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Interview with Senator Mark Kirk

By On the Record, On the Record - November 30, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Special Guests | Sen. Mark Kirk

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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," Nov. 30, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.adsonar_placementId=1502008;adsonar_pid=150758;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=198;adsonar_zh=170;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com';

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, the newest member of the United States Senate, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you.

SEN. MARK KIRK, R-ILL.: Thank you for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: This is an inaugural interview at the United States Senate, right?

KIRK: It is. This is my temporary office, a double-wide trailer.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: How long have you been a senator?

KIRK: For 36 hours.

VAN SUSTEREN: First of all, we should talk about your office. I think it's safe to say the taxpayers are not breaking the bank. We have seen walk-in closets that were bigger.

KIRK: Yes. We are in a trailer in the Russell building and I'm told we'll get an office sometime in the future.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's spectacular. And you might want to change the sign. It says "senator-elect." You're not elect anymore. You are a senator for 36 hours.

But it's been a busy 36 hours. Lets' start with a letter that you wrote to the President of the United States. Why are you writing the president?

KIRK: I was concerned that at the Lisbon Summit there was a proposal that came forward to include the Russians in the missile defense of the United States. I'm very concerned about such a proposal. They're providing nuclear material and upgrade to the Bushehr reactor in Iran. Other air defense equipment sold to them. Russia invaded Georgia. Not exactly a reliable party in the most sensitive defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think you will get a reply from the president to the letter?

KIRK: I think we will because it relates tangentially to consideration of the START treaty in which missile defense is a significant concern of Senator Kyl and others.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is your view of the START treaty now?

KIRK: Open-minded. House members have no role in consideration of a treaty. So I just went from the House to the Senate a day-and-a-half ago. I asked Secretary Clinton to bring up her briefing teams and we are waiting to do that.

But I was also concerned about this entirely new proposal bringing the Russians into the missile defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is the reaction of bringing Russians in? Are they really going to be brought in the missile defense?

KIRK: That is the question we lay out in the letter, because in Lisbon they said cooperative defenses to defend Europe will be put together by the United States and Russia. And for somebody who comes outs of the military, the question is, well, how much cooperation? Do Russians get to decide the sighting of a system, the design? Are they mutually staffing it? Will they be running radar? Is the data shared?

All those questions should be answered before we bring the Russians in to the most sensitive defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're still in the military?

KIRK: I'm still a reservist. We have three drilling reservists in the Senate. Senator Graham serves in the Air Force, Senator Brown serves in the Army, and I serve in the Navy.

VAN SUSTEREN: The first thing you do, one of the first things, only a senator for 36 hours is letter to the president. The president knows who you are, doesn't he?

KIRK: He does.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have a significant seat to him.

KIRK: First, the president and I ran for Congress the same year. I was defeated. He then ran and won the Senate race and become our president. This is his so-called Senate seat, although I would argue it's owned by the people of Illinois.

And after the president took office, Roland Burris was our senator. But the state of Illinois was required to hold a special election. I won that special election. And so I'm as a Republican filling the last month of the Obama Senate term and then into the new Congress for a six-year term.

VAN SUSTEREN: President Obama wasn't running against you for the Senate seat, but he campaigned hard against you.

KIRK: We had three visits by the president and the first lady and a number of cabinet officials. So it was an all-on struggle in the home state, but as the fiscal conservative I won.

VAN SUSTEREN: Numbers were actually quite substantial for the Republican as compared to 2008.

KIRK: That's right. It was a big shift from 2008. It sent a big message -- 48 percent of the Illinois voters voted for me, 46 percent voted for my opponent. This is a big change from the vote in 2008.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, in addition your 36 hours as a United States senator, not only have you written a letter to the president making demands, but you introduced a bill.

KIRK: I have, the Spending Control Act. It would recreate President Reagan's grace commission to have a bipartisan commission on how we reduce spending.

And added to that is the procedure we use to close down military bases. We finally found a way to make tough decisions, which is to have the legislation submitted by the bipartisan commission for an up or down vote in House and Senate, un-amendable. This is how we close military bases.

continued...

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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," Nov. 30, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, the newest member of the United States Senate, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you.

SEN. MARK KIRK, R-ILL.: Thank you for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: This is an inaugural interview at the United States Senate, right?

KIRK: It is. This is my temporary office, a double-wide trailer.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: How long have you been a senator?

KIRK: For 36 hours.

VAN SUSTEREN: First of all, we should talk about your office. I think it's safe to say the taxpayers are not breaking the bank. We have seen walk-in closets that were bigger.

KIRK: Yes. We are in a trailer in the Russell building and I'm told we'll get an office sometime in the future.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's spectacular. And you might want to change the sign. It says "senator-elect." You're not elect anymore. You are a senator for 36 hours.

But it's been a busy 36 hours. Lets' start with a letter that you wrote to the President of the United States. Why are you writing the president?

KIRK: I was concerned that at the Lisbon Summit there was a proposal that came forward to include the Russians in the missile defense of the United States. I'm very concerned about such a proposal. They're providing nuclear material and upgrade to the Bushehr reactor in Iran. Other air defense equipment sold to them. Russia invaded Georgia. Not exactly a reliable party in the most sensitive defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think you will get a reply from the president to the letter?

KIRK: I think we will because it relates tangentially to consideration of the START treaty in which missile defense is a significant concern of Senator Kyl and others.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is your view of the START treaty now?

