Secretary Azar on low-cost health alternatives to ObamaCare

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," February 20, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Good evening from Washington. This is THE INGRAHAM ANGLE. We have so many great stories, we will try to get it into one hour, but I can't promise.

President Trump proposes to make health care more affordable and yet Democrats are howling in agony. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is here exclusively on what this means for you, his first interview.

Plus, the president makes a move for gun control. Are there bigger measures to come?

And also, a sanctuary city drowning in human feces and garbage, you will not believe what was found on the streets of San Francisco.

But first, celebrities rush in to fix democracy. That's the subject tonight's ANGLE.

Now this is very exciting, in case you haven't heard, 'Hunger Games' starlet, Jennifer Lawrence made a big announcement yesterday.


JENNIFER LAWRENCE, ACTRESS: I'm going to take the next year off. I'm going to be working with this organization I'm a part of. It's trying to get young people engaged politically on the local level.


LAWRENCE: It doesn't have anything to do with partisan. It's just anticorruption, trying to pass state by state laws. That can help prevent corruption, fix our democracy.


INGRAHAM: That's all. Wow. We also learned today that actor, George Clooney, is donating 500,000 bucks for the 'March For Our Lives,' the totally student organized gun control rally. The Ocean's Eleven actor, the tequila baron, he's been sniffing around politics for 20 plus years.

Let's not forget 2016 he raised $15 million in one weekend, that's pretty good, for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, and of course, he was horrified by that.


GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: It is an obscene amount of money. The campaign when they talk about it is absolutely right. It's ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. I agree, completely.


INGRAHAM: Of course, you have to love Clooney because he went on to say if asked, if you would engage in this obscene act again. It keeps raising money. If it's legal, he will continue to do it.

In 2016, Tinsel Town thought that they could continue their Hollywood routine by putting all their chips on Hillary. After all, they had helped her husband, who had been a very successful two-term president, minus that impeachment thing, and stayed in the Lincoln bedroom, they flocked to the White House Correspondents Dinner. It was all hunky-dory.

But Hollywood was cut out of the picture under George W. and Hollywood mocked him endlessly and viciously. So, when the most left-wing president ever was elected, Barack Obama, it was nirvana for all those entertainers who had felt disrespected and offended by the very existence of Bush and certainly of conservatives. But with the Obama's, they celebrated from the beginning, the inauguration.


INGRAHAM: Birthdays.


INGRAHAM: White House parties.


INGRAHAM: Even in the situation room. That is a cool photo. All the way to the end.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For eight years you kept your word and your calm. You are the epitome of cool.


INGRAHAM: They are having fun. Come on! Doesn't that look fun? Sad to see President Obama go because he echoed their worldview. As Samuel Jackson said, he had that Hollywood cool factor. Let's face it.

Trump, even though he had a hit show with 'The Apprentice,' he was never really part of their world because on some key issues he thought differently, and he dared to speak up. When so many in the entertainment arena put all their money, their chips on Hillary, they raised so much money like Clooney and Anna Wintour.

Let's face it, when Trump was elected, they were embarrassed and furious. Most of the entertainment and sports in crowds, they see from supporters as either ignorant, racist, or bible-thumping fanatics.

George Clooney to his credit put blame where it belongs, on Hillary. He told 'The Daily Beast' after she lost, 'It was frustrating because I never saw her elevator game. I never saw it. And I had a lot of liberal friends who were like she's not good at this.'

Well, I agree, George. Let's face it, top-tier celebs surrounded by P.R. people, managers, agents, and millions of adoring fans, they can get pretty used to coasting on political cliches. They are used to dishing it out against conservatives.

Sometimes in the vilest of terms without ever having to explain themselves and without ever getting called on it. So, when celebs wade into politics as we are seeing today with Jennifer Lawrence and George Clooney, they win fans on their political side, but then they can alienate many more.

You think of what happened, for instance, when the NFL's Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem. What happened was he spurred other players to do the same. Then the NFL lost tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue during the regular season as viewership took a sizable hit and attendance was down.

People were furious. So, if too heavily infected by politics, the sports, stage and screen, they kind of just become like everything else in Washington, nasty and polarizing. Call me crazy, but I think we need more, not fewer places where we can gather, cheer, and even boo without worrying about politics.

Everyone has the right to speak their mind, but stars on screen and those on the field should know that when they practice hate hateful political vitriol they are likely to get some pushback just like the rest of us in politics or political analysis.

