This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday," August 16, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
Joe Biden prepares to lay out his plan for the country in an unconventional Democratic National Convention.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: My fellow Americans, let me introduce to you for the first time, your next vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris.
WALLACE: Biden picks a running mate ahead of the first convention of the COVID-19 era. And add New Jersey to the list as more states move to mail-in balloting for the November election. We will speak with that state's Governor Phil Murphy about that move, plus his role as co-chair of the Democratic Convention.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She was my number one draft pick and we'll see how she works out.
WALLACE: We'll get reaction to the Biden-Harris ticket from Trump campaign senior advisor Steve Cortes. And --
TRUMP: I've directed the secretary of the treasury to get ready and send direct payments, $3,400, for a family of four, to all Americans. Democrats are holding this up.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gave a damn.
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel about the continuing stalemate over a coronavirus relief package.
Plus, our power players of the week.
TED KENNEDY (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: The hope still lives and the dream shall never die.
WALLACE: A look back at great moments of Democratic Conventions past.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
Well, the coronavirus has changed everything this year, including the nominating conventions for president. Normally, we'd be reporting from the FOX anchor booth in Milwaukee, but tomorrow, Democrats will kick off in almost all-virtual event. And Senator Kamala Harris will officially become the first woman of color on a major party ticket.
In a moment, we'll speak with convention co-chair, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
But, first, let's bring in Peter Doocy near the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, where Joe Biden and Harris will deliver their acceptance speeches -- Peter.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been away from cameras this weekend. They have not stood side-by-side to answer questions since announcing they're the ticket, but they are practicing lines like this one ahead of this week's convention that will feature 17 rising stars.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESUMPTIVE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: As somebody who has presented my fair share of arguments in court, the case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut.
DOOCY: That's a line similar to what Harris used when she was competing against Biden in the primaries and it landed her on the ticket, where she will speak as the vice presidential nominee the night before Joe Biden.
BIDEN: Is anyone surprised Donald Trump has a problem of strong women or strong woman across the board?
DOOCY: For this year's convention, don't think balloon drop, think Zoom backdrop. Bernie Sanders, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Bill Clinton will all address delegates virtually, so will Barack Obama, who was already previewing an attack about President Trump's willingness to hold up Postal Service funding to discourage voting by mail.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: What we've never seen before is a president say, I'm going to try to actively kneecap the Postal Service to encourage voting.
DOOCY: Last night, the president said more mailed ballots could mean a delay declaring a winner.
TRUMP: You're not going to know this possibly, if you really did it right, for months or for years, because these ballots are all going to be lost.
DOOCY: Congress controls the power of the purse, and they are right in the middle of the August recess. But the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is reportedly ready to call everyone back to figure out how to fund the Postal Service -- Chris.
WALLACE: Peter Doocy reporting from Wilmington, Delaware -- Peter, thank you.
And joining us now, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Co-Chair of the Democratic Convention. Governor, what is the central message that the Biden campaign wants to get across this week? And how much harder is it going to be to get that message across when instead of the hoopla of a convention, we're going to see a lot of people delivering speeches from their living room?
GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ), DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION CO-CHAIR: Chris, good to be with you. The theme uniting America I think says it all. We are the big tent party. This is a moment in American history where we've got to put the us versus them in the rearview mirror and come together in common purpose. New Jersey, by the way, is in many respects the most diverse state in America, so that's a particular badge of honor. And as you put it, it is an unconventional convention to say the least but I think the lineup is overwhelmingly compelling. The theme is overwhelmingly compelling. I think it's going to be a terrific week.
WALLACE: Let's talk about the big new issue that has just arisen and you are on the frontlines of it, as we pointed out in the production opener (ph). On Friday, just 11 weeks before the election, you directed that New Jersey will send ballots to all plus -- 6 million plus voters who are on your rolls (ph) there so they can do mail-in balloting for president. Does it make sense -- you've never done this before. Does it make sense to change the system this close to the election?
GOV. MURPHY: Yes, so, Chris, we've actually had a pretty deep history with vote by mail and we just had a primary which was a little bit different, only because it was a primary, but we learned a lot from it and we liked what we saw. Ensuring voter security is completely understandable. I've spoken to the president about it -- and by the way I send our prayers in his direction over the loss of his brother. But we've got enough experience to believe between the option of vote by mail, to drop your ballot in secure boxes that we'll have all around the state, to show up actually on Election Day and hand your ballot over, or, failing all that, to actually vote in person. It's a hybrid model, actually. We think based on our experience, especially from this primary, the system is going to work for us.
