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Welcome to another edition of Special Report on line I'm Bret -- if you haven't been here before welcome this is a place to interact -- Meet with the panel to your questions and comments are welcome.
-- and don't worry you don't see right away producers are putting -- as fast as they can there's thousands coming in.
All the time.
-- couple war.
Quick ones right here.
Let's see I heard it.
Richard says he's not a fan of Harry Reid.
-- duke of Wellington says Brett wants some free Alaska airline tickets no that's just because.
We had said that all airlines.
The difference between the -- they were saving -- because the FAA's furloughed I wanted to make sure that we were fair to the airlines that are actually giving the savings back to people.
I have a good one here but it just one way something about I want pomegranate.
Steve Hayes AB -- Charles Krauthammer let's start with the 2012 election will go from there.
She really common -- this.
We are one week in one night from the next debate on Fox News Channel GOP debate in Ames Iowa it's two nights ahead.
Of the Ames straw poll.
And it's a big deal.
Did you get a sense it'd be of how things stand in Iowa right now and obviously the -- show Michelle Bachmann.
Leading but there seems to be some some movement in all of this.
Pawlenty good Tim Pawlenty former governor of Minnesota and you know her with Minnesotan rival.
In the Ames straw poll the person who you know really was hoping He would win the pole until she got into the race.
Seems to -- have been what you know living up to his promise to work this really hard.
And so it becomes a question of how much it.
The kind of notoriety that she as she's from Waterloo Iowa she makes the biggest flash in the polls is all this energy behind her candidacy.
Whether -- that are not that ends up.
-- more important.
It's an organization -- you know this is the Tim Pawlenty strength is that he's worked.
Count after count me on the ground in Iowa now for years setting this up for himself and so.
If He can -- -- come from behind strong second place or even topple her out of first place.
That's going to be a big deal she is sensing some serious competition for him because you started to it kind of answer his attacks and you see more you know -- of a competition of a volley back and forth where she was trying to sort of ignore him at first she's getting some bad press -- She's had some problems in some stumbles I think it's a real race for the straw poll.
I don't mean that it is for January yet but if Michelle Bachmann doesn't -- expectations on August searching for the straw poll I think it's going to be a problem for her I think if Tim Pawlenty.
Maximizes the fox debate on the eleventh.
And has 48 hours.
To really knock -- and Romney and get his supporters that get them fired up I think it could be I think you could be telling that debate is his last chance frat.
If He pulls -- -- that night.
That's going to be a big problem for Tim Pawlenty Robert conclude she says AB Stoddard is the AB stand for always brilliant and we're always beautiful.
-- -- Brett thanks -- I don't work for Alaska Airlines okay.
Here let me let's just put you on the -- but they can't get -- oh yeah.
-- -- I think I mean he's right activate this I think the debate on Thursday night actually is a make or break for Tim Pawlenty it's true that He -- -- organization it's -- that he's been -- for as long.
Has anybody and it's true that I think He has.
Among sort of grassroots islands and and the kind of people have been organizing He has some very talented people some a list people.
Out there to help him organize for the straw poll.
But if He doesn't do well if He doesn't come out.
Attacking if He doesn't make good arguments I think it's going to be a struggle because then you'll have two days before the straw poll.
Where everybody saying that Tim -- was a big disappointment in the debate.
And it's those 48 hours that I think will will make a big difference.
It's very interesting to watch him and and how he's talked about Michelle -- -- Michelle Bachmann because when I was in our analysis.
A couple months ago doing a story on him.
It was clear then that his team was concerned about her this is before she was an actual candidate.
It's clear that his team was as concerned about her or maybe more immediately concerned about her than they were about Mitt Romney was the -- -- had all the money.
I'm so I think they -- anticipated that she would be mounting a challenge.
From the right and was going to be possibly you know that the non Romney Republican in the race.
But I think it was that analysis and their eagerness to focus on her that kept him from targeting Mitt Romney with his attacks and had the effect of making him look weak like He was unwilling to it to go on the attack.
