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Journal Editorial Report

Paul Ryan in a fight to save the GOP majority; What does Putin hope to accomplish?

This is a rush transcript from "Journal Editorial Report," October 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will drain the swamp in Washington, D.C. --

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: --and replace it with a new government, of, and by, and for the people.

I'm asking the American people to rise above the noise and the clutter of our broken politics, and embrace the great faith and optimism that has been the central ingredient in the American character.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.

That was Donald Trump in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania today, previewing what the first 100 days of the Trump administration would look like. From the economy to national security to government ethics, the Republican nominee promised once in a lifetime change if he is elected November 8th. So with just over two weeks to go, will the plan he laid out help him close the polling gap with Hillary Clinton.

Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger, is here; and columnists, Mary Anastasia O'Grady; Bill McGurn and Kimberly Strassel.

So, Dan, a new contract with America, closing argument, they advertised this for a couple of days, what did you make of it?

DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: Well, he calls it the contract with Donald J. Trump, and man, it was not a Hail Mary, there were 15 or 20 Hail Marys in there. A lot of things inside that.

Let me say this on his behalf. There's more change in that speech than Hillary Clinton will produce for the rest of her life. No question about it.

GIGOT: Right.

HENNINGER: There was a lot. And there was a lot of good things at the end, on taxes and energy and regulation, specific proposals for tax reform and reforming the energy system.

But, I think, let's cut to the chase, he doesn't have much time left and not many people saw that speech.

GIGOT: Right.

HENNINGER: But if he were to place ads in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio, and North Carolina, then he can convey that message. But to do that, he has $35 million of cash on hand, Donald J. Trump has to put $65 million of his own money in to it.

GIGOT: Mary, I looked at the speech in the Associated Press, and you know what the headline was? "Donald Trump threatens to sue his women accusers."

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT: It had nothing to do with the ideas he was laying out for change.

MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY, COLUMNIST: Right. It's really mindboggling why he would put that in the speech when he knows that's what the press is going to lead with on the headline one he said it. As Dan said, there was a lot of good ideas in there. And you know, this country does not want to vote for Hillary Clinton.

GIGOT: The majority clearly don't according to polls.

O'GRADY: They are asking him to give them a reason. It was another lost opportunity, I think, because he talked about energy, and you know, he talked about Obamacare. Those are all important. But he put too much emphasis on protectionism. He talked about 4 percent growth. You are not going to get it if you tear up NAFTA and call China a currency manipulator and damage our trade relationships.

Bill, in some ways, a microcosm -- the speech a microcosm of the campaign.  It took 17 minutes to get to the substance.

BILL MCGURN, COLUMNIST: Right. The policies, as Dan says, are fine. But he has two problems, especially with bringing up the women that he will sue them. One is the Chris Christie problem. I don't know if Chris Christie knew about the bridge closers beforehand. But the behavior of his age sounds like him. That is why it's getting traction. I don't know if Donald Trump groped these women, but it sounds like he based on the tape.  He has that problem. And talking about suing them, if he had a moment like Hillary Clinton had today, she says, I know there are some of you that have questions about me, and I want to earn your vote. We can say it's insincere, but she did it better than Trump today.

GIGOT: Kim, let's turn to the substance. I want to get the ideas that he put on the table here. I mean, you know, you follow energy for us, and he is really talking about an enormous amount of opening up of energy, developing in the United States, big tax cut, a really big economic program, if he can get in the White House and implement it.

KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Yeah. To be clear, it's important to note, there was nothing new here. It's pretty much, every idea that Donald Trump put in the speech, is something that the campaign covered before.  The idea was that there's a sense of urgency to it and that he is going to indeed be the change agent that gets it done.

But, yes, he had a bold economic plan in terms of energy and exports, dramatic tax reform, a regulatory proposal that he would get rid of two regulations for anyone that was proposed, for instance. He had a big ethics part of it, which was about new restrictions on lobbyists, a new proposal for constitutional amendment for term limits. This is talking to people who feel there's gridlock and problems and favoritism in Washington.  School choice, which feeds into some of the things he talked about in cities. This is about a bold agenda. But, you know, can you get through the noise? I don't know.

