RUSH: Well, let’s welcome to the program the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence. Greetings, sir. I’m glad you could carve some time out for us today. How are you?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Rush. It’s always an honor. I just left the Oval Office — told the president I was headed to be on your program — and we couldn’t be more grateful for your voice on the airwaves of America every day. Everything we’ve accomplished over the last two years — rebuilding our military, reviving our economy, setting a record for conservatives appointed to our courts, America’s growing at home, we’re standing tall on the world stage — you’ve played a key role in that. And, Rush, we don’t thank you enough. But thank you for all that you’ve meant to this movement and to the progress that we’ve made in this country.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much. I’m floored. I appreciate that. I’m all-in, because you guys are right where we all think you need to be. We’re just… We’re so grateful. I mean, we have a president keeping campaign promises, a president committed, a president willing to withstand these endless personal and professional assaults and so forth. It’s remarkable, and we’re very thankful that all of you are hangin’ in. I don’t know how… I mean, we’re really grateful that there isn’t a bunch of buckling and caving to all this pressure. You’re doing great.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ll tell you what. You put your finger on it, though. You know, you’ve known the president for a long time. I gotta tell you, you know, what an honor it is for me to serve alongside a president who literally gets up every day… Just like he just signed a bill to end human trafficking in the Oval Office. This is a president who gets up every day and says, “What can we do today to keep the promises that we made to the American people?” And he just said a few minutes ago…
We’ve made tremendous progress in this country in our economy, security, but, as he said last night to the nation — and your listeners know it well — we have a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. And while we’re in the midst of a partial government shutdown three weeks and counting, we are also in the midst of a crisis at our southern border, and President Trump and I and our entire team is determined to stand firm until the Democrats in Congress come to the table and work with us to secure the border, build a wall, end this humanitarian crisis, and do what’s right for the American people.
RUSH: Lindsey Graham, senator from South Carolina, says it will be “the end of our party,” quote-unquote, if we don’t continue to hang firm, that if we cave in the slightest way, that it will be the end of the Republican Party. Do you share that sentiment?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, honestly, we just don’t think about this and the president doesn’t talk about this in political terms. I mean, he really believes that we’ve got broad-based support across the country. Republicans and independents, and even many Democrats, are committed to border security, who understand that building a wall on the southern border, giving more resources to Border Patrol agents, providing more medical resources, more detection resources — all of which we’ve proposed — is just common sense. But I gotta tell you, I mean —
RUSH: All of which, by the way, they have supported!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — (crosstalk) you’ve heard the president talk about this. It’s just the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do for the country, and that’s why, even in the midst of a partial government shutdown, you’re gonna continue to see President Trump stand strong. But this is a critical moment, Rush. And I know you don’t do calls of action. You know I’ve listened to your show for decades. I’m, like, your second biggest fan in the White House here.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Look, you don’t do calls to action. But for heaven’s sake, your listeners need to know: If there’s ever a day that they need to call their congressman, call their senators, today’s the day. Tell them you stand with the president. Call their Democrat elected officials and tell ’em that they need to come to the table, they need to roll their sleeves up, and they need to go work to secure our border. Democrats are refusing to even negotiate until the president reopens the government. That’s unacceptable.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The American people need to let our elected representatives know today how they feel.
RUSH: We are speaking with Vice President Mike Pence. You know, there’s audio and video — a lot of it — of Obama, of Hillary, Chuck Schumer, Pelosi — all of them — promising, pledging to support the building of a wall; authorizing the expenditure of $50 billion, not $5 billion. They’re all on record as being for this from 2006 on. I, frankly, was really hoping that the president would do a little bit of a show last night and include some of that video, because these people are engaging in some of the most blatant hypocrisy ever.
Now, I know that hypocrisy usually doesn’t attach to them. But you’ve got a gold mine. You have a reservoir of every one of these people advocating, promoting, agreeing with the premise of a border wall because of the dangers posed by an open border, and I know you’re gonna find a right time to use this stuff, ’cause it would render them speechless. It would cause the media to have palpitations in how to explain it. I want to run a quote from the president last night by you because, I tell you, it was —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yeah, please. But, Rush, on that point, can I say one thing?
