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Sunday Morning Futures

House Freedom Caucus playing central role in speaker race; American sergeant gives his life to save hostages from ISIS

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," October 25, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: Good morning.

The vote for the country's third in command now just a few days away. Hi, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."

All eyes on Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan this weekend to become the next speaker of the House, but does he have enough support? A major voice of the critical far right, Congressman Mark Meadows, will join me in moments.

Plus, new video this morning showing the U.S. Special Forces raid that rescued 70 Iraqis held by ISIS, as Syria's president says getting rid of the terror group will help stabilize the country. Can we believe him? I'll ask former U.S. ambassador to several Mideast countries, Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

And what will come of the new information we learned in Hillary Clinton's testimony on the Benghazi attacks? I'll talk with a congressman who questioned the former secretary of state last week as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

Well, after intense pressure from GOP lawmakers, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan agreed to run for speaker of the House. The Ways and Means Committee chairman getting the backing from several groups of Republicans this past week, including the far right House Freedom Caucus. Ryan still facing a challenge from at least one other congressman, Daniel Webster of Florida. Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and he joins us now.

Sir, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.

REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-NORTH CAROLINA: Thank you, Maria. It's good to be with you.

BARTIROMO: Well, isn't it interesting that last week Paul Ryan got the votes, got the recommendation, but not an out and out endorsement. Why is that?

MEADOWS: Well, I think there's a couple of things. One is, is there's great respect for Chairman Ryan, but there's also great respect for Daniel Webster. And when you look at that, it's not as much about the person as it is the process. And we want to make sure that Washington, D.C., works for the millions of American citizens who believe that we don't know how to govern here in Washington, D.C. And so it's more about the process than the person and -- and hopefully we're -- we're making some good progress there, Maria.

BARTIROMO: So -- so there will be a closed door meeting this Wednesday. And then, of course, followed by the full House vote on the floor on Thursday. How do you think this plays out?

MEADOWS: Well, I think right now it -- it certainly is looking like we'll have a Speaker Ryan. I can tell you that there are a number of conversations that are happening almost around the clock to make sure the
rules and the way that we do business here in Washington, D.C., gets changed. I think there needs to be a down payment, a good faith effort to say, we're going to flatten this process out, make sure that the rank and file members and, more importantly, the American people have a voice in what a positive agenda might be for America. And so I believe that Chairman Ryan's committed to that and it looks like it -- it will be pretty smooth sailing for him.

BARTIROMO: So how do you, Mark Meadows, feel about some of the conditions that -- that Congressman Ryan put on the table, including he wants House rules changed to overhaul what is known as the motion to vacate the chair, a parliamentary weapon that members use to try and oust the speaker?

MEADOWS: Well, I think that that was something that was outlined first, Maria. But I can tell you that that's a nonstarter for many of us as we look at this. It's important that that's a constitutional responsibility that's been there for centuries. So I don't see us changing that as much as perhaps making it a more open process within our conference so there are no surprises. But that motion to vacate changing, that's what we're working on right now to make sure that that's not eliminated as an effective procedural motion that is privileged, which means that any member, Democrat or Republican, could bring it up.

BARTIROMO: So is that a deal breaker for your vote?

MEADOWS: I think it is a deal breaker. And we've communicated that very clearly. Chairman Ryan is working with us to see how we can address that particular issue. But to change something century old for a speaker election today doesn't seem like those two fit together. And I think that reasonable minds can come together and find a path forward.

BARTIROMO: Let me get you to talk to us a bit about some of the pause around Congressman Ryan. I mean clearly his views on immigration reform was one issue. His views on gay marriage is another issue. Can you talk to us about the resistance and why there would be any resistance for a guy who we all know is a policy wonk, who is going to do his best to get things done economically, like tax reform, like budget issues that are so important to most people?

MEADOWS: Well, Maria, and -- and you hit a -- a -- a critical piece. We have tried to not make the speaker's ideological views be the focus. It -- and it shouldn't be. He shouldn't be a super member where his ideas really speak for all of the Republican conference. And that's why we want to flatten this out. On immigration specifically, we've had some real candid discussions about that. He's agreed to not move anything without the majority of the majority on that particular issue forward, which would actually make sure that every member has a voice on immigration.

BARTIROMO: You would think that on economic issues, you're very much aligned with Congressman Ryan then?

MEADOWS: Well, certainly I think, from a tax reform standpoint, he and I agree on a number of things on tax reform. From a budgeting standpoint, we agree on all of those. So on the fiscal side of things, there's a whole lot to agree. There's more that we agree on than that divides us.

