updated 10/24/2007 1:46:52 PM ET 2007-10-24T17:46:52

Guest: Roxanne Roberts, Amy Argetsinger, Kate O’Beirne, Hillary Rosen, Dan

Lungren

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST:  The Republican Party will not nominate Rudy Giuliani for the presidency at least not according to Senator Sam Brownback.  Welcome to the show.  Before he withdrew from the race in the afternoon, Brownback addressed the value voter summit at the Family Research Council here in Washington.  Brownback told the press that the Republican will nominate a pro life that Rudy Giuliani simply does not fit that bill.

Guiliani has led the Republican field in most national polls for most of the year despite predictions that his descent was only a matter of time.  It hasn’t happened yet.

Who will leave the value voters summit with the support of evangelicals?  Well, according to Kate O’Beirne of The National Review” the Republican Party’s best candidate may be Senator John McCain.  The reasoning?  McCain is a strong and consistent pro lifer, has always been.  He is perceived to be tough on national defense and he is record of fiscal restraint.

Add to that mix his reputation as a maverick and maybe it’s time to look again at the man who was once front runner when all this began.

In a moment we’ll be joined by a McCain supporter in Congress and after that by Kate O’Beirne herself.

Also today the Jena 6 are back in the news.  Two of the six students who beat up a student on racial grounds in Jena, Louisiana, received a standing ovation Thursday night when they presented an award on BET.  To support the civil rights of people who may have been treated harshly by the criminal justice system is one thing.  To lionize two kids who joined four others to beat up an innocent victim seems quite another.  We’ll discuss it.

And the disgust is widespread over Congressman Pete Starks’ suggestion Thursday that President Bush is quote, “amused” by the killing of American soldiers in Iraq.  What was he thinking when he said it?  We’ll have reaction from both sides, but we begin with value voter summit the question of which Republican will land the support of conservative Christians.  Joining me now is McCain supporter, Republican Congressman from California Dan Lungren.

Congressman, thanks a lot for coming on.

DAN LUNGREN, ® CA:  My pleasure to be here.

CARLSON:  So the central issue for lot of these voters is abortion, of course, and I wanted to play what Senator McCain said on that topic today at the summit.  Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I have been pro life my entire public career.  I believe I am the only major candidate in either party who can make that claim.

I am pro life—I am pro life because I know what it is like to live without human rights, where human life is accorded no inherent value and I know that I have a personal obligation to advocate human rights wherever they are denied.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Boy, that’s a pretty good argument.  In one paragraph he ties together his personal history as POW with the support for pro life movement.  Wraps up in a nice package, will that work?  Is that enough?

LUNGREN:  Well, I hope it’s going to work.  A lot of it depends on whether the electorate is going to be serious in this upcoming election.  What I mean by that is, now we’re talking about personalities, we’re talking about who has the most money.

A lot of those things, if the voters start to concentrate on the serious issues before us, including the war, including this disaster we have about spending too much money, including our commitment to true social values, that John McCain has shown through his entire career, then I think what you’re going to find is you’re going to find that the voters are going to look to him seriously.

John started out as the front runner, fell way behind, believe me as one of his supporters I know how far behind he fell.  But in some ways he’s been liberated now we see John McCain as those of who have served with him know him.  He has been a consistent pro lifer from the ‘80s when I served with him in the House, he has not wavered in his direction on what we need to do in the war.  And on spending, no one can say he’s a Johnny-come-lately.  As a matter of fact he’s oftentimes gotten the ire of his colleagues precisely because he has been so tough on spending.

CARLSON:  I’m not disagreeing with anything you say.  But you have to acknowledge that one of the reasons he’s fallen so far behind, one of the reasons he raised so little money and now in debt because conservatives don’t trust him.  Why is that?

LUNGREN:  Well, I think because John has angered some of his friends as well as his enemies.  John .

CARLSON:  He’s pretty nice to his enemies.

LUNGREN:  I think John’s wrong on the issue of funding for campaigns, for instance.  I think he’s dead wrong on that.  But on the key issues, not just politically but to the importance of the long term interests of this country.

The war and beyond the war in Iraq, the entire fight against Islamofascism, he’s not afraid to call it that.  On spending we are in a train wreck with respect to spending on the federal level.  He’s been fighting that for a long time.  And when you talk about pro life, I’ve with him there when he has voted the tough votes on pro life.  When he stood with us overnight when we tried to get a constitutional amend tomorrow protect the flag.

And talked about his experiences as someone in the Hanoi Hilton for five and a half years knowing that that single symbol of the United States meant something more than any other symbol and that’s why we ought to attach some significance to it.  Even put it in the Constitution.

He talked about those things without apology.  But a lot of people have not heard that, at least they haven’t concentrated on that.  Part of I think what we need to do now is supporters of his is direct people to that record so they can see, he’s not just saying it, he’s lived it.

CARLSON:  Speaking of his life, and its bearing on the campaign in his speech today to Christian conservatives in Washington he made reference to faith and God forged in prison that he spent time, God helped him when he was behind bars.  He apparently has changed his religious affiliation from Episcopalian to Baptist, what’s that about?  And what’s .

