What would you ask Norman Lear on 'PoliticKING'?
- Oct 19 '16
KING: The People Vs Barack Obama. That’s the name of an explosive new book by commentator and bestselling author Ben Shapiro. Has the Obama administration acted like a criminal cabal as Shapiro alleges. And if so, is criminal prosecution of a sitting President the answer in lieu of impeachment? Ben Shapiro is here to make the case, on this edition of PolicKing.
KING: Welcome to PoliticKing. I’m Larry King. He’s Editor In Chiefof Breitbart News and New York Times bestselling author. His latest book, The People Vs Barack Obama, The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration, is out right now, and Ben Shapiro is my guest, joining us here in studio.Thanks Ben for coming.
SHAPIRO: Thanks for having me.
KING: Alright. He’s two years into his second term. You’re not going to impeach him. Are you bringing…proposing criminal charges against the administration? or Who?
SHAPIRO: Well I mean there are certain specific players within the administration. Lois Lerner at the IRS. The Attorney General, for one, who would be subject to criminal charges. The problem, of course, that the Department of Justice is the only body that is capable of bringing criminal charges this point under Federal Law. But I actually make the case for, in The People Vs Barack Obama, is I make the case that Rico Acts, the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970, which allows for civil charges to be brought, people can file civil suits, that that be brought in to allow people to sue members of the Executive Branch. So the people themselves essential would become the guardians of the criminal law, because, sorry, I just don’t trust any Executive Branch to prosecute its own guys.
KING: Are you bringing this right to the President himself?
SHAPIRO: If we could? Sure. The question of KING: What did he do hands on that’s criminal?
SHAPIRO: Well, see, this is the problem. This is why you have to use the Rico Act. So no President is ever going to have to do things, unless you’re Richard Nixon, presumably and there are tapes, is going to have to do things that are particularly hands on. The Government is run much more like a Mafiaesque organization in which you have somebody at the top who makes a basic demand that certain things be done and then somebody at the low level says, “OK well I want to up my career. Why don’t I do this?” Right? This is Henry II with Thomas Beckett, right? We’ll know when riddle me rid me of this meddlesome priest, and then somebody goes and rids him of the meddlesome priest. It is odd that all of the scandals, all of the criminal activity in the Obama administration has all redounded to the benefit of President Obama.
KING: Couldn’t we make this case against any President? Iran Contra against Reagan. Weapons of Mass Destruction against Bush. Every administration has had people under them who have lied or done things. We could indict Washington.
SHAPIRO: Well I’m not sure that we could indict Washington, right? I think that certainly
KING: I’m sure something was done [Laughs]
SHAPIRO: Washington was relatively clean. But if you look at George W. Bush, or you look at Bill Clinton, or if you looked at Ronald Reagan, sure. The answer would be that you could and people should be wary. This is sort of the case that I’m making. Is that we’ve become so comfortable with the Executive Branch of the Government abusing its citizens and violating our rights, and violating what they’re structured to do under the law that we’ve just become used to it. And if we start treating them as criminals, maybe they’ll think twice before they act so criminally in the future.
KING: With Nixon we had tapes, and there was a possibility of indicting him, you remember?
SHAPIRO: Right, right. He’d been impeached but he would have… This is the problem under American law.
KING: He would have needed to be impeached and then indicted.
SHAPIRO: Right because the way that it works is that under American law Barack Obama could literally strangle someone on camera today, and he would have to be impeached and then he would have to be tried in the Senate and be convicted, and only then could you actually bring a criminal indictment against a President because you can’t bring a criminal indictment against a sitting President.
KING: So your point of the book is to make a statement, rather than to bring a case, right? You don’t really expect cases to be filed.
SHAPIRO: I would be shocked if there were cases to be filed. There would have to be actual alterations to laws which I suggest, that would make such things possible.
KING: Alright lets break some down. What’s the crime in Benghazi?
