First 100 Days

Connecticut woman slams governor's stance on immigration law; Thiessen, Roginsky debate the future of health care reform

Mother of woman killed by an illegal immigrant speaks out on 'The First 100 Days'


This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," February 23, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST:  Breaking tonight, you could say it's a whole new day at CPAC.  The first gathering of the conservative group since the victory of President Donald Trump.

And we are now just moments away from the most anticipated speech of the night.  Vice President Mike Pence about to step on that stage, on this day 35 as the Trump agenda faces fierce opposition.  He will make his own personal argument for it tonight.  I'm Martha McCallum and this is "The First 100 Days."

So throughout the day, the president's closest advisors spoke out including a quite interesting dual appearance by Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, which we will show some of you in a moment.

They drilled down on the, quote, "opposition."  They laid out their plans in no uncertain terms to an audience who a year ago would have no doubt thought these appearances somewhat unlikely.

So Mike Pence comes shortly to the microphone.  The man who has been called in some cases the fixer, sometimes the explainer for the president. President Trump calls him best decision.

He's very different, of course, in tone and tenor.  He will go first.  The president's big moment tomorrow.

But, first tonight, a major show down over Trump immigration doctrine and it is playing out in the state of Connecticut, where the governor is actually telling police do not enforce federal law here.  Do not cooperate with immigration and customs enforcement agents.

In moments, we will speak to someone very much on the other side of that argument.  Wendy Hartling of Connecticut whose daughter Casey was tragically murdered by a criminal illegal immigrant who was supposed to have been deported.

But, first, Trace Gallagher on Wendy's story and what is going on tonight in Connecticut and other places across this country.


TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Martha, we know the biggest cities in the country including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and others have already said they basically won't work with the federal government when it comes to illegal immigrants.

Now you can add the constitution state to that list.  Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy has now sent a letter to his state's law enforcement saying they should not cooperate with immigration and customs enforcement saying quoting here, "ICE detainer request are not request.  They are not warrants or orders and this should only be honored as set forth in Connecticut law unless accompanied by judicial warrant."

And the governor goes on to say police should not allow ICE agents to question those in local custody.

Here's how the White House responded.  Watch.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  And the idea that you can decide which laws to agree or not to agree with, follow or not follow undermines our entire rule of law.  And so I would suggest that that is not a great sign to be sending to the people of Connecticut and the people of this country.


GALLAGHER:  Governor Malloy said he wants everyone to be supported respectfully and fairly under the laws.  But what about 25-year-old Casey Chadwick who in June of 2015 was stabbed to death inside her apartment in Norwich, Connecticut by Jean Jacques, an illegal Haitian immigrant who had just been released from prison.

Federal agents say he should have been deported long before the murder, but because he's a violent criminal, Haiti refused to take him back.

Here's Casey Chadwick's mother testifying before Congress.


WENDY HARTLING, DAUGHTER KILLED BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT:  The tragedy of Casey's death is not an isolated case and it's occurring frighteningly around the country.  Something has to be done to fix this horrible problem.


GALLAGHER:  Wendy Hartling is now part of the group called The Remembrance Project, which advocates for families whose loved ones were killed by illegal immigrants.


MACCALLUM:  Thank you, Trace.

So here now, Wendy Hartling, whose story you just heard.

Wendy, good evening.  Thank you very much for being with us tonight.

HARTLING:  Thank you.

MACCALLUM:  When you hear the words of Dannel Malloy, the governor of your home state and you think back to what happened to you, what goes through your mind?

HARTLING:  I'm -- I'm outraged.  I mean, how could he say not to enforce the laws that are already out there and in place?  It hurts.  It hurts me and it will hurt a lot of people that, you know, we tragically lost our children to criminal illegal aliens that should have been deported or should still be deported and, you know, it's not happening.   It's not happening fast enough.

MACCALLUM:  You know, I know after Casey's death, you spent some time with some of the leadership and the senators in Connecticut.  Senator Blumenthal, Chris Murphy.

They said to you, quote, "We will do everything in our power to ensure that this gravest error that made possible to murder one of our constituents can never, ever happen again.

Did they follow-through on that?

HARTLING:  No.  When I testified in Washington, D.C., that was the last I heard from either one of -- from Joe Courtney, and from Blumenthal, and Murphy.   I did not hear any feedback, any follow-up, nothing.

MACCALLUM:  Did you try to get in touch with them?

HARTLING:  They try, they always send me e-mails asking me to donate money and I tried to write back to them.  What about Casey?  What are you doing about Casey?  What are you doing about the immigration problems and the deportation problems and then, no, I would not get a response.

MACCALLUM:  So now what Senator Blumenthal is saying and we know that the governor agrees because we just heard from him.  He says that Trump's immigration plans threaten to rip apart families and strip away legal rights.

How does that make you feel?

