Sen. Rand Paul on push to repeal then replace ObamaCare

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," July 2, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS HOST: I’m John Roberts, in for Chris Wallace.

While President Trump fights to fulfill a major campaign promise, repealing and replacing ObamaCare, the administration scored victories this week on immigration and upholding the travel ban.


JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: They've been reviewed (ph). So, I think it was a great victory for the president.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Health care is working along very well. We can have a big surprise with a great health care package.

ROBERTS (voice-over): We’ll break down the president's agenda going forward with Marc Short, President Trump’s director of legislative affairs. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.

(on camera): Then, with a growing number of Republican senators opposing the party’s ObamaCare replacement plan, the president is now considering an immediate repeal and replacement later.

SEN. BEN SASSE, R-NEBRASKA: Every Republican in the U.S. Senate except for one has already voted for repeal in the past, let's do that first.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY: And now you have two bills, boom, you get it done in five minutes. The president seems open and interested in the idea.

ROBERTS (voice-over): We’ll discuss what Congress can do to repeal ObamaCare and get a replacement passed with Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

Senators Paul and Manchin only on "Fox News Sunday."

Plus, the president shifts focus off of the agenda, creating a media firestorm with several tweets attacking cable news hosts. We’ll ask our Sunday panel if the president's tweets are hurting his agenda.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."


ROBERTS: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Senate Republicans have yet to bring their ObamaCare replacement to the floor for vote. Some suggesting separating repeal and replacement as two different bills.

Well, now, a group of senators is calling on Leader McConnell to shorten or altogether cancel the upcoming August recess in order to make meaningful progress on several legislative issues including health care.

Joining us now to discuss the administration's agenda, President Trump’s director of legislative affairs, Marc Short. And we should point out that this is Marc Short’s very first appearance on any Sunday show.

So, we are glad to have you here.


ROBERTS: You are the man who is tasked with being the foot soldier between the White House and Congress in terms of getting the president’s agenda through, where are we really with health care?

SHORT: Look, John, we’re getting close. The American people know that ObamaCare is failing. They know that insurance rates have continued to skyrocket. They know that insurers are fleeing markets. And last year alone, 83 insurers have left the market. People know that this is a dramatic situation.

ROBERTS: So, how --

SHORT: It's a crisis. Where we are is the president this weekend is continuing to make calls to members to try to get the Senate package across the finish line. We believe that our package will help to lower premium cost, help provide better quality care for patients and returns the relationship between the patient and his or her doctor without the government being in the middle.

ROBERTS: So, when you say we’re getting, how close are you?

SHORT: Well, look, we’ve gone through a long process in the House and got it completed and passed in the House. We now are in the Senate where there’s been obviously a lot of procedural delays in this process. We are at the point of scoring two separate bills throughout the course of this recess this week. So, we hope that we come back the week after recess, we’ll have a vote.

ROBERTS: Let’s talk about these two bills, because you mentioned this to me earlier in the week. You’ve got two different bills, variations on the same theme, that are going to go to Congressional Budget Office for scoring. What’s in those bills?

SHORT: Well, so, what’s in the bill is that it will help to get rid of the individual mandate. It will get rid of taxes to make this easier on the American people. One thing that raises rates so much, John, that’s really less understood in America is when you're on individual exchanges. The mandates the federal government puts on are so ridiculous that men are forced to carry coverage for mammograms, women are forced to carry coverage for prostate issues, it's absurd. And the American people know this. We’re going to get rid of many of those regulations and mandates to lower cost.

ROBERTS: What's the difference between the two bills that are going to go (INAUDIBLE)?

SHORT: One has an amendment, that’s called the Consumer Freedom Act that Senator Cruz and Senator Lee have offered that will help continue to reduce those regulations. And one is being scored without.

But let's talk about the CBO scoring for a second, because CBO scoring has indicated when they initially scored ObamaCare that 25 million people will be on the ObamaCare exchanges. In fact, there are only 10 million. So, when the press reports that 22 million people are going to lose coverage, it's a ridiculous number. Of that 22 million, seven million --

ROBERTS: But the press has only reported what the CBO says.

SHORT: They reported what CBO says but the CBO credibility should be certainly -- should be questioned at this point. Seven million of those people are people that don't exist. They’re people that is based upon a baseline that CBO put out in 2014, even though the actual number is way down here.

There's another 7 million people they say will choose to leave the market that they say are losing insurance. That's not losing, that's choosing.

ROBERTS: And yet --

SHORT: And take another 4 million people in Medicaid and they say that's 4 million people who get Medicaid today will choose, if they don't have a mandate, to leave. That's 18 million people right there, John.

ROBERTS: And yet, you keep on submitting these bills to CBO for scoring because I know that’s the process.

But let me ask you about this, this idea to repeal ObamaCare and then replace it at a later date. This is something the president even suggested. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Rand Paul of Kentucky are both suggesting it. Will that even fly because Leader McConnell is saying, thanks but no thanks?

SHORT: Well, look, John, just in December of 2015, 49 current senators, as Ben Sasse has told you, 49 of the senators supported repeal. And if provided --

ROBERTS: Because they knew it would never become law.

SHORT: Well, I think that's a pretty tough messaging to go back to your constituents and say, I actually voted for it because I knew it wouldn’t become law. I think they are pretty committed to knowing how much ObamaCare is failing. The last 15 or 18 months, it's only gotten worse. Premiums have only gotten higher.

In Nevada alone, two more insurers pulled out this week. So, now, in 18 counties in Nevada, 14 have no insurer next year. It's a true crisis and we need to do something about it.

ROBERTS: Yet, Dean Heller is saying, no way I’m signing on this bill.

SHORT: Well, you know, look, I think Dean Heller voted for that repeal effort and the way that we look at is to say if the replacement part is too difficult for pulpits to come together, then let's go back and take care of the first step in repeal.

And even those 49, there's another member, Todd Young from Indiana, who when he was in the House voted for the bill, too. So, you have 50 members on record having voted for that recently. So, that's an option.

And then, at that point, if you've repeal it, you can come back with a replacement effort that could be more bipartisan.

ROBERTS: Are you concerned, though, that if you did do it in two pieces, you did replace first, then you did replacement later, that you might end up with repeal and never get around to replacing it?

SHORT: Look, John, we stated in our preferences is to pass the bill the Senate has right now. That’s what we think needs to be done. We think that help solve many of the problems Americans are facing.

And there are other legislative vehicles going on at the same time. Just last week the House passed Med Now which helps to limit the amount of lawsuits. So, it helps us to actually lower premiums. So, there's actions going on. This is not a one-size-fits-all.

ROBERTS: Senator Schumer is saying, hey, come work with us. Listen to what he said earlier in the week.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NY, MINORITY LEADER: I challenge them again: invite all of us to Blair House, the first day we get back from recess. If you think we’re not serious? Try us.

Democrats are ready to turn the page of health care. When will my Republican friends realize it's time for them to do the same?


ROBERTS: Marc, the president says over and over again that the Democrats are nothing but obstructionists. We’re not going to get a single Democratic vote to repeal and replace ObamaCare. There's the offer from the Senate majority leader.

SHORT: John, the Senate -- the president is absolutely right.

ROBERTS: The Senate minority leader, right.

SHORT: The president is absolutely right. They have been obstructionists. We’ve heard from senators who have said, look, we know the markets are collapsing. We know people are losing insurance. It's devastating our state.

I can't be with you on repeal because that was one of President Obama's signature accomplishments, but we can be with you on replace. So, if this is the route we go, then there's that opportunity.

But it's quite just ingenuous I think for Senator Schumer to talk about getting together when today, right now today, we had 49 members of our folks that we put up for Senate confirmation approved. At the same point in Obama's administration on July 1st, he had 179. We have one quarter -- what Senator Schumer has often said rather disingenuously is to say it’s because we are not getting nominees. We have 133 nominees sitting in front of the Senate right now waiting to get hearings in order so they can get confirmation.

So, Senator Schumer might talk about bipartisanship, but he has no interest in bipartisanship whatsoever.

ROBERTS: So, back to the Republicans. So, we’ve got Sasse and we’ve got Rand who are pushing this idea of repeal first, replace later. Yet, at the same time, you got Senator Cruz of Texas and Senator Lee of Utah who are saying, well, we've got some other ideas. And they are trying to process forward.

Are you worried that they’ll push it so far to the right that you're going to lose a lot of those moderates that you need to have?

SHORT: No, not at all. We support Senator Cruz and Senator Lee’s efforts. This is similar to efforts that transpired in the House and we think it's perfectly appropriate, his amendment. And so, we hope it's part of the process and bringing everybody together.

ROBERTS: Tax reform, the president has been many, many times that you need to do health care first so you get a bigger pot of money for tax reform. The Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says, no, we can probably do tax reform without doing ObamaCare reform first. Which is it and what's the timetable for this?

SHORT: John, we looked at them both this year, that’s the bottom line. We plan to get health care completed in the summer. We looked to move to tax reform in the fall. We look to complete it before the end of the year.

ROBERTS: And do you need to do health care reform first?

SHORT: We need to do both, John. The American people are getting crushed by the ObamaCare taxes and we need tax reform in this country because we need to get the economy growing again. It has suffered for far too long and dismal growth ever since the recession in 2008-2009. What will provide growth is tax relief and we’re going to get to it this year.

ROBERTS: One of the big issues is whether or not you do tax reform that’s deficit neutral so that after 10 years, it can become permanent or whether it's more important to do tax cuts first. So, which part of that is more important, deficit neutral or getting the tax cuts?

SHORT: What’s most important is get the economy growing so people get back to work.

ROBERTS: So, that means tax cuts?

SHORT: That -- in our mind, that means tax relief. But there's also an idea that Senator Toomey has put out that suggests that the budget window can be moved from 10 years to 20 years, which I think is an attractive option to allow us to do that. But we are focused on getting Americans back to work. And, John, that's why unemployment today -- because of the many regulatory relief that this president provided, it's down to 4.3 percent. The lowest it's been in 16 years.

ROBERTS: I want to ask about the president’s tweets, because it's not necessarily in your wheel house, but it does kind of crossed into your area because you’ve got have to deal with all those folks on Capitol Hill who very often are rolling their eyes over what the president tweets and have said, Mitch McConnell has said he's not particularly fond of it. We saw with Susan Collins and others said about the president’s tweet regarding Mika Brzezinski.

Does he make your job more difficult with what he does?

SHORT: Look, John, I don't recall during the presidential campaign, many members in Congress being excited by the president’s tweets and he won the campaign. Congressional approval rating is about 11 percent or 12 percent right now. The president knows that he needs to get around the mainstream media to get his story out.

And part of that story is actually what we've accomplished on Capitol Hill. This is the first administration to get a Supreme Court justice confirmed in the first 100 days since 1881. He signed 42 bills into law to date. Fourteen of those under Congressional Review Act helped to roll back the burdensome Obama regulation.

ROBERTS: So, you’re saying it’s not a problem?

SHORT: It actually helps to now -- the CRA repealing much of that legislation has enabled the economy to save $18 billion in compliance cost. We just passed the V.A. Accountability Act, the president signed and delivered on yet another promise to the American people. He signed the omnibus bill that begin to rebuild the military and to build the border wall.

ROBERTS: So, despite diverting from his agenda or so, it would seem at least in the public view from time to time, you're still getting done what you need to get done?

SHORT: We’re getting done what we need to get done in record pace. And the American -- the president is focused on returning jobs to the American people.

ROBERTS: There’s one other thing I want to ask you quickly before we run out of time here and again, this isn’t in your wheelhouse but it does cross over to some degree. This election -- the commission, the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity that the president has set up, secretaries of state of at least 27 states have said, we’re not going to give you the voter data that you want because we don't think that this is a legitimate quest. And to some degree, some secretaries of state are suggesting that the president is just seeking to legitimize the claim that he made earlier this year about the fact that he lost the popular vote because of massive election fraud.

What do say to the secretaries of state, including some Republicans like Delbert Hosemann of Mississippi?

SHORT: John, there's nothing more important than ensuring the integrity of the American vote. One man, one vote. The vice president of the United States is leading this commission. It's a bipartisan commission.

This information is publicly available, but wouldn't be great if the secretary of state were willing to apply and be part of this to ensure the voter integrity of the United States? I don't think that's too much to ask.

ROBERTS: Well, Mississippi secretary of state, again, Delbert Hosemann, has invited you all to jump in the Gulf of Mexico, which at this time of year wouldn't be a bad idea.


ROBERTS: Marc Short, thanks for joining us today.

SHORT: John, thanks for having me.

ROBERTS: And welcome to the Sunday show.

SHORT: Have a wonderful Independence Day.

ROBERTS: Thank you. You, too.

Coming up next, Senators Rand Paul and Joe Manchin on where things stand on health care reform in the Senate.


ROBERTS: Efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare stalled this week when Republicans delayed a vote on their plan, putting it off until after their return from the Fourth of July recess. Will they have enough votes, though, to pass the bill?

In a few minutes, we’ll be joined by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. But first, joining us now is Republican Senator Rand Paul, who’s among a group of Republicans opposing the current bill, and has some ideas on how to get repeal and replacement through.

Senator Paul, good to talk to you this morning.

Let me start off with a tweet that the presidents in earlier, which was actually what convinced her to come on the July 4th weekend. The president tweeting, quote: If Republican senators are unable to pass what they're working on now, they should immediately repeal and then replace at a later date.

The president appears to be listening to you. You mentioned this to him on Wednesday, though your colleague from Nebraska, Ben Sasse, is also claiming credit for this. But Senator McConnell has said thanks, but no thanks.

So, will this idea even fly?

PAUL: Well, here's the problem is, I don't think we're getting anywhere with the bill we have, we are at an impasse. Every time you add more federal money, more spending for the big government Republicans, it offends the conservatives. So, right now, this bill, which is not a repeal, has become the kitchen sink.

We have nearly $200 billion in insurance bailouts. Does anybody remember us complaining that ObamaCare had insurance bailouts? We now have codified nearly $200 billion. There's $45 billion in here for opioids.

So, I mean, the bill is just being lit up like a Christmas tree, full of billion-dollar ornaments, and it's not repeal. We don't repeal the regulations. We don't repeal the subsidies.

Now, there are Republicans getting so weak-kneed they are saying, oh, we are afraid to repeal the taxes. What happened to these people? They all were for repealing ObamaCare. Now, there's virtually no one left.

ROBERTS: The president stressed the need earlier this year, Senator Paul, to do this simultaneously because there's a concern about the continuity of coverage. Let's listen to how the president put it in the press conference in Trump Tower.


TRUMP: It will be repealed and replaced. It will be essentially simultaneously. It will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably the same day, could be the same hour.


ROBERTS: He was stressing there, Senator Paul, that you’ve got to do this, if not simultaneously, very close together, so that you don't have a bunch of people who end up without health insurance. So, what would your plans do to address that?

PAUL: Well -- and I agree. When I say separate the bills, I think they could still be done concurrently. In fact, I think the moderates won't vote for repeal, a clean repeal unless they have some other bill going on simultaneously (ph).

So, what I’ve suggested is (AUDIO GAP) big government spending programs from the repeal. Let's do clean repeal like we promised, and I think you can get 52 Republicans for clean repeal. You can have a simultaneous bill or a concurrent bill that they can call replace and that I think perhaps if it's big spending, they could probably get Democrats to go along with big spending. I’m not for that, but I’m saying, I want repeal to work, and the way you do it is you separate into two bills and you do it concurrently.

Right now, you are right. Senate leadership is not doing that. Senate leadership is loading the bill like a Christmas tree with billion-dollar ornaments, bubbles, you name it. They’re going to spend money like there's no tomorrow on the current bill and try to buy off support. That's traditional Washington, but I’m asking for something that’s not traditional -- separate the bills.

ROBERTS: Well, let me ask you this question, you just that you are not for spending, so you are for repeal. So, if you do this separately, you will vote for the repeal bill, and there’s no question about that. But when it comes to the replacement part of it, where is your vote going to go?

PAUL: Well, see, my idea of replacement has always been replace it with freedom, replace it with choice, competition, expanded health savings accounts, buying groups, the association health plans that I’ve been pushing across state lines where you join a buying group and get a lower price. That's my idea of replacement.

