Huckabee: Sanctuary cities a formal way of breaking the law

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 13, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: New calls for end of sanctuary cities, at this hour, more outrage following the death of Kate Steinle. An innocent American woman walking with her father shot dead in broad daylight, allegedly by illegal immigrant in San Francisco.

Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has a six-point plan to shut sanctuary cities down. He joins us, nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: And actually I have done a little research, this is not your first rodeo in terms of sanctuary cities. You've spoken out about them before.

HUCKABEE: I have. I think that it's sort of a formal way to break the law. It's a way that the governments of these cities are actually doing something that if I did as an individual, I could be arrested, because if I aid and abet someone in a criminal activity, I'm guilty of a crime.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I'm sympathetic to the law enforcement in these communities because there is no direction from the federal government who is in charge of immigration, you know, it's their responsibility and so then these communities put these patchwork stuff together that just doesn't work and we have these catastrophes like we just had. When is the federal government, when is the President, the House, and the Senate going to give real direction and fund the immigration like it should so we can get these things fixed?

HUCKABEE: We have to quit treating this like a political issue. We have to start treating it as an issue of national security, and just simply doing what the federal government is charged to do in the constitution. Securing the border is simply the first and the only step we need to be seriously focused on. Because until we have control of our borders, we really don't have control of our country, but I do think that the sanctuary cities as they have been practiced in many cases, particularly San Francisco is so out-of-control, that the only way to catch them is to stop funding their cities with federal dollars until they are willing to cooperate with federal officials.

VAN SUSTEREN: When this sheriff released him there was nothing holding this guy because the prosecution said we are not going to prosecute him. So he had no reason -- he actually kept him in jail from March 25th to April 15th, with absolutely no legal authority. He didn't make the phone call to ICE. But where was ICE? Why isn't ICE knocking on the door? Everyone is laying it off, totally on the sheriff.

HUCKABEE: Well, I think what's happened -- there was a request to detain him, to keep him, but it was not a formal legal document that said hold him...

VAN SUSTEREN: Which is the federal government, not empowering ICE in the first place?

HUCKABEE: Well, the federal government is actually telling a lot of the ICE agents to not do their job. I had repeated conversations with the head of the ICE workers' union. This is the guy who oversees the union involving all the ICE agents. Those guys are so frustrated. It's not their fault. They would love to do their job. They are hired to do their job. They are sworn to do their job. Their immediate and up the stream supervisors forbid them from doing their job, Greta. That's one of the big reasons this is a failure.

VAN SUSTEREN: Also, Governor, your campaign release in a very controversial ad today. A rip off from a very famous and incendiary 1964 President Linden Johnson political ad, here it is.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six...


VAN SUSTEREN: And of course you also have an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. Why that ad -- because in 1964, the ad suggested if a Republican Presidential Candidate, Barry Goldwater had been elected that the world would end. That was the point of that the Democrats proclaimed him as unhinged. Now you have a knock off of this ad.

HUCKABEE: Well, it's not a knockoff, it's a direct copy. We actually used the footage from the ad. But here's what it points out, everyone understands that once you go to a nuclear device, that now you are talking about apocalyptic-type situations. If Iran gets nuclear capacity, we are now looking at the apocalypse because these people are crazy enough to use it, first against Israel and eventually against us.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let's assume no deal, guaranteed they will get a nuclear weapon?

HUCKABEE: I think they're going to get a nuclear weapon with or without a deal. They've been serious about sitting down at the table and saying yes, we would like to make nice with you. The whole time, Greta they've been saying that they would not let the inspectors in. They have been chanting death to America. They continued to say they would be a threat to Israel and they would bring Israel to dust.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what if it's President Huckabee and no deal means nuclear weapon and a deal would also -- I assume in your mind mean nuclear weapon because they'd probably cheat because they're not going to allow the inspection. So they're going to have a nuclear weapon. So what would does that ad saying to President Mike Huckabee would do?

HUCKABEE: The answer is they are not going to get a nuclear weapon. Instead of sitting down and trying to make nice with the Iranians, you go to Jerusalem, you hug Benjamin Netanyahu, and you tell the world whatever it takes, Iran is not going to get a nuclear weapon because they are likely to use it and interestingly...

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you going to actually go in there...

HUCKABEE: Do whatever it takes to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: What does that mean, drop a bomb?

HUCKABEE: Never say what you would or wouldn't do. Leave every option on the table. One of the mistakes of Barack Obama is he always tells the enemy what he wouldn't do. But let me tell you who would be happy about this, Egypt, Jordan, the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, and the Emirates. All of them right now have been driven closer to Israel, than Israel is to the United States because everybody in the Middle East understands how dangerous it is for the Iranians to be equipped with nuclear capacity.

VAN SUSTEREN: So why do you think President Obama doesn't have an ad like yours, or doesn't have that attitude like your ad?

HUCKABEE: I think because he thinks that there is some legacy that he can have if he makes peace with the Iranians, which he can't or if he can bring some type of diplomatic arrangements with the Cubans, which he ultimately can't because they are still holding political prisoners and oppressing people. But I think it's all about the optics for him. If he can say that he has had some crowning achievement, he will be happy with that, even though the results for the world later on I believe will prove to be utterly disastrous.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor Huckabee, always nice to see you sir.

HUCKABEE: Great to see you, Greta. Thank you.