Well, now it's your turn, Clooney and Jennifer Lawrence. Why don't you explain beyond just epithets or bromides, cliches, or sometimes maybe insults, your own ideas on how to grow the economy, how to increase the standard of living for the poor and middle-class Americans, how to decrease violence and drug addictions.

You see, if you really want to get into the political ring, really, you can't just talk to your fans or even write a check. You need to be daring enough to go into unfamiliar and even hostile territory and answer tough questions.

Think about Oprah, maybe for a millisecond she mulled dipping her toe into the political pond, then she quickly pulled it out. If there were rumors of Kid Rock running for the Senate. Rumors that "The Rock" may hit the trail.

Now Clooney, who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, good on him for earning that cash, he is shoveling money at gun control. It's his right to do that. But as Democrats watch, worry and hope that someone is there next Obama, maybe even Clooney because he is the star with a killer smile and a cool factor, it got to think about what the repercussions will be.

Our celebrities really the best candidates? Celebrities that are not quite Ronald Reagan, because remember he was an actor and people say Laura, you worked for Reagan, don't you have a double standard here? No, no, no.

It's true I did work for President Reagan, I'm a Reagan conservative, but remember what he did. He spent at least two decades studying, reading, debating anyone who would debate him and writing on politics.

He was masterful. He was a successful two-term governor of California. He ran for president in 1976. He lost the nomination by a hair and then had to come clawing his way back four years later to change politics forever.

It did not happen overnight. He didn't just write a check or launch into insults against his opponent. He did more than just drive by hits on his political adversaries or just raised money for his political friends.

I think what most of these celebrities will find out is that the talents that make them megastars, acting, sports, or music, don't always translate into politics, at least not without a lot of really hard work.

And you can't just issue ad hominem attacks on your political opponents without making a substantive argument at some point. Politics is not ease coverage on the red carpet.

There's also a big downside for people in need of adoration. In today's environment, the moment you enter politics, national politics, let's face it, you alienate half the country. Millions of people will instantly dislike you. Many will hate you. Others will lie about you.

Still others, just to elevate themselves and win back power will say vile and hateful things that are demonstrably false. Let's face this, most celebrities have no desire to risk their cushy lives to really make that up big time in politics.

Thinking about it, the only one I can remember post-Reagan who did this is the one celeb, also a businessman like Clooney, that they are now vilifying 24/7, and that's THE ANGLE.

Joining us now with reaction, actor, Antonio Sabato Jr., Harmeet Dhillon, a civil rights attorney, and Lauren Wright, a Princeton University professor who is examining the issue of celebrities in politics. It's great to see both of you -- all of you.

Antonio, I want to start with you on this. This is pretty wild. Jennifer Lawrence, you don't get any bigger than she is as a star of the big screen.
She announces today she's taking a year off and she's going to devote all of her time to a nonpartisan group. She insists that it's only about corruption. What do you say?

ANTONIO SABATO JR., ACTOR: What I say is that she can take a year off because she has the money to back it up. She's making enough, she can probably take two or three years off. But let's face it, how are you going to help the community? Are you really going to get involved in politics?

Are you really going to go out there and talk about the issues that we are dealing with, especially in California? Homelessness skyrocketing, we are number one in that department. Regulations, taxes.

If you go to San Francisco now it's unwatchable what they've done what liberals have done to that city and especially Los Angeles as well. So, are we going to talk about the issues to American people, are we going to help the veterans? What are we actually doing here we just going to blame everything on the president as usual?

INGRAHAM: Harmeet, I want to get to you on this because I actually think the desperation on the left is palpable. You feel it now and I'm saying this because Trump is actually winning on the issues. You see the popularity of the tax cut today, a new poll out.

Majority of Americans like what they are seeing. The economy is generally getting better. People are less stressed, business confidence way up.
They are looking for the next Obama and maybe it's Oprah, maybe it's Clooney, a combination, maybe it's a new person.

So, they lurched to the celebrity, yet when they are hit even remotely criticized, they go bananas. They've never been criticized in their lives.
If you want to put out the heat, you have to take it in return. What do you say?

HARMEET DHILLON, RNC COMMITTEEWOMAN: Yes, absolutely, Laura. I agree with you completely. Celebrities in Hollywood, they put all of their chips on Clinton and then when she lost they were kind of at a loss, and they live in a shallow world that it's all about their appearances and so they haven't really been able to cope very well.

