It’s President’s Day 2016. And this election year, we’re bringing you a special edition of The Glenn Beck Program. Iowa and New Hampshire have now voiced their opinions in the primaries, but most of the country has yet to vote. Over the past several months, we have extended an offer to all of the presidential candidates to sit down and talk one-on-one in a long-form setting. Many of the candidates took us up on that offer; some did not.
We weren’t looking for gotcha questions, and we didn’t want sound bite answers. Anyone can do an interview where the politicians can give a polished and rehearsed answer. But we wanted to go in depth with the people who want to lead our country through, which will be no doubt, a very intense period in our nation’s history.
For those who participated, we discussed important issues, ranging from what to do about ISIS to Common Core to favorite Founding Fathers. It’s insightful and important even from those candidates out of the presidential race who could potentially be a vice presidential candidate.
ISIS and National Security
- • We need a commander-in-chief that lays out a clear objective, and that objective should be to destroy ISIS. ISIS hates America. They've declared an Islamic caliphate. They've declared an intention to murder us. They are beheading journalists. They are lighting people on fire. They intend to wage jihad and murder millions. It is in our national security interest to prevent that. A commander-in-chief who lays out the objective, we will destroy them, I believe we can do so.
- • I think connecting U.S. national security interests to foreign policy should be the touchstone for everything we do in foreign policy.
- • I opposed Obama wanting to go into Syria and unilaterally attack Syria. Because when I asked the administration, "Well, gosh, if you succeed in toppling Assad and the chemical weapons fall into the hands of radical Islamic terrorists of al-Qaeda or al-Nusra HEP or ISIS --- how is that better for us? They had no answer for that. On the other hand, when you look at Iran, for example, the reason I led the Iran rally, the reason I led the opposition to this nuclear deal, is when the Ayatollah Khamenei says death to America, I believe him.
- • The Kurds are our friends. They're fighting ISIS right now. And ISIS has U.S. military equipment they've seized from Iraq. The Kurds have outmoded HEP equipment, but Obama doesn't want to give the Kurds weaponry because he thinks it would upset the government in Baghdad and it would upset Iran. I mean, this is lunacy.
- • I warned about ISIS in 2013. We had a vote in the Foreign Relations Committee about whether we should send arms to Islamic rebels fighting against Assad. I said, "Are any of these groups in support of recognizing Israel as a country?" Absolutely not. These are the people we're giving arms to. Do these people like Israel or like the United States? Absolutely not. And I said, "The great irony is, the people you're arming today, will be back within a year fighting against our own arms." I warned them. I didn't know the name ISIS. I didn't know IS. I didn't know any of that. But I knew they were radical jihadists and it was a mistake to give them weapons because ultimately they would turn those weapons on us.
- • The first thing you have to do if you really think ISIS is a threat to mankind and to the world, quit funding them. Quit sending arms to them. And quit giving them money.
- • I think Kurds are a real fighting force. They have a land base. They live there. They're from there. And they will fight to the death. And they're good fighters. We have 7 billion dollars worth of rotting equipment in Afghanistan. Airlift it all directly to the Kurds, or at least a portion of it.
- • Islam is not just a religion. It's also a political doctrine. And they are, in fact, one and the same. They're melted together. Unlike Christianity, which is not. Jesus didn't come to establish an earthly kingdom. Muhammad did. Muhammad governed. Muhammad set rules. Here is how civilization is to behave. And there are people who --- certainly in America, Muslims who are --- faithful Muslims who don't buy into Sharia law, don't buy into this that, you know, we're here to govern. But I would say that that is, in the world, a minority. I think that most in the world believe that Sharia law and --- is integrated into Islam, and it's hard to separate the two.
- • If you're not willing to stand up and articulate one of the most virulent threats to the security of our country --- I mean, Iran, ISIS, all these other radical --- Hezbollah, all these other organizations, they want to destroy the United States of America. You hear in their defense planning, the Iranians talking about EMPs. I'm principally concerned about that. There are other methodologies. Obviously they can attack the United States. But that's the most cataclyzmic one. And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that that can happen.
- • If the Muslim accepts the whole Islamic mantra, which includes Sharia that to me is not compatible with our Constitution.
- • One of the reasons they're [ISIS] being so successful with their recruitment efforts is because they have, in fact, established a caliphate: half of Iraq, a third of Syria, beachheads in Somalia, Nigeria, Tunisia. And they are looking extraordinarily successful, and they're able to offer people who frequently live in pretty desperate situations, some semblance of prestige in their life and money that they can send to their families. What I would do is make them not look like winners. How would you do that? Well, the easiest place I think to go is Iraq. The government in Iraq is pretty much in shambles at this stage in the game. But I think it would be relatively easy to take the territory back from them. That would be a huge blow to their prestige.
