‘Fox News Sunday’ on September 3, 2023

This is a rush transcript of ‘Fox News Sunday’ on September 3, 2023. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


Another natural disaster shines the spotlight on two political rivals in a test of their leadership.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The nation has your back and we’ll be with you until the job is done.

BREAM (voice-over): A focus on Florida, as residents clean up from Hurricane Idalia. Governor DeSantis and President Biden walking the fine line of showing readiness and cooperation as the White House makes plea for more disaster aid. But it’s all tied to a funding fight in Congress over more money for Ukraine and what the U.S. role there should be. It’s a hot topic on the campaign trail.

We’ll discuss the divide over more U.S. dollar going to Ukraine with former Vice President Mike Pence, only on “FOX News Sunday”.

Then —

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We will investigate to find out why did it happen, what went right, what went wrong so other communities won’t ever have to see this.

BREAM: House Republicans ramp up pressure on the president’s response to the Maui wildfires. We’ll get reaction to the criticism and the growing economic toll with the president’s top economic advisor Jared Bernstein.

Plus —

REPORTER: Did you hear the question, Senator, running for reelection in 2026?

BREAM: All eyes on Mitch McConnell as the Senate prepares to return this week, as questions of aid surround the upcoming Senate and presidential races.

NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I will say is, right now, the Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country.

BREAM: We’ll ask our Sunday panel if there should be an age limit for serving in Washington.

All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.


BREAM (on camera): Hello from FOX News in Washington.

As millions of Americans across several states work to recover from the impacts of hurricane Idalia, there is finger pointing this weekend over face to face meeting between President Biden and Governor DeSantis that didn’t happen. The Florida governor says the meeting would have been very disrupted to relief efforts, but the Biden administration claims there was a mutually agreed on location and there was, quote, no indication the governor was not going to be there.

Let’s go to Lucas Tomlinson live from the White House with the very latest following the president’s visit to Florida.

Hello, Lucas.


For the second time in two weeks, President Biden toured a disaster zone, this time in Florida.


BIDEN: As I told your governor, if there’s anything your state needs, I’m ready to mobilize that support.

TOMLINSON (voice-over): President Biden speaking after touring the damage in Live Oak, without Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is an hour south in Dixie County.

Forty-five hundred miles away, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was in Hawaii, conducting his own assessment in Maui after wildfires killed more than a hundred people. While DeSantis declined to meet Biden with a second GOP debate looming, former governor now Republican Senator Rick Scott played host.

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): The president did a great job with the early declaration before the storm hit the coast. That was a big deal.

TOMLINSON: In Live Oak, Biden was asked about the DeSantis snub.

BIDEN: Well, I’m not disappointed. He may have had other reasons because – – but he did help us plan this.

TOMLINSON: Biden’s FEMA chief has requested $12 billion to help Florida and Maui rebuild.

DEANNE CRISWELL, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: We are experiencing more severe weather events than we have experienced before.

TOMLINSON: Critics slam Biden for his earlier remarks, comparing a small fire in his home to the destruction in Hawaii and Florida.

BIDEN: I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette and my cat.

Lightening struck my house. We had to be out of that house for about seven months.

TOMLINSON: When Congress returns from its August recess, it could be forced to fund Florida and Hawaii disaster relief and Ukraine at the same time.

To date, the U.S. has given over $75 billion since the war began 18 months.


TOMLINSON (on camera): Some Republicans want this additional aid conditioned on the launch of an impeachment inquiry — Shannon.

BREAM: We’ll talk about all that and more. Lucas, thank you very much live from the White House.

Turning now to someone in the 2024 race to be next person to live there at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Joining us now, former vice president and Republican presidential candidate, Mike Pence.

Mr. Vice President, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.

MIKE PENCE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Shannon. Good to be on.

BREAM: Okay, so let’s start here. Brand new polling out of “The Wall Street Journal has you in sixth place this morning and a number of analysts note that you’re running to convince millions of GOP voters who may not like you.

From “The New York Times”, it says: If majority — or at least a strong plurality — of Republican primary voters believe the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, how can the man who certified it secure their support?

From “The Atlantic”, the headline asked this question, why does he think the people who wanted to kill him will vote for him?

So, why take on this fight when the numbers show almost no scenario in which you can grab this nomination?

PENCE: Well, Shannon, I’m running for president because I think this country is in a lot of trouble. I think Joe Biden has weakened America at home and abroad. Bidenomics has been a disaster for American families and that withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened enemies of freedom around the world.

And I’m — I’m just simply — and I say with humility — I’m just simply the most experienced, tested and proven conservative running for the Republican nomination today.

But with — you know, with regard to the polling, it’s just not what I’m seeing on the ground. I spent the better part of last week in Iowa, will be in New Hampshire tomorrow. And, you know, the encouragement that we’re getting on the ground — frankly, our canvassers in Iowa have me running second in that state, tell us that there’s plenty of time between now and the Iowa caucuses and when these primaries get underway.

And we’re just going to continue to take our message, my lifetime in the conservative movement and offer a fresh vision for the Republican Party and for America.

BREAM: Well, you got to share a lot of that on the first debate stage. You qualified for the second as well. But you had the most time on that first debate stage, and a lot of folks are talking about the person who showed up there. You got a fundraising bump, according to “Politico”. They quote a member of your administration from your time as Indiana governor saying: Where did that guy come from?

So, how did you and when did you decide that version of Mike Pence versus the nice guy thing you’re always tagged with, that version was going to show up at that debate?

