Published October 22, 2018
This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 22, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, they're paid a lot of money every year. We give them foreign aid. And they did nothing for us. Nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, so cutting off the caravan by cutting off the cash? Get ready, because the threat is on, and you can say it in a variety of languages.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto. And this is "Your World."
And Fox on top of a caravan of migrants that just will not stop. We're told now better than 7,000-strong as it makes its way towards the United States. Then the big question is what happens at that point.
The president is now warning at least three of the Central American countries involved that a lot of money in aid could be cut off or at the very least frozen because they have done little, he says, to contain this.
Blake Burman at the White House with the latest.
BLAKE BURMAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Neil.
You will remember last week President Trump first threw out this threat that money could be pulled from three Central American companies (sic), Honduras, Guatemala, and he El Salvador.
Well, today, he has followed through on that, saying because of this latest caravan that is now growing in size and making its way north, that he will either pull their funding or substantially reduce it.
When you actually look at the amendment of money here, it is a pretty substantial amount. The latest data that we have -- or at least the most complete recent data that we have goes back to 2016, in which Guatemala received $177 million in aid from the U.S. government, Honduras $152 million, El Salvador 490 million. That's about $420 million.
However, that is scheduled to drop and to do so significantly in 2019. The numbers instead, Guatemala about $70 million, Honduras almost $66 million, El Salvador a little north of $45 million. But the president is now saying those three nations deserve little to none.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We give them tremendous amounts of money. You know what it is. You cover it all the time. Hundreds of millions of dollars. They, like a lot of others, do nothing for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: Important, Neil, to note how the budget process in all of this works. That money, that funding ends up coming from the State Department, from its budget, a budget that Congress would eventually have to vote on and approve and put together, and then it would get sent here to the White House for the president to sign off.
Still remains to be seen if the president goes through with this threat how the State Department and how the folks up on Capitol Hill might receive it -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Blake, thank you very, very much, Blake Burman at the White House.
To Tapachula, Mexico. That has become essentially ground zero in caravan mess.
And that's also where we will find our William La Jeunesse.
William, what's out latest?
WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Neil, this caravan stretches as far...
CAVUTO: All right, we have had some feed difficulties with William. And we will get to him once the feed is right.
The former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is with us right now.
And, Governor, always good to have you.
This was a constant issue when you were running Arizona. It's a constant issue now. What happens, you think, when this caravan makes its way to the border?
JAN BREWER, FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: Well, it's obviously very disappointing to see what's taking place down there with the caravan.
It's totally unacceptable and it's unfair. I hope that the president puts the military on the border and keeps them outside of the United States, so that they cannot come across and claim asylum. We cannot continue to spend our resources and our time. And we have no facilities across the whole border to put these people.
And, of course, when they claim asylum, they get to go to court. They get their paperwork. And then it's catch and release and we never see them and they never show up for their final court. And in the meantime, they're getting married and have more babies.
Come on, I'm so glad that we have got a president finally that's going to step up and put his foot down. It's unfair. It's unfair to the people of the United States of America. And we need to change the loopholes.
CAVUTO: Well, one idea that was bandied about earlier today by a former customs official, Governor, was to let them wait in Mexico while their paperwork is being processed or their asylum process is being considered.
What do you think of that?
BREWER: Sounds like a great, great idea to me.
The bottom line is that once they come across our border, then we are responsible for them. But the better solution is that these countries in Central America prohibit them from coming across at all.
I -- 97 percent of the people that come in to claim asylum stay here.
CAVUTO: Do you know, Governor -- obviously, our aid to these countries have been going down, ratcheting down the last few years.
But the president has threatened that aid to countries like El Salvador and Guatemala and Honduras for their role in allowing this caravan to form and make its way into Mexico. What do you think of that, to cut aid, freeze aid, alter aid as a result?
BREWER: Well, something has to happen.
Something needs to be done. And if the president chooses to do that, I believe I would be very, very supportive of it. Those countries, their government, they need to work with us, not against us.
I mean, if they are going export all these people and have organized caravans, moving them out of their countries and up to our country, why should would we be sending them money and then taking care of all the people at the same time? It's just outrageous.
It's just totally unbelievable that we have let this situation get to the point of where it is at. And I heard earlier today a report that there could be possibly -- that the caravan has grown to 10,000 people. And they're not all walking.
CAVUTO: Go ahead, finish that thought. I'm sorry.
BREWER: And they are not all walking.
It's my understanding from some of the information that's been provided is that they have big trucks and vehicles to move these people through. So, you know, it's not going to take them until Election Day to get here.
CAVUTO: Do you know where...
