This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," December 18, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: One final stop.
Good morning, everyone. That's for being with us. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures".
President-elect Donald Trump holding his final rally of the year in Mobile, Alabama. So, what's his message about and what to expect in a New Year? We will speak to a Trump advisor live, coming up.
Plus, we can do stuff to you. That's President Obama's response to the Russians interfering with the U.S. election. How will we retaliate against Vladimir Putin?
Immigration showdown, a new report shows immigration lawyers are seeing a huge uptick in cases, some fearing Trump's immigration policy is about to hit them. What will change in the New Year? We talk about the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, is with us live as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: President-elect Donald Trump greeting tens of thousands of supporters in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday this weekend.
Wrapping up his national "thank you" tour in the city he says ignited his campaign one year ago. Hitting on familiar campaign themes and promising better days ahead in his new administration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: I actually think the next four years is going to be a lot easier, if you want to know the truth. We're going to do a great job. You the American people will now again be in charge. Your voice, your desires, your hopes, your aspirations we'll ever again fall on deaf ears, never again. The forgotten men and women of this country and they were forgotten. By the way, you're not forgotten any longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Joining us right now is Jason Miller, Trump transition team communications director.
Jason, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.
JASON MILLER, TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Good morning.
BARTIROMO: So, the thank you tour rolls on. What is he trying to do with this thank you tour and what should we expect this upcoming week from the Trump campaign?
MILLER: Well, I think with the "thank you" tour, what we're seeing first of all the president-elect going around the country and saying thank you very much to the hard working men and women who helped deliver the win last month.
But more importantly, I think we're looking ahead to the future, which is appropriate with the show that we're on right now and talking about what we're going to do once the president-elect is sworn in next month, when we talk about repealing and replacing Obamacare, getting in to some tax reform. We have some big things that are coming for America and this is just a little bit of a preview.
BARTIROMO: Yes. And in terms of foreign policy, Jason, talk to us about his views towards China, what is he expecting to do there? Of course we know that the rhetoric has been off for quite a bit. We should tell China that we don't want to waste the drone they stole back from us, let them keep it is what Donald Trump tweeted out about China taking the drone in the water. What is he trying to do there saying just keep it?
MILLER: Well, I think specific regard to the drone, let's be clear about what we would actually get back if we did get something back a chunk of metal and maybe a bag of wires. I mean, it would be a remnant of whatever it was once was.
I think in the broader picture, when we talk about China, when you start being tougher and start standing up for America first. And this is even bigger and broader than China, we're talking about America's place overall. And so, we see it with Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, we see it with Wilbur Ross, who's going to be our commerce secretary, someone's going to get in there and negotiate good trade deals and help American workers, the president-elect is putting together a team that's actually going to stand up and fighting for us.
BARTIROMO: Yes, and a lot of energy officials on the new Cabinet from Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil, Rick Perry running the energy department. We know that President-elect Trump has made a promise to tap into the energy resources of this country. Is that the theory?
MILLER: Well, absolutely, energy is going to be a big part of getting the economy going and we saw specifically with Governor Perry how during his watch in the state of Texas, they helped create 2.2 million jobs, many of those from the energy sector. And President-elect Trump really has an all of the above approach to energy, that we need to get our oil shale moving, need to get oil exploration. We need to be looking at all the different opportunities we can to get this going.
And there had been far too many burdensome regulations that President Obama and his administration have put on. And so, we're going to start repelling some of those bad regulations, we can get our economy moving. And really, that's I think we're going to have one of the biggest bumps that we're going to see.
BARTIROMO: Now, Jason, tomorrow, we all know that the Electoral College will officially put their votes forth. You've got some electors out there being threatened. The left is up in arms, basically saying, change your vote, don't vote for Donald Trump tomorrow on the official date.
What is your team expecting?
MILLER: Well, news flash for many of the partisan Democrats and those in the mainstream media who continue to try to delegitimize President-elect Trump's massive and historic win last month -- the elections over. Hillary Clinton lost. Now, President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence are focused on going to work for the American people.
And whether it was this nonsense about the recount or nonsense about the popular vote, you have to win 270 electoral votes to be elected president and President-elect Trump actually got 306. This is all really just an effort to try to delegitimize the win. But that's not going to slow down the president-elect. He's focused for the American people, he's ready to go and we think that tomorrow will be a resounding victory in line with what the voters decided last month.
BARTIROMO: I mean, what happens if some of the electors do change their vote?
