Friday Lightning Round with the 'Special Report' All-Stars: inflated ObamaCare numbers

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 21, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ED HENRY, GUEST ANCHOR: We're back with our panel. Each week we ask you to vote in our Friday lightning round poll for your favorite topic. This week you chose inflated ObamaCare enrollment numbers. Interesting, this is the story about how dental only plans were included when the president touted the 7.1 million enrollments back on April 1. I thought Atlantic magazine, Sylvia Burwell, the Health and Human Service secretary apologized for this, said this inflated the numbers a bit. Atlantic magazine headlines "The Affordable Care Act Embarrassing Moment of Tooth." Steve?


STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: That's good. At the risk of sounding like anti-dentite, I think this is a problem for the ObamaCare because this is the most important thing right now for ObamaCare is to reestablish or to establish credibility among the people who would be applying. The fact that there are another round of stories suggesting that they are inflating the numbers and they don't know what is going on, this signals incompetence again. It's exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time.

HENRY: But the website seems to be working now, Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY COLUMNIST: Yes, for now. The other problem with this is it is a little suspicious. They say it was an accident but it just also happened to put them up to the number that they were trying the reach, and so I think that also is problematic, and it's just, like Steve said, more bad news for ObamaCare.

HENRY: The president had the pep rally when he crossed the finish line there.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: A former head of the CBO had the best line on this. He said normally you want make your projections approximate reality. With Obama you try to make reality approximate your projections. And the issue of course is trust.

HAYES: Steve, you track national security issues about a good as anyone, not just in Washington buy in the world. And senator, now Secretary Kerry is in Vienna tonight hoping to get a deal with Iran over its nuclear deal. There's a deadline of Monday. The first deadline, as you know, has been extended. Is there anything going to come of it?

HAYES: I had long thought that they were going to need to extend this deadline yet again but that there eventually would be a deal. It sounds like there's the chance for some kind of a deal before the deadline. The Obama administration is a desperate for a deal. The president thinks this is the one way to validate his worldview when so much of the rest of it has collapsed. I think there but will be some kind of a deal and the Iranians know that we are desperate for a deal.

HENRY: Kirsten?

POWERS: Yes. I think the general feeling is that there won't be a deal now but at some point there will be a deal, extend it. And I think that the problem for Obama is that the deal he reaches is not going to be a deal that Republicans are going the like and it may not even be a deal that Senator Schumer and some other Democrats like.

HENRY: They like immigration, as Kirsten mentions. There are Democrats are the president's heels on that. On Iran you have Democrats like Bob Menendez saying bring this to Congress.

KRAUTHAMMER: It's not just Democrats. It's the entire Sunni Arab world. The gulf states, they are apoplectic. They are scared to death. We say that in the interview that Bret Baier had with the UAE foreign minister. They are going to sold out. That's what they fear. And if you look at the terms of the negotiations, it looks as if that is what is going to happen. Iran would be guaranteed to be a threshold nuclear state.

HENRY: We have go two minutes to go through your winners and losers which I know is a very important feature. Kirsten, I'm going to have ladies go first, because I'm looking at the cheat sheet and you have an interesting loser. You can start with the winner if you want.

POWERS: The winner is the undocumented workers who can now come out of the shadows because the president's executive order. And the loser is the terrible news that Winnie the Pooh has been banned from a playground in Poland because people say he is asexual and somebody also complained that he is half-naked which is wholly inappropriate for children.

HENRY: I agree with that. OK. Ban him.

HAYES: My loser Jonas Gray, the first-year New England Patriots running back who got the first start last weekend, ran for 200 yards, scored four touchdowns, and then wakes up late for practice today, shows up late at the facility. He's sent home. This guy who has this fantastic debut may not even play this weekend.

My winners are the contributors to this book "The Seven Deadly Virtues" including our own Jonah Goldberg, my colleague Matt Labash, Andy Ferguson at "The Weekly Standard," P.J. O'Rourke, Jonathan Last. This book was just selected by Amazon as one of the best books of 2014 and it is laugh out loud funny.

HENRY: Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: My loser is James Madison turning over in his grave in Montpelier when he sees how Obama has assaulted the separation of powers and exceeded by any conceivable measure the powers of the presidency. My winner is Barack Obama. He's get away with this.

HENRY: Really?

KRAUTHAMMER: He will. It is not going to be overturned. There is no way you can actually do it. He can be hampered and you can hold back judicial appointments, but overturning an executive order is extremely difficult, and he will. He will succeed, but history will not judge him nicely on this.

HENRY: And I have some breaking news despite Stephen Hayes intimate knowledge of the NFL and picking up players in fantasy football, my team beat his team in the Fox league a couple weeks ago. I had to get that in.

HAYES: My record is better.

HENRY: But he can be beat badly.


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