Republicans react to PA-18 special election

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," March 12, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, 'THE INGRAHAM ANGLE' HOST: Good evening from Washington. I'm Laura Ingraham. This is 'THE INGRAHAM ANGLE.' Voters in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district are headed to the polls tonight for the special election that pitted Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb against each other.

President Trump easily defeated Hillary Clinton there in 2016. So, Democrats and the mainstream media have tried to frame the contest as a bellwether for a potential blue wave in the 2018 midterms. But is that accurate?

Right now, the election is simply too close to call. And joining us now with areaction from Miami is former governor of the great state of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, who is probably very happy right now. He is a Democrat. And, in New York, Monica Crowley, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.

Governor Rendell, have to go to you. If Conor Lamb in his early 30's, former military man, you know, kind of a moderate Democrat, he pulls out a victory, what does it say to you?

ED RENDELL (D), FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, it is indicative of what's going on across the nation. This is our 19th special election and every one of them the Democrats have picked up a substantial percentage of the vote from where they were in '16. So, that's a good sign for the Democrats.

But understand, the 18th is good Trump country. The’ president has a 51 percent favorable rating according to the Monmouth poll in the district.
It's solid Trump country. Lamb turned out to be a terrific candidate. He did a good job of not letting the Republicans nationalize the race. He is a moderate. He is pro-life.

He is moderate on guns. He is very intelligent candidate. He did a good job with the steelworks and the coal miners. Got their endorsement. So, if he wins, and it's still close, I have it at 700 votes with 36 precincts left to be cast. If he wins, it will be a credit to him.

INGRAHAM: Well, that's for sure. Monica, look, I would take issue with this idea that he is pro-life. I think Marjorie (inaudible), 'The National Review' this week put that to rest because is he not really pro-life. He says, well, personally --

RENDELL: He is more pro-life than most Democrats.

INGRAHAM: You are right. That's right, Governor Rendell, he is not a Nancy Pelosi Democrat. So, Monica, what does this say to the Democrat Party, though, if this is the type of Democrat who can win in a district where Trump won, what does that say to the Pelosi, Schumer wing of the party? They are moving left and Conor Lamb seemed to move to the right.

MONICA CROWLEY, LONDON CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH: That's exactly right, Laura. Look, the current Democratic Party is Barack Obama's Democratic Party. It's no longer Bill Clinton's Democratic Party, a party pragmatists and centrist. It is a far-left radical party. Conor Lamb broke the mold from that because he was running in a district that Donald Trump won by 20 points, very conservative district.

So, this is a young Marine veteran, who as the governor said had a series of very conservative positions on guns and other issues that he embraced in order to try to win this race. The lesson going forward then for the Democratic Party is if you want to try to get back to an appeal to the working-class voters, that helps put Donald Trump over the top, particularly, Laura, in those ten key swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin.

Then you better change your tune and get back to the Democratic principles of the party of old, which is more pragmatist, centrist, and moderate and reject the Pelosi and Barack Obama far-left kind of radical approach.

INGRAHAM: Governor Rendell, I said this for some time and others have as well, that's where the Democrats' sweet spot always was, the party of the little guy, and somehow the Democrats became the party of like the teacher's unions, of the trial lawyers, of the Planned Parenthood, and I think they missed just like the Republicans did in a different way, they missed the heart of America and the heart of America runs right through Pennsylvania, right through Pennsylvania.

RENDELL: No question you are right. The core values of the Democratic Party going back 50 years are values that most Americans agree with and we have gotten away interest them. We play identity politics. It isn't good.
I tell my progressive friends. I said Conor Lamb will cast a very important vote and the vote that you should care most about and that's for the next speaker of the House.

Whether it's Nancy Pelosi or somebody else. If it's a Democrat, we can bring legislation to the floor that we can't get to the floor now. That's the single most important thing. And if we want to be a party that really controls, we have to understand that in our progressive wing has to understand it most of all.

INGRAHAM: You think of the alarmism over Trump's terrorists, for instance, and both Saccone and Lamb gave fairly decent support for the idea of tariffs. It's not as broad based as Trump. Then you think of the cater walling we heard from both the establishment Democrat some of them and establishment Republicans, more so the Republicans.

