This is a rush transcript from “Your World with Neil Cavuto” January 18, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right, all eyes right now on the
president-elect and what he plans to do, we’re hearing now, within hours of
his swearing-in on Wednesday. Can you say executive orders?
Donald Trump used quite a few of them. Now we’re hearing Joe Biden will use
quite a few to undo them. Among the things we’re hearing is an executive
order to rejoin the Paris climate accords, another to repeal the President
Trump ban on U.S. entry for citizens coming in from majority Muslim
countries, still another to extend a moratorium on foreclosures against
Americans, and still another to extend renter protections facing the same
Don’t even get started on the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that will likely
be introduced only days later. It is a busy agenda. It is a busy first 100
days, and it takes off in little more than two days.
Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto, and this is YOUR WORLD on top first of
what the soon-to-be-new commander in chief has in store for what will be a
Peter Doocy with what he’s hearing.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, good afternoon.
The next administration is no longer talking just about this return to
normalcy that Joe Biden spoke so much about on the campaign trail, because
we just heard from Kamala Harris she is talking about big, profound
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: We’re going into
Wednesday knowing that we’re getting — we’re ready to do the work.
And we have got a lot of work to do. It’s not going to be easy. As we have
discussed, Joe has outlined our plan for vaccinations, our plan for
recovery, and in particular relief for working people, for families.
And there’s a lot to do. Some would say that ours is an ambitious goal, but
we do believe, with hard work and with the cooperation and collaboration of
the members of the United States Congress, that we can get it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: There are many executive orders on the way within the next two
weeks aimed at getting tougher on climate change, softer on certain
immigration restrictions, and making health care easier to access.
These are all separate from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan that
addresses direct relief for struggling Americans, but also a tax on money
for cybersecurity and forces employers to pay employees $15 an hour as a
Where does all that money come from? Well, some of it, tax hikes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Asking everyone to pay their fair share at
the top, so we can make permanent investments to rescue and rebuild
America, it’s the right thing for our economy. It’s the fair thing. It’s
the decent thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: We were on a Zoom call today with the Biden Inaugural Committee.
They had been teasing a big announcement today. And they revealed on this
call that Garth Brooks will be performing here on Wednesday — Neil.
CAVUTO: Add it to a long lineup.
All right, thank you, Peter, very, very much, Peter Doocy at the White
In the meantime, we have got Francesca Chambers here, McClatchy White House
correspondent, also Bob Cusack of The Hill.
Francesca, obviously, the administration plans to have a busy start, and
including doing everything it said it wanted to do, which, by the way,
includes those big tax hikes. They’re not going to be put off. Indications
are that they might have a bumpy reception in Congress and a 50/50 Senate,
but, in other words, no sign yet from the Biden folks that the tax hikes
are put off.
What do you think?
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, MCCLATCHY D.C.: Well, what we have heard from Ron
Klain, the incoming White House chief of staff, is that Joe Biden will use
at least a dozen executive orders on his first day in office, Neil, and
then, over the next 10 days, he will be doing a whole lot more of those
The people he’s close to, like James Clyburn, have encouraged him to use as
much executive authority as he possibly can. He said that he encouraged
Barack Obama to do the same thing. But he didn’t use as much executive
action as Clyburn would have liked. And that’s his advice to Biden for how
to get some things done when he faces potential gridlock from Congress.
CAVUTO: You know, in talking to Clyburn not too long ago, Bob, the one
thing he left with me was the notion, by all means, try to work with
Republicans, as Francesca outlined, but, if you’re going nowhere, go the
executive order route, force the issue, maybe blow up the filibuster,
anything and everything it takes.
If you think about it, administrations in recent memory have been chipping
away at the whole filibuster thing. Joe Biden could be the president to
finally put a stake in it and call it a day.
What do you think?
BOB CUSACK, THE HILL: He could, Neil.
I mean, Joe Manchin, the centrist Democrat from West Virginia, said he does
not want to do that.
But there’s so much pressure on Joe Biden to get stuff done, and not just
executive orders and regulations, which he can do, and trade policies, but
getting big package deals like the $1.9 trillion bill through Congress.
