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The McLaughlin Group

Subject: Immigration, Jerusalem, the Affordable Care Act

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 EST
Date: Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Immigration Showdown.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) So we're going to offer the following deal. If you've been in America for more than five years, if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents, if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you'll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: President Obama then reminded the American people about the origins of our nation.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once too. And whether our forbears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic or the Pacific or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like or what our last names are or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal - that all of us are created equal and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is the president right? Is this executive action American idealism in action? Pat Buchanan.

PAT BUCHANAN: We're also a nation of laws and we have a Constitution. And Barack Obama has said sort of repeatedly that he did not have the legal or the constitutional authority to issue what is an executive amnesty.

He is behaving as a rogue president, John. Politically it may be a very clever move. He's dividing the Republicans, no doubt about it. He's sticking it into their face after their victory. He's saying I'm going to do what I want to do, and now you pass your bill.

But the problem is I think he has really poisoned the well with Republicans for the next two years. Maybe he felt there was no alternative; that was going to happen anyway. But I think, John, this is going to be, no doubt about it, along with "Obamacare," one of the signal achievements of the Obama administration. I think it's going to backfire on him politically, and I think it's going to backfire on the Democratic Party.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

ELEANOR CLIFT: I think it's a huge step that this president has taken, not only for the some 4 million people whose lives will be directly affected and who are living among us, taking care of our children, mowing our lawns, doing all kinds of work. I think it's an appropriate policy step. I think he's on strong legal ground. He cited a number of precedents that Republican and Democratic presidents have taken. The only difference with this is this is a larger group of people. But the country is larger, and the immigrant population has grown.

And the Republicans have an easy answer to this. They can just pass their own bill. The Congress isn't working. The Republicans have methodically made sure of that ever since they took over the House in 2010. And now they're paying the price for that, because power is going to move to the executive and to the courts. If the Congress can't get its act together, I think the president is right to take action and not let these huge problems continue to fester.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tom.

TOM ROGAN: Well, I mean, the issue here is that this is a complete - this is, you know, the full circle from the president of - the presidential candidate of 2008, about changing the tone of Washington. It's executive overreach to a huge degree.

Whether the president's policy is right, it's not right in procedure. And I think it's a great disservice, not just to the executive branch and the presidency, and this president himself, but also actually it's the notion of American law. I mean, you have to remember, this is a Harvard Law graduate who has done this in such a disdainful way.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MR. ROGAN: And it has poisoned the well. And that's a deep shame, because, you know, I think there was opportunity. Boehner and McConnell were talking about areas of opportunity going forward. And now I just don't see it happening.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MORT ZUCKERMAN: Well, I mean, I sit here as an immigrant myself, coming from a different country. And I was fortunate to be able to get into this country. And I've stayed here ever since, obviously. I think that there's a great opportunity for people to do that.

But the way I did it, of course, was the legal way. And I think this is going to have to be taken into account. There will be, I suspect, some legitimate legal support for what he's doing. But politically, I think it's a huge, huge mistake, because he has now poisoned the well of his relationship with the Congress for the rest of his presidency. And that, it seems to me - there's going to be repercussions and very, very difficult issues that come up in this country that will not be able to resolve because of the hostility that will come out of it.

MS. CLIFT: The well was already -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on.

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. The well was already poisoned. I mean, the Republicans -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't believe that.

MS. CLIFT: - made a decision early on to oppose virtually everything this president did.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: Now, if they disagree with him on that, they say, oh, we might not confirm an attorney general. We're not going to confirm any of your appointments. We're not going to do anything on all these other issues. That's like a third grader's response. That's like stamping your feet -

MR. BUCHANAN: But, you know -

MS. CLIFT: - and holding your breath.

MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor -

MS. CLIFT: You think the country's going to reward that? I hope not.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, Eleanor, the very -

MS. CLIFT: And they only will -

MR. BUCHANAN: The very fact -

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. They only will argue with him on procedure. They won't argue with him on the substance of what he has done -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: - because what he has done -

MR. BUCHANAN: You know, Eleanor -

MS. CLIFT: - is correct.

