This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, July 19, 2003, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Can I go to the ups and downs now?
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Please...
BARNES: With your permission.
UP: British Prime Minister Tony Blair
BARNES: Blair for his eloquent and moving speech to a joint meeting of Congress Thursday. Mort, he was so good. You know, Americans loved Winston Churchill (search), Margaret Thatcher (search), and now Tony Blair. You know why? Because not only are they our allies and on our side, they love America. And I want you to listen to this clip from his speech, my favorite part of the speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLAIR: Tell the world why you're proud of America. Tell them when The Star-Spangled Banner starts, Americans get to their feet. Tell them why Americans one and all stand upright and respectful. Not because some state official told them to, but because whatever race, color, class, or creed they are, being American means being free. That's why they're proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARNES: Good stuff.
KONDRACKE: It was great.
You know, I loved it. The problem is that his, his own people were also watching this, and the more he, in particular, shows that he loves America, the more trouble he's in, I think, with the Labour Party, which…you know, he moved to the center but has lots of leftie tendencies, Frenchie tendencies, you might say.
KONDRACKE: And, you know, I don't, I don't know that he did himself all that much good on…his trip to America. It, it will help a little bit that there's going to be some adjustment on these Guantanamo prisoners, but…I'm afraid he's still…in trouble.
UP: The NAACP
KONDRACKE: It shows its political muscle by humiliating three Democratic presidential candidates, Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, and Dennis Kucinich, into making…for skipping an NAACP (search) presidential forum earlier this week, for which they received a stinging rebuke.
Here's the apology fest on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, D-Conn.: In not coming Monday, I was wrong. I regret it, and I apologize for it.
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT, D-Mo.: I had a long- standing conflict that I could not get out of, but I apologize to all of you for not being able to be here...
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, D-Ohio: I'm very sorry I wasn't able to be here. Amazing Grace, how sweet it is, once was lost, now am found. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KONDRACKE: Now, the next president of the United States is going to have to stand up to Kim Jong-Il...
KONDRACKE: ... Usama bin Laden, and the mullahs in, in Iran...
KONDRACKE: ... yet they…you know, these guys can't stand up to Kweisi Mfume, for heaven's sake.
BARNES: Yes, I know. Look, I think they need to stop these joint gatherings of Democratic candidates, because they become pander-fests. I don't think they're helping themselves with this pandering. OK.
DOWN: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il
BARNES: He sends U.S. intelligence officials scrambling by announcing this week that his country has produced enough plutonium to make half a dozen bombs.
BARNES: Scary, huh?
KONDRACKE: Scary. This deserves to be, and probably will be, the next big crisis facing the, the Bush administration. Kim Jong-Il says that he is making bombs. Bush says we will not stand for that. The Bush policy is to try to get China to muscle North Korea into stopping, but China is not doing that.
So, you know, very soon, possibly this month or in September, which is the anniversary of the founding of the South Korean regime, they may test a nuclear weapon. What do we do then?
BARNES: Well, I think we have to let them know that there is a war option, that we can take out anything they have, and they're not going to be able to destroy Seoul, South Korea…without our doing that. Make sure that we're planning for it, and they know it. And the Chinese are starting to help a little more. OK, Mort.
DOWN: Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham
Desperate for any kind of political traction, Graham overreaches in his criticism of President Bush, suggesting Bush could be impeached for the Iraq intelligence flap. I mean, that, that certainly is overreaching.
And then the other day he said, you know, he accuses the president in the State of…, in the State of the Union of a five-letter word, "deceit." It actually has six letters.
KONDRACKE: Six letters.
BARNES: Of course. And then he said also that, you know, unlike the…in the Civil War and World War I and World War II, Bush is…get, is getting up great debt in Iraq, and…our children are going to have to pay for it.
The amount of debt that was built up in those earlier wars was stupendous, much greater than we…is being built up now. I've talked to Florida politicians who think that, you know, he's having a little…he's under pressure in this race. He's never been in a competitive race. He's always won races in Florida. And this is new for him, and…well, it's new.
KONDRACKE: Yes, my, my diagnosis of, of Graham's problem is Dean envy. I mean, here, here Graham is, a senior senator, former chairman of the, the Senate Intelligence Committee. He voted against the war and spoke up against the war. And he was governor of a large state, not a small state. And here this upstart Dean is leaving him in the dust, you know.
So he's desperate, and he's trying to catch up.
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