Guests: Danny Bonaduce, Kim Serafin, Ron Reagan, Tanya Acker, Bob Franken
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Tonight: Many in the media still after Clinton over her comments about white voters supporting her.
Isn‘t the real issue that John McCain and RNC are now going full throttle after Obama? And could an Obama/Clinton ticket in the works?
Senator Kennedy says, “No way.”
We‘ll talk about it with the great group: Ron Reagan, Tanya Acker, and Bob Franken, are with us.
And: Our Winners & Losers of the week—from Jenna Bush getting hitched to Barbara Walters getting dissed.
VERDICT starts next.
Hi, everyone, welcome to the show. Thanks for joining us.
While the Republicans launch a “search and destroy” mission against Senator Obama, some Democrats and some of the media remain obsessed with the increasingly irrelevant stories about Hillary Clinton, in particular, her statement about Obama‘s trouble with white working class voters.
But that was probably not a useful thing for her to say, the continuing obsessing about it misses the point. More significant is it the GOP attacks on Obama are now beginning in earnest. It‘s now Obama v. McCain, not Clinton.
Today, John McCain went out of his way to bring the Reverend Wright controversy back into the campaign when responding to a question about whether his age would be an issue in the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just as the Reverend Wright‘s remarks, I don‘t believe that Senator Obama shares his views in any way. But he has said that it‘s a legitimate topic of discussion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: In a new Web site founded by the Republican National Committee launched against Obama as well. It sure seems like some Obama supporters and even some in the media are firing the wrong candidate, Clinton, instead of at Obama‘s real opponent: McCain.
Joining me now: Ron Reagan, he will host Air America‘s “American Afternoon” next week; and political analyst: Tanya Aker and Bob Franken.
All right. Ron, do you agree with me that the media and many even Obama supporters are firing the wrong cannon at Clinton?
RON REAGAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes. I think the media does need to pay more attention to John McCain right now but so does Hillary Clinton. If she continues to say these things like, you know—white voters won‘t vote for Barack Obama, I‘m paraphrasing, of course - you know, she‘s going to get attention from the media. She needs to turn her guns on McCain, too. That ferocity that she has, she needs to pivot and aim it at McCain.
ABRAMS: All right. Fair enough. But, Bob Franken, I mean, look -
let‘s all agree, I don‘t think anyone on this panel is going to disagree that she probably shouldn‘t have said that, but she also echoed what almost every network said with regard what its exit polls were showing, coming out of Indiana and North Carolina.
Now, does that mean she has to restate it? No. Does that mean that this is race-baiting and Clinton is still trying to cause chaos? I mean, look—she was asked a question and she‘s probably tired. It‘s been a long campaign. I just think that this obsession with Clinton needs to end and focus on McCain instead.
BOB FRANKEN, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we just watched on “Keith Olbermann,” he had the comedian Mort Sahl on, who famously used to end his routines by saying, “Is there anybody here I haven‘t insulted yet?”
And I think that we‘re seeing Hillary Clinton playing the same kind of game and asking the same kind of question. She‘s not quite done yet. We have to, of course, pointed out that she has not declared that she is either suspending or ending her campaign. So, she‘s still fair game. But, of course.
ABRAMS: But, let ask you. Bob, is this so awful—what Hillary Clinton has said here? I mean, isn‘t she basically—she shouldn‘t have said it, but isn‘t she basically restating what everyone said the exit polls had shown in Indiana and North Carolina?
FRANKEN: Well, she‘s not being exit polled. She is a candidate. The words matter from a candidate. Race is a sensitive issue in this campaign as have been issues about women and certainly, issues about age. And so, if we‘re going to have a campaign that‘s worthy, people are going to be very careful how they talk about these issues.
ABRAMS: Yes, but it just seems to me, Tanya, that again, Obama supporters, some of them in the media, some of them are obsessing over this, while the real issue is John McCain. I mean, isn‘t the real issue is Barack Obama going to win this election or is everyone going to continue to focus on this minute (ph) tit-for-tat stuff between Obama and Clinton?
TANYA ACKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, a couple of things. One, there is no question that the real issue is winning the White House in the fall. But I have to say, I‘m a great admirer of the Clintons, I worked in the Clinton White House. I think that it is an issue when she has not yet pulled out of the race, when she maybe making an argument to superdelegates that, “Hey, I‘m the better candidate because the white people won‘t vote for the black guy”—which by the way is not accurate.
He won more white votes in Virginia. And Virginia will be play in November than she did. He‘d won more white voters there, he won Iowa, he won a number of states, he won handily among white voters in a number of states. I think there have been some speed bumps recently but her argument is counter factual and it is divisive and it is inappropriate from a candidate.
ABRAMS: Well, look, but it‘s also - but, Ron, it‘s also a reality of what the exit polls showed in Indiana and North Carolina, when it shows, meaning that—let me finish my thought, because I don‘t want to be misinterpreted here. I‘m not saying that Barack Obama has a white person problem. That‘s an absurd comment. And anyone who would suggest that is making an idiotic remark.
