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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  May 1, 2011 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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>> chris: i'm chris wallace. libyan leader muammar gaddafi escapes a nato missile attack, but his family doesn't. the latest next on "fox news sunday." a tea party favorite considers a run for the white house. but will congresswoman michele bachmann take the next step? we'll ask her about the budget, libya and what she plans for 2012. michele bachmann, a "fox news sunday" exclusive. then, will congress raise the debt limit or will uncle sam default? we'll talk with two key players. democrat kent conrad, chairman of the senate budget committee, and republican lindsey graham. conrad and graham only on "fox news sunday." plus, with the first republican presidential debate just days away, we'll look at
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the g.o.p. field and whether donald trump blew up a possible campaign with a series of "f" bombs, all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in washington. before we talk with our guests there was a deadly nato airstrike in tripoli last knight. the libyan government says muammar gaddafi was not hurt. but one of his sons and three young grandchildren were reportedly killed. nato calls that report unconfirmed and says it does not target individuals. fox news correspondent domonic di-natale has the latest from benghazi. dominic? >> reporter: the nato strike rose at the compound of colonel gaddafi in tripoli. nato says they weren't targeting any specific individuals, just targeting the command centers there. there is no independent evidence or proof yet that colonel gaddafi's youngest son
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is indeed dead or indeed three children were killed as claimed by the government spokesman last night. some reporters said they did see blood at the site and exploded missile which appears to have come from nato forces. but no confirmation that it's indeed that. many people believe here that it's just another effort by gaddafi to gain sympathy internationally alleging that civilians have been killed. students in munich, and he was brought back just before the uprising. no one has actually seen him. people here are doubting whether or not in fact he has been killed. details yet to be confirmed. people are skeptical about the news. back to you. >> chris: dominic di-natali reporting from libya. thank you for that. with the first presidential debate to be shown on "fox news fox news channel four days away, the
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field is hardly settled. one who will be participating joins us now. tea party candidate, michele bachmann. >> thank you. >> chris: you want to go farther than paul ryan's plan. you voted for the plan to cut spending by $3 trillion more over the next ten years and balance the budget by 2020, not 2040, as paul ryan does. let's take a look at some of the big differences. you want to cut $700 billion more than ryan from medicaid. you want to raise the social security retirement age for people who are now 59. and you would change medicare to a voucher system for those who are now 59. question: paul ryan doesn't go far enough? >> well, remember, both paul ryan's budget and the republican study committee budget changed the trajectory that we're on. we are on a trajectory of failure right now. both paul ryan and the republican study committee were making good responsible choices
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they're trying to get america's house to balance. >> chris: if i may, you're saying let's go even further, faster than paul ryan. >> remember again, what both of the bills are. they aren't pieces of legislation. they're aspirational documents, which means these are goals that we're trying to come toward. one thing that i have heard all across the united united un, people want us to get our financial house in order. they recognize we may not have 26 years to get our financial house in order. we may need to do it sooner. people want to us get serious. people who have been doing this in their own lives and with their own businesses don't understand why washington is taking so long to get our house in order. >> chris: i just wanted to make it clear. you stand by your vote for the republican study committee plan there is nothing in there that you say would go too far? >> remember, this is an aspirational document. it's not legislation. >> chris: would you support all the things we just talked about? >> what i'm saying with the
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vote, we have to make decisions. we aren't saying every single decision that is in that aspirational document will be the final result. but what we are saying is we have a conviction, those of us in the republican study committee, those of us who supported paul ryan that we thank them and applaud them, they want to get in the game and they want to make sure we don't go down in flames with our economy. >> chris: let me ask you about one specific. it may be the most controversy initial both plans. the nonpartisan congressional budget office says that under medicare premium support, which both plans would have, seniors would bear a much larger share of their healthcare costs, than they would under the current plan. what do you tell people nearing retirement who say i can't afford to pay more of my own healthcare costs out of pocket? which is what the ryan and the republican study committee plans would do. >> i understand that. i put an asterisk on my support and a blog posting up
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that said just as much. that is my area of concern. i support these bills with that proviso, because there are a number of people across the united states who expressed the fear you just mentioned. i think that is what we need to do with medicare. sint that we are saying we don't want people to have the healthcare. it's will there be a better way to fund it? i think there is a better way than the way that the federal government is currently funding the program. various ideas were put out on the table. even paul ryan said he was open to tweaking his position that he has staked out. one position i'm concerned about is shifting the cost burden to senior citizens. seniors are saying look, i'm not in a position to handle that. i also share that real fear. that's why i put the asterisk out there. will there be greater efficiencies? i think so. will there be choices and options that we should offer people? absolutely in the private sector, i'm a
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private business person. my husband and i have our own business. what we try to do is offer better solutions all the time for our customers. the federal government isn't keen on doing that. that's what the ingenuity is behind what paul ryan wants to do and what the republican study committee wants to do. new and different ideas. that isn't the be all and end all. we're only just starting. but with the proviso and the asterisk that i'll agree with the concern for senior citizens and their fear that they will have to assume the cost themselves. one thing we also need -- >> chris: let me ask you. you have're not wedded to the idea of a voucher plan for medicare? >> i'm wedded to the idea of efficiencies and cost cutting and savings. >> chris: not a voucher plan? >> how we get there is open to discussion. plus, the other thing that we should focus on would be cures. cures for things like alzheimer's, cures for things like diabetes. it's very expensive to just cover the care for sickness.
