BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Bret Baier, in for Chris Wallace.
Senators set to resume debate on a trillion dollar partisan infrastructure
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It’s a bill that would end
years of gridlock in Washington.
BAIER (voice-over): The Senate works the weekend as both parties rush to
finalize a major infrastructure bill, but it faces an uncertain future in
the House where progressives push Democratic leaders for more.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Let’s see what happens.
BAIER: And Republicans promise zero support for the president’s next
massive agenda item.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: They want to unleash another
reckless tasking and spending spree.
BAIER: We’ll ask Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the state
of the deals.
GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D), NEW JERSEY: If you are not vaccinated, please get
BAIER: States face more tough choices on vaccinations and mask mandates as
COVID cases rise, including among children. The White House ups the
pressure on GOP governors and some push back.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID
BAIER: We’ll talk with Florida Senator Rick Scott about the record rise in
his state and the fight over masks in schools.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I never touched anyone inappropriately or
made inappropriate sexual advances.
BAIER: Calls from both sides of the aisle for New York Democratic Governor
Andrew Cuomo’s impeachment over findings of sexual harassment. We’ll ask
our Sunday panel about the fate of the scandal-ridden politician.
All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.
BAIER (on camera): And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
A rare stroke of bipartisanship as Senate Republicans join this weekend
with Democrats to advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill that would
provide federal dollars for roads, bridges, and broadband Internet in
cities and states across the country. The debate continues today up on
If approved, the bill would go to the House, where Democrats have tried its
fate to a larger spending bill filled with liberal priorities.
In a moment, we’ll speak with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who
has been traveling the country to sell the plan.
But first, let’s turn to Peter Doocy in Wilmington, Delaware, with a look
at the state of play on one of President Biden’s top priorities — Peter.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Bret, if there’s no last-minute
agreement to speed things up than final — then a vote on final passage of
this infrastructure package that carries strong bipartisan support could
happen as soon as 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: We can get this done the easy
way or the hard way.
DOOCY (voice-over): Republicans choose the long way, refusing to allow a
vote until amendments can be debated.
SEN. BILL HAGERTY (R-TN): There’s absolutely no reason for rushing this
process, and attempting to limit scrutiny of this bill other than the
Democrats completely artificial, self-imposed and politically-driven
DOOCY: Some others fear long-term damage to the economy.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): The inflation is going way up because the federal
government has been spending way too much money that it doesn’t have.
DOOCY: But President Biden argues jobs won’t be created if the government
doesn’t spend big.
BIDEN: Ninety percent of the jobs created by this legislation will not
require a college degree, 90 percent. It’s a blue-collar blueprint to
DOOCY: Eventually, this infrastructure package is expected to pass. The
debate shifts to a much larger reconciliation budget bill.
SCHUMER: Let us rock and let us roll.
DOOCY: Which means Democrats can remove or to pass it without any
Republican support if they can get all their own members on board.
MCCONNELL: We can’t wait to get Democrats on record over many more
trillions, trillions of dollars in reckless borrowing to fund socialist
spending, on radical policies that families are not asking for.
DOOCY (on camera): While the Senate works, the president is here at home
in Wilmington, no public events on the schedule, but we do expect him in
Washington in time to watch Congress give him permission to spend another
trillion taxpayer dollars — Bret.
BAIER: Peter Doocy reporting from Wilmington — Peter, thanks.
Joining us now is Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Mr. Secretary, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday.”
PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Thanks for having me on.
BAIER: Where do you see this bill right now? Can it pass alone, or is it
still tied to this next so-called human infrastructure bill, the $ 3.5
trillion bill that Peter referenced there?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, the state of play looks good. The Senate is working
through this amendment process. There’s still a lot of procedure to be
gotten through, but we are within days, possibly within hours of seeing
this historic legislation that’s going to get us better roads and bridges,
better ports and airports, a better future for our economy and creating
millions of jobs. We’re on the cusp of seeing that move through the Senate.
There’s, of course, other legislation being discussed too to take shape
afterwards. It’s a separate package but it’s part of the same vision. The
president’s belief that we need to move forward better than the economy
that he inherited.
Part of that is the transportation infrastructure related package that we
are seeing remarkable bipartisan support for and then there are other
dimensions that I’d like to see bipartisan support for, but it’s going to
be harder because we’re finding that, you know, priorities like extending
the child tax credit or making sure every American can have paid family
leave or doing something about the corporate tax loopholes, those obviously
have stronger Democratic support than Republican support.
But right now, on this transportation package, it is a remarkable
coalition, business and labor, Democrats and Republicans, and I think we’re
about to get this done.
BAIER: Well, here’s with the Senate minority leader and the House speaker
recently said about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: I appreciate that senators
on both sides that worked hard to develop appropriation titles with a lot
of good content.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I hope that it will pass.
I won’t put it on the floor until we have the rest of the initiative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: So back to the second part of that first question, can this bill
stand-alone? There are some moderate Democrats that say it needs to be
voted on by itself and it is a bipartisan success for the administration.
But can it go alone without the next piece of legislation? You just heard
the House speaker saying she’s not moving forward with that.
