This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," March 27, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is out, we will have a plan that's far better. We are going to be the Republicans, the party of great health care. The Democrats, they have let you down.

CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: If the Republican Party wants to be, in Donald Trump's words, the party of health care, God help the middle class. This is the party of health care? This Republican Party? Come on. You can't undo all the health care for tens of millions.


JOHN ROBERTS, HOST: President Trump with another attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. And Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, saying bring it on. So let's bring in our panel, Josh Kraushaar is the political editor for "National Journal," national security analyst Morgan Ortagus is with us, and Chris Stirewalt is the political editor here at Fox News.

I know that the White House was forced to send some sort of letter to the court of appeals on this, but the president had I think what most people, Josh, say was a victory on Mueller, and now he's fighting health care again?

JOSH KRAUSHAAR, POLITICAL EDITOR, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": Yes. The timing of this couldn't come -- this is a self-inflicted wound, because health care is the one issue that's really dogged Republicans. They couldn't get the repeal and replace bill done last year, and it was one of the big issues that Democrats ran on, that they wanted to preserve Obamacare, and it was a big issue that all kinds of Democrats ran on in their victory to win back the House.

Voters, both Republicans and Democrats, are incrementalists. They are looking at the party that isn't going to disrupt the status quo more. And you have a lot of Democrats that have been talking about single-payer, talking about a lot of really radical proposals on the presidential campaign trail. Here you have Trump now saying I just want to rip up Obamacare and I'm going to support this court ruling. So you have a lot of Congressional Republicans really scratching their heads.

ROBERTS: I was going to say there's clearly a split between the president and Democrats, but there's also a split between Republicans. Let's listen to Susan Collins and John Kennedy of Louisiana here.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, R-ME: I'm very disappointed and vehemently opposed to the administration seeking to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R-LA: We were promised that if we passed the ACA, it would make health insurance cheaper and more accessible. It's done the exact opposite. I think we should strike it down with vengeance and furious anger.


ROBERTS: Doing his impression of Samuel L. Jackson there. If you have a split in the party, how do you try to get anything done?

MORGAN ORTAGUS, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I guess disagree a little bit with my esteemed colleague, Josh, here on this. I don't think Republicans should be running away from health care at all. Much to the chagrin of those of us in cable news, 2018 wasn't about Mueller. 2018 was about health care in poll after poll. Republican primary voters care about this.

And if you're unhappy with your health care, Republicans should remind voters that Obamacare is the law of the land and put it on the table. What is Medicare for all going to do that Obamacare failed to do? How is that a better plan? Make this entire election about federalism versus socialism. And when you do that, that plays into the broader themes.

And yes, you do need to have a plan, and it looks like the White House may be potentially considering backing Representative Bruce Westerman's Fair Care Act. That's on the table and that looks to be able to expand coverage while significantly reducing health care costs and federal spending. The federal spending bit was the part that many Republicans were worried about in the Graham-Cassidy bill.

ROBERTS: I was told this morning that they are still backing Graham- Cassidy, so clearly that's changed as well. But we talk about, the president got Obamacare repeal and replace, Chris, through the House when they controlled it, but Kevin McCarthy, according to "Axios," told Trump over the phone that the decision made no sense, especially after Democrats killed Republicans in the midterms in part over the issue of pre-existing conditions. So why is this another good dog to put back in the fight?

CHRIS STIREWALT, POLITICAL EDITOR: It isn't. But the president feels very strongly, obviously. His ongoing feud with the deceased John McCain, a rather one-sided affair, is connected strongly to John McCain's thumbs-down moment. Trump mentions it all the time, when he turned thumbs- down on that and killed that, that was the moment -- that was a bad moment for Republicans.

This is a very good week for Republicans. This is the best week of Donald Trump's presidency. He has gotten the biopsy back, and the answer is no collusion. And this is a great opportunity for them. To dive into this in this way is not politically savvy for one simple reason. Obamacare is popular. It's pretty popular. It's above 50 percent, and people are generally satisfied. Quinnipiac polling this week was absolutely clear. People want status quo. Don't take away what we've got, and that's exactly what Republicans are talking about.

