Friday Lightning Round: Benghazi survivors identified

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 29, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Each week you vote in our Friday Lightning Round poll on the website and your favorite topic. Today you chose Benghazi survivors. We're back with the panel. Charles, are we ever going to hear from Benghazi survivors?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, I think if we don't, that ought to be sort of one of the major elements of the scandal. It is scandalous that for the first assassination of an ambassador in three decades we still cannot, have not, and, perhaps, as you suggest, will not hear from anybody who was on the scene. And if it's discovered, as has been reported, that they have had to sign nondisclosure agreements, that truly is a scandal, and that's where the inquiry ought to go.

BAIER: Chuck?

LANE: Well, actions speak louder than words, and whatever testimony David Ubben -- who is now recovering from his injuries that night -- whatever testimony he ultimately offers, the actions -- his bravery that night are something, I think, everybody can agree -- the opposite of scandalous. They were valiant and admirable.

BAIER: Steve?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, you have some survivors that are engaged in writing a book that want to tell their story. So we're going to at least get that. But I think to hear the full story about Benghazi will require Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to decide that they want to make it a big issue. And if they want to make it a big issue, it will be one. If they don't, then it won't.

BAIER: OK, this was a big inner party moment when governor of New Jersey Chris Christie said this in an interview.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R – N.J.: This strain of libertarianism that's going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think is a very dangerous thought. President Obama has done nothing to change the policies of the Bush administration in the war on terrorism, and I mean practically nothing. And, you know why? Because they work. These esoteric, intellectual debates, I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won't because that's a much tougher conversation to have.


BAIER: And he was asked if he was talking about Senator Rand Paul and he said he and others. Senator Paul tweeted a response, quoting here, "Christie worries about the dangers of freedom. I worry about the danger of losing that freedom. Spying without warrants is unconstitutional."  Back with the panel. Think lightning. Steve?

HAYES: Well, look, I think it's good that Chris Christie is pushing back against libertarian strains on national security. But he left a whole half of the field for other Republican potential contenders because he essentially endorsed President Obama on the War on Terror, suggesting it was the same as President Bush's. It's not the same. There are many, many differences. And for Republicans who want to run for president in 2016. You can be the hawk who is not defending President Obama's War on Terror.

BAIER: Chuck?

CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, Chris Christie is nothing if not forthright and a man who speaks his mind. And he really laid down the gauntlet for one of the people who is clearly going to be his rival for the GOP nomination. The most clever part wasn't in that clip. But I listened to the whole thing. He actually compared Rand Paul to Barack Obama, that is, the Barack Obama before he was president. And essentially said, you know, Rand Paul is advocating all the things Obama used to be for before he took the oath of office.

BAIER: Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: It's an extremely important moment. Rand Paul represents this sort of isolationist wing of the Republican Party. By this direct, fearless attack on him by Christie, I think he takes up the mantel of the majority of the GOP, which is interventionist, and that's a really important moment.

BAIER: But there is a libertarian movement and stream within the Republican Party that will be strong.

KRAUTHAMMER: And that's what makes what Christie did in taking it on so important and electrifying.

BAIER: I only have 30 seconds so I only need a loser of the week.  Steve?

HAYES: Bob Filner, mayor of San Diego, for reasons that don't need to be explained.

BAIER: Chuck?

LANE: Anthony Weiner, want-to-be mayor of New York, for reasons which also do not need to be explained.

BAIER: Not a lot of explanation needed for those first two losers of the week. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: Do I have to explain why it's Kim Kardashian? With the arrival of George Alexander Louis of Cambridge the celebrity gossip press is now going to be turning its attention to someone who is more interesting and at least equally accomplished.


BAIER: And there you have it, that ends the week. That's it for the panel.  But stay tuned to see how many stories ended up in one place this week.

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