Transcript

Comey to blame for Clinton's election loss?; Student penalized for using 'man' instead of 'humankind'?

The debate continues on 'The Fox News Specialists'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," May 3, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KATHERINE TIMPF, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Kat Timpf, along with Eric Bolling and Eboni K. Williams. And we are The Fox News Specialists. Let's meet today specialist. She is a former Middle East analyst for the CIA, a former national security advisor for President Obama's 2012 campaign. She'll clear her entire schedule just to watch Ohio State Buckeyes football, and she specializes in foreign policy, Marie Harf is here. And he's a New York Times best-selling author, a human rights activist and a jazz recording artist, but he specializes in cat songs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK STEYN, COLUMNIST: I thought I saw a pussycat creeping up on me. You bet I saw a pussycat as plain as he could be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: That is the real thing. OK, yeah. Mark Steyn is here. That's your thing.

STEYN: Yeah, that's nominated for 37 Grammys, I believe. I just haven't announced it yet.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: You forgot to say something.

TIMPF: Yeah.

BOLLING: This proves it 5:00 will never be the same.

TIMPF: Exactly. And then, I'm sure -- Marie here, of course, I'm sure the glasses -- the girl's glasses, blonde hair tweets are coming in.

MARIE HARF, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: I know, pouring in right now.

TIMPF: Yeah, absolutely. We've got to get to the top story on the special list. Today, James Comey contentious hearing before the senate judiciary committee, the FBI director doubling down on the decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation just days before the election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Concealing in my view would be catastrophic, not just of the FBI but well beyond. It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might've had some impact on the election. But honestly, it wouldn't change the decision. This has been one of the world's most painful experiences. I would make the same decision. I would not conceal that on October 28th.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: Comey's testimony comes one day after Hillary Clinton wind to the sound of the world's tiniest violin about Comey, WikiLeaks and they're impact on her election loss.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLAR CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28th, and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: OK. Mark, I'm going to you to hear on this. Why do you think she's blaming Comey when we all know she should really be blaming all the sexism.

STEYN: Well, she should blame herself. She was a stinker of a candidate. Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, most of Scandinavia, have all had female prime ministers who got there on their own terms. This was someone who did not connect with people, who was unlikable, and the idea that it is any to do with WikiLeaks. Jim Comey did not move the meter on the polls. She lost because selected blue-collar demographics in key states switched from voting for Obama to voting for Trump. She didn't have anything to say.

TIMPF: Eric, I always thought, I think the basket of deplorable comment hurt, way more than anything.

BOLLING: Crush her, crush her.

TIMPF: Yeah.

BOLLING: But, I agree with mark. It wasn't James Comey or anyone else. It was her own fault. She was lazy. She didn't campaign hard. She didn't go to Wisconsin. No one told her not to go to Wisconsin. Comey did not tell her not to go to Wisconsin. She didn't take any risks, and she took the electorate for granted with exactly what she just said. She called half the electorate deplorable and irredeemable. I think that was a crushing blow to her. But as Mark would tell you, the first step to recovery is self-admittance. As soon as she starts dealing with that, saying it's my fault, she can be on her way. Trump just worked 100 times harder than Hillary Clinton work. And he earned it, and he won.

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Well, I think he certainly worked smarter. And here's the thing, from the legal perspective, you know, Jim Comey has taken a lot of heat, a lot of it deservingly so from both sides of the aisle on this thing. And he's getting beat up pretty bad today by both Republicans and Dems. But there is a part of me as an attorney that says we can't hold facts for politics. That's not how we do business in the law. That's not how we should do business in the Department of Justice. So I don't fault him for that. So not only to all your point, that it didn't affect the electorate, even if it would have, that should not have changed his opinion. I think he's absolutely right about that. You're right, E. James Comey did not make her not go to Wisconsin, nor did he tell her not have a ground game in parts of Florida, which she didn't, which depressed the black turnout vote, particularly in that area. Have that been what it would been for Obama, she might be in the White House now. That's not Comey's fault.

TIMPF: Marie, you look like you're agreeing with Eboni a little bit on this?

HARF: I am. I actually agree with a couple different things that's been said. Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate. And actually, I don't care if she ever realizes why she lost. What I care about is that my party, the Democratic Party, realizes why she lost. And look very hard at states like my home state of Ohio, the ground game, the economic message. I do think that there are some Democrats -- this is where I disagree a little bit, if you -- to the public, there are a lot of people that say you wanted to tell the public about the Clinton investigation. There was an active investigation, the Trump campaign, that was going on for months and you didn't think it was also your responsibility to tell the public?

WILLIAMS: That's true, Marie.

HARF: For me, that is what's troubling. And the most troubling thing today.

