Businessman invites Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to dinner to talk capitalism

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," April 9, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Yes, we are looking forward to that. Good to see you, Bret. Thank you very much.

All right, everybody. Tonight on “The Story,” Karen Pence will respond to this from rising Democrat candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, D-IN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's the thing I wish, the Mike Pences of the world, would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.


MACCALLUM: So, Karen Pence, coming up here live tonight. But first, good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum, and this is “The Story.”

This headline in the New York Times, with a provocative question. The Democratic electorate on Twitter -- hello, is not the actual Democratic electorate. Fantasy graphics layout this argument. Social media savvy Democrat progressives all over Twitter and the like, according to this, make up a very small slice of Democrat voters.

Still, of course, the loudest voices always get the most attention.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: A lot of what the Green New Deal is, is about shifting our political, economic, and social paradigms.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will pass a Medicare for all single payer program.


REP. BETO O'ROURKE, D-TX, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, let's abolish the Electoral College.


MACCALLUM: So, no doubt, former President Obama knows this. And that's why he has of late been saying a lot of things like this.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: We start sometimes creating what's called a circular firing squad, where you shot shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues.


MACCALLUM: Nancy Pelosi, no doubt, knows that too. And that is why she may be snapping back at the Twitter-aficionado known as AOC. She says this. "While there are people who have a large number of Twitter followers, what's important is that we have large numbers of votes on the floor of the House," says the Speaker.

The article based on analysis of data from the hidden tribe's project claims that among those Democrats who don't live in the Twitter-verse, 53 percent of them identify as leaning moderate or conservative. And 70 percent of the Democrats that they looked at say that political correctness is a problem in America.

So, are these Democrats vastly out of step with the voters that they are trying to court to win in 2020?

Here now, Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, and Fox News contributor. And Ed Rendell, former Democratic National Committee chairman, and former Pennsylvania governor. Welcomed governors to both of you. Good to have you here tonight.

So, Ed Rendell, let me start with you. What do you take away from those numbers and those graphics?

ED RENDELL, FORMER CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, Martha, I've said the same thing on your show the last month. The media has bought into this. The 2018 election showed that Democrats are moving more to the left, not so. The Democrats who were successful in 2018 and taking back congressional seats and governorships more moderate slightly left for center Democrats, that's number one.

Number two, even with the Millennials who the conventional wisdom and that Twitter verses are really wildly progressive, 50 percent or almost 50 percent of them described themselves as moderate. So, it's a fact, and we better start realizing that factor, we're in big trouble.

MACCALLUM: Let's take a look at this Monmouth poll. It says majority of Democrats want someone who can beat Trump. That's -- you know, one of their top priorities. 56 percent say that they would prefer candidate you agree with, but who would have a hard time beating Trump. 56 percent say don't agree with, 33 percent say agree with.

So, you know, Governor Huckabee, as you take a look at this, you know, it is -- there's obviously a propensity and, you know, to show these kinds of folks who are -- you know, saying things that are really getting attention, that are far to the left, or far to the right in some cases. But does it really reflect where America is, and will the parties nominate people who are where America is?

MIKE HUCKABEE, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think one thing you could say is, get woke go broke. I mean, if the Democrat nominees for president and right now there's about the 340 people running of the Democrat side and with the exception of Joe Biden, and he's in all kinds of trouble just because he's an affectionate guy, and has the personality of a Labrador Retriever.

But apart from him, most of these candidates are all trying to out-left each other. If they continue on that path, guys like my friend, Ed Rendell, who -- by the way, he and I are certainly different on views. I'm right-of-center, he's left-of-center, but both of us are pragmatist. And when people are pragmatist, they have an ability to touch the heart of folks.

Bill Clinton was a pragmatist and he got elected. But when they nominated as a Democratic Party McGovern and Dukakis and Mondale, they lose.

Obama campaigned as more of a moderate. He may not have governed that way, but he campaign that way. So, many (INAUDIBLE) Republicans are hoping --


MACCALLUM: And he's still talking that way. Everything he said in Berlin was -- you know, trying to pull his party back -- you know, toward -- towards the center.

HUCKABEE: Yes, exactly.

MACCALLUM: And, you know, I just want to play this from Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez at South by Southwest in Austin. Basically, saying that she thinks that moderate -- if you call yourself a moderate, that's being weak. Watch.