It just shows you this is why Trump won in Pennsylvania because he is for bringing back manufacturing that both Democrats and Republicans, Obama and Hillary and Republicans had said were never going to get those jobs back.

That was an insult to the voters of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and beyond. And so, if I'm a Democrat watching this tonight, I don't care if you are living in California or living in Wisconsin or Ohio, Conor Lamb, if he pulls out this narrow victory, they have got to look at this and say, wait a second, we better examine where we are in a whole host of issues.

I know the country is different in places, but to me that was Trump's recipe for success and it can be the Democrats' recipe for success.
Monica?

CROWLEY: Remember, Laura, that Donald Trump essentially created a new winning coalition, sort of like what Obama did in 2008. Donald Trump turned everything upside down. He essentially was the first post ideological president.

So, he takes positions that are not traditionally Republican, even though he won was a Republican president. That kind of cross current appeal to the working-class voters, voters on all sides that have felt ignored buyer the elites in the Republican establishment, the Democratic establishment, they felt for a long time that their wages were not increasing.

They couldn't get decent jobs. They were in the industrial rust belt, particularly in the Midwest states like Pennsylvania, and Donald Trump gave them a voice. He spoke to them. And you know what? Because he is post ideological, he is solutions oriented. He is not ideologically based. He is solutions oriented.

So, if you are a Democrat and if your candidate pulls this out in this district, the lesson is to reject the far left approach that what's begun by Obama and perpetuated by Nancy Pelosi and other radicals controlling the Democratic Party, their eyes should be open tonight and they should see even if they lose this is a very close race, they should see that the past two electoral success does not go through far left radicalism.

INGRAHAM: Governor Rendell, I have got about 15 seconds. Let's say Saccone had ran as establishment Republican not in favor of tariffs, where do you think this race would have been tonight? Again, we don't know where it is going to turn out. Don't you think Conor Lamb would have been ahead like 10 points at least?

RENDELL: Well, at least three or four. Listen, tariffs, I testified about imposing a tariff when I was governor because China was dumping steel into the U.S. to try to drive out our steel industry. The thing that Donald Trump did wrong, Laura, is he did it too broad based. You should do it against transgressors. People doing it into the U.S.

INGRAHAM: He got a lot of leverage against the E.U. We are going to see where that leverage leads, but great panel --

RENDELL: We will see.

INGRAHAM: We will keep you guys hanging around. We really appreciate. We are going to keep everyone up to date minute by minute this race is changing. Straight ahead my ANGLE on President Trump shaking up his team.

Plus, Senator Bob Corker is going to weigh in for a can't miss interview.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: Welcome back. We continue to monitor the special election in Pennsylvania's 18th district. There could be an automatic recount kicking in if the margin is at 0.5 percentage. So, we will be checking that and bring you the up to date vote counts as we get them.

But, first, Trump gets his team and the media goes berserk. That's the focus of tonight's ANGLE. Now, if you have been following American politics over the past nine months or so and you have a decently functioning human brain, you should not have been surprised to wake up to the news that Rex Tillerson is out at the State Department.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time. We got a long actually quite well, but we disagreed on things. When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's terrible. I guess, he thought it was OK. I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently. So, we were not really thinking the same.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Tillerson, who was told he was being let go on Friday by General Kelly, spoke briefly to reporters today and he didn't look well. He was visibly emotional.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REX TILLERSON, OUTGOING U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to speak now to my State Department colleagues and to our interagency colleagues and partners at DoD and the Joint Chief of Staffs most particularly. To my foreign service officers and civil service colleagues, we all took the same oath of office whether you are career employee or political appointee, we are all bound by that common commitment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: That was nice. Well, back in November, I asked the president about the secretary of state's job security.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I want my -- my vision is my vision anyway. It's called cost-saving. There is nothing wrong with cost-saving. Rex is in there working hard. He is doing his best.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Is he going to be with you for the duration?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We'll see. I don't know who is going to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Well, not exactly a ringing endorsement of the duration. Well, of course, the lemmings in the press spent the entire day painting the Tillerson firing as evidence of more White House dysfunction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, 'NEWSROOM,' CNN: This almost feels like a vacation from the reality tv style turmoil that is turning back in Washington. The president may be wondering why he didn't come to California sooner. This is his first trip out here because of everything that he has left behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ‘NEWSROOM,’ CNN: What does chaos mean in our foreign policy? It means many of our allies who I have worked for over the years, they don't know what to expect next from the United States. That creates a vacuum in the world that Russia is moving into very quickly and China is moving in to in Asia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Yes. Trump caused the rise of China and the Russia aggression in Crimea. Oh, my goodness. Chaos? You mean what we saw for the eight years of the Obama administration when Barack Obama didn't fire anyone over Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservatives, or the fast and furious scandal or was it the chaos we saw when Obama pushed out Qaddafi and Mubarak sparking the rise of ISIS in Iraq and in Syria?

