tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News January 26, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST
and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell is also on interview as well making predictions for the fall in the senate and the elections. thanks for watching fox news where more news is always on the way. imhe's chris wallace. president obama gives his state of the union address tuesday hoping to jump-start his second term. i want to work with congress whenever and wherever i can, but the one thing i'm emphasizing to all my cabinet members is we're not going to wait. we'll discuss the president's agenda, obamacare and more with white house senior advisor dan pfeiffer. then republicans set their sights on retaking the senate this november hoping to overcome the in-fighting that's plagued their party. >> we don't. need more class warfare and we don't need more interference from washington. >> we'll talk about the gop's
plan for 2014 with a top republican in the senate, mitch mcconnell. it's a fox news sunday exclusive. plus, growing signs hillary clinton plans to run for president. our sunday panel handicaps her chances. all right now on "fox news sunday." and hello again from fox news in washington. president obama says 2014 must be a year of action for the country. but that follows a year when his agenda went nowhere on capitol hill. here to preview tuesday's state of the union address is white house senior advisor dan pfeiffer. dan, welcome back to "fox news sunday." we hear tuesday night for the third straight year the president's main heem is going to going to be income inequality and building ladders of opportunity. here's what he said last year sglp it is our generation's task then to reignite the true engine of america's economic growth, a
work around congress more and to do more through executive action. >> i actually just take quick issue with what you just said there. you say nothing happened on manufacturing. it is true congress did not pass proposal we wanted but in our own we pulled money from the federal government. >> but the 15 he asked for -- >> two are in place, two are in the pipeline. we made some progress in the budget where we can with congress and acting on our own where we can. the way to think about this year we have divided government. the, congress is not going to rubber stamp the president's agenda. the president is not going to sign the republican congress' agenda so we have to find areas where we can work together. start by extending unemployment benefits for 1.6 million americans, pass a farm bill, pass immigration reform, infrastructure. there is a range of things we can do together. no one is going to get everything they want.
but also the president can say to the country he is not going to wait. he has a pen and a phone. he'll use those to move the ball forward to create opportunity. >> but presidents before -- ronald reagan, a number of them -- have dealt with congresses of the different party and have been able to get things through -- a lot of serious stuff through. why can't this president. >> we have made progress. we have a budget this year. the president has the legislative record that stands up to any affordable care act. wall street reform array of issues we've made progress on. last year the american people looked at washington with the shutdown, near default and were frustrated. its he's incumbent on all of us to try to rebuild that trust with the american people and make progress. what they want to see is progress. either in congress or from the president on his own. >> how much can you do? the big things you have to get legislation. that's the way the constitution is written. how much can you do through executive action? >> you can do a lot. two things from 2013 that don't
get enough attention. first the president put in place a climate action plan to reduce carbon pollution taking historic steps, something he did without congress. we also worked with the s.e.c. so that we have an instrument in place moving wireless access to 99% of schools in this country. that's something significant we did without congress. >> some experts say the real reason that you've got such income inequality is because of the weak obama economic recovery. let's take a look at some of the numbers there. since the president took office, median house hole income has dropped from $55,900 to $52,100. poverty has increased by 6.7 million to a record 46.5 million. participation in the laborforce has dropped to a 36-year low of 62.8%. wouldn't a stronger more robust
economy solve a lot of these problems the president is talking about? >> it this president inherited the worst economic situation since the great depression. a financial crisis. >> but the recession ended four years ago. >> yes. and we have created in the last 46 months 8 million jobs. unemployment rate has dropped to 6.7%. we're now producing more oil than before. american auto industry is number one in the world again. we are making progress but there is more are do. that's what you hear the president talk about. but it is important to remember what we're trying to do here is restore opportunity for all americans. grow the economy and create jobs. >> you talk about median household income down, laborforce participation down, food stamps up, poverty rate up. if things are are so great, how come they're so lousy? >> we've made tremendous progress but there's much more work to do. the president's always said that. the american businesses, american workers are doing the right thing. washington needs to help them and we have a series of proposals from last year and additional ones this year that will help -- these are things
that have been bipartisan in the past, like raising the minimum wage infrastructure. if congress would be able to do that, it would make real progress but we have to do it together. if congress doesn't act, the president will. >> one of the things people say is a drag on the economy is obamacare. i want to put up these numbers. according to a report last month, almost 400 businesses have cut workers and hours to avoid the employer mandate -- and major employers like target, home depot, wall green agreens they're going to drop part-time workers from health insurance and direct them to the obamacare exchange. question -- despite the president's promise, isn't it true that first you had millions of people who were -- lost their policies because they were in the individual market. now you are going to have people who are employed, part-timers or even some full-timers who are going to be thrown out of their health care plans that supposedly they liked and are forced into the exchanges because of obamacare.
>> two things. first, when we passed the affordable care act every republican said it would be a job killer. since it's been passed we've created 8 million jobs in this country for american businesses and workers. >> the plan didn't really go into effect until october. >> and -- >> and it won't delay the employer mandate for a year. >> long before the affordable care act businesses made decisions about what kind of coverage and who they would offer it to. what is different now is that if your employer decides to no longer offer coverage, you have guaranteed access to affordable health care. before affordable care act, if you had a pre-existing condition, you'd never have a chance for coverage. >> some of these companies that we're employing and giving health insurance to part-time workers are now going to drop them because of all the regulations, all the expense and it is going to be another case of millions of people who like their plan not being able to keep them. >> if you go back and read the papers for the last decade you will read stories every day of employers making the same
decision. what is different now is that if your employer makes that decision you have guaranteed access to affordable health care. >> you're not suggesting trader joe's and walgreens who just announced they'll throw people out into the exchange has nothing to do with obamacare? >> they can explain the reasons. if your employer makes the decision you have guaranteed access to affordable health care with better benefits than you had before. >> on friday the supreme court said the little sisters of the poor do not have to comply with the birth control mandate as long as they continue to pursue their legal challenge. does the white house insist that the nuns must sign a waiver, even though they say that this violates their religious beliefs? >> this is a matter before the court. the court is going to hear the case. we believe that our rules have struck the right balance here. we'll see what the court has to say. >> but the little sisters say -- and the court feels there is enough support for it -- that they have stayed the birth control mandate. they say -- little sisters do -- even signing a certification, even just saying we're not going
to do it but the third party, the insurance company, can do it, that violates their religious beliefs. >> well, the court specifically says in their order that this should not be read as -- to have any indication of their view of the merits. let's see what the court has to say. >> but you're going to continue to insist it this way. you're not backing off. >> no. there is a case before the court. they're going to rule. we've made our position clear and we believe we struck the right balance. >> your position is that the little sisters should have to sign that certification. >> yes. >> no change in that. >> no. >> okay. one area of possible progress this year is immigration reform and house republicans -- leaders -- it was a big kind of leak about it this weekend -- are apparently working on a plan in which they might offer legal status to the 11 million residents, undocumented workers who are here illegally, not a path to citizenship, except for young kids, the so-called dreamers, the ones brought here as children, but a legal status. is that a compromise the president would be willing to
accept? >> i think we should let the republicans put forward their plan. the president's been very clear about what he wants. he campaigned on it in 012. he supported the senate bill that supported a path to citizenship. we think it is progress that the republicans are going to put something forward. we know this is not easy for them, that there are some divisions in their party over it. see what they put forward and hopefully we come together with some progress. >> you're going to give them some space to work on this. this isn't something in the state of the union you'll beat up on them about. >> the president wants to see what they put forward -- he doesn't want an issue. he wants a solution. that's what you'll hear in the state of the union. >> you're senior advisor to the president. you're not saying we insist there has to be a path to citizenship -- >> we have been very clear about what we want. right? the president has been very clear. the american people support the president's position. let the house actually put the proposal forward, see what it actually says, not just what a leak says. then we go from there. >> congress did reach an agreement in december to keep the government from shutting down, a bipartisan budget
agreement. but the next big perils of pauline may be over the crisis over the debt limit. it has to be raised by late february in order to not go into default. republicans are talking about attaching something to it maybe a banning of any kind of bailout of the insurance companies or maybe repealing the medical device tax. would the president accept any policy tied to raising the debt ceiling or does it have to be absolutely clean as a whisle? >> our position is the same it was in october and the same it's been for more than a year which is the american people should have to pay their republican congress ransom from doing its job, which is paying the bills. spare the country the drama and economic damage of repeating the movie no one wants to see from october. >> are you saying speaking for the president, we'll veto it if the bill has any conditions attached? it has to be clean. >> i'm saying we're doing it the exact same way we've done it before which is we are not going
to pay them ransom. nothing's changing in our position. i hope the republicans follow the lead of your next guest, senator mcconnell, who said we won't go down this path down. >> thank you for that endorsement. we'll watch what the president says tuesday night. now that we've heard the white house agenda, time to hear from the gop. top republican in the senate, mitch mccobblnnell joins us her live next. what would you like to ask the minority leaders? we may use your question on the air. when you have diabetes like i do, getting the right nutrition isn't always easy. first, i want a way to help minimize my blood sugar spikes. then, a way to support heart health. ♪ and let's not forget immune support.
