All-Star Panel: Will recent controversies plague potential Clinton campaign?

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," March 9, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: "Saturday Night Live's" effort to depict the controversy ongoing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's e-mails. There is reporting out there that she may address this within the next 48 hours, to which our friend Karen Tumulty with The Washington Post tweeted "Is the explanation coming by Pony Express?" We are back with the panel in Washington. Jonah, what do you make of this, and where is this going?

JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW: Well, you know it's funny -- so the "Saturday Night Live" thing is deadly regardless of whether this turns into a major scandal, whether there's a smoking gun e- mail or any of that kind of thing because the way Hillary Clinton is responding to this scandal is perfectly consistent with the way she has responded to pretty much every controversy over the last 25 years. She goes into a bunker. She gets paranoid. She sends out the usual sock puppets to defend her. We saw Lanny Davis this weekend. And it reinforces this idea that this is the kind of person who is Nixon in a pant suit. And it's a real problem for her because if this is how she handles a crisis, how do we know that she is not going to handle her presidency the same way?  And The "Saturday Night Live" skit reinforces the sense that nothing about her is authentic. Everything she does is calculated. And that is a deadly position to be in when running for president.

BAIER: Julie, what do you make of it?

JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, here is what I don't quite understand about the Clinton response this week in particular. It was clear last week that they thought this was something that was going to blow over and they thought it was something that they could get away with responding by having her send out a tweet.

It became clear on Sunday when you saw Dianne Feinstein, a fierce ally of Clinton, come out and criticize her that this was not going to go away.  Now, it's Monday, and they're talking about, we will probably respond. You will probably hear from her in the next couple of days. Why not just do it today? This thing is not going to go away until she responds. It probably won't even go away then. But, until she says something herself it just leaves this void where you are putting the White House and Democrats in the position of essentially being her spokesperson. You are giving Republicans a clear opening and you're just giving nothing to try to fill that void. Again, I don't think this is going to go away if she speaks. But if you already know you are going to need to respond, why not just do it at this point?

BAIER: You know, we have other journalists like Ron Fournier and others saying that this is all one big problem for the Clintons, not only the e-mail controversy but obviously the Foundation funding for the Clinton Foundation. Here is former President Clinton dealing with that over the weekend.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We did get money from other countries, and some of them are in the Middle East. And the money that we raised in the last couple of years for an endowment so this -- all these projects will run forever even when I get to the point where I can't raise the money every year are from people that have helped us before. And I think it is a good thing. My theory about all of this is disclose everything and then let people make their judgments.


BAIER: Charles, what do you think of all of that?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Disclose everything? This whole scandal is about nondisclosure. It's about hiding e-mails. It's about having your own server so you have your own lawyers protecting it. It's about having this money flow in from the outside world while she is secretary of state, and now knowing that she might be the president, which obviously is a kind of corruption.

And yet I sort of admire Bill. He has the traditional in his own life this characteristic chutzpah where he'll just say, yes, I did it. It's perfectly OK.

Look, I think the damage here could be horrible if there is actually stuff in the e-mails. But imagine that there isn't any. The damage is already done precisely because it revives the memories of the Clintons in the '90s, especially for "Saturday Night Live" with a young audience, it's telling them for the first time that this is who the Clintons are. Anybody who remembers the '90s knows how they parsed and they skimmed and they reinterpreted words. It could be that it was illegal what she did, it could be that it wasn't or it was skirting the rules or it wasn't. But the point is it raises the question, do you want to have this baggage around for the next four years or eight years? And that's where I think the damage is done, reminding people of how they conducted themselves in the past and telling them that in that sense they are utterly incorrigible.

BAIER: Next up we will get some final words about the interview with President El-Sisi from Cairo. We are live from London.

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