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Rep. Mike Rogers discusses Iraq crisis; what's next for the GOP after shake up in leadership?
Written by Chris Wallace / Published June 15, 2014 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Tom Price , Rep. Greg Walden, Robert De Niro
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," June 15, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace. President Obama considers military options in Iraq, as Al Qaeda-led fighters take over cities and set their sights on Baghdad.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options.
WALLACE: Three years after U.S. troops left Iraq, we'll discuss how to stop the Islamic jihadists, with House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers.
Plus, was the Obama White House caught flat-footed in Iraq?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's not like we haven't seen this problem coming for over a year, and what's the president doing? Taking a nap.
WALLACE: Our Sunday panel weighs in.
Then, shock waves on Capitol Hill, after a big primary renews questions about the split within the GOP.
REP. ERIC CANTOR, R-VA.: The differences we have are slight and pale in comparison to the differences we have with the left.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: What's going on here is the Republican Party going even further to the right.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the divide between the establishment and the Tea Party with two leading House Republicans, Greg Walden of Oregon and Tom Price of Georgia.
And our power player of the week this Father's Day, celebrated actor Robert de Niro honors the legacy of his father.
ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: He was really a genuine artist and to me a great artist.
WALLACE: All, right now, on’ Fox News Sunday.’
WALLACE: Hello, again, and happy Father's Day from FOX News in Washington.
A small army of Islamic militants has swept across Iraq this week, creating a serious new threat and derailing President Obama's foreign policy. The group, which calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has seized control of a broad swathe of territory from Aleppo and northwestern Syria to Iraq's second largest city of Mosul. To give you a sense of how big that is, in this country it would reach all the way from Illinois to Virginia. Now, as ISIS forces who are Sunni Muslims advance on the capitol of Baghdad, the country's top Shiite cleric is calling on his followers to wage holy war against them.
Let's get the latest from FOX News correspondent Conor Powell in our Mideast bureau -- Connor.
CONOR POWELL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, Iraq is divided along ethnic and religious lines, this Sunni insurgent push across the country continues today as a precaution the Pentagon is sending the aircraft carrier the USS George H.W. Bush to the Arabian Gulf. The White House is insisting it is weighs all of its options in Basra and Baghdad. Hundreds of volunteers answering the call of the top Shiite cleric to take up arms and to fight against these insurgents.
Right now, these ISIS militants are only about 60 miles outside of Baghdad and they control the major cities of Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit. Their goal to create a unified Islamic state across Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, Iran looks poised to jump into this conflict. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saying his country is ready to help. Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, of course, is Shiite and maintains strong ties with neighboring Iran, while the insurgents are Sunni Muslims.
In recent months, Maliki consolidated power, alienating the Sunni population, who in turn have been welcoming with open arms these insurgents. Now, adding to all of the complications the pro-American Kurds in the north have taken advantage of all of the chaos and captured Kirkuk, an oil-rich city they've long coveted. If the U.S. were to intervene in Iraq, they would do so essentially on the same side as Iran, battling the insurgents that are fighting the Assad Iranian-backed government in next door Syria.
Chris, there are few good options for the U.S. and regardless with the rapid crumbling of Iraq that we're seeing right now, any U.S. decision may come way too late.
WALLACE: Conor Powell, reporting from the Middle East -- Conor, thanks for that.
Where does all this lead the U.S.?
Let's bring in the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers.
Chairman, welcome back to ‘Fox News Sunday.’
REP. MIKE ROGERS, R-Mich., CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Thanks so much. Happy Father's Day.
WALLACE: Thank you. Same to you. President Obama said Friday that he intends to review military options for, quote, "several days", before deciding what to do. And then he says it's contingent on Prime Minister Maliki reaching out to the other sectarian factions inside Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States is not simply going to involve itself in a military action in the absence of a political plan by the Iraqis that gives us some assurance that they're prepared to work together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: With ISIS moving so fast, do we have several days for him to review options and he said basically it was contingent on Maliki reaching out. If Maliki does not reach out to the Kurds and to the Sunnis and decides to stick with the Shia base, what does the U.S. do then?
ROGERS: Well, again, leadership is important. Absence of leadership and decisiveness is important in this. It's too late to have long, political reconciliation meetings that will last weeks or months to try to get through even the finest points of difference.
You have an al Qaeda army on the move. This isn't just Sunnis versus Shias. This is an al Qaeda-minded group that is using all of the tactics of brutality to subdue Mosul and Tikrit and other places.
This is as dangerous as it gets. Why? We have thousands of Westerners and Americans in both the eastern Syria and Iraq who have Western passports. This is like --
WALLACE: You're talking about members of ISIS?
ROGERS: Well, they're showing up to fight extremists, and so some are --
WALLACE: With the extremists?
ROGERS: They're fighting with Al-Nusra in Syria or ISIS, and they will go with winners. So, this is what's so dangerous.
