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FOX "On The Record" - Transcript


Location: Washington, DC

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MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Is President Obama timid and passive in how he is handling the crisis in Iran? Well, that's what Senator Lindsey Graham says about the president, timid and passive. He joins us live here in Washington.

Timid and passive?

SEN. GRAHAM: Yeah, I thought he was much too calculating at first. His statement a couple of days ago was better. But I think the president needs to appreciate the historical moment we're in. The people who have taken to the streets in Tehran, this young lady, are very upset with their government. They're willing to die to bring about a better Iran.

And the president is the leader of the free world. Other nations, like France, Germany, Great Britain, have been very forceful. And I'd like to see my president, our president speak up boldly and loudly. Don't worry about being in the good graces of this regime. These are thugs, dictators. These are not the people that you care whether they like you or not. Stand up for what this young girl died for. Speak truth to power. If he will do that, it will matter to the people in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan. And I want my president to speak loudly and boldly like Ronald Reagan did, and we haven't had enough of that. And we need more action, not just talk.

Go to the U.N. Security Council with our allies and condemn this action. Bring up a resolution and make people in the world vote on this. Increase sanctions against this rogue regime. And make a speech, inspiring people to fight for their freedom.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Are you saying that he needs to have a tear- down-this-wall speech? Is that what you're talking about? I mean, is that where we are?

SEN. GRAHAM: Yeah. I think this is a moment where it really matters. The Pope and Ronald Reagan inspired people. And this president, to his credit, is one of the great orators of our time. I'd like to see him go to a place like the Statue of Liberty and speak boldly for this young lady who died.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Well, why hasn't he? We're on June 22nd, I guess, and the election was on the 12th of June, so we're 10 days into this. But this has been sort of growing.

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, this calculation you have to make, you don't want to let the Iranian regime say this is an American-inspired revolution. Well, that's a lie. It's not. This is coming from people in the street. He's worried too much about how they can use his statements against us. They're going to lie to their people about us.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: You know what's sort of interesting? It's almost like, I mean --

SEN. GRAHAM: So don't worry about them.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: The reason why I think North Korea is as it is is largely because they have no information going in or out.


MS. VAN SUSTEREN: I think it's profoundly significant how little information is going in and out of Iran from the Western world. And even that these telecom companies created a method so that the Iranian government could actually sort of stuff the communication channels so that things can't get out.

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, trust me, it will get into Iran. Look what we're seeing through these amateur videos, the Twittering revolution. If the president spoke about the inherent right of every person, like this young lady, to be free in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, it would get into Iran. And these signs are in English. They know we are watching them. These protesters are trying to send a message to us, to the freedom-loving world. And we need to send a message back to them.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: You know, what happens when -- if this ends short of a revolution and sort of a changing of the guard, so to speak, I wonder sort of like what President Ahmadinejad is going to do to those who weren't on his side. Now, we know Mousavi in the 1980s when he was prime minister, when people didn't agree with him, they lost their life. It's not as though Mousavi is any great sheik that way. So what happens to the --

SEN. GRAHAM: I can't tell you what the future holds, but I can tell you I want us to be on record at the time that it mattered, that we were there when it mattered. And I believe things can change fundamentally in Iran. And there's no going back now. We need to empower these people. We need to put pressure on this regime. And the president needs to speak loudly and boldly.

Now, whether or not this works, I know that being consistent with our values, we should speak louder, like the French, the Germans and the British have done. And I'd like to see the president do more, because he can change things. He is a unique individual. He can inspire people, and he needs to use that rhetoric at this critical moment in history, and we need to act, too, not just talk.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think we're going to hear from him tomorrow in a press conference, so I assume that, you know, any day now he may take --

SEN. GRAHAM: Mr. President, stand up for this young lady who gave her life, and all those like her. It will matter.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, sir.

SEN. GRAHAM: Thank you.

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