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but congressional republicans are held in even lower esteem by the public. joining us now to talk about the gop plan for country, the senate's top republican, mitch mcconnell of kentucky. senator, welcome back to fox news sunday. >> glad to be here, chris. >> you just heard the president's senior advisor, dan pfeiffer, talk about the president's agenda, what he wants to accomplish through congress, or as you says, increasingly through executive order working around congress. your reaction? >> well, now we're in the sixth year of the obama economy. more spending, more borrowing, more debt, more regulation. as was pointed out in your first segment, median house hole income down $2,300 a year during this period. family poverty statistics at the highest level since the statistics have been kept. i think it is time to go in a different direction and there are some job creating steps that he can take right now. he can approve the keystone
pipeline. can he work with us on trade agreements. my party is much more interested in global trade than the democrats are. if he would convince his own members, we can do some business on trade. he ought to stop things like the war on coal in my state which have cost us 5,000 jobs during his administration. >> what do you think about this idea this congress is just impossible, i'm going to do more through executive action. >> ronald reagan didn't think that and bill clinton didn't think that. frequently times of divided government are quite good times in terms of achieving things for the american people. this president it seems to me after the 2010 election when the american public issued a, shall we say, restraining order, the president has sort of hung out on the left and tried to get what he wants through the bureaucracy as opposed to moving to the political center. the kinds of things that i just outlined, chris, are things that we can do with him.
we're anxious to help him create jobs but we're not going to go over an endorse more spending, more debt, more tax and more regulations. >> the president's theme of income inquality, one is unemployment benefits. more than 1 million americans have lost their unemployment benefits since they ran out in december. senate republicans are saying, one -- not unreasonably -- you have to pay for it. if you're going to spend the money, find some other way to pay for it. you also want to support a bunch of other amendments. isn't that the same thing that makes your party look har hearted and. non-careing? >> i don't think so. you know how many republican roll call votes we've had since last july? four. the majority leader is using a device only occasionally used by previous majority leaders of both parties to prevent us from even offering our ideas. that's why the senate has been so dysfunctional over the last six months and even actually
prior to that. it's not inappropriate to have amendments. that's what we come to the senate to do, to offer amendments and suggestions. with regard to unploim, we're open to discussing that. we do think, as you suggested in your question, that we ought not add it to the national debt which is now as big as our economy which makes us look like a western european country. surely in a $3 trillion annual expenditure we can find a place to pay for an extended unemployment insurance. had is something we ought to be able to work out. >> the president also wants and i'm sure he'll call for it on tuesday to raise the minimum wage $10.10 an hour over three years. doesn't it make sense -- isn't it reasonable that somebody who's working full-time, 40 hours a week, should be able to live above the poverty line? >> yeah. but of course, the minimum wage is mostly an entry level wage for young people. we have a crisis in employment among young people right now. the generation 18 to 30, the
legislation passed in the last 50 years have been in conjunction with the debt ceiling. congressional review act. the clinton republican congress deficit reduction package in the late '90s that led to three years in a row of balanced budgets. t i think for the president to ask for a clean debt ceiling when we have a debt the size of our economy is irresponsible. so we ought to discuss adding something to his request to raise the debt ceiling. it produces at least something positive for our country. >> but you just heard dan pfeiffer say the president is where he
is and he's not going to bargain, he's not going to put something on the debt limit. the fact is -- they talk about the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over an over again and expecting a different result -- when you get in these crises, whether a government shutdown or possible default, the public tends to side with the president at a time when the president's
