Foreign policy takes front seat in 2016 presidential race

Sen. Johnny Isakson weighs in on future relations with Iran, tensions in Yemen


This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," April 12, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Hillary Clinton erases the question mark. Hi, everyone. Good morning, I'm Maria Bartiromo. This is "Sunday Morning Futures."

Will she or won't she? An official answer is due any time now. The former first lady, former senator, former secretary of state becoming a presidential candidate for the second time. We will get expert analysis this morning and you can bet our panel has plenty to say about it.

And foreign policy a likely driver of this next presidential campaign season, as we head toward a final nuclear agreement with Iran and tensions mount in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Senator Johnny Isakson of the Foreign Affairs Committee is moments away.

And then those Mideast tensions just one factor influencing the price of gasoline that you pay. The CEO of ConocoPhillips on that and a lot more, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

President Obama's first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, planning to announce at any moment her 2016 run for the White House, this as tensions between our Middle Eastern allies, Saudi Arabia and Iran, heat up over the growing conflict in Yemen. And the U.S. and five other world powers continue to hammer out a deal with Iran, headed toward a June 30th nuclear deadline.

So how big a role will foreign policy and global security play into the next administration? Johnny Isakson is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He joins us now.

Senator, good to have you on the program.

SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON, R-GA.: Good to be with you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Do you think foreign affairs, foreign policy will be a driver in this election for voters?

And how would you assess the kind of secretary of state Hillary Clinton was?

ISAKSON: Well, first of all, it will be a big issue. It will be a big issue with women because women are afraid for their children and their security because of ISIL and what is unknown about Iran. Hillary Clinton's service as secretary as state, while noble when she did it, you know, the one commercial she ran against Barack Obama when she ran for president was who do you want in the White House at 3:00 a.m. when that call comes in? Well, her call came in at 3:00 a.m. from Benghazi and they didn't answer it. She's going to have to respond to that.

BARTIROMO: So voters will care about that.

So let me ask you this. You are also on the Subcommittee for International Cyber Security Policy. Did Hillary Clinton breach national security? Did she put the country at risk by using her own personal e-mail as secretary of state?

ISAKSON: We need all the facts to determine whether she did or not, but the reason they're supposed to turn those in is to have the evidence at hand. But, unfortunately, I think some 30,000 of those e-mails were destroyed, and that's wrong.

BARTIROMO: Well, do you think you'll ever get to see them because they're still on the server, or are they absolutely gone?

ISAKSON: Maria, I learned something as chairman of the Ethics Committee. There's no such thing as everything being gone in the computer. A forensic analysis could probably find it. I hope we do find it. We need to know the answer to those questions.

BARTIROMO: So how would you assess her job as secretary of state, then, Senator?

ISAKSON: She did a good job on the continent of Africa with our relations there. She did a good job in terms of traveling the world. But in terms of Benghazi, that's going to be the one question she's got to answer, because we had four Americans in the consulate who lost their lives because the United States didn't respond. And we know the State Department knew they were under attack. That's going to be the $64,000 question.

BARTIROMO: Yeah, it sure is. Senator, stay with us. A lot to talk about with you this morning, Senator Isakson.

We want to get a breakdown, though, first, of some specific foreign policy issues that the 2016 presidential candidate will face.

Fox News senior correspondent Eric Shawn joins us with that angle. Eric, good morning to you.

ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria. And good morning, everyone.

Iran, Putin, ISIS: the challenges facing our nation across the globe will land on the next president's desk, whoever that is.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: She was an outstanding secretary of state. She is my friend. I think she would be an excellent president.

SHAWN (voice over): Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state could bring its own benefits and unwanted complications. While she supported arming the Syrian rebels against the president's view, there are those continuing questions the senator just pointed out about Benghazi, especially in light of those many unknown deleted e-mails.

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: The fact is, we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?

SHAWN: And then there was that famous but misguided "Reset with Russia" that did not work. Instead of plus, Foreign Policy magazine says Mrs. Clinton's record may haunt her. Quote, "With the rise of the Islamic State and the United States once again engaged in military operations in Iraq, rivals are taking Clinton to task for her decision to support the original war. The Iranian nuclear deal is another issue that leaves Clinton vulnerable to attack."

But the republicans have had their share of foreign policy stumblings. Governor Scott Walker in London punting on evolution; Rand Paul unraveling his previous bedrock criticism of foreign aid.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I envision an America with a national defense unparalleled, undefeatable and unencumbered by overseas nation building.

SHAWN: And Jeb Bush, who will no doubt be shadowed by the foreign affairs successes of his father as well as the decision to go to war in Iraq by his brother.

