The McLaughlin Group Host: John McLaughlin Panel: Patrick Buchanan, MSNBC; Eleanor Clift, Newsweek; Liz Marlantes, DCDecoder.com; Mortimer Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report Taped: Friday, September 30, 2011 Broadcast: Weekend of October 1-2, 2011
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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Awlaki Whacked.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) The death of Awlaki is a major blow to al-Qaida's most active operational affiliate. He took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Anwar al-Awlaki is the man widely regarded as the most dangerous terrorist in the al-Qaida network. Awlaki was killed on Friday by a U.S. Predator drone. Awlaki was born in New Mexico, so he was automatically a citizen of the United States. He was also a leading al-Qaida cleric who masterminded a range of terrorist acts. Question: How big a blow is Awlaki's demise to al-Qaida? Pat.
PATRICK BUCHANAN: I think it's very big, John. He is believed to be the inspiration or the source of the Fort Hood killer, who killed 13 American soldiers and wounded 29 down in Fort Hood in the largest massacre on an American military base. He is -- I don't know that he's the operative chief of al-Qaida, but he is the principal public voice, almost, in that part of the world, and certainly in Yemen. And so that is a big victory for the United States.
But I'll tell you this, John. The important thing is that the United States has indicated -- ever since Osama bin Laden was taken down -- that they can run down and find and shoot and kill, using drones or air strikes, an incredible number of al-Qaida leaders. It is astonishing. I think they must have gotten a huge volume of intel from Osama's computers or somewhere else, because they've been killing them left and right. And the al-Qaida reports inside al-Qaida are saying all our guys are being killed.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that this launders the appearance of the drone killing --
MR. BUCHANAN: I don't know --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- killing people?
MR. BUCHANAN: I don't know exactly if a drone did it. You hear an American fighter plane, as of when we're taping here; excuse me. But I think the United States has the capacity, basically, to run down where they are, to find them, and then to target and kill them with extraordinary facility, far more than we could do under George W. Bush.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The drone has a bad history of killing innocent people.
MR. BUCHANAN: The drone has collateral damage; any bomb that is killing -- going to kill innocent women and children.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, dear me. Is that what we're reducing it to, collateral damage? Eleanor.
ELEANOR CLIFT: Well, the drone killed a very guilty person this time. It's not as symbolic as bin Laden. Most people have not heard of this gentleman. But because he's an American citizen -- he speaks English, he's a very charismatic figure, he has a foot in both cultures -- he's been recruiting American citizens to become terrorists. And he exchanged emails with the Fort Hood terrorist -- shooter. He helped coach the underwear bomber and the New York Times bomber. He's a terrorist. So -- and I think what is surprising, I think, to some people is how far Obama has gone in the use of these drones, much further than President Bush. And I think the technology, along with the willingness of this president to pursue these people, has produced a winning record of terrorist kills, if you will. There'll be some push back from civil libertarians, and I'm glad they're speaking up. But I think this is a justifiable killing.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's see if we can bring this to light. President Reagan in 1981 issued Executive Order 12333 -- Buchanan was there working for him -- otherwise known as the assassination ban. Here is the language of the law of the land: "No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States government shall engage in or conspire to engage in assassination. No agency of the intelligence community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this order," unquote.
Question: Was it legal -- I ask you, Liz -- for President Obama to order the assassination of an American citizen?
LIZ MARLANTES: I think the White House would tell you that they derive their legal authority for any operation like this from what Congress passed in the wake of 9/11, basically authorizing the United States to defend itself against the al-Qaida network. And so they think they have plenty of legal cover for this type of operation. And I think if you look at where the American public stands at large, I don't think there's going to be a widespread sense of outrage for something like this.
I think the more interesting thing to raise, however, to some extent, is when you look at the success that this White House has had in terms of combating al-Qaida and on, you know, foreign policy in general, why isn't the president getting more credit for this?
