The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Presidential Campaign / Gary Johnson and Third Party / Fighting Zika Virus

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, June 3, 2016
Broadcast: Weekend of June 3-5, 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: Tracking the Trail.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step away right there. Right there.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Avoiding protesters, Mr. Sanders renewed his efforts to win next Tuesday’s California Democratic primary. But Bernie’s bullish behavior is attracting ire from those who want him to endorse Hillary Clinton before July’s Democratic Party Convention.

And note this:

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But what I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he’s a sleaze in my book. You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well.

MCLAUGHLIN: Never one to be left out of a news cycle, Mr. Trump this week claimed unfair reporting on his veterans fundraising efforts. But, Mr. Trump also faced new pressure with court documents shining his now closed Trump University in an unenviable light. That lawsuit is one of 3,500 involving Mr. Trump during his career.

Finally, Mrs. Clinton this week brushed aside a State Department report that heavily criticized her email practices as secretary of state.

Instead, the former first lady labeled Donald Trump in rather unsympathetic terms.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.


MCLAUGHLIN: Question: what’s up on the trail? I would point out that Hillary Clinton is still struggling to defeat Bernie Sanders, while Donald Trump has locked up his nomination. Who expected that outcome six months ago, Patrick?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: Here’s the situation: everybody expected Hillary Clinton to win. I don’t know if they expected Bernie to be a strong as he is right now.

Here’s the situation: Hillary got hammered with an I.G. report from State. Hillary could lose, conceivably, the California primary to Bernie. And also, you’ve got the FBI primary coming up, which if she is indicted, it’s all over.

But let’s assume she gets through that. She’s looking very strong as the Democratic nominee, eventually by the end of July, Bernie’s going to be behind her, and they’re going to have a united party I believe. And she has an electoral advantage and a demographic advantage for the Democratic Party. So, if she can get through what she’s got right in front of her, she could be the favorite.

Now, Trump, I think is the candidate of change. He’s running in polls. Nobody believed he would be tied with Hillary Clinton now, but they are clearly, they’ve got problems in terms of bringing this party together, getting surrogates behind him, uniting and focusing on his winning issues, which are trade and immigration, and a new "America first" foreign policy.

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: Way to go, Pat. I like the part where you talk about Hillary Clinton being strong for the general election, because I think the general election campaign essentially kicked off this week.

The speech that Clinton delivered in San Diego, a foreign policy speech, it was a political speech. And she said what many Americans have been saying, and what a lot of Republicans have been saying, is that Donald Trump is not fit for the presidency, and you don’t want him anywhere near the nuclear codes.

It’s a very effective speech. She’s finally got off the mat. She’s in the ring, and this is a critical time, because people’s attitudes really start to crystallize now. You can’t wait until the convention.

And as for Trump, he’s feeling the heat this week. The media finally has made the turn. He’s getting a lot of pressure about his business dealings and his temperament. And so, hey, we’re off to the races.

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/OPPORTUNITY LIVES: Yes, it’s been a very interesting week.

I would disagree with Eleanor and Pat on the point of Bernie and Hillary though. I actually think those tensions there are really significant, behind the scenes. And I think you see that in Bernie Sanders’ anger in interviews, very visible, and his supporters, in terms of how they are rejecting the Clinton campaign.

The question is, does she have the charisma and unity and will she give enough to Bernie in terms of ground moving towards the left to get that?

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Well, they say -- they say they’re angry at Hillary and rejecting her campaign, but they said the same thing eight years ago when Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the end of a very long, drawn out primary process. And it turned out, once we got another general election, that both sides returned to their usual corners --


PAGE: And I think people came back home.

BUCHANAN: Clarence is right. Look, I think Trump will unite the Democratic Party and Democratic base.

PAGE: No doubt about it.

BUCHANAN: And Hillary will unite the Republicans.

ROGAN: Right.

PAGE: That’s right.


BUCHANAN: And what we’re going to do is we’re going to be between the 45-yard line, each, is where this is going to be won, if somebody can get 51 or 52. But I think that’s where we’re headed in a very polarized election.

CLIFT: It’s a very competitive race on the Democratic side. But eventually, there’s a winner and there’s a second place finisher. And I think Bernie Sanders is going to recognize that.

