Fox News Channel "Your World" Interview With Rep. Marsha Blackburn Interviewer: Stuart Varney
Subject: North Korean Nuclear Test
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MR. VARNEY: Today's nuclear test comes as the Pentagon is looking to cut $1.2 billion from missile defense. Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn thinks that is a huge mistake, and she joins us now.
Do you think we should go ahead with missile defense and get on with it, so to speak?
REP. BLACKBURN: Stuart, I think that this is an opportunity for the president to send a very clear message that he is going to strengthen and put more efforts, enhance our missile defense systems, that this is a time that he is going to deploy that and make certain that we are not only protecting ourselves but protecting our allies.
MR. VARNEY: But Congresswoman, that is essentially defensive, that's taking a defensive posture in the face of this naked aggression by North Korea. Are you comfortable with an entirely defensive posture? Or would you prefer to go more on the offense?
REP. BLACKBURN: There are always things that can be done on the offense, but we know peace through strength, we know that that works. We know that many times the best offense is a very strong defense. And certainly in this case, that, I do believe, would bear itself to be true.
You know, Stuart, we have heard Vice President Biden during the campaign said he felt like that we would see some test of President Obama early in his administration, and certainly this may be one of these tests. So it's an opportunity for him to say, we are going to enhance these systems, we're going to deploy these systems.
We also know that North Korea does not seem to respond to sanctions, to isolationism, as Mr. Secretary was just saying. They seem to be content with being isolationists. So it makes it very difficult to come to a peaceful resolution on this front.
MR. VARNEY: Is this America's fight? I ask because today President Obama referred to danger for the peoples of North Asia, seeming to isolate America a little from this problem. Is it America's fight, or is it primarily China and South Korea and Japan's fight?
REP. BLACKBURN: This is an area where America can once again step forward and lead. And indeed, we are going to need to do that. We know that the U.N. Security Council is going to be meeting. We know that our allies are going to be looking to us. We know that trying to engage North Korea has not worked. We know that sending a strong message, our president sending a strong message is going to require that leadership.
MR. VARNEY: I just want to ask you the same question that I asked former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. Would you want to think now in terms of a preemptive military strike by the United States and/or China? Would you be thinking in that direction?
REP. BLACKBURN: Stuart, I think that when you talk about a military strike, we have to look at what would happen with the humanitarian issues that would surround that. And that may be a little bit more. And the secretary alluded to this also that the Russia refugees and the humanitarian issues that would surround a military strike may be a little bit more than we are equipped, that our allies with us are equipped to handle. That is an area that would take a whole lot of thought.
Sending a strong message by deploying enhanced missile defense systems by not making those cuts but putting more effort into those -- you know, budgets are to be about priorities. The strength, the security of this nation should be a priority, and this is a time that our president can step forward, can take the leadership role and say, let's bolster those systems, let's deploy those systems and send that message to North Korea that regardless of what kind of tests they're carrying out, we're going to be prepared to preempt them.
MR. VARNEY: Six Iranian warships are going to be moved to international waters in the Gulf of Aden, they say to challenge pirates. There's also the challenge now from North Korea. What do you make of President Obama's foreign policy in light of these two developments?
REP. BLACKBURN: There are going to always be tests. And there are always going to be challenges that are going to present themselves. Certainly, the issues that we have seen with pirates are one of those. This issue with North Korea is another. This is one of the reasons that we need to be focusing on building our military, a 21st century military force, making certain that we are ready for 21st century warfare, that we are doing the R&D and carrying out the R&D that is necessary to properly equip our men and women in uniform.
And especially as we are on a Memorial Day and we're remembering those who have sacrificed, we need to make certain they have the tools, the equipment, the training and the readiness to be able to defend us at a moment's notice.
MR. VARNEY: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, thank you very much for joining us, ma'am. Appreciate it.