Rep. Michael McCaul on protecting the homeland from terror; Ben Carson responds to claims he's weak on foreign policy

Insight from the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee


This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," December 6, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


Another mass shooting rocks America.  We'll have the latest on the investigation.  


JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR:  This is now a federal terrorism investigation led by the FBI.  

DAVID BOWDICH, FBI ASST DIRECTOR, LA OFFICE:  We uncovered evidence of explosives, multiple apartments, high powered weapons.  

WALLACE:  Fourteen dead, 21 wounded.  We'll have live updates from the crime scene and Washington about the killers and their motives.  

And we’ll ask Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee if there's any way to stop these kinds of attacks.  

Then --

DR. BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We need to be able to combat these things.  Otherwise, we will melt into despair.  

WALLACE:  Dr. Ben Carson reacts to the shooting.  Critics who say he's weak on foreign policy and his falling poll numbers.  It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.  

And our panel analyzes how the growing threat here and overseas is reshaping the race for president.  

Plus, our power player of the week -- teaching high school students about cooking and life.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It's about making a commitment and showing up every day that you're supposed to show up.  

WALLACE:  All right now on "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE:  And hello again from Fox News in Washington.  

President Obama addresses the nation tonight on how his administration intends to keep the country safe in the wake of the San Bernardino attack.  The FBI is now investigating the massacre as the deadliest act of terror on American soil since 9/11.  

We'll speak with the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul, in a moment.  

But, first, we have Fox team coverage.  Will Carr at one of the crime scenes in California.  And Kevin Corke at the White House -- Kevin.  

KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Chris, good day to you.  

For the first time in over five days, the president will address the president from the oval office.  And address we are told that could last about 20 minutes.  And we are told by the officials that he simply wants to reassure the American people that their safety and security remain his top priority.  

Now, we expect the president to highlight increasing security cooperation among agencies here and abroad.  And, of course, he'll once again call for what he likes to call sensible gun reform legislation.  

And we got a bit of a tip of the hand on that in listening to his weekly address.  


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Right now, people on the no-fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun.  That's insane.  If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous by definition to buy a gun.  


CORKE:  No surprise The New York Times walking in step with the White House on this writing in an editorial, "It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment.  No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation."

Meanwhile, the president's national security team convened in the Situation Room yesterday breaking down, of course, the very latest intelligence on the attack.  Though the White House in a statement said that they, quote, "As of yet uncovered no indication the killers were part of an organized group or formed part of a broader terrorist cell."  Although ISIS is claiming that the two is operating in support of their group.  

What is less clear, however, Chris, is why it took the White House so much longer than the FBI to determine that this was, in fact, a terrorist act.  We could learn a lot more about that tonight -- Chris.

WALLACE:  Kevin Corke reporting from the White House -- Kevin, thanks for that.  

Now, let's bring in Will Carr in Redlands, California, the scene of the investigation -- Will.  

WILL CARR, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Chris, authorities are trying to figure out how the two suspected terrorists flew under the radar into a southern California neighborhood.  On Saturday, federal authorities raided a home in nearby Riverside, California.  We are told the resident Enrique Marquez is a former neighbor of Syed Farook, and Marquez may have legally purchased semiautomatic weapons used in Wednesday’s shooting.  

Authorities say Marquez has not been charged.  And now, there are reports he checked himself into a mental health facility.  Now, the focus of a federal terrorism investigation has checked into Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, the 29-year-old mother who along with Farook collected a cache of weapons, ammunition and IEDs inside of their apartment in Redland.  

Some neighbors noticed suspicious activity in the couple's garage for a couple weeks but did not call the authorities because they did not want to racially profile.  Federal authorities now say Malik pledged her allegiance to ISIS on Facebook the day of the shooting.  We are learning she may have been the one who radicalized Farook and sources say she may have been the family bomb-maker.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think the female assailant at this point may have been angry to marry someone with a clean record so she could bring terrorism to the United States.  


CARR:  Malik was born and educated in Pakistan, spent time in Saudi Arabia.  She met Farook online and came to the United States in 2014.  She was granted her conditional green card this past July.  The investigation continues and the community is remembering the 14 lives lost.

We'll be listening intently to the president's address -- Chris.

WALLACE:  Will Carr reporting from Redlands, California -- Will, thank you.  

Joining us now, Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.  

Congressman, what have you thought of President Obama's response so far to the San Bernardino attack and what would you like to hear him say in a speech to the nation tonight?  

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS, CHAIR, HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE:  Well, first, he seemed to indicate going back to the fact that this could be an act of workplace violence.  He has to get off this rhetoric.  

Make no mistake: this is not workplace violence.  It was an act of terrorism and these occurrences are happening too frequently.  

I think the tentacles of ISIS now are not only in Europe but also in the United States of America.  And the FBI, you know, stats show that.  We have 70 ISIS-related arrests, more than one per week, a thousand investigations in all 50 states.  