PAGE: All the current polls don’t reflect Hillary Clinton’s speech. I think that’s going to have a big effect on California voters.

ROGAN: We’ll see, we’ll see.

CLIFT: Well, Jerry Brown’s endorsement in California, I mean, he’s king of the hill in California.

ROGAN: Let me get in here, Pat. There is a risk, though, I think. And this is important. If you look at those statistics with Trump and the polling data, not just the national level, but are higher with Pennsylvania, and also what we saw in San Jose this week, with those protests against Trump, that is going to have a big impact. I think with the Republican people like me who see that, who don’t like Trump, who’s gong to see that and say, you know what, I’m voting for Trump just because I’m mad with them.

BUCHANAN: Clarence, if you saw what happened if the Trump rally, that woman back up against the fence with this crowd all over, throwing eggs at her, waving Mexican flags, if Trump picks that up and turns that around and says, this is a Sanders/Clinton operation, they’re doing it at everyone of my -- and they ought to apologize for it and tell them to stop, I think he’s got a real issue, just like ’68.


BUCHANAN: You were there in ’68.

CLIFT: Instead, he picks up on it by going after the judge in the Trump U case and noting that he’s Mexican. He’s born in Indiana.

So, you know, there are ways to exploit that issue that are going to backfire.

PAGE: Trump has ways of stepping on his own message, which is what happened there and it’s happened before. The fact is that these violent outbursts are terrible, but Trump doesn’t do anything to discourage them.

MCLAUGHLIN: Question for the gentlemen on my left -- who has more credibility, Trump or the media attacking him?

ROGAN: Well, Trump in terms of the populism. Look, there is a media bias against Trump. But there is also a reporting element that he doesn’t like because he has authoritarian tendencies.

One of the things that is difficult I think is that you see -- and the best example would be the email situation. As I was speaking to a young platoon commander today and he was talking about how his guys, these soldiers, why they like Trump, because he says how it is.

And if you look at Hillary Clinton’s email situation, with the classified material in there and says it wasn’t marked, but also with how the media has reported on what is a counterintelligence scope investigation by the FBI, there was a bias that is very well -- and it angers people.


CLIFT: No, bias is in the eye of the beholder. Anybody who thinks Hillary Clinton hasn’t been scrutinized hasn’t been awake for the last 30 years.

ROGAN: What about the FBI investigation? Do you think the media is reporting it seriously?


PAGE: The FBI hasn’t reported --


BUCHANAN: Trump’s all-out attack on the media this week and pulling it out, naming individuals, you really got a sense of real collective hostility on the part of the media in that conference where Trump -- and Trump had a point. The guy raises 5.6 million bucks or whatever it is for the vets and he’s vetting all these things and it’s going slowly and they’re attacking the guy for something he did well.


PAGE: Because he didn’t turn over most of the money for after the media reporting there.

BUCHANAN: What are you knocking the guy for?

PAGE: Trump is a crybaby, Pat. He’s a big crybaby.

BUCHANAN: What is the media raised by $5.6 million.

PAGE: I do all this nice stuff for these veterans and the media give this bad coverage. Of course, it’s bad coverage.


PAGE: He said he’d raise $6 million and then he later, I never said, when he’s right on videotape.

BUCHANAN: He’s raised $5.5 million or something.

PAGE: He comes up with $4 million overnight after the news report comes out, and then he says I was going to do that anyway.

BUCHANAN: He came up with it, didn’t he?

PAGE: He’s a crybaby.

CLIFT: He came up with it when the glare of publicity was turned on him. And if you’re going to run for president, you release --


CLIFT: Excuse me, please. You release your income tax returns.

MCLAUGHLIN: I don’t know where this --

CLIFT: Every president in modern times has released their income tax returns. He has refused to do that. Is that media bias to keep on him for that?

BUCHANAN: No. Good for him, telling the media where to go.


MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Let me -- let me quote some polls.

CLIFT: Well, good for the media telling him where to go.

PAGE: Thank you.

MCLAUGHLIN: Let me post some polls here. Post and quote.

Who has more credibility, Trump or the media attacking him?

BUCHANAN: Depends on who you ask.

CLIFT: Yes, that’s right.

PAGE: Which media.

MCLAUGHLIN: Hold your tongue.

