Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb became the fifth candidate vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.
BAIER: Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who served as Navy secretary under President Ronald Reagan. He ran for Senate and won as a Democrat in Virginia, vehemently opposed the Iraq war. Now, he’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination, facing an uphill battle against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is leading the field by double digits.
Senator Webb joins me now.
Senator, welcome to “Fox News Sunday.”
FORMER SEN. JIM WEBB, D-VA., 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, thank you. Good to be with you.
BAIER: Let’s start with Iran as it looks like this deal is coming to a head. You said this week about the Iran deal that the administration is trying to get, quote, “The end result of this could be acquiescent in allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.”
So, it sounds like you would walk away from the table. Is that fair?
WEBB: I would be hesitant with what I see right now. I agree a lot with what Senator McConnell just said, that what we do not want to do at this point is to send a signal to the region that we are accepting the notion that eventually Iran would be acquiring nuclear weapons.
There are other ways that we can improve relations with Iran, confidence building gestures as we did with the Soviet Union over many years. Just that you don’t have to have this deal in order to move forward with them. But — you know, they seem pretty optimistic this morning from Europe. So, we’ll see what they bring to the table.
BAIER: As we said, you’re highly decorated Vietnam veteran, former secretary of the navy, former senator who was intimately involved in military and foreign affairs while in office. This week, the Obama administration announced they’re cutting the Army back 40,000. That’s outside of the sequestered cuts.
Your reaction to that?
WEBB: Well, we go through these cycles whenever we have extended ground commitments. We’ve done it three or four times in my adult life.
So, I have great deal of confidence particularly in Joe Dunford, who’s now going to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I’ve known him for many, many years. I don’t think that military leadership would be backing anything that they don’t believe can work. The ground forces tend to constrict on wherever we get away from these long-term engagements. So, we’ll have to see.
BAIER: So, you support it?
WEBB: No, I like — I agree with the notion that ground forces are reduced when our extended ground commitments go down. But I don’t know the numbers. I’d have to take a look and see where they are.
BAIER: The president defended this past week, his efforts, the administration efforts to degrade and destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
But the defense secretary, Ash Carter, was up on the Hill talking about the training of Syrian fighters to go after ISIS in Syria. And here’s what he said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASH CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: As of July 3rd, we’re currently training about 60 fighters. This number is much smaller than we’d hoped for at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: The administration allotted $500 million. They were hoping to get 5,400 Syrians. This is 60. Is that acceptable?
WEBB: The long-term solution to the ISIS problem is going to have to come from the Sunni leadership in the region. In the interim period, we need to define specifically what our national security interests are and how we can bring that about.
I don’t think you’re — I think you’re going to get there with us training these opposition forces in that way. It didn’t work very well a few years ago before is showed up. But in terms of our national security interests, I think you’re seeing some impact.
BAIER: You mentioned General Dunford. He was up on Capitol Hill, was asked what is the biggest threat facing the U.S. He quickly answered Russia.
Do you agree with him?
WEBB: I would probably say China long-term strategic threat, if you look at the expansion that they have conducted over the last 15 years. I’ve been talking about it in the South China Sea and building blue water navy.
I take General Dunford’s point about the turbulence with respect to Russia, but I think our friends and allies in Europe have done a pretty good job of helping us address that.
BAIER: As president, would you send weapons to the Ukrainians, for example?
WEBB: I would be open into looking at that. And I think that’s where General Dunford was in his confirmation hearing. May I say something about this situation with Mr. Trump?
BAIER: Of course.
WEBB: I think the best comment that I’ve read in terms of why this is so inflammatory with Mexican-American community comes from an individual who served with me in Vietnam during some very tough combat, Oscar Munoz, who’s a Mexican-American, very fine soldier as are so many of them. He wrote a letter to Mr. Trump and he allowed me to post it on my Facebook page.
And I hope anyone who cares about this issue will take a look at what he said. He basically said, “Dear Mr. Trump, my father came from Mexico as a worker and not as a rapist. And by the way, I served my country in the United States Marine Corps. Where were you?”
