Rick Santorum on pressure to quit GOP race; Dean, Barbour preview general election

Written by Chris Wallace / Published April 01, 2012 / Fox News Sunday

Special Guests: Rick Santorum, Howard Dean, Haley Barbour

The following is a rush transcript of the April 1, 2012 edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

With Republican leaders uniting behind Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum fights for his political life.

We'll talk with the candidate about his chances in Tuesday's important primaries and growing pressure on him to drop out. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, live, only on "Fox News Sunday."

Then, a preview of what an Obama/Romney campaign might sound like. Two party leaders debate the issues in the election, from health care to rising gas prices. Former Republican chair and governor, Haley Barbour, and former Democratic Party chair and governor, Howard Dean.

Plus, the Trayvon Martin case and racism in America. We'll ask our Sunday panel if there's been a rush to judgment.

And our Power Player of the Week -- saving lives in and out of the operating room.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

(MUSIC)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Well, after a week off, Republican voters return to the polls Tuesday for three more primaries. Joining us from Brookville, Wisconsin, is the candidate who needs to persuade voters and GOP leaders this race is not over yet, Senator Rick Santorum.

Welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

RICK SANTORUM, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, thank you, Chris. Good to be with you this morning.

WALLACE: This week, I don't have to tell you -- two of the conservative young guns in the party, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, endorsed Mitt Romney and suggested that you and the others should get out of the race.

Take a look at what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. PAUL RYAN, CHAIRMAN, BUDGET COMMITTEE: I think it's important that we just coalesce as conservatives and focus on defeating the president in the fall.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: They're saying the only way they can win this race is having a floor fight in Tampa in August. And I think that's a recipe to deliver four more years to Barack Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: Senator, do you feel pressure now to get -- or added pressure to get out of the race and give Mitt Romney a clear shot at Barack Obama?

SANTORUM: No. You know, you should have told Kansas last night when they were down almost 20 points in the first half. You know what? It's almost over and you guys should pack it in.

Look, I mean, this race is not even at half time. We haven't even selected half the delegates yet. Governor Romney is not halfway to the magic number and, you know, we look at the calendar ahead, and we feel very, very good about where we are going.

And, you know, we -- four years ago, everyone said, oh, we got to wrap this thing up and we did, and John McCain was the nominee and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went in the summer and pounded it out.

And guess what? They came up with the best candidate and we came up with someone who -- well, just simply wasn't able to win. We don't need to repeat that again. We don't need to bail out and not have the best candidate to take Barack Obama on the fall.

And when you look at huge advantages, this man has been running for passport for six years. He has all of the establishment behind him. He has 10-1 money advantage. He has the media singing what -- I mean, every question I get is when are you getting out?

I mean, the whole narrative has been in Romney's favor from the beginning of this race and he still isn't even close to closing the deal.

That should send a signal to these people inside the Washington bubble, the senators and congressmen and party leaders, inside the Washington bubble, that maybe something is going on across the country when over 60 percent of the people even hearing all of this still think, yes, Rick Santorum should stay in the race. We need a conservative. We need someone who can be a contrast with Barack Obama, not the same old tired establishment person that's going to be shoved down our throat.

WALLACE: Let me look at this in other way. You talked about four years ago. I want to talk on the Republican side. Mike Huckabee decided to stay in the race until John McCain had it wrapped up, had half of -- you know, the delegates enough to clinch the nomination. But Huckabee campaigned for himself, not against McCain.

You on the other hand are still out there pounding Romney. Do you worry at all and I certainly understand the point you make. He hasn't wrapped up the nomination, Romney hasn't. But do you worry at all about hurting him in case he ends up being the candidate who faces Barack Obama?

SANTORUM: Well, let me show that Barack Obama is going to pound Romney or who ever the Republican nominee a lot more than I am. I'm focused on the issues. I haven't been criticizing Governor Romney personally or any other way. I'm focused on who is the best person to make the case in the general election and win and get the mandate to govern. That's what --

WALLACE: But, wait, wait. I mean, you are talking about him as an Etch-a-Sketch candidate. You talked about him about not being a real conservative. I mean, you're certainly criticizing his credentials?

SANTORUM: Well, I would just say this. I am criticizing his policies and the policies that would best juxtaposed against Barack Obama, as opposed to -- let's just be honest here about who is running the negative campaign. Governor Romney has spent tens of millions of dollars running negative ads about specious issues, taking things I said completely out of the context, try to convince the voters of Wisconsin -- believe this one, Chris -- that I'm not pro life? I mean, these are kinds of ridiculous campaign tactics that Romney campaign is taking on.

And, you know, we are focused on the big issues and energy, and health care. We're talking about national security. I just gave a speech at Jelly Belly jelly bean factory talking about national security and the Reagan legacy and who's best prepared to do so.

You know, we run a very substantive campaign because we believe that that's what's going to win in the general election. Governor Romney has run negative, negative, negative. He hasn't painted a positive vision for this country. He hasn't been able to close the deal with the conservatives, much less anybody else in this party. And that's not going to be an effective tool for us to win this general election.

WALLACE: All right. Let's talk about an issue and I think you would agree the big issue in Wisconsin right now is not the presidential race. It's the recall campaign against Scott Walker, the governor, because of his effort to remove some collective bargaining rights from the state workers.

