that the two hispanic candidates actually cuban-americans to be more definitive on the republican side of the aisle, are the ones now duking it out on who is toughest on immigration.
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this is a ted cruz commercial that goes after marco rubio. roll it. >> securing our borders and stopping illegal immigration is a matter of national security. that's why i fought so hard to defeat president obama and the republican establishment's gang of eight amnesty plan. their misguided plan would have given obama the authority to admit syrian refugees, including isis terrorists. when it comes to islamic radical terrorism, we need to rediscover reagan's strategy. we win, they lose. i'm ted cruz. i approve this message. >> beckel, react to that. the idea that cruz and rubio are duking it out. and frankly, you think they're the two who should be most interested in expanding the tent to reach hispanics. >> yeah, exactly right. first of all, so factually wrong. ronald reagan was the last person that had amnesty in '86. 3 million were allowed to stay in this country. and so -- but listen, the
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difference -- pat buchanan is an old friend of mine and he and i have argued demographics for years. here's the difference. two cycles ago, 80% of the voters in this country who voted for the presidency were white. this time around, they'll be 70%. and for the republican party to alienate the largest growing demographics, which is hispanics, where george bush got 44%, the other two in the low 30s, you can't win the presidency when you do that. and so you know, you can -- ted cruz can be as tough as he wants to be. and they could try to conflate this with isis, which is not the case. and you could then say to him, well, are you going to -- you're going to have 31 to 32%? rubio, i think, could probably pick that number up. and that's what scares me. i mean, the republicans finally wake up and realize that hispanics not only are crucial to their winning, but they're very much aligned with republicans on certain things, on religion, family values, military issues. but the republicans seem to
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continually for some reason drive them away. >> guys, i've got to move on, because we've gone three minutes without talking about donald trump. so we need to fix that. peter wehner, i want to talk about the bromance between trump and putin. will you listen to what trump said this week about putin. roll that tape. >> you know, fine about putin. i think that he is a strong leader. he's a powerful leader. he's represented his country. that's the way the country is being represented. he's actually got popularity within his country. they respect him as a leader. >> how does that play? what's the net-net among republican voters? what message do they take? one of mutual respect among the two? what do you think? >> well, i know the message they should take, which is that donald trump is an embarrassment. he's a pernicious force. this is unbelievable. putin is a brutal dictator, and he's giving praise to trump, and trump in return is putting lavish praise on him. and even went on to blame america.
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this is a classic blame america first answer that trump gave yesterday when he said, well, americans will people too. there was a time when some of us remember where conservatives wanted -- republicans wanted a candidate who would defend america and stand up to dictators. but this actually goes to a much deeper issue, which is donald trump is an incoherent candidate. there is no philosophy for him. he's all affect. he's appealing to the dark impulses of the country. now that happens from time to time. you get figures like that in american politics. what's troubling to me and a lot of other people is that it's got a lot of resonance with a lot of republicans, but this kind of stuff has got to stop. and if people -- self-proclaimed conservatives can hear donald trump talk that way about putin and talk that way about america, and not stand up to him and not criticize him -- then that's really shameful. >> i think e.d., has a different take. what is it? >> i disagree. i don't think that -- i think trump was put in a difficult
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position. i think he handled it basically an okay way. but if you're dealing with putin, it's trust, but verify. if -- you're not going to get anywhere if you're just in this battle. but i also think that the establishment just doesn't get it. it's not even what trump says as much as the fact that you feel he's got the guts say what you're yelling at the tv screen or what the people around him are thinking and are too politically appropriate to say. >> i wonder if you're on to something that among the core republican constituency they regard obama as quote, unquote, feckless, right? >> right. >> and perhaps then they look at trump and putin and say, well, they would be equals. >> it's mano a mano. >> and putin is showing the donald some respect in the way he's commenting on him right now. is that your point? >> you know, who knows what putin is doing. he's certainly out for himself, and that's it. and i think that you have to look at it that way. i think that reagan was very pragmatic in that way. why go out of your way to make people more angry at america or you? don't. just get through it.
