Guests: Tom Andrews, Peter Fenn, Roger Simon, Kinky Friedman
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Perhaps the two most significant developments from last night‘s Democratic debate involved what did not happen rather than what did happen.
Remarkably, none of the leading contenders for the party‘s nomination would commit to withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the next presidential term. Wait a second. Whatever happened to the anti-war party?
The second non-development was Hillary Clinton‘s performance. Her task last night was not to blow her giant lead, and she didn‘t. She was tough when she had to be, answered the questions she wanted to answer. Ignored those she didn‘t. And even achieved the night‘s most memorable sound bite when moderator Tim Russert asked if as president she would torture a captured terrorist for information in a hypothetical crisis situation in order to try to prevent an impending attack on America. Mrs. Clinton said no. Here‘s what followed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The guest who laid out this scenario for me with that proposed solution was William Jefferson Clinton last year. He disagreed with you.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NY: Well, he‘s not standing here right now.
RUSSERT: So there is a disagreement?
CLINTON: Well, I will talk to him later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: With Hillary not losing, the would-be contenders would distinguish themselves as the clear number two in the race. With the pressure to make a mark, Barack Obama appeared in a word ineffective. The Illinois senator spoke in the sort of high-minded generalities on which she campaigned from day one, reportedly nursing a cold, according to his campaign, Obama once again shows a low-measure approach that at times underwhelmed.
John Edwards, by contrast appeared ready for a fight or at least a fiery presentation. He drew clear distinctions between his war stands and Mrs. Clinton. And his demeanor suggested his campaign understands the danger of being steamrolled by her machine into irrelevance. Did Edwards gain significantly? In a moment we will talk to “The Politico‘s” Roger Simon.
Later in the hour we will look at the latest developments in the fast-brewing trouble with Iran. An overwhelming majority of U.S. senators including Hillary Clinton voted yesterday to recommend the president classify Iran‘s elite military unit, the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Is that move symbolic or has the Senate given President Bush consent to wage an actual war with Iran?
Then—a float on a sea of political double talk. We will talk to a life raft of straightforwardness, former Texas gubernatorial candidate, country music legend and all-around great guy Kinky Friedman sorts out the world for us.
To begin with the Democratic debate, we are joined now with an inside look at that debate, national director of Win without War, Tom Andrews, former congressman from Maine, a Democrat as well as Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. Welcome to you both, gentlemen.
TOM ANDREWS, WIN WITHOUT WAR: Thank you, Tucker. Good to be here.
CARLSON: Even John Edwards, Tom, and I know you were sitting at home watching this debate, I know your heart was breaking into innumerable little pieces as you watched John Edwards, the anti-war candidate say, I am quoting now, I cannot make that commitment when asked whether U.S. combat troops would be out about 2013. What the hell was that?
ANDREWS: The only reason I could see it, I was TiVoing the Red Sox.
CARLSON: A man of priorities. I like that.
ANDREWS: But in any case, it is of concern.
CARLSON: Of concern?
ANDREWS: Listen. We hear this and first of all, we‘ve heard from all three of the major candidates that they want to keep, at least at some juncture in their campaign, training troops on the ground. When you ask the Pentagon what that could mean, they say that could be 100,000 troops in Iraq and some scenarios, including the Iraq Study Group, have said it would mean embedding our soldiers in Iraqi units in the middle of a civil war.
CARLSON: Of course.
ANDREWS: I think they would really do themselves a great service and all of us a great service, if they would be extremely clear to the fact number one there is no way to win this thing militarily. Secondly, it is only going to happen with a political reconciliation. Thirdly, 97 percent of the Sunnis and 83 percent of the Shia want us out of there so there‘s nothing we are going to be able to do.
CARLSON: They are of course all saying that. They are mouthing your talking points. They are sucking up to you but when it comes down to it, their actual policy is not so different from the president. So when the Republicans deviate from their principles, I land on it. When they spend all of this money, I say you know what? They are sell-outs. Will you say the same about your party?
PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Ticker, it‘s true. They have the least policy or an idea to go for a political settlement. This president is saying, OK, folks not on my watch. It‘s all on you.
CARLSON: Hold on, let‘s just stipulate .
FENN: You don‘ even want to go there, do you? That‘s exactly what .
CARLSON: No, no. I will make this show real easy. We have an hour.
So I just want to say, George W. Bush, Satan, bad guy. I‘ll give you that.
ANDREWS: And Dick Cheney, too.
CARLSON: Dick Cheney. Whatever. They‘re both going straight to hell.
Let‘s get to what happened last night in New Hampshire at Dartmouth, the Democratic candidates, people who were elected to end the war and claim in speech after speech they will end that war in speech after speech, all admitted in public, including John Edwards, that they are not pulling combat troops out by 2013.
FENN: Tucker, you have been on us for months how important it is if there‘s an al Qaeda factor to stay, having staging outside. To take care of ...
