updated 10/26/2006 11:02:52 AM ET 2006-10-26T15:02:52

Guests: Patrick McHenry, Claire McCaskill, Ibrahim Hooper, G. Gordon Liddy; Victor Kamber; Franklin Thompson, Jim Suttle

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

We‘ve got a lot to get to today, including Rush Limbaugh versus Michael J.  Fox.  The battle is heating up over the actor‘s campaign ad and Limbaugh‘s charges that Fox faked his Parkinson‘s symptoms.

Also ahead, is Dick Cheney turning into a Hillary Clinton fan?  You might think so when you hear what he said about her recently.

But first, our top story of the day, George W. Bush as cheerleader in chief.  At a news conference earlier today, the president put a happy face on what election watchers are predicting will be an all but certain defeat for the GOP in the midterm elections.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We have got some people dancing in the end zone here in Washington, D.C.  They are measuring their drapes.  They‘re going over to the Capitol and saying, my new office looks beautiful.  I think I‘m going to have this size drape there, this color.  But the American people are going to decide, and they are going to decide this race based upon who best to protect the American people and who best to keep the taxes low. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  So, is the White House in spin mode?  You bet it is.  The real question, is that spin rooted in reality?  Is there hope for the Republican Party? 

Joining me now, Congressman Patrick McHenry of the National Republican Congressional Committee.  He‘s in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Congressman, I appreciate your coming on. 

REP. PATRICK MCHENRY ®, NORTH CAROLINA:  Thanks for having me on, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Watching the president, watching Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, who is genuinely a smart guy, talking about the impending election less than two weeks from today, you really get the feeling they have access to a secret set of polls mere mortals like me don‘t have access to.  Why are they saying they are going to win when every poll shows Democrats are going to win? 

MCHENRY:  Well, because it‘s a case-by-case basis.  If you look at the national polls of the mood of the country in general, it doesn‘t give a clear sign of what‘s going to happen in a case-by-case, district-by-district election. 

If you look at our candidates, we‘re better-funded, better in terms of battle-tested and ready for prime time than the Democrats.  And if you look at these tight, tough races, the top 25 targeted (ph) Republican races, our candidates have on average a $480,000 cash advantage going into the key final weeks.  That cash advantage means a lot in the final two weeks of a campaign. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but do you remember Al Checky (ph)?  He is governor of California.  Oh, wait, no, he‘s not.  He and a lot of very other well-funded candidates like him—Howard Dean in Iowa is another example—had the most money and lost. 

Does the party, the Republican Party, really believe that money is the salient measure of political success? 

MCHENRY:  No, it isn‘t, but if you look at Checky‘s (ph) campaign, he was, if I remember correctly a self-funder.  Self-funders do not entirely do very well.  Of our top 25 races, 19...

CARLSON:  That‘s a good point.

MCHENRY:  ... 19 of the top 25 races, Republicans have a better advantage in terms of cash.  They actually have a cash advantage. 

Two others of the remaining six are self-funders, and they‘re Republicans.

CARLSON:  Right.

MCHENRY:  So if you look at the 21 of 25 candidates, we‘re doing much better.  The total cash advantage we have for our top 25 is just over $12 million.  Now, that‘s pretty significant, Tucker, in the final two weeks of a campaign. 

CARLSON:  So you‘re saying—just to—just to make—I actually think that‘s a pretty smart point.  And I can see that point.

Just to make it clear to our audience, you‘re saying that it‘s a very different story when a guy pays for the campaign itself because that‘s not a reflection of support.  But when you have donors throwing money at a guy, that‘s a reflection of popular support, to some extent. 

Is that what you‘re saying? 

MCHENRY:  Absolutely. 

CARLSON:  OK.

MCHENRY:  But what you‘re saying is also true, that cash is not the end-all be-all. 

Let‘s go into the voter turnout program. 

CARLSON:  OK.

MCHENRY:  We have traditionally outperformed in 2000, 2002 and 2004. 

Republicans have outperformed Democrats in our “get out the vote” effort.  Beyond that, if you look at our cash advantage for the “get out the vote” program run by the RNC, versus the DNC, the DNC, under Howard Dean, will spend $12 million.  He‘s committed that.

CARLSON:  Right.

MCHENRY:  Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the RNC, has committed $60 million.  An over 4-1 advantage in terms of spending on just getting out the Republican vote and the conservative vote.  That has an impact as well. 

CARLSON:  So, do you see—I mean, give me the breakdown.  What do you see happening? 

I mean, you know, obviously you‘re speaking not just as a member of Congress, but on behalf of the Republican Party, and there is probably a limit to the candor you‘re allowed on TV.  But to the extent you can be honest now, tell us what do you think—I mean, give us the numerical breakdown. 

MCHENRY:  Well, look, if you look at Charlie Cook‘s breakdown, he said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he views this as a wave election, that Republicans are going to get thrown out, Democrats thrown in, and it‘s as simple as that.  But he scores races on a case-by-case basis.  And he has 25 tossups for Republicans. 

In essence, what he said on “Meet the Press” is those tossups are really lean Democrats.  However, he doesn‘t score it that way. 

If you look at the 25 tossup races, he essentially said on “Meet the Press” they are all going to be Democrats in those Republican seats. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MCHENRY:  Now, that is not the way he scored it.  So, let‘s be honest about it.  He‘s looking at it emotionally and saying that Democrats, he has a better feeling that they are going to win. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MCHENRY:  Now, let me tell you, elections are not based on feelings.  They are based on cold hard facts.  And let me tell you, beyond that, the facts here, Tucker, are the issues are not (INAUDIBLE) as Republicans.  And I‘ll cede that to you. 