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then watch them very closely. >> bob beckel on the data breach this whole sanders-clinton dnc issue, my understanding the front door was left open and bernie sanders' folks walked in. look, it's a campaign. should they not have done that and what am i missing? >> well, what you're miss s a contract that you sign with the dnc. any campaign does that to grab hold of voters. listen, voters go after him and if you get him, you get him, you don't, you don't. but you don't go after the other person's file. can i say something quickly about trump and putin? >> do it. >> putin has gotten himself some popularity in russia by being a nationalist. a hard-line nationalist, mother russia. and trump reminds me of america first. that these are two guys, two peas in a pod. they know how to stir up some very deep emotions among a certain segment of their countries. and so i'm not so sure the two of them are not -- i'm not suggesting they're exactly
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alike, but i would put it this way. putin could build a golf course if he wanted to. >> but my question is, how does it play among republicans, bob? do you think that they look at the two of them playing nice with one another, and they actually like that, because they think that trump could be his equal, where they believe obama is not? >> i think trump supporters don't really care what he says, as long as he keeps saying about immigration, keeps saying about making america great again. and isolating the country off. that's what they're referring to. and i was out in iowa, and i'm telling you, i can't find a trump organizer. i can find trump supporters, but not organizers. but cruz is rock solid in iowa. so it's going to be interesting. >> e.d., 30 seconds left. tonight americans will be at "star wars." >> right. >> the democrats will be debating. all delivered, right? >> who picked this night? >> deliberately, right? to protect her? >> i believe so. >> will it work? >> yeah. it will. but i don't think anyone is really paying that much attention. there is not a big race going on there.
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>> i remember, with no disrespect to erie, pennsylvania, i have worked for arrest land spector. he would deliberately debate his opponents in erie, so it was less appealing to tune in -- sorry, to watch the debate. >> on a night there is football or hockey going on. >> exactly. penn state football. e.d. hill, thank you. peter wehner, thank you. bob beckel, always appreciate you being here. now it's your turn. we have covered a ton of ground. tweet me at smerconish, and i'll read some at the end of the program. coming up, i pulled aside former vice presidential candidate sarah palin at the vegas debate and asked what she thinks of this year's crop of candidates. what she said about marco rubio and carly fiorina may surprise you. former homeland security head tom ridge criticized both obama and trump this week as being unpresidential in dealing with isis. i will talk to ridge about this, and trump's bromance with vladimir putin.
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if you watch the cnn national security debate this week, you know that isis and the fear of terrorism were front and center. and the prevailing sentiment among the gop candidates was that president obama isn't doing enough or showing enough leadership. in a moment, former homeland security head, tom ridge. first, this week mr. obama went on the offensive, visiting the pentagon and the national counterterrorism center, and then yesterday at his end of the year press conference, he delivered strong words, all be it, in a very measured tone. listen. >> squeezing isil's heart, its core in syria and iraq will make it harder for them to pump their terror and propaganda to the rest of the world. >> tom ridge joins me now. mr. secretary, thanks for coming back. respond to what the president had to say on friday. >> well, words don't convince me. i don't believe we are squeezing isis harder. and saying so doesn't make it so.
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we're still not getting the requisite equipment compromised to the kurds or our primary boots only the ground along with 3,000 soldiers. we still haven't engaged the countries in the neighborhood to deploy their military equipment and their soldiers. and we still haven't engaged our friends at nato. so the president may say they are squeezing isis, but it certainly doesn't appear to me, based on what happened in san bernardino and in paris and elsewhere, that it had a very positive results. it's just not aggressive overseas, and everybody associated with that opportunity to try to not contain them believes they have to be defeated. and we don't have a policy that leads to their ultimate defeat and destruction. we just don't. >> well, fear not. because donald trump stands ready to fill that void. >> donald trump who just got the endorsement from vladimir putin? and he was honors by it? i must tell you, michael,
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i was just in disbelief that he was honored to be endorsed by the leader of the country that shot down an innocent commercial airliner, the leader of the country that has invaded another country, the first time in world war ii, and the leader of the country that has embraced and welcomed snowden. so if he considers that an endorsement, he's got a certainly different view of the value of that. and frankly, i don't think too many americans are pretty excited about donald trump being -- getting all those wonderful, sweet words from vladimir putin. i'm certainly not one of them. >> you've been saying and you've been writing that trump actually plays right into the hands of isis. how so? >> when he lumps all muslims together as he did, one time he was talking about making them all register and how we can deny them all access, a couple of things happened. one, it embraces and adds luster to the isis narrative. it's us against them. because that sounds to me like donald trump has said they're
