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The McLaughlin Group

Subject: Mid-Term Elections, Ebola

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host;
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist;
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast;
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune;
Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report

Time: 11:30 am EST
Date: Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Election Day.

This coming Tuesday, November 4, the nation goes to the polls to choose our leaders - the most consequential privilege and obligation of American citizenship.

This year, 36 seats of the 100 seats of the U.S. Senate will be contested. Winners will serve the six-year term. Twenty-one of these 36 seats are held by Democrats, 15 by Republicans. Control of the Senate is now vested in Democrats. To take control, the GOP must retain its 15 seats plus win six seats.

According to conventional and McLaughlin Group wisdom and polling, the GOP will safely win three of these seats from the Democrats. The states are Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. That means a plus-three pickup for the GOP, with three more seats needed to win the Senate.

The 10 remaining races are cliffhangers, meaning it's anyone's game. Seven are Democratic; three are Republican.

Let's begin with Alaska, incumbent Democrat Mark Begich versus Republican Dan Sullivan.

Question: Who will win in Alaska, Begich or Sullivan? Pat Buchanan.

PAT BUCHANAN: Obama's too heavy a load for Begich to carry in red-red state Alaska. Sullivan's going to take that one going away.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

ELEANOR CLIFT: I think Begich can pull it out. His father was in the Congress before he. He's a well-known name in Alaska. By Alaska standards, Sullivan is a carpetbagger.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

CLARENCE PAGE: It's too close to call, but I'm betting that Begich unfortunately is going to lose it, because Sullivan - he's had a number of bad turns in his campaign, and Sullivan's crept up on him.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MORT ZUCKERMAN: Yes, I think Begich wins as well. I just don't see how it can be pulled out by his opponent in any other way. It just isn't there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Sullivan will win. His performance is still holding. So the Group votes 4-1, Sullivan. Alaska goes Republican.

OK, Arkansas - incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor versus Republican Tim Cotton. Who is the winner? Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: The Republican is going to win this one. It looks like Pryor is really fading toward the end of the race. So I think that's a real Republican pickup.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Tim Cotton, Harvard grad, farmer, Iraq war veteran. The Republicans are going to be talking about him as a presidential candidate soon after he gets to Washington.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Cotton's got the momentum. He's going to get it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I agree. I think Cotton is an easy winner in this one. It's going to be a pretty wide margin for that state.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, McLaughlin says Cotton. The Group votes 5-0 for Cotton. Arkansas goes Republican.

OK, Colorado incumbent Democrat Mark Udall versus Republican Cory Gardner. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Gardner is beginning to pull away, John, toward this last week of the campaign. I think Udall goes down in Colorado. It's another pickup for the Republicans.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Gardner's walked away from all his conservative positions. He still supports a federal personhood amendment; says he doesn't support it on the local level. The state votes entirely by mail. I think Udall still has a chance to pull it out, but it's tough.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

MR. PAGE: The much-vaunted Democratic ground game is going to help Udall here to pull it out.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think Udall is too tied to Obama, frankly, to win this vote, so I think his opponent is going to win.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says Gardner. Group votes 3-2, Gardner. Colorado goes Republican.

OK, Georgia - Democrat Michelle Nunn versus Republican David Perdue. Who wins Georgia? Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's about dead even, John. But my feeling has been that if the Democrats are going to, in effect, pick up a seat - she's a non-incumbent - Michelle - I mean, Ms. Nunn is the one that's going to do it. And I had predicted she was going to win. If I could change it now, I would say it's a tossup. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Perdue brags that he would be the only Fortune 500 member in the U.S. Senate if he wins. That's not a great credential this year.

MR. PAGE: (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: Michelle Nunn is a great candidate, daughter of Sam Nunn, former senator, iconic figure in that state. She worked for the Points of Light Foundation. She's run her campaign right down the middle. I think she wins.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Nunn's got a great chance to win in comparison to other Democrats. If she loses, it's a bad night for Democrats.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, I think she's a wonderful campaigner, Michelle Nunn. As you say, she carries the Nunn name, so she's got a lot of name recognition. And I don't think it's going to be close.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says Perdue will pull it out. Group votes 4-1, Nunn. Georgia goes Democratic.

