Friday Lightning Round: FCC's neutrality move

Panel sums up his week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," February 27, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: We're back with our panel. Friday lightning round, the FCC, historic vote this week to regulate the Internet. It's call net neutrality. What does it mean and how big a deal is it for you? We are back with the panel. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: This is a solution in search of a problem. What exactly is the great injury happening in the country that this 300 pages of regulations is supposed to solve? I haven't heard a good answer to that. There is speculation that perhaps Internet providers will adopt or acquire monopoly power and discriminate against small users versus large users. This is sort of the exact impulse of liberalism. You see something large, something new, something creative, you want to regulate it. And it's sort of a definition of reactionary liberalism that they would actually be applying a 1934 telecom regulation law that was applied to Ma Bell and to apply it to the Internet. This is going to be a real train wreck.

BAIER: Kirsten, the biggest deal for many lawmakers is that they didn't know anything about it. They didn't even have the FCC chairman testify. He is going to testify later. But they voted and there was no details.

KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY COLUMNIST: Right. Also, it seems that they were somewhat influenced by the Obama administration in what they were doing and it wasn't a very transparent process. I think it is a problem.

I'm actually torn on this. I think that it's -- I don't think the people who -- I don't think they think they are trying to stop creativity. I think they are trying to stop telecom companies from controlling the Internet. I think that's the concern. The problem is the solution is to have the government controlling it. And I think that -- these are two -- both sides are probably going to behave badly. The question is who is going to behave the least badly. I don't really know the answer to that.

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: There is nothing on planet earth so widely admired and enjoyed as the Internet. And they are going to fix it. The same people who give us the post office, ethanol, and Amtrak are going to improve the Internet. It defies belief.

What I would watch out for is an intersection between the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communications Commission as they decide that once the government regulates the speech on the Internet, they will say that the government has to regulate political speech. They have already said that they can regulate the quantity, content and timing of political speech. They will extend that reach to net neutrality.

BAIER: All right, CPAC heading into the weekend. It's been a couple of full days. Take a listen to the sights and sounds of CPAC today.


RICK PERRY, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: We had a great depression. We even survived Jimmy Carter.


PERRY: We will survive the Obama years, too.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: And around the world because of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, our allies no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: It's time for Hillary Clinton to permanently retire.


JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: There are a lot of other conservatives that haven't been asked. They don't know that they're conservative. If we share our enthusiasm and love for our country and belief in our philosophy, we will be able to get Latinos and young people and other people that you need to win to get 50.


BAIER: OK, so that intros or entrance into the Candidate Casino this week, 100 bucks in chips. We are talking the GOP field. Where do you place your chips? You can bet on the field. George?

WILL: I have 45 on Scott Walker. He has had a good week, partly because he was attacked by the media, and that earns him lots of points with the Republican base. And 25 for Bush. The rest goes to the field. There are really only two top tier candidates in this fluid process at the moment, Bush and Walker. The second tier candidates I suppose would be Rand Paul and Ted Cruz because they have fervent core orders. Everyone else is third tier.

BAIER: First time to the casino. Welcome aboard.

POWERS: I know. This is exciting. I did 40 on Jeb Bush who has been my sort of perennial favorite. And I tend to think he is the strongest candidate, which is probably part of what his problem is I think with some of the conservatives is that people like me like him so much. And Scott Walker, I gave 35. And I think, you know, Walker apparently was a huge hit at CPAC. People were extremely excited about him. He has had some gaffes recently but I think that outweighs that. And I have Marco Rubio at 20 and Rand Paul at five.

BAIER: OK. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm going to go counterintuitive. I have Rubio holding at 30 because I think this is increasingly looking like a foreign policy election, which is extremely rare, and he's the strongest. Walker, I dropped him $5. I know he is -- he done well. He has a good speech. His numbers are doubling. But he stumbled on evolution. He stumbled on religion. And he stumbled on a couple of other issues. In the speech yesterday he talked about I faced the union demonstrators so I can face terrorists. Bush, 25. And I doubled my investment in wine and women as a way to drown my sorrows because I'm so depressed over the state of the GOP. I think that's the best expenditure on that whole list.


BAIER: Governor Walker, by the way, on "FOX News Sunday" this weekend. Down the row really quickly, DHS funding, do they get it tonight?


POWERS: I will say no.

WILL: I will say yes.

BAIER: Optimist. George the optimist.

KRAUTHAMMER: No, contrarian.

BAIER: Contrarian. Yes.

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