Politics

‘Fox News Sunday’ on December 12, 2021

This is a rush transcript of “Fox News Sunday” on December 12, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Chris Wallace.

Deadly tornadoes slammed six states and killed dozens of people. We’ll have the latest.

And the White House under increasing pressure for a federal response to rising crime across the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have concerns about what we’ve seen. Serious concerns about retail theft in a range of communities across the country.

WALLACE (voice-over): The Biden administration promising new resources to stop smash-and-grabs and support law enforcement in the nation’s cities, as mayors play defense over fallout from protest, bail reform and spikes in violence.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Still, New York, the safest of the top 20 big cities in this country.

WALLACE: We’ll ask outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio about that and resistance to his sweeping new vaccine mandate for all businesses.

Then, prices surge as inflation hits highs not seen in decades, consumers facing higher costs for gas, food, and clothes.

President Biden says more government spending is the solution.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My plans do not add to inflationary pressures.

WALLACE: But Republicans blast what they say is the real cost of Build Back Better?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): The truth is it adds $3 trillion to the debt.

WALLACE: We’ll speak with Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

Plus — a Supreme Court ruling keeps in place a Texas ban on most abortions. We’ll ask our Sunday Panel what it signals for Roe v. Wade ahead of the midterms.

And our Power Player of the Week. The doctor hoping to create an unlimited supply of life-saving organs.

All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday.”

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE (on camera): And hello again from FOX News in Washington.

We begin with breaking news. Emergency crews are searching for survivors and digging through the destruction after a trail of deadly tornadoes hit six states, the largest and most devastating, tearing across more than 200 miles with Kentucky bearing the brunt.

The governor saying 70 are dead but that could grow to more than 100.

Let’s bring in Steve Harrigan live on the ground in Mayfield, Kentucky, with the latest — Steve.

STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, ordinarily, when you see the aftermath of a tornado, you can see the path, one street gets hit, maybe the next street over does not get hit. That is not the case in this town where the destruction is almost complete.

The candle factory was one of the largest employers here. At midnight Friday, a tornado brought the building down, and 110 workers inside, including a trapped woman broadcasting a cry for help.

Go on with the houses, the businesses, the trees, the landscapes, are fathers, daughters, coworkers, friends.

EMILY EPPERSON, AMAZON DRIVER: One of my best friends is inside there right now. I’m assuming. We haven’t heard from him since the tornado hit about 8:30 last night.

HARRIGAN: Unfortunately, her friend was one of six killed when the tornado collapsed the wall at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIGAN (on camera): When you talk to people who survived, some of them appear stunned. And just one day, some of them have lost their house, their car, their job, their business, their records, their photographs, everything — Chris.

WALLACE: Steve Harrigan reporting from Kentucky — Steve, thank you.

Now to the spike in crime across the country. At least a dozen major cities hitting all-time homicide records already this year. Meanwhile, major retailers are pleading for help as smash and grab robberies are on the rise.

The White House says more guns and the continuing pandemic are behind the crime surge but critics point to changes in cash bail and more lenient prosecutors, calling on the federal government to do more.

In a moment, we’ll talk with the mayor of the country’s biggest city, New York’s Bill de Blasio.

But, first, let’s turn to David Spunt at the White House for a look at how the Biden administration is responding — David.

DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, the White House and Justice Department are pumping millions of dollars into fighting crime but city leaders on the ground say it’s not working fast enough.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: This bothers me very much.

SPUNT (voice-over): Attorney General Merrick Garland sounding the alarm on a nationwide spike in crime, from smash-and-grabs in California, to more than 1,000 murders this year on the streets of Chicago and surrounding areas, America’s cities, small and large, are under the microscope and breaking records.

DERMOT SHEA, NYC POLICE COMMISSIONER: When you have people that have no regard for others, expecting them to change their behavior dramatically, it’s not working.

SPUNT: The White House fending off criticism from the National Sheriffs’ Association over just how much the Biden administration is helping.

PSAKI: The president and members of our administration have been longtime advocates for supporting and funding the cops program, something where the president proposed almost $300 million in additional assistance through his budget from what it was last year.

VERNON STANFORTH, NATIONAL SHERRIFS’ ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT: Three hundred million dollars across every jurisdiction across the country would equal about $18,000 per jurisdiction. How is can help? I don’t think so.

SPUNT: On the streets of the Big Apple, it’s not only crime grabbing headlines. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new private sector mandate will require everyone 12 and older to show proof of two vaccines, ages 5 to 11, proof of at least one.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SPUNT (on camera): The mandate, Chris, begins December 27th. It affects nearly 200,000 businesses — Chris.

WALLACE: David Spunt reporting from the White House — David, thank you.

And joining us now is the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. Mayor, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Thanks so much, Chris.

