VIDEO: The McLaughlin Group YEAR-END Awards

VIDEO: The McLaughlin Group YEAR-END Awards


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MCLAUGHLIN: Pat Buchanan, the most original thinker?

BUCHANAN: I’m going to give it to Rand Paul, the scourge of the neocons…

MCLAUGHLIN: Best politician, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Vladimir Putin, John. Breaks out of his isolation, rolls into Syria, and just as a week ago, you got the secretary of state of United States, John Kerry, coming to visit and talk to him about the future of Syria…

MCLAUGHLIN: Biggest loser, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Those Washington insiders and the Republican establishment who don’t know what to do about Donald Trump…

Full Transcript:

SOURCE: The McLaughlin Group

Issues: 2015 Year End Awards Part One

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author & Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune
Tom Rogan, National Review/Opportunity Lives

Taped: Friday, December 23, 2015
Broadcast: Weekend of December 25-27, 2015

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP, the American original. For over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk.

It’s the 34th Annual MCLAUGHLIN GROUP Year End Awards 2015 Part 1.

Here’s the master of ceremonies, John McLaughlin.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Biggest winner of 2015.

Pat?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: Dual winners, John. The Donald, who is the sensation. politically. of the year; and American Pharoah, the winner of the derby, the Preakness, the Belmont Stakes, the Breeder Cup, goes into the history books with Citation, Secretariat and Man o’ War.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: OK. Well, Trump is the obvious winner. But I wanted to spread it around a little. So, I have Paul Ryan, the new speaker of the House. It is the third highest office in the land, third from the presidency, and he’s actually gotten some things done. And he got the job, it was handed to him and he’s doing it on his terms, big winner.

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/DAILY TELEGRAPH: I’m going to go with Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran for the nuclear deal and for mainly the investment that that will bring to his stenotic economy.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: I’m going to go with Hillary Clinton, because whatever else happens with on the Republican side, she’s virtually won the Democratic nomination. So, she’s a winner this year. We’ll see what happens next year.

MCLAUGHLIN: The envelope, please, Tom?

Thank you.

There you go. Some envelopes (INAUDIBLE) – wherever you live.

ROGAN: Well, you’re going to make such a little bit of an exciting buildup.

BUCHANAN: We’ll get you a letter opener for Christmas.

MCLAUGHLIN: I’m so excited, I can’t get it open.

ROGAN: Exciting.

MCLAUGHLIN: It will.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Biggest winner: Donald Trump, whose presidential bid was dismissed as a caprice by the beltway experts. Trump still tops GOP primary polls. He’s already proven how out of touch Washington insiders are.

Biggest loser, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Those Washington insiders and the Republican establishment who don’t know what to do about Donald Trump.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: Yes, I think Jeb Bush, when you consider the expectations about him, really had a bad year. But I would add the fossil fuel industry, with the climate accord agreement reached with almost 200 nations. It’s the beginning of the end of the era of fossil fuel.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom?

ROGAN: Yes, I’ll jump on — I was going to say Jeb Bush, but I think the big loser here is going to be Americans with electricity bills, because of the president’s energy policy.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: Well, sadly, I have to say, Laquan McDonald. He was the teenager who was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer. He was raised, a ward of the state, an abusive family. He was a loser from the very beginning, unfortunately, and it’s a sad story that led to a national scandal.

MCLAUGHLIN: Biggest loser: China’s paramount leader, Xi Jinping. China’s economy nosedived with growth officially fallen to 7 percent and maybe even 4 percent, with millions of young people entering China’s workforce.

Best politician, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Vladimir Putin, John. Breaks out of his isolation, rolls into Syria, and just as a week ago, you got the secretary of state of United States, John Kerry, coming to visit and talk to him about the future of Syria.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: The new prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre. Handsome, charismatic, progressive, the new darling of the progressive world community.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: I think Prime Minister David Cameron of the U.K., who was expected at best to have to rule with a challenging coalition government but won a majority in the house of parliament.

MCLAUGHLIN: Interesting.