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i'd prefer to see money that we have at the federal level go for cures. probably one of the best examples is polio. if you look in the 1950s, polio was a huge issue. government was forecasting at that point that we might be looking at $100 billion in costs. today, polio costs us really virtually nothing. why? a private charity march of dimes put money in to finding a cure. we all have the little vaccines that they came up with. thank god. i would like to see that with alzheimer's and diabetes and others. >> chris: you're a hardliner. i think you would agree on the question of the debt ceiling. you say you won't vote to raise it. you won't vote to raise the debt ceiling unless obamacare is defunded. you suggest that the government should pay its debt first and then worry about its other obligations and perhaps cut some of the spending for other obligations. here is the problem with that, congresswoman.
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deputy secretary neil woland says adopting policy payment should take precedent over other obligation would be default by another name. you are willing to default on our debt? >> let's face it, if we continue on the trajectory we're going right now of borrowing money we don't have, because 41 cents of every dollar the federal government spends today is borrowed money. so every hour we are borrowing $188 million. so about a fifth of $1 billion in the hour you're on today, we will borrow. we can't do that. the music about to end. the game is going to be over. don't let anyone tell you that by increasing the debt limit, the ability for the federal government to keep borrowing, that somehow that is going to show the world that we're even more credit worthy because we're borrowing? very soon, chris, we are going to be at the point where we are going to be borrowing more
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money so that we're essentially having a $4 trillion budget and $2 trillion of it will be borrowed money. we can't live that way. >> chris: here is the question. top officials -- everyone from ben bernanke, the fed chairman to republican house speaker john boehner say this: default will raise interest rates on our debt, which will therefore not lower the deficit, but increase the deficit because we are going to have to pay higher interest rates. it will raise interest rates for mortgages and loans for individuals. and it will threaten our recovery. i want you to give me a single piece of hard evidence that defaming would not be ady sast -- defaulting would not be a disaster. >> who is advocating defaulting? i'm not. that's why senator pat toomey and mcclintock would have a bill to direct the treasury secretary to first pay off all obligation. after that, prioritize spending. >> chris: you just heard the deputy treasury secretary say it's default by another name. >> that is his opinion.