CARLSON: I agree with their position but I am not running. They are running from the opposite position.
FENN: This is the problem. Tom‘s right. They did not make it clear they are talking about ending this war. Politically and militarily. Will there be a need for stabilization? Sure. Just what‘s going on in Bosnia? Hopefully you will have an international force which would help stabilize things. And the problem is the Democrats were not clear. And the American people hear 2013, they go bonkers.
CARLSON: OK. Hold on. Tom. Let‘s just get our definition straight here. If you have American combat troops, that is soldiers and marines with rifles firing them in a foreign land, they are participating in a war. You have not ended the war if you still have that in progress. So you can‘t claim I‘m going to end the war but still have guys with American flags on their shoulders fighting wart.
ANDREWS: A, you‘re right. There‘s a big difference for the Democratic candidates versus Republican candidates on this question. Number one. But I think you‘re also right, Tucker .
CARLSON: Yeah, I am.
ANDREWS: I think we have got to make it very clear what we mean or we don‘t mean by having U.S. troops on the ground. What exactly are the conditions and circumstances that would justify having U.S. troops on the ground? I don‘t think there are any, except protecting our embassy perhaps. And as far as counterinsurgency operations are concerned, I think we are the last people that should be there doing counterinsurgency operations.
CARLSON: But they‘re taking your money, these candidates. Do you think these sort of sweet, na‹ve Democrats who think they are voting for, they have anti-war candidates representing them, they are sending them all this dough, all of their tips from Starbucks, they are sending them in to Obama and Edwards and they are not representing the will of the Democratic base. They are sticking a finger right in the eye of moveon.org and Win without War and all of you guys.
ANDREWS: Well, listen to what they have to say and they‘ll say, look, we don‘t know what is going to happen in 2013. We are not svengali. We are not going to be able to predict what kind of position. So we do not want to say whether or not we‘re going to have what on the ground in 2013.
I can understand that but I don‘t accept it. I think they have to be clear. I think they have to be very specific about what conditions would have to exist in order to have any combat troops on the ground if they‘re saying they‘re going to be combat troops on ...
CARLSON: We‘re going take a—We have been told we have to take a quick break. We will be back.
Hillary Clinton had the target on her back last night. Did any of her other seven challengers hit a bull‘s eye or did she remain the winner or leader in the race for the Democratic nomination?
Plus, all of the Republican candidates were invited to a forum tonight to discuss issues of concern to minority voters. It turns out the top contenders will not be there. Why not? You‘re watching MSNBC.
CARLSON: We are back. So are the Democrats last night, debating on a big stage in Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. It was a little hotter than the previous get-togethers. Tim Russert, host of NBC‘s MEET THE PRESS tried to keep the candidates on their toes. John Edwards, on offense most of the night, was on defense about his career and his money, this after being asked about the $400 hair cut and working for the hedge fund that‘s been so ...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I‘m proud of what I have done with my life and I do not apologize for him.
RUSSERT: But the hedge fund as you well know, had subprime mortgages, many of which defaulted in the Katrina area. If you had to do it all over again, would you have not taken that money?
EDWARDS: But look at what I have done.
RUSSERT: A specific example.
EDWARDS: No, wait a second. You asked me the question. Let me respond. Look at what I have done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Ouch. Barack Obama, meanwhile, had to fend off questions about running for president just 33 months into being a U.S. senator. As for Hillary Clinton, she simply dismissed some of the tough questions. Take a look at this testy exchange. One of the few over big donations over husband Bill‘s presidential library.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSSERT: Wouldn‘t they voluntarily, the Clinton library and Clinton foundation, make donors their public?
CLINTON: You would have to ask them.
RUSSERT: What is your recommendation?
CLINTON: Well, I don‘t talk about my private conversations with my husband, but I‘m sure he would be happy to consider that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Ooh, there‘s a dodge. Who gained momentum? Who lost steam? Here with his insight we are honored to have the chief political columnist for politico.com, Roger Simon. Hey, Roger.
ROGER SIMON, POLITICO.COM: Hey, how are you?
CARLSON: I want to ask you a breaking news, or somewhat breaking news. It turns out that John Edwards will accept public funding for his campaign in the primaries. And he by the way is making this into a virtue and criticizing the other candidates for having too much money, but is there a sign there‘s real trouble in this campaign? What does this mean?
SIMON: It is a sign he‘s certainly not meeting his goals in terms of campaign contributions. You accept public funding and you accept restrictions on how and where you can spend it, how much you can spend in Iowa, how many you can spend in New Hampshire. While your far wealthier opponents don‘t have to accept any such restrictions. It puts him in a hole.
CARLSON: Any chance he would get out before Iowa?
SIMON: No, don‘t think so. There‘s no reason to. One reason is all of these debates. Even if you could only afford a plane ticket and a room in a Motel 6, which is basically the Mike Gravel campaign, you might as well stay in and go to these things. In a campaign where he‘s running third, not a great third, but he‘s either first or very close second, depending which poll you read in Iowa, would argue Edwards stays in at least that far.
