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Chris Christie: Biden ‘not up to the job’
Former GOP Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey argues on ‘Fox News Sunday’ that the Biden administration has ‘failed miserably’ to deliver on their campaign promise to unite the country.
This is a rush transcript of “Fox News Sunday” on November 21, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Mr. Bret Baier, in for Wallace.
A unanimous jury leaves a country divided over gun rights and social
COURT CLERK: Not guilty.
BAIER (voice-over): Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted and walking free after an
intense trial surrounding the deadly unrest last summer in Kenosha.
PROTESTERS: We want justice!
BAIER: We’ll take a look at the reaction across the nation as a country
awaits a verdict in yet another highly charged case.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The Build Back Better bill
BAIER: House Democrats cheer. A win for the president’s massive social
programs planned, but the plan faces an uphill battle in the Senate where
it’s expected to get pared back by moderates.
We’ll ask Brian Deese, the top White House economic advisor, about the
strategy and worries over inflation. It’s a “FOX News Sunday” exclusive.
Then, Republican governors tout the big win in Virginia as the roadmap for
GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R), ARIZONA: We’ve also shown that we can win in any
state in the country.
BAIER: We’ll talk to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie about what
he sees as a path forward for his party.
Plus, federal health officials approve COVID boosters for all adults. We’ll
ask our Sunday panel whether a change to what it means to be fully
vaccinated is coming next.
All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.
BAIER: And hello again from “FOX News Sunday.”
Americans from coast-to-coast are reacting this weekend to the acquittal of
Kyle Rittenhouse, in a case that has served as a political litmus test for
an already polarized nation. Many on the right are cheering the jury’s not
guilty verdict in a win for citizen self-defense and Second Amendment
rights, while many on the left are saying it illustrates bias and racial
discrimination in the country’s justice system.
We begin with FOX Team coverage. David Spunt is traveling with the
president in Wilmington, Delaware. But, first, to Alexis McAdams on the
ground to Kenosha, Wisconsin — Alexis,.
ALEXIS MCADAMS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Bret, that’s right. A very
emotional morning, two weeks here in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the nation them
at trial that divided so many people across America now over. Kyle
Rittenhouse walking free but not everybody thinks this was self-defense.
COURT CLERK: We, the jury, find the defendant Kyle H. Rittenhouse not
MCADAMS (voice-over): It was a verdict Wendy Rittenhouse had been waiting
to hear for 15 months.
WENDY RITTENHOUSE, MOTHER OF KYLE RITTENHOUSE: My stomach does not (ph)
and palms are sweaty. The emotions running through me.
MCADAMS: Her son collapsing in the courtroom after finding out he is now
free. Rittenhouse was on trial for shooting three white men, killing two
during the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of
Outside of the courthouse, there was an outpouring of emotions from both
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can go out in the streets and just please shoot
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe in self-defense.
PROTESTERS: The people united —
MCADAMS: Protesters across the country took to the streets calling for
justice reform appeared in Portland, Oregon, police declaring a riot and
others merging in Chicago and New York City were several were arrested.
As those cries for justice reform grow, New York’s Mayor-elect Eric Adams
calling for swift and righteous action to prevent more violence.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION PRESIDENT: No more vigilante
CROWD: No more vigilante justice.
JACKSON: No more vigilante justice.
MCADAMS: Jesse Jackson, the longtime civil rights leader, says this
verdict throws doubt into the safety of people who protests and support of
Black Americans and is calling for a federal trial for Rittenhouse.
MCADAMS: Now, it’s been very quiet on the ground here in Kenosha following
the verdict, but there is a rally planter at the courthouse at 3:00 today
calling for true justice in this case. Closing arguments and another
emotionally charged test of the American justice system begin on Monday in
Georgia for the closing case on the Ahmaud Arbery trial — Bret.
BAIER: Alexis McAdams reporting from Kenosha — Alexis, thank you.
Now, let’s turn to David Spunt with the president in Wilmington, Delaware –
DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Bret. The verdict in Kenosha
heard loudly throughout the power corridors of Washington, prompting
contrasting statements from the president and his vice president.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I stand by what the jury has
concluded. The jury system works and we are to abide by it.
SPUNT (voice-over): Hours later, a frustrated vice president.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENTR OF THE UNITED STATES: Clearly, there is a
lot more work to do.
SPUNT: The Rittenhouse verdict seizing the spotlight from Democrats’ big
victory in Washington.
PELOSI: On this vote, the yeas are 220, the nays are 213. The Build Back
Better plan is passed.
SPUNT: Cheers on the House floor from Democrats after President Biden’s
nearly $2 trillion social spending bill passed by thin margin. The vote
came just hours after Republican leader Kevin McCarthy spent eight hours
and 32 minutes railing against the plan, the longest speech and plan
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): And every page of this new Washington spending
shows just how irresponsible and out of touch the Democrats are.