- • I think we would have to put our own people on the ground. We also have a lot of Special Forces. We have capabilities that are very substantial. We have the capabilities of doing things. But our people won't let them do it.
- • There are several factions of the Kurds. The one that we hear about the most are the Peshmerga. The PKK is the faction of the Kurds that Turkey is at war with. And, you know, I definitely think we should be directly helping them. I think they're an enormous fighting force who has a tremendous history. And they have a lot of variations, including Christians, among them.
- • We're going to have to go and build our military. That means more resources. That means the right people in the right places that understand the whole point of our military is to be the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. We have to take the political handcuffs off the military and have the right people in place to say, all right, if we send the military in, it's to get a mission done, to be victorious, and then to come home.
- • Under this president, you've gotten the extreme where America tries to retreat from the world. Our friends don't trust us. Our enemies don't fear and respect us.
- • The other extreme in American foreign policy is we cannot remake the world in our image by force. People don't want to change, you can't force them to change. This is the greatest country in the history of the world. We're exceptional. We're unique. It's naive to think that everybody else is going to be the same. They're not. And we're blessed to be here.
- • We can give them moral support. There are soft tools in diplomacy. That doesn't mean we should be sending boots on the ground every chance there is. What Reagan understood was, the best way to avoid war is to prepare for it. So you build up that military so they don't test you.
- • I've been absolutely consistent in this. We have to secure the border. We've talked about it every election. We haven't done it for 25 years. Securing the border takes, what? Money, manpower, technology, mostly, apparently it takes political willpower and leadership.
- • For sanctuary cities, I would enforce federal law. The legal immigration system has been broke for 25 years. We talk about it. Nothing happens.
- • Pass a border security bill. How hard is this?
- • We have to fix the legal immigration system. We hand out Mexican border crossing cards every day. We don't check to see if anybody goes home. If you come in on a legal visa, we never see if you've left. We have to fix the legal immigration system.
- • The reason zero-based budgeting is so important is because it's only when we know where our money is being spent that we can prioritize our money. Have you ever noticed, most people have when they think about it, that the federal government spends more money every year and never has enough money to do the important things. Never. Securing the border is the federal government's job, yet they never have enough money.
- • There's a website called NumbersUSA.com. And Numbers USA actually rates all the candidates, Republicans and Democrats, on the immigration issue, both legal and illegal and what they're going to do on everything from birthright citizenship to securing the border. And there's only one person who gets an A --- that would be Rick Santorum.
- • Since 2000, there have been 5.7 new new jobs created between 2000 and 2014. Of those 5.7 million net new jobs created, what percentage are held by people who are not born in this country? The answer: All of them.
- • Half the people who are here [illegally], are here are on visa overstays. We know their names. We know where they live. And you know what we don't do? We don't tell them to go home. In fact, we encourage them not to go home.
- • We should protect this country. And in particular that his [Obama's] plan to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees makes no sense. The administration cannot vet whether these individuals are affiliated with ISIS. Whether there are ISIS terrorists among us. And we shouldn't be bringing in people that are coming in to wage jihad.
- • It's a very different situation with the persecuted Christians in the Middle East, who are facing persecution, who are facing genocide. And we should be working to provide a safe haven for them. I know that's been a passion of yours and mine for a long time. And in response to that, President Obama says you and I and millions of Americans who want to keep this country safe, that we are both offensive and un-American. And I will note there's something particularly rich about the president calling you un-American as he's standing in Turkey, on foreign soil, lambasting the desire to keep the United States safe.
- • If you look at the refugee wave that's pouring into Europe right now, one estimate is that 77 percent of those refugees are young males. That is a very unusual demographic for a refugee wave. We know that at least one of the terrorists who committed these horrific attacks in Paris came through with the refugees. And yet the president insists we're going to vet them. Well, the director of the FBI, who I might note Barack Obama appointed, the director of the FBI told Congress they can't vet them. Because they said, "Look, we can run a query in the database. But if we don't have any information in the database about who are Syrian terrorists and who aren't, we can run the query until the cows come home. It's not going to tell us anything."
- • Border fence. Yes or no? The right kind of fence, yes. Right kind of fence means what has worked in the past, like in Yuma County, Arizona. A double fence with the asphalt so you can get rapidly from point to point.
- • Prosecute first time offenders. You can't catch and release.
- • Fine companies that hire illegals? Absolutely.
- • Deport illegals? I would give people the ability to register in a certain period of time, and if they have pristine records and they're willing to work as guest workers under the circumstances that we provide, they could stay. But they don't become citizens and they don't vote.
Featured Image: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Ohio Governor John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Carson stand on stage during a CBS News GOP Debate February 13, 2016 at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Residents of South Carolina will vote for the Republican candidate at the primary on February 20. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)