Can traditional America make a comeback?

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the future of the country


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Back of the Book" segment tonight. Yesterday, I did an extensive "Talking Points Memo," which you can see on our Web site, about the fact that I believe traditional America can and will make a comeback.

Dennis Miller disagrees with me. So, I wanted to know what Charles Krauthammer thought. He's traveling today but I caught up with him before he left.


So, Charles, do you think I'm right or wrong. I believe, as you know, that traditional America can make a comeback. And you say.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it can. And I think Romney did not make the argument. When you remember, I think the reason he shied away from the argument, basically, to boil it down, it's the givers and the takers, to make it rather crudely.

He got caught with a tape saying, "The 47 percent." Now, that number is not an accurate number. That number describes people who don't pay income tax.

But, some of them are older people on Social Security or the military. So, he was open to attack and then he just ran away from that.

Whereas, I think Ryan made a case. It's a much smaller number but it's a significant number. And the strategy of liberals has always been to increase dependency because that increases their constituencies and then keeps them in power.

Now, I'll give you one example of what's coming up. Obama Care. Obama Care will now subsidize insurance for families making up to four times the poverty rate.

That's $91,000 per family in some states. Now, once you're subsidizing people at $91,000, you're subsidizing everyone. And that's the point that liberals want to do.

The more you make more people dependent, the more you have your constituencies, the more they re-elect you. And that's the strategy. I don't think the argument is lost. But I think it's got to be made.

And Romney simply, a, couldn't really engage it very well particularly after his mistake. And, second, he didn't feel fluent in it the way the younger generation, the Ryans and the Jindals and the others who are up- and-coming and will be in 2016, the way that they can make it.

O'REILLY: All right. But that's an economic argument. And with Obama Care, yes, more people will be coming under the tent of government assistance.

But, also, they'll be paying for it because taxes are going to have to go up and everybody is going to pay more in some way, shape or form.

But, socially, when you see 71 percent of Hispanics voting for secular progressive, Barack Obama, who doesn't really share their values about religion -- well, I can't say family because Obama is a good family man and he puts forth a good example there.

But he doesn't make it a cause. Certainly, he doesn't challenge the abortion zealots. He seems to be opposed socially, from most, in the Hispanic community. Yet, Romney never went there at all.

KRAUTHAMMER: Romney never went anywhere at all. What Romney did -- and he had that one great night in the first debate. And that brought him back into the race and put him ahead, in fact.

What Romney decided at that point was he's going to run on the economy on stewardship and he could coast to victory. And, remarkably, if you look at the exit polls, a majority or a plurality of Americans thought the economy was improving on election day.

Now, when your whole strategy is to run saying, "He had the chance to run the economy. He failed and I know how to do it," because that's the path that leads to resistance. That's the path where you can make the argument without trying.

When the numbers switch on you and the perception of the economy changes, you've got nothing. So, instead of running large -- when he appointed Ryan, he had a chance to run on the -- you know, the entitlement state, the state that increased dependency, all of this. He decided not to do it.

O'REILLY: No. I know.

KRAUTHAMMER: And remember the third debate.

O'REILLY: Right.

KRAUTHAMMER: He wouldn't engage on Benghazi either. He had all these opportunities but he ran a conservative race.

O'REILLY: And he lost. OK, now going forward though, you agree with me that Hispanic-American voters can be drawn in to the traditional forces.

I'm not talking so much of party politics now. But, you know, can they -- or are they like African-Americans who are going to stay voting a block of -- to the left no matter what happens.

KRAUTHAMMER: I think Hispanics are very different from African- Americans and the other constituencies of Obama, lost, single women and young people are generally more liberal.

And republicans are a conservative party. That's who they are. The country does not need two liberal parties. But Hispanics are not inherently liberal.

Hispanics, you know, they're a tight family. They have -- you know, they're religious Catholic. They're socially-concerned especially on abortion.

These are of national constituency. They are a striving immigrant group. And that is a natural conservative constituency. The problem is, they've been driven away by a party that refuses to deal with the issue of illegal immigration.

O'REILLY: Do you believe that if Marco Rubio had been the vice presidential choice instead of Paul Ryan, that that would have made a difference in Florida, Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado.

KRAUTHAMMER: No. It wouldn't have made enough of a difference in this election. But if Marco Rubio is the presidential candidate in 2016 and the party begins to advocate enforcement, plus amnesty after enforcement, I think it will be a sea change.

I think you'll get a revolution of the Hispanic vote. And I think it will restore all this talk about how republicans are demographically extinct is nonsense.

O'REILLY: Charles Krauthammer, thank you as always.


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