SPUNT: The bill marks the seventh large spending package since the
beginning of the pandemic. Now the focus turns to the Senate where the
margins are even thinner and all eyes are two moderate Democrats, Arizona’s
Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.
BIDEN: It’s going to take a while to get through the Senate. I think it
will probably be after Thanksgiving.
SPUNT: The president who celebrated his 79th birthday yesterday here in
Wilmington, Delaware, will head to Nantucket for the Thanksgiving holiday
to celebrate it with family and friends. But he has an important decision
to make, Bret, whether to replace Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair,
as inflation continues to threaten this presidency — Bret.
BAIER: David Spunt, reporting from Wilmington — David, thank you.
Joining us now, director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese.
Brian, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.
BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Thanks for having
You know, inflation is at a 31-year high. So, how can you say that this
Build Back Better bill which, as you just saw passed the House on Friday is
not going to hurt in that way? Is — how can you say it’s going to lower
inflation when you’re pumping really trillions of dollars into the economy
in just recent months?
BAIER: Well, there’s no question inflation is high, and it’s affecting
American consumers, and it’s affecting their outlook. But that’s actually
why we need to move on this Build Back Better bill right now.
Experts across the board have looked at it and have concluded that it won’t
increase inflation because it’s paid for. When you pay for investments, you
don’t actually add aggregate demand to the economy. We saw this week, two
large rating firms, financial rating firms Mitch — Fitch and Moody’s
actually underscore that this bill won’t increase inflation. But what it
will do is it will lower costs.
Bret, this bill is going to be the biggest cost-cutting bill for working
class in American families in decades in this country, and it’s going to go
at costs that are persistent problems for the American people in their
lives. It will lower the cost of prescription drugs put a cap on out of
pocket costs for drugs for seniors and allow Medicare to finally negotiate
prescription drug prices on behalf of American consumers. It will lower the
cost of healthcare, lower the cost of housing as well, and it will get
millions of Americans to work by actually addressing the costs that keep
them from going to the workplace.
We have millions of parents, women in particular, who can’t work because
they can’t afford the cost of childcare or to care for an elderly parent.
This bill will lower those costs get people working, and because it’s paid
for and it won’t increase the deficit. We’re actually going to do that, in
a way that keeps the strong momentum in the economy going.
BAIER: Yeah, and you know that there are critics who really have issue
with the paid-for part of it.
We’ve heard former charges Secretary Larry Summers, who also held the job
you now hold with the Obama administration, expressed real concerns about
Democrats not taking inflation seriously and only exacerbating the problem
with these bills.
But now you have Steve Rattner, senior advisor in the Obama administration,
writing this: Build Back Better can be deemed paid for only if one embraces
budget gimmicks like assuming that some of the most important initiatives
will be allowed to expire in just a few years. The result: a package that
front-loads spending while tax revenues arrive only over a decade. The
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the plan would
likely add $800 billion or more to the deficit over the next five years,
exacerbating inflationary pressures.
So, you’re saying Rattner and Summers are both wrong?
DEESE: Well, respectfully, Larry Summers, who has been a critic of a
number of the policies of this administration, has actually said that the
Build Back Better bill won’t increase inflation and makes much needed
investments in the economy.
And it has been a while in Washington since we’ve actually done the hard
work of paying for a bill over 10 years, but that’s exactly what this bill
does. It has long term investments in things like childcare, lowering the
cost of childcare, providing preschool across the country, but then it pays
for those by doing long term reforms to our tax system.
For example, we would put a 15 percent minimum tax for the largest
corporations to avoid what happens today, which is that large, very
profitable companies end up paying zero in taxes. That’s a permanent reform
to the tax system that will generate more revenue for the long term.
And so when you look at the impact of those policies in the aggregate, it
would reduce the deficit by about $112 billion this decade, actually over
the long term, which is where, if you really care about the fiscal
soundness of this country, you should be looking at the long term. In the
second decade, this bill would reduce the deficit by more than $2 trillion.
So, this bill, unlike what has happened in Washington over last several
years, is actually doing the hard work of paying for proposals over the
long term. It is fiscally responsible, and it will cut costs for families
BAIER: Address that —
DEESE: Well, what, what, what —
BAIER: — sorry for the delay — the budget gimmicks here that he says the
sunsetting of some of these policies make the numbers — the paid-for part
DEESE: These aren’t gimmicks. This is a responsible long term investment.
Eighty-five percent of the provisions in this bill are put in place for the
long term and in where there are places where programs are not extended
permanently, a future Congress will have the choice of whether to extend
those are not.
The president has been very clear. He believes that anything that we do
going forward, anything — anything a future Congress might do or not do
should be fully paid for. But it’s a — it is a completely new standard in
Washington to say is this bill paid for based on what a future Congress may
or may not do.
