This is a rush transcript from "The Story with Martha MacCallum," February 5, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you very much, John and Sandra. Good afternoon, everybody on a busy Friday, Super Bowl almost here, as you just heard. Great to have you with us here on THE STORY today. I'm Martha McCallum, President Biden saying just a short time ago, he's taking a swipe at Republicans for voting no, on his big, nearly $2 trillion COVID relief bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What Republicans have proposed is either to do nothing, or not enough. All of a sudden, many of them have rediscovered fiscal restraint and the concern for the deficits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: But hold, on how much is enough? Because you've got over a trillion dollars of the last bill that has been allocated but hasn't actually gone out to anybody yet. So, this bill is going to pass with basically Democrats support, it's reconciliation measure which allows them to squeak it by only 51 votes. And it makes it clear that compromise and unity, which we heard so much about, are not the priority at this White House so far.
Republicans say this is a liberal wish list, but President Biden says that he will be the most progressive president in history. He told us that on the campaign trail. And that's clearly a promise that he's making good on so far, and progressives are thrilled with it. Here's one progressive senator who said Biden has been: "Very good at tending the garden so far." So, are these packages about COVID?
Or are they about expanding the government here in the United States over the longer term? As this plays out, though, in the background of all of this about the money, there's a shift going on in the country. Take a look at this: cases have dropped 47 percent since the daily average peak and January 8th, that's very good news about where this virus is headed. And think about this, the governors who have really embraced the most-strict lockdowns, and that has not led to better outcomes necessarily, they're starting to scramble politically.
You've got Gavin Newsom, who's facing a recall in California. And Andrew Cuomo, who is getting a serious reality check on his nursing home policy from his own attorney general. These same leaders and others like them are starting to sing a very different post-election tune on the subject of science, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I don't think it's realistic to say don't open the economy until COVID is solid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time is running out. We need our kids back in school.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We can safely reopen schools as we process a prioritization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, the wise man, Mike Rowe, is going to join us in just moments on the impact on workers across the country on all of this. You are wise Mike. We'll be with you in a second. And Republican Congressman Darrell Issa from California is going to join us as well on that really interesting effort that's gaining a lot of momentum now in California. This is a big story to watch. We'll talk about that with him.
Also, Leo Terrell joins us to comment on this viral video of a New York City High School senior who says that he believes that the leaders in New York has have given up on them on these students as the fight to reopen their schools rages on. We're going to show you what that young man had to say. But we begin now with Former Trade Adviser to President Trump on the economy and reaction to this new Biden economic deal for COVID, Peter Navarro. Peter, good to have you here.
Today, you spent a lot of time looking at the economy and looking at COVID issue, I'm doing well, thank you very much. So, what's your reaction to this $1.9 trillion bill which as we said, went through with looks like no Republican support?
PETER NAVARRO, FORMER TRADE ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The most important word we heard today was from Janet Yellen, and it was scarring, permanent scarring. And I'd like to take you back in a time machine, Martha, because we go to the Oval Office in July of 2020. I'm sitting there with the president and other the advisors, and we were we were very much wanting to pass a $2-trillion bill. Because we understood at that time, that if we didn't do that, we were likely to lose the heart and soul of our economy, which is small business.
And Nancy Pelosi made essentially a devil's bargain, which was to deny the president of victory on the stimulus and relief package on the bet that it would lose him the election. She got that wish, but the problem we face now and you can clearly see it in the data is that she saddled the Biden administration with an economy which I believe in 2021 is going to significantly underperform and likely lead to a stagflation scenario.
MACCALLUM: So, you think, the timing of this. I mean, you go back to the political nature of the debate and we, really, I think people across the country and let's put up this poll 68 percent of Americans support this stimulus plan by the Biden administration. Everybody is, you know, looking forward to the money that will come along with it. Of course, there's a price to be paid for that as well. So, you, you think that the timing is essential, and you think that ultimately, we're going to look back and say that if it had happened last summer, it would have worked, but that this money will not?
NAVARRO: Yes, with this proviso, if we had done it six months ago, we could have saved literally hundreds of thousands of small businesses. The problem, Martha, is that there's no turn on, turn off switch for small businesses. Once they go away, they're gone. So, what we're facing is, is this twin scarring, we've got, on the one hand that this massive loss of small businesses, on the other hand, we have this structural problem in our major metropolitan areas where the CCP virus has hit kind of the three main pillars of every major metropolitan areas, the mass transit, it's the commercial office buildings, and it's the sports and entertainment districts.