WALLACE: Well, you say you have a history of it, but let's review that history, because you had some problems in your primary last month. Some people got the wrong ballot, some people didn't get ballots at all. You had a different election in Paterson, New Jersey, in May and four people were charged with voter fraud for harvesting ballots. I mean, that doesn't sound like a very good record, sir.
GOV. MURPHY: So, Chris, the Paterson experience was a local election in May before the primary. I actually view that differently. I view that as a positive data point. Some guys tried to screw around with the system, they got caught by law enforcement. They've been indicted. They'll pay a price. So I actually have some optimism from that, that actually people tried to screw with the system and they failed. The primary in July -- yes, I'm not suggesting you always bat 1,000. You don't do that in in person elections either. There are always some glitches you're dealing with but it was overwhelmingly successful. And again, our hope is to expand democracy and we believe this is the right way to do it.
WALLACE: But to answer some of the questions the president raises, what's the danger -- you know, people move, you send a ballot to me at my house, but I've moved and now somebody else has got my ballot and they want to fill it out. What are the safeguards you have that when you send a ballot out to somebody, that they are going to be the one that sends the ballot back and it's their vote?
GOV. MURPHY: Again, folks, including the president, who have concerns about voter security, we all want to make sure that every vote counts, that every person gets to vote once. We've got checks and balances for all of that, Chris. Again, this is an iterative reality. We're learning from prior experiences. We actually had a high degree of success on that very point you're raising in terms of tracking people down in the July primary we just had. And again, remember, we're giving people the option to deliver their ballot in a secure box or in person. If they've got concerns about the postal service, there are a number of outlets we are giving folks to get their vote counted.
WALLACE: Yes, I want to pick up on the postal service because they sent a letter out to 46 states, including New Jersey, recently in which they said that with this huge surge in mail-in balloting [ph], there were 33 million votes, absentee and mail-in in 2016. We could be talking double, triple that. That with this huge surge that they can't guarantee that they're going to be able to get all the ballots out and return them in time to be counted. What do you think of that and what do you think of the president's opposition to the Democratic proposal for $25 billion more for the postal service?
GOV. MURPHY: Yes, I support unequivocally more money for the postal service, Chris. By the way, we extended, in the primary, we'll do it again, the number of days after the Election Day where your mail-in ballot can be counted for the very reason that you've raised in terms of the volume. This is -- the last thing we should be doing is politicizing the postal service. It's not as though it exists just for vote by mail. Think about the seniors who rely on it for medicines. Our veterans, our small businesses, thecommerce associated with the backbone of this country. We need to fund the Postal Service. We need to root for its success as opposed to the opposite.
WALLACE: Do you think that the president and his postmaster general, who is a big Trump fundraiser, contributor, do think they are playing politics with the Postal Service?
MURPHY: I can't say. I have not dealt with the postmaster general. I have dealt regularly with the chief operating officer of the Post Office, and will continue to, by the way. We were very tough and strong on them during the primary. And I can assure you that we will be doing the same during the general to make sure their performance is what needs to be. And also that, again, back to Congress, we need to fund them properly and I strongly support that.
WALLACE: Let's turn to the other big news this week, Joe Biden's new running mate, Kamala Harris and her voting record in the Senate. Harris was the first senator to cosponsor Medicare for All before walking that back and including private insurance. She supports the Green New Deal. She wants to ban fracking. And last year, an independent group ranked her as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. Question, sir. Is Kamala Harris too far to the left for swing voters?
MURPHY: Now, Chris, listen, I think she is a fantastic choice both in her personal history from an immigrant family, a woman, a woman of color, her professional experience as attorney general, as a prosecutor, as a U.S. Senator, how she complements the -- how she complements Vice President Biden. I think when you look at that ticket and you look at this party in this moment in time in our country, I don't think we could ask for a better running mate for Vice President Biden.
WALLACE: What do you think of the president's continuing refusal to dismiss the claim that she is not eligible to run and serve as vice president?
MURPHY: Well, it's not true and I hope and pray that the president moves off of that and gets to the substantive stuff. You put up a bunch of things that I suspect that the president is not going to agree with. Let's hope for a debate based on substance, a campaign based on substance, on the issues. This is one of the most extraordinary moments in our nation's history. We owe it to our citizens, we owe it to members of both parties to focus on the facts, on the vision, on where we are going to go as a country. And I hope we get to that sooner than later.
