Ben Carson's foreign policy strategy

GOP candidate weighs in on terrorism and the Middle East on 'The O'Reilly Factor'


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 17, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight, let's get right to Dr. Ben Carson who joins us now from Topeka, Kansas. The Doctor's book "One Nation" out in paperback, doing very well.

So you just heard the "Washington Post" guy who says you overstated the border fence Yuma, what say you?

CARSON: I say people (INAUDIBLE) made in my speeches is well- documented that the fence is only one component of our defense against illegal immigration. They did it correctly in Yuma. Not only did they put up a double fence with a road that allows quick access (AUDIO GAP) there. And they prosecuted first time offenders rather than the catch and release program that has subsequently been --

O'REILLY: Right, that was a big thing and word got out. So, when you make a statement in a debate, you know, you don't have time to fill in all the blanks, that's why I felt sorry for all you guys -- not just you. Because they are fact checking stuff. You say the fence worked and then you don't say other things worked as well.

It's not a deceit. It's just a matter of how much time you have got and what the point you wanted to make. I thought you were ok there.

Now, I want to talk to you about terrorism.

CARSON: Believe me, if they really wanted to know. They would have gone back and -- there is plenty of statements that I have made about what you do to secure the fence. And if it was something that was according to their agenda, they would have gone back and said well, you said this on March the 30th.

O'REILLY: Ok. Let's talk about terrorism when the United States invaded Afghanistan to get bin Laden and take the Taliban out of power you opposed that, correct?

CARSON: Well, I opposed Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought they there were better ways to accomplish our goals. I did not oppose --

O'REILLY: Ok. Let's just take Afghanistan because Iraq, that's a whole different thing. But Afghanistan you have bin Laden there. You had the al Qaeda there. You had the Taliban harboring them. That position -- that you didn't support that initial action sets you apart from almost every other Republican in the country. So, I want you to explain your position tonight.

CARSON: Yes, I'll explain that because Afghanistan does not have a central government. It has 300 tribal leaders. The only successes that we have, which were limited were through our association with the northern alliance of tribal leaders and that helped for a while. That sort of dissolved now.

And what have we really accomplished? Every nation that has gone into Afghanistan to quote "tame it" has failed. That doesn't mean that we couldn't take Osama bin Laden out. It doesn't mean that we take out the terrorist camps.

But I don't see how we could possibly expect that we were going to do what no one else has been able to do.

O'REILLY: But if a government is declaring war on the United States as the Taliban government did, we have to attack the government, do you not.

CARSON: I'm not sure that we attack every government that declares war on us. I mean --

O'REILLY: I think we have throughout history. I can't recall any government declaring war on the United States attacking the homeland that we did not remove that government. I mean almost every time we did.

But, anyway, let's update this position to ISIS. Now we have another threat, open threat we want to kill as many Americans as we can. If we get the chance we are going to do it. How would you defeat ISIS?

CARSON: First of all make it very clear that we do want to defeat them. And I would use everything available to us. That includes the economic possibilities available to us. It involves all of our covert activities and Special Forces.

And I believe that it would probably require that we actually put some men on the ground because we have called for the development of this coalition for all the nations in that area who have an interest. But we are not providing any leadership for them.

O'REILLY: No we're not.

CARSON: So, of course they are not going to form spontaneously.

O'REILLY: Well, they wouldn't do it anyway. And Europe is getting what it deserves now for sitting out the whole war on terror and now they're being overrun by Muslim migrants and that's the cause and effect.

But you would put American troops into Syria I assume. To attack with allied soldiers. And you'd get some, all right, to attack --

CARSON: Not in Syria.

O'REILLY: You wouldn't go into Syria but that's where the headquarters are.

CARSON: I wouldn't go into Syria. What I would do is I would drive ISIS out of Iraq. I think we are capable of doing that.

O'REILLY: But you couldn't destroy them then. They would still be functioning in Syria because that's where command and control is.

CARSON: Yes, you push them up into Syria. And you regain control of Iraq. That's a big part of the victory because that's part of their caliphate. You know, that's the majority of the caliphate is in Iraq.

O'REILLY: Yes. That's true.

CARSON: We should push them out of there. That will make them look like losers. It will make it much more difficult for them to recruit people when they look like losers.

O'REILLY: All right. You know, with me I go right to Raqqa and they would have to pay the price.

Doctor, you know, you are always accessible to us. We congratulate you on your campaign thus far. You have conducted yourself in an exemplary way. And we hope we can just continue the conversation onward, ok?

CARSON: Absolutely. Thank you.

O'REILLY: All right, Doc -- thanks.

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