A number of critical issues loom for members of Congress, as they prepare to leave Washington for the August recess. We'll discuss immigration, spending, the 2014 midterm elections, and the future of the GOP with Rep Steve Scalise (R-LA), in his first national television interview since being elected House Majority Whip.
Sen. Rand Paul on scrapping ObamaCare, saving Detroit; 'Pik' Botha on Nelson Mandela's life and legacy
Written by Chris Wallace / Published December 08, 2013 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Sen. Rand Paul, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, 'Pik' Botha
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," December 8, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.
Today, a unique perspective on Nelson Mandela. From a white apartheid leader who helped transform South Africa and served in Mandela's government.
PIK BOTHA: He was adored by all of the people of this country.
WALLACE: Pik Botha reflects on Mandela's life and legacy, telling personal stories you've never heard before.
And we'll go live to South Africa for the latest on the death of a towering statesman.
Then, the White House launches a new ObamaCare offensive.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you got good ideas, bring them to me. Let's go. But, we're not repealing it as long as I'm president.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Now, I don't know why any American would trust this government after all the broken promises they've already seen in ObamaCare.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the latest on ObamaCare and a new GOP plan to boost our inner cities with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.
Plus, with the Web site working better and enrollment on the rise, we'll ask one of the law's architects, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel where ObamaCare goes from here.
And it's been 10 years since I took over the anchor chair here. It's been quite a ride.
We'll look back at some of our favorite moments from the last 10 years.
All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
This is a national day of prayer and reflection in South Africa. As that nation continues to mourn the man many consider its father. South Africans gathered at makeshift shrines to remember Nelson Mandela who died Thursday at the age of 95.
FOX News senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot is live outside Mandela's home in Johannesburg with the latest -- Greg.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, this was supposed to be that national day of prayer and reflection. And, in fact, at churches and synagogues and mosques across the country were filled with people marking the day. But here in what was the old home neighborhood of Nelson Mandela, just a few days after his passing, the mood here is anything but solemn. In fact, it is festive. Take a look at what we saw, what we heard.
PALKOT: They sang. They danced. They chanted. Blacks, whites and all races. Young, very young and old. It seemed important for all to be as close as possible to the last spot where the man they consider the father of their country breathed his last breath.
Candles were lit. Gifts were presented. The South African people slowly realizing the person who helped rid the country of hated (ph) apartheid and led their nation in the first democratic government is no more.
Just a few month away from where Nelson Mandela passed away Thursday night in Johannesburg (AUDIO GAP) being made by his fans, by his friends, by the people of this country as they come here to pray, to mourn, to celebrate, to express their feelings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As we can see, the nation this morning, we've lost a big hero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He meant a lot to me.
PALKOT: He did a lot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did a lot and he meant a lot to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a horrible loss to all of us, likewise, for everybody.
PALKOT: For everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Mandela was released, I was still a baby. And now, I'm here with my baby and with experience on this, this is free (ph) time for us.
PALKOT: Now comes a long week of memorials to the late Nelson Mandela. It is billed as the biggest funeral of the century. On Tuesday, there'll be a massive event at a soccer stadium here. In attendance, President Obama and former President George W. Bush. Also coming, former Presidents Clinton and Carter.
And though his body will lie in state for three days, and then he will be buried next Sunday in his home village. Buried, but certainly not forgotten -- Chris.
WALLACE: Greg Palkot, reporting live from South Africa, Greg, thanks for that.
And later in the program, our exclusive interview with Pik Botha, a top South African official in the apartheid era who later served in Mandela's cabinet.
But now, we turn to Washington, where the Obama administration has put together a strike team of Democratic lawmakers to sell the embattled health care law to a skeptical public. We'll speak with an architect of ObamaCare in the next segment.
But joining me now is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
And, Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday".
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: Good morning.
WALLACE: Before we get to ObamaCare, I want to talk to you about your trip to Detroit this week where you helped open the first of what are going to be several Republican outreach centers in inner cities. You also unveiled your plan for economic freedom zones in depressed areas.
Let's take a look at that plan.
You would set a flat individual and corporate tax rate in those depressed areas of 5 percent. Give parents more school choice and education tax credits. And loosen visa rules to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to open businesses.
Senator, critics say, well, those are all good ideas. You've got to pour more government money into those inner cities if you're going to make a difference.
PAUL: Well, Chris, it hasn't worked. I mean, the president poured $1 trillion into the nation's economy. And when you divided it out, it was about $400,000 per job.
The problem with a government stimulus is you pick the winners and losers. With this stimulus that I'm talking about, a free market stimulus, you simply leave the money in the hands of those who earned it. So the customers have actually picked out the successful people, the ones they choose to buy products from. Those people get more money.
Like I met a young man, young African-American man, who has his own restaurant. His first question is, do you have any tax breaks for me for my business?
