THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
JOINED BY: ELEANOR CLIFT, JAMES CARNEY,
PATRICK BUCHANAN, AND LARRY KUDLOW
TAPED FRIDAY, JULY 17, 1998
AIRED THE WEEKEND OF JULY 18-19, 1998
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ANNOUNCER: From the nation's capital, the McLaughlin Group, an unrehearsed program presenting inside opinions and forecasts on major issues of the day. "GE is proud to support the McLaughlin Group. From plastics to power generation, GE: We bring good things to life."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: A constitutional absurdity.
In a scathing rebuke of the White House, the full U.S. Court of Appeals last Thursday rejected all efforts by the Clinton administration to block the grand jury testimony of the president's Secret Service. The nine-judge panel ruled unanimously that there was no evidence the testimony would result in, quote, unquote, "irreparable harm."
One appellate judge, Laurence H. Silberman, took particular exception to Attorney General Janet Reno and the Justice Department legal action against Starr, calling it "a constitutional absurdity." Quote: "The attorney general is, in effect, acting as the president's counsel under the false guise of representing the United States."
So, Mr. McCurry, is the attorney general representing the president instead of the people of the United States?
MICHAEL MCCURRY (White House press secretary): (From videotape.) No, because the president doesn't need representation in this matter. She is representing the Secret Service.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thank you, Mr. McCurry.
Mr. President, may I ask you, sir, what do you think of Judge Silberman's opinion that Attorney General Janet Reno is representing you when she should be representing the people of the United States?
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: (From videotape.) I think you have to consider the source of that comment.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, sir, now there's another source -- the highest judicial source in the nation, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He ruled on Friday morning that the opinion of Judge Silberman and the eight other federal judges of the appellate court is, quote, "cogent and correct." The privilege that you claim, sir, for the Secret Service does not exist.
Question: How crushing a defeat is this for William Jefferson Clinton, Pat Buchanan?
MR. BUCHANAN: John, it's a serious defeat on a couple of counts. First is the utter humiliation of the legal team of the president in making this claim and the fact they've got clobbered repeatedly. But far more important than that is, look, these Secret Service agents, with their documents and records and testimony, can go into that -- and they are right there in that grand jury -- and say whether or not Bill Clinton was alone with Monica Lewinsky, in which case he will have committed perjury. They got eyewitness testimony. I think this is really a major setback. And quite frankly, John, it moves us close to endgame. There's only three more witnesses: Lindsey, Monica, and the president herself (sic) -- himself.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor Clift?
MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, Ken Starr already has all the Secret Service logs. This is only a crushing defeat if you believe that the president came out of presenting his deposition on Paula Jones, got in the car, and said, "Whew! Boy, did I lie my way through that one. Hope the Secret Service isn't listening."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Chuckles.)
MS. CLIFT: You know, I don't think they've got much to offer. When they do testify, it'll be corroborative evidence, perhaps, as in building a circumstantial case. But there's no smoking gun here.
What's more important is that this was the Secret Service. The current director of the Secret Service, every living director of the Secret Service believe that this is a travesty. There may not be a privilege in the law, and the courts are probably doing the right thing. But Congress is going to come in and rule on this, and I think Senator Orrin Hatch will probably do the right thing. He's the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jay Carney?
MR. CARNEY: Well, John, it is actually quite offensive, I think, that a judge like Judge Silberman would show such lack of judicial restraint. To suggest, as he did, that the Secret Service was acting on behalf of President Clinton -- I mean, anybody who knows these agents knows that they believe in their heart that they need this privilege in order to do their job. They are wrong, clearly, on the law. But to impugn them politically, I think, is a mistake, and it's pretty offensive.
I think that it does, however, create a problem for President Clinton, because these agents, especially the special agent in charge -- that's Larry Cockell -- having unique access to the conversations that he has, not just with his lawyers, which would be privileged under attorney-client privilege, but with other aides and officials, and with access to Cockell, I think Starr may get some serious information.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Larry Kudlow, was it a crushing defeat for the Clinton team?
MR. KUDLOW: I think it's going to be, because I think the Secret Service has a lot of credibility around the country.