I wanted to tell the truth to the American people about what the threat really is and what the threat itself is, and that's radical Islamist terrorism.  It does exist in the United States.  

We didn't see this one coming.  There were no warning signs or flags.  And we need to do a better job identifying the signs of radicalization from within the United States.  We also need to stop the foreign fighter from traveling overseas into the United States.  Those are the two main threat vectors.  

And, Chris, we're just not doing an adequate job to adequately protect the American people.  

WALLACE:  Let's turn to the investigation.  This is what we heard on Friday from FBI Director James Comey.  


COMEY:  The investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers and of a potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organization.  


WALLACE:  Chairman, is there anything more you can tell us about this couple and about their links to terrorists either in this country or overseas?  

MCCAUL:  Well, I think the wild card here is the wife Malik.  She is -- they are both of Pakistani descent, but she lived in Pakistan most of her adult life, went to Saudi Arabia, they hooked up over the Internet.  There's a serious investigation ongoing into what she was doing in Pakistan and in Saudi, including if she attended the red mosque in Islamabad, which is a very radicalized mosque.  

We think that she had a lot to do with the radicalization process and perhaps with Mr. Farook's radicalization from within in the United States.  


WALLACE:  I’m sorry, sir, let me can if I can go down a checklist of questions that a lot of people are asking.  Your sense at this point, were they inspired or directed by ISIS or some other group to carry out these attacks?  

MCCAUL:  Well, at a minimum, inspired.  I mean, we know that Malik, the female, pledged her allegiance to al Baghdadi and ISIS in a Facebook posting.  

We have the computers.  We have the devices.  We are currently going through the forensics.  They tried to destroy those computers unsuccessfully.  

And now, the investigation is ongoing to find out what is precisely the connection between ISIS, say, in Raqqa and in the United States, and what was going on.  

I believe at a minimum inspired but very well could be directed by these Internet communications which is simply this, Chris -- come to Syria or kill where you are.  

WALLACE:  When you talk about the connections, one of the questions a lot of people are asking is, where did they get the thousands of dollars that must have taken to assemble this huge arsenal of weapons and ammunition and material for bombs?

MCCAUL:  You're right.  We are looking at the terrorist financing aspect to this case.  I believe on his salary, he was not able to buy this on his own.  We know that one of the suspects was providing the semiautomatic weapons to him as well.  

So, that's all part of the bigger investigation in terms of who was providing, not only the finance but also the expertise.  It's been reported they had a bomb-making factory, if you will, inside their home.  They had already built 12 pipe bombs ready to use.  And who knows what the next target could have been.  

WALLACE:  As the head of the House Homeland Security, obviously, one of the questions you’ve got to be asking is why didn't we find this out?  We're talking about an American citizen.  It seems to have come under the radar.  

As you look at this, several days into this incident, any sign of an intelligence failure, an intelligence gap that was exploited?  Or is this just something that we couldn't find?  

MCCAUL: Well, that's something we'll be looking at on the committee, the oversight, to see what could have been missed.  Could we have done a better national security check over in Saudi Arabia on the female suspect to find out what her background really was before we let her in on a fiancée visa?  

These are a lot of things in Congress, I came up with a task force report to strengthen foreign travel.  But also to deal with combating violent extremism, Islamic extremism in the United States, we have a little priority or focus on these programs.  And I think we need to do a much better job trying to identify the early warning signs of radicalization inside the United States.  

WALLACE:  But I guess at some point you just can't do it, and that's the question I’m asking as someone who is charged with protecting the homeland, is it possible to stop, he's an American citizen, he had no law enforcement record, no evident ties to terror, yes, there was the wife and that's certainly a question.  Is it possible that sometimes you just can't spot these terrorists before they strike?  

MCCAUL:  That's right.  You just can't stop it all.  And we stopped the Garland, Fourth of July plot.  We stopped a lot of bad things from happening, Chris, but you just can't stop it all when you have 2,000 ISIS tweets per day on the Internet coming into the United States to kill.  There were no flags, warning signs in this particular case.  

But the volume is so high and the chatter is so high that it's almost impossible to stop it all.  And I think that is what we are ramping up our efforts, but you can't be right every time.  

WALLACE:  Let's go through in the time we have left of a list of possible reforms, I want to get from you whether you think they are good ideas or not.  As you pointed out earlier, the wife Malik came in through a K1 so-called "Fiancée Visa".  Do we need to end those?  

MCCAUL:  Well, I think more scrutiny needs to be placed on the national security investigation to get that visa.  As you know on the floor on Tuesday, we'll be voting to a visa waiver program bill that will tighten up the restrictions so that people that have basically have those visa waiver countries -- for instance, the French attackers have a French passport wouldn't have to get a visa to come into the United States.  

That's vitally important.  And the majority of the attackers --

WALLACE:  Can I just quickly ask you about that because I think a lot of you may not know, for all the talk about the refugees, for all the talk about the fiancée visa.  In 38 countries, a lot of them in Europe, there's a visa waiver.  They can come into this country, a lot of them come as tourists, hundreds of thousands of them come without any screening at all.  

Does that have to stop?  

MCCAUL:  Well, it does.  And that's what our bill fixes on Tuesday, 5,000 of these foreign fighters that have gone to Syria and Iraq have Western passports.  And therefore do not have to obtain a visa before they come into the United States.  

Now, Chris, this is a huge security gap.  It needs to be addressed and fixed and the Congress understands that, as does the White House, and we intend to do that.  But if you think again about the majority of the Paris attackers have French or other European passports, they wouldn't have had to go get a visa before coming to the United States.  That's a threat to the homeland, it's a threat to Europe, obviously, but the bigger threat to the homeland is the ease of travel visa waiver to get into the United States.  

WALLACE:  Another area you were one of the majority in Congress who voted to end the NSA's bulk collection of phone data, the fact that my phone number called your phone number and spoke for X number of minutes.  And that program ran out last Sunday, a week ago.  

As a result of that, that means that authorities are going to have access to only the last two years of Farook's phone records, but now, the previous three years because they have five years in their file, the previous three years, those years in their files are now off limits.  Was it a mistake to end the NSA phone data collection program?  

MCCAUL:  Basically what we did is we took -- I was a former federal prosecutor, I did FISA warrants, and what we did is would go to the phone companies to get that information, rather than have all the information warehoused under the federal government.  

And so, I think it's coming back to a system that worked in the past.  It's just going to the private sector to get that information and not taking all that data and warehousing it under the NSA.  

I’m sure there will be debates in the Congress further about this.  I feel confident about our ability to track terrorists through court orders and getting into these phone records.  

What I’m more worried about, Chris, is this dark space phenomenon of communications between terrorists from Raqqa into the United States, or Raqqa to Paris or Belgium, even with a court order, we can't see the encrypted communications they are using.  And if you can't see what the terrorists are saying, you can't stop it.  And that's one of the biggest challenges before the FBI today.  

WALLACE:  Finally, Chairman McCaul, I want to end where I began because one of the things that struck me in your initial answer about what you want to hear from the president tonight is you said you want him to tell the truth.  You don't think he's been telling the truth to the American people?  

MCCAUL:  Well, you know, before Paris he said, ISIS was contained.  Before San Bernardino, he said that America was safe from ISIS, was not an existential threat, it’s what he said in his own words.  

He seems to downplay this threat all throughout his campaign narrative into his presidency, and I think the American people deserve to know what the truth really is.  And we also want to hear from him a military strategy to finally defeat and destroy ISIS, drain the swamp to the swamps in Syria so they can't come into the United States.  And San Bernardino is an example of the swamp coming to the United States.  

WALLACE:  Chairman McCaul, we're going to have to leave it there.  Thank you.  Thank you so much for your time today.  

MCCAUL:  Thanks, Chris.  Thanks for having me.  

Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the San Bernardino attack and how President Obama will try to reassure the nation.  

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about what we can do to protect the homeland?  Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.  



OBAMA:  We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.  

It is possible that this was terrorist related.  But we don't know.  

It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror.  


WALLACE:  President Obama's evolving reaction this week to the San Bernardino massacre.  Tonight, he'll address the nation about how he intends to confront the terror threat.  

And it's time now for our Sunday group: Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, Julie Pace who covers the White House for "The Associated Press", syndicated columnist George Will, and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams.  

Well, Julie, as soon as you heard the president was going to be speaking tonight, I’m sure you were busy working your sources at the White House.  What do you expect him to say and is there a chance he’ll announce some kind of dramatic change, some dramatic escalation in the war on terror?

JULIE PACE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:  To your last question -- no.  It doesn’t sound like there’s going to be any kind of major policy announcement.  Nothing in terms of troop deployment or major shift in strategy for going after the Islamic State either abroad or trying to track people who have been radicalized in the U.S.

I think that more broadly, this is an attempt by the president to acknowledge that for a lot of Americans, after the attacks in Paris and now in California that the terror threat feels much more real, much more closer to home than it has previously.  So, I think that some of this is going to be him talking about it in a way that I think a lot of people hoped he would have talked about it previously.

And also to show that he does take this seriously.  The optics of this are important.  The president hasn't delivered an Oval Office address to the nation since 2010.  He has often kinds of eschewed the optics of the job.  And this is a way for him to show people visually he understands that this is something that people are taking very seriously.  

WALLACE:  To the degree that he was behind the curve of a lot of Americans this week where he was talking about workplace violence and gun control and seem a lot slower than the average American to come to the conclusion this was an act of terror, is this a belated effort to get ahead of the curve?  

