Dowd: 'Everybody Was After' Trump in Democratic Debate

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10:46 | 12/20/15

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Transcript for Dowd: 'Everybody Was After' Trump in Democratic Debate
fun. This is fun. We believe secretary Clinton will be coming around the corner at any minute. Sorry. You're the one we have to follow this rule, break it off. But the rule includes, people -- all right. Thank you, good night, and may the force be with you. Some of the lighter moments from last night's debate here with our roundtable joined by cokie Roberts, donna Brazile, democratic strategist also ABC contributor, and Ana Navarro, supporter of Jeb bush. And Matthew dowd. Let's talk about the debate first off, Ana, you're from the republican perspective, what did you see last night, who won? It's hard to tell who won. In the last debate, I think Hillary Clinton did a wall Street answer was a big faux pas. With democratic primary voters. Yesterday, she had three problems. Last night, she claimed that Donald Trump was -- there was a Donald Trump video out there that no one has ever seen for the recruitment of Isis. You know, I'm not sure that secretary Clinton should go out there talking about videos that do not exist. Second of all, I think when she called the problems with obamacare glitches. I think that's going to come back to haunt her. When she made the comment about being where we need to be in fighting against Isis. But I think, look, we're in what I call the last phase of the campaign when you basically tell all the staff at headquarters, it's time to go to Des Moines and Cedar Rapids and you try to win. She has to do well in Iowa in order to beat back a very strong grassroots campaign by Bernie sanders. She did herself very well last night. Once again, she was able to respond to all of the attacks and take on the gop front-runner. Everybody wanted Donald Trump last night? Yeah, exactly. Everybody was after him. It serves dual purposes. Its helps Donald Trump. In the course of today, we'll be talking more about Donald Trump had to say about Iran and Putin than the democratic debate. But it also helps the democrats. Because he has horribly favorable Numbers. He's the leading candidate. I think all of the democrats should have been happy about last night. They all brought their a-game in the course of that. Hillary Clinton is still the dominant force in this. But I think Bernie sanders does have an outside shot. Then what? It doesn't go anywhere. Wait, if you win Iowa and new Hampshire -- But, then still, then what? You still have a 74-year-old democratic socialist who is too far to the left to win a general election. And so what you have to figure out is, if he's going to be winning the democratic nomination, is there somebody else? I actually don't think he's far to the left to win. In the course of America today, there's no conservatives left in the democratic party and there's no liberals left in the republican party at all. And if Bernie sanders happens to win it, which I think is very difficult, he could beat somebody like Donald Trump if Donald Trump is the nominee. Let me tell you, I was at the Vegas debate on Tuesday, and from what I heard yesterday -- Bernie sanders sounded a lot like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul like me and Hillary Clinton sounded like Lindsey graham. She's more hawkish and more to the right. I think you're seeing a lib trainer spectrum in the republican party. You definitely you're seeing that right now. How about that point cokie was just making. Even if Bernie sanders can't go all the way, you have a seriously wounded front-runner. If that's the case. Hillary has to win Iowa. Well, look, I think so. She lost it before by a very small percentage point. In terms of John Edwards. But I think she has to win it. She's poised to win it because she's been there, she's been organized and she has great people on the ground. But you know, beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, she has south Carolina and Nevada, she's strong there. I got to tell you something about Matt dowd -- who's been doing a bromance also with Donald Trump -- No, I'm not doing any bromance with Donald Trump. I just look at the data. I understand it's about the Numbers. But Donald Trump is selling attitude. When I listen to him this morning, maybe I haven't been to church yet today, he's selling attitude, he's not selling substance. I think the republicans are going to flame out soon. Ted Cruz who's driving a very strong campaign, Ted Cruz is somebody that the republicans need to watch. I agree with you. I think he's been calculated. He stroked Donald Trump's ego until he stopped. You know, very recently. But your candidate, now, Jeb bush is basically making his campaign here in New Hampshire taking on Donald Trump, can that work? Thank god, I think Jeb has to focus New Hampshire. We're seeing it's paying off for Chris Christie. New Hampshire likes for new Hampshire to be number one and the priority. This is a state where Jeb bush can be competitive. You got a kasich and a Chris Christie who are in the race -- The problem Jeb has, he's a very decent man, he's a great leader and governor of Florida. It's not the same republican party anymore. The republican party, the mainstream of the republican party is represented by Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. When you take a look at their stands on immigrants and muslims, exactly the same. When you take a look at that, Jeb bush doesn't fit the republican party of 2015. Hold on. It shows him being tough and that's what he has to show. You know, trump has really shaped the narrative. So, for instance, in the new Hampshire paper this morning, the headline is, "Bush brings energy to town hall," that's all trump has been saying about him. For him to take on trump and be tough and see what happens. Actually, cokie, the only person that has the guts and showed it to do it publicly is Jeb bush. Bobby jindal did it. Rick Perry did it. Right, but they're no longer relevant. But when you have a guy of high unfaves attacking a guy with high faves -- They need a lee Atwater. Lee Atwater, someone who can go after Donald Trump's strength. I mean, that's the problem. You hit him at his weakness. What does that mean exactly? Look, the guy is a big bloviator, bully. You need someone to go after that. If you're not going to do that, Donald Trump can come back and say -- absolutely, you cannot do that. That's right. Not for a long time. I think people have recognized that this is a real problem. There's real angst in the republican base and in the country. We talked about the what IFS if Hillary loses Iowa. What if trump gets beat in Iowa? He's lagging in organization, does that matter and does he stop winning when he loses? Is that it for him? I think it matter -- the bredth of Cruz's win matters. If this happens, then Ted Cruz finishes second in new Hampshire. It then basically becomes a two-person very competitive race heading into South Carolina where I think Ted Cruz has a lot of support. A total two-person race. Trump is strong in south Carolina. Yeah, but when that bump happens, if Ted Cruz wins Iowa, this becomes a two-person race. I think you have seen trump go nuclear. Go nuclear? More so. But this whole thing is I'm a winner and so being a loser could be an issue. That's what we're going to find out. Incredibly interesting to watch. The candidates that the democrats are most concerned about -- Marco Rubio governor Christie, Jeb bush, John kasich, all right neck and neck. That's right. Look, Marco Rubio has a problem, he ran as somebody when he ran for the senate that he was going to reform, he ran against immigration, he was for immigration, we don't know where Marco Rubio stands. I think he has to sort it out himself. Meanwhile, I think, those, like governor Christie, who's spending time here. Governor Christie is doing the right thing. You got to figure out where you win. You know, I think it's important that Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who I think are very evenly matched and such talented politicians, very different styles, I think they need to move on from this back and forth. It's like young bucks locking horns over immigration. It's been going on -- this immigration battle of he said/he said, it's like a senate re-election battle. We said this thing about this, Hillary Clinton, if she wins the nomination, she'll be one of the weakest general election candidates that we have seen in the democratic party in a long time. I disagree. Majority of people don't trust her, don't like her. The country is off on the wrong track. They want different policies than Barack Obama. I'm not saying she can't win, but she's vulnerable. Ten seconds you know what, her strength is connecting with people and understanding what they need and she'll fight for them. I don't think she's weak at all. They like her policies. She's getting better at connecting. That's all the time we have for today. Have a great Christmas. I'll see you tomorrow on "Good morning America." Ed: It's time to go on the

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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