This is a rush transcript of "Fox News Sunday" on November 7, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Bill Hemmer, in for Chris Wallace.
Democrats come together handing President Biden a much-needed win after embarrassing outcomes on election night.
REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER (D-NJ): We've reached a historic agreement that marks a major victory for our country, most importantly for helping countless families across America.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): We are united that it is important for us to get both bills done.
HEMMER (voice-over): A trillion dollar infrastructure package that will help repair the nation's airports, roads, and bridges. All this bringing fresh for a second larger bill focused on social spending and climate change programs.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I feel confident that we will have enough votes to pass the Bill Back Better plan.
HEMMER: But that bill faces an uncertain fate in the Senate where moderates have declared "not so fast".
We'll talk with White House senior adviser, Cedric Richmond, about the strategy ahead.
Meanwhile, Republicans look at 2022 after a stunning win in Virginia and a nail-biter in New Jersey.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): If you are a Democrat, if President Biden won your seat by 16 points, you're in a competitive race next year.
HEMMER: We'll ask our panel about the state of play one year from midterms.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: What's the lesson from this week? What do Democrats have to do differently if they want a different outcome a year from now?
HEMMER: Chris Wallace sits down with Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn for a bipartisan discussion on the issues rocking Capitol Hill.
Plus, Chris's exclusive interview with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as he's honored with the Panetta Institute's Jefferson Lincoln Award for Outstanding Journalism.
WALLACE: Reporters don't push agendas. Reporters report the facts.
HEMMER: All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".
HEMMER (on camera): And hello again and welcome.
The concept of infrastructure week has been a running joke in Washington for some time now. But party infighting has repeatedly tanked big bills.
Well, the joke is over. The House, with the help of 13 Republicans, gave Mr. Biden a big win. All of this coming on the heels of devastating losses for Democrats on Tuesday's elections.
In the moment, we'll speak live with White House senior advisor, Cedric Richmond. But, first, I want to turn to Lucas Tomlinson traveling with the president from Rehoboth Beach, in Delaware.
LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Bill, President Biden is calling this a once in a generation opportunity to fix the country's aging infrastructure. The bill would not have passed without Republican support.
BIDEN: Finally, infrastructure week.
TOMLINSON (voice-over): Both the Senate and the House have now passed a bill but the president has not yet signed it into law.
BIDEN: I want people who worked so hard to get this done, Democrats and Republicans, to be here when we sign it.
TOMLINSON: Here's what's in the $1.2 trillion bill -- $110 billion for roads, bridges, and transformational projects, $66 billion for railways,
$65 billion to expand access for high-speed Internet, and $50 billion to protect against droughts, floods, and wildfires.
Six Democrats voted against it, led by Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Thirteen Republicans voted for it. The Democrats' progressive wing had blocked the infrastructure bill for months to force a vote on the other massive piece of legislation, the social spending bill, which will now take place after Congress returns the week of November 15th.
The White House also is upbeat over a better than expected jobs report and Pfizer's antiviral COVID pill showing promising results ahead of a new rollout to vaccinate kids age 5 to 11.
But when asked why Republicans won big in Virginia and nearly pulled off an upset in New Jersey, the president pointed the finger at Congress.
BIDEN: I think the one message that came across was get something done.
TOMLINSON (on camera): Not long after arriving here in Rehoboth Beach, President Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate was blocked by a federal appeals court. The administration says it will defend it in court -- Bill.
HEMMER: Thank you, Lucas. Lucas Tomlinson, reporting from Delaware, nice to see you today.
With me now, senior adviser to the president, Cedric Richmond.
And, Mr. Richmond, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday".
CEDRIC RICHMOND, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for having me.
HEMMER: You bet.
President Biden was asked yesterday about the outcomes of Virginia and New Jersey. He concluded the following when asked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time to get something done. Stop -- you all stop talking, get something done. And so, I think, again, that's what the American people are looking for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: So, one Democrat, Abigail Spanberger from Virginia, told this to "The New York Times": Nobody elected him to be FDR. They elected him to be normal and to stop the chaos.
So, is she wrong?
RICHMOND: I think she is.
People elected President Biden to do big things. One is to the pandemic under control. We lost 750,000 Americans.
And let's just point to the economy. The president has added 5.6 million jobs in this economy, and brought the unemployment rate down to 4.6 percent two years faster than the Congressional Budget Office expected. That's big things, doing infrastructure and getting this bipartisan bill done that many presidents could not do. That's big things.
