Panel on the Democratic National Convention

By Special Report w/Bret Baier, Special Report w/Bret Baier - September 7, 2012

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This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," September 7, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: He calls for a new tax. It's called a territorial tax, which the experts have looked at. And they acknowledge, it will create 800,000 new jobs, all of them overseas.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, that was Vice President Biden in his speech down in Charlotte. There is an issue with this statement in that the president's own jobs council recommended the same thing it's called a territorial tax system, meaning the foreign earnings of American corporations taxed overseas would not be taxed again when they are brought home. The president hasn't met with that jobs council since January of this year.

We're back with the panel. I want to start there, Charles. Jim Angle did this piece tonight and it's pretty -- well, it's just interesting.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's a measure of audacity. The president said in '08 we'd get audacity. When you trash a recommendation and attribute it to Romney and say it's going to hurt us and ship jobs overseas and it turns out that it's the recommendation of a panel the president appointed as a way to get -- understand how the economy works, how business is recommending improvements, it just shows shamelessness.

I think, for example, when the president says over and over again all the number of jobs that were being lost when he came into office, what he doesn't say is that the recession ended within six months in '09, June of '09. Obviously, it wasn't a response to anything that Obama had done, there wouldn't have been enough time. So it ended because of the measures that Bush and Geithner and others had taken at the end of '08. And so he had kind of a clean slate and in '09 until today, the median income of the United States had declined more than in the recession itself.

There are all these numbers that were sort of elided over in these speeches. And you get a press that was extremely sort of harsh on Ryan, calling him a liar here and there, which he wasn't, incidentally, but it ignores all of this as if it really doesn't care if it's coming out of the Obama administration and the candidates.

BAIER: Another thing the council recommended "“ the jobs council -- was broadening the tax base by eliminating deductions in exchange for lower tax rates overall, something that the Simpson-Bowles commission recommended as well. You heard the president, as Charles mentioned, mention that in his speech. And that raised some eyebrows as well because he really didn't embrace it back when it came out.

KASIE HUNT, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Sure. And this is something that, you know, Romney has talked about as well. He again won't detail necessarily the specifics deductions that he wants to do, but he talked about the deduction for a second home, for example. And so, you know, when you have the president -- this is one area where in his convention speech you saw him playing to the center. He spent a lot of time playing to the left on social issues and other things, but on issues like taxes and deficit reduction, he was trying to make a play for those swing voters.

BAIER: While Paul Ryan voted against the Simpson-Bowles commission in the actual commission he says that he brought forward a plan afterwards to take the good things that he thought, including dealing with health care and the president didn't. Steve, how big -- does this sink in anyplace, like some of these things that the jobs council recommendation, the Simpson-Bowles recommendation? Does it cross into people's mindset?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I think the Simpson-Bowles stuff might. People have an awareness of debt and where we are as a country in terms of debt and deficits that I have certainly never seen as long as I've been covering politics. There is a level of concern, I would say even alarm, that is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's always the second most cited issue when you ask voters, "what are you most concerned about?" In some places like swing states like Iowa, it's the top issue.

I think when the president tries to own Simpson-Bowles and at the same time try and distance himself from its recommendations, it does, it does look sneaky. I think just to follow up on the point that Charles made. If you want to talk about audacity, remember, the president last night -- as it relates to taxes -- once again made a pitch to raise taxes on the wealthy. They restated this position today, the White House did.

It is important to remember the president himself has twice said on videotape that raising taxes in a downturn will hurt the economy, including raising taxes on the rich in a downturn will hurt the economy. He is on video saying this. So I would say that is even more audacious than what Charles was pointing out because he in fact is running on something that he said will hurt the economy.

BAIER: At a time when he said it, when the GDP was almost twice what it is today. All right, winners and losers in Charlotte?

HAYES: Well, I would say the winner is sort of easy for me. It was Gabrielle Giffords, that was such a great moment.

BAIER: That was a great moment.

HAYES: I think everybody recognized it as a great moment.

My loser is Debbie Wasserman Schultz. What she tried to do to Phil Klein of the Washington Examiner and suggest that he deliberately misquoted her when he in fact quoted her accurately and had it on audiotape I think is totally disgraceful. And I'm surprised, frankly, that you haven't seen the journalistic community rise up in defense of Phil Klein as I think they would have had he not been working at conservative paper.

BAIER: Kasie?

HUNT: The winner is probably Obama himself. You have seen a little bounce already out of the convention, some of early polls, not necessarily because of the speech that he gave, but because of the convention altogether. And I would say voters probably lost out for the Democratic and the Republican convention, because as we were just addressing with the Simpson-Bowles and some of these other things, neither of these candidates really grappled with this enormous fiscal cliff.

BAIER: Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: Winner -- the vice president. He gave the speech of his life. If you take away the last 15 minutes of partisan hackery, the part he did about the bailout, feeling for the ordinary American was slightly unctuous, as I would say, but it had feeling, emotion, resonance -- I think it sort of rescued his reputation, which was rapidly heading into being irrelevant and sort of the crazy uncle in the attic. So I think he did himself a world of good.

BAIER: Loser?

KRAUTHAMMER: Elizabeth Warren, one of the worst speeches of the two weeks.

BAIER: That is it for the panel and an interesting end to two weeks. Stay tuned for a moment of candor, perhaps, from a former president.

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