This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," April 24, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: And there are 5 days to go now in "The First 100." Despite decrying the benchmark as a "ridiculous standard", the president clearly wants to make this a big week, and establish his record in the White House.
Welcome, everybody, I'm Martha MacCallum. Take a look at Sean Spicer earlier today.
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SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think when you look at the totality of what we've accomplished on job creation, on immigration, on trade, it is unbelievable what he has been able to do.
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MACCALLUM: The president started the day today, though, this way, pushing the timetable on travel to Mars. Watch.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It'll be approximately in the 2030s.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: What we want to try and do it during my first time, or at worst, during my second term, so I have to speed that up a little bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, get a move on it, right? So, we also added this telling thought. Watch.
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TRUMP: You know, I've been dealing with politicians so much, I'm so much more impressed with these people. You have no idea.
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MACCALLUM: So the White House trying to get Congress to step it up on Capitol Hill. Gary Cohn will be there, so will Steve Mnuchin. Tomorrow, they're going to talk to the leaders there to try to light a fire under tax reform. And Wednesday, the Secretary of State will brief 100 senators. This is an unusual move. The democrats and the republicans will be together. They'll get a briefing from the Secretary of State on the reality of the threat that exists from North Korea.
So, as the 100 days draws to a close, the president expected to go back to using his pen for several more executive orders over the course of the coming days; one of them emerging this evening. We are going to mention that in just a second. Let's go to Kevin Corke at the White House with the look at what we can expect to be signed over the course of this week. Hi, Kevin.
KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Martha, you're right, a frenzy of executive orders here in the last week of the first 100 days in office for President Trump. And I think this is also important to point out, in fact, by Friday if he keeps this up, he will have signed nearly three dozen executive orders in his first 100 days; that would be the most since World War II. Now, there are a few that I want to run by you. The very first, I think, a lot of people will find interesting, the executive order improving accountability and whistleblower protections at the Veterans Affairs department. I'll talk more about that in just a moment.
How about this one, executive order for a review of designations under the Antiquities Act, more on that in a bit. The executive order implementing an America-first offshore energy strategy and executive order promoting agriculture and rural prosperity in America. Now, I mentioned I wanted to drill down, Martha, on just a couple of these. But first, in the order improving accountability and whistleblower protections at the V.A., it will establish an office that is of accountability and whistleblower protection, and also help the V.A. secretary discipline or even fire V.A. managers and employees who fail to carry out their duties in helping our veterans. Obviously, a very important executive order for the president.
There's another, this is the America-first energy executive order. It directs a review of the locations available, get this, for off-shore oil and gas exploration and certain regulations governing offshore oil and gas exploration. That should be a very big bit of news there, especially on the energy front.
And speaking of, I want to tell you about one more, Martha, while I have a second. It's going to get probably a bit of pushback, is the Antiquities Act. And this is important. That review will basically look at how the Obama administration in its final months in office decided to set aside millions of acres of American land as monuments and other specialty designations. What that really means is it essentially took it off the table for possible exploration for energy resources or any other development. The administration wants to look at that. They could get some blowback, but I think they're going to move forward on that. We'll see if the review makes a difference. But for now, back to you.
MACCALLUM: Yes. Critics saw that as a government land grab, essentially.
CORKE: Yes, exactly.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Kevin. Kevin Corke at the White House.
Let's go to Marc Thiessen, American Enterprise Institute scholar and former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush, also a Fox News contributor; and Zac Petkanas, a democratic strategist, and former senior DNC adviser. Gentlemen, welcome. Good to have both of you here.
MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER CHIEF SPEECHWRITER FOR GEORGE W. BUSH: Good to be with you.
MACCALLUM: Boy, there's a lot on the table. And you know, the evaluation of what he has done so far -- Zac, let me start with you, as he heads into this -- a bit of a frustration on the legislative front, but he has a lot of unraveling of what the Obama administration did that he has methodically worked his way through.
ZAC PETKANAS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST AND FORMER SENIOR DNC ADVISER: Well, sort of. I mean, it's been a big disappointment for them on the legislative front but it's been sort of a lot of unraveling on the - on the Obama front. Most of these executive orders, they're theater, they're study groups and blue ribbon commissions. It is the -- it is the perception of activity because what they're doing is getting smoked on the legislative front. There's been a failure after failure on that side. And they're panicking in the White House. And that is why you're seeing this flurry of activity right now to see if they can paper over their extraordinary failures and broken promises for job creation and --
MACCALLUM: Marc is laughing which leaves me to think that perhaps he has another viewpoint on it. Marc, what do you think?
