This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 10, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Is Flo about to blow? Hurricane-force winds now, Category 4 and then some, 130-mile-per-hour winds and then some, as this monster bears down on the East Coast.
Forecasters are already calling it extremely dangerous. That is perhaps an understatement. States of emergency now declared in the Carolinas and in Virginia. More could soon follow.
We will be talking to the governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, who has just ordered a mandatory evacuation across the entire coastline. More than a million people are affected.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto, and this is "Your World," and a stormy world, at that.
The president taking no chances as this monster storm approaches. He's already canceled the planned Jackson, Mississippi, rally for Friday, citing safety concerns.
We're all over this with meteorologist Adam Klotz on just how bad things could get, and Susan Li on folks not really waiting very long to find out.
We begin without hey Adam.
ADAM KLOTZ, FOX NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Hey there, Neil.
You said it. This is a huge storm system. And it's really strengthened here just over the course of today from a Category 2 storm up to a Category 4 storm all in the last several hours.
Now, there's a defined eye wall right there. It's a big storm. It's a powerful storm with winds at 130 miles an hour. But it's still a really long ways away, still south of Bermuda. Here's the track it's going to make. You notice it stays a Category 4 storm as it heads closer to the U.S. coast.
There's a lot of warm water there. And that's going to fuel this and only strengthen it. Now, what is the timing going to be with the system as it approaches the coast? I'm taking you now to Thursday morning, and you're sitting just off the coast. So the situation will be deteriorating by then, likely making landfall either Thursday afternoon or into the overnight hours. It's still a ways off. It could speed up or slow down.
So we're tracking the timing of this very closely as it moves that direction.
But the speed, the intensity of the storm is going to be there. The wind speed, 130 miles an hour up to 156 miles an hour, staying a Category 4 storm, likely on the high end of this, so wouldn't be surprised if, when it made landfall, we're up close to 150-mile-an-hour winds, as there is a lot of fuel in the area for this.
Now, typically, you don't see a storm that's sitting this far off towards Bermuda making its way all the way to the West Coast. Generally, it would turn north. But we have got a big high-pressure system kind of forcing it into the Southeast. And it's not going to have anywhere to go.
So all of our models are in pretty good agreement with this as we run over the course of the next couple of days several models, anywhere there from perhaps South Carolina, the Myrtle Beach, area, stretching up to the Outer Banks. That's where the models are currently taking this.
The one caveat here is once we get to the coast, none of the models can really agree what happens next. Does it hover right around the coast, bringing a whole lot of rain? Does it quickly run inland? That's something we're going to have to wait and see.
But if it does sit near the coast, besides just the very strong winds that we're obviously going to see, another concern is going to be rainfall. The longer it sits still, the more rain you're going to get. Current models are suggesting isolated areas, Neil, getting up to two feet of total precipitation, widespread across portions of North Carolina, up to Virginia, getting up over a foot of rain.
So it's going to be windy, there's going to be the storm surge, but we're going to have to be really paying close attention to these rainfall totals as well.
CAVUTO: And they sound like they're going to be doozies.
Adam, thank you very, very much.
I want to take you to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, right now, the calm before the storm, I guess, here. This is part of the South Carolina coast that the governor of that state has recommended be cleared out ahead of this storm. We will be talking to him shortly. That's better than a million individuals who will have to get out of town and fast.
Some of the usual precautions ahead of that are cruise lines and airlines that are taking precautions of their own.
Fox Business Network's Susan Li on what they're doing right now -- Susan.
SUSAN LI, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: All right, Neil, so Hurricane Florence, of course, impacting travel. Six cruise ships are being diverted as a result. That includes three Carnival Cruise Line itineraries, two Norwegian ones, changing course, and one Oceania scheduled.
They were all headed for the Caribbean, Bermuda or the Bahamas, which they will now skip or completely stay away from. In fact, one Norwegian cruise was supposed to sail south from Boston. Instead, now it's sailing north to Canada in order to avoid Hurricane Florence.
So be sure to check with your cruise line operators to confirm those schedules. Airlines also waiving change fees, as Hurricane Florence continues to strengthen. American Airlines, Southwest waving fees that usually cost as much as $200, plus a difference in fares, so flyers can alter their travel plans accordingly.
And given the path of Hurricane Florence, 23 airports will likely be impacted. That includes two major airline hubs, Delta's Atlanta hub and American's Charlotte hub. And that's usually a connecting point for many, many flights in one day.
Now, for those that are traveling and they're boarding up their homes, this is helping lift some shares. We're talking about home supply companies like Home Depot and Lowe's. They are very busy during hurricane season. And power also being impacted, so home generator supplier Generac and roofing supplier Beacon likely as well seeing higher spending during this time.
