Guest: J.D. Hayworth
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks. Thanks to you at home for tuning in. THE SITUATION is on the road tonight in Charlotte, North Carolina, where President Bush spoke earlier today.
On tonight‘s show, the Senate compromise on immigration. Bill Frist calls it a breakthrough, and the word is the White House agrees. But if you think it‘s a done deal, you don‘t know Washington. One member of the president‘s party calls it, quote, “amnesty wrapped in bureaucracy surrounded by fraud.” He‘s outraged. He‘ll tell us why in just a minute.
Also ahead, believe it or not, English is not our official language in this country. Most people think, in a recent poll, that it ought to be. We found one guy who defends the language status quo.
And Cynthia McKinney apologized today for hitting a cop. Is her new hairstyle to blame? And will it get her into our top five “hair don‘ts”? Find out ahead.
But first, did the president himself OK the leak of classified intelligence on Iraq? That‘s what former White House aide Scooter Libby apparently has told a federal grand jury. But his testimony may raise more questions than it answers. Did the president break the law, and are today‘s revelations the bombshell they first appeared to be?
MSNBC‘s David Shuster joins us now to lay out the facts of the case.
David, welcome. Is this a big deal?
DAVID SHUSTER, MSNBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Tucker, it‘s a huge deal. Put aside the legal ramifications, whether it matters to Scooter Libby‘s case or not. That‘s a debatable point.
But put simply, the president said for so many months that his administration was not involved in leaking classified information to undermine any administration critics. And now we have clear evidence from the vice president‘s chief of staff that the president was authorizing classified leaks to Vice President Cheney and authorizing Cheney and Libby to do whatever they wanted to do to undermine administration critics.
And it gets back to the simple point. Listen to what the president said in September of 2003.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don‘t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I‘d like to know it. And we‘ll take the appropriate action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUSTER: Again, Scooter Libby testified that he was authorized to leak information to undermine an administration critic because the president and vice president authorized him to do so. And he also said other administration officials were told they could leak information to “Washington Post‘s” Bob Woodward, who was writing a book in the spring of 2003 about how the administration went to war.
CARLSON: Now, David, what was the information reportedly leaked and was it classified? Is it classified if the president OK‘s its dissemination?
SHUSTER: Well, the information was a National Intelligence Estimate that ran about 80 pages long, and the president decided that there was some information in here that might undermine the claim that had been made by Joe Wilson that he basically said that look, Iraq—there was no evidence Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger.
The president wanted to put out information saying no, we had every reason to believe Iraq was seeking uranium and nuclear materials. So the president told Vice President Cheney, yes, go ahead and leak classified—these sort of portions of the NIE.
The problem, Tucker, is that there is a procedure for the president to declassify information, but the procedure in this case wasn‘t followed. The president, the vice president, Scooter Libby, those were the only three people who knew that the president had decided to declassify information.
The CIA director did not know. Nobody else in the cabinet knew. And I think that‘s why the president is going to face so many problems, both with the public and also with members of Congress.
CARLSON: So, in essence, this information was OK‘d just for one—I think it was a “New York times” reporter—I believe it was Judith Miller. The president in effect said yes, we can declassify this but only for the ears of Judith Miller? Is that right?
SHUSTER: Only for that one meeting with Judith Miller. I mean, if the Bush administration wanted to, it could have said, “Look, Joe Wilson says this. We‘re going to counter it. Look at the evidence that we have. Here‘s a press release. Let‘s have a press conference. Everybody can look at the information that we had that led us to believe that Saddam was seeking nuclear weapons, whether they were there or not.”
But that‘s not what the administration did. It decided to sort of play this little game where it secretly leaked information to Judy Miller. Scooter Libby said, “Identify me as a Capitol Hill staffer.” They didn‘t want their fingerprints on it, and that‘s part of the problem. It‘s coming back to get them now.
CARLSON: Now, the White House, as far as I can tell, has not responded to this. This is a pretty late breaking story. What‘s—what‘s the White House briefing going to be like tomorrow?
SHUSTER: I think it‘s going to be awful for Scott McClellan, even for the president, if he‘s in a position to take any questions. Because reporters, including those of us here at MSNBC, we‘ve got the tapes cued up on the seven or eight occasions when the president denied that his administration was involved in leaking. We have the tapes cued up of Scott McClellan saying it was a ridiculous suggestion. This is going to go on and on.
You may see the stories about whether the president has been credible on other issues, like the NSA, the spying, et cetera, et cetera. It gets to president‘s credibility, unless the White House can figure out some way of putting this in some context, I think it‘s awful for the president‘s credibility.
Even if you want to argue, look, the president was legally justified.
He gets to decide whether or not this information can be declassified. That‘s a separate point from whether the president‘s credibility has been eroded here.
CARLSON: Right. They‘ve been awfully high-handed about leaking. I -
for the record, I‘m for leaking. I think we have a right to know this stuff.