Now, what about the chaos of doubling our debt and exploding the trade deficit. As China, of course, grew bolder and more powerful, did any of that count as chaos? Well, Trump, by contrast, has been very clear that we want to have better relationships with more nations, if possible, and we're not going to be anyone's pushover.

Look, the fact is Tillerson should have tendered his resignation a long time ago. He disagreed with the president on major issues. He was opposed to the talks with the North Korea. He supported the Paris Climate Accords.
He questioned the president's Charleville response.

He was at odds with Trump on moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and was a fan of the Iran nuclear deal. The president, of course, walls not a fan.
Other than that, the two were perfectly in sync, and then there was this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER, WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING: Can you address the main headline of this story did you call the president a moron and where do you think these reports --

SECRETARY OF STATE STATE REX TILLERSON: I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. This is what I don't understand about Washington. Again, I'm not from this place, but the places I come from, we don't deal with that kind of petty nonsense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: The place I come from as if you call your boss a moron, you probably should be in that position. The only question I have is why did it take the president so long to fire Tillerson? Sure, he is a nice guy but come on.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo by all accounts is a far better fit to be Trump's secretary of state. As the president said, kind of about chemistry and approach. Tillerson didn't gel in either category.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I have gotten to know a lot of people very well over the last year, and I'm really at a point where we are getting very close to having the cabinet and other things that I want.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: And since last summer, the president has been slowly getting his team together. Think about it, he hired General John Kelly his chief of staff. He moved Sarah Sanders in as press secretary. He moved Tom Price out and Alex Azar in as secretary of HHS and I'm sure there is going to be a lot more changes to come.

That's not chaos. That's called smart staffing. He has been in the White House just over, what, 13 months or so? And now Trump knows what he needs in his closest staff and the cabinet, too. And he might not do everything the button down traditional way, well, that's for sure.

But he is hitting his stride and he is getting a really strong team in place. Think about it this way, when a player isn't performing on the field or on the court, a good coach benches him. And when that same player is a consistent drag on the team, well, a good coach is going to trade him or just let him go entirely.

And that's precisely what Trump did, and he should do the same with anyone else who seems pained to support his agenda once he makes his decision final. And that's the ANGLE.

For reaction I talked to Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee just a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

INGRAHAM: Senator Corker, good to see you. Thanks for first time on THE INGRAHAM ANGLE.

SENATOR BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: A little late.

INGRAHAM: I know we kept you up. Let's talk about today, big news day, did this really surprise you, Rex Tillerson out by the president? Did you ever think he was a great fit?

CORKER: I thought he was really good at giving sound advice. I have known for some time -- I talk to both of them often. I know it hasn't been a perfect fit. Was I surprised? Not really. But, I will say since December 1st, right around that time, you felt a reprieve. You felt like that they were working better together.

INGRAHAM: The story today was this is chaos. People are freaking out in the media. Just more chaos. And it turns out that the president is apparently considering also firing the VA secretary after the story broke that he was on some sightseeing trip, I guess, in Europe on official business. Shulkin might be out replaced by Rick Perry. Thoughts on that?

