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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on Alan Colmes Show
December 14, 2007

COLMES: I'm Alan Colmes. I want to welcome to our microphones Ambassador Alan Keyes. Ambassador Keyes, thank you for coming on tonight. I appreciate it very much.

KEYES: Thank you for having me. It's good to be with you again.

COLMES: Thank you, sir.

KEYES: It's been a while.

COLMES: It's been a while since we've spoken, and of course, we have a reason to speak, because you are now in the presidential race, and I guess people might be curious to know why. Why did you enter, and why did you enter at the time you entered it?

KEYES: Well, I guess I was like a lot of folks. I was kind of hoping I would find somebody I thought was really adequate for the future, and representative of the party and its principles, and there isn't anybody who is running, who really fits the bill of all the candidates. Every single one of them is claiming to be conservative, and yet, when you look at them, there's nothing really consistent, principled. Rudy Giuliani abandons the principles of conservatism and of America in his pro-abortion stance, and other things.

COLMES: Well, he's now claiming to be anti-abortion, but he —

KEYES: Well, but, come on. Mitt Romney, he spent his whole career promoting abortion, promoting gay stuff, and now, to be president, he's changed his tune.

COLMES: He did say he'd be more pro-gay than Ted Kennedy, when he ran against Kennedy —

KEYES: That's right.

COLMES: — for the Senate.

KEYES: But, how can you believe — this is the first election I can remember, Alan, where all these guys, especially the ones touted by the media, the only way you could support them is if you think the party has no past, America has no past, or they have no past. But —

COLMES: What about John McCain? Isn't he a conservative?

KEYES: John McCain actually moved, when he started to run for president. His record is pretty conservative, but what grassroots people hold against him is that he's been the champion of all the bills that destroy effective, conservative, grassroots politics. And he's really, for some reason, aimed all his arrows, with his so-called reform, at preventing people from organizing at the grassroots, and expressing themselves —

COLMES: You're talking about campaign finance reform.

KEYES: Right, McCain-Feingold, and all this. And so, he became the enemy of grassroots politics, and I think that hurt him deeply. People have not — they don't see him, any more, as a champion of the people.

COLMES: All right. Mike Huckabee. Not conservative enough, for you?

KEYES: Mike Huckabee is only conservative on the moral issues. He's a liberal, in every other respect. Viguerie, Schlafly, all the other conservatives have written chapter and verse about how on health, on taxes, on —

COLMES: This is the guy who said, "We've got to take America back for Christ," about ten years ago.

KEYES: No, no, no. It's not enough. Don't tell me that it is consistent with my sense of the Republican, of my sense of the moral, of the real vision of freedom and individual responsibility, to promote socialist government.

COLMES: Mike Huckabee?

KEYES: If you look at his record. I'm not the one, the only one saying this. Extensive articles, the key folks who have really done this, chapter and verse, and Richard Viguerie and Phyllis Schlafly, who argued cogently that, when you examine the record in Arkansas, he's basically like Mitt Romney. These are people who wear the Republican label, but they are really — you know what I'd say about Mike Huckabee? He's like Bob Casey. He's essentially a pro-life Democrat.

COLMES: Is Mike Huckabee a socialist?

KEYES: He's a pro — I use the word socialist. Because they didn't want to be called socialist, we're supposed to call them liberals. Because the guys in the Republican party don't want to be called liberals, we call them big-government conservatives. All this is nonsense. The truth is, if you take Mike Huckabee and put him in Europe, the policies he advocates are the policies that are followed by a certain element of the socialists in Europe.

So, I'll —

COLMES: What socialist policy does Mike Huckabee have?

KEYES: When you are going to promote the kind of approach he talks about to education, to health care, and things like this, you are talking about the government-dominated, government-controlled approach that is anathema to real conservatives.

COLMES: Wanting health care for kids is like what Mike Huckabee did in Arkansas?

KEYES: We are talking now, it is not a question of whether you want proper and quality health care, but whether that proper health care is going to be provided at government-dominated and initiated structure, and it doesn't have to be. And many of us have spent a long time, talking about and developing the alternative, and those are the ones that should be implemented.

COLMES: All right. And what about Duncan Hunter? Is he not conservative?

