This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," March 17, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.
A suspected white supremacist commits one of the worst mass shootings ever, gunning down worshipers at two mosques in New Zealand. What can be done to stop extremist hate?
REPORTER: Do you think that white nationalism is a rising threat around the world?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the live stream killing spree.
TRUMP: I will be signing and issuing a formal veto.
WALLACE: As well as the president's decision to overrule Congress' rejection of his border emergency with White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, first on "Fox News Sunday".
Then, the 2020 Democratic presidential field continues to grow.
BETO O'ROURKE, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think there's ever been a greater moment in our lifetimes and for this country.
WALLACE: We'll discuss how the Democrats plan to take back the White House in our first 2020 sit down with presidential hopeful, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. It's a "FOX News Sunday" exclusive.
Plus, a dozen Republican senators vote against the president to block his national emergency declaration. We'll ask our Sunday panel if there's a growing GOP divide.
And our "Power Player of the Week", a billionaire's pledge die broke.
Is it fun to give away money?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a joy.
WALLACE: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
The massacre at two mosques in New Zealand is raising new questions about white supremacy hate and the role of inflammatory rhetoric on social media. The suspected gunman appears to have been motivated by anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideology. And a horrific crime is an ugly reminder of a tax on houses of worship in this country.
In a moment, we'll speak with White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
But, first, let's get the latest from Ryan Chilcote, reporting from London.
RYAN CHILCOTE, CORRESPONDENT: In New Zealand, a traditional dance in honor of the 50 killed in the country's worst ever terror attack.
On the streets of Christchurch, families grief. Authorities say they are now returning the victims’ bodies to the families. The 28-year-old suspected gunman appeared in court Saturday. His face blurred under the judge's orders.
Under scrutiny, the Australian's extensive travel to Turkey, Bulgaria, and Pakistan, and the 70-plus page hate filled manifesto he posted online just before the attack. In it, he claims this 2017 terrorist attack in Stockholm when a truck was deliberately driven into a crowd killing five changed him.
Investigators are also looking at its similarities to a manifesto written by a Norwegian neo-Nazi who killed 77 people in 2011. In the attacks on the Tree of Life synagogue and the Charleston Church shooting. The suspect had five firearms, all of which he acquired legally.
New Zealand's prime minister says that's unacceptable.
JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: We cannot be deterred from the work that we need to do on our gun laws in New Zealand. They need to change.
CHILCOTE: The prime minister's office received the suspects manifesto via email just nine minutes before the attack.
CHILCOTE: And that was, of course, just before the assailant used Facebook live to broadcast his attacks for a full 17 minutes. Now, Facebook has issued in a statement. They say that they removed a full 1.5 million videos of the attack in the ensuing 24 hours and they said that they are removing all of the videos, even those that have been edited to remove the violent scenes out of respect for the family -- Chris.
WALLACE: Ryan Chilcote reporting from London -- Ryan, thank you.
Joining us now, the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.
Mick, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Good morning and happy St. Patrick's Day.
WALLACE: Yes. Thank you and I forgot to wear a green tie today. But thank you for bringing that up.
MULVANEY: Wasn't going to say anything.
WALLACE: What's the latest on the investigation into the New Zealand massacre? Is there any sign it's part of a larger conspiracy? And what's being done to beef up security around mosques in this country?
MULVANEY: Yes, I won't go into the specific discussions that we have with our allies. By the way, the New Zealanders, some of our very closest allies in the global war on terror, some of our closest friends, we share a great deal of information with them. So, it was especially hurtful I think to see this happen to some of our people in it we consider our closest friends. The president talked to the prime minister yesterday. So, this is a truly sorrowful and tragic event.
But we have no indication that this is part of a larger conspiracy. I don't think we've taken any -- we've suggested any additional security here in the United States. But clearly, they are going through some terrible times in New Zealand.
I understand they are taking some steps in New Zealand that other folks might be involved down there. I think they make suggestions about how to operate mosques in the next couple of days. Such a truly, truly tragic situation.
WALLACE: In his 74-page manifesto, the shooter wrote this, I want to put it on the screen.
Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump? As a symbol of renewed identity and common purpose? Sure.
What does the president think of that?
MULVANEY: Yes, in fact, I'm a little disappointed, you didn't put up the next sentence, which the next sentence, because I looked at it last night, was, what about his policies and he's a leader, and he said, dear god, no.
I don't think it's fair to cast this person as a supporter of Donald Trump any more than it is to look at his -- sort of his eco-terrorist passages in that manifesto that align him with Nancy Pelosi or Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
This was a disturbed individual, an evil person, and to try and tie him to an American politician from either party probably ignores some of the deeper, difficulties that this sort of activity exposes.
WALLACE: I want to make it clear. I take your point, and I want to make it clear, the only person responsible for this slaughter is the shooter, not President Trump. But some critics have said that he has contributed over the years to anti-Muslim.
Here is one of his statements from the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I think Islam hates us. There's something -- there's something there -- there's a tremendous hatred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And after the attack, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted this: Time and again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists -- and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them.
And some folks were disturbed that after we saw the manifesto, after the shooting, which said that he was doing this to kill, quote, invaders, the president said this when he was signing his veto message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: People hate the word "invasion" but that's what it is. It's an invasion of drugs and criminals and people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: I understand and I very much agree that the president is not responsible for this action but has he considered, given the fact that some people seem to feel that he has given them cover, has he considered giving a major speech condemning anti-Muslim white supremacist bigotry?