PENCE: Well, look, you know, one of my conclusions after — after leaving Washington two years ago and moving back to Indiana was that, you know, I’m well known, but I’m not known well. I mean, most people know me as that loyal vice president, standing alongside President Trump during an administration whose record I’m incredibly proud of. You know, I stood beside him through thick and thin until my oath to the Constitution required me to do otherwise.

But people who know me well know, look, I’ve been a governor, I was a leading House conservative for 12 years, and quite frankly, people who know well I know that I know how to make a point. I know how to argue and to stand for the conservative agenda.

And I really do think we’ve got an debate happening in our party today, whether — whether we’re going to stand on that time-honored conservative agenda of a strong national defense, of American leadership in the world, fiscal responsibility, the right to life and traditional values or whether — or whether we’re going to follow the siren song of populism and move away from many of the same principles to agenda unmoored to conservative values.

So, that’s a debate that we’re already a part of. I’m going to continue to be a part of it. But the version of me that you saw in that debate stage, that’s just me, Shannon. That’s who I have always been. I know how to fight for what I believe in.

BREAM: Well, and it was combative at time, especially with Vivek Ramaswamy. That’s continued beyond the debate stage and in the days following that. One area of you clearly have some real disagreement is foreign policy.

So, let’s start with Israel. He said Friday, on his watch, the U.S. would fully back Israel militarily and he added this.


VIVEK RAMASWAMY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But I’ve also said that I don’t want our sons and daughters, U.S. troops, to die in that conflict. And if they’re going to distort that to say that I’m not going to stand for Israel, then I’m happy to have the debate where Nikki Haley or Mike Pence or Chris Christie can state how many U.S. soldiers they’d like to see die in that conflict. Oh, wait, I’ve asked that question, I haven’t gotten a response.


BREAM: Mr. Vice President, you have loved ones in uniform. So, how do you respond to that comment?


Thanks for mentioning our family, my son is a fighter pilot at the Marine Corps and my son-in-law is a fighter pilot in the Navy.

Look, look, I don’t have a problem with Vivek. I’ve met him a couple of years ago. He’s a good man and a good family man.

But he’s just wrong on foreign policy. I mean, the way he wants to let Putin keep what he’s grabbed in Ukraine and make promises that Ukraine will never in NATO, the way he’s willing to walk away from Taiwan after 2028 and let China grab it.

But I must tell you, this last week when — when he said that he would not use military force to defend Israel in an attack by Iran, that is deeply troubling to all of us who understand that Israel is not an important ally in the United States, Israel is our most cherished ally, the only democracy in that region, and we’ve got to send a clear message to the mullahs in Tehran that any move against Israel will be met with a full force and full partisanship of the American military. That’s how we keep Israel safe. That’s how we secure peace in the region.

And we sent that decisive message for four years during the Trump-Pence administration and it actually was the pathway toward achieving the Abraham Accords, the first new peace agreements in the region in 25 years. So, peace comes through strength, not ambiguous messages.

If I’m president of the United States, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this — America stands with Israel.

BREAM: Well, to be clear, he did say Friday that the U.S. on this watch would fully — militarily would fully back Israel, those are his words. But then he asks, how many U.S. soldiers you’d be willing to see die in a conflict there.

PENCE: Yeah.

BREAM: Do you think there would ever a role for U.S. troops in the Middle East conflict?

PENCE: Well, candidly, this is a bit pattern for Vivek Ramaswamy. He kind of goes one direction and goes back another direction. I don’t know how we fully back and then say that there is a limit to what our military involvement would be defending Israel in an attack by Iran.

But, look, the one thing I bring to this race is that I’ve been the same, consistent conservative through my career. My years in the Congress, I’ve stood for a strong national defense, American leadership in the world. My years as a governor, I stood strong, and as vice president of the United States.

I’m proud of our record, a record that made historic investments in our military. But in the days ahead, we’ll be unveiling even another plan that will start to layout a vision for not rebuilding military, although Joe Biden has been pushing budget cuts for our military since day one. But I think we need to build a military fitted to the challenges of the 21st century. And we have a vision for that and it’s a way we do achieve peace through renewed American strength.

BREAM: One of the other areas of foreign policy, where there’s divide not only on that debate stage but really within the GOP here in Washington is about continued funding for Ukraine. The White House has asked for another $24 billion to be committed. They’re tying that to domestic aid. We’ll talk about that as there is criticism that needs to be broken apart.

But in the meantime, GOP House member Mark Alford wrote in “The Hill”, an opinion piece. He’s on House Armed Services as well. And he says basically, he’s not going to support any more money going to Ukraine without a few things.

He needs a clear direction from the White House, what are policies? Where is this money? What are the measuring sticks?

He goes on to say, we can’t afford to continue down this path, mounting expenses, rising inflation, and escalating national debt necessitate a responsible approach.

So, for you, where do you draw the line either in measuring whatever objectives are there in Ukraine or saying no more U.S. tax dollars or depletion of our military weapons which we’ve gotten signals are in a dangerous level, especially should be drawn into a conflict involving China and Taiwan?

PENCE: Well, I want to agree with Congressman Alford that I think President Joe Biden has done a terrible job explaining what our natural interest is in Ukraine. There’s a lot of these gauzy speeches he’s given about defending democracy.