That's what this would do. It would help people who are already in business and trying.
WALLACE: But I don't have to tell you, Senator, that Republicans have a steep hill to climb in inner city neighborhoods. In the city of Detroit in November, 97 percent of Detroit voters supported President Obama, 2 percent voted for Romney. The black unemployment rate nationally is still 12.5 percent. And right now, President Obama is calling out the GOP for what he says is your party's refusal to extend long-term unemployment benefits.
Take a look at what he said this week. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For decades, Congress has voted to offer relief to job seekers, including when the unemployment rate was lower than it is today. But now, that economic lifeline is in jeopardy, all because Republicans in this Congress, which is on track to be the most unproductive in history, have so far refused to extend it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator, let me ask you a direct question. Do you personally, do you support extending unemployment benefits, or would you let 1.3 million Americans lose those benefits before the end of the year?
PAUL: I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers.
There was a study that came out a few months ago, and it said, if you have a worker that's been unemployed for four weeks and on unemployment insurance and one that's on 99 weeks, which would you hire? Every employer, nearly 100 percent, said they will always hire the person who's been out of work four weeks.
When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy. And it really -- while it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help.
You know, I don't doubt the president's motives. But black unemployment in America is double white unemployment. And it hasn't budged under this president.
WALLACE: But, Senator --
PAUL: I think a lot of African-Americans voted for him, but I don't think it's worked. I don't think his policies have worked.
WALLACE: But, Senator, how do you persuade the African-American voter in the inner city, you're not going to spend more government money, you're going to vote to let the -- the unemployment benefits lapse, how do you persuade that black voter, this is good for them? This is the right policy?
PAUL: My economic stimulus plan for Detroit would leave over a billion dollars in Detroit's economy and would stimulate Detroit. There is no other plan on the table. And there's not going to be some grand bail out that's going to go through Congress. Other than my plan, if my plan would pass, I think it's the only one that politically could pass.
Over a billion dollars would be left in Detroit. I'm also talking about restoring voting rights. I'm talking about school choice. I think there's a lot to offer in the Republican message that hasn't been offered in the past. And I think there's only upside potential for voters in Detroit or all the big cities for Republicans.
WALLACE: Senator, you face the same challenge when it comes to ObamaCare. You and most of your colleagues in the Senate and the House, Republican colleagues, want to repeal the law. But the other side says that if you were to do that, that you would take away preventative care for 105 million Americans, free preventative care.
Let's put it up on the screen. ObamaCare provides health services to 105 million Americans, including free immunization for children, free cancer screenings, free mammograms.
Question: what is your plan that would allow these folks, the 105 million Americans, to keep those benefits?
PAUL: First of all, there is nothing for free. You're going to pay for it. We're paying for it through higher premiums.
We're also going to find out in January that more people will lose their insurance under ObamaCare, I think, than will actually gain it. The Republican plan is freedom of choice -- more choices, not less. ObamaCare narrows your choices.
We're for competition. We're for selling insurance across state lines. And above all, we're for driving premiums down.
The problem under the old system was premiums were too high. Under ObamaCare, the premiums are even higher. I don't see any way ObamaCare can work.
WALLACE: Let me turn to another subject: drones. Last March, you famously took to the senate floor for 13 hours to filibuster a nomination because of your opposition to the military use of drones to attack U.S. citizens. This week, as I'm sure you know, Jeff Bezos, the head -- we're looking at a picture of the drone right there -- of Amazon announced that they have plans, a hope, maybe five years down the road, that drones would come pick up a package, a book, a sweater, and deliver it to your front door where you could -- you could take it instead of a delivery truck.
When you see that, and I'm sure you have seen those videos, does that excite you or do you think to yourself, "That's a problem and I've got to find a way to block it"?
PAUL: Well, you know, I'm not against technology. So, I'm not one of these people who says, "Oh, unmanned airplanes is really a bad thing." There will be air traffic control issues. My problem is more with surveillance for privacy reasons.
PAUL: Not with delivering of packages. So, I'm worried about the government looking into our backyard. I'm also worried about private companies looking and counting and looking in our windows.
And I have said previously, and this has nothing to do with Amazon, but that a rules on peeping toms will have to be applied to higher technology. There has to be a certain extension of your privacy. Not only your house, but your yard and the things that you do that really people shouldn't be able to observe all of the time.
And so, there will have to be rules on private entities, but really most particularly I'm concerned about the government looking at our activities.
WALLACE: We also learned this week, another revelation from Edward Snowden, that the NSA collects records on cell phones, 4 billion cell phone records outside the country every day. And that they can also track where those cell phones are so they can track where people are.
Big picture: how severely would you like to restrict the surveillance by the National Security Agency?
PAUL: I would like to apply the Fourth Amendment to third-party records. I don't think you give up your privacy when someone else holds your records. So, when I have a contract with a phone company, I think those are still my records. And you can look at them if you're from the government if you ask a judge.