And so, if you look at the labor stats that came with today's numbers, it's alarming in the sense that we still got something like 10 million people unemployed, and yet there's labor shortages in selected sectors. And what that means is that there is what's called structural unemployment, the people who are working in restaurants and service sectors can't necessarily make that bridge to these other sectors. So, what we're going to see is slower growth, with higher wage inflation, which is a stagflationary scenario and whatever.
I noted that that Biden was pimping Moody's as one of their rosy forecasters in support of their bill. The problem with Moody's is that they're there, they've been joined at the hip as a Democrat pollster, and forecaster, so you can't really take that. My bottom line, Martha, is 2021 is likely to be the year the big short in the financial markets and the underperformance. I think it's important that we get this bill passed. But we, we have scarring that we're going to have to deal with.
MACCALLUM: Now, we've heard a lot about go big, and we did waste a lot of time over the summer on this, this kind of program. There's also a lot of money that's not spent yet. Peter Navarro, thanks. Good to have you here today. Thank you, Peter.
So, joining me now is Mike Rowe, who has his finger on the pulse of America's workers. He's the former host of "Dirty Jobs" and now hosts "Six Degrees of Mike Rowe" on Discovery Plus, which we want to ask him about as well. So, Mike, how do you think American workers across the country, look at this whole thing right now?
You've got an improving COVID picture. Thank God. It looks like it's starting to decrease in terms of its prevalence in the country. And then you've got these massive packages that are being sent out pretty much to, to, to everybody across the board.
MIKE ROWE, TELEVISION HOST: I think in a general way, we're starting to understand the importance of balance again. Six, seven months ago, I remember when Andrew Cuomo said to your earlier point, no measure, no matter how draconian could be deemed unwise if it saves but a single life. And I got a lot of flak when he said that because I did jump in and I and I said, wait a second, that's a, that's a safety-first way of thinking.
And deep down, we're not a safety-first society, we can be for short periods, but eventually, people get bored of being terrified. And we're now starting to see that the price of safety is devastating. And what's happening right now, in my view, in the energy industry, is really the thing that I think we ought to be focused on because they're, there feels to me and there feels to a lot of people I talk to on a day to day basis, a concerted effort to wage a kind of war against energy.
And it's not a war, we can win, especially with regard to fossil fuels and all of the jobs that are wrapped up in that industry. I don't mean to sound like an apologist. However, I know of no greater investor in alternative energy than the fossil fuel industry. And if we don't get people who wear yoga pants and rely on plastic keyboards to understand the relationship that we all have, and the way that everything is connected with all elements of our workforce, I'm afraid we're just going to keep pushing that boulder up the hill.
MACCALLUM: Yes, you make a lot of great points. And one that I want to circle back to is this issue of safety. You know, one of the phrases that we hear a lot is, you know, well, when it's safe, we can go back to doing that. When it's safe, I hope we can all you know, get together again. And you know, without sounding too cavalier, we're a country that was built on, on risk taking.
And we want to be we want to take wise risks; we don't want to be reckless as I just said. But sort of that element of being strong and fighting through is something that I think is such an American value. And I think people in many parts of the country have approached this that way and have done so pretty successfully. But there's a great divide on that.
ROWE: It's something that most sensible people know intuitively. Risk is the only four-letter word that truly matters. It's the thing that impacts and informs every decision we make from driving a car to walking around without a mask, or with one mask, or maybe two masks. But why stop there, right? Why not three or four? We're starting to see that if you elevate the business of staying alive to the very, very top of all things, then the only thing you'll ever do is stay alive.
You won't go anywhere. You won't try anything. You won't build anything, right. And so, you're absolutely right. Anything less than safety first feels glib and irresponsible. But the truth is, most people on the front lines of work, most people who raise a family, most people who get in their car and drive anywhere, understand that. There's a bargain and all things and all things are connected.
And it's funny as you were talking, I was thinking a garbage man pulled me aside about six months ago and said, you wait, if we get a vaccine, what do you see what happens to the glass vials? And I said, what are you talking about? And he said, the recycling factories have been shut down. We're not going to have the glass to make the vials. The bottleneck is not going to be where you think, it never is. The garbage man was right. The garbage men are always, right.
MACCALLUM: The garbage men are always right. Mike, your new show is "Six Degrees with Mike Rowe," can you give me a real quick thumbnail on it?
