This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," August 2, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good morning.
Just days away from the first Republican debate. Hi, everyone, I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."
The GOP field heating up. Ahead, hear from the former Virginia governor, Jim Gilmore, on his strategy to drum up support. Why he says the big field of candidates will actually help him.
And a huge blow in the effort to train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. This time not from the Islamic state, but from another sworn enemy of America. Lieutenant General Richard Newton is with us as the confusion in the region gets louder.
Plus, let the lobbying begin. Congress is breaking for August recess, but the fight over the Iran nuclear deal is heating up. We will talk with former undersecretary of state for political affairs and ambassador to NATO, Ambassador Nick Burns ahead as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" this morning.
And the GOP field grows to 17 after former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore tosses his hat into the ring. The Republican defying critics by answering his announcement why after 14 years out of office he is now deciding to take a shot at the White House. He joins us right now from Richmond.
Sir, good to have you on the program. Welcome.
FMR. GOV. JIM GILMORE, R-VA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: So we know it's a crowded field. You've got the debate this upcoming week. Why would you run for president now?
GILMORE: Because I've watched the field. I've watched the discussion this year that's going on and I am convinced that the United States is in decline. I think it's in decline because of the policies of the Obama/Clinton administration. I think I have the experience and background to do something about it. I know what we need to do and I think I can reverse that decline. And that's why I've decided to enter the presidential race.
BARTIROMO: So let's talk about your campaign, what you're running on. How will you reverse that decline?
GILMORE: Well, first of all, I think we need to focus on the two primary big issues. Number one is the decline of our national security and the intense danger to the United States. We're seeing now a confrontation from Russia, from China, from the Iran situation, from the dissolution of the Middle East, ISIS to terrorists. The country has never been in more danger than we're in now. And I think that the policies of the Obama/Clinton administration have made this worse. Something needs to be done.
I think the sequester has to come off the defense budget. I have proposed that there be a new NATO in the Middle East. As you know, I have a lifetime of experience in these issues as a United States army intelligence veteran, served in the Cold War. My degree is in foreign policy. And above all things I chaired the national commission on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction for the United States government for five years, interrupted by the attack at 9/11, where I was the governor of a state that was, in fact, attacked during 9/11.
So I have the experience. I know what we need to do. But it's urgent that we reverse this decline and that we get America back again, that the people around the world understand that the United States will lead and we will provide stability and support for our values around the world.
BARTIROMO: You know, even with your resume and your background in terms of foreign policy, with all due respect, there are 17 candidates on the GOP side right now. There's got to be something that differentiates you in a big way to really make you stand out. Now you've said, I was reading a quote from you, that the fact that there's so many candidates, you think that's helpful to your candidacy?
GILMORE: I think that after a while people are going to turn to the question of what candidates are saying what and want to do what and who have actual credentials. You see, I'm a former governor of the state of Virginia, so I understand the economic issue. I understand the urgency of turning this economy around, creating some vitality, getting more jobs and higher wages, and I know what to do. I've put a program out specifically to turn the economy around and I've had experience with it, including cutting taxes as governor of Virginia.
But, the difference is, the governors and former governors that are in this race don't have foreign policy experience like I do. And I think that combination is some -- is sooner or later people are going to turn to the question of, you know, let's stop all the -- all the loud noise and let's get down to the question of who should be president of the United States.
BARTIROMO: All right, putting the other 16 aside for a moment, let's talk about the other competition, and that is the Democratic side and Hillary Clinton. Last week we -- we saw that there were a number of e-mails actually that had to be blacked out by the State Department because they, in fact, were confidential and classified, even though she said she didn't send any classified documents from her personal e-mail server. What's your take on the controversies around Hillary and a word or two on her economic policy, which she announced last week? and she said very clear and simple, if she gets in the White House, she will double capital gains taxes to over 40 percent unless people hold their stocks or whatever assets they have for at least six years.
GILMORE: So let's talk about both of those issues just very, very quickly. First of all, in April, I went into the media and stated that which I still believe, and that is that Hillary Clinton is disqualified from this race. As secretary of state, she mishandled classified information. But more importantly than that, she deleted a lot of e-mail traffic that we're not even going to get to see. She picked and chose what we were going to get to see. She chose what the State Department was going to get to release. And now we find that there is some evidence that there was classified information.
But the main thing is, the next president has to restore the faith of the American people in their government and the integrity of their government. Hillary Clinton can no longer do that and, therefore, she's disqualified from the race.
And furthermore, this issue of her economic policies is dreadful. The challenge we're facing as a country today is we have an economy that is too weak and as a result of that we have too many people who are unemployed, too many young people who can't start careers, too many people working part time that should work full time. The reversal on that is to encourage investment and yet Hillary Clinton has gone in and followed the lead of her party --
GILMORE: And said that we should be discouraging investment. That's exactly the wrong direction to go in. These attacks on the free enterprise system must be reversed. If I become the president, I'll make a new commitment to the free enterprise system and an opportunity for new jobs and better wages.
