This Sunday, we’ll have the latest on the Trump transition and Thursday night’s heated forum at Harvard with Clinton aides-- with Trump Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway.
Dr. Anthony Fauci updates fight against Ebola in America; Gov. Chris Christie talks midterms, looks ahead to 2016
Written by Chris Wallace / Published October 26, 2014 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Gov. Chris Christie
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," October 26, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
A mandatory quarantine for medical workers returning from Africa. And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his first Sunday show interview this year.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, D-N.Y.: I feel confident that we are doing everything we should be doing and we have the situation under control.
WALLACE: A doctor in New York is the latest case, as two Dallas nurses are declared Ebola-free.
NINA PHAM, DALLAS NURSE: I'm on my way back to recovery, even as I reflect on how many others have not been so fortunate.
WALLACE: We'll get the latest developments, and we'll talk with one of the government's point men leading the fight against Ebola, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
And, Chris Christie hits the campaign trail for GOP candidates across the country. We'll ask the governor how he thinks Republicans will do in 2014, and whether he will run for president in 2016. Chris Christie, it's a Fox News exclusive.
Plus, two attacks in Canada, and a violent assault against police in New York stoke fears of lone wolf terrorism.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: ISIL has demonstrated a capacity to use social media and other aspects of modern technology to try to radicalize citizens from countries.
WALLACE: Our Sunday group weighs in.
All right now on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
Three states -- New York, New Jersey and Illinois -- have now ordered mandatory quarantine from travelers from West Africa who that direct with Ebola patients. This after New York City doctor just back from the hot zone tested positive for the virus. In a few minutes, we'll with Governor Chris Christie about New Jersey's policy in his first Sunday show interview this year.
But, first, Fox NEWS senior correspondent Rick Leventhal is outside Bellevue Hospital in New York, with the latest on that doctor and the response -- Rick.
RICK LEVENTHAL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, Dr. Craig Spencer's condition has worsened somewhat as expected since he arrived at Bellevue. New York's first Ebola patient now has gastrointestinal symptoms. He's receiving plasma and anti-viral therapy and he's awake and communicating and will stay in isolation. His fiancee was sent home but will remain under quarantine for 21 days as of two friends of the doctor, none have symptoms. But officials want to ensure they don't have the virus.
City leaders have been working overtime to reassure New Yorkers they're safe after learning Dr. Spencer road subways, visited a park, ate at restaurants and went bowling in Brooklyn the night before he developed a fever and was rushed to the hospital. Since then, The Gutter bowling alley was entirely sanitized, including holes of the balls and has been declared safe. And New York City had a meal at the meatball shop where Dr. Spencer to dispel fears.
Meanwhile, a nurse who landed at Newark Friday after treating Ebola patients in West Africa was placed in quarantine even though she had no symptoms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: The state has a right to make its decisions like the CDC does and we're going to work with them. This is not about personalities. This is not about personal opinions. This is a crisis in which everyone works together.
So, I don't think it's about what we think personally. It's about what is going to keep our people safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVENTHAL: There is no Ebola vaccine, but there could have been. One was developed in Canada ten years ago and proven 100 percent effective in monkeys, but it was shelved because of a lack of interest. It's now in critical trials and could ready next year -- Chris.
WALLACE: Rick Leventhal reporting from New York -- Rick, thanks for that.
Now, let's bring in Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
And, Dr. Fauci, this is becoming a weekly occurrence. Welcome back.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID: Thank you. Good to be with you.
WALLACE: As we mentioned, the governors of New York and New Jersey have instituted this mandatory quarantine for all people coming back from West Africa, through their airports, who got direct contact with Ebola patients, including all medical workers.
Here is Chris Christie announcing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: New Jersey and New York are going to determine standards of quarantine since CDC's guidance is continually changing. And we need to set a standard for our two states.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Given that people are not contagious until they show symptoms. Does it -- is it good science to quarantine them for 21 days?
FAUCI: OK. First principle, protect the American people. Second principle, make a decision based on the science.
Right now, as we said many times, people without symptoms do not transmit Ebola. We know that. So, guidelines regarding how you handle people from coming back should always be based on the science. And science tells us that people who are asymptomatic do not transmit. That doesn't mean we're cavalier about it, but that means there are other steps to protect American people based on scientific evidence that does not necessarily have to go so far as to possibly have unintended consequences of disincentivizing health care workers.
The best way to protect us is to stop the epidemic in Africa, and we need those health care workers. So, we do not want to put them in a position where it makes it very, very uncomfortable for them to even volunteer to go.
WALLACE: I want to press on this, though. So, you're saying that this mandatory 21-day quarantine, especially for people who are completely asymptomatic is not good science.
FAUCI: Well, if you're talking about an asymptomatic person, there's a way to monitor them. You can do it by active and direct monitoring that would accomplish the same thing. The difficulty when you put someone into position is that if you're going to go over there, when you come back, no matter what you do -- no symptoms, you're not at high risk, you still have 21 days out of your life where you can't move I think we'll have unintended negative consequences.
