Sen. Rand Paul on top congressional issues; pivotal moment in the battle over gay marriage

Written by Chris Wallace [1] / Published March 24, 2013 / Fox News Sunday

Special Guests: Sen. Rand Paul, Nicolle Wallace, Gary Bauer

The following is a rush transcript of the March 24, 2013, edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

Rand Paul shakes up the political landscape.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: From his marathon filibuster on the Senate floor to his straw poll victory over the GOP establishment, Rand Paul is grabbing headlines and turning heads. Is he the flavor of the month, or a force to be reckoned with in 2016?

We'll ask the Tea Party's favorite son, Senator Rand Paul. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.

Then, a pivotal moment for same sex marriage.

With the Supreme Court ready to hear two cases this week, the rights of same sex couples hang in the balance.

We'll talk with key players on both sides of the debate -- Nicolle Wallace, former advisor to President Bush, and Gary Bauer of American values.

Plus, reengaging in the Middle East.

We'll ask our Sunday panel what the president's trip means for Israel, Iran and Syria.

And, our power player of the week. A changing of the guard for the marine mascot.

All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And, hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Well, there's no doubt about it. Rand Paul is on a roll. His 13-hour Senate filibuster on the president's drone policy spurred new interest in who he is and what he stands for.

So where does he see all of this going?

Senator Paul joins us now from Bowling Green, Kentucky.

And, Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

PAUL: Good morning, Chris.

WALLACE: Ever since your filibuster earlier this month, your standing in the Republican Party has certainly shot up. As we've mentioned, you won the CPAC straw poll and made a major speech on immigration reform this week, and you're going to headline an Iowa State Republican Dinner in May.

Why do you think -- why do you think that you are suddenly such a hot property in the Republican Party?

PAUL: I think people are hungry for someone who will stand up on principle. You know, standing up on the right to trial by jury is something that really a lot of people should agree with, you know, both on the right and the left. And even some on the left were disappointed in the president by not being firm and clear, that everybody has a right to trial by jury, that we would never drone someone in America. And it was disappointing to many that he would not answer the question and it was like pulling teeth and took 13 hours of filibuster for him to finally to say, no we won't kill noncombatants in America.

So, I think it was well worth it and it really served to narrow presidential power which I think is important, to draw our limits.

WALLACE: We're going to get to the substance of the filibuster, a little bit later. But, does all of this attention now, does it increase your interest in and your sense of the feasibility of running for president in 2016?

PAUL: Well, you know, I've always said, I wanted to be part of the national debate. I think the Republican Party needs to figure out how to be bigger and I think I do bring some ideas to that. And so, I've talked with Republican National Committee, the Republican National Committee chairman about things we need to do to be competitive on the West Coast, to be competitive in New England and Illinois.

And I think some of those ideas are more libertarian-Republican approach to things, and I think that a lot of young people are attracted to that. And our party could grow if we accepted something maybe a little different than a cookie cutter conservatives that we've put out in the past.

WALLACE: So, to press my question -- does this increase your interest in running for president? It sounds like the answer is yes.

PAUL: Well, I'm definitely being part of the debate. I think the country is suffering right now, with 12 million people out of work. So I want to be part of the answers to it. Whether or not that actually is me, specifically, running for president, I don't know that yet.

But I know that I think the country is suffering with significant unemployment, stagnation. There is still question whether we are dipping into recession, at this point. And we need something new and the party needs something new to grow and I want to be part of that.

WALLACE: I want to pick up on that, because Republicans, right now, see you and Florida Senator Marco Rubio jockeying for position. At CPAC, you talked about your various ideas -- and we're going to get into them in a moment -- for how to grow the party.

Senator Rubio also talked about it. Let's look at what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R - FL: We don't need a new idea. There is an idea. The idea is called America. And it still works.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Question: is that enough? America still works?

PAUL: Well, I don't think we need new principles. I think the principles we have, we need to be more explicit with. And, instead of, you know, working around and saying, oh, we want revenue-neutral tax reform, I think we need to stand up and say, we want to leave more money in the economy. We want to reduce taxes -- that when Reagan did it, we had 7 percent growth in one year.

That's the kind of I think bold leadership we need but it's not a new principle. We don't have to reinvent ourselves in that way, but we do have to stand on principle. And unless you really stand for something, people aren't motivated to go out and vote for you.

WALLACE: Well, all right, let's talk about what you stand about, immigration, because you came out with your ideas for a comprehensive plan this week, and since then, you are taking fire from both the right and the left.

You call your plan for creating a legal status. Not citizenship, but a legal status, for the 11 million folks who are already here, illegal immigrants who are here. But you're taking fire from the right because you oppose the E-verify system which would make it easier for employers to check whether their workers are in fact legal or illegal.

Why would you oppose that?

PAUL: Well, that's not the main part of my plan. The main part of my plan is trust but verify, that says we have to have border security. Conservatives have always wanted border security before we had immigration reform. The amendment that I will add to the bipartisan plan will ensure that there is border security and that Congress gets to vote on that border security every year, in order for it to go forward.