MILLER: Well, and let's be clear about that, you know. Possibly maybe there's one person who goes a different direction, but our team is very confident, our legal team and our electoral college team is confident that folks will be voting in line with the way that the voters intended, and I think that's ultimately sacred trust that the electors have, is they need to follow the will of the people and make good on this. And again, 306 electoral votes for President-elect Trump winning states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania -- I mean, very impressive win last month and I think it gives him a mandate to tail on these massive reforms when he's sworn in next month.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I was looking at a sound bite which President Obama was in just in the middle of the campaign. He said, Donald Trump should stop whining. The Electoral College is what it is and they're going to vote they want. I mean, this was obviously before the election. He was pretty sure that Hillary Clinton would win and here you have the left really doing the whining right now.
Let me ask you about that. I mean, I guess Hillary Clinton and President Obama could do some more to shut down these questions but they're not?
MILLER: Well, they could. And also I think this is really disrespectful to the American public who after eight years of gridlock and seeing a country that's being more divided, why would they try to divide the country further right now? I think what people want to see and this is why we're seeing the economy taking on the, as Stu Varney says, the Trump rally, or other people might say, the Trump bump.
Consumer confidence is up, that American swagger is back, that optimism, that we can going forward as a country, we can see real economic growth. Not just the growth we might see in New York, that we might see in places like Washington, D.C., but all across Middle America. We talked about the Rust Belt, the Upper Midwest, the states where Trump really tapped into something here about fighting for American jobs, and that spirit is back and we're energetic and optimistic as we look ahead.
BARTIROMO: Jason, what has been the conversation surrounding Russia? We all know that ExxonMobil has done a pretty significant deal in the Black Sea with Vladimir Putin before the sanctions were put in place. Is it of your mind that pretty soon into President Trump's administration, that the sanctions against Russia will be rolled back?
MILLER: Well, I'm going to leave that to Secretary of State Tillerson after his confirmation and also the president-elect to go over the very specifics on the foreign policy front. But I think there's one thing a broader point that a lot of folks are missing, is that we need help quite frankly in number of places around the world in defeating common foes. So, as we talk about ISIS, we talk about radical Islamic terrorism. If there are other countries who act in good faith to defeat common enemies, then we shouldn't be labeling these other countries right off the top. We should where we can work together.
But again, going back to the point I made a moment. This will be an administration that has an America first foreign policy. And that's something the president-elect has talked about continually on the campaign trail. I think that's what you'll see from his administration.
BARTIROMO: So, foreign policy is obviously a major priority. Give us what you see as the most important priorities that President-elect Trump is looking at after inauguration day in terms of his agenda?
MILLER: All right. Well, now, we're getting in to the good stuff because this is where President-elect Trump is really going to start making good on campaign promises. Heck, we've already seen it so far when we talk about the Carrier deal and all these different places where the president-elect has been standing up and fighting for American workers.
But right out of the gate, you'll see the wheels start moving to repel and replace Obamacare. You'll immediately start seeing, or pretty soon afterwards I think we'll start getting in to some tax reform. I know that's something that's very important to the president-elect. And I would say also, you'll see a number of executive orders on day one to repel and rescind some of these unconstitutional illegal executive orders put in place by the current president.
And so, I think anyone who voted for Donald Trump, anyone who voted for real change in this country is going to be excited after he's sworn in next month.
BARTIROMO: All right. Well, we'll be watching all the developments. It sure is a new day.
Jason, good to see you. Thank you so much.
MILLER: Hey, thank you so much, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Merry Christmas to you.
Jason Miller joining us there from Florida this morning.
President Obama says the U.S. will retaliate against Russia meanwhile for interfering with the U.S. election. So, how will the U.S. respond?
South Dakota Senator John Thune is with me next, live.
You can follow us on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Senator Thune.
We'll be right back as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: In early September, when I saw President Putin in China, I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out and there were going to be some serious consequences if he didn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: That was President Obama now promising payback after Russia failed to heed that warning. U.S. intelligence officials are confirming that Moscow did meddle in the presidential election but President-elect Trump is not buying it. The dispute over Russia's role fueling a public spat between Mr. Trump and White House officials last week.
Joining us right now is Senator John Thune, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
Senator, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.
SEN. JOHN THUNE, R-S.C.: Thanks, Maria. Good morning.
BARTIROMO: So, where do you sit on this? We keep hearing that they meddled, but I'm not -- I'm not understanding how Russia meddled. Do you believe that Russia takes any responsibility for Donald Trump winning this election?