At some point, even ISIS was saying, and this got into the dispute with al Qaeda leadership, we want to do external operations and, by the way, we know we have these Westerners who have come to jihadist Disneyland in eastern Syria that we can further radicalize, train, and send back to Europe and send back to the United States. And that's significant, Chris, because we've had our first American used in a suicide bombing in Syria. More to come on that.
WALLACE: Let's break this down because it is complicated, Chairman. What are you saying that the U.S. should do?
ROGERS: Well, two things. One, we need to reengage our Arab League partners. They have forgotten in this -- what is really lack of decision. By the way, without those decisions, you enable the ecosystem of terrorism to living well.
WALLACE: Military sense?
WALLACE: The aircraft carrier Bush.
Should the president get involved, should we launch military strikes against ISIS?
ROGERS: We need to do something to stop their momentum. I think you can do it two ways, one with our Arab League partners, they have willing for almost three years to get engaged in a more robust way. But they need certain things, the U.S. can bring to the table, command and control, intelligence packages and more accurate targeting.
That is all somewhat missing in this equation. So, now, you have an al Qaeda army that, by the way, we believe now has two helicopters, which means they can move al Qaeda army folks around the battlefield. We've never seen this before.
So, yes, we have to engage with our Arab League partners. I would do a two-front strategy as far as making sure we do disruption activities in Syria with al Qaeda elements in eastern Syria, as well as in Iraq.
WALLACE: President Obama says that the danger is, if we get involved, if we go back into Iraq, and clearly, he doesn't want to do so, and you've got the sectarian split, if there has been no political reconciliation, all we're doing is taking on one side in a civil war.
ROGERS: This is Al Qaeda. Again, this whole notion it's Sunni versus Shia is wrong. Not every Sunni has joined al Qaeda. We have an al Qaeda problem. That's what we have today, in a scale that we've never seen before. That's our problem.
Remember, when we didn't do anything after 1993, the World Trade bombing, it led them to the 1998 eastern African embassy bombing, U.S. embassies in Africa, killed hundreds. Then, USS Cole killed U.S. sailors in Yemen, less than a year, after no action -- they're saying, well, this is really not our fight -- we had 9/11, killed 3,000 Americans.
This is an Al Qaeda-inspired group that certainly has al Qaeda ties, that now has the capability to tap people with Western passports to send them back to Europe and the United States for terrorist activity. That's a problem for us.
WALLACE: You have talked a little bit about the Arab League and that the U.S. could be on the sidelines. Forgive me, leading from behind, if you will. Should the U.S. be directly involved in should we be sending Tomahawk cruise missiles, jet fighter, off our assets in the Persian Gulf?
ROGERS: Well, if we learn anything, you can't fire missiles and then turn around and come home. It has to be a coordinated effort. That's why you have to have the Arab League with you. They have the capability and Special Forces and other things to impact certain parts of the battlefield. We should use that. We should help them do that. And that does not mean U.S. troops on the ground.
And, yes, if air strikes turn around the ability for an al Qaeda army to march and gain more safe haven -- remember this is all about gaining safe haven which puts them on the path to their caliphate.
WALLACE: If that would make a difference.
ROGERS: If it would make a difference. We can't wait days and weeks and months to scratch our heads in some political reconciliation process. We have to ask one single question. Is al Qaeda holding land the size of Indiana a problem for the United States?
Well, it certainly was when they were in Afghanistan and had time to plan the 9/11 event, and I guarantee you, this is a problem that we will have to face and we're either going to face it in New York City or we're going to face it here.
Now, again, doesn't mean troops, doesn't mean the same kind of fight. It means you have to have a coordinated effort but it has to be disrupted through tempo, meaning you can't fire and release. You have to fire and continue the pressure so that you can dismantle and empower other Arab militaries to be successful.
WALLACE: So, when the president talks, as he did, and you heard the clip, and he talked about it a lot on Friday, about all of this being contingent on political reconciliation inside Iraq, is that a condition or is that an excuse not to act?
ROGERS: Well, it's certainly appears to be an excuse. There's no way you're going to get reconciliation. The reason that Maliki is doing what he's doing, once the U.S. pulled out he realized he didn't have many friends in the neighborhood and he tried to consolidate his power with the Shias. That was a mistake. We could debate that for years to come, if that was -- I do think it was a serious mistake, but we helped condition his behavior.
Right now, the threat is to the United States and to our European allies, and a rising al Qaeda army. These are not monkey bar terrorists out in the desert somewhere planning some very low-level attack. These are sophisticated, command and controlled, seasoned combat veterans who understand the value of terrorism operations external to the region, meaning Europe and the United States. That is about as dangerous a recipe as you can put together.
And for us to say, maybe somebody else needs to deal with that -- we will deal with it. It's just a matter of what it looks like.
WALLACE: Iran. Lot of talk, Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran, talking yesterday about well, we'll get involved and maybe we'll work with the U.S.
