‘Fox News Sunday’ on August 7, 2022 – Fox News

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This is a rush transcript of ‘Fox News Sunday’ on August 7, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


Senate Democrats make their final push toward handing President Biden a tax and spend victory a year and a half in the making.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): This is a very, very, very big deal.

EMANUEL (voice-over): Eleventh hour support from centrist Kyrsten Sinema put Democrats on track to vote on the health, energy and tax measure.

But it’s much smaller than the original Build Back Better and has zero Republican support.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): This is coming after the families, and the farmers, and the small businesses.

EMANUEL: We’ll talk with Senator Ben Cardin about his party’s strategy and what it means for the rest of the president’s agenda.

Then —

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States will not be provoked.

EMANUEL: Tensions over Taiwan, China cutting military and climate ties with U.S. over Nancy Pelosi’s visit and holding military drills off the coast. We’ll discuss where the crisis leads White House policy on China and ask former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley how the U.S. and its allies should respond, only on “FOX News Sunday”.

And —

A major win for abortion rights in deep red Kansas. We’ll ask our Sunday panel how Republicans may need to adjust their messaging for midterms.

Plus —

FOX News is on the road to midterms in Wyoming, where Congresswoman Liz Cheney and her Trump-endorsed rival Harriet Hageman are connecting with voters in one of the most-watched primaries of the year.

All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.


EMANUEL (voice-over): And hello again from FOX News in Washington.

You are looking live at the Senate floor, where Democrats have been working through the night to drive their election-year economic package towards final passage.

In order to do so, they are taking a series of rapid-fire amendment votes in a process called vote-a-rama. It’s been underway for more than nine hours. In the 50/50 Senate and without Republican support, they’ll likely need Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking vote to send the package to the House of Representatives.

In a moment we will speak with Democratic Senator Ben Cardin.

But first, we will turn to Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill with the latest — Chad.


Democrats will need all 50 of their senators to pass the bill. So far, they have the votes. That includes Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He will vote yes, but Sanders will do so grudgingly.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): I want to take a moment to say a few words about the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that we are debating this evening. And I say so-called, by the way, because according to the CBO and other economic organizations who have studied this bill, it will in fact have a minimal impact on inflation.


PERGRAM: Now, Sanders says the bill includes some of the biggest investments ever in clean energy, but he admonished his colleagues for helping the fossil fuel industry.

Senators have cast 25 votes throughout the night. Most vote-a-ramas have about 30 or 40 votes and run about 15 hours. Republicans have weaponized votes against Democrats in the voting marathon. The hope is to get Democrats on the record taking bad votes.

Now, later today, Vice President Harris will cast a tie-breaking vote to pass the bill. It will be the 293rd tie-breaking vote from a vice president in American history and Harris’ 25th tiebreaker — Mike.

EMANUEL: Chad Pergram reporting from Capitol Hill. Chad, many thanks.

PERGRAM: Thank you.

Joining us now, Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland.

Senator, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): Mike, it’s good to be with you. Thank you.

EMANUEL: So, Senator, a rare Sunday session in the United States Senate. How do you feel about where things stand?

CARDIN: Well, I’m pretty op — I’m very optimistic we’re going to pass this Inflation Reduction Act that would lower the cost of health care, prescription drugs for Americans, that will help us deal with energy and bring down the cost of energy, and deal with the climate issues.

I’m very confident. I’ve seen discipline over these votes where Democrats have stuck together. So, I’m optimistic we’ll have our 50 votes and with the vice president, 51, to pass it in the next few hours.

EMANUEL: For days, the entire political class in Washington was watching Senators Manchin and Sinema for moments like this one on the Senate floor to see if Manchin could convince her to get to yes. Sinema ultimately asked to kill a key tax provision.

Here is Leader Chuck Schumer on that.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I believe strongly in the carried interest loophole. I have voted for it. I pushed for it. I pushed for it to be in this bill.

Senator Sinema said she would not vote for the bill, not even move to proceed unless we took it out. So we had no choice.


EMANUEL: What do you say to progressives who say Senators Manchin and Sinema have too much clout and don’t reflect the rest of the party’s priorities?

CARDIN: First, I would tell them give Senator Schumer a lot of credit and the Democrats that were able to get 50 of us together on this bill, which is the largest investment ever in climate, that deals with the affordability of health care and deals with an energy policy that makes sense for this country. And we did it paying for it through the corporations that have escaped taxation through better collection of taxes on high income people, and we reduced the deficit at the same time. That’s quite an accomplishment.

So, yes, there are things that I would like to have seen done that weren’t done, including in the tax code, but this is a great bill for progressives. It’s a great bill for America. It’s a great bill for American families.

EMANUEL: What about Senator Manchin getting a side deal a pipeline? Isn’t that going to divide Democrats?

CARDIN: It’s a compromise. What was done is that he will be able to get some of the projects that have been previously online to be completed. It is provisions that I would prefer not to be in the bill, but when you’re making compromises, you have to agree on certain things in order to get other things accomplished.

On balance, this is a win for our environment and a win for America clean energy.

