tv Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News October 4, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
not sure about darth vader. >> i think it would be a lot of fun. my husband doesn't want to get into anything that doesn't have a steering wheel. >> or jump out of a plane that's perfectly good. >> we'll see you next sunday. i'm chris wallace. a big potential shakeup in the speaker of the house. congressman chaffetz says he's seriously considering a run to leave the republican majority. today, he'll announce his decision on "fox news sunday." >> everybody thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? so we put together a benghazi special committee. her numbers are dropping. i did not intend to imply in any way that that work is political. >> majority leader kevin mccarthy was the front-runner for the job but now he's facing criticism from republicans for his gaffe. we'll discuss the future of the gop in an exclusive interview
with jason chaffetz. then, the crisis in syria deepens as assad strikes the enemy. >> the middle east policy has now stepped vladimir putin. >> what does that mean for the future of the region? we'll ask retired general jack keane and ryan crocker, former ambassador to iraq and syria. plus, another mass shooting. as a gunman targets christians at an oregon community college. >> our thoughts and prayers are not enough. this is a political choice that we make. to allow this to happen every few months in america. >> our panel weighs in on the president's comments and what can be done to prevent more massacres. and our power player of the week, sesame street's maria, all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in
washington. speaker of the house is a big job. he or she leaves one-half of congress and a second in the line of presidential succession. when john boehner announced his resignation last week, it seemed almost certain, his number two, kevin mccarthy, would secede him. joining me now is congressman jason chaffetz, chair of the powerful oversight committee. congressman, welcome back to "fox news sunday". >> thanks for having me. >> five weeks ago you said you supported kevin mccarthy for speaker and it was widely assumed, the number two position in the gop caucus, that he would move up when john boehner moved out. why are you even considering the idea of running against mccarthy? >> kevin mccarthy is a good man. it's a reason why we have such a solid majority. but things have changed and there's really a math problem.
you need 218 votes on the floor of the house. there are 246 republicans that will vote but there are nearly 50 people and a growing number that will not and cannot vote for kevin mccarthy as the speaker on the floor. he's going to fall short of the 218 votes on the floor of the house. >> so, what are you going to do? are you running for speaker? are you going to put your name forward when the house caucus votes on thursday? >> today, here, i am announcing my intention to run for speaker of the house of represents. we were entrusted by the american people with the largest majority the republicans have ever had since babe ruth was swinging a baseball bat but they didn't send us here for the status quo. they want us to tackle the hard issues they want us to fight. they want us to take that fight to the senate, to the president, and they want us to take that fight to the american people. >> so before we get into the substance, i want to ask you about the procedural issue because it is complicated.
first this vote in the house gop caucus on thursday and then the full vote at the end of the month. do you pledge to support whoever wins the vote in the house caucus on thursday or, even if you lose, will you take your candidacy to the full floor at the end of the month? >> again, we'll have that vote on thursday but in many ways it doesn't matter because the real vote is when you have to call that name out in front of everybody on the floor of the house. so the vote on thursday, it's closed door, secret ballot. i will support the nominee but i just don't believe that the nominee, if it's kevin mccarthy, can get the two-way team. that's why i'm trying to bridge that divide. i think those 50-plus people find that i'm a fair, even-balanced person, that i can bridge that divide between our more centrist members and more of the far right-wing members. >> so basically you're saying you will continue your candidacy until the full vote of the house
at the end of the month? >> what i'm saying is, if we walk out of there -- and i want to win. i hope i win. but there's no doubt that kevin mccarthy has the majority of the people in our conference that do support him. >> are you saying you're going to -- >> i will walk out of there and support the nominee. i hope it's me. but if it's kevin mccarthy, i will support him. but there's still a math problem. you still have to get to 218. i hope we can bridge the gap and turn the fight, instead of internally, turn it to the democrats. >> why do you think there are 50-plus whatever, and hard line conservatives, that won't vote for mccarthy but will vote for you? >> i think americans want to see a change. they want a fresh start. there's a reason why we see this phenomena across the country and you don't just give an automatic promotion to the existing leadership team. that doesn't signal change.