And I think had He gone after Romney in that way He might have done what He didn't otherwise do which was gain some support from.
Tea Party Republicans -- were eager to see Mitt Romney challenged we -- -- in California's is Ron Paul will win the straw poll.
Listen you can not count out Ron Paul in the strong straw -- names.
But it's all about in Ames this logistical deal where they have to buy the tickets -- You know it does take a lot of logistics Ron Paul has had a great.
But -- the into.
-- structures there's another key.
Paul is such a cult figure and I don't -- -- negative way He has a very strong following people like his libertarian is -- He sort of the father of it.
He's been the one who's held that banner even when it was unpopular in -- cool now it's cool.
That I think He can do very well even without a lot of infrastructure that doesn't apply to a Pawlenty.
Or to a Bachmann and I think the my colleagues are right here that.
This is a very uninteresting as an intra mural.
Match between Bachmann and -- -- and ironically I think.
-- had such a boost from the first debate she might have peaked -- I mean I'm not sure that.
-- will turn out that way but the danger is now that expectations for her so I she's been on the cover of news magazines.
That if she stumbles a bit in the debate and order in the straw poll.
This will really devastated and I think ironically for a Pawlenty who you would have said six months ago you know didn't it wasn't going to be a huge -- -- for him.
-- -- I think it would downs -- really to his benefit can I just had one point on Romney I'll say yes how lucky is this guy.
All of this is going on instead everybody attacking him as the front runner -- usually is.
They're -- -- and he's skating he's just skating -- -- -- us from one debate to another I think he's very very lucky by the structure and others.
-- well it's starting the because there's number of candidates have weighed in about his dealings during the debt ceiling increase in where He was on that.
And -- you would think a B by the time we get to next Thursday night.
They're probably will be some.
Some punches thrown their after the front I think actually I just here's Charles that is going to be a big night for -- -- Romney He is and and the hot seat.
Huntsman -- Johnston will join.
The debate stage for the first time He has out for Romney.
Pawlenty is gonna have to probably.
Go after Michelle -- of -- -- he's gonna have to go after Romney because that's what it that's -- -- -- to show.
The money people that are still on the fence and are still talking -- but not giving him that He is going to be Nancy Romney good.
Can't -- Bachmann and so it's a big night -- -- -- he's gonna get criticized by the others for a cup weighing in on the debt deal the eleventh hour from.
You know campaigning in the shadows for you know hot dodging the big issues.
And He is gonna have to answer to that and I think he's gonna have to answer in health care as well I think people are not gonna pull their punches on health care.
Negron is gonna have a big night also next next and it's it's very important -- for Michelle Bachmann and Romney.
To hold their momentum Romney is a shaky front runner Michelle Bachmann has sort of that the Iowa.
Before this potential Rick Perry search which will come after Labor Day.
Yeah Marv says somebody -- flannel panel please comment on the Kerry candidacy.
Governor Perry holds invent a prayer event -- Texas and we don't know how many people are gonna show up for that but we do expect that He is going to get into this race although nothing's official yes.
Well there weren't many governors who responded I mean originally I think the -- have a lot of governors come down and join -- and and governors have send no one after another.
And Sam Brownback who originally governor of Kansas who originally was going to attend is now sort of on the fence about whether even he's going to attempt.
I think He may have been the only one who was still going to go so I think you know that event if it was meant to be a big sort of kick off even -- wasn't.
Exactly campaign event.
Hasn't worked in that fashion.
But I think there's a lot of enthusiasm out -- for a -- generally speaking.
People think he's -- he's new he's fresh he's got certainly got a record in Texas that He can run on or at least an economy.
That thrived under his stewardship so I think that there are people who are looking at -- that that Rick Perry and things.
This guy could be the entire on the -- -- Romney.
Tim and real -- says how popular is Perry in Texas the liberal press says he's not very.
There's such there is some truth that I mean one and there's been the centrist think an amendment from the some down my show before.
