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Special Report

Friday Lightning Round: Future of Occupy movement

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," February 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN ROBERTS, ANCHOR: Every week, viewers vote for your choice online in our Friday Lightning Round poll. And this week future of the Occupy movement won with 51 percent of the vote. So let's get into it. Tucker Carlson, what are your thoughts about the future of the occupy movement?

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: Well, as of now, and this could change with the warmer weather. Nobody's ever protested in a snowstorm. But as of right now --

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: -- it has been. But the movement is tapped out. You really need nice weather for people to be protesting anything on the left. It really looks like a homeless encampment to me. I've seen a number of them, a lot of mentally ill, a lot of drunk people. If the Republicans were smart they'd endlessly replay the loop of Obama sympathizing with these guys against a clip of some of them using the sidewalk for a men's room.

ROBERTS: Do you think it's a legitimate movement? Is it actually a movement?

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: Yeah, I'd like to clarify they're not all mentally ill and drunk.

(CROSSTALK)

POWERS: Maybe the people who are camping out. But in term of a movement, I think one of their biggest problems is they don't want to be organized. They say quite themselves they don't want to be organized.

ROBERTS: Yet they have a generally assembly though.

POWERS: They think Moveon.org is part of the establishment. They want to be more radical than that. And look if you're not going to organize, if you're not going to lobby, if you're not going to do any of the things that groups do that influence what happens in Washington then you're probably not gonna have influence.

ROBERTS: There is an interesting split that's emerging in the Occupy movement. There's this attorney out of Philadelphia, Michael Pollack, wants to have a convention -- an Occupy convention in July with 876 delegates chosen from congressional districts. And now the general assembly of Occupy is saying no, we dent sanction that because that would be representative movement where we are consensus movement. Where is this going do you think, Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: The French Revolution, guillotines.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

KRAUTHAMMER: It could be entertaining. This never was a serious movement, ever. It still isn't. We have occasionally protests on the left in America and will in the future and now it will have the name Occupy. That doesn't mean a thing. It isn't a movement it's a slogan.

ROBERTS: And that's it, that's as far as it goes?

KRAUTHAMMER: End of story now. Now let's talk about algae.

ROBERTS: You were very good on algae yesterday.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Let's talk 2012 politics and let's start it off by showing you what happened on the campaign trail today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, R - PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm offering more than just a change of policy. I am offering a dramatic and fundamental change in perspective and philosophy from Washington, and for the nation.

RICK SANTORUM, R - PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a track record of being a strong, consistent conservative. For Mitt Romney to attack me as not being conservative is laughable.

GINGRICH: If we could go into the caucuses next Saturday and everybody in the caucus who'd like $2.50 a gallon for gas or diesel decided to be for Newt Gingrich, we would sweep the caucuses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Alright, before those Washington caucuses though, two big contests in Michigan and Arizona, contests that can either clear the air a little bit or muddy the waters even more. How do you think it's going to go, Tucker?

CARLSON: Well, I think due to poor decision-making on the part of the Republican National Committee and other factors it's going to be muddy, because this is not a winner-take-all contest. No contest before the first of April by fiat, by decision of the RNC are. They are proportional. So --

ROBERTS: Well, Arizona is a winner-take-all. So that could be contested in a way that Gingrich is threatening.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Michigan is not, so the secondary candidate will still - can still walk away with delegates. So it prolongs the fight now. That is in the interest of the press because it's interesting. Maybe in some abstract sense it's in the interest to voters, it's probably not in the interest of Republican Party, though. My guess is that Romney wins, but my guesses have been wrong lately.

ROBERTS: Kirsten, in 2008 everybody said the Democratic contest is drawn out as it was, it went until June was going to be damaging to the party but didn't appear to do it too much harm.

POWERS: It didn't. I don't know that it's been the same in this case though. There has been a lot of damage done to Romney, frankly, mostly by Newt Gingrich who has been very good if you remember, you know, at getting under his skin in debates. And I think that has raised issues that have made him stumble a little bit.

But today, he stumbled a bit with his announcement in Detroit where he referred to owning four cars and his wife drives two Cadillacs or something which seemed a little tone deaf and sort of established him as the official John Kerry of this race I think. And then also his speech was not very well-attended, and plus was just in a bad space, that made it look worse.

ROBERTS: Putting 1,200 people in a stadium that holds what? 70,000, 80,000 people. It's difficult to fill a space like that.

Last time we were together, Charles, we talked about Michigan potentially being a tripping point or tripwire for Mitt Romney one way or the other. If he does well, maybe he does well on Super Tuesday but if he does poorly maybe he loses everything on Super Tuesday. How is it looking now to you?

KRAUTHAMMER: He made himself into the underdog in Michigan over the last couple of weeks so that the up-swing he is on now gives him a chance to defy expectations. A month ago people would have said he's got to win, he's got to win it big or it's a loss. Right now if he wins small, it's still a win.

And I think the reason it would be important for him is Santorum had his chance, or is having his chance right now. He wins this hat-trick in the Midwestern states a few weeks ago. He has got the momentum, and I think he squandered a lot of that. Unfortunately, he got tripped up on contraception. He's got problems in defending -- there are parts of his record, even though he is a strong conservative which are big government conservative, and that's where he got tripped up in the debate, and that's hurt him.

ROBERTS: We've got a minute-and-a-half left, so let's get to Syria as well. Hillary Clinton today called Russia and China despicable, Kirsten, for not weighing in on the United Nations Security Council action in Syria. What should we be doing in Syria?

POWERS: Well, things are very in flux right now but the writing seems to be on the wall that something is gonna have to give here, and if the United States has to be the leader in it, then we may be seeing a similar -- to the Libya situation.

ROBERTS: But what?

Powers: Well, you know, whether they're arming, rebels -- which they're trying to determine whether or not -- who the rebels are and whether they're people we should be arming, but getting involved in some way to provide some support.

ROBERTS: Tucker?

CARLSON: Hard to see why we have the moral obligation necessarily to get involved. I'm not sure what the answer is. You could certainly make the case that the status quo, a blood thirsty dictator Assad could be better than A, chaos, or B, an Islamic fundamentalist blood thirsty dictator. So maybe things staying the same is not the worst option.

ROBERTS: Should we arm or not arm the resistance?

KRAUTHAMMER: We should are, exactly as we did -- we succeeded in Nicaragua in the 80's, Afghanistan in the 80's in driving out Soviet clients and lackeys. It's so obvious that we ought to be speaking about not humanitarian aid which will be useless against the regime that, as we see in those pictures, is destroying and deliberately destroying a civilian population. It should be military assistance. And why the administration is resisting that, I do not know, particularly after the way that the president spoke on Libya -- that we cannot stand by as a population is being slaughtered. No one is asking for American intervention, but American weapons and training, absolutely yes.

ROBERTS: Great to see you all tonight. Thanks so much for dropping by. I hope you have a good weekend. Charles Krauthammer, Kirsten Powers, Tucker Carlson, great to see you.

KRAUTHAMMER: Thank you.

ROBERTS: That's it for panel. Stay tuned, though, to find out about a couple of gorillas on the loose.

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