THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; MONICA CROWLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES; MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT TAPED: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2010 BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 23-24, 2010
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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Latino Poder.
LESLIE SANCHEZ (Impacto Group founder and CEO): (From videotape.) Latinos are focused like a laser beam on the economy, job creation, high levels of debt -- very consistent with general market and kind of mainstream America. That's the story of Latino voters. As they assimilate, acculturate, they think very much along the economic lines. And I think that is the silver lining that conservatives see.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Latinos are sometimes called Hispanics, and both words will be used interchangeably here. Hispanics are the fastest- growing minority group in the U.S. In 2009, Hispanics made up almost 16 percent of the U.S. population, with about 48 million people. Latinos make up about 9 percent of all eligible U.S. voters, up from 7 percent of voters in the 2008 presidential election.
But Latinos play an even larger role in races where they make up significant voting blocs. Latino voters could be game changers in House and Senate races, where the Latin population is high. This is also true in the contests for governor in California, Texas and Colorado.
Nationally, Latino voters favor Democrats over Republicans. The margin is polled at 65 to 22 percent -- 65 Democrat, 22 percent Republican. This makes Republicans cringe.
But whether Hispanics will actually vote is another matter. A Pew poll says 51 percent of Hispanic voters state that they are absolutely certain they will vote, compared to 70 percent of all registered voters who so say. If Latinos stay home, Democrats fear their fire wall will collapse. So this week Barack Obama sounded the alarm.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) Don't forget who your friends are. (Speaks phrase in Spanish.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Seventy percent of all registered voters say they are certain they will vote a week from Tuesday. Only 51 percent of Latino voters, as we noted there, say they are certain they will vote on next Tuesday -- a week from Tuesday.
What's the reason why Latino voters are not more fired up? Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: Latino voters are younger. They're newer. They're less acculturated into the country so far, John. They have less interest in politics. It is not 2008. They were 7.4 percent of the national total, but then you had a huge national exciting election with Obama and McCain, and they were only 7.4 percent of the electorate. You can't get that kind of turnout when you've got local and state elections where they don't have that much interest.
Secondly, it is true their four or five main concerns are the same as everybody else -- budget deficit, education, things like that. They also feel that Obama has not delivered. The Democrats did not deliver at all on immigration. They're bitter about the fact they didn't even go for a vote. Some of their leaders are saying, "Don't come out."
I don't think they're going to come out in big numbers. But long term, they're a terrible problem for Republicans, because Reagan got 44 percent. Bush got 40 percent. McCain, Mr. Amnesty, got 32 percent. This electorate, 50 million people, will be, by mid-century, between 100 (million) and 130 million in the United States.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor. MS. CLIFT: Right. And there are some ads funded by Republican outside groups or groups sympathetic to Republicans urging the Latinos to stay home and not vote because the president has disappointed them.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they've called those out now. I mean, they're no longer allowed to run them.
MS. CLIFT: Well, I know about them, so they made an impression. The Republicans have really alienated the Hispanic vote. And the Democrats, as Pat pointed out, haven't delivered. And I think the president, he promised he would have a bill in his first year. He tried to get Republicans to work with him. He couldn't.
And I don't think he played the politics right. He should have forced a confrontation and made the Republicans filibuster it so he could go out there and say, "I tried, and these are the people who prevented it." So he didn't play the politics correctly.
But he's out there now trying to raise enthusiasm. In some places like Nevada, Hispanics are a quarter of the vote. If Harry Reid survives, it will be thanks to the Hispanic vote. And this is the test group for the president's main message, and that is that he needs time, that he can't turn around this economy in two years and make up for the previous eight years. And that's basically his message. He's asking the voters for time and he's asking them to compare the Democrat against the Republican. And the Republican brand is in far worse shape than the Democratic brand.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Harry Reid is the majority leader, so it's a very important election.
MS. CLIFT: Absolutely.
MS. CROWLEY: Right. And Nevada is crucial when you're talking about the Latino vote, as is California. Twenty percent of all voters in the state of California are Latino.
I think Latinos could be a wild card in this election. There could be a number of wild cards, Latinos certainly one of them. And while it is true that I think that a number of Latinos are bitterly disappointed that the Obama administration didn't press further along with comprehensive immigration reform, some others may be really upset with the Republican Party about the Arizona illegal-immigration law that the Republican governor, Jan Brewer, put in place in Arizona. So you sort of have this dispirited Latino voting bloc, where they're upset with the Republicans and they're upset with the Democrats.