The Romney campaign -- and you can say it's negative -- but they point out that as a senator you voted against a national right to work law, to allow people to get jobs without joining a union and you repeatedly supported the Davis Bacon Act that requires government contractor to pay the prevailing wage. They say -- and, in fact, it's the case on both of those issues, you sided with big labor.

SANTORUM: Right. In my 16-year career of representing two of the heaviest labor districts in the country and a state of Pennsylvania, which is a heavy labor district, my voting record with labor was 13 percent. I did -- along with almost 70 other senators -- vote to have a federal change in the right to work statute because I represented Pennsylvania which was not a right to work state. But, Governor Romney well knows when I announced I was running for president, I said I would sign a national right to work. I talk about it in the debate. He seems to ignore that fact, that, you know, now I was running for president. I'm not representing the state anymore, who had the interest in keeping the laws the way it was, that I was representing what I thought was best for the country and that's why I'm taking that position.

The head of the AFL-CIO in Pennsylvania said that calling Rick Santorum a friend of big labor is like calling Romney a conservative. Neither are true. They spent literally millions of dollars to beat me in 2000 and 2006 and even before that.

So, I assure you that you have someone who supports Governor Walker, supported from the very beginning what he was doing with the public employee unions, that I think is a completely unfair bargaining position that they have in negotiating the wages and benefits. And you will find someone who is very strong in making sure that people have freedom in this country, to contract with their employers instead of having to go through a union.

WALLACE: Let me -- because I'm not quite sure I understand this. You are saying because you were the senator from Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania had a right to work law, you weren't going to vote --

SANTORUM: Did not have a right to work law.

WALLACE: I mean, did not have a right to work law, you were not going to vote to create a national right to work law.

SANTORUM: Right.

WALLACE: Now, abortions were legal under certain circumstances in Pennsylvania, but you voted for a constitutional amendment to end that, right?

SANTORUM: Well, of course, there are certain issues that are -- that ones that I think can be left to the states to decide and we do that all of the time. I mean, I believe in the Tenth Amendment. I believe the states have the right to make decisions on a variety of the issues, but not every issue.

I mean, obviously, there are some issues that we need to have national laws in place. That's -- the Constitution clearly laid that out. We saw that debated just this past week. There are some things that can be left in the states, the other things government has limitation of power on and other things the federal government can do.

WALLACE: I -- you know, you said at the very beginning, all of the questions you get are about are -- are you going to drop out? And I hope to fall into that. I guess I am.

Are you saying flat out no matter what happens, win or lose or draw, in Wisconsin, which a lot of people are saying is a big battleground state, the kind of Midwestern battleground state, you are in it to stay beyond -- regardless what happens in Wisconsin?

SANTORUM: Yes, absolutely. We are moving forward. We're setting up our teams for the 26th.

You know, if you go past this month of April, we've got these primaries and then five more at the end of the month, the map in May looks very, very good for us. Texas, and Arkansas and West Virginia and North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky. We've got some great states, where we are ahead in every poll in all of those states.

And, again, if you listen to the folks across this country, we are hearing over and over again, stay in there, we need a conservative. We cannot do what we have done in the past as Republicans which is: settle for something that we know is not going to be successful for us. That the establishment wants to give us.

Remember, Chris, in the last 120 years, we've only defeated a Democrat incumbent president as a Republican Party. And always, always, the establishment says, we've got to nominate, that's when we're going to win. And the one time we didn't, with Ronald Reagan, that's when we won. We beat Jimmy Carter.

And that's what's going to win this election. A clear contrast and vision, someone who has a solid record that can make Barack Obama the issue in this election and not have President Obama turn it back on the candidate because he too, supported government-run health care, he, too, supported cap and trade, he, too, supported Wall Street bail outs. That's why the race is so important.

WALLACE: Well, you are convincing me you're not about to drop you out. I will ask you this, though, because Pennsylvania, your home state, does come up on April 24th. And the polls are close. We showed here that back in February, you were leading by 29 points. Your lead in the Franklin Marshall poll is now two.

If you were lose in your home state, would that be it?

SANTORUM: Well, first up, the Democratic hack that does that, Terry Madonna, has probably and singularly gotten more polls wrong than any person I know in the history of the state. They are other polls that are out this week that have us up 20 and I think the other is 17. This is -- this pollster, he just -- I think he just draws numbers out of a hat sometimes.

We feel very good about Pennsylvania. We're going to do exceptionally well there. Governor Romney is already out there spending money, you know, dumping his millions in. But we've got a great grassroots strong network. You know, we have the strong conservative base in the state of the -- in the state of Pennsylvania that's going to come out and come out strong for us.

You know, look, I go back in Pennsylvania -- I was the first conservative to really be out on the scene in Republican politics. The Republican Party in Pennsylvania was a very much a moderate to liberal party for many, many years, and I was the guy that sort of broke through the ceiling. There are folks in the Republican Party who want that party to go back to being the moderate Republican Party that it was once. And, you know, they lined up behind Governor Romney. But the conservatives have and will line up behind me and I think we'll see a very good victory in Pennsylvania as a result.

WALLACE: Senator, we've got about a minute left. I want to ask you two questions. And I certainly -- you have convinced me you are not dropping out number one and, number two, you are in this for a while.

