'Fox News Sunday' on August 8, 2021

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I’m Bret Baier, in for Chris Wallace.

Senators set to resume debate on a trillion dollar partisan infrastructure 

package. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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. 

Then — 

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D), NEW JERSEY:  If you are not vaccinated, please get 

vaccinated. 

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 

from you. 

BAIER:  We’ll talk with Florida Senator Rick Scott about the record rise in 

his state and the fight over masks in schools. 

Plus — 

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”.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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 

Capitol Hill. 

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. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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 

timeline. 

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 

rebuild America. 

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. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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 

of that. 

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 

economic power. 

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 

this bill. 

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 

finish line. 

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 — 

(CROSSTALK)

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 

American people. 

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 

perspective? 

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 

policy support.

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.

BAIER:  Yeah.

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. 

(MERCIAL BREAK)

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 

Capitol Hill.

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 

problems?

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 

governor.

BAIER:  Yes.

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 

to do.

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 

Cuban people. 

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. 

SCOTT: Thanks. 

BAIER: Up next we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss COVID, travelers, 

and the border. 

(MERCIAL BREAK)

BAIER: Coming up, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fights trouble on multiple 

fronts. 

(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 

potential impeachment.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

(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 

battle. 

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. 

BAIER: Right.

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 

own state. 

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. 

BAIER: Steve. 

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 

political liability. 

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 

election. 

(MERCIAL BREAK)

(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 

general. 

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 

don’t know. 

BAIER: The — Steve, the attorney general in New York was — was pretty 

blunt. 

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 

claims. 

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 

support there. 

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 

should leave. 

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. 

(MERCIAL BREAK)

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.” 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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 

our head. 

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 

it. 

WALLACE: And there is Epione, that diagnosis opioid addiction at an early 

stage. 

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 

innovators. 

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 

high. 

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. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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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