But I think just to clump in all Latinos in that category and say, "Well, they're going to stay home; they're dispirited and energized just over that one issue" is insulting to them. I think to that voting bloc, just as with every other American in this country, they're worried, first and foremost, about the state of the economy and the job situation. And just like with African-Americans, Latinos have disproportionately borne the burden of the high unemployment rate in this country.
And Obama can try to say, "Give me more time," but I just think Latinos, just as with every other voting constituency in America, they're saying, "Look, you had almost two years. You've taken a bad economic situation and made it worse. Where are the jobs?" And they're not getting adequate answers to that or results.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you following this Martinez possibility of --
MS. CROWLEY: Susana Martinez, who is running --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In New Mexico.
MS. CROWLEY: Yes. She's running for the governorship of New Mexico, and she --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is she Republican or is she Democrat?
MS. CROWLEY: She's a Republican. She's a Republican. And her opponent is a Democratic woman, so there are two women vying for the governorship in New Mexico. And Susana Martinez is going to win. She's leading by a number of points, and she's --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So this will be the first time in American history that a Republican Latino woman will be governor of a state.
MR. BUCHANAN: First Latina.
MS. CROWLEY: And a border state.
MR. BUCHANAN: First Latina of any party.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: First Latina, and Latino?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, there's been Latinos, I believe. This is the first Latina.
MS. CLIFT: Governor Richardson.
MS. CROWLEY: Richardson. MS. CLIFT: The one.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.) Right.
MS. CROWLEY: But she will be.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, can you shed some light on this?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, number one, a huge percentage of the Latino community works in the residential-construction world, particularly in all the southern states -- California, Nevada, Texas, Florida; you name it. And that industry has virtually collapsed, so they are really hurting in this economy.
I don't know how it's going to react politically, but they have lost a gigantic number of jobs, over a million -- actually, excuse me, 5 million jobs in that industry alone. So that's one thing that's going to affect them.
The other is I happen to have attended the speech that Obama made here in Washington really calling for immigration reform, and it was attended by almost all the Latino leaders and Latina leaders in this country. And I think there was both an appreciation that he was making the pitch but a sense it was late in the game. It had a tinge of politics because it was close to the election.
Where was he earlier on when they really expected him to really make a serious push? So I agree, in a sense, with what Eleanor was saying that he hasn't played the politics as well as I imagine he thought he would or they thought he would.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's go to the exit question. But take note also that Marco Rubio appears to be a likely win as senator from Florida; a Latino man, of course.
MR. BUCHANAN: He's a Cuban-American.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question -- a Cuban-American, but also Latino. Cuban-Americans are Latino, yes or no?
MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, but don't congregate all these folks -- Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans -- in the same bag.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they're in the Latino caucus, all of them, aren't they? Are they not?
MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, but it's --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, there's your bag for you, if you want a bag. (Laughter.) On a political probability scale, zero to 10, zero meaning zero probability and 10 meaning metaphysical certitude, what is the likelihood that three quarters of eligible Hispanics will vote one week from Tuesday, zero to 10, three quarters, climbing from 51 percent?
MR. BUCHANAN: To three quarters?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.
MR. BUCHANAN: Hasta la vista, baby. No.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No?
MR. BUCHANAN: Zero.
MS. CLIFT: Seventy-five percent turnout, I don't think you're going to see in any group. And I would point out that the seat that Marco Rubio looks like he might win was occupied by Senator Martinez, who, again, is somebody from the Latino community.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MS. CROWLEY: I would say probably zero to one. Remember, in the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama's campaign, and the DNC poured an unprecedented $20 million into targeting Hispanic turnout. They're not doing the same. But you know who is this time, John?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who?
MS. CROWLEY: The SEIU. They're pouring tens of millions of dollars into targeting Hispanic voter turnout, and they could have a real effect.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the STIU?
MS. CROWLEY: The SEIU -- the Service Employees International Union.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm-hmm.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Andy Stern was the head of that; very active politically.
MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I agree with Eleanor. There will not be a single community that's going to vote to the extent of 75 percent.
Having said that, I think their numbers will clearly go up in this --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Seventy percent?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No. I don't know.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Sixty-five percent?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, it won't be what it was --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I'd say it'll be about --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Give me a percentage.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Sixty-five percent.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Sixty-five. I'll stick with you, Mort.
