This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," December 20, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good morning.
What does the new budget mean for you?
Hi, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."
Congress now on holiday break, but not before it passed a more than $1 trillion spending package on Friday. What is in it for the average American? Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent joins me in just a few moments to go through it.
Plus, with the data controversy over Bernie Sanders and the DNC simmering, the focus goes back to the issues at last night's Democratic debate. What Hillary Clinton said when it comes to the president's plan to fight ISIS, coming up.
Then, Microsoft's chief operating officer with us this morning on the technology industry's role in the online fight against terrorism. The company's hottest products this holiday season as well, as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Lawmakers are now home for the holidays after approving a $1.1 trillion spending bill. The House and Senate averting a government shutdown by passing the measure which also includes a $680 billion tax package. House Speaker Paul Ryan praising the package as a bipartisan compromise, which secures meaningful wins for the American people. And President Obama called Speaker Ryan to thank him for, quote, "making government work."
Joining me right now is Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a member of the House Ethics and Appropriations Committees.
Sir, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. CHARLIE DENT, R-PA., HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: Thank you, Maria. Great to be with you.
BARTIROMO: What strikes you about this package that's most impactful for the American people?
DENT: Well, a number of things. One, we provide for budgetary stability, certainty, predictability. We make sure that our defense establishment is properly funded. That's key. Medical research, I would tell you, is also well funded. The NIH received a significant increase, $2 billion, so cancer, Alzheimer's research are all going to be very positively impacted veterans. I was responsible for the veterans portion of this legislation, about $80 billion package there. We provide for medical services at a robust level. We take care of homelessness issues, traumatic brain, I can go down a long list and put in a lot of oversight over the VA, too, that's much needed, particularly on large scale construction projects.
BARTIROMO: You know, there is a fair amount of criticism on the Republican side of this, basically saying that, once again, the GOP got rolled over in this bill. Let me - let me - let me run through a couple of things. It fully funds Planned Parenthood. It fully funds and pays for the president's refugee plans. It also quadruples the number of visas that President Obama wants for foreign workers. This is even a slap at union workers here. It's the largest numbers of seats that Republicans have had in Congress in civil - since the civil war and yet Jeff sessions, senator from Alabama, is calling this a real betrayal, fully funding the Obama immigration agenda and the climate change agenda as well - as well as increasing foreign workers who may take jobs from American workers. What do you say about all of that?
DENT: Right. Well, I would say very simply, we stop the insurance company bailout, we stop the - the whole issue of risk (ph) corridors (ph). That's a big issue, big wins. We - we delayed several Obamacare taxes from the medical device tax to the Cadillac tax to the health insurance tax. We lifted the ban on oil exports, of crude oil exports from the United States. A big win for conservatives. So I would argue that we have made very significant progress toward a conservative agenda, particularly on - on some of the Obamacare delays and taxes. Huge wins there. And the oil - and the crude oil export ban, again, is an enormous one, going to create thousands of jobs, 13,000 in Pennsylvania alone, at least 300,000 nationally. I would argue this is a very important win. Spending levels, too, are at the lowest level since 2000 and - since before 2010.
BARTIROMO: So - so do you feel like you had had to give on a - on a number of things in order to get some of the things that were more important than others, like the things you mentioned just there?
DENT: Yes. I mean, and I - I heard the arguments too, yes, we -- we -- we fire -- we fund Title Ten. That's family planning funding. That's been in the budget for years. What they're saying is - they're basically pointing at - at policies that are currently funded and saying this is somehow a new policy. It's simply not. The point is, we had enormous successes. I would say conservatives can walk away from this agreement knowing that they've done the right thing. And particularly on the defense side, you know, so many of my colleagues said we needed to do more for defense, and we did. We did it because it was - it was important, given the threats we're facing from ISIS and elsewhere abroad.
BARTIROMO: Yes, you're right, defense spending rising, I guess, for the first time in a long time. Congressman, stay with us. We've got a lot to talk about with you.
BARTIROMO: I want to really go through some of these numbers, Congressman Dent, but we also want to look at how lawmakers averted this shutdown, clearing the omnibus spending bill (ph), but they cannot avoid the political fallout. Let's take a closer look with Fox News senior correspondent Eric Shawn.
Good morning to you, Eric.
ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria, and good morning, everyone.