There was a poll that was done by public policy polling which -- democratic polling firm but pulled within states and asked.
Voters in the states Republicans and Democrats are in trade for a party polling so republic asked Republicans about Republican governors Democrats but.
What how popular how much do you like your governor.
And among Republicans in Texas Rick Perry only had a favorable rating of 68%.
On this poll was conducted earlier in the winter.
But it put him sort of -- a low level of governors the thirty governors that that we're in this survey when people were asked in the same party do you like your governor.
Perry was pretty low relative to some -- so polarizing governors did did well the highest -- -- with Scott Walker and Wisconsin.
If Rick Perry enters the race will He be the automatic front runner right now 51%.
Say yes 49% say no.
Obviously Romney you will be up there as well.
Charles -- going that was that He was trying to gather this is governor Perry was trying to -- time to get all the money in place.
But He also may have been studying up for a campaign.
He reportedly flew in defense officials was getting briefed all all different kinds of on on federal issues.
And there is -- certain advantage to coming in late because.
The -- -- grow you -- an expose you are out there every day you aren't in this debate I mean the debate could be.
He'll be in a later debate but right now look everybody's talking about -- -- isn't -- -- candidate.
And the assumption is He comes in as a heavyweight He comes and probably is one of the three.
Finalists the -- there's an expectations.
Game right in there as well to do well really well very early.
When He weighs in late because if He comes in September.
Everybody will be examined in real closely but I think that there's another there's other dynamics you've got the the under card of Pawlenty and Bachmann and I think also.
I mean Huntsman has been way out there but he's distinguish themselves in one way he's the only candidate I do believe.
Who endorsed the -- deal I mean he's staking out his -- very.
Clearly -- that gain you any traction with the Iowa Republican.
Constituency I don't know but in a debate.
It's a defensible position after all the entire leadership.
Of the Republicans in the congress supported it as you pointed out last night the majority of Tea Party.
House members supported the final deal I think He has a chance to distinguish himself -- saying the others have been irresponsible and saying they -- -- -- There aren't any obligation posted however.
But across the board but when I'm saying is he's not gonna help them and -- and I'm sitting in the right date which is a national government.
He can distinguish himself.
I I would agree that Jon Huntsman has polling you know down in -- territory He nationally.
He had that wonderful sometime.
Sometimes Pawlenty -- and -- -- mean to -- hopefully -- confidence and now we're.
But its optical.
Yeah and and you yeah.
Italy and in the hands John Huntsman not and it -- anyway.
First -- only fragmented in the best way okay.
I -- to come to his defense is quickly to say that Jon Huntsman was one of the first out to support the Ryan budget for spring what He drew He prides himself on not hiding and that's how he's going to.
I think He will not rise up in the polls and -- -- tenor of the Republican nominating process.
But He is extremely well spoken here's an -- hackable resume of experience in -- -- -- -- -- -- all that's will serve a huge role in these debates you'll be the great rock floor.
And just like Ron Paul can be in -- centric way.
He will become -- great rough where He will stand America ambassadorial as He is and drive these guys bananas He knows he's not gonna win.
But He will be.
He will be the one who always comes out with -- -- -- always is ready to endorse or oppose you know what does it take a stand.
Or oppose a position and say why He will drive these guys bananas I think that.
That they -- The debates to calm will -- -- will will revolve around sort of how the big contenders can take the punches.
And I think that He will pay play a pivotal -- is wanna on the -- -- -- Ron Paul -- for the for that viewers that I don't know if they saw -- recently that I thought it was terrific that Ron -- second.
If He does badly in the Ames straw poll because they always wins these straw polls in other states -- -- say we knew we do badly but -- He wins it they'll say.
It was never important -- Britain and other business aviation -- is an important.
Yes Ron Paul why.
We apparently is more organized this time -- had been in the -- and he's actually put some money and some effort into this in a way that I think.
You could see the enthusiasm for him translate -- actual.