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my opinion is we could go with the toomey-mcclintock plan and pay off the debt first and prioritize. what a shock to the ruling class in washington, d.c. they don't have all the money they want to spend. we never did have that ability -- >> chris: don't you rory -- i mean, don't you worry what the creditors would say, financial markets would say if we don't raise the debt ceiling and we have to start doing that? as i say, everybody from ben bernanke to your speaker, john boehner say it would be a financial disaster. >> well, i don't know if you heard what i said. i am not calling for default. >> chris: but you don't raise the debt ceiling, that is what is going to happen. >> that's not true. what we would do is again, we'd prioritize spending. just because congress authorized spending for various programs doesn't mean that we have to fulfill that spending. if you look at the off-the-chart increase in spending from 2008 until today, we have accumulated $4 trillion in debt just in the time president obama has
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been in office. we just can't do that. just because congress and its wisdom authorized almost 50% more spending than what we can afford doesn't mean we should do it. it's like if my family was overspending or if your neighbor's family was overspending, you cut up your credit cards, you'd sell the boat. you'd sell your vacation home if you had one, you wouldn't be going out to eat. you'd make every decision you could to scale back and consolidate. everyone else is doing that. the only one not doing that is the political class here in washington, d.c. all i'm saying is that if we continue this fantasy of thinking if we can continue to raise the debt ceiling, somehow that will bring prosperity. it's game over. it is not happening. we have to realize we're only accelerating decline for the united states. that is not going to bring us into prosperity. >> chris: i want to switch to foreign policy. you say that we should have stayed out of libya. >> yes. >> chris: we're going to
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have lindsey graham on in a moment. is he wrong when he says in fact we should get more deeply involved and in fact should take out muammar gaddafi? i would also like your reaction to the missile strike overnight that apparently killed some of gaddafi's family. >> well, remember, defense secretary gates said we were not attacked by gaddafi, nor were we threatened attack. he also said we have no vital national american interest in libya. those are the two prerequisite for our united states military entry. he was later asked what our military goal was in libya. he couldn't state what our military goal is. what in the world are we doing in libya if we don't know what our military goal is. and if we sure aren't sure about who the opposition forces are. >> chris: you mean the rebels? >> the rebels. what possible benefit could there be for the united states if in fact we could potentially be benefiting al-qaeda of north africa or hezbollah, which is a strong likelihood? this would be a terrible mistake for this reason. if we give al-qaeda of north
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africa access to sustained revenues from oil, they could continue to fund global terrorism. how is that going to help anyone? this is a disaster in the making. that's why president obama policy of leading from behind is an outrage. and people should be outraged at the foolishness of the president's decision. he said he wanted to go in for humanitarian purposes and overnight we are hearing that potentially 10 to 30,000 people could have been killed in the strike. those are some of the reports. >> chris: in the nato strikes, 10,000 to 30,000 people? >> there is a report that came out from an ambassador from tripoli who said we won't know until we're able to go in. >> chris: the nato strikes killed 10,000 to 30,000 people? >> a report that came out last night from the tripoli ambassador said that potentially there could be 10,000 to 30,000 -- >> chris: you mean the libyans? >> yes. >> chris: so you believe the gaddafi regime? >> we don't know. we don't know. all i'm saying -- >> chris: you think muammar gaddafi is a reliable person?
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>> i don't think anyone thinks that. president obama, his doctrine was to enter in libya for humanitarian purposes. the point of what i'm saying is that we are see manage, many lives lost. including innocent civilians' lives. what will be the ultimate objective and gain? i don't see it. i think it was a foolish decision to have gotten involved. >> chris: we are running out of time. you're a tax lawyer. which may surprise some people. you're a successful businesswoman. the rap against michele bachmann is that you say some -- forgive me -- flaky things. i want to run through a couple of them. one, in marge, you told a crowd -- in march, you told a crowd in new hampshire this. >> new hampshire, what we have in common if our extreme love for liberty. you're the state where the shot was heard around the world. lexington and concord. >> chris: lexington and
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concord, new hampshire. >> after that i promised i'd never use president obama's teleprompter and i intend to keep that promise. >> chris: okay. in 2010, you said this at a tea party rally. >> now the federal government owns or controls 51% of the private economy. we're on to them. we're on to this gangster government. and we are not going to let them have their way. >> chris: briefly, what does "gangster government" mean? secondly, our brain room, the fox news research department checked it out and they say if you add up all the companies that the u.s. government has a stake in -- general motors, chrysler, fannie, freddie, aig, on and on -- it only adds up to 1.3% of the private economy. not 51%. 1.3%. >> well, the numbers that i had gotten were ones that i had read from a professor of economics that said we were over 51%. that was something that was
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reported in the investors business daily. that was my source for that comment. i stand by that source that i cited at the time. the previous question that you had -- >> chris: gangster government. >> yes, i think it is gangster government when you have president obama taking away the property rights of the secured preferred bondholders of chrysler and essentially giving their private property interest to the union interest in chrysler. we had over 3400 pink slips given to dealerships across america by the automobile task force. these are privately owned and held automobile dealerships. the federal government pulled the rug out from under those dealerships and essentially took away their private property interest. that's a gangster government when government makes the decision, as opposed to the free market about who will win and who will not survive. if you are politically connected you survive and if you aren't, you don't. that is a gangster government. >> chris: finally, congresswoman, one last
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question about, explicitly about the campaign. i'm curious about the fact you're appearing here. you appear in a lot of places. but you are unwilling to go up against your fellow candidates in south carolina at the debate thursday night. do you not feel you are ready for primetime? >> well, i was just on primetime yesterday. and the evening before. i was in new hampshire -- >> chris: but you weren't in a debate with the other candidates. >> i was with mitt romney, rick santorum -- >> chris: speeches. >> herman cain. well, we were back-to-back with each other and all on the same topic and all asked questions. i've already been there, done that. i'm not making my formal announcement either way until june. so i didn't feel that it was appropriate to be in the first official debate, which fox will be sponsoring -- >> chris: are you going to get in the race? >> i'll let you know in june. >> chris: congresswoman, thank you so much. thank you for coming in. please come back and tell us whether or not you're going to run. perhaps we'll see you on the
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campaign trail. >> thank you, chris. >> chris: thanks. up next, will congress cut a deal to raise the debt ceiling or is government default an option? we'll talk with two leading senators after the break.
