This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," July 6, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
DANA PERINO, ANCHOR: I'm Dana Perino, in for Chris Wallace.
President Trump doubles down on his citizenship question for the 2020 census and says ICE raids are coming.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: They will be starting fairly soon, but I don't call them raids.
PERINO: And defends the state of border facilities.
TRUMP: I've seen some of those places and they are run beautifully.
PERINO: As tensions over immigration reach a flash point.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: These women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet.
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, D-TX: We saw that the system was still broken, that people's human rights are still being abused.
PERINO: We'll discuss the conditions at the border and a showdown over the census.
TRUMP: We are working on a lot of things, including an executive order.
PERINO: With Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
CROWD: We want Joe!
PERINO: The 2020 candidates hit the trail for the Fourth of July. We'll talk exclusively with Colorado Senator Michael Bennet about his run for the White House.
TRUMP: We'll see what happens with Iran. Iran has to be very, very careful.
PERINO: President Trump warns Iran's leaders that their nuclear threats could come back to bite them. We'll ask our Sunday panel about the president's Iran strategy.
All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".
PERINO: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
President Trump says he's mulling his options, including an executive order, to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Last week, the Supreme Court blocked the question, at least temporarily, and now, Mr. Trump says he's working with the Justice Department to find a legal way forward.
Joining us here in Washington, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency in charge of determining who can immigrate to the U.S. legally.
Great to have you here.
KEN CUCCINELLI, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES: Good to be with you, Dana.
PERINO: Good to see you again.
So, last Tuesday, the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says, we are going to forgo the citizenship question on the census, and the next morning, president says, not so fast, and he tweets this, basically saying that was fake news. We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.
And then on Friday, he was asked about it again and he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You need it for Congress for redistricting. You need it for appropriations. Where are the funds going? How many people are there? Are they citizens? Are they not citizen? You need it for many reasons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: So I have a question, do you think that there will be a citizenship question on the 2020 census?
CUCCINELLI: I do think so. I think the president has expressed determination. He's noticed the Supreme Court didn't say this can't be asked. They said they didn't appreciate the process by which it came for with the first time. So the president is determined to fix that and to have it roll forward in the 2020 census.
PERINO: Do you think -- what you think about people who say, well, it doesn't -- the Founding Fathers said its people, not citizens, that you have to count, do you worry at all -- I know you're obviously a lawyer for a long time -- constitutionally, how do you feel about that?
CUCCINELLI: Yes, I don't -- I don't have a problem with that at all. I think that if you look at what we've asked over the years, including, of course, the citizenship question, famously, asked many, many times through our history, we ask a lot of other information as well. And in addition to just getting the raw number of souls in the country, we find out a lot of other information that's useful for governance.
PERINO: When the president says you need it for Congress for redistricting. Is that a legal concern, because one of the questions has been, what was the motivations for one wanting the question in the first place?
CUCCINELLI: Well, and I think the answer is there are many reasons. He listed a few there, starting with the one you mentioned. But it isn't -- it isn't the only one. There are lots of reasons.
For my agency, distribution of work can be considered. I mean, there's all sorts of other things.
PERINO: Yes. I was going to ask you, do you think the citizenship question would help you and what you do at your new job?
CUCCINELLI: Right now, we are redistricting our workload among our district offices and our regional offices to a level that workload and as it shifts around the country, we shift, and knowing where that work is coming from is helpful.
PERINO: Let me ask about the other thing. About two weeks ago, President Trump had referenced the possibility of some raids for people who are here illegally so that our government would say, OK, guys, you've got to go back.
PERINO: That was called off and he and the speaker spoke, they said let's try to get the supplemental money done.
PERINO: That got done, but now the president is saying they are expected soon.
I know that there are some groups that have been trying to help people who are here illegally to be able to not be found by our government.
CUCCINELLI: I think that's called harboring. Yes.
PERINO: I wanted to ask you about that. And can raids be successful if people know that they are coming?
CUCCINELLI: Well, first of all, if people know that they're coming, that's a threat to officer safety, but realize there's about a million -- approximately a million people in this country who already have removal orders. They've been all the way through an extremely generous due process pipeline, had removal orders.
PERINO: They don't leave.
CUCCINELLI: They don't leave.
CUCCINELLI: That are still awaiting removal by ICE. And the president commented, I don't call these raids, I would agree with him. This is just what ICE is supposed to do. The fact that we've fallen to the point where we're talking about it like it's news tells you how far that we have fallen in the enforcement side.
I mean, it is the most violated federal court order in America.
PERINO: I know they talked about possibly giving a find to people who have overstated their -- after the order, and it could go up to $500,000. I mean, I'm assuming the Trump administration doesn't expect to ever see any of that money.
CUCCINELLI: Well, we can collect it from who we could I'm sure, but for a lot of these folks, they've been evading the law for so long, you'd expect them to evade that sort of collection as well.
PERINO: When the Congress comes back this week, the House Democrats are going to have some hearings, and they want to focus this week on conditions at the border. Here is how the I.G. at the Department of Homeland Security described the thing they have to call for here. The -- basically that children at three of the five border patrol facilities that we visited had no access to showers. At these facilities, children have limited access to a change of clothes. Border Patrol had few spare close and no longer facilities.
But you went to see it for yourself.
PERINO: And you talked about given the conditions, right?