But let's assume for a minute that it doesn't go the way you want and, look, you would admit that you've got a tough road to admit this nomination, given the hole you're in. Win or lose, you have much done better than a lot of the so-called experts predicted that you were going to do this year.

You talk a lot about Ronald Reagan. He lost in 1976, came back and won in 1980. Do you ever think at all about, you know, if you were, you know, at some point, this doesn't work out, you could come back in 2016 as the front runner?

SANTORUM: Well, let me say this. You know, in 1976, I think the Republican Party made a mistake in not choosing Ronald Reagan and we went on with a moderate to lose the election. And we suffered four years of Jimmy Carter.

We already know, we didn't know what we are getting with Carter. We already know what we're getting with Obama. We can't make that mistake again. We have to nominate someone who is a strong conservative.

And all I would say is that, you know, I'm not thinking about the future. You know, we need to win this election. We need to reelect a Republican in 2016. That's my focus, is to win 2012, reelect a Republican 2016, and put this country back on the right track.

WALLACE: Finally, and I can't end this interview, you have shown some mad bowling skills on the campaign trail. And you may not be able to see, but we are now putting them up and I can see you roll in. It's a strike, Senator. How good a bowler are you?

SANTORUM: Well, I'm not all that good. I have -- you know, when I was a kid, I mean, I grew up actually doing a lot of bowling. I actually -- when I was younger, I had my own bowling ball and I loved the sport. I mean, that's what I grew up in when I used to visit my grandparents, in Johnstown, the bowling alley was literally quarter of mile down the road. And we used to hang out at the lanes all the time.

And I love the sport. I love that fact that you can, you know, sit around and drink beer and hang out with folks and talk to people all over the place. It's just a fun afternoon with the family --

WALLACE: All right. We are running out of the time. What's your highest score, sir?

SANTORUM: Two forty-one.

WALLACE: Wow. Remind me not to go bowling.

SANTORUM: I remember that.

WALLACE: Remind me not to go bowling with you, Senator.

SANTORUM: It was 30 years ago. I started out with seven straight strikes and I thought I was heading to a perfect game and ended up with a 8-10 split in the eight frame. So, couldn't quite finish it out.

WALLACE: Not like you remember that from 30 years ago. Senator Santorum --

SANTORUM: I remember it like yesterday --

WALLACE: I'm sure you do. If I had done that, I would, too.

Senator Santorum, thank you so much for joining us. We'll be watching to see what happens Tuesday night, and it's clear beyond Tuesday.

SANTORUM: Yes, sir. Thank you very much.

WALLACE: Up next, a preview of the general election campaign. We'll bring you a debate between Haley Barbour and Howard Dean. You won't want to miss this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: With President Obama and Mitt Romney setting their sights squarely on each other, we thought this would be a good time to look at how the general election campaign might play out.

Joining us now are two party leaders.

From Jackson, Mississippi -- former Republican Party chair and governor, Haley Barbour.

And from Burlington, Vermont -- former Democratic Party chair and governor, Howard Dean.

Gentlemen, we don't have the lights and the bells. But I'm going to ask you to keep it short, 30, 40-second answers. And let's start with the big issue this week: Obamacare.

If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, Governor Dean, as you predicted they will, won't Republicans be able to say that this is a president so far out of the mainstream that his signature legislative accomplishment of his term in office turned out to be unconstitutional?

GOV. HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIR: Well, I think that depends. The mandate is something that's not really necessary, first of all. If the justices strike it down, it might actually help the president because people don't like the mandate. But if the rest of the bill stays intact, I think it would ultimately be seen as a victory for the president and I think he'll be fine.

WALLACE: Governor Barbour, do you think that's a victory for the president? And let me ask you about the problems Republicans have, because there's a lot of Obamacare that people like. They like the idea that people can't be excluded from coverage because of preexisting -- excuse me -- preexisting conditions, or that kids can stay on their parent's policy until they are 26.

If -- let's say -- the whole bill is stuck down, Republicans talk about repeal and replace, what are you going to replace that with?

GOV. HALEY BARBOUR, FORMER RNC CHAIR: Well, let me say, first of all, I think it will be pretty interesting if the former constitutional law professor President Obama's signature law gets kicked out because it's unconstitutional. But I think there's a very good chance that that will happen.

The fact of the matter is, is that the law is very unpopular. Unlike most entitlements, it has continue to stay unpopular after it was enacted. I think there's -- that's very revealing. The American people know there's a lot of it is bad.

But that doesn't mean everything is bad. But, look, let me give you a perfect example. You mentioned preexisting illnesses and the fact that that's popular. Well, 35 states already had risk pools to allow people who couldn't buy health insurance immediately because of preexisting conditions to buy through a state risk pool.

BARBOUR: We have more than 3,500 people in Mississippi. We've that law since mid-'90s. You know how many people are in the federal risk pool set up by this law? A hundred and twenty.

That just goes to show you what was ballyhooed into -- the reason to need the federal law was done at the state level. But the left doesn't care. They say, if the federal government doesn't make you do it, it doesn't count.

WALLACE: Well, I'm going to ask you a different, Governor Dean. You can do what candidates do. You can either ask the question you, or respond to Haley Barbour.

