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Radio interview
Presidential Candidate Forum, Ohio Christian Alliance
Alan Keyes
October 11, 2007

MODERATOR, CHRIS LONG, OHIO CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE: Welcome back to our Presidential Candidate Forum. I'm your host, Chris Long. I'm the president of the Ohio Christian Alliance, and joining me on the phone from Georgia is the chairwoman of the Georgia Christian Alliance.

In just a few minutes we will be joined by Ambassador Alan Keyes, who recently declared his candidacy for president on the Republican side. He's been in a couple of Presidential Candidate Forums since his announcement, and we're pleased that he's joined us tonight on this Presidential Candidate Forum.

We would like to mention to our listeners that all the candidates for the presidency have been invited, both Democrat and Republican. The candidates that you're hearing tonight have agreed to join us.

We've had two nights of Candidate Forums. Congressman Duncan Hunter joined us from California, and Congressman Tom Tancredo from Colorado joined us in our first Presidential Candidate Forum on September 13.

Tonight we have with us of course you've just heard the conclusion of our interview and forum with Kansas Senator Sam Brownback in just a few minutes we'll be joined by Ambassador Alan Keyes, and then at 8:00 former Senator of Tennessee Fred Thompson will be joining us.

This is a great opportunity for values voters to hear first-hand from the candidates themselves. And we have, as many of you know, emailed to you the opportunity as you've responded in-kind with a number of questions that we're weaving into the discussion tonight with the candidates, and we'd like to thank you for doing that. There's still opportunity for you to do so: you can go to ohioca.org and click on the link and you can send your question tonight for the candidates.

But with that, again, joining me and co-hosting tonight is Sadie Fields. Sadie, welcome back. Sadie, are you there? Sadie Fields will be joining us, but we'd like to get started and again we'd like to welcome Ambassador Alan Keyes. Ambassador, welcome to tonight's Presidential Candidate Forum.

ALAN KEYES: Thank you. Hi, how are you?

MODERATOR: Very good.

SADIE FIELDS: Good evening, Ambassador.

KEYES: Good evening.

MODERATOR: Well, Mr. Keyes, we'd like to get right to it with some of our questions tonight. We want to thank you for taking time out of your campaign to join us. And the Christian Alliance chapters of Ohio, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania and across the country as well are all listening in tonight.

Our first selection of questions is under the title of illegal immigration. What are your views of illegal immigration and border security?

KEYES: Well, I think we're actually faced with a crisis of our national sovereignty. One of its major symptoms is the loss of control of our borders.

To be quite honest, I think we have elites who, in responding to the interests of some selfish cliques and corporations, have essentially sacrificed the sovereignty of the American people, and have set us up in fact for the collapse of our republic under the weight of what amounts to a demographic invasion that will entirely change the character of our people.

It's like we're going to change from one sovereign people to another, only the people who replace the folks who presently constitute the people of the United States will be folks who are not committed to self-government, the Constitution, the godly principles of the Declaration of Independence that our rights come from our Creator God but who instead have come to America just looking for material betterment, and they'll play right into the hands of the people who would like to change this from a country based on moral principles to a country based on selfish, hedonistic materialism.

So I think we're faced with a great crisis. Our first priority should be to control that border. I think we have to establish a national border guard, we have to use our technology to seal the border so that only those come across that we want to come across.

And that will safeguard us from illegal immigration, but more importantly, it will also contribute to our national security: because if folks can come across the border to look for jobs, they can also come across the border looking to take our lives.

I don't know why we are neglecting this key element of our national security, pretending that the only thing that's involved here is economic issues and issues of economic betterment. That's simply not true.

So, sovereignty is at stake. Security is at stake. And if we don't give top priority to restoring our full control of our border, then I'm afraid this country is going to face deep danger not in the future, but right now because we are no longer able to enforce our laws and protect our people.

MODERATOR: If you're just joining us, you're listening to the Presidential Candidate Forum put on by the Christian Alliance chapters across the country. With us on the phone is the former Ambassador Alan Keyes, who has declared his presidential candidacy on the Republican side.

Ambassador, we'd like to follow up that question about illegal immigration and border security with what we've seen this last summer, and that an amnesty bill tried to make its way through congress. In 1986, President Reagan did sign a form of amnesty. Two to three million people, I think, is what was granted at that time who were illegal immigrants in this country. It didn't work then, and there are many who believe it wouldn't work now.

What would you do as president to deal with the estimated 18-20 million illegals already in the United States?

KEYES: I think the first thing we have to do because, I will be honest. I think even asking that question is premature. We have a situation now where if we simply start legitimizing the situation of the millions who are in the United States we will encourage the continuation of the demographic invasion that has created the problem in the first place.