EMANUEL: Critics say, and even Senator Manchin once said that a recession is the wrong time to raise taxes. Economists warn new spending could further aggravate supply chain issues that have been a factor for more than a year. Any concerns about that?

CARDIN: We’re not racing taxes. What we’re doing, in fact, we’re reducing the deficit. So, we’re actually taking money out of the economy. So, that’s good news for the inflation and we’re dealing with the cost centers the typical families are facing in health care and energy costs.

So this should be helping to American families and should be helpful for our economy and will help us deal with the inflation.

EMANUEL: The bill also includes $80 billion to ramp up enforcement at the IRS. Here is Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): American families don’t want tens of thousands more IRS agents. What they like are more border patrol and ICE agents.


EMANUEL: I know you’re working hard at improving this very unpopular agency, but, Senator, rich people have accountants and high-powered attorneys.

Do you worry that ramped up enforcement will only end up hurting middle and working-class Americans?

CARDIN: You’re right. I have worked with Republicans and Democrats to try to modernize the IRS.

Most Americans pay their taxes. Most Americans have their taxes taken out from their payroll and there’s never a question of their paying their fair share of taxes.

But for those that have complicated incomes, those who have high incomes, they’re the ones that are escaping. It’s been estimated that we have a $1 trillion leakage in tax collections every year.

I think most Americans want a level playing field. They want to pay their taxes but they want everyone else paying their taxes.

So I think this is a fair situation. The IRS desperately needs help and this bill gives them the help they need.

EMANUEL: Let me follow up there. Can you understand how 87,000 new IRS agents would scare the heck out of millions of Americans?

CARDIN: Well, millions of Americans aren’t going to be impacted by that other than getting better service from the IRS, having their telephone answered, getting the questions they need in order to comply with our tax laws. The auditing is going to be focused on those with high income, the large corporations, et cetera.

So, there’s no reason to be fearful. And if you paid your taxes and if you comply with our laws, you should want to make sure everyone else does that.

EMANUEL: OK. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are warning about retaliation for this Democrat-only package.

Senator Lindsey Graham tweeting the following: A word of advice to those who support this reconciliation deal, if you expect the CR, the continuing resolution, to deliver a political payoff with 60 votes, you might want to rethink.

Did Senator Schumer just blow all of his political capital?

CARDIN: Let me say this: doing all these bills by reconciliation is not the right way to do it. The Republicans did it in 2017 on the tax bill. We are obligated to use this process because we can’t get Republicans to work with us on fundamental issues such as — such as energy, climate and health care costs.

But it would be much better if we could have a process where we work together and have the richness of every member participating in the process, bipartisan process.

That’s what I do in legislation that I have worked with Republicans to get to the finish line. That’s what we did in regards to the NATO session with Finland and Sweden. That’s what we did in regards to our veterans. That’s what we did in regards to the infrastructure bill. That’s what we did in regards to the chips and science bill.

We have a good record of working together. Let’s work together for the American people and let’s not threaten that we’re going to shut down government or do things that are — that are wrong. Let’s figure out ways that we can work together buried

EMANUEL: OK. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I want to get you to weigh in on Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

The president appears to have been on the sidelines here. He basically tried to allow the speaker to make her own decision, but said that the military didn’t want her to go. She ends up going. And then the president takes a lot of heat from the Chinese president on a phone call.

Question, who is driving policy here?

CARDIN: Well, look, Taiwan is an entity that we are free to visit at any time. They have that type of autonomy. Members of Congress have been there many times. Speaker Pelosi was fully within her right to visit Taiwan.

We recognize that China and the United States have a different view as to Taiwan, but we both should agree that that has to be resolved peacefully. And China should not use military force against Taiwan.

EMANUEL: The White House is also reportedly lobbying senators to push back work on a bill Democrat Bob Menendez sponsored that would designate Taiwan a major non-NATO ally.

Here’s how Senator Graham responded.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): They are trying to water down the bill I’ve written with Senator Menendez that would provide more economic aid, more military aid, would create sanctions against China if they cyber-attack the democracy in Taiwan. So, to me, what they’re doing is just appeasing and making more aggression likely by being weak.


EMANUEL: Does the Biden administration need to be more forceful with Beijing?

CARDIN: Mike, I’ve been in the Senate now for 16 years. I’ve had legislation passed that both were Democratic and Republican administrations, would have preferred Congress not to intercede.

We need to provide Taiwan with the military support. We need to make it clear to China that if they use military force, there will be severe sanctions. So I am in support of this legislation. I think at the end of the day, we’re going to pass legislation to strengthen our ties with Taiwan.

EMANUEL: Senator, thank you for coming on after your all-nighter. We really appreciate it.

CARDIN: Good to be with you. Stay well.

EMANUEL: Up next, we’ll ask former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley what the Biden administration can do about the growing threat from China.

And keep an eye on the Senate floor, where Democrats are pushing towards passage of their long-awaited agenda.


EMANUEL: Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has left the Biden administration with a big headache over China as it tries to manage ties with the nation’s biggest rival and growing global threat.

Joining us now, former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

Ambassador Haley, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.


EMANUEL: So, let’s start with Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. Here’s what she had to say.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Now more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial and that is the message we are bringing here today.


