All-Star Panel: Media knives come out for Gov. Walker

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," February 12, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution?  Do you believe in it, do you accept it?

GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R - WI: For me I'm going to punt on that one as well.


WALKER: That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other. So I'm going to leave that up to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any British politician, right or left wing, they would laugh and say yes, of course, evolution is true.

WALKER: To me I said it's just one of those where I'm here to talk about trade, not to pontificate on other issues. I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin. It's going well.


WALKER: And I would like to see an even bigger evolution as well.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: I don't know what it is about London, candidates drawn there.  Scott Walker there asked about evolution. Soon after that appearance he tweeted out this, "Both science and my faith dictate my belief that we are created by God. I believe faith and science are compatible and go hand in hand." He then continued, "It's unfortunate the media chose to politicize this issue during our trade mission to foster investment in Wisconsin." Back with the panel. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, that was an impudent and condescending question. This is a British twit testing out how crude and peasant like are Americans. It's a pity that Walker didn't say that. Of course, he can't say it. The answer, which I'm sure he now knows, has to be like thousands of scientists, I see no contradiction between a belief in evolution and a belief in god. End of story.

BAIER: Chuck, we have the latest candidates. We did the polling differently this time. This time Fox News polls, we did grades. And Scott Walker now gets the highest grades of the pack. But it's a B. And there you see Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, the next two B-minuses. What about this dust- up, if it is that?

CHARLES LANE, OPINION WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, yeah. It's a little knick on his incipient campaign, I guess. It would have been smoother if he could have just said something and moved on. I think maybe he was tripped up by the fact they pronounce it evolution in Britain and not evolution. Maybe he didn't hear the question right.

Look, he is going to be put through the wringer.

BAIER: The fact that he is getting this attention shows you something.

LANE: Yeah. And what I think people need to remember, though, a very interesting fact about Scott Walker, more than any other candidate with the possible exception of Chris Christie, he has already been put through the wringer in Wisconsin not once, not twice, but three statewide decide campaigns in which huge pressure was brought to bear against him. Huge money was spent, and investigations were launched, and dirt was searched for in copious detail on him. And, you know, he has been thoroughly vetted by all of that over three years. And I think that's actually -- people are talking about this college degree thing and everything. That actually may be a secret advantage that he has.

BAIER: George?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Because Jeb Bush came out of the block so fast and so forcefully he forced other people to get on the track and start running before they are ready, and some of them are going to stumble for that reason.

Scott Walker has been asked about Syria and about ethanol, and his questions are not up to speed. That's not quite his fault yet. What is his fault is to not to be ready for a question like this because it's a standard way of trying to embarrass Republicans. Today is Darwin's birthday. He and Lincoln, arguably the two most important people of the 19th century, were born on the same day. We should be able to come to the terms with the fact when asked about evolution you say yes. And if one syllable of one word is not enough say Paleontology. Everything says evolution is a fact. Get over it.

LANE: A lot of people in Iowa, unfortunately, don't subscribe to that, and that's partly --

BAIER: Let me ask you about this front page, Washington Post, about education and the mystery behind Scott Walker leaving college, questions linger. That's how it's phrased. We had a long interview and we had a clip that will run on my blog, "The Daily Bret," where he goes into what happened. He went and got a job.

KRAUTHAMMER: I don't understand the story. Where is the story here?  Student who is bored with his studies with a year to go in credits in his senior year, interested in other events, is offered a good job and leaves.  That's a story? That's a dog bites man story. I mean, in fact, Bill Gates in 2007 received an honorary degree because he never got his degree. And the idea that there are questions that are raised is baffling. I think this is a guy who has been vetted and people are searching for dirt. It's hard to find.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for a lesson in the lottery.

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