This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," December 24, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SHANNON BREAM, ANCHOR: We are back with our panel, and it is time for their naughty and nice list of 2013. Now, I'm going to start with nice because two of you picked the same person. Juan and Charles both picked the Pope. Juan, why is he your pick?
JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: After decades of trouble and scandal in the church, he has just revived the church in such an important way. I think he has brought people back to the church in terms of Christian understanding of the power of the gospel. In fact he talks about the gospel as something -- the joy of the gospel, Shannon. And he talks about the notion of Jesus as reaching out to people and offering counsel, compassion and comfort in a way that I think has just brought people back to Christianity.
So I just think, boy, what a gift he has been to the church and to the world. Remember, there are a billion-plus Catholics in the world, so to suddenly have a Pope who does not seem as if he is defensive, or he's locked into orthodoxy when he says he is not going to be the judge of everybody, including gays, but instead says I want to reach out and I want to offer you a place at god's table. To me, this is almost is something that would bring to you tears on this Christmas Eve.
BREAM: And, of course, Christ was all about not condemning people, dining with prostitutes and tax collectors.
WILLIAMS: I think he would do the panel.
BREAM: Yeah, hey, we will put out the invite. It's on. Charles, why is he your pick for nice?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's not quite -- it's the same guy but it's not quite for the same reasons as you might imagine. It isn't because he doesn't have a lot of views for orthodoxy. I think in a sense he does. But what he brings to the church, from what I see, speaking as someone who is Jewish, is he restores a kind of a Franciscan -- of course, that's the name he chose -- Franciscan vision of the Christian mission. He is a symbol of humility and utter humanity. And I think that happens to appeal across -- it sort of transcends religion and sect, and it's a universal appeal that touches everyone. And I think in that sense he brings kind of a new spirit or a refreshing spirit to the church that is felt everywhere.
And I think it's always surprising. You never expect that from an institution that old that you would have a breath of a new vision and a new sensibility with simply a new pope. But I think that's what he has managed to do in less than one year.
BREAM: Steve, your pick?
STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Mine was a different direction. Mine are the military families around the country who are spending tonight and the holidays without a family member that they are missing. My family knows a family out in suburban, Maryland, the father has been deployed overseas for eight months. The mother is working, running her small business. She has six children under the age of 12, raising them all, raising them well. And every time we say thank you or say you are amazing, she says, look, this is the life that we have chosen. So we deserve no special thanks. But I think on a night like tonight they do in fact, deserve special thanks, and so they deserve an extra special Christmas gift.
BREAM: My brother is deployed this year. And I know that my sister- in-law and the two little boys are living through the same thing. So thank you to all of our military families.
Now, so we can get everybody's naughty in we've got to speed it up a little bit. Charles, who is on your naughty list this year?
KRAUTHAMMER: Kathleen Sebelius for playing Evita to Obama's el president, as they turn American health care into their personal banana republic fiefdom, issuing edicts every morning and the country has to follow along and know what the law is. So don't cry for her, cry for us Argentina.
BREAM: OK. Juan?
WILLIAMS: Congressional Republicans get a coal from me because I think -- it's not only me. I think their ratings are the lowest in history.
BREAM: Well, the Congress as a whole, yes, for sure.
WILLIAMS: But congressional Republicans are the lowest in terms of the votes of Democrats, independents, and even fellow Republicans. So I think when you look at no jobs bill, no infrastructure, no effort to boost the American economy, shutting down the government for a time this year, you know, Speaker Boehner saying, the way we should measure our success, how much we repeal, not how much we get done. And they have gotten less done than do-nothing congresses of the past, I think they just get a lump of coal.
BREAM: Well, I will tell you, they will argue – because I see Steve shaking his head over there –
BREAM: -- that they have passed dozens of bills related to the economy. And we did see in the most recent polling that the generic congressional ballot did for the first time in a long time tip in favor of Republicans, but I understand they are getting your lump of coal.
WILLIAMS: Let me just tell you it's since tipped back.
BREAM: Coal it is.
HAYES: My original nomination for the naughty list was this absurd bureaucrat at the Dallas V.A. who has decided that Christmas cards that children have written are not going to be delivered to bedridden veterans because it would have offended them in some way.
BREAM: They use the words "Merry Christmas" or say "God bless you," anything religious –
HAYES: Anything like that.
BREAM: -- they said the school kids' cards cannot be delivered to the vets in the hospital.
HAYES: But I'm switching my vote. Now it's Juan.
HAYES: Juan gets my lump of coal and I say give an extra gift to congressional Republicans who are actually doing what voters asked them to do. And where is it written that passing more laws equals good government? It doesn't. So you get my actual lump of coal. Take it.
WILLIAMS: When the American people see an economy struggling and ask the government to do something, that's failure.
BREAM: Before we descend into complete chaos, I'm just going to say, I'm sure Juan is giving out a second lump of coal and it's going to Steve's stocking.
WILLIAMS: Not at all. My man here.
BREAM: Alright, no, there's lots of love up here tonight. That's it for the panel. But stay tuned for a dress code lesson on live TV, and a quick message from the "Special Report" staff.
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