This Week: Chris sits down for an exclusive interview with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
President Obama's ISIS strategy falling short? Plus, Dr. Ben Carson on measles outbreak, vaccines
Written by Chris Wallace / Published February 08, 2015 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Dr. Ben Carson, Manny Pacquiao
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," February 8, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
Jordan escalates its war on ISIS. But what is the U.S. plan to defeat Islamic extremism?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNTIED STATES: We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This president is sitting on the sidelines putting our allies at risk and allowing radical Islam to run while throughout the Mideast.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the threat and the need for a coherent strategy in a rare sit down with the former director of the defense intelligence agency, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.
It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.
Then, the measles outbreak becomes a political flash point for members of the GOP's 2016 short list.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I got annoyed as people trying to depict me as someone who didn't think vaccines were a good idea.
WALLACE: We'll talk with rising conservative and star potential White House hopeful, Dr. Ben Carson, who says vaccination should be mandatory for children.
Plus, our Sunday group weighs in how it could shake up the 2016 field.
And our Power Player of the Week, world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao on finding God.
Do you see any conflict between your faith and boxing?
MANNY PACQUIAO, CHAMPION BOXER: God has a purpose.
WALLACE: All, right now, "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
The U.S.-led coalition continues to pound ISIS targets, with airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. The United Arab Emirates says it will rejoin the campaign, sending a squadron of F-16 fighters to Jordan. And Jordan dismisses ISIS claims that American aid worker was killed on a coalition airstrike as criminal propaganda.
At this key moment, we're honored to have a rare interview with Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who retired last year as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, CIA. Over 30 years, he held almost every top level military intel post, and he helped revolutionize how our military handles intelligence.
General Flynn, welcome to "Fox News Sunday."
LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET), FORMER DIRECTOR DEFENSE INTEL AGENCY: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me. Appreciate being here.
WALLACE: The Obama administration issued a new national security strategy on Friday. In it, President Obama writes this, "The challenges we face requires strategic patience and persistence."
National security adviser Susan Rice said this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: While the dangers we face may be more numerous and varied, they are not of the existential nature we confronted during World War II or during the Cold War. We cannot afford to be buffeted by alarmism and a nearly instantaneous news cycle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: General, is that the right way to look at the threat from Islamic extremism?
FLYNN: Well, let me just start out by saying that, you know, obviously, if you read the national security strategy, it's very complex. This is not about one president or one administration or another. This is about the nation's strategy going forward.
And I would tell you that we are facing a form of a cancerous component of the Islamic religion which has a fanaticism to it that has everything, which is against our way of life and they, in fact, have declared war on us. And I think that we have to recognize that the biggest challenge right now is what I kind of describe as the wolf or the wolf pack closest to the sled is ISIS. But there are other wolf packs around the world right now that are actually part of this larger expanding violent extremist version of Islam.
WALLACE: But when the president talks about, quote, "strategic patience", when Susan Rice says this is not an existential threat, and that we shouldn't be caught up in the alarmism of the news cycle, is that an adequate response to the threat you've just laid out?
FLYNN: Yes, I don't think it is. I think what -- I think what the American people is looking for is they are looking for moral and intellectual courage and clarity, and not a sense of passivity or confusion. I mean, I think there's confusion about what it is we're facing. It's not just what has defined as 40,000 fighters in the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It's also a large segment within that radical version of Islam that is actually -- you know, is threatening our way of life.
WALLACE: And when you talk about passivity or confusion, is that what you see coming out of this White House?
FLYNN: What I see, I see it's not just -- it's not just the White House. I mean, I really do believe that when members of Congress are yelling at the White House for strategy and the White House is talking back to them, I think what they really need to do is they need to sit down and figure out what is our strategy going forward.
FLYNN: This is not about one administration or another. This is about how do we move forward against this radical form of Islam.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about that, because you say that first thing we must do is we have to adequately and accurately identify the enemy. Last week, General Jack Keane showed us a map, and let's put it up on the screen. And it's pretty alarming, because what you see there is Islamic terror groups, not just ISIS, Islamic terror groups extending all the way from Pakistan and Afghanistan, all the way across the Middle East and into North Africa.
So, precisely, General, who or what is the enemy?
FLYNN: Chris, 10 years ago, I drown that map and there was only two or three dots on it. Today, what you are seeing is a doubling of the enemy. And what I have --
WALLACE: A doubling of the enemy?
FLYNN: Or a doubling or more, because usually our numbers, that we define the size of a -- the scale of the enemy that we're facing, are usually -- it's usually lower than what it really is. I would tell you that what we have in front of us and the strategy that we've had for over a decade, which is sort of this counterterrorism strategy, that is only a component of an overall strategy and I think that we have to do is recognize that it is not working. The counterterrorism component works just fine to go after the high value targets and the key leaders, but we need a much broader strategy that recognizes that we're facing not just this tactical problem of Iraq and Syria.
But just as that map show, we're facing a growing expanding threat around the world in some cases, particularly in the trans-region of the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
WALLACE: So, are you saying that at this moment, after all these years, that we do not have a coherent strategy, full 360 degrees, to combat Islamic terrorism?
FLYNN: Yes, I think what I'm saying is that the strategy that we've had is not -- is not working. I mean, it's clearly not working. Just look at the kinds of things we're facing.
I mean, I -- you know, in my -- in my world, what I have grown up to have to do is define the enemy that we are facing. Like I said, if you -- you can't defeat an enemy that you don't admit exists and I think that we have to clearly define what the enemy is. That's number one.
And I think the next thing is to clearly articulate a strategy that is broader than just counterterrorism, broader than just -- I hate to use those sort of military vernacular of air strikes, but I feel like we are -- we're kind of like a football team with the quarterback at the huddle and the quarterback says, ready break, everybody is supposed to step down the line, and the team is supposed to move down the field together in a synchronize way, you know, to the goal line to win.
I feel like we say, "ready break", all the players that are on the team, they're going off to different stadiums playing different sports. I mean, we really don't have an effective strategy that is coherent, that actually addresses the wider problem --
WALLACE: I want to get into --
FLYNN: -- which is the ideology, Chris.
WALLACE: I want to get into that in just a moment.
But this week seemed to be something of a turning point because with the savage burning to death of the Jordanian pilot, you had, you know, a huge explosion across the Middle East. Jordan obviously escalating its efforts. You hear expressions of outrage in Cairo, in Qatar, in Turkey -- is this a potential turning point to get more Arab buy-in opposing, not just ISIS but Islamic extremism?
FLYNN: Yes. We should quit using phrases like "turning points" and "tipping points". There's been multiple turning points, multiple tipping points. What we need to do is we need to come to grips with this cancerous form of the Islamic religion that is breaking down the Arab world order and that is very clear.
All you have to do is look at the different countries that -- where these groups exist and that break down of that order is affecting Europe, is affecting this country. We have as our great director of the FBI said recently in a statement that he made in Mississippi, I believe, talking about the numbers of radical Islamists that are in this country that are being -- that are being convinced to go overseas as part of this effort that's happening in the Middle East right now. I mean, just a stunning number of foreign fighters alone that are -- that have traveled to Syria and the numbers of countries I think it's somewhere of 40 and 50.
So, we have to come to grips with this. This is not just a problem in Iraq and Syria.
WALLACE: OK. So, let's get off the counterterrorism side and let's talk about the other, because you have said, look, we have to combat what's going on in the Middle East and also outside the Middle East now with these recruits, with economic efforts, with cultural efforts, with psychological efforts, to fight this ideology. How?
FLYNN: Right. So, I think that first thing we have to do is we have to look at how are we organized inside of our own country to deal with it and then we have to look at how do we want to organize ourselves internationally? And I think for our own country, it's looking at what the State -- how the State Department is involved in this, how the Department of Defense is involved in this and how the CIA is involved in this?
I mean, I think the -- all three of those components have a role nationally, but we have to organize better in order to achieve what we want to do in our own self-interest. Internationally, we have to come to grips with the Arab nations that are part of this problem in many cases to get them to come together and it's not just, you know, what's happening in Jordan or what's happening in Saudi or what the Emirates are doing, what is going on in Libya, or Mali or Nigeria? All of them need to come together. But there are problems with that.
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you, because you have suggested an Arab NATO.
WALLACE: A kind of mutual defense organization like we have with our allies in Western Europe. Is that realistic to get these countries to come together?
FLYNN: If we don't, then what we'll continue to see is a breakdown between what I call the leader and the led. I mean, these countries, all of them, are at risk if they don't come together and work together to achieve what it is that we are all saying is to get to this moderate form of Islam, if it exists.
You know, I was sent a note about where we've had 126 Muslim scholars recently crying out about that this type of Islam is not appropriate for that particular religion. Why only 126? There should be 126,000. I mean, more of the Arab nations, more of the leaders need to step up to the plate. I was --
WALLACE: How do we do that? And again, how do we -- I mean, look what we're talking about here and you have pointed out to me, this isn't just kids, sometimes these are middle aged professionals, doctors --
FLYNN: Engineers, teachers, that's right.
WALLACE: Right. And what is it -- something -- they obviously find something from ISIL and these other Islamic groups that is attractive and appealing to them. How do we shake some sense into them, if you will?