OK, Iowa - Democrat Bruce Braley versus Republican Joni Ernst. Braley or Ernst, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Joni Ernst is a hot ticket. Let me tell you, I mean, as a candidate, she's got pizzazz. She's got a big smile. She's got great ads. She's been a real comer. I think folks thought Iowa was really not within striking distance. I've got to believe if it's a Republican night that Joni Ernst is going to be a winner. And she will be a sensation in this town if she comes here.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: She has managed to hold some very conservative positions but at the same time reach out and appeal to moderates. And she smiles. She's likable. I think she wins. And you're right. She'll be on the stage with the Republican leaders whenever they have a chance to put her forward.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Two magic words for her: Hog castrator. That was her ad that caught national attention. (Laughs.) And she will come to Washington, if she wins, with that reputation ahead of her.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible.)

MR. PAGE: I think she - I think she pulls it out, yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, I agree. I think it's fairly unanimous. I think that this is going to be - she's a dynamic campaigner, and I think she's going to do very well.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Correct. McLaughlin says Joni Ernst. The Group votes 5-0, Ernst. Iowa goes Republican.

Pat, Kansas incumbent Republican Pat Roberts versus independent Greg Orman. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I think if the Republicans are going to lose one, it's going to be Georgia or this one. And I have said I felt that Roberts, because he's not well off with the tea party folks, he's older, I thought he was going to lose and I predicted he was going to lose. And so I'll stand by that, that the Democrats will take care of Kansas.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, it's a good history of your migration on this issue, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I'm migrating on all of them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible.) And now we've only got about four minutes. (Laughter.)

Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Senator Roberts has been in Washington a long time, and he basically kind of bragged about the fact that he rented a Barcalounger back home in Kansas. Not having a real permanent residence in the state you represent is a fatal error. So I think the independent pulls it out. It'll be wonderful to see the independent caucus, which is now two, expanded to three. They could be the power center in a divided Congress.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Yeah, I think Orman wins it. Independents are strong these days. The parties - the brands are damaged. And in that state, the way this whole thing has come about, it'll work in his favor.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, I don't think Orman's going to win, but I know Pat Roberts is definitely going to lose. (Laughter.) You cannot - you cannot this particular state if you're not a resident in the state. It just doesn't hold water.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Very cute there, Mort, the way you backed into that. McLaughlin says Orman. Group votes 4-1, Orman. Kansas goes for the independent.

OK, Kentucky - incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell versus Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Charisma wins it. McConnell's going to win it again, John. (Laughter.) He is very tough. They're just not going to get that guy out of there. And she - when Ms. Grimes refused to say who she voted for in 2012 -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, that was -

MR. BUCHANAN: - I think it really hurt her. And Kentucky is really - it's a red state. So McConnell's coming back to lead the new majority.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, McConnell is the wily coyote. But I just couldn't bear to give it to him, so I'm sticking with Alison Lundergan Grimes and I'm thinking that she somehow can - I mean, they don't like McConnell in the state.

MR. PAGE: Right.

MS. CLIFT: And if the Senate goes Republican, it'll be a great consolation prize for Democrats if McConnell goes down. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right, Eleanor. Vote with your - vote with your heart. Forget your head.

MS. CLIFT: With the heart. That's right. (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: I would have said Grimes myself if - well, McConnell's approvals are terrible right now.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. PAGE: But, you know, turnout is very important for Democrats. It's going to be hard for people to turn out for a woman who would not say publicly that she voted for Barack Obama when everybody knows she did.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think McConnell's definitely going to win. I mean, he has delivered for the state. He's brought the bacon home, as we say. And if he's going to be the majority leader, they're not going to pass up that opportunity.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right again, Mort. McLaughlin says McConnell. The Group votes 4-1, McConnell. Kentucky stays Republican.

OK, Louisiana incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu versus Republican Bill Cassidy. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think Bill Cassidy is going to win. Mary Landrieu had a bad last week. She made a flaw. And this is a red state. And I've thought for a long time that she would be one of the ones that would survive. I think she's going to get beat by five points at least.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She made a floor, F-L-O-O-R, floor?