TIMPF: Go ahead.

BOLLING: Marie, I just want to push back a little bit. You're making a lot of that one side of the equation. Let's not forget when James Comey recommended that Hillary Clinton not to be indicted.

HARF: Right.

BOLLING: That was a big step. I'm going to go on record. I think he's wrong. You're a lawyer. You tell me this. I'm pretty sure that intent didn't matter. So, if Huma Abedin was sending classified information to her husband, Weiner, that.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: If you're violating this act, it doesn't matter if you intend to be violating or not. You're breaking the law.

WILLIAMS: One thousand percent right, Eric Bolling, and -- was not required. But Comey said, and this is where I agree.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: No, no, no, that's not actually what he said. No, no, he said the reason he didn't recommend an indictment, he didn't think he could convict. That's actually requirement -- even though, factually, intent didn't matter. She's right about that. He didn't thought that he could get a conviction.

STEYN: But he's the guy who threw Martha Stewart in jail for lying to the FBI in an investigation where there was no underlying crime.

WILLIAMS: You know the difference there, Mark, though, is he felt he could get a conviction around Martha Stewart.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Hillary Clinton is a little bit more powerful than Martha Stewart.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: His job was to get the investigation and let Loretta Lynch.

STEYN: He's the policeman.

WILLIAMS: I agree, but what if I told you, Eric, that he is ethically bound to not move forward, prosecution, if he doesn't have a good faith belief that he could get a conviction.

BOLLING: He just recommended -- to Loretta Lynch.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, his faith with her, all of this decision making, for sure, big time.

BOLLING: But my point, back to Marie, the was that, yes, there were things that I guess you could say helped Trump during that last few weeks of the election, but there were things that actually helped Hillary prior to that, i.e. no recommendation for an indictment. That was big.

HARF: Right. For me, I really -- I listen to that tape, it's like we're all going through Jim Comey's therapy session. I don't care how hard this was for him. I really don't.

WILLIAMS: You don't care about his nausea?

HARF: I don't care about that.

WILLIAMS: OK.

HARF: But I think there's an honest question where if you're going to say and confirmed there's an active investigation into one candidate, and you also have an active investigation to another, don't the American people also have a right to know that? That's for me is where I get tripped up. And the most confirming thing today, is that he said the Russians are still trying to interfere.

TIMPF: We're going to talk about that. Russia was playing a big role throughout James Comey senate hearing today. The FBI director laid out the looming danger from Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Is it fair to say that the Russian government is still involved in American politics?

COMEY: Yes. One of the lessons that particularly the Russians may have drawn from this is that this works, and so as I said last month or so ago, I expect to see them back in 2018, especially 2020. The big part of what the Russians did was pushing out false information, echoing it with the control farms that they use.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: What do you think, Mark, are we going to get away from this Russia talk or do you think that he's right?

STEYN: No, that was the other weird thing about this. Is that for Democrats, this investigation, this hearing was about Trump and the Russians, and for Republicans it's about Hillary and the emails. There's actually nothing that he's come up with. He says the Russians were pumping out false information. That's actually did -- did us all a favor and pumped out a lot of true information that they got from the Democrat leaks. I sort of agree with Marie's point that the FBI was behaving very oddly. They offered 50 grand for this ex-MI6 agent if he could prove the stuff in the Trump dossier. That seems -- I mean, so we have a thing where the national policing agency of the United States is basically trying to get the goods on both presidential campaigns. So far they have not managed to get the goods.

BOLLING: And that MI6 agent was an OPPO research professional.

STEYN: Right.

BOLLING: . for Hillary against Donald Trump.

STEYN: Right. So he was looking to be in the fortunate position where he would've been the only guy on the planet who's in the pay of both the Hillary campaign and the United States government.

BOLLING: One more theory up here. So they asked James Comey whether or not this information had any effect. He said, well, maybe it did. I'm not positive, but maybe it did. But look for the Russians to do this again in 2018 and 2020. The follow-up question was have they done this in the past? And Comey would've had to have said, of course, they've been doing this for decades.

STEYN: Right.

HARF: And they're doing it all over Europe right now.

WILLIAMS: In the French election right now.

HARF: Right now. And you know Marco Rubio has actually been really strong on this. He come out and said they didn't like Hillary, so they waited in favor of the Republican Party in 2016. Someday they're not going to like us. And they are equal opportunity people when it comes to playing elections, and someday it's going to be the Republican Party that's on the receiving end of this. We as Americans should care that Russians, a hostile force at times, are meddling in our election.

TIMPF: I think everybody cares about that. I think that just because -- you can also be upset about what you find in the emails and not say, oh, I'm glad.

