This is a rush transcript from "Journal Editorial Report," October 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, R, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As you have heard, it was just announced yesterday that the FBI is reopening their investigation --
TRUMP: -- into the criminal and illegal conduct of Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: This is the biggest political scandal since Watergate. And it is everybody's deepest hope that justice at last can be properly delivered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: Welcome to the JOURNAL: EDITORIAL REPORT. I'm Paul Gigot.
That was Donald Trump in Golden, Colorado, moments ago, reacting to the news that the FBI is reopening its probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server. That development, of course, throwing the presidential race into turmoil, with the agency reportedly examining new emails discovered after it seized electronic devices belonging to Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, and her estranged husband, former New York Congressman Anthony wiener, as part of a separate investigation.
Hillary Clinton responded to the news late Friday and called on FBI Director James Comey to immediately release whatever information he has.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, D, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are 11 days out from perhaps the most important national election of our lifetime. Voting is already underway in our country. So the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately. The director himself has said he doesn't know whether the e-mails referenced in his letter are significant or not. I'm confident, whatever they are, will not change the conclusion reached in July.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: Joining the panel this week, "Wall Street Journal" columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; columnist and Manhattan Institute senior fellow, Jason Riley; editorial board member, Joe Rago; and columnist, Kim Strassel.
Kim, FBI Director Comey told his agents this week in a memo that FOX News has obtained that he felt obliged as a public duty to release this information to Congress before the election. How do you read that?
KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Look, I mean, it is very hard to know what's going on here. You have to assume, given the upheaval that has attended this, and given it was obvious it would cause a political firestorm, there must be something there pertinent enough or concerning enough that he felt they did need to move ahead with this and tell Congress.
But you also have to wonder if this is isn't also maybe a little bit of a "cover your backside" effort by Mr. Comey, as details have come out about the first FBI probe, and all of the incredible irregularities of it, and Congress looking into that. He may have felt the need to cover his tracks, as it were, and make it look like they were being more thorough than they have been.
GIGOT: But, Kim, the thing is, I would sort of lean to the first one, because he is taking an enormous amount of abuse for this. So if this turns out to be nothing, if this turns out to be just about yoga and what are you doing Thursday night, I mean, that's -- he is going to take -- he's going to go really under the hot seat?
STRASSEL: Well, look, Clinton's comments there, they are spin. We don't know. I mean, she is trying to make it sound like he has no include, it is unrelated. There is no way he would have made that announcement without having some good grounds for believing whatever is on these electronic devices is an immediate bearing on the investigation they were doing.
GIGOT: Dan, what about that point, though, that Kim said? Maybe he was criticized, Comey was criticized, and we criticized him, too, for the conduct of his first investigation, which I thought was inadequate, had irregularities, was really troubling. And Republicans had criticized him for that. Could this be saying, look, if you're going to investigate me, I've got to make sure, every detail, no matter how large, I show you, before the election, I got it out there, so I'm not accused of a cover-up.
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: I think that's right. So much of this is conjecture, to be sure. My conjecture would that be his decision to do what he did in July was not popular throughout the FBI. He testified before Congress that the investigation, in his words, "had been completed." Obviously, had not been completed. The investigative team that was covering this continued to work. They obviously have come up with something. And they must have gone in to Director Comey and put it on his desk and said this is what we have, we have to deal with this now. I think the FBI is trying to protect its reputation which has suffered grievous damage since Mr. Comey did that.
JASON RILEY, COLUMNIST & MANHATTAN INSTITUTE SENIOR FELLOW: It's not just that the results weren't popular. How he handled the release of the result wasn't popular. Jim Comey's job is to conduct an investigation and turn the results over to the Justice Department. That's it.
RILEY: He is not supposed to be giving running commentary, the public analysis of how he reached the decision. It was extraordinary behavior on the part of him. Now he wants to do this -- throw this bomb into the election and zip up and say I can't say anymore because of an ongoing investigation. You can't have it both ways.
GIGOT: On that point, Democrats, Secretary Clinton, now they are lining up across -- all day today, every Democratic group and spokesman saying, Mr.
Comey, you've got to tell us.
GIGOT: You've got to come clean here and tell us what's going on.
RILEY: And we've seen the Justice Department distance themselves from Comey.