THUNE: I think they try to be disruptive. I don't think that any questions always wants to destabilize the American political system and I don't think that should come as any surprise to anyone. You know, the specific steps and actions that were taken in this election are being looked at and I hope when we have a full review by the Intelligence Committee, that we'll get to the bottom of it.
You know, at this point, trying to figure out what sort of retaliatory steps one might take I think are premature because we need to find out exactly what happened and then react to it accordingly. But, you know, clearly, there was an attempt this time around to mess with. But, you know, what the ultimate goal of that, whether it was designed to help Donald Trump win as a lot are alleging, you know, remains to be seen and I think we have to get to the bottom of it through the intelligence community before we can make that assessment.
BARTIROMO: Well, you know, it's interesting because Julian Assange was right here on FOX News the other night with Sean Hannity, and he said the leaks of the DNC e-mails actually came from a DNC insider. I don't know if we're supposed to believe Julian Assange, but he said this did not come from Russia.
THUNE: Right. And that's why I think, Maria, trying to -- people who are making these snap judgments right now based on a lot of the reporting that's out there, I think until we are able to hear from the intelligence committee hopefully in a coordinated way, if you get the DNI and the FBI and the CIA, all up in front of the intelligence committees in the Congress, with a report and assessment of what happened, I think we'll be able to make a better determination about what steps need to be taken moving forward.
But right now, there's just a lot of wild accusations flying back and forth. Clearly, there was an attempt to mess with this election, but what form that took and what its impact was I think remains to be seen. Until we know the answers to knows questions, I think it's a little bit again premature to start, you know, coming to conclusions about what the U.S. should do next.
BARTIROMO: I'm just trying to understand why, all of a sudden, Russia is this, you know, major, big enemy on the left? I mean, you know, President Obama, his entire eight years was basically trying to buddy up to the Russians. I don't know if you remember this moment back in 2012 when President Obama was about to get re-elected and he whispered to then Prime Minister Medvedev. Listen to this, Senator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: After my election, I have more flexibility.
DMITRY MEDVEDEV, RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER: I understand. I'll transmit this information to Vladimir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: So, there's President Obama schmoozing then prime minister basically saying, I'll have more flexibility after I win this election. And now -- so how come President Obama and the Dems did not tell us how evil the Russians were these entire eight years?
THUNE: Irony of ironies, you know? The rhetoric has certainly changed coming out of the White House compared to what it was a few years ago, and that's why I think it's important -- obviously things of change, what's happened in Syria and the Russian involvement there. Their relationship with Iran I think bears a lot on our relationship and I think we need to look at the Russians as adversaries, and clearly history would suggest that that -- we should be very skeptical in terms of our relationship in dealing with them.
But this president has had a very checkered record when it comes with dealing with Russia and their allies in the Middle East and that region of the world. So, to now come out and make some of the statements that they're making, I think does -- it comes across a little bit ironic and perhaps hypocritical. But I think the broader point that you're making is, the relationship with Russia going forward is something now that the Trump administration is going to inherit and the Obama administration on their way out the door is making assertions about things that they might do to retaliate against Russia for meddling in the election.
THUNE: But this is largely now going to fall on the Trump administration in terms of how to respond to this and that's why it's important that we confirm these -- the national security team that he's trying to put in place, Rex Tillerson who was recently nominated for secretary of state, and the others I think need to respond to these positions as quickly as possible, so that they can begin to respond to some of these situations, not only in Russia but China and other places around the world where we have a lot of hot spots.
BARTIROMO: So, Senator, how does this impact the domestic agenda from your standpoint? What do you think is realistic in terms of new regulations, moving forward, let's call it the first 1 to 200 days?
THUNE: Well, I think, he has a really unique opportunity, Maria, because the previous administration did so many things by executive action that this administration can come in and undo the damage that's been done. You know, he could, for example, approve the Keystone Pipeline very quickly, which would immediately create a lot of jobs in the economy. He could roll back the Department of Labor overtime rules, which would be a devastating shot to the economy if they were implemented.
So, he could undo that damage, he could undo a lot of Obama's administration attack on affordable energy that has been waged largely through the EPA. These are all things that have had a profound negative impact on the economy.
Repealing and replacing Obamacare obviously is something Congress will have to be involved with, but we intend to be involved with that. We think that Obamacare has been extremely harmful across this country, skyrocketing premiums, insurance markets collapsing and dwindling choices for consumers in this country. And so, that's something that needs to be dealt with on day one.