And finally, sum up for us quickly, and put it in the context here, this investigation, Pat Fitzgerald‘s investigation was initiated by the White House in order to found out who leaked the name of Valerie Plame, the CIA officer who was outed in Bob Novak‘s column. No one has been indicted for that. Do we have any sense that someone is going to be indicted for that some day?
SHUSTER: Well, all we know is that the investigation is open. And in the documents today the prosecutors went out of their way to say that Karl Rove, Stephen Hadley and Vice President Cheney are not going to be called by the prosecution for the witness stand.
And former federal prosecutors say you decide not to put somebody on the witness stand who may have relevant information when you want to leave open the possibility of charging them and bringing a separate case. And there‘s every indication that Karl Rove may still face some legal jeopardy, and that based on the way that prosecutors operate, they‘re working up the pyramid.
They may have some fantasy about being able to indict Vice President Cheney or charge him, and they may not even believe that‘s possible, if there‘s even a remote chance. But they‘re leaving open that possibility. I think that‘s why they‘ve said specifically today, for example, that they‘re not going to be calling these three people to the witness stand.
CARLSON: Amazing. Can‘t wait to see what happens tomorrow. David Shuster in Washington. Thanks, David.
SHUSTER: Good to be with you.
CARLSON: Now for more on the investigation we turn to a man who knows more about how Washington works than most people will ever know. MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan, joining us live from his native city, Washington. Pat, thanks for coming on.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Delighted, Tucker.
CARLSON: What do you think of this? Is this something—is this going to—this looks bad, I have to say, for the president. You can at least point your finger at him and say, “Hypocrite.” Is this politically damaging?
BUCHANAN: I think your phrase “looks bad” is exactly right. I don‘t think there‘s any legal liability here on the president‘s part. Quite obviously, he gets all this information. A lot of presidents go out in press conferences and decide to use information like this to advance a foreign policy.
BUCHANAN: The problem is the president of the United States has been out there, you know—horror of horrors, we‘ve got to find out who did this leaking, and it turns out that he authorized the leak himself and the vice president authorized it himself. And so they were behind it.
Now, Libby has not said he was told, I think, about the—about the Valerie Plame thing specifically. And for Libby, I don‘t think it helps his defense, because his problem is he lied under oath about what he told Judith Miller.
But I do think the president has got a credibility problem. He‘s got a problem, if you will, of a certain measure of sneakiness and not being forthcoming and, frankly, misleading folks about his own role in this.
CARLSON: You mention Scooter Libby, and the case against him. It‘s profound. Prosecutors reportedly looking to send him away for a long time. He has small children.
If you were Scooter Libby, you‘d have to think to yourself, well, maybe throw the White House overboard. It looks like maybe that‘s what‘s going on here. This news, the information that he gave to the grand jury, hurts Bush. Is Scooter Libby still on the same side as the White House?
BUCHANAN: Well, I think what‘s good this thing is—what‘s coming is the vice president‘s going to have to testify at Scooter Libby‘s trial.
What he appears to be about to do, Tucker—and it‘s not actually a real defense of his perjury, but it is to go into a trial with a D.C. jury and say, “Look, yes, I told these folks, but the president of the United States authorized it. The vice president told me to do it. I thought it was national security.”
And his lawyer, I think, can throw sort of a national security blanket that this guy was doing his duty and try to get him off on that way.
So I think that there‘s a real problem for the administration, the vice president, and the president, as I say. It may look like behind the scenes they were manipulating this thing.
CARLSON: Behind the scenes, do you think they‘re talking to Scooter Libby? I mean, it seems you‘d want to—and maybe it‘s illegal to do so, but you‘d want to coordinate a little bit. You‘d want to at least know what his defense is going to be. Can they do that? Do you think they are doing that?
BUCHANAN: My guess would be—I mean, I think Scooter Libby came to the vice president‘s Christmas party, I think, and he got a standing ovation. So I think—I think he‘s very close to him.
I don‘t think—I think Scooter Libby, everything I know about him, he seems like a very loyal guy, and he‘s going to take this hit. And besides that, you‘ve got all these folks close to the vice president who are raising millions of dollars for his defense. So do I think Scooter‘s going to flip? No, I don‘t.
CARLSON: You were White House communications director, so you would have perspective on this. It seems odd to me that the president of the United States would be specifically requesting certain information be declassified for a single conversation with a single “New York Times” reporter. Do presidents normally get that involved with the microscopic workings of the press operation?
BUCHANAN: Here‘s the way it looks like it looked to me. Cheney reads this thing by—and he knows Wilson‘s going around town. Cheney reads this thing, and he explodes: “We‘re going to knock this thing down.” And he wants to get the information out. We‘ve got information to contradict it. He authorizes Libby to do it.
And Libby said, “Look, this is classified stuff.”
So Cheney says, “I can‘t let it go, but let me go get the president to do it.”
My guess is the president says, “OK, Dick, go ahead. Go ahead and do it.” And so it went that way.
So you know, I don‘t think the president of the United States, frankly, is—was the principal player here. My guess is it was Dick Cheney, having this thing knocked down, and Scooter Libby is the button man.
