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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; TONY BLANKLEY, THE WASHINGTON TIMES; JAY CARNEY, TIME

TAPED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2007
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF JANUARY 20-21, 2007

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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Anti-Surge Surge.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE): (From videotape.) I think it is dangerously irresponsible to continue to put American lives in the middle of a clearly defined tribal sectarian civil war.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The White House plan to send 21,500 additional U.S. troops to Iraq caused an uproar in the Senate this week. The disapproval was pointed. "It is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating the United States force presence," unquote. Other Republicans besides Hagel -- Olympia Snowe, George Voinovich, Sam Brownback, Norm Coleman, Gordon Smith, Susan Collins -- are all sympathetic to the rejection of the Bush surge.

Democratic Senator Joseph Biden speaks for the rank-and-file Senate Democrats and key Republicans on the resolution.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE): (From videotape.) Mr. President, do not send more troops.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Bush's lock on Republican loyalty in the Senate crumbling? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, it is really gone. I think what this is, the Hagel-Biden resolution, is fundamentally a vote of no confidence in the war leadership of the president of the United States. It doesn't have any great effect. It's a nonbinding resolution. But it does reflect the mood of the nation. And there are any number of Republicans who are sympathetic to it. And the president, according to brother Novak, has very little support for his policy in the United States Senate. Anything there would probably be because of ties to him in the party.

So I think the United States had best consider how we're going to get out of this and salvage as much as we can from what is going to be a coming defeat for American policy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Isn't it a token resolution, Eleanor, inasmuch as you can vote for it but you don't have any real exposure because you're not offering to cut the money?

MS. CLIFT: If the United States were deciding this, if this were being decided democratically, there would be no escalation. But we only have one commander in chief. He may be the wrong one. But short of a coup d'etat, there really is very little the Congress can responsibly do. When you have troops in harm's way, you have to consider the impact of cutting off funds. There's enough money floating around the Pentagon and this president is determined enough that he can keep the troops there and say, "Oh, but there isn't enough to equip them with enough body armor." And he could lay that off on the Democrats. So this is a very tricky situation. I think the Congress is moving forward responsibly, but everything they do is at a glacial pace.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In the 1980s, Harvey Gantt ran against Jesse Helms and there was a political ad that said there are three things in the middle of the road. What are they?

MR. BLANKLEY: You tell me.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A yellow line, a dead skunk and Harvey Gantt. Do you think that's the kind of situation we have here? MR. BLANKLEY: Well, you mean, regarding Democrats who are trying to split the difference between stopping the war with their appropriating power --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they know -- they really don't know what --

MR. BLANKLEY: -- and posturing by votes on resolutions? Yeah --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're in the middle of the road.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me, by the way, go back to your original question, because the president, I think, only has about two dozen Republican senators who are more or less enthusiastically supporting him. He's got about half a dozen who are pretty much gone and a lot more in between who could go.

And the question is, are people like Senator Warner going to come forward with some sort of a compromise alternative resolution that could be voted on to give some place for Republicans who don't want to support -- don't want to oppose but don't really want to support -- to settle.

Let me tell you, if the number of Republican votes goes below 38, 37, it's going to be extremely damaging to the president's ability to function.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The anti-war Democrats who voted against the president, are they going to be at all consoled by this resolution?

MR. CARNEY: The ones who voted against him way back in 2002?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, in 2006.

MR. CARNEY: Well -- oh, you mean, the voters --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Meaning voted against the president in the war. On the war issue, they voted against the Republicans --

MR. CARNEY: The public has --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- really sending a message to the president. Are they going to be comforted at all by this resolution?

MR. CARNEY: I think that, with the exception of some fairly extreme corners of the opposition, the Democratic opposition, even among activists, that there is an understanding that doing something drastic like cutting off funding for the troops is political suicide. And I think even the activists, the grassroots of the Democratic Party, have matured to the point where they realize that if you can't win an election, there's really no point. You can't get anything --

MR. BLANKLEY: I disagree. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the strategy of the Republicans just to let them unwind the rope? He's hanging himself, and don't interfere with him.

MR. CARNEY: I think there is an element of that. And it's pretty cynical that somehow the Democrats -- that it's not their war and they can wash their hands of it and they can't do anything constructively. But here's the problem. Bush might have had more support for this if he had actually done it full bore, because the problem with this strategy is not just that it's Bush's strategy and the war is unpopular and that Bush is unpopular; it's that it's a half-measure. Does anyone really believe that 20,000 troops, even if they're all stuck in Baghdad, is going to make a difference? Very few people, including top military people, believe it could work.