ROWE: Every episode starts with a preposterous question like Kendall horseshoe help you find your soul mate. I get an hour to answer that question doing whatever I want with puppets and animation and recreations and shoddy costumes, and ill-fitting wigs and actors that may or may not be very good. When the dust settles, you wind up learning things about stuff you didn't know you cared about, and you realize everything is connected.
MACCALLUM: That's usually the case when we tune into you. Mike Rowe, thank you very much. Great to see you. Thanks for coming in.
ROWE: You too, and thank you for calling me wise, it doesn't happen often.
MACCALLUM: I think you are. Thanks, Mike. Good to see you too.
ROWE: You too.
MACCALLUM: So, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez taking to the House floor to deliver another lecture to her colleagues questioning her dramatic telling of the Capitol Hill riot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Bang, bang, bang, bang! Like, someone was trying to break the door down. This was the moment where I thought everything was over. I mean, I thought I was going to die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, on the floor of the of a special house session, lawmakers were given a safe platform to speak about their experiences during the Capitol Hill siege. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once again slammed critics for questioning her version of events.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORTEZ: Sadly, less than 29 days later, with little to no accountability for the bloodshed and trauma of the sixth, some are already demanding that we move on or worse, attempting to minimize, discredit, or belittle the accounts of survivors. In doing so, they not only further harm those who were there that day, and provide cover for those responsible, but they also send a tremendously damaging message to survivors of trauma all across this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, let's bring in Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace from South Carolina. Congresswoman Mace was the first woman to graduate from the Citadel, she's brand new member of Congress, but she has already gotten into it over this issue and tweets with AOC and other members of the squad. Representative Mace, good to have you with us today. I just want to ask you, good, good afternoon to you too.
I want to ask you about that whole event yesterday, where people could sort of step to the podium and talk about their experiences, you know, it felt a little bit like a therapy session. Nobody belittles the how frightening this was for so many of you, but was that? What was that exercise all about, really, do you think?
REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Well, in many cases yesterday, what we saw on social media, you know, in some cases was that, that this was politicizing a lot of what happened. I mean, if you politicize a traumatic event like this, and I've been very vocal about the events of that day, and I have not belittled or minimized anybody's experiences whatsoever.
I was, I was fearful that day, I talked about being barricaded in my office, I've talked about the trauma and trauma affects everyone differently. And if, and if folks needed to have time on the floor to express their feelings, their emotions, the trauma that they experienced, and they have every single right to do so. But what we don't have the right to do is either allow the media to exaggerate what actually happened, or to peddle in, in false rumors or false facts that happen.
I, I live in facts and not fiction, and there were no writers in the hallways coming to our offices that day. We were fearful that that might happen, but that never happened. And we were seven to 10-minute walk away from the Capitol dome where the violence was transpiring. This was a terrible day in our nation's history and one that I never want to witness again.
MACCALLUM: So you and, and the others, including AOC, were, as you say, about a seven to 10-minute walk away through the tunnels that connect the Capitol building and the Cannon House office building where your offices are.
MACCALLUM: Here's AOC, mentioning the Capitol Police and what we'll talk about why she may have done that. Let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORTEZ: To our Capitol Police who are willing to defend us, we thank you. And again, to our staffers, we thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, she said that the Capitol Hill police officer, it turned out to be one of them who was banging on her door and saying where she is, where is she? No doubt looking for her to make sure that she was safe because she was, you know, probably high on the list of people that they might have wanted to encounter.
MACCALLUM: So, she did a bit of cleanup on that topic with the Capitol Hill police officers with this comment.
MACE: Right. Well, earlier this week, she was disparaging our Capitol Hill police, she did it again last month. I mean, this is a week where we saw in the Capitol rotunda, we paid homage to officer capital bluffs police officer Brian Sicknick. This is not the time and the place to disparage Capitol Police this week and, and we need to support them. The only thing standing between members of Congress and their offices, and the violent rioters on the Capitol Hill at the dome, were our Capitol Hill Police. They were there to protect us.
And the reason they evacuated us out of our offices that day was because there were threats, there was a pipe bomb delivered to the Democrat and the Republican national headquarters. And so, these were, this was a traumatic event. It was a violent event. Five people died that day, something we should take very seriously. And we need to defend and protect those who were there to protect us.