If you look at this bill —
DEESE: — long term investments to drive the productive capacity of our
economy fully paid-for and frankly more than fully paid-for over the long
term. The same people that are concerned about our professed to be
concerned about our fiscal future should really be focused on the long
term. This bill is going to make a lot of positive difference there.
BAIER: You know Republicans, Brian argued in 2017. Their tax cut bill
would be paid for thanks to economic growth and at the time Democrats
pointed to official analysis, which said otherwise. Well, now you have
Republicans, making that same argument that Democrats made back in 2017.
So, why is your argument now that the bill’s paid for valid if it’s the
same argument the GOP was making?
DEESE: We’re not relying on the prospect of future economic growth. We’re
relying on official estimates that have looked at the provisions in this
The provisions in this bill will generate tax revenue, will reduce
suspending across time and those resources will be invested in things that
will lower costs for families, like lower prescription drug costs and lower
childcare costs and lower elder care costs. That’s what we’re looking at.
And we are relying on the experts that have studied the provisions in this
bill, the most closely the Congressional Budget Office, as well as the
One of the elements that. Is that issue is the issue of tax enforcement,
making sure that the IRS has the tools to actually have Americans pay the
taxes that they already owe. The estimates there are validated by every
former IRS commissioner, including those that served under Republicans and
Democrats, former treasury secretaries, including Treasury Secretary Hank
Paulson, who served under Republican administrations.
These experts who have decades of experience looking at how the tax system
work, have looked at the estimates behind this bill and said, if anything,
they’re too conservative. If anything, we’re likely to raise more revenue
BAIER: So — Brian, you expect this bill, though, to shrink as moderates
in the Senate get their hands on it and have concerns about it, right?
DEESE: This is a process and process that we’ve been going through here
for months, working closely to and listening to members of both the House
and the Senate. The milestone in the House was a big and important step in
getting this bill done, and now we move to the Senate. And we will work
with every member of the Senate on this bill.
But I think that because of that work over several months, we really do now
have a good understanding of where the consensus lies. It lies in lowering
costs for American families. It lies in getting more people back to work by
actually addressing the barriers that are keeping people from doing so,
like childcare, and it lies in making some serious reforms that will
restore some fairness to the tax code.
We have broad agreement on those provisions, and so, I expected as we move
to the Senate will have a lot of momentum, we’ll will work as the
congressional process does, we’ll work to get a bill through the Senate. We
need 50 votes, and then it’ll go back to the House and to the president’s
BAIER: And we’ll see the timing on that.
The latest FOX News poll on the economy, President Biden has 36 percent
approval when it comes to the economy, and you can see, from May, that’s a
significant drop. Why do you think that is?
DEESE: I think the American people understand that we have made progress,
but there’s a lot of work to do. And I think that they understand that
they’re less interested in what, frankly, we are saying here on this
program or saying might happen, and they’re more focused on seeing concrete
action and delivery in their lives.
And so that is something that we now are focused on with everything that we
do. We haven’t talked about it, but we just signed into law and
infrastructure bill that will go directly at solving some of the problems
that are — that we face in this economy today, like the supply chain
bottlenecks at our ports and through our systems of commerce. That’s a bill
that people will start to see the impact of.
And when they see us delivering in places that are directly relevant to
their lives then I think that they will understand what we’re doing here.
But we understand that the onus here is on delivering, and that’s why we
are focused on getting these bills done and implementing them consistent
with their purpose.
BAIER: A couple more questions very quickly.
Has the president made a decision on the nomination for Federal Reserve
DEESE: Well, the president has signaled that he intends to make
announcement on that in the coming days. And so, I’m going to leave the
substance and timing of that one to him.
BAIER: Well, the two — it basically comes down to the current Fed Chair
Jerome Powell or Fed Governor Lael Brainard. Some Democratic senators have
been pushing for Brainard, citing concerns about climate change. They want
a Fed that’s more assertive on climate change.
Does the president share that view?
DEESE: Well, the president’s been spending a lot of time on this issue.
It’s obviously an important decision for the — for the country. There are
multiple positions open at the Federal Reserve, which the president have an
opportunity to nominate qualified candidates for and is looking at all of
And again, I’ll leave that final decision announcement to the president.
BAIER: What could be tomorrow?
DEESE: I’m going to leave that timing to him.
BAIER: Okay, all right. Got you.
Last question, the president just held this virtual summit with Chinese
President Xi Jinping, a long talk with the Chinese leader. Is the Biden
administration going to keep the Trump era China tariffs in place?
There are fears for you — from your critics that they will kind of — the
body administration will roll over with promises about climate change
policy shifts by the Chinese. Will the tariff stay in place?
DEESE: Well, the president has been very clear that he’s going to stand up
for American interests. He has a very direct relationship with President Xi
and that was on evidence in the significant conversation that they had that
you just referenced. And with respect to trade, we are currently
interacting with the Chinese around the so called Phase One trade agreement
that because of the way that it was negotiated by the prior administration
did not adequately protect a number of American economic interests, and are
— the Chinese have not fully lived up to the promises in that agreement.