OCASIO-CORTEZ: Moderate is not a stance, it's just an attitude toward life of like. And the meh is like worship now for what? Like, for what?


MACCALLUM: So, she's saying, you know, unless you are thinking about things the way she is, you're just, you know, meh, you're nothing. You don't care about anything, you're not passionate about anything.

RENDELL: Well, that's ridiculous. People who are moderate, either left- to-center or right-of-center believe in things as strongly as she does. There are only differences, we're pragmatic, we had -- know that to get things done, you have to be in a position to implement them, you have to work across the other side, you can't demonize the other side, we have to work together as a country, and we have to tell people the truth.

We can't tell people you can have free tuition, you can have Medicare for all, you can have the Green New Deal, and you're not going to have to pay it done for it. You can't say that stuff.


MACCALLUM: Yes. You know, one -- sorry. One of the things that strikes me here is I think, somebody like Howard Schultz looks at this and says, yep, that's my lane. If they nominate somebody who -- you know, some of the people that we've just shown, he believes that, that, that there will be, all those Democrats who are sort of faded to the background in those graphics that we showed, in the beginning, are people who are going to be looking for somebody who represents what they think about the way that America should go.

And also, Governor Huckabee, you know, President Trump does not have great approval ratings with Independent voters right now. And that's the lane that Howard Schultz believes that he could take -- he could take in.

41 percent approval rating according to the most recent Fox poll of Independents for the president. 51 percent saying that they disapprove. So, what do you say to that?

HUCKABEE: Well, if Howard Schultz wants to run for president, he needs to run as a Democrat which he has historically been because you can't win as an Independent. All you can do is be a spoiler.

Now, I hope he runs as an Independent because it gives Donald Trump a much better likelihood of being reelected.

But, when the Democrats are running on the Green New Deal, open borders, late-term abortion, getting rid of private insurance in favor of a government-run health care system and letting inmate's vote, while they're still in prison.

Again, they're just moving further away than their own party constituency can even accept. Howard Schultz would have a message for Democrats but he won't do it. My great fear is that somebody like Ed Rendell runs, then, you've got a problem. Because Ed has governed a state, he understands that you don't go out and just come an ideological, you know, guy you have to talk about solutions and that in falls working with people.

MACCALLUM: Well, that maybe, but you know, they're pointing to all these guys, Biden, and all the calling the B-boys, you know. Bernie Sanders saying that you know, those guys are done. You know, that they're sort of the party of the past, Ed.

RENDELL: Well, interestingly, if you look at all of the town meetings that have been done on CNN and other networks, the best Town Meeting performance was by Amy Klobuchar who I would correct, Mike, is probably as certainly a moderate left-of-center candidate.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

RENDELL: And she tells the truth. She said college kid asked her about free tuition.


RENDELL: And she had the guts to say no. She barely looking for people who --


MACCALLUM: Do you think she can break through?

RENDELL: I -- the problem is, she's not getting the media coverage that the other more progressive candidates are getting. If Amy gets a fair shake, and Joe Biden stays out of it, I think, Amy could be the candidate.

MACCALLUM: Well, we have --

RENDELL: But I'm not sure she'll get a fair shake. We've invited her here, and we hope she's going to come. We also are hoping that she's going to say yes, to doing a Town Hall with us, as well. So, that's definitely part of our goal to give all of these folks some exposure and a fair shake as you say.

RENDELL: She should.

MACCALLUM: Ed, thank you very much. Governor Huckabee, as well. Governors, thank you both.

So, here now, Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst. Brit, you've been listening to this conversation about what's going on, on the Democratic side of the aisle. What do you think?

BRIT HUME, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think those two guys make all kinds of a sense, Martha. But I wouldn't -- and despite the survey information that you mentioned. Now, I agree that Twitter users may not constitute the bulk of either party.

But make no mistake about it, the energy of the Democratic Party is on the left right now. And to some extent, the further left the better. Which is explains why Amy Klobuchar isn't getting a lot of media because she doesn't make a lot of news. And you know, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her ideological allies are making the news, and there's -- and they're the ones that excite people. And you see the applause that someone like her generates in meetings, and so on.


