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Radio interview
Post-debate interview of Alan Keyes
October 21, 2004
Deborah Rowe, NewsTalk 890, WLS

DEBORAH ROWE, HOST: I am so excited. Let me say this to you. In light of the fact that we knew that the senatorial debates would be televised tonight, and of course, WLS carrying the debates as well, we thought it would be great, wonderful for all of us to have the candidates to come in studio so that we could talk to them directly, because the debate environment is a more controlled environment.

Well, as it happens, one candidate accepted. He said, yes, I'd love to that. The other candidate declined. His office told our people that it was a little bit too late for them. So, not to be deterred, we offered to have me come in a lot earlier than I normally do to record an interview with State Senator Barack Obama, but they declined that offer as well. So, I just want you to know we tried our very, very best to have State Senator Barack Obama to join us tonight, but we couldn't make it happen.

We did make it happen with--I'm about to call him Senator Keyes. I'm just stopping myself here.


ROWE: With Alan Keyes, who is in studio with us. Dr. Keyes, good evening.

KEYES: Good evening. Thank you.

ROWE: And also your wife is here tonight.

KEYES: Oh, yes. Jocelyn's here.

ROWE: I just want to say hello. It's a pleasure to see her, and Connie, hey.

Before we go an talk to people, I'd like to get your feelings of tonight's debate. How do you think things went for you tonight?

KEYES: Well, I thought it was a good exchange, and I also thought that there was an opportunity to put some things on the table that was very anxious to make sure that people knew.

I was particularly anxious to be able to talk about the real impact of abortion, particularly on the black community, and I think the question about whether race was a factor and what it meant was the ideal opportunity really to talk about the impact on my own sense of the importance an priority of these moral issues that the holocaust that's going on the black community has. And I'd been praying a lot that the Lord would give me an opportunity to do that, and it happened, and I was very grateful.

ROWE: What I liked about the answer, you pointed out that abortion is the number one cause of death in the black community, and that's a fact that has not been talked about very much at all. As a matter of fact, this is only the second time I heard it. The first time was actually last week, when another person who was very aware of the situation talked about it. But it's important fact, especially when we talk so much about AIDS, which is an important issue, breast cancer, on and on.

KEYES: Well, see, they talk about all these issues as if they are the critical ones.

If you take AIDS, violence, accidents, cancer, and heart disease, all of them combined, and they are less than half the death toll from abortion--

ROWE: That's unbelievable.

KEYES: --since Roe vs. Wade was decided.

It's just remarkable that there is this literal--and you realize, too, that after three days of the abortion toll, you have killed more black people than were killed during the whole course of the Ku Klux Klan racist lynching campaigns that ran from 1918 until the 1960s?

ROWE: Hold it right there. I'm sorry, you hold it right there. With that kind of fact, you would think that the NAACP, that the Congressional Black Caucus, that the Reverend Jesse Jackson, that any Kweisi Mfume, any number of people would be out and standing on the mountaintops saying something.

KEYES: But the thing that breaks my heart is, these folks are willing, supposedly, to focus on the problems that face the community now, and yet, if you project into the future what is going on with abortion, by the time we get into the middle of the 21st century, the black population in America will be negligible. In other words, we are declining--relatively speaking, it's already happened.

As I said tonight, there are 25% few black people in America today than would be here, except for abortion. And people say, "Well, why did we decline? Why aren't we the number one minority, in terms of population?" The main reason is abortion.

It is appalling to me that we watch this genocidal destruction of life taking place, and by and large, people don't want to even talk about it, and you have folks, like my opponent, who will act as if they're doing something to address this or that problem, when in fact the main cause of death, they don't even want to bring it up because they're advocating it.

ROWE: It's interesting, too, it's a brutal irony the founder, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood, follower, proponent of eugenics.

KEYES: That's right. And she was actually quite explicit about wanting to get rid of people she called mentally defective, retarded, inferior, backward. "A human waste" she referred to them as.

And a particular project was put together--into which, by the way, she co-opted a lot of prominent black people, but in the correspondence between herself and her cronies, like Clarence Gamble, she wrote that, well, we would want to get the black ministers involved, because if we get them involved, then, if the idea gets out that we're trying to exterminate black people, we'll have somebody to knock that in the head.

