This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," August 9, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
In the wake of the big FOX News debate, where does the race for the GOP presidential nomination stand now?
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you're sitting in a subcommittee blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that.
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-K.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't trust President Obama with our records. If you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.
JEB BUSH, R , PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to have to earn this. Maybe the bar is higher for me.
WALLACE: We'll talk to two candidates who were on the stage in Cleveland.
Carly Fiorina, who's being praised as the big winner in the early debate.
CARLY FIORINA, R , PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn't get a phone call from bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn't.
WALLACE: And Senator Rand Paul, who was combative as he tries to reignite his campaign.
Plus, Donald Trump makes a splash before he even utters a word.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: Raise your hand now if you won't make that pledge tonight. Mr. Trump?
WALLACE: Analysis from our Sunday group on the Trump factor, winners and losers and the new shape of the Republican race.
All, right now, on FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
Well, the sparks are still flying in the wake of the big FOX News debate that 24 million people tuned into see. Frontrunner Donald Trump is complaining about unfair treatment by the moderators, including me, and after Trump's personal comments about my colleague, Megyn Kelly, the conservative group RedState rescinded its invitation for him to speak at an event this weekend.
The other top story is Carly Fiorina, who many declare the big winner after her standout performance during the early debate and I spoke with her earlier.
WALLACE: Welcome back to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
FIORINA: Thank you so much for having me back, Chris.
WALLACE: The consensus is you had a big night in Cleveland on Thursday. I know it's still early, but have you sensed a bump in support, a bump in money? And if so, how are you going to capitalize on it?
FIORINA: Well, I do think it was a big night for me because going into that debate, only 40 percent of Republicans had heard my name believe it or not. I had extremely low name ID. And so, I think for many people this was the first time they saw, wow, there's another woman running for president and she's actually pretty good.
So, we certainly have seen an uptick in financial support. We've seen an uptick in support generally and so, it's very exciting. I'm going to keep staying out there and talking to as many voters as I can about the issues I think our nation faces at this pivotal time and why I can win the job and why I can do the job.
WALLACE: But there is a reason that you were on the early 5:00 p.m. debate, and we're going to put up the latest Real Clear Politics average of national polls and it shows that you were tied for 13th at 1.3 percent and even in the early states where you campaigned a lot, Iowa and New Hampshire, you were at 2 percent.
And I think it's fair to say you have stood out at candidate forums and various events before, but it hasn't translated into voter support. Why is this going to be different?
FIORINA: Well, I disagree with the premise of your question. I mean, I started my campaign on May 4th from a standing start. I didn't have years of email list. I'm not a professional politician. Most people never heard my name.
National polls tend to measure name ID. And so, if you look at a number of state polls, we've been in the top ten in state polls but it hadn't yet translated into top ten in national polls.
I would also remind you that at this time in previous presidential elections, the polls, pundits and money said that Jimmy Carter couldn't win, Ronald Reagan couldn't win, Bill Clinton couldn't win and Barack Obama couldn't win.
So, the truth is this race has just gotten started. And game on.
WALLACE: You are one of the few candidates in the Republican field who is not afraid to take on Donald Trump. What do you think of the decision of the conservative group RedState to disinvite him from its gathering this weekend in Atlanta?
FIORINA: You know, presidential campaigns are about watching someone under pressure and over time. And so, the debate that we were just talking about, you asked some tough questions, too. You talked to Donald Trump about his record of bankruptcy. I didn't notice Donald Trump insulting you for 24 hours. There's no excuse for this.
WALLACE: No excuse for going after Megyn Kelly?
FIORINA: No. It's her job to ask tough questions. It's your job to ask tough questions. And it's the candidate's job to answer those questions however they see fit.
WALLACE: During your debate, you also talked about Donald Trump.
Here's what you had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIORINA: Since he's changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask, what are principles by which he will govern?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: What is your message to the millions of people? And you know it, there are millions of people out there who like Donald Trump.
FIORINA: You know, I've said many times that Donald Trump taps into an anger -- an anger with the ineptitude, the corruption of the federal government and the professional political class.
I agree with that anger. It's why I'm running for president, because honestly, no matter your issue, no matter your cause or festering problem you hoped would be resolved by now, the political class has failed you. And so, I understand that.
And I firmly believe that we need a different kind of leadership now in the Oval Office that will actually challenge the status quo and get something done.
WALLACE: Why are you the better person to do that than Trump? Because that seemed to be your argument.
FIORINA: Because I don't think you get things done by insulting everyone. I have a track record of getting things done, of challenging the status quo, of leading toward results.
I also understand how the economy works, how the world works and who's in it. How bureaucracies work, how to hold them accountable and cut them down to size. How technology works, how it can be used and how it's being used against us as a weapon.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on that in a moment. You have also gone after Hillary Clinton throughout your campaign and once again in Cleveland on Thursday. Here you are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIORINA: Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e-mails, she's still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party's front runner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Why are you the best candidate to take on Hillary Clinton?