THIESSEN: You know, Zac wasn't saying that when Barack Obama was using his pen and his phone. He had a different line when it came to executive orders back then, as all the democrats did. But look, Donald Trump -
THIESSEN: Donald Trump has a -- has a - OK. Fair enough. Donald Trump has a - has a - you can look back on this 100 days and say that he has accomplished something more significant than any of his predecessors in modern history. He put a Supreme Court Justice on the Supreme Court that is going to affect the direction of this country for the next three decades. Barack Obama's stimulus, his big achievement is forgotten. George Bush's tax cuts, which were passed after the 100 days, those are -- have been amended by his successor. From now on, for the next three decades, every 5-4 vote that goes the conservative's way is going to be one of Donald Trump's 100-days achievement. So that is a huge accomplishment and it pales compared to anything anyone has ever achieved in their first 100 days.
MACCALLUM: You know, it's interesting to look at sort of the communications effort that we have seen happening clearly this morning and in recent days. You see Steve Mnuchin very much out front; Nikki Haley, very much out front. And I think there's an effort to put some of these folks that they have a lot of confidence in out there speaking on behalf of the administration, and talking about what they want to do. So, this tax reform picture that we're getting, if you can simplify the tax code, as Mnuchin said he wants to do, make it easier for middle-income folks who are doing their taxes to have it on one sheet of paper, which everybody, of course, would love to see happen, and also, cut the tax rate for individuals and for corporations, as well. Zac, are you -- what do you think? Are you for or against cutting taxes for the middle-income folks and also for businesses in this country?
PETKANAS: Look, everyone is for cutting taxes for middle-income folks, but that's not what tax reform is to this White House. To this White House, tax reform is massive tax cuts for corporations and the very wealthy and leaving the middle-income folks high and dry. And so, that's not something to -
MACCALLUM: That's not what they said today. I mean, you know, you may turn out to be right, but that's not what their stated goal is today.
PETKANAS: I'm right.
MACCALLUM: You're sure that you're right, you know, before --
PETKANAS: I'm sure that I'm right.
MACCALLUM: Why would they want to do that? If you want to get re-elected, why would you do what you just explained? It makes zero sense.
PETKANAS: It absolutely makes zero sense, which is -- but that's the same playbook that they did with the health reform repeal act. They went after very popular programs, like raising seniors' premiums, and they seem to be doing the same playbook with so-called "tax reform", is really a big fat tax cut for the wealthy.
MACCALLUM: If that's the case, that's not going to go over very well. Marc, is that the case?
THIESSEN: No, that's not the case. I mean, look, Donald Trump was elected because the democrats lost their - there are 700 counties in this country that voted twice for Barack Obama, a third of them voted for Donald Trump. Those voters are the ones that he is going in there to fight for, and those are the voters he's going to give a tax cut to, so Zac is completely wrong. The reality is that what they - what I - what they need to do, however, they need to learn from the mistakes they made with the Obamacare repeal, which is, don't rush this out. They seem too desperate to get this under the wire by the end of the 100-day. The 100 days doesn't matter.
I mean, there's no president in the history who's been judged by history on his first 100 days. You're judged by what you do by your presidency. And so, they need to get this right, they need to take their time, they need to bring the different constituencies in, explain it to the American people, build public support for it, they started to do that, but don't rush it. Do it right.
MACCALLUM: But, Marc, you know, I mean, benchmarks do matter. Think about real life, right? Everyone gets benchmarks. You have an annual review; when you're in high school, it goes by semesters, you get a grade. It's not to say that it's the be-all, end-all of your - of your report card for the presidency but obviously, this is the president, and you know, lieu to the people around him, Wilbur Ross, Steve Mnuchin, these are people who worked on deadlines all their lives. It seems that only Congress doesn't understand the meaning of saying, "You know what, let's try to get this done by X date," all you ever hear is why they can't do that, Zac.
PETKANAS: Look, I agree. I mean, but look, this administration has -- had very clear benchmarks that they set out themselves. This is Donald Trump himself who said that he's going to get - he had 10 proposals, pieces of legislation, that he said he was going to roll out that was due, previous promises on the campaign trail, including a job creation bill, which we - which we haven't seen. He said he was going to have buy America, which he did an executive order, but then he allowed the Keystone Pipeline to be - to go forward with the foreign steel. And so, look, I think benchmarks are good. I think - I think deadlines are good. But this administration is not keeping up with them.