So, it's funny, back in January, I was pushing repeal and replace because I thought Republicans believed in replacing it with the marketplace. Now, I’ve discovered that at least half of my Senate Republican colleagues think replacement means replacement with ObamaCare light more federal spending and more federal programs. I’m not for that.

But I am for repeal and replace. I want to expand the amount of people to get insurance at a cheaper price. But I would do it through freedom of choice, I would do it through the marketplace, buying groups across state lines, and letting people save more money in HSAs.

And I think the problem with Republicans now if they have insufficient confidence in what made America great. That's capitalism, freedom of choice, competition.

ROBERTS: As I mentioned, your colleague from Nebraska, Senator Sasse, has suggested that this was his idea as well. He sent a letter to the president saying that if the Senate does not have a bill by the 10th of July the let's go ahead and do the repeal and replace separately, and let's work through the August recess in order to get this all done. Would you sign onto the idea of working through the August recess?

PAUL: I'd rather get it done even before that. In fact, I think you could do this in the next three weeks, there are other bills out there that are sitting around that have bipartisan support. Separate repeal and replace (AUDIO GAP). If there are a big government spending programs that offend conservatives like myself, put them on some other bill, but the thing is, is you can't get conservative votes or you can get my vote (AUDIO GAP) this bill with a bunch of federal spending.

You know, we are supposed to -- we have a five --


ROBERTS: I’m sorry. We are having some trouble there with the signal.

Senator Paul, hang on just a second. I think we have you back. Go ahead and finish your thought there.

PAUL: We have a $500 billion deficit and we’re going to have a trillion dollars next year. (AUDIO GAP) for loading up repeal with a lot of big government spending. So, I think if you want conservative support, you split the bills.

I think you can get almost every member of our caucus to vote for a clean repeal if there is concurrent or simultaneous separate bill that includes some of the things that moderates want.

ROBERTS: And just before we leave, we’ve got about a minute left, Senator Paul, and I wanted to ask you about something. You were there in Arlington for that horrible shooting which prompted a call for many people in Congress to improve the tone of the political discourse, give more sense of civility. You saw the tweets that the president sent out earlier today, unapologetic for it.

What's your thinking on that whole thing about what the president tweeted and how that plays into these calls for greater civility in our political discourse?

PAUL: I would approach it more generically and say that we’d probably don't need to question our adversaries’ motives. So, for example, President Obama I think wanted to help people -- more people get health care. I think ObamaCare failed, but I don't question his motives or his goodness as a person in trying to do it.

In the same tone, I think Democrats that are saying thousands of people are going to die if Republicans pass their health care plan, that’s so over-the-top and so goes to sort of painting people as mean-spirited or as evil, and then you get people who are so crazed by this and obsessed that they’ll come to a baseball field and shoot people. You know, there is a problem and I think we need to both acknowledge we want the same things, but we have to argue over which economic system works best.

Does capitalism work best or socialism? And let’s have those arguments and those are valid arguments, but I don't think we need to question whether each of us believe in trying to fix the system and get more people health care.

ROBERTS: Senator Paul, thanks so much for joining us and we wish her happy Fourth of July, appreciate you coming on.

PAUL: Thanks.

ROBERTS: As Republican senators lose support for their current health care proposal, moderates on both sides look for an opening to reach a bipartisan deal. Joining us now from Charleston, West Virginia, is Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

Senator, thanks for coming on with us this morning.

Let me start off by asking you -- do you believe that ObamaCare is broken and is in danger of collapse as the president so often says?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, D-WEST VIRGINIA: Well, first, let's start out with happy birthday, America, 241 years young and still going strong. So, we’ll start off with that, John.

But I think it needs repair. We've always said that, I thought from day one, you know, the private markets aren’t working. And then on top of that, we can do better through efficiencies by working and educating people that have gotten the expansion, gotten health care for the first time and up until that point in time, they were using health care basically at the emergency room.

So, we need to show people and teach people and educate people how to use it effectively and efficiently, so they don’t abuse it and basically, we can save an awful lot of money there.

We just need to work together. We are Americans. We shouldn't be just Democrats or Republicans. This should be about our country and who we are as a people.

ROBERTS: I’ve been told, Senator, by folks who are I think pretty well in the loop that you would like to be a part of ObamaCare replacement, but that you can't sign on to repeal. But how can you replace it if you don't repeal it first?

MANCHIN: Well, I never said it repeal or replace. I’ve said repair. You know, they didn't get it right from the beginning. There are so many pieces of legislation we don't get right from the beginning. That's why we stay in session to keep fixing and making things better.

The only thing I’m saying to President Trump -- and I’ve spoken to him many times and he's the president of all of America, Democrats and Republicans, independents, those who voted for him, those who voted against him -- he is our president and I want him to succeed. I want him to know that there are Democrats that want to work with him.

But right now, they can’t even repeal, that they can’t get 50 votes to repeal it because somebody is getting hurt more than what they're willing to sign onto. Then look at some of us, work with us Democrats who are willing to meet you in the middle, who have always been willing to meet you in the middle. I’m the most centrist moderate person they’re going to find in the Senate that’s willing to look down and sit down and work on anything in a more progressive manner that basically fixes the problem that we have. I’ll work with them.

ROBERTS: The president, Senator, says he's convinced that there will be no Democratic support for repeal and replacement of ObamaCare even if it makes the system much better than it is now. Let's listen to what he said earlier in the week in Cedar Rapids.


TRUMP: If we went and got the single greatest health care plan in the history of the world, we would not get one Democrat vote because they are obstructionists. They are obstructionists.


ROBERTS: You heard the president say it and repeat it. He says Democrats are obstructionists. Are you obstructionist, Senator Manchin?

MANCHIN: I just -- I truly respectfully disagree with that statement, because I think he knows that I’m looking every way I can to work with them and work with this White House and work with this president, my president, and trying to make things better. So, I think that was a little over the top, and I still am willing to sit down and work with this administration, this president, and my friends on the Republican side. And there's many more like me that will do the same.

ROBERTS: But, Senator, you might be of a certain mindset, but there's a lot of mistrust among the Republicans in the Senate --


ROBERTS: -- who say that there's a hidden agenda here by the Democrats.

Listen to what Senator John Thune said about that the other day.


SEN. JOHN THUNE, R-SOUTH DAKOTA: If we have to negotiate with Chuck Schumer and the Democrats, we’re going to be looking down the barrel of a single-payer system because that's what they want to see happen.


ROBERTS: Is that what the Democratic senators want to see happen, Senator Manchin? Is it one-size-fits-all, single-payer system?

MANCHIN: John, I’m sure there's many Democrats that feel that way and there might be some Republicans who feel that way. I don't. I want the market system to succeed.

You know, if the product, we don't have the product in the markets not matching up. We -- I agree, I see that. I want to sit down and find the product and the market and get more flexibility, hold people accountable and responsible for how they use it if it’s being given to them free.

There are so many things that we can sit down and agree on. We have never been asked to get in the room. If they're not talking to me, if they are not saying, hey, Joe, what do you think, you know, then they’re not really reaching out.

So, Susan Collins and some of our dear friends, we tried to sit down and meet. I think they are determined on making a vote. I would say if you don't have the 50 votes, you can get rid of the budget reconciliation, they can get rid of this piece of legislation, the repeal of ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act. But when you start replacing it, you’re back to the process to where we have to work together.

That's why the Senate is so much different than the House. It's not just a simple majority of 51. That means 60 for cloture. That means you’re going to have to get bipartisan agreement. Start working with us now, I’m willing to sit down tonight.

ROBERTS: Senator Manchin, let me move onto another topic if I could. You have expressed great concerns about Russia --


ROBERTS: -- saying, quote, Russia is not our ally, not our friend. To treat Putin like an ally is wrong.

The White House announced last week that the president will have a bilateral meeting with Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Should the president meet with Putin? Is it rewarding him to meet with him?

MANCHIN: Oh, I don't think it's rewarding. I think you should meet with anybody and everybody you can in the world. We try to bring the world together.

But make no mistake: the United States of America is the hope of the world. If we don't get it right, there's nobody who's going to step in and take our place.

When he meets, he’s going to basically use his style and I respect that, whatever that style is to make sure Mr. Putin knows that America will not succeed, we will not take a step backwards and we will not allow him to infiltrate and change who we are as a people, get involved in our political process, get involved in basically telling the people that elected officials are not done legitimately, and he wants to be involved and change it through his propaganda machines. We’re not going to tolerate that, and I’m sure in the president's own way, he will -- he will get that across to him (ph). I have hope in that.

ROBERTS: You know, we saw during the president's first overseas trip that there was some skepticism by many European leaders who did not share his optimism about Putin's policies and intentions. Where do you come down on that in comparison with the president?

MANCHIN: Well, I mean, everyone has their style. I think we are trying to second-guess in how I might approach a problem or how one I might approach a challenge. We are thinking, well, the president should follow suit.

He's got to find out what successful. As long as we know it's about the greatest country that the world has ever known, the United States of America. We are Americans.

He's not going as a Republican president. He's going as the president of all of the United States of America, and the strength of who we are, the people that we are, the military, the intelligence that we have, the commitment that we have for freedom and human rights, all of these things are so precious to us, that's what he has to convey and I’m sure that he will. But also the strength of America is who we are as a people. And he’ll convey that also.

ROBERTS: Yes. One -- one quick question, just before you go.


ROBERTS: As you know, Kate’s Law passed the House. It had the support of 24 Democrats in the House. There's some question as to whether or not it will pass the Senate. You have supported the idea in the past.


ROBERTS: Can Kate’s Law pass the Senate?

MANCHIN: I think it can. I think we can get the votes. We have to have eight -- eight Democrats voting with our colleagues on the Republican side. Hopefully we have those eight that are willing to stand up and -- and -- and look at this in the most -- I think a most protective way, but a most respectful way. And I think we’ll get there.

ROBERTS: Can you see any reason why people would vote against this?

MANCHIN: Well, everyone has -- I -- you know, this is the most beautiful country. I’ve said this before, if you were born in America, you hit the jackpot. If you came here and become a legitimate citizen, a legalized citizen, you’ve hit the lottery.


MANCHIN: We want to give that lottery hope and everybody buys that ticket, they’re still looking for that.


MANCHIN: We’ve just got to make sure that we protect ourselves and keep ourselves as safe as possible. I understand that and I want to make sure that we find that balance. But we’re not going to tolerate people that are harboring people that aren't here for the right reason, and that's really what this is all about.

ROBERTS: Senator Manchin, we’ve got to run, but thanks so much for joining us. Happy Fourth of July to you.

MANCHIN: Hey, Happy Fourth to you. Happy birthday, America.

ROBERTS: Thank you so much.

Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to get their take on where the Senate goes with health care from here and reaction to President Trump's big wins on immigration this week.

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about the Senate's plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare? Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @foxnewssunday, and we may use your question on the air.



ROBERTS: Coming up, the White House defends tweets the president made this week attacking cable news host.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The American people elected somebody who's tough, who’s smart and who’s a fighter. And that's Donald Trump.


