This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," August 23, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
Democrats wrapped up their convention with blistering attacks on President Trump. Now, it's his turn to fight back.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: United we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Where Joe Biden sees American darkness, I see American greatness.
WALLACE: Republicans prepare to renominate President Trump for four more years and draw the contrast with Joe Biden.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people want a president who will support our military, reject socialism, oppose higher taxes.
WALLACE: Meanwhile, the battle over mail-in ballots and funding the post office comes to a head.
LOUIS DEJOY, U.S. POSTMASTER GENERAL: There has been no changes in any policies with regard to the election now.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We're cutting service. Not we, but the new postmaster general.
WALLACE: We'll ask White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the GOP convention, House Democrats action on the post office, and if there's any break in the stalemate on coronavirus relief.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America.
WALLACE: A historic convention is Democrats make their case for Joe Biden.
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): We need a president who brings people of all faith together to tackle our challenges, rebuild our country and restore our humanity.
WALLACE: We'll talk with a member of Biden's inner circle, Senator Chris Coons.
And we'll ask our Sunday panel after the Democrats big show what Republicans need to do this week. Plus, our "Power Players of the Week".
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Read my lips.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: God bless America.
WALLACE: A look back from big moments from GOP conventions past.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
Congressional Democrats have spent the days since their convention passing a bill to provide billions more for the Postal Service before a flood of mail-in balloting ahead of the November election. But there's been no progress on extending unemployment benefits for Americans thrown out of work by the COVID crisis.
And tomorrow, Republicans kick off their convention with an in-person roll call of delegates in Charlotte. In a moment, we'll talk about all of this with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
But first, let's bring in Kevin Corke with a look at what Republicans hope to accomplish this week -- Kevin.
KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, at the Democrats convention, they welcomed a mixture of voices, everybody from the party's fringe to party royalty, even a few Republicans thrown into the mix.
But sources tell FOX News not to expect anything like that this week at the RNC. Gone are familiar faces like Mitt Romney, George W. Bush and Paul Ryan, all of them declining to take part in the festivities.
Instead, you'll see new faces like Alice Johnson. Of course, she was previously incarcerated and pardoned by the president at the behest of Kim Kardashian West. Other folks like the McCloskeys of St. Louis. And Nick Sandmann, the former Covington, Kentucky, high school student, all expected to take part, a bit of a cavalcade of non-politicos, outsiders if you will, all there to back the ultimate insider, that, of course, being the sitting president of the United States.
A lot of topics they will get to, we suspect, Chris, including mail-in balloting, something the president will likely lead to mail fraud. We also know that the coronavirus spending bill, possible bill will be another topic. As you probably saw on Saturday, the House voted to give the post office $25 billion to assist in what could be a deluge of mail-in ballots. In fact, there were more than two dozen Republicans, Chris, that actually joined ranks with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.
But there is one other topic that you probably didn't hear a lot about and that is a meeting that didn't happen with the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows. He tried to have a conversation with Nancy Pelosi about a possible coronavirus spending bill. A lot of people still hurting out there, Chris, but the speaker was too busy to talk -- Chris.
WALLACE: Kevin Corke reporting from the White House -- Kevin, thank you.
And joining us now, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Congressman, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday."
MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Great to be with you, Chris. Thanks so much.
WALLACE: Let's start with the breaking news, and that is that "The Washington Post" is reporting on tapes of the president's sister, Maryanne Trump, saying things like this about his brother.
Let's put them up on the screen.
He has no principles, none. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying.
What is the president's reaction to those comments and the fact that, apparently, the president's niece, Mary Trump, secretly taped Maryanne Trump?
MEADOWS: Well, I think the president has already spoke (ph) to that, another day, another political attack.
What I find interesting is, is any family member that would secretly tape 15 hours of a conversation with somebody, obviously, to promote an agenda, she's been very vocal in her support for Joe Biden. This is -- this is really a sad day.
I've not met the president's sister. I was hopeful -- hopeful to meet her at the funeral for his brother the other day, but you couldn't come out of that tribute to his brother without really recognizing the love and compassion that the president had for his brother and his family.
But we will also look at this. A number of the accusations that are being made, I've been able to witness up close and personal, and they're just not true. The president is not only well-prepared, but reads so much that it causes me to have to read many times well into the night to catch up with him and --
WALLACE: But --
MEADOWS: Go ahead, Chris, sorry.
WALLACE: Well, I was just going to say, Congressman, specifically, she talks about his character, Maryanne Trump on these tapes. She says he has no principles. She says that he lies.
What the president's reaction to that?