LUNGREN:  I’ve never talked with John about the fact that he was Episcopalian and now attends a Baptist church.  I take it on what he said publicly that’s the church my wife, my family and I attend.  John has never been one to wear his Christianity on his sleeve.  But if you look at what he has done in his public life, he has been consistent with the Judeo-Christian ethic that is the bedrock of our foundational institutions and Constitution.  He’s not afraid to say that without having consideration for others who have a different point of view.  He’s able to say that, he’s able to walk that line in part because of the life history that he has.

And I think that’s one of the important things now.  If the voters start to look at his life history, both what he went through in Vietnam but also how he has served this country in the House and in the Senate.  They will see consistency which I think the American people are looking for.

CARLSON:  McCain is not an easy guy to get along with.  I find his personality appealing, I’ll say it point blank, but he’s not very popular on Capitol Hill as you know because when he has contempt for you he can’t hide it, he drips with contempt.  Now he’s dripping with contempt for Mitt Romney.  Every time he mention’s Romney’s name you feel like he wants to spit, why?

LUNGREN:  I think that’s over .

CARLSON:  Come on, have you seen him lately?  Everything he says about Romney.  I despise you.

LUNGREN:  John does have a tendency or has had a tendency in the past to have a temper, all of those of us who served with him on the Hill know that.  We recognize that.  He’s not running for saint, he’s running for president.

The fact of the matter is he feels passionately about consistency, about honor, about commitment.  That drives him.  I’ve seen it on the floor of the House of the Representatives.

CARLSON:  He thinks Romney is a phony?  Is that it?

LUNGREN:  I didn’t say that.  What I said is, he is trying to tell his story.  He understands that he doesn’t have the money to tell his story the way the other candidates do.  You can say that’s the way he ran his campaign before or whatever but that happens to be the fact right now.

And so in a very real sense john is back to being the guy who is fighting from the back to try to get to the front as opposed to the front runner trying to use the money to put his issues out there.  That didn’t work.  This is the John I know.  This is the fighter I know.  And this is the fighter that I think the American people will have some reaction to and have a resonance with.

CARLSON:  Got to hope so.  Dan Lungren, congressman from California  Thanks very much.

LUNGREN:  Thank you very much.

But John McCain has had some problems with Christian conservatives, will they come back to him anyway now that they face the specter of Rudy Giuliani.  Plus two of the so so-called Jena 6 defendants presented the biggest award at BET’s hip hop award show last night.

They were greeted with a standing ovation.  They may have been mistreated but should they be treated as heroes?  That’s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Like sands through an hour glass, so too are the days of John McCain’s presidential campaign.  The Arizona senator has been scrutinized like no other candidate in some time, pundits have written him off, many social conservatives simply have turned their backs on him.  Recently he’s begun to show signs of life in the polls.

Maybe, just maybe he is the sleeper to watch.  This weekend Republican candidates are courting the so-called values vote at conference here in Washington.  McCain spoke at it today.  Was it enough?

Joining me, MSNBC political analyst and Democratic strategist Hillary Rosen and the “National Review’s” Kate O’Beirne.

Welcome to you both.  Kate, here is what you write in “National Review.”  Part of what you write about McCain.  You say, “When the false assumptions that the case for Giuliani are stripped away, McCain emerges as the stronger candidate.”  What are those false assumptions and what does that mean?

KATE O’BEIRNE, “NATIONAL REVIEW”:  As between John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, and I argue I think in the piece that maybe John McCain hasn’t been scrutinized enough by conservatives, relative to the other candidates in this field.  Two false assumption it seems underlie the Rudy Giuliani candidacy, one is that he’d be the most effective candidate against Hillary Clinton which polls show Republicans overwhelmingly believe to be the case.

If you look at actual head to head polling, though, that’s not the case.  John McCain polls against Hillary Clinton every bit as well.  And sometimes better.  Than does Rudy Giuliani.  Both benefit from being the best known Republicans in the field.  So that false assumption should not be helping Rudy Giuliani as it is.  And the second one is, that social conservatives will have to put aside their concern with social issues because we face this enormous threat from terrorism and national security should take precedent, prominence over social issues.

But with John McCain you don’t have to make that choice.  Many conservatives recognize that John McCain has more national security experience than Rudy Giuliani, and has the most solid pro life report in the field.  So you don’t have to choose between .

CARLSON:  It seems like a no brainer and yet if you look at the map, Hilary, it’s kind of hard to see where John McCain wins or the John McCain resurgence really sort of bites in and starts moving forward.  Do you see where?

HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  He’s not playing in Iowa, so far.  But New Hampshire is a place he’s always done well.  He could still do well in New Hampshire.  But I’m just so delighted with John McCain’s resurgence as the true conservative.  I’ve been saying on this show and on TV for a year that he’s actually the true conservative.  And you’ve been agreeing with that.  The idea that everybody else has so readily dismissed him as that candidate .

CARLSON:  He’s very annoying to conservatives that’s part of the problem. 

Even though he is conservative.

ROSEN:  Republicans don’t trust him.

CARLSON:  No.  Because he’s—I like John McCain.  Most annoying candidate

by far.