The question though is, whether it‘s a legitimate concern for Hillary Clinton to raise, and I think Tanya brings up a really good point and that is about the superdelegates. And that is - if they want to end this, they can do it at any point, they can step in and they can say—you know what, we‘re tired of Hillary Clinton, we don‘t want to hear from her anymore, let‘s end this—and they‘re not doing it.
REAGAN: I think if she continues to attack Barack Obama in anyway, they may, in fact, step in and end this. Look—we‘re not going to elect the black president of the United States for the first time in our history without having a discussion about what that means in this country—the racial aspect of that.
Now, in North Carolina and Indiana, Barack Obama actually improved his standing with white voters, we tend to oversimplify this. You‘re absolutely right, he doesn‘t have a white voter problem, but there are pockets in this country where a lot of white people aren‘t going to vote for the black guy. That‘s just a fact.
ABRAMS: Yes. But look, but again.
REAGAN: And we‘ll have to discuss that at some point.
ABRAMS: But—but here‘s my point is that all three of you, and
again, let me go to you on this, Tanya, all three of you seem to still want
to stick it to Hillary Clinton on this comment, and I guess my comment is -
isn‘t this time to stop sticking it to Hillary Clinton and starts
sticking it to John McCain if your goal is to make sure Obama wins?
ACKER: Well, I‘m not trying to stick it to Hillary Clinton. But I‘m not going to sit here and tell you that I‘m not incredibly disappointed by that comment. I think it‘s divisive and upsetting. I mean, I have been a longtime - Hillary Clinton has been a longtime hero of mine and to hear her play that game is upsetting.
Now, to your point, yes, it‘s about the general election. It‘s about the RNC. It‘s about them asking these questions and we can answer those questions.
ABRAMS: But Tanya, isn‘t there - isn‘t there kind of your asking to have it both ways? On the one hand, you want to keep fighting with Hillary Clinton because - and I‘m not criticizing you for the fact that you legitimately feel that what she said was wrong - fair enough.
But if your sole goal is let‘s make sure Obama gets elected, shouldn‘t people like you say, it‘s time to stop with the Hillary bashing and it‘s time to start the McCain bashing?
ACKER: Well, I have to say, I think you‘re making a good point. And I don‘t thing that you or anybody else is defending the wisdom of a statement and right. Should we be talking about Barack Obama‘s foreign policy issues, should we be talking about some of the questions that were raised in the RNC ad instead? Sure. And I think that, you know, Senator Obama is certainly prepared to have that conversation.
You know, why are we having this conversation about Hillary Clinton? Because she‘s still out there, she‘s still campaigning, she‘s still.
ABRAMS: Yes, you can‘t stop Tanya. You want to give it to her one more, just sock it to her one more time.
All right. Look, Bob Franken. Let me read to you - let‘s do exactly what Tanya was suggesting and what I think that is the more interesting and important issue which is McCain v Obama. All right? Enough with the Hillary bashing, all right?
Bob Franken, you want to bash her, one more shot in, Bob? Go ahead, you want to stick one more and I‘ll let you do it before I get to McCain. I can‘t talk about McCain; everybody wants to beat up on Hillary.
FRANKEN: Well, I think we could look at it as we‘re all equal opportunity bashers. The fact of the matter is that she‘s still out there to be a bashee. She‘s still a candidate. But it‘s not a matter of bashing her, those are who are reporting on this are only just saying, she said something, let‘s cover it.
ABRAMS: No. Bob, you were on my program the night of Indiana and North Carolina and I will quote Bob Franken. He said, “It‘s over. There‘s no other way to look at it. It‘s over.” Did I quote Bob Franken correctly there?
FRANKEN: You quoted him correctly enough and yes, it is over, but the person has not indicated that yet and accepted that yet is Hillary Clinton. So, she‘s still somebody to be covered.
ABRAMS: All right.
ABRAMS: I can‘t get to the McCain memo. I‘ve got the McCain memo right here.
All right. Here we go. Finally, you guys.
ABRAMS: All right. Yes. John McCain campaign memo, all right?
We‘re going to talk about John McCain. McCain, McCain, McCain.
He says, “First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama‘s attack today. He used the words ‘losing his bearings‘ intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain‘s age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning - first, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him—it‘s called hypocrisy, and it‘s the oldest kind of politics there is.”
All right, Bob, look - you‘re the longtime political reporter on the panel here. I mean, if that does seem to be a little bit of a stretch to suggest that because in response to a question about Hamas supposedly endorsing Obama, that he said something about McCain losing his bearings and somehow that‘s an attack on his age?
FRANKEN: Well, what we‘re going to have in this campaign, is everybody looking for every chance he can find to be a victim, to somehow reach a constituency by claiming he‘s being offended. This is going to be a campaign that is so politically correct that it‘s going to be sickening. In fact, it already is.
ABRAMS: Well, I mean, that‘s interesting. I mean, Ron, isn‘t that
this is going to be the most politically correct campaign ever with everybody claiming, you know—aha, you said this and you know?
REAGAN: Well, there‘s certainly going to be a lot of whining.
