updated 10/4/2006 11:19:07 AM ET 2006-10-04T15:19:07

Guests: David Bossie, Ed Rogers, A.B. Stoddard, Andrew Wilkow, Bill Donahue, Kenneth Kahn

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

We have a lot to get to today, including the most scandalous allegations yet in the Mark Foley congressional page scandal, and explosive charges against the pope in a BBC documentary.  But first, the latest on the Amish school shooting. 

Five girls between the ages of seven and 13 years old have died.  Five more are still hospitalized.  Now police say the gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, told his wife shortly before he opened fire on young children that he had molested two young relatives 20 years ago and was having “dreams of molesting again.” 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COL. JEFFREY MILLER, PA. STATE POLICE COMMISSIONER:  Roberts stated to himself, “I am not coming home.  The police are here.”  Then he states, “I molested some minor family members, family members that were three or four years old, 20 years ago.” 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Here with more on this disturbing story, NBC‘s Alison Kartevold.  She‘s in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. 

Alison, what can you tell us? 

ALISON KARTEVOLD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  That sound bite that you just played, Tucker, revealed the biggest information that was revealed here today at the press conference.  This was the first time the wife or any of his relatives that the state troopers have talked to so far have said they heard anything about these allegations that he made that he had molested very young relatives, probably 3 and 5 years of age at the time, back when he was only 12 years old himself. 

In the notes that he left to his family, he also indicated that another thing that drove him possibly to this, at least caused his anger towards god and himself, had to do with the death of their firstborn child.  Back in 1997 the couple had a baby that was named Elise.  She was born prematurely and only lived for about 20 minutes. 

Now Marie, his wife, Charles‘ wife, said that she knew that this had a profound impact on her husband, but she had no idea that it might lead to something like this.  In fact, all of the family members, as I said before, say they saw no behavior that would make them think that anything along these lines would happen—Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Alison, can you tell us anything about the condition of the five surviving girls who were in that schoolhouse with this man? 

KARTEVOLD:  The five girls who remain hospitalized, of them four remain in critical condition.  They won‘t give us the exact—as far as they won‘t give us their exact—whether they were shot in the head, although the police say some of them were.  But they will just say that they are suffering from gunshot wounds. 

One girl has been upgraded.  The 13-year-old who is at Hershey Medical Center is doing better.  We believe that she was shot in the back and the arm.  And the state police say they hope that she might be able to make a full recovery.  But the rest of the children are still fighting for their lives right now. 

CARLSON:  Alison Kartevold in Pennsylvania. 

Thank you very much, Allison. 

KARTEVOLD:  You‘re welcome. 

CARLSON:  Well, now to a scandal here in Washington.  Do you recognize this quote: “It‘s more sad than anything else to se someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction”?  Well, irony of ironies, that was Republican Mark Foley of Florida speaking to the press in 1998 about then-president Bill Clinton. 

Now, of course it is Foley who is disgraced.  Last week the congressman quit his job and fled to alcohol rehab when news broke of his sexually explicit messages to underage male congressional pages.  But Foley may not be the only one to take the fall. 

My next guest says, “Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had knowledge of Congressman Foley‘s inappropriate behavior and chose to protect a potential pedophile and a powerful colleague over a congressional page.” 

David Bossie is the president of the advocacy group Citizens United. 

He joins us from Washington. 

Dave Bossie, thanks for coming on.

DAVID BOSSIE, PRESIDENT, CITIZENS UNITED:  Thanks for having me, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Denny Hastert didn‘t molest anybody.  He didn‘t have IM sex with any underage boys.  Why are you suggesting that he step down? 

BOSSIE:  Well, first of all, of course that‘s not—those have never been the allegations, Tucker.  What is the problem with this case is that Speaker Hastert did nothing when he learned about this nearly a year ago. 

In life, Tucker, actions have consequences, and so does inaction.  And so the speaker of the House‘s job, his duty, is to uphold the Constitution.  It‘s to—it‘s to hold himself and other members to the highest standards possible. 

Clearly, having a predator walk the halls of Congress is a problem, and protecting that person is a problem.  Now...

CARLSON:  Now, wait, hold on, David.  I just want to make it clear—

I just want to make it absolutely crystal clear to our viewers that you are not coming at this as a partisan Democrat.  Quite the opposite.  You are a conservative.  And...

BOSSIE:  I‘m a very—yes, I‘m a very active conservative leader in Washington. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Just for those who don‘t know who you are, just so they know that...

BOSSIE:  Sure.

CARLSON:  ... you are not from moveon.org. 

BOSSIE:  No. 

CARLSON:  Walk us through—you said a second ago that the speaker of the House had knowledge that Mark Foley was a creep or acting in these creepy ways with underage boys.  How do we know that?  What exactly did he know?

BOSSIE:  Well, first of all, all of the reports indicate, Tucker, that Speaker Hastert knew from Chairman Reynolds, from Congressman Shimkus, and now today we learn that Majority Leader Boehner, when he found out about it almost a year ago approached the speaker, Speaker Hastert.  And Speaker Hastert told Congressman Boehner, the number two man, when he felt it was important enough to take to the speaker, I already know about it.  I got it.  I‘m handling it with the Congressman Shimkus.

