Rep. Randy Forbes on debate over closing Guantanamo Bay

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 19, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: By now, you have heard it again and again and again -- the president says, if he had to do it all over again, he would have shut down Gitmo on day one. So, why didn't he? And looking around the world at all these terror incidents these days, could you imagine if he did?

To Virginia Republican Congressman Randy Forbes on a president he says is trying to have it both ways.

What did you make of what he was saying?

REP. RANDY FORBES (R), VIRGINIA: Well, Neil, it's just amazing when you look at the fact that our relationship with one of our greatest allies, Israel, is at an all-time low. The Chinese are just growing in military power. Russia is creating more capacity and capability than any time since World War II, Iran doing what it's doing, North Korea -- and this president looks back and says the thing that he regrets most is not letting more terrorists go.

The other thing, Neil, remember the reason he didn't do it is because Congress on an overwhelming bipartisan basis told him not to do it. And that's what stopped him from actually bringing the terrorists to the United States.


CAVUTO: Well, I also read -- I'm sorry, Congressman.

FORBES: No, go ahead.

CAVUTO: I also read into that this was before he became very fond of executive orders. If only he had appreciated the wisdom of that then, he could have just ordered this. But having said that, I was saying to the group in here that, at the time, he had run of the house. Right? He had the House under Democratic control, Senate under Democratic control, so that, if he wanted to do it on day one, he could have. But he didn't. He couldn't do it.

FORBES: He couldn't.

CAVUTO: So, what does that tell you?

FORBES: But, Neil, one of the things that you have got to recognize that he did do is this: When he came into office, you take the five worst terrorists there for the 9/11 terrorists. We had a prosecutor, prosecutorial team. They had gone through months of litigation over 56 motions. They told us personally -- because I went to Guantanamo and I met with them. The president never did that. The president never talked to them -- they would have had guilty pleas within six months, according to prosecutors. And yet the president did come in and issue an order that shut that entire prosecution down. And to this day, they have not prosecuted those terrorists or brought them to justice. That's a travesty, Neil.

CAVUTO: You know, what is going to happen to Gitmo? I know, part of it normalizing relations with Cubans, the Cubans want it shut down and destroyed. They also want complete control over it. And it's a negotiating chip, back and forth. What do you think should happen?

FORBES: Well, what I think should have happened and should now happen is, he should have begun to allow the prosecutions that had already started to go forward, so that we could get convictions on many of the terrorists that were down there. His administration has been just absolutely absent when it comes to actually prosecuting these individuals, because what he wanted to do is bring them to the United States. And, Neil, the moment they touched U.S. soil, they would get additional constitutional rights that terrorists don't have when they're at Guantanamo.

CAVUTO: You know, Hezbollah, Iran off an international security watch list, the cold treatment of Benjamin Netanyahu, this whole Gitmo thing, you know, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but, boy, I don't like what I'm seeing.

FORBES: Well, I don't think any of us do either. And then, when you look at what he's done to our national defense and the position he's put that in, I think it's a very, very concerning moment. And I think that's one of the things that we're trying to turn around. We can't turn around his foreign policy blunders, but what we can do in Congress and are trying to do is at least keep him from continuing to debilitate our military, so that, when we do get a new president in, Republican or Democrat, they can take it over and begin to turn it around.

CAVUTO: Congressman, we shall see. Randy Forbes, very good having you.

FORBES: Thanks, Neil.

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