RUSH: Well, sure. You’re the guest.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: In about 40 minutes the president and I are gonna head to Capitol Hill. We’re gonna meet with Senate Republicans. The president’s gonna take his case to the United States Senate. Today we’re meeting with Republican and Democrat leaders later this afternoon. To your point, back when I was in Congress more than ten years ago, I think 79 members of the Senate voted for the Secure Fence Act, including a senator named Chuck Schumer.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: To your point, this is an issue that is common sense. But your listeners ought to know, the president is committed to build the wall. He said we’ll build a steel barrier on the southern border. We described that. But beyond that, it’s not just — the president wants to give our border agents the kind of resources and reforms to stem this incredible tide, particularly of families and unaccompanied children. Sixty-thousand people a month are attempting to come into our country illegally. Two-thirds of them are families and unaccompanied minors. We have to bring about broad-based reforms and build a wall. The president’s laid out a plan. It’s time for the Democrats to come to the table.
RUSH: Mr. Vice President, it’s become abundantly clear to me that the Democrats, the media, all of your opponents, the illegal aspect of this is something that doesn’t even register with them. In fact, they don’t even have the ability to determine the immorality of simply the illegality of this. For most of us this is a rule-of-law issue as well as the societal and cultural destruction that’s taking place and the budget pressures that are being placed — this is simply a violation of law.
Without the rule of law and without people upholding it, that’s the glue that holds everything together. And the opponents, your opponents on this seem to think that it’s not even a factor. And that, to me, is a golden opportunity in your conference this afternoon just to remind people what we’re really talking about here. We’re talking about enforcing the rule of law. It’s not complicated. If you guys don’t do it, who is? You’re in charge of immigration law.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s exactly right. And the president and I are committed to uphold and faithfully execute the laws of this land. And that includes securing the border. We have 2,000 illegal immigrants trying to enter our country every day. I mean, we talk about caravans. I’ve heard reports there’s another caravan marshaling. Those are very troubling, as you see several thousand people in a caravan. We literally have 60,000 people coming into our country illegally every month. And beyond the rule of law, which you make that point very eloquently and it’s one that is foundational in our society, it’s the foundation of our prosperity in the way our nation is set apart in the world.
But beyond all of that, in the last year alone border agents arrested 17,000 people with previous criminal records at our border. Three thousand special interest aliens who had travel patterns and backgrounds that might represent a nexus to national security or even terrorism. Now, you know, there’s some 4,000, nearly 4,000 people apprehended who are known or suspected terrorists attempting to come into the country from all different ports of entry. But, at our southern border, 3,000 in the category that Homeland Security calls a special interest alien were stopped and apprehended attempting to come in.
Beyond all of that, though, the president just signed this bill on human trafficking. Rush, when you see that two-thirds of the 60,000 coming into our border are families and unaccompanied minors, what you’re witnessing is a multibillion-dollar operation run by the cartels and human traffickers that exploit vulnerable families and take cash to lead them on the long and dangerous journey north to take advantage of loopholes in our law. The president wants to change the law, close the loopholes, build a wall, give our border agents. That’s how you secure the border.
But all we heard, again, last night from the Democrats, what I heard all weekend long from their senior staff is that they will — Democrats have said they refuse to negotiate until the president opens the government. What the president’s made clear is we have a plan to deal with the crisis on our southern border. It’s time for Democrats to come to the table and start negotiating in good faith. Not just reopen the government, but to deal with the humanitarian and security crisis on our border.
RUSH: Well, they’re out there saying that illegal border crossings have declined dramatically in recent years. We know that isn’t true. Look, I’m about out of time here, and I know you’ve got many other things to do, but I just wanted to thank you again, your comments to me earlier, deeply appreciated. And I’m just so grateful, as so many people are, that all of you there are committed to what you’re committed to and are hanging tough.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re so grateful for your voice. The progress that we’re making for this country is a result of the support of tens of millions who listen to you and cherish your conservative voice on the airwaves of America, just like the president and I do. And we’ll always be grateful, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Mike Pence, Vice President, United States. Excellent timing. Former radio guy there.