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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Pat Robertson Speaks For All True Christians

THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS Interview with Pat Robertson

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

You know, the president seemed to be putting some distance between himself and people like you, allies like you who have cast this battle over judges in more religious terms. Do you now accept the president's belief that those who want to preserve the filibuster for judges are not fighting against people of faith?

PAT ROBERTSON

George, I've never said that. I've said some things about the judges, but I think this filibuster thing strictly is an attempt to please the People for the American Way and the ultra left. I think the Democrats are catering to them, but, you know, in the entire history of the United States of America, there has never been a judge who has been refused a vote when there was a majority of Senators willing to vote for his confirmation, never in history. This filibuster in the last two years is unprecedented in our history.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

But, sir, you have described this in pretty, this whole battle is pretty apocalyptic terms. You've said that Liberals are engaged in an all-out assault on Christianity, that Democrats will appoint judges who don't share our Christian values and will dismantle Christian culture, and that the out-of-control judiciary, and this was in your last book Courting Disaster is the most serious threat America has faced in nearly 400 years of history (this should have a period behind it because this is where Pat’s words in Courting Disaster end and Stephanopolus begins) more serious than al Qaeda, more serious than Nazi Germany and Japan, more serious than the Civil War?

PAT ROBERTSON

George, I really believe that. I think they are destroying the fabric that holds our nation together. There is an assault on marriage. There's an assault on human sexuality, as Judge Scalia said, they've taken sides in the culture war and on top of that if we have a democracy, the democratic processes should be that we can elect representatives who will share our point of view and vote those things into law.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

But, sir, let me just stop you there. How can you say that these judges are a more serious threat than Islamic terrorists who slammed into the World Trade Center?

PAT ROBERTSON

It depends on how you look at culture. If you look over the course of a hundred years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings. I think we're going to control al Qaeda. I think we're going to get Osama bin Laden. We won in Afghanistan. We won in Iraq, and we can contain that. But if there's an erosion at home, you know, Thomas Jefferson warned about a tyranny of an oligarchy and if we surrender our democracy to the tyranny of an oligarchy, we've made a terrible mistake.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

You know, President Bush at that press conference also said that he believes you're equally American whether you're Christian, Muslim, or Jew, and I wonder if you fully accept that, because in the past, you've said that you believe that only Christians and Jews are qualified to serve in the government. Is that still your belief?

PAT ROBERTSON

Well, you know, Thomas Jefferson, who was the author of the Declaration of Independence said he wouldn't have any atheists in his cabinet because atheists wouldn't swear an oath to God. That was Jefferson and we have never had any Muslims in the cabinet. I didn't say serve in government. I said in my cabinet if I were elected president, and I think a president has a right to take people who share his point of view, and I would think that would be ...

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

Well, wait a second. Let me just stop you there. 'Cause in your book The New World Order you wrote, "'How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus or Muslims.' My simple answer is, 'yes, they are.'" Does that mean no Hindu and Muslim judges?

PAT ROBERTSON

Right now, I think people who feel that there should be a jihad against America, read what the Islamic people say. They divide the world into two spheres, Dar al Islam Dar al Harb. The Dar al Islam are those who've submitted to Islam, Dar al Harb are those who are in the land of war and they have said in the Koran there's a war against all the infidels. So do you want somebody like that sitting as a judge? I wouldn't.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

So I take it then the answer to the question is that you believe that only Christians and Jews are qualified to serve in the Federal judiciary?

PAT ROBERTSON

I'm not sure I'd make such a broad, sweeping statement, but I just feel that those who share the philosophy of the founders of this nation, who assent to the principles of the Declaration of Independence, who assent to the principles that underlie the constitution, such people are the ones that should be judges, and the thing that I'm opposed to about judges is the thought that this is a living document that can be manipulated at the will of five out of nine judge, nonelected judges. It's the tyranny of an oligarchy that I'm concerned about.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

You said also that you believe Democrats appoint judges who "don't share our Christian values" and will "dismantle Christian culture." So do you believe that Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg, who were appointed by President Clinton, are trying to dismantle Christian culture?

PAT ROBERTSON

Justice Ginsburg served as a general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU. That was founded, as you probably know, by about three members of the Communist Internationale. Their leader, Baldwin, said that he wanted to be a Communist and wanted to make this ...

