Now you don’t often get the opportunity to hear what an American president is thinking when he thinks the microphone is off, as I said earlier. But to actually hear the President of the United States assuring foreign leaders that concessions are coming their way but they have to wait because he’s seeking reelection and that he doesn’t dare tell us what he’s thinking, that’s a real astounding opportunity for us as Americans to learn that he thinks that if people knew about the flexibility he’s going to be given after the election to cave on missile defense, to know that he thinks that we might think twice as a nation about putting him back in office if he were to do that, that’s interesting to me. To know that in an area where we have an [insurmountable,] unmatched lead in technology, where we have the strategic advantage for three decades — the Russians have tried to get us to give up that strategic advantage. To know that somebody’s thinking about giving that away or bargaining that away in advance, to know also that someone who is committed to nuclear disarmament, to radically reducing our stockpiles, at the same time is giving away the defense, where is the logic in this?
This is what I can’t quite comprehend because when you’re telling your competitor this and then he says to you, “I will transmit that back to Vladimir, I will transmit that to Mr. Putin,” and then says to the President of the United States, “I stand with you.” No kidding? I’ll bet he stands with us.
You know, it is no secret that the President of the United States wants a world without nuclear weapons. But I don’t think even the most ardent arms controller was prepared for what came out in the Associated Press last month. The Commander in Chief has asked the Pentagon to study alternative approaches to nuclear deterrents, alternative approaches. The arsenal right now that we have is about 1,800. It’s set to go down to 1,500 by 2018. Well, Pentagon planners have been asked to look at bringing this down to as few as 300 warheads. That’s an arsenal on par with France.
And this comes at a time when nobody else is even considering reducing their nuclear arsenals. I had a hearing recently where we had some new evidence with respect to big the arsenal really is in China. You’d think the President would at least negotiate for constraints elsewhere. I mean, that was sort of the modus operandi we used with the Soviet nuclear stockpile. But that’s not what drives this. It’s a vision that drives this. And I will remind you of that vision. In 2009 when he first put forward this idea that the United States would not have a nuclear inventory, the President claimed it would give the United States, and I quote his words — greater moral authority to say to Iran, don’t develop a nuclear weapon if we don’t have one. To say to North Korea, don’t proliferate nuclear weapons. It would give us greater moral authority to do that.
Well, Iran is a human rights horror show and as somebody once said, “A regime that can take a rock in its right hand to stone a woman to death should not have a nuclear bomb within reach of its left hand.” That’s the point. And I think everyone else is beginning to figure this out that is paying attention. But the President continues to push down this road. I mean, even the wife of the President of France wrote that open letter about the stoning of Ashtiani, asking that not be done. And by the way, what was the official response from the public media in [France]? They said she deserved to die for her perverted lifestyle. We’re not talking here about the woman who was supposed to be stoned. The newspaper was saying the wife of the President of France was a prostitute and deserved to die for her perverted lifestyle. Now, the Ayatollah there appoints the editor in chief of that magazine. That’s official state policy.
So the bottom line to me, the bottom line to me is that we have a president who is out of touch with the views around the world, with a president who believes if we give up our nuclear weaponry, then maybe Pakistan will respond, a country where 82% of Pakistani’s, by the way, support stoning of women in these cases. Two percent of Pakistanis believe Al-Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. There are 12,000 madrassas — I go every year to Pakistan, so I can update you. There are 12,000 madrassas indoctrinating youth in jihad right now and the graduating class will come out in September. The population is growing in terms of those who believe in sharia relative to those who believe in democracy. And among the youth in Pakistan it’s the majority.
So this is the world that we actually live in and this is the challenge that we actually face. And we have an opportunity to do something about this. In the last election cycle I was cochairman of our Battle Ground program to seek out opportunities to take the House in that cycle from Nancy Pelosi. And we picked up 63 net House Republican seats. Well, we have done this. This time we recruited in every seat across the country because ever since we won those special elections in New York and in Nevada, ever since we took Schumer’s old seat, we have had candidates coming forward in literally every district saying if we can win a special election in New York, maybe we can win in the general.
