The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Ryan and Trump / Fighting ISIS in Iraq / Facebook and Conservative News / Obama Visit to Hiroshima

John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Clarence Page, The Chicago Tribune
Tom Rogan, National Review/Opportunity Lives

Taped: Friday, May 13, 2016
Broadcast: Weekend of May 13-15, 2016

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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: Blank Vote.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now, and I hope to, though, and I want to.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Although he had a, quote/unquote, "very positive meeting" with Donald Trump this week, Republican Speaker of House Paul Ryan says he cannot yet endorse his party’s presumptive presidential nominee. And Mr. Ryan isn’t the only Republican to say so. Two former presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, have also rejected Trump, as has Senator Lindsey Graham, and a number of senior evangelical conservatives.

Yet other Republicans like Senator John McCain, whom Mr. Trump once strongly criticized, are now supporting the businessman. And some way even President Obama might secretly be happy Mr. Trump is the GOP nominee. After all, Mr. Trump is seen as more likely than his defeated challenger, Ted Cruz, to preserve Mr. Obama’s legacy.


MCLAUGHLIN: Question: is the GOP imploding, Pat Buchanan?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: No, it’s not, John. It’s in the process of coming together.

Let’s talk about Ryan, though. He made a terrible mistake in here. Trump went out there, won 10 million votes, swept all the primaries and caucuses, and is the nominee, and that he says I’m not sure I’m going to endorse him. And then they call for this meeting and what that amounts to is Ryan, in effect, is holding Donald Trump up to make concessions about his policy positions, which Trump is not going to do. And Ryan is going to have to walk this cat back.

And so, I think -- I mean, Ryan in the meeting this week I think looked almost pathetic coming out, and he’s going to have to back in. But eventually, I think almost all of the Republicans, I think, and Trump is open to it. All of them are going to come around, except for may be the Bush family, because of what happened to Jeb and -- but there’s no doubt about it. Trump has an agenda, on immigration and trade and intervention abroad, and on entitlements, which contradicts the agenda of Paul Ryan.

MCLAUGHLIN: When was the last deep breech between the conservative movement and the GOP presidential nominee?

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: When was the last deep rift? Well --



CLIFT: Yes, that’s true. That’s true, when Pat Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary, I guess. There was a lot of nervousness about that.


CLIFT: Yes. I mean, I think that what Paul Ryan is doing is trying to preserve some leverage over Donald Trump, and he’s also trying to protect his caucus. There are a lot of people running who are not going to be comfortable supporting Trump and who are going to have to maintain distance. And so, they’re all saying, we’ll support the nominee of the party. They won’t mention his name.

And Democrats are going to keep reminding every Republican that, if you are on the ticket with Donald Trump, that you support all of the odious things he has said, that you can’t just skitter away.

And so, yes, I think the Republican Party is imploding on issues because Trump does represent a set of issues that’s much more in alignment with the country in a number of these areas. So, there will be a new Republican Party coming out of this, and it won’t take a victory by Donald Trump to bring that about.

ROGAN: The reason I just can’t disagree more strongly, Pat, I have to say. Paul Ryan I think is the party -- it’s not about the party. It’s not about an individual. It’s about an ideology. It’s about a belief of what conservatism stands.

Does Trump own the Republican mantle to the presidency? Yes, he’s titled to. He has won it. But it does not require other conservatives to bend in fealty for him, certainly the speaker of the house, leader of the legislature. And if you think about the policy disagreements, that’s one issue. But Trump’s the nominee. You can have those discussions behind the scenes.

The real issue that Ryan is concerned is about is the notion of Republican politics, the notion of the party of Lincoln, and when you are slamming people who are mentally disabled, or are Muslim, to playing this part -- women, that at some point, it is so repugnant and so abhorrent to those values that I think conservatives should stand for.

You have to say it. And you have to say to Trump, back off on that, and apologize for it, or bye-bye.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Yes. Well, that’s the Wrestlemania --


PAGE: -- aspect of Trump’s personality, which you are absolutely right. "National Review" was correct, to cut off any support for him. Others are correct to criticize him for that.

