How would President Rubio wage the war on terror?; Exclusive: Rush Limbaugh talks terror attack, refugee crisis

Republican presidential candidate talks terrorism, Syrian refugee crisis on 'Fox News Sunday'


This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," November 22, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST:  I’m Chris Wallace.  Terror attacks around the world renew post-9/11 fears about whether it could happen here.  


LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Our highest priority is and will remain the security of our homeland and safety of all Americans.  

WILLIAM BRATTON, NYPD COMMISSIONER:  We will not be intimidated, and we will not live in fear.  

WALLACE:  Plus, the intense debate in Washington over accepting Syrian refugees.  

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Apparently, they're scared of widows and orphans.  

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  If you just get one of them or two of them or three of them wrong, you've got a big problem.  

WALLACE:  We'll talk with Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio about what he would do if he were commander in chief.  

Then, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh in a rare television interview.  It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive interview.  

And we’ll have the first Fox News national poll since the attack in Paris.  

Our Sunday group weighs in on how the focus on national security will reshape the presidential race.  

And our power player of the week: a new governor faces an unexpected battle with cancer.

GOV. LARRY HOGAN, R-MD.:  I talked about how I would tell my family.  

WALLACE:  All right now on "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE:  And hello again from Fox News in Washington.  

A week after the Paris terror attacks, the city remains on high alert as French officials have extended the state of emergency three months.  In Belgium, they raised the terror alert in the capital of Brussels to its highest level, warning of an imminent threat.  And in Mali, security forces are reportedly hunting for more than three suspects in the deadly hotel attack.  

Senior foreign correspondent Greg Palkot is live in Paris with the latest -- Greg.  

GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT:  Greg, authorities in Brussels are now saying they are worried about a Paris-style terror attack there.  That is why for the second day running, the Belgian capital is on lockdown.  Troops and armored vehicles are out in force.  The city's subways, malls and other places are off-limits, definitely related to the ongoing search for the eighth attacker in the Paris terror Salah Abdeslam.  He reportedly has been seen around Brussels, has a suicide vest in his position, and is described as agitated.

Meanwhile, in the former French colony of Mali in West Africa, authorities are seeking the suspects in the hotel terror assault on Friday.  An al Qaeda-linked group in the region has claimed responsibility.  Nineteen people were killed, including 41-year-old American Anita Datar.  She was an international development specialist and a mother of an 8-year-old son.  

And, finally, back here in France, authorities remain very much on a wartime footing.  In the past week, they have launched close to 1,000 anti-terror raids nationwide.  They have detained over 100 suspects and have seized some 200 weapons.  

This week, French President Hollande meets with President Obama in Washington.  Russian President Putin in Moscow, as well as leader of E.U. countries and Turkey.  All this it is said to bolster an international coalition fighting ISIS, a very difficult fight indeed it’s turning out -- Chris.  

WALLACE:  Greg Palkot reporting from Paris -- Greg, thanks for that.  

Now to other breaking news, the first Fox News national poll since the Paris attack shows how the wave of terror has reshaped that race since early November.  

Frontrunner Donald Trump has widened his lead, but Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are also on rise, threatening to overtake a slumping Ben Carson for the number two spot.  Rubio tops the candidates as to who is honest and trustworthy, with a net score of plus 20, just above Ben Carson.  Trump and Hillary Clinton are in negative territory.

And when it comes to how GOP candidates run against Clinton, Rubio does the best against the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Joining me now from the campaign trail is the Republican playing the hottest hand, Senator Marco Rubio.  

Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

RUBIO:  Thank you.  Thanks for having me back.  

WALLACE:  I know that you have a plan for how to fight ISIS.  I want to put it up on the screen.  You say expand air strikes, embed U.S. forces, oust Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, and provide arms directly to Sunni and Kurdish forces.

But, Senator, I want to ask you another specific question.  In addition to that, would you also commit U.S. combat troops on the ground to fighting ISIS?  

RUBIO:  Well, one of the graphs that's missing in that plan is we need a ground force that defeats ISIS, and it should made up primarily of Arab Sunnis.  That’s the only way you’re going to defeat them.  They have to be defeated by Arab Sunnis themselves.  So, they’re going to be the bulk of the ground force.  

There will have to be American operators embedded alongside them.  Special operators are combat troops.  This is not a return to Iraq.  We're not talking about 100,000 people or 50,000 armed soldiers.  

But we are talking about a significant force with special operators and others with specific missions that will have to be embedded alongside that Sunni Arab coalition that this president and the United States must put together if we are to defeat ISIS on the ground.  It's the only way to do it.  They have to be defeated by a ground force and have to be made up primarily of Sunnis.  

WALLACE:  You are clearly one of the foreign policy hawks in the current GOP field.  But some of your opponents note that back in 2013, when Bashar al Assad, the Syrian dictator, used chemical weapons -- crossed the red line and used chemical weapons against his own people, that you voted against the use of force allowing President Obama to use force against Assad.  

Why is that, sir?  

RUBIO:  Well, first of all, I don't support air strikes again Assad now.  No one is calling for those now either.  

I thought: number one, it would be counterproductive, especially the way the president was describing what the strikes should be.  We shouldn’t take symbolic military action or military action to send a message.  You should only take military action if you have a very clear objective and you’re providing the resources necessary to win.  