FLYNN: Well, I think the young people that are being attracted, I think it's a disconnect. In fact, I know it's a disconnect between sort of what I would describe as the leader and the led, in many cases, their parents and these young children that are being attracted to this. The economic depravity, the corruption that exists in some of these nations.
I mean, we have to recognize that the social and cultural, psychological underpinnings that are at risk and that are challenging these countries are going to come back to bite them. And in fact, that's what we are seeing.
WALLACE: I know you don't want to be political about this and you've made it clear and I respect that. But there was a comment made this week by President Obama that I want to play. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Honestly, General, at this particular moment in time when we are in a brutal fight, and we've seen just how brutal it can be with ISIS, how productive is it for the president to try to put what ISIS is doing in historical perspective with what the West did a thousand years ago? And how productive to use the word Crusades, which is epithet which they throw at us to come out of the president's mouth?
FLYNN: Yes, I think the risk that we take by comparing religions to religions, what we should be doing is we should be looking at one side being those contributing nations of the world, those that are willing to help the greater good of humanity against this radical form of Islam and that's where I'm at and that's where we need to be projecting ourselves forward -- history is an indicator for a lot of things and we should study and we should know it and we should recognize it for what it is.
But right now, as I said earlier, the wolf closest to the sled is this radical form of Islam. The tactical issue is ISIS or ISIL in the greater Levant area, which is essentially Syria, and Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, et cetera. But the wider problem is not just trans-regional in that part of the world, but it's also global.
I mean, 40 to 50 countries supplying fighters to this current fight in the Middle East? Come on.
WALLACE: And when you were head a few months of the defense intelligence agency, if you've seen the president was going to start talking about the Crusades, what would you have said?
FLYNN: I would have recommended that he talk about something else.
FLYNN: Because I just don't think it's appropriate. I really don't think it's not appropriate to begin to compare religions to religions. I mean, this is not -- we are not about -- you know, religions fighting religions. What we're about is the greater good of the people of this world, of planet, particularly this country, fighting against this evil that exists and this evil that exists is inside of this religion.
And so, it's just like other ideologies that we faced, Chris. We faced the Nazis, we faced the communists, we defeated those ideologies. This is another ideology that we're going to have to face. And those contributing nations of the world and those Arab nations, as I said, if they don't come to grips with this, they're going to -- they're going to feel the pain.
WALLACE: Well, finally, and that's my last question. Because you have compared the fight we face against Islamic extremism to World War II or the Cold War and our battle for half a century against the communists and you have called for a unified chain of command like we had with General Eisenhower in World War II.
Question, honestly, you were at the Pentagon, at the DIA, for the last couple of years -- who is in charge of this war right now?
FLYNN: Good question. I mean, I think that we need to -- we need to be asking that question. It can't be the president. It can't be the secretary of state.
You know, the reason why I use Eisenhower because essentially was, you know, General Eisenhower, go defeat the Nazis the Europe, go win the war in Europe, and here's the resources, here's the authorities, here's all the permissions, everybody is going to work for you essentially to achieve that purpose and he did.
WALLACE: And I have to ask, briefly -- is there anybody who's in that role right now?
FLYNN: I can't sit here and tell you that I know who it is. I really don't, which is part of the problem.
And when you -- so if everybody is in charge, nobody is in charge and it's like the analogy I just used with the football team, we're saying ready, break and everybody is going into different stadiums. We have to face the reality that we are -- that it is staring us in the face right now and that's this expansion of radical Islam and it -- they are against our way of life and we have to make sure that we understand that.
And the growth of it over the last decade, OK -- so it goes between a couple of administrations and it will continue to go as I said -- in the statements I made, this is more than just something that's going to be solved in the next two years. This is going to have to take 10 years, maybe an entire generation or more.
WALLACE: General Flynn, thank you. Thanks for joining us today, sir.
FLYNN: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Please come back.
FLYNN: I will.
WALLACE: I'd love to continue the conversation.
Coming up, as Jordan escalates its airstrikes, is the Middle East -- we've been told no -- at a turning point at the war in terror. Our Sunday group joins the conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Let there be no doubt, we still do not have a viable strategy to counter ISIL, and if you are not winning in war, you are losing.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WALLACE: President Obama denouncing ISIS this week, while Senator John McCain says the White House still doesn't have a plan to beat them.
And it's time now for our Sunday group: GOP strategist Karl Rove, Bob Woodward for "The Washington Post", radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, and FOX News political analyst Juan Williams.