BARTIROMO: Yes, and, of course, it is -- it is honorable and -- and impressive to -- for those who are sticking to their principles when it comes to some of the social issues, but I've got to push back a bit on this because when you look at polls and when you survey the American people, it feels like we are talking about a different America than we were 10 years ago. Do you worry that as it relates to things like gay marriage, we heard the Supreme Court's ruling on this, as it relates to gay marriage in particular, that there's a disconnect between the Freedom Caucus and the American people?

MEADOWS: Well, I don't think there's a disconnect between the Freedom Caucus and the American people. That's why we were created, to be the voice for millions of people who felt like the -- they are not represented here in Washington, D.C. And sometimes we look at -- at our own little bubble, whether it be in New York or anywhere else. I can tell you that in North Carolina, you know, we had just passed measures with regards to traditional marriage and so it was -- it was really one of those things that as the Supreme Court came out, it -- it went against the -- the will of the voters in North Carolina. And so, yes, is -- are things different than they were ten years ago? Certainly. But as we look at this, it's more about making sure that the diversity of every district, whether they be liberal or conservative, is represented here in Washington, D.C.

BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about Daniel Webster for a moment. What is the selling point if, in fact, it were to go that way?

MEADOWS: Well, I think the selling point is that he's done it before in the -- in the state of Florida as the speaker of the house there. He actually flattened out the process, gave Democrats and Republicans alike the ability to bring forth legislation. He's one of the few that not only united the GOP there in Florida, but got very high remarks and credentials from Democrats alike that he was a fair speaker. And so when you look at -- about the process, that's what was so appealing about Daniel Webster. It's not about him, it's about making sure that everybody has a voice.

BARTIROMO: Congressman, good to have you on the program today. We so appreciate your time today.

MEADOWS: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Thank you very much. Representative Mark Meadows joining us from the Freedom Caucus.

We want to turn now it a closer look at Paul Ryan's road to the speakership. Could it be a little bumpier than we initially thought? Fox News senior correspondent Eric Shawn now on that angle.

Good morning, Eric.

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

Paul Ryan may be a shoo-in, but there are a few holdouts. Even though he does have the speakership in the bag, it does come with some reluctance from some.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWN: Well, they shoved out John Boehner and pushed Kevin McCarthy aside. But even without the full unanimous backing of the House Freedom Caucus, Paul Ryan is on the verge of this new job with some, albeit minor, dissension. As Congressman Meadows just indicated, Florida Congressman Dan Webster, who the Freedom Caucus first endorsed, vows to stay in the race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DANIEL WEBSTER, R- FLA.: I am surely interested in being speaker because I'm fighting against the way the process is. A power based process. I want to see everything based on principle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWN: And it turns out that Ryan's reservations and deliberations did not endear him to all. Representative Matt Salmon of Arizona, the co-chair of the Freedom Caucus, said, quote, "it's like interviewing a maid for a job and she says, I don't clean windows, I don't do floors, I don't do beds, these are the hours I work, it's rubbing a lot of people the wrong way."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS.: What I told members is, if you can agree to these requests, and if I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve. And if I'm not unifying, that will be fine as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWN: Ryan has reached out to the caucus, writing, quote, "whatever our differences, we're all conservatives. We were elected to defend the Constitution. We share the same principles. I believe we are ready to move forward as a one united team and I am ready and eager to be our speaker."

You know, if he does become speaker, as is expected, Congressman Ryan will face two immediate challenges, the debt ceiling and a government funding deadline. How he navigates those issues could determine how successful his speakership will be, whether he will go down in history as a Sam Rayburn or a Tip O'Neill or Henry Clay or wish he never took the job in the first place.

Maria.

BARTIROMO: All right, Eric, we'll be watching that. Thanks so much, Eric Shawn with the latest there.

The first American is killed in the fight against ISIS. We will discuss that. The circumstances surrounding his death and the future of the war against the terrorist group.

Tell us what you'd like to hear on Twitter. Follow me @mariabartiromo, @sundayfutures. What you'd like to hear from the former ambassador to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. He's next as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Russian lawmakers coming to the defense of Syria, saying President Bashar al Assad believes defeating the terrorists in his country will actually lead to a political solution. One that would include new elections. This as the U.S., Russia and Turkey look to end the civil war there, which is now in its fifth year.

Meanwhile, a grim milestone for the United States this morning in the fight against ISIS as the first American is killed taking on the terrorists. We're getting our first look at this video. This is the raid in which he lost his life, freeing dozens of ISIS held hostages. Delta Force Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler's body has been returned to the United States after he was killed in that raid in Iraq.

