This is a rush transcript from "The Story," June 21, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: And we begin with the same breaking news this evening as reaction pours in at this hour as we celebrated the life of Charles Krauthammer.
Pulitzer Prize winner, Harvard trained psychiatrist, political commentator extraordinaire, and dear colleague and friend. In the past hour, people from all walks of life have been sharing stories and his quotes talking about Charles's intimidating intellect, his wicked sense of humor, and his undeniable determination.
His former co-workers describing him cupping a pencil in his good hand, so that letter by letter, he could get his thoughts down on paper. Thought that started so many conversations across this country and around the world.
Many more stories about the life of Charles Krauthammer are ahead tonight. We have a lineup that was not hard to assemble. People calling in from all over who want to talk about Charles, about his life about the stories that they shared, and how much they admired this remarkable human being. Watch.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FORMER FOX NEWS POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's my job to call a folly of Charlie.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Charles Krauthammer, columnist, author, and Fox News commentator lived his life telling others exactly what he thought.
KRAUTHAMMER: You're betraying your whole life if you don't say what you think, and you don't say honestly and bluntly.
BAIER: It was that quality that brought Charles to Fox News Channel during Brit Hume's tenure as anchor.
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: This is not a man designed for television. You look at him, this is not a potential T.V. star. In fact, he became a huge star even I would almost say a megastar on this channel. And it was the sheer force of his intellect and the power of his thinking.
And on top of that, there was a gentleness about him it was personally that if he disagreed with you, you know, you never felt the attacked -- you know, he just disagreed with you.
MARY PAT DENNERT, STAGE MANAGER, "SPECIAL REPORT": It was always unspoken on the panel that he was always the leader because of his delivery, his intellect.
BAIER: "Special Report" stage manager Mary Pat Dennert was on set with Charles every night for years.
DENNERT: It was kind of all an ongoing joke on the panel that Bret Baier has a signal when people need to wrap up, I give him 30. So, Brit puts his arm out, and Charles is on the show forever. And we always laughed that I don't think he paid attention to that once.
He had something to say, he was going to say it. No time constraints, we're going to control him on that.
BAIER: Born in 1950s New York to Jewish parents who left World War II era, Europe, Charles father raised his son to value the pursuit of knowledge.
KRAUTHAMMER: His motto for us was, "I want you to know everything. I want you to learn everything. You don't have to do everything but you got to know everything." He thought that was part of life.
BAIER: The family lived in Montreal and summered at their cottage in Long Beach, New York.
KRAUTHAMMER: It was a very physical childhood. My brother and I were inseparable, he always insisted I be included. So, I got used to being around the big boys and taking the slings and arrows and that's how you get toughened up.
BAIER: As a senior at McGill University in Canada, Krauthammer became captivated by political journalism. He applied to medical school to appease his family and was accepted to Harvard. But Krauthammer put off attending and enrolled at Oxford, instead. It was there that he met fellow student from Australia, Robyn Trethewey, who would later become his wife.
Charles reversed course and headed back to the U.S. to attend to Harvard.
BAIER: Why did you choose psychiatry?
KRAUTHAMMER: I was looking for something halfway between the reality of medicine and the elegance if you like of philosophy. So, its psychiatry was the obvious thing.
BAIER: It was there that one unexpected moment, a tragic diving accident changed Charles life forever.
KRAUTHAMMER: It just hit at precisely the angle where all the force was transmitted to one spot and that is the cervical vertebra which severed the spinal cord.
BAIER: When did you realize that the accident was life-altering?
KRAUTHAMMER: The second it happened.
BAIER: Despite his permanent paralysis, Charles astounded his professors and classmates by graduating on time near the top of his class. Ultimately, he decided the field wasn't for him. A career reversal, he joked about on Fox decades later.
KRAUTHAMMER: And I'm a psychiatrist in remission. Doing very well haven't had a relapse in 25 years.
BAIER: In 1978, Krauthammer headed to Washington, D.C. for a government job.
KRAUTHAMMER: I thought, once I'm in Washington, isn't that where they do politics, one thing will lead to another.
BAIER: Robyn encouraged him to follow his dreams and he soon landed at the left-leaning New Republic magazine, just as the Reagan administration took office.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So help me, God.
BAIER: Krauthammer, found himself agreeing with the new president and questioning his own feelings about the Democratic Party.
KRAUTHAMMER: I ended up supporting just about every element of the Reagan foreign policy.
BAIER: Months after Reagan's reelection, Krauthammer, penned the phrase, The Reagan Doctrine, in a provocative Time Magazine column, and the name stuck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He created The Reagan Doctrine, nobody heard of it. Charles put together a piece and dubbed it, and you know, I've read it many times and it just holds up so well. I think Charles discovered then that there really was a lot to Reagan.
BAIER: But it would take years before Charles fully embraced domestic conservative ideals.
KRAUTHAMMER: It took me about a decade. I was skeptical of tax cuts, I was skeptical of smaller government at the beginning. And then, by the end of the 80s, I had begun to change.
BAIER: In 1985, his son, Daniel was born. And two years later, Charles, won the biggest honor in journalism, the Pulitzer Prize. But it was the events of September 11th, 2001 that brought a more forceful tone to his commentary in a regular spot on the "SPECIAL REPORT" panel. Over the years, Charles became an audience favorite.
KRAUTHAMMER: The biggest error that we make is to lose the damn war because we refuse to recognize who the enemy is, and what it requires.
For God's sake, why do you have to talk about that?
The morning is over, the Shiva is done. And if you're a -- you know, if you're a conservative, you should be optimistic.
But I think it'll -- you know, it'll snow in hell before the DOJ is going to go after her.
We all were expecting it, it didn't happen. That was the dog that didn't bark.
BAIER: Despite all of his accomplishments, awards, and high-profile endorsements, Krauthammer was always humble. And at times, uneasy with the influence his words held.
KRAUTHAMMER: You know, I think about it and I find it worrisome. The reason is that when I was totally unknown, I could say anything I damn little pleased.