So, you know, this kind of divisive, inflammatory rhetoric by people who want to be commander in chief is not helpful and we have saw — we’ve seen from the liberal side as well, we’ve seen this kind of rhetoric as it goes to Southern white cultures. We need to be inclusive, recognize that we have problems, that we can come together to solve them.
But don’t be throwing these bombs to our cultural groups.
BAIER: Well, to your point, Senator, you know, you mentioned the Democratic race. In Real Clear Politics average of polls, you are 2.3 percent. And well behind the front runner Hillary Clinton. You have an uphill climb against this Clinton machine.
Most political analysts will tell you that Democrats have moved resolutely to the left and that basically Hillary Clinton has renounced Clintonism which was the vital core of the senator used to be in your party. In a party that seems to thrill to Bernie Sanders and maybe long for Elizabeth Warren, who are the Jim Webb Democrats?
WEBB: I believe we can — we can bring a different tone to the Democratic Party. You’re right. The party has moved way far to the left. And that’s not my Democratic Party but — in and of itself. We need to bring working people back into the formula.
Next Saturday, in the far southwest of Virginia, there’s going to be a medical clinic, a remote area medical clinic to take care of people who don’t have medical insurance. It’s out at the wise county fairgrounds. I hope FOX will go down there and take a look at it. They’re going to take care of about 6,000, at least, if historical records hold, people with no medical care. They’ll pull 3,000 teeth. And these are people forgotten by both parties. And I think they need a voice.
BAIER: Regarding the Confederacy and the battles we’ve seen go well beyond South Carolina after they took down the Confederate battle flag. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to ban certain state flags from the House side of the Capitol. Democrats would like to ban Confederate symbols from federal cemeteries. The Memphis City Council has voted to disinter Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
So, the question is — is this racial healing or part of political grandstanding?
WEBB: Unfortunately, I think you’re seeing it from both sides, which is why I mentioned the situation with Donald Trump with respect to Mexican-Americans. We’re seeing an issue which should have been resolved and now is resolved, flying the Confederate battle flag in public places turning — morphing into something much different.
And I’ll tell you, the best phone conversation I had during this whole last couple weeks was to a very close friend of mine, Nelson Jones. He’s an African-American, fellow marine, fellow Naval Academy graduate, Georgetown law. He was my counsel when I was in Senate.
And I said, Nelson, we have been talking about this for 40 years, that American South has never been black versus white. It’s always been a veneer, inside and outside, manipulating the emotions of black versus white. What are you hearing down in Houston on this issue?
He said, I was just at the barber shop. I asked brothers what they thought about this and they said, “Here we go again. When we’re going to talk about jobs? When we’re going to talk about education? When we’re going to talk about harmony and bringing people together?” And that’s what inclusive leadership needs to be.
BAIER: Senator Webb, thanks for your time.
WEBB: Thank you.
BAIER: Up next, the general slated to be President Obama’s top military adviser, as we just mentioned, calls Russia the greatest threat to our national security. Our Sunday group joins the conversation and discusses whether Mitt Romney was right all along.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about Russia, about negotiations with Iran, anything else. Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday. We may use your question on the air.
- Fox News Sunday July 12, 2015 Part 5
- Fox News Sunday July 12, 2015 Part 4
- Fox News Sunday July 12, 2015 Part 3
- Fox News Sunday July 12, 2015 Part 2
- Fox News Sunday July 12, 2015 Part 1
- Fox News Sunday July 05, 2015 Part 4
- Fox News Sunday July 05, 2015 Part 3
- Fox News Sunday July 05, 2015 Part 2
- Fox News Sunday July 05, 2015 Part 1
- L3: BBC Words in the News with transcript videos
- L3: The Business of English Video Series
- L4: Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
- L4: Freakonomics Radio Podcast
- L3: BBC The Reading Group
- L3: Pride and Prejudice AudioBook
- L4: Fox News Sunday with transcript
- L3: VOA News transcript videos
- L3: CNN Student News with transcript
- Documentary Films with English Subtitles
Source: Fox NewsMore Series for You: