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The Chris Wallace Show

Biden Administration Launches Airstrikes against Multiple Targets in Middle East Linked to Iran in Retaliation for Drone Attack that Killed Three U.S. Servicemembers; House Speaker Mike Johnson Announces House of Representatives Will Not Hold Vote on Immigration Bill; House Republican Prepare to Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 03, 2024 - 10:00   ET



CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, again, and welcome. It's time to get together with some smart people to break down the big stories. Today we're asking, as the U.S. begins striking back for the drone attack that killed three American soldiers, are we on the brink of a wider war in the Middle East?

Then, that's dope. Democrats in Congress pushing the White House for an historic change that could have more people smoking pot.

And is Apple's new product a vision of the future or just another overhyped tech toy?

The panel is here and ready to go. So sit back, relax, and let's talk about it.

Up first, U.S. retaliation in the Middle East. Friday, we saw the first of what's expected to be a series of airstrikes in coming days against multiple targets that are linked to Iran. This marks a new stage in the spiraling tensions. Many fear it could pull the U.S. into another all-out war.


WALLACE: The U.S. hitting dozens of key targets in the Middle East, the strikes retaliation for that drone attack that killed three American soldiers at a base in Jordan, which the U.S. blames on Iranian-backed militants. In a statement, President Biden saying, while he doesn't seek war, quote, "If you harm an American, we will respond." But in an already volatile region, some worry where this will lead.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: What concerns me the most is how many different ways this region could completely erupt into full-scale war.

WALLACE: While more hawkish voices have demanded a strong response.

DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: The Biden administration made a big mistake by coming out and immediately saying we're not going to do anything inside Iran.

WALLACE: Since Hamas's brutal October 7th attack on Israel, Iranian- backed proxies in the region, like the Houthis in Yemen and militant groups in Iraq and Syria, have launched more than 200 attacks on U.S. forces because of American support for Israel's war in Gaza, a war that shows no sign of ending, with the death toll in Gaza now at more than 27,000 people. And while President Biden recently toughened his stance on Israel --

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're quietly working with the Israeli government to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza.

WALLACE: -- quietly working may not be enough to get the U.S. out of its Middle East bind.


WALLACE (on camera): Here with me today, podcaster Kara Swisher, Reihan Salam, president of the Manhattan Institute and "National Review" contributing editor, "New York Times" journalist and podcast host Lulu Garcia-Navarro, and author and conservative pollster, Kristen Soltis Anderson. Welcome back, everyone. Good to have you.

Reihan, as the U.S. begins its retaliation, and we're told it's going to be over several days and a bunch of different targets, are we headed for a wider war in the Middle East? And should the concerns over that constrain the U.S. response?

REIHAN SALAM, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": We're already in a wider war in the Middle East. We have been for some time right now. And, unfortunately, the Biden administration's approach to this war has been feckless and incredibly dangerous. The Biden administration came in to office in January of 2021 and they made a big bet, they made a big gamble. That gamble was, let's take the foot off the gas, let's try to befriend the Iranians, let's lower the temperature there, and focus elsewhere geopolitically.

And what, in fact, happened is that Iran used that sanctions relief, they used the fact that Biden said let's befriend the Iranians, to fund their proxies, to strengthen their repressive apparatus, to supercharge their nuclear program. And we're now -- October 7th was part of that, and now we're bearing the fruit of that terrible decision.

WALLACE: Kara, how confident are you that Biden and the U.S. national security team can calibrate its response to send a message to Iran, don't mess with us, but without escalating into a wider war?


KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, "PIVOT" AND "ON": It's great to have Lindsey Graham here. Thank you so much for being here.

I do think it's all right to try to lessen tensions. We've been stuck in that region for so long. That said, a proper response would be what it's doing right now, which is really hitting them in military installations, intelligence areas, and other areas. I think what happens, unfortunately, is we get pulled back in again and again and not able to pull out. So I suspect it's also linked to Ukraine, all these places where we have to show a show of force so we don't have to show force later in a much more significant way.

