Gowdy: Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat to win South Carolina

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," June 25, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Hey, Good evening. Thank you, Bret.

So, is Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton 2.0? A somewhat reluctant campaigner, a candidate that assumes to be the heir apparent. That is the opener question of “The Story” tonight. As Democrats aim their arrows at the frontrunner on the eve of the first big debate. Take a look at some of these headlines. And then, there is this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: She is evaluated partly for having been in this bubble for 30 years.

MATTHEW DOWD, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, ABC NEWS: Joe Biden started serving in office before eight-track came and win. And he is in a place he's trapped in time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Instead of going around these states and, you know, visiting small towns and all that doing a listening tour, she went and gave a speaking tour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perhaps he feels that he doesn't have to engage in all of these early forms that other candidates do. I think he may be riding on his coattails a little bit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So, in a piece on foxnews.com, my next guest echoes that thesis and says that there are "eerie similarities between the two." He writes both sought to be the standard-bearer of a party that had moved beyond their brand of politics. Adding that both have a long paper trail of votes and quotes for opponents to sift through for contradictions.

But he says there is one important distinction. Biden is running in a deep and talented field of nearly two dozen contenders. Clinton had only one, self-avowed socialist to compete with, and she still had more trouble than anyone ever expected.

That backdrop as Elizabeth Warren gets glowing multi-page stories in the New York Times and the Boston Globe touting her as a brilliant high school debater and quoting college professors who say that she was the best student they ever taught. Warren's tax the wealthy, free college for all brand is on the rise in several new national polls. And tellingly, a new straw poll from moveon.org puts her as number one among progressive voters.

Republican strategist Colin Reed, who wrote the Hillary-Biden pieces here. Along with former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer and syndicated radio host Chris Hahn, Welcome gentlemen. Great to have both of you with us.

COLIN REED, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DEFINERS PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Hi, Martha.

CHRIS HAHN, HOST, AGGRESSIVE PROGRESSIVE PODCAST: Great to be here, Martha.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: So let me go to you -- let me go to you first Chris, great to have you. Chris let me start with you. What do you make of that -- of that thesis?

HAHN: So, I read it. You know, it's not completely wrong. But here are a couple of points I would object to. One, look, Hillary did not have a really hard time being Bernie Sanders, it might have appeared that way. She beat him easily. And if Joe Biden runs the same race and becomes a Democratic nominee, and then, actually campaigns in Wisconsin, in Michigan, in Pennsylvania, a place where he will be much better received than a Hillary would have been, he will be the next president of the United States.

Also, look, in a marathon, it's never good to be ahead. In the first mile, you are always going to be knocked down, somebody's going to come pick you up. This is a marathon and I expect many people to take the lead in this race before it's all said and done.

And we don't know right now who the best candidates going to be. That's what the primaries for. That's what will be sorted out.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Yes. Well, Chris --

HAHN: Elizabeth Warren is having her moment right now among people who are paying attention, who liked the fact that she has plans for everything she talks about.

MACCALLUM: Yes, no, and I want to get to that in a moment. But Chris, let me just ask you one quick specific question before I get to Colin. And that is, do you hear the same kind of things that we just played? Are people in your party a little concerned that, that could happen again?

HAHN: Oh, yes. Look, I think that there are people in the party that are concerned about Joe Biden. They're concerned about Bernie Sanders. Probably for the same reason and more about their age, and their experience, and their long record which has yet to be really dive into with some of these other candidates. So, yes, I hear a lot of that stuff.

MACCALLUM: So, Colin, you know, I mean there's always an irony I think when people worry about having a long record. You know, you would hope that it's a long record that you feel good about. But your reaction to what Chris is saying.

REED: Well, if I had to write my piece all over again, I'd include the today's revelation in the Washington Post which took a deep dive into Joe Biden's post vice-presidential career, and found that he'd given, you know, speeches for 200k a pop, which is very similar to Hillary Clinton. And he's renting a house that's worth as much as $5 million.

And again, I don't really see anything wrong with that. But it makes for problems when you go back into politics, and you try and run as this guy who's appealing to the lunch-pail crowd as he says.

And he's someone in the story he admitted today that he has never actually had a real job, nor has he cashed a paycheck. I mean, those are direct quotes from Joe Biden. So, again, nothing wrong with that. But when politicians go from public life to private life, and they go and make a lot of money, and then, they come back into politics, it's problematic.