WILLIAMS: I don't know that anybody is upset about that. I think that some people were very, very excited and cheerleading around the fact that this also.

TIMPF: I meant upset at her for what she did.

WILLIAMS: But they should be upset with Russia for what they're doing.

TIMPF: Of course.

WILLIAMS: Because to Marie's point.

TIMPF: I don't think those.

(CROSSTALK)

STEYN: It's a given that all great powers prosecute their own national interests and other people's elections.

(CROSSTALK) HARF: Vladimir Putin, that's his argument that you just make.

STEYN: No, I think every country. If the Belgians -- identify a particular interest they want to go for it, good luck to them. We should expect that. That's a given. It's not unusual.

BOLLING: I challenge James Comey, and I challenge you, Marie.

HARF: Yes.

BOLLING: . do you think that whatever the Russian did affected the outcome of the election? Of course they wanted to get involved and he can steal and hack, but do you think it actually changed the outcome?

HARF: I think that the WikiLeaks emails, the content of those impacted how some voters voted. And those were put in the public domain in large part because of Russian intelligence activity. Was it determinative? No.

(CROSSTALK)

HARF: I'm going back to the first discussion here. I think there were six or seven big reasons Hillary Clinton lost, starting with bad campaign strategy, a candidate with a lot of baggage, we can go down the list that I think Democrats needs to be looking at. We should not overlook this piece of it though for future.

WILLIAMS: No, you know what -- one final point on this, Hillary Clinton wrote a book called Hard Choices. She needs to write another book called, Unforeseeable Consequences, because this should have been foreseeable.

TIMPF: Well, pressures mounting for Stephen Colbert to be fired, following a vulgar joke about President Trump, the campaign to remove him from the airwaves next. And make sure to keep the conversation going on twitter using the hashtag #foxnewsspecialists.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: A growing frenzy now targeting Stephen Colbert's job. The late night host is facing ferocious backlash following a profane joke about President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, "LATE NIGHT" HOST: You attract more skinheads than free Rogaine. You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language guerrilla who got hit in the head. In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's [bleep] holster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: The hashtag fire Colbert is trending on most social media after his vial assault. But so far, Colbert is still remaining silent amid the firestorm. Now, Marie, first I have to ask you, did you think the joke itself was funny?

HARF: No.

WILLIAMS: OK. We're going to have all clear minds and hearts around here.

HARF: No. I watched yesterday. I know what the consensus of the panel is.

WILLIAMS: So you didn't find it funny.

HARF: No, I did not find it funny. And I've just cringed. And I like Stephen Colbert, and I think he smart and I do think he's funny.

WILLIAMS: Yes, normally. Not funny, but fireable offense for you?

HARF: I don't think so.

WILLIAMS: Why?

HARF: I don't think so. I know there's a lot of discussion about whether it was homophobic, or whether the LGBT community is pretty up in arms about it. I don't think it went quite that far and I don't think you should be fired.

WILLIAMS: Now, Mark, I'm coming to you on this because I'm going to guess that you are not an advocate for an overly P.C. culture.

STEYN: No, I'm not in favor of people being fired for jokes. That's actually a very soviet thing. In the Warsaw pact, you could make the wrong joke and your life will be destroyed. And I'm not in favor of that happening here. I happened to be in a court case in British Columbia that involved an expert witness flown in from Philadelphia to discuss my jokes for a day on the witness stand. Those idiot jurists -- then followed it by prosecuting a guy for putting down a lesbian heckler in a lesbophobic way. So I'm not in favor of wrecking people's lives for jokes. I will say though on the point of comedy and I don't think actually the Rogaine line is a joke. When he said Trump attracts more skinheads than free Rogaine, skinheads shave their heads.

TIMPF: That's what I thought. They're bald on purpose. They don't want Rogaine, and they got to spend more on razorblades.

STEYN: And the thing about this is he's got like dozens of writers, this guy. You do your line yourself.

TIMPF: Exactly.

STEYN: Why did this joke get through? That's what we need an investigation on.

BOLLING: I know why the joke got through. Look, so here's what this was. This was a shot back at Trump after Trump abruptly cut off the CBS John Dickerson interview from Sunday. We were there on Monday at the White House filming something for this. CBS was back on Monday morning. The morning show went to the White House. The White House was good enough to put them right in the west wing. They had people coming in and out, Sean Spicer came, Reince Priebus came, Ivanka came, so in two days they had access to President Trump, the next day they had access to all the senior advisors, and then Colbert decides to take a shot at Trump. It was a cheap shot at Trump. That administration was more than welcoming to CBS. And that was all because Trump ended in an interview abruptly he didn't like. And by the way, after that interview, Dickerson got on Air Force One and travel to Pennsylvania with Trump.

STEYN: Right.