And you hear some Democrats actually, in the wake of what happened today, saying, you know, maybe the White House needs to start doing a little more chest thumping in the manner of George W. Bush, perhaps, or at least drawing a little more attention to the fact that they've actually had a run of real success on the foreign policy front.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.
MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN: Well, I mean, whatever else you want to say about it, there certainly is a moral justification for going after somebody like this. And we are involved in a totally different kind of warfare than we've ever experienced before. We're involved with a group of terrorists who use any means to disrupt whatever they can in the United States.
So I have no qualms about the fact that we did it. And I think it's wonderful that we are taking out some of their leadership, and I hope that this keeps them suppressed and on the run instead of attacking us. I think it's absolutely justified. MR. BUCHANAN: I wish, John --
MS. CLIFT: And I don't think chest thumping on this would be necessarily appropriate. I think the president does have a good record on national security, and that kind of flips the polls, because normally that's a weakness for Democrats.
But given the job situation, that's the number one issue --
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MS. CLIFT: -- on everybody's mind.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- I do wish --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that Awlaki was an American citizen.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah.
MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah. John, I do wish --
MS. CLIFT: Yes, he was.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He is an American -- well, he was.
MS. CLIFT: And he was inciting terror against American citizens.
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, he still is. John, but here's the thing. I do wish --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the president doesn't say this is a war on terror.
MR. BUCHANAN: Yes, he does.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He doesn't put it under that category.
MR. BUCHANAN: Yes, he does.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, he does not.
MS. CLIFT: No, he says it's a war against al-Qaida.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He avoids that.
MR. BUCHANAN: War on al-Qaida -- but I do wish the United States had formally declared war on the al-Qaida network and people who are basically engaged in these activities, because this is an enemy at a time of war. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is a little long from Ron Paul, but I want to read it. "I don't think that's a good way to deal with our problem," namely this killing. We won't call it an assassination because there's a law against that. Al-Qaida -- there's a specific law, as we know. "Al-Awlaki was born here. He's an American citizen. He was never tried or charged for any crimes. No one knows if he killed anybody. We know he might have been associated with the underwear bomber. But if the American people accept this blindly and casually, that we now have an accepted practice of a president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it's sad." What about that?
MS. CLIFT: Well, I don't think this was done casually. And I do expect there will be some push-back. And I'm glad Ron Paul and others are raising the questions, because I don't think you want to do it casually. But this is -- this is somebody who we are all better off without him continuing in this universe.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think the CIA was in there, helping this along?
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, American --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Of course they were.
MR. BUCHANAN: Of course they were -- American intelligence. I don't know, as of right now. My guess is, John, is the Americans carried this thing out. I don't know who else can handle something like this. But again, I agree with Ron Paul raising these issues, but I also agree that the president of the United States. This guy is an enemy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- in a time of war, and it's known, and they've got the evidence, and they took him out.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who can tell me anything about Yemen --
MS. CLIFT: Well --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and their involvement or noninvolvement?
MS. CLIFT: We have not declared war on Yemen. That's for sure. But we know that he moved the al-Qaida network to Yemen. He was the operational head. And that is their major base. And they are the most dangerous network that we face today of al-Qaida. They've basically moved from Afghanistan --
MR. BUCHANAN: Al-Qaida --
MS. CLIFT: -- to Yemen. So this is a war without borders. It's a global war. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Has Awlaki's death removed the number-one terrorist threat to the United States? Pat Buchanan.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, I still think it's probably -- Zawahiri is probably running the top thing. But there's no doubt this guy is a major voice and he's a local operative.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How many months will last before al-Zawahiri --
MR. BUCHANAN: I don't think --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- is given the same treatment?
MR. BUCHANAN: The way we're going, I think the president could very well or SEAL Team 6 or somebody is going to get him. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's hot, right? He's hot.
MR. BUCHANAN: If I were him, I'd stay on the move. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah. If I were him, I'd be nervous too. This is an important victory in the war against al-Qaida.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Liz.