ROSEN:  But these things have a life of their own if after—if Rudy Giuliani is moving south you have 25 percent of the general voter population as white evangelicals.  They’re saying they’re not going to support Rudy Giuliani.  You have a significantly higher portion of that in the primary.  They need somebody, and Fred Thompson just isn’t shining through the way they were hoping he would.  I think that’s why people are looking at Kohn McCain because Fred Thompson is not the alternative.

CARLSON:  It makes sense to me.  I kind of like Fred Thompson’s sort of laid back, Fred Thompson does not have plans for my life, I like that about Fred Thompson.  He’ll go to bed early.

O’BEIRNE:  He has a natural appeal to conservatives, too.

CARLSON:  He—doesn’t have a master plan.  He’s not going to tell me to eat carrots.

O’BEIRNE:  HE doesn’t have a minor plan much less a master plan.

CARLSON:  That’s all right.  He’s like Bush pre 9/11

O’BEIRNE:  These times call for a little bit .

CARLSON:  But McCain wouldn’t be in this position right now, he would have been the anointed candidate, I believe, had he not gone out of his way to stick his finger in the eye of bunch of symbolic issues and taunt conservatives.  Why did he do that?

O’BEIRNE:  He was of course a year ago the presumptive front runner leading in all the polls in name recognition.  He certainly didn’t help himself by sponsoring comprehensive immigration reform in the spring.  Now it’s not a symbolic issue as you well know.

CARLSON:  No, that’s not.

O’BEIRNE:  And it completely reflects John McCain’s convictions.

CARLSON:  I think that’s completely fair.  That’s all I’m talking about here.  That’s honest disagreement.  I disagree with him profoundly.  But I think he believes and that’s totally sincere.  I mean calling Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who I never defend but agents of intolerance is, why do that.  Why go out of your way like campaign finance reform to make the NRA mad.

ROSEN:  As you recall he was doing that during the 2000 election where 20 percent, 20 to 25 percent of New Hampshire’s voters are independents.  That went over big with independent voters.

CARLSON:  He won by 19 points for that reason.

ROSEN:  So that’s not a bad strategy if you’re running against somebody as strong as George Bush was.  I think that the problem now is, he has to recapture them and in doing so he has just looked like he has as few values as almost all those other Republican flip floppers in the race.

O’BEIRNE:  But he’s not changing any of his .

ROSEN:  Now he has to get back to where .

O’BEIRNE:  He’s not changing his positions.  He modified immigration, his message now is, we heard you loud and clear, you don’t trust Washington to secure the borders.  So he now backs something more like consecutive reform.  He doesn’t have to flip on anything else though which I think is a strength.  One lucky thick for him, he now looking to appeal to those conservative Christian voters.  They are obliged Hilary to forgive him.

CARLSON:  You think they’re obliged?

O’BEIRNE:  They’re totally obliged.  Serious Christians.

CARLSON:  I talked to someone who was there today when he spoke who said, you know, he said the right things but said them without passion.

ROSEN:  He said—I think he actually said it in very John McCain way.  I’m not going to con you.  Which is not exactly, I’m going to agree with you.  It’s when I disagree with you, I’m going to tell you.  Which is exactly really what people don’t want to hear.  People really want to you agree with him.

CARLSON:  Of course they .

ROSEN:  They don’t want you to be honest.  They want you to pander.

CARLSON:  I host a TV show, you’re telling me?  You don’t pander, demagogue, you get nowhere.

O’BEIRNE:  Think of a national election because one thing at the moment is causing conservatives to give a second look to John McCain the imperative to beat Hillary Clinton next year.  When they look for someone who can keep the base of the Republican Party intact, base it as one five out of the last seven presidential elections.  Social, economic and national security conservatives.  John McCain could do that.  Have some appeal to independents.  And be authentic.

I think a weakness of Hillary Clinton’s is that people think she’s something of a phony.  So the authenticity that John McCain brings could .

CARLSON:  I disagree.  I think you want Hillary to be phony.  You don’t want the real Hillary.

I’m sorry.  We’re totally—We’ll be right back.  I promise.

We’ll deconstruct the real Hillary in just a moment but meanwhile, two of the members of the so-called Jena 6 are getting standing ovation at the BET Hip Hop Awards last night.

The show hosts says they weren’t condoning the racial beating of a white student, but were they?

Plus Chinatown is filling Hillary’s fortune cookies with lots of dough, even if they’re not making a lot of it.  And has her rivals questioning her ethics.  We’ve got details coming up.  We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Remember the Jena 6?  Well, they’re the group of black teenagers who allegedly beat up a white teenager in Jena, Louisiana, apparently for racial reasons.  Well, last night at the Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta two of the accused appeared on stage on BET to help present the video of the year award.  Were they with booed?  No, when they walked out onstage they were greeted withstanding ovation.

Yes they may have been treated unfairly by the justice system, I think they were treated unfairly but are they heroes?

Back with us now, MSNBC political analyst and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and the “National Review’s” Kate O’Beirne.

Hillary, it seems, this is a line from the BET blog message board, which I don’t typically read, but this is the news story.  “These kids should not be made out to be celebrities.  If anything, they should be humbled and go home not be trying to get celebrity status off of tragedy.”

That kind of sums up my feelings.  And shame on anybody who would present people who beat the crap out of a kid for no reason as celebrities.