MACCALLUM: It feels like this could have been an event that would have brought a lot of members closer together, having been through this together. And yet, it feels like with this experience that everybody came out and you know discussed about their feelings and all of that last night. It seems like it just is being used in some ways to drive a deeper wedge and to broad sweep all of you, all of the members of the of the GOP, when you know you're sort of a little bit like them too.
MACE: Right. Now, absolutely, and the divisions that we see, and I said this yesterday, I'm tired of the division and the American people are tired of it. At some point, we have to look each other in the eye we have to look ourselves now look in the mirror and say this, this needs to stop, the divisiveness, politicizing every single decision, every single vote to the highest extent possible is never going to help our country. It's never going to hurt the American people who are out of work. Their businesses are shut down and kids aren't back in school. We have work to do, and it's time to get back to do our job.
MACCALLUM: Nancy Mace, thank you very much, Representative from South Carolina.
MACE: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Good to have you back on the show.
MACE: Thank you so much, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So, coming up, you got Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene digging in on the issues of abortion, the Black Lives Matter movement and border security. She was very upfront with her thoughts on all of this one day after she was "freed from her committee assignments." We're going to bring you that story coming up after this.
MACCALLUM: This story breaking right now, we're just getting some new details on a major security breach. A man broke into a plane that is used by senior U.S. government leaders that is kept in Joint Base Andrews. This is according to a senior defense official telling Fox News.
Air Force security has apprehended this individual. They've handed him over to local law enforcement. A source says that there were warrants, arrest warrants for him on death charges in this man's history. So, we're going to keep digging and we'll get to more on this information. They're going to have to do a very big review at Joint Base Andrews following this breach of security.
Also, today, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor green says that the Republican Party belongs to former President Trump. She says, the 11 Republicans who voted to kick her off of two of her House committees, she believes could keep the GOP from winning the majority next year. Congressional Correspondent Chad Pergram live you've been following all of this drama on Capitol Hill over the recent days as usual. Hi, Chad.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Martha. Well, Greene sought to prevent the House from exiling her from committees. Now, such panels are important in Congress. That's where members write legislation and lawmakers seek to serve on particular committees which handle issues which are important back home. Now, Greene said she has "a lot of free time on my hands," and she called congressional committee work a waste of time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): So, going forward, I've been freed. I do, I feel free. Because you know what's happening on these committees. You see, we have a basically a tyrannically controlled government right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Greene summoned reporters to a press conference on Capitol Hill after last night's vote. But when reporters asked her about past remarks that Georgia freshmen ripped the press corps
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREENE: I think he heard my speech yesterday. You owe the people an apology. You lied about President Trump. You owe the people and apology. I've done mine yesterday. OK, next question. Did any of you hear my speech yesterday?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Greene defended her 2019 confrontation with Parkland massacre survivor David Hogg. Today, Greene said hug was an adult and she compared herself to Hogg. Greene told a story of when a classmate brought a gun to her school in the 1990s. Now, the full house has never voted to strip a member from committees. The party leaders have removed members for ethics issues, racist comments and for not being team players, Martha
MACCALLUM: Interesting. Chad, thank you very much. Chad Pergram on the hill. Coming up, California Governor Gavin Newsom is really in a political crisis right now in California. There's a recall effort underway. They are roughly about 100,000 signatures away of triggering an election in California. We're going to talk to California Congressman Darrell Issa, who knows this date very well, he'll weigh in coming up next
MACCALLUM: Campaigns recall governor of California Gavin Newsome is well on its way to collecting the 1.5 million signatures that they need to force a vote in that state. They've got 1.4 million already. They just passed that mark, and now some big Trump donors are reportedly getting involved in the mix here in moments. California congressman Darrell Issa joins us with his take on what's going on in his state. But first, Chief Correspondent Jonathan Hunt live on this story for us from Los Angeles. Hi, Jonathan.
JONATHAN HUNT, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Martha. It seems increasingly likely that Governor Newsom's critics will be able to get enough signatures to trigger a recall vote. But that's the easier part, frankly, winning the vote and removing Newsome from office would be much tougher.
Now, Newsome has faced criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular over restrictions on businesses and the continued closure of many schools in the state. And as a result, his job approval numbers have dived. A new poll from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies gives him an approval rating of 46 percent, down from 64 percent last September, while 48 percent disapprove of the job he's doing, up from 36 percent in September. But on the critical question of whether they'd actually vote to recall the governor, only 36 percent of registered voters' question for the poll said yes, while 45 percent said no, albeit with a significant 19 percent undecided.
