updated 11/6/2006 11:50:49 AM ET 2006-11-06T16:50:49

Guests: Mike Jones, Joe Watkins, Katherine Harris, Tim Mahoney, Pat Campbell, Alex Bennett

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST:  I‘m Tucker Carlson.  Welcome to a special “Decision 2006” edition of our show, part of MSNBC‘s nonstop coverage of “Battleground America”.

I‘ll be joined in just a moment by Florida Senate candidate Katherine Harris. 

But we begin with the gay sex scandal that is rocking 30-million member National Association of Evangelicals.  The Reverend Ted Haggard has stepped down as the head of that group amid allegations he had a three-year relationship with a gay prostitute called Mike Jones, who worked for a company called RentBoy.com. 

Jones says he had sex with Haggard once a month over that period, sex Jones described as “vanilla”.  They also arranged for Haggard to buy crystal methamphetamine, according to Jones.

Today Haggard responded to the accusations in this incredibly uncomfortable interview with our Denver affiliate, KUSA.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Have you used meth? 

REV. TED HAGGARD, NEW LIFE CHURCH:  No, I have not. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK.  And the voice expert that is in Denver that was hired by KUSA has...

HAGGARD:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... matched now 18 of the words left on the voicemail message. 

(CROSSTALK)

HAGGARD:  Yes.  I did call him.  I did call him. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And what did you call him about? 

HAGGARD:  I called him to buy some meth but I threw it away. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And who were you buying the meth for? 

HAGGARD:  No one.  I was buying it for me, but I never used it. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Have you ever used meth before? 

HAGGARD:  No, I have not. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And at what point did you decide to throw away the meth? 

HAGGARD:  Right after.  I never kept it very long because it‘s—it was wrong.  I was tempted.  I bought it.  But I never used it. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And how did you know that he would sell it to you? 

HAGGARD:  He told me about it.  I went there for—I went there for a massage.  So—OK, we‘re late for our appointment.  And so—but thank you for your work. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How did you find him to get a massage from him? 

HAGGARD:  A referral. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  From? 

HAGGARD:  From the hotel I was staying at. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Here now to respond, Haggard‘s accuser, Mike Jones.

Mr. Jones joins us from Denver. 

Mike Jones, welcome.

You heard Reverend Haggard describe the massage that took place between you.  You described what took place as “vanilla” sex.  Could it be you are talking about the same thing? 

MIKE JONES, ACCUSER-MALE PROSTITUTE:  No.  I mean, massage is not sex. 

CARLSON:  OK.  So you are maintaining that without question there was sexual activity between you, there‘s no mistaking it, you two had sex? 

JONES:  Absolutely. 

CARLSON:  So how do you—I mean, as you watch—and I suppose you just watched the tape we—we ran—you believe the Reverend Haggard is lying? 

JONES:  Well, yes, he is.  I mean, let‘s face it, yesterday he didn‘t even know me.  And now he knows me and now some of the allegations are true? 

You know, how he found me originally, I am not sure where he found me at.  But I used to advertise as an escort.  I no longer do that, but I used to.  And I only advertised in gay publications or on gay Web sites.  No concierge in Denver would have referred me. 

CARLSON:   OK.  Unless someone was looking for a gay prostitute, I suppose. 

JONES:  I suppose.  But we never went to a hotel.  He always came to my apartment.  Always.

CARLSON:  How did he get there? 

JONES:  What type of transportation? 

CARLSON:  Yes.

JONES:  Well, you know, I am in Denver and he‘s in Colorado Springs.  So I think one time I did see him in an SUV, but when the weather got wormer, when he walked in one time and had a motorcycle helmet, well, then I, you know, figured out he rides a motorcycle. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

JONES:  And so there were several times that he came back up that he did ride his motorcycle. 

CARLSON:  And of course he was famous for riding a motorcycle, Mr.

Haggard was. 

JONES:  I didn‘t know that.

CARLSON:  Did you see him do crystal meth?  I mean, did you physically see him do it?

JONES:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Did you supply it to him? 

JONES:  I did not.  When—about a year after I had seen him he asked me what I knew about meth, and I told him I don‘t care for it personally but I do have friends that use it.  And he goes, “Do you think you could get some for me?”  And I said, “Well, let me see what I can do.”

And what I ended up doing was finding a contact person for him to get it. 

CARLSON:  So why was he sending you the money for the crystal meth? 

JONES:  Apparently, he couldn‘t get any on his own.  And he was I guess hoping that I could find someone to get some for him. 

CARLSON:  So you basically bought it for him, brought it back to your place and gave it to him? 

JONES:  Never.  He met someone else that I had hooked him up with to buy it. 

CARLSON:  OK.  So—but again...

JONES:  But he would have—he would have it on him when he came to me. 

CARLSON:  OK.  So you never saw the man he got it from?  You never saw him actually buy crystal meth? 

JONES:  I never saw the transaction. 

CARLSON:  OK.

Why did you decide to go public with this? 

JONES:  A big part right now is because of the election, and there are two ballot initiatives that we are voting on in Colorado, and one is to amend the constitution in Colorado concerning marriage.  And the other one is there is a domestic partnership initiative that is going to be voted on. 

And so the more I investigated and looked into his church and his teachings, I just thought, you know what?  This is so hypocritical.  How dare he say it‘s wrong for homosexuals to be able to have marriage with their partner, consenting adults, who they love, and he can have it but go behind his wife‘s back and have gay sex? 

