THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; MONICA CROWLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES; CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE TAPED: FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010 BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF MAY 29-30, 2010
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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Blowout Cleanup.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) In case you're wondering who's responsible, I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: President Obama on Thursday held a rare press conference to address the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill. Obama hoped to show the American public that he was in control of the disaster that entered its sixth week. And he had his work cut out for him. A Gallup poll taken last Monday and Tuesday shows that 53 percent of Americans believe Mr. Obama is doing a poor or very poor job of responding to the spill. To reverse this tide, the president is arguing that his administration has been involved for the past 40 days, since the very beginning.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort. But make no mistake: BP is operating at our direction. Every key decision and action they take must be approved by us in advance.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But Mr. Obama also takes the blame for relying on the oil companies to deal with this type of oil spill.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) Where I was wrong was in my belief that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is it a coincidence that President Obama waited until BP started to make progress sealing the oil well before holding a press conference? Pat Buchanan.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, I don't know that the two are directly related. I do know the president of the United States had to get out in front of this, John. He has not shown urgency. He has not shown passion. He has not shown engagement. The polls show the country thinks he's been dithering and diffident. And his government appears not to be on top of it, relying on BP. At the same time, some of them are blaming Bush and blaming everybody else.
So I think he's been hurt very badly by this. And the very fact that he came out for that press conference, I think, is to try to get back out in front of the story and get him as the leader, him solving the problem.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was he late to the story?
MR. BUCHANAN: I think they're very, very late.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Well, political cleanup is like the oil cleanup -- the sooner, the better. And I think this story really did get away from him. There was too much reliance on BP early on, too much belief that American technology could solve this quickly. And that didn't happen.
And it's also this president's personality. I mean, he's "No Drama" Obama. He tends to hang back until the situation looks almost irretrievable. Think health-care reform or even during the campaign when the whole issue of Reverend Wright was going to take the campaign down, and then he retrieves the situation with a fantastic speech. And I think there's more to leadership, though, than assembling all the best minds and organizing everything. You have to make an emotional connection. And I think he's begun to make that emotional connection now, and I think we want him to understand how much this Gulf means in terms of the ecology. And I think that's what's been missing.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, hold on for a minute, Monica. Take it up from here -- the MMS mess.
President Obama says he didn't move quickly enough to repair the service charged with the regulating and rewarding of the drilling, the Minerals Management Service, the MMS. It has been connected to an array of ethical lapses, from accepting bribes such as gifts, alcohol, trips and some sexual favors, to allowing oil companies to fill out their own inspection reports.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) The culture had not fully changed in MMS. And absolutely I take responsibility for that. There wasn't sufficient urgency in terms of the pace of how those changes needed to take place.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is it a coincidence, Monica, that Obama fired the head of the Minerals Management Service on the very morning of his news conference?
MS. CROWLEY: Well, remember, when he gave this news conference on Thursday, the question was asked about the departure of the head of the MMS, Elizabeth Birnbaum, and the president seemed not to know whether she was fired or whether she had resigned under her own volition.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you believe that? Do you believe that?
MS. CROWLEY: Well, look, heads needed to roll, so the president of the United States ought to know whether or not he fired this woman.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She attended Harvard, very green.
MS. CROWLEY: Right. But she had no --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And Clinton appointed her.
MS. CROWLEY: But she had no experience whatsoever in oil and natural gas domestic production -- none. And remember, that was the rap on Michael Brown during Katrina, the head of FEMA. He had no experience either.
Look, I think that this story has reached a tipping point. We're heading into the sixth week of this mess. And a lot of people are now under the impression that the president has not been engaged. I mean, there are a number of things that he could have done immediately. He could have declared it a national disaster area. He could have immediately mobilized the Army Corps of Engineers. He could have immediately ordered tankers to the region, like the Saudis do when they experience big oil spills in the Persian Gulf. You get these tankers on the scene. They can suck the oil out and separate it from the sea water.
He could have given the Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, exactly what he wanted immediately rather than allow all of these bureaucracies and agencies to stall what Jindal was asking for and some of these other governors, what they were asking for.
