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Interview with Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum

By Fox News Sunday, Fox News Sunday - August 21, 2011

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Special Guests: Karl Rove, Bill Burton, Rick Santorum

The following is a rush transcript of the August 21, 2011, edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, GUEST ANCHOR: I'm Bret Baier, in for Chris Wallace.

Wall Street takes investors on a rollercoaster ride while along the campaign trail, it's game on.

As the economic recovery stumbles and remains jobs challenged, presidential candidates crisscrossed key early states. We'll look at the intersection and politics and the economy with Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney and two former top White House aides who are working to get members of their parties elected, Republican Karl Rove and Democrat Bill Burton.

Then how does a candidate turned a solid debate out into cash and better poll numbers? We'll continue our 2012 one-on-one series in an exclusive, with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Then America pressures Syrian President Assad to step down and U.S. involvement in Libya continues for a (INAUDIBLE). We'll ask our Sunday panel about both foreign hot spots and what should be done next.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

And hello, again, from Fox News in Washington. We'll talk some politics with our guests in just a moment.

But, first, the economy -- shaken by fears of recession at home and the debt crisis in Europe, the stock market had a rocky week, the fourth in a row. Let's take a look.

On Thursday and Friday, the Dow dropped 5.2 percent after beginning the week on an upbeat note. This month, it is off 11 percent. And for the year, the drop is 6.6 percent.

To get some perspective now on where we are and what might happen when the markets reopen, we turn to Stuart Varney from the Fox Business Network in New York.

Stuart, thanks for being with us. Is the U.S. on the brink of a double dip recession?

STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Very good question, Bret. We are certainly in a nail- biting time, are we not? The possibility of a double dip recession is creating high anxiety throughout America. Now, there is a consensus emerging that we are in a very low growth environment or no growth at all tipping on the edge of recession.

Meanwhile in Europe, there is a definitely a recession ongoing there and the banks are looking shaky because of all of this. Now, there's a three high anxiety factors affecting the markets. It doesn't look like there's going to be any relief for those three high anxiety factors coming up this week.

We know a little bit about the president's jobs plan. We'll know the rest of it after Labor Day. So far, what we have heard is not being taken as very encouraging, more spending and probably more debt. Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke, he's fresh out of policy options to get the economy moving from the Federal Reserve's point of view, and we have the Germans still refusing to bail out the rest of Europe.

So, Bret, to sum it up, this is a high anxiety week that we're going into. I would advice watching the price of gold. It's already up $220 an ounce in alone. That's a pretty good barometer of what I'm calling high anxiety.

BAIER: And, Stuart, how Europe deals with that crisis affects the U.S. directly.

VARNEY: Yes, it does.

Number one, the banks. Many of the America's banks are owed money by European sovereign nations. If they are looking shaky, so do too the banks. Meanwhile on the positive side of the ledger, hot European running away from all this anxiety in Europe comes straight over here invests oddly enough in our downgraded debt, pushing our interest rates down to historical lows.

Bret, I think you are going to see 3.5 percent, 30-year fixed rate mortgages within a couple of weeks.

BAIER: Interesting to watch. Stuart Varney from the FOX Business Network, thank you very much for your insight.

Now to politics, and the number one issue out on the campaign trail, the struggling economy.

Joining us from Austin, Texas, former Bush senior adviser, Karl Rove. He founded the group American Crossroads, whose goal it is to elect as many as Republicans in 2012 as possible.

And here with us in studio, former Obama deputy press secretary, Bill Burton. He heads up Priorities USA Action, a similar group designed to put Democrats in office.

Gentlemen, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

Bill, let's start with you. Economist Jeffrey Sachs, who has been a supporter of the president, said this week this.

Quote, "We're almost three years into this administration. There's been a plan and that's what everybody feels. The president didn't lead. He waited. We have no agreements and no leadership.

And frankly, I do think it's pretty odd the president is on vacation right now. Normally, I wouldn't care about such things, but the world markets are in deep crisis. It's no joke. This isn't just an August up and down little blip. This is a very serious situation."

Now, this wasn't a Republican candidate or Republican lawmaker. This was an economist who supported President Obama. Is this a problem for the president now on vacation?

BILL BURTON, FORMER DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, this is obviously a very difficult time for the country. And you don't need to be an economist to understand that middle class families right now are really struggling. But it is not exactly like the moment that the president inherited from President George W. Bush. At a time when he came to office, 700,000 jobs a month were just being shed from the economy.

Right now in this recovery, we've seen 2.3 million jobs added to the recovery. The president has done things to help the economy to grow as opposed of shrink. But he'd be the first to tell you that he's not satisfied with the progress. But I'll tell you what? He's not had a lot of willing partners in the Republican Party to actually move forward on important jobs legislation.

BAIER: Why not put out this plan before the 10-day vacation?

BURTON: Well, for starters, I don't know that there's a fair- minded person in this country who doesn't think that the president shouldn't go with his family to spend a couple of days before his girls go back to school.

Secondly, I would say that most Americans don't need to see a bunch of bickering in Washington right now. What they need to see is lawmakers going back home to their voters and getting the sense of the urgency that these voters feel and coming back and getting to work. Now, what the president is going to do is he's going to lay out a plan for jobs. He's going to lay out his plan to cut the deficit.