WALLACE: I want to start with something you said this week. Here you are.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DE BLASIO: Even looking back on the difficult year of 2020, it was one of the most difficult years ever for this city, but still New York City is the safest of the top 20 big cities in this country.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

WALLACE: But, according to the New York Police Department, through last Sunday, six of the seven so-called index crimes are up this year, including murder, robbery, and felony assault. The only one that’s down is burglaries.

Mayor, you know what Disraeli said about lies, damned lies, and statistics. In fact, doesn’t your city have a serious crime problem?

DE BLASIO: Chris, we’ve got a lot to do. There’s no question about it. But let me tell you first of all, in the eight years I’ve been mayor index crimes, major crimes in New York City are down 11 percent over eight years. And we did it bringing police and community closer together.

So the key is to overcome this horrible patch we’ve had in the COVID era all over this country. And we bond police and community, get those guns off the street. And the NYPD has been doing a fantastic job. The most gun arrests we’ve seen in over two decades.

So yes, there’s been problems, for sure, and more to do, particularly in certain parts of the city. But I will guarantee you this — and our police commissioner, Dermot Shea, said this this week very clearly, we are going to go back to where we were pre-pandemic and then get safer still. And we have been the safest big city in America and we will remain.

WALLACE: But again we get to statistics. Murderers are up 45 percent over the last two years. Robberies are up 4.5 percent just in the last year. And I want to take a look, want you to respond to your police commissioner, Dermot Shea, and what he said just this week about people who are arrested being allowed out without even having to post bail.

Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DERMOT SHEA, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: When you have mass amounts of people put back on the streets that have traditionally been held in jail, you’re seeing some of that permeate here as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: When you say that New York is the safest big city in America — and I’m sure you can find statistics to back it up — don’t you risk looking out of touch? I think there are an awful lot of New Yorkers who don’t feel that.

DE BLASIO: Chris, look, we’ve got to make sure that not only are we safe but people feel safe. There’s no question, both are important. But, look — look around this city right now, this city is thriving. We have come back strong from COVID. And the bottom line is that there is — today in New York City, a much safer city than we were eight years ago. There’s no question about that.

The two years of COVID have created immense problems and I agree with Commissioner Shea. There’s some changes that we need in the laws in Albany. We need our court system back and running, which it hasn’t been over these last two years.

But the NYPD is doing their job and they’re doing it with the community. And this is crucial, Chris, that bond between police and community got really hurt deeply last year. But that’s being fixed and healed now. And it’s making a difference. We’re getting guns off the street. We are going to turn this situation around.

I have confidence and the NYPD has confidence that we’re going to get back to the pre-pandemic level soon and then surpass and become even safer. And the statistics show it in most of the city. There are a few places where we’re struggling. There’s no question we have more work to do, for example, in the Bronx. But in most of New York City, the statistics show we’re getting back to the pre-pandemic levels and then going better and further.

WALLACE: But Eric Adams, who takes over as mayor on January 1, ran on a tough-on-crime platform. And one of his main tenets was he said that he’s going to restore an anti-crime unit that you disbanded.

Here is Mr. Adams.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC ADAMS, MAYOR-ELECT OF NEW YORK CITY: This is going to be a city where we’re going to be safe, we’re going to have effective policing that’s not heavy-handed, we’re going to have the backs of our police officers, but we’re going to hold them accountable to do their jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: When voters elected Eric Adams, I mean, of all the candidates running for mayor, weren’t they in a sense rejecting you?

DE BLASIO: Eric Adams is someone I’ve worked really closely with, Chris. And it’s pretty well known in New York City I supported him and helped him in every way I could to get elected. And I think he’s going to continue what we started and build upon it. He was a police reformer as a police officer. This is well known. And he believes that we need to improve the relationship between police and community as key to safety. That’s what we did with the strategy of neighborhood policing.

So I think there’s a tremendous amount of continuity. You know, Commissioner Dermot Shea believed we needed to change that plain clothes unit and I agree with him. Those officers are now in uniform and they’re taking more guns off the street this year than we’ve seen in decades.

So I want to say Commissioner Shea had a view strategically of what would work and he proved it and I backed him on it. I believe that was the right way to go. But I’ll tell you, I think Eric Adams is going to take everything that has been done and take it to the next level of safety for this city. I have a lot of faith in him.

WALLACE: Let’s turn to COVID. You just imposed a new mandate that all private businesses must have all of their employees vaccinated by December 27, no exception for — well, if you’re not vaccinated you can get tested regularly instead.

Why impose what may well be the most dramatic and sweeping COVID vaccine mandate in the country just four days before you’re going to leave office, sir?

DE BLASIO: Because my job is to protect New Yorkers. And, look, the bottom line is we’ve gone through the worse crisis in our history, we’ve lost tens of thousands of people in this city, it’s been incredibly painful — I’ve talked to a lot of New Yorkers who lost a grandparent, a parent, someone they loved and I have to keep them safe and —

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Excuse me, sir. Why not allow the new mayor, who’s going to come in four days later, to impose that mandate if he’s going to do it? You’re sticking him with it.