Look, I believe we need to continue to provide the Ukrainian military the resources they need to repel the Russian invasion, because I have no doubt, Shannon, that if Vladimir Putin overruns Ukraine, he’s going to cross a border of a NATO country where we will be required under Article Five to send our troops.

But let me also say, I want to strongly agree with him that this economy is struggling, I know you got another guest coming on, of the Biden administration trying to make a case that Bidenomics is working. But nobody is buying Bidenomics.

You know, I was in Iowa this week and I told people, you know, inflation is 40-year high, mortgage rates are at a 22-year high. Two out of three Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

Bidenomics has been a failure for American families, and I really believe the time has come for us to offer vision for renewing this economy, tackling inflation.

But it doesn’t mean we give up our role of the leader of the free world. As I said back in that debate, I — anybody that says that we can’t be leader of the free world and get this economy moving and secure our border and deal with all the issues that American people are dealing with, anybody who thinks we can’t do both of those things got a pretty small view of the greatest on Earth.

BREAM: But what is the — what is the measuring —


PENCE: We can do both with right Republican leadership in the White House.

BREAM: What is the measuring stick, though, for where our obligation to Ukraine begins and ends?

PENCE: Well, Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address that we’re there as long as it takes. And, Shannon, I’m going to tell you, it shouldn’t take that long. We’re the arsenal of democracy and, frankly, the Biden administration has been — has been providing support to the Ukrainian military in dribs and drabs. They recently approved the transfer of F-16s.

They promised tanks back in January, they’re still not there. You know, I really do believe that what we need is to provide the resources, the — the equipment, the missiles, the aircraft that Ukraine needs to repel that Russian invasion in a much more rapid pace than the Biden administration has done. And I’m going to continue to champion that.

Look, we’re the leader of the free world. And if America is not leading the free world, it’s not being led. And we’re — today Joe Biden has left a vacuum on the world stage that China and Russia are working every day to fill.

BREAM: Many more topics to get to. So we hope you’ll come back, Mr. Vice President. Thank you for joining us this Sunday.

PENCE: Sure, I will. Thank you, Shannon.

BREAM: All right, this Labor Day weekend, a report card on Bidenomics, you heard the Vice President talking about at the air. We’re going to talk about it with the President’s top Economic Adviser. He’s going to join us live. We’ll do a deep dive on everything from inflation, to skyrocketing credit card debt. And why the polls show that you at home are not feeling as optimistic as the White House thinks you should. We’ll discuss it all, next.


BREAM: The Nation celebrates the American worker tomorrow on Labor Day. And while the new jobs numbers for August offer good news. Polls show a majority of Americans are unhappy over how persistent inflation is eating into their wallets among many other key economic concerns. Joining us now to discuss is Jared Bernstein, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

JARED BERNSTEIN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS CHAIR: Always a pleasure to be here with you, Shannon.

BREAM: OK, you know, we always start out with the polls, which right now, you guys know are not good for you the perception of Bidenomics. The majority of people in our polling tell us they think it’s making their lives actually worse. You say stick around, you got to wait for the benefits to come.

New York Times quotes Jason Furman, who once held the job you now hold.


BREAM: And he says this, “It’s difficult for the Biden administration to take victory laps over slowing inflation because wages haven’t kept pace, leaving a typical worker about $2,000 behind compared with before the pandemic.” So the truth is, people are worse off than before you guys took over?

BERNSTEIN: No, no, no, that’s not the truth.

BREAM: Is Jason wrong about that?

BERNSTEIN: So let me explain to you what my good friend and he’s a fine economist, Jason is doing there. So real wages are up. That’s the first thing to be clear about. Real wages are higher than they were before the pandemic and they’re especially hard for middle and low wage workers.

BREAM: Here’s what’s Jason —

BREAM: But for many months, they were outpaced by inflation?

BERNSTEIN: Correct. So for the last three to four months, inflation, wages are rising faster than prices.

BREAM: Good news.

BERNSTEIN: Good news — and buying power for working Americans. By the way we got to tell Mike Pence that June 2022 wants its talking point back that as he talked about inflation at a 40 year high, that was true over a year ago, it is down two-thirds since then. It was 9.1%. That’s what he was referring to. Again, that’s a stale over a year-old talking point. It’s down to about 3%.

BREAM: But still well ahead of when you guys took over.

BERNSTEIN: And it’s certainly not ahead of wages. And that’s the key point. Wages are beating inflation. And here’s what Jason did. Jason asked what was the trend in wages in 2018 and ’19, before the pandemic, and then he just extrapolated that trend forward. He’s not the only one to do that.

But what that does, it ignores the pandemic, it ignores the global supply chain snarling, leading to a global inflation. It ignores the deep pandemic induced recession and ignores Putin’s war in Ukraine with its impact on food and energy prices. So look, I understand that that’s what economists call a counterfactual, which is an alternative history. I got to live in the real world in the real history. And in the real world, real wages are beating prices. That is a very welcome trend.

BREAM: Also welcome trend, good jobs report for August came out.


BREAM: But the truth is, every single month, this year, the jobs numbers have been revised for a net downward revision, and every single month this year. So what that means is hundreds of thousands of jobs we were told were created this year actually were not created about 30% of what we were told was created didn’t happen. So, you know, are people’s perceptions, their reality, more in line with the data with what’s actually happened, then then what you’re trying to portray?

