Senator Alexander: "Instead of suing Arizona, the president ought to work with the governor and secure the border. That's his job. He's the Commander in Chief. It's a federal responsibility"

On Gulf oil leak, says "Unless we want $14.00-a-gallon gasoline ... we'll have to find a way to continue to drill safely in the Gulf of Mexico."

Posted on May 2, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, appeared today on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to discuss immigration and the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

On immigration:

  • "Instead of joking about the Arizona situation [at the White House Correspondents Dinner] and suing Arizona, the president ought to work with the governor and secure the border. That's his job. He's the Commander in Chief. It's a federal responsibility to secure the border, and when the border is secure, then we can deal with people who came here illegally and how they become citizens, or not."

On the Gulf of Mexico oil leak:

  • "It is a setback. We ought to stop for a moment and see if there's anything we can do to make it safer. All 40 Republican senators, now 41, support electrifying half our cars and trucks, the best way to reduce our use of oil. If we were to do that, it would probably take 20 years, we'd still need 12 million barrels of petroleum product a day in this country. One-fourth of the oil we produce for ourselves comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Unless we want $14.00-a-gallon gasoline and tankers bringing oil from Saudi Arabia – which has been 98 percent of the oil spills – we'll have to find a way to continue to drill safely in the Gulf of Mexico."

*The following are corrected remarks by Senator Alexander regarding Senator Lieberman: “He had a strong principled [support] of the Iraq war.”