This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson," September 20, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JOHN GIBSON, "BIG STORY" CO-HOST: Ahmadinejad won't be allowed to travel 25 miles beyond the U.N. headquarters while he's in New York City. My next guest says he shouldn't even be allowed to land on U.S. soil. FOX News contributor and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin joins me now.
So Michelle, you know, a lot of people feel, what's this guy doing here anyway? In the history of the U.N., they've never actually blocked any of these terrorists from coming here. How exactly would we say, hey, the U.S. is a no-go zone for you?
MICHELLE MALKIN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, the Immigration and Nationality Act allows us to revoke the visas of anyone we want to on national security grounds. We're not just the world's doormat. We could say no. It's not just a matter of telling him, Ahmadinejad, that he's not welcome at Ground Zero. We have the right, the sovereign ability to say you're not welcome anywhere on U.S. soil, but we didn't do it.
And the fact that Secret Service protection would have been available to Ahmadinejad if he had chosen to go to Ground Zero is absolutely appalling. I'm glad that Geraldo is a diplomat now, but you know what he would have done with Geraldo's seven-point list? He would have stuck it in his mouth, chewed it up and spit it out.
You do not negotiate with terrorists. That should have been the lesson we learned not on 9/11, but for three decades beforehand where we've appeased terrorists and paid the price in blood, and now New Yorkers and Americans are absolutely outraged. Even though he's not going to Ground Zero, there are going to be many hundreds, if not thousands, of people who will counter-protest across from the U.N. on Monday at noon to make themselves clear. And I'm surprised that the White House was not stronger in its wording than it was today.
GIBSON: OK. Well what about abandoning Mahmoud altogether? Could New York actually do that? Could New York say, hey, you just can't come into the city?
MALKIN: Well, I'm not sure about that, Geraldo. I think the New York — John, I don't think that the New York Police Department — I think they've done as much as they could there. I think Bloomberg could have sent a stronger message in the same way that Giuliani did when he told the Saudi prince to bug off with his money, but he didn't. He was an accommodationist. And there is something that somebody in New York could do something.
Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, ought to rescind the invitation that basically honors Ahmadinejad as a world leader. He's going to be going to that campus when, as Bill Kristol, our fellow FOX News person has said, Columbia University won't allow the ROTC on its campus and it's going to have Ahmadinejad. This is absolute insanity, John.
GIBSON: Well, I don't understand something, Michelle. It seems to me the last time Ahmadinejad was in the country, last year, for the same U.N. meeting, Columbia withdrew an invitation. So why would they be going forward with it now?
MALKIN: That's exactly the question that people should be asking Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University. And if I were a parent of a student there, I'd be bombarding him with e-mail.
What are the criteria for honoring a world leader in a forum? The president has assured people in a mass e-mail that, oh, yeah, Ahmadinejad will be challenged, but basically what we have here is tea with terrorists on the campus of Columbia University.
GIBSON: Isn't it true, Michelle, that one of the things that we have to endure as Americans, and especially New Yorkers because the U.N. is here, is all these guys come here and they act up whenever they're here and we just have to sort of ignore it and go on?
MALKIN: Well, that has been the stance for as long as the Turtle Bay has been in New York City and there have been a number of efforts to kick the U.N. out of the U.S. Maybe this will be the tipping point to have that done because I really don't understand how people in New York City can tolerate the Hugo Chavezs and Ahmadinejads of the world coming, gracing their presence, walking their sidewalks. Enough is enough with Ground Zero and, you know, I love the New York Post headline today on their front page, which basically just said what we should say to all these dictators: Go to Hell.
GIBSON: Michelle Malkin, it's always good to talk to you. Thank you very much.
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