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Sen. Feingold, Sen. Graham, Roundtable

Fox News Sunday

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace. Secretary of State Rice, on a surprise trip to Iraq, pressures officials to form a government, next on "Fox News Sunday." A call to censure a wartime president over the terrorist surveillance program. We'll talk with the man behind that move, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, in a "Sunday" exclusive.

The immigration debate divides the nation and splits the GOP. Can Congress work out a compromise? We'll find out from a key senator, Republican Lindsey Graham.

A top White House insider is replaced. But has anything really changed in the Bush administration? We'll tackle that with our Sunday regulars, Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol, and Juan Williams. And our Power Player of the Week. It's his job to think like the enemy. All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

And good morning again from Fox News in Washington. We trust you remembered to set your clock ahead one hour for daylight saving time, or you wouldn't be watching us now. Let's start with a quick check of the latest headlines.

Secretary of State Rice and Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw flew to Baghdad Sunday to push Iraqi leaders to form a new government. The two diplomats bluntly told Iraq's interim officials the almost four-month long negotiations need to be wrapped up soon. Freed hostage Jill Carroll now on her way home to the U.S. said she made anti-American comments only because she was threatened. In a statement issued Saturday, Carroll said her captors were criminals who kidnap and murder civilians.

And in Poland and Rome, ceremonies and Masses and being held to honor Pope John Paul II, who died one year ago today.

We turn now to Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, who has introduced a resolution to censure President Bush for allegedly breaking the law with his NSA warrantless wiretap program. Senator Feingold joins us from his home state of Wisconsin, and Senator, welcome to "Fox News Sunday."

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D), WISCONSIN: Good morning. It's good to be on the show, Chris.

WALLACE: Senator, in a hearing this week, you said that the president's wiretap program is, and I quote, "one of the greatest attempts to dismantle our system of government in history." And you called John Dean as a witness, who said that this is worse than Watergate. Senator, do you really believe there is any comparison?

FEINGOLD: Actually, I do think this is worse. Not in terms of personal misconduct. Our greatest priority in this country is fighting the terrorist elements that attacked us on 9/11. But when the president breaks the law and doesn't admit that he's broken the law, and then advances theories about being able to override the law on torture, and having a preemptive doctrine of war, what he's trying to do is change the nature of our government.

He's trying to turn our presidency into an imperial presidency. So this is one of the greatest challenges in our history, to Congress to stand up and make sure we still have the rule of law and checks and balances. That's actually why it's more significant than the very serious events that occurred at Watergate.

WALLACE: Well, Senator, let me explore that comparison with you if I can. Did President Nixon brief members of Congress more than a dozen times before and during Watergate?

FEINGOLD: Certainly not, and that's not the point. In fact, President Bush broke the law when he did not brief the entire Intelligence Committee...

WALLACE: But wait, wait, wait. That's not -- but Senator, I mean the fact is, President Bush briefed the congressional leaders, both House and Senate, Republican and Democrat, also the leaders of the Intelligence Committee, Republican and Democrat, both House and Senate, more than a dozen times before and during this NSA wiretap program. Isn't that a big difference?

FEINGOLD: Chris, Chris, where I come from here in Wisconsin, if you break the law and you go tell people you're breaking the law, that doesn't make it OK. If you're breaking the law, you're breaking the law. In this case, the president does not have a legal leg to stand on.

And we have this problem of one-party rule in our system of government right now, where the Republicans in the House and the Senate are not standing up like some Republicans did during Watergate and saying, look, we need to stand together and say that the president needs to return to the law. We all support wiretapping terrorists. But the what the president is doing here is a frightful assault on our system of government, and he has to be called on it.

I could have proposed something more severe. A censure resolution is, in my view, a modest way to acknowledge the illegality and cause the president to return to the law.

WALLACE: Let me explore that Watergate comparison a little bit more. Has President Bush created an enemies list? Has he used the federal government to punish his political opponents? Has he authorized break-ins of his political enemies?

FEINGOLD: Well, again, Chris, this is not a criticism of the president as some sort of criminal law, day-to-day problem, like President Nixon had. This is really a much bigger deal. As George Will has said, this was the very reason for the revolution that we had in this country, is that we did not want a monarchical president. So I think these days, we look at the Nixon impeachment and the Clinton impeachment, we forget what the real reason for high crimes and misdemeanors was, to make sure that the president doesn't cause himself to be involved in personal misconduct, but that he doesn't try to achieve a power that is like King George III. So this is actually, even though in terms of the president's personal conduct not as serious, much more dangerous to our system of government, to our republic, and frankly, Chris, it weakens us in the fight against terrorism, to have a president who's thumbing his nose at the laws of this country. It isn't good for us.