GIGOT: Well, here, if I were recommending the campaign how to behave, I would take the latter part of the speech and give it every day between now and the election. Just tell people, this is the change I represent and this is what I will do for you and get out of the noise. Even --

(CROSSTALK)

STRASSEL: Stop talking about the women.

GIGOT: He talked --

STRASSEL: I mean --

GIGOT: Mary, he raised the point. He said, we have to get through the noise of the campaign. But he introduced the noise.

O'GRADY: What you are seeing there is his personality. That is just Donald J. Trump coming through. You know, he made the joke -- sort of the joke the other night at the Al Smith Dinner that you know, when I used to be a Democrat. And the fact of the matter is that is not that long ago.  And I think a lot of the ideas are not really deeply embedded in him. He is shallow on a lot of the stuff. When he goes to talk, he reverts to the sound bites.

MCGURN: The problem that he has, though, to win, is not his policies. He has plenty of policies, as Kim said. They are not new. He scored well when he went after Mr. Clinton on the policies. The problem is a lot of people think he is a nut. That he is not stable. And that's what he has not done. When he brings up the women again, and I'm going to -- I'm a billionaire, I'm going sue you, it does not help the case.

GIGOT: And of course, Hillary Clinton's case has to disqualify him personally.

MCGURN: Right.

GIGOT: She has gone after his ideas, except in a token fashion.

What about Hillary Clinton at the end of the race? She is entering, going in to Arizona and going in to Indiana and going in to Missouri and hiring people in Utah to be able to take some of the red states away from Trump.  Trump has to change the national numbers. Otherwise, he could get swamped in a lot of the red states.

HENNINGER: Good point, because she has more resources than he has. He does not have as many resources as McCain or Romney had. She has field workers in those states that are going out to work.

One point missing was integrating it with the Republican Party. He is relying on the Republican infrastructure in those states. If he could get them behind the ideas, he might have a chance.

GIGOT: All right, Dan.

Thank you all.

Still ahead, new accusations of Pay-to-Play at the Clinton Foundation as new WikiLeaks reveal a $12 million deal with the king of Morocco.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Now from WikiLeaks we learned that she tried to get $12 million from the king of Morocco for an appearance, one appearance. More pay for play.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT: Donald Trump, Friday, accusing Hillary Clinton of engaging in Pay- to-Play, for agreeing to speak at a 2015 Clinton Global Initiative summit in Morocco, in exchange for a $12 million pledge to the foundation from the country's king. It was a speech she ultimate did not deliver, but it caused headaches in the run-up to her presidential campaign, with close aide, Huma Abedin, telling advisers, John Podesta and Robby Mook, in early 2015, quote, "She created this mess and she knows it," end quotes.

So, Kim, take us through this Moroccan deal. Why should we be concerned?

KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Yeah, that e-mail that you saw flashed up there, that is Huma Abedin talking to advisers whether or not Hillary Clinton can pull out of this. The campaign, at this point, very concerned about all the headlines about the foundation. And yet, we find out that that donation from the king of Morocco was contingent upon her appearance.  What we have here is yet more evidence that the Clintons were selling themselves or access to themselves in return for donations. This plays in to a bigger theme of special benefits that were given to Clinton donors and it's very concerning. Look, the question is, would she do it as president?

GIGOT: I want to play an exchange at the debate between Moderator Chris Wallace, and Hillary Clinton on the foundation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, DEBATE MODERATOR: Secretary Clinton, during your 2009 Senate confirmation hearing, you promised to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest with your dealing with the Clinton Foundation while you were secretary of state. But e-mails show that donors got special access to you. Can you really say that you kept your pledge to that Senate committee? And why isn't what happened and what went on between you and the Clinton Foundation, why isn't it what Mr. Trump called Pay-to-Play?

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, everything I did, as secretary of state, was in furtherance of our country's interest and our values. The State Department has said that. I think that's been proven.  But I'm happy, in fact, I am thrilled to talk about the Clinton Foundation, because it is a world renowned charity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT: We should stipulate what the Moroccan exchange referred to was after she had left the State Department.

HENNINGER: Yeah.

GIGOT: Of course, still running for president. But that was one big duck of a question, Dan.

HENNINGER: It was, unless she believes it, which is to say, the Clintons think that their personal interest absolutely conforms to public interest.  They see no separation whatsoever. Well, this harkens back to Tammany Hall. Remember George W. Plunkett, "I see my opportunities and I took them?"