PACE:  It is a bit.  I mean, I think that this is part of a pattern with this president.  He is often very cautious in his initial statements.  He thinks that's the right approach, but you can often see that over the course of a couple days or week the president will typically end up where Americans are, and where a lot of his critics frankly have wanted him to be from the start.  

WALLACE:  We asked you for questions for the panel and we got this on Facebook from Renee Trotter.  She writes, "We know there was a suspicious neighbor who was afraid to call authorities due to fear of being labeled a racist.  Similar occurrences happen with Major Hassan before he shot numerous people at Ft. Hood."

Brit, how do you answer Renee when it comes to this issue of political correctness, and what do expect or hope to hear from the president tonight?  

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, it's a good question.  And I think in this politically correct culture in which we all inhabit, "if you see something, say something" doesn't work very well because people are afraid and understandably so.  

It would be good if the president could say, you know, we're not going to be so exquisitely sensitive to every person's feelings that we are discouraging people from coming forward and reporting something that's worrisome so them.  That would help a lot.  I mean, if something has an apartment or house that's a virtual arm camp, people who notice such things should not be afraid to report to the authorities and find out what it's all about.  But that, I’m afraid, is where we are.  

WALLACE:  You know, as the president was on his initial discussion of this treating it as another mass shooting, he raised the issue of gun control.  

And on Saturday, in The New York Times, they ran a front page editorial for the first time since 1920 under the headline "The Gun Epidemic."  They write, "It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that people can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill with brutal speed and efficiency.  These are weapons of war."

George, your thoughts?  

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  Well, leaving aside the fact that some of us think "The New York Times" editorializes on the front page daily, and leaving aside the last time they did was June 1920 when they deplored the nomination of Warren G. Harding who went on to win 60 percent of the popular vote, leave that aside.  

When they talk about weapons of war, I think the most readers of that editorial and perhaps the authors of it think that the weapons in use here what are called assault weapons fire more than one bullet per pull of the trigger in a constant burst.  Those are called machine guns and they have been illegal in this country since 1934.  In fact, the American people assume by voting at the polling booth for defenders of the First or Second Amendment, but also, they voted with their feet by going to gun stores.  And what they want is control of their own guns.  

This year on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, 185,000 Americans got background checks for firearms.  That's a one-day record in this country.  So, the American people have made clear what they think about the Second Amendment and the usefulness of owning guns.  

WALLACE:  And this was before San Bernardino, we should point out.  

Juan, the fact is, when you talk about gun control, California has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but law enforcement says that all of the guns, all of the ammunition that this couple assembled, and it was an arsenal, was all bought legally.  

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST:  In fact, it was bought legally.  Two were bought by the friends, not by the couple, so they had four guns in all.  But the guns were modified, Chris, in such a way to allow them to fire repeatedly in a so-called bullet button thing where they can -- instead of being able to do it manually they just push a button and can we load so quickly.  

You know, in response to what George was saying, though, George, it's clear to most Americans including most gun owners favor some kind of background checks for all purchases.  And in California they have almost universal background checks, but in this case you're looking at a situation where these folks were able to amass so much in terms of the ammunition and guns, you know, without people understanding what they were doing even their relatives.  And I think that's troublesome to me.  

I’m troubled by the idea that even in the Senate last Thursday, they proposed what you heard the president mention in the sound bite that people in the no-fully list shouldn't be able to buy guns.  And the Senate can't deal with it.  The Senate can’t deal with background checks.  Again, it’s all bi-party, Republicans I think totally tied up with the NRA and political support coming from the NRA, refuse to do anything about background checks.  

WALLACE:  You know, Brit, some would argue that this wasn’t another mass shooting, this was a terrorist attack and so, therefore, you shouldn't just judge it as the president seemed to initially, like another Newtown or another, you know, shooting at a movie theater.  

Having said that, there was a fascinating debate over mass shootings that we saw this week.  According to one definition, we have more than one mass shooting a day.  There were 355 in San Bernardino in 337 days.  

On the other hand, there’s other analysis that says, if you look at it different, that we are eighth in the world when it comes to just being behind lawless countries like Norway and Belgium. So, there seems, and in fact, by all measures, gun violence has gone down dramatically in this country.  

HUME:  That's the critical point here.  As gun ownership has blossomed and the Second Amendment seems to have collected more and more adherence, gun violence -- overall gun violence is down.  And not only is that the case, it is also the case that the prescriptions for, quote, "sensible gun control" that are being advanced now in the wake of these shootings, do not include anything that would have, as far as I know, would have stopped this attack.  

So, people are coming forward with unpopular solution that is have proved a dead end politically for the Democratic Party repeatedly that wouldn't solve the problem.  