BARTIROMO: Final comments real quick on Thursday's debate. What are you going to be watching out of your colleagues up there on stage? What are you going to be watching for?
GILMORE: I'm not sure I'm going to watch them. I'm more focused on what I want to propose for the people of the United States. You know, this -- this -- I -- I'm -- you know this business of the debates is nice and it's a good vehicle for talking about issues, but at the end of the day, the people are not as important as what we'll want to do for the people of the United States. I don't -- I'm not running for president to be somebody, I'm -- I've already been a governor of Virginia. I've been somebody. I'm running for president of the United States to do something for the -- for the country.
BARTIROMO: All right. Governor, good to have you on the program. We'll be watching. Thanks so much.
GILMORE: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We appreciate it.
And, in fact, debates can make or break candidates as they stand in the glare of the spotlight. Let's take a look at some of those historic moments. Fox News' senior correspondent Eric Shawn now with a look on that angle.
Eric, good morning to you.
ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria, and good morning, everyone.
It will be the political equivalent of a rumble in the jungle, the first game of the baseball playoff series, or college basketball's March Madness. And only one line could be the triumph or torpedo in a presidential campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you turn that microphone off, please?
THEN-REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RONALD REAGAN, FEBRUARY 23, 1980: You asked me if you -- I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: In 1980, Ronald Reagan's defined outburst defined his medal (ph), making such moments and debates unpredictable and potentially campaign changing. There are zingers and pointed assaults like this stinging and some consider low blow putdown in 1988.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THEN-DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LLOYD BENSTEN, OCTOBER 5, 1988: I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Well, of course, the landmark debate, if you don't count Lincoln/Douglas, was the 1960 match-up between John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon, the first that was televised.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nixon came in first. Nixon had been ill. Nixon had had a staphylococcus infection. He banged his knee getting out of the car and he was in pain.
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: No, I wouldn't -- I -- I wouldn't make any excuse like that. I was feeling all right. I didn't certainly look well.
SHAWN: Fairly or not, the debates can turn on such things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's always those moments, these gotcha moments, which are so, so crucial. Like I said, you're no Jack Kennedy or this is my microphone, Mr. Bush, or I'm not going to hold your age against you, Mr. Mondale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: And one JFK adviser recalled the close call just before that debate began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we hit the stage, he said, I have to go to the bathroom. I heard the stage manager doing 10, 9, 8. He made that stage on one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: A reflective Richard Nixon once offered this advice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIXON: I would urge all prospective candidates in the future, be sure that you remember that more important than what you say is how you look on television.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Well, on Thursday, all the participants already are television veterans and presumably have some memorable lines set to go. The big event right here Thursday night on the Fox News Channel.
BARTIROMO: Absolutely. Thank you so much. We will be watching.
A quick reminder, this upcoming Thursday, as you heard from Eric, Thursday, August 6th is debate night. Fox News and Facebook will bring you the first Republican presidential primary debate of the 2016 race live from Cleveland. Join us. Coverage starts at 5:00 p.m. Eastern on the Fox News Channel. And we want you to be part of it. Submit your questions by going to facebook.com/foxnews. Tell us what you want to know from the candidates. And for all your election news on the go, you can download the Fox News Election HQ app for your iPhone and your Android.
The battle against ISIS, meanwhile, front and center, getting a lot more complicated. Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. to fight the terrorism group are under attack, but not by ISIS.
Plus, Turkey enters the fight as well, but is it really helping the United States?
We'll talk about it with Lieutenant General Richard Newton -- next.
Follow us on Twitter; @MariaBartiromo is the handle, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you'd like to know from General Newton. Stay with us as we look ahead this Sunday on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. A big setback in the fight against ISIS. An Al Qaeda affiliate, Al-Nusra, has killed five members of a U.S.-backed Syrian group trained to take on ISIS. That same terror group also kidnapped the two leaders of the rebel group along the Turkish border.
Joining me now this morning, retired Lieutenant General Richard Newton is a -- the former assistant vice chief of staff for the U.S. Air Force.
Sir, it's good to have you on the program.
LT. GEN. RICHARD NEWTON, USAF (RET.): Good morning, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.
It seems like it's harder and harder to know who we should be trusting.
Is Turkey on America's side against ISIS?
NEWTON: I believe they are. It's a very complex situation that we are seeing unfold, and we've been seeing that for months. And it's going to be even more complex I think as we move forward. But I believe it's absolutely essential that we have Turkey in the fight against ISIS.
The fact that we now have access to their airbases, where we can strike targets, from Incirlik Air Base and so forth, and the fact that Turkey is bringing its capabilities to the fight.
As we talked earlier before the break, you know, Turkey is the second largest military in NATO. And they have been key in the region for hundreds of years. And I believe my sources tell me in the Middle East that they are key to whatever progress we're going to make against ISIS, certainly in defeating ISIS.
