From Friday night’s Fox News All-Stars.
On the death of Anwar al-Awlaki:
This is effective. It doesn’t end the threat by any means. But if we keep killing people high-level in Yemen, mid-level in Pakistan, it creates a deterrent. … It’s the ultimate term limits. …
It also levels the playing field. They have the suicide bomber — a novel form of warfare invented in the last 30 years which gets into places [that] ordinarily our enemies could not. We have Predators, and it doesn’t require anybody on our side to die. It’s a superior weapon.
On the criticism that the killing of Awlaki wasn’t constitutional:
We had a civil war in which our side mowed down American citizens — Confederate soldiers who were never recognized [by the Union] as members of another country — in battle after battle. In Pickett’s Charge we didn’t charge lawyers out to interview Confederate soldiers and ask them if they were Americans, read them Miranda rights. … We shot them.
They were American citizens. The point is the American citizenry protects you — but it doesn’t apply in insurrection. [If] people say: only insurrection on American soil — why should your presence in Yemen protect you? He was fomenting insurrection, trying to get Americans to turn against the United States and to attack America in the homeland. So he fits precisely the definition.
On the contrast between the administration’s anti-Guantanamo rhetoric and its policy of killing American citizens overseas:
That is precisely the point. The administration, itself, undermined its case in the Awlaki case by insisting over and over again on a captured terrorist having all of these rights, on Guantanamo, somehow, being illegitimate and insisting on trying KSM in New York. These are illegal combatants who under the Geneva Convention, American law, officially have no rights at all. They are lucky they get some rights.
On the administration fast-tracking to the Supreme Court the litigation over the constitutionality of Obamacare’s individual mandate:
I think for Obama it’s win-win. If it is upheld, then it will give something of a boost in public opinion because it’ll be seen as legitimate. … If it’s struck down, it removes an albatross around Obama’s neck. It [would then] be a moot issue. … [And] the left will say: all the more reason you want to elect Obama so he’ll appoint Supreme Court justices who won’t rule this way in the future. …
On President Obama saying that the country “had gotten a little soft”:
Huge error. He’s having trouble governing, the country’s in trouble. He’s seen as not having good stewardship or ability to govern — and then he blames America! If he does that, he’s seen as somebody who’s compounding condescension, incompetence, and narcissism all in one sentence. That’s really hard to do. I think he’s done it right here.
On whether Rick Perry can rebound in the polls: