Thank you. Thank you. Wow. More roads for Iowa.
Frank Luntz: How long, how many visits have you made to Iowa so far?
Oh more than a half a dozen and that's why I say more roads for Iowa. We need to improve your roads here like in South Carolina. You can't get there from here. Everything is two hours and 15 minutes from the other place. But it's worth the travel 'cause there's nice people when you get there.
Frank Luntz: I've never had someone walk out and actually take a shot at a state before so that's...
I feel their pain.
Frank Luntz: Usually I’m the idiot who does that.
I feel their pain.
Frank Luntz: So here's your question now, and it's a question that's pretty serious. What is the balance between results and principles? We've had a pretty long conversation and I admire the fact that you all, in fact let me thank you all for being quick with your questions, being insightful with your approach, for participating, for being engaged. I hear that the coverage that people are tuning in and they're watching this and they appreciate what you're saying so Iowa, you should be proud of yourselves today.
Frank Luntz: So the question is this balance of principle and results.
Frank Luntz: And I’m gonna use the 80 percent number because this was Ronald Reagan's number. He suggested that if you could get 80 percent of what you're trying to do, it's perfectly fine to compromise the other 20 percent because in the end you had to get something done. There are others today who believe that 80 percent isn't enough, that we should be fighting if we absolutely believe in something then there is no reason to compromise, even if nothing happens. So pleave(sic), please give us an indication. Do you prefer the candidate who will provide a record of accomplishment for conservative principles at about 80 percent and get things done, or do you wanna fight for that 95 or 100 percent because you want them to stand for principle and not give in at all? Who prefers the 80 percent candidate? And actually I need to correct that, it's the 80 percent leader. Who prefers the 100 percent leader? Okay so this is one of the great challenges the next President will face, when to compromise and when to fight for principle. When will you not compromise? When are you going to go to the wall on, on what topics should the next President say there is no other alternative, this is the way it's gonna be.
Well I'm not gonna compromise when it comes to defeating radical Islam because you get nothing for second place. We're in a religious war don't you think? They would kill everybody in this room if they could.
Frank Luntz: Do you think, do you all, how many of you by applause think we're in a religious war?
So, I would never compromise our national security because without that everything else is talk. I would never compromise the American dream because without that we're just another nation. What is the American dream? Picking your own leader, criticizing your government, raising your children the way you would like, working hard and making something of yourself. That's worth dying for. We as a nation better get our act together quickly. We're becoming Greece (inaudible) about it. To the 100 percenters out there, how do you become, how do you save the country from becoming Greece without getting a Democrat to help you? I don't know how to do that. How many of you are on Social Security? How many of you wanna be on Social Security? What would I do to save Social Security? Whatever it took because when I was 21 my mom died, a year later my dad died. I'm 22, my sister is 13, we owned a restaurant, a liquor store and a pool room that's why I'd be a good President. I ran the pool room. My mom had Hodgkin's Disease. We got completely wiped out 'cause we were underinsured so I don't need a lecture from a Democrat about healthcare. If it weren't for my aunt and uncle helping me raise my sister I wouldn't have made it. If it wasn't for my family, my friends and my faith I wouldn't be sitting here today. We got Social Security Survivor Benefits to help my family because my sister was a minor. I'm 60, I'm not married, I don't have any kids. What would I do to save Social Security for people who need it more than I do? Almost anything. I would give up some of my benefits to save it for those who needed it more. I'd work with a Democrat to save Medicare and Social Security because if we don't, we're all going down together. Remember Ronald Reagan and Tipp O'Neill? They adjusted the age of retirement in the '80s to save Social Security from bankruptcy. Barack Obama has done nothing but talk. He had a chance to do something about our national debt, Simpson-Bowles, he threw it in the garbage can. He can't tell the left something they don’t wanna hear. I guarantee you I'll tell the right what I think is best for America and I'll get us in the middle if that's what it takes to save this country.
Frank Luntz: You raised it and I haven't done it as much in this forum as I would've liked to, you lost your parents at a very early age, both of them. If they were sitting right where those two reporters are right now, if they had those seats right there, they would see that their son was a United States Senator and a candidate for President of the United States. What would you tell them?
That Darline turned out really good. And I tried hard, and thanks to you I've come a long way.
Frank Luntz: I know they can hear you.
Love is not the size of the house but what happens inside the house. I was well loved. To all those kids who are not well loved, I feel so sorry for you. This is a family leadership council. We're all one car wreck away from needing somebody's help. I’m a proud Republican but there's a time and a place for the government. I've been on my knees and some people helped me get up and I'm glad I had college loans for my sister. I'm glad Social Security was there. If I got to be President of the United States, I'd make sure we did the right thing and the hard thing because the country needs a leader and Barack Obama has been a miserable failure as President. Thank you.
Frank Luntz: Is one of the things...
I feel like I’m on Oprah, I’m sorry.
Frank Luntz: What does that make me?
I'll get back with you on that after, it makes you a billionaire.
Frank Luntz: I know there's something else that concerns you as a veteran, which is what has happened at our VA Hospitals.
Frank Luntz: But how did it get to be this bad?
Monopolies are bad. Do you agree a monopoly is bad? When you're in a monopoly you get whatever they decide to give to you. There are a lot of people in the VA that work hard. Let's don't slam everybody in the VA, but let's admit to ourselves the VA system is a monopoly. This is what America's gonna look like if you implement Obamacare. This is exactly where we're headed. And so if I'm President of the United States, the number one job of the next President of the United States and the one after that and the one after that is to defend this nation. If you don't take care of your veterans, how can you do it? So to every veteran out there here's the deal I would have with you. I would give you a card to go to any doctor or any hospital you would like to go to any time you needed to go and if the VA served you well you'd keep going there. If you didn't like the VA, we would shut that facility down. I would give you choice. Competition is the only way to make the VA do better. And whatever it cost it cost.
Frank Luntz: So why doesn't that happen? Why not pass it through the House, pass it through the Senate and have the President sign it?
Well one, you got people who are hard, it was hard to convince some people to give up government monopolies. We have choice now if you live over 40 miles away from a VA clinic, but it took people to die to get that choice. We have choice now if you have to wait over 30 days but it took people to die. What you need is a President of the United States who will say we're going to change the system and I dare you to get in my way. Speaking of veterans, John McCain was one of the guys who pushed the system that we have today. Senator McCain is the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, I am glad he is. He is my friend. He has served our country in a unique way. Through Senator McCain I met some incredible people, his fellow POW's. Have you ever heard of Bud Day? He was captured, but I don’t think he was a loser. So we've had a discussion today about being captured, and about service. If you really wanna be Commander in Chief and you're serious about that job, the last thing you would ever do is say anything that would show disrespect for anybody who served. I just retired from the Air Force after 30 years and let me tell you who I think is an American hero, the family who stays behind. The spouse who is raising the kids when the mom and dad are deployed. I've been a military lawyer in a unit that was deployed in the first Gulf War. I know exactly what the families go through. When the phone rings at night, you jump out of your skin. When some car comes up the driveway you don't expect, your heart skips a beat. John McCain and every other POW deserves our respect and our admiration.
Frank Luntz: I have to ask you, I have to ask you the direct question. If he does not apologize to Senator McCain, does that disqualify in your mind Donald Trump from being a candidate?
I believe in democracy don't you? Let me tell you how this works, Frank. The good people of Iowa, the good people of New Hampshire and the good people of South Carolina are gonna figure this out. And here's what I think they're gonna say, Donald Trump, you're fired.
Frank Luntz: There's no way I’m gonna follow up with that question. Audience, we're gonna go to microphone three in the back left.
Unidentified Male: Yes. I I think when we look in the in the mirror the enemy is us because we buy the oil from the Middle East company, countries that give them the monies to go and buy the guns, train ISIS and do all that stuff.
Unidentified Male: We have enough oil in the upper Mid, Midwest of our country. Why in the world can we not get the Keystone deal done? Let's keep passing it until the President's veto ink goes dry and let's get this country moving again.
Yay all right. I'm tired of borrowing money from a Communist Dictatorship to run our government. So that's why I wanna get us out of debt. The 80 million baby boomers who are gonna retire in the next 25 years of which I am one, we're gonna want our Social Security checks and we want our Medicare bills paid. I'll get to energy in a minute. The bottom line is we're gonna wipe out Social Security and Medicare and become Greece because we're down to two workers for every retiree in about 25 years. By 2030 all the taxes you pay is going to pay Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and interest on the debt. If we don't reform entitlements like Ronald Reagan and Tipp O'Neill, if we don't flatten out the tax code and take some of the money to pay down debt and get Democrats to work with us, we're gonna lose the American dream. I am not going to let that happen if I am President. As to energy, I would build a pipeline and so would every other Republican. I would explore for oil and gas off the coast of South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia because there's a lot to be found there. If we've got it, I want it. But you ask the question, why doesn't she, Hillary Clinton, want to build the pipeline? You got 16 people to choose from, here's the test, can we beat Hillary? If we can't beat her, it's all talk. I can beat her. Let me tell you why. I would say why in the world don't you wanna build a pipeline, they're gonna sell the oil from the oil sends which I've actually been to, to China if we don't buy it. That's really stupid, Hillary. Tell the environmentalists they're whatever. And if you're looking for something new folks, she ain't it. If you like the six and a half years, soon to be eight, then you're gonna love the next four with her. And let me say this, Frank. Her definition of flat broke and mine are a bit different. I can show you flat broke and after two terms in the White House that ain't it. We need to beat her. I think I can beat her. I think at the end of the day she's been the architect of a failed foreign policy. Getting a straight answer out of her about Iran is like pulling teeth. It's easier to talk to the leader in North Korea than it is her. She can't hide forever. And I’ll ask her about the pipeline but I'll also ask her about Benghazi. Where the hell were you, when those people needed you the most? How could you allow it to become a death trap? How could you not know they needed your help? Why did your people say five times no to additional security and why did you and Susan Rice lie to the American people about how they died?