FIORINA: Well, I think first of all, I will and have thrown every punch as I also said on Thursday night. This is going to be a fight in 2016, between conservatism and a Democrat Party that is undermining the character of this nation.
We have to throw every punch we have. And the truth is, Hillary Clinton lacks a track record of accomplishment. She lacks a track record of leadership. And she is not trustworthy.
WALLACE: Of course with more visibility comes more scrutiny and I don't think it was any surprise that the morning after your performance in the debate on Thursday, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, went after you. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, DNC CHAIR: What's impressive about a woman who nearly drove a Fortune 500 company into the ground, who fired 30,000 people when she was CEO, whose stock dropped by 50 percent when she was head of the company, and then recovered after she was fired by 10 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You know if you end up as Republican nominee, the Democrats are going to put that in every ad. She fired 30,000 people. It's exactly the kind of thing, Ms. Fiorina, that sunk Mitt Romney.
FIORINA: Yes. And you know, I'm flattered that the head of DNC would come after me. I guess that means we're gaining traction here.
But here's the facts: I led Hewlett-Packard through a very difficult time, the dotcom bust post-9/11, the worst technology recession in 25 years. I would remind Debbie Wasserman Schultz that it has taken the NASDAQ 15 years to recover.
Sometimes in tough times, tough calls are necessary. However, we also took a company from $44 billion to almost $90 million. We quadrupled its growth rate, quadrupled its cash flow, tripled its innovation to 11 patents a day, and went from lagging behind to leading in every product category in every market segment.
And yes, I was fired at the end of that, in a boardroom, which I've been very open about. And I was fired because when you challenge the status quo, which is what leadership is about, you make enemies.
Steve Jobs was fired. Oprah Winfrey was fired. Walt Disney was fired. Mike Bloomberg was fired. I feel like I'm in good company.
And we need somebody to challenge status quo of Washington, D.C. and get something done.
WALLACE: But as a political reality because you know they're going to find, just as they did with Mitt Romney, they're going to find that poor unfortunate person who says, you know, Carly Fiorina went on and I lost my job.
How are you going to be able to make that case and break through to voters in a way that Mitt Romney didn't?
FIORINA: Well, there are lots of politicians who run for office and lost, too. That doesn't mean that all politicians lose. Not all business people are the same.
But what I would argue is that there are a lot of people who understand as chief executive, there's nothing harder than saying to someone we don't have a job for you anymore. It's also true that the vast majority of Americans know that in tough times sometimes tough decisions have to be made. And what they're frustrated by is the federal government never makes a tough decision.
WALLACE: All right.
FIORINA: We have never succeeded in shrinking the size of government.
So, let me tell you something else. We have a bunch of baby boomers who are going to retire out of the federal government over the next five to six years. I will not replace a single one.
And yes, we need to actually get about the business of reducing the size, the power, the cost, complexity and corruption of this federal government.
WALLACE: OK. And I want to pick up exactly on that issue, which is your experience as a CEO. What would President Fiorina do to jump-start this economy? And be specific.
FIORINA: First, we have to remember what the engine of economic growth is in this nation. You know what it is? Small businesses, family-owned businesses, community based businesses. I started out in a nine-person real estate firm typing and filing.
It's how most people start. Two-thirds of the new jobs are created by small businesses. Half of the Americans are employed by small businesses.
We're crushing them. We're now destroying more than we're creating.
That's why we have to roll back this regulatory burden and take a 75,000-page tax code and make it three pages, because guess what? When you have a big costly complicated government, only the big, the powerful, wealthy and well connected can deal with it. It's called crony capitalism. It's why we must reduce the size of government.
So, we have to get small businesses up and growing again. To do so, we must reduce the power, the scope, the complexity of government.
WALLACE: What would you -- what would you do about taxes? I mean, are you going to cut corporate taxes or cut taxes on the higher income people? And if you do or if you're going to campaign on that, you know that Hillary Clinton will say trickle-down economics.
FIORINA: Yes. So, we have a 75,000-page tax code today. And that complexity favors the wealthy and the big and the well-connected because they can hire the accountants and the lawyers and the lobbyists to figure out how to make all that complexly work for them. We've got to get it down to three.
My blueprint, lower every rate, close every loophole. Lower every rate, close very loophole.
Maybe there's one or two loopholes that really help the middle class but most of these deductions and loopholes and complexities actually benefit the wealthy, the powerful, the well connected. But, yes, our tax code isn't competitive anymore. It's ridiculous that we have the highest tax code in the world -- tax rate in the world when we're trying to attract jobs here.
So, lower every rate, close every loophole.
WALLACE: And when Hillary Clinton says, "Yes, and rich are going to make out like bandits"?
FIORINA: What I would point out to Hillary Clinton is that every single one of the policies that she's currently pursuing make income inequality worse. Exhibit A, income inequality under the Obama administration. Exhibit B, every liberal state in this nation.
