With AK-47-armed drug cartels controlling "many areas on American soil" — including territory just 30 miles from Phoenix, Arizona — GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson did suggest drone strikes against them, says Sheriff Paul Babeu.
"This is literally an unsecured border. We have cartels that think they own the place," Babeu, the sheriff of Arizona's Pinal County, said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."
"They control many areas on American soil and this is how they freely move billions of dollars of drugs and hundreds of thousands of illegals into our country."
Dennis Welch of Phoenix television station KTVK reported
after Carson's border visit on Wednesday that he asked the candidate whether he would consider using drones on the border.
"I'm suggesting we do what we need to do to secure the border whatever that is," Carson said.
Welch tweeted "GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson open to using military drone strikes on American soil to secure the border."
He quoted Carson as saying, "You look at some of these caves and things out there one drone strike, boom, and they'd gone."
Some on Twitter disputed that, saying Carson likely meant he would use drones for surveillance, but Babeu told Cavuto guest host Charles Payne on Thursday the reporter got it right.
"Ben Carson mentioned absolutely use drones, and maybe have the idea of a missile strike to blow up these cartel lookouts where they live," he said, adding that some members of the media were aghast he said such a thing.
"He goes, 'We're fighting a war here. We should talk to military leaders and law enforcement leaders to see what we need to do to fight back,'" the sheriff said.
Babeu, who gave Carson his daylong tour of the border along with his deputies, said the retired neurosurgeon left him impressed.
"We need a new president because this president just ain't cutting it," he said. "He has literally handcuffed us, releasing 67,000 criminals. … So we need a new president who is going to stand up for America and enforce our laws and secure the border."
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