SHAPIRO: The crime in Benghazi.. there are two crimes in Benghazi. First, is probably the violation of the Arms Export Control Act, the shipping of guns into Libya in the first place, right? That is actually illegal under the Arms Export Control Act anytime the President of the United States or anybody in the Executive Branch, if I were to ship weapons into Libya to a terrorist group, I would be prosecuted. The President of the United States has the ability to waive the Arms Export Control Act in order to ship weapons or money to terrorist groups, he didn’t do that in the Arms Export Control Act, he didn’t do that in Libya, he shipped the weapons in anyway. And with regard to Benghazi, the solid information is that the annex in Benghazi the CIA annex in Benghazi was actually a weapons ground being used as a shipping point for weapons into Turkey and then into Syria. That’s number one. In terms of Hillary Clinton’s culpability in Benghazi, involuntary manslaughter would be a pretty easy charge to bring. Involuntary manslaughter requires three basic elements. The first element is that someone is killed. The second element is that something reckless resulted in the death. And the third is that somebody should have known it was reckless and that could have resulted in death. In this case you have Christ Stevens and you have the entire staff in Benghazi repeatedly letting the state department know over and over and over, “we need security.” Anybody who read the newspapers knew that they needed security in Benghazi. It was not provided. That’s the real crime. And then of course there are issues of Obstruction of Justice afterward in which witnesses in Benghazi were talked to by the State Department and basically were leveraged not to speak openly.
KING: I .. if this is not just political we could make a case on 911 against Condoleezza Rice who got a warning by the FBI and shelved it
SHAPIRO: Well the warning from Condoleezza Rice before 911 was certainly less specific than “please provide security” in Benghazi at this particular embassy, right? The question is going to be the third element, if you were to try Condoleezza Rice, for example. The third element would be, “was something reckless done that they should have known about? I’m not sure the same case exists with 911. There are certainly plenty of things we could talk about with 911, but I don’t think the same case exists for involuntary manslaughter in Benghazi as with 911
KING: We’re the largest shipper of arms, this administration, ever to Israel. Any of that a crime?
SHAPIRO: That is not a crime, because there are no Terrorist groups in Israel that are being supplied with the weapons. We are currently however providing 400 million dollars in funding to unity government that includes Hamas, right? Which is a State Department Terrorist group. I mean just this week the President of the United States did nothing as Hamas kidnapped three people. including an American citizen, and the State Department continues to say that we will continue funding that unity government, which is in of itself a crime. If I were to ship weapons to Hamas, that’s 15 years in prison.
KING: The IRS scandal. What was the crime?
SHAPIRO: The crime in the IRS scandal was the violation of IRS law. Anybody who leverages IRS officials in order to politically target anybody that is a crime under IRS law. That comes with penalties, obviously. That happened with regard to the IRS itself, according to its own statements, is violating the law and targeting particular political groups. And like any other scandal, this one became phony according to the President, shortly after he said this was the most important thing ever and he was going to get to the bottom of it within weeks it becomes phony and it was no big deal, and now its old news of course.
KING: Are you a rightwinger making a statement against a left wing administration? Or are you a lawyer making a criminal charge that you would be making here against George Bush or Ronald Reagan or any of the previous other Presidents except Washington?
SHAPIRO: Both, I mean I think there’s no question that I’m a conservative and I’m open about that. I mean anybody who has watched my career would be hard pressed to call me anything but. But by the same token the case that im making is really one that is Executive Overage because we have a choice as a country. And the choice of the country is pretty simple. The Executive Branch has grown so much there are 2 million people who work for the Executive Branch, all the Branches of Government are now armed. I mean literally every branch of the Executive Branch, every regulatory agency has its own swat team. Because of that we have to make a choice. Is someone ever going to be held accountable in the Executive Branch, or are they not? So we really have to decide, do we really want an Executive Branch that this large? Number one. And number two, if we do want an Executive Branch this large, how exactly are we going to be holding them accountable, no matter who is running the show, because the truth is, half of the stuff that I incite President Obama for in this case against Obama is impeachable or indictable under Bush. I mean what is done with regards to the NSA obviously started under George W Bush and was doubled down under President Obama.
KING: Snowden would be a chief witness for you.
KING: What about the obstruction of justice against this administration? How has it obstructed justice.
SHAPIRO: That has been done multiple ways. The obstruction of justice charge basically applies to not only jury tampering but witness tampering, trying to stop federal or state officials from engaging in the execution of the law. One of the easiest ways to cite that for example would be the President’s immigration policy. You know, simply saying we’re not going to prosecute anybody between the ages of sixteen and thirty who is in the country illegally, that’s not a prosecutorial discretion issue that’s a blanket statement and that’s a blanket political statement that the President is not empowered to make under the constitution, if in fact I were to say – If I were to go into the INS and I were to stop them from deporting anybody, I would be carted off to Prison. If the President of the United States gives that order, then he’s championed as a champion of the people.
