Saturday, October 14, 2006

Raj on The Big Story

On Thursday, Raj discussed border security with FOX’s John Gibson. Below is a transcript:

Gibson: So, I guess your point in the last thing is that you can be as obvious as riding an elephant with a mariachi band blaring away and they still wont notice?

Bhakta: You know it was unbelievable John. I mean I couldn’t have imagined that I would walk up to the US border, see a guy coming across, I figured if you can do that right under the nose of our border security, you can probably do just about anything including riding an elephant and having mariachi serenade you as you come into the country. It was truly remarkable.

Gibson: Where was this exactly?

Bhakta: It was very close to Brownsville, Texas, right on the Rio Grande, close to the Gulf of Mexico.

Gibson: Were you under the impression in that previous scene, not when you were on the elephant, but when you were watching this guy swim across, right under the border patrol. Did you have the sense that they knew those people were there and they were just letting them across or they truly were asleep at the switch and didn’t even know were they were there?

Bhakta: I can’t imagine that they would know, but I’ll tell you this much, there’s a guy going under the river, under the nose of border security, I’m chasing after him. I’ve got a camera guy chasing after me. I’m hollering at him and at the same time, they’re not doing anything and I think the important point here is not that I want to beat up on a poor Mexican guy who is coming into the country. The truth is if he can come under and I can make a demonstration splashing away in the Rio Grande on a four-ton elephant with a band playing a terrorist could easily get into this country.

Gibson: Raj, am I misinterpreting these pictures? You got a guy in his underwear, dripping wet, walking through the customs post and nobody but you notices it?

Bhakta: It’s exactly what I was thinking. I was hollering you want to catch somebody?

Gibson: And they only went because you pointed it out?

Bhakta: I can’t imagine there is any other way to explain it. I was there making a demonstration like asking them to come and take a look at what I’m looking at, running and yelling and hollering. This is a real problem and John if I could just make this point that if you think about it, five years after September eleventh, we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars, we’re in Iraq, we’re in Afghanistan, we’ve passed the Patriot Act, we’ve have a Homeland Security Department, untold treasure, thousands of lives and yet job one, security the border remains open and that’s because both political parties sadly, have not taken a strong stand on this for narrow political reasons and the American people are the victims here.

Gibson: When you came across with the elephant and the mariachi band, did the customs people even acknowledge what you were doing? Did they give you a hard time for trying to embarrass them? Did they do anything?

Bhakta: You know, I’ll tell ya, I was there on the border on the Rio Grande on the American side on the river for about an hour and a half, nobody came nobody came. The elephants about two hours afterwards, the Department of Agriculture, after we were leaving, wanted to spray them for ticks. That’s about it.

Gibson: Raj Bhakta, running for Congress in Pennsylvania. Raj, thanks very much. I appreciate it.

Bhakta: Pleasure.

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