The McLaughlin Group
Issues: Obama’s Budget / Oil Import Tax / Beyonce’s Super Bowl Show / Women and the Draft
John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author & Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune
Tom Rogan, National Review/Opportunity Lives
Taped: Friday, February 12, 2016
Broadcast: Weekend of February 12-14, 2016
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ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP, the American original. For over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Issue One: Bye, Bye, Budget.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Just look at the president’s budget that he just put forward. It’s not so much a budget as a manual for the progressive left’s vision -- higher taxes, more debt, bigger government.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Coming in at $4.1 trillion and bringing tax increases of over $2.8 trillion, President Obama’s final budget is not small. Over 10 years, it would increase funding for Democratic-favored social programs and add around $400 billion for infrastructure and green energy project.
But while liberals are celebrating the president’s budget, Republicans are furious. They say the new spending and taxes represent a liberal wish list, lacking bipartisan support. Notably, conservatives also slammed the budget’s failure to address ballooning entitlement costs and the growing federal deficit.
According to the White House, the president’s proposed 2016-2017 spending would add -- get this -- $62 billion to the deficit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN: Why did President Obama propose a budget with no hope of passing? Is President Obama playing politics with the country’s budget?
I ask you, Pat.
PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: Well, the president wants to lay out what would be his agenda if he could get it. He’s not going to get it. It’s dead on arrival. The Republicans aren’t even going to hold hearings on it.
But, John, the more interesting question is, Donald Trump, the winner of the New Hampshire primary, down in Louisiana, went after the Republican House and the Republican Senate for having basically capitulated last year and for collaborating with Obama and for not fighting. Which means he’s reaching in to the Ted Cruz wing of the party, which is not necessarily his own, it’s what Cruz has, in order to broaden his base for the South Carolina primary.
Look, the real battle here, not between the president and Congress, the Republican Congress, it’s going to be inside the Republican Party between now -- between now and the end of the primaries.
ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: That’s right. This is a battle within the Republican Party, about that budget. The president’s budget is actually modeled after the agreement they reach in October between the Republicans and the Democrats, to much applause apparently.
And for all of the talk about dead or arrival, there are several initiatives in that budget that are likely to pass. One is more money for cyber security. Another is more money for the cancer moon shoot, and also, an expanded earned income tax credit for people who work who don’t have children -- to reward work. And those are things Republicans and Democrats agree upon.
So, you have to discount a lot of the rhetoric. But I think it’s incredibly disrespectful to this president that for the first time in 40 years, they are not inviting the budget director to testify on Capitol Hill. They are just dismissing it. And I don’t think that serves -- that doesn’t serve democracy well.
TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/OPPORTUNITY LIVES: John, I think one of the problems here with the budget is that there’s no entitlement report in it, and that’s a big problem with the CBO curb saying that the federal deficit is going up in 2017. My generation has a big problem there, if those programs are not reformed. And they should be reformed in ways that protect the people at the bottom of the economic ladder, but actually make some changes in terms of eligibility and costing for people who are more wealthy and younger people, so, it’s sustainable.
But another problem here and I think Republicans -- you know, I think Republicans should have invited the White House budget director to come to Congress and challenge, you know, make it the case as to why this isn’t a serious budget, in terms of this escalating spending, because the president, you know, purveys this idea that the more you spend, the growth of government, the more equitable society will be, and the more productive society will be.
And I think Republicans fundamentally disagree with that, and I think the positive for having that debate in Congress is that actually, when it comes to it, that’s the real debate, between the left and right, about notion of government.
CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Well. I think the real debate --
MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Are you saying that the president’s final budget is a political manifesto, not a starting point for serious budget negotiations? Is that your view, Tom Rogan?
ROGAN: Yes, sir. That’s apparently (ph) correct.
CLIFT: It’s Clarence’s turn, but I can’t stand it. I have to respond.
Again, the budget is modeled after an agreement Republicans and Democrats struck in October. They agreed to raise dollar for dollar, defense spending and domestic programs. So, more money for defense, more money for some domestic programs -- hey, I think extending preschool is not a Democratic liberal idea. That’s something everybody can approve of.