And, remember, these are narrow majorities. Republicans could easily win
back the House and Senate in a couple years. Do they really have an
incentive to make deals? And that opens a question to, well, if you’re not
going to make deals, Republicans, then we might have to get rid of the
filibuster, or at least curb it in some way.
CAVUTO: You know, it is an aggressive agenda, to your point, Francesca,
earlier. And you will have these impeachment hearings they want to keep —
or at least many Democrats want to keep, by having the Senate take up a
trial to finish what the House did.
Do you get any sense from the Biden folks whether that might rob from the
time they have not only to get members of the president-elect’s Cabinet
through, but to do all this other stuff you have both pointed out?
CHAMBERS: Certainly, there’s an effort under way to kind of bifurcate the
time, so to speak, to where they could have an impeachment trial, but also
try to get members of the Cabinet passed through.
But, as you just pointed out, Neil, there is also this COVID relief package
that he would like to get done as soon as possible, because,when the
package was passed before, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer
described it as a first step and roughly a down payment.
And they said that, when Joe Biden got into office, he would get a better
deal. And so Democrats are counting on that at this point. And he will have
to move very quickly on that. And, as you pointed out, an impeachment trial
is certainly something that would make that more difficult for him. The
Senate only has so much time on their hands.
CAVUTO: You know, it brings up a question that touched on how difficult it
is to get an agenda through in a 50/50 Senate, even with the vice president
cast as a tiebreaker.
And, Bob, it applies to progresses more in the party who could be
disruptive, who might not think — in fact, Bernie Sanders has said as much
— that the $1.9 trillion plan isn’t rich enough. Still criticism on the
part of many progressives that the president-elect should prove that he can
walk and chew gum at the same time and pursue this impeachment issue
against his predecessor.
So, I’m just wondering if the real trouble for the incoming president
couldn’t be within his own party.
CUSACK: Oh, it could very well be, Neil.
He’s going to have to — Joe Biden’s going to have to deal with his left
flank. Now, in his Cabinet picks. He didn’t pick a Republican. Usually,
there’s one — a person of the opposing party. However, there’s also no
Bernie Sanders, who wanted to be in the Cabinet, or Elizabeth Warren.
These are mostly Obama insiders, people who have been in government before.
But they’re not hugely way left. So, Joe Biden’s already dealing with some
grumbling on the left, and that’s going to get louder in the coming weeks.
CAVUTO: Bob, final word.
Francesca, thank you very much.
Only a couple of days away from all of this going forward. We will see how
it goes forward, but some history could be very well in the making here,
but not before, of course, Donald Trump leaves office, where we’re getting
word that a couple of big things he plans to do before he formally leaves
the White House, and that is issue what could be quite a few pardons,
Kristin Fisher with that at the White House.
KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Neil.
Well, President Trump is expected to issue between 50 and 100 commutations
and pardons before he leaves office. And that’s according to multiple
people who are familiar with the list.
But he is not expected to issue a preemptive pardon for himself or for
members of his family. Now, one of the most high-profile names that has
been discussed in this latest final round of pardons was Julian Assange.
But despite an aggressive campaign by WikiLeaks to try to secure a pardon
for its founder, President Trump is not expected to give him one. He is
expected to grant a pardon for the rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty
this year to a federal gun charge.
And then there’s the president’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who
was arrested on fraud charges over the summer. Unclear, though, at this
point if Bannon will get one.
Now, there has been some discussion about President Trump possibly
pardoning some of the people who stormed the Capitol back on January 6.
But, over the weekend, Republican senator Lindsey Graham said he thought
that was a terrible idea. He thought that it would — quote — “destroy
So, it looks unlikely like that will be the case, at least right now. But,
Neil, as you know, President Trump could always change his mind at a
Now, in terms of timing, tomorrow is, of course, President Trump’s final
full day in office. And that is when we believe that a lot of these pardons
and commutations are going to come down. And there was a meeting here at
the White House on Saturday to really finalize that list.
But, Neil, President Trump, he has until noon Wednesday to do it, but we do
think that tomorrow is going to be the day that all of this comes down —
CAVUTO: All right, Kristin, we will be watching very closely, Kristin
Fisher at the White House.
In the meantime here, they’re getting ready for anything and everything.