CARLSON: I would stay in if I were—What has been the response from the netroots, the antiwar left, from the activists who are really animating the party right now to the concession by the top three candidates they would keep or might keep combat troops in Iraq through 2013. Has there been a response to this yet today?
SIMON: They are stunned, they are angry? Don‘t forget, they were stunned and angry in 2003. The netroots and left wing of the Democratic Party has been against this war since actually before we invaded. Howard Dean made his famous speech to the Democratic National Committee in February of 2003, a month before we landed our troops, and said, you know, I want to know why this party is supporting the unilateral invasion of Iraq. I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. It brought down the house. It energized the left wing of the party. But then people got scared. And they went for John Kerry. The whole thing about the “dated Dean, married Kerry” turned out to be true and the party is getting scared again.
CARLSON: Why didn‘t Barack Obama seem to make his move last night? When Hillary Clinton, she seemed to give so many openings, why not turn it over and say, you know what, you are in the pocket of corporate lobbyists and that‘s a problem. If you want change in this country, I‘m your man. Why not just say it out loud?
SIMON: Well, two reasons. One is that he doesn‘t seem to ever make that move. They said he had a cold and wasn‘t totally on his game. But debates don‘t seem to be his favorite form of campaigning.
But secondly, this is a fine line here. Primary voters don‘t want to see Democrats beating up other Democrats. They want to know the differences between the candidates but they would much rather hear Democrats beat up Republicans than beat up other Democrats. What was the line that brought down the house? The line by Joe Biden saying Rudy Giuliani does not know anything about foreign affairs and he‘s the stupidest guy in America, or whatever they heck he said.
That is what electrifies Democrats and that‘s what they want to hear.
CARLSON: The only one who really takes shots time after time is Mike Gravel who turned to Hillary and says, I‘m ashamed of you to classify the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. I can‘t imagine the Hillary campaign wants this guy to show up at any debates. Are they going to keep him out?
SIMON: I don‘t think that they care. Here is a guy who stood up and admitted he stiffed Visa for, what, $90,000 or something? That‘s a heck of a platform to run on, although I wish I could do the same. He‘s just sort of comic relief now. Would they like to get rid of both Kucinich and Gravel and cut it down? Well, Hillary wouldn‘t. She wants as many other voices in there as possible so she does not get attacked as much. But some of the others would probably like to see it cut down. But that probably will not happen until after New Hampshire.
CARLSON: So Michelle Obama has admitted apparently in public to a piece in an Iowa newspaper today that her husband must win in Iowa or quote, “it‘s over.” Is that true and is it a wise thing to admit in public?
SIMON: I don‘t think it‘s true. I‘m sure she said it. I don‘t think she quite meant it that way. That‘s what you tell Iowa voters. Look, you got to come out and you‘ve got to vote for my husband. Because if he doesn‘t win, it‘s over. In New Hampshire, you tell the people of New Hampshire the same thing and South Carolina the same thing, on and on.
I think that‘s the way she meant it. If Barack Obama comes in second or even a good third, if there is such a thing, in Iowa, I‘m certain he will continue on to New Hampshire.
CARLSON: What did you think of that moment ha that has been taken up by the Mitt Romney campaign today, I believe in an ad, where the candidates were asked about a program in New Hampshire, a school in New Hampshire that teaches about gay marriage to second graders and all of the candidates seemed to think that was OK. Is the Romney campaign correct in believing this is an issue that is going to get them traction?
SIMON: The Romney campaign and rest of the Republicans have to get the conversation onto social issues and whatever hot-button issues they can find. They don‘t want to fight the general election on the war. They don‘t want to fight it on the competency of the Bush administration over the last eight years. They don‘t want to fight it that Republicans have been a good steward of the economy, and have kept spending down. They got to find other things to fight it on and sex education, if it works for them, they will do it.
CARLSON: We‘re going to have to find out who the Clinton Foundation donors are before this primary is over, aren‘t we?
SIMON: I think President Clinton said today that he is not going to do that.
CARLSON: Why not?
SIMON: Because the excuse probably is, that those people gave money under the expectation that their names would not be revealed. The real reason is, hmm, there might be some interesting names on that list.
CARLSON: Boy, I am going to every night when I go to bed I pray for its release. That would be so interesting. Roger Simon, one of the wisest men coming in politics. Thanks a lot.
SIMON: You‘re very kind, thank you.
CARLSON: All eight Democrats showed up for last night‘s debate but the same cannot be said for tonight‘s Republican forum on minority issues. Where will they be?
Plus Elizabeth Edwards reminds voters of her battle with cancer as she is appealing for money, campaign cash. The Edwards campaign said it is not trying to exploit her. Do you believe them? You‘re watching MSNBC.
CARLSON: Last night it was the Democrats in New Hampshire. Tonight it was supposed to be the Republicans in Maryland. The topic—issues of concern to black voters. But what if you held the debate and none of the top contenders showed up?
Well, conspicuous by their absence tonight will be Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. Well, those choices prompted this editorial from the conservative “Washington Times.”
Quote, “It is striking that the Republican front runners believe that some run of the mill fund-raiser is more important than building their relationships with black and his Hispanic voting groups, who flock to the Democratic Party in droves.”
Here again we welcome national director of Win without War Tim Andrews and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. Peter, I must say I agree with the “Washington Times” on this mostly because, what are you afraid of? You know what I mean? It‘s fun to talk to people who don‘t agree with you. I mean, show that you‘re man enough to face down people who disagree with you.
FENN: Or woman enough.
CALRSON: No, we are man enough. Not woman or man enough. But here is my question. Let me just stand back from this. Why a minority debate? Like, what is that? Minority voters are not really Americans or something?
FENN: It‘s nice to talk about issues that a major segment of the American people are concerned about, whether they are Hispanic, whether they are African American, whether they are Native American .
CARLSON: Why are they different issues? It‘s their war, their economy, their Social Security.
FENN: The stupidity of this is beyond me. If—Ken Mehlman, the former chair of the party, is absolutely right. They probably won Ohio last time—crucial in 2004 because they went after the black vote.
Now what do they get in 2000, eight percent of the black vote? In that state they got 16 percent, they doubled it. That‘s still was not very good but that‘s enough votes.
The other point I‘ll make here, remember Ronald Reagan, you know what he did, before the election in 1980, went into Harlem. He campaigned in Harlem. Everybody said, what are you doing by going into Harlem? And what he did by going into Harlem, did he win a lot of the black vote? No. But he convinced people that he wasn‘t anti-black. That he wasn‘t anti .
CARLSON: And the stupid liberals called him racist the whole time.
FENN: I‘m talking politics here. For Ronald Reagan, it was a brilliant move because it shows .
CARLSON: It projects a strength.
FENN: Now what does this say? It says we don‘t care. We don‘t care about blacks. And at this very time this happening, where is Rudy Giuliani? He‘s getting endorsements from Pete Wilson, Mr. Prop 187.
CARLSON: I only half disagree with you but I still want the question answered, why do we have a black debate? Is this 1955? Why do we have a black debate?
FENN: It‘s a debate with an African American host, for crying out loud.
CARLSON: That host is claiming this debate, these issues represent all black Americans. Why do we still have separate debates? I thought we‘re trying to move past that. Aren‘t the issues that matter of concern to all Americans, regardless of race?
ANDREWS: I think the point here is that there are some specific issues relevant to minority voters who care very much about these issues that are not going to discuss the broader debates. They are put in the shadows and they want them front and center. And they want to see .
CARLSON: Like what?
ANDREWS: Well, affirmative action. Let‘s start with affirmative action.
CARLSON: Well, affirmative action racism against white people. I think they are the majority of the population. That‘s of concern to them. It‘s concern to me and concern to them.
ANDREWS: But here‘s the point and here‘s the answer to your question.
ANDREWS: They would like to see candidates stand up front and center and address these questions front and center. And they are not getting that in any of the other debates. And you are exactly right in the fact that, listen, I have been in I don‘t know how many debates, political debates. People don‘t remember what point you scored or what exactly happened on this particular nuance or issue .
ANDREWS: But you make a statement like this. You just don‘t show up.
CARLSON: By showing up.
ANDREWS: That‘s the biggest statement. I don‘t care what they say in that debate, by making the statement of not showing up, it‘s a big, it‘s a bad decision. It‘s a bad statement. They will pay for it.
CARLSON: As I said, I agree with you completely. However, there‘s a flip side to this. And it is as I suggested a minute ago, in every campaign, and this makes me furiously mad, every campaign I have ever watched my whole life, the generic attack from Democrats to Republicans is you are racist, whether it‘s fair or not, and usually it isn‘t. And I wonder if one side will reach out. And I think they should. Then maybe they can stop with the demagogic rhetoric and just be honest. Just because you‘re against affirmative action doesn‘t mean you‘re racist.
FENN: You should have that kind of discussion. You should have that kind of debate.
That‘s why I believe the - that Ahmadinejad should have been able to speak out Columbia. Not because I agree. Not because I like him. But the trouble with all of this is when you got the country club, over 55 white boys on that stage every time, not even agreeing .
CARLSON: Barely adults to me. Is Al Sharpton a black woman? Let‘s knock off the white boys.
FENN: I think—Don‘t you agree this thing looks like a country club crowd up there?
FENN: At least we have got diversity.
CARLSON: It‘s not a country club. It‘s all a bunch of elitist rich people, let‘s be real here. I must say, the anti-white rhetoric of the Democratic Party is a little bit nauseating, I have to say. The idea it‘s wrong to be white or something? What is that?
