Longtime Sen. Charles Grassley tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama wants the United States to be a “second-class nation” — and that is the overriding reason he does not deserve to be re-elected.
The Iowa Republican also says the Obama administration abandoned plans to try 9/11 terror suspects in civilian courts because the policy was “outright wrong” — and the new decision is a vindication of President George W. Bush’s policy on terrorism.
Grassley, who was first elected in 1980, is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, he was asked why Obama capitulated to Republican pressure and popular sentiment and decided to try 9/11 terror suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others before military tribunals rather than in civilian courts.
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“The White House capitulated because they were outright wrong,” he declares.
“They misread the results of their election. And they found out what the people want in this country.
“It proves that people who spend too much time in Washington, D.C., don’t know what’s going on in the rest of the country. Washington, D.C., is an island surrounded by reality. But once in a while, common sense floats through to Washington, and this is one of the instances that proves that common sense [can] win out in Washington.
“I hope it gives hope to people that eventually elections and grassroots public opinion filters through to Washington, gives the people of this country encouragement to keep the pressure on their members of Congress.”
Asked whether the administration’s about-face vindicates Bush’s policy on the terrorists, Grassley responds: “Very much. The Geneva Convention was never meant to protect people who are outside of the usual military operations representing a particular nation state in warfare.
“These people that we call terrorists are operating outside the realm of the traditional rules of warfare and were not covered by the Geneva Convention. That was the [principle] upon which George Bush based his decision, and it was entirely the right decision.”
Regarding Obama’s chances of getting re-elected in 2012, Grassley tells Newsmax: “I think that he is headed for defeat based upon three things.
"One, Obamacare. Two, the terrible situation with spending and the budget deficit and the fact that the economy is affected by that and jobs aren’t being created. And third, his attitude about America not being an exceptional nation. Probably for the last reason more so than any other, he ought not to be re-elected.
“We have a great deal of credibility based on the fact that we have been looked upon as a different nation, as a world leader, and he wants to put us as a second-class nation — or let’s put it this way, not first among nations. It’s a threat to peace, that position he’s taken.”
Grassley, a member of the Senate Finance and Budget Committees, commented on House Speaker John Boehner’s advice to fellow Republicans to prepare for a government shutdown.
“I think the most important thing is that we do not shut down the government because — I know it is probably counter-intuitive to your viewers — you don’t save money by shutting down the government.
There are certain contractual obligations that have to be met regardless.”
But Grassley does think it is important to cut spending by $100 billion, “which has been the goal of Republicans in the Congress, because that was the promise that was made, and I think we want the voters to know that we get the message from [the 2010] election.”
With many Republicans saying that Congress should not raise the limit on federal debt, Grassley remarks: ““My take is that we should have thought about not increasing the debt limit before we spent the money.
“But the point is, we’ve got tremendous leverage by not increasing the debt to get a lot of things done that we want done — tackling entitlements and tackling a constitutional amendment requiring a balance budget. I support moving in both of those areas. The president has been quite reluctant to do that.
“If we don’t get a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, then it’s business as usual.
“I know this: If we don’t get it done this time, it’s going to be very much an issue in the next election. And when the Republicans take over the United States Senate in 2012 and I become chairman of the Judiciary Committee, it’s going to be number one on my list.”
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