CARLSON:  Yes, that‘s for sure. 

MCHENRY:  Yes, it‘s for sure.  But if you look at a key race—let me give you an example. 

Jeff Davis, he‘s running against a former Democrat member of Congress.  Jeff Davis has a greater than 8-1 cash advantage to his opponent.  That shows a greater amount of support. 

He‘s got a better voter turnout program.  He‘s leading in the polls. 

Why?  Not because it‘s a great environment in Kentucky to be a Republican. 

It isn‘t. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MCHENRY:  But Jeff Davis is making his case to his voters that he should be elected.  Not a generic Republican. 

CARLSON:  Right.  No, no, that‘s—that‘s—I mean, that‘s—I mean,

you‘re absolutely right, you know, that national polls, you know, and

generic polls asking, do you favor Republicans over Democrats or vice versa

aren‘t predictive in the way that, you know, case-by-case surveys are.  But

I still have to say—and unfortunately we‘re out of time—this is the

most interesting conversation I have had all day, though—if you are

right, you and the eight people in America who agree with you will be

celebrated as geniuses.  You‘re basically—you‘re Nostradamus if you‘re -

if you‘re right on this one. 

MCHENRY:  Well, I‘ll tell you, Tucker, we‘re working in a narrow range. 

Republicans will lose a few seats this year.  That‘s for certain. 

CARLSON:  OK.  All right.

MCHENRY:  I will cede that to you. 

CARLSON:  But if they hold the House...

MCHENRY:  But it‘s not going to be a wave. 

CARLSON:  ... hey, I will invite you back on and apologize to you for not taking you more seriously. 

Congressman, I appreciate your coming on. 

Thank you.

MCHENRY:  Hey, thanks, Tucker.

Thanks for having me on. 

CARLSON:  Well, our second big political story of the day pits a Hollywood star against the undisputed king of talk radio.  Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson‘s Disease, taped a campaign ad supporting candidates who favor stem cell research. 

Well, that set off Rush Limbaugh, who said, “This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox.  Either he didn‘t take his medication or he‘s acting.”

Here is Michael J. Fox‘s ad.  You can judge for yourself. 

Watch. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL J. FOX, ACTOR:  As you might know, I care deeply about stem cell research.  In Missouri, you can elect Claire McCaskill, who shares my hope for cures. 

Unfortunately, Senator Jim Talent opposes expanding stem cell research.  Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope. 

They say all politics is local, but it‘s not always the case.  What you do in Missouri matters to millions of Americans.  Americans like me. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Rush Limbaugh later apologized, but that has not satisfied his critics. 

Joining me now from St. Louis, one of the candidates running the ad you just saw.  She is Democrat Claire McCaskill, she is running for the Senate from Missouri. 

Claire McCaskill, thanks a lot for coming on.  I appreciate it.

CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MISSOURI DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE:  You bet, Tucker. 

Great to be with you. 

CARLSON:  I think what Rush Limbaugh said is repulsive, obviously.  I think most decent people on hearing that, you know, recoil.  It‘s an awful thing to say, and I hope he keeps apologizing for it. 

On the other hand, this ad really bothers me.  I think it is a form of moral blackmail.  No matter where you stand on stem cell research, I look at this ad and I say, I can‘t disagree with Michael J. Fox because his illness is so sad it pulls on me emotionally so much, it feels immoral to me to disagree with him.  And I think it‘s unfair of you to run this ad for that reason. 

MCCASKILL:  Well, you know, I respect your opinion.  And I respect people‘s opinion that disagree with me about the importance of this research. 

Michael J. Fox approached our campaign, asked if he could help after I gave the national address for the Democratic Party on stem cell research.  He has shown incredible courage and commitment.  This is the way he wants to try to make a difference.  And in America, I think we admire that kind of courage and commitment. 

I certainly respect your opinion, and I understand that there are risks to running this ad.  But, you know, after all, Tucker, at the end of the day, this should be about what we believe in, and it shouldn‘t be about being poll tested and it shouldn‘t be us versus them, Ds versus R, red versus blue.  This should be about fighting for the things you believe in. 

CARLSON:  Wait, I‘m sorry, with all due respect, you‘re running in a partisan political campaign attempting to beat the Republican incumbent.  I mean, this is all about Ds versus Rs.  You know, in some sense, the issue itself is larger than that, but you‘re using it for strictly partisan ends. 

And that‘s your right, of course.  I‘m merely saying this is not a conversation about Michael J. Fox, his celebrity, or his disease.  It‘s a question about stem cell research and whether that‘s moral or immoral. 

And this ad doesn‘t let that conversation take place.  It‘s a conversation ender, not a conversation starter. 

MCCASKILL:  Oh, I disagree.  I think the whole country is talking about this ad.  I think it has been a conversation beginner.  And I think this is about what you believe in and what you‘re fighting for. 

This is about a—you know, some of the people that are really fighting for this in Missouri are Senator Jack Danforth and Governor Matt Blunt and Nancy Reagan.  This isn‘t about Democrats and Republicans. 

And I think it‘s important that Missourians know where their senators stand on this important issue.  It‘s relevant to our service in Washington, it‘s certainly relevant to Missourians in November.  And I think this ad has started a lot of conversations about this topic, and I think it‘s healthy. 