i think they want a fresh face, a fresh new person who is actually there at the leadership table. the speakers have got to be able to speak and articulate the republican message to the american people and take that fight to the president but you also have to bridge internally and that's where we have some conflict going on. >> how do you explain? would you embrace the internal conflict? >> he's been in leadership for years and years and the strife and divide is getting greater, not better. it's how we select the committee, who the committee chair men are, bringing more votes to the floor. i don't expect every vote that we bring to the chair we win. i want the committee to be more empowered and i think that's what our broad membership wants from the full political spectrum. >> what are you saying, basically, that you would be more amenable, more friendlier to the hard-line conservatives,
the freedom caucus, the tea party people than kevin mccarthy would? and how could you be even more effective given the fact that you're still going to have president obama, still going to have enough democrats to sustain a filibuster. how are you going to be any more effective in taking them on? >> internally, you have to bridge the divide. i've been recruited. i didn't wake up last week and think that i was going to run for speaker but i've had enough members who have said, please, jason, do this. realistically, we can't vote to promote the existing leadership. that internal factor is there and i think it will continue to the floor of the house when the vote actually happens and i think a new, fresh face that says, look, how are we going to hold the line for the full political spectrum, what is it that we're going to fight for? i'm not there to perpetuate the status quo. i am not there to do what mitch mcconnell or the president wants to do. that's not what we were elected
to do. >> let's do a lightning round. quick questions, quick answers on some of the specific issues that you would face if you become speaker. president obama announced on friday that he will not sign another short-term spending bill when the continuing resolution runs out in december. would you be willing to risk a shutdown to defund planned parenthood? >> look, we're going to have that discussion internally. my job is to help put a bill on the president's desk. the president's solution is to borrow more money from china. that's not a solution. i want to solve this problem. so unless we're actually solving the problem, i have a hard time putting anything over there on the president's desk that doesn't also solve the problem. i want to solve the problem. >> respectfully, because you're maybe the next speaker, how far are you willing to take the fight to defund planned parenthood? >> the job as speaker is to unite our party in the house and where are we going to hold the line? from the full political spectrum, that's what i want to
do and then we're going to fight and make that case to the american people. >> what about budget caps under sequestration? are you willing to lift the caps so you would have spending on both defense and domestic spending? >> personally, i want to cut spending. personally, i just don't believe that we can continue to add to the deficit. so i actually, personally, like the budget cap. i do believe we need more money for the military. we need more money for the v.a. we need to help those taking care of us and i want to fight cancer. it's killing 1500 people a day. again, it's not my personal agenda we're going to move forward. as the speaker, you've got to take the will of our body, appreciate and respect the process and go fight for that. >> the government will reach its debt limit on november 5th. what would you demand from the president and from the democrats in order to vote to lift the debt limit and are you willing
to risk the possibility of default in that negotiation? >> our job in the house -- we have 246 members. our job in the house is to put forward a bill, i would actually like to see you us cut the deficit. i don't want to borrow more money from china. they are going to solve the problem and not just keep punching it down the road. when president obama took office -- >> would you demand something in return for raising the debt limit? >> we're not just going to unilaterally raise the debt limit. i don't think that's responsible for our country. the death when president obama was 9 trillion. we're approaching 20 trillion. we're spending more than $600 million a day on our national debt. we've got to solve that problem rather than just say, we're going to keep borrowing money from the china. >> so as speaker, mr. congressman, you would be more confrontational than mr. boehner
has been? >> i'm going to go fight and make that case. you want a speaker who speaks. you need somebody who is out there and making the case to the american people, talking to the senate about what we need to do and go on the international television shows and win that argument. we don't see the win the argument and that's a problem. >> just the suggestion that you would run for speaker has brought out sit sichl interest conservatives and they know that you ran a hearing on planned parenthood this week. take a look. >> your compensation is 2009 was $353,000. is that correct? >> i don't have the figures with me, but i -- >> congratulations. >> critics say you focused on the wrong thing, that you focused on planned parenthood's finances and not on the video and the fact that they are trafficking body parts. >> we don't have all of the videos yet but i think it's
legitimate to examine how they spend their money. they are sending money overseas. these are not things that a not-for-prof not-for-profit needs. they want more federal money? i think we can tackle it both on trafficking and fetal body parts but also talking about the finances. >> they also note that in june you stripped mark meadows from his chairmanship because he baulked, went against the house leadership in terms of giving trade authority, fast-track trade authority to president obama. you took his subcommittee chairmanship away. >> i don't believe that you take things away by cutting people off at the knees. i listened for 1:45 with my committee and reconsidered that decision. we've got to win the argument and make the case, not just knock people over the head if