So, we are engaging with our Chinese counterparts, but with a clear
understanding that we’re representing American interests, and we are going
to take the actions that we need to protect those American interests. But
that cuts across not only tariff policy but also procurement commitments
that the Chinese government has made and the broader challenges that the
Chinese face to our economy, whether it’s intellectual property theft or
strategic investments in areas that could affect our national security.
So we’re taking a broad view of that, and certainly with a clear focus that
the American worker, the American consumer, the American economy as the
president’s priority, and he will stand up for our principles and our
economy as well.
BAIER: Brian Deese, thanks for the time.
DEESE: Thanks, Bret. Thanks for having me.
BAIER: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss what President
Biden’s now stalled vaccine mandate could mean for business.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Our message to businesses right
now is to move forward with measures that will make their workplace safer
and protect them — their workforces from COVID-19.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki this week urging businesses
to continue with plans to vaccinate or test workers even while OSHA has put
the controversial rule on hold after an order by a federal appeals court.
It’s time now for our Sunday group. Jason Riley of “The Wall Street
Journal,” Susan Page of “USA Today,” and former Democratic Congressman
Harold Ford, Jr.
Susan, first to you, this OSHA kind of pause is a bit of a speed bump for
the Biden administration plans for these mandatory vaccinations.
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: Yes, that’s right. I mean, it’s — the court said
that OSHA had overreached. OSHA says it will appeal, but it will take time.
And, you know, this is not only a legal problem for the administration, but
itself political one. The failure to control the pandemic is one of a
couple of factors that is pulling down President Biden’s approval ratings
to new lows and that is huge concern to Democrats because we know that in
midterm elections, one of the big metrics that determines what happens is a
president’s approval ratings, Bret.
BAIER: Speaking of polls, we’ve a new FOX poll out, Jason, that suggests
that requiring businesses with 100 more employees for vaccine or testing is
still favorable. 49 percent and only 47 percent of pros but it is dropping
her pulse. If you look at the coronavirus which was one of President Biden
strengths, he is underwater by one point and a big drop from there.
JASON RILEY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: And it is falling among Republicans
and Democrats. Less confidence in these vaccines because of these
breakthrough cases. It in these mandates are not helping the president’s
job approval numbers. I mean, it’s hard to know what is weighing most on
the president’s approval rating. Whether it’s inflation or case at the
border or what have you, but you have to believe these mandates are not
helping matters. They’re very politically polarizing and employers are
worried about them.
We already have a labor shortage in this country. There are formal jobs
available than there are people looking for work. These mandates could
result in people not joining the workforce or quitting the workforce or may
be quitting a job at a big company and going to a smaller company when they
don’t be vaccinate.
We have to weigh the costs and benefits of these mandates. And I don’t
think that the administration is doing a good job of that.
BAIER: Harold, to Jason’s point, I mean, there is concerns with truck
drivers and the supply chain issues that we’re already facing. There’s
concerns with security with these police, fire, and different authorities
around the country dealing with these mandates.
HAROLD FORD, JR., FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: First off, happy Sunday.
I think Jason has framed it right. I would come out of little bit
differently though. I think — when you think about COVID and even the flu
shots, there is data showing that the greatest predictor of whether an
American is vaccinated against both is his or her political party.
I would remind all of us that COVID or the flu is not a member of a
political party or cultural organization. It’s not black. It’s not white.
It’s not part of an ethnic or religious group. It doesn’t discriminate.
I think the administration ought to tackle this perhaps a little bit
differently or address it differently. This in my mind, getting vaccinated
is a national security issue. When you think about what we did last year,
when to shut on the economy, we shut down schools. We stifled innovation
with exception of pharmaceutical develop which was a herculean investment
and thanks to President Trump and President Biden on that.
We have to perhaps define this differently, and I think, America, if we
don’t want our schools to close again and for classes to be out, which
impairs our kids’ ability to be successful in the next grade, and for that
matter in the workforce, being vaccinated is probably the best thing to do.
Furthermore, there has been no health outbreak from being vaccinated. If
you are vaccinated and you get the — you get the virus, it’s likely you’ve
been around someone’s unvaccinated.
I can understand if being vaccinated was killing people or the vaccine was
making people very, very sick, large numbers of people. That isn’t the
case. I would tackle this as a national security issue to keep America
strong, to keep our schools open, and to keep our economy vibrant.
BAIER: Susan, the emergency authorization has been given to Moderna and
Pfizer booster shots for all adults. The question is, will people get them?
There’s a question about what fully vaccinated will mean and whether the
definition will change over time.