When anyone challenges their worldview, they lash out with this incredible vitriol and bitterness, as you mentioned. It's really the last refuge year of what is acceptable criticism and oppressive violence in our culture today.

It is against conservatives and particularly conservative women who speak up on behalf of conservative values in this country that got Donald Trump and other conservatives elected. Sarah Palin if fair game. You are fair game.

Ann Coulter is fair game, Michelle Malcolm, all of these people who challenged the orthodoxy of Hollywood have all come in for threats of rape, violence, the most horrible things are said about you and other women and it is accepted in Hollywood.

I have a theory, I think that sometimes these Hollywood stars get into these projects like Jennifer Lawrence, who is 27 years old, knows nothing about going state house to state house to get legislation passed.

I think that's an admirable goal, but it's a joke if you think it's easy as memorizing lines or taking your clothes off on TV, but I think they do that because some of the violence and some of the very negative things that they perpetrate in society that is coarsening our society. A lot of what you see out of Hollywood is not positive.

INGRAHAM: Professor, I know you're writing a book about this, the perils of celebrities wading into politics without having taken the time to actually -- whether it's read a lot, debate a lot, think through the complex nature of some of these problems. Not that they don't have a right to speak out, but it's more than just you know Trump is this or that or whatever epithet happens to be involved during any period of time.

LAUREN WRIGHT, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Celebrities are not going to save democracy. The founders actually thought they were an affront to it. They were worried specifically about people getting involved in politics and getting elected especially who were practicing and what they call the little arts of popularity, fame in other words.

So, I think what we have to watch for is celebrities are running for office for themselves, not advocating for other people, because they are masters at garnering support on their own behalf. They are not so good as we can see from the research that we have had advocating for other people.

INGRAHAM: I think the results speak for themselves. Antonio, again, talking for a living, I do it, others do it. Harmeet is a major litigator and civil rights. Antonio, I know you give a lot of speeches.

Talking is one thing, but actually getting involved in the nitty-gritty of legislation, policy proposals, that is kind of the drudgery of politics.
I've never written legislation. I wouldn't know the first thing about how to write legislation. I've been doing this for about 30 years now.

I've learned a little bit. But what about the atmosphere right now in Hollywood, Antonio. You've talked about it, the lack of ideological diversity -- or I would say even curiosity about people with whom they disagree.

SABATO: I don't get it. The facts are the facts. They want to give all this money for example to Hillary. She was able to raise over a billion dollars for her campaign and look at the scandals, look at the things she's done. Benghazi being one of them. How could you vote for a person like that?

So, I think at this point we need to have people in Hollywood who are going to stand up for the Constitution and stand up for the great laws we have in this country. Not for themselves. So, I want to step up. My campaign is about the people. It's not about myself.

I left Hollywood to work for the American people. That's my concern. My community (inaudible), District 26. I will do everything I can to protect them and make sure they have everything they need from Washington at any given moment. That's my passion right now. I live for this every single day.

INGRAHAM: Harmeet, before we let you go, I don't think we are going to see the end of this. I mean, I think they really had their heyday during Obama. He was the celebrity candidate. Trump is mostly a businessman. He did "The Apprentice," that was hugely successful.

But he's mostly a businessman until he got involved in "The Apprentice"
stuff. Clooney is a star. He's a big star. I just don't see George Clooney giving up his life to just be another politician hitting the trail.
He has a lot of fun doing what he does. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know.

DHILLON: That's right. You're right. He's got a successful wife who has her own career. It does look alluring to get all of that adulation that politicians seem to get. But I don't think the politicians think about the downside.

When you look at some of the Hollywood people were coming out of the woodwork the last couple of days, it tends to be people who are kind of on the down slope. You've got Ellen Pompeo came out and said some negative things and threaten violence against you, I believe. I thought she was retired.

I didn't even believe her career was still going. This is one like to get it alive. Michael Rappaport, who lost his job recently and using vile threats attack people on Twitter is a way to get celebrity back for these people. It's cheap. It's fleeting and ultimately, it's not going to make a difference in our society. We need to look for leaders who are more substantive.

INGRAHAM: It doesn't create a single job. It doesn't create a single drop. Jennifer Lawrence is a huge star. George Clooney is a huge star.
Lebron is a huge star. Policy is not easy. It's tough and it is drudgery.
It is total drudgery. If your dish it out you've got to be able to take it. Thanks so much. Great panel.

