Friday Lightning Round: President Obama blames Republicans for sluggish economy

Friday Lightning Round: Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 11, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER: Each week we ask you to vote online for your favorite Friday Lightning Round topic. This is that. You chose the economy. We're back with the panel. Take a listen to the president on the economy today.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We added about 200,000 new jobs last month, but there's no question that the shutdown harmed our jobs market. The unemployment rate still ticked up, and we don't yet know all the data for this final quarter of the year, but it could be down because of what happened in Washington.  Now, that makes no sense.

These self-inflicted wounds don't have to happen. They should not happen again. We should not be injuring ourselves every few month. We should be investing in ourselves.


BAIER: Back with the panel. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, look, the president is implying that the Republicans are to blame for our problems with unemployment. You know, a 16-day layoff has no effect on the rate or the growth of our economy, and, in fact, even though we had a slightly higher number, 2.8 percent, an entire one percent of that was inventory, which means it's not good, and which means there's going to be a slowdown in the next quarter.

BAIER: Chuck?

CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think if there was any impact form October on the economy, it was more likely the threat of default than the government shutdown because that was the much more threatening thing to the financial community and to people's attempts to make business plans. And I think whatever might have happened in October to the economy was transitory; it was temporary. It amounted to delaying purchases, delaying investments, and so forth that so means that means it will come back on later. I'd be very surprised if it's actually true, as the president suggested, that it's a lasting blow to the economy.

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes, I think that's right. I think Chuck is right. This was probably an anomalous jobs report. I don't think anybody should read too much into it. Actually I'm echoing what the White House usually says after bad jobs reports. But we'll know much more about the state of the economy in a couple of months.

BAIER: OK winners and losers this week. Steve, let's start with you.

HAYES: The obvious winner is Chris Christie, here. He won in a blue state; he won with a huge margin. He made big arguments, and he's launching his presidential campaign.

BAIER: Loser?

HAYES: Loser is a guy named John Grant, who's a Bears -- a Chicago Bears fan who used a stun gun on his wife, a Green Bay Packer fan, after the Bears beat the Packers on Monday night football, stunned her three times. Now, I should say she lost a bet -- they apparently had a bet about who would use the stun gun on one another. But he's in some legal trouble now.

BAIER: Oh, my. OK Chuck?

LANE: Things the Packers fans do. Well, my winner is Twitter, which went public on the stock market this week, and even though they set their initial price at $26, it tweeted right up well over $40 and stayed there.  So a lot of people got rich off twitter.

My loser, I was thinking of mayors, and maybe it would be Rob Ford, that guy who got caught -- or admitted smoking crack in Toronto. But an even bigger loser in the own political system is Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York who blew $1 million of his supporting a tax increase referendum in Colorado that lost with two-thirds of the vote against it.

KRAUTHAMMER: Winner, Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. Four years ago, humiliated even in the primary, and now he's the governor of Virginia. The loser, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They are looking at the deal being cooked up in Geneva, and they are scared to death because it would give Iran a path to the bomb and would relieve sanctions. It looks as if it's not a deal that's been signed, but if it is, they're going to be looking for their own safety.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for more ObamaCare fallout, plus the SR Bing Pulse highlights. Stay here.

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