CORKER: I think Rick will be good at anything he does. He has been a good governor, obviously. But look, this is as I was telling you earlier, the reporters in the hallway have almost become this is just sort of normal and changes are occurring.

And, you know, the president needs someone as secretary of state that he has a lot of faith in and, again, I thought rex did a very good job. He has a great relationship with Mattis, which is very unusual. And the two of them always go in on the same page.

And I don't know Pompeo very well, but I do hear very good things about him and look forward. He's going to be in the office later this week. I look forward to a good confirmation.

INGRAHAM: The thought is the internationalists, the interventionists in the Republican Party are kind of on the down slide and the more nationalist populist wing is on the ascendancy because, of course, Pompeo is more in line with Trump. Tillerson is more, I think more in line with your thinking and what are your thoughts on that? Is it better to have that tension where the internationalists are kind of vying for the president's ear?

CORKER: I would use the world realist.

INGRAHAM: OK, fine. You will use your terminology, I will use mine.

CORKER: The president's speech which we lauded. I was one of the first to laud one of his foreign policy speech had the makings of a Jim Baker kind realist world. I don't necessarily look at him as a nationalist. I mean, he is in Afghanistan doing what he is doing and committed to not something that is divine by time and so he is a mix. He is more of a realist. I do think it's good to have countering voices.

INGRAHAM: And the president does as well.

CORKER: He actually likes hearing the debate. He talked about that a great deal in the Gary Cohn when he left. So, look, I think that as long as whoever is working with him, regardless of what their point of view is, is giving him the full collage of opportunities to think about things, then I think that's fine.

INGRAHAM: Tillerson couldn't answer the question did he call him a moron.
That's not going to work well. Remember, Barack Obama fired only a few people. McChrystal, fired Mattis. Remember, when he fired Mattis he didn't each tell him. Mattis learned about it, I guess, second hand or third hand. People switch up positions when the chemistry isn't right. I think the president said chemistry just wasn't there.

CORKER: The president called this morning on his way out west about 10:00 from Air Force One. Every one of these people serve at his pleasure. It's his decision.

INGRAHAM: The new CIA chief would be Gina Haspel, who has been with the CIA for 30 years. She'd be the first woman to ever head that agency. She is not going without criticism today. This is a former FBI special agent, Ali Soufan, who was on MSNBC earlier today. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALI SOUFAN, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: There is the issue of torture.
Also, there is the issue of destruction of videotapes, evidence of torture.
That happened in violation of a federal judge's order. So now this is another thing that need to come out during the confirmation hearing. We need to know what she thinks about these issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: The left is gearing up to go after Gina Haspel who is an undercover for most of her career, is being lauded even by some former Obama administration officials I think Clapper today. What of that?

CORKER: I think we are going to see with these changes, maybe three of them, you mentioned one that I was unaware of earlier probably likely to see a pretty partisan environment over the next couple months.

INGRAHAM: We have an article today out about how the new omnibus spending bill might not defund sanctuary cities. I saw that today and I thought, wait a second, now we have got the House and Senate in Republican hands.
We got a Republican president. Republicans at election time are really big on defunding things.

We are going to do this and take the money from Planned Parenthood and defund sanctuary cities. Now it looks like they might not do that meaning you guys not do that what planet am I living on. What is your view on the sanctuary city issue? The president is out in California today.

CORKER: I think we should follow through on defunding them. This is decision made by McConnell, Ryan, Schumer and Pelosi, OK? They are the ones that are the final deciders. I have no idea what's in the omni. What I do know --

INGRAHAM: That's a problem, too. No one knows what's in it apparently.

CORKER: No, I mean, I think the House may vote on it this Friday. We are supposed to take it up next week. Regardless of the defunding which I hope occurs it's a god-awful amount of money. We are spending $2 trillion more over the next decade if we go through with this process, which we are. So, I think the American people ought to be alarmed by the massive amount of spending that's in this bill and we ought to defund sanctuary cities.

INGRAHAM: You were close for not voting for that tax bill.

CORKER: I was.

INGRAHAM: Because it really wasn't what a lot of us wanted in a tax bill, but nevertheless it does seem like the economy and a lot of spending. Any regrets there?

CORKER: look, I have been a deficit hawk my entire time. I just alluded to that now. I have also been a pro-growth tax person. So, you end up in this place, you know, nothing is perfect here. It was about half a trillion dollars off on a 43 trillion-dollar base, something I didn't want to see happen. Buff at the end of the day, I'm glad the economy is growing and I'm glad that businesses are hiring people and wages are going up.

INGRAHAM: Mueller investigation, where do you think this is going to end up? People say Trump is not tough on Russia like he should be. I looked at Obama. Russia rolled into Crimea, they were doing the reset, that didn't work.

CORKER: Right.

INGRAHAM: It didn't seem like Russia was deterred at all in the Obama administration. But, you know, a lot of --

CORKER: We tried to get lethal defensive weapons in the Ukraine. We couldn't do it. We passed a bill to make that happen. Now to the Trump administration is sending those lethal weapon items in. So, look, I don't know anything about what's happening with the Mueller investigation and I heard president Trump speak up today about the killing of the spy in U.K.

So, I think the rhetoric from him is getting stronger. Certainly, Congress on both sides of the aisle has been pushing back and, look, Russia is a problem and they are going to be a problem likely in our election.

INGRAHAM: Who is a bigger problem China or Russia, the size of the economy, military?

CORKER: Yes, you know, Russia has got the size of Italy. There's not much there, but they have nuclear armaments. Immediately, the issue is more acute with Russia because they try to stop all that we are doing. They try to interfere. They even are interfering with North Korea, longer term, no question. China is going to bypass us in all likelihood economically and they --

INGRAHAM: Is that a forgone conclusion? China is going to bypass us economically? I'm not buying into that. I don't want them to bypass us economically.

CORKER: If you just look at the numbers and the likelihood is that is what is going to look at 320 million people. You look at them having a billion
2 or 3 just the economics and the numbers.

INGRAHAM: Do you think Trump is doing the right thing on the tariffs then and standing up to China and saying you are dumping in our country --

CORKER: I wish he would focus more on China. It looks like we are trying to punish our allies when the focus should be multilaterally, I know you don't like that word, but against China. So, I don't like the way we are doing going about it and now it looks like we are maybe trading off NATO dues or something like that --

INGRAHAM: But we get leverage, how do we get leverage against the E.U., though, when we have a $150 billion trade deficit with them. We have a $68 billion trade deficit with Japan. South Korea trade deficit going up. We now have some leverage with them, do we not? Isn't that a way to get results for the American people?

CORKER: So, if you are focused on trade deficit, you wouldn't focus on steel with them. You would focus on steel with China which is producing 49 percent of the world's steel. So, I don't like the way that we have gone about it I don't. I've said that, and I think we should be far more focused on China as you mentioned. And over time, they are the entity that's stealing our intellectual property. They have got a program. I mean, we have got a president for life there.

INGRAHAM: How is that going to work out for freedom?

CORKER: Look, they're going to be the longer-term challenge for us and one that is much bigger. And as you know, being who you are, history says when one power potentially surpasses another academically that's going to be conflict. So, it's going to be the most difficult issue for us to manage.

INGRAHAM: Why do you think the president's approval rating is higher than Congress' today?

CORKER: Look, I don't smile so favorably on Congress either. I like the ones I work with. Most of them are smart and very hard working. But, that's just the way it's always been, kind of like lawyers and --

INGRAHAM: And you have a good relationship though outgoing with the president. I know you speak to him regularly. You have had a lot of tough words for him and he has had tough words for you.

CORKER: Vice versa, but you know, we are too hard-nosed business guys. He called Friday night and picks up the phone to talk about whatever he wants to talk about call me today. And yes, we have a very warm relationship as we do throughout the administration. So, it's never stopped. There might have been some public words, but we kept --

INGRAHAM: That's OK. Keep it in the family. It's really good to have you on. Thank you so much. We enjoyed it.