WALLACE: Let's talk about the campaign. Let's talk about Joe Biden. As I mentioned, President Trump is going to be campaigning around the country in key swing states this week while Joe Biden remains in Delaware where he has been -- either Delaware or a few miles away in Pennsylvania throughout this campaign since the public health crisis started. I understand we are in the middle of a pandemic, but would you like to see Joe Biden get out more, to campaign more, to travel to more states? And would you like to see him submit, participate in more interviews like you are doing right now?
MURPHY: Listen, I can't speak for the vice president, but I think he has done this exactly as one would hope. We are in the midst of a pandemic. New Jersey has paid an extraordinary price with over 14,000 lost lives. It's a lot better than it was a few months ago, but, boy, we are not out of the woods yet. So balancing public health with the sacred right of voting, as we've discussed, with democracy, I'm sure the vice president will be, between now and Election Day, after his eyeballs in interviews and debates. I'm sure he'll get out there. But we've got to get that balance to it. We've got to get that balance right. That's a message I think that's being sent to America by the vice president, that this is a moment in time unlike any other. And balancing public health with democracy is something that we have to get right. And I believe he has gotten it right so far, and I'm sure he'll continue to.
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about that. Let's talk finally about the Coronavirus. Vice President Biden made this proposal this week, take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing. The estimates by the experts are it will save over 40,000 lives in the next few months.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now you have mandated that in your state people must wear masks if they are outside and can't socially distance, at least six feet apart. Do you think governors, all governors across the country, should issue that kind of mandate?
MURPHY: I do, Chris. I think the science and the data, the facts are unequivocal. It used to be up until in fact a few weeks ago that the science said by doing so you're protecting others, the science now says it works both ways. And I think if we had a national, as we've called for now for many weeks if not months, a national masking policy, I think we could accelerate dramatically driving this virus into the ground. It has been a big weapon for us in New Jersey. But as a nation we are only as strong as our weakest link. To have a national strategy I think would be a game-changer.
WALLACE: Governor Murphy, thank you, thanks for joining us today. We will be following all of the events at the convention this week, but I've got to say I'll miss seeing you in Milwaukee.
MURPHY: Amen, Chris, same here, take care.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll get reaction from the senior advisor to the Trump campaign and discuss how the president plans to capture some attention of his own this week.
WALLACE: Republicans are planning to counter-program the Democratic convention this week. President Trump will campaign in key battleground states, while Joe Biden and top Democrats make the case against his reelection.
Joining us now from Trump campaign headquarters in Virginia is senior advisor Steve Cortes.
Steve, welcome to "FOX News Sunday."
STEVE CORTES, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Good morning.
WALLACE: Does the Trump campaign, does President Trump acknowledge that Kamala Harris is eligible to be the next vice president of the United States?
CORTES: Yes. He made his very clear in his press conference yesterday. He said this is not an issue that we're going to be pursuing.
WALLACE: On the other hand, he didn't strike down the claim. And I'm asking you about that because he once again yesterday was offered the opportunity to dismiss the false claim that because her parents weren't immigrants -- were immigrants, rather, that she is not eligible to run even though she was born in the state of California.
Here is the president this week on that subject.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I heard it today that she doesn't meet the requirements, and, by the way, the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer. I have no idea if that's right. I would have -- I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Isn't this just like the birther claims the president made against Barack Obama? Nothing could be easier than to say it's a false claim, she is eligible, not to say -- well, I'm not going to make an issue of it. Why not just say it's wrong, it's false?
CORTES: Chris, yesterday, he made it, again, very clear at his press conference yesterday, because there were questions after his press conference on Friday. By the way, the president has given a press conference almost every day in stark contrast to Joe Biden, who continues to hide at his basement and is not available to the press.
But on this -- on this issue of Kamala Harris, he made it very clear yesterday. He said, I'm quoting, he said: this is not something we will be pursuing.
He never brought this up. The campaign never brought it up. Members of the media have asked them about it, are trying to create a controversy that simply doesn't exist.
WALLACE: I'm just going to press it one more time. You can accuse me of being one of those media people.
Why not say "it's wrong, she is eligible"? It's one thing to say I'm not going to pursue it, it's a different thing to say, "it's flat wrong, she is eligible to be the vice president," why doesn't he say that?
CORTES: Look, again, I don't know why it's incumbent upon him to opine on legal scholarship of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment, for example (ph). I don't think that's his place as president. What he is saying is we have not made an issue of this. We will not make an issue of this.
It's a -- it's a nonstarter --
CORTES: -- from our point of view, for the president and for the campaign.
