This is a rush transcript of “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on December 1, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right, you’re watching the formal
arraignment of Ethan Crumbley, a 15-year-old being charged as an adult in
the murders at that Michigan high school yesterday that claimed a fourth
life today, a 17-year-old student, the fourth victim, succumbing to
critical injuries that had occurred yesterday.
The assaults are many and the counts are many, four counts of first-degree
murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, 12 counts of
possession of a firearm. Crumbley, you might recall, was arrested in the
immediate aftermath of the shooting, taken into custody.
We also had a chance to see — his parents were part of this arraignment
process. We learned through the police and then the chief police in the
area that they had been with their son that morning on a school discipline
issue that had come up over two days, first on Monday, and then separately
meeting with some other teachers, we’re told — we assume teachers — the
very next day.
Whether they were with him on both days, it appears that they were. They
were with him at this arraignment. Again, just keeping you posted on this.
But all of this comes at a time we’re learning that there is now apparently
a massive amount of digital evidence, videotape, social media, that
absolutely confirms that we can show this was a premeditated act.
This is coming from the Oakland county prosecutor, Karen McDonald, who said
that this was not just an impulsive act, it was planned, it was very well-
Let’s go to Steve Harrigan right now following all these developments in
Oxford, Michigan — Steve.
STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, a lot of news coming out
about this case and some remarkable images there from the courtroom, where
you saw the 15-year-old sophomore in a bulletproof vest slumped over,
looking very small and not powerful at all, his parents in baseball caps on
a different screen at the same time.
We have learned that the 15-year-old will be charged as an adult, that he
will face four charges of first-degree murder that show premeditation.
Also, he will face the charge of terrorism that causes death, an unusual
charge. The prosecutor explained that, saying this entire community has
been terrorized by the 15-year-old’s action.
And, as you referenced, the prosecutor said there was a mountain of digital
evidence to show that these shootings were premeditated. It certainly
raises the question, if there was so much evidence out there online, why no
red flags were raised.
As for the shooter himself, we’re learning new details about what went on
yesterday just before 1:00 p.m. The 15-year-old walked up and down the
hallways, firing a Sig Sauer pistol at extremely close range, hitting
fellow students in the head, in the body, at times shooting through
barricaded doors to try to kill more.
At this point, four dead, ages 17, 17, 16 and 14, seven people still
wounded, and certainly a lot of questions raised about what the school knew
and when. They held meetings with the 15-year-old a day before the
shooting. The day of the shooting, just two hours before the rampage, both
parents, the shooter and administration officials met in that school.
Two hours later, he came out of the bathroom firing — Neil.
CAVUTO: Steve, do we know whether he targeted his victims, the four who
died, the seven others who were injured, I believe two others critically?
Do we know whether they were his intended targets, that he was searching
HARRIGAN: Officials right now aren’t saying either way whether they were
targeted or not.
But from the description of the firing, walking up and down halls, firing
people at close range and firing into classrooms, it does not seem that he
targeted the people hit, again, four killed, seven wounded, one teacher
wounded, and one 14-year-old still in critical condition at this time.
So those numbers could change even more, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Steve, thank you very, very much, Steve Harrigan.
I want to go to Ted Williams right now, the former D.C. detective, what he
makes it this.
I guess we don’t know what happened, Ted, on those two days that this young
man, being probably 15, but being arraigned as an adult today on these
charges, what transpired at those back-to-back Monday and Tuesday meetings,
including the final one yesterday but two hours before the shootings.
But what do you make of this?
TED WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it appears, at this stage, we’re
dealing with a very disturbed young man, Neil.
But you have just said it, that there was a meeting with this young man,
the day before yesterday, and then there was one yesterday with his
parents. This — from what I have been able to glean and what is out there
is that the gun that was used was a gun that his father had just recently
And while he was in this school, and while he was doing his shooting, at
one time, while the students were barricaded in a classroom, it is alleged
that he asked them, “Come out, come out, you’re safe, I’m with the
insurance department,” when in fact he was not actually with the sheriff’s
This is a horrific situation. It is sad. But law enforcement now, the
investigation begins, because there’s a crime scene. And I can tell you,
Neil, as a part of this investigation, they’re going to do a social media
scrub. They’re going to have to talk to his friends, people who are his
teachers who knew him or people — folk in the community that very well may
have known him, because, from what I have been told also is that he’s not
He’s lawyered up. And his parents and him have been told that they are not
to speak to anyone concerning this case. So the investigation is going to
continue, Neil, unfortunately.
