Gov. Chris Christie discusses his presidential bid

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," July 5, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, GUEST ANCHOR: I’m Shannon Bream, in for Chris Wallace.

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Chris Christie makes 14. But is he four years too late?


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: I mean, listen, campaigns matter. If they didn't, we’d elect people right now.

BREAM: How will his straight talking style play outside New Jersey?

You’re a pretty hard charging guy?

And what about bridgegate?

CHRISTIE: When you're exonerated, then the people who wrongly accused you should have the guts to stand up and say, "I’m sorry."

BREAM: The governor sits down to discuss his candidacy only on "Fox News Sunday."

Then, Iran nuclear negotiations extended for another week.

We'll ask our Sunday panel whether the U.S. and partners are willing to walk away from a bad deal.


BREAM: Plus, what does the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage mean for religious freedom? We'll debate with Kelly Shackelford, former president of Liberty Institute, and Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry.

All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."


BREAM: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

This holiday weekend, there's no shortage of politics on the plate as many presidential hopefuls descended on the early voting state of New Hampshire to march in Fourth of July parades. Among them, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who entered the race this week as an underdog, unlike in 2012 when he was a GOP rising star and courted by party elites to run for president.

We caught up with the governor on Friday in New Hampshire, which is shaping up to be a do-or-die state for his 2016 ambitions.


BREAM: Governor, you seem to be having a very good time here in New Hampshire.

CHRISTIE: I am. I’m having a great time. We've been here since Tuesday evening, after I announced in New Jersey on Tuesday morning. And we've been traveling all over the state. My wife and I, we’re having a great time.

BREAM: You know here, as well as across the country, you’ve got some ground to make up. I think the average of polling here has you sixth in New Hampshire. Across the country, nine. So, you're sort of on the bubble with the first debate with FOX News. We're going to have ten.

How do you work to assure yourself a spot and overcome sort of where you’re polling right now?

CHRISTIE: You work. I mean, listen, campaigns matter. If they didn't, we'd elect people right now. Campaigns matter, how you present yourself, the ideas you put forward and your own personality, all of that matters.

And so, I intend to use this campaign to work incredibly hard not only here in New Hampshire but in Iowa and South Carolina and other states as well, to present my ideas and to present myself. And I think it will make a difference.

BREAM: How do you break away from the pack at this point?

CHRISTIE: Well, I think it's hard to tell how anybody breaks away from the pack. No one has broken away from the pack at this point. You have 14 or 15 or 16 candidates, but I think in the end, what matters are the quality of your ideas and the strength of your character and what you're going to bring to this job.

I think what the American people want now more than anything else is a strong and decisive leader, so unlike what we've had in the Oval Office for nearly the last seven years.

And people who know me know that I do not have a problem making decisions and that I will be strong and I'll be clear and direct. And that's what people want, I think.

BREAM: Well, your slogan is "Telling It Like It Is." And you've said your mom said don't ever try to be somebody that you're not. So, clearly, that is something that's worked for you.

But let's talk about new polling numbers from Monmouth University in New Jersey, showing that a majority of people there are not happy with you. They don't approve of the job that you're doing. They think that your political future's more important to you than taking care of New Jersey.

How do you respond?

CHRISTIE: Well, I think it's a natural thing to happen, Shannon, once you decide to run for president. You're asking for another job. And I think it's a natural thing and a natural reaction for people to have.

But if you look at my career in New Jersey over the last six years, my poll numbers have gone everywhere from the 40s to the 70s and everywhere in between. It cycles because I take on the hard fights. And when I have political capital, when I'm in the 60s or 70s, I spend it to do pension reform, to do teacher tenure reform, to veto income tax increases. And sometimes, that's not popular.

So, we'll go up and down and I bet you it'll cycle back up again before we're through this process.

BREAM: You mentioned pensions. So let's talk about that. It's been one of the key things that you've been working on. You had a big win from your state supreme court on that issue. But there's still a long way to go.

How do you get there and convince people that you can get the big things done?

CHRISTIE: Well, because we have already. When you think about we've capped property taxes in New Jersey at 2 percent, we've cut business taxes $2.3 billion, and we spend $2.3 billion less today than we did in fiscal year '08. Those were all tough things. And we've gone through one round of significant pension and benefit reform which is saving $120 billion over the next 30 years. We have more to do.

I have a Democratic legislature I've got to try and convince of that, and really recalcitrant unions who don't want to believe that because of the benefits they've asked for their pensions are going broke. So, I'm just going to keep talking about it and working hard the way I am about entitlement reform, which we need to do in our country as well.

BREAM: That is something you've been willing to take on; a lot of people aren't because we remember the commercials the last time around, Grandma in the wheelchair getting pushed off a cliff.

Why are you willing to tackle that? It's never been popular.

CHRISTIE: Shannon, you know and I know a lot of the viewers who are watching know, 71 percent of federal spending in this year's budget are on entitlements and debt service.

If we don't deal with this we can’t invest in national defense. We can't invest in education. We can’t invest in infrastructure, the things that people want us to do in the government. We're not going to be able to afford to do and those programs are going to go insolvent.

That's not -- that's just not acceptable to me nor is a massive tax increase on the American people to pay for it.