KING: So this is in fact a blanket statement against the structure of the government. We’re a republic, we’re not a democracy right?
SHAPIRO: We’re not at this point. What we have is an Executive Tyranny essentially. The President can do whatever he wants. I mean, what
KING: Any President
SHAPIRO: Any President. And this is something the Left and Right should unite on, honest to God, because when it was Bush, then I think the media did a much better job of covering Bush than they have covering Obama. Mainly because they were motivated against Bush just in the same way I’ve probably done a better job covering President Obama than covering President Bush. Hopefully we can all at this point learn that all Presidents should be covered with a certain fair level of skepticism but the Executive Branch itself no matter who runs it, you grant this much power to any one body of Government and you’ve got a problem. And I think you should avoid being Arthur Slesinger who when it was Richard Nixon, was writing The†Imperial†Presidency†and when it was Jimmy Carter was talking about how the Executive didn’t have enough authority. I think we should recognize at this point the Executive has plenty of authority. And no matter who is in charge, we are all going to feel the brunt of that and there is no answerability.
KING: Why, on the right, is there so much hostility—serious question—toward this president?
SHAPIRO: Because he’s the most extreme president we’ve ever had.
KING: Most extreme. Now, liberals think he’s too conservative. Paul Krugman did an article today in the New York Times saying he’s a great—
SHAPIRO: Well, Paul Krugman.
KING: Well, he’s entitled to his opinion.
SHAPIRO: Yeah, he certainly is. But—
KING: Paul Krugman could say Ben Shapiro.
SHAPIRO: Yeah, I’m sure he does, but— [laughs]
KING: But he made a case of the Health Act kicking in—more insurance companies on board. You said people wouldn’t sign up. They’re signing up. But I’m getting at the core of it: why so much hostility. Is it racist?
SHAPIRO: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Why in the world would it be racist? What exactly is racist about calling out his policies? There’s noth—
KING: But it’s done with such adv—for example, there’s a part of the right, some of the Tea Party, that make him think that he’s sitting there deliberately acting against the United States like, “Heh heh heh. I’m opposed to my own country.” That’s idiotic.
SHAPIRO: Well, I think that he has interests that are opposed to certain aspects of America, sure. Just like any—
KING: Well any presi—you could say any president—
SHAPIRO: No, no, no I think that he’s different in this way. I think that his ideology motivates him to scale back on America’s role in the world. By the way, I think the same thing about Hillary Clinton. I think there are plenty of people on the left who feel that America has had a much too muscular role in the world and would like to see America cut down to size and whittled down to size and they would like to see it as one member of the family of nations as opposed to the leading member on the world stage. So in that way, president Obama is significantly more extreme even than Bill Clinton.
KING: When Obama made his statement, “We have the biggest hammer and every problem isn’t a nail,” wouldn’t you agree with that? Every problem isn’t a—
SHAPIRO: I don’t think there’s anybody on earth who would suggest that every problem is a nail. This is what president Obama is so great at. He’s a terrific politician. What he’s really and truly great at is creating false dichotomies and saying, “Well, my way is the middle way.” There’s nobody in the world who thinks that we should use the military to solve every problem on earth, just like I don’t think that there’s anybody in the world who believes that we should never use the military. President Obama likes to create these kind of strawmen and then he has a field day burning them.
KING: But it seems there’s so much—I’ll give you an example: John McCain, who is—I like a lot. One day, he says, “Never, never send a troop again to Iraq.” Then trouble happens in Iraq. “Why don’t we send troops?” In other words, your complaints don’t have solutions. No matter what he does, he can’t do anything right.
SHAPIRO: I don’t remember anybody on the right suggesting that the president of the United States had done the right thing by precipitously withdrawing troops from Iraq. I really don’t remember anybody on the right saying that. Maybe there were. I don’t remember that. In 2011, as we were pulling troops out of Iraq, virtually everybody was unanimously saying that we are now pulling out of a winning situation and that is going to lead to chaos.
KING: They were unanimously saying there were weapons of mass destruction there and they were all wrong.
SHAPIRO: Well, that was also members of the left. I mean, that was Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
KING: Based on information given to them by the right.
SHAPIRO: That’s not true. Based on information given to them by Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was giving the exact same information when he was bombing Iraq in the late ‘90s. Exact same information.
