Guests: Barbara Boxer, Ramesh Ponnuru, Bill Press, A. B. Stoddard, Kim Goldman, Karl Manders
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to the show. I am Tucker Carlson. Lots of news out of Washington today where the campaign to make the war on terror a winning issue for the Republican Party kicked into high gear.
In a speech, President Bush invokes two of the biggest names in the terrorism hall of infamy, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al Shib (ph), they are among 14 accused terrorists being transferred from secret CIA custody to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Here‘s the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT: To win the war on terror we must be able to detain, question, and when appropriate prosecute terrorists captured here in America and in the battle fields around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: And Democrats in Congress angry about the war are blaming Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and they pushed for a Senate vote today calling for Rumsfeld to be fired but they were blocked by Republicans who called that move a political stunt. So non-binding resolutions aside what should be the Democratic strategy on the war in Iraq?
Joining me now from Washington, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California. Senator Boxer, thanks a lot for joining me.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER, (D) CA: Thanks for having me on.
CARLSON: If you are against the war in Iraq, shouldn‘t you be spending your time figuring out how to get America extricates itself from it? It seems to me a little bit of a waste of time to go after Rumsfeld. He‘s not responsible for the war, is he?
BOXER: Well actually, if you read the resolution, it‘s a lot broader than that.
BOXER: The resolution says we must change course in Iraq, what we are doing is not working, and that one way to bring a fresh start is to replace Donald Rumsfeld, so it‘s really an important statement. And I think the American people wanted to hear us make that, and it‘s very sad that a parliamentary maneuver is being used to block it.
CARLSON: But I mean, just to be totally clear, this wouldn‘t, even if it had not been blocked it would not have done anything, would it? It was not legislation.
BOXER: I think if you know the Constitution, you know the job of the Congress is oversight. You know, when our founders got together, the last thing they wanted was a king. Remember King George?
The fact is they wanted to make sure that there would be a Congress that was not compliant, that would speak out, that would let the president know if things were not going right. As a matter of fact, a Republican president, Teddy Roosevelt said in time of war, if the Congress is silent, they are committing treason. This is a Republican president.
CARLSON: That‘s an indictment of you, though, not you specifically, you voted against the war in Iraq, but 28 Democrats in the Senate voted for it, and you controlled the Senate at the time. The Democrats were silent and they allowed this war to happen, and I wonder how come they have not apologized for that if they‘re against the war now.
BOXER: You are not right on a lot of what you said. So let‘s just talk about this for a minute.
I am talking about what to do now. You are going back to the vote when we all know that there was false information given by this information to the members of Congress, and there were false accusations made. You know that. Donald .
CARLSON: With all due respect, senator, why did you vote against the war?
BOXER: I will tell you that in a minute.
BOXER: You were criticizing my colleagues that voted for the war.
CARLSON: Yes, I was.
BOXER: And I am saying they have since said if they knew now what they knew then, A, there might not have been a vote or B, they would have voted against it.
So the point is I voted against it at the time because I was not really sure at all that the information was that clear on the nuclear issue. That was my driving issue. The other thing, I also knew from the military is, if Saddam had used chemical weapons, which I feared, that our troops were not ready to counter that. So that‘s my story, and it‘s probably the best vote I have ever cast in my life. And I thank God .
CARLSON: There were a lot of Democrats who voted against the war.
BOXER: No actually, there were about 23 of us, and we were not all Democrats, an independent and Republican in there as well. The fact is, I don‘t get your point. Right now we are where we are.
CARLSON: Well, hold on. My point .
BOXER: Let me finish my point. The American people believe that this is one of the most important issues facing this country. The economy and the war in Iraq are the top two, and everything else falls by the wayside, and why shouldn‘t we have a debate and a vote on whether or not staying the course is the proper thing to do. And I think anyone who would try and block a vote, the Republicans are doing a disservice for the American people.
CARLSON: I guess here is the point. I understand and I am all for the debate, I have a debate show. I am completely for that. I am not for stifling any debate in Congress or on television, period.
BOXER: But you‘re not for the vote.
CARLSON: However, here is the question. Democrats are I think likely to take over the Congress, and maybe even certainly the House, and possibly even the Senate. Very very soon. What is, I think what most Americans are still wondering, what is the Democratic plan for Iraq? Should the troops come home? What is the Democratic position?
BOXER: It‘s a very fair question. Several months ago we had a vote which said this needs to be - ‘06 needs to be the year of transition in Iraq, where the Iraqi people have to prove to us that they are ready to defend their own country, that they want democracy as much as we want it for them, and that we hand over the reigns to them and begin redeploying our troops this year.
That is clearly what we said, about 85 percent or 90 percent of us. So I think that‘s what we want to do and I‘ll tell you the reason. This war is breaking the bank. Let‘s start there, $318 billion now, maybe about $10 billion every month and we are going broke. We are passing on the debt to our children, and we are shorting the war on terror.
We still have not protected our nuclear power plants, ourchemical plants. We are taking away lip gel from women when they go on an aircraft but we are not inspecting the cargo. We‘re not doing .
