Guest: Hilary Rosen, Steve McMahon, Amy Argetsinger, Roxanne Roberts, Col.
Jack Jacobs, Eric Johnson
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC ANCHOR, Welcome to the show.
President Bush may be doing his best and most urgent sales job to date, explaining why America ought to keep up the fight in Iraq. Last night he spoke to the country about the struggle and why success is not only necessary, but possible. Bush’s speech came after General David Petraeus spend hours this week fending off critics in Congress. Is it too late to change the minds of war-weary Americans? That’s the bottom line question.
Meanwhile, the spouses of this year’s crop of hopefuls are proving to be sound bite machines. Again and again, they’re saying things candidate won’t say. Today we’ll hear why Michelle Obama does not think it is Hillary Clinton’s turn to be president.
In case you forgot what a New York smackdown looks like, we have one. Giuliani take a big swing at Hillary Clinton today, in “The New York Times”, on the campaign trail, and in a new online ad. Should Mrs. Clinton respond? And if so, how?
Plus, we’ll find out why a pro-life theology student is backing Rudy Giuliani, pro-choice history and all. He’ll join us in a minute.
But first the president’s plan for Iraq. We are joined now, just back from the White House briefing by MSNBC Military Analyst and Retired U.S. Army Colonel Jack Jacobs.
Jacks, thanks for coming on.
COL. JAKC JACOBS, U.S. ARMY (RET.), MSNBC ANALYST: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: Here’s my question, does the White House see this troop reduction as something it is forced to do, or something it can now do joyfully because we’re winning on the ground?
JACOBS: Well, it’s trying to make it look like we are doing it because we are winning on the ground, and that’s the only reason. And we are doing very good work in places like the Anbar Province. But the real reason that we’re doing it is because we cannot sustain this level of deployment. Even when we withdraw this 30,000, the surge troops, we are still going to have a situation in which troops are going to be in Iraq longer than they will be back home resting.
CARLSON: So this is something that the White House was forced to do, not by political considerations, not by the Democrats, but the nature of our own forces are not big enough so we had to do this?
JACOBS: It has nothing to do with anything else. When General Petraeus was talking about how—in responding to questions from the Congress—when would you withdraw the troops? And he said it would be a function of success on the ground, and we have some success that’s why I’m going to recommend some of them be taken out. The decision already had been made—as a matter of fact, the decision was made to take some more out, because we just can’t sustain this level of deployment.
CARLSON: And why hasn’t there been in the last four years—in the last six years, for that matter—any effort to increase the size of the U.S. military, leaving aside a draft? The volunteer military, why not make it bigger?
JACOBS: Well, yeah, you just—the magic word is politically insupportable. There’s nobody who will stand—especially now, when we have election coming up in another 14 months or so—is going to stand up in the Congress and talk about how his—the most important thing we need to do now is to have a draft. It’s politically infeasible to do it. So we have been trying to make do with an insufficiently size force.
CARLSON: So, is this as big a force we can get without a draft?
Couldn’t we make the military bigger without drafting people?
JACOBS: Well, we can and we are trying to. Although it takes a long time once we make the decision to bring more people on to actually get them in the field. They have made the decision now to give us more soldiers, and give us more Marines. But we need lots more. And the only way can you do that is to either offer them lots and lots of money. We are already doing that, and we are getting about as many people as we possibly can, or have universal service. And like I said, nobody is going to argue for that in this election year.
CARLSON: The president last night made the point, presumably responding without doing so directly to his critics, that we are not going to have political progress in Iraq until there’s stability. We have to tackle one problem before the other is solved. Does that make sense to you?
JACOBS: Well, it would have some time ago. I think if we had tackled the security problem the proper way, brought a proper counterinsurgency war four years ago, we would probably be lots farther ahead than we are now.
We could say that based upon the security situation, that’s greatly improved, we will now be able to have a political stability inside the country. And I believed that myself, I don’t believe it anymore. I think it has to come the other way around. It will take political stability before there will be security.
I will tell you something else that came out of the Petraeus testimony is a realization that the administration has given up on the notion of a strong central government, a unity government that can exert its control over the entire country. I think the administration has decided that is not going to happen. It’s not in the cards and the model now is the Afghan model, weak central government, strong regional government.
CARLSON: That’s a conservative principle. Federalism, that was something you heard Newt Gingrich talk a lot about in 1994, when the Republicans took over Congress. You know, lessen the importance of the federal system, increase the importance of state and local governments.
JACOBS: You heard Ambassador Ryan Crocker saying at least a dozen times in his testimony.
CARLSON: Right. That’s not a crazy idea, is it?
JACOBS: It’s not a crazy idea except that when you have a country like Iraq, where you have multifarious populations, lots of different ethnic groups, all of whom are fighting each other and some Shia fighting other Shia for control. It means that to get from here to there, is going to be unfortunately very violent and bloody. And maybe we need to have a country in Iraq that’s chopped up into three separate pieces. But it will be difficult to get there in a bloodless way. I think there will be more violence down the road, even if we let them decide for themselves how to chop themselves up.
CARLSON: The most compelling line, I thought, in the president’s speech was something to this effect, no matter where you are politically, no matter how you feel about Iraq, you have to recognize the U.S. has a vital interest in maintaining a stable, chaos-free Middle East. Is there anybody, a serious person, not aligned to the campaign who believes if we pull out now, things will not get worse and become more chaotic?