So we need to reform these programs and we can do it and we can do it in a way that's not going to throw anybody off the cliff. And I've put that plan forward and I'm going to keep talking about it. It's the third rail of American politics. They say don't touch it. I'm going to hug it.

BREAM: OK. Well, you make get shocks. We know that's what happens in the third rail.


BREAM: But how do you convince Capitol Hill? They don't get a whole lot done there these days in Washington and that's a massive lift.

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I've worked with a Democratic legislature for the last six years in New Jersey, 24-16 in the senate, 48-32 in the lower house. And through being tough and decisive and knowing when to compromise, because that's not a dirty word. We got to compromise sometimes but we've gotten a lot of things done in New Jersey because of that. I know how to going to those things done; those are the same skills that I'll bring to Washington.

It'll never be easy, Shannon. Never be easy for any president to deal with any Congress. But we got to work together. We got to get things done.

The American people are tired. They're tired of the bickering in Washington, D.C., and the lack of action. One thing they'll never say about me is that I lack action.

BREAM: That's true.

Now, let's talk about compromise because in recent weeks you have been very critical of some of the current appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court. You've said that you -- not a big fan of some of what the chief justices' done recently. But you would appoint justices like New Jersey's own Sam Alito.

But there are those who say when you had that opportunity in New Jersey to make over the New Jersey supreme court, your critics say that you caved and you reappointed the chief justice who is very liberal. And they pointed out as you took on the Democrats and you lost on that issue and questioned whether you would be trustworthy when it comes to appointing a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

CHRISTIE: Yes. Well, those folks haven't watched New Jersey closely. What I got in return for -- and remember, I have a Democratic senate. So they have refused to nominate four of my folks.

And so, what I did was I got three conservative Republicans in exchange for one Democrat. That's a pretty good deal. And it's a deal that I made so that I could get three conservative Republicans on the court.

And you mentioned the pension ruling before, those three Republicans were in that 5-person majority that upheld our pension and benefit reforms and said in their decision that the judiciary has no business meddling in the business of the executive and legislative branches. That's in the opinion. If we had those kind of justices and more of them we would not have had the same-sex marriage decision that we had last week and we wouldn’t have had the Obamacare decision.

So, if the Christie type of judges had been on that court in the majority, we would have won those cases in the Supreme Court rather than lost them.

So, those critics are always going to be critics, because you know why? They never have to do anything. I'm someone who has to get something done. I got it done and I've made the supreme court of New Jersey more conservative.

And the pension decision, you read it. It's a conservative decision and I'm proud of it and I'm proud of the people I appointed.

BREAM: So let's talk about one of your GOP rivals for 2016, Senator Ted Cruz. He's clerk to the U.S. Supreme Court. He called in the wake of the decisions that you also seem unhappy about the decisions they arrived at, he's called for a constitutional amendment, which would lead to retention elections for U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Is that something you'd support?


BREAM: Why not?

CHRISTIE: I don't think we should elect Supreme Court justices. I don't --


BREAM: But if they're appointed and then have to face the people again at some point?

CHRISTIE: Yes, I don't think we should elect Supreme Court justices, no.

Listen, what we -- something we do in New Jersey, which I think is something that folks can consider is we appoint our justices for a seven-year term. And then after seven years, the governor has the opportunity to again consider whether to nominate them then for a lifetime tenure. I don't want to see judges raising money and running for election.

I would, though, trust the executive after seven years, like we do in New Jersey, to decide whether or not to reappoint people. I'm the first governor in New Jersey's constitutional history to not reappoint two supreme court justices. I wanted to go in another direction. That can work.

I've done it in New Jersey. But I don't believe we should be putting judges on the ballot. I think that having United States Supreme Court justices running national elections, I don’t think that would be the right thing. I just disagree with Senator Cruz.

BREAM: We're under a heightened terror alert, this Independence Day weekend. There are a lot of concerns -- and to that question, there are those who wonder just how far the government should be able to go in tracking potential attackers and terrorists.

You've talked openly about the PATRIOT Act, how, in your experience, as U.S. attorney, those kinds of tools are very important.

Now you know the 2nd Circuit has taken down some of what the government has asked for very comprehensive metadata collection.

Here's what they said. They said, "Search warrants and document subpoenas typically seek the records of a particular individual or corporation under investigation, and cover particular time periods when the events under investigation occurred.

The orders at issue here contain no such limits. They extend to every record that exists and, indeed, to records that do not yet exist." They said it violates federal law.

Now one of your other contenders, Senator Rand Paul, is obviously on the other side of the issue with you. Here's what he said.


SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: And I've said time and time again I'm not against looking at the records of terrorists. I want to look at more records of terrorists. But you don't get there by indiscriminately looking at all the records of all Americans all the time.

To me, what you say or do on your phone, your phone records are none of the government's damn business.


BREAM: So, how do you square your position with Fourth Amendment concerns?

CHRISTIE: Yes. Well, he's wrong.

He's wrong and what he's done has made American weaker and more vulnerable. And he's done it and then cut his speeches and put them on the Internet to raise money off of them. He's politicizing America's national security.

BREAM: Do you think he doesn't genuinely hold those positions?

CHRISTIE: I have no idea. But I know what he did with his positions after he made them and he used them to raise money off the Internet, and it's wrong. And his position is wrong. And he wouldn’t know that his position's wrong because he's never had the responsibility to do it.

