This is a rush transcript from "The Story," July 20, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HARRIS FAULKNER, GUEST HOST: Chaos unfolding in some of America's largest cities. The President of the United States says enough is enough, it's time for the federal government to step in.
In prime time tonight, I'm Harris Faulkner in for Martha MacCallum and this is "The Story." Some of the most disturbing video is coming from Chicago. We got our first look at an incident from Friday. It's now being described as a coordinated ambush on police. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot calling them violence vigilantes as they were hurling rocks an explosives.
49 as police officers hurt including one who had his eye socket broken. Another who had his kneecap broken by thrown objects. We move now to the scene in Portland, Oregon. 53 days into the violence there. Criminals tried to light the court house on fire. Federal agents deployed tear gas in an attempt to force them back and the Mayor of Portland blames the unrest on the presence of federal agents and the person who sent them there, President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR TED WHEELER, D-OREGON: Your presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism. We are all telling the Trump administration. Stop the rhetoric. Take these people out of our city. They are not helping us. They are hurting us and what we're seeing is a blatant abuse of police tactics by the federal government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FAULKNER: Top Democrats on Capitol Hill say they are alarmed and are calling for an investigation into the use of federal law enforcement. The President. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: More federal law enforcement, than I can tell you. In Portland, they did a fantastic job. They grabbed them, lot of people in jail. They're leaders.
These are anarchists, these are not protesters and you ended up over the summer. This is worse than Afghanistan by far. This is worse than anything anyone's ever seen. All run by the same Liberal Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FAULKNER: We have a big line up to tackle all of it tonight. DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli on the federal government's plan to get the cities under control. Good to see you, Ken. Coming up. Congressman Jim Jordan, Ranking Member of the Committee that's now investigating all of this. Congressman, welcome.
Plus analysis from two law enforcement experts, Dr. Cedric Alexander and Robert Harris, gentlemen, look forward to it. For now let's begin with our correspondent on the ground in Chicago - in Chicago tonight, Matt Finn with all that's happening right now.
Matt, a busy day and night.
MATT FINN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And Harris, this new disturbing video reveals each step of a highly organized mob style attack against the Chicago police department at the base of this statue that's sent 18 officers to the hospital, one recovering this evening with a broken eye socket, the other a broken knee cap.
Thousands of protesters Friday evening marching to tear down the Christopher Columbus statue. Rioters then blend in and popped up lots of umbrellas to shield their identities. Then a person drops off all types of weapons including frozen water bottles that were thrown at police, also rocks and explosives. CPD also says PVC pipe that was holding banners was intentionally sharpened and thrown at police.
Today Chicago's top cop acknowledges, there were alleged incidents of brutality at that Friday riot and says they will be investigated but for now the police superintendent says all of his officers must wear their protective gear to all protest, going forward because it's not clear they're going to remain peaceful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BROWN, CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: Chicago police does not want to engage in violent interactions with peaceful protesters. But when the law is being broken, or has been broken, our oath demands that we act. I understand the anger that is present in our city and in our nation. CPD is on the front lines of this anger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FINN: It was another bloody weekend here in Chicago police say between just the hours of 6:00 PM Friday and midnight last night, 12 people were killed, 63 people were shot in 41 shootings across the city and this weekend once again, children were shot here in Chicago.
This time, a shooting injured cousins, two boys, ages 10 and 11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PASTOR DONOVAN PRICE: Is Covid-19 the thing is going to kill our children or our each other going to be the thing that kills our children? Which pandemic is worse?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FINN: And today Chicago's top cop says he welcomes any federal assistance, the President wants to send to this city. Harris.
FAULKNER: Wow that Finn, that really resonated on such a visceral level. Which pandemic is worse? Thank you very much for getting us kicked off with that report. Department of Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary now, Ken Cuccinelli.
Ken, when you hear that about what's going on in the streets and I know that you told The Washington Post that there will be a heavy presence now in Portland and other cities. What can we expect? What would that look like?
KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DEPUTY SECRETARY, DHS: Well, when violence advances, the President has made it clear that he wants us to advance law enforcement to push it back, to bring peace back to these cities. We defend our federal facilities where we have people like the head of the police there in Chicago who want to cooperate with us.
We are - we welcome that cooperation and we're happy to come help them do their job and achieve the peace that we all aspire to for their communities and you know, the clip you played of him. I couldn't have said it any better. I agree with every single word he said.
