This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 26, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Here's former senior adviser to President Bush, Karl Rove.


I scare you, don't I?

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRES. BUSH: The hot thing — the several million degrees centigrade got me going.

BECK: Yes, well — I mean, look — Karl, what does the world need? Look, we know that Kim Jong-Il, come on, who didn't see that — oh, what a surprise, he's not a man of his word; same thing with Ahmadinejad.

We play the same game over and over again and we act all surprised and then back ourselves into a corner where we have to rely on China.

ROVE: Yes. Well, now — look, you want China involved in this because China's given them all their energy, most of their food, their consumer goods, you want them to be part of the solution. And that's why it's good to have all six move together...

BECK: Right.

ROVE: All six countries together trying to pressure North Korea.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

But now is the time. I mean, we got a resolution in 2006 from the United Nations that gave additional power. The Chinese are clearly embarrassed. Their statement after this was stronger than they had before.

The Russians are getting worried. They're awakening to the fact that a nuclear-armed North Korea is going to be real problems for their far- eastern region. Now is the time for us to take the authority from 2006 and ratchet it up.

BECK: Karl, you know what I feel like? I feel like we're on a rudderless ship right now. Who's the leader?

ROVE: Well, we sort of semi are. We sort of semi are because — look, you need a full-time guy working this problem. They got a part-time guy, who's a good guy apparently, but he's the head of a major foreign policy school. He's not a hard-nosed diplomat who's working this problem every day of the week, and appears from his early comments to be relatively naive about this.

But there are two — there are two things that we ought to be — there are three things we ought to be thinking about doing. Two that we can impact deeply and one that we need to find a way to finesse the Chinese into. We need to get the Chinese to do something about oil. That is the real linchpin. You get them to ratchet down the oil now, and it has real pressure on the North Koreans.

We've got two things we can do. We can further stomp on their foreign currency — their foreign financial transactions. If we say we don't want to do business with anybody in the financial world who's doing business with North Korea, people don't want to do business with North Korea.

BECK: Why aren't we doing that right now?

ROVE: Well, let's give the administration a couple of days and maybe they're working the diplomatic angles here and maybe they'll start to do it.

The final thing is...

BECK: They didn't do anything with the missiles?

ROVE: Well, let's make sure they're trying to get everybody keyed up. I know how this is cumbersome and complicated. Give them a couple of days to see if that's...

BECK: Now, hang just a second. You want to answer this question. But do you really actually believe that or are you just being...

ROVE: No, no, I do. I do.


ROVE: If they're smart, they're delivering messages and saying — I think a smart message to deliver to the Chinese is: Your little allies once again embarrassed you on the international stage. You told them not to test the nuclear weapons; you told them not to test the missiles. He's now done it. He's embarrassed you. Loss of face for you. So sorry that you're suffering this loss of face because you can't control them.

Incidentally, speaking of control, we don't think we could stop — if this keeps going, Japan is going to want to do something. And we can't control a resurgent Japan. If Japans wants to sort of step up its military defenses against North Korea, geez, we're not going to be able to do anything to restrain them, because, after all, you know, they are going concerned about defending their home territory...

BECK: With...

ROVE: Which China is scared to death of.

BECK: With China — with North Korea, I mean, the North Koreans, you know, they've got nukes. We have the Syrians. They had a nuclear power plant. We had evidence that it was coming from North Korea.

Iran is developing. Now we're talking, Saudi Arabia says, "Yes, you know, we might have, we want to have some nukes." Egypt is saying, "Yes, we might want..."

All the nutjobs in the neighborhood are all starting to have nuclear... and in the meantime, our president is saying, "You know what, we should get out of the nuclear business."

ROVE: Well, and not only that, but his attitude is, I'm doing this because the Russians have it as a top priority. Why are doing it because it's a top priority for the Russians? We should do things only when they are in our interest, and when by doing so, we gain something from our interest.

We gain nothing by pursuing the Putin's desire to engage in strategic nuclear weapons reductions conversations except elevate Putin.

BECK: I feel — and maybe it is just me, I don't know if America feels this way — I feel as I watch this administration, and I watch this Congress make decision after decision after decision — whether they agreed with the Bush administration or not, I think there is a growing sense of worry in this country that we're putting ourselves into a position to where we — we're being almost reckless.

ROVE: Right. Well, we were told last year that all it would take was a new world leader who would engage in the world and engage with diplomatic conversation and the problems would go away. We're seeing that that's not true.

And the question will be in the next couple of weeks: Does this administration find itself in a place where it either takes action in combination with allies or our partners, or does it take action on its own if need be?

We have the authority, for example, to interject vessels coming out of North Korea that we suspect to have technology on them.

BECK: You know, you remember when Joe Biden, during the campaign said: "Is this on? Let me tell you some secrets. He's going to be tested. He's going to be tested like crazy."

Is this the test?

ROVE: Look, we have had a series of them. You don't think that — you don't think Chavez was testing him when he did what he did at the Summit of the Americas? Do you not think the G20 were testing him?

BECK: Has he passed any of the tests?

ROVE: Not so far.

I mean, you know, look at him. G20 — he goes to G20 and his object is to get everybody to do what we're doing here and spend a lot more on stimulus. They said, "Thank you, no."

He goes to NATO. His object there is to get more combat capability in Afghanistan from our NATO allies. They said, "No. Thank you very much."

He goes to the Summit of Americas where to sort of present a turn a page to present a new face for America, instead he looks like he's palling around with Chavez and elevates our adversaries in the region.

And now, we have this.

I'm not willing to mark the paper just yet. Let's give him a few more days to see what happens. But so far, not good.

I mean — look, you can argue whether Christopher Hill was the right guy or wrong guy, but at least he was on the job full-time. Now, they got a part-time guy whose initial statements are naive. I mean, a couple of weeks ago he said, "Oh, I thinking everything is going the right way." This as we had to know that they were getting ready to do what they've done over the last few days.

Remember, isn't it interesting? They shot off the missiles last year on the fourth of July. They do the test this year on Memorial Day. They have an American holiday calendar and they do this to sort of send a message to us.

BECK: Is there a turning point? I feel like a clock is ticking on our country. That there is — that there is — there's only so much we can do to it.

I mean, look how resilient it has been since September 11th. Is there a point where you say, if we pass this, we're in deep trouble?

ROVE: Well, as long as you count and say deep trouble, yes, there are points.

BECK: I would never count America...


BECK: ...and the American ingenuity and the American spirit out.

ROVE: Right. That's right.

One is if we get a so-called public plan in health care reform. That is to say if we have a government-run plan that so called competes with private industry that puts a strain on the path to becoming European-style social democracy.

There maybe a point in which when our — you know, the rating agencies are now saying U.S. trades lose their AAA rating and by 2022, get an A rating — which is what Greece has got. By 2030, we have junk bond status.

We lose the AAA rating and that is a very dangerous moment.

If the deficit, the other point to watch is July. In July, if the so- called mid-session review on the budget deficit comes out and the budget deficit goes significantly above the current anticipated level of $1.7 trillion this year...

BECK: Geez.

ROVE: Then, we're in trouble. And my gut tells me, given how rosy the optimists and optimistic the projections are that we could easily see a deficit number in July that is close to $1.9 trillion or maybe even $2 trillion.

BECK: Wow.

Thanks, Karl. I mean, I come back to work and — I mean, I had a great weekend. I was all happy, I was all rah-rah.

ROVE: Yes. But you're ready now to face it. You're ready now to face it.

BECK: Thank you, sir.

ROVE: Thank you, Glenn.

BECK: Appreciate it.

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