Guests: Kellyanne Conway, Hilary Rosen, A.B. Stoddard, Deroy Murdock
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: What do women want? The question has mystified men since the dawn of time. And the answer may be the key to this coming election.
Welcome to the show.
The liberal polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner reports that fully a quarter of all eligible voters in this country, 53 million people, are unmarried women. For the first time there are as many unmarried women as married women. It‘s an enormous voting bloc and it appears to be the 2008 version of 2004‘s NASCAR dads and 2000‘s soccer moms.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, often mentions elderly women voters in her stump speech in Iowa and other places, and according to today‘s “New York Times,” that is not an accident. The Clinton campaign is hoping that the senator‘s daughterly appeal to women born between the world wars will give her an edge over Barack Obama.
Will it? Which party and which candidates have the edge with women?
And how might the others gain ground?
In a moment we‘ll ask one of the country‘s leading female pollsters who has studied this subject in some detail.
Also today, Mitt Romney crime fighter. Think again. According to new story, a Romney-appointed superior court judge in Massachusetts allowed a paroled killer to be freed without bail while he waited trial on further alleged violent crimes. Well, that parolee eventually murdered two victims in Washington State.
Mr. Romney blames the judge for that poor decision, but Rudy Giuliani, who is running on a law and order slate, says Romney was weak on violent crime as Massachusetts governor. Will this story do to Romney what Willie Horton did to former Massachusetts governor Mike Dukakis so many years ago?
And from our pop culture file, “TV Guide” polled the candidates about their favorite television shows. We have got all the highlights, and curiously this show didn‘t make any of those must-see lists. Obviously no one talked to Ron Paul. And that‘s a shame.
We begin with women, specifically unmarried women, the estimated 53 million of them who could determine outcome of this election.
Joining me to talk about the voting bloc and which candidate might favor how to appeal to it, Kellyanne Conway, she‘s the CEO and president of The Polling Company. She‘s also the author of “What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live.”
KELLYANNE CONWAY, THE POLLING COMPANY, INC.: Thank you for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: So what do unmarried women want?
CONWAY: Well, they traditionally trend Democratic because they look at Uncle Sam and big brother as welcomed members of their extended family. In many ways they want the same thing married women want, but at a different pace and with a different priority level.
Many unmarried women are talking about themes this year—security and affordability. Those twin pillars. And security is not just about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or even homeland security to them. It‘s about kitchen table economic security, Social Security.
We see an uptick in concern about crime, particularly among suburban and urban women, whether it‘s more broadcasting about pedophilia, or increased meth use and drunk driving among people these days. And then you‘ve got the affordability angle.
If you are an unmarried woman, the chance is that you are most responsible or solely responsible for your livelihood. And even for your retirement security. You know, unmarried women in this country start to think about their retirement about age 35. Married women about the age of 53.
CARLSON: So, basically, as a general matter, you‘re saying women, as the majority of voters, want more from government than men want and unmarried women want even more than married women?
CONWAY: Certainly unmarried women, absolutely. And this is why whenever Republicans ask me, oh, how do we get more women to vote for us, how do we bridge the gender gap? I always say, well, make sure that women get the four magic Ms at some point in their early adult—marriage, motherhood, mortgages and mutual funds, because each of those life stages make them more vested in the ownership society.
And I think the Republicans would squander a tremendous opportunity that none of these candidates are really harnessing right now, which is to reach out to those millions of unmarried women in their late 20s, 30s, 40s, even 50s, Tucker, who are part of the investor and ownership society. The National Association of Realtors reports that the fastest growing first-time homebuyers are unmarried women.
Twenty-two percent of first time homebuyers in 2005 were unmarried women. Only 6 percent of first-time homebuyers are unmarried men.
So women are not waiting for “me” to become “we” to start availing themselves of the kind of ownership society accoutrements that make them think more conservatively and vote more Republican. They start itemizing their tax returns, they‘re going to—I think they can be more hospitable to the Republican Party. They‘re not all talking about abortion and global warming.
CARLSON: Well, there was news today from the intersection of feminism and politics that the Democratic Party‘s most noted philosopher, Barbra Streisand, endorsed Hillary Clinton today. And here is part of what she said as she did that—I‘m quoting. “Madame President of the United States, it‘s an extraordinary thought. We truly are in a momentous time where a woman‘s potential has no limitations. Hillary Clinton has already proven to a generation of women that there are no limits for success.”
I think she succinctly sums up what I suspect a lot of women who are planning to vote for Hillary Clinton are thinking, which is, she‘s a woman, I‘m a woman, there‘s a kinship there. I‘m voting for her.
CONWAY: There is some of them, Tucker, but not enough for her to become president. And here‘s why.
Hillary Clinton has a very big man problem, and not just at home. She has a reverse gender gap.
Men in this country, many men in this country, particularly Independent men who otherwise would lean Democratic in this very anti-Republican climate, they don‘t like her, they don‘t like her policies, they think that she‘s going to cost them money. And jeez, $100 billion on health care alone, I‘d say that they‘re on to something.