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>> chris: it's getting close to crunch time for congress to act on raising the debt limit or let the country go into default. joining us to discuss what happens next are two key
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senators. democrat kent conrad, chairman of the senate budget committee. and republican lindsey graham. senators, welcome back. >> thank you. >> chris: before we get to the budget, you have seen our report and i'm sure read about it, the report that nato airstrike overnight did not kill muammar gaddafi. but killed his youngest son and three of his young grandchildren. not confirmed by nato. senator graham, perhaps as a member of the senate armed services committee you can confirm or not something in that regard. any case, someone who called on president obama to take out gaddafi, your reaction? >> this is a good move by nato to go after the source of the problem. if you want to protect the libyan people, go after his inner circle. do two things, support the rebels, give them better air cover. get american aircraft back in the game to diminish gaddafi's military and also put pressure in tripoli. in my view, wherever gaddafi goes, he is the command
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leader. he t way to get to this to end is go after the people around him and support network. it support what nato is doing. it'd like to have a pour it on approach to get this over with. >> chris: i know it's against the law to target and assassinate foreign leaders. this doesn't fall under that? >> in my view he is not a foreign leader. he's a murderer. he is killing his own people, acts outside of international law, bombing civilians. he is not the legitimate leader of libya. he should be replaced. nato's construct of protecting the libyan people would allow them, nato and us to use predators to go after the inner circle, his commander and control and i support what they are doing and i'd like the do more of it. >> chris: and him. >> yes. to me he is the source of the problem. he is not the legitimate leader of libya. he should be brought to justice or killed. >> senator conrad, as a member of the senate intelligence committee -- we'll get to your role as budget chairman in a moment -- your reaction? >> look, gaddafi has got to
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go. i said repeatedly you go after the pillars of his power, that is the regimen controlled by his sons. the mercenaries he has brought in from other countries. his money. and his track. those are the four pillars that sustain gaddafi in power. i believe all of those should be targeted and aggressively gone after. you can't allow him to continue. >> chris: when you talk about the pillars, do you have any problem with going after him personally? >> well, we have legal issues, i'm not an expert on. it's stated policy that we are not targeting an individual. but we can target pillars of his power. those are what i describe and what i would endorse. >> i support what nato did. i have thought this was a good use of the mandate. this is the way to end this. thousands of people are subject to dieing the longer this tapes. no one in the world is going to replace gaddafi being
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replaceed, however you do it. i want to thank nato for expanding the scope of the operations and i wished we act earlier and we're on the right track of supporting the rebels and go after the inner circle. everything around him needs to be subject to attack. >> chris: okay. let's go to the budget. senator conrad, you are part of the so-called "gang of six," the bipartisan group, three republicans and three democrats in the senate trying to work out a compromise on the budget. there was a lot of speculation that you had come out with a plan this coming week. now there seems to be a sense that it's not going to happen this week. have you hit a roadblock? >> you know, we have agreed not to talk about the status of our negotiations so i'm going to be good to the commitment i have made to the others that we not talk about those negotiations. but i can say we have made enormous progress in that group. and i hope that we are able to announce an agreement soon. if we don't, we are simply not going to be relevant because the debate marches on. >> chris: that's the thing i was going to follow up with.
