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News on The 700 Club: February 17, 2016

As seen on "The 700 Club," Feb. 17: GOP candidates vie for evangelicals ahead of SC primary, Feds want to hack San Bernardino shooter's iPhone; Apple says 'no way,' and more. Read Transcript

You know, when I was involved in politics and ministry

in South Carolina, I recognized that that was a state

to defend on free trade.

They needed trade.

They needed trade for their tech schools,

they needed trade for automobile companies coming in.

They were open for business from everybody.

So Donald Trump has come in with a message of protectionism

and bashed the Chinese, et cetera, et cetera.

And for some reason, the people of South Carolina

don't seem to care.

Trump is leading in the polls 2-1 over Cruz,

but Cruz is building an army of evangelical pastors

that may surprise everybody.

But in the process, the battle for the nomination in South

Carolina has turned vicious.

The candidates are brutally fighting

for votes and one of the key voting blocks of course,

are evangelical Christians.

That's right.

CBN's David Brody talked to two of the leading Republicans, Ted

Cruz and Marco Rubio, about their campaigns and their views

on some of the most important issues to Christians.

DAVID BRODY: In one of the most surprising presidential races

in ages, billionaire Donald Trump and Tea Party maverick

Ted Cruz have emerged as the Republican dynamic duo.

They split the first two states leaving a crucial rubber match

in South Carolina.

Cruz tells CBN News the math is simple.

I think this is more and more becoming a two person race.

It's between me and Donald Trump.

What Iowa and New Hampshire have demonstrated

is the only candidate who can beat Donald Trump is me.

South Carolina is a virtual treasure trove

of evangelical voters.

Conservative Christians make up more than half

of the GOP primary electorate.

And that's good news for Ted Cruz, because he needed

those evangelicals to win in Iowa,

and now the question in South Carolina

is can he pull off the repeat?

He's hoping to pull it off again by encouraging South Carolina

pastors to engage the flocks.

Our CBN cameras were there for this private get together.

Without exaggeration, I believe the men and women

in this room in the circle of influence you have

and the people that listen and trust

your judgment, your wisdom, your guidance, your counsel.

The men and women in this room have the ability

to change the outcome of the South Carolina primary.

And in doing that, to change outcome

of the presidential election.

And in doing that, to change the outcome,

the direction of this country.

DAVID BRODY: But Cruz's push to mobilize Christian

is under scrutiny.

First, Ben Carson complained that the Cruz campaign

used questionable tactics to discourage his Iowa

supporters from voting for him.

Now, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump

are not happy with how Cruz is framing their views

on the Supreme Court decision that

legalized same sex marriage.

Several Republican candidates, including my two leading

competitors in this state said publicly,

that decision was settled.

It was the law of the land.

We must surrender, accept it, and move on.

Now those are word for word Barack Obama's talking points.

DAVID BRODY: At the time, Trump and Rubio

did call the decision the law of the land,

but disagreed with the ruling, so they don't appreciate

the Obama comparison.

Trump took to Facebook saying quote,

"how can Ted Cruz be an evangelical Christian when

he lies so much and is so dishonest?"

Aboard his campaign bus, Rubio had a few choice words too.

Ted Cruz is on the stump talking about you

and President Obama have the same talking

points on marriage.

It's very disappointing that Ted says these things.

I mean, it's just not true.

I really think it's become really disturbing that Ted

is willing to make things up out of cold cloth just

to win an election.

What do you want to say to some folks that

are starting to question in essence, your character?

Your Christian character?

If others want to impugn my character, they can do that.

I will sing their praises.

But I do think people are seeing the way we're

running our campaign with integrity, with character,

focusing on issues, focusing on substance.

Not going into the gutter.

If I were to stray, the first person

who would hold me accountable is my dad.

DAVID BRODY: As that battle plays out,

Jeb Bush is going after South Carolina Christians

with tough talk about being a president ready to battle

over nominating Conservative Supreme Court justices.

The left is going to go after whoever we appoint.

And we better be ready.

And this will be war.

DAVID BRODY: Bush hopes to claim the establishment lane,

but he's going to need to fight off John Kasich, who did well

in New Hampshire.