This whole—you know, in the polling, when you ask men and women if all you knew about a candidate was he‘s a man or she‘s a woman, which way would you vote, there is a slight preference for one‘s own gender, one‘s own sex. But the number one volunteered response among women in answering the question is, it depends, I need to know more.
And for Hillary Clinton to bank on the woman‘s vote, she‘s going to need to outperform her husband‘s take among women. Bill Clinton, very popular among women, he only got 47 percent of the female vote in 1996 -- excuse me, in 1992. In 1996, he increased that to 54 percent.
But here is the thing about women. Unmarried and otherwise, they‘re very pro-incumbent. They don‘t like to rock the boat politically or otherwise.
In the last 10 presidential elections, women have comprised majority of the vote and they voted for Republicans in seven of the last 10. The question this year is, who is seen as the incumbent?
CONWAY: Is it Hillary Clinton, who has an incumbent‘s name, or is it somebody who is tied very closely, say, to the current administration in their policies? But a lot of women are anti-war. A lot of these senior women have lost to their zeal for the war in Iraq, and Hillary Clinton seems a little bit unconsidered and inconsistent on the war.
CARLSON: The two big—finally, the two big demographic trends in America, as far as I can tell, one, immigration—more immigrants now than ever before by any measure.
CARLSON: And the other, people getting married less often than they ever have, more single people. Both those trends continue unabated with no end in sight and both of them favor Democrats pretty dramatically.
CONWAY: They do.
CARLSON: That‘s—I mean, if you‘re a Republican looking into the future, that‘s bleak.
CONWAY: I‘ve tried to talk about this, but at least you‘re listening. Look, 20 million eligible unmarried women did not vote in 2004. If Hillary Clinton or whomever could inspire them to register and then actually turn out to vote. But, you know, Tucker, in those women‘s defense, a lot of politics, particularly at the national level, is about married people.
You have the perfectly coifed husband, wife, 2.3 kids, domestically engineered minivan, Golden Retriever, gold shiny rings, and they talk about eliminating marriage penalty tax. But I think this time folks are starting to listen.
Twenty-three of our states, plus the District of Columbia, right now as you and I speak, are led by a majority unmarried households. The numbers are startling. A majority of women in this country are unmarried.
CARLSON: I think it‘s depressing as hell. I know I‘m not supposed to say that.
CONWAY: The only people who like it are match.com, believe me.
CARLSON: I guess.
Kellyanne, thanks a lot. I appreciate it.
CONWAY: Thanks. Bye-bye.
CARLSON: Hillary Clinton says she‘s the most electable Democratic candidates, but is she? A new poll out today tells a different story. We‘ve got it.
Plus, Jesse Jackson said almost all the Democratic candidates are ignoring black voters, and he includes Barack Obama in that charge. He endorsed Obama, keep in mind.
What‘s going on? We‘ve got the answers coming up.
CARLSON: Hillary Clinton may be struggling to stay ahead of Barack Obama, but a new Zogby poll shows she would lose to all the top Republican candidates in the general election, if it were held today, which of course it‘s not. But still, the Clinton campaign, along with several pollsters, dismissed the polling out of hand in a very French way. They dismissed any real significance in those numbers, and once again Clinton‘s team declared victory.
The legacy of George W. Bush was supposed to be a guaranteed Democratic sweep in ‘08. Even if the Zogby numbers aren‘t accurate indicators of eventual outcomes, they at least suggest this question: Is Hillary Clinton the Democrat most likely to energy the Republican base and therefore result in the strongest chance for the Republican nominee?
Here to answer, associate editor of “The Hill,” A.B. Stoddard, and Democratic strategist and MSNBC political analyst Hilary Rosen.
Welcome to you both.
Hilary, these are—we say a thousand times these are national poll,
they‘re theoretical, the election is not today, they don‘t—you know,
they‘re not predictive. But they are interesting. And the most
interesting of all, all the theoretical match-ups, Hillary loses to McCain,
to Giuliani, to Romney, to Fred Thompson. The candidate to whom she loses
by the greatest margin, Mike Huckabee.
Here are the numbers.
As of this month, Hillary Clinton, 39 percent, Mike Huckabee, 44 percent. Five points.
And again, I‘m not even sure—I don‘t think this is really that real. On the other hand, it says something interesting, doesn‘t it?
HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, the only thing it says is that if you take a poll on the Internet, you can factor all sorts of, you know, miscalculations into it. This isn‘t a statistically relevant poll. I don‘t understand actually why it‘s getting so much attention today.
There have been—the latest Gallup poll, which is a telephone survey, actually has Hillary Clinton beating all of those same Republicans.
ROSEN: And it has Obama beating them, too, but by a smaller margin.
So this isn‘t necessarily a pro-Clinton thing. It‘s...
CARLSON: But I guess here‘s my point—and I‘ll even grant you that.
ROSEN: But because an online poll sort of goes against the conventional wisdom of Democrats beating Republicans, all of a sudden, that‘s the poll that‘s getting all the attention.
CARLSON: But here‘s the interesting thing. But let‘s consider the poll within the context of the poll, because that is—in other words, it‘s the same poll.
ROSEN: You mean, let‘s analyze the results even if the poll itself is...
CARLSON: No, no, no. We‘re going to analyze within the context of the poll.
So, you have five Republican candidates, and the strongest one is Mike Huckabee. That to me is the headline.
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, “THE HILL”: Yes, right, because he has the most populous message of all of the Republican field. He is the most folksy, which I have to go back to my dictionary now that he‘s always described as folksy and find out what—I haven‘t looked it up since the fifth grade. But apparently he is folksy, and this is appealing.
CARLSON: It means you chew on straws as you talk.
STODDARD: And he‘s in a band. And he was a Baptist minister. And he was once obese. And he is obviously having some appeal across the spectrum between Republicans...
ROSEN: Well, he‘s an online user‘s (ph) favorite, which is one of the reasons why he comes out...
STODDARD: You know, I want to say in fairness of John Zogby, I‘m not
going to take this seriously. It is interesting only because the Clinton -
Hillary Clinton herself was actually touting the fact that, I am beating in in all the national polls. Meaning all the Republicans. She just said that just days ago.
But it‘s also, in fairness to John Zogby, only a month ago he had her as candidate that the—that Americans trusted the most to handle the threat of Iran. And I think these polls do jump around, and I don‘t think we should discount it entirely. But it makes sense that Mike Huckabee would have the most cross-party appeal, I think.
CARLSON: “The New York Times” has an interesting piece that comports with everything we‘ve seen in the numbers to this point, Hillary, that the Hillary Clinton campaign is targeting elderly women, old ladies, to vote for her.
CARLSON: It‘s interesting to me on two levels. One, they‘re basically out in the states making the pitch directly—she‘s a woman, you‘re a woman, vote for her, which is really one of the dumbest, lowest possible pitches you could possibly make. You look like me, there for vote for me, A? And, B, what does that tell you about her long-term appeal?
ROSEN: You know, I think actually what‘s happening in Iowa is pretty exciting. Everybody is energized in the party. And so it doesn‘t really scare me that this race is coming down to the wire in Iowa.
I think women generally see Hillary Clinton like they tend to see these days the Democratic Party, which is working harder for issues they care about. I don‘t think that the Clinton campaign‘s appeal is purely based on being a woman.
CARLSON: No, I don‘t think it‘s purely based.
ROSEN: I think it‘s that as a woman, I have fought for issues that you and I care about for these many years. Now is the time where we can actually claim the ability to do something about it. And I think that‘s an appropriate appeal. It‘s genuine. And it‘s obviously having a resonance.
CARLSON: But if you look—I mean, if you stand back three feet, you say, Obama‘s appeal is to the young. Hillary‘s to the old. Who‘s the future?
ROSEN: Well, I think that basically we‘re going to go across the board that Democrats are going to end up getting the youth vote no matter where—who wins the Democratic primary. So when you look at that primary...
CARLSON: But given the choice among Democrats, young Democrats choose Obama. And that tells you a lot about, you know, where the country is going.
ROSEN: Well, that‘s not actually true for women. Younger women actually like Hillary.
Younger—what ends up happening with the Obama-Clinton race is that it‘s class-based, it‘s not age-based. It‘s if you need the government, if you have issues that you care about in government, if you are looking for help and a leg up, that ends up being the people who like Hillary Clinton.
CARLSON: I think that‘s true—what you just said is true.
CARLSON: But he‘s more liberal than she is. Why wouldn‘t those voters be going to him?
STODDARD: Well, he‘s not making the case correctly then. She‘s makes a very good case that she has fought for 35 years for these issues that you care the most about.
She makes it better than Barack. She actually does have more of a record on the issues. And she‘s making the case better.
She is making, as you said, a direct appeal to elderly women, and she uses this inner speech when she says people come and they travel this many miles, and then they tell me they‘re going to live long enough—because they‘re in their 90s—to be able to see a woman win the White House. I actually differentiate between playing that gender card and playing the sort of defensive, the boys are beating up on me gender card.
STODDARD: I think that‘s smart for her to do and I think she should keep doing it. She does want to make history, and it is important to a lot of women. And they do drive all that distance for that reason.
CARLSON: They do, but just leave grandma alone. I think it‘s mean.
ROSEN: Grandma needs help, too. Grandma‘s driving her own car.
CARLSON: Grandma needs a car service, there‘s a slogan for you.
Trent Lott is resigning from the Senate, some say so he can become a lobbyist before the new ethics rules take effect. It‘s good news for Trent Lott, but is it another sign of coming disaster for his party?
And then, was Hillary Clinton the first lady or the actual president during her years in the White House? We‘ll tell you why it depends on whom you ask.
That‘s coming up.
CARLSON: Voters dumped the Republican leadership in Congress last November, and now Republicans are in danger of falling even farther behind come 2008. Seventeen Republican congressman and six senators are retiring. The most recent, Trent Lott.