BUTTIGIEG: Well, again, these are two separate packages but they are
definitely both part of the president’s vision. And at risk of sounding
simplistic, I would encourage legislators to vote for policies they think
are good and vote against the policies that they disagree with.
There is a path to do that for the Republicans, for example, who are with
us on the infrastructure bill, not so sure about the other piece. And, of
course, the timeline will continue to develop, but my hope is that this
will be voted on on its merits.
BAIER: All right. Let’s look at this first bill, the $ 1 trillion-plus
dollar bill. This is from “The New York Times.” It references analysis from
the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton budget model, and it says
that the legislation would authorize $ 548 billion in new infrastructure
investments. The tax code would be changed to pay for roughly $ 132 billion
But this analysis says that the remaining $ 351 billion would be deficit
spending and that the legislation would have no significant impact on
economic growth through 2050 and that despite what Republicans and
Democrats who wrote this bill said, the growth would not generate the
savings, the $ 56 billion that they estimate.
What do you say to that?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, we think there’s going to be enormous economic growth
coming out of this, and I could point you to any number of studies from
bodies like Moody’s Analytics, which does a lot of close analysis and shows
the greater economic growth that we’d see here. But also, I think the
simple fact that you have enthusiastic support from players who aren’t
usually on the same side of an economic issue.
I mean, to see the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO talking in the
same favorable way about the same bill really tells you something about its
And you know, we have another deficit that’s not being talked about enough
right now. That’s the infrastructure deficit. It is a cost that Americans
are paying every day because our roads are not in good enough shape and
they are damaging cars when you drive over holes in the road. The cost that
we are paying every day for America to slip out of the top ten, as we have,
in infrastructure, which leads to problems with economic competitiveness.
You look our competitors like — certainly, notably China making massive
investments in infrastructure, not because the Chinese Communist Party is
full of infrastructure enthusiasts like me. It’s because they recognize the
economic power of good infrastructure investments and so do Americans,
which is why there is such an amazing groundswell of bipartisan support for
BAIER: Well, I think you’re right with lawmakers talk about infrastructure
and improving roads and bridges. There are other things in this bill. I
want to talk about their concerns though, Republicans were not for this.
They are concerned abut that deficit debt.
As a candidate, then-Mayor Pete, as we called you then, you spoke a lot of
the federal debt. You said on the trail that it worried you deeply and that
Democrats should talk about it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUTTIGIEG: The time has come for my party to get a lot more comfortable
owning this issue, because we’ve seen what’s happening under this
president, a trillion dollar deficit, and his allies in Congress do not
care. So we better do something about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: So, is there any indication, Mr. Secretary, that your party is
taking advice of Mayor Pete?
BUTTIEGIEG: Absolutely, and you can tell because the president put forward
a way for this to be fully paid for from day one, when the American jobs
plan was released and the pay-fors that are in this bill are appropriate
for a bill that’s going to grow the economy and grow U.S. productivity.
Look, you don’t see the number of conservative Republicans supporting this
bill that you do unless it’s fiscally responsible. And I would also again
point to the cost of doing nothing, whether we’re talking but the federal
budget and deficit or whether we’re talking about the economy as a whole.
We simply cannot be in a robust physical, financial, and economic position
with third-grade infrastructure. I think that’s a common sense fact that
most Americans get.
And I think that’s why with this bill we are seeing something that you
don’t see very much in today’s Washington, which is Republicans and
Democrats — not all of them, but an awful lot of them — standing side-by-
side saying, yes, this is the right thing to do, let’s get it over the
BAIER: Yeah, again, I come back to the House Speaker saying she’s tying it
to the second bill, and that’s really a question about how that process is
going to go forward.
What about the direction of your party?
Here is Senator John Thune talking about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): I think the Bernie Sanders wing of the party is
the tail wagging the dog. I think that the progressive wing is where the
energy is, it’s where the political money is on their side, and so when
they — pretty much when they play the music, Democrats up here dance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Your reaction to that that?
BUTTIEGIEG: Well, what I would say is the vision that the president has
put forward is embraced by the majority of Americans. Certainly, the
majority of Democrats but independents, and an awful lot of Republicans
agree on the things that we need to do, not just the simple structure bill
but the idea that with all these loopholes, you’ve got corporations not
paying their fair share, the idea that Americans deserve to have paid
family leave like people in just about every other country. That health
care ought to be more affordable. That 4-year-olds ought to be able to get
pre-K and the community college ought to be free.
There’s nothing radical about these ideas. They are mainstream ideas pretty
much everywhere except, you know, certain circles in Washington where we
are trying to make sure that Capitol Hill catches up to where the American
people already are. So, we are not focused on —
BAIER: Excuse me, why then are you having problems getting something like
Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona or Joe Manchin from West Virginia, Democrats,
to sign on to this second, broader bill if it’s, across the board, you say
America is buying into all of it.
BUTTIEGIEG: Well, we celebrate the ideological diversity within our party.