WALLACE: Let's talk about a different issue. And your real problem with Kamala Harris, which is that you say she's too far to the left, you heard me discuss that with Governor Murphy.
But I want to put up some other aspect of her voting record. She walked back support for Medicare-for-All to include private insurers as part of the plan. As California attorney general, she supported the death penalty, and as attorney general, she resisted interceding in police officer shootings of citizens.
Steve, none of that is far left.
CORTES: Look, I would say this about Kamala Harris when we look at her record. She seems to be an opportunist and to do whatever is most expedient of the moment for political power, but here is the reality of the Kamala Harris of 2020, the candidate right now for vice president of the United States. In the previous segment, you mentioned some of her extreme far left radical views, things like banning fracking, but there are more than things you listed.
For example, she believes in decriminalizing crossing our border illegally. Those who would trespass into our country would no longer be sanctioned by rule of law. She is in favor of confiscating the most popular rifle in America, mandatory confiscation.
This is -- I know you mentioned the GovTrack data, so it's not just my opinion. That is a data-driven model that says from the year 2019, she was the most liberal member of the United States Senate, even to the left of Bernie Sanders.
This -- her nomination in our view completes the complete radical takeover of the 2020 Democratic Party. The Democratic Party today is not your parents or your grandparents' Democratic Party. It does not represent the interest of blue-collar workers in this country and it doesn't represent the interests of people who have traditional values in this country.
WALLACE: All right. Let's switch to the other big subject being talked about right now, which is mail in voting. Democrats argue that President Trump opposes mail in voting and is making it harder for the Postal Service to deal with the surge of mail because he thinks it would hurt his reelection.
Here's the president this week.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: Two of the items are the Post Office and the three and a half billion dollars for mail-in voting. Now, if we don't make a deal that means they don't get the money. That means they can't have universal mail-in voting. They just can't have it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Steve, isn't that a classic example of voter suppression?
CORTES: No, it is not, and I will tell you why. First of all, these are two different issues. There's nothing ambiguous about whether president and the campaign stands on universal vote by mail. We are firmly against it. We believe in absentee voting, we believe in early voting.
What we do not believe in is blanketing a city or a state with every single person who is listed on the voter rolls because we know that the voter rolls are not accurate.
And again, that's not just my opinion. The data shows us that example in Clark County in Las Vegas, according to a story from "The Las Vegas Journal Review", we know that 17 percent of all ballots that were sent out -- these are live ballots, these aren't applications -- 17 percent of them, over 200,000, were returned as undeliverable because we're a mobile society, people move, people die. The voter rolls are not accurate.
So, we're against universal vote by mail as a principle.
Now, regarding the Postal Service, that is a separate issue. The Postal Service needs systemic reform. It has lost $78 billion since 2007 (ph) --
WALLACE: Wait, wait, let me -- let me interrupt. Let me interrupt you, Steve, and I haven't up until now, because that isn't what the president said. In his interview with Maria Bartiromo, I just want to quote what we just heard: if they don't get the money, that means they can't have universal mail-in voting.
I understand issues with the Postal Service but he is specifically saying, he's linking money to the Postal Service for universal mail in voting, and that raises -- that raises this question because the Postal Service, because of its money problems has just made a bunch of changes. They have eliminated over time, they have taken hundreds of mail sorting machines out of -- out of operation at a time when you're going to have a new crush of mail from mail-in voting.
And it isn't just mail-in voting, Steve, because it is also, as Governor Murphy said, people aren't getting their Social Security checks. People aren't getting their drugs in the mail.
But isn't the president at a time when the mail is more important than ever for an election, why not make it easier for people to vote, not harder?
CORTES: Well, here's the answer, Chris, he's willing to, because that's not all he said on Friday about the postal system. He also said in his press conference -- and again, he continues to make himself available on a near constant basis to the media, the exact opposite of what Biden campaign and Joe himself are doing.
He also said in his press conference on Friday when questioned about this, he said he would be willing -- he's already offered $10 billion of additional aid to the postal system buried if the Democrats would come to the table and make a deal.
He was asked, would he go all the way up to the $25 billion that the Democrats want and he said, yes, if they come back to the table with the tax cuts that the president wants for American workers and the relief he wants for those who are jobless and still looking.
So, I mean, that answers your question. He said yes, he's willing to make that deal --
WALLACE: But let me -- let me ask this -- let me ask this.
