This is a rush transcript of ‘Fox News Sunday’ on January 14th, 2024. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


“FOX News Sunday” is live in Des Moines, just hours away from the first votes cast on the road to November’s presidential election, the Iowa caucuses.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Iowa sets the stage. It sets direction on where we’re going to go.


VIVEK RAMASWAMY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe we’re going to see a massive surprise on Monday.

BREAM (voice-over): Candidates make their final pitches across the Hawkeye State. The odds-on favorite confident about his chances.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I have polls that show me leading by a tremendous amount in New Hampshire, and a lot in Iowa.

BREAM: We’ll ask Republican candidates Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley how they plan to overcome those numbers before time runs out.

Meanwhile, serious speculation grows about a third party shakeup in the race for the White House.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): The people that are just telling me, I’m going to vote for a Democrat because I’m a Democrat, I’m going to vote for a Republican no matter who it is — that’s bull crap.

BREAM: We’ll ask the moderate senator fresh off a trip to New Hampshire whether he’s on or off a No Labels ticket.

Then —

TRUMP: But they don’t have any facts. They don’t have any evidence against us.

BREAM: Closing arguments conclude in the former president’s New York civil fraud trial.

REPORTER: Mr. Biden, do you regret involving your dad in your business?

BREAM: And Hunter Biden’s bold visit to a House committee hearing while defying a Capitol Hill subpoena.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): Excuse me, Hunter. Apparently, you’re afraid of my words.

BREAM: Our Sunday panel weighs on the biggest legal cases tangled in the 2024 presidential election.

And we’re on the ground with voters themselves to give you an inside look of the Iowa caucuses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People need or ready for a change in this country, and I think they’re going to be out there to support.

BREAM: All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.


BREAM (on camera): Hello from Des Moines for a very special Iowa caucuses edition of “FOX News Sunday”.

All of the major GOP candidates are meeting with likely caucus voters today, including the front-runner Donald Trump.

There is a brand new poll out from “The Des Moines Register” that shows the state of the race here in Iowa going into caucus day. In a moment, we will get reaction to it, and much more from both Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

But, first, we turn to FOX News congressional correspondent Aishah Hasnie with those poll numbers. We were refreshing and refreshing those screens last night.

Aishah, we got news.


Yes, let’s first get to this brand new “Des Moines Register” poll. Former President Donald Trump remaining the front runner with a commanding lead of 48 percent. The big change, though, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is now edging out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for a second place.

But the story here in Iowa is the weather, Shannon, the blizzard ate into critical campaign time over the weekend, including three Trump rallies that had to be cancelled and now, historically low temperatures for caucus night could complicate turnout in some parts of the state.


RAMASWAMY: I’m asking for your vote on Monday night.

HASNIE (voice-over): The countdown to the Iowa caucuses is on. GOP hopefuls are crisscrossing the state.

DESANTIS: I’m running for your issues.

HASNIE: Flooding the airwaves —

HALEY: We have to leave behind the chaos and drama of the past

HASNIE: And flaunting big endorsement.

GOV. KIM REYNOLDS (R), IOWA: Ron DeSantis is going to win the Iowa caucus.

HASNIE: To make a final pitch to caucusgoers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We’re 100 percent in for Trump for caucus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’m Ramaswamy caucuser.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number two, that’s a success, that’s a massive win for Ron DeSantis if he’s number two.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I’m absolutely going to caucus for Nikki Haley. I decided that the first time I saw her speak.

HASNIE: It’s a race that seems all but decided.

TRUMP: And we’re going to have a great victory.

HASNIE: The question now, will Iowans turn out a surprise and upend the entire primary? That will come down to turnout.

DESANTIS: No one knows what the turnout is going to be, obviously, with the weather, could mean it’s less.

HASNIE: Below negative temperatures may keep folks home. Monday is forecasted to be the coldest caucus night ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It feels like it’s going to hurt probably all the candidates.

HASNIE: Former President Trump’s strength is in rural Iowa, while former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley pulls support in and around Des Moines. Everyone, even the far-away front-runner, now trying to get out on the vote.

TRUMP: So don’t stay home, just please.


HASNIE: And, Shannon, interestingly enough, President Biden is also trying to take advantage of the national spotlight on Iowa right now, sending in some heavy weights like movie mogul Jeff Katzenberg who is co-chairing the Biden campaign, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker for counterprogramming on Monday, but this year really is all about Republicans — Shannon.

BREAM: Aishah, thank you so much. We’ll see you later in the show.

Joining us now, Republican presidential candidate, Nikki Haley.

Good to see you, again, Governor.


BREAM: Ambassador, whichever title you choose.

HALEY: Thank you. Welcome to Iowa.

BREAM: You’re looking for president, I know.

So, let’s talk about the new poll before we get to policy. It’s got you in second place. That matches the Suffolk poll that came out just a couple of days ago.

You guys have very carefully managed expectations here. Do you feel like this — the second place, strong poll showing now, puts a target on your back? Does it give you higher expectations that if you don’t hit second place, it’s going to be seen as a loss leaving here?

HALEY: I think we’ve always had a target on our back because we’ve been the one moving up. Everybody else is going down, and that’s a great thing.

But the real poll, you know, is on caucus day. And what we’ve said is just we want to come out of Iowa looking strong. We want to come out of New Hampshire strong. We want to come out in South Carolina strong.

This is, you know, continuing state by state and trying to get every single vote that we can, and we’re not going to stop until that very last second.

BREAM: So, let’s talk about inside the Des Moines poll. There’s some information about enthusiasm. Forty-nine percent of those who they say they intend to support President Trump say they were extremely enthusiastic. When that same question was put to your supporters, 9 percent say they’re extremely enthusiastic.

