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The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Trump on Immigration / Schumer on Iran Deal / Arctic Politics

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author & Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Tom Rogan, National Review/Daily Telegraph
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune

Taped: Friday, August 21, 2015
Broadcast: Weekend of August 21-23, 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: Trump Versus Immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They’ve got to go. They’re illegal.

We have a country. We have to have a border. We have to have a wall. Mexico will pay for the wall.

Three hundred thousand births this year, illegals, in our country. That means we picked up 300,000 people that are going to get Social Security. You have people on the border, and in one day, they walk over, have a baby. And now, all of a sudden, we’re supposed to pay the baby.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Donald Trump has announced his plan to reduce illegal immigration.

Here’s what it entails:

First, a nationwide E-Verify system that would be introduced to ensure that all workers are legal U.S. residents or citizens.

Second, Mr. Trump would triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, responsible for deporting illegal immigrants, and would force Mexico to build a physical wall along its U.S. border. The Mexican government calls it, quote, "prejudiced and absurd".

Third, illegal immigrants with criminal convictions will be immediately deported on release from custody. And visitors who overstay on U.S. visas will face criminal sanctions.

Fourth, federal funds will be cut to so-called "sanctuary cities" that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration.

Fifth, an end to automatic U.S. citizenship for the children of both of illegal immigrants and legal visitors that are born on U.S. soil.

Sixth, new restrictions on foreign worker visa and green card programs, and access by illegal immigrants to federal welfare programs.

Seventh, over time, the deportation of approximately 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States -- a proposal, experts say, that would cost at least $166 billion.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Donald Trump’s immigration plan sensible policy?

Pat Buchanan?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: John, Senator Jeff Sessions, who’s very much anti-immigration or illegal immigration hawk, is one of the folks behind this. I think it is the most comprehensive program any Republican has put out yet. Secondarily, many other Republicans are agreeing with what Mr. Trump said, including with the issue of anchor babies, John.

And people are saying, well, Trump is going to change the 14th Amendment. You don’t have to. All you have to do, I mean, the Congress of the United States is the one empowered in the Constitution to deal with naturalization and all the rest.

For example, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were not citizens of the United States. Three laws were passed to make Indian Americans or Native American citizens. But Congress can deal with this. I think Trump has really got the bit in his teeth, and it’s helping his campaign and people are emulating him.

MCLAUGHLIN: What’s the size of American’s immigrant population, both legal and illegal?

BUCHANAN: It’s 41.5 million. And this is what people want, is the same kind of moratorium on immigration we had from 1925 to about 1965, when we assimilated and Americanized everybody in this country by 1960s, we all spoke the same language.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: You’re saying 41 million, illegal or legal?

BUCHANAN: Forty-one-point-five legal and illegal.

PAGE: Legal and illegal, OK.

BUCHANAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Forty-one-point-three million, according to the Census Bureau. That amounts to 13 percent of the U.S. population, more than one in ten people.

Are the 41.3 million immigrants a record high, or is this a normal level of immigration for America?

BUCHANAN: It’s the highest number we’ve ever had in the history of the United States.

MCLAUGHLIN: And how many --

BUCHANAN: Since probably 1920 or 1925. In terms of percentage, we’ve had about 15 million there, but it was a larger share of the population from 1890 to 1920.

MCLAUGHLIN: It’s showing 93 years, this is the highest level.

BUCHANAN: Well, sure, it will take you back to exactly where I said.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: It’s double the immigration of 1990, and triple the immigration of 1980.

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: Are we done with the anti-immigration, nativist sentiment here?

PAGE: I doubt it.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: I don’t know. Pat sounds like he’s just warming up.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: (Inaudible) -- Eleanor, xenophobe.

CLIFT: The question was, the question was, is the Trump immigration policy sensible public policy?

And the fact that Republicans agree with it doesn’t make it sensible. It is wildly expensive. I cannot picture an America where we’re going to deport 11 million people. And if you want to start the machinery to reject citizenship for people born in this country, I think that’s going to be a pretty steep climb, a country built on immigrants. If we didn’t have the immigrants coming into this country, we wouldn’t have an agriculture sector, for one part.

PAGE: Thank you.

CLIFT: And when you talk about most people want --

BUCHANAN: We didn’t have agriculture before we had 40 million immigrants?