PERINO: I think we have that here as well. You said, given the conditions and the circumstances, that the situation you thought was pretty good.
CUCCINELLI: I do. I mean, recall that this is a pipeline. Border Patrol is at the front of the pipeline. If you can't move people to the pipeline if the next stage of the pipeline is full, and ICE is the next stage of the pipeline and their detention beds are not only full, they're overfull.
I went to one of their facilities at El Paso. It has about 950 people in a facility for 800. It was being run well, it was run safely and so forth. But once you're over those capacity points, you encounter problems.
PERINO: What happens then? If they keep coming, we still have to take them?
CUCCINELLI: Right. If they keep coming, people in the House come down and complain about them keep coming while not helping fix the problem. It's the height of hypocrisy. It just keeps happening.
PERINO: Do you think that it's critical to get the asylum law changed in order to stop that flow?
CUCCINELLI: It is, it is.
PERINO: And if that's the case, would you consider recommending that the administration try to have the asylum law changes attached to must pass legislation coming up in September?
CUCCINELLI: Absolutely. I looked at the House calendar. Before they go to the beach in August and head off for their vacations, they have nothing except hearings on this subject. They just want to politicize it. They don't want to actually solve the problem.
Dana, you mentioned a solution, which would be some basic changes, for instance to asylum, the incredible fear standard, to stop the trafficking of children, things we should all be able to agree on. And yet they are not going to consider that before they head out and then undoubtedly will come back and complain more about the numbers at the border, because that's what's happening.
You can complain about conditions. Conditions are driven by those numbers. So, ultimately, they're complaining about the numbers that they're attracting here.
PERINO: I just wanted to -- you are responsible for implementing the law and also taking care of the people that are there, so I sort of think that if there's legislation that has to be passed like the debt ceiling, for example.
PERINO: Attach that to them. Do you think you could get Democratic support for that?
CUCCINELLI: We could. I mean, that's a hard one to predict because there's so many elements that go into any bill like that or any legislative strategy like that. But certainly on the administration side, I can't imagine we would take any of those options off the table.
PERINO: You basically did -- says you were at a citizenship ceremony.
CUCCINELLI: Yes, several of them actually.
PERINO: I mean, just curious. When you see that, and it's very motivating.
CUCCINELLI: It is. It's very --
PERINO: Tell me a little bit more about that.
CUCCINELLI: Yes. First of all, for people who haven't been to one, it's worth going to. It is a very moving experience every time. These are people who have gone through our legal process, they've been legally present here for a number of years, at least five years, and gone through the tests and the interview and so forth, to become American citizens, and committed and probably the most extensive oath that anyone takes related to the federal government to their new country, and renouncing and abjuring all prior allegiance.
PERINO: How many people per year is America letting in right now?
CUCCINELLI: Well, last year, we were in the range of 850,000, and that was the most in five years. And this fiscal year, we will pass that. So, you know, people who come after the president and this administration say, you know, you don't like immigrants. Well, we are letting more people become citizens than has happened in years. So --
PERINO: I don't think people realize that, indeed.
CUCCINELLI: No, they don't.
PERINO: I also wanted to ask you about this. So, if we could pull up this tweet from Dr. Russell Moore. This is from a couple weeks ago and he tweeted this.
He said: The reports for conditions of migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially seeking those refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this.
Now, he took some criticism for that from Michael Jerry Falwell Jr. But I know you're a man of deep faith and for people who are at church on Sunday, thinking about these things, they want rule of law --
CUCCINELLI: That's right.
PERINO: -- but they also have this concern.
CUCCINELLI: That's right.
PERINO: Especially about the children and how were supposed to treat the meek.
CUCCINELLI: That's right. And it's worth remembering that this massive influx of fraudulent asylum claims are swamping the people who truly fit that category, the people who are persecuted for political or religious regions, or other reasons. Those people are being swamped and they are caught in a backlog caused by an enormous number of false claims, and those false claims are coming because the Congress refuses -- especially the House -- refuses to take the steps necessary to fix these loopholes that you can drive a truck through.
And once someone is just in that clogged pipeline, they can get a work permit after 150 days. That's the attraction.
PERINO: In the meantime, we do have these children have to be taken care of.
CUCCINELLI: That's right. And I will say the supplemental did ease that pressure substantially. It went from 2,500 kids who were in really inappropriate facilities for children, not designed for that purpose, down to a fraction of that number. It's improved dramatically.
CUCCINELLI: Yes. They can't take care of themselves, that's for sure.
CUCCINELLI: Right. Well, in El Paso, I saw border patrol agents taking care of these kids in space not designed for children, and they were doing the best they could.
PERINO: And they're doing their best. Right.
All right. Ken, thank you so much for being here. We appreciate it.
CUCCINELLI: Good to be with you, Dana.
PERINO: And we are going to keep an eye on next week's developments. We'll you get up to speed on that.
Up next, Iran announces plans to breach the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal on Sunday in response to U.S. sanctions. We're going to bring in our Sunday group to discuss the rising tensions between Tehran and Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OCASIO-CORTEZ: They put them in rooms with no running water, and these women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet. They were drinking water out of the toilet.