DE BLASIO: No. Every time we’ve put a mandate in place, Chris, it has worked. We’re at 71 percent right now of all New Yorkers. All New Yorkers. Seventy-one percent fully vaccinated. We’re leading the country.

And that’s because we use incentives and mandates and every single mandate we’ve put in place has greatly increased the number of people vaccinated. Since the first mandates back in August, we’ve had over a million more doses, and that’s why the city is open and thriving.

Chris, really vaccination equals freedom because it allows people to get back to work, get back to their lives, be safe wherever they are, school, a workplace. It works and that’s why we’re continuing to deepen it.

WALLACE: This week New York City became the biggest city in the country to allow non-citizens, people that are in this country legally for as little as 30 days, to vote in municipal elections, non-citizens to vote, for instance, for mayor of New York City going forward.

You expressed some concerns about the legality of this law but you said you’re not going to veto it. Why not?

DE BLASIO: I have mixed feelings. I’ve been very open about it on this law and I think there are big legal questions. But I also respect the city council. They made a decision — look, the bottom line here is we’ve got a lot of — this is an important issue, of course. But what we just talked about is a central (ph) issue, defeating the Omicron variant, defeating COVID so we can go back to life in the city. That’s where my focus is.

WALLACE: Well, let’s talk about your focus going forward. There is some talk and you are apparently openly considering running for governor next year. I want to take a look at this recent poll. Let’s put up the numbers.

Governor Kathy Hochul, who replaced Andrew Cuomo, now has 36 percent support. You’re way back in the field at six percent. And when voters statewide were asked about you, 28 percent had a favorable opinion, 55 percent unfavorable. Mayor, do you really have a shot?

DE BLASIO: Chris, that poll you showed, that horserace, that reminds me of pretty much every election I’ve ever been in. I’ve been the underdog many, many times. It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. And elections are a chance to tell people your vision and what you’ve done.

My vision is that we’ve got to change a lot of things in this state, including helping families. Working families are struggling in the State of New York. They need a lot more help.

Parents need a much better situation for their kids then they have right now. The school day does not account for parents’ schedules at work. Summer is tough for parents. I proposed a plan to change that by asking those who have done very well to pay a little bit more so families can have a decent life in New York State.

So I think people respond to ideas and vision and accomplishment. And I’ll be going all over the State of New York talking to people about just that.

WALLACE: So, in 10 seconds, you sound like you’re running.

DE BLASIO: Well, I’ll have more to say on that soon. Right now, for the next few weeks, finishing my term as mayor, my goal and my focus, keeping this city safe from the Omicron variant, turning us — you know, getting away from the COVID —

WALLACE: Right.

DE BLASIO: — era. And, again, this is why a tough, strong approach with mandates is what has kept us safe. This is one of the safest places in America when it comes to COVID and we intend to keep it that way.

WALLACE: Mayor de Blasio, thank you. Thanks for your time this Sunday. Good to talk with you, sir.

DE BLASIO: Same here, Chris. Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss what’s happening across the country with both crime and COVID.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): These are Democrat prosecutors who are deliberately refusing to enforce the law, and they’re deliberately saying that when we have crimes, we’re just not going to prosecute them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley laying responsibility for the spike in crimes across the U.S. squarely on Democrats.

And it’s time now for our Sunday group: Guy Benson of FOX News Radio; Julie Pace, executive editor for “The Associated Press”, and Fox News political analyst, Juan Williams.

Julie, certain crimes are up dramatically. Murders are up, although not nearly at the level they were in the `90s and we’ve seen these shocking images, you know, just every time you see `em, it’s kind of stunning, of these organized smash-and-grabs, oftentimes in high end stores.

How big a problem for President Biden and Democrats both in terms of the politics? And also, is there anything substantively they can do about it?

JULIE PACE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, I think in terms of the politics, you know, crime is one of those things that can really overshadow basically any other issue for people. If you don’t feel safe, if you don’t feel like your family is safe in a community, then there’s almost nothing else that matters. So, from a purely political perspective, you know, there are the statistics and then there’s how people feel. And if people feel like they’re living in an era where crime is increasing, then they’re going to perhaps react at the ballot box there.

When it comes to actual actions, you know, there are some things that the administration is considering in terms of federal assistance, federal advisory groups for local police officers. But often, this is really a state and local issue. But for Democrats, obviously, this trickles down, if people like Democratically elected officials are not taking crime seriously enough are not doing enough to prosecute as some of what we’re seeing, then, certainly, I think there could be some blowback there.

WALLACE: Guy, Republicans are hammering Democrats on the national level, even on a few points, no bail for non-violent crimes, prosecutors in some jurisdictions not even enforcing laws. And, of course, there’s defund the police.