You know, I wish we were seeing that in every city around the country who's having to take on these violent mobs.
FAULKNER: You're talking about the Chicago Police Superintendent that we showed I think.
CUCCINELLI: Yes ma'am.
FAULKNER: You know Deputy Secretary, the Mayor of Portland says violence was improving there but then federal law enforcement made it worse. What - what's your response to that?
CUCCINELLI: You know, that is a fake talking point. Look, we are literally at a point today where I think we're now over 50 straight days. 50.
CUCCINELLI: 50 days of violence in Portland. 53. Thank you and we advanced an additional DHS law enforcement component only about two weeks ago so they were a 35-40 days into daily violence that this Mayor was encouraging. He wasn't discouraging it.
Look at the simple - simple fact that he hasn't put a curfew on and enforced it. One of the simplest way is to bring peace to the streets of a city. He refuses to do it because he's politicizing the violence to his own political advantage while President Trump has put us there to try to help bring peace and order back to that part of the city where we have jurisdiction near the federal facilities.
FAULKNER: All right, I want to talk with you about what that jurisdiction looks like and - and what I would call as a former military route, the rules of engagement here because I think that's really important. You know, you've got people accusing the federal agents on the ground of taking people off the streets, snatching them up and putting them in the backs of cars and putting something over their head.
I want to speak to what the facts really are and - and what they're able to do, these federal agents.
CUCCINELLI: Right, so in Portland just like everywhere else, our agents are identified as police on front and back and they have their unit identifiers on both shoulders so there are Customs Border Protection agents for instance. They're helping the federal protective service protect the federal buildings in Portland.
So Customs Border Protection have police on the front, will have Customs Border Protection and Homeland Security seal on each shoulder and their unit identifier. These are board tack which is like a SWAT team and they have an individual identifier as well, not their name but a code identifier like AS3 or something like that, that's unique to them.
They are always identifying themselves, including to the subject of some news this week, a viral video you seem to be alluding to. They identify themselves to that subject. They didn't identify themselves to the crowd who is shouting at them because they have no obligation to do that and frankly it distracts them from keeping themselves and the subject they're dealing with, safe during their interaction with such people.
So very standard for us and we're going to continue to keep the presence there as long as the violence stays. If those violent criminals want us to leave or to reduce our presence, we're always there, have been since the court house and other buildings were built but if they want to see our presence reduced, then the violence really does need to come to an end.
That's the point. We're not there because it's Portland, we're not there because of Mayor Wheeler. We're there because violent criminals are doing damage every day and threatening the federal presence that's already there in Portland.
FAULKNER: And I'm clear on it but politics are playing a role because when the President talks about these cities, he talks about them with specificity being liberal and Democrat-led. Does that complicate the job you're on the ground doing?
CUCCINELLI: Well look, I really believe that the years and years of liberal policies contribute. There's a reason there's violence in 50-year liberal enclaves and not in 50-year conservative enclaves. I mean this is - this is you know, I don't treat it politically Republican Democrat but policies and ideas matter and have consequences over a long time.
This isn't new to Portland. Two years ago, the Mayor there, publicly withdrew the police from defending an ICE facility, a Department of Homeland Security facility in the middle of a siege. It was an invitation to violence and that's exactly what happened. So you know, we don't have much choice but to do our job and we're committed to doing our job.
If the Mayor wants to try to get in the way and make that harder, he can make it harder by reducing cooperation. We prefer and seek cooperation with state and local officials all over the country and in most of the country, those are very productive relationships and where they exist, we have more peace and better law enforcement.
FAULKNER: Well and - and just to wrap up with this point of fact. I interviewed the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany today and she talks specifically about the two models that you're going forth with, one that is an operation based on cooperation and the other that is based on non-cooperation.
A big job all around. 53 days of unrest in one of America's great cities. Thank you very much. I know it's a long time.
CUCCINELLI: Harris, good to be with you.
FAULKNER: Thank you very much for joining me. Thanks. Also here tonight, Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio. He's the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee. Let's talk about where we are in terms of shoring up America's cities and what we can do from Capitol Hill?
REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO: Well, the Democrats you said earlier the Democrats are alarmed by a federal presence. The cops here want the federal presence. You heard that from the Police Chief in Chicago where 49 officers as you pointed out were attacked. So for goodness sakes, look, the Mayor of Portland said this was improving until the federal - this has been 53 days that they've done that.