That is just hypocritical.

CARLSON:  Yes.  Well, I mean, it is hypocritical.  Of course you‘re absolutely right.

But you‘ve destroyed—he‘s, I suppose, destroyed his own life, but you‘ve made it possible.  And, you know, he has five children. 

Did you ever think about it, instead of dragging them into this, maybe calling him on the phone and saying reverse your position on Amendment 43, the gay marriage amendment to the Colorado constitution, or I am going to out you?  You know, giving him a chance to change his ways before destroying his life? 

JONES:  I understand what you are saying, and believe me, I had no contact with anyone.  No organization, no one on my decision. 

Did I do it the right way?  I don‘t know.  But believe me, I made myself ill thinking about what do I want to do with this. 

I made the decision alone.  I had no contact with anyone.  So, if I handled it the wrong way, I am sorry.  But this story I just felt needed to be out. 

CARLSON:  I know that you had volunteered for a polygraph exam.  And

you took it this morning and apparently you failed.  People typically don‘t

as you know—don‘t fail these if they are telling the truth.  Were you lying about anything?

JONES:  No, I was not lying.  Now, the interesting thing is the polygraph asked nothing about drugs.  It was only about sex.

And see, what doesn‘t make sense to me, the part I failed was, have I had sex with Ted?  And I don‘t understand that.  That is the reason he contacted me to begin with.  So I don‘t see how I failed that.

But it is what it is.  I initiated it, and I don‘t know what else to say about it. 

I think right now people have to look at the credibility.  I have been consistent on my accusations.  Yesterday he didn‘t know me, and now today he knows me and admits some things happened.  So...

CARLSON:  Yes.  I mean, you are a gay prostitute and he admits he went to you.  So kind of case closed as far as I‘m concerned, but it is sort of weird that you failed. 

Mike Jones...

JONES:  Well, I know.  And I don‘t know.  You know, all I can say is the last two days I have had no sleep in two days.  I am drained. 

I haven‘t been able to eat well.  My body is just out of whack, to be honest with you.  And I don‘t know if that had any bearing on it. 

CARLSON:  OK.

Well, thanks for joining us. 

I appreciate it.

JONES:  All right.  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Will there be any political fallout from this revelation? 

And why have evangelicals made homosexuality such a central issue anyway?

Let‘s ask the Reverend Joe Watkins.  He is the pastor at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Philadelphia.  Reverend Watkins is also an adviser to the first President Bush and a campaign adviser t the current President Bush.

Joe, thanks for coming on.

REV. JOE WATKINS, CHRIST EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH:  Glad to be here with you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  What do you make of this?

WATKINS:  Well, this is sad.  This is a tragedy for Reverend Haggard and for his family and for his church, and for Christian people everywhere, of course. 

It does not change the message.  The message stays the same because the gospel is still the same. 

CARLSON:  Right.

WATKINS:  And sometimes the people that preach the gospel show that they have feet of clay and they make mistakes.  And it just shows that everybody, every one of us who believes in it, has to realize that it‘s important to be doers of the word and not just hear his own. 

CARLSON:  Well, I agree with that.  And, you know, I am always the first to feel sorry for people who are humiliated in public.  And I was, you know, quick to feel sorry for the Reverend Haggard.

Then I saw him give an interview with his wife and three kids in the car and decided he‘s a pig.  Anybody who would use his family at a time like this, bringing further shame and humiliation upon them is beneath contempt.

WATKINS:  Well, Tucker, you know, what‘s so sad about this is that the kids and his wife are the real losers in all this.  You know, this is a terrible tragedy.  And to have it so public and in such a horrible public way is even worse. 

But you know what I think?  If I don‘t know Ted Haggard personally, but if I did know him and could talk to him, I would say, “You know, Ted Haggard, you‘ve got a wife, you‘ve got kids, you have a church family that loves you, that cares about you.  You‘ve got people all around the country that listen to you and admire you.  Just come out—just come clean.  Tell them truth.”

Don‘t compound it.  Don‘t compound the problem by not being honest, truthful about what happened. 

Obviously, the allegations are awful.  They are just terrible.  They are terrible allegation. 

But just come clean.  Tell everybody.  Tell your wife, tell your kids, and tell the American public, now that it‘s an American public matter. 

Tell them the truth.  And people can forgive you if you say that you‘re sorry, that you did it and you‘re sorry. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

Finally, the question of homosexuality, it‘s a huge political issue because of gay marriage.  It is frowned upon in the old and new testaments.  I understand that orthodox Christians have a problem with homosexual acts. 

So do orthodox Muslims.  Orthodox Jews do, too.

But homosexuality is not at the very center of the bible.  Why do we hear so much about homosexuality from evangelicals?  It seems disproportionate, to put it mildly.

WATKINS:  Well, it‘s something that‘s certainly been written about in the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament”.  And I don‘t think anybody dislikes people who happen to be gay.  Lots of people have family members who are gay.  And I think that the message is to love everybody and hate nobody. 

That being said, I don‘t think that God loaves everything that we do.  He loves us, but he doesn‘t love everything that we do.  And the bible has made some very clear pronouncements about it.  And people who believe the bible think that, well, you know, if God said it, that must be—that must be the way that it is. 

CARLSON:  But God also is not in favor of divorce, and you almost hear no one saying anything about that because these preachers are too cowardly to mention divorce.  They don‘t want to alienate their divorce and multiple-married flocks because they‘re moral wimps, is the bottom line. 