Insurance companies in focus as well. Travelers, All State are falling today, with high-end real estate insurer Chubb. And that that's expected, of course, with damage and travel delay claims as a result of Hurricane Florence, which is spinning closer and closer to the Southeastern coastline, Neil.
And also the Navy issuing a warning to the Norfolk, Virginia, hub as well. They're telling all able warships and submarines to basically sail away before Hurricane Florence makes landfall -- back to you.
CAVUTO: All right, take no -- no chances with that. That's probably good, wise advice. Susan, thank you very much.
Let's get the read from Michael Brown, the former FEMA director, of course, through Katrina, and so much more, learned the hard way what can happen when people aren't all on the same page.
For now, Michael, it looks like everybody is, recognizing the urgency of what's approaching. Is there any risk in telling people days before something hits, when it might bypass them, to evacuate anyway?
MICHAEL BROWN, FORMER FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY DIRECTOR: Yes, because you always get the blowback that, hey, I'm going to follow the government's orders, I'm going to evacuate, and then it ends up going somewhere else.
You always face that risk. It's always a no-win situation. But I think what people need to understand is, in this particular situation, you have all the models that predict the hurricane basically going the same direction.
And I think the hurricane itself will probably maintain a Category 4 status, based on all the reports I have read. But once it makes landfall, once it begins to break down, you're going to have a major flooding event in North Carolina, perhaps Virginia, West Virginia, because these storms tend to peter out.
And then, as they start petering out, you just get this deluge of rain. And then you have flash flooding in all these hills of the Carolinas and the Virginias.
CAVUTO: For some in the affected path of this storm, for example, in the Carolinas, they have not had a direct hit in the better part of three decades of a storm of any consequence like this. So maybe they get sort of cavalier, or just a little too easy going about it.
What would you advise them?
BROWN: Well, in fact, they do get too cavalier.
And I would remind them that the same thing that is occurring right now occurred back in, I think, either 2003 or 2004, and I forget the name of the hurricane. But it was coming up North Carolina, up toward the Virginia coast, and then began to dissipate and fall apart.
But once it fell apart and made landfall, the rain just continued for days upon days. And instead of having a major hurricane event, we had a major flash flooding event that affected lots of North and South Carolina, lot -- parts of Virginia, almost all the way up into D.C.
So, yes, people get cavalier about these things. But again, it's a major storm. It hasn't occurred in a while. Everybody's doing what they should be doing. And so I would just encourage people to do this.
Make sure you're ready. Make sure that your homes are -- if you have a vacation home, that's boarded up. Pay attention to what people on the television stations and radio stations are saying. If they recommend an evacuation, know where you're going to go.
Don't wait until that day to figure out, oh, how am I going to get from point A to point B, because those roads may be blocked because of flash flooding.
Think about what you need to do.
CAVUTO: Michael Brown, thank you very, very much.
And to that point, as Michael was speaking here, Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan has already declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence. That is the fourth state to do so. So you have North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and now Maryland all taking no chances with this, a state of emergency in effect.
Much more after this.
CAVUTO: I think they're talking about like a "Meet the Fockers" moment here, where they can hook you up to a lie detector to find out whether you were among those who really leaked this anonymous quote and story to The New York Times. Who knows.
I don't necessarily think they're going to make a movie out of it, although, well, there could be a movie out of this.
Kevin Corke in the middle of it all at the White House.
Kevin, what's the latest on who this is?
KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: OK, I'm thinking maybe a book deal out of this. Maybe I write something up.
CORKE: Maybe I'm kidding. Maybe I'm not kidding.
CORKE: Actually, as it relates to the lie-detector test, Neil, that -- it's not going to be necessary, it's not going to happen.
And I think that's in part because there are three trains of thought at work here. The first is, of course, the White House is obviously not concerned that this a senior administration official. I have talked to a number of White House officials on background, and they are convinced that, despite what you have read, this doesn't fall under the category of a senior administration official.
In fact, Vice President Mike Pence was talking about this on "FOX News Sunday" with our Chris Wallace. And he made a very interesting point in the conversation with Chris Wallace.
He said, listen, first of all, that writer will probably expose who they are, they will have loose lips, they will talk to someone, and they will be exposed. And there's some folks here, to be candid, Neil, that believe that this isn't a single writer at all, this was all orchestrated to some dissent within the Trump administration.
Either way, the vice president says he doesn't know who wrote this piece, but he knows this. It wasn't him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": Do you think you know who anonymous says?
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: I don't. I don't know. But I do know that they should resign and leave this administration.
WALLACE: Should all top officials take a lie-detector test? And would you agree to take one?