BREWER: And, in Mexico, they are...
CAVUTO: But where do we get the information the president shared a little while ago that a lot of them are MS-13 or dangerous characters?
Do you know how he got that breakdown or who is who or how he concluded that very few are natural asylum cases?
BREWER: I -- I have no information on that whatsoever at all.
But we know from previous caravans that have come in, in the same manner, not this large. But the fact is that everybody, they get in there and they come, you know, as asylum seekers or married to somebody that they are not married to, or they're bringing somebody's kid with them, and we find out they are M-13 (sic), et cetera, et cetera.
And there has been word that down in Guatemala at one point in time that they -- that someone caught 100 members of ISIS and returned them.
CAVUTO: We don't have proof of that, though, right? It's scary to think, but...
BREWER: No, we don't. I don't. I don't have proof of that.
But I -- why wouldn't it be possible? The American people are fed up, Neil. How long are we going to tolerate this? We need to get our Democratic Congress to step up and fix our immigration laws and make them right.
I understand that there are certain people that are entitled to asylum, but, you know, not 90,000 of them. And they can -- and if they want to come to America, come the legal way. We take in more immigrants than any other country in the world.
And there is only so many jobs and there's only so many resources. And with these things happening, it's taking the resources that we could be using for mental health, for, you know, foster children. We could be doing good in our own country.
CAVUTO: Governor Brewer, thank you very, very much. We shall see as it makes its way here, around election time, by the way.
All right, so, how should these migrants be treated legally? What our responsibilities, to the governor's point, once they arrive here?
Let's get to read from Michael Wildes. He's an immigration attorney, author of "Safe Haven in America."
Michael, maybe you can help me with what our obligations are when someone files or claims asylum. There's a process to go through. Could you, you know, help me through that?
MICHAEL WILDES, AUTHOR, "SAFE HAVEN IN AMERICA": It's been a while. Thank you for having me, Neil.
First, before we even talk about the assignment process, let's remind ourselves these souls are not in America. They're on the way to America in Mexico. Under asylum law, if they have resettled in a third country, they're not allowed to get asylum in the United States.
So understand this. If Mexico gives them safe haven, they are then prohibited from getting asylum in the United States. It's time for us to have a real conversation on political asylum law.
We cannot be insensitive, like the governor who just spoke just now, as Lady Liberty and mercy should be a weapon that we hold dearly to those that are on our shores. I'm not talking about criminals and MS-13.
But if an individual is now out of jeopardy from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and they're in Mexico, why isn't Mexico giving them asylum? And then if their trip to the United States is an economic trip and not a political asylee trip, it really begs the question that we need to have a new conversation post-World War II on what asylum law is, because not every humanitarian crisis is a state persecution.
Asylum law is relegated to five hallmark categories of persecution. And if individuals want a better life, we have to fix our broken system. There, I agree with the governor.
But this is not America's problem right now. And, mind you, the president...
CAVUTO: But it will be, right?
I mean isn't, that the idea, that it will be, Michael? What I want to know is, if they can't have asylum in the United States because traveling through in this case a third-party country like Mexico, can they wait on that asylum status or whatever the legal definition will be in Mexico, rather than the United States?
You have heard the fear expressed among many that a court date is given to see a judge, they never show up, they're in the United States.
What do you think?
WILDES: So if you're applying for asylum, it can only be done at our border or in America.
If you're applying from abroad in Mexico, you have to go through the U.N. And there, the U.N. can place you in other countries. So if this is a mad dash through Mexico, punishing the three countries by taking their biblical straw away isn't going to do anything to dissuade these individuals from coming.
CAVUTO: But what do we do? What do we do when they come here and they're at the border?
Are you saying then we have no obligation in that sense to deal with them? Or explain.
WILDES: So when they show up at the border, legally, they are entitled to a credible fear interview.
For those that would sneak into the United States and make it past 200 miles, they then, on their own leisure, can apply for asylum within a year. And there is a process that will speed up, but then you're stuck in a court system that's backed up two, three years on some judge's calendars.
Only 370 immigration judges with 12 million people, Neil, the efficiencies -- it's crazy.
WILDES: If you are asking for asylum at our border, you're entitled to a credible fear interview. Within six or eight weeks, you will be before an immigration judge.
And then also that judge's calendar is going to be backed up and you're going to go...
CAVUTO: But how do you prove your asylum case? I'm sorry to interrupt you there.
But do prove that you face an imminent threat to your life, your family?
WILDES: You have to establish that you are in fear of persecution because of your race, your politics.
CAVUTO: But how do you prove that? And how do they check here in the United States or elsewhere that that is a legitimate claim?
WILDES: That's where lawyers and that's where the process of the politics and getting not only -- you can't get a letter from your dictator, but you can effectively show that the governments in those countries are ill- conceived and are allowing persecution.
Now, the real question is, if the drug cartels and the gangs are being allowed by the government to do this or not. Look, bottom line, Neil, is, the president trying to punish these three countries by taking away their money is not in any way going to stop people from coming here. It's time to have a new conversation on political asylum.
CAVUTO: Michael Wildes, thank you very, very much.
CAVUTO: All right, today, the markets were all over the map. Had very little to do with what's going on south of our border or eventually at our border and everything to do with confusion over earnings and this idea that the earnings are looking fine.
The profits these companies are making, they're just doing fine. Something called top-line growth or sales, they're not as fine.
Ashley Webster here to explain the difference.
What's going on here?
ASHLEY WEBSTER, FOX NEWS BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Just no pleasing those investors, Neil.
I think there's a bit of earnings season anxiety right now. As you mentioned, listen, there's a concern out there that earnings have peaked, revenue is slowing down, and all the great profits we saw this year cannot be replicated next year.
Then, Neil, on top of all of that, you have concerns, of course, about rising interest rates, the ongoing China-U.S. trade showdown. You also have a slowing global economy, and, yes, even the death of the Saudi journalist and the repercussions from that weighing on the market in some form or fashion.
Bottom line, though it is a little bit of earnings anxiety. And October so far has been a bumpy month. Get this. The Dow is off nearly 4 percent this month. The S&P down more than 5 percent. The Nasdaq, despite some gains today, down 7 percent.
All of this so far, though, earnings have been pretty good; 82 percent of the S&P that has reported so far has beaten those earnings estimates. But this is going to be a huge week for earnings. This could perhaps settle those nerves or make them worse, depending on what we hear from some very big companies.
The companies reporting this week, big tech companies, Amazon, Alphabet/Google, Intel, Verizon, Microsoft, Twitter, McDonald's, Caterpillar, all sorts of industries. Very interested to see what these companies are reporting, but also, Neil, what they're saying looking into the future, the so-called guidance, which is always so, so important.
No doubt October has been a volatile month. We didn't see the kind of heavy selling today that we have seen in recent weeks, but make no doubt about it. October's been bumpy. We still have nine days to go, but, as you said as throwing it to me, Neil, it's about the earnings and concerns that sales are slowing down, and perhaps the good times, well, they may be over, at least for now.
CAVUTO: All right, let's see if they're right on that.
All right, looking live in Houston, Texas, at the Toyota Center. The president about to make a big speech there. And they have already got big crowds -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, he wanted a big crowd. He's going to get a big ground.
You're looking at Houston, Texas, and a crowd that's getting ready to see the president of the United States. Some of these people have been waiting since yesterday morning to get a shot at seeing the president. He's going to be there on behalf of Ted Cruz.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showing the president's approval rating is on the rise, in fact, technically the highest of his presidency by conventional polls. So, what does that mean going into this race and this big endorsement today, where the president's approval rating is now higher than his predecessor's at roughly the same point?
RealClearPolitics editor Tom Bevan.
Tom, you have often reminded me it's not about the president, but it is about the president. So will this have an effect?
TOM BEVAN, CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE EDITOR, REALCLEARPOLITICS.COM: Well, it's certainly -- it's better news for Republicans that Trump's job approval is trending up than trending down just two weeks before the election.
And so, to your point, the fact that this NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has him at his highest point in his presidency, the FOX News poll had him at about 47 percent just last week, a couple of other polls have him at 45. So he's at the highest point in RealClearPolitics average he's been in six months.
And, again, how much is that going to matter, if he's at 43 vs. 44? Not -- not terribly much. But, again, the trend -- trending upward is certainly better for Republicans, and especially in some of these swing districts, because he's not -- he's not trending up among Democrats. They hate him. They have always hated him.
They're not going to -- they're never going to change their approval of him. But that means he's getting more support from Republicans and also from independents. And in some of these key close competitive House districts, that could make a difference.
CAVUTO: Now, I was noticing in 32 of them -- I hope I have got these statistics right -- those races are within five or fewer points, which could shift mightily.
We have seen in other midterm elections -- '94 comes to mind -- when they were expecting Republicans to gain 25 to 30 seats, and in fact they gained in excess of 50, took control of the House, we know the Gingrich revolution and all.
So you can be surprised. But that was a late-breaking development.
Do you see anything like that?
BEVAN: Well, the caravan is certainly driving that issue, the issue of illegal immigration, up the issue ladder.
