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The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Freedom of Speech and Islam; College Costs; Obama’s Legacy; Bill & Hillary Clinton’s Speech Fees

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

Taped: Thursday, May 28, 2015
Broadcast: Weekend of May 22-24, 2015


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ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP, the American original. For over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Issue One: To Speak or Not To Speak.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA GELLER, AMERICAN FREEDOM DEFENSE INITIATIVE: The First Amendment -- not the Eighth, not the Tenth, but the First -- protects all speech. Not just ideas that we like, but even core political speech, ideas that we don’t like, because who would decide what’s good and what’s forbidden? The Islamic State? The government?

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): So says Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

On May 3rd, two gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, attacked a gathering of Ms. Geller’s anti-Islam activists at a community center in Garland, Texas. The gunmen shot and injured one police officer before being killed by other police officers.

Why did they attack? Because most Islamic schools regard satirical or derogatory interpretations of the Prophet Muhammad as insulting. In turn, some Islamist extremists react violently to those presentations.

Indeed, four months ago, two other gunmen attacked the Paris offices of magazine "Charlie Hebdo", because it had shown cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

And tensions remain high. Last week, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled that a lower court was wrong to force YouTube to remove a video, "The Innocence of Muslims", that satirizes Muhammad and has since been posted back on to YouTube. And that has many concerned, because when the video was released in Arabic three years ago, it sparked violent protests across the Islamic world, which killed 50 people. A Pakistani government minister also offered money to anyone who murdered the film’s producer.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Do we have an obligation to avoid speech that makes others uncomfortable or violates their beliefs?

Pat Buchanan?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: If we did, John, I would not have had a career at all in what I’m doing.

MCLAUGHLIN: Nor I. Nor I.

BUCHANAN: We would not have had a MCLAUGHLIN GROUP show. I mean, people are going to be offended by what you say and about their beliefs.

But I will say this, the -- in this particular case, with the issue of Muhammad, people have to know that if you insult the Prophet Muhammad, and you may have the right to do that and you may get Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Scalia both to protect your right to do that, but you better get yourself some security, because there are people in this country, as we’ve seen, and certainly overseas, who will quite frankly attempt to kill you if you insult their beliefs, their Islamic beliefs like that, and that is what was invited down there.

I don’t -- I don’t agree with what they did in running a cartoon insulting the prophet. I also believe they did the right thing in shooting those guys who tried to shoot them.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, I think the court ruling was a victory for free speech and appropriately so. I would also add that Pamela Geller’s organization has been characterized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. So, I’m no fan of hers.

But how this got through the courts is an interesting case. It was brought, the suit was brought by the actress who appeared in this video trailer and she claims that she was dubbed over, saying hateful speech, and she sued under copyright laws. So, she lost, but it was not a broad free speech ruling, although it is a victory for free speech.

And I’d like to also that "Innocence of Muslims" never went on to become a full length movie. I think everybody kind of learned their lesson from the trailer -- pretty despicable trailer, I might add.

MCLAUGHLIN: Should there be an asterisk after the First Amendment, specifying that freedom of speech does not apply if the ideas you express make other people feel uncomfortable, or if they challenge their beliefs?

I ask you.

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/DAILY TELEGRAPH: No, no, I absolutely don’t think so. I think the importance of the First Amendment ultimately is that it guards against prior restraint, which is to say that people should not have to think about the consequences of what they say, especially if they’re talking about political and social concerns, before they speak. And that is integral to the United States.

I think, you know, part of this issue, Pamela Geller -- and Eleanor is right -- you know, has some really odd views. I mean, she doesn’t actually understand Islamic theology anyway.

But, you know, the problem is that when you are saying, as Pat kind of does, that -- look, there are consequences to doing this, you better be aware. I actually think all of this reflects that there is -- still, there is this -- not in Islam, but in political Islam, and the people who present themselves as the articulators of the faith, and there’s always that hedging point that, well, you know, this is outrageous, this attempts to kill people to present the thing, but they shouldn’t have done it. No buts. No buts.

MCLAUGHLIN: Are political ideas something the Constitution explicitly sought to protect?

Mort?