How legitimately an issue is this? Clearly, it is on the local level. How legitimate an issue is it on the national level?

GUY BENSON, FOX NEWS RADIO: Oh, it’s a big issue, and I think Julie’s right. I would call it trickle up is the effect here, where it might be happening at local levels because, as you mentioned Chris, some prosecutors and DAs have effectively decriminalized low level crime or even mid level crime.

But if that’s seen as a Democratic issue, that could trickle up to the White House, and certainly two congressional races coming up, in 2022. I see Republicans hammering on this — on this general issue set virtually every single day, and I think a big element of it, Chris, is the recidivism, the re-offending of people who in many cases get out with no bail or very low bail from that horrible series of killings up in Waukesha, Wisconsin, at the Christmas parade, all the way to the guy who burned down the FOX News Christmas tree in New York. He was out within hours because of so called reforms in New York.

There are people who are dangerous who should not be on the streets. And far too many of them are and I think people feel that.

WALLACE: Juan, even in a city as liberal as New York City, and I just had this conversation with Mayor De Blasio, you see a former cop, Eric Adams, elected mayor largely on a law and order agenda.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think Eric Adams represents most Democrats on this issue. You know, the issue is trying to have safe streets at the same time, and here I’m pretty much using Adams’s language to hold police accountable when there’s misbehavior.

You know the thing about this. Chris is, I spoke to Adams during his campaign, and he told me that if working class people in New York are told by any candidate that they were that they plan to defund the police, he said, that candidates going to need intense police protection.

This is not a Democrat problem. I think that it’s California Governor Newsom who said this week that Texas has a higher rate of violent crime than California. And if you look at the charts right now, I think it’s like five of the top states in terms of murder rate per capita have Republican governors.

So when you look at this, I really think it boils down to a gun problem. And right now, close to 80 percent of all these murders are being committed with guns. And Adams wants really tough attitude towards getting guns off the street.

You know, in New York, there’s a big issue about stopping and frisking, especially minority youth, and he says he’s afraid in favor of stop, talk and frisk, not ending stop and frisk, stop, talking and frisk. So, I think he doesn’t want Starsky and Hutch on the streets. But he wants safe streets, and I think that’s what most Democrats want.

WALLACE: Let’s turn to COVID and President Biden’s vaccine mandates. His requirement for federal contractors to get shots now blocked in court. Same with a mandate for health care workers and for businesses with more than 100 workers.

Here’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): In the state of Montana, folks are saying, business people are saying this, you know, even though the owners think it’s a good idea to get vaccinated, they’re saying this puts me in a bind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Julie, Tester and Senator Joe Manchin, two Democrats voted with all 50 Republicans in the Senate to defund, to block President Biden’s mandate for big businesses.

PACE: And this is a huge frustration for the Biden White House because they look at the state of the pandemic in the United States, and they say there is one way and science backs this up. There is one way to get control of the spread of the virus, and that’s for more people to get vaccinated and in places where you have had vaccine mandates that have gone into place, you’ve seen vaccination rates rise, you’ve seen COVID rates come down.

But if those — if those mandates continue to be blocked by the court, the Biden administration looks at this and says, how are — how are we going to get those vaccine rates up if we’re not mandating it? What is the other method for doing so?

And then they want they worry about the economy. They worry about our ability to get back to sort of life as normal if we continue to have rates, where they are.

So again, deep frustration at the fact that the one thing that they see as our solution for getting out of this pandemic continues to be blocked.

WALLACE: Guy, I mean, Julie is entirely right. COVID cases are up. COVID deaths are up, and now we have the Omicron variant that we really know very little about. Is opposing mandates is a good politics is a good public health?

BENSON: Well, it’s good enough politics to have two Democrats joining with Republicans in the Senate to vote to block what Biden has done, and I would point out that President Biden himself and top members of his team insisted to the American people months ago that there would be no mandates from the federal government. And then they instituted some anyway.

WALLACE: But wait, wait and fairness, Guy, that’s before the Delta variant and you know, the science changed.

BENSON: Correct, but I think people hear from the president, we’re not going to force people to do something. And then yes, situations on the ground change. They say, well, never mind. We are going to try to force people to do something. I think that won’t sit well with many voters and has not in many cases.

And I also was struck by something that Mayor De Blasio said, and he has said this in previous comments as well regarding his very heavy-handed mandate, which is he has cited Omicron as the reason why it’s sort of like the triggering of the instigating effect here that brought this about.

Based on what you just said Chris, it’s true. We are still waiting for a lot of good data on Omicron. But thus far, it does appear to be significantly less virulent. No deaths that we have seen so far around the world. The numbers have fallen significantly in terms of hospitalizations and certainly deaths in South Africa, where it’s been circulating for a month. Those are good signs.

WALLACE: All right, panel. We have to take a break here. We’ll see you later in the program.

