Interviews

Will Democrats block Donald Trump's nominees?

Karl Rove joins 'The O'Reilly Factor' to discuss the President-elect's cabinet and Supreme Court choices

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 3, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight, to the political stories today, first, Donald Trump continues putting pressure on companies who want to move jobs overseas. In fact, he threatened General Motors for making a car in Mexico.

Also, Ford announced it is canceling, canceling, $1.6 billion factory it was going to build in Mexico. The other big story, politically, is Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threatening President-elect Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: We will hold President-elect Trump accountable to the values that truly make America great. But we'll fight him tooth and nail when he appeals to the baser instincts that diminish America and its greatness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Joining us now from Austin, Texas, Karl Rove. So, Senator Schumer wants to hold up, delay a bunch of Trump's cabinet appointees. Is that correct?

KARL ROVE, FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH SENIOR ADVISOR: Yes. This is pretty much a boilerplate speech today, where he said, we will going to define what the values are by which we will judge Donald Trump. If we agree with him, we will help them come, if we oppose him, we disagree, we will oppose him. This was sort of a standard stuff. What is more dangerous is, is that the Democrats have announced that there are eight appointees, eight nominees of President-elect Trump to the cabinet that they are going to oppose and delay them as long as until March.

Now, this is just obstructionism, pure and simple. This is an attempt to make it difficult for him to put together a government, make it difficult for him to take early actions and some critical departments. And it is an obstructionism that is a jaw-dropping. Particularly, if you look back at the historic record, here is what happened with President Obama came in. Did the Republicans obstruct? No. Did they ask tough questions? Yes.

But think about this, within two days of being sworn into office, seven of his cabinet members have been approved, six of them on voice votes. One of them was approved, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 94 to two. And a couple of days later, they approved it by voice vote on the 23rd, the transportation secretary, on the 26th, Tim Geithner, who had not paid his taxes and had to undergo a rough confirmation fight, he was approved on 60- 34.

Basically, within one week of the President being sworn in. HUD Secretary, within eight days. Ten of the 15, excuse me, ten of the 14th that had to go through confirmation were approved within basically eight days of the President being sworn in. Two more were approved in February, one of them was delayed until late February because she -- Hilda Solis, the Labor Secretary, her husband had not paid taxes.

And then, we had two of them that were completely President Obama's fault. The Commerce Secretary in March because he went through two cabinet secretary nominations and had to be withdrawn before he finally got to the third run. And then finally, the HHS Secretary Sibelius, remember, Tom Daschle had to withdraw himself for not having paid taxes on the third of February.

O'REILLY: Right.

ROVE: She is nominated and approved basically five weeks.

O'REILLY: All right. So, I mean, look, the point is that when President Obama took office, the Republicans didn't try to sabotage him.

ROVE: Right.

O'REILLY: It looks like Schumer and his crew is going to try to sabotage Trump. The question is, they can't stop these appointments, like Sessions as Attorney General.

ROVE: No.

O'REILLY: So, they just try to embarrass the President and the individual appointees. Try to embarrass them, right?

ROVE: Right, exactly. And draw it out. So that look, they don't want the White House to be coming out with the lot of initiatives, they're moving forward. They want them to, you know, this is like a holding action while Trump is trying to undo a lot of what Obama did in trying to repeal ObamaCare and replace it, and trying to get a tax cut through, and tax reform. They want him tied down.

That is why they are going after people like the Secretary of Treasury nominee, Mnuchin, that is why they are going after the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. There are couples that are payback, they're going after Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary because the Democratic Party is lock, stock, and barrel by the Teacher Unions.

O'REILLY: Yes.

ROVE: And she is a fighter for school choice. They are going after --

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: All right. That is politics over --

ROVE: Yes. Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Let's get into, you know, it looks like Trump is going to be the strong man and he is calling out GM for making a car in Mexico and trying to embarrass them. But, you know, all of a sudden, Ford says, you know what? We are not going to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico, and we are going to build it in the USA, and all the jobs that come along with it. So, it looks like being a strong man is working for Trump. At least in the beginning.

ROVE: Well, maybe. Look, I accept that the Ford CEO today in his statement saying, look, we made this decision because it is in the best interest of our company. The facility in Mexico is un-needed, we're going to keep the small car production there. But we aren't selling enough of those cars, so, we're not going to expand it. And we need to expand production in the U.S. of the kinds of cars that Americans are buying.

O'REILLY: Yes.

ROVE: But we got to be careful about this. GM, let's think about this. The implication is, you're building a bunch of cars in Mexico and shipping them into the United States. That is fundamentally not true. In Lordstown, Ohio, there is a facility that since 2010, since being up and then, has made 1.3 million Chevy Cruisers. And in the United States, 1.1 million roughly have been bought. The other 200,000 were sold elsewhere, primarily in Canada. The facility in Mexico supplies the foreign markets. We have had about a million won U.S. purchases of Chevy Cruisers. There have been a million three --

O'REILLY: All right. But so what? You know the foreign market can be supplied in Michigan? And so, what?

ROVE: May be. But look, a couple of things.

O'REILLY: I don't have a lot of time. Wrap it up.

ROVE: Mexico has better trade agreements with other countries than we do. And we can make that product in Mexico and sell it and bring the profits back to the U.S. We couldn't make that product.

O'REILLY: Putting the tires on a car, Mr. Rove. As long as the strongman stuff doesn't get out of control, I think it's a good thing.

ROVE: I think it is getting very close to it.

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