Any problems with you are us working alongside Iran against ISIS?
ROGERS: I wouldn't fall in that trap. The longer you wait for this discussion -- remember the Quds force was in Iraq and participated --
WALLACE: That's an elite Iranian force, part of the Revolutionary Guard?
ROGERS: Yes, yes.
So, Iran has been in Iraq for years. We know that. We know what their capabilities are.
I think it's a mistake. It would mean really a failure of U.S. leadership if we can't put the Arab League together to fight this problem that they know is in their best interests and the U.S. best interest to quell this Al Qaeda rising army.
WALLACE: Your -- as chairman of House Intelligence, you get briefed all the time. What is your best information, the situation on the ground right now? Is ISIS continuing to advance? Have the Shiite militias that have been called by the Grand Ayatollah Sistani to fight a war against the Sunnis? Is Baghdad vulnerable or not?
ROGERS: I think Baghdad is vulnerable. It appears they've halted their attack on Baghdad and now, we're trying -- they being ISIS. Now, trying to consolidate their wins in Mosul and Tikrit own other places, build in their defenses and they're doing it by sheer terror, summary executions. They've already implemented Sharia law, told women not to come out of your houses, all of that through fear.
So, it's interesting that they would stop and rebuild like you'd watch a normal army do when you watch your army get stretched that thin with your logistical base. So, either, (a), they've run out of fuel and equipment, which we don't think they did, or (b), more concerning, they started thinking about the ramifications of getting bogged down into a fight inside the city of Baghdad because the Shia militias are going to protect their home turf. That is an interesting development, and even more concerning if you think that they have learned from their past mistakes about overreaching -- really concerning.
WALLACE: I want to just put up -- Bob, if you could put up that map again that shows the reach of the area that they know control, which as you say is an area about the size of Indiana, all the way from northwestern Syria, across to northern Iraq, to the gates of Baghdad. Forget about Baghdad. Forget about southern Iraq, that is a safe haven, a base of operations as we see stretching from Illinois all the way to Virginia.
How do you take that out? That -- I mean, this could make what al Qaeda had in Pakistan look like a tea party.
ROGERS: Exactly, and that's my concern, and why you have to be decisive in your strikes.
This isn't a frontal assault on a military. This is very targeted military strikes to provide disruption activities from (a), further expansion, and (b), their ability to recruit, train and finance. All of those are important.
We've used very similar tactics to a large degree of success on Al Qaeda leadership, if you apply that same -- and it's bigger. It's more complicated. You're going to have to have more partners, by the way, who are willing to do this.
WALLACE: How long is that -- that's a real campaign, though. We're talking about --
ROGERS: This is not going to go away. Neither is Al Qaeda. This is very proof why a sustained campaign against al Qaeda cannot go away until we have decided, not what they have decided.
WALLACE: So, are we talking weeks? Months? Years?
ROGERS: I don't think you can put a time line on it. It depends on how effective we are, depends how effective we can make our Arab League partners in this fight. But here is the other challenge. We neglected Syria for three years, said not our fight, don't worry about it. We watched pooling of al Qaeda in a way we've never seen before.
Indecision caused this now ability for them to get healed, to get financed, to get trained and launch this military strike, certainly appears to be a military strike into Iraq. It puts a whole different discussion on what we're going to do in Syria as well, and just arming moderates at this point is three years ago, we're going to have to have a refocused strategy how we deal with those rising extremists in eastern Syria. Which means, what do you do with Assad? Tough question. And then what we do to disrupt their activities in Iraq.
We have to do this or we're going to pay a horrible price for it, and so are our European allies.
WALLACE: Chairman Rogers, thank you.
WALLACE: Thanks for coming in today.
WALLACE: President Obama promises he won't send U.S. ground forces back into Iraq, but what is he prepared to do, and should we intervene at all? Our Sunday group weighs in.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about the fast-moving developments in Iraq? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In Iraq, we've succeeded in our strategy to end the war.
We're leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.
The war in Iraq is over and we welcomed our troops home.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WALLACE: President Obama repeatedly touting the end of the war in Iraq, as a foreign policy victory for his administration, that is, before this week.
And it's time now for our Sunday group, Brit Hume, FOX News senior political analyst, Julie Pace, who covers the White House for The Associated Press, syndicated columnist George Will, and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center and former democratic congresswoman, Jane Harman.
Brit, I want to pick up on my conversation with congressman -- Chairman Rogers.
President Obama is pressuring Maliki to form a unity government. But on the other hand, as we've been discussing, Maliki seems to be doubling down on a Shia base, both reaching out to the Grand Ayatollah Sistani. He's calling for the Shiite militia to form, to Iran -- how do you reconcile those two?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think you can and I don't think the objective the president set forth while it would be very nice can come about in time to save the increasingly dire military situation inside Iraq. It may be that the city of Baghdad won't fall, but it is clear that much of Iraq already has fallen and is in the hands of the most brutal kind of terrorist organization you can imagine.