We have candidates everywhere and this is what we’ve asked of them. This time we’re not just going to press them for 63 net seats. We’re going to press them across the board, because our plan is to create enough momentum that our presidential nominee has behind him a network on the ground in every single Congressional district in this country and our Senate contestants have the same level of support.
And I can tell you, ideas have consequences. Yeah, bad ideas have bad consequences. We have an opportunity out there to go before the public and with candidates across this country to speak out just about the truth in terms of what’s happening in foreign policy and domestic policy and in energy policy in this country. And I think our arguments are going to resonate and don’t discount that we’ll take the Senate and the White House and pick up seats in the House of Representatives and then go to a great inauguration ceremony.
Thank you all very much for what you do.
Michael’s reminding me to take one or two questions. I’d be happy to do that if — or hear what you have to say, either way. [Karen]?
Unidentified Audience Member: Is there a way to reengage on the pipeline? I know the Senate has a measure to — I didn’t know if it was to revisit part of it?
Congressman Ed Royce: The question that Karen asks, is there a way to reengage on the pipeline? And if you saw the President’s press conference, he has reengaged. He said, “Well, I’m going to build part of the pipeline.” And he went down to Cushing, Oklahoma and he said, “I’m going to build a pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to neighboring Texas.” And of course, the whole point is that the only role the President has in this is whether he allows the Canadian company to come over the border or not. He has said, no, he is not going to allow that. However, he will — he has no say in whether Oklahoma and Texas build a pipeline. Of course they’re going to build a pipeline. His, you know, veto is over the TransCanada pipeline. So the question is how to get that reversed. And the answer is a new president of the United States. That’s how to get it reversed. Thanks, Karen.
Unidentified Audience Member: I think if people generally knew some of the things you’ve said the election would be a breeze. Why aren’t we getting that message out?
Congressman Ed Royce: Jack asks me this question and it always encourages me to go back and talk to my colleagues again. The problem — one of the problems we’re having is that we can get on talk radio and talk about these things, which we do, but we’re talking to our own audience. The problem is when we get before ABC, NBC, CBS, they make the decision in terms of the questions they want to ask us or what answers they want to show on the nightly news. We have got to figure out a way — we’re trying to do that with the Internet. Frankly, that’s what you’re all trying to do, helping David in his effort to find ways through the popular culture to, you know, percolate this up. I can tell you I — in the last week I’ve had three town meetings, one women’s forum, all of this dedicated to trying to advance this kind of — and my colleagues are trying to do the same thing. We’re not getting help from the major media.
And one of the ways really — one of the things that would have been effective is the presidential nominee. So we should be thinking about how to impact the thinking of that campaign. Right? Because that’s where the bully pulpit is going to be and that’s where we’re going to have some rubber hitting the road, you know, some straight talk, some bottom line with the public on these issues that really matter to the public. And we can’t dance around them. And we’ve got to get our nominee to discuss that.
Yes, I’ll — go ahead. Last question.
Unidentified Audience Member: Is there any concern about Hillary’s personal aide, Huma Weiner, and her connection to — her family connection to the Muslim Brotherhood?
Congressman Ed Royce: Well, I don’t, I don’t have enough information on that other than to tell you that at least we took the Congressional seat in a special election from her husband. And the consequences of that in a district that had been a Democratic seat for generations, a district, as I told you, that Chuck Schumer had held — I mean, for Anthony Weiner to be out of office but then on top of it for a qualified Democrat to lose resoundingly in one of the most Democratic seats in the country, it speaks to the issue of how concerned people are about the President’s foreign policy. And people should be concerned about the direction of the President’s foreign policy.
Okay, last question. Go ahead.
Unidentified Audience Member: Unfortunately I live in the San Fernando Valley and the — our choice there is either going to be Howard Berman or Brad Sherman. And what suggestions do you have for those of us who don’t like those choices?
Congressman Ed Royce: Speak with me afterwards. All right? All right.
Listen, thank you all very much for the opportunity to address you here.
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