But one thing that Trump has done -- and I’m definitely not a Trump supporter, but he has brought these issues that working class Republicans care about, that have not gotten much attention before, like he was saying on trade, on immigration, these other issues that have affected, what, dislocated workers in America.


PAGE: And both parties have failed to pay enough attention to these issues.

BUCHANAN: Do you know how arrogant it sounds though when you say, Trump is going to have to apologize to a congressman up on Capitol Hill, who has been offended. He has won --

ROGAN: Because he is representing conservatives across the country. Trump won a minority of Republicans.

BUCHANAN: Hold on. Trump won the nomination. He’s won the largest number ever. And nobody has asked Paul Ryan to recant a single belief or a single statement. If he wants to stand by his position -- fine. The second and third men in the House are going to work with Trump. They ought to work around this roadblock.

But eventually, you watch Paul Ryan. He’ll come in to camp.


CLIFT: What Paul Ryan is worried about is his own personal political future. He doesn’t want to tie himself to a Donald Trump who is going to go over the cliff in November, and he wants to grab a little moral high ground, and even if he ends up supporting the nominee, he can say, you know, I opposed him on a lot of these issues.


ROGAN: What planet is conservatism on though, Pat, that Trump doesn’t want to reform entitlements, which are going to bankrupt the future of the country? What is conservatism? It’s a joke.


BUCHANAN: Let me tell you what would be a joke is walking out there and saying, we’re going to cut Medicare, as Ryan has been saying.

ROGAN: We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about reforming it from people under 55, as Ryan has proposed.

BUCHANAN: That’s Ryan’s agenda. His agenda is on trade, staying out of these foreign wars, America first, immigration reform. This has got the country on fire and anti-establishment is the line that Trump has got. Why would you give that up and come begging to Paul Ryan?

CLIFT: If we’re talking about Paul Ryan’s agenda on entitlement reform.


CLIFT: They do need to be reformed, but taxes have got to be part of that. He only wants to do it on his terms.

ROGAN: If you keep raising taxes, you’re going to have an exodus – see what happens in California.

CLIFT: So, that’s going to be left to the next president obviously.

MCLAUGHLIN: "The Conservative Digest" said this about Ronald Reagan in 1983.


MCLAUGHLIN: "Mr. Reagan is now seen as untrustworthy by many conservatives who believe he has betrayed his own principles, in an effort to appease his critics."

That was in "The New York Times," 6/26/83.

Can Donald Trump take comfort of getting the same treatment from movement conservatives --

BUCHANAN: Yes. What happened, John --

MCLAUGHLIN: Just a moment. Like Paul Ryan, that Reagan received.


BUCHANAN: I know about "The Conservative Digest" and I know all those guys --

MCLAUGHLIN: The conservatives will come around -- the conservatives will come around as they did for Reagan. Most will choose not to go off the cliff waving the flag.

BUCHANAN: When Reagan did Grenada, they all came home and the economy took off, and they all went along with it.

Let me tell you what Ryan is risking doing -- playing the Nelson Rockefeller spoiler role, showing up at the convention, you’ve got to condemn extremism. We can’t have this in the party.

He wind up a dead dog, along with George Romney’s father. Nixon went all out for a guy he disagreed with, Goldwater, in 1964, and wound up with two nominations for president and the new majority.


ROGAN: It’s all about politics.

BUCHANAN: You guys, take a walk.

ROGAN: We’ll do it. Let’s see.


CLIFT: I know Nelson Rockefeller. Paul Ryan is no Nelson Rockefeller.


MCLAUGHLIN: OK, elections -- get this: due to changing demographics, more states are predisposed towards the Democratic Party – that, says "Washington Post’s’ Chris Cillizza, makes Mr. Trump’s path to 270 Electoral College votes a big challenge.

Still, Mr. Trump’s problems don’t end there, because the business magnate has poor favorability ratings with women, millennials and minorities. Republican leaders also fear that if Donald Trump struggles, Democrats will be far more likely to retake control of the U.S. Senate in November, six months from now.