Now, clearly nothing happened.  No investigation.  No outside experts came in.  Nobody said anything to anyone except Congressman Shimkus to Congressman Foley, hey, you need to stop it. 

Now, I find that to be incredible that that is what the speaker of the House would allow to happen.  And in my opinion, he looked the other way.  He tried to push it under the rug, which is what the American people think happens in Washington. 

And that is why in 1994 we conservatives took over Congress saying we‘re not going to do that.  And I am here today to say enough is enough. 

There is still right and wrong in this country, and Speaker Hastert, your -

his leadership, his lack of leadership is really what‘s called into question here. 

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  Are we certain that—and the reason I‘m pressing you in on this is because these are very significant allegations.  If the leadership of the Republican—of the House of Representatives, the Republican leadership in the House, knew that one of their members was likely to molest kids and did nothing about it, that‘s a very, very strong thing to say.  And if it‘s true, it‘s disgusting. 

BOSSIE:  Tucker...

CARLSON:  Are we certain that these guys, that Hastert, Boehner, Shimkus, Reynolds, at least the four congressmen who knew about this, are we sure that they thought that Foley was sexually interested in underage youths?

BOSSIE:  What we do know is that Congressman Foley‘s e-mails, “Send me a photograph of yourself, how old are you, when is your birthday” and many other predatory-type e-mails they did know about, and they did know about his sexual proclivity, so it is not hard to know—look, NBC News once a month does a show just like this where they get people in conversations online and get them to show up naked in a kitchen in some instances.  So these are the types of red flags that go up. 

The speaker could have easily handled this case a year ago, six months ago.  Instead, five weeks before the election we‘re finding out about this. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

BOSSIE:  And I find it reprehensible. 

CARLSON:  Well, it‘s not only reprehensible, it‘s also incredibly stupid. 

BOSSIE:  It really is. 

CARLSON:  I mean, why do you think—I mean, but these are not stupid men.  These are men whose lives are about political calculation.  I mean, that‘s what they do.  They get elected.  So why did they make this critical political error?  Not just a moral, but political one. 

BOSSIE:  It‘s really sad.  I‘ve got to tell you, I think that they put friendship and loyalty and politics ahead of doing the right thing, and I think that that came back to haunt them. 

Look, they could have easily gone to Congressman Foley and, if they were serious about getting to the bottom of it, those red flags, those e-mails, are a red flag to anyone in this day and age with the Internet problem that is so pervasive out there to our young people.  And I‘ve got to tell you, as a father of three, it is very concerning to me. 

And so I think that if they were interested in getting to the bottom of it, they could have easily have gone to Congressman Foley nearly a year ago and asked for his hard drive, easily, a simple request, “Show us your hard drive.  We‘re going to take a look at what else you‘ve been doing.”  And do you know what?  He would have resigned on the spot a year ago. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right.

BOSSIE:  We wouldn‘t be talking about this today. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  You demand—you demand to see another man‘s hard drive, that‘s kind of—that‘s kind  of the final straw. 

David Bossie, thank you very much. 

BOSSIE:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, more fallout from Mark Foley‘s behavior.  The president says he is shocked and dismayed by the congressman‘s sleazy e-mails to underage pages, but will this scandal bring down the Republican Party in next month‘s midterm elections? 

And the BBC documentary that has some Catholics in an uproar at the pope.  Did the pope himself enforce a code of silence over child sexual abuse in the church? 

That story when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I was dismayed and shocked to learn about Congressman Foley‘s unacceptable behavior.  I was disgusted by the revelations and disappointed that he would violate the trust of the—of the citizens who placed him in office. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  You just heard him say it.  President Bush saying he is shocked and dismayed by Mark Foley‘s sexual messages to teenage pages.  But with no sign of the end of the scandal, could the news get even worse for the Republican Party in November? 

Joining me now, Republican strategist Ed Rogers.  He‘s the former deputy assistant to the first President Bush.  He also worked in the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Reagan administration.  He joins us now from Washington. 

Ed, welcome. 

ED ROGERS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Hi, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Is this more significant than we first realized?  Will this hurt Republicans in the midterms? 

ROGERS:  Well, it certainly could, and for the time being nobody knows if it‘s going to drive votes in November.  But it has certainly got Republicans off message by any standard.  And we‘re in an environment in the campaign cycle now where days matter. 

And so a day lost on this is a day that‘s not making a contribution to something else.  And yes, unfortunately this has turned a table in Washington, turned—the tables have turned in Washington, where now the question is relevant and appropriate, what did they know and when did they know it?  So it‘s all going to come out. 

Go ahead.

CARLSON:  Well, I was just saying David Bossie, I thought, made a pretty good case a minute ago that there were a number of members, top members of the Republican leadership who had enough information to determine this guy was a creep, that he was misusing his authority, and that they did nothing about it.  I mean, they had knowledge that he had asked—first of all, let‘s just be honest here.  Everyone knew Mark Foley was gay, right?  Everybody knew that. 

ROGERS:  Sure, yes.  Yes, everybody knew that.

CARLSON:  And here they had knowledge that he was asking an underage male page for his photograph.  Do you know what I mean?  You don‘t need to be a cop to know what that‘s about sex. 

