tv The Story With Martha Mac Callum FOX News January 19, 2022 12:00pm-2:00pm PST
put a not by airports and tilting the antennas. that is part of the conflict here. >> john: we'll see if they can work this out. the two big networks have agreed not to operate near airports. thanks, kathleen, for joining us. appreciate it. thanks, sandra. >> sandra: thanks for joining us. i'm sandra smith. >> john: and i'm john roberts with the big press conference coming up on "the story." >> martha: i'm martha maccallum at fox news head quarters in new york. president biden has a big opportunity an hour from now. he faces no doubt a hungry press corps that has not had a chance to press this president in ten months. soaring inflation a persistent pandemic, lack of treatment and testing, the troubled exit from afghanistan, all of these and more are likely to be the areas where the public is going to want to hear answers from these
reporters and from the president, of course. this will be just the second formal white house press conference. he's held a handful of others on foreign trips. compared to his predecessors, he's governed largely as he campaigned, which is hunkered down in general posture. you can see compared to other presidents, this president has done nine of these opportunities and one of them is like what we're getting today, a form natural news conference at the white house. other presidents at this point in their presidencies gave many more opportunities for the press. we'll bring all of this to you live and special coverage and analysis. karl rove, mercedes schlapp and juan williams will kick us off. fox team coverage, edward lawrence, mark meredith and we begin with peter doocy who has had a front row for this presidency and the canadasy.
he will be in the room this afternoon ready to ask his questions. he's no stranger to pressing president biden. here's a look back at some of the moments. >> in may you made it sound like we would lose the masks forever. >> that was true at the time. >> do you think that that might incentivize more people to come over illegally? >> if you keep sending that garbage out, yeah. >> there's an op-ed that you talked about covid and we're going to beat it back. are you no longer going to shut it down? >> we have to beat it back before we shut it down. >> is that accurate? >> the thing that people have an issue with, pulling out of afghanistan or the way it an. >> they have an issue that people are likely to get hurt.
>> martha: peter, an impressive persistence on your part that we've seen over the course of the year. you've had a unique relationship with this president from the campaign where we did see him at home and in the basement a lot over the campaign. your thoughts as we get ready for this news conference that clearly comes at a pivotal point for the president. >> you saw it there, martha. he takes things personal. he can be emotional, playful but most of all he can be informative. it's great to have the daily briefings. but none of them are making the decisions. whether you like joe biden or not, he is a historical figure. somebody that came into office at a time this this nation was dealing with a once in a century pandemic, the economy was terrible. i've heard from a white house official in the last hour or so, that they want to focus on
economic growth and they want to focus today on the number of people that they have been able to vaccinate in the last year. we're told to expect to hear president biden at some point do something that he doesn't often do. admit there's more to do and he knows it especially concerning covid-19. we don't know much more about what to expect. that is what we got with t-minus 60 minutes to go. >> martha: what is the format? how many reporters and how long do you expect him to take questions? any clarity there? >> there were 30 reporters in the east room socially distant and he called on ten. a third of them. so usually his staff has prepared a list for people for him to call on, a list of people that they want him to call on. fox has never been on that list.
but as you just saw right there, sometimes he veers off the list and so we hope to get on there, on the board with him because there's a lot to ask. it's going to be tough to cover even if it's a full hour. >> martha: we'll be watching it and watching you and hoping you get the opportunity, peter. i'm sure you have get questions for the president and it's an important moment from him. he should want questions from across the board today. hopefully there will be a lot of back and forth. it will be helpful. thanks, peter doocy. white house correspondent. we'll be watching closely this afternoon. joining me now, karl rove, a fox news contributor. mercedes schlapp, no stranger to press conferences. former director of strategic communications under president trump and juan williams, fox news contributor. karl, your thoughts on what this president has to do today. he has weak poll numbers.
33 to 40% of support in this country and created an environment where you have plus 7 gop in terms of the way people declare themselves. it's gone from plus seven gems to plus 7 gop. >> let's put this in context. no president in a deeper hole than joe biden finds himself in can dig out with one news conference. his best hope is on the big issues of the day, covid and the economy, he strikes a set of notes that cause people to say i thought the country was going in the wrong direction but he seems to have his hands around that. let's give him more time. but the president is in lousy shape. take a look at the job approval. he started out at 56, 36. 41-53 today. economy today. 40-54 today. covid, seven out of ten
americans approved of his job. today it's 45-48. people are sour. they think the country is going in the wrong direction by a huge margin and that's not healthy. he's not going to solve it in one news conference. >> martha: no. but it really depend on the stories that come out of this hour and whether or not you can legitimately say after watching this back and forth that he is changing course, mercedes or that he seems to be finding some strength on this issue or that issue. he's got to put down markers and some points that start to turn the dial a little bit. >> right. there's no question that the question -- the word you'll see more and more is the word "reset." are they ready to enter 2022 with a strong agenda. the white house, especially the coms team, they need to be nervous. they're setting high
expectations around this press conference. something to be said if you're doing multiple press conferences during the year. you have lower expectations of what the president's performance will be. this white house has tried so hard to keep president biden in the basement and not allow him to really have that engagement with reporters. i think it's hurt president biden on top of that with a long list of failures coming out of this white house from the afghanistan withdrawal to the chaos at the border to not being able to get a handle on this pandemic. >> martha: with regard to how accessible he is, let's look at what we see a lot of in the short infor mall q&as that he does. they end like this. watch. >> i'm not supposed to be having this press conference. >> you guys ared be a. i'm not supposed to answer these questions. i have to leave. i can't resist them. >> i'm not supposed to take any
questions but go ahead. >> on afghanistan -- >> i'm not going to answer that now. i'm sorry. last question i'll take. i'm really in trouble. >> martha: who is he in trouble with, juan? who is in charge of whether or not he can take all the time he wants. he's the president of the united states. >> well, i think carl and mercedes, the white house veterans would know he would be in trouble with the staff that is trying to impose discipline on the message from the white house. they ask him to limit the interactions. you know, to me, i was just listening and i think -- i agree with karl. i don't think this press conference is intended to turn everything around. yes, the president is low in terms of his approval numbers right now. but remember, martha, he's much higher than president trump was after one years. he's almost as high as bill clinton was in the approval numbers after one year. i don't think there's a death nail, the smell of finality, one
year in his presidency. he will be here four years. i hope he does this, starts to brag a little bit about unemployment rate being so historically low. about gdp being so historically high. about corporate profits being out the ceiling that they're so high. so many shots in arms when he came in to office. i think less than 1% of americans had been vaccinated. there was no plan for distribution. you know, he has to let the american people do it and stop and push back. push back against the press that seems like to thrash him constantly. >> martha: that changed in the past couple weeks. there came a point with these numbers when it was impossible for the mainstream press to avoid the reality that there were a lot of things going wrong here. when you go to capitol hill
three times and try to convince your own party to get on board with you and three times it blows up, that is not a good place to be in. mercedes, just based on what juan just said, what was it like when you would say to president trump, i'm sorry, sir, we can't take anymore questions now. what happened then? >> that strategy didn't work. we know president trump engaged with the reporters. he would answer every single question. he was unafraid of the reporters. i think president biden seems to be afraid, which i just don't understand. let me tell you, juan, i don't know what he's going to brag about when you have inflation cutting into people's wages, high energy prices. they have lived in a bubble the past year. as karl knows this, the first year is critical. once you lose your political capitol in the first year, it's
hard to regain it. >> martha: one of the things that strikes me for any president, you have to strike the balance. you can look at churchill. he was realistic with people about what they faced. yet was able to envue optimism at the same time. it's a difficult line to walk but one that all presidents strive towards. >> hard to do in this moment. he shouldn't do what juan said. the economy is blowing and going and jobs created and it's all me. people say look at the economy. it's the great american economy saying that they have to live with covid. it not the actions of government. other presidents, president trump in 2018, the beginning of 2018 and president clinton at the beginning of 1994 both had lousy numbers. i would remind juan that their
parties got shellacked in the following elections. granted, president biden may recover by 2024. frankly with all due respect, i don't think the democratic party will nominate an 82-year-old, which is what the he would be in 2024 for president. he's in a hole. he won't get out quickly. the worst way to try to get out of it is to say things that don't strike the american people as being reasonable and claiming credit for the economy and jobs as mercedes accurately pointed out, their biggest concern is when i go to the grocery store it's costing me more and at the pump it's really tough. >> martha: you have to meet the moment as it is in the country and find a way to be uplifting. show a way out. all of you, thanks very much. juan, great to see you. karl and mercedes, see you later. so we're about 45 minutes before this news conference. bret baier, bill hemmer around
katie pavlich with their thoughts of what to watch here for top concern for the voters and the economy. president biden last taken a 13-point hit over the last seven months on the economy according to fox business polling. can he begin to pivot to solution minutes from now. that is the work before him. republican senator john kennedy has thoughts on the president, the economy and the up coming q&a. he's here in just a moment.