numbers are low, obamacare is creating a lot of concerns about this president, you really want to get in a fight over the debt limit? >> we tawant to try to accompli something for the country. any president's request to raise the debt ceiling, whether this one or previous presidents, is a good opportunity to try to do something about the debt. i think the president is taking an unreasonable position to suggest that we ought to treat his request to raise the debt ceiling like some kind of motherhood resolution that everybody just says aye and we don't do anything when we have this stag innocent economy and massive debt created under his administration. >> are you saying right here we are going to attach something to the debt ceiling? and if so, what? >> ima he saying we ought to attach something significant for the country to his request to increase the debt ceiling. that's been the pattern for 50 years, going back to the eisenhower administration. i think it is the responsible thing to do for the country and i think he is the one being irresponsible by saying, oh, just raise the debt ceiling, we're not going to do anything
about the debt or anything else that's important to the country. >> any specific idea? >> keystone pipeline. a good example of something that would create jobs for the american people. the house of representatives will initiate the discussion on the debt ceiling increase. they probably will have other ideas. >> how about banning any bailout, this affecting the risk corridors on obamacare? >> all of those would be important steps in the right direction. we need not have a default -- we never got a default. the speaker and i made that clear. we've never done that. but, it's irresponsible not to use the discussion -- the request of the president to raise the debt ceiling to try to accomplish something for the country. >> i know you like being senate minority leader. i know you would even prefer to be senate majority leader so let's talk about the playing field for the november election in 2014. democrats now have a 55-45-seat advantage but the democrats must
defend 21 seats in november, while republicans defend 15. how do you pick up a net of six seats which is what you're going to need, a net of six seats, when there are a number of tea party challengers who could win primaries, even unseed incumbents, but then be too conservative and too unelectable when it comes to november? >> well, you touch on an important point. in order to win in november you have to have an electable candidate. i'm very confident that in every single place where we have an opportunity for a pick-up we're going to have a very electable candidate, not just in the primary but in the general as well in west virginia, north carolina, louisiana, arkansas, south dakota, alaska, montana, michigan. all of those states we have very good candidates who can win elections. and, chris, the atmosphere for us is so good this fall that we're also stretching the playing field. we spent to be competitive in places like minnesota and new hampshire and colorado.
so i think it could be a very good year historically. the sixth year of a two-term presidency is not very good to the party of the president and we believe that, coupled with the fact that the locations of the races are in very red states. seven of of those states i mentioned, mitt romney, 6 of the 7 he carried by double digits. >> here's a question from david -- democratic bashing only appeals to your base. what is on the out to the undecideds and across the aisle? tell david briefly the positive gop agenda. >> look, we believe that the american people will understand by this fall that we are the party of the private sector. we've tried big government now for six years in a row. we know that doesn't work. we've had a tutorial, an experiment with spending and borrowing and taxing and regulating. i think the american people are now -- surveys indicate -- very skeptical of all of these
government solutions the president continues to offer and we're going to make the point that let's try the private sector for a while. let's make it easy to create jobs and opportunity for our people. the government is not going to get that job done. we've seen that. >> final question. you face your own tea party challenge in kentucky this spring. a fellow businessman named matt bevin who has a web ad up. here it is. ♪ >> i like the music. what do you make of matt bevin? >> look, i don't own the nomination of my party or the seat that the people of kentucky have given me and i fully intend to inmy pwin my primary.
he's making the argument that somehow i'm an obama enabler. i'm sure the white house is snigerring about that. republican voters in kentucky don't believe that. >> he's saying you have voted repeatedly to raise the debt ceiling. you voted for the wall street bailout so are you not a true conservative. >> i was 1 of 5 u.s. senators last year that got a perfect rating from the american conservative union. the argument that i'm some kind of liberal
is absurd and that will be rejected by the republican primary voters in kentucky on may 20th. >> senator mcconnell, thanks for coming in today. always a pleasure to talk with you, sir. up next, you our sunday panel and what they'll be wapg for in president obama's state of the union address. be sure to tell us what you think on facebook and share your favorite moments from today's show with our fns fans.