MEADOWS: Well, he's already spoken to that. I can tell you the principle he has is he loves his country, he's proud of this country, he's proud of the American people that actually make up this country and he's willing to sacrifice everything, even the personal attacks that come each and every Sunday against this president.
You know, I don't know who would want the job if you didn't have the principle of loving the country as much as he does. I get to see it close - - it's a great benefit.
You know, when we look about what he talks about, he talks about the promises that he's made, the people that it's affected and ultimately the prospect of a brighter future, because of his actions. And he's going to continue --
WALLACE: But --
MEADOWS: -- regardless of the attacks, to make sure that he delivers on behalf of the American people.
WALLACE: All right. Well, let's get -- let's get to the politics and off the family soap opera.
WALLACE: President Trump is sharply critical of Joe Biden and his message at the Democratic convention. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I'll be an ally of the light, not the darkness.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats out the darkest and angriest and gloomiest convention in American history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now, it is true the Democrats criticized the way the president has handled the coronavirus and the economy and race, but when Biden talks about being an ally of the lights, how was that dark or angry?
MEADOWS: Well, listen, you couldn't have watched any of that without considering it dark. I think most of the pundits that are out there would have said that it was a dark, really focused on President Trump. This president will focus on the American people, this week coming up.
And when we look at it -- you know, listen, that speech that Joe Biden gave was very much like a speech that he had given in 2008. But this is not about speeches. This -- Joe Biden has been in office for over 40 years.
Politicians give speeches, what we're looking for is action. This president has shown action each and every day. Joe Biden has barely passed two bills, one of which is trying to run away from because of the left.
And when we look at it, this president accomplished more in his first hundred days than Joe Biden did in the last 40 years. It's about action. This president is willing to do that.
You'll see a real difference this week when we start focusing on people that the president's policy has actually affected.
WALLACE: We're going to get to some issues. I have one more question though on tone.
MEADOWS: Sure, yeah.
WALLACE: Here was a statement by the president this week, his message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm the only thing standing between the American dream and total anarchy, madness, and chaos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman, some people would say that's a pretty dark and angry message.
MEADOWS: Well, I mean, we -- we don't have to look any further than the streets across the country to see what's happening, you know, supposedly peaceful protests that are now being classified as riots. And this president is the only thing standing between that and anarchy.
But here's what it is, it's about defending the police. It's about making sure that we fund them properly, not defund them. It's about making sure that they have the tools to restore law and order and keep safe communities. This is all about safeties, whether it's in the cities or the suburbs, we need to make sure that we support it. This president has not --
MEADOWS: He's never equivocated in that matter and we need to do it. We were on the phone yesterday talking about how we can assist Portland and the governor there. You know, they don't want to help, but we continue to see day in, day out, things that come across the screen that are just appalling.
WALLACE: I'm going to ask Senator Coons in a moment about all that, but I want to ask you about some issues on your plate. The House yesterday passed a bill to give the Post Office $25 billion more to end any of the operational changes. All of this to make sure that people will be able to vote reliably, safely, securely by mail in the November election.
Why would the president say he's going to veto that?
MEADOWS: Well, Chris, your premise is not correct. The $25 billion, you know, largely messaging bill, because it's going absolutely nowhere, has nothing to do with voting. It has everything to do with a political statement.
Here's how I know, because in the privacy of the negotiating room, I offered $10 billion, plus reforms for the Postal Service that actually -- they've been asking for for a long time, to Speaker Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
And when we offered that, there was another thing that came along with that. The postmaster general said he was willing to pay whatever overtime it was -- that was needed to make sure that we deliver the mail on time, first-class mail, which includes mail-in ballots. So it was not an issue three weeks ago.
Here's what we do know is: The speaker said she wasn't willing to do anything piecemeal and yet we have a piecemeal piece of legislation on a Saturday. Why didn't she come in and do enhanced unemployment? Why didn't she do support for small businesses? Why didn't she come in and do money for education and daycare?
I mean, if we're going to be serious about this, let's get serious about in and hopefully what will happen is the Republican senators will take this bill when it comes across. They'll amend it and actually address many of the things that are hurting America right now in terms of this pandemic response and be able to get it to the president's desk.
WALLACE: I want to ask you one a question about voting, but not mail-in voting. Sean Hannity asked the president this week about whether the Republicans are going to put out poll watchers to make sure that in-person voting will be safe and secure. And here was the president's answer.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're going to have everything. We're going to have sheriffs and we're going to have law enforcement, and we're going to have hopefully U.S. attorneys and we're going to have everybody and attorneys general.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
WALLACE: Why is the president talking about law enforcement at the polls, which you know from our history, is an old tactic that has been used, especially in the South, as a form of voter suppression, especially against minorities?