I've had the responsibility to do it, Shannon. I've had to review applications under the PATRIOT Act, under Section 215. I know what it's like to interact with the FISA court. The fact is that we can do this and protect civil liberties.

And, of course, we want to track terrorists' phone numbers. How do you find out who the terrorists are talking to in the United States?

If you're tracking those phone numbers -- we're not listening to anybody's conversations. We're not looking at their emails without the type of search warrants that the court is talking about. What we're saying, though, is, if you're a terrorist, if you're a known terrorist outside this country, and you're calling numbers inside this country, we'd like to know who those people are.

And that's the right thing to do. And as we face a heightened warning on this 4th of July weekend, what the American people need to know is that Senator Paul's conduct has made them weaker and more vulnerable to attack.

BREAM: What do you think -- to say to those, though, who are -- they feel that their government may have them under attack? They feel like they don't have privacy when they've done nothing wrong.

CHRISTIE: Instead of using -- Senator Paul, instead of using this to raise money, he should engage in vigorous congressional oversight over our intelligence community, which is his responsibility and his duty under his oath as a United States senator. And our Justice Department should prosecute any intelligence officer who violates the law. We have those safeguards available to us.

Instead, what Senator Paul has decided to do is throw the baby out with the bathwater. And he's decided to make America more vulnerable, to make a political point. I think it's wrong. I think it's dangerous.

And how about this? If, God forbid, there were to be another attack on the United States, you know Senator Paul would be the first one dragging the CIA director and the FBI director up on Capitol Hill and put them under oath and criticize them for not connecting the dots, and not mention for a moment his hypocrisy for taking away some of the tools they need to connect those dots.

I'm a former prosecutor. I've prosecuted terrorists and put them in jail. I could tell the American people, you can do this and you can do it well.

And if I'm president, that's the kind of attorney general I'll appoint. And that's the type of folks that I will put into my government to make sure they're done -- protecting civil liberties, but protecting the homeland first and foremost.

BREAM: Another hot topic -- immigration. Here's what you had to say this week while you were visiting in New Hampshire: "Please be careful about anybody who's running for president who's going to tell you that they're going to build a wall across the entire southern border. It's not going to happen. It is the wrong message to send. And it's not going to be effective."

So, first of all, was that a jab at Donald Trump? And secondly, what's your plan for the border?

CHRISTIE: No, first off, it's not a jab at just at Donald Trump. Here's what lots of people who have talk about it, as you know, over time -- building a wall across the entire southern border. I think it's the wrong message.

And by the way, I know the human spirit. I haven't found a wall that can be built that a determined human being can't get over, under or around.

So there may be certain spots, I've said, along the southern border where fencing and walling make sense, because of their geography or the typography. But the idea -- that's a simple politician's answer, to build a wall across our entire southern border.

My plan for the border would be multi-fold. First, it would be to use the type of walling or fencing in certain areas, that I've talked about before. Second would be to use the type of electronic surveillance that we have available to us both through drones and through other electronic surveillance on the border. Third, of course, is to use Border Patrol officers to be able to do it. And fourth, and most important, is that require every employer in America to use E-Verify.

Because these folks are coming across the border, Shannon, not to vote, like Hillary Clinton would lead you to believe. They're coming to work. And if they're not able to be employed if they come here illegally, if every employer uses E-Verify and if they violate the late, there are fines that are so significant that the profit they make off hiring lower-wage workers and discriminating against American workers won't be worth their while. You'll see a real diminishment of anybody trying to come over the southern border.

That's common sense, effective ways of being able to secure our border. And you need an executive who has executive experience who knows how to enforce that, and that the American people believe will enforce the law, unlike this president. They know I'll enforce the law. I'm a former prosecutor and an executive from New Jersey. I'll be able to do that.

BREAM: That's just one of the questions you've been fielding here this week. One question that hasn't come up publicly is about bridge-gate. I know that somebody took you aside and wanted to talk privately to you about it and you said, "I'd rather address it publicly so people know where we're at."

You've been cleared in three different investigations. Even "The New York Times" gives you credit on that. But they say you're responsible for creating an environment in which your staff thought you'd be OK with that. Some of them are still facing very serious charges. Those trials are going to play out.

You've said there's a difference between being responsible for what happened, but also being accountable.


BREAM: So, how do you address that to the satisfaction of those who want to vote for you, but feel like there's still a cloud there?

CHRISTIE: Well, first off, you just have to say to the people, again, who are watching this morning -- three different investigations have verified exactly what I said the day after this incident happened, that I had no knowledge of it and absolutely nothing to do with it.

And you know what happens when the media, Shannon, gets crazy over a story, like they got crazy over bridge-gate and were convicting me the day afterwards of heinous acts. Now, when they realize that there's no truth to what they said, now they say, "Oh, he didn't do anything, but he created an atmosphere."

Well, you know, that's what the liberal media does when rather than saying "I'm sorry," which is what they should say.

Listen, I'm accountable because it happened on my watch. And I apologized the next day to the people of New Jersey for that happening on my watch.