CARLSON: So let me just stop you and ask you a very specific question. You think we ought to begin to bring our troops home. I think it‘s a mainstream position, and I am not attacking your position, but I am wondering though if you think we ought to leave behind an American military base or more than one in Iraq. We have had more than 3,000 Americans, if you include contractors, killed in this war. Shouldn‘t we get something out of it for the long term and shouldn‘t that something be a military presence that endures in that country? What do you think?
BOXER: Well, actually I think it‘s way broader than that. We have to focus on the war on terror. If you listen to us Democrats, what we are saying is a redeployment of the troops, we are not saying necessarily to bring them home.
CARLSON: Should we leave a base in Iraq is the question?
BOXER: I think we need a base in the area, and it doesn‘t have to be inside Iraq, because again, if there is a civil war going on, that‘s the last thing you want to be, is a target. I think we need to—when we do leave there, OK, that we are in the area with our special forces and our rapid deployment forces but whether they are in Iraq or not, we are so from there, Tucker, I wish we could discuss that today.
CARLSON: I don‘t know .
BOXER: We have got a president who has said, quote, “As long as I am president, we will remain in Iraq.
CARLSON: Senator, he is only going to be president for two more years, no matter what happens. So we‘re actually not .
BOXER: Two more years is a long time when you are a marine in California and you have been sent back .
CARLSON: I‘m not defending the war, I am merely pressing you for more specifics. Let me ask my question, please .
BOXER: Won‘t you ever let me finish a sentence.
You ask a question and I am trying to answer it, and I am going nuts here.
Where were we? Two years is a very long time.
Two years is a long time in a war that was supposed to end in six months, and we have been there three years. So I am saying call me back on this show when we are planning to redeploy out of there, and then we will discuss where we are going to base our troops.
CARLSON: OK. Let me ask you a broad question about the war on terror.
CARLSON: You have said just a moment ago, and probably every day for the past year or more that this administration is not doing a good job waging that war, on the other hand your average unaligned American voter will look at the situation and say five years after 9/11 we have not had another 9/11. Isn‘t that something the Bush administration can be proud of? Honestly.
BOXER: I think we should all be very proud of it. We had a vote, we worked together, and we reformed our intelligence community, we passed the PATRIOT Act, there were two things in there I didn‘t like but I voted for it because there was a lot of good in there.
We really did a lot of good things. And I was the one who suggested when I was asked about Robert Mueller taking over the FBI, I said this was a good man, he was from San Francisco and I had worked with him. So I think, yes, we all have to be very happy.
But I also have to tell you, we have much more to do to protect the people. We cannot rest in this war on terror. We need to protect our aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, an issue that we‘re slow walking in this administration, and again, port security, rail security, nuclear plant security.
I hear Bill Frist is going to finally bring up a port security bill. Thank goodness for that. We‘re not inspecting the cargo, so yes, I think both sides have a lot to be proud of, but let me tell you, we have so much more to do.
Forty-one recommendations by the 9/11 commission, and most of them were not followed. And they have given the president a failing grade. We want to help him. We want to do more.
CARLSON: Barbara Boxer, senator from California joining us from Washington. Thanks a lot, senator.
BOXER: Keep dancing.
CARLSON: Vote for me, please.
Still to come, the Democrats want to run this country, and they may soon do it. How will this country be different once they are in charge? That‘s a good question.
And Suri Cruise is Hollywood royalty but why did Katie Couric put her on par with the future king of England? Hyperbole at work. That story on “Beat the Press” when we come back.
CARLSON: Let‘s imagine for a second that the Democrats do win control of both the House and Senate in November of 2006, about two months from now? That means Howard Dean becomes chairman of the party in power, Harry Reid becomes Senate majority leader and Nancy Pelosi of California becomes House majority leader, John Conyers of Michigan will become head of the House Judiciary Committee, and so on.
A conservative nightmare. How would American change under a Democratic Congress? The next guess is the author of “The Party of Death, Democrats, the Media, the Courts and the Disregard for Human Life.” Ramesh Ponnuru is also senior editor at “National Review.” He joins us tonight from Washington. Ramesh, welcome.
RAMESH PONNURU, “NATIONAL REVIEW”l
CARLSON: John Conyers, John Conyers, I don‘t think the average American has any idea who John Conyers is or what he is like, I have spent some time with John Conyers, so I know. This is going to be a big change if they particular over the House?
PONNURU: Well, that‘s right. I mean, he would be—he is very sincere, but a hard left man, and the American public would find out a lot of the new chairman were pretty hard left people. In some ways it would actually be pretty good news for the Republicans going into 2008, because they would finally have a foil, and they would no longer have the responsibility for the entire government, and they would be able to say anything you dislike, look at these committee chairmen.
CARLSON: Is there concern in the Democratic Party about John Conyers, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman name just a few, pretty liberal members that be in position of powers as committee chairman, Alcee Hastings, Barney Frank, and people like that, are they worried, are Democrats worried?
PONNURU: I think that there is some concern. I think that the Democratic hope is the presidential wing of the party will start to define the party going into 2008, and you will not have all of these congressional special interests defining the party.
But there absolutely is concern, and that‘s the reason that you have the debate in the Democratic caucus as to whether a relative moderate like Jane Harmon is going to be chairman of the Intelligence Committee, or Alcee Hastings somebody who was impeached by the U.S. Congress when he was a judge.
CARLSON: Impeached and I believe convicted?
PONNURU: That‘s absolutely right.