And the president has an ambitious plan for this -- the American people, for the American economy, and he's going to invest in them.
RICHMOND: If you want to describe it as FDR-like, then it's FDR-like.
HEMMER: Yeah. Any time you spent a trillion dollars, there's a lot of junk inside of it. Here's just some of what we found.
We found salmon recovery. We found wildlife crossing safety research. Money for "healthy streets" to expand tree cover. And more food and beverage services on the Amtrak train.
Once Americans learn about this, is this what they really want?
RICHMOND: No, and I would fight back about the description of it as junk.
I mean, we're making investments in the bunch of things. And we have a very diverse country and there are many things that are important to aspects of American population that you may not think is important.
But overall, this bill is an investment in our infrastructure, bringing down temporary inflationary pressures and creating jobs, all at the same time while investing in our environment.
HEMMER: Well, the first $1 trillion might be the easy one.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is one of your main skeptics. Here he is from Thursday morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): If anything, I would say is the rush to this, and I've said this long before, I truly believe that we need to slow down. I truly believe that we need to wait and see if inflation is transitory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: So, that doesn't sound like a Democrat you can win over in a 50/50 Senate.
RICHMOND: Senator Joe Manchin has been a partner and he's a lot more conservative and everybody sees that. But he's been a willing partner to come to the table with constructive dialogue. And we are confident in where we would go with our bipartisan -- well, our Build Back Better framework.
We're optimistic were going to get it done and the truth is we need to get it done. We need to get it done now, because if you look at the 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists, they said that it will ease inflationary pressures, help with the supply chain, and invest in the human capital in this country all at one time.
HEMMER: And with the argument we've heard repeatedly over the past couple of weeks.
But there's another Democrat, Hakeem Jeffries, who said this: We don't envision any of these programs being short-lived. This would be something that we could put into play, setting us on a permanent trajectory.
You wonder where the trajectory goes. If that's the case, here's the argument from the Republican leader in the House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): There will not be a CBO score until Thanksgiving. One clue we have of the price tag, however, comes from Wharton School. Their budget model, it states that the true cost of the Democrats' bill is $4 trillion. That's twice as high as Democrats have advertised, or even four times because of president says it costs nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: How do you justify that amount?
RICHMOND: I think the leader is wrong, as a usual.
The bill he's talking about is the bill that Republicans continue to describe, which is continuous misinformation. Our bill costs $1.75 trillion, $1.9 trillion as being amended, and what we raise in terms of revenue is somewhere around $2.1 trillion.
But the real time is we're paying for every penny of this bill and what we're going to do is cut taxes for the working family. So, if you talk about the child tax credit where the overwhelming majority of families that have children will get a tax cut, that is important. And we're going to do it by asking corporations and the wealthy to pay a little bit more. We're proud of that. We stand behind it.
But the Penn School analysis, they're analyzing and projecting on a bill that is not the Bill Back Better bill. And they make assumptions that are just not factual.
HEMMER: This doesn't cost a thing, whether it's $1.8 trillion or $4 trillion, depending on who's right?
RICHMOND: It is fully paid for. It's more than paid for. And it will lead to long-term debt reduction. That is a fact. The bill that we laid out will do that.
And what Penn does, which is patently false, is make assumptions about what Congresses will do years from now, decades from now.
So, our thing is look at the bill that's in front of us. It's the third prong to our economic agenda which producing great results and we're going to keep pushing for it because it's now time to invest in American people once and for all.
HEMMER: OK. President Biden also says one thing that will help the economy recovers the mandate for vaccines at U.S. companies. Yet late on Saturday, a federal appeals court put a stay in that order.
And "The Dallas Morning News" writes this: What's clear is that any company found to be in violation of the new mandates could put many companies already struggling during the pandemic out of business.
So, if you win on the court challenge, do you upend the recovery?
RICHMOND: Absolutely not. And if you look at our American Rescue Plan, we saved so many small businesses and big businesses alike. That is not the goal.
And what the OSHA rule is, is by January 4th, you either you get the vaccination or you implement a testing regime. So, as described as a mandate, that's just not true. And what we want is for people to get the vaccine.
And remember, OSHA's job is to protect workers. We lost 750,000 Americans due to this pandemic, 13,000 a day. And people should be able to go to work in a safe environment.