WALLACE: So, you're against the 21-day quarantine.
FAUCI: Personally, myself, as a physician scientist, I would not have recommended that.
WALLACE: But and I know a lot of listeners are going to say, let's look at the case of this doctor, Craig Spencer, he started feeling sluggish on Tuesday. He's running around the city. He's on subways. He's at the bowling alley, and he does all of this before he -- you know, is -- reports in and is taken to the hospital.
Can you trust people? Here's a doctor. Can you trust them to self monitor?
FAUCI: Well, in general -- I mean, the human nature everyone is the same that you trust. What you can do to get that extra step is to ratchet up the monitoring from passive to what we call active or direct, where someone actually each day would take the temperature, get a symptom story and then make a decision whether someone can go out.
But Dr. Spencer did exactly what he should have done. When he got back, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Doctors Without Borders, say report your symptoms. He did. As soon as he got a fever, he put himself in isolation.
WALLACE: He was sluggish and he was running around town.
FAUCI: He did not have symptoms. No one came into contact with his body fluid. Therefore, the risk is essentially zero, vanishingly small.
WALLACE: You talk about what you seem to think is the lack of scientific wisdom in the decision to impose a 21-day quarantine. You're the point man for the government on infectious disease. Did anyone from Governor Christie's office, Governor's Cuomo's office contact you, or to the best of your knowledge, the CDC, before they imposed this quarantine?
FAUCI: The CDC was all over this. The CDC set some minimum types of requirements that are good, below (ph) which you can't go. The states have authority to go beyond CDC recommendations which is what in this case they did. But CDC immediately was involved in trying to make sure Americans are protected.
WALLACE: I want to get back to your main concern here, because you've said to me repeatedly -- you've been on the show a lot in the last month -- and you said repeatedly that the big concern and we're not going to solve this crisis until we stop Ebola in West Africa. How concerned are you? And perhaps you're in contact with public health workers, kind of people volunteering to go every off there.
WALLACE: How concerned are you, if they know, I'm going over, I'm going to put myself in jeopardy, and then when I come back I face mandatory three-week quarantine out of my life, unable to move around, unable to go back to my job -- how concerned are that that's going to stop people from going in the first place?
FAUCI: I am concerned, Chris, because these people that I've spoken to who are going there and coming back are concerned about that. They're responsible. They know that if in fact they have symptoms and have the possibility of transmitting it, that they don't want to get anyone else infected.
But the idea of saying everybody, even people without symptoms, that really could be disincentive. And it's just an unintended consequence. If we don't have our people volunteering to go over there, then you're going to have other countries that are not going to do it, and then the epidemic will continue to roar.
WALLACE: Couple of quick questions: you released the Dallas nurse Nina Pham who had Ebola. She was -- you were treating her. There she's being released late this week from NIH when she was free of Ebola virus. Have you determined how she got the virus? Was it a problem with the CDC protocols? And if so, have you tightened those up?
FAUCI: Well, first of all, you never can tell exactly how she got it because she was under one protocol for a few days and then the other. So, whatever it was, she certainly was at a risk and got infected.
So, whenever you see that, Chris, you try and tighten things up. Right now, the CDC protocols are much tighter than they were. Those are protocols that actually worked very well historically in Africa. We find now that with the intensive care setting that we have given this country, they may not be optimal enough and that's why CDC has changed them.
Finally, there was a story in The New York Times, [Rick] Leventhal referred to it at the end of his report, that scientists have come up with a vaccine a decade ago, that was 100 percent effective in stopping Ebola in monkeys. And because of the fact the disease was so rare, there was not a market or incentive to test and to develop it.
Question -- is there some way -- first of all, do you think we could have had, had there about a full speed effort 10 years ago, could we have had an Ebola vaccine by now? And secondly, if there's some way when there is so little market for it, that we can get these things developed just in case we get into this kind of situation?
FAUCI: OK, answer to both questions. Certainly without pharmaceutical backing, you're not going to get a vaccine for sure. We could have had one now. You can't predict because the scientific issues there. We may not scientifically have been able to do it.
But what the government is doing now through a program called BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority, is to be able to finance things where you can stockpile. So, the government is realizing that even if there isn't the need out there now, there may be a need in the future. And that's what that agency is doing.
WALLACE: How close are we to a vaccine?
FAUCI: Well, again, I can't predict. I can tell you, we're moving along. I told you last week, we're in phase one. We're going to finish that in November.
Then, we're going to go into much larger trial in West Africa, likely in Liberia and Monrovia, to determine if it works. That's when we need to make sure that it works, because you don't want to distribute a vaccine that could be harmful or not work. The sooner we prove it's worked, the sooner we can distribute it widely.
WALLACE: Dr. Fauci, thank you. Thanks again for coming in and updating us again on the situation.
FAUCI: Good to be with you, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joins us for his first Sunday show interview of 2014. We'll ask him about the new quarantine order, how Republicans will do in the midterms and whether he'll run for president in 2016.