The second is, I offered an alternative to airstrikes at the time.  I very clearly outlined what we should be doing instead.  It included increased sanctions on institutions that were propping up Assad, but it also included a more robust effort to identify non-radical Sunni elements within Syria that we could empower to topple Assad, but also to ensure that no vacuums were being created for groups like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra and others to take hold.  

I felt that airstrikes -- and I still do -- against Assad at the time would have been counterproductive.  He would have survived.  He would have remained in power and it would have strengthened his hand and allowed him to send the message to the world that he had taken on the United States and still held on.  In fact, it may have rallied some in the Arab world to his side as a result of such a strike.  

So, those are the reasons why I thought that that should not have been the appropriate response at the time.  If military response is the appropriate response, I will support it.  In the case of ISIS, it is the appropriate response to have additional airstrikes.  But no one is calling on airstrikes on Assad now, and I thought it was wrong then, too.  

WALLACE:  But, of course, the specific issue there was that the president had set the red line, and a lot of people thought that it hurt U.S. credibility not to follow up on his promise and authorize the use of force.  Here was your reasoning back in 2013, sir.  


RUBIO:  I have never supported the use of military force -- of U.S. military force in this conflict, and I still don't.  I remain unconvinced that the use of force proposed here will work.  


WALLACE:  And some question the fact that is in voting against authorizing force you were voting along with Rand Paul, who you now call a committed isolationist.  

RUBIO:  Well, but for very different reasons.  Senator Paul didn’t want us not just not to conduct airstrikes.  He didn't want us to do anything involving our conflict.

I argued that the red line being crossed should have meant the U.S. should have openly and actively engaged in identifying non-jihadist elements on the ground in Syria that were trying to topple Assad and empower them, to not just to topple Assad, but to be able to govern the country in its aftermath.  

I thought that should have been the response even before the president laid out the red line.  And I thought that once he used chemical weapons, that for sure would have triggered that sort of response.  And the result is not only that Assad is still in power, but now, Russia has moved into the region and these radical jihadist groups have taken the advantage of the vacuum that was left behind.  

So, it is true that we had the same vote, but for very different reasons.  And, in fact, I called for us to do other things instead, and Senator Paul and others said for us not to do anything at all.  And I thought that was a terrible mistake.  We've seen what the result of that has been.  

WALLACE:  Senator, let's turn to what's become a very hot issue this last week.  And that's the question of what to do about the Syrian refugees.  

You've put out a pretty firm line on that.  You say you want to block the admittance of any Syrian refugees, because you say, quite frankly, we have the information, the intel, the database to vet them properly.  Does that mean you will vote against the bill that was passed by the House this week overwhelmingly which would allow Syrian refugees into the country but under tightened security?  

RUBIO:  No, my argument is that we can't allow anyone into this country that we can’t vet.  And I believe that the vast majority of refugees that are trying to come here are people we will not be able to vet.

Does commonsense still apply?  Of course, it does.  A 5-year-old orphan, a 90-year-old widow, and well-known Chaldean priest, these are obviously commonsense applications, and you can clearly vet them just by commonsense.  But what about someone who doesn’t fit that profile?  There is no reliable database that we can rely on.  There is no existing government institution in their home country that we can call up and run them against.  

WALLACE:  But I guess the question --  

RUBIO:  We don’t -- we cannot vet most of these people.  

WALLACE:  But the question --  

RUBIO:  The House bill I think is an appropriate response.  And what you’re going to find is a result --


WALLACE:  But I don’t understand because the House bill isn't going to create the databases that you say aren't there.  

RUBIO:  The House bill will require both of director of the FBI and of Homeland Security to personally certify that each person being admitted has been fully vetted and they're confident, that they're not going to be terrorists.  That they won't be able to do that in most cases, because even they will tell you in both -- you know, in private conversations and some have said it publicly, that we do not have the capability today to fully vet people coming from that region of the world.  We just don't have the access to that information to allow us to do that.  

WALLACE:  But let me pick up on that if I can, Senator Rubio, because critics say that you and all the other Republicans, or a lot of other Republicans, are misleading the American people about how detail the vetting process is.  They note that the U.N. now checks Syrian refugees in refugee camps in the region for four to 10 months, then U.S. officials pick up the vetting, and screen them for 18 to 24 months.  

And they say, giving how easy it is for those refugees to get into Europe, why would an ISIS operative want to wait three years, go through all of that vetting to try to get into the U.S.?  

RUBIO:  Well, that question answers itself.  The United States is the ultimate prize in their mind.  If ISIS is able to conduct a successful operation in the U.S. or I believe even Canada for that matter, of the scale of what you saw in Paris, it would be an enormous bonanza for them in terms of funding, but also recruits from all over the world, that would be a huge messaging win for ISIS, and continue to grow their movement.  

The second point is, it's not that the vetting is not extensive.  It is.  It's that the databases do not exist.  When you’re vetting someone, you are basically comparing them to information that you’ve acquired.  

And in the case of people coming from that part of the world today, we do not good information about that part of the world. We have even less information about people coming from Syria than we did with the Iraqi refugees after the aftermath of that war five or 10 years ago.  And so, it's not that the vetting isn’t happening.  It’s that the vetting does not have reliable data to compare it against.  That's the problem.  

