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MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: The party is in trouble right now.
RAPPRESENTANTE. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER, (D-VA): There continues to be significant and substantial unease in our country. We have to have a message that is responsive to what people are talking about.
RAPPRESENTANTE. ELISSA SLOTKIN, (D-MI): The average person just wants their government to function and allow them to do well and their kids to do better. It’s not rocket science.
RAPPRESENTANTE. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D-NY) HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CHAIR: We’re going to hold the House and we’re going to grow our majority, most importantly because we are delivering for the American people.
RAPPRESENTANTE. KEVIN MCCARTHY, (R-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Speaker Pelosi has called this tax and spend bill the culmination of her career. Based upon the number of Democrats jumping ship, this may be the culmination of many congressional careers. Pensaci, every week a new Democrat announces their retirement.
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BAIER: Bene, what does the table look like as we head into 2022 with the midterms? Il nuovo “Washington Post”-ABC poll about if the election were held today for the House, how would you vote? Republicans would take control, 51 percent said that, 41 percent to Democrats. And as far as Democrats retiring, there are a number of them who have retired in just the past few weeks, 14, actually all across the country, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, leaving some positions possibly open for Republicans to swoop in and get some of those districts.
What about this? Let’s bring this our panel, Ben Domenech, editore di “Il federalista,” Morgan Ortagus, ex portavoce del Dipartimento di Stato, and FOX News media analyst and host of FOX’s MEDIA BUZZ, Howard Kurtz. Howie, you look at and you look at past, before the midterms, the party that does not seem to be doing well usually sees a boatload of retirements.
HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST: I haven’t checked with Las Vegas, but the odds are pretty overwhelming that the Republicans take the House next year. And if you are a committee chairman with your own fiefdom looking at becoming a powerless minority member, that is enough to make some Democrats say I haven’t seen my family for decades, but I really should spend more time with them. It’s a barometer for Democrats, Bret, who understand that life under a Speaker Kevin McCarthy is going to be a whole lot less pleasant than under Nancy Pelosi where they control the floor. They would be playing defense. Democratic legislation would be DOA. And that’s why they are trying to get these trillions out the door now while they still hold the gavel.
BAIER: Ben, candidate Joe Biden about what he was forecasting on the trail, take a listen to this. This is from October 24th, 2020.
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JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTE DEGLI STATI UNITI: None of you will have your taxes raised. Anyone making less than $ 400,000 will not see a penny in taxes raised. You will actually see your standard of living go up and your costs go down. That’s why I’m going to do this. I’m going to ask big corporations, the wealthy, to pay their fair share!
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BAIER: Obviously inflation has changed that entire picture, Ben.
BEN DOMENECH, EDITORE, “IL FEDERALISTA”: It’s absolutely changed it, and it has changed the prospects the Democrats are really facing. Guarda, the truth is that everything that I have heard in talking to Republican campaign consultants is that they wish that this election going into the midterms was happening right now, because the numbers that they see in their own internal polling that is supported by what we see in the public indicate a massive wave election that could be even bigger than what we saw in 1994 o 2010.
And that is because of not just the ideological failure of the Democrats’ agenda, their own splits and their instability, credo, to get things working in a speedy fashion, but also just practical failures. You talk about the disaster of Afghanistan as being a signal moment. You talk about this incident when it comes to inflation that is leading us into a Thanksgiving that’s going to be more expensive for your average American household than anything that they have seen, and an inability to get basic household staples which really is making people question the leadership of this White House. I don’t think that that’s going away any time soon. And if it doesn’t go away, Democrats really are headed into significant headwinds next year.
BAIER: Morgan, I mentioned the other, what we have seen on retirements in the past. If you look back to 2020, House GOP retirements were at 27 before the midterms, 2018, GOP retirements 34. It did not bode well for that party heading into those elections, and we’re starting to see some of that on the Democratic side.