So the danger for him is the perception of incompetence. And that's what stuck to Bush after Katrina. And it is a very dangerous proposition for a president.
MR. PAGE: There is one big difference, though.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay -- hold on. Okay, man, where are you?
JAMES CARVILLE (former senior adviser to President Clinton): (From videotape.) Man, you got to get down here and take control of this, put somebody in charge of this thing and get this thing moving. We're about to die down here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What set off the ragin' Cajun? Was it the devastation to his home state, Louisiana? I ask you.
MR. PAGE: It was the point I was about to make, which is that Obama has too much faith in the oil company, BP. They were giving what we now see are incorrect -- they were lowballing the damage -- the leak volume itself, the damage that was being done, their capabilities. That's what Obama meant when he said that they proved not to have their act together on this kind of a deep-sea disaster.
This is unprecedented. It's 5,000 feet. The technology that works in much shallower water proved to be a lot trickier. And this was -- by the way, it was a coincidence that Obama happened to have his news conference when the news was turning favorably, because, even as he was speaking, you were seeing live video of them pushing the mud down the pipe. And they didn't know even then if it was going to work or not.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If he's going to be associated with this, he wants to wait. That's the supposition.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Listen to James some more. What happens if President Obama lets BP, and not the U.S. government, run the cleanup? MR. CARVILLE: (From videotape.) If he -- (inaudible) -- and he's detached and he lets BP run the cleanup, it's going to be -- it'll be Katrina. It'll be worse than Katrina.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Carville isn't the only political strategist likening the Gulf to Katrina. Karl Rove made the same point in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece. He said, "Get the government involved." Why the bipartisan harmony on this?
MR. PAGE: Well, all the right was pushing from day one, calling this another Katrina. And they were crying wolf, because, on the one hand, they're saying Obama's been too intrusive into private enterprise. Now they're saying, "Why isn't he taking over BP?" I mean, that's a Carville kind of message. So I'm not surprised to see him coming out.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does this look pretty bad for Obama?
MS. CLIFT: I think he can retrieve the situation. I think he's begun to do that with the visit to the Gulf and the press conference. And also, I don't think people are blaming him, you know, for the leak or even the fact that it hasn't been stopped yet. But they want a sense that the administration is mobilized for a cleanup that is likely to take --
MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)
MS. CLIFT: Excuse me -- likely to take years. And what he should have done is immediately name a high commissioner, somebody like Colin Powell. Doug Brinkley, the historian, who lives in the area, is saying you need an authority figure who can go out to the microphones every day and relate the information. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard guy, is filling that role to some extent.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She may have identified the worst news, that this is going to stretch on. We're going to get reports for this for the next, what, 10 years about new damage being done?
MS. CROWLEY: Well, remember that the cleanup for Three Mile Island, the nuclear accident, took over a decade. So this could be a long, slow-moving, drip, drip, drip of bad news. You are witnessing the destruction of one of the world's most magnificent and valuable estuaries.
And remember, after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, there was something put in place, signed into law by President Bush, the first one, called the Oil Pollution Act. And what that required was that, in the event of an oil spill, the president shall commit to an immediate plan for cleanup. So while this was BP's responsibility, it was also the president's.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay -- MR. PAGE: Exxon Valdez, by the way, they fought 20 years -- fought the lawsuits, and only paid a fraction of what they owed in damages.
MS. CLIFT: And they're going to turn over a lot of rocks looking at the cozy relationship between the oil industry and the Congress and the Republican Party --
MS. CROWLEY: And the Obama administration --
MS. CLIFT: -- and the Republican Party.
MS. CROWLEY: -- which gave BP a waiver 10 days before the explosion.
MS. CLIFT: "Drill, baby, drill." The "Drill, baby, drill" crowd is not going to look pretty.
MS. CROWLEY: You can't just pin this on the Republicans.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, let me summarize the sad stats.
Spill volume: 20 (million) to 40 million gallons.
Spill spread: 3,700 square miles, the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
Spill ongoing: 40 days.
Exit question: The name of the Gulf oil well that blew up was Macondo. Will the name Macondo live forever as the world's most accursed environmental horror?