PAGE: This is part of the problem of having -- trying to do serious business during an election year, especially when these are all sensitive issues. I think Pat’s right that we’re talking about conflict within the Republican Party.
What’s interesting to me is, the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, is in favor of preserving, protecting Social Security, Medicare, those entitlements, which means like everybody else, he respects that as a third rail issue, that is not going to be easily solved. And it’s not going to be solved this year for sure.
BUCHANAN: It’s not only not going to be easily solved, it is not going to be touched in an election year.
PAGE: Not going to be touched, yeah, because it’s a third rail issue.
BUCHANAN: Look, the Republican constituency is over 65. You think you’re going to --
PAGE: But let me say very quickly, I think Social Security could be made solvent for the foreseeable future by simply raising the caps, which is a Bernie Sanders idea, and agreed with by a majority of Americans in polls. And yet, there’s no serious talk about it.
ROGAN: But it’s a major tax increase.
BUCHANAN: If Bernie Sanders gets the nomination --
PAGE: But that’s how you save the most popular (ph) programs on the budget.
BUCHANAN: Bernie will lose 49 states if he, you know, comes out for reforming Social Security.
BUCHANAN: Look, Trump is running for the Republican nomination for president. They are not going to touch Social Security and Medicare.
CLIFT: Which is why the fact that it’s not in the budget is not even worth talking about.
ROGAN: But if it’s to spark a debate, which it is in the election year, we all agree --
BUCHANAN: No, it’s not. We don’t have debates in election year. We win elections.
ROGAN: No, but why simply say -- the president is not running for election. The president can actually say here’s a liberal idea, here’s how I would reform entitlements.
CLIFT: No, the president -- the party is running for reelection. He’s not going to throw his body across the railroad tracks.
BUCHANAN: Why don’t you talk to Hillary?
PAGE: This is part of the frustration that’s buoying up Trump’s campaign, though, because a lot of -- especially working class Americans out there -- are frustrated by Washington not getting anything done. And Trump is talking about the issues Washington doesn’t want to talk about, like third rail issues, like security and Medicare and trade, and immigration.
Whether you agree with his stance or not, at least he’s bringing it out to the front of the public debate. I mean, he’s benefiting from it.
CLIFT: And he’s saying what working people want to hear, basically.
PAGE: That’s right.
CLIFT: Because they’ve got the shaft on a lot of these issues.
PAGE: Exactly, exactly.
BUCHANAN: And they’re not going to take the shaft on Social Security.
MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Will Democratic House and Senate candidates campaign on Obama’s budget? And if so, will it help them or hurt them? Help or hurt, Pat?
BUCHANAN: Got to turn it around. If it will help, they will.
BUCHANAN: If it won’t, they won’t.
CLIFT: You know, the budget is, you know, like a one-day story, the document. There are going to be lots of other things. But the president’s ideas and his priorities, yes. Democrats are very much going to run on them, and you saw that in the debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They were fighting over who supports President Obama more.
ROGAN: Yes. Look, I just think it’s disappointing that the president came into office, inspiring young people with the notion that he was going to change Washington, is leaving Washington on the basis of failing to reform those programs, which would bankrupt the nation and which young people are likely not to have.
MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is, and I hope it pulls it together, this budget will help liberals, but it will hurt moderate and conservative Democrats who run for election.
Issue Two: The $10 Tax.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It’s right to do it now when gas prices are really low, and they will be low for quite some time to come. So, it’s not going to be a disruptive factor in terms of the economy.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): President Obama supports increased use of renewable energy, and he opposes the use of fossil fuels. And this week, the president announced plans to introduce a $10-per-barrel tax on oil. The White House believes the tax would raise up to $32 billion a year in revenue, money, the president says, for clean energy research and infrastructure spending.
But while liberal advocacy groups have praised the president’s plan, not everyone is happy -- namely, Republicans in Congress.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says his proposal is, quote, "dead on arrival," end quote.