WILLIAMS:  But don't you think that's the case, most states that have stricter gun control have lower incidences of death homicide by guns?  There's some relationship there, and, Chris, isn't it a relationship that the United States among all Western industrialized countries has this outstanding rate of murder by gun?  

WALLACE:  Well, actually, it turns out in terms of mass shootings, which is what we're specifically talking about here, it doesn't.  If you look at it per capita and you take out gang violence, which is -- well, it's a different deal.  

WILLIAMS:  I’m just saying.  


WALLACE:  It's a different deal.  We're behind Norway and Belgium.  So it’s not at all clear that there's a pattern here of such rampant gun violence.  

WILLIAMS:  I think if I’m dead I don't care, if it's a terrorist or the kid on the corner, I don't want to be dead.  

WALLACE:  All right, panel.  I think I -- we all agree, we don't want to be dead.  

We have to take a break here.  We'll see you all a little later.  

Up next, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson takes a tumble in the polls as he defends his foreign policy knowledge.  

Plus, what do you think?  Which presidential candidate would best handle the war on terror?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and use the #fns.


WALLACE:  Coming up, Dr. Ben Carson returns to the U.S. after meeting with Syrian refugees in Jordan.  He faces new challenges, sliding poll numbers and more criticism over his grasp of foreign policy.  Can he convince critics he’s fit to be commander in chief?  We’ll ask him, next.


WALLACE:  A look outside the beltway at Buffalo, New York.  Snowless this time of year for the first time since 1899.

Let the climate change debate begin.  One month ago Dr. Ben Carson was riding high on the polls in a virtual tie with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, but after terror attacks overseas and at home, Carson's poll numbers have dropped and that growing doubts about his readiness to be commander and chief.  

Joining me now is presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson.  And welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

CARSON:  Thank you, Chris.  

WALLACE:  If you were addressing the nation tonight, if it was President Carson, what would you tell the American people and how would you say you're going to keep this country safe?

CARSON:  Well, I would say, first of all, that traditionally our unity has been our strength.  And we have to stop listening to the purveyors of division and hatred and recognize that.  I would also say that we are a very exceptional people.  When you look at what we have done in the past, you know, we declared our independence in 1776 and less than 100 years for the number one economic power in the world.  And look at the positive influences that we have had throughout the world since that time.  So now is not a time for fear, but a time for rational thought processing.

As far as the radical Islamic jihadist terrorists are concerned, we need not count on to them.  This is America.  And we need to have a definitive and powerful strategy to defeat them, which will include understanding how they work and why they have been successful.  And then attacking those things.  You know, for instance, having established a caliphate.  How do we take that away from there?  Where do they get their money from?  We have to take that away from them.  Their ability to transfer money, we have to take that away from them.  And looking at where their Command Central headquarters is, in Raqqah.  You know, there are four ways in and out of Raqqah.  We need to take advantage of being able to shut those off and create difficulty for them.  And when they flee from there, we chase them to wherever else they go.  And we keep them on the run.  

WALLACE:  But Dr. Carson --

CARSON:  And we fight them.

WALLACE:  Let me.

CARSON:  That's what we do.

WALLACE:  Well, let me ask you, though, specifically about this, this case, I understand that's a broad strategy against ISIS.  You're talking here about an American citizen, his wife came in on a visa, she had been screened, some will say effectively or not, they bought all these guns legally.  So how do you stop this couple from being able to go into that Christmas party and slaughter everybody?

CARSON:  Well, first of all, you need to recognize that there is no magic bullet.  It's going to be a conglomerate of things that we're going to have to do.  First of all, we have to teach everyone the importance of vigilance.  And not being afraid to report something.  Even if you get nine false alarms, if one of them turns out to be positive, it's worth it.  And we have to stop demonizing people who are trying to be good citizens.  I think the other thing that we are going to have to do is do a much better job of monitoring the Internet.  And the things that cause people to be radicalized.  There's absolutely no reason that we shouldn't be putting out counter messages and no reason that we shouldn't be attacking their servers and trying to disrupt their messaging when we see that it is radicalizing people.

Some people say that's dirty pool.  But we're playing against dirty people, so dirty pool is okay in that situation.  But we have to be just as tough in our resolve as they are.  

WALLACE:  Doctor, as I said in introducing you, you have seen a dramatic slip in the polls.  And the reason seems clear.  I want to put one up.  In a Quinnipiac poll a month ago, this was before the Paris attack, 64 percent of Republicans said you have the right kind of experience to be president.  30 percent said you didn't.  But now, 42 percent say you have the right experience and 46 percent say no.  That's a 22-point drop on this issue in just -- in less than a month.  And I guess the question is, how do you persuade the American people that at a time of terror, at a time of domestic threat you're fit to be commander-in-chief?

