'Hannity' on Joe Biden's fantasy Christmas

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This is a rush transcript of "Hannity" on December 28, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

WILL CAIN, FOX NEWS HOST: That's what mask rage does to a person.

And that's about it for us tonight. Tune in each night at 8:00 for the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and group think. I hope you'll download the Will Cain podcast, where you can join me every week.

Now, Pete Hegseth, my real life friend, not just TV friend, is in for Sean Hannity. And Pete takes it away right now.

PETE HEGSETH, FOX NEWS HOST: You got it, Will Cain. I tried to put on my Will Cain costume, same outfit, you know? Just -- let's just keep it going tonight and I'll see you tomorrow night as well as New Year's Eve. I hope people watch that. Will, well done tonight, brother. You got it.

All right. Welcome to this special edition of HANNITY. I'm Pete Hegseth, in for Sean.

Breaking moments ago, former Senate majority leader and prominent Nevada Democrat Harry Reid has died at the age of 82. Stay with the FOX News Channel for continuing coverage on him.

But, first, tonight, we begin with this a fantasy from Joe Biden dating back to February. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As my mother would say, with the grace of God and the goodwill of the neighbors, that by next Christmas I think we'll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today. I think a year from now when it's 22 below zero here, no, a year from now, I think that there'll be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced, have to wear a mask instead of --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEGSETH: What happened, Joe? I thought you had a magical plan to shut down this airborne virus.

On the campaign trail, Biden's idiotic chief of staff Ron Klain promoted this so-called plan writing and I quote: I've been saying since March that we can beat COVID. We can't beat COVID with an Articles of Confederation response. We have a national government for a reason. If Donald Trump won't use it to beat this killer disease, I know someone who will, starting on January 20th, 2021.

Now, Ron Klain was either lying or woefully naive because now, according to Joe Biden, and we quote, there is no federal solution to COVID-19. Yep, you heard it right. In other words, everything Joe Biden said on the campaign trail was a farce. Kind of like you know the kid in every middle school who runs for class president, promising vending machines in every single hallway. It was never going to happen but it gets him elected, I'm not saying I did that.

As Senator Tom Cotton points out and I quote, when Joe Biden says there is no federal solution, he's trying to avoid blame for his incompetence. If he really believes this, he should rescind his unconstitutional federal mandates. He won't. We know that.

Now, amid a new surge in COVID-19, more than 30,000 health care workers have already lost their jobs because of these mandates. They worked when there was no vaccine to save all of us. Now, they're out of a job, not to mention police officers, firefighters and members of our military.

But don't expect the White House to change course. Under Joe Biden and Ron Klain's rule -- truth, common sense and basic sanity, you know, it's in short supply.

Here now with reaction is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former senior adviser to President Trump, Stephen Miller.

Governor, let me start with you. Did they believe what they were saying or was it always just a cynical play what they thought was Donald Trump's weakness, they would -- they would build their campaign on knowing we'll figure it out when we get there?

MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Pete, I think the truth is they didn't know what they were saying that's what made it so bad and Joe Biden really I think burped out a little bit of truth the other day when he didn't expect that he would be doing it. When he said there's no federal solution, I don't think that's what he intended to say but it's the truth and deep down, he knew it.

Interestingly, that's exactly what Donald Trump said from the beginning. He said that we have to let governors manage this crisis. He understood, he respected the 10th Amendment. Joe Biden didn't.

What I find most interesting is that all of the legal positions that the White House under Biden has taken have been because he has the authority to set the policy.

Now, he's admitted not only does he not have the authority, but he doesn't have a clue how to fix what he claimed he would have fixed long before now.

I think the Biden administration and all their attorneys need to go to the courts and say, forget about all that stuff that we filed, just go ahead and mark it down. We had no idea what we were doing.

HEGSETH: Stephen, I remember the Trump administration being criticized. Effectively, the argument was -- well, you're passing the buck to the states so that you don't have to take responsibility if things go wrong, or was it different? Stephen, a recognition that a challenge of this magnitude, the China virus, required dynamic local solutions from people who could actually make the decisions and ultimately, there's no way a federal government in Washington, D.C. could apply mandates that are effective in every place, considering New York City is a little different than rural Oklahoma? Was that part of the calculation for the Trump administration?

STEPHEN MILLER, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP : Well, I had the privilege, as you know, working for President Trump when he launched the greatest national industrial mobilization since World War II, when this pathogen landed on our shores. When it came to core issues of civil rights and civil liberties, he respected local citizens, local governments and state governments.