CARLSON: It looks that way to me, too.
Now Pat, the Congress has reached what appears to be some kind of—some kind of agreement on an immigration bill. The Republican Congress, the president probably onboard with it, at least from what we hear. What do you make of it?
BUCHANAN: It looks to me like Frist caved in. This is the McCain-Kennedy bill. It is an amnesty. It is a blanket pardon for these corporate guys. That‘s the big force behind this bill.
CARLSON: Which corporate guys? Employers of illegal aliens?
BUCHANAN: It‘s not only the employers. The Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable. All these guys. When you give a massive amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens, you‘re also pardoning all the businesses that have hired these guys and had these guys working for them.
Nobody in America is running around and saying, “Please give amnesty to these guys.” This is an insider‘s game. It‘s a corporate game. It still can be stopped, I think. They‘re going to go at it. I hope some senators—I don‘t believe it‘s passed yet.
I think some senators can go at it. They can try, the Republicans to make demands in the conference committee and not accept the Senate bill flat out. And then, frankly, we‘re going to have to depend on the Republican House. If they can‘t stop this bill, I don‘t think there is an argument for keeping a Republican House.
CARLSON: I tend to agree with that. Apart from the Supreme Court, I think that‘s an excellent point. But wait a second. If this is the product of the influence of big business, as you say it is, then why is the Catholic Church onboard? Why is ANSWER and all these other left-wing activist groups, why are they on the same side as the Chamber of Commerce?
BUCHANAN: Well, the Chamber of Commerce wants cheap labor. What the churches want is more guys in the pews. It‘s big on the social gospel for them.
Some union guys want—the service unions wants to organize these guys. And I‘ll tell you. The Hispanic lobbies want to bring them in. The ethnic lobbies want to bring them in.
The Democrats, Tucker—the first time Hispanic voters—and Clinton must have registered 2 ½ million of them before ‘96. First time Hispanic voters, you know how they voted? Ninety-one to seven for the Democratic Party. This is going to kill the Republican Party if they...
CARLSON: Wait a second. That‘s not—I mean, I don‘t—I‘m not contesting your numbers, but that‘s so far from what the president and Karl Rove and the president‘s brother, Jeb Bush, governor of Florida, all maintain. They say, look, these immigrants are fundamentally conservative; they are Republican voters in the making. Why are they voting 91 percent for Democrats?
BUCHANAN: Well, this is first-time Hispanic voters. Now, the president claims that he got 44 percent. More likely he got something like 38 percent, did well with the Hispanics. He‘s up against a white bread candidate like Kerry.
The Republican Party, even Reagan at his best got 43 percent. Tucker, you are bringing into the country people, who even after 20 years, are still voting in landslides for the Democratic Party. Asian-Americans vote Democratic, Hispanic-Americans more so, African-Americans more so.
What the Republican Party is bringing in the coalition that is going to kill the Nixon-Reagan coalition. I mean, it is suicidal for the GOP. But frankly, more importantly, I genuinely believe this is a real threat to the security and survival of our country, because you‘ve got 12 million illegal aliens. Nothing in this bill is going to stop 50 million from coming across that border. The whole world knows it‘s wide open.
CARLSON: Yes, that‘s right. I agree with every word, as always. Pat Buchanan, thanks a lot.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still to come, Congressman J.D. Hayworth, the Republican who literally wrote the book on immigration reform, tells us why he thinks today‘s compromise could be a catastrophe for this country.
Plus, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia apologizes for hitting a Capitol Hill police officer. While she‘s at it, should she apologize for something else? We‘ll unveil our top five “what were they thinking” hairdos when THE SITUATION comes back.
CARLSON: Coming up, Congressman J.D. Hayworth give us his take on the new immigration reform bill. Here‘s a hint: he‘s not happy.
Plus, college golfers get busted at a strip club, proving it is not always a gentlemen‘s sport. We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
We continue with a story that has a lot of people really bothered, the Senate compromise on immigration. It‘s been called a breakthrough. It‘s also been called, quote, “so convoluted, so complicated, so unworkable that surely, it must have been the work of senators Rube and Goldberg.”
That assessment comes from my next guest. He is Congressman J.D. Hayworth of Arizona. He‘s a Republican. He‘s also the author of “Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security and the War on Terror”. Congressman Hayworth joins us live tonight from Washington.
Congressman, thanks for coming on.
REP. J.D. HAYWORTH ®, ARIZONA: Tucker, thank you.
CARLSON: Give us the Cliff Notes version of what‘s wrong with this bill as it stands now.
HAYWORTH: Well, bottom line is this bill is amnesty wrapped in bureaucracy, surrounded by fraud. It‘s as if we learned nothing from the 1986 amnesty. This invites fraud.
And the paradox is it seems the longer and the more flagrant your violation of the law, the greater the benefit for you.
HAYWORTH: If you‘ve been here five years illegally, bingo, you get your guest worker card and you‘re on a fast track to citizenship. If you‘ve been here from two years to four years, 11 months and 30 days, well, you must report to a port of entry. And if you‘ve been here under two years, you‘ve got to go all the way home to reapply. It‘s report to deport.