MR. BUCHANAN: Macondo? No, I don't believe it will, John. What's going to live on is the perception of the government of the United States utterly incompetent in plugging a hole in the Gulf of Mexico, which did untold damage to the country, at the same time we can't balance a budget, win our wars or protect our borders.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MR. BUCHANAN: It has deeply damaged government.
MS. CLIFT: It is damaging to government, but I believe that government is going to perform. And secondly, it's BP that will live on in infamy.
MR. PAGE: Thank you.
MS. CLIFT: And it's the oil industry that's going to take a big hit here and is going to be in the same problem that the nuclear industry was for a while. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Interesting. Is she right? Is she right on that? This is not so much Obama as it is BP that's going to live on in memory.
MS. CROWLEY: Well, I think the storyline right now is the Obama administration versus big oil. But this is such a huge ecological disaster, and we're going to get more and more reports about all of the agency and the administration actions leading up to this explosion. For example, the administration gave BP a waiver on environmental rules and a safety review 10 days before this particular rig blew up. That is -- when we get more and more reports of that, it is going to be sustained political damage.
MR. PAGE: And that's why MMS needs to be overhauled. But, you know --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is this going to be the most accursed world environmental horror of all time?
MR. PAGE: Oh, it already is as far as the actual physical damage. But John, let's not forget --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think it's going to live on that way?
MR. PAGE: Let's not forget a couple of things, though. For one thing, the polls, as much as they've been critical of BP, most people still want to have offshore drilling. Most people say that, yeah, we need to replace fossil fuels, but that's long term. In the short term, we're stuck with this. So that's why I think you're still going to find some common ground up there on Capitol Hill. Right now everything is stalled on offshore drilling. But this issue will be back.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will it live on that way?
MR. BUCHANAN: John, it will rank --
MR. PAGE: It will live on with a double life, John.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think it's going to be the world's most accursed --
MR. BUCHANAN: It will rank --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- environmental horror --
MR. BUCHANAN: It will rank --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- probably of all time.
Issue Two: Sestak Saga.
(Begin videotaped segment.) BOB SCHIEFFER (CBS News): Did the White House offer you a position in the administration if you would not run?
REP. JOE SESTAK (D-PA): I was asked that question months after it happened, and I felt an obligation to answer it honestly. And I said yes.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Can you tell us what job?
REP. SESTAK: Bob, I -- and then I said at the time, "Anything beyond that just gets into politics."
(End videotaped segment.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak. He says he was offered a job by President Obama in exchange for dropping out of a Democratic Senate primary. The background: In February of this year, Sestak mounted a primary challenge against sitting U.S. senator, the iconic Pennsylvania politico Arlen Specter, five-term, 30-year incumbent.
Specter was the preferred choice of President Obama after Specter switched parties and became a Democrat 13 months ago. Over the past four months, Sestak has been claiming that the White House offered him, Sestak, a job so that he, Sestak, would drop out of the race, paving the way for a Specter six-term victory. Sestak said no to the White House and defeated Specter in last week's Pennsylvania primary.
This is Sestak's story. What does the White House say? The White House admits that it did have conversations with Sestak but that everything was above board -- no quid pro quo, which would have been very illegal.
During his press conference on Thursday, the leader of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, was asked whether he would speak for the official record on what job Sestak was offered, to which Mr. Obama replied --
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) You will get it from my administration. So -- and it will be coming out -- when I say shortly, I mean shortly. I don't mean weeks or months. I can assure the public that nothing improper took place. But as I said, there will be a response shortly on that issue.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That Obama response came on Thursday. On Friday, he disclosed that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- currently in Israel, by the way -- contacted former President Bill Clinton and proposed to Mr. Clinton that he contact Congressman Sestak and ask Sestak to drop out of the race against Arlen Specter. If he were to, in fact, drop out, he would be given a job -- that's Sestak -- from the president on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. The board operates on expenses only. The board members are non- salaried. Question: Did that offer from the president via Rahm Emanuel, via Bill Clinton, clear the White House of any rap? Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, that is an absurdity. I think this whole story has been concocted. If that were what was going on, why didn't they say so months and months ago? Why did Sestak say, "I'm not going to talk any more about it"?