BAIER: That included when his opinions reached the presidents.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I read the Charles Krauthammer's column in the post and he's a, a brilliant man.
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, you know, when you get praised from President the Clinton, and you're from my side of the -- of the aisle, that means that my career is done. I mean, I'm toast.
BAIER: Krauthammer's high standards for political leaders were bipartisan for President Obama.
KRAUTHAMMER: What I think, he's done just about everything wrong.
BAIER: To then, candidate Donald Trump.
KRAUTHAMMER: This is the strongest field of Republican candidates in 35 years. You could pick a dozen of them at random, and have the strongest cabinet America's had in our lifetime. And instead all our time, he's been discussing this rodeo clown.
I don't think I've ever heard such a stream of disconnected ideas since I quit psychiatry 30 years ago.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: As far as Charles Krauthammer, I'm not a fan of his. I think he's a highly overrated pundit, he's wrong on so many things.
BAIER: Charles Krauthammer, who by the way, in Canada casino put his first money on --
TRUMP: I saw that. I couldn't believe it.
BAIER: Did you see that?
TRUMP: Thank you, Charles. I'm going to make you look good, Charles.
BAIER: In recent years, as a Republican administration took office, Charles didn't shy away from his trademark, blunt, unabashedly critical analysis when it came to President Trump.
KRAUTHAMMER: Presidents don't talk like this, they never have. This is what it sounds like when you're living in a banana republic.
BAIER: Charles had other loves aside from politics. He played chess and was an avid baseball fan.
KRAUTHAMMER: I grew up playing the game. I love to play the game.
BAIER: And loved nothing more than seeing his Washington Nationals play and win.
KRAUTHAMMER: Know the glory. You know and with the White House on fire, the Congress in chaos, and the world going to hell in a handbasket, we need happy news like this. This is why God created baseball late on the sixth day.
BAIER: Friends at Fox News Channel remember that quick wit and Charles love for talking to anyone.
DENNERT: His switch report has a lot of people that come in and watch it, and they were always in all of Charles, and always very -- you know, apprehensive about approaching him. And I would always say, "Please, go say something to him, he would love to talk to you, and he was always so friendly to everyone."
BAIER: In 2013, Krauthammer released a book, Things That Matter and summed up the survivor's spirit that has guided much of his life. Writing, "The catastrophe that awaits everyone from a single false move, wrong turn, fatal encounter every life has such a moment. What distinguishes us is whether and how we ever come back."
KRAUTHAMMER: There's an element of that everybody's story, there are low point. Do you want it enough, and are you lucky enough? That's a part of it too.
BAIER: In mid-June, Krauthammer announced that he'd been diagnosed with cancer. And doctors had given him just weeks to live. Writing, "I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life. Full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended."
BAIER: Do you think you'll ever stop writing?
KRAUTHAMMER: No, I intend to die at my desk. Really, I would like to. I'm not sure I can arrange it.
BAIER: Charles Krauthammer was 68 years old.
MACCALLUM: Our thanks to Bret Baier for putting together that beautiful compendium that tells us so much about Charles, and their friendship, and all the wonderful times that they spent together.
Joining me now on the phone is another gentleman who knows Mr. Krauthammer very well, and Chris Wallace is the anchor, of course, of "Fox News Sunday". Chris, obviously, a sad day for everybody around here and everybody who was close to and cared about Charles, as I know you did.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST (via telephone): Oh, Martha, it is such a loss and it is so sad. It is a personal loss and it is a professional loss. But I would argue that it's a national loss, and hear me out here for a second on this. I think, there are some people in the media who whether you agree with them or not, whether they're liberal or conservative, become such a central voice to the national conversation. Whether it's Walter Lippman in the 50s or Bill Sapphire in the 90s or Walter Cronkite in the 70s.
And I think Charles Krauthammer, achieved that status. You could agree or disagree with him, but you had to know what he said and you had to consider what he said. And I think, to a certain degree he was -- you know, it's interesting because he loved baseball so much. He was the national umpire, he called balls and strikes.
And in a world where there's so many people who -- you know, you're in one tribe or the other, you're on one side or the other, he had the courage of this intellect, the courage of his convictions, and you know, if he thought that Democrats were doing something wrong, he'd call it and when he thought people on his side of the aisle, conservatives were betraying what he thought were the right principles, he would call them out as well.
It is a -- I think an incalculable national loss. And you know, we can talk about him personally, but I really do think it's a loss for the nation and there's nobody --
MACCALLUM: I could agree it more.
WALLACE: There's nobody today like him, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Know, and you know, I have text messages as I'm sure everybody does just flying in from -- you know, friends and people who watch the show, just everybody saying how much they admire Charles, and how much they loved watching him and his clarity, and his ability to -- you know, just sort of cut through the noise as has been said so many times tonight.
But I mean, that's really the ability that anyone of us who writes or who watches what's going on in this world that's what you strive for, and Charles had it, and he had it because he was so brilliant and so incredibly smart.
And sometimes the things that he would say would seem fairly simple. And you think to yourself -- you know, why did -- why didn't I say it that way? Because it just made so much sense. But the reason that he arrived at it in such a clear concise way was because he was Charles, and he was able to do that.
And you know, one of the quotes in the piece that we just ran, Chris, with -- that Bret put together from Charles. "You're betraying your whole life if you don't say what you think."
WALLACE: Well, that -- that's exactly right and there was an intellectual honesty to the man. I would argue that his disability and most there were a surprising number of people who didn't even realize it, I think it actually aided that clarity of thought. I mean, that was inherent to him.
But one of the things that struck me when I would substitute for Bret and anchor, and he'd be on the panel is most of us are lucky if we think in phrases a few of us are good enough to think in sentences, Charles thought in paragraphs or even in pages. And I think part of it was because he had to form the thoughts in his mind. It wasn't easy for him to be on a computer or keyboard and noodle with a thought and that had a phrase here and take a phrase out here.
So, that you would just -- he would -- you'd ask him a question and a mini- column would spill out perfectly phrase -- you know, logically, it's been tactically, and you would just almost have your breath taken away by the status of his intellect if he was quite astonishing.