The first thing we must do is get control of that border and in the meanwhile we should enforce our laws. If we make it very clear that we intend to be serious both in terms of those who are coming, those who are here, those who hire them then we are already seeing signs that when we start being serious about enforcement people go home, because they understand that the free ride is over.

So I think that we need a period in which we concentrate on getting control of that border, and in the meanwhile we do what we should have been doing in the first place: enforce the law.

We should realize if we passed the Reagan-era bill, which now Ed Mease and others admit turned out to be a bad mistake, if that didn't work do you know why it didn't work? Because the elites who were sitting in the Congress and had control of the bureaucracy connived to allow the collapse of our border control. They betrayed us.

So the folks that are now telling us that the only way to solve the problem is that we've got to give amnesty to the millions who are already here they let those millions come in here in the first place. So, they create a problem and then tell us that the only way we can deal with it is by utterly undermining the integrity of our laws through an amnesty program. I don't agree with this.

I think the first priority is to get control of the border, enforce the laws, and once we have done so then we might consider alternatives for the people that are left after we have made it clear that the free ride is done.

MODERATOR: What, in your opinion, should be done with the sanctuary cities that flaunt their disregard of violations of federal immigration laws?

KEYES: I think they ought to be brought in line with the law, and, if necessary, sanctions ought to be imposed in terms of federal funding and things of that kind. Because if you're going to flaunt the laws that protect the entire country in terms of our border security, the people of the United States have the right to take steps that are necessary to bring you in line with the national security interests as well as the overall sovereignty interests of our people.

MODERATOR: Ambassador, joining us from Georgia tonight is the chairwoman of the Christian Alliance of Georgia, that is, Sadie Fields. Sadie has a question for you pertaining to embryonic stem cell research.

FIELDS: Good evening, Ambassador.

KEYES: Good evening.

FIELDS: Thank you for joining us.

KEYES: Thank you.

FIELDS: Recently, Congress has passed legislation that would expand embryonic stem cell research. President Bush has twice vetoed attempts by Congress to expand the use of human embryos for research. What is your position on embryonic stem research funding, paid for with taxpayer dollars?

KEYES: Two things: embryonic stem cell research is a violation of the fundamental moral principle that the country was founded on that we're all created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.

The same principle that protects the lives of innocent unborn children in the womb protects that human life, whether it's in the womb or the Petri dish, because in all those situations we are dealing with that life which has been engendered in accordance with the will of God, and that means we have no option but to respect that life.

To kill the life because we think we're going to get some research benefits for it, well, I'll be frank about it. That's exactly the kind of thing that the Nazis were doing during the Second World War, when they were taking people, killing them, experimenting on them, claiming that they were going to get good out of it. It has been universally condemned by all people of decent conscience, and so should this.

Second point: embryonic stem cell research they present it as if it's going to make some big contribution to advances in science. That's a lie. The advances in science and the actual therapies used right now to alleviate suffering and treat diseases all come from adult stem cells.

MODERATOR: Ambassador, our next question is pertaining to marriage. Recently, Judge Robert Hansen in Iowa struck down the state's Defense of Marriage Act. The following day a Unitarian Minister performed a ceremony marrying two homosexual men.

What is your position on a Federal Marriage Amendment?

KEYES: I think it's absolutely essential. Because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause, we're now in a situation where if one state adopts homosexual marriage, the couples married in that state are then going to fan out all over the country to challenge marriage laws under the Full Faith and Credit Clause that exists in the Constitution.

The only way to protect against that is to have an amendment that makes it clear that the fact that one state adopts homosexual marriage is not going to produce it throughout the United States. So I think that it's absolutely essential that we have such a marriage amendment.

I also want to point out that the couple that was involved in that case in Iowa that marriage would not have taken place if Mitt Romney had not been governor of Massachusetts. He personally took it upon himself, by his executive authority, to force the Justices of the Peace in Massachusetts to perform homosexual marriages.

The court in Massachusetts that had issued the ruling about homosexual marriage explicitly said that there was no change in the law as a result of their opinion, and that nothing could be done until the legislature acted which it did not.

Romney then proceeded to move on his own authority to force the Justices of the Peace to marry, and now he's going around the country telling everyone that he's a big supporter of traditional marriage.

Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them," and Mitt Romney's fruits are wandering about this country right now, very bad fruit, being used to assault the traditional family.

I think people ought to stop being fooled by mere rhetoric and start looking at the truth.

MODERATOR: As a follow-up to that question, there are those who believe that the marriage issue should be left up to the states, that existing laws are sufficient and that the Constitution shouldn't be amended to make a provision for marriage.

What is your opinion on that?