This is not a command-and-control kind of party where everybody is on the
exact same page or where one person gets to dictate to other parts of our
big tent what to do. We hash it out. Sometimes we hash it out in public.
But I think that’s a sign of a healthy vision because overall it’s very
clear across the Democratic coalition we share views with, again,
independents and quite a few Republicans, that America needs to become an
easier place to get by, a place that supports families and workers more.
That’s the direction of the president is leading us in and I think it’s why
he got elected, why he enjoys the support that he has, and these are the
kinds of results that we’re going to continue working to show for the
BAIER: Mr. Secretary, a couple more things. Does the Biden administration
now consider the situation at the border a crisis?
BUTTIEGIEG: Look, we are going to continue to manage this in a way that
balances the security of this country with the need to do the right thing.
But the most important thing — and you can use whatever word you want, but
it is certainly something that has not been resolved over years and years –
– is the need for real, meaningful immigration reform. Another priority
that a bipartisan majority of the American people believe we ought to do
and that ought to happen here in Washington, too.
BAIER: Yeah. But, in June of 2021, Customs and Border Protection
encountered 188,829 people attempting to enter the southwest border. It was
the 21-year high, 5 percent from last — from May, but 21-year high.
Is something going wrong on the border from the administration’s
BUTTIEGIEG: Well, something’s wrong with America’s decades-long failure to
have comprehensive immigration reform and there’s clearly a lot of work to
be done there. The president supports meaningful legislative action and
we’re hopeful that that is possible even in today’s Washington.
BAIER: Understanding this falls under the Department of Homeland Security,
but illegal immigrants are being transported from the border to other
states across the country.
Do you know how many states or where they’re going?
BUTTIEGIEG: So I don’t have the Homeland Security numbers handy, but what
I’ll tell you is that this administration is committed to safety and health
for all of the 300-plus million Americans within our borders and managing
the border according to those same principles.
BAIER: Last thing, the president signed an executive order Thursday
setting a target for half of all the vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2030 to
be zero emission cars. Right now, there’s 2 percent of the cars that are
fit under that, or electric. Nine years, pretty ambitious.
BUTTIEGIEG: It’s pretty ambitious but this president believes in America.
Now, you see countries that are increasingly already at that majority
level. Why shouldn’t America be able to do that?
And here’s the most important thing: the truth is that the world is going
towards electric vehicles with or without us. The real reason for this
sense of urgency is we’ve got to make sure that America is leading the way
on EVs. That we’re talking about EVs that are made by American firms and
American workers on American soil and that doesn’t just happen. It takes
And the second thing of course that’s at stake here is climate change is
real, it is destroying American lives and livelihoods and that’s going to
speed up unless we speed up our national efforts to do something about it.
BUTTIGIEG: And EVs represent a national effort to address climate change
that creates jobs at the same time as it helps us prepare for the future.
BAIER: You know, Tesla is an American company making EVs. Tesla wasn’t
invited to the White House event. And the owner, the founder, Elon Musk
tweeted: Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited.
Why was that? Is it because Tesla is not unionized?
BUTTIEGIEG: So, there are a lot of American firms that are doing
remarkable work when it comes to electric vehicles. We were celebrating the
other day the fact that we’ve brought together labor leadership and the
leadership of any of these employers of UAW, the three biggest employers of
UAW workers, United Auto Workers, at the White House.
Now, what we are working on in our department and what we were announcing
that day was tailpipe emissions standards. To their credit, an all-electric
company like Tesla doesn’t even have tailpipes, and that’s an exciting
thing to see too.
There are start-ups that are working on this. There are newer companies
that are working on this. And then you have some of the most storied
recognizable, century-old names in American auto-making all moving in this
direction towards electric vehicles, and we’re excited about all of them.
BAIER: Mr. Secretary, we appreciate your time. Thank you.
BUTTIEGIEG: Thank you.
BAIER: Up next, Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott on his reaction to
the bipartisan deal in the making. Plus, his state’s uptake in COVID cases.
BAIER: There are new calls for mask mandates in schools as the more
contagious delta variant causes a spike in COVID among children. In
Florida, a record number of children are now in the hospital with COVID-19.
Joining us now, Florida Senator Rick Scott.
Senator, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.
SEN RICK SCOTT (R-FL): Good morning, Bret.
BAIER: Senator, we want to talk about COVID in just a bit, but I want to
get to this bipartisan infrastructure deal that’s being worked on, on
Do you think it can pass? Should it pass? A number of your Republican
colleagues have been working to try to get it across the finish line.
SCOTT: First, Bret, I want to bring — I just want to bring up Coach Bobby
Bowden, who just passed away his morning, a legend in Florida, won two
national championships. And my heart goes out to his family.
You know, with regard to the infrastructure, I like infrastructure. I spent
$ 85 billion in my years as governor on roads, bridges, airports and
seaports. But, at the same time, I cut taxes and fees 100 times and I paid
off a third of the state debt.
We’ve got to start doing things responsibly. Less than half of this bill
has anything with roads — has anything to do with roads, bridges,
airports, and seaports and we were promised all along that this thing would
be fully paid for, we would not run any deficits and the Congressional
Budget Office came out and said, no, it’s going to run over a quarter
trillion dollars — a quarter trillion dollars. One bill. One bill will
have a quarter trillion dollars in deficits.