When we polled about, are you definitely going to show up, you fall behind both DeSantis and Trump.

Given the weather situation here, and these issues about enthusiasm, do you worry it could impact how you finish on Monday?

HALEY: I’m not worried. Look, I’m not a political pollster. I’m not going to worry about the numbers. What I am going to say is, the momentum and the energy on the ground is strong. We feel it. We know that this is moving in the right direction.

And to me, the only numbers that matter are ones that were going up and everybody else went down. That shows that we’re doing the right thing. I think Iowans will decide intensity tomorrow.

We’re just excited that tomorrow is the day. It’s go time and we’re going to keep crisscrossing the state. We’ve done that for days now. We’re going to keep doing it and I think the intensity will show tomorrow.

BREAM: OK. So, let’s talk about some of the issues you’d have to confront right away if you were to become president. Taiwan had elections this weekend and they chose the person that seemed the most U.S. friendly, the one that China did not want.

“Axios” puts it this way: The Chinese government is likely to ratchet up its pressure campaign against Taiwan in response to the election of a politician Beijing has called a separatist through and through.

President Biden was asked about the election yesterday. Here’s what he said.


REPORTER: Do you have a reaction to the Taiwan election?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We do not support independence.


BREAM: Hard to hear, but you can see there, he said, we do not support independence.

So, first of all, do you think that this election is going to increase tensions with China? And how would you deal with the Taiwan issue as president?

HALEY: Well, I think, first of all, big blow to China without question. They have been intimidating with drones. They have been intimidating with all types of election misinformation, trying to change the results, and democracy won. Freedom won and people of Taiwan show they want to continue living the way they are living.

And so, that’s the key, is America should always support democracy and freedom. And I think that’s why we’ll continue to support Taiwan.

BREAM: Well, we have a backlog of orders. We talk about this a lot in the show about weaponry, munitions, all kinds of things. I mean, billions of dollars in back orders to Taiwan.

What would you do as president, to signal — we see you, we know the threat you’re facing, we’re going to make sure you get what you’ve ordered from us?

HALEY: Well, first of all, look at the system. I mean, the problem that is happening is Department of Defense plays too many favorites with defense contractors. We need to go and clean it up.

What — even in our Department of Defense, they’ve got too many programs they don’t need to have. They’re not mission-focused. We need to look at modernizing.

First, take care of us, modernize, make sure that we’re focused not on the old wars like the generals are now, land, air and sea, but about artificial intelligence, cyber, space, hypersonic missile, submarines. Those are the things we need to focus on going forward.

Once we take care of us, our goal is to make sure that they get what they need, not just from us, but from the alliance, in making sure all of our partners that love democracy and freedom, that they’re all pulling their weight. This doesn’t have to be U.S. only. This has to be a team effort and there are a lot of democracies that want to see Taiwan continue to be free.

BREAM: So, let’s turn to Israel. Governor DeSantis said this week that while you were at the U.N., as our ambassador, that you backed a two-state solution.

Here’s what “Politico” said at the time in 2017. It said, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says the United States absolutely supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and anyone who thinks it doesn’t is in error.

That was Trump administration’s position. What will a Haley administration’s position be given the event of October 7th and beyond?

HALEY: I mean, you have to look at October 7th, and to see those people beheaded and those babies burned alive and those girls raped and their naked bodies dragged through the streets of Gaza, what do they say? “Death to Israel, death to America”.

What we need to know is Israel as a bright spot in a hot neighborhood. We need to make sure they have whatever they need, whenever they need. We need to make sure we eliminate Hamas and we need to do whatever it takes to bring the hostages home.

In order to do that, we need to let Israel do what they need to do to be safe. This is a problem I have with Biden. He goes and says he supports something, but then he wants to control it. That’s not what you do.

You have to be a friend and that means allow them to make the decisions they want to make. What Israel needs to know is they’re not going to have terrorists on their border. What Israel needs to know is they will no longer be a threat coming out of Gaza. That’s what they’re trying to do. We need to support, not control what’s happening in Israel.

BREAM: But a two-state solution? Is there any scenario in which that works?

HALEY: What I saw at the United Nations was, it’s not that Israel didn’t want a two-state solution, the Palestinians didn’t want a two-state solution. Every agreement that was put on the table, the Palestinians rejected right off the bat.

The Palestinian Authority is not serious about a two-state solution. They want a one-state solution. They want to eliminate Israel and they don’t want Israel to exist.

You’ve got to look at this in reality. It’s not in political scenarios. This is a fact that the Palestinians don’t want Israel to exist. Israel has come to the table more times than they need to. And at the end of the day, look at what happened on October 7, Israel needs to defend and protect their people in every way possible.

BREAM: Let’s talk about a domestic issue. We’ve talked about this. You have said, we’ve got to have Social Security reform. Anybody who looks at the actuarial tables and the estimates knows that has to happen.

You’ve talked about younger people on front end of the system are probably going to face a later retirement age.

Here’s what your former boss said about where you are on this.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Nikki Haley wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. Nikki Haley wanted to raise the age from 65 to 74.


BREAM: All right. You haven’t put a number on it. Will you? What’s the age?

HALEY: Well, first of all, he’s not telling the truth there and it cracks me up because he’s actually reported as saying he wanted to raise it to 70.

I never said I wanted to raise it anybody’s. What I’ve said is Social Security is going to go bankrupt in 10 years. Medicare is going to go bankrupt in eight.

Every one of the candidates is saying they’re not going to touch it.

If you say you’re not going to touch it, that means you’re going to leave office and everybody is going to have at least a 23 percent benefits cut.

The accountant in me is saying, don’t wait for that to happen. Get in front of it.