And this is before, Martha, we've had a full look at his taxes and his financial disclosure this time around. So, these problems could rear their heads again when those two documents become available.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, I think most Americans don't regret someone's success. But I do think it's interesting that the Washington Post is writing pieces like this about Joe Biden. You know, pointing out how much money he makes.

REED: Yes.

MACCALLUM: Pointing out that he -- you know, insists on Caprese salad and raspberry sorbet when he gives speaking events. I mean, you know, that -- that's not a glowing piece coming from the Washington Post, Chris.

HAHN: No, look, but it does make it hard if he makes it out of the primary for the president to call him a socialist, which we all know, it's his game plan for whatever the Democrats put forward.

He -- they're going to he's going to call them a socialist. And Joe Biden, I don't think it's going to be very easy for the president to do that. Look, this might come up in the primary, it might not, but the one thing I know all Democrats want from their candidate is somebody who can win.

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

HAHN: And if Joe Biden is seem to be that person, they will vote for him.

MACCALLUM: Yes, and that's the question. And that's why I think it's interesting to watch the trends with Elizabeth Warren. And to see where these numbers are moving and to see these glowing pieces that are being put out on her. Very long exhaustive pieces, interviewing her, high school and college professors.

REED: Yes.

MACCALLUM: You know this is not the kind of coverage that Joe Biden is getting right now from some of these places. You know, Colin, your thoughts on how she's doing right now and what it says about where this is going ahead of this big debate starting tomorrow night.

REED: I agree. Elizabeth Warren is having her moment right now. She is surging in the polls, both nationally and in the early States where I think she really got an unfortunate break from her point of view, what she got put at the kiddie table in the debates.

And now that she's having this moment, she's going to be on top, and she's going to have a bunch of people on that stage with her.

HAHN: Yes.

REED: Some with very little to lose because their campaigns are coming to an end if they're being honest with themselves who want to take her down. Now, what I'm interested in watching Martha is who does Elizabeth Warren go after? Does she go after Donald Trump, which is the easy and obvious thing to do? Or does she try and take shots at Joe Biden because she and Joe Biden don't like each other. Their feud goes back to the mid-90s or mid- 2000s, excuse me, over a credit card bill. It's been well documented that those two do not see eye to eye.

And she's not going to have her chance to take on Joe Biden head to head this time around. But maybe she decides to do it when he's not on the stage, and he can't defend himself. They'll be interesting to --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: She could. Then -- that they're not going to be on the same stage.

HAHN: Colin.

MACCALLUM: I think you're going to hear quite a bit of people saying things along the Kamala Harris line, which is -- you know, we're not going backwards.

REED: Yes.

MACCALLUM: Right? Pete Buttigieg, we are not going backwards, don't look backwards. I just want to put his because -- you know, this is one of the lines that she does a lot in at the end of her speeches about who she wants to raise taxes on most dramatically? Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All I'm proposing that's different is for the top one-tenth of one percent, it's not just a real estate. It's your Rembrandt's, your stock portfolio your diamonds, and your yachts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: I mean that that's a crowd-pleaser, Chris Hahn.

HAHN: Yes, and you know what? If you have a yacht, a Rembrandt, diamonds, and you're worried about that, then don't vote for her. But if you don't have any of those things, if you're not in the top one-tenth of one percent, then maybe you might want to give her a listen, because she wants to make your life better.

And it seems that for the last 100 years in this country, we've only made the top one-tenth of one percent's life better.

MACCALLUM: Well --

HAHN: So, I think she's got a chance there with that line. It's a very good line.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I think -- I think, income, inequality, and the economic plans that she keeps talking about are the most -- you know, sort of solid things in her corner for the people that she's courting right now.

HAHN: Yes.

MACCALLUM: So, we'll see how it goes. Hahn, thank you.

HAHN: It was Trump's message, he just didn't deliver on it.

MACCALLUM: All right. We'll see. Chris Hahn and Colin Reed, great to have both of you of this. Thank you very much, guys.

HAHN: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You bet. Coming up, Senator John Kennedy on what Congress is doing? And tonight, there the vote is starting in process on the House side to fix the mess at the border. Next

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you personally concerned about the conditions at these border facilities?