But when it came to putting together a national response, let's not forget, this was a completely new pathogen. From scratch, President Trump brought us tests, PCRs, antigen tests, rapid tests, at home tests. He brought us a bevy of therapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies that have proven to be remarkably effective. He brought us three vaccines from scratch.

And he brought masks, brought us ventilators, brought us gloves, brought us medical gowns. All of this -- all of this from scratch.

Joe Biden inherited every single one of those tools, plus a year of clinical data. And what have we gotten? Record death, record cases. That is an inexcusable failure.

And this statement now that he's helpless as president is nothing more than a cry for help, saying that he is in over his head and has no clue what he's doing.

HEGSETH: Is this, Governor, the beginning of a backtrack? Is this the beginning of staring at poll numbers, staring at case rates? Not that that's the right metric because it isn't, but looking at a new variant and new lockdowns that are that are that are occurring in certain places. Are they saying -- well, we're just it's just not working. Maybe the Trump playbook was more effective than ours.

HUCKABEE: Well, it was more effective and that's one of the things that we have seen Stephen Miller was exactly right what he said.

And if you remember what President Trump did, he made available all of the resources and assets and said, if you're a governor, then ask for the help and we will send it to you but you'll manage it. And so, he sent hospital ships to New York. They never needed them or used them but he sent them, because they said they needed them. He sent ventilators there more than they needed, but he made them available.

That's how it's supposed to work. The governors manage the crisis but the federal government is an assistant to help provide resources and assets.

What Joe Biden came along and said was, I'm going to do it. It's going to be fixed by me, and Joe Biden got in there and found out that the people he was most critical of, people like Ron DeSantis, people like Gregg Abbott and others were actually managing their crisis a heck of a lot better than he was.

And so, I don't think that he intended to basically wave the white flag in that press event yesterday with the governors, but that's exactly what he did.

HEGSET: It sure looked like it.

And, Stephen, before I go to you, real quick -- Governor, if you're a governor right now of a free state or you take the mentality of balancing actual freedom and livelihood vis-a-vis science, whatever that means by those who espouse it these days, what's the move of those governors now that now that effectively Biden has said there is no federal response, is there more governors can do?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think they're frustrated and frustrated that they've spent a year waiting on Joe Biden to give them leadership that you never gave them.

And, of course, some of them quite frankly are probably very -- just bumfuddled because they thought the whole time was that they were supposed to just wait and get orders from Washington.

But the effective governors haven't waited. They've taken the crisis. They've managed it and their people are better off and they're more free.

That's how it's supposed to work. A simple reading of the 10th Amendment would help validate that.

HEGSETH: Stephen, if you -- it's a hypothetical but it's worth looking into a bit. If you were in the White House with Donald Trump right now, considering where we are, you know, there probably would have been a delta, probably would have been omicron, who knows? But this omicron variant is much different, thank goodness it's much less lethal, at least we know that. We believe that to be true, although more highly transmissible.

What approach do you think a Trump administration would be taking right now or a reasonable administration would be taking?

MILLER: Well, I have no doubt as to what President Trump would have done if he continued to occupy the Oval Office. First of all, he would have continued to push new therapeutics, which would have massively cut deaths, massively cut hospitalizations.

Secondly, he would have never undermined confidence in the vaccine the way that Joe Biden did.

Thirdly, and again going back to Governor Huckabee's point, he would have made sure states had the resources, especially testing, where Joe Biden has bungled it beyond imagination. President Trump would never have used the cudgel of brutal mandates especially on our children. These toddler mask mandates are insane and depriving children --

HEGSETH: Yes.

MILLER: -- of a crucial development window.

And finally, finally, on top of all of that, he would have worked in partnership with our governors to craft local strategies that made sense particularly with emphasis on sheltering the highest risk individuals, not a broad based blunt approach.

HEGSETH: Absolutely. Stephen, thank you. Steve -- Governor Huckabee, Stephen Miller, thank you both very much tonight. Really appreciate your insight this evening.

Well, tonight, we have a grim milestone more Americans have died from COVID under Joe Biden than under Trump. We mentioned it earlier. It's worth reiterating, even though it was Donald Trump as was mentioned just moments ago who developed the vaccines that Biden is now attempting to mandate and he's ignoring -- as Steven pointed out -- therapeutics. It's not that hard.

At this point, it's clear Joe Biden never had a plan to shut down the virus. In fact, he didn't even have a plan to secure enough COVID testing supplies.

But don't take my word for it, even the medical experts at CNN are very disappointed. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: How critical is the window that we're missing right now for testing?

