(VIDEO) Hillary Clinton, John Boehner Discuss Egypt on Fox News Sunday
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace talked with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the situation in Egypt and Speaker of the House John Boehner on both Egypt and the Republicans' plans to shrink government.
Below are some excerpts and video clips from the interviews:
CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary, President Obama on Friday called on Mubarak to recognize the rights of the Egyptian people. Are you satisfied with the steps that Mubarak has taken so far?
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: Oh, I don't think anyone is satisfied -- least of all the Egyptian people, who have legitimate grievances and are seeking greater political freedom, a real path to democracy and economic opportunity. And for 30 years, the United States, through Republican and Democratic administrations, has been urging the Mubarak government to take certain steps. In fact, we've been urging that vice president be appointed for decades and that finally has happened.
But there's a long way to go, Chris. And our hope is that we do not see violence. We see a dialogue opening that reflects the full diversity of Egyptian civil society, that has the concrete steps for democratic and economic reform -- that President Mubarak himself said he was going to pursue -- and that we see respect for human rights for Egyptian people, and the kind of progress that will lead to a much more open, political, and economic set of opportunities for the Egyptian people.
WALLACE: Secretary, you talk about an orderly transition. How concerned are you that if Mubarak were to be suddenly thrown from power that the Islamic radicals could fill the void?
CLINTON: Chris, we want to see an orderly transition so that no one fills a void, that there not be a void, that there be a well thought-out plan that will bring about a democratic, participatory government.
And I also believe strongly that this is in Egypt's long-term interest. It's in the interest of the partnership that the United States has with Egypt.
So, that is what we are attempting to promote and support, because clearly, what we don't want is chaos. I don't think the Egyptian people want that. They want their grievances to be addressed. We also don't want to see a takeover that would lead not to democracy but to oppression, and the end of the aspirations of the Egyptian people.
So, this is an intensely complex situation. It does not lend itself to, you know, quick yes or no easy answers. But instead, I think the path that President Obama has charted that we are pursuing -- that calls for no violence, that support the aspirations and human rights of the Egyptian people, that stands behind concrete steps toward democratic and economic reform -- is the right path for all of to us be on.
WALLACE: Should our government continue to back Egyptian President Mubarak? And what about the $1.5 billion in U.S. aid to that country?
BOEHNER: I think the administration, our administration so far has handled this tense situation pretty well. Clearly reforms need to occur in Egypt, and frankly, anyplace around the world where people are calling out for freedom and democracy, I think we have a responsibility to respond.
I think listening to the Egyptian people, working with the government, to bring more democratic reforms is all in the right direction.
WALLACE: The dilemma, of course, is if Mubarak were to suddenly go, that the Islamic radicals could potentially take over. The head of the House Republican Policy Committee, Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican congressman, said this -- "America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform and prevent a tyrannical government capable of harm." Is that GOP policy?
BOEHNER: I believe that Mr. McCotter said it exactly right. What we don't want are radical ideologies to take control of a very large and important country in the Middle East.
WALLACE: So, we have to stand by Mubarak under those circumstances?
BOEHNER: I think what we need to do -- there are legitimate grievances that the Egyptian people have and they need to be addressed. Whether that is through free and fair elections, whether it's through more democratic reforms in the short-term, I think all of these again are moving in the right direction.