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. this administration's aagain did to create more government, more spending, more taxes and more debt has created an inequality crisis of opportunity in our country. those policies have been disproportionately hurtful to the poorest among us for the past five years. >> missouri senator roy blunt laying out the gop response to president obama's state of the union address even before it's delivered. it's time now for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. julie pace who covers the white house for the associated press. syndicated columnist george will, and former democratic senator, evan bayh. well, i went back this week and read president obama's state of the union's speech from last year and a couple of points. first of all, it sounded almost identical to what we hear is going to be in the speech this year. then secondly, as i discussed with dan pfeiffer, almost none of the items, the agenda items the president proposed, got through. so the question is what does the president hope to accomplish
tuesday? >> i've covered rel wewell in e of 30 of these state of the union addresses. i can remember very little about any of them. some moments had nothing to with the speech itself. one was an outburst in the audience. one was a comment from samuel alito. another was a guest in the gallery that ronald reagan had that started this whole guest in the gallery business. i don't expect this one to be particularly memorable. his agenda has basically been frozen since the republicans took control of congress in 2010. there's not he can do. that's why you hear him talking about pens and telephones because he can't get anything through congress. i expect it to be a minimal consequence and perhaps similar to what he's gone for in the past because he hasn't gotten any of that. >> by the way, fox news will be
covering the president's speech. that's not a very good preview of the speech. it is going to be exciting. we're going to want to see it and the republican response. julie, how much of an agenda does the president really think that he can get from either congress or through dan pfeiffer's now talk about doing it through executive actions? >> i think the without is realistic when it comes to their agenda with congress it is going to be very limited. they may have a chance on immigration reform. you start to see some pieces move on the republican side there. if anything big gets done this year on the hill, it is going to be immigration. they'll make a run at minimum wage. that's something that he announced last year in the state of the union that went nowhere. so then you have to look at executive actions. as i heard you say in the interview with dan, the problem with executive action sthaz they're inherently limited. so they can come out every week an say we're signing an executive order on this or we're convening college presidents or business leaders to take action on job training or the long-term unemployed. that's a way to show momentum but the actual result is going to be far smaller than what you
could do on capitol hill. >> so, george, how much of this exercise on tuesday night is just about the president trying to change the subject and change the american people's attention from obamacare and all the problems with that to the subject that worked so well for him in 2012 which is the middle class and supporting these build -- building these ladders of opportunity. >> yes. well, it is a lot of changing the subject but what kind of a ladder is he going to build? in baseball you play what's called small ball, stealing bailses, bunting when you can't do anything else. this is the miniaturization of the president's agenda. a 23rd increase in the minimum wage since 1938? it may and good thing, a bad thing, but it's of marginal importance to the economy and of no importance to the middle class. universal preschool which, as you say, he endorses last year. we've had almost 50 years of experience with head start. the government's own studies show that the benefits from universal preschool are a,
small, and b, limited. they're not just limited, as the supreme court is going to say several times this spring often unconstitutional. so the shrinkage of the obama presidency will be on display i think tuesday night. >> one area of possible compromise -- there were leaks all over the papers this weekend -- is that the republicans want to do something serious about immigration reform. it won't be comprehensive. it will be piecemeal but the idea is that there would be a path to legalization for the 11 million here illegally, not necessarily a path to citizenship except for the so-called dreamers, people that were brought here as children. first of all, why do you think the republicans clearly are putting this out there, and what do you think of the prospects that you'll get a deal? >> two things, chris. the republicans are putting it out there because they did very poorly among hispanic voters in the last election. i think they realized if they're going to gain a majority in the senate and regain the presidency eventually, they've got to get this issue off their back. so i think they will move forward in the house with a