HUME: And you get a sense that there's something real about that. And Ed Rendell is right to worry that, that would draw the Democratic Party into a bad place.

MACCALLUM: I mean, you get to a -- into a sort of a cycle where you've got the media and folks in Washington and everybody who spends a lot of time on Twitter, you know, feeding each other and feeding the media and feeding these sound bites and putting things on Twitter.

But it is -- I think, eye-opening to look at those graphics and realize that so many people do not participate in any of that at all. And the parties ignore that at their peril.

HUME: Well, that's they do, Martha. And there's a real danger. I think the danger in the case of the Democratic Party is a general election danger. Because an awful lot of people that don't pay a lot of attention to primaries.


HUME: And, you know, might vote either way in a general election. You know, the other ones that whose numbers you're going to need when it gets down to the fall election. And if, you know, you're -- if you're talking about reparations, and you know, free college tuition, and abolishing the Electoral College and a whole range of other extraordinarily extreme measures, you know, I might get you somewhere in the Democratic primary but I think it's going to poison their -- your situation in the general election. It may turn out, Martha, that it will poison your situation in the primaries, as well.


HUME: But primaries depend on energy. And people want to come out on cold nights in Iowa and trek through the snows in New Hampshire. And show up the numbers in California and all that --


MACCALLUM: Yes. And you got to ramp up the crowd, and you got to get people interested and --

HUME: You do. And you got to raise money. And so, it's possible, it seems to me that the old guard will rally here and get behind somebody like Amy Klobuchar, or maybe even Joe Biden. But it hasn't happened yet.

MACCALLUM: I want to ask you about Bernie Sanders, who said this today. He's getting ready to release his tax returns. He says, he's going to release 10 years, he's gotten a lot of heat for not doing that on the left.

So, here is what he said about why he is likely to show up as a millionaire on those tax returns. Watch this.

Oh it's a quote. So, I will read it. Can we put it up? Where is it? There it is. OK. "I wrote a best-selling", he declared. "If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too." What do you think about that, Brit?

HUME: Good for him for writing the best-selling book, and good for him for -- you know, for being able to sell it. That's capitalism. I wonder if he likes to say it --


MACCALLUM: That's what I was taking. It sounds like a pretty good argument for capitalism from a socialist, doesn't it?

HUME: Yes, good for -- Yes, it seems to me -- it seems to me it is too. I don't begrudge him being a millionaire at all. What bothers me about him and what I think will bother an awful lot of voters over time is that he is running basically on a conspiracy theory, in which he is given to say that the billionaire class in America which is tiny in relation to the population has controls our economy. And increasingly, he says, controls our politics.

I just don't think that's true. Yes, billionaires have their sources of influence. Mostly they're profit from the economy. I don't think it -- and I don't think they control it. And I feel I don't think they control our politics.

Yes, they have an influence and many would argue they have more than they should, perhaps, through campaign countries, but they're not controlling it. That's a conspiracy theory. It's nutty. And to the extent that he believes that, what -- it's worrisome because you'd think, you know, the guy it's been around as long as he hasn't seen how the world really works would know better. He doesn't seem to.


MACCALLUM: Well, we're going to --we're going to ask him about that when we see him in Bethlehem on Monday night. I'm switching gears for a second, because you --


HUME: Yes, I'll be looking forward to that, Martha. That should be fun.

MACCALLUM: Yes, yes, we are definitely looking forward to it too. It's going to be good. You know, you've talked a lot about people throwing words and phrases around that are -- that are sort of -- they're dangerous. These words and phrases to tag people with like racist and it feels like the new one that has a lot of attention is white nationalist.

You know, and you look at this tweet from Ilhan Omar. She called Stephen Miller who works in the West Wing at the White House a white nationalist. "The fact that he still has influence on policy and political appointments is an outrage." And she just got pressed further on this on CNN, Brit, and here's what she had to say.


REP. ILHAN OMAR, D-MIN.: And you know, we're talking about someone who truly believes not a single refugee, a single immigrant should set foot on American soil. And I'm appalled by that because unlike him, and others, I haven't forgotten my roots.


MACCALLUM: What do you make of that, Brit?

HUME: Well, he may or -- he may or -- may or may not have made that crack about refugees coming into America. He certainly not said that he doesn't want any immigrants to come into America.