And since undocumented is a euphemism, and an inaccurate one at that, because illegals have documents galore, there is no going to be rampant fraud reminiscent of the amnesty that came in the wake of the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 20 years ago.
CARLSON: So—you‘ve made reference to that, the 1986, often thought of as the Reagan amnesty. What happened then, and what should we be learning from it?
HAYWORTH: Well, what happened then, and you‘ll love the euphemism, SAWS. Special Agricultural Workers. The notion was for three million plus who had been agricultural workers, and the precondition was having worked for 90 days in agriculture for three successive years prior to the announcement of this program, people could apply for a green card.
There were three times the anticipated number of applicants, and there was widespread fraud. And we had a couple of celebrated incidents that you don‘t know whether to laugh or to cry.
For example, a woman in New Jersey—and I document this in the book. A woman in New Jersey—I know it‘s the Garden State, and she had a pretty big garden, about five acres, but she claimed she had had 1,000 workers on her property at some point.
CARLSON: Tending to the azaleas or something?
HAYWORTH: Yes, something. One thing they got was the green card. And they added to the number of illegals who received amnesty. And of course, even though President Reagan, when he signed that act into law, said tough new sanctions will stem the flow of illegals, the fact was that may have been his intent. That was not the result.
CARLSON: It inspired—it inspired more illegals.
HAYWORTH: Of course. That‘s what we‘re headed for now.
CARLSON: Right. It sends a pretty clear message to the nations from which immigrants come, we‘re not punishing people who come here illegally. If fact, if they get away with it, they get rewarded. And so, of course, more come.
How did this happen in a country completely controlled, at least the federal government, completely controlled by the Republican Party?
HAYWORTH: Because there is a division within the Republican Party, within the governing coalition. There are those who can be classified as open borders Republicans, perhaps more reminiscent of the Fred Travalena game show of the 1980‘s, the “Anything for Money” Republicans.
And then in the wake of 9/11, there are those of us who remain national security Republicans, who understand that the first and most basic responsibility of government is to protect the citizenry.
And when you have this kind of situation, despite all the utopian wishes of those who advocate open borders, we understand, in the post-9/11 world, that unlike the graffiti scrawled across the border wall in Nogales, where it says “Borders are scars upon the earth,” we understand that borders are necessary and proper geopolitical divisions and demarcations to enforce sovereignty. We should not apologize for sovereignty.
CARLSON: Right. It‘s our right to do so. I wish we had more time to talk about this. We‘re almost out of time, but I want you to comment on what Pat Buchanan said a moment ago, that the Republicans—Party, and particularly the White House, seem to believe that this is good politically for them; more immigrants will mean more Republican voters. He points out that the history, if it‘s a measure of the future, shows that‘s just not true at all. What do you think of that?
HAYWORTH: Yes, the bottom line is the White House advisors need to go back for a special summer session in political calculus, because they have completely misinterpreted this.
Case in point: Arizona, Proposition 200 in 2004 to deprive illegal aliens of certain benefits. The fact is, as the “Arizona Daily Star” reported, a majority of minority voters voted in favor of Proposition 200.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
HAYWORTH: Forty-seven percent of self-identified Hispanics, greater than the 43 percent who voted for President Bush. So this transcends party lines.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
HAYWORTH: It transcends ethnicity. And the fact is Americans want us to stand up for America, with no apologies, whatever it takes.
CARLSON: Congressman J.D. Hayworth, Republican of Arizona, one of the few voices of sanity, I think, on this issue. Thanks for coming on tonight.
HAYWORTH: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Up next, what do Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Donald Trump have in common? A hot temper and not so hot hairdo. THE SITUATION reveals who‘s in the hall of fame of bad hair, next.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION, coming to you tonight from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney reversed course today and apologized for hitting a Capitol building police officer when he tried to stop her at a security check. McKinney initially called the incident, quote, “racial profiling and inappropriate touching,” but a grand jury investigation and very little support from her House colleagues finally convinced her to change her strategy.
Here‘s what she said on the House floor today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D), GEORGIA: I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all, and I regret its escalation, and I apologize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: McKinney may have been unrecognizable to Capitol Hill cops because she recently shed her trademark cornrow hairdo in favor of loose locks. In tonight‘s “Top Five,” we combed through our records to find other famous faces with hair-raising profiles.
CARLSON (voice-over): We‘ve all been victims of an occasional haircut gone awry, but some high profile faces, bad hair days just seem to be a way of life.
As the hardest working man in show business, James Brown just can‘t seem to find the time to properly do his ‘do. Especially what he‘s en route to the pokey. Brown shares this sobering honor with Nick Nolte and Glen Campbell.
GLEN CAMPBELL, MUSICIAN: You can‘t do this to me; I‘m Glen Campbell.
CARLSON: And we just have to ask is Rosie auditioning as “Pirates of the Caribbean 3” or can the root of this cover-up be a bad buzz?