(CROSSTALK)

WATKINS:  The gospel is as sharp as a two-edged sword.

CARLSON:  That‘s exactly right.

WATKINS:  And it cuts both ways, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  And if they had any stones, they would come out and say that.  But they don‘t. 

Joe, thanks.

WATKINS:  Tucker, I agree. 

CARLSON:  I appreciate it.

Coming up, she rose to fame during the disputed 2000 presidential election, now she‘s making a run for the Senate in the state of Florida. 

Katherine Harris joins us next. 

Plus, Jim Webb turns to his party‘s brightest star to help him beat George Allen in the down-to-the-wire Virginia Senate race.  But is Barack Obama enough to make the difference?

We‘ll bat it around when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Katherine Harris is best known for the role she played as Florida‘s secretary of state in the 2000 presidential election and the recount afterward.  But since then she has been elected and re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  And now she is challenging the Florida Senate seat currently held by Democrat Bill Nelson. 

The latest polls show Harris trailing, but she says the race is a long way from over. 

So how does she plan to turn things around in the four days left?

Congresswoman Katherine Harris joins us today from Orlando, Florida. 

Congresswoman, thanks a lot for coming on. 

REP. KATHERINE HARRIS ®, FLORIDA SENATE CANDIDATE:  Thank you, Tucker.  It‘s great to be with you.

CARLSON:  I think those of us who have been watching your race really from the beginning have been confused by the hostility from many in the Republican Party to your campaign.  You are a pretty famous Republican, and a lot of Republicans were against you running from the start, including the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. 

What‘s that about?

HARRIS:  Well, Tucker, it wasn‘t a lot.  It was a handful of folks, and some of those things were inappropriate in the beginning.  But we had a primary and I won overwhelmingly in a field (ph) of four, 65 percent in Miami-Dade.  So we were excited, and now everyone is united. 

They‘ve all said that everyone has to get behind me so that I win.

CARLSON:  Do you believe that you have got a shot?  You are—as you know, all the smart people, people who cover campaigns, people who think they know a lot about politics, kind of scoff when the idea of you winning...

HARRIS:  Well, they‘ll just have to wait and see November 7th.

CARLSON:  Right.

HARRIS:  That‘s the only poll that matters.  And if you recall, when I ran for the state Senate they said I was down 30 points, and I won. 

CARLSON:  Right.

HARRIS:  When I ran for secretary of state they said I was down 30 and I won by 20.  And Jeb was down 10 points for his reelection and he won by 10. 

So we look forward to our victory on November 7th

CARLSON:  You had...

HARRIS:  Actually, when...

CARLSON:  I beg your pardon?

HARRIS:  ... when folks hear—when folks hear our message with Bill Nelson, he wants to raise taxes, we want to cut them.  He wants to create tens of millions of new illegal immigrants that become citizens at the cost of $50 billion.  We want to secure our borders and make sure that we have legal identification for our workers.

And last of all, he‘s been working to dismantle our traditional

values, like marriage being between one man and one woman, or the fact that

that parents should be identified if their young daughters are being transported across state lines.  We believe that should be the case.  Unfortunately, he votes against those things. 

CARLSON:  Well, I agree with you on that.

You are quoted as saying by two former staffers of yours, Ed Rollins, and a former campaign manager of yours, that you believe God wants you to be U.S. senator. 

Do you think that?

HARRIS:  That‘s just silly.  No, Tucker, I don‘t have those kinds of conversations.  And that is just silly. 

And we said that was so.  They were former staffers.  Some people were fired.  They‘re disgruntled.

We‘ve moved forward, and we have a great team that we‘re committed to winning November 7th

CARLSON:  You had said also if—“If you‘re not electing Christians, then in essence you are going legislate sin.” 

What does that mean?

HARRIS:  Well, we were talking specifically about Bill Nelson.  He shows up at churches, stands up and introduced.

We said that Christians or those with Judeo Christian ethics and values are accountable for knowing how we vote.  It‘s one thing for him to run commercials and say that he is for traditional values, but when he consistently votes time and time again against those things that we hold most dear, like partial-birth abortion ban, even the moderate Democrats voted to get rid of that heinous procedure.  He voted to keep it. 

And the “National Journal,” a very well respected publication in Washington,  nonpartisan, said that when you are looking at the voting records, that his voting record is actually to the left of Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS:  It‘s disingenuous...

CARLSON:  But he‘s pretty liberal, but hold on. 

HARRIS:  ... when they call him a moderate.

CARLSON:  But you‘re making—that‘s a political point, which I think is fair and accurate. 

HARRIS:  I‘m sorry?

CARLSON:  You are making a theological point, however.  Do you think that he‘s a good Christian? 

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS:  No, no, I wasn‘t making—no, I never—I never qualified. 

I said that you‘re accountable.

You can‘t judge a person‘s heart or his faith, but you can judge his voting record.  And that‘s what we are accountable to make sure that we know. 

CARLSON:  OK.

There was an interesting “Washington Post” profile of you that came out this Tuesday on Halloween.  And in it you‘re quoted... 

HARRIS:  That was—yes, it was equivalent.  It was about as bizarre as Halloween. 

CARLSON:  Well, you‘re quoted—I‘m not quite sure what to make of this, but the writer of this piece made a great deal out of these remarks you made about Israel and the Jews and you are a “wannabe Jew” and that you have this kind of deep sympathy, almost this identification with Israel and Israelis. 

What does that mean that you‘re a wannabe Jew? 