MEADOWS: Yeah, I think what we have is we need to make sure that our polls are safe and we need to make sure that the polling places continue to be there. I think what the president was really addressing is to make sure that if you want to show up and vote in-person, we're going to make sure that that is safe. Whether you're voting for him or your voting for Joe Biden or you're voting for some other candidate --
WALLACE: But do you need sheriffs to do that?
MEADOWS: But as we look at that, sometimes in this new COVID response, what we're finding is, is because of social distancing, we see a lot more aggressive behavior than I've ever seen in the grocery store.
And so, to the extent that we're going to deploy thousands of sheriffs, no, we're not going to do that. To the extent that we're going to make sure it's safe and if the judges at those polling places need any kind of security, we're going to make sure they have the resources to do that.
WALLACE: The president tweeted this yesterday -- I want to put it up on the screen.
The deep state, or whoever, at FDA, is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics.
But you know the president is holding a press conference this evening with the head of the FDA to announce, we've been told, a major breakthrough on therapeutics.
So why is he tweeting out that some people at the FDA, the deep state at the FDA, is trying to hurt him and delay any kind of scientific progress until after the election?
MEADOWS: Well, we're not going to cut corners in any kind of research we can do, but what we will do is cut the red tape. And what the president was specifically addressing is something that I've been involved with over the last three or four weeks, is a real frustration with some of the bureaucrats to think that they can just do this the way they normally do it. We're facing unprecedented times, which require unprecedented action.
This president's right to call it out and I can tell you that the announcement that's coming today should have been made several weeks ago. It was a fumble by a number of people in the federal government that should have done it differently, and having been personally involved with it, sometimes you have to make them feel the heat if they don't see the light.
I applaud the president for putting out the tweet, and I can tell you, it's not just on the announcement that's coming today. There are other actions that need to be taken to make sure that we get the protections for the American people quickly, safely, and securely, and we will do that. But it's only with the unrelenting pressure of the president to make sure that gets done.
WALLACE: Sorry to interrupt, I've got a minute left. I want to ask one last question.
MEADOWS: That's good. That's great.
WALLACE: The president -- the president was asked this week about QAnon, a conspiracy theory group that the FBI has called a domestic terror threat. He was -- the president said he was thankful for the support of people in QAnon, which led to this exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: This belief that you are secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Does that sound like something you are behind?
TRUMP: Well, I haven't -- I haven't heard that, but is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You can end this controversy right now. Does the president disavow, does he condemn QAnon?
MEADOWS: Well, listen, we -- we don't even know what it is. I can tell you you've spent more time talking on it, Chris, than we have in the White House. I find it appalling that the media, when we have all of the important things that are going on, a list of top 20, that the first question at a press briefing would be about QAnon that I had to actually Google to figure out what it is.
It's not a central part of what the president is talking about. I don't even know anything about it. I don't even know if it's credible.
WALLACE: It's not my first question. It's my last question.
MEADOWS: But it is your question, that you're bringing it up and it's ridiculous. If we want to talk about conspiracy, let's get back to talking about how the FBI and others within the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. I'll be glad to speak about that.
WALLACE: Wait, wait. I've got 30 seconds here.
MEADOWS: Yeah. And so --
WALLACE: The point is it's a hate group. It's a group that has -- is called by the FBI a domestic --
WALLACE: -- the FBI, domestic terror threat. Why --
MEADOWS: If it's a hate group, I can tell you that this president is not for hate. So, I can tell you that if it's a hate group, it's there, let's look at domestic terrorism and look at Antifa and a number of other areas, and quit spending time on something that 81 percent of Republicans don't even know what you're talking about.
WALLACE: I think -- I'll just add, the only reason that we keep -- that people keep asking is because we didn't get an answer like you did just now. Thank you, sir.
Thank you, Congressman, we appreciate it. Thanks --
MEADOWS: Well, I'll be glad to give you an answer --
MEADOWS: Yeah, I'll be glad to give you an answer, Chris.
MEADOWS: Here is what we have to do, I don't see it as a legitimate thing that we have to address and so, we're not going to address it. We are going to talk about things that are important to the American people.
WALLACE: Thank you, sir.
MEADOWS: Thank you.
WALLACE: We'll watch what happens at the GOP convention this week and the message that the president and all of you send to the American people. Thank you, sir.
Up next, we'll turn to a member of the Biden inner circle to discuss the Democratic convention and what promises to be all rough fall campaign.
