All-Star Panel: What is the way forward for Republicans in 2014, 2016?

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


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


ANDY BARKETT, RNC CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER: We want to win. We want to win elections. That's our goal. We want to win '14; we want to win '16. We want to win every election after that. Right now what we're investing in is we're investing in building stuff. The stuff that we're building is the data science, the analytics to figure out which voters we need to be going after.   


JOHN ROBERTS, ANCHOR: That's Andy Barkett, he's the Republican National Committee's new chief technology officer, and he is charged with beating the Democrats at their own game in 2016, and that is data-mining in order to find out where those voters are who are persuadable to your side. So let's look at politics and the RNC right now with Tucker Carlson, we're back with Julie Pace, and Charles Krauthammer. The Democrats had a great game on the digital side of things in 2012. Can the Republicans, Charles, match them?  

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I don't see why not. I mean, it's true that the smart, young technologists are probably predominantly liberal, but there are enough of them. How many do you need, 50, 100, in the whole country that could actually the RNC at least match what the DNC did? So I don't see why in principle that's going to be difficult. I think the real story is, what's the message? What's the best way to approach young people and minorities? And it isn't only African American minorities, Hispanic. And interesting enough, of all the minorities you would have expected would have been split evenly would have been Asian-Americans, who have done extremely well economically, and yet they were overwhelmingly on the Democratic side. That actually is a puzzle that I think the RNC ought to think about and think about a message that would be more appealing. What are they missing in this?   

ROBERTS: So the Republican National Committee, Republicans across the country getting together for three days up in Boston, Julie, to talk about the way forward, how they win in 2014, how they win in 2016. Give us a little bit of a playbook here. What do they need to do other then get more people to vote for them?  

JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, 2014 doesn't look like a bad year for Republicans at this point. I think if you talk to most political analysts, the House looks pretty safe for Republicans. Some of the Senate races are looking good for Republicans. The Democrats are having a hard time recruiting in some states. 2016 is where the puzzle is still a little unsolvable. It's just not a matter of building stuff, as Andy said. It's a matter of crafting a message that will appeal to new people. It's not just that they didn't reach the voters that they needed and get them out to the polls and find where their addresses were and their polling places were. They just didn't have the electorate that actually couldn't trump the electorate that the Democrats had.

ROBERTS: And you've got to have compelling candidates as well when you are looking at the 2016 race, Tucker. And part of this RNC summer meeting is to put forward the new stars of the Republican Party -- the Marco Rubios, the Chris Christies. But when you look at those two people, they are being undercut by certain factions of the party at the same time that the RNC is trying to put them out there to say this is our future.

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: The final question is who is going to unite the party. The divisions are really deep and significant. And you think at the end, you know, some Reagan-like figure will come and convince the libertarians to get along with the establishment Republicans, with whatever the neocons are, whatever. It's almost hard to see anybody in the field now who is going to be capable of doing that. The divisions are really bitter. There is just a tiny union set of beliefs between, say, Rand Paul and Chris Christie. The sniping between them I think is at a higher level than the normal sniping between potential candidates. It's heart-felt.

ROBERTS: And you've got one or two, if you've got a broad Republican field, the sniping at each other with Hillary Clinton already the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, having such a wide field, does it help the candidates or does it hurt them? But the other aspect of the Hillary Clinton story is that you know, she moving into the building of the Clinton Foundation taking up a couple of floors. What are your thoughts on all of that?

KRAUTHAMMER: It's an association I'm not sure is going to help her politically. It's a perfect reflection of the persona of her husband. If you had to describe him and his presidency, you would say successful, charming, as always, rouge-ish, and sloppy, disorganized. I'm talking about the way he ran his White House, the pizza at 3:00 a.m., the stuff where it was like a bull session in college that went on and on. And that is reflected in the foundation, which has got as the New York Times showed in a very long article. These connections with corporate, celebrity, with money, with people who are self-dealing, is pretty messy. And I'm not sure if you are a candidate, despite Hillary's celebrity and how much she is adored by Democrats, it's a difficult association and it could be harmful.

ROBERTS: Julie, just quickly, we've only got a few seconds left here. Politics -- philanthropy too close to politics here?

PACE: Well, I don't think that anybody is going to be voting for or against Hillary Clinton based on what the Clinton Foundation is doing, but I think that that article and other articles you've seen really underscore the question that she has to answer, which is does she want to go through the scrutiny that she would have to run for president.

ROBERTS: Sign of the scrutiny she'll face? Tucker?

CARLSON: Do you think Hillary Clinton is going to be a great candidate? Go back and look at tape of her speeches from '08. Yeah, it will remind you. Brutal.

ROBERTS: Thanks, folks. That's it for the panel, but stay tuned as some clever tactics get caught on camera. We'll be right back.

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