The McLaughlin Group Host: John McLaughlin Panel: Patrick Buchanan, MSNBC; Eleanor Clift, Newsweek; Rich Lowry, National Review; Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report Taped: Friday, September 9, 2011 Broadcast: Weekend of September 10-11, 2011
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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Ten Years Later.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: (From videotape.) I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people -- (cheers, applause) -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This Sunday, September 11, is the 10th anniversary, to the very day, of the 9/11 attacks. On that fateful day exactly one decade ago, al-Qaida operatives hijacked four U.S. commercial airplane flights and used the planes themselves as attack missiles to strike U.S. landmark buildings, with their thousands of victims. Two planes originated in Boston. Both took off from Logan. Hijackers commandeered both flights within 35 minutes from takeoff, seized control and steered the aircraft to Lower Manhattan, driving them, one each, into the north and south towers of Manhattan's famed twin towers.
A third plane took off from Washington Dulles Airport, was hijacked 34 minutes later by five terrorists, and slammed into one of the Pentagon's five sides, killing 125 Pentagon officials and visitors.
A fourth airplane, United Airlines Flight 93, took off from Newark Airport and was seized by hijackers on board, who took control of the aircraft, forcing it into a U-turn to Washington, D.C. Before reaching targets in D.C. -- presumably the White House or the Capitol -- the heroic passengers of the UA flight confronted the hijackers and forced the plane to crash-land in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, in order to avert the horrors of a White House or U.S. Capitol impact.
There were 19 hijackers on the four planes plus 226 plane passengers and crew. No one survived. At all four impact sites -- the two twin towers, the Pentagon and Shanksville -- some 3,000 lives were lost, including the 19 hijackers.
Since September 11th, 2001, we have yet to experience another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Former journalist, FBI agent and U.S. intelligence official John Miller points to the reason why no plots have been actualized, even though 40 to 50 attempted attacks on the U.S. have been uncovered since 9/11.
JOHN MILLER (former FBI agent): (From videotape.) The intelligence there has, time and time again -- the extraordinary work done by the ICA, the NSA and other agencies, the FBI, has stopped those attacks in their tracks, either by actions or overseas or things here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And, most importantly, Commander in Chief Barack Obama called out an operation in May that killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind and underwriter behind the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist horrors. Without bin Laden, and with the recent killing of al-Rahman, his second in command, al-Qaida now remains without its two top leaders.
Question: Is President Obama carrying on the Bush-Cheney war in every war except calling it Bush-Cheney? Pat Buchanan.
PATRICK BUCHANAN: Yes, he is, John. And he's been a very good commander in chief. He took down Osama bin Laden. He's even kept Guantanamo open after exploring the other options. Al-Qaida is being decimated and decapitated in Afghanistan and Pakistan due to the president, in part these drone attacks. That is the good side. The tough side is this, John. The drone attacks are doing a lot of collateral damage. They're expanding the universe and the hatred of the United States in that area. And they are creating a larger pool in which al-Qaida fishes. Al-Qaida has also -- even though it's in tough shape there, it's metastasized. It's al-Qaida in Arabia. It's in Yemen. It's in Somalia. It's in Libya. It's in the Maghreb.
And in addition to that, this entire war on terror -- and again, the president's done a good job -- has caused us for a decade to ignore a really rising challenge, which is the rising challenge of China as a rival superpower of the United States while we've been focused on nation building and the rest.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
ELEANOR CLIFT: Well, this president is not going to eradicate all terrorism. No president could do that. He is trying to responsibly bring the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to an end. But when you steer the ship of state, you've got to avoid sudden moves. And I think he has made adjustments to the Bush-Cheney policy. I don't think we do waterboarding anymore. There's no extraordinary rendition. And I think he has changed our image around the world, to some extent.
But this is a war -- if you use the Bush terminology, the war against terrorism -- that has been very costly to this country and continues to be costly; not only the two wars; the extraordinary medical costs associated with it and, as Pat says, the lack of a decade's worth of not paying attention to our internal problems.
You have American businesses scrambling to get B-1 visas to bring in people abroad from other countries to fill jobs that we should be educating people in our schools. And when the president goes before the Congress and has to beg for money to modernize schools and build science labs, that's just one small example of the cost we've paid with the obsessive focus on terrorism this last decade.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Rich Lowry.
RICH LOWRY: Well, John, I think, given the kind of attack we saw, the Jacksonian spirit still runs so high in this country that inevitably you're going to see a very strong national response. We're going to go out and hit them hard. That's exactly what we did.