And Republicans also disagree with President Obama’s claim that the tax would hit oil companies rather than drivers. They fear that oil companies already stretched by low prices will transfer the tax to drivers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN: Is this a pipe dream or a serious tax proposal, Pat?
BUCHANAN: Look, an oil import fee is an interesting idea. It’s sort of tariff idea, but the Republicans are going to oppose it rightly because Barack Obama wants to use the money for what he wants to use it for, et cetera, and they’re not going to go along with it.
But the whole idea, if you have an import fee, frankly, and you reduce other taxes, you could scoop off -- U.S. government could scoop off revenues that would otherwise go to OPEC. But I don’t, John, as a practical matter right now, this thing is as dead as it could be. And on this one, Ryan is right.
CLIFT: No, he -- the president wants to use it to fund infrastructure. This country’s infrastructure is in sore need of improvement. The tax that funds infrastructure, the gas tax, hasn’t been raised for, I think, 16 or 18 years. This $10 a barrel fee would be phased in over five years and then indexed for inflation.
The oil companies would pass it on to the consumers, which would add up to something like 18 cents more a gallon. I was in Ohio last week. Gas was under $1.50 a gallon. If you can’t raise money now, with a user fee on people who drive and who use gasoline, when can you do it, and how do we fund the infrastructure projects that we need?
BUCHANAN: We’ll find out.
CLIFT: Well, Donald Trump will fix it, OK?
PAGE: That’s why we’re in this situation, though, where the Republicans are married to the idea of no new taxes, even when it’s a reasonable tax for something everybody wants, which is infrastructure improvement.
BUCHANAN: Let me say this, if you came in and put tariffs on and then, say, cut all the taxes on small business income, I’d be with you 100 percent. But these guys won’t do it.
ROGAN: But the American driver would face escalating prices.
I think there’s a problem here. We’re talking about this – there’s still a doubt in the economy, a fundamental doubt on a lot of people. If you’re taking more money out of people’s wallets, and this, you know, the analysts say between 18 to 25 cents a gallon, OK, that would be the increase. That’s a bad idea, at this point in time, to take that money out when the economy is beginning to uptick and we see positive idea.
Let’s not do that.
CLIFT: Phasing it in over five years?
BUCHANAN: You tell me what positive data you’ve seen in the last -- what positive data have you seen in February?
ROGAN: There is a perishable line. American oil imports are going to decline anyway, because the shale --
MCLAUGHLIN: You’re talking over each other.
ROGAN: The shale energy revolution is going to define this country’s energy independence, so it’s --
BUCHANAN: An oil import fee will raise the price of oil and your shale will go back to producing it. The problem is –
ROGAN: But shale is getting more efficient.
BUCHANAN: -- we’ll start using our own rather than the foreign oil.
MCLAUGHLIN: Please, watch the overtalking. It’s very tough on the eardrum.
PAGE: Sorry, John.
MCLAUGHLIN: And I’m in a key seat here, so it comes in four directions.
MCLAUGHLIN: Is it smart to tax the oil industry in order to subsidize green energy? Yes, or no, Pat?
BUCHANAN: No, the answer is no. I mean, let -- if the green energy wants to come along -- windmills and all the rest of it -- becomes cost competitive? Fine.
CLIFT: Yes, but the tax --
BUCHANAN: Why should we subsidize it?
CLIFT: The tax isn’t to subsidize. The tax is to go and build infrastructure. So, that’s not --
BUCHANAN: To raise the price of the other form of energy.
ROGAN: Look, I think it’s --
CLIFT: It’s to build infrastructure.
ROGAN: It’s about it, and I think Democrats are heading for a whirlwind of their own making in the sense that the green energy at the moment is not competitive, and it’s going to drive up American energy bills.
CLIFT: It’s very competitive.
ROGAN: It is competitive and it’s growing on its own. It can grow faster with subsidies.
But more important, really more urgent is infrastructure. How many more bridges have to collapse before we get serious about this?
MCLAUGHLIN: The exit question is – you can tale one out of three -- the Supreme Court barred President Obama’s new rules from carbon emissions from taking effect until legal challenges are heard. Is his climate change plan in peril, yes or no, Pat?
