updated 10/30/2006 11:19:32 AM ET 2006-10-30T16:19:32

Guests: Ed Gillespie, Mike DeWine, A.B. Stoddard, Pat Campbell, Alex Bennett, Alex Kuczynski

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

We‘ve got a lot to get to today, including the latest in our series of the most over-the-top campaign ads in this election season.  Today‘s assortment is genuinely amazing, so stay tuned. 

But first, our top political story of the day, the Virginia Senate race.

The latest polls put George Allen in the lead at 49 percent to Democrat Jim Webb‘s 46 percent.  But the numbers alone don‘t begin to tell the story of that race.  The highlights or lowlights of the campaign so far have included Allen‘s now famous “Macaca” remark, questions about his Jewish background, and his alleged use of racial slurs, not to mention charges that his opponent, Jim Webb, demeaned women with an article he wrote back in 1979. 

With all that you couldn‘t think it could get nastier, and yet it has become nastier.  Now the Allen campaign has unearthed excerpts from several novels written by Jim Webb, novels that they say “portray women as servile, subordinate and promiscuous.”

In the 1978 novel “Fields of Fire,” a character says this about a Vietnamese girl with a shrapnel wound: “Three years and she‘d be like all the rest of ‘em.  If she‘s lucky she‘ll live through this and stay in Da Nang when she gets out of the hospital.  Then maybe in a year or two she‘ll make a good whore.”

Other passages from Webb‘s novels are too explicit to repeat here.  Some are pretty risque; others are simply odd.  But what do any of them have to do with Jim Webb‘s fitness to serve as a U.S. senator?

Joining me now to answer that question, Ed Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman and an advisor to the Allen campaign. 

Ed, thanks for coming on.

ED GILLESPIE, FMR. RNC CHAIRMAN:  You bet, Tucker.  Thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  What does any of this have to do with Jim Webb‘s fitness for the Senate?

GILLESPIE:  Well, Tucker, actually, James Webb is running for the Senate on the grounds that he is a writer.  In fact, if you look, “The Washington Post” had a big, glowing profile of him today, and the first sentence was, “James Webb wants you to know that, first and foremost, he is a writer.” 

He has said that the stuff he has written has more influence over—you know, is better than serving in Congress because the things he writes influence attitudes, and attitudes affect legislation and real outcomes.  So, the fact that he is running on his writings I think warrants the voters to know what it is he has written.  And they can come to their own conclusions, Tucker, as to whether or not....

CARLSON:  Wait, wait, wait. 

GILLESPIE:  ... they think they qualify him for the United States Senate.

CARLSON:  OK.  You‘re not—well, two points.  First, for most of his career James Webb has been a very effective conservative polemicist, as you know.  He‘s written op-eds, countless op-eds arguing conservative positions that I agree with and I‘m sure you do, too.

Second, you‘re not suggesting that voters come to their own conclusions.  You are coming to conclusions on voters behalf. 

You are saying—and I‘m quoting now—“How can women trust Jim Webb to represent their views in the Senate when chauvinistic attitudes and sexually exploited references run throughout his fiction and nonfiction writings?” 

Chauvinistic attitudes.

GILLESPIE:  You are quoting there Kay Cole James (ph), who was one of the highest-ranking women in Governor Allen‘s...

CARLSON:  Right, exactly.  That is the campaign literature from the George Allen for Senate campaign. 

What exactly is chauvinistic about what Jim Webb has written? 

GILLESPIE:  Well, again, Tucker, I will let people—you‘ve just showed some—some—an excerpt or other excerpt, people can read for themselves.  There are those who have read what James Webb has written and found it to be somewhat disturbing and disconcerting.  And—but again, if you‘re going to run and say, I‘m a writer and my writings are my justification and my basis for serving in the United States Senate, then people should look at the writing and determine if they agree with those writings or think that they do lend credence to the notion that James Webb should serve in the United States Senate.

CARLSON:  Wait, wait, come on, come on.  I know we‘re in the middle of a campaign here and all that, but you will acknowledge, I think, that there is a distinction, a real one, between fiction and nonfiction.  So, if I write in an op-ed, “America ought to move in this direction,” that is evaluated quite differently than if I write a novel about fictional characters who do not exist doing things that never happened, right?

They are different from each other.  So you‘re attacking this guy for writing a scene in one of his novels that includes a female stripper putting a banana inside herself.  And the idea is, that‘s so over the top, so beyond the pale, that he somehow shouldn‘t be senator.  I don‘t understand what that has to do with his views about anything.  It‘s fiction. 

GILLESPIE:  Well, actually, what he says is that he is, as a write, a realist, and that his writings are, you know, reflective of himself.  I‘m sure they are.

Look, again, you  know, this is not a question of being prudish and saying, oh, well, this is—you know, these are writings that we don‘t agree with.  You know, voters can come to their own conclusions as to whether or not James Webb‘s statement that his writings justify service the United States Senate are legitimate.

I have faith in the voters, and they can come to their own conclusions about that.

CARLSON:  No, that‘s—but hold on.  But that‘s not true.

Ed, this is what you guys are—the Allen campaign is saying—“His books systematically demean women.  They dehumanize women, men, even children.”

How does it dehumanize all women to portray one woman in a novel as doing something unattractive?

GILLESPIE:  Well, but Tucker, you chose that one excerpt which is a little—you know, I‘m sure will take your viewers aback.  There are many more excerpts and thousands of pages.  And as Kay Cole James noted today in those thousands of pages, you can‘t find one single positive feminine protagonist role model. 

