President-elect Donald Trump administration beginning to take shape; Anthem set to defend its $48-billion deal for Cigna; Plus is Mexico really



Anthem set to defend its $48-billion deal for Cigna; Plus is Mexico really

ready for some football? The major concerns surrounding tonight's game in

Mexico City; And it is never too late to take the field, the inspiring

story of one football player, 55 years in the making; And now a truly

moving story, inspirational, 9-years-ago, Connecticut doctor, William

Petit, survived a home invasion that left him on the brink of death, and

tragically claims the lives of wife and his two daughters. This year, Dr.

Petit decided to run for state office and he won, unsetting an 11-term

incumbent; Then music upstaged by politics at the American Music Awards - Part 2>

Max, Jack Otter, KT zu Guttenberg , Newt Gingrich >

PETER BARNES, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Yeah. That's right, Maria. The president-elect continues his parade of possible today, he'll meet with former Texas governor, Rick Perry, as you mentioned, at Trump Tower today after the weekend meetings at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Perry is said to be a candidate for energy or agriculture secretary. Mr. Trump met this weekend with other candidates and advisors, including New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is still in the running for secretary of state. Retired marine Corp general, James Mattis, who is up for secretary of defense. And as you discuss at the top of the show, former Republican 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who was a leading Trump critic during the campaign, once calling Trump a conman, Romney is said to be up for secretary of state as well. The top Democrat in the senate, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned that his party will take a hard look at all of Trump nominees -- Trump's nominees, even if they are fellow senators like Alabama, Jeff Sessions. Trump has picked Sessions to be his attorney general.


CHUCK SCHUMER, U.S. SENATOR: For any of these nominees, I think the watchword is a thorough, thorough vetting, don't say absolutely not, but they have to answer and satisfy American people about a whole lot of questions even if you are a senator.


BARNES: Schumer says that to get his vote, Sessions needs to pledge to run a strong civil rights division at the Justice Department, Maria.

BARTIROMO: All right, Peter. Thank you so much, Peter Barnes in Washington, right now. And now a truly moving story, inspirational, 9- years-ago, Connecticut doctor, William Petit, survived a home invasion that left him on the brink of death, and tragically claims the lives of wife and his two daughters. This year, Dr. Petit decided to run for state office and he won, unsetting an 11-term incumbent. Joining me right now in his first national TV interview as being elected, and Fox Business exclusive is Dr. Petit. Doctor, good to see you.


BARTIROMO: . thank you so much for joining us.

PETIT: Thank you very much.

BARTIROMO: Our condolences to you and your family, what a tragic situation. Tell us what was behind the decision to run for office.

PETIT: Mostly it was my concern about the fiscal future of the state. I have a little boy, William. I'm remarried to Christine, we've been married for four years. And I'm worried about the future of our state, and felt like were going down the wrong fiscal path. And instead of complaining all the time, I thought I should jump in and try helped make a change.

BARTIROMO: And do you feel that -- obviously, the message resonated, it's a similar message that we're seeing in country at large.

PETIT: I think so. In Connecticut, we've even up the senate, its 18-18, and we're close as we have been in the house, 79-72. The Democrats still the majority, but it's as close as both houses have been for many years.

BARTIROMO: Yeah. I think this is a really good point, because Republicans have increased their control in the state legislature, so the highest level since the Civil War. And yet, they still are in the minority. That does discourage you? I mean, this is an uphill climb.

PETIT: Definitely. Certainly, hopeful that we would take 12 seats in the house, and be able to have at least a 76, 75 majority. That didn't happen, we picked up 8 seats, 79-72, I think we're going to have to work in a bipartisan way to make things happen, because we have a lot of major fiscal issues to contend with.

BARTIROMO: I mean, when you look at the economy and jobs, we're talking about a stagnant situation, much like we're seeing in the U.S. at large, and then you've got all these businesses moving out of the state. Look what happened in terms of General Electric, one of the largest leaves Connecticut.

PETIT: Well, I think that has to do with businesses, faith in the state in terms of the structure of the state government, reliability, and what can they depend on in the future, and I think they all know that we have long term liabilities, we have huge pension, and health care liabilities that we have not attended to. And I think the businesses rightly so are thinking if we don't pay attention to those, they're going to start looking in other places, so we really need to pay attention to our long term debt.

BARTIROMO: What are the policies that you feel most passionate about, is that one of the most important things that you want to -- that you ran on debt.