Joining me now is former U.S. ambassador to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Ambassador Crocker is also a dean and executive professor at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

Sir, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for being here.

AMB. RYAN CROKER, DEAN, GEORGE BUSH SCHOOL OF GOVT. & PUBLIC SERVICE: Thanks for having me, Maria.

BARTIROMO: And I know you've had some horrible weather this morning. We had a hard time getting you because of Hurricane Patricia. Thanks for making the effort to be there, sir.

CROCKER: Glad to be here.

BARTIROMO: Your thoughts on the latest information we learned. Of course, Sergeant Wheeler, the first American services member killed in this anti-ISIS campaign.

CROCKER: Obviously a tragedy, a great American was -- was killed in that raid. It was a very important mission. He was there to support Kurdish fighters in an effort to free hostages that would have been executed within hours. So there's no question in my mind that it was an important mission, and no question in my mind that his presence, along with other Americans, was essential to its success, even though he gave his life. I think there are larger lessons to be drawn here, but one of them, to me, certainly is not that we shouldn't have done it.

BARTIROMO: Right. And, of course, Defense Secretary Ash Carter says he made the call for the Delta Force troops to carry out that raid. It's believed that ISIS was going to execute as many as 70 Iraqis, potentially broadcast it, and that the group had already planned for the victims. Given what we know about -- about this fatality and where we are, can you give us your characterization of the war against ISIS at this point? Where are we in the process?

CROCKER: Well, clearly, after more than a year of a concerted international effort to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS, it -- it's hard to argue that it's going very well for us. Since we made that statement, over a year ago, ISIS now controls Ramadi in Iraq, which they didn't then, and Palmyra in Syria, which they didn't then. There clearly there is a very, very long way to go.

BARTIROMO: The FBI says that there are 900 active ISIS cases right now in the United States. Of course, just a week and a half ago, President Obama reversed course and -- and said that, in fact, the country will leave the 10,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan. Is that the right move?

CROCKER: It's something I've argued for, for some time, Maria, that we -- we have seen this movie before in Iraq, how things unraveled when we withdrew completely. We can't afford to have that happen in Afghanistan. So, yes, I think it is clearly the right move. What the actual force level should be needs to be determined by those who are on the scene, but it was the right move.

BARTIROMO: Well, let -- let me turn to you -- to the story around Russia right now. We know that Russia has invaded the Ukraine. Russia has put troops above Syria, bullying America around, that's for sure. That's what it looks like. What should the next president do?

CROCKER: I would hope that we start with this president. This is not a situation in the Middle East, in Syria or elsewhere, where we can just hit the pause button for the next year plus. Clearly in Syria, I -- I would wish that we would assert ourselves, not so much against the Russians, but for an end to the slaughter of Syrian civilians. And one way to do that would be to make clear to the Russians and to the Syrian government and the Iranians behind them that we are serious, that we are going to establish and enforce a no fly zone, and in so doing change the dynamics.

Right now, with the Russian support for Bashar, this is just going to prolong this conflict indefinitely. Tens of thousands more will die. ISIS will continue to have sanctuary. This is not a situation that is in our favor, nor is it one where we can just wait for the next president.

BARTIROMO: And, of course, Assad said that defeating the terrorists, defeating ISIS in his country, which is what the Russians say they are helping him do, will lead to a political solution. Do we believe Assad?

CROCKER: I absolutely do not believe Assad. Look at what the Russians are doing and where the Syrians are attacking now. It isn't really against ISIS. It's against other Syrian elements, many of whom are supported by us. So the Russians aren't there to defeat ISIS or Islamic radicalism. They're there to support Bashar al Assad, who has done far more than ISIS to kill his own people.

BARTIROMO: And they will fight whoever is against Assad, including the Americans.

CROCKER: That is correct and including the groups that we have tried to support.

BARTIROMO: Right.

Ambassador, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for your insights this morning.

CROCKER: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We so appreciate it. Ambassador Ryan Crocker there.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, grilled on her communication or lack thereof with Ambassador Chris Stevens after he was sent to Libya. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland is with me next, a member of the Benghazi committee. He'll joining us live with his reaction to the questioning last week, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Hillary Clinton's time in the hot seat before the Benghazi committee is over. Critics say the former Secretary of state survived the 11 hours of testimony fairly unscathed, but they're also saying that question about the
calls for more security in Libya went unanswered.

Joining me right now is a member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, who asked many of those security questions at the hearing, Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland.

Congressman, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.

REP. LYNN WESTMORELAND, R-GA.: Well, thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Were you satisfied with the testimony last week?

