Guests: Lanny Davis, Bill Press, Peter Fenn, Bill Wolff, Pat Buchanan
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Bill Clinton certainly giveth to his wife‘s presidential campaign, but how much doth slick Willie taketh away?
Welcome to the show.
Bill Clinton told his Iowa audience Tuesday that a Hillary Clinton presidency would take America back to the future, back to the 1990 glory days of a boom economy, budget surpluses, and the solutions business of his administration. And then he went back to the future himself with some old-fashioned Bill Clinton bs‘ing.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Mr. Clinton‘s statement is accurate, if by “opposed” he meant supported. In May of 2003, Clinton said—this is a quote, by the way—“I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
And Clinton was also quoted in 2003 praising Mr. Bush‘s handling of that war. Back when it was popular.
The question is, just how sharp and dangerous is the less-than-honest side of the double-edged sword the Hillary Clinton campaign now wields?
Also today, fellow Republican and fellow Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch says that Mitt Romney ought to give a speech to quell concerns that a Mormon president would not serve all the people equally. As Hatch put it, “He needs to put that problem to bed.”
Is Orrin Hatch right? Is Romney‘s unaddressed Mormonism a problem?
And is Pat Buchanan right about America‘s day of reckoning? Our friend Pat has a new book out that argues America is coming apart at the seams and the ties that used to bind us no longer work. Pat will join us later in the hour to elaborate on that.
But we begin tonight with Bill Clinton, his difficulty telling the truth, the exact truth, and it‘s effect on Hillary Clinton‘s presidential campaign.
Joining me now is former White House special counsel to the president, President Clinton, Lanny Davis.
Lanny, thanks for coming on.
LANNY DAVIS, FMR. SPECIAL COUNSEL TO BILL CLINTON: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: How stupid does he think we are, Lanny?
DAVIS: How stupid do you think we are? You use the word “authorization” as if it means go to war. And you don‘t read what Bill Clinton said in March of ‘03, but you picked out a quote in May.
Why don‘t you use the one in March before we went in, when he said, I oppose—let‘s be complete here, Tucker. In March of ‘03, March 15, ‘03, he said, I oppose intervening and supported the U.N. resolution introduced by the U.K. saying we should not go to war now, we should let the weapons inspectors complete their program. That‘s a direct quote.
CARLSON: “I supported the president when he...”
DAVIS: Why didn‘t you put that up?
CARLSON: “I supported”—this is a verbatim quote. “I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
That was the vote on which his wife famously voted, yea, yes, to support, in effect, the invasion of Iraq. You‘re not going to tell me with a straight face having lived in Washington at that time that they didn‘t know what we all knew, which was that was a vote for war.
There‘s no lying about it now. We remember it very, very clearly.
You voted for that, it was a vote for war, period. He supported it.
DAVIS: You want to spin the word “authorizing.”
CARLSON: It‘s not spin. It‘s true.
DAVIS: You want to ignore to your audience the word “authorizing.”
CARLSON: Come on.
DAVIS: Is that word there?
CARLSON: Are you sincerely telling me...
DAVIS: Is that word there?
CARLSON: I don‘t know what you‘re talking about. I just read the quote.
DAVIS: The quote is authorizing...
CARLSON: “I support the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction on Iraq.”
DAVIS: Authority. So, we‘ll have respectful disagreement because I like you so much, Tucker.
CARLSON: I don‘t know what we‘re disagreeing on. OK. Then let me ask you—wait. Hold on. Slow down. Let me ask...
DAVIS: What we‘re disagreeing is there was no vote to intervene and rush to war, rather than, what did Bill Clinton...
CARLSON: You know what? This is a blizzard of B.S.
Let me just get right to the real question, which is, are you going to tell me...
DAVIS: You can name call...
CARLSON: It‘s not name calling.
DAVIS: You can name call—you said it‘s a blizzard of B.S.
CARLSON: I‘m not a name caller. I‘m just frustrated because...
DAVIS: You said B.S. That‘s...
CARLSON: I‘m not a Clinton hater. I don‘t hate him. I don‘t hate his wife. I give them credit when it‘s due.
But I know a lie when I see one. I lived here, I covered this, I know the subject very well.
And I know for a fact that Bill Clinton did not oppose this war at the beginning when it was popular. Are you telling me he did?
DAVIS: You want—I am telling that you we all did oppose a rush to war, and Hillary Clinton took the...
CARLSON: What does that mean?