EMANUEL: China has responded aggressively in the days since her visit.

And to that, you’ve said this week, quote: America needs to show that we won’t let Beijing’s temper tantrum dictate our foreign policy. The Taiwanese are free people who must not be trampled by the Chinese communists.

So, do you endorse the speaker’s trip? And what should U.S. policy with China be going forward?

HALEY: You know, I do think that Nancy Pelosi was right to go to Taiwan. It’s a shame that Biden tried to put a wrench in it by saying the military didn’t want her to go.

You know, China is trying to bully us the same way they try and bully their own people, and we shouldn’t have it.

Taiwan is an island of 23 million people who have managed to be free for 70-plus years. We should always have the backs of our allies and we should always hold our enemies to account. They are a huge force when it comes to our economy and we need to make sure that Taiwan knows that we’re going to be there for them.

And so, yes, I think Nancy Pelosi should go there, and I think we should continue to strengthen Taiwan every chance we get.

EMANUEL: There are some expressing concern that this was too provocative.

Former Senator Max Baucus, who was also the ambassador to China under President Obama, had this to say.


MAX BAUCUS, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: She’s speaker. She’s not just an ordinary member of Congress. What this is doing, it’s pushing the support of democracy a little closer to crossing the line into independence. That’s the real problem here.


EMANUEL: Does he have a point? Do you have any concerns?

HALEY: You know, I’ve watched China have a temper tantrum multiple times when things don’t go their way.

What you’re seeing is that the party congress is going to be meeting soon, and President Xi wants to show his strength. So he is bullying Taiwan. He’s trying to pretend that there’s going to be a war. He’s trying to scare them.

But America should never respond to fear. We should always focus on preventing wars. The way you prevent wars is you don’t shy away from having the backs of your allies and let your enemies know what we expect of them. These temper tantrums are childish and they’re dangerous and they shouldn’t be doing them. And the last thing we need to do is run from that.

EMANUEL: If you were in office right now, what would you do to help Taiwan?

HALEY: Right now, I think we should send them the defense equipment that they need. We should give them any training that they need, and we should let the rest of the world know that Taiwan has been free and they have fought communist China for a long time and trying to infiltrate in there, and we should just stand strongly with them.

And I think the rest, we have to get our allies — India, South Korea, Japan, all of those other countries who believe the same thing. They need to be with us. And as long as we do that, China will realize they need to back off.

EMANUEL: You’ve been critical of President Biden on China. Here he is from May.


REPORTER: Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?


REPORTER: You are?

BIDEN: That’s the commitment we made.


EMANUEL: Is that still too soft?

HALEY: Well, I think, first of all — you know, Taiwan is not asking us to get involved militarily. They’re asking us to help them with equipment and asking us to help them defend themselves.

What you have to look at Biden is look at the world in which we live in. Here you have Russia sitting there trying to take over Ukraine. They’re taking American hostages.

You’ve got China who’s trying to bully Taiwan and scare the rest of the world into in any way defending Taiwan.

You’ve got Afghanistan now harboring terrorists that are trying to kill Americans by allowing al Qaeda back into Afghanistan.

It’s been a total mess. And what we’ve seen is Biden has run scared from a shadow, the entire administration.

We’ve got to start showing strength and preventing wars. We’ve got to start taking the world back towards an avenue of peace and not one that runs from any enemy that seems to shout louder.

And that’s we watched Biden do and I think it’s a terrible mistake and we have to snap out it.

EMANUEL: Let me follow up on Afghanistan. The president says this week that the U.S. has killed 9/11 plotter, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in an air strike.

But isn’t the grim reality that if you kill one terror leader, they’re like cockroaches, there can be thousands more ready to step into that position?

HALEY: You can bet on it, Mike. Zawahiri was a great win for the intelligence community and a great win for the Biden administration. I mean, we should always let these terrorists know that we don’t forget. You kill thousands of our Americans, we’re going to hunt down and we’re going to make sure we find you. And so, I think that’s great.

But what this is very telling is if you’re standing, you know, comfortable and free on a balcony, you can bet there are other terrorists all over Afghanistan. Mark my words — had we never had that blunder in Afghanistan, we would not be having the war you are seeing in Ukraine. We would not have al Qaeda terrorists sitting there running free in Afghanistan. We would not have China showing the arrogance that they’re showing over Taiwan.

This all happened because of how America showed weakness. Now we have to find our strength and we better get to work and we better get to work soon.

EMANUEL: This week, the Senate voted nearly unanimously to vote for NATO expansion to include Finland and Sweden. Only one senator voted no.

Here’s why he says he voted no.


SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): In years past, NATO was a bulwark against an imperial Soviet Union. Today, the world’s greatest imperial threat is in Asia.


EMANUEL: You’ve called NATO the strongest alliance in history. Was Senator Hawley wrong to vote no?

HALEY: You know, this is what I’ll tell you — you have to be able to balance multiple balls of the same time. What you’re looking at with NATO, it has been one of the strongest alliances in history, and what I, you know, want to share with Americans is that you’re looking at an alliance that has been incredibly strong. Finland and Sweden make that alliance even stronger. Finland is very strong militarily.