Listen, you know, Barack Obama was not attacking John McCain for his age. He was simply responding to the absurd suggestion that because somebody in Hamas said something mildly positive about Barack Obama, that somehow Barack Obama is what, the Hamas candidate?
You know, that‘s old style politics and it‘s not going to work. If I was a McCain supporter, I would be worried right now if that‘s the best he can do.
ABRAMS: Tanya, I got a final 15 seconds for you. Let me let Tanya get the final word.
ACKER: This is not (ph) been a very politically correct campaign. You have Karl Rove comparing Barack Obama to a trash-talking basketball player. You have Geraldine Ferraro suggesting that he‘s costing the presidency because he‘s black and the last time I saw anything being black wasn‘t something that automatically qualified you to be president.
And, I think, John McCain is playing a silly card here. You know, he‘s mixed the outrageous statement that Hamas wants Barack Obama to be president, and then gets up in arms because Barack Obama correctly comes down on him for saying that. He lost his bearings because not because of his age, but because he‘s lost his moral compass, because he lacks the civility that he was going to run this campaign with.
ACKER: Yes, sir.
ABRAMS: Tanya, did it feel good to go after McCain as oppose to Clinton?
ACKER: It feels so good. That feels right.
ABRAMS: Does it feel good?
ACKER: That feels right.
REAGAN: There‘s a lot more opportunity.
ABRAMS: All right. Everyone is staying with us.
Coming up: Obama pressed again today on whether he‘d pick Clinton as his V.P.; not if Ted Kennedy had anything to say. He has some harsh words for Clinton today. We‘ve got the top three reasons why Obama should or should not pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate.
And from this week‘s “Empire Strikes Barack” spoof, the late night comics best jokes at the candidate‘s expense. We got the best of the week‘s political humor.
Plus: It now costs more than a penny to make a penny. Congress wanted to change that but some of the administration and in Congress say, “No.” Government losing money to make money: Another reason Why America Hates Washington, in 60 seconds.
ABRAMS: Tonight‘s edition of Why America Hates Washington:
Government spending more than a penny to make a penny. Right now, it costs 1.26 cents to make a penny, and 7.7 cents to make a nickel.
The House voted unanimously to reduce those costs by changing the material used to make money from zinc copper and nickel to steel based materials. But some senators and the Mint‘s director oppose the idea, saying the public and metal industry haven‘t had a chance to weigh in on the legislation, insisting the treasury secretary not Congress should make the call on changing coins.
The government losing money to make money: Another reason Why America Hates Washington.
We‘re back with Hillary Clinton‘s odds of becoming the next V.P. in a minute.
ABRAMS: Welcome back.
The questions continue about whether Hillary Clinton might be, could be, should be Obama‘s pick for vice president. He was asked about it again today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Until I‘m the nominee, I don‘t want to speculate on running mates. I think she‘d be on anybody‘s list, short list of vice-presidential candidates. But beyond that, you know, I don‘t want to offer an opinion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Well, Senator Ted Kennedy was ready to offer up his opinion, today saying quote, “I don‘t think it‘s possible. If we had real leadership as we do with Barack Obama—in the number two spot as well, it would be enormously helpful.” Ouch.
Our panel is back with us.
Bob Franken, any chance that Hillary will be offered the V.P. job?
FRANKEN: Well, you see, I think, we‘re missing one possibility and is that she will be the running mate of John McCain. As a matter of fact, there are many in the Democratic Party now who are saying that she‘s already doing that. We talked about this the other night, Dan, and it still is my feeling that this is not a match made in heaven. I just really can‘t see her being number two on the ticket for Barack Obama after this campaign.
REAGAN: Well, you know, the question is: Does she want to be vice president and would Barack Obama be willing to take her as vice president?
I can understand the draw there. Look—she brings a lot of older white women with her, as we know. She could unify the party, I suppose. But there‘s a lot of baggage that comes with her. You want to see the Republican Party faithful get geeked up, put Hillary Clinton on the ticket, they will go nuts. They‘ve been waiting for this.
ABRAMS: Tanya, I want to put forward what we laid out as the three reasons that she could be chosen, the three reasons she wouldn‘t be chosen. I want to see if you agree with me, all right?
ABRAMS: The case for Hillary Clinton as Obama‘s choice for V.P.:
She could help with women voters, as Ron points out, maybe some dependents, maybe even some Republicans. White working class vote that we talked about that she‘s done well with in the primaries, and finally, to have her and Bill Clinton out there campaigning, she is a known brand and we know that both the Clintons campaign well.
The case against her for V.P.: A lot of the Obama supporters just don‘t like the Clintons. Secondly, what state is she necessarily going to bring? I mean, Obama is probably going to win New York any way. You would think that if he doesn‘t win New York, he‘s not going to win. So, she doesn‘t necessarily bring a state as VP. And finally, there‘s the Bill Clinton factor again, the idea of having President Clinton roaming around the White House as the V.P.‘s spouse seems to me to be something that would not be particularly attractive as one of our viewers wrote in, Tanya.
They said, “Would you really want to have Bill and Hillary Clinton a breath away from the presidency when you‘re the president?” So, what do you think?