You hear a lot about the beefed-up security in the nation’s capital, better
than 25,000 National Guard troops and the rest, a lot more Capitol Police
than would typically be the case, and then this other chatter they’re
hearing about things that could go down in state capitals, that the U.S.
Capitol is locked down like a drum, but what about state capitals and other
states in general?
We will pursue that — after this.
CAVUTO: All right, it is an understatement to say there’s unprecedented
security beefed up in the nation’s capital.
A lot of people say you have to go back to 1861, right before the start of
the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln was being inaugurated and had to be
secreted into Washington to make sure nothing happened to him.
That was then. It’s a different environment now, but a testy one just the
Rich Edson in Washington, D.C., in the middle of all of that.
RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey. Good afternoon, Neil.
And it is a massive security presence here, and it’s still growing; 21,000-
plus National Guard members are already here, with thousands more on the
way. And defense officials say they’re examining those Guard members to
ensure against any potential insider threat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM WALKER, COMMANDING GENERAL, NATIONAL GUARD: In an
abundance of caution, we are definitely — we want to make sure that we
have the right people in this security bubble.
And we have the time and the ability to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
EDSON: Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller adds in a statement — quote
— “While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are
leaving no stone unturned in securing the Capitol.”
Police say they have already made a handful of arrests at these security
checkpoints, including this weekend a 22-year-old for carrying a pistol
without a license. And, on Friday, when Capitol Police say they intercepted
a driver who had a handgun and ammunition, the Washington Post interview
that driver, said he was working security in D.C., rushing to work, and
forgot he had his firearm in the truck.
Homeland Security officials say they’re concerned about threats here in the
nation’s capital, though much of the focus is on state capitals around the
country. The National Guard says governors have activated more than 33,000
National Guard members to both work security, but also for COVID-19 —
Neil, back to you.
CAVUTO: Rich, I’m curious.
How close can you physically, just on feet, get to the Capitol?
EDSON: So, this is third street, means that we’re three blocks away from
the Capitol Building right here.
That yellow tape right there — and these folks have been around here
throughout the day — you come early in the weekend or Friday, Thursday,
you can get even one block closer to the Capitol Building. But they have
been moving that perimeter out. Sometimes, people can walk in and out, but,
for the most part, that’s now been extended to three blocks out from the
And there is a massive perimeter all the way not around only the Capitol
Building, but the House and Senate office buildings that are on either side
here. You get this all the way around the city here, and then all the way
around the National Mall as well.
It is a massive, massive presence in D.C.
CAVUTO: Just incredible.
Thank you, my friend, very much. Great reporting.
Rich Edson in the middle of all of that, as I said.
I want to get the read on what Jeff Lanza thinks of all of this, Jeff, of
course, a former FBI agent, very helpful when it comes to security and just
what potential bad guys could be considering.
Jeff, thank you for taking the time.
Now, that’s a widening cordoned-off area, I guess not — no surprise there.
But it will get wider still by Inauguration Day. What do you make of all
JEFF LANZA, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, it’s — as you said earlier,
it’s unprecedented in our times.
You have to go back over 100 years maybe to compare a situation like this.
So — but I think, based on what happened on January 6, we’re going to see
a little bit different of preparation. I mean, you could throw plans out
the window, but planning is important. You have to plan for emergencies,
plan for contingencies, plan for the worst that can happen.
They didn’t do that on the 6th, but they’re doing that now around the
nation’s capital and then also state capitals as well.
CAVUTO: Now, they were concerned, I know, this weekend that there would be
some protests that might pop up certainly in the capital and other
capitals, really nothing to any substantial or even worrisome degree.
What do you think?
LANZA: I agree with that assessment.
But, like I just mentioned, you just don’t know. You have to prepare for
the worst side of things to happen. And the FBI’s Christopher Wray, the
director, has already said — in the last couple of days, he said that they
have been receiving a significant amount of information and pushing it out
to the local law enforcement agencies.
Now, we’re talking about state areas now, state capitals, all 50 state
capitals, and letting them know the information that they have received to
help prepare for that. Now, there’s less social media for the — anyone
with potential violent intentions to communicate now…
LANZA: … because Facebook, at the very minimum, and others are shutting
some of those communication channels down that talk about things, certain
keywords that are hit upon.
