This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," Oct. 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, Christine O'Donnell goes "On the Record" in her home state of Delaware.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you very much for letting us do this.
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL, R-DEL., SENATE CANDIDATE: Thank you for coming to Wilmington. I appreciate it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we practically stalked you. I mean, you really didn't have a lot of choice.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, we were hounding you all day. We've made a billion phone calls. So we're -- you know, we're gracious that you let us come. We went this morning to an event. Tell me about the event.
O'DONNELL: Well, it was an event to honor veterans. There's a lot of veterans who not only work on the campaign but are volunteers and supporters of Team Christine. And up and down the campaign trail, I would talk to them and say, What do you want to see Washington do? How could our elected officials be serving you better?
One of consistent things I heard from just about every veteran who lives downstate was that it's very cumbersome and difficult for them to get basic check-ups, basic medical care -- I'm not talking about the surgeries or the physical therapy, but regular check-ups -- because they have to travel far to the VA hospital. And often, the VFWs are having 50/50s to raise gas money for the...
VAN SUSTEREN: What's 50/50s?
O'DONNELL: Well, they're raffles.
VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, OK.
O'DONNELL: Their fund-raisers, raffles to raise money to get gas for their vans to bring these vets up to the VA hospital. And I said, What would make it easier for you? Consistently, what the veterans shared with me is they would like to pick doctors in their own communities.
So I began to do some research, talking with some of the people who work at VA hospitals, talking to some of the veterans. And we put together was an idea to create a veteran vouchers program so that we can work with the VA to certify local doctors that the veterans can pick so that a basic check-up doesn't require scheduling your whole life around getting to this one doctor's appointment.
So what we're hoping is do is help the VA hospital to streamline some of their treatment and some of their care, but also empower the veterans who have fought for our freedom -- they should have freedom and the final say over their basic health care.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you bring up the issue of veterans, obviously, and the health care. So naturally, my attention goes to the men and women who are currently serving in the armed forces in Pakistan (SIC), Afghanistan. Pakistan is a mess. It is -- to put it bluntly. I mean, we've got the intelligence service there double dealing us. If you're elected to the United States Senate, one of the issues that's going to be on your plate is Pakistan. What do you think we should do about Pakistan?
O'DONNELL: Well, what we need to do first and foremost is work with the NGOs on the ground there, the non-governmental organizations who are serving the people because we have to keep in mind that our conflict is not with the citizens, the private citizens of these rogue nations. They're with certain -- certain leadership, certain terrorist organizations that are bred in potentially hostile countries. So if we work with the NGOs on the ground to empower the local people, who are hungry for freedom, who crave democracy, we can help create an ally over in the Middle East.
And we have to keep in mind that under President Musharraf's rule, Pakistan was a great ally for us in the war of -- in the war on terror. So we have to help them to get back to what they once were when they were a strong ally.
VAN SUSTEREN: How about Afghanistan? President Karzai has been described by a lot of people as being corrupt. He's our partner.
O'DONNELL: Right. Right. Well, Afghanistan is crucial because of its positioning to India and the fact that its neighbors do have nuclear weapons. So again, what I propose to do in Afghanistan is to work with the local groups so that they can have a stable democracy because their -- Afghanistan is strategically positioned in the heart of the Mideast, right around the countries who have nuclear weapons. And it's very important that they become an ally of ours, as well.
And what I would say about -- you know, you hear President Obama talking about a timetable for withdrawal. We have to make our foreign policy decisions based on effectiveness, not on a timetable.
VAN SUSTEREN: If it's not working, are you opposed to leaving?
O'DONNELL: Well, that's what -- that's what I meant by just there. How is it not working? Why is it not working?
VAN SUSTEREN: Is it working now?
O'DONNELL: Well, you know, that's up in the air. But we can't withdraw and consider the consequences. If we withdraw now, we're sending a message to the terrorists on the ground over there that, We bullied a superpower out of our country. And what we're going to do is we'll end up empowering them, and we don't want to do that. We don't want to empower the terrorists or inspire them anymore to think that they have a greater power than they don't -- or than the do because they don't.
So if we withdraw now just because they're bullying us even harder, think of the consequences on what that will do to our own forces back here. The best offense -- or the best defense is a strong offense. So we have to strengthen our U.S. military once again.
Our U.S. military needs to be feared by rogue nations and terrorists. So there's many things that we can do right here at home on the ground to do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, then let's go to Iran, as long as we're making our trip around the world map. What would you do about Iran? Iran says that they only want civil -- they want nuclear energy, not nuclear weapons. The rest of the world says they're trying to get nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad is very belligerent towards the United States and threatening towards Israel. What should we do about Iran, if anything?
O'DONNELL: Well, we definitely have to do something. There are several things that we can. First of all, we have to rebuild and repair our relationship with Israel. Israel has traditionally been a strong ally. I don't believe that this administration has been as friendly and supportive to Israel as America could be and as America should be. Israel deserves our respect. They've been an ally. And they're a strong country...
VAN SUSTEREN: You don't think we're giving that to them now?
O'DONNELL: I don't think we've done everything that we can. For one thing, if you remember about a year or so ago, when Israel talked about doing what they needed to do to strengthen them when Iran started making threats, President Obama scolded them. You don't scold one of our allies for doing what they need to do in their own national interest.
So I think that there's a lot that we can do to repair some potentially damaging things that this administration has done with Israel. And I'm not saying this administration isn't a friend of Israel. I'm saying that we can do more because we need Israel. We need to be a friend to Israel and we need to help her be strong once again because when Iran says that, We want to wipe out the West, they mean us. They mean America. And they mean Israel. So we've got a united goal there to be strong again.
And then the other thing that we can do is make sure that Iran doesn't get nuclear weapons. And the way we do that is strengthen our relationship with those countries who might be providing them the uranium and things like that that they need.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do we have time, though? I mean, it's, like, you know, frankly, you know, some people like Ambassador John Bolton says it's inevitable they will have nuclear weapons. Do you think it's inevitable?
O'DONNELL: That they have nuclear weapons? You know, I don't know. I don't have access to the intelligence information that would help make that decision. Perhaps as a U.S. Senator sitting on the Foreign Relations Committee, I will. That's what -- I would love that.
But I've met with some of the Iranian officials who actually live here in Wilmington. A former Iranian ambassador lives here in Wilmington. I had a very long conversation with him about what's going on. Some of the people actually think that they're making threats that aren't backed up.