RILEY: You have Loretta Lynch saying I would not have gone public with this.
GIGOT: Number one, can Comey resist that, and say nothing between now and the election? We realize they're not going to finish this investigation before the election.
RILEY: I don't think he can, and I don't think he should. This --
RILEY: This close to the election, the voters of America have a right to know whether the person they're going to elect is going to enter office with an ongoing investigation.
GIGOT: I think you disagree with that, Dan.
HENNINGER: Yeah. I think that would set a very bad precedent. That effectively reduces the FBI to WikiLeaks, taking all of stuff they have before they've looked through it and throwing it out on the public like WikiLeaks does. That's not the way the FBI operates. And I don't think that's the sort of precedent that we want to establish for them.
STRASSEL: They can't, either. I mean, look, if there is classified information, and the question is here is classified information, they can't just release all of this. They have to be careful with that. That's going to take time to review.
And I think agree. I'm not sure I would just throw it all out there. You know, look, she made this -- one thing we need to remember, there's only one person to blame for this entire explosion, and that's Hillary Clinton, who made her private email server in the first place.
GIGOT: Joe, the campaign, the Clinton campaign in its response has really elevated this in importance. They're saying -- they're accusing Comey of being politically motivated, they're saying you've got to come clean, they're rolling out spokesman after spokesman. Is that a political mistake maybe in elevating it? Would they have been smarter to say, look, he exonerated me in July and now this it a small detail, let's not worry about it.
JOE RAGO, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER: Right. They've been running all along with the exoneration details. Hillary Clinton even mentioning it in the debate. There is a bit of little irony here.
On the specific question --
GIGOT: About the transparency point.
RAGO: Right. On the specific question, I think what happened is that they did a panel last night and said here are a variety of responses to it, and ignoring it was inadequate --
GIGOT: You mean a voter panel.
RAGO: A voter panel, excuse me.
RAGO: Did a quick overnight poll, and it has probably raised a lot of new doubts about her candidacy that she feels like she has to address politically.
GIGOT: And Trump clearly, Dan, believes this is a big assist to him. He is driving the corruption theme with it. But is there a danger here that he could overplay his hand? He said, look -- he said today for example, there are 33,000 emails that she didn't -- that we haven't seen, and some of them may have been found in this cache, and we have no evidence of that.
HENNINGER: The phrase could Donald Trump overplay his hand is something to conjure with at any moment. But --
HENNINGER: I don't think so. I think that the email server has always been her greatest vulnerability. It was a source for her credibility and trustworthiness problems. It dates back to March 2015, when it came out, and I think he is right to lean on her on this one.
GIGOT: Jason, do you agree?
RILEY: He can play that hand. I don't know if that's enough for him to make up the gap that she has right now, the lead that she has, which I believe is about four or five points nationally.
GIGOT: All right, we're going to talk about that right now.
Still ahead, some polls showing the race for the White House tightening even before the latest Clinton email controversy. What should we expect, heading into the final campaign final stretch? We'll ask pollster, Doug Schoen, next.
GIGOT: Even before Friday's FBI announcement, polls suggested that the race for the White House was tightening, though they differed by how much?
The latest RealClearPolitics average gives Hillary Clinton a 3.8 percentage point leave over Donald Trump. So will the latest e-mail developments move the needle?
Democratic pollster and FOX News contributor, Doug Schoen, joins us now.
Good to see you, Doug.
DOUG SCHOEN, POLLSTER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Paul.
GIGOT: Before this -- let's set aside the FBI development first. Where was the race before?
SCHOEN: I think the RealClearPolitics average was about right, about 3.5-4 points for the secretary of state, tightening, but still a decisive or clear lead nationally and clear lead in the swing states, virtually all.
GIGOT: A couple of tracking polls, one had it by two, ABC and "Washington Post," --
GIGOT: -- another had three. So it could be narrower than that, or --
SCHOEN: Possibly. What we're seeing in both the ABC and the IBD poll is that the Trump voters have greater enthusiasm, the Republicans are coming home, over eight in 10 Republicans now with Donald.
GIGOT: But also showing some movement among Independents.
SCHOEN: Yes, the Independents are moving in the direction of Donald Trump. Independents have historically not liked the secretary. She has been within a couple of points of him all the way. And her own favorability is well below 40 with Independents and I think that's a trend that could well continue.