WESTMORELAND: Well, I mean, we asked the questions that we wanted to ask. We -- she was just one of many witnesses that we're calling. And so we're just trying to get testimony from those people that were involved in it. And so, I mean, we got the answers that we already knew is that she -- the security there was not a priority with her. That she lied about what caused the attack. So, yes, I mean, I think as far as the committee went, I think we did great. I -- I don't know what everybody else is saying about her doing so great. Anytime you're proven a liar on TV in front of the world, I mean, I don't know how that comes out great for you.

BARTIROMO: And -- and when you say she's proven a liar, I guess one of the e-mails in question, she sent to her daughter.

WESTMORELAND: She did.

BARTIROMO: And she said that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the video. In the e-mail she said, this has nothing to do with the video that they were purporting that it was because of a video and it was a terrorist attack. Now that was -- that was the day of the incident?

WESTMORELAND: Well, yes, it was that evening. And her e-mail to Chelsea basically said, we had two Americans killed by an al Qaeda style attack. She told the Egyptian prime minister the same thing, that this was an attack. But yet she turned around and was telling the American people that, you know, it was the video. In fact, what's really so horrific about this whole thing is the fact that she went up to the families as these brave Americans' bodies were being brought home and they -- and she said, we're going to get -- we're going to put the man in jail that made this video. Well, I mean, knowing all along that that's not what happened to their loved ones, that their loved ones were killed by an attack.

BARTIROMO: Right. So why would she do that? Was this just an ideology? OK, so it was September 11th. We know that. We know that there was an election two months later and they were --

WESTMORELAND: Yes.

BARTIROMO: The administration was putting out lots of sort of messaging that the terrorists were on the run, the situation was calm, there isn't terrorists the way that a lot of people were talking about.

WESTMORELAND: Right.

BARTIROMO: Is that what you were referring to as her lying?

WESTMORELAND: Yes, ma'am. It was strictly political. The election was 56 days away. Ben Rhodes, you know, from the White House had a lot to do with those talking points. You can't believe when you look at it, how many different stories came through those talking points. And they wanted the American people to believe that this was caused by this video. And they went so far as to have the filmmaker locked up. So this -- it was just a ruse. And, you know, the one thing that Democrats do much, much better than Republicans do, they stick to their story.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

WESTMORELAND: They stick to their -- their lines and -- and that's just the way, I guess, they're, you know, drilled.

BARTIROMO: Right. And -- and -- and Hillary Clinton was not out on the Sunday shows. They put Susan Rice out on the Sunday shows --

WESTMORELAND: Yes.

BARTIROMO: That weekend, who continued this -- this fantasy that it was a -- that it was because of a video and it wasn't terrorism. You know, what else do you --

WESTMORELAND: Well --

BARTIROMO: Yes, go ahead, sir.

WESTMORELAND: Well, I was just going to say, you know, I don't think the secretary would go on those shows and tell those stories. I don't think -- I don't think she would do it. I don't think she wanted to do it because she knew it would be a political nightmare for her.

And, Maria, let me bring up one other thing. Mrs. Clinton said she didn't find out that the State Department wanted all these e-mails until October. The reality of it is, is in July, the State Department contacted Cheryl Mills, her chief of staff, to talk about these e-mails. And so they had a period of time there to discuss what they were going to do. And what they came up with is, oh, well, we just won't ask for Hillary's, we'll ask for the former secretary of state's, going all the way back to Madeleine
Albright, which I doubt even had a computer. So this -- that and the statements that they made, her not going on the Sunday talk show, this -- the ruse about when she found out about they wanted her e-mails, look, it was a plan that had been in place, I think, for a long time.

BARTIROMO: Right. Well, I mean, do you think you have advanced this investigation forward based on the -- based on the hearing last week? What else do you need to hear in terms of filling out the blanks on this story? Because we know that -- that the Democrats and in particular Hillary's camp is painting this entire investigation as being politically motivated.

WESTMORELAND: Yes. Well, like I said, they're very good at grabbing hold of something and -- and making up a line and all of them sticking to it. She was one of 54, I believe, witnesses that we've had so far. We've probably got another 20 or 25 witnesses. But, Maria, what's so, you know, interesting about this investigation is, is that every time we interviewed somebody, somebody else's name or something else gets involved and so now we've got another witness to call. So with Mrs. Clinton, she was -- she was one of these witnesses. We need to talk to General Petraeus, General Dempsey, Secretary Gates. We are just at that stage of getting into the military response right now. And, you know, I'm not an attorney, but, you know, I understand that you take these witnesses in the order of the events that happen. And so Trey has done, you know, a great job, I think, of being a very patient, very methodical in getting these witnesses in.