somewhat smaller package. then that will put the ball in the white house's court. advocates for reform an change are going to be very unyielding so that the pressure is going to be on the white house. do they compromise, to really get something done which would be in the country's best interests or do you save this issue and use it as a political stick in the mid-term elections which i think many allies of the democratic side in congress would favor. what are the odds? in this congress, betting on anything getting done? less than 50% had-50%. more than anything else, in your sixth year it is not about what you say. it is about what you do. and so executive action and frame being the election, probably in populous terms, to try and keep the senate, because if the democrats lose the senate it will be a very long final two years for the president. >> let's talk about the election, because, brit, the republicans won a sweeping victory in 2010 talking about
obamacare and government overreach. the president won re-election in 2012 talking about this populous middle class, champion of these ladders of opportunity. if those are the competing narratives in 2014, obamacare on the one hand, champion being the middle class on the other, which is the stronger argument? >> well, obamacare is such a problem for so many people. and negative emotions tend to outweigh positive emotions in voting patterns. when you have a large segment of the population that has either been damaged by obamacare or fears it will be, and that is hanging around the neck of nearly every democrat running, particularly some of the vulnerable senators who are running for re-election. it creates tremendous gravity that i think will be hard to overcome. plups t plus the historical gravity of the president's party. democrats are running uphill,
the republicans downhill. >> you can see the president teeing up minimum wage, unemployment benefits, hard-hearted republicans. do they think that can work for them and be a counter to obamacare? >> one of the interesting things about this inequality, the republicans are talking about that too. republicans aren't running away from this. minimum wage, there's a lot of people on both sides of the aisle that think there is a chance that republicans might jump on minimum wage. it is something that some business leaders have said might not be a problem for them. but again, i think you will see both sides talking about this. it is just how they seem to want to address the problem that will be different. >> we have to take a break here. when we come back, two years ahead of the first primaries for 2016, growing signs hillary clinton will run again. our sunday panel handicaps her chances and reviews -- check it out -- this magazine cover which places clinton at the center of the universe. you won't want to miss it. [woman]ask me...
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i believe that women everywhere can be, and are, agents of change, drivers of progress, makers of peace, all we need is a fighting chance to show what we can do in every part of life. >> hillary clinton continuing to keep the door wide open to a run for president in 2016. we're back now with the panel. well, as we mentioned in the tease to the last commercial, the "new york times" has an interesting cover out today. please collection it out. yep -- "planet hillary," it says, with a variety of political factors and factions being held together by her
gravitational pull. george, what do you make of it as art and what do you make of it as political commentary? >> bad. both. is she going to run? fish got to swim, birds got to fly and clintons have to run for office. that's all they do. it is a metabolic urge. all they've done all their life is borrow money from rich people and seek office. "the new york times's" article is a guide to this. a problem with this, nothing is more annoying to voters an infuriating to activists than a candidate that comes cloaked in an aura of inevitability because it says, you don't matter, this is a foregone conclusion. their to say, well, we'll just see about that. the context she will be running in this 2016 is first toward the end of a lost decade of slow economic growth. b, in 2016 we'll have had three consecutive two-term presidencies. the last time we had that, the
only other time we had had that, was jefferson, madison and monroe, before the two-party system emerged. we've had a period of uncommon stability in the presidency and that makes it even less likely that we're going to give a third term to the same party. >> in addition -- let me ask you, i'm just thinking. after monroe, was it jackson? >> john quincy adams. >> so it was one term. there you go. i'm so ignorant, folks. i'm so sorry. in addition to the magazine article, there were a number of interesting stories out in the last week, julie. i want to talk about it. about big democrats joining the hillary clinton bandwagon and perhaps the most interesting was the fact that jim messina, the campaign manager for barack obama in 2012, has now become co-chair of the big hillary super pac called priorities usa. from your sources in the white house, any sense of how the president is reacting to the idea of all of these people of his team so early jumping on the hillary bandwagon and what about
