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The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Reagan Cancer Scare / Predicting Senate Election Results

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host
Fred Barnes, The Republic
Robert Novak, Chicago Sun Times
Jack Germond, Baltimore Evening Sun
Morton Kondracke, Newsweek

Originally Aired in 1985
Broadcast: Weekend of August 19-21, 2016

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ANNOUNCER: From the nation's capital, THE MCLAUGHIN GROUP, an unrehearsed program presenting inside opinions and forecasts on major issues of the day, sponsored in part by Edison Electric Institute, the Association of Electric Companies, and by Northrop Corporation. Northrop, making advanced technology work.

Here's the moderator, John McLaughlin, Washington executive editor of ‘The National Review".

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, MODERATOR: Issue One: The Big C.

President Reagan this week had a cancer scare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. STEVEN ROSENBERG, NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE: There is no evidence in the president's case that this cancer has spread. I think the chances are excellent that this tumor will not recur again. I would certainly think that the president chances of being completely cured, that is never again having any evidence of this tumor appear during his normal life span, is greater than 50 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: The doctor said that Mr. Reagan’s recovery was, quote-unquote, "spectacular", and there was every reason to believe this to be literally true.

What effect will this cancer surgery have on Ronald Reagan's presidency?

Fred Barnes?

FRED BARNES, THE REPUBLIC: John, it was not a cancer scare. He really did have cancer. I think he's going to bounce back with real vigor and good humor and he'll be out chopping wood and riding his horse next month in California and his popularity will go up.

But popularity isn't the problem in Ronald Reagan -- in his second term. What he needs is a successful legislative strategy. That's not changed at all. The popularity going from 66 percent to 76 percent doesn't give him that kind of a strategy.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK.

BARNES: He can exploit his popularity.

MCLAUGHLIN: All right, Fred. We got your point.

(LAUGHTER)

BARNES: I’ll give it to you again.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

ROBERT NOVAK, CHICAGO SUN TIMES: John, this may come as a great shock to you, but before this cancer was discovered, the Reagan presidency was going downhill at a frightful pace. It was in severe trouble on all fronts and the psychological boost this may give it really doesn't solve the basic problems of whether the president is going to get back to Reaganism on foreign policy and domestic policy, and solve some of the internal problems in the White House.

MCLAUGHLIN: Jack Germond?

JACK GERMOND, BALTIMORE EVENING SUN: Well, the illness caused a little short term problem because it takes some time away. In the long run, I think will have no effect. The notion that an enhanced popularity would affect his prospects in the second term is based on a misapprehension about what happened in ’81. He did not get his program through because of the favorable reaction the way he behaved after the assassination. He got it through because people wanted it to work and there were a majority for it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Morton Kondracke?

MORTON KONDRACKE, NEWSWEEK: I think that his chances of surviving are better than Dr. Rosenberg said.

MCLAUGHLIN: Thank you, Dr. Kondracke.

(CROSSTALK)

BARNES: Dartmouth Medical School.

KONDRACKE: It's not me.

MCLAUGHLIN: You don't mean surviving. You mean that there will be no reoccurrence.

KONDRACKE: That's right.

NOVAK: Straight from the medical department of "Newsweek".

KONDRACKE: Would you stop?

Some of the other doctors say that the chances are, in fact, eighty to ninety percent because it -- the cancer was not as pervasive as even Dr. Rosenberg has suggested.

Now, Reagan is coming back gallantly. I think everybody -- you know everybody's -- he’s got the support of the country.

As to whether it helps his program or not depends on whether he harnesses his popularity to those programs and goes up tries to sell them. I think --

(CROSSTALK)

BARNES: There's no indication -- wait a minute, what happened last week, Mort? What happened was Reagan couldn't even knock down a filibuster against the line item veto while he was in the hospital at the peak of his popularity.

MCLAUGHLIN: 1984 -- let’s go in sequence here. 1984, the president had an examination and a polyp was removed, and the doctors didn't give him a complete examination, and that was a campaign year.

Do any of you think that this was due to political mischief?

GERMOND: No, absolutely not, because as many people have observed, Mrs. Reagan wouldn’t have allowed that to happen on a hundred years.

KONDRACKE: And furthermore, if they had any thought that there was a cancer there, they would have done the examination in December or January, not waited until July.

MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Let me ask you this question, R. Novak, back from Spain, where you were not good, we're happy to see I guess by a bull.