HARRIS:  I‘ve always just had a passion for Israel, Tucker.  I can‘t really explain it. 

But I visited there, I have studied there.  I‘ve studied Hebrew.  It‘s just one of my passions.

And I think that America‘s future and Israel are inextricably linked.  When you see Ahmadinejad shooting missiles, firing test missiles that could be in range of Israel, then that is of grave concern.  And I think that we have inordinate issues that we‘re going to be facing.  And we need someone that is going to stand for Israel, and of course I‘m committed to doing that. 

CARLSON:  Do you think that the United States and Israel ever have separate interests?  I mean, are there issues on which what‘s good for Israel is not good for the United States and vice versa?

HARRIS:  Oh, I‘m sure—I‘m sure that that could be the case. 

CARLSON:  Can you think of one?

HARRIS:  But in terms of Israelis national security—no, I‘d have to think about it.  I haven‘t found those differences yet, but I‘m mot married to that. 

But in terms of Israel‘s interest and making sure that they are safe and secure as our friends in the Middle East, that has been really important.  Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be wiped off the face of this earth and—this earth, and that their allies should burn in the furor of the fire of Islam.  And those are—those are terrifying words, and we should take him at his word, and appeasement has never worked.

And so, that‘s why I‘m so grateful that we are actually holding him to account and making sure that all options are on the table.

CARLSON:  All right. 

Katherine Harris, congresswoman from Florida.

Thank you very much.

HARRIS:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Still to come, is the Mark Foley page scandal actually having an effect on Florida‘s hotly-contested congressional race?  Democrat Tim Mahoney joins me after the break to discuss his neck-and-neck battle with Foley‘s replacement.

We‘ll be right back.

Plus, weapons experts are accusing the Bush administration of exposing classified details on how to build a nuclear weapon.  Is it true?  Does it matter? 

We‘ll tell you.  We will be right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM RUSSERT, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”:  Mark Foley‘s name is still on the ballot in Florida.  How could anyone check his name in this upcoming election after what he did with Capitol Hill pages?  What is your answer? 

JOE NEGRON ®, RUNNING FOR MARK FOLEY‘S SEAT IN FLORIDA:  Well, my answer is that Americans don‘t believe in collective guilt.  They believe in personal responsibility.  And I am not Mark Foley. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  That was Joe Negron, the Republican tapped to run as Congressman Mark Foley‘s replacement in the Florida House race.  Foley‘s name is still on the ballot, so voters will basically have to vote for Foley in order to elect Negron.  It sounds crazy, but it is Florida, and they‘re still giving Negron a chance.

The latest poll shows he is only trailing Tim Mahoney by seven points. 

Joining me now from Clewiston, Florida, Tim Mahoney.  Next to him is, of course, former senator and presidential candidate Bob Graham.

Welcome to you both.

Mr. Mahoney, how is it that you are within striking distance, or your opponent is within striking distance of you, after the Mark Foley scandal?  That seems amazing to me.

TIM MAHONEY (D), FLORIDA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE:  Well, you know, we got a big bump initially because people were shocked by what the former congressman did.  I think people are still concerned about how it was handled in Washington, D.C.  But, you know, as we said from the very beginning, that, you know, the people in the 16th Congressional District are very smart. 

They understand that the real issues affecting them are kitchen economy issues of homeowner‘s insurance, gasoline prices, health insurance. 

On an international basis, they are concerned about what we are doing, what

what the president‘s doing to implement a new strategy so we can win the peace.  These are the things that they care about. 

The other thing that happened was that the Dennis Hastert, Karl Rove and Republican leadership decided that they wanted to nationalize this race, and they picked somebody that is a rubberstamp for the president and pumped $2.5 million into this race, and have been running aggressive ads about my—you know, about me.  And so, you know, they are trying to make this competitive. 

CARLSON:  Well, I can promise you that the last thing they want is to nationalize this or any other congressional race.  To nationalize it means to have a conversation about Iraq and the president.  They‘re not very popular.  They want to do the opposite of nationalizing it.

But who—who exactly are you running against?  Are you running against President Bush and Karl Rove, as you just suggested?  Are you running against Mark Foley?  Or are you running against Negron, the guy who has taken Foley‘s place? 

I mean, there‘s a lot to choose from.  What are you choosing? 

MAHONEY:  Well, I mean, if you take a look at my opponent‘s position, he supports the president‘s position on Iraq, he supports the president‘s position on embryonic stem cell research.  You know, he just works right down the talking point of the National Republican Party. 

And what this race really comes down to is really a decision on the part of the people in the 16th District. 

Now, I ask them all the time the Reagan question, are you better off today than you were six years ago?  Do you think you are more secure today than you were six years ago?

If you are, then, you know, they have got the plan.  If you are not, I am a voice for change. 

I am a businessman, entrepreneur.  I am independent.  I am going to go to Washington, D.C., and work with Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives.  Heck, I‘ll even work with the vice president as long as I don‘t have to go hunting with him. 

But what people want, people want results.  And they deserve results. 

In my business and my life I‘ve had to produce results.  This

administration hasn‘t produced the results. 

People want change in the 16th District.  We are going to win. 

CARLSON:  About what percentage of your district is Democrat and what percent is Republican, would you say? 

MAHONEY:  It‘s about 37 percent Democrat and 44 percent registered Republican.  But, you know, let me just say this, I‘m standing here next to one of the great...

CARLSON:  So without—I mean, wait.  I beg your pardon, but...