Now, the recall petition needs just under 1.5 million signatures by mid- March to trigger the recall vote. It's getting very close according to the efforts leaders and those who'd likely run against Newsome including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer are bullish about the prospects.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN FAULCONER (R), FORMER SAN DIEGO MAYOR: This is across the board in California. I believe it's going to qualify, and I believe we're going to be into a recall situation here very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: And money is suddenly flowing into the effort including large donations from some California-based backers a former President Donald Trump. The group supporting the recall claimed they will, within days, hit $3.5 raised. Now, Newsome, publicly at least, seems unconcerned about the effort and his backers point out that a former mayor of San Diego, a Republican businessman with little name recognition and other likely candidates hardly match up to the celebrity and cross party appeal of Arnold Schwarzenegger who ousted Governor Gray Davis in the last California governor recall vote back in 2003. Martha.
MACCALLUM: Yes. We all remember that, Jonathan. Thank you very much.
Joining me now, California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Sir, good to have you with us today.
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: What do you think about this? What do you think about the likelihood of a recall vote? And do you think that Newsome would likely survive it?
ISSA: Well, having led the 2003 effort, I'm aware that this is not a vote about who might replace him. It's a vote of right direction, wrong direction. And it's clear now that wrong direction is taking the larger share in a very strong way as to his handling of the government. Not just the vaccine issue, but issues about the $11 billion lost to unemployment, canceling of those benefits to those who are entitled to them, and a myriad of other activities, including his decision to lock down people well, in fact, violating his own rules when it comes to facemask protection. All of these create a no confidence likelihood once this becomes validated.
MACCALLUM: But do you think that in reality, there's any likelihood that he would lose his job as governor of California based on all of that?
ISSA: Well, there is a likelihood because once it qualifies, he isn't running against a candidate. He's running against the question of right direction, wrong direction. And the Democratic Party will either have no major candidate on his side, or as they did in 2003, where they ran the lieutenant governor who had no option to the wrong direction. And as a result, Arnold Schwarzenegger beat him.
Again, it's not a question of who runs to replace him. It's a question of right direction, wrong direction. Some candidate will run who believes in the right direction, and he will be a referendum on whether his current direction is wrong for California, where people and companies are fleeing the state.
MACCALLUM: Yes. This is a young senior in high school who very much wanted to play the football season this year, talking about why that is so important to him and to his family as well. None of the kids have gotten to play in most places in California this year. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISAIAH NAVARRO, CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER: Give us a chance to play. This is what a lot of students is their only chance to help family out. And we want to support our family and relatives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, it's clear that students want to be back in school. It's also clear that Governor Newsome has started to say, I think under a ton of pressure, that he wants things to go finally in that direction as well. But there was an op-ed in the LA Times today that is asking him to put more behind it than just wishes and hopes. It says, Newsom's reassurance about safety accomplished only so much against powerful unions. The state needs to back that up with requirements for schools to reopen when COVID-19 rates have fallen reasonably to safe levels, rather than trying to sweet talk them into it. That's an interesting point.
ISSA: It is, Martha, and it's exactly one of the critical issues. Either Governor Newsome will take on the powerful teachers union and make them allow and encourage, and in fact required teachers if they can safely return to return to the classroom. You know, I, yesterday, the day before yesterday, I congratulated a young West Point appointee from my district who had to apply for the academy without his senior year even being in school. And it put him at a great disadvantage to other applicants from Florida and other states.
So, we are working at a disadvantage for education in California and the governor so far has not been willing to take on his own teachers union. And that's just one of the many wrong directions that's causing a lack of confidence in our current governor.
MACCALLUM: Before I let you go, very quick comment on this, if you could, the likelihood for Adam Schiff to become the Attorney General of California?
ISSA: I think it's extremely likely. The governor has already filled a lot of those roles for minorities and set asides, if you will. He now has to choose someone he believes will have his back. Adam Schiff is a consummate fundraiser and a democrat who is reliable to his base. So, I suspect he will be the logical choice. He wouldn't be my first choice. I don't think he's been honest in a number of things he's done, but I would not be surprised at all that he does get the nod.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Congressman Issa. Nice to see you today, thank you.
