This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, Dec. 22, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Here's our tip sheet for next week's action.
Item one, the USO is traveling overseas to entertain troops during the holiday season. Look for a star-studded cast to join them.
FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Star-studded? Headed by Wayne Newton? I shouldn't make fun of him. A lot of people like Wayne Newton. But it does have the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. You know, they could be a lot of cheerleaders. I think that's who the troops are going to prefer.
KONDRACKE: Karl Rove was supposed to get better talent...
BARNES: Yes, well...
KONDRACKE: ... he failed.
Item two, President Bush and the first lady will be spending Christmas with his parents and twin daughters at Camp David, and then it's off to Crawford, Texas, for the New Year.
BARNES: Well, he's not coming back until January 6. Obviously the president will be criticized. People will say, Why isn't he on the job? and so on. I think he can stay even longer, and presidents need vacations.
You know, Mort, you and I went to that White House press party a few days ago. I took my daughter, you took your wife, Milly. And Grace, I introduced her to a lot of people. She's 19. And afterward she said, you know who are the people she thought were the nicest? The Bushes. Yes.
KONDRACKE: They are nice.
OK, item three, consumer confidence numbers will be released next week. Retail sales have been up slightly, but tourism is still suffering.
BARNES: Hey, consumers have hung in there the whole time. We don't need to worry about them. They're still buying. They helping to bring us out of this recession.
KONDRACKE: The worry is high, long-term interest rates.
Item four, U.S. postal workers may begin getting the controversial anthrax vaccine as early as next week. Union leaders asked for a delay to go over the pros and cons.
BARNES: You know, I'm with the postal workers on this. They've been treated shabbily in this whole thing, and they ought to be told exactly what the up- and downside is before they're forced to take these things.
KONDRACKE: So if it was you...
BARNES: ... shots.
KONDRACKE: ... you would not take an anthrax vaccine.
BARNES: I'd want to find out a lot about it first.
KONDRACKE: OK. Item five, next week marks the 10th anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union.
BARNES: Yes, what a wonderful day it was, too. And think now of Vladimir Putin at that meeting at Crawford High School with George Bush, the president of Russia, the president of the United States, obvious friends, I mean, Russia has thrown in with our side. It's a better world because of that. I mean, this change in the correlation of forces in the world post-September 11 has been remarkable.
KONDRACKE: It will rekindle the debate, who did this? Was it Reagan or Gorbachev? And you constantly get an argument. I'm more Reagan.
BARNES: Well, there's no debate on that, Mort, it's Reagan. Gorbachev wanted more communism, that's all. OK.
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