ROGERS:  What were they thinking?  What were they thinking?

CARLSON:  It‘s about sex.  Yes.  What were they thinking?

ROGERS:  Well, I think in the Bossie interview—and I like Dave a lot, and he‘s been a friend of mine for a long time.  And we‘re allies in a lot of things, but he runs a little hot. 

I mean, you made the point that nobody was protecting a pedophile here.  No one had indictable evidence against Foley.  You know, in retrospect, should somebody...

CARLSON:  Right.

ROGERS:  ... the speaker, or somebody else, should have extrapolated out about what this could mean?  Well, for better or for worse, America isn‘t that way. 

We don‘t—we don‘t indict people except on indictable offenses.  And did the speaker, did the others act rationally and prudently based on the information they had at the time?  We‘re going to see. 

Unfortunately, it is going to drag on.  And yes, that‘s debilitating in the campaign context. 

CARLSON:  Well, is it—no, but it is—I mean, I don‘t know, though.  It is a standard we hold our Catholic Church to.  Or not my Catholic Church, but the Catholic Church.

We say, look, you know, you didn‘t molest children, but you knew the people in your midst were likely doing it, possibly doing it.  What did you do about it?  Oh, nothing?  OK, you‘re a criminal.  That‘s our attitude toward those priests—that‘s my attitude, anyway. 

ROGERS:  Well, if anything—yes, if anything, what‘s happened in the Catholic Chinch has made everybody more sensitive to this. 

CARLSON:  Right.

ROGERS:  And so some antennas should have been finer tuned.  That‘s—that‘s second guessing.  That‘s assuming knowledge.  That‘s assuming some guilt on people‘s part that I think is unfair at this time. 

And it‘s particularly unfair to suggest at this stage of the game that the man third in line to be president, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has done something so negligent and so reckless when we don‘t even know what the harm has been yet, that he should have to—he should have to step down.  And politically, I don‘t think it‘s the right thing to do, for him to step down. 

You never get credit for a sacrificial lamb.  A sacrificial lamb from Newt Gingrich to Tom DeLay to Trent Lott doesn‘t get you any forgiveness. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  No, but that‘s—that‘s what Republicans do, though.  No, no.  But that‘s what they do. 

They get embarrassed.  They run away.  They go to rehab, whatever.  I mean, do you know what I mean?  They apologize. 

ROGERS:  Well, I don‘t think it‘s a Republican thing. 

CARLSON:  It is a Republican thing. 

(CROSSTALK)

ROGERS:  I think it‘s a standard format for scandal now in terms of the “what were they thinking” caucus.  And I think it‘s both Republicans and Democrats. 

A lot of people head to Betty Ford when they get into a scandal, unfortunately.  A lot of people just deny the obvious.  I mean, you‘ve got an indicted member of Congress right now, a guy from Louisiana, Jeffords (sic) that—you know, “that‘s my story and I‘m sticking to it” is part of the equation that applies to these scandals. 

Now for better or for worse, Foley has taken himself out.  He‘s admitted he‘s got a problem.  And he‘s got—he‘s got more problems to come, and he has resigned. 

Good for him. 

CARLSON:  Well, look, Ed, here‘s my question.  Foley says, you know, I‘m an alcoholic.  I‘ve been struggling with booze.  I‘m going to go retreat to some expensive rehab center. 

You‘ve been in Washington for a very long time.  You know everybody. 

Is there anybody here who‘s not an alcoholic?  I mean, is everybody in Washington a drunk?  I mean, every time somebody gets into trouble, it‘s, oh, I had a drinking problem.  I mean, let‘s—when are people going to stop using that excuse? 

ROGERS:  Come on.  Come on, Tucker.  You‘re not a drunk. 

CARLSON:  I quit drinking, actually, but I didn‘t blame anything on it. 

ROGERS:  Come on.  That‘s a cartoonish thing to say and it‘s not fair. 

Most people that come here, Democrats and Republicans, are earnest, hard-working, committed people.  I don‘t question the motives of anybody and I certainly don‘t label everybody a drunk. 

CARLSON:  Well, I agree.  Then I wish people would stop hiding behind alcoholism when they do something awful. 

I mean you did it.  Don‘t blame alcohol.  It‘s so—it‘s such—you know what?  It‘s such a whiney thing to say. 

ROGERS:  I agree with you on that.  I agree with you.

CARLSON:  Yes.

ROGERS:  It gives—it gives people that have really got an alcohol problem, it gives them a bad name. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right.  That‘s right.  That‘s exactly right.  It demeans alcoholics. 

Ed Rogers, thank you very much.

ROGERS:  Hey, thanks a lot, Tucker.

CARLSON:  I appreciate it.

Coming up, Kim Jong-il is just about the last person you want to see with an atomic bomb.  Well, with North Korea threatening to conduct a nuclear test, is there anything we can do to stop him? 

And allegations that a major news network had leaked e-mails from Mark Foley, but didn‘t do anything about them, didn‘t report the story, didn‘t tell you word one about it. 

That‘s next on “Beat the Press”.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time now for “Beat the Press”.

First up, the FOX News Channel and its coverage of Congressman Mark Foley‘s lurid e-mails and instant message conversations with young male congressional pages. 