FENN: What are they afraid of to go before an audience .
CARLSON: I agree with you. You don‘t need to tell me. I completely agree. I would go speak to any group in the south (ph) and enjoy it.
FENN: I think it speaks volumes about this party.
CARLSON: But that‘s what bothers me.
FENN: When they won‘t do Univision. When they won‘t go to Univision.
When they won‘t do a value debate between Christian conservatives.
CARLSON: What you‘re saying is they are racist?
FENN: No, I‘m saying they are only comfortable in their own little bubble.
CARLSON: No, you know exactly what it is. They know they are not going to win this—they will not win the majority of black voters or even a small percentage. So they are afraid of coming before that audience and getting hammered and called racist and they are going to look foolish. They are scared of the sound bytes.
FENN: And I think are also going to lose moderate whites. They are going to lose suburban whites.
CARLSON: You‘re right.
FENN: They are going to lose people who say this is not the kind of party I want to be associated with.
ANDREWS: But no amount of hammering that they would have taken, assuming they would get hammered, is going to be able to trump the hammering they are doing to themselves by not even showing up.
FENN: Self immolation. Absolutely.
ANDREWS: What is the problem?
CARLSON: All right. I sort of agree with you. But I do think the Democrats ought to stop calling everybody they disagree with racist.
FENN: We‘re in trouble now.
CARLSON: What the hell is that? It‘s so immoral to say that. It‘s such a horrible thing to call someone a racist.
FENN: I‘m not calling them racist.
CARLSON: I don‘t think you are. But you know exactly who does. There are consultants who made a living 40 years. You know exactly who I‘m talking about. You know. I dare not speaketh the name but anyway they do it every time.
Anyway, the Senate ups the ante with Iran. They just passed a resolution designating Iran‘s Army a terrorist organization. But in doing so, did also they give the president a free pass to invade Iran? That‘s what some Democrats are saying.
Plus, Mitt Romney is outraising his rivals in the race for campaign cash. Wait till you hear who his biggest donor is? We‘ll give you a small hint. He is a former governor of Massachusetts with perfect hair. You‘re watching MSNBC.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Al Sharpton has finished his prayers, so we are going to resume the show. In other non-prayer related news, the Senate yesterday voted 75 to 23 to recommend that Iran‘s Islamic Revolutionary Guard be designated a foreign terrorist organization. The move comes amid mounting evidence that Iran is supplying anti-U.S. fighters in Iraq with the deadliest weapons of the current conflict. Though the resolution is non-binding and includes the recommendation of more economic sanctions, the question is, could the Senate have just given President Bush the authority to make war with Iran?
Here to make sense of the Senate resolution, we welcome back national director of Win Without War, Tom Andrews and Democratic strategist, Peter Fenn, also an American folk hero. I feel centered after that prayer. I feel calmer now, Tom. So there‘s a huge amount of paranoia on the Democratic left, it seems to me, judging by what I watched in last night‘s debate. The Revolutionary Guard is a terrorist organization. There are a lot of them that we recognize, Hezbollah, Hamas, elected groups we call terrorist organizations.
What‘s the problem with calling this organization what it is?
ANDREWS: Number one, I think there‘s a lot of justification to be a bit paranoid after seeing what happened in 2002, all the things that led up to that invasion, and, of course, the debacle that we‘re in now. This is a very dangerous situation. The neo-cons that got us into Iraq, they will tell you they would like us to get into Iran.
CARLSON: Yes, that‘s right.
ANDREWS: There‘s no surprise Vice President Cheney would like us to have some kind of military action in Iran. Nothing could be more disastrous than not only an attack, but even the bluster of an attack. What that does, Tucker, is it takes what otherwise might be a marginal figure, Ahmadinejad, whose economy has gone into the toilet. They just raised the rates for people paying for energy.
He‘s a very unpopular figure. He comes here. Now he can defend his nation from a potential attack or threat from the United States and rally the country around it. Here‘s the thing—it has no practical effect whatsoever. What was astonishing to me, frankly, watching last night‘s debate, when Hillary Clinton, Senator Clinton was asked that question about why she voted for this; she said it would create more options, more options for sanctions.
That is very much like the rationale she gave in 2002 when she voted for the authorization of the invasion of Iraq. It was to provide the president with more options. In fact, it‘s not true. It provided no further options whatsoever. Why do this?
CARLSON: Wait, hold on, maybe because it‘s true. As I said, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories, both are designated terrorist groups. We are not invading Palestine or Lebanon. Why not just tell the truth?
FENN: You know what would be interesting, Tucker, if that resolution had in it a line that said, if this president is to engage in any military action in Iran, he must come back before the Congress to get Congress‘ approval. If that happened, then I think, you know, Tom and I might have even voted for him. But in it they talked about sanctions, all right, but it did not close the door in any way, shape or form. In fact, it opened it a little bit.