We'll be right back with all of that.
WALLACE: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is traveling the country as head of the Republican Governors Association, trying to elect GOP candidates this year and perhaps set the stage for a potential 2016 run for the White House.
Governor Christie joins us now from Florida where there's a tight governors race for his first Sunday show interview in 2014.
Governor, welcome to "Fox News Sunday."
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: Good morning, Chris. Good to be with you.
WALLACE: Governor, you just heard and we want to talk -- before politics to this whole controversy about Ebola and quarantine, you just heard Dr. Fauci, New York City's health commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, says reportedly she was furious that she was not informed before the quarantine was imposed. Do you no longer trust the CDC and, doctors and scientists?
CHRISTIE: Well, no, that's pretty general statement, Chris. Of course we do. The fact of the matter is CDC protocols as Dr. Fauci admitted himself has been moving target and imagine that you're the person in charge of public health of people of largely densely populated state, in fact, most densely populated state in the Union, and these protocols continue to move and change.
It was my conclusion we need to do this to protect the public health of people of New Jersey. Governor Cuomo agreed. And now, Mayor Emanuel agrees. And I think the CDC eventually will come around to our point of view on this.
WALLACE: And what about Dr. Fauci who says it's not good science to quarantine people when they're not symptomatic because they can't spread the disease in those situations.
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I have great respect for Dr. Fauci. But what he's counting on is voluntary system with folks who may or may not comply. We had the situation in New Jersey, Chris, as you know, with NBC News crew that said that they were going to self-quarantine and then two days later they were picking up takeout in Princeton and walking a around the streets of Princeton.
I mean, the fact of the matter is that we -- I don't believe when you're dealing with something as serious as this that we can count on a voluntary system. This is government's job. If anything else, the government job is to protect safety and health of our citizens. And so, we've taken this action and I absolutely have no second thoughts about it.
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about one other aspect of it. Dr. Fauci talks about the unintended consequence. Everyone agrees that the only way you're going to stop this crisis is to end Ebola in West Africa and the concern is that the medical workers, the doctors, the nurses, that are willing to take their chances and go over there when they hear now that they're going to have to undergo mandatory three- week quarantine when they come back may decide not to go in the first place and, in fact, the first nurse who has gone through the quarantine in New Jersey says that she feels she was badly treated.
So, are you concerned that you're going to disincentivize people from going over there to help stop the outbreak?
CHRISTIE: No, I'm really not, Chris, because I believe that folks who want to take that step and are willing to volunteer also understand that it's in their interest and the public health interest to have a 21-day period thereafter if they've been directed expose to people with the virus.
And as we saw with what happened with some of the health care workers in Texas, with the CDC shifting protocols, we have people who are infected from that type of contact. And we just can't have that in the New York and New Jersey area. And that's why Governor Cuomo and I agree on this, and now, you see that they agree in Chicago as well. I think this is a policy that will become a national policy sooner rather than later.
WALLACE: All right. Let's talk some politics. You're in Florida as head of Republican Governors Association. Let's put up the numbers on the governors races.
At this point, Republicans currently have 29 governor seats, Democrats, 21. But this year, Republicans are defending 22 governorships and Democrats only 14.
Governor, where do you see the count -- it's now 29-21 Republican -- where do you see the count after the election?
CHRISTIE: Well, Chris, it's interesting. You know, we're also defending nine governorships in states that President Obama has won twice. And so, we have a pretty daunting task on our hands. And I think everybody expected us to be a little bit on our heels. It's now, quite to the contrary, we're on offense in more states than we're on defense. But the fact is that we have 12 races now within the margin of error with nine days to go until election.
So, I think no one with really predict exactly where we're going to be. And I've been more involved in these races than anyone on our side of the aisle. But the fact is, it's going to be a real battle all the way down to Election Day. Because of the great job that our Republican governors have done and some of the real good things that our candidates are proposing in challenger races, I think we're going to come through this very, very well.
WALLACE: Let me ask you briefly about Wisconsin, where some of the people around Republican Governor Scott Walker who is seeking reelection are complaining that the RGA is not doing enough to support him, and they're even suggesting maybe the reason is because you view him as possible threat, a possible contender for presidency in 2016. Your response, sir?
CHRISTIE: Well, listen. The facts just don't back that up Chris.
First of all, Scott Walker and I have a great personal relationship. I just spoke to Scott again a couple of days ago, and we have a great personal relationship and I'll be going next week to campaign for him two different times.
Secondly, we spent over $6 million already in state of Wisconsin on this effort. And over the course of Scott's three races for governor, 2010, 2012 and 2014, we spent $20 million.
And so, you know, that's just folks who are in the punditry who want to, you know, talk about backroom kind of stuff that has no relationship to reality.
I am a complete Scott Walker supporter, always have been, and we're going to work as hard as we can to make sure he's reelected, and I believe he will be reelected on November 4th.
