This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," September 7, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good morning. How far are we willing to go in taking on ISIS?
Hi, everybody. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."
The president announcing he will outline our ISIS strategy this upcoming week. I will speak with a member of the House Intel Committee about what that should entail. Ukraine's fragile cease-fire threatened by shelling from within Russian territory. Can Putin be contained?
And the IRS scandal just keeps on growing. Now, along with Lois Lerner, the tax agency says the e-mail of five more staffers connected to the investigation have also gone missing. Our panel will tackle that as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Reports breaking overnight that President Obama's planning to address the nation this Wednesday to outline his strategy for taking on the threat posed by ISIS, this after his meeting in Wales last week, where he said nine NATO nations, plus Australia, have pledged their support and stand ready to assist in the fight against the Islamic state terrorist organization.
The president also planning to meet with congressional leaders this upcoming Tuesday as they return. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. He joins us right now.
Congressman, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. LYNN WESTMORELAND, R-GA.: Well, thank you, Maria. Thanks for having me.
BARTIROMO: So let's talk about the latest out of NATO, and, of course, the president has said that the U.S. will form a core coalition to counter ISIS. What's your take on that?
WESTMORELAND: Well, I think the coalition partners are going to wait and see exactly what this president's strategy is, Wednesday, when he makes the announcement, of course. He's meeting with congressional leaders Tuesday. It's just hard for, I think, people to have a lot of confidence in what this president says by just his past actions. And so it -- it will be interesting to see what this core coalition will actually do once he lays out the plan.
BARTIROMO: But what do you think it should look like?
Of course, we saw more air strikes overnight, and the U.S. looking to have this policy where we're doing air strikes but nothing, sort of, comprehensive. What should it look like?
WESTMORELAND: Well, Maria, since the -- Snowden released some of the intelligence stuff, ISIS has capitalized on that, knowing how we track down. And, you know, when you are on the end of a hell-fire missile, you don't get a lot of information out of that person. And one of our key strategies and what we were so successful with in Iraq was being able to capture some of these guys and get the intelligence, if you look at after the Osama bin Laden raid, the information that we got off their computers and, you know, cell phones and other things to be able to locate some of these other people.
And so when you're doing something with a hell-fire missile, I mean, I'm glad we're taking them out. But at the same time, it could involve, you know, boots on the ground. I don't want to see that. I don't think -- I think we're all war-weary. But, you know what, Maria, you've got to do what you've got to do.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, I wonder if boots on the ground is an eventuality in all of this.
Congressman, we need to talk about that. Stay with us because we've got plenty more to talk with you about.
But, first, let's take a look at NATO. How have the dynamics of this organization changed, and how do those changes play out today? Fox News senior correspondent Eric Shawn on that angle.
Good morning, Eric.
SHAWN: Good morning, Maria, and good morning, everyone.
It was founded in 1949 to face the Soviet threat. Well, now NATO finds itself again confronting an ominous and aggressive Russia and a new enemy, the radical jihadist Islamic terrorists of ISIS. From its headquarters in Brussels, the now 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization has a long history of protecting Western interests, its missions, evolving after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war.
In 1999, the NATO forces waged a successful 78 bombing campaign of Kosovo. In 2003, NATO troops were dispatched to Afghanistan as part of the international fight against the Taliban after 9/11. While striking ISIS will, we're told, mean no U.S. forces on the ground, the heavy lifting, as always, will come from us. American taxpayers pay more than two-thirds, or 67 percent, of NATO's $9 billion-plus budget, kicking in $618 billion. That's 12 times more than Britain, 10 times more than France and Germany, while the smallest contributor, Albania, pays only $168 million.
And as a percentage of our GDP, U.S. defense spending is far higher than other NATO members, 4.4 percent, compared to 2.4 percent for Britain, less than 2 percent for the next highest payer, Turkey and France, and just over 1 percent for Germany.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN BOB WELLS, (RET.) U.S. NAVY: President Obama came in as a very idealistic president. In his national security strategy, he always spoke about the world we seek. Well, we have to deal with the world as it is. And we also have to realize that there are many forces, especially in the Islamic world and the Islamic region that are still at war with us.
I think President Bush had it right with regard to "the global war on terrorism." I think it still is. I also think you need to have an incredible network of U.S. capability, multiparty, multinational capability, to defeat this particular threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: NATO is building a new large headquarters near the Brussels airport to replace its home of many decades. It is a fitting symbol for a new era and a new global threat of Islamic terrorism that NATO's founders more than six decades ago would never have imagined. Maria?