KING: When Obama does things like sell more arms to Israel than all presidents combined, why didn’t you applaud him?
SHAPIRO: Because he’s not the one who is making that decision.
KING: Yes he is.
SHAPIRO: No he’s not. The congress passed the bill and he’s executing.
KING: He’s sold more than anybody.
SHAPIRO: He’s also given more aid to the Palestinian authorities. He’s also given more aid to various countries around the region. He has made a deal with Iran—a country that is openly developing nuclear weapons—and that deal is going to result in them going nuclear. He’s basically now talking about Iraq to Iran. He has turned Syria into a hot mess.
KING: Some Republican senators said yesterday we should talk to Iran.
SHAPIRO: Well, those Republican senators are wrong too. He’s the president of the—he makes foreign policy.
KING: Is there anything you like about him?
SHAPIRO: President Obama? I think he’s a beautiful speaker. I think he’s a beautiful speaker.
KING: [laughs] The book is The People Vs. Barack Obama and I knew Ben when he was 12 years old and he was a great violinist. [laughs] And when we come back, we’ll get the latest from Iraq and how involved the United States should be in what’s happening there. Plus, talking about the growing humanitarian crisis along America’s southern border. Stay tuned.
KING: Welcome back to PoliticKing. The bestselling author and editor at large at Breitbart.com is Ben Shapiro. He remains with us. And by the way, he’s also the author of the new book, The People Vs. Barack Obama, which is out right now. Joining us now is Richard Fowler, political commentator, host of the online news program The Richard Fowler Show. Richard, you’ve heard what Ben has had to say on the legal questions here. Your response to his critique of the whole Obama administration.
FOWLER: Thanks Larry, and I appreciate being here. And Ben, good to see you.
SHAPIRO: Yeah, you too.
FOWLER: You know, Larry, I’ve got to tell you I think this criticism of the president is a little farreaching for me because I think if you’re going to criticize president Obama, the question I have is where were they when George W. Bush was having ridiculous government overreach?
SHAPIRO: And that’s fair. I think that’s totally fair. I think that—but now’s the time when—why don’t we all get together and figure out, okay, how do we prevent this in the future? Because we can all do this routine of, “Why are people who didn’t back George W. Bush back when president Bush was going into Afghanistan backing president president Obama’s plan for a troop surge in Afghanistan now?” Turns out, there’s two sides to the political debate. What I’m calling for at this point, whether we were wrong then or wrong now, let’s get together and figure out exactly how we fix the problem of executive overage. If Bush was overreaching, so is Obama, right?
KING: Do you say that in the book?
SHAPIRO: Yeah. I absolutely do.
FOWLER: Well listen, I hear that. If we’re going to come together, I think that what needs to happen is that folks on the right that run part of the city and half the United States congress should be willing to come together to deal with government overreach. And we haven’t seen that yet. Republicans have sat on their hands on most issues, besides having multiple and multiple witch trial hearings, or kabuki theater, like I like to call it. You know, I’d rather see them say, “Let’s find a way to solve immigration so the president doesn’t have to act,” or “Let’s find a way to reform our tax code so the president doesn’t have to act” or “Let’s find a way to get more money to our embassy so the president doesn’t have to act.” What seems to be happening here, Larry, is dereliction of duty when it comes to the right and so now they’re playing the blame game when they really haven’t put forward any solutions.
SHAPIRO: Well Richard, when it comes to the solutions, I think the bigger problem here is not the question of particular issues, honestly. I think the question is the one that you’ve stated, which is, you’re using the president’s actions as a threat: “Why doesn’t congress do X so the president doesn’t have to do it? Why doesn’t the congress do Y so the president doesn’t have to do it.” The problem is, the president is not given the power to do these things. When the president goes ahead and does it—
FOWLER: But wait a minute, now. I think the president does have the power stop deportations. And I think like what we saw just a couple days ago—
SHAPIRO: That’s right, and violation is all he does [16:49]
FOWLER: The president also has the power to make sure that federal contractors don’t fire LGBTQ folks. All parts of the president executive power being that he’s the administer of the executive branch.
