Sign in to comment!

Special Report

Friday Lightning Round: New threat from Iran

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN ROBERTS, ANCHOR: Every week here on "Special Report" viewers vote for your choice online in our Friday Lightning Round poll. And this week, Iran threat won with 24 percent of the vote. It just goes to show how sophisticated the "Special Report" audience is. 

So let's recap what happened in Iran. They fired a long range missile, they said they were going to wipe Israel off the face of the earth if they attacked Iran and the U.S. is building up its military naval presence in the Gulf. So where is all this heading? Jump ball, somebody go. 

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: In effect status quo ante. I mean this is where we have been. They want negotiations to prolong this beyond the election. President Obama wants negotiations, I think to prolong this beyond the election. We have had a series of negotiations between senior diplomats, then it was moved on to technical experts. Everybody just wants this to go on, and I think unless there is a change in incentives, that is the way it will unfold. 

ROBERTS: How do you show toughness without going over the line and causing a crisis? 

DAVID DRUCKER, REPORTER, ROLL CALL: Well, I think the only way to stop them from trying to achieve nuclear capability, which is what they will do and the only thing they are interested in doing no matter what kind of sanctioned regime we put on them, is to play hard ball and let them know if they mess around there are going to be tough consequences. Regimes like this, their only interest is to get what they want and to use diplomacy against you. 

ROBERTS: Israel will hold off at least until after the election? 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I don't think so. If they think Obama will win re-election I think it's likely they will attack before because afterwards there is no telling how Obama would punish Israel and Israel would be vulnerable to any sanctions or other measures from the United States. So I think their window is between now -- remember, the secretary of defense said earlier in the year that Israel would already have attacked by now, would attack in April, May, or June. The clock is running. I think they are simply waiting to make sure that the sham negotiations are declared over rather than put on life support as a way to say all options have been tried and now we have to defend ourselves. 

ROBERTS: Another topic that our audience wanted to know about was health care and what Republicans should do. Of course, there's a repeal vote is coming up in the House on Wednesday. Yet, Republican candidates like George Allen are staying away because he feels that independents don't want to really hear about this. They want to hear about other things. Kaiser Family Foundation had a recent poll that showed Allen may be correct, look at this. 51 percent of non-leaning independents said give it up, move on to other issues, 35 percent of them said continue trying to block the law. What should Republicans do? 

DRUCKER: I think they should keep talking about the law, but it is how you frame it. If they want to discuss this as though it's still unconstitutional.  People are gonna say move on already. But if you talk about how it's going to hurt job creation, as the critics say it will, and how you might lose the coverage you have, as the critics say you will. Then it can be a winner. It's how you frame it. And economically framed it might not end up winning the election for them, but it could. And if you ignore it all together you ignore one of the driving forces both that animate Republican voters and that could really hurt Obama, particularly if you think the polling on this is going to go right back to where it was after a couple of weeks. And I think there is a strong possibly that will happen. 

KRAUTHAMMER: This could be a winner with the base but is at it winner with independents? 

HAYES: Yeah, if you look at polling over the past two years as this debate has unfolded before the vote and since, independents have largely been against ObamaCare. At large, they have opposed the mandate. This is a winning argument for Republicans. I honestly can't believe as we sit here today that this is even a debate. Of course Republicans should hammer the president on ObamaCare. I think they should take ObamaCare and move it to center of the debate along with the economy as part of a broader ideological critique of the president and this expansion of government. 

KRAUTHAMMER: So if this is a winner why are people like George Allen running away? 

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, for the reason that Dave and Steve have said, they actually stumbled on the truth simultaneously, which is -- what are the odds of that?

HAYES: Never happens.

(LAUGHTER)

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, this is a slam dunk. Of course you attack on this. It's what won in 2010. Who cares if people say move on? You make the case and they will listen. And the case is economic number one and second ideological, expansion of government and all the other stuff around that. 

And I think if you make it and Romney has to stop being obsessed with the idea that he is vulnerable because of what happened in Massachusetts. Ignore that. Who cares about what he did seven, eight years ago? Attack on what's happening today and what's going to happen in 2014 when this bill is implemented. 

ROBERTS: Do you want to reiterate one more time it is a tax? 

KRAUTHAMMER: It is a tax. It will remain a tax. It shall be a tax [INAUDIBLE]

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Last topic that folks want to hear about, Romney's potential vice presidential pick. And Ann Romney threw an interesting twist into it earlier this week when she said we have been looking at a woman. And "I'm thrilled about that." Who would the woman be? Names that have been floated around, Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire, Susanna Martinez, governor of New Mexico. Bill Kristol in the Weekly Standard – your boss -- thinks that it could be Condoleezza Rice. 

HAYES: That guy's crazy, Bill Kristol. Look, there has been talk of Condoleezza Rice. She certainly had a good performance out in Park City at this Romney confab not long ago, so I think there's people who have been talking about her. But she is, I think, pro-life, and Mitt Romney has said in an interview with me as elsewhere that he is not going to pick a pro-choice candidate -- I'm sorry, she is pro-choice, he's not going to pick a pro-choice.

ROBERTS: What do you think --

(CROSSTALK) 

DRUCKER: He is not going to pick Condoleezza Rice because she is too closely associated with the Bush administration, all eight years. Governors tend to like governors. So I expect him to pick either a governor or a former governor, despite the fact that there are members of Congress that are going to get serious consideration. I don't buy that the female look. I'm sure they are looking at them in broad numbers. I don't see anybody in there that fits the bill. 

ROBERTS: The last 15 seconds are yours sir. 

KRAUTHAMMER: Dull likes dull. I think he will double down on dullness, go with Rob Portman -- solid, stable, he knows his stuff. He can rely on him. Not flashy. You run against charisma. You say you tried it in 2008. How did that work out? 

ROBERTS: That is why we like to give you the last word, Charles.  Thank you so much guys, have a great weekend. Thanks so much for showing up on this holiday week. 

That is it for the panel. Stay tuned for some unique ways that baseball fans can show their team spirit. This one is for Charles. 

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.