And, by the way, Nancy Pelosi has said all along, she will not allow this
bill to go through the House unless they get their $ 5.5 trillion reckless
tax and spending bill done at the same time.
So, let’s or member, if you help — if you help get this done, you’re
helping get the $ 5.5 trillion bill done.
BAIER: As you’ve talked about as governor, you talked a lot about
infrastructure, numerous campaigns you did the same. According to the White
House, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Florida a C grade on
its infrastructure report card. A number of bridges and highways in poor
condition, said they called this bill the single largest dedicated bridge
investment since construction of the interstate highway system. They’ve got
Florida specifically receiving $ 13.1 billion in federal aid highway
apportion program, $ 240 million for bridge replacement, and it goes on and
on, the dollar figures for Florida alone.
So the question is, by opposing this bill that has been worked on, as I
mentioned, by a number of your Republican colleagues, are you preventing
Florida from getting some of the federal money to deal with these big
SCOTT: Oh, I’m all for infrastructure. I’m all for roads, bridges,
airports, and seaports. Let’s do that. Let’s just do what we just talked
about, roads, bridges, airports, and seaports, and let’s do it in a
fiscally response manner. Let’s don’t go borrow more money because let’s —
let’s look at what’s happened with inflation. Gas prices are up a buck in a
year. Food prices are up. What’s it caused by? Government spending that’s
not paid for. That’s what’s going on.
And, by the way, you know, everybody wants to talk about how they want to
spend money. No one wants to be honest with the American public, they’re
raising your taxes. They’re raising taxes on American. The middle class is
going to pay for this. So they want to talk about, oh, yes, we want to go
spend all this money. Here’s the candy over here. But now that you have to
pay for all that, we don’t want to talk about that.
And so we were promised this would be paid for. So let’s do two things.
Let’s have real infrastructure, let’s live within our means, quit running
up the debt. We have almost $ 30 trillion worth of debt. And, by the way, we
passed a debt ceiling where we have to have a vote to raise the debt
ceiling. They can’t spend this money because they’re going to borrow more
money. So let’s be honest with the American public, spend money on roads,
bridges, airports and seaports, do it responsibly like I did when I was
Senator, you’re talking a lot about the deficit and debt. A number of
Republicans are. But it wasn’t that way under the Trump administration. In
fact, if you look at the numbers, the debt went up at the end of fiscal
2020, $ 26.9 trillion. The Trump administration and Republicans added $ 6.7
trillion to the debt. That was since President Obama’s last budget, a 33
percent increase. Understanding COVID had a big role in that, but there’s
not a great track record for Republicans recently to tout themselves as
deficit debt hawks and now to be doing it here.
SCOTT: Oh, I did. I paid off — I walked in as governor of Florida in 2011
with a $ 4 billion budget deficit, a state that increased its debt every
year by over a billion dollars and I, in eight years, working with the
legislature, growing our economy, we paid off a third of the state debt.
Since I’ve been up here, I’ve been talking about the debt, how debt —
excessive debt, excessive spending causes your family and the poorest
families the most money. It’s causing inflation. It’s causing ridiculous
inflation right now.
BAIER: But you’re kind of a lone voice, aren’t you, or one of them?
SCOTT: Oh, no, we had a caucus meeting where we said, we’re not going to
raise the debt ceiling without — all Republican senators said, we will not
raise the debt ceiling without structural change. That’s what we all agreed
BAIER: But my point is, is that you did under the Trump administration
with no strings attached.
SCOTT: I’ve been up here two years, Bret. I am working my tail off. I’m
fed up with a government that can’t live within their means. Every family
in this country has got to figure out how to live within their means.
I — I grew up in a very poor family. My mom had to figure out how to put
food on the table without borrowing money. There was nobody that’s just
going to go throw money at her. So we all have — we all have to do it in
our personal lives. We have to do it as government. You can do it. Watch
how you spend the money.
Like on this bill, do it responsibly. Do roads, bridges, airports, and
seaports. Don’t borrow money. Grow the economy.
BAIER: All right, Senator, I want to turn to COVID, if I could. Your state
has seen a rise — a major rise in COVID cases, hospitalizations. This is
what the president said this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But the state with the lowest
vaccination rates are seeing ten to 20 times as many new cases per hundred
thousand people. It’s moving like wildfire through the unvaccinated
community. And it’s heartbreaking.
Just two states, Florida and Texas, account for one-third of all new COVID-
19 cases in the entire country.
If some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this
pandemic, then they should allowed businesses and universities who want to
do the right thing to be able to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Now, Florida makes up 6.5 percent of the U.S. population. And as
the president mentioned, it does account for nearly 22 percent of the
country’s new COVID cases. You have 60 percent of the hospitals saying they
could see staffing shortages. You’ve got 187 children in the hospital there
in Florida, which is a record down there.
Yet during this time, Governor DeSantis, the Florida governor, signed an
executive order barring school districts from forcing kids and students to
mask up to protect their freedom to choose.
