This is a rush transcript of ‘Fox News Sunday’ from January 22nd, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Shannon Bream.
A new round of classified items found in the president’s home and new concerns about financial fallouts as the U.S. hits the debt limit again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they want to play a game of chicken, we’ll play a game of chicken.
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): We’ve had these games before and it should not be done.
BREAM (voice-over): The Treasury Department now buying time with extraordinary measures as Republicans bicker with the White House.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has been clear on this. It should not be used as a political weapon.
BREAM: Swing district, moderate Republicans are calling for the president to drop the take it or leave it approach and come to the table.
We’ll sit down for a bipartisan conversation with two co-chairs from the Problem Solvers Caucus. Republican Brian Fitzpatrick and Democrat Josh Gottheimer join me to talk about how to find consensus on the debt limit, immigration and more. It’s a “FOX News Sunday” exclusive.
Then — thousands of pro-life advocates come to the nation’s capital for the first March for Life since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. We’ll look at the legal state of play now that abortion laws are up to the states, and sit down for a conversation with prominent voices from both sides.
And eight months after the unprecedented leak of a draft Supreme Court ruling, there are still no answers from the high court about the leaker.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The only way you’re going to stop this in the future is to make sure you find out who did it and hold them accountable.
BREAM: We’ll ask our Sunday panel if we will ever find out who did it.
All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.
BREAM (on camera): Hello from FOX News in Washington.
Breaking overnight, at least ten people are dead, another ten injured after a mass shooting near Los Angeles. It happened late last night at a dance club in Monterey Park, California, close to where a lunar New York celebration had been taking place.
Authorities say they believe the shooter is male and at this time it appears that person is not in custody. No word yet on a motive.
Deputies say they are reviewing security video in that area. Monterey Park is about ten miles east of Los Angeles. We’ll keep you updated on any developments we get in from there.
Also breaking this morning, the Justice Department seized more classified documents from the president’s private residence just this week. The news comes as President Biden prepares to speak in person with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to discuss the new Congress, a range of challenges there, where they disagree. And that, of course, includes the debt limit.
Congress is facing a deadline to strike a deal or risk a financial crisis as the Treasury department steps in to avoid a government default.
In a moment, we will chat with two moderate lawmakers, Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, and Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. They are trying to press their way into the most polarized policy debates and find solutions.
But, first, let’s turn to Lucas Tomlinson outside the White House where there are multiple developing stories this morning.
LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Shannon, the president is facing renewed criticism after more classified documents were found in his Wilmington, Delaware, home. The FBI conducted the search.
The president also facing a debt ceiling fight amid reports his top aide is leaving. White House chief of staff Ron Klain could step down in the coming weeks, the biggest administration departure since President Biden took office two years ago. The move was expected. Klain has been at Biden’s side through the legislative triumphs of his first two years and through his Supreme Court confirmation, but also through major controversies, like the disastrous U.S. departure from Afghanistan. Klain may be best known for helping the president pass massive spending bills like the $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan, the $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Critics say the spending helped accelerate the current inflation crisis and added to the national debt. In 2000, the debt was just over $5 trillion. It’s climbed to over $31 trillion today. It’s money already spent and now the U.S. is over its borrowing limit which could put the nation’s credit rating at risk.
GENE SPERLING, SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT: To threaten default, to threaten economic catastrophe, nobody, Democrat or Republican, should do that no matter how much they believe in their agenda.
TOMLINSON: Republicans say they want spending cuts if they’re going to raise the debt limit higher. The White House says raise the limit period. No negotiations.
JEAN-PIERRE: It is a basic responsibility that Congress has to deal with the debt ceiling.
TOMLINSON: President Biden plans to huddle with top Democratic leaders at the White House Tuesday. He also plans to host Kevin McCarthy, their first meeting since McCarthy became House speaker.
McCarthy responding, President Biden, I accept your invitation to sit down and discuss a responsible debt ceiling increase to address irresponsible government spending.
A White House official spinning this differently, calling it a, quote, general meeting, not a negotiation.
All this while the president faces continued discussions over his handling of classified documents. The new house majority leader tells FOX —
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: The rules of justice should apply to everybody equally. In a case like this, it’s one more example that they’re not being applied equally to Democrats as they are to Republicans.
TOMLINSON (on camera): Now two Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Tim Kaine are also calling for a full investigation. They’re both up for re- election in 2024 — Shannon.
BREAM: Lucas Tomlinson reporting from the White House Lucas, thank you very much.
Joining us now, co-chairs of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, Democratic congressman of New Jersey, Josh Gottheimer, and Republican congressman of Pennsylvania, Brian Fitzpatrick.
Congressmen, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.
REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER (D-NJ): Thanks for having us.
REP. BRIAN FITZPATRICK (R-PA): Thanks for having us.
BREAM: OK. So, let’s start here. The headlines overnight are not the ones the White House wants to see. Yet another discovery of classified material at the president’s Wilmington home.
Jonathan Turley, well known to our audience and a legal professional, a professor and constitutional scholar, tweets this: With the latest discovery, there’s no real question that the Biden documents were grossly mishandled. There only remains who was responsible. However, the discovery of documents at yet another location used by the president is crushing for his defense team.
He says he’s done everything right, he has no regrets. Congressman Gottheimer, should he, at this point?
GOTTHEIMER: Well, I think we’ve seen the Justice Department is conducting an on going investigation. That’s the proper process here. And you want to get to the bottom of these things, which is why they were at his home yesterday in full cooperation.
And I think that’s the — what you need to do here. The White House needs to cooperate with the Justice Department. That’s what they’ve been doing for months. Obviously, that’s in stark comparison to the other investigation of classified documents with former President Trump.
And I think as long as the White House does what it should do, which is cooperate fully so we can get to the bottom of this, I think that’s the appropriate process. And, of course, in a broader sense, we should understand in any White House, whether it’s the last White House or this one, how any documents would ever get out. And the key is to make sure that never happens.
BREAM: So, also in contrast is the fact that there have been on going negotiations with this Justice Department, with the Biden White House and legal team. And there was an agreement for them to be there together Friday during the search, but what we found is leading to more questions than answers for a lot of folks.
Andy McCarthy, former federal prosecutor, tweeted this out: It’s not six classified documents, this latest discovery. Awkwardly worded statement by Biden team, i.e., spin is favorable to Biden as possible, were six items consisting of documents with classified markings and we don’t know what they meant by item. Box, envelope or how many classified documents in each item.
So, there is a special counsel investigations already under the way — under way. You heard Lucas Tomlinson say, maybe some Democratic senators are also interested. House oversight has already said that it’s going to investigate.
Congressman Fitzpatrick, any word you have that the GOP is going to overreach on this or look like they’re politicizing it?
FITZPATRICK: I don’t believe so, Shannon. Two things are true. Number one, classified documents can never be taken out of the SCIF ever. I’m both a former FBI agent and I’m currently on the House Intelligence Committee. That’s number one.
Number two, we need equal application of the law. And that’s what we’re going to make sure that we ensure. We’re going to do a deep dive into the circumstances surrounding the prior administration and the current administration, both dealing with classified documents and making sure the law is applied equally across the board. That’s what the American people are demanding.
BREAM: So the Wall Street Journal had reported on conversations between the two teams, and the Biden side, and the DOJ side about whether or not FBI agents or others should be doing these searches now that we’re on umber five.
And up into the point on Friday, they had agreed to let the Biden team handle it. “The Washington Post” also has this, that the White House was hoping to keep this quiet. The White House was hoping for a speedy inquiry, planning to disclose this matter only after Justice issued its all clear.
But the approach would end up prompting accusations that the Biden’s team had purposely kept the public in the dark.
Congressman Gottheimer, we know all of this started before the midterms. Do you get the perception that some people have that there are differences in the way the DOJ handles Republican and Democrat cases?
GOTTHEIMER: I mean, there’s a huge difference in the fact, if you look at the last administration, the Trump administration, what happened in Mar-a- Lago, there was a refusal to cooperate for nearly a year, right? There was obstruction. You needed subpoenas. President Trump didn’t come forward and offer up his documents. He was keeping them locked up.
And this administration, I believe, has cooperated in a constructive way with the Justice Department from the beginning. They didn’t take months. They didn’t stall. The president wasn’t trying to hold up these documents as trophies.
And so, it’s a huge difference. But the bottom line is this, and Brian is exactly right. We need to have a full cooperation investigation. We need to get to the bottom of what happened, why and when, to understand everything.
And in a broader sense, to make sure that no White House, no administration is ever able to handle classified documents this way and take them out of the White House from a classified setting. And I think, you know, we should get to the bottom of both, and I think we should run a reasonable process. And that’s what’s happening right now.
BREAM: Well, you as members of Congress may have more of a hand in that in the coming weeks and months.
There’s this, you know, piece again — Andy McCarthy speaking out on this saying after the White House has said there are no logs there, this is the personal home, where in the past they said the president does work from there. There are questions about whether there are logs of visitors or people who would have been there.
Andy McCarthy writes this: I’m very confident that if the agency, meaning the Secret Service, believed it was in the interest of the president’s security that the information would be produced for the bureau would be produced at warp speed.
We’ve got at least one source saying to us the Secret Service is prepared to come forward with some information about visitors there but Congress is going to have to ask.
Congressman Fitzpatrick, will you do that?
FITZPATRICK: We will, Shannon. There’s multiple ways to gather evidence and conduct investigations. Obviously, visitors log would be very helpful. If that doesn’t exist, you go to other forms of evidence, video surveillance, physical surveillance, witness interviews. There’s a whole host of ways to collect evidence.
So, I have no doubt that certainly we’re going to make sure of this, that the bureau does their job investigating this case. And again, they got to apply the law equally. That’s very, very important for people in America to have faith and confidence in our justice system.
It’s a system I have worked in. It’s very important for me that they do things the right way so that the American public has confidence in it. And that requires equal application of the law, consistent standards on investigations. That’s what we’re going to make sure happens.
BREAM: Okay. You all are trying to make sure something else happen, which is that we don’t default on our credit ratings. And you’re negotiating and talking actively about the debt ceiling in a deal that could possibly come together.
The White House says no negotiations at all. We know that’s not practical given some of the demands that House GOP members that spending cuts and other things be included in order to get their vote.
Our Edward Lawrence over at FOX Business has been reporting, Congressman Fitzpatrick, you’ve been working on something that would be a debt to GDP ratio, potentially. If you hit a certain number, then automatic cuts kick in.
Can you give us any sense of where those negotiations are? What would be the ratio? How in the world do you decide whose programs automatically get cut in that scenario?