And the truth of the matter is that she was, in fact, associated with and allied with all these people, all the way over to the Nazis--

ROWE: Yes.

KEYES: --who had in mind the extermination of what they called the inferior people.

ROWE: And when we look now through history at this date, we can say she's winning.

KEYES: Right.

ROWE: I want to make a point here, because a lot of the criticism that you have faced is that you are a "one-trick pony," a "one-issue guy," you can only talk about abortion or homosexuality, and what was interesting about the debate tonight, the questions clearly controlled by the panelist, and, of course, each of you--being you and Senator Obama--both had an opportunity. The issues here tonight, the war in Iraq, independence from the machine here, Mayor Daly. The machine gun issue was interesting--I'm going to play that later on for our listeners, particularly those who did not have an opportunity to hear tonight. You talked about so many things, and I think it's really clear. You talked about capital punishment, the 17th Amendment, you went on. Mandatory death sentences. On and on and on.

And you clearly--what I noticed tonight, and I've already understood this, but it gave more people a better opportunity to understand, we are talking about two extraordinarily clear philosophically different individuals on the issues.

I know we said we wouldn't take any calls, but it would really be a crime, because so many people--I mean, our phone lines are ablaze with people wanting to get in here. And again, I do want to make mention for to those of you who are just coming into the program, Alan Keyes is in studio with me tonight. We did extend on offer, an invitation, we actually really wanted Senator Barack Obama to join us here, as well. They said that would not be possible. And we also made the offer to pre-record an interview with Mr. Obama. That also was not feasible.

So, what we'll do . . . Dr. Keyes will not be very long, but for those of you who have comments, by all means, come all in. 591-8900.

I'm Deborah Rowe. It is the Deborah Rowe radio program. You're listening to news talk 890. We are WLS.


ROWE: WLS. Deborah Rowe here taking your calls at 591-8900. We have just a few minutes here with Dr. Keyes. So let's go right to the phones and say, "Hello," to Rosanna who's on WLS.

ROWE: Hey, Rosanna.

ROSANNA: Hi, Deborah and Dr. Keyes. I don't watch boxing at all, but a technical knock out is really the only words I have to describe tonight's debate. It was really wonderful, and I'm very thankful because what Dr. Keyes does is he reminds me . . . he brings more clarity to me about my faith. And those are the kind of people I need around me to remind me that my faith should shape my life. Remind me that morality is the basis of the freedom, you know, that we have and the foundations of liberty.

And what I thought interesting is one time Mr. Obama said that his job was to vote his conscience and yet really what he was saying to Dr. Keyes is that he didn't have a right to have a faith conscience, so I just guess . . .

ROWE: But he pointed that out . . . Rosanna, let me say, thank you. I want Dr. Keyes if he wants to respond to Rosanna.

KEYES: You know I think the last observations was correct, obviously it's something I've pointed out, because how can you vote your conscience as a Christian if you leave Christ out. I don't have any part of my conscience that's not shaped by my Christian faith. And, therefore, if you tell me to leave Christ out, my conscience is gone.

So, didn't understand how he could say he would vote his conscience and then leave his faith out. It didn't make any sense to me. It's just doesn't compute. I have no concept of this.

ROWE: It was at a meeting a month or so ago and you were being discussed and one of your supporters said, "I am firmly behind Alan Keyes, but we're not electing an evangelist, so to speak." How do you respond to that?

KEYES: Well, you see, but . . . I think that the moral issues that we face as a society whether we're going to maintain marriage. That's a fundamental social institution. Whether we're going to kill children in the womb or respect our civic principle that we're all created equal. Remember, that's American civic principle, not a religious view. That's the Declaration of Independence. But, my faith conscience is relevant because it gives me the courage to stand up for the truth that's in that civic principle. Without my faith I wouldn't be motivated to do that, because that principle requires respect for the Creator God and for his authority.

So, I think we have a special duty as faith driven people in our citizenship to stand in defense of those principles without which our country can't survive, but which we especially will take seriously because they take seriously the sovereignty of God.

So, I think that's the relationship. It's kind of a special mission we have as a result of our faith which gives us a kind of special vocation as citizens.

ROWE: And also the courage to do that what is right.

KEYES: Exactly.

ROWE: All right 591-8900. Let's say good evening to Peggy, who's on WLS. Hey, Peg.