But I want to turn to gas prices which have more than doubled since this president took office and are now headed north of $4 a gallon in a lot of parts of the country. The president has cut back on drilling since the BP oil spill and he has rejected or at least delayed the Keystone oil pipeline.

Fairly or unfairly, is he going to have to take a political hit on the price of the pump?

DEAN: Well, first of all, I'm going to take your suggestion. It is true, as Governor Barbour said, that people don't like the law. What is not true is that they actually do like what's in it. And that's -- poll after poll showed, as you mentioned, particular parts of this law, people like it. But if you talk about the whole law, then they don't like it.

So, I think the president is in great shape in health care, unless they strike down the whole bill. This is the most political Supreme Court we've ever had, 73 percent of the American believe that politics motivates the Supreme Court. I'm one of those 73 percent.

So, I think a lot of this is going to be seen as politics

Now, to get to the gas --

WALLACE: But wait, wait -- all right. Before we get to gas prices, though, I mean -- I promise I just want to give Governor Haley Barbour a chance. There's a lot of thought that if this is struck down, that Barack Obama is going to campaign against the political Supreme Court.

BARBOUR: Well, look, the American people are going to favor the Supreme Court's opinion if the Supreme Court does in fact strike down the law.

So, it won't surprise me to see President Obama complaining about the Supreme Court, but also President Obama's policies on health care, on energy are his problem. They are the wrong policy.

WALLACE: OK. Let me --

BARBOUR: They are bad for the country.

WALLACE: Let me go back to gas prices.

I interrupted you, Governor Dean, isn't the president going to take a hit on gas prices?

DEAN: Yes, I think the president hit a small hit. I think most people understand that the president is not responsible for gas prices. I actually think the oil companies and the Republicans will take the hit because of the vote we just had where the vote -- where the Republicans all voted to keep giving the same big fat $4 billion a year subsidies to the oil companies.

You know, his is not going to end up on the president's plate. The president is not responsible for the prices anymore than President Reagan was responsible for gas prices, or either Bush was responsible for gas prices.

Now, there are some things the president can do, he's doing. The fact is oil production is higher today than it was when George Bush left office.

WALLACE: All right.

DEAN: It is true that it was cut back after the BP spill, and with good reason. And I think people in Governor Barbour's home state will tell you it was good reason.

But the fact of the matter is, the president is not responsible for gas prices. The American people know it. And there's more production today than there was four years ago.

WALLACE: All right. Governor Barbour, I want you to respond to Governor Dean. But I also want to second or at least to elaborate on what he said, which is that the president is going to try to say, hey, look. Republicans are in bed with big oil and they have, of course, have this bill that Republicans and some Democrats voted against to cut the oil subsidies.

Here's what the president said on Friday in the Rose Garden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Members of Congress have a simple choice to make. They can stand with the big oil companies or they can stand with the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: So, Governor Barbour, the president's responsibility or lack of the same for gas prices in his effort to turn this into he is looking out for the middle class, Republicans want to protect big oil.

BARBOUR: Well, there's one thing you can always rely with Barack Obama. When something is wrong, it's always somebody else's fault. So, oil prices are high. So, Barack Obama says, well, it's the oil companies' fault, it's the Republicans' fault.

The fact of the matter is, we have more production of oil and gas in the United States today despite Obama's policies. We in the Gulf did not want a moratorium, knew there didn't need to be a moratorium, and the president's own expert panel said don't have a moratorium, but politicians in the White House slipped into their report have a moratorium.

Every -- almost every single policy of the administration has sent a signal to the world market, the Americans are not going to produce abundant affordable American energy that we are blessed with, and that has helped to drive up the price of oil and, therefore, the price of gasoline.

WALLACE: All right. Governor Barbour, I want to -- I want to switch, because everybody thought going into the last six months that the economy was going to be the big issue in this campaign and a bad issue for the president. But the economy keeps getting better. It has created more than a million jobs in the last six months, unemployment is down to 8.3 percent -- even though half million people entered the work force last month.

Can't the president make the argument, look, unemployment is still too high, but I inherited a mess and things are getting better?

BARBOUR: Well, he's certainly going to make the argument that it isn't his fault, but -- despite the liberal media elite saying how great the economy is, the fact in the United States today or last month, 58.6 percent of the adults had a job. Except for the Obama administration, you have to go back 30 years, to 1983, 29 years to find a time when that small of a percentage of Americans were working and 10 percent of those have a part-time job.

So, if they want to tell us how great it is, the 42 percent of the Americans who are not working probably have a different view.

WALLACE: Governor Dean, a couple of facts. The are still more people unemployed than when this president took office. And remember that Barack Obama said if you pass his stimulus, that unemployment won't go up above 8 percent. A trillion dollars later, it has never gone down below 8 percent.

DEAN: Chris, here's the fundamental problems that Republicans have and this is due to the Occupy Wall Street people who changed the dialogue. The guy -- most people in this country believe now that there's 1 percent that has a lot and a 99 percent that gets treated not so well. In the last poll I saw, 70 percent of the people in this country believe that Governor Romney, who I think is going to be the nominee, is in favor of the 1 percent. Thirty percent of people believe about Barack Obama.

You know as well as I do, that the most important question any poll is: who do you trust to understand candidates like me? This president is trying to do everything he can to turn around the economy that he inherited when he took office. And he's done a lot of good things and there are jobs being created, a million of them in the last six months.