And we have seen that in other instances. After the Parkland shooting, for example, in Florida, gun control popped to the top of list, and then sort of settled back down to where it normally is. Immigration is typically low on the list. But, again, we're seeing that drive up the issue ladder.
Health care's in the mix certainly, and the economy. The other good news for Republicans in that Wall Street Journal poll is that Republicans had the highest rating on the economy ever in the history that poll. Trump's job approval rating on the economy in particular is over 50 percent. It's at 51 percent in our RealClearPolitics average.
So to the extent that that's motivating voters in this election, that's good news for Republicans as well.
CAVUTO: Health care seems to be the number one issue. It's tight. They're all packed and fairly tight here. But taxes were not.
And I was surprised at that. Were you?
BEVAN: Not exactly.
I mean, Republicans certainly haven't been getting -- getting the lift out of their tax plan that they expected to. And we talked about the reasons for that before. Voters don't vote out of gratitude. They vote out of anger and frustration and fear. But certainly health care is -- we're seeing that playing across the spectrum in all these races, from the governor's races, Senate races, individual House races.
We saw it in the Florida governor's debate last night. And Republicans are really trying to sort of thread the needle on that, saying that they want - - they're there for preexisting conditions, keeping that in the mix. So it's a different conversation than Republicans have been having before.
And we will see how that how that plays out in November.
CAVUTO: All right, Tom, always good chatting, my friend.
CAVUTO: All right, Ronald Reagan and the big agreement with Mikhail Gorbachev, the president wants to tear it up. What would the Gipper think?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Right now, they have not adhered to the agreement.
QUESTION: Is that a threat to Vladimir Putin?
TRUMP: It's a threat to whoever you want. And it includes China. And it includes Russia.
And it includes anybody else that wants to play that game. You can't do that. You can't play that game on me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: And that game apparently started with Russia without love.
National Security Adviser John Bolton is in Moscow right now. He's trying to figure out what to do with a nuclear arms pact that was signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and, of course, Ronald Reagan.
That set in place what was supposed to be an arms agreement that would last decades. And it has. The president argues it's time to scrap it because the Russians have been cheating and the world has watched and sort of turned the other way. No more.
Retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin on all that.
General, good to have you.
What do you make of this?
LT. GEN. JERRY BOYKIN (RET.), U.S. ARMY: It's good to be with you.
CAVUTO: So, what do you think of this now, essentially saying that treaty, the Russians have violated it again and again, I'm not going to have it?
BOYKIN: Well, first of all, I can tell you from my -- my last four years in the military and in the intelligence community, we have known for a long time that the Russians were cheating on this.
I think that this is the right move by our president. I think that in the 31 years since this treaty was signed between Gorbachev and our President Reagan that America has gotten farther and farther behind in terms of these intermediate-range missiles.
And that puts us in a vulnerable position. And it's not just China. It's not just Russia. We need to recognize that China, North Korea and the Iranians have all been testing these kinds of weapons. America needs to catch up. And this would give us that opportunity.
CAVUTO: There are a lot of conservatives with whom I spoke today, General, echoed what you said, that even if Ronald Reagan were alive today to witness this, he would probably support President Trump, because he was famous for saying -- that is, Ronald Reagan -- trust, but verify.
We have not been able to verify what the Russians have said on paper they're doing. Is that the gist of it?
BOYKIN: Well, that's exactly right.
And one of the interesting things that dawns on me is the similarities between President Reagan and President Trump are many. But one of them is that common sense always prevails. And I think that Mr. Trump, as he has done on so many other issues, looked at this and said, this doesn't make sense. Tell me why we're doing this -- 31 years, and they have been cheating the whole time. Why are we still doing this?
I think common sense has prevailed here.
CAVUTO: What did you think of Mikhail Gorbachev, who was commenting on this, and said it's a very dangerous withdrawal from an established accord, says that it is not the work, referring to the president, of a great mind?
Well, I think he's, he's grasping for something to try and preserve this treaty, which is clearly advantageous to the Russians. But, look, I want to make another point here. I think that what Mr. Trump is doing is, once again, he's showing leadership. He is showing leadership on a global scale.
He's actually I think encouraging a different kind of behavior, not only by our adversaries, but also by our allies. I think he's encouraging the Europeans to start standing up for what threatens them, as well as what threatens the Americans.
And I think the Europeans, many of them in fact behind closed doors are applauding his decisions on things like this, as well as the deal with the Iranians and so forth. I think this is global leadership at its best right now with this kind of decision.
CAVUTO: General, it's always a pleasure. Thank you for taking the time.
BOYKIN: Good to be with you, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right. Be well.
