• With: Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes, Kirsten Powers

    This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 4, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal.

    It is a Trojan horse disguised as deficit reduction plans. It is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.

    REP. PAUL RYAN, R - WI: I seem to have three certainties in my life -- death, taxes, and bitter partisan attacks from President Barack Obama.Unfortunately it's something we're getting used to. It's because he lacks an agenda to actually fix this country's problems.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well we knew it for a long time, but now it's in cement essentially, this will be the election, the battle back and forth between Republicans and Democrats on the way forward. We're back with the panel. Steve, the president really laying it out there, calling the Republican budget plan a Trojan horse, saying it is radical. What about that speech, all that he said and reaction to it?

    STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, the president was shrill, demagogic, partisan, and I think very small. He comes off looking very small. And the problem for the president is he is the most strident on his greatest failure. For the president to lecture Republicans, especially Paul Ryan on leadership and responsibilities on fiscal issues and entitlement reform and budgets when he can't, as you asked Jay Carney about in your interview earlier, he can't even gently nudge Senate Democrats to pass a budget with 51 votes which they could do tomorrow if there were the political will.

    The president hasn't been serious about this since the beginning of his presidency. I think what we saw from him today is a sense of desperation, that he knows he can't make -- win this argument on the substance, so he has to lash out in this way.

    BAIER: Kirsten, in that interview with Carney, it was getting to a question that I've asked before, David Axelrod and others about the Senate Democrat's lack of a budget for 1,070 days. Obamacare was passed with 51 vote. A budget resolution can also pass with 51 votes, not 60, the super majority. It's a question that doesn't seem to have an answer from Democrats.

    KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess the usual answer that I get is that the debt ceiling gives us the regulatory need, that whatever we need budgetarily to move forward. And there's all these sort of politics going on with the different senators from the different states -

    (CROSSTALK)

    BAIER: -- all about leadership and leading and then getting on the stump and hitting Paul Ryan who has put a budget on the table and it's passed the house.

    POWERS: By the same token Ryan's plan is dead on arrival in the Senate. And they know that. So they passed a budget. And yes, they passed something that I guess they can run on. But they also know it won't actually be made to law. I don't think --

    HAYES: It could be in the conference if the Senate passed a budget, then they have to get together and work with it.

    POWERS: The Senate will never go for this.

    HAYES: They need to pass their own.

    POWERS: And to have him saying that Obama is engaging in bitter partisan attacks. There was nothing bitter or partisan about that. That was a basic position of the Democratic Party on this budget that doesn't have any real specifics on how he's gonna cut anything. He claims he's cutting all this stuff, he claims it's gonna come through loopholes, but we don't know. All we know is taxes are going to go down for rich people, and that is all about all that is in the plan that we really know for sure.

    BAIER: Well, we have laid out the plan. There will be many, many times that we go through it. But the Ryan plan reduces the overall tax structure into two brackets 10 and 25 percent. It takes the corporate taxes down to 25 percent. It expands the base of tax payers. And he argues, Ryan argues, that it saves Medicare and Medicaid instead of cutting it.

    POWERS: But he says he's gonna cut all these loopholes and all of these preferences for rich people --

    (CROSSTALK)

    BAIER: It has to go through the House Ways and Means --

    POWERS: I mean and cutting taxes as this time when the deficit is so out of control just does not make budgetary sense.

    BAIER: Charles?

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: But Ryan has proposed something, the Republicans have proposed something. Obama and the Senate Democrats have proposed nothing. Look, the former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin points out that average spending for the federal government over the last 50 years has been slightly over 20 percent of the economy every year. What is the average spending in the Ryan budget over the next decade? Exactly that, slightly over 20 percent. Obama is the one who has been radical. The 25 percent of the economy that he is spending out of Washington is the highest since the Second World War. He is the one who has been radical with $1 trillion deficits. We never had one in American history. He has now had four in a row. He's now increased our debt by $5 trillion in one term -- radical, unprecedented.

    He says, he admits openly, he said Medicare is going to become insolvent. He's proposed nothing on that. And as you pointed out, he, himself, has proposed a budget which was defeated his own in the House by 414 to nothing. And the one he proposed last year was defeated in the Senate, which he controls 97-nothing. That is radical.

    BAIER: They point out that the House version was put up by a Republican as a stunt vote. But Chris Van Hollen, the Democrat from Maryland, put up a Democratic alternative that also failed with the big vote. Steve, one last comment.

    HAYES: If you look at what the president will have done by the end of his first term, from inauguration to the end of his first term he will have in all likelihood have increased the debt -- the national debt by the same as all of the previous presidents to this point. That is radical.

    BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for one of the top basketball highlights from the weekend. And it is not from the NCAA tournament.

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