MR. BLANKLEY: I'm not convinced that the Democrats are not being pushed by their activist anti-war base towards the cutting alternative as opposed to the resolution alternative. You saw Obama go on "Face the Nation" last week and he stuttered around and tried to find a safe ground and is being hit reasonably hard in the activist anti-war zone. I was on a show where such a person, prominent person, was taking Obama to score.

I think that there's a real danger for the Democratic leadership, that wants to avoid doing the cutting, to get pulled, and by the candidates for president to be pulled by that course.

MR. BUCHANAN: But John, the surge is not -- I don't believe that anybody believes the surge can work any more than temporarily.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

MR. BUCHANAN: So what happens is, as you start pulling these people out, the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton and them are going to move to a solid anti-war position. The Republican Party will be split in half going into 2008.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Seventy percent of Republicans are for the president, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: They are. But by 2008 you will have McCain, maybe Giuliani, Romney. You've already got Brownback against it. You've got Hagel against it. You're going to have folks, congressmen coming out against it. I think the Republican Party could go into this as divided as the Democrats were in '68 with Vietnam.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Hagel the new McCain inasmuch as Hagel is appealing to the independents?

MR. BUCHANAN: He's completely separated himself from his old friend John McCain. And frankly, among Republicans who want out of this war, Hagel is the leader.

MS. CLIFT: McCain is already positioning himself, saying the troops are not enough. And Jay is right; there's no responsible military leader who thinks 20,000 troops is going to make a bit of difference. All it does is buy the president some time and, you know, maybe enough time to get him out of office.

MR. BLANKLEY: Just to be --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Has Hagel taken on new life? And can he possibly survive the Republican primaries inasmuch as the whole situation could deteriorate so badly that the Republican Party will find itself against their leader, against Bush?

MR. BUCHANAN: The Republican Party will not go for an anti-war candidate, I don't believe. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right now. Right now.

MR. BUCHANAN: I don't believe they will go against the president and against --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: With the degeneration in the war over a two-year period, you don't think the Republicans are going to change their outlook?

MR. BUCHANAN: It would be unprecedented for Republicans to do that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Could they accept, could they swallow Hagel?

MR. BUCHANAN: As a candidate?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

MR. BUCHANAN: If he got it? Sure.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make a point.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not now -- then.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, if he got the nomination, sure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Could he get the nomination?

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm not sure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Two years from now?

Go ahead.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make a point. Right now about two-thirds of the Republicans support the war. That number is soft. I mean, it could go lower than that. If you have a crowded race and Hagel's in there as the only anti-war candidate, he could have a base of 30 percent before -- so I think there's some -- although he's not liked in the party and doesn't have a position of popularity in the party, he might be able to, against a split field, be competitive.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, let's get the straight skinny; more stringency.

Senator Clinton is back from her third trip to Iraq and announced legislation that would, over time, evacuate U.S. troops from Baghdad, and later from all of Iraq.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY): (From videotape.) I support putting a cap on the number of American troops as of January 1st. I support the beginning of a phased redeployment out of Baghdad and eventually out of Iraq completely. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clinton goes beyond this. She's willing to cut off the money.

SEN. CLINTON: (From videotape.) As a means to increase our leverage with the Iraqi government, my legislation would also impose conditions for continued funding of the Iraqi security forces and the private contractors working for the Iraqis. It would require certification that the security forces were free of sectarian and militia influence.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Fairly or unfairly, a woman running for president of the United States raises the question of whether she's up to the challenge of being commander in chief. On that scale, how does Hillary's proposal rate? Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: It rates very high. And you just showcased it as cut off the money -- not to the American troops, but to Maliki, the government in Iraq. It's a very good ploy. You could call it Clintonian, if you will. And I think she has been relatively hawkish all along the way here. This was almost the last moment where she could say enough is enough when it comes to the war. And how much principle it is and how much political calculation is between, you know, her and her soul. But this was very well done.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Indeed, it was. And there are certifiable benchmarks that she has there too to determine whether the security is such that the money should be cut off.

MR. CARNEY: Right. She will continue to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But she's for a phased deployment, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Well, she has been for that for a long time, but without a specific deadline, which is again slicing it just right.

MR. CARNEY: Just right, maybe. She will continue to get --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is this the best plan around?