MORT ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: Yes, I think fundamentally is. The whole idea of it was to be able to express whatever your political views are, or your other views are. There are certain legal limits I suppose, that you cannot sort of insult people, or really demean people. But that’s a core value of what the United States is all about and we should never let that go.

BUCHANAN: But there is a problem we got in society -- I mean, I think the First Amendment certainly covers Pamela Geller, covers just about everything. But we have in this society, every establishment creates sort of its own censorship, its own inquisition. Now, we have various forms of hate speech. There are words you cannot use, especially with regard to ethnic groups now. You can use all kinds of language which we used to consider obscene 50 years ago.

But, clearly, at the bottom line, the First Amendment protects it all. But you ought to not -- there are things that you ought to respect that don’t insult people, and you ought not to use various words, I think. And you can do that without being politically correct.

MCLAUGHLIN: Why start now?

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Is the American Freedom Defense Initiatives’ Muhammad cartoon contest the political equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater? Meaning, speech which does not deserve constitutional protection? Yes or no, Pat Buchanan?

BUCHANAN: No, it deserves protection, but it is clearly provocative and insulting and deliberately so. And people who do these things are in part responsible for the consequences of their actions, even if we condemn the consequences.

CLIFT: Yes, it’s hard to find exactly where you draw that line, but I would not say it’s the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. But a couple of years ago, when you had this kind of bizarre minister in Florida wanting to burn the Koran, and it was at a time of sensitive involvement in Afghanistan, I think the defense secretary called him directly.

I think he went on eventually I think to burn -- yes, he did. But a lot of the heat went out of the issue because it was debated so much.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, you’re set?

ZUCKERMAN: Yes, I’m set, but I -- I got to say, I mean, I happened to being raised in a different country, and to come here and to get the sense of how much easier it is and how much broader is the dialogue on all levels --

ROGAN: Exactly.

ZUCKERMAN: -- is absolutely wonderful.

ROGAN: The same thing in Europe.

MCLAUGHLIN: You’re talking about spending your youth in Canada?

ZUCKERMAN: Well, that -- there is I think a certain civil -- shall we say, civil conduct in the way Canadians talk to each other. But it’s mostly here as well. There are some extremists --

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Do you feel that way, Eleanor, about Canada?

CLIFT: I think the laws about personal libel and so forth are much stronger in Europe. If you want to sue a publication for libeling you, you can do that in Europe, maybe in Canada.

BUCHANAN: It’s not only that, John. John --

MCLAUGHLIN: OK.

CLIFT: It’s very hard to do in this country.

BUCHANAN: John, if you deny the Armenian holocaust in France, you can go to jail. You can go to jail.

MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

BUCHANAN: If you question the holocaust.

And in Turkey, you go to jail if you affirm the Armenian holocaust.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

BUCHANAN: So, they got all kinds of rules, regulations about speech.

ROGAN: In America, the great thing about this country is people trust -- people are trusted, individuals. In Europe and around the world, they don’t trust to make -- to think for themselves.

MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, thank God we’re all here.

Issue Two: College Chaos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You understand that in the face of global competition, a great education is more important than ever. Higher education is the single, best investment you can make in your future.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): It’s an investment with two wrinkles. One, it’s extremely expensive to go to college in America today. Two, it’s still no guarantee of a job.

The nonprofit College Board found that from 2013 to 2014, tuition costs at private American colleges climbed an average of 3.7 percent, a substantial figure. Including accommodation and other costs, the average private student now pays $42,419 a year. In-state students saw an average tuition increase of 2.9 percent. Including accommodation and other costs, public school students now pay a yearly average of $18,943 per year.

Grand total borrowed by college students in 2013-2014, $106 billion. And according to analyst Mark Kantrowitz, average per student graduation debt is now over $35,000.

Facing this cost crisis, in January, President Obama asked Congress to pay for free two-year community college education.

OBAMA: Tennessee, a state with Republican leadership, and Chicago, a city with Democratic leadership, are showing that free community college is possible. And I want to spread that idea all across America, so that two years of college becomes as free and universal in America as high school is today.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What can be done to make college more affordable? Mort?

ZUCKERMAN: Well, one of the things is to get government to support it, of course. This is a big -- it’s a big item. So, it’s going to be controversial.