So, that’s a double-edged sword for law enforcement. It helps that maybe
the people with violent intentions can’t communicate with one another as
easily in those media sites or those venues, but it makes it more difficult
for law enforcement to gather intelligence.
Now, there are alternative sites which law enforcement can monitor, as well
as the human intelligence. And that’s a big part that we can’t forget. You
can monitor chatter, but human intelligence is more important. And you got
to believe that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies has people make
potentially close enough to the planners where they can get some really
good intelligence, not just what’s being put out in the form of chatter on
CAVUTO: Yes, it is ironic, you pointed out here. By social media shutting
down this type of talk. Forgot about the violent talk, but then compressing
it to almost all conservative — conservative comments or Donald Trump-
They have actually made all these guys who might be contemplating that go
underground. How do they track that type of stuff, if it’s not through the
So, the FBI, I mean, they know what the conservative — or — excuse me —
what the alternative sites are. And the biggest fear, though, of law
enforcement — and this goes back now years — is encrypted communications,
so the encrypted chat rooms, the encrypted messaging sites that the
individuals can use to communicate that may be more difficult for law
enforcement than to monitor to see what’s going on with the planning is.
So, that’s more of a worry is — are those encrypted communications. But
the alternative social media sites, the less well-known sites, the FBI
knows what those are. They have been monitoring those as well. And as
people break off and splinter into those sites, the FBI will gather that
But, again, that’s no substitute for good human intelligence, people that
may be involved in these groups that are reporting their intentions in a
very timely manner.
CAVUTO: Jeff Lanza, thank you very much, my friend.
Jeff Lanza, the former FBI agent, on all of these developments.
We will, of course, keep you posted on those developments and pursue this
issue of chatter that you hear so much about to keep people on guard, just
All right, 100 million doses of vaccines out to the America people in the
first 100 days of Joe Biden’s administration. Is it doable? Dr. Fauci says
it is. But everything’s got to be falling into place. And, right now, it is
not — after this.
CAVUTO: Note to the incoming Biden administration, a lot of violence in
Guatemala, fighting right now with police, and a lot of them are heading up
north. They think he will be a friendlier judge at the border. Will he?
CAVUTO: All right, good for Joe Biden thinking big, 100 million doses, get
them out within the first 100 days.
But the fact is, 30 million vaccine doses have been distributed to the
states as of now, but far less than half of those have been used thus far.
So, how do we improve on the problem that has bedeviled 50 states having 50
different set of rules for all of this?
Is the issue to federalize it and get a common, one standard that everyone
can follow? That’s an issue for the incoming president.
Let’s get the read on whether that’s going to work with Dr. Bob Lahita, the
St. Joseph University Hospital chairman of medicine, New York Medical
College professor of medicine, much, much more.
Doctor, always great to see you.
What do you think of that goal of Joe Biden’s to get all those doses out in
his first 100 days?
DR. BOB LAHITA, ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Neil. I think that’s a
great goal, and I think it’s doable. And I think it should be federalized.
I have to say that. There’s — it’s important to get pods where
vaccinations can be given 24/7 round the clock. Train people. Even train
National Guard people to give the injections, if that’s necessary, and have
Each state should have mega-sites. Those mega-sites can encompass quite a
few thousand people. And that can be done thousands of people a day. And
that can be achieved. A hundred million vaccine doses can be given. I
believe it’s possible. So does Tony Fauci, by the way.
CAVUTO: Yes, you’re right. I heard of that, too.
Doctor, I mean, I think you and I are in the Tri-State, New York, New
Jersey, Connecticut area, three states that have three different sets of
rules about who gets what and when. So, I think that creates this confusing
CAVUTO: And I’m wondering, if it’s a standard that anyone 65 and older,
for example, gets this, anyone with — let’s say, in a nursing home or a
treatment center gets this.
CAVUTO: But do we need to make it that explicit and that clear, so that
there are no ifs, ands or buts?
LAHITA: Yes, unfortunately, Neil, we have to make it very clear.
You know how the public is and you know how states are. Everybody’s doing
their own thing, particularly in New York state, where things haven’t gone
very smoothly. And that’s really, really important.
LAHITA: It’s important to do it right and do it with one rule, and
identifying the subgroups with comorbidities, et cetera, very, very
CAVUTO: Do you get a sense, Doctor? I know the incoming CDC chief said she
expected half-a-million deaths in the U.S. by mid-February.
Then, I was trying to crunch the numbers in my head, at the rate we’re
going, that she might not be too far off. But how is that still happening?
What has happened? Is it the variant of this that’s gotten it? Is it more
testing? Is it — because it just seems to be out of control when you hear
those type of numbers.
LAHITA: Well, I think, Neil, people are fatigued, so they’re not social
distancing, they’re not washing their hands, and they’re not wearing masks
in various parts of the country.
So, because mitigation is not happening, that, coupled with the fact that
we have a new variant, the British variant, and now the South African
variant coming down the pike, these are variants of the virus that are
In other words, if you have a larger number of people who are infected,
obviously, you’re going to have more deaths, and that’s what’s happening.
And this variant also likes young people, just as it does elderly people.
So it sticks to the receptor very tightly and causes major problems.
So, I expect to see a big surge going forward until we can get these people
vaccinated. And that’s why a federal program is essential.
CAVUTO: All right, so, very quickly, those who get vaccinated might feel
that they’re super man or woman, and then not bother with masks and all of
that, because, well, they’re bulletproof.
CAVUTO: No one can get it from them, they can’t get it from anyone else.
What do you tell them?
LAHITA: I tell them to keep wearing the mask, because they are not
Remember, it’s percentages. It’s 90 percent effective. In fact, the new
AstraZeneca is 90 percent effective. The Moderna and Pfizer are both 94 and
95 percent effective. But there’s that 5 to 6 percent range where the
vaccine is — may not be effective.
And everybody is different. Everybody’s immune system is theirs and it’s
different. So, wear a mask, even if you have been immunized. Wash your
hands, so you can’t give the virus to somebody else. It may not affect you,
but you can still transmit it.
CAVUTO: All right, Doctor, always good catching up and getting the sound
advice, Dr. Bob Lahita. Very reassuring words there.
Everyone, don’t take anything for granted.
All right, well, imagine being a small business these days, particularly in
the Washington, D.C., area. You have been dealing with the pandemic, the
slowdown in the economy, of course, crime, which was rampant not too long
ago, but things have stabilized. And now they’re all but shutting down the
capital for a few days, and maybe longer.
What do you do? We will talk to a business owner — after this.
CAVUTO: All right, imagine being a business in Washington, D.C., these
First of all, you have been dealing with a pandemic. And that’s been a
nightmare. And now the city is boarding up and all but shutting you down,
in the middle of all of this, right up to and maybe past the inauguration,
Steve Harrigan with more on how those preps are going.
STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, all across this part of the
city, this is the scene you see, restaurants, hotels, businesses, plywood,
boarding up those windows like before a storm, but these owners are afraid
their windows are going to get smashed.
Ordinarily, inauguration week is great, especially for restaurants. Owners
tell us they make 200, 300 percent a night off their normal take. But this
inauguration, at least from a business point of view, is shaping up to be
potentially the worst ever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MORAN, CLYDE’S RESTAURANT GROUP: Without a doubt our busiest time in
our restaurant’s history, not only January 20, but a couple days before, a
couple days after. You add those up in these two restaurants, we do about a
million dollars in sales.
And that’s not just the sales part. That’s all our staff making that money,
all the suppliers and vendors who sell us products. So, unfortunately, this
year, it is zero.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIGAN: We heard that point over and over again.
It’s not just the owners. It’s really a chain reaction, with employees and
suppliers hurt as well. We have spoken to a few places who are trying to
stay open. They say it’s a real hurdle for employees even to make it to the
business. That’s because there are so many roadblocks.
Employees getting there and feeling safe while they’re there has been a
real hard time. And especially after 10 months of COVID, people thought,
maybe we will get a boost during inauguration week. But it doesn’t look
like that’s going to happen — Neil, back to you.
CAVUTO: Steve Harrigan, thank you very, very much.
One of those business owners who is worried, to put it mildly, because of
all of this is above Bob Materazzi, Shelly’s Back Room restaurant owner.
Bob, good to have you.
So, you’re essentially shut down, right?
BOB MATERAZZI, OWNER, SHELLY’S BACK ROOM: Yes, thanks for having me, Neil.
Yes, we are. We have been — we have been in protocol one since — for
almost a month now, which means no indoor seating. And outdoor seating is
tentative at best. It’s dependent on the weather, dependent on the
And now the situation exacerbated with the entire area around our
restaurant closed to pedestrian traffic and then to no metro access. So,
it’s very, very difficult times, very difficult.
CAVUTO: So, I’m sure, for delivery, it’s the same thing.
So, could I ask you, Bob, then what do you do in that environment,
especially if this goes beyond Inauguration Day? At least the troops, we
understand, are going to be there through the end of this month, maybe
longer. It depends. But then what?
MATERAZZI: Well, you hang on.
I mean, in 2020, we lost about 70 percent of our sales to 2019. And we’re
hanging on by a thread. We’re getting some government money. But it’s not
enough, to be honest with you. We have gone from 25 employees down to about
five to 10. We’re still paying rent. We’re still playing insurance. We’re
still paying utilities, and no revenue is coming in.
So, it’s a very, very scary time. I’m willing to bet that, when this thing
finally ends, a lot of the small businesses in D.C. aren’t going to open up
CAVUTO: Incredible. I hope that’s not the case for you, Bob.
But I’m just wondering now, after all of this, and people, of course, their
view of Washington, if they haven’t ever been there, is what was going on
the Capitol the week before last, how violent it was.
And I wonder if a lot of people, seeing that, think, well, Washington’s a
dangerous place, we don’t want to go, or even locals say, well, maybe just
hold off for a while. That could be another, another big problem to
MATERAZZI: Well, it certainly is.
And it’s actually been that way for quite a while now.
MATERAZZI: Especially when the indoor seating shut down. People just don’t
come downtown. The streets are deserted.
If you look around us, everything’s boarded up. It’s not a very friendly
place to come. And I’m not sure when all this is going to turn around.
Hopefully, it’ll turn around when the vaccinations are out. But I’m not
sure it’s going to happen that quickly.
CAVUTO: Finally, what do you tell your workers as this goes day by day?
Obviously, you pared staff just to reflect that and all.
They must fear that, if this lingers, you might not.
MATERAZZI: Well, we have — we have helped all of them apply for
But that’s a two-edged blade, because unemployment, a lot of times, pays
more than what the minimum wage is in D.C. So, it’s hard to get people
But — and the other issue is, in the restaurant business, people make
their money off of tips. And tips are in direct relation to the amount of
sales that you do. So, again, I’m not sure when all this is going to go
back to where we were, but, hopefully, eventually, it will.
CAVUTO: Well, I wish you well.
I know you have a lot of classics that are not your typical food, I know,
that sound delicious to me, the beef pepper turnovers and your Shelly’s
CAVUTO: I mean, that word must get out to your people to make sure that
that gets out to people, because that alone could keep you going.
But I wish you well, Bob. Thank you very, very much. Hang in there.
MATERAZZI: Thanks, Neil. Thanks for having me.
CAVUTO: All right, be well, be safe, Bob Materazzi, in all of that.
This is Martin Luther King Day, by the way. It was handled a little bit
differently, and with the same message being, what can we do virtually that
we tried to do in person?
Lauren Green following all of that and the message that still thrives,
maybe particularly so this year.
LAUREN GREEN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Neil.
Well, Dr. King’s message of unity and hope is so important today, probably
more than ever. But faith leaders also want to say what’s important also is
that Dr. King first was a Christian preacher.
And the riots and protests of this past year are reminiscent of the 1960s,
when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the civil rights of all people.
And the foundation of his call to justice was based on his Christian faith.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ALVEDA KING, NIECE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Jesus came into my
uncle’s life. And my uncle began to have a genuine relationship with Jesus,
but he was a man of faith.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREEN: Even his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech was filled with references
from the Bible.
In his writings and other speeches, King challenged the Ku Klux Klan and
all the white Christians who fought against him to go deeper into their
faith. On the issue of segregation, he said it was “a blatant denial of the
unity which we all have in Christ Jesus.”
And in his call for us to love one another, he wrote: “We cannot be truly
Christian people so long as we flaunt the central teachings of Jesus of
brotherly love and the golden rule.”