ROBERTS: We’ll ask our Sunday panel if the president's recent tweets hurt his agenda, next.



SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY, MAJORITY LEADER: Because we can all agree, ObamaCare status quo is simply unsustainable and unacceptable. We have to act, and we are.


ROBERTS: That’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week defending the Senate's push for repeal and replace.

It’s time now for our Sunday group. Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal is with us, Marie Harf, former State Department spokeswoman, Gerald Seib from The Wall Street Journal and Charles Hurt is the opinion editor for The Washington Times.

We should point out that while you all were coming in the studio, Joe Manchin was still on the line. Off camera he said, he believes that the president should work together with Democrats on health care and if he can't get a deal that way then go ahead and do it unilaterally. What do you think of that idea?

MARIE HARF, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: Well, I think that something that affects one-sixth of our economy should be bipartisan and that's not a fantasy right now. I think --

ROBERTS: But will Democrats work with him?

HARF: It -- it depends on what it looks like.


HARF: Well, it depends on what it looks like. If -- if you did what Chuck Schumer asked and said, bring all these Democrats in, start back at the beginning here and not just push forward this repeal and replace that they have now, I do think that you could get some Democrats at the table. I do.

ROBERTS: Ys, well, Manchin said that he would come to the table, and he's probably the most moderate.

HARF: I believe Joe Manchin would. Yes.

ROBERTS: But, I mean, is Schumer really interested in doing that?

CHARLES HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Not to mention, I -- we’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that any other Democrats would actually come in and operate -- negotiate in good faith. And I -- and I honestly did -- I -- you know, I was -- we were back there watching the clip that you played of Schumer and that you can't help but kind of laugh hearing Schumer say that.

But I do think it's a smart negotiating tactic for -- for Donald Trump as someone who is not keen on any of these Republican health care bills. I’d rather just the ObamaCare fail. It's -- it’s probably a smart negotiating tactic for him to say, look, if -- if Republicans aren't going to deal with me, then I’ll deal with Democrats because, obviously, that will become -- that will be a -- something that's even worse than the Republicans are coming up with.

ROBERTS: Obviously this was a big topic on social media this week. We’ve got some questions in. Thebeesknees writes on Twitter, "is it possible to split the bill in two, as Rand Paul suggests? Or just pass a repeal now and replace later?"

Kimberly, is it possible?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: It’s a very bad idea. Look at -- when you listen --

ROBERTS: Why is it a bad idea?

STRASSEL: Well, because what Rand Paul's interest is in here, and some conservatives, is simply being able to say that they passed a repeal bill, because that's what they promised the American people. But what we all know is that that would lead to another catastrophic turn in the market. And he made very clear in that interview that you just had with him that he has no interest whatsoever of working on a replace bill. And that would be the risk if Mitch McConnell went this way is, yes, you get repeal, you get an even bigger mess, and then you have no incentive whatsoever for any of the conservatives to come on board and pass a fix.

ROBERTS: Because when it comes to spending, Rand Paul said, I’m against increasing spending. He wants to do it all through market-driven practices.

STRASSEL: He's not interested in helping with this.

ROBERTS: But it -- the other question that we have, Gerald, and I want to pull up here is, from Michael P. Mulhall, "how much political trouble are either the Trump administration and/or the GOP in if the Senate and House are unable to reform the ACA/ObamaCare?"

GERALD F. SEIB, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, you know, I think this is the question Republicans are grappling with over the Fourth of July recess is the political pain of doing nothing greater than the political pain of voting for something that's not terribly popular, because that’s really where they are right now.

ROBERTS: The president says that it’s political gain if you do nothing because it will collapse in 2018 if you do well in the congressional races.

SEIB: Yes, if -- right, except that the question is, who owns ObamaCare at this point. Do the Democrats own it because they created it or do the Republicans own it because they've been in charge for six months? And, you know, I don't know the answer to that question, but they don't either. But I think that is really the -- on a political level, not a policy level, that's really where Republicans are. Which is more painful, to do nothing and be blamed for that or to vote for something that’s not popular and know that you’ll be attacked for having done that?

STRASSEL: Look, I think one thing that gets forgotten here is, as Gerry says, some of this isn’t popular. Some of it is hugely popular. Look, if you break it out, there are three big aspects of this bill. The question is, are you going to pass something that has real pro-growth tax reform in it, you have something that’s going to be the first major entitlement reform that we have ever experienced since the great society, fixing a program, modeling it on very successful reforms that we’ve had out in the states and fixing the individual insurance market. So the --

HARF: These positions don’t easier with time. I mean the closer we get to the midterms, I think it will be a hard case to make to the voters that with eight years to come up with a replacement, they haven't been able to do it. Let's pass repeal and we just need to give them a little more time? I don't think that that's believable to a lot of people and could throw the markets, which are already in turmoil, into even greater uncertainty, which is part of the problem.

ROBERTS: The insurance industry agrees with you on that that.

The -- OK, so the health care scenario is still up in the air, but the -- the president did get a couple of victories earlier this week when the partial immigration ban at least was re-implemented. Let's listen to what the president said about that last night at the Kennedy Center.


TRUMP: We cannot allow this terrorism and extremism to spread in our country or to find sanctuary on our shores or in our cities.

We want to make sure that anyone who seeks to join our country shares our values and has the capacity to love our people.


ROBERTS: Charles, was this a victory for the president, at last partially, because the Supreme Court will take up this case on a broader level in the fall?