The fact is, again, if James Webb is going to say, “These are my writings”—and look, the fact is, “The Washington Post” and every other paper in the commonwealth, and MSNBC, and lots of other folks have looked at every nuance and every aspect of George Allen, every unattributed baseless rumor that they can attribute...

CARLSON:  Right.

GILLESPIE:  ... to an anonymous source.  You know, they print it and they talk about it and they say, we think this may be relevant.  Well, James Web says...

CARLSON:  But I don‘t think—wait a second.

GILLESPIE:  ... I‘m a writer and my writings qualify me to be in the United States Senate, and I think they reflect realism and my, you know, perspective on things, and they affect attitudes, and that‘s more important even than being in Congress, then people should know...

CARLSON:  Yes, but wait a second.

GILLESPIE:  ... then people should know what he‘s writing.

CARLSON:  When “The Washington Post” went on a jihad against your candidate, George Allen, over this ludicrous “Macaca” remark, writing 36 pieces in three weeks, or something, and they really—they‘re out to get George Allen, and that was obvious to everybody.

GILLESPIE:  No doubt about it.  I agree with you on that.

CARLSON:  There‘s no doubt about it.  And on this show, I defended him day after day and said, “Look, who cares if he said ‘Macaca‘?  It‘s got nothing to do with his six years as a United States senator, it‘s totally irrelevant.”

It was an unfair attack.  I thought that then, I think that now. 

GILLESPIE:  Yes.

CARLSON:  I think your attack on Jim Webb is equally unfair and maybe even dumber.  Lynne Cheney had a lesbian sex scene in a novel she wrote.  The left attacked her for that.  I stood up, and I‘m sure you did, too, and defended her on the grounds that that was fiction.

It‘s not real.  Why doesn‘t Webb—shouldn‘t he get the same defense?

GILLESPIE:  Well, first of all, Tucker, I appreciate your defending George Allen earlier in the summer.

CARLSON:  Yes.

GILLESPIE:  You were rather unique on this network in that regard, which is fine.  Look, it‘s an opinion show, it‘s an opinion network.  People are free to be critical of the senator and his campaign, and that‘s fine.  And I‘m free to come on and push back, and that‘s—and that‘s America. 

Again, I think that when voters look at—and let me just say something else, too, by the way.  I think voters should look at this and come to their own conclusions.  I also think voters should look at the issues that matter.

You know, we had a ruling in New Jersey yesterday relative to same-sex marriage. 

CARLSON:  Right.

GILLESPIE:  There‘s a ballot initiative in the Commonwealth of Virginia that would protect those of us who live in the commonwealth from having the New Jersey court decision imposed on us here in Virginia.

Senator Allen supports that amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Virginia. 

CARLSON:  Good.

GILLESPIE:  James Webb opposes it.  Big difference there.  When it comes to taxes...

CARLSON:  I think that‘s totally...

(CROSSTALK)

GILLESPIE:  You know, nearly three million Virginians benefited from the tax relief that George Allen fought for...

CARLSON:  Amen.

GILLESPIE:  ... and that James Webb wants to roll back.  So I‘m with you.  I agree we ought to be talking about these things.

CARLSON:  Look, Ed, I think those are totally fair issues.

GILLESPIE:  Yes.

CARLSON:  But if a guy writes a novel with some naughty bits, leave him alone.  That‘s my idea.

(CROSSTALK)

GILLESPIE:  Let me just say, Tucker, first of all, your characterization is naughty bits.  That‘s fine.

CARLSON:  OK.

GILLESPIE:  But I think some of the things that were written, I have to say, were, you know, a little disturbing.  And...

CARLSON:  Oh, OK.  Well, then, I think you need to get out more often. 

I mean, come on.

GILLESPIE:  Tucker, if he says “judge me on my writings,” judge him on his writings. 

CARLSON:  OK.

Ed Gillespie, thank you.  I appreciate it.

GILLESPIE:  Thanks for having me. 

CARLSON:  We turn now to another key Senate race: Congressman Sherrod Brown versus incumbent Mike DeWine in the state of Ohio.  Democrat Brown is maintaining a lead as of today of 57 percent, to the Republican DeWine‘s 37 percent. 

The Republican National Committee has announced they won‘t run any more television ads for DeWine during the final week of the campaign.  That has led to charges that the GOP is dumping him, is abandoning him. 

Well, here to speak for himself, Senator Mike DeWine.  He joins us from North Canton, Ohio.

Senator, I appreciate your coming on. 

Do you feel abandoned by the Republican Party?  And why are they leaking the fact that they are not going to run any more TV ads on your behalf?  That doesn‘t seem very helpful. 

SEN. MIKE DEWINE ®, OHIO:  Well, first of all, Tucker, I‘m glad I don‘t write any novels, so I don‘t have that issue in this campaign.

But look, the national party has poured a lot of money into this race.  They have been in this race more than any other place.  The main thing that they are doing is not on TV, though. 

The main thing they are doing is on the ground.  And that operation is in full force.  In fact, we are very excited about what we see. 

I go to these call centers around the state.  I was at one the other day and there was this little 12-year-old boy in there.  We see the same enthusiasm, quite bluntly, that we saw two years ago. 

So it‘s moving, and we feel good.  The poll numbers are moving our way. 