JACOBS: I think serious people recognize they are going to get worse. There are lots of people who say they’re going to get worse, anyway, the sooner, the better. And then they will get over with in a spasm, but that’s not true either.
I think if we’re not careful, if we pull out precipitously, if we don’t do the best we possibly can to establish good relations among the people inside Iraq, and between Iraq and others, have secret meetings with Iran, and Syria, and other people, if we are not serious about maintaining stability in that region, what we are libel to see is a horrific regional war. That will be very nasty indeed. We already know that the Turks have moved into Kurdistan. There’s some firing across the border already. This is a very, very dangerous place.
JACOBS: Stability will be tough to come by but we have to make sure we get by it, otherwise it will be very bad news indeed.
CARLSON: Finally, the president today went down to Quantico, to talk to Marine Corps officers. During his talk to them, he mentioned how important it is to have a beacon of democracy in the Middle East and that could be Iraq. And your conversations with high government officials today, was there any talk of creating democracy, and why that’s important? Or is it your sense they have given up on that goal?
JACOBS: I think the larger goal of violence-free democracy in Iraq is largely eliminated. There’s a hope that it might come but I think there’s a recognition that the best they can hope for is a relatively quiet Iraq, that will have enough security internally to be able to solve its own political problems.
But we already know—when the president says everybody loves democracy, we know everybody loves democracy. The real question is whether or not you’re willing to stand up for it, and so far a lot of people in the Middle East have not been ready to do that.
CARLSON: That’s for sure. Jack Jacobs, I really it. Thank you.
JACOBS: Good to with you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Coming up, does the president’s decision to lower troop levels in Iraq give his Democratic opponents more ammunition, or does it take wind from Democratic sails?
And can a pro-lifer support Rudy Giuliani in good conscience? We will talk to one who does. Coming up, you’re watching MSNBC.
CARLSON: The White House PR offensive continued today as President Bush tried to build up, or at least shore up, support for the war in Iraq. The White House had to enjoy seeing and hearing Bush’s name next to the words troop withdrawal, however small it may be. Democrats, though, are pointing out that the president’s draw down only gets troop levels back to pre-surge levels.
Rather than try to undercut his pro war arguments, is there anything Democrats can do to actually change the course in Iraq, and get the troops out? We welcome now Democratic strategist and MSNBC political analyst, Hillary Rosen, as well as Democratic strategist Steve McMahon. We want you to listen to John Edwards. This is part of his rebuttal, I believe it aired on MSNBC last night. He bought time. His is the most pure distillation of the serious Democratic activist view. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our troops are stuck between a president without a plan to succeed and a Congress without the courage to bring them home. The Congress must answer to the American people. Tell Congress you know the truth. They have the power to end this war and you expect them to use it. When the president asks for more money and more time, Congress needs to tell him he only gets one choice—a firm time line for withdrawal. No timeline, no funding, no excuses. It is time to end this war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Wow. How do you respond to that, Steve, if you’re Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama? I’m not sure they have been asked about it yet, but if you were in their campaign, what do you say to that? He’s right.
STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think he saying that, you know, we have to be—Barack Obama actually has a pretty good line. We have to be as careful getting out as we were reckless getting in.
MCMAHON: It’s a pretty good line because it pushes up right against guys like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton and other folks who voted for the war, and who now are against it. Barack Obama, as he likes to point out, was against it from the beginning.
CARLSON: I heard him say that.
MCMAHON: You’re going to see him say it several times more.
MCMAHON: I think you will see as this progresses in Iowa, there are Democrats who are frustrated, Democrats who want to move faster, Democrats who want out of Iraq now. And John Edwards and other folks trying to catch that bandwagon because it’s a great bandwagon for the primary. Barack and Hillary are already running general election campaigns.
CARLSON: You’re absolutely right. In fact, in my view, it would be tragic to be as reckless getting out as we were getting in. It could really screw it up and make it worse, so I think, Barack Obama has a really good point. But you can’t argue that and simultaneously argue, if I’m president, I’ll bring my troops home. Bush won’t end the war, I will, as Hillary does. Well, actually, Mrs. Clinton, you can help end the war tomorrow by de-funding it. Does she not know that or -- ?
HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Of course, she knows it, that the Senate could or the House could. But I think right now the key focus is really on the Congress and not so much and the presidential candidates.
ROSEN: Clearly, though, Hillary Clinton wants to be a leader of this country, Barack Obama wants to be the leader of this country. How they act in the Senate over the next several weeks in terms of their own leadership, matters. But there are about 54 votes in the Senate right now to end funding and they need about 60 votes in the Senate.
So there’s just not the votes. What do they do? I think Harry Reid, as a practical, political matter, is probably going to get as close as anyone can. He’s trying to bring the entire Senate, Republican included, back to where—focusing on things like the Baker-Hamilton report, and doing a slower withdrawal.
ROSEN: But I do think the Democrats have to keep the pressure on the president and there’s not enough, frankly, of a grassroots campaign. John Edwards’ efforts notwithstanding, to get this country angry again. People are actually a little confused now after Petraeus hearings.
CARLSON: I would just like to what John Edwards—I don’t agree with what John Edwards said. I don’t agree with most things he has said. But I must say, I admire his honesty. He is consistent. Now, he doesn’t have a day job, so he can be consistent. Because he’s not in Congress.
