This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, March 2, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: OK, let's go to the Ups and Downs. OK.
Down: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah
KONDRACKE: Down, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah. His Middle East peace plan, which calls for, among other things, a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank is greeted by even more violence. And now a key Middle East player, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, says that the plan is a nonstarter.
Well, but (UNINTELLIGIBLE) – Mubarak's point, it's – is that the, the Arabs want complete Israeli withdrawal...
FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Yes.
KONDRACKE: ... from the West Bank, or at least an agreement to it, without any negotiations...
BARNES: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), yes.
KONDRACKE: ... the, the Israelis will never agree to that.
BARNES: Right, yes.
KONDRACKE: Meantime, you've got this perfectly shocking Gallup poll that came out of nine Muslim countries, indicating that 53 percent of the populations have an unfavorable opinion of the United States. Sixty-one percent believe that Arabs had no involvement on September 11 attacks. And the absolute worst was Kuwait, the country that the United States saved from Saddam Hussein, only 28 percent of its citizens have a favorable opinion of the United States.
Now, what's, what's even worse about all this is that Pakistan, our ally, only 9 percent of the population likes the United States, and only 11 percent believes that Arabs had anything to do with the attack. I mean...
KONDRACKE: ... we've got a new Arab language service, radio service, going up, and that's, that's a help. But, you know, I would like to see the United States at least hint that it might withdraw visas from, from the elites of all these countries until they get their media to stop spewing out hate-America propaganda.
BARNES: Yes, I think you're on to something, because the, the elites there in these broken, failed societies have tried to shift all the blame for poverty and lack of democracy onto the U.S. and Israel. And so we wind up with poll results like this. They really are appalling, though, particularly Kuwait. You know, Kuwait would be, would be a pit stop on, on, on the vacation trail for Saddam Hussein absent the United States. Saudi Arabia too, probably would be, you know. Whatever happened to gratitude? It's gone, I guess.
Down: California Gubernatorial Hopeful Richard Riordan
BARNES: All right, down, California gubernatorial hopeful Richard Riordan. He's poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Tuesday's primary, turning a 33-point lead over his nearest competitor in January to a 6-point deficit today.
I'll tell you who's got a lot to do with that, and that's Gray Davis, the Democrat, who's unchallenged in the Democratic primary, but he's run ads against Riordan like this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DAVIS CAMPAIGN AD)
RICHARD RIORDAN: Being fairly liberal-minded, I surprise myself that my emotions on the abortion issue, because I feel very – I think it’s murder, and...
ANNOUNCER: For years, Riordan helped finance the antiabortion movement and said abortion was murder. Now he says he's pro-choice. Riordan, is this a record we can trust?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARNES: You know, these ads have hurt and lot, and Riordan is also learning that voters do not vote tactically in primaries. They vote for the person they want, not for the person who they think may have the best chance in the general election. So these voters are mainly conservative. That's why Bill Simon has jumped up ahead, because he's the conservative candidate.
KONDRACKE: Well, that's the, that's the, the positive way to put it. Another way is that conservatives would rather go down in flames than win an election. And I would think Davis is just warming up with these attacks on Riordan. Wait till he gets to, to Bill Simon.
KONDRACKE: ... that primary.
BARNES: Well, you know, Simon, though, is running ahead in the polls...
BARNES: ... ahead of Davis, at the moment.
KONDRACKE: I agree. Well, that, that – but Simon – I mean, Davis has yet to attack Simon.
BARNES: I know.
Down: Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Fritz Hollings
KONDRACKE: Down, Senate Commerce Committee chairman Fritz Hollings. Hollings goes over the top, even for him, with his latest conspiracy theory that the Bush administration was in cahoots with Enron to keep some 800 offshore tax havens legal, something the Clinton administration tried to stop, therefore making it easier for Usama bin Laden to finance the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
U.S. SENATOR FRITZ HOLLINGS (D-SCIENCE), CHAIRMAN, COMMERCE COMMITTEE: In comes the administration. With whom? Larry Lindsay (ph). Larry Lindsay was the $50,000 a year consultant for Enron who was running around saying that it was unconstitutional to try to close down these things. And so they immediately, this time last year, closed down the Larry Summers effort, and you've had 9/11.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARNES: That really is outrageous. And, of course, investigators have found that offshore tax havens were not used by Saddam Hussein to finance 9/11 or his other terrorist things.
Now, I have a question for you, Mort. Why has the press, the mainstream press, ignored rantings like this by Senator Hollings and many other statements he's made that are untrue? They would never – you think they'd give him slack like that to Newt Gingrich when he was House speaker? Would they ever do that for Senator Jesse Helms?
I think it is raw, unabashed, old-fashioned, plain as day liberal bias.
KONDRACKE: Fritz Hollings is not a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is not a truly dependable liberal. He's not a liberal icon.
BARNES: He is on this.
KONDRACKE: Look, I think that the press's attitude is that Fritz Hollings is a semi-senile old blowhard, and he's not to be taken serious. I think that's what's going on.
BARNES: He's the chairman of the lead committee investigating Enron, Mort.
KONDRACKE: I know. Even, even chairmen can be dismissed, and I think he's been dismissed.
BARNES: All right. Up, the economy. Fueled by consumer spending, the economy in the fourth quarter grew an unexpected 1.4 percent, leading experts, including the usually gloomy Alan Greenspan, to believe the recession has ended and an economic recovery has begun.
You know, the Bush tax cut may have worked a little here, Mort. Do you really want to delay the upcoming tax cuts, or would you be willing now, maybe, out of the kindness of your heart, to let the American people have a little prosperity for a change?
KONDRACKE: Look, technically there was no recession at all. I mean, technically a recession is two quarters of negative growth, and there was only one. So now we don't need this big tax cut any more. And, you know, which is outsized, and we can afford...
KONDRACKE: ... we, we – it is. We can afford Social Security reform, which the president wants, and he can't pay for, a prescription drug benefit...
BARNES: Yes, yes.
KONDRACKE: ... health insurance for the uninsured, all those things that the, that the, that the outsized tax cut freezes out.
BARNES: Oh, Mort. You know, it doesn't freeze them out at all, that's ridiculous. The war might, but not the tax cut.
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