KEYES: Well, I think that both Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo are good guys, and I think I like a lot of the things they stand for, and I agree with them. But, come on. We also want the best possible articulator and spokesman, the most experienced person that we can put together, with conservative principles, on every point.

COLMES: But, Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo would have to qualify, as conservative.

KEYES: I'm saying we want the most. I am more experienced, better qualified, far more articulate, have a greater understanding of the Constitution, and other things, essential to our present era —

COLMES: Yeah.

KEYES: — than Mike Huckabee, than Duncan Hunter, or than Tom Tancredo. I'll put myself up against them any time, and we should offer the best we can, for America.

COLMES: Well, let's be frank, here, in terms of your assessment of your likelihood of getting the Republican nomination. What is the likelihood of you winning the nomination?

KEYES: To tell you the honest truth, as the word is getting out, and does get out, the likelihood is great.

COLMES: Great!

KEYES: I'm the person who corresponds to what the grassroots people of the party really want. They want a capable, experienced, articulate, consistent conservative, whom they can absolutely trust to do what he says. And that's what —

COLMES: But, you think you have a great chance of getting the nomination?

KEYES: Most of the people are looking for that, and they are undecided. Every poll indicates that they are looking at this, and even when they've committed, they are half-hearted about it, because they want something better — and something better has come.

COLMES: You said in the debate, Ambassador Keyes, that these folks on the stage with you "represent the very people who, year after year after year, have destroyed our Constitution, betrayed our rights, undermined our strength created by our people in the world." You're referring — you're not talking about liberals. You're talking about your fellow Republicans.

KEYES: I sure am. I think it's time we also recognized, they're all up there saying the same things that Republicans have said for a long time. Don't we all recognize — after the performance of the Republican Congress, and the betrayal of the Republican elite, on border security, and other things — the big problem, with the Republican base, right now, is that we don't believe this leadership. They haven't delivered. They haven't performed. They have, in fact, on several fronts, betrayed us utterly, and now they just want us to go along, to get along, with an empty label. Well, we need to give that label its real substance, and that's what I intend to represent.

COLMES: You, at your website AlanKeyes.com, are aggregating people, and — National Review, Byron York did a piece about this, and you're saying that's what makes your campaign a national campaign, basically, is doing it on the web?

KEYES: Well, no. My campaign is a national campaign because I'm also the only one of these people who has actually garnered votes on a nationwide basis, ran in the last election, and in some states did quite well, thank you — including Iowa, where I came in third, and Utah, where I picked up 20% of the vote, and in the interim, by the way, have been acknowledged by many people to be the one who was articulating the sort of things that ought to be done, and haven't been done, in the course of many years of disappointment, now, since the 2000 election when I ran.

And so, there are a lot of people out there who have approached me, over the years, and said, "Gosh, I wish I'd voted for you," and they're going to have their chance.

COLMES: In the National Review piece, where they talk about, you know, the Pledge you're asking people to take on your site, and in Iowa, the number is 49. In New Hampshire, it's 18. South Carolina, 44. You've got a long way to go, to aggregate —

KEYES: But no, because you've got to understand the nature of that. That doesn't represent all our support. That represents the people who are going to be the backbone of activism, and obviously, we've been putting that together. I've only been in the campaign a few weeks, and we've been putting that together, and getting the word out, and also, we're trying to get people into a different mentality. This is not the kind of support that people are used to, where they can wave at you, throw you a little money, and think that they have done something. No!

We want them to pledge to work, to work every day, to spread the word, to represent the things they say they believe, and I — and we have actually called people. We don't want folks who are making casual pledges, and so forth. No. We take them off the list. We want the folks who will seriously, carefully consider what they're doing, and stick to their word. And that's the kind of folks we're encouraging.

And that's slower. I've told my people, it's slower. It's more difficult, and it's not going to look spectacular, perhaps. But, I think if we patiently stick to the real standard, we're going to develop a more solid, and durable, and expanding base than anybody has seen in this country in a long time.

COLMES: Well, you say "slower," but you don't have a lot of time. I mean, the Iowa — you know, they moved up the calendar. The Iowa caucus is on January 3.

KEYES: I know.

COLMES: You've got New Hampshire, a couple of days after that. They got South Carolina, a couple of weeks after that.