WALLACE:  OK.  Let me -- let me switch subjects, about something that I suspect you’re going to want to talk about, which is your rising standing in the polls.  As we pointed out in the latest Fox News national poll, you're now tied for third place, and you've risen just this month.  In Iowa, the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls here in Iowa has you third at 12.8 percent.  In New Hampshire you're running second to Donald Trump at 12.3 percent.

And, Senator, you have a new ad out which focuses on the fight against ISIS.  Here's a clip.  


RUBIO:  These are radical terrorists who want to kill us, because we let women drive, because we let girls go to school.  

I’m Marco Rubio, I approve this message, because there can be no arrangement or negotiation.  Either they win or we do.  


WALLACE:  Senator, do you think that your foreign policy credentials are giving you a boost with voters as they focus more on choosing a commander in chief with all of these terror attacks?  

RUBIO:  Well, on these polls, obviously, you want good news, not bad news.  But we've not gotten too excited or too depressed about them.  They're going to fluctuate between now and Election Day, especially in early states where voters wait until the last week, the last day oftentimes to make their decision.

As far as national security, let me just say, I obviously am not happy about the events from last week in Paris, but I think it's a positive development that it suddenly has cast -- forced Americans to confront more carefully the issue of national security, because it is the most important thing a president will do and that is the most important function of the federal government.  

And I hope we focus on that more, not just for political advantage, but because the world has become a very dangerous place.  It's not just radical jihad.  It’s the Chinese military buildup, it’s Russian aggression, it’s North Korea’s dozens of nuclear warheads, it’s Iran's desire to acquire a nuclear weapon capability.  These are all very real risks and we are eviscerating our military capabilities at a time when the world is growing more dangerous.  

WALLACE:  Senator --  

RUBIO:  So, I’m glad we're focusing on national security, and I feel very confident in my position and talking about those issues.

WALLACE:  Senator, we’re running out of time, I want to ask you a couple final quick political questions.  You generally stay away from attacking your rivals, the other candidates in the GOP field, but you went after Ted Cruz this week for his vote to kill the telephone bulk data collection program, which actually will run out a week from today.  

What do you think that vote says about Ted Cruz?  

RUBIO:  Well, it's not going after anyone personally.  This is an important issue because we have a debate within our own party about what the proper role a government is in these intelligence programs.  And there are members of the Republican Party, that includes Senator Cruz and Senator Paul, who have argued that somehow the government is out there spying on everybody, and so, we need to gut these programs.  

That isn't true.  If someone in the federal government is spying on an American, they should be fired and prosecuted.  But these are valuable tools in the war on terror that allow us to learn more about these terrorists than they know about us, and allow us to identify them and potentially disrupt plots before they're carried out.  

If you have voted to harm those programs and undermine those programs, then we need to have a debate about that, because it is a very different view of what the government's role should be in our national security.  That's a legitimate policy debate.  

WALLACE:  Absolutely.  On the other hand, another legitimate policy debate, Senator Cruz has been hammering you in the last few days for your support for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.  Here is Senator Cruz.  


SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The Rubio campaign is trying very, very hard to change the topic of discussion away from Marco's longtime support and partnership with Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama pushing a massive amnesty plan.  


WALLACE:  I’ve got about 30 seconds left.  Is there something personal between the two of you?  

RUBIO:  No, no, this is a policy difference as well, except that Ted Cruz himself supported the legalization of people that were here illegally.  He offered an amendment that actually would have allowed that to happen, and then two months after the debate --


WALLACE:  Wait, but he says that was a poison pill to try to kill comprehensive reform.  

RUBIO:  Well, that's not accurate.  In fact, in September of that year, three months after that debate ended, he was still telling The New York Times and others how he supported legalizing those that were here illegally.  

He's changed his position, and that's fine.  He has a right to do that.  He needs to answer a question of what he would do with those people that are here illegally.  He’s the only Republican candidate -- in fact, he's the only candidate for the president that’s to this point refuses to answer the question of what do we do with people that are here illegally?  And I think that’s an important point.  

I’ve laid out a clear plan forward on that issue.  And, you know, I’m not -- I’m more than happy to continue to have the debate over that issue as well.  

WALLACE:  Well -- and we're happy to have you here to continue that debate.  

Senator Rubio, thank you so much for your time today.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, sir.  

RUBIO:  Happy Thanksgiving.  Thank you.  

WALLACE:  Up next, more results from the Fox News poll, including what Americans say about the war on ISIS.  

And later, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh joins us for a rare television interview.  

But first, our Sunday group weighs in on the debate over accepting more Syrian refugees.  What would you like to ask the panel about how President Obama is handling the refugees?  Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.  


WALLACE:  And we're back now with more from the first Fox News poll since the Paris attacks.

Two thirds of registered voters we surveyed say President Obama hasn't been aggressive enough in fighting ISIS, 26 percent say he's been about right, 83 percent say it’s very or somewhat likely Islamic terrorists will try to attack the U.S. soon.  And two thirds oppose the president's plan to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.  

It seems like a good time to bring in our Sunday group.  Syndicated columnist, George Will, USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, head of Heritage Action for America, Michael Needham, and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams.  

George, in the wake of the attacks this week by both ISIS in Europe and apparently an al Qaeda affiliate in Mali, what are your thoughts about the terror threat and how effectively President Obama is handling it?  