FITZPATRICK: Yeah. Well, first thing that has to happen, Shannon, Speaker McCarthy has made several overtures to the White House. He wants to sit down and work a reasonable solution out.
I hope the White House accepts his offer. In fact, it was White House that offered Speaker McCarthy the opportunity to come in. I hope that happens. And the White House’s position cannot —
BREAM: Yeah, but they say it’s not going to be a negotiation over the debt ceiling. They say that is not what’s going to happen.
FITZPATRICK: That’s a — that’s a problem. That’s a problem and that’s not leadership. When you have a divided government, four-vote Republican margin in the House, a one-vote Democratic margin in the Senate, divided chambers, you have to negotiate.
That’s what the American people elected us to do, is to work this out. So nobody should be taking the position that we’re not going to negotiate. That’s very irresponsible.
Pertaining to your question, Shannon, one thing that we’re just going to offer up as a possible bridge-building solution is to go right at the 1917 law itself that established the debt limit. It established it as a number, a numerical dollar amount, which doesn’t make any sense. We think that more practically speaking, it should be a debt to GDP ratio.
In 2008, our debt to GDP was about 40 percent. In 2018, it was about 70 percent. It’s now at 125 percent. That’s not sustainable.
So, when you have a child that has a spending problem, you do two things. You pay their bills, and take away their credit card. You don’t do one, you do both.
That’s what has to happen here. So what we’re going to propose is whatever negotiated amount we can agree on on a debt to GDP ratio and have a cure period there after. If that cure does not happen, certain budgetary reforms automatically kick in on the discretionary side.
So, we’re still putting the meat on those bones. Me and Josh are going to work through our proposed solution. But the first thing that’s got to happen, Shannon, the president has to sit down with Speaker McCarthy. Speaker McCarthy offered to negotiate in good faith. I hope President Biden does as him (ph).
BREAM: OK. So, “The Washington Post” is quoting a senior Democrat over in Congress that says he had a conversation with Ron Klain, White House chief of staff who may soon be leaving. But he essentially said, no holds barred, there will be no negotiations. You’ve got to make it look like we’re the responsible ones and that the Republicans are essentially irresponsible, trying to kill entitlements, and those kinds of things.
Congressman Gottheimer, can you work with that? If that’s the strategy, if that’s the theory, how do you move the ball at all?
GOTTHEIMER: Well, I’ve had conversations with the White House just this weekend. And I’m optimistic that they will sit down as this White House always has. That’s why we were able to accomplish so much in a bipartisan way last Congress. It takes constructive conversation.
I think there’s things reasonable on the table and things that are unreasonable. Gutting Social Security and Medicare is obviously on the unreasonable side.
BREAM: Which the speaker has said is not on the table.
Yeah. Just to be clear, the speaker has said that those — that those — that that’s a talking point and that Republicans are not going to do that.
GOTTHEIMER: By the way, that’s great, because I don’t think it should be on the table. Things like 30 percent sales tax should not be on the table.
But there are plenty of things that should be. And, you know, Brian and I and the Problem Solvers Caucus are obviously having discussions. I think the White House, you see Kevin McCarthy and the president will be sitting down, the speaker and the president will be sitting down. I think that’s a good thing.
What we can’t do is put the full faith in the credit of United States of America at risk. We can’t put people’s 401(k)s at risk. We need to have these constructive conversations, make sure that we raise the debt limit responsibly so that people can have faith in our country and our currency. And we can also talk about our fiscal health and do that in a responsible way.
I think we need to do both. And I’m optimistic that everyone will sit down. We’ll work this out, because we have no other choice. We have to work this out.
BREAM: OK. Quickly, Congressman Fitzpatrick, with that in mind and the potential departure of Ron Klain, knowing what his strategy reportedly is, do you think his departure changes the way that you are able to work with this administration?
FITZPATRICK: I don’t think so. Again, we’re going to let our speaker take the lead on this with his negotiations and then Josh and I are going to offer our solution that hopefully can be constructive. But I don’t believe it’s going to affect our relationship with the White House, Shannon. We’ve had a constructive relationship with them.
That’s our job as representatives, no matter what party we’re from, is to do our part to make government work. And we’ve worked well with a lot of people over there and I expect that to continue.
BREAM: Well, the American people wish you well in trying to find solutions at the most treacherous problems we have now.
Congressmen, thank you both for joining us.
GOTTHEIMER: We’ll get it done.
FITZPATRICK: You bet. Thanks.
BREAM: Up next, the president’s downplaying concerns about how he handled classified materials from years ago as yet another batch is found at his Wilmington home. And a special counsel is ramping up to investigate. We’re going to bring in our Sunday group to discuss all this, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think they’re going to find, there’s nothing there. I have regrets on following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. That’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s no there there. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BREAM: President Biden brushing off concerns after weeks of questions about how he handled the discovery and disclosure of classified documents from his time in the Obama administration. Now we understand maybe as far back to his Senate career.
It is time four Sunday group. White House correspondent Francesca Chambers; former State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf; former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell, Josh Holmes; and FOX News analyst Raymond Arroyo.
If only there was something to discuss today.
Okay. So he says there’s no there there, but apparently there’s another batch of there there. Given this discovery, the fifth batch on Friday, as DOJ and FBI agents were there. Jonathan Turley writes this about the personal’s statements. He shrugged off the matter like finding a borrowed hammer in his garage. Since the standard is gross mishandling of classified evidence, the last thing you want to do is give a grossly mishandling answer.