That's 7.5 weeks of rioting, looting, violence, attacks a police officer, destruction of property and - and they - they don't want any help. They just want to let this continue to happen to their constituents, to their business owners in the - in their city. I mean this is scary to me and the idea that this is somehow President Trump's fault.
I mean we went back and checked Harris. You know the last time there was a Republican Mayor elected in Portland? 1956. I mean that that was long before you were born and it was even before I was born so this site - every - every day - every member of the city council in Portland, Democrat.
No Republican so how was this a Republican problem. This is scary what's going on. What Democrat mayors, Democratic governors are allowing to happen to their cities, to their constituents is frightening and I know that these cops just like the police chief in Chicago said, the officers certainly like federal help there to have them deal with the situation that they've been countering now for 53 days in the city of Portland.
FAULKNER: You know I am curious because it would seem that all of this started as a conversation that the nation was ready to have about police reform and we've gone far afield from that. I interviewed Senator Scott, Tim Scott on my special last night on all of this and you know, the thing that confuses me now as we get back to work and it's Monday, a fresh new week is that Democrats have said that they really want to put off that police reform and they want to put off a deeper conversation about you know, potentially making things different and better.
How do you is a Republican on the Hill go forward with that? That's a lot of pressure on everybody if you have to sit with this scene, replicating over and over, where we dealt with one autonomous zone, then we had several.
JORDAN: No, it's sad and Tim Scott, Senator Scott's done tremendous work and he truly wanted to get to a consensus, get to good legislation that helped protect law enforcement but also dealt with the situation, the tragedy that took place in Minneapolis and he had a good bill.
We offered during the mark up on the House side in the Judiciary Committee, we offered on the Republican side 12 thoughtful good amendments. They didn't take a single one of them because this was about politics for the Democrats. That's the scary thing so I wish we could get to some real good legislation that helps - that helps police departments, helps these communities but they don't want to do it.
I mean you think about this. They - they won't stop the rioting and the looting but they'll stop kids from going to school. They won't stop the rioting and the looting but they'll stop people from going to church. They won't stop the rioting and the looting, they'll stop people from attending a loved one's funeral.
So for Democrats, this is everything and that's the scary thing and most Americans with just good common sense say what is going on. It is time for this to end. It is time to quit the blaming and step up as Democrat mayors, Democrat governors in these respective states and cities to step up and take responsibility and stop it and hold people accountable for the wrong doing that they are seeing and doing every single day.
FAULKNER: You know it's interesting, we're seeing people get on the same page among the citizenry and we don't want to break everything around race and culture but I just bring this Fox news poll to mind from earlier today. Blacks and whites are based on the same 80 and 81 percent on the issue of law and order and what's happening in our streets today.
JORDAN: Of course.
FAULKNER: That the critical nature. We are in it together.
JORDAN: Yes, we sure are.
FAULKNER: Congressman Jordan, thank you very much for your time and your perspective.
JORDAN: Thank you Harris. You bet. Take care.
FAULKNER: I want to - thanks. Let's bring in Dr. Cedric Alexander now. Former President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and Robert Harris, Director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. Gentlemen, thank you for being here. I wanted to come together with both of you because I've had deep conversations about how we get to moving forward with both of you. Dr. Alexander, I'll start with you. Chicago, black on black crime. That was not caused by George Floyd. It's another summer of discontent, doesn't even touch it, it is destruction and it is soul destroying, what's going on with the murder in the streets there.
DR. CEDRIC ALEXANDER, FORMER PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT EXECUTIVES: Yes so let me speak to Chicago as many other cities, large cities across this country but more specifically to Chicago is that what we're seeing is not new to Chicago. This has been going on long before Mayor Lightfoot got there, long before Rahm Emanuel got here.
It is been in that system there for a long time and it goes beyond quite frankly being just a police problem. You're talking to someone who is a Chief twice in this country in two cities in this country and I think the police do the very best they can with the resources they are given but I think we all also have to admit, there's bigger issues that exist in some of those communities where we see this high volume of crime that continues to occur, year after year after year after year.
It put good residents in those communities at risk and it puts our police officers at risk as well so we got to have a much broader conversation beyond policing as how we begin to resolve some of those issues and I think it's a - it's really just not a Chicago problem, it's an American problem that we all are going to have to confront but let me say one more thing here before I end here also Harris.