HARTLING:  It's very upsetting because they know, they know what's going on because we've been -- The Remembrance Project especially has really been out there in the news.  Our founder, whose name Marie Espinosa, she's been with the president on several occasions, talking about the immigration problem and how many families like myself and Casey's father and sister and brothers, stepmother, whatever, grandparents, how was that going to make us feel?

The angel moms, the angel dads, how does it going to make us feel knowing that this Governor Malloy does not want to enforce ICE or he wants to ignore the federal government.  He wants to ignore ICE.  That's just -- it's just wrong.  It's not right.

MACCALLUM:  Can you tell us, because we've seen behind you there are beautiful pictures of Casey.  We've been putting those pictures up on the screen.  Tell us what happened to your daughter.

HARTLING:  We were just making plans.  I was halfway through a CNA course.  She was a CNA.  She was very good.  And we were making plans to get an apartment and I was finishing up my CNA course, but halfway through it is when the tragedy hit home.  And so I didn't finish.

But she did, Casey was very, very, very smart.  She only had one year of high school.  She got her GED in two months.  She passed her CNA classes and the state test without opening a book.  She was very smart girl.  She was very well-loved by friends and family.

There was -- at her wake, there was clearly over 300 people that came to her wake.  And she was beautiful.  She's a tiny little thing, but she was beautiful, and she's gone.  And it's just wrong that she's gone.  She should still be here with her family and friends.


MACCALLUM:  I know.  That you smile when you can, but you never lose the sense of this pain.

HARTLING:  Exactly.

MACCALLUM:  And I don't want to, you know, make it worse for you.  But I do think it's important that people know what happened to her.  She was murdered -- correct?

HARTLING:  She was brutally murdered.  She was stabbed over 15 times and shoved in this little closest that she and her boyfriend did not use.  So when her boyfriend went to look for her, her car was there and he couldn't find her, he left and then came back with a friend and then they -- he opened the closet.  And the 911 call would make anybody cry listening to her boyfriend.  It was just -- it was heart wrenching.

There's nothing to describe the feeling that you feel.  It's just a horrible, horrible, agonizing -- there's a good word -- agonizing feeling in my stomach every single solitary day.

Every moment of every single solitary day.  Work is great.  I work at McDonalds and that is busy and that will keep me, you know, keeps me so I'm not always, constantly -- but then again, I come home or there is not a lot of customers, again, I feel that pain and that agony and I -- you know.

MACCALLUM:  Wendy, thank you.

HARTLING:  It's never going to go away.

You're welcome.

MACCALLUM:  Wendy Hartling, thank you for sharing your story with us.  And we hope that the governor of Connecticut is listening tonight as well. Thank you very much.

HARTLING:  I hope so, too.  Thank you.

MACCALLUM:  So joining me now Katie Pavlich, the news editor for and Juan Williams, co-host of "The Five."  Both are Fox News contributors.

Juan, let me start with you.  Your reaction to all of this.

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST, THE FIVE:  Wow.  I mean, you can't listen to Wendy Hartling without, you know, wanting to tear up.  I mean, it's just sad when you see a mother lose a child especially to violent crime.  It's heart-wrenching.  And, you know, you can see that she's still affected by it.  So I really -- you know, I don't know how you want me to react, Martha.  I think it's pretty obvious.

I think anybody listening to her knows she's sincere, she's authentic and still, I think, you know, struggling to cope with her daughter's death.

MACCALLUM:  But what about the governor of Connecticut?  What about people who seem to have more concern for keeping families together who are here illegally than they do for citizens of the country whose lives are taken by someone who should have been deported?

WILLIAMS:  Well, I think, we all think criminals should be in jail.  I don't think there's any question about that.  And so this man should have been apprehended -- in his case, as an illegal immigrant, he should have been deported.  I don't think -- so we don't have any argument there.

I think the larger argument is one in which you could have had on your show tonight, an immigrant family living in fear at the moment because of the changes being put in place by the Trump administration with regard to who gets deported and whether or not you have, what the president call today military precision in terms of people going after families who may be peaceably here.

MACCALLUM:  One, there was no military precision for removing this person.

WILLIAMS:  No, there was a failure in there.

MACCALLUM:  Let me get Katie in here.  And, you know, we have to fix the problem is what this is all about.

Katie, your thoughts?

KATIE PAVLICH, NEWS EDITOR, TOWNHALL.COM:  Well, Governor Malloy's directive to tell local law enforcement not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, to keep and detain people like the man who murdered Casey leads to more problems and more American murders and death.

We saw this with Kate Steinle and the man who murdered -- killed her.   He was deported, went to San Francisco, who knew it was a sanctuary city.  Local law enforcement didn't cooperate with ICE and therefore he was able to stay and Kate Steinle was killed as a result of this.

We need to come to a point where governors, including Democrats are willing to put American citizens above illegal immigrants.  And then when it comes to Donald Trump's -- President Trump's enforcement, we are specifically talking exactly about these types of criminals.  The details of who they are going after, they are very specific.

Illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes like murder, rape.  Those types of crimes in addition to things like document fraud.  We are not talking about a broad swathe of illegal immigrants here.  We're talking about very specific group of people who we know over and over again are set for deportation, hiding out in sanctuary cities and then commit these murders against American citizens that continue as a result of Governor Malloy's policies and those like it.

WILLIAMS:  Well, I think it's a little different, Katie.  I think in fact what you are seeing is that the president has listed things that are so much more.

PAVLICH:  Like what?

WILLIAMS:  Well, for example, people who've been accused of crimes that have never been found guilty of any crime.  People who may have committed a traffic violation.


MACCALLUM:  But, Juan, you have to start at the very beginning.

WILLIAMS:  Let me finish.  Let me finish.


MACCALLUM:  But they are illegal here to begin with.  So that's number one, Juan.


WILLIAMS:  What did you say, Martha?

MACCALLUM:  I said they are illegally here to begin with.  So that's number one.


WILLIAMS:  Well, we have, Martha --


MACCALLUM:  So we're talking about on top of that being accuse of another law offense.


WILLIAMS:  Martha, we have, I think the estimates are between 11 and 14 million illegal immigrants in the United States of America.  The question is how do you get rid of all these people in one swath.

PAVLICH:  That's not what's on the table.

WILLIAMS:  But right now you have President Trump saying he's going to have 10,000 more immigration officers, 5,000 more border patrol talking about military precision.  You have an immigrant community that is frightened, Katie, and so why we all have sympathy for criminals, let's be clear.

What Governor Malloy did in Connecticut is simply say Connecticut law doesn't require you to become an --


MACCALLUM:  More to come.  I've got to leave it there, you guys.

Thank you, Katie.  Thank you, Juan.  We will talk again.

So, tonight, at 9:00 Eastern on Fox News, you will hear directly from Connecticut's Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy will talk to Tucker Carlson and discuss why he is telling his law enforcement officials not to follow the law and not to follow the new immigration order.  So stay tuned for that.

Plus, we are counting down to the biggest speech of the night at CPAC as Vice President Mike Pence is expected to take that stage any moment.  When he does, you will see it here, live.

And new debate raging tonight among Capitol Hill Republicans.  What to do about ObamaCare after it is repealed as conservatives try to decide and tussle over what comes next.

Marc Thiessen and Julie Roginsky here to debate right after this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We are going to be submitting in a couple of weeks a great health care plan that's going to take the place of the disaster known as ObamaCare.

It will be repealed and replaced.




MACCALLUM:  So we are back.  We are now moments away from Vice President Pence taking the stage.  So what will he say about hotly contentious issue of whether it is right or politically expedient for the administration to move on ObamaCare and how they should do it?

This, as a group tied with Senator Mitch McConnell sending a big message.

They are releasing new TV ads, spending millions of dollars to argue in no uncertain terms that repeal and replace must happen simultaneously.

So there is, as you know, push back from some more conservative members and now Former Speaker John Boehner speaking out saying that the fix, quote, is not going to happen.

For more on this emerging fight, we'll go to chief national correspondent Ed Henry with the latest, live from CPAC tonight.

Hi, Ed.


Republican activist here and around the country are getting restless about whether or not Republicans in Congress are going to follow through on what Steve Bannon said on the stage behind me today, which is that President Trump is going to follow through on all of his key campaign promises especially repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

As you say that effort got a boost today by this political group tied to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell which pledged $3 million for TV ads in nine states saying that McConnell is for repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

But keep a close eye on what Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said yesterday in Alaska.  She gave a speech to the legislature at where they have thousands of people who have gained Medicaid coverage because of President Obama.

And she said if they want to keep that Medicaid coverage, she is OK with that.  The Associated Press adding, quote, "In her speech, Murkowski also said she does not support a reckless effort to repeal the health care law that leaves people hanging."

She said later that a replacement should be in place before the existing law is repealed.  That means that given the Republican slim margin in the Senate, Democrats need only two more Republican senators to block leadership efforts on the Republican side to replace and repeal ObamaCare.

That's one reason why John Boehner gave a speech, where he said it's simply not going to happen.  He said it's just happy talk.  Boehner added when he heard the president, other Republicans after the election say that all of this will happen very quickly, he thought, quote, "In the 25 years that I serve in the Congress, Republicans never ever one time agreed on what a health care proposal should looked like.  I started laughing."

Now to Boehner's supporters, they say, he's telling the truth that ObamaCare is more likely to be repaired, than actually repealed and replaced.  But there are activist here in CPAC who believe this is exactly why Boehner was essentially pushed out as speaker.

They want to see action on The Hill.  They want to see those promises fulfilled.  And in fact, Sean Spicer today said at the White House it's full speed ahead on that.


MACCALLUM:  Ed, thank you.

So joining us now Marc Thiessen, former chief speech writer to President George W. Bush and a Fox News contributor, and Julie Roginsky, Democratic strategist and a Fox News contributor.