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wallets. so inflation must and we expect will be addressed here. the store shelves obviously a problem. you have the walmart ceo this week comparing what is going on in the supply chain to the soviet union and what the shelves looked like in the 80s. john kennedy blames the spending spree by the white house for inflation. first, edward lawrence joining us. >> yeah, we're likely to see a fired up president. he's very defensive when it comes to his handling of the economy. the president is likely to highlight the fact that they brought back 6.9 million jobs. there's more than 600,000 more unemployed than prepandemic levels. he will point to the unemployment rate and wage growth much like his press secretary. >> we saw the most dramatic change in our economy, the biggest year of job growth and
the direct result of actions takening by democrats in congress and president biden including american rescue plan. >> however, when you look under the surface, inflation is at a 40-year high. everything is more expensive. workers can afford less. republicans calling him out. >> the worst inflation in 40 years. seemingly endless pandemic, soaring homicides, a border crisis and russia flirting with war in europe. >> president joe biden had nothing on his schedule yesterday to prepare. we'll see how many questions he will answer. i will mention he did talk with a bipartisan group of senators and ukraine. still preparing for two days for this event today. >> martha: ukraine a pressing issue right now and no doubt on his mind. thanks, edward. joining us now, louisiana
republican senator john kennedy. great to see you, senator. thanks for being with us. we're about 40 minutes away from this news conference and a lot of issues on the president's plate. you heard what we're likely to hear at the beginning here that this is the biggest year for job growth. jen psaki has cited that quite a bit. we expect the president will put wings on the board to impress that upon people. >> the american people may be poorer under president biden's administration but they're not stupid. they see, martha, what you and i see. a fair assessment of the biden administration after one year is that it runs a tight ship wreck. let me count the ways. this administration has mismanaged covid, mismanaged congress, the border, inflation,
mismanaged securing our streets and foreign policy, including but not limited to afghanistan. just last week the president traveled to georgia to participate in racial demagoguery. how many roads must a man walk down before he knows he's lost? in terms of the economy, the figure that the president needs to be looking at is not unemployment but the labor force participation rate. that's how many of our people in america that can work are working. let me say a word about inflation. we're experiencing cost push and demand pull inflation. it's a direct result of president biden's policies. he tries to blame inflation on everything but what it is. his own policies. he's blaming it on corporate
greed, was his latest scenario. i wouldn't be surprised next if he says inflation originated in a vat. it's not my fault. and we know the cause of inflation and he needs to do something about it. >> martha: you have 10 million unfilled jobs in this country. what would you like to hear from the president in terms of inspiring americans to get back to work and to fill that labor participation number and get it to be much, much higher? >> we're not going to get people back to work until two things happen. number 1, the president has to get control of covid. this administration has done an abysmal job in terms of testing. they have done an abysmal job in terms of therapeutics and an abysmal job of telling people the truth. the cdc stands for the center
for disease confusion. dr. fauci has lost all credibility. they're also not going to be able to solve this economic problem until they stop spending billions, trillions of dollars to pay people not to work. those that can work should work. welfare for the able bodied should be temporary. we're not going to get the labor force participation rate back as long as he -- we're not going to get inflation down as long as this president keeps shovelling billions and billions of dollars out there that we don't have. it's that simple. >> martha: so interesting. reminds me of president clinton after he got a drugging in the mid-terms, came forward and said basically welfare as we know it is ending and he wanted to create a program where -- a welfare-to-work program to
reform entitlements in this country. we're a long way from that message. i wonder if there's any similar message coming as there's a wake-up call in the mid-terms or maybe before. senator, thanks for making time for us today. good to see you. >> thanks, martha. >> martha: you bet. in 17 of our cities across this country, homicide rates broke records in 2021 substantially. double digits in most of them. as president biden and cities coast to coast grapple with rising violent crime, lawrence jones has covered it first hand in these cities. he joins us with his take next. and it's easy to get a quote at libertymutual.com so you only pay for what you need. isn't that right limu? limu? sorry, one sec. doug blows a whistle. [a vulture squawks.] oh boy. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty♪ >> vo: my car is my after-work decompression zone.
get 2.49% apr financing on the 2022 gx 460. leveraging gold, a strategic and sustainable asset... the path is gilded with the potential for rich returns. >> martha: so the rise in crime across this country is one of several crises that have been a drag on the biden presidency. will he have nuances and address it in a way that we haven't heard before when he's questioned about it minutes from now. 17 u.s. cities broke records for homicide across the country in 2021. foxnews.com put together this list going from the records from the local police departments and gathering that data. "fox and friends" reporter lawrence jones has covered this crisis across the country. he's talked to the people most affected by it and he joins us in just a moment. first, jonathan hunt in
los angeles where police now have a suspect in the stabbing death of a ucla student who was at her afternoon job at a furniture store when a complete stranger walked in and stabbed her to death in the middle of the day. jonathan? >> martha, right now an urgent search is underway for 31-year-old sean lavalle smith who police believe stabbed brianna kupfer and left her for dead in a store where she worked. she texted a forecast and said someone in the store was giving her bad vibes. 30 minutes after that, smith was at a 7-11 seen here in the video calmly walking in, pays for what looks like a vaping pen and equally calm walking out. smith is said to be homeless and has a loss criminal record in
several states. the most serious incident happening not here in california but across the country in south carolina where smith was charged with firing a weapon in to a car where a man was sitting with his toddler son in 2019. he apparently left the state after being freed on bail there in south carolina. another example of what critics say is a soft on crime approach in many cities where is putting too many criminals like smith back on the streets. >> it's heart breaking and infuriating. i can tell you from prosecutors to police officers, we're looking for a better day for sure. >> the los angeles police chief says there needs to be a greater focus on the twin crises of homelessness and mental health. >> the fact of the matter is,
over the weekend if an individual was suffering from mental health crisis, the only resource they had was 911 and a police officer or firefighter. that's wrong. >> now, shawn smith is somewhere out there. police say that they are getting a lot of tips and in particular they've got ten several in the covina area. police are warning though members of the public not too approach sean smith if they see him because he's quite clearly armed and very dangerous. martha? >> martha: that man hunt underway for this suspected killer. let's hope he does not act again before they're able to close in on him. jonathan, thank you. let's bring in "fox and friends" reporter lawrence jones who has covered the crime surge on the ground most recently in chicago. lawrence, you look at those mug shots. i think there were about ten of