CORKER: Thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

INGRAHAM: It's looking like a photo finish in Pennsylvania in that special congressional race. Let's bring in Fox's Bret Baier for an update. Bret, I can't get any closer. Was it 585 votes right now separating the candidates?

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: It's 585 votes, 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Laura. And you have a situation now where there are 13 precincts out there. Some of them lean towards Saccone traditionally.
Others could be about even. You are talking down to the wire.

The libertarian, by the way in this race, is getting more than 1,200 votes.
You know, double the distance between the two, Democrat and Republican. We should also point out there were about 6,000 to 7,000 absentee ballots out there. And there are at least two precincts tonight saying they are not going to count them tonight. So this could be a deal where you don't have an answer tonight.

INGRAHAM: Yes.

BAIER: And this isn't a statewide case. It's not an automatic recount.
It can be requested within five days if have you three voters in each precinct who file a complaint.

INGRAHAM: And what does it say to the Democrats and the Republicans tonight? The party by all accounts have been moving to the left. But Conor Lamb moved to the right on a number of issues, certainly on trade.
He's more with Trump. Guns, he is more towards the Republicans. The very Republican district, 20-point win for Trump in that district. And it's pretty interesting how he is looking like he could pull out a victory here, but very out of tune with his own party.

BAIER: That's right. A couple things we can make clear. No matter what happens tonight, white working class voters voted for the Democrat in this district that went by 20 points to Donald Trump. The other thing we can point out is, as you point out, this is not the traditional Democrat we have seen in recent races that is running more progressive and more to the left. This is a candidate who is more moderate, who was on guns, on trade, on union issues, on life, you've got somebody that was basically running like a moderate Republican. And Donald Trump did make a difference but this candidate, Rick Saccone, was out fundraised by five to one by the Democrat Conor Lamb. So Republican will say it was the candidate who was weak no matter if he wins or not. This is not a great sign for the GOP in that particular district.

INGRAHAM: Saccone was on radio with me today, and he was OK. But he is not Trump. He doesn't have that same mojo. Bret, we are going to be on this. Thank you so much. We will be coming back with you with these updates throughout the night. And this is down to the wire, 585 votes with
just a few precincts left and a few will not report tonight. Stay there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: We will bring you the latest in just moments from Pennsylvania.
But first, President Trump famously did not visit California in his first year as president. With its sanctuary policies and its hostile far left leaders, who could blame them? Well, Mr. Trump finally had a valid reason to go to the golden state today where he took a look at the prototypes of his border wall in San Diego. And he explained why the wall is essential.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you take a look at the fence, and it's a very powerful fence, not doing the trick, because they cut holes in it. And then they are patching holes all the time. I'm just looking, you have hundreds of holes cut in and patched. So the fence is not strong enough. It's not the right idea.

But, for those people, if you don't have a wall system, we're not going to have a country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: He is back on the construction site today. I loved it.

Joining us now for reaction is the CEO who submitted one of those prototypes, Fisher, Sand, and Gravel CEO Tommy Fisher joins us from Phoenix. OK, Fisher, Sand, and Gravel, you guys have been in business for, I don't know, since 1952. It's a family run company. And what was it like to have the president check out the prototype today?

TOMMY FISHER, CEO, FISHER, SAND, AND GRAVEL CO: It was a great honor for myself and all the employees and hopefully my dad looking down from heaven to see where we have come to. So to have that opportunity to demonstrate to the president and all the people of America what we are capable of building, it was just a great honor. And I would also like to thank your commitment and determination to keep border security front and center with all your viewers as well, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Absolutely. I want to play a sound bite. This is the president, you know, he was looking at all the different prototypes. And he made like a running commentary throughout. This is a part of it. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are looking very much at the wall with some see through capability on the other side and then solid concrete on top, or steel and concrete on top. The round piece that you see up here or you see more clearly back there, the larger it is, the better it is because it's very hard to get over the top. It's really deterrent from getting over the top. Who would think? Who would think?