GIGOT: OK. Now we have this development.
GIGOT: The Democrats clearly seem to be worried enough about it that they're pushing back very hard.
SCHOEN: Yes, they are.
GIGOT: So what do you think an event like this, coming so late, what effect does it have on the race? So many people have already decided what they're going to do.
SCHOEN: Sure. Well, a couple of things. First, you were speaking of the Independents. I was mentioning Republicans moving to Trump. That will only be, I believe, facilitated by this process. People who had doubts about the secretary say, look, I just can't vote for her. And it will also increase the likelihood to turn out of those groups who also don't like Donald Trump all that much.
GIGOT: So for Republicans who might have getting demoralized in all the talk that Trump couldn't win, now can say, aha, maybe there is a chance, so that might help Trump's turnout.
SCHOEN: That's precisely what the ABC poll in the last couple of days has shown.
GIGOT: What about this new information here? I mean, Secretary Clinton said, all along, since July, I was exonerated, and now this comes in, and Trump will pay on the possibility that she could become the next president and having this sitting over here as a threat to her presidency. But it is so late in the campaign, when do voters simply tune out new information? Or do they ever?
SCHOEN: I think most voters tune out most information, unless it is clear and unambiguous. For example, in 1980, we had news that the hostages weren't coming out, and we had the final debate between Reagan and Carter. That was clear. It broke massively.
SCHOEN: I don't think this is something like that. Because we're not clear, as you were suggesting on the panel before, what precisely is going on with the FBI, how much of a review is going on. And it isn't even clear that the investigation itself is reopened.
GIGOT: Right. Well, or if it even ended.
GIGOT: That's one of the things, too.
SCHOEN: That's true, too.
GIGOT: But I mean, I'm trying to think of a campaign where late information like this really made a difference. You mentioned 1980. I can think of 2000, when George W. Bush, the late DUI news about George W. Bush, that hurt him.
SCHOEN: Yes, it did. And the thing that is particularly damaging for the secretary of state, this came nine or 10 days before the election, which means voters have a chance to process it, and given that both broadcast and cable news have focused on virtually nothing else since midday yesterday, there is going to be ample opportunity this week for voters to focus on this, and to try to make their own sense of what's going on.
GIGOT: Which voters are left now who are undecided? You talked about mobilizing the people already committed or put -- demobilizing.
GIGOT: Who is persuadable? Who are they?
SCHOEN: We have some Republican, non-college educated women. They're persuadable.
GIGOT: Doubts about --
SCHOEN: Yes, and some of the issues with women that he has had to face.
We had problems with Independent men and women, college educated, more difficult than non-college educated. But there has been a huge problem there. Trump needs to win them by over 10 to 15 points. So far, he is not there yet.
GIGOT: But are there enough to persuade?
SCHOEN: Theoretically, yes, Paul.
The other thing is Democratic turnout could be suppressed. A lot of Democrats don't have a lot of enthusiasm for the secretary, Millennials, a lot of middle age men. They may just decide not to vote, sit it out.
GIGOT: Where, what states should we be looking for and where should we look for movement if the FBI news will have an impact?
SCHOEN: We have to start with Florida and Ohio. Donald Trump needs to win those two states. We've got to look to states like New Hampshire and Nevada. The Clintons, as we were discussing, have sent Chelsea, Tim Kaine and $2 million in advertising to Wisconsin. When you look at the Midwest --
SCHOEN: Yeah, and Pennsylvania, which is within five.
GIGOT: So if that happens, you'll see closing there.
SCHOEN: Precisely. We're going to see closing I think. I'm not sure yet, it will tip decisively. We have to keep an eye on it.
GIGOT: All right, Doug, thanks very much.
SCHOEN: Paul, thank you.
GIGOT: When we come back, the battle for control Congress heats up, as Republicans in House and Senate races seize on a new campaign strategy, running as a check on Hillary Clinton.
GIGOT: As Republicans fight to maintain control of the House and Senate, a new strategy is emerging in the closing weeks of the campaign, with ads urging voters to elect Republican candidates as a check on a potential Clinton presidency.
