In this Fox News Sunday Show With Chris Wallace: Sens. Corker, Reed talk turmoil in Egypt; Gov. Perry on polls, political future, abortion battle in Texas
JOHN ROBERTS, GUEST HOST: I’m John Roberts, in for Chris Wallace.
Turmoil in transition turned deadly in Egypt. It exposed a deep divide in the Arab world.
ROBERTS: The country’s first democratically elected leader forced from office, the military now in control, and the path forward unclear — as the U.S. walks a fine line with our largest Arab ally.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We’re on the side of the Egyptian people. We want their voices to be heard. We want all sides to engage with each other and work through a political solution.
ROBERTS: We’ll discuss with two key senators: Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Jack Reed.
Then, the battle over abortion in Texas.
STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS, D-TEXAS: The people who were here have really been fed up watching what’s happened by the governor.
GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: They’ll resort to mob tactics to force their minority agenda on the people of Texas.
ROBERTS: We’ll talk with Governor Rick Perry about his efforts to pass one of the toughest abortion laws in the land.
Plus, the delay of a key component of Obamacare, the employer mandate. We’ll ask our Sunday panel what it means for the president’s signature domestic issue.
All, right now, on “Fox News Sunday.”
ROBERTS: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
We will get to the situation in Egypt in a moment, but first, the latest on that deadly crash landing in San Francisco.
A National Transportation Safety Board team arrived early this morning to begin its investigation in the crash of Asiana Flight 214. The Boeing 777 slammed into the runway on Saturday morning, killing at least two people and injuring dozens more.
Our Adam Housley is at San Francisco International Airport and joins us with the very latest on the crash.
Good morning, Adam.
ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
Yes, the California NTSB team was here within hours and joined by the Washington, D.C. team overnight. They had a chance to get out there and get a preliminary look as their investigation is now well underway. They tell us that two black boxes have been recovered in very good condition. They’ve already been flown back to Washington, D.C. and are being analyzed and will help guide their investigation.
They also tell us when you look at that fuselage, when you look at that wreckage, it is amazing that so many people walked away from that crash unharmed. In fact, take a listen to one of the survivors. He tells quite a tale.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN LEVY, ASIANA FLIGHT 214 PASSENGER: (INAUDIBLE) that thing was cracked on the right side, but we managed to open the door. Somebody helped me push it out. There were slides, when I looked outside, I could see debris. But somebody (INAUDIBLE) it looked like a slide (ph) or piece of the wing so people could actually step on this and then go down further.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOUSLEY: Now the two victims were two teenage girls from China. They were Chinese nationals. They were on their way to Los Angeles through San Francisco as part of a summer camp.
Their bodies were found outside of the plane. We’ve not been told as to what caused their deaths. The rest of their group did survive the crash and is here in San Francisco.
There are a number of people being treated at nine different area hospitals. There are also a number of people in critical condition. Those numbers continue to fluctuate.
As for the investigation going back to that, the NTSB says they’ll be here for probably a week before they have it all cleaned up and before San Francisco International Airport gets back to normal — John.
ROBERTS: As you said, Adam, when you look at the remains of that aircraft, it is remarkable that so many people got out alive.
Adam Housley for us in San Francisco International Airport — Adam, thanks.
ROBERTS: Now to the situation in Egypt. President Obama again condemning the violence there but reiterating that the United States is not taking sides.
FOX News correspondent Greg Palkot is in Cairo with the latest developments for us this morning — Greg.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John.
Rival camps here in Cairo are gearing up for more protests, including in Tahrir Square, just behind me, as more violence is feared as well. Just about a few miles from where we are right now, there was a large gathering of supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. They are calling for his reinstatement and they are telling activists they’ll lay down their lives for him. Those backing what some call a military coup here are also organizing.
So far there have been dozens killed. Over a thousand injured.
This amid turmoil inside the military led interim government, after confirming to FOX News and others last night that the former U.N. nuclear watchdog agency chief, Mohamed ElBaradei would be the new prime minister, the authorities seep to have walked back from that, apparently Islamists and the new government alliance are upset with his secular credentials. We’re waiting on more word on that.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is taking heat from both sides, highlighted by a very angry protest outside the American consulate in Alexandria. Those favoring acts (ph) that President Morsi feel that the U.S. must have OK’d a military and those backing change feel that Washington supported Morsi for too long.
Finally, a burial today of a Coptic Christian priest. He was shot and killed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula over the weekend.
There are fears of an uptick in sectarian violence. The Morsi- led government was accused of allowing attacks against Christians, Islamists also allegedly attacked a natural gas pipeline in the Sinai as well today.
Trouble on a lot of fronts, John.
ROBERTS: Greg Palkot for us this morning from Cairo — Greg, thanks so much.