So, I think when people are going to look at the economy getting better, it's not good enough yet but it's getting better. And if you look at who do they trust to do something for them as opposed to the Wall Street, this is going to be Barack Obama's election. And I predict today, he's going to win Florida, Ohio and Virginia. There's not any Republican candidate who can win if we take Florida, Ohio and Virginia.

WALLACE: All right. We got two minutes left. I want to give you each a little bit less than a minute and let's wrap it up with kind of a big picture.

Governor Dean, assuming that Romney is the nominee, what's the basic case against Mitt Romney?

DEAN: The basic case against Mitt Romney: he has no understanding of what it's like for ordinary people. He's building a zillionaire dollar house out in California with an elevator for his car in it. He has bank accounts -- or did have bank accounts in Switzerland, invest in the Cayman Islands. There's nothing illegal about that. This is the just who brags on the stump that his wife had two Cadillacs and he shut -- it was funny when he shut down the factory.

This is a decent guy, and I think Governor Romney is a decent guy. And I think Santorum is right, he is a moderate at heart, but he has no connection to the ordinary Americans in this country.

WALLACE: All right. Governor Barbour, I'm going to let you wrap it. Same amount of time. The basic case against Barack Obama.

BARBOUR: The case against Barack Obama is his record. Here's a man who cannot run for reelection on his record and normally presidential elections are referenda on the president. In this case, the president's policies are not only unpopular, they make it harder to create jobs when the government sucks all of the money out of the economy, when potential employers are told that the president is going to stick them with the largest tax increase in American history, $1.5 trillion in new taxes.

How do potential employers say, well, gee, I think I'm going to hire some people even though I'm going to lose all of that money, when they don't know what their obligations are going to be for health care for their employees, but they know that the cost of the health care has gone up under the Obama administration, how are employers expected to have more jobs?

We've talked about bad energy policy. If this election is about Obama's policy, he's going go to lose and the Democrats will try to do anything they can do to keep it from being about his policies.

WALLACE: All right. We're going to leave it there. Governor Barbour, Governor Dean, I want to thank you both --

DEAN: Thank you.

WALLACE: -- for coming in today. And we will have you back to continue this debate as the campaign rolls on.

Up next, our Sunday panel on the Trayvon Martin case. Justice denied or a rush to judgment?

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, FATHER OF ACCUSED TRAYVON MARTIN SHOOTER: Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of, "You're going to die now" or "You're going to die tonight," something to that affect.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR MARTIN FAMILY: George Zimmerman doesn't exhibit a broken nose. He doesn't exhibit blood on the back of his head. He doesn't exhibit his clothes messed up. So America can judge for themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: The lawyer for Trayvon Martin's family and the father of the shooter, both speaking out this week as the Martin case keeps gets bigger and more complicated.

And it's time now for our Sunday group, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard; Liz Marlantes from The Christian Science Monitor; Chip Saltsman, campaign manager for Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential run; and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams.

So, Bill, what do you make of the Trayvon Martin case and the legs that it continues to have?

Are you surprised that, more than a month after the shooting, that Zimmerman still has been charged with nothing, or is this another Duke lacrosse case where the public is rushing to judgment?

BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I don't know if the public is rushing to judgment, but a lot of people have decided to make this into a national political matter when it should be, I think, a local or state law enforcement matter.

And we don't know what happened, and I hope -- I trust justice will be served. And it's a terrible thing that this young man was killed, obviously.

But the idea that national politicians and commentators are rushing in to make judgments where they don't know what happened is distressing. And the degree to which people are willing to play the race card, you know, without -- not in a constructive way, not in a way that helps race relations in this country, not in a way that helps provide justice in this case, is distressing, I think.

WALLACE: Liz?

LIZ MARLANTES, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: Well, I would just add to that that I think the media attention and the pressure from activists did serve a purpose initially in that now we have a special prosecutor investigating; we have a Justice Department investigating. I think you could say that, arguably, none of that would have happened if there hadn't been a certain amount of attention paid initially.

But I do think we're at the stage now where there is an investigation and we need to let that investigation do its job. And, you know, this week, the special prosecutor imposed a news blackout so the media was left, you know, dealing with various leaks and speculation as opposed to real facts.

And so I think, you know, at this point, we need to let the justice -- justice be done and let the legal system run its course.

WALLACE: There are still, though, even if we don't know what happened -- we certainly don't know what happened that night, there are still some interesting things to be said, and one of the people saying them is this fellow over here, Juan Williams, who had a very interesting article in The Wall Street Journal this week, in which you said that -- basically, that it's just much more complicated than people are portraying it.

And I want to put up on the screen a quote from your article. You wrote, "The Martin case is very different from the Emmett Till case, in which a white segregationist Mississippi society approved the murder of a black child. Black America needs to get out of the rut of replaying racial injustices of the past."

Explain.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, it's such an overwhelming situation today in terms of black and white America. But if you look at it, it's totally different than the civil rights history. And yet, because the narrative is so familiar to so many people, people keep trying to fit things into that narrative and they want to make the Trayvon Martin case into an exemplar of the kind of injustice that took place 50 years ago.