MS. MARLANTES: Well, and as I would say, I think it probably would help the president, particularly in terms of countering this image of weakness that had been developing in recent months and that has been very unhelpful to Obama. And so I think, to the extent that he can get a bump out of this politically, that would be good. But as Eleanor said earlier, it's the economy, stupid.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you think it's a bigger bump than what Liz is describing?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I don't. I think this country is overwhelmed by the problems of the economy and joblessness and a sense that the economy is really still sliding. That's by far and away the number- one issue seizing the American public, and rightly, in my judgment.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He needs a war, and he's got a war going, the war on terror.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: This is not going to --
MS. CLIFT: No --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: This is not going to --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This can win him re-election. MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't know about that.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is a big and --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: There are 25 million people --
MR. BUCHANAN: It'll be forgotten in a week.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- who are either unemployed or underemployed.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't know about that.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Twenty-five million people --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Within three months, he's going to --
MS. MARLANTES: Bin Laden's death barely gave him a bump.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- he's going to pick off --
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, John, people --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- the final big three of al-Qaida. Don't you understand?
MR. BUCHANAN: But, look, John --
MS. MARLANTES: Yeah, but look what happened after they killed Osama bin Laden.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It won't work.
MR. BUCHANAN: Osama bin Laden is gone.
MS. MARLANTES: He got a tiny little bump in the polls for a couple of --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.
MS. MARLANTES: -- days. MR. ZUCKERMAN: When you have 46 million people in this country living in poverty, 25 million people underemployed or unemployed, that is going to be the overwhelming issue. And we're going to be adding to those numbers, alas, in the next year. You cannot -- unless you have credibility on that issue, he's going to have a great deal of difficulty politically.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The fact that he's eliminated -- if not eliminated, that he's greatly reduced the danger of the war on terror is going to be a big credit when people consider his re-election. And it's quite remarkable that over this period, including that of Bush and Cheney, and including Clinton even further back, that this country has been spared this.
MS. CLIFT: It removes what would otherwise be an impediment to his re-election. Republicans certainly can't go after him as being soft on terrorism.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Numbers Don't Lie, Right?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) If all of you are willing to press on with me, I promise you, I promise you we will remind the world why America is the greatest nation on earth.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's official. President Obama is in full campaign mode. The U.S. presidential election is now 13 months away. He will need every day of those 13 months to dig himself out of a deep political ditch, many believe. Barely one-tenth of the U.S. population believes the country is on the right track -- 11 percent. That's the lowest right-track figure for a president in his first term since Jimmy Carter, who lost his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Mr. Obama's approval rating was as low as 38 percent. With only 13 months until the election, there may not be enough time to turn the tide. That could mean that the Democrats lose not only the White House, but also their six-seat majority in the U.S. Senate, with Republicans already in control of the House of Representatives. That ABB -- (inaudible) -- anybody but Barack -- would mean a complete Democratic shutout from power.
Question: In his attempt to turn around his political ratings, is time on the side of President Obama? Liz Marlantes.
MS. MARLANTES: Probably not. I think if you talk to the White House these days, they are pretty resigned to the fact that the economy is probably not going to do them any favors over the next 13 months. And so what that means is that they're not going to be able to run a Ronald Reagan-style, things are getting better, look how much progress we've made, type campaign. What that leaves them with, probably, is more of what they like to call a contrast campaign, which really means they're going to be running against whoever the Republican nominee is. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat was a speechwriter. Did you design that city on a hill? Do you remember that?
MR. BUCHANAN: No. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Shining city on a hill --
MR. BUCHANAN: They had that long before I arrived. He had that in 1964, back then. But Liz is right here. John, the numbers are so bad for the president. What he's got to do and what they're going to do is run and say, look, we inherited a bad situation. It's not as good. But for heaven's sakes, don't go back to where we were. The tea party Republicans represent a threat, a menace to this country. They're crazy.