BRIAN HASTINGS, CBP CHIEF OF LAW ENFORCEMENT: We don't treat people that way. We provide fresh water. We provide food. We provide sanitary items as well as items for bathing and personal hygiene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: A week of explosive claims about conditions on the U.S.-Mexico border put the Trump administration on the defensive and it's time now for our Sunday group. Charles Hurt of "The Washington Times" and author of the new book "Still Winning." Charles Lane from "The Washington Post," Kristen Soltis Anderson of the "Washington Examiner", and Josh Kraushaar, he's politics editor at "National Journal".
It's great to have you all here.
Charlie, can I start with you? I want to show you what Representative Hoyer, House majority leader, put out the agenda for July for the House Democrats. It was this, week one, National Defense Authorization Act. Week two, increasing the minimum wage by $15 an hour, and week three, legislation to bring down health care costs.
And I'm wondering if you feel like they're kind of missing the moment to press the administration, while, you know, kind of peddling (ph) while Rome burns?
CHARLIE HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Yes. You know, Donald Trump was not just sort of a wake-up call for the Republican Party. He should have been a wake-up call for the Democratic Party as well.
This issue of immigration is not something that -- Democrats sort of like - - because they are politicizing it, they like to make it sound gets some sort of fringe right-wing issue. It's not. It's an issue that their base cares about as well. It's -- Democrats and Republicans. If it a crisis at the border and if you care about, you know, humanitarian crisis you would think it would sort of get together and try to figure out a way to do something about it.
But instead, they are sort of playing from this old playbook.
PERINO: It felt very old. This week, we are going to do this -- I know you have to plan ahead a little bit but it did feel like that was a little bit off key.
Josh, I want to ask about the immigration debate affecting the House and the Senate leaders who won the Democratic side, they would like to keep the House and it would like to try to win back the senate. With this immigration debate, are they where they are going to miss the opportunity to do that?
JOSH KRAUSHAAR, NATIONAL JOURNAL: Well, here's the dirty little secret about the politics of immigration. It's the Democrats that are divided on Capitol Hill about immigration. You saw on the, a lot of the moderates supporting leadership but many of the progressives like Ocasio-Cortez criticizing their own party and you see this in the debate over immigration. Obama's former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson criticized his own party's presidential candidates for essentially supporting open borders on that debate stage this past week.
This is -- you know, Trump is not popular on immigration, only about 40 percent of the country agrees with his views and with his policies, but the Democrats are in a very tough pickle because their views are even more extreme and the public is really resisting them.
PERINO: And, Kristen, I wonder about the credibility issue, right? So, for many months, they said it wasn't a crisis, and now, it is obviously a crisis. I think everybody can agree on that. Is that going to hurt the Democrats' chances of keeping the House? Because they won, those 31 districts that help Speaker Pelosi become speaker again. Those were moderate districts.
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, ECHELON INSIGHTS: They are moderate districts. I think most of what we are talking about the midterms, that was a lot about health care, an issue that Republicans I think still are really struggling on. But on immigration, that's an issue where the president back in January was saying there's a crisis of the border and Democrats, Democratic voters, only a quarter at the time said that they believed there was a crisis of the border.
Now, when you ask Americans, is there a crisis of the border? You have seven in ten overall, and that cuts across party lines who say yes. So, the fact of the matter is, the president was saying back in January, there's a crisis down there. People are divided nowadays over with a crisis is. Is it that too many people are coming or is it that those who come are being treated well?
But the language that something big is happening down there, we need more resources to address it, that's something the president has been saying for a long time and I think that's why you have not seen these horrifying image from the border having political consequence for the president at this point.
PERINO: Chuck, if I could switch gears just for a moment because we woke up today to announce -- foreign policy news, it always happens on the weekend, of course. Iran announcing it will increase its uranium enrichment to an unspecified level, beyond the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
What do you think the administration's options are now on that?
CHARLES LANE, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think for the time being, the administration is going to sort of stay put with the stepped up sanctions regime that has driven Iran to this step, because really the action is over in Europe. This is an attempt by Iran to put pressure on the Europeans so that Europe will create an alternative economic channel through which they can market their oil. You know, their oil has been cut off almost 100 percent -- not 100 percent but more the majority of their oil exports cut off by these stepped up sanctions by the Trump administration and Iran is really in a squeeze.
So, what they've essentially done here is they said, OK, we are going to enrich and we are giving Europe 60 days or so to work this out with us, so I guess the next step for the administration is to go to work on Europe and try to prevent them from siding with Iran.
But we are seeing here is Iran is pushing on the fractious relationship that exists between the Trump administration and the European allies and see if they can exploit that. So, we'll see. Trump has had a lot of not- so-nice things to say about the Europeans. He seems to take every opportunity --
PERINO: He did have a pretty good meeting at the G20, and I wonder if this action, Charlie, actually pushes Europe -- by Iran saying this and pushing too hard, that they will put Europe back into President Trump's camp because they don't want them to have a nuclear weapon.
HURT: No, they don't, and honestly, this action reminds me of how bad the deal was to begin with, because, of course, at the end, once the sunset clause is kicked in on this deal, this is exactly what Iran could have done at the end of the deal. And what we have seen since the deal was struck, they've done nothing to curtail their support of terrorist activities around the world. They've done nothing to stop fomenting violence around the Middle East, and so, you know, clearly, the other way wasn't working in the stepped up sanctions is at least putting enormous pressure on the regime.