BARTIROMO: All right. Eric, thanks very much. Eric Shawn.
More now with Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, joining us.
And, Congressman, what about NATO? What kind of support would you look for from our allies? The president is calling it broad support from allies and partners for ruling out -- and ruling out committing ground forces from the U.S.?
WESTMORELAND: Well, you've got to remember that this president's credibility is not real high right now with anybody. The American people are our allies. And, you know, I just got back from the Middle East on a trip, and you talk to people over there, and they don't really understand, you know, what this president's thinking is.
I mean, here we are, arming people that we're not really sure who they are. And yet we've got the Kurds that are on the ground fighting, pushing back ISIS. And we don't want to send them the weaponry that they need. So it's quite confusing to our allies and our foes combined.
So I think this president sees us as part of a world community, and he has failed yet to understand that we are Americans and we're going to do whatever it takes to make sure that our citizens and our homeland is protected.
And so I hope he will finally come to that conclusion, is that, look, we've got to protect ourselves. And if these other people want to join, that's great. If they don't, then he's got to be a leader and go in there and do what we need to do based on the information that we have.
BARTIROMO: Particularly given that ISIS seems to be mocking the U.S., already beheading two American journalists. Is ISIS more of a threat to the U.S. or -- or Iraq?
WESTMORELAND: Well, yeah. I mean, they want us. I mean, they will tell you that that is their ultimate goal. Now, sure, they've got the caliphate set up, and, you know, they're even talking to the Egyptians now about spreading it into the Sinai.
And so, you know, this is something that's not going to stop. And once they get the state set up and how big a state it is that they want, they're taking care of business. I mean, they've got a plan. We don't. They do. And once they get that state set up, you better believe that America is going to be a big target for them, and not only America but our Western interests all across this world is going to be a target for them.
And we need to just get real and understand that this is not something that you can put in the back of your mind and it's going to go away. And I think that's what, really, this president's whole philosophy is, well, if I don't think about it, you know, it won't happen. He goes back to that Scarlett O'Hara quote in "Gone With the Wind," you know, well, fiddle-dee-dee, I'll just worry about it tomorrow.
BARTIROMO: Yeah. Congressman, good to have you on the program. Thanks for your insights. We appreciate it.
WESTMORELAND: Well, thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We will see you soon. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, joining us there.
ISIS has been making great use, meanwhile, of social media. Can we use that weapon against them to hunt them down? A former CIA operative will be with me, answering that next.
You can follow me on Twitter @mariabartiromo,@sundayfutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Mike Baker. We'll get into hunting down those ISIS soldiers. Stay with us as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. ISIS preaches seventh-century Muslim values, but it's been making great use of 21st century technology, recruiting through social media and participating in psychological warfare, undertaking the despicable act of beheading Americans and posting the video online.
But it also exposes its members, giving us a lead on who they are and where they are. Can we use this to hunt them down?
Mike Baker is a former CIA covert operations officer. He's founder and president of the global intelligence and security firm, Diligence LLC. Mike, good to have you. Thanks for joining us.
MIKE BAKER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Thank you. Appreciate it.
BARTIROMO: What is your sense of ISIS's use of social media and what can it tell us, in terms of giving us the information we need to find these guys?
BAKER: Well, this is a development that's been going on for years now. And so the idea that ISIS is using social media and chat rooms and, you know, other forms of technology to try to reach out, influence impressionable unemployed, easily influenced individuals, that's what Al Qaida has been doing for years. And so the mind-set is still the same. And they have learned over the years from what Al Qaida and other groups, AQAP and al- Shabaab and others, have been doing, to reach out.
And the whole purpose of this, of course, as we've talked about in the past, is to try to bring into the fold in particular Westerners, whether they're Americans, whether they're Brits or German or French, wherever it may be -- North Africa -- whatever they can do to recruit those individuals who can provide them with the ability to cross borders more easily than they can.
So this is -- in a sense, it's not something new, but it's a more developed, because they have been learning over the years how to do this better.
BARTIROMO: How optimistic are you in terms of the U.S., or the U.S. and a coalition for the president out of the NATO meetings, that we will, in fact, be able to defeat ISIS?