Welcome to both of you.  Good to have you with us tonight.



MACCALLUM:  I want to begin by playing that moment with Sean Spicer in the briefing room today.  Let's take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Former House Speaker John Boehner predicted that a full repeal and replace of Obamacare, quote, his word, "Is not going to happen."

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  We're going to end up with a more accessible plan that will allow people to see more doctors, have more providers and drive cost down.


MACCALLUM:  So we are about to hear from Mike Pence.  And we know the White House needs to be on the same page with leadership in the G.O.P.

Marc, is that the signal that we're getting?  How do you read it?

THIESSEN:  Well, the Republicans have a problem which is they only need 51 votes, a simple majority to repeal ObamaCare.  But most of the things they want to do to replace ObamaCare can't be done with 51 votes.  They need 60 votes to do that which means they need Democrats to come together and work with them in a bipartisan way for a replacement plan.

And right now, the Democrats are not interested in bipartisan cooperation. They are interested in resistance.  So the Democrats are not -- are refusing to approve a lot of Trump's cabinet nominee.

They certainly not going to help work with him on a bipartisan health care reform.  And so what that means is Republicans are on a bind because if they repeal without replacing, then the entire system can collapse.  And millions of people can lose their health insurance and they will own the process.

If you go back and remember when Barak Obama lied to the American people and said you can keep your doctor and you keep your health care plan, Republicans don't want to be responsible for taking away people's doctors and their healthcare plan.  So the Democrats are kind of in this position where rather than helping Republicans find a replacement because there was a mandate in the election to do that, they are just sitting back and hoping that the Republicans will repeal so they can throw the whole thing around their neck and make them own it.

MACCALLUM:  Julie?  It sounds pretty good for Democrats.

ROGINSKY:  Well, there was a mandate, Mark, who agree originally for Barack Obama to pass ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act.  The Republicans were not interested in working with him on that either.

Look --


THIESSEN:  He didn't try.

MACCALLUM:  It's really a mandate with absolutely no bipartisan support.

ROGINSKY:  That's right.

MACCALLUM:  That's not a mandate.

ROGINSKY:  Exactly right.  There was a mandate to get Barack Obama like as you think Republicans want to work on a healthcare plan, they said not.  So to Marc's point that somehow there was a mandate to work with the Republicans on this, you could say the same thing about happen with Obama's election.

I will say I think it's a little mendacious for former Speaker John Boehner to say that, you know, this was all a big joke.  And the fact that they voted 60 times to repeal ObamaCare, they didn't really mean it, because there really is no way to replace it.

So with all these nonsense about repealing ObamaCare, voting time and time again, knowing that Barak Obama would never going to sign that legislation was really scamming the base in order to get votes and now the base should demand, should demand that the Republicans who voted to repeal ObamaCare provide them with the replacement that they agreed to, which is they can keep their doctors if you're 26 and your health care plan, pre-existing conditions, all of that and it's going to be cheaper.

MACCALLUM:  I can't imagine any plan that's not going to include those two things.  Politically


MACCALLUM:  To be politically positive, you know.  But when I listened to Sean Spicer there, Marc, I didn't even hear repeal.  I heard, you know, we are going to fix it, right?

We are going to get in there, we're going to fix it.  And then we can maybe say later, and I'm adding this part myself, you know, oh yes, we repealed and replaced.

Is that a scenario that you can see happening?

THIESSEN:  I don't think so.  If Donald Trump doesn't repeal and replace ObamaCare, that was the campaign what he campaign promised on.  And if he doesn't do it, then he's going to pay for it at the polls.  So they have to do it.

The problem that Republicans are in right now is also that their caucus is split.  Because the largest number of people who got health insurance under ObamaCare, they got it through the Medicaid expansion.

And while a lot of Republican governors refuse the Medicaid expansion like Scott Walker, 13 red states where they accepted the Medicaid expansion.

And so if you, those people are not going to vote for repealing of ObamaCare and throwing those people off of their insurance.

So what ought to happen in an ideal world is we would repeal ObamaCare, and then Republicans and Democrats would come together on a plan that includes the best ideas from both parties that would include things like keeping --


MACCALLUM:  You are making John Boehner laugh right now at home, I think, Marc.

THIESSEN:  Yes, probably.  But, I mean, you know, maybe cats and dogs will get together one day.



Julie, you know, a lot of small businesses are hell bent on having this, you know, off their backs.  And they say that, you know, it has been so oppressive to their ability to run their companies.  They are also constituents that need to be heard.

ROGINSKY:  Sure.  Listen, what's the old pottery barn rule?  You break it, you own it.  The Republicans control both houses of the legislature.  They control the White House.  They have promised their constituents, those small businesses and other that they will repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a cheaper plan that keeps coverage for all the people that have it today, that you're allowed to keep your doctor, that you'll stay on your parent's insurance until you're 26 and that you will be discriminated against for pre-existing conditions.