CARLSON:  Well, you know it‘s useful to your campaign.  I think Democrats - - I believe Democrats have the advantage on this issue.  I believe that because I have seen the poll numbers, as I know you have. 

But I want to read you something you have heard before.  This is Jim Talent, your opponent‘s response to your ad. 

He says your attacks are false.  Of course he‘s going to say that.  Then he says this: Senator Talent supports medical research involving stem cell research that does not involve cloning or destroying a human embryo.  And as far as I know, that‘s true. 

It‘s not that Talent is against Michael J. Fox or curing people with this horrible disease, Parkinson‘s.  It‘s not that he is against stem cell research.  He is against a specific kind of stem cell research that involves cloning and the destruction of embryos. 

Will you concede that?

MCCASKILL:  Well, I will concede this, that he co-sponsored legislation to criminalize SCNT, a form of research that provides the best hope, according to most scientists, for these cures.  I will also say that he is opposed to Amendment Two that we are considering here in Missouri that will strictly prohibit human cloning, that will make sure that women are not ever allowed to commercially market their eggs, that will provide the kind of ethical and legal framework to make sure that this important research moves forward on a sound moral footing that we all want. 

None of us want human cloning.  All of us want to make sure that never happens. 

CARLSON:  Boy, you don‘t get the sense from this Michael J. Fox ad that human cloning has any role in this debate.  And as you know, it‘s literally central to the debate. 

This is not a debate about whether Michael J. Fox ought to be cured or Parkinson‘s ought to be defeated.  There‘s, I think, unanimous consent on those questions, wouldn‘t you say? 

MCCASKILL:  I think everyone wants cures.  I think that Michael J. Fox, this was his decision what he was going to say in the ad.  I think he was speaking from his heart.  I think he understands what‘s at stake here in terms of the research and the expansion of this research as to how quickly we can get to the point in America that we can participate in these therapies. 

This research will go forward.  God gave us a tremendous gift of intelligence to be able to find cures.  And we‘re supposed to heal the sick. 

And I think if we will all come together and realize none of us want to allow human cloning, none of us want to tread on the slippery slope, the ethical quandary that many are concerned about...

CARLSON:  Yes.

MCCASKILL:  And certainly, Tucker, I respect people‘s opinion that disagree on this.  And believe me, there are many Missourians that will not vote for me because I ran this ad.  This was not a poll-driven decision. 

CARLSON:  OK. 

Claire McCaskill, I appreciate your coming on.  Thank you very much. 

MCCASKILL:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Still to come, the latest on another controversial campaign ad.  Is the attack on Tennessee‘s Harold Ford a racist attack or is it just dumb? 

And Dick Cheney handicaps the Democrats‘ front-runners.  You won‘t believe who he thinks could be our next president. 

That story and many, many  more when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

It looks like the Democrats‘ midterm election momentum may have reached the Muslim community.  A poll of Muslim voters by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found 42 percent were Democrats, 17 percent Republicans.  Twenty-eight percent, meanwhile, had no party affiliation.

So what is the appeal of the Democratic Party for American-Muslims? 

Joining me now from Washington to answer that question, Ibrahim Hooper.  He‘s director of communications for CAIR.  That would be the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Ibrahim Hooper, thanks for joining us. 

IBRAHIM HOOPER, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS:  Thanks for having me. 

CARLSON:  I‘m a little confused by these numbers, considering, as far as I understand it, most American-Muslims are strikingly conservative on a lot of social issues.  They are not enthusiastically for abortion.  They are definitely not for gay marriage. 

Why would they be backing the Democrats? 

HOOPER:  Well, it‘s not necessarily backing the Democrats.  I think you saw in 2000 that Muslim—the Muslim community generally backed Bush at that time. 

Muslims tend to be issue-driven.  If a candidate supports the issues they are concerned about, if—they will back them. 

We see Iraq being a problem.  A vast majority of American-Muslims are against our policy in Iraq.  A vast majority of American-Muslims want engagement with Iran, some kind of negotiated solution to the Iran situation. 

So when you look at the issues that are currently being focused on, that‘s what Muslims are going for.  Back in 2000, it was secret evidence and other things.  The candidate, Bush, at that time was against secret evidence, surprisingly enough. 

CARLSON:  Would you say—back to something you said that I wasn‘t aware of, you said the vast majority of American-Muslims would like to see a negotiated solution, I guess, to the (INAUDIBLE) in progress with Iran. 

HOOPER:  Iran, yes.

CARLSON:  With Iran.  Would you say that most American-Muslims are horrified by the thought that Iran might possess nuclear weapons or not? 

HOOPER:  No, I think they are horrified by the results of our invasion of Iraq, and they don‘t want to see a repeat performance in Iran. 

CARLSON:  But how do they feel—wait, hold on.

HOOPER:  That‘s probably in line with the majority of Americans of all faiths. 

CARLSON:  Maybe.  But to the very specific question, the question that could be causing another invasion, in this case of Iran, the idea that Iran may get nuclear weapons, you know, that‘s considered by most Americans to be really kind of unthinkable.  Do you think most American-Muslims think it‘s unthinkable, shocking, wrong, horrible, scary? 

HOOPER:  We didn‘t ask that question.  All we asked was about...

CARLSON:  Right.

HOOPER:  ... whether we should have engagement with him.  Perhaps in another poll we can ask that question. 

CARLSON:  Do you think it‘s true that—you know, polls have shown worldwide the overwhelming majority of Muslims asked in other countries believe the invasion of Iraq was intentionally anti-Muslim, the U.S.  government did this because it has a problem with Muslims and wants to punish Muslims.