So, what we should is America should keep our promises. People should not live in fear. We will go to those like my kids in their 20s and say we’re going to raise the retirement age, to reflect life expectancy for you. Instead of cost of living increases, let’s do increases based on inflation. So, it’s more accurate.

Limit benefits on the mega wealthy. They don’t want the checks anyway.

And let’s expand Medicare Advantage plans. Seniors love the competition and it’s good for them.

When we do that, we’ll see what we are dealing with. You don’t have to take from people, but you don’t deny like the rest of the opponents are doing. That’s a mistake.

BREAM: But a later retirement age potentially is part of that calculation?

HALEY: For those in their 20s, for those in their 20s is what we want to do. Everybody that’s paid that has been promised, their promises should be kept. They don’t need — we don’t need to touch theirs.

BREAM: All right. Quickly, we’ve talked about how tough the campaign trail is. You’re doing it in a very unique way and that your spouse is deployed while you’re doing this.

How is he and what would his role be if you became president?

HALEY: Thank you for asking. You know, he’s like my right arm. I feel like — you know, he’s missing, but look, this is what military families do every day. I’m no different. We didn’t know that he was going to get deployed, but we’re so proud of him.

And you know, we — when I’m awake, he’s asleep. When he’s awake, I’m asleep. And thank God for him and the military men and women, we get to FaceTime about once a week. But he — I text him and he responds when I’m sleeping and he texts — and it’s vice versa.

But, you know, what I’ll tell you, when I watched him and those 230 soldiers pick up their two duffel bags of belongings to go to a country they’ve never been, all in the name of protecting America, they’re willing to sacrifice their lives and their families because they believe in its amazing experiment that is America.

So if they’re willing to sacrifice for us there, shouldn’t we be willing to fight for America here? Because we have a country to save.

I’m doing this and Michael is doing this, but all of us are doing our own service because we don’t want our kids to live this way. We can’t keep going down this path that the country is going on.

The chaos is uncontrollable. And you don’t defeat Democratic chaos with Republican chaos. We have got to make sure that we can’t be a country in disarray and a world on fire and go through four more years of chaos. We won’t survive it. That’s why we have got to put these names of Biden and Trump in the past and look forward with new solutions in the future so that our kids will have a better life.

BREAM: All right. Governor, our thanks to you and all the military families out there.

HALEY: Thank you.

BREAM: And we’ll see you out there for the next 24 hours, as you try to close the deal.

HALEY: Thanks so much. It’s fun.

BREAM: OK. All right. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, our thanks to you.

And now, we did speak to another candidate this morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis moments ago from Davenport, Iowa. Here’s our interview.


BREAM: Governor, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.

I want to get to policy, but let’s start with what you got to get through – – the roadmap to get you to the place where you can set policy. We’ve got a new poll out this morning from “The Des Moines Register” that has you in third place.

Where do you need to finish on Monday? What’s your internal assessment of what you need to have going into New Hampshire to consider this a success, to keep you viable for voters, donors, those who you want, to support you moving forward?

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we’ve got a great path going forward. We’re going to do well on Monday. We’ve got an unbelievable organization. We’ve got large numbers of Iowans that have committed to caucus force that are going to show up. You know, they just kind of roll their eyes at these polls, because the idea that you’re going to be able to pull a caucus much less a caucus in negative 20. Good luck doing that. And so we’ve worked very hard over the last six months to go to all 99 counties to build the organization, to get people at their doors committed.

And so we’re looking forward to it. We’ve done it the right way. And historically, when you have the energy on the ground, which we do, when you’ve gone to all 99 counties, when you have the organization, you know, that’s what you need to do, to do well in a caucus, but particularly in these conditions, because there’s going to be every excuse in the world for someone to say, you know what, maybe I’m not going.

Our folks are motivated. They’re going. They’re on a mission. We’ve got people, Shannon, from all over the country that have come to in the middle of a blizzard to Iowa, just to make phone calls for us, to knock on doors and tell Iowans why they want to see me be the Republican candidate, the next president.

And so what’s on the ground is special for us. And we’re going to bring it all the way in for Monday. It’s going to be good. Tuesday, we’re going to be in both South Carolina and New Hampshire. And then, of course, the balance of the week in New Hampshire. We have a debate scheduled on Thursday. I don’t know if anyone else has accepted the debate, but I’ve accepted it.

BREAM: Do you need to finish second here in Iowa?

DESANTIS: We’re going to do well. And I think, look, I appreciate being the underdog. I like how people have tried to say, oh, what? So I do better in those situations. And I think I have a record of doing well as the underdog.

But we’re going to do well. And we look forward to going to the next contest. I mean, obviously, New Hampshire has 20 delegates. Iowa is 40. South Carolina is a big deal. Nevada has a caucus. I’m participating. Donald Trump’s participating. Nikki Haley is not even participating in that show. She’ll win zero delegates in Nevada. I think the whole name of this game is to win a majority of the delegates. So we’re competing for every delegate we can.

BREAM: OK, let’s talk about the border. It’s something you’ve been involved with, obviously, as the governor of Florida, and it’s something that you would have to immediately start addressing as president of the United States.

In Texas, the governor there has now got national guardsmen blocking U.S. Border Patrol agents from stretches of the Rio Grande. Texas Governor Abbott has said this, “Texas has the legal authority to control ingress and egress into any geographic location in the state.”

Overnight, there was word that three people reportedly drowned there, and the federal authorities say they were blocked from state officials from helping. Texas authorities say it happened on the Mexican side of the river. ‘They did go out to look and assist. They didn’t see anybody in trouble. But it exacerbates and highlights tensions there at the border.

Would you, as president, would you have governor ‘have put national guardsmen and women now in this place where they’re at odds with federal Border Patrol agents?