them on the screen. starting in 2010. i tried to put myself in a place of this girl's family. can you imagine if you see this and you realize that he's been taken into custody 12 times, 12 times, he's been arrested. and i'd be asking, how is it possible this person was free on the street? >> he's free because there's a new standard in our justice system. it started off talking about inequity and talking about -- let's talk about when civil liberies are being violated. the democrats and the progressive movement don't want anybody incarcerated. that's what they believe. no one should be locked up. the criminal justice system, especially incarceration, it's meant to protect society for people that risk a threat to them. many people talk about
rehabilitation, which i support but that's not the goal of incarceration. it's to protect citizens. democrats don't believe that. you talk about a man hunt. why do we care about it if they're going to release him back on the street? it's very clear of the strategy now of the left. they don't care about the families. i've covered stories for over the last 3 1/2 years of families that have been heart broken. these das, gascon or kim foxx, when they release them people, do you know that they don't reach out to the families to talk about it? >> martha: they're probably embarrassed. >> forget about the law. >> martha: they don't want people to know what they're doing. i'm going to put another picture here. this is 21 children under the age of 18 in new york city. these are more faces. these are almost people that were too young, had the life snuffed out of them. this is the more common story
that you see across this country, which you know too well about these young people that do not have a ton of stories done about it, when it happens to them. but these are families that are suffering the same way that young woman's parents are suffering right now. there's just too many people in this boat. >> yeah, i encourage these das to sit down with some of the families, talk to them when they're grieving go into the yard where the blood is still staining the grass. go talk to the family that the child has been shot in the head and they're crying because they're trying to figure out how to reconstruct the skull of these young people to have the proper burial. it's graphic. but the country needs to see what these families are going through. the mean stream media doesn't cover it. i've been covering it for 3 1/2 years begging the press to show up. the other week -- i was in chicago monday in the middle of
covering the story. the police rushed in. the guy that was shot was a robber as well. people are shooting each other because there's no consequences in this new criminal justice system. george soros went out there with an effort to put these das in office. eric holder supported him in this effort. these are people that are lawyers, they understand the law. they have chosen that they want a new system and they don't believe in this current laws that are on the books. they're doing it unilaterally. >> martha: i'd encourage them to keep their eyes on this picture. these people are all across the country. i don't know who these das think they are protecting if they're not protecting these children and their families across the country. it is absolutely incredible. there's some unconfirmed reports that they may have apprehended
brianna kupfer's killer. there's encouraging potential news on that front. we'll continue to stay on top of it. lawrence, thanks very much. great reporting throughout the story. thanks for being here. so president biden is just ant 20 minutes away, 24 minutes away from holding this second formal press conference if he's on time, if he starts at 4:00. his approval numbers as we've been telling you and you see, they're very low at this point. this happens in presidencies. what can be done and can he say anything when he's pressed on the issues to turn this around. a tough situation in the mid-terms as you look ahead for democrats. bill hemmer and former rnc chair lance priebus coming up next.
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>> martha: reporters in the east room, pen in handthe president looks to lift him. the numbers are not pretty right now. nbc news writing the last 30 years, the nbc news poll has given us a good idea if the president's party is heading for a good mid-term or shellacking or somewhere in between. right now the arrows are pointing in the shellacking territory. right now reince priebus, former chief of staffs for president trump. first, to bill hemmer. great to have you with us as we head into the afternoon. we wait for this news conference, which i know you'll be watching every minute of with us. your thoughts on what to expect here. >> yeah, i guess i don't expect many surprises. that's why we have to watch. here's one thing i'm keen on.
david axelrod was on cnn early this morning. he made a point about admitting mistakes. not so much that you have to say hey, we screwed this up, but you can frame it in a way, and the president can do this own his own or prompted by a reporter to say this is what we have learned. and i think it would be a significant headline and a good way to get into the head of the president and understand what changes might be coming. he's got three more years. as mitt romney said over the weekend, he's had 52 weeks of bad weeks. if you're on that staff, you're in the west wing and you're the president, you do not want that record to continue in that direction. >> martha: based on the nbc polls and we've seen a lot of numbers that point in this direction -- we have a long way to go before the mid terms really but the president can
make the decision to pivot now or after the mid-terms. i'm reminded when you talk about that quote from david axelrod, he remembers what it's like to take a shellacking. that word was coined by president obama after his mid-terms. here's what president obama said after his mid-terms. >> i'm not recommending for every future president take a shellacking like i did last night. you know, i'm sure there's easer ways to learn these lessons. i do think that this is a growth process. and an evolution. >> martha: interesting, right? >> yeah, i remember that day. it was a stunner when republicans took 63 house seats. to say that that's the prediction for now, i talk to a lot of people in washington and look at districts. you have close to 80% of the
redistricting decided. it will take another month, 1 1/2 months with florida and other states check in with their maps so around the first week of mark, things will be settled. this is what i hear. granted at this point you ask a different person, you get a different evaluation. there's those in the republican party that believe anywhere between 45 and upwards of 70 seats are in play for them to win. i'm not saying that that will happen. in fact, i think as we get closer to november, the analysis will really fall around the 45 abdulmutallab, 45, 50. however, i think this is stunning. republican strategists believe that joe biden won last we're by 12 points or less is in play. i find that extraordinary a year into this presidency that you can consider districts with that bit of a margin to be up for grabs in november next year. >> martha: when you have a 14
point swing from dem to republican leaning. a long way to go. a great panel here with a lot of experience in the white house in these moments, reince priebus and mark penn, former clinton adviser. great to see both of you today. reince, as you look at this moment, it's a big moment for a president when he's one-on-one with the press. they can ask follow up questions. what do you expect. >> well, i agree with bill. it's probably more of the same. here's the problem that joe biden has. he's losing his brand. when you lose your brand, you've got a big problem. what is his brand? his brand was that he was going to be the unifier. even when he won a democrat
primary a lot of people were not happy with joe biden being the nominee but they held their nose and went with it. because he's the guy that will portray this unified message that will beat trump. when he won november -- in november, the week after, he called for unity when the electoral college was counted. he called for unity and healing. and on the 20th, he tied george washington in using the words "together" and "unity" more than any other president exempt george washington. so when you lose your brand, it's difficult. one of the things that bill clinton did after he got killed in 1994, which the numbers are better now for republicans, he came out and said, you know what? i'm going to pivot to the middle. i'm going to govern the way that i said i would. the way i did in arkansas.