Up next, Senator Lindsey Graham in what he says is the real cost of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: On Friday, the CBO estimated the true cost of President Biden’s social spending bill is not $1.75 trillion, as advertised, but a staggering $4.9 trillion.

Joining us now, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, who says the bill could be paving a path to socialism.

Senator, welcome back.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Thank you.

WALLACE: You commissioned the Congressional Budget Office to project how much Build Back Better will cost over the 10 years, assuming that the programs that are in it, the spending programs that are in it, go on for 10 years and are not as in the case with child care just for one year.

GRAHAM: Right.

WALLACE: The CBO found, instead of adding $200 billion to the deficit, it will add $3 trillion to the deficit. But, Senator, the White House says that that’s fake because if the programs are extended, they’ll find ways to pay for them.

GRAHAM: Well, give me a plan to pay for them then. President Biden said the bill was fully — fully paid for. Vice President Harris said it was paid for. Schumer, Pelosi, Secretary of Treasury Yellen. The CBO says it’s not paid for. It’s $3 trillion of deficit spending. It’s not $1.75 trillion over 10 years, it’s $4.9 trillion.

What does this mean? The House should re-vote. The vote in the House was based on a fraud. This bill doesn’t cost $1.75 trillion, it costs almost $5 trillion. It doesn’t add $300 billion to the deficit, it adds $3 trillion.

There is not a plan to pay for it. If there is, I missed it. So, give it to me. Give it to the American people. Before we vote in the Senate, show me how you pay for this bill.

And you know why I wrote a letter to CBO, because Joe Manchin came to me and he said, I think this bill is full of gimmicks, that these programs won’t go away, Lindsey, and if you score them for 10 years, I think the bill will double. Well, it didn’t double, it was almost 2.5 times.

So, I hope that this will be a showstopper for Build Back Better.

But, in 2017, President trump and all Senate Republicans voted for the tax cuts then that added $2 trillion to the economy.

GRAHAM: Right.

WALLACE: And, in fact, you talk about budget gimmicks, it used the same budget gimmick there. For instance, saying that individual tax cuts we’re going to end in 2025.

Here’s White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The plan they proposed and passed for and passed into law, the 2017 tax cuts, were $2 trillion, which were not paid for in any way, shape or form. That didn’t seem too upset them at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator, does she have a point?

GRAHAM: Oh, no, not really. I like giving money back to the taxpayer. I don’t like spending more money than we did in World War II. And that’s what we’re doing right now.

This bill, Build Back Better, it’s $5 trillion. It’s not 1.75. It will add $3 trillion to the deficit. When they tell you the bill is paid for, their lying. When Nancy Pelosi brought it to the House with the CBO score of 1.75, it was a lie. When she said it was 300 billion to the deficit, is was a lie.

WALLACE: But, sir, respectfully, what she has — what Jen Psaki is saying, and a lot of Democrats are saying is, that when President Trump and you — you collectively —

GRAHAM: What’s that got to do with anything?

WALLACE: Let — let me just finish passed the 2017 Trump tax cut —

GRAHAM: Yes.

WALLACE: That was a lie. It wasn’t paid for.

GRAHAM: No, what happens is you can’t go beyond 10 years in terms of the budget window.

We voted knowing that cutting taxes we believe would be good. I never said that cutting taxes — I voted for cutting taxes. I’m against expanding the government.

They’re telling you it doesn’t cost anything, Chris. Well, the CBO says it costs $3 trillion.

Joe Manchin, if you’re watching, you were right, Joe. You got this right. It is a lie. It’s $4.9 trillion, not 1.75.

WALLACE: OK.

GRAHAM: It’s $3 trillion. So Joe Manchin was right.

Now, what the hell are you going to do about it? If you say it’s going to be paid for, give me the offsets. Do you raise taxes by $3 trillion? Do you cut the government by $3 trillion?

Let’s talk about what’s in the Build Back Better plan. Families in your state of South Carolina with two children, on average, now spend 21 percent of their income on childcare. The Build Back Better plan would cut that to 7 percent of their income on childcare, pre-pandemic 14 percent of children in South Carolina lived in poverty. By blocking Build Back Better, you’d ended a child tax credit of up to $3,600 per year per child.

GRAHAM: Yes.

WALLACE: Senator, just as a practical matter, won’t that hurt a lot of families in your state?

GRAHAM: As a practical matter, my — families in my state are getting crushed by inflation. A 6.8 percent inflation number came out Friday. It’s the highest inflation rate in 40 years. So it makes your paycheck go less. It’s crushing people who are working.

So, if you pass Build Back Better, it declares war on fossil fuels. It gives tax credits to buy electric vehicles made by union plants, which hurts BMW and Volvo.

This bill, Build Back Better, will be gasoline on the inflation problem. It destroys the ability to extract fossil fuels. Gas prices went up 58 percent. The last thing I’m going to do is add more burdens to working families in South Carolina.