ROBERTS: However, Lindsey Graham thinks it was the perfect opportunity politically to dive into this. Listen to what he said. Oh, it's a quote. So let's listen to me say what Lindsey Graham was thinking. "I look at this as sort of a new election, a fresh start. I've got this behind me now," talking about Mueller. "It's a fresh start, so let's see what we can do, starting with health care." Josh?

KRAUSHAAR: John, this is the big difference between 2019 and 2018. Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. So if the court does agree with repealing Obamacare, you're not going to have a consensus with the Democratic House coming up with any kind of replacement, whereas Republicans had their chance. And even Lindsey Graham had a proposal, Graham-Cassidy, which didn't get enough support within his own caucus. So it is going to be a mess if Obamacare gets repealed.

ORTAGUS: Nothing is getting passed on the 115th Congress. Let's just make that clear. It doesn't matter what proposals the House Democrats or what the president comes up with, nothing is getting passed this Congress. So this is all about positioning the arguments for 2020. What will be the president's plan and the Democrats' plan. And I guess I just disagree with you guys today. Republicans run scared off and on health care and on these major issues. And if this president has taught everyone anything for two years, it should be not to run.

ROBERTS: But one of the big stories out of this support for the district court case in Texas is that there was a real difference of opinion, if you will, behind closed doors at the White House. You had Mick Mulvaney on one side. You had Alex Azar and you had William Barr on the other side. And apparently it got kind of heated from time to time when they were discussing this. But the president eventually sided with Mulvaney on this.

STIREWALT: And we don't know the degree to which Mulvaney was executing the president's will here. And I was skeptical about Mulvaney's ability to last and there as chief of staff. The president hit them with the "acting" tag, like maybe he's not the real deal. Mulvaney delivered for Trump on a priority of the president's, and if he's going to be that kind of attack dog inside the cabinet, who knows?

ROBERTS: For the record, I always thought Mulvaney was the perfect man for the job. And I think they're going to take away the "acting" pretty soon and make him permanent. We'll see.

Coming up next, does politics mean always having to say you're sorry? The 2020 Democratic candidates and what some people are calling the campaign apology tour. We'll talk about it coming up.



JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: It is appropriate to ask Professor Hill anything any member wishes to ask her to plumb the depths of her credibility.

They were a bunch of white guys. To this day, I regret I couldn't come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved.


ROBERTS: And we are back with our panel, and what a lot of people are calling Joe Biden's preannouncement apology tour. It's starting to sound like a Canadian politician, saying I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.


ORTAGUS: Yes, Biden and Beto can apologize for being white men every day of the weekend and it won't change the fact that they are in fact white men.

What this race is really going to come down to me is the establishment Democrats versus Bernie Sanders and even AOC. I'm waiting for her to see when she's going to endorse him, because he was behind her. In 2018, we actually saw a lot of moderate Democrats winning these races in a lot of these primaries. And so I think a lot of the establishment Democrats that I talked to are hoping that translates into 2020. As they start going on this apology tour, as everyone races to run as far left as possible and endorse the craziest ideas possible, I don't see that happening.

ROBERTS: But do people see this apology as sincere? I think a lot of people think he's apologizing for his own benefit. Anita Hill has said it's a joke in their family that they are still waiting for the phone call from Joe Biden. And he's just trying to get out ahead of this.

STIREWALT: He is not as good at politics as people think he is. Joe Biden has a massive expectations problem. A persona that was constructed for him and around him in the Obama administration, Sheriff Joe, brilliant politician, and all of this stuff. Joe Biden, what he did in that speech, you're talking to a group of feminists, you're talking about your enlightenment in the Me Too era, and you say I just wish there would've been some way, I don't know, I wish there would've been some way that I could have done this that wasn't a degrading and humiliating spectacle for you. Lols, too, bad. That's pretty basic.

ROBERTS: If only he was the chairman --

STIREWALT: If only he had been the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, if only.

ROBERTS: So far this is not hurting him, though. Let's put up the poll number. Real Clear Politics average, Joe Biden, 29.6 percent, followed by Bernie at 23.8, Kamala Harris way back at 10, Beto O'Rourke at 8.8, and Elizabeth Warren 6.6. So far, he is still in the lead.