i'm going to -- i'm telling you right now, i'm going to be the moderate that i promised you i was. so maybe that's where joe biden can go. rebuilding and recapturing a brand that you lost is really hard in politics. >> martha: yeah. mark, you been sort of calling for this from president biden since early november for him to make this pivot. the question is can he do it? can he do it successfully? >> well, could he? absolutely. i think there's many things that president biden could do. he could convene a bipartisan group to negotiate his legislation and stop doing one party solutions. i think you can pardon the nonviolent protesters from january 6 and reach out. >> martha: that would be a different tune than we heard january 6. >> obviously a different tune. you know, just as president clinton called for a balanced budget, which was a different tune at the time. it would take a different tune. for today's press conference, president biden has to show that
he's there, he's in charge, he can answer these questions civilly and carefully and with contemplation. >> martha: you think he's all there, mark? you think the assessments of his abilities are overstated or understated. >> i think that's for the american people to judge. that's why the president needs to go out more. that's the first level of judgment. the second level of judgment, is he going to reach over and go back to being what he campaigned on or not. if not, the american people will give him a shellacking. >> martha: reince, when you hear the numbers, 45 to 70 seats, do you think that republicans are getting overer that skis at this point? we're ten months away. >> i would suggest for republicans to take the under. it's really hard nowadays because there's just not that many moderate seats out there. if you talk about 2018 and 2010 and mark knows what i'm talking
about, 90% of everyone elected to the u.s. house was safe. so 90% of the republicans are safe. 90% of democrats are safe. there's not that many out there to get. but certainly republicans are in the driver's seat. they should win the majority. i would keep the rhetoric at that. as to this biden situation, part of the problem here is that he intentionally did things through executive orders on the border, on gas and oil, on the economy that helped create the situation we're in. so while i do agree he needs to pivot to save himself, it's difficult based on the intentional conduct of this administration. >> martha: tomorrow is always another day. we'll see. great to have both of you with us as we head into this news conference now. gentlemen, thanks very much. i want to get this in before -- we don't have a two-minute
warning so we're waiting on the white house. this is breaking news. we have now learned that brianna kupfer's suspected murderer has been arrested. let's check back with jonathan hunt who has been on this breaking news the last hour. he's live in los angeles. hi, jonathan. >> hi, martha. that arrest apparently made a short time ago in pasadena. that is about 15 miles north and east of where 24-year-old brianna kupfer was killed last thursday. stabbed as we now know by a man identified by police as shawn laval smith. a 31-year-old man with a long criminal history. we are now being told, sources telling our producer that shawn smith was arrested at a bus stop in pasadena. police have told us all along
that he was a homeless man that frequently used public transit. they said that they were getting a lot of tips. one of those has now paid off. the alleged killer of 24-year-old brianna kupfer arrested in pasadena this afternoon. martha? >> martha: good news. some good news for the people of california and for the family. we'll see what happens to this person now that he's in custody. very tough story. thanks, jonathan. so as you all know, been with us throughout this hour, we're waiting for president biden to take the podium in the east room of the white house. he'll do something he hasn't done in ten month is face reporters in a formal press conference q&a. this will look different than this years past. about 30 reporters in the room including peter doocy, a scaled down q&a, maybe somewhat of a
relief to president biden as he enters year two of his presidency. he obviously will face stiff questions we expect because really there's been a large sort of skepticism that has become more pervasive across the press over the course of the last couple weeks. so we expect this to be interesting. his ratings are at an all-time low. bret baier is standing by with us as we get ready for this to get underway. first, jacqui heinrich who is live. good afternoon. >> good afternoon, martha. yeah, there's no denying that this administration is just haunted by losses over legislation, supreme court battles. you have inflation, high crime, supply chain issues, foreign policy challenges and covid has given this president and his crick tims a lot of fodder to work with. according to the white house, the biggest white house is on messaging and ineffectively
selling the wins that they have accomplished. they sent a reminder list highlights what they called record firsts in jobs, unemployment rates, expanded access to healthcare, infrastructure investments and more. this is something that the president plans to highlight today and also over the course of the next year in a victory tour of sorts. >> he intends to take his care to the american people over the course of the year. he will be out in the country talking about how the things he proposed will make a difference in their lives and people will hear from him directly across 2022. >> in a separate list that we just got dubbed results for working families highlights the administration's huge vaccination campaign. that's been a top white house priority. covid has been a double edge sword with record breaking case numbers and the supreme court swatting down mandates. part of the broader strategy is to focus more on showcasing the president's wins and make his bill negotiations the democrat
infighting that has stalled his agenda less visible. the white house no longer releasing talks with legislators. the president is approaching it more like a member of the senate where he served for 36 years and less like the commander-in-chief getting things done. we're not likely to hear a road map to the legislation that the president wants to get passed and that's going to be interesting because it everyone's biggest question with the senate set to tee up a doomed effort on the filibuster just hours from now, martha. >> martha: thanks, jacqui. joining me now, bret baier and anchor of "special report." great to have you with us. we're told that we will get a ten minute speech at the top of this from president biden and now we have a view of the podium in the east room as he gets ready to walk in. we expect probably an hour of
q&a. you can hear the messages that have been sent out through jacqui heinrich's report about the wins and the victory tour and the effort to change the narrative here. your thoughts. >> definitely. this is the ten-minute speech you'll get a teleprompted speech. president biden was elected to a four-year term, not a one-year term. he has uphill battles to fight before the mid-terms. expect like you're hearing the communications team say that the president will travel the country. you know, he passed that bipartisan infrastructure bill, one of the legislative successes that they had. expect him to be standing in front of some bridge, some road, some thing that is being built to say this we did get done. there's a lot of negatives here and a lot of things that will be asked about not only
domestically but foreign policy-wise. this is the second time on u.s. soil. >> martha: it's interesting what james carville said. he said democrats were to whiney and you have to focus on the stuff that you achieve. then i hear this plan to change his posture from being a legislator and former senator because that hasn't gone well in three efforts to go up on capitol hill and wrangle his own party to his side on major ledge lakes, the bbb and this voting reform. it's failed. so there's no doubt, no surprise i should say, bret, that they want to go we're not doing that anymore. >> bret: well, it's pretty ironic that this is happening on the day that the voting reform effort is going to fail miserably by the numbers in the senate. he's going to have to field that question as well. you're right.
he's the executive. he's not a senator anymore and he's not done what he said on the campaign trail, which is figure out a way to get the senate to work on both sides and come up with things that people agree on first instead of what they disagree on. that is not the legislative push that they have made. they have done a hat tip to the progressive side and that has hurt with moderates and independents around the country. >> martha: a lot of criticism about the press asking him about his favorite ice cream. that has changed in recent weeks. it's impossible for any reporter covering this presidency to ignore the numbers out there right now and to ignore afghanistan and inflation and covid and these other issues, testing. here's a sampling of how that change has happened and wha it sounds like on some of -- in some of the media. >> every time i thought the
white house hit bottom, there's a new bottom. >> 2022 is not exactly off to a good start for the biden administration. >> now he's in the midst of what one famous child's book writer called a terrible, no good, very brad time. >> martha: which raises the question what the tone will be like in this room with that as a backdrop, bret. >> bret: a lot more forceful than we saw in the first press conference. a lot more of substance to ask about. negative things that this white house is facing. not only at home but abroad. you're right. afghanistan really did start that drop where people started to realize big picture that the credibility that biden touted was not transferring in to the white house, at least in capitol hill and across the pond.
they have a lot to choose from. i'm sure peter doocy has a full folder full of possibilities for him to ask questions. when i was in those rooms, you're mapping things out. you have a, b and c. you see where you fall when you get that question. >> martha: yeah, he's not beneficially called on in this environment. he's managed to pipe up and get his question in, which is what everybody will be trying to do and we'll be watching closely. they have come in and out of the room and put some things and the podium. we may be getting closer. with regard to the pressing foreign policy issues and you covered this on "special report" a lot. there's very serious developments going on. we're facing the potential for war in europe on the border of ukraine with russian troops massed on their side. this president will not choose his agenda necessarily. your agenda chooses you with some of these issues. >> bret: that's right. you're starting to hear the
white house forecast the possibility that russia could go into ukraine at any moment. that's not what they said as they started the talks in geneva with the russians. looks likes it's going south. they know that. what happens in the wake of if russia does do that? the economic sanctions do not look like they have moved the needle for the russians. it's the same way when you talk about china and the possibility of china having some action inside taiwan. what happens if russia goes into ukraine? china goes into taiwan? what will this president do? >> martha: you know, we've seen presidents asked in this environment, how do you think you're doing? what would you point to as a failure? it would be interesting to hear his top of mind answer to this question and whether or not he's willing to sort of allow that to breathe in this environment, to say yes, there's things that
we've made mistakes on. >> bret: one of the mistakes may have been that he hasn't taken a lot of questions. i'll be interested to see how he does in this format. we ask every week for an interview with president biden. i'll toss it back to you. >> martha: there he is. the president of the united states. let's listen in. >> good afternoon, everyone. tomorrow will mark one year since i took office. it's been a year of challenges also been a year of enormous progress. we went from two million people being vaccinated at the moment i was sworn in to 210 million americans being fully vaccinated today. we created six million new jobs. more jobs in one year than any time before. unemployment dropped, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%. child poverty dropped 40%.