MR. BUCHANAN: F-L-A-W.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: F-L-A-W.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: I don't think either Cassidy or Landrieu is going to reach the 50 percent-plus-one threshold. It'll probably go into a runoff. And Mary Landrieu's been there before. She survived in her last race. She won in a December runoff. I think she does it again.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Yeah, Landrieu has been in tight space before. That was before Katrina. She (lost ?) a number of voters because of Katrina. But I'm still sticking with her, Landrieu.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I'm going to go with Cassidy. I think she has really exhausted her welcome in that state at this stage of the game, because she's made a lot of mistakes. I don't think she survives it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think she's alligator bait? (Laughter.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I've never thought of her in those terms, John, but -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says Cassidy. The votes 3-2, Cassidy. Louisiana goes Republican.

OK, New Hampshire - incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen versus Republican Scott Brown. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Jeanne Shaheen is a very tough candidate. She is rooted in New Hampshire. She is the governor of New Hampshire. And she's fairly popular in New Hampshire. But I pick Scott Brown because, I mean, I saw him really coming on. And he's an enormously attractive guy, and he does have some roots back there in New Hampshire. So I pick Scott Brown.

But I will say this, John. People should watch New Hampshire on election night and the way that goes. If Scott Brown wins New Hampshire, it's going to be a bloodbath for the Democrats.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: And if Jeanne Shaheen wins New Hampshire, things are going to be looking better. She's popular in the state. He really is a carpetbagger. He ran in Massachusetts, lost the seat in Massachusetts. Then he moved into New Hampshire. And in the last debate this weekend, he was asked about Sullivan County, I think one of 10 counties in New Hampshire. He had no idea where it was or what it was - big gaffe at the end of the campaign.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The polls show it's 49 percent to 49 percent. Clarence.

MR. PAGE: That's right. That's right. Well, in brief, I think Jeanne pulls it out, because she has got the roots and Brown doesn't.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I agree. I think Shaheen pulls it out. It's going to be a very close call, but I think she's basically going to pull through.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Two errors here. McLaughlin says Brown will pull it off - (laughter) - in a come-from-behind victory. The Group votes 3-2, Shaheen. New Hampshire stays Democratic.

OK, North Carolina - incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan versus Republican Thom Tillis. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Thom Tillis has had $25 million in attack ads dumped on his head. (Laughs.) Normally I'm surprised he's not in jail after that kind of stuff. But I honestly think he is coming on at the end of this week, and I think Kay Hagan has run into some problems. She's a very tough competitor. She's a tough candidate. But I think that North Carolina is going to go with Tillis, put him in the United States Senate.

MS. CLIFT: Well, Kay Hagan is the incumbent. She's had $30 million of attack ads dumped on her head, beginning last year. And most of the polls she maintains a slight lead. So she's been consistent. I think she pulls it out.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Yeah, I think Kay Hagan has the advantage of a lot of high emotions on the left in North Carolina. They're fired up. We'll see. If they don't, it could be a real long night for Democrats if she doesn't pull it out.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Long night. OK, McLaughlin says Tillis.

MR. BUCHANAN: What about -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, excuse me, Mort.

MR. BUCHANAN: What does Mort think?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think Kay Hagan loses. I think she's just basically lost her welcome in the state as well.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right on the money, Mort, once again. And you certainly know what money is. (Laughter.)

OK, McLaughlin says Group votes 3-2, Tillis. North Carolina goes Republican.

OK, tally time. Republicans win nine new seats: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. But Republicans also lose two seats, Georgia and Kansas, for a net plus Republican gain of seven seats. What does that mean? It means the six-seat win threshold has been passed and a majority of the Group on this platform declare that the U.S. Senate - are you going to say something?

MR. BUCHANAN: Forty-eight seats for the Democrats afterwards and 52 for the Republicans. They've got the Senate, John. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Correct. Buchanan interrupted my flow here, but I'm going to resume my flow. (Laughter.) The U.S. House stays Republican after the election day. Do you understand?

MR. BUCHANAN: Republicans will gain in the House.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we haven't done the House.

MR. BUCHANAN: Gains seats in the House.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's for the future.

MS. CLIFT: Which is what always happens most of the time in midterm elections; no big surprise.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here's an exit question. Is this election a referendum on Barack Obama? Yes or no, Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: It is definitely a referendum on Barack Obama and his competence and basically the competency of the federal government under Barack Obama.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: His low approval ratings aren't helping. But Ronald Reagan, the sainted Ronald Reagan, Republicans lost the Senate in 1986 when Reagan was at the height of his popularity. So there's a lot more going on besides the presidency.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Yeah, I agree. Unfortunately for Obama, he's been compared to Bill Clinton, who managed to gain seats during the Monica Lewinsky scandal at this point in his two terms.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, is that right?