they don't do what we want them to. >> finally, you're in an ugly situation -- that's one way of putting it -- with the secret service as chairman of the house oversight committee, you held a hearing in march about the continued secret service lapses. >> don't let anybody get in that gate and when they come in the gate and they've got a bomb and they say they have a bomb, believe them! take them down, take them down. >> now, an inspector general's report has revealed that within days of that hearing, some 45 agency employees got a hold of your 2003 application to be a secret service agent and someone leaked the fact that your application had been rejected and director joe clancy is now revising his original account of the inspector general when he said back then that he didn't know people in the agency were looking at your file. question: what action should be
taken to the secret service and should director clancy step down? >> well, i think the question is really for the department of justice. you had 45 -- 45 secret service agents violate federal law, according to the inspector general. what is the attorney general doing? why isn't there a special prosecutor over there? it's kind of scary. i fear that these people f. they do it to me, it's probably not the first time. i'm a sitting member of congress. nobody should have to have that done. it's a violation of federal law. >> do you still have confidence in director clancy? >> i lose it every day. this is why almost two years ago we started investigating the secret service. they've had a series of mishappens and they are entrusted with guns around the president. the most sensitive, classified information, they've got a serious cultural problem. >> congressman chaffetz, thank you for coming in today. >> thank you. up next, we'll bring in our sunday group to discuss the
shakeup in the house and the latest from the campaign trail. plus, what do you think? who should republicans choose as their new speaker and how she they deal with president obama? go to@foxnewssunday. @foxnewssu. looks like some folks have had it with their airline credit card miles. sometimes those seats cost a ridiculous number of miles... or there's a fee to use them. i know. it's so frustrating. they'd be a lot happier with the capital one venture card. and you would, too! why? it's so easy with venture. you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. just book any flight you want then use your miles to cover the cost. now, that's more like it. what's in your wallet?
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analyst, brit hume, julia pace who covers the white house for the associated press, ben domenech, co-founder of "the federalist," and christi parsons. brit, how damaging was mccarthy's statement, both to his prospects to be speaker and also to the work of the benghazi committee and what do you make of someone of jason chaffetz, a share man of the house committee announcing that he's going to oppose mccarthy from the running? >> well, i think in the case of chaffetz, if it hadn't been he, it would have been someone else. there is another candidate who is less prominent than chaffetz but chaffetz has a better chance. i think it was damaging to the benghazi committee. i think it was very damaging that mccarthy -- chaffetz is
right. there is a majority support in the republican caucus but it doesn't have 218 so if they go to the floor with them as their kind of nominee and the people on the right don't want him, don't vote for him, he can't win. then they go to a series of votes and it could go on for a long time. we're a long way from having this settled and mccarthy, i think, started an unraveling process by his gaffe on the committee which gave people kind of an excuse, a reason not to support him. so this is a manifestation, chris, of the divisions within the republican party that we're seeing reflected in donald trump and the complaint about the leaders in both house and senate and i don't think there's any way of knowing where this is going to go or end up. >> julie, we saw president obama in his news conference, in picking up on this subject, it
seeming almost to dare house republicans to pick a fight with him, whether it was on the budget or anything else. here's the president. >> i will not sign another short-sided spending bill like the one congress sent me this week. we purchased ourselves ten additional weeks. we need to use them effectively. >> with a split that we have seen and we saw it again this morning, among house republicans. do the president and white house officials feel that they can beat republicans, congressional republicans in any kind of a showdown, whether in the budget? >> well, later in the news conference you heard the president acknowledge that it's going to cause a lot of chaos around the things that he's talking about there, but they think that mcconnell and previously boehner had looked at the landscape and figured out that a shutdown, a fight over the debt ceiling is not good for the republicans going into the
2016 election. they think mcconnell is still in that same place. the white house has been operating under the assumption that the speaker would be mccarthy. now obviously with chaffetz in the race, it's a little more complicated. but they do think that the politics for republicans as well as democrats favors a pretty clean, straightforward process, not a shutdown. >> do they feel if there's a shutdown or default on the debt limit, that the republicans, because of the disarray, take the blame, whether that's fair or not? >> they think they would take more of the blame. they certainly think the white house and president will get some of the plane but the majority will fall on the republicans. >> former allies created some distance between themselves. on the republican side, jeb bush took a swipe at his former protoge. >> i'm a proven leader.