And here’s my message to the Democratic Party, quit lying about this bill. They should revote it in the House. And, Senator Manchin, you were right. I hope you will stand up and stop this madness. We need to stop Build Back Better before it destroys this country.

WALLACE: All right, let me talk to you about another issue.

This week 14 Senate Republicans voted with the Senate Democrats to set up a process, not to vote to increase the debt limit —

GRAHAM: Yes.

WALLACE: But to set up a process of the Democrats by themselves could vote to increase the debt limit. You were not happy about those 14 Republicans, the way this played out, and you blasted Senate Leader McConnell for setting the GOP up to, quote, get shot in the back. And then you said this, quote, it’s pretty obvious to me that this will not be received well by the Republican faithful, including Donald Trump.

Senator, are you that worried about former President Trump and his base?

GRAHAM: What I’m worried about is that for four months the Republican Senate said we would not lift a finger to help the Democrats raise the debt ceiling. We would make them use reconciliation, which is — that they can do by themselves to raise the debt ceiling because that’s the process they used to spend the money. At the end, we did not make them use reconciliation, which changed the rules of the Senate in a House bill. I don’t like that a lot. I like Senator McConnell.

But here’s what happened, 70 percent of Senate Republicans voted against this and every House Republican but one voted against it. What we did is promised one thing and deliver another.

WALLACE: But — but — but —

GRAHAM: It was a mistake.

WALLACE: But — but, sir, I mean, in the end, the Democrats are going to end up raising the debt limit by themselves. All we’re talking about here is setting up a process so they can do it. Is that really such a big deal?

GRAHAM: It apparently was to every House Republican. It was apparently a big deal to 70 percent of the Senate Republicans. It was a big deal to me.

The way we did this is we literally changed the rules of the Senate and a House bill. We did not use the reconciliation process.

But here’s my point, if we’re going to be successful in 2022, we’re going to have to work together as a team. And here’s what I would say to every Republican, if you want to be a Senate Republican leader in the House — excuse me, a Republican leader in the House or the Senate and you don’t have a working relationship with Donald Trump, you cannot be effective. So, I hope we’ll get on the same page here.

WALLACE: But, you know, what we’re talking about here is something a lot more serious than the process to set up the debt vote. If you — you don’t raise the debt limit, the country defaults.

GRAHAM: Right.

WALLACE: If that happens, it tanks the markets. It has — it probably puts us in a recession. It means that things like Social Security checks and veterans benefits don’t go out.

GRAHAM: I understand all that.

WALLACE: Do you really want to play politics with that?

GRAHAM: Every time we raised the debt ceiling, we get something for it, generally speaking. I wanted to — to have some budget reforms. Nancy Pelosi, the last time we raised the debt ceiling on Trump’s watch, wanted more spending.

What we said as a party is, we’re going to make them use the reconciliation process to raise the debt ceiling. The Democrats caused this problem. They needed to fix it. If you do it — if you help them, you’re legitimizing this spending. So it really is not about the process as much as it’s about keeping your word.

We let a lot of people down. Senator McConnell’s been a great leader on many things, but we’re going into an election cycle where the wind’s to our back. We can’t do this again.

But when you look forward to this party, Donald Trump is the most consequential Republican in the entire Republican Party, maybe in the history of the party since Ronald Reagan. And if you’re going to lead this party in the House and the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with Donald Trump or it will not work.

WALLACE: Senator Graham, thank you.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

WALLACE: Thanks for coming in today. It’s always good to talk with you, sir.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next we’ll discuss the Supreme Court’s Texas abortion ruling and what it means for Roe v. Wade, when we come right back with our Sunday panel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I’m going to continue to fight for the constitutional right of all women to make decisions about their own body without interference by some legislative group of people that think that they can replace their judgment with hers.

MARJORIE DANNENFELSER, SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST PRESIDENT: The law will remain in effect, as it has for quite some time, already saving thousands of lives and we hope more to come.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Two very different reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to leave in place Texas’ tough abortion law while allowing for limited challenges to it.

And we’re back now with the panel.

Julie, the Supreme Court allowed the Texas abortion law to stand. And while it said that providers can sue, it — there’s a real question as to whether they can sue in a way that they could actually stop the law.

Which raises the question, what does this — it’s a separate decision, largely procedural, but what does it indicate about what the Supreme Court may do later this year, later this term in the Mississippi law, versus when it comes to Roe v. Wade and whether it’s allowed to stand?

JULIE PACE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, I think that’s exactly right. The ruling on Friday left this narrow opening to sue, but it is extremely narrow. And I think that raises a lot of concerns among people who — who would like to see abortion rights continue in this country about what the court will do in this larger case involving the Mississippi law. And I think we already saw in the arguments, you know, some of the justices really signaling, you know, pretty clearly that they are willing to either substantially restrict abortion rights or perhaps even overturn Roe completely. And I think that that decision on Friday, again, is just going to raise that concern about where that broader ruling is going to go in the next couple of months.