President Trump, by the way, is responding to the Florida school shooting perhaps with a gun control measure. We will tell you what's going on and what he may be banning next.


INGRAHAM: President Trump is directing the Justice Department to look into a ban in the wake of the Florida shooting or the Las Vegas shooting more accurately. He's targeting bump stocks, like the one used in that Las Vegas shooting in October.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just a few moments ago, I signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns.


INGRAHAM: Well, bump stocks allow semiautomatic rifles to fire rapidly, close to an automatic rifle. Joining us now to discuss implications of the president's move are executive director of the Gun Owners of America, Erick Pratt, and Philippe Reines, who is the senior advisor to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Great to have you both on. Philippe, let's start with you. Good move on the part of the president?

PHILIPPE REINES, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON ADVISOR: I don't think you will be surprised to hear me say yes, but I grew up in New York City. I'm not going to pretend I'm a lifelong hunter, I've never been hunting, I'm an animal lover. I totally understand why people of hunting.

To meet guns with the bad guys had guns and I was happy the cops had more guns. But I'm going to put my cards on the table. I am a D.C. firearm licensed citizen. I couldn't have this a decade ago until a man named Heller sued Washington, D.C., and won.

But in that, Scalia, who I think we can all agree it was conservative, he said there are limits to the Second Amendment. You can't tell people they can have guns, but you can put reasonable prohibitions on guns. It's hard to for me to understand how bump stocks -- we've been on air for a minute and 50 seconds.

Stephen Paddock held that trigger for 11 minutes straight. We will sit here for maybe 5 more minutes. Imagine a machine gun going off into a crowd killing 58 people. That was a bumps stock. Let's get rid of it. The NRA is against it.

INGRAHAM: We just put up a photo of Nikolas Cruz, who did not have a bump stock. It was used in the Las Vegas shooting. The dramatic nature of this conversation I think is powerful. Emotions can't win back the day. Facts are facts. Explain to us what the bump stock really is.

ERICK PRATT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA: It certainly doesn't convert a semiautomatic --

INGRAHAM: That's what the president said -- kind of.

PRATT: He's ordered that it be studied and that a rule be issued. If they do go down that road, it's not going to stop bad guys from getting them, because no gun law yet has worked to stop bad -- I mean, just look at Chicago. Chicago has been an utter failure.

What actually would work is what Candidate Donald Trump used to talk about, and that was repealing gun free zones so that the good people can shoot back at the bad people and unfortunately, we didn't have that there in Florida.

I mean, we protect our president with guns. We protect the Congress with guns, the senators, the representatives, but how do we protect our schools? We put a sign out front that says no guns are allowed here. Well, criminals --


REINES: When I was a kid or in junior high and my social studies teacher, I wouldn't want that woman packing a 22 in her purse -- but he is saying teachers and principals.

PRATT: What about police officers?

REINES: The 77 percent of America want more gun control.

PRATT: Second Amendment Trumps your polls.

INGRAHAM: I just want to get in here.

REINES: There has got to be some kind of reasonable restriction that you agree with.

INGRAHAM: Guys, I was thinking about this.

PRATT: What we can agree is the Second Amendment says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

REINES: Should be allowed to at 19 buy an AR-15?

INGRAHAM: Let's talk about something that maybe we can all agree on. I was remembering in the late '70s, early '80s when I was in school, we had fire drills. I grew up in Connecticut. Buying a gun was not a big deal, a lot of people had guns, they still do, a lot more laws there now.

We never had thought of having a drill for something like this. Something has shifted in society both with us as individuals, with families, with common sense, with us caring about each other. I think we have to think about -- those are big issues.

REINES: People have made people think that way.

INGRAHAM: I swear we had more guns in Connecticut when I was growing up.

PRATT: There are other victims of mass shootings like a man I personally know, Officer Rob Young of California. He was shot at the Stockton California School as a first grader. He completely advocates arming teachers and principals. He says we can't get there quickly enough. Same thing with Patrick Knebel, who is a survivor of Columbine, says the same thing.

INGRAHAM: Anecdotally --

REINES: You grew up in Connecticut. Connecticut after Newtown changed its minimum law from 19 to 21. Why is it bad to make Florida the same thing?
He couldn't get a handgun at that age. I'm trying to ask a question.