The rumor going around, of course, it is secretary of the Navy. If that was what was offered, it is a criminal offense, John. More than that, in order to give someone the secretary of the Navy, you need the approval of the United States of America would have to be in on the deal. This is headed for a special prosecutor.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Pat, calm down. When he walked into the green room earlier, he noted that because of the statement that the White House counsel had put out, the story was a "nothing burger."
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: And now he says --
MR. BUCHANAN: I was laughing about it. "It's a nothing burger." (Laughs.)
MR. PAGE: That was on the record, right, Pat?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now you've changed your tune?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, I was laughing about the concoction. I said, "It's just a nothing burger." (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: No, I don't think so, because --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, are we exegeting Buchanan here? Quickly.
MS. CLIFT: The president appointed somebody secretary of the Navy before Arlen Specter had even changed parties, so the job was filled.
MR. BUCHANAN: It was going to be open.
MS. CLIFT: It was filled. And so he's thinking this would be a promise down the road.
MR. BUCHANAN: Sure.
MS. CLIFT: And unless he's got evidence to prove otherwise -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay --
MS. CLIFT: -- I think the White House has come out with a perfectly acceptable cover story. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's check this out. This is a letter written to Attorney General Eric Holder by all Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: Jeff Sessions, Jon Kyl, Tom Coburn, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn and Orrin Hatch.
"Dear Attorney General Holder, we are writing to urge the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Congressman Joe Sestak's claim that a White House official offered him a job to induce him to exit the Pennsylvania Senate primary race against Senator Arlen Specter. Such an offer would appear to violate various federal criminal laws, including 18 U.S. Code 600."
Now, this is an abbreviation of that code, but you can check it out for yourself. This is 18 U.S. Code 600. "Whoever directly or indirectly promises any employment position, compensation, contract, appointment or other benefit in connection with any primary election shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."
Okay, so much for the (Senate ?).
MS. CLIFT: Right.
MS. CROWLEY: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think about that?
MS. CROWLEY: But they're right, because the White House said, "Well, we looked into this. We had our White House counsel --
MR. BUCHANAN: Counsel. (Laughs.)
MS. CROWLEY: -- look into it." You can't have one part of the executive branch investigating another part of the executive branch. That's why the independent counsel statute exists in the first place, because it's a huge conflict of interest.
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MS. CROWLEY: Look, you've got --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you think there ought to be an independent counsel.
MS. CROWLEY: You've got -- yes. MR. BUCHANAN: John, they had --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let her finish. Quickly.
MR. PAGE: Not likely.
MS. CROWLEY: That whole "Trust us" argument didn't work with Richard Nixon, didn't work with Bill Clinton. And that's why the statute exists.
MR. PAGE: We're a long way from Watergate.
MS. CLIFT: Right.
MS. CROWLEY: But also, more importantly, though, there is a political problem here, because Barack Obama ran on this idea that he would be a new kind of politician who would transform the way old things were done. And this kind of ham-handed --
MR. PAGE: These are accusations --
MS. CROWLEY: -- (inaudible) -- is outrageous.
MR. PAGE: Let me just jump in -- I mean, the one guy who knows something about the Chicago way, okay?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)
MR. PAGE: I cannot believe that Rahm and Obama would be that naive as to go and make some flat-out offer.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they had this lawyered, you know.
MR. PAGE: Look, the fact that -- first of all, USC 600, I believe, says there must be a promise or an exchange of money.
MR. BUCHANAN: Hey, Clarence -- Clarence --
MR. PAGE: And we're talking about an unpaid position, you know.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, it's not quite money. It's not quite money.
MR. PAGE: It's got to be direct.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If you read --
MR. PAGE: Even if they wanted --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If you read 800, you're going to see that it does not require money exchange.
MR. BUCHANAN: Clarence -- MS. CLIFT: The history of politics --
MR. BUCHANAN: Hold on.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Is this a case for a special counsel? Yes or no?
MR. BUCHANAN: Of course it is. You cannot have the White House counsel investigate the White House and the president and exonerate them --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, wait a minute.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- unless you're John Dean.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think Eric Holder is not going to properly investigate this? Is that what you're saying? The attorney general won't do it?