ISSA: Nice to see you. Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So coming up right here on "The Story," thank you. The New York Post slapping a failing grade on Joe Biden for failing America's students, constitutional attorney and former teacher, Leo Terrell, on the importance of children being in school and what he says is being robbed of their future right now. That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK AMOYAW, FREDERICK DOUGLASS ACADEMY STUDENT: I feel like they just kind of looked at the public school kids and was like, you know what, it's not -- (inaudible) point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: The deadlock continues today in Chicago where Mayor Lori Lightfoot has issued a "best and final offer" in the long showdown shut down with the teachers unions against the city there. They say they're not living up to their safe reopening demands, that's what the unions are saying, to the city. In other cities, students now sharing personal accounts of futures at stake as the resistance to open their schools drags on. Watch this.
AMOYAW: I felt like they've given up on us. I felt like they gave up on us. I feel like they just kind of looked at the public school kids and was like, you know what, it's not -- (inaudible) point. And I just feel like it's really unfair because you work so hard for your senior year, and it just gets taken away from you. You wake up in the morning. You just look at the screen from the morning till 3:00, and not visit the school. And I feel like that's not enough. The virtual school is our school.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: That's incredible. I mean, that is heartbreaking. That young man from Frederick Douglass Academy is speaking out saying he feels like everybody forgot about him and forgot about his future. Let's bring in Leo Terrell, constitutional attorney and also former teacher and Fox News Contributor. Sir, great to have you with us today.
What goes through your mind when you watch that young man speaks honestly, to the leaders of his city about school?
LEO TERRELL, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, thanks for having me on your program, Martha, the first time I've been on your program glad to be on.
MACCALLUM: Great to have you.
TERRELL: As a former schoolteacher, it hurts. Let me tell you right now, here's a kid in a public school, basically saying that the teachers and the politicians do not care about them. He's absolutely right. 12th grade is the most important year for college choices taking the SAT. And I'll tell you, Martha, the problem is very simple. You got the teacher union and the Democratic leadership embed with each other. And bottom line is, they care about power and control.
This is the same teacher union that do not want school choice. School choice is a key to break the poverty cycle. Yesterday, I saw your program with the mayor, Lori Lightfoot, in Chicago and she was crying. Those are crocodile tears, because for six months, if she really cared about those kids, you look at what happened in Chicago and all these democratic cities. And isn't it ironic, Martha, and these democratic cities, they have kept the public school closed but yet the private schools are open. That is the problem in LA where I live, in Chicago, and in these big democratic cities. Teacher union, Democratic leadership embed with each other. They care about power and control.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, you really -- that is the greatest example of all, right? You look side by side at these private schools and Catholic schools that, you know, parents who have the ability to have pulled their kids out of the public school and they're sending them to these schools. But that leaves so many other children who don't have that option, without an option.
Here's Lori Lightfoot, who you just referred to at her press conference yesterday. Let's watch this. I want to get your thoughts on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D-IL), CHICAGO: In this difficult time, black and brown kids who look like me coming from circumstances like the one that I grew up in, who are struggling and are failing. We are failing those children by not giving them the option to return to school. Failing grades, depression, isolation and so much more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: And she's right about that. Depression and isolation, they say they don't have enough time, don't have enough money to get this figured out. They had the whole summer, Leo, to work on this and many schools did it.
TERRELL: Crocodile tears. Martha, all summer Chicago, black on black crime, the rioting, the protesting. She's sitting here now with nine months later trying to gain sympathy. She was in charge all year. And I know the Democrats don't want to mention it, there's a guy named President Trump who said open the schools up.
MACCALLUM: That's right.
TERRELL: Even Joe Biden's own CDC director says, open the schools up. The Democrats play the card of we follow the science. The science, they open the schools up. You know what this says, Martha, the teacher unions are more powerful than the care and the welfare of the kids. And that's what has been happening in these democratic cities. And I hope the voters wake up.
MACCALLUM: And the whole professional is supposed to be about putting the children first and the students first, but what we see is that not that at all. You know, before I let you go really quickly, Jen Psaki, the press secretary, sort of stepped in on that CDC Director Walensky because she dared to say that it was OK for teachers to go back without vaccines. And she said, oh, no, no, she's acting in her private capacity when she says that.
How could that be possible? I mean, how many hats can a person put on? She's the CDC director.
TERRELL: Let me think about that. It's impossible. She threw her under the bus on national TV, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Yes, she did.
TERRELL: I mean, and it's embarrassing. And she insults our intelligence to say, oh, there's a different opinion because it's her personal opinion. I don't think so, Martha. It's insulting.