GIGOT: Right.

HENNINGER: That was known as "honest graft," meaning, whatever is going on in public, we get a piece of the action. And that's essentially what's been going on.

GIGOT: Great phrase, "honest graft," Bill.

MCGURN: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

This is not a foundation that had a conflict of interest. This is a conflict of interest on which they built the foundation.

(LAUGHTER)

Work with the State Department and that is how they monitor it.

GIGOT: I know being a lobbying firm --

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT: Doug Band, who was with the foundation.

MCGURN: I believe even Doug Band complained that a former President Clinton did not have to sign any kind of conflict-of-interest agreement.

GIGOT: Mary, I was also struck with the trade agreement. Secretary Clinton at the debate said, I read the draft, and then I said I'm against it. We know from WikiLeaks that, of course, she had decided to oppose it before she had a chance to read any draft.

O'GRADY: Yeah, of course. The beauty of these WikiLeaks and FBI documents that were released --

GIGOT: Though they are from Russia, we should say, apparently, via Russia.

(CROSSTALK)

O'GRADY: We are seeing --

GIGOT: -- violations of privacy.

O'GRADY: Of course. But we are seeing this double standard, the double talk that Mrs. Clinton and her advisers had among themselves and then saying something entirely different to the public.

In that tape you played, she went on to say that she was so proud of what she did with Haiti, with this Clinton Foundation. And of course, at Donald Trump very accurately said, the Haitians really dislike the Clintons at this point. They feel that they came down there and they used the earthquake as a way to do favors for their friends.

GIGOT: Kim, I want to raise the issue of General James Cartwright, the general who has agreed to a guilty plea this week for lying to the FBI for having talked to two reporters about a top-secret U.S. operation. A lot of people, including Donald Trump, are raising questions about it being a double standard with Hillary Clinton and her handling of the e-mails. How do you see that?

STRASSEL: Of course, it's a double standard. This investigation into him is the way the FBI investigates people in situations like that. They went after him on a national security charge and, in the end, they got him on lying. You go back and look at the FBI interview notes, with the Clinton team, and you have several instances of Clinton aids saying things that seem out-right false and contradicting things in the record. If the FBI had wanted to go after them on a lying, perjury charge, they could have done it easily. Instead, they chose to close their eyes to the entire thing. She was treated her with kid's gloves and Donald Trump is showing that.

MCGURN: The FBI, you would think, when you are investigating a former Senator, former first lady, former secretary of state that is a presidential candidate, they say, we are going to dot our "I's" and cross our "T's" and do everything by the book. The difference is nothing was by the book with Hillary Clinton, and it was with the general. One of the interesting things will be if Congress puts these FBI agents on the stand, under oath, to talk about the investigation.

And one of the things that we don't know is all of the Department of Justice lawyers that made these deals, they are the ones that decide to not go to a grand jury, that make the deals that allow Cheryl Mills to be the lawyer. And we don't know even who they are.

GIGOT: And this issue could dog her presidency if she is elected president, Bill. No question.

When we come back, Paul Ryan hits the road. The speaker is on a 17-state tour as he scrambles to shore up the Republican House majority. Our own Joe Rago joins him this week. And he'll join us, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIGOT: Turning now to the battle of control for the House of Representatives, and Paul Ryan's fight to save the Republican majority.  Since his public fallout with Donald Trump two weeks ago, the House speaker has embarked on a cross-country tour to shore up vulnerable members, visiting 17 states and 45 cities in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Wall Street Journal editorial board member, Joe Rago, was on the road with Ryan this week in Florida.

So, Joe, let's set the stage here. There's 435 members of the House.  Republicans have a majority of the -- that can afford to lose 29. If they lose 30, they lose control. How many seats are competitive?

JOE RAGO, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER: There's 57 seats that are maybe somewhat competitive. But it's really a core of about 40 seats. If Democrats take 30 of them, they run the table, they would flip the House.

GIGOT: Where are the seats? What kind of seats are they?

RAGO: They're primarily suburban, so think of countries around Philadelphia, Denver suburbs. They tend to be middle class, moderate, decided by a couple of percentage points. College educated --

GIGOT: College educated Republican voters are the ones that the Republican candidate needs to get in the seats.