CARLSON: Are you telling me that if she‘s nominated to lead your party in this election that the liberal left is going to vote for her? They are going to sell out their own principles and vote for her?
FENN: Compared to what?
CARLSON: As compared to a third party candidacy.
FENN: As compared to the Three Stooges running around as Republicans?
CARLSON: As compared to—What about a candidate of principle? What about Dennis Kucinich? Why not Ralph Nader? Why not vote your conscience for once.
FENN: Well, the question to me here now is how do you take what was basically another one of those political gimmick resolutions and try to save it? Because if this president and this vice president—I agree with Tom—decided they are going to use that resolution as a means—oh, we are not sending troops in. Of course, they can‘t because they don‘t have enough. But we are going to bomb. We have strategic bombing. We are going to do some incursions following some folks in who we think are sending weapons in.
Then suddenly we‘re in a whole another game. And Tom‘s right, this is sending the wrong signal at the wrong time.
CARLSON: I think you‘re getting a little separated from reality here.
I‘m not an advocate of invading Iran.
FENN: I know you‘re not.
CARLSON: I don‘t think we can. However, I‘m an advocate of recognizing reality. The reality is they are killing our soldiers in Iraq.
ANDREWS:rMD+IN_rMDNM_ Oh, come on, Tucker.
CARLSON: It‘s true!
ANDREWS: This is pure politics. This is a neo-con agenda.
CARLSON: Is that not true? Is it not?
ANDREWS: Why didn‘t we include Saudi Arabia in here, who are supplying and arming and training the Sunnis? Why are we attacking Saudi Arabia in a resolution like this, who supply the suicide bombers? Why are we following just Iran, who, by the way—
CARLSON: You skipped my question, which is, are American solders—the military‘s claim is the single largest source of casualties among American soldiers comes from IEDs provided by Iran. They‘re the biggest killers of our men. Is that true or not?
ANDREWS: We don‘t know the extent to which it is true. We do know that the claims that this administration—
CARLSON: This is the military.
ANDREWS: No, the military and this administration have made about the source of IEDs have proven to be without substance. Number two, we know that the prime minister of Iran told us just last week that, in fact, Iran is pulling back their support of the militia.
ANDREWS: Number three, when he was asked—when General Petraeus was pushed, he said, well, the Quds Forces are actually being pulled out, back into Iran from Iraq. So if we are making this progress, why do we have this provocative act that absolutely means nothing, except to, again, support and strengthen—
CARLSON: Just to make me feel better, I don‘t think we are invading Iran any time soon. Hillary might. Watch out for her.
FENN: Buchanan, you‘re buddy --
CARLSON: OK, I know Pat has --.
FENN: We are into this.
CARLSON: OK, speaking of women in politics, Elizabeth Edwards has up a new ad—she is the wife of John Edwards. And she‘s really the candidate for president. She talks more and says more interesting things than he does. Here‘s her latest ad for the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH EDWARDS, WIFE OF JOHN EDWARDS: There‘s something heart warming about the kind of people who join John‘s campaign, their spirit and their dedication to their communities. You see them working in all sorts of ways.
Sometimes we put things off, don‘t we? think we have all the time in the world. Well, we don‘t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: It‘s deep and it‘s true. I like Elizabeth Edwards. She spoke a deep truth about life. But it does seem a veiled reference to her own condition, doesn‘t it?
FENN: It does. I like Elizabeth Edwards as well. I‘m glad she‘s out there and I‘m glad she‘s fighting and I‘m glad she‘s raising money for her husband. But I will tell you, I don‘t think I would have gone that direction.
CARLSON: What do you think, Tom?
ANDREWS: It‘s a factor. Everybody knows it. I think it‘s OK for her to talk about that directly and about the feelings that it connotes. I don‘t see a problem with it. Number one, it‘s not a surprise to anyone. Number two, I have been through it three times, the fight against cancer.
ANDREWS: And it does affect your life.
ANDREWS: And what she says is absolutely true. So, you know, we know that she‘s been the subject of a lot of discussion about her cancer and how it‘s affecting her. Why not look in the camera and tell the truth, that cancer survivors know very well.
CARLSON: All right, gentlemen, I want to thank you both very much.
Tom, Peter, thank you.
Up next, he ran for governor of Texas and lost. Now Kinky Friedman is unveiling his own set of ten commandments to help make Texas a better state and this a better country. All of them are right, by the way.
Plus, check out these cute Russian bear cubs. They‘re just nine months old. Don‘t get too attached. It turns out they don‘t make good house pets. Bill Wolff joins us in a minute with details.
CARLSON: Long a cult figure to music buffs and lovers of good writing, Kinky Friedman became a bona fide political figure in the last election cycle, when he ran for governor of Texas. Tragically for all of us, he lost that race. But that does not mean he came away from the experience empty-handed. Joining us now to tell us what he learned is the authored of “You Can Lead a Politician to Water, But You Can‘t Make Him Think,” Kinky Friedman. Kinky, thanks for coming on.
