Will Trump's child care plan move the needle with women?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," September 13, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'm going to roll out a plan to help our mothers and our families get affordable, quality childcare for their children. And my daughter, Ivanka, is going to be involved. She is the one that has been pushing for it so hard. "Daddy, daddy, we have to do this," and it's true.

REP. PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I don't think people asked me to be speaker so that I can take more money from hardworking taxpayers to create some new federal entitlement.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, that sound bite from the House Speaker, Paul Ryan, is from a year ago talking about possibly family leave, asked about that. And this you heard Donald Trump talking about what he's proposing, which is six weeks of childcare. In this plan, a number of things. The Trump childcare affordability plan allows for working parents to deduct childcare from income taxes, offers childcare spending rebates, creates dependent care savings accounts, adds incentives for childcare at work, and guarantees six weeks' paid maternity leave. Some estimates have it at about $158 billion. And the question is, often in Washington, how do you pay for it?

Let's bring in our panel tonight: Tim Farley, host of "Morning Briefing POTUS" on Sirius XM radio; Mercedes Schlapp, columnist for The Washington Times, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

It's not a plan, Tim, that you traditionally think a Republican, especially at this stage, is pitching. He says Ivanka is really pitching it, his daughter, and I think they think it's going to help with women.

TIM FARLEY, SIRIUS XM RADIO: You don't mean that Donald Trump is departing from Republican orthodoxy, do you?

BAIER: He might. He might be.

FARLEY: I can hardly believe this could be happening.

From a political standpoint, and that's the filter I use, he is trying to reach a demographic that he needs to reach, white suburban women. It's clear. And from a political standpoint it makes sense. Anything he does that seems presidential, he's doing policy instead of the typical ad campaign, the ad hoc and ad hominem, which this is a bit ad hoc, but hopefully there's no ad hominem for him.

The bad thing when he's doing policy is that he sounds like he's reading it for the first time, and he will be reading a speech tonight, especially if Ivanka helped him draw it up, which means that he's going to sound like a tenth grader reading a birthday card and trying to read the poetry. It's just not going to come out smoothly. It's not going to be practiced. And as a result of that it's going to be a tough political thing to do.

But the bigger problem is, as you mentioned, he's talking about six weeks of guaranteed childcare. And that is something that's never going to pass. Some scoring of this said it might cost $10 trillion over 10 years, and you can hardly imagine that would ever get through. It's aspirational. A lot of campaigns are throwing out promises. So, you know, maybe it's not a bad thing. But --

BAIER: Yes, supporters like Newt Gingrich say that he's really the best at this teleprompter kind of interaction between on and off. Does it move the needle, this plan, with women?

MERCEDES SCHLAPP, "WASHINGTON TIMES": Well, what it does is that the plan is able to create the dialogue, especially with those suburban moms that have been on the fence about Donald Trump. I mean, he's taking a Democrat issue, gift wrapping it, and making it into a Republican type of policy.

The problem is Republicans for too long have been talking about deficits. Slash and burn the budget. That doesn't sell. We can remember Ryan and Romney in 2012 when they were talking about entitlement cuts -- fell flat. This is an opportunity to talk about an issue that is popular. You're talking about 72 percent of women support paid family leave. You're talking about the fact that these are real concerns for women in terms of childcare expenses being so high. So I think it is a very smart move by Donald Trump to talk about this issue, which has been in the Democrat field. And it's time for Republicans to really be able to propose bold solutions and figure out how they're going to manage it with federal spending.

BAIER: You know, I interviewed Governor Pence last night right here, Charles. And he today met with House lawmakers up on the Hill and senators as well. And the issue is, is it an issue for the national debt that stands at $19 trillion, heading to $20 trillion? And is that an issue even though maybe it doesn't sell, as Mercedes suggests, is there concern about it?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, Trump, himself, is the one who brings up the deficit and the debt all the time as a sign of our decline, a sign of having government out of control and having incompetence in government.

Look, I think this raises the question of how many Democratic parties does the country need? We already have one. And I thought during the primary season, the argument for Trump was he was a guy who would stand up to the Washington Republican sold-out establishment that refused to stand up to Barack Obama on higher spending, refused to stand up to him on entitlements, refused to stand up to him on executive actions, and therefore we needed an outsider, a disrupter named Donald Trump, who would not do this.

What he is proposing is to out-Democrat the Democrats. This is an enormous new entitlement. It will blow the debt. And when he says the mandate, he's going to mandate from Washington -- isn't that the one thing that Republicans all agree upon of the government stepping in and telling private industry what to do? He says that will be paid for by taking out waste, fraud, and abuse from the unemployment insurance system. If you believe that, you will believe anything.