MR. BUCHANAN: - if you can't get it through the -

MS. CLIFT: And it will stand up in the courts.

MR. BUCHANAN: If you can't get it through the Congress of the United States, you cannot do it unilaterally. He doesn't have the authority. He said so himself.

MS. CLIFT: He does have the authority. (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: He told them for years I can't do this, fellows. I would like to do it, but I can't. It's unconstitutional. He's a constitutional lawyer.

MS. CLIFT: He didn't include the parents of the DREAMers. He concluded that went over the legal line. They have careful legal backing for this. And there has been no successful legal action taken against DACA, the extension of legality to the so-called - the DREAMers.

MR. BUCHANAN: But we've got a rogue president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: We don't have a rogue president. We have a rogue Congress, if anything.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the optics of it?

MR. BUCHANAN: Terrible.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's alone. He enters a door. He walks down a hallway. He takes a position at the rostrum. It was really quite dramatic.

MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, it was quite dramatic. And he says, look, you guys can get around this. You can pass a bill.

MS. CLIFT: That's right.

MR. BUCHANAN: In other words - in other words, I'm going to do it. But if you pass a bill, then you can get it done yourselves. He doesn't have the authority to do it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you remember a movie called "High Noon"?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, sure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Gary Cooper.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Gary Cooper.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He went into a city and his life was in danger.

MR. BUCHANAN: He had a badge on. He was the sheriff, and nobody backed him up -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He had a badge on. He was the sheriff.

MR. BUCHANAN: - except for Grace Kelly.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He walked down the middle of the street.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: All right.

MR. BUCHANAN: Frank Miller.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And he waited for somebody to take a shot at him.

MR. BUCHANAN: Frank Miller.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Frank Miller.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think there were overtones of that in -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't know. Somehow or other, I didn't think of that. (Laughter.) I'm missing something, John.

I've got to tell you something.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It reminded me of Gary Cooper. Don't you understand?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I don't understand.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He was out there by himself.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Gary Cooper did not come to mind, I have to say, when I saw him.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He had the guns here.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oh, yes. Listen -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He was ready to move.

MS. CLIFT: The president wouldn't have guns.

MR. BUCHANAN: He would have been shot down, except Grace Kelly shot the guy in the back.

MR. ROGAN: The Republicans -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.) Good, Pat.

OK, Republican response.

In response to President Obama's executive action on immigration reform, including granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, Republicans are gearing up for a fight. One proposal that's gathering steam is to prevent President Obama from funding the documentation prerequisite of his amnesty; namely, preventing funding for formal IDs and Social Security numbers that would allow illegal immigrants to find work and receive benefits under federal and state laws.

Republican Senator-elect Tom Cotton explains.

SENATOR-ELECT TOM COTTON (R-AR): (From videotape.) We have fully funded our military spending bills for the last six years and put restrictions on what the president can do in terms of transferring terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States. There's no reason that we can't fund all of our immigration agencies and law enforcement agencies yet not let the president use taxpayer dollars to give Social Security numbers and work permits and photo IDs to illegal immigrants.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: How will Republicans respond to President Obama's executive action? Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: Well, they went and filed their lawsuit on "Obamacare," and they'll probably try to piggyback this on as well. But this is going to be a major talking point in the Republican primaries, and there will be a show of hands. Will everyone take the vow to overturn the president's executive order? And maybe there's going to be one or two who take that vow. And if Jeb Bush is in that lineup, maybe that'll make him stand out and he'll give us a different Republican Party. But this is going to define the Republican Party going ahead, for good or for ill.

MR. ROGAN: Yeah. I mean, I think Pat is right in the sense it's going to fracture the Republican Party, at least in the short term. Ted Cruz you already see coming out very strongly, using it for `16. You know, but again, my real issue is that it has burned those bridges with Boehner and McConnell. If the president -

MS. CLIFT: Those bridges didn't exist. (Laughs.)