ACKER: I‘m not worried about that factor. I don‘t think that‘s really serious. The on a more serious note, I really don‘t think that the Hillary supporters, you know, the older white women who are supporting her, I doubt very seriously, whether or not come the fall, they are going to go vote for John McCain.
I don‘t think that white working class voters, once they start looking at the issues, once they start having a substantive conversation, they‘re going to say - oh, hey, I‘d rather for the guy who wants to continue to Bush economic policy. I‘d just don‘t think they‘re going to do that. What do I think she brings?
ABRAMS: You don‘t believe then.
ACKER: I do not.
ABRAMS: You don‘t believe the exit polls, Tanya.
ACKER: I think that, look.
ABRAMS: You don‘t believe the exit polls because you know, did you know about half.
ACKER: Barack Obama won (INAUDIBLE). He won Virginia.
ABRAMS: Wait. About half of the folks who were questioned said in the Indiana and North Carolina exit polls, the most recent ones, the Clinton supporters said they would not vote for Obama, they would either vote for John McCain or sit at home.
Look, I don‘t know that I believe that they‘ll necessarily do that. I think Obama said it well when he said, “There are a lot of bruised feelings”—that‘s a big number.
ACKER: And I‘m with you on that. I think that there are a lot of Obama supporters who are saying the same thing—I don‘t trust that statistic right now because, look—it‘s a very heated, divisive campaign, and I think that once the party comes together come November, those people are not going to vote for John McCain.
I think that right now, we‘re in the heat of a very passionate election contest. But I just don‘t - I don‘t trust that that number will endure come November. I really don‘t.
ABRAMS: You know, Ron, you‘re dad and George Bush senior came together and healed their wounds from the campaign to run together.
REAGAN: Yes, it happens, there‘s precedence. There‘s Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson as well. It happens.
ABRAMS: There they are.
REAGAN: There was a lot of bad blood between these two campaigns though. And again, I just don‘t know that it‘s really Barack Obama‘s best move here, and ultimately, he‘s the one that has to make this call. Does he want Hillary Clinton to be the vice president? He can get Janet Napolitano from Arizona if he wants a woman and take it right into McCain‘s kitchen, for instance.
ABRAMS: All right. I need a yes or no answer from each one. Do you think that Obama will offer Hillary Clinton the opportunity to be V.P.?
Yes or no, Bob Franken?
FRANKEN: No. How is that? No.
REAGAN: Only as a formality if at all, but no, basically.
ABRAMS: I agree. All right. Thanks to the panel. Good stuff today, I really appreciate all your coming on.
Coming up: Our look back at the best campaign comedy of the week.
The late night talk shows take on the candidates and their spouses.
And: Danny Bonaduce and Ron Reagan - what a pairing. They help us pick the week‘s Winners & Losers. John McCain who reportedly said he didn‘t vote for President Bush; Lindsay Lohan who reportedly said nothing about why she took another woman‘s fur; or Barbara Walters who has the fur flying after turning on her former colleagues.
And the folks over at FOX News need to send out a memo to all young staffers that they must pretend they are not in the tank for John McCain and the Republican Party. Last night, a young producer caught on tape telling McCain she voted for him. That‘s next in Beat the Press.
ABRAMS: It‘s time for tonight‘s Beat the Press: Our daily look back at the media hypocrisy, agendas and the amusing perils of live TV.
First up: “Good Morning America” has been promoting their seven wonders of America tour this week where they visit landmarks across the country. But when Kate Snow revealed her location today, the weather made you wonder was it really worth it?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”/ABC)
KATE SNOW, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: When people come to this part of the country, this is where they come first before they go to the wonder they come here. Unfortunately, it is shrouded in fog this morning. But believe me, if you could see it, up over my shoulder would be Mount Rushmore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: We believe you, saved by the videotape.
Next up: While some of the folks at FOX News try to pretend that they‘re fair and objective, it seems a production assistant who is covering the “Time” 100 Party did not get the memo that at FOX, you are supposed to pretend that you are fair and balanced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “TIME 100 GALA”/THURSDAY)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John McCain, I voted for you in the primary.
MCCAIN: I have to remind you, you‘re not supposed to reveal that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You‘re going to win.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: FOX fired her. But why? Because she‘s that much more honest than most of the folks over there? When you work at a place that‘s clearly partisan, they should at least make sure that their younger staff gets the memo about painting (ph) objectivity.
Finally: CNN posted video on their Web site described as Senator Barack Obama surprises the press corps by wearing jeans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CNN/THURSDAY)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on guys. You‘re killing us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Agent, sit down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Look at Obama strutting the stuff, showing off the jeans.
We need your help Beating the Press. If you see anything right or wrong, amusing or absurd, go to our Web site at: Verdict.msnbc.com. Leave us a tip in the box, please include the show and time you saw the item.
Up next: It is Friday. Time for the week‘s best late night jokes
at the candidate‘s expense
And later: Danny Bonaduce and Ron Reagan, together on one stage, yes, they join us to run down the week‘s Winners & Losers, featuring Jenna Bush ditching the White House for her wedding; Barbara Walters trash-talking her former colleague; and Lindsay Lohan allegedly swiping a coat.
