All-Star Panel: Fallout from Sen. Reid's decision not to seek reelection

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," March 27, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


HARRY REID, D-NV, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: I'm not going to run for re-election. My friend Senator McConnell, don't be too elated. I'm going to be here for 22 months. And you know what I'm going to be doing? The same thing I've done since I first came to the Senate.

SEN. JERRY MORAN, R - KS: The Democrat leader Senator Reid was protecting Democrat senators from having to choose between the president's agenda, the White House, and many of their voters back home. And so I think the thought was not casting votes was a good political thing to protect Democrat incumbents.


SHANNON BREAM, ANCHOR: Yep, all right, we're back with our panel with news of Harry Reid's retirement. I was going to say resignation. He's sticking around for the 22 months. Charles, it's the end of an era.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Harry, we hardly knew ye. And what we did know, we didn't like. Now, I know you're not supposed to dance on the grave of the newly dead, but this is only a political death so those rules don't apply, and I will be unrestrained. I'm not against the fact that he was a partisan with sharp elbows and all that, but I do think he was a disgrace to his own institution, because he emasculated it in the name of the protecting the president and trying to re-elect Democrats. He didn't succeed because he essentially shut down the Senate as soon as Republicans took the House in 2010. He failed as a partisan because nine senators of his party lost re-election. But he succeeded in protecting the president from having to exercise the veto. And in order to achieve that, he killed his own institution.

BREAM: Well, and now we wait to see who we get next, Julie. A lot of folks saying Schumer is the shoo-in. He's got a lot of support publicly from Reid and others. But I got an e-mail today about drafting Elizabeth Warren. If she's not going to run for president maybe they can get her to run for Senate Democrat leader.

JULIE PACE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ASSOCIATED PRESS: That started pretty immediately from a lot of progressives. I mean, Chuck Schumer has a lot of support in the party. Harry Reid has thrown his support behind him. Dick Durbin has thrown his support behind him. Schumer has a lot of connections with Wall Street. And there is a wing of the Democratic Party that just hates that. And they want to see someone like Elizabeth Warren take a leadership role in this party. I am not sure if this is going to be her moment necessarily. Chuck Schumer, you've got to remember, is close with Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic nominee. I think you may see an alliance there. It's not entirely surprising to go from majority leader to minority leader is certainly an ego blow.

BREAM: It's not a fun place to be I'm sure. Nina, I quickly want to get to you with the news that we had reported during the show about Trey Gowdy, head of the Benghazi select committee, saying that Hillary Clinton hasn't produced any new documents. He accuses her of wiping her server clean unilaterally, never turning over to the inspector general, and he's coming pretty hard at her on this Friday afternoon.

NINA EASTON, COLUMNIST, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: So, he said very clearly that the service has been wiped clean of any e-mails, of the e-mails that she decided to keep or delete are not actually on there. But, I think the thing that's going to be most troubling for Hillary Clinton is, because that's probably not a surprise, is the timing of this. Gowdy says it appears she made the decision to delete the e-mails from her server after October of last year, after the State Department had requested those documents. So that of course goes to the question of motive and so forth, and I think it kind of puts this issue way back on the map for Hillary Clinton.

BREAM: All right, while we have you on 2016 essentially, let's turn to the GOP side, because now it is time for Candidate Casino. We're going to see where our panelists put their chips this week for the GOP field. And Nina, we'll start with you.

EASTON: Of course it changes week by week.


BREAM: Of course. No, it's an update, and revisit your picks.

EASTON: So I put 60 on Jeb Bush because -- or did I put 50 on Jeb Bush? I revised. Sorry.


EASTON: I put 50 on Jeb Bush simply because first quarter reports are about to come out and he's going to have raised something like $100 million. It's going to truly clear a path for him.

Scott Walker, I put $20 on. Scott Walker had a difficult week. He's still trying to find his way on immigration. It's the most thorny issue, in my mind, for Republican candidates, and he's having trouble being, shall we say, consistent. Cruz, Ted Cruz, I put $20 because you can see this week potentially how he could unite the Tea Party, Evangelical wing of the party, particularly if he got the support that's going now to say a Ben Carson and a Mike Huckabee. And then I put $10 on the field, and maybe the frontrunner will actually come out of that field for all I know.

BREAM: Now, unfortunately, because it is Lightning Round, I have to get you through first. Julie, you are next.

PACE: I've got $40 on Jeb, frontrunner for sure, going to have a lot of money. I Split $25 and $25 for Walker and Rubio. I think one of them could have a chance of breaking through. My last $10 I went with Paul. I could have gone with Cruz. I think Paul has his announcement coming. I think he's going to get a bit of a bump out of that.

BREAM: All right, Charles.

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm taking with my order of top tier. Rubio, the tortoise in the race, gets the most, then Bush, then Walker. And I'm sticking with my resolve to be serious and mature and not to blow the reserves on frivolities but to have invested in my future.

BREAM: I believe you said stormy days ahead.

KRAUTHAMMER: Absolutely.

BREAM: OK, that's it for the panel. Stay tuned, though, to see just how brutal the world of social media can be and how lawmakers are handling those attacks.

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