WALLACE: Governor, you mentioned President Obama. While he's staying away from Democratic Senate races he's actually campaigning in several governor races. In fact, in these final days, he's going to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maine and Michigan. Is it harder to tie a Democrat gubernatorial candidate in state race to President Obama and his policy?
CHRISTIE: It depends who that Democrat is obviously, Chris, and what their record is. For instance, in Michigan, Congressman Gary Schauer completely supports the Obama agenda and that's why Rick Snyder I believe, on top of the fact that he has extraordinary record of job creation and growth and bringing Detroit back in Michigan will be elected. Contributing factor, of course, is Congressman Schauer's record of supporting the Obama agenda in Congress. So, it very much depends on who that Democratic candidate is.
But what we rely upon more than anything else are the great records and the great ideas of our Republican records and our Republican challengers.
You look at someone like Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, he's running an outstanding race there. We've got a lot of great challenges around the country. Bruce Rauner in Illinois is doing a great job in that very blue state. Tom Foley in Connecticut is doing a great job in that very blue state. And keep an eye on Larry Hogan down in Maryland, also doing a good job in a very blue state.
Those are places that we're pushing, Chris, and we may have success on election night.
WALLACE: Governor. I don't to tell you, this is the first time that you've done a Sunday show since Bridgegate, the scandal about the closing of those lanes from Fort Lee, New Jersey, onto the George Washington Bridge causing tremendous traffic jam because of the fact that the mayor of Fort Lee refused to support your reelection.
There was a report in September, last month, that nine months into their investigation that federal prosecutors had found no evidence that had you prior knowledge of lane closures and yet, now, more than a month later, 10 months into investigation the state and federal investigations continue.
Question: why do you think it's taking so long?
CHRISTIE: You know, Chris, I did this for seven years of my career. Before I became governor, I was United States attorney for the district of New Jersey. And one thing I learned very clearly is that any time that politicians try to guess what was going on in prosecutor's offices, they're making a big mistake.
So, I don't speculate about that stuff. All the people of New Jersey know and need to know is that I absolutely had nothing to do with this, and that seems to be the conclusion that some folks are coming to as well, and I know it will be the conclusion ultimately also because I know the truth.
WALLACE: Well, you talk about prosecutors. That's the federal case. The state case is being handled by state legislators. Do you think there's an effort by some of the Democrats there to keep you under a cloud?
CHRISTIE: Of course, of course. And if you look at what those hearings have been like, they've been hyper-partisan and political. But that's OK, Chris. You don't get me complaining about these things.
The fact of the matter of this, we took steps we needed to take when we discovered that something in administration gone wrong. And now, we move on and we continue to govern and gotten things like bail reform done in New Jersey over the last number of months, got a balanced budget passed again, and did all the things that you expect the government to be doing, working with Democrats who do not want to hyper-partisan and political.
So, this is not the kind of stuff that concerns me at all. I keep doing my job and doing my job at chairman of Republican Governors Association.
WALLACE: I don't want to go too deeply into it, but you brought up the budget. You're taking some criticism now for the financial situation in New Jersey. You decided to cut payments to pension funds and instead of raising taxes on millionaires and businesses. The credit rating for New Jersey has actually been downgraded eight times on your watch, and the polls in New Jersey show you with your lowest favorability rating since you became governor.
What's going on? CHRISTIE: Well, first of all, Chris, you have to remember what we inherited five years ago -- an $11 billion deficit budget, 10 years of consecutive tax increases at the state level. This was an awful mess.
And now, what have we done? We have five balanced budgets in a row. We had $2.3 billion in tax cuts to the businesses of New Jersey, 143,000 new private sector jobs and unemployment rate that's gone from 9.7 percent down to 6.5 percent.
So, we still have work to do in New Jersey, no question. But we've gotten a lot of things done over the course of the last five years. I'm very proud of that record and I'm working every day to make that record even better as go forward.
So, there will always be the naysayers, Chris. There will always be the critics. But I'm there getting the job done every day and I think that's what the people of New Jersey liked about us.
WALLACE: All right. Let's turn to 2016. Are you going to run for president?
CHRISTIE: I don't know. I have not made up my mind, won't make up my mind until the beginning of next year. I've got 36 governor races I'm overseeing right now, in addition to a pretty busy day job, as you outlined with the questions on Ebola and the budget and others.
And so, I have not made a decision, Chris. But I'm not being coy about it. I'm obviously thinking about it. But I won't make any final decision until next year.
WALLACE: You spoke to U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week and you made some comments that got some attention. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I am convinced that the next president of the United States is going to be a governor, and it needs to be. We had the experiment of a legislator who's never run anything, getting on-the- job training in the White House. It has not been pretty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You were obviously taking a shot at President Obama, but were you also taking a shot at potential candidates, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz?
CHRISTIE: No, what I was talking about is what we've seen in the White House over the last six years. And I think we see it over and over again with crisis that are happening both around the world and at home right now.
You need to have someone in that chair who knows how to make these decisions who have done it before and that's why I advocate governors as the best people to be considered for president in 2016. But no, this is direct commentary on record of last six years and, unfortunately, the fact someone who never ran anything bigger than a Senate staff may not be the best training in the world to run the biggest government in the world, Chris.
