Interestingly, he was careful to speak positively about both candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Senator Sessions’ support could influence voting in the important primary elections coming up in March and he apparently is not ready yet to make a public choice. But Sessions did recognize Trump for focusing on the immigration issue and bringing it to the center of public discourse. Not only that, but Sessions thinks Trump could win in December by attracting Democrats disappointed with their party.
SESSIONS: For thirty years, maybe more, the American people have asked their politicians to end the lawlessness, have immigration system that serves their interests, not the world’s interests, and politicians have promised that but not delivered, and so this is a decisive event. The Gang of Eight bill would not have delivered. And so Donald Trump, as I’ve been suggesting for some time, got out there in front and talked about it, used the image of a wall and has surged to the top. I think the American people are fed up. They want action on this and Donald Trump is symbolizing it. Ted Cruz opposed that bill, and there are others that have opposed it and and have good ideas, but right now it does seem to have helped him, and I think it’s being faithful to what our constituents want.
MARIA BARTIROMO: And you’re saying in terms of the issues, have a clear cap on the number of green cards issued, the number of people coming into the country and understand fully what those numbers are.
SESSIONS: Maria, we admit a million a year lawfully to full-time pathway to citizenship, a green card, every year. That’s the most of any nation in the world. We have 700,000 here on work visas of various kinds in addition to that. We need to ask ourselves: is that number legitimate? Who should be in that one million? Do we need a full million? Maybe at this time of unemployment and low workforce participation, we need to reduce that number. I think so, but we ought to discuss it at any rate, and the test should be: does it benefit Americans? That’s the first test.
BARTIROMO: So are you supporting Donald Trump given that he has brought this up?
SESSIONS: I am real proud that he has. He’s also opposed the Obama trade plan, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Pacific commission that would be created as a part of that. Also Ted Cruz opposes that. I think those are two big issues. I think it’s driving this election and I don’t think a nominee is likely to win who favors the TPP and who favors more immigration.
BARTIROMO: Because at the end of the day, the issue becomes American jobs, right?
SESSIONS: I think so. i think our candidates need to be talking about — we have robotics, we have computers, we have outsourcing of manufacturing — there’s just not enough jobs for people today, there’s just not. And to bring in millions is impacting adversely American workers I think and I’m pretty sure of it.
BARTIROMO: Senator, do you think Donald Trump can actually win the general election? Can he beat Hillary Clinton?
SESSIONS: Well I think so, if what happened in Nevada last night, it looks like working people who may have been voting Democrat voted for Trump in huge numbers. What they say is correct: you cannot win an election with the simple Republican base. You have to have a nominee who can reach beyond that base. Trump is reaching out to working Americans in a way others so far have not been able to do. That’s the way you get over 50 percent. I’ve been talking about that for seven years. Our consultant geniuses said you’ve got to be more moderate. you have to have more amnesty and that’s the way to win elections. I think Trump is proving that’s not so.