MAHONEY:  I‘m standing next to one of the great Floridians, Bob Graham.

Bob Graham won every election handily in my district.

CARLSON:  Yes.

MAHONEY:  As will Bill Nelson. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t think—I don‘t think Mr. Graham—Senator Graham ever lost an election statewide in Florida.

But without the Foley sex scandal, I mean, you‘ll concede you wouldn‘t have had much of a shot, do you think, in a Republican district running against Mark Foley? 

MAHONEY:  Oh, I think you are absolutely—I mean, I think that is a great view from Washington or wherever you‘re sitting, Tucker.  But, you know, if you take a look at the facts, we are running an aggressive campaign. 

Right after the primary, we were up on television for a month.  My former opponent was up.  And we had him within single digits with two months out. 

I mean, the bottom line is, is that the issues haven‘t changed.  What I‘m doing is I‘m focusing people to think about what have been the results of the last six years.

CARLSON:  Yes.

MAHONEY:  And people here in Florida are not doing better today than they were six years ago. 

CARLSON:  All right.

MAHONEY:  And I can just go through the laundry list.  Homeowners insurance is number one on that list.

CARLSON:  Thank you, Mr. Mahoney.  You don‘t need to. 

And actually, you know, I think you make a fair point.  There are Republicans who are a lot—in a lot safer seats than Mark Foley who look like they might lose.  So, you know, who knows what might have happened.  But this is what did happen.

Good luck.  I appreciate your coming on.  Thanks.

Still to come, we‘ll have much more on the gay sex and drug scandal involving evangelical Christian leader Ted Haggard.

A big day for sex scandals.

Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, a political candidate at a complete loss for words.  Normally it wouldn‘t be a big deal, but during a live televised debate, not so good.  We‘ll show you that amazing clip in just a minute.  But right now here is a look at your headlines. 

(MARKET REPORT)

CARLSON:  Time now for “Three on three,” where we welcome two of the sharpest people we know to discuss three of today‘s most interesting stories.  From Orlando, Florida, Pat Campbell, host of the “Pat Campbell Show” on 540 WFLA and in Manhattan, New York City, Alex Bennett, he‘s the host of the “Alex Bennett Program” that‘s on Sirius Satellite radio.  Welcome to you both. 

CARLSON:  Earlier, as you know, we discussed allegations of the Reverend Ted Haggard, the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, or was until yesterday, paid a man for sex.  We also talked to that man, Mike Jones, a male prostitute.  He claims that he saw Haggard use crystal meth.  Haggard has stepped down while his church investigates, claims that televised interview—not so.  Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Have you used meth? 

HAGGARD:  No, I have not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK.  He has matched now 18 of the words left on the voicemail message. 

HAGGARD:  I did call him.  I did call him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What did you call him about? 

HAGGARD:  I called him to buy some meth, but I threw it away. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And who were you buying the meth for?

HAGGARD:  I was buying it for me but I never used it. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Have you ever used meth before? 

HAGGARD:  No I have not and I did not ever use it with him. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And did you ever have sex with him? 

HAGGARD:  No, I did not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And, at what point did you decide to throw away the meth? 

HAGGARD:  Right after. I never kept it very long because it was wrong. 

I was tempted.  I bought it but I never used it. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And how did you know that he would sell it to you? 

HAGGARD:  He told me about it.  I went there for a massage.  So, OK, we are late for our appointment.  And so, but thank you for your work. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How did you find him to get a massage from him? 

HAGGARD:  A referral.      

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  From?

HAGGARD:  From the hotel I was staying at.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Looking straight into the camera with his three kids in the back and his wife next to him and saying I called him to buy some meth.  I mean you just really, I have to say Alex, you just—doesn‘t your heart break for the literally millions of decent evangelicals who look to this guy for leadership, who are good people and they have a leader like this, who is a liar and willing to use his family to save himself. 

ALEX BENNETT, RADIO HOST:  You know, I‘ve said this before, under normal conditions, we said this was a Foley-thing—and in normal conditions, this is a non-story.  This is a man indiscretion.  It‘s his problems, if you‘ve got a drug problem, perhaps maybe he‘s the guy who should go into rehab, but hasn‘t used that excuse yet.  You know, this always happens. 

These guys who protest the loudest about gays and about this and that suddenly get caught in these things and they are not fooling anybody.  It is always sad when this happens.  It is sad for the families.  It‘s sad for all the people that believe in him. 

But, I never had much respect for these evangelicals anyway because they go out and they‘re just grabbing money from these people and they‘re doing their little tent shows now in big temples and palaces.  It is terrible what they are doing to their flock and to the people who are true believers, to go out and be this hypocrite.

CARLSON:  Well, it seems to me Pat, that is the problem here.  The elites in this country on both sides, hate the evangelicals more than any other group as far as I‘m concerned, they really have deep hostility and contempt towards the people Ted Haggard was leading.  It seems to me for this guy to live down to the stereotype of the gay-bashing secret gay, which is every liberal‘s fantasy about evangelicals, for him to be that, what a betrayal. 

PAT CAMPBELL, RADIO HOST:  You know Tucker, the media loves scandals like this—it‘s Jim Baker and Tammy Faye all over again, Jimmy Swaggart.  The only thing that would have made this tastier for the media is if it had been a Roman Catholic priest.  That would have made it better.  This is election year politics at its absolute worst.  What you‘ve got going on here is a very orchestrated attempt to marginalize, heck demonize evangelical Christians. 

