All-Star Panel: Elizabeth Warren vs. Hillary Clinton?

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 12, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D - MA: Powerful interests will fight to hang on to every benefit and every subsidy they now enjoy even after exploiting consumers, larding their books with excessive risks and making bad bets that brought down the economy.

ADAM GREEN, BOLDPROGRESSIVES.ORG: Elizabeth Warren every week is creating new oxygen in the room for things like Wall Street reform and making sure that don't cut Social Security benefits. So she is having an impact whether she runs or not. If Hillary Clinton does not take off the table cuts to Social Security benefits and if she cozies up to Wall Street, well that would leave a lot of political space for some insurgent candidate to run.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democratic senator, she's getting a little bit of press lately -- The New Republic, the front cover.  And the story is called "Hillary's Nightmare." What about this? Is it possible that Hillary Clinton, if she chooses to run for president, and many believe she will, will get a challenge from the left? We're back with our panel – Steve?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Sure, it is possible. But think about it this way. On the day that Americans re-elected Barack Obama in 2012 the majority of Americans still said that they thought government was doing too much, not too little. You look around at the wreckage of ObamaCare; you look at the failures from the first Obama administration term, you have David Axelrod saying the president couldn't have known about the IRS because the government is too vast. You have President Obama, as James Rosen pointed out in his piece last night, suggesting that the bureaucracies are inefficient and the government is too big. And out of that, you want to birth to the country a candidate for the Democrats who would say the solution now is more government? That makes absolutely no sense, and it is hard to envision a scenario in which she represents anybody other than the Occupy Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party.

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: I think she -- I think she connects with more than just the Occupy Wall Street part of the party. I think she connects with liberals elites -- with elites in the media, like The New Republic, for example.  And I think she will be the darling of those kind of people.

But Democrats generally like Hillary Clinton, and in fact they like her a lot more than they even did when she ran the last time around. And I think that most Democrats have sort of settled on the idea that she's the candidate; they want a woman candidate; they want it to be Hillary. I would be surprised if Elizabeth Warren would insert herself into that process. If she did, she can make life unpleasant for Hillary, for sure; could bloody her up a bit in the primary. But the chances of her actually winning a majority of voters in the primary I think are pretty small.

BAIER: George?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: If she doesn't someone will, represent not the Occupy Wall Street wing, but what Howard Dean called the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, and if she doesn't do it, Howard Dean might do it. Ask yourself -- people in the base of the two parties are in it for the fun of it. What's more fun -- to have William Jennings Bryant, a female Bryant from Harvard yard out there railing against capitalism and all its evil works, or someone like Hillary Clinton who has been on the national scene by 2016, for 25 years? She may be past her sell date.

I think these people that are in the politics for the fun of it, that's why people love Christie. Christie is not only having fun, he is fun. And I'm not sure that Hillary Clinton at age 69, two weeks before the election, looks like the next new thing.

BAIER: Is it possibly a benefit if Elizabeth Warren even considers or pushes to have run somehow makes Hillary Clinton look less liberal?

WILL: I don't think coronations help parties. I think candidates are made better by being in the -- in a hot contest. The last time Mrs. Clinton was the odds-on favorite to win, she lost. And she might do so again.

BAIER: Last word.

HAYES: Well, it is conceivable that she would lose. I just don't think Elizabeth Warren is likely the person who would defeat her. For one thing, you can go back to the campaign that she ran in Massachusetts in 2012 where she was anything but, I would say, a strong candidate. If you spent any time with her out on the campaign trail, as some of my colleagues did, their reports were that she was a pretty dismal candidate.

BAIER: Is there anybody else out there, Kirsten, that is a challenge to Hillary Clinton?

POWERS: Not right now. We don't know what will happen between now and Election Day. So I don't rule out the possibility there is somebody that could beat hill Clinton.

BAIER: Do you think Bill Clinton today was creating separation on health care?


BAIER: That's it for the panel. But stay tuned as Kathleen Sebelius makes yet another apology for that website failure.

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