With regard to E-verify, it's not that I'm opposed to some sort of database check. For example, when you come into the country, I think the country should do a background check on you to find out if you are a felon or if there's a problem. I also think that that -- those who come in and get a work visa should be in the database and that when someone applies for welfare, it should be mandatory that they look at that database to make sure you're not here on work visa, which means you're not eligible to vote and you're not eligible to get welfare.

So I'm not against any kind of checking, I just would prefer the government to be the policeman and not the businessman. It's kind of where it happens, whether it happens, businessmen who have expenses to do this or whether the government should do it.

WALLACE: Let's talk about your idea which is important to you, that it should be Congress. According to the "gang of eight" plan, it would be governors and a commission. They would decide whether or not the border is secure. You want Congress to get into this.    And there are some Republicans who say you're setting up the GOP for a fall because it will be a vote in Congress, it will be very political. A lot of Republicans will say, "Well, gee, we're not satisfied with border security." And, that will only increase their sense of separation from Hispanic voters.

PAUL: I would argue the opposite. I would argue that you're only going to get the conservatives, particularly a Republican House, to pass immigration reform, if we as conservatives are reassured that the border is controlled and that we get to vote on whether the border is controlled. We have not believed in the past that (AUDIO GAP) true.

In 1986, when we normalized folks, they said, oh, you'll get border security -- and a lot of people it never happened. That has soured the debate for some 20-odd years.

So, the only way you get this forward, I think my trust but verify actually will bring the House along. No immigration reform is going to happen unless Republicans in the House sign onto it. And I don't think they'll sign onto it unless you get something like what I'm talking about. And it would include governors as well, it would include border patrol and investigator general, and it would have a matrix of things such as how many people are being captured, how many people, felons are being turned away, that kind of thing and then Congress would vote on it.

The main reason I don't want the president just to stamp it is I don't really trust any president, Republican or Democrat, to do a good enough job to say the border is really secure. Every representative should get to vote on that.

WALLACE: You are, as you mentioned, a libertarian conservative. And in your CPAC speech, you embrace some of those principles. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom, the new GOP we'll need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Let's talk about the personal sphere, because, you would like to relax some of the laws for people who possess and are smoking marijuana. And you also in the Senate have voted against, in fact, to ban -- rather, against a ban on synthetic recreational drugs.

Why are you more lenient on drug laws, sir?

PAUL: The main thing I've said is not to legalize them but not to incarcerate people for extended periods of time. So, I'm working with Senator Leahy. We have a bill on mandatory minimums.

There are people in jail for 37, 50, 45 years for nonviolent crimes. And that's a huge mistake. Or prisons are full of nonviolent criminals.

I don't want to encourage people to do it. I think even marijuana is a bad thing to do. I think it takes away your incentive to work and show up and do the things that you should be doing. I don't think it's a good idea.

I don't want to promote that but I also don't want to put people in jail who make the mistake. There are a lot of young people who do this and then later on in their 20s, they grow up and get married and they quit doing things like this, I don't want to put them in jail and ruin their lives.

Look, the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use, and I really think, you know, look what would have happened, it would have ruined their lives. They got lucky, but a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don't get lucky. They don't have good attorneys, and they go to jail for these things and I think it's a big mistake.

WALLACE: Actually, it would be the last three presidents, but who is counting?

Let me ask about a different issue.

PAUL: Yes, there you go.

WALLACE: The Supreme Court will hear arguments on same sex marriage this week. You say the federal government should stay out of this issue and leave it as it has been traditionally left to the states.

Should the court, therefore, strike done the Defense of Marriage Act, which is one of the cases that's going to be hearing this week, which bans federal benefits, for same sex couples, who are legally married in their states? Would you strike down that as federal interference in a state matter?

PAUL: You know, I think it's a really complicated issue. I've always said that the states have a right to decide. I do believe in traditional marriage, Kentucky has decided it, and I don't think the federal government should tell us otherwise. There are states that have decided in the opposite fashion, and I don't think the federal government should tell anybody or any state government how they should decide this. Marriage has been a state issue for hundreds and hundreds of years.

DOMA is complicated, though, because DOMA does provide protection for the states from the federal government. But, then, you're right, part of it federalizes the issue.

I think there's a chance the court could strike down the federalization part of it. If they do, I think the way to fix it is maybe to try to make all of our laws more neutral towards the issue, and, I don't want the government promoting something I don't believe in. But I also don't mind if the government tries to be neutral on the issue.    You know, the tax code, I'm for a flat income tax and we wouldn't have marriage as part of the tax code. Health insurance, I think there is a way to write it where it would be neutral and you wouldn't bring marriage into the whole idea of health insurance.

WALLACE: I want to go back to your filibuster, in which you argued against the president's drone policy, especially, with regard to targeting of American citizens on American soil. After you would filibuster for 13 hours, you got this letter from Attorney General Holder, in which he wrote: "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil? The answer to that, is no."

Senator Paul, after your filibuster you said you were happy with that letter, but, in fact, doesn't it leave a huge loophole because it seems to me, what Attorney General Holder is saying, just by implication, or -- is that the president does have the authority to use the drone strike on an American on U.S. soil, who is involved in combat.