BUCHANAN: I think it is.
CLIFT: No, it’s a pause and five states have already stepped forward and said they’re going to continue with their plans to phase out coal, and the coal industry is dying, regardless of any Obama regulations.
ROGAN: But the shale industry is growing exponentially and I think -- but the next president will define American climate change policy necessarily now.
PAGE: And this will be one more of those is not going to get done in an election year, but at least people talk about it.
MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question number two: will Democratic presidential and congressional candidates support Obama’s oil tax increase? Yes, or not, Pat?
BUCHANAN: I think -- well, Bernie Sanders would support something like that. I don’t -- the question is Hillary. I’m not sure Hillary would go all out for that.
CLIFT: Anything that has the word tax attached to it is going to be handled delicately on the campaign trail.
PAGE: In other words, it’s not a tax. It’s a revenue enhancement.
CLIFT: Right. Right.
ROGAN: No, no. That’s my answer: no.
PAGE: Yes, not a tax. A revenue enhancement. That’s right.
MCLAUGHLIN: Exit three out of three --
CLIFT: Oh my.
MCLAUGHLIN: Is Obama’s oil tax proposal, the political equivalent of kryptonite, gravitational wave, for Hillary Clinton? Yes or no?
BUCHANAN: Well, I just think it’s dead for this year, John.
CLIFT: No, no.
ROGAN: It’s dead and we’re killing it.
PAGE: Doing the best we can. But I think a slight increase like that is something people wouldn’t notice, with oil prices low right now, and they’re going to see it with foreseeable future.
MCLAUGHLIN: It is a killer in the general election.
Issue Three: The Panther and the Super Bowl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Performing half time at last Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, Beyonce Knowles Carter made a big impression. Leading her black beret-wearing dancers in X-shaped homages to Malcolm X and raised fist salutes, Beyonce seems to endorse the Black Panther movement. The dancers also posted a photo in support of Black Lives Matter, an advocacy group campaigning against perceived racism in the U.S. justice system.
Some welcomed Beyonce’s linkage between the 21st century Black Lives Matter and the 20th century Black Panthers, made famous by leaders such as Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and Stokely Carmichael.
But others were less amused. These critics argue the Black Panthers were criminals who did little to advance equal rights. And some say the Black Lives Matter movement fuels community tensions and deters effective policing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Was Beyonce wrong? I ask you, Clarence.
PAGE: Well, first of all, Beyonce was engaged in a massive publicity campaign for her next record album, although they aren’t record albums anymore, well, CDs, whatever, digital sales anyway, number one.
Number two, the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter are very respected by a lot of people in this country, especially those who buy hip-hop music. And so, we’re really talking about here is not a history lecture. It is a Super Bowl half-time show.
So, I thought it was pretty entertaining, and then afterward, I thought it was controversial.
CLIFT: Same here. I watched it and thought it was terrific. I didn’t really get all the symbolism, and I think she did a beautiful job of basically tracing black history from the middle of the last century on up until today. And also drawing attention to a really shooting of a young man right around where the Super Bowl arena was. He was shot 15 times, and trying to surrender.
So, there are some real issues here that people who have trouble with it are basically right wing media, Rush Limbaugh and law and order Rudy Giuliani. That’s about it.
BUCHANAN: The Black Panthers were a group of killers. They were murdering people. Huey Newton, they are thugs. They’re out of prison. Eldridge Cleaver was famous for his book about raping white gals. This was a stupid thing to do by Beyonce who is a great entertainer normally. I think she’s hurt herself.
But the real star of that Super Bowl was Lady Gaga and I am not a groupie. Her rendition of America’s national anthem was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. She put heart and soul into it. And I think she helped herself, even with the far right.
PAGE: She’s a star. But I’ve got to say, the Panthers, like Black Lives Matter, is a very locally oriented group. There were some thugs in the Panthers, especially Oakland chapter during a horrible period there. But there were a lot of other Panthers who registered people to vote, who engaged in active social action, as well as political action, quite legitimately.