Unfortunately, this guy delivered his head on a silver platter to these clowns and the people—you know who we should feel sorry for, we should feel sorry for his wife and his five kids who have to live with the embarrassment, the shame of his personal choices.

CARLSON:  I would have felt sorry for him.  I mean, my first response was—the poor guy.  How would you like to have any weird thing you ever did made public.  No you wouldn‘t, nobody would.  But for this guy to drag his wife and kids out—that‘s when he lost all sympathy for me. 

BENNETT:  I feel sorry for Pat and Tucker for the gays, whose lives have been made a little more miserable because this guy was out preaching against them.

CARLSON:  Oh, I don‘t know.  It turns out—the one thing that deviate from the story line here that Hollywood would‘ve written—is this guy actually wasn‘t such an anti-gay crusader.  I mean, he came out and in fact and supported the Supreme Court decision that made sodomy between consenting adults legal.  So I mean, he wasn‘t the parody of the anti-gay preacher that you would imagine.

CAMPBELL:  What I want to know is—do you either of you guys get meth from your masseuse. 

CARLSON:  I have.  But I am not campaigning against it.  I am just kidding by the way. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  A government Web site which contained information about making atomic bombs has been taken down by intelligence officials yesterday.  The Web site had posted a wide array of Iraqi documents from the Saddam regime.  Weapons experts say that some of those documents detailed Iraq‘s secret nuclear weapon research before the ‘91 Persian Gulf war.  And some of them may have included bomb making instructions.  So now of a sudden Alex, the left is claiming that the Bush Administration is putting up blueprints for the nuclear bomb on the web.

BENNETT:  These blueprints have been on the web for years.  Maybe that is where Iraq got them from.  I just think it is kind of silly that our government isn‘t a little more—it claims to be protecting us from the bad guys and is really doing a pretty lousy job of it.  You know, that‘s what it points out, that for all the huffing and puffing about I‘m saving you and homeland security and everything, that these are the guys that always you know, screw it up. 

CARLSON:  I must say they are the first to claim that any information they don‘t want to become public is a threat to national security.  And so, there is a kind of irony here you‘ve got to admit.

BENNETT:  Oh, sure.

CARLSON:  I mean, you‘ve got to admit. 

BENNETT:  I mean, I was watching a thing last night on HBO about the election machines and the way this woman got into the Diebold schematics and the program, was she just went on the Web, and she was Googling.  And finally, she had these schematics in front of her and these programs in front of her. 

CARLSON:  Pat, are you surprised by this?

CAMPBELL:  No.  What I was surprised by is “The New York Times” this morning.  I was expecting their November surprise hit piece on Bush.  I think they outsmarted themselves.  They actually wind up making the case for Bush. 

For the last three years, “The New York Times” has repeatedly told me that Bush lied, people died; there were no WMDs.  Now this morning I pick up the newspaper, and I find out, wait, they had a very advanced nuclear program, in fact far more advanced than we‘ve been led to believe.  And they were just a year away from making the atomic bomb.  And that these plans were so detailed, so advanced that other countries could use them. 

You‘re right.  The irony is “The New York Times” in their article this morning, they‘re adamantly opposed, I guess, to publishing classified information, unless of course, it‘s them doing it. 

This past week they published classified information from the U.S.  generals talking about Iraq, the situation there moving toward chaos.  I guess it‘s OK if they do it. 

CARLSON:  Yes, a good point.  As one opposed to printing classified information.

Well, Democrats may control the House.  It looks like they may.  Nancy Pelosi, of course, will be second in line to succeed the president, after the vice president.  Turns out Nancy Pelosi will be, as you know, in a very, very significant position.  She will be speaker of the House, likely. 

Why aren‘t Republicans saying this?  Why have they lost opportunity after opportunity after opportunity—this is a question for you specifically, Pat—in the last month to run the Nancy Pelosi campaign?  I thought that‘s what they were going be doing.  I thought that‘s what Karl Rove had promised us, a campaign focused on the Democrats.  That might have worked, but they haven‘t done that.  Why?

CAMPBELL:  I think part of the reason they‘ve refused to attack Nancy Pelosi thus far is they realize that after next Tuesday they might have to work with her. 

CARLSON:  That‘s a good point.

CAMPBELL:  Plus—plus, if they are holding onto any information—she‘s got skeletons in her closet, like we all do.  They‘re probably waiting to use them somewhere down the road when they really need him. 

But the reality is, after next Tuesday, they may have to work with this lady.  So you don‘t want to go out of your way to burn a bridge before you have to.

CARLSON:  I‘d like to think they‘re that smart, because that is—that actually is—that is thinking ahead.  You buy that?

BENNETT:  I kind of buy what Pat‘s saying.  I think that makes a lot of sense.  I think also Nancy Pelosi—and I‘m a big fan of hers, because she‘s back from my old home district of San Francisco—is very kind of verbal woman who gets her point across very well.  And to engage her in any kind of fight would probably not be a good idea.  The best thing to do is kind of ignore her for the time being. 

I mean, she didn‘t enter into this whole thing against Kerry when every one of the other Democrats tried to wash their hands of Kerry, which I considered quite cowardly on the part of the Democrats.

CARLSON:  Oh, totally.

BENNETT:  Well, I mean, I thought it was terrible, because Kerry,

while he was—you know, he didn‘t pull a very good joke, only an idiot

would think that he meant something against the troops.  The point was that

that none of the Democrats came to his side. 