CAVUTO: Real quickly on that oddity where he’s not speaking to
authorities, he’s treated as a minor in Michigan, a juvenile, without
getting parental permission, yet he’s being arraigned on these charges as
What do you make of that?
WILLIAMS: Well, they have decided, the authorities, that they wanted to go
forward with charges as an adult, in light of the many individuals who have
been killed here.
But even if he’s being treated as an adult, the moment he lawyers up, as he
has done, he does not have to say anything to anybody. So the authorities
are left trying to determine, what was the motive in this? And that is the
reason that they’re going to have to backtrack and speak to a lot of people
in this investigation and check, of course, social media sites.
CAVUTO: All right, Ted, thank you very, very much for that.
We will be pursuing this story and getting more information on it, but the
formal arraignment of this 15-year-old, being arraigned as an adult on
these charges, four charges of murder that go on and on and on, and still
questions as to why he did what he did.
We will have much more on that if it becomes available.
In the meantime, I do want to bring your attention to the corner of Wall
and Broad today. We had a huge sell-off, all of that having to do with
Omicron arriving right now in the United States, the first case reported in
The administration was the first to sort of put out Dr. Anthony Fauci on
this first case that he suspects could trigger up news of still other
Peter Doocy now at the White House with more on that — Peter.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And the first reaction to
this news, Neil, from officials around here in trying to help people
process that there is a new variant is to push existing vaccines and
And we are told that this infected person is doing better. Their symptoms
are doing better. They are considered fully vaccinated with two shots, they
have not yet had a booster, and they’re quarantining in San Francisco after
a trip to South Africa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: This is what
we call in medicine and N=1, which means that you really can’t take
anything away from a single patient. It is very — it’s — we feel good
that this patient not only had mild symptoms, but actually the symptoms
appear to be improving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: White House officials tell us: “The president will have more to say
about our strategy for fighting COVID this winter tomorrow. But, for now,
we know that this new variant is cause for continued vigilance, not panic.
We know that — we know what it takes to limit the spread of COVID, get
vaccinated, get boosted, and take public health measures like masking and
Some of those new changes are reportedly going to require stricter testing
requirements even for fully vaccinated Americans. But there are new
questions that we posed to Dr. Fauci about possible loopholes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: As you have advised the president about the possibility of new
testing requirements for people coming into this country, does that include
FAUCI: The answer is yes.
DOOCY: But what about people who don’t take a plane and just these border
crossers coming in, in huge numbers?
FAUCI: That’s a different issue.
For example, when you talk — we still have Title 42 with regard to
protection at the border. So there are protections at the border, that you
don’t have the capability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: And all this is happening is the president admits that he’s still
dealing with a COVID-crimped supply chain right ahead of Christmas. He said
today during a brief set of remarks before this news broke that he cannot
guarantee everyone’s Christmas gifts are going to arrive on time.
He says, the president says that the only person who can guarantee that is
Santa — Neil.
CAVUTO: Well, I have talked to Santa, and he’s worried, just so you know.
CAVUTO: But, Peter, thank you very, very much, a wild day there at the
Let’s go to Jonathan Serrie here, what we’re learning about Omicron.
A lot of people are very stunned by these developments, but the fact of the
matter is, Jonathan, we have had reports now that this is already in 23
countries. The best tipoff probably was learning early yesterday that
Canada was among them.
Now the issue becomes what’s next, who’s next, how big a deal this is,
whether the existing treatments we have can address this or not, delays and
possible responses going into next year. What are you learning?
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, we suddenly have more
tools to deal with it, more treatments being developed and certainly some
powerful vaccines, that they’re still testing the efficacy of them against
this particular variant, but, right now, federal health officials believe
with a reasonable level of confidence that full vaccination, plus a booster
shot, will give you at least some protection, certainly protection against
the most serious forms of disease.
Now, as we speak, San Francisco health officials are conducting contact
tracing on this case, trying to see if anyone else was exposed to this
traveler, but the city does not plan to impose any new restrictions or
mandates based on this case.
Moments ago, city officials wrapped up a news conference on this first
confirmed U.S. case of the Omicron variant. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. GRANT COLFAX, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH:
This is not a surprise.
For those of you who’ve been following us, we knew that Omicron was going
to be here. We thought it would — it was already here, we just hadn’t
detected it yet. So this is cause for concern, but it is also certainly not
a cause for us to panic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERRIE: White House COVID response coordinator Jeff Zients issued this
statement: “We are prepared to meet this challenge with science and speed.
The president’s medical team continues to believe that existing vaccines
will provide some level of protection against severe illness from Omicron,
and individuals who have gotten boosters will have an even stronger
Some more details on this first U.S. case. It involves a person who
recently traveled to San Francisco from South Africa, developed symptoms
upon return, and then immediately reported it to physicians, and went in,
got tested, and, with the positive test, went into isolation.