DESANTIS: Well, I’ve already done it. We’ve supported Texas to the hilt. I think they have every right to defend their border. But here’s the great thing about — about this with me being president, Shannon. It’s not going to be an issue because I am going to empower states and localities to enforce federal immigration law.

We have this crazy thing where somehow the federal government says it’s their sole province to enforce immigration law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Yet they say states can’t enforce it and be faithful to the law because the federal government doesn’t want to enforce the law.

It makes no sense. We’re going to have all hands on deck. I’ve worked with border sheriffs just as governor of Florida in places like Arizona and Texas. Their communities are getting overrun, the State of Texas.

So all states and localities will be empowered to enforce federal immigration law. That includes at the border, but it also includes in the interior of our country. If you have criminal aliens, state and local need to be working with federal so that we can deport the people.

We need to work to make sure we’re deporting illegal aliens, particularly the 8 million that have come in under Biden. So we’re going to be working together. We’re going to hold sanctuary states and sanctuary cities accountable. We’re not going to let them thumb their nose in immigration law. But all Texas is trying to do is to be faithful to the law while Joe Biden is not enforcing the law.

BREAM: Well, governor, you know that the Supreme Court when Arizona considered this years ago did know that the Feds have supremacy when it comes to immigration issues. And I know that there’s going to be some back and forth, maybe this ends up back there at the Supreme Court, but they’ve been clear on that. In the meantime on the border issue, you were critical yesterday, you said you’re sick of Republicans, you see what they’re doing right now in Washington with the senators doing some border agreement which is basically caving on everything to the Democrats.

We’ve talked to the negotiators Senator Lankford and others about what’s going on. They don’t have text yet, so we don’t have the contours of this. What’s your criticism of what we do know about what’s coming together and how in the world, with you as president put together something that could pass this Senate and also the House which has a very different vision and a very small GOP majority for getting something done on the border?

DESANTIS: Well, first, you’re right about Arizona versus the U.S. I think this current court would absolutely re-evaluate that. And I think it would also be a different posture because the federal government, we wouldn’t be suing a state. We would be supporting the state.

Now on this, you know, I got the details. I think it was on a Fox report where they’re going to give work permits for illegal aliens. They’re greenlighting more an increase in immigration under some of these things. And it’s like, wait a minute, we’ve had eight million people come illegally. I’ve been traveling around to these early states, Shannon. I’ve done town halls. I’ve taken questions day after day. I’ve not had one voter, Republican voter, tell me that that is the type of thing that they want to see. They want to see the border taken care of.

And yes, there’s certain things that you want to work with Congress on. A lot of what can be done, can be done through the executive branch with somebody that wants to be faithful to executing on the border.

But to do a quasi-amnesty to essentially green light, pretty much large numbers of people coming in as if that’s going to be something we’re just going to accept, putting more money into processing illegal aliens, that is not the way you’re going to stop this border crisis.

BREAM: All right, as we are just hours away now from getting to the actual first votes in this primary caucus season, in hindsight, is there anything you would change about the way that you launched or that you’ve run your campaign to this point?

DESANTIS: I’ll tell you, we’ve worked harder than anybody. I think if you look at what we’ve done, just look over the last couple — couple of months, I mean, we’ve been everywhere doing town halls in the early states, getting endorsed by people like Governor Reynolds, winning these debates, not just in the Republicans, but even against a Democrat like Gavin Newsom.

So we’ve been working hard. We’ve been doing a great job. I think Monday is going to be the pivot point where now that people start to actually vote, I think it’s going to really help change the landscape in terms of some of the narratives that have been there.

But there’s not been a candidate that’s worked harder. There’s not been a candidate that’s put in more work. And I think particularly here in Iowa, Iowans notice that. Iowans care about it. You’re not entitled to be nominated. You don’t just swoop in and get coronated. You got to earn it, and we’ve earned it.

BREAM: Well, stay warm. We’ll see you out there over the next 24 hours as this finally gets to the votes. Governor, thank you.

DESANTIS: Thank you.


BREAM: Snow, wind, and sub-zero temperatures threaten to freeze, turnout in tomorrow night’s caucuses. We’re going to bring our Sunday panel on how enthusiast for each of these candidates will match up against that bitter cold. We’ll also have tomorrow’s forecast as caucus goers pressure to brace the elements to get out there, and make their voices heard. That’s next.



HOWARD DEAN, (D) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We’re going to South Dakota, and Oregon, and Washington, and Michigan. And then we’re going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House. Yeah.


BREAM: That was the famous Dean scream on Caucus Night 2004, former Democratic Presidential Candidate Howard Dean came in third that year in Iowa but that enthusiastic, yeah, could be heard around the country for years to come, we’re still talking about it. Now Fox News Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth joins us with the latest on the frigid conditions for this year’s caucuses. Hey Rick?

RICK REICHMUTH, FOX NEWS CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: I was wondering if I was going to scream like that to make this happen. I tell you what, it is really cold out there. There is also a lot of snow. These temperatures, Des Moines minus 17 is your actual air temperature right now. Factoring a little bit of wind and it feels like minus 39. We have some video from yesterday in Des Moines. Also, we have a lot of snow out on those roads.

So we’re going to be talking about some really dangerous conditions on the roads. And this is why. Anywhere you see that purple, that is over a foot of snow that’s on the ground. We had two storms that went through the State of Iowa this week, Shannon, and dropped a lot of snow. The second one behind it ushered in all of that really cold air. And that’s where the problems are with us now.

Snow obviously not going anywhere. And with that cold air, we’re going to be watching very dangerous conditions on the roads. This is what it feels like right now in the State of Iowa. 48 might below zero is what it feels like right there in Storm Lake. You get the idea that cold is in.