But they're going to be doing all of this by getting rid of the individual mandate, which we know mathematically you cannot do.  So bottom line, God bless, go to town.  I cannot wait to see their proposal.



THIESSEN:  Yet the bottom line, if the Democrats are refusing to work with them on that --


MACCALLUM:  All right, thank you, guys.

So still ahead, we're going to take you live to the Conservative Political Action Conference where the vice-president is about to speak.  So we will bring you that as soon as it gets underway.

Mr. Pence will be the last of several top White House officials to make their way to the conservative gathering today.

Chief strategist Steve Bannon, you never heard him speak before, right?  Well, we heard him today.  He was with Reince Priebus.  We'll show you the best of what those two said and, wow, was that pretty interesting, when we come back.


STEVE BANNON, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST:  We have a team that's just grinding it through on what President Donald Trump promised the American people.  And the mainstream media had better understand something, all of those promises are going to be implemented.



MARTHA MACCALLUM, THE FIRST 100 DAYS HOST:  Breaking tonight just moments away from Vice-president Mike Pence's speech which we will bring to it you in it's entirely.  And tomorrow, President Trump will address the gathering marking the first time that a president has spoken at CPAC in his first year in office since Ronald Reagan did it in 19981.  And President Trump decided not to attend last year.  The straw poll was won by one Senator Ted Cruz in a very different environment.  So joining us now Matt Schlapp Chairman of CPAC, Mo Elleithee University Institute of Politics and Public Service founding executive director at the Georgetown Institute and a Fox News Contributor and also Kristin Anderson Columnist for the Washington Examiner and a Republican pollster, welcome to all of you and good to have you with us tonight.  I will play a little bit of the exchange Matt from the interview that you did earlier today with top advisors to the president, Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus.  Stories have been written about this two, kind of that they don't get along very well.  So they want to demonstrate that they get along nicely.  And here they are.  


REINCE PRIEBUS, CHIEF OF STAFF:  President Trump brought together the party and conservative movement and I have to tell you if the party and conservative movement are together similar as Steve and I, it can't be stopped.  

STEVE BANNON, CHIEF STRATEGIST TO THE WHITE HOUSE:  If you want to see the Trump agenda, it is very simple.  It was all in the speeches.  Executive orders and the Supreme Court, and the way he is going to the Supreme Court and by the way the other 102 judges that we will break and first is national security and sovereignty and second line of work what I refer to as economic nationalism.  And third broadly, line of work is what deconstruction of the administrative state.  


PRIEBUS:  It was something that people wanted in this country that was real and changes the direction that we are heading and it was President Trump.  

BANNON:  It is not going to get better, it going to get worse every day.  And here is why, the internal logic makes sense.  They are corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda that Donald Trump has.  


MACCALLUM:  Wow, there is a lot in there, a lot that we can chew over, Matt.  Let me bring you first on that, he lay out, he said judges.  He said we are going to pick 102 and deconstruction of the administrative state and an economic national agenda.  All of those rings true with all of the things we heard on the campaign trail.  

MATT SCHLAPP, CHAIRMAN OF CPAC:  Yes that is exactly right.  I think people are assuming that there is some kind of confusion in the White House, because they read about all of the infighting and everything else.  What Reince and Steve wanted to accomplished today is to let people know that they are focused like a laser on the promises that Donald Trump made on the campaign trail and I think both of them are eloquent spokesman for what Donald Trump is trying to do and really all of the chaos and disorder that comes with the new administration and especially one that is pushing this much change.  And they wanted to say guys, we are working together very well and the chemistry was obvious.  

MACCALLUM:  Steve Bannon said thanks for inviting me and I have never been here before.  And this is a whole new thing for me.  No one expected these two on the stage and representing the Trump presidency even a year ago when (inaudible).  

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMNIST:  Sure, CPAC has gone through a really interesting evolution.  I mean if you had gone to CPAC about ten years ago, it would have been full sort of Bush administration mania.  There was a period in time when Ron Paul fans came out and the personality of CPAC I think changes base on who is scoring victories for the conservatives at the moment.  And right now that is Donald Trump.  There is a difference between the Republican Party and conservative movement and Trumpism.  I think those are three distinct things.  There are plenty of overlaps between them.  But take those three points that Bannon brought up, something like national security, big for conservative, dismantled administrative state, big for conservative and the piece of economic nationalism affects the trade.  It will see how it plays out in practice when the Trump administration works with conservatives on Capitol Hill to get things down.  

MACCALLUM:  Mo, your though these on deconstructing the administrative state.  There is a lot to deconstruct.  