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all terrorists, and most of the world knows they're not. and the second thing that he has done, he has created a situation here in the united states where i believe he's probably heightened the anxiety about the good, law-abiding, peaceful muslims in our community. and he's kind of ignored the reality of the first amendment, as well. >> when you say that through his speech he presents this as an us versus them on a religious basis, it reminds me of the president. and, governor, you and i both use the verbiage, "radical islam." but the president says the reason he doesn't is because of the reason you just said with regard to trump. because then it sets up this false choice of christianity versus islam, which is not the way the obama administration wishes this to be cast. >> michael, when the president had his sunday evening address, i felt like he thought that my fellow americans and i were bigots, that we needed a lecture from the president of the united
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states, that we cannot distinguish between those who bring their evil, their horror and their ideology to san bernardino and paris and elsewhere, and from those muslims that we all know are peaceful people, and this is a president who has failed to use his bully pulpit to calm the fears and the anxieties of the balance of american people. frankly, like president bush did quite some time ago, right after 9/11. and this is a president who likes to draw red lines in the sand. let him talk about those peaceful, loving, hundreds of millions of muslims around the world, and those that have wrapped themselves in his perverted sense of islam to justify their evil. >> earlier in the week, the l.a. school system cancelled school because of a threat that new york didn't take seriously. and then just yesterday in virginia, 10,000 kids didn't have to go to school because there was a geography lesson that involved doing some type of a sketch relative to islam that caused such blowback that the superintendent made the decision
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to cancel school for the day. i'm sure you followed those two cases. >> i don't know whether it's hyper sensitivity. it's politically correct. i mean, one of the challenges i think we have in this country is we don't understand the religion in and of itself, and the notion that somehow a childhood lesson or an educator's lesson involving geography of islam and where it's heavily concentrated is somehow blown way out of proportion. i mean, it was just -- i looked at that, and said, i think people better just calm down. we need to learn a lot more about islam. >> finally subject area. you're a jeb bush guy. i think he turned in a solid performance. it's the first time that i've been able to say that about him in this week's debate. american republicans are responding to trump's tough talk. what makes you think that jeb may have turned a corner, given that terror seems to be the number one issue? >> well, i think he basically called out donald trump for what
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he is, and he's -- he cannot insult his way to the presidency. he has no strategic plan or vision to deal with isis, to deal with the economy. to deal with entitlement reform. the long range of very complex challenges this country faces. his answer is, well, i know a lot of smart people and i can build a lot of things and i'm really smart, and i'm really rich and i can take care of it. >> one of the countries i have, in my mind is, if and when he brings trump down a couple of notches, is he helping ted cruz instead of helping himself? >> well, you know, that's a good question. and i don't know the answer to that. the challenge i think we have as republicans, and i think we really need to consider this. whoever we have at the top of the ticket will have enormous influence on senate and congressional races. and we better be dog gone careful as to who is at the top and what they represent, and what part of the party they represent. we are all conservatives running.
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so how far -- how deep a conservative do you want, and does that conservative have answers that may appeal to those independence and some democrats, because if you have the wrong person at the top of the ticket, you will lose a senate and you put the house in jeopardy. >> congressman, governor, and secretary ridge, merry christmas. thank you for being here. >> always nice to be with you, michael. thank you very much. so i just heard tom ridge say that he thinks donald trump is playing right into the hands of isis. do you agree with that? tweet me @smerconish and i'll respond to some of them later in the program. coming up, she was on the gop ticket in 2008, and trump has said that he would consider her for a cabinet post. what does sarah palin say about the contenders for the nomination in 2016? and a brand-new poll out now shows trump widening his lead. what do the money people think? i'm going to talk to a professional odds-maker about who is really leading the gop field.
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sarah palin is known as a political insurgent not shy. she is not shy about sharing her thoughts on the benefits of faith. she has just published a new book titled "sweet freedom, a devotional." these days, she's pretty happy with the names at the top of the heap, donald trump and ted cruz. the 2008 vp candidate and tea
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party darling has less enthusiasm for others, like marco rubio and carly fiorina. i caught up with her at this week's debate in las vegas. >> did donald trump take a page out of the palin playbook? i mean it seems to me you're the original maverick, right? railing against the establishment, coming in from a people's perspective? >> and that's because i didn't know any better. and, you know, i'm glad that i didn't know any better. that's been kind of the hallmark of my career, which is -- it's more than a couple decades old now from city council to mayor to commissioner to governor, it -- i've always taken on my own party, even. the gop establishment. when i have known that they're not doing the people's will and they're underestimating the wisdom of the people. so, you know, it's just kind of in my dna to do such a thing. i don't know, i think it's in trump's dna too. he certainly is a heck of a lot smarter than one to try to emulate sarah palin. >> the timing is everything in politics.