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you have said if you don't do it soon, as i say there have been talk this week that you will be irrelevant to the process. how hopeful are you that you will come up with a compromise in time for it to be part of the debate? >> i'm always hopeful. i'm an optimist. look, i have spent eight months on the commission, the fiscal commission. i have spent five months in this negotiation. i would haven't spent all of this time if i didn't think there was a serious chance of reaching an agreement. >> chris: senator graham, one of the big issues -- we were just talking about it with michele bachmann -- is what to do about medicare. let's put up the differences. paul ryan's g.o.p. budget plan calls for $389 billion in cuts and would turn medicare to a voucher plan. president obama would cut $200 billion by having an independent panel find savings somewhere. question: according to the polls, most voters think republicans are in effect if they follow the ryan plan taking away for seniors some
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of their healthcare. >> here is what i tell the public. you have can't balance the budget unless you deal with entitlements. ronald reagan and tip o'neil showed us the way forward. the gang of six is creating the dynamic that leads to solutions. when president obama tried to overhaul the healthcare system in a partisan way, it cost his party. when president bush tried to reform social security and couldn't get one democrat, it failed. so medicare has to be reformed. i like what ryan did. he was brave. in 2022, you will have a chance to buy healthcare with the government support. on medicare. if you are over 55. it doesn't affect you. but at the end of the day, his plan is not going to make it through the senate. if we have a vote on paul ryan's plan, we're not going to get 60 vets. the -- 60 votes. president obama's healthcare reform will not make it through the senate. if they can't come up with something, i don't know what we do. but i do know this: medicare
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is a great program that is going to fail and bring the whole country down with it, like other entitlements if we don't do something. >> chris: senator conrad, you say the ryan plan when it comes to medicare is the word you used is draconian. isn't telling what the president would do, advisory panel to come up with unspecified cuts in the future, isn't that a cop-out? >> i don't think it is at all. i think it's exactly part of the solution. we're going have to do more. look, when i referred to representative ryan's plan as "draconian," what i was speaking of right now a senior pay is 25% of the cost of their healthcare. medicare, 75%. representative ryan's plan is about a fifth that. over time, the individual would have to pay 68% of the cost. i mean, that is a shredding of the social safety net. i just think that is extreme. >> seventy-five cents of every dollar paid for medicare services comes out of the
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general treasury. that is extreme. bill gates should not be having his medicare payment subsidized. nor should kent conrad or lindsey graham. what paul ryan did, he saved it from what i believe is a complete failure over time. if you can get a better way to do it, do it. but just criticizing someone who is trying to fix a problem doesn't impress me. you've got a better alternative, put it on the floor and let's vote on it. >> chris: i want to talk about the most immediate problem, the debt limit. sometime in the next two months is going to come up and you will have to deal with. both of you say letting the country go into default would be draconian -- rather, that is the last one. would be catastrophic. both of you also say you are not going to vote to raise the debt limit unless there is some plan to deal with and to cut the deficit. so let me talk about some of the a tern tiffs -- alternatives. would you support, senator conrad, automatic cap on the deficit. not spending but on the
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deficit. which is what the senate majority leader harry reid is talking about. support spending, not about the tax increase, but talk about spending cuts. or do you need to see actual cuts to vote for increase in the debt limit? >> what i said and said repeatedly, i'm not going to vote for any long-term extension of the debt unless there is a credible and serious plan to deal with the debt. >> chris: is a cap a serious plan? >> i don't know. i've not seen details of it. i have don't know how it works and i don't know if it would work. what i have to see is a comprehensive plan. i want to see the revenue system reformed. fundamental tax reform. i want to see the spending side of the equation dealt with. we have the revenue of the united states is the lowest it's been in 60 years as a share of the economy. spending is the highest it's been in 60 years as share of the economy. we have problems on both sides of the equation. they need to be addressed. >> chris: senator graham? >> the way to fix the money
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problem coming to washington is create more jobs in the private sector. if you raise taxes now to try to solve our budget problems you are going to destroy job creations. the reason we have such low revenue coming in is because the economy is still suffering. so i will do nothing that will hurt job creation. the game is to turn around the ship of state and entitlement reform. i do believe that the debt ceiling is an opportunity to provide leadership that has been missing in the past to prevent america from defaulting on the debt , provide leadership now. kept has the right construct. >> chris: okay. we've got about two minutes left. i want to ask two questions about g.o.p. politics, senator graham and then we'll get you out of here to the rest of your sunday. 40% of republican voters in a poll say they are not satisfied with the current field of potential republican candidates. one, are you? where would you like -- or would you like to see new faces get in the race? >> i think the more choices the party has, the better. but to win the white house,
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you have to win independent voters who are center right. we've got to find a candidate who can play in states all over the country. we have to have our candidate to get the independent voter in our column. i want the most conservative candidate who can win independent votes to capture the white house. that person may not have been in the race yet. but we do have some good choices. i'm not that negative on the field. >> chris: okay. one choice, possibly, donald trump. pushed the birther issue hard. this week -- we'll talk about it with the panel -- made a speech. you are overseas so maybe you missed it, in which he delivered a string of "f" bombs. do you take donald trump seriously as a presidential candidate? >> people in south carolina are going to weed through the field. they will look at the entire capped dassy to the individual. there is a lot of things that trump can be proud of, but some of this rhetoric and focusing on the president's birth i do not think is the way for us to win the white
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house. most americans don't want their president going around saying the "f" word. mr. trump has a lot to offer but he will have a tough sale in south carolina. >> chris: we have to leave it there. senator graham, senator conrad, thank you for coming in. pleasure to talk to both of you. up next, the 2012 presidential race -- 2012 republican presidential race. is donald trump already out of the mix? the sunday panel talks politics when we come right back. and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two. kept watch on the house when they slept. and tomorrow we could do even more. we're cleaner, domestic, abundant and ready now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power today. learn more at is it the new forty, i don't know.