I spent 12 years in the state of California, a state that's been ruled by liberals for a long time. And guess what you have: about 130 billionaires -- good for them, the highest poverty rates in the nation, the exodus of middle class and destruction of industry after industry after industry. Income inequality is worse under progressive policies because progressive policies favor the wealthy, the well-connected, the big and the powerful.
WALLACE: So, let's talk micro. We've got a minute left. What's your plan now? How do you seize this moment? Because I think a lot of people are giving you either a second look or as you say some of them a first look.
How do you seize this moment and become a top tier candidate?
FIORINA: Honestly, I'm going to keep what I'm doing. I think I'm working really hard. Many people tell us we're outworking every campaign out there. I'm about to leave for South Carolina.
We're going to talk to as many people as we can through every medium there is. I will continue to do what I've done from day one. I will answer any question. I will talk to anyone. I'm not afraid to talk about anything.
The more people get to know me, the more people support me. So, that's what we're going to keep doing.
I do believe this is a pivotal time in our nation's history. I'm running for president because I think if we do not win in 2016, we're going to reach a point from which we may not be able to recover.
I think it's vital that we demonstrate leadership in the world once again. I think it's vital that we get this economy going and growing. And I think it's vital that we finally begin to reduce the size and power and corruption of the federal government.
WALLACE: Ms. Fiorina, thank you. Thanks for coming in. Safe travels in those campaign appearances.
FIORINA: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, Senator Rand Paul, who tangled with Trump and confronted Chris Christie on the debate stage. We'll ask the presidential candidate how it's shaking out now back on the campaign trail.
WALLACE: Senator Rand Paul says he's a different kind of Republican, and at the FOX News debate he aired those differences with Donald Trump and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
How's that working out for him?
Senator Paul joins us now.
Senator, we talked on "THE O'REILLY FACTOR" on Friday and you acknowledged that one of the reasons you were so combative in the debate is because you are lagging a bit in the polls. I know it's only been a couple days since then, but how's it paid off?
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-K.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, our number of contributors has gone up dramatically. We have well over 100,000 contributors. Ninety-six percent of our contributors give under $100. So, yes, we think we excited our base.
And one of the things it really shows is that when you poll me head to head with Clinton, I actually lead her in five states won by President Obama. It's interesting to contrast that with Donald trump who actually is 16 points behind Clinton.
So, my suggestion is next time we do a debate, maybe that ought to be a poll we ought to look at in calculating who we talk to.
WALLACE: All right. You brought up Trump. Let's talk about him. You had a kind of quick exchange with him right off the bat when he refused to pledge that he would support the eventual Republican nominee. You came in cold. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: OK.
PAUL: This is what's wrong. He buys himself politicians of all stripes. He's already --
BAIER: Dr. Paul --
PAUL: Hey, look, look! He's already hedging his bet on the Clintons, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: I want to go past that moment and ask you big picture. Senator, what do you think of Donald Trump?
PAUL: Well, I don't think we should reward vulgarity. I don't think vulgarity equates to insight. And so, because you can shout and call people names and call someone stupid or call someone fat, is that really what we're going to make the decision on for who is going to be our nominee?
You know, I came out of the Tea Party movement. And part of the Tea Party movement is we were upset with fake conservatives and Republicans who weren't conservative, Republicans who were for Obamacare and Republicans who were for the bank bailouts.
Well, that's Donald Trump. He's been for all of these liberal policies and now, because he can stand up and say vulgar things and he's as truth teller.
Well, the truth is, what is he for? I have no idea whether he's conservative. He really could be a liberal for all I'm concerned. I have no idea what his real philosophy is other than he's for promoting himself.
WALLACE: Then there was that heated exchange with Governor Chris Christie about government surveillance. Here's a taste of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Listen, Senator, you know, when you sit in a subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that.
PAUL: I don't trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator, I want to delve down into this issue. You say you want to collect records about the terrorists and not about innocent Americans, but law enforcement experts say that that is naive. They say you can't connect the dots to find somebody unless you have the dots.
PAUL: Well, you know, the truth of the matter is, every time we've been attacked here on the homeland, we have had evidence in advance. We had evidence in advance on the Boston bomber, the Russians tipped us off. We also should have known he went back to Chechnya and we didn't do a good job knowing his whereabouts.
The Garland shooter recently, the one who traveled from Arizona, we had evidence in advance.
Major Hasan, the mass murderer at Ft. Hood, we had evidence for years that he was radicalized and had radical notions of radical Islam, and political correctness just kept -- we kept advancing him in the military because people were afraid to stand up and say enough is enough.
So, no, I don't think there's any instance in which we found that the indiscriminate bulk collection of records have helped us. Three independent commissions looked at this, every one said that no terrorist has been caught through bulk collection.
So, I actually do want more individualized investigation. The Fourth Amendment says you can collect records, you just have to name the target, have some suspicion, not even proof but suspicion that you present to a judge and a judge's signature.