MR. PAGE: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tell us about that.

MR. PAGE: Well, I won't go into all the details. You haven't got time. But - (laughs) - let me just say -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She's back on the scene. You know that.

MR. PAGE: Well, yeah. She's entitled to be. But, you know, this was (about the case ?) where Clinton actually generated sympathy for himself and for Democrats, and the Republicans came out losers. Obama hasn't been able to (cement ?) anything close to that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think - I predicted on this show a number of months ago that the Republicans would increase their margin in each house and would take control of the House of Representatives. I think Obama is the principal cause of it. And so too is a weak economy. I don't believe that -

MR. BUCHANAN: Three-point-five percent growth, Mort?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Excuse me a second. That's one period, and I can go into it.

(Cross talk.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Just one thing, OK. I'm not going to go into that. But it's the employment numbers. It's the job numbers that is going to affect the election. And those job numbers -

MR. BUCHANAN: (I disagree ?).

MR. ZUCKERMAN: - are very weak. And that's what's going to affect this at every level of every state.

MS. CLIFT: The economy has problems - the stagnating wages, the low participation in the workforce, and continued inequality. Those are all things that were present in the previous president, and much of which this president inherited.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This election is definitely a referendum on Barack Obama.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Of course.

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 self-rewarding?

Issue Two: Once More Into the Breach - the Liberian Breach.

DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL: (From videotape.) What I signed this morning was a memorandum to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in response to the memorandum of recommendation I received from the chairman and the chiefs yesterday to go forward with a policy of essentially 21-day incubation for our men and women who would be returning from West Africa. The fact is, the military will have more Americans in Liberia than any other department.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Liberia is the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak now gripping West Africa. Under orders from Commander in Chief Obama, the United States is sending hundreds of military personnel, mainly from bases in Colorado and Texas, to build treatment facilities in Africa for Ebola patients and administer humanitarian relief.

Defense Secretary Hagel said the plan to isolate U.S. troops for 21 days before they return was developed in consultation with military families, who he said "very much wanted a safety valve," unquote, to prevent the spread of Ebola.

Liberia has longstanding historical ties to the United States. It was founded in 1817 as a colony for freed American slaves to be resettled in Africa and declared itself to be a free republic by Governor J.J. Roberts in 1847 under a constitution patterned after that of the United States.

Many Liberians can claim descent from African-Americans who settled in Liberia in the 19th century. And interestingly, its principal port city is named Buchanan.

Buchanan - what's with Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: Buchanan - Secretary of State James Buchanan, also a president of the United States, a member of the American Colonization Society, like a lot of the Founding Fathers, second generation. But this was established basically by the American Colonization Society and Americans of all parties, basically, who felt that they ought to find a place for slaves when they thought that they were going to put an end to slavery. They didn't believe that blacks and whites could live together, and they wanted to find a place in Africa for African-Americans to live. That was the name of the game before Abraham Lincoln.

MR. PAGE: And Lincoln supported it initially as a possible option, among other options.

MR. BUCHANAN: Sure. But, you know, I was in Liberia with Richard Nixon, John. And clearly we went to - we had a big meeting with all of them. And they were as American as - they were like Americans, the folks running it, up until Master Sergeant Samuel Doe had that brutal revolution and murdered them all and bayoneted them on the beach; a lot of the guys we had talked to.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Well, they've had a lot of problems with governance. But they do have a female president, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, I believe.

MR. PAGE: Right.

MS. CLIFT: And - but they don't have any kind of medical infrastructure, and they've been overwhelmed by the spread of Ebola. So I give President Obama a lot of credit. He was ahead of the curve when he deployed American troops to Liberia. Our military has the resources and the logistical expertise. And I also think it's the right policy to quarantine them for 21 days. The American military families were pressing for this. And that's very different from quarantining medical personnel that go over there.

MR. BUCHANAN: Why?