JOSH HOLMES, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO SENATOR MCCONNELL: I think he’s got deep regrets, right? Especially coming outs so forcefully saying this whole thing is over, you’re not going to find anything more, we’re done here with only a handful of documents and nothing to see here. Every day, seems like everywhere he’s had a cup of coffee he’s got documents behind him. And now, DOJ is finding all this.
I think the biggest issue as we turn forward with it is the access piece to it, right? We know what the Mar-a-Lago raid, were all in one room and the access was fairly limited. It’s in his garage, right? In certain office space. We don’t know who has access to this stuff. I think that’s the biggest question going forward.
BREAM: “New York Times” opinion piece said this, oh, Biden, what have you done. It’s hard to exaggerate the level of exasperation with him for squandering a huge political advantage on the Mar-a-Lago story and for muddying what may have been the best chance to convict Mr. Trump on federal charges. Marie?
MARIE HARF, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: Look, the reason we know there were more documents found is that Biden’s personal attorneys invited the department of justice in to look for them. A couple were found, I think six last night. So they are fully cooperating.
The Biden team will tell you, we are fully cooperating, we are inviting them in. That is in stark contrast to Donald Trump, who repeatedly lied, he and his attorneys did, to the federal government. He claimed they were his. He claimed he declassified them.
We have no idea who had access to them at Mar-a-Lago. We know there have been security concerns there.
So, would I prefer not to be talking about this on “FOX News Sunday” as a Democrat? Of course, I would. But I think attend of the day the distinction of how the Biden team has handled them, inviting DOJ and fully cooperating, letting them look into whatever they can, compared to the Trump team which is at every single turn really pushed back, even lied to the FBI and to the Archives. I think at the end of the day that distinction will be quite clear to people.
BREAM: Well, and, Raymond, some people point to the distinction and the reporting in “The Washington Post” and “Wall Street Journal” that there were conversations with the Biden team an DOJ, oh, no, we’re going to let you investigate it. And now, we’re going to let you come in. And so, those conversations make people at least have the perception that there is a different standard.
RAYMOND ARROYO, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, there seems to be a different standard here because, look, you have private and personal lawyers going in and looking and discovering these caches. Did they have security clearance? Which we don’t have full clarity on yet.
But, look, Shannon, years ago. I remember seeing Dean Martin. He’d walk out on stage and say, how did all these people get in my room? That’s Joe Biden every time he finds a document. How did this document get here?
Well, it didn’t walk in. You placed it there or someone near you did. We need to know why and how. When you look at the Penn Biden Center, that first discovery is particularly disturbing because the classified documents were mingled in among personal files. They were even in envelopes marked personal files. Why? Who put them there?
And when you overlay the timetable of the documents discovered and what was happening in Joe Biden’s life, they do track with the Hunter Burisma deal, the Iran nuke deal, the Chinese natural gas deal that we’ve discovered, or has come to light, via Hunter’s lap top.
So, tons of questions that need exploration here. But I’m not quite certain, Shannon, we’ve discovered the last Biden classified document just yet.
BREAM: Well, and we have been told that we think this is it. They think they’re wrapped up.
Francesca, it blew up your story and deadline last night when there was another discovery.
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, USA TODAY WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And House Oversight Republicans are trying to get their hands on the documents that were found. We don’t know exactly what is in those documents yet. They gave the White House this week to answer questions about this. They say they’ve heard crickets so far from the White House, despite the public responses.
Meanwhile, White House administration officials telling me they’re still deciding how they want to respond to these request for communications.
But as far as President Biden goes, the revelation that some of those documents included documents, we don’t know how many, dating back to his time in the U.S. Senate, is at odds with the statements from the White House that he has handled the classified information in an appropriate manner and takes it very seriously, so to speak, bringing new scrutiny on that.
BREAM: It does. It puts the headline back on the document situation. Other than what is the strategy on the debt ceiling as to saying the Republicans are crazy and they’re going to crash the economy.
Josh, “The Hill” has this headline, GOP risks overplaying their hand on the debt ceiling. They’re pressing for big spending cuts but there’s a real chance the GOP could end up blamed for cascading negative effects if the U.S. even approaches a scenario where it defaults on its financial obligation. How much danger for them there?
HOLMES: Well, I think everybody has to get on the same page from the very beginning. There is going to be a negotiation, right? You’ve got Democrats basically at this point saying we’re going to have a clean debt ceiling. That’s about it.
There’s zero chance that that happens. There’s going to be a discussion between Speaker McCarthy and the administration. I assume the Senate will be part of that discussion.
It’s not unprecedented. I remember sitting there in 2011 when we were doing this with Joe Biden with the Budget Control Act.
So, this is something that has lot of history, lot of precedent. What U.S. Republicans need to do is figure out what ignites them to get to question, because that’s the other piece that has to happen. It’s not a negotiable outcome. The outcome has to be there. But they’ve got to get as far down the road on the conservative side with spending cuts and the like to get that conference together.
BREAM: Yeah. Marie, we know Ron Klain is for the hard ball plan on this. That’s the public line the administration continues to hold. Do you think his departure will change the way the White House operates in these kinds of non-negotiation negotiations?
HARF: Look, I don’t think their strategy is going to change necessarily. Republicans in Congress voted three times to raise the debt ceiling under President Trump, not demanding any of the kinds of spending cuts they’re demanding now. So, Republicans find fiscal austerity generally when a Democrat is in the White House.
