'Special Report' All-Star Panel on a bad week for President Biden


SEN. JOE MANCHIN, (D-WV): We need some good rules changes, and we can do that together. But you change the rules with two thirds of the people that are present, so it’s Democrats and Republicans changing the rules to make the place work better. Getting rid of the filibuster does not make it work better.

SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA, (D-AZ): While I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country. The debate over the Senate 60 vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope we can get this done. The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done.


BAIER: Two Democratic senators tripling down before the president goes up there to talk to Democrats about voting rights legislation and changing the way the Senate works to get that done. Those senators are now at the White House.

However, let’s just review the past four days for the Biden administration and this president. The CDC fact checks liberal justices pushing the vaccine mandate. Americans largely lose faith in the CDC, at least by what they say to pollsters. Finding a COVID test is hard around the country. Record cases around the country, hospitals reaching capacity. The president pivots to a voting rights speech where the speech, even members of his own party panned. Stacey Abrams did not show up for that event in Atlanta, her state, her issue. Inflation hits a four-decade high. Consumers complain about bare shelves. Stories about a 2024 ticket without Biden or Harris pop up all over the place. Harris is knock mocked for another rough network TV interview. The president stumbles through a teleprompter COVID event, asking for the testing czar’s name. The president admits voting rights bill will likely fail, as you just heard, as Senator Sinema from Arizona takes to the floor before he arrives on the Hill.

Senator Manchin’s statement again definitive on the filibuster. Senator Manchin tells reporters today he hasn’t talked to the president since before Christmas, and there has been no renegotiation of Build Back Better. The Supreme Court knocks down the vaccine mandate for private businesses with over 100 employees. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announces no further talks with Russia as the Russians get more aggressive. North Korea launches yet another missile, and the Pentagon says they are surprised by that capability. DHS announces 104,000 migrants between March and August of last year, only 50,000 checked in with ICE. It’s Thursday.

Let’s bring in our panel, Katie Pavlich, news editor at Townhall.com, Matthew Continetti, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Leslie Marshall, Democratic strategist. Leslie, I just wanted to list all of that because it was all at once, but it has been a bad week for the end of the president’s first year in office.

LESLIE MARSHALL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I knew you weren’t trying out for the role of Pollyanna when you were listing that. Look, I’m a Democrat, but I’m a real list. A lot of these things aren’t good, and this weighs into, I think, why we see polls dropping for the president, because what do Americans see? They don’t see unemployment down. They don’t see Wall Street stronger. They don’t see increased wages. They don’t see any job gains. What they see is inflation.

They don’t see that we are not just fighting a variant that is spreading faster but, fortunately, a variant that is not leading to the number of deaths or the type of ICU hospitalization we have seen and the type of long-term illness we have seen with the first variant and with Delta. What we see is highest numbers ever, more children in hospitals, and the list just goes on.

So certainly, a lot of these things that the American people are seeing or hearing or reading are not positive and this weighs in to their feelings, because, remember, it’s not always what’s factually going on. A lot of times it’s the feeling of what is going on.

I want to say one thing about voting rights, and I said this before on your show, Bret, and I will say it again. No matter what piece of legislation, I can’t stand when my party or any party, quite frankly, touts something, pushes for something, gives a date for something knowing they are not going to get it over the finish line. I understand it’s symbolic, but I honestly also think it’s a waste of time if you are not going to get it done. And I do feel that our democracy is being threatened.

BAIER: To that point, for that speech in Atlanta to be that aggressive, to compare opponents of the legislation or getting it done to segregationists and racists in the past, and then to come out today and say, you know, we might not get it done, that’s, I think what Leslie is referencing there.

KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Bret, the president knew going into Atlanta that he was not going to get this done, and Stacey Abrams also understood that he wasn’t going to get this done. And it’s pretty astonishing that the president went to Atlanta and revived his Jim Crow 2.0 argument that Stacey Abrams made, which then got the Major League Baseball’s all-star game kicked out of Atlanta which hurt the very people that they were trying to talk to and encourage.