MULVANEY: You've asked a couple questions. So, let's go back and talk about what Senator Gillibrand said. Look, there's folks that just don't want the president and everything that goes wrong, they're going to look for a way to tie that to the president.
So, if you see the word "invaders" in the manifesto, they see that passage and say, my goodness, there must be some connection between this. That's just absurd to say there's some type of connection between being against illegal immigration, which is what the veto was about, for legal immigration, and the ruthless live streaming of murder of 15 people. The two things have nothing to do with each other.
WALLACE: But let's forget all of that.
WALLACE: Let me just ask, to the degree that there's an issue with white supremacist, white nationalist, anti-Muslim bigotry in this country, and there is an issue with that, why not deliver a speech condemning it?
MULVANEY: You've seen the president stand up for religious liberty, individual liberty. The president is not a white supremacist. I'm not sure how many times we have to say that. And to simply ask the question, every time something like this happens overseas, or even domestically, to say, oh, my goodness, it must somehow be the president's fault speaks to a politicization of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions that we have in the country today.
Let's take what happened in New Zealand yesterday for what it is. A terrible evil, tragic act and figure out why those things are becoming more prevalent in the world. Is it Donald Trump? Absolutely not.
Is there something else happening in our culture where people go know what, I think today I'm going to go on TV and live stream me murdering other people? That's what we should be talking about. Not the politics of the United States.
WALLACE: If I may, all I'm saying is the president speaks out about a lot of things that he is not responsible for and that he doesn't feel that there's any link -- terrorism. Why not make the speech and make it clear that there is no place in America for this kind of hatred?
MULVANEY: I think you saw that yesterday in the tweet. I mean, the president -- I'm not sure what more you want the president to do. You may say you want to give him a national speech to address the nation, that's fine. Maybe we do that, maybe we don't but I think you could jump to the basic issue, the president is doing everything that we can to prevent this type of thing from happening here.
The president is doing everything that we can to make it clear, look, this has to stop. The work that we do, including as I mentioned to the outset, with our Kiwi friends, to prevent this happening is a very central part of defending this nation, which is how the president spends a great deal of his time. So, look, it's a tragedy and I get that. We're in a hyper- partisan sort of time in the country and I get that, but that doesn't mean we need to marry these two events.
WALLACE: OK, let's move to another subject. You were at the table with Trump and Kim at the summit. We can see you there in the foreground on the left in Vietnam.
And the North Koreans have now said after those talks fell apart, they may end all talks between the U.S. and North Korea, and they may resume nuclear and missile testing.
If they do so, how will the president respond?
MULVANEY: I think the resumption of missile testing will be seen as sort of a violation of some sort of breach of trust. I think it was a general understanding that there was no reason for that to continue as long as we were continuing to have conversations. The conversations continue.
We did not get a deal in Vietnam. I think those folks who thought it might be easy for us to get a deal don't understand the complexities of the issue. It took Reagan and Gorbachev many, many times to solve just a piece of the nuclear weapons problem, to think that we're going to solve the Korean issue in one meeting or two meetings is probably not reasonable.
The discussions can and should continue, I foresee the president and the chairman sitting in some point in the future, but if they were to begin testing again, that would be seen as a truly disappointing turn of events.
WALLACE: And would the president have a specific response?
MULVANEY: I don't know that I can speak to that. But I think he'd be very disappointed. He has a very good relationship with the chairman. I think they had an understanding that was not broken.
The fact that we didn't get a deal in Vietnam doesn't mean the relationship was imperiled. It just means there was no deal to be had at that time. It doesn't mean there's not an agreement we can make in the future.
WALLACE: All right. I want to ask about the president's veto on Friday of the resolution that Congress passed blocking his declaration of a national emergency on the border.
Before the Senate acted, the president tweeted this: A vote for today's resolution by Republican senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, crime, and the open border Democrats.
What does the president think of the 12 Republican senators who defied him?
MULVANEY: You know, I wouldn't say he's happy. I think that tweet is probably exactly where we saw things.
I had a bunch of phone calls from my former colleagues saying, oh, this is a big constitutional issue. Oh, I'm worried about where the money is going. By the way, there was a lot more senators concerned about where the money was going to be coming from, where they're going to be losing from their states, in their districts, than the constitutional issue.
But fine, some folks voted one way for one reason, they might have also voted for a different reason. But the bottom one is this -- this was a border security issue. Go back. This is what we've been fighting about now since October when we first started having this discussion about --
WALLACE: So, where those 12 senators soft on the border?
MULVANEY: This was a border security vote. It's up to them to go back and tell their voters why it was more important to overturn the president than it was to secure the southern border.
The question that I don't think anybody has asked, maybe if you could do this, this would be great, get one of the 12 senators in here and ask them, do you think there's an emergency of the southern border? They have to say yes. Democrats now will say yes. The number of folks crossing every single they are through the roof. I have 100,000 apprehended next month.
There is an emergency come emergency, period, end of story. The next question is, what you doing about it? The president is doing everything he can. I would ask those who voted against the president last week, what are you doing to solve a national emergency?
