Candidate medical information under scrutiny

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," September 14, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I just talked to her. She's feeling great. And I think she will be back out there tomorrow. It's a crazy time we live in when people there's something unusual about get the flu. Last time I checked, millions of people were getting it every year.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Former president Clinton out at an event. And his people said, no, no, he didn't mean the flu. He meant pneumonia. This as Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine release their medical records. On Hillary Clinton's side, part of that release, I should say statements, the medical statements, the info released ends with something from her doctor, Lisa Bardack. "My overall impression is that Mrs. Clinton has remained healthy and has not developed new medical conditions this year other than a sinus and ear infection and her recently diagnosed pneumonia. She is recovering well with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States."

However, this does come as we hear about this Colin Powell e-mail hack. And in those the e-mails, as Jennifer Griffin reported, was this one. An exchange with Jeffrey Leeds, Colin Powell says "On HGTV she doesn't look good." Remember this is back in 2015, this email. "She's working herself to death. She will turn 70 her first year in office." Reply from Jeffrey Leeds, "Sheldon Whitehouse," who is a senator who is a huge Clinton supporter "said they were both giving speeches at the same event a few months back and she could barely climb the podium steps." So that gives you some perspective on the back and forth.

Let's bring in our panel: Steve Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard; Charles Hurt, political columnist for The Washington Times, A.B. Stoddard, associate editor at Real Clear Politics, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. OK, Charles, obviously these are not complete medical records. We have to wait until Dr. Oz's show to hear everything that's in this later. But it's not going to be John McCain release.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, I don't think thus far there's anything here on either side. We would know about it. You get a review of systems and a physical done last week and a few blood tests. That's OK. You get on Hillary's side a statement from her own doctor that she's had nothing except what is a sinus infection, ear infection over the last year.

Look, we see these people every day. If there was something chronic and debilitating, we would see it. We saw her collapse. We know there was an episode and we have a good cause. She has pneumonia in the right middle lobe, started a week before with bronchitis, and this is the normal course for that. If you drive yourself with a walking pneumonia, you are going to get sick and you'll probably end up in bed.

BAIER: And when you hear Sheldon Whitehouse according to these emails say she couldn't make it up the steps of the podium in 2015?

KRAUTHAMMER: It's third hand. If we had other reports of that, I would take it seriously. And if you have a physician who follows her and there was an underlying condition that would explain that, I think we would have heard about it.

Look, a physician has their license and reputation on the line. They are not going to lie for a client, well, perhaps, they will. But the consequences are going to be very high. And I don't think most doctors are going to do that.

BAIER: Steve?

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: They may not lie for a client, but it has been clear that the Clinton administration -- or the Clinton campaign has been deliberately misleading.

I had to write down the number of different stories we have gotten from them in order to keep track. At first they said there was nothing wrong. Then it was a cough. Then it was allergies. Then she was dehydrated. Then she was overheated. Then it was pneumonia diagnosed two days earlier. Now Bill Clinton suggests that it might have been the flu. Maybe Bill Clinton just misspoke. He's done it before. He did it in a CBS interview that was edited out.

What's clear is the Clinton administration not only were not transparent -- listening to another network on my drive in today and they were concerned that the Clinton campaign hadn't been transparent. That's not what's happening here. They have deliberately misled the American people and voters with what's happening here. They sent Hillary Clinton out to wave to the crowd and the cameras in an effort to make her look like she was just fine. Maybe she's just fine long-term. I defer to the good doctor about that. But what's very clear is they are not fine in terms of misleading the American people about what's going on.


A.B. STODDARD, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: I hope that Charles is right, the good doctor, because I hope when one of these two people becomes president they are healthy, and I do believe that when we see them day in, day out, they appear to be very strong. They keep just punishing schedules. It looks completely brutal. And she was able to power through this weekend. But I do think --

BAIER: That is, by the way, the word they use. The campaign has used "power through" more than any --

STODDARD: I'm quoting it. I think that still, from my understanding -- and I am not a physician, and I don't read these forms regularly, that Trump's numbers were a snapshot in time, that when you have the physical, if you were doing pretty well, it wouldn't reflect a bad EKG from years past, perhaps a heart event in your past, a kind of high-risk for this or that. Again with Hillary Clinton, we notice that Dr. Bardack said except for a sinus infection and an ear infection this year, she seems to have just had the pneumonia. So we know she had a concussion and followed by a blood clot. She probably is at higher risk at some point for blood clots.