The “International Herald Tribune” reports, “Florida newspapers—who were leaked copies of the e-mail with the Louisiana boy last year—defended their decision not to run stories.  Both ‘The St. Petersburg Times‘ and ‘The Miami Herald‘ were given copies of the e-mail, as were other organizations, including FOX News.”

Well, unlike those two newspapers, FOX News has not explained why it didn‘t run the information it had.  Instead, it issued this statement to us this afternoon: “We, like other news organizations, had material in our possession whose significance and accuracy were attempting to determine.”

What does that mean?  I have no idea. 

The bottom line is they had information and they did not report it. 

“We report.  You decide.”

Wait a second.  If you don‘t report, though, I don‘t get to decide. 

If I don‘t know the information, I can‘t evaluate it. 

Transparency, that‘s what FOX News network ought to give us. 

Tell us why you didn‘t report that.  Make us feel better. 

Next up, did you know some schools in this country still practice corporal punishment in the form of paddling?  And two, did you know that “FOX & Friends” felt compelled the need to demonstrate all of this on its show this morning? 

True on both counts.  Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK.  Now, let me ask you something, Principal.  Are you going to do the same strength of a paddle that you would do if you were actually disciplining right now? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.  It‘s all in the wrist, and the more you flip the wrist the more power is put on to the paddle. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  There you go. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  All right.  Let‘s—let‘s be honest here, you and me.  That‘s not educational.  That‘s a very creepy, very specific kind of pornography. 

That clip right there will be taken down, downloaded on YouTube, and sent around to every weirdo in the country by the end of today.  I can‘t believe they ran that that early in the morning. 

And finally, this one comes to us from a viewer.  Daniel in Philadelphia.  Rosie O‘Donnell usually takes the prize for vulgarity on “The View”.  But today that honor went to another one of those ladies, Joy Behar.

Watch as she takes a seemingly innocent conversation about Barbara Walters‘ trip to the Grand Canyon and takes it in an unnecessary direction. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA WALTERS, “THE VIEW”:  By the way, I went to the Grand Canyon, too.  I never had seen it.  It is grand.  Let me tell you.  It is grand and it‘s a canyon. 

JOY BEHAR, “THE VIEW”:  Did you go down on the mule?  Because the people...

WALTERS:  I beg your pardon? 

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Ew.  Ew.  That breaks the breakfast rule. 

Still to come, Mark Foley‘s already lost his job over the congressional page scandal.  Will Denny Hastert be next? 

And a BBC documentary‘s shocking allegations about the present pope and a cover-up of child sex abuse. 

That story when we return. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, why Congress could be ready to pull the plug on Internet gambling. 

And calling a politician a clown is usually an insult.  We‘ll talk to one mayoral candidate who literally is a clown. 

All that in just a minute, but right now 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 Washington, D.C., the associate editor of “The Hill” newspaper A.B. Stoddard.  And from New York City, Andrew Wilkow, he hosts “The Andrew Wilkow Show” on Sirius Satellite radio.  Welcome both.  First up, House Speaker Denny Hastert is standing firm against many calls for his resignation today. 

Today‘s edition of the conservative “Washington Times” newspaper criticizes Hastert for not fully investigating alleged reports dating back to late 2005 that Congressman Mark Foley of Florida sent very inappropriate emails to underage congressional pages.  Hastert claims no one in the Republican leadership saw those emails until last Friday.  Andrew, I think I‘m moving toward the “Washington Times” position here in thinking that Denny Hastert, decent guy though he may be, really blew it. 

ANDREW WILKOW, “THE ANDREW WILKOW SHOW”, SIRIUS RADIO:  Well, if there‘s an investigation and it turns out he did know, then the voices for him to step down will be right. 

CARLSON:  No, we know he knew.  We know that he knew about the emails we saw last Friday in which Foley asked this boy for pictures of himself.  I read that.  You read that.  Everybody who‘s ever gone through high school read that and knew exactly what Foley was doing.  He was trying to set that boy up for sex. 

WILKOW:  And there were guys that told him to stop.  He was told to stop, and I guess they assumed it was case closed, as has also been reported.  And you have to understand something, think about it like this.  When the scandal—William Jefferson, Nancy Pelosi asked him to step down before he was found guilty of anything.  Can you imagine how the gay rights groups might react if he went after Foley and there was really no substance to it? 

CARLSON:  Yes, but part of the beauty of being a Republican politician is you don‘t have to care what the gay rights groups think.  I mean, by the way, who does care what the gay rights groups think?

WILKOW:   I personally don‘t.  But you know how it is in the beltway, everyone tries to keep the criticism at bay.  Some of these politicians will do anything to not be labeled racist or sexist or homophobic, especially on the Republican side.  Even --  

CARLSON:  Isn‘t that all the more reason that Denny Hastert ought to step down?  I mean if he‘s the kind of Republican leader who‘s afraid of the human rights campaign to the point where he can‘t even reign in a child molester in his midst, then that kind of tells you everything you need to know, doesn‘t it.  I mean the guy‘s a moral weakling and he ought to go back to Illinois and get a job selling insurance. 

WILKOW:  Well, like I said, if there‘s more to it than he only saw the titles or how much of it was actually inappropriate.  Look, I‘m not defending Foley.  I‘m certainly not defending him. 