PETIT: Yeah, simply I ran on the budget, trying to fixing the deficit and cope with our long-term liabilities, as well as trying to help small business. My point of view, it's always been the small businesses tend to be the lifeblood of cities and states. So you need to do whatever you can to help small businesses.

BARTIROMO: Well, small business one of the reasons I think Donald Trump was elected, because small business was desperate for Trump economics, is that what you're talking about?

PETIT: I think it's about trying to get rid of fees, taxes, regulations, that encumber small businesses from being able to start, for being able to grow, and trying to prosper. We, in 1992, passed by an 81 to 19 percent margin, a constitutional spending cap. And it yet, never implemented it in 25 years, I think that will be a big first step to try to really have the constitutional spending cap.

BARTIROMO: Every time we speak with business managers on this program they talk about the regulations really hampering their ability to grow. And their ability to actually hire more people, that includes Obamacare. You are a medical doctor, tell us about impact of affordable care act?

PETIT: I think for a lot of people it's been very, very difficult. I think part of it is part and parcel of modern medicine, that's the electronic medical records, like -- most people when they see their position they want to be able to sit across from him or her and look in people's eyes and talk eye-to-eye, as opposed is to someone with head down typing at computer. I think that a little part of it. Obviously, we may need more competition between states in terms of insurances because we've seen what happened with the deductibles and people's policy premiums, which have gone up a great deal in the last couple of years.

BARTIROMO: So what can do you to address that?

PETIT: I don't know if there is a lot we can do at the state level, I think mostly Federal. Certainly, I was a part of the -- I'm part of the Connecticut state medical society, and we fought against most of the mergers that you've shown on some of your previous stories, because we're afraid that some of the mergers of the big insurance companies lead to less competition and lead to problems with network adequacy. The availability of people to be able to access the physicians they want to access.

BARTIROMO: Yeah. I think this is a great point, because a lot of the insurance companies, they're trying to merge. And probably it only makes it worse for the people who are paying the insurance, because it's more dominant.

PETIT: Definitely. I mean, if you have a relationship with someone for 5, or 10, or 20 years, the network is there and someone gets pushed out, and you have to choose, you know, that's a very difficult thing when you've been dealing with a chronic G.I. condition, or diabetes, or heart conditions, you have to change. So I think, you -- you know just like, when I ran for office we've said people before politics, they think in terms of medicine it's got to be patient care, patient care before insurance. You got to put the patient in the center of the circle, and changes that you make try to help the patient -- so work from inside-out as opposed to outside-in.

BARTIROMO: What do you want to see from the Trump administration in terms of its approach toward the state, what do you need to see from the Federal government?

PETIT: Certainly, I'm sure that -- most, most states would want to see as much Federal money as they can, especially, Connecticut, given the promise that we've run into. I know he's got some issues with the department of education, and I have always felt that education was best handled at the local level. I think we have excellent well trained people at the local and state level to be able to run the education. So I'm not sure that we need a lot of oversight from the Federal government in terms of our educational system.

BARTIROMO: And he has said a number of times, for handful of issues, leave it to states. You know, we looked at that in terms of education, he also looked at that in terms of minimum wage, let the state decide on these things.

PETIT: Yeah. And I would agree, certainly, the education, end of it I think we do a great job in Connecticut. I think we have a great educational system both preschool, grammar school, high school, and at the university level, I think we can handle most of it. Perhaps the Federal government's best role in terms of education is research and looking at best practices, if you will, in maybe that's the best role for the Federal government, is national research in terms of best methods.

BARTIROMO: Well, congratulations on your success Dr. Petit. Let me ask you, I mean, the tragedy that you endured nine years ago, I mean, you are an inspirational character, obviously, and people at home we're just wonder how you did it, how you got over such a tragedy.

PETIT: Well, I was -- I was fortunate to have a wonderful, large, and loving family, a lot of friends, so I got surrounded by a lot of people. And when people come up and talk to me about it I say, you know, when you have a big tragedy, when you have something that may cause huge stress in your life, maybe even to the point of PTSD, you need professional help. So people come up to me and I say, you know, your friends and family need to be friends and family, you need professional help, you need to avail yourself of proper care in terms of psychologists, psychiatrist, et cetera, because you can't you're your friends and family to be your professional caretakers. They need to be your friends and families, so they can't be your doctor. So you really need to get the therapy that you need. There's a lot of techniques, cognitive behavioral techniques that are very helpful to people. But, again, I was fortunate -- I know it's difficult for many people who are not surrounded by large groups of people.