The patient had been fully vaccinated with two doses of the Moderna
vaccine, but had not received a booster shot. Thankfully, this case was
very mild. The person, in fact, has already recovered. But, again, contact
tracing is going on.
One thing going on in San Francisco’s favor is that there are very high
vaccination rates in that city. And public health officials believe that
that will slow the spread of this variant in that town, even if it can’t
prevent it altogether — Neil.
CAVUTO: Jonathan Serrie, thank you very much for that.
CAVUTO: All right, to Francis — Dr. Francis Collins right now, the
director of the National Institutes of Health.
Doctor, very good seeing you again.
I mentioned, Doctor, a little earlier the panicked reaction. Certainly,
Wall Street gave this, at the great unknown. Is this another step backward?
Are we going to see a variant that’s going to take a while to come up with
a vaccine to treat?
So, of course, in Wall Street’s mood, it’s to sell first, ask questions
later. Did they overreact? Do you think this is worthy of the sort of
crisis reaction at least investors had?
DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: Well, I’m
kind of surprised that the first case turning up in California is really
seen as a big event, because we have all been saying it’s only a matter of
time. Anytime this week, it was very likely to happen, considering, as you
have just said, more than 20 countries have had cases of Omicron.
So it should not come as a great surprise, with a South African traveler,
who, by the way, is California resident, coming back from a trip, turns out
to be positive, seems to be doing really well.
And I guess it’s an indication investors hate uncertainty, Neil.
CAVUTO: Yes, they do.
COLLINS: And that’s long been known.
And we have some uncertainty right now about, just how serious is this
variant? Is it highly transmissible? How severe is the disease it can
cause? And will the vaccines and the boosters fully protect us? Or do we
have to think about redesigning them?
And we don’t have answers to those things as clearly as we would like, and
it’s going to be a couple of weeks before we do. So, Wall Street’s going to
have to deal with some uncertainty.
COLLINS: I wish we could do this faster.
CAVUTO: No, you’re right not to be focusing on those money guys. I guess I
do that for a living, Doctor, and compensate.
But let me ask you. When the South African, I think, health minister was
commenting on the cases in her country, she was referring to the fact that
they were all relatively mild. Now, she and others in the region might be
talking book because they don’t want to be isolated from the world, that
travel restrictions imposed. But that’s already happening.
Do you think that some of the restrictions that have been put in place
already and contemplation of still more is warranted?
COLLINS: Well, I think it’s smart to try to limit the number of infected
individuals coming to the U.S. So I’m totally supportive of what the
president needed to do there in terms of blocking flights from South
African and countries close by.
And I think it’s a really good idea, Neil, to get everybody having a test
one day before they get on the plane to make sure people aren’t coming who
are already infected, and also to require everybody to be vaccinated.
But nobody should imagine that that’s a perfect situation that’s going to
block other cases. I will be surprised if we don’t have additional cases of
Omicron in the United States in the coming week or two. And nobody should
be surprised if that’s the case.
And I think the big question is, really, how much should we be concerned
about whether that’s going to change our plan? Keep in mind, Neil, right
now, all the buzz is about Omicron, but the disease that’s killing people
in the United States right now is Delta.
COLLINS: Delta is still taking about 1,000 lives that day. And we are not
necessarily handling that one very well because of the limit in the number
of people who’ve actually taken advantage of vaccinations and boosters.
If Omicron is waking people up a little bit to taking advantage of those
things, then that, I guess, might be a silver lining, because we do believe
those vaccines are going to be our best protection and are the best
CAVUTO: You might think that would be the reaction. That was my thought
But I have heard from a number of people who say this is proof why I
shouldn’t get vaccinated, because people keep having problems, even those
who’ve been fully vaccinated. So why the heck should I?
What do you tell them?
COLLINS: Well, let’s try to answer that question carefully.
It’s true that people who are fully vaccinated can still have breakthrough
infections, but their likelihood of getting such an infection is about
tenfold less. And their likelihood of getting really sick or dying is even
greater in reduction.
So, just because a vaccine is not perfect doesn’t mean you don’t want to
take advantage of it, if it has a chance of saving your life. Again, Neil,
I think that the statistic that I’m surprised people haven’t focused on is,
let’s look at those 1,000 people every day who are dying in the United
States of Delta. Are they vaccinated?
No. They’re almost all unvaccinated. If you wanted proof that the vaccines
are saving lives, it’s right there in front of us every day. And the
boosters will do even more than that, because we know the vaccines tend to
wane in their effectiveness after six months.