ROSIE O‘DONNELL, COMEDIAN: Nasty.
CARLSON: Jim Traficant was booted out of Congress for ethics violations, but no one can accuse the former Ohio congressman of squandering tax money on quality hair pieces.
JIM TRAFICANT, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Do I do my hair with a Weed Wacker? I admit.
CARLSON: We can‘t pull any punches when it comes to boxing promoter Don King‘s trademark gravity-defying hair. Funny thing is he thinks it‘s a knockout.
But the billionaire with the Super Cuts trend “Trumps” everyone else.
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Very attractive.
CARLSON: Hey, Donald, how about a final parting shot for your barber?
TRUMP: You‘re fired.
CARLSON: Glad we got “Eraserhead” in there.
I don‘t normally passed on e-mails I get unsolicited in my inbox, but tonight I can‘t resist. You may have seen this one. It‘s a thought experiment. Imagine doing the following: enter Mexico illegally, never mind immigration quotas, visas, international laws, any of that nonsense.
Once there, demand that local government provide free medical care for you and your entire family. Demand that bilingual nurses and doctors, demand free bilingual government forms, bulletins, et cetera.
Keep your American identity strong. Fly Old Glory from your rooftop or proudly display it in your front window or on your car bumper. Speak only English at home and in public and insist that your kids do likewise. Demand classes on American culture in the Mexican school system.
Demand a Mexican driver‘s license. This will afford other legal rights and will go far to legitimize your unauthorized, illegal presence in Mexico. Drive around with no liability insurance. Insist that Mexican law enforcement officials teach English to all of its officers.
And good luck. Good luck is right. The Mexican authorities wouldn‘t put up with that kind of behavior for a second, as they shouldn‘t. As we shouldn‘t. And yet we do. And yet, we do. In this one way it would be nice if we were a little bit more like Mexico.
Up next, Colorado University‘s golf team gets suspended for going to a strip club. Do school officials need to lighten up a little bit? We‘ll debate that next, when we come back.
CARLSON: Still to come, Arizona residents say yes to English and no to Spanish. Plus, President Bush asks the nation‘s best rifle team to improve president—Vice President Dick Cheney‘s aim.
We‘ll get to all that in just a minute, but first, here‘s what else is going on in the world tonight.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles has asked Catholics to pray for immigration reform. It looks like those prayers were answered, at least in part.
Senate Republicans and Democrats brokered a deal that would give the majority of undocumented immigrants, illegal aliens, a path to citizenship, but the House still has a proposal on the floor that would make it a crime for church groups to help illegal aliens to stay in this country.
Here to tell us what she thinks of the church getting involved in the immigration debate, MSNBC contributor, Flavia Colgan. She joins us tonight from Burbank, California.
FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for having me, as always.
CARLSON: Flavia, I don‘t want to add my voice to the chorus of people attacking the Catholic Church, because I think a lot of people do attack the Catholic Church, but in this one case I think an attack is warranted.
This is—listen to what Cardinal Mahony said. This is reported in today‘s “Los Angeles Times”. Quote, “This is probably one of the most critical weeks in the history of our country, in this new millennium and in this new century, because of the immigration bill.”
The most critical weeks in our country, more critical than the week that Antietam happened or Pearl Harbor or 9/11. This is a guy—this is a church, Catholic Church of the United States, that has mobilized its followers to take a very specific political stand, I think jeopardizing, or should be jeopardizing their tax exempt status. But they‘re acting like Jerry Falwell here, and they should be criticized for it.
COLGAN: Well, I don‘t think that they‘re telling people how to vote. I think they‘re doing what I saw them do when I was involved with the board of pardons in Pennsylvania, which is, you know, in terms of the death penalty, pro-life, a lot of other issues, human rights, that they care about, and that is following the teachings of 2,000-year-old teachings in terms of social justice, in terms of what they feel, Leviticus, Isaiah, whether it be the Good Samaritan parable or any number of Christian values.
COLGAN: And I think we‘re getting distracted from what we originally talked about.
CARLSON: Hold on. OK. But back to—I just want to correct one thing you said. You said you don‘t think they‘re very much telling people how to vote. They‘re very much telling people how to vote.
This is Cardinal Mahony. He said, according to the “L.A. Times”, that southern Californians should ask God to intervene and move elected leaders to pass laws protecting the rights and dignity of illegal immigrants. He‘s for a specific piece of immigration legislation, and he‘s saying that God ought to get involved in this.
How is that different from what Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell do?
COLGAN: I guess I‘m specifying that he wasn‘t saying that people need to vote for a particular political party, and he‘s also not telling people that they can‘t take communion, for instance, because this disagree with him.
COLGAN: You know, sort of sacramental blackmail, which I don‘t agree with. What he is talking about is telling people, and a lot of the things that that kit (ph) that has been talked about mostly deals with is having youth volunteers help immigrants pass citizenship tests and tells them about the parable of the Good Samaritan. I think most of this stuff is very harmless. And...
CARLSON: How about this? How about this ?