FORMER GOV. JEB BUSH, R-FLA.: Freedom is the bedrock principle of this great country of ours. I do think there's some differences of opinion on foreign policy, but, look, we're just beginning this journey.

SHAWN: And then tomorrow, Senator Marco Rubio will throw his hat into the ring. A Cuban-American, he is pointedly outspoken about President Obama's Cuba policy.

But with the president sitting down with Cuban President Raul Castro, who lavishly praised Mr. Obama, the changing dynamics of world affairs have already made this an unpredictable race even before it's fully started. Maria?

BARTIROMO: All right. Eric, thanks very much. Eric Shawn.

More now with Senator Johnny Isakson, with me this morning.

And, Senator, you just said moments ago, "She will have to answer questions regarding Benghazi." What exactly are you looking to learn?

ISAKSON: Well, why the State Department didn't respond quickly, as they should have, why these four individuals lost their life without any defense, why the attack was blamed publicly on a video and not blamed on what exactly happened. There's a lot of uncertainty around Benghazi and the people deserve the right answers; they deserve the truth; and the families of those who lost their lives deserve the peace to know so.

BARTIROMO: Well, we certainly have not heard much from Hillary on this. Why do you think it's such a soft announcement? Everyone's expecting her to run for president. She's apparently going to be tweeting it from her campaign headquarters and then heading to Iowa. What's your sense of this announcement we're waiting on?

ISAKSON: I'm not really a strategist, so it's just a personal opinion. But I would think, when somebody has 100 percent name ID. And probably 100 percent feeling either positive or negative about her, she doesn't need a big splash. So she's trying to lay back to keep herself as lack of being vulnerable as possible.

BARTIROMO: What is more dangerous right now, the dealings that we're having in terms of this framework with Iran or what's happening around ISIS and the really unraveling of things in Yemen?

ISAKSON: Well, ISIS in Yemen, we have the Iranians fighting with us on one side and fighting against us on the other side, and I think Netanyahu's statement about the enemy of your enemy is still your enemy is still true. And we're negotiating a nuclear deal with the Iranians.

If you think back, Maria, the two most prominent diplomatic relationships the State Department has issued over this administration in the last couple of years is Cuba and Iran. The rest of the world we, kind of, let to the side. And that's why foreign policy is going to be a huge issue in the presidential campaign.

BARTIROMO: Yeah, I agree with you.

OK, so Cuba, let's talk about that for a moment. The president, of course, meeting with Raul Castro, a lot of expectation that they are going to be taking Cuba off of the terrorist list. What's your sense of the dealings with Cuba, the meeting happening right now? And should Cuba be taken off the terrorist list?

ISAKSON: My opinion is that this administration seems to be negotiating what the other side wants first and then waiting to see what we need. That's true with the Iranians, I think, in the framework, and I think it's true with the Cubans. Whether they should stay on the terrorist watch list or not depends on what activity we have in our NSA files in terms of activity they're doing in spying and terrorism and things of that nature. That's a decision that's made by the NSA and the administration.

BARTIROMO: And -- and do you think that the opening of Cuba and the increased relations that we're seeing in this conversation taking place today is appropriate?

ISAKSON: It's appropriate if the Cubans are making amends for what they did in the past, the repatriation of the properties that were taken away by the Cubans who fled to go to Miami and South Florida, what they've done in terms of human rights, in terms of labor rights, in terms of individual rights. Cuba needs to right itself before we make it right by some diplomatic move.

BARTIROMO: Senator, good to have you on the show today. Thanks so much.

ISAKSON: Thanks, Maria.  

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon. Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia.

Hillary Clinton set to announce today. Will it be a Democratic coronation or will others in the party come forward and challenge the former first lady? Byron York is on deck next. I hope you'll follow me on Twitter @mariabartiromo @sundayfutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Byron next. Stay with us, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Memo from the Clinton campaign team calling itself Hillary for America says its purpose is to, quote, "give every family, every small business and every American a path to lasting prosperity by electing Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States."

But already at least three Democrats, Lincoln Chafee, Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb have hinted they will run against her. And let's not forget questions about her emails while at the State Department have yet to be addressed.

Byron York is with me today, the chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

And Byron, you have worked a lot of this all weekend. And you have been studying Hillary for a long time. How do you assess what we're about to hear?

BYRON YORK, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, I think we know what we're about to hear, which is she's going to run for president and I think her platform is going to be a lot about economic inequality and equality of opportunity. She just in The Huffington Post published a new epilogue to her book from last year and it's clear that she's going to make inequality a big theme of her campaign.