(CROSSTALK)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: Yes I am. I'm very concerned. And the much better than they were under President Obama, by far. And we're trying to get the Democrats to agree to really give us some humanitarian aid and humanitarian money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: President Trump earlier today talking about the mess and the crisis -- by anybody's definition that is our southern border right now.

Today, the man in charge, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, John Saunders, step down. Amid reports of flu outbreaks, and lies, and dirty diapers, and children sleeping on concrete floors, and taking care of each other.

Tonight, there is a showdown over the 4-1/2 billion emergency funding bill on the House, with some Democrats defecting, saying that they want more of a big picture. We expect that the vote on that bill will start to get underway tonight.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among the Democrats who have voiced opposition to this bill. She says, "I'm not interested in making sure that caged children are getting warmer burritos. I'm trying to make sure they're not getting caged in the first place."

She also today, from her folks pushed out pictures of herself from a one year ago, weeping at the border. You can see her there (INAUDIBLE), very upset at the border. So, while politician's posture and fight over whether it is like a concentration camp at these facilities, the American people rightly want their government to come up perhaps with some kind of solution. Because it's clear that the laws that exist are not working.

Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana joins me now on this and other big topic tonight. Senator, good to have you with us this evening.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R-LA: Thank you, Martha. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: You know, what do you say to Americans who look at the situation, which is clearly untenable and expect that Congress ought to be able to solve something that -- you know, certainly the United States of America should be able to handle.

KENNEDY: I would say that they would be correct in that position. But let me tell you what is not help the effort, its Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's rhetoric. I realize that she thinks Socialism, and illegal immigration, and abortion of moral goods, but we've got a huge problem we're trying to solve here and the Congresswoman has basically demagogue the whole thing. And I'm just about concluded she's more famous than wise. And I trust her judgment on this issue about like I trust Jussie Smollett police report.

I mean she says that the United States of America is intentionally running a concentration camp on the border. I would suggest she visit the Holocaust Museum to find out what a real concentration camp is. We do have very crowded facilities. There's a reason for that. Our Department of Homeland Security is running out of money. They don't have any more money. And for the longest time, my Democratic friends have refused to give them more money.

Now we've got a bill moving in the Senate. I don't know what's going to happen to the bill in the House. I think the bill to give more money to try to improve conditions in the House is being held together by spit. But Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is opposing the bill. I mean the hypocrisy is breath-taking.

On the one hand, she says you're running a concentration camp and then she refuses to provide the President with the money to enlarge the facility.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, there ought to be some room for -- it appears that you know folks who think that she does believe that if there's anything in there for security at the border, somehow that's going to undercut the larger picture.

And yet if you really have compassion for the situation which is severe overcrowding in facilities that were never designed to hold families and children, and you've got children crossing across the border, and that's documented every single month. You know, if your compassion is truly what you're after, it seems like Congress ought to be able to get together on at least a short-term arrangement that would --

KENNEDY: Well, the House -- the Senate is ready, Martha. I think very shortly we'll come up with a bipartisan bill. We're very close.

MACCALLUM: Well, we'll be -- we'll be watching it tonight.

KENNEDY: But the House is different.

MACCALLUM: Understood. And we'll be watching that tonight. I want to get your thoughts on what the President said today about Iran because this is an increasingly tense situation and you know, the President last week appeared to sort of want to take a step back on this and said he wasn't sure that the drone attack was intentional.

Now, today, he's saying this in a tweet. He says Iran's very ignorant and insulting statement put out today only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry and Obama.

Why do you think the change of tune coming from the president now and what does it mean to you?

KENNEDY: I think that the President is trying to keep the leadership in Iran off balance. I think the President understands and he's correct that weakness invites the wolves in this dangerous world. I think the President's plan is military restraint but maximum pressure. I think that -- I feel bad for the people of Iran but I think the government in Iran is a fragile, exhausted, theocracy run by the Ayatollah, a very evil man.

He's evil but he's not stupid. I don't think that he is going to spill American blood. If he does, we'll have to evaluate things and reciprocate. But we just need to hang on. We've got the Ayatollah down, now we need to choke him. And the deal that Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama made got us into this mess. They tried to separate the nuclear issue from the terrorism issue. They got a delay in Iran building a nuclear weapon but they didn't do anything about Iran's terrorism.