SHAPIRO: I’m not sure what is administrative about ignoring basic facts of American law such as that it is a crime to cross the border illegally. And believe me, I’m somebody who actually is for immigration reform. But this is not a question of whether immigration reform is a good idea or a bad one. It’s do you really want to give the president this ability because, Richard, if you really want to give the president this much power, then you can’t be surprised if the president turns around and reelects somebody on the other side. He turns around and he says, “Okay, let’s deport everyone.” You want to give him this much discretion? I don’t.
FOWLER: But wait a second. Let’s be very clear, because I think you’re mixing apples and oranges here. And let’s be very clear about—this president has deported more individuals than any other president in history.
SHAPIRO: That’s not true.
FOWLER: That is true. He’s quadrupled deportations.
SHAPIRO: That is not true. He’s changed the statistics. The statistics used to be measured that if you
came to the border and you were rejected, that did not count as a deportation. It has now been changed
FOWLER: He has quadrupled deportations and those are the facts.
SHAPIRO: That’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s not true.
FOWLER: And what he has done—now the folks who are being deported are those individuals who came to the country at no fault of their own, who pledge allegiance to our flag. They go to our schools, and they want to pursue the American Dream. Some of these individuals serve in our military and the president has the power to instruct his secretaries to do whatever he chooses to see fit for them to do.
SHAPIRO: And there we go. That’s—
FOWLER: And that is not a violation of federal law.
SHAPIRO: He can instruct his secretaries to do whatever he sees fit to do, and this is the problem on every issue of American law.
FOWLER: But that is not a violation of federal law.
KING: Alright let me interrupt, guys, because I’m not a lawyer and—but there is a very pressing issue going on now in Iraq. What are your thoughts on it, Richard?
FOWLER: Listen, the president loses on any situation here and I think people like our friend there from Breitbart will attack this president no matter what he does. The truth of the matter is this: we shouldn’t have gotten in the war in Iraq to begin with. And now it is time for the people of Iraq and the government of Iraq to finally stand up and deal with their own mess. And I think if we’re going to provide support as a country, that support can only come after Iraq figures out exactly what it’s going to do.
SHAPIRO: Well okay, there are really three separate questions when it comes to Iraq: should we have gotten in, should we have gotten out, and what do we do now? The first two questions are actually sort of irrelevant to the third. Meaning, I hear the argument we shouldn’t have gotten in in the first place. Certainly, getting out looks like a mistake now that there’s a massive chaotic situation over there. In terms of the third solution, doing nothing and saying that “Oh well,” throwing up our hands, “I guess what happens there, happens there.” That’s a pre9/ 11 mentality that suggests that whatever happens there is a regional problem and will never have any blowback here.
KING: What should you do?
SHAPIRO: What we should do is we should put military advisers on the ground, particularly in Kyrgyzstan, where we help out some of the folks who actually want to defend the country. And look, if we actually care about the status of the country, the last thing we should be doing is helping the Iranians invade the southern half of the country and then helping the Sunnis invade the northern half of the country. This is exactly what the left wanted with regard to Iraq way back in the middle of the last decade. They wanted us to turn into—Vietnam was a war that was won until we cut funding and pulled out.
KING: Military advisers—
SHAPIRO: And this was also a war that was won until we cut funding and pulled out.
KING: Go ahead, Richard.
FOWLER: Larry thats utterly, utterly, utterly, completely not true. And if you listen to the folks at John McCain who always believe we should arm the rebels, which is his solution to everything, and putting our men and women in harms way once again to solve a quagmire situation, that we’ve created, let’s be very clear about this, it was created under George W. Bush. This president has brought our men and women back home and the safety of America, and now we’ve gotta figure out a solution. To be honest with you, this government, the Iraqi government, has got to stand up, this can not always be America’s nightmare. The Iraqi government had to stand up and say ‘we’re gonna take control.’ What this president of Iraq needs to do is reach out to the Sunnis, reach to the Shias, make concessions and find a way to to run his government. We do it here in America, they do it in India, they do it in Pakistan, they do it all across the world, people come together, different factions come together and rule a country equally and this president, the president of Iraq hasn’t been able to do that. And he has to be held accountable to his action before we put our men and women back in harms way.
KING: Why is it our problem?
SHAPIRO: It’s out problem because, to a certain extent…
KING: ...Because we invaded them
SHAPIRO: Well, yes because we invaded them and also beyond that, because once we’re there and we make promises to people who are now being mowed down in the streets by the way, if you feel no moral obligation about that, but you feel moral obligation about 270,000 girls that get kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria, then I question where exactly your moral feeling lie because the fact is that tens of thousands of people are gonna get killed there, certainly hundreds of thousands have already been moved in exile essentially.