The issue of tax reform was mentioned earlier by Jason Miller, is a huge issue when it comes to getting the growth rate back in our economy.
I think if this president focuses on getting that growth rate back up to two to four percent, creating better paying jobs, getting wages back up and policies that would create conditions that are favorable to that, along the lines of those I just mentioned, I think you'll have a lot of support among the American people and it will enable him to do many of the harder things that he'll have to do down the road.
BARTIROMO: Right. And it does feel like he's got real support on that in terms of who's going to lead on economic growth through tax reform. So that should --
THUNE: I think he does. In tax reform it is long overdue. Very hard. We all know that.
But I think he's got a position. He had a very decisive election victory. I think the American people indicated very quickly they want a different direction. If you came out of the exit polls said 62 percent of the people think the country's headed into the wrong direction, 52 percent think the economy should be the number one issue.
THUNE: So, when it comes to economy and jobs and wages, there is a huge opening there for this president to chart a new direction and when you're hanging around in 1 percent to 2 percent growth, which is where we've been now for the past eight --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, they all believed in strong borders. We don't. We fight for countries that most of you have never even heard of before so they have borders.
We will stop illegal immigration for good and we will have doors in that wall, and people will come in to that wall and they'll come through that wall by the tens of thousands. But they're coming in legally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: That was President-elect Donald Trump last night talking immigration in Alabama during the last stop of his "thank you" tour.
Mr. Trump reiterated his campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexico/U.S. border and suspend immigration from Middle East regions where vetting may be a problem. So, how much of this can he realistically get done in the next year?
Joining us right now to talk about that is Dan Patrick. He's the lieutenant governor of Texas.
Sir, it's good to have you on the program. Thanks for joining us, Governor.
DAN PATRICK, R-LT. GOV. OF TEXAS: Hi, Maria. Good morning. Good to be with you.
BARTIROMO: What do you want to see in terms of Trump meeting this promise?
PATRICK: Well, first of all, Maria, I think he will meet the promise. I think he'll keep his word. I think he could be the first president to actually address the issue of both securing the border and passing legal immigration reform which to be very honest with you, neither party has done when they had the opportunity, when they had the numbers, when they had the votes and that would tell you that neither the Democrats, maybe because they want future voters or the Republicans because they want cheap labor have wanted to address the issue. I think Donald Trump will.
The wall and -- I don't know what the final product will look like, but in my view and I've spent a decade or more on this issue as lieutenant governor, as a senator, I've been down to the border many times. It should be a combination of hard wall, fencing, technology, a natural barrier.
We can secure the border. There's no question in my mind with the emphasis and will power by a president to do it. It can be done. Secondly, with legal immigration reform, Maria, people would rather come to this country and not live in the shadows, not hide out.
They would rather come here and pay the U.S. government a couple of thousand dollars or whatever the number is to come here legally as opposed to paying the drug cartel thousands of dollars to come here, maybe be stuck in a stash house with a hundred people with one bathroom, maybe be extorted for future money as they work in this country. If we can combine legal immigration reform, which I think Trump can make history on and get done with border security, we'll solve that problem.
BARTIROMO: People feel like the private workplace is the last bastion that nobody really gets to or defends at all. I'm reading an article right now that says, despite promising during the 2014 to crackdown on Texas employers who hire undocumented workers, it was status quo last session in the state that you oversee.
So, let's talk about that. Illegal hiring practices in the Texas workplace. What can you do about it?
PATRICK: Well, I don't know who wrote the article but they're wrong. Last session, my first session as lieutenant governor, along with Greg Abbott, our governor who we work closely together with, we passed the first e- verify or all government employees.
This session will present a low bill number, I've assigned it a high priority to make sure all contractors working with government agencies that covers lots of private jobs will have to have the E-verify. And third step will be, then E-verify for all employees. We will also pass sanctuary cities this session.
Last session, it did get stuck in the House. We were one vote short in the Senate. This session, it will pass, in my view. We have the votes in the Senate to pass it.
So, between sanctuary cities, our second step in E-verify, we will address that issue.
The other thing, Maria, that we have done is when I campaigned, I campaigned that we would nearly triple the amount of money we put into border security. We increased our budget from $250 million to $800 million on the last session, on border security. It's made it a lot safer down the border area but we still need a partner in Washington.
And, first of all, our taxpayers shouldn't have to do this. This is a Washington responsibility that Obama never addressed. Let me tell you what, the people of the border patrol, they want to get the job done, but they've been handcuffed by the administration.