BARTIROMO:  All right.  We'll watch for the developments.  And we should point out that we know about the e-mail and the server issue as a result of this committee because of all of the due diligence.  

Congressman, good to have you on the program.  Thanks very much.

WESTMORELAND:  Yes, ma'am.  Thank you.

Thank you so much, sir.  Congressman Lynn Westmoreland there.  

Hillary Clinton getting grilled on Capitol Hill, a marathon of testimony last week.  Some analysts say she fared well in the faceoff with the Benghazi committee.  

Are they right?  The panel is on deck to talk about that as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAWN:  From America's news headquarters, I'm Eric Shawn, here are some of the stories that are making headlines at this hour.

Investigators are waiting for the test results of that driver accused of a deadly crash at Oklahoma State University's homecoming parade.  Adacia Chambers is in jail right now on suspicion of drunk driving.  Her first hearing is tomorrow.  

Officials say Chambers barreling at 50 miles an hour hit a police officer's motorcycle before plowing into that crowd of parade watchers.  Four people were killed; 44 others were injured.

Forecasters say the regardless storms that dumped more than a foot of rain in some parts of Texas are now moving on and that dangerous flood warnings are now coming to an end.  But that powerful storm system combined with remnants of Hurricane Patricia have done some damage.  Once the rain stops, officials will have to worry about the creeks and rivers overflowing.

I'll see you back here in 90 minutes.  For now, I'm Eric Shawn.  Back to "Sunday Morning Futures" and Maria.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BARTIROMO:  Thank you, Eric.  

Hillary Clinton testifying for 11 grueling hours last week before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.  The stakes were high for the former secretary of state, facing questions on the terrorist attack that killed four Americans.  

According to multiple media outlets, Hillary Clinton came out of it looking stronger.  

Is that a fair assessment of the marathon hearing?  Want to bring in our panel now.

Ed Rollins is former principal White House advisor to President Reagan. He has been a long-time strategist to business and political leaders. He is a Fox News political analyst.

Alan Colmes is the host of the "Alan Colmes Radio Show" and a Fox News contributor.

And Mark Okada, the co-founder and chief investment officer of Highland Capital Management, with $21 billion in assets under management.  

Gentlemen, good to see you.  Thanks so much for joining us.

How did Hillary do?  

ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST:  If I was running her campaign, I would be very pleased if I was a Democrat.  She has had two big strong performances, the debate and this particular performance.  

The Republicans of us that don't necessarily believe she always tells the truth.  That was proven again in which there was no hesitancy before she called her daughter, the prime minister, about the story that the White House put out.  

She knew what the story was from the beginning.  She let Susan Rice go on television and basically mislead the country and I think that's -- that matters in the end, I don't know.  But it reinforces that part to many Republicans.

BARTIROMO:  Well, that's the thing.  And that's what Lynn Westmoreland just said, congressman basically saying she once again reiterated that she's a liar.  Whether that's going to connect with the American people, though, is another question -- Alan.

ALAN COLMES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  I think it's inanity to continuing to call her a liar, continuing to beat up on Hillary Clinton and then having Lynn Westmoreland say this -- you know, we -- she's one of many witnesses we're going to call; they haven't met pretty much since February, they called almost nobody.  

When Uma Abedin was there, Trey Gowdy didn't even show up.  This is a farce and the American people are seeing it for the farce that it is.  It was a very good day for Hillary Clinton; the optics were terrible for Republicans.

BARTIROMO:  But what is the farce?  

The farce is what?  

(CROSSTALK)

BARTIROMO:  That she wasn't getting calls for more security?

COLMES:  This is the eighth committee to look into this.  No new information.  A sweating Trey Gowdy at the end of this admitted there is no new information here.  You have to look at the transcripts to figure it out.  Nothing new to offer.

BARTIROMO:  What about the e-mail that Ed referred to, she told her daughter and the prime minister -- the former prime minister of Egypt this has nothing to do with the video, that this was a terrorist attack and she turned around and told the American people the opposite?

COLMES:  And she said during the hearings, the 11-hour hearing and the fog of this, a lot of changing information within the first day or two.  The President in the United States in the Rose Garden said "act of terror" the next day.  

Two days later in Detroit, on the campaign trail, he said "act of terror."

BARTIROMO:  No, no, we're talking Hillary Clinton --

COLMES:  -- I'm talking about what was known and not known.  And the focus on what the terminology was or what the language is it totally ignores what they should be focusing on.