But in the end, when you have a government of 60,000 people, you can't make sure that every person does what you want them to do every day. But when they do something you don't want them to do, you fire them, which is exactly what I did. And then you cooperate fully with every investigation, which is exactly what I did.

And when you're exonerated, then the people who wrongly accused you should have the guts to stand up and say, "I'm sorry." But of course, these people don't do that.

I've apologized to the people of New Jersey for putting those people in a position to be able to do what they did, but I will tell you something, I am not going to allow people to mischaracterize my public record over false allegations, and that's exactly what these were.

BREAM: You're a pretty hard-charging guy.

CHRISTIE: Yes, sir -- ma'am.

BREAM: How does that translate at home? What are your -- how would your kids describe you?

CHRISTIE: Listen, I think what my kids would say is that I hold them accountable. I love my children...

BREAM: Do they get away with anything?

CHRISTIE: Oh, sure.


BREAM: Maybe I should ask them.

CHRISTIE: You could ask them. But I'll tell you, I'm sure they get away with things, but they're good kids. And they're accountable. They're good students. They work hard at school. They respect me and their mother. And I love them.

And you know what the biggest hard-charge I have in my house is is hugging. I love to hug my children. I love to tell them I love them every day before they leave for school or before I leave for work. And I think that's the most important thing you can do as a father is to make sure that your children know they're loved.

And I love my children and they're the most important thing in me and Mary Pat's world.

BREAM: Well, regardless of politics, I think every American could agree that's a great position.

Thank you, Governor.

CHRISTIE: Thanks, Shannon.

BREAM: Good to see you.

CHRISTIE: Appreciate it.


BREAM: We also got the chance to talk about the impact of the governor's campaign on his family. Be sure to check out our talk with Governor Christie and his wife, the First Lady Mary Pat, on It is a behind-the-scenes web exclusive.

Up next, Donald Trump surges in the polls as he stirs up plenty of controversy following his campaign announcement. Our Sunday group joins the conversation on the fallout from his remarks regarding immigrants from Mexico.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems with us.

They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people.


BREAM: The controversial comments on immigration that led Macy's and NBC to sever ties with real estate mogul turned presidential candidate Donald Trump.

It is time now for our Sunday group: Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, syndicated columnist George Will, Jackie Kucinich of The Daily Beast, and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams.

Brit, I’ll start with you. What does the GOP do with this?

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think the GOP has to do anything with this. I think Donald Trump by his behavior and by the flamboyance of his manner, sets himself apart from the rest of the GOP field, and he has a niche following and will probably continue to.

But people don't look at him and say, ah, that's the face of the Republican Party. So, I think the GOP let's this unfold however it will. I don't think Donald Trump will go far. But he’ll be with us for a while, and he'll make news and he’ll get attention.

But you don't hear people saying, what is the Democratic Party going to do about Bernie Sanders and he's going to become the face of the party? He’s going to ruin image of the Democrats. It just doesn’t work that way.

BREAM: Yes, Democrats aren't as often asked to answer for somebody else in their party for a comment they made. We do have some reaction on both sides of this issue from other GOP contenders.


SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: When it comes to Donald Trump, I like Donald Trump. I think he's terrific. I think he’s brash. I think he speaks the truth. I think NBC is engaging in political correctness that is silly and that is wrong.

FORMER GOV. JEB BUSH, R-FLA.: He's doing this to inflame and to incite and to draw attention, which is -- seems to be his organizing principle of his campaign, and he doesn't represent the Republican Party or its values.


BREAM: And, George, Jeb went to say, he took this personally. His wife is from Mexico.

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, Brit is right that there's a double standard here. That Republicans are uniquely identified with the unfortunate people in their own party.

But ask yourself this thought experiment. If Donald Trump were a Democratic mole placed in the Republican Party to disrupt things, how would his behavior be different? I don't think it would be. There's all this talk but it’s something to it about the Republican brand.

Picture him on stage in Cleveland. He says something hideously inflammatory, which is all he knows how to say, and then what do the other nine people on stage do? Do they either become complicit in what he said by their silence or do they seriatim have to attack him?

The debate gets hijacked. The process gets hijacked. And at the end of the day, he's a one-man Todd Akin. And he’s Todd Akin with 10 different facets. That's the gentleman who in 2014 election said some unfortunate things about rape, and every Republican was asked about them from then on.

BREAM: And for now, Trump sits atop a lot of the polls along with Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, who, by the way, released this week more tax returns than any other presidential candidate has ever done.

Jackie, what does that do now as far as pressure on Hillary Clinton to give us similar access to what we know about her?

JACKIE KUCINICH, THE DAILY BEAST: It does create a pressure. We have some financial data from Hillary Clinton over a number of years because of her various positions in the government. But, yes, this does increase the pressure on her to release more because it -- we do, we have access to all of Jeb Bush's records at this point when it comes to taxes. So, you know, we'll see if she responds.

But it also puts pressure on other Republican candidates -- everybody in the race -- because of this level of transparency.

BREAM: I mean, one, he's done very well financially over the last few years. Not as well as the Clintons. But he knows he's going to take heat as much as Romney did for being somebody who has done very well, has had privilege and may be out of touch.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: But he paid a lot more taxes than Mitt Romney because he wasn't doing it through capital gains. He was doing it through speeches and some of the speeches came through companies that he had dealings with while he was governor and helped them. So, there's some questions to be raised there.