But I don't want the blanket surveillance of all Americans. I'm not willing to give up on the Bill of Rights in order to say, "I can feel more safe". We've been doing this. Actually we've been attacked despite collection of all these bulk records.
WALLACE: But, you know, there are a lot of I think you would say respected people, maybe you wouldn't say they're respected, General Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA, Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat, former chairman of Senate Intelligence, that says that this bulk collection has worked, has protected us.
I mean, let me give you a specific example. If -- and this is one that law enforcement officials say. If we suddenly discover a terrorist phone number that's being used, let's say, out of Pakistan, and we want to go back and find out who that person has been talking to, if we haven't been collecting the records, how do we go back and trace who that terrorist on that cell phone number has been calling over the last six months?
PAUL: Well, what you're describing is actually an instance in which we do have specific information and we would write that down and we would say we have suspicion and I would sign the warrant for that. Then you get the information.
WALLACE: Wait, sir.
PAUL: The records are out there --
WALLACE: But the point is if we haven't been collecting the records along the whole time when we discovered today that there's a bad guy out there using a phone call, how do we trace who he called six months ago?
PAUL: The records are kept by the phone company and typically are kept for 18 months or more. There's no evidence that any of has worked is the most important thing to understand.
We've been doing this for ten years. Not one terrorist has been caught through this program. But the thing is, is when you look and you say, is it illegal? The courts have said it's illegal. Many scholars are saying it's unconstitutional. I believe it to be unconstitutional.
And the thing is, is I know so many young men and women who have sacrificed parts of their body, died in battle or lost limbs in battle, and I think it's a disservice to them to say, oh, we're just going to give up on the Bill of Rights while you're gone. The young men I talked to, and women I talked who fought, they say they fought for the Constitution, they fought for the Bill of Rights, and I think it's disappointing that we would give up on that, these protections.
This is the freedom. When we say we're fighting for freedom, it's the freedom from government surveillance.
And so, I think it's a mistake to give up on this. But it's also a mistake to believe that it's actually working. There's no evidence that it has worked at all.
WALLACE: All right.
PAUL: I think we need more directed surveillance and more of it.
WALLACE: Senator, you say that the one thing you wish you had gotten to talk about in the debate is your tax plan. So, I'm now in the moments remaining going to give you an opportunity to do that.
You favor a flat tax of 14.5 percent on personal income and a 14.5 percent European style VAT, or value added tax, which many conservatives oppose as a hidden sales tax. According to the tax foundation, a group that you often cite, the revenue that you're going to get from your tax plan, sir, would be $3 trillion -- a loss of $3 trillion in revenue over a decade.
How are you going to make that up?
PAUL: It depends on how you look at it, Chris. I look at it as a $3 trillion gain for taxpayer. That's a debate we ought to have.
We ought to have a debate whether you want government to be bigger or smaller, and whether you want private sector to be bigger or smaller. I want the private sector to be $3 trillion bigger. That's how jobs are created. Government doesn't create jobs. And this is a real debate we ought to have on our party.
WALLACE: But let me, if I may --
PAUL: Do we want tax cuts or do we want to keep government --
WALLACE: Let me get specific about that, because 80 percent of the money that this government spends is on entitlements and interest serving the debt -- servicing the debt. So, either critics would say, you either going to have to make substantial cuts to Medicare and Medicaid or -- that's the 80 percent -- or you're going to have to gut that other 20 percent, which is everything from defense spending to homeland security to all our social programs.
I mean, how do you -- it's easy to say shrink the government. But when you got 80 percent that's entitlements, what do you do?
PAUL: We have to look at everything across the board and all of government needs to be smaller.
And I have put forward a plan. I put forward three five-year plans that balance the budget over five years, including significant tax cuts.
But I believe in a much smaller government. That's what we have to have this debate about. If you want a Republican that's going to keep government the same size by having revenue neutral tax reform and not really cutting tax, I'm not the guy.
I want to dramatically lower rates like Reagan did. But the Tax Foundation said my plan would create millions of jobs and that mine is the most pro-growth tax plan ever presented.
But I go one step further, too, because when the Democrats say, oh, will this help the rich, I'm going to say it also helps the poor and the working class because my tax plan gets rid of the payroll tax. Social Security will be paid for by businesses and not by individual any longer, so a guy or a woman making $40,000 a year will get $2,000 more in their check every year.
I think this will be wildly popular.
PAUL: We will have a debate.
WALLACE: OK, Senator, I want to ask you --
PAUL: You want government to be smaller or do you want the private sector to be bigger?
WALLACE: Excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt. I've got one minute left and I want to ask one other question, because it's exactly on this point of fairness.
Again, talking about the Tax Foundation and what they say. Under your plan, a family making from $50,000 to $75,000 a year would get a 3 percent rise in income. Sounds pretty good. But a family making more than $1 million a year would get a 13 percent rise in income.