RAGO: Right. And these are the districts where Donald Trump is having the problem winning over that block, college educated whites.

GIGOT: If you look at the Republican seats, I think what I hear is one- third of the seats are pro Trump, another third maybe more anti-Trump, the majority of the district and then somewhere in between. That's a hard field to navigate for the Republicans.

RAGO: It is, and Paul Ryan is in a vice here. He has all the competing constituents and trying to hold it all together.

GIGOT: What is his strategy for doing that?

RAGO: Well. So he is going on a barnstorming tour. He is trying to get a lot of local news coverage for these candidates, positive coverage. I was down with him in Miami, with Carlos Cabello. They toured an English- language learning school --

GIGOT: Cabello has made education a real priority.

RAGO: Education and anti-poverty. Ryan is also trying to promote a better way. This is his solutions-oriented agenda for 2017. He's saying to voters, here is what we want to do in Congress. Here is what we want to do on healthcare, on the economy, on national security. Hold us accountable for that. Here are specific ideas.

GIGOT: And this is the whole Congress has agreed to it, left, right, and center, the whole Republican House.

RAGO: Yes. It's remarkable. The consensus that was performed came from the bottom up, organized organically. Everybody has their own piece. They are really running on the positive ideas.

GIGOT: Are these ideas breaking through in the districts, because with the presidential campaign sucking up so much of the media attention, can they break through with specific ideas like this?

RAGO: It gives them something to talk about that is not Donald Trump.  It's not broken through nationally.

GIGOT: That is not important for the House, necessarily.

RAGO: What is important is, when Paul Ryan goes to the district and gets on the evening news with the congressmen, talking about, education, criminal justice reform, all the things. I think they might be having more tangible results down-ballot in the districts.

GIGOT: When the Democrats took the House in 2006, they ran against the Iraq war and against corruption. What are they running against now?

RAGO: They are running against Donald Trump. They're trying to tie Republicans to his medicine ball. But the interesting contrast --

GIGOT: In some of these districts, he isn't popular.

RAGO: He is unpopular. The interesting contrast from 2006 is Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer picked moderate Democrats who set their districts.  That's what Republicans are running this year. These are good fits for the districts. The Democrats are really Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.  They don't have as much appeal in these districts outside the Denver.

GIGOT: That is potentially a big for Republicans who want to try to dominate the middle of the political debate.

RAGO: Yeah. These are districts that make the majority. They are doing the best job they can.

GIGOT: What is your best estimate of how many seats Republicans lose?

RAGO: I'm going with 15 maybe.

GIGOT: 15?

RAGO: If it's a big wash out for Donald Trump, it's increasingly possible that the House could slip. But I don't think it is likely.

GIGOT: Thank you, Joe.

Still ahead, it's a central issue in the 2016 race. What did we learn in this week's debate about the candidates and the Supreme Court?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: The Supreme Court should represent all of us. That is how I see the court. And the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans.

TRUMP: The justices that I'm going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent. They will be protecting the Second Amendment.  They are great scholars in all cases and they are people of tremendous respect. They will interpret the Constitution the way that the founders wanted it interpreted. And I believe that is very, very important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT: That was Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at the debate this week on what they are looking for in a Supreme Court justice. It's one of the most consequential issues in the 2016 race with the next president likely to shape the nation's highest court the most a generation.

We're back with Dan Henninger, Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Bill McGurn and Kim Strassel.

So, Bill, try to put in to perspective the difference between the two as you see it?

BILL MCGURN, COLUMNIST: Well it's the difference between Democrats and Republicans, especially conservative Republicans.

GIGOT: On legal issues.

MCGURN: On legal issues. Well, on the court. We want judges that -- our primary goal is not the outcome, it's what the law says to interpret the law. The left, they don't care. They just want the outcome. Donald Trump sort of got to this on abortion when he said he wanted pro-life -- that is not quite what we want. So the left --

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT: Right. You don't want let --

(CROSSTALK)

MCGURN: You don't want the Supreme Court legislating that. However, he corrected himself by saying, probably if he got the judges he wanted, it would go back to the states where it belongs. So the left --

GIGOT: Abortion law, the abortion law would return to the states.