So, the situation in Iraq that the president described in the sound bite that you played before we started here is now gone, forfeited, in my view, by this administration, and by Iraqi President Maliki, who is, you know, a very ineffective and I think weak leader who has made a multitude of mistakes. However, there's been no sign that this president has been deeply engaged with him, trying to prevent him from doing so, and I think that the leverage that we would have had, had we been able to keep a residual force there, would have helped him do that, if he'd been interested. He seems not to have been.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: Julie, is the White House this weekend busy pressuring Maliki to reach out to the Sunnis, to reach out to the Kurds, to form some kind of reconciliation government? And what if that doesn't happen? Are they just going to let Maliki fight it alone? Are we just going to leave him to the tender mercies of ISIS, or does he get involved despite the fact that he set a precondition?
JULIE PACE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, there certainly have been conversations going on between the White House and the government in Iraq, Vice President Biden has had a long relationship with Maliki. He's really leading these conversations.
In terms of what the president said Friday about making air strikes contingent on a political process, there are obviously huge questions inside the White House about whether Maliki would make some of these political changes that he has refused to do, over the past several years. That being said, there are options short of air strikes that the U.S. could do, and it's unclear whether political plans in Iraq are also contingent on those options that could be increased intelligence, it could be sending heavy weaponries to the Iraqis, which is also a dangerous situation when you're putting heavy weaponry into a situation that is so unstable.
WALLACE: Would you envision, if there is no political reconciliation when you talk about it with Chairman Rogers, he makes it clear how impossible that is to happen in a hurry. Could you -- could you see the president backing off and still getting involved in the absence of that kind of --
PACE: In terms of airstrike?
PACE: I think it would be difficult for him to do air strikes if we're going to go by the ground rules that he laid out on Friday, without a political process, because then you basically have essentially either limited airstrikes that may not achieve anything or an open-ended commitment in a country that has no political basis for a real future.
WALLACE: I want to play a couple of clips of President Obama from just this week which show how quickly he was forced to pivot in terms of his view of the situation around the world. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been.
I don't rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Which leads to this very good question that we got from Scott Schulz on Twitter. "The president always seems to be caught by surprise. Is anybody in the Obama cabinet responsible for contingency strategies?"
George, that was the course of two days of the world has never been safer to "I don't rule anything out." How do you answer Scott?
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, one does wonder, we can hear from Jane on this, what we're getting if we're getting the value from the $50 billion we spend on our intelligence service, but General Douglas MacArthur said every military disaster can be explained by two words, too late.
It certainly is too late to think we're going to condition aid on vast political reforms in Iraq, which are going to mollify these factions that have been at each other's throats for centuries.
And Julie says, you put heavy weapons in there, when they got the Mosul, the ISIS people, they didn't just empty the jails and the banks, they emptied the arsenals. Seventy-two tanks they came away with, 700 Humvees, thousands of tons of ammunition that will now be fired at the government of Iraq.
And just to get a sense of the humanitarian disaster that's engulfing the region, there are today more Syrian children of school age in Lebanon than there are Lebanese children of school age, as the Syrian population scatters to neighboring countries.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman, as we discussed with Mike Rogers, this is our worst nightmare. We're not talking about a terrorist group, organization. We're talking about a terrorist army and possible state.
How big a threat is ISIS? How much does it go to the Middle East and potentially to the U.S. homeland? And I have to ask, how did President Obama let it get to this point?
JANE HARMAN, D-CALIF., FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN: This started a long time with a guy named Zarqawi in Iraq, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq.
WALLACE: Who we killed.
HARMAN: Who we killed, and we thought that we had quieted down that particular group. A guy named Jobi York (ph) is now a scholar at the Wilson Center and is writing about this on the front page of "The Washington Post". We thought we killed them but they're back.
I wouldn't lay this at Obama's feet. Remember that the Iraqis refused to agree to a status of forces agreement to keep us in Iraq. And it's one of the reasons --
WALLACE: There are arguments about how hard President Obama pushed.
HARMAN: Well, OK, mistakes were made and supporting Maliki, who is a feckless leader, Tom Friedman called him a jerk today, that's a little harsh. But hey, and unable to control his country is a bad thing.
But I'm very worried about this. Mike Rogers is right that the training of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, we have to see this as one problem across the region, I think, not just in these national boundaries, is a threat to us. And they have clean passports and the fact that an American suicide bomber in Syria is now part of their video propaganda campaign. And we have to -- we have to have a much better strategy than we do across the region right now.
WALLACE: Julie, we've got about a minute left. What happens now? How long does this review go on?
And the point that's being made, this isn't about protecting Iran. This is about protecting the United States. I mean, the argument is, it doesn't matter what happens to Baghdad. You can't allow this state, this terrorist state in the middle of the Middle East. This is much worse than al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
PACE: Right. Whatever the president does is not going to be framed as a U.S. effort to try to help the Iraqis. It's going to be framed as a U.S. effort to try to protect American interests both in the region and eventually the homeland, because they say this group could strengthen and eventually attack the homeland.