COLLINS: So, anybody who is listening to this, if you haven’t got
vaccinated, yes, Omicron is one more reason why you want to do this for
yourself and your family.
If you have gotten vaccinated, but you haven’t gotten around to that
booster yet, it’s now recommended, everybody 18 and over. And it’s easy to
find a place. Vaccines.gov will tell you what’s close to you. Get the
booster and you will be even better prepared for the holidays and more
confident that whatever’s going on now with this doggone COVID-19 is not
such a threat to you.
It’s not that hard. It’s pretty straightforward. Look at the data, America.
I know — all I know, as a breakthrough case myself, that it would have
been a lot worse had I not been vaccinated. So, when I tell that to people,
they just say, oh, well, you’re Mr. Vaccine.
I guess, in that case, I am.
Doctor, thank you very, very much. Good seeing you again.
And I will have you back to talk about the stock market another time. How’s
COLLINS: That will be really illuminating, I’m sure, for everyone.
CAVUTO: Yes, I am absolutely sure it would be.
CAVUTO: Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of
All right, in the meantime, there was some other news going on today,
particularly in Washington, where they’re trying to avoid a government
But they have to do it all by Friday night at midnight. Then there’s the
debt ceiling. Then there’s trying to get that Build Back Better thing
going. Then there’s trying to calm markets that are just freaking out over
all these things — after this.
CAVUTO: It might not be able to overturn Roe v. Wade, but did the Supreme
Court in today at least it’s considering seriously undercutting it?
More after this.
CAVUTO: All right, by Friday, they have to come up with something in
Washington to avoid a government shutdown, or at least start the process.
And we’re told, at least on the part of Chuck Schumer, that they’re close
to something, but another Democratic senator saying, well, we’re not close
to anything. The debt ceiling hangs in the balance just a couple of weeks
after that. Then there’s the Build Back Better plan the president’s trying
to marshal enough support to get done.
It is a busy time in D.C.
Aishah Hasnie following at all from Capitol Hill — Aishah.
AISHAH HASNIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Neil.
Yes, it’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get a lot of this done,
especially the Build Back Better plan, if they want to get it done by
The man of the hour is of course, Senator Joe Manchin. Everyone’s been
talking about him. His biggest gripe with this spending plan right now is
paid family leave. He’s not against the idea. He wants to see it in a
But these wants and wishes have Democrats really losing patience with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL): Some programs have been eliminated. Ones that
I dearly love have been eliminated at his request. And now it’s time for
Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to close the deal. For goodness’ sakes,
enough is enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASNIE: Enough is enough, he says.
Not certain that’s going to deter the moderate Democrat from West Virginia,
who, by the way, got an earful from constituents when he was home for the
holidays. That is why he says he wants to look at this House bill through
the lens of the ongoing inflation crisis.
He also doesn’t really like how this 10-year-long bill is being paid for.
There are some social programs in this like universal pre-K that are
written to last only one to six years. That helps trim the bill’s price tag
at the top. But these programs will probably be extended in the future. And
somebody has to pay for that.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls it — quote — “total accounting
fiction.” Manchin doesn’t like it either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): If you’re going to do something, then do it for
the 10-year period. Don’t do it for one year, three years, or four years or
That’s just — that’s disingenuine for the American public to understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASNIE: And, Neil, it is not just a Joe Manchin issue.
Take a look at all of the items Democrats still need to work out in this
bill, not to mention it has still not gone through the Byrd bath, as they
call it, through the Senate parliamentarian to clear Senate rules.
So, still a long way to go, 24 days until Christmas. Who’s counting?
CAVUTO: Yes. I have a feeling you will be working Christmas, at the rate
HASNIE: We will see.
CAVUTO: Aishah, thank you very, very much.
HASNIE: I will get you a nice present.
CAVUTO: There you go.
Aishah Hasnie following that.
So, where do we stand on the Build Back Better thing in particular right
now, especially with some of the things that Joe Manchin has been saying?
Let’s go to Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the House majority
Congressman, great to see you.
When I heard Senator Durbin, sir, he sounded very frustrated with Joe
Manchin, that Democrats have tried to give him everything he wanted,
Kyrsten Sinema as well.
Are you? Are you frustrated with Joe Manchin?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, first of all, thank you very much for
having me, Neil.
CAVUTO: Thank you.
CLYBURN: I think I almost.
Look, I think Durbin is absolutely correct. This whole notion that, if you
are going to do something, do it for 10 years, or not at all, that’s a
fallacy, and we ought to stop that foolishness.