Now the Ayatollah says if you don't agree with his version Islam, he hates you and you have to die. And that's why he's hurt people in Iraq, in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, in France, in Bulgaria, in Denmark, and he's going to keep doing it until we make him stop. I don't want to go to war with Iran but he's got to abide by international rules.

MACCALLUM: Senator, before I let you go, I want to ask you about a question that has been in the news lately about an accusation that came from a woman, it's a 25-year-old accusation against President Trump of a sexual attack. Lindsey Graham just came out and responded to it. Do you have any response in terms of how that should be handled?

KENNEDY: Well, in America, just because you're accused for something doesn't mean you're guilty of it. In situations like this, I think both the accuser and the accused are entitled to respect and due process. And all day long, some of -- some of the members of the media appears whether do you believe the woman or do you believe the president. I don't know. I don't know the facts. That's why God made judges.

If the accuser feels strongly enough, she'll bring them lawsuit and a neutral arbiter will decide. But just because you're accused of something doesn't mean you're guilty and doesn't mean you're not entitled to due process.

I understand that the accuser is also coming out with a book and frankly I think that hurts their credibility. Some will wonder -- I'm not saying it's true, but some will wonder well, is she doing this to sell her book. I'm not saying she is or isn't.

MACCALLUM: All right, Senator Kennedy, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight. Thanks for replying to the questions. We'll see you soon.

KENNEDY: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: You bet. Thank you, sir. Coming up next, the U.S. women soccer team riding high right now after win against Spain but some including the President say that one player's decision to protest the National Anthem he says is completely out of bounce. We're going to debate that coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Game on the line. Rapinoe strikes, Rapinoe scores.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: So that's awesome. It makes everybody happy. That's the U.S. women soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe scoring the winning goal against Spain during the World Cup yesterday advancing the team to the quarterfinals. They're going to play France on Friday.

But as the team prepares for their biggest match to come, just that, on Friday, the star is trashing the American flag on the world stage. And the President primarily by refusing to put her hand over her heart, or sing along when the anthem is played, there's this you know, very stone-faced co-captain of the U.S. Team.

President Trump was asked about it during an interview with the Hill yesterday on whether or not it's appropriate, he said no. No, I don't think so, although he said he loves watching them in soccer and that he had watched a game.

Marc Thiessen co-host of the American Enterprise Institute's new podcast What the Hell is Going On and Leslie Marshall, Progressive Radio Talk Show Host both Fox News Contributors. Great to have both of you with us. You know, I think everybody in --

MARC THIESSEN, CONTRIBUTOR: -- everyone in America is thrilled for this team. They are winners. They have won twice before and they may win again. And I'm sure that you know President Trump always likes a winner and supports them.

But you know, Leslie, let me start with you. I mean, this is you know, it's a bit of a downer when you look on that sideline and you see one member who's so prominent, who isn't willing to stand up and put her hand over her heart for the national anthem of our country in an international stage.

LESLIE MARSHALL, CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I don't think it's a downer and this is why. I don't agree with that. I stand for the national anthem. I put my hand over my heart. I teach my kids to do the same and I do sing the song rather poorly but I do sing it.

When I look -- when I look at this, what I see is unlike any other nation out there -- and remember there are countries out there that have suppressed women so bad that they won't let them play soccer or women's sports. They banned soccer who cannot be a part of this event and what I see is saying, look, how great our country is. Not only do we produce incredible athletes, female athletes we're number one in the world right now but --

MACCALLUM: But what is she -- what's her oppression? In what way is she oppressed in America?

MARSHALL: She doesn't have to be oppressed to have the choice.

MACCALLUM: No, but is she protesting? What is she protesting?

MARSHALL: She seems to be protesting anything -- anyone that the president has made disparaging remarks about that she feels I think are the underdog. And I'm paraphrasing, obviously, I'm not quoting her.

MACCALLUM: Let me take you from her words. Let's put it up here. She says, I feel like it's kind of defiance in and of itself to be just who I am and to wear the jersey and represented it. Because I'm as talented as I am, I get to be here. You don't get to tell me if I can be here or not. So it's kind of a good F you to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the Trump administration might have toward people who don't look exactly like him. Which, God help us if we all look like him. Scary. Mark?