In terms of timelines on this, it's interesting, because on Friday, there was a lot of talk about we're going to be having to make a decision within days because of the gravity of the situation. But then you also hear at the Pentagon and from intel agencies that they simply don't have a plan yet, if we were to launch airstrikes it's unclear what we would hit. So, there is going to be I think a bit of a longer process to figure out if you are going to take that option, what exactly that plan would look like.
WALLACE: Real quickly.
HARMAN: We haven't mentioned Iran, and there's an alignment of interests how bizarre is this, between Iran and us. They are threatened as we are, we in our homeland but they in their homeland, by the emergence of this ISIS group.
WALLACE: Of course, Iran wants an Iraq that tilts to Iran. We want an independent Iraq. So, there's a limit to the alignment of interests.
All right. We have to take a break and we'll see you all a little later.
What do you think? Should the U.S. get back into the conflict in Iraq? Join the conversation on Facebook with other FNS viewers.
Up next, an unprecedented defeat as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor loses a primary to his tea-party backed challenger. What does this loss mean to the GOP? We'll talk with two House Republicans on opposite sides of the split inside the party.
WALLACE: Washington insiders were stunned this week when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost to Tea Party favorite David Brat. It's the only time a majority leader, the second most powerful member of the House has been defeated in a primary. Joining us now to discuss the powers for (INAUDIBLE) replaced Cantor and where the GOP goes from here, from Atlanta, Congressman and Tea Party advocate Tom Price and from New York the man in charge of electing Republicans to the House this November, Congressman Greg Walden. Gentlemen, let's start with the election this coming Thursday to replace Eric Cantor with a new House Majority Leader. Right now it's a race between House whip Kevin McCarthy, whose record, if anything, is more moderate than Cantor versus the more conservative Raul Labrador. Congressman Price, McCarthy is a big favorite to win on Thursday, which raises the question if the Tea Party was powerful enough to knock Cantor off, why does it lack the power to name his successor?
REP. TOM PRICE, R-GA.: Well, the length of time of this campaign, the election that will be held to -- for the majority leader in the House of Representatives, it's just a week long, so it tends to favor those individuals that have the apparatus in place and therefore, I think it tends to favor Kevin McCarthy. But that doesn't mean that the conservative wing, the Tea Party group within the House of Representatives has lost any of its muster at all. Remember, who supports the Tea Party? It's folks who are interested in limited government, in lower taxes, in greater fiscal responsibility, in individual liberty. We need to make certain that smart politics doesn't replace losing those principles, and losing those principles doesn't mean that you can't gain gains step by step by step. So that I believe incorporates all of the House Republican conference. So I think the division that has been cited is exaggerated.
WALLACE: Well, there certainly was a fight and one of the ways in which David Brat beat Eric Cantor was arguing that he was too much of a member of the establishment and Brat represented the grassroots and the Tea Party. Given that, Congressman Walden, are House Republicans making a mistake ignoring the Tea Party when they choose a replacement for Cantor?
REP. GREG WALDEN, R-OREG.: No, look, Kevin McCarthy has done a great job as whip, he has a lot of friends across the spectrum of the conference and I think he'll end up winning this in a pretty solid way. But he and Raul have to fight it out. I'll tell you, though. What I take out of this election in Virginia is this, that there's enormous energy of the grassroots conservative base in the Republican Party, and they're upset about Washington, they're really upset about Barack Obama and his policies and the last thing they want is Nancy Pelosi back as speaker. And I think Democrats and others who try to reach too much into this, that isn't there are making a big mistake, there'll be fatal for them in the fall. I've talked to David Brat, he's more a Reagan Republican than anything else. We need everybody together to go beat Democrats so that we don't give Barack Obama a rubber stamp in the next cycle.
WALLACE: All right. I mean I understand you both, loyal Republicans. You don't want to emphasize the split, but gentlemen, there is a split. Because assuming McCarthy wins then there is going to be a battle to replace him in the number three position as the whip in the house, the candidates, the relatively moderate Peter Roskam and two Tea Party advocates, more conservative to split: Steve Scalise and Marlin Stutzman. Congressman Price, what if Roskam wins and you still don't have a hard right grassroots conservative in the leadership and especially you don't have one from a true red state?
PRICE: Well, look, there are divisions, there are differences within our party but there's a whole lot more that holds us together. I think Greg Walden is absolutely right. I've been throughout multiple districts in this state over this past weekend and what folks are upset about are the way that the president's handling the border security and the human tragedy down on the border, the way he handled Bergdahl trading him for the Taliban five, the way that his IRS has targeted citizens in this country.