Look, no doubt in my mind, Stephen Miller is a nationalist. But calling him a white nationalist it's just another way of saying he's a racist. And look, there are people I tend to be more of a liberal on immigration than a number of other people I know especially Conservatives, but I don't think those people are racist. And I don't think worrying about the levels of immigration and who may be coming in is racist. It may be racial in the sense that you're more worried about some group than others, but it's not racist.

But that term is you and I've talked about more than once Martha, it's flung about with a band of the day. It is it absolutely out -- it's an absolutely terrible thing to say about somebody. And what it comes down to is this. There is an overwhelming consensus in America against racism. And if you in politics can successfully tag your opponent as racist, you can do great damage.

And that is the temptation that politicians like Ilhan Omar face. And that is if you can stick that label on somebody and make it -- and make it stay, you can do great damage. And the temptation to do so ruthlessly is too great for too many people, too great it seems for her and for too many others.

MACCALLUM: All right, thank you so much, Brit. Great to see you tonight. Britt Hume in Washington.

HUME: Yes. Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So coming up next here, the House Republican who says after Barr's testimony today, now it is time for Robert Mueller to take the hot seat on the Hill and be questioned by Congress. Plus, Second Lady Karen Pence is here tonight. She will respond to the 2020 candidate attacking her husband's faith.


MACCALLUM: So we learn today on Capitol Hill that the Mueller Report will come out within a week from the Department of Justice, but another big headline of the testimony came when the Attorney General also asked if beyond the I.G. investigation whether or not he was looking at the other side of the Russian collusion question, how the whole investigation began with the FBI, who signed off on it, what information was it based on, and listen closely to what he said.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: More generally, I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016.


MACCALLUM: Joining me now Republican Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee. Sir, welcome. Good to have you here tonight. There are reports this evening that the Attorney General is assembling a team to look into that at the Department of Justice. Are you aware of that?

REP. DOUG COLLINS, R-GA: I'm not aware with it from firsthand, Martha. But if that is what he has said, I believe him. Bill Barr has been a straight shooter. From the moment he has been sworn in, he has done exactly what he said he would do. He has done it in a way that is consistent with regulations, consistent with the law, and he is also interested like many of us have been and actually how we got here.

It's not just a place that Mueller has come out with his report and we have found that there was no collusion, that there's not a charge of obstruction, there was nothing there. But it's now important to find out how did this actually start and that's what we're looking forward to and we're glad to hear that he's actually looking into it.

MACCALLUM: Here's Adam Schiff on what he heard in there today. Oh, OK, I'm sorry, Schumer that's what I meant. Senator Schumer, please. Play that.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Thus far, I don't think Barr has conducted himself in a manner that earns people's trust. To call me dubious that he's going to be fair unless he proves otherwise.


MACCALLUM: Schumer does not agree with what you just said.

COLLINS: Well, most of it won't agree with Chuck Schumer on many things anyway especially when it comes to this issue because he has played into the just stereotypical of going down a road of saying here's what we believe and we'll find the facts later. What we found is someone who has actually earned trust because he's done what exactly what he said he would do.

The problem the Democrats have is they've put out a line out there, they based their whole atmosphere on the idea that the president committed collusion. He had been obstructing on justice. When they found out that didn't happen, now they're going back in attacking.

It is disturbing to me that they're attacking Bill Barr, someone who they had actually praised before the report ever came out. That's where you see real intentions.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, he did -- he got three votes in the Senate to confirm him. It was a very unconscious process for the Attorney General who was widely perceived as being somebody that was you know, a straight shooter as you say, and that's why I think that process was so uneventful for him. But now they -- some of them definitely feel differently.

One of the things that is also being pressed on is the answer that the Attorney General gave to whether or not he shared any of the report with the White House which he said he chose not to answer. He will have another opportunity tomorrow to clarify that when he testifies on the Senate side. Do you want to hear an answer to that?

COLLINS: Well, I think he sort of give that indication already that he's doing this independently and that's what we've seen so far in him. He didn't answer the question directly but he's gave indication before that he was doing this, putting it together, and not being influenced by anyone outside. I think that's important for people to know.