And they're going to try to frighten the daylights out of the American people by hopefully having some Republican candidate they can demonize.
MS. CLIFT: Well, right now Obama's worst rival is himself, the Obama of 2008. And he's being compared to all the promise and the energy and the hope that ushered him into office. Once a real candidate emerges on the other side, then there will be some comparison. And the president is out there now campaigning around the country, trying to shame the Congress or force the Congress, compel the Congress into acting on his jobs bill. And if they don't, then the hope is that people will see where the blame lies, at least in part, for the failure of the economy to recover.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think the American people have already forgotten what happened about a year ago, that the House of Representatives was turned upside down and Republicans now run it, and also the majority Democratic vote in the Senate was lost? They have the Senate, but they don't have the majority vote.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I don't think --
MS. CLIFT: They'll have the majority, not a super majority.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't think this is the way the American public thinks about what's going on in current events, what happened in an election two years ago or even four years ago. They look to the leader of the country, and it is the president always, to solve the problems of the country.
We have not only not solved the problem, which is the major problem facing this country. It's gotten a lot worse. When you have 46 million people in poverty by government standards and 25 million people who are not working or underworking, and no permanent jobs being created, the country is going to be up in arms over this thing. And somehow or other, they're going to look for somebody to have -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So we're going to have a repeat of what happened last year?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I believe we will, because I believe this economy --
MR. BUCHANAN: I think it will.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Huh?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- is going to continue to be bad.
MR. BUCHANAN: The Republican slogan is he made it worse.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue --
MS. CLIFT: The Republicans have done everything --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely. Absolutely. And they will.
MS. CLIFT: -- they can to bring about a dysfunctional political system, and then they're pointing at Barack Obama and saying, see, he can't fix it.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, yeah, that's one interpretation.
MS. CLIFT: It's a very cynical strategy.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's a very --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So slam the Republicans --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes.
MS. CLIFT: Yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Carrying the water, right?
MS. MARLANTES: And the public is --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: Don't Fence Me In.
TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R), (Candidate for President): (From videotape.) The idea that you're going to build a wall from Brownsville to El Paso and go left for another 800 miles to Tijuana is just not reality.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Texas Republican Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is in the crosshairs of his own party. Governor Perry has been slammed by fellow presidential Republican contenders and the GOP rank and file, who accuse him of being too liberal in his immigration ideas. They particularly cite Perry's opposition to building a border fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, which spans, by the way, 2,000 miles -- 2,000 miles of projected fence. Perry says the answer to border security is boots on the ground and assets in the air.
GOV. PERRY: (From videotape.) There's not anybody on this stage that's had to deal with the issue of border security more than I have, with 1,200 miles of Texas and Mexico. And our federal government has been an abject failure at securing our border. (Applause.) We've had to spend some $400 million of Texas taxpayer dollars to send Texas Ranger recon teams down there.
Strategic fencing in the metropolitan areas absolutely has a role to play. You've got to have 4,500 Border Patrol agents trained up, 1,500 National Guard troops. You've got to have the aviation assets in the air, putting real-time information down to the law enforcement.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But that's not enough for fellow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who delivered this slam at Perry.
FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY (R), (Candidate for President): (From videotape.) I think if you're opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn't mean that you don't have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Did Perry's position on immigration cost him the top slot in Florida's straw poll, which occurred this past week?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I'm sure it affected him. But I have to say, since I've flown along that fence and I've watched -- I flew there through an entire night, and you see people climbing the fence. It's almost impossible to stop. Many of them get captured. They get bused back to Mexico, and then they come the next day. Even the fence won't work.