And I think when Donald Trump takes his office on January 20th, he'll give them the keys of that handcuffed and let the border patrol do what they can do.
PATRICK: And working with us, it can make a big difference. I'll give you an example, Maria, about five years ago we only had a few hundred cameras on the border. Today, we have nearly 5,000 cameras and you cross that border, we instantly know where you are, it's just a matter of manpower to get to that spot to apprehend you.
BARTIROMO: Well, you make a really good point because I don't understand - -
PATRICK: Once we support the border, all of these things will work out.
BARTIROMO: I don't understand why sanctuary cities have been blown off for so long. I mean, the law is the law, how come sanctuary cities have been able to exist?
PATRICK: In large part, Maria, and I don't want to sound partisan, but this is the truth. Most of our cities are run by Democrats, and Democrats just are flaunting the law in this issue. They hire the police chiefs. They tell the police chiefs or they work with the local sheriff not to hold people that ICE has asked them to hold on retainer. They asked the police to turn their back.
I can tell you, I work closely with law enforcement. The rank and follow officers on the streets want to be able to do their job, once again. But Democrats who run most, not all but most of the cities have flaunted it.
Look at what's happening now. You have San Francisco, you have Rahm Emanuel in Chicago.
PATRICK: You have De Blasio in New York, basically telling the president- elect that they're going to ignore him.
PATRICK: In my view, if a mayor takes a position that we're not going to follow federal law and keep these criminals on detainer as asked for by ICE and they get out and commit a crime, they should be held liable for those crimes. If I were a family, if I were a victim's family, I'd be suing that mayor. When they let out someone, that they could have held, we could have deported out in this country, and that person goes on to commit another crime, likely we saw with Kate Steinle in San Francisco, and in many other places in this country.
If there's one issue, I campaigned with President-elect Trump, several times, four times or five times in Texas over the summer, and he would meet with these victims' families and I think it touched his heart. I think he's determined to do it and I wouldn't want to be any of these Democrat mayors who defy the president once he passes tough new laws on this issue.
BARTIROMO: Wow. It is quite extraordinary.
PATRICK: People want it. People want our borders secure. It's good for our economy, it's good for public safety and I believe Donald Trump will get it done.
And in Texas, we are finally glad, Maria, to have a partner and not an enemy in the White House.
BARTIROMO: Yes, it's quite extraordinary.
Governor, good to talk with you. Thanks so much.
PATRICK: Great, Maria. Merry Christmas.
BARTIROMO: And to you. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick there.
Up next, the cost of prescription drugs, major concerns for voters. What does the future hold for the cost of your medications under President-elect Donald Trump? I'll talk to the CEO of drug maker Allergan. I'll talk to him what he wants to see from this president, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures", next.
BARTIROMO: Affordable drug pricing became a national talking point this year when the price of Mylan's EpiPen sky rocketed over 400 percent during the summertime.
So, what were the pharmaceutical industry look like under the Trump administration?
Joining me right now is the chairman and CEO of Allergan, Brent Saunders.
Brent, good to see you.
BRENT SAUNDERS, CEO OF ALLERGAN: Thanks for having me, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.
So, are you expecting big changes under a Trump administration?
SAUNDERS: I don't think so in the sense that a lot of people fear. I think that we finally have a government that appears to be pro-growth, pro- innovation and pro-deregulation, all things that could be really good for innovation and the bio pharmaceutical industry. So, I'm very optimistic that our future is bright.
That being said, we have to deal with one issue, which is drug pricing, and that has angered Americans, rightfully so. We're in an area of populism and this is an important issue. So, we need to self-regulate and self- control on this issue and I know people are skeptical whether we can do it, but I do believe this industry is filled with great people trying to do good things to solve on that need, and so we can be disciplined on prices.
BARTIROMO: How do you do it? Over the summertime, Hillary Clinton was very vocal. She basically said, look, if I become president, we're going to put a cap on drug prices. At that point, all of the pharmaceutical stocks sold off, people were worried about being overregulated. Now, you got Donald Trump in there saying, we're going to roll back regulations. But still, people do not want to see outsize prices for prescription drugs.
How do you keep the price down?
SAUNDERS: I believe people are right. They shouldn't see outsize price increase.
