updated 10/2/2006 1:52:47 PM ET 2006-10-02T17:52:47

Guests: Carl Levin, Charles Rangel, Charles Barron, Pat Campbell, Alex Bennett, Fred Dicker

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Welcome to the show.  I’m Tucker Carlson.

Lots to get to today, including apology-prone Senator George Allen and the latest from his troubled campaign.

And breaking news out of Congress.  Congressman Mark Foley, a Republican of Florida, has resigned over a scandal involving a 16-year-old boy.  We’ll have details on that.

But first, our top story of the day, Washington’s war of the words on Iraq.  President Bush was on the offensive against his Democratic opponents yesterday, calling them “the party of cut and run.” 

Predictably, they fired back. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Five years after 9/11, the worst attack on American homeland in our history, the Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction and endless second-guessing.  The party of FDR, the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN:  President Bush was absolutely certain, absolutely certain that he was on the right course.  Well, he took us to war without a plan, conducted war incompetently, and now that absolute stubbornness of President Bush is causing deeper and deeper problems. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Joining me now, the man you just heard from.  He’s Senator Carl Levin.  He is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he joins us from Washington. 

Senator, welcome. 

LEVIN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  I’m not a very active Democrat, obviously, but I—I agree with some of your criticism of this president and his conduct of the war in Iraq.  On the other hand, Democrats may soon be in charge, at least of the Congress.  I’m not sure what the Democratic plan for Iraq is. 

Can you—can you sum it up for us? 

LEVIN:  Yes.  Well, I’ll tell you the one which you got 40 Democratic votes in the Senate which was something that Senator Reed of Rhode Island, a Democrat, and I offered.  It was an amendment which urged the president to notify the Iraqis that we would begin a phased redeployment of troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. 

Now, that was offered a couple months ago.  That would be something which is not precipitous.  But the reason for putting the Iraqis on notice in that way is that we cannot give them the impression that we are there on an open-ended basis.  They have the idea because the president has given them the idea that there is this open-ended commitment to them and that they don’t have to take steps to put their own political house in order, that we’ll be there in any event as kind of an ongoing security blanket.  And that takes them off the hook. 

It’s their nation. 

CARLSON:  Right.

LEVIN:  They have got to make these very difficult political decisions that compromises sharing power, sharing resources, which are essential if they’re going to defeat the insurgency.

CARLSON:  So—I mean, I understand that.  I don’t think that’s crazy at all.  But I don’t understand the motive.

You said that we would—we would set essentially a timetable or begin talk of a timetable in order to set a fire underneath the Iraqis, which makes sense.  But are you suggesting it’s an empty threat, that we would say this just to get them moving, or that we would withdraw? 

LEVIN:  Oh, no.  No.  No.  We would have to begin a phased redeployment by the end of this year under this plan. 

CARLSON:  What does that mean?  Excuse me.  Why do you call it—and all Democrats are calling it—a redeployment?  It’s a withdrawal from Iraq.  Why are you calling it a redeployment? 

LEVIN:  It would be a redeployment to probably—at least some of those troops would go to a neighboring country.  That’s the reason the word “redeployment” is used.  But also, it’s used to avoid the impression that it is a total withdrawal. 

It would not be.  We have to leave forces there for a number of reasons, including the logistics needs of our people that would be remaining, including protecting our diplomatic personnel, and including a small force that would be needed in order to go after specific terrorist targets. 

CARLSON:  Do you think though if your plan were to be enacted that Iran would have more or less influence in Iraq?  It would have much more, wouldn’t it? 

LEVIN:  Well, I think the only way we’re going to force the Iraqis to come together is if they look into the abyss of a real civil war and decide they don’t want it.  And as long as we’re there providing personal security for them, as well as this overall security blanket, I think we’re taking the pressure off the Iraqis.  So everybody wants to maximize the chances of success in Iraq, but the best way to maximize those chances is to put some pressure, heat, turn the fire up, as you put it, on the Iraqis to make those decisions. 

CARLSON:  Well, isn’t that—I mean, OK.  I mean, again, I understand your reasoning, but isn’t it kind of reckless? 

I mean, things could be much worse in Iraq.  They’re bad, but I think we recognize it could be—I mean, it could be Cambodia, 1976.  I mean, it could be ferocious and lead too much more bloodshed, even than there is now.  And aren’t you inviting that possibility? 

LEVIN:  No, not at all.  I think what’s reckless is to stay on the current course, which is a deeper and deeper problem in Iraq, growing sectarian violence. 

I think it is reckless not to change or look for a way to change course, to change the dynamic when the course that you’re on isn’t working.  That to me is what’s reckless. 

CARLSON:  Well, why not—I mean, Democrats said at the very beginning—a number of them did—Joe Biden—you may have been among them , who said we need more troops and General Shinseki was right.  I mean, Democrats were leading the call for a stronger U.S. presence in Iraq.

Why is that suddenly a bad idea? 

LEVIN:  Well, I think it would have been the right idea at the beginning, and it was an honest statement by Shinseki for which he was castigated by this administration.  But now we’re in the situation we’re in, a bigger footprint, it seems to me, getting in deeper than we are now, is not the way to go under the current circumstances. 

We’ve got to put pressure on the Iraqis.  It’s their country.  It’s their country. 