But the case that Ron Klain or any other senior adviser to Biden will tell you is under President Biden, record unemployment, 11 million jobs created, record numbers of small business applications being put in in the last two years. Contrast that with Republicans taking over Congress. The first thing they do, cut Medicare and Social Security, default on our obligations, get our credit rating downgraded.
I think the Biden White House feels very confident that if you take those two messages to the American people, they’re going to come out on the winning end of that policy wise economically but also politically, Shannon.
BREAM: So, yeah, there’s the political and optics side of that. Very quickly before we go, I want to get your comment on the fact that the Supreme Court has been investigating for quite sometime the May leak last year. We have no answer about who it is.
ARROYO: Well, and the question is why don’t we have those answers? I mean, the FBI should have been brought in, Shannon. As you know, the investigator here was the marshal of the court. They don’t have the investigation power to seize records and to obligate some of those clerks who have already left.
As you were talking about earlier this morning, many of these clerks have already left. Their tenure ended, they moved on. We didn’t get testimony for some of them and records for some of them.
So I don’t think we’ll ever know who this leaker is. Too much time has passed.
ARROYO: But we should know. These justices and their families, I can tell you, they are very worried and the threats have not stopped since that.
BREAM: Demonstrations do continue at many of their homes on a weekly basis.
OK. Francesca, you’ll kick us off next time.
Panel, up next, March for Life returned to Washington this week celebrating the end of Roe v. Wade. But legal battles continue to sprawl all across the states in the debate over access to abortion. We sit down with prominent voices from the pro-choice and pro-life movements here together for a conversation on one of the nation’s most contentious issues.
We’ll be right back.
BREAM: In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the right to privacy implied in the 14th Amendment meant women had a right to abortion. That kicked off one of the most hard fought political and legal battles of the past half century.
Then last summer, after a leaked ruling indicated it would, the high court did indeed overturn Roe. But instead of settling the issue, it shifted the battle to new fronts. This morning we will sit down with two of the most prominent advocates in both the pro-life and pro-choice movements to discuss the new paradigm.
But first, a look at the surge in advocacy on both sides seven months after tend of Roe.
BREAM (voice over): It was nearly a party atmosphere outside the Supreme Court Friday as pro-life demonstrators marched their 50th March for Life.
LYNN FITCH (R), MISSISSIPPI ATTORNEY GENERAL: This year is different. We have overturned Roe v. Wade with the Mississippi Dobbs case. We have done it.
BREAM: The march started in the 1970s as a protest against Roe v. Wade. This year, it had a victory lap feel as marchers celebrated the end of Roe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just won a huge case in the Supreme Court. And that’s – that’s incredible.
BREAM (on camera): Did you ever think that you would see this day where Roe was no longer the law of the land?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It’s incredible. We hoped. We prayed. You know, there’s always hope. But I think nobody could believe it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that the culture is moving in our direction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that’s been what’s really cool for me is to like see that we’re not the only ones. There’s so many people here. And people are coming with so much joy and so much hope.
BREAM (voice over): But even as the pro-life movement celebrates seven months since Roe was overturned by the Dobbs decision, the legal rules around abortion are more unsettled than ever. Now the abortion question is up to states.
GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR) (June 26, 2022): This is a day that those in the pro-life movement has worked for, for over 40 years.
BREAM: About a dozen states banned most or all abortions immediately. Many saying those bans saved lives. But many states did the reverse, passing laws to ensure women had greater abortion access.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): California, Oregon and Washington are building the west coast offense to protect patients’ access to reproductive care.
BREAM: Voters also weighed in as midterm ballots saw a record number of abortion questions. In Kansas, voters turned out in huge numbers rejecting a law that would have banned access. The margin, 59 percent to 41 percent.
GOV. LAURA KELLY (D-KS): And an overwhelming majority of Kansans believe that a woman’s right to make private medical decisions should rest with her and not with politicians.
BREAM: Fundraising for both sides exploded after Kansas, with statewide races seen as critical. A Wisconsin judicial race is getting headlines now because an existing but unenforced abortion ban from 1849 could reach the state’s highest court.
The Biden administration ramped up federal protections with an executive order preemptively pushing back on limits to obtaining federally approved abortion medication, or on women traveling to states where abortion is legal.
And the legal battles continue to unfold. South Carolina’s State Supreme Court struck down a six week abortion ban in early January. Pro-choice advocates are pressing Congress to pass the original Roe precedent into law.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (October 2022): I believe Congress should codify Roe once and for all.
BREAM: By contrast, some congressional Republicans want a federal ban.
BIDEN: If Republicans get their way with a national ban, I’ll veto it.
BREAM: The president warned before the midterms the end of Roe would cost Republicans politically.
BIDEN: I think you’re going to hear women roar on this issue, and it’s going to be consequential.
BREAM: Fox News voter analysis in November found 62 percent favored a national law guaranteeing access to abortion, 38 percent opposed.
BREAM (on camera): This year’s rally was different than marches in the past, going instead between the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court, as organizers say they’re shifting their focus from the legal battle at the high court to the political one over on Capitol Hill.
BREAM (voice over): But marchers also acknowledge a federal ban may never happen. And, in the meantime, their movement is under pressure to help mothers and children after pregnancy. Something they say they’ve been doing for decades and have ramped up in the wake of the end of Roe.