WALLACE: Our next guest has known Joe Biden for more than three decades and is one of his closest allies in Washington.
Joining us now for Wilmington, Delaware, Senator Chris Coons.
Senator, welcome back to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
SEN. CHRIS COONS, (D-DE): Thanks, Chris. Great to be on with you again.
WALLACE: Republicans say one of the things they're going to hit at this convention, at their convention, are things that Democrats didn't talk about this last week at their convention. Here is President Trump on the issue of urban violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you want a vision of your life under Biden presidency, think of the smoldering ruins in Minneapolis, the violent anarchy of Portland, the bloodstained sidewalks of Chicago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Why didn't Joe Biden talk about the alarming spike of violence in our cities?
COONS: Well, Chris, what we heard from Joe Biden Thursday night was an inspiring, energetic, hopeful and uplifting speech. In response to press inquiries over recent weeks, he's made it clear he doesn't support defunding the police and he doesn't support violent protests. What he does embrace is the tens of millions of Americans of all backgrounds who have taken to the streets in peaceful protest over recent months speaking to the long unaddressed issues of racial injustice and inequality in our country.
WALLACE: But, Senator, we're not talking about protests here. We're not talking about defunding the police. We're talking about crime. And let me put up some very troubling numbers.
Chicago has seen a 50 percent increase in homicides this year. In New York, murders are up 30 percent. In Portland, there have been often violent protests, protests that become violent for 86 straight days. Police there have declared riots at least 13 times.
Why does Joe Biden think it's happening and what will he do as president to stop it?
COONS: Well, three things, Chris.
Joe Biden is someone with a long record of supporting appropriate community policing. Just because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris see a path forward in which they will reform policing to make it more just and more appropriate in our multi-ethnic, multi-faith community doesn't mean that they fail to support police.
But, second, in the city of Portland, sending in federal law enforcement that was over militarized and wasn't asked for or welcomed by the mayor or the governor helped accelerate demonstrations that had become violent riots. So, frankly, as someone who was responsible for the second largest law enforcement agency in my state, I'll say that there are situations in which federal law enforcement is welcome and needed in situations. This was one of them. Where, frankly, the way President Trump send in heavy-handed federal law enforcement simply made things worse.
I think the record of both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in terms of community policing, getting a handle on violent crime, is a great record for them to run on. And, more than anything, their tone was optimistic, was unifying. And as you just showed, President Trump has had a divisive, angry tone that at times has a racial tinge.
Let me ask you about another issue that Republicans are going to hit Democrats for. They say that -- that it -- your convention last week you ignored the threat from China.
Here again is the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: China was never mentioned in any way, shape, or form. China will own our country if he gets elected. They will own our country. And we're not going to let that happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now, Mr. Trump hit China what that travel ban in January. He imposed stiff tariffs as part of trade negotiations. Joe Biden, routinely on the campaign trail, dismisses the idea that China is serious competition, his praise, for the United States. They're going to say that Joe Biden is soft on China.
COONS: Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Let's be clear, what Joe Biden says on the campaign trail is he believes in us. He believes that the American people, the American worker can outcompete China, but he is very clear-eyed about the threat and the challenge that China -- that China presents to the United States.
Look, I have commended President Trump for --
WALLACE: So why didn't he say anything about it -- Senator, why didn't he say anything about it at the convention?
COONS: He has said a lot about it on the campaign trail and he has detailed plans for how to strengthen our global network of alliances to effectively stand up to China. I'll remind you, back in January and February, as the pandemic was spreading around the world, it was Donald Trump who was saying positive things, cozying up to Xi Jinping and it was Joe Biden who was sounding the alarm bells about this pandemic.
Donald Trump, our president, failed to act responsibly as this pandemic was beginning to impact Americans. Today we have five and a half million infected Americans, 175,000 dead Americans because of the bungled federal response. You can't simply blame China as a way to get our country out of this pandemic --
COONS: And the recession and the chaos that's resulted from President Trump's failed response.
WALLACE: Senator, let me -- let me pick up on -- let me pick up on the coronavirus, because Joe Biden was asked -- this will obviously be perhaps the biggest, single issue in the campaign. And Biden was asked on Friday how far he would go to fight the coronavirus.
Here's his answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN: (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus.
DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: So if the scientists say, shut it down?
BIDEN: I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Joe Biden is really prepared to shut down the country, to shut down the economy again?
COONS: What Joe Biden said there was he will listen to public health experts. He will listen to Dr. Fauci. He will listen to leaders from the NIH and the CDC. That's something Donald Trump has demonstrably failed to do. Donald Trump's like a man whose lost on the highway and refuses to ask for directions.