It is a done deal, but is it the right one? Some say the legacy of this budget is that it passed so seemingly smoothly in the first place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: A pair of Christmas miracles in Washington. This week, Congress passed a bipartisan budget that invests in middle class priorities, keeps our military the strongest in the world, and takes the threat of shutdowns and manufactured crises off the table for 2016.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Well, the president called it a miracle, the $1.8 trillion budget that marks a milestone in congressional cooperation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: We passed a balanced budget for first time since 2001.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Is (ph) it a sellout? It extends the $680 billion in tax cuts, allows those crude oil exports, boosts defense spending, as the congressman said, stops cuts in doctors' Medicare fees and continues the controversial visa program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, R-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: We came a long way. It is a monumental improvement over the special interest written appropriation bills that House Republicans were offering this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: But plenty of controversy because Republicans were not able to stop the administration Syrian and Iraqi refugee plans or, as Maria pointed out, cut off Planned Parenthood funding. In fact, "Investor's Business Daily" bluntly warns, quote, "the congressional power of the purse was fully surrendered to the White House. Republicans who voted for this travesty are living in a beltway bubble and could be in for a rude awakening when they get home and mix with constituents during Christmas break."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a trillion dollar deal, thousands of pages cut in the dark of night, it funds all of Obamacare, it founds all of executive amnesty, it funds all of Planned Parenthood. It does nothing to stop this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Planned Parenthood still gets their money. Sanctuary cities still get their money. And so this happens every single year and it's part of that whole out of touch thing that I talked about. People read the news and then they read this as happening and they're like, how can that be? What planet are you guys living on?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Well, is there a change in the atmosphere in Washington? You know, the president has now invited Speaker Ryan to share a meal at the White House in the new year. But you know a real sign of progress will come if they start working out together in the White House gym.
BARTIROMO: Yes, or maybe go and have a coffee together like the old days.
SHAWN: Or a beer.
BARTIROMO: Yes, or a beer. Eric, thank you.
More now with Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent.
And, congressman, what about that? Was there a feeling this time around that, look, we cannot let the American people think that the Republicans are going to allow the government to shut down? So under no circumstances will we shut down this government, the president knew that, and so he got more of what his agenda through than a lot of people wanted? Was that it, that you were afraid that people would think that the gov - the Republicans are the - as the party that shuts down government?
DENT: Well, look, I - I happen to believe that shutting down the government is a - is a really bad idea for a whole host of reasons. But we passed two good measures, one on the tax extenders, one on the omnibus. If you look at the vote on the tax extenders, Republicans overwhelmingly voted for that. Many of the Democrats feel they didn't do very well there because of the changes we made to Obamacare. That was a key issue for us.
On the omnibus, again, as Republicans, we won on many, many levels, particularly on the defense side. We had insisted that we do more to provide for our defense and we did. Homeland security also did extremely well. I think we'd have a long litany of things that Republican priorities, even on the health side. As I mentioned earlier, you know, the NIH, National Institutes of Health funding, received a significant increase so that we could deal with traumatic brain issues, cancer research, Alzheimer's and others. These are Republican priorities that we wanted to advance. And I would really suggest to those who are trying to demagogue this issue, we took 12 appropriation bills, we passed them all out of our committees and many of them on the House floor. Because the Senate is unable to advance an appropriations bill on its own, we had to marry them all up. So we had a - we spent all year developing these bills. And I - I'll tell you, it's responsible. The deficit is at its lowest level since 2007 as well.
BARTIROMO: Congressman, let me ask you about - about two things. And I want to certainly get to the immigration agenda here. But first, the Affordable Care taxes. This relief and pushing out the taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act, why do that? I mean why not allow people and businesses to understand the impact of the Affordable Care Act the way it is? We know that those taxes are coming.
DENT: Yes, well, on the medical device tax, that tax has already been implemented. And that is stifling development, killing jobs. It's doing a lot of bad things in my district where we have many people who do work in that industry. So the fact that we are able to get a moratorium on the medical device tax is a huge win for us. Think about it. I mean now we can spend the next two years trying to drive a stake through its heart and eliminate that tax once and for all.
Now on the Cadillac tax, that has not yet been implemented. It will be in 2018, now it's pushed back to 2020. But that is enormously complex, it's creating enormous hardships for many workers as well as businesses all across this country.
So I think the fact that we were able to make changes is a victory; yes, it doesn't repeal them outright but it helps prevent some of (INAUDIBLE) many of our constituents.
BARTIROMO: Yes, no, I agree with you. I mean, when I speak to managers of businesses, this is the one thing that they keep mentioning as a reason that they're not hiring anybody because they can't afford the benefits and the taxes around the affordable care.
Real quick on the immigration part of this, Congressman, this bill is quadrupling the number of visas that President Obama wants for foreign workers.
We know that the jobs in this country are few and far between, we're just beginning to get traction on the jobs part of the story for the economic growth in this country and yet now you've got all of these foreigners coming in and probably going to be taking the jobs that Americans need right now.
DENT: Well, the provision I think you're referring to (INAUDIBLE) program. Those are for nonagricultural (INAUDIBLE).