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: You’re grape will be a lot more expensive.

CLIFT: Most people want. I mean, I can cite surveys that show most people want the 11 million people in this country to be allowed to stay and to earn a path to citizenship.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/DAILY TELEGRAPH: What’s interesting --

MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on. Let me ask you a question. Donald Trump also advocates a timeout on legal immigration to reorder priorities for admitting new immigrants. Is that sound policy?

ROGAN: No, I don’t think so, because you need -- we need some immigrants coming into this country. We need legal immigrants, for some of the reasons Eleanor mentioned.

But, look, I would say, quite a lot of what Trump mentioned is actually relatively moderate. Republicans should have jumped ahead of that, and it is ludicrous to me that Republicans haven’t actually presented their own proposals until now, in most cases.


PAGE: Actually, they have.

ROGAN: Well, but they haven’t pushed in specific terms. And Trump has, you know, you need that bullet point plan that --

PAGE: It’s not my turn yet, but I can talk about that.

ROGAN: Well, but see, here’s the thing -- with immigration reform in the country, the problem with what Trump is presenting is those final numbers, 11 million deportations. We’re not going to have people going door to door doing that. And that in the end is the crux of the problem.

But articulating the debate, we need legal immigration. We need to secure the border. Those things can go together, the debate.

PAGE: Well, funny thing about Trump’s proposals, most of them are in the Republican Party already. The really problematic parts are, the idea of mass expulsions like you mentioned, mass deportations -- estimates are, it will take like 20 years and God knows how much money -- and then the idea of the so-called anchor babies, or the birthright citizenship. That is just -- it’s not going to happen, essentially. For one thing, you’re right, legally, they’re not going to amend the Constitution.

And the interpretation, this takes us back to the Obamacare arguments, you know? People will be in there looking for fine print that can be reinterpreted. You can interpret all you want. I doubt that this Supreme Court would go along with suddenly saying, both by saying --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: They also take you back --

BUCHANAN: Restrictions to Supreme Court’s jurisdiction under Article 3 Section 2.

PAGE: Which will mean it goes to Congress.

BUCHANAN: Congress passes it and it tells the Supreme Court to stay out.

PAGE: You think Congress will realistically do away with birthright citizenship but they wouldn’t amend the Constitution?

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: OK --

BUCHANAN: I think the Republican Congress would do it.

CLIFT: It also --

PAGE: I doubt it.

CLIFT: It also takes you back to the origins of Donald Trump as a political figure in the current debate when he was challenging President Obama’s birth. He’s a birther. This is more of this right wing birther citizenship nonsense.

BUCHANAN: Nativist.

CLIFT: Nativism. You know all the words.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Excuse me. In the past -- I hate to interrupt you, Eleanor. I don’t think I do.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: In the past, American has had time to assimilate new immigrants into the melting pot. The current social experiment in unprecedented high immigration rates may overwhelm the ability to assimilate new immigrants, and we could end up like Europe, with pockets of immigrant communities hostile to core American values.

ROGAN: Assimilation --

BUCHANAN: That’s exactly right --

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: Number one, it’s not -- number one, it is not unprecedented. We’ve had higher rates in the past.

CLIFT: Right.

BUCHANAN: John --

PAGE: People have been saying for 200 years, we got too many immigrants. That’s the no no (ph) movement. That era is over.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: But we’ve also had time to assimilate.

PAGE: We had time to assimilate, John. We are not like Europe. You go over to Paris and visit Banlieue around the suburbs. They are complete --

ROGAN: Hollande --

PAGE: It’s more like Soweto than it is what we’ve got.

MCLAUGHLIN: You’re talking about Paris?

PAGE: About Paris, about Rome --

MCLAUGHLIN: I’ve been to all those places. I’ve been to them all.

PAGE: They are not ghettoized. We are not ghettoized like they are. We’ve got --

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: Let me introduce some facts here.

From 1925 to 1965, we’ve basically had zero immigration, legal or illegal. Everybody went to public schools, went through the depression together, went through the war together.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: Hold it. You’ve talked.

We went through the war together, radio, TV.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

BUCHANAN: By 1960, we were one nation and one people --

PAGE: Yes, right. Maybe your neighborhood.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: -- under Ike and Kennedy. And now we’re speaking hundreds of languages. Two hundred languages in Chicago schools.