CARLSON:  No I don‘t think you are defending Foley and I don‘t mean to put you in that position.  I‘m just talking about the people around Foley.  The Republican leadership, some of whom knew that this guy was most likely hitting on little boys.  Not little boys, but on teenage boys. 

WILKOW:  Well, some of the emails focused in on whether or not his family was having a rough go after Katrina and stuff like that.  You know, I had Congresswoman Blackburn on my program today, and the word she used was creepy.  And yet this stuff might be creepy and they told him to knock it off, and I guess like any sexual harassment case in any corporation in any office building in America, if you know there‘s a guy who‘s kind of a little creepy towards a female employee, you‘ll say hey, knock it off. 

You assume that a stern enough warning will make somebody knock it off, they probably didn‘t think sitting right in their midst in the House of Representatives was somebody who was saying—the transcript of the IM stuff, that was beyond creepy, that would make Larry Flynt blush. 

CARLSON:  They didn‘t think it through.  And if they did think it through, they would have reached this conclusion.  A., the guy really was trying to have sex with this boy.  B., if he‘s trying with this kid he‘s probably trying with other kids.  C., if he‘s trying, he‘s probably succeeding. 

WILKOW:  You know what, I think it‘s about 14 months that separates him and Jim McGreevey and a book deal.  If this kid were 14 months older, Foley would be a star.  He‘d be on a book tour right now.

CARLSON:  A.B. Stoddard, give us a sense, you‘ve been in Washington a long time and have covered Capitol Hill for a very long time and know everybody there.  Do people know—did people know that Foley was the kind of person who would try to have sex with teenage boys? 

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, “THE HILL”:  I don‘t know that they knew that he was possibly engaged in predatory behavior.  What was known was that he was too close to the teenage pages.  I mean he was overly friendly with them, knew them by name.  He has made speeches on the floor of the House saying that he‘s brought them to dinner in a win dinner with Mark Foley contest, and they drove down to Morton‘s in his BMW. 

He wept another time talking about the page program.  The people that I have spoken to on and off for years about it are the people that are watching Mark Foley in action just being close to the pages in a way that‘s not ok.  As far as whether or not he was trying, you know, to engage in sexual relationships with them or anything, that, of course, was not known, but it was—but I find it really surprising that . 

CARLSON:  You‘re totally right.  The fact that he‘s weeping on the floor of the House about the pages leaving.  I mean everyone likes the pages and everything, but if you‘re actually crying about it, you‘re probably having sex with one of them, that‘s right. 

STODDARD:  It‘s a little weird.  You‘re probably not having sex—we can‘t assume that .

CARLSON:  I think you probably are, actually. 

STODDARD:  No.  I just think it‘s a little bit strange. 

CARLSON:  A little strange is right. 

WILKOW:  Would it be strange though if it was a woman, if it was a female congresswoman, would it be strange if a female congresswoman got a little emotional? I‘m not defending again, it‘s creepy to me too. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not a woman, I can‘t speak for women but I am a man and I‘ve been one a long time and I can speak for men.  And if you‘re weeping about the pages leaving, I don‘t know, you‘re a weird dude. 

WILKOW:  He is a weird dude.

STODDARD:  Tucker I just want to say, I‘ve raised this for one reason, and that‘s because the leadership of the House is very well aware of what happens in their quarters and if the speaker of the House is not aware of the behavior of his members, then he‘s going to have a problem leading them. 

And I don‘t think that when you see a member crying on the floor necessarily means that they‘re a sexual predator, but it‘s background information so that when you‘re presented with what we‘re now calling an overly friendly email to this boy in Louisiana, the first email that we all learned about, it should trigger some sort of alarm bell. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I see it would.  You mentioned that Hastert may have trouble leading his party.  He‘s been deep in the damage control mode as the rest of the leadership of his party, (INAUDIBLE) on a conference call just the other night with House Republicans trying to discuss strategy for managing a fallout as the midterm elections approach.  A.B., do you think this in real political terms, in actual House seats beyond just Foley seat, this is going to affect the midterm elections? 

STODDARD:  The way it will affect the midterm elections is this.  I don‘t think there‘s going to be a stampede to the polls from angry Americans in battleground districts trying to get rid of sexual predators in the Republican Party, but I think that there‘s a disillusion in the Republican base, we‘ve known about it all year.  These people who have bolstered the Republican Party and helped them at every turn are disillusioned over immigration reform, over ear marks in port barrel spending, over the growth of government and several prior corruption scandals. 

If the names of, you know, Duke Cunningham and Bob May and Tom DeLay, etc., ring any bells for you here.  And so the problem is if you look at these contested seats, and there are not many of them, if those disillusioned voters stay home and they don‘t turn out to help tip the balance, that becomes a real problem when you look at the numbers for Republicans. 

CARLSON:  So Andrew, what do you think of that?  A.B. is saying basically the voters this turns off are the conservative voters, or your base who are already mad.  That makes sense to me.  What do you think of that? 