BAKER: Well, I think, if we can do a couple of things; if we can separate the politics, here in the U.S., in particular, from the operational needs of this -- and by that, what I mean is, look, we can all argue that the White House and President Obama was a bit slow to the game in understanding the immediacy of the threat and in dealing with it over, you know, quite some time now, as this has been building.
If we can take those politics and set them aside now, we should be glad that President Obama is now talking about defeating as opposed to managing the problem. So we should get on board with that. Everybody in Congress and in the Senate should get on board with this, because it's going to take a united effort.
And then what we need to do is essentially what they have been talking about and what we have been talking about for some time, is you've got to have the ability to draw in regional partners, not just the French, not just the Canadians, the Brits. We know we can count on them. But what we really need to make this work is the local regional players. We need the Turks. We need -- the Turkish military and government have got to get on board with this, the Jordanians, the Saudis and those.
If we can draw those in and actually commit forces to the ground -- because the problem is, if what we do is rely on the Iraqi army for boots on the ground, rely on Shiite militias in Iraq, rely on Syrian opposition, which now, at this point, is a muddled mess and includes al-Nusra and others who definitely don't have our interests at heart -- if we have to rely on those people for boots on the ground, this is not going to work.
BARTIROMO: So what are you expecting to hear from the president on Tuesday after he meets with his congressional leaders, and then on Wednesday when he addresses the country?
I guess one question that -- that comes up is are the Turks or the Kurdish army -- I mean, are they ready for prime time? Can they actually handle this job in such a coalition?
BAKER: Well, you know, with our support, yes, they can. And our support is the tactical assistance, the intelligence support, the resources. I mean, I believe the president when he says no boots on the ground. I don't think -- you know, there's some red lines that he's not going to cross. And I actually believe when John Kerry says that's a red line for the U.S. I think they're very serious about it. But somebody -- like I said, somebody other than the Iraqis and Syrian opposition have to get boots on the ground.
So what I think will happen, and what we'll see is, in part, President Obama trying to walk the dog back here. Obviously, he regrets that gaffe about not having a strategy. And I think what he was implying was, look, we're weighing all our options. But I think, in part, he's trying to set the table and, you know, catch up to where a lot of people have been already, in saying that this is an immediate threat; we have to deal with it; we have to be aggressive.
But, again, if we can't draw in those regional players, you know, air strikes alone aren't going to accomplish this. And we need to rely on the Jordanians and Saudis for financing and intelligence and we need to rely on others to actually put forces together with the Peshmerga, with the Kurds, and to provide that additional support.
The problem is, at the end of the day, we can defeat ISIS. If we have that combined effort; if we have the will, we can do that. That's not a problem. But the problem will be what comes in afterwards. Are we strengthening Assad's position? Are we strengthening al-Nusra, in a sense, in Syria? Are we strengthening Shiite militias who, again, are not aligned with our interests?
You know, so what happens after this? We've got to be thinking three or four steps ahead of where we are with just the idea of defeating ISIS.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, and perhaps we'll see the beginnings of that plan and hear about it this Wednesday.
Mike, good to talk with you. Thanks so much. Mike Baker joining us.
BAKER: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: An already shaky cease-fire, meanwhile, in Ukraine, rattled overnight by shelling, those rockets coming from Russian territory. How the West should respond there, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: New violence in eastern Ukraine raising fears that the two-day- old cease-fire is on the verge of collapse. This as we get reports of heavy shelling overnight and this morning in Donetsk and the port city of Mariupol, damaging homes and an industrial facility, and threatening a key airport, resulting in at least one death that we know of.
Robert Hormats is the author of "The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars." Also, he is former undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and environment, and former Goldman Sachs vice chairman. He is now vice chairman of Kissinger Associates.
Bob, it's always nice to have you on the program.
ROBERT HORMATS, VICE CHAIRMAN, KISSINGER ASSOCIATES: Nice to be on your show again, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us. Shelling overnight interrupting what was supposed to be a cease-fire. How would you characterize what's going on right now?
HORMATS: Well, it's very uncertain what's going on. As you point out, Mariupol is a very important strategic port. And it wouldn't surprise me if this cease-fire, which most people didn't really think was going to hold anyway, has broken down a little bit.
I think there's a strong interest on the part of the Ukrainians in at least trying to stabilize things for the moment. But stability in this environment is very, very unlikely. And there are very few people who think this is going to lead to a permanent peace or permanent stability. It will be pockmarked with a lot of volatility as this cease-fire is being implemented, if, in fact, it's implemented at all.