LANE: And now, there a people on the Hill, Republican senators, already calling for the snapback sanctions to go into effect -- the ones that were support sort of guarantee at the end of the day, Iranian compliance.
PERINO: Right. So, jump ahead and get that done. So, Iran making some news today and we'll see with the administration decides to do this week. They've already asked the United Nations to take a look at the atomic review, but again the United Nations might not have the teeth that are necessary in this situation.
Al right. Panel, we are going to take a quick break, but we're going to come back just a little bit later. We appreciate you being here.
Up next, as Democratic front runner Joe Biden deals from a follow-up from the first primary debate, could it create opportunities for other moderates in the race? One of those rivals, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, he joins us next.
PERINO: Coming up, Democrats divided on the future of health care.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MICHAEL BENNET, D-COLO., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When Senator Sanders says that Canada is single-payer, there are 35 million people in Canada. There are 330 million people in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: We'll ask 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bennet about his plan, next, on "FOX News Sunday".
PERINO: He was one of the last to enter the Democratic presidential primary, throwing his hat into the ring only two months ago, but he managed to get in jabs at Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden on the debate stage.
Joining me now from Denver, Colorado, senator and 2020 Democratic candidate, Michael Bennet.
It's a pleasure to have you here, sir.
BENNET: Thank you, Dana, for having me.
PERINO: This morning, ABC News put out a new poll that the president will probably be really happy to see. His approval numbers up to 47 percent. If you look year over year, last year, it was only 42 percent of April 2019. Now up to 47 percent -- I'm sorry, April 2019, just three months ago.
The economy as well, doing very well, 3.7 percent unemployment rate, 224,000 jobs added.
And I wonder as you look at this as a 2020 candidate that wants to run against him, what was your economic message be, that things aren't as good as people think they are?
BENNET: Well, I'd say, first of all, that we are in the tenth year of an economic recovery that started in 2009. We'd have job increases for that entire period of time. It's a record, and I will grant that the president hasn't screwed it up in the first two and a half years that he's been president.
He inherited an economy that he described as the worst economy in American history. It's hard to believe in two and a half years, he's made it so dramatically better and, of course, when you look at the trends, they are the same but they were in 2009 as they are today.
The point about whether the economy is working for most people, I think that is a valid point. Colorado has one of the strongest economies on this planet, yet most of the people that I meet can't afford some combination of housing, health care, higher education, or early childhood education. They can't afford a middle-class life, and the families that I knew when I was superintendent of Denver public schools increasingly can't see themselves, can't -- no matter how hard they work, can't seem to get their families out of poverty.
So, there are two economies in this country. The wealthiest Americans for the last 40 years have done really well and everybody else has done pretty poorly, at least based on our historical norms. That's not something you can I'm Donald Trump for. I said the same thing when President Obama was president.
PERINO: So, then --
BENNET: But we have to address it.
PERINO: OK. So, how would you do that?
BENNET: Well, I think, first of all, we need an economy that when there's economic growth, it grows for everybody. I think the way of achieving that is by increasing our investments in infrastructure and education and R&D. We are spending 35 percent less than our parents and grandparents spent on us, while we're racking up $20 trillion, going to $30 trillion of debt. So, we're saying to the next generation, not only will we not invest in you. We are going to make you pay back this debt that we're not going to pay back.
I think we should reverse the Trump tax cuts and give working people in this country real tax relief, which they desperately need and they did not get.
PERINO: But what did you -- what did you think that -- when people see the economy as it is now regardless of the trends from the past ten years, but into a half years since the tax cuts and since the president has been in office, the economy has done much better. So, if the reelection effort for President Trump turns on the economy, how do you get people to realize that you would make it better for them?
BENNET: First of all, I don't think is been much better, Dana. It's been -- it's been what it was. It's been fine, it's been good and it's improved. So, it has improved, just as an improved from 2009 when Barack Obama took over.
What we don't need it, in my view, I think it is a president that is so at war with American tradition. We don't need a president who doesn't believe in the rule of law. We don't need a president who doesn't believe in freedom of the press. We don't need a president who doesn't believe in the independence of the judiciary. We don't need a president who believes he is above the law, that he can do by executive order what Congress doesn't do.
I mean, the list of things is so long. What amazes me is the stuff that he does, whether it's coddling a dictator in North Korea or laughing with Putin about Russia's attacks on our democracy, that stuff that if Barack Obama did one of it, he would have been indicted 24 hours a day on Fox News and President Trump is applauded.
I happen to think he is way outside of the mainstream of conventional American political thought, whether it's Democratic or Republican, and that if we are going to have any hope of not being the first generation of Americans to leave less opportunity, not more, to our kids and our grandkids, if we're going to have any hope of restoring America's role in the world, he needs to be a one term president.
DANA PERINO, ANCHOR: So if I could just press --
BENNET: Whether the economy is doing well or it's not doing well.
PERINO: If I could just press -- if I could just press you on two things.
Well, I won't press you on -- on -- on the -- on the freedom of the press. Like, he gets frustrated with the press but he hasn't tried to prevent them from being able to do their jobs.
But on the rule of law, where you think that he is not for the rule of law?