PEGGY: Hi, this is one of those interesting moments in time. You know, it's like tape record this because you're going to refer to it later.

ROWE: Uh, oh.

PEGGY: One of the things that I especially enjoyed about this debate was that it was real clarification, as the woman before me said, uh, if you have no conscience . . . Fields Little (?) talks about men without chests. You know. If you take your heart out, and you have a person that is well able to compromise . . . on the basis of what? Nothing. He just floats. You know. Is it the most money? Is it the man with the most power? The best . . . the man who drives the best deal. What causes him to compromise? And on what? And it is very important for someone to stand up and say, "There has to be a basis on which you make your evaluation. This is the basis on which I which I make my evaluation. What is your basis?" [laugh] This was a very good question. Where are you?

ROWE: Well, that's an important question, Peggy. A . . . because that's, I think, is what's critical here. I do believe we are at the crossroads. And it's really going to require people who are going to be willing to take a stand even when it's not popular.

I want to go over to something that you and Barack Obama really went toe to toe on, and I thought he gave the viewers a fascinating glimpse at the issue of particularly of this gun control issue.

And also when you talked about the measures to apply the death penalty to gang bangers that kill police officers. And we learned that Barack Obama did not support that.

KEYES: Well, you see, there's a contradiction in him. He wants to pretend he cares so much about violence. He gave that moving statement about somebody shooting and the mother standing there. He acts as if the gun caused that problem.

ROWE: Yeah.

KEYES: So, I prove that I care about this violence by going against the gun. And then when it comes time to go against person who pulls the trigger, he's weak on everything. He seems to misunderstand the nature of human life, which is inanimate objects don't go around killing people. And you've got to take account of the human factor, and do something about it, if you really want to deal with the problem.

And that's what led me to say that this whole approach he takes, whether it's the assault weapons ban or whatever, it's politicians who want to look like they're doing something when they're not. They want to be able to take credit for having taken a step and yet they don't want to address real problem, because they don't want to deal with the people. They don't want to deal the tough issue of how you handle folks who are out there terrorizing their communities with violence. And you need to take a stand against them.

I just . . . it's again, it's one of those things . . . I heard it, and it didn't compute. How can this man say he cares about violence and then vote time and again to do nothing about the most violent elements in our neighborhoods?

ROWE: But then when he talked about it had been redundant, so to speak, because there was already measures in place to deal with that, but when you pointed out, but your position on hate crimes, equally superfluous, but you have no problem with that.

KEYES: Well, but he knows that in the hate crimes thing, he's trying to make a special point about how bad that is, so he can discourage people. And I'm saying, we want to make point about how bad it is to be in gangs terrorizing your neighborhood. And he says that's superfluous? It's not superfluous when you're being terrorized by these gangs.

ROWE: Interesting. Interesting, as well. I'll tell you what, we had so many people who wanted to talk with you, but as was pointed out tonight your campaign, not especially high with a lot of heavy cash, and I don't know, I know you have a lot of great people working for you so you have to spend more time . . .

KEYES: Well, we have more cash then some folks we would. [laughter]

ROWE: All right. I'll tell you what. 591-8900. We'll make a quick decision here. I know Dr. Keyes is on a very tight schedule. I just appreciate the fact that he thought enough about you and me to take the time to come up here and talk with us, as they were just down stairs.

I'm Deborah Rowe. It is the Deborah Rowe radio program. 591-8900. News talk 890. It's WLS.

[news break]

ROWE: . . . getting a reaction to tonight's debate between State Senator Barack and Dr. Alan Keyes. 591-8900. Uhm . . . again for those of you who are just coming into the program it's important that you know this, so that we won't get . . . you know, it's so unfair how you wouldn't give Barack a chance. We actually invited Barack Obama. We've been working on that for quite some time. They declined. Even declining an opportunity to do an earlier pre-recorded interview.

But we're glad Dr. Keyes was here. And he has more work to do tonight, believe it or not, and then he's out again tomorrow. One thing that baffles me about Alan Keyes, and I mean this seriously. I have now had the opportunity to talk with him on a personal level a half dozen now. It is baffling to me how this man, who is one of the most . . . humble . . . I mean really . . . soft spoken almost, guy . . . it's those he's a really gentle man, a gentle gentleman. How is it that his image, he always, every time I hear a comment or somebody, you know, or some analyst or whatever, you know, he's so abrasive. He is not at all. That just baffles me. How does he . . . that, that . . . gets lost in transition. I guess you'd put it that way. Hi, Mark. You're on WLS.