But it's equally clear that there are a significant number of Democrats who are very uncomfortable with the idea of a coronation. They would like actual primaries, an actual contest. Look at the polls, you know in the Real Clear Politics average of polls Hillary Clinton is at 60 percent. Well, that's very imposing, but that's 40 percent of Democrats who, even when she has the field to herself, would like somebody else.

BARTIROMO: Yeah, we were just talking about whether or not this is going to be a foreign policy election or an economic policy election. And let's talk economics for a moment, because I read your recent article and you sort of looked through the economy, where we stand right now, and the fact is, is over the last five or six or seven years, 20 percent of the country has done better, and their wages have gone up; 80 percent have seen their wages go down.

YORK: 80 percent is a lot bigger than 20 percent if you're running for president.

BARTIROMO: So yes, let's talk about income inequality.

YORK: This is huge. I mean, we have heard recently with the rise of ISIS and troubles in Russia and Syria and all that, that this might be a foreign policy election. We just had new figures from the Labor Department showing that between 2012, 2013, 2014, the average income of Americans all 80 percent, the lower 80 percent, went down during that period. And by the way, the incomes of the top 20 percent didn't go up very, very much.

So it's very hard to figure out how you can have a foreign policy election when the incomes of 80 percent of the Americans are going down at a time when we're supposedly in a recovery.

BARTIROMO: But that is what the campaign platform is about, prosperity for, you know, every family, every person. Is this going to resonate?

YORK: She's going to have a hard time, because she's obviously -- she was Barack Obama's secretary of state. She is a Democrat in effect running for Obama's third term, and we're in this situation after eight years of President Obama. So how is she going to campaign? She cannot really cut herself off from Barack Obama. She's going to have to say remember how bad shape we were in 2008? We were so deep in the hole President Obama has brought us a long way, but we still have a long way to go and I think that's the way she's going to try to finesse her connection with the Obama record.

BARTIROMO: It's really funny to hear President Obama say "my friend."  Isn't it Obama and Valerie Jarrett who threw her under the bus by basically releasing the fact that she's using her personal email throughout her entire as secretary of state?

YORK: Remember, you're likable enough, Hillary.

BARTIROMO: My friend.

YORK: Yeah, "my friend."

On this email thing, I think what's important, you just saw some polls from some key states including Iowa, Florida, and others, Ohio, I think, and they showed Hillary Clinton's trust, the trust worthiness, to be rather low. And I think what you're seeing and going to see with this email scandal is news of a scandal breaks. We all cover it for 48 hours. There's a poll taken 48 hours later, it shows no change and everybody says, well, gee it didn't affect her.

Well it does. It takes a long time to sink in and out in the country.  And I think the email problem, and the more we'll likely learn about the email problem, is going to cause her continuing trouble in the race.

BARTIROMO: What about the continuing trouble around Benghazi? We just heard from Senator Isakson who wants to know more about why those people died, our ambassador was killed. Does Benghazi matter? Will it matter?

YORK: It does.

Trey Gowdy, the head of the select committee on Benghazi in the House has said he's going to call Hillary Clinton twice. The first time to talk about the email matter, because you have to remember, she has destroyed emails, withheld emails from congress at a time they were actively under request from congress, that is a problem right there.

Then there's the substance of it. And I think the Benghazi investigation is beginning to focus completely on preparation. What did Hillary Clinton know about the state of -- the dangerous state that our diplomats in Libya were in. Did she receive some of the memos and cables in which those diplomats said we are in trouble. We cannot withstand a concerted attack. What did she know about that? And what did she do about it?

BARTIROMO: And why didn't she do more quicker?

YORK: Exactly.

BARTIROMO: You've been writing about Chelsea. They're pushing Chelsea Clinton out there as well.

YORK: Yeah, the one thing that is kind of amazing for students of optics is this is the weekend the Clinton campaign is rolling out. Mrs. Clinton is clearly making inequality one of her major themes and at the same time, her daughter Chelsea, who is a top official in the Clinton Foundation, is appearing in Elle magazine wearing jewelry and clothes by Gucci, Cartier and Bulgari all these expensive high-end brands. So it seems just an amazing lapse in optics to be talking about inequality on one side and on the other side appearing on the cover of a fashion mag wearing all this expensive bling.

BARTIROMO: Yeah. We'll see about that. Byron, great to talk with you.

YORK: Good to be here.

BARTIROMO; Thank you so much.