They’ve got to make a decision.  Do you want civil war or do you want a nation?  We can’t do it for you.  We’ve done an amazing amount of loss and suffering for them already. 

CARLSON:  And back very quickly to a question I asked you a moment ago.  I just want to make certain I understand your answer.  Are you worried about the influence that Iran, this country that the world’s attention is focused on now, has in Iraq?  I mean, are you worried about containing their influence? 

LEVIN:  I am, and I think we have to maximize chances of success, and that means change the current dynamic in Iraq. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Senator Carl Levin, I appreciate it.

LEVIN:  Sure.  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Well, the partisan war of words raging.  There are reports that President Bush’s own chief of staff tried to get Donald Rumsfeld fired over his conduct in the war in Iraq.  That news comes from Bob Woodward’s new book, “State of Denial.”  Washington is buzzing about it, but at least one administration official will not be reading it. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:  I haven’t seen the book.  I haven’t read his first two books yet either.  So I wouldn’t hold your breath on this one. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Are Woodward’s revelations new?  And are they distracting us from the real issues in Iraq?  Some are saying that.

Joining me now from Washington, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Democrat from New York. 

Congressman, thanks a lot for joining us. 

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK:  Good to be with you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Have—you’ve of course read “The New York Times” account of Woodward’s book today on the front page.  Anything in there new.  Were you really surprised by any of this? 

RANGEL:  I wasn’t surprised about anything.  The president has locked in to make certain that we don’t leave Iraq until there is a victory, and yet he can’t describe the victory.  And the whole question is that Rumsfeld said some years ago that we are creating more terrorists than we’re killing.  And so I think the question is—we have to find out what the victory is, and if we don’t find the victory, we have to get our troops out of harm’s way. 

CARLSON:  Well, I mean—I mean, in all fairness to the president, he has kind of described what victory would look like in pretty general terms, but I think we all know what they are, a stable democratic country.  Now, you know, that may be—I don’t think it’s too hard—that’s something that we see when—we know when we see it, do we not, a stable country? 

RANGEL:  A stable democratic country.  Here we are, no weapons of mass destruction, no connection with al Qaeda, no connection with 9/11, going into a region of Arabs and Muslims, and the United States of America, who can’t really take care of their racial problems here, are going to establish among people who have been fighting for thousands of years a responsible government.  Well, I’m 76 years old, and I’m not prepared to wait until that happens. 

CARLSON:  Well, I mean, look, I actually agree with some of what you’re saying, but you also seem to be saying that the U.S. doesn’t have the moral authority to set up a democracy in other countries.  Is that what you’re saying? 

RANGEL:  We don’t have any authority to put Americans in harm’s way to set up democracies in countries that we were not invited to.  I mean, this is absolutely ridiculous that people in the White House that never served, that evaded service, that received deferments, are now calling Democrats...

CARLSON:  Oh, give me a break. 

RANGEL:  ... at a time—are calling...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  You know what?  I’m sorry, Congressman.  With all respect, that is such—that is such—I know, but that is such an unfair thing to say.  You know...

RANGEL:  But why would they call us cut and run?  Who is cutting and running?  It’s not their kids or grandkids they’re leaving over there. 

CARLSON:  OK.  You know what?  Actually, in some—look, I just think that’s a completely unfair line of argument. 

RANGEL:  So how many—how many...

CARLSON:  I know you served honorably and I’m not impressed by that, but you also served under a president who didn’t. 

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL:  How many more troops are going to have to die while we bring stability to a country where the only interest we have is oil? 

CARLSON:  OK.

RANGEL:  I mean, there should be a cap put on how much we are concerned about democracy. 

CARLSON:  Look, I agree with you that this is a debacle in Iraq.  I just think it’s very unfair of you to write off as irrelevant the decisions made by people who didn’t serve in the arms forces.  Most people in power didn’t serve in the armed forces. 

RANGEL:  The only reason...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  It’s unfair to me, too.

RANGEL:  Let me tell you one thing.  I don’t believe that serving in the military necessarily means that you’re responsible. 

CARLSON:  That’s for sure. 

RANGEL:  But when you’re irresponsible, to say that anyone who differs with you is cutting and running because you don’t have the courage to be patriotic, I think you’re opening the door to have your own patriotism tested. 

CARLSON:  Well, look...

RANGEL:  And I do believe that serving is just one of the things that proves your patriotism.  I’m insulted because the president would say that people who disagree with him are cutting and running away from their responsibility as Americans.

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  I think it’s—there are two different things.

If any—if someone is calling you specifically unpatriotic, that’s an outrageous thing to say and I would defend you.  I honestly would.  However...

RANGEL:  Well, what did you—what do you think cutting and running means?  What does that mean?

CARLSON:  Look, I don’t think it’s—no, no, no.  I think that’s actually a fair description.  And I...

RANGEL:  Well, that’s all I’m saying.

CARLSON:  No, no.  But I think it’s fair to say of many Democrats’ position it’s a cut and run strategy.  I don’t think that’s unpatriotic to cut and run. 

RANGEL:  The president makes it that way, and they imply that we’re undercutting the morale of our troops. 

CARLSON:  Well, look, I think that’s an unfair criticism.  But a lot of Democrats are saying let’s cut and run.  I mean, let’s just be honest.  Redeployment, what the hell does that mean?  That’s a euphemism because they don’t have the courage...

RANGEL:  What are you talking about?

CARLSON:  ... to say let’s just pull our troops out and leave.

RANGEL:  If you—if you have been misled...

CARLSON:  Right?

RANGEL:  ... and got involved in the war, and now comes the time where you reevaluate whether it’s worth the loss of life, this is especially so when the Arab nations in the community that are supposed to be our friends, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, they’re not there looking for stabilization in the region.  They don’t have their troops out on the line.  Why should we stay there? 

And you don’t say cut and run.  And I don’t care if you don’t say deployment.  We’ve got to get our troops out there without causing a disaster to the innocent Iraqi people.  And so it doesn’t make any difference whether you call it deployment or leaving, but cutting and run is just below the line of decency. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, thanks a lot for joining us. 

RANGEL:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Still to come, it is getting so that poor George Allen can’t open his mouth without offending somebody.  But is the uproar much ado about nothing at all? 

And watch out Uzbekistan.  “Borat” is threatening to bombard your cities with catapults.

That story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.

Senator George Allen of Virginia could teach a seminar on how you don’t want your reelection campaign to go.  He’s being accused of racism for calling an Indian-American “Macaca” and for allegedly using the “N” word some 30 years ago.

Now he’s trying to deflect criticism by sponsoring a bill that would give money to black farmers.  Why?  No clue.  But it would give them money, anyway.

Meanwhile, the Sons of Confederate Veterans say he owes them an apology for disrespecting the confederate flag. 

Man.

What does all this have to do with his record as a U.S. senator? 

Joining me to answer that, a man who’s been keeping a close eye on this race, New York City Councilman Charles Barron.

Mr. Barron, as always, it’s good to have you on. 

CHARLES BARRON (D), NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN:  Well, thanks for having me.  Good to be here.

CARLSON:  I wonder if you can—and let me just say at the very outset, you know, George Allen says he never used that word, that ugliest of words.  Others say he did.  Let’s just say—let’s just—let’s say I’m agnostic about that. 

I want to know, can you point to anything in his term as a United States senator that indicates George Allen is a racist? 

BARRON:  Well, the things that people said, I’m not going to let you just dismiss his past and bring it up to these terms now.  Too many people said he said that Dr. Shelton, who’s a White radiologist now, played football with him, not only did he say he used the “N” word commonly, he also gave him the nickname “Wizard” after the grand wizard of the KKK. 

And then there’s Charles Taylor, who’s an anthropologist and a professor, not (ph) white, who also played with him and said he used the “N” word regularly.  This is a guy who wore around—I don’t know why the confederate people are upset with him.  He used to wear the confederate flag.

CARLSON:  Right?

BARRON:  And this is another—a thing he said, there were some turtles in a pond somewhere, and he said he’s glad to come down here to Virginia because they’ve got the black people in place and some of the “Ns” eat those turtles.  So this man needs some therapy.

CARLSON:  He’s denied all that, incidentally. 

BARRON:  Well, then he—I think he’s lying.  So, not only is he a racist, he’s a liar, too. 

CARLSON:  All right.

BARRON:  And those who are in denial and don’t own up to what they’ve done in the past, that means they’re still about that.

The danger of having him in power is that when you have this senatorial seat, and you have those kind of racial views, then to me, to give power, to continue to have a person like that in power, is really bad news.  It’s unethical, it’s immoral. 

CARLSON:  No, wait.  Now, wait.  Charles Barron, you know what?  I’m trying to be reasonable with you. 

BARRON:  You being reasonable? 

CARLSON:  I opened up and I said give me an example of something he has done that is racist.  And you’re saying, you know what...

BARRON:  Because the show is not about what he’s done recently that’s racist. 

CARLSON:  Oh, OK.

BARRON:  The show is about what he has said.  He lied and said he didn’t say it. 

CARLSON:  No problem.  I get it.

BARRON:  Which means he’s still—he ain’t even a racist in recovery. 

He still is. 

CARLSON:  And he’s in a position of power.  Obviously I’m luring you into a trap which you’ve stepped into with both feet. 

I want to quote you from August of 2002. 

BARRON:  I’ll quote it for you.

CARLSON:  Here’s what you said.  You said, “I want to go to the closest white person”—this is you, Charles Barron, in saying...

BARRON:  At a reparations rally I said...

CARLSON:  “You can’t understand.  This is a black thing.”  And then “Slap him.” 

(CROSSTALK)

BARRON:  I said...

CARLSON:  You want to physically assault people because of their race. 

You, my friend, are much worse than...

BARRON:  At a—are you going to let me get something in?

CARLSON:  I’m just shocked that you said that.  And you’re in power.

BARRON:  Are you going to let me get something in?

CARLSON:  Speak.

BARRON:  At a reparations rally—nobody murdered your ancestors, nobody enslaved you, nobody cut the stomach of your pregnant women open and hung you from a tree.  That was a reparations rally.

CARLSON:  So you get to...

BARRON:  I have a right to express my righteous, indignant anger.  And I guarantee you there’s some white people out there that would love to slap the Enron chief who ripped them off for all of their life savings. 

CARLSON:  But wait a second.

BARRON:  Everybody talks about that—that they want to slam people that have...