And I think this whole trope we heard, mostly from the left, across these 10 years about how we've lost touch with our values and have betrayed our values was utterly false. There was no serious backlash against Muslims in this country. There was no violation of civil liberties, certainly not compared to the Lincoln, Wilson or FDR administrations. And what have we done abroad and overseas? Maybe naively, maybe somewhat arrogantly, but we've attempted to spread a decent system of government. So it was a strong response and it was fundamentally a good response that talks to -- speaks to our profound decency as a people.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Before we go overboard, let's listen to this. (Laughter.) John Miller, flip it.
MR. MILLER: (From videotape.
) The flip side of that, though, is when they're pumping out over the Internet magazines with bomb-making instructions and tactical advice for how to do a shooting like a Mumbai attack that are on the Internet and that are available to millions and millions of people, some of whom may be followers, that's pretty hard to keep a thumb on.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How worrisome is the Internet in the recruitment of new al-Qaida?
MORT ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think it's certainly one of the principal ways in which the recruitment is taking place. It's a very efficient way to do it. It's a very easy way to communicate amongst a group of people who are essentially terrorists.
And we look -- you asked are we going to be continuing the Bush policy. The United States is still going to be the number one target. That's not going to change for a long, long time. And we're just going to have to be in a position to defend ourselves.
And it's going to take all sorts of -- the one that I worry about the most, by the way, which is the one which we're most susceptible, is cyberterrorism. We are being attacked in the cyberspace domain, and it's hugely dangerous for this country. And sooner or later we're going to have to deal with that, and it's going to come from people like this.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's cyberterrorism?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, people are basically breaking into -- they can break up our electric power grids, our transportation networks. A whole range of American businesses are being basically hacked and a lot of our secrets stolen; all kinds of ways that we can be basically interrupted as a country in terms of its normal functioning. And sooner or later that's going to happen. It's almost inevitable.
MR. BUCHANAN: We've had a lot of luck too, John. You know, the Detroit underwear bomber, he was an incompetent; the Times Square bomber, he was incompetent. But there's no doubt Miller's correct. The outstanding work of the FBI and the security agencies, they've run down an awful lot of stuff. But, look, you're not going to be able to get them all. One day these people are going to be able to hit us again. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, Miller is quite congratulatory about the investigative functioning of the United States' various entities, and they clearly did a fantastic job. But he, in that same interview with Piers Morgan, he does say that there were some breaches. And one of the breaches was the underwear bomber, and I think there was that Detroit plane.
MR. BUCHANAN: Times Square. The underwear bomber was on the Times Square --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And then there was the Times Square, where they had the --
MR. BUCHANAN: The shoe bomber.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Shoe bomber.
MS. CLIFT: But it relies on vigilance of the American public.
MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.
MS. CLIFT: The American people get a lot of credit for disrupting some of these. And I think this weekend, I think people are going to have to be more vigilant. And John Brennan, the White House --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think --
MR. LOWRY: Well, there also was --
MS. CLIFT: Excuse me -- the White House counterterrorism adviser says he does not subscribe to the inevitability that there will be another attack.
MR. LOWRY: There also --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think Mayor Bloomberg is being a bit alarmist by stopping every car going into Manhattan and checking --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I don't think he's being alarmist at all. In fact, if you -- there has recently been a little bit of a discussion over the role of New York City and the counterterrorism portion of their activities. They stopped seven terrorist attacks in New York City alone. So this is not something that's going away.
MR. LOWRY: Let's not make a mistake here. The Bush administration adopted policies that made us safer that was smeared for years -- the Patriot Act, the terrorist surveillance, wiretapping. And then the Obama administration, in its wisdom, actually adopted them once it came into office. But these were policies that were very controversial at the time. MS. CLIFT: How about that invasion of Iraq?
MR. LOWRY: Well, that's --
MS. CLIFT: Do you count that as keeping us safer? It cost a little bit of money.
MR. LOWRY: I do.
MS. CLIFT: We got a lot of people angry, invading a Muslim country, where al-Qaida did not exist --
MR. LOWRY: Well, there was a huge battle.
MS. CLIFT: -- before we went in there.
MR. LOWRY: But when we went in there, there was a huge battle with al-Qaida that the left in this country wanted to lose.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, let's tighten it up.
MR. LOWRY: They wanted to give up Iraq, and we beat the hell out of them there.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tighten it up.
Exit question: Is al-Qaida a spent force, yes or no? Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: Al-Qaida is decapitated and it is badly damaged in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it is now decentralized, John, and you've got a lot of these separate groups in Yemen and in Somalia, frankly in Libya and all these places. So it's a dangerous thing. It's like one of these -- you know, one of these snakes that you've carved up into a couple of pieces and they become smaller pieces.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Spent force. But since the millennium, people are going to use terrorism and use violence to achieve their means. We're not going to be able to eradicate all of that.