I mean, these are guys who throw their bodies in front of bullets to protect presidents, and they have a lot of strength, reservoir of support. And I think it becomes increasingly clear that whatever the president's peccadillos, until he gets honest, until he talks honestly about this to get rid of it, he is sinking, bringing down groups and people around him, including the Secret Service. And I think the American temper becomes a distemper over this particular issue.
Let me also add on the Silverman thing, it's a little bit of a disconnect, much as I admire Silverman's views, because it was the Treasury Department that actually brought the lawsuit; it was Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, and therefore, the attorney general is bound to defend the Treasury Department.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, if you're going to --
MR. BUCHANAN: But, you know, John, the Secret Service --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat? Pat?
Hold on, Eleanor.
MR. BUCHANAN: The Secret Service is really -- Larry makes a very good point. These Secret Service fellows would not be dragged over there. And I happen to agree with Jay, it's outrageous that the guys right there protecting the president have to go and, in effect, tattle on the president of the United States.
But the reason this exists is because Bill Clinton will not come forward and testify himself, tell the truth and let these Secret Service guys get out of it. Go to the grand jury or tell the American people the truth.
MS. CLIFT: Wait a second! If we're going to --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, you must agree with that.
MS. CLIFT: If we're going to apportion blame here about who is dragging the Secret Service into this mess, I would suggest that it's Kenneth Starr. Do you believe for one minute that Secret Service agents didn't overhear Richard Nixon during Watergate, or President Reagan and President Bush during Iran-contra? No special counsel then, no counsel then would have ever dreamed of subpoenaing agents and asking them what they heard.
MR. BUCHANAN: But they testified, to my knowledge --
MS. CLIFT: This is unprecedented.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, exit question. Will this legal precedent, established now by all levels of American jurisprudence, will this imperil this president's safety or any future president's safety, in your judgment, Pat Buchanan?
MR. BUCHANAN: What's going to happen is I think the Supreme Court will take the whole issue up in October. We're going to get legislation whereby Secret Service are protected, unless it is in extremis, and unless a criminal act was committed in their presence. And I think both parties ought to support it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But do you see any real imperiling of the president from this legal action?
MR. BUCHANAN: I pray it doesn't happen.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Huh?
MR. BUCHANAN: I don't know, but I pray it doesn't happen.
MS. CLIFT: It erodes the trust. When you have people guarding you and being that close, you should be able to regard them as furniture.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you say it's imperiling to the president's safety?
MS. CLIFT: I believe that argument, yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You do?
MS. CLIFT: Yes, I do.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you?
MR. CARNEY: I do as well. I think that there was --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think there is going to be an actual imperiling of the safety of the president?
MR. CARNEY: That doesn't mean necessarily, John, that there will be a successful attempt on the president, but it does mean that there is now distance between the president and his bodyguards.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This president?
MR. CARNEY: This president and future presidents.
MS. CLIFT: And future presidents.
MR. CARNEY: This president and future presidents.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This president. And he's got his reasons for wanting -- keeping his distance.
MR. CARNEY: I think the Secret Service had a point.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about you?
MR. KUDLOW: I don't buy it, because of my confidence in the strength of the Secret Service. These guys are professional law enforcement warriors who are bound to protect the president at any cost, and I think they will get through this --
MS. CLIFT: John, let Pat speak -- he was guarded by the Secret Service. Let Pat speak.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We got to get out. We got to get out. The answer is there is no imperiling of the president's safety and the Secret Service, which is really the White House, here, moving all this --
MR. KUDLOW: No, no, no, no.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- vastly overreached. Vastly overreached.
MR. BUCHANAN: You are dead wrong on that, I'll tell you. People are going to get out of cars, they're going to say wait a minute, you guys got to get out of here, I'm going to get out of the car and talk. If you've got people there who are going to tattle what -- everything you say in a limousine --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who was going to do that? They're not going to be empowered to do that!
MR. BUCHANAN: But you're -- listen, you now have them -- they've got to tell everything.
MR. CARNEY: But there's future prosecutors -- prosecutors in the future could call them.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Prosecutors -- that's not true! That is not true! You are overreaching as much as the White House is.