ROSEN: Well, that’s right.
CARLSON: No, it is right. That’s actually right, on the other hand, he’s telling the truth. If you run around promising to end the war and that power is within your grasp now and you don’t act on it, I think you’re a big liar.
ROSEN: It’s disingenuous to say that its either in Barack Obama’s power or Hillary Clinton’s power to end the war.
CARLSON: But its in the power of Congress and they haven’t attempted it.
ROSEN: It’s in the power of Congress, as a whole, but not any one individual member.
CARLSON: Right. But Democrats have—except for a few—there are some who have wanted to defund from the beginning. They have not made a serious effort to do that. What do you think—how do you respond to the president’s—I was talking to Jack Jacobs about this a minute ago—the president’s point, no matter where you stand on the war, you have to understand it is within America’s vital interest to maintain stability and prevent chaos in the Middle East. Shouldn’t that be the guiding idea, as we go forward, and decide what to do next? How do we minimize the chaos in Iraq? I don’t think that’s the guiding idea for Democrats.
MCMAHON: We’ve done a pretty good job so far, haven’t we?
CARLSON: We’ve done a really bad job so far.
MCMAHON: Why do we think it’s going to be—you know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
CARLSON: The question is—OK, you’re right. My question is why isn’t that—I’m not defending the war, or the Bush’s irresponsibility.
MCMAHON: It sounds like you are.
CARLSON: No, because that’s indefensible. I was against it. I have been against it long before Hillary Clinton was against it. My only point is --
MCMAHON: Before John Edwards was against it.
CARLSON: Yes, and I was against it then. Right. My only point is, why don’t Democrats, look, what’s the thing we can do to prevent real chaos from breaking out? I don’t think they’re looking at it that way.
ROSEN: They are not looking at it that way, in essence, because the military won’t let them look at it that way. If you recall the Senate Democrats on the Armed Services Committee asked Secretary Gates for a withdrawal plan. They asked for a strategy. Instead what they get are a lot of comments—
CARLSON: They are not waiting for Gates!
ROSEN: Wait, wait let me finish.
CARLSON: Come on.
ROSEN: You’re going to have chaos. Everything you do, everything the Democrats want is going to creates chaos. I think the administration is upping the ante with the very same misstatements of fact that brought everybody into this.
CARLSON: Hold on. The point remains shouldn’t they, as Americans, as people who care about our place in the world or future, think this through a single lens, how do we reduce chaos and protect our vital interests in the region? And we’re not. Why not!?
MCMAHON: Tucker, you’re assuming the answer is a military answer.
CARLSON: I’m not assuming that. I’m not assuming that.
MCMAHON: We have seen it is not a military answer. It has to be a political answer. The country has to take responsibility for itself at some point. There will be chaos, there will be civil war, as long as our troops are there. What we need to do is figure out the best way to move them towards some form of government, where they can --.
CARLSON: The Democrats are saying the highest goal is to get the troops home because they are dying in a needless war. I’m not criticizing that point of view. I’m just saying, in this case that may not be the most important thing. Most important thing is our long-term interests, and they are served when we don’t have chaos in the region.
ROSEN: First of all, you’re making an assumption. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker were specifically asked by the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, John Warner, if we do this plan, is America safer? Are our longer-term interests protected? They said we don’t know.
CARLSON: Of course not. They are not going to say that.
ROSEN: There’s no analysis that says that.
ROSEN: So when you look at a withdrawal plan, the only thing you can do is drawdown slowly, but deliberately. What the president is saying, I’m not committing to a withdrawal plan. I’m just going to stay there for as long as it takes to keep a police force in place. Not get little political reform.
MCMAHON: That’s right. That’s exactly right. Basically, you should have troops there, you need to have troop there for very narrow reasons, to train the Iraqi army and police force to protect itself.
CARLSON: To keep Iran and Turkey from breaking out into war with one another, or invading the country. There are macro questions that are bigger than can we try to draw down 130,000 troops.
ROSEN: There’s no analysis that says that’s being addressed.
MCMAHON: That’s right. That’s exactly right.
CARLSON: I’m not defending the Bush administration. They shouldn’t have gone in there in the first place, because we are facing these problems because they did engage in a very unwise war. I’m merely saying what do we do now? Wait day and day for some responsible Democrat to say, I’ve never really thought about that yet. I haven’t met that person yet.
ROSEN: I think the Baker-Hamilton report leaves that there. I think Harry Reid is making an effort to get the Senate there. It seems to that it’s the Democrats alone who are trying to build compromise here. The president just keeps throwing scare tactics and upping the ante.
CARLSON: Well, I’m scared. It’s worked with me.
ROSEN: Me, too.
CARLSON: Rudy Giuliani’s made no apologies for his pro-choice stand.
Many say that’s made him unelectable as a Republican in the primaries. He’ll never win pro-life voters. Well, he’s won at least one. We will talk to him after the break.
Plus, later, has O.J. Simpson been watching “Ocean’s Eleven” too many times? Why else would he be conducting a sting operation at a casino in Vegas? It’s cable news, baby, O.J.’s back! You’re watching MSNBC.
