Friday Lightning Round: Political turmoil in Egypt

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 15, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: We're back now with the panel for the Friday Lightning Round. And our first topic, what's happened to the Arab Spring in Egypt?  Egypt's highest court has ruled that the new parliament, dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, must be dissolved, and they also say that the last prime minister of the Mubarak regime can run in Sunday's runoff presidential election. Steve, protesters are calling this in effect a coup by the old regime. Is it? 

HAYES: Strong words, but it's awfully close if it's not. Look, there are no good options for United States here. You've got the Muslim Brotherhood on the one hand and you've got the authoritarian leftover Mubarak regime on the other. Neither outcome is going to be great for the United States. I think if you are the Obama administration, what you want to do is whoever wins the election make clear right away that you expect protections for the spirit and the individuals who started the reform movement from the beginning, and that U.S. aid and our relationship could be conditioned on those protections. 

WALLACE: Rick?

RICK KLEIN, ABC NEWS: I think it's dark days for the Arab Spring, bottom line. You have Mubarak loyalists who are taking over again. It does seem something like a coup although through more legalistic means, at least on its face. And I think the broader concern is this was really one of the crucibles of the Arab Spring. And if it could happen there, where couldn't it happen? It seemed like that was a place that we're going to actually take root in Egypt, and now to see it all kind of washed away. 

WALLACE: So will we're gonna end up seeing the mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square? 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: That will depend on what the Brotherhood decides to do.  It could strike a deal with the generals. The generals have been in charge since 1952 and they were not going to go quietly. The reason they disbanded the parliament is because just a few days ago it appointed a 100-man committee to draw up a constitution. And that is the threat. So the parliament is gone, I'm sure the committee will be dissolved. 

The problem is there's going to be president election. There is no constitution that will determine whether it will be an empty presidency, a symbolic one, or a strong one, as happened in the past. So the army wanted to make sure that it could control the writing of a constitution which would determine the powers whoever wins on this Election Day. I think the army is going to stay in charge. It looks at the experience of Turkey, that the army stayed in charge for 80 years, and I think that is how it sees its role. It's not going to go quietly. 

WALLACE: Alright, let's turn to Greece, which has its own elections on Sunday with growing concern around Europe that majority's going to pick a government that's going to blow off the austerity deal with the Eurozone and that you could actually see Greece drop out of the euro and that that could create a financial crisis. Steve?

HAYES: I think that that is virtually inevitable. The question is the timing. The New Democracy Party, which is a center-right party, has said they want to defer some of the deadlines for austerity program. The Syriza party has basically said we don't want anything to do with austerity. But the interesting thing is, if you poll Greeks, 80 percent of them want to remain of the euro. You can't have it both ways. You can't say no to austerity and say yes to the euro. Something's got to give. Greece is eventually going to be out of the euro. The question is whether it's the short-term if the left-wing party wins, or longer-term if the right wing party wins. 

KLEIN: And I think, the bigger problem is it is not ending with Greece. The whole euro crisis just starts there. Spain is a big issue as well. Obviously the Germans play a huge role in this. But I think this is a big moment for American diplomacy, the G-20 next week. President Obama's gonna be really on the hot seat in how he handles this and knowing that everything that happens there is going to impact the economy here so quickly. 

WALLACE: Charles? 

KRAUTHAMMER: I agree. It's not -- Greece is just the first domino. Spain's bonds are now over seven percent. Once you get over six percent the country's gonna require a bailout. Italy is hitting six percent as well, which means the whole southern European tier is tottering. 

It's not clear what will be the trigger. The Greeks eventually are gonna leave the Eurozone. But it could be that the threat of leaving the zone and the panic it caused in the banking system in Greece might scare the electorate into at least temporarily not electing the left and staying with the bailout. 

WALLACE: Alright, we've got less than two minutes left. Quickly on the campaign, Obama, Romney, competing economic speeches, polls tightening, in some of them, Romney now ahead. Briefly, Steve, where is this campaign right now? 

HAYES: I think we are at basically a dead heat. If you look at what Mitt Romney is doing with this bus tour next week, he is trying to hit places in the upper Midwest that I think may well decide the outcome of the election in November. This is a place where President Obama struggled in the Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton, where Mitt Romney didn't do very well making contact with the voters this year. This is going to be the ultimate battleground I think, and he's laying the precedent for that. 

KRAUTHAMMER: Your sense, who is -- obviously, it's well within the margin of error. But who is leading right now? 

KLEIN: This is a big Romney moment. I actually think this bus tour -- I'm less interested in what he says than what it looks like. I want to see those pictures. 

WALLACE: Are you a TV guy. 

KLEIN: Exactly. I want to see the picture of the guy -- I want to see how the local papers play this. Because that has impact. They care more about what they're going to say in a local paper in Dayton than anything we're going to say here. I think this is a chance for him to reintroduce himself, put himself out there in a moment that people are paying attention to the campaign because of a lot of external events. He has an opportunity to take advantage of that. 

WALLACE: Charles, you wrote a column today. We've got 30 seconds left. But in the column you bemoaned the fact we got 4-1/2 months of this. Why? 

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, because not much is happening, but because of the media, the internet, the rapidity of the response and technology everybody has, it's on the air all the time without much happening. So it's sort of, much ado about little, didn't happen 20 or 30 years ago where you got a ping pong response in Twitter every eight minutes. But that is what it is. And I think it's still rather stalemated and will remain there almost all the way through. 

WALLACE: that is it for the panel. But stay tuned to see a feat of daring-do that goes terribly wrong.   

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