But perhaps there’s light at the end of the tunnel. In new polls released this week by the respected Quinnipiac poll agency, Donald Trump is within the margin of error against Hillary Clinton in Florida and Pennsylvania, and ahead of the former first lady in Ohio.

How does Donald Trump get to 270? Eleanor Clift?

CLIFT: He thinks he can double down on male grievance in this country, and mobilize this forgotten middle class of mostly white working men, and that he can take a couple of Midwestern states, states that have basically voted Democratic in the last half a dozen elections.

And the one poll that you put up from Ohio, he did better than Hillary Clinton because he did better among men than she did among women. But women are the majority of the electorate and his numbers among women are pathetic.


BUCHANAN: Here’s how he does it, John. He gets the Republican base, which is probably about 250 votes and then he’s got to do Pennsylvania, or Michigan, or some of those blue states and it’s going to be a tough climb and it will be very narrow if he does it. But it can be done. It is possible.

PAGE: He’s got to get single women who are probably the most important post-Labor Day swing vote contingent. And more women turn out for the general election than the primaries.

And he’s got to win Ohio. No Republican gets to the White House without winning Ohio.

ROGAN: So, Kasich in the VP, maybe.

CLIFT: He’s got to get suburban Republican women who are not in his camp right now.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Cities of Peace Attacked.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Just weeks after the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra was recaptured by Syrian and Russian forces, it is again under threat, namely by ISIS, also known as ISIL and Daesh, forces.

We were thrilled with the Russian President Putin’s gift to the Syrian, where Gergiev concert and symphony orchestra from St. Petersburg.


And there was bad news from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. On Wednesday, ISIL detonated three bombs, killing at least 93 Shia Muslim Iraqis, whom Daesh believes were apostates. The attacks come at a particularly difficult time for Iraq.

Many Iraqis of all creeds led by a Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, are protesting the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, demanding reforms against sectarian patronage.

During the 2003 to 2009 period in Iraq, Mr. al-Sadr’s Shia Jaish al-Madi militia regularly battled the U.S. military. But today, Mr. al-Sadr has reinvented himself as a nationalist populist, but complicating matters for him, Iraqi Kurds and Iran are opposed to those reforms. They feel their loss of influence will follow.


MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, will you summarize?

BUCHANAN: What’s going on, John, if you’re talking about ISIS or Daesh, is they have lost -- the terrorists in Syria and Iraq combined, have lost 40 percent of their territory. Raqqa in Syria, which is the capital of ISIS in Syria, is under great pressure, as is Mosul.

However, the problem the Americans have and the others have is they don’t have the ground forces to take Mosul or to take Raqqah. The ones doing real fighting in both countries are Kurds, and the Kurds in Iraq are very pro-American, but the Kurds in Syria the Turks regard as terrorists. And the Turks are having problems also with ISIS.

John, there’s simply is -- if you talk about the good guy forces, there’s simply not enough ground forces right now to annihilate ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and that problem is going to exist when Barack Obama leaves office.


CLIFT: Well, Iraq is struggling within itself because the government is collapsing and you have the Sunni-Shiite divide and all of these conflicts. And so, I think if there’s an overriding message here, it’s that America should not get more deeply involved, and I think the president is trying to hold that line so he does not hand his successor a worse situation than what he was handed.

ROGAN: I think the opposite conclusion. I think it shows the United States, not get more involved, not necessarily in ground forces. I think that is the lesson there in the Bush administration.

But more special forces, the president’s moving in that direction. More importantly, in terms of Baghdad, it’s the heart of all this, is that consolidating Abadi to make the reforms he needs to make, potentially even dealing with al-Sadr, we should do that. He was our enemy. Things change, it’s an imperfect world. Because the problem at the moment is groups, the Iranians are supporting through proxies, the Badr organization, they are pushing against Abadi, trying to make these reforms to make Iraq a multi-sectarian, more stable state, trying to make it a bit more like Lebanon instead of Tehran.

That requires our influence and we had it until the end of 2011, and then we withdrew.