the biggest drop in american history. new business applications grew by 30%. the biggest increase ever. the first time in a long time, this country's working people actually got a raise. actually got a raise. people -- the bottom 40% saw their income go up the most of all those that got a raise. we cut health insurance premiums for millions. we just made surprise medical bills illegal in this country. you know those bills that you get that you don't expect for $2,000 to $5,000 beyond what you thought you were going to have to owe because of the consultation you weren't told would cost that much? no more. they're now illegal. thanks to the american rescue plan, and other acts, we've seen record economic growth and job creation in the past year. now thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill, we're about to make a record investment in rebuilding america to take to us
be the number 1 best infrastructure in the world. now we're way below that. be creating better jobs for millions, modernizing our roads, bridges, highways, ports, airports. everything from making clean water, removing lead pipes that every american can turn on the faucet and drink clean water. urban and rural communities. it will make high speed internet available to every american in urban, rural and suburban areas. we've never tone that before. we're in the process of doing that. still, there's a lot of frustration and fatigue in this country. we know why. covid-19. omicron has now been challenging us in a way that is the new enemy. while it's caused concern, it's not cause for panic.
we've been doing everything we can, learning and adapting as fast as we can. preparing for a future beyond the pandemic. all i know after almost two years of physical and psychological weight of this pandemic, for many of us, it's too much to bear. we're in a very different place now though. we have the tools. vaccines, boosters, masks, tests, pills. to save lives and keep businesses and schools open. 75% of adults are fully vaccinated. we've gone from 90 million adults with no shots in arms last summer and down to 35 million with no shots as of today. we're adding about nine million more vaccinations each week. we're going to stick with our vaccination efforts because vaccinations work. so get vaccinated, please.
get your booster. look, we're also increasing testing. should we have done more testing earlier? yes. we're doing more now. we've gone from zero at-home tests a year ago to 375 million tests on the market in just this month. if you buy a test at a store, your insurance will reimburse you. on top of that, we're making one bill at-home tests available for you at home. visit covidtest.gov to know how to get that free test kit to your home. in addition, there's 20,000 siting where you can get tested in-person for free now. and now we have more treatments that people can -- for people to -- to keep people out of the hospital than at any point including life saving anti-viral pills. we purchased 20 million of these
new pfizer pills, more than any other country in the world. the bottom line on covid-19, we're in a better place that we have been and have been thus far, clearly better than a year acc. we're not going back to lock downs and closing schools. schools should stay open. because the american rescue plan, we provided the states $130 billion to keep our students and educators safe and schools open. funding for ventilation systems in schools, social distancing, hygiene for classrooms and school buses. in addition, we've added another $10 billion for covid-19 tests to be administered at schools. many states and school districts have spent this money very well. unfortunately some haven't. i encourage the states and school districts that use the funding to protect our children
to keep our schools open use it. covid-19 will not give up and accept things -- it's not going to go away immediately. i'm not going to give up and accept things as they are now. something that we may call what is happening now the new normal. i call it a job not yet finished. it will get better. we're moving toward a time when covid-19 won't disrupt our daily lives. where covid-19 won't be a crisis but something to protect against and a threat. we're not there yet. we will get there. now, the second challenge we're facing are prices. covid-19 has created a lot of economic complications, including rapid price increases across the world economy. people see it at the gas pumps, the grocery stores and elsewhere. here's what we're going to do.
critical job in making sure that the elevated praises don't become entrenched rest with the federal reserve, which has a duel mandate. full employment and stable prices. the federal reserve provided extraordinary support during the crisis for the previous 1 1/2 years. given the strength of our economy and the pace of recent price increases, it's appropriate as the federal chairman, chairman powell, the fed chairman powell has indicated to recalibrate the support that is now necessary. i respect the fed's independence. i've nominated five superb people to superintendent on the board of governors, men and women from a variety of idealogical perspectives. they have earned bipartisan praise. i call on the united states to confirm them without any further delay. here at the white house and for my friends in congress, the best thing to tackle high prices is a
more productive economy. with greater capacity, deliver goods and services to the american people. a growing economy where folks have more choices and more small businesses compete and where more goods can get to market faster and cheaper. i've laid out a three-part plan to do just that. first, fix the simply chain. covid-19 has had a global impact on the economy. when a factory shuts down to one part of the world, places all over the world are disrupted. covid-19 has compounded that many times over. couple months ago, this very room, we heard dire warnings about how the supply chain problems could create real crisis around the holidays. so we acted. we brought together business and labor. that much predicted crisis did not occur. 99% of the packages were
delivered on time and shelves were stocked. not withstanding the recent storms that have impacted us, many part of our country, the share of goods in stock at stores is 89% now. which is barely changed from the 91% before the pandemic. i often see empty shelves being shown on television. 89% are full. which is only a few points below what it was before the pandemic. our work is not done. my infrastructure law will super charge your effort, upgrading everything from roads and bridges to ports and airports, railways and transit to make the economy move faster and reduce prices for families. second thing, my build back better plan will address the biggest cost of working families every day. no other plan will do more to lower the cost for american families. it cuts the cost for child care. many families including people sitting in this room, if they
have children and working full time, many families pay up to $14,000 in bigger cities. my plan cuts that in half. that will not only be a game changer for so many families budgets but will mean so much for nearly two million women who have left the work force during the pandemic because of things like child care. any build back better plan cuts the price of prescription drugs. so insulin that today cost some people as much as $1,000 a month will cost no more than $35 a month. cuts the cost of elder care. lowers energy costs and will do all of this without raising a single penny in taxes on people making under $400,000 a year or raising the deficit. in fact,py plan cuts the deficit. boosts the economy by getting more people in to the work
force. that's why 17 nobel prize winner withes for economics say will ease long-term inflationary pressure. the bottom line, if price increases are what you're worried about, the best answer is my build back better plan. third thing we're going to do, promote competition. in too many industries, a handful of giant companies dominate the market in sectors like meat processing, railroad, shipping and other areas. this isn't a new mission. it's not the reason for high inflation today. it's been happening for a decade. over time it has reduced competition, squeezed out small businesses and farmers, ranchers and increased the price for consumers. we end up with an industry like the meat processing industry where four big companies dominate the market. pay ranchers less for cattle,
charge consumers more for beef. prices are up. look, i'm a catalyst. a capitalism without competition is not capitalism. it's exploitation. so i signed an executive order to tackle unfair competition in our economy. we'll continue to enforce it working with congress where we can. i'll close with this. we have faced some of the biggest challenges that we've ever faced in this country these past few years. challenges for our public health, challenges to our economy. we're getting through it. not only are we getting through it, we're laying the foundation for the future where america wins the 21st century by creating jobs that at a record pace. we need to get inflation under control. we have developed an extraordinarily effective booster shots and anti-viral pills. now i need to finish the job to
get covid-19 under control. i've long said that it's never been a good bet to bet against america. i believe that more than ever today. we've seen the grit, determination of the american people this past year. the best days of this country are still ahead of us, not behind us. i'm happy to take questions. yes. >> thank you, mr. president. some of my colleagues will get to specific issues. i wanted to zoom out on your first year. inflation is up. your domestic legislation is stalled in congress and voting reform legislation will fail. covid-19 is still taken the liveses of 1,500 americans every day and the divisions are just as raw as a year ago. did you overpromise to the american people what you could achieve and how do you plan to
course correct going for? >> why are you such an optimist? >> i didn't overpromise. what i have outperformed what anybody thought would happen. the fact of the matter is, we're in a situation where we have made enormous progress. you mentioned the number of deaths from covid. it was three times that not long ago. it's coming down. everything is changing. it's getting better. look, i didn't overpromise. i think if you take a look at what we've been able to do, you have to acknowledge that we made enormous progress. one of the things that i think is something that -- one thing i haven't been able to do so far is get my republican friends to get in the game and making things better in this country. for example, i was reading the other day and i wrote the quote down, so i don't misquote him.