MR. CARNEY: Give Senator --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When we come back, can homosexuals, with the help of religion, become heterosexual?
Issue two: praying yourself straight.
MR. ROBERT H. KNIGHT (cultural studies director, Family Research Council): (From videotape.) The worst effect that could come from these ads is that people struggling with homosexuality will realize they have hope.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The ads to which Mr. Knight refers are the full-page advertisements published this week in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today. The proposition of the ads is that with the help of religion, homosexuals can become heterosexuals. Funded by an association of morality-minded organizations, notably Gary Bauer's Family Research Council and Don Hodel's Christian Coalition, the ads feature converted homosexuals like Ann Polk, self-described wife, mother and former lesbian. Mrs. Polk had this to say, in part, in the ad:
"Change didn't come overnight. Within six months I'd made a firm decision to forsake homosexuality. But I still had sexual desire for women. I knew I was running from God and one day just put it to Him: 'Lord, you know that I really enjoy this lifestyle, but I need your help.' Shortly after that prayer, I met a Christian woman, a former lesbian, who listened patiently to my story and led me to a ministry helping people overcome homosexuality. Because they loved me without judgment, I was able to begin the road to healing. Leaving homosexuality was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. As I grew in my relationship with God, I knew He had changed me forever."
Ann (sp) Polk is married to John Polk, husband, father, and himself a self-described ex-homosexual drag queen. John Polk is also vice chairman of Exodus, a religious organization of ex-homosexuals whose mission is to offer the conversion option to other gays and lesbians, 850 of whose members, including John Polk, shown here in this variant of his wife's ad.
Question: Is this homosexual-to-heterosexual campaign, plus Trent Lott's assertions that homosexuality is an addiction and a sin, is this all an attempt to elevate homosexuals -- homosexuality to a high profile, perhaps fulcrum level of issue in this November's election and in the year 2000 election, do you think, Jay Carney?
MR. CARNEY: Well, John, I think that two things are at work here. The social conservative forces in this country, which have a very powerful role to play in the Republican Party, have felt ignored by the Republican leadership in the Congress. They've been pushing all this year for more attention, and this is one way that they're getting the attention of the Republican leadership. And Trent Lott's comments come in the context of that. However, I think that they push this issue at their peril, because even while the public may be undecided or decidedly ambivalent about, or mixed about whether or not they believe homosexuality's a sin or not, what issues like this do is crystalize in the public the opinion or the fear that the Republican Party is intolerant. And intolerance casts the Republican Party as a minority party.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How do you feel about this, I ask you, Larry Kudlow, bearing in mind that there's a lot of homosexuality taught today in the social circles not only of conservatives but among others; namely, that it's an alternative lifestyle, something that straights should accept as normal? We've heard about Disney sponsorship of the show, "Ellen," and the gay days at Disneyland, which have triggered the Southern Baptist boycott. These are all issues on the policy agenda.
How do you feel about this as a high-profile issue in the November election?
MR. KUDLOW: Well, I agree with the tag end of what Jay said. I think it's a non-starter. I think it's a bad political strategy. And I think it throws off a sense of hatred and intolerance. And I think all of that is wrong, and I think all of that will hurt the Republican Party if they go down that road.
But I will say something else.
Homosexuality, which I think is unnatural and does reflect a disorder, and I think it opposes natural law, nonetheless is not the only sociopathology we have in this country, and I don't know why we obsess over this so much -- that is Republicans. You've got divorces, you've got abortions, you've got unwed teen pregnancies -- you've got a lot of anti-social behavior. And I don't know why some people in the conservative movement obsess over homosexuality.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm going to ask Eleanor and Pat to hold off until we get to this. On McLaughlin.com, by the way, the new on-line question of the week is: Are the ads correct in suggesting that "love, understanding, and the word of God can change a homosexual into a heterosexual?" Yes or no.