Support at this trouble at his -- senator Rand Paul was out.
Will be out all this week I think campaigning in Iowa for him.
Okay let's turn now to some of the vulnerabilities from President Obama in this election we talked about the economic side by the way the president just.
Landed in Chicago and He was greeted by one person.
Who do you think that walks around the Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel his former White House chief of staff.
And so that birthday celebration begins.
Charles we talked about the economic vulnerabilities and how this race could be all about the economy put on foreign policy.
There are many holes in the Obama foreign policy that get attacked by many different.
Critics look if you look at the policies.
Russia has sprained Syria Iran's nukes Pakistan -- relations are terrible.
The fights gratuitous -- Israel.
There is not a single success there isn't anything that you could even.
Say is remotely even neutral.
What He does has had as a trump card the Osama.
-- and that's one thing I I think it helps to deflect.
In other -- after He gets attacked on this sort of strain of lack of success is even I would say -- Iran and others disasters.
He always you can say well yes but I got to be penalized to some extent -- -- said.
I think when you're in such an economic.
A period of such economic distress.
Foreign affairs properly it's generally low in America but it's really below -- mean this really isn't.
In India and election and it's the economy stupid nonetheless there will be a line of attack on him.
And I must say he's got the weakest.
Foreign affairs record.
Have any president in at least thirty years and I'm not sure how He defends him what He can say.
People like us -- even that's not true.
Well how about this he's they could argue -- the most.
Aggressive when it comes to.
Bombing in let's say Pakistan and the villages along the Afghan Pakistan border.
With drones eccentric.
He now you have an administration that is saying that al-Qaeda is in Iran and working through -- Ron.
Something that even the Bush Administration.
Didn't -- publicly Steve so on some fronts it seems like they are aggressive.
On others they.
The Republican candidates we'll tell you are leaving from behind.
Yeah one I think it's you know that phrase is going to come back to haunt them because most people recognize that leading from behind is not leading.
-- that's the whole point.
It's it's a very clever.
Thought He was being very clever and saying leading from behind this is -- this is our way of doing just -- seeing hearing yes they were changing the paradigm you know and -- six or it's terrible it's terrible I mean.
And and the reason that I think it could actually work the reason I think Charles arguments are right.
Not because people are gonna be so concerned about foreign policy percent national security issues -- say in the absence of some major.
-- event which is always a possibility.
But it's but it's because of the leadership question that's the problem you know I think it and Republicans could have a pretty easy time linking.
The weakness on foreign policy the lack of resolve on foreign policy we've seen whether it was Iran in June of 2009.
-- the year of spring that we've seen unfold.
Over the past six or seven months.
The president is basically shrugged his shoulders and say.
Do what you're gonna do we if we don't have much we can do about that the difference is you know the one place cities and different other than Pakistan as you mentioned his his Libya.
Actress hasn't turned out very well -- can't do three or four days of bombing and and hope that things go well so I think that's the argument Republican candidates are likely to make he's been weak on foreign policy.
He's been weak on the economy we see the results here and we're watching the results on TV overseas and it.
Well -- I think you making that point I think he's going to make a strong argument.
Under attack from there -- an alternate eventual Republican nominee that He.
He's not gonna say continue many of the bush and national security policy is but he's going to make the case.
Steady trickle down Afghanistan.
And -- down in -- attacks in Pakistan has killed eight.
Very goodly number of terrorists important.
Leaders in these cells and ultimately bin Laden that actually -- the average American who thinks says.
Crazy dictators ever and the Middle East with these uprisings and I think.
The I think that the average American -- more concerned about the economy and -- not really paid so much attention to the air spring and what it means and why we're in such that corner.
Unable to really you know help certain people back.
An articulated -- a comprehensive policy they pay more attention bin Laden killing and more attention to we're getting out of Iraq.
All ultimately were getting out of Afghanistan.
And they don't pay that much attention to.
The quandary we're in with our relations between Syria and the Israelis Bob -- you know Egypt -- everything else Libya.