WALLACE: Senator, I want to go back to the briefing of congressional leaders, because, as I say, he did brief congressional leaders of both parties more than a dozen times. It has been reported that when he set up the program, before he had actually started it, that the White House suggested perhaps there should be some legal changes made to the program, and the congressional leaders said no, because if so, the program will be late (ph). In that sense, aren't the congressional leaders complicit in the lawbreaking?

FEINGOLD: Well, of course they're limited in terms of what they can say about it, because of the rules in terms of the members of the gang of eight of the Intelligence Committee people. And I want to remind you that the president broke the statute from 1947 by not fully informing the entire Intelligence Committees. So he didn't even achieve the legal basis there. That's not the main point, but to somehow suggest that the president of the United States gets off the hook because he briefed a few members who couldn't talk about it is to miss the point.

The point is that the president is making bogus arguments about somehow when we authorized the Afghanistan invasion, we agreed to this. You know, that's -- that's been laughed at in the halls of Congress. It's a very sad moment when the president can't admit, look -- he can say he did it with good faith, he can say he was trying to do the right thing, but he has to admit he went too far here, and he can do what he needs to do under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. We all support that, we just need him to return to the idea of the law and not really create a very divisive situation in our country that weakens us in the fight against terrorism internationally.

WALLACE: Senator, let's talk about what's at the basis of all this, which is the NSA warrantless wiretap program that the president authorized. Have you been briefed on the program?

FEINGOLD: I have been briefed to some degree, but certainly not completely. I am on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and we got somewhat more information than other senators get, but then the full briefing is only being given to a sub-portion of the Intelligence Committee, and that's one of the reasons I decided it was time for the censure resolution, because it became clear that there was not going to be the kind of investigation that had to happen to find out exactly what this program is all about.

WALLACE: Do you know how the NSA decides whom to wiretap? Do you have any evidence that the civil liberties of any innocent Americans have been violated?

FEINGOLD: I know some things about it, but I'm not able to talk about it. What I can tell you is this: Is that I am absolutely convinced, after five hearings, three in the Judiciary Committee, two in the Intelligence Committee, that there is no legal basis for this. I may not know all the details, but it's clear from everything we've heard that you can't sort of create a new law or a new statute or a new constitutional provision.

The president has admitted publicly that he did this outside of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They have basically been laughed out of the room when they say that the Afghanistan invasion resolution allows this. And all we have left is this idea that somehow the president has inherent power to make up whatever laws he wants. And you know what? That would be the opposite of our system of government.

So we know what we need to know to know that this conduct is illegal, but there's much more to be known about the program, and I think at least all members of the Intelligence Committee, and hopefully more members of Congress, would be carefully briefed on this, because how are we supposed to insert legislation that the president might want here or senators might want if we don't know what this program precisely is.

WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about that, Senator, because almost two dozen members of Congress have been briefed in detail about the program, members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee. None of them, after those detailed briefings, have criticized the program in public, and I want to put up the comments of two Democrats who have been briefed. Senator Dianne Feinstein said: "I think it's a very impressive program." Congresswoman Jane Harman, the top Democrat on House Intelligence, said: "I believe the program is essential to U.S. national security."

Senator, it seems that the people who are criticizing this program are the ones who know the least about it.

FEINGOLD: Of course it's essential to national security. All we have to do is bring it within the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and I know that Congresswoman Harman has said specifically that she does not believe we need to change the law in this area, but it can be done within the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. So the very member of Congress that you cited has said we all think this program is important, but it can be done within the law. That's the point. The White House keeps acting as if we don't want them to be able to do this. Of course we do; we just need a court check and balance. That's what the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is all about, to make sure that the White House doesn't run amuck, or somebody doing this doesn't abuse the law.

So there is no dispute about whether we should have it. And those very senators, including Senator Levin himself, have certainly not said publicly that it's essential that we go outside of the law to do this. I've heard none of them say this, and none of them will say that.

WALLACE: But none of them have talked about censure. So if you change the law, why not just change the law? Why do you have to call for censuring a president during the middle of wartime?

FEINGOLD: Well, how -- are we going to have a system, Chris, where whenever the president wants to make up his own law, he goes ahead and does it, and we say, gee, Mr. President, you broke the law, that's too bad. Let's make a law to make what you're doing legal. What kind of a government is that? What kind of a system is that? And what kind of a message to our kids? If you don't like the law, just make up whatever you want to do and keep going. Frankly, it's outrageous. And if there isn't some accountability, apart from the need to possibly look at legislation, if there isn't some statement that the president can't just make up his own laws, what have we come to? Who are we? It's an outrage, and every member of Congress and every American should say to the president, Mr. President, we respect your commitment in the fight against terrorism, but you've got to return to the law. You've got to return to the way we do things in this system.