ROSEN:  Well, there’s so many wrong facts in what you just said I don’t know where to start.  As practical matter, there was an unfortunate school yard fight.  And there was—

CARLSON:  There was a fight?

ROSEN:  There was—it was fight, there was hitting both ways.

CARLSON:  It was six on one.  He was knocked unconscious the other kids kicked him on the ground.

ROSEN:  You can argue whether it was provoked or not.  The judge basically decided .

CARLSON:  Six on one is a fight?

ROSEN:  That it was repeat, there were multiple occasions.  I’m not saying these boys were not guilty.  But basically the judge decided to try them as adults.  And decided that what the white kids did, you know all along were pranks.  Now, you can .

CARLSON:  No, because what the white kids did .

ROSEN:  These guys should not have been tried as adults.

CARLSON:  I agree with that completely.

ROSEN:  The justice system treated them like much more hardened criminals than they were.

CARLSON:  I agree with that.

ROSEN:  There was no leadership on the ground.  And I think what you say at the BET Awards was overwhelming frustration with the justice system that lets these kids .

CARLSON:  These kids beat up a white guy because he was white.  There’s no evidence he had anything to do with the noose hanging.  Even if he did .

ROSEN:  I saw the reception this they got at the BET Awards is twofold if you kept reading what they were doing was.  Applauding some social justice activity on the part of the community, on the part of BET.  And a recognition that these issues of racism are not over.  And that these kids are today’s symbol of racism whether you want to buy that or not.

CARLSON:  You know what, I totally—not only reject it.  I think there is racism in this country, I’m not denying that.  And I think these kids were charged with crimes that were too severe for what they did.  And I’m not defending that at all.  I’m merely saying if you look for new civil rights hero, six kids who beat up a kid because he’s white and beat him unconscious, they’re not your Rosa Parks.

ROSEN:  There were nooses hanging from trees.

CARLSON:  This kid didn’t hang the noose from the tree.

ROSEN:  But there were multiple .

CARLSON:  So he’s white so he gets beaten up?

ROSEN:  What I’m saying you can so easily dismiss the fact that they were mistreated by the judge and the justice system.

CARLSON:  That doesn’t mean the kid should be beaten up.

ROSEN:  You can’t recognize the victim that they .

CARLSON:  I absolutely can.  I think they were mistreated by the justice system.  That doesn’t mean that the kid should be beaten up because he’s white.  That’s all I’m saying.

ROSEN:  No one is saying that.

CARLSON:  Of course they’re saying that.  They’re saying these guys are heroes.  No, they’re not.

ROSEN:  No, they’re applauding them for standing up and letting their case be emblematic of what is happening .

CARLSON:  I think they’re really flawed.  Pick a Rosa Parks.  Someone who is blameless.

O’BEIRNE:  There are so many worthy young black kids, worthy young black kids who would have enjoyed being there at the awards ceremony.  These six or two representing the six, were there because they picked on a white kid, beat him unconscious, kept kicking him, because he was white.  That kid had nothing to do with the previous .

ROSEN:  Those kids were there because 10,000 African Americans and ally coalition members went to Jena, Louisiana to, make this case the emblematic of the justice ..

CARLSON:  I get that.

ROSEN:  That’s why they were there.  Not because they were heroes.

O’BEIRNE:  You can think they shouldn’t be tried as adults.  You can think that there was total over reaction in what they were charged with, seriousness of the offenses.  And also recognize that they should not enjoy being celebrated.

CARLSON:  We’ve got to go to a commercial break now.  Hillary Clinton is finding good fortune in New York’s Chinatown, 380 grand worth.  Is that money legal?  Remarkable tales coming up.  Plus Barack Obama’s calling for resignation of chief of voting rights in the justice department for remarks he has made.  We’ve got the tape coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

(MARKET REPORT)

CARLSON:  Hillary Clinton can raise money with the best of them.  In fact, she does it better than the best of them, having raised more money to this point in the presidential campaign than anyone ever in history.  The “L.A. Times” today examines the source of some of that money, the low income waiters, dishwashers and street stall hawkers of New York’s China Town neighborhood. 

From that impoverished population in the month of April alone the Clinton campaign gathered a remarkable 380,000 dollars.  How did they do it?  How are Mrs. Clinton’s rivals reacting to what they did? 

Joining me now MSNBC political analyst and Democratic strategist Hillary Rosen and the “National Review’s” Kate O’Beirne.  Hillary, this is an amazing story.  Here—I just want to throw on the screen—if you haven’t read this story get the to the “L.A. Times.”  But here is just a quote that says a lot to me: “Clinton has enlisted the aid of Chinese neighborhood associations, especially those representing recent immigrants from the Fujan province.  The organizations, at least one of which is a descendant of a China Town criminal enterprise that engaged in gambling and human trafficking, exert enormous influence over immigrants.  Many of Clinton’s donors said they had contributed because leaders in the neighborhood told them to.  In some cases, donors said they felt pressure to give.”

Human trafficking?  Pressure to give?  Could it be sleazier than that? 

ROSEN:  Well, it couldn’t be sleazier than that if any of that were true and the Clinton campaign has completely disassociated with any of that.  There’s no one quoted in that story affiliated with the Clinton campaign who actually says that that’s true.  This fund raiser was organized—

CARLSON:  Of course they’re not going to. 