And so, if that means doing something that is tough, that's what this president does. He does courageous things over and over again, but it's always with the best interest of the public at heart.
And so, this is where we are and we think we're on solid legal grounds.
HEMMER: OK. Let's see where the case unwinds itself in the court.
There's still confusion on another topic, as to whether or not the government will make payments to illegals. Here's what the president said on Saturday when asked about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: If, in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you coming across the border, whether it's legal or illegal, and you lost your child -- you lost her child, he's gone, you deserve some kind of compensation no matter what the circumstance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: So, again, that was yesterday. On Wednesday, however, he said this to FOX News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Do you think that that might incentivize more people to come over illegally?
BIDEN: If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah. But it's not true.
DOOCY: So, this is a garbage report?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: So, within an hour of that comment, the ACLU said, quote, President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department, and went on from there.
Was he in the loop to begin with?
RICHMOND: The president is in the loop. But the president said at the beginning of his administration, on the campaign trail, that he would have an independent Department of Justice, that he would not direct the Department of Justice what to do.
And if you go back to the question, the question was from a FOX reporter asking about whether compensation for being separated and losing a child would be an incentive to come to America. And what he was saying was that was an absurd question from the beginning. No one is coming somewhere to lose their child, to be separated from their loved one.
And the question is so insensitive, disrespectful, that that's what he's commenting too.
And I would ask a question of you whether you support that. I mean, at some point, we cannot with a straight face say that parents are willing to separate from a child for a dollar amount. That's just not true. And we should not talk like that.
RICHMOND: We keep saying we're better than that, but we're not acting like that.
HEMMER: If the amount is not forwarded $450,000, what amount is it?
RICHMOND: That's for the Justice Department to decide. If it shows that it saves taxpayers money, if it rights a wrong and the Justice Department determines that there is compensation that should be paid, that is an independent Justice Department.
But, again, the question is, we took children -- that President Trump took children from their parents and some children have never been returned. Do we think that's okay?
HEMMER: There are others who make the case about the victims of fentanyl abuse that crossed the border. There are others talk about the women who were abused along the track across the border as well.
But just back to this amount of $450,000. That would be about four times the amount that we afford Gold Star families.
RICHMOND: We -- we don't talk dollar amounts. That is the Department of Justice. The question about whether it is an incentive to come across to the United States to be separated from your child so that you can get paid is an absurd assumption.
HEMMER: So, there will be --
RICHMOND: No question.
HEMMER: Yeah, there will be a settlement then from this administration.
That dollar amount to be determined, am I clear on that?
RICHMOND: No. I want to be clear about this. We do not tell the Department of Justice what to do. The Department of Justice is an independent agency.
HEMMER: I understand that. But what you're saying is that you would be okay with payment of a certain amount, correct?
RICHMOND: I don't approve or justify what the DOJ does. If the DOJ determines that it saves the taxpayers' money and it rights a wrong, then they will make the determination that is necessary. And I would assume if they make a determination, they'll come up with what they think is an adequate dollar amount.
HEMMER: Let's see where that ends up then.
Sir, thank you for your time. Cedric Richmond, good to talk with you again.
RICHMOND: Thanks for having me.
In a moment here, we'll bring in our Sunday group to help read the tea leaves from last week's elections and what it could mean for next year's midterms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), VIRGINIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: Friends, we are going to start that transformation on day one. There is no time to waste.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: So, the soon to be governor of Virginia there, Glenn Youngkin, and Republicans first win at statewide office in that state in 12 years.
Now, it's time for our Sunday group. Former chief of staff to Mike Pence, Marc Short is here; Catherine Lucey who covers the White House for "The Wall Street Journal"; and FOX News political analyst, Juan Williams.
And all three of you, welcome to your broadcast today.
Marc, a Republican stunner on Tuesday. What do you think we learn from that vote?
MARC SHORT, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO MIKE PENCE: Well, Bill, I think that we learn that he is a great candidate and he was able to appeal to voters in droves. But in the worlds of Yogi Berra, it's deja vu of all over again.
In 2009, when Republicans last won with Bob McDonnell, it was when Obama was president, Biden was vice president, and you just passed a massive shovel-ready stimulus bill.
And what Democrats said is they said the reason we lost with Chris -- Chris Christie won and Bob McDonnell won is because we haven't done enough, we need to get Obamacare passed. Obamacare didn't pass until the spring of 2020. Democrats learn the wrong lesson then, and it appears on the same path again.