PAUL: Well, see, here's the thing is, I have never argued against -- if people are attacking the Twin Towers with planes, an imminent or active ongoing threat, I never argued you wouldn't use drones or planes or F-16s to repel that kind of attack. The problem is, is that a lot of the drone attacks, are targeting killing overseas are killing people not actively engaged in combat. And that's another debate.

But that standard cannot be used here. If you are accused of being associated with terrorism, which could mean you are an Arab- American and you've sent e-mails to a relative in the Middle East, you should get your day in court, and I think you should get a lawyer and a trial, and I think most Americans agree to that.

Is the -- did the president completely slam the door on not using drones? No, I think there's wiggle room in there, but we did force him to at least narrow what his power is and that was my goal.

WALLACE: Senator Paul as I was studying up for the interview and hearing you today, I'm having some difficulty figuring out exactly where you are on the political spectrum, because in some sense, you are to the left of Barack Obama when it comes to drones. On the other hand, you are to the right of Congressman Paul Ryan, whose budget you oppose, voted against this weekend, in the Senate, because you say that it doesn't cut the budget -- balance the budget fast enough.

Do you think there's room for a realistic, feasible presidential candidate who is to the left of Obama on some issues and to the right of Paul Ryan, on other issues?

PAUL: I think we have a confusing spectrum, this left-right spectrum doesn't always work for people but I think because of some of that confusion, it shows that someone like myself, I think, could appeal to young people, independents and moderates, because, many of them do think it's a mistake to put people in jail for marijuana use and throw away the key. So, I think there are people who would like a less aggressive foreign policy. There are all kinds of issues that don't neatly fit in the left-right paradigm that I think would help, because we're not doing very well in a lot of these states, these purple and blue states. So, we do need a candidate that would appeal across the left-right paradigm.

WALLACE: Just briefly, we've got 30 seconds left, though. I think your budget which would balance the budget, your plan, would balance the budget in five years, Paul Ryan's, which has come under attack for balancing it in 10 years, you've introduced it three consecutive years in the Senate, the most votes you got was this weekend when you got 18 of 100 senators. I mean, isn't it out of the mainstream?

PAUL: Well, the thing is, I think the legislature is about 10 years behind the public. For example, I have introduced amendments to quit sending money to Egypt and build bridges here in the United States instead of in Egypt. And I bet you 90 percent of the American people agree with me but 80 percent of my senators disagree with me. So, I would argue the Senate is not up-to-date with what the people really want.

WALLACE: Senator Paul, we're going to have to leave it there, thank you so much for joining us, and it's always good to talk with you, sir.

PAUL: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, the Supreme Court will hear two cases this week involving same sex marriage. We'll have a fair and balanced debate about what the court should do when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

C. WALLACE: People are already starting to line up outside of the Supreme Court, camping out in the Washington chill, to hear arguments on a pair of high-profile same sex marriage cases starting Tuesday. The justices will spend two days on the cases which, potentially, could decide the rights of same sex couples.

Joining us from Connecticut, Nicolle Wallace, former advisor to President George W. Bush, who supports same sex marriage. And, here in Washington, Gary Bauer, president of the group, American Values, who opposes it.

Welcome to both of you.

GARY BAUER, AMERICAN VALUES: Thank you. Good to be with you, Chris.

NICOLLE WALLACE, FORMER ADVISOR TO PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: Thanks, Chris.

C. WALLACE: Nicolle, you and more than 100 other prominent Republicans have filed a brief in the Supreme Court case, in which you argue the court should overturn Proposition 8. That was a constitutional amendment, approved by California voters, which said that marriage -- only marriage between a man and a woman is valid. You want to overturn that.

Explain to us why your position is consistent with conservative values.

N. WALLACE: Well, first of all, the people who will stand before the United States Supreme Court, are Ted Olson, who was President Bush's solicitor general, one of the most respected legal minds on the right, and David Boies, who represented President Al Gore on the recount.

So, these are -- this is a conservative legal argument that they will be advancing. They will basically lay out the conservative case that there is not any place in the Constitution that allows for a different set of rules for a different class of people.

There's also a moral imperative here. If you believe, if you value and treasure and revere the institution of marriage, then you should want every family unit to be -- to be really wrapped in marriage, and, if you believe that children are best raised in families where both of their parents are married, then there is certainly no other answer than to overturn something like Prop 8, which would deny an entire class of people access to this revered institution.

C. WALLACE: All right. Gary, conservatives like Nicolle and Ted Olson, very conservative lawyer, in his brief, on her side, to overturn Prop 8, say that same sex marriage advances limited government, individual freedom, and family values.

BAUER: Yes, Chris, well, look, you don't advance limited government by being an anti-democratic movement that is attempting to take this issue away from the American people. What the brief is asking for and what the groups waiting outside the Supreme Court are asking for, is for unelected judges to deny the people of the states the right to decide what marriage is in their state.

Over 30 states in this country have voted that marriage is between a man and a woman and, of course, the votes are only being held because there has been this radical movement in the last couple of decades that's trying to redefine marriage. So, it's a profoundly un-conservative thing.

It, in fact, is the kind of brief that Nicole and the others have signed, that I would expect from liberal Democrats, who -- let me finish the sentence -- who have used the courts for the last 30 years to force radical social change time and time again.

C. WALLACE: So, are you saying, then, you would oppose a striking down of a right to same sex marriage? You want to leave it in the state legislature?

BAUER: Look, I would prefer every state in the union keep the definition of marriage that's prevailed in Western civilization for a couple thousand years. That doesn't look like that is going to happen.    So, I certainly at this point would prefer the people of the states to make the decision, as they have -- and, by the way, Chris, it's worth mentioning that the briefs that Nicolle is supporting, which supports the judge, the Prop 8 judge, that somebody ought to read his decision, his animus, his hostility to people of faith, was disgusting.

C. WALLACE: All right. He's not here to defend himself, but, people can read it if they want.

The other case that the court will hear -- and there are two big cases -- involves the Defense of Marriage Act --

BAUER: Right.

C. WALLACE: -- which President Clinton signed in 1996, which bans federal marital benefits for same sex couples who are legally married in their states.

You have acknowledged that states have the right to declare, to decide that same sex marriage is legal.

As a conservative, isn't marriage a state issue and, therefore, should federal interference, wouldn't that be unconstitutional?

BAUER: Well, I don't think so. And neither did a Democratic president and overwhelming majority --

C. WALLACE: He now has changed his mine, though.

BAUER: Well, of course, a lot of people are changing their minds because there's been a full-court blitz of -- blitz by the popular culture, by elites and all kinds of folks to intimidate and to cower people into no longer defending marriage between a man and a woman.

N. WALLACE: Chris --

BAUER: By the way, one other point --

C. WALLACE: Wait, wait, let me bring -- go ahead, Nicolle.

N. WALLACE: Chris, Chris, the biggest problem that Mr. Bauer faces, not just this morning but moving forward is that more than 65 percent of his own base, self-describing evangelical Christians, under the age of 33, support marriage equality. Eighty percent of people in the country, right, left, Democrat, Republican, man, woman, support marriage equality. More than 60 percent of all Americans, everyone, supports marriage equality.

And that very some activist court that he railed against with such hostility this morning always sides on the side of freedom. They are the same court that overturned gun bans, for overreaching.

BAUER: Nicolle --

N. WALLACE: They're the very same court that overturned campaign finance reform for overreaching. So, we can despise the courts for its activism when we don't like their behavior, but we can't say that this a court --

C. WALLACE: Let me --

N. WALLACE: -- that always sides on the side of liberals.

C. WALLACE: Nicolle, let me pick on this --

N. WALLACE: You can interrupt me all you want.

BAUER: That's the moderator --

(CROSSTALK)

C. WALLACE: That's me. Nicolle, that's me. It's not Gary.

But, I'm just trying to play traffic cop here.

N. WALLACE: Sorry, Chris.

C. WALLACE: Would you like to see the court rule that there is a constitutional right to same sex marriage, and what about the argument that if you do that, that you preempt the political debate that has gone on in this country?

I want to put up a quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the justice, who was a big supporter of abortion rights but has problems with Roe versus Wade, and she said, it's not that the judgment was wrong, but, it moved too far, too fast. She said the reason we are still arguing about abortion, 40 years later, is because it came down through a judicial fiat when it was being worked out by the states.

N. WALLACE: Yes, look, I think that we all know, especially from watching the health care decision, that just came down, that there are about, I don't know, 10 different things the court could do. They could strike narrowly the Prop 8 decision. They could have a more broad ruling and we'll wait and see what they do.

But, what's going to happen in the country is that, eventually, there will be nobody left to book on a show like this to debate both sides of the issue. Eventually, as time marches on, this is a country that believes pretty squarely in marriage equality.

C. WALLACE: But if that's the case -- if that's the case then why not just let the state legislators do it and not ask the court to declare some overwhelming new constitutional right?

N. WALLACE: Well, you just heard from Rand Paul. Legislatures are about 10 years behind the public. So I think Senator Paul just gave you a pretty good reason not to do that. But I can't -- I can't instruct the Supreme Court what to do. We'll see what they do this week.

C. WALLACE: OK.  

BAUER: Well, Chris, that's exactly what the brief does. It tries to instruct the Supreme Court what to do and frankly, the argument that the public is overwhelmingly in favor of same sex marriage, Chris, is ludicrous. Thirty-three states have voted to keep marriage the union of one man and one woman.

You touched on the key issue here -- if it was so obvious that the American public wants to try a radical social experiment that results in children in those households, definitely, definitely, not having a mother and a father, that's what makes marriage a special institution. It guarantees that women -- that children have mothers and fathers.

If the opinion of the American public was so overwhelming the gay rights movement and their allies like Nicolle would not be asking the Supreme Court to say to the American people, you have no say on this issue. We're going to decide it here in Washington, D.C.

C. WALLACE: Wait, The Washington Post had a new poll out this week, let's look at what it said. I take your point about the fact the vast majority of the states banned it. Fifty-eight percent now thinks same sex marriage is legal, 36 percent, illegal. Ten years ago, the numbers were reverse -- 37 percent legal, and 55 percent legal.

And there is a big generational shift, among people between the ages of 18 and 39, the margin is 70 percent to 27 percent.