DR. ASHISH K. JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Oh, I think it's incredibly critical, and I cannot believe this is where we are almost two years into the pandemic. Everybody saw it coming. We knew we needed more tests I think the administration had dropped the ball on this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEGSETH: How do you drop the ball? So, CNN is saying they dropped the bal. They knew a variant was coming and they knew they needed more tests and somehow they decided not to? You could play the imagine if it was Donald Trump game all day long on that.

But right now, according to "The Daily Mail", the United Kingdom is performing five times as many tests per capita as the United States, five times as many.

But don't expect Joe Biden to take responsibility or be held accountable, because according to Joe Biden no one could have predicted a winter surge. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: The second thing we're doing is more testing. Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do and we're doing it. We went from no over-the-counter tests in January to 46 million in October, 100 million in November, and almost 200 million in December.

But it's not enough. It's clearly not enough. If I had -- we'd known we would have gone harder, quicker if we could have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEGSETH: I can barely understand -- I can barely understand what he's saying. He had a year, a year. They did know. Almost everyone on earth knew that a winter surge as things get colder, people move inside, it was all predictable. And yet according to a report in "Vanity Fair", they still turned down a plan in October -- plenty of time to plan -- to vastly increase the number of at-home tests. Maybe you wouldn't have been late on your flight had there been at-home tests.

To make matters worse, Dr. Fauci, King Fauci, along with the rest of the Biden administration, isn't focusing enough on therapeutics. In fact, infected with Trump derangement syndrome, they've downplayed them from the very beginning.

Take a look at what Senator Rand Paul who is a doctor had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I think Fauci is of the philosophy that vaccines are incredibly successful and are the way to go versus therapeutics, for example. So with regard to AIDS, he was involved in the -- as the AIDS epidemic came up, he wanted to develop a vaccine. There's nothing wrong with that. He wanted to develop a vaccine. Vaccines can be great for polio or smallpox, they're wonderful.

It didn't actually work for AIDS. We still don't have an AIDS vaccine, but some people say that it hindered the therapeutic. And right now, we treat AIDS pretty well. You can prevent people from having AIDS. People with HIV positive, they're on like five or ten different drugs, but the therapeutic angle ended up being the best. But he was biased towards the vaccine.

And it's the same way now. I would venture to say that thousands of people die in our country every month now from COVID because he's de-emphasized the idea that there are therapeutics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEGSETH: Joining us now with reaction, FOX News medical contributor Marty Makary, along with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.

Doctor, I'll start with you.

Why has it been an obsession with vaccines? A good thing, a good thing to get out quickly. But therapeutics were suppressed. We saw free speech suppressed. No doctors were allowed to talk about it.

Now, we have new therapeutics developed by the -- by major pharmaceutical companies who can profit off of them. People look around and look at people that are no longer here because of COVID-19 and wonder why were therapeutics never part of the emphasis for Joe Biden?

DR. MARTY MAKARY, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, good evening, Pete.

You know, it's been a long-standing bias of Dr. Fauci, and HIV sort of tells the story well. He talked about an HIV incessantly and also funded a large HIV vaccine awareness campaign with about $5 million and got a lot of criticism from the Senate.

So it's an intrinsic bias that he brings. He works on vaccines. That's this thing. But it's come at such an exclusion to therapeutics.

I think what's happening really is you're getting public policy from one individual, Dr. Fauci, the president's been getting bad medical advice and as a result we have not been talking about these therapeutics.

Not only have there been delays in the American Pfizer therapeutics that cut COVID deaths to zero, but also fluvoxamine had a big trial that came out it's an antidepressant. FDA approved already on the shelf the big trial came out last spring and a paper in JAMA, and then another trial came out in "Lancet" two months ago. We've never heard him once say the word fluvoxamine or ever talk about that therapeutic that cuts COVID deaths by 91 percent.

HEGSETH: It's unbelievable when you -- when you break it down and, Dr. Makary, you've done such a phenomenal job cutting through the real disinformation that Dr. Fauci and others have put out there and peddled for so long, which prevented people from getting the therapeutics they could have otherwise had.

Speaking of delay though, Representative Scalise, the COVID task force ultimately in Congress which could be looking into the origins, which we're looking at where this comes from isn't doing so.

Why are Democrats uninterested in understanding where this came from so that we can, A, learn from it, and, B, maybe get a little bit of accountability for the fact that our lives have been upended for two years?

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): Right, Pete, and this is something that we've been calling on for over a year, to have an investigation into the origins of COVID. There are a lot of scientists all across the political spectrum who are now suggesting that it started in the lab in Wuhan, not from a bad to an animal to a human. And yet Democrats are covering for China, from Joe Biden on down.

