Hatch: 'We've Got to Get Real' on National Security

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 5, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And Republican Senator Orrin Hatch just had a private meeting, a one-on-one with President Obama. Why? The inside story from Senator Hatch.


VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you, sir.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R - UTAH: Good to see you.

VAN SUSTEREN: You took a road trip to the White House?

HATCH: Yes, I spent a half hour with the president one-on-one.

VAN SUSTEREN: What were you meeting about today?

HATCH: He wanted to chat about the potential Supreme Court nominees and potential hearings coming up. I was glad to do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he name anyone to you?

HATCH: First of all, I was honored to have him invite me down. And he did go over a number of names. But I think I should keep that confidential until the time comes when he makes a choice.

VAN SUSTEREN: It makes sense to have you come down. Senator Kyl was with you as well?

HATCH: No, it was one-on-one. There was nobody else in there. He did have a photographer at the beginning, but he didn't hear anything.

VAN SUSTEREN: I take it the point was about the Supreme Court or were there other topics?

HATCH: We discussed a number of things, but the Supreme Court was the main focus.

VAN SUSTEREN:Times Square, that suspect, what is your thought about how this has been handled and whether the United States is safe or not?

HATCH: I get a kick out of how the Justice Department people were pounding their chest claiming they had really done this. The fact is they didn't know this man.

And if that fellow not been an idiot, in other words had been better trained, there would have been a tremendous problem and a lot of people would have been killed.

So it just shows how difficult this is. We've got to watch. He was certainly Pakistan Taliban, claimed he was trained by them. They claimed they trained him and he claimed he was trained in Waziristan which is a very rough place that we are not allowed to go into over in the Pakistan area.

And he was somebody who -- somehow or other we have to figure out how they are getting these people to join up with them. They Mirandized him, which I find stupid on the part of our people. He was a citizen but you don't have to Mirandize, you just cannot use any statement that he says in the trial.

The important thing is get the intelligence. Fortunately after Mirandization he has apparently opened up and has been telling them a number of things and that's good because he waived his Miranda rights, at least that's what I've been told.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything we should do you differently to protect ourselves?

HATCH: We know he had been coming back and forth and away for months at a time in some cases. We ought to be watching these people. You never know. What gets me is how these young people can be sucked in by the Taliban and by the Al Qaeda people.

VAN SUSTEREN: We were lucky in the sense that -- we were lucky of course the bomb didn't go. There was a point where surveillance lost him, that wasn't good. But there was also a point where he was put on the no-fly list and there's a lag of time before the airlines connects on it.

I stick my credit card in the gas tank at the gas station instantaneously it can take money out of my account. He could have gotten out of the country.

HATCH: It ought to be tightened up. It is inexcusable we didn't have that situation tightened up. We've got to get real about this. There are people who are out to destroy our country and to hurt people and to kill people, and they don't value human life.

The fact that he almost got away on a plane I think was abysmal. The fact they missed it on the computers, you know, is pretty abysmal.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know the mechanics of trying to implement a new system or get a system going. But on Christmas day we knew a lot of defects in our security. That was made abundantly clear to everybody in the world watching.

I would have thought that aspect of updating the no-fly to the airport would have been done forthwith. I was surprised to see that gap, and so I wonder what other gaps there are.

HATCH: I don't want to be overly critical about our military or our intelligence people, because it's a tough job. But neither should think be beating their breasts and saying what a wonderful job they did, because there was no way they knew who this guy was and even tried to interdict him before it happened.

I suspect there are other people in our country just like that. It has been predicted by the head of national intelligence, I was there when he said I suspect we'll have terrorist incidents in our country, I think he said in a three month period if I recall it correctly.

But we know there are people trained by them, fanatical, willing to kill themselves, they're certainly willing to kill others. We've got to do everything now power to make sure there is no American who goes through that type of Holocaust experience.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me give you a quote from one of your colleagues there from across the aisle. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said "Republicans are having trouble determining how they are going to continue making love to Wall Street."

HATCH: I love that comment, because Wall Street has supported Democrats right down the line, and the president by the way, you know millions and millions of dollars. The fact of the matter is they are the ones who want this what I consider to be a terrible regulatory reform bill.

They are the ones that are pushing it. I got a big kick out of Lloyd Blankfein, the head of Goldman Sachs, he said that they are going to benefit from this bill. They are the ones who are going to benefit from it. I don't think he was joking about it, they will because they know how to make money.

They can take a bad situation and make it into a very positive money making machine for them. They are brilliant, slick people, good at doing what they're doing.

Let me tell you, the Democrats are the ones that didn't do anything about Fannie and Freddie. They aren't even in this bill, and yet everybody acknowledges that is a bomb waiting to explode because of the costs involved and monies they are indebted on, the toxic mortgages they have taken, the big bonuses that they paid their people over the years.

One man almost $100 million in five years from a quasi-governmental organization. Come on, there is something wrong. Fannie and Freddie have been used as Democratic Party sinecures, in other words, places to park people so they can make a lot of money and get wealthy after they leave government. And that has happened a lot.

There have been a few Republicans involved there too, but nowhere near like the Democrats.

Maybe I'm going on too long here, but to make a comment like that just shows the cheap politics that we are putting up with today. And I like Harry Reid. He's a friend. We care for each other. But he shouldn't have said something like that. But Harry makes outrageous comments from time to time, and that's why we all love him so much.

VAN SUSTEREN: You think he wants a do-over?

HATCH: I think he would do it over if he had a chance.

The fact of the matter is they are trying to blame everything on Bush. Have you heard that, why we inherited all these problems? There isn't a person who has created a job in the White House among them. They are all bureaucrats or academics.

That isn't bad, academics are brilliant. Have they ever created a job, do they really understand what is really going on in our country? After they've taken all this money from Wall Street after they failed to do the things that were excesses to blame Republicans I don't think the American people are going to buy it and I don't think they are going to allow that type of comment to be acceptable.


Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.