a quote from senator sununu -- governor sununu when he decided he wasn't going to run for the senate in new hampshire. here's what he said. they're all for the most part content with the speed at which they weren't doing anything. it was very clear that we just had to hold line for two years. okay. so i'm just going to be a road block for the next two years? that's not what i do, sununu said. he said it bothered me that they were okay with that. he goes on to say, okay, so we're not going to get stuff done if we win the white house back? why didn't we do anything in 2017 and 2018? then he said how did republican sununu answer the challenge? crickets. they had no answer.
i did not anticipate that there would be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that president biden didn't get anything done. think about this. what are republicans for? what are they for? name me one thing they're for. so the problem here is that i think what i have to do in the change in tactic, if you will, i have to make clear to the american people what we are for. we passed a lot. people don't understand what is in it. remember when we passed the affordable care act and everybody thought that it was getting pummeled and beaten. it wasn't until after office and the next campaign when the off-year campaign and i went into -- i wasn't office anymore, a bunch of districts campaigning for democrats and republican
districts and said that they wanted to do away with healthcare, with obamacare. i started pointing out if you did that, pre-existing conditions would no longer be covered. they said huh? we didn't know that. we didn't know that. guess what? we won over 38 seats. because we explained to the people exactly what in fact had passed. one of the things that i remember saying and i'll end this. i'll remember saying to president obama when he passed the affordable care act, i said you ought to take a victory lap. he said there's so many things he doesn't have time to do that. as a consequence, they don't know the detail. they don't know what we passed. the difference is, i'm going to be out on the road a lot making the case with my colleagues with me making the case of what we did do and what we want to do.
what we need to do. i don't think i have overpromised at all and i'm going to stay on this track. one of the things that i remember and i'll end -- i was talking with, you know, jim clyburn. a great help to me in the campaign in south carolina. jim said when he endorsed me and there was a clip on television the past couple days of jim. he said that we want to make things accessible and affordable for all americans. that's healthcare. it's education. it's prescription drugs. it's making sure that you have access, access to all the things that everybody else has. we can't afford not to do it. i tell my republican friends, here i come. this is going to be about what are you for.
what are you for. i lay out what we're for. mary from abc. >> thank you, mr. president. you mentioned the republicans. but right now your top two legislations are stalled blocked by your own party marked by months of negotiation. you're only guaranteed control of washington one more year before the mid-terms. do you need to be realistic and scale them down to get things passed? >> no. i don't think so. i think it's extremely realistic to say to people because -- let me back up. you all really know the politics in this country and networks and others. you spent a lot of time, which i'm glad you do, polling this data, determining what the american people's attitudes are, et cetera. the american people overwhelmingly agree with me on
prescription drugs. they agree with me on the cost of education. they overwhelmingly agree with me on early education. i can go on. child care. so we just have to make the case what we're for and what the other team is not for. we knew all along that a lot of this was going to be an uphill fight. one of the ways to do this is to make sure that we make the contrast as clear as we can. one of the things that i think is -- we'll have to do is just make the case -- i don't think there's anything unrealistic about what we're asking. i'm not asking for castles in the sky. i'm asking for practical things that the american people are asking for for a long time. a long time. and i think we can get it done. >> you're not going to stale down any of these priorities. so far that strategy isn't working. you haven't been able to get some of these big legislative -- >> i have two big ones done.
bigger than any president -- >> currently, mr. president, you're spending package, voting rights legislation, they're not going anywhere. is there anything that you're confident that you can get signed in to law before the mid-terms? >> yes. i'm confident that we can get pieces, big chunks of the build back better law signed in to law. i'm confident that we can take the case to the american people that the people that they should be voting for who will oversees the elections should not be those being put up by the republicans to determine that they're going to change the outcome of the election. and -- by the way, i have not given up. we haven't finished the vote yet on what is going on on the voting rights, the john lewis bill and others. so look, this is -- i've been engaged a long time in public
policy. i don't many things that have been done in one fail swoop. so the most important thing to do is try to inform, not educate, inform the public of what is at stake in stark terms and let them make judgments. let them know who is there and who is not there and make the case. that's how i'm going to spend any time in this off-year election. >> you mentioned republicans and reaching out to them. some republicans open to changes on voting rights said he never received a phone call from the white house. why not? >> mitt romney is a straight guy. one of the things that we're doing, i was trying to make sure that we got everybody on the same page in my party on this score. i didn't call many republicans at all. the fact is, that -- i do think
that mitt is a serious guy. i think we can get things done. i predict to you that we'll get something done on the electoral reform side of this. rather than judge what will get done or not get done, all i can say is i'm going to continue to make the case why it's so important to not turn the electoral process over to political persons set up to deliberately to change the outcome of elections. allison harris, please. >> thank you, mr. president. speaking of voting rights legislation, if this isn't passed, do you believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and the results will be legitimate? >> it all depends on whether or not we're able to make the case to the american people that some of this is being set up to try
to alter the outcome of the election. one thing -- look, maybe i'm just being too much of an optimist. remember how we thought not that many people would show up to vote in the pandemic? we had the highest voter turnout in the history of the united states of america. well, i think if in fact no matter how hard they make it for minorities to vote, i think you'll see them willing to stand in line anddefy the attempt to keep them from vote. people will show up and make the sacrifice that needs to be made in order to change the law back to what it should be. but it's going to be difficult. i make no bones about that. it's going to be difficult. we're not there yet. we have not run out of options yet and we'll see how this moves. >> on omicron and education,
teachers are in revolt in so many places. parents are at odds over closing schools and remote learning. you said we're not going back to closing schools. you just said that. yet they're closing in some areas. what do you say to the teachers and principals and parents about school closings and what can your administration do to help make up for learning loss for students? >> first of all, i put in perspective the question you asked. very few schools are closing. we're 95% still open. so you all phrase the questions when people -- i don't think it's deliberate on your part, but you phrase the question of anybody that watches this on television, my god, there must be all the schools closing. what are we going to do? 95% are still open. number 1. number 2, the idea that parents don't think it's important for their children to be in school and teachers know it as well. that's why we made sure that we
had the ability to provide the funding through the recovery act, through the act that -- the first act we passed to be able to make sure schools were able to be safe. so we have new ventilation systems available for them, we have the way that they handle -- they scrub down laboratories and -- i mean the lavatories kids use. cafeterias, buses. all of that money is there. there's billions made available. it's available. not every school district has used it as well as it should be used. but it's there. so in addition to that, there's now another $10 billion for testing of students in the schools. so i think as time goes on, it's much more likely you'll see that number go back up from 95% back up to 98, 99%. but the individuals of the
district that says we're not going to be open is always going to get -- i'm not being critical of you. it's always going to get front page. it's always the top of the news. let's put it in perspective. 95, as high as 98% of the schools in america are open. functioning. capable of doing the job. how about jan epstein, bloomberg. >> thank you, mr. president. your top foreign policy advisers have warned that russia is now ready to attack ukraine. there's unity among europeans about what it it would look like. if the u.s. and nato are not willing to put troops on the line to defend ukraine, hasn't the u.s. and the west lost all of its leverage over vladimir putin and given how ineffective
sanctions have been at depering putin in the past, why should the threat of new sanctions give him pause? >> because he's never received sanctions like what i have imposed if he moves, number 1. >> number 2, we're in a situation where vladimir putin is about to -- we've had very frank discussions, vladimir putin and i. the idea that nato is not going to be united i don't buy. i've spoken to every major nato leader. we've had the nato-russian summit, other -- the osce has met and et cetera. what you'll see is that russia will be held accountable. if it invades. it depends on what it does. one thing if it's a minor incursion and we end up fighting. but if they do what they're capable of doing with the masses on the border, it will be a disaster for russia if they