CARLSON: He is an awfully friendly guy. Alcee Hastings is a charming character. It‘s kind of hard to believe his past. It‘s kind of hard to believe he‘ll be in charge of something big. What specifically does this mean? What changes are going to take place in the first 100 days after a Democratic Congress?
PONNURU: Well, look, if the Democrats take the House, which is what‘s most likely, them taking the House, not the Senate, I think an immigration bill that is actually ironically close to what the president wants passes, and the Senate passes it and the president signs it.
A few other pieces of legislation, minimum wage, maybe some price controls for the drug industry. But over all the big change is that you have not so much legislation, you have a ton of investigations. Have you investigations of the Iraq War, and investigations of every aspect of that war and investigations of Katrina.
And, if you are upset about partisan bickering over the last several years, the next two years are going to be a lot more of the same.
CARLSON: Just to make sure that I heard what you said correctly, you are saying if the Democrats control the House of Representatives, they will essentially pass Bush‘s immigration bill?
PONNURU: I think that‘s right.
CARLSON: Do they tell you everything you need to know about the immigration bill?
PONNURU: I think the obstacle is Republicans, not Democrats, that Democrats are more enthusiastic about the Bush plan for immigration than Republicans are.
CARLSON: And for good reason. It‘s a completely left wing vision.
PONNURU: I agree with that.
So finally, Republicans, I am not saying that this have got a drug problem, but I think a lot of them are out of touch with reality and don‘t know what is about to happen, that Henry Waxman is about to be in control along with Nancy Pelosi and is it your sense that they understand that they are about to get stomped?
PONNURU: Well Republican congressmen were too complacent for too long, but they have learned, they do realize that they are in danger.
I think a lot of people at the Republican base are maybe a little bit out of the loop. They think—they are upset with the Republicans over immigration, and so they are not going to vote and end up with a Democratic Congress that is worse from their perspective on immigration.
CARLSON: I guess you get what you don‘t vote for some cases. Ramesh Ponnuru, “National Review,” thanks a lot, Ramesh.
PONNURU: You are welcome.
CARLSON: Coming up, terror alerts or political strategy or both? Researches say they found the president‘s numbers go up when the White House raises the threat level. Coincidence or not?
And what prompted this attack on a television news reporter. We will have the unbelievable story and the amazing tape on “Beat the Press.” We‘ll be back.
CARLSON: Time now for “Beat the Press.” In Katie Couric‘s first night as the anchor of the “CBS Evening News”, what amounted to a pretty good get, at least by tabloid standards Couric showed viewers possibly the most anticipated photograph of the year, watch how she introduced it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Here is another few feature, and it‘s called snapshots and we begin with some vintage ones from one of the early CBS News broadcasts. The anchor was Douglas Edwards, and the photos are of 19 week old Prince Charles back in 1949.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This perhaps is my favorite. A bonnie King Charlie to be of the United Kingdom.
COURIC: So in keeping with tradition, we have some very special baby pictures tonight. An excusive first look at “Vanity Fair‘s” newest cover girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: I love that. A new feature. Showing celebrity baby pictures. No it‘s the oldest feature in the book. Pandering to those interested in the celebrity culture. Nothing wrong with it, necessarily, we do it. We don‘t dress it up with black and white photos designed to make it looks like news. You are showing Tom Cruise‘s baby picture. Come on, be honest.
And it was a big first day over on “Good Morning America” where Chris Cuomo joined the team. He got quite the introduction from “GMA‘s” Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: A whole new chapter here at “GMA”, and I have to tell you, Chris Cuomo‘s passion for covering the news is unparalleled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Passion for covering the news. Well his first big news story in the new gig, a interview with Joran Van der Sloot, the young man at the center of the Alabama teen Natalee Holloway‘s May 2005 disappearance. Unfortunately Mr. News sucks the air right out of the balloon as he sets up his own interview. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It‘s very interesting. The first time I spoke to Van der Sloot, it was to test his story. He told me about their romantic liaison, about his lies, but he always insisted that he did nothing to hurt Natalee Holloway. Since that time, investigators have proven nothing different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Have proven nothing different. In other words, nothing has changed. The status quo mains. That is by definition, not news. Poor Chris Cuomo. Nice guy, handed a very tough break on his first day as a news man on “GMA”, Joran Van der Sloot. Pretty bad.
And finally, we would like to take a break from beating the press, and let Rosa and Sam Suleman (ph) step in, unfortunately, the two of them accused of consumer fraud and took it all a little too literally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) camera, right (EXPLETIVE DELETED) now, and .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s not appropriate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don‘t give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Do you like Tijuana (ph) or Impaneta (ph)/ Which one do you like better? I am going to put you on the other side of the country. That‘s it. Break the (EXPLETIVE) camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call the police.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys are driving into my life, you are invading my life. Whether you (inaudible) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: She is one fiery woman, that Rosa. I have to say. We were just watching that tape in a commercial break, and our head cameraman Al Heck (ph) pointed out it‘s good that the camera man has his back. You will notice as the correspondent is getting beat up, the third man by the way, is a bystander, and the cameraman stands back and let‘s his reporter get beaten to a bloody pulp. Look at that. The cameraman, yeah, pretty cool customer.
How would you like to help us “Beat the Press”?