It is not. It is about a situation in which you have today, to my mind, a horrific situation down in Florida in which a young black man -- I think, you know, a guy with iced tea and Skittles is walking along in his hoodie and this guy for some reason views him as suspicious. I don't know if it's racial. He definitely viewed him as suspicious, refused to follow instructions from the 911 operator.

So think people fear for their children. Black, white, Hispanic, what if my kid is seen in this way and it ends up in this kid's tragic death? But the larger point for me is this, that you look at the kind of images of young black people on TV today, the pants down, the do-rag. This is all a jailhouse fashion. Nobody says a word about it. Nobody says a word about the fact that almost half of the murders in the United States are of black people and 90 percent of them are committed by other black people.

What is this carnage in the black community, in Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, every day of the week, and nobody has a march for them? It's outrageous. You know, people talk about the larger context, the bad schools. Where are the marches against the schools that are failing these kids and lead to the 40 percent unemployment rate for black teens in this country?

To me, this is the civil right's challenge of this generation, yet people want to replay what was happening 50 years ago, Chris.

CHIP SALTSMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I don't know how much I can add to what Juan said because I think his article was spot-on. And I can tell you we all know that, whenever a child or a teenager dies, it's a tragedy for no matter what reasons. But now we're looking at something larger. And we're still waiting for an investigation.

I've got a 15-year-old little brother from Big Brother/Big Sister. This drove me to call him up immediately, "Don't wear your hoodies."

And so I mean, why should I have to do that? What are we so afraid of?

And so I think the most important thing that we can hear from our national leaders is turn the volume down; let the investigation happen; and let's see if we can figure out what the facts are on this before we, you know, again, throw the race card out for everything like this that happens.

WALLACE: You know, it is interesting, though, because we do. And we do stereotype and we do profile. And if it turns out, as it apparently did in this case, that there was profiling of -- by this fellow George Zimmerman of Trayvon Martin; he looked suspicious, there was also profiling of George Zimmerman. It turns out his mother is Hispanic. His father says his son has black family and friends and that the media portrayal of him as a racist, Bill, is as far from the truth as it could be.

So, I mean, we tend to, as Juan says, to fit these people into preconceived notions when that may not be the case at all?

KRISTOL: Yeah, we do and other people -- frankly, I think most of the media would have been content to let this play out.

And I agree with Liz that at first there seems to have been a lack of interest in pursuing this case by the local authorities, so it was right to raise alarms at first. But now it is just demagoguery, I think, mostly on the side of those who want to indict the whole society for this death and maybe very unjustified shooting of this young man, and then some counter-reaction by, you know, some on the right who feel this is unjust and how we're going to go attack Trayvon Martin or something, which is really ridiculous as well.

So it doesn't -- I very much agree with what Juan says. Now, this is a legitimate debate to be had about whether this Florida law contributed to this or whether that's a sensible law. And I'm not so sure it is. It seems to me there's a traditional standard of self- defense, having a -- as I understand it, having a reasonable fear for your own life, which this law goes further than and sort of makes it a -- if you just feel threatened you can use deadly force. I'm not sure we want a society which that is the case, but that's a reasonable debate to have. But not to -- not to -- that's the reasonable debate you should have.

WILLIAMS: I think a lot of people are fearful you know, for their own kids. You know kids act crazy and they dress in a way -- you know, these kind of you know gangster, thug, rap fashion and people think, Oh my God this could be my child. The thing that I think is the point of concern is, why was the decision made not to arrest Zimmerman? Just let the legal system take the case, settle the facts? The idea that someone would kill this little boy, 17 no matter what his behavior, but kill him when he's unarmed seems outrageous. And at least the arrest is necessary.

WALLACE: All right. You say that there's been media overload? We're going to stop talking about it. We're going to take a break here, but when we come back, the Republican party starts to unite around Mitt Romney and Romney and President Obama start to go after each other.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIPS)

ROMNEY: We should understand that we're not just electing who will guide us as president, but a choice between two distinct paths and destinies for America.

BIDEN: Governor Romney has called the President Obama of the United States out of touch. That's a quote, "Out of touch" for encouraging young people to try to get manufacturing jobs. Out of touch. Romney?

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: Mitt Romney making his case under President Obama while the vice president heats up his rhetoric against the Republican front runner. And we're back now with the panel. Well we saw a series of endorsements of Mitt Romney this week from young guns like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan and old lions for the party like George H. W. Bush, Bush 41. Chip, how effective to you think they'll be enforcing the other candidates. It didn't seem from my interview with Santorum, forcing the other candidates from the race. And is this primary battle in effect already over?

SALTSMAN: Well it becomes very effective over a long period of time because it's -- each one of these endorsements happens and less and less momentum for the other candidates can happen. Less and less money that they can raise. And it makes it tougher and tougher to win states and it looks like everybody's already onboard, so I might as well get there too. I -- I think this primary is not quite over. We've got three states on Tuesday. Then we've got Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum's home state coming up at the end of the month.

I think you could see an effective end at the end of the month. But right now they've still got a case. Rick Santorum made a case very effectively why he should be in this race. Nobody's won 1,144 yet and like I've always said, until somebody wins 1,144, we don't have a nominee.

WALLACE: Liz, what's the end game here? How and when do you see the Republican primary battle wrapping up?