WALLACE: The reason that Iran's proxies are striking U.S. forces is, they say, because of U.S. support for Israel in its war in Gaza. Lulu, should the U.S. get tougher with Israel to either end or to limit its war against Hamas?

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, JOURNALIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": I want to say, first of all, something to Reihan, which is the fact of Iran goes back to the Trump administration when they pulled out of the nuclear deal, and that has actually destabilized the region quite a bit. So that's the first thing I would say about that.

SALAM: I heartily disagree, and --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I know you heartily disagree, but I didn't want to leave that unanswered.

The second thing I would say is that, yes, I think at this point this is all to do with Netanyahu's position in the Gaza war. What we are seeing is a very unpopular leader who has very little support within his own country, and the incentive for him is to continue this war, this brutal attack in Gaza, because he is facing criminal charges inside his own country.

WALLACE: Should the U.S. -- should Biden get tougher with Israel?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, and so Biden needs to get tougher. We're already seeing that. He has made some movement to start putting sanctions against some of the settlers in the West Bank. But I do think that he needs to get tougher. The problem here is that Bibi Netanyahu is not listening to the United States at this point.

WALLACE: Reihan?

SALAM: I strongly disagree. If you look at where we need to impose tougher sanctions, I would suggest starting with Iran. The Biden administration continues to have sanction waivers that are allowing Iran to unloose assets that they're using to kill Americans and to support the death and destruction in Israel. This is profoundly dangerous. The Trump administration --


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Let me ask you this. Would you like to see --

SALAM: They killed Soleimani, the head of the Quds force --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Would you like to see -- I'm just asking you.

SALAM: And that was something that did actually --

WALLACE: Let him.

SALAM: -- curb the Iranians in a very important way, maximum pressure worked on the Iranians.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm just unclear on your position. You would like to see the United States at this particular juncture bomb Iran? Is that what you think is going to resolve this and make the United States safer?

SALAM: I would like the United States to retaliate in the coordinated campaign, multifront campaign that Iran has been waging against the United States, our allies, and the people of Israel. If you look at the Houthis, if you look at Hamas, if you look at Hezbollah, what they all have in common is that they are financed and to some degree trained and directed by the Iranian government.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And you want to the United States -- wait, just to understand you.

SALAM: Yes, please.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You would like the United States at this particular moment in time to get involved in a multilateral war in the Middle East, in a place that is already volatile, because one of our allies is already involved in Gaza in a war, and you would like to metastasize that, and you think somehow that is going to make America safer? I'm just trying to really understand what you're thinking.

SALAM: What I would like to do is recognize that right now Houthis, financed by Iran and working in close coordination with Iran, are attacking shipping. They are threatening to cripple the global economy.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But they are doing that because of the Gaza war, a war that Israel --

SALAM: I'm sorry to say that --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: -- like the United States --


GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I think this is part of the problem.

WALLACE: Let me ask about a specific --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: -- the port of the Houthis or anyone else.

SALAM: President Biden removed them from the foreign terrorist organization list. He actually did deescalate.

WALLACE: Stop. Stop.

SALAM: Of course, happily. (LAUGHTER)

WALLACE: But not as happily as it is for me.

Kristen, what about the fact that everywhere that Biden goes these days, that he's stopped, interrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters who are blaming him for supporting Israel? Take a look. This is happening all over the place.




WALLACE: Kristen, how worried should Biden be about the protesters -- not the protesters in and of themselves, but what it represents in terms of loss of support among Arab Americans, among minorities, among young voters as he seeks reelection?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, FOUNDING PARTNER, ECHELON INSIGHTS: I think this is part of a broader problem of Biden appearing weak, period.


Whether it is Bibi Netanyahu doesn't want to listen to him, whether it is our adversaries in the Middle East don't particularly care to listen to him or don't seem afraid of him and his administration, or even here domestically at home the left flank of his own party feels very empowered to at an event -- what you just showed a clip from was him talking about his agenda on an issue like abortion, and they feel completely empowered to speak out and shut down his speech.

