Friday Lightning Round: San Diego Mayor Filner to resign

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 23, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: This is a Fox News alert. You are looking live in San Diego.  The San Diego city council voted seven to zero on the terms of the settlement with Mayor Bob Filner. Filner has resigned effective August 30th. The city council accepted his resignation. He is speaking right now. Let's take a listen.

BOB FILNER, SAN DIEGO MAYOR: We had a structurally balanced budget, and we joined in a five year labor agreement which for the first time gives us a stability, an ability to help our employees, and without further vilification of them, for those that serve our city. As you know I ran on a platform of neighborhoods, of making them livable, walkable, bikeable.


BAIER: Again, Mayor Filner is now, as he is resigning August 30th is going through a list of things he accomplished. At the beginning of this statement we're told he talked about the allegations of sexual harassment and others.

We're back with the panel Lightning Round changing around a little bit with this breaking news, Filner resigning August 30th.

JONAH GOLDBERG, AT LARGE EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: I like the little bit about livable communities and neighborhoods, just so as long as you weren't within reaching distance and a woman of the mayor of those livable communities. He should go -- and I think it's terrible that they are forcing female taxpayers to front the cost of it.

BAIER: Chuck?

LANE: I'm always a little unhappy when you get one of these deals where, in effect, the wrong doer gets to leverage his wrongdoing into some kind of financial benefit. It seems to me the best thing with this is let the legal process run its course. But, they have struck their deal.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I'm concerned about the date of the resignation. By my calculations, that means is he in office for another week and the penalty is already set. That means he can grope with impunity for seven more days. The women of San Diego had better stay indoors until the 30th.

LANE: Lock up your daughters.

BAIER: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner apologizes to accusers but denies harassing them.

KRAUTHAMMER: Depends on what you mean by harassment, to use a Clintonian. Look, it's a sad case actually. He is a sad guy. He did a lot of bad stuff. If this is a way to get him out it's worth of the money, I suppose.

BAIER: One more on this. What about that, we heard it in the piece earlier from Larry Sabato, that Democrats have a problem here with Filner and Weiner and Spitzer and Republicans have a potential retort to war on women charges.

GOLDBERG: I think there is some truth to that. In 2006-2008, there was a lot of bad sex scandals for Republicans and it worked against Republicans. It seems to me that this should work against Democrats in the same way. It's not entirely fair. It certainly doesn't speak to the actual beliefs or anything like that. But it's politics.

BAIER: Chuck?

LANE: I think it's damaging to the Democratic Party brand. You throw in that guy Eric, what's his name, who had resigned from Congress for doing essentially the same thing --

BAIER: Massa.

LANE: Yeah, Eric Massa. So, there is kind of a series of them here. And I fully expect the Republicans to try and make something out of it politically.

BAIER: Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm not sure how much of an effect it will have. There's a pattern in journalism where if you see a Republican caught with his trousers at his knees, you see the word "Republican" in the first line of the piece. And then there is a parlor game that conservatives play. If it's a Democrat, how deep in the piece is it before the person is identified as a Democrat?

BAIER: I want to go one last quick round -- 88-year-old Delbert Belton, who was beaten to death, World War II veteran, in Spokane, Washington.

KRAUTHAMMER: Pat Moynihan is a great Democratic senator and sociologist, once said that the single most important role of a society and of a family is to socialize young men. Of any race, it wasn't a question of race -- young men. Because if you don't socialize them and civilize them, you have got a problem that you cannot eradicate and you can't control. And this is a failure of that happening in this instance and a lot of other instances.

LANE: This is obviously a horrific event, terrible tragedy, and compounded by the fact that this man served so nobly and this is the way he loses his life. I just don't want the excitement over cases like this to gloss over the fact that we have made tremendous progress against street crime in this country. The murder rate today is about half of what it was 20, 25 years ago. The streets are safer in this country, and that means fewer black young men are committing these crimes that we are talking about right now.

BAIER: Quickly Jonah, he was beaten with flashlights.

GOLDBERG: Yeah look, it's a hideous crime. So is the shooting in Oklahoma. I think in some ways we wouldn't have been hearing about these as much as we had been if it weren't for the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial where a lot of the mainstream media tried to racialize everything very unfairly, and this is sort of a blowback from that.

BAIER: That is it for the panel, but stay tuned for something that will make you go awe.

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