WALLACE: Senator, you talk about other members of Congress. Let me ask you about other Democrats, who you have accused of cowering before the president. In fact, when you held this hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday -- and let's put up some pictures, if we can here. Among the Democrats who didn't show up for your hearing, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin.

Democratic Senator Mark Dayton said about you recently, "It's an overreaching step by someone who is grandstanding and running for president at the expense of his own party and his own country."

Senator, are all of those other Democrats cowering?

FEINGOLD: Look, you know, this was one of the best attended hearings I've ever seen on a Friday. You know as well as I do, Chris, that senators take off after there are no more votes in the House, and we had seven or eight senators at this hearing. I think you're forgetting to mention that Senator Patrick Leahy came and said that he is inclined to support censure. So support for this is growing.


WALLACE: ... Kennedy, Durbin, Feinstein, Biden, all of them.


FEINGOLD: Well, Chris, you know very well that people often don't show up for hearings even during the week, and a lot of them took off because the votes were over. Senator Specter knew exactly what he was doing when he scheduled on a Friday.

But here's the main point. Chris, you know very well that I was the only senator to vote, the only Democratic senator to vote to hear the evidence in the Clinton impeachment trial. That I was the only -- the first Democratic senator to call for a special counsel when it came to campaign finance violations of President Clinton.

I am one of the least partisan members of the United States Senate by all accounts. I call them as I see them. And if this were a Democratic president, I think you know and everybody else knows I'd be doing the very same thing. This has nothing to do with political ambition. Believe it or not, it's because I believe in my heart that this is a threat to our system of government, and I will say that on a Bible.

WALLACE: And now that you've had your hearing, are you going to give up this idea of censure, or are you going to push for a vote?

FEINGOLD: Well, of course I want a vote. The president has broken the law. The president has misled the American people in advance, and has thumbed his nose at the law afterward. I'm not talking about impeachment, although this may be an impeachable offense.

I'm talking about some accountability. We should have accountability, and if we don't get it right away in this Republican Congress, maybe we can pass a censure resolution in a Democratic Congress, which would be a little more balanced and be better for our country.

We have a terrible problem that we have a Republican president and two houses of Congress run by the Republicans, who are intimidated by this White House, even to the point of not standing up for the right of Congress...

WALLACE: But Senator, and we're running out of time... (CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: ... you make that sound like it's a coup. I mean, that's the result of the election. Elections have implications.

FEINGOLD: Well, there's nothing wrong with it from the point of view it was inappropriate. It's just that maybe the country wants to turn this here to a little more balanced government, where you have at least one house of Congress saying, Mr. President, you can't just make up the law.

You can't just create whatever laws you want. We have to go through the system of government we've always had. You know, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were not repealed on 9/11, and we all are unified in fighting the terrorists. But we're not going to give the terrorists the victory of destroying our own system of government in order to satisfy a White House that has very grandiose views of the extent of their powers.

WALLACE: Senator Feingold, I want to thank you so much for joining us today. Please come back, sir.

FEINGOLD: I enjoyed it. Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, the battle over immigration. Can Republicans resolve their differences and pass some type of reform? We'll ask Senator Lindsey Graham right after this break.


WALLACE: Joining us now to talk about immigration, Iraq and more, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who comes to us from his home state of South Carolina. Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you for having me yet again.

WALLACE: Let's start with Senator Feingold's censure motion. You have expressed doubts about the legal basis for the president's NSA wiretap program. Senator Feingold says that if Congress doesn't stand up for itself, you become complicit in the lawbreaking.

GRAHAM: Well, I think to censure the program is to kill the program, and I don't want to kill it because I think it's going to help make us safe. The goal of the program is to find out what the enemy is up to, a foreign enemy intent on killing Americans, get as much information so we can strike them before they strike us.

I disagree with two theories being pushed by the president that would say you don't need a warrant. But it's a robust debate, it's an honest debate. And to bring up the ghost of Watergate and compare Watergate to this is just absurd. Watergate was about Richard Nixon's White House trying to abuse and punish domestic critics, people who were against the president, domestic enemies. This program is trying to find out what a foreign enemy, designed to kill Americans, is up to, and we can have a healthy debate about when you need a warrant and when you don't. But if Congress starts censuring presidents every time they have a legal difference with the president, you only weaken the president. This is a very bad idea. Russ Feingold is a very good man. The reason nobody is jumping on board is because it's just an overreaction to a real and honest debate.