Give us a call and tell us what you see. The number here, 1-877-BTP-5876.
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Still to come, Donald Rumsfeld is becoming the national whipping boy on the war in Iraq, but is the Republican Party hiding behind him?
And he is back, we will tell you who is dragging O.J. Simpson back in court and why. For give reason. We‘ll give you a hint. That story when we return.
CARLSON: Still to come the hot political conspiracy theory of the day, is the Republican Party funding Democrat Joe Lieberman‘s Senate run in Connecticut. And Tom DeLay wants your vote on “Dancing with the Stars.” No, he‘s not competing on the show. We will tell you what that‘s all about in just a moment, but right now here is a look at your headlines.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC ANCHOR: I am Milissa Rehberger, and here is what is happening. President Bush revealed that 14 top terror suspects including alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed have been moved from secret CIA prisons to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
It was the first time that he acknowledged the existence of those CIA prisons, and he also pressured Congress to authorize military tribunals to try terror suspects. The Supreme Court struck down the use of such tribunals in June because Congress hadn‘t yet approved them.
The Pentagon has overhauled its rules for holding and questioning prisoners. The new manual bans torture and degrading treatment. It specifically mentions forced nudity, hooding and threatening with dogs.
Former illegal Illinois governor, George Ryan, was sentenced today to six years in prison in a corruption scandal that ruined his political career.
And NASA has postponed the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis until at least Friday. Today‘s scheduled launch was scrubbed because of a problem with the shuttle‘s electrical power system.
Now back to “Tucker.”
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Time now for “Three on Three,” where we welcome two of the sharpest people we know to discus three of today‘s most interesting stories. Let‘s get right to it.
Joining us from Washington, the author of “How the Republicans Stole Christmas,” Bill Press.
How are you doing?
BILL PRESS, AUTHOR: Hey, Tucker.
CARLSON: Also from Washington, associate editor of “The Hill” newspaper, A. B. Stoddard.
Welcome to you both.
PRESS: All right. Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Democrats try to come up with a no confidence vote on Rumsfeld.
It seems to me, Bill, this is sort of a dodge. I mean, if you‘re mad about the war, Bush is the guy to attack. Why are they taking their furry out on Donald Rumsfeld?
PRESS: Well, Tucker, it‘s fun, that‘s why.
CARLSON: Is that what it is?
PRESS: You know, I mean, it‘s fun to.
CARLSON: That‘s a good explanation, actually.
PRESS: . Rumsfeld. Yes, he‘s is a good target. But, you know, I think that the people dodging here—and I find it very funny—are the Republicans.
The Democrats are saying we have no confidence in Rumsfeld. Let‘s have a vote. If you like Donald Rumsfeld, stand up and be counted. And if not, stand up and be counted the other way.
The Republicans don‘t want to vote on that because they don‘t want to be caught endorsing or embracing Rumsfeld. They‘re trying to run away from him as fast as they can.
CARLSON: Well, that‘s actually a pretty good point.
And, A.B., I thought the idea was Republicans were going to win—to the extent they will win in this mid-term election—on the war in Iraq, and the war on terror. Do they not really believe that?
STODDARD: No, I think that there‘s—no one can stand up for Donald Rumsfeld at this point. I mean, I think they want to win on security measures.
But the war in Iraq is a disaster. Republicans know it. And no one can defend Donald Rumsfeld.
I think they should stand up with the Democrats, and jump all over Donald Rumsfeld.
I think they can‘t be hurt by that. I really think that that would actually be a good thing to do.
But it would not matter. Because we all know that Donald Rumsfeld has that job for life, because this administration cannot survive any confirmation hearings for another secretary of defense.
CARLSON: Do you think that‘s what it is? I mean, it‘s.
STODDARD: That‘s absolutely what it is.
CARLSON: OK. So once he goes they‘ll.
STODDARD: That is why he has his job.
CARLSON: They‘ll never have another.
STODDARD: Because everybody gets raked over the coals on the Iraq policy if we have a new secretary of defense.
PRESS: Tucker, I‘ve got to agree. You know, the way for the Republicans—I think the smarter way to handle this is to stand up and say, yes, we don‘t have any confidence in him either, right? And then that would call the Democrats‘ bluff, in effect. Instead, they‘re kind of running away from the issue.
CARLSON: Well, I mean, that‘s why in the end it will be better in some ways for the White House and for Republicans to have the Democrats in charge of something.
Because it‘s so uncomfortable right now when Republicans control everything. Republicans who are frustrated with the behavior of other Republicans can‘t say so in public. It‘ll be good for them to have someone to blame, I guess.
STODDARD: No, it‘s too much oversight. They can‘t take it.
CARLSON: What do you mean? Do you think.
STODDARD: The Democrats come to town with their subpoenas, and it‘s over.
The Scooter Libby trial alone is starting in January or February or something. And it‘s going to be too much to bear.
STODDARD: They can‘t go over questions of intelligence on the Iraq war, questions of the execution of the Iraq war. They can‘t do it. They don‘t want Democrats to have subpoena power.
PRESS: Yes. Yes.
CARLSON: Well, it sounds like they‘re going to get it.
But are they going to use it, Bill? I mean, do you think it‘s smart? That only made Americans who were sitting on the fence more sympathetic to Bill Clinton when Republicans went after him in the ‘90s.