And I do think that this could have created an opportunity for him, and maybe it had down the road where he stands up and says, no, I don't stand with people who are shutting down highways. I don't stand with people who are protesting outside the Holocaust Memorial, as some of these protestors did earlier this week. I don't stand with people protesting outside --

WALLACE: Do you think there's a chance, Kara, he's going to do that, a Sister Souljah moment with the pro-Palestinian protesters, particularly when we're talking about Arab Americans, minorities, young people, and he's seeking reelection in a tight election?

SWISHER: I don't see him doing that. I see him -- he tends towards going towards trying to figure it out, and everybody, can't we all get along. That seems to be the way he tries to do it. And it could look weak, you're correct in that way. I don't think you can control these protests. I was at an event at American University --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's a political reality because of Michigan. There's a huge Arab American population, Michigan is a swing state, and we're facing a very tight election.

WALLACE: Let me just say, I asked a top White House official about it this week, and his response was, well, things may look different by this summer. Things may improve in terms of the fall, voters will have forgotten by then. We'll see.

Here in Washington the focus is also on the border, or is it? We'll discuss the risky move by Republicans to bail on a bipartisan border bill in the midst of an immigration crisis.

Then planting a seed, the push to legalize marijuana. Could it give President Biden's campaign a high?

And watching the Super Bowl for the price of a new car -- is the big game worth that much? You're rich, Kara. I mean, $10,000, $15,000, that's pocket change.

SWISHER: No, thank you.




WALLACE: It's a sad but true reality in Washington -- very little gets done during an election year, especially if it could help the other party. Right now, congressional Republicans are nixing a potentially historic immigration bill, despite getting President Biden to cave on several key issues Republicans have been dreaming about. And one person who is not even in Congress may be pulling the strings.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): And just trying to whitewash that or do something for political purposes, that's a nonstarter in the House.

WALLACE: Speaker Mike Johnson making it official, after months of negotiations, a bipartisan border deal will not get a vote in the House.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): It would be a shame if it failed.

WALLACE: Prompting accusations Donald Trump told Republicans to kill the bill --

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think they're make ago terrible mistake if they vote for the bill.

WALLACE: -- so he can use the immigration issue against President Biden.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you simply trying to kill this to help him on the campaign?

JOHNSON: No. Manu, that's absurd.

WALLACE: The situation at the border is dire. December arrests were up 31 percent from November and topped the all-time monthly high. JOHNSON: We have an unmitigated crisis.

WALLACE: And yet House Republicans are set to kill a bill being negotiated by Senate Republicans and Democrats that includes a GOP wish list -- expedited asylum proceedings, limited use of parole, and closing the border once crossings hit a certain threshold, a plan that has sign-off from President Biden.

BIDEN: If that bill were the law today, I'd shut down the border right now and fix it quickly.


WALLACE (on camera): Lulu, from a political viewpoint, which seems to be the prime consideration here, have Trump and the Republicans misplayed the immigration bill in the sense that now the Democrats and Biden are going to be able to say we offered you a deal and you refused to take it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: They're already saying that. They're going around and they're saying --

WALLACE: Do you think that's effective?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think it's very effective. I think, unfortunately, what has happened is that you have a very schizophrenic process right now. You have in the Senate they are negotiating this bill, and in the House they're trying to impeach the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

And so this is a perfect example of our completely sclerotic way of dealing with immigration. And I think the Republicans in this sense are looking like fools. Congress is supposed to be an independent body and a check on the executive, and instead you have an ex-president calling the shots on what is happening in the Senate. And I think that that is incredibly foolish.

WALLACE: But Kristen, the fact is that the border crisis and the huge spike in illegal crossings has happened on Biden's watch. Are they going to be able to get off the hook with voters -- I'm talking about this as a political matter -- by saying, hey, look, we offered you all these things you've been asking for and you refused? Will voters share the blame between Democrats and Republicans?

ANDERSON: I think at the moment voters are still looking at who is in charge -- President Biden -- and are saying the border seems like it is insecure, and through not just lack of congressional action, but executive action, the repealing of certain Trump-era executive orders, et cetera, that this is ultimately Biden's problem to solve.