And Republicans will have a choice. They can either work with him or they can continue to stop progress. And if they continue to stop progress, then that is the fight that we'll have in November and the American people can decide in November which direction they want this country to go in.

BAIER: Karl, you wrote in your Wall Street Journal column in June, quote, "failing to offer a well thought out vision and defended against White House demagoguery would set Republicans for a loss in 2012."

If, right now, voters were trying to see the Republican plan for creating jobs and increasing growth, where is that? Where do they turn? What is that plan?

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, you turn to each of the candidates and that process will roll as we go to the primaries.

I'd like to go back to something that Bill said. Look, the president has had a Democrat Congress for over two-thirds of the time that he's been in office, and a Republican Congress and a Democrat Senate for less than a third of the time. He did have -- he got what wanted. He passed the stimulus bill in 2001 (ph). He increased spending during that year. He got Affordable Care Act.

When the president passed the stimulus bill, he said that unemployment by this time would be 6 percent. That 5 million more people would be working, nearly 5 million more people working today than are working.  Print  Email  Share    Recommend Tweet

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August 21, 2011

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President Obama and top GOP hopefuls crisscross the state of Iowa, previewing their 2012 campaign messages.  With the economy and a volatile stock market as a backdrop, we’ll examine the political landscape with two top political hands, former Bush White House Senior Adviser Karl Rove and former Obama White House Deputy Communications Director Bill Burton.

 

Then, one candidate jumps in, and one jumps out, as the Republican presidential field continues to solidify.  We'll hear from former Senator Rick Santorum, who's coming off a strong performance in last week's presidential debate.

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As the economic recovery stumbles and remains jobs challenged, presidential candidates crisscrossed key early states. We'll look at the intersection and politics and the economy with Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney and two former top White House aides who are working to get members of their parties elected, Republican Karl Rove and Democrat Bill Burton.

Then how does a candidate turned a solid debate out into cash and better poll numbers? We'll continue our 2012 one-on-one series in an exclusive, with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Then America pressures Syrian President Assad to step down and U.S. involvement in Libya continues for a (INAUDIBLE). We'll ask our Sunday panel about both foreign hot spots and what should be done next.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

And hello, again, from Fox News in Washington. We'll talk some politics with our guests in just a moment.

But, first, the economy -- shaken by fears of recession at home and the debt crisis in Europe, the stock market had a rocky week, the fourth in a row. Let's take a look.

On Thursday and Friday, the Dow dropped 5.2 percent after beginning the week on an upbeat note. This month, it is off 11 percent. And for the year, the drop is 6.6 percent.

To get some perspective now on where we are and what might happen when the markets reopen, we turn to Stuart Varney from the Fox Business Network in New York.

Stuart, thanks for being with us. Is the U.S. on the brink of a double dip recession?

STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Very good question, Bret. We are certainly in a nail- biting time, are we not? The possibility of a double dip recession is creating high anxiety throughout America. Now, there is a consensus emerging that we are in a very low growth environment or no growth at all tipping on the edge of recession.

Meanwhile in Europe, there is a definitely a recession ongoing there and the banks are looking shaky because of all of this. Now, there's a three high anxiety factors affecting the markets. It doesn't look like there's going to be any relief for those three high anxiety factors coming up this week.

We know a little bit about the president's jobs plan. We'll know the rest of it after Labor Day. So far, what we have heard is not being taken as very encouraging, more spending and probably more debt. Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke, he's fresh out of policy options to get the economy moving from the Federal Reserve's point of view, and we have the Germans still refusing to bail out the rest of Europe.

So, Bret, to sum it up, this is a high anxiety week that we're going into. I would advice watching the price of gold. It's already up $220 an ounce in alone. That's a pretty good barometer of what I'm calling high anxiety.

BAIER: And, Stuart, how Europe deals with that crisis affects the U.S. directly.

VARNEY: Yes, it does.

Number one, the banks. Many of the America's banks are owed money by European sovereign nations. If they are looking shaky, so do too the banks. Meanwhile on the positive side of the ledger, hot European running away from all this anxiety in Europe comes straight over here invests oddly enough in our downgraded debt, pushing our interest rates down to historical lows.

Bret, I think you are going to see 3.5 percent, 30-year fixed rate mortgages within a couple of weeks.

BAIER: Interesting to watch. Stuart Varney from the FOX Business Network, thank you very much for your insight.

Now to politics, and the number one issue out on the campaign trail, the struggling economy.

Joining us from Austin, Texas, former Bush senior adviser, Karl Rove. He founded the group American Crossroads, whose goal it is to elect as many as Republicans in 2012 as possible.

And here with us in studio, former Obama deputy press secretary, Bill Burton. He heads up Priorities USA Action, a similar group designed to put Democrats in office.

Gentlemen, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

Bill, let's start with you. Economist Jeffrey Sachs, who has been a supporter of the president, said this week this.

Quote, "We're almost three years into this administration. There's been a plan and that's what everybody feels. The president didn't lead. He waited. We have no agreements and no leadership.

And frankly, I do think it's pretty odd the president is on vacation right now. Normally, I wouldn't care about such things, but the world markets are in deep crisis. It's no joke. This isn't just an August up and down little blip. This is a very serious situation."

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