PAGE: I have to say, Donald Trump. For better or worse, mostly worse looks like, but nevertheless, he’s constantly defied predictions and came off as a guy who did it his own way, and made the system work for him.

MCLAUGHLIN: Best politician, it’s not even close, Pope Francis. The pontiff has guided his church out of the shadow of scandal and into global leadership on political concerns: war, immigration, the environmental, poverty, John Boehner, among many others. The pope is the best politician.

Worst politician, Pat Buchanan? I know you’re stunned.

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN: No, no, no. It’s right down your alley.

Look, sad to say, I think it’s Jeb Bush. $50 million, and he’s gone all the way from frontrunner to 6 percent to 3 percent. One of the Beatles sang, money can’t buy you love.

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: Right. I had him on my list, too.

But I’m going to give it to Jim Webb, who was briefly a candidate for the presidency as a Democrat. In his time on the stage, he used the time he was allotted to complain that he wasn’t given more time. Very bad politician.

ROGAN: I’m going to say Bill de Blasio. He came in with a lot of expectations into New York City, but increasingly unpopular with different parts of the city.

PAGE: There are so many possible nominees for this, but I’ve got to give it to Ben Carson.

MCLAUGHLIN: You mean in Chicago?

PAGE: I mean nationally. Ben Carson, a guy who had a lot going for himself and didn’t know what to do with it. His biography put him on top of the polls there and certainly among the leading contenders. But it’s gone downhill because he’s not the politician he needs to be.

MCLAUGHLIN: Worst politician: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who blew his chance to become speaker when he bragged on FOX television that congressional investigations into Benghazi had politically damaged Hillary Clinton.

You got that figured out, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Uh-hmm.

MCLAUGHLIN: The most defining political moment, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Sorry to say, it is the Paris and San Bernardino massacres, which have really roiled the entire West and it turned the whole world, at least the Western world, very sharply to the right.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: I agree with that, but I would also add, all of the shootings of young, unarmed black men, which have really altered politics in this country.

ROGAN: Yes, I think it has to be the Paris attacks, the scale of devastation, the sense of loss and, in fact, the effect that it has had in political communities across the world.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: I’d just say Bernie Sanders’ timing — well-timed denunciation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. It changed the whole tone of the Democratic campaign.

MCLAUGHLIN: The most defining political moment: President Obama’s decision to skip the international rally in Paris after the massacre of the editorial staff at “Charlie Hebdo’s” magazine. More than 40 world leaders attended the march, drawing more than 3 million Parisians.

Turncoat of the year, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Reagan appointee, Justice Anthony Kennedy, becomes a decisive vote that finds the right to same-sex marriage in Madison’s Constitution. I don’t think it’s really there, John.

MCLAUGHLIN: Interesting.

Eleanor?

CLIFT: Good for Kennedy.

I would say a turncoat would be Donald Trump, who once upon a time identified strongly as a Democrat, gave money to Democratic candidates, now has suddenly been born again, temporarily, as a hard right conservative.

ROGAN: Yes, I —

MCLAUGHLIN: Turncoat of the year?

ROGAN: Eleanor has stolen my thunder there. I think that’s right. I think Donald Trump has showed a chameleon-like ability to change with the political times. But he’s done it very successfully and to his credit, I mean, we have to be honest. He has picked up a populist vein. So, that is a fact.

PAGE: Yes. Well, my alternative would be Marco Rubio, who was a virtual protege to Jeb Bush for a long time. They were viewed almost like peas in the pod, but then the thing that Jeb is hoping wouldn’t happen did happen — Marco Rubio run for president at the same time as he. And even worse, he’s doing better than Jeb.

So, certainly, well, we’ll see what happens next year. But at this point, Marco deserves it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Turncoat of the year: General Motors. Taxpayers lossed $11.2 billion on the GM bailout to save U.S. jobs. Forty thousand GM Buick Envision cars now will be made and imported from China. Sweet for China, sour for the U.S.

The most boring, Pat?

BUCHANAN: The Paris climate summit that lasted for two weeks, John. Could you stand the excitement?