CARLSON:  Well, of course.  And Kerry—Kerry, who I think has actually slandered the troops in the past.  But here‘s a guy who‘s running around the country, working on behalf of other Democrats in preparation for the election, really trying hard to raise money and help everyone else.  And the second he gets in trouble, the shivs come out and they just stick it to him. 

BENNETT:  Well, I mean, they‘re all scrambling to protect themselves. 

But you know, all these things—Kerry and now this thing with Ted Haggard

all of them are diversions from the real questions we should be talking about. 

CARLSON:  No, I like talking about those things.  But that‘s just me.

BENNETT:  Well, I mean, they‘re fun, but let‘s do them when they‘re a little more far away from—you know, a little more far away from an election. 

CARLSON:  I‘ve enjoyed it.  Thanks a lot, Alex and Pat.  Have a great weekend.

Still ahead is Senator George Allen running out of cash in his race with Jim Webb?  That‘s what some Democrats are claiming.  We‘ll get that story live from Virginia, right after the break.  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Jim Webb brings out the big Democratic guns to push him over the top in his race against George Allen for Senate in Virginia.

Plus, one of the most awkward moments in televised debate history. 

Ouch!  We‘ll show it to you when we come back in just 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Continuing coverage of “Decision 2006” continues.

James Webb, the Democrat hoping to win Senator George Allen‘s seat, pulling out the big guns.  He‘s invited Illinois Senator Barack Obama, actor Michael J. Fox.  They both join him on the campaign trail.  He‘s going to need the help, with the latest polls showing them Webb and Allen neck and neck. 

Joining me now with the latest on that race, MSNBC‘s David Shuster. 

He‘s in Alexandria, Virginia.

David, welcome.  Is it true?  There are rumors all around Washington, I think probably coming from Democrats, that Allen is out of money.  Is that true?

DAVID SHUSTER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, it stems from actually one Republican official who suggested that the RNC did not expect to be spending money in Virginia here at the end. 

But the Democrats, of course, have run with that and have pointed out that George Allen is not advertising as heavily over the main broadcast television stations in Washington as the Webb campaign is. 

The Allen campaign counters and says, “Well, we‘re on cable in D.C., but the point is that we‘re on heavy in other parts of the state where Webb is not.” 

So it depends on who you ask.  What‘s so funny about it all, though, Tucker, is that you have the George Allen campaign which just has had no luck in this campaign season, suggesting that the Webb campaign is part of a Democratic conspiracy to somehow make Republicans feel awful this election weekend.  And that‘s the point of the election is to make your opponent feel terrible.  So...

CARLSON:  What does that mean, make Republicans feel awful? 

SHUSTER:  Well, to demoralize them.  To essentially make Republicans less enthusiastic, less energized, to make Republicans think that George Allen is a loser. 

As you know, I mean, that‘s part of sort of the campaign strategy at the end.  That‘s why, for example, we‘re being bombarded with press releases from the Republicans.  Every poll that shows that either Webb is behind or, for example, Tennessee, that Ford is behind, they send out these poll numbers. 

Likewise, the Democrats send the poll numbers and the press releases every time a poll shows them ahead.  It‘s all part of the sort of psychological operations, the warfare here at the end to try to get into the other guy‘s head and make the other campaign think, you know, this is all worthless. 

CARLSON:  Well, we just put up a poll from Rasputin—Rasmussen, 49-49.  Do you think that‘s about where it stands?

SHUSTER:  I think that‘s about right.  I mean, even both of the campaigns, when you get them away from the cameras and on background, they‘ll say, look, this could really go either way. 

I think what it‘s all focusing on now, though, is that the candidates feel, perhaps, that they can‘t make as much of a difference as the get out the vote operations, and that‘s why there‘s so much focus now on the George Allen team, as far as locating all of their county organizers, making sure they‘re getting the absentee ballots early, making sure they‘re identified all the potential voters. 

And the same sort of operation on the Democratic side, although most people would say that the Republican operation is a little bit more technologically advanced, a little bit more sophisticated than what the Democrats have put together. 

CARLSON:  One of the fascinating—maybe the most interesting dynamic in this race is the gender split.  Typically, you see a pretty strong percentage going for Democrats among women.  They‘ve got an edge in the double digits, typically.  Clinton, for instance, always carried women, I think by more than 10 points.

And the opposite is true, of course, for men and Republicans. 

In this race, you see Webb, the Democrat, doing really well among men and George Allen doing pretty well among women.  What—what is the story behind that?

SHUSTER:  Well, a lot of it—and there is some second guessing among Democrats to suggest Webb, instead of—when George Allen was drawing a lot of people‘s attention to what Webb had written in a magazine article 20 years ago and some of his novels, the theory that that would somehow anger women towards Webb.  There are a number of Democrats who suggested that Webb at that point should have made a bigger deal of his abortion rights position and trying to distinguish his record on—with women in health care, as opposed to George Allen. 

But instead, what‘s happened is you do have women who are raising some questions about Webb and may essentially stay home on Tuesday because of what they‘ve heard about Webb.  And yet, you have a lot of men who see Webb has a veteran, as somebody who‘s something of a change from George Allen, who may be put off by some of the things that Allen has said in this campaign. 

So it does defy some logic the way this race seems to be cutting. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I‘m telling you if Webb wins, I think Democrats around the nation are going be shocked at how conservative he is on some issues.  I mean, this is the very beginning.  It will be amazing to watch.  And I know you‘ll be covering it above all. 