And so, the president going to Capitol Hill multiple times, getting no concessions on this issue. And it really is interesting he would choose the filibuster considering just in 2019 when he was running for president, and he was asked about this repeatedly and said he did not favor a change in Senate rules. So for him to go and be so aggressive, to compare opponents of this to people like George Wallace, who by the way, was a Democrat, when he agreed with that very same policy stance just two years ago, really is quite something.

It’s obvious because the administration is failing on policy. They are now shifting to aggressive politics in an election year, hoping that something will stick. But clearly after the list that you just ran down, that’s not working five days before the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.

BAIER: Right, and Matthew, it’s clear showing up in the polls. That Quinnipiac poll was, and everybody referenced it, but it’s because the numbers have been so shocking, 33 percent overall, 25 percent with independents, 24 percent with young people.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Right. And, of course, the slide has been ongoing, Bret, since basically the last half of last year. And by December, of course, the saying is when you don’t have a friend in Washington, you get a dog. Well, Biden already got his dog, and then all of the events that have happened since that you listed at the outset of the panel have continued to come. I don’t know what he is going to do now.

And there doesn’t seem to be any good news on the horizon either. As you said, amidst all these crises, economic, political, social, judicial with the setbacks on the vaccine mandate, they lead the briefing with the imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russia. So it is bleak days in Joe Biden’s Washington.

BAIER: Leslie, the more interviews the vice president does, it does not seem to be changing the perception of her ability to do those interviews.

MARSHALL: I would say that I have not seen a great support for our vice president, not just because of the interviews. And I know people get on me for this. I have been interviewed about this. I think some of it is her gender. I think some of it is her race. And I think some of the people in my party as well are disappointed with the tasks that have been put before her, that they don’t feel that she has worked with.

But you had mentioned in your list, Bret, that people are talking about will Biden be on the ticket, will Biden and Harris be on the ticket together? These were the same conversations with Donald Trump and will Donald Trump-Pence ticket, and both of them were on the ticket. Now, I know they lost. But at the same time, I think that’s a lot of gossip and I don’t think the ticket will change.

BAIER: Fair point, just mentioning that it’s not conservative outlets. These are liberal papers or organizations, Katie —

MARSHALL: I agree, I know.

BAIER: — that are bringing up these stories. They are popping up all over the place. Katie?

PAVLICH: Oh, sorry, Bret. I didn’t hear you. Yes, no, the vice president has given multiple chances to revive her image to take the issues that the president has given her in her portfolio seriously. When she answers the question about what she wishes she could do better throughout her first year of office, and she laughs and says get out of D.C. more, when she has quite literally been invited to the southern border, which one of the issues she has been tasked with fixing and she hasn’t gone, it makes her look like she is not taking the office seriously. And given all the talk of Joe Biden not running again in 2024, her chances of being the nominee are getting slimmer by the interview.

BAIER: All right, panel, stand by if you would. When we come back, tomorrow’s headlines.


BAIER: Finally tonight, a look at tomorrow’s headlines with the panel. Leslie, first to you.

MARSHALL: A wave of minorities register as Democrats after Republicans show their true colors on voting rights.

BAIER: Matthew?

CONTINETTI: My headline is Biden nears Iran deal. The president so desperate for a win he is going to make a bad deal for the country and the world.

BAIER: Katie?

PAVLICH: At the end of the worst week ever for Joe Biden, the president adopts another puppy, a kitten, and he also tweets about it to get the press’ attention.

BAIER: All right, panel. Thanks. I want to say goodbye to Ashley (ph) Moyer (ph), our long time booking producer last night, tonight. She has been fantastic since the beginning. She is going on to new adventures, including motherhood of Chase (ph). Good luck, we will miss you, Ashley (ph).

Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That’s it for the SPECIAL REPORT, fair, balanced, and unafraid. “FOX NEWS PRIMETIME” hosted by Rachel Campos-Duffy starts right now. Hey, Rachel.

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