PENCE: I would agree to take it in a heartbeat.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: No lie detectors are being used or talked about or looked at as a possibility. Frankly, the White House and the staff here are focused on doing our jobs and trying to show up here every day and do what we can to help better the American people, not deal with cowards that refuse to put their names in an anonymous letter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CORKE: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders there, who also said that this person was sad, pathetic and gutless.
And she was surprised they could get that much attention from the media. By the way, for his part, the president, Neil, has suggested that the DOJ - - that is the Department of Justice -- should find the writer as a matter of national security.
That sentiment was actually echoed today by Sarah Sanders. But, obviously, The Times would disagree. The Times, of course, published this anonymously written op-ed, frankly, pretty unprecedented in journalism circles.
Let me share what The Times has to say about its belief that, no, the president shouldn't, if you will, sic the DOJ onto this person.
They say: "We're confident that the DOJ understands that the First Amendment protects all American citizens and that it wouldn't participate in such a blatant abuse of government power" -- that from Eileen Murphy at The Times.
I know that this will probably strike you as not terribly unusual. Omarosa throwing her name in the hat of those who have an opinion about this, Neil. She suggested maybe a senior staffer on Mike Pence's staff, maybe even his chief of staff. Of course, her opinion is worthless here at the White House and a great many other places -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, man, oh, man.
Just getting to the bottom of this, if we ever do.
Kevin, thank you very, very much.
CAVUTO: Marc Lotter is here, of course, the former secretary to the vice president of the United States.
Marc, I was thinking knowing you were coming, if every top Cabinet, I think every Cabinet official has said that they had nothing to do with this and swear and all. Is there any benefit in then -- if The New York Times is stating that this is a senior official, administration official, that could imply a Cabinet official, wouldn't The New York Times then be obligated to say, all right, well, this person just lied in public and we should -- we should get to the bottom of that?
MARC LOTTER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: One would think that, if they deny -- if this person who's behind this denies writing it, that The Times would be would be required to say, well, that's actually not true.
If not, where's their credibility?
CAVUTO: Unless it's not a Cabinet-level secretary.
LOTTER: There's a lot of -- there's a lot of speculation about that.
CAVUTO: What do you think?
LOTTER: I mean, as I said the other day, I think, in D.C., everyone is a senior White House official when they want a better job, or be quoted in the media.
So I'm not sure that this person ever had any kind of interactions with the president.
CAVUTO: But it's having the desired effect on the part of the person who wrote it, right, and The New York Times quoting it, that it's sent the paranoia level up.
Now, Sarah Sanders says not to the degree that they are going to do lie- detector tests or -- but everyone must be looking over their shoulder, right?
LOTTER: Well, I think you have to at this point, and you have to wonder if you can have the honest conversations you need to have in that building or -- and, really, in any institution of government?
Can you talk with other staff people, have a disagreement?
CAVUTO: But what do you think? Is this administration different than others Marc?
There's leaking in all types of administrations, Democrat and Republican. But I'm just wondering whether the Woodward book is a currency, that it's particularly rampant here, or is it?
LOTTER: Well, Woodward has been writing books on presidents going back to Reagan. And even Reagan called him a liar and Obama called him materially wrong in his facts.
But the one thing can I say is words of the allegation that it was the vice president's chief of staff, I know him personally and I can absolutely assure you that's not something he would do. And there is no evidence behind that claim.
There's as much evidence that I would have if I said Colonel Mustard wrote it in the White House study by Jefferson's candlesticks. That's what we're dealing with.
CAVUTO: All right, well, what about this notion that to protect the president from himself? And this comes from the Woodward book and this anonymous writer raises it. They would swipe papers off the president's desk to avoid doing harm.
Does that make any sense to you?
LOTTER: No. And it's absolutely misguided.
I have served elected officials at every level of government. And I have had heated and spirited disagreements and discussions. But that's what we are there to do.
But when the person who put their name on the ballot makes a decision, it's our job to go execute it. And if you can't, your name should go on your resignation. And if you disagree, then put your name on the ballot later and run on your own. But that's not your job.
CAVUTO: But there have been moments with this president and others who have been talked out of a position they might have earlier advocated or had a discussion of why our troops, for example, we had as many as we did in South Carolina or others -- or South Korea. I apologize.
And that the president has been dissuaded of that, not the first time and not the first president where that's happened, but says this sort of stuff routinely happens.
LOTTER: I think this is a president who has said no to orthodoxy. And even though -- and he brings...
CAVUTO: But to the point where some of the people who are familiar with orthodoxy say, I'm just going to take this slip of paper and remove it.
LOTTER: And that's where they -- that's where they need to take the piece of paper being their resignation.
If you cannot support the decision of the person who was elected by the people, you have no business being there, and please get out of way for someone else to be able to fulfill that role.