poor old joe biden? is he feeling like he's being left out in the dust, in the cold? >> so i don't have a great sense of how the president himself is thinking about this but people around him in the white house and people who are close to him outside the white house, when you do talk to them, there is some sense of, maybe this is happening a little too early. part of the reason why they think it is, it is a money issue, priorities wants to be out there. they want to be able to start raising money now and hillary clinton is the big ticket in the democratic party so if they align themselves as her they see a way to start getting money into the coffers a little bit early. poor joe biden. he's sitting there saying i'm sitting vice president and everybody is already looking at me as plan b. if mshillary clinton does decid not to run, whoever becomes the nominee bsh whether joe biden or anybody else -- at this point is going to so clearly look like the "b" team, the second choice. how democrats try to frame that
i think will be pretty problematic. >> do you get the sense that there is going to be more to follow after jim messina, more of the obama team that helped him win in 2012? >> it is more than jim messina at this point. you have people doing digital outreach, people who are doing analytics and targeting who have also lined up. you do have a lot of people from the obama campaign who were good at the things that the hillary clinton 2008 campaign was not good at, some of the new technologies who are also lining up behind her. >> one of the things that hillary clinton is going to have this year is a new book that is supposed to come out this summer about her time as secretary of sta state. all of her purported triumphs. but she's also going to have to deal with another issue. take a look. >> the fact is we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make?
it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. >> brit, how big an issue do you think benghazi will be for hillary clinton? >> it is a little hard to tell but it's been remarkably persistent. it's stayed alive despite repeated efforts on the left and in the media so friendly to the left to declare it irrelevant and dead. the senate report that came out was very careful not to name her but it laid tremendous amount of blame to very high levels of the state department as it led to the death of the american ambassador and three others. i think it is an issue that's out there. if this were a case where she had a very large and long record of major diplomatic achievements, doctrines or whatever associated with her in her tenure as secretary of state it wouldn't matter so much. as it is, this is one of the foremost things we remember about her tenure as secretary of state, which is one reason why this needs to be a convincing book that's coming out to try to
document that you really did have some kind of record of doing something beyond setting records for travel. >> i want to pick up on that. seems to me another problem potentially for hillary clinton is her successor, john kerry, who's been kind of whirling d dervish on the diplomatic scene. could kerry's record at the end of three or four years make clinton's look much less impressive? >> he's showing a lot of energy and there may be some comparisons there but i think unless there is a dramatic change in circumstances in our country, this is going to be an election driven by economics, t particularly how it affects the middle class. jobs, cost of health care, retirement security, all those sorts of things. i just don't think absent some new information of some kind benghazi will be all that important, or, frankly, her tenure as secretary of state. think it is going to be where she wants to lead in the future,
how she's going to get there and i think she's got some advantages when it comes to that. >> do any of the four of you doubt -- we know what george has said quoting pore gy and bess, any of you doubt that hillary clinton will run? >> yeah, i do. there is a chance she will but there is a significant possibility she will not. we don't know much about her we don't know much about her age, health, such things we need to take things under consideration. >> and the former president's health could be an issue i suppose. >> that's true. >> and do any of you think she will face serious credible competition for the democratic nomination if she runs? >> she will face competition from the left. she is a unifying force. she has significant advantages. but she has other advantages. the electoral college tilts toward the democratic party now averse of what it was in
the 1970s and 1980s. unless the republicans figure out the disfunction at the heart of their party it gives the democratic nominee, particularly hillary clinton, a big advantage. >> george talked about inevitability at the start and that was one of hillary's problems in 2008. the american people don't like somebody who is walking in as the inevitable candidate. that will be the biggest thing for her to overcome if she does run. >> been there, done that. i saw this in indiana at the end of the primary process the last time she started off as the inevitable candidate. she saw that crash and burn. by the time she reached our state it was beyond that a and it was what can i do for people, for the middle class? she learned from that and won't make that mistake again. >> we have to step aside, but when we come back, the gop tries to come up with a winning formula to stop losing presidential elections.