KEYES: Well, I think I just stated it. Because if the Full Faith and Credit Clause is sitting there, it can be used to take marriages performed in one state a homosexual marriage and challenge laws all over the country.

The laws passed by the states are not a protection against the constitutional clause. In order to protect against that clause you must put a clause in the Constitution that makes it clear that nothing in the document is to be construed as requiring a marriage that is other than between a man and a woman.

If you don't make that crystal clear in the Constitution, then the existing constitutional provision will be used to assault and undermine the traditional family.

MODERATOR: Our next question is from Sadie Fields.

FIELDS: Mr. Ambassador, I think under the embryonic stem cell research answer that you gave your position on abortion and your views on that, so I'll just go to in light of the fact that you're strongly pro-life, from birth [sic] to natural death, if you're elected president what type of judges would you nominate to serve on the circuit as well as the U.S. Supreme Court?

KEYES: Well, I would of course nominate judges who know how to read the Constitution. And sadly, that is not the case with many of the folks, even who are running on the Republican side. Because, they are taking the position that overturning Roe vs. Wade means you return this issue to the states, and that's nonsense.

The Constitution of the United States requires respect for the life of the unborn. The Preamble says very clearly that the ultimate goal of our government is to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

That word, posterity, in the Preamble means those who are not yet born; those who come after us; those who are our heirs including, necessarily and obviously, those who are already in the womb. That means that the Constitution puts them on an equal level with ourselves, and if we are to secure the blessings of liberty for them, how on earth can this be made consistent with taking their lives in the womb? It cannot be.

The only way that Blackmun got away with Roe vs. Wade in the first place was because he did not read the Constitution.

So I would make sure we got some judges who could read the Constitution, but I also want to make one thing clear: the ultimate decision about these matters does not lie with the Supreme Court. All the branches have an independent responsibility to uphold the Constitution.

If the Court makes a decision that the president believes is inconsistent with the Constitution, the president is duty-bound to defend the Constitution as he understands it. So is the Constitutional majority in the legislature, if necessary.

All three of the branches need to wake up to their responsibility to protect innocent life, and I would do so. First thing if I got into office: I would restore the Reagan-era protections of the personhood of the child in the womb, and I would pursue a policy that made sure that we were not using any funds administered under my authority to violate the constitutional rights of unborn children.

MODERATOR: Ambassador, from 2000 to 2006, we had a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage president with a likeminded majority in Congress. In 2004, President Bush carried Ohio and ultimately won the election because of the support of our amendment to define marriage as a unit between one man and one woman. Despite this, the federal marriage amendment didn't move, and we chipped around the edges with the abortion ban with a partial birth abortion ban. The reality is, very little progress was made in Washington.

What specifically would you do especially now, considering the new environment in D.C. to advance a conservative social agenda?

KEYES: Well, the first thing that needs to be done is we need to break the stranglehold of the godless media the ungodly media and the ungodly money on politicians in this country, on both sides of the aisle. We have a lot of Republicans who get the bulk of their money from fundraisers who are abortion-minded and who don't care about the moral issues. That's why all of them lose their courage, because they are taking money from these sources.

You can't deal with it after you get elected. You have to deal with it in the way you get elected. That means that you've got to put together a truly grassroots community of faith that will stand firm in defense of these moral principles, and that's what we're doing on the Keyes campaign.

If folks go to alankeyes.com, they will find there something we call the "Pledge for America's Revival," pledging support for our return to the godly principles of the Declaration and the application of those principles in every area of policy where we confront crisis.

People who believe in that need to stand up and start working, not just on election day, but right now. And we ask that they commit to find five others, at least, who will do the same thing until we have built up an army a new community that is based on commitment and allegiance to the first principle that our rights come from God and must be exercised with respect for the authority of God.

The grassroots people of this country must again get active stop acting like politics is a spectator sport, something you watch on T.V. and get involved again. They must realize that candidates shouldn't run for office, the people should run them for office.

That means that the people have to be the active component of every campaign for political office, spreading the word in their families, their workplace, their community.

We need government of the people, by the people, for the people, but that means that people have to be active in putting together the coalition, so that then you won't have ungodly money undoing the election result you won't have the ungodly media lying and undoing the election result because we, the people, will have made the choice and determined the choices, rather than letting these people be the gatekeepers of our choices so that all we get are evil choices, and then they tell us we have no choice but to vote for the lesser of evils, which our Lord forbade us to do.

So, I think that we need to get busy, and that's what the Alan Keyes campaign is about. I think we have to build the community that is going to advance these kinds of policies and get them moving, but you have to do it while you are doing your campaign. You have to organize people around the country to be active so that they will control the result once the election is over.