Bob, you wrote a book about Obama's war. How do you explain this week his talking in his national security strategy about strategic patience and calling -- comparing what we're doing to the crusades a thousand years ago. What do you make of those kind of comments at a time when we are -- the war against ISIS seems to have, if anything, only become more urgent?
BOB WOODWARD, THE WASHINGTON POST: If you talk to people in the White House and the military, I think there's agreement and John McCain is right and General Flynn is right, there is no strategy. They have not sat down and said this is where we want to go and this is how we want to do it, and the measure of that, when you head into the weeds here, people from the White House are micromanaging the tactical situation on a daily and weekly basis. That's not their job. They have to kind of do strategic planning and say, what do we want to accomplish in the next year?
WALLACE: Wait a minute, are you saying that -- forgive me -- Susan Rice, is telling the generals what to do?
WOODWARD: And they've got all these people in the White House -- you talk to people in the military who are there and they say, we are being micromanaged and we're not given a real plan to say what are we going to do here, and it's not the way to run a war or try to win a war.
Now, in fairness, this is a very difficult, ugly situation, and what they need is George Kennan, who was the one who came up --
WALLACE: The architect of containment.
WOODWARD: Of containment, to deal with the Soviet Union, which worked on a bipartisan basis, Republican presidents, Democratic presidents, saying, we're going to contain the Soviet Union, and there were elements that worked with people.
This -- you've talked to the working level people and they say, where are we going?
WALLACE: Karl, just on an issue of leadership, I very much doubt that during the London blitz that Winston Churchill would have somehow put what the Nazis were doing in historical context with what the Anglo Saxons had done a thousand years before.
KARL ROVE, GOP STRATEGIST: Yes, appalling lack of leadership.
But, look, there's even bigger problem. If you read this national security document, there are two fundamental errors. One is a belief that wishing something to be true will make it so. The president is clearly intent upon disabusing a notion that ISIL and other groups like it represent an existential threat to the United States and the world order, as he told Fareed Zakaria last weekend in his interview.
But ISIL, if it achieves its goal of a caliphate in the Middle East, fueled by oil riches, will be a threat to the world order. Similarly, if the Taliban reestablishes its control over Afghanistan and again becomes a sanctuary for terrorists, it will become a threat to the world order.
The second problem is, is that they declare their failures as successes in order to repeat them. The president withdrew troops from Iraq, leaving behind no residual force as the Iraqis wanted, and as a result, he's not able to even undertake the three critical capabilities that his own strategy says are essential to success, namely, targeted counterterrorism, collective action, with responsible partners and stopping the growth of this kind of terrorist organizations.
WALLACE: Laura, you know, I can't emphasize how important the interview we just had was. Here's Mike Flynn, one of the nation's top military intelligence people for a quarter of a century and I got to tell you -- not a partisan guy. He did not want to come on to go after Obama and yet, when I asked him direct questions -- because he's a straight shooter -- he said, we don't have a strategy to defeat not just ISIS, but this whole -- and he believes that we don't even identify what the problem is -- this growing virulent form of Islamic extremism.
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, anyone with a pulse or brain wave knows there no strategy. It's clear.
But we know the president is capable of putting together a strategy for things he really cares about -- free community college, immigration amnesty, he knows how to produce this strategy, he knows how to sell the strategy, he knows how to engineer a great moment in the Oval Office with the DREAMers and it's very emotional. So, he does know how to make the case to the American people on the issues he cares about, Chris.
But I think on this issue, it's just one other problem of many problems. And Karl is right, that comment he made at the big prayer breakfast speech, when he said get off -- we have to get off our high horse, I found that offensive. A high horse? We have a man burned to death? We have all these children being buried alive, we have Christians being tortured and brutalized throughout Africa, and now in the Middle East. And we're on our high house?
I found that to be one of the most appalling statements of a modern day president at a time of great crisis.
WALLACE: Juan, you are shaking your head, but wait a minute, is the president's desire to keep his campaign promises, is his tremendous obviously -- he wants to be the president whose legacy is that he got us out of war, is that getting in the way of this ability to confront the reality that he faces right now?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let's look at this as the president as leader, for just a second, I don't have my brain waves questioned this morning. But the president represents the American people, Chris. The American people are not calling for more war after two wars -- two wars that drained our economy, strained our military.
Let's look at it in terms of his role of madder in chief. We've had six months of air strikes, strategic air strikes on is. Six months, 90 percent of them by the United States of America. I don't see our Western allies seeing some reality that he is not seeing. They are not in the fight.
I don't see our Arab allies, those Muslim countries right there are right there directly threatened. I don't see them picking up the pace.
WALLACE: Well, Jordan now is doing that.
WILLIAMS: No, now, 90 percent by the American military. So, I don't see why we blame America and the American president instead of looking farther.
And secondly, even the far right, in saying where's the strategy? They are not calling for putting troops on the ground. They say oh, no, we're not saying put troops on the ground, they know the American people don't want troops on the ground.
WALLACE: All right. Karl, last word?
ROVE: Well, the American people would support action if the president enunciated the necessity for that action. Juan makes referenced to the U.S. airstrikes. That tempo of 700 roughly airstrike is what was normally done within a day or two.
And why the Arabs not stepping up to the line, because they think this president is feckless and weak. We need strong American leadership. The American people will follow if the president enunciates what's at stake and so will our allies. But none of them are going to get out there in front of us, except maybe the Jordanians, because they do not want to get out in front and be cut out from underneath as this president's time and time again done again to our allies.
WILLIAMS: This is a blame game, and you can do alarmism and you can say it's instantaneous and urgent. We got to do this right now.
WALLACE: Can I get to one thing because we have to cut off. Sometimes it's worth getting alarmed and when they are killing hostages, cutting their heads off, burning them alive, you know what --
WILLIAMS: Yes, but that's not to say there's a direct threat to the United States like 9/11.
WALLACE: Time to hear the alarm here.
All right. We have to take a break here. We'll see you all later in the program.
Up next, the vaccine debate spills over into the race for the president. We asked potential 2016 Republican candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, about it.
And what do you think about vaccinating children? Should it be mandatory? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and use the #fns.
WALLACE: The Centers for Disease Control have now confirmed the first case of measles in New Jersey. Since January, the outbreak has spread to 16 states and the District of Columbia with more than 100 cases. The debate over mandatory vaccinations became an issue this week in the early Republican presidential campaign and that's just one of the reasons we want to talk with Dr. Ben Carson, a world renowned brain surgeon who is seriously considering a 2016 run. Dr. Carson, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday".
DR. BEN CARSON, RETIRED PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGEON: Thank you. Good to be with you, Chris.
WALLACE: You have been hard-line on vaccinations. When it comes to serious diseases like measles, you say the parental authority is trumped by public health. Here's what Rand Paul had to say about that this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAND PAUL (R) KENTUCKY SENATOR: I've heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines. I'm not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they are a good thing. But I think the parents should have some input. The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Dr. Carson, you have been reluctant to criticize the senator. You say he's a reasonable person. But let me put this differently. Is that a reasonable statement?
CARSON: Well, you know, what we really have to look at is the fact that we've learned a lot about immunology and the science behind vaccinations and we've made tremendous progress in eliminating some devastating diseases over the decades. What happened a few years ago is that information was disseminated inappropriately, anecdotal in nature about terrible side effects from vaccinations and all of that has been carefully investigated and debunked. The problem is, we have not disseminated the information widely to people. So there is still people who believe that there is legitimate concerns. There is not.
And we always look at benefit-to-risk ratio. You look at the benefit-to-risk ratio for vaccinations, way in favor of getting them. Is there an occasional problem, an occasional allergic reaction, of course there is, but you have to look at the overall good. It's sort of like with seatbelts. You know, we mandate that seatbelts have to be worn when you drive. You know, that's not optional. We know that it works. The same thing with texting while driving.
WALLACE: Dr. Carson, I mean it's interesting. Because you are talking about this in a very clinical, very scientific way as a noted brain surgeon would. Some Democrats, though, say that there're some elements in the Republican Party, both candidates and voters, who deny science, whether it is vaccinations, or climate change or evolution. Do you think that criticism is fair?
CARSON: No, it's not fair at all. Because it's not a partisan issue. You look in California, the places where the outbreaks have occurred are largely blue areas, Democratic areas where people have said, you know, we don't need this anymore. What they are not looking at, is the fact that the reason they don't think they need them anymore, is because we've had such an effective vaccination program that you are not seeing the diseases. But now that you are getting large pockets of people who are not vaccinated, the opportunity exists to reintroduce the disease. It's not a Democrat or Republican issue at all. A lot of people want to make everything partisan.
WALLACE: I want to talk, now surprisingly, some politics with you. You say that some people have been brainwashed that they think that only politicians can run for office and I wonder when you said that whether you were thinking about me, because as you know I've raised with you, we're friends, the questions about your prospects in running for president and I've got to say you have proven me wrong. We're going to put up two recent polls. The latest Fox News national poll, you are in fourth place behind Bush and Huckabee and Paul, but ahead of a whole lot of other people. Then let's look at Iowa, where you are in fourth place, but you are running ahead of Jeb Bush and a bunch of senators and governors. So, and I say this is a bit of a mea culpa, Dr. Carson, why are you connecting with voters?