reforms are coming to the nominating process. it is not the liberal media in the driver's seat. >> republican national committee chair announcing changes to the gop primary and convention calendar to try to help the gop take back the white house in 2016. we are back one more time with the panel. republicans are shortening their schedule, their calendar for 2016. they will start the primaries as late as february, and they will hold a convention as early as june or july. will that help them avoid a
bitter primary battle that forces the nominee further to the right? >> it will help them avoid the bitter primary battle they had the last time. they may have a different kind of bitter primary battle. what causes bitter primary battles are bitter divisions within the party represented by different candidates. i don't think you are going to have a repeat of what happened in 2012 where we had serial front runners almost week by week as they sorted through this whole deck of minor players before mitt romney who was sort of there from the beginning remained the last man standing as somebody said and won the thing. we don't anticipate that would happen. there is not enough time for that to happen. it is a reasonable thing to do, but they have to get their party united. that's the main thing they have to do. >> that's the point. it is not just mechanics. it is a message. one of the things the party has to find a better ability
to do is reach out to women and reach out to minorities. some people say that the gop stubbed its toe once again and comments by former by mike huckabee this week. take a look. >> the democrats want to insult the women of america by mabeling mabeling -- making them believe that they are helpless without uncle sugar coming in and providing a prescription for birth control because they cannot control their law be dough orie productive system without the help of the government, then so be it. >> now let's make it clear -- you are sitting there laughing. mike huckabee was accusing the democrats of doing that, but boy this is a tricky issue for republicans. >> it is. fortunately i only write about candidates and not give them practical advice. if i were i would say put a list in your pocket of words you should not say. there are two or three in huckabee's comments. just don't say them. even if you have a smart pot,
don't say them. this is becoming a narrative and no matter what you say, the democrats are going to jump on this and create an issue out of this. maybe it is early enough that it is a lesson learned. we'll see. >> george, how do you handicap the republican field at this early point? and is chris christie the legitimate front runner and these problems he is having? >> they will pass, but i think there is no front runner. i think the party will turn, usually does, to a governor. we talk about the problems the republican party, they have 30 governors, chris, that's the most since the 1920s. those 30 governors represent states with 315 electoral votes. that's more than needed to win. and 25 states there is a republican governor and both houses of the legislature. those states have 53% of the
american population. republicans at the state level are building a record and have mastered the art of communicating. the party is not talking about labidos all the time. >> so if you were going to say three people that you would put out there right now as top tier, who would they be? >> chris christie, mike penz, the governor of indiana and scott walker of wisconsin. >> what about rubio and cruz and rand paul? >> they are all in the race, but they have the defect of being senators who have never done anything larger than a senate office. >> and they are part of washington. >> what is your early morning line on the republican field? >> well, i agree with what george said. they would be best off nominating a governor because governors do things. they deliver results at a time when washington is not doing that. washington is dysfunctional. no one likes that. the heart of the problem for republicans is do they want to
be a governing party, a practical party? ronald reagan who was a staunch conservative says if i can get 80% of what i want i can pocket that. people say 100% or nothing or they insist on i'd logical impurity down the line. that's something that will have to be thought out. these changes they are making all good. as long as there is a handful of deep pocketed individuals it may be difficult. my bottom line is if you look at history and if you look at the economy it is a 51/49 election with advantage to the democrats assuming the republicans nominate a centrist governor. if they go tea party, hillary has a good chance. >> thank you, panel. now, this program note. we will see you next week live from super bowl xlviii at met life stadium in new jersey. we will sit down with nfl commissioner roger goodell and archie manning before the faceoff of the broncos and the seahawks that will be on fox.
that's it for today. have a great week, and we will see you next fox news sunday. >> fox news sunday is a presentation of fox news of the. this week on "the journal," editorial report" president obama's comments, do they fly in the face of the facts? and his own administration's policies? plus with opening ceremonies less than two weeks away, security concerns playing the sochi olympics. so how real are the threats? and feeling the obamacare heat as mid-terms approach, vulnerable democrats are running against the unpopular law. will their strategy work? >> welcome to "the journal editorial report." president obama causing a firestorm this week with his comments on marijuana.