I remember it was Joe Biden as a candidate who said anybody who presides over that many deaths from COVID should not remain president of the United States. That was when he was a candidate. And he also said, quote, I will shut down the virus. How's that worked out because he's added vaccine-only strategy?

And, by the way, that vaccine --

HEGSETH: Yeah.

SCALISE: -- was developed through Operation Warp Speed, which was Donald Trump's initiative, that he criticized so much as a candidate. Now, he's benefiting from it, but he's had a blind eye to therapeutics, to natural immunity, so many other things that could be reducing the number of deaths and shutting down the virus.

He won't confront these challenges and he won't confront China. We surely will when we win the House back.

HEGSETH: I hope so.

Dr. Makary, I don't know if it's because things are going so poorly right now that I want to live in a hypothetical fantasy land which is not always useful. But I -- I would let's say you were in Dr. Fauci's position, right now, where we are with omicron, where we are with therapeutics, where we are with vaccines, where we are with mandates -- if there were two or three things you could immediately advise the White House and say, change this, do this, people's lives improve, lives are saved, what would they be tonight?

MAKARY: Well, number one, recognize natural immunity. We've destroyed many careers in the United States because people have circulating antibodies that neutralize the virus but they are antibodies the government has not recognized.

And number two, I would get a testing czar in place right away. We have no testing czar the role that Admiral Brett Giroir had for so long. Right now, the testing czar Carole Johnson left her post in early December and the new person, one of my colleagues at Johns Hopkins, is not going to be taking the position until January. Here we are in the midst of an omicron surge and we've got nobody in charge.

And then, finally, we've got to talk about early treatment. You're seeing some states like Florida make that a big emphasis. That includes everything, things that can be used in combination, multiple drugs. It may be a multimodal regimen that allows us to get to a point where no one should be dying of COVID, and that's where we are almost right now. No one should be dying of COVID with rare exceptions.

HEGSETH: Doctor, real quick, before I go to the representative, is these - - these -- with omicron, is this the type of variation we want -- not that we want anything, we don't -- but more mild and highly transmissible? Is it a gateway or an exit ramp off of the pandemic?

MAKARY: It is and nobody wants anyone to get sick, even if it's a mild or flu-like illness. But now, we've got laboratory evidence that omicron is not infecting the deep lung tissue -- the area that gives you severe illness -- nearly at the same rate. So, we've got laboratory evidence it's mild, population data that it's mild, and bedside observations that it's mild.

Omicron for most of the world who will not get vaccinated will be nature's vaccine.

HEGSETH: Representative, you're an astute observer of the species known as Democrats, many of which are radical these days. Are they capable of changing their position as autocrats with mandates, lockdowns, and be responsive to what the American people want, which is a pathway to a new normal, a normal, but at least not a normal where they're told what to do in every way?

SCALISE: Yeah, Pete, you see some of these autocrat Democrats, that they just can't give up the power. They want control over people's lives. They're taking away freedom.

And look, President Biden will not acknowledge what's worked, because he has disdain for people like Ron DeSantis. He won't admit that people like Governor DeSantis were right when he had trucks going around in the hot spots with monoclonal antibodies to be administered in the places where the outbreaks were happening. That's how Governor DeSantis reduced his numbers.

But he was too busy criticizing Governor DeSantis and Governor Abbott and other governors who figured it out. And now, he says there is no national strategy -- well, then, how about you get rid of the national mandates and let the governors who have figured it out go and teach the governors who haven't what to do? You know, people like Governor Cuomo who killed thousands of people in nursing homes because he didn't follow the science when people like Governor DeSantis were.

HEGSETH: So right. It's never mattered more what your zip code is than today or who gets to decide what the science is. Man, I wish it was Dr. Marty Makary.

Doctor, Congressman Scalise, thank you both so much for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

All right. Straight ahead, Biden's COVID failures expected to have a devastating impact on our economy but also our nation's classrooms. Congressman Ronny Jackson and my good friend Rachel Campos Duffy explain, when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEGSETH: Welcome back.

Well, despite campaigning on having a secret plan those are always the best to shut down the virus, Joe Biden appears to have given up on stopping the spread of COVID, telling governors this week that there's no federal response, all while his administration remains in a daze trying to figure out why everything they have done has gone so wrong so fast. We're now learning that the effects of the new omicron variant are expected to dent global economic growth in 2022, certainly here in the United States.

And in New York City, major retailers like Apple, they're shutting down their stores completely and worker shortages are causing de facto lockdowns in a lot of under other industries. Meanwhile, you've seen this: major airlines continue to cancel hundreds and hundreds of flights -- in fact, my parents had their flight canceled yesterday on their way home from Christmas -- with workers unavailable due to illness COVID and vaccine mandates.