But think about this: we have never had to defend a NATO country in the history of its alliance. The only time they’ve ever had to use their defense forces was after 9/11 when we asked them to, and all of NATO went to Afghanistan in defense of us.

So there’s a reason that when you look at who Russia has invaded in the past, they’ve invaded Georgia. They’ve invaded Moldova. They’ve invaded Ukraine — all countries outside of NATO, because that’s where they go after. They go after countries of weakness.

This alliance is strong. This alliance needs to stay strong. That is why Russia is staying away from it.

We have to also remember, we never take our eyes off of China. China is right now trying to gobble up as much agricultural land as they can.

Look at what they’re doing. They’re putting cables in rural areas. They just bought land near North Dakota’s Grand Forks Air Force Base because that’s a big military drone technology hub. That’s where we have more of our military communications globally.

We have to start being smart and be able to handle multiple threats at the same time, not take one at a time.

EMANUEL: Let’s talk Russia. The U.S. has offered a substantial proposal to free basketball star Brittney Griner and businessman Paul Whelan.

Was that a flawed approach, the U.S. showing its hand too early?

HALEY: Well, the idea that Russia is taking Americans hostages is something we need to take seriously, and certainly, we want to make sure we get those two, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, home. It’s important.

But what I will tell you this is the wrong way to go about doing it. When you start to get into prisoner swaps — this is not a Russian hockey player we’re talking about that they want to swap. This is a Russian arms dealer that was giving terrorists weapons to kill Americans.

Make no mistake: that is dangerous. And if you do this prisoner swap, this is letting Russia know and every enemy we have know, get as many American hostages as you can, because that’s how we’ll get all our terrorists back home.

That is not the way to do it. We need to get these two Americans home, but you don’t do it with prisoner swaps with people that are trying to kill Americans.

EMANUEL: All right. Let’s talk 2024. You’ve been asked before whether you will run for president.

If former President Trump does not, here’s what you had to say last year.


HALEY: If this president signs any sort of deal —

I would not run if President Trump ran and I would talk to him about it. You know, that is something that we will have a conversation about at some point if that decision is something that has to be made.


EMANUEL: Given revelations from the January 6 Committee hearings this summer that President Trump still encouraged the crowd to go to the Capitol on January 6th, even though he knew some of them were armed, that the fake electors plan was illegal and he still put pressure on Vice President Pence at the time. Does that give you any cause for concern? Should he not run in 2024?

HALEY: Well, I think President Trump will decide for himself if he wants to run again. And the January 6 has been a biased committee from the start without anyone pushing back on any of the information they have. So it’s very hard for Americans to trust it.

What I will tell you is, look, if there’s a place for me, I look at the craziness in the world, I look at what’s happening with this woke culture and our schools wanting our kids to decide their gender, I look at the fact that we’ve got men playing women’s sports, I look at the fact that we got our military focused on gender pronoun classes.

What I will tell you is we need to snap out of it. This is absolute craziness. We’ve got enemies trying to come after us and America has been naive, it’s been a weak, and it’s been asleep at the wheel.

I’m just saying, sometimes, it takes a woman. And Margaret Thatcher said, if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.

We should not take our eyes off of 2022. If we don’t win in 2022, there won’t be a 2024. So we need to stay humble, disciplined, and win that.

And then if there’s a place for me, I’ve never lost a race, I’m not going to start now. We’ll see what happens and we’ll go forward.

But we need to get America strong again. We need to start focusing on our foreign policy in a way we haven’t done in a while, and we’re going to need to focus on it for the next 20 years.

We need to bring sanity back to our domestic policy. And we need to start fighting for Americans again — fighting for their wallets, fighting for their children’s education, fighting for opportunities, and making sure we get back on track.

I’ll do whatever I can to make that happen.

EMANUEL: So it sounds like you’re saying there’s a chance in 2024. Have you spoken to your donors about those potential plans?

HALEY: No, we haven’t spoken but we’ve spoken to our donors about helping us win in 2022. We were in Georgia for Herschel Walker. We were in Wisconsin for Ron Johnson and Rebecca Kleefisch. We’re going back for Brian Kemp. We’re going to be in Pennsylvania.

We have endorsed over 50 candidates. We’re campaigning. We’re fund-raising. We put over four and a half million dollars into their campaign accounts. We’re going to fight to win.

But let me remind you and Americans, Mike, winning is half the battle. Proving they deserve to be there when they win is the other half of the battle. We expect every person that is elected in November that they should fight on their first day. They shouldn’t wait until 2024.

We need to see Congress putting bills on Joe Biden’s desk. He can’t veto everything. Instead of jumping on TV and fighting and showing rhetoric, we want to start seeing Congress get something done.

The American people are tired of seeing what’s happening at the border. They’re tired of seeing crime in our streets. They’re tired of seeing an economy and runaway spending.

Let’s get to work. We’ve got to do that for Americans right now.

EMANUEL: Ambassador Haley, thank you. Thank you for your time today.

HALEY: Thanks so much, Mike.