Now, I'm not suggesting that, you know, big, deep, moral and constitutional issues should be decided by polls. But, you are also a Republican, and in addition to being a social conservative. Do you worry that this only puts the Republican Party further out of touch with the mainstream of American voters?

BAUER: No, I'm not worried about it because the polls are skewed, Chris. Just this past November, four states, very liberal states, voted on this issue. And my side lost all four of those votes. But my side had 45, 46 percent of the vote in all four of those liberal states. In fact, those marriage amendments that I supported, that would keep marriage of a man and a woman, out ran Mitt Romney in those four liberal states by an average of five points.

C. WALLACE: All right.

BAUER: Let me say, though, on the Republican Party --

C. WALLACE: No, I've got -- we're out of time and I've got to go to Nicolle. I just want to ask one final question.

How important -- and again I don't think the politics of this should be the determinative factor, and hopefully won't be in the Supreme Court -- how important do you think same sex marriage is as a gateway issue for Republicans maintaining credibility with new younger voters?

N. WALLACE: I think what is most important is that the debate remains civilized, that it remained intellectual, that it remained this debate about the role of marriage in our lives. And I think that we have to have room in our party for both Mr. Bauer and me.

C. WALLACE: Well, on that note, an unusual agreement, Nicolle, Gary, thank you both. Thanks for talking with us and we'll hear what the justices have to say when they consider these two cases this week. Thank you both for coming in.

BAUER: Thank you.

C. WALLACE: Up next, we're going to continue this discussion with our Sunday group. Will the Supreme Court make a sweeping decision or decide these cases on narrow grounds?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: My opinion is borne out of my childhood, my faith, my beliefs. That marriage is between one man and one woman.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CA, HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: Here's what I think about it, DOMA is definitely unconstitutional.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: House Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi on opposite sides of the two same sex marriage cases including DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act that the Supreme Court will hear this week. And it's time now for our Sunday grill. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams. Speaker Gingrich, you oppose same sex marriage, but you want to see the court make a sweeping decision or you'd rather see a narrow decision that basically leaves this where it is now in various state legislatures.

NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA, FMR. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's ironic to be your last guess who was in favor of same sex marriage, was making the point, look at the percentage of support for it. Well, that is true, then over time the American people will indicate that through elections, through primaries, through referendums. I think that one of the lessons of Roe versus Wade is, then the court goes too far, it actually weakens our respect for judicial institutions. They would be far better off to decide these two cases on the narrowest possible grounds.

WALLACE: So you wouldn't want to see a sweeping decision against same sex marriage.

GINGRICH: It's a huge mistake. It would further undermine respect for the judiciary.

WALLACE: Senator Bayh, how far would you like to see the court go and how far do you expect the court to go?  

EVAN BAYH, D-IN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Your second question, Chris involves, they are trying to read the mind of Justice Kennedy and if I had to guess, my guess is that he would be reluctant to strike down the laws of the 41 states that currently prohibit same sex marriage or only allow civil unions. But, on the other hand, seize the broad sweep of history here, the direction the country is moving, which is to embrace same sex unions more robustly. I think I will see some sort of middle ground.

WALLACE: And what would you like to see?

BAYH: I think the time has come for our society to accept this union between two individuals. I think it is, from a conservative point of view, individuals supporting one another, supporting their families, so that society at large does not have to, it's good for the rest of us.

WALLACE: But, would you like to see the court declare some big constitutional right in this regard or would you rather leave it in the political arena?

BAYH: Oh, I would prefer to see us have a uniform standard for the country. But, 20 years from now, Chris, I don't think it will matter. I think it will be legal in all 50 states.

WALLACE: Jennifer, you are for those who don't know it. You're a first-timer here on this -- on the panel, a conservative columnist and blogger for the "Washington Post." You have written, "Social conservatives have already lost the battle among voters on same sex marriage and should leave it up to the political process." What do you mean, that they've lost the battle?

JENNIFER RUBIN, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, if you look at the polls that your previous guests were talking about, there has been a sea change, and, among conservatives, among Republicans, among all Americans, and I think, in ten years or 20 years since the senator said that we are not going to be talking about this anymore. So, I think you are seeing a movement, a swift movement, particularly, among younger people. I don't think that the Supreme Court would be wise to follow in Roe an preempt the field by holding a 14th Amendment right to gay marriage. I think it should be left to the states and I think that is where the gay marriage proponents, I think, are going to have a field day. They are making the argument, they are persuading Americans, one by one, state by state, I think you get a legitimacy from the political process that the court doesn't land to this major social issues.

WALLACE: But what about the argument that Gary Bauer made, and the statistics are on his side, that the vast majority of states, I think, it's what -- well over 30, have banned same sex marriage. When it has come up for a vote.

RUBIN: Well, that is the beauty of the 10th Amendment, is that you do have states that are allowed to determine their own fate and I think if the gay marriage proponents are successful and they have been so far, that gradually you will see that number decrease. I personally don't have a problem if Alabama or Louisiana or another state now wants to maintain that. But, by the same token I think over time this will shift. Young people are befuddled when conservatives say, there should be only marriage between men and women. Over 80 percent of young people feel differently. So it may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but I think in another ten or 20 years this is going to be a decided issue.