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: You know, the Paris climate summit is super important, Pat, and we’ll educate you on that.

But in terms of most boring, this is a difficult category. And so, I would define it as someone whose speech style can put you to sleep. So, therefore, I will give it to Dr. Carson.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: I would say Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I just — it’s a repetitive, so partisan what she comes out with, and all serving to the Democratic Party.

MCLAUGHLIN: It doesn’t have to be a human being.

PAGE: Doesn’t have to be a human being?

MCLAUGHLIN: No.

PAGE: Well, I’m going to pick a human being anyway. Ben Carson, by the way, seems to have a skill for putting himself to sleep.

CLIFT: Right.

PAGE: I keep thinking he’s going to, but not —

MCLAUGHLIN: Why you’re knocking Carson for?

PAGE: I’m sorry?

MCLAUGHLIN: Why are you knocking —

PAGE: For putting me to sleep, John.

(LAUGHTER)

PAGE: Have you noticed?

But Jeb Bush, though, I don’t want to pick on Jeb, but, you know, he reminds of the old saying, he gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Quite cute, but a little bit mean.

PAGE: Oh, come on now. This is politics, John.

MCLAUGHLIN: The most boring. I know this will cause the claws, C-L-A-W-S, to come out. You will take a particular interest in this.

But most boring goes to cat YouTube videos.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Keyboard Cat was a sensation. But that was then, and this is now. Cats, enough already. Boring.

BUCHANAN: Have you ever watched YouTube on the big screen that’s in your house, John?

MCLAUGHLIN: Most charismatic, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Marion Marechal-Le Pen, the niece of Marine Le Pen, Eleanor’s great favorite.

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN: And she’s a 26-year-old that run in the Cote d-Azur and almost won the leadership of that region. Extremely attractive gal, extreme right winger, John, extremely charismatic.

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: In the second round of voting, the French came to their senses and all those right wing parties went down.

And for the record, I have to say, climate change and cats are two of the most important things in my life. So, guys, tread carefully, yes.

OK, most charismatic: Pope Francis, in his Fiat, driving through Washington when he visited here, spoke before a joint session of Congress, really captured the hearts and souls of a lot of Americans.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom?

ROGAN: Marco Rubio.

MCLAUGHLIN: Marco Rubio.

PAGE: I’d say most surprisingly charismatic, Bernie Sanders. Who’da thunk it?

MCLAUGHLIN: Bernie Sanders.

The answer is, Donald Trump, a non-politician who has stayed on top of the GOP presidential preference polls. He offers a blend of charisma and chutzpah that propelled him into the top of the polls.

Bummest rap, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Bummest rap is that Tom Brady, the great for the Patriots, New England Patriots, somehow won because he played with inflated football, or deflated footballs. It was a bum rap, he got a lot of grief for it, he’s a phenomenal quarterback — that had nothing to do with it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: Bummest rap: Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts. Every investigation has found there is no evidence for that bogus charge.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom Rogan?

ROGAN: I think Jeb Bush in the sense that, whether you disagree with him for the sense, you know, lack of charisma or lack of energy, I think he has brought to the table at least policy ideas and he’s tried to do it in the best tradition of American debate.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: I’d say Donald Trump’s accusation that Muslims in New Jersey were dancing in the streets on 9/11. There’s nothing to it. And despite his best efforts to pull up — pull something together on that.

MCLAUGHLIN: The rap that political outsiders like Donald Trump and Ben Carson are less prepared to become president than political insiders are.

The fact is that no prior political job is equivalent to the presidency.

Pat Buchanan, fairest rap?

BUCHANAN: I’m going to go with Clarence here. I think that Rahm Emanuel and those guys covered up the fact that that kid was shot when he wasn’t threatening anybody, and then he was shot 16 times, and this thing went over a year and nobody told the truth about it. It was a horrendous cover-up and a lot of people ought to pay more for it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: That’s exactly my choice as well, and the fact that it appears there was a cover-up, there was $5 million given to the family and it took a heroic action finally for a judge to order the release of that tape, which showed this young man was not aggressive, had a small knife and had 16 bullets poured into him. Outrageous.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom?

