Weekly Virginia GOP Address – Feb. 3, 2017

Rep. Tom Garrett: It’s Time for Governor McAuliffe to Stop the Scare Tactics

— His continual dishonesty about President Trump’s exec. order makes us less safe  —

Rep. Tom Garrett, R-5th, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

 “I’m Tom Garrett, formerly of the Virginia Senate and now I have the honor of serving Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, stretching from the North Carolina line all the way to the outskirts of Northern Virginia and Fauquier County.”

“In 1947 Senator Arthur Vandenberg famously stated that politics stop at the water’s edge.  What that meant was that partisan infighting and attacks should cease when they compromise American interests abroad, and indeed when they compromise the safety and well being of Americans both overseas and at home. Two days ago I sat in a Homeland Security Committee meeting and heard over two-dozen references from my Democrat colleagues to a ‘Muslim Ban.'”

“Today, I read comments by the Governor of Virginia referencing this same talking point, suggesting that a ‘Muslim Ban”‘ would harm commerce and economic opportunity in Virginia and our nation, and would endanger Americans at home and abroad.  Interestingly, when President Obama heightened screening of individuals from this same set of nations, he said it was because of  ‘the growing threat of foreign terrorist fighters’ and nary a peep was heard.  Republicans understood that politics stop at the water’s edge.  Now Governor McAuliffe and my Democrat colleagues say a ‘Muslim Ban’ will endanger Americans and serve as a recruiting tool for ISIS.”

“I actually agree, except there is no Muslim ban. Talk of a Muslim Ban makes Americans less safe at home. True. It makes Americans less safe abroad. True. So if politics stop at the waters edge and each of these things are true, and given that there is no Muslim Ban, than why use partisan political tactics to perpetuate a falsehood that endangers Americans?”

“Lets look at the facts.  Of the 2.3 Billion Muslims on the planet, 11 percent live in the countries named in President Trump’s executive order.  Of those subject to the highest level of scrutiny, 0.9 percent of Muslims live in Syria. The duration of the highest level of scrutiny is one-half of the duration of a similar action instituted against people from Iraq by President Obama. If you didn’t realize that, it is because Republicans understand that politics stop at the water’s edge and didn’t spread misinformation to advance a political agenda that endangered Americans at home and abroad.  And Governor McAuliffe doesn’t stop with advancing the lie that there is a ‘Muslim ban.'”

“He goes further suggesting that somehow the actions taken by this administration – which ironically were previously undertaken by the Obama administration are unconstitutional.  Mr. Trump can’t do this, he says. The Constitution actually says that the President can not NOT do this.  An oath was taken by the President, myself, and even by my Democrat colleagues, the oath is to protect our Constitution, indeed our citizens, from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

“If we are to uphold this oath, than heightened screening it’s not a choice, it is our duty.  So aside from these things, what do we know?  First, that the executive order effects a scant 7 of well over 50 majority Muslim nations.  We know there is no religious test because this suspension affects millions of Christians, as well as Muslims, Shia and Sunni, Alawite, and Druze equally.”

“We know this affects roughly one in ten Muslims worldwide, and that there are exceptions available on a case-by-case basis. We also know that ISIS is using the refugee system to infiltrate nations, destroy peace, and take human lives. We know that over 70 Americans have been killed on American soil since Boston, with over 300 wounded by first and second generation radical Islamists. We know that at Ohio State just a few months ago, only the quick actions of a brave police officer stopped a Somali refugee who drove his car into a crowd of students and then attacked the frightened crowd with a knife and stopped him from doing more damage.”

“We know that just over a month ago, a refugee who claimed allegiance to ISIS murdered a dozen innocents and injured 50 more in a Christmas market in Berlin.  And we know that the false rhetoric of Terry McAuliffe and his Democrat enablers inflames our enemies and serves as a recruiting tool, so the question becomes why do some elected officials like Virginia’s own governor continue to perpetuate what is, at best, willful ignorance, and at worst, an outright lie?  Why say there is a ‘Muslim ban’ when there is not?”

“Sadly, with Terry McAuliffe and his ilk, politics don’t stop at the waters edge.  If they did, than our governor would stop playing fast and loose with the facts to score political points. He wouldn’t embrace a false narrative that endangers Americans lives. If politics stop at the water’s edge, then we should be able to expect Terry McAuliffe and his allies to support this President as we supported the last President, at the very least, when he discharges his duty to protect our nation, our Constitution, and our citizens from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

“I’m Tom Garrett. Thank you for taking time to watch this message.”