BENNET: I think -- first of all, on the freedom of the press, the fact that he hasn't dealt with the fact that Saudi Arabia killed a journalist, and -- and he said what a serious thing it would be if it turned out it was true that MBS was behind it. And our intelligence agencies said it's behind it, and he does nothing except go there and coddle MBS, that is an illustration of what American values are. I think he's tried to intimidate the press here in the United States. I think he's been above the rule of law on the wall, you know. He declared an emergency to build his wall, his $6 billion wall.
PERINO: But the institutions --
BENNET: Which, by the way, Dana, Mexico was supposed to pay for it. And while we spent seven months consuming the American people's time over his $6 billion wall, China was building fiber-optic cable 3,500 miles from -- connecting Africa to Latin America to China so they can --
PERINO: No, I get that.
BENNET: They -- they can increase their surveillance there (ph). But what are we doing here?
PERINO: Well, let me -- let me ask you about -- then let me ask you about immigration, because you were the only -- one of the -- I think one of two people that did not raise you hand in the debate that MSNBC hosted asking about decriminalizing the border. I mean clearly you think that there is a problem on the border and that border security is really important. And let me read to you from Jeh Johnson, who's the former DHS secretary for President Obama. And he said this about the Democrats. He said, "that is tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders. That is unworkable, unwise, and does not have the support of a majority of American people or the Congress."
Do you feel like the Democratic Party has gone so far left that people look at President Trump's position as being much more reasonable?
BENNET: Two -- two points here. Two points here. One, Barack Obama was able to enforce that law without separating children from their parents at the border. Something that has -- has -- has -- has received the kind --
PERINO: But that wasn't -- but they did have to do that if they came over at -- they did have to do that.
BENNET: I'm sorry?
PERINO: Well, they did have to separate families and -- and --
BENNET: No. The did -- the -- the Obama administration didn't do it and -- and that's why the Trump administration has received condemnation on this point from Republican and Democratic members of Congress. And the other point I'd make is, I was part of the gang of eight that wrote the immigration bill in 2013 that passed the Senate with 68 votes. It was a bipartisan bill. Donald Trump has said nothing -- nothing good about it. He's only said bad things about it.
That bill had $46 billion of border security in it. His 6 billion for his - - his ineffective wall is a joke compared to what we had. We had 21st century technology. You could see every inch of the border.
PERINO: OK, so when what -- as president, how would you -- as president then how would you get Congress to actually pass something?
BENNET: I would put something in front of Congress that's actually popular with the American people. Donald Trump could not get his wall through a Republican majority House and Senate. And now of course he can't get it through a divided House and Senate.
I would bring back the Gang of Eight bill, updated for -- for the three years that have gone by, and I would add to it work that we need to do on the refugee crisis on the border.
The president is acting like we are some weak, pathetic country. We have the ability to treat human beings humanly. We have the ability to lead our hemisphere in a discussion about how to deal with this refugee crisis --
PERINO: Well --
BENNET: And what refuges we're going to take --
PERINO: Given --
BENNET: And what refuges others are going to take. And we have the -- we have the responsibility to secure our border and to do what needs to be done internally.
PERINO: But do you think that the president is not saying that? I mean he is saying specifically job number one is to secure the border.
BENNET: I think he's saying it. I think --
PERINO: Would you support --
BENNET: I -- I --
PERINO: The changes in the asylum law that he is suggesting?
BENNET: I think that he's saying it. I think he's not doing it. I -- he goes down there and stands next to what he calls steel slats that were built during the Obama administration or at the beginning of the Trump administration. We --
PERINO: But let's focus on the asylum law for a moment. Like, would you support the changes there?
BENNET: I haven't seen a proposal. So I -- I can't give you an answer on that.
I do believe that we need to lead a discussion in the hemisphere about how to deal humanely with other human beings in this country. We -- as I said earlier, we are a strong and powerful country. We are supposed to lead humanity, not make our border into a symbol of nativist hostility.
PERINO: All right.
BENNET: That should be an embarrassment for everybody.
Our -- the symbol of this country as the Statue of Liberty, not Donald Trump's pathetic attempt to build a wall, which he's been unable to do because he can't even get Republicans to support it.
PERINO: And he hasn't been talking about the wall for a while. He's asking the Congress to actually help him pass the asylum law because he thinks that's a problem.
But let me move on to Iran, because you're on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
PERINO: We have this word today that Iran is saying we're going to blow right past those limits that were on us.
What would you do as president at this point?
BENNET: I -- I -- I would --
PERINO: Would you try to rejoin the original deal?
BENNET: I -- well, I'd try to make it a better deal, but I that it was good that we had a deal.
Donald Trump -- you know, I -- I will stipulate to you, Dana, that everything that -- well, not everything that he says -- I will stipulate that Iran is conducting all kinds of malevolent acts in -- in the region, which are dangerous for us and dangerous for the Israelis. And that they need to be stopped.
But when Donald Trump became president, Iran was no longer two to three years from breaking out to a nuclear weapon -- or two to three months from breaking out to a nuclear weapon, which is where they were when I voted for the Iran deal. They were more than a year from being able to broke out -- break out to a nuclear weapon based on our intel --
BENNET: Based on what the Israelis said. Now they're -- now they're enriching again.
So this idea that somehow we're more safe if Iran is conducting its malevolent, conventional acts in the region and they're able to backstop it with a threat of a nuclear weapon doesn't make any sense. And now the administration is saying our goal is to get Iran a year away from breaking out. That's where we were.