And there's also Rubio, trying to put that poor debate

performance in his rear-view mirror.

Adversity is relative, you know.

Yes, we didn't do as well in New Hampshire as we wanted to.

But real adversity, and for some people around the world,

there are things much deeper and worse than that.

So God is going to provide.

He'll either provide a way around it,

or he'll provide a way through it.

DAVID BRODY: It's a good thing God has it under control,

because this race has been out of control from the beginning.

David Brody, CBN News in Greenville, South Carolina.

Well, I'll remark South Carolina

will be the bellwether.

Some years ago, there was a candidate

for governor in South Carolina.

He was a Democrat and I think he turned Republican.

And he then made Speaker of the House.

So he begins to run and he and I were friends.

And so the next thing you know, his enemies

started putting ads on, this man is supported by Pat Robertson.

Oh my.

And they thought that they would kill him.

And what happened?

He went from 11% in the polls to 22%.

He doubled it, he doubled it.

Good job.

And it's just was out of the question,

that we've showed you that Pat Robertson and that right wing

evangelicals are supporting this man.

And he went up to about 40% in the polls

and they kept hammering away, talking about me and him.

And he won overwhelming the election.

Became governor of the state.


But it's amazing because there are so

many evangelicals in South Carolina,

and they don't take it lightly that they're

champions get trashed.

And I think Cruz is making a determined

play for the evangelicals.

He himself is a strong evangelical.

And he's building up pastors, hundreds and hundreds

and hundreds of pastors to help.

So there could be a surprise coming out of South Carolina.

If it is, I mean it will shock everybody,

because it will go against the major poll numbers that

are coming out now.

We've only got a few more days to go.

The thing's on Saturday.

But it is a big, big primary.

Well, in other news, it's the latest round

in the ongoing fight between personal privacy

and national security.

John Jessup has that story in our CBN News

bureau in Washington.

Thanks, Pat.

A federal judge has ordered Apple

to help the FBI in its investigation of the San

Bernadino shooters.

One of them, Syed Farook, had an iPhone

and the federal government wants to access it for information.

But Apple says no.

The tech giant warns that if the feds could unlock that iPhone,

it could unlock any phone and to see what's on them.

Caitlin Burke has the story.

CAITLIN BURKE: Apple must hack into one of its users

iPhones, government orders.

The FBI believes Syed Farook's iPhone

has important information about ISIS

as well as the San Bernardino attack.

But after several failed attempts to guess his password,

the feds are locked out.

Continuing to try and guess that passcode isn't an option.

After 10 failed attempts, the iPhone

is programmed to completely wipe clean and shut

down permanently.

The FBI needs a way around that.

Apple says the feds are out of luck.

CEO Tim Cook rejecting their order

to create software that would allow them

to access the locked phone.

Cook took to the web, writing to Apple users

to explain the implications of what the feds are asking.

He says quote, "building a version of IOS

that bypasses security in this way

would undeniably create a backdoor.

And while the government may argue

that its use would be limited to this case,

there is no way to guarantee such control."

Cook says that customers expect Apple

to protect their personal information

and that Apple is committed to doing just that.

In 2014, Apple updated its iPhone operating system

to require that the phone be locked by a pass code

that only the user knows.

Before that, the company could use an extraction tool

that would physically plug into the phone

and allow it to respond search warrant

requests from the government.

FBI director James Comey told members of Congress

last week that encryption is a major problem for law

enforcement who quote, "find a device that can't be opened,

even when a judge says there's probable cause to open it."

Our job is to look at a Haystack

the size of this country for needles

that are increasingly invisible to us, because

of end to end encryption.

CAITLIN BURKE: Lawmakers and iPhone users

are weighing in on this debate over privacy

versus national security.

It's been consistent with Apple's policy for quite

some time to try to be as unhelpful to law enforcement

as possible.

They should be on our side in this effort against terrorism.

It's going to give the government the right

to go into everybody's phone.

Either they're criminals or not or if you're just

going on be on your business, the government

is going to use that against you all the time.