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: -- since Elvis came out, right? I mean, Pat, we were not one nation. And you know it.

BUCHANAN: We weren’t one nation -- 97 percent of us spoke English, the fastest growing language radio is Spanish.

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: Immigrants who are learning English. This is a canard that they’re not.

CLIFT: Two hundred languages in a public school is not a bad thing. And if it weren’t for politicians who tried to exploit all these grievances, and probably, it was Ted Kennedy who pioneered the legislation on the Hill that equalized immigration to this country so that it wasn’t just specifically from European countries.

BUCHANAN: But we are -- look --

CLIFT: The world is a bigger place than the folks you and I grew up with in the 1950s.

MCLAUGHLIN: All right.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: But some people -- the American people have never voted for mass immigration and they have voted repeatedly to stop illegal immigration.

CLIFT: They vote for mass immigration every day when they hire people --

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: It’s the American way.

BUCHANAN: Now, you got Donald Trump.

PAGE: I mean, Marco Rubio is an anchor baby by your definition. He’s parents were not --

BUCHANAN: He’s born in the United States.

PAGE: Yes, but his parents weren’t citizens when he was born here. If you do away with that, then he would not be a citizen.

BUCHANAN: No, you cannot retroactively take away citizenship. I agree with you.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: Anchor babies, you can deal with it.

PAGE: You should get (INAUDIBLE) from Marco Rubio.

MCLAUGHLIN: This sounds like a rebellion more than it does a talk show.

Issue Two: Schumer’s Rebellion.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: I found the inspections regime not anywhere anytime, but with lots of holes in it. Particularly troublesome, you have to wait 24 days before you can inspect. That will allow some of the radioactivity to be seen, but not non-radioactivity that goes into building a bomb, all the kinds of other things you need.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Chuck Schumer, Democratic senator from New York, opposes President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. The senator says the deal’s inspections framework designed to verify Iran’s compliance is too weak.

And Senator Schumer’s opposition is a problem for the White House. Senator Schumer is a key voice in the Democratic Party, and is very influential with members of the Democratic Senate Caucus. He’s also likely to be the next Democratic Senate minority or majority leader when Senator Harry Reid retires at the end of next year.

President Obama worries that Senator Schumer’s opposition to the Iran nuclear deal might lead other Democrats to do the same.

And on Tuesday, Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, did just that.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: But if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it. It is for these reasons that I will vote to disapprove the agreement.

MCLAUGHLIN: With every Republican senator already opposed to his deal and many Democrats staying quiet, President Obama needs at least 34 senators to vote in his favor.

But in a further complication, on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that a side deal between Iran and the IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear inspections will allow Iran to self-inspect its suspected weaponization research site at Parchin, Iran’s military complex. Critics of the deal say that this arrangement will allow Iran to cheat.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Is the Iran deal doomed?

Eleanor Clift?

CLIFT: Absolutely not. First of all, there’s some reporting that the A.P. story about that ideal doesn’t exactly hold up. And I think there’s anything out of the ordinary in the arrangements between the IAEA and Iran.

Secondly, I think the administration has made a convincing case that it’s a very strong verification regime.

And I think Senator Schumer and Senator Menendez waited to come out with their opposition until it’s -- I think they’re pretty confident, or the White House is pretty confident, they’ve got a firewall in the House and the Senate, with enough Democrats to sustain the veto.

So, I think this is -- this is wired, if you want to say, and I think Senator Schumer is very careful. He’s maintaining his, you know, relationship with the Jewish community, as well he should. But he’s also not torpedoing the president, when he’s likely to be the Senate leader in the next Congress.

BUCHANAN: Schumer is not leading, John. He’s deliberately not leading.

Gillibrand, the other senator from New York, has come out for the deal. I think what Schumer has done, he’s taken his position. He’s not acting. He’s not whipping the Democrats at all, John. And I think they realize what’s going to happen is both houses are going to reject the deal and then the president of the United States has got 34 votes, or more than that.

The deal is going to go through Mitch McConnell, I believe this week, conceded as much that the president eventually is going to win this deal, and that’s going to be it. It’s going to be the law -- it’s going to be the international law.

MCLAUGHLIN: I’ve got a question. How serious is the revelation that Iran’s military, he’s in charge of the assessment of whether it tried to develop nuclear weapons triggers at the Parchin base. Do you understand?