I happen to support that there should -- the idea of scholarships at a much more generous basis, particular if financed by the state governments and the federal government, because I think as he says, education is the single most important thing in the lives of just about every American, not only in terms of their health but their wealth, their family structure, everything. It all goes today and in line with how much education you have. So, I’m totally in favor of that, but it’s not going to be easy.

CLIFT: The Higher Education Act is up for renewal, and so Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is they’re looking at what they call "Skin in the Game" legislation. In other words, where you would have the colleges assume some of the responsibility.

Right now, half of people who entered college do not finish. Seventy or 80 percent of those who start in community college don’t finish, but they end up with the debt. So, do colleges have some sort of responsibility to see that people get through and graduate?

So, I think that’s an interesting concept, and it’s one way to try to get control of the cost.

BUCHANAN: Look, not every American kid is qualified to complete high school work if you’re talking about algebra and math and reading Shakespeare in your senior year. And not every kid is qualified to go to college and there’s a lot of jobs out there, there were trade jobs and blue collar jobs and construction jobs.

When I was growing up, kids left high schools. They got these jobs. They were married. They had homes by the time they are 26 years old.

But now, everybody is being forced into college --

ZUCKERMAN: No.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: -- when some of them don’t belong there.

CLIFT: The community colleges are equipped to train exactly the kid that you’re talking about. But there aren’t that many jobs now that you -- where you don’t need any post-high school graduation.

ROGAN: Here’s the thing, though. You know, with -- I agree with Pat in the sense that there is -- it’s also a prestige thing, right? Why do parents -- why willing to pay so much money? Well, there isn’t enough scrutiny on things like administration costs.

One of the advantages is -- you know, I couldn’t be on this set if I’d gone to college here because it’d be too expensive. But in the U.K., you got covered.

MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, we find a way.

ROGAN: Well, you have cheap desk, cheap -- you know, the equipment isn’t as high end. You don’t need that. You need a good lecturer.

But also, you need kids to know that actually if you’re a plumber or an electrician, that’s a great career that you should be proud of. You shouldn’t be looked upon with disdain.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: And you set up a business when you get that --

BUCHANAN: Student debt is $1 trillion, an enormous burden -- all these younger -- some of the most talented younger people that are carrying them. It’s one of the reasons the economy is bogged down. They’re paying off their student loan.

ZUCKERMAN: The other side of that coin is, people who have gone through college have much higher incomes during their lifetime than people who haven’t.

ROGAN: But if they get a job.

BUCHANAN: That’s because --

(CROSSTALK)

ZUCKERMAN: They have a much better chance to get and a keep a job than those who don’t.

ROGAN: A lot of graduates now are not getting jobs.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: Because they move into professions that paid more, law, medicine, journalism paid more obviously than kids getting out of high school.

(CROSSTALK)

ZUCKERMAN: Journalism pays more? Not if I have anything to do with it.

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN: "The Daily News", I know, I talked to those poor guys.

MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: A fellow by the name of Mitch Daniels, who worked for the Office of Management --

BUCHANAN: A colleague of mine in the Reagan White House.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, OK.

He does a fantastic -- will you listen to me?

BUCHANAN: Purdue University.

MCLAUGHLIN: Purdue.

BUCHANAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: That’s correct.

Now, instead of asking students of families to adjust their budgets to higher tuition, he’s having the university adjust its costs to keep tuition level. He’s changed health insurance to higher education deductible plans for faculty and staff. He’s consolidated and eliminated administrative jobs. He’s cut food (ph) services and so forth.

It’s a guilty secret of among college administrators and university presidents, many do not want to see costs stay level or drop below their peers. Aha! They have a disincentive not to become the least expensive college in their class.

The guilty secret is, prospective students and their friends believe that the more expensive tuition is, the better the college.

BUCHANAN: He would be a great secretary of education, Mitch Daniels, I’ll tell you. He was a very able public servant and he’s doing a great job at Purdue and he’s keeping costs down.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

BUCHANAN: He doesn’t completely solve the problem, but he’s got the right idea.

MCLAUGHLIN: I want a little bit more of him.