THIESSEN: Yes. Well, I agree with Leslie about how what a wonderful country this is that is allowing free -- that allows free speech and allows women to showcase their talents and to be on the -- on the world stage. It's terrific and she's just a huge distraction from all that, you know. And I've quite frankly, I don't understand why the U.S. coaches are tolerating it.

In 2016, when the U.S. when the World Cup of Hockey was happening, U.S. coach John Tortorella said, any player who won't -- who sits on the bench for the national anthem is going to sit for the rest of the game. And I think that's what the U.S. coaches should be telling her.

It's -- first of all, she's not protesting Donald Trump because she started doing this in September 2016 before he was president she started protesting the anthem. But even if it was -- even if she was protesting Donald Trump, she's not playing the Trump administration, she's playing for America. She's wearing the uniform of the United States.

It's one thing to do that when you're a professional player playing for the Seattle professional women's soccer team, it's another thing when you're wearing team -- the Team USA Jersey. How can you protest the flag and wear it at the same time? It's utter hypocrisy.

MACCALLUM: All right, I do want to get your thoughts on one other issue here which is the women's -- the pay scale issue. And the entire team is protesting, the women's team, because their minimum salary starts at 16,000, the men's starts at 50,000.

And I thought it was very interesting because the President made a comment -- I'm not going to go through the whole thing, but he basically said, you know, it has to with economics and he talked about the great stars on the men's team.

But you know what? It turns out the women's team brings in more revenue than the men's team.

THIESSEN: Yes.

MACCALLUM: On top of that the women's team has two World Cup championships and they are probably -- well, I don't want to jinx it but they may get a third. The men's team has none. So, I am completely supportive of their push that they should be paid -- they should be paid more than the men, Leslie.

MARSHALL: I agree, 100 percent, if we're looking at it from the basic economics.

MACCALLUM: As you should.

MARSHALL: You know, in addition, do you know that people were excited not only about soccer as much in this country. It's growing more and more, but women soccer. This woman has helped to make soccer number one --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: Yes, that's true, she's a superstar.

MARSHALL: -- and to put it -- and to put it, you know, on the map.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

MARSHALL: So quite frankly, even without endorsement, they shouldn't have to get extra on the side.

MACCALLUM: Not at all.

MARSHALL: They should be paid as much, if not more than the men. And by the way, may be that's what she's protesting.

MACCALLUM: I think, you know, if you're looking at the economics that the president said, they should be paid more than the men. Marc, quick thought because I'm already -- time to go.

THIESSEN: A hundred percent agree. Look, this women soccer team as a group is making a great point and they're showcasing the talent that women soccer players have and show how exciting women's sports can be in this.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

THIESSEN: The U.S. women's national hockey team did the same thing. But she is distracting from all that because she is turning this into -- she's distracting from the talents of the women on the field --

MACCALLUM: All right.

THIESSEN: -- and focusing the attention on herself and her political protest.

MACCALLUM: I'm just saying on her on this point. Her, I agree with her and all the other players. They've merited it, they've earned it and they should be paid more in that case.

THIESSEN: A hundred percent.

MACCALLUM: Thank you both. Great to see you tonight.

MARSHALL: Thank you.

THIESSEN: Thanks, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So, coming up, some new twist in the disappearance of a University of Utah student. What the police are now saying about the mystery person that she was last seen meeting with at 3 a.m.

Also, Trey Gowdy on whether South Carolina stands a chance of flipping blue in 2020.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: All right. Before we get to the next story, a quick correction on the last story, the women's team has won three World Cups and may be on their way to winning a fourth potentially so all the more reason why they should get the big bucks.

All right. We have some new details in this very disturbing story about a missing University of Utah student. Mackenzie Lueck.

The Salt Lake City Police Department has released these photos of her leaving the airport, where she then ordered a Lyft car and requested to be dropped off at a park at three in the morning to meet up with an unknown person. She did not seem to be in distress, but more than one week later, she has not been seen.

Claudia Cowan live from Salt Lake City tonight with the very latest here. Claudia.

CLAUDIA COWAN, REPORTER: Martha, good evening. Eight days after Mackenzie Lueck disappeared without a trace, police are releasing these last known pictures of her so that people know what she was wearing and can see the bags that she had with her.

Surveillance video tracked Mackenzie from the moment she got back to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles, where she had attended her grandmother's funeral, to the time she left the airport in a rideshare. Her flight landed around 1.30 in the morning and we see her deplaning at 2.09 wearing a light-colored sweater and black backpack.