WALLACE: Well, what about the argument that Feingold makes that listen, this fellow broke the law, the president broke the law, and Congress has to stand up against it?

GRAHAM: I think this is one of the most unsettled areas of the law in America. When does the power of the president begin and end in a time of war? Could the Congress have passed a statute telling Truman you've got to rehire MacArthur? Could we tell the president send over the target list over before you bomb anybody? I think these kinds of questions are very subject to legal debate. The courts have had two or three different views of it. The FISA court was first created in 1978. In 2002, the court of appeals, the FISA court itself said the inherent authority of the president in a time of war may make FISA moot.

So these are honest, open questions. Censure is a political stunt that's going to take us on the wrong road, divide America. And that's why nobody is jumping on board. It will weaken the presidency. And to bring up the ghost of Watergate here is really absurd.

WALLACE: Let's turn if we can, Senator, to immigration. You support the Senate Judiciary Committee bill, which would create a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants who are now there. It may take them 11 years to do it. They may have to pay several fines. But in the sense that they eventually benefit from breaking the law, doesn't this amount to amnesty?

GRAHAM: Well, in my opinion, amnesty is the current program. The current system is a complete failure. I don't know of anybody being prosecuted for hiring illegal aliens in an effective manner. I don't know of anybody being sent back in large numbers in an effective manner. So if you want amnesty, do nothing.

The judiciary bill is a comprehensive approach. And I believe there is a shift in politics going on in the Senate and the Republican Party away from a border security-only bill to a comprehensive approach being advocated by the president.

That approach has two facets to it. Secure the borders. Don't talk about it, but do it. Have a legal system that would punish employers for illegally hiring people, and change our legal system so it would work and not be a joke. And third, to honestly deal with the 11 million people who are already in the country who are working and adding value.

We're not going to put 11 million people in jail. We don't have the jails to do that. But we're not going to send them back. Look how hard it was to get Houston evacuated when people wanted to leave. So the Senate bill, which the president is moving towards, says not amnesty, but how about a pardon, a probationary sentence. What we'll do is we'll allow you to come out of the shadows from an illegal status to a legal work status, and you'll be on probation for 11 years.

And here's what you'll have to do. You'll have to pay a fine for your violation of the law. And you'll have to continually work. And if you don't, you get deported. You'll have to take a proficiency exam in English, and if you fail it, you can get deported.

If you commit a crime during that 11-year period, you get deported. To me, the solution is recognizing the behavior's illegal, but given an appropriate punishment and an appropriate pathway forward, and if after 11 years you've fulfilled this probationary period to avoid deportation, not only should you not be deported, you should be welcomed as a functioning value-added product to America.

WALLACE: Now, Senate Majority Leader Frist says that even if all 45 Democrats vote for your bill, the bill that you're supporting, that you're not going to be able to get the 15 Republicans to break a filibuster of the comprehensive package. A couple of questions here. Do you think the Senate will pass an immigration bill, and if so, what kind?

GRAHAM: I think it will be a comprehensive bill similar to what the president's been advocating. I think it would be political suicide for our party to filibuster a comprehensive solution to a real problem facing America. It would be political suicide to ignore there's 11 million people, illegally undocumented, who are trying to work and add value to our country.

If we adopt the approach of going to a Hispanic soldier in Iraq and a Hispanic Marine in Iraq and telling them the Republican Party's position is that we're going to make your grandparents felons and deport them, we will lose power as a party. If we're going to charitable organizations, religious institutions who are providing assistance to abused women and children, and say if you help somebody who's undocumented, we're going to make you a felon, we will lose our majority.

That's not the way to go. The president has said that's not the way to go. We need a comprehensive solution that allows people to earn their citizenship by going through gates over an 11-year period of time showing they're good citizens and they've worked their way out of this problem.

WALLACE: You say you think it would be political suicide. In fact, do you think that you have 15 Republican votes to break a filibuster?

GRAHAM: I feel very good that the idea of a comprehensive approach, solving the problem now because it only gets worse later, is going to prevail. The president has provided great leadership. I urge the president to continue to talk about this problem in a comprehensive fashion, in a fashion where not only are we going to have the respect for the rule of law, but we're going to have a just outcome.

The president has done a wonderful job putting a good, kind, firm face on this problem for our party. This is a defining moment for the Republican Party. If our answer to the fastest growing demographic in this country is that we want to make felons of your grandparents and we want to put people in jail who are helping your neighbors and people related to you, then we're going to suffer mightily. Let's don't filibuster; let's solve the problem in a comprehensive way -- firm, fair pathway to citizenship.

WALLACE: Senator, finally, I want to talk to you about Iraq. Last June, you were talking at a Senate hearing with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld about public opinion in your home state of South Carolina towards the war.


WALLACE: Let's watch.


GRAHAM: And I'm here to tell you, sir, in the most patriotic state I can imagine, people are beginning to question. And I don't think it's a blip on the radar screen.


WALLACE: Senator, it's almost nine months later, 598 Americans have been killed over in Iraq since then. How do people in your home state of South Carolina feel about the war now?

GRAHAM: I think people understand that we're better off without Saddam Hussein. But I'll be honest with you, there is an erosion here at home of support for the idea we can't leave until the Iraqis have had a chance to put up their functioning -- to stand up a functioning democracy. You lose the war by losing public support here at home. You win the war by getting moderate forces in the Mideast to come together to put a democracy in place where they can live together. Right now, we're at a tipping point. The way that we can lose the war in Iraq is to have the institutions like the army and the police force fail. If the police force is seen by Iraqis in general as rewarding one side over the other, supporting the Shias and not the Sunnis, then we're going to fail.

The test of Iraq, to me, is will an army unit made up of Sunnis in a Shia area protect the Shias? Will a police force in a Sunni area take care of a Shia family? If the answer is yes, we can still win. If the institutions fail in Iraq, no political solution is ever going to prevail. The Iraqi people have got to want to take care of each other and put these differences aside, and I hope the American people will give them the opportunity to do so.

WALLACE: Secretary Rice, as I mentioned, Senator, has made a surprise trip to Iraq today. There's growing frustration with the failure of Iraqi politicians to come together and create a national government. It's been more than three and a half months since the elections there, and U.S. officials have reportedly been telling the Iraqi politicians that they would like the interim prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, to step down, because they see him as a force for division, not a force for coming together. How tough should the U.S. get with Jaafari and the Iraqi politicians to get their act together?

GRAHAM: I think they should be really tough with the Iraqi politicians to act on the mandate they've been given by their people. But we need to understand, it took us 11 years to write our Constitution. And democracy is hard. But we need to push the political forces in Iraq to come together with a coalition government.

But I am not so worried about that. Here's what I think we need to watch as a nation. Are the institutions of government developing in the proper way in Iraq? Do we have a national army, or do we have a regional army? Do we have a police force that would enforce the law fairly for everybody, regardless of ethnic or religious differences? If you can get those two institutions right, the politicians will take care of themselves. No political compromise will work unless the institutions, the law courts, the police force and the army buy into protecting everybody fairly. To me, that is the goal, is to get these institutions built up in a way that they can sustain themselves, and that's going to take time.

WALLACE: Senator Graham, we're going to have to leave it there. We want to thank you for joining us again, and always a pleasure to have you with us.

GRAHAM: Thank you, my friend.

WALLACE: Coming up, Andy Card steps down as White House chief of staff; Josh Bolten steps up. A panel of Sunday regulars will tell us what it all means for the Bush presidency. Back in a moment.



ANDY CARD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I'm grateful for the White House staff that has served you so well and helped me do a better job. But it is a different season, and Josh Bolten is the right person for that season.


WALLACE: That was outgoing White House chief of staff, Andy Card, setting the scene for what many in Washington think will be a shakeup in the Bush administration. And it's panel time now for Brit Hume, Washington managing editor of FOX News, and FOX News contributors Mara Liasson of National Public Radio, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, and Juan Williams, also from National Public Radio.

Well, I'm glad to see that all of us got the memo about daylight savings time, or at least four of the five of us did, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, NPR: I'm on here.


WALLACE: A little rushed, a little panicked, but you got here.

Anyway, Andy Card out, after more than five years as White House chief of staff. Josh Bolten in, and is apparently planning more changes in the Bush administration. How important for the fortunes of the Bush presidency?

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS WASHINGTON MANAGING EDITOR: Well, the departure of Andy Card by itself is almost entirely unimportant. That's the most grueling of all of those senior jobs -- they're all grueling; that's the most grueling. He'd been in there at the crack of dawn every day, and there into the late hours every night. He was clearly somebody who was in danger of burnout, if he wasn't burned out. So his departure by itself means very little.

Now, if Josh Bolten comes in and there's going to be a major house cleaning, to include not only senior White House jobs but also members of the cabinet, that would mean a major shakeup, and that could be the kind of thing that would change the atmosphere in Washington, give the administration a sense of a new start, if that's what it wants.

I don't anticipate that, frankly. I think Andy Card's departure will be -- there will be -- they have some vacancies in the White House staff. Josh Bolten will clearly fill some of those.

WALLACE: How about to replace himself...