We have a social contract and I wrote about this on my blog over the summer and Allergan has committed to it, which says we need to invest in innovation for cures and treatment for medical needs and we need to charge a price for our medicines that allow us to invest in R&D, but we don't need to engage in price gauging activities or take serial double digit price increases. We can exercise self-restraint, such that our net prices at Allergan are mid-single digit, or just slightly above the cost of inflation.
So, Allergan, a very successful growth bio pharmaceutical company can deliver strong shareholder return, yet not engage in these types of practices. So, we're proving that it's possible.
That being said, I think we need the rest of the industry to do it and given the pro-growth government that we have coming in, if we get this particular issue under control, I think we're going to have a golden era of innovation. The worst thing we can do is have what Hillary Clinton was suggesting, a government takeover of the pharmaceutical industry. That will stifle innovation. That will really I think set us back in terms of solving some of these really important disease areas like cancer, Alzheimer's, autism, that we really need to solve in the next decade.
BARTIROMO: Because you want this to be a free market where people can invest in the drug industry thinking that they can make money from it. But if you're going to invest in a new product and you know that there's a limit because it's regulated, that you can't raise prices, than why would you invest?
SAUNDERS: So I hear from some people within the pharmaceutical industry that says we only, we take the price increases because the market allows us. I'm not sure that's true. I think you could say, well, Apple has a pattern on the iPhone and they could triple the price. But the problem is the customer's won't pay for. They'll move on to another phone, they'll go to Samsung, they'll go somewhere else.
In healthcare, because the patient doesn't actually always pay for the medicine, it's paid for by a middle man, there's not direct pricing power, they don't feel it. So, there's a perverse incentive there.
So, I think we as a pharmaceutical industry need to do our part by pricing our medicines, so they're affordable and accessible. And then we need the PBMs. The insurance companies and everyone else to play a part of this to solve it. It can be solved. I'm very optimistic to be solved.
BARTIROMO: And that's pharmacy benefit managers.
Let me move on to ObamaCare. This past week was the deadline to enroll in ObamaCare. We know what Donald Trump has said. He wants to repeal and replace.
As a pharmaceutical executive, tell me about ObamaCare. What do you want to see in the replacement?
SAUNDERS: Yes. I think we do want to see a replacement. I think we want it to be done thoughtfully. We don't want to see 20 million people just uninsured immediately. But I think we want to go to something like what Vice President-elect Pence has done in Indiana where there's some balance between Medicaid providing benefits but patients also having some accountability for their care and the use of health savings account, something also that incoming HHS Secretary Tom Price I think is a big supporter of.
So, we need to have the right incentives in place. We need to incentivize patients to take their health and own their health. We need pharmaceutical companies to be incentivized to find cures versus treatments, and we need physicians to be incentivize to help -- and insurance companies to help do preventive care, so that we don't have people in expensive emergency rooms. So, we need an overhaul of the incentive structure and I think some of these ideas could be built into the Affordable Care Act.
BARTIROMO: Well, the insurance companies have pulled out, a lot of them, because they're not making any money on it, they're going to lose a billion dollars on it, when you listen to some of them.
But this new study says that premium increases are adding $10 billion to the taxpayer's tab. We're going to see increases in the terms of the cost of Obamacare up more than 100 percent in certain states. You think that what you just said in terms of that replacement will help with the cost?
SAUNDERS: I think it is. But remember, the biggest problem you have with the current Affordable Care Act is really only sick people are enrolling in the exchanges. And so, therefore, it becomes more expensive and when the premiums become more expensive, the governments from the subsidies become more expensive, and then you have an extra $10 billion bill for the taxpayers.
So, we need a program that allows us to have a true insurance pool where health and sick people are in there that we incentivize preventive care, where we get treatments -- we get away from treatments and we move to cures, and we try to limit price increases and expenses, and we look at the friction cost of health care. There are a lot of people who don't contribute to solving disease, whether it'd be us or the doctors or the hospitals to really treat the patient. There are a lot of the middle man who are very profitable that are really friction cost when it comes to healthcare.
BARTIROMO: All right. My thanks to Brent Saunders, CEO of Allergan right there.
Responding to Russia, and will some GOP electors break away from Donald Trump, as the Electoral College votes tomorrow. We will handicap that electoral college vote when we come right back with our panel. That's up next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “SNL”/NBC)
ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: What's that sound?
CECILY STRONG AS MELANIA TRUMP: I think it's coming from the chimney.
BALDWIN: Is it a ghost? Am I being scrooged? I hate that. Scrooged!
STRONG: Donald, I think it’s --
BALDWIN: Vladimir Putin this is such a great surprise.