Look, I have been an underdog before, I have been in tough battles before, many, many times. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

DEWINE:  We are going to win this race. 

CARLSON:  But Senator, do you feel any bitterness toward the White House?  You‘re taking a lot of heat from your opponent for being a Bush supporter.  I remember very well when you supported John McCain in the primaries in 2000.  You were not originally a Bush supporter, and it seems to me that you‘re being hurt because your opponent has successfully tied you to President Bush.

Do you feel bitter at Bush?

DEWINE:  No, no, no.  I feel bitter at my opponent because what he is doing is lumping me together with the state scandals in Ohio and with George Bush.  And, you know, he knows better than that.

Frankly, the person who has had the scandals in his office is Sherrod Brown.  Sherrod Brown, for eight years as secretary of state of this state, had one scandal after another. 

Three different times the highway patrol investigating him—investigating his office for drugs.  And so—and since he has been in the United States Congress, here is a man that has only passed three bills having to do with Taiwan and one bill having to do with renaming a federal building.  Four bills in 14 years.

So, you know, he‘s the one who‘s had the scandal.  And on top of that, when he first ran for Congress, you know, they didn‘t pay their unemployment tax and they let that go for almost two years.  And the only reason that he paid it was because the state of Ohio took legal action against him.  So that‘s the real scandal. 

CARLSON:  Well, it seems—it seems like this race, more than some other Senate races, has been dominated by national issues, including trade, of course, but also Iraq.  Do you think that your support, your vote in favor of the giving the president the power to invade Iraq has hurt you? 

DEWINE:  Let me, Tucker, if I could tell you where our race is and what‘s going to decide this race. 

I think the people of Ohio know that for 12 years in the U.S. Senate I worked in a bipartisan way to get things done for the state of Ohio.  And I‘ve reached out.  I‘ve worked with people like Chris Dodd to get better medicines for kids.  Chris Dodd, also, interestingly, on the Fire Act, or Jay Rockefeller to protect steel industry.  So I have been there and I‘ve done it in a bipartisan way.

And frankly, it‘s the reason that the five major newspapers have endorsed me...

CARLSON:  Yes.

DEWINE:  ... and not Sherrod Brown.  This is a man who‘s on the fringe, even of his own party.  And Tucker, when he disagrees with his party, as he sometimes does, he goes far left.  Far left of Bill Clinton, far left of his party, and that‘s what one of the editorials said. 

CARLSON:  But do you—I mean, do you think that one specific vote—

I mean, we—I just went through all the clips today trying to figure out

I don‘t think of you as any kind of fire breather or as any radical partisan or anything, and you‘re obviously—you know, this has been a difficult race.  And the only conclusion I could come up with was that Iraq vote is playing a role in the minds of some Ohio voters. 

Do you think that that vote is a problem for you now? 

DEWINE:  I think that people have are very concerned about Iraq, but I think they are also concerned bluntly, Tucker, with the war on terror.  And Congressman Brown, people are beginning to understand what his—his record is.

Ten different times he voted to cut intelligence spending.  Then after September 11th, when we all came together, Democrats and Republicans, to pass the Patriot Act, we passed it 98-1 in the Senate.  Ted Kennedy voted for it, John Kerry voted for it.  But when it got to the House, Sherrod Brown said no. 

CARLSON:  All right.

DEWINE:  And he said no again just a couple of months ago.  He is out of the mainstream of Ohio politics. 

CARLSON:  Mike DeWine, the incumbent senator from Ohio.

Thank you very much, Senator, I appreciate it. 

DEWINE:  Thanks, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, more on our series of the most over-the-top campaign ads in the country.  In New Jersey, a “Sopranos” takeoff slams Senator Robert Menendez.  It‘s definitely worth watching, so stick around for that. 

Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the Senate race there, Democrat Harold Ford is under fire for the brand of cigars he smokes.  They are tasty. 

We‘ll have those ads when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Now for a roundup of some of the nation‘s hot races.

In New Jersey, Democrat Bob Menendez and Republican Tom Kean Jr. are now in a statistical dead heat.  But Italian-Americans, the state‘s largest ethnic voting bloc—some of them are, anyway—over a “Sopranos”-themed ad that slams Senator Menendez.

Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We‘ve got a problem.  Our boy down in Washington, Bob Menendez, he‘s caught in this federal investigation.  Right, you better start looking at these fixed contracts perfection—bada bing—we‘re in it, but deep.  And worse, this guy, Tom Kean, he wants to clean things up, even cut taxes. 

Hey, where is our take in this that?  We need to get the bosses to fix this thing like he did for Foracelli (ph).  You got Lonberg‘s (ph) number?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Tell Bob Menendez his high-tax record is a crime.  The Free Enterprise Fund Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Joining me now to talk about this brilliant advertisement and other races, A.B. Stoddard.  She‘s associate editor of “The Hill” newspaper, and she joins us from Washington.

A.B., let me just say right up front, every person who lives in New Jersey watches that ad, love it or hate it, gets it.  Is it going to work? 

A.B. STODDARD, “THE HILL”:  I think a lot of “Sopranos” viewers across the nation get that ad. 

I don‘t know what‘s happening in New Jersey in terms of whether or not there is going to be a strong Bush referendum as there is in other parts of the country, or whether or not New Jersey is so focused on its history of corruption that it is really looking at Kean and Menendez as clean versus corrupt.  We‘ll know that after Election Day.  We‘ll know whether or not Democrats, who probably are mad at Bush and the Republican Congress, decide that they‘re not fond of Menendez and they stay home.