Byron York at Washington Examiner. We'll look for your writings.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran intensify, meanwhile, as the conflict in Yemen only gets worse. This is just one factor that could impact what you're paying at the gas pump. The CEO of Conoco-Phillips is with me next as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO: New developments in Yemen as well, talks continuing on the Iran negotiations as well. That has created volatility in the oil markets, with oil prices back up.

Joining me now to talk more about the volatility and what he's expecting as a result of these geopolitical events is the chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, one of the largest oil companies, Ryan Lance.

Ryan, it's nice to have you on the program.

RYAN LANCE, CEO, CONOCOPHILLIPS: Thank you, Maria. It's nice to be here.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us. We have been talking about the ongoing talks with Iran, now we've got the June 30th deadline to look forward to and of course these new developments coming out of Yemen.  Let me ask you about production out of Libya and what you're seeing from your standpoint in the Middle East.

LANCE: Yes, so we're seeing a lot of volatility today, Maria. It's a terrible situation in Libya. We're a producer in our oasis concession.  Today we're not producing much oil out of Libya. They are managing to hold it together, ramping up a little bit but not clearly up to the levels that they had pre-conflict.

BARTIROMO: You've taken people out of Libya, right?

LANCE: We have. All of our ex-pat personal, we're operating Libya from a remote location. We still have national employees in there that are monitoring our operations, but we have told them to hunker down and be careful about what they're doing.

BARTIROMO: What do you think the mentality of the whole theme of the Saudis is? They've been very clear they are not going to give up any market share and yet they're talking about higher prices in Asia; they're talking about putting the shale companies out of business in America. I don't know if we could believe that but that's certainly the speculation.

What is behind the Saudi decision not to actually, you know, give on market share?

LANCE: Well, I think it is, it's probably multifaceted. I think they probably are upset in some of the non-OPEC production growth that we've seen in the oil shale that you describe in North America is one piece of that, probably Russian production and certainly I think you're looking closely at the Iranian sanctions if they get lifted and what goes on there.

So I think it is a multifaceted strategy that they're having there but it is, I think underground in what they're saying is we're not going to be the only ones cutting back when we're oversupplied in the marketplace today. We'll protect our market share.

BARTIROMO: I want to ask you your take in terms of the U.S. and its ability to export oil and gas production.

LANCE: We're on the cusp of a tremendous opportunity for our country, with the slight oil revolution, the economic benefits that are coming through the national security, the geopolitical benefits can be quite dramatic.

The one policy that the U.S. has that gets in the way of that is oil exports and we were just talking about Saudi Arabia. Their favorite oil policy is the lack of exports from the U.S. There's a reason why they're not selling their crude for market prices and willing to discount the crude and bring it in to the United States and that is to try to keep that export ban in place.

BARTIROMO: Do you think that export ban will be lifted?

This is the talk right now in Washington.

LANCE: Well, I think it has to be. I think there are some marginal approaches that are taken. I think the common state exports are helping the swap conversations with Mexico and Canada are helping. Maybe there's a little bit of incremental. Ultimately, though, we have to repeal this ban.

BARTIROMO: Is there a break point number for the shale producers?

I mean oil prices having come down 50 percent, when we were below $50 in the '40s, people wondered if we'd see bankruptcies on the shale space.

LANCE: I think you look at these shale opportunities, they're like other kinds of oil things that we develop. In the very core and heart of the field, it's very prolific and it's got a low cost of supply. In other words it can withstand $40 and $50 WTI prices.

But as you move out and start developing the opportunities it gets more expensive, the reservoirs get thinner, the productivity is a lot less, so it takes a higher price to develop those.

So there is a range. It's hard to answer the question is there one cost of supply because it varies for each company. What I would say is that below $40, $45, it does reduce the amount of growth and the investment that will go into that. Lot of these need $70 and $75 to be economic, prolific and to attract the capital investment that it's been attracting.

BARTIROMO: Are we just at the beginning of an industry-wide cutback because of what has happened?

LANCE: I think you're seeing that, the service companies are the leading indicator because the effort has dropped off. You see the big service companies cutting back. We're having to make some personnel reductions around the world. You see other companies announcing that as well. So yes, that's coming and we're all watching to see how long does $50 or $55 oil persist.

BARTIROMO: Which is why we saw a major deal announced this past week, Shell Oil acquiring BG Group for $70 billion in cash and stock, a monster deal by anybody's standards.

Were you surprised?

LANCE: Not as surprised. I think the companies have some mutually attractive interests in gas and LNG so it's not so much a surprise that those two particular companies got together. You always get surprised at the magnitude of that and the question is that really opens up the floodgates on additional M&A activity.

BARTIROMO: Scale is winning in this industry.