An API poll this spring found only 6 percent of Americans have a lot of confidence in the press. In a new Rasmussen poll this week, 30 percent say Trump is more honest than more politicians.

CLIFT: I think a lot of people have been disappointed in the media for letting Trump get this far and not scrutinizing him. And beating up on the media has a time-honored history here. Spiro Agnew --


CLIFT: -- made a career on that before he went to jail.


PAGE: Nattering nabobs of negativism.

ROGAN: People know what Trump is like. We’ve seen him every day. And people like it.

PAGE: They’re learning more, I mean --

BUCHANAN: Whatever you said, Clarence, I think people say about Trump. You may not like the guy and he shouldn’t be saying it, but he speaks his mind.

PAGE: So do I.

BUCHANAN: I think a press calling itself objective is ridiculous.

PAGE: I’m waiting for the Kanye West campaign in 2020. He speaks his mind, too. I mean, that’s kind of what Trump is like. He’s a showman, but he doesn’t know anything. He was asked about Brexit and he hemmed and hawed like he never heard it before.

BUCHANAN: You speak -- you speak for the media right now.

MCLAUGHLIN: Who’s ahead, Trump or Hillary?

BUCHANAN: Now, it’s about dead even, but if you look down the road --

CLIFT: We don’t elect on national vote. Just ask Al Gore about that. He would have been president. He won 5 million more votes than --

BUCHANAN: But I think you’re going to wait until after the convention. But there’s no question --

CLIFT: Hillary’s the favorite.

BUCHANAN: -- Trump’s got problems he’s got to deal with and Hillary’s got problem she’s got to deal with. And the key thing is this, if Hillary gets by the FBI thing and gets into this convention and out of it, I think she’s -- I mean, the Democratic Party would probably be favored generally.

CLIFT: If Donald Trump gets by this Trump University thing.



CLIFT: The Democrats do have a structural advantage. So, Hillary Clinton, by whatever measure you have, is the favorite. It doesn’t mean she’s guaranteed to win, but she is the favorite.

ROGAN: If she cannot unify the Bernie people and if Trump really does have that statistical advantage you see and growing in Pennsylvania and Ohio with the Reagan Democrats actually returning to the fold, that’s how we win.


PAGE: Yes, there are lot of ifs in there, you know?

ROGAN: This is the campaign event.

PAGE: That’s why this is fun to cover because there are a lot ifs out there.

BUCHANAN: You know, the FBI report comes in like the IG report from the State Department, Hillary could have real, real problems. An indictment, and you’ll be looking at Biden.

PAGE: If the FBI cannot find that she intended to breach national security, there isn’t much of the story.

CLIFT: I don’t believe she will be indicted. But you keep throwing it out there, as though it were a certainty.

MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: is this going to be a pocketbook election or a foreign policy election? Pat Buchanan?

BUCHANAN: I think it’s going to be more a pocketbook election. But clearly, Hillary feels because of the polls and because of others, the press attacking Trump on foreign policy, she feels that’s a good position for her to be on and in. And she may be right.

But Trump will try to move it back to jobs and I think he will. Jobs and the economy.

CLIFT: I think national elections are always bread and butter elections, but I wouldn’t count Hillary out on that score either.

ROGAN: Unpredictability. Jobs report was bad, ISIS threat is growing, Hillary is in the lead at the moment. But everything could change and I think it may well.

PAGE: I think on the nose. but our allies have been pushing ISIS back recently, and I think -- you know, unless the situation changes, you got the fabled terror attack that frightens everybody into voting for Trump, I think it actually looks good for Hillary right now.

ROGAN: There was one in Germany.

PAGE: Yes. I mean, it had to be a real heck of an attack if they want to turn to Donald Trump for help when he doesn’t seem to know that you couldn’t drop a nuke in Europe. But he’s talking about -- I mean, the man’s lack of knowledge is truly astounding, and yet, he keeps getting ahead.



BUCHANAN: They must not believe the press.


PAGE: Yes. Well, you know, there’s nothing new about that, Pat. But the press is a pretty big institution. But the fact is the press keeps coming up with facts about Donald Trump and --


BUCHANAN: Why isn’t the press believed then? Why doesn’t the press believed?

PAGE: He’s talking about opinion. What?

BUCHANAN: Why isn’t the press believed?

PAGE: Why isn’t Trump’s core growing more than it has been?