I mean, we‘re going to see, you know, what—what‘s at play, I think, afterwards.  Right now it‘s completely neck and neck.

I think those ads are speaking to lots of people.  I think it‘s a pretty outrageous ad.  But the ads across the board and across the country this season are just out of town.  I mean, I‘ve never seen anything like it.

CARLSON:  They are—and the surveys in New Jersey show that people who care about local issues, who care about state governance, are favoring Kean, and those who see this as a referendum on Bush, an election about national issues, are favoring Menendez, not surprisingly.

You saw, I think, a second ago the interview that we did with Ed Gillespie, former RNC chairman, about the Virginia race.  What do you make of this feminist attack, essentially, that the Allen—this very conservative incumbent senator, George Allen, all of a sudden is sounding like an assistant professor of women‘s studies at some junior college, attacking the other guy for his insensitive writings that demean and dehumanize women?

I mean, can that work?

STODDARD:  I think it will absolutely work.  I think that they are using a feminist rally to actually just go after the squeamish, and I think that will get some people in their cars. 

There are lots of Virginians who don‘t want to read what Webb wrote in those particular excerpts that will turn their stomachs, and they will not probably for a minute think about whether or not those writes demean or denigrate women.  I think they will just think it‘s disgusting and the guy‘s a pervert.  And if they‘re conservative-minded, they‘re likely to—to rally to George Allen‘s side.

You can‘t underestimate the power of conservatives to rally on those issues that are important to them.  And I just don‘t—I think that they‘re using the feminist cry to really do something else. 

CARLSON:  Boy, what a shame.  I just—you know what?  I wouldn‘t be sad if George Allen won.  I‘m a conservative and I like George Allen.  But what a way to win, as a feminist. 

Come on, get some self respect. 

STODDARD:  Well, you know, all is fair in love, war and tight re-election campaigns. 

CARLSON:  I guess it is.  I‘m offended by it, anyway.

What do you think—in Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum—I think I‘m the only guy in the media who likes Rick Santorum, but I do like Rick Santorum.  I think he‘s smart.

But his attacks recently have been so over the top on Bob Casey, saying almost point blank, if you vote for Bob Casey, you put American lives at risk because Bob Casey doesn‘t support drilling in ANWR or offshore oil exploration.  Therefore, he is in bed with the Saudis—or I‘m not exactly sure the reasoning.

Here‘s my question to you as someone who has covered a lot of campaigns. 

Is that actually going to be enough to close the 12-odd-point gap between them? 

STODDARD:  There is nothing that can close that gap for Rick Santorum. 

He‘s a two-term senator who‘s not breaking 40 percent.

I‘m glad you like him, but the voters in the state do not.  And it‘s pure desperation, this national security mushroom cloud commercials and everything.  He‘s actually touring the state doing a lecture right now, a speech about, you know, doomsday scenarios or something.

But I was told today by someone who knows that volunteers are being pulled out of Pennsylvania and sent to Maryland.  I mean, I think the Republican Party has really tossed this one off.

CARLSON:  Yes.  Boy.

A.B. Stoddard, a wise voice on all things campaign-related.

Thanks, A.B.  I appreciate it.

STODDARD:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Coming up, the most over-the-top campaign ever made.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time now for “Beat the Press”.

First up, a clip that comes to us from FOX 5 in Atlanta.  Watch as this reporter turns from weekend grape stomper to barking seal. 

Watch this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You can come and spend the day listening to live music, eating international food, having wine tours and tastings, vineyard tours, seminars, arts and crafts.  It‘s a lot of a fun, a whole day.

Stop.

Oh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Amazing.

And finally, our clip of the week.  I‘m sure we know that soccer games can get rough at times, tackles, head-butts, collisions.  But how about the sideline reporters?  Didn‘t know their job was dangerous, did you?

Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (SPEAKING SPANISH) 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (SPEAKING SPANISH)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  She‘s gone.  She disappeared.

Well, still to come, Harold Ford under fire.  New accusations against the Tennessee Senate candidate.

We‘ll tell you what they are.

And watch this.  It‘s something you never thought you‘d see in a political ad, and we‘ll show you the whole thing, unexpurgated, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, everybody complains about negative ads, but nobody celebrates them as the art form they are.  Until now.  We spent all day watching the most over the top spots from around the country, we‘ll show you the very best, every day from now until Election Day.  We‘ll begin in just a minute, but right now, here is a look at your headlines.  

REBECCA JARVIS, CNBC ANCHOR:  I‘m Rebecca Jarvis with your CNBC market wrap.  The Dow sliding 73 points off yesterday‘s record-setting close.  The S&P 500 also down more than 11 points and the NASDAQ off 28.5.  Oil features up slightly on a terror alert in the Persian Gulf.  Crude climbing 38 cents to $60.74 a barrel in New York trading. 

Blaming higher fuel costs, United Airlines is raising fares by $6 per round trip.  The hike‘s only in markets where United competes with discount carriers.  American quickly following suit, Northwest and Continental still deciding.  And it‘s the end of line for the family friendly Ford Taurus, Ford closing the Atlanta Taurus plant as part of a restructuring plan to boost profits, nearly two thousand workers losing their jobs.  The last sedan rolled off the assembly line today after 7 million cars sold.  Now back to Tucker.  