Will the Republican Party languish in the minority forever? It‘s starting to look that way.
Joining us now, associate editor of “The Hill,” A.B. Stoddard, and Democratic strategist and MSNBC political analyst Hillary Rosen.
A.B., you cover the Congress for a living and have for many years. A simple question—are all these Republicans retiring because it‘s just kind of time to retire, they want to go lobby, or is this a reflection of their dissatisfaction with where their party is?
STODDARD: I think that they‘ve seen the writing on the wall and it says run for your life.
STODDARD: If you look back at 1995 and 1996 cycle, the Democrats were obviously shocked and depressed because they thought they would get it right back. There was a huge budget battle with President Clinton that made the Republicans look bad.
Welfare reform was coming together. There was a lot of signs that led the Democrats to believe that they had something—they had hope in ‘96. In fact, I think they picked up—back some seats up.
CARLSON: They did.
STODDARD: This is a different story. The Republicans see the financial advantage the Democrats have, 14 times the amount raised by House Democrats and House Republicans. They see 21 Republican seats in the Senate to defend. Now many of them critical, open seats that are friendly to Democrats, like Virginia and Colorado.
It‘s so grim, and the issues, as you mentioned with Kellyanne, are trending so much in the Democrats‘ favor, you can‘t argue with someone like Trent Lott. You can‘t keep them—you can‘t keep them there, you can‘t make them stay.
CARLSON: Yes. It‘s the perfect storm.
A.B. just alluded to the money. You‘re familiar with this, but for our viewers, “The Washington Post” reports today as of the end of last month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $29 million in the bank, to the Republicans‘ $2.56 million on the Senate side; $23.4 for Democrats, $9.5 for the Republicans. That‘s—I mean, I‘ve never seen anything like that in my whole time here?
ROSEN: It‘s also, I think, just kind of a personal lifestyle issue. You know, the Republicans, particularly in the power that they held for so many years, before the Democrats took back the Congress, was a uniquely aggressive kind of power.
The committee chairman ruled, the leadership ruled. You know, they didn‘t ask Democrats‘ opinions for anything. They were in complete control in a way that people—you know, even when the Democrats had been in power they weren‘t.
Now they‘re not the chairman anymore. It‘s just not that fun when you‘re not in the majority.
If you have had that sort of absolute power and you‘ve gone back to being somebody who maybe sometimes is consulted, it‘s just not that fun. So you‘re seeing a lot of senior Republicans retiring because they‘ve lost the power, they have no chance of getting it back. And, you know, many of those seats are going to make way for...
CARLSON: Well, somebody needs to rethink the Republican Party. Rethink the brand at some point, because the trends we were talking about earlier, fewer people getting married, more immigrants, profoundly favorable, both those trends, to Democrats. The money advantage, the retirements, I mean, it is just going to be—it‘s going to be without precedent, the ugliness in November.
Who is sitting down and thinking, like, what can we do with this brand?
STODDARD: Actually, John Boehner, the House minority leader, has made some efforts at this. Dick Armey, who used to be the majority leader, who is now running, help me, FreedomWorks.
CARLSON: FreedomWorks, and a frequent guest on this show.
STODDARD: It just held a conference last week, the week before Thanksgiving on this very issue. There are people in the party at work on this.
But it is—it‘s very difficult for them because it was—it was compounded by the Iraq war and some ethical problems.
ROSEN: They‘re not being helped by the president.
STODDARD: There were so many scandals coming out.
CARLSON: No, no. He‘s less popular than Chlamydia.
They‘re going to have to wait until the Democrats to screw it up bad. Right? Because that‘s—parties find their voice in opposition to the status quo, typically. That‘s exactly right. And so it‘s going to—and I think the Democrats can screw it up really bad pretty quickly, don‘t you?
ROSEN: Well, I think they‘re going to have significant leeway to screw it up, though, because if all goes as it looks like in this next cycle, they‘re going to increase their margins pretty healthily.
ROSEN: And so they‘re going to have more room for mistakes.
CARLSON: Well, I‘m not bowing down to those (INAUDIBLE) leaders, I‘ll tell you that.
Barack Obama says he doesn‘t know what the word “Clintonian” means, and yet—and here is the irony, ladies and gentlemen—he‘s a master of Clintonian answers. We‘ll show you an example of that after the break.
Plus, Fred Thompson is best known for playing district attorney Arthur Branch on “Law & Order.” Here more irony. He says he does not watch his own show. We‘ll tell you what he does watch in his spare time.
You are watching MSNBC, the place for politics.
CARLSON: Barack Obama appeared on ABC News‘ “Nightline” last night where interviewer Terry Moran asked the senator what does the word Clintonian mean to you. Obama responded this way; “You know, well, I wasn‘t sure that—I didn‘t know that was a verb or an adjective.”
Moran followed up by asking, quote, you‘ve never heard that word, that it‘s a Clintonian tactic or a Clintonian style of politics.
Obama pled ignorance; “well, you know,” he said, “it‘s something that probably bounces around the world of cable shows and I don‘t watch them enough to know. I haven‘t heard it used on ‘Nightline‘ that much. Be more precise.” Sniff, sniff.