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>> yes. >> it seems to me like this is a palin-type cycle. >> oh, yeah? >> when you've got donald trump and ben carson and ted cruz, all these outsiders who are raising cain. i'm wondering in are you in wasilla watching this play out on tv and saying, hey, todd, i should be in this mix. >> no, but i'm saying, hey todd, how come these guys have so much defense at what their saying and no one defended us at the time. that's when i feel sorry for myself. >> i think it's clear, and you've said so that both trump and cruz -- >> i like that. i like them both. >> so, in the end, how do you go about the calculus of deciding which one? >> i like them both, but you know more than anyone being in this arena that a month or two months in the world of politics is a lifetime. so anything can happen, including any of the other candidates, perhaps being able to rise to the top. i certainly hope that in this debate, we can hear some discussion that leads to revelation of character.
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direct questions to one another of the candidates, hopefully, things like, hey, one candidate, why did it take you years and years to pay off your own personal debts when you're loaded? or years and years to pay off campaign debts when you're loaded. you want to, you know, sweep other people's porch and manage their walls when you can't your own? things like that. >> talking about senator rubio, i think. >> there's a couple of them in there that have campaign debts and expect other people to pay them off, or personal debt. average americans, we don't like to live like that. >> right. but he says that makes me like everybody else. if we're talking about the same guy. >> that's not everybody else. >> why not? >> because everybody else, i would say, put forth great effort to prioritize their own budgets, to make sure that things that really matter are taken care of first. before we get out there and act -- >> and -- >> -- and act holier than thou and tell other people to do it. >> and the vote? i want to hear you say it. i'm reading you, right?
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>> i just want priorities to be revealed and a lot of people the way they manage their on finances, has a lot to do with that. >> governor, do you wary that this incarnation of the gop is out of touch with the american people, more than half agree with donald trump saying, whoa, let's put a halt on muslim immigration. but two-thirds of americans are not cool with that. >> well, i think the two-thirds of americans who aren't cool with it, the majority of that two-thirds, then, aren't understanding that we must be able to vet those who are trying to get into our country. because there are nefarious characters wanting to harm, destroy america. and first and foremost, the federal government, their responsibility is the security of this nation and the security of our borders. when we let all that atrophy go away, then we know the feds aren't doing their job. and we know that we need leadership that is committed to making sure that america is put first. so that other two-thirds, i
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think a lot of them, michael, maybe are buying into the rhetoric that perhaps they hear on tv. >> could ronald reagan get nominated by this republican party? >> yes, because ronald reagan, you know -- >> could he compete on that stage? >> he could, because michael, he had that perfect combination of the charisma, the wisdom. he was a combination of, say, ben carson's control, and, you know, a lot of that intellect and certain arenas needed today. he had the humor that sometimes trump is able to really exude. he has had also some of that control and debate skill of cruz's. he had just a great combination. once in a lifetime, though, once in a century was a ronald reagan. >> you have written a brand-new book. >> yes. >> it's a daily devotional. i'm halfway through. >> bless your heart. >> it's a pretty political devotional, right? >> i know. >> intertwining of faith and
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politics. >> real world stuff. yep. yep. i think it's very important that people of faith or atheists, anybody who would be looking for answers today, the best place to go to look for answers that deal with personal problems and political problems that our world, certainly that our nation is facing, it's already spelled out for us, the answers in the old and new testament. so i just wanted to direct people to where they can look, find that answer, and then be at peace and be able to live life vibrantly without worrying so much about what's going on. >> okay, final question. this is the gotcha question. >> all right. >> so i'm warning you. >> all right. >> could sarah palin, could governor palin, vote for an atheist who you believe had a moral compass? maybe not a moral compass grounded in scripture, but a person who said, look, i'm a straight arrow, i lead my life according to a moral code. it just doesn't have to be biblically based. >> well, you know, i -- gosh.
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if -- if it all came down to that versus someone who believed in a religion that was hellbent on destroying those who didn't agree with their religion, who would literally want to kill those, the infidels, who would not say, okay, i'll go along with you, you know, then i would. which means anybody who is -- in any way sympathetic to what's going on today with muslim terrorists, who would crucify children and behead women, and stop at nothing to try to destroy us and israel and our allies, i would choose an atheist over that. >> okay, you're voting for an atheist over an isis supporter. >> okay, gosh. darn it, you made it too simple. >> governor, thanks. >> thank you so much. >> nice to be with you. >> thank you. you too. so tell me what you thought of what governor palin had to say. tweet me @smerconish. up next, a new poll just out shows trump's leading in the
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polls. his supporters more than double that of the second-place finisher, ted cruz. but smart money says he won't win. and when we come back, you'll learn what professional bookies make of the chances. trump, rubio, cruz and the others. and the answer is going to surprise you.
