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GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum on Donald Trump’s Call for a Ban on all Muslim Immigrants

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I end the last hour with GOP presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum, talking about Donald Trump’s call to ban all further Muslim immigration and Obama’s recent remarks about ISIS.

The audio: 12-07hhs-santorum

The transcript:

HH: 44 minutes after the hour, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. I will be joined on the stage in Las Vegas next week by many Republicans, one of whom is Republican senator, Rick Santorum. Senator Santorum, great to have you back on the program. Always good to talk to you.

RS: Well, thank you, sir, and I look forward to seeing you in Vegas.

HH: EVery where I turn, I run into Santorum people. You know Jeff Hunt is taking over the Centennial Institute here at–

RS: Oh wonderful.

HH: . . . Yes, the Colorado Christian University is now Jeff Hunt’s land and then I ran into Commissioner Leinbach on the Cog Railroad at the top Pike’s Peak yesterday and he’s a big Santorum guy.

RS: (Laughs) Yes, well both of them [are] former employees of mine just so you know.

HH: I do, and I just think that’s very odd and unusual. Senator Santorum, I want to begin with the obvious headline of the afternoon. Donald Trump issued a statement earlier today that no Muslims at all should be allowed into the United States until the United States Government gets its act together. I’m going to tread that to interpret it to exempt diplomats, heads-of-state, things like that, but he’s obviously calling for a halt or moratorium on immigration on Muslims. What do you make of that proposal?

RS: I wouldn’t support a ban on all Muslims coming into this country, but what I would say is that this administration has proven that they’re vetting techniques are sorely lacking and it’s not surprising because they don’t believe that Islam is a problem and I’m sure, I don’t know, but I suspect that they may not be asking the right questions of people who are going through this vetting process. So I understand why Donald Trump is saying what he’s saying.

We have a president who doesn’t take the threat of radical Islam seriously. I think [that] certainly there are Muslims coming into this country, are not ones we have to be concerned about, but if the president isn’t going to do the job of actually properly vetting people who are coming into this country who, because they are Muslims, have a potential of being radical than we have to look at at least curbing, and what I’ve suggested is we need to get rid of the visa lottery program which is people coming in on a lottery basis from third-world countries, most of which are Islamic, and I have actually said that we do need to get rid of his program and get rid of something called chain immigration, which is to bring people from those countries and relatives and automatically have an opportunity to come into this country because of a family member being here. So while I don’t support a blanket ban, I do support something that will dramatically reduce the number coming into this country and I think it’s appropriate because the president isn’t reliably vetting these people.

HH: Now let me read you some of the reactions online. David Corn, hard-left, Mother Jones, “Boy, now I really do wonder why they hate us.” Robert Wright, man of the left, but not hard-left, “Other GOP candidates should stress this: Trump’s literally increasing chances Americans will die in terrorist attacks.” Fred Kaplan, “Does Trump understand beside the deep disgrace how much he’s aiding and abetting ISIS?” What do you make of those sorts of reactions?

RS: It’s completely wrongheaded. That does not aid and abet ISIS. What aids and abets ISIS is not defeating them, this is a war against not propaganda. They’re not winning because of the propaganda that “Americans don’t like Muslims.” They hate the West. They don’t care if we hate them. What they care about, is if we take them on and we defeated them because if we defeat them, if we take their land, then they don’t have legitimacy in the Muslim world. This is the false narrative of the Left, but somehow or another, it’s us and our attitude towards Muslims that causing this problem. Wrong. It is them and their attitude toward Christians and toward the “infidels” that they believe it is their duty to subdue, conquer, and convert them.

HH: By them, you mean the Islamists, not Muslims of the traditional variety in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other places.

RS: Of course, I’m talking specifically about ISIS.

HH: I understood you, but the Left never understands anything. They don’t want to understand it.

RS: And I might add Iran to that. All of the radical jihadist groups, whether it’s ISIS, al-Qaeda, Iran, all of them have the same ideology which is to spread Islam globally and do it by whatever means necessary including the terrorism of the sort.

HH: SO let me play for you what the president said last night about a couple of things about guns, cut number 2.

BO: It’s your call. We have to work together to address the challenge. There are several steps that Congress should take right away. To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a “no-fly” list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terror suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.

HH: Rick Santorum, your reaction.

RS: Well, from what I understand, I don’t know of any law enforcement that is actually calling for this, that is calling for either the “no-fly” list or the terrorist watch list to be used. I clearly, if there’s a background check done and they’re on a “no-fly” list, then the FBI could say, “We don’t want this person to get a gun.” The FBI does a background, if the FBI suspects that this person is a terrorist, they can tell the gunowner, “No, they don’t approve.” But there’s flexibility with the FBI to determine whether this person has suspicion [and] concern that should have access to a gun. As you know, Ted Kennedy was the base fly list or the terrorist watch list at one point. So this a red herring. The FBI has the authority right now of someone who is a suspected terrorist to tell the gun shop-owner not to sell the gun.

HH: The ultimate red herring in the president’s speech last night came earlier, Senator Santorum. Let me play for this, cut number 1.

BO: And it’s group’s like ISIL [who] grew stronger a midst the chaos of war in Iraq and then Syria and as the Internet erases the distance between countries, we see growing efforts by terrorist to poison the minds of people like the Boston marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers.

HH: Now Senator Santorum, when he says it grew stronger in the chaos of Iraq, actually I’m finishing up right now the new book, “ISIS” by Michael Weiss and Hassan, his son. ISIS was destroyed. He’s trying to create a false narrative. If we had won the war, he’d reopen the door.

RS: Yes, it was Iraq. The fact that the president opened up the door, number 1, by leaving Iraq and leaving Sunni Muslims who fought with us side-by-side to defeat al-Qaeda and we said we would stand with them to make sure that they would be protected by a regime that was looming more and more toward Iraq, which is, Iraqi government that is Shi’ite. And we would be there to make sure that they’re secure, stable, and have economic opportunities, and we left them. And that allowed ISIS, al-Qaeda/ISIS to rise again and cause the death and destruction that we’ve seen. There is no question that Barack Obama’s fingerprints are all over ISIS and he [inaudible] because he’s not doing what’s necessary to end the ISIS threat which is to take back that land.

HH: Stay with me, Senator Santorum, we’ll be right back on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

– – – – – – –

HH: 55 minutes after the hour, America, I’ll be in Las Vegas next week as one of the panelists for the next Republican debate between all of the would-be Republican nominees, one of them United States Senator Rick Santorum, formerly senator from Pennsylvania joins me for a very brief last segment of today’s show. Senator Santorum, the jihadis that struck in my background, San Bernardino, last week, had evaded detection. One of the things we did was disembowel the Patriot Act and the collection of metadata. I don’t know what you thought about then, I don’t know what you think about it now, but what should be about that?

RS: I disagreed with it then, I opposed the USA Safe Act, criticized the people who were weakening this program without any cause. I continue to criticize Ted Cruz and Rand Paul for leading that effort to weaken our ability to track metadata. Just so people know, we’re not recording calls and having those calls available for people to listen. We’re tracking numbers and time of call and who they communicated with as far as the other numbers they’re tracking to. That is essential information if we’re going to be able to track terror networks and communication.

[phone breaks up]

HH: We lost you Senator, did you drop out there?

End of Interview

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