Americans are feeling pain more at the pump. They're paying more at grocery stores. Inflation is run away and all Democrats are doing is passing trillions and trillions of dollars of additional spending.
SHORT: And just like 2010, it is a precursor to next year's midterms.
HEMMER: Juan, that's an interesting point. Is there a disconnect between what people for and the direction the Democrats are heading?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the disconnect in terms of Democrats in Washington was the delay in delivering on those big promises and making a public show of so much infighting. It was a self- inflicted wound, Bill.
I think on the issues, if that's what you're referring to, the AP/FOX News vote cast said that voters in Virginia ranked the economy was in number one issue followed by COVID and then education, the culture war is issue.
And, you know, the economy, look back at this week. I think Democrats are doing quite well. Biden had a great jobs report. Employment is low, stock market is high. We have concerns about the inflation, but wages are rising and he passed the infrastructure bill which is a very popular bill, and in the wings is the Build Back safety net bill which is even more popular with the voters.
HEMMER: We'll see --
WILLIAMS: So, I think there's not a -- there's not a disconnect there. If Trump was in office, he would say this is the greatest American economy ever. Things are really -- the economy is roaring.
HEMMER: Catherine, would things -- and I know you speak with those in the West Wing all the time, would things have looked differently if the election were things coming Tuesday?
CATHERINE LUCEY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: That is sort of a postgame question, right, Bill? I mean -- but certainly Terry McAuliffe and his allies argued ahead of the race that they would benefit if this agenda was passed, if action was happening.
But as we know and as Marc said, in reference to suburban voters, a big part of the focus of these races were local issues. You know, voters were really voting on concerns around the economy, around schools, around safety. So, it wasn't just about the president's agenda.
Certainly, though, since Tuesday, Democrats have taken this as a wake-up call. Use of the infrastructure bill passed in the White House now really thinks that they need to make an effort to pitch a spell. They're going to spend a lot of time putting the president on the road and put in cabinet members out there and trying to convince voters ahead of midterms that this bill really connects with them and provides them with direct benefits.
HEMMER: Very interesting as a backdrop. Another big winner from Tuesday night, Winsome Sears as lieutenant governor. Watch here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINSOME SEARS (R), VIRGINIA LT. GOVERNOR-ELECT: I'm telling you that what you are looking at is the American dream. The American dream.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: Pretty remarkable story, first woman of color to be elected statewide in Virginia, and suddenly, the midterms look very different.
Larry Sabato and his crystal ball already moving several Senate races and here they are. Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada have loomed moved from leaning Democrats to toss ups. Colorado moved from safe to likely Democrat.
Now, Juan, are Republicans -- who you mentioned the issues a moment ago, are they right on the issues here and education, crime, and economy, where they can no flip both houses next year?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think if you're looking at history, Bill, you'd have to say history is on the Republican side. That certainly has happened in first terms for recent presidents. You know, the exception would be George W.
Bush after 9/11.
But Clinton lost bag in '94, Obama lost in 2010. So, the GOP has history on their side. But they have also, remember, this is a different era because they got a Trump problem. In Virginia, they had a candidate who didn't, you know, act like Trump and didn't campaign with Trump.
But going into all these big Senate races, Trump is going to have a big voice in primaries and selecting the candidates. That wasn't the case in Virginia. Youngkin was selected in a convention and not a primary.
So, they've got to figure out how to deal with Trump and whether or not that could be a turnoff in general election races.
HEMMER: Yeah, you're right about history. You're right about Clinton and Obama. You wonder if Biden has the same ability now.
Marc, 12 months is a long time from now. But, I mean, to Juan's point, if Democrats are right and the movement in Congress this weekend, could it actually help their agenda? What's your view on that?
SHORT: Bill, again, if the Democrats lesson learned from Tuesday is they need to spend trillions of additional dollars, then I think Republicans will have an exceptionally good year in the midterms in 2022. It's in my mind very similar to the dynamic set up in 2010 when Democrats control the House, the Senate and the White House and they continue to push radical proposals even after the 2009 elections.
It seems we're on a very similar path this time and I think it's -- the agenda is bad for America but the outcome politically for Republicans is going to be very good for 2022.
HEMMER: Yeah, very interest -- I think that brings us to the ultimate question, Catherine, I mentioned you cover the White House for a living, they have essentially doubled down. How much concern is there, if at all, that too much spending is just too much for voters?