WALLACE: Guy, if the cord ends up in the Mississippi case, and we’ll probably hear it in late June or early July, if it ends up sharply limiting Roe v. Wade, or perhaps even overturning it, how big an issue does abortion become in the 2022 midterms?

GUY BENSON, TOWNHALL.COM, “THE GUY BENSON SHOW” AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, it will certainly be an issue. And, of course, should that happen, should Roe be curtailed or supplanted, that issue, abortion, would be restored to the states for people to make decisions based on their legislative representatives on those policies.

When it comes to the national picture on abortion, I know some Democrats have said, oh, this would really energize our base. It could really turn the election. I think polls suggest that Americans are focused on a lot of other big issues, not just abortion. It could very much fire up or motivate certain people out there. There’s no question about that.

But I did see a poll this week in Texas, which is Ground Zero on this fight, with that — with that restrictive, new law. It’s been in place for weeks now. And Governor Abbott, who signed that bill into law, is leading his leading Democratic opponents, his top would-be opponent, by 15 points, including by eight points on the issue of abortion.

So, I think it’s a guessing game how much it would actually affect races. I think there’s sort of spin on both sides so far.

WALLACE: Juan, I think it’s just a fact of political life in America that for the last 50 years pro-life advocates have been an extremely powerful force and certainly a big force in the Republican Party. Let’s assume this all flips and Roe v. Wade goes away. How effective, how powerful do you think the pro-choice forces would be in politics as we head into the 2022 midterms?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think you’re right, Chris, I think for the last 50 years, since Roe v. Wade was put into law, abortion opponents have been on the march. They’ve been on the offensive to try to end Row v. Wade. Now, if it flips, as you describe it, I think what you’ll see is that people who are for abortion rights in this country will be on the offense. They’ll be marching and they’ll be saying that they are protecting women’s rights.

I mean they also will have a powerful message to take the voters because right now, according to Pew, 59 percent of Americans favor keeping Roe v. Wade as it is. The status quo. And 75 percent of Americans, according to “The Washington Post, “think abortions is a matter between a woman and her doctor.

So, you know, the number one issue in all midterms is turnout. And what you get, of course, is the economy is the number one issue. But in states where you have governors races, legislative races, as governor — as Guy was referring to, this is going to be a big issue, and it’s going to lead to increased turnout, I think, especially among one very critical group, suburban white women. And Democrats are absolutely thinking that’s to their advantage.

WALLACE: All right, let’s turn to the Biden/Putin phone call earlier this week about — about 100,000 Russian troops massing at the Ukraine border. After the phone call here was National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I will look you in the eye and tell you, as President Biden looked President Putin in the eye and told him today that things we did not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Julie, what do your sources at the White House tell you, do they think that President Biden made headway, and, if so how much, with Vladimir Putin?

Well, they feel good about a couple of things. One, they do feel good about the message that Biden delivered. They think he was extremely tough. They think he was very clear, as Jake Sullivan said, that there are measures beyond what the Obama administration did that the Biden administration would be prepared to do. They also feel really good about the unity among western allies. And that’s been something we haven’t seen over the last couple years, unity on Russia among the United States and — and the European. So they feel like they’re in lock step with those European leaders.

But the big question is how Putin responds. And that’s really how they’ll know if they made any progress here. If he backs off of his posture in Ukraine or if he moves forward, and that is, in some ways, going to be out of Biden’s hands.

WALLACE: Yes, I want to talk to you about that, Guy, because, you know, there’s been some criticism of President Biden because he didn’t block the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, and there was some question would he bring that up unilaterally. And the answer we heard from the white House was, well, if Putin were to go ahead, that they believe Germany will support them and cut off the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is something, as well as Ukraine, that Vladimir Putin cares a lot about.

BENSON: Yes, and it’s only one thing. There are other major factors at play here and other basically threats that appear to be on the table that go far beyond just the pipeline, which I do think was a mistake by Biden. I was pleased to see yesterday he’s starting to sound a little bit tougher in some of the things that he’s saying Biden is.

The question here is the — the psychology of Vladimir Putin. What does he think he can get out of an invasion potentially of Ukraine and is the deterrent effect of all these other threats that are now being put out there and mentioned, are those powerful enough to change his calculus because over the last 10, 15 years we’ve seen that what the west has done has not stopped him. He continues to do what he feels is in his interest. Is this time really different? Are the threats that are being made explicitly or implicitly enough? And I don’t think we have a great answer to that yet.

WALLACE: Finally, Juan, you got some big news this week about your nephew, Chris Williams. Tell us about it.

WILLIAMS: Chris, I can’t — this is out of the world news for my family. We’re so thrilled. Chris was one of 12 people — one of 10 people picked out of 12,000 to join NASA’s 2021 class of astronauts.