If there were ever a Clintonian answer to the question of defining the word Clintonian, Barack Obama become gave it to Terry Moran. Here to determine if Obama‘s Clintonian answer on Clintonianism make him an honorary Clinton, we welcome back associate editor of “The Hill,” A.B. Stoddard, and Democratic strategist and MSNBC political analyst Hillary Rosen.
I like Barack Obama. I hate it when he says stuff like this because it shakes my faith a little bit in him. What a BS artist.
STODDARD: You always like to say that he‘s won the cool primary. Barack Obama always sounds cool until he sounds like a bozo, which happens with regularity.
CARLSON: You‘re right.
STODDARD: That is just one of those bad moments, just like the driver‘s license answer that he had two weeks to perfect and he flubbed at the debate. It‘s just one of those moments. He says that her answers are based on politics, not principle. He says she straddles. He could have come up with something. He could have said, after President Nixon they used—everyone sometimes like to throw around the term Nixonian. There are things he could have said, keeping a straight face and still being nice.
CARLSON: He could have told the truth. A Democratic political consultant who is a friend of mine said it best. Very beginning of this process he said, I watched them at the debate and she‘s in his head. She rattles him. He‘s afraid of her. He‘s a wuss, actually. I‘m serious. He should just come out say, yes, she‘s Clintonian. That‘s why they call it Clintonian.
ROSEN: I think he actually has a little bit of social awkwardness in regular—in conversation. And he tries to make debates and interviews be conversation. He‘s not cool, really. He‘s more kind of wonky that way, where he is awkward.
CARLSON: Why not just say—I mean, everybody knows—people who like Hillary Clinton, who plan to vote for her, know that she is Clintonian in her answers. That is seen as a good thing a lot of the time. Why doesn‘t Barack Obama have the gumption, the moxie, the toughness—
ROSEN: First of all, it‘s much too political for him, and he‘s above politics.
CARLSON: That‘s the problem. How can you be from Chicago, from the mean streets of the Windy City, and be above politics? How can you be the Zen master.
STODDARD: -- take on the Clinton political machine and be above politics.
CARLSON: If the Clinton machine, which dominates official Washington, the Democratic official Washington—if Hillary Clinton were to lose this nomination to Barack Obama, what would happen to every single person you know here in the District of Columbia? Would they all move to Belgium? The whole city would collapse inward upon itself and become a black hole.
ROSEN: Be looking for Bill Daly (ph) and David Axelrod‘s phone number to have somewhere—
CARLSON: All the people who plan to be ambassador to Belgium, like, what would they do?
ROSEN: I don‘t think anybody has to worry that the old Democratic establishment will be out there hurting for friends.
CARLSON: It just bothers me. He had, Obama, to his great credit—I thought had a tremendous answer or response to Hillary Clinton‘s point that because she was in the White House and she traveled to, quote, 80 or maybe 82 different countries on her grand tour, that she basically was secretary of state. Here is what Obama said in response to that. I‘m quoting, “if she wants to tout her experience of having visited countries, that‘s fine. But I don‘t think that Madeleine Albright would think Hillary Clinton was the face of foreign policy during the Clinton administration. Maybe she‘ll disagree with that.”
Well, as it happens, Madeleine Albright refused to take a position and issued a statement, saying, I love Hillary. She‘s the future. But she never addressed Mrs. Clinton‘s claim to have, in fact, had her job during the Clinton years.
STODDARD: No, but Madeleine Albright endorsed her so long ago, and said the most glowing things about her readiness to serve. I think—you don‘t have them at the ready here, but she‘s complimented her.
STODDARD: That was another bozo thing to say if you were Barack Obama.
CARLSON: Do you think so?
STODDARD: I‘m sorry about that, but he should have checked with the endorsement list.
CARLSON: Madeleine Albright didn‘t respond in a substantive way to his point. She just said, I love Hillary and she‘s great.
ROSEN: What did you expect her to say?
CARLSON: I expected her to say, you know what, Barack, you make a very solid point. I had that job. Hillary Clinton did not. Frankly, I resent her attempt to usurp it retroactively. I‘m not going to align myself with her campaign anymore. I‘m endorsing you.
ROSEN: I think this is where Barack Obama needs to go in these next couple days. He has succeeded in making people believe that he can beat Hillary Clinton, or that Hillary Clinton may be beatable. It‘s the media story of the week. He‘s going to be on “Time Magazine‘s” cover. All of you are desperate for this news story that Hillary Clinton is beatable.
What Barack Obama has to do though is convince people that he‘s actually the right alternative. And I think that‘s the problem. When you start going into somebody‘s experience, all you end up doing is highlighting maybe that you don‘t have enough of your own. And so I think that‘s really his challenge over the next couple of weeks, to figure out how to convince people that he really is that right alternative.