CORTES: But, Chris, it doesn't matter how much money --
WALLACE: Democrats are saying --
CORTES: Yeah --
WALLACE: But Democrats are saying, you know what, maybe we won't do it as part of the bill, we'll just do a bill to bail out the post office because it's so important that people be able to vote mail in --
CORTES: Chris --
WALLACE: -- between now and November.
Would the president support that, that's separate package?
CORTES: There is no amount of money that could get the United States Postal Service ready by universal vote by mail, and the reason I know that, don't take my word for it, listen to the state of Washington's secretary of state, those who are in favor of this vote -- universal vote by mail often point to the state of Washington as the symbol, as the example of what we should be doing nationwide.
The secretary of state out of the state of Washington says it takes five to ten years to build the capacity to suitably do it. They're now advocating we're to try to do this in five to ten weeks. That -- that won't work.
WALLACE: OK. One final question, you'll want to answer this one.
Traditionally, when one party holds its convention, the other party and the nominee for the other party goes dark. That is not what President Trump is going to do this week. Put this map up on the screen -- he's going to barnstorm the country this week, traveling to four potential swing states.
Question: Why is the president doing it? And why does he think that he's going to be able to break through when there's all of this media focus on the Democratic Convention as there will be on the Republicans next week?
CORTES: Right. Chris, you know, listen, this entire week starting today, starting this morning, we are really flooding the zone, taking our message to the American people. We're all over the Sunday shows, both the campaign folks as well as the president himself, while Joe Biden and all of his surrogates have chosen to ignore the Sunday shows, on the eve of their convention.
And I have no doubt, by the way, when we see their convention that is going to be quite a show. I really call it "The Wizard of Oz" convention because there will be a lot of Hollywood glitz and showmanship, but if you look behind the curtain, there's a feeble and corrupt man behind there.
What the president is going to do in contrast is go to places like Wisconsin, the place that Joe Biden is snubbing --
CORTES: -- take our message to the American people and act like a commander in chief, somebody who just solidified a historic pact internationally, somebody who is growing jobs back and industrial production back domestically. He's going to go to the border in Arizona on Tuesday and show --
WALLACE: OK, all right.
CORTES: -- we are serious about locking (ph) America's front door.
WALLACE: Steve, I promise you -- I'm going to break in. Thank you. Thanks for your time this weekend. And next weekend, I promise, we'll be previewing the GOP convention. Thanks, Steve.
CORTES: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to get their take on a convention season like no other, and what Kamala Harris brings to the Democratic ticket.
WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump steps up his attacks on Joe Biden's running mate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She treated Biden worse than anybody else by far. There was nobody, including Pocahontas, nobody treated Biden so badly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel how the selection of Kamala Harris shakes up the 2020 race, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She was my number one draft pick. And we'll see how she works out. She did very, very poorly in the primaries, as you know.
KAMALA HARRIS (D), PRESUMPTIVE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We need more than a victory on November 3rd. We need a mandate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump saying he's delighted with Joe Biden's pick of a running mate and Kamala Harris raising expectations for the Democratic ticket.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. Jason Riley of "The Wall Street Journal" and The Manhattan Institute, poster Kristen Soltis Anderson, and Mo Elleithee of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service.
Kristen, let's talk about what Kamala Harris brings to this Democratic ticket. Before she dropped out in December, and that was before any of the primaries, a national poll had support for Harris among all Democrats -- as you can see there -- at 3 percent, support among women at 4 percent, and support among blacks at 5 percent. So why does the Biden campaign -- why should we all think that she is going to appeal to and win the support of those voters?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, ECHELON INSIGHTS, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER" AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think the idea is that she represents a safe pick. Now it's a strange time we're living in where a progressive senator from California is the safe pick, but I -- I define safe as being, she does not really lose you or gain you many votes on net.
I think in the Democratic coalition, they are primarily motivated by wanting to seek Trump unseated. So as long as someone who is not terribly risky was chosen, they would still be energized.
And you are hearing stories of -- in particular the south Asian community being very excited. Remember, Kamala Harris is -- is African-American, but she's also of Indian dissent. And so there are some folks that are very energized.
At the same time, if you don't like Kamala Harris, you were probably not voting for Joe Biden to begin with. So that's why I believe she represents a quote/unquote safe pick.
WALLACE: Jason, since Biden picked Harris as his running mate, President Trump has called her anger, he's call her nasty. And as we have pointed out earlier in the program, he has failed to dismiss the claim that she's ineligible to -- to run for vice president.
Does the president run the risk in his attacks on Harris of actually driving some of those voters I was just talking about with Kristen into the Biden-Harris camp?