CARSON:  Well, by continuing to talk about what I've been talking about for months.  And that is logical policies for how we work things out.  If people actually listen to what I have been saying, they will see that it makes perfectly good sense.  But the nice thing is, this is a marathon, it's not a sprint.  Otherwise, you know, it would already be over.  So, we have plenty of time to get messages out and to talk to people.  And I believe that the American people are smart enough to recognize that we're in a very different time right now.  And it's not necessarily the one who shouts, the loudest.  It's not necessarily the one who claims to have all this great experience.

The fact of the matter is, there's nobody running who has a great deal of international experience, except for Hillary Clinton and you see where that has led.  So that's not necessarily the thing that has to count.  You have to look at a person's lifetime experiences.  Have they been a person who's been able to solve complex problems?  Have they been a person who's able to work with a lot of people and make wise decisions?  Because it is critical that the next president be the right person.  They are going to get two or three Supreme Court picks.  It's going to determine the direction of our country.  We, the people, are going to have to make that decision.  

WALLACE:  But Dr. Carson, here's an example of the problem that you now face, whether it's fair or not.  You spoke this week before the Republican Jewish Coalition and here's how it began.  


CARSON:  I normally am a spontaneous speaker, but I want to make sure I get all my points in today so I will actually be using a script.  


WALLACE:  You then read from prepared remarks for half an hour.  You were the only candidate who didn't take any questions.  And then there was this.  


CARSON:  Fatah and Hamas operate in a constant state of conflict.  Fatah rules the West Bank, Hamas rules the Gaza Strip.


WALLACE:  Afterwards Ari Fleischer, who's a member of the RJC board and, of course, was former Bush press 43, press secretary, he tweeted this, "Someone should have told him how to pronounce Hamas.  He sounds like he's not familiar with the group."  Question, how do you respond?  And you read it over the last couple of days, how do you respond to all the criticism of your speech, sir?

CARSON:  Well, I expect everything that I say to be criticized.  There are also some very positive remarks about it.  I don't expect anybody to hear about that.  You know, we need to get to the point where we start looking at the substance of what is being said.  Not the style in which it's being said.  You know, that's the sign of maturity.  And I actually believe that the people of this country are going to recognize that.  They know what has happened traditionally when people try to manipulate everything and steer the conversation in their direction and try to manipulate people's opinions.  But, you know, all I have to say is, let's wait and see.  

WALLACE:  I have always been told, and I say this - I've said on the air many times you and I are friends, and I have great respect for you, I've always been told that a good doctor is never threatened if you ask for a second opinion.  He welcomes that, because he wants to do the best for the patient.  Is it possible that with the change focus of this campaign, with the, you know, with the attacks in Paris and now in San Bernardino and the increased emphasis on foreign policy experience and being commander in chief, that maybe you're not the right fit at this point?

CARSON:  Well, you know what I would say to that, Chris, is I think of all the people running, I've probably had the most experience making critical life and death decisions.  Probably far more 2:00 a.m. calls than anybody else.  And I have a record of solving complex problems.  And let's let the American people decide whether that is the right combination or maybe the right combination is somebody who has spent a lot of time talking about stuff.  We'll see.

WALLACE:  Finally, with the two terrorists in San Bernardino having assembled an amazing arsenal with semiautomatic rifles, semiautomatic pistols, thousands of rounds of ammunition and about a dozen pipe bombs, there's a renewed debate, at least in the case of the guns about gun control, is there anything Dr. Carson that you would do to restrict people's access to semiautomatic weapons or to these high-capacity magazines?

CARSON:  Well, you know, California has some of the strictest gun control laws.  And the semiautomatic weapons that were used were banned.  The magazines were banned.  It was a gun-free zone.  And yet it still happened.  You know, we need to start looking and thinking about things that preserve the right of Americans, their Second Amendment rights, but then have a positive effect in terms of getting hands out, guns out of the hands of terrorists.  And people who are mentally unstable.  That's what we need to be looking at.  And whenever we have these discussions, we need to put the two things up side by side, Second Amendment rights, ability to screen and keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of unstable people.  Put those up together and then work toward a solution that accomplishes both of those goals.  

WALLACE:  Dr. Carson, thank you.  Thanks for joining us.  Always good to talk with you, sir.  

CARSON:  You, too.  Thank you, Chris.  

WALLACE: Next up, the San Bernardino attack shakes up the race for president yet again.  We'll bring back the panel to discuss it.



DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Take out means that you have to wipe out their homes where they came from, you have to absolutely wipe them out.  That's the only way you're going to stop terrorism.  


WALLACE:  Donald Trump talking tough about taking out the terrorists and their families and seeing a dramatic spike in the polls.  And we're back now with the panel.  Well, take a look at the latest survey, which is pretty striking.  In a CNN national poll, Donald Trump now leads with 36 percent.  That's more than double anyone else in the field.  And when it comes specifically to the issue of fighting ISIS, Trump is at 46 percent swamping all the other candidates.  George, with intense focus now on taking out the terrorists, why do you think people - voters are flocking to Trump?