COLGAN: Hold on, Tucker.
CARLSON: You say harmless. You say harmless. Is this—this is an activity for youth, as recommended by the Catholic Church. Quote, “Hold a cartoon contest in which the students illustrate unjust treatment of immigrants throughout U.S. history.” In other words, America‘s been unjust to immigrants.
CARLSON: Attacking this country. I just—it‘s totally outrageous.
And if they did that to my kids in church, I‘d leave.
COLGAN: I don‘t think it‘s totally—I don‘t think it‘s totally outrageous to feel that the church has a moral obligation to comment on issues of human dignity.
And Mahony was very clear on this issue. The House bill—and you are conservative, and you are quite literal. And conservatives always complain that they don‘t like judges not following the strict letter of a statute or the strict wording. And Mahony‘s major point was that the way that bill was written, was written in such a way that was very broad.
Now do believe—I‘m sure the intention was to legislate against those who were smuggling immigrants. But the way that it‘s written, I think that we both would agree, after reading it, that it could very well be used to prosecute people that are basically practicing their faith and committing acts of mercy in housing people in homeless shelters or feeding them. That could be viewed as assist.
CARLSON: OK. I think—that‘s a fair argument. That‘s not what‘s going on, and you well know it. What‘s really going on is the molestation scandals, all those kids molested. The Catholic Church allowed it to happen, abetted it in many cases. Has driven away untold thousands of American Catholic churchgoers. They don‘t go to church anymore, because the church abetted these molestations.
They need new parishioners in the pews. Those are coming from out of the country. They‘re appealing to a very specific constituency in doing this. They want illegals because they want people to fill the churches. Let‘s be honest about it.
COLGAN: Tucker—Tucker, I‘m sorry, your cynicism, which I‘m very surprised about, knows no bounds.
CARLSON: It‘s not cynical. It‘s true.
COLGAN: I mean, I‘m the last person to sit here and defend the Catholic Church in what I feel was heinous in terms of them not—sometimes choosing to protect the church over those that were vulnerable. I think that they‘re making up for some of those mistakes by protecting people that they feel are most vulnerable, particularly women and children and so forth that might need food or shelter.
They‘re not going around asking people, “Are you illegal immigrants.” They‘re feeding and clothing and doing charitable acts to those. I mean, look, thank goodness Catholic priests married blacks and whites when there were anti-miscegenation laws. Thank goodness they stood up during abolition and broke laws and civil rights.
CARLSON: I give credit for all of this.
COLGAN: And thank goodness for Martin Luther King and Gandhi and every other person...
CARLSON: OK. Neither of whom was Catholic, but look—so—hold on...
COLGAN: ... civil disobedience, which I think is very important.
Well, so? The principle of civil disobedience is very important.
CARLSON: OK. So the next time—the next time Jerry Falwell gets up there, Pat Robertson, and says vote for this or God‘s not on your side, I hope you will take exactly the same point of view. I, meanwhile, will keep a consistent point of view and say, “Look, church, out of my politics.”
COLGAN: Jerry Falwell only cares about the homosexuality of “Teletubbies”.
COLGAN: Come on. You know that, Tucker.
CARLSON: All right. Flavia Colgan, from Burbank, California. Thanks a lot, Flavia.
COLGAN: Thank you, Tucker.
We turn now to a man who always speaks his mind and rarely leaves his apartment. He is “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman, safely in Europe (ph) today.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST: Church out of my politics, unless it comes to the abortion issue or church out of my politics, period?
CARLSON: Look, I am opposed to what the Catholic Church is doing in this case. They are weighing in on a subject they don‘t understand very well. Cardinal Mahony the other day said open borders aren‘t a threat to our national security. Like he‘s some national security expert.
KELLERMAN: I think people are confused. They are a threat to our national security, because a terrorist could pass as Mexican and cross over the border. But not to our national security, like you know, what are Mexicans doing, Tucker? They‘re coming here, working hard and obeying the law. They want to become citizens, voting Republican. People are upset about this?
CARLSON: OK. Well, you got the last part wrong. But look, I‘m not even against immigrants at all. I like them. But it‘s a whole separate issue.
Let‘s get to a more burning issue now.
KELLERMAN: So many good issues.
CARLSON: The United States has never had an official national language, but that soon may be changing, one state at a time. Eighty-two percent of people surveyed in Arizona, meanwhile, favor the idea of making English that state‘s official language.
An English language ballot initiative could go to a vote in Arizona in November. Supporters say an official language would help immigrants better assimilate into our culture. Critics say the proposal is part of an anti-Latino movement of some kind.
Obviously, I‘m for making English our official language. Max, for reasons that remain unclear, opposed.
Look, Max, bilingual countries are turbulent countries. Canada, Belgium, the whole continent of Africa. Language unites us. It‘s good for us to speak the same language, no matter where our ancestors were from. This will help.
KELLERMAN: That‘s certainly one point of view, and I‘m not arguing my point of view here, but I think there‘s a good argument to be made. English is our national language, you know, essentially. It always has been. Does that mean it always should be, necessarily? If there something intrinsically better about English, than Spanish, for instance, when our demographics are clearly changing?