BARTIROMO: Right. Congressman, good to have you on the program. We so appreciate your time this morning. Congressman Charlie Dent there. We will take a short break and Hillary Clinton taking major heat after saying that the U.S. Is where we need to be with Syria. Take a closer look at that assessment with Major General Bob Scales next. Hope you'll follow us on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Stay with us. We're looking ahead this morning on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
Hillary Clinton during last night's Democratic debate claimed that the United States is well positioned to address the conflict in Syria.
She said, quote, "We are now finally where we need to be."
Both of her opponents argue that the U.S. should focus on destroying ISIS instead of deposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This coming as the United Nations approves a resolution endorsing a road map for a Syrian peace process. But it leaves out two key and controversial details, the future of al-Assad and the definition of rebel groups.
Major General Bob Scales is a FOX News military analyst and he joins us right now.
General, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Good to have you on the program.
First, your reaction to Secretary Clinton's comments that we are where we need to be in Syria.
MAJOR GENERAL BOB SCALES, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Absolutely not. As long as ISIS has a caliphate, as long as ISIS owns territory, as long as ISIS continues to grow the number of fighters, which, at last count, was something like 77,000 fighters, and as long as their two centers of gravity, Raqqah and Syria and Mosul in Iraq are not under siege or being assailed effectively by airpower, ISIS will prevail.
And, oh, by the way, Assad will stay in power. And there is no evidence, no evidence that I see from anyone, that the Russians are having any success against the Syrian rebels.
So what we have, Maria, is a stalemate. Anytime Assad seems to fail, Russia props him up. When the rebels seem to fall back, we prop the rebels up. They've reached a sort of point of stasis. But the 800-pound gorilla in the room isn't Assad or the rebels, it's ISIS. ISIS is the problem because ISIS is the entity that wants to carry the fight to our country.
And nothing in this attempt at an agreement includes ISIS, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Well, how do we do it?
What is the answer to defeating ISIS, General?
SCALES: You have to strike.
I'm going to get military on you, just for one quick second --
BARTIROMO: Do it, please.
SCALES: -- you have to -- you have to strike at what we call their center of gravity, the point from which all their power emanates and that's this ideological heartland called Raqqah. That's their capital. That's their Mecca, if you will.
And until Raqqah goes down, until it is destroyed, either from the air or the ground or both, then ISIS will continue to own the essence of their power, the rest of the world will see ISIS as the power of the future and they will continue to grow and no amount of pinpricks by American airpower will reduce this huge growth in confidence and will that we see emanating from that city, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Why is it that President Obama has yet to come across in a serious way, the way you just did, in terms of getting to the center of gravity?
What is stopping the president from actually getting to the center of gravity and finally destroying ISIS?
SCALES: I just don't think he's able to do it. It is outside of his kit bag. It is ideologically impossible. This is a president that was elected to end wars, not to start wars within a year of the end of his term. It is just not there.
It would take some -- God forbid -- some cataclysmic event by ISIS to jumpstart this administration to go after or to attack the vulnerable center of gravity of ISIS.
To be honest with you, Maria, they have 13 months to go; the president wants to focus on other things and he's hoping that, after 13 months, ISIS will behave and this will go away.
BARTIROMO: Yes, he's waiting for the clock to run up, frankly.
BARTIROMO: Secretary Clinton last night in the Democratic debate, basically said she agrees with President Obama, no boots on the ground, and yet she still said that we are where we are in Syria and we're at the right place right now.
So would a Hillary Clinton presidency be a continuation of the president's strategy?
SCALES: Well, let me tell you, I don't think it really matters. Look, there is a thing we soldiers call ground truth. That's the truth on the ground. Strip away politics, want to strip away hope, strip away fantasies, there is the truth on the ground. And whoever is president is going to have to address that.
And I predict in 13 months, 14 months, there is going to be, Maria, a plan B because plan A will be seen as not working and one more serious terrorist strike by ISIS is going to force a coalition of perhaps Sunni states, certainly NATO and the West and the United States to finally say enough is enough, we have to eliminate this scourge with a military campaign.
Otherwise, we'll be -- ISIS will be attacking us for a generation.
BARTIROMO: Right. And we know that is entirely possible given the vetting process that we've got, massive failures in terms of the vetting process and opening up the country to many people.
Sir, good to have you on the program. General, thank you very much for your insights. We appreciate it.
SCALES: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon, General Scales there.
What responsibilities meanwhile do technology companies have in the fight against terrorism?
Microsoft's chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, will join me and take a look. We're looking ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures." We'll be right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back, a new flagship retail shop for Microsoft in New York City, opening up just a few weeks ago, adding to the more than 100 stores that Microsoft has across the world. Joining us right now is Microsoft's chief operating officer, Kevin Turner.