CARLSON:  Whoa.  Slow down.

BARRON:  ... nothing to do with a racist who is in denial, who has power, who can impact...

CARLSON:  Mr. Barron—Mr. Barron—Mr. Barron...

BARRON:  ... people all over the country. 

CARLSON:  You, my friend.

BARRON:  Nobody cares about that little remark that you...

CARLSON:  Wait.  Slow down.  That little remark?  You are actually—wait.  Hold on.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  You are filibustering. 

BARRON:  You are trying to divert attention away from George Allen, the racist.

CARLSON:  Oh, no.  No.

BARRON:  And I’m not going to let you do it. 

CARLSON:  I am not in any way...

BARRON:  You thought you would get me on this program.

CARLSON:  Wait.  Slow down!  Slow down!  Hold on!

Let me ask you a simple question. 

BARRON:  Go ahead.  Well, let’s stick with George Allen.

CARLSON:  Let me ask you a—oh, you don’t want to talk about—you don’t want to talk about your own racism?

(CROSSTALK)

BARRON:  I’ll be glad to.

CARLSON:  OK.  I can tell.  You don’t want to talk about your own comments from years ago.

BARRON:  Yes I do, when I have time.

CARLSON:  No, you don’t.

BARRON:  We’re talking about George Allen today. 

CARLSON:  Here’s my point.  Here’s my point.

BARRON:  Yes.

CARLSON:  I don’t want to get into a shouting match with you at all. 

BARRON:  All right.

CARLSON:  Our viewers can judge, you know, what you said for themselves. 

BARRON:  Right.  They know—they know who you are and what you’re about, protecting racists. 

CARLSON:  And now they know who you are.

BARRON:  Protecting racists.

CARLSON:  But here you go.  Doesn’t it matter what people do?  And if you pointed to George Allen’s record in office and said, you know, he’s been actually attempting to hurt black people, I would say, “Holy smokes, man.  Let’s impeach the guy.  That’s so evil.”

BARRON:  Well, we will be examining his record.

CARLSON:  But you haven’t pointed to one thing.

BARRON:  Because we will be examining his record.  But with his attitude, we don’t want to give him a chance to do something harmful. 

CARLSON:  All right.

BARRON:  That is enough for a person to be not reelected to office. 

CARLSON:  Charles Barron...

BARRON:  And I hope the people of Virginia do the right thing and retire the racist George Allen. 

CARLSON:  All right.  We’re out of time, sadly. 

BARRON:  All right. 

CARLSON:  But I’m glad that you came on.

BARRON:  And I’ll be glad to come back and talk about anything about me.

CARLSON:  And I’m glad you didn’t slap me, and I appreciate it.  I hope you come back on. 

Charles Barron, Thank you.

BARRON:  And give me some time to talk about me and then I’ll be glad to. 

CARLSON:  Any—any time.  Thanks.

Coming up, where would “Beat the Press” be without Rosie O’Donnell? 

Yes, “The View” host is at it again.  We watched so you don’t have to. 

It’s worth seeing, though.

Plus, a congressman resigns in disgrace over e-mail messages he sent to a teenaged boy. 

That story when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  It’s time now for “Beat the Press.”

First up, Nancy Grace over on CNN, never wanting to hide her opinions of others, Grace had the tables turned on her when she took this phone call last night. 

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, HOST, “NANCY GRACE”:  Out to Bob in California. 

Hi, Bob. 

CALLER:  Hi, Nancy.  I kind of differ with your last caller there.  I think you’re a big bitch. 

GRACE:  Well, you know what?  It’s America and everybody has an opinion. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  You know, we give Nancy Grace a pretty hard time day after day after day, but you’ve got to give her credit for at least once opening up the phone lines, letting the truth filter through.  Good for her. 

Next up, “The View” on ABC and the ever-disturbing Rosie O’Donnell, who though a 44-year-old woman, often behaves like a 7-year-old boy. 

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSIE O’DONNELL, “THE VIEW”:  First of all, it’s pink, which I think is odd for a drink to begin with.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  First of all, it’s nasty.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Rosie!

O’DONNELL:  That was a joke and it went up my nose.  It was a total joke and it—oh, my eyes are tearing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  It’s just—I mean, what do you say to that?  Rosie O’Donnell picking her nose on “The View.”

I mean, you know, we had certain expectations for her tenure on that program, and she has exceeded all of them.  And how.  Amazing. 

And finally, our clip of the week, the weather woman who took it upon herself to dispel the age-old belief that Germans are incapable of laughter. 

Here she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (SPEAKING GERMAN)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  We need more Germans like that.  The world would be a safer place. 

Well, how would you like to help us “Beat the Press”? Give us a call and tell us what you’ve seen.

The number here, 877-BTP-5876. 

Still to come, President Bush and Howard Dean sniping at one another over Iraq, but does anyone actually have a plan to get us out of there? 

And sex, lies and audiotape.  And only in New York.  Inside the strange campaign of state attorney general candidate Jeanine Pirro.  Boy is it weird.

Details when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, everyone knows smoking is bad for you, but did you know it also causes global warming?  That’s what Al Gore says, we’ll have that story.  And who says Washington has no sense of humor?  Exhibit A, Borat at the White House.  All that in just a moment, but first here’s a look at your headlines.