BOLLING: I'm not sure where Colbert got this, but it's clearly -- management had to say, OK, go for it.

TIMPF: Well, that's not what bothers me so much, as this people on the internet that are actually saying that I don't know how you could be a sane person and think that that is a fireable offence. I don't know how you can have a life, and feelings, and emotions, and relationships with real life people and spend your emotions -- have emotions to spend getting mad on the internet about a joke that stranger made on a TV show to the point we're that emotionally consuming to you. I just don't understand.

WILLIAMS: I think more problematic than that, Kat, is the fact that people are equating into homophobia, which there's real life problems around homophobia. The Trans community is under attack. These are real life problems, and kind of dropping the H word.

(CROSSTALK) STEYN: But it's not a homophobic joke.

WILLIAMS: It's not at all.

STEYN: I can't even understand -- I mean, I loathe the way we are now supposed to vent jokes for their ideological compliance. So I think you should be allowed to reject it because it's a lousy joke. It's not a funny joke. But this idea that it should fit some kind of ideological model is very.

TIMPF: I think so often now, people get what they want, or they're praised for being so much more sensitive and culturally aware if they get offended by something first, or they say, oh, hey, it's actually offensive, that they are rewarded for that. People all the time get rewarded for that. So they kind of watching and listening with these feelers of could there be something offensive because I'm going to blog about it. And then.

BOLLING: Let's also admit it is offensive to some people, whether we agree with that or not. My point is this, not that he should be fired, I don't think he should be fired, but I think he does owe whoever is offended for whatever reasons a sincere apology. Not just a fake one.

TIMPF: What a weird apology. Sorry, Trump, that I -- yeah.

(CROSSTALK) WILLIAMS: Republicans and their health care overall efforts with a major meeting underway right now, when we come back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: At this hour, house Republican leaders are meeting on the state of play for their health care push, and it comes after a potential game- changer earlier today for repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Two key Republican lawmakers previously against the latest GOP bill have flipped after securing more funds to assist Americans with pre-existing conditions. The White House reacted to the big swing in momentum earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The goal is to pass it, which we continue to get closer and closer to every day. But you don't want to put it up and not before, so the president wants to make sure that the leadership is confident that it can pass the bill. And I think he's done everything he can in terms of speaking with members of the house to get there. But ultimately that's going to be their decision to do it. And I think we continue to feel optimistic about the direction that we'd seen the legislation go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Democrats, however, are still not on board with the new amendment, using their typical scare tactics. Nancy Pelosi says the bill is still an assault on the American people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: They have made it -- put this forth to make it look like, oh, we can improve the bill. No, it doesn't improve the bill. This is an insult to the intelligence of the American people. But worse than that, it's an assault on the good health of the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLLING: All right, Marie.

HARF: I knew that was coming.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: I happen to agree with the Democrats. I don't think this bill is good. I've said from the very beginning this feels like Ryancare, and it's not something that Donald Trump should be pushing. Yet, Sean Spicer, and I disagree with this, that line was right there, the goal is to pass it. My problem is that seems like it goal instead of passing a bill that's better for the American people

HARF: Exactly. And it got them in trouble when they failed to do that a few weeks ago, and it's going to get them in trouble again. I could not agree with you more. It's not just Democrats that aren't on board with this bill yet. There are still a lot of Republicans that are undecided or knows that I think they're going to have to flip. And the key here is these pre-existing conditions. High risk pools which I think the Republicans or the Trump administration have come forward, this is the sixth, they don't actually work that well. And so, if the Republican Party heads into 2018 either not passing anything, and I think that will be disastrous, or passing something that drives people's costs up, that makes premiums go up, and people lose their care, just politically that's going to be awful. And for actual Americans, I do think that will be bad.

BOLLING: Mark Steyn, let's talk about this.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Marie says the key is the pre-existing conditions, I disagree. I think the key here is affordable health care for more people.

HARF: Yes.

STEYN: Well, I think they're related because you can't have genuine health insurance if you have the pre-existing conditions. If you can fall off the roof until the ambulance to swing by the insurance agency on the way to the hospital, whatever that is it's not insurance.

WILLIAMS: Exactly.

STEYN: And I kind of wander of the partisan reservation a little but here because it seems to me the problem with this bill is that it preserves all the governmentalization of health care, which is incredibly complicated, but without restoring genuinely private health care. So we have neither a private nor a public system. And to be honest, I think the real Trump -- the real Trump was the guy on the campaign trail who said, well, you know, single payer seems to work well enough in Scotland and Canada. And it does for most people. I'd be in favor of leaving ObamaCare in place as a government health care system and restoring genuine private health care in this country for people who want a real private option.