BARTIROMO: And your view is that Putin will continue driving through.
HORMATS: I think Putin probably has gotten most of what he wanted. Pro- Russian forces are in control of the Donbass, which is very important from an economic and industrial point of view. He has pushed back against the Ukrainian army in other parts of eastern and southeastern Ukraine.
He has gotten a lot of what he wanted. And he would like to have a sort of frozen war if he can get a little bit more, he can. But basically, a lot of his interests have been achieved. And it will make Ukraine a weaker economy and a weaker political entity, and will give him a lot of influence over any outcome if there is a negotiation.
BARTIROMO: Which is why he wants this so-called frozen war. Just wants a frozen situation around him.
HORMATS: Yes. Frozen war discredits Ukraine, because the government really can't govern effectively. It's very hard to integrate more closely with the E.U. if you've lost about a third or a quarter of your country.
And it also weakens the credibility of the West. This NATO Summit, which was very important to support the Baltics and other countries, really didn't do a lot for Ukraine because essentially he was given the signal before he wasn't going to get much.
And that made Poroshenko move toward this settlement or tentative settlement, because he really couldn't get a lot more strategic support from the West.
BARTIROMO: You are just back from Kazakhstan. You had meetings with a number of leaders in Europe. What is the mentality on the ground from European leaders to all of this?
HORMATS: I think a lot of European leaders, including the former president of Poland who was there, who really know the area well, they all believe, first of all, that Russia has -- Putin has imperial ambitions.
Not to reconstitute the old Soviet Union, but to push out the power and the influence of Russia to other parts of the region. And, Ukraine, of course, is the primary candidate for that.
They also think, and I believed this for a period of time, sanctions have an adverse effect on the Russian economy. But the average Russian likes a strong leader, likes a strong Russia. And he is not going to -- Putin is not going to give in on these issues, just because the economy is adversely affected and will be for the foreseeable future.
The only way you can really adversely affect the Russian economy in a fundamental sense, if is if oil prices go down, because that's half his budget. That would affect his ability to give all sorts of benefits to the Russian people. But oil prices have gone down, but not really enough to adversely affect him in a fundamental way.
BARTIROMO: So why do you think that is? Why haven't oil prices -- I mean, they have been largely stable, despite what's happening not only in Russia and Ukraine, but also in the Mideast.
HORMATS: Yes. For the most part what's going on in the Middle East has not affected oil. The large amounts of Iraqi oil are in the south. They're not badly affected by what's going on.
Libya can be a problem. If this Libyan deterioration continues, some of that Libyan oil might not get on to the market. So I think that's one part of the situation. Oil prices haven't gone down.
And I do think -- haven't gone up. The thing that's very important I think is for West, for the U.S. and the E.U. to get together and have an energy summit and figure out how we can both produce more energy in Europe, in the U.S., and also cooperate to a greater degree, as we did after the '73, '74 Middle Eastern war where there was a lot of solidarity.
We can't have Russia think that Europe is vulnerable to energy pressure, and enable him to use that to divide the U.S. from Western Europe.
BARTIROMO: For sure. I don't know why we haven't been doing that already, by the way. I mean, this seems obvious to me. Are there any surprises that you would expect as it relates to Russia-Ukraine from the president's speech that we're expecting on Wednesday?
The president, of course, is going to hopefully lay out a strategy against ISIS on Wednesday. But what about the Russia story? Do you think that comes up as well on Wednesday?
HORMATS: I think it almost has to for a number of reasons. First of all, you've got to show credibility in dealing with Russia in Ukraine. And I think you need to do -- in addition to what we're talking about and what is sort of foreshadowed by the NATO Summit, there will be some additional support for Ukraine. That will be helpful.
A lot of additional support, credible support for countries in NATO that feel that they're vulnerable. But you also have to recognize that the energy area is something that they all feel vulnerable about. And we need to have that as a fundamental component, an energy summit to figure out how to produce more energy around the world, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, and cooperating would be substantial.
We also shouldn't forget that Russia has a role in the Middle East. There are Russian airplanes in Iraq. And the president has talked about a coalition, somehow Russia won't be in any coalition that deals with ISIS.
But there are Russian forces there on the ground in Iraq. So somehow some conversation with the Russians is going to be needed on that. I don't think he'll talk about it, but it's certainly one of the background stories that's going on in the Middle East.