BARTIROMO: Compare the fight against ISIS to the deal that we've made with Iran.
Do you see any areas to connect the dots?
I mean, how does ISIS feel about Iran doing a deal with six super powers?
NEWTON: Well, that so far has not been connected yet.
NEWTON: But it's -- again, that is going to be part of the murky challenge that is ahead.
Obviously Turkey is very much concerned about Iran. It's very concerned about Assad-led Syria still in place.
But I think what's been the tipping point with Turkey is the fact of the internal strife. They saw attacks on the 20th of July, where you had ISIS attack the pro-Kurdish students, kill 31 students, wounded 100 on the 20th of July. Then there were two policemen that were executed by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK, which is a terrorist organization, killed two policemen and so forth.
So there's internal strife going on inside of Turkey. They see that as a challenge to their own national security. They also see the rise of ISIS as it grows closer to that 500-mile border, particularly in the northwest of Syria, towards Turkey as well.
So what does that mean for the U.S. continuing to train Syrian rebels?
NEWTON: It's very important. It's very important that we continue to train, but it's also very important that we also make close and keep our close relationships with Turkey and support Turkey in this effort.
General Ray Odierno is about ready to retire. He's the chief of staff of the United States Army. He said something very interesting a couple of weeks or so ago with regard to ISIS.
ISIS is going to take perhaps 10 to 20 years. We have to be ready as a nation to play this as a long ball. This isn't just a 6-month, 12-month, 18-month. This is going to be something that's definitely going to be on the top burner for the next administration in 2017 and beyond.
BARTIROMO: Right. So the next administration will have to deal with this.
Are we handing it over to that next administration in a way that will be manageable?
How will you rate our fight against ISIS right now?
NEWTON: Right now it's -- the fight is not as effective as it needs to be. I think the grades are still out but I still think we need to persevere in the region. I have a very close source in the Middle East, a former senior retired military officer, who tells me that it's absolutely essential to have U.S. leadership in the fight, not only militarily, Maria, but economically as well as diplomatically and certainly in the information campaign as well.
BARTIROMO: What about this meeting on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry meeting with the GCC, the Gulf States leadership.
BARTIROMO: What do you think their sense is of what's happening, whether it be the fight against ISIS or the dealings with Iran?
NEWTON: Their sense is that this is, indeed, a regional threat to them, ISIS.
BARTIROMO: Is America doing enough?
NEWTON: And that's going to be the question. The fact that we now have Turkey in the fight as well I think everybody's going to recognize that they bring a credible military capability to the fight but also they are concerned also about what's playing out in this agreement with Iran, which is a whole different topic for another day.
But we have got a lot on our plate. There is going to be some brinksmanship here in terms of how we're able to deliver as U.S. now tries to lead diplomatically in the region.
BARTIROMO: Yes. And in fact, next week there are two hearings, one on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and one in the Banking Committee, looking at the implications of the sanctions being lifted for Iran on the financial system.
General, good to have you on the program today.
NEWTON: It's great to be here.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us, Lieutenant General Richard Newton joining us.
Secretary of State John Kerry is in Egypt today, resuming formal talks between the two countries for the first time since the Arab Spring. He then heads to Qatar to try to sell the deal to the Arab world. We'll talk with former NATO ambassador and Iran nuclear negotiator Nicholas Burns next about whether we should take this deal.
How we can hold Iran to it as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Big week on the Iran talks -- next.
BARTIROMO: Conflicting opinions on the Iran nuclear deal taking center stage once again on Capitol Hill this week. Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz telling Congress a deal is the only option.
Meanwhile, Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain saying that the deal will eventually give Iran billions of dollars to purchase weapons, helicopters and warships. What's next in the process? And will a vote by Congress after the August recess mean anything?
Joining me right now is Nicholas Burns. He is former U.S. ambassador to NATO and to Greece and a former lead negotiator on Iran's nuclear program.
Ambassador, wonderful to have you on the program today. Thanks so much for joining us.
AMB. NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Thanks very much, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Do you agree that the only option is a deal with Iran?
BURNS: Well, it's not the only option. I mean Congress could vote to disapprove. The president would veto that. Congress could override. I don't think they have the votes right now. But I think that probably the best option for the United States is to go forward.
What we heard this past week on Capitol Hill is, this is a difficult vote for a lot of members. The Republicans are lining up against it. The Democrats are quite muted, deciding what to do. There are benefits here, Maria, and there are risks to go forward. I happen to think that the benefits outweigh the risks. I support doing this.
If Congress votes to override the president, if they defeat the president on this, I think one thing is for sure, the negotiations will break down and fail, Iran will leave, Iran won't have any restrictions on its nuclear program. And I think this big worldwide coalition that we've developed over the last 10 years, two administrations, will begin to unravel. So I fear that a congressional vote to disapprove is goings to be a defeat for the United States. I think it will embolden Iran.