In the wake of 2020’s unrest, King’s niece says her uncle’s message of a
love that surpasses all understanding resounds stronger than ever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: My uncle, if he were here today, I don’t have to speculate. I don’t
have to second-guess him, because I know, he would just say, I have decided
to stick with love. Hate is too big of a burden to bear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREEN: And, Neil, on the issue of race, Dr. King said, there is only one
race. It’s called the human race, and each person is made in God’s image —
CAVUTO: Lauren, that’s a beautiful report. We’re need to be reminded of
that, Lauren Green, a different look at the life and the message and the
legacy of Martin Luther King on this day, of all days.
Stay with us.
CAVUTO: All right, it got pretty nasty over the weekend, Guatemalan forces
clashing with thousands of Honduran immigrants. We’re told they’re heading
here right now to escape what they call persecution and an economy that
gives them nothing, no hope, no money, no anything, and now heading to the
U.S. border to see what can be done.
We have heard this before. How is the incoming administration going to
Ron Vitiello joins us, the former acting ICE director.
Ron, very good to have you back with us.
RON VITIELLO, FORMER ACTING U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
DIRECTOR: Good to be here.
CAVUTO: What do you make of this and whether this we will once again put
pressure on Joe Biden to either recognize the type of border approach that
President Trump has had, or this new, kinder, gentler approach that he
VITIELLO: Well, we have seen this movie before. We know how it ends. It
ends in misery for the people who take that dangerous journey. It ends in
misery for those that are abused and left behind by smugglers. It ends in
misery for the men and the women who will lose their lives in this trip to
They broke into Guatemala, obviously, successfully. They’re going to go
through — they’re going to try to do the same thing in Mexico. And you
will remember, not that long ago, they tried to break in at San Diego. And
if it wasn’t for the Customs and Border Protection agents and the Border
Patrol agents, they would have made it into the U.S.
They’re responding to incentives. This is a — this is a rational act. They
have been told during the campaign that we would be softer at the border.
It was just like when, a week or so before Donald Trump was inaugurated
things, at the border were very, very quiet, because these people believed
that the policy was going to change and that they would not be able to come
into the United States and gain the asylum system in order to stay here.
Now they have been told the reverse, that we’re going to back off on
enforcement at the border. We’re going to pull out of the Mexican
repatriation agreement. We’re going to pull out of the accord, the asylum
accords we did with the Northern Triangle.
This all leads people to be incentivized to come to United States. And oh,
yes, by the way, we’re going to talk about an immigration reform that leads
to a pathway to citizenship. These are all incentives that people are
It is going to end in misery for many people. And it’s completely
avoidable, if the Congress would shore up the immigration framework to stop
the asylum abuse, and that the Department of Homeland Security be given
adequate resources to respond to surges like this.
CAVUTO: It’s a different matter, but Joe Biden has also made very, very
clear that whatever wall building was going on, it stops, not another foot
of wall under him.
What did you think of that?
VITIELLO: I think it’s wrongheaded to assume that the wall that was being
built was only being built because President Trump was supporting it.
President Trump came to people like me, people like John Kelly and other
Border Patrol officials and said, what is it that you need on the border?
And we told them the same thing that we told the Obama administration, the
same thing we told the Clinton administration and the Bush administration.
We need personnel, technology and infrastructure.
And having a wall with access to the border and the sensors and the agents
that are designed to protect it gives you a much safer border. It gives you
a safer border community, and it protects the entire homeland.
CAVUTO: All right, we will see what happens around it.
What happens when that group gets to the border, though?
VITIELLO: Well, they’re going to — they’re going to be confronted by CBP
officers and Border Patrol agents.
And then we will see how the — by the time they get here, we will have a
new administration. And I don’t know how quickly they’re going to change
the policy. They did walk it back a little bit. But, again, this is where
the misery starts, when thousands of people come to the border and claim
They’re in overcrowded conditions. They’re in poor health. That’s where the
misery comes from. And having that framework shored up is what the country
needs to have a credible immigration system and to have a border that’s
secure and that doesn’t allow people to just walk right in, like we just
saw in Guatemala.
CAVUTO: Ron Vitiello, let’s see what happens. Thank you very much.
VITIELLO: Good to be with you.
CAVUTO: Has a lot of folks worried on both sides of the issue here.