Is that for me, this is not going to be a Right or a Left kind of discussion in which I'm going to have. This is about what's right and what's wrong and what we as a nation are going to have to do if we want to make systemic change.
ALEXANDER: But one side of the aisle blaming the other side of the aisle is just politics that don't amount to anything while people are losing lives and police officers are at risk.
FAULKNER: You know Robert Harris, as we look at the video that's come in today from the middle part of the country from Portland and other places, do you think it's time for federal help? You know, you've led many - you've been a police officer so when do you as an officer say yep, we need that help?
ROBERT HARRIS, DIR, LA POLICE PROTECTIVE LEAGUE: Well first, I just want to agree with the doctor in that bullets do not care about political affiliation, they just don't and I think a path forward here is to take a page out of our rank and file playbook in that here in Los Angeles, some officers I believe are the most professional in the country and we work collaboratively, consistently with our federal partners, with our other adjacent local jurisdictions.
And I think some of our political leaders could really take a cue from that. I think the path forward is finding people who can exercise some ownership over where we're at instead of blaming, instead of looking at law enforcement as a political football and bring the key stakeholders to the table which in my opinion is the Los Angeles Police Protective League in rank and file unions because we represent those who are out there every day, trying to make a difference and who recognize that professionalizing our profession is a positive thing for everybody involved.
FAULKNER: You know, I listened to what you're saying and I think Gosh, don't we thirst on Capitol Hill for emergency hearings at this point. And look, you know, I get it. They probably have to be virtual. Look how good you guys look on TV. It's virtual. We can get it done.
But when you're going - when you're talking about pulling all these people together, we - we need to do that and also pull some from the streets so we understand where they're coming from because they're not organized, that group. We can't assume we know. Robert Harris, Dr. Cedric Alexander, thank you for your time tonight.
ALEXANDER: Thank you for having me.
HARRIS: Thank you Harris.
FAULKNER: President Trump is not buying this polling. The polls show him trailing Joe Biden, many of them. National Press Secretary for Trump 2020 Hogan Gidley will join me next on that. Stay close.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: Mr. President, you'll be happy to know that Fox news has a new poll out today and you're going to be the very first person to hear about it. In the National horse race Joe Biden leads you by 8 points, 49 percent to 41. I understand. We still have more than 100 days to this election but at this point you're losing.
TRUMP: First of all, I'm not losing because those are fake polls. They were fake in 2016 and now they're even more fake. The polls were much worse in 2016.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FAULKNER: That of course the President of the United States, dismissing the notion that he has fallen behind in the 2020 race against Joe Biden despite the latest Fox news polls showing the former Vice President pulling ahead by 8.
But I asked the team to pull some more, you know like getting a bit on a home, you want at least three. So here are a couple more. The NBC news Wall Street journal poll has Biden up by 11. The ABC News Washington Post says it's more like 15 and to be fair, the Rasmussen poll is up by three on the low end so you've got a little bit of a mix here.
Here now to respond, Hogan Gidley is National Press Secretary for Trump 2020. Hogan, thanks for joining me tonight. No matter where you go, the polling is not positive for President Trump and we have in you a mix. You just left the White House now and leadership on the campaign. How is this resonating, do you figure in both places?
HOGAN GIDLEY, NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, TRUMP 2020: Well first of all, the President's absolutely right. Those polls are fake. For example in 2016, in the exit polling Fox polled 36 percent Democrats. The poll that Chris Wallace just referenced, is 46 percent Democrat. It's a 10 percent increase of who they actually look at in poll and of course elections at the end of the day come down to choices. We know we're in great shape with the American people because when you look at what Donald Trump will do with safety and security and protecting the American family, protecting our way of life, we're in great shape.
When you compare and contrast that with the choice of Joe Biden, someone who when asked is it OK if we redirect funds away from the police, he says yes, absolutely. That's a big problem for the Left. It's a big problem for Democrats and I understand the media is doing a really good job covering for Joe Biden saying, no redirect doesn't mean defund the police.
If that's the case, let me propose something to you Harris if I may, your next paycheck, I'm not going to defund it, I'm just going to redirect some of that money into my account. Everyone knows that's a cut and that's what Joe Biden wants to do. It will leave our American families vulnerable.
It will leave our communities less safe. This president has done everything to protect them to this point. He'll do so in the next four years.