PAGE: I think you’re right, and I’m waiting to see if this is going to be an issue in our November elections here frankly, because the irony here is that Hillary Clinton has got the reputation now of being more hawkish than President Obama. And Trump is moving in that direction of being more dovish. At least he won’t commit to anything, which probably just as well, as he changes his mind so often.

CLIFT: Yes, except he’s saying he would dispatch with ISIS, we won’t quit.

PAGE: Right.

CLIFT: Just like that. OK.

PAGE: How’s he’s going to do it, we don’t know.



BUCHANAN: But, you know, Obama has been gradually building up American forces in Iraq. I think we’re up to 4,000 or 5,000, but --


PAGE: Special Forces there.

BUCHANAN: Yes, Senator Kaine, whom I admire, from Virginia, has really demanded, that look, the Congress of the United States speak to the fact, are we at war? If so, authorize the president to fight a war. And they’ve refused to do this.


BUCHANAN: The constitutionalist party, Republican Party, won’t authorize or not authorize the president to go to war.

CLIFT: Yes, they’re not going to do it and it’s a wonderful diversion to argue about it.

MCLAUGHLIN: This is how a security analyst describes Iraq’s battle against ISIS, "The current descriptor is, quote, ‘countrywide strategic stalemate’, unquote. The government is trying to mount an offensive to retake Fallujah, but political turmoil in Baghdad is interfering."

What are your impressions of --

BUCHANAN: Big Casino is Mosul, John, not Fallujah. But, you know, if you can’t take Fallujah, you’re not going to be able to take Mosul, which is the second largest city in the country and again, you’re going to have to have more ground troops than you’ve got. The Kurds who are anxious to go far outside of Kurdish territory what they’re going to have for their state and fight for it.

ROGAN: But they’re trying to take territory as well now. I think in the absence of American kind of interlocutor relationships, again, people like Ryan Crocker, one of the greatest servants in this country that had -- people know a lot about Petraeus. Ryan Crocker who was the ambassador, you know, that’s what we need. People -- and we need only have that though with your tangible influence on the ground to say, hey, form that compromise because we’re going to be here when the Iranians trying to whack you in the middle of the night.

BUCHANAN: How many American troops would you send?


ROGAN: I would send probably two -- if you talk about JSOC, I would say two more squadrons, in terms of direct action.

BUCHANAN: Squadron?

ROGAN: It’s 120 guys and I would probably send 5,000 troops just to --


BUCHANAN: Mosul is a city of a million people.

ROGAN: Oh, no, I’m saying JTACs, but you embed with the Iraqis. The Iraqi military has improved. I’m not saying send an American marine battalion into Mosul.

CLIFT: Real easy to decide these issue sitting in the comfort of a television studio.

ROGAN: No, but this is what the senior military officers are asking for. It’s not me.

CLIFT: Yes, but --

BUCHANAN: Yes, and then we got the problems with the Russian and the Chinese in the South China Sea, and a lot of the folks want to get into a dustup with Iran. Look --


ROGAN: Just give them the world, right? Give them the world.

BUCHANAN: You know, we’re stretched pretty thin. Why is it always our assignment, not the assignment, for example --

ROGAN: Does the world feel stable?

PAGE: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, then just limit expectation.

Issue Three: Facebook Versus Conservatives.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact is that we have evidence of them blacklisting, in a lot of cases, conservative news.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Facebook is the popular social media website used by hundreds of millions of people every day. But Facebook is censoring conservative news, so says Michael Nunez, editor of technology news website Gizmodo.

In a report this week, Mr. Nunez outlines claims by former Facebook employees that Facebook news curators blocked conservative news events, such as the annual CPAC conference, from appearing on newsfeeds.

"This is notable," says Mr. Nunez, "because Facebook asserts that its newsfeed is operated under impartial computer algorithms, not human editors."

And while Facebook denies this, to some, this report is further evidence of media bias towards liberals and against conservatives.


MCLAUGHLIN: Is Facebook not only anti-conservative, but pro-progressive, in the news articles it claims are trending? I ask you, Tom Rogan.