ROSEN:  Actually Hillary Clinton’s campaign over the course of the last six or seven months has been probably as scrupulous as anybody can imagine, after their one unfortunate incident with the—

CARLSON:  Have they given back all the money—all the donors who told the “L.A. Times,” I felt pressure to give, that money should be returned.  You would agree?  But they haven’t returned it.

ROSEN:  If, in fact, that’s true, then they would. 

CARLSON:  Do you think the “L.A. Times” is making it up?

ROSEN:  I think Chung Sido (ph), who was the organizer of that event, said people came from all over the city for that event.  This person was the former director of the New York State Democratic Party.  This is a legitimate operation.  There were people, according to the campaign, who ranged from doctors to lawyers to community workers to everybody.  This sort of fabrication makes no sense.  And you know what—

CARLSON:  Fabrication? 

ROSEN:  If people are—

CARLSON:  So the “L.A. Times” is a right wing paper? 

ROSEN:  If people were actually coerced, if people actually have legitimate beef, the campaign is going to be the first ones to give their money back. 

CARLSON:  Here is what the “L.A. Times” found.  Again the “L.A. Times” is not known as a conservative paper with an axe to grind against Mrs.  Clinton.  In fact, it’s a very liberal paper.  Here’s what it says, quote, “the Times examined the cases of more than 150 donors who provided checks to Clinton after fund raising events geared to the Chinese community.  One-third of those donors could not be found using property, telephone or business records.  Most have not registered to vote, according to public records.” 

That’s pretty unbelievable.  You’re supposed to be—the whole point of disclosing your name, address, occupation is so people can track you down, so we have accountability in our system.  One-third couldn’t be found? 

ROSEN:  That was one-third by an “L.A. Times” reporter.  There are FDC reports and there are—there is reporting requirements.  If they’re not met, then the money will be dealt with.  I think the campaign has been pretty open and said, listen, if there are mistakes, we’ll rectify them.  We always have. 

CARLSON:  Mistakes, so dishwashers are giving 2,000 dollars to a presidential campaign?  Come on. 

O’BEIRNE:  It’s a devastating story.  An awful lot of these people, it seems to me, are either straw men and don’t exist.  We’ll presumably find out if they do exist.  Maybe the campaign can find them.  Or they have been strong armed in a way, because, as the paper reports, they’re dishwashers. 

They’re not even registered to vote and they’re showing a level of interest

--

ROSEN:  Every campaign has over eager volunteers trying to show off for candidates.  Every campaign has that. 

O’BEIRNE:  Actually John Kerry didn’t.  If this person is such a fabulous fund raiser in China Town, why didn’t she go to work for John Kerry.  He raised 10 percent of this amount in China Town for his whole presidential race. 

ROSEN:  This money was raised from all over the city. 

O’BEIRNE:  In the same community, he raised a fraction of this. 

CARLSON:  Answer this question, if you would, should the Hillary Clinton campaign be raising money from people who are not U.S. citizens and are not registered to vote?  Is that ethical? 

ROSEN:  Of course not. 

CARLSON:  The vast majority of these people are not U.S. citizens.

The overwhelming majority are not U.S. citizens and cannot vote. 

ROSEN:  Well, that’s actually not proven yet.  That’s simply an allegation in a story.  And what the campaign has said is, if anything proves to be the case, they’re going to return the donations.  That’s what’s happened before. 

CARLSON:  Shouldn’t they be screening this ahead of time?  If you go down and start raising money from dishwashers and restaurant workers—I mean, I have nothing against them.  I feel sorry for them.  That’s the second thing.  The Times found out that a lot of these people gave money because they had family members in China and they believe that Mrs.  Clinton, who has sponsored legislation unsuccessfully to reunite families, can help. 

The piece made the point that she is, quote, exploiting the vulnerabilities of recent immigrants.  It’s a sad story. 

O’BEIRNE:  The larger issue—and it’s getting so much attention, as it should—the larger issue is a problem for Hillary Clinton.  Hillary Clinton’s campaign is now saying exactly what Bill and Hillary said all during the ‘90s when similar instances were raised.  Again, it happens to be with Chinese fund raisers.  If anything is wrong, we’ll make retribution.  We’ll return any illicit funds.  Then a boat load of people fled the country and pled guilty or got convicted. 

It has—it doesn’t help her campaign to have this terrible flashback to what we went through in the ‘90s. 

ROSEN:  There’s no question that this is not a good scenario.  But I do think that the campaign has been direct.  They have been open and they’ve been aggressive about screening where they can. 

O’BEIRNE:  They sure don’t learn their lesson having gone through this in the 1990’s. 

ROSEN:  There are a lot of events.  There’s a lot to do.  The fact that they work with trusted community leaders is something that is—

CARLSON:  The bottom line for me it’s obvious, immediately obvious, that the vast majority of people in this donor pool, all of whom I’m sure are decent, hard working people, are not American citizens. 

ROSEN:  You’re reading a story that—where there are no names. 

There are not—

CARLSON:  There are plenty of names.  They show up to all these addresses that don’t exist.  The people aren’t there.  I’ve never heard of that person.  He doesn’t work here.  Who’s he?  It’s clear so much of this is a sham.  I just think they should be screening better. 