BARTIROMO: So it will -- it will be more harm than good. But if it is going to embolden Iran later, aren't we dealing with the same animal? I mean why are we trusting that Iran will, in fact, not develop this -- this bomb and who's to say that they won't be selling a bomb to Hezbollah, Hamas, because we know that they've been a supporter of terrorism?
BURNS: Well, they don't have a bomb right now. They have -- they have a lot of capacity in terms of uranium enrichment and plutonium processing. But what the Obama administration's been able to do is this negotiation is effectively freeze their program. And it will be frozen for the next 10 to 15 years. That's a -- that's a very significant advantage for the United States.
And I -- I agree with you, we can't trust the Iranians. And I don't think the administration believes they can trust them. So the really hard part of this, and I think a lot of members of Congress are struggling with this is, we have to establish an inspections and monitoring regime through the International Atomic Energy Agency that's going to be very -- very, very tough-minded. And they need more help. They need more money, the IAEA. They need more inspectors because we'll have to have cameras inside these Iranian nuclear plants for the next 25 years. And that's going to be a difficult thing to do.
So I don't think this is an easy call here. I think there are some risks for the United States. But on balance, if we turn back now, I think Iran gets the advantage and certainly we don't want to see that happen.
BARTIROMO: In terms of what we gave on though, ambassador, I mean how big of a blow was it that in the 11th hour they wanted the arms embargo lifted after five years? They also wanted the fact that they need 30 days after -- or 24 days after knowing that the inspections are coming in. I mean, they can clean everything up in that time frame, right? I mean the things that America and the other world powers gave on were pretty significant.
BURNS: Well, it was a negotiation. There were compromises on both sides. And I think we got a lot. I think we got more than we gave. But we certainly did have to compromise, the United States did. And you -- you mentioned some of the ones that were really painful. This is a very aggressive, assertive, cynical government in Tehran and we've got to block them. And the fact that after five years and then eight years their conventional arms embargo and their ballistic arms embargos are ended, that's a painful compromise.
I do think, as Secretary Kerry has been saying, when those arms embargo -- the arms embargo and ballistic missile embargoes end, the United States can sanction Iran on both of them. And we can use our influence -- this will be the next president -- to try to restrict what they do around the world.
But I think, Maria, what it comes down to is this, the deal is good enough to go forward with but we're going to have to be really good at intimidating the Iranians, restricting them. And this is the next president and the president after that to make sure that they don't get what they want to get, and that's to become the most dominant military power in the region. So as we go forward with a nuclear deal, we have to pull them back on the conventional side in the Middle East because they're making a big push for power right now.
BARTIROMO: But why was it so important to get this deal done? I mean, you know, I recognize what you're saying, at this point after having put all of this energy and time into this and having this agreement with the other world powers, if Congress votes down the deal now and pushes back, we could be in a bad position with Iran. I mean they will get angry, I guess, not that they may not get angry anyway, but -- but why were we so insistent on getting into this to begin with knowing that this is the disrupter in the Middle East, this is the supporter of terrorists?
BURNS: Well, look, I -- you know, the Bush administration, in which I served, sought negotiations with Iran 10 years ago. The Iranians turned us down. By the time President Obama was midway through his time in office, Iran had become a nuclear threshold state, meaning they didn't have a nuclear weapon but they were nearing the capacity to get one in a couple of months. And I think the fact that we've got this negotiated agreement now that freezes their program for 10 to 15 years, that instead of being two or three months away from a nuclear weapon, pushes them back to be about a year away from a nuclear weapon, that's to our advantage.
BARTIROMO: Great analysis, ambassador. Good to have you on the program today. Thanks so much.
BURNS: Thanks, Maria. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon.
BURNS: You bet.
BARTIROMO: Ambassador Nicholas Burns.
Well, the Obama administration is pushing hard for the Iran nuclear deal, but will their efforts survive the congressional recess and the doldrums of August? Our panel will weigh in next 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. Well, it turns out the latest debris found in Reunion Island early this morning is not part of missing Malaysian Flight 370, Malaysian officials saying this piece of twisted metal turns out to be, quote, "a domestic ladder."
Meanwhile, investigators are confirming that first piece that was found, part of the wing that was sent to France for analysis, well, they say it is from a Boeing 777, which, of course, is the same model as the missing airliner. Territories near Reunion Island, where the parts are now washing up, are being asked to look for more possible debris.
And another tragic example of the dangers of law enforcement that they face every day. Police in Memphis, Tennessee, asking potential witnesses to come forward and help them track down a cop killer. Thirty-two-year-old officer Sean Bolton was shot and killed during a traffic stop last night. He was rushed to the hospital and later died. He is the third Memphis police officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in a little more than four years.