MACCALLUM: We got to leave it there. Thank you very much, guys. Good to see you tonight. Thank you.
THIESSEN: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, joining us now, Fox News senior judicial analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano. Judge, good to see you tonight. So, we talk a lot about these executive orders, and I know that, you know, overreach is something that you are always concerned about.
ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Right.
MACCALLUM: Zac Petkanas made the argument that this president is overreaching.
NAPOLITANO: I don't think he is. And I think a lot of the executive orders are actually beneficial to the American public. An executive order is an instruction from the president to somebody who works for him in the executive branch, could be Steve Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, it could be Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, as to how the president wants a certain law interpreted, or a certain program to be followed. When Donald Trump puts that in writing, it is transparent and it's available for all of us to see. Most of his predecessors did not give those instructions in writing. These things don't change the law, they sharpen the focus of the executive branch in certain areas of law to conform to the president's thinking. After all, he's the one that was elected to enforce the laws.
MACCALLUM: I mean, a lot of it is undoing things that the prior president did. These executive orders.
NAPOLITANO: Oh, yes.
MACCALLUM: I mean, for instance, the veterans policy that we talked about would allow you to fire people at the V.A.
MACCALLUM: I think a lot of people think that that would be a wise thing to be able to do.
NAPOLITANO: It's about time. If a hospital is not being run efficiently, and there's a team out there that can do it better, of course, the administrators should be able to fire. My favorite of all the executive orders he's signed is the one that is truly revolutionary. He told the IRS not to collect taxes due for people who failed to obtain health insurance, and those tax bills were due last week.
MACCALLUM: And there goes the individual mandate with that.
NAPOLITANO: Correct. Correct. And he did that, even though the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. That's how certain he is that the individual mandate will go. This is the first time in American history that an American President has told the IRS not to collect a lawful tax. That's revolutionary. That is arguably changing the law in anticipation of Congress changing the law.
MACCALLUM: In terms of what we've just started to learn about tonight, it has to do with Canadian imports into this country, Canadian exports. What does he want to do?
NAPOLITANO: He wants to impose a 20 percent tariff on soft lumber coming in from Canada, staying out of the weeds, a long-running dispute, interestingly, under NAFTA, a treaty the president has criticized very harshly. But the President of the United States has the power on his own to impose a 20 percent tariff retroactive to the beginning of his presidency, which apparently he's going to do tomorrow. This fulfills a promise to keep American - in this case, lumber manufacturers on an even keel with foreign manufacturers who are supportive with price supports by their government.
MACCALLUM: Judge, thank you very much.
NAPOLITANO: You're welcome.
MACCALLUM: Judge Napolitano, good to see you, sir.
All right. Well, still ahead tonight, two professors go on offense, taking aim at assaults on free speech that we have been documenting quite closely during the first 100 days. Here, that was the scene at Berkeley when Milo Yiannopoulos went in to speak there. Professor Robert George and Dr. (INAUDIBLE) join us exclusively tonight on their new efforts.
And pro-life democrats under attack from their own party, as the DNC's new strategy, seems to be either you are with us or you are against us when it comes to abortion rights. So, can you be a pro-life democrat in today's world? Bill Bennett joins us on that straight ahead.
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SEN. DICK DURBIN, D-ILL.: As long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe versus Wade, prepare to back women's rights as we define them under the law that I think they can be part of the party.
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MACCALLUM: So tonight, democrats laying down a marker over abortion, and in the process, possibly dividing their own party. The message is essentially, get on board with women's right to choose, or else. DNC Chairman Tom Perez mandating Friday, "Every democrat like every American should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state." Now, democratic congressional leadership is joining that chorus. Watch this.
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DURBIN: I know within the ranks of the Democratic Party, there are those who see that differently on a personal basis, but when it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal.
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MACCALLUM: With a recent Pew study revealing that one in five democrats does consider themselves pro-life, party strategists are asking, is this wise to potentially alienate this swath of the constituency, especially after losing so many blue-collar workers this past November. Joining me now, Bill Bennett, host of the Bill Bennett Podcast, former Education Secretary under President Reagan and a Fox New Contributor. Bill, good to see you tonight. Thank you for being here as always.
BILL BENNETT, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER SECRETARY OF EDUCATION UNDER RONALD REAGAN: Thanks, Martha. You bet.
MACCALLUM: I mean, you know, it raises this question that in my mind, can you be pro-life and consider yourself a democrat? Or, are you not welcome in the party anymore?