ROLLINS:  There is a difference between saying it was a video that got these people stirred up and a terrorist act and she knew it was a terrorist act, she told her daughter three hours after it happened and it is spinning.  And basically spinning is what this White House is --

COLMES:  They knew it was a terrorist act.  

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES:  The investigation by Mike Mullen, that included Ambassador Pickering, said it was a video, it was part of it.  "The New York Times" investigation said the video was part of it.

BARTIROMO:  We know it wasn't a video.

COLMES:  And by the way, to me, again, this is not your main -- to what will help security in the future, what will prevent this from happening down the road, they're focusing on all the wrong things.

BARTIROMO:  Yes, they're focusing on Hillary.  They're focusing on whether or not she lied to the American people.

COLMES:  And they don't care about the four dead Americans.  They're using -- those Americans to hit her over the head.

ROLLINS:  I think that's total B.S.  They do care about the Americans.

COLMES:  It doesn't sound like it from they way --

ROLLINS:  The first hard questions about the security, she didn't offer any changes that should that occur in the future.  I mean she's still secretary of state for a period of time after that.  And she should have said, listen, we made a mistake here, we didn't respond to his needs, how do we fix it for the future.  This is what this is all about.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES:  -- talking about Sydney Blumenthal and emails --

MARK OKADA, HIGHLAND CAPITAL MANAGEMENT:  -- and think about what the markets are -- or saying what the markets really think about this.

BARTIROMO:  And the investors.

(CROSSTALK)

OKADA:  Certainly, investors care about civility and confidence and there is a lot of geopolitical instability going on in the world because we're pulling back really as a country.  We're looking more inward.  

I think that's the bigger message that is going on to the markets about things like this.  And it is not a good message.  It creates much more instability in a lot of markets and I think markets really are watching this carefully but with an jaundiced eye as to whether we'll get to the right outcome.

BARTIROMO:  We'll see what else comes out.  

Westmoreland said he wants to speak to Petraeus and other people relative to the incident that day.  I don't know if anything else will come out.

COLMES:  They've had months to do it, then.  

Why haven't they called him in yet?

ROLLINS:  Maria, I've watched 50 years -- 50 years of these kinds of hearings and they always fail. You started with Watergate, which was somewhat successful. The Fred Thompson hearings into the Chinese investing in the Clinton campaign was a bust. The Iran-Contra hearings made a star out of Ollie North.

These hearings are very, very difficult, and the members of Congress don't understand that it's like you're beating up on someone, and I think, to a certain extent, the Democrats are prepared, as Westmoreland said, they stay on message. And they did it very well the other day.

COLMES:  And they just announced a select hearing to look into Planned Parenthood now, another mistake, I think, by this Republican Congress.

BARTIROMO:  All right. Let's get with Howie Kurtz. He's also talking about Benghazi, coming up at the top of the hour. Howard Kurtz on "MediaBuzz."

Howie, good morning to you.

HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST, "MEDIABUZZ":  Good morning, and that's exactly right. We're going to drill down on the divide in the coverage between those who say the hearing produced important information and those who say it was a flop.

We'll also look at the mainstream media finally grudgingly acknowledging that Donald Trump could win this GOP nomination and the huge embarrassment of all the pundits and pontificators and journalists who all but predicted that Joe Biden would run for president up until the moment he did not.

BARTIROMO:  Yeah. We'll talk about that as well. Really interesting how they are falling pretty quickly now, Webb, Chafee, Biden, out.

All right. We'll see you at the top of the hour, Howie. Thank you.

Wisconsin Congressman, of course, Paul Ryan, officially entertaining the race for House speaker, but only after laying out certain conditions. We'll look at how his fellow lawmakers feel about that as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment with our panel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO:  Paul Ryan officially enters the race for House Speaker, the Wisconsin congressman making his decision after getting the backing of several groups of GOP lawmakers, this after his laying out certain conditions that he said needed to be met, these conditions being praised by some but irking others.

We're back with our panel, Ed Rollins, Alan Colmes and Mark Okada.

Mark, let me kick it off with you because I felt like this most recent rally in stocks last week, 300 points, was partly optimism that Paul Ryan would be the guy. Because we know that he will probably push for tax reform. He's a policy wonk. He's going to get the economic issues done, not take us over the cliff. Am I right on that?

OKADA:  You're absolutely right. I mean, I'm a big Paul Ryan fan. He's a family man. I've got -- I've been blessed to have five children and I think that's a positive thing to have someone like him leading the House at this point. And the markets are -- are looking forward to the debt ceiling and the extension here. And I think the markets are saying, well, we've got a good -- a good person in the role now to make sure that that happens.