MR. ROGAN: No, but they did exist, Eleanor. They did exist -

MS. CLIFT: No.

MR. ROGAN: - after the midterms, because there was a clear rhetoric change. And that was under a lot of pressure from tea party activists, who didn't want to see that change. And now the president essentially has told them get lost. I'm not interested. This is it. I'm done. I'm the executive president. Goodbye, Congress.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort -

MR. ROGAN: And that is the legacy now.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: - do you remember my question?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: More or less, OK, but -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Work with the less and see how far you go.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: (Laughs.) OK. I think the residue of this is very negative for this country. I really do. I think it's going to become extremely difficult to address a lot of issues in this country as a result of the breakdown in whatever constructive relationship would have existed between the president and the Congress. That is not what the president ought to be doing.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think you're exactly right. I think what you're getting is a breakdown in democracy here between - the two branches are going to be virtually at war with each other on everything except -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on.

MR. BUCHANAN: - what is essential.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK -

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: - hold on, Eleanor - blast from the past. In April, seven months ago, Republican House Speaker John Boehner mocked his own Republican colleagues for resisting immigration reform. Here's Speaker Boehner.

HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): (From videotape.) The appetite amongst my colleagues for doing this is not real good. This guy's back here with a camera, but here's the attitude: Ooh, don't make me do this. Oh, this is too hard.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Speaker Boehner right? Is it just, quote-unquote, "too hard" for Republicans in the House to pass immigration reform? Tom Rogan.

MR. ROGAN: No, it isn't too hard. But what the president has done here is made it a lot harder. That's the whole problem. There was areas for compromise. You saw it - (inaudible) - with Senator Rubio going out on a limb. There are Republicans who have been willing to buck the trend. I would agree with Eleanor that -

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me -

MR. ROGAN: - the Republican Party is, to a degree -

MS. CLIFT: Senator Rubio went - took back the limb. He didn't - he backed away from it.

MR. ROGAN: Well, but Boehner and McConnell -

MS. CLIFT: Boehner -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let her finish.

Go ahead.

MS. CLIFT: Boehner promised the president for a year that he was going to take it up. And then finally he went to the president and said I can't do it, which is when the president said if you can't do it, then I'm going to do this. First he said by the end of the summer -

MR. BUCHANAN: John -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on.

MS. CLIFT: - then by the end of the year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, there is a -

MS. CLIFT: This is a campaign promise this president could not walk away from.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, there is a war inside the Republican Party over this.

MS. CLIFT: Mmm hmm.

MR. BUCHANAN: The corporate Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, those guys, they would like to get it off the table. They don't have any problem with it. It's the base of the party and it's also the base of middle America that sees they're losing a country because they've got an invasion unchecked across the border, and the commander in chief won't do anything about it.

MS. CLIFT: Well, it depends how you define middle America. Middle America is going to be looking a lot different -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: - over the coming years.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MS. CLIFT: Nobody's coming across the border anymore -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question.

MS. CLIFT: - because we don't have a good economy. People overstay their visas, and that should be solved with some -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is this immigration executive action within the president's proper authority, or does it exceed the president's proper authority? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's an impeachable act, but they should not impeach him.

MS. CLIFT: Congress can decide who is eligible for citizenship. The executive has broad authority, according to the Supreme Court, to deport people. And that's - the president is using his prosecutorial authority.

MR. ROGAN: The president is supposed to be a president, not a - this is an unmitigated insult to -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why are you whispering?

MR. ROGAN: Sorry. This is an unmitigated insult to American constitutional law. And it is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, I agree. I think it is a fundamental disruption in the way our government was supposed to work.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, I share your view.