BOLLING: Kat, if we did that, Mark Steyn's plan, do you know how much it would cost us? I mean, trillions of dollars it would cost the American people.

TIMPF: Right, of course. I don't think it looks good for -- for this passing. First of all, so much, as you mentioned, Marie, of the focus is, this would be really bad politically if it doesn't pass. And I think what people are focusing on that instead of "Hey, this is a great bill. You're going to love it, Americans." Then that's kind of a bad sign.

And campaign trail -- I know Trump was for single-payer, but the attitude of have to elect a Republican, repeal and replace, repeal and replace. This is not repeal and replace. This is keep it and tweak it a little.

WILLIAMS: And call it something else. And call it something else. And here's the other thing, E. I think -- I get how important the stakes are for him to pass something for 2018 on health care. I think walk away from it right now. I think politically this is not the time. Go to infrastructure. Go to tax reform, which a lot of people are waiting with baited breath.

TIMPF: Yes, that's right.

WILLIAMS: I think he can actually deliver on that in a way that matters. And I think you come back to this, maybe, right before the midterms with something stronger that makes more sense and actually makes health care better.

BOLLING: Let me give you the theory behind the ObamaCare first.

WILLIAMS: OK.

BOLLING: Mark will agree with this. Wipe -- repeal and replace ObamaCare, come back with a package that they can find some tax savings, savings within ObamaCare, and then use that savings to make the tax deal a bigger deal, a better deal for the American people.

HARF: That's right. That's the economic argument, right? This is what's so perplexing to me, though. Republicans, for eight years, kept going to repeal ObamaCare. Was there no one sitting in a basement office at the Capitol writing an actual plan that -- for when they were in power they could pass?

STEYN: No.

WILLIAMS: No, I think that's a resounding no.

(CROSSTALK)

STEYN: I think that -- I think that...

HARF: That's shocking to me.

STEYN: I mean, they really -- it is a joke and particularly now, we're just going for the ObamaCare Lite, which means you'll still have the five- figure deductibles and the premiums rising, and you'll get less and less for it.

And we already spend more per capita -- the United States government spends more per capita, per citizen, on health care than the French government does. So we have a government health system, whether we want to call it that or not. And I would much rather we were honest about it and said, "Here's a lousy, decrepit government health care system, just like they have in Scotland, and you won't be able to go to fancy hospitals. They've got restaurants like shopping malls. That's all gone. It's going to be good enough. For most of you, there will be a lousy, third-rate good enough government health care system..."

BOLLING: All right.

STEYN: "And we'll have a private system if you want to pay for it."

BOLLING: I do not agree with that man on screen right whatsoever.

STEYN: No, he killed -- he killed Marie's perks (ph) for 20 years. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: All these -- all these people with money come over here to get treated instead of staying in their...

HARF: That's right.

BOLLING: ... their foreign national countries, to get that government- funded health care.

All right. We've got to do this. An unlikely source calling for Democrats to get over their obsession with identity politics, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Mark Steyn and Marie Harf. So let's continue the conversation.

Should Democrats ditch identity politics? Even die-hard liberal Bill Maher is saying the time is now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER, HOST: Ease up on the identity politics. They pulled off quite a neat trick in 2016. They made white people, who are still the majority in this country, feel like a minority.

One of the problems the Democrats have is that they obsess about things like Halloween costumes and the name of the Washington Redskins; and there's millions of people in this country who are saying, "How about a little more of 'I'm going to get your job back'?" That's why they listened to a con man about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: OK. So Marie, everybody knows my mother was a huge Donald Trump supporter. She voted for the president, and that is her position. So I would never -- she's a very strong woman. I would never try to change her mind, but I'd say, "But Mom, I mean, kind of listen to some of crass, off- color comments. Offensive, insulting comments. Does that matter to you?"

And you know what she said, Marie? She said, "Yes, I hear that. I don't necessarily like that. But ultimately, his message..."

HARF: Right.

WILLIAMS: "... of economic prosperity and changing the tax bracket to meet my needs as a small business owner is a more compelling argument."

So I'm going to go back to something you said earlier in the show.

HARF: Yes.

WILLIAMS: As a Democrat and someone who really gets this stuff, where do you want the party to go moving forward?

HARF: You're absolutely right. Your mother is absolutely right, I should say.

WILLIAMS: She'll love that.

HARF: We need a message for the American people about what happens in their lives every day, and that starts with the economy. That starts with jobs. It starts with the future of work in this country, what's happening on the ground in places like my home state, in places like your home state. People want to hear about things that impact their lives.

And the Democratic Party forgot to do that. Hillary Clinton forgot to do that. They also made it an entirely negative campaign. So they didn't outline a vision, what can we offer you if we're in power? And that was a huge mistake.