ROGAN: Yes, but I mean, the media has manifested bias towards liberalism inherently. I mean, most journalists -- Jake Tapper, I think, who’s actually one of the finest -- he used to work, I think, for The Salon – he is probably liberal, but I think he’s an exceptional journalist -- was at, they had a Newseum event -- and the essential consensus from a lot of the journalists is like, yes, White House correspondents, they had a poll there, are quiet, you know, silent poll, there is inherent bias. But the way to deal with bias is to --


CLIFT: Some of the most popular -- the most popular cable station is FOX. It’s got a bias towards conservatives.

ROGAN: That’s true.

CLIFT: MSNBC has a former Republican congressman with a "Morning Joe" show that’s very popular.

ROGAN: It’s true.

CLIFT: I think the show is biased towards the right.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor --

CLIFT: You know, you want the whole world?

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, you hurt me.

CLIFT: You know, deal with it.

ROGAN: No, I don’t -- but that’s -- you deal with it and you have more --

CLIFT: "Wall Street Journal" editorial page is very conservative, you know?

ROGAN: So is "The New York Times" editorial page.

BUCHANAN: And, Eleanor, you got "The Times" and "The Post" and ABC and NBC and CBS --

CLIFT: I wish, I wish. I don’t think that’s the case.

BUCHANAN: Mr. Agnew said this 50 years ago, and it’s been true ever since.

PAGE: Where is he now?


BUCHANAN: Where we’re all going to be.

PAGE: Thank you.

But, I mean, this is always a great circular argument in this wonderful land of ours --

MCLAUGHLIN: You mean Chicago?

PAGE: -- with free press.

MCLAUGHLIN: The wonderful land of ours.

PAGE: I mean, the United States of America, John.

The thing is, a professional journalist should not reveal his or her biases.

BUCHANAN: Let me ask you, White House --

PAGE: Everybody is going to suspect --

BUCHANAN: White House correspondents dinner, do you think that would be -- tend to be more liberal dinner, or more right wing dinner?



PAGE: Let’s say there were people up on the stage from FOX News as well. I mean --


ROGAN: Can we give you a shout-out to Eleanor’s reporting for "The Daily Beast." You read -- I mean, honestly, you read to Eleanor’s article in "The Daily Beast", you very rarely can get an idea of her political viewpoint.

PAGE: Well, we’re following the Europeans in that sense.

CLIFT: Journalism is a craft, you know?

PAGE: We’re following Europeans in that sense, because about 100 years, we believe in objectivity in this country almost religiously. The fact is, that’s going by the wayside now. And I think FOX News led the way.

I’m not saying it’s necessarily bad. You know, some people say it’s better to have your biases right up on front, up front in your media --

ROGAN: That’s why everyone loves this show, because it’s reporting blended with it.


BUCHANAN: FOX News -- FOX News followed, Clarence. The reason they created FOX News is because the whole thing was the other day.

PAGE: That’s what Roger Ailes says. That’s what he claims.

BUCHANAN: That’s why it stands out.

PAGE: It was ingenious marketing on his part, but that was a claim. It gave him a great excuse to be far more biased to the right, explicitly so, while the regular media were trying -- still trying hard to look objective.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, he’s so good at diagnosing that trend (ph).

If Donald Trump wins the presidency, will Mark Zuckerberg use Facebook to try to undermine the White House? You got it?

BUCHANAN: Look, if Donald Trump -- if Donald Trump wins the presidency, he’s going to have a hard time from left wing journalists, yes.


CLIFT: No. Mark Zuckerberg has a very popular site. It’s not based on political bias one way or the other.

ROGAN: No, most people on Facebook are more interested in what their friends are doing that evening.


PAGE: Yes, it’s like the story about most important part of the car is the nut behind the wheel. It’s the people who are putting data or information onto Facebook that have the biases, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

MCLAUGHLIN: I think the question is self-answering.


MCLAUGHLIN: So I’m actually going to leave it alone.


MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: Legacy and Hiroshima.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): August 6th, 1945, on the order from President Harry Truman, the crew of the Enola Gay drops an atomic bomb. Their target: the militarily command city of Hiroshima. At least 70,000 people were killed, and tens of thousands more wounded.