Kevin, good to see you.
KEVIN TURNER, COO, MICROSOFT: Thank you, Maria. Thanks for having me.
BARTIROMO: Thank you for joining us and congratulations on this store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
TURNER: We're excited about it. It is a beautiful store. I hope people check it out. But it is really stunning. And the response so far has been fantastic.
BARTIROMO: Yes, because you don't usually think of a retail shop for Microsoft. You brought some products along. Let's get a look at what we'll be seeing in the store and some of your new products in the pipeline.
TURNER: Absolutely. So, Maria, we've -- this past year we relaunched Windows 10. And Windows 10 in the first 90 days we had 110 million people download and use and love the product, which is fantastic for us.
So we've launched, on the base of Windows 10, we launched a new Surface Pro 4. This Surface Pro 4 is a tablet that can replace your laptop. It is something that -- the most powerful thing for me on this is I've gone 100 percent paperless. So I do all my inking, it's got a pen, I do OneNote, all of my notes, all of my files, everything is completely digitally captured with the Surface Pro 4, it's an incredible device.
The other thing we did for the very first time was we launched our first laptop. And this is a laptop that can also become a tablet in the Surface Book.
In the Surface Book, the beauty of it is you can get high-powered i7 chips from Intel and one terabyte of storage. It is a beautiful device. And it is absolutely stunning and it's an incredibly great value as well for all the technology you get in it.
We launched the new Band, the new Microsoft Band 2 is out. And this is not just a step counter and it tells you how much sleep you have, which sometimes can be depressing, depending upon where you are.
BARTIROMO: But you have all that.
TURNER: It also gives you your text messages and your e-mail and all of the things that go with it. So it is for productivity and health.
Then the third big area for us is we put a lot in this latest release for the holidays for Xbox. We've got the new elite controller out there, we have got Halo 5, which is one of the best-selling all-time properties from a digital standpoint in the world.
BARTIROMO: I want to ask you about the laptop and the tablet, because we all know that mobility has taken over. I do everything on my phone right now.
What do you say to those people who might say laptop, too late, there is a billion, you know, PCs in the world versus 8 billion or 9 billion cell phones. It's going to resonate at a time when people are stopping using their PC?
TURNER: Well, I tell you what, in the productivity space, there are still a lot of uses for PCs, the ability to truly take notes, the ability to light up Word, PowerPoint and Excel, our Office product, to watch videos, those things. There is a lot going on as it relates to the ability to use a tablet or a laptop.
And what we've seen is the two-in-one device has really taken over. So the ability to have a tablet that can become a laptop is important.
BARTIROMO: When you look at industries out there, what is the one industry you think that could really be a game-changer in terms of business?
For example, when you wear that Band, health care is -- and this marriage of health care and technology is a real breakthrough for consumers. And they're spending money on these kinds of products because they want to get ahead of disease.
TURNER: Absolutely. Maria, I have to tell you, the cloud, which our cloud business has been exploding and continues to do super well, has really opened up every industry. Every industry is at a time right now where they're saying, hey, look, I can be disrupted or I can be the disrupter.
BARTIROMO: That's what everybody is thinking about.
TURNER: And when you think about, you know, Bitcoin or SpaceX or Airbnb and these very disruptive companies to traditional industries, all those traditional industries are now saying, hey, help take us to the new world, help take us to a cloud-based business world and help transform our business.
And that's what we're really in conversations with enterprises and businesses, both small and large today, that we have never been in before. It is about how to reinvent their business model. That is, again, a very, very exciting time for us.
BARTIROMO: Kevin, I got to ask you about the whole technology and terrorism story that we have been talking about so much. It feels like the terrorists right now have figured out a way to infiltrate our systems through technology. And now the war on terror moves to encrypted communications.
What is the responsibility for technology companies to see something, hatred on some of these social platforms and report it to authorities while also keeping the customer, you know, secure, knowing that you're not giving away their information?
BARTIROMO: That's the --
TURNER: No, first and foremost, Maria, on behalf of Microsoft, our hearts go out to the victims and the families and the loved ones for anybody that has been affected by these horrific events that have gone on in the world.
So there is real empathy on our behalf to really be able to really -- heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to them. The thing that when we look at it is there is a very rich debate going on now about personal privacy and public safety.
So we're in that debate. We're very active in that particular debate. I think ultimately it will be decided by governments and I do think ultimately it will be decided by governments and it will be different, depending upon which country you operate in.
BARTIROMO: Do you know if there is a terrorist on your network?
Do you have the metrics in place to know who the user is and whether or not they have a terrorist background or is this harder to identify?