She then picked up her brown suitcase at baggage claim. Nothing seemed unusual. Police say the 23-year-old nursing student didn't talk to anyone, didn't call anyone. A half-hour later she took a Lyft not to her apartment, but to a suburban park miles away where at three in the morning she met up with someone who is waiting in another car.

The Lyft driver told detectives Mackenzie seem fine and so he went back to work and police say he is not a suspect. But Mackenzie's friends are baffled saying they have no idea why she would go to that park in the middle of the night and police are desperately trying to figure out who she met.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM DOUBT, ASSISTANT POLICE CHIEF, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: The description we have is vague. It could have been a male or a female. We've exhausted all avenues in determining that information. I want to ask this person to please call us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COWAN: Police say they are following up on more than 120 tips. They brought in the FBI and have executed multiple search warrants. Among other things, they are going through Mackenzie's cell phone records looking into her activity on social media including dating apps and whether she may have had a second phone.

Police say there are times when a missing person wants to disappear and once again, at today's press briefing, they publicly asked Mackenzie to check in if she can.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOUBT: I would like to say again, Mackenzie, in the case you just want to be left alone, please let us know you are safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COWAN: Police say there is no sign of foul play and stress that this is not a criminal case but Mackenzie has now missed work, she missed a midterm exam at school and she even missed an out of town wedding, Martha, this past weekend.

Her friend say it is completely out of character to just go off the grid like this and her family has issued a statement asking anyone with information to call police. Back to you.

MACCALLUM: All right, Claudia Cowan, thank you very much, Claudia. So, also, tonight, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg campaigning in South Carolina this weekend insisting that Democrats can turn that state blue in 2020.

Telling a local outlet, quote, "Even traditionally red states can surprise you. I think that every state is on the table and there is no reason to believe that it's written in stone, that South Carolina must vote Republican all the time."

In 2016, President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton there by a margin of 14 points. The state has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, but that did not stop 21 of these Democratic candidates from courting voters there last weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for office because we will beat Donald Trump.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Congress doesn't have the courage to pass gun safety laws, then we will get the job done.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the folks who got it.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can make public colleges and universities tuition free.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, D-N.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will pass a law this year in New York guaranteeing and mandating two weeks paid vacation for every working person. Are you ready for that in South Carolina?

JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to do something to reduce the student at which I don't have time to go into that, but we will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACCALLUM: All right. Here now is Trey Gowdy, former South Carolina congressman and House oversight committee chair, now a Fox News contributor. trey, good to see you tonight. Thank you for being here.

TREY GOWDY, CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So, you know, as we pointed out, South Carolina on the presidential level has been red for decades since 1976. But these candidates seem to think that maybe the dynamic the demographic might be changing there in some way. Is there any reason to believe that?

GOWDY: No, ma'am. Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat to win South Carolina. I was 12, you probably weren't born, Tim Scott had hair. That was a long time ago. Since then, you know, Bill Clinton won twice --

MACCALLUM: Yes.

GOWDY: -- didn't come close to win in South Carolina. President Obama won overwhelmingly the electoral college. He didn't come within 10 points to winning in South Carolina. Statewide we've had some really good candidates. Gosh, like a lot personally.

Steve Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, Bakari Sellers who is a commentator on another cable show. They both ran for statewide office, didn't come close in South Carolina. So, I'm glad they were here. I hope they spent a lot of money. Republicans are not going to win California and the Democrats are not going to win South Carolina.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I remember in the last round President Trump said that he thought he could win California and New York. That proved to be not possible that time around. Whether or not, you know, that dynamic is also probably unlikely to change.

But obviously, their main -- their main reason for wanting to be there is they need to put in a very strong showing in South Carolina to be the viable Democratic presidential nominee.

And it's interesting to look back at the Hillary Clinton president of then candidate Obama race, he won -- he was behind dramatically in South Carolina heading into the primary process. But then he won Iowa, he won New Hampshire, and he ended up winning South Carolina and then winning the nomination. Hillary Clinton did the same thing. It's a very important state to do well in for these folks.

GOWDY: It is, and Jim Clyburn is very popular among Democrats and very well respected. And of course, he has a fish fry which the candidates attended. And there was a forum. It's important in the primary just like it's important in the Republican primary.