CARLSON: I think that‘s right. If we‘re going to talk about experience, I think it‘s important to talk about what exactly the experience consists of. The “L.A. Times” went, I thought, quite a ways to answering that question in today‘s edition. What was Hillary like as first lady? They described, Mickey Kantor, an intimate of the Clintons, and I‘m quoting now, “other campaign veterans credit Hillary Clinton as the driving force behind the rapid response war room operation. Later, she rode herd on the ‘Defense Team,‘ a cloistered group of staffers and lawyers who fended off media queries about the couple‘s financial deals, rumors of Bill‘s infidelity, and his youthful dealing with Arkansas draft officials during the Vietnam War.”
Basically, she was the heavy.
STODDARD: I thought we knew that.
CARLSON: We did know that. But I thought she was supposed to be negotiating the peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Instead, she‘s attacking her husband‘s girl friends. That‘s the experience.
STODDARD: She was defending the president‘s honor I think. She probably had a strong arm in a lot of different things. She did have, as the article points out, intimate access to very important decisions and things that were going on, foreign policy, domestic policy. She had a hand in everything. She‘s very organized. She‘s very prepared. She‘s very controlling. I think it‘s not new.
CARLSON: The details are still unknown. I want to point to another “L.A. Times” excerpt; “just three days of a her husband gave her authority over the health care plan, she was already considering limits on the public‘s access to the plan‘s record. A January 1993 memo, Deputy Counsel Vince Foster advised the first lady the task force records might be withheld from release under the Freedom of Information Act if the files remain, quote, in control of the president. Her response to that is not known today because many of her health care documents have not been released. None of her own memos or notes is available.”
None. How can that be? She‘s running on this health care plan. We don‘t even know what she did?
ROSEN: I don‘t really know either. I think that the campaign has said over the last couple of weeks that they have not slowed anything down. The archives have taken responsibility for why these documents have not come out to date. But I think that she ought to be challenged on her experience. And I think she has answers for it.
I don‘t see the fact that she comes to a meeting prepared—that same article says she credit for establishing, with Donna Shalala, the Children‘s Health Insurance Program. She was there on welfare reform. That there are whole series of other issues that she was intimately involved in.
CARLSON: She‘s smart and well prepared, and we knew that. She comes across as a competent, impressive person in some ways. But still, the fact that she‘s running on health care and none of her own memos or notes is available, and their excuse is we can‘t negotiate our own bureaucracy with the archives. If you can‘t negotiate—
ROSEN: It‘s not their bureaucracy.
CARLSON: It‘s their papers. They may be the property of the American people, but they still have some influence. They can say, hey, release them now. Make a stink about it, we can get those tomorrow if they want.
ROSEN: Actually they don‘t have influence. There‘s legislation pending in the Senate to try to speed up that process. It‘s being blocked by a Republican senator.
CARLSON: You believe sincerely that if Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton got on television tomorrow morning on “The Today Show” and said we wanted every one of those things released tomorrow, that there would be delay in doing so? No, there wouldn‘t be.
ROSEN: Of course there is. The archives is responsible for national secrets and all of those things that they have to clear all those documents.
CARLSON: I have trouble believing that. The candidates came out and confessed to “TV Guide” what they watch on television. Now, some of these are, I think, really interesting. But what is shocking to me is, Fred Thompson doesn‘t watch his own show.
STODDARD: I don‘t think if you‘re a TV star, A, that you watch your own show. If you do, you never admit it.
ROSEN: Could you acknowledge that you go home and watch the Tucker Carlson Show?
CARLSON: I never watch it. But then I‘m not a megalomaniac. I‘m not running for president.
STODDARD: I want to point out that I see John Edwards in a new light, that admitted that he likes to watch Fred Thompson on “Law and Order.”
CARLSON: “Sponge Bob Square Pants,” do you buy that?
ROSEN: I thought that was terrible.
STODDARD: Not a good line.
ROSEN: I thought all were terrible.
STODDARD: Dennis Kucinich watches the best shows. If you‘re going on this guide, he has our vote.
CARLSON: Nobody says anything interesting. Nobody said I watch, you know, the show with lots of explosions, which is what every man watches.
ROSEN: My favorite one was that Mitt Romney said he watches “Lost.”
CARLSON: That was kind of touching. Not one person watches “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
STODDARD: I think Hillary Clinton watched you on “Dancing With the Stars.”
CARLSON: Yes, she did. She‘s a fan. Thank you both very much. Mitt Romney‘s record on crime could be coming back to bite him on the campaign trail. Did he let diversity policy get in the way of justice. My next guest says, yes, he did.
And what do Kevin Federline and Larry Birkhead have in common? If you thought custody fights and troubled starlets, you‘re just hitting the tip of that ugly iceberg. Bill Wolff lifts the veil on Hollywood‘s newest odd couple. You‘re watching, of course, MSNBC.
CARLSON: When Mitt Romney appointed four women as associate superior court judges in Massachusetts when he was governor, was he more focused on their gender and, quote, diversifying the court, and less focused on how effective they would actually be while on the bench. It seems to be the case with at least one of those judges. After a convicted killer was released from prison for good behavior and re-arrested, she set him free. In matter of just months, he killed two more people, confessing to that crime.