BENNETT: Listen (INAUDIBLE) if I might just for 10 seconds, personal comment. The passing of (INAUDIBLE) from national review, a champion of the pro-life cause, a brilliant, compassionate, hilarious and wily person from whom we've all learned. And she contributed much to this debate. We will all miss her. And she did so in a way to persuade people to her point of view. Not this bludgeon, this act, this stick that the democrats are using. They're just going to make their party smaller, as well as less tolerant. You know, no tolerance for speech on campus from the left, and now no tolerance for people who believe in life, who are pro-life.
You put a 20 percent, I would suggest, I think the numbers would hold up, Martha, if you look at union households, which you know went more for Trump this time than before, many of them democrats, those numbers would be higher, 30 to 35 percent. So this is, I'm afraid, the mindset of the Democratic Party. One other example, remember the marches in Washington early after the Trump election, when they were wearing those - the ugly business on their heads, pro-life could not be a partner. If you were pro- life, you could not be a partner if you were pro-life, member of a pro-life group, you couldn't be a partner to that march, you could participate, but couldn't be a partner.
Second-class citizens. This is a very bad idea for a party, which is dwindling anyway. And look, who's the champion of the Mayor of Omaha. I know you want to get into this, but Bernie Sanders is saying to the party, "Wake up, broaden yourselves a little bit." First time I can recall agreeing with Bernie Sanders.
MACCALLUM: Yes, 37-year-old mayoral candidate, Heath Mello, who has gotten a lot of heat for running as a democrat in Omaha because he happens to be pro-life. I mean you look at people like Bob Casey from Pennsylvania, you look at a number of, you know, and the tradition of Irish Catholics, you know, and the Democratic Party, who may find themselves feeling like they don't have a home. I mean. Hillary Clinton lost the Catholic vote, and that was pretty extraordinary. And she lost Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Michigan by one percent. So you have to ask yourself if this is a politically wise move for them. I do want to bring up this other moment from Tom Perez, just in terms of coarseness, and the coarsening of society, which I know is something you care deeply about. Let's watch this.
BENNETT: You bet.
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TOM PEREZ, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: He doesn't give a (BLEEP) about health care when we have the skinny budget of this president. He calls it a "skinny budget". I call it something else that begins with S. And my mama taught me you shouldn't do potty talk. But I hope you don't mind because this is a (BLEEP) budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: This little girl on the end, you know, looking up at her mom like, "Oh, my gosh, did you hear what that man just said?" I mean, who does this work for?
BENNETT: Well, apparently, it works for the audience. That's the problem. It's not so much, you know, as someone used to say about the striptease, it's not the striptease, it's the applause. That's a very old-fashioned comment, but it's the audience responding positively to him and applauding him. This is -- you remember the phrase, "Defining deviancy down"?
BENNETT: It was Senator Moynihan. This is defining the Democratic Party down. Is it possible we will come to miss Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Remember that name? Here I am -- those were the good old days, and Bernie Sanders needs to be heated. This is an odd situation but it's a very serious matter. When you take an issue of such fundamental importance, and remember that lots of people in this country, including democrats, believe, you know, as Catholics or as Jews or as Protestants, other religions, that -- this is life and one must be very careful about it. "To rule it out," to say categorically you are not welcome here is a big mistake. It's a mistake morally. I think it's a mistake theologically. But for what we're looking at, talking about tonight, it's a big mistake politically. And they need to listen -- did I ever think I would say this to Bernie Sanders?
MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, and he has spoken up quite a bit on the college issue as well, in terms of allowing free speech --
BENNETT: You bet.
MACCALLUM: -- encouraging dialogue, living in a world where we can respect each other and listen to each other's views. You know, as any party, he wants to have a big tent. And -- quick thought, go ahead.
BENNETT: You said -- you said very wisely -- you said very wisely about Michigan and Wisconsin. I think if you had one Catholic in each parish in Michigan change their mind and vote for Clinton rather than Trump, she would have won the election. I think that's true if you count Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. Remember, Barack Obama won the Catholic vote substantially.
MACCALLUM: Sure did.
BENNETT: She lost the Catholic vote, message to -- message Democratic Party. Look at the lights. Wake up.
MACCALLUM: Something to think about. Bill Bennett, as always, Sir, good to see you. Thank you very much.