BENSON: Wow.

WILLIAMS: You know, who will go into training in Houston. So, you know, we were thrilled with Chris when he graduated from Stanford, MIT and Harvard Medical School. Now he’s going into space. He’s going to be an astronaut.

Congratulations to my brother, Roger, his wife, Ginger, but the whole family, we’re — we’re all out of space on this one. This is too much.

WALLACE: I got 30 seconds left. I have always thought that I, and, frankly, you, have the wrong stuff. When did you know that Chris Williams had the right stuff?

WILLIAMS: When he was a little boy, and he was wearing a onesie that had astronauts on it. That’s how much this kid — I mean he’s always had an ambition to be an astronaut, and it’s come true.

WALLACE: And — and was that onesie the aspiration of his parents or him?

WILLIAMS: I think it was him, Chris. That’s how you get to MIT and Stanford and Harvard Medical School.

WALLACE: Thanks panel. See you next Sunday.

Up next, our “Power Player of the Week,” the leading surgeon who’s made a remarkable breakthrough in organ transplants.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: Right now there are more than 100,000 Americans on the waiting list for an organ. And each day we lose 12 of them. But what if there were a way to unlock the tragically short supply of organs?

Here’s our “Power Player of the Week.”

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. ROBERT MONTGOMERY, DIRECTOR, NYU LANGONE TRANSPLANT INSTITUTE: We’re only able to supply about 25 percent of the organs that are needed for the people on the waiting list each year.

WALLACE (voice over): Dr. Robert Montgomery of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute on the urgent need for organs. It drove him to a medical breakthrough, the first ever pig to human kidney transplant.

MONTGOMERY: Xenotransplantation is using a non-human organ and transplanting it into a human.

WALLACE: The genetically engineered pig kidney was attached for 54 hours to a deceased donor who had been kept on life support.

MONTGOMERY: The transplant went really well. In fact, the kidney behaved and looked just like a human kidney.

WALLACE: It was a major test of whether xenotransplanted organs may be a solution to the crisis.

WALLACE (on camera): What was the key to genetically engineering the pig kidney so that the human recipient wouldn’t reject it?

MONTGOMERY: We knocked out a particular gene that has been lost during evolution from pig to man. And so we can avert rejection.

WALLACE (voice over): This is personal for Montgomery, who was just 15 when he lost his father to heart disease.

MONTGOMERY: One of the doctors, at one point, mentioned a transplant but said that, you know, at age 50, he was too old. And that stuck in my head my whole life.

WALLACE: Montgomery went on to become a world renowned transplant surgeon. But he also faced heart troubles.

MONTGOMERY: I’ve had seven cardiac arrests and have been resuscitated from them. All of this has just really heightened my resolve and my resilience to really try to make a difference.

WALLACE: In 2018, Montgomery needed help. He turned to the team he had created.

WALLACE (on camera): How did it feel when the team you put together was going to give you a heart transplant?

MONTGOMERY: Well, you know, I hired them because they were the best in the world.

I’m doing great.

You know, I had complete confidence in them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You’re doing fantastic.

WALLACE (voice over): Montgomery is married to legendary opera star Denyce Graves.

WALLACE (on camera): How is it to be married to someone who is literally a diva, a prima donna.

MONTGOMERY: You’ve met Denyce. She’s a very down to earth person.

I understand why we refer to opera singers as divas.

WALLACE (voice over): Montgomery’s xenotransplant made global headlines, but he reminds us it’s just a first step.

MONTGOMERY: We’re probably a year or two away from the first in living human trials.

WALLACE: He hopes putting his heart and his history into this research will save lives.

MONTGOMERY: I’ve been both a surgeon and a patient my entire career, and that’s kind of a unique thing and I need to — it’s my duty to make the very best of that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: Montgomery says if the trials go well, pig kidneys could be available for regular transplants to humans within 10 years.

Finally, a personal note.

After 18 years, this is my final FOX NEWS SUNDAY. It is the last time, and I say this with real sadness, we will meet like this. Eighteen years ago the bosses here at Fox promised me they would never interfere with a guest I booked or a question I asked, and they kept that promise. I have been free to report to the best of my ability to cover those stories I think are important, to hold our country’s leaders to account. It’s been a great ride. We’ve covered five presidential elections, interviewed every president since George H.W. Bush, traveled the world sitting down with France’s Emmanuel Macron and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

And I’ve gotten to spend Sunday mornings with you. It may sound corny, but I feel we built a community here. There’s a lot you can do one Sunday mornings. The fact you’ve chosen to spend this hour with us is something I cherish.

But after 18 years, I have decided to leave Fox. I want to try something new, to go beyond politics to all the things I’m interested in. I’m ready for a new adventure. And I hope you’ll check it out.

And so, for the last time, dear friends, that’s it for today. Have a great week and I hope you’ll keep watching FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

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