Issue Two: Not a Race, a Referendum?
The midterm elections a week from Tuesday are seen as a referendum on President Obama. President Obama's national approval ratings hover now just below 50 percent. If you accept that voters will cast their ballots on whether they like Mr. Obama or dislike him, we will experience a wave election -- an anti-incumbent, an anti- Democrat tsunami, many believe.
Most pollsters and pundits agree Republicans will seize control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The question for Republicans is, can they also flip the U.S. Senate? Republicans need to pick up 10 seats from the Democrats to reach a majority of 51 seats. This year, 18 Republican-held seats and 19 Democratic-held seats are up for re-election. The GOP is favored to win 17 of their 18 seats that are up. Their one vulnerable seat is the state of Kentucky. It's a toss- up. But 12 of the Democrats' 19 seats are in jeopardy. Republicans need 10.
Here are the Democrats' 12 seats: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin -- all, to repeat, Democratic-held seats. All seats are in jeopardy, all where Republicans could win on election day.
Republicans have to have a near-perfect night, however, themselves on November 2 to take control of the upper chamber. To gain the majority, the GOP must do two things: One, hold all 18 of its currently held seats, including Kentucky, which is a toss-up. That would bring them to 41 seats. Two, win 10 of the 12 vulnerable Democratic seats.
Question: A new poll shows that the turnout advantage is shifting even more towards Republicans -- 50 percent Republicans to 40 percent Democrats. Why is this shift significant? Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, I would dispute some of what you said. This is a volatile electorate, and I think the pollsters are not quite sure that they're finding the right groups to poll. Nobody's quite sure who's going to show up. I think the races are all tightening. The Republicans could have a very good night. On the other hand, I do think the Democrats have a pretty good shot of keeping control of the Senate and about a 30 percent chance of holding on to the House.
So I'm not going to make any sweeping predictions here, because Newsweek is doing some polling for our issue coming out next week, and the first night of polling suggested that the Democrats even have a little slight advantage in "Who do you prefer, the Democrat or the Republican?"
MR. BUCHANAN: I think that --
MS. CLIFT: And the early voting in most places, except for Nevada, seemed to show more of a Democratic surge than a Republican surge. So maybe Democrats have woken up to the threat that's posed here in the final days.
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is she overly exuberant?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, she's got a very good point, because Kentucky is not only a toss-up. Pennsylvania is a toss-up. Sestak has moved a point ahead. He closed a 10-point gap.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Sestak's of what party?
MR. BUCHANAN: Democratic. He's the Democratic congressman, yeah. And he's moved -- he's tied up with Toomey now. Everything on the Republican side, John, because there's a lot of races that are very, very tight, it depends. Will there be this Republican wave which sort of goes over everybody and adds three or four points to everybody, in which case Republicans have got a long-shot chance of picking up the Senate? I would agree with Eleanor. I would bet no to the Senate. And I don't know -- people are talking 60, 70 seats in the House. I don't see that. Maybe they're going to get 45, 50.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This early voting, are they counting these early votes now, the ones that are mailed in?
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I think they're probably talking to people when they come out of these places and asking them how they're voting, and Democrats seem to be doing okay.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they're not doing a count.
MS. CLIFT: They know --
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, you can't count the votes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You count the votes until the election is held.
MS. CROWLEY: Until election day.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, what do you have?
MS. CROWLEY: This is a fully nationalized election at this point. And even though Barack Obama is not on the ballot, it is a referendum on his administration and this Democratic Congress. What I think -- I think it is true that we're seeing a lot of these races start to tighten up, as races naturally do as you get closer to election day.
But keep in mind, John, that not only is it a referendum on very unpopular big-government, big-spending, big-deficit policies of this administration, but you have enormous enthusiasm gap, where conservatives and Republicans are really jazzed about voting in a week and a half, and you also have the hemorrhaging of independents away from the Democratic Party.
So if Obama's out there trying to rally his base, in order for him to retain his majorities even in the Congress, you would have to get his base and Democrats and independents as excited this time as they were in 2008, and that is absolutely impossible.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the turnout advantage?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think there will be a turnout advantage for the Republicans this time. And it's also in part a reflection of what we were just talking about, which is the intensity. The intensity is clearly overwhelmingly on the Republican side.