TURNER: The Microsoft philosophy has been to put the user in control of their data, so chances are we wouldn't know, to be completely honest with you, because we allow you, the end user, to have complete control of what data you want to share with us or not.
Because the reality is, that data we have is not our data. It belongs to the person who created it. That's how we've set up our systems.
BARTIROMO: Well, that's another debate.
TURNER: We'll continue to look at that.
BARTIROMO: Kevin, it's great to have you on the program.
TURNER: It's wonderful to be here.
BARTIROMO: We'll stop by the Microsoft retail shop on Fifth Avenue.
TURNER: Please do.
BARTIROMO: Kevin Turner is the chief operating officer at Microsoft.
Well, it was the Democratic debate, but the candidates spent a good portion of their time last night going after Donald Trump. We'll talk about that, plus how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders handled the controversy over a data breach of a Democratic voter database. We're looking ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures" with our panel. That's next.
ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: From "America's News Headquarters," I'm Eric Shawn. Here are some of the stories that are making headlines at this hour.
A false alarm on an Air France flight that was diverted to Kenya. The Boeing 777 was en route from Mauritius to Paris but was diverted to Mombasa, Kenya, after a passenger noticed what was described as a stopwatch mounted on a box in the lavatory and, of course, reported it to the crew.
The airline is reportedly calling the find "a fake bomb" that did not contain any explosives. Authorities are questioning six passengers. That airliner was evacuated safely.
And Russian President Vladimir Putin vowing to improve his company's nuclear weapons capabilities, Putin making the comments in a new documentary airing on Russian state television.
He also says America's tactical nuclear weapons in Europe pose a greater threat, he thinks, to Russia than Russia's weapons do to the United States.
I'll be back at noon with more news with Arthel Neville. So for now, I'm Eric Shawn. And back to "Sunday Morning Futures" and Maria.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Thank you, Eric.
Democrats Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Governor Martin O'Malley going at it last night over everything from foreign policy to a voter data breach in the latest debate last night in New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, Secretary Clinton spent much of her time focusing on someone who wasn't even on stage, Donald Trump, slamming his recent call to temporarily ban foreign Muslims, saying he is the "best recruiter for ISIS."
I want to bring in our panel right now. Ed Rollins is former principal White House adviser to President Reagan. He's been a longtime strategist to business and political leaders. He's a Fox News political analyst. Judith Miller is adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. She's a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist and a Fox News contributor. And Alan Colmes is the host of "The Alan Colmes Show," a Fox News contributor.
Good to see everybody. Thanks so much for joining us. Your takeaway from the debate last night?
ROLLINS: Well, for the vast majority of Americans who didn't watch the debate because it was on a Saturday night opposite a football game that was in the -- had the number one and number five market in the country, the New York Giants versus the Jets and the Jets versus Dallas, the premise was more of the same.
It's Bernie Sanders wants to basically have the government pay for everything, more health care, more free college, and Wall Street pay for it, and take away your guns as -- as the premise to fight ISIS.
Hillary obviously is a good debater and she did well. O'Malley was irrelevant.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, well, you know...
O'Malley was irrelevant. That's -- it's funny, but he actually came across well, but when I brought it up, Judy, you said, "Who?" I mean, you know...
MILLER: Exactly. It's the second time we've seen him. It's just been, you know, Bernie Sanders v. Hillary.
BARTIROMO: What's with the Saturday nights, Alan?
COLMES: I think it's a...
BARTIROMO: I went to "Star Wars." I came home from "Star Wars" and then I...
COLMES: Yeah, but you watched it after, right?
BARTIROMO: And then I watched the debate after "Star Wars."
COLMES: It's called time-shifting.
Look, if this is -- I don't know whether Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said the DNC is doing this on purpose, the meme is that it's to protect Hillary Clinton, which is a ridiculous idea since she does very well in these debates.
I'm upset as a liberal Democrat that they're doing this on a Saturday night. I'd rather have them do it on a night when more people are going to watch it. I'd like more people to see all three candidates.
BARTIROMO: I just want to point it out that, when we did the Fox Business Network debate, we got 13.5 million viewers, more than the last Democratic debate on one of the broadcast networks, OK? They had, like, 8 million.
ROLLINS: The junior varsity debate, the Republicans this week, will draw more -- which had 5.1 million; the big one had...
MILLER: Because that's...
BARTIROMO: That's by design.
MILLER: That's a real fight; this one on the Democratic side is not. She has the nomination, so why watch?
BARTIROMO: Judy, let me ask you about this. Last night, what I heard from the debate -- Alan, I want to get your take on this as well. OK, a lot of free stuff, free college, lots of giveaways coming from Secretary Clinton and -- all of them last night. They want to raise minimum wages; they want to rein Wall Street in, keep insurance companies accountable for ObamaCare, regulate drug prices, make sure the price of drugs don't go up.