ROGAN: Yes, it’s very serious. And I think I’m probably the only one on the panel who’s skeptical of this deal. I think the people who are saying, there should be no enrichment as part of the deal. We’re wrong. It’s never going to happen. Khamenei would never have agreed to that.

But, look, the potholes in the deal are now becoming apparent. The problem with Parchin here, with the Iranian military controlling access is that they will conceal, because they’ve done it before. I suspect what is ultimately going to happen now is that, as panel suggests, the deal will get through. The president will have 34 votes.

But I think you will see Iran two to three years now beginning to cheat. They will cheat on ballistic missile technology.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: And then they will be break out and then we will have a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute, what about the side agreement between the IAEA --

ROGAN: Right, that’s what I’m talking about.

MCLAUGHLIN: Is that what you’re talking about?

ROGAN: Yes.

BUCHANAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: And Iran was kept secret from the Congress. The revelation has undermined confidence --

(CROSSTALK

ROGAN: I don’t know what they did that, because it’s going to come out.

PAGE: I think that revelation has been undermined, too, however.

CLIFT: That’s right.

PAGE: We’re talking about top secret negotiations and the parties are denying the accuracy of that report. So, I give it time. I mean, if Iran cheats --

ROGAN: But the text has come out today, though. The texts looks like the report (ph).

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Well, President Trump will monitor the agreement once he’s in office, so we can all -- it will be the best agreement we’ve ever seen once, he cares for it. It will be fabulous.

BUCHANAN: What Parchin is all about, John, it’s a military base. It’s not a nuclear weapon site. They were apparently testing allegedly nuclear triggers or detonators. There was in 2003, before the program, according to the American intelligence agencies, all 16 shut down.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well since you’re so knowledgeable about this. How about this?

How important is it to know whether or not the Iranians tested nuclear triggers at Parchin?

BUCHANAN: Listen, our intelligence knows what they did. John Kerry said before the thing was signed, we know what they were up to.

CLIFT: If they --

MCLAUGHLIN: Is it crucial?

BUCHANAN: No, it is not.

MCLAUGHLIN: It is crucial to understanding how quickly Iran might be able to build a nuclear weapon, and the extent of Iran’s previous efforts --

BUCHANAN: No.

MCLAUGHLIN: -- to evade detection and misleading --

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: No, because -- I tell you, because plutonium can’t be produced under this agreement, and uranium, high grade uranium can’t be produced under this agreement, and that’s locked in. And without that, you ain’t got no bomb.

CLIFT: And the Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, is an expert on all this stuff. They’ve done extensive briefings with reporters, with lawmakers and if you listen to all the safeguards along the way, you come away as a believer. They won’t burp over there at 2:00 in the morning that we don’t know about it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, why don’t you tell that to Obama? Because the town hall, this summer’s town hall meetings undermined Obama’s ability to maintain a veto proof level of congressional support. A new CNN/ORC poll shows 56 percent of the public opposed the agreement, only 41 percent support it.

CLIFT: Well, there’s been millions of dollars spent on negative advertising. But the deal is going to go through. I want to say --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: -- get used to it.

BUCHANAN: People didn’t want to give away the Panama Canal either, John.

ROGAN: Well, this is -- they will weaponize first, though -- that’s the problem -- which is Parchin, they will build the ballistics, and then they will break up very quickly. That’s the snapback.

BUCHANAN: Why would they do that when Israel has got about 100 atom bombs and we got about 5,000?

ROGAN: Because it assures the revolution, it’s nuclear blackmail. I don’t think they would use it on Israel. But they will use it to --

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: Look at what they’re doing in Iraq and Lebanon. That’s the problem.

BUCHANAN: Look, in Syria and Iraq, they’re to stop ISIS.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: Well, no, I mean, you analyze. Everyone else is assuming believing that they’re going to play ball --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: You’re putting in place a deal that’s the best that’s available out there and then you check along the way. You don’t automatically assume it’s going to fall apart in a few years.

ROGAN: But you’re all assuming it works.

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: We’ll have a bomb by the end of the year, right?