PERINO: Well not -- where they are now is where they would be -- would have been at the end of that deal. But let's -- I do -- we've spent a lot of time --
BENNET: That's true. That -- that --
PERINO: Talking about President Trump.
BENNET: That's true, Dana, but that is not -- that is not where they would have been if the deal had stayed in place. If the deal had stayed in place --
PERINO: Well --
BENNET: They would be a year from being able to break out from a nuclear weapon.
PERINO: Oh, I see. OK.
BENNET: Then --
PERINO: Let's talk about you. We've spent too much time talking about Donald Trump.
PERINO: Let's talk about you.
You are in a primary fight against a couple dozen other Democrats. You have fundraising numbers at about -- that are a little bit lower than others because, as we all know, you got in the race a little bit late because you successfully fought back against prostate cancer, for which we're all grateful that you were able to do that.
BENNET: Thank you. Thank you.
PERINO: And so -- but I'm wondering, you're heading into this -- the possibility, I don't know if it's confirmed yet if you're on that second debate.
Is there some way that you can break away to -- to really make a difference so that you could be up there in maybe the top five?
BENNET: I -- I hope so. I think that the American people, for all the reasons that I said, need a president that's actually going to conform to our values as a country. And I think we need, among other things, somebody who's going to tell the truth to the American people.
We have incredible challenges that we face, Dana. We've had 40 years of no economic mobility for the -- most of the American people. We've got a public education system --
PERINO: But you do have the highest level of African-American and Latino employment that we've had in the country now. I mean is that worth something?
BENNET: It's -- everybody that's got a job is worth something. But we have the -- the greatest income inequality that we've seen since 1928. The wealth gap between African-American and Latino families is much greater than it was even before we went into the great --
PERINO: And do you think that's an education issue, as a former --
BENNET: Even before we went into --
PERINO: As a former education minister, do you think that education is the issue?
BENNET: I think partly it -- I -- I do. I -- I think a big part of it is that our education system is reinforcing the income inequality we have rather than liberating people from it. The best protector of the quality of somebody's education is the income that their parents made. That is completely un-American in my view but it is where we find ourselves, which is why I think rather than debating whether we should have had busing 50 years ago, we should be having a debate about what we're doing to transform America's schools for the 21st century so that everybody, whether they're born into poverty or not, has a shot at the American dream. That's no longer true.
PERINO: Well, since you -- since you brought up busing, let me just ask you one thing. You know, I -- I -- I went to Denver Public Schools. You were the superintendent there.
BENNET: Yes. Yes, I know.
PERINO: Denver was the first city that had -- that tried to integrate the schools through busing. I know that. I was in the fourth grade when I had to be bused 25 miles across the city. I know you're talk -- you don't think we should be talking about that, but your opponents in the Democratic primary, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, brought this back up and now there's a question -- a last one to you -- do you think that busing should be something on the table again?
BENNET: I think that -- I -- I -- I think that if -- if districts want to do it, they should be able to do it if they want, but I don't think there's a district in the country that's going to want to do it. People don't want to cross town to get a high quality school. They want a high quality school in their -- in -- where they live. And that's what we have to try to do. That's what we've tried to do in Denver. Frank -- in -- there was a study that came out from Stanford University last week that said that kids in Denver are growing so much faster than kids around this state, it's as if we've added 60 days to each school year in Denver.
PERINO: That might --
BENNET: It's possible to make a difference.
PERINO: Yes, well, that might get some -- some other school administrators to look into Denver indeed.
BENNET: I hope. I hope.
PERINO: Senator Bennet, thank you. I know that you love being in Colorado.
BENNET: Dana, thank you for having me and come back to the Denver Public Schools. I'll walk you around.
PERINO: All right, thank you.
BENNET: Thank you.
PERINO: Up next, President Trump called his July 4th event a military salute, while critics called it a campaign rally. Our panel weighs in.
And Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take their debate stage battle onto the campaign trail. That's up next.
PERINO: Democratic hopefuls for president spent the holiday week making their case for the nomination in early voting states, and the party's frontrunner remains on defense.
Peter Doocy reports.
PETER DOOCY, REPORTER (ph) (voice over): There are so many Democrats running for president, there could be one standing right behind you and you might not notice.
CROWD: We want Joe.
DOOCY: Joe Biden brought confidence to Iowa, where he dismissed Democrats who were down on his debate debut.
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm still way ahead.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was hurtful.
DOOCY: But he admitted he was not expecting to be challenged about his civil rights record at the first debate.
BIDEN: I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn't prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at me.
DOOCY: Kamala Harris, who called him out, is surprised Biden was caught flat-footed since, stories quoting his comment about civility with segregationist billed front pages for days.
HARRIS: If he and his team weren't prepared for -- for the topic, I -- I don't know what to say about that.
DOOCY: Harris isn't just targeting Biden, her primary arrival, she's starting to single out President Trump.
HARRIS: I will tell you, we have a predator living in the White House.
DOOCY: While Pete Buttigieg is trying to take the opposite approach.
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, D-IND., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The last we're talking about this president, the more likely we are to win.
DOOCY: The president headlined an event none of the Democratic primary candidates could compete with, Thursday's Salute to America.
And back in Iowa, Joe Biden believes he's in the best spot to challenge Trump.
