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Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Laura Ingraham fills in
Bill's Mugs
How will the GOP bounce back?
Guests: Chip Saltsman and Dee Dee Binkee

"Since Mitt Romney lost in an electoral landslide, I feel like I've become the chief psychologist for conservatives. The frustration and dejection is understandable; like many conservatives, I thought Mitt Romney would pull out a victory. But I think Governor Romney ran an overly cautious and defensive campaign, which allowed the other side to define him. Some establishment Republican types say this requires the party to be less conservative, to be more moderate, and it's no surprise that Democrats agree. I find that depressing. Conservatism won huge for the GOP in 2010 and it beat back a recall recently in Wisconsin. To paraphrase George Will, for Mitt Romney conservatism was kind of like a second language; he was never comfortable articulating or arguing it. So Latinos and women and new voters weren't sold on it and in that vacuum they bought into the malevolent portrait of Romney that was relentlessly pushed by team Obama. But despair is a losing proposition that gets us nowhere. Five days after Barry Goldwater's landslide loss to Lyndon Johnson in 1964, conservatives didn't waste time cursing the darkness; instead, they plotted out a strategy for their cause. The pathway was cleared for fresh voices and new approaches and the movement slowly and surely grew. In his 1980 victory, Ronald Reagan converted Democrats not by adopting Democratic views, but instead by convincing them that conservative solutions offer the only hope for American renewal. We need to do the same thing again."

Laura invited two Republican strategists to assess her recipe for Republican renewal. "I agree with you that Mitt Romney could have been a little more passionate," said Dee Dee Benkie, "but we have too many rich, old guys, we just do! We need to be more positive and uplifting, there wasn't enough of that. We sounded like the 'party of no' and we lost badly." Meanwhile, Chip Saltsman urged his fellow Republicans to hew to conservative principles. "We know who we are as a party, we're a center-right party in a center-right country. Conservatism didn't lose, Mitt Romney lost the race for the White House. We need to talk about what we believe in. True leaders convert the undecided based on their ideas, they don't change their ideas to win elections. If we do that we'll be in the minority for generations." Laura agreed, saying, "You win people over with a winning message, you don't win them over by just giving them stuff."
Is a Republican civil war looming?
Guests: Juan Williams and Mary Katharine Ham

For more on the Republican future, Laura turned to Juan Williams and Mary Katharine Ham. "Just look at the numbers," Williams declared, "and it looks like a huge victory among whites for Romney, but he lost the election. If you're thinking strategically, you have to be more inclusive, especially with rapidly emerging Latino population. You've got to open the party's doors and let some fresh air in." Ham, like Chip Saltsman in the previous segment, urged conservatives to maintain their basic principles. "I'm a conservative and I don't want Republicans to be 'statists light.' You can be conservative, you can sell that, but you do need a really good messenger to bring that message. One of them is Marco Rubio, who sells conservatism really well."
Will Congress compromise before we go over the fiscal cliff?
Guests: Douglas Holtz-Eakin

With automatic spending cuts and tax increases looming on January 1st, Laura spoke with former U.S. budget boss Douglas Holtz-Eakin about the so-called "fiscal cliff." "This would be a big hit and a recipe for recession," he warned, "and we don't even have as much time as that. This is affecting the markets and I think we are in trouble even as we speak." Holtz-Eakin specified who will be hit with higher taxes if action isn't taken by the end of the year. "The alternative minimum tax will hit the middle class so 30-million Americans will pay the high end tax. There is also the sunset of the so-called Bush tax cuts, so everybody will be hit with much higher taxes and there are new things in the Affordable Care Act. The best thing that could happen is if, like in 2010, the President would agree that it's the wrong time to raise taxes."
House panel set to hold hearing on Libya
Guests: Rep. Mike Kelly

The House Intelligence Committee is set to hold a hearing at which they'll grill administration officials about the September 11th attack in Benghazi. Laura spoke with Republican Congressman Mike Kelly "The administration has dodged, delayed, and distorted," Kelly complained, "and they deny any responsibility. The message we see from Al Qaeda is that America's might is gone, our embassies are burned and our ambassadors are dead. I look at those four Americans who died and wonder whether we will honor them. Is there no honor any more in this administration? The American people have the right to know what happened and we have the responsibility to find out for them."
Women put President Obama back in the White House
Guests: Gretchen Carlson and Jeanine Pirro

Laura asked Culture Warriors Gretchen Carlson and Jeanine Pirro to analyze President Obama's ability to win over single women, even as Governor Romney won with married women. "Married women think about the future of their children," Carlson surmised, "and if you're in a traditional marriage you want the same cultural ideals you grew up with. Married women think less about abortion and are less likely to look to the government for help." Pirro tried to explain why President Obama won single women overwhelmingly. "We have a celebrity-driven culture and in this election, more than any that I remember, the celebrities came out and a lot of young people wanted to connect with them. Their issue was all about abortion, while Mitt Romney came out and said he was against Planned Parenthood. The message of Barack Obama, which was so artfully done, was that Republicans hate women and don't want you to get health care."
Will Senator Reid reach across the aisle this term?
Guests: Kirsten Powers and Mary Anne Marsh

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he's now tired of fighting with Republicans and is ready to work together. Laura discussed Reid's epiphany with Democrats Kirsten Powers and Mary Anne Marsh. "Both sides are trying to sound more conciliatory," Powers said, "because they know that's what Americans want. But they're both going to have to give. I try to be hopeful but that's very hard in Washington." Marsh claimed that Democrats have earned a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy. "President Obama campaigned on that and he won, every Democrat who ran for the Senate ran on it and they picked up five seats. So there is a mandate. We have to raise taxes on those who can afford it, we have to make cuts, we have to do it all. The last thing we need is a high-stakes game of chicken during a lame duck session of Congress."
How can the GOP woo the Latino vote?
Guests: Jose Vargas and Henry Bonilla

Considering that President Obama won more than 70% of the Hispanic vote, what should Republicans do? Laura posed that question to journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. "Latinos and Asian Americans care about immigration reform," Vargas said, "but not 'amnesty,' which is the word people on Fox News throw around. We want some sort of a process. And what was really missing with Governor Romney was the 'empathy gap.' He used terms like 'illegal aliens' and 'self-deportation.'" Former Republican Congressman Henry Bonilla urged his party not to pander to Hispanics. "People stereotype us, saying all we want to talk about is immigration. But Hispanics want to talk about economic opportunity and individual responsibility. If you go to these neighborhoods and take a message that is inclusive without trying to pander, then you can be successful. The majority of Hispanics just want to be mainstream Americans."
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