WALLACE: In that Chamber of Commerce speech, you also said, quote, "It's time to start offending people." And there's one comment you made that a lot of people are taking offense to. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I'm tired of hearing about minimum wage, I really am. I don't think there's a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table tonight in America who are saying, "You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all our dreams would be realized."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Governor, while everyone agrees that we need better- paying jobs, you know, for people who are making $7.25 an hour, the minimum wage now, they say getting increase of $10 an hour would make a big difference in their lives and that you were being cavalier about it?
CHRISTIE: Not being cavalier at all, Chris. I'm saying it exactly as I see it. What we need to do in this country is not have debate over a higher minimum wage. We have to have a debate over creating better-paying middle class jobs in the country. If that somehow doesn't comport with what people in the political elite want, well, I'm sorry. But I know talking to families across New Jersey and now across this country that what they're aspiring to is that good- paying middle class jobs for their children to take and even higher so that they can have a stable home life, so that they can have the ability to go away on vacation if they like to, they can have the ability to save for children to go to college.
That's the kind of future that people in this country want. And debate we need to be having is how to have a better pro-growth economy that's growing jobs and good-paying jobs, jobs at places Motorola Solutions or other kind of places across the country, other great businesses that operate in New Jersey and other places across the country that create those kind of great paying middle class jobs. That's the debate we should be having.
There's just not income inequality in this country, Chris. The bigger problem is opportunity inequality. And that's what mothers and fathers are sitting around kitchen tables talking about wanting for their children's future. And that's exactly what I was saying at the Chamber of Commerce. And I don't back off from those comments one inch.
WALLACE: Finally, Governor, we've got about a minute left. The last time we talked was last November, just after you had been reelected as governor. And at that time, you were the front runner for the Republican nomination in those absurdly early polls. Let's put them on the screen.
A McClatchy-Marist national poll at that time had you leading potentially contenders at 18 percent, Rand Paul at 12, and Jed Bush at 10.
But late last month, Bush was in front 15 percent, with Paul at 13, and you at 12.
I have two questions really: one, how badly have you been damaged by Bridgegate? And secondly, what do you say to people who may like you but worried that you may be too tough, too bear bones, to brass knuckled for the presidency? And that even if you did know nothing about it, that you created a climate in your administration where people thought closing lanes to a bridge was OK?
CHRISTIE: Well, first of all, there was no climate in our administration that would ever permit that and the termination of folks who were involved I think proves that very clearly.
Secondly, so those are our bipartisan record of having achieve property tax reform in New Jersey, pension and benefit reform in New Jersey, tax cuts in New Jersey, five balanced budgets where today Chris, we're spending less in fiscal year '15 than the state of New Jersey spent the fiscal career 2008, seven years ago. Those are all bipartisan achievements because I have a Democratic legislature, bail reform this year, and focusing on getting smart with drug rehabilitation -- all bipartisan achievements that we've done this year.
And so, the fact is, you can't worry about those kind of polls for an election that's three years away. And that's certainly nothing that I worry about or is even at the front of my mind. What I'm much more concerned about is doing the job for the people of my state, which we continue to do.
In second term, when you find -- look at what's happened in Washington, Chris. You know, they can't get anything accomplished down there from White House on down. Yet, in New Jersey we're still passing major pieces of legislation.
So, no, I'm not least bit concerned of any of that. You know what I'm concerned about? Two things right now -- first and foremost, doing my job as governor of New Jersey, and making our state a better place to live and work and raise a family. And second, electing as many Republicans to state houses across this country in nine days. And I think we're going to have success at both.
WALLACE: Governor Christie, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. Always good to talk with you. To be continued, sir.
CHRISTIE: Absolutely, Chris. I look forward to it.
WALLACE: How do you think Republicans will do in November? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and use the hashtag FNS. Up next, as we head into the final week of a campaign, how much of a burden is President Obama for Democrats and tight races? Our Sunday group joins the conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANNE SHAHEEN (D) NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATOR: I never said I didn't want President Obama to come and campaign. The fact is, he's busy in Washington.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The bottom line, is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: That's helpful. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen tried to explain President Obama's absence from her tough campaign for reelection, but the president failing to play along with Democrats who are eager to keep their distance from him. And it's time now for our Sunday group. Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst. Nina Easton from "Fortune Magazine," syndicated columnist George Will and former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh.
Well, before we get to the midterms, Brit, Chris Christie had in effect the coming out today, at least on Sunday talk shows this year. What did you think about his performance and his viability as a candidate for president in 2016?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: He was impressive in the sense that he was fluid on the issues, he had good answers for your questions which were probing. And I think what we're seeing now is his reemergence. It's not that the clouds that has hovered over him since this bridge scandal is gone. But I think it's dissipated over time. The fact that the investigating groups have not come up with anything suggested, you know, they may be doing what they're doing continuing to the investigation for the same reason that people always say you know what, you always find something you're looking for in the last place you're looking -- you stop looking when you find it -- I don't think these people are going to stop until they find something, but the longer this goes on the likelihood they're actually doing that I think diminishes.
