The Candidates on ISIS, National Security and Immigration

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

Ted Cruz:

    • 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.

Rand Paul:

    • 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.

Rick Santorum

    • 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.

Ben Carson

    • 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.

Bobby Jindal

    • 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.

Immigration

Carly Fiorina

    • 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.

Rick Santorum

    • 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.

Ted Cruz

    • 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."

    Ben Carson

      • 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)

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.