BERNSTEIN: So there’s two answers to that. First of all, people’s perceptions are not quite precisely what you say they are. And I’ll get to that in a second. But first of all — but second of all, I don’t think there’s any good way to massage the statistics that would get you to any other conclusion than that we have a very strong labor market. 13.5 million jobs since this President took office, 800,000 in manufacturing, the unemployment rate below 4% for an historical amounts of time.

BREAM: Good news. But you guys know when we talked about this 13 million jobs? I mean, the vast majority of those were jobs added back from COVID losses?

BERNSTEIN: No, I mean, the — we have had very strong job growth in this race. It’s historically strong job growth recovery. That’s not just COVID. That’s not just the bounce back from COVID.

BREAM: But about 10 million of those COVID —

BERNSTEIN: Which I don’t think you could find that economist who would tell you anything other than this is a persistently strong labor market with — with exemplary job growth, providing great opportunities for American workers. I think the thing is, is that these revisions, tell you something also very important. And we’ve had other revisions to GDP that took GDP from 2/4, 2/1. 2/1 is a great GDP growth rate. That is — that is a little bit above trend. You know, 187,000 jobs, that is a great jobs number for this point, in this economic recovery.

Again, what we — what we’ve accomplished here is really important to recognize because pretty unusual in economics, the President said, I want to maintain the strong labor market will take down inflation. And that’s exactly what happened. That’s unusual, as you know. Typically, to get that much inflation reduction, you have to see some weakening in the labor market, we haven’t seen that at all. That accomplishment is behind this fact that real wages are now beating prices, it’s contributing to consumer spending, by the way, which continues to come in very strong sustaining the expansion.

BREAM: It’s not without pain, though. I mean, as the Fed works on those interest rates, we’re now north of seven for mortgages. A lot of first-time buyers are saying they’re just completely priced out. They don’t see how they’re ever going to own a home. People sitting on homes, they don’t want to sell if they don’t have to. Because if they’re locked in, you know, in the 3% range, that’s good for them. I mean, their headlines everywhere that investment is down, the housing market is stagnant. That’s a trouble spot. If people think that they can’t ever get into homeownership?

BERNSTEIN: So look, you make an important point there, which is that most people, the vast majority of homeowners are locked into interest rates that are well below 7%. So that’s key.

Now, as we’ve discussed before, our administration has a deep agenda for doing probably the most important thing in the housing market, which is increasing the supply of affordable housing. We’ve talked about a proposal, we have to extend the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, LIHTC.

We’ve talked about pushing back on exclusionary zoning. And it’s something we’re actively doing now in some of our programs. You know, we’ve got these programs that are associated with the Inflation Reduction Act, with the infrastructure law with chips that say if you want your bid to get accepted, tell us how you’re going to build affordable housing in a key area, say near a transportation hub. We’re getting to — we’re getting take up on those proposals.

By the way that brings me to something else I really wanted to get back to when I think you want to go there too, which is this thing I said earlier about how people are perceiving the economy. You always like to give me your polls and I get that, and those are real and I’m not discounting them. But let me give you some other numbers. 82% support capping insulin costs for seniors and $35 a month, 81% support giving Medicare the power to give Yoshi (ph) for lower drug prices, 79% support tax instead of scrape more manufacturing jobs, 77% support capping out of pocket costs on prescription drugs.

These are all measures that are in place. These are the components of Bidenomics. So when someone tells you Americans don’t like Bidenomics, it’s false. Americans approve of the components above 80%. And that’s because these measures are helping to do what President Biden has long sought to do with this economy, build it from the middle out and the bottom up so that middle income people have a fair shake at getting ahead.

BREAM: OK, so a lot of things packed in there. Let’s talk about other numbers that the average mortgage price that people are paying now is more than double than when you guys took office. We had a record of a trillion dollars in credit card debt, people have blown through savings that they had during COVID. And 61% now tell us they’re living paycheck to paycheck. Is that Bidenomics?

BERNSTEIN: So some of this, we have to kind of do some live fact checking. So the average mortgage is not as the representative that —

BREAM: If even hasn’t doubled?

BERNSTEIN: That’s for people who got new mortgages. So the average mortgage, you have to consider the 9 out of 10, people who are paying them, have — have locked in a mortgage that’s well below 7%. So the average mortgage is has not at all gone up that much at all, because most people’s mortgage hasn’t changed.

BREAM: But if you talk about people trying to get into low-income housing that you’re encouraging —


BREAM: — if they can’t afford a 7% mortgage, they’re not going to get into any house?

BERNSTEIN: Well, this is why we need to continue our efforts to expand affordable housing. Now, look, we have to work together with Congress on the congressional Democrats are there. Congressional Republicans need to get there. I mentioned LIHTC, we also have a series of grants and loans, which I won’t take off the acronyms. But what they do is they increase the supply of affordable housing. And this involves purse strings. So we have to do this in a fiscally responsible way, meaning it needs to be paid for in our budget, we have $150 billion devoted exclusively to increasing affordable housing. So if that’s what we want, then both sides have to work together to get there.

BREAM: I want to bring a something that we’ve talked about throughout the show today. This idea that the new funding requests from the President involves Ukraine $24 billion, I believe is the estimate there. Billions more of domestic aid tied to that. Right now in Maui, the losses in that disaster alone are in the $4 to $6 billion range.


BREAM: There’s been a lot of consternation from folks on the ground there about the federal response. Now, this time of the Ukraine funded the domestic funding. Senator Rubio is among those who saying you’re holding Americans hostage, why not split these two apart? The President says he won’t do it. But why not?