KINKY FRIEDMAN, AUTHOR, “YOU CAN LEAD A POLITICIAN TO WATER, BUT YOU
CAN‘T MAKE HIM THINK”: Hey, Tucker, a pleasure. I want to thank you very much, first, Tucker. You‘re one of the few—the few in the media who endorsed my candidacy.
CARLSON: Yes, I did it wholeheartedly.
FRIEDMAN: There was you, Don Imus, Bill Maher and David Letterman.
That‘s an eclectic group, isn‘t it? Here‘s to you. Here‘s to you, Tucker.
Maybe the best of the past be the worst of the future.
CARLSON: Amen. Good for you, Kinky. I was reading your book today, which kind of sums up a lot of things you learned in the campaign, and I was reminded of my favorite part of your campaign, which was a campaign within a campaign, called the anti-wussification campaign. Keep Texas tough; Whatever happened to that?
FRIEDMAN: We lost. Texas should be the last resort to fighting wussification. I was the grand marshal of the St. Patty‘s Day Parade in Dallas, Kinky McFriedman. And I was photographed drinking a Guinness apparently from moving vehicle, which breaks the state, open container law. And we caught a lot of flak for that, Tucker. I told them—I admitted that I did drink the Guinness, but I did not swallow.
And later the TABC, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, began arresting drunks in bars. Remember that, in Texas?
FRIEDMAN: In hotel bars. If you‘re a drink, it‘s the perfect place where you ought to be. You ought to be in a bar.
CARLSON: It was completely outrageous. We attacked it on this show.
FRIEDMAN: That was wussification. I evoked Oscar Wilde. I was the only candidate who evoked the name of Oscar Wilde.
CARLSON: And one of eight people in Texas who knew who Oscar Wilde is.
FRIEDMAN: No, no. Texas is a very bright place.
CARLSON: No, I‘m not saying it‘s not bright. I‘m just saying, I don‘t think of Oscar Wilde as a Texas-like figure. Here‘s a line from your book. You say three men walked into a restaurant in Dallas; one has an oozie, one is stark naked, and one has a lit cigar. Who gets the most attention? You said the customers would run. They would arrest the guy with cigar. The naked man and the guy with the machine gun would be left there wondering where the hell everybody went.
FRIEDMAN: That is right, exactly. That is what the smoking regulations are all about. And that is why the new cigar company, Kinky Friedman Cigars, KFC, you will smoke a cigar, Tucker, right, once in a while?
CARLSON: I will smoke cigars all day long.
FRIEDMAN: I will leave these with a responsible person here. Throw them through the thing camera to you.
CARLSON: Thank you.
FRIEDMAN: Anyway. These are made in Honduras by a Cuban family, and my message to young people is, cigarettes, bad. Cigar, good.
CARLSON: Good for you.
FRIEDMAN: Cigar reduces the stress in life. We have five kinds of these. The Willie, which has a twist on the end, and a little red shaggy head, and the Governor and Kinky Christo and the Utopian, which benefits our animal rescue ranch.
FRIEDMAN: Check the website, KinkyFriedman.com, or go to your favorite cigar star.
CARLSON: Are you running again, Kinky?
FRIEDMAN: I never stop running. I‘m like Andrew Jackson. But I am not going to run as an independent again, Tucker. God could not have beaten Rick Perry if he had run as an independent in Texas. I think we have got to get the wooden horse inside the city somehow. We have got to get an honest broker elected by the people of Texas. The Democrats have lost 14 years in a row, I believe, every statewide office. And we just got to get some of that Ann Richards/Molly Ivan spirit back in the state.
CARLSON: Do you think this could be—if you were running for governor this year, do you think it might be a little different?
FRIEDMAN: This year?
CARLSON: Yes, in ‘08.
FRIEDMAN: We‘re talking 2010 here. We are visionaries. We are looking ahead. But I have to tell you that the biggest problem we have got, I think is that our greatest leaders never put party first. And today we have a bipolar system and it‘s producing a lot of mediocre candidates in a government of the money, by the money and for the money. And we are just not—this is what George Washington did not—it‘s exactly what George Washington did not want to see happen to our country.
CARLSON: If you could boil down the one lesson you took away from your stab at becoming Texas governor, what would it be?
FRIEDMAN: Well, I guess—I think I was fundamentally wrong in the first place to think that we could start a revolution in a place as big as Texas, with as many modern media markets. And the other guys were pretty cynical. They had tons more money than we did. And I think it‘s a whole independent factor.