In fact, worse, he has peddled quackery. He has advocated for solutions like Hydroxychloroquine, which the FDA has said not only don't work but are harmful. If public health officials say that's the only way forward, he's willing to do it. He's willing to lead.
Donald Trump failed to confront this pandemic. Countries similar to ours, like Canada or Japan, at similar stages of development --
COONS: Have gotten a handle on this virus. The number of deaths, the impact on their economy, far less.
WALLACE: Senator --
COON: What Joe Biden is showing his leadership and a willingness to trust science.
WALLACE: Senator, I've got one minute left and I want to ask you one more question.
You've known Joe Biden, as we've said, I think for 34 years.
WALLACE: You are close to him politically, personally. No question, he delivered a -- an effective speech on Thursday night, but it was a prepared speech and he was reading from a teleprompter. Sometimes when he is speaking off-the-cuff gets tangled up in his words and sometimes he loses his train of thought.
Why is that?
COONS: Well, two things.
One of the most inspiring moments of the entire convention was when Braden Harrington (ph) of Concord, New Hampshire, talked about how Joe Biden, who met him at an event, didn't just take a minute and smile and shake his hand, but took him backstage, sat with him, talked with him, because they share a common challenge, overcoming stuttering. Joe Biden is someone whose heart is good, who's got deep empathy for others, who's rooted in his faith and who is motivated by care and concern for others. I wish I could say the same about our president and his uneven relationship with the truth.
But when Joe Biden occasionally miss speaks as he's engaged and connecting with the American people, I know what his heart is motivating him to do, to fight to protect our health care, to fight to help us build our economy back better and to fight to save America's position in the world as a beacon of freedom.
WALLACE: Senator --
COONS: All of those are good instincts.
WALLACE: Senator Coons --
COONS: I'm, frankly, happy to forgive the occasional stumble because I know where his heart is rooted.
WALLACE: Senator Coons, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. Always good to talk with you, sir.
COONS: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the GOP's turn in the political spotlight and how they plan to respond to the Democrats.
WALLACE: Coming up, Democrats used their turn in the spotlight to attack President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's about winning the heart and yes the soul of America.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's been there for 47 years and now he's going to come in and make a change. I don't think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel what they expect from the Republican convention, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy, they're all on the ballot.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Were Joe Biden sees American darkness, I see American greatness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Joe Biden and President Trump with two very different takes on what the Democratic ticket is offering voters this November.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. GOP strategist Karl Rove, Susan Page of "USA Today," and Fox News political analyst, Juan Williams.
Karl, I talked with a senior Trump campaign official yesterday who said that while Democrats spent much of their week talking about how bad the country's situation is, how bad people should feel about it, that they want to give people permission to feel good about America, to feel proud about being Americans.
Question, how hard a sell is that at a time when we have close to 175,000 people dead from the virus and millions of people still unemployed?
KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, it's aspirational. I mean 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not give an acceptance speech that was downbeat, he gave one that was optimistic and upbeat about the potential to overcome the great challenges that the country faced. And I think that would be well advised for the Republican Convention to project what needs to be done and to project a sense of optimism and a hope that if we pull together, that these things can be achieved and that the country can return to prosperity and return to -- to a forward movement.
ROVE: So, you know, this -- this is -- you know, the Democratic Convention, I'm not certain was -- was deeply negative, but it wasn't -- you know, it was mostly concerned with blaming President Trump for the coronavirus. He better focus on the future and tell people what happens in the next four years.
WALLACE: Susan, I'm also told that Republicans want to make this more of a traditional convention, more traditional speeches, more traditional videos, less of what they call a TV show.
What do you think the Republicans need to do this week?
SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": You know, I think they need to do two things. They need to reassure the voters who put Donald Trump in the Oval Office in the first place that they made a good decision then. Some of those voters are reluctant to vote for him again because of the coronavirus, because of the economic catastrophe that followed that.
They need to do a second thing, which is make Joe Biden seem unacceptable to those voters in the middle. Joe Biden now has the lead of eight or nine points nationally. That is a substantial, significant lead. It's not an insurmountable one. So the task of bringing down Joe Biden as either someone who's weak or someone who was a captive of the party's left wing, that is the task, I think, that Republicans face over the next four days.
WALLACE: Juan, the Trump campaign thinks that it can capitalize on some issues, some problems that they think the Democrats largely ignored in their convention, especially urban violence, which you just heard me discussing with Senator Coons.
