This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 25, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, who is ready for a little football tonight?
Four-and-a-half-hours away from "Monday Night Football," and it could be one for the books, because at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, in Glendale, Arizona, the Arizona Cardinals are taking on Jerry Jones' Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones, of course, famous for saying he likes his players to respect the flag, not a fan of Colin Kaepernick last kneeling out the national anthem, say to FBN a little more than a week ago, "It is not the place to do anything than honor the flag and everybody that has given up a little more for it."
They will be tested tonight. Jones, of course, has read the riot act that his players all toe the line here. And the line seems to be, no matter what the president of the United States says and whether he agitates you or not, despite other owners locking arms with you, I shall not.
If you do buck this, what happens?
To Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino on the growing pressure to toe the line or buck it.
What do you think, bud?
CHARLIE GASPARINO, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: I would say takes, Neil.
What we have been reporting on FOX Business all day, it's a column I have done for FoxBusiness.com, is that the demographics of the average football fan is against this. If you look at the demographics, because, remember, this whole controversy started out essentially with Donald Trump attacking in kind of a crude way, I would say, the protests, the knees during -- taking the knee during the anthem.
If you look at the demographic of the average football fan, it's an income of $100,000 a year or less. Race is a part of this, we have to admit, and most football fans, the vast majority, 67 to 70 percent of them are white. Many are in the military. Many are male.
And it is a Donald Trump demographic. It's a demographic that doesn't like what is going on.
Jerry Jones smells that, and he knows that this is an issue that the people who are paying the bills, the people that consume the advertising, the people that buy the merchandise, the people that watch the TV, the people that go to the stadiums, for the most part, they object to this.
CAVUTO: But yet other owners, if you think about it, Charlie, have locked arms with players, quite literally in Dan Snyder's case with the Washington Redskins, saying, I am with you.
Now, Snyder of course a big fan of the president. He gave a lot of money to the inaugural committee, gave a lot of money to the president as he was running.
CAVUTO: And yet he took the side of the players here, or are least in unison with him.
So, it does bring up this issue whether the president agitated that.
GASPARINO: Well, I don't -- I am not defending the president's comments. They were crude, calling them SOBs. And he made some...
CAVUTO: Oh, come on. You have said a lot worse.
GASPARINO: Yes, not publicly.
I just mean around the newsroom.
GASPARINO: OK, yes.
But his comments about head injuries and steps that lead -- are taken to it -- you listen to the totality of his remarks, they weren't -- I think there were somewhat ignorant.
But that being said, the notion -- and, by the way, we should put -- Robert Kraft is also in favor of -- has lent his support to the player protests, and he is a big fan of Trump as well.
But I talk to a lot of businesspeople that are involved in business with the NFL in the sports marketing side, and they tell me, despite what the owners are doing, and the owners are doing it primarily to keep sort of order and harmony in the locker room. But they are doing is playing with fire.
It is marketing 101. You thumb your nose at your customer, the customer usually rebels. And you could see that in the ratings. The ratings have gone down for a lot of reasons. People are watching the NFL on this, and watching the clips, rather than the whole game.
CAVUTO: And some of the overnights confirmed what you just said.
A lot of the Sunday...
CAVUTO: ... were down.
But I'm telling you, the businesspeople that deal with this, and Jerry knows -- listen, I know Jerry Jones a little bit. He is a great businessman. He knows, from the -- that, at bottom, this is a really bad business decision, embracing these player protests, because the average fan just does not -- the average NFL viewer, fan does not like it.
CAVUTO: So, why did so many owners take the position of locking arms with their players? They felt that they were kind of pinned into a corner here?
GASPARINO: Yes. I mean, listen...
CAVUTO: Or when they look at some of the overnights and some of the receipts and all, they're going to saying, boy, we are literally between a rock and a hard place here?
GASPARINO: Listen, I think they know that the league let this get out of control early on.
Jerry Jones was the first to say, don't do it, to his team. I believe it was two years ago.
CAVUTO: Right. Right.
GASPARINO: So, they that think maybe Goodell, Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, didn't step in.
They hate disharmony in the locker room, and I do not blame them for that. They want a happy workplace for their players. But, at some point, they're going to have to like explain the economics. You do not have a First Amendment right to a job. You could say whatever you want, and they should maybe tell them, listen, protest in other venues.
But this is a loser, and it is going to kill you with the fans that pay the bills. It really is.
CAVUTO: Yes. That is their base. That is their base.
GASPARINO: Listen, just think about this. You have a product, it's sold every Sunday, and the people you want to buy the product on Sunday, you literally thumb your nose at them every Sunday.
Think about how absurd that is.
CAVUTO: You're ticking them off. You're ticking them off.