I worked on the 2012 Barack Obama campaign. It was a little different.

WILLIAMS: Yes, so Mark, what we know is that she actually didn't forget, because as a woman that's been in American politics for over 30 years...

STEYN: Right.

WILLIAMS: ... she had to have known better. So -- so was the misstep just that glaringly obvious that she missed it; it was right in front of her face? Or how can you even possibly account for this?

STEYN: Well, They believe what they had what they called the Coalition of the Ascendant, which is if you break the electoral cake into slivers, then you've got blacks, and you've got gays, and you've got Muslims, and you've got transgendered, and if you put them together they're on the way up; and old white males are on the way out, and they're going to die.

And the problem was in 2016, they weren't dead yet. So as Bill Maher said, as wizened and geriatric and demographically irrelevant to the future as they were, they all went and voted for Trump. And God bless them, because I'm so bored by identity politics.

TIMPF: Eric, there are many more things that are identity politics now, too, by the way. I write about this all the time. There's -- you know, there's extrovert privilege is a thing. You know, there's left-handed...

STEYN: Right.

TIMPF: ... is supposed to be a protected class.

STEYN: Right, right.

TIMPF: It's just everyone sitting around and thinking, "How can I be a victim today?" And it's not very beneficial.

BOLLING: I'll tell you what else they forgot, the Democrats, is that the economic message of Donald Trump resonated with African-Americans.

HARF (?): That's what I was going to say.

BOLLING: It resonated with Hispanics. No one saw that coming. They said he wasn't going to get the vote.

Donald Trump got more than the combined vote of John McCain and Mitt Romney combined. Right? As a percentage.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

BOLLING: He also got a far higher percentage of Latin-American/Hispanic vote than anyone give him credit for because of the economic message. At the end of the day, people cared about, "Can I take my family out to dinner this week?"

WILLIAMS: Eric Bolling, I have a very important question for you, though. How did they forget this? When you know who the original architect of a lot of that populist -- Bill Clinton. So her own husband understood this so acutely in 1992.

HARF: He tried to push the campaign this way, I think.

TIMPF: Because it was Donald Trump. Because it was Donald Trump.

BOLLING: She should have listened to him.

TIMPF: She was saying, "Oh, why aren't I 50 points ahead? Look, I'm running against a reality TV guy." And the whole message became, not, "Here's what I'll offer you," but "You've got to vote for me. Look how mean he is."

BOLLING: That wasn't even her message. It was, "It's my turn."

TIMPF: Yes, exactly.

BOLLING: "It's my turn." We had the first African-American president. Now we're going to have the first female president, woman president. And she blew it.

STEYN: In that sense, she was a victim of identity politics.

WILLIAMS: Wow.

STEYN: Because in the end, if you don't have a job, and somebody is on TV saying, "Vote for me because I'm a woman"...

TIMPF: Yes.

STEYN: ... that's absolutely irrelevant to you. Most of us in the end are, if you have a society, people have common concerns, do we have jobs? Are there schools to go to? What's the health care?

WILLIAMS: Are we safe?

STEYN: Yes. And those things don't depend on whether you're Muslim or transgendered or left-handed or any of the other. And they have to keep inventing smaller and smaller categories.

HARF: But we have to talk to all of them. We can't just focus on old white men in Ohio.

TIMPF: I don't think anyone is saying that.

HARF: I know. I think some people are. Not here but in the broader sort of political world. We have to still focus on the issues and causes and principles that matter to the Democratic Party.

WILLIAMS: All right. New incidence of political correct madness across the U.S., and Kat Timpf is all fired up about them, when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: We've got two stories of politically correct insanity that will only leave you asking what is even happening?

First up, a University of Florida student reportedly lost points on a history paper for using the word "man" inside of a gender-neutral alternative like "humankind."

All right, Mark, I'm going to go to you first, because you taught some seminars at my college. You had to grade some papers.

STEYN: Right.

TIMPF: How would -- why would you ever deduct points for using a word the way that the word means on a paper?

STEYN: Yes. "Man" and "mankind" do not refer -- they refer to both sexes. They refer to the human race.

But beyond that, I think it's totalitarian to try and control language, to try and say there are bad words and there are banned words that you cannot use. If the teacher wants to use "humankind," go for it. Say what you want. But if the student says "mankind," to be penalized for that, we are engaging in the totalitarian moronization (ph) of a generation doing this stuff.

TIMPF: Yes. Go ahead.

HARF: Well, no, that was a lot. I -- I think that professors in colleges, they should teach students how to think critically and how to write well and how to look at ideas they've never thought about before; learn new skills. This seems crazy.

TIMPF: Right, but he actually lost points for this.