PRESS: No, no. I don‘t think we‘re talking about subpoena power so much.
By the way, I think we‘re talking two different issues here.
I think A.B. is saying it‘s better for the Republicans to control everything. But I think it‘s better for the American people, which is, I think, the point you were making, that the Democrats at least have one little stand there, you know. At least some little balance of power.
STODDARD: That‘s a separate question.
PRESS: And it‘s boring today with Republicans controlling everything.
I think what the Democrats would though, Tucker, is not so much subpoena and, you know, go into this personal stuff, as exercise some over site. And that‘s what the Republicans don‘t need and don‘t want, Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, just for the record, I was not in any way endorsing a Democratic victory in any contest.
I don‘t want Barney Frank in charge of anything. I think the guys an incompetent and incredibly nasty. And I would say that about a number of other Democrats.
I‘m not endorsing a Democratic victory. I just think total control over everything has been bad for the Republican Party. It‘s basically destroyed the party.
PRESS: Yes. By the way, I think Barney Frank‘s one of the smartest people on the Hill.
CARLSON: Nasty man. Nasty, nasty man.
PRESS: But what you‘ll have is, you‘ll have some oversight over FEMA. You‘ll have some oversight over Defense, some oversight over Justice, and these other departments that are or are not doing their job. Right now, we don‘t even know.
CARLSON: Well is the.
STODDARD: But that is the worst—that is the worse thing for Republicans. If there‘s oversight over any of this, there‘s no Republican president in ‘08. It‘s the worse thing for the party.
PRESS: That‘s the strongest reason I‘ve heard yet.
CARLSON: Well, I don‘t know. That all depends on how exactly the Democrats respond. I mean, there are two parties in this dynamic. And I think the Democratic Party has a recent pretty rich history of, A, overplaying its hand and, B, destroying itself with its crazy and fervid attacks.
For instance—I‘m serious. You often hear on Democrats.
STODDARD: But when was the last time that we saw the Democrats in power?
CARLSON: Well, listen. I‘ll give you a great example. And it was brought out today in a piece in the “San Francisco Chronicle.”
How many times have you heard Democrats say, when there‘s a terror alert, you know, whisper to one another, or say, so (inaudible) say, this is all political. This is phony, cooked up by the White House.
Well this “San Francisco Chronicle” piece basically claims to show that every time one of these terror alerts comes out the public is afraid and Bush‘s poll numbers go up.
This, I think, will definitely add fuel to the conspiracy theory. And I think it‘s bad for the Democrats.
I mean, look, the bottom line is there really is an enemy out there trying to hurt us. And to the extent Democrats pretend there isn‘t, I mean, it hurts them.
Do you see what I mean, A.B.?
STODDARD: Yes, but every time you see the terror alert is elevated yellow, going across the ticker on the TV, don‘t you get a little nervous?
I mean, I think that there is something to say about this research that was published in the article that says the more we hear about it, the more scared we get.
STODDARD: And in some ways, it‘s probably—I mean, it probably has a negative affect.
PRESS: Yes. Listen, I disagree. Tucker, you should know better than to believe everything you read in the “San Francisco Chronicle”, right?
PRESS: No, for any news—for any news.
CARLSON: It never occurred to me to believe this, by the way.
PRESS: I think it used to be that way. But times have changed. There were so many terror alerts. Even Tom Ridge said he did not like the fact that the White House used to force him to issue these stupid color alerts.
And then people got, you know, just gotten used to them. They don‘t take them that seriously any more.
And now, George Bush is out there beating the drums of the war on terror because it‘s the only issue they‘ve got left. You‘ve got to admit that.
They can‘t win on Iraq. They can‘t win on the economy. They can‘t win on health care. They can‘t win on immigration. So they‘ve got to make people believe that terror is the number one issue.
STODDARD: Because they‘re not running on immigration‘s.
CARLSON: This is what I don‘t get. “The New York Times” has this long and pretty interesting piece today about Colorado Republicans in—running immigration.
STODDARD: They are.
CARLSON: That‘s right. And doing pretty well with it. Brian Billbright, (ph) in San Diego, doing the same.
Why isn‘t the national party using immigration as, I think, a totally legitimate cudgel with which to beat the Democrats.
I mean, look, if you care about securing this country, you care about securing its borders. Why doesn‘t Bush say that aloud?
STODDARD: It‘s also a really good issue for the Republicans to run on against President Bush. They should campaign against President Bush‘s guest worker program and campaign on border security.
PRESS: Yes. Here‘s why the party‘s not using it, Tucker, is because the Republican Party is split on this. So you can‘t have Ken Mehlman going out there with one message on immigration because, A.B is right, the Republicans who are using immigration are using it saying, this is where I disagree with George Bush. And I will throw the bums out. I think this issue cuts both ways.
And, by the way, I don‘t think either side wants a solution this month. I think they both want to use this as an issue.
CARLSON: I agree with that.
PRESS: And the Democrats, while the Republicans are saying here‘s where we‘re going to be tougher than George Bush, the Democrats are saying, hey, the Republicans controlled everything. They had a chance. They couldn‘t deliver.
CARLSON: But don‘t you think—I mean, if what we all suspect comes to pass, and Democrats take over at least one house, or possibly two of Congress, they all of a sudden have a stake in running the government. And they have to put themselves on the record with a real position on immigration.