HUME: Exactly. And of course, that's a post that requires Senate approval, but in terms of the White House staff jobs, there are a number of those that need to be filled; he'll fill those. Whether this extends to a real shakeup I think remains to be seen, but I doubt it.

LIASSON: Yes, I think, you know, there are two kinds of shakeups in Washington. One, the kind that Brit described, which is so comprehensive and so dramatic that it actually captures the attention of the press and we cover all these confirmation hearings, and it does kind of change the atmosphere in and of itself.

Then there's the other kind, which I suspect we're about to witness, which is some players are changed, and maybe the White House starts making fewer stumbles, fewer missteps, and that could be helpful. I don't know if it undoes the damage that's already been done, but maybe its relations with Congress can be improved if you put different people in charge of that aspect. Maybe you can repair some of your relationships with the base of the Republican Party, and that could help the president going forward. But that's a much more modest thing.

WALLACE: Bill, I'm curious about Andy Card's reference, and we heard it at the beginning of this segment, to a different season, a new season. Is there a new season in the Bush White House, the Bush presidency?

BILL KRISTOL, WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes, it's baseball season.


KRISTOL: It's good to have a new chief of staff with every (inaudible) cycle.

No, look, I mean, Andy Card I think served the president the way the president wanted to be served, but it was certainly time for a change.

I think there will be bigger changes than people think. I think we'll have senior, major cabinet changes at some point. I think Treasury quite soon; John Snow will leave. Someone like Phil Gramm might come in, who I think would be a much more forceful voice to defend Bush's economic policies. The most mind-boggling statistic about the Bush presidency is that we have had, what, 4 percent growth basically in the last four years, and about two-thirds of Americans think Bush has done a bad job on the economy. That can be partly fixed by a treasury secretary who can make the case for Bush's economic policies. I think we'll see a new press spokesman. It will help a bit.

So I think this could be a little bit of a bigger shakeup than most people think.

JUAN WILLIAMS, NPR: Well, I think there's pressure on Snow, but I disagree with the premise there. I don't -- I don't think it's as if the American people don't know the economic statistics, which are very good. I think the reality of their lives in terms of what they have to pay, how many jobs they have to work in order to put a kid through college and the like, it just makes for a disconnect there, and I don't know that a treasury secretary is going to make all that big a difference.

I think the real difference here, if there is to be a difference, is in policy.

And the policy, obviously, that's driving the president's poll numbers down is Iraq. So you've got to have a change in Iraq, and you've got to have a change in terms of even domestic policy, just the idea that the president is paying attention to domestic issues in this country. Immigration is part of that story.

But when it comes to Iraq, I'm just struck by this New York Times editorial this morning, The End Game in Iraq, in which it said that Iraq is becoming a country that Americans should be ashamed to support, let alone occupy. And they talk about the problems the administration is having with the Iraqi Prime Minister Jaafari.

I mean, Rice is over there pretty much saying to them, we've got to get this guy out, that we're three years after Saddam Hussein. It was great to get rid of Saddam Hussein, but we still don't have a functional government after elections, after an attempt to write a con -- we just don't have it.

And that's, you know, with that said, (inaudible) the American people are going to be stuck there. American forces are going to be stuck there, and the American people are going to continue to feel that this president doesn't have an exit strategy.

WALLACE: I don't want to get into an argument about Iraq in this segment, but Juan raises a good question, which is, are the problems the Bush administration faces now questions of personnel, problems of execution, or are they problems with basic policy?

HUME: I think they're problems of circumstance. Look, there's no problem that this president has that wouldn't be solved by a striking improvement in the situation, as Juan suggests, in Iraq. The formation of a coalition government there that could function, continued improvement in the armed forces there, both the police and the army, will unquestionably change the atmosphere on Iraq and beginning of some American troops coming home.

No sense of hasty retreat or anything of that kind. That probably will change the atmosphere enough. The problem the president has at home isn't just -- that's the core of it. It has caused a level of skittishness on Capitol Hill among Republicans that is depressing to watch because election year behavior by parties in power afraid of the voters is never a pretty sight. And we're not witnessing a very pretty situation up there. And the White House staff is getting some of the blame for that, but it was going to be like this in the sixth year, in all probability, if there was any trouble at all. And it is.

WALLACE: But don't you think, Mara, that whether it's Katrina or Harriet Miers or Dubai Ports World, that there was a growing sense of, you know, to use the Democratic word, you can use whatever you want, but incompetence.

LIASSON: Incompetence. Yeah. I think the execution is what -- look, I agree. The Iraq war, which is the one, the most important thing the president is going be judged by, presently and by history. But I think there were a lot of problems with execution. That's what you hear Republicans kind of wringing their hands about. All those things that you just listed were problems of execution. They either didn't consult Congress or couldn't explain their policies properly.