WALLACE: Juan, how do you see this as both a legal issue and also as a political issue?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, on the legal side I just don't think that you can deny a human being, an American citizen their constitutional right. And under the 14th Amendment you have an equal right, it seems to me, to marry. If you want to say, to somebody, listen, I think the court has two big options here, one is called the eight state solution, which is where you say, you know, that these are states that say you can have civil marriage, but you can't have marriage per se, you can't have a gay marriage. Well, if that's the case, then why are you stigmatizing marriage in this situation? In the California case it would be a matter of revoking something as you have been granted the right to marriage.

So, in both situations, it seems to me, wait a minute. You have a constitutional right. You're a human being, you are an American citizen, you should have equal rights, coast-to-coast. But you asked the critical question, I think that's what the rest of the panel is talking about this morning. The politics of it are that if the court rules, everybody is going to be angry at the court, everybody who doesn't like it will say, that Supreme Court, they are trying -- they are an elite and they are trying to tell us what to do. Justice Kennedy, who Senator Bayh said is likely the swing vote, say, (inaudible). You know what, you can't have nine unelected people who are narrowly focused on the law, making big decisions for the country. So, if that is the case, if that is the way they feel, they are going to make a political decision, and say, it is up to the states, let 'em do what they want. But that is not a matter of the Constitution, and constitutional rights.

WALLACE: I want to bring in Speaker Gingrich. Do you think that Justice Williams is right on the Constitution?

GINGRICH: Well, two key points here. First of all, when the founding fathers decided to replace the articles of confederation, they wrote the most elaborate campaign brochure in history called "The Federal Papers". They went to the people of the 13 individual states and they said we have to gain legitimacy from your vote. They didn't figure out some elite way to have a coup d'etat. Second, there is a core question here. There is no constitutional right invented magically, you know, 150 years, after an amendment. I mean, we have been through this cycle over the last 40 years, where we think that a handful of judges, by five to four decisions, get to pretend they are a constitutional convention and I think it is a very dangerous process across the system.

WALLACE: What about the argument, the 14th Amendment, equal protection under the law?  

GINGRICH: Well, that has never, ever been applied in this case and I'm suggesting to you that is the whole point. 150 years after we adopted an amendment the current generation by five to four among this elite decides, oh, it has a totally new meaning. Then why have an amending process, why not just eliminate all the amendment process and say as long as the five out of nine judges agree we have a constitutional ...

WALLACE: OK. Let me ask you about one other aspect. The other case, which is DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which basically says the federal government will not allow benefits for couples who in their states have been legally married.

GINGRICH: I think that is a much harder problem, not just for the court, but for conservatives, and I've made the point in December. I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe in fact that Pope Francis's arguments about relativism are pretty powerful, but I also believe there are facts on the ground. And, one of the facts is going to be, as state says we are going to limit marriage between a man and woman but, by the way, American citizens visit from a different state. Now, what happens to that situation? I mean, I think we are now going to be in a muddle, but I actually think for the health of the country it is better to have the muddle in the legislative bodies and in politics than it is to have it cut through by five people on a five to four vote.

WALLACE: You know, we should point out it is very interesting, I didn't realize this: the case that is going before the court

WALLACE: involves a woman, a lesbian who was involved for many years in a marriage, her partner died. And, she is not getting the exemption that a normal spouse, a heterosexual spouse would get, so she has to pay taxes on the entire estate that's been left to her. So, I mean this is a direct case and this gets to what Rand Paul was talking about, Senator Bayh, the question of should marriage be part of the tax code?

BAYH: Well, this is the muddle that we're in now, Chris, and it could be that the middle ground that Justice Kennedy tries to strike is not finding an equal protection issue here, but respecting the decisions of the states, so that a woman in this case, if she came from a state that recognized same sex unions would be entitled to the -- have that union respected and all the inheritance benefits and others that would come along with it.

WALLACE: All right. We have to take a break here, but when we come back, the president's trip to the Middle East. What markers did he set for Iran? Syria? And relations between Israel and the Palestinians?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: Check out FoxNewsSunday.com, for behind-the-scenes features, panel-plus, and, our special Monday preview of the week ahead. You can find it, at FoxnewsSunday.com and be sure to let us know what you think. Stay tuned, for more from our panel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The United States often finds itself in a situation where if it goes in militarily then it is criticized for going in militarily, and if it doesn't go in militarily, then people say, why aren't you doing something militarily?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: President Obama in the Mideast this week defending his refusal to take direct military action to help the rebels in Syria. And we are back now with the panel. So, the president is continuing -- and I was thinking how to describe it, this half in, half out policy with regard to the civil war in Syria. He is expanding training and expanding intelligence support for the secular rebels, but this at a time while the al-Qaeda-linked Al Nusra front of rebels is Islamic Jihadists, seems to be strengthening and meanwhile the bloodshed continues. Speaker Gingrich, it is a tough issue. What is the right answer?

GINGRICH: I think we have a massive bipartisan failure that is extending now over a decade to be honest about how hard this problem is. I think it's all going to get worse, it's going to get worse in Libya, it's going to get worse in Egypt, it's going to get worth in Syria, it's going to get worse in Iraq, it is going to get worse in Iran. It's going to get worth in Afghanistan.