WALLACE: I've got a minute left. Congress keeps asking. You see a lot of those senators were mostly concerned about where was the money going to be taken from. Congress keeps asking, where is the money going to come from, which military construction projects will lose their money?
And the Pentagon has failed to give that information. If I'm told that your agency, which I think you are still running, the OMB, the Office of Management and Budget, has that information.
Will it be given to Congress? Will the list of the military construction projects which lose money under the national emergency, will that information be given to Congress before they vote whether to override?
MULVANEY: No, the assumption in your question is not right. You're assuming there's a list some place that were not given to Congress, which is absolutely false. There's a process that we are going through, that we will be and I think that we've already shared --
WALLACE: I may be wrong, that the Pentagon had given the list to OMB.
MULVANEY: No, that is not true. There's no identified list of projects that will not be funded. There's an identified list of projects that will not be touched in fiscal 2019. That maybe what you're hearing about.
But we're still going to the process of prioritizing what projects are on the Pentagon's books for 2020 and beyond that are already funded that are not as high-priority as the border fence.
WALLACE: And finally, will you beat the override?
MULVANEY: Yes, sir. In the House -- oh, yes, it doesn't have a chance.
WALLACE: No chance?
MULVANEY: No chance.
WALLACE: So the president's veto will be sustained?
MULVANEY: It will be upheld in the House and won't have to go back to the Senate.
WALLACE: Well, no, because if it's upheld, then it doesn't even go to the Senate.
MULVANEY: That's correct. It won't have to go back to the Senate.
WALLACE: Oh, I'm sorry.
WALLACE: Thank you. Thanks for coming in today on St. Patrick's Day.
MULVANEY: It's always good --
WALLACE: Enjoy your ties.
MULVANEY: Sorry about --
WALLACE: The wardrobe malfunction.
MULVANEY: That's right.
WALLACE: Please come back, Mick.
MULVANEY: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the 12 Republicans who went against President Trump voting to block his declaration of a national emergency at the border. Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about whether there's a split inside the GOP? Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @FoxNewsSunday. And we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it, and I'm very proud to veto it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump issuing his first veto of legislation to block his declaration of a national emergency at the border, a bill that was passed with the support of 12 Republican senators.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. GOP strategist Karl Rove, Mo Elleithee of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service, Gerald Seib from "The Wall Street Journal", and Katie Pavlich of townhall.com.
Well, Gerry, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell warned President Trump weeks ago, don't go for this national emergency because if you do, you're going to get beat, and in fact, he did. How do you think the president's decision to ignore McConnell plays for him and for those 12 Republican senators who decided in the end to go against him?
GERALD F. SEIB, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, look, the 12 Republican senators list is pretty interesting. What is the common thread? Only one of them is actually running for reelection next year. Eleven of them are not --
WALLACE: Susan Collins of Maine.
SEIB: Susan Collins of Maine.
On the other hand, a lot of senators who are running for reelection next year, Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, Thom Tillis, they all voted to support the president.
What that says is the concern in the party is that if you're opposed by the president, you're in trouble in the Republican primary. So, the political power of the president and the Republican Party was in some ways were affirmed, or at least the political fear of the president in the Republican Party was reaffirmed by this boat.
WALLACE: We ask you for questions for the panel and on this issue of those Republican senators voting against the president, voting to block his declaration, Jo Pyper tweeted this: My question to these 12 Republicans would be, where is their loyalty?
Katie, how do you answer Jo? And it was interesting because even though I didn't bring it up, Mick Mulvaney did -- well, those Republican senators said it wasn't an issue of immigration. It wasn't the wall. It was a matter of the separation of powers and Congress' power of the purse.
KATIE PAVLICH, TOWNHALL.COM EDITOR: I think that's correct if you look at the reason why Republicans voted for or against this resolution. They talk about the fact that they do believe the president is overreaching.
You have a number of Republicans, including Ben Sasse, who had an interesting vote to keep the national emergency. I thought he would vote against it. And in his justification for doing so, he says, look, I do believe that we have ceded too much authority to the executive branch, which is why I am supporting legislation introduced by Senator Mike Lee to actually take back some of that power from the executive and give it back to Congress.
There wasn't a split from Republicans about the issue of the national emergency in terms of a crisis on the border that is ongoing that nobody seems to want to fix on Capitol Hill. The issue was the separation of powers. The Republicans put forward real legislation to actually take back some of that power and Nancy Pelosi in the House have said they are not going to take it out for a vote, which proves that for them, this is just political, not just about really taking back power from the president, whether it's a Republican or Democrat.
WALLACE: All right. Let's get to the underlying issue here, and it's actually the one that Mick Mulvaney brought up and said that we should ask Republican senators. We are going to ask our panel. Is there a crisis on the southern border?
Here's what President Trump had to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: In many cases, they are stone-cold criminals. And in many cases, and in some cases, you have killers coming in and murderers coming in, and we're not going to allow that to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now, the president points to last month when more than 76,000 people were stopped at the border. That's the highest monthly total in 11 years. But of those, more than 40,000 were family units.
And, Karl, that raises my question, which is the family units, do they really want to be -- does it will really stop them or in fact don't they want to be caught because they want to claim asylum?
So, in that sense, is the right answer more wall, or is the right answer to change the laws so that you can turn around family units from Central America the way you can from Mexico now?
KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Well, look, the mix of people approaching the borders has changed dramatically. In the early part of the 21st century, it was mostly single men mainly from Mexico coming here for jobs. And a wall helps to stop those people.
But you're right, the asylum-seekers, the family units, which is what the current immigration flow largely is, they want to show up and surrender to the immigration authorities and a wall really doesn't matter there. But the border is being hit by both types of people. The single males, many of them from Central America now rather than Mexico, and the family units.
So, you do need a wall and you need a change in the procedures that we have dealing with families. This all goes back to a 1993 U.S. Supreme Court case that was then memorialized in '97 in an agreement between the Clinton administration and some of the parties to the case call the Flores Agreement, and it basically says that if you have an asylum seeker that shows up on the border, you have to -- you have to keep the families together in as best condition as you can, and you have to release minor children to either a relative, a guardian, or an entity that agrees to take care of them.
And this has been -- this makes a magnet for these kinds of families. And we just don't have the laws and the facilities to deal with them.
Two answers. Pass a law that changes the rules, or the DHS -- this is a consent agreement -- DHS can promulgate regulations.
WALLACE: All right. Mo, this is the way the president is now framing this issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think anybody going against border security, drug trafficking, human trafficking, that's a bad vote. The Democrats are for open borders, they are for crime. I mean, frankly, they're for crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Is that going to be a hard issue for Democrats in 2020?
MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS & PUBLIC SERVICE: Look, for president who came out on the night he was elected and said, I want to be president for all Americans, to now on in the past we call Democrats -- saying that we are for crime and we hate Jews, like that's going to be a big problem for him.
On this issue, specifically on this issue, I think Democrats can be out there saying we have a plan to actually deal with immigration. We need to have border security, there is no one out there saying we shouldn't have border security. Most Democrats on the Hill, though, are not naive enough to think a wall is the full answer to border security and they want to invest in technology, they want to do drones. They want to do lots of things on -- have more agents. Lots of things on border security --
WALLACE: Nancy Pelosi says, I don't want to give a dollar for a wall.
ELLEITHEE: Because when the president is saying that the wall is the end- all be-all --
PAVLICH: He does not say that.
WALLACE: He saying that no wall is the end-all be-all.
ELLEITHEE: So -- but Democrats have come forward and said that they want to -- that they are fine investing and building up and repairing, where it's fencing. But there needs to be more.
Well, they are actually, Karl.
PAVLICH: They're not.
ELLEITHEE: How can you say that (ph)?
ROVE: Look, Robert Francis O'Rourke says tear down the wall we got. I mean, please? The Democrats -- the president and the Democrats have mutual ground on things like border security with technology and so forth, but the one big difference is the Democrats cannot accept the fact that a wall, physical barrier is necessary on some parts of the border, despite the fact that a Democratic president helped build 113 miles --
ELLEITHEE: Except Democrats on the Hill. You can talk about residential candidates all you want. You can talk about certain members of Congress, but the ones who were actually in the room, at the table negotiating this have been talking about investing some of these stuff --
ROVE: Oh, Nancy Pelosi? So, she didn't mean it when she said not a dime for the wall?
ELLEITHEE: If you look at the packages that Democrats have passed in the past and that they are promoting today, the Democratic majority in the Congress is for investing overall in border security --
ELLEITHEE: This is a problem, Karl, you know I respect you tremendous, but this is a problem, is that this is all you guys want to talk about. Let me finish, the point I was trying to --
PAVLICH: Because Americans care about it. It's an issue that is a crisis that affects everybody, whether --
ELLEITHEE: There is more to immigration than just a wall, as hard as you guys want to make it about that, there is more to it than just a wall.
ELLEITHEE: Hold on. You caught me off a number of times. You've cut me off a number of times.
ROVE: I remember when the Democrats killed it in 2007. We have Democrats and Republicans --
ELLEITHEE: You have cut me off a number of times.
ROVE: -- supposedly agreeing upon border security measures that involved technology and so forth. Where they disagree is, is that the majority of the Democratic Caucus don't want money for a border wall, period.
ELLEITHEE: Karl, there is so much more that needs to be done --
WALLACE: Final thought, 10 seconds.
ELLEITHEE: -- that this president will not talk about. There is a humanitarian issue that is pulling people away from Central America.
ELLEITHEE: We need to focus on that but you guys will not let go of this as the sole focus.
WALLACE: Guys, we're going to take a break here. You can continue outside. We'll see you a little later and I bet they will.
When we come back, the 37-year-old from South Bend, Indiana, known as "Mayor Pete" is looking to break out in the crowded Democratic field. Pete Buttigieg joins us live for a "FOX News Sunday" sit down with the 2020 candidates.
WALLACE: Coming up, one of the Democrats hoping to break out of the crowded 2020 presidential field.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, D-SOUTH BEND, INDIANA: I think it's pretty clear that I'm not like the others. I just bring a different perspective, I think. Some of that's generational.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Our "Fox News Sunday" sit-down: a small-town mayor with big-time aspirations is next.
WALLACE: We are now less than a year away from the Iowa caucuses. And the field of Democratic candidates looking to make Donald Trump a one term president is taking shape. We hope to talk with them at length so you get a better sense of who they are and where they would take the country.
Joining us now for our first “Fox News Sunday” sit-down, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Mayor, welcome to “Fox News Sunday.”