What‘s your VERDICT? E-mail us at: Verdict@msnbc.com. Your e-mails were in the P.O.‘ed box at the end of the show. Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.
I‘ll be right back.
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Welcome back. Coming up, Danny Bonaduce, Ron Reagan, Kim Serafin help us pick the week‘s “Winners and Losers,” including Lindsay Lohan, John McCain and Barbara Walters.
But first, it is Friday, you know what that means, time for our weekly wrap-up of the campaign trail through the eyes of the late night comedians and YouTubers candidate by candidate.
CLIVE REVILL, ACTOR: We have a new enemy.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I‘m here to tell you the truth.
CLIVE REVILL: He could destroy us.
DAVID PROWSE: Don‘t underestimate the force. Don‘t make me destroy you.
OBAMA: Who are preparing to divide.
CONAN O‘BRIEN, HOST, “LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O‘BRIEN”: Hillary Clinton says she isn‘t dropping out because there are still six states that haven‘t had their Democratic primary. That‘s right. Barack Obama is favored in the states of Oregon, Montana and South Dakota and Hillary favored in the state of denial.
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, “LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN”: Again, we‘re hearing that the Clinton campaign is in financial trouble. They need money, desperately need money. And as a matter of fact, to raise money, some cash earlier today, Hillary entered a wet pant suit contest.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Hi. We here to count the superdelegates, how many Obama and Hillary have. Something like that. OK, I‘m going to give you the right number but.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Give me the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) thing.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What‘s wrong with you?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I‘m ready to beat the hell out of you.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What does that all mean? That‘s it. You‘re writing down this. Big deal. What does that mean, Beatrice(ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It means that Obama needs less than 200 to win.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Right. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So with the Indy 500 right around the corner, let me ask you, Indiana Democrats, are you ready to start your engines?
JON STEWART, “THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART”: Come with me. I will take you on an excruciatingly long ride that goes absolutely nowhere.
While Sen. Clinton proved she knew that they liked cars, Obama played the other game they like. But would his basketball skills assuage charges he‘s too elitist and/or too black and angry for the heartland. Let‘s go to the videotape. There‘s Obama driving the lane and nice try Harvard. Going to build a yacht club with those bricks? Why don‘t you try another one?
Whoa. We get it, Malcolm X. It‘s just a game.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, “JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE”: The results are in and the polls are closed and right now we are projecting that Barack Obama is liked more by black people than Hillary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I‘m seeking the presidency. You should drop your crush on Obama. You ought to know that you‘re off the chain.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: And so you want me on your campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I‘ve got 62 years in this political game
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Well, I dig all that line, but I‘ve got a crush on Obama.
JAY LENO, HOST, “LATE SHOW WITH JAY LENO”: Barack Obama soundly beat Hillary Clinton in North Carolina by 14 points. And in Indiana Hillary Clinton won. So do you know what this means? No, it means Hawaii and I don‘t care anymore. I‘m fed up, OK? I don‘t care who wins. Can we end this stupid thing?
PROWSE: That‘s all I need.
MARK HAMILL, ACTOR: I‘ll never join you.
OBAMA: You and I will change this country and change the world.
O‘BRIEN: “Meet the Press” was devoted to Barack Obama while the entire “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” was voted to Hillary Clinton. That‘s right. Meanwhile, John McCain spent the day watching a Golden Girls marathon.
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: The more I learn about John McCain, the more I like his maverick spirit. For instance, his critics saying he‘s too old. So what does McCain do, he keeps aging. The politically expedient thing to be to grow younger. No.
O‘BRIEN: John McCain‘s wife was recently overheard saying that they own eight or nine homes. Eight or nine homes, yes. McCain‘s wife denied this and stated, “What I said is I‘ve tried to put him in a home eight or nine times.” You focus.
KIMMEL: This morning on the “Today” show, Sen. McCain‘s wife, Cindy, said that whether it‘s Clinton or Obama, her husband, John McCain, will not engage in personal attacks.
CINDY MCCAIN, WIFE OF SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: And none of this negative stuff,
so won‘t see it come out of our side at all because -
ANN CURRY, CO-HOST, “TODAY” SHOW”: None of the negative stuff will come out of your side?
C. MCCAIN: My husband is absolutely opposed to any negative campaign at all.
J. MCCAIN: I‘m John McCain and I approve this message.
ABRAMS: All right. Good stuff. It‘s time for the week‘s “Winners and Losers,” from Jenna Bush who opted for a Texas soiree over a White House wedding, to Barbara Walters whose tell-all book has ex-co-host on the attack, to apparent garment grabber Lindsay Lohan. Who won and who lost this week?
We have the ultimate panel. Joining us now, senior editor of “In Touch Weekly,” Kim Serafin. Former Partridge, current radio talk and TV show host Danny Bonaduce, and back with us is Ron Reagan.
All right. First up. Jenna Bush gets hitched this weekend, but she says not having it at the White House, instead doing it Texas style the Bush family ranch in Crawford. Jenna is set to wed long-time boyfriend and Republican Harry Hager whom she met during her father‘s 2004 presidential campaign. Local shops are selling wedding memorabilia, including coffee mugs, buttons and even stuffed animals.