I will say, I’ll give you one, maybe bright side, Shannon. Today is worse than tomorrow. So tomorrow we see a little bit of an improvement. So right now we’ve got temperatures in the minus 30s, minus 40s. Go throughout the night tonight, another cool one. But get towards tomorrow morning, we’re minus 27 as it feels like temperature in Des Moines. And by tomorrow night, we’re talking about temperatures that feel again, maybe in the minus 20s. But I know it sounds awful. Maybe it’s a little bit better. It would have been worse had it been today. You get the idea, Shannon, it is still going to be cold and sweet, dangerous. And for those who are going out to caucus, give yourself extra time and pack some extra blankets in the car with you just in case anything were to happen in accident or anything in your car.

Also, you might want to make sure your car starts on time. So there will be some batteries that might not want to start in the morning as well. Shannon.

BREAM: Yeah, looking forward to negative 27, Rick.

REICHMUTH: Exactly, yeah.

BREAM: Thank you for the ray of hope. Rick Reichmuth reporting for the Fox Weather Center.

Time out for Sunday group, Fox News Chief Political Analyst Brit Hume. Juan Williams, Fox News Senior Political Analyst. Former Bush White House Advisor, Karl Rove. And Fox News Congressional Correspondent Aishah Hasnie. Welcome, you all made it through the frozen tundra to be here.

But tomorrow it really is about enthusiasm organization turnout. Brit, both Nikki and Ron as we talked to them this morning didn’t — they demurred on where they have to finish, but what do they have to do coming out of Iowa?

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, so most of them, it’s a matter of survival and going on in New Hampshire with some prospects there. And according to the latest polling, DeSantis, who’s basically been running for president of Iowa for a year or so, is in danger of tumbling into third place. That would not give him much going into the next State in New Hampshire where he’s not strong to begin with. So that could be the big development coming out of here. And that’s what’s — that’s what’s keeping on. He has a good organization. Everybody believes that. That’s always been what it takes.

But the days are over when you could, you know, put a good organization into Iowa and kind of steal a march on your competitors because everybody’s in Iowa now. And that’s been true for some time.

BREAM: I mean, Karl, again, we dug into these numbers. The enthusiasm gap there is in DeSantis’ favor. Do you think there are any surprises tomorrow or the Des Moines Register poll tends to be pretty accurate?

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Well, look, there’s always a surprise. We had Marco Rubio in 2016 was a surprise third. Santorum was a surprise winner in 2012. Fred Thompson came in third in 2008 and beat out John McCain, who was the frontrunner for the nomination.

So there will always be a surprise and there will be a surprise again tomorrow night. But I think Brit is absolutely right about, DeSantis has the best organization. Super PAC actually did a pretty good job of building the firmament, if you would, for the — get out to vote operation.

The question is, now that the Super PAC has been sideline, are they going to be able to execute? The polling shows he’s in third. The only way he’s going to end up in second is if that organization delivers. And if he has 99 County, the full Grassley, the full Chuck Grassley coverage in the state pays off.

BREAM: Well, and everybody, of course, is already looking ahead to New Hampshire. We got to get through what’s happening here, but with Chris Christie dropping out, there’s a lot of speculation about that impact in New Hampshire.

“ABC News” has this, saying, months ago, advisors close to DeSantis fretted about a nightmare scenario that Chris Christie would drop out before the New Hampshire primary. So, Juan, what about the psychological impact on that, on voters here deciding whether they’re going to bundle up and go out if they think he’s going to get creamed in New Hampshire?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, let’s be clear. Christie never had much support in Iowa.

BREAM: But, I mean, double digits if you give them, you know, 10 points.

WILLIAMS: No, no, no in Iowa —

BREAM: Sorry. Right, no, definitely not here.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely not here. So the impact on voters here tomorrow I think would be fairly negligible. Look, I mean, looking at the Des Moines Register poll that you cited earlier today, I think I have to create a trio of consensus here because I — for me, the fact that Trump remains in a distant lead is the big news. Trump is dominating in Iowa. It looks to me like he — he is a — he is the story.

Now, he is somewhat below 50 at 49. And I think a good night for Trump is he has to be more than 50. And I think he wants DeSantis in second. A bad night for Trump, less than 50. Nikki Haley in second. And that goes to your point that because if she is there as a challenger going into New Hampshire, where again, the governor has endorsed her, it’s a different body in terms of the electorate. I think she has more of a chance.

Now, we have not seen Chris Christie endorse her, but I don’t see that his voters would go to Trump. I think they would go to her.

BREAM: Yeah, it sounds like he’s not going to do an endorsement there. But, Aishah, we’ve been here on the ground. You’ve been out at a lot of these events. In some of this, anecdotally, it seems like a different feel than what the numbers are telling us. What’s your sense on the ground?

AISHAH HASNIE, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the weather is going to disrupt turnout, absolutely. And it’s all about turnout, right? When you think about just how many Iowans exist and then on top of that register Republicans and then on top of the people who actually are going to go out in caucus, is a very small number that’s going to decide what happens Monday night. I think every camp is probably worried. And you started to see over the weekend, former President Trump started to tweet some attacks against Vivek Ramaswamy and the possible MAGA votes that he might be taking away from the former president. He’s obviously been trying to tell everybody don’t look at the polls, get out there. Make sure that you don’t get too cocky and don’t get too confident with this because I need you. I think that tells you a lot. I think the former president has the most to lose here if he comes out and doesn’t match those polls, and you really have questions going into New Hampshire.

BREAM: OK, let’s look to the other side of the aisle. I shall want to stay with you because you’re on Capitol Hill, our Congressional Correspondent. We had this show with Hunter Biden showing up.

HASNIE: Did we? Huh.

BREAM: OK. Now, his folks are out there saying, if you issue a new subpoena, we’ll actually show up.

