Friday Lightning Round: Obama's gun message in Chicago

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," February 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, HOST: We're back with the panel. A quick Friday Lightning Round. The president was in Chicago talking gun violence in a very violent city. Steve?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, conservatives like to point to Chicago as a place that is a bad example of this. It took courage I would say for the president to go there. I don't think his comments there on gun and gun control and pushing for legislation will have any impact whatsoever on what happens in Congress. But I do think in the longer term the president's comment on fatherhood, which were sort of a reiteration of the ones that he made in the State of the Union, if he presses that agenda he could actually have some conservative buy-in on that. It's an important message.

BAIER: A big thing on Twitter today. Chuck, Facebook not paying any income taxes. In fact they get money back, $429 million. They made $1.1 billion in profit last year. Thoughts?

CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: The exact same story came up a year ago when they filed their taxes. It's long-standing loophole surrounding stock options. I don't understand the association of Facebook with Barack Obama or the Democrats on this issue because the people who have been trying to close the loophole, the most prominent one is Carl Levin, who is a Democrat. He has been campaigning around this. The last time I saw Mark Zuckerberg he was hosting a big fundraiser for Chris Christie in California. I don't see this as partisan issue.

BAIER: Right. But it happens the same week as the State of the Union where President Obama is saying we should cut all the loopholes and deductions for the well- connected, and he was out at Facebook.

LANE: Like Chris Christie.

BAIER: Like Chris Christie. Sure. Charles, winners and losers?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  Winner, Jack Lew. He has one of the great hearings. He had some issues, Cayman Islands and Citigroup revolving door. He handled it. He proves that getting affirmed is, 90 percent of that is demeanor. He was incredibly calm and respectful, didn't have a pulse. He sailed through and will get his nomination affirmed.

Losers, the four-year-olds of America. They're jumping around laughing, screaming, having a great time, and Obama wants them all to go to school, every single one right away. Why? To prepare them for high-tech economy of the future. We can't wait until the age of five. No sir. We can't let the Chinese four-year-olds be working  on the solar panels and cars that run on algae while our four-year-olds are lollying around and doing nothing. We are number one. We have to stay that way. The four-year-olds of America better shape up. Have a good day, kids.

BAIER: Winners and losers, quickly.

LANE: Weird choice for winner, Marco Rubio, for surviving that whole kerfuffle about the water bottle and dealing with it in a little bit of good humor. Loser is kind of obvious -- Jesse Jackson, Jr. is in deep trouble with the law, allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars from campaign money. It looks like he might do some jail time.

HAYES: My winner is the Senate Democrats, actually, because for after going really years without doing anything serious on debt and deficits they offered a proposal this week to set aside the sequester. Now I think it's a terrible proposal on merits, but it's nice to have them back in game engaging in exchange of ideas and making policy proposals.

The loser in my view was the mainstream media this week, the national media. You had an obsession with the cruise ship. Hours --

BAIER: We are on there.

HAYES: I did include Fox.

BAIER: Fair and balanced. Very fair.

HAYES: Hours of obsessing about Marco Rubio's water. And at the same time the media in tone and substance basically siding with an administration that decided they are going to withhold information from reporters. That's a new moment in recent journalistic history and it's not a good turn.

BAIER: OK, panel, thank you.

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