PRATT: And I'm answering. This top-down approach thing you can own a firearm --

REINES: We say you can at 19.

PRATT: It is not working.

REINES: It didn't work. The kid bought a long gun and shot a school --

INGRAHAM: There are a lot of things --

REINES: He legally bought an AR-15 at the age of 19 because it was an AR-15 he did not have to go throw waiting period.

INGRAHAM: First of all -- I don't want to disenfranchised Mrs. McGillicuddy over Second Amendment rights. I don't know her, but I will say this, I think in this country right now we have really big societal problems that nobody wants to discuss.

I will submit that you can ban the bump stock, ban the AR-15, and we are still going to be dealing with massive sociological problems in our schools and sociopathic kids who nobody cares about, nobody loves -- I'm not disagreeing with you.

I'm saying we have bigger problems than the bump stocks. I'm not saying that's the be-all and end-all of gun ownership or Second Amendment rights, but we have really big problems in this country.

This kid was a mess and he -- I don't think you should have been able to get a gun. I don't think he should've been able to do what he did.
Obviously, he is a total messed up freak and nobody seemed to care about him.

And the teachers couldn't do anything, the students were afraid of him. No one did anything. That's wild and the FBI got a call that he was going to shoot up the school and they did nothing.

PRATT: No law is going to keep him from doing anything.

REINES: Actually, a law that says you have to be 21 would have kept it. Can I end on something I think we would all agree with? I think Stephen Paddock and Nikolas Cruz should rot in hell after a horrible, horrible --

INGRAHAM: I think Florida would probably 90 percent for the death penalty.

The left is going, by the way, crazy over what they are calling the deathblow to Obamacare. Is that really true? The incoming health and human services secretary has announced new regs that could shake up the Obamacare landscape. He will be here in an exclusive, his first interview
up next.


INGRAHAM: The Trump administration is proposing low-cost health insurance alternatives to Obamacare and Democrats do not like it at all. The plan would allow health insurers to sell short term policies with lower costs and fewer benefits. Democrats immediately ridiculed it as junk policies, trash, garbage. Senator Chuck Schumer released the following statement, 'Since day one the Trump administration playbook on health care has been to sabotage the marketplaces, jack up costs and premiums for millions of middle-class Americans.'

Joining 'The Angle ' exclusively to explain the proposal is the new Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Mr. Secretary, thanks for giving us the first interview. Great to see you. The blowback you guys are getting for offering an alternative is wild. Nancy Pelosi says Americans purchasing their shoddy, misleading, short-term Trump care plan will be one diagnosis away from disaster, et cetera, et cetera. In other words, it's Armageddon.

ALEX AZAR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: The shocking thing is these plans were in fact available until October of 2016 during the entirety of the Obama administration's tenure. Now we are bringing them back. They got rid of them at the end of the administration and said you can only have these plans that were three months, they cut them down to three months, and they don't have any of the Obamacare restrictions in terms of the mandates from the central government. It lets them be flexible so people can get lower cost plans if they choose to.

INGRAHAM: So now you are in these plans that are supposedly health insurance, but it's access, but people don't go to the doctor as much because the out-of-pocket costs are so high, the deductibles are so high.
I keep hearing this from my radio listeners who call in and say, Laura, I have insurance, but $3,600 before I can take advantage of it. Are those people, the middle-class who are stuck in the area of the economy, are they going to best benefit from this?

AZAR: We think a couple different groups of people could benefit from this. First, there are people for whom the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare's individual insurance plans are simply unaffordable. Premiums doubled before the end of the Obama administration. So individual market premiums have soared. So for many people the plans are not affordable to get, and what they get may not be real insurance and good enough in terms of that high deductible you are talking about. So for some of those people, these less expensive plans, often one-third the price Obamacare plans, might be a good option for them.

INGRAHAM: So preexisting conditions, what happens?

AZAR: So these plans don't have those Obamacare mandates about preexisting conditions.

INGRAHAM: So the plans don't have to accept, so if I have lung cancer.

AZAR: So for somebody like that other options would probably make more sense. But for other individuals, these may be the cheaper --

INGRAHAM: Young people?

AZAR: Young people, healthy people that are already being shut out of the Obamacare marketplace.

INGRAHAM: Because of the high costs.