FAULKNER: Interesting. You know as I'm looking at these polls and I'm just going to run back over on because you mentioned Democrats in the polling and you're right about that, about the percentages of the ones that we named. Quinnipiac, not the case. The Hill, not the case and certainly Rasmussen and while the numbers may not be as great between these two men as you look at the margin of error, they're still negative for the President.
So what are you concentrating on because when - when you walk past, the President did well. Seven points in 2016 above Hillary Clinton and independents and you know and digging deep in this, because you're looking at how many Democrats are participating in them, that you've got a little bit of a problem.
You've got the softness in independents so what do you do about that?
GIDLEY: Well - well, a couple of things. Again, the methodology of those polls that you're talking about now, the same methodology that got it wrong in 2016 but you don't have to guess how the economy would look under Joe Biden. We just saw it for seven years. Depressed wages, 3.5 million jobs going to China, horrible trade deals that gutted the American middle class, kicked the American workers square in the teeth.
Compare and contrast that with Donald Trump. 7 million jobs coming into this country, manufacturing plants relocating. Also you saw 500,000 of those manufacturing jobs that they said on the Left would never come back, he brought them back. You don't have to guess what Joe Biden would do with our city streets.
As I said, when the lawlessness broke out, he was completely silent except when he did pop up out of his hidey hole. He made the point, hey yes, let's defund the police so let's be clear. Your jobs aren't safe. Your families aren't safe and your American way of life is not safe with Joe Biden because through his policies, he's waged war for the last 50 years on all three.
FAULKNER: Well, and with Democrats, they may be handing you a bit of a gift politically by saying they don't even want to tackle the police reform until 2021 when they hope to win majorities again. Look, I want to move on to something that the President said about if he were not to be re-elected. Let's watch. I'm curious to know what he meant by this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election, I really do.
WALLACE: Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results of the election?
TRUMP: I have to see.
WALLACE: Can you give a direct answer, you will accept the election.
TRUMP: I have to see. Look, I have to see. I'm not going to just say yes. I'm not going to say it and I didn't last time either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FAULKNER: Hogan, you were in the church with me with the President as I interviewed him last month.
GIDLEY: That's right.
FAULKNER: And I asked him a similar question. He said that he would accept whatever the results were. What changed?
GIDLEY: Well, if it's done properly, of course but the fact is as the President pointed out so articulately there. The Democrats are pushing for universal mail-in voting. That's just fraught with all types of possibility for cheating and the Democrats know it.
So they're bragging about a policy that could completely compromise an election and then they're asking us to abide by those results. That's ridiculous and let's also note, we're talking about a Democrat party here who solve the intelligence about Russia meddling into the election and did nothing about it. It was Donald Trump who stood up for the integrity of the election system by bringing in the NSC, the FBI, the CIA to work with states and locales to make sure every vote mattered and every vote was counted. Those are the facts of the case.
And after that election in 2016 it was the Democrats who went on an attack against this president like we've never seen before. Perpetrating an entire Russia hoax, they were the ones who continue to say to this day that it was Hillary Clinton who won the election. They are still saying Stacey Abrams is the duly elected governor of Georgia.
They are the ones that have a problem standing up for the results of an election, but we won't take a lesson from them on that and we're sure not going to say right now that whatever happens, we are just going to say that's the way it is, because we know now that Democrats have a history of cheating and elections and we're not going let them cheat on this one.
If this election is free and this election is fair, Donald Trump will get four more years in the White House.
FAULKNER: Well, and then there is one thing that no one can guess, and that is how COVID-19 will play a role in how people choose to vote. We'll cover it all. Hogan Gidley, great to see you tonight. Thank you.
GIDLEY: Thanks so much, Harris. I appreciate it.
FAULKNER: Today in Florida, 10,000 new coronavirus cases, a rising death toll, and now some are suggesting reinstating the lockdown. It might be the only way out of this, they say.
FAULKNER: COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the State of Florida, there is one particular area that is more alarming to all of the experts, Miami- Dade County is now being referred to by many as the epicenter of this disease right now. With more than 23,370 new cases just last week, 170 people died.
The ICU's have been filled for days. And now there is fear that another massive lockdown might be the only way to slow down COVID-19.
Joining me now, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez. Good to see you tonight, Mayor. Thanks for joining me.
So, some criticism is coming your way with how the reopening was handled. And I'm curious, because you had to wait according to federal guidelines for a 14-day decreasing COVID-19 before reopening, did you wait that period of time?
MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ, R-MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: Yes, we met all the what's called the gating criteria, our positivity rate was below -- was below 10 percent for 14 days, and so, yes, we had the green flag to open it, and we also opened it where the advice -- on the advice of our medical advisors.
We have like a 200-page document on how to open all the regulations and all the businesses had to go through. Our people had to wear masks on interior spaces. Outdoors they had to wear a mask unless they could maintain a distancing of six feet.
What happened was sometime around June, a lot of the people stopped abiding by some of these rules and we saw young people especially start to reengage, re-go out social partying, and all of that. And then we had the demonstrations. And so, all those things.
FAULKNER: What young people do.
GIMENEZ: Exactly, what people -- young people doing what young people do, and that actually is the -- we saw spike in the middle of June, it was all young people, 18 to 34, 35 to 45-year-olds, and then that then led to a contagion in the general population, and that's what we see today.
FAULKNER: How frustrating is it to know that the good hard work of your citizens there was not may be completely unraveled, but certainly damaged in terms of what you have to do next? So, you've the ICUs full, what will you do if hospitals start to reach capacity? Like you're not going in that good direction again, so what are you going to do?
GIMENEZ: Well, we are seeing a slow down on the speed up, let's put it that way. It's not -- we're not seeing --
GIMENEZ: -- the hospitalizations rising at the same rate, we are seeing tapering down. We have instituted a curfew a couple of weeks ago. We close down some of the assemblies like casinos and movie theaters, and all of that. Bars have never been opened here. We close down the interior spaces of restaurants.
And so, our medical advisors say, hey, let's see what those measures take, also re-emphasize the wearing of masks, now masks are mandatory inside and outside. Re-emphasize that and then enforcement.
And so, we passed an ordinance, you know, last week that allows for civil penalties, not just criminal penalties for not abiding with the rules, and so far, we've shot some businesses down, we've also given some tickets. So, it's reinforcing the rules, the good rules that we put in place --
FAULKNER: So --
GIMENEZ: -- a couple of months ago that if people just would have followed, we wouldn't be where we are today.
FAULKNER: So, Mayor, you know, I have to look at this, now you're going to depend on the police to shore up all of this. That's a lot on them, and especially when you look across the country with what police officers are going through to start writing tickets for that.
FAULKNER: But that's obviously what you think you need to do. Let's talk statewide, the largest teacher's union in Florida is now suing the state over safety concerns for kids going back to school. What is your plan for schools in your area?
GIMENEZ: I'm working with the superintendent and we're working on a plan whether at the time six weeks from now, whether it will be safe to open up schools or not. We're not going to put kids in an unsafe environment, we're also look, going to look at the science and what it does, but the superintendent and I are working very closely together on that.
FAULKNER: All right.
GIMENEZ: We're going to have different plans depending on where this virus is at that time, and then we'll make that determination when the time comes.
FAULKNER: Really quickly before I let you go, let's take a look at the hecklers --
FAULKNER: -- who were yelling shame on you to your state Governor DeSantis at a presser today, should Florida follow one of the set rules? With the stress on the state be eased if DeSantis implemented a statewide mask mandate? Would that make it easier? We'll keep this video up. I'm just curious to get your thoughts on that, do you need help from the state from the top down?
GIMENEZ: No, not really. I think, you know, we, in our tri-county area we have the mask order, it's the Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach has a -- and also Monroe has a mask order. The governor has allowed us a certain amount of autonomy here. It's different in southeast Florida than it is in other parts of the state.
And so, look, it's even different inside Miami-Dade County then it is, you know, in other parts of Dade County.
GIMENEZ: Right? And so we have rural areas, we have urban areas. And so, you know, I -- the governor has been nothing but supportive of the efforts that we've had down here. He sent additional personnel to our hospitals. He sent additional resources to Miami-Dade County. So, I can't be anything but appreciative of the work that Governor DeSantis has done here for Miami- Dade.
FAULKNER: Well, I'm broadcasting from New Jersey, and New York and my state led the world who know at one point in terms of the --
FAULKNER: -- the rate at which we were going, you can turn it around.
FAULKNER: Blessings to you and your county and your state.
GIMENEZ: Thank you, thank you very much. God bless you.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz is warning his state, 2020 has a bull's-eye on it. And if Democrats win Texas, it's all over. Senator Ted Cruz is here next.