(LAUGHTER)

GERMOND: The vote on that was 3-2.

(LAUGHTER)

KONDRACKE: Too bad.

MCLAUGHLIN: The question has been raised as to whether or not the press is exploring the physical details of this, the anatomical details, with excessive scrutiny. And do we get into a question of Reagan's privacy versus the public right to know, and where do you come down on it?

NOVAK: No, we don't get to that question. But this is deja vu. When I was a much younger person, we went all through this with President Eisenhower's ileitis which is really a grimy subject, and we went through all this privacy.

There's no privacy when a president is concerned and I don't think the press --

(CROSSTALK)

KONDRACKE: The benefit of all this is that Ronald Reagan can do for cancer what Dwight Eisenhower did for heart attack.

In the old days, heart attacks used to be, you got a heart attack and you had to retire. You know, you were debilitated. And Eisenhower proved that wasn't so, and now, people are going to get --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: You think that here on in, the press is going to allow Ronald Reagan to govern? I mean by that, are they going to continue to expose -- he goes on it for press conference, he got a band-aid on, can’t you see the series of questions will be asked? Do you remember what they asked John Kennedy when he had a band-aid on, a whole crazy series of questions?

GERMOND: That there are -- I mean, I see where you're getting in your usual irrational way, but the fact of the matter is, there was a legitimate question about the president's health, and despite Dr. Kondracke’s --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I say?

GERMOND: Wait a minute, despite Dr. Kondracke’s blessing, we don't know what -- we don't know whether the president is really escaped this cancer recurring somewhere else, and we're not going to know that for a while. And, of course, he’s going to be watched --

MCLAUGHLIN: Jack, you want to put any limits on the press’s inquiry into this matter? Do you want to put any limits on it? Do you see the press conference that was conducted with Dr. Rosenberg?

GERMOND: I thought those were legitimate questions --

MCLAUGHLIN: Except they repeated themselves again and again and again. Rosenberg was addressing the same question repeatedly.

KONDRACKE: They were exploring. They were exploring the question of whether the president's doctors had had done enough to find the cancer in the beginning, and clearly, they did not.

NOVAK: Can I intrude on this?

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, please?

NOVAK: By the way, I am glad to know that in case I can't get my doctor, I can always go to Kondracke.

(LAUGHTER)

NOVAK: But the truth of the matter is that Eisenhower delegated so much of his duties, that illness really didn't affect him as much as it was another president, and Reagan makes Eisenhower look like a piker in delegation.

So, what we have is a president has very little detail work would, and that's one of the problems I think in the second term. And what we really have that we haven't said is that we have for the first time a real prime minister in the United States, and that's the real political development out of this whole illness.

We’re talking --

MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Quickly.

NOVAK: We're talking about Don Regan, the chief of staff. The question is, has he got too much power? He has no constituency. He has -- is he aggrandizing himself?

You know, when you saw Don Regan talking to the businessmen and pounding the lectern --

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, we’re going to see that. We’re going to see it right on the show.

Who are political beneficiaries of this event?

BARNES: I don't think there really are --

MCLAUGHLIN: George Bush? Jack Kemp?

BARNES: Wait a minute, Jack Kemp --

MCLAUGHLIN: That’s what I say. He’s not a beneficiary, right?

BARNES: He’s not a beneficiary, but George Bush's a loser, and it's because it's the flip side of what Bob was talking about.

As Regan goes up, Bush goes down. Bush should be out in front.

MCLAUGHLIN: Bush is out in front. He’s going to be more --

(CROSSTALK)

BARNES: He’s not out. John, John --

MCLAUGHLIN: What rubbish that George Bush is a loser. What absolute rubbish.

(CROSSTALK)

BARNES: Hey, Morton, let me make one point. John, I know you love Gorge Bush, but he spent five days before he spoke to President Reagan after flying --

NOVAK: A story out in Washington that if you ever get around, John, you would hear from the politicians is that Don Regan wanted the vice president up in Kennebunkport.

BARNES: Exactly.

NOVAK: He didn't want him down here.

MCLAUGHLIN: What about Bob Dole? Is he affected by this? He said some critical things.

GERMOND: This whole idea of winners and losers out of this is nonsense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're right.

GERMOND: It presupposes that people are paying a lot more attention to little nuances, little details. They better not at all.