AZAR: Because the way the plans were structured, the premiums are so high for the young and healthy they've already been driven out of the marketplace. Our opponents on this talk about this as if we are right now living in the land of milk and honey and everything is perfect and nobody is lacking insurance. We are talking about 28 million forgotten men and women who do not have insurance that were promised affordable insurance, and President Trump with his executive order demanded that we come up with solutions and options like this for affordable individualized health insurance.

INGRAHAM: You guys are just trying to kill off Obamacare. You're trying to kill it off, and America's Health Insurance Plans, a big industry trade group, they said we remain concerned that expanded use of short-term policies could further fragment the individual market, which would lead to higher premiums for many consumers, particularly those with pre-existing conditions. Why are they so upset about this, Mr. Secretary?

AZAR: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners was in the past very supportive of these efforts to create these affordable options for people. We are trying to just make options available for folks who have been shut out of the marketplace. We need to keep working to build a different system than Obamacare, but while we have it, we need more affordable options for people to get the insurance they want, not what I tell them they should have.

INGRAHAM: Why should a 55-year-old man who is unmarried have to pay for birth control in his policy? Why is that something?

AZAR: We want to make a system where people can buy the insurance that they want. We need to work with Congress to be able to do that.

INGRAHAM: This is rule-making. This is rule-making so you got 60 days of comment period, and then it goes into effect after?

AZAR: Then we would review the comments and go to final rule and then that can be effective perhaps later this year. But these are things we can do while Obamacare is still in place, things that we can do to help make insurance more affordable or at least give options to people. Let's say lose her job.

INGRAHAM: Whoa. I actually pay for my own -- I'm actually one of those individuals, a marketplace purchaser, my insurance has gone up 47 percent or something like that, it's crazy.

AZAR: So if you lose your job --

INGRAHAM: Can you stop saying that please.

AZAR: If somebody else loses their job.

INGRAHAM: Thank you, I'm much happier with that.

AZAR: These plans can be helpful for you as a transition. And so what we've said, we're proposing that these plans would be available up to 12 months for people. Short-term plans.

INGRAHAM: So could you re-up after 12 months or no?

AZAR: So we are asking for comment on whether we have the legal authority to let people renew their plans.

INGRAHAM: So that's a new health alternative. So young people, people between jobs, middle-class people, the poor people already get coverage, they get the Medicaid, they get coverage. But for that group of people. I don't understand why you're getting trashed. Are you having fun at your job?

AZAR: I'm loving my job.

INGRAHAM: You are loving it? He was former general counsel of HHS, he was former deputy secretary of HHS, former law clerk at the Supreme Court, former top executive in business, I don't know who else could be more qualified for this job. But great to see you, thanks for coming on.

Decades of one-party rule by Democrats, can it be hazardous to your health?
Up next we're going to show you how they turned a beautiful city into a rancid garbage dump. Don't go away.


INGRAHAM: The Democratic stronghold of San Francisco has become, well, especially in downtown, a festering pile of garbage, feces, and drug needles. According to a survey by a local news station, Bay Area NBC's investigation of 153 city blocks including popular tourist spots found trashed on every block, 300 piles of feces on 96 blocks, lovely, 100 discarded hypodermic needles on 41 blocks. That's all. So this is a sanctuary city, is it? Here's a local deli owner. He's fed up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's filthy. It's disgusting. Yesterday we taped somebody just on the side of my building peeing on my restaurant in broad daylight. I actually have pictures of people shooting up in the street.
It's absolute mayhem at this point. It's completely out of control.


INGRAHAM: I had a caller or my radio shows today said she went to San Francisco recently with her kids and she also saw someone shooting up right on the side of the street, tying up the arm and putting the needle in, had to shield her daughter's eyes. Not exactly a paradise for businesses or workers.

Joining us now in San Francisco, San Francisco Republican Party vice chair Ken Loo is also a commissioner with the BART police-citizen review board, an Ethan Bearman, a political commentator and Bay Area radio host. Ethan, I love San Francisco. I love it. I have family there. I have friends there. I've been going for a long time. It has a major problem. And I don't care if you're a democrat, Republican, or somewhere in between, it's not getting better, it seems to be getting worse. What do you think?

ETHAN BEARMAN, KGO RADIO HOST: It's true. It is problematic. I will say that under Mayor Ed Lee, who recently passed away, we produced a number of veterans who are homeless in the city of San Francisco. We are taking an approach. But remember, we are being handcuffed by a number of laws that prohibit the ability of taking care of people with mental health issues and making them get the psychiatric care that they need, getting them the addictive care. We allow people under the guise of civil liberties to be free and not put them in places to get the help that they need to protect and help themselves, let alone others, and allow them to become contributing members of society again.