EMANUEL: Back to the action on Capitol Hill as we watch for the latest on the Democrats’ deal and how it could impact inflation. We’ll ask our Sunday group why, with all the president’s new policy victories, the party still faces doubts.



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Now that our meetings with the parliamentarian have largely concluded, we have a bill before us that can win the support of all 50 Democrats.


EMANUEL: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praising the fact that all numbers of his party finally agreed to a massive spending bill after more than a year of quibbling about it as debate continues on the Senate floor.

And it’s time now for our Sunday group.

White House correspondent for “USA Today,” Francesca Chambers, former DNC communications director Mo Elleithee, former RNC communications director Doug Heye, fair and balanced, and Fox News congressional correspondent Aishah Hasnie.

Welcome to all of you.

So, Aishah, let’s start with your day job, Capitol Hill. Big day on The Hill. What’s the state of play?

AISHAH HASNIE, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Keyword, day job. I was not up on that. Thank you, Chad Pergram, to my colleague, for staying up all night and letting me go to sleep.

Yes, so we’re watching this vote-a-rama go on. It started off at 11:00 last night. It continues. I think we’re expecting a final passage vote in the next hour or so. And, look, Republicans are trying to not only slow down the process as much as they can. I think Lindsey Graham said he was going to make this hell for Democrats.

But I think, don’t be fooled. They’re not going to walk away empty-handed. They are getting as much midterm ammo as possible by putting Democrats — having them vote on — taking these very uncomfortable votes.

For Democrats, I think, obviously, if they do pass this, which – which they will, as expected, this will be a win. But my question is, and I think Francesca can speak to this, is, how big of a win? Did it go far enough? Does it make the base happy, particularly progressives? And on top of that, I would even go further and ask, did this process, this year and a half long process, did it do more harm to this party than it did good?

At the end of the day we saw a lot of interparty fighting, a lot of name- calling publicly on Twitter, on the steps of The Capitol, on TV. And then we saw the president, the leader of this party, someone who has many years of Senate experience, someone who was supposed to be the dealmaker, as you even call him in your piece this morning, and he didn’t turn out to be that. This is not happening because of him. And I think several people in the Democratic Party feel a little let down looking for leadership in the president and didn’t really get it.


So, Francesca, you’ve done some reporting on this. The Democrats have put some points on the board in recent weeks, I think anybody would say, but it sounds like the progressives, a lot of them are not happy with where things stand.

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, “USA TODAY”: And Democrats do say that the president is on a hot streak with this. But when you talk to activists and voters and progressive lawmakers, they do want to see more from President Biden. They really want to see him test the limits of his executive authority in the way that his predecessors have. When it comes to issues like immigration, you know, the former president, President Donald Trump, he – he was repeatedly using his executive power under migration. President Obama, he used his executive power to create the DACA program.

What progressives would like to see President Biden do take action on those issues and more, such as abortion rights. Abortion is the number one issue for Democrats heading into the election according to the latest “USA Today”/Suffolk polling.

EMANUEL: Nice plug.

CHAMBERS: And one think that they would like to see him do is they would like to see the president issue a public health emergency on abortion. The White House says, by the way, that that would not unlock a significant amount of additional federal authority or funding, but that is something that progressives have been pushing aggressively for the president to do.

EMANUEL: All right, Doug, as our resident Republican, how will the GOP respond?

DOUG HEYE, FORMER RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR AND DOUGLAS MEDIA FOUNDER: Yes. Look, there should and should focus every day on inflation. Any day that they’re talking about any issue that isn’t what people are paying at the pump and at the gas station and at grocery stores and restaurants is a missed opportunity for them.

So, what we’ve seen in Kansas is Democrats being able to reframe the conversation a little bit and talk about what they want to do. In politics you want to talk about your issue and have your opponent talk about your issue. You don’t want to talk about your opponent’s issue. That’s where Republicans need to be. Any time they’re talking about anything other than inflation, it may be rising crime and immigration, they’re losing a – they’re losing the battle.

EMANUEL: Aishah, this comes as the White House is dealing with fallout of Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

HASNIE: Absolutely.

EMANUEL: What about that?

HASNIE: Yes, we’ve been following this, I would call it a bizarre turn of events happening on live TV. I mean we went from the president on camera after his Saudi trip telling a reporter that the military didn’t believe that this was a good idea. Never got a follow-up answer as to who in the military, who in the DOD actually told him that. And then Speaker Pelosi sort of feeling a little taken aback when she was asked about the president’s comments and said that she never really heard from the president directly.

So I think – I think that was a fair question to ask Senator Cardin, who is leading on foreign policy here, because we’re not really getting, even today, after she has gone to Taiwan and left, we don’t know yet if the White House and the president support that, if they really felt like that was a good idea.

EMANUEL: All right, let’s bring Mo in here.

So, despite some recent Democratic wins, some veteran Democrats still don’t sound happy.

Here’s Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney this week.


ERROL LOUIS, SPECTRUM NEWS: Should President Biden run again in 2024?

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY): I don’t believe he’s running for re-election.


EMANUEL: And here’s how she tried to cleanup on aisle three.


REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY): Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run. I happen to think you won’t be running. But when you run, or if you run, I will be there 100 percent. You have deserved it. You are a great president.


EMANUEL: Mo, what went on behind the scenes?

MO ELLEITHEE, FORMER DNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This is not hard. This should be the easiest thing. Look, Joe Biden has – is — has said he’s running for re-election. There’s no reason to believe he doesn’t mean that. Things might change, but there’s no reason to believe they will.

Democrats have a Democratic president in the White House. A president who is on a bit of a hot streak. A president who is getting things done. And a resident who is consistent — he’s where the center of gravity is within the Democratic Party. He’s maybe inconsistent with the center of gravity with the Twitter activists and with some of the most progressive activists, but he’s where the rest — the majority of the actual party is. So, all this hemming and hawing just makes no sense to me.

EMANUEL: So, the DNC punted on the early 2024 primary calendar. Obviously in recent cycles it’s been Iowa then New Hampshire. What does the president want? What does the White House want? Do they want to lead off with Delaware?

ELLEITHEE: So, full disclosure, I sit on the Rules and Bylaws Committee at the DNC, where we are taking a look at the calendar.

I haven’t heard anything from the White House publicly on what they want, what they would like to see with the calendar. But the committee set out at the beginning of this season to say – at the beginning of this cycle to say, hey, look, we’re just not going to stand on tradition, we’re just not going to stand on the way things have always been done. There are certain things we would like to see in the early primary window. We’d like to see more diversity. We’d like to see more inclusiveness. We’d like to see more battleground states in the process. So, they just through the doors open to any state that wanted to apply.

I think you’re going to see some changes on the Democratic side. The Republicans have said they’re going to stick with the calendar the way they’ve always had it. I think you will see some changes on the Democratic side. And those decisions will be made right after the midterms.

EMANUEL: Mo, I think it’s safe to say that Des Moines on line one and Manchester’s on line two.

ELLEITHEE: They gave some pretty nice swag bags to committee members when they came in to do – to do their pitches.


ELLEITHEE: So, and I appreciate them both. But, you know, we’ll see what happens.

EMANUEL: All right. Thanks, panel.

We will have to take a quick break here.

Up next, former President Donald Trump and other possible Republican presidential contenders take the stage at CPAC.

And does a victory for abortion rights in a red state suggest a sea change in the midterm landscape?


EMANUEL: The Conservative Political Action Conference took place this weekend in Dallas. It’s one of the nation’s largest of conservatives in the country. And the focus was on the message for midterms and where 2024 candidates land on the ballot.

Let’s turn to Jeff Paul, live in Dallas.


JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Mike, the results of the CPAC straw poll are in and former President Donald Trump still the most favored person for a potential 2024 presidential run. And he had it by a wide margin, well ahead of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis. And voters here in Dallas saying that is not a surprise.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I’m thrilled to be back at CPAC!

PAUL (voice over): If there was any lingering doubt regarding who controls favor among conservatives in the U.S., the picture was made crystal clear in Dallas Saturday night.

TRUMP: I just come in, sir, you won the straw poll. I said I’d better damn win that straw poll (INAUDIBLE).

PAUL: Conservatism still runs through former President Donald Trump, and voters point to Arizona as proof.

It was a clean sweep for Republicans endorsed by Trump in primary contests, including a win by former TV anchor Kari Lake, who’s running for governor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the GOP establishment doesn’t get their act together, they’re going to see 10,000 more Kari Lake’s pop up.

PAUL: As we near November midterms, key issues are taking shape. It was the overturning of Roe v. Wade. However, just last week, voters in Kansas voted to protect abortion rights.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don’t think that the left has a monopoly on turning out voters because of Roe v. Wade. I think the right will turn out voters because of that too.

PAUL: But then there’s what happened on January 6th and the hearings that followed. Could that spell trouble for conservative voters?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We’ve kind of had enough. I mean, I think that was a bad day in history, but we’ve moved past that.

PAUL: Many voters saying it all comes down to one issue though, the economy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We’ve got these big social issues, but we still have to put food on the table for our kids.


PAUL: Now, the CPAC straw poll also asked attendees about their most important issues. Number one, election integrity, followed by immigration and then energy independence.


EMANUEL: Jeff Paul reporting from Dallas.

Jeff, many thanks.

And we are back now with our panel.

All right, Doug, as the resident Republican, CPAC. So, you saw President Trump being the headliner. He won the straw poll. Who is CPAC’s audience at this point?

HEYE: You know, CPAC’s audience is really kind of a niche within the Republican Party. It’s a loud activist base, but it’s not the broad Republican Party. Donald Trump’s still the alpha dog of the party, I think we can agree on that, but some of his endorsed candidates win, some of them don’t. What we’re seeing is a diminishment of his standing within the party, but a small one, right? A small diminishment. A small erosion.

And that’s where Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, who, sure, was not coy about what she might want to do, you know, in the coming months, are starting to step up and be more and more vocal.

EMANUEL: Pro-life advocacy a major theme at CPAC, but a pro-choice win in your home state of Kansas this week. How big of a deal?