KEYES: Agreed. All of that is very true. But, you know what? I think, in many cases in life, especially when you're working with folks like me and like the people we're bringing together — you know, the simple premise is, we have it in the front of the website. Washington said it. You "raise a standard to which the wise and decent can repair. . . . As for the rest, it's in the hands of God." So, you do your work. You lay it down on right principles. You appeal and you work hard, and then you let God take care of the rest, and His timetable will work it out.

COLMES: Yeah.

KEYES: People keep acting as if this thing's going to be all over, in a little while. No. Actually, it looks as if we may be unsettled, all the way to the convention.

COLMES: You think there'll be an unsettled convention? Basically, a —

KEYES: Wouldn't that be interesting? It hasn't happened in a while, but yes.

COLMES: It would be great TV, but you think that's —

KEYES: I think that's very likely, yes.

COLMES: Do you think — I know you're a person of great personal faith. Do you think God wants Alan Keyes to be president?

KEYES: Well, Step Number One, I want to be very clear about something. I think that Mike Huckabee and others have handled this badly. I'm sorry.

The question before the American people is not the question of my personal faith, or Mitt Romney's personal faith, or Huckabee's personal faith, or anything like it. As I have raised it over the years, as you know —

COLMES: Yeah.

KEYES: I have tried consistently to confront people with the simple premises of America's regime: we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. Therefore, governments must be based upon consent. Therefore, we have due process. Therefore, we have elections and our Constitutional system.

Do we believe in this premise? Because, if we do — if we do, Alan — this premise requires acknowledging the existence, and respecting the authority, of God. The question isn't what I believe. The question is what the American people believe, and it's consistent with the principles on which they base their claim to govern themselves.

COLMES: Question. You believe God has a plan for you, and that plan includes being president of the United States?

KEYES: Everyone believes God has a plan for me, and God's plan for me includes bearing witness to, and calling people back to, a respect for His authority, insofar as that is essential to the maintenance of liberty and self-government in the United States. So, that's what His plan is for me.

As for the rest, I represent that faithfully, present it to the American people, and do I believe that there are enough people in this country with a heart for those principles, to win the presidency? Yes.

Will it happen? That's what freedom's about, Alan. Neither you nor I can say that. I don't know.

COLMES: Yeah.

KEYES: People will have to — freely, in their conscience — decide. I will only make the best case I can for it.

COLMES: We're going to have Chris come on the show, towards the end of the year. Maybe he'll tell us.

KEYES: Maybe he'll know. I don't.

COLMES: We'll take a quick break. We'll open up the phones for Alan Keyes. 877-367-2526.

COLMES: I'm Alan Colmes. Our guest is Ambassador Alan Keyes, seeking the Republican nomination for president. Alan, as you know, there's a bit of controversy surrounding your appearance in the debate the other day in Iowa. I know there's some hoops you had to jump through. Do you have an office in Iowa? Apparently, there's been some dispute about that.

KEYES: Well, we do have an office, because one of the fellows who works for me, and has been with us since the time of the exploratory committee, and has been one of the few people who are, kind of, paid consultants with us, is in Iowa, and has been our basic campaign office there since they set up "We Need Alan Keyes," which was a real exploratory committee, not some phony thing reflecting my ambition, but I told them they could go ahead with it, and if there seemed to be some sincere interest, with the comments, and all — I was more interested in what was on people's hearts, than in numbers, and that's what they did.

But the other thing, Alan, to be quite clear about it, what's going on in this country? Are we being told, now, that unless professional consultants make money, Americans don't get to do politics? That's insane.

COLMES: No, I understand that.

KEYES: And I can't accept the notion that, somehow or another, we set up a criteria that says that, if people are working in American political life, for the things they care about for this country, out of the goodness of their hearts, without being paid, from their own homes — in any way, actually, that they darn well please — somebody then has the right to bar their candidate from the political arena, because they're only being supported by people, rather than by moneybags, or other professional consultants —

COLMES: Should there be any standard, to get into a debate?

KEYES: The only standard to get you into the debate should be the same standard that gets you on the ballot. If you're on the ballot, what right does somebody have to tell the people of the state they can't hear from you directly?

COLMES: But there are standards, to get on a ballot.

KEYES: Right! There are standards to get on a ballot, all through the country.

COLMES: You have to jump through certain hoops.