Are they going to pass this immigration bill or not? We just have to
PRESS: I think they‘re.
STODDARD: Why don‘t you think they‘ll work with President Bush to pass the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill?
CARLSON: I think they probably will, which is interesting. Because I think that is going to be political death for who votes for that.
PRESS: There is a Democratic—look, I don‘t speak for the Democratic Party, God forbid.
They wouldn‘t want me to. But to the extent that I understand it, the leading Democrats have supported President Bush‘s position on this, which is toughening up the borders. And then have a guest worker program and some kind of ladder to citizenship, like Tom McCain and Teddy Kennedy want. That‘s what the Democrats have supported. But the Republican Party split on it.
CARLSON: OK. And right now, that all looks fine. And this is kind of underneath the radar. And only people who are interested in it really understand it.
But when the economy takes a turn for the worst, and all of a sudden, you know, nobody is hiring those guys standing outside Home Depot, or people are hiring them and their dramatically undercutting wages for American citizens; when there‘s a scramble for jobs when the economy takes a slide—and it‘s going to at some point. This will happen—people are going to feel differently about immigration.
And they‘re going to resent the hell out of it, don‘t you think, A.B.?
STODDARD: You know, I think there are—people feel strongly on both sides of this issue. If you talk to the sort of pro-restriction side, they want interior enforcement with business. And they want the border secure. And they‘re really mad about it.
And when you talk about people who believe that our, you know, agri-business would fold without these workers, they feel really passionately as well.
So I don‘t—I actually think that this is a totally split issue. I mean, it‘s sort of becoming a litmus test maybe for the parties later. But I don‘t think that they could do one thing because they wanted the votes. And I don‘t think they can do one thing that would make everybody mad.
CARLSON: Gee whiz, it‘s a huge risk though.
PRESS: And Tucker.
CARLSON: Because we don‘t control our borders, Bill. And what happens if there is a terror event caused by someone who snuck in over the border? That‘ll be big.
PRESS: Tucker, just let me say, coming from California, this is so deja vue.
CARLSON: Yes, I know.
PRESS: It‘s a hot button issue. But I really remember Pete Wilson strongly run—I was Democratic chair when Pete Wilson took on this issue, took on illegal immigration, in a hard-ass way. And what happened was the Latino community woke up. They registered Democratic. And they threw every Republican out of office.
And now Schwarzenegger‘s governor. And he‘s refusing to go on along with Bush on his immigration policy.
CARLSON: Yes. I know. I know. It‘s destroyed the party in California. But America is.
PRESS: It‘s not necessarily a good issue for Republicans.
I‘m from California too. But America, thank God, is not California.
Bill Press, thank you. A.P. Stoddard, thank you.
CARLSON: A new report says Joe Lieberman is getting campaign money from the Republican Party, if you can believe it. Is the GOP so desperate to prop up supporters in the war, it‘s now backing Democrats? Ha. It sounds a little weird to me.
Plus, the Iranian president taunts President Bush yet again. How long until the U.S. takes the bait. Is it time we shut this guy up. What a nut job. We‘ll discuss that when we come back.
CARLSON: Ron Goldman‘s sister is here to tell us how her family plans to make legal history by robbing O.J. Simpson and his very name. We‘ll talk to her in a minute and she‘ll explain.
Plus, Tom Delay throws his official support behind a “Dancing with the Stars” candidate. Is it me? Find out when we come back in 60 seconds.
CARLSON: Time to look at stories I just don‘t get this.
First an ominous threat from Iran‘s president to his American counterpart.
Ahmadinejad is issuing George W. Bush a challenge. He wants to debate Bush at the U.N. And he warns of dire consequences should our president reject the invitation.
Ahmadinejad says he‘s merely the messenger of this veiled threat. The warning, he comes, from recording, now, the entire universe, which opposes suppression.
Here‘s what I don‘t get. Is this guy for real? Or is he a Matt
Parker/Trey Stone devised parody of a crazed dictator? He‘s taking the
place of Kim Jong Il, who‘s no longer demented enough to fill the roll.
I mean, is this guy for real? He looks like he wants war to me.
Next up, I really don‘t get the latest rumors questioning Senator Joe Lieberman‘s party loyalty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN, (D) CONNECTICUT: I am a proud Democrat. I am a devoted Democrat. I believe and have fought for the core values of the Democratic Party for more than 30 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Maybe so. But Republican sources on The Hill suggest the Connecticut lawmaker will do anything to win re-election, even accept millions of dollars for his primary campaign from major Republican contributors.
The White House supposedly wants Lieberman to win a new term in the hopes he‘ll be Republican leaning Senator.
Sources claim Lieberman took the money, but has made it clear to his GOP contributor he will not play ball.
Of course he won‘t play ball. He‘s a Democrat, and a liberal Democrat. Not a radical crazy liberal Democrat, but a liberal Democrat. And also has been. He doesn‘t sound like one. But if you look at his voting record, he is.
Why is the Republican Party—supposedly a part that stands for
conservative values—funneling money, however informally, to Joe
Lieberman? I don‘t get that at all. Maybe someone will explain.