MR. LOWRY: Much reduced, but still dangerous.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes. And there is just an explosion of radicalism in that part of the world that gave birth to al-Qaida. And this is not going to go away, and we are still going to be the principal target.
MR. BUCHANAN: Our interventions are a cause of that, quite frankly. Our intervention has exacerbated that problem and increased the hatred and revilement --
MS. CLIFT: Exactly. MR. BUCHANAN: -- of this country across that part of the world.
MS. CLIFT: Exactly. But it also gave birth to the Arab spring. There is an alternative narrative emerging in that part of the world.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that a good narrative?
MS. CLIFT: It's a good narrative; better than the former one.
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, we'll see about that. (Laughs.
MR. LOWRY: A narrative to which al-Qaida is totally irrelevant; totally irrelevant to the Arab spring.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And that's a good thing.
MR. LOWRY: Yes, absolutely.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: As a matter of fact, Arab spring fights in the face of al-Qaida.
MR. LOWRY: Absolutely.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So al-Qaida is unwelcome.
MR. LOWRY: Absolutely --
MR. BUCHANAN: Keep an eye on --
MR. LOWRY: -- as they are unwelcome in Iraq.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think al-Qaida is a spent force.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: And on Egypt.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And there's also the money factor. I don't think the money is there anymore because of Osama bin Laden. He brought a lot of money into it. Money and terrorism go hand in hand. People can be bought.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I agree.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Secondly, that means we're living in the era of lone-wolf terrorism. Lone-wolf terrorism is hard to get on a big scale. And it can usually be found out.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I would agree with that. But there's still -- MR. BUCHANAN: But it's very, very dangerous.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah.
MR. BUCHANAN: That's Timothy McVeigh. And that can be very dangerous, John.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, not if you're on the alert for it, the way we have a condition of ongoing alert. Should we be on a status right now, at this period, of wartime alert?
MR. BUCHANAN: Look at Major Hasan.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think we need wartime alert now?
MR. BUCHANAN: Look at Major Hasan, the single terrorist at Ford Hood -- 13 dead soldiers and about 29 wounded.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, but --
MR. BUCHANAN: One guy looking at that Internet.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We're speaking on a different scale with al- Qaida, obviously.
MS. CLIFT: President Obama, just on Friday afternoon, renewed some proclamation that the U.S. is on emergency alert because of terrorism. And I guess it --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who renewed it?
MS. CLIFT: The president.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah.
MS. CLIFT: Our president.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: They received serious intelligence --
MS. CLIFT: That's right.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- of a threat. That's why New York is going through what it's going through now. I mean, I just came --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A lone-wolf threat.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: We don't know what kind of a threat. We just don't know.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, it's a couple of people, I understand.
MS. CLIFT: It could be a whole pack of wolves. (Laughs.) MR. ZUCKERMAN: All I can tell you is that they --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not like the al-Qaida wolves.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: For the first time in the last decade, going on both the west and east side of Manhattan, every car had to go through a checkpoint.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Ponzi and Perry.
TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (2012 Republican presidential candidate): (From videotape.) It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you're paying into a program that's going to be there. Anybody that's for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it's not right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Social Security, the entitlement program that currently provides income to 35 million retirees, is a Ponzi scheme. Why? Because it misleads our young citizens. So declared Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry during a GOP presidential debate on Wednesday night.
A Ponzi scheme is named after the man who created the ripoff in the early 20th century, Charles Ponzi. A Ponzi scheme occurs when a sham investment pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, not from any actual profits earned by the business.
Perry believes that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme because the Social Security trust fund will be empty, gone, nada, by 2036, 25 years from now. So says the Obama administration, in fact, in the report supplied to it upon request from the White House by the Social Security Administration.
Perry added that, if elected president, he won't abolish Social Security. He will transform it. And that transformation will be gradual. It will not come immediately.
GOV. PERRY: (From videotape.) People who are on Social Security today, men and women who are receiving those benefits today are individuals of my age that are in line pretty quick to get them. They don't need to worry about anything.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Perry elaborated on Social Security as a Ponzi scheme in his book titled "Fed Up." Quote: "Ponzi schemes, like the one that sent Bernard Madoff to prison, are illegal in this country for a reason. they are fraudulent systems designed to take in a lot of money at the front and pay out none in the end. This unsustainable fiscal insanity is the true legacy of Social Security and the New Deal. Deceptive accounting has hoodwinked the American public into thinking that Social Security is a retirement system and financially sound, when clearly it is not," unquote. Question: Is it in the nature of a pay-as-you-go Social Security system that it does resemble a Ponzi scheme? Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes. Well, you know, there was a cartoon in The New Yorker and somebody was asking Bernie Madoff, what was your inspiration? He said, Social Security. (Laughter.