But we'll see. Right? There -- there has certainly been a truce and some -- some strength here and the markets are anticipating that. But -- but it's real early here, so...

BARTIROMO:  Well, we're going to probably learn on -- on Thursday. or Wednesday night. How do you see it, Alan?

COLMES:  Well, you've got a bunch of people in the Freedom Caucus that probably would love to shut down the government and don't care as much about...

OKADA:  That's not going to happen.

COLMES:  It's not going to happen...

OKADA:  That's not going to...

COLMES:  ... but they probably would like it to happen. There will be a short honeymoon period for Paul Ryan, now that his list of demands -- no green M&Ms -- you know, have been met. But, at some point, probably, the Freedom Caucus, I'm guessing...

(CROSSTALK)

OKADA:  ... green M&Ms, Alan.

(LAUGHTER)

COLMES:  All right. But I really think, at some point...

(LAUGHTER)

I say no blue M&Ms.

OKADA:  OK.

COLMES:  But I think at some point, they're going to, you know, give him a hard time, and it's not -- it's not a job he really wanted. He was seduced into it.

BARTIROMO:  You think the Freedom Caucus will give him...

COLMES:  Yeah, the Freedom Caucus...

(CROSSTALK)

BARTIROMO:  Well, Mark Meadows was pretty, I thought, even-ended on that. What do you think?

ROLLINS:  Well, I'm a big Paul Ryan fan, have been for a long time. And I think the potential is there for him to be a superb speaker. But he's going to have problems. He's the only guy in my lifetime who has ever become the speaker without going up to the ranks, Democrat or Republican. So it's -- and he still has the leadership team that was Boehner's leadership team. He still has the problems.

His whole bid of, you know, don't let one guy stand up and demand my vote. No one's been voted out that way. So it's a ridiculous charge. The more important thing is, if he's out there basically going home every weekend, which is admirable, and he should be able to do that, and he's not raising hundreds of millions of dollars that Democrat -- or Republicans need, and Democrats are doing on the other side, they will criticize him if they lose seats in the House, which is a real possibility.

So my sense is two things that are going to get stopped. I think he could have got a tax bill through. I don't know if anybody else can get a tax bill through today.

BARTIROMO:  Exactly...

ROLLINS:  And that's a big, big thing -- and the highway bill and those kinds of things.

(CROSSTALK)

OKADA:  ... very good, really strong. The fiscal drag has cost the economy 100 basis points. A hundred basis points is a massive number. That's a third of our GDP. And this has happened since 2009.

BARTIROMO:  And you're saying the fiscal drag meaning the inaction?

OKADA:  That's right.

BARTIROMO:  Inability to get anything done.

OKADA:  Washington not leading. Well, if we got a tax deal; if we got something that was pro-growth, then certainly that would be great for every American.

BARTIROMO:  Yeah, which is why I think the markets rallied; I really do.

All right. Let me ask you about Jeb Bush. Because Jeb Bush, Ed Rollins, is ordering across-the-board salary cuts to his staff. He's canceling some campaign events. An internal Bush campaign memo says the former Florida governor is still in it for the long haul, but it's getting tougher and tougher for Jeb Bush.

And then we saw Jim Webb, Chafee -- Webb, Chafee and Biden, all out on the Democratic side this -- this week.

ROLLINS:  Before a voter has cast a vote, we've lost about six candidates, including a couple governors. Jeb has to have a great debate this week. And Jeb basically has to get some fire in his system here to make people believe that he really could be the nominee of this party -- long, hard way to go here.

What's happening is these guys created these SuperPACs. And he's got $100 million sitting in California with his -- Mike Murphy, his best aide, where he's running out of money in Florida. This is what happened to Walker and this is what happened -- the SuperPACs are not working. SuperPAC is the frosting on the cake. You've got to build the cake. And they're all basically building these big establishment candidates wherever their campaign is, as opposed to getting ready in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina.

BARTIROMO:  Yeah, it's funny because they say -- you know, they're criticizing SuperPACs for all the money and the influence. And yet...

(CROSSTALK)

BARTIROMO:  ... look at all the money Jeb Bush has and he's at the bottom of the list, Alan?

COLMES:  If you can't manage the finances of a campaign, how are you going to manage the country, if you can't run a campaign fiscally properly?

And here's a guy who just said over the weekend -- what did he say yesterday? "I've got other many very cool things I could be doing besides running for president." OK, go do 'em -- you know, like he's doing us a favor by running. That's a ridiculous thing to say.

BARTIROMO:  What about Jim Webb, Chafee, Biden, all out? Thoughts there?