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i am your brother, and you must help me let you get out of here. >> you want to help me get out? >> yes, right now. >> well, money talks and bull [ bleep ] walks. >> how can bull [ bleep ] walk? >> the presidential race keeps reminding me of that classic scene from "twins." for donald trump, it's always been about the money. his net worth. he hasn't even had to spend that much, and yet he's leading in the polls. but there's another way that money predicts success, and that's the wagering on the outcome of the presidential race. although it's illegal in america, it's fair game overseas. and to hear the real odds of who is going to get the gop nomination, i've invited one of the largest online bookmakers in great britain and ireland. that would be rory scott of paddy power. thank you so much for being here. a brand-new poll has just come out, it's a fox news poll, taken after our most recent debate. it shows donald trump 39% of the vote. ted cruz, his next near
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competitor, with 18. then marco rubio at 11. ben carson at 9. and yet that does not comport with the way in which the wagering is taking place. explain. >> no, that's not. we have rubio as our favorite to win the republican nomination. we've got an odds of 6-4. that represents about a 37% chance that he's going to -- that he's going to win the ticket. and that's quite a detachment from his current polling. we feel trump is going to run out of steam soon enough. we have been saying that since the summer and we feel like every time he opens his mouth and says something silly or seemingly silly -- obviously, it's a shrewd, calculated move, we think he's going to collapse. we have seen it before in december, a strong lead in the polls. you can quickly run out of steam by the time iowa comes around. we think rubio has got the real staying power. and we it's going to come down to him and cruz.
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>> i'm putting on the screen your odds right now for the republican presidential nomination. not the general election. can we put those up? you've got marco rubio at a 6-4 shot. that means a 30% chance. right? >> yeah, a little more. about 37% chance. >> oh, i'm sorry. and then donald trump is a 9-4 shot, followed by ted cruz, and then people can see at home the remaining competitors. here's my question. are those odds determined by the are those determined by the wagering? in other words, does the market set the relative wager, or is that you and others sitting back and saying here's the way we think it's going to go? >> well, we start off setting the markets as we feel it should lie. so that's based on media reports, polling, our traders's opinions. and generally the market takes over. so trump is a great example. he is currently 9-4 which represents nearly a 30% chance. in reality, if we were setting the odds, he would probably be
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6-1 or 10-1 shot. we don't see him having the legs to carry this through. that is just money dictating. they are taking any price. it is extraordinary. we are taking him at a price. ted cruz is the interesting one. he came from 10-1 to 3-1. they are beginning to look elsewhere. bush has fallen away. cruz has filled that space. money talks. money really talks. >> rory, let me put up the general election. and keep this on the screen, please, so it sinks in and people can take it in at home. hillary clinton is the favorite. 8-11 shot, followed by rubio, followed by trump. this is for the general election, who wins it all. quickly speak to that. >> yeah. that's right. hillary is 8-11. representing 55% chance. >> 55? >> yeah, 55% chance for a long, long time. and in terms of the party that actually is going to win it, we
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have the democrats 8-123, which is about a 60% chance. that, as i say, has been pretty much stable for the last, you know, couple of years. and the gop, about 6-5. which, again, represents 45% chance. at the moment, you know, we fancy the democrats to retain power next year. >> rory scott, thank you so much for being here. is it fair to say the betting is heavier than you have seen in previous elections in. >> we expect this to be the biggest nonsporting market in our history. >> holy smokes. we appreciate your expertise. thank you, sir. everybody else, stick around. when we come back, i've got to read some of the best tweets of the week like this one.
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you can follow me on twitter if you can spell smerconish. tom ridge, he should have or should be president. a great moral moderate conservative. guy group in public housing, went to harvard, fought in vietnam. congressman, governor, secretary of homeland security. were you betcha. this also came in from joe. you know the gop is on the wrong
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path when even pat buchanan says they have gone too sure. pat did say that. great observation. norma, could be my favorite tweet of 2015. smerconish, did you really just call obama feckless? e the way ye for years to come. how can you help? by giving a little more, to yourself. i am running for my future. people sometimes forget to help themselves. the cause is retirement, and today thousands of people came to race for retirement and pledge to save an additional one percent of their income. if we all do that we can all win. prudential bring your challenges®
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7:00 eastern. i'm poppy harlow in new york. thank you so much for joining me. will there be fireworks tonight in an hour's time between hillary clinton and bernie sanders at the democratic debate. the dnc has restored sanders's access to the voter rolls but only after a testy 48 hours. sanders's campaign was accused of improper access clinton's voter data due to a software glitch that gave them access to that information. the democratic national committee immediately shut