BREAM (on camera): And there will be children that come into this world that these women don’t feel prepared for or it doesn’t fit in their life. So, what do you say to them post Roe?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we definitely have to step up our game with the whole adoption system and then supporting women who are in these situations where they don’t have the money or the resources to have these children. We can’t tell the world that we want women to have children and then not give them the resources.
BREAM: Joining me now, Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, and Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America.
Thank you both for coming here today. I know – I think it’s fair to say you’re united in the dignity of women and caring about them in a moment that they may not have foreseen would come into their lives. So, thank you for coming to have the conversation. Penny, I want to start here.
Many of the marchers I talked to said this is just the beginning, getting rid of Roe, and that’s something that the White House finds alarming. This is what the president said in a proclamation this week about the Supreme Court overturning Roe. He said, never before has the court taken away a right so fundamental to Americans. In doing so, it put the health and lives of American – of women across the nation at risk.
So, opponents of your work, including the president, say you’re actually hurting women by this work.
PENNY NANCE, CEO AND PRESIDENT, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: Well, let’s remember the pro-life movement has always been led by women, starting with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who in their paper, The Revolution, called it sadly child murder. You had women like Alice Paul who said, the – that abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women. And then now, the pro-life movement is led by women all over this country.
Concerned Women for America have worked to protect women and their children from the very beginning. We have marched to the Capitol. We have gone and advocated for our position. We’ve gone to the state capitals and women have gotten elected to advocate for this position because we believe that in the dignity and human life, there are two people, two lives at stake in this question. And we want to love them both.
There was a poll that just came down, a Marist poll, that said 90 percent of people want to protect the babies and their mothers. People recognize this is a lie. Roe wasn’t settled because people knew in their hearts there was a baby at stake.
BREAM: And so now we have all these state fights and we have different things that we talked about the administration has taken steps to make sure that women have more access.
The FDA not only now allows abortion pills through the mail, but this headline too, that now retail pharmacies from corner drug stores to mayor chains like CVS and Walgreens will be allowed to offer abortion pills in the U.S. under a regulatory change that was made by the FDA. So, available through the mail. There’s no prohibition on women traveling across state lines. So, is there a problem with access in 2023?
ELIZABETH WYDRA, PRESIDENT, CONSTITUTIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY CENTER: Yes, I mean there is a problem with access for sure. There was actually a problem with access even when Roe was on the book. But I think what we’re seeing here is millions and millions of Americans, particularly women, woken up after Roe was overturned to this idea that many had taken for granted that a decision so fundamental, so personal, so life changing such as whether to terminate a pregnancy or to carry a pregnancy to term was now not going to be their own decision. That instead it could be made by politicians and not be made by the person themselves with their family, with their doctor, with their god, but instead could be determined by their state legislatures or their governors.
And that’s why we’ve seen this wave of activism where people are saying in states, you know, not just super liberal states, we’re also talking like Kentucky, Kansas, you know, states where, through ballot initiatives, people are saying, we want to ensure reproductive care access. We want to make sure that reproductive care, including abortion, is still available. And it is up to the person themselves to determine whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.
BREAM: Both of you have mentioned the fact that this did go to the states and there were ballot initiatives. There were different places that we covered and talked about how people have voted on this. I remember, Penny, talking to you years ago, in 2016, when President Trump got into the primary. A lot of pro-life leaders were very worried about him. They weren’t sure where he was going to be. You wound up calling him the most pro-life president in history.
Then after the midterms did not go as well as expected for the Republicans, he said this. It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the midterms. It was the abortion issue poorly handled by many Republicans that lost large numbers of voters.
So, what’s your response to that accusation this issue actually hurt at the polls?
NANCE: Well, of course, you know, the pro-life movement is very grateful to President Trump. He appointed three constitutionalist justices that Concerned Women for America worked very hard to get confirmed. And I even called him after the overturn and thanked him for that. But, you know, we just basically disagree.
What we saw happen was Republicans listening to the consultant class, running away from the abortion issue, being told only to talk about inflation and Joe Biden, and being outspent 35 to one on this issue.
The other side spent $391 million on ads to Republicans pettily little $11 million in ads. The other side painted them as extremists when the real extreme opinion on this is the other side that says abortion should be legal, any time, any reason, any number, all paid for by the taxpayer. We know that is not the position of the American people.
This question has been returned to the American people. And we are happy to advocate for our position and go state by state. And that’s the next step. That’s the next phase of what Steve Scalise said at the march.
BREAM: Yes, and – and there are things that are still happening here in – in — both on Capitol Hill as well. And there’s talk about a national ban or a national codification. But a couple things the House has already voted on, again in the control of the GOP now. They voted on a resolution to condemn attacks and violence on pregnancy centers and pro-life organizations. Only three Democrats out of more than 200 voted yes on that. There was also a bill that would have called for medical care for a baby that survived an attempted abortion. Only one Democrat voted for that.
Elizabeth, why vote no on those kinds of measures?
WYDRA: You know, I haven’t seen the particulars of those bills. You know, I think we should condemn violence on, you know, all activists who are, you know, people who are — have been – there have been subjects — threat subjects and danger to people who are trying to facilitate abortion care.