ROGAN: For me, the frontrunners of both parties, Hillary Clinton because of the emails, and Donald Trump because of his idea that Muslims should not be allowed entry to the United States. Those are both —

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: Well, far be it from me to go against something that Pat Buchanan and Eleanor Clift both agree on, and that is the horrible police scandal in Chicago.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me.

PAGE: Thank you, John.

MCLAUGHLIN: FBI Director James Comey’s warning that the Ferguson Effect is preventing police nationwide from using tactics that have cut the murder rate in half since 1990.

Pat Buchanan, best comeback?

BUCHANAN: Bashar Assad. He was expected — Obama said he must go. He’s dead. He’s gone. He’s sitting in there and it looks now like he may very well survive Barack Obama.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, he was invited to Moscow to visit with his comrade over there.

BUCHANAN: Sure. I mean, had the guys —

ROGAN: His master.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor? And he deserves it. Eleanor?

CLIFT: Well, I’m not going to speak up on behalf of Assad, that he somehow deserves it, deserves staying.

MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, yes. We’ve got to get the facts and —

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: OK, all right.

Well, Jimmy Carter, former President Jimmy Carter, cancer-free after announcing what sounded like a very grim prognosis, had some very good news at the end of this year.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, congratulations to the former President. Great going.

ROGAN: I’m going to say President Hollande of France because of his response to the Paris attacks. Very low in the polls, but he’s restored the confidence of France in his leadership.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: I’m going to say Paul Ryan, who disappointed a lot of people by not running for president. And son of a gun, if he didn’t find begging him to be speaker of the house, which he has now become, on his own terms.

MCLAUGHLIN: Watch this curveball.

PAGE: All right.

MCLAUGHLIN: Best comeback: the mighty American dollar is back as the world reserve currency of choice. In contrast, the euro has fallen to its lowest level in 13 years and the Chinese renminbi is barely on the charts.

Pat Buchanan, the most original thinker?

BUCHANAN: I’m going to give it to Rand Paul, the scourge of the neocons.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: I’m giving it to Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz, whose intellect and knowledge as a nuclear physicist really helped bring the Iran nuclear deal across the finish line.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom?

ROGAN: Although I’m on different political persuasion of him, I thought Joe Biden’s speech announcing he wasn’t going to run for the president on the White House was a really formidable call for bipartisanship in an era where there’s far too little of that.

MCLAUGHLIN: Most original thinker: the award goes to “Financial Times” reporter and author, Tom Burgis. His 2015 book, “The Looting Machine”, that’s L-O-O-T-I-N-G, it chronicles how China exploits the corruption of Africa’s ruling elites to plunder the continent’s mineral wealth. Burgis brings an original, if dark perspective, to his account.

Pat, most stagnant thinker?

BUCHANAN: I give it to John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: You’re on a roll with those guys.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: NRA, the National Rifle Association, stagnant thinker.

MCLAUGHLIN: That was expected.

ROGAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: You hate guns, though.

ROGAN: I’m going to —

CLIFT: I hate guns that are misused.

ROGAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the National Rifle Association recommends the opposite.

CLIFT: They are basically a trade association that defends and protects the gun industry and they resist any kind of common sense gun reforms, which I think you are in favor of, John.

ROGAN: Bernie Sanders’ replication of socialist ideology. Time and time again, it has been proven to be an utter failure that hurts people at the bottom the most.

MCLAUGHLIN: Who was really opposed to a gun? He was an actor — I think he’s deceased now.

CLIFT: Charlton Heston.

ROGAN: My cold dead hands.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Charlton Heston, do you remember his holding up the gun?

CLIFT: I do.

PAGE: Have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

BUCHANAN: My cold dead hands.

MCLAUGHLIN: Was he an employee of the National Rifle Association?

CLIFT: He was a spokesman.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, a spokesman.

CLIFT: Probably a board member, right.

PAGE: Ted Nugent is a board member, too.

MCLAUGHLIN: Please continue.

PAGE: I’d say, what?