But the most important thing is, a warrant applies to one person. A warrant doesn't apply to everyone in America. So, it's absolutely against the spirit and the letter of the Fourth Amendment to say that a judge can write one warrant and you can get every phone call in America. That's what's happening.
I think it's wrong. It goes against everything America stands for.
And I will help to fight that all the way to the Supreme Court. And we need the Supreme Court to re-examine privacy, the Fourth Amendment and our records.
WALLACE: So, you would ban, if you could, mass data mining -- this kind of huge vacuum hovering up of information?
PAUL: I'm for going after terrorists with every tool we have. I'm not opposed to the NSA. I'm not opposed to spying. But I am in favor of the Fourth Amendment.
So, if we think someone's a terrorist, you call a judge. You get a warrant. If that person's called 100 people, you get 100 more warrants. If they've called 10,000 people, you got to get 10,000 individual warrants.
And it's a pain. But it's a pain because we're trying to protect people's freedom. We're trying to protect the Bill of Rights.
That's what we're fighting against terrorism to protect. So, we can't give up the Bill of Rights in order to try to fight terrorism. You have to keep your privacy. You have to keep the Bill of Rights.
WALLACE: Finally, Senator, you knew I was going to ask about this. 2016, you said this week your wife, Kelley, is strongly opposed to your running for president. I know how important that is if your wife doesn't like an idea. But you said you're going to try to, quote, "persuade her during the next year."
I got to say, talking to you on camera and off, I get the distinct impression you would like to run for president.
PAUL: Well, you know, the thought has crossed my mind, Chris. And I am seriously thinking about it.
But I'm also very serious about the family considerations. And, you know, just -- just look at what happens daily to any politician in America. You talk about how uncivil things are. I mean, they really are. They do take a toll on family.
And so, it is a big consideration. And I really am not sure what will happen. And we'll go another year.
Sometimes, you have a good week. The next week, they pound you to death. You know, the haters and the hacks go after you. It's like, you know, it is really an ordeal to be in public life sometimes.
There are great things to be part of the debate over the Fourth Amendment in the Constitution. I love that stuff.
But I also hate it, when you, when family is attacked, and when they get into the news and so do they.
WALLACE: Well, I mean, to follow up on that, sir -- would it be fair to say that family considerations at this point, at least, are the only thing that would keep you from running?
PAUL: They're a major component of the discussion, and -- but a lot of things enter into it, you know. So, we'll see what happens over the next year. But I really am going to keep doing the things I am doing and trying to help fight for jobs in Kentucky as well as across America. And I'll just keep doing the things that I want to do and I think the people of Kentucky elected me to do. And I'm just am not ready to make a decision yet.
WALLACE: Senator Paul, thank you. Thanks for joining us. It's always a pleasure to talk with you, sir.
PAUL: Thanks, sir.
WALLACE: Up next, the Web site is working better. But are ObamaCare's problems solved? Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the law's architects, returns to "Fox News Sunday".
Plus, today marks 10 years since I've joined the FOX family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Good morning and welcome to "Fox News Sunday" Volume 2.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Oh, my gosh. Well, we'll have some of the highlights from the past decade later in the program. And we'd like you to logon to Facebook and share some of your favorite moments on our page.
And we'll be right back.
WALLACE: The White House says the Healthcare.gov Web site is dramatically improved. But does that mean ObamaCare is now out of the woods?
Joining us again, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of the Affordable Care Act and vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Emanuel, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday".
DR. EZEKIEL EMANUEL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Good.
WALLACE: Since the relaunch a week ago of the Web site, enrollment numbers are up sharply. That's the good news. But the administration says that the Web site is still sending erroneous messages or incomplete information to insurers about one in 10 people who think they have signed up.
Isn't a 10 percent error rate still a serious problem?
EMANUEL: Well, as I understand it, they're working very hard on those so-called 834 forms. And, second of all, they're working with the insurers to clean up that information. And they did push that a little further down, which they have time to do because they don't need to get the information to them for another few weeks. And they're both working really hard to solve that problem. In addition, they identified one bug that seemed to be causing a large portion --
WALLACE: It's still a problem, would you agree, a 10 percent error rate? EMANUEL: Look, they're solving problems. In October, you said they couldn't solve the problem of signing up. They have gone a long way --
WALLACE: I never said that. You're making that up, Dr. Emanuel.
EMANUEL: And now, they put -- they decidedly put this second and they're addressing it.
WALLACE: OK. Let me that I can the point. I never said they couldn't fix it. I'm just simply pointing out it isn't fixed and there's still a 10 percent error rate.
Let's get into that, because you talked about the fact that the government sends nightly 834 forms, enrollment forms, to the insurers, which tell them how many people have signed up, who they are, all the information. But it turns out that somebody -- that some people are just left off entirely. That's called an "orphan report".