MARK: Hi Deborah.

ROWE: Hey.

MARK: I thought he phenomenal tonight.

ROWE: He was.

MARK: I really do. I have such energize. And a . . . I'm so motivated to go out and just reinforce that people have to go out and vote for him.

ROWE: Um huh. What particular . . . anything in particular that you heard tonight that just said, "Yes!" What was it?

MARK: He speaks just speaks his conscience. What you see is what you get.

ROWE: Um huh.

MARK: It's not a baffling smoke screen, which is what I find that Obama's all about.

ROWE: Yeh, he does have a tendency, I mean, Dr. Keyes. He really is very effective, Mark, of just cutting through the clutter, and getting right down to the core of the matter. And often times the core of the matter is nothing that anybody's talking about.

MARK: Right.

ROWE: You know. Thank you, Mark.

MARK: I actually had a question for him. Something that I haven't heard either candidate talk about. I wonder what his stance is on public education and the voucher system for those of us choose to educate our children in our religious beliefs.

ROWE: He actually, if not answered directly, clearly alluded to it tonight, he wants families to have the choice of what to do with their children.

I think you should get over to his website, as a matter of fact. Both the candidates, as a matter of fact. Get to their websites. Um. We have, what, twelve days remaining and if you don't get a chance to hear either of them talk, if you don't receive campaign literature, if you don't talk to people that support either of the candidates, you have your computer. Go on over to their websites, and you can find out a whole lot more. And I've been to Dr. Keyes' website. And I've been to Barack Obama's website. And both of them . . . and even with Keyes' website, you'll find a lot of issues there, that for whatever reason media don't want to bring up, but a they did talk about, he talks about them.

You're on WLS.

CALLER: Hello, Deborah. ROWE: Hey.

CALLER: Hey, what a wonderful evening this was, and it was a long time coming. It's a shame that Senator Obama is gonna take such a duck on those seven debates that he was champing at the bit for before Mr. Keyes, Ambassador Keyes, showed up.

ROWE: They suddenly went down. At first, it was almost no debates. Then after pressure they worked themselves back up to, I think, three.

CALLER: Uh huh. Yeh. Right. We know why. And it's probably the same why reason he took a duck tonight and wouldn't show up. But I thought that there was a mild disrespect shown tonight by Senator Obama, since a Ambassador Keyes did not a, seeing that it was a undue for him to refer to the senator by his title, but for some reason Senator Obama distained from that. He just decided, well, it was going to be Mr. Keyes all night and never gave him his proper due.

ROWE: Hum.

CALLER: That was one of the things I noticed.

ROWE: Hum ha.

CALLER: The other thing was I noticed that they were both cleaver, and I would say in Mr. a, in Ambassador Keyes case I would say virtuously cleaver. The way that he spun the question around and directed it toward the idea of school choice and parental responsibility for education, which, of course, is natural law. It's nothing else.

But on the other side, when Senator Obama did his rebutting, he would say various things that really flat out weren't true, but they were subtle enough he could get away with it. Like saying that the Ambassador was against stem cell research. Which, of course, he is not.

ROWE: Well, the point you're making, where I really caught it was on that gun control issue, where Dr. Keyes laid out the fact that, you know, Barack Obama had not supported important measurers, he then came back and, Barack Obama came back, and said, you know, that he had the support Fraternal Order of Police.

Yeh. Let me do two things. One. Let me say thank you again for sending me that copy of the Constitution. You know I always appreciate that.

CALLER: You have a good memory.

ROWE: I don't forget that. And also let me say thank you, because tonight's program obviously cut down. We lost an hour or two to the debates, so we need to get in as many people as possible.

Here let me do this. I keep referring to this issue of guns. I want you to take a listen again to what was discussed during the debate. Andy Shaw, if I'm not mistaken, asked this question. Let's take a listen.

[begin clip]

SHAW: Senator Obama, you talked about your votes on behalf of public safety and to protect police officers. So, let me follow up on something Mr. Keyes mentioned. Mandatory death sentences for gang members who kill cops or jail guards, you voted, No. The right to let cops go into dangerous places with search warrants without knocking on the door, you voted, No, on that one. Explain if you will.