But getting over the top is easy. These are like professional mountain climbers. They are incredible climbers. They can't climb some of these walls. Some of them they can. Those are the walls we are not using.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: All right, Tommy, which wall was he talking about? Because we were watching sound bite after sound bite today of individuals who are against this wall who are saying I can't get over this. I have gotten over other structures before. There is no wall they can make tall enough for me not to get over because I'm determined to get back in the United States where can I make some money or see my family. So what makes your wall impenetrable for the people who really want to climb it?

FISHER: Well, first of all, Laura, our wall is solid concrete, so if you are see through, you are basically a fence or you can cut like President Trump was talking about earlier with the steel. And steel has its purpose out on the border, but basically encased in our concrete.

The biggest difference is we took vision very, very serious when we put our proposal together. That's why our wall is strong enough to be backfilled so agents have a 360-degree panoramic top view down so they have the advantage. And hopefully the president will get to see that with some of the other pictures.

And then the difference is we can build through the mountains as well. And we have a product that lasts 150 years. It broke my heart today to see the president talk about fixing a wall that's been out there that's a remnant wall or something, and some of that wall has only been out there, the fence I want to say, the steel fence, 10 years up to 20-some years and no replacing. Our wall has 150 year life span.

But the big difference with ours is we are building access roads for the agents. So you are not even getting close to our wall. Our wall has a road in front, a road behind, and it has such a superior advantage. And that's why we were able to secure the largest bond in the history of the United States that it sitting on Homeland Security's desk that I gave them in January for $10.77 billion, like I talked to you on the radio show, to build 700 miles. I have also placed $274 million bid with land that I just purchased in California to build the first 15 miles in the most rugged, mountainous terrain to prove to the president as well as every American if you don't have a complete border protection system, you do not have security.

And like you said earlier, I take with great respect the president will, if he allows us to play our team Fisher Industries to play, I guarantee you no different than Tom Brady, once we get in we never come out. And if we don't perform, the president can fire us, and that's how comfortable and confident I am is when people see what we really offer.

INGRAHAM: I love it. Not taking sides on which prototypes is best but this is why you are a good businessman.

Really quick question. How many jobs are we talking? And just really quick, what types of jobs? Are these good paying jobs? Only American products and only Americans workers, correct?

FISHER: All-American with all-American grit. We probably if we did the big project, the 700 miles, you are talking thousands of jobs with us and our partners. The smaller job, probably 1,000 jobs.

But here's the big differences. Our product and our patent pending system does not need cranes. So when we go into the mountains, Laura, I promise you in 30 minutes you could be running one of our excavators, pulling back those wall forms and you would see 30 feet of perfect wall built.

INGRAHAM: Tommy Fisher, Fisher, Sand, and Gravel, fascinating to see the president out there. It was like he was back on the job site on a construction project. Thanks so much.

And I have a question. Should President Trump send federal troops to sanctuary cities? That seems wild, right? Well, we are going to debate it directly ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: President Trump in California today had harsh words for the state sanctuary policies, and he singled out Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for tipping off hundreds of illegal immigrants of an impending ICE operation last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sanctuary cities are protecting a horrible group of people in many cases, criminals. And what happened as an example in Oakland was a disgrace to our nation, and we just can't let that happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: And President Trump had said he would like to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities but some scholars have raised the question of whether he could do something far more aggressive, as in sending in federal troops under something called the Insurrection Act. But should he and can he?

Let's bring in John Cox. He's a Republican candidate for governor in California. He is in L.A. tonight. And in San Francisco Joe Alioto Veronese. He's a former California criminal justice commissioner. It's great to see both of you.

All right, Joe, let's start with you on this. It's called the Insurrection Act, and Glenn Reynolds had written a piece in ‘USA Today’ about it, saying this is kind of out there in a way, but the supremacy clause doesn't mean that the states can completely override federal authority. And, again, it's a theory, but given what Jeff Sessions said last week in his speech in California, it looks like, you know, it's a remote at least possibility.

JOE ALIOTO VERONESE, FORMER CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSIONER: This is not a possibility. This is political theater that is being used to frame the debate. It's essentially a big lie. We have seen this before out of the Trump administration. Build a wall, Mexico is going to pay for it. Send in the troops. Deport violent criminals. Drain the swamp. None of this is actually happening when you look at the facts here. The statements they just prey on, they prey on his base because they know that there is nothing being done in Washington on these very important issues.