WILKOW:  I could see how this would turn off conservative voters.  Conservative voters are upset at the leadership for spending, for a lackadaisical approach to the borders.  Perhaps we might see in the future more conservative, less moderate, less rhino candidates getting seats in the House and in the Senate.  Is it going to turn people away from the party?  I think when you look at the alternative, I would say no.  I don‘t think you‘re going to see a lot of conservative voters giving a vote to a Democrat just to stick it to the Republican incumbents. 

STODDARD:  Oh I‘m saying that they stay home, not that they vote Democratic and switch parties, that they just find another thing to do that morning besides go to the polls. 

CARLSON:  I live in the District of Columbia so I don‘t have a chance to vote for anyone any way.  But I could see as a conservative, I could see staying home this election. 

WILKOW:  It also depends on the social issues that are coming up and where some of the candidates fall on that. 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s right.  That is exactly where this story affects conservative voters.  I mean, this is—you know, this is a gay congressman hitting on young boys, and he‘s a Republican.  I mean, and apparently his behavior was known by the Republican leadership.  This just offends the hell out of exactly the voters the Republican Party needs in this midterm election.  I mean it‘s pretty obvious. 

WILKOW:  You have to be willing to split Republicans from conservatives.  Not all Republicans are conservatives and not all conservatives are Republicans.

CARLSON:  Of course.  I‘m just saying the evangelicals, Christian conservatives who really do form the bedrock of the party I think are turned off by this in a way that nobody else is. 

WILKOW:  I would imagine so. 

CARLSON:  North Korea, in other news beyond even Washington, announces plans to conduct its first nuclear test and blames, quote, a threat of nuclear war and sanctions from the U.S. for the test.  Japan and South Korea meanwhile have expressed alarm over the announcement, and a U.S.  State Department spokesman warns that a test will quote, “Pose an unacceptable threat to peace and stability.”  The question is, yes, so, what do we do about it at this point, A.B. Stoddard?  I mean is there anything we can actually do to prevent North Korea from going forward? 

STODDARD:  I am not a North Korea expert, but watching what happened this summer when North Korea tested those missiles around the 4th of July, and I guess the leaders of North Korea have quite a flair for the dramatic and they like to provoke.  It didn‘t provoke a big reaction from us.  I think we‘re in a wait and wait mode, which is probably a wise course considering all the problems that we‘re having in so many other places. 

What‘s disturbing, and really sort of chilling is the fact that some people, the experts in the field think that they‘ve timed this announcement because of our midterm elections, and you just wonder what could be happening to us in the next couple of weeks.  I think the Bush administration has way too much on its plate. 

CARLSON:  That‘s actually an interesting point, that this announcement could be timed—whether the announcement is real is a separate question, but to coincide with our midterms.  Andrew, do you think it will have any effect on voters?

WILKOW:  No.  I don‘t think the average voter, the last time A.B. and I were on your program, she said most people don‘t know who Nancy Pelosi is.  If they don‘t know who Nancy Pelosi is, what makes you think they‘re really paying attention to Kim Jong-il?  What I‘m more worried about is what role China‘s going to actually play?

Because some part of me says that yes on one side of their face China is condemning North Korea, willing to sort of lay on North Korea because they need our economy, they need us to buy their cheap goods.  At the same time, some part of me thinks that they‘re also using North Korea kind of like a totie (ph) to rattle sabers so they don‘t have to. 

CARLSON:  That‘s an interesting hypothesis.  Andrew Wilkow, thank you very much.  A.B. Stoddard, thank you.

STODDARD:  Thanks.

CARLSON:  The Mexican government pleads with President Bush not to build a fence along the border.  Lucky for us the president ignores them.  We‘ll tell you why he‘s right when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  The Catholic Church fights back against a potentially devastating report that says the current Pope oversaw the cover-up of child sex abuse claims.  We‘ll talk to the head of the Catholic League in just a moment.  Plus, Bill Clinton sweet talks a hot Hollywood actress with her husband sitting right there.  The brass, details when we come back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time for a look at today‘s stories I just don‘t get.  First, Mexico warns the U.S. that fences, in fact, make bad neighbors.  That warning comes on the heels of a Senate proposal to build a 700-mile fence along the U.S./Mexican border.  Lawmakers hope that plan will convince voters that Congress is serious about getting tough on immigration control.

But Mexico‘s president is urging his American counterpart to veto that bill.  Vicente Fox thinks the fence will hurt relations between his country and ours, and he says it could lead to an atmosphere of tension along the border, making it a much more dangerous place for officers and immigrants.  That‘s a threat if I‘ve ever heard one. 

But here‘s the point, Vicente Fox cares nothing about our country, not about our economy, our national security, our culture, he cares only about lessening the pressure on his own corrupt regime through illegal immigration into this country.  So why do we care what he says?  I don‘t get that at all.  Next, is the demise of internet gambling here in the U.S.  a sure bet?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  To have this form of gambling, which is very difficult to regulate, highly addictive, and against the state policy of virtually every state in the United States, is an activity which the United States can and I think should help to prohibit.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)  

CARLSON:  Senator John Kyle explains why he and his colleagues on Capitol Hill want to pull the plug on internet gambling.  It‘s a $6 billion industry in the U.S. alone, but legislation just passed by Congress will prohibit gamblers from using credit cards or other electronic money transfers to settle online bets.  President Bush is expected to sign that measure into law. 