But I'd be willing to bet you, Martha, unless it's a nontraditional nominee on the Democrat side, they are not coming back to South Carolina after they win the nomination. They just don't have -- they don't have a chance in 2020.

The only way for Democrat to win is if the Republican Party is fractured. That's how we lost our state -- last statewide race. Jim Rex won superintendent of education because Republicans were fractured on the other side. They're not fractured behind President Trump.

The opposition is solid, but his support is, too. So, it's not in play. I'm happy they're here. I actually hope the Democrat nominee will come up. Republican nominees will go to states that we are not going to win because that stands now. There are only 10 states that they need to bother to campaign then.

MACCALLUM: Yes, that's true.

GOWDY: All the rest of them are going to go red or blue. But this state is not in doubt in 2020.

MACCALLUM: Let me just get, you know, The Political Observer of South Carolina politics. Let me get your take on how it looks. When you look at the latest RealClearPolitics for these Democratic politics, and they are going to a very -- you know, a lot could change over the next two nights because some people may drop out of this thing forever and some people may really do well in these debates and prove themselves to be players.

But Joe Biden is at 41 percent in South Carolina. Sanders at 13, Elizabeth Warren at 12, Buttigieg at eight and a half, Harris at eight, Cory Booker who is really trying to, you know, sort of get into this race is 4.5 percent there. Why is Joe Biden so popular do you think with Democrats in South Carolina?

GOWDY: They know him. He actually, if memory serves me, eulogize Strom Thurmond. I think Lindsey Graham tells a hilarious story about Joe Biden. I mean, he gets along, got along with Fritz Hollings. He's popular. I think Democrats in South Carolina to factor in electability. And they think that he may be more electable than some of the other names you called.

But he's a familiar face, and he's been to the state a lot, whereas the mayor and some of the others, this may be their first visit. I don't see anybody catching Joe Biden but a traditional Democrat nominee is not going to win in South Carolina. It would require a nontraditional nominee, someone like Tulsi Gabbard.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

GOWDY: Who is nontraditional? But I don't think a nontraditional nominee is going to be their nominee. So that's the dilemma they have.

MACCALLUM: All right.

GOWDY: Biden people know him. He's been around a long time. He eulogize Strom Thurmond. I think he's going to probably win South Carolina on their side but I'm not an expert on Democrat politics.

MACCALLUM: Well, we'll have to -- next time you'll have to tell us Lindsey Graham's funny story. Stick around for that. Trey Gowdy, thank you very much.

GOWDY: He's in (Inaudible), I can't do it. I'm telling --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: OK. Maybe offline. Thank you, sir. Good to see you tonight.

GOWDY: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Coming up, a mysterious story. She disappeared 45 years ago, this little girl. And a case that had gone cold. But now, today the FBI is releasing a chilling phone call that was made to her mother because they believe there may be some new territory to plow (Ph) in this investigation. “The Story” investigates next.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten thousand dollars might be a lot of bread, but your daughter's life is the butter topping.

(END VOICE CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: A chilling six-second phone call could hold the key to cracking a 45-year-old cold case of a missing 14-year-old girl. Margaret Ellen Fox was last seen boarding a bus in Burlington City, New Jersey on June 24th, 1974. Now investigators are hoping that somebody will recognize this voice and the ransom call.

Alicia Acuna investigates from our West Coast newsroom. Alicia?

ALICIA ACUNA, REPORTER: Hi, Martha. Yes, and the FBI as you said, is releasing this recording 45 years after Margaret Ellen Fox disappeared in hopes someone listening recognizes the voice of the caller on the other end. You will hear two voices; one is Margaret Fox's mother and the other, law enforcement says was her daughter's abductor. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: $10,000 might be a lot of bread, but your daughter's life is the butter topping.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is this?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACUNA: Just six seconds long, investigators began recording the Fox's family phone calls in the hours after they reported the 14-year-old girl missing. This is what she looked like in 1974. And her are the age progression photos digitally rendered by the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. One at age 49 and then another at 56.

The question for investigators in a case that never closed is what happened that morning 45 years ago when Margaret took a bus from Burlington City, New Jersey in the Philadelphia suburbs to Mount Holly. She had answered a newspaper ad for her first baby sitting job. Her family says the teen told them she was to be picked up at a nearby intersection once she arrived.