further invade ukraine and our allies and partners are ready to impose severe costs and significant harm on russia and the russian economy. we're going to fortify or nato allies. i've told them on the eastern flank if he does invade, i've shipped over 600 million worth of sophisticated equipment to the ukrainians. the cost of going into ukraine in terms of physical loss of life for the russians, they'll be able to prevail over time but it's going to be heavy. it's going to be real. it's going to be consequential. in addition to that, putin has a stark choice. deescalation or diplomacy. you'll see -- for example, everybody talks about how russia has control over the energy
supply that europe absorbs. guess what? that money that they earned from that makes about 45% of their economy. i don't see that as a one-way street. cut it off, it's like my mother used to say, you're biting nose off to spite your face. it's not like that. you have all of these wonderful choices out there. i spoke with the prime minister of finland. you know, we're talking about concern on the part of finland and sweden about what russia is doing. the last thing that russia needs is finland decided to change their status. they didn't say they would do that. but they're talking about what in fact is going on and how outrageous russia is being. we're finding ourselves in the position where i believe you'll see that it will be severe economic consequences. for example, anything that is -- involves dollar denominations, if they invade, they're going to pay. they're not going -- their banks
will not be able to deal in dollars. so there's a lot that is going to happen. here's the thing. my conversation with putin and we've been -- how can we say it? we have no common understanding. he has no problem understanding me or me him. the direct conversations were, i pointed out and said, you know, you've occupied before other countries. the price has been extremely high. how long? you can win over time at great economic loss when you occupy ukraine, but how many years? one? three? five? ten? what is that going to take? what toll does that take? it's real. it's consequential. so this is not all just a cake walk for russia. militarily, they have overwhelming superiority as
relation to ukraine. but they'll pay a stiff price immediately, near term, medium term and long-term if they do it. i'm sorry. okay. david, "new york times." >> thank you, mr. president. i wanted to follow up on your answer there about russia and ukraine. when you were in geneva in june, you said about president putin you said i think the last thing he wants now is a cold war. since then, you have seen him gather the troops, 100,000 troops around the ukraine. the secretary of state said today you thought he could invade at any moment. you've seen the cyber attacks and you've seen the demand that he had a sphere of influence that you would withdraw all american troops and nuclear
weapons from what used to be the soviet block. do you still think the last thing he wants is a cold war? has your view of him changed in the past few months? if it has and he does invade, would your posture be to move back to the kind of containment policy that you saw so often when you were still in the senate >> the answer is that i think he still does not want a full blown war, number 1. number 2, do i think he will test the west? test the united states and nato? yes. i think he will. i think he will pay a serious and dear price for it. he doesn't think now the cost of what it will cost him. i think he will regret having done it. now, whether or not -- i
think -- how can i say this in a public forum? i think that he is dealing with what i believe he thinks is the most tragic thing that has happened to mother russia in that berlin wall came down, the empire has been lost, et cetera. the soviet union has been split. but think about what he has. he's eight time zones, a burning tundra that won't freeze naturally, a situation that he has a lot of oil and gas but he's trying to find his place in the world between china and the west. so i'm not so sure that he
has -- i'm not so sure he has -- certain what he's going to do. my guess is he will move in. he has to do something. i've indicated to him, the two things he said he wants guarantees on, one is ukraine will never be part of nato. two that nato or -- there will not be strategic weapons in ukraine. we can work out something on the second piece depending what he does along the russian border in the european area. the first piece we have a number of treaties internationally in europe that says you get to choose who you want to be with. the likelihood that ukraine will join nato in the near term is not likely based on the work that they have to do in terms of democracy and a few things going on there and whether or not
major allies in the west would vote to bring ukraine in right now. so there's room to work if he wants to do that. as usual, he's going to -- i probably shouldn't go any further. it will hurt him badly. >> sound like you're offering some way out here, some off ramp. sounds like what it is at least informal assurance that nato is not going to take in ukraine any time in the next few decades and sounds like you're saying we would never put nuclear weapon there's. he also wants us to move our nuclear weapons out of europe and not have troops there. you think there's space -- >> no, there's not space for that we won't permanently station -- we'll increase troop presence in poland, romania if he moves. we have a sacred obligation to
defend those countries. they're part of nato. we don't have that with the ukraine although we have great concern what happens in the ukraine. thank you. maureen, "usa today." >> thank you, mr. president. i wanted to follow up on your come mind on build back better and also ask you a question about the pandemic. you said that your confident you can pass chunks of build back better this year. do that mean you're looking about breaking the package up in to individual portions and then on the pandemic, now the supreme court has blocked the vaccination or test rule for larger businesses, are you reconsidering whether to require vaccining for domestic flights as a way to boost vaccination rates? >> first of all, on the last part of the question, the supreme court decision i think was a mistake. you still see thousands and
thousands of people that work for major corporations having to be tested as a consequence of the decision made by the corporation, now the standard i set. i think you'll see that increase, not decrease, number 1. what was the first part of your question? >> on your comment that you made, you're confident that major chunks can of build back better -- >> yes. it's clear to me that we're going to have to probably break it up. i think we can get and i've been talking to a number of my colleagues on the hill, i think it's clear that we would be able to get support for the 500 plus billion for energy and the environmental issues that are there, number 1. number 2, i know that the two
democrats that opposed support a number of the things in there. joe manchin strongly supports early education, 3 years and 4 years of age. strongly supports that. strong support for i think a number of the way in which to pay for these -- pay for this proposal. so i think there is -- i'm not going to negotiate it myself as to what should or shouldn't be in there. i think we can break the package up, get as much as we can now, come back and fight for the rest later. ken, "wall street journal." >> thanks. i wanted to ask you about the economy. as you said earlier, americans are feeling the squeeze of inflation. oil prices have been at about a seven-year high recently. how can should americans expect to face higher prices when they're at the grocery store,
when they're at the gas pump? is this something that they'll see in to the summer, in to next fall? separately, you talk about the importance of the fed. isn't that an acknowledgement that you're limited in what you can do? if you're relying on the fed to make decisions and you're unable to get a build back better proposal through, are you not limited to what you can to with inflation? >> look, as you know, ken, the inflation has everything to do with the supply chain. i think what you're seeing is that we've been able to make progress on speeding up the access to materials -- for example, 1/3 of the increase in cost of living is cost of automobiles. the reasonable automobiles have skyrocketed in price is because of a lack of computer chips.
so we have the capacity and we're going to do everything in our power to become self-reliant on the computer chips that we need to produce more automobiles. that's underway. we passed within the context of another bill money for that in the house of representatives. but i think there's a way we can move to -- if we can move to get that one thing done, it can make a big difference in terms of the cost of -- total cost of living. with regard to the whole issue of energy prices, that gets a little more complicated. but you saw what happened when i was able to convince everyone from china, india, other countries to agree with us to go into their version of their petroleum reserve to release more in to the market so that they brought down the price about 12, 15 cents a gallon some
places. some places more. there's going to be a reckoning here whether or not we'll continue to see oil prices continue to go up in ways that are going up now relative to what is going -- what impact that will have on the producers. so it's going to be hard. i think that's the place where most middle class people get hit the most, pull up to a pump and instead of paying $2.40 a gallon they're paying $5 a gallon. that will be difficult. much so, we're going to continue to work on trying to increase oil supplies that are available. there's ways in which we can be of some value as in terms of price of gas, natural gas and the like to take the burden off of european countries that are now totally dependent on russia. it's going to be hard. it's going to be very hard.
i think that we have to deal with -- for example, like i said, you have a circumstance where people are paying more for a pound of hamburger meat than they ever paid. one of the reasons is, you don't have many folks out there, ones with the big four controlling it all. so you'll see more and more -- we're going to move on this competition piece to allow more and more smaller operations to come in and be able to engage in providing -- buying and providing access to much cheaper meat than exists now. it's going to be a haul. as you -- i assume the reason you said i can't get build back better relates to what those 17 nobel laureate economists said, that if -- it would lower the impact on inflation, reduce inflation over time, et cetera. there's a lot that we have to do.