And also, you’ve got to remember, you know, when you look at his earnings, he decided that he wanted to take advantage of the fact that he was Jeb Bush. And so, I think it raises questions about the Bush/Clinton dynasty and money and how the political class in this country enriches themselves often times at the benefit -- at the cost of saying, I’m using my experience as an elected official to then go off and enrich myself. And that raises a question at a time when there's so much populist questions about income inequality in the country.

BREAM: Well, there’s so much -- there's so many questions about calls for transparency with these tax returns, also with Hillary's e-mails, there have been more developments on that this week.

Here's a little bit of what State Department spokesman, Admiral Kirby, had to say about some of the e-mails we're not getting from Clinton's history.


REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: A small number that are being withheld for executive privilege purposes. That is not uncommon. It's not atypical.


BREAM: Some of them we’re not going to see also because we're told now they are confidential although, Brit, they might not have been when they were sent. But we know there's a gap. There's some that we're not seeing.

HUME: Yes, I suppose it was a fun wish, a dream, that we were going to get to see everything. Obviously, we're not. Everything that we get has already been selected by Hillary Clinton for being -- not to be deleted. So, we don't know even if we got everything that was left, we wouldn't get everything.

And this is so Clintonesque, you know? It’s always -- you never quite get the whole truth. You never quite get full disclosure. You never quite catch them in violation of the law, but you almost never catch them being totally ethical either.

BREAM: But, George, will it affect her -- in polling?

WILL: The biggest word in the English language is "if." If the people American are paying attention to the arcane of this back and forth, then it will hurt her. But, of course, they're not. They have better things to do with their time.

She altered some of the e-mails she did submit. Now, the State Department joining the IRS as complicit in another scandal, the State Department is withholding some that the Congress has sought, so the scandal just keeps growing more legs.

I think the Clintons operate, Brit, on the way the old Chicago Democratic machine did. If you have a different scandal every week, no one pays attention.


BREAM: Well, something that the Clinton campaign will -- is getting a lot of questions about today, if you all saw this yesterday, a lot of candidates were out Fourth of July parades. A lot was made by members of the press who were trying to follow Hillary Clinton, and essentially at one point during the operation, there were staffers that put a rope around them.

We know rope lines do happen. This one seemed unusual because it was the middle of the parade and literally the rope appeared to be wrapped around journalists at some point who are trying to cover the former secretary.

Jackie, it may be nothing more than a PR issue today, but memes went crazy on the Internet last night with this image.

KUCINICH: Well, this is clearly the newfound relationship with the press. It’s better, right? I mean, now, they’re a pen.

This looks silly. It should be treated as something that's silly. It looked ridiculous putting cameras behind those ropes. And there has to be -- there are security concerns. We all get that. But, you know, come on, guys.

BREAM: Another image getting a lot of attention the last couple days, Bernie Sanders. I mean, he is drawing thousands. He’s pulling up in the polls and in fundraising as well, not anywhere approaching Hillary Clinton on those two fronts, but certainly, Juan, with respect to people turning out and wanting to hear what he has to say, you know, they say there's Bernie-mentum. Do you agree?

WILLIAMS: Bernie momentum, I like that.

BREAM: Bernie-mentum, yes, something like that.

WILLIAMS: Bernie-mentum, OK.

So, he's within ten points of Hillary now in New Hampshire. And I think that's got to raise some eyebrows. Who ever thought Bernie Sanders, Mr. Socialist, would be that close to the Clinton brand in American politics? But he is.

Now, the downside is he's just raising money. He doesn't have any organization in key states, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada. And you got to remember also, he doesn't have the name ID that Hillary does.

So, Hillary is not interested in big crowds at this point. She’s interested in saying, I can go out and talk to people. I can be your friend on an individual basis.

Bernie needs the big crowds.

So, don't get fooled by the short-term illusion here.

BREAM: All right.

All right, panel. We’ve got to take a break. We’ll see you all in just a little bit.

Up next, is the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage a threat to religious freedom? We're going to discuss it with two key guests on opposite sides of this issue. And what do you think about protections for the First Amendment and religious liberty? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter @foxnewssunday. And of course, use the hashtag throughout the show, FNS.



PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: All of us welcome today's news should be mindful of that fact. Recognize different viewpoints. Revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.


BREAM: That was President Obama reacting to the Supreme Court's ruling declaring same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. What does it mean now for people of faith? Can same-sex marriage and religious liberty co-exist? Here on that debate, Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of Liberty Institute, and in New York, Evan Wolfson, president and founder of Freedom to Marry. Gentlemen, welcome to Fox News Sunday.



BREAM: I also want to start by reading a part of Justice Kennedy's opinion. He authored the majority opinion here. He said, it must be emphasized that religions and those who adhere to religious doctrines may continue to activate with utmost sincere conviction that by divine precept, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.

Kelly, he went on to talk about First Amendment protection. You have got the president talking about it. You have got the justice who wrote the opinion guaranteeing that you have protection. So why are you sounding an alarm?