MORGAN ORTAGUS, EX PORTAVOCE DEL DIPARTIMENTO DI STATO: And of the 14 people that are retiring or moving on to run for another office, seven of those were NRCC targeted seats that were on the top of the list. And when you talk to the NRCC, they talk around 70 seats that they’re looking at targeting around the country. Interesting factoid, 89 percent of those seats have a woman, a minority, or a veteran running in those seats. So the GOP is being very smart, credo, on messaging and targeting a broad audience.
You also have the major advantage of redistricting being in the GOP’s favor. E poi, ovviamente, ascolta, the Democrats right now are in the same moment that Republicans were in early 2017, which is they are the dog that caught the car, destra? They got the White House, they got both legislative branches, and I don’t know if the party was totally prepared for what would happen when they had full control. You see the infighting that happens. It happens to both parties. The last time I checked Obamacare is still the law of the land because Republicans didn’t manage to get it together in Congress when they had full control of the White House and the two legislative branches.
So it’s certainly not — both parties do this whenever they get full power. But it is astounding, credo, to the degree to which the progressives are really going after the moderates from the messaging perspective.
BAIER: We talked about Afghanistan and that crisis of capability basically and competence, if you look at the polls and how the public reads it. We also talk about inflation. But this other issue about the FBI, il Dipartimento di giustizia, and parents at school board meetings, take a listen to that — the latest developments here, the attorney general and Jim Jordan.
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MERRICK GARLAND, NOI. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.
RAPPRESENTANTE. JIM JORDAN, (R-OH) HOUSE OVERSIGHT MITTEE RANKING MEMBER: He either didn’t know, which is terrible, or he misled the committee when he came in front of us, and we need have him back.
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BAIER: Howie, this is a big deal.
KURTZ: There’s a lot of issues that are breaking against the Biden administration right now, from gas prices to, as you just saw, questions about the Justice Department’s veracity. And this is why I think, even if things were going well, the president’s party in power usually takes a drubbing in that first midterm.
Just take today’s vote to censure Republican Congressman Paul Gosar over that anti-AOC video. If the Republicans control the House, that vote doesn’t happen. Next year there could be votes, similar proceedings against Democrats who might say extremist or inflammatory things. When you add it all up, it’s a difficult picture. Ma, ovviamente, we have a year to go, and a lot can change in that. That’s a lifetime in politics.
BAIER: È vero. That’s a good caveat to throw in there.
Pannello, stand by. Avanti il prossimo, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial as the jury continues to deliberate.
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MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: Why were you trying to get to the police?
KYLE RITTENHOUSE, DEFENDANT: Because I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself.
JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, KENOSHA COUNTY, WISCONSIN, CIRCUIT COURT: If he was acting lawfully in self-defense, the ballgame is over.
MIKE RICHARDS, RITTENHOUSE ATTORNEY: Consider all the events that had he occurred that evening — him being attacked, kicked in the head, hit in the head with a skateboard, other individuals running up on him.
THOMAS BINGER, PROSECUTOR: You lose the right to self-defense when you’re the one who brought the gun, when you’re the one creating the danger, when you’re the one provoking other people.
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BAIER: Bene, the nation has watched this trial, Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and now still on pins and needles as the jury continues to deliberate. We are back with the panel. Ben, your assessment of where we are, and after watching this all play out, how this has all come together?
DOMENECH: Bene, I do think we are in an interesting moment. Ovviamente, everyone looks at a trial like this, something that is a popular crime, meaning it attracts such attention across the country, and they take a lot of lessons from it. Ovviamente, those turn out to typically reinforce everyone’s priors depending on how you see Kyle Rittenhouse and what happened in Kenosha.
But what I was struck by over and over again during this trial was the fact that Rittenhouse even was there on the street that night is itself kind of an indictment of the way that last summer was approached, the way that our police forces were deployed to try to protect property and American cities in ways that seem to have really run in the opposite direction of what they ought to have been, in a sense that he never should have been there, he never should have had to be there. And I think that the fact that he was there rests on a lot of different questions that we ought to as a country turn and answer.
