Donald Trump AIPAC speech takeaways

Reaction from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," March 21, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Let's get some quick analysis from our panel syndicated columnist George Will, Fortune Magazine's Nina Easton, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: That was a positioning speech. He said every cliche, every line that has ever been invented to show one's support of Israel, regarding negotiations, regarding Iran, regarding terrorism, regarding incitement and education.

Now, as a policy speech it's meaningless. He says they have to reeducate their children and stop inciting the violence, and we're going to do it. Believe me. Well, I don't understand the applause, but I guess people at least appreciated the fact that he says it. I don't think it gives you any idea what he would do as president. But he had to undo the damage of saying I would be neutral, and he essentially said I'm not neutral, and it is that that succeeded.

BAIER: But, Nina, even if you look at the pie in the sky of what is going to happened, just the image of AIPAC standing on their feet in that Verizon Center.

NINA EASTON, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: That's right, Bret. This was an exercise in him trying -- Trump trying to buy credibility, which I think he did quite well, the best he has in his campaign so far -- to buy credibility with the Republican establishment and people who think that he doesn't have a clue how to run this country. I mean, this was a guy who just last week was bragging that he only consults himself on things. This is clearly a speech that he had a lot of help on. He gave a very plain spoken, passionate case against Iran and Iran's support for terrorism that your average person could understand. And it was very compelling. And we went from the talk of rabbis staging a walkout to multiple standing ovations. It was a big night for him.

BAIER: George?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It was a very kind of survey of the diplomatic history, the Ehud Barak proposal and all the rest at Camp David. He made one misstep, and it could be a crucial one. He referred to Israel negotiating with Palestine as though Palestine is an established state to negotiate with. That is a U.N. fiction and a very pernicious one.

BAIER: But yet, Charles, does this put him in a different light after delivering this speech?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, it's the first speech he has given that he delivered written, thought out probably by -- I don't know who wrote the speech, but whoever did knows the Middle East. I do agree that was a bit of a slip, the reference to Palestine. But nonetheless, the examples he gave showed somebody who knows the area unlike Trump who didn't know Hezbollah from Hamas a few months ago. But I think as that it showed a seriousness that he has not shown. And by staying on script, he has showed that he could act like a president, which I think is something new.

BAIER: Every candidate addressed this conference.

EASTON: That's right.

BAIER: Except Bernie Sanders.

EASTON: The only Jewish candidate, which is interesting. And it was interesting that his -- it sounds like his -- the reaction in the room, we weren't in the room, but the reaction in that convention center was at least as high for Donald Trump as it was for Hillary Clinton.

BAIER: Panel, thank you.

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