Published January 25, 2017
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 25, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Arizona Senator John McCain is blasting President Obama and is blasting New York Senator Chuck Schumer for completely different reasons. Here's Senator McCain.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you, sir.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: Thank you, Greta. It's good to be back with you again.
VAN SUSTEREN: Again. And your governor of the state is here in Washington. She was at the Supreme Court earlier today. She got booed heavily going into the court. Your thoughts?
MCCAIN: Well, I think a lot of people ought to understand what happened in Arizona and what was going on. We basically had unsecure borders. As you know, as a result of "Fast and Furious," we had one of our border patrol agents killed.
Phoenix, Arizona, is still the drug distribution center for the United States of America. Drugs are brought up across the border, and they have - - the drug dealers, cartels have people sitting on mountains, guiding these -- so the people of Arizona did not feel that the federal government was fulfilling its responsibility, providing them with a secure environment, particularly in the southern part of our state.
That's what triggered this law that -- that the Arizona legislature passed.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yesterday, Secretary -- or Senator Schumer, rather, held a hearing about legislation that in the event that the Supreme Court upholds the Arizona law, that he wants to introduce this legislation which I guess would have the effect to overrule the Supreme Court. But then we'll be back fighting that in the Supreme Court. Everybody will, at that point.
But I'm curious. Is there -- was there a legitimate legislative purpose in Senator Schumer's hearing yesterday? Can you come up with one? Or was it strictly politics?
MCCAIN: I have never seen Senator Schumer address any issue unless it was political in the United States Senate. Bob Dole once said the most dangerous place to be in Washington, D.C., is between Senator Schumer and a television camera. That holds true today.
Look, you know, do you think it was an accident that he scheduled this hearing for the day before the Supreme Court took up the issue? Of course not. It's all got to do with politics and the election.
And that's unfortunate because I'm confident that we could sit down together and work out a Dream Act and work out comprehensive legislation on immigration. But Senator Schumer doesn't mention the fact that the president of the United States had overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress for two years.
Did you ever see an immigration reform bill before the United States Congress by the administration when the president had the majorities in both houses? Of course not. Now he's using it as a cudgel to try to isolate the Hispanic vote. And you got to give him some credit, they are succeeding to some degree.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I -- but explain that to me because on July 1st, 2010, the president gave a speech on immigration and illegal immigration up at American University. I went up and I sat through the speech. At the time, he had the House and he had the Senate, both Democrats. And then nothing.
Why was nothing done? Because if -- you know, if what the Democrats wanted to achieve -- I mean, that's something -- that was the perfect point to do it, on the heels of a speech and while they still controlled both houses.
MCCAIN: You know, I don't know. You'd have to ask him. But I'll tell you an experience I had. After the terrible shooting that took place in Tucson and Representative Giffords was wounded severely, as you know, I wrote a piece in The Washington Post thanking the president because he came to Tucson and talked about how -- you know, it was a very excellent speech and it was -- helped with the healing.
And so I was invited over to the White House. I went to the White House. I sat down with the president. We primarily discussed two issues. One was the issue of a line-item veto. The other was about immigration.
And I said, We stand ready to work with you on an immigration bill. He said, You'll be hearing from us. Still waiting for the phone to ring.
VAN SUSTEREN: What's his incentive, though, not to do anything? I mean, it, you know -- you know, he's spoken about it. Is there any reason why -- he just got consumed with other things? Why wouldn't he have wanted to move forward?
MCCAIN: I don't know why the president does what he does. When we were -- when Ted Kennedy and I were doing immigration reform, part of the - - which was compromise -- the Democrats and the unions don't like guest worker programs, as you know. But Ted Kennedy included it in our compromise so that we could have a bipartisan compromise.
Who went to the floor with an amendment to sunset -- in other words, end the guest worker program but not the rest of the immigration reform bill -- none other than Senator Barack Obama. And I saw, frankly, Senator Ted Kennedy get very unhappy about that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Turn the corner to the Secret Service scandal out of Colombia. You issued a statement today, as I read your statement, that you are not pleased with the speed at which you're getting information out of the Defense Department with their investigation.
MCCAIN: Well, as you know, this whole thing took place on the 13th of this month. We're now two weeks later. We did not receive any information as far as the military side is concerned.
So we had a briefing this morning, an admiral and a general. And I -- Greta, I don't know how many thousand briefings I've had to attend in my life. This was absolutely the most nonsensical one. They didn't even know what date the president got to Cartagena. They didn't know who was the -- who was in charge and if they -- and whoever was in charge, they didn't know where that person was.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why? Why is there -- why -- why is -- were they unwilling to give you the information? They don't care? They're too busy with other things? Why -- where is the information?
MCCAIN: I have no idea. But they kept saying, Well, these cases under the Uniform Code of Military Justice have to be (INAUDIBLE) investigated -- going on and on. And I tried to emphasize to them, We're not interfering with the cases, but there are possible ramifications to national security.
Were those prostitutes in a room that had the president's schedule the night before the president arrived? What was the relationship? Was -- was there information given? What is the whole -- what -- was there and is there a problem with the national security side of this?
And I'm all for protecting the rights of individuals under investigation, but certainly, if there's a national security issue, we should know about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, sir. Nice to see you.
MCCAIN: Thank you.