Friday Lightning Round: Global economic turbulence

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," October 17, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Each week we ask you to vote online in our Friday Lightning Round poll and your favorite topic. You can see it right here. You chose the economy. It has been a wild ride on Wall Street. This week ended up 263 today on the Dow. We're back with the panel. Charles, there is just this uncertainty, the global situation, a lot of factors.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Right. I mean a lot of crazy rants from ISIS to Ebola. But a sense also of a slowdown in Europe, Germany looking at a third recession, Greece approaching insolvency again, China slowing down, although not going over a cliff, and the reduction, the collapse of oil prices. Now, in the short run that always unsettles the markets. But in the medium and the long run that is a boon to Americans. It's going to put about a quarter of a trillion dollars in the pockets of Americans in spending money which is going to help us get out of this and to reboot the stock market.

BAIER: We asked our panel to choose a race that they are watching, one that is interesting to them. Amy, you start?

AMY WALTER, COOK POLITICAL REPORT: Well, I'm watching Iowa. I think that's going to be a great place to watch on election night. That is going to tell us what kind of night it's going to be for both parties. I think if Republicans win the state with Joni Ernst, the Republican here, that is a sign of a very big night for Republicans. It's also a good sign for Republicans looking forward into 2016, that they're winning a state that's not red. This is a state obviously that Barack Obama carried both times. So that's a state that I'm going to be watching very closely.

If Republicans don't win, Democrats win there, doesn't mean that they can't win control of the Senate, but it does mean it's going to be a much later night.

BAIER: Steve?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I'm also watching a race that I think if we are talking about it on election night it will say some very important things, and it's the Maryland governor's race where Larry Hogan, the Republican, is running against Anthony Brown who is running in effect for Martin O'Malley's third term. This is a race that should not be close at all. I mean, Barack Obama won the state in 2012 by 26 points. Martin O'Malley won re-election in a heavily Republican year in 2010 by 14 points. And Larry Hogan running on a very simple spend-less, tax-less message in Maryland has some polls that show him within seven points of Anthony Brown who ran the Maryland health care exchange and has been beat up because of it. If we are talking about this race on election night, it means that it's been a very, very good day, good evening for Republicans across the country.

BAIER: Watch that Georgia Senate race we talked about earlier. That's going to be close – one to watch late.

KRAUTHAMMER: Another governor's race in a state where it shouldn't be close. In Massachusetts Martha Coakley versus Charlie Baker. They are in a dead heat, 10 percent undecided. This state with a three to one Democratic registration advantage over Republicans. However, Coakley, you will remember, is the Democrat who lost the Ted Kennedy seat in the special election 2010 to Scott Brown. So she could lose it again.

BAIER: OK, winners and losers down the row here. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: My loser, Alison Grimes in Kentucky, the candidate who refuses to say she voted for Obama. And when you begin to look foolish, it's really hard to shed the image.

My winner, Nigel, the purloined parrot. Disappeared from his owner four years ago, reappeared. Owner has him again. But as you described so charmingly on Tuesday, he reappeared having lost his British accent and now speaking Spanish. We have no idea who parrot-napper is. However, Nigel has been asking for a guy called Larry. So Larry, if you are out there, turn yourself in. We will find you.


BAIER: Donde est Larry? OK, winners and losers?

WALTER: I can't compete with that. All right, for the loser I think the obvious one which is the CDC. And it actually was a year ago a Pew poll had Americans rank who they thought was the best agency. The CDC was number one. By the way, next was the Veteran's Affairs Department. Both obviously, have had a very, very tough year.

For my winner I'm going to pick the Kansas City Royals. Even if you are not a baseball fan, you have got to love this story. In an era where we have been talking really only bad news, underdogs winning, first time since 1985 being in the World Series. I think it's a lot of fun. Listen, I like the O's, I like the Nats, but I'm going to cheer for these guys.

BAIER: That's pretty good. George Will would be proud.

HAYES: Yes, that's a very good story. So my winner is Ted Cruz who was calling more than two weeks ago for this travel ban that he now has lots of company on. My loser is this woman at the Pentagon who threw up and then said, lied apparently, about having traveled to Africa.


BAIER: Liberia, not just Africa.

HAYES: Right, to one of the three affected countries, to Liberia.  We all react to these kinds of stories and potential crises in different ways. But one way that you shouldn't do it is to be a complete moron, and that's what she was.

BAIER: We don't know the whole story there yet.

KRAUTHAMMER: I would put her on quarantine on those grounds alone.

HAYES: I'm for it.

BAIER: We followed it all day here, trust us. That's it for the panel but stay tuned for some alternative names for the military operation against ISIS.

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