LUCEY: Well, what you see in recent weeks, as I've talked about these bills, Bill, is that they try to focus the attention away from the top line cost and sort of what's in the bill and how they're going to try to pay for them. So, things like tax credits, you know, prekindergarten, child care.
But, certainly, this debate around cost is not going away. And I think we'll see that in the coming weeks. Moderate Democrats are looking from a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. Senator Joe Manchin has expressed concerns about the cost of the social spending plan and what will happen if these programs are extended in the long-term.
HEMMER: Thank you to all.
Marc, you have a prediction now. I mean, you do not 12 months in advance?
SHORT: You know, look, I don't think that 63 is the same number because Republicans are in the higher baseline. But I certainly think they'll back the House and the Senate.
HEMMER: We shall see and we'll follow it every step of the way. Nice to see you, Marc, Juan, Catherine, thank you very much for being here.
In a moment, Chris sits down with two key members of the House from both sides of the aisle. How they balance being partisan and patriotic.
HEMMER: Coming up, Chris sits down with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on the state of Washington today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: How do you balance being partisan with being patriotic?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: His exclusive with Congresswoman Liz Cheney and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn is one you don't want to miss.
HEMMER: For the past 21 years, the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, founded by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, has honored men and women for their lives to public service. And this year the honorees include the anchor of this program, our own Chris Wallace. And he's talking with two of the other recipients today.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Bill, thanks.
This weekend, the institute hands out its Jefferson Lincoln awards, and I am honored that I'll be sharing a stage with my two next guests, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney and House Democratic Whip James Clyburn.
I want to start with this award that we're all winning for commitment to the principles of democracy. In your case, loyalty to country over party.
Congressman Clyburn, you are a solid liberal. Congresswoman Cheney, you are a fiercely conservative.
So, let me start in -- let me start with you, Congressman Clyburn. How do you balance being partisan with being patriotic?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Very easily. I stay true to the Constitution. I stay true to what I consider the vision of this country with liberty and justice for all. And I emphasize all.
I always say that my vision for public service is to make America's greatness accessible and affordable for all. If it's health care, I want it to be accessible and affordable. Housing, accessible and affordable.
Education. That's just it. And if you do that, remaining true to the Constitution of the United States, it's easy.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Cheney, how do you balance being partisan and patriotic?
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): You know, I think a lot of it has to do with being focused on substance and recognizing that there are places where we're going to differ and that we ought to, you know, be engaged in fierce debates about those principles and the differences in substance and policy.
But -- but that, at the end of the day, we're all Americans and -- and we have to remember that we're able to have those debates, have those discussions and differences of opinion because we have a firm, solid foundation in our Constitution. And -- and our commitment to the Constitution has got to come above partisanship.
WALLACE: Congressman Clyburn, you have been in Congress for almost three decades now. Has the polarization, has the inability to solve our big national problems ever been worse?
CLYBURN: Well, not since I've been here. I got close back up '94 through '96. And I was here for -- for the Gingrich (ph) years and things got very polarized. Acrimony was the order of the day. But it's a little worse now.
And I think it's because of the advent of social media. People tend to try to answer everything in sound bytes. And that can be very disconcerting.
And so I think that that's what's caused a problem more than anything else.
WALLACE: As someone -- you know, we've -- we're all -- well, I can't say that about you Congresswoman, but Congressman Clyburn and I, we're old- timers. I've been in Washington --
WALLACE: I bet longer than you have, 40 years. And, you know, there were always divisions and we always argued about policy. What strikes me that's different now, and not just now, but in recent years, is we argue over facts. We argue over the truth.
Congresswoman Cheney, there is talk now - talk that January 6th was a false flag operation, that it was a case of liberals and the deep state setting up conservatives and Trump supporters.
Is there any truth to that?
CHENEY: None at all. You know, it's the same kind of thing that you hear from people who say that 9/11 was an inside job, for example. It is -- it's un-American to be spreading those kinds of lies. And they are lies.
And we have an obligation that goes beyond partisanship and an obligation that we share, Democrats and Republicans together, to make sure that we understand every single piece of the facts about what happened that day and to make sure the people who did it are held accountable. And to call it a false flag operation, to spread those kinds of lies is really dangerous.
WALLACE: Congressman Clyburn, I think it's fair to say that your endorsement of Joe Biden, just before the South Carolina primary, saved his campaign and propelled him to the nomination and eventually to the presidency.