Now, can Republicans screw this up? Absolutely. Democrats are typically the ones that have much more division within their ranks over this issue of what to do about the border. Republicans had been pretty united. So by Republicans now having this division, of course, it's possible to screw this up. But in every poll I've ever seen, Republicans have much more credibility on this issue than they did 10 years ago, and I don't think that just this one debate will be enough to squander it.


WALLACE: Kara, let's look at this from the policy point of view, as opposed to political. Biden and the Democrats are making a lot of concessions. For instance, they're agreeing to crack down on the border without asking anything about a pathway to citizenship, which traditionally they have. They may never get this good of a deal again.

SWISHER: That's correct. That's correct. But they don't want this deal now because it would benefit -- because it would look like bipartisanship, it looks like Biden is moving forward on it. There's no way Trump is going to let that happen. And he has control over these people. I love him saying it's absurd. It's not absurd. It's exactly what's happening.

WALLACE: So they would rather have the issue than actually solve the problem that they're talking about?

SWISHER: They would rather have the issue, because I think what Kristen is saying is correct is that Biden is in charge, he can do something. That's what they'll say. He can do something. And maybe that's what he should actually do, do something and use executive orders to do so. That would be a strong thing and say, I did something, and they wouldn't do a deal with me. That would be a very effective --

WALLACE: Reihan, I know it's not everything that Republicans want, but there's a lot of stuff here, more personnel on the border, more asylum judges, some real policy changes. From a policy point of view, are Republicans making a mistake here?

SALAM: There are two different considerations here. One is that some of the concessions the Biden administration has floated are things that are within the president's power right now that is restraining his discretion over humanitarian parole. Those are things where a lot of Republicans are saying, well, wait a second, you've had the option to do this all along and you haven't.

I actually do think that when it comes to border judges, asylum processing, it is legitimate to say that these are areas where we really do need resources where I do think Republicans in Congress are making a mistake. However, it is also the case that the president has the legal authority, and presidents have had it for over 30 years, to pursue something like the Remain in Mexico policy, which proved highly effective at stemming the flow of unauthorized crossings.

So I think that, frankly, it's kind of a 50/50 call on the policy side because a lot of this is just saying that, hey, we're telling you, President Biden, we're going to restrain you from making terrible mistakes that you're making. This is something you can do unilaterally right now.

WALLACE: Let me pick up on something that Lulu said a moment ago, which is that while all of this is going on, House Republicans are moving full speed ahead, perhaps as early as next week, in impeaching Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security. Is that justified?

SALAM: You know, my sense is that this is not something that is a terribly good use of their focus and time, and I think to some degree it's a sign of their throwing up their hands and trying to send a message. I am, honestly, concerned about the impeachment process becoming routine for cabinet officials when you have a policy disagreement. And I think --

WALLACE: It hasn't happened since the 1800s.

SALAM: I do think it's a mistake, frankly, because there are so many things the Republicans will be holding the Biden administration's feet to the fire on that I think they should be focusing on those. I would love to see them hold the administration accountable on plenty of other things other than this, which is really a judgment about President Biden's failures on the border, not about some sort of malfeasance on the part of Mayorkas.

WALLACE: Lulu, you interviewed Mayorkas this week. What does he make of all of this?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: He was careful, as you can imagine. But he did call this a political process. He says that he is focused on the fact that he's doing his job, that Homeland Security is much more than immigration, and he defended his record. And he's extremely worried about some of these political maneuvers making this country less safe.

WALLACE: Net-net, Kristen, is immigration going to be a big problem for Joe Biden in November, or is it going to be muddied up?

Unless the situation at the border changes dramatically, regardless of what Washington does, if the situation at the border a year from now is like it is right now, that is going to be a massive problem for Biden because it will undercut his argument that I am the person that is going to give you stability and order, period.

WALLACE: Do you agree with that, Kara?

SWISHER: I do. I do. I think he's got to do something dramatic there. And I think if he does, then the Republicans look like they're trying to block it because of Trump.