The question is, will Romney‘s poor choice of judges hurt him in his run for the White House. Joining me now is someone who thinks it might, Deroy Murdock. He‘s a syndicated columnist and a contributing editor with “The National Review Online.” Deroy, thanks for coming on.
DEROY MURDOCK, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Hey, Tucker. How are you?
CARLSON: It‘s a devastating piece you‘ve written about Mitt Romney‘s record on these judges. Is it as clear as that, that in an effort to diversify the court, put more women on the court, he appointed a mediocre judge?
MURDOCK: Well, this piece I did, which is on NationalReview.com right now, points out a couple things. One is that the Romney team was very enthused when this judge, Tuttman, was named, that this was adding to the diversity of the court, bringing more women on the court. There wasn‘t much of a focus on the law and order issue, which is how Mitt is trying to put it now.
But I think much more telling than this particular very tragic and troubling case is Mitt‘s overall crime record, which is really very, very lackluster. He has been going around saying that he reduced violent crime in the state of Massachusetts by eight percent. In fact, crime did drop by eight percent, but lot of other things went up. For example, homicides went up 7.5 percent while he was governor of Massachusetts.
At the same time, here in New York City, homicide fell by about 67 percent. You had an increase in robbery of about 12 percent in Massachusetts, while robberies fell 67 percent in Massachusetts. So you go through these figures, and while some things did drop in Massachusetts, a lot of other things went up very dramatically.
And overall, what you have is a picture of a pretty weak record on crime on the part of the Romney administration in Massachusetts.
CARLSON: To what extent can a governor control crime rates?
MURDOCK: Well, I think he can do—get a number of things done. One is try to get his legislative efforts passed by the state house. He did have one good idea, which was to get the state and local police to report to the FBI the arrest warrants for various crimes around the state. He proposed that late in his term. Unfortunately, the legislature didn‘t pass it.
The legislature in Massachusetts had tendency of not passing many of his proposals. And part it was, I think, they just stopped trusting him because he‘d say one thing one day and say something else contradictory next. He ended up finding himself frustrated. Rather than in New York City, where Giuliani had—of 51 seats in the city council, only seven were Republican. And the city council went along with almost everything he wanted to do on crime and other things.
You saw an overall 67 percent decrease in homicide, 56 percent decrease in crime. Much, much more impressive results in the area of law and order.
CARLSON: Back to the case that is the centerpiece of your story in “National Review;” the judge, Kathe Tuttman, as you said, appointed—a Democrat, appointed by Mitt Romney, seems, from reading her story, negligent in this case. Daniel Tavares, the guy who has been charged with these two more murders, left the state. He just got out of jail. He was supposed to meet with his probation officer. He didn‘t.
He instead got married and moved to Washington State, across the country. And no one appears to have looked for him. Is that right? The state didn‘t do anything to find him?
MURDOCK: He disappeared. He went off to Washington State. The prosecutors asked for 50,000 dollars bail, because he originally killed his mother, stabbed her with a carving knife. In jail, he attacked—allegedly attacked a couple of prison guards, hit one on the head, told another one, I‘m going to kill you. In some documents, he threatened to kill Mitt Romney. He threatened to kill the attorney general, so forth.
Despite all of this, the judge, Tuttman, appointed by Mitt Romney, decided to let him go. She rejected the prosecutor appeal to keep him on 50,000 dollars bail. She reversed a lower court decision that he should, in fact, be held on bail of 50,000 dollars. And she even rejected the prosecutor‘s request that he be given some sort of an ankle bracelet so they could track him.
So she said, you‘re on probation. Just see your probation officer. Go get a job as welder. Move in with your sister. Everything will be fine. Off he went, moved to Washington state and then allegedly killed a young couple, a 28-year-old and 30-year-old by, as police say, shooting them three times in the face.
CARLSON: In your story, you quote Romney‘s then spokesman, the governor‘s office spokesman, as saying that Governor Romney is seeking to appoint judges who reflect the diversity of the community. In other words, using a pretty strict affirmative action standard for judicial appointments. Is that still his position, candidate Romney‘s position that affirmative action ought to be a key criterion in choosing judges?
MURDOCK: I have not heard him repeat that. I imagine, after this, he probably won‘t, if that‘s what he thinks. I think the issue should not be the race or the gender of a judicial nominee, but what the nominee‘s judicial temperament is, what the nominee‘s record is, in terms of past performance, perhaps as lawyer, as a prosecutor, as defense lawyer, if that is something of interest. It should not be on the basis of a person‘s skin tone or chromosomes.
I think Romney administration got so caught up in that they ended putting this judge on the bench and we‘ve had this disastrous decision with now two people dead and this vicious killer again allegedly going out and committing the same crimes over again.
CARLSON: What a tragedy. Deroy Murdock, great story, thanks a lot for joining us. I appreciate it.
The nation‘s long wait is over. Barbara Streisand on the record with her choice in the ‘08 presidential race. Hillary the big winner. Will they record a campaign trail duet? We hope so, of course. Celebrity endorsement correspondent Bill Wolff has the full scoop coming up.