STRONG: What are you doing here?
BECK BENNETT AS VLADIMIR PUTIN: I was just in town, you know, hiding in the walls.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: “Saturday Night Live” having a little fun with the president- elect's perceived relationship with Vladimir Putin.
Joining us right now to talk more about Russia, Ed Rollins, former advisor to President Reagan, Steven Sigmund, senior vice president of the Global Strategy Group and a Democratic strategist, and Tony Sayegh, Republican political analyst, executive vice president of Jamestown Associates, and a Fox News contributor.
Good to see you all. Thanks so much for joining us.
ED ROLLINS, FORMER ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT REAGAN: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Was that apropos.
ROLLINS: It's a wonderful, wonderful exit.
BARTIROMO: What is the relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin from your standpoint?
ROLLINS: We'll find out. I have no idea what it is. He says he's never he's really met him. So, I think the critical thing is what is Tillerson's relationship and that's what he's going to be questioned very seriously on.
BARTIROMO: No surprise, Stephen, that Rex Tillerson has a relationship or a rapport, whatever you want to call it, with the head of Russia. They have oil and he did a gigantic deal in the Black Sea years ago.
STEPHEN SIGMUND, GLOBAL STRATEGY GROUP SR VP: I don't think it's surprising at all. He's the head of ExxonMobil.
BARTIROMO: And he's an oil company. He's going to have a relationship with anybody that has oil.
SIGMUND: Yes, he's going to have relationships with Russia. I mean, what's interesting about the "SNL" skit, what's interesting about them is that he -- you know, they keep sort of goading him and he keeps reacting to it, right? And from my opinion, like that's what he ought to stop doing, now that he's president-elect, he still continuing to campaign. You know what his opinion is about "Saturday Night Live" but now how he's going to suddenly create manufacturing jobs.
BARTIROMO: Yes, we wonder if he's going to keep tweeting once he's the president. It's a little different but on the same side of things -- I mean, this is how he has communicated with the American people, bypassing the media all together and it's worked for him.
TONY SAYEGH, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL ANALYST: He's figured out that traditional media has its limitations in getting his message out. So, he's found other ways to do so and successful I would add. But let's go back to the SNL skit.
Satire aside, the last eight years of the Obama administration has empowered Vladimir Putin more than any comments or tweet that Donald Trump ever uttered and the reality is, we've withdrawn from the world stage, allowed Russia to come into the Middle East, reassert geopolitical dominance for the first time since early 1970s, they're running Syria, they're essentially thrilled that we signed the Iran deal. We retreated from our missile defense as a sign of I think diplomacy but viewed by the Russians as weakness.
And now, you have the Democratic operatives and mainstream media who suggest that it's Donald Trump who is undermining our security and strength in the world because of some perceived coziness of which there's no substantiation with Vladimir Putin other than an "SNL" skit.
BARTIROMO: It's true.
SIGMUND: But that gives even more reason for why Trump should not be reacting to the notion of the Russians hacking our election with, you know, this is all a Democratic plot, right? I mean, he ought to be concerned about it. This is a sovereign nation that's trying to get into our sovereign electoral system, and this is a country that we had beat in a covert war for 50 years. So, he shouldn't be afraid of having buy partisan investigation into why, how and how to make it stop.
BARTIROMO: No, my point was, what happened to the whole eight years that we're coming off of? I mean, the president whispering to Medvedev saying, "I'll have more flexibility when I'm president", and yet all of a sudden now, the Russians are the evil monster. We haven't heard a peep about it in eight years.
ROLLINS: The critical thing is that president-elect needs to quite bragging about the great victory that he just had and basically go in January 20th and be a good president. And the Democrats have got to quite whining about having lost. It's over.
BARTIROMO: That's true. I want to get to this important issue of tomorrow, the Electoral College. Explain to us what's going on tomorrow. Can the election results change in any way tomorrow?
ROLLINS: Absolutely not. There may be one defection on the Republican. Trump won 36 states. He's entitled to those electors. The electors are made up pretty much of party people or campaign people including Bill Clinton. He's a New York elector. I mean, he'll go up to Albany and vote on Monday for his wife.
The bottom line is once they're done, it's just done. You're not going to have 20 or 30 people defecting and even if they did defect for some reason, it goes to the House of Representatives if we don't get 270, and we have a majority of the states.
BARTIROMO: Even if it goes to the House of Representatives, yes, because of the majority.
But some of these electors, Stephen, are getting death threats. The Dems want them to change their vote.