Joining us now with how the U.S. should respond to Egypt — Senator Bob Corker. He is the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. He joins us from Afghanistan this morning.
And Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat. He is a member of the Armed Services Committee and joins us from his home state of Rhode Island.
We should point out just for our viewers’ sake, that there will be a significant delay in our communications with Senator Corker because of the satellite hops that it takes to get to Afghanistan.
And, Senator Corker, let’s start with you.
You heard about what our correspondent had to say about the mass demonstrations today. Are you worried about a further escalation of violence Egypt? And what are the possible consequences if there is an escalation?
SEN. BOB CORKER, R-TENN.: I think there’s no question. I received a call late last night from the administration, and I know they’re involved in trying to calm all both sides. I think that’s what our role should be right now, John, as obviously something has happened that is going to provoke a lot of unrest for some time. It has implications in other parts of the region.
But what we should be doing right now is urging calmness, urging the military to move through this civilian process as quickly as possible, to ask the Muslim Brotherhood to act with some degree of responsibility as it relates to what’s happening.
But our role right now should be one of applying calm, trying to get our partners in the region to do the same thing. Obviously, there’s been a lot of problems in Egypt for a lot of time. People are frustrated with that. Our role should be to help in every way we can, to preserve a more calm atmosphere as they try to move through this very treacherous environment right now.
ROBERTS: Senator Reed, you heard what Senator Corker had to say. He thinks that we should appeal to the Muslim Brotherhood to show responsibility there. It would appear, though, that they do not want to listen to us.
Muhammad Badie, who was the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood said, quote, “May the Lord destroy secular opponents of Islam.” Islamic militants killed several members of the Egyptian military. They’re protesting outside of our consulate in Alexandria. There’s talk of possible civil war there.
Is anybody, do you think over there, with the exception of the people trying to put together the government, willing to listen to the United States?
SEN. JACK REED, D-R.I.: I do (ph). I think there are many who are willing to listen to the United States. I concur with Bob’s assessment. We have to be a force of stability, for support, for a very quick transition to fully elected democratic government. So the military has to be clear what their team table is and they have to be inclusive.
One of the problems with Morsi, he was increasingly exclusive. He was increasingly authoritarian. And that view is not going to work for the people of Egypt nor is it going to work for the people of the United States. And in addition to that, we have to engage regional powers, particularly with economic assistance to Egypt.
One of the courses of this popular turmoil was the terrible economic situation as well as the increasing isolation of Morsi from the mainstream of Egyptian politics. So there are people listening. And I think they will be responsible. Ultimately, though, this will be the Egyptians’ task, to create a government that is stable, productive and protect the people of Egypt.
ROBERTS: Senator Corker, do you brief that the president has been handling this appropriately? He’s come out. He said he is not taking sides here. He has issued some admonitions and warnings to the Egyptian government, but at the same time, he cannot be sad that Morsi is gone.
Do you think he’s handling it correct?
CORKER: You know, I’m in a country right now where what we wish to happen and what happens isn’t always the same. I just came from Pakistan where numbers of issues exist there. And things that we would like to occur don’t always occur.
So I think sometimes people think that just because we are in fact the greatest nation on earth today, that because we want something to happen it will. I think, again, urging calm. We need to remember that the reason we conduct foreign policy, the reason people like me are here and Jack and others do the same thing is we’re trying to project our nation’s national interest.
And what we need to look at here is what is in our national interest. And calm in that area, obviously, Egypt braking apart is not good for the allies that we have. We do have some treaties that are in place that are very important. We need to keep that in mind.
So, again, I don’t know what else our nation can do at this time other than to urge the military to move along in a responsible way, to urge all parties to recognize that they’ve been part of this process. It’s broken down.
We can assess what’s happened down the road and who caused all of this to occur, but at present, as a nation, these people who run for office, these parties who have been created to move this country apart, need to realize that right now, breaking that apart is not in their interest, certainly, it’s not in our interest. And at present, I’m not sure what else the United States can do other and trying to be a calming voice in doing the same with the rest of the neighborhood.
ROBERTS: Senator Reed, one thing that is talked about that the U.S. could do is cut off aid to Egypt’s military. The president has stopped short of calling this a military coup. American law would demand — require that if the president State Department did declare this a military coup, that aid be cut off.
And certainly, Senator McCain and Senator Leahy have said they think that we should cut off aid.
In fact, let’s play what Senator McCain said on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: We have to suspend aid to the Egyptian military, because the Egyptian military has overturned the vote of the people of Egypt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Senator Reed, Senator McCain, quietly there by inference said this was a military coup. Do you agree?
REED: Well, this is a very unusual situation, if not unique. You have military forces acting to essentially carry out widespread popular views in the country against a regime that was becoming increasingly authoritarian.