BIDEN: If you notice, I'm the guy everybody's talking about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: So, Biden is basically adhering to the old adage, there's no such thing as bad press, because despite some unflattering headlines recently, nobody has passed him in national polls.
PERINO: Peter Doocy reporting from the campaign trail.
Peter, thank you.
And we're back now with the panel.
We love having you back here.
So, Josh, you saw the interview with Michael Bennet. He was fired up this morning. Had his Wheaties there in Colorado.
If you look at the numbers from the -- since the first Democratic debates - - I think we have the RealClearPolitics average -- Biden, Kamala Harris, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, those are your top five.
If Biden's -- he's still in the lead, but he's come down a bit. Is there a moderate lane at all for somebody like Michael Bennet? And if there is a moderate lane, does that lane run out of road?
JOSH KRAUSHAAR, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": So, Biden has clearly lost momentum since the first debate, but he's still dominating among the people who identify themselves as moderate. And the big question is, if Biden struggles at the second debate, the third debate, will there be room for someone like Bennet? I think Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota also has an opportunity to -- to be that candidate.
But, look, there is a case for electability. Democrats say despite their -- their move to the left, they want someone who is electable. And I was struck by -- by the new "Washington Post" poll. Joe Biden has a 28-point lead among -- against Trump among moderates. Every other leading Democratic candidate in that liberal lane is -- is pretty much tied statistically.
KRAUSHAAR: The -- there's going to be a point where Democrats need to find someone who's electable and given the trend that the Democrats, the Warrens, the Kamala Harris, in the field they're moving to the left, there's going to be an electability worry coming up.
PERINO: Chuck, Kamala Harris was the undisputed winner of the debate. We have her fundraising numb for Q2. It wasn't -- you know, it was kind of paltry -- not paltry, but it's $12 million compared to the others. That wasn't as much as she would like.
Is there a way for her to capitalize on her debate performance to try to get some momentum?
CHARLES LANE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think she's done it. I think she's - - we're all talking about her.
LANE: She's the flavor of the month now in the Democratic field and with great power comes great responsibility. She is going to have to do a couple of things, I think, to sharpen up her -- now that she's getting a hearing, she's going to have to sharpen up her message. And I think that starts with health care. She has kind of been on both sides of that Medicare for all, get rid of private insurance thing.
If I were, you know, in her position, I might think about making a speech with my health care plan. You know, what Kamala Harris calls for on health care, because that's a vulnerability for her.
PERINO: Yes, because after -- every time she talks about health care, the next day they're having to re-explain what she meant and what she didn't mean that it does get confusing.
Charlie, can you listen to this sound from Joe Biden in South Carolina yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception that I may have caused anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: So this is in regards to his comments about segregationists and having worked with them when he was a young staffer -- or a young senator.
PERINO: He told Cory Booker he wasn't going to apologize and then now he's apologizing.
CHARLES HURT, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES": Yes, well -- and this, of course, is why -- Joe Biden has been running for president for basically 45 years since he got here and he's never made it. And the only way he made it into the -- near the White House was because Barack Obama needed him at that moment as vice president.
I do think -- and I think Josh is right, I think that -- that, you know, the more Democrats despise the person they're trying to beat, the more electability will become an issue maybe very late in the race. Remember in 2004 where you had the bumper stickers that said dated Dean, married Kerry.
HURT: Everybody loved Howard Dean and then he kind of went a little crazy and Democrats freaked out because they didn't care who they got, they just wanted somebody who was going to beat George W. Bush.
PERINO: You still see people up on Capitol Hill with those bumper stickers on the car.
PERINO: They don't take them off.
Kristen, President Trump had this Fourth of July celebration and Democrats prematurely overreacted. Do they continue to play right into his hand?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, ECHELON INSIGHTS: I think when it comes to something like the Fourth of July rally, they -- they sort of take the wrong approach in how to criticize the president for saying that, you know, we shouldn't be having military there, et cetera, et cetera. I think that stuff was completely overblown. As we saw, he sort of stuck to the strip. His speech was -- was not really a campaign speech.
I think of Democrats were savvier, they would point out that, you know, this was an event that was paid for with -- with tax dollars and yet you had sort of special donors getting special seats. That you had, you know, footage from the rally sort of being used for campaign purposes. We're not supposed to use tax dollars for campaign purposes. That there are sort of swampy things going on that were adjacent to this, you know, a great sort of salute to America. If Democrats were smart, rather than doing things like saying we shouldn't have the flag on the back of shoes, they would be pointing out things like, we shouldn't be using tax dollars to support campaigns.
PERINO: Josh, the Republican National Committee in the Trump campaign announced that they've already raised $105 million this year. Is that -- this is just going to be a juggernaut.
Are they well-positioned, do you think, for re-election? Incumbents usually do win re-election. Are they sufficiently resourced, but also they sufficiently concerned that something else could happen?
KRAUSHAAR: So that's the biggest difference between 2016 and 2020. Trump is not going to have a financial problem. He's going to have plenty of money. He's going to have -- be able to outrace and outspend the Democratic opposition.
And, you know, I think that Democratic fundraising has been pretty underwhelming. Joe Biden raised about 22 million, which is OK, but it's much less than Hillary Clinton did at the same point in 2016. Kamala Harris, who many people think has a lot of upside potential, only raised under 12 million despite that strong debate performance. So fundraising is a challenge for the Democrats and Trump is going to have a big, financial advantage.