KRAUSHAAR: Though a lot of that is a reflection of his high name identification. The big question is, how does he run his campaign? I agree with Morgan that he's making a big political miscalculation if he thinks the way to go is to pander to every progressive group. That's what every other candidate is doing. He's Joe. If he's going to win this thing, he's got a run on his record as vice president and be that pragmatic establishment choice in the face, own that image.

Look, a lot of Democratic millennials weren't even alive for the Clarence Thomas hearings. So the notion that this is going to be this huge vulnerability I think is a big miscalculation.

ROBERTS: But this apology idea seems to be something that's endemic among male Democratic candidates. And it's one of the reasons why Michael Bloomberg said he didn't run. Listen here.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, D-FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: It's just not going to happen on a national level for somebody like me starting where I am, unless I was willing to change all my views and go on what CNN called an apology tour.


BLOOMBERG: Joe Biden went out and apologize for being male, over 50, white.


ROBERTS: You contrast that with Donald Trump, who in 2016 probably had a lot of things he could have apologized for, and apologized for nothing.

ORTAGUS: He will probably have a lot in 2020 he can apologize for and won't. And that's why I think people are attracted to him, it's this authenticity. And look how the mayor of South Bend, I always mispronounce his names so I'm not going to try, why he has surged amongst some early state polls is, again, because he just got up in these interviews with Chris Wallace and others and was himself in a way that resonated with people. Voters smelled this in 2016, and that's why Trump is elected, and they are going to smell it again in 2020 if you're not true to who you are.

ROBERTS: And because what would a panel without Lindsey Graham weighing in on the topic. Let's listen to what Senator Graham said.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: If you're going to have to change who you are to get the nomination, then it's probably not worth having. So I don't give him any political advice, but this apology tour is sad to see.


ROBERTS: On exactly the same page as Michael Bloomberg.

STIREWALT: There he is. How about this? One of the reasons that Joe Biden is doing so well obviously is his name identification in the polls, but the other big thing is Democrats want to win. Every poll makes it clear, almost every poll makes it clear the number one issue for Democrats, somebody who can beat Donald Trump. That guy that I saw on stage last night, that guy didn't look like a guy who can beat Donald Trump. That didn't look like a guy who could go toe-to-toe with the human tornado Donald J. Trump. So you have to think about that, at the end in the closing months of this campaign and in the primaries, they're going to get down to the decision, is this guy tough enough to go the distance with Trump? Can he handle it? That won't help.

ROBERTS: So Josh, who do you see out there who could go toe-to-toe with the Trump tornado?

KRAUSHAAR: Look, I think Kamala Harris is going to be someone to watch. She's got a lot of upside given her biography and given the fact that she appeals to both center-left and liberal Democratic voters. And look, I don't think you can discount Bernie Sanders because when you have a field this large and when you have a base like Bernie clearly does, that's going to take him a long way.

ROBERTS: Morgan?

ORTAGUS: I don't buy, though, we have to -- the Democrats have to like Biden because he's the only one who can win argument. In 2007 there was a black man with a funny name who was told that he could never be president, and he was a successful president for two terms.

ROBERTS: We'll see. Chris?

STIREWALT: Did you say he was a successful president for two terms?

ORTAGUS: Well, according to --

STIREWALT: She's going to be in trouble when she gets home. You will be in trouble later.


ROBERTS: Her phone is ringing already.


ROBERTS: We've got to go. But when we come back, just dance.


ROBERTS: And finally tonight, you're about to do a fun run and you need a little bit of motivation, and where do you get it? Take a look at this dancing police officer who absolutely stole the show.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officer Jackson teaching the wobble.



ROBERTS: At an event aimed at instilling healthy practices in kids, Officer Jackson taught local children some of her dance moves. The Syracuse Police Department shared the video to Facebook, writing that the officer was a huge hit. The wobble, has anyone heard of the wobble?


ROBERTS: I'm still trying to learn how to do the floss, and that's really not going well.

ORTAGUS: I'll show you how to wobble in the commercial break.

ROBERTS: Typically whenever I stand up and try to walk anywhere I do the wobble.


ROBERTS: Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. Tomorrow, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh joins Bret live to discuss everything from the president's move to abolish Obamacare to the Mueller report. Good night from Washington. "The Story" hosted by Martha MacCallum starts right now.

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