Issue Two: Terror in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem on Tuesday was the scene of a horrific slaughter. Two Palestinians murdered four rabbis and an Israeli police officer at a West Jerusalem synagogue. Three of the rabbis had dual U.S. citizenship. The attackers were then shot dead by Israeli security forces.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU (from videotape; translation provided on screen): We always overcame it and we will this time as well. There are some who want to uproot us from our state and capital. They will not succeed. We are in a battle over Jerusalem, our eternal capital.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Angered by Israel's revival of the practice of destroying the homes of families related to Palestinian assailants, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced both the Israeli razing of homes and the attacks at the synagogue.

PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS (from videotape; translation provided on screen): Under no circumstances will we accept attacks on civilians. At this point, I would like to say that while we condemn this act, we also condemn the attacks on the AL-Aqsa Mosque and the holy places.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Palestinians are furious at ongoing efforts by elements of the Israeli religious right to gain prayer rights on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, home to the third-holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa mosque. At present, only Muslims are allowed to pray at the site. Despite this, Mr. Netanyahu says the status quo won't change.

Palestinians are using the controversy to justify attacks, and Jerusalem is suffering. In October, two separate incidents, Palestinian drivers rammed pedestrians in central Jerusalem, killing a total of four people, including a three-month-old baby.

Question: Has the violence in Jerusalem crossed a new threshold? Mort Zuckerman.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, it certainly has. I mean, what you saw there was an absolutely outrageous and horrible attack on people in prayer. A number of rabbis were killed as well. And this was just an absolute massacre of innocent people. And that has so dramatically escalated the tension between the Arab communities and the Jewish communities there that we're going to see a lot of fallout from this for a long period of time.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The attacks are targeting the religion and not just the Israeli state. Is that true?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, it's not, unless - certainly the Israeli state, which was founded, as a practical matter, to provide a home for the Jews after what happened to them, but the Israeli state is the Israeli state. Hebrew is the regular language. The majority of the population are Jewish, without question. There is a group there who are orthodox, and a number of them were killed just mercilessly in the midst of a religious ceremony. So this is a terrible, terrible event.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think, John, this has added - look, you've got the political - you've got the war in Gaza. You've got these mutual atrocities; little kids being lynched, basically. Now this horrific thing that happened in that synagogue has added a religious aspect of religious fanaticism to the political and the historic battle.

And what it says to me is, quite frankly, that I think you've got to be almost near despair as to whether you're ever going to get an agreement in any approachable future between the Israelis and the Palestinians for an independent state, especially after Gaza, where some of those rockets went right near Ben Gurion Airport and they shut it down. I don't see any Israeli leader, from Netanyahu right to Bennett to Lieberman or those folks, who are ever going to give up that West Bank.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there any connection between ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism against Jews?

MR. ROGAN: Well, the political theology of Sunni Salifist groups - Hamas, for example, and ISIS - share a hatred of Jews and people they believe is, you know, apostates against the faith. There is a more nationalist vein to Palestinian Islamism.

But this attack reflects the fact that, as much as there is a profound political disagreement between different groups, there is also a profound hatred for the very essence of Judaism, unfortunately, in Palestinian terror groups. The murder of these rabbis at the mosque is the greatest symbol of that, and it does affect all the political environment beyond.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Earlier this year, four people were killed at the Jewish museum in Brussels. Their killer was Mehdi Nemmouche, a French Muslim who had fought with ISIS in Syria. Does that bind things together and -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: There is -

MS. CLIFT: I mean, it's terrifying in Europe, the rise of Islam, but also the rise of just general anti-immigrant hatred. And you have that combined with the populist backlash against the constriction in the economy. And I think, you know, Jews probably feel like they're being singled out, but I think Muslims feel like they're being singled out. It's kind of a -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, no.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's develop this -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Wait a minute. That is - I've got to interrupt here. The Jews do not feel they're being singled out except by Muslims. The Muslims are not being singled out by the Jews, OK. It's the Muslims who are attacking the Jews in most of the capitals in Europe.

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible.)