JASON RILEY, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL," MANHATTAN INSTITUTE SENIOR FELLOW AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I'm not so sure that he runs the risk, Chris.
You know, Trump, by this point, is a known quantity, so I don't think he's saying much that voters don't expect him to say that the electorate doesn't expect to hear from -- from the president. But the fact of the matter is, Harris is straight out of progressive central casting. She's got this exotic background and that is what the activists on the left place a lot of store in.
This is, you know, racial diversity. It's -- it's the end-all be-all. I -- I -- I agree that she probably doesn't hurt the ticket much, but what she does do is play into one of the president's chief criticisms of Joe Biden, which is that he's not his own man. I don't think she was Biden's first pick. She was the base's pick. I think he would have gone with someone with a more moderate voting record in the Senate.
So -- so I think in that sense President Trump will be able to make some hay of the pick, that -- that Joe Biden will -- will be, if he becomes president, will be controlled by -- by the left, just as he was in having to choose Harris as his running mate.
WALLACE: Mo, you know, these are the days, right after the pick, during the convention, when we make a big deal about the running mate. But, in the end, as we get to Labor Day, they pretty much fade into the background, then they go to the more -- the smaller markets to campaign.
And the real issue is -- is -- is the top of the ticket, the vice president, in this case. Doesn't he still have an energy deficit not traveling around the country to campaign -- for instance this week, as we pointed out, the -- the president is going to be going to four different states -- and not submitting himself to interviews and -- and appearances like you have to say the president has?
MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE, FORMER DNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I don't know that campaign schedules this time are really going to be reflective of anything. I mean, look, the president's been out there campaigning now for months and we've seen a steady decline in his support. He might actually do better to scale back a little bit.
Now, look, should Joe Biden be doing more media appearances? I think so. Should he be trying to find more creative ways? I think this week we're going to see that by moving to a virtual convention, though they're going to have more creative content out there.
But we're in the middle of a pandemic, which means people are consuming information differently than they did before. Think the old rules are out the window. As long as he and his running mate are out there every day in some capacity making the case that they are different than this president for all the reasons that people do not like this president, then I think you're going to see him continue to do fairly well.
WALLACE: Kristen, I want to put up some of the results from a new Fox poll that came out this week, and I'm going to put them up on the screen. First in the horse race, Biden leads Trump 49 percent to 42. But let's look at the internals. The president's job approval is still under water, 44 percent approve, 54 percent do not.
How things are going in the country, you could say right track, wrong track, 33 percent satisfied, 66 percent not satisfied.
And what message would you send to the government now? Fifty-seven percent, lend me a hand, 36 percent, leave me alone, which is a flip from just 12 months ago.
Kristen, these are not good numbers for any incumbent seeking re-election, are they?
ANDERSON: They're not. And, in fact, it really underscores the -- the way in which Covid-19 continues to cast a huge cloud over this entire election. Within the -- the across tabs of that poll, you see that Trump is still losing senior citizens by nine points, which is remarkable considering that seniors are a group that Trump had previously done pretty well with. They're also a group that's particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
So when you take a look at his job approval, which has fallen as we've gone further and further and it still feels like this virus is not really well under control, that's clearly driving a lot of voters to feel frustrated with the status quo and perhaps making them more open to saying, let's just go for a change.
WALLACE: Jason, you've got less than a minute. Can the president change this general dissatisfaction with the state of the country in the next 11 weeks?
RILEY: I think he's going to need some help. There are -- there are certain things outside of his control. I think a second wave of -- of viruses -- coronavirus coming back in the fall would be devastating. I think he needs the economy to turn around. That's his strongest suit against Joe Biden is the economy that we had going in this country prior to Covid. So he's going to need some -- some outside help there.
A lot of his supporters like to dismiss these polls because some of them were off in 2016. And there may be some -- some noise in there with -- with respondents not wanting to tell pollsters that they're Trump supporters because it's so politically incorrect. But -- but I don't think there's seven points worth of noise in there.
So I -- I think he has his work cut out, and he knows that, which is why he changed campaign managers last month.
WALLACE: All right, panel, we have to take a quick break here, but when we come back, the growing debate over whether the U.S. Postal Service can handle the surge of mail-in ballots this election. That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They can't do a little race with 20 (ph) people (ph). Now they want to take it country-wide mail-in voting. It's going to be the greatest fraud in the history of elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump once again warning about the dangers of nationwide mail-in voting in this election.