Okay, the Democrats and homosexuality. It began with the Clinton "don't ask, don't tell" policy towards gays in the military -- the president's first official policy-making, January 1993. That policy has continued with Al Gore's praise of Ellen DeGeneres of the ABC Television sitcom, "Ellen", for bringing her lesbian character out of the closet.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE (From videotape): And when the character Ellen came out, millions of Americans were forced to look at sexual orientation in a more open light.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In November, 1997, Clinton became the first sitting U.S. president to attend a Gay Rights Dinner -- New York City.
From the start, Bill Clinton and Al Gore have courted the homosexual community. But they may have misread the mood of the country. Fifty-nine percent of the American people think homosexual behavior is morally wrong, sinful; 68 percent are opposed to gay marriage; and get this, nearly half of those polled, 47 percent, think homosexuality should be declared illegal.
Question: Is the Clinton-Gore support for gays politically-driven, or is it principle -- that's L-E -- principle-driven?
I ask you, Eleanor Clift?
MS. CLIFT: Well, Bill Clinton came out of the Civil Rights movement. Al Gore, certainly his father was a very strong voice in the South on Civil Rights. I think this is a modern day civil rights movement. And Bill Clinton and Al Gore are where 75 percent of the American people are; they don't want gay people discriminated against.
And when you talk about changing people through Christ, I'm sure you can find some people who that has happened to and for whom it is true. But to then suggest that all homosexuals, through some lack of discipline, lack of religion, are somehow leading an abnormal life I think is totally, totally wrong.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, don't you think that gays and lesbians are captive voters of the Democratic Party and Clinton-Gore?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, I think the -- many of the militant and outspoken homosexuals, for whom it is the key issue, are very much Clinton-Gore. But I'm sure there are many gays that support conservatives and Republicans.
But, John, let me say this. Look, homosexuality is two things. You mentioned one of them. It is an orientation, and then there is the behavior. Because people have free will, they can certainly change their behavior. Now, can they change their orientation? They clearly can curb it and get married and have children. But -- and I'll have to say it -- like alcoholism, that tendency remains within.
But what the -- I think what the Family Research Council is doing is right. And I think it's unfair to Trent Lott. He merely responded to a question by Armstrong Williams on his show about his beliefs.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you think it's a brilliant reconciliation on the part of conservatives? On the one hand they regard homosexuality as an abomination. On the other hand, they have love for Christians. So they combine that with this; you can convert yourself through prayer, through religion --
MR. BUCHANAN: Right.
MR. KUDLOW: Absolutely.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- from a gay status to a straight status. That's quite a brilliant move, is it not?
MR. KUDLOW: Look, it's brilliant in the sense --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Politically.
MR. KUDLOW: Well, it's brilliant spiritually, first and foremost. For heaven's sakes, not everything in life is about government and politics.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you lecturing me, young man?
MR. KUDLOW: Well, John, I'm just making a point because I've been through rough times; I know something about substance abuse and alcoholism, and I'm very glad to be here, productive. But the point is --
MS. CLIFT: I don't think we put homosexuality in the same category as substance abuse.
MR. KUDLOW: Well, I --
MS. CLIFT: And that is a major disagreement here.
MR. KUDLOW: I know. You and I are going to disagree, if that's the case.
MS. CLIFT: All right.
MR. KUDLOW: Because I think through faith, and by asking for help from God, you can be healed from a number of problems.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay.
MR. KUDLOW: I want to also suggest an important point. There's a strong Log Cabin group in the Republican Party that believes in free markets and low taxes and the rest, and it would be a terrific mistake if we alienated --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And they're gay? They're gay?
MR. KUDLOW: They are gay, and it would be a big mistake if we alienated them.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Okay, there's another action that the Gore-Clinton team has taken that has caused some concern in this whole area, and that's James C. Hormel.
President Clinton's nominee to be ambassador to Luxembourg, James C. Hormel, is a businessman, a Democratic Party donor, a wealthy heir to the Hormel meat packing fortune, and a gay activist. Hormel has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to gay and lesbian organizations. His nomination is on hold in the U.S. Senate.
This videotape of Hormel's appearance at a 1997 Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco, that featured a group of transvestites dressed as nuns and burlesquing the Catholic sisterhood, has outraged many, including U.S. senators.