KEYES: If you jump through the hoops and don't make it, which we're not doing — some states, we're not quite making it — and so forth and so on, I didn't protest. In Michigan, I thought their standards were phony and lying. There ought to be, by the way, some consideration of the past. This is the first election I've ever been in, where they're acting as if there's no past. Nobody has a past. We don't look at Mitt Romney's past. We don't look at the party's past, in terms of its real principles, when we look at Rudy Giuliani, and nobody seems to want to take into consideration the vast past that Alan Keyes has, of consistent conservatism, support around the country, political experience.

In Iowa, I came in third, and people were trying to suggest that I've got to prove it all over again, that I've got support in the state. In American politics, before we started to let it be hijacked by these people, it was quite well understood that when you performed well in an election, in a cycle that was credible, you were given credibility. They didn't assume that your supporters just evaporated into the mist. This is all phony, what's going on. It's a counterfeit election, until real people stand up and start to take it back from the —

COLMES: But, have you ever performed well in an election? I mean, you've never held elected office.

KEYES: I actually won a primary in Maryland. People always act as if all I've ever done is lose elections. Lie. And then, remember. I remember, in 2000, the standards in America, they're still raising it again, this time, that there were three tickets — that's the standard wisdom — out of Iowa. And do you realize that, in 2000, when I came in third in Iowa, I was denied. It wasn't reported, it wasn't done, and therefore, in a combination of the media and others — and the same thing was true of debates. You know? Usually, you participate in a debate. People think you do well, it gets reported, and that contributes to momentum because people start to look at your quality. They don't just look at phony criteria, like moneybags, and whether they support you, so that some oligarchic wealth elite controls our politics. They don't look at media, so that media touts get to decide who enters our political arena. They look at quality. And if people respond to your quality, in debate, and so forth, that was then considered to be part of what they reported.

I did extremely well in every debate in 2000, and not a word said about it, in the media. Just lies. Our politics has become a manipulated, counterfeit effort —

COLMES: Why would there be some kind of bias against you?

KEYES: You'd have to ask people that. I haven't the faintest idea. I think that, in point of fact, there is a strange — it even showed up the other night, in the debate. Don't tell me anybody in their right mind thinks I got fair treatment in that debate. It's impossible to conclude that. And, until I stood up for myself, the Des Moines Register editor was going to treat me like I didn't even exist. And, don't ask me why. You should ask her why.

COLMES: Are you playing the victim?

KEYES: No. I'm telling the truth. That's what happened. And now, I think it does require an explanation, but I can't give it. You know, all I do, Alan — I stand up, I speak my mind in the best fashion, in the best thought. I have consistently not only done that; I have worked, I have organized people, on things like the border security issue, for instance. I was helping the Minutemen get themselves up and running and get organized, because I believed what they were doing. On pro-life issues, I've helped people all around this country, helping people to raise money and do other things in the pro-life cause, for many years, not just because it was this politics or that. In South Dakota, I went down to help the folks on pro-life, when they were battling for that piece of legislation. In Missouri, when the cloning issue was going on, in Florida, with Terri Schiavo — I'm doing things because I care deeply about these things. OK? So, if I look out there, and I see people out there, phonies, by the way, claiming that they're speaking for the hearts of these good people when they couldn't possibly be real about it, then surely, I don't see anything wrong with trying to get involved to try to put a true — a true position —

COLMES: Are your fellow Republicans phonies?

KEYES: Frankly, I can't help it. When Rudy Giuliani betrays the historic principles of the party, and stands up and tells me he's a Republican — an historic principle, by the way, written in stone, that the Civil War, which we, as Republicans, you know, the president founder of the Republican party, led the nation in the Civil War, took that war on — and he said it was because it was testing the principle whether a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal could long endure. That's what he said it was about. The party started out of a dedication to national principle, and now Rudy Giuliani throws those principles in the ocean, and wants to call himself a Republican.

Mitt Romney stood, his whole career, for abortion, promoting gay rights. When he got bitten by the bug of presidential ambition, he changes, with a snap of his fingers, reinvents himself, and now wants us to entirely forget his real record, and his consistent record, and only believe the words coming out of his mouth.

COLMES: I'm up against a hard break, here. I'm up against a break, something you're familiar with from when you hosted a show called Alan Keyes Makes Sense.

KEYES: Yes, indeed.