And we're back now with the panel.
Mo, I know that Democrats say that -- that President Trump is trying to block mail-in voting and trying to block billions of dollars more for the Postal Service in order to suppress voting in this election, but -- but hear me out for a minute, isn't it possible that the president really has a point here? As I mentioned earlier, there were 33 million either absentee or mail-in ballots in 2016. If we have double that or triple that, isn't there a pretty good chance that we will have a mess at the least and, yes, possibly fraud?
ELLEITHEE: Well, look, I think it is certainly likely that there would be challenges if the president continues to knee-cap the Postal Service.
We have seen now -- I think it's, what, 35 states and the District of Columbia, ballpark, that have robust mail-in voting operations. In some states, it's almost entirely mail voting. And it works. When there are hiccups, the system typically catches it, as we've seen in a couple of the cases that have been in the news lately.
So there is a system in place of checks and balances against widespread fraud or any kind of fraud. But if the -- the president and his political appointee continue to go after the Postal Service, taking machines away, taking mailboxes away, and taking funding away, it does leave the risk of a huge mess. This can be fixed with more support now.
It's also terrible political strategy in that --
ELLEITHEE: I -- I don't understand why he would be trying to defund the Postal Service and hurting the very voters that he relies on who support -- who receive checks, who receive medications in the mail. I just don't get the politics of it.
WALLACE: Jason, maybe you can explain it to -- to Mo, I mean, because it isn't just the question of mail-in voting. We are hearing complaints now that because of some reforms in the service, like ending overtime, taking out hundreds of mail sorting machines, people aren't getting their Social Security checks, veterans aren't getting their prescriptions.
Isn't this a little bit risky for the president?
RILEY: Well, I think there are two issues here, Chris, that are being -- that are being conflated. Yes, the Postal Service needs reform. Big reforms. And it doesn't need a bailout. That is not going to fix what is wrong with the Postal Service. It needs top-down reform.
But the second point here is that according to the Post Office, they are not going to run out of money until 2021. And the Postal Service says that they have the capacity right now to handle the uptick in -- in -- in a -- mail-in ballots that everyone is anticipating come November.
So that -- there -- so, yes, it was wrong for the president to say, I oppose more funding because it will mean that the Post Office won't be able to do universal mail-in voting. That's not -- that's not the issue here. And I'm glad he -- he walked that back.
But he is right that the Post Office does need reform. But, again, the Post Office says they can handle this right now and that they have the funding to handle it right now.
WALLACE: Kristen, how do you think the fight -- and it's really becoming quite a fight -- over mail-in voting cuts politically? Does it energize one side more than the other, and is there a risk for the president that as he keeps downplaying and dissing mail-in voting that Democrats will vote by mail and some Republicans may not vote at all?
ANDERSON: I think it's less worrisome to me that idea that -- that Democrats would vote by mail but Republicans would stay home. What worries me is that perhaps not through malice but through incompetence or lack of ability to -- to function properly that you'll see a lot of Democrats voting by mail. And as we've seen in places like New York state, have attempted to spin up really fast one of these mail-in voting situations, and all of a sudden you have huge numbers of ballots that get disqualified. If Republicans are overwhelmingly voting in person when they vote, those votes are very likely to count. If you have Democrats overwhelmingly voting by mail, and there is a big split between R&D and their method of voting, that could lead to a very, very messy and very troublesome moment for America as these ballots are being counted after the election.
WALLACE: All right, let me switch to another big subject, which is tied to this because at this point is part of the bill. The president, Republicans on one side, Democrats on the other, continue to fight over the coronavirus relief package.
Meanwhile, federal unemployment benefits running out, money for small businesses run out, a lot of the protections for eviction have run out and we saw some of the -- of the fight between the two parties this week. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've directed the secretary of the Treasury to get ready and send direct payments, $3,400 for a family of four, to all Americans. Democrats are holding this up.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gave a damn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mo, I'll ask you the same question I asked Speaker Pelosi last week, which she didn't appear to like very much, has she misplayed this, has she stayed to firm in her demands and should she come back and make a deal now?
ELLEITHEE: Well, look, it's ain't over until it's over. And I think there's going to be huge pressure on both Democrats and Republicans to get a deal, particularly as the -- the crisis continues. The question, as always, is, what does the deal look like with both sides being very firm and sort of the things that they'll except and the things that they won't accept. And it's going to cause some -- some challenges for people out there.