MCLAUGHLIN: OK, Youthful Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Iran’s elderly leader often makes western headline. But he’s only one side of Iran. After all, today, about 70 percent of Iranians are 37 years old or younger. And today, about 25 percent of Iranians are 14 years old or younger. They were born after September 11, 2001.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Are Iran’s youth jingoistic about the country’s nuclear ambition?

Clarence?

PAGE: Every indication I’ve heard and people I’ve talked to in the Iranian American community, certainly, indicate that they are not militantly anti-American -- quite the opposite. They want to be part of the same world culture that America is a part of. You’ve got people in Iran, though, who are hawks naturally, and you’ve got some doves in the system, and what we have to do is to deal with the folks are really interested in some progress. Not those who are --

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. Millennials have indistinctively different behaviors. Millennials, you know who they are, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Yes, John --

MCLAUGHLIN: Values and attitudes from previous generations as a response to the technological and economic implications of the Iran -- of Iran.

BUCHANAN: John, this is one of the advantages of the deal. Ten more years, those folks are going to grow older and are they all really going to say, what is the ayatollah say about how we should our lives? The prospects are, if we keep them away for a bomb for 10 years, the odds are that it’s going to get better rather than worse. Now, it might get worse, but 10 years, or 15 years, no bomb is fine.

CLIFT: Well, President Rouhani who has really pushed behind this. He was elected on a commitment that he would improve the quality of life of the Iranian people, and young people are really looking to him to deliver on that promise. So, I do think that young --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: That people talked about an Iranian spring and we may well see that.

MCLAUGHLIN: Is the Iran deal doomed? Yes or no? Exit question.

Pat?

BUCHANAN: It’s locked.

MCLAUGHLIN: What?

CLIFT: I agree, locked.

ROGAN: Yes, I think you have to have moderation in the terms of dealing with the younger people, but the Red Guards are in charge, Khamenei is in charge. You have to deal with the person at the moment, because years from now, you can have a nuclear arms race in the region.

But again, you know, this -- if you have to deal with the people who are in charge.

CLIFT: Is that a yes or no?

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN: It would be locked or not?

MCLAUGHLIN: Doomed or not doomed?

ROGAN: I think it’s doomed.

PAGE: Not doomed.

MCLAUGHLIN: It’s a mortal locked.

Issue Three: Arctic Politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we should not risk the potential catastrophes that could come about from accidents in looking for more oil in the pristine, one of the few remaining pristine regions of the world.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Hillary Clinton has broken with President Obama on environmental policy. This week, the Interior Department approved Shell’s request to drill for oil in a certain area off the Alaska coast.

But Mrs. Clinton says she opposes that approval, and believes the risks are too great.

Republicans disagree. They say that Mrs. Clinton is playing to a hard-line environmental lobby within the Democratic Party in order to consolidate her campaign against the growing populist challenge from Bernie Sanders.

And here’s how Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush responded on Twitter, quote, "Wrong. Being more anti-energy than Obama is extreme. We should embrace energy revolution to lower prices and create U.S. jobs", end quote.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Who is right, Jeb or Hillary?

CLIFT: If you ask me, I can answer that.

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: First of all, oil is tanking. It’s not clear that Shell will even, you know, go ahead with plans for drilling. And I think it was a surprise to a lot of Democrats that President Obama gave them that permit. And I think that has more to do with geopolitics that environmental politics, because those Russian missiles come through the Arctic and the Russians have been very aggressive in that area.

So, Hillary Clinton was looking for some ways to separate himself from the president. She couldn’t get do it on trade. She can’t do it on Iran. This is perfect and it certainly helps with Democrats.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom Rogan.

ROGAN: I think that’s absolutely right. I think Hillary Clinton is looking to consolidate herself with the Bernie Sanders element of the party. I tend to think, look, I think it was right to get the approval there because of the ability of energy.

The problem with green technology as it exists at the moment is that it requires massive government subsidies to keep electricity bills down for American families. That would be a looming issue.

But fracking is going to be the way of the future, and so, I suspect that actually conventional oil will decline.

MCLAUGHLIN: Why is Russia expanding its military presence in the Arctic?

BUCHANAN: Well, because Putin very much believes in a strong military.

Secondly, the Russians -- John, those five countries, there’s Norway, the United States, Denmark, Russia, Canada claim all this area. And there’s two very large ridges underwater off Russia which they claimed is part of their continental shelf, which would almost give them the North Pole.

