All-Star Panel: Handicapping the House majority leader horse race

Reaction from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 11, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: House Republicans will hold elections for the leadership a week from tomorrow. We're back with the panel. George, what about this horse race now to be majority leader? Kevin McCarthy, currently the whip, is said to be jockeying for position and Cantor is supporting him. But is there going to be this need to have a hat tip to the more conservative, if there is such a thing, wing of the party?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, the conservatives certainly want that and some people who would satisfy the conservatives, Paul Ryan and Jim Hensarling, have a problem. That is Jeb Hensarling is invaluable as the chairman of the financial services committee. Paul Ryan is about to inherit Ways and Means where he would be a national asset. And it is my understanding that if you are a majority leader you cannot chair a committee.

BAIER: Chuck?

CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, there is a good deal of sentiment now among the more conservative and especially the southern wing that not South Virginia is not the South anymore. We are talking Georgia and Texas, that they're entitled to a leadership position, because, of course, it's it not just the majority leader that's going to change. Somebody bumps up to that and then other positions come open below it. And that's kind of where Hensarling comes into play, Mr. Price from Georgia. Pete Sessions also from Texas is in the mix. And it's going to -- I think it will be interesting to see how moderate Republicans use their position in the caucus now to try and tip this thing because some of them are worried that it's going to go too far right.

BAIER: On the issue of immigration, take a listen to the House majority leader until the end of July on that issue.


REP. ERIC CANTOR, R-VA, HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: I think it is much more desirable and frankly doable if we did it one step at a time, working towards where we have common ground and believe things in common. I don't believe in this my way or the highway approach that the president has laid out, and I have continued to take that position. I have said that there is common ground at the border. There is common ground. I would like to see the issue of the kids addressed by those that didn't break any laws and come here unbeknownst to them.


BAIER: Steve, what about immigration?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, if they do it one step at a time, I don't think that first step will come soon. I don't think it will come before the 2014 elections. I think it's -- it will be interesting to see how immigration plays in the debate about leadership. Kevin McCarthy is regarded as somebody who is as pro-immigration, maybe more, as Eric Cantor is. And you have already been hearing from red state conservatives who say, we don't want somebody from that, and conservatives from outside of that we want somebody different, we want somebody who comes from a red state. Most of the Republicans in the House GOP come from red states. We want a red state representative.

BAIER: Yes or no, is it dead?

LANE: I think it's dead. I don't think it was very alive before this.

WILL: It was dead already.

BAIER: Join us tonight for a Special Report Online, 7:00 eastern right after this show. We'll talk about the things we didn't get to in tonight's panel, the Taliban prisoner swap hearing, including Hillary Clinton, plus that interview we had tonight with Eric Stahl, the pilot. Logon now, Foxnews.com/SRonline and we'll see you in a couple minutes.

That's it for the panel, but stay tuned for a look at just how outdated the technology really is at the V.A.

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