And that's just something you cannot do. Even if you lose the argument, they are the people who were elected to make the decision. And it's your job to execute it, even if you disagree.
CAVUTO: Do you think the person who did this is guilty of treason?
LOTTER: Depends. It depends if they have -- if they hold a high-level security clearance. I'm not going to say treason. I think that's a very specific act. But whether it is illegal, I think that's something that definitely needs to be looked at.
How can the president or any senior staff member who isn't this author go into the White House Situation Room, debate some of the most complicated and serious issues facing our planet, and not be able to trust that maybe the person next to them is going to go write an anonymous op-ed? It cannot be allowed to happen.
CAVUTO: Marc Lotter, thank you very, very much.
LOTTER: Good to see you, Neil.
CAVUTO: Not too long ago, in fact, about last week at this time, he was widely considered the most admired media titan probably on the planet. Now is he out of a job and likely, potentially, out of any pay for that job -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, local officials in South Carolina are sort of briefing the South Carolinians on this plan to evacuate the coastline.
On the right, you're looking at the Myrtle Beach area. Better than a million people are affected along this coastline here, and they're being told to get out and get out fast, certainly by tomorrow at noon. So, we will keep an eye on that. We're going to be speaking to the state's governor on what he is doing to prepare for that and anything else, as four states have already declared states of emergency.
They are Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and, as I said, the aforementioned South Carolina.
Meanwhile, another big media executive goes down. This is Les Moonves.
The thing about Charlie Gasparino's and his reporting on this is, a lot of people were of the assumption, well, he leaves with big pay package, all is fine, no need to second-guess any of that.
Charlie kept digging and digging and digging, and apparently that wasn't the case.
Good to see you, my friend.
CHARLIE GASPARINO, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Thanks for having me.
CAVUTO: What happened here?
GASPARINO: Well, there's two stories here.
There's the -- what happened with Les Moonves. He's forced out of CBS. That huge pay package that a lot of people were thinking could be up to $180 million guaranteed is not guaranteed.
What we know is this. In the filing of this in the form of an SEC filing, which is known as an A.K. came out...
CAVUTO: Securities and Exchange Commission that sort of police these things.
GASPARINO: Pending the outcome of it. There is $120 million put in escrow pending the outcome of the investigation.
He will either get all of that, part of it, or none of that. So, if the investigation into those sexual misconduct allegations comes back very bad for him, they are going to withhold that. They're going to essentially terminate him, fire him.
And then with that, all his perks go away. He doesn't get to keep -- get the driver, he doesn't get the office for two years, as most departing CEOs usually get. He doesn't get his security. It's done. They sever the relationship. That's one story.
And we will know I think within the next month or two what's going on there.
The second story, I think, is a corporate story with CBS. What is its future? And if you -- again, confirming our reporting, if you look in the agreement today, there is a stand-still agreement between the controlling Redstone families -- family and CBS, meaning Redstone family can't touch CBS for two years.
They can't force a merger. It's almost impossible. They could do it. There is a vote of the independent directors that would have to take place, but that's very difficult. For two years, where they can't force a merger between Viacom, the other property they own, and CBS, which Les Moonves was trying to prevent that.
And that is essentially is a signal that the CBS board wants to sell CBS to a bigger player and that they're going to shop it. I have sources in there. And that's -- from what I understand, that's their intention.
Now, who would buy it is another big story. AT&T probably can't, because they're ingesting Time Warner right now. Comcast can't because the Justice Department absolutely hates them. Trump hates the company, thinks it's too big. It's why they hate AT&T and Time Warner. They hate Comcast for the same reason, huge media conglomerate, merging distribution and content.
So, they're kind of it. Maybe Verizon. Maybe you will see a tech company step up, an Amazon, a Netflix step up. The one problem I think they have in selling this thing right now is if AT&T is out, if Comcast is out, Verizon is kind of iffy, those tech companies are developing their own content. They may not want to buy this old-line media content.
That might force CBS in the end to merge back up with Viacom, to do what Shari Redstone wanted to do for -- in the beginning, which caused the huge -- I mean, remember, Les Moonves sued Shari Redstone.
GASPARINO: There was a huge court case.
CAVUTO: But she won here. This is a separate issue in that sense, in that he was forced out on these other reasons. But he's out.
GASPARINO: She won and she lost. She got rid of him. OK?
The board wants to sell the company and doesn't want to merge with Viacom, which she lost on. And, you know, hopefully, the shareholders win and they find a suitor that's going to pay up.
I will say this, though. If you think of the media landscape, there is not a lot of companies out there. Does Amazon really want to do Apple?
CAVUTO: Right. Right.