MR. BUCHANAN: John, second-generation - the Muslim population in France is something like 5 (million) to 6 million, 10 times as large as the Jewish population. And second-generation Muslims are some of these folks that are going out and going over to Syria and fighting. It's becoming very radicalized, and it's a very dangerous problem certainly for Jews in particular, but for all of Europe.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's pursue this a little further. It isn't just Jews in Israel who are under attack. Today anti-Semitism is on the rise across much of Europe. In Belgium, Jews are warned not to wear their religious adornments in public. In France, Jewish stores and synagogues are regularly attacked by young Muslims. In Dortmund, Germany, neo-Nazi groups recently issued a former request for the number of Jews living in the city. While the request was disregarded, it speaks to a trend. Even in Britain, Jews are worried.

(Begin videotaped segment.)

Q: Why is what you see in a demonstration, why does that affect the way you feel about how safe you are?

BRITISH JEWISH WOMAN: Because there's placards saying "Death to the Jews" and "Hitler was right" and things which - I don't see what that has got to do with Israel's policy in Gaza. And that's scary, as a Jew living in the 21st century in modern Britain, to be encountering that kind of blatant, flagrant anti-Semitism, quite frankly.

(End videotaped segment.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Sweden recognized Palestinian statehood. Will other European countries follow suit? And do you understand why Sweden did it?

MR. ROGAN: Well, there is a much more sympathetic viewpoint in much of the European political class towards the Palestinian side in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But going back to this anti-Semitism issue, it's a real concern. And I think it's actually not recognized as such in terms of both statistics -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MR. ROGAN: - and the visceral nature of it; the hatred for Jews beyond any construction of Israeli -

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but this is not 1938.

MR. ROGAN: No, but it is serious.

MS. CLIFT: You have the French leader, the German leader - they're all speaking out against this.

MR. ROGAN: True. But it is serious.

MS. CLIFT: You have fringe parties on the left and the right that are embracing some virulent attitudes.

MR. BUCHANAN: But John, you don't have to be anti-Semitic to support a Palestinian state.

MR. ROGAN: No.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MR. BUCHANAN: I don't think that (defines ?) anti-Semitism.

MR. ROGAN: No.

MR. BUCHANAN: What you see happening in these places, instances in Europe, is anti-Semitic. But I think the idea of a Palestinian state is supposedly endorsed by the Israelis themselves, (many of them ?).

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely. It is.

MR. BUCHANAN: The European Jewish Congress has a president, and his name is Moshe Kantor. He is quoted in Haaretz. Quote: "Never at any time since the end of World War II has anti-Semitism so manifested itself on the continent of Europe."

What about that?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He's absolutely right. It has - first place, a part of it comes from the fact there's a large Muslim population in Europe, the people who have emigrated to Europe, frankly, for economic reasons. And there is a significant community there. And they are the core of it. But there's always been a residue of anti-Semitism in Europe, as we know. But it had - a great deal of it had just diminished. It had disappeared. It's coming back again. But it's principally pushed by the Muslim community.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: "Obamacare" on Life Support.

To pass a new law, you need a positive score. In Washington, D.C., the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, a strictly nonpartisan agency, retains the golden stamp of fiscal approval for proposed new laws. The CBO scores a congressional bill's impact on the national debt. And the CBO also clarifies whether a bill includes new taxes.

Here's how Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare," describes how that bill sidestepped the CBO review.

JONATHAN GRUBER (MIT professor and health care consultant): (From videotape.) This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies, OK. So it's written to do that.

In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in - you made explicit that healthy pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. OK, just like the people - transparent - lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: With consultant Gruber's comments now in the public eye, just as the health care exchanges open for 2015 business, President Obama's landmark law has again become buried in controversy.