MR. BUCHANAN: I think he's probably stonewalling now, but I think more calls are going to come. We're going to wind up with an independent counsel looking into this. And we're not going to --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you're saying that Holder, the attorney general --
MR. BUCHANAN: He's going to have to --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- would not investigate this properly.
MR. BUCHANAN: He doesn't want to, but he's going to have to.
MS. CLIFT: You guys have spent too long steeped in Watergate. (Laughter.)
MR. BUCHANAN: We're going back there, Eleanor. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly, Eleanor. Quickly, quickly.
MS. CLIFT: Politicians persuading people not to run -- this was to try to keep him from running, giving him an unpaid post for something he's perfectly qualified for --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Monica.
MS. CLIFT: -- as a former Navy admiral who oversaw our fleet in the Gulf.
MS. CROWLEY: Wait a minute. Hold on.
(Cross talk.) MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We know about the Gulf. Go ahead.
MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor sounds like --
MS. CROWLEY: The lesson of modern political scandals, from Watergate through Monica Lewinsky, is it's always the cover-up and it's never the original crime that's going to get you in trouble.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MR. PAGE: If there's a cover-up.
MS. CROWLEY: And also remember that the Obama brand was to do politics in a different way and not rolling in the old Chicago way.
MR. PAGE: You haven't proved otherwise yet. You haven't proved otherwise.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think about Emanuel being in Israel at this critical time?
MR. BUCHANAN: He's talking about --
MR. PAGE: His son's bar mitzvah, for Pete's sake. Give him a break.
MR. BUCHANAN: He's talking to Netanyahu too.
MR. PAGE: Yeah.
MS. CROWLEY: Oh, great. (Laughs.)
MR. BUCHANAN: Sure, he is. But listen, Clarence --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So that takes care of that.
MR. BUCHANAN: Clarence --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But he's kind of pivotal in this.
MR. BUCHANAN: Clarence sounds like somebody who fell off the turnip truck on the way into town --
MR. PAGE: (Laughs.)
MR. BUCHANAN: -- believing all this nonsense they're putting out. (Laughs.) MS. CLIFT: And you sound like the driver of the turnip truck.
MR. PAGE: (Inaudible.) Thank you.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.) You're a Dick Daley Democrat, Clarence. You know better.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: On a scale of zero to 10 --
MR. PAGE: It depends on what your definition of "is" is, Pat. Anyway --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm trying to find out where you rate this on a damage scale of zero to 10, 10 being oblivion.
MR. PAGE: Sestak -- I give it a three on a scale of 10.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Three?
MR. PAGE: Yeah.
MR. BUCHANAN: And rising.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think they may wind up with a special counsel.
Issue Three: Around the World in 210 Days.
JESSICA WATSON (teenage sailor): (From videotape.) I don't consider myself a hero. I'm an ordinary girl who believed in her dream. You don't have to be someone special or anything special to achieve something amazing. You've just got to have a dream, believe in it and work hard.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jessica Watson is the youngest person in history to sail around the world. She is 16 years old. The Australian teenager made her epic voyage in a 34-foot boat called the Pink Lady.
Jessica's journey began in Sydney on October the 18th, 2009. She sailed northeast through the South Pacific and across the Equator, then headed south, rounding the tip of South America at Cape Horn. Jessica then crossed the Atlantic Ocean and sailed around South Africa's Cape of Good Hope. The last leg of her journey was 4,600 miles, the Indian Ocean.
On May 15, two weeks ago, and 210 days after she set sail, Jessica arrived back in Sydney after traveling a total of 26,500 miles over seven months. Watson battled 40-foot waves and experienced six knock-downs, including one that tipped her boat to the point that the mast touched the ocean water.
Now, get this: Jessica did it alone, all by herself, no crew. How did she do it? In her own words, quote, "People don't think you're capable of these things. They don't realize what young people, what 16-year-olds and girls, are capable of. It's amazing, when you take away those expectations, what you can do," unquote.