HOOPER:  Well, you can maybe extrapolate from the question we did ask was, “Are you afraid that the war on terror is becoming a war on Islam?”  And a majority of American-Muslims said they are afraid that is the case. 

CARLSON:  That the U.S. government is targeting the religion of Islam? 

HOOPER:  No, they said, “Are you afraid that that is what‘s happening?” 

And many people said, yes, they are afraid that‘s what‘s happening. 

CARLSON:  I‘m just wondering what that—I mean, does that mean, this is becoming a war on Islam?  That the U.S. government, which is the only... 

(CROSSTALK)

HOOPER:  Well, for instance, look at what has happened in the last couple of days.  In the last couple of days, we have had respected Muslim leaders who wanted to come to this country to engage in religious activities barred from entry.  Two South African religious leaders from the Muslim community in South Africa barred from the country, treated disrespectfully, and put on a plane out of the country. 

CARLSON:  Is there a recognition—OK, I think the average person in this country—in fact, I‘m certain of it—if asked this question, “Are Muslims more likely to commit acts of terror than members of other faiths?” would answer yes.  Do you think that the average American-Muslim would answer yes to that question? 

And what do you think?

HOOPER:  No.  Obviously, Muslims don‘t believe that Islam is inherently violent. 

CARLSON:  No, I‘m not saying that.  That‘s—hold on.  Slow down.  I‘m not suggesting now, nor do I think or have I ever suggested it. 

Islam is not inherently violent.  I‘m not saying it is.  I‘m saying...

HOOPER:  Is there a growing anti-Muslim bias in this country?  Yes, unfortunately.

CARLSON:  No, that‘s not the—I‘m asking—I‘m asking a question about reality.  Do you think a person—a Muslim is more likely to commit an act of terror than a non-Muslim?  That‘s the question.  And you were answering no, you don‘t think that? 

HOOPER:  I don‘t believe that is the case. 

CARLSON:  All right.

Ibrahim Hooper, I appreciate your coming on.  Thank you. 

HOOPER:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Coming up, the good news, police have recovered nuclear secrets stolen from Los Alamos years ago.  The bad news, they were found during a drug bust in a trailer park.  It‘s an amazing story and we‘ve got details ahead. 

And Rosie O‘Donnell is back where she belongs, on “Beat the Press”.  Find out what got her there when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time now for “Beat the Press”.

First up, “The Early Show” on CBS and the latest on a trend that despite the hype is, in fact, not sweeping America. 

Watch. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Almost all parents used to think that if their children had problems, they would grow out of them eventually.  Now they are far more likely to go to therapy.  And that‘s even true for the littlest children.  More and more therapists say they are treating babies for anxiety, depression and other troubles. 

(voice over):  Once upon a time, people didn‘t think there was a lot going on inside an infant‘s head. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  OK.  Let‘s break this down very quickly. 

The claim, “More and more therapieses say people are treating babies for depression and anxiety.”  Here‘s my question to you watching at home.  Do you know a single person who has sent his baby to a therapist to be treated for anxiety?  No.  You don‘t know one person.  Moreover, you‘re never going to meet anybody, unless you live in a very precise place, say the upper west side of Manhattan or Cambridge, Massachusetts, or Berkeley, California. 

But outside of those places, nobody in America is demented enough to do this.  More and more therapists.  How many therapists, precisely?  And is that an increase from last year? 

It‘s all made up.  Ad if you don‘t work in TV, you may not know this, but almost all trend stories are totally false, including this one, thank god. 

Next up, reliable Rosie O‘Donnell of “The View”.  Sure, most women have their daily routines.  They do things before they leave the house every day.  They get dressed, they do their hair, maybe throw on some makeup.  But for Rosie O‘Donnell, it‘s a little more complicated than that. 

Take a look. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE VIEW”)

ROSIE O‘DONNELL, CO-HOST, “THE VIEW”:  When you get to a certain age and gravity takes over, they kind of go inward a little bit and down.  You know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Exactly.

O‘DONNELL:  So I‘m always finding myself pushing it up and placing the nips before I go out, you know? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Obviously, like south sea, you know, primitive tribesmen say a daily thanks to the rain god, we say daily thanks to Rosie O‘Donnell for making this segment possible.  Day after day she provides material.  And I don‘t mean to seem ungrateful in any way.

But here‘s my one concern.  Rosie O‘Donnell in a very short period of time is going to run out of things to reveal about herself.  She already told us about her kids‘ genitals, and now her nipples and other things that embarrass me even to repeat on the air. 

What can she reveal next?  Every day we wait slack-jawed to find out. 

Rosie O‘Donnell on “The View”.

Well, still to come, they say politics make strange bedfellows, but this is truer than we ever thought we would see.  Why Dick Cheney is in fact singing the praises of Hillary Clinton. 

And what may be the most controversial ad of this campaign season.  Did Michael J. Fox cross the line when he used his own illness as an argument for stem cell research?

That story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, the city is not simply banning smoking, it‘s urging you to call 911 if you even see a smoker.  Even see one.  That amazing story is just ahead.  And why Madonna is doing the right thing, for once, anyway.  We‘ll get to all that in just a minute.  But right now, here is a look at your headlines. 