HASNIE: Yeah. So the question now is over the legality, right? Everybody’s questioning whether or not — what the Oversight Committee did was legal. Obviously, Chairman Comer believes it was.

Look, they’re going to hold a vote no matter what. I think coming up —

BREAM: On contempt?

HASNIE: On contempt.

BREAM: Yeah.

HASNIE: — in the middle of the week, I think Wednesday or Thursday is what “The Hill” team — “The Fox Hill” team is looking at. And then it goes to the DOJ. I think what I want to underline here is that these stunts that Hunter Biden is pulling, while he might think it’s helping his documentary or whatever’s going on with this camera that’s following him around, it is uniting the Republicans every single time he does this. Obviously, this was this thing that pushed over the Biden impeachment inquiry. They didn’t really have the votes. And then he came out the first time on Capitol Hill and did his speech, and it really united Republicans to pass the impeachment.

So it’s just — I think it’s going to go through and then it goes to the DOJ, and then it puts even more scrutiny on the DOJ as to what they do next.

BREAM: Brit, does DOJ do anything with us?

HUME: It might not —

BREAM: If Hunter’s held in contempt because now his attorneys are saying, well, we’re telling you, we’ll show up if you just give us a new subpoena.

HUME: Yeah. It’s all employees playing for time. This strategy of defying a congressional committee in this way has worked exactly once in my memory. And that was Oliver North, who was a Reagan — top Reagan aide. And he was summoned to testify before the Iran-Contra Committee in 1987. And he stalled and stalled, and eventually they had to take him without a deposition, which is what Hunter Biden is demanding. But that committee had an expiration date, so he stalled long enough so they didn’t have time to do both. That worked. That’s not true of this committee. And, you know, someone — I’ve read a lot of stuff about the legal strategy involved in what he’s trying to do. I can’t figure it out. It makes — it seems to me that it’s crazy.

BREAM: Well, and folks think that documentary may have something to do with all the shenanigans, too.

OK, panel, don’t go far. We got a lot more to talk about coming up here in Iowa. But up next, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin joins us fresh off a visit to New Hampshire. That’s raising some eyebrows and speculation as he finally made a decision about a potential third-party run. I’ll ask him, again, next.



SEN. JOE MANCHIN, (D-WV): Let me just say that I’m not a candidate, so let’s get that very, very clear right now. I’m here truly as a concerned citizen because I’ve seen it up close and personal.


BREAM: Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin speaking to diners in Derry, New Hampshire, Friday, saying he’s not a presidential candidate right now. Speculation is running high that he could run as a third-party candidate.

Senator Manchin joins us now from Washington. Welcome back, Senator.

MANCHIN: Good to be with you, Shannon. Stay warm. We should stay warm.

BREAM: Listen that we’re doing our best here, but you’ve been in cold territory to, a quick trip up to New Hampshire. By the way, New York Times reporting on that, described you as, quote, “being known for a love of the spotlight that stands out even among U.S. senators.” So how much of this is about staying in the public eye now that you’re not going to run for your Senate seat again versus seriously testing the waters about a third party run?

MANCHIN: Shannon, with everything being so divided in Washington anybody who’s independent enough to vote what their conscience is and be able to go home and explain it is looked at — looked upon and thinking here we’re trying to grab the spotlight. It just seems to be on you because they don’t have any control over you. So I’ve always been that independent voice. I try to represent my state of West Virginia and basically keep my pledge to the — to the constitution which I’ve taken to uphold and defend the constitution. So I’m going to be very independent. I’m looking at both sides trying to find what’s best for America.

BREAM: OK, lots of flirting with America, though. Do you feel like it’s time to make your intentions known?

MANCHIN: Well, let me just —

BREAM: What’s the timeline?

MANCHIN: Let me just say that I was invited to Saint Anselm’s College in New Hampshire, which I think is historically a very independent bellwether state. When you have over 40% of the electorals in that state that are registered as no party affiliation, it’s kind of hard to get an idea of where they’re going and the controls.

So that was the best place for me to have a conversation and find out what they’re thinking and what they’re looking for. They feel homeless and helpless. They don’t believe that the Democratic or Republican Party as of today that have gone to the extremes really represents who they are and are looking for that. So we had a good dialogue. Americans together is what we’re proposing. And my daughter Heather and I have been working on that. She’s been the force of this and trying to give a voice to the voiceless. People that don’t have a voice.

BREAM: Some of those voices in New Hampshire, though, according to the accounts I read, we’re urging you to run for president. So can you give us a timeline? We’re late in the game. It’s 2024. What’s the timeline for this?

MANCHIN: Here is this, Shannon, for any third-party attempt would define itself by, let’s say, Super Tuesday if there’s going to be any movement whatsoever. The “No Labels” people are good friends of mine. I think the world of them. I’ve been working with them for many, many years and they are — they gave a venue for disgruntled Democrats and Republicans that felt that they weren’t being heard and they wanted to work together and that’s been what I’ve been a part of. This is not “No Labels.” This is Americans together trying to give a voice for those people and how they are able to participate better whether it be on a primary, changing the primary process to a majority, so more people have an opportunity to participate.

And also breaking down this horrific gerrymandering situation that we have when you have about 380 or 390 districts in America a congressional district out of 435 that are already cooked. People want a change. They don’t want the business model in Washington.

BREAM: Well, there are people in your party who do not think this third- party run is a good idea, of course, many of them have expressed they think it’s going to hurt President Biden if it does come together.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this this week. “I think that our democracy is at risk and I think that No Labels is perilous to our democracy. I say that without any hesitation.” At what point would you make the decision that you think a third-party run was called perilous to democracy?