Isn't it the fact, isn't it certainly a real possibility, that thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people who think they've signed up, these so-called orphans, may end up on January 1st not having coverage?
EMANUEL: Well, it's an interesting issue. When we did the Medicare Part "D" under President Bush, that was the drug benefit for seniors, there were a lot of seniors who were left out and actually did get their drug refills, and there were millions of people at that -- that had problems during that switchover.
These are large prob -- these are large switchovers. And the government has said, and I believe Medicare has said, it's very important to call the insurance company you have to make -- to verify that you have. In addition, in this case, they're sending out information with cards so people know whether they're covered or not.
I think they're working diligently, but the insurers and the government to make sure people don't find themselves on January 1st or January 2nd without coverage.
Look, that's an important thing. Everyone is trying to work together to solve the problem. We're trying to make this thing work. If there's going to be no glitches, I don't think anyone has that unrealistic expectation.
I know when I got my iPhone, there were lots of glitches. They sent updates for that. This happens with large scale enrollment of millions of people. But I think there's a diligent effort now on everyone's part to reduce the chance of people being left off.
WALLACE: All right. One of the keys to ObamaCare, everybody says, is you've got to get young, healthy people to sign up. Let's put this up on the screen. A new poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics finds only 20 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds say they will definitely or probably enroll, 47 percent say they will definitely or probably not sign up.
Now, you have acknowledged the fact that if you don't get young people to sign up, there's the danger of what's called a death spiral. That not enough people -- young people sign up, there are too many older, sicker people. Premiums go up. More young, healthy people get off. And you end up eventually with a pool of just older, sicker people with sky high premiums.
WALLACE: That is a real possibility, is it not?
EMANUEL: No, I don't think it's a real possibility. Let me identify several points why I think that poll is not a very useful piece of information. In California --
WALLACE: It's from the Harvard Institute of Politics.
EMANUEL: In California, when they looked actually at the number of enrollees and broke them down by age, the number of enrollees of young adults, I think it was 18 to 34, matched the population in California that you would expect. That's exactly what you want to be seeing. That's not a poll. That's actual signing up.
Second of all, if you actually look at --
WALLACE: Can I just -- I don't mean to interrupt.
EMANUEL: And also --
WALLACE: No, let me just -- I want to put up some numbers, because I want to speak directly to that point before you move on. Then I'll let you move on. Put up this number. ObamaCare needs 7 million people to sign up. That's what the president said over and over.
EMANUEL: No, no, no. That's what the Congressional Budget Office projected would sign up.
EMANUEL: That's not what anyone said you need. There's a difference between need and projected.
WALLACE: I've heard the White House spokesman talk repeatedly about 7 million. If I may, sir, please. You don't want me to interrupt you.
EMANUEL: All right.
WALLACE: You need 2.7 million of those people to be between the ages of 18 and 34. That is a percentage, 2.7 million, of the 7 million of 39 percent, in California, of the pool, 39 percent. In California, the pool so far is only 23 percent. So, it's barely half of the 39 percent you need to have the right mix of young people.
So, your California example is completely wrong, sir.
EMANUEL: No, it's not completely wrong. It matches the population that's --
WALLACE: -- whether it matches the population. It doesn't matter. What ObamaCare has said that you need in the pool to keep a sustain -- fiscally sustainable number.
EMANUEL: No, I think there is going to be a fiscally sustainable number. And the other thing that I think you need to keep in mind is that the 18 to 34, a large number of those people are going to be on their parents' plan and not going to be buying insurance all on their own, up to age 26.
And so, you're concentrated in a group of 26 to 34-year-olds. And that, I think, is where you need to get them to purchase with their own money.
And that, I do, think is a group that you're going to be able to get. Let me just say one other thing. Here are three reasons I think people in that age group are going to sign up.
First, you do have a penalty. Now, everyone talks about $95. But the fact is it's 1 percent of income which for most people is going to be more than $95.
Second of all, you do have subsidies for almost -- for many of these people that is going to make the price look very low and be very low. So, for example, if you're a 30-year-old in California, you can get a silver plan. And you make about 150 percent of the poverty line. You get a silver plan for $50 a month.
Third, given the preventative services and other things, that premium actually is something you can easily cover by using -- by using the preventative services, where all society benefits because people are getting preventative care. So, I think actually there's many reasons for people to sign up that they will sign up. And --
WALLACE: I just want to --
EMANUEL: Let me finish.
WALLACE: I have to move on.
EMANUEL: One more thing I'd like to point out. No one has launched a big PR campaign to get these people signed up because of the problems with the federal Web site. We are about to launch a big pr campaign. And that, I think, is going to persuade a lot of people to sign up. WALLACE: I would simply point out the Harvard poll says only 20 percent say they're going to sign up.