So what's the Democrat response to all this chaos? Well, not to get the country up and running again of course, not to find sensible ways to balance freedom and health safety, and certainly not to actually just trust people. But instead, to find more reasons to stay home, not work, all while working families and their children suffer the most.

Here's an example. The Chicago teachers union is proactively, preemptively polling their members over a possible shift to remote learning, despite no science to support school closures and despite overwhelming evidence that zoom school is destroying the quality of education and leading to a spike in mental health challenges, not to mention masking up our five-year-olds which remains child abuse.

Just listen to Biden's surgeon general laying out what's at stake. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA BASH, CNN HOST: One in five young people report experiencing symptoms of depression. One in four suffer from anxiety. So is the mental health toll of the pandemic an epidemic in its own right?

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We've seen certainly that many children have lost loved ones during this pandemic, 140,000 kids lost a caregiver. We know that their lives have been turned upside down. They haven't been able to see friends as often as they would, and that's taken a toll. That's why we've seen anxiety and depression rates go up among kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEGSETH: Here for reaction, Texas Congressman, Dr. Ronny Jackson, along with my good friend and co-host of "FOX and Friends Weekend", Rachel Campos-Duffy.

Thank you both so much for being here.

Congressman, let me start with you.

You heard the stats. When our own surgeon general under the Biden administration is on CNN admitting these numbers -- they're not really following the science, they're not really balancing mental health and the health of our children and our families, they've already chosen one path.

REP. RONNY JACKSON (R-TX): Absolutely, Pete. You know, we did this to ourselves for no good reason. I saw some -- I saw some statistics from the CDC earlier today that said approximately 700 kids between the ages of zero and 18 years of age have died from this since day one, 700 -- less than 700.

This is crazy. We shut down our schools and we did this to our kids because of that. We should -- from the very beginning, we shouldn't have been treating everybody as the same.

We knew that in the very beginning that these kids weren't getting it. They weren't -- they weren't spreading it. They weren't getting sick from it. They certainly weren't dying from it.

Yet, we went ahead because Biden pushed it and we shut down schools and we punished our kids and now, we're seeing these huge suicide rates in kids. You know, thousands of kids a year that are that are committing suicide, as well as the other stuff that's happening these kids too -- their proficiency in school, their test scores. A lot of these kids are going to be so far academically behind, they're not going to catch up at all.

I mean, this is two years and now, they're talking about doing it again for this next semester of school? This is crazy. I mean, we did this to our children for no good reason. We should have treated kids differently from day one.

HEGSETH: Yes. All the evidence showed that we should treat them differently from day one, yet we ignored it, and here, we get -- we're doubling down on it.

Rachel, you're so great on this topic and it's such a joy to host with you on "FOX and Friends Weekend", Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., or 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. on the FOX News Channel. Just a shameless plug there.

RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY, CO-HOST, FOX NEWS WEEKEND: Don't forget to promote our New Year's Eve -- our New Year's Eve thing, too, Pete.

HEGSETH: And New Year's Eve, which we're doing at the end of the show. Join us on New Year's Eve.

Congressman, if you want to come along as well, you're always welcome. It's in Tennessee, you make the trip. It's not that far.

But I have this -- we've talked about this, Rachel. There's this looming sense that here we are almost two years in, we know what we know about omicron, yet we're looking at the autocrats going back to the same playbook -- mandating vaccines to kids as young as five, talking about masks, eating lunch outside, now possibly back to Zoom calls.

Is it really possible that we would go back to the future in this spring semester or even through the summer to next year? It seems they can't let it go.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: No, they can't. I mean, it's really clear. The virus is not killing children.

You had Dr. Makary earlier. He actually is the one who put the numbers together because our CDC who has billions of COVID dollars couldn't seem to put it together.

Not one healthy child has died in America of COVID, but 2,800 have died of suicide. We have a fifth -- over 50 percent spike in female teenage attempted suicides. And as the CNN reporter said, this spike in anxiety and depression, not to mention neuroticism.

You know, adults who are loving and caring and care about children, what they would do is reassure our children that nothing would happen to them, that they are safe from this virus, and they've done the exact opposite.

They've destroyed their childhoods. They've taken away all those markers, proms and graduations. They've told them they can't sing in school. They've, you know, forced them to eat apart in school.

HEGSETH: I laughed, but it's not funny.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: They've masked them. They've tortured them. They've muzzled them, and then they wonder why we have the spike in mental health crisis, by the way, in a country that doesn't have enough mental health professionals to deal with this spike in mental health crisis with our children.