CHAMBERS: Well, Democrats and Republicans are telling me not to blow this out of proportion. It was one state. And abortion would literally on the ballot in Kansas. This was a ballot measure. And that doesn’t necessarily translate to Democratic wins in Senate races and gubernatorial races this cycle.

But there are some states that are looking at ballot measures. In Michigan, for instance, you could see abortion on the ballot in Michigan. And there is a major gubernatorial race taking place there too. So, it is something that could drive in both parties voters to the ballot box. But, overall, voters are most concerned about the economy. They are very concerned about inflation. But abortion rights also in the top three issues.

EMANUEL: How does this win, Mo, change the calculation for Republicans in the midterms? I realize you’re on the other side of the aisle, but your thoughts on what this means.

ELLEITHEE: Well, you know, look, I think there’s a reason why Doug is one of the smartest message guys in the Republican Party in earlier saying that if Republicans are laser-like — have a laser-like focus on inflation, it should be a good year for them. Luckily for Democrats, most Republican candidates are not listening to Doug Heye right now.

HEYE: They never have.

ELLEITHEE: The fact — that’s why you and I are on TV now, right?

HEYE: Yes, exactly.

ELLEITHEE: No, the — the fact is that more and more of the candidates who were being nominated in these Republican primaries are more focused on issues like election denialism, are – were out there celebrating in the seats when the Hobbs (ph) decision came down and said that they were going to drive more restrictive measures on abortion in whatever offices they won. They’re focusing on the issues that you heard at CPAC. You weren’t seeing a lot of panels at CPAC on inflation, you were seeing panels on the 2020 election and whether it was stolen. You weren’t seeing big thought leaders speaking on how to — on delivering a conservative economic message, you saw Viktor Orban as the — as the keynote.

The base of the party right now, I agree with Doug, is not reflective of where most of the party is. The fact is, in Kansas — I don’t know if you should read too much into it, but 20 percent of Republicans, about, voted with the Democrats and the independents to protect abortion rights. There is a big centrist coalition out there. It feels like Democrats are speaking more to them – they’re not speaking to the Democratic base right now, they’re speaking more to them, whereas Republicans who are speaking to the CPAC crowd might end up being the ones a little bit more out of step.

HEYE: And, Mike, here, electorally, is why that matters. Think of Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin. What do they all have in common? They won their nomination and lost the general election. Republicans have left four Senate seats on the table in the past 10, 12 years and Mitch McConnell is very fearful of some of the Republican candidates, and gubernatorial candidates doing the same thing this cycle.

EMANUEL: So, let me follow-up. So, is this energy over abortion, does that cost Republicans House seats, Senate seats, governors races?

HEYE: Governor’s races I think is where you start to look at that. Pennsylvania and Arizona being the two prominent examples. Otherwise, it’s really hard to extrapolate Kansas affecting a particular congressional race. But it’s that larger conversation. And so as we have these trigger laws, as we have other measures on the ballot, Republicans, if you’re not talking about inflation, you’re losing your – you’re losing your message.

ELLEITHEE: And the one thing I’ll say, the one thing I think you can look at Kansas and – and – and really take note of was the turnout, right? You saw presidential level turnout in a primary where there was really no big Democratic primary going on, right? There’s the –

HEYE: And new voters.

ELLEITHEE: The energy has shifted a bit, and that is something to watch.

CHAMBERS: And no doubt in Kansas you did see in conservative, rural counties, in some cases 40 percent of people voting no on that ballot measure. But I want to come back to the point that you made, Doug, about these untested candidates. The concern I’m hearing from conservative activists is that when Republicans aren’t prepared to talk about abortion, that you could come into instances where you run into races that should have been safe seats or competitive seats for Republicans and then candidates make missteps because they were not prepared to define their position on the issue.

EMANUEL: Aishah, let’s bring you in on midterms here.


EMANUEL: So, publicly, Republicans say midterms will all be about President Biden and inflation.

Let’s – let’s play a clip from Senator John Kennedy of the great state of Louisiana.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): I think a majority of Americans – of Americans right now are thinking to themselves, Republicans are not perfect, but the other side’s crazy. And I think that will be reflected in the elections.


EMANUEL: Aishah, he sounds confident, but are Republicans nervous behind closed doors?

HASNIE: I don’t think that they’re confident publicly or privately. I think if you listen to Mitch McConnell, who just spoke with Bret Baier on “SPECIAL REPORT” right here in this room, I don’t think that you hear confidence. I think he was preparing everybody for the worse-case scenario, saying that he wasn’t sure that they were going to be able to take back the Senate. And I think it’s baffling when all you need is to flip one state. You have four flappable states and you’re seeing Trump-backed candidates not doing well.

Take Pennsylvania for example. Dr. Oz is trailing behind Fetterman, when he had the entire space to campaign freely because Fetterman was still recovering from a stroke. Didn’t take advantage of that.

Down in Georgia you’re seeing the same thing with Herschel Walker trailing behind as well.

I think Republicans privately know what the problem is and they know that it is these candidates. I think publicly they continue to endorse, to support, and to campaign for these candidates. And, at the end of the day, if these candidates can’t win, it’s — you can’t just point the finger at Trump. They’re going to be pointing the fingers at each other too.