Now, you know we can talk about other things how funny he was, how irreverent he was, how had good company he was, but boy, I think do you have to -- when you start with Charles, and you assess the laws that has to be this extraordinary voice, this extraordinary intellect, which now we can read and we can remember but is lost to us in the future.
MACCALLUM: Yes, and it strikes me, Chris, some of the people that you mentioned in terms of the category that you put him in -- you know, I remember growing up reading their columns. And Charles put together both of those things -- you know, he became someone who was known for being on T.V. and you know, doing that, that dance that you just described. That great intellectual dance of being able to pull his thoughts together and so many people across the country -- you know, we're able to see him and watch him as he -- as he sort of put it all together out there.
And I think, you know that, that made him a star, as Brit Hume said in -- as somewhat unlikely way. But it really was, I mean, all of us, anyone of us -- you know, he was always on "SPECIAL REPORT", but whenever I had him on my show, whenever he was going to be on the panel when we were travelling for political conventions and he would be part of the show, it was -- it was a treat, you know it's special. And people who, who watched just looked forward to seeing him so much.
And I also think that he you know, was able to put together the human side of life and have an appreciation for you know, family and sports and all of those things that he talked about and things that matter which I think is just such a wonderful title to his book because isn't that really in life all of us have ever hoped to figure out the answer to right? And he wants to focus on those things.
WALLACE: Well, I think you're exactly right. And things that matter is such a perfect example because what are this was basically wasn't new essays, it was a collection of his old columns. And I remember when I first saw it, I said, this is just a clip job. It's a bunch of old columns. And then you read it and even if they were 20 or 30 years old, there was such clarity, there was such kind of timeless wisdom to them that you found yourself -- you couldn't wait to read the next column and unlikely as it was that he was a T.V. star, it was somewhat unlikely but that book became a huge bestseller and he reveled in the fact that it was at the top of the New York Times bestseller list week after week after week. And again there was this kind of timeless quality to what he said. It wasn't -- you know he wasn't just saying well, here's what happened today in Washington. There was a wisdom to it that that transcended the ups the downs, the new cycle, all the kinds of things that we talked about in Washington. It -- this was timeless. This was permanent. This was as you say things that matter.
MACCALLUM: I keep it on my bedside table with a bunch of other books and it is the kind of book that you can pick up and read one of at any moment. And it -- I remember that Christmas that it came out, it was almost funny because you know sitting around the Christmas tree, we had all given each other things and everyone starts opening and there's probably about five copies of Things That Matter that everybody gave to somebody else because you know it just is that kind of you know perfect book.
WALLACE: Can I just talk to like (INAUDIBLE) and all these --
MACCALLUM: Yes, it is.
WALLACE: But just real quickly because I know you got a million people who want to talk. One is that when I would substitute for Brett, he would come in and he would always look at me and always say the same thing he'd say, I must be mistaken, is it Sunday? And it was just his little dig at me like you know, I'm surprised that you're working on a Thursday or a Friday, Chris, and I think some shot back about you know, a little joke from a little man but we both -- we did enjoyed it. And the other thing is that we both shared a love for movies. And we would share movies and I'd say have you seen this, have you seen that? And one time I told him about a movie I'd gone to see called Borat a funny yes quite filthy movie and he went to see it and he then came back. I said, what -- did you like it? And he said yes I did. And then the next thing is he had a column about what a disgusting movie it was and how terrible it was. I said, Charles, I thought you liked it. He said, yes, but it was a good column too. So you know, he just was a delightful person to be around. And that was the wonderful combination. Yes he was this towering intellect, yes I think he was this really vital voice in the national conversation, he was also one hell of a good friend and just wonderful company. And I'll miss the one but I'll miss the other probably more, is just the personal connection with him.
MACCALLUM: Chris, thank you so much. It's so good to have you with us tonight.
WALLACE: Well, thank you for giving me the opportunity to say what I feel and what I think so many people at Fox and so many viewers feel. We loved him. We loved him and we're going to miss him and it's like a death in the family.
MACCALLUM: Indeed it is. Chris, thank you so much. We'll talk to you later. All right, let's bring in Chris Stirewalt now, Fox News Politics Editor and by phone Dana Perino, Host of "The Daily Briefing" and Co-Host of "The Five." Chris Stirewalt is joining us from Washington tonight. Chris, your thoughts.
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: Chris Wallace couldn't have said it any better. It is like a death in the family. We relied on Charles a great deal for a lot of things, for his insight for his support, for his encouragement, for his kindness but most of all for a standard. Charles set the gold standard for us to live up to as journalists, to be that decent, right? To be -- and most of all and I think this is really the cornerstone of what made Charles and people said he -- I've heard people say this evening that he was the most influential center-right thinker in America. I will go farther. I will say that he was probably the most influential public intellectual of his generation.
I don't think anybody before the very fact that he was conversant in both things, that he what he understood the language of the left, he understood the language of the right. And you know what, he never ever did ever made a straw man. He never put words in anybody else's mouth. He never assumed the worst about his adversary. He was fair-minded and that made him ultimately more convincing than anything else. What made Charles ultimately convincing was the fact that he was not giving you short shrift. He had heard you out, he had been appreciative of it and you were still wrong. And when he nailed you that way (INAUDIBLE).
MACCALLUM: I remember one time when we were doing the first 100 days, I had him on this show and I didn't agree with him. You know, and what he was saying, I challenged him on it. And I remember thinking you know, this is -- this is a big guy. And you know we had -- we had a good sort of like scuffle back and forth and you know ended being good-natured and you know he liked that. He wanted to challenge everybody that he was talking to. And you know -- and it was always -- it was an in such a kind-hearted way. So -- and I always thought you know, when you listen to Charles and you hear him out and you listen to what you say, you just sort of think, at the end, yes, Charles is right. Let me bring in -- standby Chris, I want to keep you with us. Let me bring in Dana Perino who's joining us on the phone as well. Dana, good evening to you.
DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS HOST: Thank you, Martha. Your program has been so good. I've had a chance to be on the phone listening and so forgive me I have not spoken out loud about this. I remember reading him every Friday, no matter what. And I was -- the first thing I went to, I didn't even bother with the front page even when I was Press Secretary, I didn't care what was on the front page of the paper. I wanted to see what Charles had written. I remember exactly where I read it. I would be -- it was about 5:45 in the morning and I would be reading it there before Peter took me down to the White House and we would go back and forth with it. Did you see how Charles smoked him today?
You know, whoever it was that Charles was going after. And it was one of those moments at the kitchen island and I read this column. It was 2006 I believe and it was about the passing of his brother Marcel. And it's it still sticks with me. Years later I had the opportunity not just to work with him when I was at the White House but certainly when -- afterwards at Fox News. But in addition, I worked as a consultant to the publisher that he eventually did his book with and I had the idea for the book and I said you should do a collection.
Now, the publisher says, that'll never sell because it's Chris Wallace said usually these clips and paste jobs don't do that well. And I said no, trust me. He's different. He's a person that everyone shushes their children over when he's about to talk. And everyone wants it. And some -- I have to say Martha's, somewhat selfishly I wanted the book for my own collection. I wanted to have it. That book became a huge bestseller. And you know what, I didn't know until recently, I've forgotten, he actually read the book as well. He read the audiobook.
And so, for people here listening tonight who might be younger, who might not have known the Charles Krauthammer over the decades as we did and learn from him, buy that book. Listen to it. I think that aside from George W. Bush, I learned more from Charles Krauthammer than anyone else in my life. And I tried to conduct myself in the way that as you too would describe it, I hear it in your voices as well, with integrity, honor, and also with joy. He loved his life and he would zoom into the White House in his van like Dale Earnhardt Jr. And when we have -- when we had him for lunch, he loved the hotdogs at the White House. He loved to have hot dogs and it was just a real honor to know him.
MACCALLUM: Dana, it's so interesting hearing about your idea you know, that that helped to give birth to his book. I think that's fascinating. I didn't know that. And I'm just reading this piece that was written a couple of weeks ago when when Charles first gave everybody the news from the editorial board at the Washington Post in just the first few sentences, Friday has always been Charles's day since long ago before digital news when space meant just a strip across the top of a printed page, we knew to save space on Friday's page for Charles Krauthammer. Charles always filled the space with just the right number of words and the most acute words too. Our copy editors knew to check any change with Charles because he cared about every word. There was never much to change.
PERINO: That is true and he wrote -- you know, he wrote the Bush Doctrine as well. Chris Wallace talks about the Reagan Doctrine column which certainly holds up I think the Bush Doctrine one certainly does as well. If I could mention one other dimension of his life. Chris mentioned support and encouragement and I would say that as a mentor he was quite incredible and he didn't wait for you to come to him to ask for advice. In April of '09 after I left the White House, still trying to think of what I was going to do, he invited me to his office. And I went there and I thought I had sort of it all figured out.
Now, he said he was a relapser in remission psychiatrist but boy could he asked penetrating questions about what you wanted to do in your life and he would help -- and he helped me so much. And I remember Shannon Bream, she was on duty as on the anchor desk on a Saturday and there was a terrorist attack. There was hardly anybody around. Charles Krauthammer came to the studio and was in the studio with her for six hours as she anchored that day helping her through it. He would always be so generous and I hope that we can remember that about Charles as well, to try to live his -- live our lives as he did.
MACCALLUM: Yes. He really you know, loved his life and embraced it and was in the moment and all those things that everybody tries to do, Charles did with you know, such grace and such focus. He was extraordinary. Chris Stirewalt is still with us. Chris, I'm just looking at some of the -- there was an editorial recently written by Fay Vincent the former Commissioner of baseball.
He said, "Charles Krauthammer is one of my heroes. For years, my wife and I watch Fox News "Special Report" with Bret Baier where Charles softly delivered his insights on politics with impressive and often sardonic wit and intelligence. We grew to rely on his electronic companionship and political navigational skills. He knew where true north was pointed and although he could bite he seldom barked. He also talks about the fact that for most of his life Charles was a quiet daily witness that the fates can be cruel." Chris?
STIREWALT: That is -- very well said, Fay Vincent. You know, with Charles, the connection that people felt with him was amazing. I have been thinking a lot lately about an evening I spent with him. We were in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention in 2016 and because of how things worked out, Charles was ready to get back to the hotel and it was time. He was -- he was worn out and we had to get back there. And he didn't want to wait for security to get back from where we were. And so we started to make our way through the arena and then out through this very long circuitous pathway that the Secret Service had set up that probably ended up traversing about a quarter -- a quarter to a half a mile. I want to tell you that no rock star in the history of rockstardom could have been more mobbed, more celebrated, more worshipped, more fond over than these Republicans. And I am talking about from the youngest young to little old ladies in elephant hats who swarmed him.
MACCALLUM: We love those.
STIREWALT: Oh my gosh, we can barely get five feet at a time and we just kept making this pilgrim's progress through all of this sea of humanity and he was -- even though he was absolutely bone tired, he was gracious with all of these people. And we get back and we finally get into a safe space. We finally get out of all of this early burly, and I said my gosh, and he said you can't complain when people love.
MACCALLUM: No, you really can't. Thank you very much, Chris. I just want to show everybody at home a tweet from Paul Ryan moments ago because of course, everybody is weighing in this evening. "Charles Krauthammer was one of the great thinkers of our time, a giant in his intellect and in his character and a good and gracious man and a dear friend. This is such a loss. Our prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues." That from Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House this evening. On the phone now Bill Bennett former Education Secretary and friend of Charles Krauthammer. Bill, good evening to. Charles really was too young, you know, 68. We all expected him to be around a lot longer than that. So that is part of what is such a shock here tonight. Bill?