GASPARINO: Do these companies really want to step up to the plate and buy old-line media? Now, CBS is a cache name, "60 Minutes," CBS Sports. But some of that stuff -- CBS is being impacted greatly by cord-cutting and some of the technological advances that hurt the other properties
CAVUTO: To say nothing of all of these sexual allegations that could haunt it for some time.
GASPARINO: Well, that's the other side of the story. I think at some point, people are going to say, what did the board know, when did they know it?
GASPARINO: And does that put the board of directors in jeopardy for shareholder lawsuits?
CAVUTO: Thank you, buddy. Great reporting, as always, Charlie Gasparino.
GASPARINO: Thank you.
CAVUTO: In the meantime, they're trying to avoid a government shutdown. But what Republicans are coming up with in the meantime is one thing. What the president wants to do that could get in their way is quite another.
CAVUTO: You are looking at Wrightsville Beach in South Carolina, the calm before the storm, but it is very, very possible that this could pick up fast.
The governor of that state on an evacuation momentarily.
CAVUTO: I apologize before. This is Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. We were showing you South Carolina before. Needless to say North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland have all declared states of emergency now ahead of this monster of a hurricane, Florence, now packing Category 4 winds in excess of 130 miles per hour.
And she's moving very, very slowly. And that worries a lot of folks, including our own meteorologists here, who are saying that the longer it hangs around, the more flooding that will follow, upwards of two feet of rain that could hit most of the most populated areas of this country.
So we will keep you posted on that.
Keeping you posted on a political storm, meanwhile, and the prospects of a government shutdown. Republicans do not want to see it. The question is whether they can avoid it and avoid a president who wants to find funding for a wall as sort of like a potential deal-breaker.
Chad Pergram program is following all of this.
Chad, what's the latest?
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: Well, right now, there is an agreement between House and Senate leaders to work out what we call a minibus spending deal.
The present back in March said that he would veto an omnibus spending bill that covers all 12 sections of federal funding, so what they have done together is put three of these funding bills together in a minibus. This covers energy and water, VA and military construction, also the legislative branch, and they will move this through the Senate probably later this week and then the House of Representatives.
Now, as you say, the president continues to threaten a shutdown over a border wall. They're not looking at funding that anytime soon. In fact, that may go after the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30.
And I pressed House Speaker Paul Ryan a couple of days ago on this, because the president keeps threatening a shutdown. And House Speaker Paul Ryan says, no, there's not going to be one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: But, at the end of the game, so why do you think that -- you think -- I mean, is that just how he plays ball? You say, all right, that is just how he rolls?
REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Yes.
RYAN: We have a good understanding. I'm confident our understanding will stay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: So, at the end of the day, the House and Senate Republican leaders say, wait a minute, there's not -- not going to be a government shutdown here.
They have other minibus spending bills that they have to move through. The next one probably is defense. If they don't deal with that, there's going to be an $18 billion cut in defense. And they have to work this all out by the 1st of October. Otherwise, there's a government shutdown for everything -- Neil.
CAVUTO: I see what you did there with the little minibus. Did you have that in your office, or did we have to fork out some bucks to make this...
PERGRAM: Well, I have many, many buses. They have two others in the garage here, as I mentioned, defense, also one that would deal with the interior. And then there might be one later on that would deal with homeland security.
But this is the one for energy, water, VA, mil-con, and legislative branch.
All right, I'm sure there's a minivan and a Mini-Cooper. Yes, so I could see where you're going with this.
Brilliant, my friend. Brilliant, as always, Chad Pergram.
Let's get the read from Republican Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs.
Congressman, I don't know if you brought any props with you here.
REP. ANDY BIGGS, R-ARIZ.: No.
CAVUTO: But could you explain the likelihood of a shutdown. I'm told, given everything Republicans are trying to do, they don't want that on them, so it's not going to happen. What do you say?
BIGGS: Well, I think it's highly unlikely.
I would stand with the president, if that's what he wanted to get the border wall funding. But I don't think that's going to happen.
You're going to see -- basically, this is same old, same old, where we're going to kick it down the road. We're going to do probably a two- or three-month minibus that's basically a C.R. It's going to last for a short term, and it's -- then they're going to say, oh, it's done for the midterm election.
And that's not good for anybody, quite frankly. And that's not good for -- there's nothing I really want to see.
CAVUTO: You know what's so weird? I mean, even people who might be of one political persuasion vs. another -- and you and I have discussed this, Congressman.
Republicans always get the blame for these shutdowns.
CAVUTO: In other words, they are the ones who are stubborn, insisting we control spending, no fault on the part of Democrats if they are just as insistent that we continue spending. It is what it is.
I understand that. But a lot of your colleagues are sick of getting that rap, and it opens the way for deals that call for more spending and what will likely be a trillion-dollar deficit.
So, some of your hard-line conservatives say, you have got to stand up to this and not let the Democrats write the narrative. You say?