PAGE: Yeah. We heard Dr. Fauci this week saying maybe would have to look
at three shots as being the standard for being fully vaccinated. But the
real challenge at the moment for the country is not getting people to get a
third shot. It’s for people to get a first shot, among those Americans who
have declined or refused to be vaccinated so far. That is the reason that
COVID continues to be such a serious health problem.
You look at hospitalization rates, the people who are now hospitalized, who
are getting very sick from COVID are overwhelmingly people who’ve not
gotten the first shot. So, that has been the focus of the administration’s
efforts. But, yes, I think it we are moving toward the point where three
shots will be the standard, not two.
BAIER: You know, Jason, some people forget that there’s a testing option
if you’re against these vaccines. You could go into a testing regime. You’d
have to get tested a lot, but that’s a possibility.
RILEY: And it should be an option, Bret. I mean, a lot of us would like to
see more Americans getting vaccinated, but how you go about doing that
matters. I think this heavy-handed approach is not helping the
administration. It’s not helping the country. There are people who want to
go the testing route.
To Harold’s point, we know that getting COVID is not a death sentence for
most people. We should not pretend that it is. And so, you know, something
like 80 percent of adults in this country have already had at least one
shot. This is not an emergency situation we are in and the court rebuke,
you call it a speed bump. It’s more of a roadblock, as I see it, Bret.
The court was pretty thorough in shooting this down as the policing powers
for individual behavior with regard to public health and safety are a state
issue, not a federal issue. So, there is both a legal and political issue
here from this administration.
BAIER: All right, panel. We have to take a break here, see you in a bit.
Up next, my sit down with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on how
he says he’d save the Republican Party.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Coming up, former New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie urges a reform of the Republican Party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: We need a viable, active
two party system with a Republican Party that can win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Our one on one exclusive with Christine on how the GOP moves
BAIER: Republicans say they feel momentum heading into the midterms,
pointing to Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race as a
model for how to win the base and independence.
Joining me now to discuss, former governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie,
author of the new book, “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth
Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden.”
Governor, welcome back to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Thanks, Bret. Thanks for
BAIER: You know, I’ve been talking to a number of Republicans as they’ve
watched your various appearances talking about the book, and they said one
question kept on coming up, and it — they said, what’s his play? What’s
his political play?
So, let me ask you how they asked it, what’s your play?
CHRISTIE: My play is to try to make sure we get back to winning again as a
party. You know, between 2018 and 2020, Bret we lost the House, the Senate
and the White House. The only other time in the Republican Party’s history
that that’s happened was 1930 to 1932 with Herbert Hoover. And so we then
had the Democrats occupying the White House for 28 of the next 36 years.
And it just seems to me that our country wouldn’t be able to survive this
Democratic Party occupying the White House for 28 of the next 36 years.
So I want us to stop looking backwards, start looking forward, laying out a
contrast to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, laying out what’s wrong with what
they’re doing and what’s right with our prescription. We do that, we’re
going to win the House and Senate back in ’22 and lots of governorships and
be in great position for 2024.
If we don’t, we’re going to become a grievance party —
BAIER: So are you considering? Are you considering running for president?
CHRISTIE: Sure, I would consider it, Bret, and — and will consider it, but
I won’t make any decision till the end of 2022. And this year what I’m
focusing on is, I’m co-chairing the victory fundraising for the Republican
governors. And I’m co-chairing the effort to fund Republican redistricting
of congressional districts with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We
have to win first in 2022 before we ever consider 2024.
But even more importantly, Bret, we’ve got to stop looking backwards, stop
the grievance politics and all the rest and start moving forward at giving
people a positive outlook for what we want to do compared to the disaster
that is the Biden administration.
BAIER: Can you see a scenario where former President Trump does not run
again? And what is that?
CHRISTIE: Listen, I think that’s just such an intensely personal decision
that of course I could see. It depends on what happens in Donald Trump’s
life over the next couple of years and what he decides he wants to do. But
I could see him running too.
In the end, Bret, I don’t think that should matter for anyone else who’s
considering running. I mean, in the end, if you believe you’re the best
person to be president of the United States and have the best chance to be
able to win and have the support of your family, well, then that’s all that
really matters and should matter. And that’s what should matter for Donald
Trump as well.
BAIER: Well, knowing the former president like you do, do you think he’ll
ever concede the loss of 2020?
CHRISTIE: Well, I hope he will, Bret. I don’t know that he will and he
certainly hasn’t now in a year. But I hope that what he’ll do is move on
and just stop talking about it. Even if he doesn’t formally concede, we
need to stop talking about the fact that the election was stolen, when, as
I lay out in the book, there’s really no solid evidence that it was.