CARLSON:  Today we bring you more of the best campaign ads from around the country.  We have been following them, culling through them.  We‘ve enlisted the help of two keen political observers to help us determine what they mean.  They are from Orlando, Florida Pat Campbell, he‘s the host of “The Pat Campbell Show” on 540 WFLA.  And in New York City, Alex Bennett, he hosts “The Alex Bennett Program” on Sirius Satellite Radio. 

Welcome to you both. 

First up, Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr., has been at the center of controversy all week.  He was the subject of an RNC ad that some charged was racist.  The latest attack ad against Ford put out by the Free Enterprise Fund, accuses him of living a millionaire‘s lifestyle.  Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Luxurious five-star hotels, $32,000.  Fancy designer Armani suit, $2,549.  Fine Davidoff cigars, $674.  Living it up on campaign cash but pushing higher taxes for Tennessee families, priceless.  Tell Harold Ford, you can‘t afford higher taxes.  The Free Enterprise Fund Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Pat, I don‘t know if you could see that ad, clearly, the hotel in question was the Essex House in New York City where I spent the night last night.  And the cigar is a Davidoff cigar which is actually pretty good, anybody who‘s ever smoked the cigar can tell you.  And the suit looked pretty handsome.  I don‘t see what the criticism is, the guy has got good taste in clothing, he‘s a snappy dresser, likes decent cigars.  I mean, like, is this an attack ad?  

PAT CAMPBELL, HOST, “THE PAT CAMPBELL SHOW”:  I don‘t know where they‘re going with this.  You know playing up this playboy lifestyle with Harold Ford, I don‘t think it‘s going to work.  The guy is single, it‘s not like he is married, he‘s fooling around on his wife or anything like that.  As far as the good lifestyle, hey, look, if he takes good care of himself, maybe he‘ll take good care of the voters as well.  That‘s what I‘d think. 

CARLSON:  Well, I kind of agree with that.  I mean, Alex if the allegation is that he is taking campaign funds and spending them on himself, I believe that‘s a federal crime.  It‘s certainly not allowed, whether or not it‘s a crime and they should just say that.  I mean do you see where this ad is going?

ALEX BENNETT, HOST, “THE ALEX BENNETT PROGRAM” ON SIRIUS:  Probably where it should go is finishing it off by saying, winning the election, priceless.  It sounds like a MasterCard ad.  

CARLSON:  Well, we are about to show you a MasterCard ad in just a minute, there isn‘t—oh, I think it‘s actually designed to mimic the MasterCard ad.  But if you were running a campaign and I know you‘re probably a fan of Harold Ford‘s, but if you were running a campaign against Harold Ford, how would you attack him? 

BENNETT:  I don‘t know how I would attack him.  He is good-looking, you know, he speaks well.  He is like a stealth candidate.  He is very hard guy to kind of beat.  I mean, if you look at the package. 

CARLSON:  The brilliance of it of course is that he actually is pretty liberal in his voting record but he is playing up his religious faith.  And if George W. Bush taught us anything it‘s that you can get away with a lot as long as you appeal on a cultural level to voters.  

BENNETT:  Yeah but this notion that Democrats don‘t have a religion going or they aren‘t religious people is a ridiculous notion.  Two things don‘t go hand in hand, you don‘t become a Democrat and suddenly become an atheist. 

CARLSON:  Oh, I agree with that.  In fact, Harold Ford is running as a full blown Jesus pleaser.  I mean Harold Ford has cut an ad in a church, which is what we were talking about yesterday.  If a Republican did that, I would be the first to denounce him because I don‘t think you ought to be cutting political ads in church. 

CAMPBELL:  The only fault I find with this and I don‘t know why it‘s being used as a strategy but apparently Democrats have decided that raising taxes is a good tactic.  I know down here in Florida Jim Davis, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate as well as Charlie Stewart our Democratic Congressional candidate, they‘re actually saying they want to raise taxes.  This is a failed approach.  Didn‘t work for Walter Mondale, I don‘t know why they think it‘s going to work for them in 2006.  

CARLSON:  I agree with that.  And that is the one issue maybe the only one left on which Republicans have some credibility.  They are less likely to raise your taxes. that‘s just true.  Well in a key New York congressional race, the gloves are off.  In a new ad, the Republican Party accuses Democratic candidate Michael R. Curry of calling a phone sex line from a hotel and billing it to taxpayers.  There is a little more to the story, though.  But first, here is the ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi, sexy, you have reached the live one-on-one fantasy line.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A phone number to an adult fantasy hotline appeared on Michael R. Curry‘s New York City hotel room bill, while he was there on official business.  And the call was charged to Oneida County taxpayers.  While Curry has denied it, but the facts are there.  Who calls a fantasy hotline and then bills taxpayers? Michael R. Curry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Bad call. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The National Republican Congressional Committee paid for and is responsible for the contents of this message. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  You know Pat, cycle after cycle, in my experiences, it‘s usually Democrats that put out the least fair ads, but this season there has been a change, this is a Republican ad.  This is so deeply unfair, this ad, apparently this call, the call in question cost $1.25 and it was a misdial. 

The guy was trying to dial his office, he was trying to dial a government office that had a different area code but had the same number, the same seven-digit number after the area code.  He hung up after a minute with the sex hotline and called the number he was trying to call.  I mean, I think this ad, because it is so deeply unfair, it‘s being run by Ray Meyers, is going to hurt the Republican in the end. 