CARLSON: I think that English is the language of our history, and I think that that counts for something.
CARLSON: The founding documents of this country are written in English. The majority of the population speaks English. Global commerce is conducted in English. English at this point in history, a better language, more useful language than Spanish.
KELLERMAN: Yes, but that—but we do not live in a—certainly, our Constitution has not led to a country that you would consider static in terms of its development.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
KELLERMAN: It is evolving and has changed throughout, you know, our history.
CARLSON: Well, that‘s fair.
KELLERMAN: And perhaps we are changing in this direction.
CARLSON: When 95 percent of Americans speak Spanish, I‘ll be for making Spanish our national language. That‘s actually a pretty smart point.
Whatever you think about strip joints, it‘s not a crime to be in them, unless you‘re on the Colorado University golf team, that is.
The coach and seven members of that team have been suspended after school officials learned that players visited the strip club while traveling to California for a tournament. The school‘s athletic director said, quote, “This reinforces our zero tolerance policy for these types of episodes.”
What did the team do wrong, exactly? This suspension is ridiculous. Max would never be caught dead in a strip club. He looks down his nose at those who would be.
I mean, going to a strip club is prima facie evidence of—let‘s see, oh yes, nothing. So I don‘t understand why you would forfeit your right to play golf if you go to a strip club?
KELLERMAN: I am shocked—shocked that there‘s gambling at this establishment.
Two years ago—this needs some context. Two years ago, CU was in this whole controversy because football recruits were taken to a strip club and things that could be construed as gifts in the form of lap dances and such, it you know, resulted in a whole controversy.
So right now, the school does not—I mean, if knowing that very recent history—this is 2004 -- why would anyone on the team and why would the coach, the interim coach, if he had knowledge, permit anyone on the team to go to, of all places, a strip club, which is how they wound up in trouble in the first place? They‘re just very sensitive to it.
CARLSON: I think because they were taking a stand on strip club principal, and good for them. But good for you, Max, for making that game attempt at defending a ludicrous policy. I admire you even more.
Max, have an awesome weekend.
KELLERMAN: No. 1 player on the team, by the way, didn‘t go. He hasn‘t been suspended, and maybe that has something to do with the fact that he‘s the No. 1 player, Tucker. He‘s focused. He has his priorities straight.
CARLSON: He‘s a wise man. Max Kellerman, thank you.
KELLERMAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, if President Bush really did authorize Scooter Libby to leak sensitive intelligence information, how much trouble is he in? We‘ll hear from someone who says President Bush ought to be thrown out of office when THE SITUATION comes back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time to check THE SITUATION voice-mail. You said we wanted to hear from you, and you answered the call with hundreds of great messages and, honestly, some drunken ones, too. Let‘s listen to a few of the best.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, this is Wanda from Naperville, Illinois. If George Bush really authorized the CIA leak, he should be impeached. They got Clinton just for sleeping with an intern. How can they not throw Bush out of office for something that actually affects the security of our country? Thanks, Tucker.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, look, no one has been indicted for leaking Valerie Plame‘s name and no one‘s going to be, in my opinion. I don‘t think it was a crime. Looks like what Bush did is not a crime, strictly speaking, as the president can declassify information if he so chooses.
However, it‘s pretty appalling, given the fact this administration never passes up an opportunity to lecture the rest of us about how leaking is wrong; it‘s bad. In fact, leaking is good. Leaking gives us information we need to decide how our government is doing. Leaks are good for you. They‘re good for me. They‘re good for America, and the White House should just go ahead and admit that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ricky. I‘m calling from Sherman Oaks, California. I think one of the main concerns is the students walking out. They actually lessens the cause—and they‘re using that as an excuse not to attend classes. I think the kids should stay in school and show intelligence.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, of course, you‘re right, Ricky. Kids love protests, because you get out of geometry class. For the same reason that kids join guerilla movements and insurgencies around the world, because it‘s more interesting and exciting than staying home and memorizing the Koran or, you know, plowing the fields with a water buffalo. Kids love this kind of stuff, and yes, it does make it hard to educate them when they‘re in the streets protesting.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paula from Hollywood, Florida. Thank you for your quote about “purrs to pundit” from PETA, “The Animal Times”. And I‘ll certainly watch your program more often, for the god luck you have at supporting animals.
(END AUDIO clip)
CARLSON: Yes, I was in the PETA magazine. I am not a PETA supporter. I think PETA is a crackpot organization. But if you were to divide the world into people who support animals and people who do not, I would be in the former category. I love animals. I hate to see them mistreated. I don‘t agree with PETA, but again, if you‘re dividing America into two camps, I‘m in the animal camp.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, this is Chuck from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I was work watching the Saddam trial the other day. And I thought how much better this would be if Willie Geist was actually doing the translations on this thing.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Chuck, that‘s a good point. And in fact, it‘s feasible, because in addition to being a terrific producer, one of the funniest people I‘ve ever met and a very good basketball player, Willie is also—little known fact—fluent in Arabic. So he could, in fact, do that. We ought—we ought to alert the officials at NBC to get him that gig. Maybe I will.