MOE ELLEITHEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF POLITICS:  Yes, I couldn't agree with Kristen more.  There are three distinct groups while there is some overlap.  I would say there is reason for conservatives to be nervous about the administration.  Steve Bannon is not a movement conservative and Donald Trump is not a movement conservative.  The organizations that Matt runs, it is not a movement that I identify with and agree with but they are the stewards of this pure conservative ideology and Donald Trump and Steve Bannon in a lot of ways run counter to that.  They do border often times on an authoritarian almost approach to the role of executive which movement conservatives don't typically agree with.  The president will come out tomorrow and say things that the crowd likes.  He specializes in that, but whether or not that plays out in the coming month and coming years on some of the core policies that are sort of the underpinning of the conservative movement.  

MACCALLUM:  Matt, what did you think about?  Would you be still in that room there today with regards to party coming together.  

SCHLAPP:  I respect Mo, do not worry people who are listening, and these people are working very well together.  The fact is Trump is called a populous.  And Steve Bannon talked about some of his reams today, basically what he is, he listens to what the American people want and that is why he did so well in the Republican primaries.  Republican voters were crying out for a fighter, somebody who the throw away the old rule book and Donald Trump did that well.  And what I experienced, we had 17 candidates in CPAC over the course of the last two years and what I experienced talking to conservative activist across the country who supported other candidate and they are really excited about the first 30 days, think about it.  A new justice to the Supreme Court will be the swing justice that is conservative.  According to our analytics, the most conservative cabinet in history and they are looking at all of these Executive order's and the roll back of the Obama agenda and quite frankly, the last president to come to CPAC in his first year was Ronald Reagan.  Donald Trump is off to a good start with conservatives.  

MACCALLUM:  Kristen, what about the fact that last year he didn't want to go, because he really was vilified by all of the other candidates who are out there and he did the vilifying back.  It is a different picture than what we see now.  

SOLTIS ANDERSON:  It is how Donald Trump won the Republican primary was not actually by claiming to be the most conservative guy or gal on the stage. While all the other folks are constantly talking about I am a conservative governor or senator, Donald Trump almost never used that word to describe himself.  And he put together a victory by winning over enough moderate and liberal Republicans in the primaries to succeed.  And Vice President Pence that began to be the olive branch and say, I might not be one of you, but I will bring one of you with me in the White House to help guide me in making some of this decisions and you can trust me.  It was a choice of Pence that really was the biggest thing that locked in conservative comfort with Donald Trump early on.  He will continue to have to earn it along the way.  

MACCALLUM:  And Mike Pence has been intensely loyal throughout the course of their partnership.  And we saw what happened with General Flynn.  And the feeling that Mike Flynn had his toes stepped on and the president would not put up with.  That he stands by his vice-president and did not want him to be feeling slighted overnight forecast looked in and I thought that was significant.  And another close advisor to the president is Kellyanne Conway, she was there today.  She spoke today very interesting things and here is some of what she had to say.  Let's watch.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How do you believe that president Trump impacted the conservative movement?  

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR:  Well I think by tomorrow it will be TPAC here.  


Every great movement which the conservative movement is of course, every great movement it ends up a little bit (inaudible) and dusty after a time and I think they need an infusion of energy.  He earned the nomination in a way that was bottom up instead of top down and replaced the fiction of electability with revelation of electricity and brought people in.  


MACCALLUM:  Changed everything really, Mo.  Looking at the November election and Hillary Clinton was by all intents and purposes, the winner and everybody thought she would be able to be victorious and the Democrats would hang on to their seat and it was a big jolt for the Democrats and now you are looking at a party that might have Keith Ellison ahead of it and people are saying is moving more and more to the left all of the time.  How do you feel about that?  

ELLEITHEE:  I think both parties frankly are going through realignment and I think both of them kind of need to.  The reality is, I am not a Donald Trump supporter, but Donald Trump defeated the Republican Party and then defeated the Democrat Party.  And that showed that both parties were losing touch with what is happening on the ground.  Now, I think Donald Trump has a lot of challenge and I think his message was a good message.  I don't know how genuine it was.  I don't think it was very genuine.  But this is really interesting and Kellyanne had a great throwaway line there.  It was nice.  It was funny by tomorrow it will be known as TPAC.  It really does beg the question.  Are we going to see realignment?  Are we going to see conservatives kind of give up maybe on some the movement ideology in order to get behind whatever it is Donald Trump is creating or will they pull him back toward him?  I don't know if we know the answer to that yet.  

MACCALLUM:  And they risk blowing it, I mean you can really make an argument that if not for Donald Trump they would not have a majority in the House and the senate.  They have had to sort of snap to a certain extent to where he is, kind of order to be in the position they are in right now. Kristin, quick thought on that?  

SOLTIS ANDERSON:  There are some folks that are able to put together victories because of the energy that someone like Donald Trump can bring to the table.  There are other Republicans that are in districts that are little bit more suburban where Donald Trump may create challenges for them in the midterm.  It depends on the Republican you are talking to whether or not Donald Trump is a positive or negative for them.  

