Friday Lightning Round: North Korea's rocket

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: And we're back with the panel. Every week viewers vote for your choice online in this, our Friday Lighting Round pick. And this week it was very close, very close. But Charles pick beat the Wisconsin recall by less than 10 votes. We are going to do the Wisconsin recall because we felt compelled to. But we're back with the panel. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: But don't forget, I was outspent eight to one.

(LAUGHTER)

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: So the question is North Korea's gonna launch a missile next week or says it will. It is supposedly a satellite, but it's essentially an intercontinental ballistic missile. Should we shoot it down? The answer is yes, if we can. The Japanese -- if it goes over Japan, Japan has said it will shoot it down if it can, and we should help them and support them as a way to, A, support our allies who are being intimidated, and second, to say to the new regime in Pyongyang, you might have walked all over us in acquiring a nuke. We're not going to allow you to acquire the means to deliver it to Alaska or San Francisco, or Los Angeles.

BAIER: A.B.?

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: Well, this being the Friday Lightning Round, I was expecting some questions on the Masters that I wouldn't be able to answer, but instead you want me to advise whether or not we should strike down a missile from North Korea.

BALDWIN: How about this? Should or will?

(CROSSTALK)

STODDARD: I think from all indications the administration is not considering it but they will be under pressure to do so in the coming days. And it is justifiable. It's defensive according to the U.S. resolution. I just think that it might be better to leave it to the Japanese and the South Koreans, but I'm not an expert in this department and I'm gonna let other people make that decision.

BAIER: Steve?

HAYES: Well I think we should. And I think there are two reasons. One is North Korea after declaring a moratorium on nuclear tests about a month ago, they had been increasing belligerent ever since. And I think it's the new regime's way of trying to see how far they can push the United States and their other adversaries. The second reason I think, is because Iran is watching everything we do. And if we want them to take us seriously that we'll be committed to either destroying their nuclear program or helping Israel do it, we should send that message this way.

BAIER: Next topic, second place, Wisconsin recall. An update, June 5 is the recall vote, an effort to get Governor Scott Walker out of office for update. Wisconsin expert, Steve Hayes?

HAYES: What is interesting this week is that the two prominent Democrats, Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, and Kathleen Falk, the Dane County executive from Madison, she is the favorite of the unions, Tom Barrett had bigger name I.D. and is viewed as more moderate. The unions went after Tom Barrett in a scathing web ad, accused him of essentially siding with Scott Walker on this, of doing the governor's bidding. Tom Barrett's staff has fired back. But what the takeaway is a huge mess on the Democratic side in the primary before they even get to challenge Scott Walker directly.

BAIER: A.B., there a lot of money coming into the state from both sides. And this is seen as a battle that essentially transcends any state party line.

STODDARD: I agree. Before reading about a new development, I was going to say Scott Walker is so beloved by the Republicans in Wisconsin they will do everything to turn out and protect him in this recall vote.

BAIER: And the exit polls showed something similar.

STODDARD: And I really think that at the same time, I don't expect Democratic -- I did not expect Democratic turnout to be as impressive as they hope it will be. That said, I think that Obama could win Wisconsin in the fall and I think that Walker could win the recall on June 5. I don't think Walker Republicans are necessarily Romney Republicans, but as of this morning he overturned this equal pay law. And timing is everything in politics and he could have a real problem on his hands in the next six weeks as a result of that.

BAIER: Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: The mother of all state races, it transcends party and state. Everybody is watching this. The unions are trying to handpick who the candidate will be. It's not going to be a Democratic candidate, it'll be a union candidate. And it's the unions against the people, who's going to control the budget and the direction of state government in Wisconsin. It's being watched in all other states. The unions are gonna put a lot of money into this. I think it's likely that Walker will remain in office. But everything hangs on this, and unions know if they don't win here it's gonna be a huge disaster in terms of their standing in the country.

BAIER: We'll have many more panels about this topic. We're going to take "Special Report" on the road to Wisconsin before that vote as well.

Last topic, Iran, and what the signal is from the administration, according to the Washington Post's David Ignatius, "President Obama has signaled to Iran that the United States would accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can back up his recent public claim that his nation will 'never pursue nuclear weapons.'" The administration tried to downplay thesignificance of this today, saying it's essentially their policy. Thoughts?

KRAUTHAMMER: This is odd, because the policy is an old one. If it's only peaceful, we're not gonna bother you. But the way it's being phrased, honor what he said about whether what the Iranians have claimed to have said about not pursuing a nuke. They have been saying this and lying about it for years. Why all of a sudden now honor it? If there is a real agreement with the most intrusive inspection in the history of mankind where everything is open, and you're gonna have surprise inspections, perhaps. But I think this is a ruse.

BAIER: A.B. this is the head of supposed talks. But we don't know whether they will come together or not.

STODDARD: A week from today. Look, I think this buys the Iranians more time, the regime more time if President Obama is looking for something that we can't verify. How do we verify his commitment to not pursuing nuclear weapons is just very hard to prove.

HAYES: David Ignatius is a good reporter with very good sources. I think this is probably an accurate report. And if it is, it shows that the administration is going to look for anything at all to avoid a confrontation with Iran because they're now back to studying the words of Khamenei. In February, Hillary Clinton said she was recently studying his Fatwa. This is the kind of thing the administration is willing to do to avoid a confrontation, suggests they have no stomach whatsoever for backing up Israel.

BAIER: Down the road, do talks happen?

HAYES: Talks happen. Yeah.

STODDARD: I think so. I don't know that it goes well, though.

KRAUTHAMMER: Talks happen.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned to see a new strategy police are using to keep people safe from crime. The results may or may not surprise you.

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