SALAM: He should have taken a deal months ago.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I will say that Mayorkas says that it is a problem. If there is an acknowledgment --

WALLACE: Yes, but he also says the border is secure and he refuses to call it -- I read your interview, he refuses to call it a crisis.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: He doesn't call it a crisis because he feels that, and I'm just using his words, he feels that it gets weaponized by the other side. That said, he acknowledges it's a problem. I think everyone knows it's a problem.

WALLACE: He's right, it does get weaponized by the other side, but it is still a crisis.

Up next, we're getting in the weeds about weed. The gang lights up about a new push from several big name senators to legalize marijuana. Will they come up with a joint resolution?



WALLACE: This week 12 Democratic senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, signed a letter calling on the DEA to de-schedule marijuana, removing it from the controlled substances list. That means it would no longer be a schedule one drug alongside heroin and LSD, considered for dangerous than schedule two drugs like cocaine and fentanyl. The move would essentially legalize pot, allowing it to be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. According to the latest Gallup poll, 70 percent of Americans now approve of doing this, which is an all-time high.

Kara, is it time to legalize marijuana?

SWISHER: You wanted to say "all-time high," didn't you?

WALLACE: Not that much.

SWISHER: If you get 420 into this conversation, I'm going to give you props. But of course it's way past time. It's worked in lots of states. This is something most Americans agree on. It's better if it's more organized and there's taxes on it and it's run -- it's long past time. Kids are laughing at us in that regard.


SALAM: Our experiment with legalization has been a disaster. It does vary a bit from state to state, but basically there's no state that has been able to effectively regulate this. What we've seen is the rise of big marijuana, like the new big tobacco, which is creating more potent products. They make their profits off of binge use. And we're seeing more and more scientific evidence about the link between heavy cannabis use and schizophrenia, other maladies. We have something like 20 to 30 percent of users who have become hatch habitual users with a serious use disorder.

And actually, I think that support is peaking. People don't understand that if you truly legalize this, if you grow this the same way you grow week, than an hour of intoxication would become cheaper than a nickel. It's like the way people used to give away matchbooks in restaurants. This is incredibly dangers experiment --


SALAM: And Chuck Schumer should know that. He's my neighbor and he should know about the stench of marijuana and the 13 and 14-year-olds walking down my street who are using cannabis.

SWISHER: Now the penny drops. ANDERSON: So acknowledging there are a lot of people for whom

marijuana is not good and is going to have very serious negative effects, and some people, like cancer patients, for whom it will be positive. What strikes me is the most about this is the kind of incoherence we have with the difference between the federal and state and local.

SWISHER: Precisely.

ANDERSON: Where you some states that have said we're doing this, and then the federal government still kind of play acts that you can't really do that. I think clearing up the incoherence is not necessarily the worst thing --


GARCIA-NAVARRO: And that would allow for some of the things that you're addressing, which I think are actually legitimate things to be worried about. How potent are these drugs? Can we have a standardized way to understand what doses there are? I mean, these are all things that are incredibly important. Personally, I find it problematic that I wander through the streets and it is everywhere. My dog got sick the other day by eating something on the street, and it was --

WALLACE: Are you sure he wasn't smoking?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: He tested positive for eating marijuana. And so I do think it's a problem. I'm not saying that --



WALLACE: Take a look at this map. It's interesting. Take a look at this map. Marijuana is already fully legal in these 24 states, and in 14 more it's legal but just for medical use. It's also a big business. In California alone, $5.4 billion in sales in 2022, including more than $1 billion in state and local taxes. So, Lulu, I'm trying to sus out where you are. Are you for legalizing pot or not? Do you think it's an economic boon or not?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think of course it's an economic boon. I think, of course, at this point I think exactly right, there should be some coherence between federal law and state law. So, yes, I am for legalization for that reason.

That said, there's a bigger reason that I think that this is important, and that is actually it is much better to be able to have this be legalized than seeing what used to happen, which is predominantly people of color and black people being put in prison for marijuana.

SWISHER: They're going to use the stuff. So how do you want it to be used? It's very much like alcohol. There's got to be education, control, and everything else. It's going to be used, and it's going to be more potent and more dangerous without it. SALAM: There's a difference between decriminalization and

legalization. And the huge problem we have is basically the fact that free markets work and they're creating more potent, deadly products in this particular instance.