How big an opening to Democrats leave for the Republicans by really failing to address what's going on in the streets of Chicago and New York and Portland and Minneapolis?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Chris, I think they had a successful convention because they spent time talking about the issues that Americans care about, which is the virus, which is jobs, which is reopening schools.
When President Trump focuses on that racially charged term "urban violence," I think he's trying to distract from his failure on those core issues by raising or stirring up racial tensions.
I mean clearly what you have is a situation in those cities where you have a spike, a spike, I'll say, and homicides, especially gang-related, drug- related crimes. And, of course, you have fights between extremists in places like Portland. But that doesn't speak to the overall issue.
Overall, crime is down in this country. And I think people need to understand, its down markedly from last year.
WALLACE: Right (ph).
WILLIAMS: It's down -- violent crime is down, I believe, like 50 percent from 30 years ago. So what Trump is trying to do is he's trying to scare people, I think especially a -- targeting suburbanites by saying, hey, these -- there's racial tensions and there's violence and it could spread to your areas. He's even trying to do this on housing policy.
WALLACE: All right, let me -- let me bring in Karl.
I think it's fair to say that while it was generally perceived as a successful convention, Joe Biden was relatively light in talking about specific policies and talked much more about a change in tone from what he says is the anger and division of the Trump presidency.
Here is Joe Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can choose a different path. And, together, take this chance to heal, to reform, to unite. A path of hope and light. This is a life-changing election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Karl, is that enough of a message for Joe Biden?
ROVE: No. It -- it's a start and it's a powerful start, but it has to be backed up by specifics. It has to be backed up by a vision. It has to be backed up by an agenda. And we haven't seen that. And we won't see it, I think, for a while. Maybe because it's going to pop up during the -- during the debates.
But I think that the Biden campaign has made a strategic decision that they can win this election by saying, Joe Biden is not Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a terrible person. He has botched the coronavirus. So if you want to know anymore, go back to the start. Joe Biden's a decent guy. Donald Trump's a terrible person. And I don't think that's going to be enough.
And -- and -- and -- and, frankly, Juan, with all due respect to my friend Juan Williams, the dismissal of what's happening in Portland as some kind of appeal to racial division, as I see it, most of those protesters are -- most of those rioters are white. And trying to burn down the federal courthouse is not -- is not something that makes the American people feel like that's sort of a, let's just ignore that. Burning down a large part of Minneapolis, having -- killing a black -- a retired black cop in St. Louis for -- for trying to protect a store is -- is -- is not seen as acceptable behavior about in --
WALLACE: Let me --
ROVE: In one --
WALLACE: All right, let me get Susan -- let me get Susan in here, guys.
One of the things that was striking about the convention is how united it was and it seemed that -- that the party was able to paper over some pretty sharp policy differences between the Sanders wing and the Biden wing of the party.
One, do you think they can maintain that unity for the rest of the campaign, the next 72 days? And, two, how quickly, if Joe Biden is elected president, how quickly does intraparty division break out after the election?
PAGE: Well, you saw a convention that ranged from -- tried to range from John Kasich Republicans to AOC Democrats. That's a pretty broad coalition. And one reason I think Joe Biden didn't talk with great specificity about some policies, although he does have policies he's outlined on speeches and on his -- on his website, that unity lasts, I think, as long as they are focused on defeating President Trump.
But, realistically, after Election Day, if Joe Biden wins the White House, if Democrats hold the House and -- hold the House, win the Senate, you're going to see those divisions emerge about exactly what to do when it comes to all the big challenges that this country's going to be facing.
WALLACE: All right, panel, we have to take a break here. But when we come back, we'll discuss the continuing battle over mail-in voting by House Democrats approve changes in the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the 2020 election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Here we are today, voting on a measure, to save the Postal Service because it is being sabotaged by a desperate president in an order to cheat in the 2020 elections.
STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): It's a fabricated crisis. It's a shame that (INAUDIBLE) small businesses and families, they're trying to scare the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Heated debate and a rare Saturday session as 26 Republicans broke ranks to vote with House Democrats to approve $25 billion for the Postal Service ahead of the November election.
And we're back now with our panel.
Juan, where do you think the battle over mail-in balloting stands now? As we say, the House just passed its bill but it's going to go nowhere in the Senate. And if it did, the president says he'd veto it.
The postmaster general says it's his, quote, sacred duty to make sure that the ballots all get in on time. And the president says that mail-in balloting will be a catastrophe.