WALLACE: Forgive me congressman. Because I know your differences -- I know your differences, but there is a split in the party and I'm asking you what if once again you still don't have, because I know there was a great ferment among your faction inside the House that you don't have somebody from the south, you don't have a hard right Tea Party conservative in the leadership. What if at the end of this week you still don't?
PRICE: Well, you got to let this play out. And I think this a real race for majority whip between Marlin Stutzman and Steve Scalise and Peter Roskam. I don't know that the field is set. I think that there may be others that might get in that race. But that -- this is a dynamic and these things are cyclic and they occur, and it's for the individual members of the conference to decide, best representing their constituencies and we'll work through this. Again the challenge that we have as a country is to get us back on track and it's the president's policies that all of us in the House Republican conference understand are not moving this nation in the right direction.
WALLACE: One of the big issues in the Cantor primary, gentlemen, was immigration, and David Brat, the Tea Party advocate who ended up winning, said that Cantor's support of a modified, a modified Dream Act, which would have provided some path to legalization for some of the young people who are brought here illegally as children, he said that was amnesty. Congressman Walden, as the man as we say in charge of getting more Republicans elected to the house this year, do you worry about the Hispanic vote and that the Republican Party will really offer nothing to Hispanics as you head into this election?
WALDEN: Well, first of all, I think again you have to go back and do a real analysis of what happened in that race, or what didn't happen in that race. There are lots of people ascribing lots of reasons for why Eric Cantor lost that I don't think have done the research to figure out how much that issue or some ...
WALLACE: You don't think that immigration and David Brat saying that it was amnesty was an issue in that campaign?
WALDEN: I didn't say that. I said I think it played a role, but again, there are a lot of other issues in this race as well, other turnout, what kind of campaign was run, all of these things.
WALLACE: But I'm asking you about this, and whether or not the Republican Party is in danger of alienating Hispanic voters and you'll pay a price for it at the ballot box? WALDEN: Well, I think there are a couple of issues here. First of all, you'll find Republicans believe we have got to get border security in place before we do anything else. Second, it's hard to have a discussion with the president of the United States on this issue when he keeps waiving existing laws. How do we know he'll enforce something that we do go forward on? And so that causes a lot of distrust at the grassroots level and in the Congress, frankly, if you look at all the laws he's waived, parts of laws he doesn't like. So, that makes it difficult and frankly, Hispanic voters care a lot about jobs and the economy, just like the rest of us do. And so there are lots of other issues besides immigration that we need to appeal on as well and I think we will.
WALLACE: Having said all that, Mitt Romney, back in 2012, lost to Barack Obama by 44 points among Hispanic voters. Congressman Price, don't you have to do something to appeal more and immigration is certainly part of the equation? And one of the things that Hispanics care about, don't you have to do something to avoid getting in real trouble at the ballot box in 2014, and especially in 2016?
PRICE: Well, there's no doubt about it that our immigration system is broken, but I have come to believe that it's the president who is the largest opponent to immigration reform. In 2011 ...
WALLACE: He won, he won. It was Mitt Romney who lost among Hispanics, sir.
PRICE: That doesn't negate the fact that it was President Obama in 2011 who said the border is secure. The American people understand and appreciate given the events over the past couple of weeks that the president was being deceitful with the American people on this. There's a human tragedy going on, on the southern border right now. The president is doing nothing. What did he do this week to correct that? He went and gave a hyper-partisan commencement speech and then went and played golf. That's the frustration that my constituents have and the American people have. This is the president who is disengaged on solving this challenge of immigration and we look forward to working with the president, but how can you work with somebody that the American people don't trust on this issue, and we can't trust on this issue, because we know that he hasn't enforced the law of the land already.
WALLACE: Finally, Eric Cantor, I don't think anybody would doubt, was a pretty conservative member of Congress. In fact, he was seen as the member of leadership who was most open to listening and dealing with the concerns of the Tea Party faction inside Congress. Congressman Walden, Democrats say if Eric Cantor is too moderate for the Republican Party, that that just shows that the Republican Party is outside the mainstream. How are you going to deal with that argument in November?
WALDEN: Again, again, I want to get back to people are making all kinds of claims about what happened or didn't happen in this primary without actually realizing what the facts were on the ground. Every race is individualized. Every race is specific, and every race is local, and you better do the research to figure out what really happened in this race before you draw these conclusions, and Democrats are trying to spin this every way they can at their peril, because what you have is conservatives at the grassroots level who are fired up like they were in 2010 and it's going to play out in the fall and it's not going to be good for the Democrats.
WALLACE: Congressman Walden, Congressman Price, we want to thank you both so much for coming in today. Thank you, gentlemen.
WALDEN: You're welcome. Happy Father's Day.
PRICE: Thanks, Chris. Happy Father's Day.
WALLACE: Happy Father's Day to you, guys.
When we come back, what does Cantor's defeat mean for Republicans and Democrats? We'll chew it over with our panel next.