MCLAUGHLIN: Please continue.

PAGE: Please continue. Where are we now? Oh, stagnant thinker.

I have to go with Donald Trump. I have yet to hear an original idea from him politically. The guy knows real estate. But It doesn’t seem to matter. He was able to sell very old ideas that make himself frontrunner.

MCLAUGHLIN: You’re really picking on Trump.

PAGE: Why not?

CLIFT: Why not?

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Why not is right.

PAGE: Are you saying that this is a rough show, John? This is a very gentle discussion we are having.

MCLAUGHLIN: The award goes to Bernie Sanders, who seems mentally trapped in the early heyday of socialism, with his ultra-polarized Democratic Party, where centrists have been squeezed out by liberals, and with speeches sounding more like a nostalgiafest for the five times candidate of the Socialist Party of America, Eugene V. Debs, than a 21st century campaign.

(INAUDIBLE) on that —

CLIFT: Right.

BUCHANAN: Woodrow Wilson put Debs in prison, John. What’s the next issue?

MCLAUGHLIN: Best photo-op, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Best photo-op, it’s very sad to say, but the photo of that little 6-year-old boy on that shore who had drown trying to get from Turkey to some island in Greece. It was a terrible picture but it had a dramatic impact on Merkel and others in bringing folks into Europe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly, we’re running out of time.

CLIFT: I have to speak up. Bernie Sanders gets lots of young people, young people think his ideas are new. They don’t think he’s a stagnant thinker.

But best photo-op: President Obama leading the congregation in “Amazing Grace” when he did the obituary for Reverend Pinckney in Charleston, South Carolina.

MCLAUGHLIN: I’ll see that Bernie hears about your comment. Maybe he’ll enlist you to, you know, help him with the cause.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: The boy on the beach.

MCLAUGHLIN: What?

ROGAN: The boy on the beach. Syrian boy on the beach.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK.

PAGE: I would say that the presence of video in police cases of possible brutality has been instrumental and historic in both, you know, deciding for one side or the other, who is really guilty or innocent.

MCLAUGHLIN: Best photo-op is a rally in Paris following the “Charlie Hebdo” satirical magazine massacre. More than 3 million Parisians marched in defiance of radical Islam, with a phalanx of world leaders linking arms in the lead. A perfect photo-op except for the missing U.S. President Barack Obama and the missing U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

The Enough Already Award, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Black Lives Matter, enough with interfering with innocent folks trying to do some shopping.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: The NRA and its hold on members of Congress.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom Rogan?

ROGAN: Yes, the notion of the anti-gun lobby, that commonsense proposals they present are not commonsense. For example, magazine capacity limits.

MCLAUGHLIN: For example, what?

ROGAN: Magazine capacity limits.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: Jim Gilmore’s presidential campaign. He’s still running, hasn’t he?

MCLAUGHLIN: Enough Already Award: Progressives, i.e., liberals’ intolerance toward dissenting view, from trying to silence free speech on college campuses, to harassing opponents of gay marriage like Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy. Enough already with leftist vindictiveness.

Worst lie, Pat?

BUCHANAN: “Hands up, don’t shoot”, it never happened, John. Darren Wilson was innocent, cop Darren Wilson.

CLIFT: Worst lie, Donald Trump: thousands of people were cheering when the World Trade Towers came down — lie.

ROGAN: President Obama: ISIS is contained.

PAGE: Police reports that Laquan McDonald lunged at police officers before they shot him 16 times. Video shows that didn’t happen either.

MCLAUGHLIN: Worst line goes to former hedge fund manager, Turing Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli. He raised the price of a cancer drug pill Daraprim to $750. After an outcry, he made believe he lowered the pill price for individual patients, but he only did it for hospitals. Worst lie 2015.

Capitalist of the year, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Got to be Donald Trump. A businessman like that, a builder and stuff, has never ever come this close to the Republican nomination. Wendell Willkie, the barefoot boy of Wall Street, did it. But Donald hasn’t done it yet.