WILL:  Well, we are now in a sort of second stage of Trumpiness, in the sense that in the first he was naughty and he was entertaining and he would say these things that people said gosh, you can't say that in polite society and it's wonderful that someone would talk like that.  Now the American people are more frightened and are looking for strength and they intend to equate naughtiness with strength.  That he stands up to ...

WALLACE:  The hope, it is not naughtiness, it's toughness.  

WILL:  That's what I'm saying, is that - is now it's taken to be kind of synonymous, that they are effectively the same thing.  What this means is, if this less in this volatile year, usually the Republican race comes down to sort of conservative base candidate and the centrist establishment candidate.  What if this time there are three candidates?  Then you're going to get a plurality winner.  And that - the plurality path is Trump's path to the nomination.  

WALLACE:  Juan, it is striking, though, that Trump's tough rhetoric is winning out at this point, at least in the polls over senators who have had foreign policy experience and governors who may not have dealt with foreign policy, but have had hands-on experience dealing with crises, the rhetoric seems to be winning out.  

WILLIAMS:  I don't think there's any question.  I think it speaks to a deficit on the part of President Obama.  I thought that press conference he had in Turkey, I was just talking about this with Julie, I just thought he missed the sense of the American people, which is fear.  You don't want to feed fear, I'm not advising that - any part, I think people can exploit fear to negative ends, but you have to reflect when the populists feel that there's a real reason to have fear.  I think he didn't do that back then.  I think the Republicans have been thoroughly critical of him on this point.  I think he's out of line when he speaks to the Republican candidates.  I think that's really not the concern here.  But when you come to Donald Trump and just what George was saying, this kind of strong approach, lacking with specifics or anything new, there's no specific plan that he has, that he would execute that the president, the FBI, the agencies aren't doing, but he's seen strong, and competent and capable in commanding.  

WALLACE:  So, in the same sense that some people think that Obama was the opposite of Bush, and that's why they elected him in 2008, you're nodding that Trump is the opposite of Obama?

PACE:  Absolutely.  I mean if you look at Obama's election as somewhat of a reaction to not only George Bush's policies, but also his style, then Trump seems to be a reaction to Obama.  We are veering back in another direction.  

WALLACE:  Whether it is relevant to the war on terror or not, we are also seeing this week a renewed debate over gun control.  Take a look at this.

I can tell you that Hillary Clinton was very much for gun control and that Ted Cruz was very much against it and said, instead of taking away the guns from the bad - to fight the bad guys, we should be using the guns against the bad guys.  Brit, you know, it's interesting, ever since Al Gore in 2000, Democrats of the national scene, national elections have stayed away from gun control, have not found it to be a winner.  Do you expect Hillary Clinton to play gun control hard in the general election or is she just going to use it against Bernie Sanders who comes from a conservative hunting state like Vermont, to use it in the primaries, but not necessarily in the general election?

HUME:  As a Republican strategist, I would hope fervently that she carries forward her crusade for gun control right into the general election.  It is a political loser for Democrats.  And it's gotten them in trouble nearly every time they have tried it.  Even after Newtown when there was thought to be some sort of big new national consensus for sensible gun control, as it was called, the measure that was introduced never went anywhere in the Congress and was an utter failure by President Obama, thoroughly (ph) startling and striking failure on his part.  So this is a - these are measures that, if you look at the most of the ones that are being talked about, they wouldn't have solved the problem that led to what happened in San Bernardino.  And people - and they can't pass anyway.  So ...

WALLACE:  And why do you think that gun control, particularly we are talking not on an individual race or an individual state, but in a race for president, nationally, why is it a loser?

HUME:  It's a loser because of the fervor, with which people who support the Second Amendment as it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court and used guns or own guns or believe that guns should be freely owned, basically, is greater than the fervor of the gun control advocates.  And these people will vote on a single issue basis.  The lobby that supports these rights is effective.  And the Democrats just don't have the firepower on this issue, no pun intended, to make it work for them.  And they haven't for a long, long time.  

WILLIAMS:  You don't think it's the NRA?

HUME:  That's what I said.  

WILLIAMS:  The NRA, the NRA and the gun manufacturers.

HUME:  Well, it's also - you know what makes them powerful?  The sentiment of the American people.  

WILLIAMS:  No, it's the money that they raise from --

HUME:  So, the people who are answering polls that they don't want this.


HUME:  are doing so because they are paid?

WILLIAMS:  No, the polls indicate that most Americans want background checks.  They want the loopholes ...

WALLACE:  I want to bring in Julie, because it is clear that President Obama is going to raise the issue of gun control in every case, whether it's a mass shooting where it seems very applicable or a calculated terror attack where it may not be so applicable.  Do you expect him to do anything more than talk about it in the rest of his presidency?  And at the White House, do they think that this is a political winner, particularly let's say if Hillary Clinton is the nominee in 2016?

PACE:  I think in terms of action there's a definite effort to look at more executive action that the president can do.  They have basically given up on Congress, there's not going to be a push for legislation, but he's going to look at trying to expand background checks, trying to close what is the so-called gun show loophole, online purchases.  They'll have legal questions around that, and I think that you are not going to see anything by the end of this year, perhaps into next year.  They look at the ...

WALLACE:  It will (INAUDIBLE) brought up in the courts and wanted ...

PACE:  Absolutely.  Like immigration and some of the other executive actions.  On the politics they look at it a little bit differently.  And they think that it's a base motivator for Democrats in the same way that it's a base motivator for Republicans.  And they think that if it's Hillary or whoever it's going to be, that Democrats do have a platform to stand on.  

WALLACE:  George?  Final thought?

WILL:  It's not just the fervor of the NRA members, which is considerable.  It's not just the gun manufacturers who are a trivial part of our economy.  Gun ownership is a cultural signifier.  Someone who comes out against gun ownership is coming out against hunting culture, it's coming about small town America, it's coming - There's a whole plethora of indicators that people take from forcing gun control.  

WALLACE:  And we should point out that the president of Liberty University this week suggested - said he carries a gun and maybe everybody else should as well.  Interesting times.  Thank you all, panel.  See you next week.  

Up next, our power player of the week.  Kids cooking in the kitchen and gaining skills for life.


WALLACE:  As a kid I can remember my mother serving me fish and calling it brain food that made people smarter.  Well, there's an organization here in Washington that's based on that same general principle and helping a lot of young people.  Here is our power player of the week.  


PAUL DAHM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BRAINFOOD:  Food is a terrific magnet.  It's how we all socialize, it's how we hang out with our friends, how we hang out with our family.  

WALLACE:  Paul Dahm is an executive director of BrainFood, a non-profit that teaches Washington D.C. high school students about cooking and life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So we've got more exciting - wraps for you guys today.

WALLACE:  250 young people sign up for after school and summer programs.  But the first lesson is not about food.  

DAHM:  Showing up on time, being responsible and accountable, being a good member of the team and the community.  And building on that for an entire school year.  

WALLACE:  Soon enough, they're in the kitchen.  The initial assignment, baking a cookie.  

DAHM:  It's how to read and do math and follow directions and work in teams and manage time.  So all kinds of skills that frankly aren't necessarily food related that we all use in our jobs all the time.  

WALLACE:  Part of the process is learning from what you do wrong.  

DAHM:  Every year somebody puts, you know, two cups of salt in a cookie recipe and it doesn't taste very good.  That person is never going to make that mistake again.  

WALLACE:  By the end of the year the cookie makers are using sharp knives.  The graduation ceremony is an iron chef-style cooking competition.  

DAHM:  The students with the best attendance break up into teams and cook in front of judges under a time limit with mystery ingredients.  

WALLACE (on camera):  How are these skills translatable as life lessons?

DAHM:  At the most basic level it's about making a commitment and showing up every day that you're supposed to show up.  

WALLACE (voice over):  Perhaps, most importantly it gives these kids a sense of accomplishment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Now I have a passion for cooking.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I'm usually home alone, so I have to cook for myself.  So the things I learn here I bring it back home.  

WALLACE (on camera):  How much of this is about making sure that these kids get a few good meals a week and that they know the difference between a good meal and a bad meal?

DAHM:  There have definitely been times when students initially were most interested because there's never any food at home.  My mom is always working, we don't have any money, whatever the reason is that they come here, because they are hungry and they realize I'm going to get to eat some really good food.  

WALLACE (voice over):  While BrainFood started 16 years ago, this spring they launched a new program called "Home Grown" where graduates who want to get into the food industry make healthy snacks that are sold at local markets.  And this, too, teaches a lesson.  

DAHM:  They're capable, they can add value.  They can create food products that people are willing to pay for and are willing to compete in the marketplace.  

WALLACE:  Paul Dahm has been at BrainFood almost 13 years, but he still loves coming to work every day.  

DAHM:  We see young people that maybe had struggled in traditional learning settings come into the kitchen and are rock stars.  I call it the light bulb moment when they go, ah, I'm good at this.  I'm good at this.  And that gives them the confidence to try something else and that's really what we are trying to do.


WALLACE:  BrainFood gets most of its funding from private sources, but Dahm says with charitable donations slowing down in general, he wants to make Home Grown a viable business and a stable source of revenue.

Before we go, two program notes.  Tonight you can watch the president's address to the nation on Fox News Channel.  Coverage starts just before 8:00 p.m. Eastern with Brett Baier and the special reports team.  And next Sunday we'll sit down with the Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.  Face to face.  Just ahead of the next GOP debate.

And that's it for today.  Have a great week and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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