So to put a fence is ridiculous. In that sense, he's right. But there's no doubt but there's a better way, once again, of how he presents those issues. And that's -- it shows what, in a sense, his limited political skills are nationally.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's make another clarification too. The fence can run all the way over to Tijuana --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- which means below Nevada and really effectively across the width of California.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's not going to work. I don't care how long the fence is.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's one mileage computation. Another mileage issue -- stop under Texas and you go all the way out to the Gulf. Now, which -- what is the 2,000? MR. BUCHANAN: John, the fence --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And how much is the --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's about --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- mileage of the big fence?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think --
MR. BUCHANAN: John, it's 2,000 miles from -- all the way from Brownsville to San Diego. Texas has a little more than half.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Brownsville is where Texas empties out from Mexico.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's 1,200 miles in Texas.
MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, Matamoros is --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Brownsville over to where? Tijuana?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, all the way to San Diego. Tijuana belongs --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: San Diego. OK, Tijuana is south of --
MR. BUCHANAN: -- to them. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I know. I know. I've been through there several times.
MR. BUCHANAN: Right. I've been down there many, many times, John, on that thing. It can be done --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you had --
MR. BUCHANAN: Sure. I went down there in 1992 and `96, where they had this corrugated stuff that was put up in San Diego, 11 miles. They blocked everybody from coming in.
MS. CLIFT: And Pat --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You spent time -- you spent time at Tijuana? Did you go across the border?
MR. BUCHANAN: In `68, when I was with Nixon in California, yeah. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What kind of a good time did you have there?
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, talk to Dick Allen, my good friend. (Laughs.) MS. CLIFT: Pat went down there as a presidential candidate saying, you know, push back the Mexicans coming across the border. Governor Perry is right on this issue.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right.
MS. CLIFT: And if he gets the nomination, his position will be much better in a general election.
MR. BUCHANAN: He won't get the nomination.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've seen the light.
MS. CLIFT: That's right. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Is Rick Perry the GOP's best hope of taking the Latino vote from the president? Yes or no -- one word.
MR. BUCHANAN: No. Listen, Perry has lost the nomination because of this.
MS. CLIFT: Well, he may lose the nomination --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.
MS. CLIFT: -- but if he gets into the race, he'll get some Hispanic votes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I would think his immigration position would appeal to the Hispanics.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely, it will.
MS. CLIFT: Not as good as President Obama's.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Absolutely it will.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely it will. It will appeal to the Hispanic community.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So this has solidified his positive vote in the Hispanic community.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Hispanic vote.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I agree with Mort, and I agree with that proposition. Issue Four: Economics of Immigration.
Are they good enough? Do good economics outweigh immigration's down sides? The answer: Yes.
Item: Innovation. For every 1 percent increase in college- educated immigrants, there is an increase in patents for new products of 15 percent.
Item: Entrepreneurship. Over the past 16 years, immigrants have co-founded more than half of all computer tech firms in Silicon Valley.
Item: Growth. Immigrants earn more than half of all engineering doctorates. They dominate the engineering field, which is responsible for more than 50 percent of the U.S. economic growth.
Question: What are the counter-arguments to claims that immigration is a great positive for the economy? Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I can't think of one, frankly, because these are the people, in the industries where we have a chance to grow the economy, which is not the industrial economy any longer. It is in the high-tech world; it is in the engineering world; it's in the Web-based businesses. These are the people whom we have to hold in this country. They're critical to what we're doing.
We have a shortage of these people. It is absolutely essential that we find a way to keep more of them. We had 195,000 H1B visas in the year 2000. It's down to 65,000 now. That is ridiculous. These are people who want to stay here. These are people we should --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's an H1B?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's visas given to -- 50 percent, by the way, of the hard sciences in the graduate degrees are foreign students. They can get a degree based on that qualification. We had, as I say, 195,000 in the year 2000. We've reduced it to 65,000. It's preposterous, absolutely preposterous.
MR. BUCHANAN: Do you want --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Treasury Department -- let me get this out, Pat. Individuals who are not authorized to live in the United States paid how much in refundable credits? Illegal aliens legally collect more in the credits annually than is paid by illegals in total income tax receipts. What's the amount of money that the Treasury says was collected?