I do think that -- that all the bells and whistles that are -- that -- that -- like some of the -- the tax cuts that Republicans are trying to attach are going to potentially cause challenges for them with voters who are saying, I need help now. I need these direct payments now. I need some of the things now. And what the president's offering compared to what the Democrats are offering I'm not sure is going to -- is going to satisfy what people are looking for.
So, you know, it's just creating more of a sense of mess here in Washington that is potentially going to hurt the administration at the ballot box.
WALLACE: Jason, same question. As this -- this stalemate over providing coronavirus relief drags on and really is affecting millions of people who are unemployed or businesses that are right on the edge, who do you think gets most of the blame?
RILEY: Well, I -- I think Pelosi is sort of playing this like a -- a government shutdown situation where traditionally the -- the administration in -- in power gets blamed by the public. And -- and I think she thinks that she has the upper hand here. And so she's asking for everything, just pulling things off the shelf, a wish list, basically, the demands, some of which have nothing to do with Covid relief at all. But she figures if she doesn't get what she wants, and nothing gets passed, Republicans will get blamed for it. And she's probably looking at the president's poll numbers and -- and thinking, I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing, it's working for us.
So I think that on the substantive level, what the Democrats are asking for in terms of relief package could actually show -- slow down the economy or prevent it from getting back up to speed. Again, when you're paying people with these unemployment benefit add-ons not to work or paying them more not to work then employers could pay them to come back on the job, you've got these perverse incentives in place and this economy is never going to get going again so long as those perverse incentives are in place.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, as we get ready for this week's virtual convention, we're going to take a fond look back at some highlights from conventions past.
WALLACE: As we've said, this week's virtual convention will be different than any we've ever seen. There's been a marriage of party conventions in television for more than six decades now. The big speeches and funny hats and balloon drops have produced a great show and provided some indelible moments in our politics. And for much of the action, I've been lucky to enjoy a front row seat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democratic Party assembled for its 1956 national convention in Chicago.
WALLACE (voice over): My first memory of conventions was back in 1956. I was glued to our black and white TV, yes, I was that kid, as a young senator nominated the party 'choice.
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: And our next president of the United States, Adlai E. Stevenson.
WALLACE: But the real drama came when Stevenson threw the choice of a running mate to the convention. Senator Estes Kefauver beat Kennedy on the third ballot, which many think launched JFK to victory four years later.
In 1968, there was drama both in and outside the convention. Police and anti-Vietnam war protesters clashed in the streets of Chicago and the battle raged in the arena.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And with George McGovern as president of the United States, we wouldn't have to have (INAUDIBLE) in the streets of Chicago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How hard it is to accept the truth.
WALLACE: In the fight for the nomination, some delegates tried to draft Ted Kennedy. A college intern landed a big interview.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CBS News reporter Chris Wallace caught up with DiSalle, who had this to say.
WALLACE (on camera): Senator DiSalle, Ted Kennedy called you this afternoon. What did he say to you?
MIKE DISALLE, FORMER OHIO GOVERNOR: He -- the senator asked me not to place his name in nomination.
WALLACE: And did he give any reasons for that?
WALLACE: What did you say in return?
DISALLE: I said that I would respect his wishes, but that this movement had gone too far to be stopped.
WALLACE (voice over): Kennedy would play a big role in the 1980 convention, waging a bitter floor fight against President Jimmy Carter. When Kennedy lost, the question was, would he support Carter?
WALLACE (on camera): Top Kennedy aides tell us that in his speech at the convention tonight, Kennedy will say that he and Carter will, quote, march together, ending all doubts that he might not support the Democratic nominee.
WALLACE (voice over): Been in the end, Kennedy's speech did more for him then Carter.
TED KENNEDY, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.
WALLACE: Convention speeches can make or break political careers. In 2004, a young state senator delivered the keynote that headed him to the presidency four years later.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America, there's the United States of America.
WALLACE (on camera): Senator Obama, thanks so much for talking with us. I think after --
WALLACE (voice over): I talked with Barack Obama for the first time and realized right away he had game.
OBAMA: And I look forward to being on the fair and balanced news station in the future. Thank you very much.
WALLACE (on camera): Thank you.
Well, he touched all the bases, Brett.
BRETT HUME: Yes, it sounds like you got a booking there, buddy.
WALLACE: Former President Obama will deliver another big convention speech on Wednesday, the night before his former vice president accepts the Democratic nomination for the top job.
Now this program note.
Join us for a "Democracy 2020 Convention Kickoff" tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and for coverage all this week on Fox News Channel.
And that's it for today, have a great week and we'll see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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