BUCHANAN: He’s running even for president of the United States.


CLIFT: Yes, we don’t elect nationally though.

PAGE: Yes, that’s because he’s clinched his nomination while Hillary Clinton is still in that process right now. But wait a few months.

MCLAUGHLIN: Do you realize she’s been in the White House – well, let’s see. She was in for two terms.

BUCHANAN: Eight years.

PAGE: Right, as first lady.

MCLAUGHLIN: As first lady. She left the White House and she took a job as --

CLIFT: She was elected senator of New York.

MCLAUGHLIN: That’s a job.

ROGAN: Right.

MCLAUGHLIN: She took that job, United States senator from New York.

PAGE: Right.

MCLAUGHLIN: So, that’s a lot of experience right there.

PAGE: Yes, what a shame. He’s got whole that experience, right? Let’s go for somebody with no experience in government. That’s what Trump is campaigning on.

BUCHANAN: Like Barack Obama?

CLIFT: I think John is heading toward something nice about Hillary actually.

PAGE: Oh my goodness. Go right ahead.

MCLAUGHLIN: I’d say she’s a quick study.

ROGAN: Let’s go another issue, John.


MCLAUGHLIN: You know, her experience is unexcelled, I’d say.


MCLAUGHLIN: In modern history.

ROGAN: But this is an election where experience can be a negative, right?

MCLAUGHLIN: No, I don’t know about that.

Issue Two: Gary’s Gambit.



MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): North Dakota native and Republican governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president of the United States.

Mr. Johnson is no newcomer to presidential politics. In 2012, he won just under 1 percent of the national vote, as Libertarian Party nominee. But this year, Mr. Johnson, aged 63, has set his sights far higher. Perceiving voter disillusionment with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, Mr. Johnson believes the game is afoot. And polls taken this month suggest Mr. Johnson has -- get this - the support of 10 percent of likely voters.

What does Mr. Johnson stand for?

Well, he supports massive reductions in federal spending, unrestricted abortion rights, privatizing social security, expanded school vouchers, free trade, a path way to citizenship for illegal immigrants, relaxed narcotics laws, and a foreign policy disentangled from the world.


MCLAUGHLIN: You got the picture?

PAGE: Yes.


MCLAUGHLIN: Assess Gary’s gambit.

PAGE: Well, I think, what, 10 percent support already, it’s hard for anybody knows who he is. He’s off to a very interesting start here right now, especially for Republicans who are frustrated. And for that matter, some Democrats who are frustrated by the choices that they’ve got right now.

CLIFT: Yes, these are two Republican governors. He’s got former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as his running mate. They both were successful governors. I think there’s an absence, certainly at the top in terms of the commander in chief quality. I mean, Garry Johnson is known mostly for wanting to legalize marijuana.

But I think they are two smart people. They’ve got ballot access in all 50 states and they’re a nice landing sport for people who really can’t vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Their messages were not Trump and were not Hillary. So, that could be a strong message this year.

MCLAUGHLIN: Whose he’s drawing key votes away from?

CLIFT: I think he would take more from the Republicans. Yes.

ROGAN: Here’s the problem for --


MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is Hillary.

ROGAN: Yes. But, John --

PAGE: Why is that?

CLIFT: Why is that?

ROGAN: Well, because if Bernie Sanders, if Hillary cannot unify the Bernie Sanders young people onto her ticket, they will never go for Trump, that’s true. Well, they wouldn’t like to go to Trump. But they will potentially go for Johnson and how that then has the impact of being like a third party Democratic Party that severs away --

PAGE: But Republicans are more Libertarian Party, so that’s why I think --

ROGAN: But the young people won’t vote for Trump.

BUCHANAN: But when John Anderson left the Republican Party in 1980 and broke away, it came --

PAGE: A moderate.

BUCHANAN: Yes. But his vote came from Carter, it turned out, much more than it did from Reagan.

PAGE: Right.

BUCHANAN: And Carter came down. And these guys, I mean, their views on abortion, their views on marijuana and things like that are very -- to the left, they’re very consistent with the basis of the Democratic Party.

I think it’s too early to say who they’re going to draw from. They’re charismatically challenged is one of their problems.

CLIFT: Right.


BUCHANAN: You know, I watched the two of them, I thought you’re entering a funeral parlor and these are guys who tell you which room to go to, you know?