This is absolutely one of the worst results of COVID that I've ever seen, and it -- to me, it just proves that the Democrats don't care about kids. They have used children to advance their political agenda and it's absolutely -- it's deplorable.

HEGSETH: Absolutely, and they listen to the unions. The unions write the rules and then -- and they tell the rest of us we have to deal with it.

So, Congressman, here's my question. There are people that live in free states and for them life is different. In fact, kids are going to school without masks, it's almost normal. Then there are people that want to move to free states and that may be an option for them.

But then there are other people who are stuck in states where lockdowns, masks and mandatory vaccines for five-year-olds are where they are, for whatever station in life they're in. What could a Republican Congress do would you to take the majority in to loosen that grip for people that are stuck in those states?

JACKSON: Well, I think to start with, we have to -- we have to figure out what happened. How did we get to where we're at?

I think there's a lot of people that need to be investigated. We need to go back. We need some accountability for how we got to where we're at. I think just the whole nature will change once the Republicans get -- you know, get the majority back because they just won't be able to get away with what they're getting away with right now.

I mean, you asked -- you said earlier, could they possibly go down this path again? I guarantee you they'll get on this path again. It worked so well for them last time, they were able to use this to for unsolicited mail-in ballots, it gives them power, it gives them authority, it basically -- you know, it gives them everything they need.

You know, this worked really, really well for them and they were able to blame everything on COVID. Everything the Biden administration did that went wrong, they blame it on COVID, whether it's the economy, whether it's crime. You know, no matter what the issue is, they have low poll numbers, it's all because of COVID.

HEGSETH: It's true.

Rachel, last word, real quick.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Listen, I hope the Republicans take it over in the midterms, but I want to see them talk more about rolling back the freedoms that we lost during this pandemic. It's been very serious and the damage to our children.

For many, it's just -- it's just outrageous. We need some somebody to do something before the midterm frankly, and probably --

HEGSETH: It's so true.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: -- if the governors undo -- if the governors can get back the power, according to what Biden says, maybe that would help. But let's remove these federal mandates from airplanes and everything else.

HEGSETH: Amen. Well said.

Dr. Ronny Jackson, thank you so much.

Rachel, I will see you in the free state of Tennessee for New Year's Eve. I'm looking forward to it.

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Tennessee, see you there.

HEGSETH: All right. Coming up -- you got it -- with the midterms looming next November, Biden's endless failures may spell disaster for Democrats. Matt Schlapp and Congresswoman Nancy Mace, they react to that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEGSETH: Welcome back to HANNITY.

Well, with Democrats as desperate as ever for any signature political win, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are becoming even bigger and bigger liabilities for any Democrat, anyone with a D next to their name looking to keep their job in 2022. For example, not only is Biden's approval still majorly underwater, but Republicans are now holding a double-digit lead among independents heading into the midterm election cycle, because tonight, the Biden agenda is failing on every single front.

Inflation surging, our energy independence gone, the supply chain still a mess, the border still a catastrophe, dangerous crime is up in every major city, and we're still seeing fallout from the reckless withdrawal in Afghanistan. No program covers that more than HANNITY. Build Back Better thankfully dead, but that was a number one for them and COVID is spreading across big blue states as fast as ever.

So, ask yourself, have you ever -- it's an important question to ask -- have you ever seen one man fail this much this fast? Now, it's all raising questions about what do Democrats do in 2024? Does anyone really believe Joe Biden will run again? Not really, no.

And according to Joe Rogan, 2024 maybe the matchup between -- get this -- Michelle Obama and Donald Trump. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE ROGAN, PODCAST HOST: I really believe if Michelle Obama runs, she wins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

ROGAN: I think she wins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's good.

ROGAN: She's great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

ROGAN: She's intelligent. She's articulate. She's the wife of the best president that we have had in our lifetime in terms of like a representative of intelligent and --

(CORSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, sure.

ROGAN: -- articulate people. She should win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEGSETH: Here for reaction, American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp, along with South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace.

Matt, you do politics for a living. Joe Rogan went on to say that Donald Trump paired with Ron DeSantis would be equally formidable.

So let's play this game for a second way ahead of the curve of 2024. When you look at where Joe Biden is right now, A, can he run, would he run? And B, what kind of matchup are you looking at?

MATT SCHLAPP, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION CHAIRMAN: Yeah. So, it's very interesting with the identity politics of the Democratic Party, this new socialist Democratic Party.