We don’t know what conditions will be in two or three years. Even if you
were to fund it now for 10 years and there’s dramatic change in our
circumstances, then it may not be but for one or two years. So doing
something for two or three years, rather than 10, is just — it’s crazy to
think that it must be 10 or nothing.
So he ought to be ashamed of himself for saying something like that. That’s
not the way the world works. Everybody knows…
CAVUTO: So, it sounds like you have gotten frustrated with this process
here, and that maybe there’s a sense in the Senate that this is falling
Do you think that it’s falling apart?
CLYBURN: No, I don’t think it’s falling apart at all.
You just have someone who seems to want to have his way or the highway.
That’s what this seems like to me. All of us have been getting outside of
our comfort zones. Durbin is right. He’s given up a lot of things that he’s
We over here on the House side gave up a lot of things that we were
comfortable with. You may recall, when we were doing this bill, even within
our own caucus, I asked the Congressional Black Caucus, the Hispanic
Caucus, the Asian/Pacific Islanders to get beyond their comfort zones. Get
outside of your comfort zones. And we did the same thing with the moderates
in order to find common ground.
So, this whole notion is that you are the only one that must be comfortable
with the process, that’s not the way the world works. You’re aren’t
successful in government or even in family affairs by having it your way
all of the time or no way.
CAVUTO: But isn’t the fear, Congressman, that it’s the progressives having
it all the way, that they’re ruling the roost here, that they’re forcing
this spending, that this spending is going to be inflationary, that we know
from the CBO score it’s not paid for, as the president keeps stating, and
that, when people go back to their various districts, like we’re told
Senator Manchin did in West Virginia to his state, people were giving him
an earful about all of that?
What do you say?
CLYBURN: I would say that that’s not quite right, Neil.
They did say that some things were not paid for under the calculations that
they were using. They also said that, if certain other things were to
happen, it would be paid for.
We just saw this analysis from Moody’s. That analysis indicate that not
only will it be paid for, that we will contribute to a big reduction in the
deficit. And it also said it would have a positive impact on this whole
notion of inflation.
So, who are we supposed to believe, the people who trying to score
political points or an independent house, like Moody’s is? And they don’t
have any political considerations here. So, I believe the Moody’s analysis
to be closer to what’s the fact.
CAVUTO: Well, they’re about the only one. And Moody’s might — Moody’s
might have a calculated interest in this.
They underwrite bonds and all the rest. So, if there’s a lot of activity on
building and municipal bonds, they’re the guys behind it and the rating
agencies. But you’re quite right to say they aren’t saying that. Not too
many other financial types are.
So, I guess what I’m going to ask you here, Americans are very concerned
with runaway inflation and prices getting out of hand. The president says
this is going to fix that. But almost every time the government has spent a
lot of money, you do get inflation.
Now, there might be some benefits in the near term, but you do get
inflation, and it’s only going to get worse. Or — does that worry for your
party and a possible reversal in fortunes for Democrats, where you’re going
to be the minority party after next year?
CLYBURN: Well, I worry for the country. Party is secondary to me. And it
should be secondary to everybody.
I think that the problem we have got here on this Hill now is that
everybody is thinking about the party this, the party that, who will win
next year, who will be in the minority?
Let’s get things going for the American people, and let’s worry about the
politics after this gets done.
So, what we want to do…
CAVUTO: But what if the American people — what if the American people,
sir, aren’t keen on this?
CLYBURN: Well, we have looked at the polling.
How do you tell — determine whether or not they are keen on it? If you
look at the polling — and I have looked at it — well, you got 60, 65
percent of the American people saying this is what they want. So, what does
that tell us if more than 50 percent of the American people…
CAVUTO: That 66 — are you saying there’s a poll that 66 percent of the
people like the Build Back Better plan?
CLYBURN: I said 50 or 60.
CLYBURN: It’s beyond — yes, the Build Back Better plan, the last number I
saw was somewhere like 57, 58 percent.
CAVUTO: All right.
CLYBURN: So, and that’s a fact.
If you get 58 percent, you’re in pretty good shape. We call that a
landslide in elections.
CAVUTO: OK. I will have to watch it. I was not aware of that.
But, Congressman, it’s always good having you. Thank you for taking the
CLYBURN: Thank you very much for having me.
CAVUTO: All right, Jim Clyburn.
Fair and balanced right now, I want to go to John Barrasso, the Wyoming
Republican senator, the Senate Republican Conference chairman.
Chairman, very good to have you.
Let me get your sense of what the congressman was just saying, that this is
going to get done, that Manchin and, by extension, Kyrsten Sinema of
Arizona, they will eventually settle their differences, this gets done.