BUTTIGIEG: Thank you. Good morning.
WALLACE: So, there are now more -- and today Kirsten Gillibrand officially entered the race. There are now more than a dozen candidates officially in the race. You're the only one who still has an exploratory committee. What are you exploring and when are you going to decide whether to get in?
BUTTIGIEG: So we put together the exploratory committee and rolled it out in January to see what the response would be to the idea of a Midwestern millennial mayor entering the conversation for president. Would anybody take note? How would the fundraising go? Would there be a level of interest in the early states? Now we're seeing all of those things. But because I'm not highly famous and I'm not personally wealthy, it takes a little bit to get the organization in place for a launch.
You only get to launch one. And I've got to tell you, I'm not going to make any news this morning, but all of the signs are pointing in the right direction. And when we do come out, it's a -- it's going to be a big one.
WALLACE: People are trying to make sense of this huge sprawling field. Young versus old. Further left versus more moderate. What's your lane?
BUTTIGIEG: I don't know. I think everybody wants to fit you on an ideological spectrum, which I think has never been less relevant. I think more and more people just want to know what your ideas are and -- and whether they make any sense. And part of how we were able to succeed in South Bend, governing, I believe in accordance with progressive values, but also earning a lot of support from Republicans and independents wasn't by trying to manage exactly where I was on this kind of left/right spectrum, it was by trying to do the right thing. I view myself as a progressive, but these labels are becoming less and less useful.
WALLACE: We're -- we're going to get into specific issues in a moment. One more sort of political question.
One of the ways in which you stand out is that you're 37. And, if elected, you would be the youngest president ever. To some degree, people talk about you as the bright, shiny thing in the field. The question is, now that Beto O'Rourke is in it, some people in the grassroots say he's brighter, shinier thing.
How do you combat Beto and, like him, were you born to be in this race?
BUTTIGIEG: I think I was born to make myself useful. And I'm not combating anybody. They are going to be competitors more than opponents, I think, among the Democrats. And that's a good thing. But I do believe that I'm not like the others. I belong to a different generations than most of the others. You know, mine was the generation that -- that, you know, was in high school when school shootings started to be the norm. We're the generation that's going to be on the business end of the consequences of climate change. We're also the generation that's on track to be the first in American history to make less than our parents if nothing is done to change the trajectory of our economy.
I think having a voice from that generation, having a voice with executive leadership -- I mean I've got to tell you, I know I'm the young face in -- in this conversation, but not only do I have more years of government experience under my belt than the president, but I've got more years of executive government experience under my belt than the vice president. I think that's relevant.
And I think coming from the industrial Midwest, a place where, unfortunately, my party really lost touch with a lot of voters, especially in 2016, it's a combination of attributes, not to mention the military service that I bring to the table, that is simply different from the others. And I'm looking forward to competing.
WALLACE: Let's do a lightning round. Quick questions, quick answers.
To the degree that you think you have one, what's your big idea? What your core message?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, the biggest side is about --
WALLACE: This is lightning round, so you've got to be quick.
BUTTIGIEG: Yes, sure. I guess I'd say generational change and then liberty, democracy and security.
Now, I believe when you unpack each of those ideas, they point you in a specific direction with some policies behind it. Maybe the rest of the light round will help us get to that.
WALLACE: Well, we're going to -- we are.
Let's turn to what some of the other Democrats are talking about, what's on the ideological agenda right now. A lot of Democrats pushing the green new deal. You have said that it's more of a goal than a plan. Explain.
BUTTIGIEG: That's right. I mean it's a handful of pages laying out a goal for us to cut carbon emissions before they lead to changes that really destroy our economy and any prospect for people in my generation to do well. I'm thinking about what the world's going to look like in 2054 when I get to the current age of the current president. And if we don't act aggressively and immediately on climate, it's not going to be a pretty picture. So what they're doing --
WALLACE: But are you saying -- are you saying, for instance, that some of the talk about retrofitting every building in America, or trying to make the country carbon free by 2030, that that's just unrealistic?
BUTTIGIEG: We're going to have to do it. Look --
WALLACE: By 2030.
BUTTIGIEG: If we can't do carbon free, then we'll do net carbon free, which means that we're taking out as much as we're putting in.
The bottom line is, scientifically, the right year to do that was yesterday. We have got to do this. This timetable isn't being set in Congress. It's being set by reality. It's being set by science. And it's going to hit. Those deadlines are going to hit in our climate with or without us. And so we have to ask.
With the green new deal gets right is it recognizes there's also a lot of economic opportunity in this. Retrofitting building means a huge amount of jobs for the building trades in this country.
BUTTIGIEG: I view that as a good thing.
WALLACE: OK. We're way over the lightning round.
Medicare for all. You say it should be Medicare for all who want it.
BUTTIGIEG: That's right. I do --
BUTTIGIEG: Well, I do believe that a single-payer environment is probably the right answer in the long term, but I think any politician who use -- throws around phrases like Medicare for all has a responsibility to explain how we would get there.
In my view, what you want to do is you take something like Medicare, you put it on the exchanges as a kind of public option, and if people like me are right that that is both good coverage and more cost efficient, then more and more people will buy in and it will be a very natural glide path towards the single-payer environment.
WALLACE: So was Kamala Harris wrong when she talked about just getting -- eliminating private insurance?