Ron Reagan, I‘m thinking she‘s a winner because considering how low the president‘s approval ratings are, why would she want to be associated with the White House any more than she has to? And I‘m guessing this would be the Bush-related souvenirs they‘ve sold in quite some time.
RON REAGAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That may be true. Well, quite apart from the politics of it, thumbs up to Jenna for picking Crawford over the White House because you don‘t want to look back on your wedding and think, “That‘s not my wedding. It‘s just some White House event.” Now, a bigger thumbs up if she picked someplace besides Crawford, like Hawaii. That would have been nice, but Crawford beats the White House.
ABRAMS: Yes. Yes, it does. I mean you know, Ron, unlike, you know - unlike those of us whose names aren‘t Ron Reagan. You know, the rest of us may not think of that ...
REAGAN: Or Jenna Bush.
ABRAMS: ... as something that was a choice. Yes, I‘m just saying. Kim, what do you make of the choice?
KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, “IN TOUCH WEEKLY”: Yes, I think a winner, especially for someone like Jenna Bush who does kind of like to keep a private profile. And this sort of makes it much more of a social family affair. She doesn‘t have to have people who she doesn‘t know vying for seats. And really, the big winner is Crawford, Texas. Because, in a town that has no hotels, you have all of these tourists descending on Crawford and buying up all of these memorabilia that you talked about.
ABRAMS: You know, Danny, it makes you think of the Steve Martin movie where like, he wants to have the wedding at his house.
DANNY BONADUCE, TV AND RADIO HOST: Right. Sure, “Father of the Bride.”
ABRAMS: And I keep thinking that like, is she saying to dad, “I don‘t want to have it at your house?”
BONADUCE: First of all, it‘s not his house. He is just renting the place for a little while. But just imagine if her fianc’ had the disapproval rating that her father does, she wouldn‘t marry him. She‘ll go, “You know what? I don‘t like you 73 percent. I don‘t think we should get married.” So I think where they do it is unimportant compared to who long it lasts.
ABRAMS: Everyone agrees Jenna Bush is a winner. Everyone is going to stay with us. Up next, more of the weeks “Winners and Losers,” Barbara Walters and Lindsay Lohan have made our list because of the trash-talked book and some missing clothes, and some ducks who lost their way outside the White House today. We‘re helped out by a heavily armed secret service agent. No lame duck jokes, please. “Reality Bites” is up in 60 seconds.
ABRAMS: And now to “Reality Bites,” a dose of reality caught on tape. Tonight, a group of uninvited visitors being escorted off the White House grounds by a secret service agent. Yes, this duck and her eight baby ducklings were headed up the driveway leading to the White House briefing room. Secret service can‘t have that. They spotted them, put an end to the family outing. The ducks went away peacefully. The agent made sure they each of the ducks made it off the White House grounds with momma. We‘ll be right back with “Winners and Losers.”
ABRAMS: We‘re back with a great panel, Kim Serafin, Danny Bonaduce Ron Reagan, to talk about who are the weeks “Winners and Losers.”
Next up. Barbara Walters, whose tell-all memoir out this week, stirred up all kinds of controversy. First, she reveals she had an affair with Sen. Edward Brook in the ‘70s. Then she had some not-so-nice things to say about her former co-hosts, Star Jones and Rosie O‘Donnell, basically accusing them of both being shocker divas. Neither of them were happy.
Star even wrote, “It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters in the sunset of her life is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair and speaking negatively against me, all for the sake of selling a book.”
ABRAMS: I like Star Jones, I really do. But I can‘t imagine getting in a war with Barbara is good for business. And yet, it seems for Barbara everything is good for business. Danny?
BONADUCE: Well, I will tell you that admitting that you‘ve had an adulterous affair and that you‘ve done some questionable things - I‘ve built my whole career on that.
ABRAMS: So you say winner, Barbara Walters?
BONADUCE: So I‘ve got a big winner right there. And plus, now that she admitted who she slept with, she‘s got some serious street credit that she never had. Barbara Walters, who meant nothing to me yesterday rivets me today. Can you imagine that she can‘t even say her R‘s, can you imagine the moment of passion?
ABRAMS: But Kim, now what about the Star Jones and Rosie business?
SERAFIN: Well, I still say Barbara Walters is a big winner because it makes me off to want to buy the book. You know, I wasn‘t so sure before. It makes her into an interesting person as well as the news woman that paved the way for women everywhere. And I have to say it really hurt Star Jones. Rosie played off of it really well. She kind of made a joke about it, said her and Barbara are still friends. Star Jones, by calling her an adulterer, by talking about the “sunset of her life.” I mean - you know, Barbara Walters did not mention Star Jones‘ name to sell books. Like that was not one of the things she mentioned to sell books.
ABRAMS: Yes. Ron, do you agree Barbra‘s a big winner here this week, right?
REAGAN: Well, I‘ll give her sort of a side arrow. She‘s led a very public life and she has a right to tell her public story. I hoped she called the poor fellow that she‘d had an affair with to warn him that this was coming out.