BILL BENNETT, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: You bet it is. And everything that's been said is true. I'll just dissent a little bit in this and say that if Charles were listening and I expect he is, he would he would be a little uneasy. He'd say come on, guys you know, you're laying it on really epic. He had a great sense of himself and a fabulous sense of humor and sense of irony. I would think he would think some of this was just too maudlin and he would want to be ironic about it. I've known Charles for a long, long time. I'll say a couple stories. I went to take my five-year-old son and our older son to a movie. I looked for a movie that would work you know, and it was Tom and Jerry, a cartoon. I went in there looked like a pretty empty theater.
When the movie was over, lights went up my son and I were there and Charles was there with his son. That was it. In this movie Martha, Tom and Jerry cartoon, they had some shall we say adult situation and I was kind of shocked, Charles was too, and I remember he said we're the only paying customers and still they have to mistreat us. I mean, just classic, classic Charles. You're showing some pictures on some of these meetings. Charles's lunch has started as I remember with George Will and Meg Greenfield and the editor of the Washington Post up at the Chevy Chase Lounge on Connecticut Avenue and then that evolved and some other lunches.
I was part of that lunch. We called ourselves the pariah lunch group. And it was Charles Murray, Charles Krauthammer, Pete Wehner, and myself. We were the pariah lunch group, because for one reason or another, each of us had a rough day at the office from time to time from the media. So we got together once every six weeks or so and talked, and talked, and talked about things high and low, things politically incorrect, whatever was on our minds. It was more fun and more laughter.
Again, that's the point that I want to make. If Charles was listening, he would say, come on you guys, you know, we had a lot of laughs, we had a lot of fun. You have shown a picture too of the chess game. He was a great chess player. He used to go to tournament to New York and watch the masters. He was just a student. He loved life. He loved to talk about so many aspects of life. We will miss him.
But you know, we have his words, we have his words. And, his words mean so much. You have so much good videotape too.
MACCALLUM: We have, as Bret said, he sets the standard for all of us. And that will stay and be a legacy for him as well. Bill, thank you very, very much. Great to have you with us this evening. Thank you, Bill.
BENNETT: Thank you for asking me. Thank you. Ba-bye.
MACCALLUM: My pleasure, always. We love having you. All right. Let's bring in Harris Faulkner and Juan Williams who have been listening to all of this with us, thank you both, so much for being here tonight. I want to hear your elegant words earlier tonight talking about Charles and your friendship with him. Your thoughts as you listen to all of these folks weighing in.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CO-HOST & POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, what it does as it stirs up feelings, emotions and memories and it gets kind of difficult but cutting through that is -- you know, I sat opposite Charles, so Charles would be the strong, conservative voice, and I would supposed to be his opposite on the liberal side on special report and we did this for more than 10 years.
And sometimes we go out and then watch the nationals. We're both big baseball guys. But what strikes me as we were talking is, he was Jewish, and he had this strong sense of God. And not necessarily in the practice. So when we talk about God, imagine his intellect, then, applied to faith.
And so at this moment of his death, I think about the fact that he would say the one indisputable fact is there is a God. And you can go back and forth about Agnostic, Atheist, Catholic, Jewish, whatever, Muslim, but Charles was like, but no matter where you are in this conversation was much like a chess match because that's the way his mind works. It was a calculation. You got to acknowledge the presence of God.
I remember once doing Sukkot with him, you know if you're young where you go out in a tent with the Jewish community, and there was Charles. And you know, he would had questions about the practice and all that. And he was telling me the history. Of course to get to that tent, we had to drive in his car. He pick me from home. And even to go to ball games. I would say to him, Charles, this is scaring the daylights out of me. You know, he is driving a car and he is fast.
WILLIAMS: He is not slowing down. Here's a joke that the most expensive car in the Fox Washington, D.C. parking lot didn't belong to Bret or me or Brit Hume, it belonged to Charles. It was especially equipped for van and he would, he just had a new one made, in fact.
But the big point, I think, from journalism, going back to people that we heard about. You think about, you know, Meg Greenfield and others who were his mentors. But you think, wait a minute, there is a tradition here in terms of leading conservative voices.
William F. Buckley if you think back to the 1950s and standing up to things like, you know, so many of the negatives, but also developing conservatives thought at the time, you could come forward to Bill Safire or maybe Robert Novak in a different era.
But I think for our era, there is no doubt that he was the leading conservative thinker. And for me, what an honor to be able to engage with him. Because he was not one to belittle, bully, or put down people. He wanted to argue with you, to play the chess game with you.
And so for me, it was quite a learning opportunity. And one filled with love, love not only for him but for his wife for Robyn, and let me tell you, you know, we just had father's days, his love for Daniel, overflowing. I mean, good guy. There is a picture we just showed, Martha, where he's got Daniel on his chest.
MACCALLUM: Yes, it was a beautiful picture.
WILLIAMS: Man, and this so I think one of the other part to say is about love. And for men, sometimes, you know, we get a little uncomfortable talking about love. But for him, I think that there was such love, not only for his family, you know, but I think that he could express love in ways that, you know, for friends, for people who are visiting Fox, for people whose Dana was saying needed some mentoring. You know, that was Charles Krauthammer.
HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS HOST: I was the beneficiary of some of that mentoring. And a quote that I will share tonight and I didn't even say it when the story was breaking on June 8th when we read his statement on Outnumbered, you and I were on the couch that day. We re-ordered -- re- ordered the co-host, Martha, so we would have people on the couch who were so close to Charles.
But he told me, never settle for what you think you know, Harris. He said, you are so hungry for all of the facts. He said be just as hungry for the search in the truth, which is that intellectual collision of the facts with experience of what we think we know--
FAULKNER: -- and what others can give us through their life experience. He makes such an impression on me in terms of the questions that I ask as a journalist with that one quote. You know, Chris Stirewalt was talking about kind of how he would go into the debate. I always liked watching. Charles got TV. I like how he had patients enough for an evolution of thought to have been on television.
He would take perspective or point of view, he would wait for his opponent's side, usually you, Juan Williams, for that intellect to collide and he would take you on, point by point. Not personally.
FAULKNER: But point by point. And when the argument was over, I never knew, but I always thought you guys went out and had a drink.