Do you need to do a deal?

LANCE: When we look at our business we're $1.5 million a day growing to $1.7 million a day, 9 billion barrel resource pace, 44 billion reserve space on top of the reserved space on top of that. We have got size, scale and scope already. We've got an A credit rating, we've got a good strong balance sheet, we can weather the storms.

So we feel comfortable in terms of where we're at on the size, scale and scope of the company and we have got a lot of exploitable inventory so we have got a lot of opportunities to grow well into the next decade. So for us doing a deal it would have to make a whole lot of sense.

BARTIROMO: All right. We'll be watching your three-year operating plan. I know that investors were very optimistic about it when you released it. Thanks so much for joining us.

LANCE: Thank you, Maria, it's always good to be here.

BARTIROMO: Good to see you, Ryan Lance.

All right. Back to the worst kept secret on the planet, next, Hillary Clinton set to announce her 2016 run for president. So much talk about with our panel, we will start there and 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.

Pope Francis marking 100 years since the Armenian massacre, calling it, quote, "the first genocide of the 20th century." The pontiff honoring the estimated 1.5 million Armenians who were slaughtered at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey, though, has long denied allegations of genocide and says the pope's comments have caused, quote, "a problem of trust" with the Vatican.

Pope Francis demanded -- or defended his use of the word, saying it was his duty to honor the memory of the innocent men, women and children who were killed.

There was a close call at the zoo in Cleveland. A toddler slipping and falling about 10 feet down into a cheetah pit. According to zoo officials, it happened while the 2-year-old boy's mother was dangling him over the edge. They say that by the time the paramedics arrived, the parents had already pulled him out and the cheetahs never approached the little boy or his family.

The toddler was treated for some minor bumps and bruises. Officials say the mother does face charges of child endangerment.

I'll be back with Arthel Neville at noon Eastern for a full hour of news as we await the anticipated announcement by Hillary. For now, I'm Eric Shawn. Back to "Sunday Morning Futures" and Maria.


BARTIROMO: Thank you, Eric.

And it is, in fact, the story of the day, Hillary Clinton getting set to announce her presidential bid anytime now. We want to get ready with our panel, Judith Miller, Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist and FOX News contributor. Her brand-new book is called "The Story: A Report's Journey;" it is about the myths and realities on the buildup to the Iraq War.

Chess grand master Garry Kasparov is with us today. He is a writer and a political activist, chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and Jim Grant is a financial author and analyst. He is the founder and editor of "Grant's Intrastate Observer."

Good to see everybody. Thank you so much for joining us.

OK, so we're going to probably see the tweet that's going around the world from Hillary.

What is your sense of Hillary announcing today, Judy?

JUDITH MILLER, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: I think she's going to have a huge problem overcoming both the bubble factor, not the Bubba factor but the bubble. She's been just coddled for so long by the media. She's been such a star. How to reconnect with voters, this is not an easy task. It's really not.

As well-known as she is, she seems removed. She seems to play by different rules than everyone else, as we saw from the e-mail scandal.  This is not what you want just going into a campaign.

Can she get out of this? She's a superb veteran. I bet she will, but it's going to be not a coronation at all.

BARTIROMO: Garry, what do you think? As a strategist.

GARRY KASPAROV, CHESS GRAND MASTER: All that coronation was in the party. And I think they decided that they would rather have four months sort of this grace period when she will be dominating the field before the full GOP debate because then she'll disappear. So they have to decide how to keep her in public space because she's not a sitting president and I guess eventually the GOP debate will overshadow her.

Next four months we'll fill every screen, every tweet, every Facebook page.

BARTIROMO: Will this election, Jim Grant, do you think, be about economic policy, about foreign policy or something else?

JIM GRANT: First of all, we have to know which electronic device Hillary tweeted on.


BARTIROMO: Yes, I guess so.

GRANT: I think with respect to economics, the telltale fact is that she has consulted with no fewer than 200 authorities on her economic policy and she has yet to reach a conclusion.

Now, there are 200 economic authorities, you have 201 opinions but it falls to a leader to form his or her own opinion and I think it's -- it is very Hillary that she has done all this talking, all this listening and can't come up with an idea. We know that she wants to be president. We have no idea on what set of beliefs or convictions she stands.

BARTIROMO: The campaign has put out sort of a campaign promise today, it's about inequality.

GRANT: It's 29 words into this and there is a fib and the fib begins this campaign is not about Hillary Clinton. This campaign is all about Hillary Clinton. This is the second sentence of the press release. If you're a Cubs fan, Yankees fan, like that.