GASPARINO: Yes, absolutely.
CAVUTO: All right, Charlie Gasparino, thank you very, very much. There is the flip side to this, though, and Charlie kind of touched on it. The more we talk about stuff like this, the more it gets in the way of stuff that probably many Republicans prefer the president would be talking about.
Tax cuts come to mind.
And Kevin Corke at the White House with concern that maybe, maybe they are not being mentioned as much right now.
Kevin, what is the fallout here?
KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, that is a legitimate concern.
But as you heard in the press briefing earlier today, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was really clear, Neil. She said, listen, the president can manage White House messaging on a variety of topics at the very same time, be that tax reform, health care reform, or in this particular case the national anthem and standing for the flag.
In fact, he took to Twitter to say as much in a very simple tweet and it read simply: "#Standforouranthem"
Now, of course, that was a reaction to the numerous NFL players who chose to kneel down during national anthem during the games over the weekend in protest, at least in theory now, of the president's previous comments at a rally in Alabama last week in which he suggested, and a little blue language, I should add there, that NFL owners should fire players who disrespect the flag.
But, clearly, there's been plenty of criticism, as you point out, Neil, that as the president sort of drives the news cycle, whether it be by way of Twitter or an off-the-cuff comment, he doesn't have the laser-like focus on the pressing issues facing the White House.
That has been the criticism, be that tax reform or maybe what is going on in Puerto Rico, for example, but that is also a charge that was flatly rejected today by the press secretary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I certainly don't think that talking about the American flag is a distraction for the president of the United States.
You act like that is all he did over the weekend. He also did a lot of other things, continuing to push forward and tax reform, continuing to push forward on health care, continuing to push forward on the safety and security of the border in our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CORKE: Now, of course, there's also the idea that we're going to be at a rally on Wednesday. The present is going to be talking about a number of issues.
Most notably, he will be talking about numbers and real tax reform, and the White House will tell you, look, there's plenty of time to drill down on that.
And I can also tell you this, Neil, that president will be in constant consultation with Gary Cohn and also with Steve Mnuchin right up until the very moment he delivers his remarks, the idea being that we will get more granular detail on what the White House wants to do vis-a-vis tax reform.
You and I have talked about this at length, this idea of getting down to 15 percent corporate tax rate. That still seems a bit ambitious, to be frank with you. But they want to make it lower, obviously, to be more competitive on an international basis and we will see what happens as we learn more on Wednesday.
So, is it more or is it too much? The White House would say it is just right -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Kevin, thank you very much, my friend.
Then there is the question of whether this obsession with going after the NFL, whether that appeals to the president's base or not, and addresses, as Charlie Gasparino pointed out, the base that watches football games, whether that hurts any chance that president can get Democratic support for those tax cuts.
The Independent Journal Review's Erin McPike on that.
Erin, what you think of that, that this might have, whatever you say about the legitimacy of the president's remarks, whether they're accurate or justified, they didn't win him Democratic votes on those tax cuts. Maybe they weren't going to materialize anyway, but what you think?
ERIN MCPIKE, INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW: Well, look, Neil, even if he does drive turnout in Alabama and get the outcome that he wants tomorrow night, it doesn't change anything about what is going on, on the floor of the Senate.
And I do think right now it is possible that he is letting Republicans on Capitol Hill go through the machinations of what they want this tax reform or tax cut bill to look like.
Obviously, we're hearing a number of things about what Bob Corker and Pat Toomey are trying to work out. And it may be, as Kevin said, that he wants to make big news on Wednesday and come out for something or name some numbers of his own.
But it doesn't make sense why he wouldn't talk about it a little bit over the weekend and change what he was saying over the weekend about the NFL.
CAVUTO: All right, there might be a greater purpose and design to this that I'm missing. And you follow this stuff much closer than I, Erin.
But I do think every second and minute we are talking about the NFL thing, justified or not, it is a second or minute we are not talking about those tax cuts.
CAVUTO: And therein lies the rub for the president, because among Republicans, there's a great deal of division as to how far to go with those tax cuts.
Is it your feeling that the president is going to come out big, in other words, big tax cuts across the board, a very low corporate tax starting at 15 percent, not 20 percent, maybe go up in negotiations, but he wants big? What do you think?
MCPIKE: Neil, I think as we have talked about a number of times, I actually think that the president has been all over the map on this.
He has been firm that he wants to drop the corporate tax rate, but he has also said that he would like to see taxes go up on the wealthiest Americans.
I think his messaging has been pretty faulty. And, frankly, Mnuchin also said that they were going to have tax reform done by August. Here we are, the last week of September, and the White House has not laid out in great detail yet what it is that the president will actually push for.