WILLIAMS: That's true.
FAULKNER: Because it felt like that. He got TV. And for those of us who were in the room, or in the studio, or in the building, or even at home watching, it made you better on the air to see Charles Krauthammer do what he did.
And then, there was the intellectual side. You know, the side that he had gone from being a doctor to, you know, somebody who enjoyed that evolution of thought and debate and politics. He had so much on his plate.
MACCALLUM: I mean, and I always think about his, you know, about the injury and how he dealt with it.
MACCALLUM: I mean, that is something that for, you know, for some people, would be game over, you know. They would become depressed.
MACCALLUM: Charles channeled it into his desire to continue to be educated. He said his father always told him, you know, I want you to know everything. I want you to learn everything, and I want you to constantly know everything and the stories about them holding the medical book over him, above him, as he lay flat. And he just, you know, spent his hours reading and learning and advancing his life.
And that he also had the flexibility in his life to change and to evolve through all of that learning. Because, you know, he came into his career as -- well, first of all he became a psychiatrist then decided, you know, that's not how I want to spend my life.
FAULKNER: That's right.
MACCALLUM: I don't want to spend my life doing that, I want to spend my life writing and studying politics and thinking about politics and about the world. He started off from a more liberal perspective over time. You know, influenced by Ronald Reagan, he became conservative. He never stopped, you know, sort of growing and changing, and learning, and being open and flexible to that which I just admire so much.
FAULKNER: You know, and I was talking about that evolution of thought. And he lived his life that way too. On June 8th, we read these words on Outnumbered from his own statement. He was such a fabulous writer. He wrote the words that maybe he thought we wouldn't be able to say because we were caught up in emotion.
But when he wrote this, there was no sign of it, meaning the cancer, as recently as a month ago. Which means that is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctor say, the best estimate is that I have a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over. It is the longest day of the year, and we miss the man.
WILLIAMS: Very much.
FAULKNER: We wish he had been with us longer.
WILLIAMS: So the kind of thing that I will always remember with Charles is the end of one of the columns which appears any things that matter was about his brother Marcel. So Marcel died, and I think in his late 50s, you know, young, even younger than Charles.
And at the end of the column, Charles remembers being with Marcel on a dock out here in Long Island where the family spent their summers. And he wrote, "forever brothers, forever young, forever summer." And you know, for me, to Robyn, and Daniel, forever Charles. And high level of intellect even greater level of love and heart and one human being who would be so courageous throughout a lifetime that he could inspire others and have us open our eyes and our hearts with his hand. God bless you, Charles.
FAULKNER: Forever summer, on the first day.
MACCALLUM: And there he is on the end of that dock.
MACCALLUM: Thank you both, very, very much. Thank you.
Moments ago, President George W. Bush writing this. "Laura and I are deeply saddened by the loss of an intellectual giant and dear friend, Charles Krauthammer. For decades, Charles words have strengthened our democracy. His work was far reaching and influential, and while his voice will be deeply missed, his ideas and values will always be part of our country. We send our thoughts and prayers to Robby, Daniel, and the entire Krauthammer family."
And that is from George W. Bush as the remembrance has continued to flow in for a man who was respected by so many people across this nation.
Joining me now is Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst. Brit, very good to have you with us this evening. You're listening to all of this. And as Juan says, the more you listen to it, the more things sort of come up as you remember the man that Charles was.
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Indeed, Martha, I think we all now reflect back as we have a chance, knowing, you know, that he was terminal. We have a chance, all of us, and I think to think back over our experience with him here and the extraordinary things that you are hearing from all this different people, Martha, is how many people he became so close to, at least how they saw him, how many there were, how many he mentored, how many he was kind to.
There were people I've heard from tonight that I didn't know him that well. It turns out that he was an important factor in their life. He was a giant, Martha. This man was a giant. And of course it was his intellect, it was his courage. It was his unbelievable sweetness, which I think is, you know, he was overlooked, because he was so piercing and sharp in his writings and his analysis on television that you might, if you didn't know him, you might miss that.
But people who did know him didn't miss it. And it was a powerful thing. It was touching. It made you think, if this man, with all he has become, and all he has overcome can be this nice, do I ever have a right to be unkind to anybody?
MACCALLUM: Yes, it's so true. That is such a great point. You know you think about all that Charles went through and how he never, you know, rarely discussed it. Rarely. It was not an issue, you know. It was just something that was sort of in the background as he moved through life. With a great sense of joy and wonder and curiosity, all the time.
At the end of the statement that he gave us, just a few weeks ago, "I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life, full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended."
HUME: Beautiful statement.
MACCALLUM: It is hard to imagine that any of us would want any more than that.
And so -- that's right. And so like him. That is so was Charles. That statement. I mean, when I first read it broke my heart. And I think now tonight, I think the loss that we all feel, we all knew him, you know, as professional colleagues, and friends we knew, from working with him and so on. But think of Robyn, his amazing wife. And Charles, his dazzling son of his of who he was so proud. And of his mom, who looked almost exactly like him. Think of, have a thought for them tonight.
MACCALLUM: We will, and we do. You know, in the days ahead, obviously there will be so much reflecting on Charles life, and as I said before I encourage everybody to just pick up things that matter. And go back to it, and read those columns, especially about his brother Marcel which is so interesting, Brit, because it's the one that seems to resonate across the board with everyone.
He talked about how his older brother would always insist to the other guys that he hangs out with, that he wasn't going with them unless he could bring Charles. And Charles talked about how much that meant to him as a younger brother and how much he learned from hanging around with the older kids and that kindness, that obviously, you know, was so important to Charles as he dealt with other people in his life.
HUME: Exactly right, Martha. Because you think you know, we all looked up to him in a way that you would look up to an older brother. Somebody who is, you know, who knew more and had done more, and is superior to you. All of us, that was Charles recognize no matter how good we were at what we did. We were not Charles as equal. None of us.
And yet, the way he treated us all, the kindness that he treated us all was a powerful thing. And it was what I think all of us would remember about him. More even than his intellectual achievements which of course are enormous.