Should he have done that now?
SCOTT: Well, first off, I — you know, my — I have a lot of concern for
all the people that have gotten COVID. I had COVID. I get — I — but I —
you know, and I also took the vaccine. If you feel comfortable, I think
everybody ought to get the vaccine and you ought to do whatever you can to
take — make sure your family’s safe.
Here’s what I think government ought to do, give us good information. I
mean here’s what’s been frustrating about this. This — this — since COVID
started it’s been all political. Just give us good information. Americans
are smart. They’ll make good decisions for their families. And we can’t go
back to fear, fear that kills jobs, fear that shuts down schools, fears
that slows everything down because it hurts — it hurts all families.
Here’s what I believe we ought to do at every level of government. Let’s be
honest. If you feel comfortable, get the vaccine. If you don’t, figure out
how you’re going to keep yourself safe. I mean that’s what I believe we
ought to be doing. And I’m going to — I’m going to do everything I can to
tell people, you know, that, you know, I’ve — I’ve been comfortable with
the vaccine. I had COVID. I don’t want anybody to get COVID.
BAIER: Do you think former President Trump and other senior Republicans
are doing enough talking about vaccinations and the need for the population
to get that to keep people safe?
SCOTT: Well, he — he got the vaccine. I mean I think — I mean I’ve done
everything I can to try to make sure people get — are comfortable getting
the vaccine. I think that’s what every Republican I know is trying to make
sure people get good information and just tell people, you know, if you
feel comfortable, get the vaccine. I mean it — I talked to a good friend
this week that got sick because he didn’t — he didn’t get vaccine and my
heart goes out to him and — and his family. I — I hope no one else gets
sick. It’s — you know, I’ve — I’ve been blessed. I’ve got grandkids. I
don’t want any of them to get sick. So, be careful.
But, you know, get — let people make their choices. This is — you know,
this is not a country where we need people telling us what to do. I love my
mom. I hate her telling me what to do. Give me good information. I’ll make
a good decision.
BAIER: Speaking of former President Trump, do you believe he’s going to
run in 2024?
SCOTT: I don’t know. I mean I — I mean, who knows? He — there’s a long
list of people that are talking about running in ’24. So, we’ll see. He’s
raised a lot of money, I know that.
BAIER: Are you one of those on the list?
SCOTT: I’m not planning to run. I’m the chairman of the National
Republican Central Committee right now working to get — make sure we get a
majority of Republicans back in the Senate so we can start acting fiscally
responsible and do the right thing for Americans.
BAIER: Is the former president, Trump, the leader of your party?
SCOTT: You know, I think the voters are the leaders. I — you know, here’s
what’s interesting. I — I ran as, you know, as an outsider in 2010 and
everybody — everybody endorsed my opponent, every Republican in the
country, and they all said, oh, he — you know — you know, that all the
leaders have chosen him as the heir apparent and he was the leader of the
Republican Party in Florida at the time. I was able to win because I went
and I told people what I thought they — I — they wanted somebody to do.
That’s who’s going to win. The — in the next election, the ’22 election,
the ’24 election is, who’s got the right message and right background for
that time. And that’s who’s going to be — that’s — but the voters are the
leader of the party.
BAIER: Well, last thing. You said you are the head of the NRSC. The former
president is taking credit for your fundraising. He put out a statement
saying that by using his name and likeness, that along with other
Republican groups, the National Republican Senatorial Committee raised
$ 51.2 million. He said because of Trump and the Republican Party is unified
behind Trump and the patriots continue to fuel this movement.
So, do you give the former president the credit for that fundraising, and
is the party unified behind former President Trump?
SCOTT: Well, first off, there’s lots of fathers of success and, you know,
failures in (ph) orphan. So I — and we’ve done a really good job —
there’s a lot of people. The — the president has been helpful, but, you
know, there’s a lot of people that have been helpful. And if you look at
Republicans across the country, we’re raising money because people are fed
up with the Biden agenda. They know it’s not good for their families. They
don’t want open borders, closed schools. They don’t want all this
inflation. They — they would like somebody that would stand up to help the
So that’s why — I mean that — that’s why we’re going to have a great win
in ’22 and that’s where we’re raising money.
BAIER: Senator Scott, we appreciate your time. Thanks for talking to us.
BAIER: Up next we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss COVID, travelers,
and the border.
BAIER: Coming up, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fights trouble on multiple
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Trial by newspaper or biased reviews are not the
way to find the facts in this matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about calls for Cuomo’s resignation and
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIGUEL CARDONA, EDUCATION SECURITY: And I’ll tell you what worked. When you
wear masks, when you provide distancing, when you are testing regularly,
and when you’re quarantining, you can function in schools.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): What are the harmful effects of putting a
kindergartner in a mask for seven hours? Have they talked about the
emotional, the academic, the physiological? Why isn’t CDC studying that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis telling the education
secretary to butt out of state level decisions on masks in schools.
It’s time now for our Sunday group.