MS. CLIFT: Why? Because when you go into the military, you surrender your rights.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MS. CLIFT: When you are like the nurse in Maine and you're exhibiting no -

MR. BUCHANAN: But Eleanor, why, if it is the right thing to do for the military to get 21 days' quarantine when they're not treating patients or transporting patients, but it's OK for a nurse or someone back - an aid worker to come back and go out on the street or go bike riding in Maine? There is no consistency -

MS. CLIFT: Because there's no -

MR. BUCHANAN: - between that in terms of the health of the American people.

MS. CLIFT: No, we have different -

MR. PAGE: (Inaudible.)

MS. CLIFT: We have a different relationship with the military. When you go into the military, you give up many of your rights. And fighting Ebola in West Africa is less dangerous than going on night patrols in Afghanistan.

The medical personnel that go over there are on a voluntary basis, and they come back and they monitor their health. And everything we know about this disease says if you have no symptoms, you're not spreading the disease.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, tell it to that doctor -

MS. CLIFT: And Governor Christie -

MR. BUCHANAN: - who's up there in New York.

MR. PAGE: Well, that doctor reported himself voluntarily.

MS. CLIFT: The doctor - he reported himself voluntarily.

MR. PAGE: This is the difference -

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, but he came right out in a number of days.

MR. PAGE: If I may just inject something here, the military culture is different. In the military culture, when the order is given, people follow it. And this is for the sake of everybody. In the civilian culture, you want to encourage voluntarism, and that's what we're talking about -

MR. BUCHANAN: But in a civilian culture -

MR. PAGE: - (inaudible).

MR. BUCHANAN: If you want to put the health of the American people first -

MR. PAGE: Pat -

MR. BUCHANAN: - that nurse -

MR. PAGE: Pat, the disease is -

MR. BUCHANAN: - that nurse would allow herself to be quarantined.

MR. PAGE: The disease is not - the disease is not catching - is not -

MS. CLIFT: That's right.

MR. BUCHANAN: After 21 days -

MR. PAGE: - unless you are experiencing symptoms.

(Cross talk.)

MR. PAGE: If you're not showing symptoms -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Mort in. Let Mort in.

MR. PAGE: I just want to finish this statement. It is true.

(Cross talk.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: These soldiers, if I may say so, are not there voluntarily. They're part - they're as a military contingent. And I don't think they should be forced to, in a sense, lose any possible protections they can get. And as far as I'm concerned -

MR. PAGE: No, but they're protected, Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, you don't know how they're protected, OK?

MR. PAGE: Well, yes, I do, because they're not working with -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Twenty-one days - 21 days is not the worst thing that could happen in order to protect the people that get back here.

MS. CLIFT: It's fine for the military.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: And another thing. Let me just say this, OK? You don't take the slightest chance of a catastrophic outcome. The last thing in the world you want to do -

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: - is to risk that this kind of disease should -

(Cross talk.)

MR. PAGE: What would you advocate then?

(Cross talk.)

MR. BUCHANAN: She ought to be quarantined for 21 days.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be back to this issue in a future program.

Issue Three: Voter I.D. Is It a Plus Or Is It a Minus?

MAN: (From videotape.) I think it's a pretty good law. I mean, I don't see it affecting anyone. I mean, it's basically they want to make sure that you are the person you are.

WOMAN: (From videotape.) I think it is a partisan trick to try and prevent people from being able to vote, and I'm very, very much against it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 this month that Texas can require voters to show photo identification before voting in this Tuesday's election. The Obama administration had argued against the new law on the grounds that it discriminates against poor and minority voters, who will now have to present one of seven forms of government-issued ID to cast a ballot.

Three justices - Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan - sided with the Justice Department. In her dissent, Justice Ginsburg argued that the Texas law would disenfranchise, quote, "hundreds of thousands," unquote, of voters.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court upheld an injunction barring the state of Wisconsin from executing its new voter ID law. The court's reasoning seems to rely on the degree to which the states make it possible for the poor to acquire identification, such as by reducing the cost to obtain a birth certificate or state-issued identity card.

Thirty-one states now require voters to show some form of identification. Fifteen states require photo identification. Despite predictions that such laws will suppress minority turnout, empirical evidence from recent elections tells us a different story. In Ohio and Rhode Island, where photo ID laws have gone into effect, minority voting actually increased rather than decreased.