And talking about this now is defeating for the Republican Party. You know,
voters always want the next election, Bret, to be about the future, not
about the past. And there’s plenty of talk about right now with the awful
failures of Joe Biden in crime, in education, in taxes and spending,
Afghanistan, other foreign policy issues like China, and we should be
talking about those things and laying out our prescriptions, and that’s
what I do in the book, and also talk about the conspiracy theories and why
they’re so destructive and have been historically destructive for our
But, we’ve been able to fight back before, like with Bill Buckley and
Ronald Reagan against the John Birch Society in the ’60s, and we can fight
back again now to make ourselves a positive, forward-looking party.
BAIER: So, I hear all the time people say, I loved President Trump’s
policies but I didn’t love his personality or the comments or the insults.
Could — can those things be separated with him as a political figure?
CHRISTIE: Absolutely. Absolutely. Look, the policies have been outstanding,
cutting taxes, cutting regulation, conservative judges and justices to our
courts, strength overseas, you know, new trade policies, All those things
have added to America in a very positive way. And I think that this is
still a center right country and a country that is really lurching back
against the crazy liberalism that is going on in this country right now led
by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. So it can be separated and it should be
It is made harder if we continue to have discussion about 2020 and stolen
elections, which just makes the American people feel like we’re living in
the past and not worried about their future. And I think if Donald Trump
wants to be a part of that, that’s fine, and his choice, but it’s his
choice if he wants to keep talking about the past or whether we want to
start talking about the future.
BAIER: According to “The Wall Street Journal,” President Biden has told his
allies in the past few days that he is running for re-election in 2024
because there’s a lot of fears about Republicans gaining strength heading
into the midterms. Do you buy that? What do you think of that?
CHRISTIE: No, I don’t buy it in the least. And I just look at his
performance. I — Bret, I think what everybody in America has seen over the
last 10 months is he’s just simply not up to the job. And his
administration is not up to the job. They ran based upon uniting the
country, bringing greater competence to the White House, in their view, and
they failed miserably on both.
In fact, they’ve gone far left on all of their policies. He’s caved. I mean
this is like we elected Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren with the
policies of this administration. And the competency has been awful as we
saw in Afghanistan, as we’re seeing in inflation, as we’re seeing in crime
on the streets.
And so I don’t buy it. I think he’s saying it because he knows that
Republicans are gathering momentum. But I, quite frankly, don’t know how
Joe Biden, running in 2024, would be the least bit intimidating Republicans
or the least bit reassuring to the American people.
BAIER: What’s your reaction to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict?
CHRISTIE: Justice was done in that, Bret. And — and the jury system works.
You know, I — I was a prosecutor for seven years, and those charges should
never have been brought. And, you know, prosecutors are not supposed to
give in to the whims of the public. They’re not supposed to give in — give
in to public opinion. You’re supposed to dispassionately look at the facts
and the evidence and decide whether they support charges.
And from the beginning, I didn’t think that these acts supported charges.
And I’m glad to see that the jury sat there, not affected by public
pressure, but sat and listen to the evidence and made the decision that
He was not guilty. He shouldn’t have been indicted. And we should now move
forward. And I hope that everyone will leave this young man alone now and
let him go to living his life. He should not become a political symbol for
anybody. He’s 18 years old. He should be allowed to now go on and live his
life after what has been an extraordinarily difficult time for both Kyle
Rittenhouse and his family.
BAIER: Yes, but are you surprised by the coverage of this all throughout
and the polarized nature of it?
CHRISTIE: Unfortunately, I wasn’t Bret. I think those people on the left
are just attempting to continue to tear our country apart for political
gain. Anybody who looked at the videos of this could tell that this was an
act of self-defense. Anyone who knows the law would know that. Yet you’ve
had legal folks on the air, and on other networks, and political
commentators and, quite frankly, elected officials who spoke so
irresponsibly and horribly about this young man without a basis in fact.
That’s not what we should be doing.
And that’s why I’m so proud of our justice system because, you know what,
it’s not perfect, Bret, but it’s the best system anyone ever has come up
with in terms of trying to determine guilt or innocence in our society. And
that’s why I’m so proud of the jury and the jury system because it gave
Kyle Rittenhouse a chance that all these other talking heads on television
didn’t give him. They had him convicted a long time ago.
BAIER: Here’s the governor-elect of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), VIRGINIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: Kitchen table issues matter.
And, in fact, the basic issues of lower taxes and safe communities and
better schools where we give parents a real role in their children’s
education and, of course, a growing job market that lifts up all
Virginians, that resonated with so many Virginians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: What did you take from that election in Virginia, also the one that
happened in your home state of New Jersey.
CHRISTIE: Well, what it showed was that the public wants to hear about the
future, not the past. They want to hear about the things that they care
about, not about somebody’s personal grievances or gripes. And — and —
and what we saw in Virginia in particular was a direct contrast on that.
Glenn Youngkin just talking about the issues that he just laid out in the
video, and Terry McAuliffe running ad after ad after ad about Donald Trump.
No one wanted to hear that in Virginia. What they wanted to hear was, what
are you going to do to help my family, make my streets safer, make my
education better for my children, lower my cost of living, and give me a
better place to live here in Virginia. Glenn spoke about that and won.
Terry McAuliffe spoke about the past and lost. That should be a lesson for
all of us.
And, quite frankly, I’d written this book before the Youngkin race was
completed. And so it’s exactly what I say in the book we should be doing as
And in New Jersey, even though we came up just short in the governor’s
race, we added three seats in the state senate, six seats in the lower
house, and maybe even more as a recount goes on. We gained here in New
And if we’re winning in blue states like Virginia and New Jersey with that
message, it should tell everybody in our party, stop talking about
yesterday, start talking about tomorrow because winning is all that matters
here, Bret. If we don’t win, the Democrats continue to govern, and they
will continue to lurch our country left and give government giveaways that
we will probably never be able to take away in the future and will change
this country forever. It’s not what I want to see happen and I don’t think
that’s what most people in this country want to see happen.
BAIER: Governor Christie, thanks for your time. Always good to talk to you.
CHRISTIE: Bret, great to talk to you. Have a great Sunday.
BAIER: Up next, a divided America reacts to the Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty
verdict. We’ll bring back our panel to discuss the fallout from the
emotionally charged trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse,
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have questions about
the verdict, and the verdict really speaks for itself. As many of you know,
I’ve spent a majority of my career working to make the criminal justice
system more equitable and clearly there’s a lot more work to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Vice President Kamala Harris on the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict and
what she says it implies about justice in America.
We’re back with the panel.
Harold, your thoughts on this verdict, the fallout to it and how the
administration is talking about it.
HAROLD FORD, JR., FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I accept the verdict because
that’s what we are — we are a nation of laws. I watched the trial a little
bit. I’ve read a lot about it. And I guess I’m not as concerned — or, I
should say, I separate some of the issues around race.
What I’m equally if not more so interested in is a broader conversation
around self-defense because my reading of this and watching of the trial
suggests that a proactive or an initiated self-defense is allowable. I can
imagine being in a grocery store or restaurant and perhaps a clerk or a
manager or a server has a grievance with some person who comes in with a
weapon and I try to defend my family and perhaps try to restrain him, he or
she shoots me, we go to trial and they claim it was self-defense. I can’t
imagine legislatures around the country contemplated this kind of self-
defense. Not to say that Mr. Rittenhouse, it would — it would have been
any different. I respect the law, and I would agree with Mr. — Governor
Christie, that it seemed like, on the face of it, the law was in his favor.
Even his lawyer, Mr. Rittenhouse’s lawyer, said the law was on his side.
Morally, Mr. Rittenhouse wished he didn’t have to do what he did.
So I hope as we get past the politics and passed some of the heated
rhetoric that legislatures and local law enforcement take a look at some of
these laws and try to understand and examined better, is this what we mean
when we say self-defense?
BAIER: You know, candidate Joe Biden referred, Jason, to Rittenhouse as a
white nationalist. And there are several Republicans who are pointing back
to that and his reference to militia and white nationalism.
Senator Tom Cotton said, if he, President Biden, had any decency, Biden
would apologize publicly, not attacked the jury for following the law.
Thoughts on that?
JASON RILEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I was disappointed with both the
president and the vice president’s reaction to the verdict. They decided to
editorialize. And that’s because, as you just noted, like a lot of other
people, they had decided before the case even began that Rittenhouse was
guilty. They have every right to speak out, Bret, but I — I just don’t
think it’s helpful for them to do that. I think their job is to say, we’re
a nation of laws, and the jury’s verdict needs to be respected, full stop.
But, at the same time, you have a Democratic Party that is — plays this
identity politics card and so they racialized these things, and that’s what
you saw the president and the vice president do. And I just don’t think we
need more of that.
BAIER: Here’s Jen Psaki answering a question about those previous comments
by Joe Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president’s view that we
shouldn’t have, broadly speaking, vigilantes patrolling our communities
with assault weapons. We shouldn’t have opportunists corrupting peaceful
protests by rioting and burning down the communities they claim to
represent, anywhere in the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN PAGE, “USA TODAY”: Well, you know, you talked about the division in
the country over the Rittenhouse verdict, and there was some, but there
were also legal scholars who said it wasn’t a surprise.
A bigger issue, I think, is the verdict we’re going to be awaiting soon in
the Ahmaud Arbery trial in Georgia in his — in his death, going to closing
arguments on Monday, tomorrow, because that one involves a less robust case
of self-defense, and it has a clear linkage to race in this country. These
big issues in our country, race, guns, the limits of self-defense. And that
is a verdict, I think, that we’re going to be watching for and we’ll get a
much bigger reaction, I think, than the Rittenhouse verdict did, Bret.
Harold, we’ve been covering that trial, taking some of it, but it overall,
across the media landscape, has not received as much attention as the
Rittenhouse trial did.