WALLACE: Now you can connect with Fox News Sunday on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out exclusive material online at Facebook and share it with other Fox fans and tweet us @foxnewssunday using #FNS. Be part of the discussion and weigh in on the action every "Fox News Sunday."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR, R-VA.: Truly what divides Republicans pales in comparison to what divides us as conservatives from the left and their Democratic Party.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: It's a whole new ball game, because now the public is paying attention, what's going on here, and what's going on here is the Republican Party going even further to the right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Both sides drawing battle lines this week after Eric Cantor's stunning defeat, and we're back now with the panel. Brit, let's start with what this means for anything getting done in Washington between now and November. Prospects obviously weren't bright before Cantor's defeat, but it was at least some chance of a compromise maybe on immigration reform. Is any cooperation, any compromise off the table between now and the election?
BRIT HUME: On that issue probably, but I don't think the chances were ever very good anyway on that issue. I think that Republicans, some Republican leaders were trying to talk about it as if it weren't dead, but I think it's been dead for some time and I don't think it's going anywhere and probably not much of anything else. It's this stage of an election here, in this atmosphere, this is not a good time for legislating.
WALLACE: Well, speaking of that, because it takes both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, Julie, what's the reaction at the White House to Cantor's defeat and will President Obama, who was holding up on executive action, to further ease regulations about deportation, will he now move ahead on executive action because he figures there's no deal to be made with Congress?
JULIE: It's interesting. Because if Cantor's loss has happened in isolation there would be a lot of cheers from the White House. This is a lawmaker who the president has had a very tense relationship with since the first days that he was in office. But the White House also knows what this signals about the president's broader agenda, particularly immigration. At this point, though, it looks as though the White House is going to hold out on executive actions until John Boehner himself says immigration reform is not going to happen this year. We're simply not going to do it. So, that could mean that this takes until August, probably not until the end of the year, but probably August before the White House moves on some executive actions.
WALLACE: You know, for all the talk, George, about the Tea Party, this big victory, making huge inroads in the Republican Party, as I discussed with the two members of Congress, it looks like an even more moderate member, the number three man, Kevin McCarthy, is going to move up to either number two man and he may also get a moderate taking his number three slot. What happened?
GEORGE WILL: You keep using the word moderate. You're going to get all these people in trouble, Chris.
WALLACE: No, no, no, relatively speaking moderate. But I mean, you know, obviously that one of the concerns with Cantor was he was seen as insufficiently conservative.
WILL: Well, I'll give you an example. Cantor loses at 8:00 in the evening Tuesday. By 3:00 in the afternoon Wednesday, when the stock market closes, Boeing has lost 2.3 percent of its value. Why? Because one of the issues nothing will get done, I'll tell you something that may get done now because of this, and that is de- authorizing, refusing to reauthorize the export/import bank, which is known in Washington for very good reason as Boeing's bank, and has become a symbol to people like David Brat of crony capitalism, not without reason. Another time line.
WALLACE: Let me just ask about the connection of that. Why is Cantor connected to ...
WILL: Cantor is the nexus between the Republicans and the House and the Wall Street, and the financial community generally, and he was a supporter of reauthorizing the XM bank and I think the export/import bank this will stun you as counterintuitive, played as larger role in that election as immigration did and they were all part of the same (inaudible) of issues that said this man is an insider not paying attention to normal people.
WALLACE: So why does it look like an insider is going to win for majority leader and may win for whip?
WILL: Well, for majority leader, this is a relational place, the House of Representatives, and Mr. McCarthy has good relations with everybody, and as I say, when you call him a moderate, smile when you say that.
WALLACE: So if this happens, Congresswoman Harman, isn't that going to be harder for Nancy Pelosi to continue to make that argument about these guys are going hard right if you end up with Kevin McCarthy or Peter Roskam. These are names that a lot of people don't know, but they're certainly seen as establishment, they are not the Tea Partiers by any stretch
HARMAN: Well, let's start with Mike Rogers who gave a splendid interview on this show 15 minutes ago and who is retiring. Why is he retiring? He forms -- performs in a bipartisan way as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Dutch Ruppersberger, the Democrat and he worked together. A guy like that leaving Congress and leaving and he happens to be Republican is a really bad signal for the ...
WALLACE: Why did you retire?
HARMAN: Let me ...
HARMAN: I got a better job offer. The American Senate is ...
WALLACE: Who said he didn't get a better job offer?
HARMAN: He did, but the business model of Congress is broken. The goal in each party is to blame the other side for not solving the problem, and who loses? The country loses, and American foreign policy loses. We just talked about the threat to America from this new ISIS organization, the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, and if we don't have a smart, strategic view of this, Congress should be on board with this, we are vulnerable, and we are vulnerable because Eric Cantor and people like Eric Cantor are no longer going to be in our congress.
WALLACE: To the degree, Brit, this is a zero sum game, though, and, you know, if Republicans win, Democrats lose, or vice versa, the event of this week, which party is better off?