So – but I think, you know, one of the pieces of legislation that I find really interesting for this moment is actually the Respect for Marriage Act that passed with bipartisan support in the last Congress. And I think what that showed is that, with overturning of Roe, people woke up to the idea that other rights that they thought were deeply embedded in constitutional principles of equality and liberty, like the right to choose abortion for oneself, including marriage equality for LBGTQ Americans, interracial couples, they saw that those could be on the chopping block, too. And that’s why this legislation that would protect the marriage equality that we have come to expect from our constitutional rights into law. So, I think we’re seeing a great awakening of people recognizing that. If this Supreme Court isn’t going to recognize the full spectrum of equality and liberty that was supposed to be guaranteed to us in the 14th Amendment particularly, that they are going to need to use other channels like the congressional enactments that I just talked about and like their ballot measures. You know, we, the people, are coming back to say, we need equal citizenship stature. We need to be able to come to the public square as people who can make fundamental decision about our own bodies, about our own lives, for ourselves.
BREAM: Yes, it sounds like, with Roe over — the one thing you both agree on is that the issue is not over. Like, we’re just going on to the next phase of it. So, we hope we can continue a conversation with you guys, and we thank you for coming to have it together today.
WYDRA: Thanks for having us, Shannon.
NANCE: Thank you.
BREAM: All right, coming up next, former President Trump may soon face opposition from a familiar face in his third White House bid.
Plus, what to expect as the Senate investigates the Ticketmaster meltdown left all those Swifties just hanging.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY (R), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: So, a lot has changed. And when I look at that, I look at the fact, if I’m this passionate and I’m this determined, why not me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BREAM: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley appears to inch closer to saying she might challenge former President Trump, her old boss, for the 2024 Republican nomination.
We are back now with the panel.
All right, Francesca, I’m kind of itching. Like, let’s get this thing going for ’24.
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, “USA TODAY”: It’s still early, Shannon. It’s still early.
BREAM: Is it? I feel like we’re already there. Like, it never is over. We’re always in the next presidential election.
CHAMBERS: Well, it’s still January and I’m hearing from Republicans that they think that they have plenty of time to make decision around this. But the same thing from Democrats, we haven’t seen President Biden get in the race either, and he is expected to run for re-election. And the fact that he directed his own 2024 primary schedule is seen as an indication that he is planning to run for re-election. And next week Democrats will be gathering together to talk about, however, what to do about the state of New Hampshire, Shannon.
BREAM: Oh, my goodness.
CHAMBERS: Given that Governor Sununu, the Republican governor of New Hampshire, is saying they’re going to go first no matter what in 2024. They are going to have the first primary in the nation.
CHAMBERS: So, Democrats have to figure out what to do about that.
BREAM: Those headlines are a nightmare for him. Here are a few more of those headlines. “New York Times,” Democrats face obstacles and plan to reorder presidential primary calendar. You see there your piece in “USA Today,” talking about the governor saying, no matter what we’re going. “Politico” just sums it up this way, New York Dems put Biden on blast. I guess as the kids say.
Marie, what does this say, though, about the current president’s power and ability to call the shots if these states are like, no, no, not so fast?
HARF: Well, first, I married into a New Hampshire family, so I have to be Very careful on this one.
HARF: I know, this is — this is tricky.
But, look, I think Democrats realize — have realized for some time that the primary calendar needs to better represent the country, be more diverse, better represent the electorate. For those of us who were on the ground in Iowa during the last cycle, we know that that caucus wasn’t run well for a number of reasons.
BREAM: Oh, yes.
HARF: We knew there had to be changes.
I — I love the fact that New Hampshire voters are – are really invested in the process early. They get a lot of face time with candidates. It’s a small state. They get to really ask them questions, probe their different policies. So, I want New Hampshire to still be near the front of the calendar. It’s in their state law, actually, that they are first in the nation.
But states like Nevada, states like South Carolina, I think those better represent the full picture of the electorate. And Democrats are trying to figure out how to do both things at once. The New Hampshire conversation is going to be a very interesting one. And I – you know, with my in-laws, I have to just say they should always be first.
BREAM: Josh, I don’t know what else you can do with the in-laws. You got to – you want to keep the peace, but –
HOLMES: Yes, in-laws are a tough thing to navigate.
BREAM: But – but this – but this does say, you know, that the president is, obviously, setting things up that worked well, like South Carolina. That was a turning point for him.
BREAM: That actually, you know, probably propelled him to the presidency. But it doesn’t sound like these states want to go along yet.
HOLMES: No, I mean, I – look, I think New Hampshire had the audacity to vote Biden fifth in 2020, right?
BREAM: Not a good finish for him there.
HOLMES: I mean we forget it wasn’t just bad, it was real bad in terms of his performance in 2020. So, yes, I’m not surprised that they’re going to try to reorder things. He turned things around in South Carolina. Clearly they would like that to lead the way.
But, again, there’s a rich history in New Hampshire that is going to be resistant right to the very end, as you said, in state law. Not much they can do anyway.
ARROYO: Yes, Shannon, this feels like people trying to rig the game. I get inclusivity. They’re the first in the nation. New Hampshire is it. It demands retail politics. As you know, Francesca, we’ve been on the ground there. They demand a certain something from candidates, one on one, and they talk back to candidates.
ARROYO: So it’s a great training ground. And, I’m sorry, if Joe Biden feels he’s not quite up to that task, then he shouldn’t run for president. Go through the blades of New Hampshire. If you can survive that, then you get to reach South Carolina and the rest of the primaries. I’m sorry, changing the rules early because you don’t like the way the game might play out, Shannon, it’s a bad look for the president.