BENNETT: Thank you. Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So coming up tonight -- thank you. Justice Neil Gorsuch has had some notable court of appeals opinions in his past, including one of the biggest religious freedom cases in recent history -- the Hobby Lobby case. We will be joined tonight exclusively by the founder of Hobby Lobby, very interesting man with interesting ideas, David Green is here. We'll get his thoughts on the newest member of the high court and a lot more.
Plus, if the presidential election were held today, would Donald Trump still win? Tucker Carlson here to breakdown fascinating poll numbers this morning, and he will give us a preview of his big interview which he will have in the next hour. Tucker's coming up, we'll be right back.
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TRUMP: I'll never forget when they were on the map, and they put up Wisconsin, and he said there is no path for Hillary Clinton to become president.
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MACCALLUM: For The Washington Post today debuted some of their new polling numbers in a piece that was titled in part, "Nearing 100 days, Trump's Approval At Record Lows". With that dire header, you might think that voters are feeling some buyer's remorse, but when you dig into these numbers, is that necessary the case? Perhaps not. Because buried at the very bottom of the story, it said this, "The poll is showing that if the election were held again today, look who would win. Donald Trump gets 43 percent of the popular vote, not just the Electoral College, to Hillary Clinton's 40 percent, that disparity was much discussed after the election, as you well remember, Tucker Carlson, the host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight", which premiers tonight at 8:00. And so, we will see him this evening. We're looking forward to it. Hi, Tucker, great to see you.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, "TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT": Hey, Martha. Great to see you.
MACCALLUM: So, these numbers have gotten a ton of attention and they're low, they're historically low. I think the typical number for a president at this point is somewhere in the low 60s. What do you think about it?
CARLSON: Well, I mean, they are low, for sure, and the administration hasn't brought a lot of new voters to its side. Relative to those of Hillary Clinton, though, they're high. Trump is performing better head to head against Hillary than he did in the election five months ago. And so, you have to ask yourself why is that happening?
There are two reasons. One, most Trump voters, an overwhelmingly majority of Trump voters are happy that they voted for the president, they're sticking with him in a way that might be surprising to people who only read The Washington Post. Number two, the democrats haven't gotten a lot out of the way they've approached the Trump administration. They've thwarted it, as you can see in the Congress. There are still people (INAUDIBLE) you just saw the agriculture secretary get confirmed today, a long time after the election.
So, they're pretty good at gumming up the works there. But they haven't won new people over by the force of their argument, I would argue because they don't have much of an argument. So, it hasn't - it's been not that great for Trump, it has not been a victory for the democrats. It's their loss.
MACCALLUM: Yes. We just showed the numbers as you were talking about it, 96 percent of people who supported Donald Trump say they're glad that they did. They don't have buyer's remorse. But the numbers are low, which makes me think that, you know, even for Hillary Clinton when you look at that 43- 40 number, do you think we'll ever get to a point where we have a president who can get substantially over 50 in a country that is so divided, Tucker?
CARLSON: Well, sure, I mean historically that hass occurred most profoundly in times of national crisis, when the country faces an external threat, in war, basically or in the run-up to war, when Americans feel like holy smokes, we're under attack and we're coming together. You saw this after the bitterly contested election of 2000 when the last president to lose the popular vote, George W. Bush, was way up over 80 as I remember after 9/11 because people felt like, you know, he's a strong leader and we're in this together.
MACCALLUM: So tonight's the big debut of your 8:00 show and congratulations on that --
CARLSON: Thank you. I look forward to it too.
MACCALLUM: -- and we're all looking forward to it and look forward to talking to you every night from this spot as we go forward.
CARLSON: Yes. I look forward to that too.
MACCALLUM: Tonight you're going to talk to Caitlyn Jenner. Tell me what you expect and what you're looking forward to in that conversation.
CARLSON: You know, I'm not sure what I expect but I'm looking forward to it. I mean I'm interested in exploring the politics of all this. I mean, Caitlyn Jenner isn't just a cultural figure but a political one partly by choice, partly by just being dragged into the debate, and used as a symbol, maybe not intentionally.
And so I want to talk about that at some length because I think it's interesting, you know, not in a confrontational way because my questions are sincere. We're also talking to Mike Rowe by the way who is one of our all time favorite people ever. Mike Rowe who hosted "Dirty Jobs" for an awful long time dominated cable with it. And he's even got to talk to about this "Buy America program," I think he is politically nonaligned, but he's got a keen focus on work. So that is interesting.