ROBERTS: But at the same time, a regime that was democratically elected.
REED: Indeed, it was democratically elected. But what was happening and I think this was best manifested by the people of Egypt, is they were growingly concerned about the direction of this government.
And I think on a practical basis, we have to look and ask the very simple question: will cutting off aid accelerate or enhance the opportunities and the chances to have a truly democratic government? I don’t think so.
I think, also, there are other strategic issues at play. One is the transit of the Suez Canal, a stable relationship between Egypt and the state of Israel, also ongoing counterterrorism activities.
I think we have to be very, very careful in terms of suspending aid or cutting it off.
I think what we have to do is insist that the military have a very rapid, very clear timeline, pathway to democratic elections, that there’s full participation in these elections, and that we also engender much more economic support, not from the United States, from the international community to assist the emerging and hopefully very quickly emerging democratic government in Cairo.
ROBERTS: I want to move on to another topic of health care in just a second, but, Senator Corker, I want to ask one more question.
A lot of conservatives warned the president back in 2011 about the rush to throw Hosni Mubarak overboard. That the transition to election should have been slower, should have led opposition parties together more strength.
Do you think it was a mistake to rush to throw Mubarak overboard two years ago?
CORKER: I do think that our nation sometimes thinks that going to the ballot box is democracy. And I do think that there is a rush from time to time to try to move countries in that direction too quickly.
I don’t think Egypt is mature yet in that regard. And I think we need, this right now is an excellent opportunity, another chance for us to work with them in that regard.
But let me go back to the aid issue if I could, briefly.
CORKER: Part of the aid that we supply is in support of the treaties. And, again, we need to look at our national interest. There will be plenty of time to assess the aid issue. You know, it seems like Washington always wants to jump to something that really in many cases that at this moment doesn’t matter. The aid doesn’t flow on a daily basis. We’ll have plenty of time to assess that. And it seems to me that what we should be looking at is how the military and how the country itself handles this transition. We need to encourage that.
I think trying to jump to what we’re going to do relative to support at this moment is not the place that we need to be.
ROBERTS: All right. Let me jump to health care now if I could now.
And, Senator Reed, to you, the employer mandate being delayed a year from 2014 to January 1, 2015. Is the whole Affordable Care Act in jeopardy now?
REED: No. Not at all. This was a response to concerns, principally among the business community, that the information and the operational details would not be there.
And as a result, I think the administration wisely decided to postpone for one year the mandate on employers. The exchanges go into effect in October. The coverage goes into effect. And indeed, what they’ve done, really, affects a very small minority of businesses throughout the country.
But I think —
ROBERTS: Right. But, Senator, this is supposed to all work together economically, the individual mandate coupled with the employer mandate. Now, you’re taking one piece of that away. Does that throw a mess into the whole economics of this? And people have been complaining about that anyway.
REED: Well, I don’t think it does. I think the key factor is effectively recruiting individuals to join the exchanges, to make the exchanges attractive to companies who might want to come in and get their insurance through these exchanges. We’re really talking about a very small fraction of companies.
In fact, the vast majority of companies in this category provide health care already and they’ll continue to so.
But I think given the potential confusion, postponing it, not eliminating it, but postponing it for a year makes sense. In fact, this was one of the major concerns of the business community, and in fact, the administration is responding to those concerns.
ROBERTS: And Senator Corker, opponents of the Affordable Care Act is saying, well, let’s not stop at delaying the implementation of the employer mandate. Let’s repeal that part of the bill. Would you support that?
CORKER: Well, John, I think the point you made earlier is dead on. The all these things are tied together. And I don’t know how you could create a mechanism that has more downward pressure on employment than this health care bill. I mean, what it’s doing to part-time workers, meaning driving people to the part-time effort, we’ve seen that most recently in our payroll numbers.
What it’s doing to keep employers from bringing on any kind of employee. It’s been very damaging. And I think just moving it back a year is not going to undo the uncertainty that people have. So I think the administration is recognizing that this policy is very damaging to the employment in our nation.
And I’m glad they’ve taken this step. And yes, there’s many other pieces of this if not all I’d like to see undone. And let’s put something together that actually promotes economic growth in our nation, certainly gives people access to health care.
To me, this was not the way to do it. Jack’s aware. There was supposed to be a technical corrections bill at the end of this that never occurred.
And what we’re seeing right now is the many flaws coming out in this piece of legislation.
So, yes, I’m glad this has been put off, but I don’t think it’s going to undo the uncertainty that many businesses across our nation have, nor do I think it’s going to do anything relative to the cap that it’s putting on employment right now, that we’re seeing play out each month when we see the employment numbers released.
ROBERTS: We’ll mark that down as a vote in favor of repeal.