BUTTIGIEG: Yes, I view it differently. I mean, think about Medicare itself. You still have Medicare Advantage and plans around that. Even countries like the U.K., with nationalized medicine, still have a role for the private sector. So I think there will be a role for the private sector, but a very different one that we have in the corporate system today.
WALLACE: The Supreme Court, you talk about -- possibly expanding the court from nine justices to 15.
BUTTIGIEG: Yes, but it's not just about throwing more justices on the court. What I think we need to do it some kind of structural reform that makes the court less political. We can't go on like this where every time there's a vacancy, there's this apocalyptic ideological battle. So the idea that -- one idea that I think is interesting as, you have 15 members, but only ten of them are appointed in the political fashion. Five of them can only be seated by unanimous agreement of the other ten.
There are other ideas that have been floated too about term limits or about rotating justices up from the appellate bench. I think we should have a national debate about what's appropriate, especially within the framework of the Constitution. But the bottom line is, we've got to make some kind of structural form to depoliticize the Supreme Court.
WALLACE: After Donald Trump's victory in 2016, you wrote an essay in which you said that -- I think it was called something from flyover country. Was that correct?
WALLACE: That -- what you said Democrats have largely, and to their very much their -- their loss (ph), their cost, have ignored the industrial Midwest. How would you take on Donald Trump? And, specifically, how do you beat him in Michigan and Ohio and Wisconsin? That upper rust belt that -- that he took away from the Democrats?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, again, coming from a former auto manufacturing town in the northern part of Indiana, this is my home and I understand why our party largely lost touch. But I don't think it's just about Donald Trump. As a matter of fact, I think in many ways he's a symptom rather than a cause.
Where I come from, there are a lot of people -- and I think there are a lot of viewers of this network who are under no illusions about the character of the president, but voted this way in order to make a statement. Some people, I think, voted to burn the house down because they've seen how, for years, Democratic and Republican presidencies produced economic and social and political results that let them down. We've got to be speaking to people.
WALLACE: OK. I mean I -- forgive me, that seems a little gauzy. So how do you say to the people in those states, you know, that -- that feel that they've been left behind by globalism, things like that, globalization. I've -- I've got a better answer than Donald Trump. Donald Trump talks about jobs. He talks about the -- and the appointment rate is at a record low.
BUTTIGIEG: Yes, that's --
WALLACE: He talked about restoring manufacturing jobs. So --
BUTTIGIEG: Yes. And, look, we've been restoring manufacturing jobs in our community too, but we're realistic about the fact that with automation it's not going to look like the old economy. The president's promise is to turn back the clock, that we can somehow just go back to the 1950s. And it's just not true.
The economy is changing. The pace of change is accelerating. And what we've got to do is master those changes in order to make them work for us. There are some very specific policy moves to do that. Everything from making sure everybody has health care, to increasing the minimum wage, to delivering portable benefits so that when you get disrupted from your job, it's not such a disruption in the rest of your life. There are things that we can and must do to make sure that as these change come -- and, again, they will, with or without us, that we can actually succeed, especially in economically vulnerable communities, like where I come from in the Midwest.
WALLACE: OK, let's -- let's talk about your record because you've been the mayor of South Bend since 2012. Let's put it up on the screen. More than $800 million in private investment, including a resurgence of downtown, more than 4,000 jobs created, more than a thousand abandoned homes demolished or repaired in your first term. But critics point out the violent crime rate in South Bend went up to last year, and you've had a continuing problem with homelessness. And I checked it out yesterday, the unemployment rate of South Bend is higher than the unemployment rate for the state of Indiana as a whole.
So, pluses and minuses, yes?
BUTTIGIEG: It is true that I've not personally resolve the problem of violence, nor the problem of homelessness. But I will say that we're doing more around homelessness than I think has happened in our community in 30 years. And I think that characterization of the violent crime rate isn't quite fair either. When I was a kid, it was not unusual to have more than 20 homicides in South Bend. Last year we had nine. That is obviously nine too many.
WALLACE: I understand. But if you look at your term as mayor, it had gone up until last year.
BUTTIGIEG: That's not really true. It was up and down from year to year. If you look at something like the -- like the homicide rate.
Look, I feel like I've been fighting gun violence and homicide in our community with one hand tied behind my back, but I am proud about everything we have done as a community to come together.
By the way, a low income community. You know, our per capita personal income just went over $20,000 a year. So, yes, we have challenges with -- with economic growth. We have challenges with crime. We have challenges with homelessness. But the way our community has risen to meet those challenges is something I'm very proud of.
WALLACE: Why are you in such a hurry? Why not wait a few years, get some more experience, build up a bigger record, get better known and run for president say at the ripe old age of 41?
BUTTIGIEG: It's not about becoming president. It's not about finding some moment that it's the right --
WALLACE: Well, if you're running for president, it is about becoming president.
BUTTIGIEG: Now, it's about America. It's about what America needs. All the decisions I've made to run for office in my career, and all the decisions I've made to not run for office, are about the moment, what is called for, and then what I bring to the table. I see this very unusual moment.
Look, it's unusual for it to even be possible that a 37-year-old Midwestern mayor is giving national interviews about a possible candidacy for president. But there's something happening right now that calls for something completely different than what we've been seeing. Generationally different, regionally different, somebody with a different life story and a different background.