Here is one targeting Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan in Minnesota.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Rick Nolan is standing with Hillary Clinton, not Minnesota families. Nolan would give Hillary a blank check to run up $1 trillion in new debt and job-destroying taxes. And like Hillary, Nolan supports the Iran nuclear deal that gave $100 billion to the leading funder of radical Islamic terrorism. Rick Nolan and Hillary Clinton, wrong on spending, wrong on national security, wrong for Minnesota families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: We're back with Dan Henninger, Jason Riley and Kim Strassel. And "Wall Street Journal" columnist, Bret Stephens, joins the panel.
Jason, do you think this is a smart strategy by Republican?
RILEY: I think it is. I think this is the self-preservation strategy that House Speaker Paul Ryan unleashed his caucus to pursue, several weeks ago, and it wasn't uncontroversial, but I think it was the right call. What we see is really a state-by-state, race-by-race strategy. If you go into a deep red state like Missouri, you see a candidate like Senator Roy Blunt not really distancing himself from Trump, because he has a red state there. Trump will probably win it. And even his Democratic opponent is speaking Trump's language, you know, I'm the outsider, I'll rattle things up in Washington, because he needs Trump voters to win. You go to a swing state like Nevada, however, you find Joe Heck who is having more difficulty navigating those Trump supporters. I think it's right. What you see is a lot of the Republican candidates mentioning Clinton in ads, mentioning Nancy Pelosi in ads, and saying we need to be a check on that.
HENNINGER: One quick point. In the most recent "Wall Street Journal" poll, they asked people whether they would were prefer a Republican Congress as a check on her or a Democratic Congress to help her enact her agenda. The answer was they preferred the Republicans by 13 percent. That's a significant number. If that's out there for the Republicans to try to tap into, I think there is a basis for running this campaign.
BRET STEPHENS: But the big mistake is Republicans should have done this in August. They should have anticipated that Trump would implode, that there would further scandals, further misstatements, further problems, and they would have avoided this phenomenon of Republicans turning very late in the game against Trump. I think if someone like Kelly Ayotte, in New Hampshire, had been consistently against Trump, rather than turning with the Billy Bush leak, she would not be in such a tight race as she is now.
GIGOT: Let's run an ad on that point before we go to you, Kim, from New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED DEBATE MODERATOR: Would you tell a child to aspire to be like Donald Trump?
SEN. KELLY AYOTTE, R-NEW HAMPSHIRE: Absolutely, I would do that.
TRUMP: I would look at her in her fat ugly face.
I would move on her like a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I just started kissing her. It's like a magnet.
And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you treat women with respect?
TRUMP: I can't say that, either.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED DEBATE MODERATOR: Would you point to him as a role model?
AYOTTE: Absolutely, I would do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: All right, Kim, we know Kelly Ayotte has distanced herself from Donald Trump along the way, immediately after that particular statement.
But to take up Bret's point, the Republicans would have been smarter to distance themselves from Trump much earlier in the campaign.
STRASSEL: Yes, I disagree with that a little bit. Here is why. If you look at history, there is good evidence to show that when ticket splitting works most effectively is there is a candidate that is obviously winning. Because the voters then say, I'm not quite sure I want to give this person a blank check, and they begin debating, going in and splitting their vote between someone at the top and someone in the middle. That's what you now see happening here. It has worked for Republicans in the past. If you go back to 1996, it was only at the point at which it was clear Bob Dole was going to lose to Bill Clinton that House Republicans and Senate Republicans began running ads like this, we will be a check on Bill Clinton, and they did, in fact, keep Congress. So I mean, I think this is a natural progression of how campaigns role out.
GIGOT: Bret, the question would, if you've got -- the Republican Party has two bases, the college educated in the swing suburban districts, not in love with Trump to say the least, and then you have the Trump base. And they need both of those in a lot of these states to win.
STEPHENS: Yeah, but right now, the power of the ad we just saw comes from Ayotte's refusal to distance herself earlier. And what you could now have are Congressmen and Senators saying they were taking a principle stand for a long time, not making a political move at the last moment, that makes them seem weak and feckless..
RILEY: I also think, Paul, the Democrats erred in trying to link every Republican in this cycle to Donald Trump. I think voters are smarter than that. They see Donald Trump as a unique political figure. And this attempt to link every single candidate running anywhere in the country to Donald Trump has come across as a big stretch for a lot of voters.