Question, doesn't your plan massively increase income inequality?
PAUL: Well, the thing is income inequality is due to some people working harder and selling more things. If people voluntarily buy more of your stuff, you'll have more money. And it's a fallacious notion to say, oh, rich people get more money back in a tax cut.
If you cut taxes 10 percent, 10 percent of $1 million is more than 10 percent of $1,000. So, obviously, people who paid more in taxes will get more back.
But we all end up working for people that are more successful than us, and that's a good thing that more money will be back in the economy. But let's have that debate. Do we want more money in Washington or more money in the economy?
I think if we send more money back to the economy in a dramatic fashion and really are for tax cuts -- this is my problem with Republicans. So many Republicans in Washington aren't for tax cuts anymore. I'm for a dramatic tax cut.
WALLACE: Senator --
PAUL: More dramatic than any tax cut since Ronald Reagan, and I think that would be good for the economy.
WALLACE: Senator Paul, it is an interesting debate. I want to continue it with you. Thank you. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Always good to talk with you, sir.
PAUL: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, our Sunday group tells us who will get a post-debate bounce.
Plus, what do you think? Has the debate changed your mind about who you think should be the Republican nominee? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and use #FNS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Lenders to your company lost over a billion dollars and more than 1,100 people were laid off. Is that the way that you run the country?
DONALD TRUMP: Let me tell you about the lenders. First of all, these lenders aren't babies. These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think. OK? You know. I mean you're living in a world of the make-believe, Chris, if you want to know the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Donald Trump taking exception to my question about his history of bankruptcies at the big Fox News debate. And it's time now for our Sunday group. Syndicated columnist George Will, Lisa Lerer, national politics reporter for the Associated Press. Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham and Charles Lane from "The Washington Post." Laura, what do you make of Trump's comments during the debate and since?
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST "THE LAURA INGRAHAM SHOW": Well, I think a lot of this is a side show frankly. I think the insults, the late-night tweets, the disinviting him to conventions, here is where we're going to be if Trump is in the race or if he's out of the race. I have no idea what's going to happen with Donald Trump. There's about 20 percent, maybe as many as 30 percent of GOP voters in the country today who are absolutely livid at the GOP. OK. And these people are so mad and they're so frustrated that they are willing to throw in with someone who has no political experience, who's obviously can be very crude and sometimes very rude and they are so mad that they're willing to go with him because he's saying things about whether it's mass migration or illegal immigration, bad trade deals that pretty much no one else is saying.
So, I think the focus should be how is the GOP if it's a Scott Walker or if it's Jeb Bush, whoever the nominee is going to be, how is the GOP going to win without that ten, 20 or 30 percent of that vote. Whatever it is. They need those people to go back to the GOP if Trump goes away. So, that's been my focus consistently. And all of this intrigue and insults, I think that is just -- that's going to go away. And then the GOP is going to have to put itself back together again like humpy dumpty.
WALLACE: Well, I want to pick up on that, and it leads me perfectly to you, Chuck, because the lead story in your paper "The Washington Post" today was basically well, the GOP thinks maybe Trump's balloon is beginning to lose steam and that they're going to be able to pivot to more conventional politicians. But it sort of begs the question, how can they control this and isn't it really up to the voters as to whether they're going to stay with Trump or move away and try to find another Republican at this point they don't like those other Republicans as much.
CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, and there's no real test of the voters for a while. It's all just measured by polls. He might live or die by the polls. I think what this shows is that Laura is absolutely right. There's this volatile element within the party that the party kind of doesn't know how to handle and the element doesn't know how to handle the party. But I think that he may have gone a little bit too far with his comments about Megyn Kelly and you saw for the first time people who - I mean Eric Erickson is not some sort of ...
WALLACE: He's the head of the - head of the Red Lock, the organization Red State.
LANE: He's not a hypersensitive politically correct liberal who banned Donald Trump from his conference because of that. That brought a lot of other comments out from Republicans. There's almost now a divide within the party between those who are overtly condemning him and those who are not. You saw that Huckabee and Cruz have held back. And the problem for the establishment of the party is there is no limiting factor on how long Donald Trump can stay in this race except for what Donald Trump feels like doing.
WALLACE: George, your thoughts about Donald Trump, the debate and the shape of the Republican race in the wake of the debate?
LANE: I would begin by disputing the premise of both Chuck and Laura, which is that these are Republican voters. These are not Tea Party voters who are very substantive. I think that people attracted to Donald Trump are marginally connected to politics at all and are brought in to this for the entertainment value. I would like to think that the beginning of the end was the question you asked in the debate when you said what is your evidence for your statements about the complicity of the Mexican government. Donald Trump doesn't do evidence. He says apoplexy is a substitute for argument. So he just went off on another rant. Time will come when politics becomes blocking and tackling. You go to Iowa. You have to organize. You have to sit in a lot of living rooms with a macaroon in one hand and a cup of hot chocolate in the other. Now, picture Donald Trump doing that. I can't. So I think he will sick his own nipple (ph).