BARTIROMO: Well, I know that you're grateful for that, and we're grateful that you came on the show today. Thank you so much, Dr. Petit.

PETIT: Thank you, thank you.

BARTIROMO: Good to see you. We will be watching Connecticut, and what the legislature can do with growth there, Dr. William Petit, joining us. Coming up next, a health care showdown in Federal court today, fireworks expected as Anthem defends its massive merger with Cigna. Then music upstaged by politics at the American Music Awards, Stuart Varney will sound off on that, and the liberal bias once again. Back in a minute.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We are about 45 minutes away from the opening bell. We're expecting a higher opening for the broader averages today. Take a look at stocks this morning up 20. We're watching shares of GoPro, the company will now give owners of its plagued Karma Drone a free Hero 5 camera when they return the failed device. GoPro was forced to recall its highly anticipated drone after only 2 months due to a power issue. GoPro shares are down better than 51 percent over the last year. We're watching Anthem, the health insurer head to court today to defend its deal to acquire Cigna for $48 billion. We've just heard what Dr. Petit thinks about that. The Justice Department claims the acquisition would eliminate competition. Anthem and Cigna have both accused each other of breaching terms of the agreement. Well, did you catch the American Music Awards last night, striking a political tone, but was the commentary necessary? Joining me right now the host of Varney & Co., Stuart Varney. Stu.

STUART VARNEY, VARNEY & CO. HOST: It was outrageous. Let's say it, it was insulting, and frankly, disgusting. And I'm glad I didn't see it. And I hope the ratings are awful that they are. I just wonder what Middle- America thinks, when it watches TV, and we see the model, Gigi Hadid, mocking Melania Trump. Assuming this awful, fake foreign accent, trying to be funny, can you imagine if somebody mocked Michelle Obama in this way, can you imagine the outrage? But she can do it with impunity because she's mocking Melania Trump. And then we have the band, Green Day, their last album I think was called, American Idiot, which flopped, they were on the stage -- there they are on the stage talking about no KKK, no Trump, no Trump, Trump is a fascist. Do these people realize -- what America thinks when they look at this nonsense on national television? I think it's good for Trump's cause quite frankly.

BARTIROMO: It's actually ridiculous, Stuart, you're right. And the mocking of Melania Trump, why they think they can get away with that. Dagen made the right point earlier, Dagen.


BARTIROMO: Do it again.

MCDOWELL: Stuart, I said that models are not only paid to look beautiful, they're clearly also paid to shut up. (LAUGHTER)

MCDOWELL: But, I'll add this, you know what, the Trump supporters they weren't bothered by Trump taking shots at people, the people that Trump took shots at are meeting with him about potential cabinet positions, for Pete's sake. So I don't think like people who voted for Donald Trump they look at this and go, eh, go away.

VARNEY: Yeah, that's right, I'm tired of you. I think people are outraged by it, quite frankly. On national television they do that?


VARNEY: I mean, really, come on.


VARNEY: I think it's good for Trump's side, quite frankly. That is what I think.

BARTIROMO: Well, I mean, the other thing is why do this band think that -- we think they know anything about economics and how to create jobs?

VARNEY: It's laughable, isn't it? It really is laughable. The left is restricted now to the coastal elites. They've got the entertainment industry, they've got some media, they've got some high-powered executives, and they've got the left coast Silicon Valley. I don't think they've got much else, quite frankly.

BARTIROMO: Well, they have to get use to saying it, President Trump.


BARTIROMO: Say it again, President Trump.

VARNEY: I'm going to go to Starbucks, and I'm going to give my name as Trump. So the barista will say, Trump.

MCDOWELL: I dare you.

BARTIROMO: You want to start talking about, what, race issues, and.

MCDOWELL: Yeah, coming together.

VARNEY: It is.

BARTIROMO: Come together. Thanks, Stu, we'll see you in about 10 minutes. Varney & Co. begins top of the hour, 9:00 AM Eastern, right after Mornings With Maria. Join Stuart in the next 10 minutes. Coming up, when the Raiders and the Texans face off tonight in Mexico, the biggest challenge could come from stadium itself, why some athletes call it the world's worst place to play. Back in a minute. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. So the NFL looks to expand its international reach, it is headed south of the border to Mexico City tonight, the game coming with controversy, Fox News Headline sports reporter, Jared Max with all the details now, Jared.