And I'll say one other thing. A huge number of people in this country have been affected by the major drop in the value of their homes, which was the largest equity on the balance sheet of the average American family. And we have, in one form or another, one in every five families who has somebody who's unemployed. And everybody knows somebody who's -- this is a national election for that reason, because the economy and the problems with it are placed at the doorstep of the White House and of Obama.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So this is a referendum on Barack Obama.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: And on his policies, which have not worked.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And on his policies.
MS. CROWLEY: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well stated.
Issue Three: It's Smear Time.
(Begin videotaped segment.)
MEG WHITMAN (California Republican gubernatorial candidate): You should be ashamed for sacrificing Nicky Diaz on the altar of your political ambitions.
CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL JERRY BROWN (California Democratic gubernatorial candidate): You have blamed her, blamed me, blamed the left, blamed the unions, but you don't take accountability.
(End videotaped segment.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's gloves off in the race for governor of California. Former EBay CEO and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman has accused her Democratic opponent, former two-term Governor Jerry Brown, of magnifying a household mishap into a national embarrassment that has hampered her campaign; namely, the accidental hiring by the Whitmans, husband and wife, of an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper, who now alleges that Meg Whitman knew what her status really was.
NICKY DIAZ (former housekeeper to Meg Whitman): (From videotape.) She knew that. And I don't have papers to work here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The incident initially set Whitman back in the polls, until an associate of Jerry Brown was recorded on a police union member's voice-mail machine calling Meg Whitman a, quote- unquote, "whore." Brown apologized for the comment, but appeared to some to stumble in the debate when he tried to explain away the slur, claiming faulty message transmission.
(Begin videotaped segment.)
ATTY GEN. BROWN: This is a five-week-old private conversation picked up on a cell phone with a garbled transmission; very hard to detect who it is. And this is not -- I don't want to get into the term and how it's used, but I will say the campaign apologized promptly, and I affirm that apology tonight.
MS. WHITMAN: So, Jerry, it's not just me. It's the people of California who deserve better than slurs and personal attacks. That's not what California is about. It is not our better selves.
(End videotaped segment.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A poll released late Wednesday gives Brown an eight-point lead over Whitman among likely voters, 44 to 36 percent, Brown. Why is the campaign for California governor becoming so mean- spirited? And which candidate benefits more from that mean- spiritedness? Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: I think it's mean-spirited on both sides, but I do think that the flap over the hiring or knowingly perhaps having an illegal immigrant, considering all of her rhetoric, I think that's really damaged her. And I think the use of the word on the Brown camp -- I'm not going to defend that, but the issue was that she cut a deal to get an endorsement from a law-enforcement agency even though she talks publicly about cutting back on all their pensions. She cut a deal with them. So that's how the use of that word came in.
And I think there's a killer ad in this race. And it's done, I believe, by Joe Trippi, who's been involved in some major campaigns. And they've taken all of Meg Whitman's statements and they've matched them up exactly with what Arnold Schwarzenegger said --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MS. CLIFT: -- when he was running, about how they'll create jobs and how they're different.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that bad? Is that bad?
MS. CLIFT: Yes, because Schwarzenegger's popularity is in the 20s. And you've also got a population skeptical whether somebody from the outside business world can come in again and work with government. Schwarzenegger wasn't able to do it. It's unlikely she will either.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, the answer to your question --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think the Whitman-Schwarzenegger duality is going to work for the Democrats?
MR. BUCHANAN: It's -- I think it's an effective ad. I don't know how much it changes --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Really? Schwarzenegger is that much of a drag? You really think so? MR. BUCHANAN: He's a huge drag. But let me go back to your basic point. I think she's hurt more by a smear campaign, because she came in extremely fresh, new. And you get two people in the smear thing; then they go back to the same level.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Latino lady --
MR. BUCHANAN: The Latino thing was the killer for her, but --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The lady is persuasive. But suppose this all developed after about four or five or six or seven years of service and the Latino lady came to her and Meg Whitman says, "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do for you" --
MR. BUCHANAN: John, John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- because there was nothing she could do for her --
MR. BUCHANAN: It was too hot an issue. But let me say --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- if the lady wanted to stay in the United States, because the immigration officers might have said, "You've got to go back to Mexico."
MR. BUCHANAN: John, look at -- the race you want to look at in California and the sleeper is Barbara Boxer may be in trouble. Carly Fiorina is running almost even for the U.S. Senate seat.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the point? They could lose California?
MR. BUCHANAN: I think Whitman's in much more trouble than Carly Fiorina is.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean this is a California mood?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, there's also a very large Hispanic population in California.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the biggest state in California? Who has the most electoral votes?