CAMPBELL:  It could backfire on them.  This is my favorite out of the ones we are watching because it‘s so sleazy, you want to take a shower afterwards.  But I love the look he‘s giving because he looks like such a player in the commercial.

BENNETT:  No, but at the end, he is looking down like he is doing something and slowly looks up. 

CAMPBELL:  Well actually, you know this used to be, maybe this is a good thing in Democratic circles because at one time it was almost a prerequisite that you had to be good at phone sex if you aspired to be in the Oval office down the road.  

CARLSON:  To be fair though, there was never any evidence that Clinton was good at it, only that he did it.

CAMPBELL:  I have seen this tactic before, they‘ve gone after people for hotel stays and they found out they rented inappropriate movies and they brought it up in campaigns.  I don‘t know if it actually works with the voters, though.  

BENNETT:  Actually, you know, they could put a nice positive spin on this, the Republicans for themselves by saying, and see it only took him a minute and a half. 

CARLSON:  OK, we are going to move right on to Nebraska.  I‘m not going to take that up. Well to Nebraska for what is shaping up to be the most expensive Senate race in that state‘s history and no wonder.  The challenger is Ameritrade CEO Pete Rickets, a Republican with very deep pockets.  And when we say he is gunning for the Senate seat of Democratic incumbent Ben Nelson, we are not kidding.  Take a look at this ad.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  On an African safari, Ben Nelson killed a lion, a zebra, (INAUDIBLE), warthog, ostrich, lynx, and a giraffe.  Now Ben Nelson is killing the truth.  Nelson fraudulently claimed agricultural status to reduce property taxes on his land, 96 percent.  Asked to pay the $10,000 in back taxes, Nelson refused, calling that silly.  You pay your taxes, why won‘t Ben Nelson pay his? I‘m Pete Rickets, I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  So interesting Pat C., here you have a Republican in Virginia, attacking his Democratic opponent, because he‘s not enough of a feminist. Here you have a Republican in Nebraska attacking the Democrat for hunting—by the way, one of the very few pro life Democrats in the United States Senate, a very good guy, Ben Nelson, extremely conservative Democrat.  Much more conservative than many Republicans in the Senate, just to be totally clear about it.  And he is attacking him for hunting like that‘s a sin now in Republicans‘ eyes.  

CAMPBELL:  The big evil white hunter. The thing that is really picking up here though, the failure to pay taxes.  Again in the congressional race down here, you have people, Charlie Stewart, who wants to raise taxes.  They found out that he didn‘t pay his taxes back a couple of years ago. In my area or Orlando which is the home of Wesley Snipes who the IRS is currently looking for, I guess he owes about $12 million, this plays really big.  Because it smacks of hypocrisy.  

CARLSON:  No, that‘s actually that‘s a completely fair point.  Alex, what do you think of this ad? 

BENNETT:  It‘s typical of what the Republicans are doing these days. 

I mean they‘re really desperate and they‘re doing this anti-campaigning.  For once I‘d like to see a season where we got just guys getting up there saying I‘m going to make your life better, I‘m going to do this, I‘m going to do that, touting themselves but here they‘re just going out after everybody. 

And the interesting thing that I‘ve noticed because we have been playing a lot of these ads on my radio program and so we go on the web to look at them.  The Republicans, you know don‘t—usually they used to put so and so Republican candidate for congress.  You don‘t see Republican up there any more. 

CARLSON:  Well, this is 1974, basically, the first post Watergate election in which Republicans got creamed because they were Republicans.  Or it‘s 1994 where Democrats got creamed because they were Democrats.  Well here is an ad put out by someone who‘s neither Republican nor Democrat.  Massachusetts convenience store magnate Christy Mihos is tired of just minding the store, he wants to mind the entire bay state. 

And so he‘s challenging Republican Governor Mitt Romney as an independent.  His major contention is government waste such as Boston‘s big dig highway project which has so far cost taxpayers $14.5 billion and it still doesn‘t work very well.  The candidate makes his point with this animated campaign ad.  Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mr. Engineer, why is the big dig $12 billion over budget?  Um, well, you see.  Blah, blah, blah.  

Hey, how did the big dig get 12 billion dollars over budget? 

Blah, blah, blah 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Put an end to politics as usual in Massachusetts.  Be independent, vote Christy Mihos for governor.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry, I think I could vote for Christy Mihos.  Here is an ad that actually speaks to something people care about or even people have to drive through Massachusetts as I do often, and notice this atrocity that the rest of the country paid for, the big dig brought to us by the Democratically controlled government of Massachusetts.  I don‘t know, this ad, I think this ad works, what do you think Pat?

CAMPBELL:  Oh I think it‘s an ad that is definitely going to resonate with the voters.  It makes sense to people on both sides.  I swear to god, the bald guy, that‘s my brother Paul at family reunions, I‘d recognize him any where.   

CARLSON:  What do you think Alex?

BENNETT:  Oh, man, I‘ll tell you, somebody who has been in advertising, that is one of the best ads I have seen this year for anything.  I mean, I think it‘s something that people would talk about the next day, you look at it, it‘s well done, it‘s well crafted.  I mean, that‘s just a great ad.  

CARLSON:  And I think overall political advertising, is it my imagination or some of it is, even the savage stuff that people disapprove of and all that, it is more clever than it has been in years past.  