MCLAUGHLIN: Looking ahead, time walk-wise, to three-and-a-half years from now, as we look back on the Reagan presidency, assuming a total term, will this event appear as a political plus, a political minus, or do you think it will factor out altogether?

Barnes, be brief.

BARNES: Do you remember the Carter operation, John?

MCLAUGHLIN: I don't even remember that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don’t remember Carter.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Factor out. OK, Bob?

NOVAK: Zero.

MCLAUGHLIN: Jack? Zero?

LEMOND: (INAUDIBLE)

KONDRACKE: No, if he harnesses his popularity to his programs --

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: He was popular before.

KONDRACKE: Just quiet.

He is dealing with big C, which has a -- which has a different resonance --

MCLAUGHLIN: Therefore?

KONDRACKE: Therefore, it could be a big plus.

MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Three zeros, two pluses. The pluses have it.

We’ll be right back.

(BREAK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Elephant Hunt.

Democrats are hoping to seize the United States Senate from the Republicans in 15 short months. In November of ’86, the Republicans will have 22 seats up for election, Democrats 12. Republicans now control the Senate 53-47, there being a total of 100 seats important, Morton.

(LAUGHTER)

KONDRACKE: That's right, John. You know it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Let's see now, where are we? We’ll start with 12 Democratic seats that are up and divide them into safe and into unsafe seats. Safe seats are those in which the incumbent will certainly be reelected and which is party or in which his party will certainly retain the seat. Certainty here means that all group members here so concur.

An unsafe seat is one where the opposing party may gain a senator.

Here are the four safe Democratic seats: Connecticut, Christopher Dodd. Hawaii, Daniel Inouye. Kentucky, Wendell Ford. South Carolina, Fritz Hollings.

There are eight Democratic seats that are unsafe -- Arkansas, Dale Bumpers.

Barnes?

BARNES: Bumper stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: It's ridiculously safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Yes, exactly.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Who said that the seat was anything but safe?

GERMOND: You did. You did.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Five stays. Bumper stays.

California, Alan Cranston.

Barnes?

BARNES: He's in a lot of trouble but he stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: All you need is a credible Republican candidate to beat Cranston. But they haven't found him yet.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: I think Cranston will be beaten.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: For a change, Novak is right.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says that Cranston stays. Four stays, one goes, Cranston stays.

Colorado, Gary Hart.

Barnes?

BARNES: He's not going to run, but it stays Democratic with Congressman Tim Wirth winning.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: Ditto on what Fred says.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Republicans will take it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: I think it's a Republican state and it will go Republican.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says stays. Three stays, two goes, Hart or another Democrat keeps that seat.

Illinois, Alan Dixon.

Barnes?

BARNES: Why is he on the list? He's safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Again, it's Kondracke.

Novak?

NOVAK: Kondracke’s folly.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: It’s Dixon all the way.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin stays. Therefore, five stays, Dixon stays.

Louisiana, Russell Long who is vacating the seat.

Barnes?

BARNES: Well, Henson Moore should benefit from disarray among the Democrats and win. It’s a Republican seat, it becomes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: Yes, but it's not -- I go for Moore. But it's going to close race, tough race.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Moore relatively easily.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Moore.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin, that goes Republican. Moore five goes, Long, it becomes a Republican seat.

Missouri, Thomas Eagleton, who is resigning that seat.

Barnes?

BARNES: Goes Republican with former Governor Kit Bond winning.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: That's correct

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Very close, though. Harriet Woods was a very strong candidate for the Democrats.

MCLAUGHLIN: Really?

Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: It's almost a toss up, but I'll give it to Bond.

MCLAUGHLIN: It goes to Bond. Therefore, five – a Republican seat.

Ohio, John Glenn.

Barnes?

BARNES: John Glenn, is this Kondracke again?

MCLAUGHLIN: This is Kondracke again. He’s going to say the case of the jitters --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: You can bet your money on John Glenn.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond stays, Kondracke stays, McLaughlin stays – five stays. Glenn stays, Kondracke.

Vermont, Patrick Leahy.

Barnes?

BARNES: Patrick Leahy stays, unless former Governor Richard Snelling is a Republican opponent.

MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, and what's the likelihood of that?

BARNES: I think Snelling won't run. So I think Leahy stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you're wrong. I think Snelling will run.

Novak?

NOVAK: Snelling will not run. Leahy stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Yes, I agree with him.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: I agree too.