Senator Reed, a quick response from you, if we could, from what the senator just said and how do you implement the individual mandate while at the same time delaying the employer mandate, could not in the year between those two things, a lot of employers dump their health care, dump these employees into these private exchanges as opposed to providing health care for them?
REED: Well, first, I think the majority of the companies already provide health care. And they’ll continue to that for business reasons, because they believe that their employees rather should have good health care coverage.
I think this delay will give some companies the opportunity to assess what they want to do, and it will give the government the opportunity to be better in terms of reporter requirements. The overall thrust of the legislation is going forward. In my state, Rhode Island, it’s got great momentum in terms of establishing these changes, making sure that people have coverage.
We already have seen many benefits from Affordable Care. Parents can keep their children on the plan until they’re 26. There are many things.
And I think also, too, in context of jobs we’ve seen another job growth this reporting period. And we have to continue that. I think really, if we want to talk about job growth, we have to talk about more infrastructure, more stimulus. I think the affordable health care system is on a path to take off on Time this fall.
ROBERTS: All right. Well, at least part of it will, not the employer mandate.
Thanks very much, Senators, for joining us today.
REED: Thank you.
ROBERTS: We’ve very much appreciate it. We’ve apologized for the delay between Washington and Afghanistan this morning.
Coming up next, Texas Governor Rick Perry, he’s going the longest serving governor in state history. And now, he is poised to make an announcement about his political future. It all comes as he finds himself in a heated debate over abortion laws.
The governor joins us next.
ROBERTS: The longest serving governor in Texas history is set to reveal his future political plans tomorrow in San Antonio. Governor Rick Perry’s announcement comes in the middle of a session to deal with an abortion bill filibustered to death by Democrats.
Governor Perry joins us now from Austin.
Governor Perry, it’s good to see you.
You’ve got this big announcement coming up tomorrow. A lot of talk that you will not stand for a historic fourth term as Texas governor. Will you or won’t you?
PERRY: I think — well, I suppose you need to be there in San Antonio tomorrow and find out with everyone else.
ROBERTS: All right. So, let’s look at the tea leaves. A recent poll by Democratic-leaning PPP polling group finds 60 percent of Texans don’t think you should run again. I’m wondering, does that factor into your decision? I know that you’ve won in challenging times before. But does take a little bit of the fire out of your belly?
PERRY: Not at all. You know, polls are polls. And as a matter of fact, I think it was four years ago that showed us 25 points down to a sitting United States senator.
And the fact is that hadn’t got anything to do with what our focus is. I’m going to have an announcement tomorrow.
But we have a special session with some important issues in front of us. We’re going to pass some restrictions on abortion in Texas so that Texas is a place where we defend life. I mean, that’s the powerful message here. And that’s what we’re focused on. Politics will take care of itself.
ROBERTS: All right. But you do also have this special, exciting announcement about your future tomorrow that I do want to come back to in a second. But let’s talk about that special session and the abortion bill coming up again. We all know what happened to that, when it was filibustered by Wendy Davis in the closing hours of the special session.
What are you doing this time around to ensure that that doesn’t happen again? Because a lot of conservatives were very angry about the way that was handled.
PERRY: Yes. You know, it never happened before. When you look at Texas history, people have relayed to me that never in the history of Texas have they seen that type of a mob rule come in and discombobulate a legislative session.
And Texans want to protect life. And that’s the bottom line here.
And so, calling another special session. We can be in and out of here in 10 days, get our work done, get a transportation bill that was also killed, and another juvenile justice bill addressed.
So, they’re going to have hearings tomorrow. I full well expect the legislature to manage this in an appropriate way, get it done way before the 30-day of the legislation runs out in special session.
ROBERTS: Now, you’re also suspending the rule, which would require two-thirds approval to bring up debate.
But let me ask you about the comment you just made there. You said “mob rule”. And that is a quote and a characterization that you have used before.
Senator Davis stood up and filibustered under the rules, a bill. Does a filibuster constitute mob rule?
PERRY: Oh, not at all. And I think you’re misrepresenting what I’m saying here. It was the gallery that was out of control. Literally out of control, with no ability to hear what was going on on the Senate floor. I think anyone who watched that would consider that to be mob rule. And to do it with the express purpose of running out the clock, if you will. That’s what occurred. Filibusters happen all the time. And I suspect if somebody wants to try to filibuster again, they’re certainly welcome to do that.
The rules were followed on the Senate floor. It was the decorum of the Senate chamber that was put in bad light, and frankly, I would suggest that the Senate officials will not let that happen again.
ROBERTS: All right. What about the Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst? He has seemed to be a little chagrined at how that was handled. What will he do to ensure that the gallery does not try to take over the floor?