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON:  Time now for three on three, where we welcome two of the sharpest people we know to discuss three of today’s most interesting stories.   Joining us from Orlando, Florida, Pat Campbell, host of the “Pat Campbell Show” on 540 WFLA.  And from New York City, Alex Bennett, he’s the host of the Alex Bennett program on Sirius Satellite radio.  Welcome to you both.  Earlier we discussed President Bush’s election season attack on Democrats as he takes them to task for their criticism of the war in Iraq.  Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Alabama, Bush accused Democrats of offering quote, “nothing but criticism, obstruction and endless second-guessing.”  He says the party of FDR and Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run.

Look Alex, as I’ve said every single day on this show and other shows for the past three years, I’m against the war in Iraq, I think it was a mistake.  But I think what Bush said is totally accurate.  I mean this is a party—the Democratic Party that doesn’t have alternatives and it is proposing to cut and run. 

ALEX BENNETT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well they have power to create an alternative.  I mean you can’t come up with alternatives unless you have the power to exercise them.  And because they’re a minority party in this country and don’t have the Senate, don’t have the Congress, don’t have anybody in the White House.  You know the Democrats have absolutely no power.  As for criticism, what really ticks me off about that is, come on, you’re the president, you’re going to be criticized.  And this is a policy I think even you will agree with Tucker, that can be criticized.  

CARLSON:  Oh I totally agree with that and I do think there’s an awful lot of whining about—and I do think it’s unfair of the president and his allies to suggest that criticizing his policy is somehow helping the terrorists.  I mean even if that’s true, we still have a right to criticize this or any administration’s policy.  So I think that’s an outrageous claim.  However, the Democrats at some point A, are going to be in power and B, in order to make a case for their election, I think they have an obligation to come up with an alternative and they haven’t. 

BENNETT:  Well I don’t think you can come up with an alternative until you have the power to do it.  And you know I’ll tell you, you know this whole thing with cut and run is really like a schoolyard bully term.  And it seems to pass a bad impression to people and nobody said we want to cut and run.  We want to come up with a good withdrawal plan and get the hell out of there. 

CARLSON:  Pat Campbell, do you think this is working? This, being the president’s rhetoric, attacking the Democrats.  It seems to me, and I have no evidence of this, but this is probably in my view anyway, the reason his poll numbers have gone up pretty dramatically over the past couple of weeks.  Do you think that?

PAT CAMPBELL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well I’m glad he finally took the gloves off.  When he finally did I’m there like, well it’s about time, what took you so long.  Obviously there’s been a strategy change at the White House.  Not only did we hear the tough talk from the president but also yesterday Tony Snow, the White House spokesperson actually starting to point fingers when it comes to the failure to get Osama bin Laden by the previous administration.  You know, there’s so much to talk about here with George Bush.  The reality is, every American out there needs to watch the Nick Byrd beheading.  To realize what we’re truly up against here in this country.  Given the chance, given the opportunity, the people that did that to Nick Byrd would do it to you, they’d do it to me, they’d do it to our children.  The real question is, where do we want to take these clowns on, do we want to take them on in our backyard or do we want to take them on in their backyard.  The president has wisely decided to take them on in their backyard and for that reason I support him 100 percent. 

CARLSON:  It’s interesting we’re going to know in less than two months who controls the Congress.   But there are signs that things aren’t actually going to go the way that we have been predicting.  Democratic pollsters are painting a very promising picture of course of what’s going to happen in the midterms, the number of House seats their party will win in November.  But even if Democrats do well in the midterm elections, will they be able to accomplish much of anything during the next two years of the Bush administration?  Perhaps Democrats are better off losing races this year and preparing themselves instead for a full-fledged attack against Republicans in 2008.  And I think that the flip side of that Alex is that maybe it’s better for Republicans if the Democrats win both Houses of Congress. 

BENNETT:  I don’t think it’s good for anybody if the Republicans win.  I don’t think we can afford another two years of this nonsense that’s been going on with a bullying Republican Party who’s got all the people in Congress and all the people in the Senate and got the White House taken care of, and is just running this country into the ground.  

CARLSON:  If they take the House and the Senate and those bodies are suddenly narrowly divided as they will be and there is no question they will still be by narrow margins held by other party.  Democrats won’t be able to actually do anything.  Bush will still have a veto.  

BENNETT:  I care more about saving this country Tucker and quite frankly I don’t think we can afford another two years of the way this president is running this country into the ground.  And internationally we have no reputation left. We’re finally the bad guys around the world.  

CARLSON:  We are not the bad guys.  

BENNETT:  We are absolutely the bad guys.  Tell us somebody who’s with us.  

CARLSON:  Simply because people aren’t with us doesn’t mean we are the bad guys.  

BENNETT:  Hey, you know when a lot of people start sniffing, you might check to see if you’re smelling bad.   

CARLSON:  But see that’s why Democrats in the end won’t win.  Because they are deeply skeptical of American goodness a lot of them.  

BENNETT:  No I’m not skeptical of American goodness, I’m skeptical of American politics and the kind of politics that elected this man a president who could get the deficit as bad as it is, who could ruin our goodwill every in the world and doesn’t care about diplomacy. 