CAITLIN BURKE: Apple has five days

to respond to the federal order to hack Farook's phone.

Caitlin Burke, CBN News.

Thanks, Caitlin.

Despite a ceasefire agreement in Syria,

it appears nothing has changed on the ground there.

In fact, many analysts warn the situation could worsen.

As Russia stands to gain more power in the Middle

East and while critics blast President Obama

for showing weakness in the midst of the conflict.

Chris Mitchell brings us that story.

CHRIS MITCHELL: In Munich, the US, Russia, and European powers

agreed to allow humanitarian relief into Syria,

and a cessation of hostilities throughout the country.

Still, the Russians continued to bomb rebel forces supported

by the US and Saudi Arabia.

The Russians will not stop.

They're irate and with ground support of Hezbollah, Iranian,

and other Shiite militias worldwide,

coming from Afghanistan, from Tajikistan, from other places,

I think the Russians and the Iranians want to make us

and the regime survive, and they will do everything now.

They are the offense.

I think they will not stop at nothing.

Syrian and Iranian forces backed by Russian air strikes

are closing in on Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

If they take the city, it could change the course of the war

and strike a major blow to President Obama's Middle East


Located in Northwest Syria, Aleppo

is one of the rebel's last strongholds.

There was a stalemate between the rebels and the Assad regime

until Russia came in and tipped the scales.

Some months into the Russian intervention, the sense right

now is it really is beginning to take hold and have

a very powerful effect on the battlefield

to the detriment of the rebellion

and to the advantage of the Assad regime.

CHRIS MITCHELL: While the fate of a far away Syrian city

might seem unimportant to Americans,

it represents a major geopolitical shift

in the region.

The substantial Russian military build up in Syria

and the eastern Mediterranean is also

shifting the strategic balance in this part

of the Mediterranean.

So I call on call de-escalation and a political solution

to the conflict in Syria.

CHRIS MITCHELL: Yet, Middle East expert Jonathan Spyer

believes Russia wants a battlefield solution.

JONATHAN SPYER: If they succeed in that,

it means that the Syrian map of protagonists, so to speak,

will leave only the regime itself

with its Russian, Iranian, and Iranian backers, the Kurds

and Islamic State.

It will be a very major change that I

think is what Putin and his allies are going for.

CHRIS MITCHELL: If Putin, Assad, and Iran succeed,

it means a setback for the US and the west.

If they achieve this goal, they would

have achieved strategic victory in a vital conflict

zone in the Middle East.

There's no such thing as a vacuum.

This is a zero sum game.

So growing strength for the Russians and the Iranians

means growing perceived weakness for the West.

We are now in the midst of major historic change

in the Middle East, and the United States is not there.

CHRIS MITCHELL: Chris Mitchell, CBN News, Jerusalem.

Pat, it's a seeming re-balancing of power

right there in the Middle East.

The United States is not there, you heard that.

The United States is not there.

We have been absent because of Obama and as a result,

we've lost Syria and the ISIS has grown.

It didn't have to be that way, but because

of a feckless president, this is what

you get when you get somebody who doesn't

know what they're doing.

But what I see ladies and gentlemen geopolitically,

there is one force that is pro-democracy, pro-US, pro-free

enterprise, and strong militarily.

And that force is made up of the Kurds.

Their army is called a peshmerga.

But they have a big presence in Syria.

They have a big presence in Iraq.

And they have a substantial presence

in the South of Turkey.

Now the Turks don't want it.

They hate the Kurds.

They think the Kurds are just rebels, and they're terrorists,

and they don't want any part of it.

Turks are a key player in NATO.

But the truth is, we should not listen to the Turks

in this particular area.

The Kurds need their own country.

And that would be a bulwark against this terror.

You'd have a friend who shares your values,

sitting in a key strategic part of the world.

They will be in the northern part of Syria.

They would be in that western part of Iraq.

And they could make it a balancing force that we need,

and all we'd have to do is reinforce them militarily

with the appropriate modern weapons.

And they could do the rest.

It will be a win-win situation and I

know the Turks wouldn't like it, but that's just tough luck.

They've got nowhere to go.


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