DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
CRITICS CALLING OUT CAIN'S LACK OF GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE
CHARLES PAYNE: Well first of all, I think the critics... listen, Herman Cain you can say he is a rocket scientist; he's worked as a Federal Reserve president; he's turned around broken businesses; he's a conservative; he has faith and has a certain type of grace about him and I think he'd also be a great president since I don't think he'd make any American feel bad about themselves. You know, I really believe that he is a legitimate candidate and I'm glad that people are taking him seriously.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: I think if there was ever a time in this country's history, in recent history to rethink the notion that our commander in chief needs to have extensive political experience, the time is today. Congress has, what an 11 percent approval rating; it's near rock bottom levels. People are completely dissatisfied with the way Washington in and of itself works and I think that's one of the reasons you are seeing his poll numbers jump like they are. The only thing political experience says in this day and age is I am great at getting elected; I'm winning American Idol. That's all it's about anymore. It's not about governing and inspiring and uniting people or getting a dog-on thing done. It's about I'm Mr. Popular and I can get elected and raise money.
BEN STEIN: Well I love the fact that Mr. Cain is so optimistic. I love his love of America; it contrasts very sharply with certain other people in positions of high office, but I do think it's a job where you do need political experience. I don't think you can just step in even from being the Chair of the Federal Reserve regional bank. I think you have to know where the wheels are, know what to do to get things done. I think we've come to grief the last several times we've had presidents who don't have experience. I really would greatly prefer Romney, or a Perry who does have government experience. I like Mr. Cain's feelings about America very much, but I think we need experience.
ADAM LASHINSKY: This is a very impressive man for starters. His experience in the corporate world is actually far more impressive and relevant than Mitt Romney's experience in the corporate world, because Mitt Romney was a private equity guy; big deal. He didn't actually run businesses other than Bain. Well the most important thing for that job is knowledge of finance, whereas Cain has knowledge of operations, which again is very impressive. Now having said that, I would argue that there's a reason why people are a governor first or a senator first. They've done something where they've been accountable to the voters and he hasn't. That doesn't mean that he can't, but it makes it very, very difficult I think for him to convince people without having done it at a lower level that he can.
CRITICS: CHICAGO-STYLE POLITICS IN FULL FORCE IN D.C.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: I have to admit, I'm still traumatized by that photo of Richard Simmons from before. I don't get any of my workout tips from him. I should point out that the White House is denying that they're putting pressure on Ford. We should point out that Ford's denying it. We should point out that everyone's denying it. Even despite those claims, I think it's true, I think they got a call from someone in the treasury department or wherever and said we don't like this, and because they're in a highly-regulated industry, even though they didn't take the bailout money, they caved and that's the problem. When you have a government that big that touches this many businesses, you have to comply with their wishes. It's sick, but that's the way you have to do it.
CHARLES PAYNE: And the ad I think was a very effective ad. This administration, they're running Washington like Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire. You have to see that show. Outside of Cavuto it's my favorite show. We see the stuff with solar panels this year and they're still shoveling billions of dollars at that even with the outrage with Solyndra. We saw the President dress down the United States Supreme Court in front of everyone in the world. We've seen the heavy-handedness.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: Remember Doug Elmendorf from CBO? He got called into a meeting with the White House because the numbers weren't to the White House's liking.
BEN STEIN: It's extremely unfortunate. There's no doubt in my mind that the White House bullied them like the White House bullied the board of directors of GM to kick out Rick Wagoner the wonderful chairman, who was doing his best in a terrible downgrade. They had no legal authority to do it, they just did it because they're bullies and they're used to pushing people around. It's a very unfortunate thing, it goes right exactly to freedom of the press. It's an extremely anti-constitutional move and I'm very concerned about it. I'm really glad you're bringing it up and Charlie you nailed it right on there Charlie Gasparino; nailed it right on the head.
ADAM LASHINSKY: I think we're protesting a little bit too much here. Ben, the Rick Wagoner thing was a specific situation. It was no different than what HP did that Charles referenced earlier where a new investor was kicking out the old CEO. It was a weird situation and they were the big investor. It's not a question of a legal right; they were becoming the leading investor at the time.
NEW REPORTS WALL STREET MONEY IS ABANDONING THE WHITE HOUSE
CHARLIE GASPARINO: If you know anything about Jamie Dimon, he's my favorite limousine liberal, I like him a lot, but he's left of center. He'll tell you that he never gives money to anyone specifically, but he directs his bank and his people to raise money and he's very mad about Dodd Frank, annoyed at the general direction of the economy and I told you this before, I think Wall Street went 70/30 to Obama last time; this time they're going to at least split if Romney gets in there, or you might see a little more.
BEN STEIN: I think that Romney has made himself the darling of Wall Street. He is a Wall Street guy, Bain is a Wall Street-type company. I don't see any reason why Wall Street should like Obama. Obama is a likeable, pleasant guy, but he's come down hard on Wall Street every chance he can. I think it's time that Wall Street realized who their friends are and that Mr. Obama is not one of them. I'm not sure that they deserve to have many friends, frankly, but certainly Mr. Obama is not their friend.
ADAM LASHINSKY: What he did was to continue the Bush administration's policies and the things that Henry Paulson started. Obama and Geithner have more or less finished from TARP. He hasn't been a radical, so there's a Republican primary going on right now, not a Democratic one. They'll go with Obama too.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: Wall Street wants to bet on a winner pure and simple and if they see the tide moving away from the President. It is a snapshot of the moment, but you mark my words, the money is going to go to the Republicans.
CHARLES PAYNE: Wall Street, Main Street, anyone who thinks the economy should be higher so they can all make more money should be feeling this way, but listen I found it interesting that they had trouble selling out this event to raise a million bucks when Warren Buffet and Obama, Warren Buffet himself in June got 2.6 million just to go to lunch with him. That just underscores the disdain right there.
FOURTH QUARTER WINNERS
CHARLES PAYNE: I like BorgWarner; there's tremendous global demand for their products and I think it's got a tremendous upside.
ADAM LASHINSKY: The auto parts business isn't the first place I would invest right now and also I still think of Charles as a momentum guy, not a value guy. This is a good value pick Charles. Cisco Systems, Neil, there's only one thing I like about it and that is that it's extremely cheap. Something's going to happen here; a management change, somebody making a run at it, breaking it up. Something's going to get the value of this company up eventually.
BEN STEIN: It's an incredibly well run company. Why its stock is so low is sort of a mystery to me. I'm totally with my learned friend from Berkeley. It's just a great, great company and it's got to go up. I am keeping liquid; I'm trying to keep it liquid as I can. I'm concerned about the future; I'm concerned about whatever's going to happen to us. I hope and pray it's good things, but I'm looking at the short-term treasury mutual fund. It just seems you've got to be cautious in these times.