FAULKNER: Senator Ted Cruz of the great state of Texas has issued a new warning to his fellow Republicans just this week that the 2020 race is real in the lone star state. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: In Texas, the stakes are especially high. Texas is the single biggest target for the left in 2020, politically speaking. The 38 electoral votes at stake. That's a U.S. Senate seat at stake, and Texas is the key, it's a national domination for years to come. If the Democrats win Texas, it's all over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FAULKNER: Well, the last time Texas went for a Democrat was Jimmy Carter back in 1976. However, now a growing number of polls show President Trump neck and neck with Joe Biden there. Seeing a potential opening the Biden campaign has begun running its own ads across the state. And the latest Real Clear Politics average of polls shows President Trump up by fewer than a half point in Texas.
Joining me now, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. Great to see you tonight. Thank you.
CRUZ: Harris, good evening. Thank you for having me. And by the way, congrats on your big show last night.
FAULKNER: Thank you very much. We got into it on how to take America forward. I appreciate that.
FAULKNER: Look, you know, when you look at it, it doesn't seem like Texas would go Democrat, I mean, what are you reading and saying, yes, alarm bells?
CRUZ: Well, if you look at what's happening nationally, there are two broad demographic trends going on nationally, blue-collar workers, union members are moving right, and that's moving midwestern states more Republican, states like Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, every one of which went for Donald Trump in 2016.
But at the same time, we're seeing suburban voters, in particular suburban women who are moving left. And that's moving states with big suburban population. States like Georgia and Texas and Arizona, all of them are becoming much, much more purple. And that's a real challenge, because with a state like Texas we know that New York and California are bright blue for the foreseeable future. If Texas joins them, that's the entire election. We can't let that happen.
FAULKNER: So, two things, I'm going to ask our team to put up that headline from the Dallas morning news. Because we can speak to exactly what the senator is talking about. It's the headline, suburban women voters key to Democratic revival in Texas. They'll put it up eventually. But I -- there it is.
I want to get your idea about how you reach those suburban women. You don't just throw in the towel at this point, so what's the strategy?
CRUZ: Well, and it's important to mention, you know, a lot of the media coverage suggests that what's going on in Texas is racial or ethnic and it's based on the growing Hispanic number of voters. The data don't back that up that many of the Hispanics in Texas are quite conservative.
Every time I have run in Texas I've gotten well over 40 percent of the Hispanic vote and that is despite running as an unapologetic conservative fighting to secure the border, build a wall, and stop amnesty.
So, it's not the demographic piece on racial and ethnic lines. It's rather, I think the media have done a very good job of frightening -- painting a very scary picture with suburban women of the president. And you know, on one level, this election shouldn't be close.
If you look at how extreme today's Democrats are, they're embracing socialism, even a month ago if I had come on your show, Harris, and if I had said, the Democrats are going to argue for abolishing the police, you would've said hold on there, that's a little bit crazy, and that's where they are.
And given that, this election should be a slam-dunk, but unfortunately, I think the media is doing a very aggressive job of trying to convince a lot of voters who may not be paying all that close attention to this election that Trump --
FAULKNER: Yes --
CRUZ: -- and the rights are kind of scary and violent, and wouldn't it be easier going with Uncle Joe just sitting in his basement? Isn't that a simpler calmer vision? And I've to say given how radical and extreme the voices are that the Democratic Party is letting go in their party, I don't think it would be calmer at all, but I think it's incumbent on us to make that case.
FAULKNER: All right. Here is Joe Biden making his case to the state of Texas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm thinking all of you today across Texas, and though the rising case numbers is causing fear and apprehension, the virus is tough, but Texas is tougher.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FAULKNER: So, Senator Cruz, today's polling, Fox News poll looked at what was most important to voters across the country, not specific to Texas. But 29 percent said COVID-19, and actually other things were below it like the economy. So, he hits that in your state --
FAULKNER: -- and what do you say?
CRUZ: Listen, I think those ads are effective. And by any measure, 2020 has been a hellish year.
CRUZ: Nobody started this year on New Year's Day predicting a global pandemic, the Great Depression, and race riots. I mean it's horrific what's happening to our country. And I think Biden and the Democrats are very smartly trying to capitalize on it. And what he, Biden is doing there in soft focus is say harken back to a calmer, peaceful time.