ROSEN:  It’s clear that so much of this is a lot of vagueries in a story that is yet to be proven. 

CARLSON:  I hope.  I think the—

O’BEIRNE:  The problem is it sounds like the Buddhist temple all over again and they’re very slow learners. 

ROSEN:  It may feel like something you think you know, but until you do, we should be careful judging it. 

CARLSON:  Pete Stark, yesterday, Comrade Pete, Pete Stark, who is one of the more radical and widely renowned as one of the most unpleasant people in the U.S. Congress said this yesterday.  You know, let’s just play it again.  This is during a debate.  This is his two minute statement during a debate on SCHIP, the children’s health care program.  Here’s what he said. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETE STARK (D), CALIFORNIA:  You don’t have money to fund the war or children.  But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  This is a guy who six years ago accused J.C. Watts, the only black Republican in the House of Representatives, of having six illegitimate children.  Untrue.  It was just clearly out of control.  Why did it take until just a minute ago for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to issue a pretty sensible statement saying that was inappropriate.  Why didn’t she do it right away? 

ROSEN:  I don’t know because it’s pretty obvious it was a ridiculous statement and it’s pretty obvious it was distracting.  But it’s also pretty obvious that it is so not a point of what the whole day in Congress was yesterday, which was discussion of the president vetoing a bill to bring health insurance to poor children.  And what are we all talking about, Pete Stark’s 30 seconds. 

CARLSON:  You’re right. 

ROSEN:  Instead of the fact that there is a huge discussion here with no leadership on how we fix this really important insurance program.  It was a dumb thing to stay. 

O’BEIRNE:  It was a disgraceful statement, although he’s been a disgrace in the past.  He, of course, smeared our troops, accusing them of blowing up innocent people.  I think the reason is always there would seem to be a delay in Nancy Pelosi condemning it is sometimes tonally they just don’t understand what this sounds like to people.  And there’s been such a blow back against him that she finally belatedly is saying something. 

I don’t know why their instincts aren’t better when they see a senior member of their caucus smearing our troops, saying such a disgraceful thing about the commander in chief.  They ought to be faster on the dime. 

CARLSON:  Hillary Clinton is—because she is at this point the front returner by a dramatic margin, has decided to go after rural Americans.  They’re now an interest group too, along with Pacific islanders and everyone else.  Rural Americans for Hillary has a lunch scheduled—if this account can be believed.  This is so amazing, I don’t really believe it.  But I’ll throw it out here anyway.

The lunch for rural Americans for Hillary is in a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.

O’BEIRNE:  Probably serving Ethanol. 

CARLSON:  Could that be real? 

ROSEN:  If there were corn products on the menu that would be good for Iowa. 

CARLSON:  The Edwards campaign is upset, because nobody is allowed to talk to rural America apart from John Edwards, whose father, you may have word, once worked in a mill. 

O’BEIRNE:  I didn’t know that. 

CARLSON:  That’s what I heard anyway.  John Edwards is from a rural state.  His father once work in a mill.  To which another rival unnamed campaign, presumably Hillary’s campaign, points out that Edwards, too, has ties to Monsanto (ph), which is an agra-business. 

ROSEN:  You know, the fact is, when you get to the kinds of money that these folks are raising, on both sides of the aisle, there are a lot of business interests all over the place.  These candidates have to be incredibly careful.  It makes no sense to—talk about tone deaf?  It feels more tone deaf when you have that much control over a smaller group of people than when you have community fund raisers going out raising money. 

CARLSON:  So you’re saying, as a political matter, if you are going to

have a meeting of Rural Americans for Hillary, you probably shouldn’t do it

--

ROSEN:  Maybe ought to be in a rural area. 

CARLSON:  Right, like in a corn field or under an oak tree.  Not in a lobbyist’s office.  Is that what you’re saying?

ROSEN:  Having said that, there’s a whole program where Hillary Clinton is speaking to rural voters and this could have been just a small piece of that message. 

CARLSON:  I know they’re going to say she won upstate New York, and she did, in her last election.  It’s hard to see Hillary Clinton connecting with a lot of rural voters.  Is it? 

O’BEIRNE:  I find it rather hard to see how she might do it.  I don’t think it will be scolding them about their eating habits, which she’s taken to doing lately. 

CARLSON:  No one has worse eating habits than rural America.  I don’t mean that at all as a criticism because those are my eating habits, too.  Should she be telling us what to eat?  I just wonder about that.  Should she be telling us like—if you are already thought of as a scolding nag who wants to control other people’s lives should you—

ROSEN:  It’s so interesting to me.  I’ve read this recently in Mark Penn’s book how we’re somehow the most health conscious generation that ever lived, and yet we’re the most obese generation as well.  It is this sad irony. 

CARLSON:  We don’t like it when other people point it out and scold us for it. 

ROSEN:  No one wants to be told. 

CARLSON:  I don’t.  Thank you both very much.  Have a good weekend. 

One of the biggest scandals to rock Washington in recent years is coming to the big screen.  We’ve got details on who is playing whom when we dish out the D.C. Dirt coming up. 