SHACKELFORD: I think that I'm sounding an alarm a little bit because you have people that want to use this decision in an improper way. I think what you said is very important. You read from the majority opinion there. The decision was 5-4 on marriage. The decision was 9-0 on religious freedom and free speech under the First Amendment not being curtailed as a result of this decision, specifically saying that those who advocate on the opposite side of marriage, those who disagree with same-sex marriage, have the full protection of the First Amendment, and you can't use this decision as some sort of license to discriminate or to persecute those who believe the other way.

BREAM: Evan, it's clear that a number of dissenting justices, in fact all of them, did have those concerns. I want to read part of what Justice Alito wrote in his dissent. He said, "This decision will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodox." He went on to add, "I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat their views in public, they'll risk being labeled as bigots, and treated as such by governments, employers and schools." Evan, did he overstate it?

WOLFSON: Yes, he did. And Mr. Shackelford, surprisingly, I agree with when he's talked about the fact that the Constitution does protect freedom of speech, including for those who disagree with treating gay people equally and the freedom to marry that the court has respected.

Look, we all believe in religious freedom. We all believe in free speech, or at least we should, and the Constitution certainly protects it. There is no conflict here. People have the absolute right to preach and to think and to say whatever they believe, and at the same time those beliefs can't be used as the basis for denying other people their equal rights and their equal freedom.

BREAM: And we're seeing these two interests on a collision course this week on a case out of Oregon. A Christian couple owned a bakery there. They declined to do a same-sex wedding cake for a female couple. It was at a time in Oregon where same-sex marriage was not yet legal, but they have since been ordered this week to pay $135,000 fine, and also they've been said they cannot talk about their beliefs in the context of this case. Evan, regardless of how you feel about the underlying merits of the case, do you have any concerns as an American about what essentially turns into a gag order now for this couple?

WOLFSON: Actually, that doesn't sound right at all. If there's a gag order, it probably has more to do with the case and their own lawyers and so on. I'm quite sure that no court is telling anybody that they cannot say whatever they want to say. Sometimes, as you know, there are rules in terms -- that apply to both sides -- with regard to during a trial. But that doesn't make any sense to me. And I just frankly don't believe that.

What I do think is important to see here is that this couple, I assume, runs a business. When people run a business and open their door to the public, they must serve the public. That doesn't mean they can't say whatever they want to say. It doesn't mean they can't believe whatever they want to believe. Those are protected also. But businesses must serve the public. And that's a principle that we fought for in this country over many, many decades, when some were invoking religious freedom as an excuse to deny people on the basis of their race, on the basis of their religion, on the basis of sex and on the basis now of sexual orientation. Let's not confuse one thing with the other.

People have an absolute right to believe what they want to believe and to say what they want to say, and churches have an absolute protection to preach and do and not do whatever they choose to do within their houses of worship. But nondiscrimination laws apply to the commercial marketplace and they do protect all of us.

BREAM: Will we see these colliding in the real marketplace, Kelly? That's where we have this conflict in those two very important rights. I want to play a little bit of an interview with Melissa Klein, this is from the Daily Signal, she is the co-owner of the bakery. Here's what she said about the case.


MELISSA KLEIN, OWNER, SWEET CAKES BY MELISSA: It wasn't them as a couple. We served them in the past. You know? It had to do with their event. We just could not -- that particular event could not partake in.


BREAM: The ruling in this case, by the way, said it's not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It's about a business' refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.

SHACKELFORD: This is where Evan and I obviously disagree. This couple -- and in fact, if you look at all these attacks on florists, on wedding photographers, they're never saying we won't serve you. They're never saying, for instance, we won't give you a cheeseburger because you're gay. And I don't know any denomination of the over 400 Christian denominations that would say that that's what you do.

These cases are about forcing people to participate in other people's weddings. Weddings in particular and marriage have great religious significance to people, and they have certain beliefs. They said, look, you know, we'll serve, we'll give cakes, but we can't be a part of somebody's wedding. The idea that because they hold those religious beliefs, that they can be now bankrupt, which this young couple and their family, they are bankrupt, $135,000 fine. And I did look at that order. They are specifically ordered not to speak their beliefs on this issue.

You feel like you're in a different country. That goes against everything we talked about earlier about the First Amendment, about the right of people to disagree with this definition of marriage, of same-sex marriage, and I think Justice Kennedy would say this is wrong. Not only Justice Kennedy, Ted Olson was on this show last week, and he was asked about this. And Ted Olson argued in favor of gay marriage in the Defense of Marriage Act case. He said you should not be forcing bakers. That's wrong. It violates the rights. It violates the First Amendment.

BREAM: I want to read a portion of the Oregon Constitution that comes into play here. This is Article 1, section 3. It says "no law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions or interfere with the right of conscience." So Evan, if that doesn't apply in this case, where does it apply? Is it any good?

WOLFSON: I assume it does apply in this case. And we all believe in the First Amendment. The First Amendment does protect religious freedom. That's a separate issue from whether a business must serve people in the business. Mr. Shackelford talks about being forced to participate in a wedding. They weren't being forced to come to the wedding. They weren't being forced to perform the wedding. They were being obliged to serve a cake in the same way they serve a cake to anybody else who comes in their shop, whether that person be black or white, gay or non-gay, a man or a woman. That's the obligation that businesses have in the business space.