MANCHIN: So let me just say, I have never been a spoiler nor will I ever be a spoiler on any election. If I’m involved, I’m involved to win. But to be a spoiler for the sake of throwing the election one way or the other, I would never do. And that’s not what I — how or what I would never make a decision about. So we’ll just see where we are at that point in time.

Right now, both parties seem to have a hard time with the candidates.

BREAM: But what is the point in time? What is the point in time?

MANCHIN: I think you start looking after Super Tuesday to find out what the lay of the land is going to be. A lot can change in the next two months. And so let’s wait and see.

BREAM: Let me ask you about one specific policy issue playing out in Washington right now. They’re trying to get to a border deal. Senate negotiators are working around the clock on that. You have advocated for work permits for people who are here illegally. That seems to be one of the issues they’re really having crunch time on. Your GOP colleague, Mike Lee says, that’s how — this is how that tends to play out when you’re giving out permits?


SEN. MIKE LEE, (R-UT): And we’ll give you a little slip of paper that says one day you’ll be called up for an immigration hearing. I can’t tell you when that will happen, but it may be a decade or more, maybe 12 years, for that matter, before you get it. In the meantime, have fun, and by the way, within short order, you’ll receive a work permit.


BREAM: Over at the Migration Policy Institute, Muzaffar Chishti, who’s a Senior Fellow there, says during those years, when this is happening, you can get work authorization, so the backlog becomes the magnet. So why support a policy that clearly is drawing millions of people here illegally every year?

MANCHIN: Shannon, let’s make it very clear. First of all, Mike’s a friend of mine, so we have a lot of good conversations. But here’s where we are. This is the most dangerous situation we have. It’s a crisis at the border. Anybody that tells you different is wrong. They’re misleading you. I’ve been there. It is a crisis. It’s dangerous for our country. It must be stopped and shut down. But we have a tremendous amount of people who have already been turned loose in this country. Don’t you think? If we can shut it down and stop what’s going on in the border, so forget about trying to attract more here, they’re not going to get in. I think the parole system – –

BREAM: Well, but they are getting and that’s the — that’s the problem, Senator, because if they think that they can get a work permit once they get here, that’s going to be very attractive to them and this is a very dangerous as you said journey for them to get here?

MANCHIN: Shannon, what I have said, shut the border down, stop the border paroles. I — that’s what I would be for. Stop that from coming in, stop the illegals for coming across illegally. Stop that. And then what you have here, we have to adjudicate the people that have already been turned loose.

Let’s start around, you know, gathering that up and adjudicating to find out if they qualify for the asylum that they claimed. But they should be able to work and pay for themselves while they’re here, until we make a decision whether they’re supposed to be here legally or not or be exported back out, deported back out. So, that’s all we’re saying. Just common sense.

BREAM: All right, Senator, I’ll let you take that up with your friend Mike Lee.

In the meantime, we’ll check with you again sometime between now and Super Tuesday. If you’ve got anything to tell us, let us know.

Thank you, Senator.

MANCHIN: No, no. Every – I think – I think everything – I think everything basically will work itself out. We’ll just have to see. But the people want something different. They want us to be normal. They want us to make common sense.

BREAM: Well –

MANCHIN: Work together. Americans together is working together.

BREAM: OK, if that something different is you, let us know.


BREAM: Senator, thanks.

So, a major review underway into Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s secret hospitalization at Walter Reed. Our panel’s back to break down one of Washington’s strangest mysteries, putting the White House in an increasingly awkward position.



JOHN KIRBY, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: We’re not going to track the GPS coordinates on somebody’s mobile phone in the administration, and we’re not going to plant a microchip in their neck like they’re a poodle. They check in every day, and we know where they are, and that’s – and – and I – I leave it at that.


BREAM: Unless you don’t know they’re in the hospital, apparently. That was White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby on Thursday. The administration doubling down on support for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after the Pentagon chief first kept his hospitalization a secret from the public and even the president.

We are back now with our panel.

I mean, Juan, you’ve been in Washington for a long time. You’ve covered like – a cabinet secretary in ICU, and the commander in chief doesn’t know for days. It is such an odd story.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It is. He made a mistake. Let’s just be blunt. There’s a little bit of Washington navel-gazing about this because, on one level he’s admitted that he made a mistake. Everyone in the administration has said he’s made a mistake. He’s now being reviewed, on internal review by the Defense Department, for having made a mistake.

But I will say this, and I think the men in your audience, the older men in your audience might relate, that the secretary’s a very private person and he has had prostate cancer and he thought he could handle this quietly over the holidays. Didn’t happen. Got an infection. Had to be taken back to the hospital and remains in the hospital. So, the mistake was that he thought he could deal with this quickly and quietly. Not happening.

The White House is now sending a message saying that he was able to order one of the attacks on the Houthis from the hospital. So, they’re – they’re signaling their supporting for him.

But, Shannon, in all honesty, I think we’ll see where his health stands in a few weeks and that may determine whether he remains.

BREAM: Well, and, Karl, it’s one thing to not tell us publicly. Of course that’s something that you would want to keep private. But the president –

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You don’t tell the president of the United States for a month that you’ve got prostate cancer and you don’t tell the White House chief of staff or the president of the United States that you were in ICU at Walter Reed for days. And your number two, who’s in charge of the Defense Department, is vacationing on a beach in – in Puerto Rico. This is a disaster. I’m with David French, columnist for “The New York Times.” The guy who is in charge of the chain of command of the U.S. Department of Defense violated the rules of the chain of command. He did not tell his commander in chief what was going on. And he held a vital job. It’s time for him to go.

BREAM: And we’ve got a little bit of that David French column. He did say this. He says, he should resign or, failing that, be fired. Temporarily dropping out of the chain of command for a medical issue and handing over responsibilities to his deputy without notifying the commander in chief is so obviously and dramatically improper that it doesn’t take an expert in military matters to explain the problem.”


BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that’s right. I think that’s exactly right. And, you know —

BREAM: But the White House is standing by him. Do you think that they’re going to face pressure to move off of that?

HUME: Well, I think it – major – it looks — makes the president look like not only was his secretary of defense out of touch that the – or the – it also makes it look like the president was out to lunch on the whole thing, didn’t know what was going on in his own administration, didn’t know where his defense secretary was.

I’ve had the kind of infection that Lloyd Austin had. And most cases, you know, you get a round of antibiotics and you’re done with it. Obviously, this was much more serious in his particular case. But we’re speculating about that because we still haven’t had any kind of a briefing about, you know, what was wrong, what the prognosis is or any of the rest of it. So — other than knowing that he had prostate cancer and got an infection, that’s about all we know. And he’s still in the hospital.

BREAM: Last check from the Pentagon he’s still there. That’s the last update. They say he’s in good condition. We wish him all of the best, obviously a quick recovery.

But also in Washington we got news over the last 48 hours or so that it looks like, Aishah, a continuing resolution deal is coming together. So, once again, we’re kicking the can now into March. We’re going to be halfway through the fiscal year before they ever, we hope, get around to actually passing appropriations bills.

HASNIE: Are we surprised? I mean this is – this is d,j… vu all over again.

So, Speaker Johnson is now offering up this laddered CR once again with deadlines for March 1st and March 8th. So, we could be talking about this again here soon.

Leader Schumer says there’s going to be bill text coming out later today.

Look, there is widespread discontent among House Republicans. And that is a big problem for the speaker.

I caught up with Chip Roy here in Iowa while he was stumping for Ron DeSantis, and he said he would not take motion to vacate the speaker off the table. I don’t think that he’s going to actually pull the trigger on that. But it is being talked about. Warren Davidson said that electing Johnson was the worst decision, worst vote he’s ever taken in his, I think, four years of being in Congress. So, the question now is, are they going to attach something to the CR, perhaps some sort of a fiscal cut or something like that might make Johnson look a little bit better.

But, here we are again. We’re just kicking the can again. And – and this is not what they were elected for. I mean this is not what they won the majority. This was not the mandate. So, yes.

BREAM: We’ve got 10 seconds, Brit. I see you shaking your head.

HUME: It’s the function – it’s the function of the fact that they have a microscopic little majority –

BREAM: Yes, very small.

HUME: And it can first power on a group of back benchers who, under normal circumstances, would have virtually no power.

BREAM: All right, Brit, how do you really feel?

OK, all right, panel, thank you very much. We’ll see you next Sunday. Tomorrow Iowa kicks off the ’24 elections, but the caucuses are very different than primaries held in most states. And even here it’s different for GOP versus Dem. Up next, an expert joins me to break down exactly how these GOP caucuses will work and how quickly you could get results.



BREAM (February 1, 2016): And it’s been one of the most popular sites tonight for the candidate who know when every vote counts, if you show up somewhere where you have a thousand or more voters, it’s a good bet that you may sway some folks.


BREAM: Yes, that was me back in 2016 at one of the major caucus site here in Iowa. So, exactly how do they work? How is this GOP caucus going to work Monday night? Well, I went out in the blizzard here to talk to an expert who says you really shouldn’t have to wait long to know who the winner is come Monday night.


RACHEL PAINE CAUFIELD, PROFESSOR, DRAKE UNIVERSITY: Well, first of all, I would say Iowans are very hardy souls.

BREAM (voice over): Despite a forecast that doesn’t get out of negative digits on caucus day, Drake University Professor Rachel Paine Caufield says people across the Hawkeye state take pride in setting the pace in a presidential election year.

CAUFIELD: We’re accustom to bad weather. We’ll dig ourselves out of snowbanks if we need to.

BREAM (voice over): From school gyms, to church auditoriums, groups will gather in more than 1,600 precincts for Monday night’s GOP caucuses. There will be some party business, and in most places representatives for the candidates will give one final pitch. In bigger caucus gatherings the candidates themselves will often show up.

BREAM: I’ve covered these in the past where if you’re at one of the bigger one, the candidates try to get there themselves.


BREAM: And it’s so interesting to watch the reaction of the crowd, because it’s very telling when somebody walks in, the buzz or the boos or whatever it is when they come through the door.

CAUFIELD: You don’t want to send your candidate to a precinct caucus where they’re going to get booed. Primarily because all of these are open to observers. So, cameras will be in the room while this is happening.

BREAM (voice over): And then it’s finally time. Everyone gets a piece of paper. And after nearly a year of campaign visits, it is time to make a choice.

BREAM: OK, so people aren’t marking a ballot, there aren’t machines reading this, they are writing names on a blank piece of paper which is then counted by hand, and we could know within an hour?

CAUFIELD: Yes, because all of these are local level caucus meetings, right? So, each caucus sites, and there are about 1,700 of them across the state of Iowa, each caucus site is actually a fairly small number of people.

BREAM: A local chair or volunteer tallies the votes and sends them to headquarter for the official announcement.


BREAM: It’s simple, except when it isn’t. Democrats still disagree about who won their 2020 caucuses here. Two different methods were used to tally the results, giving both Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders the ability to argue that they had won.

All right, this time around, Democrats will complete their presidential preference poll solely by mail because of this debate with the DNC over the order in which states will go this primary season. Iowa’s results for Democrats will be announced March 5th.

And a heads up, our coverage of the 2024 presidential election continue next week. The New Hampshire primary will take place January 23rd. FOX NEWS SUNDAY will be on the road again to get you ready for the big day, live from Bedford, New Hampshire, next Sunday.

That’s it for today. Thank you for joining us.


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