Arkansas Senator Tim Hutchinson met with Hormel and asked him to explain his behavior. Instead of repudiating those gay transvestites who ridiculed nuns in the parade, Hormel defended them. Hormel said that while he himself would not dress in drag and lampoon nuns, he supported those who do and would do nothing to stop them -- that according to a spokesman for Hutchinson who attended the meeting.
Hormel's actions are seen as anti-Catholic bigotry by many. "The claim is that Hormel is being denied confirmation because he is a homosexual. That is not true. James Hormel is unfit to be an American ambassador because he is a bigot -- the worst kind of religious bigot." So says New York Post columnist Ray Kerrison.
Question: Is Hormel a religious bigot for refusing to repudiate his support of gay transvestites mocking Roman Catholic nuns, Pat Buchanan?
MR. BUCHANAN: He is behaving like one.
Listen, the gay rights movement, the militants there -- they engage in anti-Christian mockery and ridicule of the most sacred symbols of the church, which, if done by Christians against gays, would be considered a verbal hate crime.
MS. CLIFT: Come on --
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, they would never appoint this individual --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him finish!
MR. BUCHANAN: -- to Saudi Arabia or some devout Muslim country. So they name him to a Catholic country. Ninety-seven percent of them are Catholic in Luxembourg. This man should be rejected, even though I think his father or grandfather was on the America First Committee.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, I don't think they're upset in Luxembourg. They're trying to manufacture a case against James Hormel. Those are the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. They're a feature of San Francisco --
MR. BUCHANAN: Sister Boom-Boom.
MS. CLIFT: Exactly. All he did was smile in amusement as they went by in a parade. And if smiling in amusement --
MR. BUCHANAN: Why doesn't he condemn them, Eleanor? Why will he not condemn them?
MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. Because they were doing it in a spirit of joy and --
MR. BUCHANAN: Condemn them now.
MS. CLIFT: They don't need to be condemned. And if --
MR. KUDLOW: No, he was commentating --
MR. CARNEY: It was -- hold on --
MS. CLIFT: Wait a second. I want to finish. And if giggling at nuns were a crime, every Catholic school kid in this country would be a bigot.
MR. BUCHANAN: These aren't nuns!
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I want to hear from Larry. I want to hear from Larry. Let's go, Larry.
MR. KUDLOW: I can't agree, because the fact is, he was commentating on this parade with great approval -- it wasn't just a snicker or two -- with great approval. Tim Hutchinson gave him every opportunity to change his tune.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right!
MR. KUDLOW: And Pat Buchanan's got this story exactly right. He has given the appearance of being a Christian and a Catholic bigot, and I believe that makes him unfit for this high office.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's allowing his gay lifestyle to irrationally stand in the way of a simple apology for having condoned it.
MR. CARNEY: John, if you look at the videotape and you read the transcripts, he actually does not explicitly celebrate what the Sisters are doing.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, I'm talking about his meeting with Hutchinson. That's where he refused to do it.
MR. CARNEY: And the fact is, he could have handled his meeting better, John; but to say that this is about religious bigotry is ridiculous. I mean, what Pat's talking about is a kind of political correctness, that satire becomes bigotry and --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you have nuns in the Episcopal Church? Would you like to see your Episcopal nuns so burlesqued?
MS. CLIFT: Everybody who's told a joke --
MR. CARNEY: John, I don't think you have to go around and condemn --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Suppose the gays are out there burlesquing rabbis. Do you think that his nomination would go forward?
MR. CARNEY: It's a litmus test that has nothing to do --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Huh?
MR. KUDLOW: Of course not.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think so?
MS. CLIFT: Every joke that begins "A rabbi and a priest and a minister went into the bar and said so and so" would therefore be religious --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's a little different here. It's a little different.
MR. BUCHANAN: If they mocked African Americans and ridiculed them and were doing an "Amos and Andy" routine, he wouldn't have a chance.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to get out very quickly. Where is there more political pay dirt on this issue; with Clinton-Gore courting gays, or with Trent Lott lecturing them? Pat Buchanan?
