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Senator Rick Santorum On The Iran Deal And The Syrian/Libyan Refugee Crisis

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The audio:

09-09hhs-santorum

The transcript:

HH: Next week at this time, I will be at the Reagan Library talking to this man, Rick Santorum. I believe that it’s the same hour at which the first debate will be held. Senator Santorum, welcome back, it is always a great pleasure to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

RS: Thank you, Dr. Hewitt, it is great to be on your show again.

HH: Can I throw hardballs at your head on Wednesday next?

RS: When did you not throw hardballs at my head?

HH: All right, let’s start right there. The Democrats are going to filibuster the Iran deal. Should the Republicans in the Senate invoke the Reid rule and break the filibuster so we make people vote on this?

RS: I think the Republicans in the Senate should declare that the President has violated the Corker-Cardin agreement by not submitting the complete deal in a timely fashion, and they should declare that procedure null and void. They should then proceed to a vote as a treaty. They should make this a treaty vote and let the Democrats filibuster a treaty vote if they want to filibuster a treaty vote.

HH: Now that is exactly what George Pataki said, and then I pushed him on the reality of the fact that Corker-Cardin has got so many Republicans, except for Tom Cotton, signed onto it, that they will never do that. And so the reality is the only way to get to a vote is to break the filibuster. Should they break it, Senator Santorum?

RS: Well, see, look, the fact is that they have violated, the President has violated Corker-Cardin. I mean, Ted Cruz says well, he violated and the clock shouldn’t start. That’s not what the law says. The law says he’s got a few days to do it, and if he doesn’t do it, then the act doesn’t kick in, period. So look, this is a treaty. If you really want to, the fact that we’ve, that Republicans in the House and the Senate bailed out on any kind of push to make this a treaty vote, and to make the President get the votes he needs, if you make this a treaty, and you say this, that we will treat this as a treaty, I don’t see anything in the Constitution that the President has to submit a treaty. The Senate can say this is a treaty. By every facet of what a treaty is, this is a treaty. It has huge consequences to this country, and it should be treated accordingly. And sometimes, you know, Senators and Congressmen can take a step back and say this was not the deal that you told us was going to be the deal that Corker-Cardin passed, and that you’ve created an entirely different patina here, and as a result, we are going to paint a brand new picture.

HH: Well, I agree. I’m 100% in agreement with you, but I’m also living in the reality of what’s going down right now. And what’s going to go down right now is they could bring a resolution, a joint resolution, actually, saying this is a treaty, but they can’t get the joint resolution to the floor without 60 votes, and the Democrats won’t let it on. Honestly, if it’s this bad, shouldn’t we break the filibuster?

RS: Well, I mean, you know, Hugh, you and I have talked about this a million times. And bad facts make bad laws. And the bad fact is that this is a horrible treaty, and this is going to have a huge impact on the security of our country. The question is whether you want to break a procedure that has stopped other horribly bad things from happening to our country because of it. And so, and that’s the problem. And Harry Reid, you know, broke the filibuster for nominations, and I’m just, I’m not willing, Hugh, to go down that road and further validate that.

HH: Now that puts you in a different category with some of the other Republicans. Let me follow up on it. Earlier today, the Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted out, he tweeted this out a few hours ago, to Israel, you will not see the next 25 years.

RS: Yeah.

HH :God willing, there will be nothing, and until then, struggling and heroic jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists.

RS: And we can’t, and you’re convincing me, Hugh, you’re convincing yourself that the Senate can’t take all of these facts that you are going to read to me and make the case that this has serious consequences to the security of our country and to our allies, and that we should vote it as a treaty. So I mean, if you can’t make the case to vote it as a treaty, how are you going to make the case to vote it as a filibuster? I mean, it’s…

HH: Well, that’s what I’m trying to do.

RS: So we break the filibuster. He vetoes it.

HH: I need you.

RS: If we break the filibuster and he vetoes it, and we’re still no better off. And all we’ve done is cut down one more procedure that stops big government from getting bigger.

HH: Well, the alternative to that is, A) the way to move it is to get Senators to, one Senator somewhere other than Jim Talent, to say kill the filibuster for this purpose is that if they pass a joint resolution of the Congress saying this is a treaty, that will make it a treaty. But you need that joint resolution, otherwise Obama will talk over all of us, like he’s talking over Ted and Donald and Sarah today.

RS: I would rather have, I guess my point is I’d rather have the vote on a joint resolution saying this is a treaty than I would over a flawed bailout procedure that was negotiated prior to this agreement even being finally constituted.