How's this going to fly, Alan?
COLMES: It might not fly well with the business community, but it's going to fly well, I think, with the rank-and-file voters. These are -- these are populist campaigns, Hillary Clinton running a much more populist campaign than she did eight years ago.
And while it may not fly with the business community, I think it will sit very well with the people who are going to vote.
MILLER: And in a year in which terrorism is front and center, when the question is asked, "Who is better able to protect the country against terrorism," it's 60 percent Hillary, 20 percent Bernie Sanders. That's where she's -- she wants to be. She is well to the right of everyone else in the Democratic Party on this.
ROLLINS: Its pretty easy to be to the right of Bernie Sanders. I mean...
ROLLINS: ... it's the only time when...
ROLLINS: ... a socialist member of Congress, and he has certainly given every reason why there won't be any others.
I think, at the end of the day, it was more of the same. It's more government programs; don't worry about it -- he kept saying, "Don't worry about it; you don't have to pay for it. The government pays for it. Wall Street -- we'll tax them more." That's just absurd -- it's an absurd policy and, you know, at the end of the day...
COLMES: But they were specific about what they were going to do. We had more specificity in this debate...
ROLLINS: Except for how are you going to pay for it?
COLMES: ... than in the Republican debate.
ROLLINS: How are you going to pay for it and what is it going to cost?
BARTIROMO: Where's the specifics about how do you pay for it?
COLMES: Well, Bernie Sanders was specific. Again, the business community may not like it, but he would, you know, tax Wall Street, tax transactions. That's how he would pay for it.
ROLLINS: With no idea how any of these things cost. And that's the -- you know, that's the issue.
BARTIROMO: Well, that's why Bernie Sanders' policy is to tax the highest earners at 92 percent -- 92 percent tax rates, Alan.
COLMES: We're talking about a very small percentage of people.
BARTIROMO: Does that mean -- does that mean that the highest earners work until, like, December, like November -- all the money, that goes to government, and then you can keep your December salary.
ROLLINS: The most productive people in society won't be as productive. And it's never worked when you've had high tax rates, and they've always basically found a way to debate it or not work. And you need those people to be -- being productive.
BARTIROMO: Let's slip in Howie Kurtz, here, because he's got a great show at the top of the hour, "Media Buzz."
Howie, good morning to you.
KURTZ: Good morning, Maria.
Well, I've got the only face-to-face interview you'll see this weekend with Donald Trump, a really wide-ranging conversation.
I asked him about Vladimir Putin's praise, which he was happy to accept. He also talks about why he keeps questioning Hillary Clinton's stamina. He talks about Jeb, why he's backed off his criticism of Ted Cruz. Trump talks about Jeff Bezos, Tom Brokaw. And we really drilled down on his constant, almost obsessive attacks on the media, news organizations, going after journalists by name, and why he does that and what he gets out of it.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, well, it's going to be a great show. And, you know, he was the star of the Democratic debate last night.
KURTZ: He sure was.
BARTIROMO: Hillary Clinton kept bringing him up. Thank you so much, Howie. We'll see you in about 20 minutes.
The Republicans also going at it this week in their own debate. Next up, we will take a look at new poll numbers showing where the GOP candidates now stand following their verbal slugfest.
We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back with our panel, next.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. A new Fox News poll shows where the GOP candidates now stand following their last debate this past week, Donald Trump gaining more support while Senators Ted Cruz -- well, he saw a slight bump-up.
Check this out, Trump getting 39 percent of the vote, increasing his lead against his rivals yet again. Senator Cruz rose slightly to 18 percent, while Senator Marco Rubio and Dr. Ben Carson both dropped several points.
Back with our panel, Ed Rollins, Judy Miller and Alan Colmes.
What do you make of these poll numbers, Ed?
ROLLINS: Well, obviously, Trump did very well the other night in his debate, didn't lose it. He gained -- gained support. I think the people that lost support were people like Carson and Bush and others.
I think it's down to a three-way race in the short period of time here. The critical thing here is can Trump make this organization catch up with this great momentum he has? And that's going to be the big test.
Iowa normally is all about grassroots and the 1,681 precincts, you've got to have volunteers to get your people there, and I don't think he has that yet.
BARTIROMO: Judy, who (inaudible)?
MILLER: I mean, I don't know. It just seems to me as if the Republican Party is so divided at this point, when you look at the debates, you look at where people were. And Trump is such an outlier. It's hard to, kind of, fit him into any category.