WALLACE: Nina, one of the things that surprised me in the presidential poll I put up for Chris Christie and let's put it up on the screen again is if you look at that Christie clearly has taken a hit from last December because of Bridgegate. On the other hand, despite all of this and his kind of absence from the national scene he's still right up there with the frontrunners.
NINA EASTON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: He is. And I think he's got two things going for him, one, he is incredibly authentic and connects with real people, which is what people want these days. Secondly, low expectations. I can't tell you how many people have written him off, the pros have written him off because of Bridgegate. And having low expectations is a really good way to start a race. WALLACE: All right. Let's turn to the midterms and nine days out, George, a lot of these Senate races are between the Republicans and the Democrats. Some of them Republican seats, some Democratic seats are within the margin of error and the poll in this is really tight.
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's tight and it's remarkable. Because what that means is in Arkansas and North Carolina and elsewhere Democratic candidates are running double digits ahead of the president's job approval rating, which they simply should not be doing.
WALLACE: He's down at 31, 32, 33 percent and they are up in mid to high 40s.
WILL: That's right. And right now the campaigns are focused on what they call low propensity voters, that is voters who vote in the presidential election, but have to be prompted and even prodded to the polls and off year elections and one measure of this is early voting. We used to have Election Day, now we have election month in this country, in some cases, election eight weeks, six weeks. Republicans say that they're doing very well in early voting and absentee ballot voting we shall see. There's some very interesting polls out there. "The Denver Post" poll shows that Cory Gardner, the Republican Senate candidate is ahead of his opponent Mark Udall, incumbent senator. Among Hispanics, 49 to 35, that's a 14 point lead among Hispanics for the Republican in Colorado.
WALLACE: Senator Bayh, your reaction to these polls despite all the talk about the unpopularity of the president and talk about a potential Republican wave the fact that they're still so close and you've been there, your best sense of whether Democrats hold on to the Senate or Republicans flip it.
EVAN BAYH, FORMER U.S. SENATOR (D-IN.): Well, let's me answer the second question first, Chris, this is going to be very close. The number of races that are still in play is extraordinarily high. So, it's tough to answer. A lot we are not going to know until election night. But history, geography and the president's approval rating would suggest it's going to be a good night for Republicans. The big question is the Democrats and the Senate have invested about $60 million in get out the vote efforts. Those voters that George was describing. The Obama campaign was very good at turning those folks out, they outperform the polls in many of these states, including Colorado in 2012 and Michael Bennett running in Colorado in 2010 did the same thing. Ticket state like Alaska, small electorate, Mark Begich, invested a lot of money in trying to register and get out the voters in the indigenous population areas. So, I don't want to frighten you or your viewers here, Chris, but if I had to guess, my guess is control of the United States Senate is going to come down to a runoff in December in Louisiana and quite possibly a runoff in Georgia in January.
WALLACE: Let me ask you a one quick follow up question. You talk about Democrats trying to get voters who don't -- who vote in presidential elections, but don't vote in midterms to come out and vote this time. You are also talking about trying to get the Obama voters to vote when Obama is not on the ballot. What do you think is the likelihood of success for the two of those?
BAYH: At the margins you can usually move one, two, maybe three percent. So, the key here is that there's so many races that may be that close perhaps they can thread the needle and pull it off. But it is a dilemma, because many of these states are red states where the president is not popular and yet you are still trying to turn out base Democratic votes. There is some kind of in-dissonance there.
WALLACE: Just briefly final thought, Brit?
HUME: Well there's three -- there is a bunch of factors that have been mentioned here that favor the Republicans. But there are three. One of which is we are referring to. The Democrats turnout machine is superb and up until this month they've also had a money advantage and finally there's a low esteem in which the Republican Party is held, all of which constitute powerful forces that counteract the fact that this looks like it's going to be a good Republican year and may determine whether it's good enough for the Republicans to take control of the Senate.
WALLACE: All right, we have to take a break here. When we come back, attacks this week in Canada and New York City are raising fears about lone wolf terrorism. What do you want to ask our Sunday group? Just go to Facebook or Twitter at Fox News Sunday and we may use your question on the air.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN HARPER, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: We will be vigilant, but we will not run scared. We will be prudent, but we will not panic and as for the business of government, well, here we are in our seats in our chamber in the very heart of our democracy in our world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Here here. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper taking a firm stand after two terror attacks on his country in three days. And we're back now with the panel. Well, it was not just Canada. Take a look at this video in New York City this week. Of a man with a hatchet who attacked New York City police officers Thursday. Authorities say he had been visiting ISIS and other Jihadists web sites. Here's New York City police commissioner William Pratt.
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WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: As I'm looking at this at this particular point in time, I would be comfortable. Preliminary evaluation is that this was a terrorist act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: No doubt in his mind about it. George, the two men in Canada and the one in New York seem to be classic self-radicalized lone wolf terrorists, and if they're getting recruited on their Internet and in their home how do we stop them?