MACCALLUM:  All right thank you all, as we wait for Vice-President Mike Pence.  Who is expected to deliver his remarks with CPAC just moments away, we'll check with Doug McKelway has been there all day and he joins us live from National Harbor Maryland, Doug.  

DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Martha.  We just wrapped up with Judge Janine Pirro.  She is with us on Fox News channel, she was just wrapping up her remarks, and she will be the final speaker before Vice-President Pence take the podium eminently right now.  She spoke not about her experience at Fox News but about her experience as a judge.  She spent 30 years on the bench and described to the crowd how she saw the best of America and the worst of America, the real life consequences of decisions that people make in life.  And she talked about how people are going about their everyday lives and only to be struck by a thunderbolt tragedy in lives.  And it is committed often times by people who consciously choose to do bad things and it is a prelude and culminating in the instance of Kate Steinle murder on appear in San Francisco committed by an illegal alien.  

She got a standing ovation here.  We are expecting Mike Pence very, very shortly.  The fundamental question here for a lot of people is I think with CPAC convention this year, a convention which has been going on since 1973, is will conservatives move closer to Donald Trump and his particular bad of populism or will Trump move closer to the party himself.  This is a president who neglected to come here last year as a candidate.  But as president he will be appearing here in unparalleled power.  Not only do the Republicans hold the White House and both houses and congress but more than 2/3 of state legislatures and also a majority of the governorships as well.  We are waiting for Vice-President Pence to come out.  

The man who will introduce him Chris Cox is taking to the podium right now.  And the general sentiment about where the party goes right here, I think is based upon the picks that Donald Trump has made right now and if you look at his cabinet, solid conservatives.  If you look at executive order it is solid conservative at display here.  And that seems to be the direction that he is moving in and we'll hear more from that from the Vice-President momentarily.  

MACCALLUM:  All right, Doug thank you very much, Doug McKelway this is Chris Cox as he said.  He will introduce Mike Pence in just a moment.  We'll sneak in one more question with the panel.  Going back to what is happening today.  Matt Schlapp, the different method that the president had about military action taking place in terms of our immigration movement that he has put in and then you see Kelly, the Homeland Security Secretary saying that we are not having military action and boots on the ground. Everybody gets used to in some ways, the way the president talk and he doesn't always mean exactly verbatim what he said.  Is that something that everybody has to adjust to or is that going to be a problem?  

SCHLAPP:  I think it is the new normal.  I think that the president is successfully prevented himself from being criticized for every syllable and people are actually looking for the intent of the policy.  Early in to the administration, I think certainly the conservative movement, but I think his supporters generally, I think they are giving him a benefit of a doubt as a rookie to politics and to government.  He doesn't know the names of every person or every independent agency and every side of every code.  But he speaks in the way politicians usually don't.  They are trying to get the gist of what he is doing.  And the polls I am looking at and the people in the room, he is threading the needle well and his political power could be increasing despite the mistakes people say harm him.  I don't think that is right.  

MACCALLUM:  I think it is fascinating with regard to the economy.  We'll have to learn to do more with less.  That is a message CEO's understand. But not what Washington has a history of understanding.  

ELLEITHEE:  No.  To Matt's point, on whether or not it is the impreciseness of his language is actually helping or hurting, you know, I don't know.  I think his base will give him a lot of leeway here.  But it doesn't seem to be helping with expanding his base.  He won with 46 percent of the vote and did not get the majority of the vote or more votes than Hillary Clinton. That means he needs to if he wants to build a true governing coalition and majority reach out to more people.  When you are reckless with your words and saying something about using military action on American soil that is not the kind of things that is going to ease the concerns of people that are maybe not totally against him, but certainly not for him yet.  

MACCALLUM:  Yes, you know when you talk about the president and the way he talks, tomorrow he will have one opportunity at CPAC to speak to conservatives and then he gets another very big opportunity comes Tuesday night, to speak to congress.  We'll see how he does, right.  

SOLTIS ANDERSON:  I think we'll see if he wants to stay in the vein of what he did in his inaugural address and laying out a speech much America first. It was the kind of message he always delivered and polished fashion.  Does he stick to that or in the atmosphere of CPAC that become a little more freewheeling or a little more like a rally and let's rile up the base and say stuff that raises eyebrows in here Washington and in the media?  I think it remains to be seen.  I suspect you will have different tones between those two speeches with tomorrow being a little more likes a rally and next week's speech being a little more likes his inaugural.  

MACCALLUM:  Matt, there has been pushback from people who are - especially in the business world.  We heard from Steve Mnuchin this morning, he spoke with Maria Bartiromo, he said tax reform is a very high priority.  When do you think that is going to be the discussion, and we need there needs to be a budget first for ObamaCare changes and tax reform changes, right?  

SCHLAPP:  That is right.  We have to get the budget agreed on and passed and the house is going to move first on the issues of tax reform and replacing ObamaCare.  Look, it is a legislative process it is hard to know exactly what will survive.  I think these folks know that, they know about an ObamaCare replacement will include and have to negotiate it.  But on taxes, it is a much more open question.  I think the senate and house are much more at odds of what that package will contain and both of these issues.  The White House has been pretty quiet.  