ROGAN: And that could be the compromise in terms of Democrats and Republicans. You know, community -- more community spending, but reforms to the system. And you do see, there’s a great article, I think it was in "The New York Times", you know, a couple of months ago about Harvard law or Harvard professors complaining, because they’re going to be put on a different medical plan.

CLIFT: I don’t think we’re really talking about Harvard students and Harvard here. And I think --

ROGAN: No. No, I know --

CLIFT: I think other private colleges and public universities that are now more expensive, which is where most people go.

ROGAN: Right.

CLIFT: I think we should focus on them first.

MCLAUGHLIN: Studies show -- is a four-year college degree today worth almost three times what it costs in 1981, Pat?

BUCHANAN: No, it is not, but you got to have it.

ZUCKERMAN: In other words, it is worth it, okay?

(CROSSTALK)

ZUCKERMAN: You want to measure it in financial terms, which is the way this is put, whatever it is, your incomes go up significantly with a college education.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: There’s nobody on this set who can deny their offspring or any relative a four-year college education.

MCLAUGHLIN: Did you finalize your point?

ZUCKERMAN: The evidence is, if you have a college education, versus not having college, you have a significantly higher income, okay?

BUCHANAN: You’re probably smarter.

ZUCKERMAN: Well, maybe. It’s possible.

CLIFT: Not necessarily. Maybe he didn’t win the genetic lottery and get born in the right neighborhood. It’s not necessarily that you’re smarter.

ROGAN: More people in this country should take pride and people need -- younger Americans as well, people in my demographic, need to know that if someone is an electrician or a plumber, that is an impressive job that has opportunity to develop a business.

CLIFT: And community college --

ROGAN: And there is still this, there is this prejudice, you know, quiet prejudice against that, and that is --

ZUCKERMAN: We have always, this country has always valued education, okay? And rightly so, in my judgment. And it has done -- made an enormous in this country compared to almost any other country in the world.

ROGAN: Well, an apprenticeship is still an education.

CLIFT: Well, community college is --

(CROSSTALK)

ZUCKERMAN: No, I’m not saying -- there are different kinds of education.

ROGAN: Right.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: The Legacy Project.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OBAMA: With a library and a foundation on the south side of Chicago, not only will be able to encourage and affect change locally, but what we can also do is to attract the world to Chicago.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Tough luck, Hawaii. Congratulations, Chicago.

Two weeks ago, the Obama Foundation announced that Chicago will be the future home of Barack Obama’s presidential library. The bittersweet announcement heralds the beginning of the end of Mr. Obama’s historic presidency.

Following his reelection, he had an ambitious second term agenda.

On the home front: a minimum wage hike, immigration reform, pre-school and community college, gun control.

Overseas: a reset and nuclear arms cuts with Russia, an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, a rapprochement and nuclear deal with Iran, completion of the Asian pivot, with a sweeping free trade pact, and a companion agreement with the European Union, diplomatic relations with Cuba, shuttering Gitmo.

Some of these Obama initiatives were dead on arrival in Congress, or foreign capitals. Others gained traction, only to stall out, while some have been successful and others may yet be fulfilled. But with an approval ratings still hovering below 50 percent and only 20 months remaining in his eight-year presidency, Barack and Michelle Obama are beginning to set their sights on the future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: What did you think of what you just heard?

ZUCKERMAN: Well, look, I’m going to have to go a little bit about this because my own view of all this is that this president has done some very good things and some very bad things. And I’ll give you one that I think is going to be a huge negative for the United States, which is his attempt to develop a relationship with Iran, which is doing nothing but developing nuclear weapons and had destroyed our entire relationship with all of our friends in that region, which I think is absolutely an unnecessary thing.

And I just don’t understand where it’s coming from.

CLIFT: I would take the exact opposite view. I mean, if he does succeed in getting an agreement with Iran to forestall their nuclear ambitions, I think that would be truly historic and very beneficial for the world. And I think if you just take into account, the fact that he got elected, given his ethnicity and his name, as he often points out, Barack Hussein Obama, and you couple that with the fact that he got us health care, that -- those two things alone make him an historic figure.

And he’s still got time to finish.