HARF: And he could've lost points for just being a bad writer.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: It's such a trick question. If he was really smart, he could have seen it coming and gone with "humankind." It was clearly -- the wording was "blah, blah, blah, blah mankind," "blah, blah, blah, blah humankind." You know the teacher is setting him up. He should've just gone with "humankind," just to be safe.

TIMPF: No. I think you've got to fight the system a little bit.

STEYN: And writing is about rhythm. So if you take a two-syllable word and replace with a three-syllable word -- every writer is entitled to choose the words he wants to say.

When Stephen Colbert writes that joke about Vladimir Putin, I don't say, "Why don't you try it with 'male bodily part holster'? It will work just as well."

TIMPF: Eboni, I want to get you -- I want to get you in on this next one, on this next one here. We have Visions Gallery, which is an art gallery in Toronto. It's decided to cancel a scheduled exhibit by artist Amanda P.L., because she has been accused of committing -- hold on, hold on -- "cultural genocide" against indigenous people with her paintings. Essentially, she just drew inspiration from the culture, and that's apparently genocide. Do you agree?

WILLIAMS: It's -- of course I don't agree. I mean, it's ridiculous. It's so ridiculous. I mean, here's the picture. It's to the point, look, and I get -- cultural appropriation, for me, I think is a real thing as a black woman in this country. I don't like it. I think culture should be respected.

I think you can be influenced. In fact, I think that is -- that's respectful. In fact, I appreciate people paying homage to that type of stuff. So this type of accusation, it's taking it so far, it's so ridiculous. But again, with their real instances of actual cultural appropriation, but it has no weight here.

TIMPF: She wasn't claiming it as her own. She was saying, "Oh, I was influenced by this and this and this."

WILLIAMS: She owned it, yes.

TIMPF: And she's researched a lot about it. What more can you ask for that? I mean, what culture invented painting? Maybe no one should be painting then, because you're appropriating from the first dude who ever painted. How far do you take this?

STEYN: I think that was Ug, the caveman.

TIMPF: Yes, well...

STEYN: You don't know which...

TIMPF: ... I don't think I'm descended from him, so I can never paint.

HARF: And art is supposed to make you think. It's supposed to challenge you. It's supposed to make you look at the world in ways you haven't before.

WILLIAMS: And they should be freer, right? Like I think artists have a lot more freedom.

HARF: The entertainment -- I'm so uncomfortable with this kind of censorship, which is really what it is.

BOLLING: So -- so Robert Mapplethorpe has some provocative pictures that I don't agree with. I wouldn't show my family the pictures.

HARF: Right.

BOLLING: But I understand there's a right. We're all -- we have a First Amendment right to express, and that's -- that's fantastic. Do you remember the -- the painting or the depiction of Christ in urine?

STEYN: Right.

BOLLING: Remember that? And everyone said you have to let them do that. I don't agree with any of that but I agree that you have to let people, artists be artists. Isn't this the exact opposite? Aren't they saying...

TIMPF: Yes.

BOLLING: ... your art is offensive to this group, so therefore you can't - - you shouldn't be able to display it in a gallery.

TIMPF: They didn't even just say "appropriation." They said "genocide."

WILLIAMS: Genocide.

TIMPF: And if you're going to start telling me that a single art show is single-handedly killing off an entire culture, I'm going to tell you you're a crazy person.

WILLIAMS: I'm going to agree.

TIMPF: That's not how it works.

STEYN: But your point, Eric, is right. It's like if you criticize our -- from a conservative point of view, if you say you shouldn't be soaking a crucifix in urine, because it's disrespectful, everyone says, "You uptight Christians need to get with the program. What the hell is wrong with you guys?"

But if you do it from a left-wing identity politics point of view, you say, "Oh, no, no, this is -- this cultural..."

TIMPF: Right.

STEYN: I mean, this, again, is the left's double standard.

BOLLING: Hypocrisy.

STEYN: By the way, cultural genocide is like taking -- like Starbucks does. You take great Italian espresso coffee and you put ginger nut, eggnog, hazelnut, caramel in it. That's cultural appropriation.

BOLLING: And you make a ton of money doing it.

WILLIAMS: It's like the collard greens that Neiman Marcus was selling for, like, $300 at Christmas.

TIMPF: All right, we have to move on here. We're not afraid to roll the dice on this show, so we're debuting a new daily segment with our "FOX News Specialists" when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: All right, ready for this? Today, we're trying out a new daily segment on "The FOX News Specialists." We're calling it "Circle Back." We return to our specialists on an interesting point they've made or we've made during the show or get answers to any question that Kat, Eboni and I - - or I may be dying to ask them. So hopefully this goes well. And if it doesn't, we'll never speak of it again.