Okay, here's the anti-climax. The official judge for speed- sailing world records will not recognize Jessica's trip. Why? Because that World Sailing Speed Record Council has discontinued its, quote-unquote, "youngest category."
Jessica's historic journey is not an official world record, therefore. Jessica, by the way, has been sailing with and without her sailor parents since she was eight years old.
Question: Why didn't the World Sailing Speed Record Council of Australia recognize Jessica Watson's historic achievement, Pat?
MR. BUCHANAN: John, I don't know. (Laughs.) It is an historic achievement, but apparently they don't have the younger category there anymore. And I don't know --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what kind of a reason is that?
MR. BUCHANAN: But, look, this woman, this young woman sailed --
MR. PAGE: Well, because they don't want to encourage other kids to do it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ah.
MR. PAGE: They don't like having kids that young trying this kind of a stunt.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you heard of in loco parentis?
MR. PAGE: Oh, yeah, I've heard of it. And have you heard of that -- what's that TV show where kids are always doing the crazy stunts all the time? I mean, kids love to copy each other.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we had the boy with the balloon. Remember that?
MR. PAGE: Balloon boy, yeah. That's right.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, this is -- John, that's unfair.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you criticizing this action on the part of this young lady?
MR. PAGE: Well, her action is magnificent. But we're kind of playing with fire if we encourage young people around the planet --
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MR. PAGE: Maybe you forgot the young girl who died in a plane crash a few years ago. MS. CLIFT: Watching that, I was thinking to myself I'd like to meet her parents.
How did they raise her to do this, to have that sort of composure to be out alone for that amount of time without an iPod? Or maybe she had an iPod. In terms of --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Parents know -- they know their children.
MS. CLIFT: -- provisions and everything, yeah --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There are some children they would say no to, but there are other children in the same family they would say yes to.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but you wouldn't want -- I think Clarence is right -- you wouldn't want too many people trying to copy her, thinking they could it. But I think she should be recognized.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we had 13 --
MS. CLIFT: She definitely should be recognized.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see about the 13-year-old who climbed Mount Everest on the most difficult trail? In the last two weeks he finished.
MR. PAGE: And how many --
MS. CLIFT: There are some super beings. But most people do not fall in that category.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What should be the attitude of the general public, despite this --
MS. CROWLEY: Well, look, this girls --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- primordial counsel?
MS. CROWLEY: (Laughs.) This girl is clearly --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This exotic group over there.
MS. CROWLEY: This girl is clearly extraordinary. And as you pointed out, she's been sailing with her parents since the time she was a very little girl. So it wasn't like -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And it's a sailing country.
MS. CROWLEY: -- the parents sending her out there as a complete novice. But, look, they should recognize her. And she's, first of all, adorable; secondly, a great sportswoman at a very young age, and I think a great role model for young girls.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to save Australia at large. Seventy-five thousand people and a small armada of 1,500 boats turned out for her Sydney Harbor homecoming.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, this --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So the people have the wisdom over there.
MR. BUCHANAN: I can't believe the knocking of this. This girl is like Charles Lindbergh, who took off and flew 33 hours across the Atlantic.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MR. BUCHANAN: It is a tremendous thing. And to say mommy and daddy shouldn't have let her go -- (laughter) --
MS. CLIFT: I didn't say that.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- is appalling.
MS. CLIFT: I didn't say that. I did not say that. I said I wanted to meet them. How did they raise this child? But I do --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The word is rear the child -- raise chickens, rear children.
MS. CLIFT: Raise this child.
MR. PAGE: It depends on your kids, believe me.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: And she definitely should be recognized.
MS. CROWLEY: Yeah.
MS. CLIFT: But I don't think we necessarily should set her up as an example --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Should she set an example, yes or no?
MS. CLIFT: -- (for others ?) to follow. MS. CROWLEY: I think she's an extraordinary role model for young girls.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Rahm Emanuel will be gone from this administration by Labor Day. Yes or no? Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: Even money.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: No.
MS. CROWLEY: After the midterms, replaced by Valerie Jarrett.
MR. PAGE: We agree -- after the midterms, but not before.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Gone.
On this Memorial Day weekend, we salute our fallen U.S. troops.