Well, keep the calls coming. That number, 1-877-TCARLSON; 1-877-822-7576, the numerical expression of that. We‘ll play the best of your voice-mails again next Thursday night. So give us a call.
You can also e-mail us at Tucker@MSNBC.com. You can also check out my daily blog. That‘s at Tucker.MSNBC.com. I write one every day. I promise.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, Dick Cheney will never live down shooting his hunting buddy, not if George W. Bush has anything to say about it. The president takes a shot at his vice president. That‘s on the “Cutting Room Floor,” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.” Willie Geist, you‘ll notice, was not invited on our road trip here to Charlotte. He‘s back at MSNBC world headquarters.
Nothing personal, Willie.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Tucker, I just want to be one of the guys. I wish you‘d include me in some of the activities. I do want to thank you for the kind words you said about me in the last segment. I don‘t feel quite as strongly about you, but I do like you.
CARLSON: Thank you, Willie. That means a lot.
All right. First up, I am sure Dick Cheney would love for everyone to forget he shot his hunting buddy, but comedians like President Bush just will not let it die. The president, speaking to a group of college sports national championship teams at the White House today, when he turned and specifically addressed the Army rifle team.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States Military Academy men‘s rifle team is with us. I congratulate the team here today. If you happen to be walking around and run into the vice president, you might give him a few pointers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GEIST: Pretty good. Pretty good.
CARLSON: That was pretty good. Not bad at all.
GEIST: Now, if Bush can get away with that. But do you think people are a little more careful now with what they say about and around Dick Cheney? Kind of like hanging out with 50 Cent. He‘ll bust a cap in you if you‘re not careful.
CARLSON: That‘s totally right. You make him mad, he‘s liable to just dust you. I respected him more after that.
GEIST: Yes, he‘ll light you up quick.
CARLSON: Well, speaking of misdeeds, what kind of heartless monsters would outlaw ice cream trucks? The kind of monsters who sit on the city council in Miami Gardens, Florida, specifically. Ice cream vendors gathered outside city hall today to protest an ordinance that bans ice cream trucks and strips vendors of their licenses.
City officials say too many kids were skipping school and gathering around ice cream trucks. No more ice cream trucks.
GEIST: Wow. This almost can‘t be true, Tucker. This is, without a doubt, the worst P.R. move in the history of P.R. moves. You‘re going to get rid of ice cream? Next up puppy dogs, unicorns, rainbows. What else are you going to kill? Are they out of their minds?
CARLSON: I thought the whole point of politics was free ice cream.
That‘s the whole appeal: elect me and I‘ll give you stuff. Free ice cream.
GEIST: NO. They‘re taking ice cream away from children. You are not going to get reelected. But you know what? They got—they totally eradicated drugs and gangs in Miami, so they‘ve moved onto the next thing, which is ice cream, of course.
CARLSON: They‘re just cleaning up some minor details, like ice cream trucks, at this point.
GEIST: Exactly. Next logical step.
CARLSON: When you reach the level of a utopia, Willie, you‘ve got the freedom to do things like that.
GEIST: Exactly right. They‘re doing the right thing.
CARLSON: Well, here‘s a story that has a little bit of everything, from weapons of mass destruction to penis enlargement surgery.
A 25-year-old Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to weapons of mass destruction charges after he sent a mail bomb to a surgeon he says botched his penis enlargement surgery.
CARLSON: The man sent the package because he was, quote, “extremely unhappy” with the results of the $8,000 procedure. The bomb was diffused before it ever reached the physician.
GEIST: What does it mean, exactly, to botch a penis enlargement surgery? Does he go the other way? Does he shorten it up by a few inches? How does that work, exactly?
CARLSON: Well, let me tell you, Willie, from experience.
GEIST: Yes, please.
CARLSON: No, I don‘t—honestly, I have no idea. Though I do think it‘s a little hard to feel sorry for this guy.
GEIST: Right. I mean, don‘t call any more attention to the penis enlargement surgery than you have to. You don‘t want to get yourself in the headlines with your name and your address. I would keep it under wraps; I wouldn‘t have sent the mail bomb.
CARLSON: Right. So the message here is not only did I need penis enlargement surgery so badly I was willing to pay eight grand to get it.
CARLSON: But even the surgery couldn‘t help me.
GEIST: That‘s exactly right. He‘s a helpless fool. Low profile, when you get penis enlargement. Reduction, tell the world. Enlargement, shh! Quiet is kept.
CARLSON: That is very wise. Willie Geist from MSNBC world headquarters. And in case you can‘t get enough of Willie, and we can‘t, here‘s a recap of his translating skills.
GEIST: Yes, thank you.
CARLSON: As we go out tonight.
That‘s THE SITUATION from Charlotte, North Carolina. Thank you for watching. We‘ll see you back here on Monday. Have a great weekend.
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