BARTIROMO: That's right. (INAUDIBLE). It says it's not about Hillary Clinton, it's about the average guy (INAUDIBLE).

KASPAROV: Or Hillary's bedrock of values but still the question remains what is this bedrock of values.

MILLER: She has a theme now. It's going to be economic populism and I really think she's going to just zero in on that, the inequality theme will play. It's Elizabeth Warren's theme but she is a centrist arguing it.  I think it's a very shrewd choice of --

GRANT: She and Bill are worth, what, $50 million?

MILLER: That's a problem.



GRANT: Inequality is, I think it's --

BARTIROMO: She said they were --

GRANT: -- one of the many ironies of this young campaign season.

KASPAROV: It's irony -- she talked about inequality, about average American and about economic hardship and launching the most expensive presidential campaign.


MILLER: Look, fatigue is the big problem. People think they know her, she's been around forever. They're tired of her and the campaign hasn't even begun.


Well, I think this whole e-mail scandal really speaks to what you're talking about. People are just frustrated with the fact that there are different rules and I wonder if this actually is going to be a factor. I don't think it would be a factor with her core. Her core base is in place.

MILLER: Right. It won't be a factor with her core but it is going to be a factor in the election. You can already see her slide vis-a-vis the Republican contenders for the presidential nomination.

BARTIROMO: And if you look at the economic side of the story, I mean, Jim, yes, this might be about inequality but let's talk about that then because the last six years most Americans have seen their wages go down.

GRANT: Inequality is a fact of wealth, of income opportunity and I'm reminded a little bit of India, during India's long dwindle the story took root that there is something called the Hindu rate of growth. Indians were too passive, you see, so the government, to participate in a growing economy and then came better policies, now under Mr. Bodi, things are rather booming. So there's always a back story.

Now we hear that there is secular stagnation, very fancy polysyllabic phrase for lousy policies. Now this economy, to use the technical phrase, does stink. And the reason in part is because the government is heavy- handedly fixing things that ought to be determined by markets.

There is a government interest rate, there is a government-issued bank, JPMorgan Chase is in effect a nationalized institution. I mean, you can't tell walking around who are the regulators and who are the employees.  One outnumbers the other.

BARTIROMO: They live there, that's right.

All right. We'll talk more about this and I want to get your sense, Garry, in terms of the Iran talks going on right now. So stay with us.

We want to get a look first at what's coming up top of the hour on "Media Buzz." Howie Kurtz is standing by right now.

Good morning to you, Howie.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": Good morning, Maria. It will not surprise you to know that we'll be all over Hillary Clinton getting into the presidential race, looking at coverage that has ranged from breathless to mocking based on last night's "Saturday Night Live."

We'll also examine Rand Paul getting into those dust-ups with anchors and how that is affecting his campaign.

And we've got a special in-depth interview with Mariel Hemingway.

BARTIROMO: All right, we will going to be there . We'll see you in about 20 minutes, Howie. Thank you so much.

And we are back to foreign policy when we come right back, ISIS, Yemen, Iran, Russia, Cuba. Foreign policy likely to be a driving issue in the 2016 campaign and there is a lot to talk about already, our panel will tackle that as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" next.



BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We are talking foreign policy and global security with our panel this morning, Judy Miller, Garry Kasparov, Jim Grant.

Garry, we were talking about a week ago, you and I. You made a really important point about the next 20 months and what kind of impact the president can have before he steps down.

KASPAROV: Negative impact. I think we are now potentially facing disaster beyond belief. Obama should understand that normalization of relations with any country means a two-way street. And now we can see only one way. You know, the deal with Iran, you know, we hear two opposite stories -- and not just about, you know, little things here or there, not commas and a couple of letters, you know, the fundamental differences in most substantial points of the deal.

Then he -- he shook hands with Raul Castro. It should be a trade. Shaking hands with a dictator, you know, the hand covered with blood, I mean, you have to get something in exchange. There's still hundreds and hundreds of political prisoners in Cuba.

So it seems Obama wants his P.R. opportunities and then he's vigorously defending his rotten policy, attacking the GOP, attacking any opposition in America, while, you know, offering an olive branch to all American enemies and those who are attacking the values of the free world around the globe.

BARTIROMO: You think the president can be more dangerous in the next 20 months than he has been...

KASPAROV: I -- I'm afraid that, you know, the damage that this administration could inflict to the long-term interests of the United States and the free world, it's -- you know, it's still hard to calculate.