HUME: Well, I'm not sure either party is better off as a result of the events of this week. The argument is made that this helps the Democrats, the Cantor defeat and the fact that it heralds the end of immigration reform for now is a boon to Democrats, because it's a further signal of this ever growing Hispanic electorate that Republicans don't have any interest in you. I'm not sure that's the case. I mean, if we break this down and take it just beyond that particular congressional district in Virginia, it was a very mixed picture. And Lindsey Graham, who was much more closely identified with that immigration bill that so disliked it seems by Eric Cantor's constituents is in a more comfortable and more conservative state, a statewide primary, he wins easily, so that it seems to me is, counters the argument ... (CROSSTALK)
HARMAN: He ran a good race and so did McConnell and so did Boehner.
HUME: I get that. Boehner won easily, McConnell won easily. Cantor, it can be argued, didn't run a very good race. One of the problems of being in the leadership in this area is there was a time when if you were in the leadership, you could go home and say to your constituents, hey, look, I bring home the bacon, baby. I've got -- I can get this for you, I can get that for you. In this age where people are concerned about government spending, they don't like pork barrel and they don't trust the leaders, that particularly Republican constituents believe that their leaders especially in the House, where they hold the majority, should have been able to do much more to halt Barack Obama's agenda, I think in effect they have halted it and should have been able to advance the conservative cause much more effectively than they've been able to do and therefore leadership positions are now a burden, so that I think it was a factor in all of this. I don't think, you know, if we're looking at 2014, outcomes for the House, I don't think this -- the outcome of this race is going to make any significant change.
WALLACE: I was going just to ask it in less than 30 seconds, George, is there a lasting impact of Cantor's defeat or is there not much exemplary (INAUDIBLE)?
WILL: It maybe a medium impact in about 12 days. No one brings home more bacon to his state than Thad Cochran of Mississippi. And he may -- this may be a harbinger of his defeat.
WALLACE: Because he's also up against the Tea Party.
WALLACE: Challenger as well. Thank you, panel. See you all next Sunday.
Up next, our power player of the week, a Hollywood legend honors his father.
WALLACE: Most of us get our dads a tie or something similar for Father's Day, but we talked with a Hollywood star this week who was doing more, much more, for his dad. Here is our power player of the week.
ROBERT DE NIRO, ‘REMEMBERING THE ARTIST’: He was really a genuine artist, and to me, a great artist.
WALLACE: Robert De Niro is talking about a collection of paintings by his late father, Robert De Niro Sr., that is now showing in New York City. It's part of an effort by the actor to keep his dad's work alive.
(on camera): You talk about wanting him to get his due.
DE NIRO: Yes.
WALLACE: Why is that important?
DE NIRO: He did a lot of wonderful stuff that I want to be recognized and seen.
WALLACE (voice over): De Niro has made a documentary about his father's work and life called "Remembering the Artist," that's now playing on HBO. And it's as honest as it is loving. De Niro Sr. was part of a New York School of Artists in the '40s. He was an early success, but his work was soon overshadowed by abstract expressionism and pop art, and he left his wife and young son when he could no longer deny his homosexuality.
DE NIRO: I feel that I have hardly the courage at this moment to wash my brushes, which have been standing in turpentine for days.
WALLACE: De Niro reads his father's journals in the movie.
DE NIRO: The pills don't help or the prayers either. God, god, god, I am past the point where I can walk the streets looking for a gallery or a lover, either for that matter.
WALLACE (on camera): You talk openly about his despair, about his career and about his personal life. Was that hard?
DE NIRO: It wasn't hard. It was part of what he was, who he was, and that's what I have to, you know, that's what has to be done.
WALLACE (voice over): De Niro says his father was absent for most of his childhood, but he never doubted his dad's love. In the '60s, when the actor was 22, he went to Paris to rescue his father, and make him come home.
(on camera): In his journals, your dad says at one point that you saved his life, and another point he thanks God that you turned out so well. How did you feel when you read that?
DE NIRO: I was happy that he felt that way, and you know -- yeah. It's not like a feeling. It's like, yeah, that's what happened, so he's being very -- a father, being a loving father.
WALLACE (voice over): Robert De Niro Sr. died in 1993 at the age of 71. His son has kept his studio exactly as it was these past 21 years.
DE NIRO: I kept it as a reminder, a real reminder, a tangible reminder of who he was for my kids and my grandkids.
WALLACE: After our interview, De Niro took me around his father's collection to show me work he hopes will finally be celebrated.
DE NIRO: It's my responsibility to protect his legacy and to make sure that people are aware of it, and to keep it alive, as it will be with my own children.
WALLACE: As my dad would have said to me and as I suspect your dad would have said to you, you're a good son.
DE NIRO: Yes, yes.
WALLACE: The documentary ‘Remembering the Artist’ is now airing on HBO. And that's it for today. To all you dads out there, happy Father's Day. To my kids, be sure to call your dad today. Have a great week, and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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