CARSON: Well, I think people are beginning to understand that our country is in a great deal of trouble and if we continue with politics as usual, be they Democrat or Republican politics as usual, we're going to continue to sink and, you know, we're called the United States of America and we need to be looking at things that work for all of us, not selecting out groups of people that we want to favor and groups of people that we want to demonize and the things that I'm talking about are American things and things that work. Things that are affected by common sense. You don't have to be a lifelong politician to have common sense. Sometimes I think the longer you are in there, the less common sense you have.
WALLACE: So ...
CARSON: We just ...
WALLACE: So, let me -- excuse me. We just have limited time here, sir. So, an exploratory committee in the next couple of weeks and a formal announcement by May?
CARSON: I believe that sounds like a reasonable time frame. Absolutely.
WALLACE: Really? I mean you are saying it? And you are going to announce an exploratory committee this month and a formal announcement of your presidential run this spring?
CARSON: Well, you know, I'm a very careful person, so I want to make sure I have all of the infrastructure in place. To be able, if I make such an announcement to tell you the answer to all the questions that you are going to be asking in terms of personal and rational, so we're putting all that together, yes.
WALLACE: It sounds like a pretty definite yes, but we'll wait and we'll have you back for the announcement in May. Republican candidates, potential candidates are talking a lot these days and you have as well about helping the middle class and income inequality. But back in 2012 and maybe this is one of the reasons all of you are doing that, among voters who said that cares about people like me was the most important quality, 81 percent of those voters voted for Obama. 18 percent for Mitt Romney. Question, in these next two years, how does the GOP overcome the traditional Democratic advantage on that kind of sense of looking out for the little guy?
CARSON: Well, I think the Republican Party has a splendid opportunity to make the case that we want those people who are dependent in our society to become independent. We want to extend a ladder to them. You know, very much like Muhammad Yunus who won a Nobel Prize in 2006 for his micro lending program, lifted millions of people out of poverty in Pakistan. We're creative people and if we use our resources correctly, we can provide ladders to lift people out of poverty as well. We need to talk about that because they will do so much better than they will by just, you know, being dependent and upon the mercy of the government. We don't need that.
WALLACE: But let me pick up on that. Because you have a debate right now where the president and Democrats are talking about providing more benefits for people, free community colleges as the president likes to put it and extending more tax credits, expanding the tax credits so you can get more pay for childcare, and the Republicans are saying no, we can't do that because the cost of that would be raising taxes on the wealthy. When they are proposing middle class and working class benefits and Republicans are talking about no, we don't want to raise taxes on the wealthy, doesn't that play into the old political stereotype?
CARSON: Yeah, I mean I think what I would be saying, is, you know, there are Pell grants available for poor people to go to community college already, they have existed for years and they are very effective. For those who are not poor, there is a four letter work that works extremely well, it's called w-o-r-k, work. And appreciate the education that you are getting. You know, we don't have to give away everything. That was never the intention. The government is not there to give away everything and to take care of people. It is to facilitate our ability to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That's it.
WALLACE: But I guess the counterargument that may make sense philosophically, but politically if you are offering people free things, aren't they going to take it?
CARSON: Well, I don't think that those -- you know, that Romney talked about the 47 percent. He made one major mistake. He assumed that they all had the same mentality. They don't. A lot of people in that 47 percent are very anxious to experience the American dream. What they are looking for is the right mechanism, the pathway out. This is what we have to provide for them, and that's going to include fixing the economy, which is not going to be that difficult to do, quite frankly. You know, some tax reform, some real tax reform, regulatory reform, you know, utilizing our natural resources the right way. Recognizing that, you know, utilizing fossil fuels is not necessarily exclusive of developing green and renewable energy. We can do more than one thing at one time. There's a lot of stuff that can be done, but people just make it into a big political issue so that they can win. That's what it's all about. They want to win. It's not about the American people.
WALLACE: Dr. Carson, thank you. Thank you for joining us. Always good to talk with you, sir, and as we get closer to your time frame there, we'll have you back, often.
CARSON: I look forward to it. Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Now this program note -- be sure to tune in tonight at 8:00 Eastern for Fox News reporting election 2016, the many early contesters hosted by Bret Baier.
Coming up, we bring back our Sunday group to discuss where we stand now at this early stage at the race for the White House.