This is a really big issue. Nobody wants to step in feces. I have children, I don't want to do that either. I don't like finding used needles. But there are approaches and the city is trying, but we actually need some federal help in this case, in my opinion, because a lot of the homeless are not from San Francisco. They come because they are not going to freeze to death when we are having a cold snap, unlike the rest of the country.

INGRAHAM: Are you blaming Trump for this? Are you blaming Donald Trump for the fact that --

BEARMAN: Absolutely not. This is a successive series of issues and court rulings for that matter. Laura, you know about that. We had four federal courts ruled that we can't do certain things.

INGRAHAM: Don't get me started on the judges. I'm going to do a whole big segment on the judges tomorrow. But Ed, let's go to you on this. This is so sad on so many levels. But this is supposed to be the progressive paradise of San Francisco. It's a super Democrat majority, the board of supervisors for years -- going back to Gavin Newsom when he tried to get rid of the cash -- remember the cash for the homeless? He wanted to do the vouchers. They fought him back then. He was my first guest, by the way, on my radio show that I ever had 17 years ago, it was Gavin Newsom. But to me it's gotten worse and worse even with some modest improvements around the edges. Go ahead. I think we are having -- are we having audio problems?


INGRAHAM: Sorry, absolutely. It's directed to you.

LOO: Yes. So San Francisco hasn't had a Republican elected to office for multiple decades now. So one of the problems that we have seen in terms of the homeless year can't be attributed to the Republicans at all in San Francisco, simply because we don't have a single Republican elected to office representing San Francisco.

The homeless epidemic that we have right here is just getting worse. In fact, every year -- I was born here in San Francisco and I can see progressively every year the problem has been getting worse and worse every year with no solutions. I've met with multiple board of supervisor members here in San Francisco, and they just keep asking for more money. When they ask for more money it is basically rewarding a program that doesn't have any benchmarks. There is no solution in their solution is to just throw more money at the problem.

INGRAHAM: Ken, what they're also doing is declaring themselves year after year, we are a sanctuary city, we're a sanctuary state. We see the problem in Orange County, we see the problem in L.A. We have tent cities in both places, and we are bringing more people into the situation. More people who are indigent and themselves are without jobs and a way to support themselves.

So I don't see how the sanctuary status of San Francisco or the state is doing anybody any favors. Ethan and Ken, great segment, thank you so much.
There's a lot to get through on this and we're going to have to have to talk about creative solutions that don't just require a big huge piles of federal money. That's not going to work.

And the mainstream media is begging us to listen to the kids on gun control. What we're going to tell you what they are not doing with another kids group who also have a very, very large presence, next.


INGRAHAM: Politics and kids, that's the focus of tonight's bonus angle.
As we mentioned earlier in the shell, that nationwide rally for gun control organized by a few of the students from Douglas high school is set for March 24th. It's called the March for our Lives. Here are some of the, or at least one of the impassioned voices on the gun issue.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My fear is there's going to be another school shooting, there's going to be no laws that change. We need stricter gun laws, that is what we need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Change is happening!



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are told that us kids don't know what we're talking about, that we are too young to understand how the government works. We call B.S.!


INGRAHAM: Of course teens who have survived a mass shooting have every right to express themselves and be heard. That's America and that's a good thing. But I can't help but notice that the media has a little double standard problem here. Considering the longest running annual march in U.S. history called the March for Life. That's that pro-life event that draws hundreds of thousands of people to Washington every January. By the way, it's usually in the bitter cold or rotten weather. There's no gauzy features or extended interviews about this march in the media, and of course journalists conveniently ignore the fact that the pro-life movement is winning.

'The Washington Post' was recently astonished to discover in 2017 a Quinnipiac poll that found 18-34-year-olds were the second most likely age group to oppose late-term abortions. So let's say we give those had some mention as well and maybe a little empathy, or at least a little fair coverage. That would be nice. The kids count, that means all of their views. Stay with us.


INGRAHAM: Back to the issue we just talked about. The March for Life happens every January. Twenty buses from Notre Dame came. All the kids lined up, all marched. They get almost no media coverage. I'm glad they got media coverage today for the kids going to Tallahassee, but the press is abysmally unfair. All kids' voices count, you bet. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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