it's not easy. i think we can get it done. it's paid for. a lot of people in the meantime. that's why the single best way to take the burden off of middle class and working class folks is to pass the build back better piece that are things that they're paying a lot of money for now. if your get the trade-off higher gas, putting up higher price of hamburgers and gas versus whether or not you're going to -- you're going to pay for education and/or child care and the like, i think most people would make the trade. their bottom linwould be better in middle class households. it's hard. it will take a lot of work. >> you mentioned china. do you think the time has come to begin lifting some of the tariffs on chinese imports or is
there a need for china to make due on some of its commitments? >> i know that. that's why my trade rep is working on that. the answer is uncertain. i'd like to be in a position where i could say they're meeting the commitments, more of their commitments. we're not there yet. nancy, cbs. >> thanks, mr. president. this afternoon the senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell, said that the mid-term elections are going to be a report card on your progress on inflation, border security and standing up to russia. you think that is a fair way to look at it and if so, how do you think that record card locks right now? >> i think it's going to look pretty good. that's where we're at. the idea is -- mitch has been very clear. he will do anything to prevent biden from being a success.
i get along with mitch. i like mitch mcconnell. we like one another. he has one straightforward objective. make sure that there's nothing i do that makes me look good from behind mind with the public at large. that's okay. i'm a big boy. i've been here before. the fact is that i think that the -- i'm happy to debate and have a referendum on how i handle the economy. whether or not i've made progress on -- look, again, i'm taking too long answering your questions. i apologize. i think that the fundamental question is what is mitch for? what is he for on immigration? what is he for? what is he proposing that is better? what is he for dealing with
russia that's different that i'm proposing and many of his colleagues are proposing? what are they for? everything is a choice. it's a choice. i've laid out a proposal on immigration. if we passed it, we would be in a didn't place right now. we're not there. john mccain is gone. it's going to take time. again, i go back to governor sununu's call. rhetorical question. i know this is not fair to ask the press. i'm not asking you. but think about it. did you ever think that one man out of office could intimidate
an entire party where they're unwilling to take any vote contrary to what he thinks should be taken for fear of being defeated in a primary? i've had five republican senators talk to me, bump in to me or sit with me who have told me that they agree with whatever i'm talking about. but joe, if i do it, i'm going to be defeated in a primary. we have to break that. it's got to change. i doubt you're all -- sounds like i'm being solicitous. you're all well-informed, more informed than any group of people in america. but did any of you think that you could get to a point where not a single republican would
diverge on a major issue? not one? anyway. >> the five republican senators are? >> sure. you kidding me? i maintain confidentiality. i'm sure you have spoken to some. >> i'm voting rights, sir, at your press press conference, i asked you if there's anything you could do beyond legislation to protect voting rights. at that time you said yes, but i'm not going to lay out a strategy before you and the world now. now that legislation appears to be hopelessly stalled, can you now lay out your strategy to protect voting rights. >> well, i'm not prepared to do that in detail in terms of the executive orders i may be able to engage in. the things that we have to -- we have significantly beefed up a number of enforcers in the
justice department who are there to challenge these unconstitutional efforts in our view. efforts on the part of the republicans to stack the election and subvert the jut come. we have began to organize in ways before the communities beyond the civil rights communities to make the case to the rest of the american people about what about to happen. what will happen if these thing move forward. if i talk to you -- not you. i have talked to the public about the whole idea of sub version of electors by deciding after the fact. people say i talk constitutional law for 20 years with three credit courses in separation of powers on saturday mornings when i was a senator.
i didn't win, but republican candidate won. i doubt anybody thought that that would ever happen in america in the 21st century but it's happening. i guess what i'm saying is, nancy, that i think that there's a number of things that we can do but i also think that we will be able to get significant pieces of legislation if we don't get it all now to build to get it so that we get a big chunk of the john lewis legislation as well as the fair election votes. >> on covid, if you don't mind, you touted the number of americans that are fully vaccinated with two shots. even some of your own medical advisers say people are not protected unless they had the
third shot. why hasn't this white house changed the definition of fully vaccinationed to include the third booster shot? is it because the numbers of fully vaccinated americans would look a lot less? >> no. it's not that at all. it's clearer and clear: every time i speak, i say if you been vaccinated, get your booster shot. everybody get the booster shot. it's the optimum protection you can have. your protected very well with two shots. if it's the pfizer -- anyway, you're protected. but you're better protected with the booster shot. >> the definition right now. >> i am following what the -- the answer is yes. get the booster shot. that's part of the same thing. you're better protected. okay. alex from reuters. >> thank you, mr. president. i wanted to follow up briefly on
a question asked by bloomberg. you said russia would be held accountable if it invades. it's one thing if it's a minor incursion and we have to fight about what to do and whatnot to do. are you say ago minor incursion by russia to ukraine would not lead to the sanctions that you have threatened or are you giving putin permission to make a small incursion into the country? >> good question. most important thing to do, big nations can't bluff, number 1. number 2 the island that we would do anything to split nato, which would be -- have a profound impact on one of i think the prominent impact on one of putin's objectives to weaken nato would be a big mistake. so the question is, if it's
something significantly short of a significant invasion or not even significant invasion, major military forces coming across -- for example, one thing to determine that if they continue to use cyber efforts. well, we can respond the same way with cyber. they have fsp people in ukraine now trying to undermine the solidarity within ukraine about russia and try to promote russian interests. but it's very important that we keep everyone in nato on the same page. that's what i'm spending a lot of time doing. there's differences. there's differences in nato as to what countries are willing to do depending on what happens. a degree to which they can go. i want to be clear with you. the serious imposition of sanctions relative to dollar
transactions and other things are things that will have a negative impact on the united states as well as impact of the economies of europe. devastating impact on russia. i have make sure we're on the same page. if there's russian forces crossing the border, killing ukrainian fighters, et cetera, that changes everything. it depend on what he does to what extent we'll get total unity on the nato front. >> if i may ask a quick one on iran. if the vienna talks are making any problems. is there going to be compliance or is it time to give up on that? >> i'm doing it in reverse. it's not time to give up. there's progress being made. p-5 plus 1 is on the same page.
remains to be seen. okay. kristin. nbc. >> very quickly on russia. i do have a number of domestic policy issues. seems like you said that you have assessed you feel as though he will move in. has this administration -- have you determined whether president putin plans to invade or move in to ukraine as you said? >> look, the only thing i'm confident of is that decision is totally solely completely putin's decision. nobody else will make that decision, nobody else will impact that decision. he's making that decision. i suspect it matters which side of the bed he gets up on in the morning as to exactly what he's going to do. i think it is not irrational if
he wanted to to talk about dealing with strategic doctrine and dealing with force structures in europe and in european parts of russia. but i don't know whether he decided to do that or not. so far in the three meetings we've had have not produced anything because the impression that i get from my secretary state and my national security adviser and my other senior officials doing the meetings is that there's a question of whether the people they're talking to know what he's going to do. so the answer is -- based on the number of criteria as to what he could do -- for example, for him to move and occupy the whole country, particularly from the north from belarus, he's going to have to wait because the ground is frozen to move in a
direction where he wants to talk about what is -- we have -- we're continuing to provide for defense capacity to the ukrainians. we're talking about what is going on in both the baltic and the black sea, et cetera. there's a whole range of things that i'm sure he's trying to calculate how quickly he can do what he wants to to and what he wants to do.and i'm sure -- i'mt i believe he is calculating with the immediate short-term and near-term in the long-term consequences of russia will be. and i don't think he's made up his mind yet. >> reporter: i want to ask you about your domestic agenda. you have gotten a lot of questions about voting rights, mr. president. i want to ask about black voters, one of your most loyal