GIGOT: I also think the FBI business, Dan, is going to help some of these down ballot Republicans, because they can link their opponent to Hillary Clinton. Some of them have said she is honest and trustworthy, which this will erode.
HENNINGER: Well, that's exactly right. The Billy Bush video was an October surprise, and this is this week's October surprise, the FBI. I think this will also allow the Trump candidacy and the Senate candidates to get on the same message, which will be her credibility over the FBI and the e-mail server. They're going to be running on offense and against the same target.
GIGOT: But I would just say, this may not be the last surprise in --
HENNINGER: Oh, it won't be.
GIGOT: All right, still ahead, another Obamacare shot, as the administration announces double premium increases next year. How it is playing out on the campaign trail, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, R, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the most important reasons you have to vote is that we can immediately, without question, so simply repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: Donald Trump, in Colorado earlier this afternoon, reacting to news that premiums under President Obama's Affordable Care Act are set to soar by double digits next year and, in some cases, much more. It is an issue that could be a deciding factor in close Senate races.
Here is a new ad by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson tying his opponent, former Senator Russ Feingold, to his Obamacare vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Russ Feingold brags about being the deciding vote on Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not something to brag about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Premiums and double and triple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Double and triple.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's crushing for our family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't afford that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't choose my doctor anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to find a new doctor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is crushing small businesses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With all the damage that Obamacare has done, how can Russ Feingold brag about that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He should be ashamed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: We're back with Dan Henninger, Jason Riley, Joe Rago and Kim Strassel.
So, Joe, in other campaign, I suspect this is the kind of thing we'd be talking about. This one hasn't been really about substance that much, but Obamacare is intruding in the late stages of the race in a big way. How much trouble is the law in?
JOE RAGO, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER: Beyond the 25 percent premium increase, you've had lower than expected enrollment, a lot less competition among providers and health insurers who are quitting the exchanges, so a lot of plan cancelations, fewer choices. The thing I would add is that one-sixth of the people, of the American people are affected in some way by Obamacare. So one out of six, that's a lot of people, and could be a deciding factor.
GIGOT: Entitlements are supposed to be popular, Joe, because it is free money. We're giving you something and you don't have to pay for it. That has always been the selling point. And that's what Democrats thought this time, too. Why isn't it working this time?
RAGO: Well, I think they wrote really restrictive regulations that distort the market. So that's why insurers, which are now price controlled, can't make any money. They're saying, well, let's hit the road.
GIGOT: Let's listen to President Obama defend his plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have always said that for all the good that the Affordable Care Act is doing right now, for as big a step forward as it was, it's still just a first step. It's like building a starter home or buying a starter home. It is a lot better than that, having a home, but you hope that, over time, you make some improvements.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: Kim, what do you make of the starter home analogy for the Affordable Care Act?
KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Yeah. It is like buying a shack, you know.
It is a lot of holes and drafty doors and -- I mean, it is really remarkable, watching the president, and Democrats at the moment, trying to now come up with these excuses. The other day, he said it is like we scraped some bugs off the windshield.
GIGOT: Ah, another great one.
STRASSEL: Yeah, another great one. But when, in reality, the structure of the law is the problem. There is no way to nibble around the edges, and fix it that way.
The other interesting thing you hear Democrats making, well, this only applies to a certain percentage of Americans in the Obamacare exchanges. I think the reason, as you were talking about with Joe, that this is in fact resonating more widely is that what's happening in the insurance markets reverberates outside of Obamacare, and it is hurting people who get their insurance from their workplaces, and it is, hurting people in all different kinds of realms and forums. So it is an issue that really impacts a lot of the electorate.
GIGOT: More and more people, people lose their jobs, Jason. If you lose employer-sponsored coverage, you end up being tossed in the exchanges, and you to the exchanges and say, hey, wait a minute, these aren't the options I was told about. And if you don't make enough money, you're tossed into Medicaid.
JASON RILEY, COLUMNIST & MANHATTAN INSTITUTE SENIOR FELLOW: That's what Donald Trump should be talking about, Paul. For most voters, you ask them what the top issues are, their jobs and the economy, but this ties into that. Donald Trump needs to explain to people what health care mandates, why they're a drag on the economy, why employers are less likely to hire and so forth.
GIGOT: You're an optimist. You're an optimist.