PERRY: Well, again, it never happened, the best I can tell, in Texas history has that ever happened. My sources relay that nothing like that has ever happened in Texas history.
And the lieutenant governor, I’m sure, was as shocked as anyone. And I’m also very confident that he’s making arrangements if people want to come and disrupt the democratic process that they will be escorted out of the chamber appropriately.
ROBERTS: After the filibuster and the death of the bill, you took what a lot of people saw as a personal swipe against Senator Davis at the National Right to Life Conference. Let me just play that and I’ll ask you about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential, and that every life matters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Your comments, Governor, were very popular among the audience in attendance.
But even Republican House Speaker Joe Straus took exception to what you said. He said, quote, “When he, Perry, crosses the line into the personal, then he damages himself and he damages the Republican Party.”
In hindsight, do you regret your comments? And do you think that if you decide to run for president again in 2016, that those comments could hurt you with independent women?
PERRY: Actually, those comments were meant to be a compliment to her for what she had accomplished in her life, and you think about where she came from, what she’s accomplished. And as a matter of fact, I would think that she’s very proud of that as well.
My point was that saving a life and letting that life come to its fulfillment and all the good things that happened, you never know when who’s going to be considered to be an extraordinary individual who’s going to make that real impact and life. And that was our point that we were making, and nothing else, nothing more.
ROBERTS: So, why do you think it was seen so differently by so many people, including the Republican speaker of the Texas House?
PERRY: You know, I think this is such a volatile issue that people are grasping on to anything that they can criticize and not focusing on what’s really at hand here. And the taking of life after 20 weeks is what this is about — the killing of babies that are viable outside their mom’s bodies after 20 weeks is what this is about.
A lot of folks really don’t want to talk about that. They would like to focus on practically anything rather than to say we support that process. ROBERTS: There is talk, Governor, that Florida Senator Marco Rubio may sign onto a national bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks. Is that is what is needed in your estimation, a national bill? Or should this be handled at the state level?
PERRY: Well, I’m a big believer that the states are where these issues are best handled. I think it’s the more efficient way. If someone want does go with a national bill or even a constitutional amendment, that’s their right. And it just takes a long time.
In Texas, we’re going to support protecting life. We’re going to stand up and say that after 20 weeks, we are not going to allow abortion in our state. We’re going to make sure that these health clinics are safe, that they are under the safety standards that any other surgical facility would be under, and that doctors have admitting procedure practices in place so that they can look after someone if that procedure goes bad.
So, those are common sense approaches. Ten other states have that as well. So this is going to pass, and, you know, I’m pretty good at counting votes. And I think the support is overwhelmingly there in the House and the Senate, and we will get this done and get Texas back focused on the economic interests that are going on and creating jobs and leading the nation in job creation.
ROBERTS: So you think this is a done deal, which then gives me a little bit of leeway here to come back to your future political plans. And one of the things that I am wondering about is, somebody who is seen as a good Republican candidate for governor there in Texas is the Attorney General Greg Abbott. He has amassed the fortune of more than $18 million at the last count to make a run, and he has said that he will not run against you in a primary. Are your plans to clear the decks for Attorney General Abbott to run for governor?
PERRY: Well, again, I just give you a little advice tomorrow in San Antonio, I’ll announce my plans and at that particular point in time we can expand on that.
ROBERTS: Would you think that General Abbott would make a good governor?
PERRY: I think tomorrow afternoon I will be more than happy to discuss what his future plans would be and/or mine.
ROBERTS: Let’s talk about 2016. Do you want to take another run at the president?
PERRY: Well, certainly, that’s an option out there, but, again, we got a lot of work to do in this building right behind me over the course of the next couple of weeks that have my focus substantially more than even 2014 or 2016.
ROBERTS: With the exception of the time that you’ll take out tomorrow to talk about your political future, which brings me to another point, Governor, if I could, a new poll from the University of Texas in “The Texas Tribune” shows that Texans preference for president, more — they run more to the direction of Ted Cruz if he decides to run. Their polls show that he would beat you by 15 points, also says that he has a substantial margin among conservatives, including people who describe themselves as very conservative. And he beats you 40-2 on the Tea Party front. He is seen as the true conservative there in Texas. Do you have some work to do win back conservatives to say Rick Perry is the guy you want to have in the White House?
PERRY: Well, the work that needs to be done is right here in this building behind us. And, you know, polling for an election that’s better than two years off is, I suppose good for polling companies, but frankly, it’s not much good — and I don’t get distracted by those. My work is behind me to make sure that innocent life is protected in the state of Texas, to make sure that women get the healthcare that they deserve in these clinics, and to make sure that this is done safely and appropriately. That’s what we’re focused on. That’s where we’re going to be. And the politics will play itself out over the next two and a half years before 2016 shows up.