With regard to marijuana, the big picture is that Chris Sununu, the governor of New Hampshire, has come up with the idea of state stores. There are ways to do this that are more responsible. Alaska for 30 years said grow your own, you can do that. But let's not commercialize it. That's what's --

WALLACE: OK, I want to talk about one other aspect, and you were talking about this, Kara, and that's the politics of legalizing pot. As we said, public approval has reached an all-time high of 70 percent, among young voters ages 18 to 34, support is 79 percent, and President Biden has issued two rounds of pardons for marijuana related offenses.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As I said when I ran for president, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana. It's already legal in many states.


BIDEN: Kristen, would legalizing pot -- I can't believe I'm asking this, would it help Biden with young voters?

ANDERSON: While I don't think that it is most young voters' number one issue, it would definitely send a signal that he is not your average octogenarian politician. I think it's probably good politics whether you're Joe Biden or anyone else. Young voters are very supportive of it. Even Republicans, while they're not necessarily overwhelmingly supportive of full legalization, the view that it should be more accessible, especially for medical purposes --

SWISHER: It's not just young voters. It's a lot more than young voters. And by the way, if you're worried about this, Reihan, the FDA is now looking at MDMA and using it for various medicinal purposes for different things.


But psychedelic, this is coming in Oregon and everywhere else. So this is just the beginning --

SALAM: I think that if it's done under medical supervision thoughtfully and responsibly, that's one thing. But what we have here is an absolute free-for-all, and it's causing massive problems already. So let's hope that we pump the brakes.

WALLACE: So I need a doctor if I'm going to smoke pot?

The NFL is hitting a different high of a different kind at the Super Bowl. We'll explain. Speaking of the big game, I know I'm mentioning her again, Taylor

Swift is doing the most to watch her boyfriend play in person. Is it too much? Our gang gives its yea or nay. That's next.


WALLACE: It's time to get our group's yea or nay on some big talkers, and this week we have a special Super Bowl edition.


It all starts with a ticket. If you want to go to Las Vegas and watch the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers in person, it's going to cost you a lot. Prices are at a record high, with the cheapest seats going for $7,000. The average, average about $10,000, which is 70 percent higher than last year. And we found top tickets for $78,000.

Reihan, you are a free market guy. Are you yea or nay on paying that much?

SALAM: Oh, lord. I'm certainly a nay on personally paying that much. But I will say whenever you look at these outrageous prices, I want you to think about how much folks are paying in order to get the licensing deal to be there, to pay for the concession stand, to ensure that you're meeting all of the rules and regulations to have the folks working at the hot dog stand work for you legally. Just keep that in mind and give some forbearance to understand why these prices are so obscene.

SWISHER: Oh, come on.

WALLACE: Lulu, where are you on paying $10,000 to see the game and just, perhaps, America's favorite couple?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nay, nay, nay. OK, so there's two different things going on here, which is, first of all, I would love someone to invite me, and I would happily go. If someone wants to pay $78,000 and bring me along, I'm there. That said --

SALAM: I'd say, give me the cash.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, well, but everyone wants the experience. But this is called "fun-flation". This is actually something that we saw happening after the pandemic where everyone now wants to be in these events, and it's driven up prices. And I think it's artificial, and I think it's only allowing the most elite of elite to be able to go to these events.

SWISHER: Someone invited me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why do you always make me feel terrible?


WALLACE: Next, if you want a beer for the big game, there's new technology for bartenders pouring your brew, a tap, look at this, that works from the bottom up, using a special glass and a magnet to seal in the suds. The makers say it's a faster pour, less waste, and gives bartenders more time to take more drink orders. So Kristen, yea or nay on bottoms up beer?

ANDERSON: I'm a soft yea on this if only because I really like efficiency, and if this means you'll get a good, consistent pour, that's fine. Normally beer is my drink of choice, not as of late. But generally, yes. But there are certain times of beer for which this won't work. A good Czech pilsner for instance. It's supposed to have a lot of bubbles in it. So it won't work for every beer.

WALLACE: Wow, I'm very impressed by the expertise here.

