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Special Report Roundtable - Aug 8

Hannity & Colmes

JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: The one thing you can count on is you will never see a picture of me on the front of Fortune Magazine, saying "I am the candidate that big corporate America is betting on." That will never happen, that is one thing you can take to the bank.

SEN HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NEW YORK: For 15 years, I have stood up against the right-wing machine, and I have come out stronger. So if you want a winner who knows how to take them on, I am your girl.

BAIER: Some moments from last night's Democratic debate in Chicago. So who came out on top, and how about all those grenades that were thrown. Some analytical observations from the Bill Sammon, Senior White House Correspondent of the Washington Examiner, Mort Kondracke, Executive Editor of Roll Call, and syndicated columnists Charles Krauthammer, FOX News contributors all.

Bill, it was such heated debate. There were a lot of jabs' back and forth. Obviously, Hillary Clinton was a big target.

BILL SAMMON, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: It shows that she is 20 points ahead in the polls. The other candidates have to knock her down.

And I think they are also pandering to the left on these debates. They're going to the Yearly Kos, this liberal bloggers thing, Big Labor yesterday, Take Back America a few weeks ago, and I think the problem is they are lurching so far leftward it is going to be hard to correct in the general election and tack to the center.

On the other hands, Republicans are not lurching right word, correspondingly.

They're less conservative than Bush. All of them are less conservative than Bush. All of the Democrats are more conservative than the previous Democratic President Bill Clinton.

BAIER: Mort?

MORT KONDRAKE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: The Republicans are lurching to the right. I mean John McCain is now in favor of tax cuts that he once voted against. Mitt Romney has changed his position entirely on abortion. Rudy Giuliani will appoint Antonin Scalia look-a-likes to the Supreme Court.

They're pandering on both sides. And the tragedy is that it is going to make it much more difficult for the next president of either party to get anything done because they are veering off to the side.

I was really disappointed last night in Hillary Clinton, especially. I think she did fine. She handled herself perfectly well. But the pandering--the idea that she was criticizing No Child Left Behind, which she has got to know is necessary to improve America education, she is against the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has increased our exports to Canada and Mexico.

She is in favor of defined benefit pensions, which nobody is in favor of. Everybody has got to have they 401k and learn how to save, and not expect a corporation to give them their pensions.

All of this stuff, all of the candidates were pandering. But she ought to know better.

KRAUTHAMMER: On ideological extremism, Mort, you cannot pretend that Rudy Giuliani, who is way ahead of the race now, is not more centrist than any Republican in memory, and far more centrist than any Democrat is.

But on the issue of Hillary being attacked by Obama and Edwards on loving corporation, that is not an issue that is actually going to have any impact on this race. People are very cynical about lobbyists and about the impact of money, and they know that on the one hand these campaigns boast about how much is raised, and then all the sudden claim to be pure on the influence of money.

That is not going to wash. The real story here is how Clinton increased her lead over Obama because he made some stumbles on the foreign affairs, rookie mistakes in the last couple of weeks, and he has not recovered.

SAMMON: I think there is pandering on both sides. But the base line is different. The right baseline is different. The left baseline is further left than the right line is to the right.

BAIER: All right, we will leave it there with an abbreviated space shuttle panel.

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