) No, that's true. I'm not making that up.
OK, is that, in fact, what you have in Social Security? As we all know, you have millions of people who are going to be beneficiaries over the next several decades, and the funding still isn't there. And nobody's been willing to address it, either by postponing the age at which you get it -- so in one sense it is clearly a false basis for the financial --
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- structure of it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Before we proceed with this, I have to emphasize that you must go to the exact quotes of Governor Perry. He's talking about the corrupting effect it has on the outlook of young people today --
MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- because they think there's going to be a Social Security fund. And he's quite careful to say that. If you listen to his bite, he's not speaking about Social Security; he's talking about the impact on young people and the falsification that's being presented --
MR. BUCHANAN: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- to them, because there's not going to be anything there.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, there is no --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So it is a Ponzi scheme as far as they are concerned.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, there isn't --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's limited to them.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: We all know that -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He says he's 61 years old. He's going to continue getting the benefits.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right. He'll be fine.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So stop the scare tactics.
MR. BUCHANAN: Hey, John, there is no trust fund. They say look at the trust fund out in Virginia. They borrowed it and spent it. There's an IOU out there. He's telling the honest, tough, hard truth. Is it smart politically? Romney is stomping all over him for having said it. But I think --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you notice that The New York Times does not treat this Ponzi matter, whereas on the air, immediately after the debate, this was seized as a weakness --
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, sure. Well --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and a terrible --
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, Romney --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- as a terrible mistake and a --
MR. LOWRY: The Ponzi --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- crucial mistake.
MR. LOWRY: The Ponzi language is not what's most dangerous to him. If he goes into a general election saying it's a failure and unconstitutional, that'll be very hard to defend. But no one believes in the financing of Social Security over the long term.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right.
MR. LOWRY: But it is a mistake for Romney to take this on now, to let --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, let's listen to Romney doing that.
MS. CLIFT: Can we have the pro-Ponzi side here for a minute?
MR. LOWRY: (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, you cannot until after this.
MS. CLIFT: All right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Romney on the ready.
Perry's leading rival, former Massachusetts Republican Governor Mitt Romney, was quick to pounce on Perry's words. FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY (2012 Republican presidential candidate): (From videotape.) Our nominee has to be someone who isn't committed to abolishing Social Security but is committed to saving Social Security.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Romney correctly representing --
MR. BUCHANAN: No, he's not going to abolish it. I mean, he really hammered it, and he hammered it very --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, he said, I'm going to transform it.
MR. BUCHANAN: He's going to transform it. But it is -- he's right; it is a fraud. But that's going to be a problem.
MS. CLIFT: Before we turn Governor Perry into a saint --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: -- on Social Security, in his book he says that it was a failure from the start. And he says he doesn't want to relitigate the `30s and the `40s. But clearly, would you trust somebody to reform the program who hates it and thinks it was a mistake? And that's where he's vulnerable. That's where he's vulnerable.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I've got a problem with --
MS. CLIFT: And that's where he's vulnerable.
MR. LOWRY: Well, if you want to reform it, you cannot communicate a general hostility to the program.
MS. CLIFT: Right.
MR. LOWRY: That's where he is on thin ice.
MS. CLIFT: That's correct.
MR. LOWRY: He will ultimately end up, though, with a program like a common-sense Republican program to grandfather in everyone over 55 --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MR. LOWRY: -- and then make changes for the younger generation. And that is --
MS. CLIFT: But a huge vulnerability for him.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Acceptable change for him. (Cross talk.)
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill reformed Social Security.
MS. CLIFT: It's not that hard.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's not --
MS. CLIFT: It's not that hard to reform Social Security.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: But nobody's been able to do it.
MR. LOWRY: When the Democrats start demagoguing you, it does make it a little more --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean it's mistake-ridden?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, John --
MS. CLIFT: No. You take the cap off so that people like you who make more money -- (laughter) -- continue to pay into Social Security.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I don't like this fixed retirement age. I think it's baloney. I think it's -- you know, it was brought in because Roosevelt wanted to free up jobs for younger people to take, so he induced retirement.
MS. CLIFT: But if you worked in a coal mine or an assembly line --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, it was a different time.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Physiologically, it's a falsification, and it becomes increasingly a falsification.