WALLACE: And in California -- no, definitely, probably -- and so far in California, it's only 20 percent. So, your 39 percent figure -- I understand the Obama campaign slogan was hope. At this point, that's all you seem to have that 39 percent are signing up.
EMANUEL: We haven't had a campaign. And we have four more months to go to the end of March.
WALLACE: President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Doesn't that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan? Isn't it a fact, sir, that a number, most, in fact, of the Obama care health plans that are being offered on the exchanges exclude a number of doctors and hospitals to lower costs?
EMANUEL: The president never said you were going to have unlimited choice of any doctor in the country you want to go to.
WALLACE: Wait, no. He asked a question. "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." Did he not say that, sir?
EMANUEL: He didn't say you could have unlimited choice.
WALLACE: It's a simple yes or no question. Didn't he say, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"?
EMANUEL: Yes. If you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that. This is a matter of choice.
We know in all sorts of places, you pay more for certain -- for a wider range of choices or wider range of benefits.
The issue isn't the selective networks. People keep saying, oh, the problem is you're going to have a selective network.
WALLACE: Well, if you lose your doctor or lose your hospital.
EMANUEL: Let me just say something. People are going to have a choice as to whether they want to pay a certain amount for a selective network or pay more for a broader network.
WALLACE: Which means your premiums would probably go up.
EMANUEL: They get that choice. That's a choice --
WALLACE: Which means your premium may go up over what you were paying so that, in other words --
EMANUEL: No one guaranteed you that your premium wouldn't increase. Premiums have been going up.
WALLACE: The president guaranteed me I could keep my doctor.
EMANUEL: Under president -- and if you want to, you can pay for it.
EMANUEL: Under President Bush, premiums went up 80 percent after inflation. We have actually seen a leveling off of health care costs and premiums in the last few years because of changes that have been made.
WALLACE: Finally --
EMANUEL: As a matter of fact, choice is something we all understand and we all understand that for more choice, more benefits, you have to pay more.
WALLACE: Final question. Last week, you had this to say about the Web site. Let's put it up on the screen.
"For the first time and most importantly, we actually have effective management overseeing. We have an integrator that's independent and that seems to be effective as opposed to having CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, run it."
Which seems to be saying -- if I can interpret what you're saying -- you're saying, finally, we've got somebody who knows what he's doing, in charge of CMS has screwed this up.
Question, should the president fire either HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius or CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner?
EMANUEL: I think not having an independent integrator who has that expertise and not having a CEO was something that was a mistake. I think the president recognized it. They put Jeff Zients in place. They promise to put a permanent --
WALLACE: He came in place in October, after the disaster. My question --
EMANUEL: That was a mistake.
WALLACE: -- should someone be held accountable?
EMANUEL: Look, the president is running his ship. He's going to decide how he's going to do it. Most companies when they decide, get right the ship and then decide what has to happen. He'll make a decision. He'll make a decision if he's going to find someone else to run -- he's already committed to have someone -- a new CEO to run the Web site, and the federal exchanges.
And I think that is an excellent decision to replace Jeff Zients when he goes to the National Economic Council. And I think it's quite clear you need someone who can manage that and really run it.
WALLACE: Dr. Emanuel, thank you. Thank you again for coming in, sir.
EMANUEL: No problem.
WALLACE: It's always interesting.
WALLACE: Up next, our Sunday panel joins the discussion on ObamaCare, and the president's pivot back to economic issues.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel? Just go to Twitter @foxnewssunday, and we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If you don't think we should raise the minimum wage, let's hear your idea to increase people's earnings. If you don't think every child should have access to preschool, tell us what you'd do differently to give them a better shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Obama once again challenging Republicans to tell their plans to help the middle class. And it's time now for our Sunday group. Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume. Julie Pace who covers the White House for the Associated Press. Syndicated columnist George Will and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams.
Well, the president is still talking about ObamaCare. But this week he made a big pivot again to economic issues talking about raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits. Brit, when he did this a couple of years ago, assumed the self-proclaimed manhole of champion of the middle class, it helped him win re-election in 2012. Do you think it can help Democrats win in 2014?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, what he's basically saying, and you heard it there was, if you don't like my plans for my agenda, give us your plans for my agenda. And my sense is that that will not meet with much -- with much success. At least certainly in the House of Representatives. I think it is more than anything at this point, this pivot to the economy, in particular on the issue of income inequality, is an attempt to change the subject from ObamaCare, which has so dominated the news for the past several months. And to rally his base. Which is always what he does first. Sometimes that's all he's needed to do. But my sense is that he's not going to be able to make this into the big national issue that the party can win on because his credibility is so weak.