MILLER: Well, I think -- I think most Americans, even Hispanic Americans, support the outreach to Cuba. I think it's interesting that the president wasn't able to do what he wanted to. He wanted a kumbaya moment. He wanted Cuba off the terrorism list. And the victory salute, he and Raul on that stage in the summit, didn't happen, and now he says, "Well, there's still differences."

This is a harder act than I think he thought.

BARTIROMO: Well, of course there are differences.

Well, there is there is...

MILLER: Americans like reset.

GRANT: There is freedom and there is oppression, right? And I think Garry's points are well made, is that America stands for liberty. That is the point. That's the point of this country. And -- and we can't impose it, nor should we impose it, but we ought not to -- we ought not to be a party to the support of coercion and statism and worse around the world.

And by remaining silent and by being complicit, through handshaking and through other theatrical devices with those who would -- who would oppress and tyrannize, Obama is diminishing the ideal -- an ideal of America.

MILLER: Jim, I was just in Cuba, and I can tell you that the most pro-American people on the planet are Cubans waiting for an end to this embargo.

GRANT: Of course. They yearn for liberty.

MILLER: I think this is a move that's going to...

BARTIROMO: Well, the people want liberty, of course.

MILLER: Absolutely.

KASPAROV: But you have to support them, you know, not to offer Raul Castro, sort of, more political capital to keep oppressing them further.

MILLER: And there are a million Cuban-Americans in Florida, throughout this country, who are the life's blood of that country. His bet is that, once we have normal -- more normal relations and end this excuse of the embargo, this regime is going to get weaker. That's his bet.

BARTIROMO: But what about the other side? What about...


KASPAROV: I'm sorry. This is...

MILLER: Fifty years of isolation did not work.


KASPAROV: Every time you had a policy of so-called normalizations with tyrants around the world, it never worked. It helped them to stay in power longer. That's a history lesson -- not only Cuba; look around the globe.

BARTIROMO: Well, what about Iran? I mean, will Congress be able to see this framework of a deal before it's actually signed?

MILLER: Well, I think this deal is falling apart. I was very, very worried by the fact that two conditions imposed that were not part of the framework agreement came from the Ayatollah, and that is he said, one, sanctions have to be lifted as soon as the ink is dry on the agreement.

BARTIROMO: Even before?

MILLER: Even before...

KASPAROV: Before, yes.


MILLER: Even before we know whether or not it's being implemented, and two, that there will be no inspectors at any military facility. When that comes from him, this agreement is in trouble.

BARTIROMO: And the president gave a press conference, said that we're making progress; we have a framework. So, I mean, it just doesn't -- it doesn't add up.

GRANT: If these -- if these people who are negotiating on behalf of America's deal with Iran -- if they were working on Wall Street, we would know they weren't as successful because they would be broke. In politics, it's less clear-cut, but this is a negotiation toward bankruptcy.

KASPAROV: Yeah, that is, Obama's framework is eventually an empty shell, and that's a problem -- or even worse, you know, it's like a can of worms. We have to know more about the deal, and he just -- he denies us -- us, the public -- forget Senate and Congress for a moment -- us, the public, to learn more about the deal.

MILLER: There is no deal yet. There is a framework, Garry. And we have to wait until June 30th to see what the deal is.


KASPAROV: I know what a frame is.

BARTIROMO: What is a framework? How is that different than a deal?

A framework is a deal.

MILLER: There are the outlines of a deal.

KASPAROV: The ligaments (ph).


These outlines have been agreed upon 18 months ago, and since that moment, Iran made substantial progress towards a nuclear bomb. Now it's two or three months away from the bomb.

MILLER: No, no, I'm sorry. We've had -- we've had an interim agreement in effect, which has actually reduced their ability to break out. Even the Israelis acknowledge that the interim agreement has been good, a good thing. So the issue is now what are we going to lock in? I'm not sure the president can get where he wants to go by June 30th. But we'll see.


BARTIROMO: ... Iran doesn't want the U.N. inspectors in there.

MILLER: Exactly. Exactly.

BARTIROMO: You just wrote a book about the lead-up to the -- to the war in Iraq.

MILLER: Right, and how much we all got wrong, but especially the intelligence community and reporters who were reporting on the intelligence community findings.

We're about to make a deal, as we've just been discussing here, trying to make a deal with Iran. How much does our intelligence community really know about Iranian intentions and capabilities and facilities?

Everything depends on that call being correct, so I wanted to look at the lead-up to the Iraq War and see what we all did wrong to make sure we don't repeat those mistakes. That includes me.