So where do we go from here?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think you have to keep in mind, it's plain as the morning sun. It's nothing fabricated to say that the president wants to break the Postal Service because he sees it as the venue, the conduit for mail-in voting in this country. And, you know, nobody has to say this, the -- you know, or -- or make it up, the president said it himself on Fox Business. He said that he thinks that the mail -- he's denying money to the Postal Service because if he does that he can then deny them the ability to fulfill mail-in voting on a large scale.
You know, to me, five states already do this, Chris, universal mail-in voting, no fraud, no problem.
WILLIAMS: We have a pandemic in this country and it makes sense to make sure that people have the ability to vote easily. The president doesn't want people to vote.
Karl, here is what President Trump said this week about mail-in voting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Universal is going to be a disaster the likes of which our country has ever seen. It will end up being a rigged election or they will never come out with an outcome. They'll have to do it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: What do you think of the president's continual attack on mail-in voting and his allegation that it will produce a rigged election?
ROVE: Well, he's not just doing a very good job of distinguishing between universal vote -- mail-in balloting, which means you send a ballot to everybody on the voter list, including, for example, in the -- in -- in Nevada, 200,000 people in Clark County, Nevada, Las Vegas, who no longer live at those addresses. The post office has said those people no longer -- they've moved. They no longer live at those addresses. He can't -- he's not done a good job of distinguishing between that and what we have traditionally done, which is, you request an absentee ballot and you get it sent to you through the mail.
And -- and the latter is fine. We've got the systems in place to handle it. We don't have the systems in place to handle the other thing, which is what we've seen in Nevada, we saw it in New York, we saw it in -- we see it in California. There are five states that vote by mail, all of the votes, and they do a good job of it. But as the secretary of state of Washington state, one of those states, said, it took them five years to put those systems in place to do it accurately. And the idea that we're going to send out ballots to people who on those lists are inactive voters who have not voted for the last six years --
ROVE: And whom the post office has said don't live at those addresses is wrong and a disaster in the making.
WALLACE: Susan, a number of Republican officials worry that the result of the president bashing mail-in voting is that Democrats will take advantage of it and vote by mail and some Republicans who don't want to go because of the Covid virus to the polls won't vote at all. I mean isn't there a possibility here the president could be talking down his own vote?
PAGE: Well, you hear this from state Republican parties which are focused on getting their voters to use mail-in ballots. But this is a huge -- I don't think Democrats see this as a -- as a benefit. This is a huge concern for Democrats that people -- most Americans will want to vote for them but that many of them will be deterred from voting by problems with either getting to the polls or fears about using a mail-in ballot.
There was no more consistent message from the Democratic Convention then to plan to vote, to vote early, to vote by mail, to vote -- to -- to be prepared to go to the polls from the first night with Michelle Obama to the last word with Joe Biden.
WALLACE: All right, meanwhile, Mark --
ROVE: Chris, I could add an end point to that.
WALLACE: Go ahead.
ROVE: I could add a quick data point to that. In 2016, 1 million people, roughly a million Democrats and a million Republicans in Florida voted by mail. This year, 3.4 million people have requested an absentee ballot. Nearly -- nearly 2 million Democrats and about a million four Republicans. So what was a 58,000 vote advantage for Republicans four years ago in Florida is now a 600,000 vote -- 600,000 application advantage for the Democrats. So this is having an effect. Democrats are energized, getting their ballots in. Republicans, not so much voting by mail.
WALLACE: Oh, OK. Let me -- let me switch to another subject.
Mark Meadows, the chief of staff that we spoke to at the beginning of the program, was on Capitol Hill this week and yesterday trying to meet, failing to meet with Speaker Pelosi to talk about the issue of a skinny Covid relief bill.
Here is Mark Meadows.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Why is she here on a Saturday talking about a slimmed down version for the Postal Service? Is she saying that the Postal Service is more important than unemployed Americans?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: They didn't meet. The fact is that there has been no compromise, no progress on any kind of relief and the president's executive actions really are not helping in terms of providing extra federal benefits to people, eviction protection, payroll tax cuts, suspension.
Juan, how long can this stalemate go on and isn't it going to -- somebody going to pay a terrible political price?
WILLIAMS: I think both sides should pay a political price here, Chris, because people have real pain and need and I think it affects the economy, ultimately. So it's all of us that suffer. And I would think that the idea that the Democrats in the House, the House majority there, passed a bill now I guess back in May gives you an idea that there was interaction from the White House and the Senate side on the Republicans in dealing with this issue. And the Democrats are making the case that not only do you need the money for individuals, you need to bolster the states in order to make sure that our economy doesn't crater from the trouble caused by the coronavirus.