BREAM: Well, how many times have we all been in Pizza Kitchen in Iowa. If you’re out there, Iowa, you know what I’m talking about. And these people are like, oh, yes, I’ve talked to them three times each, the candidates. I mean they are – they really engage with you and they want to know you.
BREAM: OK, now, Marie, you’re back because we have a very important senate hearing to talk about. You were here last time we talked about this, the T. Swift meltdown over getting tickets.
Senator Amy Klobuchar is going to chair this subcommittee hearing this week about what happened. She says, the issues within America’s ticket industry were made painfully obvious when Ticketmaster’s website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour.
I did reach out to a couple of the senators to say, like, is T. Swift showing up, and I got crickets. So, I’m guessing that’s a no.
HARF: Don’t we wish? Oh, what a day on Capitol Hill that would be. Amy Klobuchar going for the T. Swift fan base here if she’s going to run for president again.
BREAM: Yes, smart move.
HARF: Look, it is – it is bigger than Taylor Swift, though. Ticketmaster is a monopoly. It has been problematic with every huge release they’ve had of tickets. I tried to get Garth Brooks tickets for – for Vegas. Couldn’t do that. So, I think it’s been long overdue, quite frankly, for someone to have some regulatory action here and investigation because America — this is something that Americans care about, right? This is something that they don’t always pay attention to the debt ceiling or, you know, any of these topics we talk about, which are important, I wish they did, but at the end of the day if you say, what drives you crazy, a loft them will say Ticketmaster.
BREAM: Yes. And we talked about this during the commercial break about how, I don’t even try to go to the initial marketplace for whatever the ticket is, you just automatically are thrown to the secondary market because it’s almost impossible to get them.
CHAMBERS: And who knew, Marie, that it only took Taylor Swift to bring Republicans and Democrats together in Washington.
HARF: I love it. I love it.
CHAMBERS: Look, the White House says that they don’t see much more that the president can do on this particular issue, but administration officials tell me that they do expect additional action on junk fees, as they’re called. Those are the service fees that, in this case, you pay on – on going to an event like this. That’s something that Amy Klobuchar and the senators who are investigating in this are also looking into. And also, to your point, certainly something Americans are paying attention to.
ARROYO: Who thought we could find a website worse than Southwest Airlines? Ticketmaster is this.
BREAM: Oh, (INAUDIBLE).
ARROYO: But here – here’s the rub. Remember, Ticketmaster and Live Nation are merged.
BREAM: Right. Right.
ARROYO: Live Nation controls 200 venues, 400 artists.
BREAM: The venues. Yes.
ARROYO: So they’re policing and running the game in the front of the house and the back of the house. That demands scrutiny. I think people on both sides of the aisle would agree to that.
BREAM: All right, staying in our Hollywood lane, which we really do here on FOX NEWS SUNDAY. Word this week that Alec Baldwin is going to be facing involuntary manslaughter charges. He has denied all along that he pulled the trigger, that he’s responsible. Prosecutors feel otherwise and they have charged him.
“The Federalist” has this headline, Alec Baldwin baffled that he, not the gun, will be charged with manslaughter. According to Baldwin, everyone and everything are to blame for the shooting except for himself.
Josh, this — this has all kinds of currents to it. We have a woman, Halyna Hutchins, who lost her life here and yet it’s a very prominent case involving a very prominent celebrity.
HOLMES: Yes. No, I mean, tragedy, obviously, with the loss of life.
Look, I think Alec Baldwin probably would not be in this amount of trouble had he just kept his mouth shut. I mean it’s just the perfect example of a celebrity going out, trying to justify themselves in the court of public opinion, not knowing that ultimately down the road everything that he said in all these interviews with Stephanopoulos and everything else is used and is admissible to the ultimate criminal charges that are up against him. That’s his problem. I think that’s why he’s in this hot water.
ARROYO: Shannon, I spoke to a number of action — guy who have led action franchises. When they say cold gun on a set and the armorer brings you that gun, you expect there is nothing in that chamber. That’s what he was assured. I don’t think you can hold the actor culpable here.
But the one charge of manslaughter might apply to him as a producers.
ARROYO: Because the protocols on this set were shotty. The armorer and the prop person were the same. Shouldn’t have happened. No live rounds should have been there.
BREAM: We will follow that case.
ARROYO: You bet.
BREAM: Thank you very much, panel. We’ll see you next Sunday.
Up next, saying good-bye to a beloved member of our family here at Fox.
BREAM: We have some difficult news to share this morning. A treasured member of the Fox News family passed away this week. Alan Komissaroff died following a heart attack. He was our senior vice president of news and politics. For decades Alan was a guiding force here.
He started as a writer when Fox News Channel launched back in 1996. Alan then worked his way up through the ranks. A diligent, perfectionist who became indispensable. Alan was part of every major news story and every election night for decades, meaning he had a hand in how Fox covered the biggest stories that affected your world.
Alan, who I will always remember with a smile on his face, was just 47 years old. He is survived by his loving wife Rachel, who was his high school sweetheart and prom date, and their two children, 17-year-old son Ben and 13-year-old daughter Olivia. Alan was so very proud of them.
As my colleague, Bret Baier, said this week, Alan made all of us better. He will be remembered in a service today in East Brunswick, New Jersey. We are wishing comfort to his family and his friend and to everyone who is feeling this loss.
That’s it for today. Thank you for joining us. I’m Shannon Bream. We’ll see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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