MR. BUCHANAN: California still does.
MS. CROWLEY: California, right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So it's important that this governor's race go the way Whitman wants it to go and the Republicans want it to go.
MS. CROWLEY: John, John --
MR. BUCHANAN: It's not looking good.
MS. CLIFT: If Whitman won, John, if Whitman won, she'd be on every short list for vice president, maybe president, on the Republican side.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, really?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I don't think so.
MR. BUCHANAN: No.
MS. CLIFT: If she was.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: Does Obama Back Foreclosures?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) You know, American home ownership, that's always been such an important symbol of the American dream, right, having your own home.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: President Obama has his sociology right. Owning a home is an essential of the American dream. All the more painful, then, is this week's news that for the first time in American history, home foreclosures reached six figures in one month, with over 102,000 owners losing their homes last month, September.
Attorneys general in all 50 states opened a joint investigation to check alleged widespread fraud by home mortgage lenders. In response, many lenders voluntarily imposed a moratorium, a freeze, on foreclosures. But there were exceptions. Wells Fargo and Citigroup stated that their mortgage lending was sound. They never installed a moratorium. Bank of America will foreclose on more than 100,000 homes this coming week in 23 states. And GMAC Mortgage is also pushing ahead. Many Democrats are going further. They are pushing for a new nationwide moratorium on foreclosures. President Obama strongly supported investigations into shoddy mortgage lending paperwork. But the president does not support a national moratorium on foreclosures.
ROBERT GIBBS (White House press secretary): (From videotape.) Our concern has been ensuring that the process adequately complies with the law. We have talked about, over the past week or so, the danger that we see in, though, halting the entire housing market.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here's the way this works, from a logic point of view. A moratorium on foreclosures would do exactly that. It would halt the entire housing market. A moratorium is a freeze. So Obama wants no moratorium. He wants to maintain foreclosure with the lenders judging whether to foreclose or not. Is that good policy for the economy? Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely. I mean, sad as it is, the only basis on which they can foreclose if people stop paying the interest and/or the principal on the loans, which, in fact, is true of all the ones that they are of foreclosing, the issue is, as an administrative matter, whether they were doing it because they were so overwhelmed by the number of foreclosures, they were doing it too quickly and they didn't read the documents carefully.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Robo signing.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right, robo signing. That's not fraud, okay. What is involved here is a tremendous problem of the collapse of prices of homes. Even now, even with all these foreclosures, you have 11 million homes where the mortgage exceeds the value of the home. We're not even close to being through this problem.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So the moratorium is a bad idea.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It would end all bank financing of homes at that point. Nobody would --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Foreclose away.
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Foreclose away.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's not a question of --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let the balloon loose.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me speak as a landlord, all right, who's got some properties. Like Mort, I own properties out in Bethesda.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How many do you own? MR. BUCHANAN: Not quite as many as Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: And I intend --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You own some on Connecticut Avenue, right?
MR. BUCHANAN: D.C. and --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How many? Four altogether?
MR. BUCHANAN: Five.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How much are they worth?
MR. BUCHANAN: They're going down. (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How much were they worth before and after?
MR. BUCHANAN: An enormous sum of money.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, John, let me just say, Mort is exactly right. But let me say quickly, look, nobody will buy and nobody will lend if you don't know whether you really own the property or if somebody else owns it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.
MR. BUCHANAN: It will freeze up the whole market.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Monica.
MS. CROWLEY: If you had a national moratorium, which would be disastrous for the U.S. economy, it would shake confidence in home values. It would send it into a vicious cycle of downward pricing. And it would shatter whatever shred of a recovery we've got going. You've got to let the market clean out the brush.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you proud of your leader?
MS. CLIFT: How about --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you proud of your leader?
MS. CLIFT: How about a nice little moratorium just through election day? Look, this is great campaign rhetoric, but it would freeze the economy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor --
MS. CLIFT: He's made the right decision. He's got a lot of Democrats angry at him. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Forced prediction: The Republicans will win the Senate, yes or no?
MR. BUCHANAN: One vote short.
MS. CLIFT: No. And all the races that are tight will tighten more.
MS. CROWLEY: Fifty-fifty split -- dead even.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wow.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, the Republicans will control the Senate -- 51 seats.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're right, Mort. Have you been traveling?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I have been, yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know the country.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I wouldn't go that far.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm with you.