MACCALLUM: He is always great on your show. We love watching you guys bat it around, you know. And in terms of Caitlyn Jenner, so interesting because you think about all the issues and you think about how much space, you know, the discussion over transgender issues has taken up in this country in recent months and over the course of the past year. And I wonder if she believes that, you know, that it's sort of an appropriate part of the conversation that we're having right now, or if she wishes that, you know, that if she sees it more as a personal issue. So I'm --
CARLSON: Well that's a good question. How would you like to be forced into the position as spokesperson for a group of people you might not know personally? I think most of us would be uncomfortable with that. I would be.
MACCALLUM: Tucker, thank you so much.
CARLSON: Thank you Martha.
MACCALUM: We're looking forward to seeing you tonight. It's a great show. We'll see you soon. There he is, Tucker Carlson -- so young -- moves to a new time, 8:00 p.m. tonight, and comes right after this show. Every single night from now on. So, good news, right.
Still ahead, what does the future of free speech on college campuses look like? Two iconic professors from opposite sides of the political spectrum here to tell you how they intend to protect the first amendment, which is very much in danger on campuses across this country, when Robert George and Cornel West join us straight ahead.
But first, it was a landmark case on religious freedom, when Hobby Lobby took on Obamacare at the Supreme Court. The chain's founder, David Green, who went through this with his family, it was quite an ordeal, is here tonight on how it impacted his business. And we'll also talk about what he thinks about the new president, when we come back.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are truly thankful for the decision that allowed us to continue operating our family business according to our principles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hobby Lobby wins! Hobby Lobby wins! Hobby Lobby wins!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, it's perhaps the biggest religious freedom case of our time, when the arts and craft retail chain, Hobby Lobby, took on the Obama White House over the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate. And as you can (INAUDIBLE) from that woman, they did win. So exclusively tonight, joining us is the founder of Hobby Lobby. Since that Supreme Court ruling in 2014 but first, he will be us with in a second. Trace Gallagher takes us back through that land mark decision, from our East Coast newsroom. Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi Martha, when the Green family, who owns Hobby Lobby, challenged the contraception requirement of Obamacare, they were specifically objecting to intrauterine devices and the so-called morning-after pill, saying those forms of birth control were akin to abortion. They argued that forcing family-owned company, who rely on Christian values to finance all forms of birth control, was a violation of religious freedom.
And in a 5-4 landmark ruling, the Supreme Court agreed. In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said that because Hobby Lobby was being subjected to millions of dollars in fines for not providing their employees insurance, the contraception requirement imposed a substantial burden of the religious liberty. Alito also wrote that he understood the government had a compelling interest in making sure women had access to contraception, but said there are other ways of doing it.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the minority attacked the decision as a radical overhaul of corporate rights, arguing that it could open the door for corporations to object to covering things like vaccines or paying minimum wage. So far, that has not been the case. And prior to arriving at the Supreme Court, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver also ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby.
Former Tenth Circuit Court judge, Neil Gorsuch, voted with the majority. Gorsuch, who is now a Supreme Court justice defended the Green family writing, "No doubt the Greens' religious convictions are contestable. Some may even find the Greens' beliefs offensive. But no one disputes that they are sincerely held religious beliefs."
Today, women employed by federally-owned companies who choose not to cover contraceptives may have to cover the costs themselves, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Trace. Joining me now for an exclusive interview, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, David Green. His new book is called, "Giving It All Away And Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously," and we're going to talk to him about that as he join us. Thank you very much David. Good to have you here tonight.
DAVID GREEN, CEO AND FOUNDER, HOBBY LOBBY: Good to be here. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: You know, when you watch that and you think about the road that you all have been on, you never set out to be the public face of any religious liberty case, did you?
GREEN: No, not at all but we had no choice.
MACCALLUM: Tell me more.
GREEN: Well, we had a choice of either paying $1.3 million a day for going completely against our conscience. We knew that we as a family could not provide these drugs that we knew would really cause abortion.
MACCALLUM: In terms of your philosophy, you know, as you look at your business, which you have built from the ground up, you started with $600.
MACCALLUM: And now you have 700 stores, but you give away 50 percent of your profits. So first, the government takes 50 percent of everything you make, right, and then on top of that you give away another 50 percent. How does that work into your religious values and the way you look at the world?
GREEN: Right. Well, we think we want to do something that has some eternal effects. And so we love to do different things with ministries. And so ministries that we're involved in we're very excited and have a purpose. So Hobby Lobby has a purpose other than just making monies for the founders or our family in fact. So those are the things that excite us. That's why we work, to have 1,000 stores, instead of 700 stores. So that's what our goal is for the future.