MACCALLUM: Very special, very special man. Brit, thank you so much. I'm so glad for being with us tonight.
HUME: You bet, Martha. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Let's bring in General Jack Keane who is here this evening to talk about other things going on in the world, but we are focusing on t Charles this evening and the amazing gift that he gave really all of us with his writing and his intellect and his sweetness.
JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Yes. You know it's so typical of him that he prepared us for tonight. And that eloquent, touching letter when he said goodbye to America and to the world and to everybody that knew him. It was really quite remarkable and it's just so typical of Charles' life.
One thing that always struck me about him is, you know, dealing with this tragic illness that he had. I had soldiers reach out to me, three of them, over the last six years who had serious injuries like his. And the first time I approached Charles about it, because they wanted to talk to him. He said, of course. I would be more than happy. Here is a way that they can reach me.
I said, Charles, I know you probably do a lot of this. He said, general, this goes on every month of my life. And he just dealt with that issue. And he said, I'm going to tell him something that they may not want to hear. And he said, -- he doesn't talk about this publicly, of course.
And he says, I am going to tell them, the thing that enabled me to go on with my life and have a meaningful life, despite this tragic illness was a hundred percent acceptance of what happened to me. Without that acceptance and knowing that I will never walk again, I'm never going to be, I'm never going to be the previous Charles Krauthammer. I won't have any of that physically.
But I'm not going to throw the rest of my life away mentally and emotionally, and spiritually because of it. He said, so that's what I'm going to tell them. And hopefully, it will be of some assistance to them.
We had a relationship in and around the greenroom at Fox. And we never, Martha have--
MACCALLUM: Where the best conversations happen around you, by the way.
KEANE: Yes. We never had a trivial conversation. We talk about baseball, and we characterized it as a thinking man's sport. We were a little bit arrogant about that in terms of people's fascinations with these other endeavors in America. But we loved that.
But then, always, it got around to Charles Knew that I had a background different from his. So he was always after some kernel of information. And he kept, you know, what about this? What do you think about this thing? What's this issue here dealing with Iraq, or Afghanistan?
His mind was always working. And we actually had some fun with it a couple of times. Because I'm sitting in the greenroom, I talked to him about it, he goes on to Bret Bair show and he uses the information an--
MACCALLUM: Did he give you any credit?
KEANE: And he breaks his back in that speedy wheelchair. And he is making sure Keane hasn't gone.
KEANE: He says, OK general. He says, I was a prostitute again tonight. He says I took the information, I give absolutely no credit whatsoever. So but I look at and I was so honored and humbled by Charles Krauthammer using anything that Keane ever had to say. My, I mean, what a critical thinker, his ability to analyze, a wise man to be sure.
And then, Martha, as you know, so gracious and humble about it. I mean, he is a -- he had a -- God gave him a giant of a mind and he used it. He used it to its fullest so make life better and let people understand complicated intractable issues.
KEANE: I can imagine all of the decision makers in this country that have been made better because of Charles Krauthammer. Absolutely extraordinary. And then he, on top of all that, he is a regular guy.
KEANE: He is so approachable.
KEANE: He is a real guy. And you can have fun with him, and enjoy his company. I didn't have the long, personal relationship that so many others had here tonight. But I will tell you what, my relationship with him was meaningful. And I love being around the guy and I will miss him terribly.
MACCALLUM: Yes, you didn't have any inconsequential conversations.
MACCALLUM: He didn't mess around with that.
KEANE: He drove the conversation.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely. Let's just take a look. I think we have the moment of silence at Nationals Park this evening in memory of Charles. This is an image from that, earlier this evening. Obviously, it was a place that he loved so much, and they loved the fact that he loved them that they were his team.
And that Charles Krauthammer loved nothing more than to be in that stadium. I really enjoy the pictures in the videos of Bret Baier and him there. And he went with so many of his friends from "Special Report" to spend there throughout the entire season. So that is definitely a heartbreaking and potent moment for all the people at the National Stadium tonight--
KEANE: Well, they will celebrate Charles--
MACCALLUM: -- and a lovely tribute.
KEANE: -- for years to come. I mean, baseball was an extension of his life. It had real meaning to him. He understood the game, the complication. Most people get bored by baseball because it's too slow. But the truth of the matter is, if you are really into the game, you are watching every pitch, and you're thinking what the picture is going to do, what the batter is going to do, and he understood the game fully and completely. In terms of what was happening out there. He loved the game, he loved the game as much as he loved life.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, General Keane. Good to have you with us tonight.
KEANE: Good to be here.
MACCALLUM: Thanks for being here. So, my next guest recently wrote of Charles, quote, "He had a singular presence there, a towering intellect, free of arrogance."
Here now, A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of Real Clear Politics and a dear friend of Charles. A.B., I thought your column that you wrote about him was so beautiful and one that he would be very, very proud of. The opening line just struck me so deeply. Charles Krauthammer once told me, the way I look at life, is that it's all an accident. Everything.
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: I can remember that moment so, it was so searing, Martha, as you can imagine because Charles was looking up at me from his wheelchair that he had been in it since the age of 22. We were already good friends and we had all of those deep conversations that the general just described and Brit and all of your guests tonight and the ones that you have with him.
And by the way, you've done an amazing job tonight, I don't know how you're getting through it. But I've really enjoyed all of these incredible recollections. And I was surprised. I was waiting to hear on something on high. Because Charles was a psychologist, a psychologist, a philosopher, a historian, a giant of an intellect as everyone said.
But it was just this really interesting moment when he said that and he saw that I was kind of taken it back, and he said you just, you have to go along with the right. And so, it always stayed with me, and I was, I guess I expecting though there would be a righteous, peaceful end for him.
And so I just really wasn't ready to accept that he could have an end with cancer because he had battled the great battle, and he had overcome, and he had taught everyone.
And I read on the Internet tonight coming down here a letter that he had written someone's father who had spinal cord injury. And just like the general said, he shared his struggle with so many people going through similar struggles, he took the time.