Question: Is the requirement to show photo identification before voting a good idea or a bad idea? Mort Zuckerman.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think it's a good idea. I mean, in New York State, and to some extent in New York City, believe me, there are people who are selling these cards that will now allow people to vote, and they're not, shall we say, representative of the people.

So I think it is perfectly appropriate to legitimize and make sure that you are legitimizing the people who vote.

MR. PAGE: Are you talking about fake IDs?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, fake IDs.

MR. PAGE: Well, that's against the law anyway.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, but the fact is that those are not with photographs, OK?

MR. PAGE: OK.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: And they were for sale all over the place. And believe me, they were used in various elections.

MR. PAGE: It's already against the law to register with a fake ID.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I understand. But I don't want these people -

MR. PAGE: The fact is -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I want them to be able to vote -

MR. PAGE: The question was, are they a good idea or a bad -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: - and get their pictures on it and just go ahead and vote.

MR. PAGE: We want to enable people to vote. But the question was, is this a good idea or bad idea? It's a good idea if you want to suppress voter turnout. It's a bad idea if you want to increase the number of people eligible to vote.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Have any -

MR. PAGE: And that is the way the courts have weighed it. The Texas court called this a poll tax. And that was what - that's what it was, the way it was being implemented out of -

MR. BUCHANAN: No, the Texas law has been -

MS. CLIFT: And the Supreme Court basically ruled not on the merits of these laws but because the changes were too close to the election.

MR. PAGE: Exactly.

MS. CLIFT: And basically all of these efforts to suppress the votes happen in Republican states with Republican governors, Republican legislatures, because the party doesn't have any ideas and they're terrified -

MR. BUCHANAN: Because we know -

MS. CLIFT: - of the demographic changes. And they're trying to keep people out of -

MR. BUCHANAN: As Barack Obama said himself -

MS. CLIFT: - the electorate.

MR. BUCHANAN: Barack Obama says come out and vote, but only once, because this isn't Chicago. The Democratic Party has a historical reputation of stealing elections.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there a problem -

MR. PAGE: As an investigative reporter in Chicago -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there a problem -

MS. CLIFT: There's no evidence -

MR. PAGE: - I will say -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there a problem -

MR. BUCHANAN: It is a good idea to have a voter ID. Look, John, you go to cash a check. I go down to Fox News to get in there. I still have to show my driver's license with a picture in it. You go anywhere, you know, on a book tour; everywhere you go, you've got to show ID -

MR. PAGE: I just want to correct the record.

MR. BUCHANAN: - and photo ID.

MR. PAGE: I just want to correct the record. Studies have shown that while there is some voter fraud with in-person voting, there's also voter fraud with absentee ballots, which tend to be more Republican. So it's not a partisan -

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, if you had voter -

MR. PAGE: It shouldn't be a partisan issue -

MR. BUCHANAN: If you had -

MR. PAGE: - unless you want to change the turnout.

MR. BUCHANAN: If you had voter ID on that, you wouldn't have that problem either.

MS. CLIFT: And in Texas -

MR. PAGE: Well, some states are starting to, but you don't hardly hear about that until Democrats press the issue.

MS. CLIFT: Right. And in Texas -

MR. PAGE: So (Republicans ?) only want in-person voting.

MS. CLIFT: And in Texas -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: (Inaudible) - totally in favor of that.

MR. PAGE: Right.

MS. CLIFT: - they accepted identification, a carried-gun permit, but not a student ID.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MR. PAGE: Exactly.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, that is a (serious ?) ID.

(Cross talk.)

MR. PAGE: But without a student ID?

MS. CLIFT: Student ID -

MR. BUCHANAN: Student ID is -

MS. CLIFT: - (inaudible)?

MR. BUCHANAN: - (inaudible) - a bunch of students. They'd be - (inaudible).

MR. PAGE: It shows that you're a resident, doesn't it?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Closing question: Have any -

MR. PAGE: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have any election outcomes been decided by votes cast by illegal aliens? Quickly.

MS. CLIFT: No. No.

MR. BUCHANAN: I'd say yes.

MR. PAGE: No. No.

MR. BUCHANAN: I would say yes. I would say if you're talking all the way down the ballot, yes.

MS. CLIFT: No.

MR. PAGE: No. No, that's speculation. There's no actual evidence of it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Sorry, out of time. Bye-bye.

(END)