MACCALLUM: Very good at managing all of those businesses. Now, let's go back to Neil Gorsuch because you -- originally, you were interested in Marco Rubio. You thought he was the candidate for you.
GREEN: That was our -- definitely our first choice.
MACCALLUM: So, how do you think about how President Trump is doing? When you watch him now almost 100 days in, what's your take on him?
GREEN: Well, our take is he's had a couple of fumbles, but at the same time, the most important thing to us was religious liberties. And we think what the Supreme Court nomination that he's had, that we're going to have religious liberties. So that's the big deal for us. We can handle a little more taxes or little less taxes -- those issues are great but not that important to u. So we're excited about that part of what President Trump has accomplished.
MACCALLUM: What do you think about him personally?
GREEN: Well, we pray for him. And I think that, you know, from our standpoint, I had a little chance to talk with him and I say you're not going make America great without God's word and without God. And so at one point this country said in God we trust, and when we trusted, we prayed and that was how I think this country -- it' the only way our country can go from here and be real successful.
MACCALLUM: You talk about your book, and the fact that you, you know, sort of make -- as a businessman, sometimes you have to make unpragmatic decisions for your business in order to do what you want to do charitably.
MACCALLUM: On to hold up your -- the standards that you have. What's your advice to families, to business owners, as they try to do, you know, it's not easy to make those decisions sometimes.
GREEN: Well I think they need to be true to their conscience and to their values, and that's what we try to do. And for us, family is so important that's why we're closed on Sunday. We're closed at 8:00. Our minimum wage is $15.70 for full time people. So I think we're trying to be true to what we believe in our Christian faith.
MACCALLUM: A lot of people worry about the future of this country and they see the dialogue, you know, we just have been sort of talking about some of what Tom Perez has been saying out there. What do you think?
GREEN: I think we're on a bad track, unless we get back to God's word. And that's why by the way, we're putting a Bible museum in Washington, D.C., its 430,000 square feet. And so we think if we can get back to where we started, that we can turn this around. So from our family's standpoint, we're a going to do everything we can to see that people get back to God and in God we trust.
MACCALLUM: You've committed your life and your convictions to carrying that out so we thank you very much, David Green. Good to have you with us tonight.
GREEN: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: There a look at the book, "Giving It All Away...And Getting It All Back Again, A Way of Living Generously." Interesting to talk to you, sir. Thank you very much.
GREEN: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight. >
So, another campus interview is just ahead. Stick around. We're going to dive into the latest chapter in the battle over the First Amendment being restricted on college campuses. Renowned scholars and men of very different political stripes, Professor Robert George and Dr. Cornel West joining us next to discuss the future of free speech on college campuses. They want to save it, when we come back.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They will become so insulated from reality that even people who are on their side are sitting back saying what are you doing, Berkeley.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: It's going to be a big week for the controversy that is brewing right now at UC Berkeley, which has been the scene of a few controversial and even violent protests that we covered here on the "First 100 Days" over the course of the recent months. Fallout over the cancelation now of Ann Coulter who was scheduled to speak there on Thursday and says (INAUDIBLE) to do that, now has led to the students who invited her, suing the University of California at Berkeley.
It comes on the heels of disturbing and violent protests across the country. Remember the Middleberry story which we showed you, which was against the conservative author Charles Murray. The students literally turned their back and then they shook the car that Mr. Murray and his colleague were in. In the wake of that particular incident, two prominent and ideologically opposed scholars have now penned a powerful statement coming together, reading in part, quote, "All of us should seek respectfully to engage with people who challenge our views. And we should oppose efforts to silence them with whom we disagree, especially on college and university campuses."
Here with me now are the statements authors, Professor Robert George, is the McCormick professor at Jurisprudence at Princeton University and Dr. Cornell West, is a professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University. Gentlemen, welcome. Good to have both of you here with us tonight. As we look at what's going on at Berkeley, Professor George, let me start with you. They're concerned because they have had some violence on campus, and they don't that to happen again and yet the students say that, you know, there needs to be an environment that can be created so that somebody like Ann Coulter can come and talk to the group.
ROBERT GEORGE, PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Well, for universities to accomplish their truth seeking mission, they need to create and maintain an ethos (ph) of freedom. There needs to be a general attitude of tolerance and respect for other people's points of view. You need certain virtues and the students and faculty and the administration, and those include an openness of mind, a willingness to listen to other people, a willingness to engage each other, not to try to shut each other down or stop each other from speaking.