ROBERTS: So, let me ask then, Governor, to close here, what might be an obvious question at this point. You say that the work is going on behind you in the Texas legislature. Why are you taking the time from that to go to San Antonio to talk about your political future?
PERRY: People can multitask rather well. And, so San Antonio’s 75 miles. Come on down to Texas, and I’ll show you how easy you can roll down that road and back.
ROBERTS: I’ve done it many, many times. Governor Rick Perry, thanks for joining us, and we’ll be watching tomorrow afternoon, 1:00, in San Antonio. Which is a great city by the way, thanks.
PERRY: You’re welcome. So long.
ROBERTS: Coming up next, turmoil in Egypt. Now that the military has overthrown the nation’s first democratically elected government, what does that mean for the future of U.S. aid? We’ll ask our Sunday panel when we come back.
ROBERTS: A fiercely divided Egypt. The supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi vowed to remain the streets until the Islamist leader is returned to office, but opponents have also dug in and are calling for more mass rallies like the ones that led to Morsi’s removal by the powerful military.
It is time now for our Sunday group. Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst, Nina Easton of Fortune magazine. Former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Fox News Political analyst Juan Williams. Good morning to you all.
Brit Hume, jump on that — how does this all turn out? Is this going to embolden the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic militants?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don’t think we have any way of knowing right now. This is completely up in the air as a jump ball would suggest. And I would say that the question for Americans is whether this administration’s policy is designed to bring about the desired outcome, which would be a kind of a peaceful and stable Egypt on the path to democracy. You know, the president said the other day, John, that speaking of this military coup, and that’s what it was, that this is part of the “transition to democracy.” When the military throws an elected leader out of office and takes charge of the government and begins locking up the leaders of the previous government and its, you know, and its adherents, that’s a very peculiar way to describe it to call it part of the transition to democracy, so — and let’s suppose, for example, we ended up with Mohamed ElBaradei. And people speaking in …
ROBERTS: That’s not going to happen.
HUME: No, well, it looks like it’s not as final as it looked yesterday. But here’s a man who has been no great friend of the United States. He has been — when he was head of the U.N. weapons agency he gave us fits in the effort to deter Iran from its nuclear program. Just to say one example, it’s a kind of an international bureaucrat that some people love. But so there are a lot of bad outcomes here. And it’s not at all clear to me we can get to a good one. But we need to figure out as a nation and as an administration what’s really going on over there.
ROBERTS: Yeah, how do you think the president’s been handling this?
NINA EASTON, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: Well, he’s been handling it by saying we’re not taking sides. And perhaps we should be asking the question, should you be taking the side of democracy. Yes, Morsi was inept, yes, he was not an inclusive, he was very — he had a lot of authoritarian tendencies, but to turn to the army, which is what — which is what happened in Egypt and which this administration stood by and let happen, what the army takes it can give away. So it can, it can depose the next government if there’s popular uprising after that. And that’s likely going to happen. This is a country with a dysfunctional economy, all sorts of problems, corruption. And it doesn’t have a history of civil liberties, in which, by the way the army reflects that behavior as well.
ROBERTS: I’ll give folks a little glitch behind the curtain, every Saturday we have called with the panelist, we talk about these topics, and Dennis Kucinich, you had an interesting theory about what might have happened here based on the prevalence of Egyptian military in the building right behind me on Capitol Hill.
DENNIS KUCINICH, FORMER U.S. REP. (D-OH): Through 16 years in Congress, the only military which consistently visited my office and I would say, I wasn’t — had been of a special privilege or all over Capitol Hill, the Egyptian military. Now why did they do that? Because the Egyptian military gets more than 70 percent of the U.S., of its budget comes from U.S. taxpayers. So we have an enormous influence on what the Egyptian military does. And to pretend that the White House is staying aloof from this doesn’t pass the straight face test, frankly. So we have to understand that we are playing a role here. That there was a military coup. That the military is getting backed financially, by the U.S. And unless as Senator John McCain said, that we pull that aid, we will have been instrumental in helping not just this coup but as Nina implies, perhaps the next one. We cannot tell Islamists that we want them to pursue democratic traditions if, in fact, when a democratically elected government, who happens to believe in Islam is suddenly dislodged in a coup by a military, which is strongly backed by the United States.