MR. CARNEY: Well, it's a plan. I'm not --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it the best plan?

MR. BUCHANAN: No.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there a better plan?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, look --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's missing?

MR. BUCHANAN: What she's got is basically stay the course, which everybody agrees -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, no, she doesn't.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, maybe start redeploying and start coming out --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She's got the benchmarks.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, what do you think is going to happen if you pull the rug out from under the Maliki regime? Defeat is certain.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make a point. What she has done -- and it's shrewd, but we'll see whether it's wise for her politically -- is she has put out stuff in good detail, and lots of policy analysis within it, that can be, in the future, characterized in any number of ways -- starting the cuts, staying the course. So it's a very complex policy-rich placeholder to which she can go back to when --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know, you're gesturing a lot. Does that go with your new haircut and your new look? (Laughter.)

Okay, Arab backing.

SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE: (From videotape.) We've had very fruitful bilateral discussions. I was very appreciative of the emirs taking the time to meet with me, the crown prince, other ministers.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Secretary of State Rice, on a whirlwind tour of the Mideast, achieved major diplomatic success; namely, widespread Sunni Arab support for the U.S. troop surge to Iraq, intended to bolster Iraq's Shi'ite government.

MOHAMMED AL-SALEM AL-SABAH (Kuwaiti foreign minister): (From videotape.) The nine foreign ministers are meeting in Kuwait today to precisely prevent Iraq from sliding into a civil war. And that, I think, speaks volumes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Secretary Rice met with the foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, mostly Sunni. Together they, quote, "welcome the commitment by the United States, as stated in President Bush's recent speech, to defend the security of the Gulf and the territorial integrity of Iraq." So declared the group's official closing statement.

Question: Was it relatively easy for Secretary Rice to line up Arab support? I ask you, Jay.

MR. CARNEY: Well, no, she should be --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That kind of support?

MR. CARNEY: She should be commended for a success, a foreign policy success, of which this administration has had relatively few, and she's had relatively few as secretary of State.

However, it is in all of those states' interest not to have Iraq dissolve into utter chaos, because the only way they can counter the growing influence of Shi'ite Iran in the region is to have a stable government that represents not just the Shi'a but also the Sunnis and the Kurds within the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: With the U.S. carrying the water.

MR. CARNEY: Of course, with the U.S. --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Of course they like it, so it's relatively easy. But which countries did she not visit? She did not visit Syria. MR. CARNEY: She did not visit --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She did not visit Iran.

MR. CARNEY: -- the key countries that are not allies of the United States that were named as very important by the Baker-Hamilton commission --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The most important.

MR. CARNEY: -- in order to try to pacify Iraq.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, but John, she's pushing against an open door. She's pushing against an open door. The Sunni Arabs are frightened to death of an Iranian nuclear bomb. They're frightened to death of a Shi'a-dominated Iraq where American power is gone. So they want the Americans not to cut and run, and they want the Americans to protect the Persian Gulf. That's why they're backing us. We've got -- as Jay said, we've got common interests here, John.

MS. CLIFT: But the notion that you don't talk to Iran and Syria because, as Ms. Rice says, you're going to them as a supplicant, and you only go to them if you're winning somewhere, I mean, it's nonsensical.

At the same time, the Bush administration is taking all this guff from the prime minister of Iraq --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And also --

MS. CLIFT: -- who's saying that the Bush administration --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does it not also --

MS. CLIFT: There's a crisis of confidence in Washington and Baghdad.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does it not also thumb its nose at our history? During the Vietnam war, we talked to the VC. We talked to the North Vietnamese.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, we were negotiating terms of surrender.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, before that we had conversations with them. So isn't that --

MR. BLANKLEY: Before Kissinger met with --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Sure, we did.

MR. BUCHANAN: In '68 -- we met them in '68; Harriman. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. The premise here is, as Eleanor pointed out, that you're somehow weak-kneed and you're capitulating to them if you talk to them. The only ones who could really help us in Iraq are Syria and Iran.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yes, but they say they can only help us, but that assumes that they have some interest in wanting (us ?). Right now things are going wonderfully for Iran with us having difficulty in Iraq.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, doubts on Maliki.

Secretary Rice says that the Arab states voiced one particular worry -- whether Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki could deliver, whether he has what it takes.

SEC. RICE: (From videotape.) I think he knows that his government is, in a sense, on borrowed time.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Prime Minister Maliki, on hearing this, was angry and warned what the statement might do. "I believe that such statements give moral boosts to the terrorists."