HURT: Oh, I think a monumental victory for him, not only in a short term, but also in the long term, in a larger sense, because this is what his campaign was largely about. This is what kicked off his campaign. This is what defined his campaign. And it shocked everyone. It shocked even Republicans. And he got accused of all sorts of things of being, you know, xenophobic and racist and all this kind of stuff. And he plowed on through and wound up beating everybody. And so, yes, I think it's a -- it’s a huge victory for him.

ROBERTS: Would you concede that?

HARF: I think it's a victory. But here's my question. The administration's rationale for this was that it was temporary and they needed 90 days or 120 days to put in new vetting procedures. We’re way past that. And by the time the Supreme Court takes it up, we’ll be even further past that. So I think the question is --

ROBERTS: But you could also say, though, that the president didn't have the force of leverage of this immigration ban during that period to make these countries (INAUDIBLE)?

HARF: Fine, but that’s the question we all need to ask, that as this goes forward, are you putting in place that new vetting or is this defacto becoming permanent? That, I think, will be a problem.

STRASSEL: But this case had become about something much more than this travel order. This has become about whether or not you were going to allow a he federal judiciary to usurp the powers of the president, the separation of powers, and of Congress. And this was a victory more than anything for the Constitution.

ROBERTS: A couple of other things too. Gerry, the president was running on and it passed the House where Kate’s Law and then the sanctuary cities law. The question is, can those pass the Senate. I asked Manchin. He seems to think Kate’s law at least.

SEIB: Kate’s law probably can. I think there were 24 Democrats that voted for that in the House and that's a sign. I mean these days that’s actual -- almost bipartisanship. I think there were only three House Democrats who voted for the sanctuary cities. I don’t think the sanctuary cities gets through the Senate. I think Kate’s Law could. And, you know, that would ultimately be a victory for the president. But I think sanctuary cities is a long shot in the Senate. Democrats have enough leverage.

ROBERTS: All right, we’ve got to leave it there, but when we come back, President Trump takes the Twitter, continuing his battle with the media, singling out the hosts of the MSNBC morning show. We’ll bring back the panel to discuss the president's tweets and their impact.



TRUMP: The dishonest media will never keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our great American people. It will never happen.


ROBERTS: President Trump, last night, continuing his assault on what he calls the dishonest media.

And we’re back now with the panel.

The president also tweeting at length yesterday about his use of social media saying, "my use of social media is not presidential. It's modern-day presidential. Make America great again."

Is it really modern-day presidential or is it over the top?

HURT: I’m in the camp that believe it’s modern-day presidential in a way. And I think a lot of times Donald Trump's detractors have, you know, confused -- they don't like his style and they don't like the way he looks. They don't like the -- the -- he doesn’t like -- they don’t like his style. And so much of it is a modern sort of think that is appalling and people don't -- you know, maybe you don't like it. But the fact that he represents that and the fact that he is in that sort of (INAUDIBLE) doesn’t -- I -- you know, I think a lot of people get their anger at that confused with him.

ROBERTS: The president also tweeted last night, he said, quote, "the fake and fraudulent news media is working hard to convince Republicans and others that I should not use social media. But, remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #fakenews and did. We will continue to win."

Gerry, he's laying down a marker right there saying, I'm not stopping.

SEIB: Well, no, that's the message from last night, I'm not stopping. But, you know, is it productive, you know? And it’s not use of social media, it’s the tone of social media that’s the issue. And, by the way, there have been a whole series of things that went well for the administration in the last two weeks. The Veterans Administration bill, significant. Case law, sanctuary cities, we talked about a minute ago. Almost no attention paid to the fact that Mosul basically returned to Iraqi control. ISIS is almost out. There was almost no attention paid to any of those things largely because of this phenomenon we're talking about. I -- why is that beneficial to the White House? I think that’s the question. It’s not use of social media --


SEIB: It’s use of social media to what end?


ROBERTS: One of these days I hope to ask the president what his cost benefit analysis is before he sends out these tweets, or maybe he doesn’t have one, I’m not sure, but --

SEIB: Well, but --

ROBERTS: But let's take a look at the one that really kind of ramped this whole thing up earlier this week when he was taking about the MSNBC morning show hosts. "I heard poorly rated ‘Morning Joe’ speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore)." Clearly he does. "Then how come low I.Q. crazy Mika along with psycho Joe came to Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row around New Year’s Eve and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!" You would think after the hew (ph) and cry that that provoked that he would leave it alone, but he came back yesterday and said, "crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but they're low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad."

STRASSEL: Yes. Well, it’s sort of what Gerry said is, what are you using this for, OK? Putting some attention on a media that is actually not doing a very good job in many ways of covering the Trump administration is totally legitimate. We’ve had resignations at CNN. We’ve had retractions and corrections and I think that that is something worthwhile. But if you’re going to instead use it to just humiliate people, I think that there is a confusion sometimes in the president's mind between, he doesn't want to fall into this category of bowing to politically correct society. That's fine, but that seems to suggest that you can't both do that and have some measure of civility --

HARF: Right.

STRASSEL: When you’re talking about other people. It is, in fact, actually possible to do both.

HARF: That’s right.

STRASSEL: We do it right here on the stage right now.

HARF: And when you’re president, you should try and do both. And when he’s tweeted about CNN something like 435 times and about Afghanistan 36, it's what Gerry was saying, there are real issues we are grappling with in this country. We have men and women in uniform overseas dying, fighting for our country and the president spends his time and energy on this? I think it shows voters and world leaders that there's something about him, whether it's the viciousness or the pettiness or the impulse control that he doesn't seem to have that makes him -- them question has governing, and that is a problem beyond, you know, whether we all like Twitter or not.