RILEY: He has not been willing to make that connection, to stick to that issue. I think that's been a huge reason why this issue hasn't resonated more in the campaign.
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: Well, you know, Paul, every presidential campaign is a meteor shower of input for voters to try to process, and you're trying to get them to focus on a couple of things.
HENNINGER: In the last two weeks, they've focused on two things, one, the FBI and the Hillary Clinton e-mail server, and now, because of these Obamacare premiums spikes, Obamacare is front and center. Obamacare has never been popular with the American people. And now you have candidates, like Ron Johnson or Todd Young, in Indiana running against Evan Bayh, the former Senator who provided the 60th vote for Obamacare. So they are on the offensive with something people have on their minds.
GIGOT: This is something I hear from Republicans, they think this could save the Senate, if any issue is.
RAGO: Yeah, one race I look at is Arizona, where John McCain has been running on this for a long time. A 116 percent increase for 2017, only one insurer in Phoenix. So there's tangible things these candidates can point to.
The other thing Republicans are running on is solutions. Not at the top of the ticket, but certainly at the Senate and House, they're saying here is how we'll repair the individual insurance market, bring more choice and competition into health care.
GIGOT: McCain is running against Ann Kirkpatrick, a congresswoman who has called Obamacare one of her proudest moments in politics.
Still ahead, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren hitting the campaign trail this week in an attempt to rally progressives to the Clinton cause. But what price will Hillary pay for her support, if she wins the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, D, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know about you, but I can listen to Elizabeth go on all day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D, MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump talks about a big game about how the game is rigged. Let's be clear. Donald Trump is right. The game is rigged. It's rigged for guys like Donald Trump. And I say it is time to fight back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren, on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton this week. Warren's support, and that of fellow Senator, Bernie Sanders, no doubt a big factor in bringing reluctant progressives into the Clinton fold. So what role would they play in a Clinton presidency?
Dan, you heard before the break, Secretary Clinton say, look, I could listen to Elizabeth Warren all day. Is she going to have to?
HENNINGER: Yeah, I think if she gets into the White House, and if the Democrats take the Senate, Senator Warren will be on the phone just about every day running what I suggest will be a co-presidency with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
GIGOT: Yeah, you called it the Warren/Sanders presidency this week. I thought it was Hillary Clinton on the ballot.
HENNINGER: Yeah, that's what she thinks.
Look, the Democrats and Hillary -- I mean, Elizabeth Warren is out there campaigning to get the Senate back under Democratic control, because if it is, they plan to move the party to the left. Elizabeth Warren, along with these left wing groups, literally, according to reporting by "Politico" and others, have a list of appointees they will not accept in a Clinton administration, no centrist. For instance, Gene Sperling, who served in Bill Clinton's office and with Barack Obama.
GIGOT: And was associated with Goldman Sachs for a while.
HENNINGER: Right. Anybody who has those kinds of associations is not going to be allowed to get appointed if they control the Senate. So Bernie Sanders will be given chairmanship of the Budget Committee, Elizabeth Warren is over there, the Banking Committee, effectively running it, and Hillary Clinton is -- if she wins -- will have to be listening to them.
RILEY: We know that the Democratic primary exposed a huge riff between the Clintons and progressives. And Hillary spent a lot of time over the past six months or so trying to repair the rift. Then we get these e-mails with WikiLeaks, which has exploded, and just ripped it apart once again. You now have -- you know, the progressives are already suspicious of Hillary Clinton, and now they have the proof in writing of Democratic operatives calling them doofuses and dump and crazy and radical. And as Dan said, somebody is keeping a list, and they're going to use it --
GIGOT: I know that from the Democrats I know in this city on Wall Street, they figure basically we're not going to be able to get jobs.
But, Kim, Hillary Clinton is saying publicly all the time, I'm going to work with Republicans; I'm going to reach out to Republicans if I win the White House. What is the reality here? Is that going to be possible?
STRASSEL: She is not going to have any flexibility to do that. Look, Elizabeth Warren is campaigning for her because she wants a Democratic in the White House that she can then tell what to do. She is not going to have any chance if there is a Republican there. But she is not doing this because she agrees in any way with Clinton's platforms or policies. She is going do to Clinton what she has done to Obama. Look it he last few weeks. Elizabeth Warren has been on a campaign against President Obama own Securities and Exchange chief, Mary Jo White, demanding that she has to step down. This is keeping with a lot of different campaigns she has taken against a lot of Obama people and policies. So it will be the same under Hillary Clinton. The progressives believe this a White House they will have more ability to control than less.