WALLACE: But I just want to - Before we move on to Lisa, let's say it's 20 or 30 percent you say that are not Republicans, that are not conservatives. They are people. They're voters. And, you know, if they either sit out and I think generally speaking you would say they have voted for the Republicans certainly against the Democrat or if Donald Trump and he has certainly - has left it open, ran as the third-party candidacy, wouldn't that be enough to sink the Republican nominee either way?
WILL These are voters that the Republicans want. The Republicans want all voters. And particularly these voters. But to say that he's tapped into something, Henry Wallace tapped into something in the far left of American politics in the late '40s. The John Birch Society tapped into something. George Wallace tapped into something. And it was up to the grown-ups and the labor movement in the 1940s and the grown-ups in the conservative movement in the 1960s to read those elements, the Riot Act and say come back in, but come back in on our terms because we're not going down the road you want to go.
WALLACE: Lisa, let me bring you in. You are covering the Clinton campaign for A.P. In the debate, several candidates toughened their stance on abortion and any limits on some of the exceptions that are allowed now for legal abortion. There were moves to the right on same-sex marriage and immigration. As they watched the debate - And I think there was a general sort of move to the right in this - maybe with the exception of Jeb Bush and a couple of others, were they licking their chops in the Clinton headquarters?
LISA LERER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, I actually was reporting from Clinton headquarters during the debate. And I can tell you, the mood was pretty upbeat over there. You know, there's a misalignment of incentives here between the two parties. Republicans are looking at this through the lens of the primary, which of course they have to do. And they have to take certain positions to win over the Republican base. But the Clinton team has a luxury of looking through this to the general election. So, they were pretty gleeful about some of the positions Republicans took on issues like abortion, exceptions to abortion, the case of rape, incest, life of the mother, on gay marriage, on immigration. Their plan is to basically resurrect the Obama coalition of young women and minority voters that boosted him to the White House twice. Those issues play particularly well with that group. So, they see a lot to work with here.
Now, that's not to say there weren't a few shadows in all that sunshine and rainbows, right, that they were seeing. Rubio, I think, they're going to be paying a little bit closer attention to him. He could present a pretty strong generational argument against Hillary Clinton and Kasich also caught their attention. You know, I think it's an open question whether he could get through the primary process on the Republican side, but if he did - he could present this ...
WALLACE: Now, but the name you're not mentioning, which I think a lot of people thought might be the potentially - the strongest Republican candidate in a general election against Hillary Clinton is Jeb Bush.
LERER: Right. Well, you know, they've been keeping a close eye on him in the run-up to the debate. Clinton had really focused her attacks, her sharp attacks for a couple of days on Jeb Bush. So, he was already on their list. He remains on their list. You know, certainly he's the best funded in the Republican field and they are worried about his pull with Latinos in the general.
WALLACE: Laura, we've got about a minute left. With Trump pushing the envelope even further with Jeb Bush, I think it's fair to say having a somewhat disappointing performance on Thursday night, who is the front runner for the Republican nomination?
INGRAHAM: Well, we'll see the new polls that come out. But you know, I always -- I have been saying this for two years. And George probably disagrees with me. But I think Jeb Bush probably won that debate. And people say ...
INGRAHAM: this performance. I tell you why he won it. Because the focus was on Megyn and Trump, OK? And Jeb Bush quietly and George W. Bush is calling him the tortoise now, because he's quietly amassing the donor base. His has now $120 million in the bank. And his network is locked down. Once that Bush negative advertising starts flowing against anyone who rears his or her head, whether it's Marco or Carly or John Kasich, we're going to see what was done to Gingrich in Florida when Romney took out Gingrich in Florida in 2012, Bush is really good at talking about tone. But when push comes to shove, that negative advertising is going to blanket Florida, New Hampshire, and beyond. So, I still look at Jeb Bush as a front runner. Trump may be still up in the polls. I don't know how long he'll stay in. He's the man to beat still in my mind.
WALLACE: 30 seconds, George Will, who is the front runner?
WILL: There is no front runner. It won't be a Republican race to speak of until this coarse and vulgar man who is at the center of this argument is marginalized. When that happens, we're going to see who the strength is. We're going to see also, Laura, the declining utility of the last political dollar, the last $40 million really don't matter that much.
INGRAHAM: We'll see.
INGRAHAM: We'll see.
WALLACE: To be continued. All right. We have to take a break here. When we come back, President Obama dramatically escalates his rhetoric trying to sell his Iran nuclear deal to Congress. But one of the Senate's Democratic leaders, Democratic leaders says he'll vote against the deal. Will the Iran agreement pass? We'll ask the panel next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's those hardliners chanting "Death to America" who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican caucus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Obama shocking a lot of people in Washington, both Republicans and Democrats with that comment as he fights to get his Iran nuclear deal through Congress. And we're back now with the panel. George, after comparing Republicans in Congress to the death to America crowd in Tehran, I'm not sure where it goes from there.
