All-Star Panel: Will Obama approve the Keystone pipeline?

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," January 25, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Every week viewers vote for your choice online in this, our Friday Lightning Round. And it will be lightning. This week, Keystone pipeline won with 44 percent of the votes. We're back with the panel.  Steve, the Nebraska governor approved the route. It's now in the administration's court. What's up?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: That's a good question. You have got politicians on both sides of the aisle who approved this thing. You have got, I think, a broad consensus among the people who are living in the states that would be affected that this would be good for jobs, a good thing for the economy. And yet you have a president who, I think, is still beholden to the energy or the environmental lobby, who shelved two previous approvals from the State Department in order to block this. I don't think he does it.

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: He is under renewed and tremendous pressure from the environment community to continue to oppose this and to reject it outright.  But he also does with all these other ambitious plans want to do some form of energy reform. If not any kind of cap and trade, some energy reform either in 2013 or 2015 with Republicans. And he knows this is the only way to get that moving, would be to change on that issue.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: He is riding so high politically, we saw in the inaugural address, that I find it hard to imagine that he will cave to his extreme left on this knowing what benefit it would bring. And now that the fig leaf of a Republican governor opposing it, who's now switched and proposes it is now gone, I expect he will probably do it.

BAIER: A huge turnout on the mall for the March for Life, some prominent speakers out there as well.


RICK SANTORUM, R – FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You are the voice of the voiceless. You are those who stand for love in a world of death.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R – KY: I have a question for those who don't respect and won't protect life.  Can a nation long endure that does not respect the sanctity of life?


BAIER: A lot of the supporters out there say they're making their fights in the states, Charles.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, this is a remarkable development. 40 years Americans have turned out in the freezing cold, today, in the hundreds of thousands because of a decision that was made by the Supreme Court -- that as Ruth Bader Ginsburg a liberal Supreme Court justice once said prevented a stable resolution of the issue.  Regardless of how you feel on the issue, this is the worst way to resolve this issue. It was changing at the time. Reagan had signed the most liberal abortion as governor, abortion law in country. We would have been today at a point where the states would have worked it out -- a messy compromise and a patchwork of laws. Instead we have a roadblock and people feel that they can't effect a decision that they ought to effect. And that is why you have Americans out on the street. It should not be that way. But they will out there marching for another 40 years.

BAIER: A.B., Gallup has it 48 percent of Americans pro-choice, 44 percent pro-life. But you have again 33 pro-life governors and lot of state legislatures making moves.

STODDARD: Right. As Charles said, everyone will be out on this issue on both sides in the streets until kingdom come. The pro-life movement is making meaningful strides state after state after state in the legislatures, passing laws. With the exception of probably personhood that have really, really significantly reduced the number of abortions that are accessible and available.

That said, most Americans who might agree with Charles about how Roe was decided support it, most Americans because of exceptions of rape and incest even when they're pro-life support abortion in those cases and support legalized abortion. The numbers are changing with young people but it is still a majority supporting legalized abortion.

BAIER: And numbers of abortions, especially among poor women, are up 18 percent. Steve?

HAYES: Right. But I agree. The proliferation of restrictions that we have seen take place throughout the states is not insignificant and it's quite a testament to the people who showed up out there today despite the fact that they won't get much coverage. If a left wing group puts out press release on climate change and has 12 people show up it will get wall-to-wall coverage on the networks. They have hundreds of thousands and very few people cover it year after year.

BAIER: We will. We will continue to. That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for, OK, an adorable end to the week. 

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