There are a lot of players. We need to deal with the moderate Sunnis like the Jordanians and some of the others. We also have to realize there are other players, Iran is a player, Russia is a player, there are several others. And figure out how at least in the background they play into this situation.
You can't ignore them, but you don't want them as necessarily overt allies.
BARTIROMO: Right, right. That's a very good point, Bob. So appreciate your time today. Thanks so much.
HORMATS: Thank you for having me.
BARTIROMO: Bob Hormats, is vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, with us today.
Brand new chapters unfolding, meanwhile, in the IRS scandal. More missing emails. And is the DoJ withholding a potential witness from Congress? Our panel is up next and they'll look ahead on that as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Back in a moment.
SHAWN: From "America's News Headquarters," I'm Eric Shawn. Here are some of the other stories that are making headlines at this hour.
The funeral for comedy legend Joan Rivers is set to begin in about a half an hour from now. The private event will be held at a temple in Manhattan on the Upper East Side with, we're told, a red carpet and celebrities, as the famed comedienne would have loved. She died Thursday at the age of 81.
The New York City medical examiner says, though, more tests are needed to determine her exact cause of death. State investigators are looking at that outpatient clinic where she went for a minor procedure on her vocal cords and then reportedly went into cardiac arrest.
And the U.S. military has launched new air strikes in western Iraq, fighter planes and drones, targeting ISIS terrorists. They are trying, we're told, to capture the Haditha Dam. A breach in that dam would unleash deadly floodwaters in the direction of Baghdad. It remains unknown if ISIS actually wants to destroy that dam or is looking to capture it to control the electricity in the area. This is the second dam ISIS has tried to capture in Iraq.
I'll be back with Arthel Neville at noon Eastern for half an hour of news, and then the doctors are in. Dr. Siegel and Samadi join us two hours from now for "Sunday Housecall" at 12:30 Eastern. For now, I'm Eric Shawn. Back to "Sunday Morning Futures" and Maria.
BARTIROMO: Thank you, Eric. Just when you thought you had heard enough from the IRS, now the tax agency says it is missing the e-mails of five more employees whom Congress wants to question. That's on top of Lois Lerner's e-mails, of course.
Meanwhile, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio is demanding that the Department of Justice hand over information on former Lerner staffer Andrew Strelka. There's his picture. He is alleged to have also been involved in targeting conservative groups.
I want to bring in our panel on this. Ed Rollins is former principal White House adviser to President Reagan. He's been a long-time strategist to business and political leaders. He's also a Fox News political analyst. Judith Miller is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and journalist and a Fox News contributor. Russell Goldsmith joins the panel today. He is chairman and CEO of Citi National Bank, reporting strong earnings.
Good to see everybody. Thank you so much for joining us.
Ed, this is just extraordinary. Now we have -- I don't understand how this keeps on going; it's almost like a comedy -- five more people.
ED ROLLINS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER TO PRES. REAGAN: It is -- it is a comedy. But the problem is, there's no time to get it done and you've got - - the Congress is going to be back for 12 days.
ROLLINS: The Senate's out September 23rd. They've got a budget resolution. They've got Export-Import. They've got, obviously, the president's speech and all the concern we have in the international arena, that this just becomes one more, sort of, background noise. It should be a full investigation. It should be something -- something should be done about it, but it's not going to.
BARTIROMO: So you don't think -- you have any confidence that it ever will actually turn into an investigation?
ROLLINS: No, I don't have any -- no, I don't. I don't have any confidence this administration will ever be able to do anything with it.
BARTIROMO: Judy, what do you think?
JUDITH MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I wish I could be more optimistic than Ed, but I'm not. I mean, there is a great agenda of items to do out there and I don't think this Congress is going to get to any of them. We can't depend on the administration to investigate itself.
BARTIROMO: Well, specifically, though, as it relates to the IRS, so now this top House Republican demanding that the DOJ hand over the contact information, so -- I mean, of a former employee accused of having a conflict of interest. We can't find it?
MILLER: Well, there's not a smidgen, not a smidgen of any -- look, this has gone on for so long, I think the American people are, at this point, just, kind of, throwing up their hands and saying, of course.
MILLER: I think people understand what went on here. But whether or not we're ever going to get a full accounting, I'm beginning to doubt that.
ROLLINS: It's like Benghazi. It's just -- there's just the drum beat, drum beat, drum beat. I think people have made up their own mind that there's guilt involved there, but whether the -- the Justice Department is never going to investigate itself, as Judy said.