BENNETT:  Well, some of them are subliminal, like we were talking about the one with the guy with the stripper and looking down below and then looking up and all of that.  That‘s all very kind of interesting about how they are playing it and the propaganda involved in it.  But this is just a good commercial.  I mean, this is a good animation.  It would win awards if it wasn‘t a political ad.  

CAMPBELL:  I agree.  

CARLSON:  I suspect it will.  Thanks guys, I appreciate it. 

Well it‘s become the star commercial of the campaign season, a congressional challenger accuses the incumbent of supporting Asian hookers, porn for young girls and masturbating old men.  So does he support those things? 

Plus, it‘s not an issue that will decide any elections next week but many American women are becoming addicted to plastic surgery and to Botox.  We will talk to a woman who has a good idea how big this trend is and what may be wrong with it.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Beauty may only be skin deep but sometimes it takes more than just a little nip tuck to bring it to the surface.  Today, confessions of a beauty junkie.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Tell us what you don‘t like about yourself? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Nothing money can‘t buy.  I have a few extra layers on my pound cake.  That‘s where you come in.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Twelve and a half billion dollars, that‘s how much money Americans spent last year to fix what they don‘t like about themselves physically.  Women, men, young, old, more and more people are looking to laser, scrub or needle away their imperfections.  And that raises some questions perhaps about the ugly side of plastic surgery. 

Alex Kuczynski writes for “The New York Times”, she is also the author of the terrific, interesting new book, “Beauty Junkies.”  She joins us today from New York City.  Alex, welcome.  How common is plastic surgery?  We all think it‘s—I assume it‘s very common.  Is it more common than we realize?

ALEX KUCZYNSKI, AUTHOR, “BEAUTY JUNKIES”:  It‘s actually, on a shocking boom.  I mean, use of Botox for example is up by more than 2,600 percent since 1997.  Various other procedures like liposuction, face lifts, up by 111 percent, 400 percent, 300 percent, it‘s really taken a hold of the population in a really major way. 

CARLSON:  So basically, every famous attractive woman you are aware of has had it. 

KUCZYNSKI:  My guess would be yes.  My educated guess. 

CARLSON:  Your educated guess.  I mean give me an example, who‘s, I know you reveal some of this in your book.  Who—name some people we see on television or on film who we may not be aware of had surgery but you know have. 

KUCZYNSKI:  Well, I mean one of the saddest but sort of most poignant examples is the example of Jennifer Gray who became famous in “Dirty Dancing.”  And then she had her nose done.  And her nose job was so good, I guess in one sense, that she became totally unrecognizable and really never got work again after that.  And she has given lots of interviews in which she says she regrets that she now no longer looks like herself.  

CARLSON:  Do you think the standards for female beauty have become more exacting?

KUCZYNSKI:  Without question.  I mean we have so many platforms upon which we‘re delivered standard for female beauty these days. You know you get Angelina Jolie on your iPod, your PDA, your TiVo, your cell phone.  I mean we have images coming at us.  We have become a culture of images rather than a culture of language.  So we really depend on ourselves and our bodies and our faces to be our calling cards.  

CARLSON:  What are the extremes to which people go to alter their appearance? 

KUCZYNSKI:  You know, I interviewed women who have done surgical procedures from face lifts on down to having collagen put into their feet, to having the most intimate parts of their bodies resculpted to look younger. 

CARLSON:  Ooh.  Why would you—I mean, to start with the point you just made, what would be the point of having collagen injected into your feet? 

KUCZYNSKI:  Well, then you could spend all day long walking around in your $700 Manolo Blahnik‘s and feel like you‘re wearing a pair of Puma sneakers with orthodics (ph) in them, number one.  

CARLSON:  That‘s actually not such a bad goal as far as I could --  If it‘s so common, if plastic surgery is so common, and I believe you that it is.  If virtually everyone in public life, every woman anyway has had it, then why are people so cagey about admitting it? 

KUCZYNSKI:  You know it‘s funny because when I wrote this book, people said, you know, you‘re writing a kind of an expose of the cosmetic surgery industry and yet you‘re writing a personal chapter about your own experience, which is relatively limited.  And they said, aren‘t you embarrassed? 

And I said, actually, I would be really embarrassed if I hadn‘t written that chapter because no woman actually who is smart will come out and say, I‘ve had this, this and this and this is what it felt like and this is what the industry is about, from an insiders point of view.  There is still a kind of fear that you know if you out yourself you‘ll look like a vain, foolish person.  

CARLSON:  Wait, it‘s a little bit unfair though, because you write about the fact that you liked Botox and collagen and that you stopped, you went cold turkey, you gave it up. I mean this totally sincerely, you actually look better than you ever have.  I don‘t think most people who stop plastic surgery don‘t look better though. Well how does that work any way? 

KUCZYNSKI:  You know, I think it‘s like variations, it‘s like degrees of body dimorphic disorder.  You know, I did a couple of things and then I stopped.  I think some people just continue, continue, continue, until they get to a point where they become caricatures of womanhood. 

CARLSON:  Yes, like, are you talking about Joan Rivers?

KUCZYNSKI:  Well, I didn‘t know Joan Rivers had anything done—no, no, just kidding.  

CARLSON:  Actually for the record, I think Joan Rivers is a wonderful person.  

KUCZYNSKI:  Joan Rivers in real life, amazingly up close, and I‘ve been five inches from her face, looks really good.  

CARLSON:  She does look good. 