MR. BUCHANAN: I don't even understand what you read. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.) How much the immigrants are paying to the Treasury, which I see is $4.2 billion in refundable credits -- MR. BUCHANAN: John, look, we've got between 9 (million) or 11 (million) and 20 million illegal aliens in this country. The overwhelming majority of them pay no income taxes. They consume benefits from the Great Society. As for the engineers and the others, yeah, there's no doubt there's some very able and good people coming to this country. Immigrants can be wonderful. We've got millions of Americans who have studied science and engineering who are out of work. They are fellow Americans.
MS. CLIFT: Right.
MR. BUCHANAN: And the jobs ought to go to them first. I think you ought to cap immigration until unemployment falls to 6 percent.
MS. CLIFT: Well, I don't think they're crowding out jobs that Americans want. And I think we should give them credit for doing a lot of jobs at the low end of the rungs of the income ladder.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Liz in here.
MS. MARLANTES: Well, I was just going to say that earlier, you know, when we were talking about Perry's immigration problem, we didn't raise the real problem that he's having, which has to do with his decision to allow children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition in Texas. And that has been a huge problem for him already. This week he's getting protests at his campaign events, because it's a position that's just anathema to many in the conservative party.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but there are 13 other states that have that position. It may be anathema to a small sliver of the --
MR. BUCHANAN: What are you talking about?
MS. CLIFT: -- Republican Party --
MR. BUCHANAN: Hillary backed off the position --
MS. CLIFT: The DREAM Act --
MR. BUCHANAN: -- of driver's license --
MS. CLIFT: The DREAM Act, which is where the children, people who are brought here as children --
MR. BUCHANAN: I know what it is.
MS. CLIFT: OK.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me get this in, please.
MS. CLIFT: It's not only Texas. It's 13 other states. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Kindly relinquish -- OK, the New Colossus: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Who is that quotation from?
MR. BUCHANAN: It's Emma Lazarus, and she wrote a poem, which was put into the Statue of Liberty.
However, a number of years later -- she wrote that around 1883, I think, and I think it was put in after 1900. But the Statue of Liberty was initially, John -- it wasn't about immigration. It was from France to the United States on our 100th anniversary. It was about liberty.
MS. CLIFT: Well, my parents came through Ellis Island, and I think this is a country of immigrants. And I think we should prize the immigrant -- the energy that they bring to the system. It's still fair enough to want to control our borders, but we --
MR. BUCHANAN: Only if they come legally.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but we have a lot of people here illegally who've been working hard, and we can't just expel them.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think about Emma Lazarus and her statement, "Give me your tired, your poor," your weary?
MS. MARLANTES: It's one that speaks to everybody. And what I was going to say before about Perry's position is I think it would help him, probably, in the general election if he can get there. But right now, in the conservative wing of the Republican Party, it's a position that is just really, really tough, and it is hurting him.
MR. BUCHANAN: It's a killer.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: The metastasizing Solyndra scandal, John, I think, is going to grow and it's going to take down the energy secretary of President Obama.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's his name?
MR. BUCHANAN: Mr. Chu.
MS. CLIFT: Well, Steven Chu has said it's his fault and he's taken the blame. So I guess if you follow up, he might resign.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's your prediction? MS. CLIFT: Or would you rather he also be burned at the stake?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly, Eleanor -- prediction.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, no --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's your prediction?
MS. CLIFT: The prediction is that Obama's Justice Department took the -- asked for a health care ruling from the Supreme Court because they're nervous that they're not going to be in office --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's trying to distract you.
MS. CLIFT: -- a year and a half from now. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know he's trying to distract you. He wants you to pull your prediction.
MS. CLIFT: I know.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's your prediction? Quickly.
MS. MARLANTES: That after his very public flirtation this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decides that, alas, he is not going to enter the race --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: The poverty problem in the United States is going to result in a major drop in Obama's support in the Hispanic community, by at least 30 points.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Christie will not run.