INGRAHAM: Joe, I hate to interrupt you so quickly, but Joe, when you say the president hasn't done that, I mean, yes, they have. I mean, the president has ensured that we have deported hundreds upon hundreds of the most vile child molesters, rapists, people who are domestic batters who are illegally in this country and who are criminals. So when you say he has not done that, that's just false, my friend. I'm sorry, but you can't come on this show and say they haven't done that. They have done that, and that's good.

VERONESE: No, no. Look. We want to deport violent criminals. Nobody is against that.

INGRAHAM: Oh, really.

VERONESE: But when he was running for people he said these were the only people that were going to be deported. We are findings that the facts on the street are actually not that. Less than half of the people are actually violent criminals. The rest of them, many of them --

INGRAHAM: Whose fault is that?

VERONESE: -- are people who have been here for decades in the United States, decades.

INGRAHAM: Whose fault is that?

VERONESE: It's ICE's fault. It's federal immigration's fault.

INGRAHAM: Let's get John Cox in. Whose fault is it that ICE has to rush into neighborhoods because a state official or a local official has warned the population that ICE is coming instead of help us find these people so we can get have targeted, get them in a targted way and get them out of the country? Go ahead.

JOHN COX, CALIFORNIA CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: This is really rich. Can I get a response in here? Yes, this is really rich in irony here, Laura, that Mr. Alioto is accusing Mr. Trump of political theater when it's the Democrats are engaged in the political theater to cover up their mismanagement of this state.

These are violent criminals that they're going after in Oakland. They were suspected gang members. This is the safety and security of the people of California. And Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom are political demagogues who are using this issue to scare people, to create a war with Washington that shouldn't exist. Yes, the president is fully justified in using the military if he has to. President Eisenhower did that to enforce law after Brown versus Board of Education in the 50s. I want to know how Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom getting off being George Wallace and standing up and saying they are not going to allow federal law to take precedence. This is totally, completely against the law. And they are doing it to cover up their incredible mismanagement of the state of California.

INGRAHAM: We're going to have you both back on when it's not an election night. I'm sorry that I can't give you another rebuttal, Joe, but we're up against the clock.

VERONESE: So am I.

INGRAHAM: Live analysis of still too close to call special election in
Pennsylvania's 18th.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: It's neck in neck and that Pennsylvania special congressional election case. Let's go back to FOX's Bret Baier for the latest in update.
Bret?

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Seven-hundred-fifty-five votes now separates these two candidates, and you have nine precincts out in Westmoreland County, and it's going to come down to basically whether Saccone in his area can pick up those votes. You have absentee ballots. There are thousands of them that are out there. There are couple precincts that are not going to count them tonight. Allegheny is going to, and they are going to dump those probably in the next 15 minutes. So you are going to see probably a pick up for you would think Lamb because that area has been traditionally tonight going his way.

The bottom line here, Laura, is that you have a district that disappears because of redistricting. They have to decide whether they are going to run in a different district by next week, which is the filing deadline, March 20th. You could have both of these guys become congressman. They could win in separate districts.

INGRAHAM: They live in separate districts if it's drawn the way we think it's going to be drawn.

BAIER: And it's not challenged in court, and the district that they are in if they go to the recount might be recounted and the district disappears by then.

INGRAHAM: But they also have to win a primary in May and then a general in November. So for people watching this at home, this is likes as wild as politics gets, but it's because Tim Murphy had that scandal, Congressman Republican, and it was a bad scandal, and that really hurt the Republican Party. We are up against a break. We are going to bring you the latest.
It's neck and neck, only 100 votes separate them now. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

INGRAHAM: Before we go, look at the board. It does not get closer than this. About 95 votes now separating the candidates in that special election, 18th district, Pennsylvania. A blue wave? I think that was overstated regardless of the results. It might not be called tonight, but we'll have continuing coverage all night long on FOX. Ed Henry is all over this story. He's in for Shannon Bream to take you through the next hour. This is wild.
 


END

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