KIRK: Open-minded. House members have no role in consideration of a treaty. So I just went from the House to the Senate a day-and-a-half ago. I asked Secretary Clinton to bring up her briefing teams and we are waiting to do that.

But I was also concerned about this entirely new proposal bringing the Russians into the missile defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is the reaction of bringing Russians in? Are they really going to be brought in the missile defense?

KIRK: That is the question we lay out in the letter, because in Lisbon they said cooperative defenses to defend Europe will be put together by the United States and Russia. And for somebody who comes outs of the military, the question is, well, how much cooperation? Do Russians get to decide the sighting of a system, the design? Are they mutually staffing it? Will they be running radar? Is the data shared?

All those questions should be answered before we bring the Russians in to the most sensitive defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're still in the military?

KIRK: I'm still a reservist. We have three drilling reservists in the Senate. Senator Graham serves in the Air Force, Senator Brown serves in the Army, and I serve in the Navy.

VAN SUSTEREN: The first thing you do, one of the first things, only a senator for 36 hours is letter to the president. The president knows who you are, doesn't he?

KIRK: He does.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have a significant seat to him.

KIRK: First, the president and I ran for Congress the same year. I was defeated. He then ran and won the Senate race and become our president. This is his so-called Senate seat, although I would argue it's owned by the people of Illinois.

And after the president took office, Roland Burris was our senator. But the state of Illinois was required to hold a special election. I won that special election. And so I'm as a Republican filling the last month of the Obama Senate term and then into the new Congress for a six-year term.

VAN SUSTEREN: President Obama wasn't running against you for the Senate seat, but he campaigned hard against you.

KIRK: We had three visits by the president and the first lady and a number of cabinet officials. So it was an all-on struggle in the home state, but as the fiscal conservative I won.

VAN SUSTEREN: Numbers were actually quite substantial for the Republican as compared to 2008.

KIRK: That's right. It was a big shift from 2008. It sent a big message -- 48 percent of the Illinois voters voted for me, 46 percent voted for my opponent. This is a big change from the vote in 2008.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, in addition your 36 hours as a United States senator, not only have you written a letter to the president making demands, but you introduced a bill.

KIRK: I have, the Spending Control Act. It would recreate President Reagan's grace commission to have a bipartisan commission on how we reduce spending.

And added to that is the procedure we use to close down military bases. We finally found a way to make tough decisions, which is to have the legislation submitted by the bipartisan commission for an up or down vote in House and Senate, un-amendable. This is how we close military bases.

continued...

< 1 2> adsonar_placementId=1502163;adsonar_pid=150758;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=612;adsonar_zh=140;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com'; Transcripts

Choose a category

Interviews Interviews

Latest Transcript

November 30, 2010

Guests: Sen. Mark Kirk

Please click on a date for previous transcripts:

Loading Datepicker Tonight on 'On the Record'

• Sen. John McCain on START, deficit commission's report, and extending Bush tax cuts

• Plus, Sen. Judd Gregg on the debt commission's findings

GretaWire Poll Take Our Poll(survey software) Connect With Greta MyspaceFacebookTwitterEmail Record Mobile Alerts

Check out our 'On the Record' Mobile Page on FOXNews.mobi for up-to-date news and highlights.

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Crime & Courts offers stories, videos, and more on missing kids, murder cases, celebs in trouble.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, the newest member of the United States Senate, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you.

SEN. MARK KIRK, R-ILL.: Thank you for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: This is an inaugural interview at the United States Senate, right?

KIRK: It is. This is my temporary office, a double-wide trailer.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: How long have you been a senator?

KIRK: For 36 hours.

VAN SUSTEREN: First of all, we should talk about your office. I think it's safe to say the taxpayers are not breaking the bank. We have seen walk-in closets that were bigger.

KIRK: Yes. We are in a trailer in the Russell building and I'm told we'll get an office sometime in the future.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's spectacular. And you might want to change the sign. It says "senator-elect." You're not elect anymore. You are a senator for 36 hours.

But it's been a busy 36 hours. Lets' start with a letter that you wrote to the President of the United States. Why are you writing the president?

KIRK: I was concerned that at the Lisbon Summit there was a proposal that came forward to include the Russians in the missile defense of the United States. I'm very concerned about such a proposal. They're providing nuclear material and upgrade to the Bushehr reactor in Iran. Other air defense equipment sold to them. Russia invaded Georgia. Not exactly a reliable party in the most sensitive defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think you will get a reply from the president to the letter?

KIRK: I think we will because it relates tangentially to consideration of the START treaty in which missile defense is a significant concern of Senator Kyl and others.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is your view of the START treaty now?

KIRK: Open-minded. House members have no role in consideration of a treaty. So I just went from the House to the Senate a day-and-a-half ago. I asked Secretary Clinton to bring up her briefing teams and we are waiting to do that.

But I was also concerned about this entirely new proposal bringing the Russians into the missile defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is the reaction of bringing Russians in? Are they really going to be brought in the missile defense?

KIRK: That is the question we lay out in the letter, because in Lisbon they said cooperative defenses to defend Europe will be put together by the United States and Russia. And for somebody who comes outs of the military, the question is, well, how much cooperation? Do Russians get to decide the sighting of a system, the design? Are they mutually staffing it? Will they be running radar? Is the data shared?

All those questions should be answered before we bring the Russians in to the most sensitive defense program of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're still in the military?

KIRK: I'm still a reservist. We have three drilling reservists in the Senate. Senator Graham serves in the Air Force, Senator Brown serves in the Army, and I serve in the Navy.

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