And I'll be back with Arthel Neville at noon Eastern with more news, and then the doctors, as always, are in. Doctors Siegel and Samadi join us in two hours for "Sunday Housecall" at 12:30 Eastern.
So, for now, I'm Eric Shawn, and back to "Sunday Morning Futures" and Maria.
BARTIROMO: Thanks, Eric. The Obama administration making a hard sell to push the Iran nuclear deal through Congress, this as Secretary of State John Kerry vigorously defends the deal on Capitol Hill, warning about the consequences of not moving forward with an agreement and claiming that, if Congress kills the deal, quote, "Our friends will dessert us, leaving no chance to restart talks."
We'll bring in our panel on that. Ed Rollins is former principal White House adviser to President Reagan. He has been a long-time strategist to business and political leaders and he is a Fox News political analyst.
Judith Miller is adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. She's a Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and journalist and a Fox News contributor.
Alan Colmes is the host of "The Alan Colmes Show."
Good to see everybody. Thanks so much for joining us.
Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday is going to testify in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then on Wednesday a hearing on the - - for the Senate Banking Committee looking at the implications of the sanctions being lifted on Iran. Your thoughts on the week ahead?
ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: These are very important meetings. Kerry, to date, has gotten battered around pretty effectively by mostly Republicans, but I think the issues that are raised here are -- it's becoming more and more clear that the issue is the money and what they do with the money than just the nuclear weapon.
Everybody's talked about the nuclear weapon. Khamenei has a new book -- the Supreme Commander -- called "Palestine," in which he basically said the nuclear weapon is to keep Israel from doing anything back to them, that they're going to take Israel out by the war of attrition, by Hezbollah, Hamas, what have you. And I think that's very accurate.
So we've put sanctions on initially when they kidnapped our -- and took over our embassy in 1978. So I think the reality is I don't care where our friends go. I think America has to take a stand here, and it's very, very important that we basically kill this deal.
BARTIROMO: Well, you said $150 billion in terms of money is the real issue.
ROLLINS: That's the real issue. Because they haven't promised not to continue the activities that they're doing in their communities and neighbors. We all have this great hope that once more money gets put in there that all the good Iranians that are below Khamenei and the rest of them are all going to come forth and create a democracy. That's not going to happen.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, but what about the fact that everyone's saying, like Nicholas Burns, moments ago, saying, if we were to walk now, if Congress were effective in killing this, we're in worse shape with the Iranians.
JUDITH MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I agree with Nick Burns, and with all due respect to my friend Ed Rollins, $100 billion to $200 billion is the estimate of what Iran needs to spend in order to just reinvest in its oil fields in order to get its oil production up. I'm not saying they're going to spend it all there and that they're not going to use that money to be aggressive in the region, but what I am saying is the United States knows how to do something about Iranian aggression. What we haven't been able to do is to scale back the nuclear program. This is a nuclear deal intended to...
BARTIROMO: Yeah, but why would they use the money for good reasons?
ROLLINS: What have they done -- what have we done to make them back off on their aggression? Not one single thing. They have been more aggressive in the last several years than ever before.
ALAN COLMES, "THE ALAN COLMES SHOW" HOST: In that case, you want a deal. I mean, why not have a deal? If you're not happy with the status quo and you don't want war, what's the alternative? The alternative is to have some kind of negotiation. Money was always in the offing because that's what you're going to use as a lever...
BARTIROMO: But they weren't interested in creating an economy for the people via the oil revenue from the start. Why would they use that $150 billion to create an economy and sell oil to the global market when...
ROLLINS: All the goodwill of the liberals and the Democrats in the State Department and the New York Times and all the rest of them...
... that the Iranian people -- we've been looking for moderates in Iran since 1978. I'm telling you, there aren't any. The people that run that country and will continue to run that country are hardliners who hate us, hate Israel and are going to continue the activity that they're under.
MILLER: I totally agree with that, but the issue is how do you counter that? How best do you counter it? Why not neutralize the nuclear problem while you fight the aggression? The next president, whoever he or she is, is going to do that.
COLMES: But to pick up on what you said, I mean, this is not a -- this is a multilateral agreement, with the European Union, the P-5-plus 1, the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. this isn't just a bilateral agreement with the United States. And we will be pariahs in the rest of the world if we walk away from this.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, which is what George Mitchell has said on this program repeatedly, and that is it's not just about America; it's about the other powers. But...
ROLLINS: It's always about America, though, when it comes time to go settle the stuff, and -- and...
MILLER: That's true. Ultimately...
ROLLINS: So, at the end of the day, when there's more activity, more -- and who's going to protect Israel? Is France going to go in there and protect Israel? Is Britain going to go in there and protect Israel? No. Is China and Russia going to do that? No, we are.
BARTIROMO: That's a good point.
ROLLINS: We are. We are.
MILLER: Israel is going to protect Israel. And that's why we ought to sell them...
ROLLINS: They need our help, though.
MILLER: ... what they need if, in the event, the Iranians begin cheating in a significant way.