Steve Hayes, co-founder and editor of “The Dispatch,” Fox News contributor
Marie Harf, and Jonathan Swan from “Axios.”
Jonathan, this is a battle. The COVID numbers are going up with the delta
variant all across the country, but there are states that are drawing a
line in the sand and saying we’re passing executive orders, the governors
are, to prevent schools from mandating masks, let alone mandating vaccines.
And there — there you see the school mask mandates, the reds, mask
mandates band, and the greens, they’re required. This is setting up to be a
JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, “AXIOS”: Yes, and it has been
throughout the epidemic. There’s always been this — well, I say this word
probably would offend many Americans, but this problem of federalism, but I
mean that in the sense of, you cannot have a centralized policy in a
country where so much power is devolved to the states. So you — you have –
– when you have an activist federal government come in trying to create
some consistency across the country, that’s ineffably going to run into
this type of resistance.
This — you call it — feud, whatever you want to call it, battle, it
benefits both President Biden and Ron DeSantis. For Ron DeSantis, he’s been
popular in his state for having him sort of pit against Joe Biden, elevates
him as a national figure. We all know that there’s a possibility he runs in
2024. And Joe Biden still has very high marks among the public for his
handling of COVID. So highlighting this effort from Ron DeSantis to — as a
foil is not necessarily bad politics for Joe Biden either.
Here is the president and Governor DeSantis. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If some governors aren’t willing
to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, than they should allow
businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do
it. I say to these governors, please help. But if you aren’t going to help,
at least get out of the way.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (D-FL): Joe Biden suggests that if you don’t do lockdown
policies, then you should, quote, get out of the way. But let me tell you
this, if you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing
in your way. I’m not going to let you get away with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Marie, a couple of times the president’s mentioned Florida in
particular. He said governor who about Governor DeSantis.
To Jonathan’s point, we’re a long way from 2024. But is he essentially
lifting up Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, ahead of that race?
MARIE HARF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I honestly don’t think that President
Biden sees this in any way as a political fight. Florida is on fire when it
comes to COVID. You’ve read the numbers off this morning. And when Ron
DeSantis says parents should be able to make decisions, that apparently
only means parents would agree with him because we have local leaders and
school boards and parents who are begging him to let them make the best
decisions, whether that’s a mask mandate, whether that’s mask
recommendations, Ron DeSantis claims to support local control, state
control, and yet he doesn’t give that same control to local leaders in his
We know that the bottom line is people need to get vaccinated. And the good
news, Bret, is that this week the states where they’ve had the biggest
outbreaks of delta actually have some of the biggest vaccination rates.
They’ve really jumped the last few days. That’s great. But in these places
with outbreaks, governors need to let local leaders make decisions. That’s
why you hear other Republican governors saying they regret preventing local
leaders from doing just that.
STEVE HAYES, CEO, CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR, “THE DISPATCH” AND FOX NEWS
CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I agree substantively with Governor DeSantis on the mask
mandates at the local level, but I think the principle of subsidiarity
would suggest where the problem of federalism, as Jonathan put it artfully,
suggests that local leaders should be making these decisions. It is the
case that, as Marie says, if local leaders want to impose mask mandates,
let local leaders impose mask mandates. I wouldn’t be happy if that
happened in my locality, but I think if you take what Governor DeSantis
said there about Joe Biden, it also applies at the state and local level.
BAIER: You know, Jonathan, we talked briefly about the border with
Secretary Buttigieg, who is the transportation secretary, not that
department of homeland security secretary. But there is this issue inside
the administration about the border, how to talk about it, how Vice
President Harris deals with it, and we’re seeing COVID numbers rise among
the illegal immigrants coming across the border in record numbers.
SWAN: President Biden’s advisors view the border situation as among, if not
the, biggest political liability that they have. He — he — the polling on
it is pretty stark. He — voters do not give him high marks for his
handling of immigration.
So what they’ve done is — is really try to keep it off the front burner,
not talk about it, focus on COVID and the economy, occasionally address it
when they feel they need to offer reassurance. But the fact is, as you laid
out, but numbers are the highest they’ve been in two decades. It hasn’t
been seasonal. They continued through July. And there are a number — there
are problems with COVID with this migrant community.
Now, it can be overstated. There are — there’s a ton of community spread
and — and there’s no strong evidence as far as I can tell that the spread
of delta can be attributed to this. But — but it’s certainly a problem and
it’s a problem that the administration sees as a — as a really substantial
BAIER: No, right, we’re not saying that — that the delta variant is
because of the border situation, but the percentages of illegal immigrants
coming across and their lack of vaccinations or COVID-positive numbers are
high that community.
SWAN: No question. No question.
BAIER: Marie, it is a political liability. Is there a solution? You heard
Secretary Buttigieg talk about a bipartisan competence immigration reform.
That’s — there’s zero chance.
HARF: Right, zero chance, Bret. That’s absolutely right. That is what we
ultimately need. Everyone has agreed that — for some time that we actually
need Congress to act here but there’s no chance that will happen. So I
think the Biden administration is trying to do a few things. They’re trying
to manage this crisis, manage this influx of people. They have health
protocols in place to test people if they’re showing symptoms, to isolate
them. The vice president is looking at root causes to try and stem the flow
where they come from.