And it's also important to know that Mueller is working with the Attorney General on the report that's coming out. This is not just simply Bill Barr sitting in a room by himself making. This up this is something that's working with him in Rod Rosenstein which is not mentioned a great deal. He is working on this along with the Mueller team as well.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I think that that's a very important element for people to remember is that this is not as you say, the Attorney General is not doing this on his own. It's a that they're all going through together as they get ready to release this. Although there was a headline today that said that Robert Mueller declined to look at Barr's letter before it went out. Do you -- how do you take that? What do you take away from that?

COLLINS: I take it that Robert Mueller had trust in the Attorney General to present the facts as he was -- he had presented it to them. Remember, Bill Barr, the Attorney General is getting the rap that he made up this statement of his interpretation or what he thought their report should say.

Remember, he got the report from Robert Mueller who had actually had these conclusions in them. He simply put those in as he stated today. That was the statements of findings from the report itself. We can't divorce this.

And again, the Democrats have a narrative that has went bankrupt. So all they can do is let's try to split hairs on why we think Bill Barr may be hiding something or Bill Barr might be doing something and he actually just got this from Bob Mueller. And that's why we said, you know, if the chairman is truly serious about this and he wants this information, there's two ways to go about it.

They can quit dancing around impeachment, and if that's what they truly want in their heart to do is trying to impeach this president, go down that road or better yet call Robert Mueller to testify before us.

MACCALLUM: Which I know you want -- you want. Very quick question, I'm almost out of time. But I know that you've been releasing testimony. You released -- you released Mr. Baker, James Baker's testimony, but I also know that Andrew McCabe has asked for his testimony to be released because he believes that it will show that he needed -- he didn't need -- that he did have other information besides the dossier. Are you going to release Andrew McCabe's testimony as well?

COLLINS: Well, let Mr. McCabe understand he is definitely in line. But also understand McCabe was in the very early in the process and we're going to continue to look at that. Mr McCabe has a lot of answering and I know he wants to sell books, but he has a lot of answering to do as well.

MACCALLUM: But you say you will release his testimony?

COLLINS: His is in the process, yes.

MACCALLUM: OK. All right, thank you very much, Doug Collins. Good to have you here tonight, sir.

COLLINS: Good to be with you.

MACCALLUM: So moments ago, outgoing DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeting that another official is leaving the department. "Acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady has offered the president her resignation effective tomorrow. For the last two years, Claire has served the Department of Homeland Security with excellence and distinction. She has been an invaluable asset to DHS, a steady force, and a knowledgeable voice." Nielsen's last day on the job is also tomorrow.

Coming up next, a reality check on whether there is or is not an increase in hate crime in America. An interesting analysis --


JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ACTOR: The attacker masked and he said this is MAGA country (BLEEP) punches me right in the face so I punch his back.



SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We know in America that bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise in a serious way.


MACCALLUM: That's 2020 candidate Cory Booker, the senator from New Jersey in the wake of the Jussie Smollett case, claiming that hate crimes are on the rise in America.

But an associate professor at Kentucky State University, Will Reilly has studied this extensively for a book that he has written. He says, "Portraying America as a hate-filled country is wildly inaccurate."

Here to explain Nolan Finley, editorial page editor of the Detroit -- of the Detroit News who wrote about this in his report today. Nolan, good to have you with us today. So, what's the discrepancy here. Because we hear this term often that hate crime is up 17 percent year over year.

NOLAN FINLEY, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, DETROIT NEWS: Well, yes. And the left is selling this idea that over the past two years America has become a very violently divided place because of Donald Trump and his rhetoric.

And while I agree that the president is often unnecessarily provocative and unpresidential, I don't buy into this myth that there are red hatted thugs roaming the country attacking minorities and immigrants and people like Jussie Smollett.

In fact, you are much more likely to be attacked for wearing a MAGA hat than you are to be attacked by someone who is wearing one.

MACCALLUM: And do the numbers back that up?

FINLEY: Well, as you noted, Will Reilly who wrote the book "Hate Crime Hoax," I mean, his research indicates that much of that 17 percent surge in hate crimes over the past two years is a product of 1,000 more police departments reporting hate crimes to the FBI.

So, you have more departments reporting in, not necessarily more hate crimes.

MACCALLUM: All right. You know, the push back is that they are underreported and the Department of Justice, according to their numbers in 2017 said that in -- from 2011 to 2015, 54 percent of hate crimes were not reported to police.

And William Barr, the new attorney general expressed concern about hate crimes in America today in his testimony. Watch this.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm very concerned about hate crimes. And one of the priorities we have is to make sure those numbers are not understating the level of hate crime.


MACCALLUM: So how do we figure that out?

FINLEY: Well, hate crime comes in lot of forms and target a lot of different people. And it's not simply coming from the right or from white nationalists or whatever group you want to identify.

I mean, there has been a huge surge in hate crimes, for example, against Orthodox Jews in places like New York City committed by nonwhite nationalists. Not necessarily white nationalists.

I mean, again, I think that the left is overselling this in an effort to keep America agitated, to keep us distrusting one another on the edge. And you know, I don't think it's helpful for our national dialogue and our attempts to at least work together in this country.

MACCALLUM: Yes. Well, it's always helpful to have real numbers and data when you deal with these things and to kind of cut through the emotion a little bit so we know what we are dealing with.

Nolan, thank you very much. Nolan Finley of the Detroit News. Good to see you tonight, sir.

FINLEY: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, an exclusive with the wealthy businessman who invited Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a dinner to talk about capitalism, up next.


CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Can you be a Democratic socialist and a capitalist?

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: Well, I think it depends on your interpretation.

TODD: Do you say to yourself I'm a capitalist but?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: I don' I don't say that.



MACCALLUM: My next recently invited Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a dinner so the Democratic socialist could hear firsthand accounts of free market successes.

Writing, quote, "Don't just see me as some wealthy guy defending the free market. Instead, see me as the son of a mother who dropped out of school in eighth grade or the $800 that I had when I started my career."

Sadly, AOC was a no-show for the dinner. But here now is Foster Friess, former CEO of the Friess Associates investment firm and former Republican candidate for governor of Wyoming, very successful businessman. Foster, welcome. Good to have you here tonight.

FOSTER FRIESS, GLOBAL PHILANTHROPIST: I'm very glad to be here, Martha. I'm sure AOC will eventually come to dinner. She did get the invitation and it would have been an amazing night for her to see a different perspective that she probably hasn't had in her life experience so far.

So, the people at the meeting at the Horatio Alger were dynamic, upbeat, positive, and the wives were delightful and if their husbands are psychopath, they would have left them years ago.

MACCALLUM: Can you explain what you did to reach her and do you think at her office were they aware of who you were when you called?

FRIESS: Well, we -- they did acknowledge they received the invitation. I believe it's important for us to kind of emphasize the key point of why I did it. And that is there's so much angst over income inequality.

But with the American dream you have to have income inequality. If you go from $800 to how I've been blessed I did a lot of damage to income equality. But I've been able to do a lot of good things.

And you look at some of the people there, Craig Barrett, for example, started very, very low, became the chief executive officer of Intel and now he is very behind these basis schools which teach science technology and math. They are the top five schools in America are basis schools.

So, the way we address income inequality is by helping those people on the lower rung get up and get them training and make them more successful. That's the ticket not tearing down the wealthy.

MACCALLUM: Interesting. I want to play a sound bite from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talking about climate change. Let's play that.


OCASIO-CORTEZ: The one thing that we cannot rebuke and the one thing that we cannot deny is that climate change is a problem of market failure and externalities in our economic. We have 40 years and free market solutions have not changed our position.


MACCALLUM: What do you say about that?

FRIESS: Well, I think she is quite young and her fans are quite young. If you look at Richard Nixon, he introduced the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. And if you look what's happened to the quality of our air and water since then it keeps getting better and improving with a few exceptions maybe in Flint, Michigan.

But if you look at the Green fund, we put a billion dollars in it. Russia, China and India the biggest polluters in the world by far put in zero. The Pakistani said this pollution problem is going to go on for another 30 years and we'll think about doing something about it.

So, if you look at the kind of air quality we have, with maybe a few exceptions here and there, it's beat by a Greenland and Iceland but it beats all the European countries that were criticizing us.

So, climate change has been around for a while. I like Matt Bevin. He is a reporter asked where do you stand on climate change. Matt, the governor of Kentucky said do you like science? He said, sure. Well then you know the globe was covered by ice, quite a bit, almost a lot of it. Where did the ice go?