Three days later, another atomic bomb was used against the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Shortly thereafter, Japan surrendered, thus ending the Second World War.

In the wreckage of Hiroshima, great controversy was born. Since then, historians have debated the moral and political import of President Truman’s actions.

And this month is the first visit by a sitting president. Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima and address the Japanese people. The White House insists that President Obama won’t apologize for the U.S. bombings. Still, some believe the president’s visit will signify U.S. regret for what occurred there for nearly 71 years ago.


MCLAUGHLIN: Question: is this visit a good idea, Tom Rogan?

ROGAN: No, I think it’s a very bad idea, and for a simple reason is that, the president, if he was going to go should have explicitly said it was the right thing to do for Harry Truman. And the fact he’s going and hedging and not apologizing means that it will be perceived around the world as a sort of apology, and the reason I think that is especially matters is that it’s unpleasant for the men and women of the U.S. military who had expected their commander in chief through history and the total war that was a Second World War, to take a firm stand, and it’s basic military --


CLIFT: It’s an excellent decision to go ahead with this trip and it’s long overdue. It underscores this president’s and this country’s commitment to no further spread of nuclear weapons and it acknowledges a terrible in Japan’s history and our history. He’s not going to relitigate it. He’s not going to, you know, explain the decision. He may put it in some context.

This is not an apology. He has a very strong -- has forged very strong relationship with the Japanese. I think this is actually a beautiful moment that countries who were at war can come together.

BUCHANAN: John, your film --

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, here are a couple of recent examples of President Obama apologizing for the actions of his predecessors. This year in Argentina, he apologized for U.S. involvement with the military junta in 1970s and 1980s.

Has he ever apologized for the U.S. in front a multilateral body? Yes, indeed. He apologized for the U.S., quote, "dictating" to the G20, and he also made a global apology for the war on terror.

PAGE: Did he use the word "apology"?

BUCHANAN: He’s not going to apologize at Hiroshima, John. But let me say this --

MCLAUGHLIN: Dictating is the word they used.

PAGE: But they used the word "apology".

MCLAUGHLIN: It was in the context of a clear apology.

PAGE: Well, context, John. That’s not good enough.


PAGE: The right has been accusing Obama repeatedly of apologies that he never delivered. Now, just because he tried to clarify or established policy, it doesn’t mean it’s an apology. But remember, you talk about a president with a lot of enemies out there who want to mischaracterize the way he treats history.

MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on, please. Hold on.


BUCHANAN: You had film up there. You had Douglas McArthur on the Missouri shaking hands with Jonathan Wainwright, who was tortured, who was captured in the Philippines.

Obama is not going to apologize at Hiroshima, but Douglas McArthur opposed -- after the fact, said, I would have opposed that, so did other generals. And, frankly, I’d wish they drop the first atomic bomb at the end of Tokyo Bay, as a demonstration of what’s going to happen, before you dropped it on that defenseless city.


BUCHANAN: Sure you did.


ROGAN: No, they were not confident in there.

PAGE: They were afraid they would be accused of bluffing. That’s why they want to be as dramatic as they could.

ROGAN: And the invasion operations were very much --


BUCHANAN: Well, that’s the moral argument.

ROGAN: Get it done.

PAGE: I don’t oppose that.

ROGAN: The psychological impact --


BUCHANAN: How many are allowed to slaughter? How many tens, hundreds of thousands are you allowed to slaughter to prevent an invasion which more, even more may die. Can you just kill, directly kill at random, morally?

ROGAN: No, but how many would -- what was the military assessments of casualties and invading the mainland, were hundreds of thousands.

CLIFT: Yes, but this is fine after the fact and there’s no perfect answer. And so, he is not going to go back over that ground. But to go there and to acknowledge America’s role and then ask the world to accept this country as a leader in non-proliferation so this never happens again.

MCLAUGHLIN: Forced prediction: will Donald Trump pick Newt Gingrich as his running mate, yes or no?

BUCHANAN: Possible, but I say no.