SIGMUND: That's outrageous. The same way it's outrageous when some Trump supporters send vial tweets to Democrats. I mean, you shouldn't do that, right? It's a wrong that happens. I think it's right that, you know, it could change a vote or two maybe, it could go of Donald Trump's historic victory of winning 46 out of 58 in the Electoral College history to maybe 47.
BARTIROMO: Or it will go even higher. Look what happened in Wisconsin. He had more votes than we knew.
SIGMUND: It could be, but it's not going to change the outcome. That doesn't matter.
ROLLINS: Thirty states went for him, 20 states went for her.
SAYEGH: And the truth of the matter is, the American people spoke in such a powerful way in this election, in a way that all the smart people, all the pundits, so many of the polls did not predict. The fact that you now have the liberals, from Hollywood to other operatives inside the Washington progressive triangle really trying to even suggest that the Electoral College should revisit, it's mandate to vote for who their states voted for just shows the kind of desperation. It's really a chapter that has to end.
SIGMUND: I hear you, but to be fair, like if a situation were reverse and Donald Trump had lost the Electoral College but won the national vote by almost 3 million, Republicans would be trying to do the same thing.
SAYEGH: There's no evidence of it.
SIGMUND: There's no evidence of it because it didn't happen.
BARTIROMO: Hold that though.
SIGMUND: Where you stand depends on where you sit.
BARTIROMO: We'll take a short break and move back with the panel right after this. Be back in a minute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I don't think she was treated fairly during the election. The coverage of her and the issues was troubling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: President Obama criticizing the coverage of Hillary Clinton during the election. We're back with our panel.
And, Tony Sayegh, you have some issues with that.
SAYEGH: Well, listen, with all due respect to the president, he is giving an opinion that is devoid of any facts. In fact, it's contradicted by the evidence. An analysis was done at the end of the campaign, particularly on the coverage by the major networks, CNN, NBC, and CBS over the "Access Hollywood" tape about Donald Trump. Each of those networks dedicated eight, seven, and five minutes of broadcast coverage per 30 seconds they dedicated to the WikiLeaks scandal that involved Hillary Clinton.
SAYEGH: When you look at WikiLeaks, from The New York Times to The Washington Post, to NBC, to CNBC, to "The Boston Globe," collusion, direct collusion between these media, objective media organizations and the Clinton campaign.
So, with all due respect to the president, I think he's completely wrong on this one and it really suggests that he's devoid from reality of what happened to the reality.
BARTIROMO: Not only that, but the media didn't create her issues, Steve. I mean, the e-mail scandal and the Clinton Foundation.
SIGMUND: It didn't create his issues either. But, look, there was tough media coverage on both sides. I mean, the notion that they didn't cover "WikiLeaks" when it was in the paper every day in October.
BARTIROMO: But they cover that Trump --
SAYEGH: The scale, the scale of coverage.
SIGMUND: They covered the "Access Hollywood" tape more, that's true, at least in a concentrated time. Look, the reality is the media covered both sides. She lost the last news cycle. But it is hard to say, you know, the candidate who had deeper on policy had an easier time in the media when they were, you know, covering empty podiums and press conferences about stakes.
ROLLINS: The policy was not relevant in this campaign. This campaign was about change. He was a candidate of change.
And I think the most important thing we look forward to is his Cabinet. He basically now has five members of Congress, a senator, four House members that are sort of the people who know most about government, along with Elaine Chao and the secretary of labor and undersecretary. Everybody else is kind of rookie. So, it's going to be -- plus the generals. So, it's going to be interesting to watch this Cabinet.
BARTIROMO: And also interesting to see all these business people. This is going to be an experiment because the left has been telling us that, you know, trumped up trickle-down economics do not work. We'll see if it actually works.
ROLLINS: Very conservative.
SIGMUND: Goldman Sachs economics works.
SAYEGH: The average Obama appointee has 17 years of academic or government experience. The average Trump appointee thus far has only 6.8 years of government experience. This is a drain the swamp election. You see that reflected in this election.
BARTIROMO: Wow. You got all the stats this morning.
Tony Sayegh, Stephen Sigmund, Ed Rollins, always a pleasure, gentlemen. Thank you so much. Have a great Sunday morning.
And that will do it for us, "Sunday Morning Futures". I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll see you tomorrow morning on the Fox News Network. Join me then, 6:00 a.m., "Mornings with Maria".
First, though, "MediaBuzz" right now with Howie Kurtz.
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