DAVIS: It means that he ran into this war prematurely without giving diplomacy and Hans Blix time. That‘s what Clinton said in March of ‘04, that‘s what he said in May of ‘05. That‘s what he said on CNN, that‘s what Hillary said on the Senate. Because you don‘t like what they said and you want to say everybody knew that this meant war.
CARLSON: No, that is not true. Wait, hold on. Lanny, look, all I‘m saying is—I‘m not saying that Clinton‘s position on the war today is crazy. I‘m not attacking his wife‘s position.
I‘m just saying that there were some people here in Washington—they were former presidents, Jimmy Carter among them—who said—or Jimmy Carter specifically who spoke out loud and said this is a mistake. Some people said that. They took a lot of crap for saying it, but they said it.
Bill Clinton was not one of those. He supported this war by his words and actions and lack of them. He didn‘t say at any point, this is a mistake doing this. He didn‘t. He could have, he‘s done things like that in the past. He did not.
DAVIS: You just made a false statement you don‘t want me—do you want me to read the quote that he said in March 15th of ‘03 and say, no, he didn‘t mean it? Do you want to read the Senator Hillary Clinton floor statement where she said, and may I read it to you...
CARLSON: She voted for the war. I watched her do it.
DAVIS: Excuse me.
CARLSON: What are you talking about?
DAVIS: You can do any characterizing you want. I‘ll read the words and let the viewers decide.
DAVIS: She said, “A vote for the resolution is not a vote to rush to war. It is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our president.”
CARLSON: To rush to war. But that‘s just—that doesn‘t mean anything. A rush to—that‘s a Clintonian phrase.
It was a vote to invade Iraq. It was clear then, it‘s even clearer now. Everybody knew it going in.
DAVIS: You know what a Carlsonian phrase is? That you think...
CARLSON: Come on.
DAVIS: A Carlsonian phrase is that you say that authorizing war when we believed there were weapons of mass destruction meant rushing into war before letting the inspectors do their job.
CARLSON: I don‘t know what rushing, backing in, it meant going to war.
DAVIS: No, it did not.
CARLSON: You know, we can argue over the—OK. Look—OK.
CARLSON: You are in a tiny minority of people. Look, I‘m not going to win you over on this. Most people watching this who were awake and alive during those years know what I know, which is we knew what that vote was for. It was to authorize an invasion of Iraq.
A lot of people supported it. Very few didn‘t. And Clinton was not in the few who didn‘t.
Let me ask you this.
DAVIS: If Hans Blix were allowed to complete his work, you speak for a sliver of a minority of people who believe...
CARLSON: OK. All right.
DAVIS: ... that that vote allowed George Bush to rush into war without letting Blix finish. And the U.N. resolution do its job.
CARLSON: They were—OK.
DAVIS: And that‘s—the vast majority of the American people agree with that statement.
Here is a guy who is rewriting history, Bill Clinton, but, you know, I‘m powerless to do anything about it.
Let me ask you what you said—what he said mere moments ago and ask you what you think of this.
“Even though I approved Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent I was not asked for or given the opportunity to support those soldiers.”
Now, he‘s mad that he got tax cuts, he said. Tell me how much money Bill Clinton has given personally—he‘s an extremely rich man, taken a lot of money from foreign governments, some of whom hate us. He‘s become a multi-millionaire giving these overpriced speeches.
How much of that has he given to “our troops?” He‘s free to do that. Has he given any? I don‘t think he has. How dare he say something like that.
DAVIS: I don‘t know how much he‘s given and how you get affronted when he says we all should be...
CARLSON: Because he‘s complaining about it. He‘s saying...
DAVIS: Hey, Tucker, you‘re not the kind of a host that talks over people. And this is the first time you‘ve been doing that.
CARLSON: But it‘s a simple question.
DAVIS: So then let me give you my answer. If you disagree with it, I‘ll respect your answer. Let me finish my answer.
CARLSON: OK. What‘s the answer?
DAVIS: He believes that and I believe that people should be paying out of current taxes for this war instead of President Bush not asking the American people through a surtax which Lyndon Johnson asked to pay out of current dollars rather than out of a credit card so our children have to pay.
DAVIS: Now, whether he‘s contributing donations to troops overseas, I do not know.
CARLSON: No, but he said...
DAVIS: ... but I certainly think we should be paying for the war.
CARLSON: If he thinks that the war is too expensive, I agree with him. I think this war was a mistake. I thought that long before he said it, by the way.
I attacked this war long before Bill Clinton and his wife, neocons both, attacked this war. So I won‘t take a backseat to them. I will say, however, I resent—it‘s true. You can look it up. That‘s true.