I agree with everyone is is a serious -- but I think that the economy overall is the issue that reelect emergency salmon at this point it looks terrible I should -- That I'm not reading.
At first of all that there was a very pretty shocked or at least an -- one.
By our camera operator.
And secondly I am not on this -- I'm not reading a lot of these comments.
Because my computer -- -- up about five minutes ago that's that's the deal Charles.
There's there's there's one issue -- has I think a peculiar resonance.
And that is his relations with Israel and this is not the Jewish community there may be a slight erosion of support they're both.
Jews -- the most loyal democratic constituency after African Americans consistently around 80%.
And that's going to be a difference -- American evangelicals.
Have this really deep attachment to Israel there -- extremely concerned I get emails about things.
From places I would not expect any means lots of that issue and the way he's really been antagonistic -- Israel and sort of undermine his position.
I think so and I think a lot of these people -- people who are you -- no but I think undrawn balance it's gonna hurt him with a serve the constituency who matter.
Secondly I do think it is it reflects on his leadership the -- operations a perfect example.
From the behind is a way that would encapsulate what He did on the stimulus.
What He did on obamacare and waited on the -- deal He said the president but you do this He farms and at either.
Because he's a rookie and He doesn't really know what He wants to do or because He thinks.
This is our president on act orchestrating it from Mount Olympus and not to being -- down in the dirt it doesn't work.
And I think people have a sense of that detachment He you say he's -- -- head out.
To Ohio and an empathy -- He's not a guy he's not a Clinton I mean He doesn't apply to lower lip.
And make you believe it and that's his problem I think it's a kind of detachment.
And lack of leadership and I think that's where of the foreign affairs issue comes in.
Most of the people right.
And apparently according to.
Producers are saying I should get a Mac.
Because I wanted my my computer for us.
So I'm just.
Mac cams don't comes product our product placement and -- -- -- Part well and I always wanted to -- Wellington wants to fly to Alaska.
And we wanna go to Waterloo to hit -- -- It's not -- in Belgium that's -- trying European airlines.
Duke of Wellington.
Final thoughts on this week that was even though it's just Wednesday.
On this debt ceiling.
Increase and what is the fallout from besides fatigue for much of America in hearing it and much of Washington covering it.
-- -- From -- I'm so sick of talking about and it is I'm glad it's over very glad it's over look it I think.
In the final analysis this was a deal that.
It up at the margins helps Republicans because they were talking about the kinds of issues where Republicans routinely beat Democrats.
Anytime you're talking about the size and scope of government in and it in a country where people self identify as conservative.
By a margin of two to one over those who self identify as liberal that's good for Republicans both -- I'm a little trouble by.
The extent to which Republican politicians are patting themselves on the back and talking about what a huge.
Difference this is what a paradigm shift this is being.
On the one hand.
It's cutting spending we don't do that a lot in Washington these days is not even cutting spending you know its -- -- slowing these are.
Washington cuts which nobody else in the country would recognize -- cuts but in Washington if you slow the rate of spending.
That counts as a cut but if you if you look back and this share of national debt per person.
In the United States it was about 35000.
-- when Barack Obama was born and 46000.
Dollars per person today.
It would have been 85000.
Dollars in 20/20 one in the absence of this -- the and what the debt deal what did was take it from 85000 dollars per person to 77000.
Dollars per person.
I don't think that's anything to celebrate.
To me why.
I'm not sick of talking about it because at the that contours of this seconds.
Level this super committee is gonna come in and my journal massacres and to take on and take on the big.
Questions that we couldn't handle is essentially -- the super committee as the cigarette committee.
Is completely stacked.
It is -- it was designed to fail the decisions have been made the defense cuts will be made the trigger will be pulled.
And the Medicare provider cuts would mean that really -- you.
Any hope that distract -- you know let's say let's just say all -- senator Lieberman senator.
Who else is retiring Kyle.