WALLACE: Susan, it's interesting, though, Nancy Pelosi, you know, here's -- here's Mark Meadows up on The Gill saying, well, let's do a skinny relief bill and it will provide expanded federal benefits, $300 a week through the end of the year. Nancy Pelosi is -- is not budging off, well, she came from 3 trillion to 2 trillion, but she's not budging off that.
PAGE: I don't think it's impossible, though, that a deal will be made. You -- you not only saw more than two dozen Republicans break with their party in the House vote, you also saw half of the Democratic caucus sign a letter saying that they were in favor of making some kind of bill to get some relief going. So there's pressure on both sides. I mean the country has a crisis and Congress has been unable to act for months. That doesn't look good for either side.
WALLACE: But having said that, that both houses, both the House and the Senate, are going to be out of session, at this point continuing on into Labor Day. So does this -- is this just going to drag on without people getting added federal benefits, without eviction protection into September, Susan?
PAGE: Well, I think -- I'm -- the -- the -- a deal is -- there's no guarantee for a deal but there is the possibility of one.
WALLACE: That's a very optimistic note on which to end.
Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, heading into our second largely virtual convention, we look back at big moments from Republican conventions past.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: The Democrats managed to pull off the nation's first virtual convention. Now all eyes are on the Republicans to see if they can produce a show that lives up to their past conventions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will happen when the conclave gets down to the actual business of the roll call?
WALLACE (voice over): The 1952 Republican Convention was the first time television covered the event gavel to gavel. Millions watched retired general and World War II hero Dwight Eisenhower win the nomination and choose Richard Nixon as his running mate.
DWIGHT EISENHOWER, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I acceptor your summons. I will lead this crusade.
WALLACE: In 1964, a bitter fight inside the GOP. Conservative Senator Barry Goldwater beat the party's eastern establishment and defended his controversial agenda.
BARRY GOLDWATER, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Extremism in the defense of liberty is (INAUDIBLE).
WALLACE: That was my first time at a convention, working as an intern in Walter Cronkite's anchor booth. I couldn't believe people got paid to have so much fun.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: God bless America.
WALLACE: In 1980, Ronald Reagan was the nominee, but conservatism was still suspect. My first time as a floor reporter, I chased stories Reagan was offering former President Gerry Ford a kind of co-presidency to ease concerns Reagan was too far to the right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think that's the strongest ticket we can possibly feel.
WALLACE (on camera): Your indication is that Ford has agreed to go? He will be on the ticket?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My indication is from friends very close to Gerry Ford that he has agreed to go. And I think that's fantastic.
WALLACE (voice over): But late that night, it fell apart. I got the scoop from one of Reagan's floor managers.
WALLACE (on camera): This is the -- the central clearinghouse of information for the Reagan campaign and they say it's George Bush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct, George Bush.
WALLACE: So all the stories that we've been hearing all right about Gerald Ford?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are typical convention rumors.
WALLACE (voice over): Eight years later, Bush was the nominee. He tried to reassure conservatives with this pledge.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Read my lips, no more taxes.
WALLACE: And guess who I ran into on the convention floor?
WALLACE (on camera): And here tonight is real estate tycoon and best- selling author Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, thank you very much.
WALLACE: Well, you're -- you're welcome.
TRUMP: I appreciate it.
WALLACE: You have flirted with the idea of politics. Now you're here at your first national convention. Does that get you interested in possibly making the plunge?
TRUMP: Well, you have to tell me something, who told you I flirted?
WALLACE: Well, I wasn't talking about this year, Mr. Trump, but you have said that if you ran for president, you'd win.
TRUMP: I think id' have a very good chance.
WALLACE (voice over): In 2008, the big news was John McCain's running mate.
SARAH PALIN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull, lipstick.
WALLACE (on camera): I don't think it's overstating it to say being right here on the floor that a star was born tonight, a new star in the political galaxy.
WALLACE (voice over): And in 2012, the weirdest moment in all my years covering conventions, Clint Eastwood's conversation with an empty chair.
CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that. That -- he can't do that to himself. You're crazy. You're -- you're absolutely crazy. That's a -- you're getting as bad as Biden.
WALLACE: Even with a largely virtual convention, it's a safe bet President Trump will put on quite a show to lighting his supporters and setting off his opponents.
Now this program note.
Join us for a "Democracy 2020 Convention Kickoff" tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern for coverage of the Republicans all week on Fox News Channel.
And now the really big news.
Edward Thompson was born this week. Look for Teddy to make his first appearance in the Wallace grandkid Christmas video later this year. What a cutie.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
Content and Programming Copyright 2020 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Fox News Network, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.