It won‘t apply to racetrack or casino gambling.  Still, opponents of the bill say it won‘t stop online gambling either.  They believe it will merely drive the industry underground.  No, what it‘s going to do is protect the gambling industries already in place, and of course, that‘s the point of the bill, to lessen competition.  Competition between Indian casinos, conventional casinos, and you know what?  The state. 

The state, virtually every state operates a lottery which is addictive and bad for people, but the state makes money from it so it‘s not a problem.  Come back to me when you attack state lotteries, then you‘ll have credibility on the issue of gambling.  Until then, don‘t lecture me about how gambling is bad because you‘re benefiting from it Mr. Politician. 

And finally, the latest round in the holy war between the Vatican and the BBC. 

That‘s an excerpt from a British documentary that claims Pope Benedict once played a leading role in the cover-up of child sex abuse by priests.  But the Vatican isn‘t taking the allegation lying down.  One archbishop calls the documentary a deeply prejudiced attack against the pope. 

The report unveils a secret document written in 1962 and enforced by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became pope.  That document supposedly threatens to excommunicate any priest or any victim who breaks the church‘s code of silence.  Vatican leaders say that report is misleading.  The BBC says it stands by its story.

So is there any truth to this report and how bad is it for the Catholic Church if there is? There‘s only one man to ask, Bill Donahue president of the Catholic League, he joins me from New York.  Bill Donahue, welcome.  Is this report accurate?

BILL DONAHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE:  No, it‘s not.  As a matter of fact, I‘m astonished that it‘s back.  CBS was the only media outlet in the United States in 2003 to carry this crazy story.  Everybody else had enough sense to stay away from it.  And now the BBC, which doesn‘t have a very good track record in dealing with Catholics, is out floating the idea that in 1962 the Vatican had this document which basically was a cover-up story for the sexually active priests.

The fact of the matter is, I‘ve read the entire 1962 document.  I‘m very proud of it.  Too bad they don‘t have it in Washington, D.C. today they wouldn‘t have the same problems they‘re having there.  It‘s a set of punitive measures to be taken against any priest who might make a sexual solicitation in the confessional.  In other words, away from the purview of the authorities. 

It called for the priest to be thrown out of the priesthood if he even made a nod of the head that could be regarded as a sexual advance.  So for the BBC to take this and you know quite frankly, I don‘t know what‘s driving this.  Obviously I‘d like to think there‘s something other than anti-Catholicism. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  Before you charge the BBC with anti-Catholicism, there is this.  This is a very specific allegation.  This document incidentally is written in Latin. There are translations but the original document is beyond our ability to read.  But here‘s what the BBC says it says.  “The document imposes an oath of secrecy on the child victim, the priest dealing with the allegation and any witnesses.  Breaking that oath means ex-communication from the Catholic Church.”  They couldn‘t have made that up. 

DONAHUE:  Well here‘s the exact thing what happened.  Ok, believe me, I‘ve read the entire document.  Anybody can read it.  Then contact me about it to see who‘s right and who‘s wrong.  What it said was this, in the priest-penitent privilege which is protected by the law, if, in fact, a priest makes an advance toward a man or a woman, the penitent, if he or she discloses that to someone, like a bishop or a priest, that person has 30 days to report it to higher authorities or that person is actually ex-communicated. 

As a matter of fact, in other words, that the Catholic Church is saying this, we‘re going to take this so seriously that we‘re going to have punitive measures against someone who might have been the victim of a sexual advance. 

CARLSON:  So this document in no way tells the victim not to tell other people about what happened to him? 

DONAHUE:  No, not at all.  It says if that person would have disclosed what happened in the confessional let‘s say to another priest, they will be ex-communicated if they don‘t bring it further to the bishop. 

CARLSON:  The BBC is claiming, furthermore, the quote, “Nowhere in any of these documents does it say anything about helping the victims.”  Is that true? 

DONAHUE:  I don‘t know what they mean by helping the victims. The fact of the matter is the entire 1962 document was designed to get at a problem which civil authorities can‘t get at because it‘s outside their domain.  What they‘re basically saying is we‘re going to go after these priests, this is back in 1962, say if they‘re making a sexual advance in the confessional, you know it‘s going to be lights out for you Father Murphy.  And I think we should commend the Catholics.  I am so proud of the 1962 document.  That‘s why I can‘t believe the spin on the part of the BBC. 

CARLSON:  The broader allegation is that all of this was presided over by the current Pope Benedict Joseph Ratzinger.  Is that true? 

DONAHUE:  No, of course not.  Look, Ratzinger, first of all, he was the moral cop, all right, there‘s no question about that.  And head of the congregation, a doctor of the faith, under J.P. two, John Paul II.  His job was to make sure—to deal with, investigate cases of wild eyed theologians who were dissidents going against the Catholic Church‘s teachings and things like that in the church of one billion all over the world.  He wasn‘t even put in charge of the sexual abuse aspect until 2002 when it hit the papers of “The Boston Globe” and all over the United States. 

Too bad we didn‘t have the Rottweiller as they like to call him in charge from the get go because then we wouldn‘t have had these predatorist priest, been moved around like musical chairs.  I don‘t know why anybody wants to blame him unless there‘s an agenda to get the pope.  I mean first we got the Muslims, now we got BBC.  What the hell‘s next? 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know, but we‘ll cover it on this show I can tell you that.  Thanks a lot Bill.  I appreciate it. 