It’s always a bit tricky, meanwhile, navigating the world of Washington politics.  Still ahead, our chief cat walk correspondent Bill Wolff tells us how that’s also true in the world of high fashion.  He’s done the reporting coming up. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Just when you thought the show could not get more informative, we bring you what is really happening here in Washington, D.C.  Joining us now to do that, Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger, the ladies of the “Washington Post’s” universally --  I mean universally read gossip column, “The Reliable Source,” live in the studio for the first time.  It’s so nice to see you.

AMY ARGETSINGER, “THE WASHINGTON POST”:  Nice to finally meet you. 

ROXANNE ROBERTS, “THE WASHINGTON POST”:  It’s worth the traffic. 

CARLSON:  Seeing you in person reminds me of something I’ve been wondering all day, what’s the latest on Valerie Plame? 

ARGETSINGER:  You know, this week has been like a 2003 nostalgia trip for us.  First thing that happens is it comes out that they are making a movie about Judy Miller. 

ROBERTS:  No, it’s not really about Judy. 

ARGETSINGER:  You’re right, it’s not really the Judy Miller movie.  It happens to be starring the gorgeous British actress Kate Beckensale (ph) in the not Judy Miller role, as a reporter who happens to go to jail to protect her CIA source. 

ROBERTS:  If I was Judy, I’d be very pleased about that. 

ARGETSINGER:  We repeat, not Judy Miller.  But it’s interesting because the interesting irony is that Judy Miller’s old attorney, Floyd Abrams (ph), is taking a role in the movie as—

CARLSON:  Father of our own Dan Abrams. 

ARGETSINGER:  He’s taking a role not as the lawyer of not Judy Miller, but as the judge who sends not Judy Miller to jail. 

ROBERTS:  If I was Judy, I’d be very pleased. 

CARLSON:  Has the real Judy Miller weighed in on this? 

ARGETSINGER:  She has quietly let it be known that she’s not thrilled about Floyd’s involvement.  However, she did agree to have lunch with Floyd and Kate Beckensale (ph). 

CARLSON:  I wish I had been there.  Speaking of the Plame case, whatever happened to Patrick Fitzgerald, the sort of intense prosecutor everybody in the media seemed to love. 

ROBERTS:  Funny should you ask. 

CARLSON:  Something going on with him? 

ROBERTS:  He’s engaged. 

ARGETSINGER:  The heartthrob of Washington—when he came on the scenes two years ago, women were calling our column saying what can you tell us about this gorgeous hunk of a special prosecutor. 

CARLSON:  That’s sick. 

ARGETSINGER:  Isn’t it sick? 

CARLSON:  That is sick.  If there’s anybody who is into some weird stuff, it’s Patrick Fitzgerald.  Let’s be totally honest.  He’s one intense unhappy guy. 

ROBERTS:  He is a straight arrow. 

ARGETSINGER:  He is single, or was. 

ROBERTS:  He is sort of handsome, but he was sort of like Mr. Straight arrow, right.  Sort of tall, sort of burly, very masculine. 

CARLSON:  Seems like very repressed and angry to me. 

ARGETSINGER:  Some women like that.  Anyway, so for months people would ask us what is going on with his love life, very secretive guy.  We could never get anything out of him.  Finally we got the word he’s engaged.  He’s off the market, just like we lost eligible bachelor Harold Ford last week.  Now we lose Patrick Fitzgerald.  He’s marrying a 34-year-old Chicago school teacher. 

ROBERTS:  Former investment banker turned Head Start teacher. 

ARGETSINGER:  Marathon runner. 

ROBERTS:  Very sweet. 

CARLSON:  Anything else going on? 

ARGETSINGER:  Well, we also just wrapped up third quarter of campaign finance data.  So, of course, it’s a great chance to see which Hollywood celebrities are endorsing or supporting which candidates.  Found out all kinds of interesting stuff.  Whoopi Goldberg coming out for Bill Richardson.  She hosted a little cocktail party for the New Mexico governor with the ladies from “The View” in Sojo the other night. 

Renee Zellweger has given a couple thousand dollars to Hillary Clinton. 

ROBERTS:  Robert Duvall is a Giuliani guy.  He held a fund raiser for Rudy at his place in Virginia. 

ARGETSINGER:  As is Bo Derrick. 

ROBERTS:  Rudy blew off the—remember, the debate about blacks in America?  Blew that off to hang out with Bo at a fund raiser in California. 

ARGETSINGER:  Are you sure about that? 

ROBERTS:  I am. 

CARLSON:  Fantastic.  At least he had a good reason.  Sean Penn? 

ARGETSINGER:  Gave 2,300 dollars to Dennis Kucinich. 

CARLSON:  I was going to call that, Dennis Kucinich.   

ARGETSINGER:  He also gave 4,600 dollars to John Edwards. 

CARLSON:  Because I sort of know Sean Penn and I know that he’s a true believer.  I don’t agree with a single thing he’s ever said, but I think he means it. 

ROBERTS:  You think he’s a Dennis kind of guy. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I mean, if you really believe it, if you’re not just playing, you’re a Dennis Kucinich man. 

ROBERTS:  What about Ron Paul. 

CARLSON:  Or your a Ron Paul man on the other side. 

ARGETSINGER:  It’s important to note that Sean Penn is sharing the love.  he also gave 4,600 dollars to John Edwards. 