WILL: I don't think I would count this as being recruited. There are 315 million people in this country, and some are stark raving mad. That's just a fact. And there is always going to be a problem with -- in 1951, a man now unjustly forgotten Eric Hoffer published a book that called "The True Believer," in which he said mass movements, religions, the totalitarian movements of the 20 century, often attract people who find in these movements not real politics, but psychoanalysis. Psychotherapy. They project their disorderly inner lives on these things, they get a sense of meaning out of it. I'm afraid it's true then, true now. He received the Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan in 1983 for this insight. We should revisit what he saw.
WALLACE: Well, that brings up an interesting question. Because there's a debate. Are these really terrorists? Or are these going to be -- you look at these people, they have long criminal records, they were down and out, they are homeless, perhaps mentally ill. Does it make a difference what their motivation I mean, if they end up doing their worst?
EASTON: They have been called lone wolves. I would call them stray dogs. They're sort of skulking around dangerous figures, looking for inspiration. But it's when they get the backing and the inspiration, which is there now, which is that -- is a key strategy of ISIS is to radicalize westerners, both at home with them and here. And one thing I think not to terrify people, but this is something that can go on for a very long time. We have Leon Panetta, former defense secretary saying this is a 30 year war. Anne-Marie Slaughter, former top Hillary aide saying to me a couple of weeks ago, we are looking at a 15 to 20 year war against terror now. That ISIS has been let loose. So, this is something that we're going to have to confront. We're going to have to confront home. And these guys in Canada, they were trying to get to the Middle East and couldn't and they took it out here. So, this is the problem both in the Middle East and at home.
WALLACE: George says this is not recording, on the other hand, Brit, we have had three of these attacks just this week. And one of the questions I have is, is there something about ISIS and its claims of a caliphate, of an Islamic state where they have great sophistication on the Internet with these beheadings and we know that this last fellow in New York apparently had visited those sites. Is there something about them that makes them more attractive to the lone wolf, stray dogs? HUME: Well, it certainly makes it more attractive to people whose lives are in disarray. Who have a propensity for violence. But may be afraid to die. The message from ISIS is you're going to glory. You are going to be martyred. So, this not only gives them a reason to do this, but it gives them a reason not to fear the outcome. I mean this attacker was killed in a hail of bullets from the police guns. He didn't care, apparently. So, he was prepared for that. If ISIS is able to inspire violent nut cases across the United States and there're plenty of them to carry out random attacks first on the police, but possibly later on random citizens, this is especially frightening and does have the effect, I think of terror. And that video you showed is truly frightening.
WALLACE: I want to get back to this question of what do we do about it? How do we stop it? We ask you for questions for the panel and we've got a bunch like this on Facebook from Paul David Henson who writes, "Why is our government's monitoring of our e-Communications still failing to stop a radical who posts plainly on Facebook their intentions? What's good is it to monitor and detect if you are only going to sit back and watch the attack." Senator Bayh, pretty good question. How do you answer Paul?
BAYH: It's hard to answer Paul. Civil libertarians will say it's not enough to just express radical thoughts. There's got to be some action behind it. But these is hard as the panel has indicated here. These are individuals who aren't communicating with wide networks that we can normally listen to and pick up on. They're already in the country, so we can't stop them from getting in. And it's a balance between protecting society from these maniacs, these radicals on the one hand versus preserving some zone of privacy on the other. Therein lies detention.
WALLACE: Well, as we've seen, though, there's a controversy, George, obviously, about the NSA and all of the surveillance, and we know that they are able to track at least the fact of every phone call and every e-mail. Do we need -- not fewer less surveillance, but more surveillance, so that when a guy like that is posting horrible things and some of these guys also in Canada were doing that we pick it up and somehow they fall into the security net.
WILL: The question becomes what does monitoring mean? Frankly, friends, relatives, family ought to notice that the people who are close to them are deeply disturbed and they ought to have public health officials that they can turn to and say this is symptomatic of potential violence. The idea that the central government, the National Security Administration or something collecting meta data in vast form of this, in billions and trillions, can then find these few needles in that enormous haystack and then the federal government can monitor, I don't know what means, frankly. We have to be -- this is something to be done at the local level with people who know these people and see something disturbing unfolding ...
WALLACE: But at least, Nina, in the case of that fellow who went into the parliament in Canada, Zehaf-Bibeau, his mother said she had not seen him in five years. So, some of these people just drop out. So, you wonder who, what's the net around them of family and friends that's going to say he's off the rail?