Frank Luntz: So we did five standing ovations.
Then we'll talk about Obamacare and why you're for that. 'Cause you sold it better than he did. Sorry, go ahead. That was a good answer on the pipeline I thought.
Frank Luntz: Just want you to know there have only been five standing ovations today and that's a significant response...
Well that's all right, we're not counting. It only matters what happens at the end. I hope we're cheering in November 2016.
Frank Luntz: Let's take a question from the front left, microphone one.
Unidentified Female: Good afternoon, Senator. I’m here with my friend Julie because we're the leaders of the Global Health Club at Iowa State University...
Yay go Cyclones...
Unidentified Female: And we know that one of President Bush's greatest foreign policy decisions was the creation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which has saved millions of lives...
Unidentified Female: Stabilized global security and affirmed our nation's commitment to global health. But unfortunately under the Obama administration, this program has been cut for years and last week the Senate committee you lead failed to restore the funding we need to keep the program on track and we're wondering if you'll live up to your promises by restoring PEPFAR funding by $300 million by the end of the year.
I don't know if I can close the gap but I'll try. Sequestration is killing this account. Do you understand what she's talking about? Do you remember George W. Bush? I miss him, I don't know about y'all. About 10 years ago, I can't remember exactly when it was, early on in his Presidency, he invested $40 billion over a period of time to fight AIDS in Africa. Anybody in here go to church? Do any of you support mission work in Africa? Don't you think God blesses you when you're helping the least among us? Let me tell you about Lindsey Graham, Africa and AIDS and helping people. The $40 billion that we spent saved an entire generation of African children from almost certain death from AIDS and now we're dealing with malaria. 75 percent reduction in mother to child AIDS transmission in the last decade. Babies alive today because you, the American taxpayer, helped people in Africa who were going to die without your help. Rick Warren and all the NGO's, faith-based organizations on the ground in Africa, God bless you. If I'm President of the United States, we're gonna restore the funding. But if you do not deal with the entitlement problem where all the money goes to pay Medicare and Social Security, there won't be a dime left for the military, a dime left to help people in Africa. The reason I wanna help people in Africa, it makes us safer here. I want customers for Iowa products. I think America is her best when she's leading the world as to foreign assistance. It's one percent of the budget. When it comes to radical Islam here's my policy, whatever it takes as long as it takes to defeat these guys. Now, how you defeat radical Islam, you keep them from preying on the poor and the orphaned. You help people because it's good for you. You build a small schoolhouse for a poor young girl in a remote village which is a bigger threat to radical Islam, giving her an education, than any bomb you could drop on their head. This is a generational struggle folks. These are religious Nazi's. They can't be dealt with, they have to be degraded and eventually destroyed and the way we're gonna do it is partner with people in the region. We're gonna help them help themselves. We're gonna build lines and defenses against us and radical Islam. If I'm President they're not coming here again. We're gonna rebuild our defenses and we're gonna go after these bastards and kill every one of them if we have to. There is no other way to do it. And in the process we're gonna help people. Sorry for the bad word.
Frank Luntz: That was actually one of the words that Bob gave me that I was not allowed to use during this forum.
Frank Luntz: So I’m glad you did.
I can't wait to, I can't wait to be Commander in Chief. I can't wait to be the leader of the free world. I’m tired of leading from behind. We are cutting our military to the bone. You're worried about PEPFAR? You ought to be worried about the Army. We have the smallest Army since 1940, does that make any sense to you? We have the smallest Navy since 1915. If I'm President of the United States, we're gonna rebuild our military, we're gonna send 'em back over there to partner with other people and we're gonna take the gloves off. And to the Ayatollah, if I'm President we're gonna set this deal aside 'cause it's a crazy deal. To our friends in Israel, you're gonna have a partner in the White House not an enemy in the White House. God blesses those who bless the state of Israel. To the Ayatollah, you're not gonna get a penny unless you change your behavior. You're never gonna be able to buy another bullet if I'm President and when it comes to your nuclear program you're not gonna have a bomb. If you choose to go down that path and you want a war with the United States, you will lose it.
Q = Frank Luntz, Unidentified Male, Unidentified Female
A = Lindsey Graham
U = Unidentified Speaker
(INAUDIBLE) = Areas that could not be heard due to background noise, tape/phone line quality, muffled speaking, etc.