But here's the party that controls two houses of Congress, 32 governorships, and, you know, two-thirds of the state legislatures, and they cannot agree on where they stand on the major issues. I think there is trouble ahead.
BARTIROMO: And this is the problem. And it's the complete opposite on the Democratic side, Alan. Everybody gets in line. Hillary is the -- is the nominee and that's it.
COLMES: You had a very civil debate...
BARTIROMO: Yeah, you continue to debate to bury them.
COLMES: ... with people who think alike and respect each other.
Trump is not a Republican. He's a Trumpian.
He is. And Republicans don't want anything to do with him, except the voters may. And I think Ted Cruz is actually the one who is benefiting from the Trump effect, because they want someone that they think knows stuff but who's anti-establishment. So I think Ted Cruz is rising because of the Trump effect and may supersede Trump at some point.
BARTIROMO: Well, let's look at these poll numbers, Trump versus the rest of them and Trump versus Clinton here. And this is a -- the latest poll out of Fox News. And as you can see, you've got Hillary Clinton now beating Trump, which is -- this is after, obviously, his -- his Muslim ban comments.
MILLER: But this is the danger for the Republicans. I mean, of all of the candidates in a one-on-one theoretical contest, Trump is the only one who clearly loses to Hillary, and yet that seems to be the way the party is going. But we don't know. Let's wait until Iowa.
ROLLINS: We don't know. There's a long, long ways to go. And, obviously, the game here is how do you get the delegates? And it all starts February 1st in Iowa. And, obviously, it's -- and then you go on. And it's -- two months from now, we're going to be talking about delegates. You know, we're not going to be talking about national polls.
BARTIROMO: And you said -- and you said it's a three-way race, meaning Trump, Cruz, Rubio?
ROLLINS: Rubio at this point in time.
BARTIROMO: Go ahead, Alan; sorry.
COLMES: The problem with Republican primaries over the last number of cycles has been they've gone for the most extreme candidates and then that person then loses.
I mean, look how Romney tried to be something he wasn't and he lost the general, and that's the problem with Republican primaries, very extreme candidates who then lose the general election.
BARTIROMO: So is it all about, right now, February 1 and Iowa and New Hampshire, in terms of getting a grip and where we really stand in this race?
ROLLINS: It really is until April 1st. I mean, you've got -- you've got all attention's obviously in Iowa, which is, you know, four electoral -- six electoral votes at the end of the day; the same way with New Hampshire, which is four electoral votes at the end of the day.
But you really have that March 1st, where you have all those Southern states, and obviously Florida and Ohio on March 15th. I think, by March 15th, you pretty much know the direction the party's going.
BARTIROMO: March 15th?
ROLLINS: March 15th.
BARTIROMO: OK. Check out this poll. This is really interesting. It's about the comment to temporarily ban non-U.S. Muslims. "When Trump was included in the poll question, 50 percent favor; 46 percent oppose." But when the question was asked without mentioning Trump -- in other words, Trump was not included in the question, it goes up to 55 percent who favor it and 40 percent who oppose it.
It almost -- so it tells you that there's a proclivity to say, "Oh, no, no that's wrong," when you hear it -- when Trump says it. But, at the end of the day, most people believe it.
COLMES: It shows how wrong the American people can be. They were wrong about the Iraq War, and most Americans supported the war at the time. They're wrong about this. It's unconstitutional. It will never happen in this country.
BARTIROMO: I don't know that it's the American people are wrong about this. This is -- there's fear in the country and they're -- they're talking about it.
ROLLINS: National security is now the major issue, and the Democrats are offering "Let's take away your guns." The bottom line is ISIS is -- is contained; both the president said that and Hillary Clinton has said that. No one thinks ISIS is contained. And I think, at the end of the day, of how you do this and how you contain them is going to be the big battle over the next year.
MILLER: I think her remark that we are now where we need to be, in the debate last night, was, kind of, harmful. It put her -- and she has been fighting for more for aiding the rebels, for doing more, all the way along. But she's now saddled with Obama's "We're OK" policy, and that's devastating.
BARTIROMO: Well, she's getting a lot of heat for it, that's for sure.
We're going to take a short break and then we're going to get to business. The Federal Reserve makes a long-awaited interest rate increase: what it means for our economy and your money. And then there's that $1.1 trillion spending bill. We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" this morning, with our panel, next.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Well, we knew it was coming. The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade this past week, the move signaling faith that the U.S. economy had largely overcome the 2007 financial crisis, the interest rate raised by a quarter of a point, a moderate amount. But some financial pundits think the Fed probably did so just because of a credibility issue and not necessarily because the economy is doing all that well.
This upcoming week, we've got the GDP number out. We've got lots of data on home sales. And, of course, it's a holiday-shortened week.