That is a dangerous message. That's a compelling message pretty and I think that it's important if this election focuses on issues, if it focuses on substance, if it focuses on a contrast between free enterprise and socialism, and a contrast between the Constitution and Bill of Rights and rule of law versus anarchy and violence, we win it, but if it is a personality contest, that's what the Democrats want it to be because they think they win that election.
FAULKNER: Senator Ted Cruz, thank you very much for your time tonight. Always good to see you.
CRUZ: Always a pleasure.
FAULKNER: Up next, the NFL training camp set to start next week, are the players going to show up? I caught a tweet by Patrick Mahomes. He's waiting for the COVID-19 plan. Football stars have launched a Twitter blitz to demand stricter coronavirus safety measures.
Former NFL player Burgess Owens is with me. We love to go back and forth. Stay close.
FAULKNER: The NFL has to move quickly to make an official decision about the 2020 season. Players are already starting to return to training camp this week. However, as COVID-19 cases continue to spike, a fall without football is looking like a very real possibility and that possibility is putting players at odds with the league.
Here's an example, quarterback Drew Brees tweeted this. We need football. We need sports. We need hope. I'm not just showing it to you, he's using all exclamation points. It's that simple, get it done, NFL. He writes.
Donovan Smith left-tackle for Tampa Bay wrote, risking my health, as well as my family's health does not seem like a risk worth taking.
Here now Super Bowl champ turn candidate for Congress, Burgess Owens is with me. Great to see you, Burgess.
BURGESS OWENS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Harris, same here.
FAULKNER: So where do you put this, do they play or not?
OWENS; Well, I think what's unfortunate, these young men have a, they have a concern which is legitimate. I think the problem is you have a corporate activist unfortunately spending more time over the last few months trying to figure out how to give black people a separate anthem and actually dividing the American people and just getting down to what we need to get down.
You know, it's a shame that you have an organization like the Disney World who has figured it out, small business owners around the country have figured this out. And you have Goodell -- Goodell who is not being -- or sit down and really think through how can he make sure his players are safe and the American people come together and do something that we've always enjoyed politics free which unfortunately these corporate activist don't believe in that, and that's what we are seeing the results of.
FAULKNER: These are supreme athletes like yourself. Patrick Mahomes, OK, yes, I'm a Chiefs fan. But look, they won the Super Bowl, MVP players. Their health and well-being, their bodies are everything to them. So how do you make them comfortable and is there really enough time to do that now? Maybe you skipped the preseason?
OWENS: Well, this is the thing. You know, it's not a surprise that fall is going to come and football season would eventually show up again.
FAULKNER: It's not a --
OWENS: And I'll tell you. Right. These young men, this is their season, this is their zone. They want to play. They want to get paid. At the same time, they understand they have families they want to make sure that they're safe. These conversations should have been --
OWENS: -- should have been had a long time ago. So, we're at this point will they have a plan, a program set up. And they -- and everybody can play comfortable to go out there and play the game.
But again, when you're lacking leadership, when you have people in this case, the commissioner who is focused on more things than the players and the fans, you get this kind of result of just being able to be looked at very helpless (Ph). It's unfortunate for everybody that he's not taking the control he should have by this time.
FAULKNER: All right, you sort of passed on that you think that the black national anthem, the changing team's names and all that kind of a distraction. But they are a focal point for some teams like the Washington Redskins. I want to know your topline thought on changing the logo and the name there.
OWENS: Well, my concern is that where does it stop? We have to understand that the people that, you know -- first of all, 90 percent of the American Indians have no problem with this name. And so, it's not -- it's those folks behind the scenes that's trying to actually continue to divide us.
We have a great history. We have a history we should be not only engage with but be proud of as we learn how far we've come along the way. But we have the left that is actively trying to destroy our history, destroy anything we can come together with. And that's why we have to be concerned about. Where does it end? And we have no idea where it ends because progressive -- progressive people will continue to embrace progressive move forward and a leftist way. And that's what they have to do (Inaudible) unfortunately.
FAULKNER: Football is supposed to be an escape. It's supposed to not be part of politics and all those things so we'll have to see what happens this fall and if we can just play ball.
Burgess Owens, great to have you on the program tonight.
OWENS: Thank you, Harris.
FAULKNER: Thank you.
OWENS: All the best.
FAULKNER: Well, that's going to do it for me filling in for my friend, Martha MacCallum. This has been the story Monday, July 20, 2020. As always, the story will continue.
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