And, instead, they have really punted this to Capitol Hill. So, I do not have a good feeling about where the president is going on this. And I am hopeful that we will hear something from him on Wednesday, and maybe that is what this big Wednesday event is all about.
CAVUTO: Is it your sense that he wants to lead the charge on a very low corporate rate, though he might not have a rate for the well-to-do, but his signature event is going to be a very, very low corporate rate?
MCPIKE: Yes, and I think that they are focused on that more than individual tax cuts, certainly.
MCPIKE: But you will remember that in the last couple of years of the Obama administration, the Obama administration really did believe that they could work with Republicans on, at the very least, corporate tax reform, and they felt pretty good that they would actually get something done.
And then of course it fell apart at the end. But I think that this White House recognizes too that there is where they could find some momentum.
CAVUTO: All right, Erin, we will watch closely. Wednesday is D-Day, I guess, unless that moves yet again, Erin McPike.
In the meantime, Puerto Rico is still in world of hurt. In fact, we're getting reads from that battered island after Hurricane Maria that could take not just months, not just years, but decades to get back to normal. Decades.
The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, is here.
CAVUTO: All right, we are following these Washington developments, not only on tax cuts, the details of which are due later this week, but on this health care rework that seems to be imploding of its own accord.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, the Senate leader, was noncommittal, we're told, on this issue of ever bringing it up for a vote. That might have something to do with the fact that the vote might not be there.
John McCain has already come out against it. Rand Paul can't be moved for it. We're told that Ted Cruz is a likely no vote, Cruz saying that himself, as things stand. He had telegraphed that his colleague Mike Lee of Utah would also be a likely no. Those are more votes than you need to kill this thing in the United States Senate.
Mitch McConnell must be reading the writing on the wall to not necessarily he's canceling the vote, but noncommittal on having that vote. We will keep you posted.
Meanwhile, keeping you posted on the hurricane and fallout that will not go away for the island of Puerto Rico, right now threatening about 70,000 in the path of a dam that could burst. Right now, the recovery efforts are going slow, but they are going.
The island's Governor Ricardo Rossello, joining us right now.
Governor, this Guajataca Dam -- I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly, sir -- where does that stand right now?
GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO: Well, right now, Neil, we have engineers taking a look at it, making an assessment.
We are evacuating people in the vicinity. We have already broken down partially. And we want to make sure that, if it can hold up, then what mitigation strategies we can implement so that we can start doing so in the next couple of hours.
But the priority is to make sure people are safe and get them out anywhere near the dam.
CAVUTO: All right, there were about 70,000, maybe a little bit more, if I remember, Governor, in harm's way or would be in harm's way if this thing burst. Had all been cleared?
ROSSELLO: No, we have -- the number has been sort of reshuffled.
Right now, as it stands, we have got about 8,000. Of course, if it were to burst completely, that is -- the impacted area would reach about 70,000 people. But right now, we are mainly focused on those that are in the vicinity and of course using police and National Guard to make sure that people are out of harm's way.
CAVUTO: I know, Governor, you had expressed some concern the fact that in, in this country, they are not revisiting funding or emergency funding, additional funding for FEMA or grants to that effect, until October.
And you are saying that time is a wasting for Puerto Rico. What have you been told about that and whether increased help is on the way?
ROSSELLO: Well, right now, I have to say that the administration and FEMA has been great. They have been supporting, working with our teams in collaboration.
But I have made a call up, up to a congressman and congresswoman to take the fact that we do not want to have a humanitarian crisis in the United States. And that is what could happen here in Puerto Rico if we do not take action.
Puerto Ricans are U.S. -- proud U.S. citizens. We helped, as we have spoken in the past, other U.S. citizens that were in harm's way when Irma came through. We gave them shelter. We gave them food, a pass back home.
The magnitude of this hurricane has been devastating. Having two Category 5 hurricanes pass through Puerto Rico is unprecedented anywhere else. The magnitude of the devastation, and of course, our fiscal crisis put Puerto Rico in a different, an atypical situation.
And what we are asking is for Congress to act quickly, decisively, so that we can calculate the magnitude of the damage and that those damages are -- the ones that are given us, resources, to the people of Puerto Rico, number two, that we can get some flexibility, Neil, because as a government right now, we're going to need some flexibility with the money that comes in, so that we can attenuate some of the unforeseen circumstances that may occur, public health emergencies, collapse of decaying infrastructure, and so forth.
And, lastly, lines of financing that Puerto Rico currently doesn't have because of its fiscal oversight board position. So, things have changed. And we want to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the United States.
We want to prevent millions of Puerto Ricans flocking to the United States, causing a demographic nightmare, both for Puerto Rico.