BUCHANAN: Let me talk to Mort’s point. I think the fact that he if he does get this deal with Iran, and he does disengage from the Middle East and its wars, and all the rest of it -- and in them, even if it’s rough consequences, clearly, that’s going to be his legacy. But I’m not sure it’s going to be negative.

ROGAN: I think one of the things that, you know, and history will judge. One of the concerns I have is this is a president who promised to change Washington. Yes, he has helped with a lot obstinacy on the part of some Republicans, you know, inherently. But no efforts to reform really Social Security and Medicare.

That -- it’s a big problem for my generation, because at some point, you know, that debt is going to come back to snap, interest rates are going to go up, that’s going to have poor people, and I do not expect to have Medicare or Social Security.

Fortunately, I may be okay with my financial position, but you know what? Some people are not going to be and that’s a problem and he should have thought about that and he pretends it’s all Republicans’ fault.

CLIFT: Yes, those programs are not in the dire straits that you seem to think they are.

ROGAN: I think Medicare --

CLIFT: And Congress would never let either of those collapse because their constituents depend on it.

ROGAN: But where’s the money coming from?

CLIFT: Their popularity, and their reelection depends on it. And in the end, everybody’s reelection drives policy.

MCLAUGHLIN: Does it boil down to incomplete, an ambitious but only partially filled presidential agenda?

BUCHANAN: Well, his own -- from his own standpoint, it does, but I think it’s a very consequential presidency, the Obamacare --

MCLAUGHLIN: What’s --

BUCHANAN: -- and the Middle East thing.

MCLAUGHLIN: What’s the crowning personal achievement?

BUCHANAN: I think he thinks it’s Obamacare, but again, we’re going to find out whether it is or not. My guess is Obamacare not going to be the deal.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: You mean the Affordable Care Act?

ROGAN: Yes, premiums are very expensive, though.

CLIFT: And he’s also set us on the path towards accepting the millions of illegal -- people who have come in to this country illegally, but who are contributing to society. That’s going to happen maybe not by the time he leaves in office, but will happen under the next president, Republican or Democrat, I would say.

MCLAUGHLIN: The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as the engine of destruction of the Democratic Party?

BUCHANAN: No, it’s going to be a positive --

CLIFT: No.

BUCHANAN: -- I think eventually. I mean, you’re going to have a very tough time if you -- the Supreme Court dumps that over, and 10 million are dumped on to the – onto the rolls --

ROGAN: I think he’s going to have issues with the younger, healthy people with the premiums they are paying. You might -- I pay a lot of money for a very high deductible --

MCLAUGHLIN: OK, I’m --

CLIFT: Even younger, healthy people get sick sometimes --

ROGAN: Well, but I think the calculation is --

CLIFT: This is what we call the insurance pool, your brother’s keeper.

MCLAUGHLIN: Did the ACA -- did the ACA, the Affordable Care Act, was that the engine of destruction of the Democratic Party? Of course, the Democrats controlled the House in 2010, controlled the Senate in 2014, and its full disruptive impact in terms of changing employer-provided insurance has yet to be felt. What do you think of those apples?

ROGAN: History will tell.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: I think that’s connecting apple with oranges.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: The Million Dollar Mouth.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REPORTER: On your income disclosure recently, that just came out on Friday, you are in the tip top echelons of earners in this country. How do you expect everyday Americans to relate to you?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, obviously, Bill and I have been blessed and we’re very grateful for the opportunities that we had.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): The meek may be blessed, but the big money is in speechmaking.

MCLAUGHLIN: Since January 2014, Bill and Hillary Clinton had been paid more than $25 million for their speeches, according to campaign financial disclosure forms. Last year, the former secretary of state and current Democratic candidate for president made up to $625,000 in a single day of talk, and earned more than $3.2 million in speaking fees from Silicon Valley. At an eBay Summit on Women in the Workplace, Mrs. Clinton received $315,000 for a 20-minute talk. That’s per minute, $15,750.

These speaking opportunities put Bill and Hillary Clinton in the top 99.1 percent of U.S. households by income, a theme which Hillary has made a feature of her presidential campaign, quote, "Inequality of the kind we are experiencing is bad for individuals, bad for society, bad for democracy. If you look around the world, this is becoming a bigger issue everywhere," unquote.