Bingaman you know what went -- eye color and scary for full on their promise to only choose members.
Who will not even entertain the idea of new taxation -- new -- -- let me finish.
When they carried out through and may have said that probably -- -- and but you can when things can happen -- that demand that Democrats will demands the same it will stock it with liberals who refused.
To entertain the notion of money saving meaningful changes to Medicare and Social Security like -- means testing or changing the eligibility age.
We will be stock within 66 deadlock nothing the defense cuts this Steve is so concerned about.
Have been made they're gone they've left the building it's the parties have decided on this a week ago.
It's done the trigger will be pulled this is completely -- for failure it was designed to be doomed.
It's totaled cowardice and the markets know it.
And the ratings agencies know it ever and and China -- other creditors know it -- reason that we saw so we saw this despair.
In the reaction in the markets this week is not only because of this dismal economic data that we -- it was in bad the last five days or ten days.
But it's combined with the fact that the hard choices were not made and that they won't be made by November 23 -- -- masochism that -- since.
And everything I'm all the essence of the problem.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I would have someone I erases it I would have thought I'm McCain isn't losers Nvidia I'm and I actually I -- strong.
I guess I mean I hope for the center.
I generally lack hope because I think hope is a dangerous if they did that happen to be avoided at all cards.
But in this case I think I -- -- I I've allow for one -- I do think this can work.
Yes the Republicans are gonna oppose a going to appoint people who all say we won't raise taxes.
But remember -- Boehner speaker of the house who in the end -- today was ready to increase them by 802 billion.
He in the context of tax reform if the context is raising the rates to the the Clinton rates no.
But once you Begin to do tax reform.
Will you cut out the -- post and you have a huge reduction.
In the rates under one scenario in the Simpson who -- commission the rates the top rate is 23%.
Then you can tweak it up to 28%.
And produce revenue.
Boehner would except that in a flash guys would McConnell.
All you need is one who crosses the if you do real tax reform and it can be done this all laid out some some commission.
Then you can have increasing revenues and once you do that.
Then I think you can get some were Democrats who in return.
We'll do some structural changes entitlements like.
The things that we are told through leaks -- Obama agree to.
The change in the retirement age or -- stability age for Medicare.
And the cost of living adjustments I.
And that is possible.
There are serious doubts about what actually was offered on the table and I inning but -- you still have a ray of hope.
I got this it has yet I could really maybe it's about semantics if you call a tax increases it's one thing if you called revenue increases it's another.
There's your closing loopholes are having taxpayers to the base.
That your restructuring the tax you know overall to talk to the Republican member majority of Republicans in the house.
Conference about what closing -- means and what tax the new taxation means everything is -- new attacks over there.
Yeah well the problem will be when those tax increases are.
Put up against defense cuts mean that's why this is going to be such a difficult decision and I think the Democrats don't have.
The same kinds of disincentives there -- incentives to to vote for something like this because.
The cuts in Medicare come to the providers and Charles and I we had this discussion yesterday and then we kept talking about it in the Green room and beyond and down of the cars and I just think that it did if -- if that's what Obama carried it was issue was put pressure on its its price controls from -- -- on the providers.
-- have -- on the beneficiaries but that's a bank bank bank bank shot and I think.
Democrats won't have the same distance and it.
Steve's saying he's duties.
When you've had it -- -- -- -- here you're exhausted I'm just getting warmed up yet.
I didn't hear hello I didn't want to -- He always thought if you find -- I can't wait for September the seventh when it starts again somebody has to put that that the hope poster with -- right.
So wasn't hope but no change from -- I was on the FAA just a little appetizer for -- -- until they -- there's -- great yeah it's gonna hold me for a week -- to happen.
When that optimism.
We close out this addiction as -- report -- -- so I couldn't read more of your comments and questions.
We'll get this figured out which is locked up I'm Bret Bair join us Fox News Channel every weekday 6 eastern of course we'll see you back here.
Next Wednesday 7 PM eastern.
The live on.
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