MCGURN: Abortion law. I think that is it. I mean, the left has a lot easier time. They are just worried about outcome. Mrs. Clinton put a few litmus tests there. I think under a Clinton presidency, the difference is she'd see the court as one arm of getting what she wants, especially stuff that couldn't get through Congress, and the administrative state as the other.

GIGOT: Mary, I want to ask you about the Second Amendment. Donald Trump mentioned it explicitly. Chris Wallace asked him, and it was a fascinating question, the Heller case, the landmark case which said the Second Amendment, you have an individual right to bear arms, not just militia.  The law did allow -- the case did allow for some regulation of, but not a total ban. And she kind of said, I'm for the Second Amendment but I'm against Heller.

(LAUGHTER)

You can't be both.

MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY, COLUMNIST: You can't square that. And you know, it's been a long-time objective of the Democrats to basically overturn Heller. And I think when she is looking for people in the court, she wants people who don't believe that Americans have that fundamental right to bear arms. That is a major issue in this campaign.

GIGOT: Kim, did it have anything to do with toddlers, the D.C.-v-Heller case --

(LAUGHTER)

-- as secretary Clinton said, toddlers --

KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: No!

GIGOT: -- keeping guns out of toddlers' hands?

STRASSEL: No, it was a complete canard. I heard someone say, it was like saying "Fatal Attraction" was about a woman that didn't like bunny rabbits.

(LAUGHTER)

It is really not what the case was about. The case was about whether there is an individual right to bear arms as written in the Constitution.  Toddlers had nothing to do with it.

(LAUGHTER)

She was trying to distract from the fact that she is on record in the past saying that she thought the court decided that case wrong. If she believes that it means she does not believe there's an individual right to bear arms and she doesn't want it to be an issue in the campaign because there's lot of people that vote on the issue.

GIGOT: And it was a 5-4, Dan, because that decision did allow for a reasonable regulation -- it was by Justice Scalia -- of guns, you could see a liberal court carve out and make that a hollow shell of a right by approval restriction after restriction after restriction.

HENNINGER: No. And then that raises the issue of what kind of justices either one of them would appoint into that contract. And Donald Trump, in his speech at Gettysburg, announced -- I take him at his word -- that Justice Scalia's widow has, this weekend, planted an "Elect Trump" sign in her front yard in northern Virginia. So at this point in time, we may assume that Donald Trump will appoint another Justice Scalia.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton will undoubtedly appoint justices to the left of Sonia Sotomayor. This idea of standing up --

GIGOT: To the left of Sonia Sotomayor?

(LAUGHTER)

HENNINGER: Absolutely.

GIGOT: There's not a lot of space there.

HENNINGER: She'll find it.

(LAUGHTER)

GIGOT: What about the First Amendment?

Kim, let me go back to you on the First Amendment.

Citizens United, you have written a book about the Democratic attempts of restricting free speech. She said she wants to appoint justices, as a litmus test, basically, to overturn Citizens United, which allowed corporations and unions to contribute to political groups. What do you make of her promise to appoint justices that overturn that?

STRASSEL: Yeah, she has not only said she'd appoint justices -- and she has already been actively encouraging someone to bring a test case up so that Citizens can be overturned -- she is running on a constitutional amendment to the U.S. Constitution to get rid of Citizens United, which is another way of saying, putting government in charge of who can spend money and therefore speak in elections. It's a big threat to the country. It's clear, she and Bernie Sanders, both, that they would use that to make sure their opponents were barred from taking part in politics.

GIGOT: Quickly, Mary, 20 judges that Donald Trump has said are on his list to appoint. There's some people on the right who say, you know what, they don't know if they can trust him to do that, because he has come to the issue late.

O'GRADY: Well, I think most of the electorate will say there's more of a chance with Donald Trump and none with Hillary Clinton. So if you're voting on the court, I think you have to take that chance.

GIGOT: And if you have a Republican Senate, they would be able to steer -- oppose anybody they didn't like, a nominee.

All right, still ahead, Russian President Vladimir Putin taking center stage in the 2016 race. What is he up to, and how should the next president respond? We will ask Paul Wolfowitz, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: From everything that I see, has no respect for this person.

CLINTON: Well, that's because he would rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.

CLINTON: And it's pretty clearly --

TRUMP: You're the puppet.