EASTON: Some of them do drop out. And by the way, I'm going to put this in the same basket of something we have not talked today, about today, which is school shootings. And I would put all of this in the same category of when you see something say something. This is -- this is a see (ph) that we use to fight terrorism since 911. We need to set up a mechanism at the federal level where people can call in where troubling social postings, because they're public, you see these. When you see these troubling postings you have some place to go with it. Let's take a school shooting. The Santa Barbara shooter. His mother was scared to death that this guy was going to take a gun out and shoot those kids in Isla Vista. Where, by the way, my son lives. So I've taken a real interest in this. But this is -- I think it's something that you can approach in a similar way, which is if you see something, say something, and where does somebody who is troubled by the postings, the activities, the talks of somebody that they know, where can they go?
WALLACE: But I told you, part of the quandary there, Brit, is even if you did let somebody know, that so and so is posting terrible things, what are you going to do about it?
HUME: You can't (INAUDIBLE) to follow every one of these people around at all times.
WALLACE: And you can't commit them for just writing something on ...
HUME: Therein lies part of the problem here. We, you know, everyone who lives in an urban area and in other areas as well, know that there's lots of people who are not playing with a full deck, or are lying around in our parks and they appear to be harmless and they can't be -- they cannot be institutionalized because a course of rule that such people may not be.
WALLACE: In a lot of cases, they've been released from mental institutions.
HUME: Exactly right. So, I think, that's an issue that may need some to be revisited as well, is how -- you can commit these nutty people to institutions to keep them from being on the streets where they may become ...
WALLACE: Final thoughts in 30 seconds.
BAYH: Two quick points, Chris, as horrific as this is, it's still a wide aberration. You have got a lot greater chance of getting hit in a car accident than you do being attacked by a hatcher from a terrorist. So, we have to keep in perspective. Secondly, at the end of the day, this is an empty ideology. In our way of life, we'll triumph in the long run. It may take years, but eventually these merchants of death are not on the right side of history.
WALLACE: That's a hopeful note on a very bleak week. Thank you. All of you. All right. We're going to take a quick break here. When we come back we'll have the panel back. The World Series in full swing, but viewers are not tuning in like they used to. George Willis -- what's happening to America's pastime?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There (INAUDIBLE). Giant swing! Sandoval delivers!
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WALLACE: My best Joe Buck impression, San Francisco Giant third baseman Pablo Sandoval delivering the two out bases, love (ph) and single, that gave his team the lead over the Kansas City Royals in game four, the World Series. The series, of course, now tied at two games apiece. And we're back now with some extra innings for our Sunday group. Well, we were struck by an article in the "New York Times" this week about not how many, but how few people are watching the World Series. Let's put the stats up on the screen. 12.2 million people tuned into the opening game. That may sound a lot. That is the lowest rated game one on record. 12.9 million watched game two. By way of comparison, 25 million people watched the World Cup soccer game last summer between the U.S. and Portugal double the audience for the World Series opener. George is our baseball guru. What is wrong with the national pastime?
WILL: Not a thing. If 20 years ago it was 1.2 billion dollar industry and now it's a 9 billion dollar industry. If you add up the combined attendance of the national hockey league, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Major League Baseball draws 14 million more people than those sports combined. 95 percent of all self-identified NFL fans have never been to an NFL game and never will. It's a television program. And there's a reason for that in part. Because a lot of people would rather not go to the experience the stadium ambience, which is to say nothing more, rowdy. To watch grown men get concussion.
WALLACE: We like the NFL here, too, George. Anyway, this has been a trend for decades and the fact is that it's been going on this way. Take a look at these numbers that last nine years, have produced the eight least watched World Series. This is watched. And check this out. 12.2 million people, as we said, watched the Kansas City Royals in game one this year. The last time the Royals were in the Series in 1985, the games averaged 34.5 million viewers. That's pretty dramatic.
BAYH: Well, it reflects the proliferation of media options and athletic options, Chris. People just have a lot more choices these days. So, nothing is going to be quite as dominant as it used to be. My hope is and I would defer to the guru, but my hope is, that this does not, you know, it's not evidence of a broader trend in society, the sort of immediate and constant gratification culture we seem to have developed where the pace of the game may just not lend itself quite so much to that. WALLACE: All right. WE have less than a minute left. So, we are going to have to be quick. Brit, baseball knows it has a problem. They have scheduled this World Series so they're not going up against Thursday night football and they are not going up against Monday night football.
HUME: Yet they are, yet as if this was the case last night, they are up against college football.
WALLACE: But you can't avoid everything.
HUME: Well, I understand. But college -- I think football, college and pro and even high school has supplanted baseball as the national obsession. But I think football as George has suggested may be under a death sentence because of the concussion problem. If that's not solved, kids are not going to be playing and that means that eventually the game will wither.
WALLACE: But we're under a death sentence, because we're flat out of time. Nina, I apologize.
WALLACE: I know you're a big sports fan. I had to tell her that the World Series was happening. Thank you Panel. See you next week in New York as we preview the midterms from Fox News election headquarters. Now a quick program note: you can catch and please do game five of the World Series tonight on your local Fox station. Coverage starts at 8 Eastern only on Fox. That's it for today, have a great week. We'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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Chris will sit down with Green Party Presidential Nominee Dr Jill Stein, to discuss her controversial push for a presidential election recount in several states.