All right, the senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, heckled at a restaurant. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi cursed by protesters at a campaign stop.
Fair and balanced, is this getting to be nuts?
CAVUTO: Can't an established politician eat at a restaurant in peace? It's happening more and more.
Food for thought. If we don't get a handle on this, this is going to lead to some trouble.
The quest for civility -- after this.
CAVUTO: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife shouted down at a restaurant.
Then there's, of course, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi getting cursed out by protesters. Back and forth again and again.
A little decorum here on the left and the right? Can we get back to just being human beings?
Democratic strategist Cathy Areu, conservative commentator Ashley Pratte.
Lately, of course, we have seen it ratchet up. These restaurants scenes, Ashley, are nothing new. Republicans like to claim it's disproportionately putting them on the receiving end of this stuff. And largely, in recent time, they're right.
But it is escalating to the point you got to worry here, don't you?
ASHLEY PRATTE, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
I mean, have you ever spent time scrolling through Twitter or Facebook now? Any avenue of social media, and not even restaurants and public spaces that we're referring to, have become so volatile and nasty.
And we're at a point now where everything is so hyperpartisan, and everybody sticks to what they think and can't even have a conversation without saying something that could be degrading, demeaning, nasty. And this is happening on both sides.
And the one thing that I do want to say here is, if we want to set a precedent as Americans that we are all human beings and that politics was originally designed to be helping the American people, what message are sending to future generations, other than, hey, you know what? Why don't we not get involved in this anymore?
Because this type of stuff is exactly what people hate. This is why people vote against the government, vote against power, do all of this. And this is why Donald Trump won in 2016, because people see this type of stuff happening, and they're sickened by it.
But, at the same time, Donald Trump as the leader of the United States should stand up and stop the name-calling, stop the tweeting, stop the bullying, and allow for civility and discourse in American politics to happen.
CAVUTO: It just seems uniquely heated and polarizing here, Cathy.
And I just see it in some of my e-mail and texts that people send. If I say something, of course, some people think I'm overweight. It's so weird.
CATHY AREU, PUBLISHER, CATALINA: No.
CAVUTO: But having said that, having said that, what happened to just a normal discourse without interrupting people at meals, without interrupting them at Broadway shows? What's going on here?
AREU: Trump happened.
I think it's the era of Trump. And we are...
CAVUTO: You can't pin this on Trump, young lady.
AREU: Absolutely. He changed everything. He changed everything in the debates with...
CAVUTO: Then you have gotten a derangement syndrome going on here. It's not a left or right thing.
AREU: I have a derangement syndrome.
CAVUTO: If you don't like what's going on, and for -- to act this way with politicians of all stripes in restaurants, or to go after -- come on.
AREU: When you think, Obama didn't bring Twitter to the White House. He wasn't allowed to bring his BlackBerry to the White House.
But we have a president, the first president ever, that was allowed to come in and tweet.
CAVUTO: But wait a minute, then, Cathy. Let me ask you that, because I'm taking no sides in this.
AREU: Of course.
CAVUTO: I think that if you go after Sarah Sanders at a restaurant, if you go after Mitch McConnell at a restaurant...
AREU: Pelosi at a rally.
CAVUTO: How does this -- fine.
I'm just saying, why do you then attach that to Donald Trump?
AREU: I think it's a follow the leader.
His hostile words are now leading other groups to come back with an equally and opposite reaction, but just as hostile.
CAVUTO: So, you think that behavior is justified on the part of people who interrupt any prominent public figure at a restaurant and change the rules, to the point where they are almost afraid for their lives to be at such places?
AREU: You have Donald Trump -- President Trump has been on stages and he's mocked people. You have had a woman climb the Empire State Building to make a point. And he will mock her.
CAVUTO: Well, this fellow did not seem like a Donald Trump fan there.
CAVUTO: But, Ashley, regardless of whose blame it is, do you think that it is incumbent on all to just ratchet it down, to say, guys, we have let this go too far, whether it's the president, whether Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, everyone's got to bring it down a notch and quit pointing fingers?
PRATTE: Yes, it stems with leadership here.
And this is why I think I have a huge problem with the current state of American politics. I thought it was really bad in 2016. And two years later, it's even worse. And it -- you can't even have conversations, again, with friends or at a dinner or with people you don't know or with colleagues without tensions being so high.
What happened to fundamentally being human beings and respecting differences, respecting differences of opinion, respecting political differences? It just doesn't matter anymore.
There is no civility. I honestly am worried about Thanksgiving this year with everyone in this country, because how is that going to go?
CAVUTO: Yes, here we go again.