MARLANTES: Well I would argue that actually we kind have seen it wrapping up this week. And I thought it was actually pretty significant that this week of all weeks, when health care was really the major focus for much of the week and that is theoretically supposed to be Romney's Achilles heel, that it was this week that he managed to actually -- seemed to consolidate a lot of party support behind him. And I think it really felt like there was a turning point this week. Wisconsin could sort of be the icing on the cake for Romney if he really puts Santorum away there. Yes Santorum may stay in until Pennsylvania, but I think a big win for Romney on Tuesday in Wisconsin would really kind of finalize things in terms of the public's overall, you know, sense of how it's going.

The only other point I would make is that to Chip's point -- as sort of a counter to this, I did think there was an interesting little polling. CNN had a poll this week where they asked Republican voters if they wanted to see the race wrapped up in the primaries, or at the convention. And 43 percent said at the convention. So there is still some desire for a -- a continued fight out there.

WALLACE: I voted several times.

(LAUGHTER)

MARLANTES: We're all voting for it.

WALLACE: Of course. Even if Romney wins this, I think it's clear and I'm going to put up some polls myself, that the battle for the nomination has really hurt Romney, Bill. Let's -- let's take a look. In February President Obama was leading Romney by five points. That's now up to 11 points and back in January, independents had a favorable opinion of Romney by plus seven, he's now minus 16. How much a hole is Romney in from what's happened? Both his self induced problems from his gaffes and also the attacks from the right, from Republicans?

KRISTOL: I would argue that everything that one could say critically of Mitt -- critical of Mitt Romney would have been said anyway. And, therefore, it's better to get it out now. Better to have him overcome it in the primaries then have him kind of sail through the primaries, have him close down early and then have a six to eight month assault from the Democrats and from all kinds of independent actors on Governor Romney. So, I think he's down. I think he's down slightly. President Obama has improved his approval rating also. That's the other thing that's happened at the same time.

The economy has picked up some. He's now about even in approval/disapproval. I think it's a 50/50 race, but I think Romney will end up being a better candidate if he does win Wisconsin Tuesday and puts the nomination away. I do -- I do want to say though and it would be wonderful just in my contrarian way, but I'm the guy who of course picked against Kansas and Kentucky in making the finals -- the finals and all that.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Some of us didn't.

KRISTOL: No, Chris -- Chris has one the Fox News pool with this with having three of the final four. Really amazing.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: And he didn't pay you to say that.

KRISTOL: I know and I'm losing the Weekly Standard -- I'm losing the Weekly Standard...

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: You know I have to say, we've known each other what, we've known each other about 30 years. We've worked together on this set. But this is the first time you've looked at me with even a scintilla of admiration.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: That's amazing what you just said in the brackets. All right.

KRISTOL: One little point. It would be wonderful after everyone's endorsed Mitt Romney this week of the voters of Wisconsin just said, you know what? Let's just vote for Santorum to keep the race alive. It would just -- I would personally like as a sort of gesture to the Republican establishment.

WALLACE: He's -- he is still flogging the Ryan/Rubio guys. I mean just in case you can't get the subtext here. Juan?

WILLIAMS: Yeah Joel Benenson who is the president's top pollster said this week in -- in a breakfast meeting of supporters here in Washington, that it -- you know, the fact that the -- half of the -- more than half of the American people have an unfavorable view of Romney at this point tells you something. Because the Obama campaign has really not put out the big dogs in terms of attacking Mitt Romney. And the key point that Benenson wants to make is that the Obama campaign will pick up on just what you saw in the little bit you played from Vice President Biden. That Romney is out of touch. That Romney is this rich guy who is looking out for the rich.

And he plays into this notion that you can see in terms of the Ryan budget plan that the budget so far again makes it very clear they want to have strong cuts in terms of entitlement spending, but where are the cuts in terms of the loopholes and deductions? The kinds of things that you were discussing last week. It's just not clear and it plays negatively for Mitt Romney at this juncture. But I do think that right now, in terms of the Republican primary race, it is just about over. It is not just that he's going to win this week I think in Wisconsin, but that the big money starts to come out with the big money endorsements, the Bush people, the super PACs. They are going to unload money right now for Mitt Romney.

WALLACE: Chip, in the time we have left, let's do a little bit of sort of Final Four analysis. Assuming it ends up being Obama and Romney, how do they match up?

SALTSMAN: It's an interesting matchup. And you know, we have seen where the battle lines drawn. And I think some of the polling that we've seen indicates that Obama can pick his fights with Mitt Romney like we saw Vice President Biden did today about out of touch, where Mitt Romney's still having to fight the right side of the party to get his nomination. And I think they match up very interestingly.

It is a tale of two parties. It's a tale of two economies. It's a tale of two countries, almost. And you're going to see one person say this is my vision, it's going this way and Obama will say this is my vision, it goes a different way, completely different paths, completely different styles, completely different almost campaigns and it is going to be an interesting race in November.

WALLACE: So, I mean, what you're saying is it's basically going to be a philosophical choice, which way you want the country to go.

SALTSMAN: Well, and it's going to be a philosophical choice on how we get there. And that's going to -- that's the only way we win, because we can't do it on sheer personality. The president has a got a wonderful personality ,he gives a great speech.