BIGGS: I say that's exactly right.
I mean, I'm so tired of us looking and sounding -- we say we don't want to spend money, but we have federal revenue that is setting records, and we still are going to have a trillion-dollar deficit, because we won't cut spending.
And we don't do long-term spending plans. We don't do the budget the way it's supposed to be done. So, here we are at the end of the fiscal year again. We're just a couple weeks out.
And we're going to be saying, OK, instead of doing this maxibus, like we did a few months ago, now we're going to do a couple of minibuses. And it's basically -- basically, you're opening up a box of sneakers, except it's in several boxes, instead of one big box.
So you're still doing the massive spending. And you're not taking care of what you should be doing. And that's the real problem. And Republicans always get the blame for it.
And maybe, in some respects, we should, because we're supposed to be the party that's fiscally responsible. We're not really showing that as much as we should.
CAVUTO: You think it's going to cost you control of the House?
BIGGS: Well, I think that there are some things that might cost us, but if we kept our promises, and if we do keep our promises, I think we win the House.
If we don't keep our promises, we're not going to win the House back.
CAVUTO: All right, well, it doesn't sound you're going to keep this promise.
BIGGS: Well, I'm hoping that we do keep the promise. I'm an optimist, Neil. You know that. I'm an optimist.
CAVUTO: All right, sir, thank you very, very much. Always good seeing you.
BIGGS: Good to see you.
CAVUTO: All right, well, South Carolina among four states now along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States getting ready for what could be a massive storm here.
But it's how they are getting ready, days before presumably it would hit, the mandatory evacuation, and why he's recommending it in his state from the governor of South Carolina -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, they call it tax cut 2.0, another chance for Republicans to go back to the tax cutting well.
This would be an effort to make permanent a lot of the individual rate cuts that would sort of phase out, I believe, around the year 2025. So, in other words, a lot of sixth graders today when they are in college, that would take effect.
To The Washington Examiner's Phil Wegmann, Democratic strategist Danielle McLaughlin, and Republican strategist Mattie Duppler.
So, Mattie, how realistic is this that they get this? There are a lot of mechanics as to why they had to phase in and phase out certain tax cuts.
MATTIE DUPPLER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Right.
CAVUTO: But Republicans want to make them permanent on the individual side. Will that move the needle, you think, this November, even if they get it passed?
DUPPLER: Yes, I certainly think it will, Neil.
Remember, this is a vote that Republicans are taking that will remind Americans exactly why it is that they are feeling economic enthusiasm for the first time in some cases in years. This last week, we saw really positive job numbers, not only because jobs are created and the economy remains strong, but because wages are going up.
And, remember, that was one of the crucial promises made when the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, or in this case tax cuts 1.0, was passed in December. So, 2.0 is a great vision-setting opportunity for Republicans to remind Americans what it is they stand for and, at the same time, making permanent some of the promises in that law.
Like you mentioned, that individual side of the code is so important to give certainty for families and businesses across the country.
CAVUTO: Phil Wegmann, when you covered this, one Republican after another with whom I chatted is always surprised that his party, her party isn't getting the bang for the buck off of these tax cuts, economic boom, the low unemployment rates, the markets, et cetera, than they think they should.
Now, a lot of parties in the past that have been shepherding recoveries have said much the same. But they have gotten something from it at the polls. Republicans are fearful they might not. What's going wrong?
PHILIP WEGMANN, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, I think that Mattie is absolutely right.
This is an opportunity for a second bite at the apple here. But let's be realistic. Republicans in the House know that their Senate colleagues don't have the votes to get these tax cuts through. And they have to be wondering whether or not they even have the 216 votes in the lower chamber to get this to the finish line.
So, tax cuts 2.0 aren't necessarily about legislating. They are about messaging and forcing Democrats to go back on the record and vote against a second round of tax cuts at a moment when you have Barack Obama kind of coming out of the woodwork awkwardly and taking credit for the current booming economy.
So Republicans see this as an opportunity to force Democrats to, you know, vote no again, and then hopefully regain some of the momentum that they have lost going into the midterms, because, like you said, they don't think they have gotten the return on investment that they deserve.
CAVUTO: Well, I don't know if that's always the case on the Senate side, Danielle. I remember when I was talking to Mitch McConnell not too long ago about this subject, he was leery about pushing such a vote in the Senate, because it would give some of those Democrats in big Trump states up for reelection an opportunity to make good on voting that would improve their chances.
Now, I know that's the Senate vs. the House. But do Democrats look bad, having opposed something universally that Republicans cite as the reason why we are having to pickup we are having?
DANIELLE MCLAUGHLIN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's clearly going to put Democrats in a difficult position, because it will force them to vote against permanent tax cuts for ordinary Americans, of course.