FORD: Without question. I would agree with Susan. That case, I’ve watched a
little bit of it, and it seems like the prosecutorial team seems to be
making more progress with advancing their thesis and their theory of the
But, you know, as we think about all of this, again, we — I don’t
racialize this at all. If they — it doesn’t matter what color someone is,
if you’re killed, your killed. If Covid kills anybody, a gun, a bullet
probably would kill me or you or anybody on this panel.
The question becomes also, and I think Reverend Jackson raising in a way
that I think is affected, do we — are we inviting people to show up at
protests, which they may have a disagreement with, put aside your race or
political party, and be able to show up with the weapon. And if someone in
that crowd protesting yells or advances towards you, are you allowed to
shoot and kill them? I don’t think so.
But I think we have to, as a nation, and perhaps legislators, need to think
— think about this in a serious way because this isn’t a racial issue,
this is a life and death issue, and, frankly, a First Amendment issue as
BAIER: All right, thank you, panel. We’ll see you next Sunday.
Up next, our “Power Player of the Week.” A D.C. landmark on surviving the
pandemic and its special place in Washington history.
BAIER: As more Americans get vaccinated, many of us are heading back to our
favorite restaurants. As we first told you last spring, in D.C., that
includes a local landmark that has played a big role in the nation’s
capital for more than 60 years.
Here’s our “Power Player of the Week.”
VIRGINIA ALI, OWNER, BEN’S CHILI BOWL: Well, we’ve faced many, many
challenges. The pandemic has been truly the most challenging.
Welcome to Ben’s. How are you?
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR (voice over): Virginia Ali is the owner of
Ben’s Chili Bowl, a Washington institution that, like so much, was
threatened by the pandemic.
WALLACE (on camera): How hard did it hit your business?
ALI: Oh, wow. I mean, we were open, Chris, from 7:00 in the morning until
2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on weekends. That came to a complete halt.
WALLACE (voice over): Somehow, Ben’s made it work, doubling down on carry
out and even starring in a Google commercial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People come here to see the photos on the wall, to meet
WALLACE: To understand the fuss about Ben’s, you need to know its history.
Ben and Virginia Ali were newlyweds when they opened the place in 1958.
Folks came for the half smoke, a sizzling pork and beef sausage served with
Ben’s signature chili on top.
ALI: He had this very special, spicy chili recipe. You know, he came from
Trinidad, where spicy foods was the thing.
WALLACE: They were on U Street, known in the ’50s as the black Broadway.
ALI: All the clubs closed at 2:00 a.m. So, from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., you
could barely get into the Chili Bowl on a Friday and Saturday night.
There was Duke Ellington. There was Pearl Bailey. Uh, Nat King Cole,
WALLACE (on camera): That must have been some seen. What was that?
ALI: It was just a joyful time. I mean, the music was going on the jukebox,
and we have these musicians coming in. We’re just happy to see them.
WALLACE (voice over): In the ’60s, the civil rights movement took over, but
Ben’s was still a meeting place.
ALI: Whenever Dr. King was in town, on occasion he would come down to the
Chili Bowl, have a sandwich and I’d have an opportunity to sit with him and
listen to him talk about his dream.
WALLACE: But in 1968, King was assassinated. Much of U Street was burned
down or boarded up.
ALI: Ben’s Chili Bowl was the only place that was allowed to remain open.
That was scary. But we were not touched.
WALLACE: In the decades since, Ben’s has remained a landmark, an essential
stop for African-American entertainers and politicians.
Which brings us back to the food.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It’ so good, guys.
WALLACE (on camera): Can you tell me what the secret is to the secret chili
ALI: Well, that’ our special chili sauce. That’s our special recipe. We
haven’t given that out yet, but you’ll be the first to get it, Chris. When
we do, you’ll be the first to get that recipe.
WALLACE (voice over): With D.C.’s Covid restrictions finally lifted,
customers are coming back to Ben’s, and they can still find Virginia Ali at
ALI: I like to turn them one at a time.
WALLACE: Cooking up those half smokes.
WALLACE (on camera): Why are you still working?
ALI: I don’t know that I call it work. When you do something that you
enjoy, it’s not so hard.
And you’ve been coming for 25 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ALI: That’s pretty cool.
Meeting people, Chris, from all walks of life just at Ben’s Chili Bowl. I
just have a good time every day.
BAIER: Well, if you want to check out that secret chili sauce, Virginia
says there are plans to start bottling it and putting it on the shelf in
your grocery store. It’s good stuff.
That’s it for today. I’ll see you tomorrow for “SPECIAL REPORT” 6:00 p.m.
Eastern Time on Fox News Channel. We’ll be keeping an eye on the closing
arguments in the Ahmaud Arbery trial. Also, a possible Fed chair
announcement. You heard it here.
Have a great Thanksgiving week until the next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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