CARLSON:  But it’s important to make the distinction.  Yes we may be hated, no we are not hateable, no we don’t deserve to be hated.  And yet Democrats often don’t make that distinction.  They act as if we deserve to be hated and we don’t.

BENNETT:  We’re not being hated because of you and me, we’re being hated because of what our leaders are doing. 

CARLSON:  Yeah but we still don’t deserve to be—let’s be real here.  Do you think George W. Bush is even in the top 10 percent or the top 30 percent, 50 percent, 80 percent of bad leaders around this world?  No.

BENNET:  I’m going to say this Tucker and you’re going to hate this, but in many ways he’s probably the world’s biggest terrorist. He’s killed more than 100,000 innocent human beings.

CARLSON:  You know what, you guys, you know when people say Democrats are like deeply out of step with America, I think they’re right.

BENNETT:  Osama bin Laden is a piper compared to George Bush.  He’s killed maybe 4,000 people, George Bush has killed over 100,000 civilians and men, women and children in a place like Iraq, many more in Afghanistan, while not getting the bad guys.  

CARLSON:   Pat, this is tee ball, ok, it’s ready for you, knock it out of the park.  

CAMPBELL:  I want to talk about the Democrats and having them actually win and even get in power might not be such a bad thing because gridlock I believe is actually good for the country.  The less they get accomplished in Washington, D.C., the less they screw around with my life.  Let me tell you about a candidate we have down here, Charlie Stewart, he’s the Democrat who is running against our Republican incumbent Rick Keller.  Now here’s his whole campaign strategy, elect me and I will force George W. Bush to answer the tough questions on Iraq.  Now I had him on my program and I said well how are you going to do that as one of 435, because I’d really like to know?  Well his whole plan is not just him winning but the Democrats sweeping back into control of the House and under the guidance of Nancy Pelosi, then they’ll force George Bush to answer the tough questions on Iraq.  Still not sure how they’re going to do that, it sounds good.  And I said well what happens if she doesn’t get in.  Do we waste our vote on you?  I mean what are you going to do and when you start pressing these people for details, you don’t have to be in power to have a plan.  What is your plan to capture Osama bin Laden?  What is your plan to wrap things up in Iraq, what is your plan for securing the borders?  They don’t have one.  

CARLSON:  They’re pathetic. Look they should have won in 2000, they should have won in 2004, by all rights they should win the midterm in 2008 but they may not because they are inept.  And actually a lot are hostile to the country -- 

BENNET:  Tucker, I would like to know what George Bush’s plan is.

CARLSON:  Come on, get real.  He may not have a plan but the point is...

BENNETT:  Well then why should we have to have one?

CARLSON:  I’m not here to—because you purport to be better I suppose, right?  Ok, speaking of Congress, I want to get to this.  This is breaking news out of Washington, Congressman Mark Foley a Republican from Florida and a pretty nice guy, I would say, announced this afternoon he’s resigning from the Congress.  His announcement comes on the heels of allegations that he sent inappropriate emails to a 16 year old congressional intern, a page actually I think.  Foley had served as chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.  He says the emails were harmless and their publication was in part an attempt by Democrats to smear him.  At least that’s what he said yesterday.  Today he issued a statement apologizing to his family and the people of Florida, though he didn’t specify exactly for what.  The implication of course is that he was trying to pick up this underaged boy.  I don’t know that we know a lot more about this, but it sounds like there is a lot more to know about it.  Pat have you heard anything about this? 

CAMPBELL:  Well you know I have read the emails, they’re rather innocuous.  And I have got to believe there’s going to be another shoe about to drop.  I tell you what, I love the double standard out of Washington, D.C., you know from the party that supposedly deplores the politics of  personal destruction, god, they’re good at it.  And we have this double standard in D.C., you know if he had been a Democrat, for goodness sakes, your boyfriend could be running a gay brothel out of your basement and you would still be allowed to stay in office.  

CARLSON:  Of course that’s literally true.  On the other hand and I say this as someone who knows Foley relatively well and I like him.  I think he’s a really nice guy.  But if he was in fact trying to pick up a 16-year-old boy, I think someone should settle it with an ax handle.  I mean that’s unacceptable.

CAMPBELL:  Tucker, you know who lives in his district that could possibly throw her hat in at the last minute to run?

CARLSON:  Who? 

CAMPBELL:  Ann Coulter.    

CARLSON:  What do you think of that, Alex Bennett, do you know anything about this?

BENNETT:  You know what, Pat’s going to be amazed at what I have to say and that is that I’ve always taken the feeling that in situations like this, until something is completely proven, I don’t think we should sit around trying to convict the guy.

CARLSON:  Right, I agree.

BENNETT:  I believe things should go to a court of law or wherever they have to go.  The only thing happening here is the man has stepped down as a candidate, and that is somewhat of an admission.  But I still—you know I’m not going to sit here and I don’t think any Democrat should sit there and use this because to begin with, it’s a man’s weakness, it’s his problems and we haven’t—it hasn’t gone to a court of law.  We don’t know that it’s all true and I’m just one of these very, very, very lefty guys who believes that you’re innocent until proven guilty.  

CARLSON:  Ok, well we’ll see.  Alex and Pat thanks a lot.  I appreciate it.  

CAMPBELL:  Thanks Tucker.