Question: In his G-20 news conference in Brisbane, Australia earlier this month, President Obama dismissed Mr. Gruber as, quote-unquote, "some adviser who never worked on our staff," unquote. Is that an accurate portrayal, Mort Zuckerman?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, it is certainly not an accurate portrayal. It is called I'm trying to get this guy as far away from me as possible, because he's got some real evidence that I may have been lying to the American public.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know -

MS. CLIFT: Oh, I don't think that's the case. They didn't want to use the word tax because that would have killed the bill. And the way legislation is written, you put the best face forward. When George W. Bush passed the prescription drug benefit, they're not allowed to negotiate lower prices, and that was part of a deal with the pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, it's sausage making. And this guy went out and - (laughs) - you know, revealed the whole sausage-making deal to the American public.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: If you want to mislead the American public -

MR. BUCHANAN: John -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: - you can take that approach. I don't think it's a valid argument.

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on, Pat.

Gruber made more than 27 visits to the White House - 27. Got it?

MR. BUCHANAN: Mmm hmm.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He was paid $400,000 by HHS, Health and Human Services, as a consultant in shaping the law, and was personally named by the president in public remarks five years ago as one of the people whose ideas he was drawing on to create the Affordable Care Act.

I have another note here that Obama on Saturday dismissed MIT professor and "Obamacare" architect Jonathan Gruber "some adviser who never worked on our staff."

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In point of fact, Jonathan Gruber earned $6 million when? Over how long a period of time?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think it's over three or four years. But let me say this. What Gruber said very simply is we put one over on the stupid Americans. And that's what a lot of Americans believe. They didn't understand it. Pelosi said we've got to pass it to find out what's in it. And this is very - extraordinarily damaging, both to the Obama program and to the president himself.

But this guy Gruber is an extract of pure liberalism - a liberal racketeer, one of these guys that's brought in with a great moral - his great moral compass.

MR. ROGAN: He knows better.

MS. CLIFT: He also -

MR. BUCHANAN: But he enriches himself.

MR. ROGAN: He knows better.

MS. CLIFT: He also -

MR. BUCHANAN: He enriches himself.

MS. CLIFT: He also advised on the Romney bill in Massachusetts.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, he probably made some money from that.

MS. CLIFT: And today 7 million people have health care who wouldn't otherwise have it. You can - the rest of us don't have to worry -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you defending Gruber?

MS. CLIFT: I'm defending the "Obamacare" and the results of it. I think Gruber is an academician. He has too much high regard for himself. He's not a diplomat or a politician.

MR. ROGAN: The issue -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've got about 20 seconds.

MR. ROGAN: Yeah, very quick. The issue it shows is that, you know, the administration - all the rhetoric, 2008, as I said earlier, it's just turned out to be completely not true.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think -

MR. ROGAN: The president's (playing golf ?).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think you're overstating it?

MS. CLIFT: I think -

MR. ROGAN: No, I'm not. But here's another issue for the "Obamacare." My generation are paying a lot more. It is a very bad deal for my generation. But I accept, on the Republican side, this delusion that we somehow have amazing health care, even though we pay twice what any other country pays, and the, you know, doctors, to get a bit more people, send people off for unnecessary tests. We need to wake up on both sides and get health care reform that actually addresses these issues, covers people who can't afford it, but does it in a way that engages the private sector.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think you could formulate such a health program?

MR. ROGAN: I have written about. I will post the links -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've written about it?

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible.)

MR. ROGAN: I have written extensively about it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Extensively?

MR. ROGAN: I will send them. And you will be, I think, respectful of -

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. Can we all get in on this deal?

MR. BUCHANAN: He's our Gruber.

MR. ROGAN: You could get on it.

MR. BUCHANAN: He's our Gruber.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: New Congress will try to arm Ukraine - a mistake.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: The next president, even if it's a Republican, will leave Obama's executive order in place. Once rights are given, they usually aren't taken away.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tom.

MR. ROGAN: Before the new Congress takes office, Senate Democrats will attempt to leak the CIA report.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The collapse of energy prices is going to put great pressure on Russia's economy and on Putin himself.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Next year the Supreme Court will rule against the legality of "Obamacare" subsidies on the federal exchange.

Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble, gobble. Bye-bye.

(END)