WALLACE: So, what should the president do, do we intervene militarily and then set up the possibility for these Jihadist rebels?

GINGRICH: Look, that is the problem. I mean we have no national strategist, we even didn't begin the debate yet on how you're going to live in a world where you have people -- let's talk about peace process. Which is an insanity. The president arrives, the morning he arrives there are rockets fired into Israel and we blithely talk about a peace process as though one faction of the Palestinians could deliver it if they wanted to. The fact is the most militant faction of Palestinians want to destroy Israel, Hezbollah wants to destroy Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood wants to destroy Israel, Iran wants to destroy Israel and western politicians go around along with the media and blathered about, oh, if only we had a peace process. With whom?

WALLACE: This week, Carl Levin the Democratic Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee joined John McCain in calling for the president to consider airstrikes to take out the Syrian government's Air Force and Scud missiles. Senator Bayh, you know, the same question I had for Speaker Gingrich. What should the president do in Syria, given all of the complications, and, how important was this rapprochement, this reconciliation that the president helped broker between Israel and Turkey, both of them have a dog and a hunt when it comes to the Syrian civil war.

BAYH: Well, as the speaker said, Chris, the situation in Syria has been a mess for a long time. It's likely to be a mess for a long time, no matter what we do. And there are deep religious and ethnic differences there, the likely endgame here is a civil war that will involve ethnic cleansing and a whole list of other things. Why on Earth would we want to get ourselves directly in the middle of that? So, I think the president has decided with no good option, to pursue the best of bad options, which is use covert means, use allies, trying to support indigenous groups that are more favorable to us, rather than directly implicate ourselves. Now, with regard to what you said about Carl and my friend Senator McCain, I would make an exception for that when it comes to weapons of mass destruction. If we have solid intelligence that chemical and biological weapons are about to fall into the hands of Hezbollah or al Qaeda, then you go in, you act along with the Turks and others to do what has to be done.

WALLACE: But not just to intervene in the civil war?

BAYH: No, but we have a strategic interest in ensuring that weapons of mass destruction don't, you know, get out of -- get out of Syria. With regard to Turkey and Israel. That was -- the forces of stability are few and far between in that part of the world. It is important that those that do favor stability, Turkey and Israel would be among them, be on the same page. They had a difference, and the president served the role of bringing them together. And that is the useful thing, but the final thing I'll mention, Chris, the takeaway from this trip, we won't really know for a long time. I suspect there were a lot of conversations about Iran going on in the background and what to do over the next 12 months when we do reach red line with regard to Iran. I think that ultimately will be the key take away.

WALLACE: Jennifer, help me make sense of all this.

RUBIN: Well, I think we have this Hobson's choice, because the president was so passive for so long. The choices are not between doing nothing and doing everything. If the president had moved more swiftly and not gone to the U.N. three times, and had a mother may I situation, which the Russians of course blocked, we might have been able to prevent an early -- a long, rather, prolonged fight. Now we have 5,000 Jihadis who are all over Syria. Have we moved more swiftly not only to drop these preposterous position that Assad was some kind of reformer, but to sanctions, to a covert aid, to outreach to the secular elements early on, we would now not be in a situation where we have 5,000 Jihadis. The lesson of this is not never do anything, the answer is, the American leadership is crucial in that part of the region. That part of the world. Now, with regard to Turkey and Israel, I sure hope that Bibi Netanyahu got something good for this. Because what he essentially did was apologize for defending Israel. The U.N. of all places, passed a report, put out a report, saying that Israel was justified in self-defense, they were justified in the ...

WALLACE: Just quickly, what this all -- was that three years ago, a Turkish ship with peace people and aid an aid activists tried to breach the Israeli blockade of Gaza to bring supplies to the Palestinians in Gaza, the Israelis raided it. It ended up killing nine of the people.

RUBIN: That was not just peace and humanitarian people, there were people with weapons, people who attack, people who threw Israeli soldiers into the sea. So, we have the U.N., who issued a report, remarkable for the U.N., saying, Israel had a right to defend itself, Israel had a right to maintain that blockade as any independent country. Now the president who is leaning on Israel to solicit some type of apology. Did Israel get something in return? I sure hope so, otherwise it makes it look like once again, Obama is leaning on the Israelis. Very bad signal to the rest of the region.

WALLACE: Juan, I'm going to switch subjects on you. With all the focus on Syria, all the focus on Iran there was relatively little talk about the prospects for a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But the president did address it in this speech, in Jerusalem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Peace is possible. It is possible.

(APPLAUSE)   OBAMA: I'm not saying it is guaranteed. I can't even say that it is more likely than not, but it is possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Juan, the big news here, is that the president seemed to be dropping his insistence that Israel had to stop its settlement construction first before there were direct talks and in fact he kind of leaned on the Palestinians and said, look, if you make a final deal the settlements will take care of themselves. How big a movement is that?

WILLIAMS: Well, it's a big movement in terms of reframing the discussion because at the moment everybody is frozen, stalled. They can't come to a decision about the settlements because you know, obviously the Palestinians view it as occupied territory, the Israelis are moving in and the Israelis view it as a matter of their own security and their own rights. If you simply focus on these settlements, we are not going anywhere, but if you are able to reframe it and say, look, Israel has to have its security rights and we want sovereignty for a Palestinian state, get back to the two-state solution discussions, hopefully you can open some minds and, again, return to the table. You know ...