BENNETT:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Al Gore warns the world against smoking cigarettes, but it’s not the health of people that he has in mind. We’ll explain it in his latest puzzling declaration. 

Plus Borat goes to Washington, D.C.  The fiction reporter from (INAUDIBLE) creates a stir when he shows up at the White House.  Why did he want an audience with the president?  We’ll tell you when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Al Gore wants you to quit smoking.  But not because he cares about your health.  We’ll explain in a moment.  Plus a major New York political candidate is under fire today for allegedly plotting to put her own husband under tape recorded surveillance.  It’s a weird one.  Details when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time for a look at today’s stories I just don’t get.  We begin with another dire warning from former vice president and professional zealot, Al Gore. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE:  It’s just human nature to take time to connect the dots, I know that.  But I also know that there can be a day of reckoning when you wish you had connected the dots more quickly.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)  

CARLSON:  You shudder when you think how close that man became to becoming president.  In a speech at the U.N., Gore claimed that cigarette smoke is helping destroy the earth’s ozone layer.  Calling smoking, “A significant contributor to global warming.”  It’s all part of what Gore describes as a full scale climate emergency that threatens civilization.  After his speech, the ex-VP peddled his book, “An Inconvenient Truth” to diplomats in the audience, he then entertained a few of their questions, but most of them seemed far less interested in the earth’s fate than in his political future.  But here’s the point.  Smoking, don’t do it because it’s bad for the ozone layer?  No, don’t do it because it’s bad for you, because it kills people, but like all zealots, the animal rights people, the radical environmentalists, they think a perfectly good idea, help animals, help the environment and take it to such a ludicrous extreme that it ignores people and people are the all point, not just of politics but of life.  Something that Al Gore always forgets.

Next, actor Sacha Baron Cohen also known as Borat, takes another verbal poke at the president of Kazakhstan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This way together with minister (INAUDIBLE) he will be hosting a screening tomorrow evening, to which he have imitate Premier George Walter Bush and other American dignitaries.  Includes, Donald Rumsfeld, Bill Gates, O.J. Simpson and Mel Gibson.  This screening will be followed by a cocktail party and a discussion of closer ties between our countries at Hooter’s on 825 and Seventh Street.  

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Cohen’s last visit to the Kazakh embassy in Washington and later to the White House may have amused reporters and his fans, but it’s a sure bet he got Kazakh leaders bristling once again.  He plays a bumbling anti-Semitic journalist from Kazakhstan in his upcoming comedy film, “Borat.”  It’s an act so insulting, that Kazakhstan’s government took out a four-page ad in “The New York Times” showcasing the country in a more positive light.  No word yet on whether President Bush or his Kazakh counterpart plan to attend tonight’s private screening at Hooters.  No word yet on why the country of Kazakhstan is still trying to convince the rest of the world that its national drink is not fermented horse urine. That country just digs its own hole deeper and deeper and deeper.  Ignore him, that’s the only course of action.  

And finally, why politics can sometimes make for strange bedfellows and even stranger political campaigns. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIRRO:  In the midst of matrimonial discord, I was angry, although I spoke about taping him, there was no taping by me of anyone.   I didn’t do anything here other than vent. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Well that remains to be seen say federal prosecutors as they prepare to investigate Jeanine Pirro.  She’s the Republican candidate for New York State Attorney General, she’s running against Andrew Cuomo in that race.  But now her campaign is being rocked by allegations she tried to catch her husband in a tryst by planting a bug on his private boat.  Though she was taped talking about such a plan, she denied she ever went through with it.  She calls the scandal a political witch hunt and she wants a special investigator to find out who leaked sealed court documents about the case. 

Well for more on this amazing campaign, we turn now to Fred Dicker, he’s the long-time political columnist for “New York Post.”  He’s been following this sordid story closely.  He joins me from Albany, New York.  Fred Dicker, thanks a lot for coming on.  

FRED DICKER, “NEW YORK POST”:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  This is amazing.  Can you just give us the four-sentence explanation of what exactly the allegation is here? 

DICKER:  The allegation is that she was involved in conspiring when she was the district attorney of Westchester County with a former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik who had his own private detective firm, conspiring to place an illegal listening device or a listening device which would have been illegal to place in the boat that was owned by her husband because she had gotten reports that her husband was engaged in a philandering with a well known Republican woman in Westchester County.  And she apparently believed these reports to be true.  

CARLSON:  Why is it illegal to bug your own spouse if you’re concerned that person is having an affair?

DICKER:  Under New York law and under federal law, the concept of illegal eavesdropping is what’s involved here.  If it’s your own property, if she owned it herself, some legal experts say, if she owned the boat herself, it wouldn’t have been a problem.  Apparently this boat is owned solely by her husband and the going on someone else’s property to place a listening device that then overhears two people or more having a conversation can be a crime.  

CALRSON:  But everybody, I think at least most people any way, understand that it’s not like she was bugging her board of directors, right, you know what I mean?  She was doing this because her feelings were hurt because she thought her husband was cheating on her.  I mean would she really be prosecuted do you think? 

DICKER:  Possible. I mean the U.S. attorney’s office hasn’t said they’re dropping the case Tucker.  This is a serious matter.  She was district attorney at the time.  She was on the telephone with someone who was being investigated, Bernard Kerik, for possible criminal violations and she’s heard—and we don’t know the full extent of what was recorded, we just know some excerpts.  She was heard engaged in activities that at least some police authorities think may be criminal.  Maybe there’s more there, maybe it’s related to some other things we don’t know about.  It’s a serious matter, there’s no question about that. 