And finally, there‘s a new legal maneuver against O.J. Simpson that
needs an explanation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GOLDMAN, FATHER OF RON GOLDMAN: He found a way to be a free man due to his fame. And it is now our opportunity to hopefully take that fame from him in the form of his right to publicity, his name and likeness, probably the one thing that is important to him, and that‘s himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Twelve years after his son Ron was murdered with Nicole Brown, Fred Goldman remains determined as ever to make O.J. Simpson pay for his crime.
And the Goldman family has filed a petition in a California court to have Simpson‘s publicity rights transferred to Ron‘s estate.
The Goldman‘s won a $32 million civil judgment against Simpson in 1996. But the ex-football star lives in Florida now, where state law prohibits the use of his NFL pension or his home, for that matter, to pay off his civil judgment.
So do the Goldman‘s have any shot at making O.J. pay by coughing up the rights to his name? Let‘s ask Kim Goldman. She‘s Ron Goldman‘s sister. At her side is Goldman family consultant, Carl Manders. They join me from Burbank, California.
Kim and Carl, thanks a lot for joining us.
KIM GOLDMAN, SISTER OF RON GOLDMAN: Thank you, Tucker.
CARL MANDERS, GOLDMAN FAMILY CONSULTANT: You‘re welcome. Thank you.
CARLSON: Kim, have you not received any money—just to make it totally clear—from O.J. Simpson all these years?
K. GOLDMAN: No, we haven‘t received any money directly from him. There was some money recovered from an auction way back when, about ten years ago. But that was not—from what I remember, I don‘t believe that was part of the judgment.
CARLSON: Is he a poor man? Do you have any idea who he lives? Does he in poverty?
K. GOLDMAN: No, he lives quite comfortably6 off of his $4 million pension, which I think is estimated at around $300,000 a year, that he benefits from—so whatever that math is—per month.
I know I‘d like to live off that kind of cash.
CARLSON: And he lives in an OK house? Do you have any idea what kind of house he lives in?
K. GOLDMAN: I don‘t know where he lives. But he makes no bones about having a nice lifestyle and is out golfing and living the life of Riley with his freedom.
CARLSON: How do you feel about that?
K. GOLDMAN: It‘s disgusting. It‘s difficult for us to watch him, you know, just take advantage of the lives—the breaths—his ability to breath.
That‘s what he took from Ron and Nicole. And the fact that he‘s out parading himself around the country, it‘s very difficult for us to watch that.
CARLSON: Explain in non-legal laymen‘s terms what you plan to do about it?
K. GOLDMAN: Well, the brainchild of Carl Manders here, and some of our other attorneys. We were approached with this idea to transfer his name and likeness and his celebrity, his persona. I don‘t know what we‘re going to do with it yet. But right now it‘s an opportunity for us to take some control back.
CARLSON: So once you own his likeness, I mean, could you market it?
Could you, I don‘t know, make O.J. lunch boxes if you wanted?
And would that put you in a weird position to be profiting from his fame, which is in part derived from the murder of your brother?
K. GOLDMAN: You know, we have not gotten that far. I think, at this point, we are exercising some legal rights that we have. And again, with Karl and our other attorneys, who we feel confident can push this through.
I don‘t know what we are going to do with it. That‘s not important to us at this point.
It‘s the ability for us to take back some of the control and to stop him from using his celebrity to profit from it. I mean, his celebrity got him—his acquittal. And for us, it‘s a little bit of an opportunity to regain some semblance of respect to the...
CARLSON: I think virtually everybody watching the show is on your side and hopes you succeed.
K. GOLDMAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Karl, do you think you will succeed?
KARL MANDERS: I believe so. I think the law is clearly on our side.
Although this is something that has never been tried before, there are other elements of it that are well-based in law.
In divorce law, goodwill, oftentimes, is divided amongst the people who are getting divorced. And that‘s intellectual property. Copy rights have been taken in voluntarily from people who have declared bankruptcy.
So there are elements certainly that have gone before that paved the way.
No one‘s ever quite put it together this way and tried to involuntarily take away somebody‘s name and likeness.
But John Wayne, for instance, gave his name and likeness to his children while he was still alive.
So there are certainly elements that we put together to do something that has never been done before. I think we‘re going to succeed.
CARLSON: Kim, have you had any communication of any kind, any communication with O.J. Simpson since the trial?
K. GOLDMAN: No, we hear his comments on the news that he‘s never going to work a day in his life to honor the judgment. He‘s certainly made some disparaging comments about my family and I, but never anything directly, no. I wouldn‘t expect to.
CARLSON: Do you have any sense what the public thinks of O.J. Simpson? Is it your feeling that as the years pass people forgets that he did this?
K. GOLDMAN: No. I am pleasantly surprised. I know that sounds strange. The people are still very, very passionate about this.
I think his perception of the world thinking he is fabulous after all this time is a little warped.
From everything that we hear and read and see, people are still very committed to our family and the Brown family and to getting some kind of justice on behalf of all victims.
I think that he just happens to be the most famous and people are drawn to him because of his celebrity, again, which is what we are talking about here.
But I am forever indebted to the community and the public for staying behind us all this time.
CARLSON: Watching that video of him playing golf is just enough to turn your stomach.
I really hope you succeed in this.
Thanks a lot, Kim.
K. GOLDMAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Karl, thank you.
MANDERS: Thank you.