BERNSTEIN: Well, nobody’s holding anybody hostage. What we’re trying to do is address extremely pressing measures with this supplemental. I mean, I guess I don’t — look, I’m an economist. I don’t get why they’re playing politics on this, especially when I hear overwhelming bipartisan support. I heard some of this from Mike Pence, in your interview with him for taking these measures, for helping people who’ve been hurt by extreme weather events. That’s typically not a problem for Congress. And it typically has, again, overwhelming bipartisan support. Same with support for Ukraine.

So look, there is a group of congressional Republicans can’t seem to get out of the way of majorities on both sides. And this this — this should be a no brainer, help people who’ve been hurt. You’ve shown the pictures today. They’re compelling. We know what people are going through, get out of the way, do the right thing, do your job and pass the supplemental so we can get people the help they need and support Ukraine against Putin’s brutal attack. It’s that simple.

BREAM: Hurting the cats on Capitol Hill, as you know is always very difficult. Jared, always appreciate your time. Thank you for coming in today.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

BREAM: So by the way to those disasters, Fox Corporation has made a donation to the Red Cross Hurricane Idalia relief efforts and continues to be an annual Disaster Giving Program partner that allows the Red Cross to respond right away to disasters. They provide safe shelter, hot meals, emotional support and resources to aid in recovery. If you want to help join us visit redcross.org/foxforward or scan that QR code, right there on their screen for your little dinosaur right in the middle.

All right, brand-new numbers show another record-breaking month for illegal immigration at our southern border countering the White House’s claimed its “stopping the flow.” Up next, our Sunday panel weighs in as some Democrat lawmakers and some of the most progressive Fortune 500 leaders are calling on President Biden to get the border under control.



ERIC ADAMS, (D) NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Any plan that does not include stopping the flow at the border is a fail plan. And so if the national leaders are saying we’re not going to stop the flow, that’s a failed plan.


BREAM: New York City Mayor Eric Adams slamming the White House as he struggles to house more than 100,000 migrants and counting. It is time now for our Sunday group. Howard Kurtz, Media Critic and host of Media Buzz on Fox News Channel. Former State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf. Mark ShortM former Chief of Staff for Vice President Mike Pence. And Project 21 Chairman Horace Cooper.

Welcome to all of you on this holiday weekend. But not everybody in Washington takes off. I appreciate your time being here.

OK. So he says there, Eric Adams. They’re not stopping the flow at the border. When pressed by our Peter Doocy this week in a briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We are stopping the flow at the border.”

But here’s the Washington Post headline from Thursday. “Families crossing the U.S. border illegally reached an all-time high in August.” So Howie, we may be getting one thing for the Press Secretary, but the numbers seem to tell us something else?

HOWARD KURTZ, MEDIA CRITIC: Yeah, when you have the Democratic mayor of New York City constantly criticizing the border policy, you have got a problem as an administration. And when President Biden abandon the old Trump policy, the numbers actually went down for a while, it’s kind of faded, but now with these record-breaking surges, many of them families, it’s a giant albatross around the President’s neck.

And even though there’s been a lot of progress, there’s a program to allow people from countries like Cuba and Haiti to come in legally, but that’s tied up in the courts. And I would just say this is a very, very difficult situation. Everybody knows the border is a mess, and then they’re blaming the incumbent.

BREAM: Yeah. And, Marc, it’s something that your administration when you were with the, you know, Trump-Pence administration. They had to deal with constantly as well. And what we hear is this, there are now business leaders who are saying signing on to letters, you got to do better. We saw Governor Hochul also from New York has been critical publicly. She was at the White House. The President did meet with her. Again, the Press Secretary said he’s got a lot on his plate. He’s busy.

MARC SHORT, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO V.P. MIKE PENCE: Well, I mean, to Howie’s point, it’s not just the Mayor of New York, there’s plenty of Democrats along the border in Texas and Arizona as well who have expressed concern about the flow. And — and I think that one of the biggest elements like there’s a lot of focus on the border wall, and for good reason.

But I think one of the most impactful policies was the remain in Mexico policy that said, because we’re overwhelmed with asylum seekers, the United States, stay in Mexico, adjudicate that asylum. And then if you get cleared come in, but not until then. That was the biggest impact. And I think when the Biden ministration on day one, overturn that policy, it has led to this disaster, and it’s not letting up anytime soon, Shannon.

BREAM: Well, until those business leaders, this new letter out includes signatures from people like Jamie Dimon, saying we urge you to get things under control at the border. The Federalist says this, wealthy Democrats aided and abetted the Biden border crisis, and now they’re whining about it.

They say, so as long as the chaos stayed and crisis state in South Texas, Democrats in deep-blue enclaves like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles were happy to tut-tut anyone who claimed there was a problem at the border. If you complained or propose solutions. You were a racist.”

Marie, the piece goes on to say, shelters are beyond capacity now that this is showing up in blue cities in their homes, their neighborhoods, their workplaces. Now they want something done about it.

MARIE HARF, FNC COMMENTATOR: Well, first, I would say that the fact that so many migrants are being apprehended is actually a good thing. The Border Patrol has had more funding. They are — they’re actually finding people trying to cross illegally before they’re able to do so.

Second, you know, there are a lot of Democrats who represent border states and border districts because on the ground there, there is not a uniform agreement that Republican policies should take the day. So I know Republicans talk a lot about the border and think that they are seen as tougher, but on the ground, often Democrats end up winning in the ballot box.

