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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on K-Talk (AM-630 KTKK)
September 7, 2004
Salt Lake City, Utah

TOM DRASCHIL, HOST: Hello, Dr. Keyes. Welcome, welcome. Appreciate you coming on with us today. Always glad to have you here on K-Talk.


DRASCHIL: Excited about you running for the Senate up there in Illinois. We know it's not Utah, here, but we're excited about you having the platform in the first place, the forum, and the second place, if you were to be elected there--to have someone like yourself a leader, we're just excited about it. And that's why we wanted to have you on here to tell us what's going on.

I saw you back at the Republican convention in New York. Maybe I could just start off by asking you, any comments on the Republican convention?

KEYES: Well, I thought the convention achieved its purpose, because the idea was to try to give G.W. Bush a boost as we went into the final stages of the election. I think all the signs are it clearly did that, especially because of the focus in the speeches of Laura Bush, of Vice President Cheney, and of the President on the clear contrast between the President--in the context of our national security in the War on Terror, the leadership that he has provided--and the kind of confusion and uncertainty and a real self-contradiction that John Kerry has shown. That's the sort of thing that would be tremendously dangerous to the future of the country, and I think that point was effectively driven home by them.

DRASCHIL: We've had a number of people express disappointment that we didn't hear from Alan Keyes at the Republican convention. Can you kind of tell us what went on there?

KEYES: Well, I guess I was surprised at that. As I've often told people, the people who were planning the convention were really aiming to try to do the best they could for G.W. Bush. I have my own race here in Illinois to run, and was effectively working at the convention, getting in touch with people around the country who are eager to support what I am doing here, communicating to voters back in Illinois.

And I think, unlike my opponent, Barack Obama, whom they tried to push at the Democrat convention, they were trying to build him up as somebody of national stature. Well, I already am. I have support all around the country, and what we were doing at the convention was really not trying to create a false impression of that support, but mobilizing it, because it's real.

DRASCHIL: I know that the Republican National Senatorial Committee--whatever they're called--had invited you to take some time to do that, but you were down there on radio row, you and Pat Buchanan and some others, doing some long interviews from down there. Are you back in Illinois now?

KEYES: I'm back in Illinois. I have been for some days. Yes, indeed.

DRASCHIL: Can you tell us about some of Barack Obama's positions here? I think K-Talk listeners are very familiar with them because we've been talking about it a lot, but there's some specific positions that are frightening, even for a Democrat. Can you tell us some of the differences between you and Barack Obama?

KEYES: I think the thing that was really most striking to me--and it's actually the issue that, when I read about it and heard about it from the people here, drew me into a serious consideration of getting involved--was the fact that he had voted against what is called the Born Alive Infant Protection Act that is before the Illinois state legislature.

It's a bill that would end a practice that has, at present in the hospitals, a situation where, if a child is born alive in the course of a botched abortion--where they have tried to kill the child and failed, and that child comes out of the womb alive and is separate from the mother, being held in the arms of nurse--they will not care for that child and will just set the child aside to die. That is literally infanticide.

DRASCHIL: Infanticide. That sounds like communist China.

KEYES: That practice is so heinous that, when it came up in the Senate of the United States, the practice was rejected, 98-0. Even the hardcore pro-abortion Senators like Teddy Kennedy and Barbara Mikulski voted against the continuation of this practice. And yet, Barack Obama is somebody who has voted to allow it to continue.

It seems to me to be incomprehensible how someone could be as hard-hearted as that, and it's one of the things that drew me into serious consideration in this race, and I think it's one of the key differences.

This is somebody who pays lip service to compassion and comes across as so charming and nice, and yet, when you get right down to it, he is willing to countenance things that are deeply shocking to the conscience to our people.

If we get into the habit of ignoring these kinds of things, I think it bespeaks a hardening of our own consciences that is unacceptable.

DRASCHIL: You mentioned about your decision to get into the race. I did want to ask you about that. What made the difference, if you can identify anything specific or specifics? What made the difference in your decision?

KEYES: Basically, it was that issue, because I think that the thought of having someone represent the State of Illinois--remember what Illinois represents. It represents Abraham Lincoln and the contribution he made to our country. It represents putting the Declaration principle that we're all created equal at the foundation of American life, in clear and explicit terms, as the reason that motivated the cause of the Union during the Civil War.

To have somebody represent the State of Illinois who, on account of this issue of abortion and its consequences, is rejecting that tradition, standing against that principle--it's just unacceptable.

DRASCHIL: How has he justified that position? I mean, is that something he has been willing to address? I'm sure you've raised that issue a few times.

KEYES: Of course. When the question is raised, he said he voted against the bill because it didn't include a "health of the mother" exception. And of course, the logical question is, what does carrying for a baby that is entirely separate from the mother have to do with her health?

DRASCHIL: I mean, should we consider killing kids that are older that don't have healthy mothers to take care of them? Unbelievable. And they use that with all the abortion [arguments], but for someone to use that, once the baby is completely out, is . . .

KEYES: Yes. It's just absurd. It's somebody who is using a plausible excuse in order to justify an unconscionable act.

DRASCHIL: This is probably going to be the most visible Senate race in the entire country. Can you give us some kind of a feel for how it's going at this point? I mean, you started off with him having tremendous name recognition there and 10 million dollars in the bank, and so on. What kind of a challenge do you have here?

KEYES: Well, I don't know. As I have looked at the situation closely, what I have found is that what we're really dealing with is an obscure state senator, somebody who wasn't well known around the State of Illinois at all, who had been defeated in his own congressional district when he ran for Congress, 70% to 30%, and who was only given the Democratic nomination in a fluke, when the two frontrunners self-destructed--one of them on the account of charges that he was a wife-beater, that had been raised by his ex-wives, and so forth.