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

So she's a Communist?

PAT ROBERTSON

He was. He said, it's in my book. I mean, he said it. He made a declaration. He said I want to make America a workers' state, breed Communists.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

But I was asking about Justice Ginsburg. And you now seem to be trying to equate her with these Communists.

PAT ROBERTSON

Well, she was the general counsel for this organization whose purpose right now is to rid religion from the public square. That's what they have announced. We've had Nadine Strasser down here to our university in a debate. She's a very pleasant lady but that's what she said was her avowed goal, to take all religion from the public square. That's their initiative and Justice Ginsburg served as their general counsel, so ...

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

Let's turn to some broader issues. You spoke at the beginning of the year on The 700 Club and said that you had been praying and God had given you some predictions about President Bush's second term. Let me show you that.

PAT ROBERTSON

What I heard was that Bush is now positioned to have victory after victory. He'll have Social Security reform passed, that he'll have tax reform passed, that he'll have conservative judges on the courts.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

So that's what you heard on January 3rd. Do you think you might have misinterpreted?

PAT ROBERTSON

No, I think he's got a winning hand on Social Security, George, despite what Nancy Pelosi says. The Social Security, as you know is going into deficit in 2018. It's not 2042 or '52. What they've been doing is taking a surplus of the money that we all pay into Social Security and they've used it to fund the Federal deficit and there is no trust fund. That's an illusion and it's going into deficit. There won't be any more excess for the Federal government in 2018. We're hitting into a crisis mode and I think the president, as far as younger workers are concerned, he has a winning hand, and I think the Democrats are holding on to something that Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the '30s and they look like a bunch of mossbacks. It is time they get some new ideas. You said it right when you were interviewing her.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

You know reverend Robertson, the God you describe is taking a very active direct role in our lives. One of the earlier clips we showed, you had Him saying I am removing justices from the supreme court and I'm just wondering why does a God who is so involved in our daily life, so directly involved allow something like a tsunami to kill several hundred thousand people in Asia?

PAT ROBERTSON

I don't think He reverses the laws of nature. The reason for that tsunami was the shifting of tectonic plates in the Indian Ocean. I don't think He changes the magma in volcanoes and I don't think He changes the wind currents to bring about hurricanes, so I don't attribute that to God or His lack or otherwise, but in terms of human affairs I do think he answers prayer and I think there have been literally millions of people praying for a change in the Supreme Court. The people of faith in this country feel they're on a tyranny and they see their liberties taken away from them and they've been beseeching God, fasting and praying for years, so I think he hears and answers their prayers.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

You know, let's look ahead to 2008. The jockeying has already begun and of all the candidates looking for the nomination on the Republican side, which one do you believe is best positioned to get the support of religious conservatives like you?

PAT ROBERTSON

You know, it's really hard to pick a winner right now. There's an outstanding Senator from Kansas who I think would be looking for it. He certainly represents the ...

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

Sam Brownback?

PAT ROBERTSON

Brownback, he's a super guy. I think George Allen from Virginia was a distinguished governor, he's a distinguished senator and head of the Senatorial Campaign Committee and won some significant victories. He is a very attractive guy and would make a tremendous president. So there are a couple. I don't know who else is out there jockeying, I'm sure Karl Rove has a candidate that he hasn't told us about.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

You didn't mention Bill Frist. I'm surprised about that.

PAT ROBERTSON

Bill is a wonderfully compassionate human being. He is humanitarian. He goes on medical missions. He is a delightful person. I just don't see him as a future president. And I think he said he didn't want to run for president. Maybe I'm putting words in his mouth.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

I think he's looking at it. Let me ask you one other question on that and then I'll let you go.

PAT ROBERTSON

Okay.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

If the party chooses a moderate like John McCain or Rudy Giuliani, do you think religious conservatives will split off and form a third party movement?

PAT ROBERTSON

I don't think so. Rudy is a very good friend of mine and I would think he would did a super job running the City of New York and I think he'd make a good president. I like him a lot, although he doesn't share all of my particular point of view on social issues. He's a very dedicated Catholic, and he is a great guy. McCain I'd vote against under any circumstance.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

Reverend Robertson, thank you very much.

PAT ROBERTSON

Okay, thank you.

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