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The McLaughlin Group

Subject: ISIS, Scotland's Independence from the U.K., Immigration Reform

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host;
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist;
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast;
Tom Rogan, National Review/Daily Telegraph;
Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report

Time: 11:30 am EDT
Date: Sunday, September 14th, 2014

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Obama Escalates on ISIS.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) Tonight I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In a rare primetime address, President Obama told the nation about his goals for defeating the Islamic State. The president announced that in addition to the ongoing targeted airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, the U.S. will now likely begin bombing Islamic State strongholds in Syria.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) I've made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency. If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: America will also take concerted steps to cut off sources of funding for the Islamic State, which range from oil revenues to foreign donations. Mr. Obama also discussed the formation of an international coalition to fight ISIS.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves. Nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. And that's why I've insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days.

So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In 2002, then-President George W. Bush also created an international coalition. It consisted of 68 countries, of which 20 committed more than 16,000 combat troops. Senior Obama administration officials said that members of the coalition that will assist in fighting ISIS include allies from around the globe, including the Arab world; notably, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, and Europe. Australia is already engaged in humanitarian air drops inside Iraq, and Canada has put advisors on the ground.

In his speech, President Obama again declared that the United States will not commit ground forces to the destruction of ISIS, but instead hopes that Muslim allies and the Iraqis will provide the boots on the ground military strategists say are essential to defeating the Islamic State.

Question: Is this the right formula to defeat the Islamic State? Pat Buchanan.

PAT BUCHANAN: John, the president's strategy is non-credible. It's a formula for an open-ended, no-win war.

Look, you're going to need - in Syria, you're going to need boots on the ground to take down ISIS. The Turks are saying we're not even going in; we're not going to help. Assad has one army fighting against them, and we can't work with ISIS, so we're going to build an army of white hats outside the country. It is inherently non-credible.

In Iraq, the Iraqi army has been routed by ISIS, the Islamic State. The Peshmerga have been routed. And the Shia brigades and the Shia militia have done well, but they are detested and despised all across Anbar, John, and all across the Sunni areas.

So what I see here is basically it's a formula for a no-win war, and the Republicans should not get aboard unless they get a credible strategy, which we do not now have.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

ELEANOR CLIFT: Well, this general from this armchair sees it a little differently. First of all, the Republicans are getting on board. Secondly, this is not a conventional war. This is not another Iraq or Afghanistan.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: This is a counterterrorism effort. And, yes, it will continue into the indefinite future. The president is putting together a coalition, not the usual suspects. He's brought in other Arab countries, Sunni countries. So this isn't America going in there waging a one-sided war, religious war.

The no boots on the ground - you can't win if you don't put boots on the ground. But they're not going to be American boots, because we don't want to be seen as another occupying force. The Peshmerga has actually managed to take back the Mosul dam and some territory in Iraq. Turkey may not be out there helping openly, but there is some de facto cooperation. Forty-nine of their diplomats and diplomatic personnel -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm. How about Syria?

MS. CLIFT: - have been taken by ISIS.

Syria, you're not going to - you're not going to work with Assad. Assad is going to welcome anything that hampers ISIS. But the Free Syrian Army -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: - is not going to distinguish between good guys and bad guys. And I think that's trouble for Assad as well.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it looks like -

MS. CLIFT: I think it's tricky diplomatically. And, you know, Donald Rumsfeld was the one who said there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns. And there's lots of moving parts here, lots of things that can go wrong.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: By going into Syria, we may end up owning that civil war. That's not good news. But the alternative is doing nothing. That was not an acceptable alternative.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, there was some thinking earlier that Syria would not be on board. However, listen to this. Syrian Defense Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad says Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is also an enemy of ISIS and would be willing to cooperate in any military action against the terror group. Here it is.

FAISAL MEKDAD (Syrian deputy foreign minister): (From videotape.) We shall cooperate with any country that's combating the menace of terrorism. And when it comes to combating ISIS, then we have no reservations whatsoever to work together with any real force that wants to eliminate this menace, because now the United States and Syria are facing the same enemy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is it feasible that the U.S. would team with Syria in the fight against ISIS? I ask you, Tom.