In terms of the court itself, anche se, my only hope is that whatever the verdict is, it does not result in additional violence of any kind or riots on the streets of Kenosha, and I know that there are many people in the community who are concerned about that.
BAIER: sì, a lot of people hoping that it’s peaceful no matter what the verdict is.
You mentioned perception of Rittenhouse. Take a listen to this, including President Biden.
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JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTE DEGLI STATI UNITI: This is a 17-year-old young man, I don’t know anything about him. All I know is there is some reporting about a connection to a militia in Illinois. Guarda, questo è — this is not who we are. This is not who America is.
JEN PSAKI, SEGRETARIO STAMPA DELLA CASA BIANCA: What I can reiterate for you is the president’s view that we shouldn’t have, broadly speaking, vigilantes patrolling our communities with assault weapons.
DAVID HANCOCK, RITTENHOUSE SPOKESMAN: He wanted to help his community, and he brought his medical kit, because that’s how he saw being able to do that. And he was carrying a weapon to defend himself if he needed it.
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BAIER: Morgan, the perceptions around this going in and even throughout have been really interesting to watch, how different places are covering it.
ORTAGUS: Assolutamente. And no matter what — why he was there, why weren’t the police there, what was going on around, all of this boils down to, was this self-defense or not? And I really hope that the jury — there has been so much misinformation. People said why is he crossing state lines? They didn’t know that he actually works in Kenosha. I believe his father is there. You can go through the list of things that really haven’t portrayed accurately to the American people. But really what this jury has to decide is, was he acting in self-defense or not?
And then when you look at the broader picture that ben just talked about, to me it’s just so shocking in this country how we all rush to judgment on both sides, destra? We immediately go into our camps. We defend, we say that someone is guilty right away. We do all these things without having heard the facts, without having heard the trial. And I think that that’s dangerous for the justice system in our country. People need to be able to believe in the outcome and to be able to believe in a jury by your peers. And it’s very concerning to me that many people in this country don’t.
BAIER: sì. Media coverage is a part of it, Howie.
KURTZ: I have been so struck by how much of the mainstream media smeared and vilified Kyle Rittenhouse as a white supremacist — all the victims were white — and as a murderer long before the trial. And even with the evidence coming out of the trial that he acted in self-defense, the guy he wounded testified he pulled a gun on Rittenhouse first. Some of these pundits stuck to the argument he should be locked up and key should be thrown away. And it seems to me, Bret, that fortunately for Rittenhouse, who is not a hero here and shouldn’t have gone to a danger zone with an AR- 15, he is entitled to a jury trial and not a trial by media.
BAIER: We should point out there is another trial going on that we’re following, the Ahmaud Arbery case not getting as much attention, but we are following it as well.
KURTZ: And it’s an important case as well. And that at least — I shouldn’t say at least. It is more racially charged. This one shouldn’t be but has been made to appear that way by the media.
BAIER: Tutto ok, pannello, Grazie. Stand by. Quando torniamo, tomorrow’s headlines with you all.
BAIER: Finalmente stasera, uno sguardo ai titoli di domani con il panel. Howie, prima a te.
KURTZ: My headline, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris seek marriage counselor as rocky relationship leaks out.
BAIER: Ecco qua, in true headline form. ok, Ben?
DOMENECH: Russia collusion hoax laid bare before the American people, but no one in the media seems to care. They just seem to move on from this thing that defined all the conversation for us for multiple years as if it was just all swept under the rug.
BAIER: Think about how much airtime was used on that whole deal. Pretty amazing. Pretty amazing. Tutto ok —
BAIER: sì. Morgan?
ORTAGUS: So mine is related to the higher prices we have been talking about. President Biden says don’t worry, our inflation is still lower than Venezuela’s.
BAIER: Tutto ok, ragazzi, grazie mille.
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