Otherwise, the people who went out and raised the money, that put the commercials on the air that we sit passively by and watch, they'll run the show. We won't.

MODERATOR: Ambassador, our next question pertains to support for Israel. This was emailed in to us from one of our listeners: "Israel is a small nation surrounded by enemies who want to drive her into the sea. Why is it important for the U.S. to remain a staunch supporter of Israel?"

KEYES: I learned this lesson when I was working with Ronald Reagan and representing the United States in the international arena, at the General Assembly at the United Nations, where all the nations of the world would gang up on Israel and the only ally they reliably had was the United States.

I went through many battles at the Women's Conference in Nairobi, where I fought against the "Zionism is Racism" resolution, and everywhere else that I was heading or helping to head delegations where they were trying to undermine and destroy the legitimacy of our relationship with Israel.

I think that relationship is important, because Israel is a country that has been committed to representative government and democratic values.

It is also a country that represents a part of our Biblical heritage, where it is clear that God, Himself, has a plan of which Israel is a part. And we need to be cognizant of that as a people for, I believe we ourselves are also, if we're willing to act with consistent respect for God, a part of that plan.

So I believe that on a twofold level, both the moral level and the level of our interest as a people in working with an effective and strong democracy the only one that's out there as a representative government in the Middle East that we have a strong stake in the U.S./Israeli relationship. I have fought hard over the years in my person to defend it, and as president I would certainly be doing so.

MODERATOR: A question pertaining to the war in Iraq: currently we have well over 150,000 troops in Iraq in the surge. What is your opinion of how long these troops should stay there at this troop level? What would you do in your administration to downsize the force? What is the ultimate goal for the United States' interest in the nation of Iraq?

KEYES: I know that the media and the Democrats have imposed on our discussion of the situation in the Middle East and in Iraq this notion that our goal is somehow to get our forces out, bring the troops home.

Every time I hear them talk about this I say to myself, "But wait a minute, if bringing the troops home means, in this case, bringing the war home, that means that instead of having our armed forces fighting the armed forces of the terrorists in Iraq, we will have the armed forces of terror doing what they did on September 11: coming to our country to kill our unarmed civilians."

Didn't we spend billions of dollars on a defense budget in order to make sure that we would have an armed, super trained, professional force that could go out in the world to deal with dangers to this country and its people, before those dangers came to our shores and took lives?

The failure of that arrangement on 9/11 should not have become a precedent for our policy. Instead, we need to pursue an offensive strategy that goes to the heart of where this problem is being created. And it's being created in the Middle East, and we need to have our forces getting to the terrorists and taking their lives before they have a chance to come to America to take our lives.

How long will that take? Well, I think that entirely depends on how long we are faced with willful thugs driven by religious fanaticism who want to kill Americans. We're not in control of that, but we can be in control of our safety and security if we insist on defending ourselves properly and appropriately against them.

MODERATOR: Ambassador Keyes, tell our listeners in the next few minutes why you are running for the presidency of the United States of America.

KEYES: I'm running for president because I think this republic is collapsing. I think our system of self-government is being replaced by a system in which we will be dominated by foreign powers, by globalist institutions, by self-seeking corporations, instead of having a government of, by, and for the people.

This collapse of our national sovereignty and the sovereignty of our people is taking place because we have abandoned the basic moral principle on which this country was founded: that our rights come from God, and that therefore we must exercise them and apply them with respect for the authority of God.

In every area, we are finding that this retreat from principle is leading to the destruction of innocent life in the womb, the collapse of the family structure, the loss of our self-confidence in the defense of our borders, and finally, a misunderstanding of what the war on terror is about, since our aim must be to defeat the forces that disregard the claims of innocent life, in violation of the fundamental principle on which our country was founded.

And I don't hear anybody else articulating this vision which makes it clear that we are urgently involved in an effort to save our republic, to save our system of self-government, and that effort especially depends on reasserting our allegiance for the basic founding vision and principles that our Founders put in place for this country.

I'm just sick of all the people dancing around it and acting as if we're dealing with this issue and that issue and the other issue. There is one issue, and all these other issues are like the fissures and cracks in the wall that bespeak the collapse of the foundations.

It's time we dealt with the real problem, articulated it with vision, and faced it with moral courage. And that is what my effort is about: to call people together on the common ground of our faith in God and our acceptance of the Declaration's principles, so that we can once again become a government of, by, and for a people who have reclaimed their active citizenship and reestablished real liberty in this country.

MODERATOR: Ambassador Alan Keyes Ambassador, we want to thank you on behalf the Christian Alliance chapters across the country, thank you sir for taking the time with us tonight and sharing with our listeners.

KEYES: Thank you for having me.

MODERATOR: God bless.

KEYES: God bless you.

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