And to the surprise of many, including myself, this moment could be the only moment, over the last hundred years or the next hundred years, when it's appropriate for somebody like me to be in this conversation. But I'll tell you, with that moment shaping up, I'm not going to miss that moment.
WALLACE: Mayor, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. And we'll be watching you out on the campaign trail.
BUTTIGIEG: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring back or Sunday group to handicap the growing Democratic field for president from Beto to Bernie to the candidate lots of folks are still waiting for, Joe Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Run, Joe, run. Run, Joe, run.
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Literally, not to be melodramatic, but literally the future of the world depends on us.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I think he's got a lot of hand movement. I've never seen so much hand movement. I said, is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Well, former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke announcing his campaign for president and President Trump wasting no time mocking the rising Democratic star.
And we're back now with the panel.
So, he got into the race long on grassroots support and media attention, short on record and specific policy proposals.
Mo, how do you see him faring in this big and sprawling Democratic field?
MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE: I think he's one of the great unknowns of this race, to be honest. You know, there is a big difference between -- I'm a fan of Beto O'Rourke. I think he's a dynamic candidate. He -- but there's a big difference between taking on Ted Cruz in a wave election year in Texas and then running on the national stage against a field of Democrats. And so now all these people who really were impressed by the kind of grassroots campaign he ran in Texas, now are waiting to see how he does out there.
This is the phase of the campaign where candidates are sort of explaining their worldviews, right? The direction they want to take the country. The policy specifics we'll fill in as the campaign progresses. So that's what he's doing now. He's out there saying, I mean, here's what I think the world should look like. We'll see how he does now filling in those details.
WALLACE: Do you think you could get him to stop moving his arms so much?
ELLEITHEE: If -- look, if there's a debate between Beto O'Rourke's hand movements on Donald Trump's hand movements in the general election, I think we're going to have a very dizzy election. But I'll --
WALLACE: I was going to say, take some Dramamine.
Karl, I've been waiting since he announced to ask you, and I want you to call him "Beto." How seriously do you take Beto O'Rourke?
KARL ROVE, CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I take Robert Francis O'Rourke very seriously. Look, he is a -- as Mo said, he's a charismatic candidate. He speaks well. He can rouse a crowd. He's got a sense of authenticity about himself. It was ironic that his announcement was essentially made by a generous interview in a magazine with "vanity" in its title. But he is a very attractive candidate. And he raised $80 million in his Senate race and nearly won a red state.
On the other hand, his record is thin. His ability to talk about these issues is elusive. And the biggest problem I think he's going to face is, is that, look, he had 2017 and through September of 2018 where Ted Cruz, his opponent, never engaged him. And now he's going to be engaged every single day. He saw it -- you know, he gets in and we see an immediate dump of -- of oppo research by somebody on his -- on his background and his record about --
WALLACE: He was involved with a group of hackers and --
ROVE: Right. Exactly. And -- and -- and he -- how he's going to deal with that, because he's been used to -- he's been used to a different kind of a campaign were here had free running range for about 18 months. Interesting to me is, David Plouffe, who's a very smart guy, is now engaged in the campaign.
WALLACE: The campaign manager for Barack Obama.
ROVE: Barack Obama. And the -- does this, a, signal that the Obama-ites are going to get behind him and, b, will he listen to Plouffe because he -- like -- like Plouffe's original boss, Barack Obama, Robert Francis O'Rourke seems to think he is the smartest guy in the campaign and -- and not inclined to listen to advice.
WALLACE: Why do you hate calling him "Beto"?
ROVE: Because it's a phony name. He -- look, when he -- did he -- when he went to Woodberry Forest, the elite boarding school, did he call himself at? That he call himself that at Columbia? Did he call himself that when he was a member of a grunge band? Who -- did he call himself that when he ran a web hosting company? No.
Once he began to run for office, in a heavily Latino county, he stopped calling himself Robert Francis O'Rourke. I'm merely calling him the name that he appears on the ballot by. And -- and I'm not -- I encourage you to give him a new nickname. Robert Francis O'Rourke, R4. R4. It's a good name.
The top contenders in the Democratic race are mostly in with one notable exception. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the United -- of anybody who would run.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: That was last night. He then crossed himself and tried to correct himself on this.
Gerry, how certain are you that he, Joe Biden, is going to run? And how do you assess his strengths and his potential weaknesses if he does get in?
GERALD F. SEIB, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, first of all, how certain? Ninety-five percent. But, I mean, you know, it's Joe Biden. Five percent is still not 0 percent. So I think it's very likely that was a very telling clip, obviously, that you just showed.
Look, this -- this field, which we've been discussing, is not fully formed until Joe Biden is either in or out. And most likely he's going to be in. Then he will test the proposition of how much change do Democrats really want this time? Do they want somebody who's transformational and Mayor Pete would certainly be a completely different kind of candidate, order do they want somebody who's proven at the end of the day because they mostly want to beat Donald Trump? That the highest priority is not ideological, it's pragmatic. We want somebody who's a proven candidate, who can beat President Trump. That's our number one, number two, and number three priorities.
I don't think we know because the activists in the Democratic Party have one answer to that question. The Democratic primary voters en masse may have a different answer to the question. I suspect they're more pragmatic than we think they're going to be and I suspect that means Joe Biden has got a pretty good shot.