CLINTON: It's pretty clear you won't admit --

TRUMP: No, you --

CLINTON: -- the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT: Russian President Vladimir Putin playing a central role in the 2016 presidential campaign as America's relationship with Moscow continues to deteriorate. And amid Russia's air war in Syria and suspected hacking of the U.S. election, comes yet another provocation. Earlier, this month, the Kremlin deployed nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave bordering Poland and Lithuania.

Paul Wolfowitz was the deputy secretary of defense under President George W. Bush. He is now a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Thanks a lot for coming in, Paul.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, VISITING SCHOLAR, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE & FORMER DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: Good to be with you.

GIGOT: You followed Russia and Vladimir Putin for some time. What do you think he is trying to accomplish with this provocations in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and now in cyber space?

WOLFOWITZ: I think there are two things to important to understand about this man who sort of aspires to be the new czar of Russia. Number one, his domestic position depends on his ability to flex his muscle.

GIGOT: OK.

WOLFOWITZ: He became president by butchering the Chechnyans and then won re-election partly by invading Georgia. I think his operation in Ukraine is also part of securing his domestic base, which is not all that secure because Russia's economy is in trouble.

I think the second thing is --

(CROSSTALK)

WOLFOWITZ: Sorry, go on.

GIGOT: Go ahead, Paul. Finish your point.

WOLFOWITZ: I think the second thing is, someone used to say about the old Soviet Union, he is like a burglar going down a hall way, testing which doors are locked and going into ones that aren't. I think we have given him way too many opportunities to go through open doors.

GIGOT:  So, basically, responding to weakness. He will grab whatever opportunities he can, as he tries to expand in a greater Russia, and reassert Russian influence on his border, east and west and in the Middle East.

WOLFOWITZ: He also wants to win re-election and remain president of Russia through 2024, which would put him at the age of 72.

(LAUGHTER)

Pretty ambitious.

GIGOT: So, take this issue of hacking of e-mails, which our intelligence community says they believe was taken at the highest levels of Russia, which means Vladimir Putin. And we have not responded yet, although Joe Biden had said we will. Do you think the United States has to respond to that at some, in some way?

WOLFOWITZ: I think we have to. I think it's very important. In fact, it's important not just with respect to Russian behavior, but in general, if -- if bad actors, whether they are states or individuals or groups, believe that they can attack us in this flagrant way without suffering any consequences, then we will get more of it. I don't know what we will do in response. We may never know if we have adequately responded, but the people who are doing it need to know they have paid a price, a serious price.

GIGOT: To your point there, the people who did it need to know they are paying a price, but if we are trying to send a message around the world, don't do it, the world needs to know we responded in some important way, no?

WOLFOWITZ: You are right. Yes, they do. And one way or another, they need to learn.

GIGOT: Would you go so far as to suggest, as some have, including James Degredus (ph), who is a formal admiral, suggesting that what we need to do is perhaps consider hacks ourselves, going on offense, and releasing some of the secrets of these Kremlin operators, people who maybe they have foreign bank accounts, for example, or maybe they have e-mails of their own that are embarrassing. Would you go so far as to suggest that as an option?

WOLFOWITZ: I think their bank accounts are one of the Achilles heels of their regime. Yes, I do think if we have information about them, especially how money has been stolen from the Russian people, it's important to get it out. That is important to get it out. They deserve it.

GIGOT: That's interesting.

OK, we will have another president, one or the other, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. What is your advice to the new president about how to -- how to address Putin? Do we need a -- really a new policy towards it, and what should it be?

WOLFOWITZ: Look, I think, you have to start by recognizing that the old policy that they are inheriting is a bad one.

GIGOT: Right.

WOLFOWITZ: That we have been going down the wrong course, providing opportunities when we should have been closing them off. I think you also have to recognize that you cannot reverse course overnight. It would be like trying to throw a car in reverse, when it's going too fast down the highway.

You need to pick your targets and you need to act in a way at the beginning that convinces other people that have to be with you that, in fact, you are serious. So, I think, no question going after the cyberattacks would be one way of showing seriousness. But I think it's important also to show seriousness against the kind of aggression that the Russians have been conducting, whether it's in Syria or Ukraine or, as you pointed out, the deployment of the border of two NATO allies, on the border of Lithuania and Poland.