Now, you talk to your Republican colleagues, I know, to a man or woman, who
don’t like this. Do you think he’s right about those two Democratic
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): Well, look, Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer say
they want to have it done by Christmas.
And, to me, that’s going to make for a very long December, because the
Democrats are going to run into a buzz saw of individuals in the Senate who
realize this is going to hurt the economy if they pass this sort of thing.
It’s going to break the back of the American people, in terms of the taxes,
in terms of the inflation, in terms of all of this additional government
And I talk to Joe Manchin regularly. He and I have a committee meeting
tomorrow, the Energy Committee. He has lots of concerns. And so does
My recommendation is, they put the pause button this to say, let’s take a
look at this after the new year. Inflation, we know, is getting worse. We
know that the taxes are going to be a huge burden on the American people.
I just heard the previous guest talk about how he says this is a popular
bill. You start talking to people at home about components of this bill,
they hate it, when they hear that there are five different new entitlements
for illegal immigrants, including amnesty, when people know that there’s
all this money for more IRS agents, people to do additional audits to spy
on our checking accounts and banking accounts.
They hate that component of it.
CAVUTO: Bottom line, you don’t think this is going to come to pass.
If I could just get your sense of where Democrats and Republicans might
meet on common ground to avoid a government shutdown on Friday. We’re told
that Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer have had what is said to be
Do you think that that can be avoided, that they push this back? How will
they do it? How will Friday night look, Senator?
BARRASSO: I mean, the goal is to keep government open. I’m somebody that
is against government shutdowns.
But what you really are seeing here also is the fact that Chuck Schumer has
been the majority leader for a year. He’s not brought a single
appropriations bill to the Senate all year. He can’t even get the nuts and
bolts of the normal actions of government done. So, the idea…
CAVUTO: But the shutdown thing, Senator, do you think — do you think
there’s enough Republican support to avoid that, to work on some agreement
to just push it back a little bit, set up the stage where they deal with
the debt ceiling in two weeks?
I know you have said that they should be doing that by reconciliation,
leave it up to themselves. It’s up to them. Republicans won’t help with
Where are you?
Yes, I believe that it’s all going to get done. I’m — look, I’m a guy
that’s introduced legislation that’s called end government shutdowns. I
don’t think that we accomplish anything by shutting down the government,
CAVUTO: So you don’t think that’s going to happen?
BARRASSO: I do not. Neil, it’s hard to speculate this.
CAVUTO: OK. And on the debt ceiling thing…
BARRASSO: Go ahead.
CAVUTO: … you will not be part of that push to raise the debt ceiling,
Democrats should make that happen, or not?
BARRASSO: Yes, I am clearly not going to vote to raise the debt ceiling.
I don’t know a single Republican that’s going to vote for that, because
it’s so tied to this reckless tax-and-spending bill. We’re not going to
default on our debt. We never have. But every time we have had a debt
ceiling vote in the past, the idea is to have a discussion about how to get
the deficit under control.
That’s the exact opposite of what’s happening here. The Democrats want to
raise the debt ceiling, so they can do this massive socialist spending. Not
CAVUTO: Yes, but Republicans have raised the debt ceiling a number of
times. You’re both guilty of it, right? It is just different ways of going
about it, but it happens all the time, right?
BARRASSO: And every time it’s done, it generates a discussion about — a
serious discussion about…
BARRASSO: … how are we going to get spending under control? That’s not
being done this time.
This time, they want to raise it, so they can do reckless spending.
CAVUTO: All right, we will see what happens.
Senator, thank you very, very much for taking the time.
A very, very busy time in Washington today, the Supreme Court maybe hinting
today, given some of the questioning we heard in that august chamber, about
a measure that could undercut Roe v. Wade. Now, I’m not saying remove it,
but maybe, maybe take it apart — after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are here today to empower women and promote life.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any decision that allows courts to override and to
violate our basic rights is an unacceptable one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What almost most of us knew in 1973 was wrong. Now
the rest of the country has caught up. And it’s time for this to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, no middle ground on this abortion issue.
Nearly 50 years after Roe v. Wade, signs, just signs — and they could be
wrong — the Supreme Court is looking at slightly unraveling that. Easier
said than done.
Shannon Bream following it all in Washington — Shannon.
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Neil. Yes.
So, today, what was at issue is this Mississippi law that bans most
abortions after 15 weeks. And so, listen, Mississippi has made clear, and
the lawmakers who backed and crafted and got this law passed said they
wanted to make a direct run at Roe v. Wade.
