Mattis: 'No Plan' to Roll Back Women's Advancements in Military

Gillibrand quoted Mattis' comments in which he compared the integration of women on the front lines to mixing different types of arrows.
5:46 | 01/12/17

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Transcript for Mattis: 'No Plan' to Roll Back Women's Advancements in Military
Do you plan on rolling back the opening of infantry positions to women based on your previous statements. Senator I've never come into any job with a an agenda. A preformed agenda. Of changing anything I come in assuming the people before me. Deserve respect for the job that the and the decisions they made. I asked specifically because in previous speeches one from the marines' memorial club in San efforts is gone April 16 twice fifteen. You are asked specifically about whether we should open infantry positions and special forces combat jobs to women. And you said. You did not think it was a good idea. He said when you mix you know. That when you mix arrows when you mix affection for one another that could be manifested sexually I don't care if you go anywhere in history will not find where. This is works never has worked. And then in a previous speech on April 23 2014. He said the idea putting women in there it's not setting them up for success. That we find to women woman who could run fast enough of course because it could we find a few. Who could do to pull ups of course because that's not the point. That's not the point at all it's whether or not she want to mix heiress. And so in both of these question and answer sessions you said you do not think you could do it have you changed your view on this issue. Senator I was not in a position to go back into government when I made those statements there are many. Policies in Tibet and acted. Over many years. Including the years sent I've been on active duty. And Comerica understand that I lead the Department of Defense. And if someone brings me a problem and I'll look at it but I'm not coming in. Looking for problems I'm looking for ways to get the department shall it kept the most people. Stands and in that regard at all about military readiness. I'm looking for military readiness and in what we can do in that regard. Do you plan to oppose women serving in these combat roles I have no plan do vote women in any aspect of our military. In 2003. I add hundreds of Marines who happened to be women. Serving in my 23000. Person marine division. And this is. Ten years before I retired. And I put them right in to the front lines alongside everyone else. So you know longer believe that ARRIS has a problem when men and women are serving together I believe that the if we are going to do. XQ policies like this we have better train our leaders so they can handle. All things to come from a policy that decided this town. That's our responsibility. To train our young leaders were going to be dealing. With factors that perhaps their fathers did not have to deal with. Tom. In your book warriors in citizens and the interviews that you did afterwards. You're talking about the disconnect between civilians. And civilian elites view of the military in the military's view your sound of itself. And use cite various policy debates that you think there's a disconnect in two that you sent used sites. He said in recent policy debate such as those about allowing homosexuals to restrict serve openly retaining a residual force in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm cutting military spending assigning women to combat unions. And other items. You believe that the American public is not nearly as concerned as it should be that the changes to military policies are crowing risk to our forces. We fear that an un informed public is permitting political leaders to impose an accretion of social conventions are diminishing the combat power of our military. Disregarding our war fading practitioners advice. Do you believe that oh openly serving homosexuals along with women in combat units is undermining our force. Senator my belief is that we have to stay focused on a military that so lethal that on the battlefield. It will be the enemies longest day in their worst day when they run into doubt force. I believe that military service is a touchstone. For patriots. Whatever strikes I mean that it's simply the way that they demonstrate there. There commitment. And I believe that right now policies that are in effect unless a service cheap bring something to me. Where there's no matter how problem that's been proven. Then I'm not going in with idea that I'm going to review these him in right away start rolling something bad. Do you believe that allowing LG BT Americans to serve in the military or women in combat is undermining our legality. Frankly senator I've never cared much about two concern in adult into the go to bed with. So answers now. Senator Mike and my concern is on the readiness of the force to fight. And to make certain and it took the top of its games so when we go up against an enemy. The criteria for everything we do. In the military up until that point when we put our young men and women across the latter departure if they will be at their most will be full stands that my obligation. As I move into this job so apparently alive a look at the at they. Thank you and for the record I'd like in writing what you believe that gender. That there just for the senator's time has expired. You please adhere to the rules of the senate thank you mr. chairman.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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