Monday, August 07, 2006

Larry Kudlow, Larry Sabato, Peter Beinart, Marsha Blackburn and Ann Coulter All Praise Congressman Ford

On Friday afternoon, Congressman Ford appeared on CNBC's Kudlow and Company, along side Rep. Marsha Blackburn, editor of the New Republic Beter Beinart, author Ann Counter and political analyst Larry Sabato.

During the appearance, Kudlow asked the panel about Congressman Ford's chances here in Tennessee. The responses, even from Rep. Blackburn and Coulter, were all positive.

Below are excerpts from the discussion:

KUDLOW: Welcome back, everybody.

We've got House members Harold Ford, Marsha Blackburn rejoining us. Our excellent panel Peter Beinart, Ann Coulter and Larry Sabato.

Larry Sabato, I can't put it any clearer than this. Will Mr. Ford win in Tennessee?

Mr. LARRY SABATO (Center for Politics Director): Oh, you really put me on the spot with him here. Look...

Rep. FORD: Larry, I'm watching him, man. Sabato.

Mr. SABATO: ...Mayor Bob Corker, the Republican--yeah, I know that. I got to be careful what I say. Mayor Bob Corker, the Republican, is the favorite to win that seat. But--and I real--I would say this,
if Harold Ford weren't on program, as your viewers just saw, he is about as impressive a Democrat as you find. And I think he has a reasonable shot at an upset in a year when the Democratic winds are blowing and they're blowing at his back. And so, he might, might be the critical sixth seat that gives Democrats control of the US Senate.

KUDLOW: Not to detract, and I mean this very seriously and personally, not to detract one iota from my brilliant friend, Marsha Blackburn, brilliant and dedicated friend, but
the reality is Mr. Ford is a very special candidate.

Ann Coulter, I want you to weigh in on the Harold Ford race.

Ms. ANN COULTER ("Godless" Author): You're putting us all on the spot.


Ms. COULTER: And it's especially bad for me because you know how I hate saying anything kind about a Democrat. Harold Ford is one of my favorite Democrats, but the problem is he belongs to the Democratic Party. And if he does not, as reasonable as he sounds today--and you do, Representative--if he does not toe the lunatic anti-war, high-tax line, he'll end up being primaried like Joe Lieberman.


KUDLOW: All right. Marsha Blackburn. You've been very patient.

Rep. BLACKBURN: Yes, Larry.

KUDLOW: There's a lot on the table here. It's kind of a Harold Ford love-fest. Weigh in again, please, if you would.

Rep. BLACKBURN: Well, in Tennessee, I think, securing the border, national security, it's a security agenda. Lowering your taxes, getting government spending under control, and the people in Tennessee want to see those things addressed. They expect leadership that is going to address those. And Harold Ford has served the Democrat Party well. He has served the 9th District and Tennessee Congressional District as well. But I don't think this one's going to be his race to win.

KUDLOW: Miss Blackburn, what might a Democratic immigration bill--let us assume for the moment, however unlikely you believe this scenario to be, that they do, the Larry Sabato Democratic wave comes true, and I know he's hedging a little bit, but that's the direction of his thinking. What would a Democratic immigration bill look like in your view?

Rep. BLACKBURN: Well, and let me say this, Larry, I think we have to realize we all know this is going to be a tough election. And I, for one, am not taking anything for granted. And if you were to talk about what kind of proposals the Democrats would bring forward, look at what they've offered. You can look at proposals for pathways to citizenship, for amnesty, for additional benefits. Look at the Reid-Kennedy bill, that is the bill that ended up coming through the Senate. I think that that is what they would offer. The American people have clearly rejected that. They have clearly rejected it. What they want is secure the border first, because what we have is a situation where every town has become a border town. Every town has become a border state. And people want to see this issue resolved. They don't want to talk about anything else until we have secured the border and have a plan.

KUDLOW: Mr. Ford, Mr. Ford, I'm going to give you the last word, quickly. Your response to Ms. Blackburn on immigration.

Rep. FORD: She makes my case. I voted for the toughest bill, and the Republicans hadn't been able to get anything done. I don't mean to be partisan, but I think my politics fits right with Tennessee's politics. And I appreciate Ms. Blackburn for laying out what the issues are. And I'm going to ask her for her vote this evening on the show. If you want to solve these problems, you ought to give me a chance to go to the Senate because I promise you, I'd be a part of the winning group.

KUDLOW: Can I get a quick straw poll please, just up or down, yes or no, Larry Sabato, for Senator Ford, yes or no?

Rep. FORD: Sabato, I'm listening.

Mr. SABATO: Oh, sure. He is on the program, yes. Yes.

KUDLOW: Ann Coulter, Senator Ford, Ann Coulter, Senator Ford, yes or no?

Ms. COULTER: No. Become a Republican.

KUDLOW: All right. Peter Beinart, Senator Ford, yes or no?

Mr. BEINART: Yes. And that'll be the last seat they need to take the Senate.

KUDLOW: All right, very interesting. I thank all of you for a wonderful bunch of segments.

Rep. BLACKBURN: Thank you, Larry.

Rep. FORD: Thank you.

KUDLOW: I'm not in politics, but I'll say as an American, somewheres, sometime in the US Senate, there's got to be place for someone like Harold Ford.