But Iraq still is the big overriding concern. And I think the problems that America is facing there are not just the simple problems of the U.S. military versus some terrorists. These are problems about forming a government, sectarian violence. The solutions to those are really up to the Iraqis, and there's not that much that the U.S. government can do now, now that it's created the situation, to steer it in the direction it wants.

WALLACE: With the time we have left in this session with the panel, I want to switch to another subject, Bill. I'm curious what you all think about this debate over censure and the comparison this week to Watergate. And Bill, I remember -- I forget whether it was last week or the week before -- you were saying how clever you thought Russ Feingold was in making this case, playing this card. Do you still feel that way?

KRISTOL: Yeah, absolutely. There was a poll, national poll of all voters, what do you think about censuring the president for his national security eavesdropping program? Thirty-eight percent approve, 45 percent disapprove. That's amazingly high number. Feingold's already got 38 percent. He's making the case. He says its illegal.

And Lindsey Graham comes on and says it's very complicated. This is really an overreach by Feingold. Among Democrats, Feingold is supported 5 to 1. It's helped his presidential ambitions. And it's one of these things where if he keeps making the argument that it's illegal, and the Republican response is, oh, well, we, we're a little uncertain, but this is a little harsh, who's going to win that argument?

If the Republicans believe that the president has done the right thing, which I believe, they should introduce a resolution commending the president for eavesdropping on terrorists and force the Democrats to (inaudible). But the Republicans are in fetal position. The Bush administration's in fetal position.

And Feingold makes the case (inaudible) to you under tough questioning, then of course Feingold's going to win that debate. (CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: It's good for Feingold personally is what you're saying. I don't think it's good necessarily for the Democratic Party as the Democratic Party fights this image of being weak in its ability to battle terrorists and to protect the country.

And I think that's why you see those people that Chris politely put up on the screen who didn't show up, you know, Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin and the like. They weren't there. And their worry is that the Democratic Party gets damaged and it's going into '06, and that the Democratic Party loses its ability to challenge the administration on major issues, like are we going to intervene in Iran, which is the next big ticket on the item.

KRISTOL: Feingold has better political judgment than Ted Kennedy.

HUME: Well, he may have better political judgment in terms of what's going to appeal to a broad cross-section of a Democratic Party which is, as a whole, unserious about national security. As to whether he has better political judgment about what appeals to the country as a whole, I doubt. I think the Feingold position and the Feingold attitude toward this is politically very dangerous for Democrats.

Juan is correct. It tends to underscore the notion that Democrats, really when it gets down to it, are very persnickety about what America does in the world, but not much concern about America's enemies.

WALLACE: Time out, panel. We need to take a break here. But coming up, are some Republican House members saving the country from illegal immigrants or jeopardizing their party's chance for success in November? Our panel takes on the fight over immigration when we come back.


U.S. REP. PETER KING (R-NY): Anybody that votes for an amnesty bill, deserves to be branded with a scarlet letter A for amnesty.

U.S. SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA): There's an effort far and wide to try to degrade the committee bill by the smear of amnesty. And is simply is not -- is not amnesty.


WALLACE: That was just part of a sharp debate among Republicans this week over immigration reform. And with that now, Brit, Mara, Bill and Juan.

Several interesting developments this week in the immigration debate. The Senate Judiciary Committee's comprehensive bill seemed to gain at the expense of Senator Frist's enforcement only bill, and perhaps more interestingly and more importantly, the Republican speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, opened the door to a compromise on guest workers.

Mara, when is immigration reform (inaudible)?

LIASSON: Well, I think it is -- I think the middle position, whatever you want to call it, the position supported by the president that combines border security with guest worker program and some kind of path to legalization did gain some steam this week. You do have this quite outspoken group of House Republicans -- you heard one of them -- who are quite adamant that they would vote for nothing that they consider to be amnesty. They consider any guest worker program to be amnesty, and earned legalization.

I think the Republican Party is sending two different messages: One an inclusive one from the president, and another one that's not inclusive, that some Republicans worry could cost the Republicans Party all those gains that it made with Hispanics in the last election.

Now, actually, to answer the question you posed before the segment, I don't think it's going to hurt them so much in '06. I think this is a longer-term problem. (inaudible) in 2006, it's all a couple of a dozen hard-fought House and Senate races that are in individual districts, and I think members understand which message is going to work best for them this time. Now, when you have a national election, you could get the kind of backlash against Republicans that you saw Pete Wilson suffer from with Prop 187 in California. But I think for now, the Republicans think that by sending out two messages, they can kind of thread the needle in November.