I mean, I look at Joe Biden. I don't know him personally. He sure doesn't seem like he's physically or mentally up to another presidential race, unless they can do one of these pseudo presidential races where he stays in his basement with Hunter and everybody can vote as many times as they want through the mail. But I don't see that happening again.

So now you have the identity politics of picking Kamala Harris. Why? Well, she's a woman. She's a woman of color, and she comes from California. She's very left wing.

Now they have this problem of, oh my God, they've gotten to see Kamala Harris and she's terrible. I mean, where is she on, planet Mars during all of this?

I mean, they don't put her out at all, because she's not able to connect to the American people. So if they're going to replace Kamala Harris, they got to look to the identity politics. And I have to say, Michelle Obama fits that type of thinking -- another woman of color who's obviously got good poll numbers. It's a very interesting idea.

HEGSETH: It is.

Congresswoman, it would -- it would be interesting if you were up for -- you are up for your election in 2022.

REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Every two years.

HEGSETH: And everyone is floating the names of who will run -- every two years, I did learn that in civics. We -- I got a progressive education, but I learned a few things, it's true.

But if every name floated for that race was not your name, and that's what's happening with the Democrats right now. No one's floating Joe Biden. No one's floating Kamala Harris. Everybody else.

It's really a stark reality for Democrats right now.

MACE: And it's really astonishing when you look at the number of also Democrats in the House that have retired so far this year. We're at 23 and counting.

HEGSETH: Yes.

MACE: There'll be more to come.

And I represent a swing district, and I won by one point last year and I'm seeing independents and center-left Democrats that are very -- you know, they're not happy with the presidency or who's in the White House right now with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris's leadership as you said earlier.

I can't think of one good thing that President Biden has done for this country in his first year in office, unless of course if you like inflation. Inflation is up at the highest it's been in 39 years. If you like illegal immigration -- well, President Biden is allowing hundreds of thousands of immigrants across the border every single month.

And with COVID, good luck getting tested when omicron hits your city near you any day now. It's been failure after failure, which is why you're seeing them scramble and I think float out names and ideas.

But I don't know why anyone would want to go back to an Obama era presidency. They gave us socialized medicine, of course. Because of that, health care is through the roof these days.

But Republicans are in a great position in 2022 and 2024 because of this year in office.

HEGSETH: Yeah. Matt, let's look at 2022. You're familiar with the midterm elections of 2020, the Gingrich wave of 1994. How does this compare to previous red waves that have occurred?

MATT SCHLAPP, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION CHAIRMAN: The big difference is if you look at the wave where Republicans picked up the House and the Senate after two years of Bill Clinton's presidency, and then they picked up the House after two years of Obama's presidency, what was interesting is both -- both of those turned on nationalized health care. In Clinton's case, it was HillaryCare, which failed. In Obama's case, it was Obamacare, which passed.

And you could look at Obama's -- excuse me, Biden's weak poll numbers based largely on his failure to get the virus under control. The big difference this time is a cultural shift. Both Clinton and Obama tried to pretend that they were middle of the road Democrats.

The new socialist Democratic Party is woke. It is hardcore socialist and that is their biggest problem.

The American people are seeing the practical implications of socialisms, of lockdowns, of Washington knowing best, of inflation, of bad economics, and actually mean policies that are hurting their families, and they don't like it. And that's why the Democrats are going to get spanked next year at the polls.

HEGSETH: You know, Nancy, when I look at the elections in '21 in New Jersey and Virginia, COVID -- I mean, they almost won in New Jersey which is very telling -- COVID was atop the list. What's happening in our classrooms with critical race theory was atop the list.

You look at those numbers for independents, when you -- you reference independents. When you're talking to them on the campaign trail, what's most significant to them based -- you know, looking at where they're going to vote?

MACE: Well -- right. When we talk about what's going on in this country right now, many center-left and moderates and independents, they voted for President Biden because they thought he would be moderate, because they thought he would be center-left, they thought he would be a calm and moderate, a voice in a very divisive country.

But he's been anything but. He's gone -- he's taken a sharp left turn into socialism and progressive politics, rather than listening to both sides of the aisle. And then they're very much turned off by that, which is why we're going to have -- I like that the word spank. We're going to -- we're going to -- the Republicans are going to -- are going to take the win big time next year because of that.

HEGSETH: They voted for a Democrat. They didn't know they were getting a socialist, and that boils right down what they're looking at right now.

MACE: Right, exactly.

HEGSETH: Matt, Congresswoman Mace, thank you so much for your time tonight. Really appreciate it.

All right. Straight ahead, a Chicago police dispatcher -- you're going to want to see this -- is calling Mayor Lori Lightfoot a disgrace. We're going to play the tape and get reaction from Deneen Borelli and Pam Bondi, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEGSETH: Welcome back to HANNITY.