Since leaving the White House in 2001, the Clintons have earned over $125 million in speaking fees. This total does not include fees for more than 100 speeches made by the Clintons and paid directly to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, due to be disclosed in the near future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is the Clinton household income a blessing, or is it bad for individuals, bad for society and bad for democracy? At what point, if ever, does a speaking honorarium become dishonorable?

Eleanor Clift?

CLIFT: Well, I want to say -- this is nice work if you can get it and it’s the way our society works right now. If you’re a hot celebrity, you can pick up some pretty lucrative speaking fees. If she’s elected, she would probably be the richest president ever.

But is this a liability? I look back at FDR, I mean, he was very wealthy. He did a lot of great things for the little people.

I think she’s genuinely motivated to close some of these gaps that have gotten out of hand in our society, and she’s -- it’s kind of an odd way to make money, just, you know, giving lectures. But she didn’t get it through carried interest at a hedge fund.

So, I think -- you know, she’s got some work to do to fulfill her commitment to overcome this economic inequality that we see, but I think she’s well-motivated to do it, and I think her speaking fees will not hamper her in that at all.

MCLAUGHLIN: The Clintons were no match to the Roosevelts.

CLIFT: Well, that was inherited wealth. The Clintons --

BUCHANAN: He inherited his wealth, John.

CLIFT: Yes, it’s a big difference.

MCLAUGHLIN: I’m talking about in collective wealth.

CLIFT: I don’t know.

MCLAUGHLIN: No match for the Roosevelts. Go ahead.

BUCHANAN: But, John, but let me say this -- look, this is it may not be illegal but this is sleaze. This is classic liberalism, come to town to do good and do very well indeed.

A few years back, they had they were checking out columnists and commentators where they’re getting $5,000 or $10,000 a speech and they denounced it as buck-raking.

What do you think this is? This is a biggest example buck-raking I’ve ever seen -- $100 million.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: Bill is cashing in on the presidency of the United States.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: The real issue here --

MCLAUGHLIN: Where it did --

ROGAN: The real issue here is --

MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute, hold on. Where did it start?

BUCHANAN: It started -- I mean --

MCLAUGHLIN: Did it start in Whitewater?

BUCHANAN: I mean, this is different than Whitewater. That was termed (ph) illegal.

MCLAUGHLIN: I know. Did it start in Whitewater?

BUCHANAN: This is not illegal, it is just sleazy.

ROGAN: The real issue here is not so much as speeches, as Eleanor says the society. Yes, they’re sleazy -- I mean, it’s ludicrous compared to what Hillary Clinton has said.

But social mobility and inequality, how do you fight inequality? It’s not just by attacking the rich, that won’t help poor people up. It’s social mobility. It’s things like college, which we’ve been discussing. It’s about reducing health care costs. I don’t know.

MCLAUGHLIN: Why did she do this? This just gives here opponent a huge cudgel, does it?

ZUCKERMAN: Well, yes and no. I have to say, I don’t think it’s going to turn out the way what is implicit in these conversations are. You know, she basically has emerged as an extraordinary female and feminine leader, if I may say so. That’s quite unique in this country.

And I have no problem with her, as you say, cashing in on it and I don’t think the country will either. There’s a recognition that she and her husband, frankly, are really very, very committed to social welfare.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: You see no contradiction between denouncing the super rich and all this stuff and Bill raking in $100 million in speaking --

CLIFT: No, I don’t.

BUCHANAN: -- and the two of them, $25 million?

CLIFT: I don’t.

MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions, Pat?

BUCHANAN: American Pharaoh wins the Belmont Stakes, the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years, John.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: The oil spill off the coast of California will give momentum to the student drive to force university administrators to divest from oil stocks.

ROGAN: Rafael Nadal will win Wimbledon this year.

ZUCKERMAN: The economy is going to continue to be weak. It’s growing at the lowest rate now for several years that we’ve seen in a very long time. It’s going to continue for the next several years of his administration.

MCLAUGHLIN: The violent crime rate in America’s metropolitan areas will spike this summer.

Bye-bye!

END