There’s no pretense about that. But, today, there was a lot of discussion
in the court about stare decisis or this concept that you leave precedents
alone unless there is absolutely an egregious error or a correction that
needs to be made by the court.
Justice Breyer today was among the three liberal justices who said they
warned very much that overturning a precedent of that super-precedent sort
of status would signal that it was a political decision.
Here’s a bit of what he said.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
STEPHEN BREYER, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: Feelings run high.
And it is particularly important to show what we do in overturning a case
is grounded in principle, and not social pressure, not political pressure.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BREAM: But Justice Kavanaugh was among those who said, hey, listen, we
have done this before when the court thought we got this wrong, something
egregiously wrong in our past, it was a despicable decision, and now we
have progressed and we need to correct this, he said, a list of decisions
that prove that the court will do this when they think it’s necessary.
Here’s a little bit more of what Justice Kavanaugh said.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BRETT KAVANAUGH, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: If we think that
the prior precedents are seriously wrong, if that, why then doesn’t the
history of this court’s practice with respect to those cases tells us that
the right answer is actually a return to the position of neutrality, and
not stick with those precedents, in the same way that all those other cases
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BREAM: So, we will have to see if there are a majority of justices who are
willing to go further, not only upholding Mississippi’s 15-week ban, which
it sounded like today — and you can’t predict until the votes are out —
that they’re willing to go, at least a majority of them, down that path,
but whether they’re willing to go the next step, overturning Roe or its
Whether they’re willing to do that, I don’t know that the votes are there.
We’re just going to have to wait and see. The court will have its first
secret behind-closed-doors vote on Friday. But, from there, there will be
months of drafting opinions, of trying to persuade and move votes.
And it’s probably going to be, Neil, not until the end of June, early July
when we know what this court decides. And, of course, that comes right in
the middle of the midterm election — back to you.
CAVUTO: Yes, I was just thinking the same thing.
Shannon Bream, thank you very, very much.
In the meantime here, this whole issue of the 15 weeks you hear a lot about
in this Mississippi law that says abortions are not allowed after that
stage, I brought that up with the Mississippi governor, Tate Reeves, who
was telling me there is a reason for that. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. TATE REEVES (R-MS): There’s no guarantee to an abortion in our U.S.
But I would go step a further and tell you that not only is there not a
guaranteed right. There’s also nothing in our United States Constitution
that would prevent a state, a state like Mississippi, from implementing and
placing reasonable restrictions on abortions.
CAVUTO: And that restriction in your state’s case is after 15 weeks,
REEVES: Under the statute that is being tested at the Supreme Court, it is
a 15-week ban.
CAVUTO: Do you think it will become — and that the High Court will affirm
this and, for the first time, a time period by which you cut off all
abortions, putting an actual time to it, after 15 weeks?
REEVES: I believe that, if the court were to read the United States
Constitution, the individual justices would read the Constitution, I think
they would recognize that not only was Roe incorrectly decided, but, also,
I believe Casey was incorrectly decided in 1992.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, the governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves.
Let’s get the read on this from Geraldo Rivera. I know he doesn’t seem that
old, but he was back there in 1973 following that case development. He was
kind enough to join us. John Yoo, I don’t think John was even born yet, but
I could be wrong, the former deputy assistant attorney general, law
professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
Gentlemen, thank you bow.
Geraldo, to you on what could be shaping up to be not maybe the turning it
off, but changing Roe v. Wade. Where do you think this is going?
GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT AT LARGE: I would say that the odds
are in favor of that conclusion.
I believe that with, the super conservative majority on this court now,
with Gorsuch, Coney Barrett, and Kavanaugh, the justices added by Donald
Trump, it’s now a 6-3 conservative supermajority.
And I think they’re very keen on overturning or modifying Wade. You also
have the technological aspect of it, Neil. Roe is based on viability, that
is, the fetus’ ability to live outside the womb independently. And in 1973,
21 to 24 weeks maybe. This 15-week Mississippi law is getting pretty close,
as the technology improves for taking care of fetal health.
So I believe that you have a very fraught circumstance here, where the
conservatives are in a position to modify profoundly Roe v. Wade. I believe
that that is the odds-on destination where the court is headed right now,
CAVUTO: If they do line up, as Geraldo said, John, to their philosophical
bent, it’s a 6-3 conservative court.
It certainly was mirrored in a lot of the questioning from the justices.
What did you learn from that?
JOHN YOO, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: First, I just want to
make clear I was around for Roe, but I don’t remember it.
YOO: So — but I agree with Geraldo’s read.
You have a conservative supermajority. You had Chief Justice Roberts, whose
vote may not matter here because you have these five other conservative
justices, throwing out a compromise that sounds a lot like what you were
discussing, Neil, where he might say, OK, Roe vs. Wade requires us to
strike down laws that interfere with abortion before viability, which is
around 23, 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Robert says, well, what’s so bad about 15 weeks? Maybe that means we toss
out the Roe-Casey framework, but we will still allow a right to abortion up
to 15 weeks?
The interesting thing is, you didn’t hear any other justices taking the
bait for that compromise. In fact, I think the most startling thing to me
listening to arguments was that Justice Kavanaugh, who is a big question
mark, really could be the fifth vote here to strike down or overturn Roe,
he actually seemed pretty clear that he wasn’t going to pay much deference
to past decisions, and he thought the court should just be neutral on
He repeated that several times in the oral argument. I think that would
have been — that’s probably been a surprise for a lot of court watchers to
see Kavanaugh come out so openly against precedent and possibly against
Geraldo, in listening to Justice Sotomayor on this question of viability of
the fetus, for lack of a better explanation — you guys are great lawyers.
I’m not. But I have watched enough last shows to become an expert.
But I’m curious, Geraldo. She was asking about the viability of that fetus
and what’s so special at that time, at that moment, referring to the fact,
for dead people, you could poke them on the foot or the hand and that they
would have a response, but that didn’t mean that they were alive.
I don’t quite know what she was getting at, but the point being that there
was nothing magical to that time or reading into life at that time. What
did you make of that?
RIVERA: I think the court, Neil, has struggled over the decades to find a
line where the rights of the woman are now subordinate to the rights of the
fetus. At what point does that happen? That is viability.
So they’re trying to draw the line. And they’re struggling with it. But it
is clear that viability as defined in 2021 will be, I think, what they hang
their hats on, and what — the justification that they use to overturn this
stare decisis, this concept that because a law, because a decision has been
in place for decades and has stood so many legal challenges, it should be
given a profound deference.
But I really do believe — I think that what President Biden has to do
right now is to remind America of the movement that took place when I was a
law school graduate in 1969 and 1970, the movement whereby they wanted to
get abortions out of the back alleys.
RIVERA: And they were talking about the women who died with coat hangers
stuck up into their wombs trying to abort the fetus themselves, and to
provide a safe, legal — that’s what Roe was about, is a single pregnant
poor woman in Texas, who wanted to — a safe abortion, and couldn’t afford
to go to New York or someplace else to get one.
So I — this is very emotional. It’s fraught with all of these competing
equities. Religion is deeply involved in this. But I believe that what they
will do is, they will use viability and move that — move that line back
from 24 weeks, 23 weeks, that John suggested, and get it lower and lower
and closer and closer to Mississippi.
And, as Roberts said, Justice Roberts, Chief Justice Roberts said, why not
15 weeks? So, I really do — I’m not stating my preference, Neil.
RIVERA: I’m just saying that this is what I believe will happen with this
court as it struggles with this epic, epic problem here.
CAVUTO: John Yoo, not a great deal of time left, but I’m curious, if it
then reverts to something like Geraldo said, where the 24 weeks, and move
that to 15 weeks, the analogy that some were using to say, all right, then
different people will have to go to different states, where there are other
laws, but would then 15 weeks be the law of the land?
I didn’t understand that.
YOO: No, 15 weeks is just Mississippi’s choice.
If Roe gets overturned, we should be clear that doesn’t mean abortion is
banned throughout the country. It just returns it to the states, like
Mississippi, to make their own decisions. And that’s part of what
CAVUTO: So, a state like…
CAVUTO: … that might be still at the 24 is not affected by this
YOO: Yes. Right.
In fact, this just means the Supreme Court will stop drawing those lines.
CAVUTO: I see.
YOO: In part, the court was saying, it’s too hard. Let legislatures do it.
Let states do it.
CAVUTO: But that means people are running back and forth to different
states, depending on what has the fewest restrictions, right?
YOO: Yes. Yes.
RIVERA: Ohio, my state, Neil, has a fetal heartbeat law, where, if you can
detect a heartbeat in the fetus, that’s where abortion becomes illegal.
CAVUTO: I see.
RIVERA: I mean, that could be as early as six weeks.
CAVUTO: All right.
RIVERA: I think that those laws in Ohio and similar states, those laws
will be ruled unconstitutional.
But I do think that there’s going to be some movement here, and it’s not
going to please everybody.
CAVUTO: Yes, it is a divisive issue, gentlemen, as you pointed out,
whether you remember it literally or not 50 years ago, but some changes,
maybe some very big ones, afoot.
I want to thank them. I want to thank you.
Here comes “THE FIVE.”
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