But the final point, I’ll make Shannon is that this is — this is a crisis. This is a problem. I think the Biden administration knows that, as we’ve talked about Democrats, beyond the Biden administration also talks about that.

But this is one issue where Republicans in this primary are so extreme. When you have Ron DeSantis, on the debate stage saying he would unilaterally take military action in Mexico to go after this issue. Like that’s not a serious policy. And so this is one place where the Biden team will say, look, this is a hard problem. We need Congress to act. We need to do more to stem the tide. But the Republicans are not seriously actually talking about real policies here. The leaders in the Republican Party, I should say, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy. This just highlights the extremism of the Republican primary on such a tough issue.

BREAM: Horace, those candidates will say they have talked about the policies, you may not like them, but they’re talking about what they would do?

HORACE COOPER, PROJECT 21 CHAIRMAN: Well, absolutely they are here. You know, September 11, is right around the corner. If Rudy Giuliani had been saying, I am worried they’re serious threats that we face by national foreign nationals that could in some way assault our country. He didn’t make that claim, because he wasn’t aware of that. We have mayor’s now making concerns, and the Washington Post.

And other sources indicate that record numbers of foreign nationals that are identified as national security risks are coming in. If we were to have, God forbid, some sort of attack, that as a result of this, you would not see what George Bush saw where he gained in the upcoming midterm election, controlling the United States Senate and easily ran for reelection, you would see devastation politically. So harm and political risk, this is where this is going right now.

BREAM: Well, and as we always know, these are real families and real people that are caught in the middle of this thing and to see the images is heartbreaking at the border and in the cities where they’ve ended up on the streets.

Meanwhile, the administration is also taking criticism for how it’s responded to various disasters. I want to play something, this is from Ohio Senator JD Vance, and also President Biden talking about why he hasn’t gotten to East Palestine just yet.


SEN. J.D. VANCE (R-OH): When you compare what’s happening in East Palestine and Maui, you see a guy who promised he ran for president saying that he would bring decency and empathy back to the Oval Office. Well, Donald Trump showed up in East Palestine and Joe Biden never did.

JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: Well, I haven’t had the occasion to go to East Palestine. There’s a lot going on here and I just haven’t been able to break.


BREAM: I mean, Marc, presidents can’t be everywhere but to at least pronounced the name of the town correctly, where people have been waiting for him to show up that doesn’t play well.

SHORT: No, it doesn’t. And sure he should have been there before now and it’s — he can’t say it can’t, hasn’t come up in his schedule when he’s been on vacation for quite a bit of August. So it’s — it’s a — it’s a black mark on the administration currently. They haven’t made the visit there. But, you know, I think as well that the crisis that we’re talking about the border, Shannon, is yes it’s — it’s — it’s a horrific humanitarian crisis.

But also we haven’t talked about what the fentanyl issue is doing to take families in America. And the fact that everybody knows at this point, a child, a young person who has died from fentanyl, it needs to be addressed, and it can’t continue to be ignored.

BREAM: Howie, do you think that the press is going to hone in on this with President Biden, the fact that he hasn’t made it there yet to Ohio? Will or would they take the explanation, I’ve been too busy. I have a lot of other things on my plate?

KURTZ: Well, I think he just revived the issue by bringing it up, because it’s been so long since that toxic train disaster. And, you know, when presidents go, I’m glad he went to Maui, I’m glad he went to Florida. You know, it’s not that they are going to suddenly change the policy, it is that your person is showing that he cares, that he cares enough to go. No, you have to balance that with not in disrupting ongoing rescue efforts.

But there were five days after the absolute disaster horrifying in Maui, where Biden didn’t talk about it at all, or that he would put out statements. I mean, he’s got this great bully pulpit and he needs and he’s — you know, widely described as a man of great empathy. But he needs to use that more. And sometimes he needs to get on that Air Force One and go and show the administration is trying to do everything I can to help the victims.

BREAM: Marie, is that fair? I mean, optics we know in this world and on the campaign trail count for a lot/

HARF: Optics do count for a lot. And I think Joe Biden is widely seen as sort of this empathizer in chief when voters — even if they don’t agree with him, meet him in some of these very tough situations that they’re going through, they often say he was very comforting. He was very supportive.

At the end of the day, though, what they actually need is federal disaster relief from Washington and the federal fund for that is running out of money because we have so many natural disasters, many prompted by increasing climate change. I will — I will note as well. But look, we are running — we were running out of money.

And so when the President goes there, he talks to these people what he can really do, besides bringing empathy is money to help rebuild these communities. And so he’s asked Congress for billions more in that to refinance that, that disaster relief fund. I hope Congress votes for it. Not to pick on Ron DeSantis too much this morning. But when he was in Congress, he voted against funding for Hurricane Sandy victims. So now he needs it from the federal government. Republicans love to do this. They vote against disaster relief until their state needs it.

So this will be an interesting part of this upcoming government funding fight, right? How much money do we have for places like Maui, for places like Florida? I’m also disappointed the Governor didn’t see President Biden when he was down there using this natural disaster for political reasons. I think —

KURTZ: — he didn’t criticize it.

HARF: Of course, yeah. I will criticize it. But I’m sorry. Biden didn’t, you’re right?

BREAM: And oftentimes in these funding things, as you say, with DeSantis, there are many other things that are tied up in these packages. And now we’ve got a tied to Ukraine. And there are people like I mentioned earlier, Senator Rubio who’s down there in the middle of this disaster in Florida saying you’re holding Americans hostage when you say you can only get the domestic disaster funding if you’re going to give me 24 billion more for Ukraine.