HH: I agree. Can a joint resolution be filibustered?

RS: Well, you know, now you’re, you know, I’m a little too far away from the Senate to remember that, to be very honest with you. I don’t know.

HH: That might be the way out is to go with a joint resolution if it can’t be filibustered. Let me ask you a couple of other things. You know that Soleimani is going to get $100 billion dollars out of this deal.

RS: Yes.

HH: And he runs the Quds Forces.

RS: Right.

HH: And for the benefit of the audience, he’s the worst guy in the world, and he’s also very talented, as Stanley McChrystal told me in my own studio. He’s a charismatic leader of incredible ability. What’s he going to do with $100 billion dollars, Rick Santorum?

RS: Well, he’s going to make sure that all of the friends of Iran, whether it’s Syria or Hamas or Hezbollah and a variety of other terrorist networks are going to have the capabilities that they need to be able to, well, destroy the state of Israel, for number one. I mean, I don’t think they’re going to launch a nuclear weapon anytime soon from Iran to destroy Israel. What they can do is launch much more capable forces from Lebanon, from Gaza, from other places, and let the other, let these terror networks do their dirty work, and just like they did. You know, Hugh, they were providing all sorts of munitions to the resistance in Iraq that were killing Americans, and we did nothing. I mean, that was the Quds Force. They were providing all of this training and support for the Mahdi armies and the like. So this is what they do. This is what they’re very good at. And now that they’ll have resources to be able to buy improved weapons and the ability to have the legitimacy now of being a future nuclear state, who’s going to really mess with them? Who’s going to step in their way?

HH: Yeah, well, we are becoming the quartermaster of the Quds Forces, in essence. We are supplying them.

RS: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. This, we are doing more to spread terror with this agreement than, I would argue, that Iran has probably done in the last ten years. I can’t imagine they’ve put $100 billion dollars into terrorism, and we’re going to do that in the next few years.

HH: Lindsey Graham, who will be opposite you on the stage, said to me yesterday we need 10,000 American troops as part of a multinational force in Syria fighting to restore order. What does Rick Santorum say?

RS: No, I don’t support that. I think what we have to do is, I do believe we need to have more troops in Iraq. I think that’s where the battlefield against ISIS needs to be. And I’ve supported more boots on the ground, including potentially front-line troops if necessary, to accomplish that mission.

HH: George Pataki said, and he’ll be on the stage with you next week, Islamist propaganda in the United States calling for jihad should be stopped, and he urged legislation or FCC rulings to do that. Do you support that attempt to cabin the 1st Amendment’s understanding of being limited to speech which has the intent of and the present ability to cause violence?

RS: Yeah, I mean, obviously this, there is, the 1st Amendment is very broad, but it doesn’t allow you to incite violence. It doesn’t allow you to encourage terrorism. It doesn’t allow you to yell fire in a crowded theater. I mean, there are threats to public health and safety that are clearly prescribed in lots of court decisions that the government can limit speech. And if this speech is determined to be inciting violence of treasonous activities, or whatever the case may be, it clearly can be proscribed and prosecuted.

HH: Last couple of questions about the refugee crisis, Rick Santorum. People know, we’ve talked about this for a long time. You’re a man of deep faith. You’re Catholic, like I am. Pope Francis says every household, every parish in Europe should take in refugees. What ought the American response to the refugee, four million Syrians, a million Libyans, arguably this is because of Obama-Clinton policy in both Syria and Libya. What’s our job here? What’s our responsibility?

RS: Well, as you know, Hugh, we already take in 70% of U.N. refugees in the world today. And that’s, and we’ve taken in over the last six years under President Obama over half a million refugees. So we’ve taken more than any other country in the world. So no one can look to us and say oh, you know, you’re not doing your share. We’re doing more than our share. As you also know, Hugh, the most, the best thing we can do is to provide…

HH: I actually didn’t know that first part. That was news to me, so good on you. I did not know that we took in 70% of the world’s refugees.

RS: The U.N. refugees, U.N.-designated refugees, yes. And so the second thing is the best thing we can do to help these refugees is to resettle them close to their homes. And that is in neighboring countries and camps and places so when the violence has abated, they can go back home, as opposed to in some faraway place where we’re moving back in. You know, the folks who are driving these people out are accomplishing what, we’re helping them accomplish what they want to accomplish, which is to ethnically cleanse these areas, or religiously cleanse these areas. We shouldn’t be a party to that.

HH: Rick Santorum, I look forward to continuing the conversation a week from tonight in Simi Valley. Thank you for joining me, Senator. As always, bracing.

End of interview.

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