TOM ROGAN: In military terms, it's feasible. But I don't think it should be feasible, because if the United States was to engage with Assad, what you would be doing would be to be a partner with a genocidal dictator. I mean, that sounds like rhetoric, but the level of civilian casualties that the Assad regime has inflicted through barrel bombs and chemical gas and starvation is grotesque.
And the United States cannot be a counterpart to that at a moral level, but also at a political level. Were the United States to become a counterpart to that, we would lose any credibility that we have. And Pat actually mentioned this in terms of Anbar and Deir al-Zour and Rakka, with Sunni tribes and basic Sunni civilians, because we would be associated with murder.

MR. BUCHANAN: Didn't Churchill partner with Stalin?

MR. ROGAN: He did. But in this case, if we are talking about a political solution, which I think we would all agree on, you cannot do that if you simply engage with someone who is massacring Sunnis. Sunni disenfranchisement does not get resolved, quite frankly, by killing them.

MS. CLIFT: This may force Assad to the peace table -

MR. ROGAN: Yeah. And that -

MS. CLIFT: - (inaudible).

MR. ROGAN: And that is when you can have -

MS. CLIFT: There's a role for diplomacy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I take a much more lenient view on Assad. Did you know how many times he's visited with the leader of Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia and how many times the Saudi Arabian - head of Saudi Arabia - what is he called?

MR. BUCHANAN: King Abdullah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, Abdullah visited with Assad in Syria - (inaudible)? In other words, you know, if we're going to demonize Assad, as a lot of people do, people ought to (cool it ?) and look at the record of what he is and what he's had to deal with with this civil war.
Do you care to speak to either that or anything related to the question?

MORT ZUCKERMAN: Look, I have no problem with establishing some kind of relationship at this point with Assad of Syria. We need him at this stage of the game. But let's not for a second try and whitewash who this man is. He is not only a thug, but he is a thug of unbelievable proportions and he's killed an awful lot of people. That is generally not the people that we would try and identify with in the Middle East, because that will hurt us all the way around.

If there's one thing I do know about the Saudis, whatever meetings he's had with Assad, the king of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi leadership are not happy with Assad. So this is just -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they've (gone through their cycles ?) of dislike and -

MR. BUCHANAN: John, you ought better talk about -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: They have been. I agree.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, talk about troops on the ground. The Americans aren't going to put them in there. The Turks say we're not going to put them in there. No NATO ally has offered troops on the ground. No Arab nation has offered troops on the ground.

MS. CLIFT: The Saudis are going to train -

MR. BUCHANAN: They're going to put in -

MS. CLIFT: The Saudis are going to train the Syrian fighters.

MR. BUCHANAN: The new Syrian army hasn't won a battle, and Obama said -

MS. CLIFT: And the -

MR. BUCHANAN: - they're a bunch of pharmacists, farmers and doctors.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, Obama's approval -

MS. CLIFT: They've trained to be something else by now. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Excuse me. Obama's approval sinks on Tuesday. One day before President Obama's speech outlining the U.S. fight against ISIS, the president's approval rating was at 42 percent. One day after his ISIS speech, according to Gallup, his approval rating sank to 41 percent. His disapproval rating rose from 52 percent before the speech to 54 percent after the speech.

Question: According to Nielsen, 32 million viewers saw the speech. Why did Obama's ratings drop in the Gallup tracking? Is it because he was too hawkish, too dovish, or what? Mort Zuckerman.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I mean, he's lost so much credibility amongst Americans in terms of his foreign policy. I don't think we've lived with anybody with that kind of record of failure as far as the American public sees it. So I think they're very nervous about what he's going to be leading the country into. And frankly, the more he goes in one direction, a lot of other Americans are going to go in a different direction.

MR. BUCHANAN: Americans hate ISIS, John, but they are really skeptical of plunging into another war in the Middle East, I can tell you, and they're going to get more so. Obama was bounced into this thing by two videos. He called it, Syria, somebody else's civil war a couple of months ago. Now we're in the middle of it because of these two videos?

MS. CLIFT: It's more than the videos. It's - our allies in the region view this as an emerging threat and a growing threat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Why won't they send troops?

MS. CLIFT: And I think the president has - why won't they send troops?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: There are troops on the ground with the Peshmerga, the Free Syrian Army. The door with Turkey has not yet been closed. And I don't think we're at the stage of sending in troops yet anyway.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I have to tell you the biggest thing we have to worry about - mission creep.

MR. BUCHANAN: Sure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know what that means?

MR. ROGAN: Yeah.

MR. BUCHANAN: We're going to have to win the war for them. They're not going to win it.

MS. CLIFT: It's counterterrorism and it's -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible) - the way it was outlined by President Obama in his address this week?