REBECCA JARVIS:  I‘m Rebecca Jarvis with your CNBC market wrap.  The Dow charging ahead more than six points in a late-day rally for another record close of 12,134.  The S&P 500 gaining almost five and the NASDAQ up about 12 points.  As expected, the Federal Reserve leaves its key rate unchanged at 5.25 percent.  Oil surging $2.00 to $61.35 a barrel in New York trading.  The latest inventory report showing supplies are down.  General Motors cutting its losses to $115 million in the third quarter compared to $1.5 billion a year ago.  GM shares falling more than 4 percent on the day, investors still worried about GM‘s turnaround plan.  And existing home sales down for the sixth month in a row in September.  Average medium prices also declining by 2.5 percent, the steepest year over year drop in four decades.  Now back to Tucker. 

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 topics.   Joining us from Washington, D.C., the author of “Fight Back, Tackling Terrorism Liddy Style,” G. Gordon Liddy.  He‘s the host of “The G.  Gordon Liddy Show,” one of the best things on radio.  Also in Washington Democratic Strategist Victor Kamber.  Welcome to you both.

Earlier I spoke to Claire McCaskill, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri about the fallout from an ad supporting stem cell research.  Actor Michael J. Fox who suffers from Parkinson‘s and supports the research, shakes pretty severely in the ad.  Rush Limbaugh accused Fox of exaggerating his symptoms for the camera.   Meanwhile, opponents of stem cell research including some prominent athletes and celebrities appear in their own counter-commercial during tonight‘s World Series.  Here is what bothers me Vick Kamber, I must say I was impressed by Claire McCaskill, I thought she was thoughtful and she allowed that her opponents on this topic aren‘t bad people, that decent people can disagree on stem cell research and good for her.  I don‘t think though this ad leaves room for that, I think this ad—the implication of it implies that if you‘re against a certain kind of stem cell research that she supports, somehow you‘re for Michael J. Fox having this terrible disease and I think it‘s a terrible thing to imply.  

VICTOR KAMBER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well that‘s your interpretation. What I saw was a man with a disease, with a disability, sharing his disability with the American public and asking for support for a person and for an issue he cared about very much.  I—I have of course found Rush Limbaugh disgusting and offensive.  He‘s probably off his medication and needs some.  But in terms of Michael J. Fox, he is doing what—you know, what I think is the right thing to do.  It‘s tough for all Americans to watch people with handicap and disabilities.  We‘re uncomfortable by it.  So we don‘t like to see that.  But he was terrific. 

CARLSON:  Ok.  Look, there is no doubt we don‘t like it.  There is no doubt it‘s real.  There is no doubt everybody feels so sorry for Michael J.  Fox, he seems like a decent guy.  But the point is, supporting stem cell research does not mean Michael J. Fox is going to be cured of his tremors. 

KAMBER:  He didn‘t say that. 

CARLSON:  But that‘s the implication.

KAMBER:  That‘s your implication.  What he said was you can‘t be against—

CARLSON:  What is the other implication? Why have Michael J. Fox displaying in the most heart-rending possible way symptoms of his disease except to imply I could be better but Jim Talent prevents me from being better? 

KAMBER:  Well he didn‘t say that Tucker, that‘s your interpretation.  He said people who support stem cell are the people that I want to see get elected because it is the future, it is people like me that might be helped.  And that is really the bottom line.  

CARLSON:  Gordon Liddy, what do you make of this? 

G. GORDON LIDDY, AUTHOR, “FIGHT BACK”:  I think Mr. Fox is being disingenuous.  Now surely someone who is as afflicted by Parkinson‘s disease as is he is completely up to speed on this business of stem cell research and knows that there is a huge division in this country.  An awful lot of people believe that embryonic stem cell research is morally repugnant.  What it is the functional equivalent of is creating human beings for their body parts, and that is morally wrong.  He does not distinguish between that and the stem cells that can be harvested from cord blood, for example, or adult stem cell research, nor is there any mention of the fact that something that just came out this week, and that is when embryonic stem cells were put into the brains of people with Parkinson‘s, they caused brain tumors.  So he‘s more likely to be harmed by that on the evidence to date than he is to be helped.  

KAMBER:  This is a 30-second ad. You‘re asking for all sorts of things to happen.  He is suggesting to the American public, to Missourians or Marylanders that stem cell is something we need to continue to do to research, and those who are against the research shouldn‘t be elected to office.  And I agree with them. 

CARLSON:  Ok, I think that‘s a totally—I mean whether I agree or disagree is a separate question.  The statement you just made I think is totally fair and within bounds.  I personally watching Michael J. Fox felt emotional overload.  I couldn‘t think clearly, I felt so sorry for him.  I wasn‘t prepared to have a conversation about stem cell research.  I just felt like, oh, you know, anything to help Michael J. Fox and I don‘t think that‘s the way --  

KAMBER:  Good for you. 

CARLSON:  Any way, controversy meanwhile raged in the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee.  The NAACP claims a GOP ad that targets Democrat Harold Ford who is black contains so-called racist sexual innuendo.  Whatever that is.  In the ad, a blond white woman brags that she met Ford at a playboy party and tells him to call her.  Ford is currently running neck and neck with his Republican challenger Bob Corker.  I actually like Harold Ford quite a bit.  I think he‘s a really good guy.  He is hardly the most liberal Democrat in the world and I don‘t care who he dates.  I don‘t think the Republicans ought to be running ads attacking the guy for his dating life one way or the other, going to playboy parties, one way or the other, I don‘t care.  But there is nothing racist about this ad.  It‘s just the same story you hear every election.  Republicans are racist.  Rather than actually attack Republican ideas, they call them racist, every single time. 