PRATTE: If we can't walk down the street without being civil to one another, how can we expect to break bread with people and not get into a fistfight at Thanksgiving? That is how polarized it has become.
CAVUTO: Ladies, I think we get over -- I'm going to have Doris Kearns Goodwin, the historian, on in a little while.
There were pretty vitriolic times she wrote about. And we get over that. I just hope we do now.
But I want to thank you both.
In the meantime, we are following the quest for the middle class to get more relief. The president says it's doable, but fellow Republicans are saying, well, what?
CAVUTO: All right, the president surprised even fellow Republicans by pushing for a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class ahead of the midterm elections. That's going to be hard to deliver on.
But Ronald Reagan's economics Svengali certainly likes the idea, Art Laffer with us right now.
It's hard to make happen, right? But it's a popular theme for the president, right?
ART LAFFER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: Yes, it is. He loves it.
And he really wants to cut personal income tax rates a lot. And he wishes he had done more in the original bill. And I think he's going to do a lot more in the second half of his first term and in his second term.
CAVUTO: So, Art, when you hear these issues -- there was a Fox News poll out last week, so you know it's instantly credible.
LAFFER: Yes, of course.
CAVUTO: That of the five or six issues that Americans are focused on -- and they are all bunched fairly close together -- I don't want to minimize it -- tax cuts were last, taxes were last.
Now, health care was first. Now, what did you make of that?
LAFFER: Well, because they don't -- really shouldn't be doing tax cuts. Is it, do you like jobs? That's the way it should be pushed.
CAVUTO: Oh, I see what you're saying.
LAFFER: Do you like output? Do you like employment? What do you -- I mean, what don't you like? Do you like your paycheck?
I mean, that's where the tax cuts come in. They are a process to get you to the goals you really want. Do you like prosperity? And that's where tax cuts do it. And they have got to be marginal tax cuts. And the president understands that very well.
That tax bill we had last year that took effect this year was the most amazing tax bill I have ever seen. It cut marginal rates. It didn't phase things in. It didn't have intramarginal stuff. It was great.
CAVUTO: Then are you surprised, Art, that it's not getting the polling follow-through? It might very well be all that and prove that down the road, but it's not being received that way.
Not to everybody. I don't want to minimize it, but by a lot of folks who seem to think yes, meh, there are more important things.
LAFFER: I think the economy is getting the polling stuff all over the place, Neil. Maybe I missed it somewhere.
But I think the stock market, people like. I think people like the jobs.
CAVUTO: So, you think that will show up? It's just not reflected in a lot of the midterm angst that Republicans are feeling. It's just not there.
LAFFER: Well, we will see very shortly.
CAVUTO: Absolutely, we will.
LAFFER: You don't want to forecast something that's only two weeks away, because then you can never be a winner. Now, 10 years away, I'm with you.
CAVUTO: No, no.
And you raise a point. You raise a point. In '94, with the Gingrich revolution, they were expected -- that is, Republicans -- to gain seats in the House that year, but not the 53, I think, they did and the revolution that followed.
Do you see any late-breaking developments, the same ones that took a relatively tight Carter-Reagan race in 1980, and made it a blowout for Reagan? But that was all kind of near the end.
LAFFER: Yes, but I think the -- if you look at the Senate this time, I find it hard to imagine that the Republicans don't pick up two to four seats in the Senate.
That's amazing. And when I look at the House, we have so many House members right now, Neil, that how can we not lose? When you got 100 percent of the seats, you can't win anymore. I'm joking with you on that.
CAVUTO: I understand.
LAFFER: But the trouble is that we have got this big blowout that we have had for the last two election cycles. And the Republicans do have a lot of seats.
I think they're looking very good for this coming election, to be -- from the standpoint of the way I look at it.
CAVUTO: You never know. You never know, right, Art?
Always good chatting, my friend.
LAFFER: It's great, Neil. Thank you very much.
And I loved your comments earlier on the civility stuff. It's just so important.
CAVUTO: We got to get back to being human beings. We got to get back to being human beings.
LAFFER: And you are, but other people aren't. Other people aren't.
CAVUTO: There we go. All right, thank you very much.
LAFFER: Thanks, Neil.
CAVUTO: Doris Kearns Goodwin coming on that, this notion that we have had vitriolic and very extreme polarizing times, but we always get through them. How we do that even now -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, harsh and vitriolic times are seemingly new in this country, but the incident with Mitch McConnell and his wife at a restaurant, or Nancy Pelosi being heckled by protesters at a Florida event, that's just the latest.
It is not the first. In fact, this kind of stuff, if we had smartphones available at the time, go way, way back. But we always get through it.
Presidential historian, author of "Leadership in Turbulent Times," Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Doris, good to have you back.
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: You too, Neil.
CAVUTO: We live in very divided and divisive times.
I guess I was thinking, during Lincoln's time, with the back and forth and ahead of the Civil War, if we had smartphones, we would have caught probably some pretty raucous debates.
But now we have them clearly easily playable for the world. What's going on?
GOODWIN: Well, I think what's heartbreaking, just watching that last segment of yours, is the lack of civility in the private lives of our public figures.
I mean, it's one thing to be screaming at one another in a debate, and we see it on television, you go into bars, and they won't even put politics on in the bars, because they know it's going to produce problems among the people.
But then when people go out for dinner, people on both sides of the aisle have to be able to call out their own supporters from doing this. There's a sense in which I worry very much now, even though I'm generally an optimist about all this -- I know we have been through worse times before - - but Teddy Roosevelt warned that if somehow people began to see each other as the other, rather than as common citizens, if they come from different regions or different parties or different religions or races, then that's when democracy would founder.
And it's that hatred. And it's partly I think exampled by Congress for numbers of years ago who no longer feel friendships toward one another, call each other names that they never could have on the Senate floor.
They would have been censured if they said some of the things they say right now. But it's partly now among the citizenry. And it has to stop, because I'm sure an overwhelming majority of the people don't want to see this happening.
And I always wonder if it's more like professional wrestling, where it's all fake. And I say that because when I go to Washington a lot and we cover stories, I'm seeing Democrats and Republicans with each other and laughing, slapping each other on the back.
Yet, before the mic, then they're resorting to calling the guy Lucifer or whatever. And I know they don't really mean it. And I know that when they reach out to the other side, it isn't as if it's sort of like some damaging thing to their reputation or the country's.
But how did it morph into that?
GOODWIN: No, you know what? I think that words really do matter. And maybe they can say I'm just doing it for the microphone, but it sets that frenzied tone of what we're seeing in the newspapers and what we're seeing on television every night.
And so we may not see them hugging each other after it's over. What we see is that vitriol between them. And it just makes me worry, if we're feeling that our politics has let us down, that our public figures haven't been dealing with the problems that we need in these last years, how are young people going to want to go into public life?
It's bad enough for their private lives to be exposed now, which they never were in the old days in the same way that they would be now. It's bad enough to have to spend four hours every day raising money, instead of doing the public's good. It's bad enough if you can't get along with your fellow colleagues.
But then if, in private life, you can't even enjoy the moment when you're not a public person and be out having a restaurant talk, I think it's a real, real problem.
CAVUTO: I don't want to put you on the spot. But, I mean, do you ever -- you're a world-renowned historian. But, I mean, there will be others who might like or dislike your books and all.
Does it compromise you when you go out, or you got out to a restaurant a book signing?
GOODWIN: No, I mean, I'm just really lucky, because I'm not the kind of rock star that people would feel for or against.
They read books.
CAVUTO: Are you kidding? You are Doris Kearns Goodwin.
GOODWIN: No, but, listen, who are the people that come to talk to me?
GOODWIN: They have read a lot of books. They have read thousands of pages of books.
CAVUTO: Not when you show up at a restaurant, though? You know what I'm saying? That's changed the landscape a little bit, right?
GOODWIN: Well, I think being an historian has allowed me to cross party lines in a way that perhaps, if I just were a pundit on television, I wouldn't be.
But most of the time, when I'm talking on television, like with you right now, I'm just trying to bring history to bear. So it doesn't have that partisan edge, so that people don't come up to me and say, oh, you're a Democrat or you're a -- you said something mean about my person, because I don't like to do that.
GOODWIN: So I think that's probably why.
So far, they have been great, the people. I love seeing the people. I don't even mind being interrupted in a restaurant, to be honest, but that's not that because they're not yelling.
CAVUTO: I don't might being interrupted if someone else is volunteering to pick up the check.
CAVUTO: But you know what I'm wondering about, just the attitude and how this has gotten to the way it's gotten.
And I can just look at the trajectory of my time here at this network, and where people would disagree with you, and they'd say something. But now it sort of goes into really personal attacks.
Some people -- this might shock you, Doris -- call me overweight.
CAVUTO: And I laugh and move on.
CAVUTO: Yes, yes, yes.
But my point is, what -- how did that happen, where you say something, people will just go after you like a ton of bricks? And there was a time where you could disagree or -- but it has now veered into, you are dead in my eyes, you are the worthless piece of punditry scum in my eyes, and on and on.