EMANUEL: OK, meanwhile, we’ve got Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, out with a pretty slick ad. We’re tight on time, Doug, but your thoughts on what this means about his 2024 ambitions?

HEYE: Look, he’s ready to go. And all he wants is to here what Donald Trump is going to do or not do. And when Donald Trump makes a decision, you’ll –

HASNIE: You think he’ll wait?

HEYE: If he announces — the first person who announces is going to be the first person in Donald Trump’s sites. I wouldn’t advise any Republican to be that person.


EMANUEL: All right, thanks, panel. See you next Sunday.

Up next, we’re on the road to the midterms in Wyoming where we stopped by Frontier Days to find out what voters think about the uphill re-election battle for Liz Cheney.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That’s going to be really interesting election right there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cheney at least has some – some ground to stand on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I’m all for like new blood, new ideas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would vote for Cheney. I think sometimes you have to pick the lesser of two evils.



EMANUEL: FOX NEWS SUNDAY is on the “Road to the Midterms” today in Wyoming, a state with more than half a million people and only one congressional district. Right now three term Republican incumbent Liz Cheney is down in the polls to challenger Harriet Hageman, who was endorsed by former President Trump. And it’s Cheney’s opposition to Mr. Trump that has the entire political world waiting to see who wins this month’s primary.

Fox News correspondent Mark Meredith hit the ground with Cheney, Hagerman, and the voters who will ultimately decide.


CROWD: Three, two, one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Daddy of Em All!

MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In Wyoming, old traditions are proudly embraced by new generations. The least populated state in the country is packed with people who care deeply about its past and future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think individual personal liberties and freedoms really matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People, they’ve got their gun rights. You know, they’re, obviously, a lot of hunters out here.

MEREDITH: Recently, thousands of Wyomingites descended upon the normally quiet capital of Cheyenne for the annual Frontiers Days Festival. And for Wyoming, sole House number, Representative Liz Cheney…

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Takes a lot of skill.

MEREDITH: It was a chance to reassure voters she hasn’t flipped on her party. As one a former President Trump’s most outspoken critics.

MEREDITH (on camera): You think it’s going to be a lot closer than what polls suggest?

CHENEY: Look, I think there’s no question that I am behind, and I’m working hard to earn every single vote.

MEREDITH (voice over): This month, Cheney faces a primary challenge from Trump’s preferred candidate, conservative lawyer Harriet Hageman.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: She’s endorsed by practically everyone and, most importantly perhaps, she’s endorsed by me.

MEREDITH: Hageman, a native of Wyoming, is surging in the polls, even as Cheney’s national profile skyrockets as one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the Capitol riots.

CHENEY: President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.

MEREDITH (on camera): Do a lot of people talk about January 6th here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. I don’t hear anything about that. But there’s – there’s too many other issues going on with – with inflation, the cost of gas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have our support.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don’t want Liz Cheney.

MEREDITH (voice over): Hageman tells us she hears a lot about the economy, but not much about Cheney’s cause.

HAGEMAN: The only time people talk about January 6th is they talk about the lack of due process. And they see that it is a terribly unfair process and they think that they’re focusing on things that the majority of people in the country don’t — aren’t concerned about.

MEREDITH: But now some Wyoming Democrats are rushing to Cheney’s defense and even switching parties to vote in the upcoming primaries.

MEREDITH (on camera): How hard was it for you, as a lifelong Democrat, to vote for Liz Cheney?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was pretty difficult. But, in my opinion, she’s the best of the worst.

MEREDITH: In Wyoming, it’s too big of a state to go door-to-door to campaign, so we’re seeing this race play out on the plains.

MEREDITH (voice over): This billboard, off Interstate 80, with “Ditch Liz” spelled out in huge letters, appears to be convincing some Republicans, including Tom Coons (ph).

TOM COONS, WYOMING RESIDENT: Cheney is not for Wyoming as she states.

MEREDITH: Amid a traditional Native American dance, we met Sandra Iron Cloud (ph).

SANDRA IRON CLOUD, WYOMING RESIDENT: I’d like to share a little bit about, you know, who we are as people.

MEREDITH: A member of Wyoming’s Northern Arapaho Tribe. She says the race is taking away from the state’s pressing problems.

MEREDITH (on camera): You’ve been frustrated with what you’ve seen so far?

CLOUD: In a way, because, you know, politics can get ugly, you know. They need to remember who they’re elected for, the people.

MEREDITH (voice over): Cheney insists her values will stand out to voters, even if it means she falls short on Election Day.

CHENEY: That’s a very Wyoming code of the west sort of feeling of you stand up, you tell the truth, you fight for what’s right.

MEREDITH: But it’s voters who get the ultimate say and will decide which issues the states only House member should be roped into.


EMANUEL: Fascinating. Thank you, Mark.

The Wyoming primary is Tuesday, August 16th. And tune in this Tuesday night to Fox News Channel for full coverage of primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

That’s it for today. I’m Mike Emanuel. I’ll see you tomorrow for “SPECIAL REPORT” at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox News Channel. Have a great week and we will see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

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