And again, we can go back and forth. The idea that somehow the couple is being told they can't say what they want to say, makes no sense to me. I certainly wouldn't support that either. I don't believe that's the facts of the case. But let's not get sidetracked with --


WOLFSON: -- the detail here, because that just doesn't make any sense.

The important point here is that we have seen these kinds of arguments again and again and again, in the '50s and the '60s and the '70s when opponents of civil rights failed to block civil rights advances; they then tried to subvert them by carving out exemptions, by carving out special licenses to discriminate, and they often disguised those as claims of religious freedom.

SHACKELFORD: I don't think--

WOLFSON: The American people have seen -- let me just say, the American people have seen again and again that there actually is no conflict. We share the public space. We share the market space. But what we believe and what we say as Americans is absolutely free for all of us. Whether we agree with it or not.

SHACKELFORD: I think it's the exact opposite. The analogy doesn't really fit. If you go back and look at what Evan is talking about, you'll find that the groups that led the charge against getting rid of the ban on interracial marriage or religious groups -- the first case were two Catholics. The civil rights movement came out of the church. The idea that we're now going to silence people that have a different belief would be a very dangerous thing. The church is somewhat the conscience for our country. The women suffrage movement, the child labor laws, the things that come out of allowing people to freely disagree even with the public is what leads to great advances in our country.

So to tell -- and certainly you can't tell the clients, well, you have these beliefs but you can't live them. We believe in the right of you to believe in prayer, but not to pray. These cases -- these clients aren't the only ones. You have a grandmother who is now being prosecuted because she wouldn't arrange a floral arrangement in a gay wedding. They're not only looking at ending her business, but taking her home. We've got a man, Jack Phillips, in Denver, who, because he's under a court order right now to make cakes and participate in a gay wedding. And if he doesn't, he'll be in contempt of court and he could be taken to jail because of his beliefs on marriage and not wanting to violate those sincerely held beliefs.

BREAM: Evan, are those potential sentences, is that something you would support?

WOLFSON: Mr. Shackelford is again mixing things up. No one is telling the church what to do. What the law is saying that when you operate a business, you must serve the public without discriminating. And what Mr. Shackelford's group is doing is running around trying to stoke up stories to make it seem like there's this tidal wave of problem, when in fact we've had the freedom to marry up until Friday in 37 states representing more than 70 percent of the American people, and now of course we have freedom to marry throughout the land. And all they can point to, to kind of conjure up this notion of a problem, are a few business owners who his group has reached out to, to try to get them to say we don't want to serve this couple.

Again, we saw that in the South during the civil rights movement. We've seen that in other parts of the country. The fact of the matter is, people are free to believe what they want to believe, they are free to pray what they want to pray, but they are not free to discriminate against members of a public in a business.

SHACKELFORD: From the privacy of their own homes, in a whisper as Justice Alito said.

BREAM: We've got to leave it there. These are actual legal documented cases. People can check them out for themselves and draw their own conclusions. Mr. Shackelford, Mr. Wolfson, thank you both very much for joining us for this important conversation today. We're going to stay on all of those stories.

When we come back, word of progress in Vienna ahead of Tuesday's target date for a nuclear deal with Iran. We're going to bring back the panel to discuss the busy week in foreign policy.



SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: We have a lot of work to do. We have some tough issues. But there's a genuine effort by everybody to be serious about this and to understand the time constraints that we're working under.


BREAM: Secretary of State John Kerry striking a cautiously optimistic tone as he and world partners work toward the latest Iran nuclear deal deadline.

We're back now with the panel. Juan, it seems that they are inching closer. We're getting updates that seem that the talks are continuing, they are hammering out we understand at least some ideas about sanctions, which leaders there, Iranian leaders have said they all need to go or there is no deal.

WILLIAMS: I think it's sanctions and inspections, that comes down to sort of the nitty-gritty, the final steps here. But it does appear that they are in intense, head-to-head conversations that would lead you to conclude that something is coming.

BREAM: We want to also play a little bit of what we're hearing from Iran's foreign minister. This is what he says about why world powers are now even at the table with Iran.


MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Now they realize that the most indiscriminate and unjust economic sanctions against my country have achieved absolutely none of their declared objectives, but instead have harmed innocents and antagonized a peaceful and forgiving nation.


BREAM: Jackie, obviously, officials on our side say it is the sanctions that got them to the table.

KUCINICH: Right, well, this is about letting everyone to save face so they can walk back to their respective countries and say, look, we got something that's good. Iran gets to say, look, they lifted the sanctions right away. The West gets to say, look, we are going to lift sanctions, but these are under a certain number of conditions that they have to make, or this is not going happen. That's what it's about.

BREAM: Our most recent polling shows that plenty of Americans are skeptical about this. 63 percent of them say they think it's unlikely that this deal, if one comes together, will actually stop Iran from getting a nuke within ten years. Perhaps sensing some of that skepticism, George, this is what Hillary Clinton had to say. She is talking tough on Iran this week.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region, and they pose an existential threat to Israel.


BREAM: Is the former secretary of state trying to put some daylight between herself and the administration on this issue, do you think?

WILL: I think she is. She was there when we began to retreat on the subject of ballistic missiles, the right to enrich, what would happen to enriched uranium, where the inspections would be allowed to take place and on what notice. So she was there while we did a number of retreats, and she seems to be saying, enough retreating now. But so far as I can tell, Juan, I can't think of a subject on which we haven't retreated, and therefore one on which we will not continue to retreat.