CARLSON: Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani is often dogged by questions about his pro-choice stance. Could his opinion actually help him with pro-lifers? It sounds unlikely. Yet a column on today’s “New York Times” op-ed page make that’s case and makes it well. Eric Johnson is a theology grad student at Catholic University here in Washington. He wrote that column and joins us now on set.
Thank you very much for coming on.
ERIC JOHNSON, THEOLOGY STUDENT, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY: Good to be here.
CARLSON: You make a very interesting case. I want to sum up your case, I think, from your piece today. I will put it up on the screen so people who didn’t read it can see it.
JOHNSON: All right.
CARLSON: “I am a fervent pro-life and I like Rudy Giuliani. And it’s not because as some suggest I think national security is more important than abortion. I think Mr. Giuliani will be the most effective advocate for the pro-life cause precisely because he is unreligious and a supporter of abortion rights.”
There’s a counter-intuitive statement. What does that mean?
JOHNSON: Well, what I say in the piece is that being—the main issues for the pro-life movement on the national stage are most of all overturning Roe vs. Wade—
JOHNSON: And secondly funding for various things like funding for abortion, and funding for stem cell research.
JOHNSON: On overturning Roe vs. Wade, as I say in the piece, what people don’t understand, I think if you look at polls, is that Roe takes the decision away from voters so that—Roe makes—
CARLSON: Creates a law of the land and bypasses the state.
JOHNSON: Yes, right. Right.
So what the pro-life movement really wants is overturn Roe not so that all abortion is illegal, but so we can have a conversation about it. And so that we can have a democratic process, and I don’t think that people recognize that.
If you look at polls, people’s opinion of abortion is much lower than their opinion of Roe. People would like to be able to make decisions that Roe doesn’t allow them to make. But they don’t realize Roe is preventing them. They don’t know what Roe says.
CARLSON: They are not aware that Roe were overturned, abortion would not be illegal.
JOHNSON: That’s correct.
CARLSON: The states would get to make the decision.
What about the case that, a pro—and you make the very correct point that pro-life president, after pro-life president has done squat to make abortion limited. In fact they haven’t done anything, actually. What about the idea you need to convince people that abortion is wrong before—you need to change the country’s mood, and that a pro-choice president obviously will not do that, because he doesn’t believe it?
JOHNSON: I have seen some of that on a blogosphere in response to my piece today. I agree it’s important to have a president who makes a good case. On the other hand, I’m not sure how many people are being convinced by an Evangelical president right now. I think that debate is probably pretty static.
CARLSON: To put it mildly, yes.
JOHNSON: Yeah, yeah. What I think—and I think that the pro-life movement already has the votes in many states across the country. I was talking to Steve in the greenroom, and he was saying, abortion wouldn’t be illegal anywhere. And I think that’s baloney. That’s not what the polls show. People would overturn—would have a lot of laws against abortion.
CARLSON: Louisiana and Utah are starting it.
CARLSON: Very quickly, 10 seconds.
Are you actually going to vote for Giuliani? You’re a big pro-lifer?
JOHNSON: Well, I live in D.C. So—
CARLSON: Yeah, it’s irrelevant.
CARLSON: But would you vote for him?
JOHNSON: Sure, yeah.
CARLSON: Eric Johnson. Interesting, interesting piece.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
CARLSON: I had not thought of that. Thank you.
Michelle Obama says women shouldn’t vote for Hillary simply because she is a woman. Is she right? Will anyone listen to her?
Plus, O.J. Simpson takes Vegas by storm. Here’s when you think a story couldn’t get any weirder, O.J. takes it to a whole new level. This being cable news, we’ll wallow in it, next.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Still to come, Rudy Giuliani tries to turn the race for president into a two-man race, Hillary Clinton, the other person. One look at his newest latest Web ad says it may be working. We’ll tell you why in just a minute, but first, here’s a look at the headlines.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC ANCHOR: I’m Melissa Rehberger. Here’s what happening. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has raised the possibility of going beyond President Bush’s troop cut plan and reducing the number of forces in Iraq to about 100,000 by the end of next year. There are currently about 169,000 American troops in Iraq.
Meanwhile al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for killing a Sunni sheikh who is working with the U.S. and met with President Bush in Iraq this month. He was killed yesterday by a road side bomb near his home in the Anbar province.
A massive cleanup continues in Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Humberto hit with about 85-mile-an-hour winds yesterday, knocking out power to about 120,000 homes and businesses. About half of them are still without power.
And an emotional scene at the White House today, as Press Secretary Tony Snow headed home on his last day, he was cheered by a large crowd. Snow is battling a recurrence with cancer, but said he was leaving for financial reasons. Now back to “TUCKER”.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. He has also given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interest of our nation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now that she’s running for president, Hillary Clinton has changed her position, even joining with the radical group Moveon.org in attacking American General Petraeus. Clinton stood silently by when Moveon.org ran this venomous ad in “The New York Times”. The same general she called an expert not long ago. Now she is questioning his honesty.
CLINTON: The reports that you provide to us really requires a willing suspension of disbelief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just when our troops need all of our support to finish the job, Hillary Clinton is turning her back on them. General Petraeus and the brave men and women now serving under him deserve an apology. And our nation deserves better. Senator Clinton, do the right thing, apologize for your comments and condemn the Moveon.org ad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Ouch! That was the new Rudy Giuliani ad. This comes after Giuliani ran a full-page ad in “The New York Times” accusing Clinton of spewing political venom during a recent questioning of General Petraeus. Will it work? Is it now a two-person race, Hillary and Rudy?