Issue Three: Stimulus II.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It's called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that's been supported by both Democrats and Republicans, including many who sit here tonight.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: President Obama this week turned up the heat on his political rivals at a joint session of the U.S. Senate and House. Mr. Obama announced his elaborate structured plan to create jobs.
Here are the main elements: One, infrastructure; invest billions of dollars to rebuild roads and bridges, and especially -- get this -- new public schools. This will mean jobs for workers in all kinds of construction.
Two, aid to states and local governments for hiring. Federal money will be given to hire more teachers and more emergency personnel; tax credits to hire new workers, to motivate business to bring on new employees, including returning veterans.
Four, more take-home pay. Employees will have less taken out of their paychecks by reducing outlays to Social Security and Medicare, so an employee who makes $50,000 a year will get an additional $1,000.
Five, unemployment compensation -- extend that to compensation for one more year; also in order to boost consumer spending.
The president hopes that more money will allow for more consumer spending, the big lever of the U.S. economy, which, by the way, went up in June and July. U.S. unemployment now stands at 9.1 percent.
For 26 of the last 28 months, the unemployment rate has been at 9 percent or above. Americans who have been out of work for six months or more now number 6 million. That number has dragged down the president's approval ratings. The percentage of Americans who approve of Mr. Obama's job performance as president of the nation now stands at 42 percent.
By the way, President Obama's American Jobs Act will cost $447 billion.
Question: What is the difference between stimulus one and stimulus two, just presented by the president, the American Jobs Act? Richard Lowry.
MR. LOWRY: Well, the ratio of tax cuts is a little higher. But in general, John, this is a dog's breakfast of warmed-over leftovers from the first stimulus. We're back to the idea that there are shovel-ready infrastructure projects out there --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.
MR. LOWRY: -- that are going to make a difference in jobs immediately. Even President Obama has poured scorn on that idea. The funniest thing in the speech to me was his line that he was going to tell us how he was going to pay for it a week from Monday, which is sort of a classic the-check-is-in-the-mail line. He's not really going to tell us how to pay for it. He's going to jump it over --
MR. BUCHANAN: I think he can get something through, John.
MS. CLIFT: Exactly.
MR. BUCHANAN: There is a lot of basically pork, and earmarks are another term for infrastructure. But I think that $4,000 tax credit for long-term unemployed, some of these other things -- if I were the Republicans, I would pick and choose in there -- I do agree it's a dog's breakfast -- pick and choose in there and give him something. Don't do what they did to Harry Truman, which was give him nothing --
MR. LOWRY: He'll get something out of the payroll --
MR. BUCHANAN: -- and enable --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: It's a dog's breakfast, but it's a liberal's feast, because he finally stood up with something that's clear and that he's going to fight for and that he's going to take to the country. And it's more than half tax cuts. The Republicans are going to be shamed into going along with it. So he's going to get something out of this.
MR. LOWRY: Just the tax cuts. Just the tax cuts.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I've got a question for you.
MS. CLIFT: Tax cuts for people --
MR. LOWRY: They all cut taxes.
MS. CLIFT: Not people at the upper end like you, Rich, but --
MR. LOWRY: Now I'm with John --
MS. CLIFT: -- for ordinary folks.
MR. LOWRY: -- among the rich? (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Your famed leader said, after stimulus one, at the time of stimulus one, this would keep unemployment under 8 percent.
MS. CLIFT: They've got lots of explanations.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now it's 9.1 percent.
MS. CLIFT: They based it on the economic forecast at the time. Notice they're not --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why should we believe the jobs act will lower the unemployment?
MS. CLIFT: They're not making --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's not going to work.
MS. CLIFT: They're not making --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's not going to work?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, it's not going to work.
MS. CLIFT: They're not making predictions, but --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's not going to work?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Look, if you think it's going to work --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let her finish.
MS. CLIFT: But the centerpiece is more money for working people and a tax cut for businesses, small businesses.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why --
MS. CLIFT: That is going to have an impact on job creation.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've got five seconds, Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: The reason is because that's going to affect compensation by about 2 or 3 percent. Companies are not going to hire people because of compensation 2 or 3 percent less, and people aren't going to spend the extra money because they're so worried about the job, because the real unemployment rate is 19 percent, not 9 percent. And everybody knows that's who's out there looking for a job. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, you've had the last word on this issue.
Forced prediction: Who will be the next Republican to drop out? Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: Weak vote for Huntsman.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Rick Santorum.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Santorum.
MR. LOWRY: Huntsman, I hope.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Michele --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You hope what?
MR. LOWRY: Huntsman.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Huntsman?
MR. LOWRY: Huntsman.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Michele Bachmann.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Probably Santorum.