COLMES: I want to take a quick break. I want to get to our calls, if we can, with Ambassador Alan Keyes. When we get back, we'll do just that. The lines are open. 877-367-2526. Coming back with your calls, in just a moment.

(break)

COLMES: I'm Alan Colmes. Our guest, Ambassador Alan Keyes, seeking the Republican nomination for president. He says he has a great chance to get that nomination. I just want to be clear, before we go to our phones, here, you believe the leading contenders on the Republican side are phonies.

KEYES: Um, I believe that the leading contenders on the Republican side, I believe the word I used was, "counterfeit." You know what they do when they're training people who look for bad money? They don't study counterfeit money. They actually study the real thing, so you can recognize the counterfeit. And I think folks are going to find that my participation in the election helps folks to find what's really conservative.

COLMES: What if one of them gets the nomination? Will you vote for the Republican nominee?

KEYES: Well, what I made clear at the debate, and I think a lot of people in the party need to take this really seriously. If Rudy Giuliani is nominated, I cannot, in conscience, vote for him, because I have to put my allegiance to God above my allegiance to any party whatsoever, and I've said so consistently, throughout my entire career.

COLMES: What about Mitt Romney?

KEYES: I don't think Mitt Romney has, in fact, made the big conversion he thinks. I think it was done for the sake of political convenience.

COLMES: So you would not vote for him?

KEYES: So, I've told people, I'm not convinced of that, and since I'm not convinced of it, I have to look at his real life record, and his real life record — he built his power on the willingness to praise and support that which led to the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent babies.

COLMES: Could you ever vote for Mike Huckabee?

KEYES: I think that I am unhappy with the idea that, in order to get somebody who respects the moral principles of freedom, I have to get somebody who abandons, in policy, the implementation of freedom. So, I look at all of this, and I say, "Well, I'm not real happy with that."

COLMES: Could you possibly run as a third party candidate, or as an independent?

KEYES: Well, I'll tell you, I think America deserves a good alternative, no matter what, and I think it will be a shame if the Republican party leaves the national principles of this country without a defender.

COLMES: Well, should they deny you the nomination —

KEYES: I don't believe that that situation should last for very long.

COLMES: If they deny you the nomination, would you run as an independent?

KEYES: Well, should "they" deny me. Let's remember that this is a process that requires that we consult the people.

COLMES: Let me rephrase the question. I don't want to get bogged down in the language. Should you not get the nomination of the Republican party, would you run as an independent?

KEYES: Well, I think that, as with a lot of things that lie in the future, one will consider them in God's time, and in His way, and before we'll consider them, we'll see what happens between now and then.

COLMES: So, you're not closing the door on that. You're not closing the door on running independently, if things don't work out as you would like, in the Republican party.

KEYES: Well, I never close the door on anything I think might be necessary for the welfare of my country. Does somebody really believe that it's right, to put party above country? To put party above God? 'Cause I don't. And I never have. And I want the black audiences, by the way, to explicitly criticize the idea that people who don't believe in the moral abandonment that has been characteristic of many Democrats should be voting against their consciences, for Democrat candidates. You think I'm going to do the same thing, for the sake of a party label, that I have said that others shouldn't do? No.

COLMES: Let's go to Jason, in Houston, with Alan Keyes. Hello, Jason.

CALLER: Hello. Hey, Alan — Keyes — this is directed to the Ambassador. I don't understand. You want to be president, but you're making excuses, complaining about why they're not paying attention to you, not giving you a chance, not hearing you, and not paying attention —

KEYES: Well, no. I didn't complain about anything of the kind. I —

COLMES: Hold on, sir. Let him respond. Jason, let him respond.

KEYES: That's an unfair characterization. I stated a fact, about what happened during the debate. I didn't complain about that fact. I simply stated it. And you asked me what explained it, and I said I couldn't explain it. I didn't complain. I think that's an unfair characterization. So, if somebody does something, I'm not allowed to tell the truth about it? Why not?

COLMES: All right. Let's go to Mike, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Hello, Mike.

CALLER: Hi, Mr. Keyes. I consider myself a conservative, and something you said at the beginning of the interview interested me. You said that the only reason that you got into the race was that there weren't any candidates that came forward that you considered qualified, or that you liked. Who would you have been looking for to enter the race, that would have satisfied you and made you happy, and you could have gotten behind them? And I'll hang up and listen to the answer.