CARLSON:  And this guy being her husband has caused her no end of trouble over the years.  Can you sum up some of them?  

DICKER:  Let me tell you, 20 years ago to the year, Jeanine Pirro was a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in 1986 and she had to drop out of the race or chose to because of Albert Pirro her husband.  Subsequent to that, he’s been involved in a paternity fight where he denied that he had fathered an out of wedlock child.  The DNA test ordered by the court showed he had done that.  He was arrested and indicted on charges of 66 evasions of federal taxation and convicted of that and he went to prison for 11 months.  He was allegedly caught by a federal informant, this was on court papers a couple of years ago, supposedly leaking to a mob-connected individual information from his own wife’s district attorney’s office.  There’s been a long series of these, all to Mrs. Pirro’s embarrassment.    

CARLSON:  Boy, you have to love New York politics.  And you Fred Dicker, known to readers of your paper as Fredrick U. Dicker, covers it better and has done it longer than anyone else.  Thanks a lot for that update.  I appreciate it.

DICKER:  Thank you Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Well, boxing is a dangerous sport of course especially when the fighters are bears.  We’ll get a report on the animal Olympics when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  What better way to cap off the week than with a 40 ounce bottle of malt liquor.  I mean excuse me—than with Willie Geist.  Willie Geist, welcome.

WILLIE GEIST:  You’ve outlined my post show plan Tucker.  I can’t resist this.  David Letterman last night, his top 10 list was Jim McGreevey’s top 10 chapter titles for his book of confessions.  Here’s just a couple of them.  Number five, the New Jersey  budget crisis, what would Judy Garland do?  Number two, how to push through a Bill or a Steve or a Larry.  Any way, I thought they were funny. 

Tucker, on to more serious matters, the world’s first female space tourist returned safely to earth today.  The Iranian born American woman paid a reported $20 million for a 10-day trip to the international space station. And where did her capsule land this morning?  You guessed it, Kazakhstan.  That gives us another excuse to show you Borat.  He is yesterday dropping off an invitation to his movie screening for President Bush at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORAT:  Can you tell him then, please, to—at 10:00 tomorrow at the AMC and after movie there will be a cocktail party and we’ll make discussion of cooperation between the two countries at Hooters’ which is at 825 and seventh street.  Will you tell him?  Thank you very much.  I like you.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST:  I love that.  I like you.  He also has a broken syntax—for make discussion.  This movie can’t come out soon enough as far as I’m concerned Tucker. 

CARLSON:  The chances it’s going to be number one in the nation, 100 percent.  

GEIST:  Not number one in Kazakhstan.  

As you know Tucker most babies suffer from pattern baldness, it’s a sad reality. But infants don’t have to be embarrassed any more, thanks to baby toupees.  You have the Donald Trump, the Bob Marley.  Here comes a Lil Kim pink wig.  And the Samuel L. Jackson.  They go for $25 a pop.  And they work for babies anywhere from one to nine months.  Those are actually not particularly good rugs Tucker.  What you want is a toupee where people can’t tell it’s a rug.  Those are more costumes really than toupees.

CARLSON:  I think it’s the most grotesque thing I have seen this week. 

And that’s saying a lot because I work in cable news.

GEIST:  Yeah I don’t think you want to humiliate your child at such a young age like that. 

CARLSON:  No.

GEIST:  And I wouldn’t go with Donald Trump either.  That’s provably the worst hair on the face of the earth. 

CARLSON:  Plus it’s a wig of a wig.  

GEIST:  Yeah, exactly.  

Well I don’t know if that’s confirmed or not.  If you were Donald Trump, would you have a wig that looked that bad? 

CARLSON:  No you’re right.  That’s what we used to say about Jim (INAUDIBLE), it was hiding in plain sight, very clever.

GEIST:  Finally Tucker, the Beijing Summer Olympics, they’re not for a couple more years, but China already getting into the spirit, with the National Animal Olympics in Shanghai. The most popular event, bear boxing and monkey bicycle racing.  You can see why those are the most popular.  There are 300 animal athletes who will participate in the games over the next two months and boy it’s a good thing animals don’t feel humiliation the way --  Oh, monkey pole racing, that looks like a lot of fun. 

CARLSON:  You know what, I hate to be Ingrid Newkirk of PETA but I would be so gratified if one of those bear boxers would haul off and eat his handler.  Just turn around and just bite his corner man right in the nose.

GEIST:  Yeah I was going to actually say Tucker, this is one of the benefits of living in a developing country without those party pooper animal rights groups.  You can have bear boxing and things like that.  But it’s a matter of time before the bear turns on the handler. 

CARLSON:  Yeah that time just can’t come soon enough.  I almost always root for the person except in this case the idea of those people parading the bear just makes me angry.

GEIST:  No, bear boxing is terrible.

CARLSON:  Willie Geist, have a great weekend.

GEIST:  I will, you too.

CARLSON:  That’s our show, thanks for watching.  Up next “HARDBALL WITH CHRIS.”  See you Monday.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2006 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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