BAIER: She's still on blood thinners.

STODDARD: It's a serious brain event. And so at some point full medical history I believe at the age of 68 and 70 should be required.

BAIER: Charlie?

CHARLES HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: You know, unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, it almost doesn't matter at this point if she does get a clean bill of health as it appears she is getting, because pretend to -- Charles is right. People tend to sort of believe their own eyes. And when they see somebody that looks healthy and is active on the campaign trail, they go with that.

But the real problem is, none of this is going to erase the image that people have of that video that's being -- going to be played maybe a billion times between now and the election of her being carted into the van. And I think that that speaks volumes more than any records could.

The good thing, though, for her right now is that she has far more popular Democrats right now campaigning for her in Michelle Obama and President Obama and --

BAIER: Vice President Biden and others. Sorry.

KRAUTHAMMER: I don't see what the argument is about. Medically speaking, there's no evidence of anything serious. In terms of how they handle this stuff, I have been the one complaining since the incident in 2012 that they never gave us the complete information about the concussion, the fall, the blood clot, and that I thought raised a lot of suspicions.

However, after six months, she appeared to have no disabilities as a result of that. And she's been on a grueling campaign trail for a year and a half. I would prefer if we had the full medical records of the two of them. I don't think we're going to get it. But that would be the only way to definitively know whether there's any evidence of anything underlying. As of now, there's none.

BAIER: OK, there is evidence of this race changing, especially in the swing states. Let's start in Florida. The CNN/ORC poll out tonight, the four-way race, Trump up three in this. That is within the margin of error. You take a look at CNN's Ohio poll, Trump up five. That is interesting in Ohio and it would be a big shift. But it matches Bloomberg Ohio's poll, also Trump up five in Ohio. You take a look at the Monmouth poll in Nevada, another swing state, Trump up two. A.B., you look at national polls, it's moving as well. This race has changed.

STODDARD: I really think it has. I think that Trump has the best path he has ever had. It's not an easy path, but he has a path now. Mrs. Clinton is losing votes, I believe, of Bernie Sanders supporters and probably Republicans who were never going to vote for Trump after the convention were telling pollsters that they would support her. And that is a result of the foundation stories, the defiance from the Clinton family about trying to -- being told by even Democrats like Ed Rendell, on the record saying please shutter the foundation or neutralize it today. The FBI report and then the "deplorables" comment, and now this event with her being sick and trying to keep it a secret for two days, this is the kind of thing that turns people off and turns them away from Hillary Clinton. And as I've said so many times, in a five-way, four-way race, he can win it.

BAIER: Yes. Steve, what's not in these polls is the enthusiasm gap. And we saw in the Washington Post/ABC poll, it's about 46 percent to about 30 percent of Democrats who are fired up to vote for Hillary Clinton.

HAYES: Right. I think that's right. And I think the key point with both the point you made and what A.B. said is that this affirms what we know about Hillary Clinton, what people think that they know about Hillary Clinton. This affirms long held views about who she is and what she does, particularly with respect to honesty and trustworthiness.

I have to say, though, that the flipside of the Hillary Clinton bad three weeks, and she's had a horrible three weeks, is that Donald Trump has had a better three weeks. He had that event with the Mexican president. And while the immigration speech I think sort of made a muddle of the policy, the event itself was good. People saw pictures of the event. If you looked in swing state newspapers on the front page, they had the photograph of Trump standing next to the Mexican president after having heard from -- weeks from team Clinton he couldn't possibly pull off any international diplomacy, that he was a threat. So I think he had a good event there. And he has made fewer outrageous comments. It must be said. He made them on a weekly basis until the last couple weeks. He has been in better control lately.

BAIER: That last point, quickly, Charlie is that this debate, September 26, really sets the stage. It's going to be Super Bowl of politics. If Trump can get over the bar of commander in chief, does it further change this race?

HURT: I think absolutely. I think it could -- if things continue to go in this direction, it could seal it away for him. But he big thing I think we have seen over the past couple of weeks is that coming out of the Democratic Convention, the question was, is Donald Trump fit to be president? And they have flipped that around. People are asking, is Hillary Clinton fit to be president? And that's to Donald Trump's advantage.

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