The individual taxpayers were only given 10 years, whereas corporations were given in-perpetuity tax cuts.
I think there's an interesting question with House Republicans in the blue states on the coasts, people like Dana Rohrabacher and others, Peter King in New York. What about a Republican voting no? They are concerned about the SALT deduction, which obviously affects high income earners in those states because they are high-tax states.
So, I think you have got a problem with Democrats in the Senate voting no, but you have also got a problem with Republicans in the House voting no.
Mattie, looking at landscape here -- and polls are polls and they can change just as they certainly changed and were flat out wrong in 2016 -- that this is underappreciated. The bang for the buck we have gotten for these and the market follow-up, that that's going to be the surprise. Now, do you think it will be?
I mean, you just heard the same canard we heard in December about the tax cuts, that maybe Republicans should be nervous about voting for a tax cut because of the SALT deduction in high-tax states.
Listen, you know what else the tax reform did? It got rid of the AMT, in which most of the taxpayers who have been hit with a high SALT cap don't have to pay anymore. So, there is a tax cut across the board.
CAVUTO: By the way, in those high-tax states -- this might sound cynical, it's not a lot of Republican jobs in jeopardy.
DUPPLER: Not a lot of Republicans. And, frankly, if this news that Republicans are voting for a tax cut, they probably didn't vote for the tax bill the first time around. So I wouldn't worry about Republicans on 2.0.
And, again, this is a chance for Senate Democrats -- excuse me -- for all Democrats to make good on their promise. They keep saying that, well, we would vote for tax cuts, just not the ones that we don't like. Prove it.
You go to the -- go to the floor and not vote against a tax cut for the average American. That's exactly what Democrats will be doing when they oppose tax reform 2.0. And I would like them to go home and explain that to their voters, why they couldn't possibly make the tax cuts permanent for the average American.
CAVUTO: We shall see.
Guys, thank you very much. Sorry I truncated this.
We got a lot of breaking news, especially on this hurricane and especially on a big Apple announcement that is little more than 48 hours away. We have already busted the $1,000 barrier for a phone. A lot of people thought, are you kidding? People never pay that. Now talk of a $1,200 one that's on the way. Would you pay for that?
CAVUTO: They used to call it sticker shock when a new smartphone came out. Remember, a thousand dollars. You say, who would pay $1,000 for a phone?
Samsung has a Note out. The top end model is over $1,200. Talk that if you get the souped-up new Apple model, you can be talking similar terrain.
I only know one or two people here at FOX who afford that. One is Sean Hannity.
The other is this guy, Ashley Webster.
ASHLEY WEBSTER, FOX NEWS BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You clearly don't know me, Neil.
CAVUTO: I know you're cheap, so that -- I definitely know that you wouldn't do that.
WEBSTER: I learned from Stuart Varney.
CAVUTO: Right. Right. Right.
CAVUTO: He still has like an abacus for a phone.
CAVUTO: But what are we looking at here with Apple?
WEBSTER: Well, with these events, Neil, it comes up on Wednesday. It's an event called Gather Round. That's what we're being told.
It sounds like we're going to gather around campfire. In fact, it's going to be their $5 billion campus in Cupertino, California.
And the rumors are ripe. Let's begin with what we could be hearing about new iPhones.
Let's begin with that, perhaps a new 5.8-inch OLED device. This would be kind of a follow-up -- there you go -- follow-up to the current iPhone X. Maybe they will call it the iPhone Xs. You have the 6.5-inch OLED device. That could be up to 1,200 bucks to begin with.
It's going to be a massive phone, edge-to-edge screen. And then you have the 6.1-inch device. This could be like the low end just starting at a mere $700, perhaps is more my style.
And also there's talk about perhaps double SIM cards in these phones, Neil. That would be boon for those who like to travel internationally or perhaps have two cell data plans. That would be good.
What about the Apple Watch? I have the 3 series. It's already out of date, apparently. We could be hearing about the 4 series, Apple Watch Series 4, where there will be a 15 percent larger display, more room for apps and watch faces, also of course compatible with the existing Apple Watch bands.
And then what about other products that could be coming along? A lot of conjecture out there, but let's take a look at some of these. Wireless charging dock for up to three devices. That would be nice. You just throw your devices on this dock, and they all charge at the same time.
They have been talking about this for a year. Could Wednesday be the day we hear about it?
Wireless charging case for your AirPods. New big screen for the iPad Pro. You name it. Maybe an upgraded MacBook Air.
Neil, when I do these things, I always feel like it's a commercial for Apple. But we should point out that Apple has a tremendous footprint, not only here, but around the world.