GOODWIN: Yes, something's happened with hyperpartisanship too, in that I saw a figure not long ago where they said that people used to worry if their kids would marry outside of their religion.
Now a large percentage worry if their kid would marry outside of the party. I mean, that's astonishing, to think that it's taken -- what makes no sense anymore is that parties don't even have the power they once had.
They used to be able to nominate the candidate. They provided the money for the candidate. They were the one that sponsored everything that was going on. So you couldn't get out of being in one party or another.
Now independents would have a huge power, if they exercised it, because you can primary a person. You can entrepreneurial get yourself into an election. But the parties have now become even more identified with each other. It's weird.
CAVUTO: They're the ones to win over. They're the ones to win over, Doris.
And I'm thinking of you, as we're watching Barack Obama campaign on behalf of Jacky Rosen and other Democrats in Nevada, the president, of course, on behalf of Ted Cruz in Texas.
What do you think of that and the star power they bring to move votes?
GOODWIN: Well, it makes sense that, on both sides, you would have President Trump out there trying to move votes. He knows this election is largely going to be on him in part. It always is in the midterm. It's the focus of discontent. And he's the guy at the top.
And President Obama still has a very high approval rating and can perhaps deal with independents. So he's out there. Again, it's the language on all these sides. Vice President Biden was saying this is the most consequential election in our lifetime, American values are being shredded.
CAVUTO: Right. Right.
GOODWIN: And President Trump saying that our sovereignty and our dignity as a nation is at order.
And President Obama too saying this is the most important thing for you as Democrats to do to save us.
So there's a heightened everything right now. I just wish somebody could come and put a girdle on all of us.
CAVUTO: Careful with that reference, young lady.
CAVUTO: One thing that I love with your portrayal of Lincoln and FDR and Teddy Roosevelt and LBJ, but Lincoln stands out for this writing a letter, a nasty comment usually about generals or another thing, and put it away, just to keep the calm, right?
I mean, obviously, like everybody, he got angry with people, especially General Meade after he failed to follow up with General...
CAVUTO: That's right.
GOODWIN: ... Lee's army at the victory of Gettysburg.
Huge letter, writing, I'm so distressed with you, knowing it would paralyze the person, knowing his words would hurt. He puts it aside. It's never even seen until the 20th century. And then his papers are open, underneath, never sent, never signed.
What if we did that with e-mail today? What if we did that with things we say in tweets, just to restrain ourselves to some extent?
But also he could deal with criticism with humor. When they'd have those big debates and somebody yelled at him, "Lincoln, you're two-faced," and he said, "If I had two faces, do you think I would be wearing this face??
GOODWIN: That's the way you deal with this, self-deprecating humor.
CAVUTO: Very true.
GOODWIN: So that you take the sting out of it, but yet you answer back.
But in those old debates, they used to scream out at people, hit him again, hit him again harder. They were like football games are today. It was our -- politics was our sport. But now it's become even more troubling that our sports, which I love, of course.
CAVUTO: Of course you do.
GOODWIN: Now that we're in the World Series.
CAVUTO: Yes, now that you lucked in the World Series.
All right, Doris Kearns Goodwin, the runaway bestseller, "Leadership in Turbulent Times," and it makes you -- makes you think that we have greater beings in all of us.
More after this.
CAVUTO: President Trump lands in Houston this hour.
That's where you will find our Kristin Fisher, ahead of that big powwow on behalf of Ted Cruz -- Kristin.
KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Neil, this isn't the biggest stadium in Texas, as President Trump had initially promised. But I'll tell you what. It's up there.
There are 18,000 seats in this arena. And based on the looks of the line outside, this could be close to a capacity crowd tonight.
The very first person in line got there at 10:00 a.m. yesterday. Now, when President Trump comes here tonight, he's going to be campaigning for one of his favorite punching bags during the 2016 campaign.
And as he was on his way down here, leaving the White House, a reporter asked President Trump, have you indeed buried the hatchet with Senator Ted Cruz? And he said, yes, I have. I have even given him a new nickname, Texas Ted.
So, Neil, from Lyin' Ted to Texas Ted. Amazing what can happen in two years, right?
CAVUTO: Well, it is a sign that politics makes strange bedfellows and stranger friends. It happens. Good to see.
All right, Kristin, thank you very, very much.
Sounding already very loud there. A lot of people, again, gathering yesterday morning just to have a chance to see this event.
Of course, it's going to be big goings in Texas. That's where you will find the crew of "The Five" right now on what is a state that a lot of people say is turning purple. That might be a stretch. But they're on top of that, as this midterm election but two weeks away.
Here's "The Five" from Texas now.
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