GIGOT: But that means sending a message to the Europeans, for example, that we are going lead so that we don't want them to weaken sanctions. We want to strengthen sanctions. I assume that's got to be on the table.

WOLFOWITZ: Yeah, I'm not sure that sanctions make a big difference. But if there's sanctions that can be painful, especially for the plutocrats that run the regime, that would be a good thing. If there are things that we can do by the way of a more positive kind to bolster Ukraine and the Ukraine economy and bolster Ukraine diplomatically, which I believe has finally started to happen a little bit in the Council of Europe, that would be a very important piece of this also. So that Russia doesn't -- I think one of Putin's objectives in the Ukraine is to make sure the country fails.  It's a bad example for his own people. It's a country that got rid of a dictator and then people went through his mansion and discovered how he was stealing from them. That is not something that Putin wants his people to see in Russia.

GIGOT: All right.

WOLFOWITZ: But I also think an important place to start, frankly, would be in Syria where there's both a humanitarian emergency that the Russians are causing and a strategic disaster that they are causing as well.

GIGOT: Thank you, Paul Wolfowitz, for coming in. Appreciate it. Thank you for being here.

When we come back, as the battle for control of the Senate goes down to the wire, a look at one of the races that could make or break Democratic hopes of a takeover                               .

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIGOT: Turning to the battle for the Senate and a race that could determine which party is in control next year. In Indiana, former Democratic Senate Evan Bayh and Republican Congressman Todd Young are in a tight race to replace retiring GOP Senator Dan Coates. As the polls have narrowed this fall, the ad wars have heated up. Take a look at the latest exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: After the economy crashed, Indiana families were struggling.  We turned to the Senator Evan Bayh to protect us from the Washington insiders and Wall Street bankers who got us into that mess. But instead of going to work for us, Evan Bayh went to work for them, making millions as a big-money influence peddler and cashed in with the big banks.

SEN. EVAN BAYH, D-IND.: My opponent is attacking me as a lobbyist.  That is a lie. But here is what is true. I've cut taxes. I've helped save 100,000 Indiana auto jobs. I fought for welfare reform, pushed for a balanced budget. I've taken on the extremes of both parties, and I always will to get things done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIGOT: Wall Street Journal editorial writer, Alicia Finley, is just back from Indiana where she's been following the race.

Alicia, so Chuck Schumer who wants to be majority leader of the Democrats in the Senate, picked Evan Bayh, who is out of the Senate for six years, thinking this is going to be an easy one. Lots of money in his bank account. Well-known name in Indiana. Hasn't turned out that way. Why?

ALICIA FINLEY, EDITORIAL WRITER: Right. So Evan Bayh is the former two- term governor as well as a former two-term Senator. He retired in 2011 soon after voting for Obamacare, and it was likely it couldn't have won re- election.

GIGOT: You think he --

(CROSSTALK)

FINLEY: I think he likely would have lost. A lot of the Democratic incumbents who were the, quote, unquote, "60th vote," 60th votes deciding - - 60th votes for Obamacare also had trouble with standing re-election.

GIGOT: But they figured six years later, people forget, the Bayh name is so prominent in Indiana, but Republicans are spending time trying to remind Indiana voters of those votes.

FINLEY: Right. It's not just the vote. He's running more against his -- challenges aren't so much Todd Young, the Republican opponent, as his voting record. But it's not just what he did in office. it's all the money he's made since leaving office. You had a lot of stories come out that he's basically in the band in Indiana. He's maintained a small condo in Indianapolis, valued at $53,000, which is about the amount he's paid in property tax on his place in Florida.

(LAUGHTER)

FINELY: He has multimillion dollar houses in Washington and hasn't spent much time in Indiana. He's basically gone to Washington and lobbied for these big companies that he wants regulated.

GIGOT: And he responded to that in that ad.

The other thing that struck me about that ad is he's running as a conservative in some respects.

FINLEY: Right.

GIGOT: Saying I cut taxes, I look out for Indiana interest, nothing on his votes on health care and other things that were the Obama agenda in 2009 and '10.

FINLEY: That's right. He's running as a fiscal conservative, Hoosier values. Indiana is a more fiscal year, and more conservative state. You see that in the fact that Trump is leading Hillary there.

(CROSSTALK)

FINLEY: Which is interesting. This is the one state where you don't have the Hillary surrogates coming out and campaigning for a Senate candidate.