Figure that in just the last 10 years, 1.2 billion phones have been sold, almost -- what is that, almost one in five across the entire planet? Well, what they do and the products they bring out has a big impact on everybody. And it's a huge business story, of course.
So this Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, we will start getting the details. And as I say, Gather Round. Some people say that could be an allusion to perhaps the new watch or perhaps a new docking device. Who knows, but we will find out on Wednesday.
But what Apple does always has a big impact, Neil. And, yes, the $700 version, even that's -- I'm going to stick with the abacus.
CAVUTO: It's amazing. It's amazing.
WEBSTER: It really is.
CAVUTO: And Apple is. It's a barometer on the economy.
WEBSTER: It really is.
CAVUTO: When it has hard times, not so coincidentally, you're noticing consumer spending is having bad times.
CAVUTO: Ashley, thank you very much, my friend.
WEBSTER: My pleasure.
CAVUTO: Appreciate it, Ashley Webster.
All right, we're going to get the latest on evacuation efforts going on right now in South Carolina along the coast, the governor who called for that days ahead of this.
CAVUTO: Boy, it looks so beautiful and peaceful there in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but it's what's coming that has the governor of South Carolina preparing for the worst and urging people along the coast, all a million of them along the Palmetto State's coast, to get out of Dodge and do so by tomorrow.
The governor joins me now on the phone, Governor Henry McMaster.
Governor, thank you for taking the time.
Why did you decide to do this?
GOV. HENRY MCMASTER, R-S.C.: Well, we don't want to gamble with a single life.
This is a big hurricane. We haven't seen one quite like it. It is coming straight at us east -- from the east to the west, instead of sort of coming up from the south.
And they high pressure that high pressure that's keeping it coming on the course towards us. It is going to cross the Gulf Stream, as we know there is nothing to stop it.
So, we are ready. North Carolina is ready. I talked to Governor Roy Cooper twice today, and we are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. And we want to get people out of the way, because we are just not going to gamble with this.
CAVUTO: No, I think it's a smart strategy, Governor.
I do wonder, though, your state, like others in prior storms dating back to 15, 16 years, sometimes have problems when you have to get people out fast. And, sometimes, they are allowed to go in on highways in the opposite direction to clear it all out, and there was confusion at the time, not only your state, many others.
But how is it working out this time?
MCMASTER: We have no confusion. We haven't had any in some time.
We have four roads that we are reversing. That is, all lanes will be leading away from the coast in four roads starting at noon tomorrow. People who want to go to the coast will have to take the other roads. The four big ones are pulling out. Everybody can ride in all one direction away from the storm all the way up to the center of the state.
CAVUTO: Governor, we are told that this storm is going to hang around a while. So, it's going to do a lot of flooding.
So, that makes it even more tricky for you, sort of like what Sandy was in New York, New Jersey, Northeast some years back. How do you prepare for that?
MCMASTER: Well, that's exactly right.
This one -- Florence has got more wind than Hugo did. It's faster, high velocity, more rain than Matthew. And, as you say, it's very high velocity, very powerful. But when it gets to the land, it will be moving slowly across the land, which means it will be sitting here raining on us for a long time.
So, we are preparing for a whole lot of flooding, as well as these high winds and the surge coming up, maybe 10 feet high, above ground, on the coast. But we are going to get it from the coast and we're going to get it from behind with the flooding.
But team South Carolina is prepared. We have people who have been working on this and nothing else for days now.
CAVUTO: I know a state of emergency is in effect. I'm sure you have communicated with the president. What has he told you, sir?
MCMASTER: We have sent the documents there to have a federal state of emergency declared here. We have been in touch with FEMA and their representatives have been with us all day today. And we are expecting to get everything we need.
CAVUTO: Governor, there are a lot of your residents who are no doubt watching, listening to this broadcast who are saying, you know, they try to scare us, and then we end up packing up to leave or try to leave and it ends up not being necessary.
What do you want to tell them? They're listening right now.
MCMASTER: Well, that's one of the things about living in paradise here in South Carolina, is that we are preparing for the worst. We are hoping for the best.
But we are not going to gamble with a single South Carolina life. It may be inconvenient, but we would rather have everybody out and have no deaths and have everybody safe and happy. We can complain about it then if we want to come of it turns out to be unnecessary.
But the way this is looking, it's an unpredictable hurricane. It's fierce, it's big. We haven't seen anything like this in a long time. We are not taking anything for granted. And we are not going to gamble with a single life in South Carolina.
CAVUTO: Governor, I know you have your work cut out for you.
Thank you, sir, for taking the time, Governor Henry McMaster of the beautiful state of South Carolina.
MCMASTER: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Taking no chances.
An emergency evacuation in effect for all those along the coast. That's a million-plus, four states in states of emergency. And more could follow, and likely will.
"The Five" is now.
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