HUME: Especially, Chris, because reasonable Americans are probably having a difficult time finding anybody to root for in this debate. On the one hand, you have, you know, tens of thousands of people demonstrating, waving foreign flags, on behalf of illegal immigration and against the idea that America should enforce its own laws. What a repellent spectacle.

On the other hand, you have the behavior of some of these House Republicans, like the one you just showed on the screen, Congressman King, speaking of the guest worker program as if it were amnesty, and acting as if anybody from south of the border is unwelcome here.

First of all, the bill is not amnesty. Amnesty means turn yourself in, all is forgiven. Under these proposals, you might turn yourself in, but all would most certainly not be forgiven. You'd have to pay a fine, you'd have to recognize the illegality of what you've done. You'd be on probation and in danger of deportation for many years, and you'd be at the back of the line for citizenship, although you could get there. That's not amnesty.

So, on both sides of this debate, you have this problem. Mara suggests, and I think she may be right, that some kind of reasonable center may be emerging here, which would benefit the president. Probably would benefit the Republican Party, and as so happens, have the support of a lot of Democrats. It just might win.

WALLACE: Bill, I want to ask you about -- we got a lot of mail from viewers this last week who said we were too cavalier about this question of enforcing the borders. And, frankly, they pointed to some of your comments in particular about the legitimate need to enforce our borders and to punish those people who broke the law. How do you respond to that?

KRISTOL: I'm a liberal on immigration. I mean, I think the Bush approach is right. I think the Senate Judiciary Committee approach is right. If Congressman King thinks that it's a good idea to go around talking about branding people with the letter A for amnesty, if you (inaudible) see how, to use Brit's word, repellent that is of an image, you know, for, it's unbelievable. And the Republican Party will go down the tubes if it takes that position.

I disagree with Mara that it's threading the needle. Bush needs to step up and repudiate those House Republicans and their rhetoric, and make much more of a public case for his comprehensive immigration reform bill. Look, I'm not cavalier about illegal immigrants. I know that we need to have a serious debate about it. What damage have they done that's so great in 20 years? The anti-immigration forces said 20 years ago, there was an amnesty, which there sort of was, the Simpson- Mazzoli bill, which was pushed by the anti-immigration people, that Ronald Reagan signed.

What's happened that's so terrible in the last 20 years? Is the crime rate up in the United States in the last 20 years? Is unemployment up in the United States in the last 20 years?


KRISTOL: And they've been contributing to the U.S. economy and not damaging U.S. society. There have been marches with Mexican flags, which conservative talk radio is up in arms about. I mean, are these people serious? Are these people -- what, are they going to be traitors to the U.S.? An awful lot of Mexican Americans, an awful lot of sons and daughters of illegal immigrants are fighting in the U.S. Army.


KRISTOL: I am pro-immigration, and I am even soft on illegal immigration.

WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about this, Juan, because I read the e- mails that we get, and people say, particularly in places like Arizona or California, where there is a flood of them, that, you know, we end up having to pay for them. They go to the public schools. They end up, you know, getting welfare or Medicare, Medicaid, things like that. There is a price to illegal immigrants, people who aren't citizens in this country coming over the border in large numbers.

WILLIAMS: There is a price, and there's also a benefit, which is to say they benefit the U.S. economy greatly. Now, to your point, Chris, it does put a disproportionate burden on communities where they have a strong influx of immigrants, such as Arizona and some of the border communities, Texas, into California. They have to pay more in terms of hospital costs, the schools, as you pointed out.

But you know, you reach the point where your plan -- you're not catering to fears about illegal immigration, but so much pandering to this fear and encouraging this fear. There is an anchorman on an opposing network -- I'll be polite and not mention him -- who is just way, I mean, he has gone bananas, and driving up his numbers.

And what's he talking about? Illegal immigrants bringing leprosy into the country. At that point, you think, you know what, this is not a logical debate. This is not about substance. This is not about trying to understand the impact of low-income, low-wage workers on other low-wage workers who are already in America, who do you need to protect.

No, this is about pandering to the right-wing base in such a way as to drive up either ratings or election numbers in '06.

WALLACE: We've got 30 seconds, Brit. Is it about pandering?

HUME: On the other hand, the position Bill has taken with a smile on his face that he is soft on illegal immigration, I think is a position that really won't fly and shouldn't fly. You simply can't make a case for immigration reform based on the idea that breaking American laws is OK and ought to be forgiven.

It ought not be forgiven, which is why a combination of enforcement, serious enforcement effort coupled with a guest worker program might be a way to make this work.

For more visit the FOX News Sunday web page.

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