'Special Report' All-Star Panel on Biden's economy, job numbers

BAIER: A froggy sounding President Biden today talking about the jobs report. His voice was low, so was the jobs are part. The numbers, the estimates falling half — under half of what was expected, 550,000 expected, 210,000 jobs added.

With that, let’s bring in our panel, Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at “The Federalist,” Harold Ford Jr., former Tennessee Congressman, CEO of Empowerment and Inclusion Capital, and Kimberley Strassel, a member of the editorial board at “The Wall Street Journal.”

Kimberley, what about these numbers, what they tell us about this economy?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, “WALL STREET JOURNAL”: So they tell us that policies matters, and right now the one that are coming out of federal government are having a bad effect on the economy. On the one hand, you’ve got all these people who are not going back to work because they are still getting transfer payments from the government, whether that is the expanded child tax credit, whether it’s rental assistance. On the other hand, you have businesses that for the last 10 months of this administration have been getting hit with a flood of new regulations, which act as taxes, and there is actual taxes proposals that are in the offing that Democrats are offering. So they are pulling back. And we’re going to need to see some big changes out of D.C. to really get this economy moving again.

BAIER: Harold?

HAROLD FORD JR., FORMER TENNESSEE REPRESENTATIVE: So first of all, thanks for having me on, and happy Friday. Six million new jobs have been created since Joe Biden has been president. If you look at the 210,000 job number, I think Kimberley would agree this is the largest labor participation that we’ve had in some time, maybe since COVID has affected us. We would love a bigger number, but I think if you look at how the market responded today, the trading market, there is a belief that the Fed will maybe accelerate its tapering efforts — tapering tendency, which suggests that maybe the economy is stronger than we think and inflation is higher.

I think the early part of the show, Bret, and where you are, the fact that we’re up competing with China on tech, military, human rights, those are the things that I think that are in the back of the minds of so many Americans.

And if I can say one last thing, if we want to do our part as everyday Americans and ensure our economy remains open and schools remain open, those of us are healthy enough to get vaccinated and who have no religious exceptions to the virus, we should get vaccinated, because the best thing for China would be for us to stop working again, for us to close down the economy, for us to close down the schools and impair our ability to compete.

BAIER: We are closing down some jobs, Mollie, because there are some people who do not want to take the vaccine, and they are standing up to the mandates, one way or another. And that’s affecting some different areas of the economy. Take a listen to this.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And we saw a group of Republicans just tried to shut the government down because they don’t think people should have to get vaccinated or get tested. That’s bananas and crazy.

What we are working to try to do right now is implement these mandates, which are vaccinate or test, either option, very reasonable for businesses around the country.

SEN. ROGER MARSHALL, (R-KS) SENATE HEALTH MITTEE: This is still America. We still have certain God-given constitutional rights. And despite all of our efforts to educate people, to encourage them to get the vaccines, 20, 30 percent of Americans are just not going to do it, certainly not if they’re getting it shoved down their throat.


BAIER: So you are seeing this pushback, Mollie.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR, “THE FEDERALIST”: It’s worth remembering that Joe Biden said that his case for being elected was that he would shut down the virus, that he had a plan for doing so. We have now experienced more deaths from coronavirus under President Biden up than we did under President Trump, and that’s with President Trump having provided a vaccine. So it’s really an unbelievable failure on the part of Joe Biden that he claimed he had some great plan for solving everything and it turned out he didn’t really have a plan.

And he keeps on just coming up with new measures that don’t really work or new ways of forcing things that don’t work. And it makes people lose even more trust than they had in these federal policies that were ostensibly supposed to take care of this. The fact of the matter is that this vaccine has been widely available to everyone who wants it for some period of time. There is some resistance to doing it, but that doesn’t explain why there are all these other policy failures that the Biden administration is overseeing.

They cannot blame the people for their own policy failures or their own inability to take the boot off the neck of the U.S. economy or otherwise keep this economy from coming back. But these job numbers weren’t supposed to be that great as they were, half-a-million jobs, and to fail to meet that, which is becoming a bit of a pattern, is very bad signs for Democratic leadership.

BAIER: And you’re seeing some Democrats, including Joe Manchin, who we talk about a lot, having a problem with some of these mandates and trying to deal with that legislatively, working with Republicans.

Winners and Losers, Kimberley, let me start with you, winner and then loser?

STRASSEL: So my winner is the Women’s Tennis Association for its announcement that it is suspending tournaments in China and Hong Kong in response to the censorship of Peng Shuai, who made accusations against a Chinese communist officials. This is a very bold thing to do.

BAIER: And your loser?

STRASSEL: Oh, and my loser. OK, and my loser is the Justice Sonia Sotomayor who use the abortion case oral argument this week to score her Republican colleagues, suggesting they were acting out of political motivations, and really questioning the legitimacy of her own body. Not a good look for a justice. They should stick to the legal points.

BAIER: All right, Harold, winner and loser?

FORD: My winner is division one college athletics. For the first time in 20 years, I should say, the time in 20 years, the highest number of division one athletes are graduating in four years. Congratulations to them. And my loser are those who coddle repeat offenders. It’s time to fully fund the police. It’s time to repeal bail reform. And reform it if indeed you want to help nonviolent offenders. But leading violent offenders out repeatedly is not safe for any community in America.

BAIER: All right, Mollie, wrap us up, winner and loser.

HEMINGWAY: My winner, like Harold, college football fans. There are some great matchups this weekend between Alabama and Georgia for the SEC championship, Michigan and Iowa for Big Ten. So we have seen some great football this year, and that will continue.

My loser is the media, who continue to paddle the Russia collusion lies that they participated in by downplaying the role that the dossier played in their own reporting, and also in claiming that there is some semblance to this Russia collusion conspiracy theory that they have foisted on the country for so long.

BAIER: All right, panel, thanks. Make it a great weekend. SEC football, there’s nothing like it. Go Dogs. I’m partial.

When we come back, “Notable Quotables.”


BAIER: It’s Friday. You know what that means, time for “Notable Quotables.”


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It’s called the Omni-cron (ph).

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY) SENATE MINORITY LEADER: We’re not going to shut the government down.

BIDEN: Please wear your masks when you’re indoors and public settings around other people.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is somebody who follows the recommendations and the advice of the CDC.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER: They are really criticizing science, because I represent science.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the ego is really expanding beyond what I saw.

BIDEN: Who is president? Fauci?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There’s a point of time when my triceps got pretty jacked. So that was a lot of fun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hurts to even say it. It’s embarrassing, but I understand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about all the children who ran screaming, hiding under desks? The charge of terrorism reflects that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You students, this community stands with you. They are here for your families, they are here for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Families that won’t stay home that electric vehicle will never have to worry about gas prices again.

KAMALA HARRIS, (D) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to thank Secretary Pete Buttigieg, where are you? There you are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will this institution survive the stench that this creates?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Abortion is a hard issue, and when the Constitution does not take sides, it belongs to the people.

BIDEN: I can’t promise that every person will get every gift they want on time. Only Santa Claus can keep that promise.


BAIER: One week.

Tomorrow and 3:00 p.m. eastern you can watch my interview with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin from here at the Reagan Library. Don’t want to miss it.

Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That’s it for the SPECIAL REPORT, fair, balanced, and unafraid, a couple seconds over. “FOX NEWS PRIMETIME” hosted by Pete Hegseth starts right now. Hey, Pete.

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