COLMES: Is that for the ability to snap back, as -- that's the word that John Kerry has used.
Snap back? You really think it's going to snap back?
COLMES: Well, we certainly could.
I mean, the fact is we have muscular inspections; we have more transparency than we had before. I would think that's a good thing as opposed to letting them secretly do whatever they want...
ROLLINS: It's like getting stopped drunk driving and the cop says "You've got 24 days to come in and have your test."
BARTIROMO: All right. Hold that thought right there. I want to get a look at what's coming up on "Media Buzz." Howard Kurtz standing by right now.
Howie, good morning to you.
KURTZ: Good morning, Maria. We're going to look at the continuing media attacks on Donald Trump, including this report, 25 years old, since retracted, about an allegation of spousal rape by his ex-wife Ivana, none of this slowing the Donald's surge in the polls.
Also, I got into it with Jon Stewart this week over his secret White House meetings with President Obama. He took a few whacks at me. I'm going to have a response. I guess it will be our last dust-up since he's leaving "The Daily Show."
BARTIROMO: Oh, that's great. We've got to hear your latest response to that. Howie. All right. We'll see you in about 20 minutes. Howard Kurtz.
Meanwhile, there are 17 hopefuls now in the running for the presidential nomination on the GOP side, but the upcoming GOP debate could help some candidates stand out from the crowd. Our panel all over it, talking about the upcoming debate. We are looking ahead today on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
Just a few days away from the big first GOP primary debate. That is on Thursday. Seventeen candidates are jockeying for the position. Bring back our panel right now, Ed Rollins, Judy Miller and Alan Colmes.
Let me read you a quote from Donald Trump that he just tweeted out a moment ago. It is from Donald Trump. "I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that travel to California to beg for money from the Koch brothers. Puppets?"
COLMES: Where's he wrong? He's growing on me kind of like a fungus. I mean the fact is that he -- he isn't playing that game where he has to go and audition for the Koch brothers and that's a large part of his appeal.
BARTIROMO: He's got his own money.
COLMES: He doesn't have to do that.
ED ROLLINS: Well, the best news I've heard that you're going to endorse Trump. If you would endorse Trump, you'd take him out of the race for us, Alan, so please do it.
MILLER: And -- but there is something to this. I mean you have 400 families that have so far contributed half of the $400 million that's been raised. The concentration of wealth, of money --
MILLER: Behind this race plays into Trump's name and Bernie Sanders' name, that is too much money, too much for too few.
BARTIROMO: That's right.
ROLLINS: You're dumbing -- you're the numbers, 130 families.
MILLER: One hundred and thirty.
ROLLINS: One hundred and thirty businesses --
COLMES: But that's why he's doing so well, he's bucking the system. People --
ROLLINS: And there -- there are 67 donors who have given $1 million and the mega donors, 67 have raised 128 million in cash and the other -- the super PACs, 9,500 donors, raised $271 million with the average donation of $29,000.
ROLLINS: Now you think about that.
ROLLINS: That's a staggering, staggering numbers.
BARTIROMO: But the point that you're making is -- is a real one.
ROLLINS: And what it does -- what -- what it does is very important, it allows candidates to stay alive until the end of this thing. Mike Huckabee, who went out on a very aggressive campaign to raise money, which he's never done before, raised $2 million, most of which he's spent. He's got like a couple hundred thousand dollars less (ph) of his fund (ph). One donor has given him $3 million. He can stay in the race and continue and do well.
BARTIROMO: Wow. But --
ROLLINS: And that's what's going to happen to a lot of these guys.
BARTIROMO: Seventeen candidates on, you know, on -- on right now in the GOP. Ten candidates on stage on Thursday. What is this doing to the field? I mean do -- do you think this is --
ROLLINS: Well -- well, this -- this is narrowed down. There's 127 people who have signed up at the RNC to run for president. Fortunately, it's only 17 -- it's not 127 of them that are --
MILLER: It would be like the Miss America beauty pageant.
BARTIROMO: So, meanwhile --
COLMES: Or Miss Universe. I think you want to get the Trump thing in there.
ROLLINS: Trump may find this as a -- as a new -- as a new -- as a thing to come back.
BARTIROMO: Meanwhile, we had Jim Gilmore on, top of the show, former governor of Virginia. Any takeaways?
MILLER: (INAUDIBLE) --
COLMES: Well, he polled at 1 percent the last time. He was in it for a very short time in the last cycle of presidential elections. I don't -- and he announced by sending out a press release. He didn't have flags waiving or going down escalators --
COLMES: Like other people were doing. And it was almost like an asterisk. So I'm not clear what his strategy (INAUDIBLE).
BARTIROMO: Why would he be running, Ed Rollins?
ROLLINS: There's always people that basically tell you that you should run. He's former party chairman under George W. Bush.