MR. BUCHANAN: It can't work if he doesn't change the strategy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the mission creep -

MR. BUCHANAN: He doesn't have the troops.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: - (it's ?) impossible to predict where it goes.

MS. CLIFT: He's got the right strategy, and he's forcing other people, who are actually threatened -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's get out.

MS. CLIFT: - by ISIS more than this country -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's see if we can squeeze -

MS. CLIFT: - to step up.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: - squeeze this in. Excuse me.

Exit question: Assign a rating, one to 10, on President Obama's address. Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think it was - I was - it was a good address as an address. But when you study the strategy -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Give me a number.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's a D for content. It's a -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A number. Not a letter, a number.

MR. BUCHANAN: D. A number? A nine out of 10? (Laughs.) OK. It's an eight out of 10 for his speech, just listening to it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, good - eight out of 10.

Let's go.

MS. CLIFT: I would say it's nine out of 10. But the American public is nervous. They see the Ebola threat. They read headlines. It feels like the world is coming apart.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: They're not sure he can put it back together.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

MR. ROGAN: Seven out of 10 on tone. I thought it was strong on that; but in substance, three or four, because, as you said, the coalition hasn't materialized. And there's a real avenue there that has to be addressed, because the American -

MR. BUCHANAN: I agree with that.

MS. CLIFT: It's only been three days. Give him some time.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Just a round - one number instead of this -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I would give him an eight in terms of rhetoric.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I would give him a 9.5.

MR. BUCHANAN: Just outstanding, huh?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I thought it was outstanding. I mean, he had to keep it together. He had to keep it tight; didn't answer all the questions, but -

MS. CLIFT: You can't -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't forget, the McLaughlin Group has its own website, and you can watch this program or earlier programs on the Web at any time from anywhere in the world at McLaughlin.com. Could anything be simpler - McLaughlin.com - or more rewarding? (Laughter.)

What do you think of that? Nine and a half? Is that what I gave him?

MR. BUCHANAN: When I first heard it, I said it's a pretty good speech. And then you kept looking at it and saying where in the hell? I mean, he's just - he's marching us into an open-ended thing. He doesn't know how it's going to end. Nobody does.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When we come back -

MS. CLIFT: Of course it's open-ended, because terrorism is out there. It's an ideology. We're going to be fighting this well into the next president's - future president's term.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: If I may say so, it's not just that it's open-ended. It's that the country does not have any great confidence in him when it comes to foreign policy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Scotland Triumphant.

(Musical video montage of Scottish leaders Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Stay united or break free - one week to go before Scotland's September 18th referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or become an independent nation.

The Scottish media are turning to the lighter side. That video was a mash-up of clips and words humorizing both sides' views. The Scottish National Party leader, Alex Salmond, argues that Scotland will be better off as an independent country with its future linked closely to the EU, the European Union, rather than to the U.K., the United Kingdom, as they are now.

Pro-union Alistair Darling, leader of the Better Together campaign, says Scotland is better off staying in the 307-year-old United Kingdom. The United Kingdom was created in 1707 to bring together Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England. The English make up an overwhelming 85 percent of the U.K.'s population, with the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish as minorities.
Polls show pro-independence forces with a slight lead in a race that will go down to the wire. Both sides claim economic benefits. Salmond says Scottish per capita income will jump $1,600 after independence. On the other hand, Darling claims staying in the U.K. benefits Scots by $2,250 per person due to regular transfer payments from England. So if they split, Scots lose $2,250. But Salmond counters that North Sea oil revenue will more than offset any loss of funds from mother England.
Scottish independence fever is seen as a reaction to severe job loss that began when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, an economic trend that had made London a global city while Scotland languished.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, himself a Scot, says this in a New York Times op-ed. Quote: "Scotland has been transformed from one of the workshops of the world to a service economy. At one point Scotland's shipyards produced a fifth of the world's ships, and its manufacturing and mining sector employed more than 40 percent or Scottish workers. It now employs just 8 percent. Its real quarrel should be with globalization, rather than England," unquote.

Question: Who has the momentum, the pro-union side or the pro-independence side? Tom Rogan.

MR. ROGAN: I think the pro-independence side has momentum in the sense that the undecided polling data shows that that's increasing. And they've had, you know, increasing publicity, increasing excitement. But on the same parchment, if you will, the pro-union side still leads in the polls, and I still think that they will be the eventual winner of this race when it comes to September 18th.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So no shift?

MR. ROGAN: No shift. I don't think so. But it's tightening.