KUCZYNSKI:  It‘s just that on television, she looks weird.  But you know, the same thing, it‘s like Mario Cuomo in real life is really handsome and you know on television looks weird.  I mean that‘s my opinion.  Various people have different ways of reacting to the camera.  

CARLSON:  They do.  The book, “Beauty Junkies”, Alex Kuczynski of “The New York Times”, really a tremendous book.  And I say that sincerely.  Thanks, Alex.  

KUCZYNSKI:  Thanks Tucker, great to talk to you.  

CARLSON:  Yesterday we talked to the man who brought us our favorite attack ad of this campaign season. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Instead of spending money on cancer research, Ron Kind voted to spend your money to study the sex lives of Vietnamese prostitutes.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  It will be tough to top that one, but our nation‘s intrepid ad producers will certainly try.  We‘ll have the very latest when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Well Willie Geist has staged a walk out today, but in his place, MSNBC executive, St. Louis Cardinals fan and all around great guy, Bill Wolf.

BILL WOLFF, VP, MSNBC PRIMETIME PROGRAMMING:  How are you Tucker?

CARLSON:  Excellent.

WOLFF:  Did you watch the game last night?

CARLSON:  I didn‘t, but I know you did, congratulations.

WOLFF:  I was tracking political races, I don‘t know what you‘re talking about.  And I was watching reruns of this show and yesterday you showed the most outrages ad of this campaign season, it might be the most outrageous ad of any campaign season.  I‘ve never seen anything like it.  It comes to us from the race in Wisconsin‘s third congressional district and in case you missed it, here is another excuse to play it again. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  With our service men and women facing death every day, what kind of Congressman would try to gut military spending? The wrong kind.  Ron Kind.  That‘s right.  Congressman Ron Kind has repeatedly voted to deprive our troops of the funding they need to fight for us.  But Ron Kind has no trouble spending your money.

He would just rather spend it on sex.  That‘s right.  Instead of spending money on cancer research, Ron Kind voted to spend your money to study the sex lives of Vietnamese prostitutes.  Instead of spending money to study heart disease, Ron Kind spent your money to study the masturbation habits of old men.  Ron Kind spent your tax dollars to study something called the bisexual trans-gendered and two spirited illusion Eskimos, whoever they are. 

Ron Kind even spent your tax dollars to pay teenage girls to watch pornographic movies with probes connected to their genitalia.  Ron Kind pays for sex but not for soldiers.  If Ron Kind had better priorities, you wouldn‘t be having to hear this.  Ron Kind is out of touch and soon he‘ll be out of Congress. 

PAUL NELSON ®, WI CONGRESSIONAL CHALLENGER:  I‘m Paul R. Nelson and I approve of this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry, I‘m voting for Ron Kind.  

WOLFF:  I was going to say, it‘s the whole make love, not war campaign.  It should be noted, we called Ron Kind today, he was doing no media but we‘re hopeful he‘ll join the program to respond to these allegations next week some time Tucker.  Personally, if I were he, I wouldn‘t run again.  He has already lived the dream, just get out.  You know what I‘m saying?

CARLSON:  He has already supported transgender Eskimos.  He‘s already given pornography to school children.  What does he have left?  

WOLFF:  That‘s a bigger problem than you think it is all over this country.  Now there‘s another great one coming out in Connecticut‘s forth congressional district, a libertarian.  Not unlike yourself, he‘s called Phil Mamin (ph) and he‘s attempting the humor approach in his campaign.  I repeat, attempting.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So what do you do? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m running for congress. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Oh, are you a Democrat or a Republican? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What do you mean, everyone is a Democrat or a Republican.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m a libertarian.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You‘re a librarian?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, I‘m a libertarian.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You‘re Joe Lieberman?  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not Lieberman, I‘m a libertarian.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What‘s a libertarian?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A libertarian believes in smaller government, fewer taxes, more freedom, get out of Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I like all those.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Maybe you‘re a libertarian, too.  I am Phil Mamin(ph), I approve this massage.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFF:  I approve this massage.  

CARLSON:  I like that.  That ad has got a happy ending.  

WOLFF:  Tucker, that‘s just -- 

CARLSON:  I couldn‘t resist, come on man.  

WOLFF:  This is a family network and a family program Tucker.  Now you are a libertarian, do you in fact approve that massage? 

CARLSON:  I think this is one of the weirdest ads I‘ve ever seen because you can‘t pay attention to the candidate, you want to know what the woman who is rubbing him looks like.  

WOLFF:  So let me ask you a serious question because you are a political analyst.  You have a catchy ad like that, everybody is going to remember that ad, everybody is going to remember the one where they put their heads where they really can‘t go, the animated one that we saw in the last segment. Are those the most effective ads just because they‘re memorable, just as in product endorsement?  If you have a memorable ad you win?

CARLSON:  Yes, I think they are effective.  The problem with the libertarian ad is everyone suspects libertarians have unusual personal lives and this just confirms it. 

WOLFF:  Yes.  And can you deny that? Do you care to delve into that to defend your brethren?  

CARLSON:  No I don‘t Bill.  Bill Wolff, good luck to your team, the St. Louis Cardinals, we‘ll be praying for you.

WOLFF:  All St. Louisans appreciate it Tucker. 

CARLSON:  That‘s the show, thanks for watching, up next “HARDBALL WITH CHRIS.”  Have a great weekend, see you Monday.

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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