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Republican Strategist Loses It On Fox

Reported by Donna - October 30, 2006 -

Today on Fox On Line with Bill Hemmer he had a segment on why both sides of the political arena were staying away from the war on terror and homeland security and not making it a focal point of their campaigns. He spoke with Karen Hanretty, Republican strategist, and Rich Masters, Democratic strategist.

The discussion stayed civil for a while until the end of it when Hanretty lost it when Masters used her own words to prove his point.

Hanretty said there was a dirty little secret within the Democratic Party. She said they had their top 6 for 06, their priorities if they were to take over the house. She said that she thinks a couple of these priorities would shock a lot of the anti war liberal voters. One is they would not bring home the troops from Iraq, they would redeploy them around the world to fight the war on terrorism. Another is they want to rebuild a state of the art military, in other words, spend more money on the military.

Hemmer interupted and told her the question wasn't about Iraq it was about the war on terror. She said that wasn't true, they were speaking about it, that president Bush was out there campaigning saying how important the war on terror is and how the war in Iraq plays into this. (Comment: Another GOP talking point, trying to inject the war in Iraq into the war on terror)

Hemmer said he understand what she was saying but he asked the Democratic stategist, Rich Masters why the focus was not more on the war on terror, homeland security and why we weren't getting more of that.

Masters said there were a couple of reasons though he did think both sides were talking about it. He said they were talking about it in different ways. He said the president and his party were talking about it in the sense of the way they were fighting the war in Iraq. He said the truth of the matter was that most Americans now agree with the National Intelligiance Estimate that the way we have dealt with Iraq and the way it has been botched is actually making more terrorists and making the world less safe and not more safe.

Hemmer said that the thing was that we're only 5 years removed from 9/11 and it is still issue number one for this generation. He asked Hanretty that when candidates are focusing on local events is that an excuse or is that a way to win office?

Hanretty said that of course it wasn't an excuse, every campaign should be about local issues and specific candidates. She said she thought the war on terror and the war on Iraq are important issues to the current congress but there are other things. Voters want to hear about the economy, they want to hear about immigration, they want to hear about issues that affect them more directly. Rightly or wrongly she said she didn't know if the people out there were getting the message that there were Islamo-fascists out there who want to destroy their way of life. She said she didn't think this was on the minds of people each day.

Hemmer said the final thought would go to Masters, if this message should be on the minds of this generation. Masters said he absolutely agreed, He said that one of the things that Karen (Hanretty) spoke to regarding the Democratic leadership and what they wanted to do was start inspecting cargo and start hunkering down on Homeland security. (Hanretty interupted and overtalked Masters) Masters continued saying that the only way we're going to be able to protect the American people was right here at home as opposed to creating more terrorists abroad as, unfortunately, Iraq has done. He said we need to keep our eye on the prize and Hemmer was absolutely right, that's why Democrats have a plan to protect the Homeland.

Hanretty interrupted once again, (Using Republican talking points, of course) "You have no plan. There is absolutely no plan." Masters continued that she had articulated one of them, herself. She continued the interruption and overtalk when it was supposed to be Masters final word). Masters said she had said it better than he did by saying to pull some of the troops and redeploy them around the country to protect the homeland. Hanretty interrupted agains and said Democrats wanted to redeploy them to other countries.

Hanretty said she wished the Democrats would be more truthful to the anti war liberals and tell them they want to redeploy the troops to Afghanistan. Masters said that the Democrats are being truthful. Hanretty said the whole middle east would blow up and we'd have to send more troops back to the middle east.

Hemmer said Hanretty's point was if the Democrats win back the Congress they would be pulling troops out of Iraq. Masters said that wasn't true, they wanted to work with the president to decide a course of action. Hanretty kept interupting saying that the Democrats wanted to work with a president that Nancy Pelosi had called incompetent. Hemmer finally had to end the segment.

Comment: It was a nice civil debate until the end when Hemmer said that Masters would have the last word. Hanretty became all flustered when Masters used her point about redeploying troops saying that's exactly the plan that the Democrats have. She lost it after that, wouldn't let Masters have the last word and completely (to use her words) blew up. She sounded very frustrated like she had to yell out her words in order to be heard, like a little child who has to get in the last word.

Hemmer could have done a better job on really giving someone the last word when he says it.