CAVUTO: Well, when you say millions of Puerto Ricans flocking to the United States, you have a population of about 3.4 million. Do you think a third or more would come to the United States if everything hit the fan?
ROSSELLO: Of course.
We can flow freely to the United States. And if the conditions are inhospitable, if people are -- you're essentially going to have a lot of Puerto Ricans moving out of harm's way, making sure they can have a path forward.
But, of course, that presents a problem for the United States, and a significant problem for Puerto Rico.
So, my caution is, let's take action. Let's focus on the solution. I think there is a path forward. But it needs to recognize that what is going on here, Neil, it's nothing short of a major catastrophe.
It has longstanding limitations. But if used appropriately, my commitment is that we will normalize the situation, that we will start rebuilding, and that we will rebuild stronger than ever, smarter than ever.
CAVUTO: All right, Governor, best of luck to you.
I cannot believe how this has cascaded for you.
Ricardo Rossello, the Puerto Rico governor, dealing with something that just gets exponentially more nightmarish as the days and weeks go on.
We will keep a close eye on that.
Also keep a close eye on the fixation over NFL players that might or might not want to stand or kneel for the national anthem. You might have forgotten there's something else going on, a lunatic in North Korea who wants to blow up the world and says that Donald Trump has now given him the license to do so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: We have not declared on North Korea. And, frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, the North Koreans say, well, not so, Sarah Sanders.
North Korea's foreign minister said the U.S. has all but called war against North Korea and cited U.S. bombers flying east of North Korea itself, the farthest north of the demilitarized zone in decades.
Retired Lieutenant Jerry Boykin how a hot situation is getting hotter still.
What you make, General, what the North Koreans are saying? They feel and obviously Kim Jong-un feels that he was humiliated on the world stage when the president called him Rocket Man and all that other stuff, and then agitated further when we upped the ante by these reconnaissance planes in areas that they had not been in quite some time, ignoring the fact that they have been fairly provocative over these last few decades.
But where is this going, in your eyes?
LT. GEN. JERRY BOYKIN (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Well, keep in mind that a lot of what Kim Jong-un does and says is for internal consumption.
His credibility is not guaranteed within the ranks of his own senior military leadership. So, a lot of what you see him do and what you see him saying is really just to maintain his credibility with them as the commander in chief, as well as the president of the country.
CAVUTO: General, just to be clear, does that include when his foreign minister talks about that North Korea has the right now to shoot down American planes in international space because a war has been declared?
BOYKIN: I do. I think that is exactly what it is.
I think it is sophomoric rhetoric on his part, but it's -- the primary audience for that is internal to North Korea.
CAVUTO: So, General, where is this going? Obviously, if you will buy the argument this is his pride, and he was humiliated on a global stage, you could make the argument long before Donald Trump, he was humiliated on a global stage by these provocative actions, by his father's provocative actions, his grandfather's provocative actions.
So, what has become different now?
BOYKIN: Well, let me say that I am very conflicted here on the situation in North Korea.
I am afraid that we're going to war. I think that we are closer than we had been since the crisis in Cuba in 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis.
BOYKIN: I think that we are closer than we were then.
I'm conflicted, because I'm afraid we're going to go to war. I'm also conflicted because I'm afraid we will trade a short-term peace for a nuclear-armed North Korea. And that is not acceptable. Three previous presidents have kicked the can down the road and left Donald Trump with a soup sandwich now that he has to deal with.
So, ultimately, he has to decide, will we accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, or will we do what previous presidents said, but didn't follow through on, is we will ensure that there is not a nuclear-armed North Korea? That is the question at this point. I am concerned.
CAVUTO: To get to that point, to make sure they are not a nuclear North Korea, would almost beg war, would it not, sir?
BOYKIN: I don't see a good ending here, Neil.
Look, I hope that the sanctions work. But there is no risk-free option here. People say, well, you know, sanctions, we will lose $650 billion from the Chinese and all that.
Hey, yo, here is a wakeup call. There is no good answer to this right now. The question is, do you want to live for the next 30 years under the threat of an EMP coming from North Korea? They are going to have that capability very soon, and they're also going to have the capability really to take down almost anybody within the Pacific Rim with a nuclear weapon.
So, that is the question that we have to ask ourselves. I'm glad Donald Trump is handling this the way he is, and I hope that we can avoid war. But I fear it.
CAVUTO: Real quickly, they are going to test or want to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean, which could disrupt electronics, potentially down planes.
They would have to telegraph that and warn people about that. If they do not, do you see that, General, as an act of war?
BOYKIN: I see that as an act of war, absolutely.