WILLIAMS: I think the key here, George, is changing the way we think about the Middle East, because it hasn't been working obviously to have Iran there as an irritant, backing Hezbollah, backing all sorts of terrorist groups, angry, threatening Israel. So the idea is to get them into some kind of international partnership. That may be a fool's errand, I can see your eyes, but I think that you know what, it's worth the try, because things are so bad in the Middle East.

HUME: Assuming they get a deal, along the terms that have been discussed, does anybody seriously think that an Iran, newly enriched compared to their current economic status, will not accelerate the very conduct that has made them a pariah in much of the world and made them the biggest source of trouble and terror in the Middle East?

WILLIAMS: (inaudible) the sanction threat continue to be real for them, Brit, they don't want to go back.

HUME: Once you undo a sanctions regime, Juan, reimposing it is extremely difficult, and the Iranians know that. And that's really what this is about. They want to get the sanctions lifted. And they want a deal that will not ultimately prevent them from having a nuclear weapon, and they want to get back to business as usual, with more money, and that seems to be the direction in which we're heading. And the administration's conduct throughout this whole process has suggested that contrary to what the president and others say, we will not walk away from almost any kind of a deal.

WILLIAMS: I think they would be damaged in the international community if they did this, and they would be damaged with Israel and lose any leverage they have with the rest of the Arab world.

HUME: One thing to watch is, you heard what Hillary Clinton just said, that we played. Let's see what happens when there's a deal, see if she criticizes that.

BREAM: Well, if (inaudible) gets this done, they will count it as a feather in their cap, because that's been something they have been working for, for years. Something else that happened this week, Cuba, the president talking about reinstituting ambassadorships, diplomatic relations with that country. There are some mixed feelings about that. Here's a bit from both sides.


OBAMA: I believe that American engagement, through our embassy, our businesses, and most of all through our people, is the best way to advance our interests and support for democracy and human rights.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, R-FLA.: He says it's a new chapter. It's a one-way chapter of the United States changing our policy, but what will that produce for the U.S. and what will that produce for the Cuban people? Nada.


BREAM: Jackie, one of the other reactions we saw was GOP contender, Senator Marco Rubio, saying he's going to block any ambassador to Cuba until serious human rights violations by his definition are addressed. So who wins here? Does this give a topic to the GOP?

KUCINICH: Particularly because Hillary Clinton also has backed lifting the embargo since she was secretary of state. This is one of the policies that she's not going to run from President Obama on. Something she pushed. She'll have to own this. I would expect to hear this throughout this cycle from the GOP and from Hillary Clinton.

BREAM: Does anybody think that it plays well for the president as a legacy measure? Is that something he's looking for at this point? We're talking about rolling back of decades of U.S. policy.

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I'm not a big supporter of rewarding the Castro brothers in any way, but you're right, it's a legacy issue, because it's been 50 years, and again, there's an opportunity here. And boy, what a rush of American business and American intellectuals and American cultural institutions to Cuba.

BREAM: Who thinks that transparency is going to happen?

HUME: Transparency is going to happen?

BREAM: That exchange of ideas and --

HUME: There will be an exchange of ideas, but the main elements that have isolated Cuba are still in place. The trade embargo requires congressional action, which is not going to be forthcoming. So that continues. So what we'll have is we'll have an embassy, sort of a diplomatic presence there. They will have one here. Travel restrictions will be eased, so people can go back and forth. But an awful lot of what hemmed Cuba in remains in place and is likely to for some time, and I think that is a good thing, because it will give the next president, who presumably will be a serious person, some further leverage to try to get something done about the conditions inside Cuba.

BREAM: All right. Today we're also watching this vote play out in Greece. The financial economic future of the country there. They are voting on a referendum that a lot of people say may not even be still on the table, because the deal they were offered expired earlier this week when they didn't make the debt payment. George, how significant is this vote not only there in Greece and in Europe, but ripple effect to here as well?

WILL: Well, I think the markets probably already discounted Greece, which has an economy the size of South Carolina. It won't disrupt the global economy.

Greece lied to get into the euro. It has lied about its negotiating tactics ever since. Its drill has been extend and pretend. Extend the negotiations forever, and pretend that the creditors will be paid some day, which of course they're not going to.

The Greeks have worked out a division of labor. They shall live far above what the productivity of their economy justifies, and the German taxpayers will pay the difference. The Germans are tired of this and it is going to come to an end.

BREAM: Well, we see in the latest polling, which cut off 24 hours before the vote, but it looked pretty even, Jackie, going into this.

KUCINICH: It sure does. It's just a matter of time. We'll see what happens. We'll have to wait and see a little later today.

BREAM: How do we think Germany reacts?

HUME: I think they are seized with this quaint notion that if you borrow money, you're supposed to pay it back. They'll have to learn -- they'll have to get over that to deal with Greece.

BREAM: All right, thank you so much, panel. We'll see you again next week. Up next, a final word.


BREAM: Some sights and sounds from the Fourth of July celebration here, in our nation's capital. From all of us at "Fox News Sunday," we hope that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday.

That's it for today. Have a great week. We'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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