KASPAROV: Judy, I think there's a fundamental difference. Iraq at that time was already a toothless lion. Saddam was, you know, just confined within his border. Iran is on the rise. It already dominates four Arab countries and it has four capitals, you know, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, and now Yemen, Sanaa. And it doesn't hide its intention to be the most powerful, sort of, regional country. And, you know, it's -- it's violently anti-American and it publicly said the destruction of Israel is -- is not negotiable.

BARTIROMO: Right. They want them off the map.


GRANT: ... the framework.

BARTIROMO: That's the framework. Hold that thought. We want to talk about economic policy as well, because the minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting are out. So when are interest rates going to rise? We've got Tax Day on Tuesday. We're going to talk a lot with our panel on economic policy next, what that means for your bottom line. We're looking ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO: Our panel is back, Judy Miller, Garry Kasparov, Jim Grant.  This upcoming week, we've got retail sales numbers coming out, we've got the tax deadline on Wednesday.

Jim, in terms of economic --


GRANT: -- against the tax --


In terms of economic policy, let's talk about that.

GRANT: Let's talk about this in plain English. There is a lot of learned discourse about the Federal Reserve or monetary masters and about the likelihood or not will arise in our now invisible interest rates set by federal riptide, zero, right. So when will they raise rates, when will they not?

The fact we should ponder is that there's a question.

Why is it that the prospect of a rise in money market interest rate of 0.25 percent sets finance on its ear? Why are things 6.5 years after the fall of Lehman Brothers so precarious that we're talking about the consequences of a rise in 0.25 percent?

To me it speaks to the failure of the massive intervention of the post-Lehman era, it speaks to the failure of federally manipulated prices and asset values.

What we're seeing is a demonstration of the inefficacy of price control. They don't call it price control, but the Federal Reserve is in the business of muscling around stock, real estate and bond prices. It asserts so. It is in the business of virtually fixing short dated interest rates like the so-called federal funds rate.

How that an experiment with capitalism, I'd like to see this from our Republican contenders, let us turn over back over to the capital markets towards individuals acting in markets the right to set prices through what they call price discovery rather than price imposition. So the administration of our prices from Washington, D.C., to me, is the issue in the background. It's certainly is not something that I think Republicans are likely to embrace.

But the Republicans should come out and say can we not please restore capitalism to our finance --

BARTIROMO: Which is why Rand Paul, as part of his campaign, is audit the Fed.

GRANT: Rand Paul needs to stop shushing women. That's the first thing for Rand Paul. Women will suffer many things, but not condescension.

BARTIROMO: Let's assess the fields. We'll hear from Marco Rubio probably tomorrow. We'll hear from Hillary.

GRANT: We're always. We'll hear from Hillary constantly.

BARTIROMO: That's right.

MILLER: I'm not convinced by this mentee turning on his mentor -- that is Rubio getting into the race against Jeb Bush, Jeb Bush, who created Rubio. I think they could be working quietly together. Rubio knows he won't get the nomination this time, but he might look really good as a vice president even though he comes from Florida. He can't run again for the Senate under Florida rules. So his future is very open. He's very talented. He can deliver a lot of Hispanic support, evangelical support.  I think that would be a nice presence to Jeb Bush.

BARTIROMO: Let's take a short break. When we come back, the one thing to watch for the week ahead or weeks ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" from our panel. Stay with us.



BARTIROMO: Back with our panel with the one big thing to watch for the upcoming weeks -- Judy Miller.

MILLER: I'm watching the president's foreign policy initiatives, Cuba and Iran, to see whether or not the Corker bill to give Congress final say gathers and holds Democratic votes. And, two, whether or not Cuba comes off the terrorist list.

BARTIROMO: Yes. We're all watching that for sure.

What are you watching?

KASPAROV: Hillary's avalanche, whether GOP can survive it and whether Marco Rubio will get any publicity. It will probably tell us more about the ability of the GOP to withstand the pressure from the recognition.

BARTIROMO: Her avalanche, you call it.

KASPAROV: Avalanche.


GRANT: I think the price of oil is very important not merely because of what one pays at the gas pump, but because so much debt has been laid up against oil prices. There's a jump on markets, $1 trillion-plus outstanding and a lot of that is in energy.

BARTIROMO: Yes. And of course we've already seen real moves.  Probably going to see more cutbacks there. I'm watching earnings. Big week for earnings season. We're probably going to see earnings down because of the strong dollar.

Thanks to our panel. Thanks so much for joining us. That'll do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." Thanks for being with me. I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll be back tomorrow morning on "Opening Bell" at 9:00 am Eastern on the Fox Business Network. Take a look at where you can find Fox Business. Have a look on your cable network. Have a good Sunday.

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