KEYES: I can only describe them in the abstract, because I think that somebody who is pro-life, who understands that that's a matter of principle at the national level, and that therefore that principle which is the basis for our liberty — that we're all created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights; government has to be based on consent; which then leads to our constitutional structure; it ought to be somebody who wants to preserve and respect that Constitution, who won't let the judges run roughshod over the separation of powers —

COLMES: But is there a particular person who had the —

KEYES: And finally, it would be somebody who's going to be strong on our national security, strong on the borders, and who understands that we must get rid of the Income Tax and free the American people from the destruction of their economic sovereignty. I think all of those things would be needed, and to tell you the truth, somebody on the stage represents each one of them, because they know they are elements of what the conservative grassroots want, but nobody understands how to pull them together on the basis of consistent and coherent articulation of principle, and that's what's needed, and there's nobody doing it.

COLMES: Had Newt Gingrich jumped in, would that have solved the problem?

KEYES: Newt Gingrich doesn't do it, either. I'm sorry.

COLMES: Is there anybody you can think of, who does it?

KEYES: Me.

COLMES: Besides you —

KEYES: No.

COLMES: — that, had they jumped in —

KEYES: Believe me, if there had been, that's why I waited. I looked. I actually —

COLMES: But who, who could —

KEYES: I actually examined closely, and I thought for a while that Senator Brownback, now not in the race, whom I know and respect and like, and have over time gotten to know, I thought that he would be pretty good. But then, he took positions on the amnesty bill and the border that I just said, "No! This is not — " because whether we die immediately, because we drop our borders and forget our security, or in the long run, because we abandon the moral basis of the republic, we're still dead. And I don't think that fatal flaws like that are good enough for the country, right now.

COLMES: So there's nobody, no other human being who comes to mind, that could have fulfilled the vacuum that you say —

KEYES: If somebody else could do this, they would come forward, and there was plenty of time for them to come forward, and I would have supported them.

COLMES: Why didn't you come forward sooner?

KEYES: But I didn't see that person, and not seeing them, I finally was willing to give in to those that said, "Why don't you stop saying that we need it, and go offer what you have often told us to" — 'cause I tell people this all the time. If you don't see the choice, be the choice. That's what citizen leadership is about.

COLMES: Let's go to Wren in Manhattan with Alan Keyes. Hello, Wren.

CALLER: Hello, Mr. Colmes. How are you this evening?

COLMES: My name is Alan, but go ahead, Wren.

CALLER: OK. Mr. Keyes, it's a pleasure to talk to you, sir. I have two quick questions, and —

COLMES: By the way, I think it's, "Dr. Keyes," but go ahead.

KEYES: No, no, no. "Alan" is actually fine. I don't mind.

COLMES: All right. Go ahead.

CALLER: Dr. Keyes. No worries. I do respect the man. But I have one comment, and two questions. I get the impression that the media do not know how to sell an Alan Keyes. I get that impression, I think it's about money, at the end of the day, for them, and my question is: I live here in New York. I would love to get behind you and support you in any way I can. What can I do? So, if you can address those two, and I'll take it off the air.

KEYES: The answer to the latter question is really quick and simple. Go to AlanKeyes.com. You'll find there something we call the Pledge for America's Revival. You need to read that pledge, and prayerfully consider whether you are willing to commit yourself to both the things that it articulates, that are needed, we believe, for this country, and to the simple task that it asks people to do. And, if you are, the best thing you can do is to sign that pledge and get to work. You get all kinds of communications from us, and communications about how to help with the work we're doing , in New York, and other things, but most importantly of all, you'll be challenged to do what I think citizens have forgotten it's their job to do. And that is, if you believe that is right for America — go to your family. Go to your friends. Go to the people you know and work with, and become the leader yourself, that offers this to them that says, "Come, take a look at this, become part of this," because it's not about what I do. You know, politics ought to be about what citizens themselves do. It shouldn't matter, to a certain extent. This leader, that leader, so long as they're consistent and capable. But what really matters is our people, making the difference, and going out there in their own lives and communities and circles, and building what's needed, to lift leadership up. Don't let money only offer it to you. Don't let media offer it to you. Build it yourself, and it will belong to you, and that's what representative government really means.