COLMES:  All helps Hillary Clinton.

BARTIROMO:  All helps Hillary Clinton?

ROLLINS:  Yeah, I mean, Biden was the only one who could be a serious challenger. I don't think he could have beat her, but I think he could have been a serious challenger. And I think she now has a clear path. She's basically got -- she can get more center-left than she was before because Sanders is the only person who's going to be on stage debating her, and he's such a socialist left-winger that she looks good by comparison.

BARTIROMO:  All right. We'll take a short break; then the CEO of a drug company under fire for charging $750 for a single pill. He defends his decision. What this says about government regulation and how this is playing into presidential politics, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO:  Welcome back. Senator Bernie Sanders rejecting a campaign donation last week from the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who dramatically increased the price of a life-saving AIDS drug from about $18 a pill to $750 per pill. The CEO told me on Friday on my Fox Business program, "Mornings With Maria," "Sanders will do anything for a vote." He defended his decision over that increase in the price.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN SHKRELI, CEO, TURING PHARMACEUTICALS:  Put yourselves in the shoes of someone who has this illness. This drug is 70 years old and it has terrible side effects and it's not that effective. By taking the price up, we can actually afford to do real research to make a better drug. If you were a patient that had this illness, you wouldn't want a 70-year-old drug. Most people don't want a six-month-old cell phone. So for me, I think it's -- it's imperative for us to actually make the drug at a price that makes sense for us and is affordable to patients.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO:  This interview last week on the Fox Business Network on "Mornings With Maria," Ed, really was stunning for me. Because anybody looking at that story would call this guy a profiteer, by taking the price from $18 to $750. Then, again, what about private money investing in R&D? How are we going to get the next Alzheimer's drug if we're not...

ROLLINS:  I -- I agree with all that. The whole pharmaceutical industry and what they have to do and how they have to raise the money is a very complicated issue. But he has become the whipping boy in this political environment in which you've got someone like Bernie Sanders, who's out there; he's going to -- we have a very anti-business community running for politics on the Republican side and the Democratic side. So he's going to be the epitome of why we have to stop these guys and regulate these guys, which I think is all wrong.

BARTIROMO:  And then Hillary Clinton was -- it was the tweet that was heard around the world, Alan, where she basically came out and suggested, look, the government needs to get involved and put caps on prices?

COLMES:  We can't always depend upon the free market. And somebody else comes up with a drug, a similar drug, for $1, right, which is a great thing and would indicate maybe the free market can work. But we know that -- do we know that that drug can help all of those people who would otherwise have to pay $750? It's got different components in it. Can we -- people will still be suffering...

BARTIROMO:  So do you think that the government should regulate prices of drugs then?

COLMES:  In situations like this, absolutely. You can't depend upon the free market always, when some profiteer, as you say, comes and does something like that.

BARTIROMO:  I just want to say, there is no drug to return neurons to your head, OK? There's no drug to cure Alzheimer's. If someone's working on an Alzheimer's drug, I don't know what that would cost. But that's the point, you're not going to get private money investing in R&D.

COLMES:  They'll make the money back if they did that -- they'll certainly make the money back, if they're the only drug on the market.

BARTIROMO:  Not if the government is telling them how they can price it.

COLMES:  If they're the only drug that's available, people are going to buy it and they're going to make money.

BARTIROMO:  Mark?

OKADA:  You -- there's a great example here of the market working, right? You have this $1 replacement drug. And so I really think that regulation is not the answer. And the stock market has rolled over especially health care stocks. There are very few health stocks that are in an uptrend because of this dynamic. And if you do this, and if you change the regulatory aspect for drug pricing, you are going to hurt R&D. It is not a very positive event. And I wish this guy would stop talking like this because it's not -- it's not helping.

BARTIROMO:  Right, well...

ROLLINS:  The federal government is investing 50 cents out of every dollar in health care, paying for the costs. They're going to try and regulate. And this guy just gives them an example of why they should, and I think it's totally wrong.

BARTIROMO:  It's a big week next week. We've got a two-day Fed meeting. Will the Fed raise rates? We've got the GDP report, durable goods, and a whole host of earnings out. We're going to talk about that, the one thing to watch in the week ahead, with our panel, next, "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO:  Back with our panel. The big thing to watch in the week ahead.

Mark, you're watching the manufacturing data, the Chicago PMI out on Friday.

You're watching the debate, big debate for the GOP.

And, of course, you're watching the House speaker race. We'll find out on Thursday.

Thanks for being here. I'll see you next week. That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures."  Have a great Sunday, and I'll see you on "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network, next week.

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