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drop 25% tax on china. the messenger is important. i could have one man say we are going to tax you 25%. and i could say another, listen you [bleep], we're going to tax you 25%. >> chris: well, donald trump dropping an "f" bomb explaining how he would handle china if he were president. it's time now for the sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. nina easton, of "fortune" magazine. bill kristol of "the weekly standard." fox news political an list, juan williams. before we get to this, i want to clear up, because we looked up to what michele bachmann had been saying. she quoted the u.s. ambassador of libya saying 30,000 people had been killed in the nato strike so far. in fact, what embass gore gene kretz said, he estimated that
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30,000 people had been killed by all sides in the entire conflict. that includes the rebels, and the gaddafi forces. so a big difference. in any case, some of us had doubts about donald trump from the start. about running for president. but in a speech thursday, in las vegas, at a casino, he let loose with a string of "f" bombs. let's watch some more. >> want to go in and raise the price of oil. because we have nobody in washington that will sit back and said you're not going to raise that [bleep] price. you understand me? >> our leaders are stupid they're stupid people. >> chris: then at the white house correspondence dinner last night, you may have heard, president obama ridiculed trump. so did the comedian seth meyers. we have more of that later. but i guess the question is, brit, is donald trump done before he even got started? >> well, i'm not sure he's
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done in the sense that, you know, he is going to stop this effort to continue to get attention for himself and go around attacking the administration. but i think as a -- i don't think he ever was a serious candidate for the republican nomination. i don't think there is any way with his record and background and support of democrats so on down the line there is any way the republican party would nominate him for president. i think people say well, he is interesting. and he is. he is colorful. and he is that. but he's pretty exotic character. you see him up there, uttering the things you just showed with the hair in the back looking like he is a page boy. it's inconceivable that he is going to be a serious candidate for president. in either party. >> chris: nina, meanwhile, talk about the people we think are serious candidates. at least five candidates are going to appear in south carolina on thursday at the fox debate. let's take a look at the latest poll from fox news. it shows only two candidates
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now, romney and huckabee in double digits followed by palin, touch, and as you can see, all the others. at this point, is this just name recognition or does this tell you anything about how the g.o.p. field is beginning to shape up? >> it doesn't tell you a lot. i have to do my requisite. my husband is a romney advisor. i went back and looked at polls from april of 2007. so the same time in the cycle last time. so, mccain was at 16%. but his leading people behind him were gingrich and fred thompson. cane then rose, implodeed and rose again. a lot happens between now and then. hillary clinton, as we know, the dominant front-runner. obama was tied with john edwards and gore at this time, during that period. so so much happens. even this week we can tell, haley barbour dropped out of the race. that is already is starting to remake the field. and i also think i'm not sure donald trump is going to run.
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either he is facing the prospect that he was a democrat for all those years. gave money to -- >> chris: registered democrat in 2008. >> exactly. gave majority of his money to democrats. i'm not sure that he, when push comes to shove and he has to release financials about his business dealings and when more starts coming out in the press about his business dealings, i'm not sure he is going to run. >> chris: bill, as we sit here today on sunday, romney has not decided whether or not he is going to participate in the fox debate on thursday. but, you know, you look at the numbers and he is largely stayed under the radar. he hasn't really gotten involved. he hasn't come on any of the sunday talk shows. he is doing just fine. he is at this point maybe by default, the leader so is his strategy the right strategy? or should he be out more, engaging more and dealing with issues; specifically, romney care? >> the issues are a key. we just had a 2010 election. it's very issues-heavy. ideological election.