WILL: Judging intentions by behavior. I would say that both the Iranian government and the Obama administration want this defeated. The Iranian government is taunting us by saying no matter what the words say, you can't go here, you can't go there for inspections and then this extraordinarily un-presidential speech. It's impossible to imagine Dwight Eisenhower or Jack Kennedy giving a speech that portrays his adversaries like this. The big development this week was Schumer. Now, the question is, did Schumer come out against this because they already have sufficient votes, sufficient votes for what? Sufficient to override to sustain a veto. I think that's what we're looking at. One-third plus one member of one House of Congress because the president in his ongoing constitutional vandalism will not submit this as a treaty which it obviously should be.
WALLACE: I have to say, that was a really good answer, because you basically answered every question I'm now going to ask all of the others.
WALLACE: It was really sort of one stop shopping. Let me pick up on Schumer. And for folks out there who may not know, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the number three person in the Democratic leadership in the Senate, but basically he's locked up after Harry Reid retires in 2016, he will be the Senate Democratic leader in 2017. He came out this week during the Republican debate at about 10:00 at night against the vote. The White House wasn't very happy. And here's what they had to say about Chuck Schumer and getting the new job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I certainly wouldn't be surprised if there are individual members of the Senate Democratic caucus that will consider the voting record of those who say they would like to lead the caucus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: In other words, if Chuck Schumer is going to vote against one of the president's top priorities, maybe Democrats shouldn't make them their leader. Lisa, what do you make of Schumer's decision to go against the president on this huge issue and what do you make of that response from the White House?
LERER: Well, the big question here, right, of course, is whether this is an indicator of the vote or an indicator of how tough the politics is. Particularly for Jewish Democrats or Democrats with front states with big Jewish blocks. I think it's more of the latter. Based in part for how he announced this. He announced it after they had left for recess. He announced it sort of quietly. It was supposed to be quietly at night. Like he has it - he signaled that he's not going to be rallying his fellow Democrats against the cause of this Iran deal. So, I think this more has to do with how difficult the politics are for members like Schumer. I also think the president's rhetoric is in part due to the fact that they are beginning to see the House as a sort of firewall. In order to sustain a veto he needs one-third as George pointed out of one body. If that body is the House, that kind of fiery rhetoric plays much better there. So, they may be targeting Democrats in the House to make sure that this thing gets through, of course, by veto.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about the politics because Congress is now on a six-week recess. They've worked so hard this year so far. And when they get home, they're going to face a huge multimillion dollar - I mean I'm talking tens of millions of dollars lobbying campaign, TV, commercials, all of that by pro-Israel groups against the Iran deal. Laura, how much trouble is this deal in?
INGRAHAM: I don't think it's in much trouble. I think Nancy Pelosi is rounding up the votes in the House. She's a loyalist on this deal. Dick Durbin feels like he has the votes in the Senate. Tammy Baldwin is going to vote for the deal.
WALLACE: Explain who she is and ...
INGRAHAM: Tammy Baldwin is a Wisconsin senator and she's someone people are looking to as the future of the Democratic Party. Kirsten Gillibrand often talked about it, the future ...
WALLACE: New York Senator.
INGRAHAM: Yeah, a presidential contender sometime in the future. She's voting for the deal. The couple people on the fence. Harry Reid is retiring. He's going to ultimately vote for the deal. So, I think this is - Schumer probably does have problems with the deal, but also he has a lot of donors who have problems with the deal. So, it didn't really surprise me that Schumer in the end did this. I don't think it's going to make a difference. So, I think with the Obama insult to anyone who stands against this deal, it is just - it's interesting given this great feeling everybody had after the trade promotion authority was passed with this bipartisan push with Boehner and McConnell. That didn't last long, did it? I mean Obama goes right from that kumbaya moment on trade to filleting the Republicans on Iran. It was pretty - it was Obama-like.
WALLACE: OK. Now, we have kind of touched on this, but let me explain again. Congress does not have to approve this deal. And they certainly don't have to approve it by the super majority for a treaty. Because it is just an executive agreement. So, what happens is let's say that Congress and if they probably will, the Republican majority, votes to disapprove the agreement and then the president can veto that disapproval and then all he needs in one of the - both Houses, one or either House, is one-third plus one in the Senate that would mean 34 votes, 33 plus one, 34, and there are 46 Democrats, I don't know what the math is in the House and what that would mean. But what do you think? I mean are they going to be able to get one-third plus one of Democrats either in the House or the Senate to sustain a presidential veto of a resolution of disapproval? I'm worn out from all that part of ...
LANE: Well, it's good that you explained it, because first of all, to answer your question, yes, I do think at the end of the day, I agree with the rest of the panel, this thing will go through by perhaps a narrow margin. But as you basically described it, what we have here is a game, in which the rules maximize the opportunity to vote without consequence against this deal, right? It's a pretty free vote for everybody who is against it, because at the end of the day the president gets the veto and he will have a minority of supporters enable to get it through.