CARLSON: Now he‘s got some free times on his hands. Tom Delay can weigh in on things like “Dancing with the Stars.”
The congressman from Texas has drafted an official letter supporting a dancing star, and he is not kidding. Wait until you see this. It‘s shocking. Be right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. He‘s on your side. He‘s fighting for you.
Why? Because he cares. His name‘s Willie Geist. And he‘s here.
WILLIE GEIST: Tucker, on your side like that investigator reporter
who got the tar beaten out of him in San Diego.
CARLSON: Greatest video ever.
GEIST: I hope I don‘t end up like him. That was strong. We‘re going to revisit that, I have a feeling.
Tucker, six days, we‘re inside a week. “Dancing with the Stars” comes at you in six days. The butterflies turning in Tucker‘ stomach. We‘re inside of a week.
And we have an important story, “Dancing with the Stars”-related story to bring you.
I‘m holding an historic document in my hands right now. This is a letter from Congressman Tom Delay. It appears the man, who just months ago was the House Majority leader, the man who help impeach President Clinton, the man whose nickname was the Hammer, now mainly concerns himself with celebrity dance contests.
Tom Delay sent out a letter to his supporters today encouraging them
to vote for country music singer Sarah Evans on the upcoming “Dancing with
the Stars.” And I am not kidding about this.
Delay, who resign his congressional seat in June, wrote to his base
with a full endorsement of Evans, who you see right here.
The astonishingly unironic letter reads, in part, quote, “Sarah Evans has been a strong supporter of the Republican Party and represents good American values in the media. One of her opponents on the show is ultra liberal talk show host Jerry Springer. We need to send a message to Hollywood and to the media that smut has no place on television, by supporting good people like Sarah Evans.”
We can validate this. We check it. This is a real letter Tom Delay sent out to his base. Jerry Springer apparently doing the same thing.
So we decided it was time to get cracking. We will see Sarah Evans.
We will see your Tom Delay, and raise you a Reverend Al Sharpton.
We put in a call to Reverend Al today. He is currently drafting a letter which he is going to pass around and get the support for Tucker, signatures all over the country. The Reverend Al writing a letter of support to Tucker Carlson.
Tucker, that‘s got to make you feel good.
CARLSON: It makes me feel great, Willie. And it was only today that I realized we‘ve been too polite about this. We need to mount a full blown campaign.
Jerry Springer, meanwhile, has enlisted his network to press people to vote for him.
We‘ve been sitting back like the polite Americans we are, letting life happen to us. Not taking control. And today, this was—this was the gauntlet. The was the final start. We‘ve had it.
The Reverend Al Sharpton. We‘re going nuclear and we‘re going to win this one.
GEIST: That‘s right, Tucker. This is war. And we have a deadly weapon on our side, Reverend Al Sharpton.
We‘ll read Reverend Sharpton‘s letter tomorrow. We‘re counting on you right now.
CARLSON: And by the way, and let me just say, not to toot our own horn, but it‘s time. The time has come, with six days. It‘s time for a little horn tooting. He will not be the last national level political figure who‘s going to endorse this candidacy.
GEIST: No. We will reveal them shortly when we have them locked down.
CARLSON: Yes, we will.
GEIST: Tucker, other news, GQ Magazine, named pop star Justin Timberlake its International Man of the Year.
It‘s not clear what the criteria for the award were. But I imagine people like Nelson Mandela and Bill Gates were disappointed to hear the choice.
Timberlake accepted the award in London last night. He joined the elite brotherhood of previous winners, like David Beckham and Priest Rosanum (ph).
And Tucker, “Time: and “GQ” appear to be at odds over whom the Man of the Year is, I guess. They had Gates, Timberlake. I guess we could meet somewhere in the middle. But I‘m not reflexively, like some people, anti-Timberlake. I kind of like him. I like his music. And I‘m man enough to say it.
CARLSON: No. You honestly like Justice Timberlake‘s music?
GEIST: Yes. He‘s got a few good songs. It‘s objective. It‘s pleasing to the ear. What do you want me to say?
CARLSON: Wow. I‘m impressed, Willie. You‘re a brave man.
GEIST: I know. Tucker, you travel the world now. If you‘re traveling in Moscow, you can do the obvious tourist things, like visit the Kremlin and Lenin‘s tomb. Or you can take the real pulse of the city at the World Toilet Summit.
The luminaries of the toilet industry have gathered in the Russian capital this week to compare notes, show off new technology and take a nostalgic look back at some of the great achievements in toilet history.
The first thing you do here, Tucker, is tip your cap to the Russian Toilet Association, putting on another good show as they do all year.
The World Toilet Expo coming up obviously in Bangkok in November. They have their work cut out for them to follow this act. Don‘t you think?
CARLSON: I just sense—and perhaps I‘m just allowing stereotypes to form my view of the world—but my sense is Russian toilets, nothing to brag about.
GEIST: They don‘t work. That‘s the trick with Russian toilets.
They‘re not functional.
CARLSON: Like Russian elevators and Russian airplanes. Don‘t get on one.
GEIST: They make nice museum pieces.
CARLSON: Willie Geist.
That‘s our show for tonight. Thanks for watching. We‘ll see you back here at 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. tomorrow.
Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris.
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