GIGOT: They're staying out.

FINLEY: They're staying out. You have not seen Tim Kaine or Hillary or Bill. This is the only state that's happened.

GIGOT: What is Bayh's answer, explanation for his Obamacare vote? Is he defending it or running away from it?

FINLEY: He's not. He's running away from it and he's deflecting it very capably. He said, well, Todd Young wants to send us back to the days when women can get charged more for their health care just because they're women. He wants to allow health insurers not to provide coverage just because you have a pre-existing condition.

GIGOT: He's not defending the vote but he's defending some of the results of the good things about Obamacare it seems, focusing on those --

(CROSSTALK)

FINLEY: That's right. We need to maintain these good parts and improve upon the law.

GIGOT: What is Young running on?

FINLEY: He's -- Young is running on the, we need to bring a more -- I wouldn't say pro-business, but we need to reign in the bureaucracy. One of his big talking points is the Clean Water Act --

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT: Regulation.

FINLEY: Regulation. I visited a farm down there where the cleaning water rule, which allows the EPA to regulate everything as small as a puddle, is a big onus, and farmers are complaining about that. And he's one supporter of the farmers.

GIGOT: All right.

Let me go back to Dan.

On Indiana, Donald Trump is leading but not by as much as a Republican normally would.

HENNINGER: The Real Clear Politics average has him up by five points.  Evan Bayh is up by five points. Mitt Romney carried the state by 11 points and George W. Bush, first, by 15 and then 20. I think Trump should be a lot further ahead than he is if he's going to pull Todd Young across the finish line.

GIGOT: What's your call on that?

FINLEY: That's exactly right. Trump needs to pull to Todd Young over the finish line and he needs over the working class votes and that is why Bayh's hitting the trade issues really hard.

GIGOT: Really hard.

Do you think Young can pull it out?

FINLEY: I think he could, yes.

GIGOT: All right. Thank you, Alicia.

We have to take one more break. When we come back, "Hits and Misses" of the week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIGOT: Time now for "Hits and Misses" of the week.

Kim, start us off.

STRASSEL: So this is a huge miss for the media for its complete lack of professional standards. There is a new report out from the Center for Public Integrity saying in this election cycle members of the media, including reporters and editors, have given almost $400,000 to the Clinton and Trump campaigns, 96 percent of it to Hillary Clinton. Most people in America understand that the media is in the tank for Democrats but we have got to a point where they're openly broadcasting it. And they deserve all the criticism they're getting for being in the tank.

GIGOT: All right, Kim, thanks.

Bill?

MCGURN: This is a miss to President Obama who seems to be in search of the metaphor for the Affordable Aare Act and why it's so unaffordable. It's a starter home. Now he's got this backward. When you get a starter home, you fix it up and a few years into it you sell it and move up. Under Obamacare, your home loses it kitchen --

(LAUGHTER)

-- and then they tell you, by the way, your mortgage is doubled.

(LAUGHTER)

Bill Clinton said more for less. Not a good analogy.

GIGOT: All right.

Mary?

O'GRADY: A hit for Senator Richard Burr, Republican, North Carolina, who this week criticized a White House directive that instructs the U.S. director of National Intelligence to cooperate with Cuban intelligence counterparts. And Senator Burr said, I don't think as long as I'm chairman that the committee is going to be sharing intelligence, in any intelligence relationship, with Cuba. That's a good idea since their favored allies are Iran, North Korea and Russia.

GIGOT: Dan?

HENNINGER: A miss to our good friend the federal government. We heard last week that an NSA contractor has been arrested for amassing 500 million pages of documents from the NSA, some top military secrets.

GIGOT: Wow.

HENNINGER: He did this over 20 years. You know, in the movies, you've got to be Tom Cruise hanging from a ceiling on a wire to get any of this stuff.  In reality, you can be Edward Snowden putting it on a flash drive or this guy walking out of the building with the crown jewels. Who is protecting us?

GIGOT: It's astonishing.

Thank you, Dan.

Remember, if you have your own hit or miss, be sure to tweet it to us at JERonFNC.

That's it for this week's show. Thanks to my panel. Thanks to all of you for watching. I'm Paul Gigot. We hope to see you right here next week.

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