KING: You want to send advisors?
SHAPIRO: I certainly want to send advisors.
KING: What else do you want to do?
SHAPIRO: There are strikes on Isis, air strikes, air strikes Gaddafi forces in Libya, in a country we have nothing to do with, but we won’t air strike Isis?
KING: What’s wrong with that, Richard? Why not air strike?
FOWLER: Listen, I think, I would like for him to define what military advisors mean, 1, because we’ve already trained the Iraqi military and it’s not our fault the Iraqi military is surrendering as fast as possible, right? that’s not our issue, that’s not our problem. Now where I do agree with him, is I think, I have no problem and I think this president has no problem with some sort of drone warfare, sending some drones over there to strike Isis, but with that being said, we need a solution where all the parties are at the table, and unfortunately that can only happen when the Iraqi government stands up here.
SHAPIRO: No that also happens, actually, and was happening when the American military was there, I mean if you read the pieces in the New Yorker by the great reporter who’s actually on the left, he was talking in specific detail about the fact that when the US military was there, they were speaking everyday, everyday, with Maliki. And they were telling…
FOWLER: So how would you want the US military to be there? Is the question…
SHAPIRO: If the US military is there for decades,
FOWLER: How long do you want our men and women to be put in harms way?
SHAPIRO: Let me ask you this, how many American men and women were you willing to let die for no reason now, because now the country is gone, right? So you’ve got 4,500 American men and women who died there and there blood is worth nothing because the country is gone. And veterans are saying this.
FOWLER: No, no, no, wait a minute, we shouldn’t have been there in the first place…
SHAPIRO: And you can argue that, but the bottom line is once the war was won, why give it back?
FOWLER: How much more American blood do you want to shed for a conflict that is not our conflict at government that is literally irresponsible.
KING: Don’t you think the American public will not support troops on the ground?
SHAPIRO: I think at this point you’re probably right. The American public will not support troops on the ground, by a wide margin because this has become a country that has no slipped into a pretty 9/11 mentality which is why we’re now going to surrender Afghanistan back to the Taliban and Iraq to combined force of Al Qaeda/ISIS in the North and Iran in the South.
KING: Alright, some other political things. Your reaction to the defeat of Mr. Cantor?
SHAPIRO: Uh, it’s very interesting, I think that it has a couple of ramifications, it once again shows kind of the difference between the establishment republican party and the grassroots. That election really had nothing to do with the tea party. The tea party really didn’t spend any money on it and the tea party really didn’t do much in that race. That was much more about Cantor not being in his district a lot, and being a little bit out of touch. As far as the immigration issue, I think it’s a great thing for democrats because now you’re gonna see President Obama do what he’s wanted to do all along. He’s gonna claim no partners on the republican side of the isle in immigration reform and then he’s gonna move towards executive action and he’s gonna threaten the American people if they don’t elect democrats or allies of his before November…
KING: That defeat will help democrats?
SHAPIRO: Absolutely it’ll help democrats.
KING: What do you think Richard?
FOWLER: I didn’t know immigration reform was a threat but hey, who’s asking the questions here. But Larry, listen, I think where I do agree is I think the reason Cantor lost his race is because once again, we all know the truth of the lie that all politics are local, and Eric Cantor just didn’t play the local ground game. This guy, he outspent this guy on ADs and other stuff but when it came to talking to people of his district, he just didn’t get it done. Now but what I think this does says for the broader republican party on immigration and on other issues, on raising minimum raise, is what you’re gonna find is a more divided government in Washington, if Eric Cantor, who is as conservative as conservative can be, who sort of tipped his foot into water on immigrations reform, can lose his seat, then all republicans are gonna feel as though they’re vulnerable, they’re gonna go all the way to the right and we’re gonna have a dysfunctional government because republicans refuse to come to the table and work with this president.
KING: Why can’t we have immigration reform? George Bush led the parade.
SHAPIRO: Listen, I would be fine with immigration reform, I think most Americans actually agree on immigration reform, on this basic…
KING: We’re all immigrants
SHAPIRO: Exactly. On this basic count, right? You can’t have, at a very basic level, you can’t have a wealthier state with open borders because people come across the border and take advantage of the welfare state. So what you have to do first is you have to secure the border and then you figure out what to do with the people here, whether that means pathway to citizenship or that means just legal residencey. And I think pretty much everyone agrees on that, the problem is that the president has been so lax on border security that people don’t trust his enforcement of border secutry. So this has been the sticking point.