MS. CLIFT: But the pro-independence side wins even if they lose, because they're forcing concessions from London where they will have greater independence, but within the umbrella -

MR. ROGAN: I think that is true to some degree. They've already won to some degree.

MS. CLIFT: That's right.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, this is an argument between the heart and the head; the heart, "Braveheart," you know, the Scottish nationalism - we want our own country, we want to be with our own kind, we want to create something new. It's like the colonial spirit in the United States -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MR. BUCHANAN: - when we broke. But the head - this is the argument the English are using, which you're going to lose money, the Bank of England. You're going to lose the pound and all this. They're appealing to simply basic economics. And around the world, I think the heart is starting to win, as in Spain with Catalonia.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Great Britain encompasses Scotland today. But if Scotland breaks away, then you'll have England. Is that going to affect the status of England in the international organizations, starting with the U.N.? Will they continue to have a seat at the U.N.? Well, who knows?

MR. BUCHANAN: The Security Council? Security Council?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Security Council. The issue is -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm talking about the permanent Security Council.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Permanent - right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What happens there? What happens in the EU? I mean, is England going to be -

MR. BUCHANAN: The EU's got a vote - England's got a vote coming up on the EU in 2017 already scheduled.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you've got to stop thinking of England - you've got to think of England in contradistinction to Great Britain, which is a bigger entity.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, that's what I'm saying. It's going to be England if the Scots leave, OK?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Correct.

MR. BUCHANAN: Plus Wales.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And it will lose some of its prominence in the world.

MR. ROGAN: I think the -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Also in their position in world bodies down the line, 10, 25 years from now.

MR. BUCHANAN: Their economy will be shrunk also.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What?

MR. BUCHANAN: Their economy and population will both shrink.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but 85 percent of the -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I'm thinking of their world standing in the way we conceive -

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: - of their presence, even as our ally.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but 85 percent of the population is in England. And, you know, I think Scotland, if they do go the independence route, they will not have the ability to issue debt. And they will then risk becoming, you know, another Greece or a Spain within the EU if they're even admitted into the EU, because will Germany want to drag along another deadbeat nation? So I think the economic questions are real, but Pat makes the right point.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well -

MS. CLIFT: There's a lot of emotion behind this vote.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Scotland -

MS. CLIFT: Three hundred years of emotion, actually.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Scotland counts for 10 percent of Great Britain's GDP - England's GDP. So that's pretty significant if they do break off.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: It is significant, except, on the other hand, there is, I think, a very popular emotional outburst at this stage of the game, which suggests to me that they're going to approve withdrawing. It's not going to be an overwhelming thing, but I think -

MR. BUCHANAN: It's the undecided vote would seem to point to people who are thinking of, well, maybe we should stay, but let's take a chance; let's take a risk. I think that, toward the end, doesn't it move toward folks who really want to boldly move out?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's going to happen? What's going to happen to the duke of Edinburgh? He'll probably need to change his title, won't he? If Edinburgh is no longer part of the United Kingdom, he can't be the duke, can he?

MR. BUCHANAN: He's about 95 years old anyhow, isn't he? (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ninety-five. He still can hit a golf ball very well.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you know that?

MR. ROGAN: He is in great shape.

MR. BUCHANAN: Balmoral.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Balmoral. There you are.

MR. ROGAN: He's a testament that the British royal family still has some good blood in the genes. But he - ultimately with the United Kingdom, the real issue is that Scotland's economy has long been suffering.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right.

MR. ROGAN: It hasn't enacted the kind of reforms that you've seen, you know, in England, and even Wales to some degree, with post-Thatcher. And ultimately, you know, with Scotland coming out of the United Kingdom, it's going to be very, very difficult for the government to try and provide the level of services that they are at the moment without English subsidies.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. ROGAN: So the economic - as Pat says, and I think the consensus is saying here, it is of the heart, but it is not of the head.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Two hundred Scotch-Irish Americans met last week in a family reunion in Rhode Island. I send them my greetings. And let me also say that it was a blast.

Exit question: What will happen next week? Will Scotland choose independence, or will it remain part of the United Kingdom? Pat Buchanan, quickly.

MR. BUCHANAN: The heart says yes. The head says no. (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

MS. CLIFT: They may, but I think they'll stick together.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

MR. ROGAN: Part of the U.K.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Part of the U.K. They will not leave.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They'll not leave.