KAMBER:  Two things you just said.  There is no evidence he dated this woman and no evidence that he goes to playboy parties on a regular basis.  He went to a party sponsored by playboy at the super bowl, number one.  

CARLSON:  I agree. Look, I‘m defending him. 

KAMBER:  Number two, the only reason to show this picture is to plant that seed in people, especially people who have a tendency to believe a black man and a white woman shouldn‘t be together.  Listen, this isn‘t an ad just being bashed by the NAACP, Bob Corker thought it was a distasteful ad and he‘s his opponent, and they still run the ad.  

CARLSON:  But I guess I disagree with Bob Corker.  I actually don‘t like the ad because again it gets to the guy‘s personal life which I don‘t think is relevant in this case.  

KAMBER:  There was no personal life here, what personal life? 

CARLSON:  Whatever, I‘m saying the guy went to a playboy party.  I went to a playboy party, I don‘t think it means anything.  But what do you think Gordon Liddy, as a pro sex conservative, what‘s your take on this?

LIDDY:  I think it‘s racist to imply that it‘s ok to show him talking about dating a black woman, but it is not ok to show him talking about dating a white woman.  That‘s racist. 

CARLSON:  I totally agree.  In other words, just to flesh out what you‘re saying, if this spot had shown a black model—no one in this ad is real, by the way, these are all actors of course.  But a black actress saying, call me Harold that would not be attacked as racist but because it is a white woman it is somehow racist.  

KAMBER:  What are you all talking about? There was no dating here.  You‘re making something out of nothing. This is a hate ad trying to plant a seed with Tennessee voters that he is fooling around with white women and a black man shouldn‘t do it.  That‘s as racist as you can be.

CARLSON:  It‘s not suggesting a black man shouldn‘t do it.  What the hell are you talking about?  It doesn‘t say that.  It doesn‘t suggest that.  It‘s suggesting that this guy who claims to be some sort of upright Christian somehow is—

KAMBER:  Not claims to be.  He is an upright Christian man.  

CARLSON:  I‘m not saying he‘s not, you‘re missing it.  I‘m not attacking the guy‘s private life at all.  I‘m just saying Democrats always want to inject race into every conversation and make every election a referendum on whether the Republican is a racist, and it‘s a scheme that has worked I think pretty well, but they ought to knock it off because it‘s wrong.  And this is another example of it, in my view.  

KAMBER:  Hopefully it will work again, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Vice President Dick Cheney had some surprising things to say about Senator Hillary Clinton recently.   In an interview with conservative talk show host Sean Hannity, Cheney calls the former first lady, quote, a formidable candidate and says that she could be the next president.  He also describes Senator Barack Obama as an attractive guy but warns that Obama might be viewed by voters as too inexperienced to be elected.  Gordon Liddy, I don‘t know if I agree with this or not.  Cheney knows a lot about politics. I think Obama is probably more electable than Hillary.  What do you think?

LIDDY:  Well, in terms of the nomination for the Democratic Party, I think if Hillary wants it, she can have it, for the asking.  She is a formidable candidate.  She has got massive funds behind her, great name recognition, and so on.  Whether or not she can win the general election is doubtful because she is an extremely polarizing figure.  We still remember Hillary care, the socialized medicine.  Now, with respect to Senator Obama, I think the man has tremendous potential, but I don‘t think that there is much probability at all of someone with only two years in the Senate—he was a very bright guy.  He was the president of the Harvard Law Review, and you don‘t get to be that unless you‘re pretty sharp. But two years of experience and his age, taking over as commander in chief of the armed forces, I don‘t see the American people entrusting that to him at this stage.  

CARLSON:  So Vick Kamber, when Dick Cheney starts giving Democrats political advice, how closely do you listen?

KAMBER:  Well sometimes even the vice president says something that‘s truthful and something that should be listened to.  I think he was just being very candid.  I don‘t know why anyone is surprised that they believe Hillary Clinton could be elected president or that she is a formidable candidate.  She is, she‘s all of that.  And while Gordon is absolutely correct that there are—she is polarizing, there are people that love her and we know there are people that dislike her, she leads in the polls basically, she has a big following.  I frankly think she would be a phenomenal president.  Barack Obama I think is extremely talented, too.  And I also don‘t disagree with Gordon Liddy on his assessment there or the vice president‘s. We don‘t know him yet, we don‘t know enough about him.  What we do know he is bright. 

CARLSON:  But isn‘t that kind of the appeal?  I mean Hillary, don‘t you think in the end that‘s an asset? The electorate has shown it‘s willing to elect someone who has no foreign policy experience, George W. Bush, re-elected in a time of war in 2004.  I mean clearly, I don‘t think that‘s a stumbling block.  The fact that Hillary Clinton has been sort of at the forefront of the public conversation for 14 years, don‘t you think that hurts her? 

KAMBER:  I think you have Hillary Clinton surrounded by an extremely group of talented people.  One of the things that is her strength is she is not afraid of talent.  She likes talent and she surrounds herself.  She has an enormous campaign chest.  She started the process if she wants to run.  She has made no decision.  Barack Obama is a fresh face, a new face and the press loves that, people love it and he‘s exciting.  Let‘s not get around it, this guy is exciting.  Whether he can stand, is he a flavor of the month or is he real for the long haul, that‘s to be seen.  And you‘re disregarding the Joe Biden‘s, the John Kerry‘s, the Al Gore‘s, Tom (INAUDIBLE), Russ Feingold‘s, all the others, the Evan Bayh‘s that are standing in lines also. 