Question: What's behind all the pressure on Maliki? I ask you, Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, there's a lot of domestic American political pressure on the Bush administration to try to force -- to be seen to be forcing the Maliki government to take more steps on their own behalf. As a result, that's why --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why should --

MR. BLANKLEY: -- that's why Secretary Rice made that statement. It worked well in domestic American politics. It was undermining Iraqi domestic politics.

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why don't you tell it like it is, Tony? Why don't you tell it like it is? You know that Maliki is being set up as the fall guy. True or false?

MR. BUCHANAN: But this is dreadful, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: True or false?

MR. BUCHANAN: This is dreadful treatment of an American ally in wartime. Even if he is deficient, you don't do this. I'm on Maliki's side.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, we need a fall guy now. You know that. MR. BLANKLEY: We're not looking for a fall guy. We're looking for victory.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is he being set up? Is he?

MR. CARNEY: There's no question that there is a movement within the administration and the Republican Party at large, and even among war supporters and the Democrats, to sort of shift the blame to, you know, "It would have gone well, but the Iraqis simply don't want what we've given them."

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see the way she verbally decapitated him?

MR. CARNEY: Yes.

MS. CLIFT: Well, this is the Bush administration getting hoisted on its own petard, when they're now saying that criticizing the Maliki government is giving aid and comfort to al Qaeda. It's the same argument leveled at critics in this country.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Another achievement of Condoleezza Rice was to get Olmert and Abbas, Abu Abbas of the Palestinians, to agree to an informal meeting later, which will be followed by really serious negotiations in maybe, what, the EU, the E-4?

MR. BUCHANAN: The quartet.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The quartet, right.

Okay, here's Olmert saying, "Cool it on Iran."

On her Mideast trip, Secretary of State Rice also convened with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and this occurred on Monday. Also, later on Monday, Olmert appealed to fellow politicians to cool their rhetoric about the nuclear ambitions of Iran. "Stop instilling in the public a fear that those ambitions threaten Israel's existence," unquote.

Olmert said the Iranian nuclear program was indeed worrying. Nevertheless, quote, "I believe that the world and we know how to deal with the present threat. But please, we need to stop instilling fear of an existential threat just to grab more headlines. There is no need to make the threat worse than it is," unquote.

Speculation is mounting, however, that Israel might attack Iran's nuclear facilities unilaterally. But the Olmert government insists that Israel supports international efforts to find a diplomatic solution.

Question: With Prime Minister Olmert's admonition telling his Kadima Party to cool the anti-Iran rhetoric, that admonition, was it prompted by race -- by Rice, that is -- earlier in the day?

MS. CLIFT: I don't know about that. But the Bush administration, I think, is looking for a provocation to widen the war into Iran. And maybe Israel is getting the sense that that wouldn't be the wisest way to proceed. I would hope that's the case.

MR. BUCHANAN: What Olmert is doing is this. Look, you've got the Israeli generals and Netanyahu are almost hysterical, saying, "We've got to get the Americans to do this. Our survival is at stake." And he's saying, "Cool your jets. We're talking privately to the Americans. Stop going off and getting all the United States excited in their journalistic area."

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Assign a letter grade to Rice's handling of her Middle East mission, A to F, no development. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: C.

MS. CLIFT: I would say gentlewoman's C. MR. BLANKLEY: For the trip itself, about a B+; overall, about a C, C-.

MR. CARNEY: I'd say for the trip itself about a B; but overall the Middle East handling of this administration and the secretary of State, a D.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She gets an A, if not an A+, for her treatment of the Arabs and for her success in Israel. But she gets an F for not going to Syria and not going to the government of Iran.

Issue Two: Strong, Invincible and Single.

A tectonic demographic shift is shaking America. For the first time in U.S. history, more than half of American women, 51 percent, are not married. And many like it that way. Scholars say the reason is younger women today are less dependent on a husband and marriage. They have their careers, their income, their interests. Also, widows and divorced older women are not remarrying.

Where is this rising demographic bringing us? Answer: The 2008 election.

Question: We had the yuppies of the '80s, the soccer moms of the '90s, the security moms of post-9/11. Will the new hot phenomenon in the voter makeup of 2008 be single women? Jay.