In the face of that, he kind of fluked into the Democrat nomination, they built him up with this phony hype at the Democrat convention, but as I've discovered here around the state, his name is known but his record is not. And as I've told people, when they know his record, they won't want to know his name.

DRASCHIL: [laughs] (How's the media?)

KEYES: That's the truth of it. So, the whole idea that I'm facing somebody who is so, I mean, with insurmountable odds, I'm not sure that's true. And I think, on the other hand, when you look at his record, it is so hard-line socialist--and I don't mean just liberal in the usual sense of the term--it is FAR away from where the people of Illinois have been known to follow. And that's why I think Democrats felt they had to do something to distract people.

DRASCHIL: We have a short break here. If you can hold for just a moment, we have a couple more questions we'd like to ask you here. We'll be right back with Alan Keyes after this short break.


DRASCHIL: And we're back with Ambassador Alan Keyes, running for the U.S. Senate seat there in Illinois.

Dr. Keyes, what are you going to be doing in this Senate campaign? How will you be carrying out? What will you be doing in this campaign in Illinois?

KEYES: Well, I think my major goal is to try to appeal to people of faith and conscience, to get them registered and out to the polls to vote in all communities--because I think we live in a time when, if we could just mobilize the people of conscience and faith, that represents the majority in most of our states. The people haven't been involved, and that lack of involvement has, I think, been leaving the country prey to a loss of its moral compass, to a loss of its moral foundation.

So, I think really there's a special responsibility for people of faith, and I'll be appealing to them, and doing so in such a way that they see the important issues that are at stake.

People are telling me constantly I shouldn't talk about the moral issues, but I've been telling them that, for the last ten years, I've been telling people around the country that those were the issues of top priority for this nation's life, the ones that had to be addressed if we were to survive as a free people.

I deeply believe that, and so my campaign reflects that belief and is relying, in faith, on people of faith, that God will move their hearts in this time of crisis to come to the aid of our country--and I hope that will be true.

And people who would like to find out more can contact me at the website,, K E Y E S 2 0 0 4 .com. People all over the country can get the information and get involved.

DRASCHIL: I want to emphasize, that's Keyes with an ES. KeyES.



I just want to say--not just for myself, but, I believe, on behalf of tens of thousands of Utahns, and people across the country, also, I'm sure--thank you for sacrificing, making the effort for this race there in Illinois, for giving us the encouragement.

It was so nice to have someone, back in 2000, that I could in good conscience vote for in the Republican primary. We always appreciate someone like yourself, who's willing to stand up and put principle over politics and to do what's right. And what else can we do, except do the very best to stand for what's right, and hope that, as you said, people of faith will hopefully in larger and larger numbers start standing up and getting involved, and ultimately, maybe we can turn this thing around.

KEYES: I think that's the future of the country. And I believe that, if we can mobilize folks, get them to think in faith terms instead of terms of selfish interest--I think most of our politics in recent years has been about vote your money, vote your pocketbook, vote your jobs. These are critically important issues, but the truth is, when we think it through, that a lot of the money issues we face are rooted in the fact that we have to spend large amounts of money compensating for our moral defects, for the breakdown of the family structure, the rise in crime and violence, the increases in poverty that come about because of the decline in the family structure.

We're paying a deep, huge cost for the moral weakness of the society, and then we act as if that's a money problem. I don't believe it is, and I think we know it's not.

We need to start addressing the real underlying cause of these challenges and to recapture a sense of the moral foundation, so that we can restore the moral discipline, restore the sense of commitment to true family life that then provides the basis for economic strength in our communities, for better performance for our children in our schools, for a greater sense of responsibility on the part of parents toward those children, and so forth and so on. We know that these are the keys to real progress, and it's time we got out and voted like we know.

DRASCHIL: They were the keys back in 1776. Our Founding Fathers, they understood that faith really is what it's all about. It's OK to talk about faith and God and government--in fact, it's the dumbest thing in the world to not talk about God. God is the Sovereign. He made us sovereigns when He gave us unalienable rights. We ought to be involved in government, as a matter of faith, to protect as well, of course, all those [rights].

KEYES: And I think we need to be willing. I am right now in the midst, because at a press conference today, I was asked the question whether I thought Jesus would vote for my opponent. And I had to allow as how, when I looked at this vote on the infant protection act, I have to say to myself, as a person of Christian conscience, if Jesus Christ was there holding that baby in His arms, what would He do? And you and I both know that He would heal that child. He would save that child's life. He wouldn't discard that gift from His father like it was garbage. He wouldn't throw it away. And how can I vote for somebody who would?

And that's what I think every Christian person needs to ask themselves, because in a way our votes represent us, we're supposed to represent Christ's mind in us, right?

DRASCHIL: That's right.

KEYES: Then how can we then cast that vote in a way that doesn't correspond to the heart and mind of Jesus?

DRASCHIL: We need to start thinking more and acting that way. Dr. Keyes, so glad you're running there in Illinois. Wish you all the best in the world. We continually check back in every week on what's going on up there, and we're excited about this. We encourage people, again, to go to your website K e y E S.

KEYES: And I would want to say that folks who want to get involved can make a contribution there, and we sure welcome it, because obviously we're going to need to go on the air to spread this message, both about what Obama stands for and what I stand for, and their help will be critical in this.

DRASCHIL: And you know, this is a chance we have somewhere in the country. We don't even have races here in Utah where we can contribute to people, you know, of either party. We can get excited about something like this. Dr. Keyes, appreciate it, you taking a few minutes and being with us again.

KEYES: Thank you so much for giving me the chance.

DRASCHIL: Best of luck up there. Thank you.

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