So, I think we have had seven ice ages and now we just have to educate the people about the reality of what true science is.

MACCALLUM: All right. Well, obviously, a lot of debate over climate change.

I want to play this from Pete Buttigieg who is the mayor of South Bend who is also running on the Democratic side or is about to announce, we understand he is in exploratory phase. Here is what he said about capitalism.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, D-IN: Look, America is a capitalist society. But it's got to be Democratic capitalism. And that part is really important and it's slipping away from us. In other words, when capitalism comes in detention with democracy, which is more important to you? I believe democracy is more important.


MACCALLUM: What do you think he means by that, Foster?

FRIESS: What a joke. I mean, he should have been at that dinner also and saw over 100 students that were Asian, black, every stripe, I mean, these young kids that got the scholarship because they went to great heights and succeeded in high school, from unbelievable background, deprived background, homeless, many of them.

And I think if he would have been there, he would have seen how the diversity of those folks and how they have achieved where they are today and where they are headed is phenomenal.

So, the whole idea that democracy somehow is slipping away from us is kind of something maybe it's a political thing to get people stirred up. But it is not happening.

MACCALLUM: Foster Friess, thank you very much, sir. Good to see you tonight. Thanks for coming on.

FRIESS: Thanks for having me, Martha. God bless you.

MACCALLUM: You bet. You bet. You too.

All right. So, a story exclusive the second lady, Karen Pence and her daughter Charlotte, coming up next.


MACCALLUM: Let's talk about this today. Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 hopeful who also happens to be gay and married stirring up some controversy this week by going after Vice President Mike Pence's religious beliefs.


BUTTIGIEG: That's the thing I wish the Mike Pence's of the world would understand that if you have got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.

It's time for us to move on with a more inclusive and more humane vision of faith than what this vice president represents.


MACCALLUM: Here now, Second Lady, Karen Pence and her daughter Charlotte. They are the author and illustrator of this beautiful new children's book "Marlon Bundo's Day in the National Capital" which is beautifully done and we're going to ask them about that as well. Good to see you both.


MACCALLUM: Thank you so much for being here. You know, I know one of the people on the vice president's staff, Alyssa Farah reacted to this and she put up exactly what the vice president had said in the past when Pete Buttigieg first made his announcement that he was coming out.

He said "I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot." So why do you think given that he is really coming after your husband?

K. PENCE: Really is. And you know, it's interesting because this is one of the reasons that we wrote the book because I think that this young generation may not know the liberties and freedoms that are protected in the United States and one of them is religious liberty. You know, the freedom of religion.

So, I think anyone in the country can believe, you know, really anything that they want to believe. You can have whatever faith that you want to follow.

CHARLOTTE PENCE, DAUGHTER, VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Right. I actually wrote in the book before this was, you know, religious liberty was a hot topic at all, which is kind of funny. I mean, we turned this in a long time ago.

So, you know, I think it is important for kids to learn at a young age that religious liberty means you can believe in God or you cannot believe in God and you don't have to be afraid to hold that belief.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I just want to put up what his response was to that when she tweeted that today. The mayor of South Bend said "People will often be polite to in person while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in return but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back honestly and emphatically. And so, it goes in the public square."

Charlotte, I'm just curious, you know, what is it, what's your reaction when you hear people say things like that about your dad?

C. PENCE: Yes, you know, the thing is and we talk about this actually in this bunny book, funny enough, that, you know, you can have differing opinions from people and that's actually a good thing.

And you, you know, my parents really taught us from a very young age that when people are speaking out against elected officials when they disagree with them, you know, that actually is a good thing. That means that the system is working. I mean, that's how America is supposed to look.

My dad always says that's what freedom looks like when he sees protesters because that's an essential part of our democracy as well which can you learn about all again in this book.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, do you -- are you concerned as you watch this process go forward that he, your husband becomes sort of a punching bag for some people who are going to want to make that point over and over again who don't see it the way -- they see it as an attack on them rather than your husband and you as a family, you know, standing up for what your faith dictates?


K. PENCE: Well, and I think that's what we have to explain to our kids.


K. PENCE: I mean, this new generation coming up, they have to understand that we do have certain rights in this country. And it's perfectly OK for us to believe what we believe. People shouldn't take that as us attacking what they believe.