Lulu, I know that you have stopped drinking altogether, but if they're going to fill your glass, do you want it filled that way?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, I do. I think it's cool. I think also bottoms up, right. That's the whole idea behind drinking alcohol. And I also think it allows bartenders to be very fast, they get to go and just do this and help other people get other types of drinks. And so, yes, I think it's cool.

WALLACE: OK, all right, you've got your ticket. You have your beer. Now let's talk about getting to Las Vegas for the game. Chances are, you'll have an easier time than Taylor Swift. Sources say she'll be there to support her boyfriend, who, in case you haven't heard, is Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, and she's going to rack up a ton of miles doing it.

Here's why. Swift has a concert in Tokyo the night of February 10th. She'll then have to jump on a 12-hour flight to make it to Vegas for the game on the 11th. After that, she's looking at a 17-hour flight back across the Pacific for a concert in Australia. So, Kara, yea or nay to crisscrossing the globe for your sweetheart?

SWISHER: I like it. I like the whole thing. I think ain't love grand, especially when you have a private plane? She's utterly coming, and the networks love it, everyone loves it. I think she should do an ad for -- some Super Bowl ad, which would be funny. Maybe Bud Light to drive the MAGAs really crazy.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But isn't she going to endorse Biden? I thought that's the reason she's going.


WALLACE: How about a proposal on the field?

SWISHER: No, she's not doing that. That's not Taylor Swift. She's not going to do that.

WALLACE: It would be pretty cool, though.

SWISHER: It's not -- GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are there conspiracy theories about why she's flying

there? This is the whole point. I'm a hard yea on this because I believe that you should be with the person that you love, but, also, because there are so many conspiracy theories around this that it's kind of -- it will make it exciting.

WALLACE: Yes, but listen to this, Travis won't be at the Grammys this Sunday where Taylor is up for six awards. In his defense, it's the team's travel day and he says he's got to get ready for, as he puts it, this big old Super Bowl.

Up next, Apple's mixed new reality headset is out and the reviews are in. Is it worth the hype? Find out after this.



WALLACE: We're back with over/under, and today we're focusing on Apple's new tech toy, the Vision Pro. The mixed reality headset hit the market Friday, going for $3,500. And when you add accessories, it may cost you $5,000. Apple calls the product revolutionary, the biggest thing since the iPhone. I tried it this week, yes, and, yikes, it's pretty cool. But, Kara, is the Vision Pro being over-hyped?

SWISHER: Hi, Chris, what's up?


SWISHER: I really like it. I really enjoy it. I demoed it twice. You demoed it once. I'm going to have it for a couple of weeks. And then I probably will buy it. I find it really exciting in terms of entertainment. I really like the way they've done it. It's, of course, the first generation, and there are issues around mixed reality headsets.


But I'm enjoying it, and the pictures are pretty. And Reihan looks beautiful with hello --

WALLACE: That really is a triumph of technology.


WALLACE: Kara, and I have an advantage because we've actually tried it. I found the technology astonishing, especially what they call spatial video, where you feel you're inside your home movies, or way too close to a dinosaur. But I thought the headset that somebody is wearing here, got uncomfortable, not something you would want to wear every day. Kristen, is the Vision Pro over-hyped?

ANDERSON: I'm only skeptical insofar as I remember trying on the Oculus, and in the demo there's a dinosaur that gets really close to you. And I thought, oh, this is scary. And yet we got one as a gift a Christmas or two ago, and we basically pull it out when people bring their friends, our friends bring their kids over.

WALLACE: This is the six month rule. Basically, you use it for six months, it ends up in the closet.

ANDERSON: So my husband is very into Apply products. New product releases are like the high holy holidays at our house. And he is like how can we fit this into our budget? So I just want to know, how is this different than the Oculus that is currently kind of collecting dust in our closet?

SWISHER: Well, the Oculus was designed by Facebook, and that would be the difference from people's perspective. Apple is a wonderful design company. And I do think it's the first generation of where this is going. This is not going to look like that. This is going to be glasses eventually. This is --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I don't want to live like this.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm addicted to my phone already. So do I want to have a headset and have to refer to people though this? It feels so isolating. It's isolating. I feel weird talking to you with that on.