To answer that question, we welcome once again Democratic strategist and MSNBC political analyst Hilary Rosen and Democratic strategist Steve McMahon. Hilary, with conviction I support this legislation, the authorization of the war in 2003. I’m struck by the fact Hillary Clinton comes out there and says there are al Qaeda members in Iraq. That was not in the intelligence report that she did not bother to read. Had she bothered to read that, she wouldn’t have said that.
HILARY ROSEN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well I think that for Hillary Clinton to be attacked now for asking the same exact questions of General Petraeus that the entire country is asking is just ridiculous. The fact that Rudy Giuliani is so blindly going down this path.
CARLSON: But what about.
ROSEN: . makes no sense at all.
CARLSON: But how painful is it to watch Hillary Clinton claim that al Qaeda has taken up residence in Iraq before the war when, again, the intelligence didn’t support that. That’s a talking point for the White House that she made her own.
ROSEN: Well, a talking point from the White House that claims to be speaking on the basis of fact. So there’s every reason, you know, and many senators made the same mistake and Hillary Clinton has said that the evidence was wrong and she would have voted differently.
ROSEN: . if she had been presented with different stories from the White House. But that is completely irrelevant right now. What’s relevant is that Rudy Giuliani is trying to attack Hillary Clinton for asking the questions of the president that he’s unwilling to ask. I don’t think this is going to go anywhere.
CARLSON: I don’t believe that ever stops being relevant. I think it goes to a question of judgment. I disagreed with her then and I disagree with her now. And I think if the Democratic candidates running against Hillary Clinton weren’t such cowards, they would be running that ad. Why isn’t Barack Obama running that ad right now?
STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Because John Edwards is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no.
CARLSON: You’re probably right.
MCMAHON: Well I’m probably right. I mean you know John Edwards is making a point about the people in Congress who won’t take the next step and end the war, in spite of the fact that they were elected.
CARLSON: Why doesn’t Obama use that footage—I watched that. I’m not saying this.
MCMAHON: Probably footage like that from John Edwards, too. I mean I don’t think.
CARLSON: But why doesn’t Barack—there’s not footage like that from Barack Obama. Why doesn’t he run that?
MCMAHON: Well I don—you know listen, Barack Obama is making the point the way he wants to make the point. Barack Obama I’m sure doesn’t want to run a negative campaign. I don’t think John Edwards or Hillary Clinton or anybody on the Democratic side is particularly interested in running a negative campaign against their rivals. It certainly is a fact though that—you know that people have different records on the war and whether they support and didn’t support it and what they want to do now. John Edwards has staked out the position of the left of the party and the people who really want action right now. Barack and Hillary I think are running general election campaigns.
CARLSON: Well how is that working out for Barack Obama? Not very well and instead he had his wife go out—this is the new fashion I guess among candidates—have your wife go out and drop the hammer. This is what Michelle Obama said yesterday I believe and I agree with her. Here is what she said.
“We’re working hard to ensure to the women of America that Barack Obama is who we need. Now I can’t answer short of where women are at this time. You know some just feel like it’s a woman’s turn. And people have said that to me that they feel like you know it’s Hillary’s turn. That I reject because democracy isn’t supposed to be about whose turn it is.” You can’t argue with that. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Good for Michelle. Well that’s a great point. Why isn’t (UNINTELLIGIBLE) saying that?
ROSEN: Well I -- it is a good point. And I don’t think Hillary Clinton would dispute it. I don’t think she would say that’s why she’s running. She doesn’t feel like it’s her turn.
CARLSON: Break the glass ceiling. I’m doing this for every woman in America. This is.
ROSEN: . an exciting part of her campaign. She doesn’t make that the premise of her campaign. The premise of her campaign is based on experience and understanding of the problems of the country and where it goes in the next several years. You know I think that Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards and the spouse issue of “let’s say everything that our husbands can’t say in the hope that something sticks and we make a dent in the front runner.” You know it’s probably not a strategy that is going to work. It hasn’t worked for Elizabeth Edwards. I doubt it is going to work for Michelle Obama. Barack Obama has lots to say on his own. He doesn’t need.
CARLSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) it also does open up the spouses up to attack. I have always believed that you shouldn’t go after.
CARLSON: . somebody’s spouse. That’s out of bounds. But if your spouse is your—your spouse is essentially your vice president, filling that role, I think you know they are fair game. But it does—I think it’s an interesting question. Barack Obama is not running as a black man. He doesn’t say in his speech in the stumps, he doesn’t say, vote for me, I’m black. I will be the first black man to ever be president. And yet Hillary Clinton quite often does say.
ROSEN: Well actually that’s not true. Barack Obama has said several times if I am elected president, the world will be different the next day.
CARLSON: America will be different.
ROSEN: You know he alludes to it.
ROSEN: And I’m not criticizing him for it.
CARLSON: I know.
CARLSON: He has alluded to it but not to the degree Hillary Clinton has and.
MCMAHON: But it’s a perfectly legitimate think to allude to. I mean I have got four daughters and nothing would make me happier than to be able to say to them, whether you’re a boy or girl in this country, you can grow up to be president of the United States. Whether you’re an African American boy or a white boy or a white girl.