BUCHANAN: So, I think they’ve got that problem. But I think they’re going to diminish these third parties -- having been one, you could be up there and --



BUCHANAN: And the longer you go on, and the question is, do they get in the debates? And if they don’t get in the debates --

CLIFT: Yes. And they have to get up to 15 percent in several polls to get into the debates.

BUCHANAN: And they don’t look 15 percent to me.

CLIFT: And the Libertarian ticket got 1 percent in the last election. So, yes, it doesn’t look that promising to me.

MCLAUGHLIN: Who is David French and what impact will his candidacy have?

BUCHANAN: He’s Bill Kristol’s candidate and national review I think and "The Weekly Standard". He’s a very nice fellow. He’s a writer for "The National Review". Nobody knows who he is. I don’t know that he’s fully committed himself to do this.


BUCHANAN: And Kristol is making himself look ridiculous.


CLIFT: It was a big nothing burger after a lot of tweets about he was going to produce this super credible candidate.


BUCHANAN: Well, I mean --

MCLAUGHLIN: You know what the movement is?

ROGAN: Never Trump.

MCLAUGHLIN: Never Trump. How did you know that?

BUCHANAN: He didn’t start it. He joined it. I mean, French joined it. He didn’t start it.

ROGAN: No, but he’s --

MCLAUGHLIN: I’m talking Bill Kristol.

BUCHANAN: How did that work out?


CLIFT: Not very well.

PAGE: That’s the problem. I mean, French is a very attractive candidate, except nobody knows who he is.


BUCHANAN: He’s a good candidate for Congress, but for president of the United States?

ROGAN: And that might be what it is, Tennessee, right? That you might consider --

MCLAUGHLIN: Will he draw about as many as the Green Party. The Green Party?

CLIFT: No, first --

PAGE: Green Party is better known than he is. I mean --


CLIFT: They’re not on the ballot anywhere.

BUCHANAN: No, and all these deadlines are passing.

CLIFT: Exactly.

BUCHANAN: You can’t get on in Texas. You only needed about 100,000 signatures.

CLIFT: Or Illinois. He can’t get on Illinois.

ROGAN: Look, he’s a very decent man, a combat veteran. But I think it will ultimately, I think Gary Johnson will have much more of formative impact on the outcome of the race.

CLIFT: If Gary Johnson were a combat veteran, he’d be Kristol’s choice. I mean, Kristol really wants the military component.

ROGAN: That’s --

PAGE: Besides that, not having -- but being on the ballot on all 50 states is a big plus for the Libertarians.

As you know, Pat, it’s very hard to get on the ballot in any of these states.

BUCHANAN: It sure is.

PAGE: There’s very little time left.

MCLAUGHLIN: Will Donald Trump win over conservative Republicans at the convention? Yes or no?

BUCHANAN: Paul Ryan came aboard. The whole House leadership is aboard. The Senate leadership is aboard. I think Trump has done a good job of uniting the party. What he’s got to do is bring it together in terms of enthusiasm and all moving together like a great army, and it’s not there yet.

CLIFT: Yes. No, a lot of the senators, they were running in states that Obama carried. They’ll say they support the nominee. They don’t even like to mention his name. There’s a lot of uneasiness in the Republican Party. They don’t know whether he’s going to be leading them over the cliff, or maybe they’ve stumbled on to a winner. They’re not sure.

And so, everybody’s kind of straddling the fences now.

ROGAN: Very quickly. As a unity ticket, Donald Trump’s best ally manifestly is the far left of the American political spectrum, in the sense that that kind of violence, that makes the Republicans say, you know what? I’m going to vote for Trump.

PAGE: Just like Hillary Clinton’s best ally is Donald Trump and the fright he puts into a lot of swing voters out there. But yes, we are in a situation where both choices are somewhat problematic. But in the past, the most unified party tends to be the one that wins. In this case, Democrats and Republicans at this point, each has some disunity in different ways.

I would suspect the Democrats have a better chance of pulling itself together.