But what about this? I mean, isn't it interesting that, almost immediately, all the banks raised their prime rate? So the rate that I'm paying the bank to borrow money has gone up, but you know what hasn't gone up? My savings account.
I'm still not making any money in the CD and the savings account.
ROLLINS: Well, my sense -- I'm not -- I'm not an economist, but I think the bottom line here is that it's been a decade since we've had any kind of increase. It's a step forward. I think the big worry that we have in the economy is the falling oil prices, and that could really pull us back into a real serious position.
BARTIROMO: That's an important point, Ed. I totally agree with you.
MILLER: And the slowdown in China. I mean, that's also dramatic for the -- for Europe, for the rest of the world.
BARTIROMO: And that's why the industrial side of the economy may already be in recession, because of the slowdown in China and manufacturing. Alan?
COLMES: I think it shows optimism in the economy, and we have a reason to be optimistic about it. And so I think it was probably the right move. It sounds very modest. They didn't go overboard with it.
COLMES: So it seemed to make a lot of sense.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, OK. So let's talk about this $1.1 trillion spending plan. Because there's a lot of criticism on the GOP side.
Ed, it fully funds Planned Parenthood. It basically goes behind closed doors, and lots of adds here. The spending bill fully pays for the president's refugee plan, and it quadruples the number of visas that Obama wants for foreign workers.
ROLLINS: I think the issue is Republicans have had control of the Congress and have lost every single battle, this being the latest.
I think Paul Ryan gets a pass on this one because it's really Boehner's bill, as opposed to his bill. But I promise you, if he doesn't try and fix the way we do this and we come down a year from now to last-minute negotiations, you know, four people go in a room and draw a 2,000-page bill and no one sees it until it's three days later. No one knows what's in that bill, and there's going to be a lot of things that people are going to be very unhappy with.
BARTIROMO: A lot of climate change agenda in there as well, Judy?
MILLER: Yes, and, Ed, I mean, I know Republicans are unhappy with this bill, but I think ordinary Americans say "Hallelujah, they were finally able to do something. They compromised."
ROLLINS: Ordinary Americans have no idea what's in -- no idea what's in there.
MILLER: But they are...
ROLLINS: I don't think ordinary Americans want compromise.
BARTIROMO: I don't think people understand what's in it, either.
MILLER: They look at Congress and they see a totally broken institution, and at long last, they agreed on something. They compromised.
ROLLINS: Why is it broken when we have control of it, and it's not broken when the Democrats have control of it?
MILLER: No, that's the spirit of the legislature is compromise.
COLMES: Because Democrats work together.
You've got an increase in defense spending. Everybody got, kind of, what they want.
MILLER: That's right.
COLMES: And there's no government shutdown. The Republicans realized, if there had been a government shutdown and they couldn't have a deal, it would really hurt the party. And they want -- you know, there's a far right wing that wants to now primary Paul Ryan as a result of this deal.
BARTIROMO: Well, that -- that certainly would have been a good talking point for Secretary Clinton if -- if the government were shut down.
MILLER: Or she could stop beating up on Donald Trump for a moment.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, all right. We'll talk about Donald Trump, next, and the one thing to watch for the week ahead. Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Back with our panel. I want to just say, guys, what do you think about this, Trump on Putin? "Well, if he killed reporters, it would be terrible, but I haven't seen any proof of it. He totally denies that he kills journalists."
COLMES: This bromance...
... is ridiculous. I mean, he said, "We kill people, too," so we're just as bad as whatever Putin does? No other candidate could get away with saying this. That's insane. It's outrageous.
BARTIROMO: Putin and Trump, new love affair?
ROLLINS: But the absurdity is Jeb Bush trying to build his candidacy on taking on Trump. Trump has destroyed this guy and will continue to destroy him. Every time he throws a shot, he's going to get knocked on his tail as he did the other night.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, that's a good point, Trump-Bush.
MILLER: Yeah, but do you have an alternative for Jeb Bush at this point? What does he do, Ed?
ROLLINS: Try and go out and basically run a real campaign, which he hasn't done yet.
BARTIROMO: He keeps getting -- you know, falling into, you know, talking about Donald Trump, frankly.
It's great to see you all.
Thank you so much, Alan Colmes, Judy Miller and Ed Rollins. That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." Thank you so much for being with us. I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll be back tomorrow on "Mornings With Maria" on the Fox Business Network. Join us from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern on the Fox Business Network. Take a look at where to find Fox Business Network on your cable network or your satellite provider. Or you can click on "Channel Finder" at foxbusiness.com.
Have a great Sunday, everybody. "MediaBuzz" with Howie Kurtz is next, and he's got Donald Trump.
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