MCMAHON: . you can grow up to be president.
CARLSON: I don’t have quite as many daughters as you do.
CARLSON: . almost as many daughters and I would say.
MCMAHON: You think you need some more?
CARLSON: I don’t.
CARLSON: I think girls growing up now, it doesn’t occur to them they can’t be president. I do think the world has changed. So the question is do you want your daughters to grow up to be like Hillary Clinton? And I think I can answer that question fairly confidently.
MCMAHON: She is a very accomplished woman. She’s an extremely successful politician. She is a front runner for president of the United States of America on the Democratic side. She has at least a 50 percent chance of winning the presidency if she’s the nominee because the country does want a change in direction. And you know she represents change, Barack represents change. John Edwards even represents change. And the country is going in a different direction than the Bush administration and Republicans. If the Republican guys running for president don’t figure that out, they are going to get rolled right over.
ROSEN: Tucker, let’s go back to the original point, which is that it is.
ROSEN: . smart of Rudy Giuliani to try and say, you might not like me in the Republican primary because I don’t fit all of your litmus tests.
ROSEN: . but when I get into the general, I’m going to fight. And I suspect I am going to facing Hillary Clinton, so watch how I can take her on.
MCMAHON: And I think Hillary.
MCMAHON: . doing the exact same thing.
CARLSON: Well sure and if you look at the candidates. I mean who can
I’m certainly not endorsing Rudy Giuliani, who is you know very liberal.
On the other hand, you look at Giuliani, yes, could he take on Hillary Clinton? Yes, he could. Yes, he absolutely could. And I think that, by the way, his attack on that “Move On” ad, which speaking of candidates’ wives, Mrs. Edwards essentially denounced the other day, is very smart. Because he’s going after not only the ad, attacking Petraeus as Petraeus, but he is also going after “The New York Times”, which is a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Republican primary and there ought to be for giving a discounted ad rate to the “Move On”...
ROSEN: And that’s why I think you saw the Clinton campaign came right back out and pushed back out on Giuliani today. You know.
CARLSON: But they’re not defending the ad.
ROSEN: They’re not defending the ad.
MCMAHON: They shouldn’t have to defend the ad. It’s not their ad.
ROSEN: . on Giuliani.
MCMAHON: And Giuliani.
CARLSON: Of course they should have to defend that. They sucked up to Moveon.org. They went.
CARLSON: Are you kidding?
MCMAHON: Listen, Tucker.
CARLSON: . who are a bunch of haters. I mean let’s be.
CARLSON: There are a lot of haters online on the Web.
MCMAHON: There are a lot of haters online period. There are a lot of haters in the world today, in the world period.
CARLSON: You know what? You can say in 1997, if you said to me where are most of the fervent nut-case haters in America.
ROSEN: OK, wait a second.
CARLSON: I would admit they were on the right.
ROSEN: Moveon.org started as an organization that was anti-war. We are not talking about haters. We’re talking about people who are actually.
CARLSON: I don’t think “Move On” is the craziest group online.
That’s for sure.
CARLSON: They are moderate by comparison to a lot of these people but they are still a fringe organization. They may be the—you know the most moderate fringe organization but all the whackos—I mean are you serious.
MCMAHON: They have gone way beyond being a fringe organization.
ROSEN: I just don’t think that.
MCMAHON: They represent people of all stripes who are against the war. And it is interesting because in their latest attack ad on the president, there’s a line in there that Democrats ought to be worried about. And the line is that we elected a new Congress to end the war and bring our troops home.
CARLSON: You’re right.
MCMAHON: And that to me is signal that the Democrats are next. This is not a group that is interested in just left partisanship. This is a group that is interested in ending the war and bringing the troops home. That’s where it’s been from the beginning and that’s where it is going to be. It’s not going to move. And I don’t think it is going to be kind to any Democrat who it doesn’t believe is taking the right steps to end the war. They are going to start.
CARLSON: You’re right.
ROSEN: . they are doing ads themselves this week and putting up attack ads against Democrats saying the Democrats want to surrender and.
CARLSON: Democrats have a lot.
CARLSON: . here’s the latest, I don’t know if you realize the latest problem Democrats face is one of their own is in trouble again, O.J. Simpson, a Democrat.
CARLSON: He is. I, you know, he and Michael Jackson.
ROSEN: Hard to want to claim O.J.
CARLSON: He is a Democrat.
ROSEN: I don’t claim Larry Craig and I don’t claim O.J. Simpson.
CARLSON: It is not the party’s fault. O.J. Simpson, really the father of modern cable news, someone who we all owe some debt, even though we don’t admit it. In trouble again in Las Vegas. What do you—I mean what do you make of it? I can’t help but ask you what you both what you make of this.
ROSEN: I think it’s probably good TV for a few days. But you know the guy is now being accused of committing armed robbery. Most people already think he committed murder. Armed robbery would be sort of a step down.
CARLSON: And people hang out with him. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) say oh Larry Craig, disgraced Larry Craig. No one is going to ever talk to him. His friends abandoned him. Mitt Romney, his old pal, called him disgusting and O.J. Simpson wanders around with these hot, blond girls playing golf and you know treated like a celebrity in Vegas. He probably killed somebody and was accused of armed robbery. I mean.