And it's not even the electronic side of it. It is the nuclear radiation that will certainly be distributed somewhere in the Pacific, even if you get to the most remote part of the Pacific. You are still going to have radiation on some of those islands like the Caroline Islands or the Solomons or somewhere.
And that, as far as I'm concerned, is a red line. That is an act of war.
CAVUTO: All right, General, thank you, not for that prognosis, but for your expertise.
Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, a former Green Beret commander, so much more. Thank you, sir.
BOYKIN: Thank you.
CAVUTO: All right.
Well, protesters interrupting that Senate hearing on health care reform, might have been to little avail. In the end, it looked like the votes were evaporating long before they started protesting.
We are on it after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH: If you want a hearing, you better shut up. OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Many of these protesters at a Senate hearing on that health measure have nothing to worry about after all, because long before they started chanting, it was looking like this entire Republican repeal effort was melting.
Back in 60.
CAVUTO: All right, so many protesters, so little time, but it might be a moot point, because it now it looks like the time to even vote on this won't come up, as we get indications from our senior Capitol Hill producer, Chad Pergram, this health care repeal effort might not even come up for a vote later this week or next week.
What is the latest you are hearing, Chad?
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: Well, it has to be this week...
CAVUTO: That's right, the 30th, right.
PERGRAM: ... because the special budget reconciliation process, it expires. The pumpkin expires on Saturday night.
Really, Neil, the deadline could be the 28th, or early in the day on the 29th, because Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, hits then at sundown. And they would have to get Jewish senators out of town for services. So, really, about the 28th is the deadline here.
At the end of the day here, Neil, it is about the math. There are three Republican no's, John McCain of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is holding a press conference right now. And Ted Cruz of Texas. A senior aide to him indicates that, as of right now, he is a no.
If you have 52 Republican senators, that takes you down to 49, using this special process, which expires on the 30th, that eliminates filibusters. They need to at least get 50, so Vice President Pence could break the tie.
Now, what they tried to do here in the past 24 hours is rewrite the bill to get people like Rand Paul on board, Ted Cruz, and send more money to the states.
All right, Chad, thank you very much, Chad Pergram.
CAVUTO: All right, the author of "Beating Obamacare," Betsy McCaughey, the foremost expert on all things health care that I know of, joining me now.
BETSY MCCAUGHEY, AUTHOR, "BEATING OBAMACARE": What a shame that this has been so demagogued. You saw the crowds there chanting, Paul Krugman from The New York Times and others saying that this bill is cool beyond belief.
The fact is, even under this bill, the federal government will be spending far more on health care for the poor and middle class by 2026 than they are today. The numbers still keep going up.
This bill simply Calms the rise, slows the growth in health care spending by a minuscule 4.5 percent. Can you imagine? Hardly what you would call cruel.
CAVUTO: This reminds me of the Paul Ryan thing years back, where he was trying to rein in the growth trajectory of Medicare, and he was growing granny off the cliff. It was still growing, just not as much.
MCCAUGHEY: Yes, still growing, but here's...
CAVUTO: But where's -- what happens now?
MCCAUGHEY: Well, the first thing that happens is that there are about 12 million Americans in the individual market who don't get any kind of subsidy. They are paying their insurance premiums out of their own pocket.
And those premiums have gotten so big, it is like paying a mortgage. They are going to drop insurance next year. You are going to see something brand-new, Neil, the rise of a new uninsured class, the middle class.
And it is very unfortunate, because also, in addition to taming premiums, this bill would have very sensibly protected people with preexisting conditions. Right now, under Obamacare, the entire cost of paying for some half-a-million people who have very serious illnesses is put on the shoulder of people in the individual market.
They're paying exorbitant premiums and not getting anybody back. All the money...
CAVUTO: All the rap against this is that it wasn't that you were going to lose coverage if you had a preexisting condition. The degree would be how much more you would pay for that.
MCCAUGHEY: But you would not be paying for more.
And here's why, because the federal government was block-granting billions and billions of dollars to the states to subsidize the premiums for people with preexisting conditions. They were still going to get the help.
CAVUTO: But shouldn't people with preexisting conditions pay a little bit more? Because there are those who arguing, on behalf of Obamacare, so they didn't pay as much under Obamacare as they would have with this Republican plan.
MCCAUGHEY: But, net-net, out of pocket, they would not be out of pocket more.
MCCAUGHEY: Instead of leaning on the healthy people in the individual market, they'd be getting their help from the whole nation. Everybody would be chipping in. The help would be coming from federal revenues, rather than from individual premium...
CAVUTO: Your point all along with Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, is it wasn't affordable for everybody. To cover everybody, everybody was paying more, rather than a market-tested result that would at least help those who are healthy to pay less.