And there were so many abuses against them by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI and COINTELPRO that a number of the survivors of Panthers leaders in Chicago received a big legal settlement.
ROGAN: One of the things here is that, you know, if you look at the legacy of civil rights in America, I have to say, this is why I have a problem with Beyonce doing this, because there was far too much a criminal element with the Black Panthers and the militants --
PAGE: You weren’t American, son. I’ll tell you all about it.
ROGAN: And I absolutely wasn’t. But the history of it and people who inspired me learning about the U.S. were people like Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King and people being -- people marching and being hosed and the long chain of that --
PAGE: Just like with Black Lives Matter, until somebody raised a fuss, police brutality was not an issue. The Panthers raised it, and they did a big favor --
MCLAUGHLIN: All right. You’re talking over each other.
ROGAN: But Beyonce had a big police escort going, and the Mario Woods shooting, I would disagree with Eleanor that it’s clear that he was surrendering.
MCLAUGHLIN: We have four people and they’re all talking at the same time. This is a record.
BUCHANAN: You made a mistake in your opening. You made a mistake in your opening.
Stokely Carmichael was not a member of the Black Panthers. He did say -- he was the one that talk, made black power, he was a SNCC. He became a Marxist and he went over to Africa and he died -- died in Africa.
PAGE: Not in the Panthers and you have him mixed up with the Huey Newton or Aldridge Cleaver, those folks.
But, yes, he did help to inspire the Panthers. There was a Black Panther Party in Lowndes County in Alabama, which registered people to vote and also worked on local brutality issues --
BUCHANAN: They weren’t famous as voter registrants.
CLIFT: But the people in the Black Lives Movement looked back on some of these figures and they take pride in what some of these figures did, not all of them, not all of them, but --
BUCHANAN: What does that do for the Black Panthers that they take pride to them?
MCLAUGHLIN: Should --
CLIFT: I think Clarence just pointed out what the Black Panthers did and it was - -
CLIFT: And it was an assertion it was an assertion of emerging power in a society that had really marginalized them, and I think that’s what we’re still arguing about.
BUCHANAN: Look, it should be a celebration. It’s all celebration of America. Its flags, "Star Spangled Banner", "America the Beautiful", and all of this. And it’s a very uplifting thing. What are we getting ourselves back into the ‘60s and Panthers?
PAGE: It was a very uplifting performance there. Like I say, I didn’t even realize it was controversial after it was over and Rudy Giuliani was complaining. I mean, they formed an X on the field and they had afros and berets.
You know, I have a beret, and I used to have an afro. So, I don’t think I’m a criminal, you know.
CLIFT: The Panthers were the cultural underpinning for some of the reactions that we’re seeing today and I think she did a brilliant job of sort of tracing, you know, 65 years of history in a kind of sensational way.
MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: Uncle Sam Wants Your Daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Should women be forced to register for the draft? Yes, says President Obama, and U.S. military leaders, and Democrats and many Republicans. In recent days, a number of GOP presidential candidates have emerged in favor of women being eligible for the draft. But not everyone is happy with this consensus. Ted Cruz, for one, says that drafting women is, quote/unquote, "nuts".
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN: Question: should women be forced to register for the draft when they turn 18?
CLIFT: Well, young men have to register within 30 days after turning 18. I don’t believe there’s any prospect that we’re really going to have a draft. The volunteer army seems to be working just fine.
But if women went to compete in the military and to hold down jobs that are classified as combat jobs, I don’t think there’s any rational reason to exclude them from signing up and registering like their male counterparts. And I think most young women agree with that. They don’t see a problem.
MCLAUGHLIN: Should it be required.
PAGE: Well, would you like to make it voluntary? Probably if it was voluntary, I’m sure probably most of them would sign up. But if it’s a requirement for the guys --
MCLAUGHLIN: Military service, Eleanor, is voluntary.
CLIFT: Yes, but you were just saying --
MCLAUGHLIN: And we should keep it that way.
CLIFT: I agree with that. I’m not disagreeing.