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, gay bashing is no good, but if Al Gore's going to run around and say "I do more for gay rights than anybody else," that's not going to be his campaign message.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, where is there the more political pay dirt?
MS. CLIFT: On the side of tolerance, which is where the Democrats are, and not the Republicans.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?
MR. CARNEY: It helps the Republicans in '98, a low-turnout year, but it hurts them in 2000.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Really? You think it helps them in '98?
MR. CARNEY: Absolutely. Sure.
MR. KUDLOW: On the side of tolerance and forgiveness and mercy and spiritual trust -- (inaudible due to cross-talk).
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is, it's too close to call.
We'll be right back with predictions.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, predictions. Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: After Dick Armey's cave-in, the IMF is going to go through, they're going to get 18 million from the House --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Billion.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- 18 billion from the House, and MFN has gone through, and it's going to be a defeat for the Republicans, mainly because the leadership backed down.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles will go home and will run for governor of North Carolina.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who's going to take his place?
MS. CLIFT: Oh, I don't know. It's another week.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: John Podesta, Eleanor.
MR. CARNEY: The Republicans don't manage to get a compromise health care reform bill, making it a big issue in the elections.
MR. KUDLOW: With a zero-growth second quarter, the next move in the federal funds interest rate will be lower.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ken Starr will not file an interim report with the Congress. Ken Starr will file a full report with Congress after the November election.
®FC¯END OF REGULAR SEGMENT;
PBS SEGMENT FOLLOWS
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue three: Le goalllll!
The World Cup, a sporting event that's truly global; 192 countries compete; 32 teams qualify. This year, host country France was a first-time champion, beating Brazil three to zero. France this week is bursting with national pride, a multicultural joie de vivre. France has long been plagued by ethnic violence, considered the most racist country in Europe. But, paradoxically, last weekend's World Soccer Cup win has brought France the unifying benefits of an immigrant society.
Arab children this week danced in the Parisian streets with French businessmen; ethnic minorities sang the French national anthem, many for the first time. French actress Isabelle Huppert calls the triumph "a federalizing moment."
This was all the more remarkable since France's winning soccer team players are African, Armenian, Russian, Caribbean and Pacific Islander in origin and fully half are non-white. France's new hero is player Zinedine Zidane, son of an Algerian immigrant. President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin were ecstatic over the French win and have soared in the polls.
But National Front Party leader Jean-Marie Le-Pen, who captured 15 percent of the vote with his hostile attack on immigrants, was rebuffed by immigration's triumph, and is now back-tracking.
Question: are the problems immigration creates trumped by the benefits immigration brings, I ask you, Jean-Marie Buchanan? (Laughter.)
MR. BUCHANAN: (I) reject the comparison, John, but let me say this --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: To Le-Pen -- Le-Pen --
MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, there's no doubt that this is a tremendous thing for France and it probably is a tremendous thing for racial harmony in France, but look, to suggest that this is going to resolve the problems -- I think something like 7 percent of France is now non-native born and only two-thirds of that are from somewhere other than European countries, so you're talking about 5 percent.
America's a much more homogenous (sic) society, with something like 25 percent minority, but if you think that France could survive a 25 percent influx from Algiers simply because of that game, I think you're sorely mistaken.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you have thoughts on this, Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: Well, yeah. I think to revere and to cheer people who are different, look different than you is a wonderful thing. It's great symbolism, but the fact that they have a diverse soccer team is not going to solve the ethnic tensions any more than our NBA --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Where, in France?
MS. CLIFT: -- which is overwhelmingly African-American in this country has solved our race problem. It's a good thing, but it's not everything.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you agree with that? Another Algerian Muslim bombing will --
MR. CARNEY: I'm sure it won't trickle down.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're sure of that?
MR. CARNEY: Yeah.
MR. KUDLOW: But the problem in France is that their tax rates are too high, their government is too big, they're not moving into the 21st century with respect to free market economics --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the World Cup championship is not going to cure any of that, right?
MR. KUDLOW: It's not going to help that, but I want to be sure --
But I want to be sure -- it's not immigration that's hurting France, it's their very statist economic policy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you think we have an obligation to get into soccer?