CLIFT: Yes, but in terms of being a force for good, Bill Gates and other millionaire investors, the founding, the breakthrough energy coalition to try to gin up investment in sustainable energy for a planet that really needs help.

ROGAN: Pope Francis, that tourism is big time up at Vatican. Unusual choice, but he has brought capital to the Vatican.

PAGE: Mike Huckabee and Dr. Ben Carson and everybody else who has used running for president into a great marketing scheme for selling books and other merchandising. Know anything about that, Pat?

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Capitalist of the year, Dmitri Kaminsky from Deep Knowledge Ventures, who wants to motivate longevity by promising $1 million to the first 123 years old live person. The oldest one today is 116. But in 1997, 18 years ago, French Jeanne Louise Calment died at the age of 122.

So, watch me, Pat, beating inflation.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: By the way, she smoked tobacco and ate about 4 1/2 pounds of chocolate a week.

BUCHANAN: You’re doing the chocolate part very well.

MCLAUGHLIN: Lucky lady.

(LAUGHTER)

PAGE: On that kind of diet.

MCLAUGHLIN: Honorable mention?

BUCHANAN: Ian Reed of Pfizer, in connecting with Allergan in Ireland. It’s an inversion, and the whole idea is — and people think it’s horrible – is to reduce dramatically your corporate income tax in the USA by merging with foreign countries and foreign lands.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: But you’re supposed to be on the side of the U.S. Treasury, Pat. It’s not good for the U.S. Treasury.

Former Speaker John Boehner, for walking away from a prestigious post in order to help really save his party, and to help his successor govern in — or legislate in a modest way. So, he — John Boehner for falling on his sword doing the gallant thing.

ROGAN: Yes, Joe Dunford and Ash Carter, secretary — Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and the secretary of defense who have brought more credibility into the national security apparatus.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: Well, the team that invented the Apple Watch. I’m naming them person of the year to make up for my panning the iPhone when it first came out as something that would never sell, something that nobody needed. So, my hat is off to them.

MCLAUGHLIN: Glad you’re clearing that up because I wonder about.

PAGE: Now, you know the truth.

MCLAUGHLIN: Received quite a few letters.

PAGE: Yes, you know, that was the former — the late of head of Apple, who we can attribute that to, Steve Jobs.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I’m proud of what you’re doing here today, straightening the whole thing out.

PAGE: Thank you, John. Steve Jobs can rest easier.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Honorable mention, Dr. Leonard Saltz, chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Sloan-Kettering, who broke a longstanding taboo against doctors criticizing the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Saltz blames big pharma for the recent hiking of cancer drug prices, with some treatments costing up to $300,000 per patient.

Person of the Year, Pat?

BUCHANAN: He has dominated politics for the entire second half of this year and the name is, it’s the year of The Donald.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: Secretary of State John Kerry, whose tireless and creative diplomacy helped bring about the Iran nuclear deal, the climate agreement, which brought together almost 200 nations and is really a turning point for the planet and for the awareness of people.

Laugh, if you will, Pat.

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: I don’t think you or I will be around to see the effects. But if the planet — no, I hope —

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: And third, he’s in the middle of the diplomacy to try to bring about a ceasefire in Syria, and get us working on the same page with the Russians. He’s had a terrific year.

ROGAN: My person is the unnamed CIA Muslim clandestine service officer who is not getting enough credit but is taking great risks for the security of this country.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: Well-said. I have to go along with Pat on Donald Trump because he, for better or worse, once again, he’s dominated the politics for the last few months.

MCLAUGHLIN: Think twice.

2015’s Person of the Year is FBI Director James Comey, a defender of the law enforcement and criminal justice policies.

Macro prediction: I predict 2016 will be a year of upheaval and realignment across the world. China’s economy will continue to sputter. Commodity exporting countries will suffer. Europe’s growth will remain flat-lined. The U.S. will plug along at under 3 percent growth.

Geopolitically, brace for the eruption of long simmering disputes and tectonic shifts among alliances.

Next week, join us for THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP’s 2015 Year End Awards Part 2.

Merry Christmas! Bye-bye!

END

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