JARED MAX, FOX NEWS HEADLINE SPORTS REPORTER: Maria, happy Monday. Forget playing football in mile high city, 5280 feet above sea level, that's like 20,000 leagues under the sea compared to what players on the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans may encounter tonight. Monday Night Football, Mexico City style. First time in 11 years, the NFL goes south of the border, Azteca Stadium, one of the most famous soccer venue in the world, 2000-feet higher in altitude than Denver, but their air quality is anything but crisp, pollution rains to the point that a former U.S. national soccer star, Eric Wynalda, told USA Today Sports, it's the worst place to ever play a sporting event. They'll break a record for how many oxygen masks they'll have on the sidelines. Teams are scheduled to arrive yesterday in Mexico City. Not much time to aculeate

Sunday night football outside the Nation's Capital, Washington Redskins pounded the Green Bay Packers, the skins racked up over 500 yards offense. Kurt Cousins have the Packers screaming uncle. Here he had a 70 yard touchdown at the 4th quarter, Washington makes it 6 wins in 8 games, 42 to 24, four straight losses for Green Bay. It happened, it happened, Joe Thomas Sr. got into a game Saturday for South Carolina State, 55-year-old, Joe Smith Sr., the oldest player in division one college football history. Now, four years ago, he pulled a Rodney Dangerfield, went to school to pursue a degree in engineering and revive his athletic career. So the father of Joe Smith, Jr., who also went to SC State, who plays for the Packers, Joe Sr., ran the ball four times minus one yard in a 32-0 win over Savannah State.

And hey, there's a new name in the NASCAR record books, alongside the late Dale Earnhardt and also Richard Petty. Season ending championship race yesterday in Homestead, Florida, Jimmy Johnson held off defending sprint cup champion, Kyle Busch, and also Joey Logano, as Johnson win his 7th NASCAR championship. On the day that also marked the end of a short hall of fame racing career of three time champion, Tony Stuart. Dagen, Tony Stuart a controversial figure in racing, one of the most successful in our time, and also a controversial figure in ways a tough guy, what should we remember most about him?

MCDOWELL: The man can drive anything, and he's not going to stop driving. He's just -- he's not going to drive NASCAR anymore. He's a multi-champion in a bunch of different dirt cars. He won the Indy racing league championship before he started running NASCAR. He's been in NASCAR in the top series for 18 years. He's a wheel man as they say. And controversial, of course, he will throw a helmet or used to throw a helmet, or throw a punch. But I think that's what's missing in NASCAR a little bit, just let it fly, just personality, they tried to -- I think that the management there tried to control it to the point that it's just hideously boring at times. And the racing -- on track racing it can be boring.

MAX: You know what's used to be hideously boring, extra points in football, until last year they moved it back from the 2 yard line, 13 yards back. And yesterday, I don't know if you saw this, called the dirty dozen, it was the most missed extra points on one Sunday into the NFL. And it also happened on the day when Adam Vinateri, the kicker for the Colts, who made a record 44 field goals in a row without a miss, he missed one yesterday, so.

MCDOWELL: One thing I will add, Tony Stuart is still going to racing on dirt, go to your local dirt track, support local racing in that way. There you go. That's America.

JACK OTTER, BARON.COM EDITOR: Can he drive anything? Can he drive politics?

MCDOWELL: You know, he's smart enough to know to never get involved in politics, I'll say that.

BARTIROMO: Jared, thank you.

MAX: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: We'll take a short break. We've got final thoughts from all- star panel next. Back in a minute.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Final thoughts from our all-star panel, KT zu Guttenberg.

KT ZU GUTTBERG, FORMER GERMAN FEDERAL MINISTER OF DEFELSE: I just received a tweet from Germany. You've heard that Angela Merkel is running again, so she's meeting with Trump the first time, it's like Mother Teresa meeting Bart Simpson. And then I retweeted, you don't say such a thing. That's very rude. So let's try to be good partners across the Atlantic.

BARTIROMO: That's good stuff.

MCDOWELL: Still an American treasure.

OTTER: In this country as well, we talked about the left-closed elitist, as Varney said not understanding Middle America, that is true. And everyone else needs to understand the left is very worried about all these KKK stuff.

BARTIROMO: We've got to jump. Stuart Varney begins right now, over to you, Stu. END

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