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very interesting election. and i think to the degree some of the candidates aren't taking office is because they sound the way they sounded in 2007. they're not addressing the current issues. what do they think of the debt ceiling? that will be a huge debate in the next month. people want to hear it. i don't think you can say i'm not a member of congress, i don't have an opinion. why is michele bachmann catching on? she has an opinion and voting on the courage issues of the day. a huge amount will change. mitch daniels, i think the governor of indiana will get in, in the next two weeks and i think mike huckabee will run and get in at the end of august there is still room for the late entries, chris christie, mitt romney types. i know, i'm a little broken record on this. occasionally they're right. broken alarm clocks are right -- i can't remember what that is. twice a day. thank you. i do think it's -- what strikes me the most is the dissatisfaction of the president. they give the stump speeches and there are huge issues going on in washington and
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people want to know what their opinions on them are. >> chris: let's talk about mitch daniels. with haley barbour out, suddenly mitch daniels is coming up a little bit in terms of speculation. and he did something very interesting this week. on friday, he announced that he is going to sign when it gets to his desk the bill that will make indiana the first state in the country to cut all medicaid funds. which are handled by the states for planned parenthood. as a politician, who just a few months ago said there should be a truce on social issues a lot of people are reading the tea leaves and say he is trying to get right with the right and it means he is going to run. >> it looks that way. people interpreted haley barbour's decision not to run as a signal that mitch daniels will get in the race. if you are thinking from a perspective of what will independent voters buy, you have to think they would be interested in a governor who has shown the ability to manage fiscal affairs of the state. mitch daniels is that guy. a solid, serious person. he has experience as budget director.
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under president bush. much admired around this town. for him. >> juan, you are hurting mitch's share. >> i like mitch. >> say something nasty about him. >> the deficit here is he's what you call areamatically challenged. challenged. -- is charismatically challenged. >> chris: but the question is here, less sizzle and more substance might not be a bad thing. >> this is politics here. you have to gave speech and wow a crowd. at some point people have to respond to you emotionally saying that's our leader. >> chris: brit? >> you are trying to find out how the republican field is doing, don't watch polling numbers for candidate. the number to watch are obama polling numbers. also, the numbers like the growth of the economy, which was quite leaguer in the recent quarter. the continued unpopularity of the healthcare program. president obama's abysmal poll
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rating on his job on the economy. these are the things, these broader issues that are thought about here in washington related to the debt, the deficit, the economy. these are the things that are important right now, this is the interesting political fight of our time right now here in washington, not out on the campaign trail for the presidency. these are the things that are liken to determine the position of the race when we finally get around to actually running the race. which really hasn't started. and if the president's condition in these matters does not improve dramatically, any reasonable republican nominee is likely to be. >> chris: you said it for a while. that it's referendum on president obama's record. we have to take a break but when we come back, republicans take their plan to overhaul medicare to the people. and they get an earful. [ chanting ] ♪
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[ chanting ] >> chris: just a taste of what some house republicans heard during the congressional break when they had to defend the g.o.p. budget to the folks back home. we're back now with the panel. nina, it wasn't even close to the scale of the healthcare reform town halls in the summer of 2009. but republican congressmen were taking heat in the recess for supporting paul ryan's plan, especially on medicare overhaul. how big a problem do you think for the g.o.p.? >> i think it's a problem in explaining it. there is two pieces to this. there is whether you move to a premium support plan, which you might short cut call a voucher plan. but and you do that, but the other question is do you put more of the cost burden on seniors by doing that?
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i think michelle bachmann response to that was telling when she was willing to back away on the question of, you know, if it's going to be more of a cost burden on seniors. i think, so i think it is going to be a problem. the other thing that as lindsey graham points out, this is not going to -- this isn't going to get anywhere in the senate anyways. i do think that republicans are serving and paul ryan is serving a huge service to start a very difficult conversation with the american people. are you willing -- medicare cannot continue to exist the way it exists. we do have to make changes. we do have to consider things like means testing. we do possibly -- by the way, the premium support has been supported by democrats. president clinton's commission in the 1990s supported a version of it. it's not that out of the ballpark to be talking about it. >> chris: let's take a look, though, in terms of the political reality, not the policy legitimacy of it. at the latest fox news poll and proposal to cut if deficit.