Another point about the Berkeley situation that I think is important is we must avoid the hecklers veto (ph). We must avoid some people resorting to violence, or threatening violence, so that a university has no choice but to prevent a controversial speaker from speaking. We need to resist the hecklers veto. We need to provide the security necessary for speakers to speak.
MACCALLUM: You know, it's interesting Dr. West because what's happened on college campuses is that students just label someone with hate speech and so then they rebel against that person being allowed to come on to their campus. And yet, if they reject everyone with whom they disagree from their campus, they're never going to hear more than one point of view on their campus. So, how did we get here? I mean, whose fault is it that this is where we are now?
CORNEL WEST, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Well, no, I think one of the reasons why brother Robby and I came together is we recognize universities have always had a challenge of trying to preserve a public space where there is relentless criticism and self-criticism and people can enter that space without humiliation, and have respect for a dialogue. So there is a long history of repressing, dissenting voices on the left as well as the right and we're committed to a robust conversation on the universities across the board.
But we should keep in mind, I mean, this is not every university. We got 3,600 universities in America, and even though you've got some visible and salient examples, you still got some universities and colleges that are deeply committed to a respectful conversation.
MACCALLIUM: Well, it may not be that you're seeing violence on all the campuses, but you know, anecdotally, you can talk to kids at campuses across this country and they'll tell you that if they have a conservative viewpoint, they have to bend to the will of their professor or they're in danger of failing that class. I mean that's -- in some ways --
WEST: That's wrong.
MACCALLUM: -- the more dangerous aspect. But it's happening. It happens all across the country.
GEORGE: Well, this is why brother West and I teach together, we work together. We try to model constructive intellectual engagement, serious intellectual engagement, serious listening to each other, serious learning from each other here at Princeton. Now, he's abandoned me and moved to Harvard.
He deserves a rebuke for this, but we did this at Princeton and I think we helped along with a lot of other people, a lot of factors to make Princeton a university where a variety of viewpoints really can be heard, where there is no ideological orthodoxy from which dissent is not tolerated. But we need that at universities around the country. We need it everywhere.
MACCALLUM: But you know, you hear about safe space, we're talking about a safe space for people to be able to speak different viewpoints politically, but the safe space mantra on campuses has come to mean something very different than that. It means a place where you know, no triggers will be presented to you, things that might upset you, based on, you know, the history of your gender or anything along those lines, that you're supposed to have a safe space on campus.
Dr. West, is that an environment where anyone is really going to learn anything or evolve their viewpoint on anything?
WEST: I think brother Robby and I are committed to unsettling students in public spaces, so that you don't want safe spaces where people are not questioning and interrogated. You do want people to be respected and (INAUDIBLE). They have a right to protest, nonviolently, but you want to have a commitment to unsettling and unnerving students. Only way you grow is by examining yourself and your assumptions, your presuppositions. And in that sense, it's unsettled spaces rather than safe spaces.
GEORGE: That's exactly right. And when Cornel and I do our job well, we teach our students not only to respect other people and to listen to them and to be willing to have other people interrogate their views, we teach them to become the best interrogators of their own views, their own best critics. That's what a professor is supposed to be doing and we should model that for our students by doing it ourselves.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean that's what education is, what you're talking about. You should leave college --
GEORGE: Education should not be a safe space.
MACCALLUM: -- with an evolved viewpoint, based on a lot of input from different places, and you guys have your work cut out for you. And it's fascinating to hear you coming together on this. Also, Bill Mahr and Bernie Sanders are speaking out in favor of this and I know you have a lot of people who signed your petition. So, you know, I hope we can check back in with you in a few months and you can give us an update. It's good to see both of you tonight. Thank you.
GEORGE: Thank you Martha.
WEST: Thank you very much.
MACCALLUM: So coming up next as we wind down the first 100 days, today is day 95. Our quote of the night is from the 35th president on that very topic. So what did he think about the first 100 days, when we come back.
MACCALLUM: Alright, so as promised, here is what President Kennedy thought about the measure of the first 100 days. He talked about setting goals for the country and moving the ball towards them. So his is our quote of the night. He said, "All this will not be finished in the first 100 days, nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration. Nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin."
He spoke about that, in particular with regard to the space program. And we know what happened with that. We want to know what you think of the first 100 days of President Trump. Send me a tweet @marthamacallum using the #First100. Tucker Carlson coming up next.
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