The issue in that Harvard poll of young people you talked about, there was one of those open ended questions about what is your top priority. Income inequality was way down the list. And I think that it is way down the list for a lot of people. Now, a president with the bully pulpit can sometimes elevate an issue and make it a big national issue and so on. But I think he's weakened now. The bully pulpit is a depreciating asset for him. It will be hard to do that. WALLACE: You know, Julie, I mean it did work back in 2011. You have the debt debacle in August 2011. He started championing the middle class in September out in Kansas. And it really boosted his standing. When you talk to folks in the White House, and I want to pick up on what Brit said, do they say we're trying to change the subject? Do they actually think realistically that there's a chance that they can raise the minimum wage and extend unemployment benefits? Or is this just political positioning?
JULIE PACE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, I think there's a little bit of all of that in the strategy here. Certainly they are looking for things that they can talk about that are separate from health care. They really need to show that not only are they focused on other things, but, you know, that they have the space, the intellectual space to talk about other things. The second part of it, though, is that when you talk to Americans and when you look at polling, the economy still is a top issue. So, he needs to be focused on things that matter to Americans. And even though some jobs reports and other metrics have come out showing some improvement in the economy, a lot of people are not feeling that. In terms of whether he can get anything actually done, whether it's minimum wage, universal pre-K, I think that's going to be very difficult over the next year. So, it will come down to, you know, the talking about it helps Democrats enough or do they actually need to be able to pass something?
WALLACE: We've got to note, though, whatever he wants to pivot from, all the problems with ObamaCare are still around. And this week the president had a very interesting analysis of why the rollout went so badly. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The challenge, I think, that we have going forward is not so much my personal management style or particular issues around White House organization, it actually has to do with what I referred to earlier which is we have these big agencies. Some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Not to put too fine a point on it, George. But it's those outdated agencies the president talks about that he, under ObamaCare, is going to have oversee, what, about a sixth of the economy.
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: The education of this president is a protracted and often amusing process as it was this week. As he continues to alight upon the obvious with a sense of profound and original discovery. He's alighting on what is obvious to governors. This is really why we should have governors more often than senators as president. The president is saying the trouble with big government is it's so darn big. And like a lot of big organisms, dinosaurs spring to mind. It has a simple nervous system. It's erratic, it's governed by inertia. And it's hard to move. This from a man who's devoted his life to increasing the power of government as an instrument to the redistribution of income because government is wiser than markets. And it's, as I say, highly amusing.
WALLACE: Well, we have being asking all of you to send us questions to ask the panel. And we have one we want to put up on the screen. This is from Skip Russo on Twitter. Who asks, other than hope, what substantive argument do the ACA, Affordable Care Act, supporters have that the law will work as intended? Juan, how do you answer Skip?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Skip, I think you're deserving a straight answer. There's such a snowstorm of partisan politics around the ObamaCare thing right now. So I'd say the number one thing I would say is, just look at this week. A million people went to the website as it was working. So there's obviously an appetite, a real need. 30 million people uninsured. Millions more inadequately insured who can avoid bankruptcy and illnesses as a result. Number two, I think it the reason I think this is going to work is it doesn't disrupt the market for most people. Nobody on this panel is going to have their health care affected, impacted, by what's taking place. What we have here is 70 percent have employer provided insurance. And that stays in place right now. Then I'd say, third, Massachusetts. The Republican model worked. And has high approval ratings in the state. Fourth, I'd say the insurance companies are invested in this. The insurance companies actually want this to work. And what we've seen, and my last point on this is, that the cost of health care has increased has declined over the last few years as we've seen. Pre-existing conditions now removed. We've seen that you can keep your kids on your insurance plan. And we've seen that the insurance companies can't say there's a cap to your spending.
WALLACE: Do you agree with Juan's answer to Skip, George?
WILL: The answer to Skip is public relations. We heard it this morning. The solution to all these problems, including the adverse selection that you documented with the numbers is public relations that is people just don't understand. That's the administration's view. The glories of this. The problem is they've been selling the glories of this since 2009. It continues not only to be unpopular, but be more unpopular today than it was then. So, their belief in the magic of words and public relations is running up against a lot of evidence.
PACE: Well, I think that this has been a problem for them since the very beginning. How do you sell something that is very complex to people? Insurance is complex whether you're talking about your private insurance run by your employer or ...
WALLACE: I'm going to interrupt to say -- I mean there was that other moment of apparent learning curve when the president said, boy, buying insurance is really complicated.
PACE: But that ...
(CROSSTALK) PACE: Turns out it's not as easy as going on kayak or getting a plane ticket. And this P.R. campaign, though, I think is going to be very interesting. Because it's targeted towards the young invincible. The young, healthy people. And these are the people that during presidential campaigns, they have proven to be very good at getting them out to vote. That's a much different exercise, though, than getting people to sign up for health insurance.
WALLACE: Brit, is it possible, let me take brother Williams' position here, that all of the critics are all wrong and the fact is the website is going to start to work and it's all going to work and we'll look back at this in six months and say, what were we scared of?