MCCAUGHEY: That's right.
The other thing is that this bill reforms a real scam. And that is that, under Medicaid right now, the money is not going to the poorest people. It's going to the states where politicians have the sharpest elbows and are cleverly labeling everything they spend Medicaid, right, because they get a federal match for all the money they spend.
So, a poor person in Mississippi is getting $400 a year, and a poor person in Massachusetts is getting 10 grand a year.
CAVUTO: How is that P.R. for this handled, though, Betsy, when it looks like Republicans always come out with the short stick of this, that they look like they're trying to take coverage away, and they always look like the villain?
MCCAUGHEY: You know, wouldn't it great if lying were against the law in politics? But it's not. It has become an art form.
And, mostly, this bill is going down because of a lot of lies. What can I say?
CAVUTO: All right, what do Republicans do to revisit this later? Or can they?
MCCAUGHEY: Well, it ain't over until it is over. Rand Paul has a press conference going on in a couple of minutes.
And Ted Cruz is only a soft no.
CAVUTO: Well, he is saying right now -- that he called these revisions to the Graham-Cassidy bill unseemly allowances that were made for Kentucky and other states.
CAVUTO: "And Republicans who vote for it will be held responsible for Obamacare failure. This is thrown together in a slipshod way."
So, he's not changing.
Well, Obamacare is collapsing. The choice is not between this and a Democratic health bill that's working. And, unfortunately, millions of people will come to Congress next year and say, you have got to do something. Grow up, and do something.
CAVUTO: This doesn't look good for the possible battle ensuing now for tax cuts.
MCCAUGHEY: I am very concerned about that.
All right, thank you, very, very much. It's crazy. It's crazy, Betsy. Thank you very, very much.
She telegraphed a lot of what we are seeing.
Also, fascinating what happened over the weekend in this Tennessee church at shooting that left one dead and seven wounded. It turned into a racial story. Or did it?
CAVUTO: It could have been a lot worse, that Tennessee shooting that left seven injured, one dead.
Jonathan Serrie in Antioch, Tennessee, with the latest -- Jonathan.
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It could have been a lot worse, Neil.
People are crediting one of the ushers at the church, a 22-year-old young man, as being really the hero in preventing things from getting much more out of hand than they already were. His name is Robert Caleb Engle. He is being very modest about his role in stopping the shooting. He has been released from the hospital.
But while he was undergoing treatment in the hospital, he released a statement saying -- quote -- "I do not want to be labeled a hero. The real heroes are the police, first-responders, and medical staff and doctors who have helped me and everyone affected."
During his scuffle with the suspect, Engle was pistol-whipped. But police say the suspect injured himself with his own gun when that gun discharged in the scuffle, either by accident or purpose.
Engle then retrieved his own registered gun from his vehicle, and held the suspect at gunpoint until police and medics arrived.
The suspect, 25-year-old Emanuel Samson, has been released from the hospital and is now in police custody. He faces one murder charge in connection with the death of a 39-year-old Melanie Crow Smith, who was fatally shot in the church parking lot before the gunman allegedly went inside the sanctuary, opening fire and injuring six others.
Authorities say make more charges are pending. Church members say the subject was no stranger, that he had attended service at this particular church in the past, but had not been there recently.
A man who lives across the street from the church describes the congregation as racially diverse and welcoming.
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JOE LOVE, ANTIOCH RESIDENT: And I'm saying that church right there open their hearts up to you, take the shirt off their back for you. Good people over there. Why do you like something like that to good, innocent people?
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SERRIE: Yes, the FBI is trying to find out. They have launched a civil rights investigation.
Now, as for the six people inside the church who were hospitalized with gunshot injuries, one of them has already been released. Police say that the other five still continue to recover. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Jonathan Serrie, thank you very much, my friend.
All right, I want to go Fox's brand-new political analyst, Gianno Caldwell.
And, Gianno, I'm so glad to have you in that capacity.
GIANNO CALDWELL, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you, Neil. Thank you for being a standard-bearer and a mentor to me.
So, next time I'm in New York, drinks on me. All the free water the restaurant will offer.
CAVUTO: OK, very good. I was hoping for a little bit higher-brow than that.
CAVUTO: But you know what I'm going to ask you.
CAVUTO: And I will hope you understand the meaning of this question.
CALDWELL: Of course.
CAVUTO: As an African-American -- and you see what happened here, African- American shoots some white parishioners -- it does not get the same amount of coverage that a white shooting African-American parishioners would get.
Now, I don't think one is more reprehensible than the other. They're both reprehensible, but not that same media reaction. What do you make of that?
CALDWELL: So, there's three key elements that play out in my mind when it comes to the story.