ROBERTS: So, Juan, should we pull our aid from Egypt’s military?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: No. I think that would be self-defeating. Obviously, we want to exercise the leverage we have there. The reason that we give the Egyptians so much military aid is, in fact, because it’s in our national interest. It’s in our national interest in terms of looking at that region, looking at Israel, trying to hold off what’s taking place in Syria, what’s taking placed in Iraq. Absolutely, it is the case that Egypt is an important ally to the United States. That’s why we need it to be stable. But let’s not, you know, have any illusions here. While Brit may think that ElBaradei is no friend to the United States, the Islamists in Egypt see him as a secularist, a guy who spent most of his time in the west, in New York and London. And they fear him. That’s why yesterday, they said they’d pull out of any coalition if ElBaradei was part of it. So from our perspective, the U.S.’s perspective, ElBaradei is better than having some of these Islamists take power again. I think, you know, the problem for the Islamists is, they haven’t demonstrated the capacity to govern. And I think that’s what the Egyptian people say.
ROBERTS: But neither have any of these opposition parties either. Because they are so horribly organized, they couldn’t get it together …
EASTON: Juan, the only institution that has the ability to govern there is the army, which is hugely popular. And that’s the institution that’s been in power. And that’s the institution that the public has turned to, to guide a democracy, which is probably not the direction you want to go if you really want a democracy. This — if you’re not going to use military aid as leverage to move a country towards a democracy, an inclusive democracy, what are you, you’re just not going to have any leverage? You’re not going to use your leverage?
WILLIAMS: That’s what I’m saying. I think we have to use our leverage. That’s why I say. I don’t have the kind of inhibitions that I’m hearing from some of you about saying to the military here is what’s in the U.S. interest. We as Congressman Kucinich said, we put money in there, and we put it in for a very real reason, which is that we want input. It’s time to exercise it. We’ve got a new team in place at the White House with Rice, Hagel and Kerry. And they are trying right now — they tried to get Morsi to make a deal to be more compromising. He refused. Don’t mistake it. He’s not a good guy.
HUME: Whether we should make the decision to cut off aid now or to keep it going, is two sides of the same coin. It is a way of exercising the influence that the aid provides. Something we apparently have failed to do during Morsi’s reign, and believe me, Morsi and his government and military were just as dependent on the aid as any current or future government will be. So, and remember, that a lot of that aid has to do with the treaty, particularly, the treaty with Israel, which was a milestone, and very critical in the Middle East and has definitely helped. So if we’re going to cut off aid, we have got to be careful about how we do it, which aid we cut off and so on. But it seems to me that it’s the right call to try to use the leverage one way or the other, to try to bring about some — to get the country, actually, on a path to democracy.
ROBERTS: Let me jump in here. Because let’s leave (inaudible) for the discussion on this. Let’s leave that for Panel Plus coming up after the show. We’re going to take a break here. But coming up, is Obamacare in trouble? The one year delay of the employer mandate was just the latest nag in the implementation of the president signature healthcare law. We’ll ask our panel about the impact of the surprise announcement coming up next.
ROBERTS: Obamacare back in the headlines after the administration announced a decision to delay requirements for some businesses to provide healthcare to their employers or face fines. And that’s raising more questions about other parts of the law, including the future of the individual mandate. We’re back now with the panel, another jump ball. So, is this the beginning of the end for the Affordable Care Act? Actually, Congressman, why don’t you jump? KUCINICH: Well, if you — we have to focus on what the insurance companies are doing. Insurance companies have had a 16.1 percent return on their investment or equity. Insurance companies are raising their premiums. So they are helping to transform the Affordable Care Act to the unaffordable care act.
ROBERTS: Let’s mark down the date and time, a Democrat calling it the unaffordable care act.
KUCINICH: Well, you know, it had some good things — preexisting conditions, we know about that, getting children under 26 on their parents’ policies, these are things that are good there. But ultimately, the inherent flaw is this is a system, a for-profit system, run by the insurance companies. The government is ending up subsidizing insurance companies. And ultimately we’re going to have to go to Medicare for all, which will be good for businesses and good for everyone, because the costs will be lower, and we wouldn’t be cutting into jobs and working hours, and other things.
EASTON: Single payer, which is what President Obama …
EASTON: Way, way, way, way back.
EASTON: But I think, you know, I think this does, at least, open the way, it’s not the end of the Affordable Care Act, but it does open the door to changes in things like the business mandate, which, the pushing it back was responding to a revolt by businesses, particularly in agriculture, in retail and in restaurant business where they rely on a lot of part time employees, and they were holding down employment and they were holding down the number of full time employees and so I think it was a revolt that you even saw Senator Corker this morning saying, let’s take a look at it and possibly change it.
ROBERTS: Could there be a move afoot to repeal this mandate, the employer mandate? And then if you do that, how does the rest of it work?
HUME: I think there’s a good chance that the employer mandate never takes effect. That — put …
ROBERTS: Then how do you implement the rest of it?