MCLAUGHLIN: Why won't Snelling run?

BARNES: Because he might have lost. He's got that great fear the politicians have -- fear of losing.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says Leahy stays. That's five states for Leahy.

Here are the -- coming up, let's talk about the 22 Republican seats that are up. There are seven Republican seats that are safe. Alaska, Frank Murkowski. Arizona, Barry Goldwater, retiring but Republican congressman, we all agree, John McCain, will hold this seat for the GOP. Iowa, Charles Grassley. Kansas, Robert Dole. Nevada, Paul Laxalt. New Hampshire, Warren Rudman. Utah, Jake Garn.

Anybody want to say anything about those all safe seats?

BARNES: Let me say something about Laxalt.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes?

BARNES: Laxalt doesn't want to run for re-election, but Republicans want him to and they've got Nancy Reagan to prevail on him. And so, he'll probably run for --

MCLAUGHLIN: Very interesting.

There are 15 Republican seats however that are unsafe.

Alabama, Jeremiah Denton. Barnes?

BARNES: He stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: He's – Alabama’s going to have a tough race, but I think he'll stay.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: I think he's gone.

MCLAUGHLIN: You think he's gone.

Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: He's favored, but the economy is very important in Alabama, and also, State Senator Don Siegelman is a tough candidate.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says Denton stays.

GERMOND: Siegelman won’t even win the primary.

MCLAUGHLIN: Four stays, one goes. Denton says.

Florida, Paula Hawkins.

Barnes?

BARNES: No way. She goes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: She cannot do what Jesse Helms did.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: That will turn Democratic.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: The polls are right now 58-29 Bob Graham.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says she goes. Five goes. Sorry, Paula Hawkins goes.

Georgia, Mack Mattingly.

Barnes?

BARNES: He's the luckiest man in politics because the Democrats do not have a good candidate against he stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: The football coach Vince Dooley (ph) is the prime Democratic candidate. That shows the trouble Democrats are in.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Dooley will beat him. He’s very strong.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Mattingly.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says Mattingly stays. Three stays, two goes. Mattingly stays.

Idaho, Steve Symms.

Barnes?

BARNES: I'm afraid he's going to go. Governor John Evans is running against him and he’s very strong.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: These governors always look stronger. This time, I think will Symms nose him out.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Right now, Symms.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Nope.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says stays. Three stays, two goes. Symms stays.

Indiana, Dan Quayle.

Barnes?

BARNES: Is this Kondracke again?

MCLAUGHLIN: This is Kondracke again.

BARNES: Quayle.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: He’s safer than safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACK: I've just being conservative for a change. Safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says stays. Therefore, Quayle. Five stays, zero goes. Quayle stays.

Maryland, Charles Mathias.

Barnes?

BARNES: Here's an interesting race, he may not run and if he doesn't, there will be pressure on Gene Kirkpatrick to run in his place.

MCLAUGHLIN: So, what do you say?

BARNES: If he does run, he may have a primary challenger and --

MCLAUGHLIN: So, if he runs --

BARNES: -- Harry Hughes, the governor, will run against him.

MCLAUGHLIN: Where are you going to come down?

BARNES: I think he stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK, Novak?

NOVAK: I think he's going to run and I think he's going to get beat by Governor Harry Hughes and fairly easily.

MCLAUGHIN: Wow. Germond?

GERMOND: I agree with him.

MCLAUGHLIN: Really?

Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: No, in that race, Mathias will stay.

MCLAUGHLIN: I agree with you, Kondracke. Therefore, we come up with three states for McC Mathias, two goes. Mathias stays.

New York, Alfonse D'Amato.

Barnes?

BARNES: He’s the greatest pork barrel politician in America and he will beat Geraldine Ferraro.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: But not by as much as the polls say.

MCLAUGHLIN: But he stays?

NOVAK: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: I think D’Amato is going to be beaten.

MCLAUGHLIN: Wow.

Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: I don't think Ferraro can beat D’Amato.

MCLAUGHLIN: Stays. McLaughlin stays. Four stays, sorry, Jack. One goes, D’Amato stays.

North Carolina, John East.

Barnes?

BARNES: He's hopeless. He probably won't run for reelection and that seat is going to go Democratic.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: I don't think it's hopeless but I think it is going to go Democratic.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMAND: Yes, Democratic.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Democratic.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin, five Democratic -- on the side of its going Democratic.