>> and what does that tell you about the current fortunes of marco rubio and jeb bush? >> you know, it's interesting. in the old ways of approaching politics, you want it to be a governor. you want to have the executive experience. jeb bush is confronted by a situation where you actually gain more of the tools of runs for president in this day and age, being confronted by all sorts of gotcha questions and things of that nature. it's an expression of his experience being something that ought to matter to voters currently but i think jeb had an interesting moment in the sense of being attacked by journalists for a comment that he made, which was really out of context and potentially use to his
advantage. and it would be an opportunity to really show that he's a leader in this context and to actually be to his benefit. i'm not sure a fight between him and marco rubio would be to that effect. >> why do you think, though, that he would be going after rubio? >> i think that he recognizes that rubio is more in his lane in the sense that he has an appeal that speaks to a lot of people who share his views on the immigration policy and on the change that needs to happen within washington and getting marco rubio out of that lane is key in order for him to succeed. >> and then over recent days, coming out against the keystone pipeline and then this week took issue with the way that president obama is leading our efforts in syria. >> i personally would advocate
from the air. >> hillary clinton in her approach to these problems but i also think that there's a difference between running for president and being president. >> christi, how do they feel about hillary clinton putting distance on a variety of issues, keystone, other issues between herself and the president? >> i think at this point they feel like she's staying within the realm of basic campaign rhetoric and you saw the president in that news conference on friday dismiss what she said about syria as just, you know, things that you say when you're running for president. they don't obligate you and so farther not so critical that he felt he had to call them half-baked or mumbo jumbo. i don't think they love it but i think the president is willing to keep it kind of cool until she becomes more strident in her
criticism. >> i was going to say, do you have the sense that there's sort of a line -- if she stays on this side of the line, she's going to be okay with it but if she goes to this side of the line, she might push back? >> she made it very clear she's laid out what she wants to be able to show and able to distinguish herself a little bit. she is more hawkish than he is. that came out in the 2008 primary. >> all right. i have a minute left. i want to share it between my two white house watchers. what's the latest on the biden run? in or out? >> i don't know. it seems to change day-to-day when you heard him speak at the human rights campaign last night, it was almost a campaign speech, very forward leaning but then he has other moments where you just don't get the sense that he's quite ready yet. >> yeah, i think that's right. i think the vice president did an interview with a catholic
magazine this week where he sounded much like his interview with colbert. >> that he's owe motion nally not there? >> he's not emotionally not there. i think it's clear that he's also not ready to say, i'm out. >> will he be in the democratic debate in a month? >> i don't think so. >> i don't think so. >> all right. there we go. i know i'm not going to ask brit because he hates predictions. all right. we'll see you all a little later. up next, a dramatic escalation of russian's involvement in syria. we'll talk with a top american general and diplomat about a conflict that suddenly got even more dangerous.
the crisis in syria escalated dramatically this week with russia launching an air campaign to support president assad. president obama came under criticism for letting vladimir putin fill a power vacuum in the middle east and the white house is rethinking its strategy to take on isis. we brought in two experts. joining us to breakdown the military situation is retired four-star general army jack keane and from texas, ryan crocker, who served presidents from bush 41 to obama.
general keane, let me begin with you at the map. show us where and who the russians are headed. >> sure. this is a blow-up of the syria map which doesn't represent all of syria for the purpose of the air strikes. the orange represents the regime control area and the yellow and the green represents the rebels. the green is actually isis. what's happening in syria in the last year, the rebels have made some significant gains in palmyra and this is where the russian base is. and this is his political support. so the regime is in a precarious situation. the reason for the air strikes are to stop this advance by the rebels, particularly in this area here and here. and that's where the air strikes have taken place over the last three or four days. there's been a couple out here to the east near isis'
headquarters near raqqa. it's not just to stop the advance but to set the conditions for a ground counteroffensive to push the rebelling back out of this area. >> let me get to that. u.s. officials are reporting that 3 to 600 iranian forces are being deployed into iraq -- rather, syria. and that's in addition to the 1500 already there. your sense of where they are going to be deployed and what this russian iranian alliance in syria is going to move. >> first of all, the russian iranian alliance strategically is a game changer for the middle east. likely, it will diminish u.s. influence. in terms of what is taking place in syria, this regime would have fallen three years ago without russia and iran. iranians are bringing in 3,000 more to add to what they already have here, which is 7,000 on the
ground. they will provided a vicers to the regime military, organize the local militias with leaders and advisers. this ground offensive could not succeed without iran's influence and without russia air power. >> general, come and join me at the desk. while you do, let me turn to ambassador crocker. this is a big deal. this is the first time russia has struck militarily outside of the soviet union since the ends of the cold war and it's also really the first time that russia is involved in an aggressive fashion in the middle east since, what, the 1970s. so how big of a deal is this for vladimir putin? >> chris, it is a big deal for vladimir putin and for us. what we're seeing is nature abhoring a vacuum. in the case of iraq and syria, the vacuum that we left when we disengaged is now being filled
by people we really don't like. so i see a continuum here. islamic state, iran, iranian-backed shia militias in iraq and now russia. so when we step out, others are stepping in. i see this russia intervention as the latest move in a pretty negative process that's been going on for several years now. >> let me pick up on that. because ambassador, at the u.n. this week, it seemed president obama was inviting russia and iran into the syrian conflict. take a look. >> the united states is prepared to work with any nation, including russia and iran, to resolve the conflict. >> ambassador, you said this. russia has played a terrible hand brilliantly. we folded what could have been a pretty good hand. explain what you mean by that.