MACCALLUM:  Mo, I want to go back to the party and the vote that is going to take place in the course of this weekend, which really will define in many ways where your party goes from here.  How do you feel about it and who would you like to be in the leadership spot.  

ELLEITHEE:  I reject the premise just a little bit, Martha.  I don't think the chairman of the party.  Democrats and Republicans dictate the direction.  

MACCALLUM:  Mo, thank you, we are watching the vice-president take the stage and a moment that everybody has been waiting for this evening.  He is with his wife Karen.  They are now about a month in to the process of being vice-president.  And Mike Pence has always been well received generally by these crowd and has a close relationship with everybody in Washington and of course across the country and through all of his as governor of Indiana and he is now the Vice-President to President Donald Trump and he is about to make comments of course with CPAC.  As we said, the president will make his own statement tomorrow morning.  First time that a first year president has done so, since Ronald Reagan took office, let's take this in for a moment.  








It is great to be back at the premier gathering of conservatives in the United States of America.  



You know, this is the 9th time I've had the privilege to address CPAC.  Thanks to all of you and the confidence of our new president, this is the first time I'm here as Vice-President of the United States of America.  



Because of all of you, because of your hard work and your support and your prayers, my family and I have the privilege to serve and more importantly, because of all of you my friend Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States of America.  



You know, you know, the president and I have become good friends.  It is the greatest privilege of my life to be a vice-president of a president with conviction, vision and courage.  Some people remark we are different.  I am a small town guy.  He is big city.  I am Midwest and he is Manhattan Island.  He is known for his bigger life personality, his charm and his charisma and I am like, not.  


And as they said in the Republican convention, I guess he was just looking to balance the ticket.  All kidding aside, when president Trump asked me to join me him on the ticket I said yes in a heartbeat, because you have elected a man for president who never quits, he never backs down and he is a fighter, he is a winner and I promise you he will never stop fighting until we make America great again.  



You know, from the outset our president reminded me of somebody else, a man who inspired me actually to join the cause of conservatism nearly four years ago President Ronald Reagan.  



I believe President Trump has given voice to the aspirations and frustrations of the American people like no leader since Reagan.  I just knew our president would reignite our cause and renew it in our own day and he did just that.  President Trump won a historic victory all across the United States of America.  


Think about it.  



30 out of 50 state, including states that no Republican had carried in a generation, President Donald Trump turned the blue wall red.  



And you know what?  The establishment never saw it coming.  I mean, the media, the elites and the insiders and everybody else who was preserving the status quo they dismissed our president in every step of the way.  And in dismissing him, they also dismissed millions of hard- working forgotten men and women who make this country great.  Worst, they are still trying to dismiss them, still trying to dismiss all of us.  What they should have learned on Election Day it is not a government by the elites or by the media or for the establishment.  What November 8th showed, even if they didn't listen, this is still government of the people and by the people and for the people.  



Last November, the American people rose up, demanded a safer America and prosperous America and that is why the American people elected Donald Trump as president of the United States of America and President Donald Trump is already delivering for the American people.  


So I am here today, because of all of you and this conservative movement and from behalf of the president and from the bottom of my heart.  Let me say thank you for your hard work and your commitment to our cause, but our fight didn't end on November 8th.  We won the day.  Make no mistake about it, the harder work and the most important work now lies ahead.  The fight goes on.  Let me make you a promise.  President Trump will fight for you every single day.  



President Trump is a man of his word and we're keeping the promises that he made to the American people.  Over in the White House, I like to say we for the promise keeping business these days.  You know, when President Trump asked me to transition, he looked at me and said Mike, just get me the best, and how about that Attorney General Jeff Sessions?  



How about Jim Mad Dog Mattis over at defense?  



How about Dr. Ben Carson in housing and urban development just to name a few?  



I could go on and name every single one of them and proud to stand with them.  Folks this is the A- team.  I say with great confidence, President Trump assembled the strongest conservative cabinet in my lifetime, bar none.  


With this team, we as conservatives have an opportunity that only comes around every few generations or maybe just once in a lifetime.  And my friends, this is our time.  



This is the chance we've worked so hard for so long to see.  This is the time to prove again that our answers are the right answers for America, a strong military, more jobs, fewer taxes, respect for the constitution and the values that have made America great and a deep and abiding faith in the goodness of the American people.  



You know, history will attest, every time America produces a leader who builds on this firm foundation, our nation reaches heights that once seemed unreachable.  And let me assure you, that President Donald Trump is such a leader and under his leadership, we are making America great again.  He is putting America first in putting Americans back to work already.  He is rebuilding the military and putting our enemies on notice.  



He is supporting law enforcement and ending illegal immigration once and for all.  


He is rolling back the government.  

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