One, this was not an individual shooting in a black church. Two, there was no Trump tie-in. As you know, the media loves to fantasize about everything with regards to Trump, and that is what get them more clicks, and that would get them more exposure.
And, three, the individual who prevented this from being even more worse and chaotic was an individual who legally owned a gun. And he prevented the mass chaos by his legal gun ownership.
Thereby, media seemingly don't really care. And it is really unfortunate to me. The individual is a Christian. And I believe that there is an attack on Christianity in this country. I think it has been brewing on for many years.
In 2015, there was some data released that said there's about 200, almost 250 incidences on -- religious violence -- violent incidences on places of worship.
So, this is something that is missing here, and I think the media should be covering it. And thank God for FOX News, which seems to be the only media organization that really is covering that.
CAVUTO: Do you think, Gianno, that it would have gotten much more coverage, regardless of how the media plays the race card, one way or the other, if, tragically, more people were killed?
I think if there was more people that were killed, I think there would be a bit more coverage. But, again, these tie-ins seem to be all-important to the media, whereas, if there's some violence that takes place in a Trump rally, you are going to see it front page everywhere.
But, in this scenario, when you have an individual who was -- we do not know all the facts of the investigation yet, but, obvious, there must be something wrong with you -- and this is my personal view -- to go into a church, a place of worship, and start shooting people.
This is something that we all must pay attention to, because at this particular point in time, violence is ramping up all over in places of worship. I believe that there is elected officials that are targeting Christianity.
I will use an example, Rahm Emanuel, when he went after Chick-fil-A, and he told that they would not open up -- he wouldn't allow another Chick-fil-A restaurant to be opened up in the city of Chicago because of their religious beliefs.
I think this is something is that has become very troubling and dangerous and fostered an environment -- or has fostered an environment where people feel comfortable doing these kind of things.
CAVUTO: Yes, if I'm Rahm Emanuel, I might be a tad more concerned with the violence and the crime spree and all these kids getting killed.
CALDWELL: Absolutely, as I am. Absolutely.
CAVUTO: All right, Gianno, welcome aboard. Very good to have you, my friend. Thank you very much.
CALDWELL: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: Gianno Caldwell.
All right, we're getting wind of more Maria evacuations that are under way. And, again, it's the flooding. All in all, it is the flooding. Like so many storms before it and probably storms to come after it, it is the flooding.
Janice Dean on that after this.
CAVUTO: All right, mandatory evacuation in order for parts of North Carolina, as Maria makes its way up to the West Coast and -- or East Coast. I apologize.
And we just heard from the governor of Puerto Rico, who said, post-Maria, they are in a world of hurt that could take not months or years, but, as you heard from him, maybe decades in which to recover.
Meteorologist extraordinaire joins us right now. She telegraphed a lot of those worries.
And for kids who get rightly scared about this stuff, she is also of author of "Freddy the Frogcaster and the Flash Flood," which, by the way, was very timely with all of these storms, because the flooding, as you always remind me, is half the battle.
JANICE DEAN, FOX NEWS METEOROLOGIST: It is the number one cause of death when it comes to weather.
CAVUTO: Days after.
DEAN: Yes, people do not realize that. More than tornadoes, more than hurricanes, more than lightning, flooding causes more loss of life.
So, I think it is important not only for us to talk about flash flooding, and explain it, but to talk to our kids. And I think maybe we are little afraid because of the images that are on television right now.
CAVUTO: That really does scare kids, doesn't it?
DEAN: But now is the time to talk about it, because you can survive a flood if you know what to do.
The National Weather Service has come out with a great expression. It sounds a little silly, but it works. Turnaround, don't drown. Don't travel through water that you can't see the bottom of.
And if you can do that, you could save your life.
CAVUTO: Half the time, that's what happens, these people who drive into what they think is just a shallow water street.
DEAN: Right. They think you can do it.
CAVUTO: And then they are gone.
DEAN: No, it just takes a couple of inches to knock you off your feet and to bring your car downstream as well.
CAVUTO: Who are these books for? Like, I remember vividly when you started this Freddy the Frogcaster series and all.
You could argue they're as well for adults, because kids can remind adults and henpeck them, hey, hey, you know?
DEAN: I have had more parents and teachers tell me that they have learned from these books, which is really important to me.
CAVUTO: Who are they geared for, like, this reading...
DEAN: Yes, I would say kindergarten through third grade.
But younger kids will love the illustrations, because Russ Cox did that.
CAVUTO: They're beautiful. They're absolutely beautiful.
DEAN: He paints these illustrations. So, they're beautiful illustrations.
But -- and at the back of the book, value for your dollar. I know that you're all about that.