BAIER: So when Pence says today, Tim, that he wants to rebuild the military, Donald Trump does, revive the American economy, uphold the rule of law, and the agenda House Republicans have put forward, so that does not include Paul Ryan's budget?

FARLEY: It sounded to me like a bad caption on a newspaper picture that was the wrong caption for the picture, because I was wondering which candidate he was talking about, because it certainly wasn't Donald Trump. I mean, Donald Trump does talk about making the military stronger, but all those other elements you're talking about exactly go away from what Paul Ryan has been pushing so hard for.

SCHLAPP: I think you going to see it could be an alliance between Speaker Ryan and, let's say, a president Donald Trump. They know they need each other although they don't want to necessarily be with each other. But I think, Bret, that at this point it is an opportunity for them to realize that in order to push any Republican proposal, they're going to need Ryan being in the House as speaker. And he'll fight back against Donald Trump at times. I mean, there will be moments -- there will be tension between these two parties.

BAIER: All right, I want to talk about President Obama on the trail today, but I do want to talk about Bill Clinton and his interview with CBS talking about the health issue with Secretary Clinton.


FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: She's been, well, as it is, it's a mystery to me and all of her doctors because frequently -- not frequently, that's not -- rarely, but on more than one occasion over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing's happened to her when she just got severely dehydrated. And she's worked like a demon.


BAIER: So, Bill Clinton said, you know, you saw him catch himself, frequently to rarely. "CBS Evening News" edited out the "frequently" part. And they put out a statement today. "The clip in question from former President Clinton's interview on Charlie Rose ran its entirety on CBS this morning, and their online services. One clip that ran on "CBS Evening News" was edited purely for time while on deadline for the live broadcast." I'm not sure if they saved a second or a second and half, but Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: This is a real day for "if you believe that, you believe anything." It makes you really want to walk away in disgust from politics and the media. That is an outright -- well, I won't call it a lie. That is not a believable statement. As you say, it's a second or two. It isn't a question of the time. They were covering for them. And the reason it's important, it's a slip, yes, but it wasn't -- it's in the context of a couple who hide stuff. They've been hiding stuff for 30 years, and what everybody is asking, are they hiding something more serious? The frequently and the rarely is a huge difference, and he said both. So which is true? You have to see them if you're going to make a choice.

BAIER: Maureen Dowd on Fox last night, Tim, on Megyn Kelly's show, said it's the stuff, not the health.


FARLEY: That makes sense. It's always the cover-up rather than the crime itself, and not necessarily there's a crime here. I talked to Brian Fallon this morning and asked him about, you know, with the campaign, and asked him about this particular moment. He said, well, yes, it was a mistake.

The question is, is the mistake going to be learned? Because it doesn't sound like it is. They changed the story a couple different times about when Mrs. Clinton was diagnosed.

You mentioned President Obama, I don't mean to get ahead, but when you talked about him on the campaign trail today, it was actually a treat. And in some ways what struck me about him being out there, he hit a lot of the right notes. He mentioned Donald Trump, got the word "70" in there, talked about true, that Hillary Clinton is true. He didn't say "truthful" but he said "true" which had a nice little subliminal effect. But given the way that he approached it, he's able to speak as someone who's delivering the speech, but he's able to interact with the audience. It was just a reminder Republicans don't have anyone who can hold a candle to him, and, by the way, neither do the Democrats.

BAIER: He's good on the trail.

SCHLAPP: Very much.

BAIER: Clearly. The question is whether his high approval ratings now transfer to Hillary Clinton.

SCHLAPP: My recommendation is Hillary Clinton should just stay on bed rest as long as she can and have President Obama go out there, because his approval ratings are so high. He knows how to deliver. He is the candidate in chief. It is what he's effective at. It's what he loves to do is go out there and be on the campaign trail. And he's able to make a case for Hillary Clinton to say she's strong enough, too.

BAIER: Approval ratings, though, Charles, are not approval of his policies.

KRAUTHAMMER: Exactly. That's what we saw in the midterm elections. He said I'm not on the ballot, my policies are two years ago, and he got shellacked, in his own words.

But look, he and Bill Clinton are the two world champion political seducers of our time, except that Bill is slightly over the hill. I mean, he's been the world champion, but he's been in retirement and he's rusty, and he made that slip. He makes a lot of slips. But Obama is a guy who came out of nowhere, and his popularity is a real help to her. It won't translate, but he's not going to be a drag the way two-term incumbents for anybody who succeeds them.

BAIER: He can fire up his coalition.

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