BARTIROMO: But does that drum beat, drum beat, drum beat impact the upcoming midterm elections, and how does that play out?
MILLER: Well, we're going to see that very soon.
ROLLINS: We'll see it very quickly. The president has been so diminished by everything that's happened in his administration that he is clearly a drag on this ticket. But it comes down to three or four Senate seats. It's not a national election anymore; it's three or four Senate seats, and it's getting very, very close, and the momentum is going the Republicans' way.
BARTIROMO: Yeah. Russell, you've obviously been reporting strong earnings, record earnings for the second quarter, straight profitable quarter for 85 quarters in a row. Do these events impact business in general?
I mean, what's going on geopolitically, what's going on domestically in this loss of confidence in the president, going into the midterm elections, what kind of an impact have you seen in business?
RUSSELL GOLDSMITH, CEO, CITI NATIONAL BANK: Well, I think it's a bit of two different tracks. On the one hand, the economy is getting better. The trends are good in a variety of ways. They're not fantastic. But they're good. And at the same time, we're affected by the gridlock in Washington.
Take immigration reform. All the estimates are that there are tens of thousands of jobs, lots of tax revenue, big stimulus to the economy if we had a decent reform of immigration. There are things the federal government could be doing on the fiscal side that would help the economy. So it's the absence of some of that that I think is holding it back.
And if you look at what Bernanke was saying, what Chair Yellen has been saying, they would like to see some more stimulus from the fiscal side. So people are affected. And you see it in interest rates. These capital flows that are coming into the United States are, kind of, flying in the face of the Fed pulling back quantitative easing. But you see people bringing in capital from Latin America, from China, from Russia, and that's affecting interest rates.
So, clearly, nobody is an island; no entrepreneur at Citi National is immune to what's going on in the broader global economy.
BARTIROMO: Well, I'm glad you mentioned immigration. I'm going to come back to that. Because, of course, the president delaying handling immigration until after the midterms. I'm wondering if he's handling -- handing the election in November to -- to the GOP as a result. But first, let's get a look at what's coming up in about 20 minutes on "Media Buzz." Howie Kurtz is with us right now with that.
Howie, what are you looking at?
KURTZ: Maria, you set me up nicely for this tease because we're going to jump on this breaking news about the president delaying any action on immigration and look at the way the White House spun this by leaking it to the press just yesterday and culminating in a presidential interview this morning on "Meet the Press" admitting that this was political but trying to blame it on the Republicans. I think this is going to be very important as it plays out. Because the president made nobody happy with this decision.
And also, Maria, we're going to unveil a new segment, "The Media and the Midterms," how the coverage is shaping the fall elections.
BARTIROMO: That's going to be good. I'll be there, Howie. Thanks so much. We'll see you at the top of the hour.
And we'll get into immigration as well. Meanwhile, the president says he'll hold off any legislation on immigration until after those November elections. Who does this really help, Democrats or Republicans? The panel weighs in on that, as we continue to look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. President Obama delaying any action on immigration until after the midterm elections, though he said his decision is not political. This after he pledged to do something about it by the end of the summer, and now he's blaming his altered timetable on the immigration crisis as tens of thousands of illegals, many of them children, flood across our southern border.
Our panel is back, Ed Rollins, Judy Miller, Russell Goldsmith, talking about immigration. You brought it up, Russell. What are the implications of this, Ed?
ROLLINS: Well, this is total political decision on the part of the president. There are four Senate races that are in play with incumbents, Alaska, North Carolina, Iowa, which is an open seat that we could win, and Louisiana. And I think to a certain extent, all of those senators say the numbers are bad.
You energize Republicans, even greater than they are today, if you basically put this bill forward. And that's why he backed away.
MILLER: And I think it was a shrewd thing for the president to do, but what annoys me about what he has done is he's not being honest with the American people about why he has done it.
He said, well, you know, the crisis on the border has abated somewhat. And also I needed more time to explain to the American people what I'm trying to do on immigration reform.
Why not just level with the American people and say, I'm doing this because I want to win four seats.
MILLER: . in the midterms. I don't understand why he doesn't do that.
BARTIROMO: It actually could have worked out, had he had some action on the table -- legislation on the table to the Democrats' favor, given the slow response and the mistakes that the Republicans have made.
GOLDSMITH: Yes, I think you're exactly right, Maria. Look, the Senate had 68 votes and passed a comprehensive bipartisan bill on immigration reform months ago. It has never gotten to the floor of the House of Representatives.