MR. CARNEY: It will be one of them. There's no question that -- it's amazing; not that long ago, we were talking about Republican hegemony, you know, for a generation, Karl Rove's plan of creating a permanent Republican majority, governing majority.

But what we've seen is that so many demographic shifts are working against the GOP in some of the mountain states, with Latino voters in the Southwest, in states like Virginia, where an influx of suburbanites into northern Virginia has made that state from reliably Republican to potentially a swing state.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the point?

MR. CARNEY: And now, with women, Democrats tend to do better among women. They did much better among single women than married women.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How do single women mostly vote? Democratic, right?

MS. CLIFT: Yes. Democrats do better with women who are single, for whatever reason, because they look more to government. And the Democrats are seen more as the party of government offering a helping hand. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And their incomes are depressed --

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me just -- look --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Their incomes are depressed in relation to men.

MS. CLIFT: Yes, but not as much as they once were.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right. So where are you going with this?

MS. CLIFT: Where am I going with this?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are they going to vote dominantly Democratic?

MS. CLIFT: I'm looking at Hillary. And again, she has had trouble convincing women. She overcame the resistance in New York. The question is whether she can do that on a broader base.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We're going to get into the exit question of whether or not Hillary gains the White House is going to be determined by single women.

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, there's always a poli-sci theory of a season. This is this one's. The fact is that it's not that simple. If you've got middle-income, well-educated women who are not married, they may not vote like poor single women who are not married. Also, there are increasing numbers of single women with children and men, but they're not married. And that with child is an element of how people vote.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've got race also. You've got age. You've got gender.

MR. BLANKLEY: When you take out all of those other variables, I don't think you're seeing a dramatic shift in this demographic.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you agree with him?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, I don't. Look, there's an increasingly Hispanic and African-American larger and larger share of the population. You take single women with children, middle class and poor, it is an overwhelming vote for the Democratic Party. To the degree that it grows, it is bad news for the GOP.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: If Hillary gains the White House in 2008, will it be single women who put her there? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: She would win by -- if she wins, 51 or 50 percent. And you could claim a lot of things. That would be one of them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Doesn't she need single women to counter the anti-Hillary vote among blue collars? MS. CLIFT: I don't -- single blue-collar women also like Democrats, and I think they're going to like Hillary. Look, if Hillary wins or any Democrat wins, it's going to be because of the gender gap.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, if she wins, she's going to have done pretty well in an awful lot of demographics. This may be a small plus up for her.

MR. CARNEY: I agree with Tony. If a Democrat wins, single women will have played a major role, as they do for every Democratic win when they win.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, if it's a major role, it will be determinative, and that's the answer. It's single women.

Issue Three: Fidel Bueno? Fidel Malo?

Fidel Castro came to power 48 years ago, 1959. He led the Cuban revolution that overthrew military dictator Fulgencio Batista. Castro then became prime minister and, 31 years ago, president. His brother, Raoul Castro, has been governing Cuba as acting president for the last seven months.

Question: Did Castro hold Cuba back more than Castro marched it forward? I ask you, Anthony.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yes, obviously he held it back. It's ludicrous --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Which did he do more of?

MR. BLANKLEY: He held it back. Here you have this wonderful island that's rich -- had a tremendous tourism trade. And he managed to turn it into a place where there's a sugar shortage, for goodness' sake.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He provided for the education of his people. He provided for their health needs. He's probably got some of the best doctors in the world there.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. BLANKLEY: If Castro hadn't come in, Cuba would be a profitable tourist paradise today.

MS. CLIFT: It depends who you were in Cuba. The poor got education. There's almost universal health care. But if you want to buy a car that was made after 1954, and if you were rich or want to be rich, Castro didn't help.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Helped or hurt more? Quickly; I want to have a round robin.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Helped or hurt more?

MR. BUCHANAN: It used to be the highest standard of living in Latin America and a free country. It's lost all its freedom. It's a tyranny. It's the lowest standard of living. It's on a level with Haiti.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He hurt Cuba more. What do you think? Hurt or helped?

MS. CLIFT: Overall, probably hurt, but he did the poor a lot of good. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hurt or helped?

MR. BLANKLEY: Hurt.

MR. CARNEY: Hurt.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Answer: Hurt.

Will more than 10 Republicans vote with the Democrats on the resolution before the Congress?

MR. BUCHANAN: Just short of 10.

MS. CLIFT: Ten. (Laughs.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Over 10.

MR. CARNEY: Over 10.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Over 10.

Bye-bye.

END.