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  The bombs go off, the massacre occurs and ISIS demonstrates an astonishing reach, and the president remains unshakeable in his belief that our principal national security threat is climate change.  

And he dismisses what happens in Paris as a setback and promises an intensification -- his word -- of a strategy that’s not working.  Don’t take my word for it -- Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said when the president said ISIS has been contained, she says not contained, it's expanding.  

Yet, Article 5 in NATO has not been invoked, which indicates that the French response, although forceful, may be episodic and fleeting.  

WALLACE:  We should just quickly say Article 5 of NATO, any member of NATO can invoke it and says an attack against one is an attack against all.  There had been some thought that France would basically call in the cavalry.  They have not done that.  

WILL:  This matters, because ISIS exists at the sufferance of NATO and other powers in the world perfectly capable of sweeping it off the map of the Middle East.  

I should also say, there's a story in the front page of New York Times this morning that bids fare to become a real scandal, and it is that there's an investigation going on of CentCom, the Central Command down in Tampa, as to whether or not intelligence was falsified to give a rosier view of the campaign against ISIS.  

The question in this town in a couple weeks could be, what did we not know and when did we not know it, and whose fault was that?  

WALLACE:  People are understandably frighten by what's going on in Paris and in Mali, but this week, the head of the FBI, James Comey, tried to reassure Americans.  Here he is.  


JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR:  We are not aware of any credible threat here of a Paris-type attack and we have seen no connection at all between the Paris attackers and the United States.  


WALLACE:  Kirsten, given the very different obstacles for outsiders like the Paris bombers, getting into Europe, as opposed to getting into this country, are we safer than they are in Europe?  

KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY COLUMNIST:  I think we are safer, but that don't mean we are safe.  Those are two different things.  And so, we're relatively safer.  

It doesn’t mean they can’t get into our country.  Obviously, we know terrorists can get into our country.  We have seen it happen.  

I think in terms of they are obviously -- they obviously have the migrant crisis right in front of them.  I mean, it's not something that's literally crushing against us the way it is against them.

But one thing I would say on that is that the Manhattan Institute actually has a study out about how in the United States, something I think most of us probably think already, you know, Muslim immigrants tend to assimilate much better than they do in Europe.  And that is also part of the problem in Europe, they have, which is that they are not assimilating.  The Muslim migrants are not assimilating.  

WALLACE:  Well, that brings us to the next topic, because the debate over how to confront ISIS quickly morphed this week into a fierce debate over how to handle the Syrian refugees, and President Obama seemed almost eager to call out Republicans.  Take a look.  


OBAMA;  These are the same folks oftentimes who suggest they're so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the problems out there.  But apparently, they're scared of widows and orphans.  


WALLACE:  Michael, given in that Fox poll we just released, two thirds of Americans say that they oppose President Obama's continued determination to put -- to allow up to 10,000 Syrian refugees in, I -- the question I have is why does he seem so eager to have this fight, especially given the fact that in the House vote on tightening restrictions on allowing Syrian refugees, and 47 Democrats broke with the president and voted for the Republican plan?

MICHAEL NEEDHAM, CEO, HERITAGE ACTION FOR AMERICA:  Yes, it's not a good fight for him to have.  Look, America --

WALLACE:  He seems to want to have it, though.  

NEEDHAM:  America is an extraordinarily compassionate nation.  We’re -- we’ve accepted 50 percent in 2013, we’ve accepted 67 percent of the world’s refugees.  

Compassion doesn't require being stupid, however, and I think going through, making sure that Congress is having the vetting process to allow these people in is absolutely common sense.

When you look at Bowling Green, where two terrorists who came in from Iraq, where we have pretty good records, came in, they were vetted, it turns out they were terrorists.  

When you look at the Boston bomber, who was a refugee 17 years ago, got radicalized while in America.  There are valid concerns to have about refugee programs, making sure that we're not letting in an ISIS terror in that program.  

And if the president wants to have that debate, I think it's a debate that we're happy to have.  And as Ted Cruz said, he should come back and make some of these claims to people's faces.  Let's have a debate.  

WALLACE:  We asked you for questions for the panel.  And we got this on Twitter from a fellow calling himself Bomb_Doc.

He writes, "So we can't locate 11 million illegal immigrants in our country, but we can vet thousands from the remote regions of Syria."

Juan, how do you answer him?  And doesn't he have a point?  

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST:  I don't think he has a point at all, Chris.  I mean, Bomb_Doc is creating a false equivalent in my mind, a false equivalence born out of legitimate concerns, as Michael was saying, there are legitimate concerns in the aftermath of Paris and 9/11.  But what you have to understand is it's being combined with the politics, especially politics that is so anti-immigrant, almost to the point of xenophobic.  It’s becoming hysterical all this fear.

What we've had is a situation where you can vet people.  We have had in this country, you know, the reality is thousands of people now admitted since 9/11, and we've had only the three, Michael was just citing them, instances where people have been -- refugees tied to acts of anything that could be considered terrorism.  In fact, the Attorney General Loretta Lynch said we have a robust screening process that's worked.  I think it's more robust than anything we have for the tourist or the student visas or people who have a passport from France or Germany who just come into this country.  

So, the situation now is you’re talking about, since 2011, the Syrians that have been admitted, half of them are children, a quarter are adults over the age of 60, finger-printed, photographed, interviewed, biometrics.  I mean, so I don't think it's anything to be compared to some Mexicans coming over the border looking for a job.  

