OTR Interviews

Ousted Author of Arizona Immigration Law: 'We Couldn't Get the Win' in Recall Election

Author of state's controversial law on illegal immigration discusses defeat in recall election

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 9, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The state of Arizona makes history, history that Senate President Russell Pearce is probably not too wild about. He got ousted last night in a recall election. Senator Russell Pearce joins us. Good evening, sir, and I guess politics is a rough game.

RUSSELL PEARCE, R-ARIZ., FORMER STATE SENATE PRESIDENT: Well, it is. This recall started a year before I was even elected, Greta, over SB-1070 was funded. We have two Republicans. There was no primary. He couldn't get the win. I can guarantee you. But he's funded. Endorsed by the in the Democrats and funded by MoveOn.org, and they were able to pull it off.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why -- tell me, I mean, usually, there is -- where there is no primary, it seems odd that a Republican -- this is not a primary, this is a recall.

PEARCE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: But it seemed to me like there is -- I am just surprised two Republicans running against each other. And I think he --

PEARCE: I am, too.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you friends? Are you friends?

PEARCE: That's a stretch. We're not enemies, but that's a stretch. It's just not true. He opposes SB-1070, he supports the Dream Act. He supports gays in Boy Scouts. He's endorsed by the Democrats. We are at opposite ends of this issue. So that's a stretch.

You know what's interesting, he's opposed to SB-1070. The Phoenix Police Association just put out a press release. Crime is it a 30-year low in Phoenix, a 30 year low, the safest streets they have had in 30 years. A reduction in home invasions, car-jackings, kidnappings, and they said completely because of SB-1070.

The results -- and the other thing, balanced budget. We are number one in the nation. I don't understand how a Republican can be so offended over the promises I have kept. We have led the nation and changed the debate in Washington, D.C. I am proud and America's proud. And 34 states are modeling legislation after us.

I mean, I am disappointed that this recall has taken place the way it has and we have a Republican endorsed by Democrats who refuses to get the nomination of his party. But you know what, I am grateful for the chance I have had to serve and I am grateful for what we have been able to accomplish. I will continue to keep my promises and do what I think is good for this country and the state of Arizona.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Let me ask you -- we only have a minute left. I know it's only 24 hours later, but political plans?

PEARCE: Well, Greta, I have a lot of folks meeting with me, including the governor's staff and others. We have a battle, like you talked to two great people, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann. I love them both and I'm with both of them. There is a war going on here about what is right. Less government, reduce the burden of government on the taxpayers and on businesses, protect the families.

You know, it's about time somebody starts standing up for the mom and dads earning the money and doing great jobs in the private sector, not the government sector. And that's what this battle is about. I don't know how you fix Washington, D.C., but we have a good start on fixing Arizona. And it's being modeled around the nation. I am proud of that. I am grateful for the chance to be able to make that kind of a difference.

And Greta, I appreciate you giving us a chance to go on it and tell the world, you know, some of the things we have done and again, grateful for it. I would appreciate people, you know, would get ahold of me on RussellPearce.com. Let me know how they feel and respond to us, and let me give them the full story.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Pearce, thank you for joining us, and, frankly, I would like to have your opponent on and hear his ideas and as well and hear both sides of it. But thank you, sir.

PEARCE: I would like to hear his ideas, too.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, sir.

PEARCE: Thank you.