WALLACE: Now, you can connect with "Fox News Sunday"on Facebook, and Twitter. Be sure to check out exclusive material on line at Facebook and share it with other Fox fans. And tweet us at "Fox News Sunday" using hashtag FNS. Be part of the discussion and weigh in on the action every "Fox News Sunday".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT WALKER (R) WISCONSIN GOVERNOR: I would not bet against me after three elections in four years in a battle-tested state like Wisconsin, I find it hard for anybody betting the bet against us in any race. And particularly in the race like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in an interview with Bret Baier explaining why he's suddenly a hot property in the Republican presidential field. And we are back now with the panel. So, we showed this before, but I want you to look at it from a different aspect. Take a look at this Iowa poll. Just in from the "Des Moines Register" in "Bloomberg News." It shows Governor Scott Walker is now leading in Iowa over Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee and a strong Ben Carson. Karl, Walker got good reviews for his speech, his performance if you will at a candidate summit, cattle call in Des Moines recently. Is there more to that standing than that?
KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: Yes, there is. First of all, don't underestimate him. He's always been underestimated. He was underestimated when he became the first Republican ever elected the Milwaukee County executive. He was underestimated in his gubernatorial race. He was underestimated in the battle over taking on the unions. He was underestimated in the recall election. The poll -- his standing in the Iowa polls is not what's important, though, because he's essentially no different than Rand Paul. It's within, you know, one point. What matters is the movement between September and February, he went from, I believe it was, let's see, 4 to 16. In New Hampshire, where they are also paying particular attention to it, during -- from October to March, he went from three points to 12 points so the movement is ...
WALLACE: And why is it?
ROVE: Well, because in Iowa and New Hampshire, they are looking at the candidates more closely than the rest of the country is and they see a guy who beat expectations. The expectation was he's another upper Midwestern politician like Tim Pawlenty. He did a good job, but he won't have passion on the stump. He had passion on the stump. And it was carried. It was watched on cable and so forth. Now, having said that, remember, all of these polls mean nothing now. I mean it will be the fall before we start to get real purchase. There's no frontrunner. Nobody -- this is unlike anything we have seen in 50 years on the Republican side. There's nobody who has a double digit lead in any state or across the country.
WALLACE: Laura? We all know it's (INAUDIBLE), but was talking about it. How do you handicap the Republican field at this point? Whose stock is rising? Whose is falling?
INGRAHAM: Well, I think there is someone who has a double digit lead, that's Hillary Clinton in every poll that I've seen, when at the match up against all the Republicans.
INGRAHAM: But so far, I mean look, Karl knows is better than anyone, but I think the donor class really does have an enormous influence in how we pick the next candidate. And right now, Jeb Bush is the most powerful fundraiser on the scene for the Republican Party without exception. Scott Walker's had a great month. He told Bret Baier in that interview, look, when I say something, I'm going to do something, people know I'm going to do it. That's really refreshing because obviously what we talk about with Obama, the red line, no red line, and obviously Republicans have had problems doing what they said are going to do as well. He's a truth teller. He comes across that way. It's very -- I think it's very endearing and the voters are responding to that. But do not underestimate the power of the Bush family to marshal resources, pick up the phone, get people to line up behind Jeb. I think he's still the person to watch. I've said it, for you know, two years now, and I stand by that. I think Jeb Bush -- you might not call him a frontrunner, but he's the formidable force out there in the Republican Party.
WALLACE: Bob, you've spent a lot of time covering the Bushes. Would you say he's the frontrunner?
WOODWARD: You know, who knows? It really is too early, but I love the use of the term the donor class rather than what we should say money. This is all about money, and let's label it, and I think now there are two themes here and Karl would know the most about this. I think people are looking for a fresh face and I think that puts Bush in the let's see category and I think number two people really want somebody who can govern. Somebody who can say I can fix things, I can make things work is going to be very appealing.
WALLACE: I'm going to get to Juan in a second. But one of the big things, or one of the advantages that Bush has is that he announced his exploratory committee. So, at the end of the first quarter, he's going to be able to announce a fundraising number. Yes?
ROVE: Well, no, he's organized it in such a way that the number will not be reported until the middle of July. And I think that's going to be the first time we are going to have a look at -- at the points that Laura made, which is, you know, there are three primaries under way right now, one primary is the primary of money. It's the dominant one. There are two other primaries under way. Staff and message. The last one is the most important one of all. But the first time we're going to get a concrete look at people is July, and there are going to be expectations as to how people are going to be and how much they are going to raise. I will say this ...
WALLACE: What they need to raise? What is the number it need to be?
ROVE: You know, I don't know what that number is going to be. I don't know what that number needs to be. I think by the beginning of the end of the year, the beginning of the primary season, somebody is going to need to have $50 million in their various pockets.
INGRAHAM: Who else is going to be able to raise $50 million?
ROVE: Well, but here's the deal, we may have several, because it's super PACs. Take a look at Scott Walker.
WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait. Let me just -- because I've got to bring in -- brother Juan in here. And I want to talk about Hillary Clinton because she made some news this week with the report that she may not announce an exploratory committee until April, any may not actually formally get into the race until July. Is that smart?
WILLIAMS: Well, let's look at it. No one else is running on the Democratic side right now. The economy is on the rise. And if you think about it, she's got a super PAC waiting for Hillary that's already out there getting the dollars in place. But you know, here's the danger. We've seen her trip up in what looked like a sure thing in '08, if you'll recall and you stop and think about it, Reince Priebus, the chair of the RNC said, you know, if you start talking about a Democratic coronation for Hillary Clinton, it's very unappealing to voters. People don't like it. David Axelrod who ran Obama's campaign, said Hillary Clinton has got a campaign, but it's a need of a rationale. Why is she running? What does she stand for? What's going to energize the base? So those are real dangers for Hillary Clinton, but the delay does mean less scrutiny right now, and it means she's seen as less political which is helping her in the polls. And to go back to the point that everyone's making about the Republicans, she's building her campaign team. You know, John Podesta is there now. Jennifer Palmieri is there now. She's got a big pollster.
WALLACE: Two, a senior advisor to the president. Go ahead.
ROVE: The question is going to be, does she use this time to good purpose. It's a smart move if she uses it to focus on a message and to become a better candidate. 2014, the story of Hillary Clinton was she was becoming the worst candidate with the passage of every day. The question is, does this three months or four months, it's smart if it allows her to become a better candidate.
WALLACE: All right. Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. Up next, our Power Player of the Week. Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao talks about serving God in the ring.
WALLACE: They held the national prayer breakfast in Washington this week and it's always interesting to see who attends. Here is our Power Player of the Week.
MANNY PACQUIAO, WORLD CHAMPION BOXER: I'm happy to be here because that's my chance to share my faith, my belief to God.
WALLACE: Manny Pacquiao is one of the world's greatest boxers. An 11-time champion in eight different weight classes, but the so-called "Pac Man" was in Washington to attend the prayer breakfast and to talk about finding God.
(on camera): Do you see any conflict between your faith and boxing?
PACQUIAO: God has a purpose. He brings me back into his kingdom to use me to glorify his name, to let the people know that there is God who can raise the people from nothing into something.
WALLACE (voice over): Pacquiao was painfully honest about how his life changed four years ago.
PACQUIAO: I want to have friends around me, and drinking and have girls beside me and, of course, gambling.
WALLACE: But then he says he heard the voice of God in a dream.
PACQUIAO: I hate thou that (INAUDIBLE). My heart wants to read the Bible, wants to obey God and that's my heart. That's how God changed my life.
WALLACE: Pacquiao grew up in one of the poorest areas of the Philippines. He started fighting at 14 to get off the street. A new documentary called Manny tells the story of his astonishing rise to national icon and giving some of the millions he's made to help the poor.
PACQUIAO: I hate politicians. I hate politics.
WALLACE: But five years ago, he won a seat in his country's House of Representatives.
PACQUIAO: If I start to go into politics, I think I believe that I can serve more, I can help more people.
WALLACE: Some people say that after boxing, you might run for president of the Philippines.
PACQUIAO: I don't have that in my mind right now, but if it's God's will, you know, it will be done.
WALLACE: What's in Pacquiao's plans now is a possible fight against undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather that the sports world has been demanding for five years.
PACQUIAO: I'm thinking that the fight will happen, so hopefully by -- when we -- within one week, though, we can hear from them and fix the fight.
WALLACE: Pacquiao is now 36 and some have suggested he should retire, but he says not before Mayweather.
PACQUIAO: I don't want that when I retire boxing, and there's a big question to the minds of the fans.
WALLACE (on camera): Who would have won the fight?
WALLACE (voice over): But for all the boxing victories and money and fame, he says he will stay focused on serving a higher purpose.
PACQUIAO: When you have Jesus in your life, when you have God in your life, like the thing in this world is not important to your heart. The more important is God in your heart.
WALLACE: Pacquiao is the busy man. In addition to boxing and Congress, he's also the player coach on a pro basketball team in the Philippines and he stands only 5'7".
And now a quick note. As you may have heard, my wife Loraine has a new cookbook out, called "Mr. and Mrs. Sunday Suppers." If you go to our Website today, foxnewssunday.com, you'll find a recipe for meat loaf with herb gravy, down home style. It's comfort food you won't want to miss. And that's it for today. Have a great week. And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.
Sunday--Chris sits down with House Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH).
This week on Fox News Sunday: Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq, in an exclusive interview.