CLIFT: And it’s really devolved into a personality contest. But for people who don’t like Donald Trump, who don’t like Hillary Clinton, just look at what issue do you care about? The issue distance between the two parties has never been greater. Climate change, reproductive rights, guns. You know, I’m sure the Buchanan brigades are on one side and I would be on the other. But that should make a vote very easy for anybody in November.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: Mobilizing Against Mosquitoes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: WHO’s response to the concern about the timing of Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is that, based on a very careful risk assessment and all the information we’ve gathered so far about this disease, these games should go ahead as planned and we should continue to work to make sure they’re safe as possible.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): One hundred and fifty scientists asked for this summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil to be delayed or relocated. Why? The Zika virus.

The World Health Organization said no. Still Zika, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes birth defects, has afflicted many South Americans and experts fear that this summer, it may spread to the U.S.

But note this: the U.S. Department of Agriculture has come up with a new plan, to use school students as intelligence officers in the war on Zika. Speaking to "The Associated Press" last month, the USDA’s Lee Cohnstaedt outlined how schools could assign students to monitor mosquitoes and send their data to the USDA.

Cohnstaedt says that parents should not be afraid because testing for mosquito presence does not attract the insects. Students are simply directed to put brown paper towels into water-filled dark colored cups. A week later, the students dry the towel and search for mosquito eggs, which, quote-unquote, "look like tiny specks of dirt".


MCLAUGHLIN: Question: should we enlist students to fight the Zika virus? I ask you, Tom Rogan.

ROGAN: Yes. I think we should for two reasons. Number one, there isn’t that risk and it engages students in the importance of scientific research, helps the country and it’s something fun that they can get involved in.

And number two, actually, if you look at the president’s budget request, it’s a good example of I would say of liberal governance gone wild, in the sense that there are some things that are very good, and Republicans should pass the spending. But there is a lot in that fact sheet and I would say to the viewers, John, don’t take my word for it, go and look at it.

A lot of repetitive things that -- double-sided programs that they could just do in one, tens of millions for PR programs, hundreds of millions for sending people out to monitor certain mosquitoes. It is overloaded and it is overblown. And if we can reduce cost and have an educational benefit, we should.

MCLAUGHLIN: They have to empty those cups on time before mosquitoes can breed. There will be seven who forget, seven. There are approximately 20 million students age 12 to 18 in the U.S. education system. If 10 million participate, we are creating 10 million mosquito breeding pools.

CLIFT: That’s not --

MCLAUGHLIN: At least emptied.


MCLAUGHLIN: That doesn’t like --

CLIFT: No, science teachers across the country are excited about this. There’s no danger. The mosquitoes are already there. They’re just trying to get more information where this particular kind of mosquito is that breads the Zika disease. It’s called -- the social scientists would call it "social cohesion", getting the country involved in fighting this.

But there are many other aspects to fighting Zika and, frankly, you know, the CDC is a responsible agency. And to sit there and nitpick what they are asking for and to use that as justification for the Congress to sit on this -- you’ve got the governor of Florida in a total panic. He’s got some 340 cases of women with Zika, many of them pregnant, and he hasn’t gotten any of the help through.

He’s personally lobbied his fellow Republicans on the Hill. He’s written a letter to the president. I mean, this is a possible looming crisis that we can do something about.

BUCHANAN: But, you know, Tom’s point is well-taken there. Every time -- everybody agrees of emergency legislation, showing up, they pile all these garbage in there that they’ve always wanted, that is irrelevant to the real issue. Secondly, you’ve got a real problem because Republicans are rightly saying, look, you’ve got $1 billion or $2 billion, where are the offsets so we don’t damage the deficit?

So, everybody said, look, it’s emergency, emergency, just pile it on to the deficit. It’s how we get into other problems.


CLIFT: Much bigger problem that you have to deal with, with all the health after-effects if this crisis goes unattended to. Frankly, I have more respect for the scientists of CDC, knowing what they need than kneejerk reaction to governing spending.

BUCHANAN: Do you think they’re going to be spending a billion and $2 billion in the next couple of months -- you’re going to try to spend that to stop a bunch of mosquitoes?

PAGE: Well, we should give due diligence to whatever spending is being authorized here. But on the flip side, by mid-summer, we can have a real panic across this country, and people saying, why didn’t somebody do something sooner?

MCLAUGHLIN: Forced prediction: will the House of Representatives initiate impeachment proceedings against IRS Commissioner Koskinen this summer?


BUCHANAN: Probably.

CLIFT: So what?



MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is yes.