FOWLER: Wait a second here, now first, I don’t think that border security and a pathway to citizenship are mutually exclusive, those two things can happen simultaneously at the same time, and that is the compromise, that is the place of compromise for democrats and republicans Larry. They can happen at the same time, we can build a fence, we can built a wall, we can built an electric fence if they want, but at the same time we need to provide a pathway to citizenship to those 11 millions that are in the shadows. The republican party’s problem is that they can not get a pathway to citizenship out of the United States House of Representatives, whether they like it or not, whether we beefed up the border or not, whether we put…
SHAPIRO: ...That’s not true
FOWLER: ...Marine team six on the border, they would still not be able to pass a pathway to citizenship.
SHAPIRO: That’s simple not true. If you secured the border people would pass through…
FOWLER: It is true, just count the votes.
SHAPIRO: I promise you, I know the republican party pretty well, and if you were to secure the border, then you would be able to pass a pathway to citizenship. You would.
FOWLER: Why are those two things mutually exclusive?
SHAPIRO: Why are they connected?
FOWLER: If we’re dealing with immigration, we’re dealing with immigration as a total issue, they’re not separate issues.
SHAPIRO: of course they’re separate issues, because the fact is, that if you do not…
FOWLER: No, they’re not...
SHAPIRO: okay fine…
FOWLER: it’s all about containing our border and having immigration control
SHAPIRO: so you’re right, let’s assume you’re right, we’ll completely connect them. The way we’ll connect them is we won’t have an border security. Amnesty for everybody. Is there a problem or no?
FOWLER: This is exactly where they go to everytime, Larry. Every Time we have this discussion…
SHAPIRO: This is where we go to. Why don’t you explain why they have to be connected.
FOWLER: Wait a second, wait a second. That is not what’s in the senate bill. In the senate bill, which the the democratic solution, which has been endorsed by the president and all the democrats in the United States Senate, that bill strengthens our border, it increases border security and at the same time provides a very, very, very, long pathway to citizenship that takes almost ten years, it is completely and totally bipartisan, yet still republicans in the house won’t even bring the bill to the floor for a vote, that tells you right there Larry, that they don’t agree with the pathway to citizenship.
SHAPIRO: Honestly, I have one question, in all of this. Seriously, just one question. Why not just secure the border and then put a pathway to citizenship in?
FOWLER: Why can’t those happen at the same time?
SHAPIRO: Why don’t you answer my question instead of asking me back, I just explained to you why they can’t, here’s why they can’t happen at the same time, as we secure the border, the border remains somewhat open, people cross the border because they feel that if they get in before the deadline, if they get in before the border is secure, then they are somehow included in the pathway to citizenship.
FOWLER: Have you read the bill?
SHAPIRO: Of course I’ve read the bill. And not only have I read the bill but I’ve been watching what’s been happening on the border, tens of thousands of children, crossing the border in anticipation of amnesty. What do you think is happening?
FOWLER: ...There’s not law right now
SHAPIRO: Oh, because there’s not law right now. You’re right, there’s no law about crossing the border illegally.
FOWLER: In the senate bill, we talk about who qualifies for a pathway for citizenship, and those deadlines do not apply to those who cross the border…
SHAPIRO: And how are you going to magically determine that Richard? Do they have a magical like…
FOWLER: It’s in the bill, read the bill
SHAPIRO: I’ve read the bill, Richard. Can you explain to me…
FOWLER: Then you haven’t read it correctly.
SHAPIRO: When you determine who has crossed the border when, I was unaware that everyone who crosses the border has a barcode when they came across.
KING: You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna read the bill and have you both back.
(SHAPIRO and FOWLER laugh)
KING:Thanks Ben, thanks Richard. I look forward to having you both back soon. Ben’s book: The People vs Barack Obama; the criminal case against the Obama Administration available now and you can catch Richard Fowler at FowlerShow.com. For my viewers out there, I want to hear from you. Join the conversation on my Facebook page and share your thoughts on Twitter by tweeting @KingsThings andusing the #politiKing. That’s all for this week’s PolitiKing.