As to her spat with Star Jones and Rosie and all, maybe they should get one of those inflatable pools, fill it with Jello. They can all get in there and wrestle. I don‘t want to watch that, by the way. But I would be amused to know if it happens.
ABRAMS: Yes. Yes. Wow.
SERAFIN: I think they would be losers in that one.
BONADUCE: Not me. I‘m ready to watch it on a pay-per-view.
ABRAMS: Next up, Republican congressman Vito Fossella, who may have thought the DUI he got 10 days ago in Virginia was the worst of his troubles. Turns out that was just the beginning. He could have probably survived a DUI arrest, but not when it also stands for “Daddy‘s Inexcusable.”
First, he told police that he was going to visit his sick daughter.
Sounds like an excuse, but then a mystery woman picked up him up and then, lo and behold, the married father of three had fathered another child with Laura Fay, the woman who had picked him up that night. Of course, now, his political career is in jeopardy. Danny, this is the sort of series of revelations that one would think could only happen to Danny Bonaduce.
BONADUCE: Well, that‘s true. Things like that have, in fact, happened to me. But I don‘t think - I think that he‘s going to come out the big loser in the public‘s eye. But as a guy, he‘s kicking butt. As a man - you know, he has two secret lives, two full families. If I could have a third, then life would be perfect.
ABRAMS: Ron, from a political perspective, though it seems that the Republicans have been having some trouble with some of these sex affairs coming out in the last year.
REAGAN: Well, they are all repressed, I suppose. But, you know, he‘s one of, I think, the only Republican in the five boroughs. If you‘re the only Republican in the five boroughs, you‘ve got to do a little better holding up the side there. Now, he broke one of the cardinal rules of politics which is that if you have a secret second family stashed away, you can‘t afford any DUIs, one or the other. But both are just going over the top and as far as his political career being over or not, it‘s over.
ABRAMS: Done, right?
ABRAMS: Kim, you want to weigh on it?
SERAFIN: Yes. You know, I think it‘s not just Republicans maybe having problems, it‘s the New Yorkers, if go back to Eliot Spitzer. So maybe it‘s a New York thing. I don‘t know. You know, if you‘re going to have a second family, you also probably shouldn‘t parade them around your Virginia neighborhood. Apparently, he was seen by neighbors - neighbors that have seen him for years.
ABRAMS: What if he‘s telling the cops, “I‘ve got to see my illegitimate child.”
BONADUCE: I‘ve got to see my mistress right away.
SERAFIN: He‘s a winner for a few years because he got away with this for a while, walking around with the family in Virginia.
ABRAMS: Do you think that he got away with this one like -
SERAFIN: Amazing it didn‘t come out.
SERAFIN: Amazing. Just knowing this business - knowing if you were working in politics, people are out to get you. Why didn‘t this come out sooner? That‘s what I don‘t understand.
ABRAMS: Everyone agrees - everyone‘s agreeing he is a loser. How can he be anything but a loser this week?
Next up, Lindsay Lohan. Did she really just swipe another partygoer‘s $11,000 fur and then wear it out for the paparazzi to photograph her in it? It sure looks that way. A Columbia co-ed who owned says she has gotten it back and now filed suit to have Lohan pay for the unauthorized rental of the coat.
And now another woman has come forward saying Lindsay also pilfered thousands of dollars worth of clothing from her closet at the house party Lohan attended last spring. According to police report, Lohan was even seen handing her bodyguard bags at the party. It seems like Lohan isn‘t even trying to hide it. She‘s got to know that unlike designers who want you to wear their clothes for publicity, private citizens don‘t get anything when you allegedly swipe their clothes. Do they, Kim?
SERAFIN: No, unless you charge them rent as this model is apparently trying to do.
ABRAMS: But what do you mean rent?
SERAFIN: I don‘t know when I loan people my clothes, I always charge them rent. That‘s how we do it in Hollywood.
ABRAMS: It‘s my favorite part of the story. This woman is now demanding rent.
BONADUCE: Charging rent. There‘s a huge hole in this lady‘s theory and that is if you got to YouTube or TMZ or any of those, Lindsay Lohan has no fur or any kind. And I think that‘s a complete denial right there. The woman just doesn‘t wear fur anywhere.
ABRAMS: Ron, in an effort to bring that back to Lindsay Lohan and the swiping, Lindsay Lohan - she seems to be- I mean, she hasn‘t admitted that she did it. But suddenly, this woman has her coat back and now this other woman had come forward earlier and it seems that Lindsay Lohan may just feel that clothing that‘s lying around is available.
REAGAN: Hers, yes, exactly. Well, the problem is for these celebrities is they go places and as you said, people just give them things. I was in Sundance a couple of years ago. People were walking around the streets handing laptop computers to celebrities. I‘m sure Lindsay Lohan is wondering what the fuss is about here. She probably figures she did this woman a favor by stealing her coat.
ABRAMS: Ron, were you won of them? Were you one - did they say -
REAGAN: No, no, I‘m not.
ABRAMS: Ron Reagan. Come on, Ron.
REAGAN: Not nearly. No, no. No.
ABRAMS: Come on.