WALLACE: Katie, as you look at this field, and let's assume Biden gets in, so he's in the field, who do you think -- and I understand it's awfully early -- but who, at least at this point, do you think would be the one or two candidates that would be the most potential threat to Donald Trump?
KATIE PAVLICH, TOWNHALL.COM EDITOR: I think that Joe Biden would be a very big threat to Donald Trump, just based on the path to 270 and the lessons that have been learned from the 2016 campaign. The Democrats believe that Joe Biden can talk to people in the middle of the country who have been left behind in a similar way that Donald Trump has, but on a more progressive side of the political spectrum.
And it's going to be interesting to watch where the energy is really when it comes down to voting on -- in the Democratic Party because we've seen this leftist populism and this need for an outsider, right? So people who are outside of Washington, both in the Republican and Democratic side. We'll see how that plays out in our primary.
But when it comes to --
WALLACE: Anybody else (INAUDIBLE) Biden?
PAVLICH: I think Biden is the guy, yes, in terms of beating Donald Trump, which is Democrats who I've talked to say that is the goal. But I don't think that Barack Obama is going to jump in as an endorsement actually. I think he's going to wait until the primaries over based on the people who I've talked to about that.
But one thing I want to say about Ohio, for example, I was there a couple weeks ago, and the people there are saying, look, there's no way that people who were Democrats voting for Donald Trump in 2016 are going to just magically switch their votes back to Democrat because there happens to be someone like Joe Biden, who knows how to speak the language. They feel loyal to the president. They feel like he's brought results and jobs back to their communities and they're going to report him for that with a second vote in 2020.
WALLACE: OK. I've got one minute left.
Again, I know it's early, give me the two or three candidates who you think will be around on the Democratic field at the end of the nomination battle?
ELLEITHEE: I don't know, but here's who I'm watching because I think they're really interesting.
ELLEITHEE: I think Joe Biden, obviously, for all the reasons we've been talking about. I think Pete Buttigieg is a fascinating candidate who can make real noise in this race and really help steer the debate. Kamala Harris has been running a very strong campaign so far and how far she can take that. And I think Amy Klobuchar has been a bit of a surprise to a lot of people in these early stages. We'll see if she can sustain some of that early momentum she's seeing.
WALLACE: Anybody else?
SEIB: Amy Klobuchar is my choice for dark horse. You know, a female candidate from the upper industrial Midwest, exactly the place where the Democrats need to win votes back.
WALLACE: And -- and a little bit more in -- in the center.
ROVE: Any --
WALLACE: Hold that thought. And we'll have to do it next time.
Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." A billionaire businessman who was vowing to die broke.
WALLACE: You know many of them, billionaires who give away much of their fortunes to charity, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and Michael Bloomberg. But we've met one who, chances are, you've never heard of. And he's our "Power Player of the Week."
WALLACE: Is it fun to give away money?
T. DENNY SANFORD, BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST: It is. And a joy. It is truly a joy to help other people.
WALLACE (voice over): T. Denny Sanford means what he says. The 83-year-old businessman and philanthropist makes this promise.
SANFORD: I will die broke. Everything is committed to different organizations.
WALLACE (on camera): And why do want to die broke?
SANFORD: My children are well taken care of and my -- my employees are well taken care of. (INAUDIBLE). I will die broke.
WALLACE: Do you have any idea how much money you've given away over the years?
SANFORD: Currently about 1.6 billion.
WALLACE (voice over): Sanford made his fortune in banking and credit cards in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was there in 2003 he donated $16 million to build a children's hospital that looks like this.
SANFORD: They like coming to a Disney castle as opposed to going to a --
WALLACE (on camera): Sterile hospital.
SANFORD: It scares them. This -- this is a joy for them to come.
WALLACE (voice over): His big donation came four years later, $400 million to buy a local hospital system and turn it into Sanford Health. Now 44 hospitals in 20 states and nine countries very focused on cutting edge research.
SANFORD: I'm funding one for type one diabetes, breast cancer, my mother died of breast cancer when I was four. And so that's -- that's a big project.
WALLACE: Sanford received an award in Washington this week from Research America.
SANFORD: Think beyond the life of business success and work towards a life of significance. So, I took that challenge to heart.
WALLACE: And Sanford announced another $25 million gift to do genetic testing of veterans to make sure they get the right treatment.
SANFORD: So we'll have 250,000 vets that have had cancer and now go back to them and find their biomarkers, if you will, to try and determine what is the best medicine for them as opposed to a standard prescription.
WALLACE: You might think given the size of his giving he has a foundation with a big staff. But that's not Denny Sanford's style.
SANFORD: I can do it myself. I have a staff, one person, my full-time assistant, and she helps me through the process. Simple.
WALLACE: Sanford's friends have a nickname for him.
SANFORD: My best friends call me "Wolt," w-o-l-t, the world's oldest living teenager. I'm young at mind -- young at heart and enjoy life.
WALLACE: And like everything else, his plans for the future could not be more direct.
SANFORD: Just keep enjoying life, keep doing -- helping other people. I mean that's -- that's my -- my goal. That's why I'm -- God put me on earth.
WALLACE: Denny Sanford approaches philanthropy like an investor, where can he do the most good for the money he gives away. And before he's done, he says that will be more than $3 billion.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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