>> russians are moving in because of the regime of assad. it's offensive in nature. they are trying to prop him up as the tide of the battle turns against him, as jack keane said. it's iran and its russia keeping him in the game. for us to think for a moment that russia and iran are aligned with our interests in the region, the pattern of air strikes points it out. they are attacking the forces we're supporting. they don't care about islamic state. our interests and theirs are completely misaligned, yet they are moving forward and we are not moving at all there are things we could do. that's what i mean by a potentially pretty good hand. we could impose a no-fly zone. we could make a dramatic step on refugees we could engage
diplomatically and politically. that's the big essence right now. send john kerry to baghdad and have him sit there, working the political problems that underlie the weaknesses of the iraqi military. those are political problems and we have to engage to do it. >> general keane, both you and the ambassador made a big point about the fact that in the northeast part of the country, that's where isis is and that's where we're striking in the northwest part of syria. that's where the relatively moderate syrian rebels are that we're supporting and those are the ones that russia is hitting. but russian president lavrov said there's no difference between the ones they are hitting and the ones they are hitting. take a look. >> he said if it looks like it is, it acts like it is, it's a te terrorist. >> general, how do you answer
lavrov? >> he's essentially right. now, frankly, isis doesn't put much pressure on the regime. isis is more concerned about its own caliphate and expandsing outside of iraq and syria from the headquarters of iraq and they've done that in seven other countries. the focus in russia will be whatever rebels are encroaching on that regime and that kind of pressure. >> ambassador crocker, you, as you mentioned here, said earlier that the president should impose a no fly zone over that section of northwest syria where civilians are, where the moderate -- relatively moderate syrian rebels are. he said, no way we're going to get into a proxy war with russia and said that they are going to ends up in -- should the president be so confident that
this is going to end up badly for putin? >> that would be baking a policy on hope. that has never made sense and doesn't make sense now. we need to change the dynamics in the game. jack keane would know this better. this would be a no fly zone to stop assad's barrel bombing of his own people. >> ambassador, if i may interrupt you, if you said up a no fly zone in the area that the russians are attacking with air strikes, aren't you creating a confrontation over the skies of syria? >> i wish we had established that no-fly zone before the russians came in. that may have dissuaded them from doing it. i still think we should step up to this. a no-fly zone, as i understand it, can be enforced not with manned aircraft but with offshore missiles and i think we should just tell the russians that we're going to do it and
then do it. that is not an end, in and of itself, but could change the dynamics to make the russians and clai and their client, bashar al assad, to arrange for him to leave syria. >> gentlemen, we're running out of time. i want to ask you about the big news of this weekend and that, of course, is the tragic eebven of afghanistan where apparently a u.s. air strike in the effort to help the afghans take back the kunduz, it hit a doctors without borders hospital killing at least 19. general keane, how can something like that happen? >> they are usually human mistakes. we've got tremendous pilots and we've got great technology and it's a targeting problem, i would imagine, as opposed to an errant missile. wrong target or errant missile. these things do happen.
