Lou Dobbs on Politics Behind Securing America's Southern Border

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 21, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Arizona Senator Jon Kyl sparked a firestorm by revealing the cynical political game the president is playing with our southern border. Take a look at this.


SEN. JON KYL, R-ARIZ.: I met with the president in the Oval Office; just the two of us. Here's what the president said. The problem is, he said, if we secure the border then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.

In other words, they are holding it hostage. They don't us to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform.


HANNITY: All right, the White House is denying that accusation. Here's what Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton had to say earlier today.


BILL BURTON, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president didn't say that. Senator Kyl knows that the president didn't say that.

No, that statement is not true. And we're just going to continue to work and hopefully get the support of senators like Senator Kyl for comprehensive reform. Because that's the only way we're really going to be able to address this problem.


HANNITY: All right, it looks like somebody is lying, who might it be?

Joining me now with reaction, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and friend, Lou Dobbs.


HANNITY: Good to see you. How are you?

DOBBS: I'm great. I'm in a lot better position right now than I believe President Obama trying to explain this away.

HANNITY: Well, look, I've known Senator Kyl for a long time.

DOBBS: Me too.

HANNITY: You know, and I have my suspicions about who I believe. But I want to get yours.

DOBBS: To me it's very — it's very simple. I've known Senator Kyl for more than 20 years. He is a man who's — he's not the most electric politician, Sean, but he is I think one of the most honorable.

The man has never misstated nor misguided me at any point. He's a man of absolute intellectual integrity. This is not a man for the White House to be attacking — suggesting or declaring in effect that he's a liar.

HANNITY: You know, especially on the heels of the following things. Sestak.

DOBBS: Right.

HANNITY: We got this guy out in Colorado. We've got the Cornhusker Kickback, we've got the Louisiana Purchase. There's been a lot of analysis of the Chicago way.

DOBBS: Right.

HANNITY: And now, OK, do I — who do I believe here?

DOBBS: It's straightforward for me. The idea that — you know, the reason I believe Senator Kyl, first and foremost, is of course his integrity. The second is, I truly believe that President Obama thought he was just stating the obvious.


DOBBS: This has been clear for years. That this administration and the previous administration were holding hostage border security and port security in this country. And that's — and they would not touch the issue without amnesty or unconditional amnesty.

HANNITY: It's that typical quid pro quo. Here's the danger, though, and you have been a very outspoken critic of open borders as have I, and a lot of other Americans. Because you know what? And I've been down there, Lou, six times in all different locations.

I've been there when they've arrested people. I've been in the warehouses where they have the drugs. I mean it is really, really dangerous situation for national security.

The thing is, that doesn't to me seem the Democrats in any way shape, matter or form are committed to securing our borders.

DOBBS: It's no longer I think debatable. This president said on May 25, 1,200 National Guard would be on their way. They are still — almost a month later — not there. The lip service, the gamesmanship continues under this administration. And there's going — there could be dire consequences beyond simply the lack of credibility for this administration.

HANNITY: What do you think it is? Why do you believe it's totally political? What if — what if Kyl is telling us the truth here. And the president of the United States of America will not secure our borders because he wants a bill passed? Because that's basically what he's saying.

DOBBS: I think he's made it very clear. There has been no movement at all. I'm one of those people who's been working hard with all of the factions to get a compromise put together that would create real border security, real port security and rational effective humane changes in our immigration policy.

This kind of development does nothing more than setback those who in good faith are trying do better.


DOBBS: And it's a shame.

HANNITY: I get asked this all the time: "Well, Hannity, what are you going to do with the 12, 13 million people that are in this country illegally?"

DOBBS: Right.

HANNITY: And my answer is, I don't even want to talk about it…

DOBBS: Right.

HANNITY: … until we secure the border. I'm curious what your answer is.

DOBBS: My condition has always been border security, port security before. But if people in good faith could work together on this and come to terms on a plan for those 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants it would make — it would make great sense.

But right now there is such distrust, and much of it engendered by this administration to the point most Americans want a compromise. They want this problem solved.

HANNITY: So you would be — would you be open then — am I reading, you know, what you're saying here,that you might be open if we secure the border first. You'd be open at least talking about it or —

DOBBS: Absolutely.

HANNITY: At that point.

DOBBS: I have said throughout. Sean, I've said throughout, once that border is secured we can talk in good faith about rational, effective, humane immigration policy.

HANNITY: You see, you have been — I watched from a distance and I've known you for a number of years, you know, from a distance and we've talked a couple of times. But you've been beaten up pretty bad on this issue. You think?

DOBBS: Absolutely.

HANNITY: And excoriated. But here's — here's, I guess, the question. Now there's a lot of talk about you flirting with the idea of maybe running for office.

DOBBS: Right. Right.

HANNITY: If you were going to run this year or certainly 2012 would be the year.

DOBBS: Right.

HANNITY: Are you considering that?

DOBBS: I — I haven't ruled it out. To say considered is a little too active, then to say I've not ruled it out is really accurate. There are a lot of —

HANNITY: President?

DOBBS: President, Senate, all of those things have been sort of thrown out there for consideration. I haven't made a decision. I'm going to — I'm involved with the Tea Party. I'm supporting the Tea Party as rigorously as I can. I believe it's a great popular expression of the popular will.

HANNITY: It's nice to see.

DOBBS: And, you know, I'm going to hold forth and see what happens.

HANNITY: How would you identify yourself, real quickly, as we let you go here? I say I'm a Reagan conservative. If I say, you know, Lou Dobbs, how do you — how do you describe your political values?

DOBBS: I'm an independent conservative traditional American. And when anyone asks me —

HANNITY: That's kind of ever a Reagan conservative.

DOBBS: When anybody asks me for that first declaration, it'll always be American. I see it as my nationality. I see it as my race. And I see it as the answer to every question that can be answered about where your interests and your loyalties lie.

HANNITY: Greatest country God gave man. We go back to those simple values — freedom, liberty, individual responsible.

DOBBS: Amen, brother.

HANNITY: Amen. All right. Lou, good to see you.

DOBBS: Great to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: Thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

DOBBS: Thank you.

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