ROLLINS: And so there's still a lot of -- there's a lot of people around him. I think at the end of the day here, there are really four or five serious candidates and they will stay in this to the end.
California has never mattered to Republican primary voters. We've not had a contested primary since -- in 40 years. This could come down to a convention fight if all of these candidates stay in and get a segment. And the 20 -- 15 percent that some of these are going to get is enough to win delegates.
BARTIROMO: So who are those? Who are those five likely candidates? Donald Trump, Jeb Bush --
ROLLINS: Yes, Donald Trump.
BARTIROMO: Scott Walker.
ROLLINS: Scott Walker. It could -- it could be --
COLMES: Marco Rubio.
ROLLINS: It could be Ted Cruz, although Rubio has had a bad month. You know, I think -- I think at the end of the day -- and John Kasich. John Kasich could emerge as time goes on.
BARTIROMO: Real -- real quick on the Hillary campaign. Let's talk there for a second because she last week came out with an economic plan saying she wants to double capital gains taxes. Yesterday, or on Friday, we learned that there were several e-mails that were actually blacked out by the State Department telling us that that was -- they were classified from her personal e-mail server.
Alan, what do you --
COLMES: She's got to get ahead of this story. She needs to really answer, number one, why she had a personal server. She never accurately -- or properly answered that --
BARTIROMO: She never actually answered, no.
COLMES: Because she didn't want to carry more than one device, when you can put how many e-mail accounts on one device. And then she said all the State Department e-mails were there because she sent stuff to the State Department. Well, she sent stuff other places too that were not on the State Department server. She needs to really answer those questions.
MILLER: She's going to get a chance to answer those questions, should she choose to do so on October 22nd when she testifies supposedly before the House committee.
But you know what's really interesting is that her opponents, her rivals smell vulnerability.
MILLER: The $600 haircut at Berdof Goodman undercuts everything about her fight for the common man or woman in this case. But beyond that, look at Joe Biden.
BARTIROMO: Yes, let's -- let's talk about that.
MILLER: Would he even be thinking about getting into this if she weren't venerable?
COLMES: But Trump can get -- feel the common man's pain, right, just like - -
BARTIROMO: Right. Speaking -- speaking of, you know, political rivals, her number one political rival, President Barack Obama --
BARTIROMO: Pushing forward Joe Biden. Does he enter the race?
ROLLINS: I think he probably ends up. He's going to go on a vacation with his family. I think he wants to run. Speaking of getting 1 percent, the last time he ran, that's what he did the last time he ran in Iowa.
I think Joe Biden will be a serious candidate. I think she's pretty far ahead in getting delegates and getting the -- the constituency groups. But what she has not done is she's not eliminated this trust question. Americans aren't going to vote for someone they don't trust and all of this stuff just keeps (INAUDIBLE) her --
ROLLINS: Unfavorables and the fact that she -- people don't trust her.
BARTIROMO: And even if she answers the question, Alan, does that remove the trust or the lack of trust out there?
COLMES: I think she would make some headway in perhaps gaining trust --
COLMES: And make -- going up a few points on that if she gave direct answers and we had a feeling that she was truthfully dealing with and directly answering those questions. But she has to do it.
BARTIROMO: But what's the answer, Alan? OK, why did you use personal --
COLMES: Well, if I had to -- to answer that --
BARTIROMO: No, but, I mean, think about it, like what -- what would possibly her answer -- why did you use a private e-mail? Ah, I didn't want to be tracked.
MILLER: Right. Exactly.
COLMES: Ah, she has to give --
BARTIROMO: What -- I mean what's the answer?
COLMES: You know, I'm not an -- an adviser to the campaign, so I can't -- believe it or not, so I can't tell her to answer that question.
COLMES: But she really has to deal with it to get ahead of the story.
MILLER: Look, she still has legal exposure here. Two inspector generals who say there was mishandling of classified information. Information isn't classified now that wasn't classified then.
BARTIROMO: That's right.
MILLER: We don't know -- she has legal exposure until that's resolved. Trust is a secondary issue.
ROLLINS: And -- and -- and we talk -- we talk about the House hearing. A far more serious prosecutor is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Grassley, who's a very respected senator, is into this with both feet.
ROLLINS: And my sense is he'll -- he'll hold hearings and he'll basically get -- try and get to the bottom of that, and that's a much more serious hearing than Benghazi (INAUDIBLE).
BARTIROMO: Yes, he talked about it last week when he joined us.
All right, we'll take a short break. Then we want to turn to economics. Brand new numbers show the economy is picking up, but is it enough for a solid recovery? The jobs number is out next Friday. We'll tell you what people are expecting as our panel returns and we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The U.S. economy rebounding in the second quarter, but at a very sluggish pace. The Gross Domestic Product, the value of all goods and services produced, grew at a rate of 2.3 percent. Now, yes, we saw growth -- our panel is back with me, Ed, Judy and Alan -- but it was still below expectations, indicating we are not where we ought to be at this point in the cycle.