Witnesses told police they saw a girl matching her description get off that bus. The Fox family then received two ransom notes demanding money in exchange for the return of their daughter. After that it was a phone call, part of which was recorded by authorities. Here it is once again.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten thousand dollars might be a lot of bread but your daughter's life is the butter topping.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is this?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACUNA: That phone call is traced to a phone booth in a neighboring town.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE DENAHAN, ASSISTANT SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, FBI: The FBI has a long memory. The community we serve should know that we will tirelessly pursue all viable leads in the interest of delivering justice. We realize that in missing person cases, especially those involving children there is a family at the other end who is enduring heartache every day not knowing what happened to their loved one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACUNA: The FBI is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and or conviction of whomever is responsible. And after all these years, they say the family and community, Martha, are still waiting for answers. Martha?

MACCALLUM: Alicia, thank you very much. So here with more, John Fine, Burlington City Police Chief. Chief, thank you for being here. Why release this audio now? And why the reward now all these years later?

JOHN FINE, POLICE CHIEF, BURLINGTON CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: So, our community has been going through a lot, just trying to recover, trying to figure out really what happened with Margaret Fox. So, fortunately we're working with the FBI, working so closely with them through technology changes they were able to get a nice clear audio of this in order to release it.

MACCALLUM: Any tips coming in yet?

FINE: So far, we have one which is, again, we stop to look into it but we're very happy at least to get something to start working on.

MACCALLUM: Yes. And what about the possibility -- you hear a lot of cold cases now where some being solved by DNA. Is there any hope that that could find out -- they could figure out what happened to her?

FINE: Yes. We work very close with our country prosecutor's office and with the FBI. We can't be more appreciative of their efforts as well. So, we've been talking to behavioral science, we've been talking to FBI Quantico about the DNA. Hopefully we could formulate a suspect with getting some help from the public. And hopefully, at least if Margaret is deceased or if she's still alive, find her if she's deceased, give her a proper burial, bring her back home to Burlington and let's try to, you know, start to see in process.

MACCALLUM: It's so tragic. Just put up -- put up the description of what Margaret was wearing when she disappeared because it takes anybody who was around in 1974 back to this little girl, 14 years old, getting on a bus for her first babysitting job. Flowery long-sleeved blue blouse, checkered waist-length jacket, maroon flared jeans with a yellow patch on the knee, and you can just, you know, she comes to life when I read this description of her and put her picture up again so everybody at home can see it.

You know, what is her family -- obviously, you know, you never forget, ever. You can never get over this.

FINE: You read in this case. The father, Mr. Fox is very protective of his daughter, his only daughter. And being a father myself, and know in the community with Mr. Fox who, unfortunately, has passed away. This is the one time that Margaret was going to try to grow and get a job and show how responsible she is.

So, he allowed her to go to, you know, take it, let the daughter to take a chance, and unfortunately, he never saw her again. So, it's very unfortunate, it's very sad and we hope that we could work hard for the Fox family and hopefully bring closure to this.

MACCALLUM: Any suspects that, you know, have come up over the years, you know, any good leads that maybe this will revise?

FINE: Any case is like a puzzle. So, the FBI, the county prosecutor's office, the New Jersey state police and our own detectives have worked tirelessly from generation to generation. They've interviewed so many people. We just know that there is a piece of that puzzle missing and we hope to put that piece together, again to put this case --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: And you say that in your community, you know, over the past 25 years, everybody who goes to church service hears her name. Right?

FINE: Yes. Retired officers, you can still walk into the diner or the pizza place and people still long-term residents remember this case just like it was yesterday. And to bring Margaret home, not only will bring closure to the family but also start to heal that wound in the community.

MACCALLUM: All right. Well, we have put up those pictures of the renditions of what she would have looked like now, and perhaps 10 years ago. I mean, there are some crazy that happened and sometimes this can turn the key. Thank you very much, Chief Fine. We really wish you good luck and keep us posted.

FINE: Thank you for having me.

MACCALLUM: Thank you for your service.

FINE: Thank you.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: That is “The Story” of this Tuesday June 25. Tomorrow night, Congressman Steve Scalise warms up to play in the congressional baseball game two years after being shot. He is back on the field at second base and he is on “The Story.” Until then, Tucker Carlson is coming up live in D.C., next.

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