Well, the results -- they are in -- from the Democrat's nationwide defund the police and so-called bail reform experiment. And surprise, it's not going well.

In Harris County, Texas, that's where Houston is, suspects out -- get this -- suspects out on low bail have killed over 150 people, according to Fox affiliate KRIV, 150 people.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, a police dispatcher said things are so bad the cops just might not come when you call. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH A. THORNTON, JR., CHICAGO POLICE DISPATCHER: And I'm going to tell you right now, 16th District is so shorthanded with offices when you call 911, you're not getting a quick response like many other parts of the city. Officers are not coming to you, and why, because they can't be assigned calls to go to you because we very few officers within these neighbors, and it's nonsense. A shooting came up a few days ago and we could not get a unit over there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEGSETH: Good on Mr. Thornton.

And in Wisconsin, the state's Democrat governor, well, he's rethinking his position on bail reform after a man out on just $1,000 bail -- if you remember this -- killed 6 people at the Waukesha Christmas parade.

You remember that, but most don't, because the left wing media wants people to forget, especially his motivations. It wasn't convenient, not the right narrative.

The governor told a local TV station, quote, if everybody sits back and takes a breath, maybe people with a violent past could have higher bail. Wow, imagine that. He is a certifiable genius in today's Democrat Party.

Here with reaction are FOX News contributor Deneen Borelli and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Deneen, I don't mean to make light of it, but I can't believe that Democrats have seen the light. This feels like a band-aid on a gash wound that they can't come back from.

DENEEN BORELLI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, you're absolutely right, Pete. And, look, the Democrat lawmakers are part of the problem. I mean, really, whose side are they on? It looks like they are siding with the criminals more so than their law-abiding constituents.

And when you also look at the fact with the media, with Brooks -- first of all, Brooks should not have been on the streets. The man was a ticking time bomb.

But then you have the liberal media was ignoring the story, and why is that? Because it's not part of their narrative, black male and white victims. You know who else is ignoring this story? The Black Lives Matter idiots, Reverend Jackson and Al Sharpton and the NAACP, because it doesn't fit their narrative. I find it to be an absolute disgrace.

HEGSETH: It really is.

You know, Pam, so some of these governors, the attorney generals, D.A.s, they're giving speeches now. They're coming out and giving speeches where they're trying to backtrack it. That's very different than official policy. That's different than actually giving -- actually locking people up, actually not giving low bail, actually empowering police officers.

How difficult is it? I mean, I know you worked in a different kind of state where the rule of law actually exists and people have, you know, rights and things like that.

PAM BONDI, FORMER FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yeah.

HEGSETH: But how difficult is to actually unwind this once you gone down the defund and no bail process?

BONDI: You know, Pete, what I said all along. You know where we need to attack this? And this is what the Democrats have done. The Soros-funded prosecutors, they've done this at a local level, and we have a couple of them in Florida still. But that's what they've done.

If you look at Wisconsin, if you look at Houston, all of the murderers getting out on bond. That's a liberal district attorney. Her name is Kim Ogg and a Republican and conservative ran against her who was endorsed by the police. Yet the Democrat won.

So, voters, you need to take notice. When you are electing these liberal mayors like in Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, these liberals in Wisconsin, these liberals in Houston, you have to elect conservatives who are going to support our men and women in blue. That's what is not happening in the liberal states.

HEGSETH: You are totally right. I don't even need conservatives, I just need common sense. I just need like, hey, cops are not the bad guy, and maybe if you break the law, we should lock you up. Is it too much to ask? For the socialist, it is.

Deneen, Pam, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

Coming up, remembering NFL legend John Madden. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEGSETH: Welcome back to the special edition of HANNITY.

Today, the legendary John Madden passed away at the age of 85. Madden was a hall of fame coach with an incredible record, and Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, as Will Cain said earlier, the voice of a generation of the nostalgia, and the namesake of the popular NFL -- Madden NFL football game, one of the best-selling sports games of all time, many of which are in my basement right now.

After Madden's passing, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said nobody loved football more than coach. He was football.

Unfortunately, that's all the time we have tonight. Thank you for watching. Don't forget, you can catch me on "FOX & Friends Weekend," every Saturday and Sunday, and on this Friday night, I will be posting FOX's All-American New Year's with my compadres, Rachel Campos-Duffy's and Will Cain, the weekend crew goes late night. You don't want to miss it.

Right now, we turn it over to the very capable hands of Sean Duffy, who is in for Laura Ingraham -- Sean.

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