And I think some in the public square do that these days. And I think that's why the book starts actually with the Pledge of Allegiance, and so it talks about indivisible with liberty and justice for all. And so that's justice for all. That means that Mike Pence can believe what he believes and Mayor Pete can believe what he believes.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

K. PENCE: And they should be able to disagree.

MACCALLUM: I'm curious, you know, one more thought on this. When you heard that Joe Biden, the former vice president said, you know, Mike Pence is a decent guy. I know Mike Pence is a decent guy. Then he got all this push back from the LGBTQ community and then he came out and said, you know, well, I was just talking about his stance on foreign policy.

Well, what -- I'm sure you know the former vice president. How do you feel about that that he won't stick up --


K. PENCE: I don't know why he said that.

MACCALLUM: -- for your -- his friendship with your husband?

K. PENCE: Yes. I don't know why he said that, but I think, you know, things get so carried away these days and the rhetoric gets so extreme that I think we're trying to teach our kids, you know, this isn't the way that you have to do it. You can have a friend at school that you disagree with. You don't have to say mean things about them. You don't have to say nasty things about them.

C. PENCE: Yes, in the book, I mean, we talk about Marlon goes around to all these different places in the nation's capital like the Kennedy Center and it goes to the Library of Congress and in both of those places he says, you know, the arts are a place where you can see people's different viewpoints and you can read about people's different viewpoints and be friends with people that have different opinions from you, which I think we need more of.

MACCALLUM: Yes. Charlotte, what's it like for you as a young person, you know, sort of, because we do live in a society where and a moment where, you know, it feels as if it effects friendships, you know. This divisive feeling about Republicans can't be friends with Democrats and they can't look at each other and say, you know, I respect how you feel about that --

C. PENCE: Right.

MACCALLUM: -- but, you know, I don't agree.

C. PENCE: Yes. I think that -- I think that it does feel that way sometimes. And I think that even, you know, whether or not you are in public life or your private life, I do think it's important to have friends that disagree with you about things. Because once you get to know each other on a personal one-on-one level, you know, you can see the humanity in one another.

MACCALLUM: Yes. So, Marlon Bundo, how did you come up with that name for this little bunny? We had a bunny that looked just like this when I was growing up. His name was Snippy. Your name is far more creative.

C. PENCE: Yes. Marlon was a college pet of mine. I got him for a student film project.

MACCALLUM: You had you him in college?

C. PENCE: I did.

MACCALLUM: In a little cage in your apartment?

C. PENCE: I had him in my dorm for like, a couple weeks. Yes, and then -- yes, he was an actor so we named him Marlon Bundo. Yes. That's the story.

MACCALLUM: He is an actor.

C. PENCE: Yes. He was in this film and now he's obviously a star. So.

MACCALLUM: He is a big star.


K. PENCE: (Inaudible) in that.

MACCALLUM: The book is "A Day in the Nation's Capital: Marlon Bundo," written by the Second lady Karen Pence or written by Charlotte Pence and illustrated by Karen Pence. All really beautifully done. So many thanks to both of you. It's great to have you with us here in the studio tonight.

K. PENCE: Thank you.

C. PENCE: Thank you so much.

MACCALLUM: More of “The Story” coming up next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jimmy Doolittle leads bombers against Tokyo. The task force is commanded by Admiral Halsey in a dash toward the Coast of Japan where the planes take off.

The Doolittle bombing of Tokyo early in the war displayed the spirit of half armed America. This was a small foreshadowing of the giant air fleets that were later to sail of Japan, and Tokyo got its first bombing.


MACCALLUM: Amazing to watch those places take off. They were basically stripped down so that they could make it the distance to Tokyo. And now the last surviving member of the heroic World War II Doolittle Raiders has passed away.

Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Richard E. Cole died at the age of 103. The legendary Doolittle Raiders were a group of army Air Force aviators who participated in a daring aerial raid of Japan as a response just months after Pearl Harbor. None of them had ever flown an actual combat mission before they took from that aircraft carrier.

Cole was selected as Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot to lead the raid. In the decades since Cole remained humble insisting, he and his fellow raiders were not heroes. They were just doing their jobs.

Lieutenant Colonel Cole will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and we thank him for his service. That is “The Story” on this Tuesday night. But “The Story” continues tomorrow night at 7:00.

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