But I do think there’s a broad recognition that the border is a challenge
with no easy or good answers and they’re trying to do things, including, by
the way, keeping in — in-place Title 42, the — the Trump administration’s
regulation about being able to get rid or send migrants back quickly. So
they’re trying a balancing game here, Bret, and it’s really challenging.
BAIER: It is challenging, Steve.
HAYES: Yes, but you can’t help notice the difference in the rhetoric
between the way that the Biden administration talks about the — the border
and the — the problems on the border, including COVID, and the way that
they talk about COVID in the context of the rest of the country. I mean
there’s not the urgency there. And I think Joe Biden would be — would be
wise to focus on the things that the federal government can do rather than
focus on people like Ron DeSantis and what the states are or aren’t doing.
You’ve got FDA approval that we need. Now the FDA just announced last week
that they’re going on a full print for full approval of the vaccine. You
have approval among children. There are things the federal government could
be doing that the Biden administration would be better paying attention to
those things, including the border.
BAIER: All right, panel, standby. We have to take a quick break.
Up next, Democratic governors in trouble. New York’s Andrew Cuomo facing
calls for impeachment and California’s Gavin Newsom facing a recall
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: The independent investigation has
concluded the Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in
doing so violated federal and state law.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I welcome the opportunity for a full and fair
review before a judge and a jury because this just did not happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in a fight for his
political future after a bombshell report released by the state attorney
We’re back now with the panel.
Marie, President Biden has called for him to step down, Cuomo to resign.
There are increasing lists of Democrats who are doing the same thing, yet
he seems defiant in this time.
HARF: Yes, this is certainly his political M.O. that we’ve seen throughout
the governor’s career. But you’re right, President Biden, every single
Democrat in New York. And the question now is whether he wants to put
himself and his family and his party through what will be a month’s long,
very, very embarrassing, difficult impeachment process, whether his ego
will prevent him from stepping down. I don’t know the answer to that.
I think he will be impeached. There’s no question. The lieutenant governor,
Kathy Hochul, is an incredibly impressive public servant. I think there are
a lot of New York Democrats just waiting for her to be able to take the
helm here. But what a story of hubris and ego and, you know, the question
is whether he can walk away from this with any sense of dignity left. I
BAIER: The — Steve, the attorney general in New York was — was pretty
Take a listen
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: There were attempts to undermine
and to politicize this investigation and there were attacks on me, as well
as members of the team, which I find offensive. And our focus again should
be on the bravery and the courage of these 11 women and of the others who
came forward. These allegations were substantiated, they were corroborated.
And I believe these women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Steve, there’s a lot of people who are upset that the investigation
into the governor’s handling of COVID in nursing homes was not the
impotence for what’s happening now in New York but this seems like it’s
moving the ball but it’s taking some time.
HAYES: Yes. Well, Governor Cuomo certainly, I think, should have been
impeached for the many false things he said in the context of COVID and his
mishandling of the pandemic in general. But, you know, I think it’s worth
taking a moment to point out that Governor Cuomo was very quick in the
context of the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to say that he
believes all women and to put himself squarely on the side of the women,
but he doesn’t believe the 11 women here. He doesn’t believe the women who
corroborated their accounts. He doesn’t believe the woman who led the
investigation. He doesn’t believe Letitia James, the female attorney
general. And, in fact, he went on to smear those people making these
I’ve looked at the report. Certainly the claims seem highly credible to me.
I don’t think, as a policy — believe all women is a good slogan. I don’t
think as a policy it really works. But in this case, Governor Cuomo should
certainly be listening to — to these women given the credibility of their
accounts and given what he knows about his own activity. And I think — I
agree with Marie, the impeachment’s going to happen. Somebody who’s
operated the way Governor Cuomo has doesn’t have many friends among
Democrats. And so when he looks around at a moment like this and wants
help, so many of the people that he’s alienated over the years are eager at
this point to push him aside.
BAIER: Speaking of which, Governor Cuomo and the New York City mayor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Trial by newspaper or biased reviews are not the
way to find the facts in this matter.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Just get the hell out of the way.
I mean, in the end, maybe he could close off his career with one act of
dignity and decency and just step aside. But don’t bet on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: You know, Jonathan, some people were saying this is like Ralph
Northam in Virginia, who survived his own scandal. But it seems like apples
and oranges as this is gaining steam. But, again, taking a long time.
SWAN: Yes, I don’t think — I don’t put much stock in — in people who are
making that comparison. I mean Ralph Northam had a much easier time. There
is, obviously, very detailed case against Andrew Cuomo and he’s lost the
confidence of the assembly, of the Democrats in the assembly. They held a –
– a conference call, I’m told, after the — after the report was handed
down. Nobody, not one person on the call spoke up on Cuomo — on — you
know, in defense of Andrew Cuomo. There — he really doesn’t have any
Now, what they’re worried about in New York, among the Democrats in power
at the moment, is, he’s going to use every tool in his toolbox. He’s going
to fight this. He’s got very high skilled lawyers. He wants the women to
appear in court. He’s obvious got a history of bullying and threatening.