DEAN: There is sort of -- if you want to dive into the meteorology behind why weather happens, in this case, flash flooding, then you can learn about meteorological terms that I use on television.
DEAN: And teachers have told they learn stuff from Freddie, and the best compliment you can give me is when kids come up and say, mom and dad, do we have an emergency kit? Let's make one together. Let's make sure, if the power goes out, we know what to do and where to get our emergency kit, or, do we have a plan mom and dad if something that happens and the power goes out?
CAVUTO: But you were on this kids thing. Now everyone is copying it. You know, look at Ainsley. Love her dearly, but come on.
What happened there?
And all of Kilmeade's books. All of Kilmeade's.
DEAN: Right. Is he coming out with a kids book, too?
Kilmeade, come on, you're killing me.
CAVUTO: I have no idea. I have no idea.
DEAN: So, listen, this is the fifth book, and I think this is the most important book, because I think flooding can happen anywhere on this Earth, right?
Some people don't get as many tornadoes. Maybe they don't get hurricanes. But if you have rain in your forecast, you have the risk for the potential of a flood.
CAVUTO: Well, you reminded me, remember with Sandy five years ago, that wasn't even hurricane. It was a nor'easter and the surge and all that.
DEAN: They call it a superstorm because it's a hybrid of a hurricane and a nor'easter.
DEAN: But, yes, it was the storm surge and the flooding that caused so much devastation.
But, listen, we can survive these weather phenomenon if we know what to do.
CAVUTO: What is behind this weather phenomenon?
I talk a lot of climatologists who said, see, it's global warming, climate change, but it has been a relatively subdued 12 years.
CAVUTO: So, what is it?
DEAN: We have had a hurricane drought.
This is very much like 2004-2005, where the conditions in the atmosphere have become favorable for hurricane development.
CAVUTO: Right. What decides that? Is that a cyclical thing?
DEAN: There's a whole bunch. Definitely is cyclical.
If you look back to the '30, the '40s, the '60s, certainly 2004, 2005, it usually comes after a period of very quiet time.
And the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center said that conditions are favorable for hurricanes. You can have many hurricanes in the Atlantic, but it just takes one to make it a bad year.
And, unfortunately, we have had a record-setting year with not one, but four major hurricanes that have been caused disaster, obviously.
CAVUTO: And the hurricane season ends when?
DEAN: November 30, but you can have hurricanes...
CAVUTO: Conceivably be a ways to go here.
DEAN: Yes, we are actually a little bit past halfway through at this point.
DEAN: But a period of quiet right now, and then we will have to watch as we get into the fall months.
But I also want to point out, the flash flood book, all the proceeds that I make from this book will go to Hurricane Harvey relief in Texas...
CAVUTO: Wow. Good for you.
DEAN: ... and my good friends at Team Rubicon, who get our veterans out with first-responders and help in disaster areas.
So, all of my proceeds from the flash flood book will help flash flood victims in Texas.
CAVUTO: You are amazing. Are your kids your audience for this?
DEAN: Yes, definitely.
I start off with my kids, and they give me suggestions. And then I have people like you read it and tell me what your thoughts are, the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything like that.
CAVUTO: I didn't understand the weather analogies you were making.
How you feeling, by the way, the M.S. and everything else?
DEAN: I'm feeling good.
I know a lot of people -- you are very open with your multiple sclerosis diagnosis. When I was diagnosed...
CAVUTO: Only when I can milk it for sympathy.
DEAN: Taking out the garbage, that kind of thing.
CAVUTO: Absolutely. Right.
DEAN: But, listen, a lot of people do not realize this.
Neil was the first person that I went to when I was diagnosed back in 2005. And I thank every moment that you have given me hope and your expertise...
CAVUTO: Well, you're on fire, young lady. I told you to quit, remember? And you didn't.
DEAN: No, you didn't. You told me to persevere.
CAVUTO: And you did, and then some.
DEAN: I adore you.
CAVUTO: "Freddy the Frogcaster and the Flash Flood."
She is on fire.
Take that, Ainsley. Take that, Kilmeade.
We will have more after this.
DEAN: No, Kilmeade. No.
CAVUTO: No, no Kilmeade.
CAVUTO: Oh, wow, this is going to get interesting tonight.
We are getting a report now from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Dallas Cowboys players do indeed plan an anthem protest of their own over President Trump's remarks.
So, Jerry Jones, the owner in the past, has criticized Colin Kaepernick and others for sitting out or kneeling down during the national anthem, wasn't a big fan of that.
Of course, a lot has changed over the past year. What Jerry Jones does in reaction -- or does in reaction to that tonight could be very interesting.
"The Five," yes, it's back, now.
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