But I just want to emphasize that as we look at the cost and benefits of this Iran deal, whatever they are, I think we now have to add to the cost side tremendous division within American politics about an issue where in the past there used to be consensus, namely or posture toward Iran. This - the Iranian have achieved, I think, something very important by dividing the United States from Israel, possibly in a lasting way. They have divided Republicans from Democrats and now with the Schumer thing, they are dividing Democrats from Democrats. The opposition to this, obviously, spreads across party lines. And the rhetoric on both sides is as inflammatory as it can possibly be and when the money starts flowing, we'll get more inflammatory.
So, in an area where we used to have some consensus in this country, we now have nothing, but division. I would add there's also a point about presidential leadership here. The last time we had a president as certain he was right about something was just before George Bush decided to invade Iraq. And it's a little ironic and a little, I think, worrisome that the president is quite so certain that he's absolutely right.
WALLACE: We have got about a minute left, George. Let's play this out. Let's assume that Congress kills the deal, you know, and that they are able to muster the votes to override the presidential veto. We would keep - the U.S. would keep our economic sanctions, but the rest of the world is - including the U.N. is dropping their sanctions. What happens then?
WILL: Well, what happens then is Iran gets richer and Iran becomes with its fueled by this money becomes more disruptive in the Middle East, so that the negotiations themselves were a triumph for the Iranians, precisely because they put us in this position. And at the end of this the president's - principle domestic achievement, his legacy will be the Affordable Care Act deeply unpopular five years later and a foreign policy semi-treaty agreement that the country dislikes.
WALLACE: Well, and in that sense, Iran getting richer. That happens whether or not the Congress approves the deal or not because the sanctions are lifted and they also -- the arms embargo is lifted five years from now and the missile embargo is lifted eight years from now.
WILL: That's what I'm saying. The damage was done by the negotiations.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. Up next, our power player of the week. The people's diva gives me a singing lesson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you a tenor?
WALLACE: I don't know what I am. I used to sing in the bathroom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: All right. I admit it. I don't like opera. Hours of people howling in a language I don't understand. As we told you in March, if anyone can get me to change my mind, it's our power player of the week.
RENEE FLEMING, OPERA SINGER: I haven't really been able to transfer into that extraordinary other worldly creature other than I hope on stage.
WALLACE: Renee Fleming has been called the people's diva. It's a title she loves. Yes, she is America's leading opera star who has played 54 different roles. But she prides herself on being down to earth.
(on camera): Are you at all a diva? Are you difficult?
FLEMING: Am I a diva? Well, you know, there are people who probably had their moments with me. A lot of bad behavior in singers is caused by nerves. But my philosophy is that the people around us are there doing as much work if not more work behind the scenes and they are the last people you would ever be unkind to. So, I hope I'm not a diva off stage.
(singing): I want to live with ...
WALLACE (voice over): She's made a point of going beyond opera singing rock and jazz and last year becoming the first classical artist to sing "The National Anthem" at the Super Bowl.
FLEMING: In those two minutes which have to be perfect or it will follow you for the rest of your career, I can't say I've had another experience quite like it. But it was thrilling.
WALLACE: Whatever the venue, Fleming is also known as the beautiful voice.
(on camera): How is it that you're able to create this remarkable sound?
FLEMING: My speaking voice is horrendous, right?
FLEMING: So, but I mean, it's sort of weak and it's not very resonant. But then when I sing, the sound is a totally different range, color, all of it. It's all about the breath. You take in a breath and you make a sound. So, for instance, if you say hello, Renee. Try that.
WALLACE: Hello, Renee.
FLEMING: So, I would teach you how to enhance that, how to increase the range. Hello, Renee.
WALLACE: Hello, Renee.
FLEMING: Are you a tenor?
WALLACE: I don't know what I am. I used to sing in the bathroom.
FLEMING: Just try a siren.
WALLACE: No, I'm not doing that.
WALLACE (voice over): Mast class aside, Fleming who just turned 56 and says she'll retire from opera within three years and just do recitals.
FLEMING: My whole career, I played these girls sort of 18 to 23. And then - so, you know, and we can suspend disbelief to a point and then you sort of think that's enough of that.
WALLACE: But don't worry. The people's diva will continue to share her remarkable talent.
FLEMING: It's just something incredibly moving that the human being, a human being can make this sound. And that great music has been cultivated around it. I feel very privileged to be doing this.
WALLACE: Renee Fleming isn't taking any time off with several performances scheduled in the U.S. and overseas. Now an update on last week's "Power Player" Katie Ledecky. The teenage swimming star won five gold medals at the world championships in Russia this week breaking her own world records in the 800 and 1,500 meter races. We send our congratulations. That's it for today. Have a great week. And we'll see you next "FOX NEWS SUNDAY."
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