OBAMA: Absolutely. Uh, on the first bill, it was unnecessary. Uh, which is why it was vetoed, uh, by the governor. Uh, this was a bill that said that gang members, by virtue of furthering gang activity will be death penalty eligible, uh, for a whole host of crimes. Uh, here's the only catch. It turned out that all these crimes were already death penalty eligible. Uh, so, it was entirely unnecessary and potentially unconstitutional, because it said, for example, that I could kill a police officer, but because I was a gang member, uh, I would be potentially be treated differently than a gang member, who was killing a police officer. I think both of them should be death penalty eligible and that's the reason that the bill unconstitutionally suspect. Uh, with respect to, uh, the potential for police officers, uh, to not to knock when they go in, uh, Mr. Keyes, I'm sure appreciates the importance of the fourth amendment. Uh, and, uh, the issue of search and seizures. And it strikes me that it is important for us to have some parameters with respect to how we enforce our laws, uh, just because that's how we protect our civil liberties. Uh, and although these are often times tough votes, part of my job is to make sure that I'm voting my conscience and if a poorly drafted piece of legislation is put before me that I vote against it, even if know I'm going to take some political heat in the future.

[end clip]

ROWE: All right, that was obviously, Barack Obama's response and Dr. Keyes very well, I think he did a great job in pointing out that he had no problem in, you know, heaping on when it came to hate crimes, but he had a real issue when it came to legislation for protecting our law enforcement.

[begin clip]

KEYES: It's kinda odd . . . I'm willing to wager, we could [hear], but that Senator Obama would not think it's superfluous to have what it's called hate crimes legislation. Uh, that adds a special animus, uh, to certain acts of violence, already penalized under the law, but in order to convey against those particular acts a certain special category of opprobrium from the society. Whether one supports that idea or not is clear that you don't look upon it as superfluous, because the law provides an extra message that is aimed at discouraging certain particularly harmful things to the society and the community. And that, of course, was the purpose. If you have communities that are particularly threatened by gang violence, and you want to send a particular message to those who are drawn into that process of violence through their association with gangs to make it less attractive, then you would use the law to send that message. Uh, and as with hate crimes legislation, it's not superfluous. It is, in fact, one of the functions of the law. Uh, and by using that function you are also sending, in the case of the police officers in dangerous places, it always the case that these rights are subject to prudential judgments and that police officers can be put under the burden of making reasonable judgments about what is or is not necessary to safe guard their lives. [Thank you, sir.] He did not want to do that, even though it was necessary. [Thank you.]

[end clip]

ROWE: All right. There you have it. 591-8900. Let's go to Gary and get his reaction. Hi, Gary, you're on WLS.

GARY: Hi, Deborah. Second time calling.

ROWE: Welcome back.

GARY: Thank you, ma'am.

ROWE: Uh huh

GARY: 1892--our constitution came with one accord and said our nation was a Christian nation. Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, said, "Those nations are only blessed whose God is the Lord." Andrew Jackson, our 7th president, said this, these are all quotes, "The Bible is the rock on which our Republic stands." He won that debate, Mr. Keyes did. He won it in his closing statement, when he simply said something on the fact that you can't get rid of all the diseases we have in health by puttin' a . . . by with tryin' to solve it with an aspirin, a cover up. You've got to get to the core issues of this. You cannot rid of poverty and a . . .

ROWE: Well, we have the proof of that, Gary, don't we. I think we have the proof of that.

GARY: You have to go back to the morals. If you'll take care of those first, then God will bless the nation. You kick God outside. You do it your way, you're not going to succeed. Russia is not succeeding . . .

ROWE: Right. And nobody [unintelligible] It is impossible to do that. Gary, I need to say thank you for your call. I was on a panel discussion down at [Yale] University here with a number of journalists here in Chicago, and when I brought up the very same point that when you look at communities where there is just, you know, broken families and, you know, you see all of the out-of-wedlock births, and high rates of HIV infection, and I say it really does come back to not pumping more money to solve the problems, it is really getting to the heart and addressing the issues. You would have thought said something really ugly. You really would have thought it.

I'm Deborah Rowe taking your calls here at 591-8900. This is NewsTalk 890. WLS.

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