as sad as that is, people are out here sacrificing their lives in a combat zone and they are killed by a united states pilot and it's unbelievably tragic event, to be sure. we're learn from it and sadly, though, these things do happen in war. the good news is, they rarely happen with u.s. weapons. that's the good news. >> ambassador crocker, finally, as the former ambassador to that country, how badly does this hurt our standing with the afghans? >> it is a very strategic event, as jack said, but the afghans count on us. they will know it was a mistake. no country, no military does more than the united states to avoid this kind of thing. tragically, it happened. i don't think that is going to fundamentally change how the afghans look at us. right now, they need us badly. they are desperate to see us stay there, stay engaged, support their military. that's going to be the dominant
reaction. >> ambassador crocker, general keane, thank you both. we'll stay on top of this situation in syria. thank you, gentlemen. up next, we'll bring back our sunday group to discuss that awful asthmassacre in oregon. plus, what would you like to ask the panel? just go to facebook or twitter, @foxnewssunday. moderate to severe crohn's disease is tough, but i've managed. except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief.
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sized this issue. well, this is something we should politicize. >> president obama responding with obvious emotion to the latest mass shooting at an oregon community college and declaring he will push again on the issue of gun control. we're back now with the panel. brit, what do you think of the president's comments, both in the immediate aftermath and then again at his friday's news conference and his intention to talk about tougher gun control laws? >> gun control is a political issue. and if the president has an idea that he believes ought to be advanced to try to stop these recurring mass killings, there's not nothing at all wrong with him doing so. the problem, i think, is this is not an issue and proven through the years and a commonsense
measure. what commonsense measures does he mean? if it looks to me like the gun control that he likes is the kind that they've tried in australia, for example, where they confiscated guns, you couldn't pass that through either house of the congress with control of both houses. i don't have any problem with his talking about it. >> julie, from the little that we actually know of facts about this terrible case, all 14 of the guns that the shooter had gotten, he had bought legally, apparently had no criminal record or mental health record, any law they could have passed wouldn't have made a difference in this case. >> they tried to talk about this in a broader way, not that this incident would have been stopped. the president thinks it's the broad availability of guns, whether purchased legally or not
legally. to brit's point here, the president is really lacking in specifics about what he wants to do moving forward other than simply talking about it and i think that that really underscores the political position he finds himself in. i don't think we're going to see him push for legislation on capitol hill. i don't think we're really going to see him pushing state legislatures. i think simply it's going to be talking about this because he knows that the political dynamics haven't changed since he last launched this effort. >> i want to put out aure on th. the shooting that took place in oregon was on the 274th day of 2015, and according to a website called mass shooting tracker, it was the 294th mass shooting in those 274 days and they define mass shooting in which four or more people were hit. can we do anything about it?
>> it was interesting to listen to the president say what he said because, from my perspective, if you take logically the steps that he's taking and assume, for the sake of argument, that he's correct, that his policies are popular, they are commonsense, they are constitutional, and that the only thing that's preventing them from going through is the republicans or gun lobby or some other effect, there's actually a problem with that because this president could have had any gun legislation he wanted at that point to push through. so i think when it comes time to assess what kind of gun policy we had in the country, the president needs to look in the mirror. he's making this about him but i think it's really about him. he chose, instead, to go through the health care pass and pass obamacare and i think it was a democratic senate after newtown that killed his approach to gun legislation.
i don't think this is anything that stands up against the logic of what he's saying. >> chris, how would they respond to that at the white house? >> the president obama had a limited amount of capital and when it comes to trying to pass something through the senate, it's a difficult issue. not all democrats are supportive of these gun safety measures that the president was pushing. >> we asked you for questions for the panel and we got this from eric. he writes, the shootings in oregon and the amount of dead ends up being an average weekend in chicago but you never hear the president talk about that. christi, how do you answer this question from eric and that the president is selective? >> that's an interesting question. i don't think it's true that he doesn't talk about gun violence in chicago. he's talked about it quite a bit. in fact, you'll remember not long ago, a 15-year-old girl was
killed in chicago, an innocent bystander to a gang complex. >> i think it's fair that he does seem to focus on these big mass shootings and not the steady drumbeat of gun violence in a city like chicago. >> i think when he talks about the urban violence, there are other factors that he tries to -- like my brother's keepers initiative and the other rhetoric and his personal mission will continue long after he's in office. you about i do think that he sees these mass shootings as a separate thing with a different dynamic pushing them and it's a dynamic, in the case of gang violence, he feels he has policy subscriptions he can push or at least talk about when it comes to mass shootings, he's reaching the point, like many people, including embedded in your question, who just feel like there is not -- there is not an obvious solution to attacking this incredible growing problem. >> is there a solution?