COLMES: We're going to take a quick break. Back with Ambassador Alan Keyes at 877-FOR-ALAN.

COLMES: Our guest, Ambassador Alan Keyes, seeking the Republican nomination for president. We go to Paul in Phoenix. Hello, Paul.

CALLER: Hey, Alan. Mr. Keyes, let me ask you this one question. How can a Christian possibly support this wicked and evil war that we based upon lies? A war that's resulted in a million deaths, and 90% of them are non-combatants. How can you possibly, as a Christian, support that war?

KEYES: Well, Step Number One, I think that the war in which we are engaged against terror, wasn't one we started. It was brought on us. The Middle East is the region in which, right now, the incubation of terror is greatest, and it threatens us all. The first blow, therefore, was struck by others against us. I think that the Bush administration has done a very bad job, not of conducting the war. I think our military people have done the job that we asked them to do, as they often do, and I think that President Bush has done a seriously bad job of articulating what is the strategic necessity for the war, and how it relates to the strategic purpose of defending this country.

COLMES: What does Alan Keyes do — what does President Keyes do about Iraq?

KEYES: I think that what President Keyes does is to help the American people understand the simple facts. We have a choice, and the choice isn't to bring the troops home. It just brings the war home. Does somebody really think that that's going to keep the very terrorists who hit us first, from hitting us again, and again, and again? We've got to —

CALLER: Mr. Keyes —

KEYES: We've got to go where it's being created, where the infrastructure exists, where the people are recruited, and that's the strategic purpose. Focus on that. And the rest of it, I think, has to be worked out with the international community. We can't impose some free government — I love the idea of spreading freedom, but it's something you can't do at the point of a gun. It's something you have to do over time and with the cooperation of the people themselves, and also of the international community.

COLMES: Do you get us out of Iraq? Do you end the war?

KEYES: I think I just said, we have a job to do, and we need to do that.

COLMES: I don't know what that means.

KEYES: Which would we rather do, would we rather have our well-armed troops killing terrorists in Iraq, or have terrorists killing our people in New York and Chicago?

COLMES: Hold on, Paul. Hold on. Are you suggesting that, were we not in Iraq, that means they'd be here, killing us in New York or Chicago?

KEYES: I'm not suggesting it, sir. That's history. That's happened. And it's going —

COLMES: That's history?

KEYES: And it's going to happen again, OK?

COLMES: How would they get here?

KEYES: I think they found a way here, and several thousand people —

COLMES: Not from Iraq.

KEYES: Are we so far from — we are dealing with a problem in Iraq that has implications that go far beyond Iraq, and I think that the strategic choice of establishing ourselves in such a way that we are even. Some people have said, "Well, the terrorists are actually being attracted to come, to kill our soldiers," and so forth, and I'm thinking, "Well, you know, it's easier to have them come to have them try to kill you and you kill them, than to go all around the world hunting them down." When are we going to start getting realistic about the simple fact that we have a job to do, to protect our people, and that we need to understand and pursue that job against the terrorists, not confuse the mind of the people by making them do something in the way of —

COLMES: Paul, I've got to move on, but Iraq was never a threat to the United States. The Sunnis and Shiites (sp) aren't looking to come here.

KEYES: That's naοve about what terrorism is all about, and I worked on this on the National Security Council. If you're trying to tell me that terrorism isn't an international infrastructure that is supported and facilitated by governments —

COLMES: I'm saying that Iraq wasn't a threat.

KEYES: — in the Middle East, and that Iraq, certainly under Saddam Hussein, wasn't a part of that infrastructure, including funneling money, including helping with training, then you just don't understand the reality of what we're dealing with, but I do.

COLMES: All right. We go to Mary in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Mary.

CALLER: Congratulations, Ambassador Keyes. I'm excited about your candidacy, and I wanted to know how you would secure our borders, and what you would do with the illegals here.

KEYES: Well, two things. To secure the border, I think, isn't hard at all. We just haven't had the will, amongst our elites, because in point of fact, they're serving a little clique of economic interest that want cheap labor, and they get it, whether at the expense of our sovereignty, our border security, or anything else, and sadly, elites on both sides of the party line have been willing to give it to them. But let's start with a National Border Guard that would be the counterpart of the Coast Guard.

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