WALLACE:  Quickly, Michael, how would you respond to that?  

NEEDHAM:  Well, look, I think as Senator Rubio said, obviously, in some cases with children, it's easy to let them in.  There’s a difference between screening people from Syria, where we don’t have the types of records that we've had from other countries like Iraq, where we have a relationship with the government.  And so, I think, making sure that we have a system in place that can screen people.  And if you don't have records, aren’t letting those people in is absolutely common sense, and that's all that anyone is calling for.  

WALLACE:  All right.  We have to take a break here, but we'll see you a little bit later, panel.

Up next, the king of conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, on the threat from ISIS and the Syrian refugee crisis.  How does he think the presidential candidates are handling it?  


WALLACE:  Coming up, GOP candidates bash President Obama over how to handle the war on terror and Syrian refugees.  


RUBIO:  We had a president that spent more time attacking Republicans than he did talking about how we're going to attack ISIS.

CRUZ:  Well, I would encourage you, Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face.


WALLACE:  Rush Limbaugh on Obama and the Republican response, next.


WALLACE:  A look outside the Beltway at snow in Oskaloosa, Iowa, as the political season heats up just 70 days before the first in the nation's caucuses.  

Well, love him or hate him, Rush Limbaugh is the king of conservative talk radio.  20 million people listen to him each week on close to 600 stations across the country.  He's also written a new children's book called "Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner."  Rush Limbaugh joins us now from his EIV Studios in Florida, and Rush, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST:  It's great to be with you, Chris, it really is.  And by the way, everybody who listens to me loves me.  There's no hate.  It's a great, great, great misnomer.

WALLACE:  I know, but there are some people who don't listen to you.  Those are the ones I was talking about.  Anyway--

LIMBAUGH:  Oh, no, no, even the ones who disagree listen.  I mean, they're the ones who hate, and they're the ones who need a reason for it each and every day.  And I'm happy to provide it.  Full-service shop here.  Going into our 28th year.  So I'm just -- I pinch myself each and every day I have a chance to do it, and it's a thrill to be here with you, as always.  

WALLACE:  Thank you for that.  I want to start with a new song that you played on your show Friday, from a group you called Barack Hussein O and Jihadi Singers.  Here is a clip.

LIMBAUGH:  That's exactly right.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing):  ISIS is all right with me, ISIS has been contained, oh yes.  ISIS is just all right with me, ISIS the JV team.


WALLACE:  You were rocking along as we were playing it.  I know it's a parody, but I'm sure one with a point.  What are you saying about President Obama's strategy toward ISIS?

LIMBAUGH:  I don't think he's got a strategy that deals with ISIS.  I think Obama's strategy -- best I've been able to learn, and I've looked really hard at this -- it seems to me that Obama is linked to Iran and Syria in this.  The sectarian violence throughout the Middle East is his excuse for not doing anything about it.  Iran capitalizes on all of this chaos and crisis.  

Chris, look, I don't like saying any of this, but it's obvious Obama is very sensitive to Iran's needs and is trying to satisfy them.  We have lifted the sanctions.  They've got $150 billion they didn't have.  They are on the way to get a nuclear weapon, all because of Barack Hussein O, and I think his dealing with ISIS is inept, and incompetent, and nonexistent.  

WALLACE:  All right.  So what would you do?  How would you destroy ISIS?  

LIMBAUGH:  Well, in the first place, I would -- I would get some people around me and listen to them.  I would get some people around me who are experts in dealing with groups like this.  

For one thing, I would do, Chris, I would hit their oil.  I would hit their oil depots and I would hit their oil tankers.  We're not.  You know why we're not?  Because we have rules of engagement.  The administration says well, some of the drivers might be civilians, and we can't go there.  And there might be some civilians at the actual oil depots and oil wells that they've taken over.  That's their primary source of revenue.  I would hit that and I wouldn't care.  

You know, Chris, the world is governed by the aggressive use of force, and the purpose of war and the purpose of militaries is to kill people and break things.  That's how you win.  And you keep doing that until the other side says, I'm sorry, and surrenders.  

Barack Obama's No. 1 enemy is the Republican Party, and the conservative movement.  You see he gets animated, he does not need cue cards, he does not teleprompter when he starts ripping into them, but when you get ISIS on the board or anything in the Middle East, very cautious, very precise, very don't want to offend them, don't want to make them mad.  

WALLACE:  Let me pick up on that.  

LIMBAUGH:  I think it's very dangerous.  Chris, I think it's really dangerous.  I think the country is in more danger than people know.  

WALLACE:  Let me pick up on that, because I know you were struck, like a lot of people were, by President Obama's news conference at the G-20 summit in Turkey on Monday, in which he seemed to be more upset with Republicans who want to limit Syrian refugees coming into the country than he was with the ISIS terrorists who slaughtered people in Paris.  Here is the president on both of those issues.  


OBAMA:  The terrible events in Paris were obvious a terrible and sickening setback.  

When I hear political leaders suggesting there would be a religious test?  That's shameful.  That's not American.  


WALLACE:  Rush, what do you think is going on here?  