They spend their time voting against Obamacare, which is going nowhere. And I think the Democrats could make a real issue out of that, because the fact is, the economy would benefit tremendously from immigration reform.
City National has offices in the Silicon Valley. There are tens of thousands of jobs that are empty, because we're sending kids that get educated in the United States in STEM, and we won't give them a green card, won't give them an H-1 visa.
And we need them. I saw a statistic the other day, 40 percent of the founders or the CEOs of Silicon Valley companies are immigrants. I mean, you think about a guy like Elon Musk or Sergey Brin. We need those guys.
BARTIROMO: Yes. And but...
ROLLINS: No disrespect, but politically, it's going nowhere in this Congress. It's a long, tedious process. It took Reagan five years to get the '86 bill through. There is no bipartisan support. And what the Senate did was a compromise.
It is never going anywhere beyond and probably wouldn't win again in the Senate today. It's going to take a two-year process. The election has to come and go and maybe in the second election, maybe in the presidential change.
BARTIROMO: By the way, during Thursday night's California gubernatorial debate against Neel Kashkari, Jerry Brown revealed that nearly 30 percent of the state's school children are either illegal immigrants or do not speak English.
BARTIROMO: Pretty extraordinary.
Let me move on to ISIS, because, Judy, I know you have worked a lot on this, writing your analysis of what has happened. Of course, we saw more developments overnight. Tell us your latest analysis in terms of the president's response. We're going to hear from the president Wednesday on the strategy.
MILLER: Well, we have finally seen the president's rhetoric catch up on the ground with his actions. He has been bombing in Iraq. Now we have stepped that up. And we have also seen -- now have about 1,100, quote, "boots on the ground," only we don't have boots on the ground.
But these people are providing the intelligence and the advice to the Peshmerga, who are the Kurds, and the Sunni Iraqi army, which has to do the bulk of the fighting.
But here's what I think about ISIS. We have to keep in mind that ISIS a short-term, immediate problem that I think the president will be able to deal with. The longer-term challenge is Iran.
And the danger I see ahead of us is that we will start working with the Iranians, thinking that we can make a deal on ISIS that will carry over to other issues such as the nuclear issue or are really different interests in the Middle East. That's a dangerous path for the president.
ROLLINS: I think as your earlier guest said, though, if it we don't basically have American leadership in there on the ground, the Iraqi military and the protesters in Syria are not going to get the job done.
And we can bomb the daylights out of them, and the Saudis will write checks and what have you, but at the end of the day, unless American leadership is in there in some way, shape, or form, beyond just tilling the intelligence, it's not going to happen.
BARTIROMO: Will we hear that Wednesday? Will we hear a strategy of leadership?
MILLER: I think we're going to hear that we have learned some lessons since the surge. We have learned that it's very hard, but it's crucial to separate out the local people, whose hearts and minds you're trying to win, from the people, the bad guys you're trying to bomb.
And that all those people calling for bombing, I think the president is right to wait to make sure we're bombing the right people.
BARTIROMO: All right. Stay with us, because we've got to get into domestic issues like the economy. We had disappointing jobs numbers this past week, just as we're hearing about more credit card breaches at another big retailer. All that good news when we come back on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Back with our panel, Ed Rollins, Judy Miller, Russell Goldsmith. We had job numbers that were below expectations. In fact, it was the weakest showing in terms of job creation for the month of August in 2014.
Russell, you are banking, a big portion of the country. Loans were up 17 percent, deposits at record levels, your most recent earnings. What are you seeing from the consumer out there in terms of the ability to pay their mortgage, in terms of the health of the actual consumer?
GOLDSMITH: Well, you know, Maria, again, you have this kind of contradiction. On the one hand, housing starts are below normal rates and you're not seeing the construction jobs that you need to get some of our unskilled, less educated workers back to work. But on the other side, look at car and light truck production sales, which is the second biggest purchase for most Americans. It's at record levels, running around 17.5 million units.
So that tells you people with jobs are feeling good enough to go out and buy a new truck. F-150 is the number one selling vehicle in America.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, the Ford truck. And having said that, the numbers are very much a mixed story, 142,000 jobs created for the month of August, unemployment rate at 6.1 percent. Where is the disconnect?