CARLSON:  That’s not as good a choice.  Ladies, thank you so much. 

It’s so nice to see you in person for the first time ever. 

ARGETSINGER:  Good to be here. 

CARLSON:  She did it again.  The pop star whose career seems to be burning faster than the Hindenburg makes headlines with what seems like a joke but is not a joke.  Bill Wolff has all the unfunny details ahead. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Joining us now for our final segment ever broadcast from One MSNBC Way, Secaucus, New Jersey, vice president of MSNBC, Bill Wolff. 

BILL WOLFF, MSNBC VICE PRESIDENT:  Bitter-sweetness in the air, Tucker.  But let’s get right to the real news of the day.  Now, there is such a thing as too much Britney Spears news.  So, at some point in the future, we will crease to report her every hapless move. 

However, today, there is fresh news of the fallen and still falling pop tart.  She was on her way out of a southern California medical facility yesterday in her motor coach when this happened—your video courtesy of the very fine Hollywood.com. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He’s OK.  Is he all right? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFF:   That was Britney Spears running over the foot of a paparazzi.  The guy was fine.  Tucker, the even more important news centers on what kind of doctor Britney had just seen.  Notice that her hand was over her mouth.  The Internet Speculation, which is always right as you know, is that she had her lips plumped through the magic of collagen, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Let me just say, I support Britney’s choice running over that guy.  I don’t know.  You used to be able to get your lips pumped up without being harassed by photographers.  I think that’s fair.

WOLFF:  Should you really? 

CARLSON:  I think so.  You know, whatever I do—if I see he operandi outside my plastic surgeon, I go out the back door. 

WOLFF:  You know what, I had tummy tuck about two weeks ago and there was a guy—enough already.  Leave me alone.  Let me live my life in private.  I got supermodel news now for you, Tucker, also from Los Angeles.  Where Fashion Week saw near tragedy.  Here we have guy inflicting himself with pain with a failed Martial Arts move. 

Note the hole in the runway right there.  Next up, a classically under fed model.  That’s not her—there she is.  Whoops, everything is fine until down she goes.  Down goes the supermodel.  She is wearing underpants, her mother will be glad to know.  As a public service, I’m hoping we’ll be able to, as she cleans herself up, run it again.  There goes the model down.  No reports of injuries.  Also no reports of anything.  It’s a random piece of videotape.  I’m not sure what happened afterwards.  But it’s a model falling through a very small hole in the floor, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  It’s kind of a cute video, honestly. 

WOLFF:  If that’s your thing.  It just seems to me that if she had just mixed in a donut, perhaps an In and Out burger, she might have been—had more girth, and not fallen through the hole. 

CARLSON:  Blame the victim yet again.  Bill Wolff. 

WOLFF:  That’s my way.  News from the design world now, Tucker, Dateline South Korea.  This is the toilet house.  Yes, the toilet house.  It’s a project of the Korea Toilet Association, a group that actually exists.  Tucker, it look like a toilet.  There you go. 

It will be open by November 11th, when guests will be invited to spend a night in the luxury facilities, so to speak.  The cost of one night’s accommodation, so to speak, 50,000 dollars.  Tucker, the money will go to the KTA, which will use it to provide toilets to developing countries.  The Association says about 40 percent of the planet’s residents live without toilets. 

What’s not clear about the toilet house is whether the garage will serve as the magazine rack.  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  You know, as we often point out on this show, just when you’re despairing of America’s future and you think to yourself, this is the weirdest country on Earth, with Florida and California and Washington and—

WOLFF:  Tennessee. 

CARLSON:  Exactly right.  You look over to Asia where they take weirdness to an art form, a kind of living Oragami. 

WOLFF:  There it is.  Look at that, the toilet house.  There was an old woman who lived in a toilet? 

CARLSON:  Would you spend the night there, Bill? 

WOLFF:  Of course.  My favorite room in the house.  But enough about me. 

CARLSON:  That’s absolutely repulsive.  Thanks for sharing. 

WOLFF:  Finally, Tucker, movie news.  As you said, it’s a bitter-sweet day, because today is the last weekday that MSNBC News’s live TV news operation will originate in Secaucus, New Jersey.  All around me, but out of view of this camera, folks are boxing up the memories of 11 glorious years in the swamp, preparing to land eight miles east of here at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and NBC News World Headquarters on Monday morning. 

There it is.  You will notice on Monday certain differences in MSNBC’s fine news programming, namely amazing new sets, better news coverage and a market drop in stories about the national car of New Jersey, the bitching Camero, the official hair care product of New Jersey, Aqua Net, and the president of the United States of New Jersey, Mr. Jon Bon Jovi.  Thanks, New Jersey.  You get a bad rap in a lot of ways. 

CARLSON:  I thought Bruce was the president and Jon Bon Jovi was V.P. 

WOLFF:  Where you been buddy?  Jon Bon Jovi is the emperor of everything that happens between the Hudson and Pennsylvania. 

CARLSON:  Bill Wolff for the last time from New Jersey.  Thanks. 

WOLFF:  Have a great weekend. 

CARLSON:  You too.  That does it for us.  Thanks for watching.  Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris.  We’ll be back Monday.  See you then.

Content and programming copyright 2007 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2007 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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