BUCHANAN: John, this is about registration, and the idea is utterly silly. If you register presumably, you’ re to be available for the draft. And if you drafted people along the lottery system or any other system, you wind up with 50 percent women. Do you really think we do as well on Guadalcanal and Normandy if we had 50 percent women in the military?
You’re not going to draft them at the same rate as men. Why would you then put them in the registry?
PAGE: I think politically speaking, if anything ends the draft, this will do it, if they start drafting women, because the blowback is going to be tremendous. While you’re absolutely right, rationally, women ought to have the same rights as men. We’re talking about heavily emotional political issue here.
BUCHANAN: Should they have the same requirements these women?
CLIFT: Yes, and I do have the same --
BUCHANAN: In other words, be drafted in the same numbers.
CLIFT: No, they have to meet the same requirements if they want to take on certain jobs.
BUCHANAN: Should you draft them in the same number as men?
CLIFT: We’re not talking about a draft. We’re not -- we have a volunteer army.
BUCHANAN: What is the registry for?
CLIFT: The volunteer army -- well, young men today register --
BUCHANAN: For what?
PAGE: For the draft.
CLIFT: For the draft.
But the draft is not going to happen. So, women can sign up for the same imaginary exercise. And women are parts of military -- successful militaries all over the world. This is not unusual.
ROGAN: Look, in recent years, women in the U.S. military have excelled in human intelligence positions, as well, where your really dangerous work is -- they’ve also excelled in terms of areas like carrier air wings, this broad, technical, down to human level, where they become very important.
The problem we have is -- one of the problems I have for example in terms of women being opened to combat roles is the Marine Corps study. Some people in the left say it was a bad study.
PAGE: It’s a separate issue, combat roles – which I think is settled now.
ROGAN: But it extends to what I’m saying. But it extends why we shouldn’t have a draft in the sense that, as Pat says, you know, when you were going, the kind of operational tempo that we could see in a major war where a draft became necessary would cause big problems, to have 50 percent women --
MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on, hold on, Clarence.
Let’s nail that down. An extreme national emergency, which is a war with China, should we draft men and women into combat service?
BUCHANAN: No. Look even the German at the end of the War World II, when they’re completely routed, didn’t put women in combat. They put teenage boys and old men.
CLIFT: We have volunt -- we have a volunt --
PAGE: They do it in Israel and we do it here --
BUCHANAN: Israel stopped the -- Israeli women go into the military, but none of them go into these combat roles.
PAGE: Well, a role is one thing, but combat position, we have women in combat all the time, because there’s no front like there was in Guadalcanal or Iwo Jima, et cetera. It’s a different kind of warfare being fought these days.
BUCHANAN: Should you have a military with 50 percent women and 50 percent men?
CLIFT: You don’t have to have quotas.
BUCHANAN: That’s a formula for losing wars?
CLIFT: No, you don’t have to have quotas. You don’t have to have quotas.
BUCHANAN: They got quotas. It’s just a normal draft.
CLIFT: We’re not going to have a draft in this country.
BUCHANAN: Then why are you registering them?
CLIFT: Because men are registered and we have equality in this country and women -- but we’re not going to have the draft.
BUCHANAN: OK. Don’t register the men, then.
MCLAUGHLIN: Hello? Is there a better way to prepare for warfare without resorting to the draft?
MCLAUGHLIN: On a political probability scale, from zero to ten, how like is it that the next president will ask Congress to require teenage women to register for the draft? Zero to ten.
ROGAN: Zero, big black hole, not happening.
BUCHANAN: Well, it depends on who the president is. If it’s -- look, if it’s Bernie or Hillary, I think they might require a registration. Republican would not, I believe.
MCLAUGHLIN: We’re out of time practically.
Forced prediction: Pope Francis plans to meet with illegal immigrants at the U.S. border with Mexico next week to show his support for open borders. It will embroil the Vatican and U.S. presidential politics. Yes or no?
BUCHANAN: Yes, it already has and it’s foolish and provocative.
CLIFT: It’s human rights. It’s what Pope Francis does.
PAGE: I would say yes.
MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is: yes.