GOLDSMITH: The disconnect is people with jobs feel good about it. There's -- it's the people without jobs and unable to get jobs, and they're out of the job market, and they don't feel good about it. People with stocks feel good about stocks. People with no money don't feel very good about this economy.
There's not -- just from a political perspective, there's still a lot of uncertainty out there and ordinary folks don't watch all the things that you watch and don't have the ability to borrow money the way you have the ability to borrow money. And they worry about this thing. They worry about the price for schools and all the rest of it for their kids.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, and, you know, the polls continue to show that people are worried that their kids are not going to have the same opportunities that they had, Judy.
MILLER: Yes, because they have to have -- their parents have to have two jobs in order to earn what they used to earn with one job. And I was struck by Janet Yellen's remarks that the greatest, kind of, economic challenge is this continuing growing gap, the income inequality, where one -- you know, the top 10 percent are earning 30 percent of the nation's wealth. I mean, this is politically and economically destabilizing to our country.
BARTIROMO: And then you look at our largest trading partner, Europe, who, of course is handcuffed as a result of its reliance on natural gas from Russia. Your thoughts on Putin right now, in terms of driving through -- there was supposed to be a cease-fire. Shelling happened overnight. I guess that threatened that cease-fire.
MILLER: Well, if he thinks that he can take the Port of Mariupol and he can create a land bridge to Crimea, which he now has to support, I think he's going to do it. I will be on a plane on Wednesday to the Ukraine. As the president is telling us what he plans to do about ISIS, I also want to know more about what he wants to do with Russia.
ROLLINS: I think the battle so far has proven to Putin that, if he wants to take Ukraine, he can do it, as he said, in two weeks. So I think he's not, in any way, shape or form, worried about -- he's not worried about the world of public opinion and certainly not our public opinion. So I think he's in an entrenched question and it's a question of what does he want to do.
BARTIROMO: How impactful will the weakness in the European economy -- and of course Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank creating this stimulus just last week. Are you worried that that impacts the U.S.?
GOLDSMITH: Well, it does impact interest rates. You know, you see the Fed bringing quantitative easing to an end in October, and we need to get rates back up in our economy. But you have got these huge capital flows because people realize that money is safe and the sound here. I talked to somebody -- you know, Latin Americans coming into Florida, buying condos; Chinese coming into California, investing in homes. This is the greatest place to put your capital. And that affects interest rates. So it's helping to stimulate the economy.
But, you know, the trend -- going back to your question, the trend has been very positive. We've had more than 200,000 jobs created in the private sector every month. So August -- that one statistic is a bit of a blip. You've got purchasing managers, index, very, very strong. Auto sales...
BARTIROMO: But why don't we feel it, Russell? Why doesn't it feel like there's vibrancy, then?
GOLDSMITH: Yeah, well, I think because, in part, I think, on the fiscal side, and you've heard that said before, we need to do more. The government could do more, whether it's immigration reform, infrastructure. We should be selling energy abroad. You saw Tom Friedman's column this morning. We could tax it as it leaves the country, get some revenue, and we could fight against Putin's controls over Europe if we were selling energy to Europe.
BARTIROMO: Well, we'll take a look. It's all political. The president has put the Keystone decision off until after the midterms. Once again, we're going to take a break, and then the one thing to watch for the week ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Back with our panel. The one big thing to watch in the upcoming week. Russell Goldsmith, Judy Miller, Ed Rollins, what's your one thing?
ROLLINS: I'm going to watch the president's speech. I'm going to see if he basically shows great leadership on Wednesday night. And I'm going to watch -- the Congress passes on Thursday the continuing resolution for the budget.
BARTIROMO: They are, after all, back for 12 days, until Rosh Hashanah vacation.
What are you watching, Judy?
MILLER: I'm obviously watching the president's speech on ISIS because it will affect whether or not I can land in Kiev on Thursday.
GOLDSMITH: You know, I think so far the markets think that, as crazy as the world looks, that it's still manageable. And I think we're going to see if it looks that way by the end of the next week or two. BARTIROMO: Well, we'll see. I think, now that we're back from the summer, it's all about the midterms. I wonder what all of the above that we've been speaking about today impacts people's perception on whether or not the GOP takes the Senate and what that means in terms of implications.
That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." I thank my panel for joining us today. Thank you so much, everybody.
I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll see you tomorrow on "Opening Bell," 9 a.m. Eastern on the Fox Business Network. Have a great Sunday.
Content and Programming Copyright 2014 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2014 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.