ROGAN: Right.

BUCHANAN: So, he is looking to the future, to claim all this territory, and basically, they’re using it for the resources they can get there. But this is something that can be negotiated between the United States and the Russians, and I think it very much should be.

PAGE: Besides, Putin is expanding everywhere else. Why not in the Bering Strait as well?

CLIFT: Why not --

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: So, you approve of Russia’s movement into the Bering Strait.

PAGE: Oh, I don’t approve of main movements by Putin at all. I think we have to keep an eye on him. But that’s something, that’s an area that we’ve got very strong interest in, so we need to stay involved.

MCLAUGHLIN: So, what about Canada? Canada is beefing up its Arctic bases.

PAGE: Yes, Canada is our buddy.

MCLAUGHLIN: In anticipation of vulnerability up there.

BUCHANAN: Well, Canada doesn’t have much of a military, John. If there’s going to be military confrontation, we know who it’s going to be.

MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Let me try this out. China is also establishing an Arctic toehold, by attempting to purchase a huge tract of land in Iceland five years ago and was rebuffed. It may purchase a Norwegian fjord instead.

ROGAN: China is a problem.

MCLAUGHLIN: Have you thought of investing in Norwegian fjords?

BUCHANAN: I would call the Norwegians and tell them, tell the Chinese no.

CLIFT: Well, the Chinese economy --

MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

CLIFT: The Chinese economy isn’t doing so well, so they may not have that much money to spread around anymore.

ROGAN: The problem with China, we have to be aware of as well, is their construction in the Spratly Islands. It keeps going up and up.

I hope -- President Obama should really get in Xi Jinping’s face when he comes to visit Washington because the Chinese are really causing big problems for us on the side of front and on that challenge to stability.

PAGE: They maybe overextending themselves, though, as well, because they’ve been on a building boom everywhere, inside China, and outside.

BUCHANAN: China has got real internal problems right now.

PAGE: That’s right.

BUCHANAN: Which makes them even more dangerous.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, when is Jeb Bush going to ask about this? He tried to outlaw, what, offshore drilling and that was unpopular with the majority of Florida voters.

CLIFT: He tried --

BUCHANAN: Jeb outlawed offshore drilling in Florida?

CLIFT: Well, I --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: He opposed offshore drilling in Florida when he was governor.

CLIFT: Right. Because that’s off the state that he’s governing. But he’s happy to drill everywhere else.

(LAUGHTER)

PAGE: Right.

MCLAUGHLIN: We haven’t heard about him --

CLIFT: He called that not in my backyard, NIMBY.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: You think he has a -- he needs to say about drilling in Alaska?

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: I’m sure he’s for it.

CLIFT: Right.

ROGAN: The big debate that I hope we have is that, you know, there are obviously the benefits to the renewable sources. But what I would is disingenuous at the moment about the Democratic position on that, is that they’re not being honest about the fact that it really works -- California. They’re protecting 47 percent increase in electricity prices over the next 16 years.

MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions, Pat?

BUCHANAN: The odds have moved to about 50-50, John, that Hillary Rodham Clinton will not be the Democratic nominee.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: Hillary Clinton is still the odds-on favorite to be the nominee. It’s very hard for anybody else to get in the race.

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: But I really want to salute the two women who got through the Ranger School, big moment for women, big social change.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom?

ROGAN: Yes, I will add on to Eleanor, that that’s right. I mean, the Ranger School, I know from friends, that is tough as hell. It’s a credit to them.

My prediction, though, in the coming weeks, you’ve seen it a bit this week -- but North Korea, that’s going to heat up. Kim Jong-un wants attention and he’s going to push the ball.

PAGE: Joe Biden will not run for president this time around, even though he’s thinking bout it very strongly.

MCLAUGHLIN: You heard it first, really. Inside information?

PAGE: No, just my wonderful clairvoyance.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, as he sees the slippage with Hillary, will not that induced him to run.

PAGE: That’s why he’s thinking about it, because Hillary’s numbers have been slipping, and she hasn’t really change her strategy in the way --

MCLAUGHLIN: OK. I predict that Alexis Tsipras, who resigned as Greece’s prime minister and called earlier elections, will triumph in next month’s voting, persuading voters that he is the best one to implement terms of Greece’s bailout.

Bye-bye!

END