MACCALLUM: And it got no attention every time Redfield and President Trump disagreed. It was absolutely everywhere. So, I kept looking for this story in other places than here, and I really couldn't find it. Leo, I so appreciate you coming on, I hope you'll come back soon. It's nice to have you with us.
TERRELL: My pleasure, will do. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: You bet. So, coming up, former Super Bowl champ Ben Watson as America prepares to watch the big game a little bit differently this year. Ben is next.
MACCALLUM: The Bible tells us we may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.
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MACCALLUM: Joe Biden's presidency marks only the second time in history that a Catholic has been in the White House. This week, he told People Magazine that religion is his safe place and that prayer is what centered him. But some of his actions, especially on the hot button issue of abortion do not line up with the church's teaching.
On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the administration said this, "In the past four years reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe."
Joining me now is pro-life advocate Ben Watson. He is also a Super Bowl champ, former New England Patriots tight end and co-host of "Football Sunday," a Sports Spectrum Production. Ben, always good to see you, thank you so much for being here today.
BEN WATSON, HOST, "FOOTBALL SUNDAY". He is also a Super Bowl champ: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: You know, as someone who is a leader in your community, how do you respond to that from the President? He says that he doesn't support abortion privately, but as a as a politician and a president he upholds it.
WATSON: Well, like so many other people, we've been disappointed. We're not exactly disappointed, this is what we expected. But we understand that we must push back. Look, there are several things that many of us may agree with the President on, President Biden are right now. But where he falls short, we need to take him to task and on the issue of abortion, on the issue of protecting life from conception until natural death, this is an area where we must push him.
Super Bowl Sunday, as you mentioned before, is coming up. And the great thing about it, it's a time of unity. The Bible says in Psalm 16:8 that I've continually set my eyes upon the Lord because he is at my right hand. We will not be shaking.
Right now, we're in the time where America is shaken. We're shaking economically. We've been shaken by political turnover. We've been shaken by a health pandemic that is continuing. And so, right now specifically, even from the White House all the way down to the courthouse and the poorhouse, it is time for America to refocus on that scripture. And understand that in order for us not to be shaken, there are biblical truths about justice and righteousness that we must adhere to, again, from conception until natural death.
MACCALLUM: Wise words. Ben Watson, you wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal. You co-wrote it with Tony Dungy, calling for 2021 to be a year of revival. Tell us about that.
WATSON: We wrote a piece because Dungey is also co-hosting with me on "Football Sunday," https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__footballsunday.org&d=DwICAg&c=cnx1hdOQtepEQkpermZGwQ&r=tgDLkJy54PfJyWJwul3dKe54qGxqO7b7d5vjo7RcZds&m=IVYZKm4WU2rtDj8XZagWnQQpO8isJrh8aCc5VC5wDMo&s=YcwhgQ4Ezo7pwlCJlr4_C3L_Cwp73SZzXv-6gpx68Lg&e= , which is the programming for pastors and groups to watch on "Football Sunday" that is gospel centered. We wrote a piece about where America stands. And the issue is complex, but we believe the remedies are simple.
It's about repentance. It's about reading scripture. It's about getting those truths in our hearts so that we know how properly to live our lives. It's about community. It is about doing the things that we know God has required of us and understanding where we have all fallen short. And again, it is about a time of returning to those things.
But maybe if you've never been there, and there was a time for you to turn through repentance and faith, and put your trust in Christ, maybe now is the time. There's a sense of urgency. And what we're understanding is that, right now is our time to affect the next generations. But we cannot do it alone, we cannot do it as that verse in Psalm 16:8 says, without putting the Lord continually before us.
MACCALLUM: You are always an inspiration, Ben Watson. Thank you. I know you'll be cheering on your former teammate, Tom Brady, and all the players on both sides on Sunday. We look forward to seeing you then. Thank you so much, Ben, great to see you.
WATSON: Of course. Good to be with you. You too.
MACCALLUM: So, before we go, we will say our feet are saying goodbye to Christopher Plummer, who died at the age of 91, was known to many of us as Captain von Trapp.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM (voice-over): Christopher Plummer, the star of the "Sound of Music" and so many other movies, award winner on many fronts and entertainment, he passed away today. His manager says the actress wife was by his side at their home in Connecticut. Plummer spent more than 50 years in Hollywood. He became the oldest Oscar winning actor at 82 for the "Beginners." Christopher Plummer was 91.
Have a good weekend, everybody, I'll see you coming up on "The Five." Stick around for that.
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