When you look at what's happened these last few months, maybe the last two months, between Afghanistan and inflation and problems at the border and 40 percent approval, what's going wrong with this president?
CLYBURN: Well, I don't know that anything is going wrong. The country's in a bad place. We have a pandemic. I happened to chair the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus. And I can tell you, you'd be surprised at how much went wrong with trying to combat this virus. And that put everybody in a pretty bad way.
Education is being called into question because kids were out of school and couldn't go to school. People out of work. And now we're trying to bring the economy back and you've got all of these other things happening.
So the country's in a bad place. It was a real tough time to become president of the United States. It's just that simple.
WALLACE: I -- I -- I understand that, but I think when he was elected people thought, he's going to be a centrist, he's going to be relatively moderate, he's going to be competent and all of that's been called into question now.
CLYBURN: Well, it's called into question because, you know, you've got a
50/50 Senate, exactly 50/50, and it's nearly a 50/50 House if we gather the three vote margin. And so, that kind of thing will cause you to have to cater to one or two people. And we've seen what has happened with trying to pull together this so-called Build Back Better legislation.
Well, everybody agreed on infrastructure. You can always agree on whether or not to build the roads and the bridges and create the water and sewage that you need and fix your rail and your ports.
But it's something else again when you start getting into new stuff, like broadband, like affordable housing. All of these are infrastructure issues, but they are not traditional infrastructure issues. And so this kind of transition has got to be made. And whoever is making it will have the headwinds to deal with.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Cheney, I suspect one of the reasons that you are being honored is because you spoke out against President Trump after the insurrection, because you were one of the few Republicans who was willing to join the January 6th Committee, the committee investigating what happened.
The flip side of that is that you lost your leadership position among House Republicans, you face a tough primary challenge in your state of Wyoming this next year. Why wouldn't members of both parties look at your example and say, that's the last thing I want to do?
CHENEY: Well, I fundamentally believe, Chris, that at the end of the day the success of this country and the future and the security of our constitutional underpinnings require that there is a recognition that there are some times when you do have to say, you know, partisanship has to be put aside.
And I think that we've got to have two strong parties in this country. And I think the only way the Republican Party can go forward in strength is if we reject the lie. If we reject what happened on January 6th, if we reject the efforts that President Trump made, frankly, to steal the election, and if we tell voters the truth, and if we present ourselves to voters based on substance.
You know, I believe firmly in conservative principles and ideals. And I think those are the ones that are right for the nation. But in order to prevail, in order to win elections, we have to remember the most conservative of conservative ideals is embracing the Constitution, and the rule of law.
And so I just -- I think that, at the end of the day, that's much more important than party politics.
WALLACE: Congressman Clyburn, finally, Democrats had a bad night on Tuesday.
WALLACE: You said recently, even before Tuesday night, you questioned whether or not Democrats have developed, you put it, quote, the will to win in the 2022 midterms.
What's the lesson from this week? What do Democrats have to do differently if they want a different outcome a year from now?
CLYBURN: We have to develop the will.
WALLACE: What's that mean?
CLYBURN: And developing the will, it means putting aside personal agenda.
And that, to me, has been a problem for us.
You know, when people get elected, they get elected on a certain platform.
They come here and you've got to have 218 votes to get anything done. And a lot of the times people have problems sitting aside what may have gotten them here in order to get a bigger agenda moving forward. That takes a lot of willpower, and we have to develop the will.
WALLACE: And is it the moderates who have to change, or the progressives who are overreaching with a three-vote majority in the House and zero vote majority --
CLYBURN: We know -- I always say, my dad was a very conservative guy. He was a minister. But he never asked his audience for a conservative offering. He always asked for a liberal offering.
And so I grew up believing that there are times when one must be conservative and there are times when you should be liberal. And we have to know when to balance the -- how to balance those.
WALLACE: And what's this time?
CLYBURN: Well, this time, right now, to -- for us to get beyond that which divides us and find common ground.
WALLACE: Congressman Clyburn, Congresswoman Cheney, thank you so much. And I am surprised and honored that I'll be sharing the stage with you this weekend.
See you in California.
CHENEY: Thanks, Chris.
CLYBURN: Look forward to it. Thank you.
HEMMER: And up next we'll go to California. Chris sits down with the founder of Panetta Institute for Public Policy. We'll talk about the state of democracy in America today.