LIMBAUGH:  In that press conference, from those sound bites you just played, he also said that he doesn't believe in all this sloganeering like providing leadership and winning.  That's not -- the first time I heard him say that was in reference to Afghanistan in 2009.  He said, yes, when I hear victory, talk of victory, I think of poor Hirohito being dragged onto the battleship Missouri to sign surrender papers.  He's not serious, Chris.  There are legitimate questions about what and who he thinks pose threats to this country and who our real enemies are.  And I'm sorry, the American people, looking at the latest polling data, he's got his worst marks ever on dealing with terrorism.  People are scared.  We have got these refugees coming in, and nobody is confident we can vet them.  And yet we're told, don't be a bigot, don't be a racist, don't be a xenophobe.  We're none of those things.  And nobody who is worried about this, is.  They love America.  They are concerned about our security.  They don't think this administration is, or at least we're not seeing any signs of it.

WALLACE:  We do have a history, though, in this country, not only for matters of religious persecution, but also people fleeing violence in their country, of taking them in as refugees.  How would you handle the Syrian refugees, Rush?  

LIMBAUGH:  Well, you know, I would pause it.  I would put a pause on it right now, and I would again -- I don't profess to be an expert in everything.  I'm an expert in a lot of things, Chris, but not everything.  And in this case, I would get some people who can tell me how best to do this.  

We paused refugees being allowed to enter the country in 2011, you know who did it?  Barack Hussein O.  There was a six-month pause on Iraqi refugees for the very same reason people are worried about the Syrian refugees today.  

Look, I have friends who are Syrians.  I play golf with them.  They're great people.  This is not about that.  It's not about bigotry or racism or anti-ethnics or against certain nationalities.  It's about the defense and protection of the United States of America and our Constitution, which is what is the primary job of the president of the United States.  And again, he just doesn't seem to be oriented in that direction or interested in it.  

It's almost as though he thinks that we've committed all these crimes since our founding, unjust and immoral, and it's time for payback, it's time for us to find out what the rest of the world goes through every day.  It's time for us to bite the bullet.  I think it's really troubling.  I'm having to bite my lip here what I really think.  (inaudible).

WALLACE:  Well, what do you really think?  

LIMBAUGH:  I think we are a great nation at risk in a dangerous world, and the people leading the country today don't see that.  They see us as the problem, not the solution.  They think that we are responsible for some of these problems. They'll fall back and blame George W. Bush for what's going on.  ISIS didn't exist when Bush left offices.  

WALLACE:  Let's do a lightning round.  Get your quick reactions to some of the people running-- I know you like this.

LIMBAUGH:  Oh, lightning round! Yes, sir!

WALLACE:  Running for president for 2016.  First of all, Donald Trump.  

LIMBAUGH:  Uh, Donald Trump is I think doing a great service.  He is showing that you do not have to fear attacks from the media.  Republicans do not have to fear attacks from the media.  He's showing you do not have to fear being political correct or violating political correctness.

WALLACE:  Ben Carson.  

LIMBAUGH:  One of the most decent human beings in this country.  One of the finest men.  I've met him.  The things he has done, places he's come from, he's just one of the most decent human beings--

WALLACE:  Equipped to be president?

LIMBAUGH:  And I cringe when I see that they're trying to destroy him.  OK, next name.

WALLACE:  Equipped to be president?  

LIMBAUGH:  Ben Carson equipped to be president?  Um -- probably not at this stage, but any of these Republicans running would be better than Hillary or better than anything we've got now, so on that, based on that comparison, yes.  I would vote for him if it was up to him and Hillary, absolutely, without a doubt.  

WALLACE:  Ted Cruz.  

LIMBAUGH:  Brilliant, and conservative through and through.  Trustworthy, strong, confident, leader, and somebody in whom you can totally depend.  

WALLACE:  Jeb Bush?  

LIMBAUGH:  Jeb Bush, I don't think he really wants to do this.  I'm watching, and I don't see passion, I don't see fire.  It's as though people in his camp want him to do it because they want to get back in power.  I just don't see Jeb with all that energy that says I need this, the country needs me, I can't wait to do this.  I just don't see any of that.

WALLACE:  Finally, Hillary Clinton.  

LIMBAUGH:  I just think corruption.  When I think of the Clintons, I think corruption, and skirting the edges, don't trust them, and certainly don't think the country would be in the best hands possible if either of them got back in power.  

WALLACE:  Finally, you have put out another in your series of children's books.  This one is called "Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner," in which you and your talking horse Liberty and some middle school students go back to talk to the founding fathers.  And once again it is a New York Times best-seller.  This is a passion of yours, isn't it?

LIMBAUGH:  It is.  I never thought I would have children as an audience, I wished I could, but they're not going to listen to talk radio.  But these books tap into their imagination, they fulfill children's desires to dream, and they're taken right to these moments in history, and they are part of them, rather than these events being recited to them as facts that they have to remember.  They are taken there.  They talk to or they read conversations that the people in the books are having with founding fathers, and it's -- it's written for that age group 8 to 10, maybe up to 12, and we're just thrilled and so grateful at the response these books are getting.  

WALLACE:  Well, look -- everybody--

LIMBAUGH:  And I'm grateful for you to mentioning them, too.  

WALLACE:  Well, everybody would like to have a time-traveling horse.  I mean, and named Liberty no less.  Rush, good luck with the book.

LIMBAUGH:  That's a smart-aleck and talks back, too.  My favorite character in the book.  