SALAM: Something that is even more immersive is really scary.

SWISHER: But it's not going to be like that.

SALAM: Because it could be great technology, but it could --

WALLACE: I feel weird talking to Kara without it on.

SWISHER: Again, it is not what it's going to be. You remember the big Gordon Gecko phones. That was cellphones when started. This is going to change rather significantly.

SALAM: I think it is going to get better, and that's the problem, Kara. I think it's going to getting so great that actually getting to know people, being close to them, that is something --

SWISHER: You're pushing back the ocean.

SALAM: Hey, look, but I think that actually --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We're already seeing people on the street talking to people and looking like this, and now we're going to be seeing people doing this the whole time?


WALLACE: You know what I'm going to say, to quote a great woman, Kara Swisher, you're all churning butter.

SWISHER: You're all churning butter.

WALLACE: The panel is back with their predictions for what will be in the news before it is the news. That's right after the break.

Put it back on.

SWISHER: All right.


WALLACE: I have to say the technology is amazing.


WALLACE: It's time for our panel's special takes on what's happening, or predictions of what we should be looking out for. So Kristen, hit me with your best shot.

ANDERSON: If you use TikTok, be prepared to create videos without access to some of the music you may have been accustomed to before. Universal Music Group back this past week, their agreement with TikTok expired, and the ability of people to use otherwise copyrighted music -- take a look, this is an example of what a video would have looked like with somebody saying, oh, I've got a song playing over my content. Now it comes up and it says the sound has been removed due to copyright restrictions. This is a big draw for platforms like TikTok, that you can take popular songs by artists like Taylor Swift, make content around them. Without that popular music, this is a big problem, I think, for many of these platforms.

WALLACE: Kara, as our tech expert, and I'm not going to talk about Vision Pro, I know your mind is on that big hearing the Senate just held this week with the tech execs. Your thoughts?

SWISHER: So Mark Zuckerberg made that famous apology, and he kind of had to because the families were there, and visually it was a disaster for Facebook with their pictures up of kids who had been hurt by social media and died, some of them died, but hurt in may differently ways. And so he turned around and made an apology, although he's done this many times before. He always says -- he never says we're so sorry. He said I'm sorry for what you're going through.

WALLACE: Not what we did to you.

SWISHER: That's correct. That's what he should do. He never does that. But it's been an ongoing series of doing these.

What's really the problem is the performative nature of our politicians, who could do something, actually, and have neglected over and over again to pass any laws. I think the focus should be more on them than anything else. Lindsey Graham can make all the speeches he wants about blood on their hands, but the blood is also on his hands.

WALLACE: Reihan, best shot?

SALAM: I'm very concerned that the Democratic National Convention this summer in Chicago in 2024 is going to be a replay of the Democratic National Convention of 1968 when you had serious riots, serious civil violence breakouts because of a deep cleavage within the Democratic Party. We've talked about the opposition to President Biden from his left flank on the war in Israel, and I think that it's going to get worse. The mayor of Chicago himself is someone who has been a real agitator on this issue, and I worry that, unlike Mayor Daley back in 68, he might actually take the side of the rioters rather than the folks who would restore civil order.

WALLACE: Lulu, you're focused on what I think may be the most telling story of the week.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I thought so, too. Elmo wrote a tweet --

WALLACE: Of Muppet fame.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: of Muppet fame.

WALLACE: That Elmo.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That Elmo, basically wrote a tweet on X saying, how is everyone doing? Elmo wants to know. And there have been 206 million views of this tweet. And what it unleashed was this absolutely just heartbreaking outpouring of grief and pain, to the point where it forced Elmo to then have to write another tweet to say, hey, there's some mental health resources out there for everybody.

And I think it just shows, like, our isolation, our pain, and how we look to these characters for solace. Just to me, it was a heartbreaking opening into our psyche.

WALLACE: It was amazing how people responded to it.

Gang, thank you all for being here. Thank you for spending part of your day with us. And we'll see you right back here next week.