HEMMER: Over the past year, the country has endured the COVID pandemic, a weakened economy and some unrest overseas. We've also watched a Congress divided. While Chris is a recipient of this year's Jefferson Lincoln Award for Public Service, and we go back to him now for his interview with the statesman behind it all.
WALLACE: Bill, thanks again.
I'm here in California with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, whose Panetta Institute has decided for some reason to honor me, along with members of Congress, Jim Clyburn and Liz Cheney. And despite that obvious lapse in judgment, we're going to talk about the state of our democracy.
Thank you for having me here, Mr. Secretary.
LEON PANETTA, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, welcome to Monterey, and welcome to the Panetta Institute. It's good to have you.
WALLACE: So, the award and the Panetta Institute are all about commitment to the principles of democracy in politics and in journalism.
You spent the better part of 50 years, a half century in Washington, working both with Republicans and Democrats.
What is the state of our politics and our government today?
PANETTA: I was talking about national security the other day and asked some questions about the threats to our national security. And, of course, there are a lot of danger points in the world.
But I said, the greatest threat to our national security is the dysfunction in our democracy, the inability of Republicans and Democrats to be able to really work together in order to resolve the issues facing our democracy.
Governing is critical to our democracy. Governing is in danger today.
WALLACE: When you look at the polarization in Washington and our failure to address big national problems, when you look at the debate, not over policy, but over facts, over truth, the question to me is, why?
And I asked Jim Clyburn this earlier this week, and he said social media.
But it's got to be more than just that.
PANETTA: Yes, I think it is. It's about putting party over country.
And when you put party over country, you're willing to say whatever's necessary in order to be able to put down the other party and also to gain power. That's the principle focus, rather than the ability to govern and deal with the issues that you're confronting.
If they refuse to be -- to look at the truth, look at the facts, be willing to listen to one another, be willing to find consensus, to work together, that is the heart of governing.
And if you're not willing to do those elements, then you're going to have total confrontation and gridlock. And that's what we have.
WALLACE: Let's talk a little bit of current politics. Democrats, I think it's fair to say, took a shellacking on Tuesday in elections across the country. What do you think voters were saying?
PANETTA: I think voters were expressing the same frustration they've been exhibiting for the last few elections, which is Washington is not working.
Here I am trying to deal with problems facing my family. I'm trying to get a job, be able to provide security, give my kids an education, be able to take care of the healthcare problems of my family. I'm facing all of these issues and Washington is not working. Washington's dysfunctional.
WALLACE: So, did they take it out on the Democrats this time because the Democrats are in charge?
PANETTA: I think they took it out on the Democrats because the Democrats are in charge, and they, obviously, were not passing bills and showing that they can make Washington work. And they did the same thing to the Republicans over exactly the same frustration.
The price you pay -- I mean, I often tell the students here at the Panetta Institute, we govern in our democracy by leadership or by crisis.
If leadership is there, you can avoid crisis. But if it's not there, we govern by crisis. But there's a price to be paid. You lose the trust of the American people in our system of governing.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about a crisis, and let's talk about Joe Biden.
During the chaos surrounding the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, you said that he should do what President Kennedy did after the Bay of Pigs disaster. He should take full responsibility for it.
Instead, in his address to the nation when the withdrawal is out -- was over, he said that the withdrawal, the operation was a, quote, extreme success. Mistake?
PANETTA: Yes, I -- I think -- I've -- I -- you know, I've told presidents this in the various jobs that I've had, that the most important thing about the responsibility as president is to be honest with the American people.
And that means not only taking credit for your successes, it means telling the American people when you make a mistake, because they know you've made a mistake, you know you've made a mistake.
And, frankly, to play this game of kind of always portray even your worst mistakes as some kind of success hurts your credibility as president of the United States.
WALLACE: I mean people see it. And if you're not willing to acknowledge it, then -
PANETTA: Exactly. Exactly. They know - they know you've made a mistake. The president knows he made mistakes here. I mean it was no secret. He made the decision. However you - whatever you decide about the decision he made, the execution of a presidential decision decides whether or not it's going to be a success or a failure. That execution was not conducted right.
WALLACE: Now we've got the disarray over trying to get the president's domestic agenda through both the House and the Senate. And it seems to me, he's trying to govern like FDR or LBJ when he's got razor thin margins.
What do you think of both the legislative strategy of this president and this White House and also just the plain immense size of the package he's trying to get through?