COOPER: You know, my old boss Dick Armey used to say that caring about people is the key to success in Washington. And if you can fake that —


BREAM: I was going to say, I’m sure —

COOPER: President been even faking it. He doesn’t want to go through the motions and the American people are able to tell this juxtaposition of Ukraine and American domestic. That is the exact worst mixture possible.

BREAM: All right, Horace says, President Biden not a good faker. We’ll leave it there.

All right panel, don’t go too far. We’ve got more in a minute. But a reminder for you, Fox Business Network is your home for the Second 2024 Republican Primary Debate. Stuart Varney, Dana Perino, and UNIVISION’s Ilia Calderon will co-moderate the debate live from the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California. September 27th, get it on your calendar. The debate will also simulcast on Fox News Channel and UNIVISION.

Up next, President Biden’s pushing a new COVID booster shot created by Big Pharma but reportedly with no human studies or testing completed. The President says, “it works” and it’s “necessary” but there are some doctors who aren’t convinced.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As a matter of fact, I signed off this morning on a proposal we have to present to the Congress a request for additional funding for a new vaccine that is necessary, that works.


BREAM: President Biden, late last week, laying out his plan for a call on Congress to pass more funding for a new Covid vaccine as cases across the nation are on the rise again.

We are back now with the panel. And Dr. Marty Makary from Johns Hopkins, our viewers will be very familiar with him, wrote a piece in “The Wall Street Journal” this week. He says, “is this our new drug-approval process? There are no human-outcomes data on our new shot, which the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve in the next two weeks. Undermining the normal scientific and regulatory process erodes public trust.”

Horace, he notes that 20 percent of Americans – that’s all we got taking the last booster the last time around, the government spent $5 billion on it and millions and millions of doses had to be thrown away. I’m not sure people know that it’s not being tested on humans.

COOPER: Well, you know, it’s interesting about that data because it’s concentrated. I went to my doctor in Virginia. I spend most of my time in Texas. And my doctor told me that almost all of his patients are taking it. When I go back to Texas, I can’t find a person that is taking it.

So, this construct where in Washington everybody thinks this is what you’re supposed to do and it’s normal. There are Americans all across the country and that wonder, why aren’t we following the normal protocols, why aren’t we doing the kinds of things that give us the kind of assurance. And that may explain why so few people outside of the east coast and the west coast are ending up taking it.

BREAM: Well, and Dr. Fauci is out there talking about this – also the chatter about the new cases and about the new shot and about whether mask mandates and going to come back. Here’s what he said yesterday.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, FORMER CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISOR: I think people need to realize it is extremely unlikely that you’re going to see a mandate, for example, from the CDC, which has no authority to mandate anything with regard to masks. They can only recommend it.


BREAM: Howy, a lot of skeptics, though. Because they’ll say, sure, CDC only recommends things, but that for millions and millions of people meant mandates on shots, on masks, all kind of things over the last couple years. They have fallen out of love, many of them, with the CDC.

KURTZ: That’s putting it mildly. I can’t believe we’re still talking about Covid. I know at least a half dozen people in the last two weeks have gotten it. And, fortunately, it’s a milder version.

But as far as masks, or lockdowns, or mandates, the consensus has so radically moved, looking back now, and we know a lot more, I think there’s a feeling that these were failures by and large. Not necessarily in every single case. So, I don’t think we’re going to see any rationale politician say, we’re going to order this. You have to take the shot. You have to get a mask or you can’t go to school, go to work, whatever it is. That would be, I think, at this point, political suicide.

BREAM: Yes, we are seeing some individual private organizations that are popping up with some of those things as we track and see.

I want to make sure we get to this other topic though.

This week the Senate is back in session. We saw Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had another public episode that’s raising concern about his health. His doctor has said he’s fine, he has cleared him. But let me just give you Nikki Haley’s talk on this. And she’s talking not just about him but about other lawmakers here in D.C.


NIKKI HALEY (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It’s sad. No one should feel good about seeing that. You know, with – any more than we should feel good about seeing Dianne Feinstein, any more than we should feel good about a lot of what’s happening, or seeing Joe Biden’s decline. What I will say is, right now the Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country.


BREAM: So, Marie, now this a conversation that both parties have to have because they both have very prominent senior members who have questions about their ability to do their jobs.

HARF: Well, first on health, I just want to say, I had Covid for 18 days earlier this month. It was not mild. It was not fun. And we should get these updated vaccines, if you are able to health wise, because we’ve gone through this every time we’ve talked about new boosters, with omicron, who they’re tested on, who they’re not.

The reason we are in the middle of a surge, and more people aren’t in the hospital is because of vaccines. So I just want to say that having lived through Covid fairly recently.

Look, on the issue of health in – in Congress, I – I don’t think we’re ever going to get term limits. I don’t think that will ever actually pass. We will never get a constitutional amendments.

What I don’t know is where the people are in these politician’s lives, their families, their spouses, other members of leadership, other members of their party, because it’s, quite frankly, sad to see what people like Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein, Thad Cocran. I mean, you know, we’ve worked with a lot of these folks over the years. There is something to be said for having people in Congress with institutional knowledge, who have learned the issues, who have been there for years and know, for example, how to get bills passed, how to work with the other side.

But it is sad when you see some of these politicians who don’t look like they’re operating at full strength.

