Sen. McCain on Virgin Galactic crash, immigration

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 31, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, this was supposed to be, this type of thing, our alternative to hitching rides without Russia, if you think about it, that corporate ventures might provide the opportunity for us to stick our, well, whatever at the Russians.

To Republican Senator John McCain, of course an experienced fighter pilot in his old days.

Senator, what do you make of this, and given the one-two tragedies as far as space initiatives, our own, this week, whether this sets us back and whether the Russians see and it might even delight in it?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: Well, I'm sure the Russians might delight in it.

But the fact is that it's a great tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the man who perished in this tragic accident.

Obviously, we need to review in both cases what happened, what took place, how to prevent it from happening again, the normal post-accident procedures. But we have still got a big problem, in my view, putting -- setting this aside, with our dependency on Russian engines to fuel our main efforts in space, and the Russians are overcharging us.

The way that Vladimir Putin has been acting, obviously, should negate that. And I think we can look back and regret that we didn't build our own rockets and -- or abandoned building our own rockets.

CAVUTO: I know in the interim -- I'm going switch gears with you on another subject, Senator -- but we will still in the foreseeable future be hitching rides with the Russians to get up to that space station. Maybe they might have to provide the means by which we even get supplies up to that. How do you feel about that?

MCCAIN: Well, I think we have to embark a long time ago, rather than telling Vladimir we will be more flexible, when a long time ago we should have embarked on fixing this problem.

We cannot be reliant on the Russians for this main aspect of our space travel. And, finally, I wouldn't abandon the civilian effort as long as we think that there is strong possibility they will succeed. It is true that SpaceX is doing the same job as NASA at a fraction of the price, and that always, sooner or later, enters into these ventures.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator, I want to switch gears, if you don't mind, and talk about a more terrestrial controversy and what you're seeing happen right now with the president's plans after the midterms to potentially freeze deportations for millions of illegals.

You're convinced it's going to happen, and you're already planning a reaction to that. Explain.

MCCAIN: Well, it's been made known by various -- quote -- "leaks" or intentional leaking from the administration, I believe, in trying to help recruit the Hispanic vote, that -- for Democrats -- that they are going to -- that the president is going to sign an executive order.

We don't know exactly the parameters of that, but there are rumors that it could be -- quote -- "amnesty" for millions of people who are in this country illegally. Neil, if he does that, it's going to poison the well so badly that the chances of enacting comprehensive immigration reform will be, if not totally dead, certainly a severe blow to it.


CAVUTO: Well, he must know that, Senator. He must know that, by doing that, he is going to get guys like you and Marco Rubio and a host of others pretty angry.

But, if he doesn't -- if he doesn't care, and goes about doing just what you fear, then what? What are these next two years going to be like?

MCCAIN: The president is going to have a choice on a number of issues, whether to work with us or gridlock, if we get the majority in the United States Senate, which is beginning to look hopeful in that direction.

But we wrote him a letter, we who wrote the Republican part of comprehensive immigration reform, and told him that it is going to harm dramatically our chances of moving forward. If we gain any seats in the House, I believe that you could easily see Boehner and McCarthy move forward with immigration reform from the House.

And, by the way, that is what we want. We want it to start in the House, not in the Senate. But if the president does this, then the opponents of immigration reform will say, see, you can't trust this president. And that will harm it dramatically, and so then you have to -- surely, the president is a very intelligent man and knows these impacts would be.

So then the question has to be raised, is he really serious about immigration reform? Or does he just want to make a statement and galvanize the Hispanic voter? And you have to question that.

CAVUTO: All right.

Senator, thank you. I know, with so much breaking news, we appreciate your addressing both, Senator John McCain.

MCCAIN: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right.

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