PANETTA: Well, you know, I - I always - I always know that there's kind of a mindset in the White House that somehow, let's do something big. That's important for your legacy. And so president's think that way. I understand that.
But in our system, the key is to get things done. And that means that not everything can be a huge package. You're going to have to work on elements that are important for the country and decide how you get those elements through that are workable, where you can Democrats and Republicans to come together and be able to get it through.
Infrastructure is a good example of that. You've got a bipartisan infrastructure bill. That's a major achievement. Get the damn thing passed.
WALLACE: And get it to his desk. And then, if they got this other big -
PANETTA: If you've got this other one, you may want to - you know, you're dealing with social policy, you're dealing with tax credits, you're dealing with healthcare, you're dealing with a number of issues. That's a very big package.
You know, I remember when - when Bill Clinton tried to get healthcare passed, and it was a large package, but he couldn't - he could not put the pieces together.
Ultimately, what they did is they started passing separate parts of that bill through. And they were successful. I think there's a lesson to be learned here.
WALLACE: Well, you talk about Bill Clinton. I remember back in 1994, when Bill Clinton took you out of the budget, OMB, and made you the White House chief of staff, and you brought in discipline and focus and helped set things right for Bill Clinton in year two of his presidency.
Does this Biden White House need a reboot and, frankly, does it maybe need a shakeup in some of the senior staff?
PANETTA: Well, that's a decision that the president has to make up. It's not - it's not a decision for his chief of staff to make, it's not a decision for his staff to make, it's a decision that Joe Biden has to make in his guts as to whether or not he needs that.
I mean Joe has been around a long time, and I've known him for a long time.
I think he understands politics, he understands the dangers of politics, he understands what it takes to get things done.
He's got to decide, do I have - do I have a staff and an administration that is competent to get things done, or am I in trouble? In other words, are - are the pieces of government that have to work not working?
If that's the case, then, yes, you've got to be able to say, damn it, I've got to get people in there that know how to push people around, get discipline, and get competence, because, in the end, whatever you want to do as president, if you can't get it done, then you're not going to have much of a legacy.
WALLACE: And sitting here, 3,000 miles away from Washington, as the head of the Panetta Institute, what's your answer?
PANETTA: My answer is that you have to continue to work at this job. You can't just accept what you've got if it's not working well. You've got to be - you've got to have the ability to adjust, you have to have the ability to kind of look at where you've got to strengthen your staff, and you have to look at, how the hell do I get things done so that I can get a message to the American people that I care about them and I'm trying to do the right thing? Those are the pieces he's got to focus on.
WALLACE: Mr. Secretary, thank you. Thank you for talking to us. Thank you for inviting me out here to the Panetta Institute. It's going to be a great weekend.
PANETTA: It's great. We really look forward to the ability to honor you and the others and our democracy.
WALLACE: What a mistake on your part, sir.
HEMMER: We don't think so.
In a moment, Chris is honored by the Panetta Institute for his contributions to journalism and we will bring you that special moment, next.
HEMMER: Well, Leon Panetta considers Chris Wallace to be tough and objective and tenacious. And Chris reflected on his approach to the job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Commitment to the principles of democracy. Commitment to responsible journalism. That's a pretty great honor.
You know, I get stopped a fair amount these days by people who want to praise me for being fair, for playing it straight. And while I like praise as much as the next person, I have to say, I find it a little bit sad because when I started at "The Boston Globe" 52 years ago, being fair, playing it straight was the very least that people expected of you. It wasn't something you got praise for, it -- it was what kept you from getting fired.
Now, it's something that stands out. It's something that you do get praise for, which I think is a pretty disturbing commentary on the state of our journalism today.
Look, it's simple, reporters don't take sides. Reporters don't push agendas. Reporters report the facts. And facts and the truth are non- negotiable.
I -- I like to think of my job interviewing politicians in Washington as a little bit like being the cop on the beat swinging the nightstick and trying to keep everybody honest. That's what I was taught that journalism was when I started so long ago, and that's what I intend to do as long as I am practicing journalism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: Well-stated. Congratulations again to our friend and colleague.
And that does it for today.
Chris is back next Sunday.
I will see you tomorrow with my colleague, Dana Perino, on "AMERICA'S NEWSROOM." Every day on the Fox News Channel we start at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. So, come join us.
Until them, have a great week and we will see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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