Thanks, David Shuster.  I appreciate it. 

SHUSTER:  Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON:  You can get up to speed on all the races across the country at our web site.  The address: Politics.MSNBC.com.  It‘s got everything, everything you need to get yourself ready as we count down to election day on Tuesday.  Worth visiting.

Ned Lamont uses car wrecks to attack Joe Lieberman.  So what‘s the point?  We‘ll tell you what the point is when we come right back with Willie Geist. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  To tap off the day‘s most controversial political coverage, really, in all of cable news, we welcome now Willie Geist—Willie. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Hello, Tucker.  Do you know anywhere I could get some—a massage, maybe some crystal meth? 

CARLSON:  I have no clue.  I mean, you could go to RentaHunt.com. 

What was the web site?

GEIST:  RentBoy.com.

CARLSON:  RentBoy.  Sorry, sorry.

GEIST:  I‘m—and this is purely for professional purposes.  We checked out that web site today, and it‘s not somewhere you want to go. 

CARLSON:  No.

GEIST:  Save yourself the trip.  Trust me.

CARLSON:  Let me just say you‘re not going to mistake that for like a normal deep tissue massage?

GEIST:  No, no, no, no. 

CARLSON:  No, you‘re not.

GEIST:  It‘s not very confusing, actually.  It‘s pretty straightforward.

Tucker, we‘ve got a couple spots for you today.  Ned Lamont, as you know, upset Joe Lieberman in Connecticut‘s Democratic primary in August, but now he‘s trailing Lieberman by double digits in the contest that really counts.  From the looks of Lamont‘s latest ad it appears desperate times call for automobile accidents. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NED LAMONT (D), CONNECTICUT CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT:  I‘m Ned Lamont, and I approve this message. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Didn‘t see that coming.  I‘ve got to stop doing this.  Stupid car!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result, why in the world would we send Joe Lieberman back to the U.S. Senate?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST:  Tucker, that seems to me like a waste of five perfectly good Lincoln Towncars on the taxpayer dime, or at least campaign finances. 

CARLSON:  Oh, I think—I think Ned Lamont can afford it. 

GEIST:  Yes, maybe. 

He‘s also—that‘s not the only way he‘s going, Tucker.  Today, his -

Lamont‘s campaign announced Paul Newman will be doing a spot for Lamont, in which he says, quote, “It‘s tough times out there, and Connecticut needs someone who is young, fresh and spunky.” 

Spunky?  Would you like a senator or like a cocktail waitress? 

Spunky.

CARLSON:  You would have to be—or remember the Mickey Mouse Club?  You‘d have to be as old as Paul Newman, really, to consider Ned Lamont young and spunky.

GEIST:  By the way, Ned Lamont is 52.  Neither young nor spunky.

CARLSON:  It‘s true.

GEIST:  Anyway, this next spot, Tucker, is fake.  We admit it.  We found it on MySpace.  Josh Jennings is not actually running for Congress, as far as we know, but he ought to.  I‘d vote for him.  Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Tired of politicians using their power and influence to fatten their wallets?  Then maybe it‘s time for a new kind of congressman. 

JOSH JENNINGS, FAKE CANDIDATE:  A lot of people have been asking me, hey, Josh, how come you‘re running for Congress?  Dude, do you have any idea how much a congressman makes in a year?  Neither did I, so I Googled it; $165,000 a year. 

So if I win, I‘m totally throwing a pizza party at my place.  Well, my parent‘s place.  That‘s OK.  They‘ll be out of town.  They go visit my sister in college all the time.  Let‘s do this.  Let‘s rock the House—of Representatives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Josh Jennings, a man who gives back to the people. 

JENNINGS:  I‘m Josh Jennings, and I approve this message because I want to have a party up in the hizzy with the pizzy. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST:  Tucker, pretty professional looking campaign.

CARLSON:  How‘s that?

GEIST:  I have to say, better than most of the ones we‘ve seen from around the country.  But listen, Josh Jennings is a straight shooter, right?  He‘s a real guy.  He‘s everything these other candidates claim to be, they want you to think they are.  I don‘t know.  Josh Jennings is the genuine article.  Think about writing him in wherever you live.  I don‘t know where he lives.

CARLSON:  Is he actually—does he exist?  Or is he like LonelyGirl16?

GEIST:  No, no, he‘s a real guy.  He‘s a real guy, but not a real candidate, unfortunately. 

CARLSON:  That‘s a shame. 

GEIST:  Finally Tucker, unless you are a Tucker Carlson level political freak, you may not be following the New Mexico congressional races very closely.  That‘s why we‘re here. 

A televised debate between Democrat Patricia Madrid and Republican incumbent Heather Wilson provided perhaps the most cringe-worth moment of the campaign season.  Watch Madrid melt down when she‘s asked a question about taxes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Can you cite something in your long career in public service that would give people of New Mexico some kind of reassurance that you will prevent a tax increase?

PATRICIA MADRID (D), NEW MEXICO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE:  Your president and you have...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST:  Sorry?  Something about my president? 

CARLSON:  Whoa, whoa. 

GEIST:  Poor Patricia.  She‘s leading in the polls, though.  So it didn‘t hurt her.

CARLSON:  That was watching—that was a panic attack unfolding.

GEIST:  It was ugly.

CARLSON:  Willie Geist, thank you. 

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.

CARLSON:  That‘s our show.  Thanks for watching.  Our coverage of “Decision 2006” continues with Chris and “HARDBALL.”  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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