North Dakota, Mark Andrews.

Barnes?

BARNES: He's in a lot of trouble, particularly, if Byron Dorgan, the congressman, runs 25 points ahead in a poll, I think Andrews goes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: Dorgan is not going to run, and Andrews stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Yes, Barnes said three weeks out of date, three months -- or the three months --

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke? Hurry up, Mort.

KONDRACKE: He stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says goes. Three stays, two goes, Andrew stays.

Oklahoma, Don Nickles.

Barnes?

BARNES: Hey, that's a good one. He stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: He's an easy one.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: He stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Stays?

McLaughlin stays. Five stays, Nickles stays.

You switched on, Mort, didn’t you?

BARNES: He doesn’t really have a good opponent.

MCLAUGHLIN: Oregon, Bob Packwood.

Quickly, Barnes?

BARNES: Kondracke again. He’s safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: Safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin stays. Five stays, Packwood stays.

There you are, Bob.

Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter.

Barnes?

BARNES: He's in a very tough race, but he stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: I think it's going to be a tough race, the conservatives are going to -- are going to cut him terrifically, going to support Don Bailey, the Democrat, if he runs against him, but he'll stay.

MCLAUGHLIN: John Layman going to run against him?

NOVAK: No.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Specter stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Specter stays, but narrowly.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says stays. Specter stays by 5.

We are now in South Dakota, James Abdnor.

Barnes?

BARNES: He's dead.

MCLAUGHLIN: Wow.

Novak?

BARNES: Congressman Tom Daschle --

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: Exactly right and he may even have primary trouble from Governor Janklow.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Farm crisis he goes.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin five goes. Bye-bye baby for Abdnor.

Washington, Slade Gorton.

Barnes?

BARNES: He should win easily, even over a Brock Adams.

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: One of the great tax increasers in America stage.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Gordon safe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: Yes, he stays.

MCLAUGHLIN: McLaughlin says stays. Five stays, Gordon stays.

Wisconsin, Robert Kasten.

Barnes?

BARNES: He’s going to have a tough race, but governor --

MCLAUGHLIN: Tough race, he’s going to give him a tough race?

BARNES: Governor might run, probably won't, but I think Kasten stays.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Novak?

NOVAK: Kasten may be lucky enough to run against Ed Garvey, the old Athletic Union fellow, but he’s not going to be a landslide, John. He stays, it’s going to be close.

MCLAUGHLIN: Germond?

GERMOND: Kasten is all right, but Tony will give him a real problem.

MCLAUGHLIN: Kondracke?

KONDRACKE: I agree with that, but I think Kasten will stay.

MCLAUGHLIN: Five stays for Robert Kasten.

Barnes, Novak, Germond, Kondracke, there you see before you on the screen your tallies. Can we have the tallies? You heard it here first.

Take note of the fact that Germond, not unsurprisingly, is the most cruel on the GOP candidates.

GERMOND: And also on the Democrats.

MCLAUGHLIN: And also on the Democrats, true.

And Kondracke is less cruel only by one. The final tally, if we may see that, US Senate, then you are Democrats now hold 47 seats Republicans 53. In 1986, however, the Democrats will hold 48 seats and the Republican 52.

The Republicans note, retain the United States Senate.

Closing remark?

KONDRACKE: You should note, John, that three of us predicted that the end result would be a 50-50 tie in the United States Senate after 19 --

(CROSSTALK)

BARNES: Which means George Bush becomes important --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three -- you want to say anything else on the tally?

NOVAK: Go ahead.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mission Impasse. You got that, Jack?

The Republican Senate and the Democratic House began conferring on a federal budget on June 11th. Four weeks later that first round of talks ended in impasse and failure, a second-round began this past Monday, and that round collapse three days later in a session charged with anger and charged with acrimony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM WRIGHT (D), TEXAS: I'd encourage the Senate if they could, to go you know, and sit down and think together. And if you find their deficient --

SEN. PETE DOMENICI (R), NEW MEXICO: Don't bring -- don't preach to us.

WRIGHT: Sometimes best preaching that is done from knowledge of one's own sand.

DOMENICI: I don't think that I see away, we will call you back as soon as we have something to talk about we’re in the process.

DONALD REGAN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STATE: We must cut federal spending. They're afraid to come to grips with it and I challenge them to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Spoken like a true Marine.