WALLACE:  I don't want a smart-aleck talking horse, but anyway, thank you for joining us, good luck with the book, happy Thanksgiving to you and Catherine.  Always good to talk with you, Rush.  

LIMBAUGH:  Thank you, Chris.  And folks, you just watched the fastest 11 minutes in TV.  See you next time we do this, Chris.  

WALLACE:  You bet.  

LIMBAUGH:  Up next, we'll bring back the panel for more of our Fox News polls and the state of the Democratic race.  


WALLACE:  Some breaking political news overnight, an upset in the race for the governor of Louisiana.  Voters elected Democrat John Bel Edwards over Republican Senator David Vitter, who was badly hurt by his 2007 prostitution scandal.  Edwards is the first Democrat elected governor in the Deep South in 12 years.  Vitter announced he will not seek re-election to the Senate.  

This week was a chance for former secretary of state and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to display her foreign policy chops in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris and Mali.  In our latest Fox News poll, Clinton maintains her commanding lead over her rivals in the Democratic field, and we're back now with the panel.  

Let's start with Clinton, who gave a foreign policy speech this week, in which she certainly talked tougher than President Obama about how to take on ISIS, but didn't give a lot of specifics about how she would actually be tougher.  Here she is.  


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Our goal is not to deter or contain ISIS but to defeat and destroy ISIS.  


WALLACE:  Kirsten, whatever Clinton says, if the world is still a mess a year from now, won't she be blamed for her role in the Obama foreign policy?  

POWERS:  Certainly people are going to try to blame her, but I think what she will say is I wasn't actually in charge, Barack Obama was in charge.  I actually disagreed with him on certain things, as she's already said, she disagreed with him on Syria, for example, that she would have done things differently, and I think she's going to ask people to look at her, and I think there was a really distinct difference between her and President Obama, even if you want -- even if you say it's just in tone, and what she's saying.  Look, Republicans have been saying, it matters what you say, it matters how you talk about this.  Well, she talks about it in a very different way than President Obama does, and I think that she's going to try to make it clear that she's very different than him.  

WALLACE:  George, do you think that secretary of state for the first four years of Barack Obama's time in office can say I really was just kind of a bystander?  

WILL:  Or that I disagreed with him, because on two matters she not only agreed with him, but she was the main driver of this.  One was the reset with Russia, which has now been subsequently busy dismembering a nation in the center of Europe, Ukraine.  And also in Libya.  An illegal, unwise intervention by the United States that has created a failed state in that region.  It seems to me, and we're going to have a repeat of 1980.  In 1980, a week before the election, Ronald Reagan stands on the stage, and says, the American people, ask yourself the question, are you better off today than you were four years ago?  In 2016, whoever the Republican nominee is going to be, is going to stand on that stage and ask the American people this.  Is there any place in the world where American power is more respected and where the world is better off than it was when Mrs. Clinton became secretary of state?  It will be I think a devastating question.  

WALLACE:  Meanwhile, the Republican candidates this week got into a kind of bidding war about who can be tougher on the Syrian refugees.  And once again, it was the two Republican front-runners leading the pack.  Here they are.  


REPORTER:  Should there be a database or system that tracks Muslims in this country?

TRUMP:  There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases.  We should have a lot of systems.

REPORTER:  Specifically, how do you actually get them registered in the database?  

TRUMP:  It would just be good management.  What you have to do is good management procedures.  

CARSON:  If there's a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog.  


WALLACE:  Michael, there's some debate whether Trump actually did or didn't call for a Muslim database.  But I got a bigger question than that, and that is, at a time when it seems like the Obama-Clinton foreign policy is -- and I don't think I am overstating this -- in shambles, shouldn't the Republicans want to focus on that, rather than their rhetoric?

NEEDHAM:  Yes, absolutely.  And he did not call for a database.  It was a gaffe.  I think Byron York of the Washington Examiner wrote a great piece titled "Piecing It Together," but the burden is going to be on Trump and Carson now, to put forth their actual plans, to show that they have the policies that rise to the occasion, that can take the argument to Obama and to Clinton about how this isn't working out.

I think clearly Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio will be strengthened by this.  They have experience.  They've been in the Senate, they have been dealing with foreign policy issues on this, but the debate, as George said, about is there any part of this world that's safer now after eight years of Obama and Clinton?  Is what this election is going to be about.  It will be a major theme and it will be up to Trump and Carson to show that their policy can back up the Republican (inaudible).  

WALLACE:  Yes, but interesting, because it seems to me the bottom line, after this quite remarkable week, the headline is that for all of these controversial statements, for all of this new focus on who would be the best commander in chief, put up the poll.  It's awfully interesting.  As you can see there, Donald Trump continues to lead the pack, and in fact has widened his lead, leads by ten points, Juan.  

WILLIAMS:  It's hard to -- you come to someone like me, and what I do for a living is, I look at polls and I talk to political experts in Washington, and they're all baffled, Chris.  Nobody understands how Donald Trump is doing it.  I think on the Paris thing, it's clear he's a strong, reassuring voice.  He may not have a strategy other than bomb the smithereens out of them.  

WALLACE:  That's cleaning it up.  

