This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, Jan. 26, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: It's Fred's turn to do the Tip Sheet this week. Done your homework?
FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: I have.
KONDRACKE: OK. Item one, Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's interim prime minister, will be visiting the United States next week.
BARNES: You know, he's an impressive guy. We're lucky that he emerged there in Afghanistan. But I think President Bush is going to tell him, Look, buddy, I'm going to give you some money, but it's up to you to hold this country together or create a country there. There's never been a sense of nationality among Afghans. Karzai's going to have to create it.
KONDRACKE: Well, it's up to us too to, to...
KONDRACKE: ... find the money...
KONDRACKE: ... not pay it, but find the money...
KONDRACKE: ... to, to help him out, and, and buy off some of these warlords.
Item two, House Speaker Dennis Hastert will propose a new GOP prescription drug plan. Look for a much higher price tag than previous proposals.
BARNES: You know, this plays into that – what you were talking about earlier, Mort, you know, the, the good Republican issues and good Democratic issues. Well, health care is still a good Democratic issue, and Republicans are, are as desperate as ever to try to at least neutralize that issue. And this is an effort in that regard.
I think they, they still have a long ways to go, however.
KONDRACKE: Price tag here is Kennedy-sized, $300 million ...
BARNES: Yes, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), right.
KONDRACKE: ... over 10 years. The thing is, but there's no money for it, thanks to the Bush tax cuts.
Item three, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, your friend, will visit President Bush next week. One topic sure to be on the agenda, U.S. treatment of those detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
BARNES: You know, tell – I mean, they called in the American ambassador, Dan Coates, to talk to him there. I know you're laughing, and you should be. You know, tell this guy Schroeder, Look, worry about your own economy. That's a problem, not the prisoners in Gitmo.
KONDRACKE: Yes, I, I, I'd tell Gerhard Schroeder, Go down to Gitmo, get into a cage with one of those things...
KONDRACKE: ... and hope that they don't bite your leg.
KONDRACKE: Item four, the Federal Reserve meets next week to discuss interest rates, betting that interest rates will be unchanged.
BARNES: Yes. I think Greenspan has signaled that they will be unchanged by saying no stimulus is really needed.
KONDRACKE: Oh, I, I think it still is.
KONDRACKE: Item five, Al Gore will deliver a speech next week in Tennessee to the Dem – to a Democratic Party fund-raiser.
BARNES: Well, that's interesting, but the more interesting question about Gore is, is he going to run again? One indication that he's not is, people who work for him in 2000, in that presidential campaign, are fleeing. They're going to John Edwards. And those who aren't fleeing, who haven't officially left yet, behind the, you know, on background or off the record, will tell you scathing things about him...
BARNES: ... as a candidate, scathing.
KONDRACKE: I was, I...
KONDRACKE: ... I was talking to one of them the, the other day, one of, one of his political people...
KONDRACKE: ... who was just, who said, you know, Candidate? We didn't have a candidate last time. Also, he doesn't have a lot of money this time.
KONDRACKE: His PAC hasn't raised money. And he hasn't said anything.
BARNES: Yes, so what's your guess, he won't run?
KONDRACKE: Well, I hear that he wants to run.
BARNES: Yes, well, me too. All right.
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