Issue Three: Immigration Stall.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) One year ago this month, senators of both parties, with support from the business community, labor, law enforcement, faith communities, came together to pass a common-sense immigration bill. But for more than a year, Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to allow an up-or-down vote on that Senate bill or any legislation to fix our broken immigration system. And that's why today I'm beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That promise was delivered by President Obama on June 30th, more than two months ago; namely, that he would take unilateral executive action on immigration issues, i.e., without Congress.

Those actions were expected to include easing up on deportations of illegal immigrants and issuing work permits for possibly millions of these illegal immigrants and producing more visas for people who want to work in the United States.

But now President Obama is delaying any action until after the midterm elections, eight weeks from this upcoming Tuesday. Why? One reason, according to the president, the surge of unaccompanied minors who cross the U.S.-Mexico border in waves, most of them originating from Central American countries, with more than 66,000 children apprehended by border agents since October 2013 and still in limbo.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) And, you know, the truth of the matter is that the politics did shift mid-summer because of that problem. I want to spend some time - even as we're getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this, why it's the right thing for the American people, why it's the right thing for the American economy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Why has President Obama changed his mind? Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: Well, because that surge of Central American kids left the impression that the border was porous and wasn't secure, when actually they were turning themselves in with their teddy bears to the border guards. Actually, the border is quite secure. But you can't argue that politically. And in six of the seven most competitive Senate races, they're under 10 percent Hispanic population. And those endangered Democrats basically begged the president not to go ahead with this.
And also I think he feels, probably correctly, that if he made a move on his own, that he could then, you know, poison any chances for getting legislation out of the Congress while he's president. I think he will act before the end of the year and after the election. So this is not over by any means.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did he tell you that?

MR. BUCHANAN: John -

MS. CLIFT: He's telling the country that.

MR. BUCHANAN: There's no question it's the peril of the red-state Democrats that really caused him to put this - he's going to get a tremendous boost from the Hispanic community if he does it, but he looked at what's going to happen in Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska, and he said I can't do it now.

But I'll tell you, he's going to have a hellish firestorm on his hands if he, in December, which my guess would be he would be likely to do, he grants an executive amnesty, when George Bush took all that trouble to go to the Congress of the United States to fight a great battle, saying, in effect, Congress and the president decide this together. He does that unilaterally and I think he's going to permanently help his party and damage it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tom Rogan.

MR. ROGAN: I'm with Pat. I think it's absolutely about the midterm elections. And the president - you know, it's just a shame that the president really is so (decided ?) by opinion polling data when he makes speeches and policies. Even in the ISIS speech, he was mentioning businesses. There's a real confusion here about leadership. And that to me is the crux of the issue. But he's seen the opinion polling data shifting since the crisis with the border children, and he's following that polling data.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think, Mort? What are this president's ideas on immigration?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think he is doing it almost entirely from a political perspective. I mean, whatever he does, at least on this kind of an issue, is not based on any great moral principle.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If you were giving him advice, what would you tell him to do on immigration?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I would tell him to hold off for a while, because otherwise you're going to create a real conflict within the United States public. And that's -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why? How?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Why? Because there are a lot of people who feel this is not an appropriate thing for a president to do unilaterally.

MS. CLIFT: To allow -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the international play-out of this situation?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: What do you mean by the international play-out?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I mean the international play-out is that Obama is not moving on immigration, and the country's not moving. It's been going on for years.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, exactly right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How many years? Six years? How many years?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: There is a reason -

MR. BUCHANAN: Where did he get the authority to move, John -

MS. CLIFT: The Senate -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: There is a reason here for doing this.

MR. BUCHANAN: - if he hasn't moved, if nobody's moved?

MS. CLIFT: The Senate passed a bill over a year ago with 78 votes, bipartisan. He can -

MR. BUCHANAN: Why don't you pass it in the House?

MS. CLIFT: Because your tea party Republicans don't allow it.

MR. BUCHANAN: OK, that means it doesn't become law.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, the Iranian negotiations on nuclear weapons are going to fail, I think, in November. You're going to have people demanding war on Iran.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Hillary Clinton's first visit to Iowa, with her husband Bill, does not suggest that's her campaign strategy to do it in tandem. They're going to honor retiring Senator Tom Harkin.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wonderful. Wonderful senator.

MR. ROGAN: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who's the leader of ISIS, will not be the leader of ISIS when President Obama leaves office.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The weakness of the Asian economies is going to once again put another layer of pressure on the American recovery.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mitt Romney will seek the 2016 presidential nomination.

Bye-bye.

END