REAGAN: I think I got a pair of tennis shoes from somebody at some point.
But no, I don‘t (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
ABRAMS: Bonaduce, they give them to you?
BONADUCE: I do. I go for the swag bag all the time. I do. I‘ve got some
good stuff. But the interesting thing here -
ABRAMS: Do people want you wearing their stuff?
BONADUCE: Yes, as a matter of fact, they do.
ABRAMS: I‘m just kidding.
BONADUCE: They want the ones with the motorcycle cross, not the $11,000 mink. The funny part about that is to me, though, is that you could just mistake an $11,000 mink for another one and they showed her coat compared to the other one. They were identical.
SERAFIN: Although I should say her rep totally denies this and even the police investigated the second woman coming forward and saying they didn‘t have enough to press charges.
BONADUCE: Dude, if I was Lindsay Lohan‘s rep, I‘d deny she exists.
SERAFIN: And I feel bad. Lindsay has been getting bad week with her parents are fighting on the news. It‘s bad for her.
ABRAMS: Kim‘s got the next interview with Lindsay Lohan.
Up next, we continue with the week‘s “Winners and Losers. John McCain
did he actually eventually vote for Bush for president in 2000? A number of people with the party are now saying McCain said no. Plus, your E-mails in the “P.O.‘d Box.” Be right back.
ABRAMS: Our panel is back with us for the conclusion of this week‘s “Winners and Losers.” The final one up. John McCain in a war of words with Arianna Huffington over whether McCain told her he didn‘t vote for George Bush in the 2000 election. McCain denies it.
Now, two cast members from the west wing who were at the same dinner party that night tell the “New York Times” they, too, overheard McCain say he did not vote for Bush. The irony here is deep. Just as McCain tries to distance himself from Bush, he has to swear that he actually voted for the guy.
Ron Reagan, this is - it seems like, there are a lot of people that
have to be lying here for McCain to have never said it?
REAGAN: Full disclosure. I do a radio show on Saturdays with Arianna Huffington on “Air America.” And I have attended receptions at her home or a reception at her home for John McCain. I don‘t know if it‘s the same one that she‘s talking about here. I did not hear him say that he did not vote George Bush there. But frankly, I wouldn‘t blame him if he didn‘t, given what happened to him in South Carolina in the year 2000. Thumbs up for him for not voting for George Bush; thumbs down to him for not admitting he didn‘t he didn‘t vote for George Bush.
ABRAMS: Well, yes. I mean, look, whether he voted for him or not, Danny, it seems to me that it‘s likely he probably said it. I mean maybe it would seem that his better defense might be, “I was just joking,” or you know, something like that.
BONADUCE: I don‘t know. You got two guys from the west wing, and you‘ve got a guy who spent five years in the “Hanoi Hilton” as a prisoner of war. Whenever I have to make a decision, and I listen to the opinion of a war here, I‘m not going to go with some actors. I don‘t believe actors. I believe McCain.
ABRAMS: Do you?
BONADUCE: I believe McCain. I believe when he was released from the “Hanoi Hilton” and wouldn‘t go until the other man was set free, whatever he says to me is the truth.
ABRAMS: So you think - so Arianna made it up and these guys are backing her up just making it up as well?
BONADUCE: If he can dig the “Hanoi Hilton” for five years, he can any (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
SERAFIN: I‘m going to say he‘s a winner, just for the fact that he‘s back in the news. Because I think people may have forgotten he was actually running with all of those coverage on Hillary and Obama.
BONADUCE: You recalled.
SERAFIN: So winner in that people are actually talking about him again.
ABRAMS: Yes. I don‘t know. I‘m going to say he‘s a loser because it‘s not the kind of talk that I think that you want.
But anyway, good stuff. Danny Bonaduce, Kim Serafin, Ron Reagan, good to have you guys in action.
BONADUCE: Always a pleasure.
SERAFIN: So much fun.
BONADUCE: Always a pleasure.
REAGAN: Thanks, Dan.
ABRAMS: It‘s time for the “P.O.‘d Box,” your chance to tell me what you hate or love about the show.
Kevin Hall from Truckee, California, “I keep hearing the media blaming Hillary Clinton for staying in the race and dividing the party when neither candidate has enough pledged delegates. Why doesn‘t someone put the blame where it belongs, on the superdelegates? If they would decide, the race would be over. It seems the superdelegates are the real people playing politics.”
Kevin, I totally agree with you. This race could be decided tomorrow if the superdelegates wanted it to be. They are not ready yet.
Sharon Gallagher from Oregon City, Oregon, “I am so sick and tired of everyone saying Hillary should drop out of the race. I live in Oregon and this is about the first time we will have more than one choice to vote for next week. I feel like we don‘t even matter to the rest of the country. I want a choice.”
Sharon, I hear you, but at this point - I don‘t want to be the one to break the news to you - I don‘t think that the outcome of Oregon is going have a dramatic impact on the race but your vote should be heard. And, you know, go vote. It matters.
That‘s all the time we have for tonight. E-mail us at email@example.com. Danny Bonaduce‘s personal E-mail is - No, I‘m just kidding. Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.