WALLACE: But let me just ask, though, what Speaker Gingrich said, which is, who -- you don't really have a reliable partner to negotiate with?

WILLIAMS: No, I think again, if you take that perspective and you throw your hands up and say, well, we can't do anything. To the contrary, I think there are a number of Arab states who have a strong interest in seeing some solution -- solution, in part, because they are threatened by Iran and by what may take place in Iran. They have a real reason, the sectarian crisis taking place in the Middle East, to see some kind of motion here that would help to prevent Iran from getting stronger.

WALLACE: And at last, Speaker Gingrich, big picture of how do you assess the president's Middle East trip, what did he accomplish, what didn't he?

GINGRICH: We won't know for six weeks or two or three months. I mean if in fact, this is the beginning of a real relationship between Erdogan and Netanyahu ...

WALLACE: It's the Turkish prime minister ...

GINGRICH: Turkish prime minister and the prime minister of Israel, that's a big deal. If this was a temporary moment, then it's irrelevant. What people need to remember is, Turkey is now under enormous pressure as is Jordan from all the refugees, I think there are over 2 million Syrians now in Turkey. So, this is a much more complicated world than just Israel and Palestinians. There is a swirling kaleidoscope of problems that are growing in the Middle East. And, of course, at the heart of all of it, they are sitting in Iran, watching this, I think building nuclear weapons and biding their time to dominate the Gulf.

WALLACE: On that happy note, thank you, panel, see you next week.

(LAUGHTER)

WALLACE: Don't forget to check out Panel Plus where our group picks right up with a discussion on our Web site, FoxnewsSunday.com and we'll post the video before noon Eastern time and make sure to follow us on Twitter, @FoxnewsSunday. Up next, our Power Player of the week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: I can always tell how good our power player is by how many members of our staff want to go to the interview. Well, everyone wanted to go this week. So enjoy our power player of the week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: Meet Sergeant Chesty XIII, the mascot of the U.S. Marines. This English bull dog is the face of the corps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mascot is involved in a number of official functions here in Washington. He is the ..

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are proud to introduce the official mascot of the Marine barracks, Washington, D.C.., Sergeant Chesty XIII.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Engaging with senior level leadership, engaging with government officials. When we bring guests here for official functions, he is one of the most popular figures.

WALLACE: Captain Jack Norton is the public affairs officer at the Marine Barracks, which makes him Chesty's spokesman.

CAPT. JACK NORTON, SPOKESMAN, U.S. MARINE CORPS: Sometimes they are tough to get along with, and sometimes, you know, they are kind of grouchy, but at the end of the day they're always going to be there for you and they're going to accomplish the mission.

WALLACE: But there is about to be a changing of the guard. Chesty will retire this summer and recruit Chesty who is now in boot camp is expected to become a private in April, training to take his place.

NORTON: And he's getting history classes, he's been through the home of the Commandos, he's getting indoctrinated in his surroundings, getting indoctrinated into the discipline and esprit de corps that we do with all of our recruits.

WALLACE (on camera): Sergeant Chesty. There you go.

NORTON: There you go.

WALLACE (voice over): Chesty has his own uniform, complete with Sergeant Chevrons and service medals, as for the recruit Chesty, let's just say he has got a ways to go. To match up to the sergeant.

NORTON: We're looking at him to kind of mentor this young recruit and kind of set a positive example for him.

WALLACE: He's got big paws to fill. The mascot tradition goes back to World War I. When the Germans called the Marines devil dogs. In the early '20s, Private Jiggs I formally enlisted, in 1957 they changed the mascot's name to Chesty, after Lieutenant General Lewis Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine ever. And they take all this very seriously.

NORTON: We have had him busted back in rank before.

WALLACE (on camera): And how did the dogs take it?

(LAUGHTER)

NORTON: Well, Marines typically don't take it well when they get demoted. So, it's, you know, it's a message, we can't have a mascot running around, biting, barking and doing things that they are not supposed to do.

WALLACE (voice over): But that is exactly what Sergeant Chesty did, last summer. When he went after Defense Secretary Panetta's dog at the Friday evening parade.

NORTON: He barked and, lashed out at Bravo and it was a little bit of a tense moment.

WALLACE (on camera): This is challenging civilian control of the military...

NORTON: This was right there in front of the secretary of the defense and the commandant of the Marine Corps.

WALLACE: After the breach of protocol, there was speculation Sergeant Chesty was being forced out.

NORTON: Actually, he was promoted to sergeant after that. So there is no truth to the rumor it is a forced retirement.

WALLACE: Whatever the reason, this pup should be the new mascot, Chesty XIV, by late August, with as many as five public events a week.

NORTON: Chesty is a great way to represent the more than 200,000 Marine sailors and civilians who make up our core, he's got a very important job and so, you know, we are happy to have him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: One of my favorite power players, ever. The Marine mascot generally serves up to five years, as Chesty XIII did, which as we all know is 35 years in a dog's life. So, the sergeant have certainly earned his retirement and that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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