GIGOT: You followed, Joe, what Elizabeth Warren did to Antonio Weiss, a Wall Street veteran, who they wanted to put in treasury, President Obama did, and they basically said we won't confirm him for an official post. So they had to make him a special assistant appointee, political appointee at treasury.
RAGO: Yeah, the other case I would highlight is Wells Fargo CEO, John Stumpf, who Elizabeth Warren almost singlehandedly forced out of that job.
GIGOT: By saying he should be criminally investigated.
RAGO: Right. And just sort of raising it to such a key point on the left. And what we've learned from the WikiLeaks is that the Hillary Clinton campaign is constantly concerned about activating Elizabeth Warren in some way. Glass-Steagall --
GIGOT: Getting her fired up about something in a way that stops their agenda?
GIGOT: So here is the interesting thing to me, Joe. Hillary Clinton talks about working with Republicans. She has a big place in the center where she could go, but yet if you look at her ideas, she hasn't moved to the center. She has moved to the left on trade, the left on taxes, the left on spending, the left on school choice.
RAGO: Yeah, I mean, that's the political Hillary. There is also the Goldman Sachs Hillary, who when she is behind closed doors, saying we need more trade and we need more --
RAGO: -- and all the rest of it. I think she is boxing herself in on the political Hillary, which she has made all these promises to progressive voters, and they're going to expect her to follow through.
GIGOT: All right, Joe, thank you very much.
When we come back, two weeks into the battle to retake the Islamic State's last stronghold in Iraq, we'll have an update on the fight from Mosul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So now we're bogged down in Mosul. The enemy is much tougher than they thought. They've had a lot of time to get ready. They're using human shields all over the place. It is a horrible, horrible situation that's going on. Why did we have to tell them we're going in?
CLINTON: He is basically declaring defeat before the battle has even started. He is proving to the world what it means to have an unqualified commander-in-chief. It is not only wrong. It is dangerous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail this week, weighing in on the U.S.-backed operation to retake the city of Mosul, the last major Islamic State stronghold in Iraq.
We're back with Dan Henninger and "Global View" columnist, Bret Stephens.
So, Bret, the battle for Mosul, how is it going?
BRET STEPHENS, GLOBAL VIEW COLUMNIST: Pretty well in the sense that, I think, eventually, Mosul will be retaken from ISIS. It was always going to be a very bloody operation because of the way ISIS operates, because it's holding captive, it's using human shields. We always knew they would operate that way.
Really, the most complicated case of the battle is trying to figure out who will go into Mosul and what happens to the city after, say, the Iraqis go in, because you have Americans, about 5,000 Americans, you have the Iraqi army itself. Now, you have Shiite militias going into the fight, who are very bloody minded, backed by Iran. The Turks wants a piece of Mosul as well, and of course, the Kurds. So it is arranging this coalition that is every bit as difficult as it is defeating ISIS.
GIGOT: Let's break that down a little bit. And I've been to Mosul and it is rally a Sunni Arab city, not a Shiite city. That's more associated with the eastern part of Iraq, the southern part of Iraq. But, and it is Kurdish, and you've got some Turkmens, ethnic Turks. What role, first of all, are the Americans playing?
STEPHENS: Well, the Americans are providing logistical support, ISR intelligence, surveillance, recognizance support, spotters, Apache helicopters, attack helicopters, Special Force operators that are calling in strikes. So the Iraqi couldn't do this without the aid of the United States. We are very close to the thick of the fight if not quite actually in it.
GIGOT: But some of them -- I mean, there could be American casualties.
STEPHENS: There will be American -- there will be American casualties.
GIGOT: Yeah, there will be American casualties.
And the Shiite complication is, in part, what happens after the battle?
Because if -- Iran wants a piece of this, they want to control that, and yet it is the brutality of some of the Shiite militias against Sunni citizens that helped to create the atmosphere that could allow Sunnis -- the Islamic State to prosper.