MCMAHON: Come on. Here is what’s going on. I mean everybody knows what’s going on in Vegas, right? He was going in that room looking for the real killer because he pledged to devote his life to searching for the real killer.
CARLSON: And now he is looking for real armed robbers.
MCMAHON: And now the police are looking for him.
CARLSON: Does anybody notice.
CARLSON: . this weird double standard on moral sanction here? I mean.
ROSEN: You are not going to attach the Democratic moral.
CARLSON: No, I’m not. No, no, I’m not.
ROSEN: Don’t connect those two.
CARLSON: I’m not. I’m not. It has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. I just—at all. I just mean as a country.
ROSEN: Because you would get a lot of e-mails if you tried.
CARLSON: No, I get enough, trust me. I mean is it morally acceptable to play golf with O.J., do you know?
ROSEN: No, it’s not morally acceptable to talk to O.J.
CARLSON: OK. Good. I feel that way, too. You feel that way?
CARLSON: So who are these people who are playing golf with O.J.
ROSEN: They want to be on TMZ.com, not on.
CARLSON: I’ll bet you.
ROSEN: . the Tucker Carlson Show.
MCMAHON: I’ll bet you the people playing golf with him are Republicans.
CARLSON: I know a number of people who know O.J.
CARLSON: . and not one of them is a Republican. But you know you may be right. I don’t care what their party affiliation; they are creeps to hang around with O.J. You are not creeps.
CARLSON: Thank you. Thank you. Hilary, Steve.
Well how does the nation’s top moneymaker convince a woman to go home with him? Alan Greenspan is telling his secrets. Our D.C. gossip girls are on the case. You will hear it next.
Plus, she has taken the Internet by storm with her heartfelt tirade.
(UNINTELLIGIBLE) his cap to the human of the week? You are watching MSNBC.
By the way, that’s a he, not she. That’s a boy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More, more, more, more and more. You’re lucky she even performed for you bastards. Leave Britney alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Alan Greenspan makes a love connection. This show has all the steamy details. Beltway gossip coming up next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. It’s been a long week of serious news here in Washington. Now for the payoff. Joining us now, Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts (ph), the ladies of “The Washington Post’s” universally read gossip column “The Reliable Source”. Welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like a hot fudge sundae. Great.
CARLSON: I won’t even ask why.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
CARLSON: . you have new information on the courtship of NBC’s own—of his wife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His wife, Andrea Mitchell.
AMY ARGETSINGER, “THE RELIABLE SOURCE”: Yes, the love secrets of the maestro. Very impressing phenomenon. Whenever a celebrity, a public figure has a product to sell like a movie, a book, that’s when they start getting all personal and divulging their secrets. When Angelina Jolie has a movie coming out, that’s when she’s certainly giving these interviews, in which she is telling people titillating things about the conversations that she and Brad have in the bathroom.
ARGETSINGER: . whatever. Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, is doing the same thing now. He has got a book coming out, so he is dishing about everything you’ve always wanted to know Like how he got Andrea Mitchell to go home with him that first night. They started dating in 1984 and this is going to come out in a “60 Minutes” interview over the weekend. He took her to dinner and then in order to prolong the evening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we are not making this up.
ARGETSINGER: . he invited her back to his apartment to read an essay that he had written on the Sherman Antitrust Act (ph) of 1890.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. Hot stuff.
CARLSON: That is so cool and it worked. He got Andrea Mitchell, who is a really cool person. Good for him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She’s 20 years younger than him. She’s this blond news babe. Yeah, he scored. It totally worked for him. And they—you know then they—you know got married 13 years later and the rest is history.
ROXANNE ROBERTS, “THE RELIABLE SOURCE”: And by all accounts, I covered his wedding and he planted her with one of the most passionate wedding kisses in the history of Washington. I remember that, too.
ARGETSINGER: For the really hot stuff, though, you are probably going to have to buy the book, I guess.
CARLSON: And I will. Not only did he top up the economy those long years.
CARLSON: Good for Alan Greenspan. Plus he was a libertarian in his youth. I knew I liked him.
So what—speaking of economics and excess, you have an item about, I believe it’s on a handbag that actually strains my credulity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well we’ve been having a discussion about this. There is a new special collector’s Louis Vuitton bag. It is called the tribute patchwork. It sells for 52,000 and it is made up of 14 other Louie Vuitton purses that have been sliced and stitched back together to create a giant tote.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is really ugly.
CARLSON: . picture on the screen then our viewers can judge for themselves.
CARLSON: That is heinous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is like a Frankenstein purse. It is a disaster.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So here’s the deal. They are only making 24 of these and only five of them have been sold in North America. One of which was ordered right here from Washington, so we don’t yet know who bought this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, Louie Vuitton (ph) is not talking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well they—they are being discreet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we have been on the lookout to find out who in fact has this bag.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And trying to identify obvious candidates. You know many people fingered Sheila Johnson (ph) who is a local billionaire. She founded BET (ph) and she loves Louis Vuitton (ph). They close down the store down for her especially whenever she comes to town.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But she didn’t buy it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is not her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is not her, so we’re still looking.
CARLSON: . somebody in Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: . if you have seen this purse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But here is the question. The question is, is it retro excess (ph). We’ve been arguing about this. I say as long as the money was gainfully and honestly earned, somebody has the right to spend that much money on a really.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: . if they want to, if they want to.