ROBERTS: But the fact that during the campaign at least, Gerry, that there wasn't much of a filter between here and here or here and here was what his supporters loved about him.

SEIB: Well, that’s true, and they still do. And there's no doubt that the certain segment of the -- of the country that thinks, yes, it's about time somebody said all of these things, but -- but, you know, there's a -- there’s something here that's not new, which is this -- the idea that White Houses try to use whatever social media or newest media phenomena is available to go over the heads of the president. It's not new. I mean I’ll date myself here. I came to town when Ronald Reagan was president and they tried to make an art from out of going over the heads of the press. So, that's fine. That’s the way the game is played.


SEIB: That's not the issue. And I think those things get confused.

ROBERTS: And there's no question too that the president is at war with certain aspects of the media, one of those being CNN. A couple of years ago he was on WrestleMania and he clotheslined Vince McMahon. Well, he just tweeted a new video that he made of that. Watch this.


ROBERTS: And there’s the president beating up CNN, instead of Vince McMahon.

HURT: Yes, and I think -- I think a lot of the people that dislike Donald Trump the most probably don't watch pro wrestling. But a lot of --

ROBERTS: Well, it’s all you were talking about when you came in here was this new tweet. Clever or not?

HURT: Yes. But -- oh, I think it -- yes, I mean it’s -- it's right down the middle. It’s -- it’s hitting his base. But -- but going back to the thing that -- that Gerry said, and I -- I -- I think that there is room for criticism here about the fact that he -- it is a distraction from his successes. But this is what I think the frustrations that -- that Trump and his supporters feel is, how much coverage would he get for those successes?


HURT: And because of that --

ROBERTS: Why don’t we find out?

HARF: Right.


HURT: But -- but history has showed that he -- that the media doesn't give him credit for a lot of those successes.

ROBERTS: Let me just jump in here for a second. If you want to know how this all plays with his supporters, take a look at this from the Kennedy Center last night.


TRUMP: The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them, because the people know the truth. The fake media try to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not.


ROBERTS: Yes, he got a lot of cheers for that. So, clearly, he’s got a lot of people on his side in this war against the media.

STRASSEL: Look, the only outfit out there that is -- got far lower approval rating than Donald Trump is, in fact, the media. And so training come --

ROBERTS: Yes, he’s at 40. We’re at 36.

STRASSEL: Trading information, training his (INAUDIBLE) is not necessarily a bad idea. It’s the manner and the method in which you do it and the words you use.

ROBERTS: One more quick word. We’ve got ten -- ten seconds left.

HARF: And why so we tolerate behavior in a president that we wouldn't tolerate from small-town mayors or CEOs or our own families? I just think maybe -- call me old-fashioned here. I think we should hold him to a higher standard.

ROBERTS: All right. And this discussion, no doubt, will continue.

Thanks, panel. We’ll see you next Sunday.

Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," honoring America's fallen with 24 musical notes.


ROBERTS: It's become a tradition here that we profile a man who created his own special program to make every day at a Memorial Day for our fallen heroes. Once again here's Chris Wallace with our "Power Player of the Week."


TOM DAY, BUGLES ACROSS AMERICA: When you're playing it, it's only 24 notes, but it's so meaningful to that family.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX ANCHOR (voice-over): Tom Day is talking about playing "Taps" at the funeral of military veterans. And he should know. He’s the founder and president of an organization called Bugles Across America.

WALLACE (on camera): All told, how many funerals have you done since you started Bugles Across America?

DAY: Two hundred thousand.

WALLACE: Really?

DAY: In ten years, right.

WALLACE (voice-over): It started back in 2000 when Congress gave every vet the right to a funeral with military honors, including two uniformed officers to present a flag and play "Taps." The problem was, the military only had 500 bugler. So they sent someone to play a recorded "Taps" on a Boombox or an electronic device inside a bugle.

Tom Day, who played in the Marines in the 50s, didn't like it.

DAY: I call it stolen dignity that these veterans can't get live "Taps," when we are out there ready to perform live "Taps."

WALLACE: So, he started his organization, recruiting 400 horn players within a year.

DAY: Now we have 6,270 horn players and we’re doing 2,200 funerals a month.

WALLACE: It's become quite an operation that Day runs out of his basement near Chicago. Families can go on his website to ask for a bugler. A message is sent to every horn player within 100 miles of the funeral. Day gives away bugles and helps with uniforms. While he gets support from foundations, he runs a deficit every year.

WALLACE (on camera): How do you make up for the shortfall?

DAY: I kind of make it up myself.

WALLACE: $15,000 to $20,000 a year?

DAY: Probably ten.

You finished your last of the 24 notes. You put the horn down and the flag has been presented. Then the family comes over. The kisses, the handshakes these families, there is nothing -- no amount of money could ever buy the feeling that I get from the family once I’ve finished the 24 notes.

WALLACE (voice-over): With soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus 1,800 veterans of World War II dying every day, there is a flood of military funerals. Day, who is 69, says he wants to keep going until he dies, then leave his organization in solid shape to carry on.

DAY: I want every family to have live "Taps" at that going away presentation of their veteran. And it kind of tells the Marine who are regarding the gates in heaven, live "Taps," we’re going to let this veteran right in.


ROBERTS: And he's got a lot more help now, too. Since we first ran this story eight years ago, Tom Day’s organization has grown to more than 5,000 active members who plant at more than 2,300 funerals a month.

If you want to learn more, go to our website,

And that’s it for today. Chris will be back next week. Have a happy Independence Day. And we will see you next "Fox News Sunday."

Content and Programming Copyright 2017 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.