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This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, Jan. 25, 2003, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Mort, I want you to listen carefully to this bite from Bush's speech, that's President Bush's speech in St. Louis on Wednesday. Pay attention, and you'll understand why war is inevitable with Iraq. Watch this.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Should any Iraqi officer or soldier receive an order from Saddam Hussein or his sons or any of the killers who occupy the high levels of their government, my advice is, don't follow that order, because if you choose to do so, when Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried, and persecuted as a war criminal.


BARNES: Did you catch that? When...


BARNES: ... when...very, very good, not if, when was is in -- when Iraq is liberated, and it's going to happen. You heard Secretary of State Colin Powell this week saying, You know, we don't need a U.N. resolution to have a lot of allies. Go with us and wage this war at -- against Iraq. There'll be the British, the Spanish, the Italians, the Australians, there'll be a lot of them.

And the evidence against Iraq is mounting. I mean, first you have the noncompliance with the requirements of the U.N. resolution. Clearly they - - Iraqis are not cooperating. And, Mort, you keep whining about, oh, there's no smoking gun, there needs to be one there...

KONDRACKE: It's not whining...

BARNES: ... when you put it together with...

KONDRACKE: ... it's not whining, it's warning.

BARNES: ... well, now, wait, wait, wait -- Oh, warning, whining, with you it's the same thing.

KONDRACKE: No, it's not, no, it's not...I'll explain it to you.

BARNES: I'm sure you will.

KONDRACKE: All right.

BARNES: But look, not only do you have these war, unused warheads that were found in Iraq, but then we never -- we find out that Iraq imported from India material that can only -- has no dual use, is only a military use, for propelling rockets and filling them with chlorine gas, in other words, a weapon of mass destruction. You put the two together. It shouldn't be too hard to do that.

Now, you know, even the French help move us toward war with Iraq, be - - by announcing a week before the inspectors on Monday come in with their report, a week before that, the French announce that they're -- they will block any war resolution in the U.N., which told Powell and others that, look, these inspections will go on forever. The French and the Germans will never be with us.

We're going to have to do it now.

KONDRACKE: Well, I agree, I agree with much of what you said, the whining part excepted.

Meantime, you know, with the Democratic Party is moving itself back into the exact same position that it had prior to the Gulf War in 1991, when they were against it. Watch John Kerry. This is his speech, but it's pretty typical.



SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I say to the president, Show respect for the process of international diplomacy, because it is not only right, it can make America stronger. And show the world some appropriate patience to building a genuine coalition. Mr. President, do not rush to war.


KONDRACKE: I mean, what that amounts to is, let the, let, let the United States of America be led by the French and the Germans.


KONDRACKE: I mean, you know, and if, and the U.N. -- and the, the U.N. inspectors. If, if we follow Kerry's advice, there would be no war, because it would be dithered forever.

You're right, Bush is right, there are -- there's every moral and legal case for going to war. The, the Iraqis have...the Iraqis have...have committed a material breach by own up to what they have and to, and to disarm. All that's true.

BARNES: ...the but.


KONDRACKE: ... a but is coming...

BARNES: ... I knew it.

KONDRACKE: ... a but is coming. If Bush presents a smoking gun, and he hasn't even cited that the evidence that you were referring to, this Indian company that The Los Angeles Times reported...had sent those chlorine gas equipment to, to Iraq, you haven't even heard that from the Bush administration.

BARNES: Yes, I know.

KONDRACKE: A smoking gun will enormously help our international position, and it will, and it will erase all doubt in the United States. And there is considerable doubt that, that, that he has weapons of mass destruction. And, and everybody will join together in attacking Iraq...That's good for the United States...and protects the case the going gets rough.

BARNES: Yes, but it is a done deal.

Hot story, done deal.

KONDRACKE: Oh, yes, it's a done deal. All right.

BARNES: All right.

KONDRACKE: Now, the other hot story is doubts domestically. Bush just won a, you know, an enormous victory in the, in the last election, but couple months later, and his polls are down...

BARNES: Slightly.

KONDRACKE: ... he's -- well, he's, he's down into the high 50s, it's's not -- all right. But his -- on economic issues, his, his polls are down in the, in the high 40s, not, not good.

Now, his task on, on Tuesday is to basically deliver an economics lesson, and I'll show you why. I mean, here's Bush talking about his economic plan, the $674 billion plan, and Tom Daschle rebutting.


BUSH: When this tax plan is passed, I expect Congress to hear from the American people and pass it. We will be putting $70 billion in the economy over the next 16 months. That's how to make sure this economy is growing jobs so people can work. That's important, that's called stimulative effect.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: It's better for the economy because it doesn't exacerbate the debt, because it really is targeted to those people who are -- we can do the most good, because it's immediate. I think that's really critical, and because it helps the states. Those are the four key components of any economic plan creating the kind of stimulus we've got to have this year.


KONDRACKE: Now, Bush has got to explain why his $70 billion one-year more stimulative than Daschle's $135 billion a year plan.

BARNES: ...yes, yes.

KONDRACKE: And why, over the long run, giving money to rich people is...will help the middle class.

BARNES: Yes, it's -- President Bush is not here. Can I explain it to you?

KONDRACKE: You can....

BARNES: One, Mort, two words, incentives and investment. Those are the two words. I mean, the Democratic plan is one year. I mean, are, are companies going to make big investments on the basis of one, of one year, of one year's tax cut? And some of it isn't even tax cuts, it's, it's spending. Or a long-term program that will encourage people to work, save, and invest over time, and giving them the incentive to do that?

The problem is not that the economy needs a huge jacking-up right at the moment. It's growing, it's just not growing enough and creating enough jobs. So you want a long-term program that creates incentives and, and, and investment. And who can -- who has the money to invest the most? I'm sorry, Mort, but it's not poor people, it's not people on welfare. It's people who are big-time taxpayers, because they have a lot of money. It's people like you, Mort.

So one of these days, you're going to recognize this, and that will help the economy. Reagan did it, it worked for him. JFK did it, it worked for him. All right.

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