Stopping the home-grown terror threat

Chris Christie shares his plan for keeping the US safe on 'The O'Reilly Factor'


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 4, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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WALLACE: In the "Campaign 2016 Segment" tonight, stopping the homegrown terror threat. The issue took center stage in the Presidential race this week following the San Bernardino attack. But do any of the candidates have real solutions to better protect the country?

Joining us now from Jefferson, Iowa presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Governor, during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition this week, you said that we are in the midst, your words, of the next world war. But talk to us in practical terms specifically, what does that mean we should be doing differently?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first off, Chris, what we need to do is reverse the decision that was made this past summer regarding the NSA's ability to collect metadata. We have weakened our intelligence capability through that and we need to reverse that.

And we need to support our intelligence community and our law enforcement community to intervene and to give them the tools they need to be able to do that. And that's not just actual tools. It's also giving them the support and guidance that they need to be able to do that the right way.

Then we need to go and put together as I have said before, a coalition of both NATO allies and of Arab allies to be able to fight ISIS. We need to disrupt their financial networks, their oil flow. Those are all things that are practical things that we did with al Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of 2001 attack and we need to get back to that.

WALLACE: I want to talk to you more specifically about the homeland. One of the things that you have been talking about is keeping all, all Syrian refugees out of the country. But as we saw in San Bernardino, the threat from homegrown terrorists is a more immediate threat than any foreign people coming into the country which raises the question, if you were president, commander-in-chief today, what would you do to detect, to find out and to stop someone like Syed Farook who was an American citizen?

CHRISTE: Well, first thing, Chris, is that, you know, no one else in this race has the experience that I do in terms of having spent seven years in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 using the Patriot Act, using the FISA court, using the tools that are necessary to be able to intervene in both the Fort Dick 6 case and the Hemant Lakhani where we successfully intervened before attacks happened. We were able to prosecute, convict, then send to jail all of those terrorists.

And we would use those very same tools. We would make sure that we have a bolstered and strong Patriot Act. We'd make sure that we are giving the resources that the FBI, other law enforcement, CIA and NSA need to be able to intervene.

The only way to deal with this problem at home, Chris, is to get as much intelligence as possible, connect the dots and try to intervene beforehand. I want to be clear. It doesn't mean you're going to be able to stop every attack.

And I want to take issue with one thing you said in your question. I don't think that the attacks in San Bernardino mean that the threat from within is worse than the threat from outside. They're both bad and they both need to be dealt and intelligence and law enforcement capability is the number one way to protect the homeland.

WALLACE: There is a new poll that is out, that was completed just before the San Bernardino attacks. And I want to put this up on the screen and discuss it with you.

In the CNN national survey Donald Trump now leads at 36 percent -- that's more than double anyone else in the field. You are running fifth at 4 percent and specifically on the issue of fighting terrorists -- on fighting ISIS rather -- Trump is at 46 percent. You are running sixth at 4 percent.

My question is: what do you make of his strength and of your standing when the issue specifically is when it comes to protecting the country?

CHRISTIE: You know, Chris, we have talked about this in all the time I have been on "FOX NEWS SUNDAY". These national polls are just meaningless. What really matters is what is happening in Iowa and New Hampshire. That's what is going to define this race ultimately. We have got the Iowa caucuses in less than 60 days. We have got the New Hampshire primary in less than 70 days. Those are the polls that really matter. Those are the races that really matter.

And as have you known and seen over the course of your career, if the results in Iowa or New Hampshire are in any way inconsistent with what those national polls are today those national poll will change overnight.

WALLACE: President Obama has said that one of his foreign policy principles is "don't do stupid stuff". In an interview that was published today in the "Atlantic" you say that in pursuit of that policy, that President Obama, quote, "has done a lot of stupid stuff", although you used a rougher word than that. When you say stupid stuff by this president such as?

CHRISTIE: As did the President, by the way. You know, the saying inside there in the White House according to all the reports is that they used the rougher language, too, Chris. So I was repeating the President's rough language.

The fact is this. When you promise to take action in Syria, if they violate a red line, of not using chemical weapons against their people and then you don't act you diminish America's influence and credibility abroad. When you sign a ridiculous agreement with the Iranians regarding nuclear weapons that the Iranians are not even following at this point, that is something that's not smart to do. When you put distance between ourselves and Israel as the President has done both through his actions and his rhetoric, that makes the region more unstable. And when you put distance between ourselves and our Sunni Arab allies because of your flirtation with Iran who's still chanting death to America and guaranteeing that Israel will be wiped off the map in 25 years that seems pretty stupid to me, too.

WALLACE: Governor Christie, we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much. Thanks for your time tonight.

CHRISTIE: Chris, thank you for the opportunity. It's good to see you. Have a nice weekend.

WALLACE: Thank you. Same to you.

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