Former President Bill Clinton puts the moves on a married celebrity.  We‘ll tell you what the woman‘s celebrity husband did when the former president went in for the kill.  That‘s all when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back, you‘re going to be glad you stuck around until the end of our show.  Willie Geist is here now to prove me right.  Willie?

WILLIE GEIST:  I think so Tucker.  I don‘t have to tell you that Bill Clinton, not necessarily known for his subtlety with the ladies Tucker.  The latest evidence of that comes from Ashton Kutcher.  On “The Tonight Show” the other night Kutcher told Jay Leno about a recent meeting he and his wife Demi Moore had with the former president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHTON KUTCHER:  I met Bill Clinton once.

JAY LENO:  Ok.

KUTCHER:  But he didn‘t really talk, he was like hitting on my wife so I was sort of like the guy --  It was weird because I‘m sort of sitting here and Bill‘s like at a point talking about Osama and caves.  And Demi‘s like over here and Bill‘s just like talking straight to her.  And I don‘t think he looked at me the whole time.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST:  Tucker I love that Bill Clinton who was caught in the most public affair in American history, his wife is getting ready to run for president, and he‘s out in public hitting on celebrities.  That guy has no shame.  I love it. 

CARLSON:  Willy, this is just the beginning.  We‘re going to be spending many hours talking about this.  I can‘t wait. 

GEIST:  Oh, we‘ll be waiting.  Well, Tucker, we go from a politician who often acts like a clown to a clown who‘s trying to act like a politician.  Kenneth Kahn is a candidate for mayor in Alameda, California, but he‘s better known in those parts as Kenny the Clown. There he is.  This is Kahn‘s first run at public office and not everyone is happy about it.  His own sister says his candidacy, quote, “Makes a mockery of our system.” 

Candidate Kenneth Kahn joins us now from San Francisco.  Mr. Kahn welcome. 

KENNETH KAHN, PROFESSIONAL CLOWN RUNNING FOR MAYOR:  Welcome.  Thank you Tucker. 

GEIST:  Your own mother says she‘s contemplating voting for you.  She‘s not sure yet.  What does it say about your campaign that she‘s not sure if she‘s going to vote for her own son? 

KAHN:  I think it says that my mom is a very educated, astute woman who wants to make sure that the best candidate goes into office, be that myself or my competitors.  So I think it speaks highly of my mom, actually.  But that‘s a very good question.

CARLSON:  Mr. Khan, she gave birth to you.  Don‘t you think that should give you an advantage over your competitors?

KAHN:  No.  And it‘s funny you should mention that because see I‘m an

you know you see the clown outfit, but I‘m more of an athlete, or I was trained as an athlete, a basketball player.  And so I believe in fair—it‘s a democracy.  It‘s capitalism.  Let‘s have the best candidate win no matter—you know, no matter what the—excuse me. 

GEIST:  Go ahead and get that.

KAHN:  Sorry about that.  So if I‘m not the best candidate I don‘t want the job.  I think this election has to be about the issues. 

GEIST:  Do you think Alameda is ready for a clown mayor? They may not ready for a woman president, but what about a clown mayor? 

KAHN:  Well you know Tucker, that‘s a very good question.  I ask, people said, well, can people—will people take a mayor who‘s a clown seriously? And I asked, well, we have a lawyer in office and we take her—we take that seriously.  So I say why not a clown mayor? 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KAHN:  Honestly. 

CARLSON:  Would you wear the fright wig and the grease paint and the funny nose and the clown shoes? 

KAHN:  You know, only if it was to get a point across that, you know, if we were having the political gridlock in the city and we needed to get someone to speak reason to special interest groups that weren‘t listening to the people, then absolutely. 

CARLSON:  How many—as a clown, how many people do you think you could fit inside a city bus?

KAHN:  Oh there you go. 

CARLSON:  It seems an obvious question. 

KAHN:  Willie are you going to let Tucker keep on jabbing or are you going to help me out on this thing?

GEIST:  I have a more serious political question. Is there any concern that your base, presumably 6 to 9-year-olds, cannot vote?

KAHN:  Oh, ok.  So I guess I‘ve got both of you guys I‘ve got to take on now. 

GEIST:  So tell us why you‘re going to win, honestly, Mr. Kahn.  Why will you win? 

KAHN:  Honestly, I‘m going to win because I‘m listening to what the people have to say, and I‘m taking the message, that is a true democratic message, and I‘m taking that to city hall.  So that‘s why I‘m—yes. 

CARLSON:  Kenneth Kahn, we don‘t normally do this on the program, but I think we‘re just going to go ahead  and endorse you right now for mayor of Alameda, California. 

KAHN:  That‘s big.  You know what Tucker, Willie, I have to tell you, you guys know—coming from you guys that means a lot.  

CARLSON:  Thank you.  Mr. Kahn we‘ll have you back when you win.  Thank you so much.  We‘re out of time, we got to go to “HARDBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS”.  But Mr. Kahn thank you, Willie thank you.  We‘ll see you tomorrow.  Here‘s Chris.

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

END   

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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