PERINO: So in the middle of the summer, what do you think -- what do you look for in the next three weeks before the next debate?
LANE: Well, I'm -- I'm looking for, as I said before, to see how Kamala Harris kind of straightens out her message a little bit, capitalizes on the progress she made against Biden, and I'm also looking to see how Biden recovers. And I must say, this apology he issued, I'm not sure how that helps him, because he had just finished saying a little while earlier, I'm not going to apologize for anything.
PERINO: He wasn't going to apologize. Yes.
LANE: So, again, that kind of wishy-washy-ness set in.
Just one quick point on the money. One reason Democrats are underwhelming on the fundraising, they're running against the rich. All of them have plans to tax the rich and -- and they're getting tougher on Wall Street and stuff. That used to be where all the money came from for Democratic candidates. And I think those people are nervous.
PERINO: What do you look for in the next three weeks?
HURT: I think the most important thing is whether Biden does straighten out and figure out how -- how to run a campaign. And -- and, if not not, who it is that sort of picks up that mantle because the rest of the field, I think, is just going full-town crazy.
PERINO: And, Kristen, you and your sweet puppy, Wally (ph), what do you look for?
ANDERSON: I think I'm going to be looking for the fact that many Democrats, I think, are going to start taking the gloves off.
ANDERSON: They're going to look at who's benefited in those debates. Kamala Harris, by going after Joe Biden.
To a lesser extent, Castro, sort of, you know, taking a position that's very far out on the extreme on immigration, but, nonetheless sort of generating buzz, becoming the candidate from Texas, if you will, in the race, with -- with apologies to Beto O'Rourke.
PERINO: Oh, poor Beto O'Rourke.
ANDERSON: Poor Beto O'Rourke.
So I think Democrats are going to realize the (INAUDIBLE) benefit from taking (INAUDIBLE) --
PERINO: Do you know what I think is interesting? None of us have mentioned Bernie Sanders. And I think it's so interesting that, like, he's still pulling -- like, he's in the top five, but no one is talking about him. But I did get to mention him.
All right, panel, thank you so much. We will see you next Sunday.
Up next, the last surviving World War II Marine to receive the Medal of Honor on his latest mission.
PERINO: Finally, this Fourth of July weekend, the World War II Medal of Honor recipient who found a unique and lasting way to honor the families of his fallen fellow Marines.
Chris Wallace has our "Power Player of the Week."
HERSHEL "WOODY" WILLIAMS, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT: I know we're classified as a hero very often, but I keep saying, I'm not the hero. The heroes didn't get home.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR (voice over): Meet Hershel "Woody" Williams, the only Marine from World War II to receive the Medal of Honor who is still living.
I had the good fortune to meet Woody at a town hall at the Naval Academy this fall where he told the brigade of midshipmen about fighting in the battle of Iwo Jima.
WALLACE (on camera): Do you feel any sense of fear in that moment?
WILLIAMS: I've always said, if you're being shot at and you have no fear, there something wrong with you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Iwo Jima invasion brought on one of the bitterest of battles.
WALLACE (voice over): Over four hours under heavy enemy fire, he took out a network of Japanese pill boxes with a flamethrower to clear the way for the infantry.
WALLACE (on camera): Aren't they spraying bullets at you?
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes. Yes, absolutely. They're trying their best to get me. Why they didn't get me, I have no answer except I was -- he wasn't ready for me, I guess.
WALLACE (voice over): President Truman gave Woody the nation's highest military honor for valor, but that's where this story begins, not ends.
Woody spent 33 years working at the VA, securing benefits for veterans and their families. And in 2010, he started a foundation to honor gold star families who have lost a loved one in battle.
WILLIAMS: We've gotten memorials for veterans all over this country and in most community. But do we have anything that pays tribute to those families who sacrificed one of their own? No, we don't.
WALLACE: The Williams Foundation has helped communities put up 44 monuments to those families across the country with plans to build them in all 50 states.
WILLIAMS: These monuments gather these gold star families together and they become friends for the very first time. Many of them will say to me, I thought I was alone. Now they're together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about the gold star families and those survivors, that they have somewhere they can go and remember the name of their loved one.
WILLIAMS: I get tired, but then the cause is so great I can't refuse to do it.
WALLACE: Woody is now 95 years old, but he's on the road 200 days a year. And folks are giving him new honors. He flipped the coin at the Super Bowl, and the Navy launched a ship named for him.
WILLIAMS: It was like a dream that you never had, but then all of a sudden here it is a really that you never thought could possibly happen in your lifetime.
WALLACE: But Woody Williams has one final mission. In World War I, mothers with a son in the service would put a flag with a blue star in the window. And if the son should be killed in action, they would paste a gold star over the blue.
WILLIAMS: I'd like to see it today. I'd like to see these -- one of these on every home that has somebody serving in our armed forces. I think it would do something for their community. I really do. And then this, of course, would say to those people in that community, that family gave more than any of us.
PERINO: The foundation plans to break ground on at least 13 new memorials this year.
And just this past week, during his Salute to America, the president recognized Williams and two other Medal of Honor recipients for their service to the country.
And that's it for us today. We wish the U.S. women's national soccer team all the best in today's World Cup final on Fox.
Have a great week and, Chris Wallace, he'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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