HUME: Well, I think eventually it will work for some people. They'll find subsidized policy that is to their liking. Because it will cost a reasonable amount from their point of view for what they're getting. They're going to be winners under ObamaCare in the fullness of time. The problem for the president is that the kind of negative emotions that are stirred as we saw so vividly with the policy cancellations for individual policies began to roll in. We've got another wave of that. Juan says none of us on this panel will lose our policies. Perhaps not. But millions of people who get employee sponsored health care are going to lose it. And this means you're going to have another wave of very bad news that are going to further affect people's feelings about this program. And I think the losers are going to be a more powerful force politically than the winners.
WALLACE: All right. Thank you, panel. To be continued. When we come back, we'll hear from Pik Botha. A top official in South Africa's apartheid regime who served in Nelson Mandela's government. He'll tell some stories you've never heard before.
WALLACE: Coming up, a look back on my ten years with Fox News Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
My view is that programs change, but our values don't change.
You never feel very far away from the job. It follows you wherever you go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And we'll be right back.
WALLACE: South Africans at houses of worship for a national day of prayer and reflection to honor Nelson Mandela. Pik Botha was South Africa's foreign minister in the last years of apartheid. But he helped engineer Mandela's release from prison and was invited by Mandela to serve in his biracial government. We interviewed Botha earlier this year in anticipation of Mandela's passing. Here again, is Greg Palkot with Botha's reflections starting with Mandela's goal of a rainbow nation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIK BOTHA, FMR. SOUTH AFRICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Suddenly, the sun was shining with a rainbow. I think that's how the thought originated. In the mind of Mr. Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu, it was the recognition from our side and on the side of Mr. Mandela and his colleagues that to continue our enmity (ph) and hostilities and acrimony would mean the destruction of this country and would lead to a civil war that no one would wish to go.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: As Botha recalls, Mandela's message of peace predated the '90s in the early '60s following years of action against apartheid Mandela made his famous speech from the dock at the Rivonia trial that would lead to his imprisonment.
BOTHA: He said, I have fought against white domination. And I have fought against black domination. I have challenged the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. And then he concluded by saying, this is an ideal I hope to live or and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I'm prepared to die.
PALKOT: Mandela was an icon. But he had a very human side, too. As Botha was to find out when he reached out to Mandela during his presidential years.
BOTHA: Mandela is no angel. There are no humans who are angels. (inaudible) his second divorce, with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, I think in March 1996, I got a message that he felt extremely lonely. So I phoned him. He answered the phone. Not his secretary. And I then conveyed my condolences and wished him strength to observe -- absorb this event now. And assistance, you know, empathy, friendship. The only time, first time he started to sob on the phone. And he's a human being.
PALKOT: A few years later, Mandela returned the favor.
BOTHA: I was operated on in 1998 for prostate cancer. Mr. Mandela had the same operation while he was in prison. And when I woke up on Labor Day 1998, here the president was next to my hospital bed. He took my hand, and he said to me, I have come to see how you are. But your doctors say you are OK. I'm so glad, he said. I went through the same ordeal. Now, get better. We still need each other.
PALKOT: For all the human side of Mandela, it's his superhuman qualities that dazzle even Botha. Especially recalling what Mandela did with all that time in jail.
BOTHA: He has the capacity to spend 27 years in prison, come out of that prison, and lead a country governed by whites since the first settlers landed here in 1652. In such a way that he was adored by all of the people of this country, irrespective of the color of their skin or their (inaudible). He had that capacity in him, and he never boasted. He remained a humble, very, very humble human being.
PALKOT: Impressive to Botha was Mandela's willingness to forgive and work with adversaries. Mandela made Botha a minister in South Africa's first multiracial government. Botha once famously said he could work with a black president.
BOTHA: Indirectly, I predicted this. I had the privilege of experiencing it. In the cabinet here, while he was president, we -- he supported me on several occasions, irrespective of matters on which cabinet members belong to the -- severely attacked or opposed some of the steps I wanted to take.
PALKOT: It is Mandela's legacy of reconciliation that Botha thinks could be the late leader's finest contribution.
BOTHA: I think this country can be grateful for all the tremendous value and values which he brought to South Africa as regards proper government, proficient government, forgiveness in the sense of don't let revenge and hatred of the past rule you or influence your decisions. It will hamper progressive decisions. Not promote it. That's his symbolism. That's what he stands for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: If you'd like to read more of Pik Botha's reflections on Mandela, go to foxnews.com/FNS.
Up next, a look back at ten years, spending Sundays together.
WALLACE: It was ten years ago I first sat at this desk and started sharing Sunday mornings with you. And I feel like we've been through this together. Because you certainly let me know when you like what we're doing. And you really let me know when you don't. Here's a look back at some of our favorite moments. The good, the bad and a few surprises.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN: Thank you very much for having me on. I really appreciate being the first Democrat on the show.