STEPHENS: Well, that's exactly right. That's exactly right. And if we see the kinds of reprisal that we saw previously with Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Tikrit and other cities, in Sunni Anbar Province, we're going to return to where we were before, which is a disaffected Sunni population that will take up arms against the Shiite government in Baghdad at the first opportunity. So making sure you get the governance piece of Mosul right, you devolve powers that there's real governance there is every bit as crucial as defeating ISIS.
GIGOT: The Americans did not want the Shiite militias to play that active role, Dan. I mean, we would prefer that they not be on the frontlines.
HENNINGER: Not at all. Just as Bret is suggesting, there is a larger geostrategic thing going on here, however, dismissive Donald Trump is of what Mosul is all about. You have Iran trying to gain effective control over Shiite Iraq, Baghdad government, leaning towards Iran. Iran also trying to extend its control up into Syria.
Now, Turkey is opposed to that. They do not want Iran controlling this much of the Middle East. So the Turks are supporting the attack on Mosul. And they are, in fact, Turkey, talking about going in for the final battle in Mosul, because it is a Sunni city. And the Iraqis are saying they do not want Turkey inside Mosul.
STEPHENS: But that's why it is so important that, in the long-term, there is a large, significant American presence of American ground forces to serve as a balancer and stabilizer, not to be in the thick of combat, but to make sure Iraq doesn't become a satrap of Persia and Iraq does not become a play thing for the Turks.
GIGOT: 10,000 people there, like, say, in Afghanistan perhaps, something like that?
STEPHENS: It beats the alternative of the return of ISIS or the further
gains for the Iranians.
GIGOT: But let's be clear, it is an unadulterated good, is it not, if we clear out Mosul of Islamic state, and then we can move on Raqqa and Syria?
STEPHENS: Right. We will continue to have problems with ISIS for many decades to come because it has incubated and exported jihadis around the world. But defeating and defeating the caliphate is a central goal of defeating Islamic terror.
GIGOT: Dan, quickly?
HENNINGER: What has not gotten as much attention as it should is the Pentagon has announced that they intend to move on Raqqa within two weeks, because they think ISIS is planning more attacks on the West out of Raqqa.
GIGOT: That will be their response to more terrorism abroad --
GIGOT: All right, thank you both.
We have to take one more break. When we come back, "Hits and Misses" of the week.
GIGOT: Time now for "Hits and Misses" of the week.
Kim, start us off.
STRASSEL: Paul, this is I hit to Justice Clarence Thomas who this week celebrated his 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court. It isn't just that Justice Thomas has such an inspiring story, one in which he overcame abject poverty and racism and smears to become only the second African-American on the court, but it's also his legacy, one of his adherence to Originalism and the text of the Constitution. That is a legacy that will matter even more in the future, especially under a Clinton presidency, if we have one.
GIGOT: Bravo, Kim.
RILEY: This is a miss for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who recently signed legislation blocking Airbnb, which allows people to rent out their properties to travelers. This is a very big deal in New York, Paul, where a hotel room can run you $270 a night on average, versus going through Airbnb --
GIGOT: If you can find one.
RILEY: If you can find one -- versus where going through Airbnb, where you can get one for $60 or $70 a night. He is protecting the hotel industry. It is a pattern. Uber is banned in certain parts of the state as well, to protect the taxi and limousine folks. No wonder New York is always ranked as one of the worst business states in the country.
STEPHENS: A big hit to Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan, the great song writer, won the Nobel Prize for literature. You know what? he took his sweet time telling the great Scandinavian Book Club, otherwise known as the Nobel Prize Committee, whether he would show up to the ceremony or not. That same Nobel Prize Committee would like to say America was not a place for literature. It has been 22 years since another American has won the prize. It is good he kept them hanging. And a great congratulations to a true American original.
HENNINGER: A miss to the Texas A&M female student who ran her car into the back of a police car, and not for the reasons you might guess, but because she was taking a topless selfie of herself. I may say to our viewers, if you do not know what a top-less selfie is, you're in a better place.
We are all in hell.
GIGOT: All right, Dan. I think I have avoided that so far, but there is always time.
And remember, if you have your own hit or miss, be sure to tweet it to us at JER on FNC.
That's it for this week's show. Thanks to my panel. Thanks to all of you for watching you. I'm Paul Gigot. Hope to see you right here next week.
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