Fox News "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" - Transcript

Interview

By:  Mark Warner
Date: Oct. 28, 2012
Location: Unknown

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WALLACE: Senator Warner, your state of Virginia is right in the path of that huge storm. If you lose power, and, you could lose it for days, could it have an effect on early voting? Could it even have an effect on Election Day?

SEN. MARK WARNER, D-VA.: Well, Chris, the governor already declared a state of emergency. I think we don't have as extensive early voting in Virginia as other states. I actually though think in terms of how the president looks, it looks quite good. "Washington Post" came out with a poll today that had the president above the magic 50 percent mark, 51-47, four points up.

He had a great rally the other day in Richmond. I was with him, 15,000 people strong, probably the strongest rally in Virginia to date.

The storm will throw havoc into the race. I was supposed to meet with the president and President Clinton on Monday. That rally has been canceled. But I think Virginians are ready to go to the polls and I think the president will carry Virginia, and just as four years ago when Virginia was the state that put the president over the edge in terms of winning. We hope to claim that title, again this year.

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WALLACE: Let me, Senator Warner, talk about the economic recovery. Weak as it is in historical terms, the fact is, even though, as I say, unemployment is down to 7.8 percent, no president has been reelected with unemployment this high since FDR back in 1940. No president has been reelected with growth this low since they started tracking GDP all the way back in 1930. Those are some strong historical head winds.

WARNER: Yes, Chris, but I think we need to also look at where we were and where we have come. I mean, we all remember how bad things were four years ago. We are losing 800,000 jobs a month. We are net positive, 5 million plus jobs, steady job growth, increases. Those GDP numbers, I'd like to see them higher.

But compare America to the rest of the world, we are the one shining spot in the whole world -- look at us compared to Europe, China, India. I think we are going to lead this world recovery. I think the president has got us back on the right track.

I do think we need to deal with some of these budget issues which I know, my colleagues would agree with as well, in terms of not going over the fiscal cliff.

But, I would echo what Senator Udall said. You know, we don't really know what Governor Romney's plan is. I mean, the budget plan he lays out would actually cut 75 percent of all investment in education, and, R&D and infrastructure. That's not a way to grow an economy, going forward.

And, when you look more specifically at Virginia, we're down at about 5.8 percent, 5.9 percent unemployment. We've actually recovered quicker than other states and again, one of the reasons why the president is going to carry Virginia.

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WALLACE: All right. I promise we're going to get to Benghazi in a moment.

But, first, I want to give Senator Warner a chance to talk about the women's issue.

On the one hand, obviously, you have a lot of women who are liberal on social issues and not happy with Mitt Romney. On the other hand, this recession, by all standards, number of women who have lost jobs, number of women who have gone into poverty, has hit women even harder than men.

WARNER: Well, Chris, I continue to find it remarkable, whether the Republican Senate candidate in Indiana or the Republican senate candidate in Missouri who somehow are making these outrageous comments about rape. The fact is -- you know, I know in Virginia, one reason why women are supporting the president so strongly is our state legislature made Virginia, frankly a laughingstock with some of its intrusive ultrasound type of procedures that they were proposing, until the governor had to try to walk them back.

People are afraid when you're turning the keys over some of to these guys who seem so disconnected. Quite honestly, this is not only about women's reproductive health, it is about economic issues. It is about, you know, women's ability to have child and family medical leave. It is making sure that women's health care issues are related to women's ability to be active in the workforce.

So, somehow, saying these are not issues of importance, I can only speak to the folks I'm dealing with in Virginia, both the women and man, want to make sure that we keep these elected officials kind of out of these personal decisions.

And unfortunately, what -- my understanding of it is, Romney-Ryan Republican platform is exactly the same issue that Mr. Mourdock and Mr. Akin and other candidates put forward and is a reason why you are seeing in Virginia --

WALLACE: Let me interrupt briefly to say the Romney position is that the he would allow exceptions in the case of rape, incest and the life of the woman. But let's move on --

WARNER: But hasn't Mr. Ryan, though, voted consistently --

WALLACE: He has taken the position that Mr. Romney, which is to allow those exceptions. But if I may --

WARNER: But Mr. Ryan's voting record, Mr. Ryan's voting record, Mr. Ryan's voting record --

WALLACE: Listen, Joe Biden didn't agree, Senator Warner, with a lot of Barack Obama's positions, but you listen to the guy in the top job.

WARNER: So, Mr. Ryan has changed his positions now. I guess that's news.

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WALLACE: Senator Warner, we've got a couple of minutes left and I want you and Senator Johnson to also weigh in.

Senator Warner, you know, a skeptic would say -- you know, yes, this investigation is going to happen after Election Day. But, we won't know the facts when people have to go vote.

WARNER: Well, Chris, again, in a number -- as a member of the Intelligence Committee, what we ought not to be doing is getting into some of these issues, candidly, that -- echoing what Senator Udall said, about drone assets and other things. And frankly, some of the reports even that your network has issued, my understanding at least that the administration had categorically denied. I actually have an enormous amount of faith in the process that we are going to take on in the Intelligence Committee to look at this.

I also have an enormous, enormous amount of faith in former deputy head of the State Department, Tom Pickering, and the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, who are going to be leading this investigation and finding out what exactly happened and what those time lines are and, if the mistakes were made, get those exposed so it would never happen again.

We have --

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WALLACE: Senator Warner, let me go back --

WARNER: -- four Americans whose lives were killed and I think the most appropriate thing is let's have the information, investigate it in a proper and very appropriate way, the same way the State Department has launched previous investigations whenever members of the personnel are killed abroad.

WALLACE: Senator Warner, one direct question about the drones. I can understand how it would be politically embarrassing for the administration, if it turns out those drones were armed and weapons were not fired, when those men were -- the U.S. Americans -- Americans were under attack for seven hours. I can understand how it would give up valuable intelligence.

Can you tell me directly, were the drones armed or not that were flying over Benghazi and were reporting it in real time?

WARNER: Chris, this member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is not going to make any comments on drones, on the record, off the record or anywhere else.

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