How do you characterize that?
ROLLINS: We're just chugging along. I mean, I think -- I think it's more positive than a lot of people thought, but at the end of the day, we're not making a real recovery here. It's a slow, tedious process.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, I should point out that the jobs picture has been improving. And we get the latest jobs number for the month of July out next Friday; 225,000 jobs is what people are expecting, and the unemployment rate is expected to go down.
MILLER: Yes, but the lowest rate of job wage growth in decades. I mean, people are not feeling it.
MILLER: Yes, there are more jobs, but they're part-time. People are not feeling confident. That's why you have this sluggish growth. I don't think we're going to have a rise in interest rates until the end of the year.
BARTIROMO: I'm with you. I don't -- I don't think the Fed will be able to do it.
COLMES: You've got to look at what was inherited, though, and where we've come from in terms of where we are now, and look at all the indicators that are really very positive. So, still, it's a long game, too. I mean...
BARTIROMO: Yeah. It's going to be one of the issues, obviously, for this election: Where are the jobs? Where is the growth? And who has the best plan in terms of jobs and growth?
Hillary came out with her plan as she talked, Alan, about raising capital gains taxes to above 40 percent.
COLMES: Yeah, well...
BARTIROMO: Is that going to fly?
COLMES: ... if you want to deal with the deficit; you want to deal with the debt, what are you going to do? Where is the money going to come from? And this is nothing crazy, that -- look at the...
MILLER: Oh, come on.
BARTIROMO: Well, it's at 20 percent now. You're talking about it more than doubling.
COLMES: But look at where the tax rates have been again. We've lowered tax rate to such an extent that it's cost us in terms of deficit and debt. So where's the money going to come from?
MILLER: Her husband cut capital gains and she's going to raise it? Because the party has moved to the left. That's why. That's the only explanation.
ROLLINS: Well, first of all, she doesn't get to do it by herself. There is a Congress. Republicans are certainly going to hold the House, may hold the Senate, and they are not about to basically make those kind of cuts.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about the August recess, obviously Congress going on the August recess now. They're not back until September 8th. What gets done during the August recess, if anything?
COLMES: Town hall meetings.
BARTIROMO: Town hall meetings.
Are they going to be able to gain support against the Iran deal?
ROLLINS: Traditionally, as Alan said, they go home and they meet with their constituents. There's a big number that have been canceled already by the Democrats. They don't want to go home and debate the Iran-Contra (sic), and there's a big campaign going on by APAC and others against this.
ROLLINS: So they don't want -- Republicans don't want to go home because they've got chaos in the Congress. You've got this -- a back-seat member trying to take the speaker out. You've got a junior member of the Senate calling McConnell a liar. There's this chaos. They couldn't pass a highway bill. There's a lot of unhappiness, and that's what Trump is tapping into, a little bit, with the Congress -- and they don't want to go home and talk to their constituents.
MILLER: But pro-Republican groups have scheduled three times as many town hall meetings as Democrats, and that's got to hurt the Democrats. It means the Democrats are more scared than the Republicans.
COLMES: They need to get out there and they need to convince their constituencies why the Iran deal is good. But you don't have the kind of division in the Democratic Party that you have in the Republican Congress with an attempt to overthrow the speakership, which is not happening on the Democratic side. You've got a far-right-wing contingent that's very unhappy with John Boehner.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, well, they want to get more done than they have gotten done.
A final word from Ed Rollins here on this new topic.
ROLLINS: One member put that "Vacate the speaker's, no added to that." So I just -- there's people that are unhappy with Boehner, but they're not stepping forward to do anything about it.
BARTIROMO: All right. So, again, challenge, challenge, challenge, but you think it goes nowhere?
ROLLINS: Boehner's going to be the speaker until the end of this term.
BARTIROMO: All right. We're going to take a short break, and then the one thing to watch for the week ahead, or the weeks ahead, as our panel makes their predictions, on "Sunday Morning Futures," next.
BARTIROMO: We're back with the panel. The one big thing to watch in the week ahead, Alan Colmes?
COLMES: Will Donald Trump behave on Thursday?
And what's going to be the reaction?
MILLER: I'm watching the Iran hearings. Mike Hayden, the former NSA/CIA director's going to testify. I want to hear what he has to say about this deal.
BARTIROMO: It's going to be important. Ed Rollins?
ROLLINS: I'm going to watch the debates, but I think someone will emerge from the junior league debate because some very significant people in there, and they don't have to deal with Donald Trump. There's six people there and they're going to be on the stage. One of them is going to come out of that stronger than they go into it.
BARTIROMO: That's going to be the topic to watch next week, the debate on Fox News on Thursday.
Thanks so much for joining us, everybody. Thank you to our panel. That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll see you next week on "Mornings With Maria" on the Fox Business Network, 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Have a great Sunday, everybody. Thanks for being here.
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