He gave them perspective and in this beautiful letter that I just read half an hour ago, he said, that it's possible to have a good life. And that you don't know it now, but I'm looking back, you are looking forward. And I want, you know, this is scant comfort, but I want you to know that there is a possibility for a good life and that you can reach for it.
And he was so encouraging and so warm. And so it was interesting that he was stoic too. But that comes from the strength he built through the recovery from that -- from that experience. And then, around the other side of that, he just became this, you know, incredibly warm person once he realized how many lives I think he touched. He was such a people person as you know.
I think when people first came across him, they, you know, saw this sort of professorial cool energy, but once you started talking to him you knew what a people person he was. He just delighted in different personalities and what was going on.
Once in a while, he was definitely up for some gossip. He made us laugh, as everyone knows, sometimes just breaking us up on the set of Bret show in unexpected moments that really just sent me reeling. I just -- he was so droll and so hilarious.
But you know, I struggled with that piece because I wanted to talk about all of the things that I want people to not only read about in the book, like you mentioned, but in Brit's special which is easily found on YouTube, it is an hour that will absolutely change your life. Staggering stories that will take your breath away and inspire you.
And I want to include so many of those in the column but I got to 2,000 words or more and I started to have to hack it down. You know, his addiction to online chess, all of these incredible things about him. So, I just stuck with the stories that took place between the two of us. And how much you talk about parenting and how much he talked about dogs, and all, anyway, all of the things that he shared of just, Charles, the man.
STODDARD: Because so many other people obviously can speak to his writing and the legend he leaves behind with his spoken and written words.
MACCALLUM: You talk about in your piece, the importance of imprinting memories in our children. And I love when he wrote about his summers, those long summers in New York, and how the summer just felt like it would go on forever.
And we all sort of have that feeling of being a kid or a teenager and riding your bike all day long, and going to the same place for a soda. You know, just all of those beautiful memories that he had of Marcel, his brother, and the imprints that he made on Charles' life, A.B., and you write about that.
STODDARD: It really is so beautiful. And I'm glad that you encouraged everyone to read that column. The ending will rip your heart out of that column. Just talking about what he's looking back at a photo of the two of them. He says in Bret's special, I don't think I wore a shirt until I was 21. I mean, he just lived in the streets in the summer.
And I love that he says that his father has a treat because he loved the beach so much. And he wants his boys to have treat home on to summer. He would take them out of school early in Canada to bring them down to Long Island to be at their summer cottage and to set them free to go from baseball park to baseball park and all of the games that they made up together tan, salty, and just in the sun. And it really -- it's just, it will just take your breath away.
It's really an amazing -- his memories of childhood in that's what he brought to fatherhood. I mean, his beloved Daniel who is his literally his physical mirror image looks exactly like him. When he spoke about Daniel, and just the honor of being a dad, I mean, it was almost with a somber reverence. It was so beautiful.
He always wanted to hear about my kids as if he was sort of their grandfather. I mean, he didn't know them. But he was just so interested in the journey of parenthood. And it was a time when my kids were little and it was so invaluable.
MACCALLUM: It's such a great point. Because a lot of people, you know, who are, you know, anything like Charles at all kind of like to talk mostly about themselves.
MACCALLUM: But, that was not his quality at all. He almost always had questions as General Jack Keane was saying, you know, the conversations that I had with him, he always wanted to know, he wanted to know about you which I think is such a gracious quality and somebody who is, you know, such a giant that usually, as I said, some people like that just want to talk about themselves.
STODDARD: But he loved people. And one of the famous stories that Bret tells in the special, he gets Charles to talk about it. It was when he was in med school and trying to become a psychiatrist. And that he was required in his residency to attend group therapy and he hated it, so he skipped the sessions. And he got in trouble for it.
And when he was wheeled in and when we was, you know, brought in to face the repercussions of this and take in order that he had to attend group. He said, I became -- I came into psychiatry to do with psychotics. I like the people who came into my office and tell me that they are John the Baptist.
But this is the amazing thing about Charles, he loved psychotics. He loved people, he loved anyone who came up to him in a baseball park. I just sent an e-mail from someone who went up to tell him what a fan she was. One night at the Nats game, several years ago, and because his friend had canceled he had a free ticket and said just come sit in my extra seat. I mean, he just love people.
It was an amazing gift that I think he knew that we reviewed him and almost, as you can hear from you guest tonight, and you know, Martha, really, he was the only person I know that really people worship him. And Charles Knew that. He knew that people really wanted to hang as a reward. But he wasn't doing it to make them feel good. He was doing it because enjoyed them as well.
MACCALLUM: Yes. And as he said, if you don't really say what's on your mind in life and you don't say what you think, you are betraying who you are supposed to be. And you know, I think, in this moment, A.B., there is so much divisiveness that we talk about. And there is so much fighting that becomes ugly and judgmental and Charles was not like that.
And I think if there's one thing that we need to remember perhaps in terms of bringing with him, to our lives, especially in this moment, is that.
STODDARD: Yes. It's an incredible kindness and always placing himself and other people those who are suffering or struggling. And certainly, always in the political debate that everyone across the table or across the divide who might disagree with him was always a worthy debate partner. And he was never personal. Always respectful. And it's really an example for all of us. Now, and forever.
MACCALLUM: Just to read that final message from Charles that he wrote to everybody. "I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life. Full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave. But I leave with the knowledge that I have lived the life that I intended."
A.B., thank you very much.
STODDARD: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: And I encourage everybody to read your piece too because it really is beautiful. And thank you for sharing it with all of us. Thanks, A.B.
So "Charles Krauthammer: His Words." That will be tomorrow night at 9 p.m. As you want to make sure to take that in tomorrow evening. Bret Baier really had such an amazing relationship with Charles over all of those years and really brought Charles out in the conversations that they had.
So that will be tomorrow night at 9 p.m. I would encourage all of you to read a little bit of Charles tonight and keeping with you and your hearts and in your prayers, and in his families as well. That is our story for this evening. We will be back again tomorrow night. Good night, everybody.
Content and Programming Copyright 2018 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.