I think 28 percent, Tucker, of Texans voted for governor. When you have that, that means most of us are like you and me, saying, hell, we can never change this. These guys are lawbreakers, they are not lawmakers. They have been around forever. That‘s politics. Poli means more than one, ticks are blood-sucking parasites. That‘s what they are. When you hear something crazy like this immigration stuff—K. Bailey Hutchison suggesting an amendment to the immigration bill that we send all 11 million illegals home to their home country. We couldn‘t even evacuate New Orleans, you know.
I kind of like, Tucker—I like Newt Gingrich‘s idea—your hero Newt‘s idea of sending Fed Ex packages to all the illegals and tracking them that way.
CARLSON: You may get to hear that idea more as he runs for president. Kinky Friedman, I am keeping my powder dry to endorse you once again in 2010.
FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Tucker. God bless you.
CARLSON: Congratulations on the book. Great book.
FRIEDMAN: Thank you very much.
CARLSON: Iran, Iraq, health care, Social Security; you might think those were the make-or-break questions at yesterday‘s Democratic debate. But not for Hillary Clinton. Her winning or losing question had nothing to do with politics. It was all about baseball. We‘ll give you details when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Here to fill in the blanks in today‘s news lineup, we have gone right to the top. the vice president of MSNBC, Bill Wolff.
BILL WOLFF, VICE PRESIDENT OF MSNBC: Right to the top, eh? By the way, whatever Kinky Friedman is selling Tucker, I‘m buying. That guy says, light your hair on fire, I would do it, my friend.
CARLSON: That‘s the spirit, Bill.
WOLFF: Quickly, now, the real news of the day. If there‘s one thing that is for sure in American society, Tucker, it‘s that having a ton of money makes you classy. The latest proof, billionaire bad boy Mark Cuban and his new arch enemy, alpha billionaire, the Donald Trump. According to the “New York Post,” after Trump ripped Cuban‘s employee, Dan Rather, Cuban‘s measured response was, quote, Donald Trump is a first class idiot. Nothing he says that comes out of his mouth has any validity or any value.
Cuban then ripped Mr. Trump‘s various enterprises, Tucker, including Trump Water, Trump the Magazine, Trump Vodka and Trump Stakes. Now, ever the diplomat, the Donald cleverly replied, quote, Mark is a total loser. This all started in 2004 when he tried to do a show “The Benefactor,” which was a copy of “The Apprentice” and was a total disaster. Cuban lives in one of my buildings. He lives in a Trump building, and yet he doesn‘t like Trump. People in the building find him a total jerk, end quote.
Asked if he would like to have a boxing match with Cuban, like any civilized billionaire might in these circumstances, Tucker, Trump concluded, quote, I would not want to hurt him, because I want him to keep paying his rent. Lovely.
CARLSON: I‘m not going to criticize Mr. Trump, I will have you know.
WOLFF: Let me just say, trump water? Very wet. Wonderfully wet.
Different from most other water.
CARLSON: Considering Vodka is grain alcohol and water --
WOLFF: Got it.
CARLSON: What makes one better than the other?
WOLFF: God bless both of those gentlemen. They are two fine young men. I wish them all the best, particularly the Donald, who I don‘t want to tick off.
Tucker, very quickly, we need to take another look back at last night‘s debate and what I hope is a service to the American people. You know, Tucker, I‘m a political neophyte. I‘m never sure who is right or wrong, who is telling the truth? I don‘t know, say anything. I might believe it.
But careful when you talk about baseball, which was the last question of the night for all the candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Clinton, where are you on this? Red Sox or Yankees?
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Well, I hate to say it in front of this New Hampshire crowd; I‘m a Yankees‘ fan. I have been for a long, long, time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Clinton, what about a World Series of Yankees and Cubs?
CLINTON: Well, you know, I worry about that, because I think, given the Cubs‘ record, which, of course—I hope it happens. But it could very well be a sign of the coming apocalypse were that ever to occur. It would be so out of history to have the Cubs versus the Yankees, then I would be really in trouble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who would you be for?
CLINTON: I would probably have to alternate sides.
(END VIDEO CLIP
WOLFF: OK, what‘s the matter with that? Well, let‘s see. I have been a Yankee fan for a long, long time, says Hillary Clinton. How long is long, long? Since 2000? That‘s not a long time. In baseball years, 30 years 35 years—did your uncle Norman take you to your first game when you were six, Hillary to the Yankees? No. You liked them when you moved to Chappaqua and tried to get elected.
Problem two, she‘s from Chicago. Listen to the accent. If you have that accent, you‘re a Cubs fan. If you‘re a Cubs‘ fan, there‘s no alternating between teams. Who do you like, David or Goliath? Oh, I like them both. Who do you like, Hatfields or McCoys? I like them both. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Why don‘t you just fess up; you‘re a Cubs‘ fan and live with it.
CARLSON: Bill, I love you on sports. Bill Wolff, thanks, Bill.
WOLFF: My pleasure.
CARLSON: That does it for us. Thanks for watching. We will be here tomorrow. Have a great night.
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