CARLSON:  Right.  The guys who actually have earned it, no chance. 

Vick Kamber, G. Gordon Liddy, thank you both very much.  I appreciate it.  

LIDDY:  Our pleasure. 

CARLSON:  The anti-smoking crusade reaches ridiculous new lows.  Catch a fellow citizen in the act of lighting up, call 911.  It sounds unbelievable.  Believe it.  It‘s happening.  Plus it‘s 10:00 p.m., do you know where your nuclear secrets are?  Classified documents from Los Alamos turn up in a trailer during a drug raid.  We‘ll tell you how they wound up there when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Senator Rick Santorum comes under fire for a campaign ad that shows his opponent next to a mushroom cloud. The message, if you vote for the other guy, we‘re all going to die.  Plus, Tom and Katie set a wedding date, we‘ll have that and more when we come back in just 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  In Omaha, where there is smoke, there is ire. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The vast majority of this is going to be handled by the business owner.  If somebody breaks the law by smoking in their business, they will just ask them to put out the cigarette. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Anti-smoking activist Mark Welch applauds his city‘s effort to blow of second hand smoke.  That‘s because the only thing tougher than Omaha‘s new anti-cigarette ordinance is its enforcement policy.  Civic leaders banned smoking in most bars and restaurants earlier this month, and they really mean it.  They are actually encouraging citizens to dial 911 to report violators who could face fines of up to $500.  The town‘s emergency director is a bit worried, though, that the complaint calls will tie up the 9/11 system, preventing more urgent calls from getting through.  Joining us now, Omaha City Councilman Franklin Thompson and Jim Suttle, they sponsored the bill.  They join us now from Omaha.  Thank you both for coming on.  

Thank you, Mr. Tucker.  

CARLSON:  I wonder, calling 911.  That does seem a little Saudi Arabian.  Why not just shoot to kill, wouldn‘t that be quicker Mr. Shuttle? 

FRANKLIN THOMPSON, OMAHA, NE CITY COUNCILMAN:  Ouch, you go for the throat, don‘t you?

JIM SUTTLE, OMAHA, NE CITY COUNCILMAN:  Well let‘s put this in proper perspective.  911 is a very well-designed system that can handle hundreds and hundreds of calls. We felt that was the best place to centralize this so that it gets in the proper sequence.  Once a call goes into 911, these smoking calls go to the third level.  If at the same time a call came in for an injury accident or for a burglary or anything else, those are priority one and they get the attention. To date—

CARLSON:  Yes, I beg your pardon -- 

SUTTLE:  To date, since this has been in effect, October 2, 911 has had approximately 11 calls.  The police department directly has had 10 calls on their separate line.  I have had one call in my office.  My colleague, Mr. Thompson, has had—

THOMPSON:  Zero. 

SUTTLE:  We knew and we were counting on the fact that the good citizens of Omaha were very much in favor of this particular ordinance.  As good Americans, good citizens, they would follow the rules and follow the laws and I think that is being proven with what we have seen to date.  

CARLSON:  But aren‘t you Mr. Thompson, aren‘t you A, encouraging your citizens to tattle on one another, little Orwellian, it seems to me, and B, implying that cigarette smoking is up there with violent crime.  There is a lot of violent crime in Omaha.  I think last year you had something like more than 2,000 violent crimes, any way, take place in your city.  Are you suggesting that cigarette smoking is kind of on par with those crimes?

THOMPSON:  No, it‘s not.  Actually, a little history on this.  The ordinance is in two phases.  Phase one was the legislation and the legislation does not actually have the 911 stipulation in there.  That was added in as the administration decided what to do.  So once it left our umbrella, it was given to someone else and then they decided to add that in.  Now at first I did not like that, I agree with you, I did not like it.  But since then, I have seen it work out right, it‘s done well, and so now I endorse it because pretty much the managers of the institutions and the establishments are really doing the bulk of the job and I‘m saying 99 percent of the job is being handled by the management. 

SUTTLE:  Tucker, I think one more thing that‘s important is the fact that 911 is set up to handle hundreds and hundreds of calls simultaneously, whereas any of the other systems that we might have used, an 800 number or 311 or whatever, these are not tried and true and set up to handle the same way. 

CARLSON:  But why, I guess Mr. Suttle my—ok, I understand that. 

SUTTLE:  We‘re more concerned about the first five days, the first six days, the first seven days.  

CARLSON:  Why do you care?  Why is it such a huge deal? I understand you‘re banning smoking. That‘s great.  I personally think bars ought to be allowed to have smoking if they want to.  It‘s not your bar, it‘s theirs, it‘s really not your business as far as I‘m concerned, but I understand your point.  But why is, you are acting as if rape is being committed or someone is opening fire.  

SUTTLE:  No, it‘s not.  It‘s not.  

CARLSON:  Why is this of all the problems your city as every city has, why does this one demand a police response?  Do you see what I‘m saying?  It seems very disproportionate I guess that‘s the point.  

THOMPSON:  You asked a legitimate question.  I think the difference here is that Omaha has a great 911 system.  Our system is probably better than most of the systems around the United States, so we can handle larger volumes of calls than most systems. 