In the meantime, much ado about California and its problems, all these
businesses that are leaving. Then along comes an L.A. Times article, to
say, make America California again, in other words, that the message of the
incoming Biden administration is to make California the blueprint, the —
sort of like the model.
Wouldn’t that be a lot like me offering dietary advice, the model for how
to eat well and do all that stuff? Just asking — just after this.
CAVUTO: All right, no offense to California.
This would be like making me the model for a health club and the face of
the advertising. Probably not the wisest move. But when The L.A. Times
writes, make America California again, and the Biden plan will sort of echo
that, that California would be a great model — and I’m thinking of all the
businesses and individuals that have left because of the problems and the
high taxes in the state — is that the model you want?
Let’s explore this with Lawrence Jones.
Lawrence, I mean, you could definitely be the fitness model here.
CAVUTO: But I don’t know if I want to make California our national
economic model. No offense to those fine folks. Right now, they just seem
to be a mess.
LAWRENCE JONES, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, I would argue that a lot of people
think that many of the residents of California are wanting to become
So, back in my home state, we’re seeing a lot of businesses move because of
there’s no state taxes in Texas. It’s a business-friendly environment. You
don’t have to deal with all the drugs on the street and crime.
And so I think one would argue, what is this dream, when many of those
people that once had a dream in California are fleeing for other states?
So, I mean, I think when it comes to a lot of the progressives, though,
when you look at it from an ideology standpoint, it doesn’t matter if the
idea works or not.
It’s about the dream and the ideas. And I think that’s why they say make
CAVUTO: You know, there are the progressives who love California, its
example and everything else it does. And it’s really the petri dish where
things are tried out first before they are expanded elsewhere, like rights
for illegals and all of that.
So, it’s not a surprise that progressives would look to that as a beacon.
CAVUTO: What worries me, though, is if an incoming administration then
wants to establish it as national policy. It would go against the grain
that’s evidenced itself, as you said, to people who move to Texas or
Florida or safer tax and regulatory confines, you know?
JONES: Well, I think what they’re going to learn as they try these big
ideas is that there’s already a road map to failure.
I mean, L.A. and San Francisco and other cities in California are where
dreams are made. But there’s also a place there where they die as well. And
so you can have this utopian wish list, but I think, when you try to test
it across the country, I think you’re going to find that a lot of moderates
are going to reject it. Conservatives are going to reject it.
And I think a lot of the people that, although they may have the right
heart about the issues that are facing America, the prescription, a lot of
people are going to reject that prescription. So, I think Democrats are
going to have to make a decision.
And Joe Biden has a tough choice here. The progressives have the energy
right now. They have unseated a lot of these mainstream Democrats that were
known as the party elders. Sure, it wasn’t Nancy Pelosi or Hoyer.
But when you look at Lacy Clay in Missouri or Engel in New York, these were
people that had a lot of support, had been in office for 20-plus years, and
they were unseated. And so there’s a little fear that — when it comes to
Democrats as well, if they don’t buy into what the Squad or many in the
Progressive Caucus have told them is the way, then they won’t have their
And, to be fair, it’s kind of true.
CAVUTO: Real quickly, Lawrence Jones, I always feel that, when you have
run of the table, and you have the White House and you have the Senate and
you have the House, you do anything and everything you can.
And the lesson that Barack Obama learned that he lamented in his book was
that he wasn’t able to push those taxes on the upper income as soon as he
wanted. And that’s a mistake that Joe Biden will not make.
What do you think of that, to take full advantage of this whole Washington
that they control?
JONES: Well, as much as he believes that he’s going to be able to
accomplish all these things on his list, he got to pick one issue, because
that’s all he has.
I mean, although they have control of all the branches, it’s a slim
majority. And, plus, the Republicans picked up 20-plus seats in the House.
So, he needs to decide what he wants his legacy to be right now, and stick
with that one issue and hope that it’s a unifying message, so he can
preserve his majority.
CAVUTO: Lawrence Jones, always good catching up with you, and a good view
of what’s happening right now.
Lawrence Jones on all of that.
Tomorrow, by the way, we’re going to be taking a look at the record you
probably don’t hear a lot of talk about, the Trump economic record and the
market record, lots of records, a special look back tomorrow.
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