WALLACE: Why didn't you do more to put bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were president?
BILL CLINTON: You did Fox's bidding on this show. You did your lifelong conservative hit job on me.
WALLACE: What I want to know ...
CLINTON: Wait a minute ...
WALLACE: legitimate question. CLINTON: No, it was a perfectly legitimate question. But I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question.
WALLACE: Dr. Rice, all the talk about the nuclear program, all the talk about aluminum tubes was wrong.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: The intelligence at the time, and Chris, it is the fact that you can only act today on what you knew yesterday.
WALLACE: Six weeks ago we started something called the Obama watch. The amount of time that had passed since the senator promised me he would come on "Fox News Sunday."
OBAMA: Thank you for having me.
WALLACE: Long time no see.
WALLACE: What if President Obama goes after you as Gordon Gecko? Greed is good.
MITT ROMNEY: Of course he will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're winding down two wars.
WALLACE: I understand that. And you're talking savings that nobody thought that you were ever going to spend that money anyway. It's a budget gimmick, sir.
Are you going back to the battle days of the Kremlin?
And when Netanyahu requested a meeting the president said he was too busy to meet with him.
SUSAN RICE: Let me address --
WALLACE: Let me just ask the question.
SUSAN RICE: I thought you had, I'm sorry.
WALLACE: OK, well, no, I haven't. There'll be a question mark at the end.
What about the right to privacy that the court found in 1965?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no right to privacy in the Constitution, no generalized right to privacy.
WALLACE: Well, in the Griswold case the court said there was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indeed it did. And that was wrong.
WALLACE: You had the most liberal voting record in the Senate in 2005. And you're still called -- I don't know if that's a compliment or not. A liberal lion of the Senate.
GEORGE W. BUSH: You never feel very far away from the job. It follows you wherever you go. But I do feel -- I feel somewhat out of the bubble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you see right now, we currently have this area set up where there's two beds available for the president and first lady.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May I?
WALLACE: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Hope diamond.
WALLACE (voice over): To the top of the Capitol dome. Just reopened to the public on a limited basis for the first time since 9/11.
(on camera): You walked up, I thought a little too close to an unexploded bomb. These aren't Hollywood special effects.
GEORGE CLOONEY: No, no.
WALLACE: You were risking your life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold it high, hold it up there.
WALLACE: I see a lot of smiles. It seems -- it doesn't seem like a downer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no, it's not. This is a happy place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel last year was the best year of my life. I got the love and support of a lot of people.
WALLACE: For your 42nd birthday. And we have a ...
PAUL RYAN: You've got to be kidding me. Oh, my god. Where did you get this?
WALLACE: Well, we actually -- I was up all night making it.
RYAN: Yeah, yeah, you were.
WALLACE: You want to cut into that sucker?
RYAN: I don't eat sweets.
DICK CHENEY: I asked to go after that they would do that without --
(CELL PHONE RINGING)
CHENEY: Without doing ...
WALLACE: Mrs. Cheney is giving you a phone call.
CHENEY: Yeah. Right.
WALLACE: That's the first time on Fox News.
WALLACE: Do you know what it's like in Washington? You know, Brit Hume doesn't act this way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go.
WALLACE (on camera): When we sang "Happy Birthday" Winston always thought it was for him. He loved to play in the snow. He loved to get up on a couch and look out the window at the traffic.
(voice over): And my father used to say, growing old isn't for sissies, is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It's not for sissies, but, you know, there are a lot of benefits.
WALLACE: It's a great book. It is a great life. I couldn't be prouder of both. And I love you.
MIKE WALLACE: I love you. And I'm proud of you.
MIKE TYSON: I don't have a glamorous lifestyle or anything.
WALLACE: And do you miss that?
TYSON: No, I'm old.
WALLACE: Old? What are you? 40s ...
TYSON: 46 (ph).
WALLACE: What am I?
TYSON: A dinosaur.
WALLACE: And it seems we have some more cake left over from our wildly unsuccessful Paul Ryan birthday celebration stunt. Who is that good looking fellow on there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's a young fellow.
WALLACE: Well, no, actually, it's a current picture. You always like to chop my head off here. You want to take ...
WILLIAMS: I'm worried that you have a knife at all.
HUME: Congratulations on a great ten years.
WALLACE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. That's it for today and for the first ten years, thank you. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great week. I will see you next Fox News Sunday.
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On the Show
Israel and Hamas have extended the agreed upon 12-hour cease-fire by an additional 4 hours. We'll discuss the truce and the ongoing conflict, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The death toll in Gaza climbs as Israel continues its offensive against Hamas militants. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in the region, has claimed some progress in negotiating a cease-fire, though no deal has yet been reached. We'll talk exclusively with Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and a top Palestinian leader, who has called the conflict in Gaza a "deliberate massacre."