CARLSON: Yes and I say I’m a free market guy but I think you ought to go for prison (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
CARLSON: Just my view and I hope when you find the culprit, we will call her that, you will divulge the name here on our show. Thank you both.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
CARLSON: . very much.
Well yes, O.J. Simpson is at the center of another crime. What must it feel like to have an angry O.J. burst through your hotel room door? Sports memorabilia crime expert Willie Geist joins us next with more on O.J.’s big night in Vegas.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Without further ado we are going to go to our new, newly installed West Coast correspondent, Willie Geist is standing by in Burbank, California with the latest. Willie, what’s the latest?
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Tucker, before we get to that, Greenspan and the Sherman Antitrust Act (ph) to woo his wife? That’s a little sad, isn’t it? I would go with Taft Hartley (ph) if I were him.
CARLSON: Oh, no.
GEIST: Because it has worked for me...
CARLSON: What works, work and you’ve got to stand back in admiration.
GEIST: I know, I know. Well Tucker, you’re right. There is some madness out here on the West Coast. What did we learn today? We learned that you do not come between a man and his photograph of J. Edgar Hoover, especially when that man is O.J. Simpson. As you discussed earlier, “the juice”, as those of us in his inner circle call him, allegedly entered another man’s hotel room in Las Vegas to take back or steal, depending on your point of view, memorabilia that includes a picture of O.J. and J. Edgar Hoover and the suit Simpson wore when he was acquitted of double murder 12 years ago.
O.J. says he showed up at the Palace Station hotel and casino off the Vegas strip with some guys he met at a wedding cocktail reception to reclaim memorabilia that he says belonged to him. The men who were in the hotel room with the O.J. goods say Simpson and his wedding party pals busted through the door shouting.
They say there were guns involved. O.J. says quote, “nobody was roughed up.” Tucker, I would have loved to—I would have paid top dollar to hear O.J.’s pitch at the wedding cocktail reception. Guys, I know you’ve got to get into the rehearsal dinner and make a speech, but before that, you want to go over to the Palace Station and kick down the door and reclaim some memorabilia with me like how does that work?
CARLSON: In their defense, now I just said on the air and I mean it, I think it’s immoral to hang around with O.J. Simpson. I think he’s a murderer.
CARLSON: However, if you’re at a wedding reception and O.J. came up and he is like, you know what, I’m going there to get my suit that I was acquitted in. Come with me.
CARLSON: I mean you would go, wouldn’t you?
GEIST: No, you would not. When O.J. says, come with me, do not go because something bad inevitable will happen.
CARLSON: Yes, but it would be interesting.
GEIST: Yeah, I guess it would be kind of interesting. I have to say though this is becoming a big story now, so I’m going to have to divert myself here from L.A., where I have been following, as you know, the Britney Spears story very closely. And next week I’m going to have to head to Vegas for the week. I think there’s no substitute for shoe leather reporting.
CARLSON: Thanks, Willie.
GEIST: . mix it up.
CARLSON: You know what? We are keeping it on as long as it takes to get the story.
GEIST: I will be there.
We go now, Tucker, from a reprehensible former athlete to a heroic one. Eighty-five-year-old Marta Suarez had her purse snatched in Florida yesterday. Probably looked like an easy target, but what the thief could not have anticipated was that his victim was once a Cuban track star. Suarez, in all of her 85 years, broke into a full sprint after the man and kept up with him long enough for a nearby police officer to make the arrest. Boy, can that lady move. And boy, Tucker, should that robber be arrested.
Now I love the trick—this is a little TV trick—the local newsperson there asked her to re-enact the run. And we want to look at that historic moment here in slow motion. I believe we have it, yes.
GEIST: Hmm, look at her move. Look at her move, 85 years old. Marta Suarez, good for her. Truly a hero, Tucker.
GEIST: And shame on that feed. Shame on.
CARLSON: I completely agree.
GEIST: Well as you know, the Internet, Tucker, used primarily as the educational tool it was intended to be, well that and as a means to watch dogs skateboard. A college here in California is actually recognizing the Web as a learning tool. Pitzer College offers a course called “Learning from YouTube” where students quote, unquote, “study” the Web site and discuss its influence on our culture. For one assignment—and this is a real assignment—a student posted a video of him juggling. Now that is higher learning.
Tucker, you think YouTube is worthy of a college course?
CARLSON: I think we have become so decadent. I used to say late Rome, but we are beyond that now.
GEIST: Yes. Yes.
Well speaking of decadent and speaking of YouTube, quickly, time to name our “Human of the Week”. There were a number of candidates worthy of the honor this week. In the end though General David Petraeus just didn’t quite have the impact that this person did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All you people care about is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and making money off of her! She’s a human! Her song is called “Gimme More” for a reason because all you people want is more, more, more, more, and more! Leave her alone! You’re lucky she even performed for you bastards! Leave Britney alone! Anyone who has a problem with her, you deal with me.
Because she’s not well right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GEIST: Can’t beat that, Tucker.
Have a good weekend.
CARLSON: I think that’s the creepiest human being I have ever seen in my life.
GEIST: It certainly is.
CARLSON: Willie Geist from Los Angeles. Thanks, Willie.
CARLSON: And thank you for watching. We’ll be back on Monday with yet more. Stay tuned for Chris Matthews and “HARDBALL”. Have a great night.
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