That is not Governor Romney's strong suit. His strong suit is the fixit (ph), the economy, and this is how we're going to do it. And it's going to be, you know, a lot less passionate campaign than the president's got, but it's going to be one, say, this country has got problems and I know how to fix them.

WALLACE: Liz, how do you handicap an Obama-Romney -- I mean, we are jumping the gun, we admit it. But how do you handicap Obama- Romney? How do they match up?

MARLANTES: Well, I just was going to add to what Chip said, that I do think in presidential races, particularly, the personal does matter and the sense that voters have of who this guy is, as a person, his character, his values, all of that is really important in presidential races and I do think that the narrative of Romney is out of touch, which we see the Democrats talking about, is damaging.

And to some extent I find it really curious, because Romney keeps doing it to himself. I mean, this week, of all weeks, when he seemed to get all these endorsements, kind of wrap up the nomination, he made two gaffes, totally voluntarily. You know, he made the comment about his father closing the plant in Michigan, which got a lot of play --

WALLACE: And moving it to Wisconsin.

MARLANTES: And moving it to Wisconsin, which he seemed to think was a joke and didn't play all that well. And then there was that story about the renovation he's doing on his home in La Jolla, which, again, he doesn't need to be doing, you know, this four-car garage with an elevator and all of that. It just -- it doesn't play well for him, and he's kind of doing it to himself.

So I found that a little bit curious, and I do think it's going to be a problem for him going forward.

WALLACE: Bill, you get less than 30 seconds for the final word on this. Just how they match up?

KRISTOL: Romney needs -- I thought the clip you showed was good of Romney. Two paths forward, a second term for Obama we cannot afford. He's -- the Fed helped him put off the day of reckoning on the debt and deficit. We put off the day of reckoning on his foreign policy mistakes. We cannot afford a second term of President Obama.

WALLACE: All right. Thank you, panel. See you next week. I suspect we'll continue the conversation and don't forget to check out Panel Plus, where our group picks right up with the discussion on our website,FoxNewsSunday.com. We'll post the video before noon Eastern time. And make sure to follow us on Twitter @FoxNewsSunday.

Up next, our Power Player of the Week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: He's a trail-blazing doctor who has given away millions through his own charity and now he's written a prescription to solve the nation's ills. Here is our Power Player of the Week.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. BEN CARSON, DIRECTOR, PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY, JOHNS HOPKINS: Human potential is something that we don't really talk about a lot.

WALLACE: Ben Carson is a world-renowned brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. But both in and out of the operating room, he's all about maximizing the intellectual potential of every person.

CARSON: Your brain remembers everything you have ever seen, everything you've ever heard. It can process more than 2 million bits of information in one second. It is amazing. It's a matter of how you program it.

WALLACE: Dr. Carson is legendary for taking on the toughest cases, the so-called hopeless patients. For him, it's a simple calculation.

CARSON: Some cases, it becomes clear that the only shot this person has is if you do something.

WALLACE: Carson believes in the potential of every person, because he has lived it.

CARSON: As a youngster growing up in a single parent home in the inner city, with dire poverty all of the things that would seem to preclude success, I was able to become successful.

WALLACE: His mother dropped out of third grade, got married at 13 and was illiterate. But she made her kids turn off the TV, read books, and write reports on them. She couldn't read.

CARSON: She would fool us by, you know, putting check marks and highlights and it would look like somebody had actually gone through the book report.

WALLACE: And so the class dummy ended up going to Yale and becoming a brain surgeon. Since 1994, Carson and his wife, Candy, have given back, setting up the Carson Scholars Fund.

CARSON: For superior academic performance and demonstration of humanitarian qualities.

WALLACE: Over the years, it has given more than $5 million in scholarships to help kids go to college.

CARSON: I have nothing against sports and entertainment. But, you know, what is going to maintain our pinnacle position in the world? The ability to shoot a 25-foot jump shot? Or the ability to solve a quadratic equation?

WALLACE: Now Carson wrote a book, called "America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Country Great." He says like great empires before us, this nation is losing its way and needs to return to founding principles.

CARSON: This is a country that was created for, of and by the people, not for, of and by the government.

WALLACE: You sound like a conservative Republican?

CARSON: If somebody can show me where depending on government handouts and welfare programs and entitlements lead to a great society, I am all ears.

WALLACE: But you don't believe it?

CARSON: I haven't seen it.

WALLACE: And so while Ben Carson helps other people get most out of their lives, he will keep striving to get the most out of his.

CARSON: We'll just have to wait and see what the Lord has in store is for me.

WALLACE: But you figure there will be something.

CARSON: There's always something, and it is it always better than what you thought.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Dr. Carson says for all his training, he still prays before every surgery. He says God made everything, so He knows how everything works.

And that's it for today. Have a great week, and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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Sunday August 31, 2014

The strategy to stop ISIS is taking the US into Syria, where the U.N. reports ISIS is committing war crimes. U.S. surveillance planes have been sent over Syria, leading the way for possible airstrikes. We get the latest from the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers (R-MI).

As the 2014 midterm elections draw near, polls have the battle for the Senate as a toss-up. We’ll take a look at the races that will decide who controls Congress. We’ll talk exclusively with the heads of two top polling firms, Mark Mellman, President and CEO of The Mellman Group and Bill McInturff, Partner and Co-Founder of Public Opinion Strategies.