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Public Statements

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

Interview

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WALLACE: All right. We're going to get later to Benghazi a little later in our discussion.

Senator Udall, I was surprised to learn close to 80 percent of voters in your state will have voted before Election Day. The Romney camp says they are winning in absentee requests and early voting. And they say they are also swinging the suburbs around Denver, that went for Obama, four years ago.

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WALLACE: Senator Udall, we're going to get to Romney's plan in a moment. But let's talk first of all about Obama's plan because this week, out in the campaign trail, he was brandishing, and we can see it here, that glossy brochure, that he said is his agenda for the next four years. It states goals like create 1 million manufacturing jobs by 2016.

WALLACE: And cut net oil imports in half by 2020.

But, Senator Udall, these are recycled targets from four years ago that he was unable to achieve in his first term.

UDALL: Chris, we have made a lot of progress to reaching those goals and if you look at what the president's accomplished, we are moving forward.

And, my concern and what I hear from Coloradans is a President Romney would go back to the policies of the Bush administration, which were pretty simply, cut taxes, cut regulations, and run up the debt. That isn't going to work.

President Obama is of course making the case, over this last nine days, about what he'd do if he is handed a second term and he would build on the successes of the last four years.

Now, he's trapped the president into a plane heading to the ground at mach speed, he's now righted that plane. We've got some lift. We are heading in the right direction. He deserves a second term.
SEN. MARK UDALL, D-COLO.: Good morning, Chris. We have a great ground game here in Colorado. You are right, about 80 percent of votes will be cast before Election Day.

But, in the end, Coloradans are going to go for a president who has overseen slow but steady economic growth. We have unemployment levels below 8 percent. The Coloradans look for a leader who says what he means and means what he says.

So, Governor Romney has three problems here in Colorado. We don't know whether it's moderate Mitt or "me, too" Mitt or severely conservative Mitt that will serve as a president. He's been particularly unfriendly to Hispanics and Latinos.

And women in the state are pro-choice. They want to make their own health care decisions and the Republican Party has in effect said to women, we know what's best for you. We don't want you to make your own decisions.

So, those are reasons that President Obama will carry Colorado.

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WALLACE: Senator Udall, you are on the Senate Armed Services Committee, also on the Senate Intelligence Committee. How do you answer critics who say that the Obama administration has bungled this, before, during and after the attack?

UDALL: Chris, we share the grief that Mr. Woods exhibited in that segment.

Let me say this: we're going to get to the bottom of this. The Intelligence Committee is going to hold hearings when we return right after the election and the State Department has its own investigation underway. But I have to say this: any impartial observer who looks at what happened in Benghazi, would have to say this situation has been politicized. Governor Romney himself realizes that his actions and his reaction was unbecoming for a potential commander-in-chief. He's backed off those comments in that point of view. In the debate this last week, Benghazi and Libya wasn't even raised when the governor had a chance to discuss it.

We ought to be acting in the spirit of Ambassador Stevens. We ought to be pulling together. After 9/11 --

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Senator... Certainly, it is a legitimate issue to discuss before an election, when four Americans were killed, and there are questions of intelligence failures before and during the attack, is it not?

UDALL: It is a legitimate issue, but, every story leads to political commentary, and trying to point fingers. After 9/11, we came together, there were a lot of questions that had to be answered, let's operate in that same spirit. And let's remember what Ambassador Stevens was riding to do and let's stand together, because the Middle East is crucial. We need to be tough there, but we need to be smart. We need to be engaged.

This discussion has been politicized. It hasn't been helpful. It hasn't helped us get to the bottom of what happened.

WALLACE: Let me ask you one direct question. There were drones that were flying over Benghazi at the time of the attacks, during the hours, when first the consulate and then the annex. And it was about six or eight hours were under attacks.

Were those drones armed?

UDALL: We're going to find that out. As you have mentioned, I sit on the Intelligence Committee and so does Senator Warner. We're going to get to the bottom of this. We'll find out what happened. And that information, if appropriate, will be revealed --

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Do you know whether they were armed, sir?

UDALL: I can't comment on that at this point in time, Chris.

WALLACE: But you certainly agree that if they were armed they could have, without as Leon Panetta said, sending more troops into harm's way could have been used to break up the attack?

UDALL: The drone assets that we have are remarkable and they save the lives of many, many Americans, while we have been getting the bad guys. I look forward to discussing it with you further when I have the information and am able to share it with you.

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