HUME: Well, that’s, you could implement the rest of it. The problem is we’re dealing with two laws, we’re doing the health care law and the law of unintended consequences. And the unintended consequences abound here. Nina just mentioned one of the important ones is that, you know, businesses are changing their hiring practices to try to avoid having enough employees to be under the mandate. So you’re getting part time work, an explosion in the hiring of part-time workers. Well, this is certainly not what the administration intended or the Democrats in Congress who rammed the bill through intended. So this is a situation where the law as written probably can’t work.
ROBERTS: And then other thing …
HUME: Pieces of it sort of fall away or be postponed or whatever. So, you know, some legislative changes in effect, or I think the whole thing may simply collapse.
ROBERTS: One of the other potential unintended consequence is, if you implement the individual mandate without implementing the employer mandate, you may have a lot of employers in the year 2014 say, I don’t need to be providing healthcare for my employers. They can get individually in these exchanges. And a whole bunch of people get dumped off the healthcare rolls of businesses.
WILLIAMS: Well, that’s possible, but again, let’s put away the alarmist tones for just a second and realize that I think it’s like 90 plus percent of American employers offer health insurance to their employees. And if you look at Americans as individuals, 80 plus percent get insurance from their employers. So, when you’re talking about this, you’re talking about a small segment. And the reason — really, what’s important here is, the individual mandate for young people, you know, the whole thing about should the NFL and the NBA help these young guys understand it’s in their interest to have insurance, and of course, Republican opposition to that. And I think that the defeat this week is the administration making this announcement, trying to sneak it under the wire just before the Fourth of July, so no one would notice — everybody noticed, but especially Republicans who are already planning ads, you know, saying this thing is a debacle, this is going to go, you know, against the world and it’s just going to just sink the United States economy. I mean it just seems to be the more of Republicans who don’t want it to work, who don’t have an alternative vision. And who have — are invested, I mean, if you said repeal. 37 times the Republicans …
ROBERTS: Yes, they tried to repeal the whole thing. And there’s a question that Dennis raises yesterday in the call, as to whether or not because this is a revenue issue, whether it belongs in the House as opposed to in the Treasury Department. And if it gets into the House, it goes to some sort of vote, or legislative process for …
WILLIAMS: No way, Jose.
WILLIAMS: It just ain’t happening. Not with a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democrat in the White House for whom this is his signature legislation.
EASTON: We should also mention the other thing that’s happened — there’s more news on it this week, as the costs of individual policies skyrocketing in the next — for healthy people — skyrocketing as you bring more sick people in. So there’s this other source of fear that’s being generated among the public right now, and that’s an outside — that’s just outside analysis. That’s not Republicans.
WILLIAMS: The Wall Street Journal did a piece this week, in which it said that a healthy man, I think, it was age 40 who is a nonsmoker is going to have to pay more if he’s trying …
EASTON: Two to three times more …
WILLIAMS: If he’s trying to get individual insurance.
WILLIAMS: Now, of course, again, that’s a very small segment of the American population.
ROBERTS: But is this — but is it fundamentally fair to tell employers you’ve got a year delay to get this together, but individuals, your go point is January 2014? Should the individual mandate be delayed as well?
KUCINICH: Well, meanwhile, you know, we started off talking about businesses and the effect on it. Businesses — small businesses in particular have seen their policies and will continue to see insurance policy increases. That’s number one. So, number two is all insurance policies are going to go up. This is — this is reform within the context of a for profit system. The insurance companies are gaming this. They’re going to walk — they are walking off with the bank, while the consumers are getting it in the neck. That’s the bottom line.
ROBERTS: 30 seconds.
HUME: The problem is that what we’re going to do is we’re going to say that people who are already sick and don’t have insurance can’t buy it then. Now that system, which has to do with the pre-existing conditions is going to drive up the costs for everybody. And there’s no way around that, and that would be true whether it was a government system or whether it was private insurance companies administering it. That’s what’s the cost driver is.
ROBERTS: We’ve got to leave it there. But there’s lots more to talk about. We’ll see you next week on the air. Coming up, remember, our discussion continues every Sunday on “Panel Plus.” You can find it on our website, FoxNewsSunday.com. And very often, it’s even better than discussions on TV. You can also follow us at Twitter @FoxNewsSunday.
Coming up next, some sights and sounds from the past week as America celebrates its independence.
ROBERTS: Every year at this time we pause to celebrate our nation’s independence. This year, not only were there fireworks, but also reenactments commemorating the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg and the reopening of a national landmark that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Lady Liberty whose welcome to all is — to all who yearn to breathe free is just I think like the Fourth of July. It’s at the heart of what America is really all about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My great, great, great grandfather was a captain for the Texas Rifles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I look at this reenactment today, it means a lot, you know, what we sacrificed for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Never gets old. That’s it for today. Have a great week. We’ll see you again next “Fox News Sunday.”
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