WILLIAMS:  Exactly, OK.  And then he goes on and he says things like, you know, the business about the registry or closing mosques, and people say, what about our First Amendment rights, our religious liberties in this country?  Does not seem to bother -- I think he once was defined as a radical outlier in the Republican Party by people like me.  I now more and more see him as representing the feeling of economic anxiety, distrust of government, anger at President Obama in the Republican ranks.  He has captured that, and I think he's always finding somebody to blame, whether it's the Mexican immigrants or the Chinese for their money manipulation, or Wall Street for taking jobs away from working-class whites.  This is who the heart of the Republican Party is at this moment, and I think you have to just say, the Democrats would be happy to run against him.  

NEEDHAM:  It's not the heart of the Republican Party, it's the heart of the entire American electorate, which feels unheard in Washington, D.C.  They're right to feel unheard in Washington, D.C., because they are in fact unheard in Washington, D.C.  And I think that part of Donald Trump's attraction is that he's provided bold leadership.  There's other people in the field who have done that also.  It's not just a Republican thing.

WILLIAMS:  I think it is mostly Republican, Michael.  You don't see on the Democratic side, even on the Sanders people, who would be the populist opposite, you don't see this kind of anger, for example, at the immigrants that we were earlier talking about, allowing children and women and 60-year-olds into the country.  This is playing out in the Republican primary right now.  So I think that's where it is.  Not on the Democratic side.

NEEDHAM:  Look, there's no anger at the immigrants or anything else.  There are people out there who feel completely unheard by a political system that works for well-connected insiders and don't work for people on the outside.  That's something that--


WILLIAMS:  I hear that, but you don't think that Trump is driven by anti-immigrant fervor in this country?  

NEEDHAM:  I think Trump is driven by people who wand bold leadership.  And I think that's why you have 63 percent of the Republican electorate looking for people like Trump and Carson and Cruz, outsiders.

WALLACE:  Thank you, panel.  See you next Sunday.  I have a feeling we'll continue this conversation.  

Up next, our power player of the week.  Maryland's governor on a personal mission, raising cancer awareness after battling the disease himself.  


WALLACE:  Finally today, the inside story of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's battle against cancer.  Hogan sat down with us for his first national interview about his illness and his recovery.  Here's a special power player of the week.


HOGAN:  I kind of knew that being governor of Maryland as a Republican was going to be a tough job, but I was going to face all kinds of challenges, but I didn't realize cancer was going to be one of them.  

WALLACE:  Larry Hogan had been governor just five months in June, when he noticed a lump in his neck.  He'll never forget the diagnosis from his doctors.  

HOGAN:  We have got some bad news to tell you, you have 50 or 60 tumors throughout your whole body, from your neck to your groin; you got very advanced cancer that's spread all over.  

WALLACE:  When they say that to you, 50, 60 tumors and advanced cancer, what did you think?  

HOGAN:  I thought about how am I going to tell my family?  You know, what's going to be facing me?  

WALLACE:  Three days later, Hogan told the public.  

HOGAN:  I was diagnosed with cancer.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ready for the poison?  

HOGAN:  Yeah, we're ready for it.  

WALLACE:  The governor and his doctors decided to be just as aggressive as his cancer.  Six rounds of chemotherapy, where each time he would check into the hospital for five days of round-the-clock treatment.  

HOGAN:  I didn't sleep for five days, because they give you a huge amount of steroids to combat the chemo, so you're wired, and you're wide awake.  

WALLACE:  Hogan worked the cancer ward like a politician.  

HOGAN:  Can I come in and say hi?  

WALLACE:  Talking to other patients, even though his immune system was weakened by the drugs.  

HOGAN:  You did such an excellent job beating cancer that you need one of these.


HOGAN:  I wasn't supposed to, but I was hugging people, shaking their hands, taking pictures with them.  And it inspired me.  

WALLACE:  But as the chemo built up in his body, the side effects got much worse.  

HOGAN:  I lost all my hair.  I had a full head of white hair, and I lost my eyebrows and my eyelashes.  My hands and feet started to lose feeling and has nerve damage.  

WALLACE:  He also suffered from exhaustion, but he kept doing his job.  

HOGAN:  We had meetings in the conference room in the hospital, we had meetings in my hospital room with senior staff.  

WALLACE:  As Hogan started recovering, doctors let him go out more, like to a Baltimore Orioles game, where he found a way to engage in a favorite pastime.  

HOGAN:  I shook 500 hands or so at the Orioles game for the first time, I was so excited, because I had a batting glove on.

Now I'm putting 12-hour days in instead of just coming in for a few hours.

WALLACE:  Doctors say to you, slow down a little bit?  

HOGAN:  They keep trying to tell me that, but I don't listen very well.  


WALLACE:  Hogan is back in the statehouse, doing what he used to do, but there have been some changes.  

What is the biggest thing you learned about yourself?  

HOGAN:  There were a few emotional times, like I pointed out at my press conference, and I teared up a few times when I was with kids, but I'm also pretty tough.  

WALLACE:  He has also found a new mission, as an advocate for cancer research and treatment.  

HOGAN:  Hopefully I'll be done with this soon, as far as my own personal fight, but I'm not going to be done with the cause.  


WALLACE:  This week Hogan held another news conference.  


HOGAN:  I'm very thankful to be able to report that, incredibly, as of today, I am 100 percent cancer free and in complete remission.  


WALLACE:  We wish the governor and his family the very best on this Thanksgiving.  And that's it for today.  Have a great week and a great holiday.  And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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