And so this is not over yet and they’ve really — it’s still a delicate
process that they’ve got to go through to get this to — to a conviction.
BAIER: California Governor Gavin Newsom, Marie, is also calling for Cuomo
to step down. Newsom has his own challenges in a recall election on
September 14th. Polls are very close. This weekend the Republicans — the
party did not choose to endorse one candidate. There are 24. Larry Elder is
leading in the fundraising and doing well in the polls, but it’s all about
whether the recall actually happens. Fifty percent or more saying Newsom
HARF: And it really depends on whether Democratic voters turn out. Gavin
Newsom’s team has a really aggressive on the ground effort right now
because there are enough Democratic voters to keep him in office but they
have to go to the polls. And the California GOP refusing to get behind one
candidate I think is really significant here, Bret.
BAIER: Yes, Steve, your thoughts on California?
HAYES: Yes, I mean Governor Newsom, I think, is reaping the — the — the
damage that — that he did throughout his handling of the pandemic. There
are lots of moderate Democrats in California who were once supportive of
Gavin Newsom who are frustrated with the — the sort of strong hand he’s
taken, the mask mandates and whatnot. I think this will be close.
BAIER: Jonathan, quickly.
SWAN: People need to take this seriously. I mean it was — people talked
about this very dismissively earlier in the year. I think people realize
right now that if — if Democrats don’t show up that it’s possible for
someone like Larry Elder, who does have quite strong name recognition
because of his history as a talk radio host. So it’s absolutely a serious
race. And the Newsom people, as Marie said, are taking this very seriously.
BAIER: All right, panel, thank you. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our “Power Player of the Week,” the gift of a chemistry kit
unlocking one girl’s imagination to solve the world’s problems.
BAIER: She’s just a teenager, but she’s already accomplished more in a few
short years than most of us could even imagine doing in a lifetime. As we
first told you last winter, she’s earned a big honor. Here’s Chris Wallace
with his “Power Player of the Week.”
GITANJALI RAO, “TIME” MAGAZINE KID OF THE YEAR: Every day of my life I
spend using science and technology for kindness.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR (voice over): Gitanjali Rao, scientist,
inventor and “Time” magazines’ first ever Kid of the Year.
Chosen from 5,000 candidates, she was honored for her body of work at the
age of 15.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are Kid of the Year!
RAO: I’m hoping that I can prove that anyone can be an innovator if they
have the passion to do so.
WALLACE (on camera): You certainly don’t act like a kid.
Any problem being called the Kid of the Year?
RAO: The reason I can do all of this is because I’m a kid. Kids come up
with better ideas than adults because we’re not restricted by a box over
WALLACE (voice over): And think outside the box she does.
RAO: This fully functional device can help with —
WALLACE: She invented a device called Tethys, a quick, inexpensive tool to
detect lead in drinking water.
WALLACE (on camera): Is it true that the genesis, the impetus for this came
from seeing the lead contamination in Flint, Michigan?
RAO: Yes, that’s totally true. It’s just so unfair that so many kids my age
are essentially drinking a poison every day.
WALLACE (voice over): She also developed Kindly, which uses artificial
intelligence to flag cyberbullying.
RAO: Kindly basically lets the user know that this might not be the nicest
thing to say. Helping the bully basically make a learning experience out of
WALLACE: And there is Epione, that diagnosis opioid addiction at an early
RAO: The even cooler part is it gives you action items and a map of the
nearest addition centers and physician locations.
WALLACE: Inventions aside, Gitanjali reminded us she is still a kid.
RAO: Epione uses the protein expression from a gene in our body called —
my phone decided to go off. OK.
WALLACE (on camera): That seems like a 15-year-old there.
RAO: Yes, that’s a 15-year-old thing.
Good morning, everyone!
WALLACE (voice over): She’s also helping other young people become
RAO: So excited to be with you guys today.
WALLACE: Running workshops for tens of thousands of students.
RAO: That’s what makes me so excited is knowing that I am playing a part in
a global movement and I am playing a part towards making global change.
WALLACE: And when she’s not changing the world, she makes time for hobbies.
WALLACE (on camera): At age 15, you can’t drive, but you can do what?
RAO: I can fly a plane!
WALLACE (voice over): Whether in a plane or a lab, Gitanjali Rao is flying
WALLACE (on camera): If you can do all of this in your first 15 years on
earth, what do you think you’re going to be able to accomplish over the
next 60 years?
RAO: I think that I’m just going to try and see what the world brings me
and continue making a positive difference with whatever I’m doing.
BAIER: Man, she’s impressive.
Gitanjali’s next project? Exploring how we can prevent future pandemics.
That’s it for today.
Join me every weekday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time for “SPECIAL REPORT” on Fox
News Channel. We’ll have the latest on the Senate’s push to pass the
bipartisan infrastructure bill all from Capitol Hill and we’ll take you
live to the southern border with some new, exclusive video.
Have a great week and we’ll see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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