SUTTLE:  But there is one other thing here that is very, very important in the story and to your question. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  

SUTTLE:  This city, this council, and the previous council, we had three years of debate and tried different techniques and ordinances and so forth, because everyone was treating it as a medical problem with a medical solution.  With what Franklin and I tried to do behind the scenes, combined our forces and got our other colleagues to join, since all of us are very pro-business, we solved this problem because we looked at it as a political problem needing a political solution and we had it solved and we kept it together hour by hour for some eight weeks and it passed.  And we had the proponents and opponents standing at the microphone and the four of us supporting the same legislation.  But the proponents did want toughness in this.  They didn‘t want a smoke screen, they didn‘t want some feel-good piece of exercise.  That‘s why we demonstrated that—

CARLSON:  They didn‘t get a feel-good solution, obviously.  I appreciate both of you coming on and explaining it.  Mr. Thompson, Mr.  Suttle, thank you. 

THOMPSON:  Well thank you for having us and  thank you for your interest in Omaha. 

SUTTLE:  Thank you very much. 

THOMPSON:  MSNBC.  

CARLSON:  I like Omaha.  What do you do when the world is mad at you for adopting an African baby? You go on “Oprah” of course.  Madonna defends the adoption heard around the world, when we come right back.

Before we go to break though, it is tonight‘s installment of “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”  We begin with some good news for the parents of actress Katie Holmes.  Boyfriend Tom Cruise will finally make an honest woman of her on November 18 in Italy.  The exact location, of course, remains top secret.  Cruise proposed to Holmes two summers ago and last April the couple gave birth to a daughter, famously.  Next, bad drugs uncover a case of bad security at Los Alamos national lab.  Secret documents from that lab have turned up in the computer files of a suspected methamphetamine dealer.  Cops stumbled upon the classified material when they raided his mobile home in New Mexico.  Federal agents believe the documents were passed on to the suspect by a female acquaintance who works as a contract employee for the lab.  Oops.

Finally, Pennsylvania‘s heated Senate race takes an ugly twist.  Incumbent Rick Santorum recently unveiled this TV ad showing his Democratic challenger next to a nuclear mushroom cloud, implying, of course, that a vote for Bob Casey is a vote for death by radiation sickness.  The spot needless to say is reminiscent of the famous daisy ad which many credit with helping President Johnson defeat Barry Goldwater back in 1964.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Back by popular demand, from MSNBC world headquarters ladies and gentlemen, Willie Geist.  

WILLIE GEIST:  Hello Tucker.  I want to start you out with a story, I think it‘s funny, but maybe it‘s not.  So I‘m just going to tell you the story and you tell me.  There is a 600 pound man who unfortunately died in Salt Lake City.  He was taken to the funeral home and he was cremated which were his wishes.  Six hundred pounds, certain fat and fluids melted off and started a grease fire at the crematorium.  That was in Salt Lake City and the fire department had to come in and put the fire out.  Funny or sad?  

CARLSON:  Your question is, is that a laugh riot or is it kind of icky? 

GEIST:  Well I don‘t want to laugh and seem inappropriate. But if you laughed, I would laugh. 

CARLSON:  I‘m laughing out of nervousness Willie. 

GEIST:  Ok, maybe I won‘t then.  I will just smile nervously.  Madonna taking some serious heat for that fast track adoption of a baby from Malawi.  Human rights groups and the international press have accused Madonna of using her money and power to get around the adoption rules.  The baby‘s father even said he was confused about the process.  Well today Madonna defended herself to Oprah.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADONNA:  It doesn‘t matter who you are or how much money you have, nothing goes fast in Africa.  I did think his first reaction is the true reaction, and that is thank you for giving my son a life.  Had he kept his son with him in the village, he would have buried him.  

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST:  Tucker, I know you‘re down with Madonna on this and I tend to agree with you, she‘s doing a good thing.  Can I just point out one TV thing?  Madonna was on satellite.  Oprah doesn‘t do guests on satellite.  You come to Oprah, unless, apparently, you‘re Madonna.  Is that a concession by Oprah that Madonna is more rich, famous and powerful? 

CARLSON:  Here‘s the macro question.  Isn‘t she from Detroit? Where the hell did she get that accent? 

GEIST:  I know, it‘s so irritating.

CARLSON:  It is so phony.  But I am on her side.

GEIST:  And you know who is creeping that way with the English accent, and I love her, Gwyneth Paltrow. Be careful with that English accent, you‘re from Manhattan.  Well finally Tucker, a transgender person who was formerly a man and who was recently refused the right to use the women‘s room at New York‘s Grand Central Station has scored a victory over the metropolitan transportation authority.  In an agreement reached with the MTA, the transgender people will now be allowed to use any restroom, men‘s or women‘s, operated by that agency.  Helena Stone, seen here, formerly Henry McGinnis, also won $2,000 to cover his or her legal fees.  But here‘s perhaps the worst part Tucker, MTA employees now have to undergo, you guessed it, transgender sensitivity training.  Tucker, wouldn‘t you just love to sit in on one of those classes? 

CARLSON:  That dude is one ugly chick, I have to say.  But if I pick up a purse, that means I can go into the ladies room? 

GEIST:  Can I just say looking at this picture, the transgender process from my experience isn‘t going that well, do you know what I mean.  If you‘re going to become a woman, couldn‘t you become a little bit more of a handsome woman than that? 

CARLSON:  We can send a man to the moon but we can‘t make Henry McGinnis a good looking woman.

GEIST:  We‘ll keep working on it for you Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks Willie.  That‘s our show for today, thanks for watching, up next “HARDBALL WITH CHRIS.”  See you tomorrow.

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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