>> i don't think there is. evil people will always exist and they will always do evil things. it's harder to come up with a policy for a lunatic who clear liam barked on a murderous rage than there is i think dealing with the problem of crime. >> julie, after newtown and after some of these, the president has not only talked about the gun control aspect of it but the mental health aspect of it and i must confess ignorance on this, has anything happened there, so you have more of a connection between gun purchases and mental health records? >> you've seen the president sign executive orders but nothing in a really major way and certainly when you look at a lot of these mass shootings, that's one thing that really stands out and is also one area where he actually have some common ground between democrats, republicans, gun control advocates and those who don't want to see more legislation, mental health seems to be
something where you could potentially see progress made. >> so brit, going back to something that ben has said in the previous panel segment, you had jeb bush get hammered by a bunch of people for saying stuff happens and you can't find a solution for it and perhaps stuff happens wasn't the most elegant way to put it. are we just back to accept that there are limits to what government can do? >> well, it's a law enforcement issue and also as you and julie were talking about, it's a mental health issue. i don't think the president or anyone on his side of the equation or really any of the republicans have been very bold or creative about articulating possible ways to address these things. the mental health issue is a problem. this guy probably shouldn't have been on the street. he was evidently in pretty bad shape. it's a tricky thing to do but i don't think it's mission impossible. what we need from the president is some kind of a balanced
approach to the issue and that would be true of hillary clinton or anyone else running for president. we're not hearing that. it's not an easy problem but i think it would be helped by at least some thoughtful new ideas on the subject. >> and just very quickly, you know, you say he shouldn't have been on the street, he hadn't been incarcerated and hadn't committed a crime. >> i don't have the answer but i think there probably is an answer. >> all right. thank you, panel. this will obviously be a subject we continue to discuss and see you next sunday. up next, our power player of the week. after 44 years, maria leaves sesame street and opens up about her own troubled childhood.
generations have known her asthma rea on sesame street but now she's stepping out of character to discuss the challenges she had as a kid. here's our power player of the week. >> somebody handed it to me and i ran with it. >> she's been a trailblazer for almost half a century as maria on "sesame street."
she taught us about life and love. >> maria! >> reporter: and as one of the first hispanics on tv, she filled a big void. >> my husband wakes up and says, hello. >> reporter: are you serious? >> yeah. >> reporter: to understand why she's an icon, just look at her life. waking up as a puerto rican immigrant in the south bronx back in the '50s. >> my father was a violent drunk. there was domestic violence. >> what role did television play for you? >> television was my sanctuary. i loved "leave it to beaver" and "father knows best". >> reporter: but there was that void. >> i never saw anybody that looked like me or lived in the same environment as me and i wondered where do i fit in the society that doesn't see me.
>> reporter: fast forward to the early '70s when sonia got the role of maria on seas sa me street. >> i was a teenager when i started. ♪ when i fell in love and got married, so did maria. maria had a baby on "sesame street" shortly after i did. she's really me as a better person. i'm kinder, i'm more patient. >> reporter: why are you retiring? >> 44 years is long enough to wait for oscar the grouch to propose. >> it's the me, myself that is coming out. >> reporter: sonia won 15 emmys writing for "sesame street." now she's wrote a memoir. do you think you've provided the same safe haven to hispanics as
you did as a kid? >> i know that i have. they have said that they've thought of me as their friends, their mother, their girlfriend. >> reporter: and what does that mean to you? >> it's wonderful. >> reporter: sonia says when she started on sesame street she wanted to end racism and close the education gap. and while that may have been a little ambitious, she says she had a lot of fun and made a contribution. >> i made people laugh, fool around with the muppets. >> geronimo! >> learning how to do a take for the camera. i had a producer who always used to say, so it's our drop in the bucket to a foreign eagle society and i think that means something. >> sonia is donating some of the profits from her book to help build a museum where she grew up
in the bronx. that's it for "fox news sunday." a fox news alert. we are waiting a news conference from columbia, south carolina, where governor nikki haley is about to give an update on what is being called the historic flooding that has been gripping her state. we'll bring it to you live. i'm arthel neville. >> and i'm eric shawn. the forces of nature are dealing a horrible hand to south carolina. described as catastrophic, happening once, we're told, in 500 years. south carolina under assault right now as the record-setting rain continues. president obama declaring a state of emergency there as