Will any agreement be reached this summer on spending for fiscal 1986? Morton?

KONDRACKE: I don't think so. I used to think there was there was a deal there to be had, but there's one -- there's one possibility and that is as I said before, if Ronald Reagan steps into this dilemma and presents a compromise proposal that they all can accept. But I don't think that he can do it without – and he’s pledged against this --

MCLAUGHLIN: What kind of a compromise?

KONDRACKE: Increasing taxes.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Whoa, a fair tank job for Reagan.

(CROSSTALK)

KONDRACKE: A gasoline tax with oil price falling could make up the difference.

BARNES: Ask him what he’s been smoking?

MCLAUGHLIN: You don’t see that.

(CROSSTALK)

GERMOND: I don't think there's any chance of a deal this summer. I think there still is a chance of deal this fall, but it requires Don Regan to play an intelligible rather than going around and moving up for himself by pounding the table, which is not his function as a functionary in the White House.

NOVAK: I think that’s an important point, just a brief interaction. He is acting as prime minister and he thinks he's acting as prime minister --

(CROSSTALK)

BARNES: Wait a minute, I hate to jump in and attack Bob Dole because I know some of the reporters around here we'll go bonkers.

NOVAK: I will too. I’ll defend them.

MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly, quickly.

BARNES: The fundamental mistake was made by Bob Dole in the Senate Republicans and going for Social Security cuts without making two phone calls first to Tip O'Neill and to Bob Michel. You have to pre-arrange any cut in Social Security with the House --

GERMONDS: The problem was testing the president.

BARNES: Wait a minute, they didn't do it. Ask Jim Baker, he'll tell you.

(CROSSTALK)

BARNES: Bob, let me finish -- one more thing. What he allowed House Democrats to do was to was to change the issue from who's going to cut domestic spending, to who's going to save Social Security. They stepped on the high moral ground --

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: The point -- the point is that there is about $7.9 billion in spending difference between the House and the Senate that Don Regan is pounding the table over. It's insignificant. What is really at stake is that you have an ego trip by Domenici and ego trip by the Republican senators, and they are furious with the White House. They are furious with the House Republicans who want to save themselves by neither cutting Social Security nor increasing taxes.

MCLAUGHLIN: We're going to get out right now. Question, quickly, briefly, one word.

Democrats or Republicans, who is the more to blame for this budget impasse?

You?

BARNES: Republicans.

MCLAUGHLIN: Bob?

NOVAK: No question, Republicans.

MCLAUGHLIN: Jack?

GERMOND: The White House.

MCLAUGHLIN: The White House? Republicans?

KONDRACKE: No, it’s both. It's absolutely both.

MCLAUGHLIN: Equally both?

KONDRACKE: Absolutely.

MCLAUGHLIN: Four Republicans, one equally both.

We'll be right back with predictions.

(BREAK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Frederick Barnes?

BARNES: Amazingly, Mort was correct last weekend in saying that -- yes, the conservatives would block Julia Bloch as the nominee for the assistant secretary of state for human rights.

Of course, Mort didn't tell you who's going to get that job. The person who's going to get it is White House aide Doug Holiday, and he's a brilliant choice.

MCLAUGHLIN: Robert Novak.

NOVAK: John, from his hospital bed, the president will call for a reconvened conference on the budget, and they will come up, Mort, with a budget this summer.

MCLAUGHLIN: Before they go on vacation on August.

Jack?

GERMOND: As long as we're doing the long-range crystal ball, the Democrats – the Republicans are going to lose by my guess 3 Senate seats. They will probably gain a net of six or seven governorships in 1986.

MCLAUGHLIN: That means 42, 43 seats --

GERMOND: No, no, the Republicans will win.

MCLAUGHLIN: I see, that means 20, 21, 22.

Go ahead.

KONDRACKE: President Lee is coming next week. Of course, everybody knows that.

MCLAUGHLIN: Lee?

KONDRACKE: Of China, PRC.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

KONDRACKE: The outcome is going to be that they're finally going to sign the nuclear agreement this long delayed, and your friend George Bush will be on his way to China.

MCLAUGHLIN: In round three of the Geneva arms talks, there will be movement. The Russians will surrender their ban on SDI research and we will see, in connection with the meeting of the summit, some movement.

I'm John McLaughlin saying, bye-bye!

END