I'm going to kick it off. Marie, I just want to point out...

HARF: Always the guinea pig.

BOLLING: ... I was just asking myself, when did Marie Harf become such a reasonable Democrat? That's not my question.

My question was to Mark. You've got to tell me about the cat videos, brother. Where did that originate?

STEYN: I got a new cat, and I started singing to the cat, and the cat seemed to enjoy it.

WILLIAMS: That's normal.

STEYN: And I realized that there were far more good cat songs than there are good dog songs. So the good news is I'm not planning on making a dog song album.

BOLLING: I might push back on the dog thing, but...

TIMPF: I could not follow that.

BOLLING: And Eboni, it's your shot.

WILLIAMS: My shot. OK, speaking of albums, I am also a fellow jazz musician. Actually, that's strong. I really was just a jazz band high school geek. I played alto and tenor saxophone. I want to know your biggest jazz influences. I'm a huge fan of -- E., you're not really that into it. But who are your jazz influences?

STEYN: Well, I'd probably say Count Basie, but I'd be accused of cultural genocide.

WILLIAMS: No, no, no, I would defend you, like, rigorously.

STEYN: I love the sound that Basie band. But if you want to -- if you do play alto sax, we'll come -- I'll come back and we'll do something for "The FOX News Specialists" Christmas show.

WILLIAMS: OK. I'm going to hold you to that.

HARF: I play the trumpet.

WILLIAMS: Do you really?

HARF: I do.

WILLIAMS: OK. Were you a high school band person, as well?

HARF: I was in the concert band.

WILLIAMS: OK, are you trying to one-up me?

HARF: No. That's not the good thing.

WILLIAMS: I'm kidding.

BOLLING: All right, Kat, you want to jump in there?

TIMPF: Yes, Marie, I wanted to ask you, you seem to be very, very aware of all the problems with the Democratic Party and relating to people. Is there anybody that you think is doing it well in the party at all?

HARF: That's a great question. So I think there are a group of folks outside of D.C. who actually are. People like Jason Cantor in Missouri who ran against Roy Blunt this year, outperformed Hillary by double digits. He almost won.

People like Pete Buttigieg in Indiana, who ran for DNC chair.

These aren't household names. This is the next generation of Democrats who get the economic issues, and they also get why some of these identity groups want to hear from them.

I also love Kirsten Gillibrand and some of the folks in D.C. But I think some of our best leaders are really outside of Washington.

TIMPF: What do you think, Mark? Do you agree? Any fave Dems?

STEYN: No, I'm hoping to see Bernie Sanders keep...

HARF: He's not a Democrat.

STEYN: He -- no, but when he's, like, 112, he'll still be the glamorous face of the Democrat Party.

WILLIAMS: You're wrong.

BOLLING: We only have about a minute and a half or so. Can I ask you specialists one more time, the Trump administration said they're not going to even comment on Stephen Colbert's comment. Your thoughts on what they should do with the Colbert comment?

STEYN: I think they should leave it for others. I don't think it's -- as I said, I think that's like a Soviet thing for the state to comment on jokes. It's not something free people should ask their government to do.

WILLIAMS: Trump's got a lot of other stuff to do.

HARF: I agree. He has other things to do. Figure out health care, figure out tax reform. Don't worry about late-night TV.

BOLLING: All right. Anyone else have any questions?

WILLIAMS: I was just going to ask Marie this, and I know that you currently live in D.C. But you say that the best ideas for the Dems are kind of outside of that. What do you think about the new leadership at the DNC?

HARF: I want to see a little bit more from them. I am -- I like that they're going around the country and talking to voters in different states. I like that sort of roadshow they've been on. I want to make sure they learn the right lessons from 2016.

It's not that I don't think they have. I just haven't seen a lot of evidence of that yet. And I worry about the Bernie part of the party. They're not Democrats. We need to win some of them over. But...

WILLIAMS: Yes, but you've got Mike Blake as, you know, V.P. Phenomenal.

HARF: I think Joe Biden is a good...

TIMPF: I like Joe Biden. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to lie. I mean, I'm not even talking about whether I agree or disagree with him. I'm just saying, do I want to get brunch with him and have, like, three or four mimosas? Yes, I do.

BOLLING: How about this: the Democrat Party is down to two white men who are in their 70s as their hope.

TIMPF: Lovable dudes.

STEYN: Next generation. Biden 2024.

BOLLING: Thank you to our "Fox News Specialists" today, Mark Steyn and Marie Harf.

We want to thank all of you for watching. Make sure you keep the conversation going. Follow us on Twitter, @SpecialistsFNC. Remember, 5 p.m. will never be the same. "Special Report," Bret Baier, up next.

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