CARLSON: Welcome back. To round out today‘s political coverage, we‘re joined now by our celebrity endorsement correspondent, who is also the vice president of MSNBC, Bill Wolff.
BILL WOLFF, MSNBC VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Tucker, for that kind introduction. We‘ll get to the politics. But first, if you haven‘t bought a cabin in the wilderness and stocked up on canned goods, bottled water, portable generators, now might be a good time to get going on that, because “Details Magazine” is out with its list of the 50 most influential men under 45 years old. And number seven is that guy, Kevin Federline.
Yes, K-Fed. He‘s tied for that spot with Anna Nicole Smith‘s baby daddy, Larry Birkhead. I repeat, most influential men under 45. The two are listed as good dads. Says Federline to the magazine, quote, to be a father is everything. It shows me how little I am, end quote.
Well, K-Fed the rest figured it out reading glossy magazines and watching cable TV.
CARLSON: Wait a second, Bill, didn‘t he leave some other chick who had couple of his children. But he just kind of left her to go to Britney Spears?
WOLFF: Well, that‘s one way of putting it. He made a life choice.
WOLFF: He had fathered a couple of other children by a lovely woman named of Char Jackson. When Britney came along, she became the apple of his eye, at least.
CARLSON: I thought being a father was everything.
WOLFF: It is. It makes him feel small. Anyway, he‘s influential. I feel influenced, Tucker. Now, before he was accused of criminally disgusting behavior and was rumored to be broke, despite amassing a 48 gazillion dollar fortune, Michael Jackson was the front man of one of the greatest acts in music history, “The Jackson Five.”
Now, according to eldest Jackson brother Jermaine, that group is planning a reunion tour, which could begin as soon as next year. Jermaine said that in an interview with the BBC, concluding, quote, we owe it to the fans and to the public, end quote.
Michael Jackson was about ten years old at the group‘s “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “I‘ll Be There” peak. So nothing could be more grotesque and potentially profitable than a “Jackson Five” reunion now that Michael, Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Jermaine have been ravaged by middle age. Who wants to see it? You know what I mean?
CARLSON: We owe it to the fans. In other words, we owe it to the mortgage company and Mastercard.
WOLFF: If they owe it to the fans, then are they doing the concerts for free?
CARLSON: No. I don‘t think they are. When Michael got rid of that purple hat, it was all downhill from there.
WOLFF: The sad thing about Michael Jackson—everything that‘s been written about him is probably true. He‘s a complete freak. And he obviously has issues. The plastic surgery indicates that. The guy was so great, so great at the age of about eight years old. Maybe no one was ever greater. Now, we‘re doing stories about him in this segment because he‘s a freak, Tucker.
CARLSON: You‘re saying the entertainment business might not be good for kids?
WOLFF: I wonder. It worked out for Opie and for Jodie Foster. Short of that, parents, don‘t let your kids grow up to be child stars, because it doesn‘t turn out well. See “Different Strokes” just to start.
Here‘s your red meat, blue state politics. I know you‘ve been waiting for it. At long last, Barbara Streisand has served up her long awaited presidential endorsement. In a surprise, the funny girl herself tabbed Republican Ron Paul for the nation‘s highest office. Miss Streisand has long been devoted to libertarian causes, the second amendment, and the elimination of the Department of Education. So Ron Paul.
Wait, Tucker, I‘m making it up. It‘s not true. She picked Hillary Clinton, duh. Something about being excited for the first woman president, that sort of thing. Babs is on board with Hillary Clinton. It‘s sure to make all the difference in the world. Your comments on Barbara Streisand‘s endorsement?
CARLSON: For me, she‘s like the north star. She‘s the reference point for me. I know who she‘s voting for; now I know who I‘m voting for.
WOLFF: Personally I‘m trying to marry James Brolin. Finally, here‘s an update to a story we first reported in this space yesterday. You will recall, Miss Puerto Rico, Ingrid Rivera, reportedly over came a saboteur‘s pepper spray in her evening gowns and make up to take home her crown. Well, the story does not end there. NBC News Kerry Sanders, a one-man I-team, reported this morning on “The Today Show” that Puerto Rican police are investigating the situation and wonder specifically how Miss Rivera was able to stop crying and compose herself on stage, despite being over-wrought and teary back stage.
Meredith Vieira asked Kerry Sanders if authority believed that Miss Puerto Rico made the whole thing up, and Sanders replied, they‘re curious. More on that, Tucker, tomorrow in the morning on “Today,” as Miss Puerto Rico appears on “The Today Show.” Tune in.
CARLSON: That‘s why people watch television.
WOLFF: That‘s why I watch it.
CARLSON: Excellent story. I‘m giving her the benefit of the doubt.
Bill Wolff from headquarters, thanks.
WOLFF: See you later.
CARLSON: That does it for us. Thank for watching. We‘ll be back here tomorrow. Hope you will be too. In the meantime, “HARDBALL” with Chris. Have a great night.
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