And the last thing I will say is, we need more transparency. We need more – you know, Joe Biden’s physician puts out full reports of his physicals. We need more transparency from, I think, Mitch McConnell’s doctor and from doctors who – who treat some of these politicians who look like they’re not –

BREAM: Dianne Feinstein?

HARF: Dianne Feinstein, absolutely. I would agree with that as well.

BREAM: OK, so “Wall Street Journal” says this, “Senate leaders are chosen by their party colleagues who are in the best position to judge Mr. McConnell’s continuing abilities. If they think Mr. McConnell can still be an effective leader of an increasingly fractious GOP Senate conference, then,” Marc, they say he should stay in the job.

SHORT: I totally agree. I think the reality is that there is a mechanism there. Senate Republicans can choose their own leader. And they can choose a different leader any time they want. I don’t think the Mitch McConnell situation is comparable, frankly, to the severe dementia that Dianne Feinstein is struggling with right now.

And, you know, as far as mandatory retirement age, or some sort of federal rule, I look forward to Nikki Haley calling for Chuck Grassley to retire sometime soon.

BREAM: Eighty-nine and still going very strong.

HARF: Touche.

KURTZ: Politicians don’t like to give up power.

BREAM: No, they don’t.

HARF: That’s true.

BREAM: But, meanwhile, there are people saying, President Biden should be part of this conversation too. “Wall Street Journal” – or, excuse me, “Washington Post,” an opinion piece, is calling on all of these lawmakers, as Marie has, to be transparent about where you’re at – where they’re at. But they note this.

The White House press secretary recently said of the president during an appearance on CNN, quote, “it’s hard for us to keep up with this president,” which is a line she uses a lot. They go on to say, “it’s extremely difficult to believe that Jean-Pierre, who appears to be in good health in her 40s, is having a hard time keeping up with the 80-year-old Biden. If she really means what she’s saying, maybe she should see a doctor, too.”


COOPER: Look, this whole conversation makes me think that in Washington, D.C., what we need is a crypt keeper instead of someone who is checking to see who’s healthy or who’s not.

There are — we are looking at the oldest Senate that we have seen in 100 plus years, maybe ever. And we have now the president of the United States, who’s the oldest president ever.

I’m not saying that we need a rule, I’m not saying that we need a constitutional amendment. But I am saying that in a nation this large, with this many types of people with skills, can’t we get people in office who bring some energy, and some youth and some vibrancy.

BREAM: And there’s some out there making that as the best argument for them to take some of those places.

We also lost a couple of legends this weekend. It seemed to many of us sort of surprisingly soon. Jimmy Buffett and also Governor Bill Richardson, entertainment, politics.

Marie, Governor Richardson, I think, was a shock for a lot of people.

HARF: It was.

BREAM: And it was his time after governor that really won him so many accolades as well.

HARF: That’s what’s so amazing, negotiating with these hostile, terrible regimes to get American citizens home safe and sound. Whether it was North Korea. Whether it was Russia with Brittney Griner. I mean he – after he was in office, played such a key role, doing the really hard work of diplomacy, that often the U.S. government can’t do officially. I mean what a – what a tragedy. I was very sad when I – when I saw that yesterday.

BREAM: Yes, and Howy, I think we were – most of us shocked as well to hear that Jimmy Buffet was as sick as he was.

KURTZ: Yes, and I’m very disappointed we have no margaritas for this part of the discussion.

BREAM: I know. That is a fail on my part, as we should have had the margaritas.

KURTZ: But, I mean, everybody knows some of those songs. Everybody knows his voice.

But what surprised me in reading some of the obituaries is, he became fabulously wealthy as he kind of packaged this franchise about, you know, the beach lifestyle, Key West, taking it easy and the – he got to the point where he worried that he was no longer Jimmy Buffet, the guy who, you know, was sitting there with the mai tai and the hat under the sun. And so he had to — he tried to stay in touch with his roots at the end.

BREAM: Yes. Well, he has given all of us sort of anthem for summer and beyond. And during the break we’ll work on those margaritas.

Panel, thank you very much. We’ll see you next Sunday.

By the way, we have something very special coming up next week as I mark one year with you on FOX NEWS SUNDAY. Details on our special guests and what we’ve got next year – or next – well, yes, ahead in the next year. But first we’ll get to next week. That’s next.


BREAM: A quick note, my podcast, “Livin the Bream” drops brand new this morning. This week I sat down with Dr. Jackie Green, dentist, wife, mom, author, spiritual leader, to talk about how she juggles it all with God’s grace. It’s all in her brand new book “Permission to Live Free.”

Plus, you can hear all of today’s program on the FOX NEWS SUNDAY podcast. Download and subscribe at foxnewspodcasts.com or wherever you get your podcasts.

Don’t miss the best moments of the show on FOX NEWS SUNDAY. Always set your DVR to record on your local station or Sunday’s 2:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox News Channel.

Now, be sure to tune in next week. We’ve got a special, the “State of Education in America.” We’re going to do a report card on the nation’s school system in the midst of plummeting test scorings following Covid remote learning. Battles over CRT, gender ideology, all of those things in the classroom. You’re going to hear from parents, kids and teachers who have tried all different options, public schools, home schools, all of it. Our guests include Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who’s been at the forefront of the education debate. He joins us live next week on FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

That is it for us today. Thank you for joining us.

I’m Shannon Bream. Have a great week. We will see you for that special show next FOX NEWS SUNDAY. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend.


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