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reforming medicare to voucher system, 41% favor, 53% oppose. increasing taxes on those making $200,000 or more. 63% support. 36% oppose. bill kristol, are democrats who seem to think that the republicans have handed them a big weapon here, are they right? or are they mistaken in thinking that the medicare overhaul gives them something to win back seniors and score points? >> they are mistaken. ryan plan doesn't touch anyone 55 and older. if the fox poll asked that, 55 and you get current medicare system, the numbers will be different in the next ten years they can tippinger and offer different proposals to reform medicare. it has to be reformed. i'd rather be the party of reform than the party of the status quo when you have a $1.4 trillion deficit. democrat look like the party of sta cuss quo and republicans look like the party of reform. one thing that the republicans
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are thinking of doing is position of the administration, take care of this, or when michele bachmann was deftly handling her your attempts to throw her offstride earlier in the show. extend the debt ceiling. no conditions. you know the speaker should put it on the floor of the house. president deserves a vote on his proposal. see if any democrats vote for debt creeling with no reform or no cuts. then have a debate on the kind of reform and kind of cuts. i think republicans will do fine on the debt ceiling. >> chris: before we run out of time, i want to get to exactly that, juan. as we saw with kent conrad, democratic head of the senate budget committee, growing numbers of democrats are willing to defy the white house and say no, no clean vote on the debt ceiling. you want to raise the debt ceiling, you have to be tangible spending cuts. >> right. people want those spending cuts. and the president has said that there will be, there will
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be spending cuts attached to it. the question is what spending gets impacted? for example, thinking about the ryan budget, versus the obama budget, the american people, polls show, the fox news poll showed people prefer the obama budget. bill says oh, it's just to affect people over 55. in fact, when you ask people, they say they don't want medicare eliminated for young people. they want medicare in place in this country. it is having political damage on republicans. i don't think there is any question looking at the tape of what we just saw, people screaming and shouting at the town hall meeting that republicans have been politically hurt by the stance they take on budget and on the debt ceiling. >> chris: brit? >> two things. one is a lot of the criticism hurled at republicans and not that many of them, at the meetings was organized. it doesn't mean it's not there. but it is a little different. it didn't seem spontaneous. a lot of it that i saw are from people from the looks of them are current medicare
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recipients who do not grasp that they are exempt. so i think that it, that the republicans need to make sure that gets out there and how it's being done. a great many of the younger people i talk to, when you talk about the entitlement program, medicare and social security and others that benefit elderly people don't expect it to be there. they are afraid of the insol generalsy, which is what the ryan plan and owes are trying to address. my sense about this, their constituents and many others ots will not forgive republicans and the independent voters in particular, if they come to the next election not having made a really arduous effort to cut spending and taken some risk to do it in the long run, it pays off. >> and raising taxes even on the rich like you, to raise taxes and you say don't raise any taxes. you just saw the. >> juan, juan, what you want to do is not raise tax rates. what you want to do is raise revenue. the secret to raising revenue is expanding economy. during economic expansions what happens even with the tax
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rates we have now is not only do the rich pay more as they already do, because they pay at a higher rate, but their share of the overall revenue grows in expansion. that's what we need, economic expansion. that's the way to get revenue. put it together with spending cuts and you're on a path to something serious. >> you're about cuts, not raising revenue to allow people making more than $200,000 to pay taxes. >> juan, love you, but some days i think you're deaf. >> chris: you know what? thank you, panel. see you next week. don't forget to check panel plus where the group will pick up with the question of juan williams' hearing on the website we'll post the video before noon eastern time. i'd also like your input for questions to ask at the republican presidential debate thursday night greenville, south carolina. the debate begins at 9:00 p.m. eastern on fox news channel. send your ideas to we can always use the help. up next, the comedian in
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♪ >> chris: they held the white house corespondents dinner last night, which has become the d.c. version of the college prom. washington power players dress up and ming with hollywood stars. for some reason, they want to spend the weekend here. presidents with varying success try to be funny. last night, president obama focused on potential republican opponent who was in the hall.
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>> no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the donald. that is because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. like did we fake the moon landing? [ laughter ] what really happened in roswell? and where are biggie and tupak? >> chris: as the evening went on, trump seemed distinctly unamused. that's it for today have a great week. see you next "fox news sunday." captioned by closed captioning services, inc ú
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