DAVIS: What‘s a neocon, Tucker?
CARLSON: Bottom line, I resent not being able to give money to the troops. He‘s free to do that.
DAVIS: Tucker, do you agree...
CARLSON: Do you agree with me that he should if he wants to?
DAVIS: Do you agree with me that we should be paying for this war out of current dollars and not borrowing and paying with a credit card?
CARLSON: Yes, I do. And the Democrats had opportunity to do that, and they said no.
DAVIS: Then ask for a tax increase. Ask President Bush to say, I want the American people to pay for this war because I believe in it.
CARLSON: As you know, there was legislation pending in the Congress to fund this war through new taxes, and the Democratic leadership said, no, we‘re not voting on that. I thought they show should have voted on it. I thought it was a fine idea.
You want a war? Pay for it. And yet Nancy Pelosi didn‘t want that to come up for a vote, so it didn‘t.
That‘s the truth.
DAVIS: Well, I happen to think it should have come up for a vote.
CARLSON: Yes, well, it shows you—it shows you who‘s a coward here.
DAVIS: Did you say during—did you say—I never heard you say...
CARLSON: I certainly did.
DAVIS: I‘d be amazed if you did, that George Bush, you should be raising taxes to pay for this war?
CARLSON: No, no. I‘m saying—my point was, it‘s not a bad idea to actually fund the war. This war is too expensive, I‘ve said that for years. And I‘m saying it now.
DAVIS: With higher taxes.
CARLSON: All right.
Lanny Davis, thank you. I haven‘t convinced you, but I appreciate your game attempt at defending what I think is incredible.
DAVIS: What‘s a neocon?
CARLSON: Thanks. I‘ll tell you at lunch.
Bill Clinton may impress crowds of Democrats during the primary season, but will he be a major liability if his wife makes it to the general election? It‘s starting to look that way.
Plus, there‘s a report out today that Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for security expenses during the time he was apparently having an affair with his now wife. He regularly asks voters to forgive his mistake. Can they forgive this one?
You‘re watching MSNBC.
CARLSON: Maybe it‘s a habit, maybe he‘s compulsive and can‘t control himself, but certainly Bill Clinton is familiar with videotape archives. So he must know that when he makes a claim about his stance on the Iraq war, we will go back and check it against what he said before the war started.
So why would he go out of his way to say he was against the war from the beginning when the rest of us know not only that that‘s untrue, but provably untrue.
Well, joining us now with their guesses, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn.
Bill, I watch this and I think, you know what? Hillary Clinton‘s not the problem. I kind of like Hillary Clinton. It‘s her husband.
You watch this and you think, you know, Bill Clinton, for all his good points, is so infuriating in his compulsive desire to self-justify, we can‘t handle another eight years of that. We cannot elect Hillary because we‘re going to have to listen to that.
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, you know I‘m a Big bill Clinton fan, but I must say, I think this gives new meaning to the phrase “I was for it before I was against it, before I was against it, before I was for it.” Or I‘m not sure—I‘m not sure where you go with this phrase.
Look, I remember during that time you were doing “Crossfire,” I was doing “Buchanan and Press” on this news channel, right? And we were looking for anybody with any authority to speak out against this war.
Jimmy Carter did, Al Gore did.
PRESS: I do not remember Bill Clinton speaking out against this war. Maybe he did have some private reservations. He was not—he was not one of the opponents of this war.
CARLSON: That‘s exactly right. I remember really well.
PRESS: And so you can‘t reinvent history that way.
CARLSON: I remember getting back from Iraq four years ago and thinking, boy, this was a huge mistake, this war, a tragic mistake. And watching Hillary Clinton at the same time get on television and talk about how great things were in Iraq and it was morally justified. I‘m thinking, boy, if I‘m to the left of Hillary Clinton on a war, the world has turned upside down.
I‘ll never forget that feeling. And they can‘t convince me that they didn‘t have that position, because they did.
PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The one thing that maybe you think off subject, but George Bush spoke out against the kind of war that his son put forth, but did he speak out when it was happening? No. He put it in his book, and he put it in his answers to the questions from the military.
But, you know, the one thing I will defend Bill Clinton on this is that, clearly, there was another option, which was not to go in then, but to let the Hans Blix crowd do their weapons inspection and let—and give it more time to find out whether in fact there were weapons of mass destruction or there weren‘t. And—but you are absolutely correct that because his wife is in the Senate, because he‘s a recent president, because he dealt with the region recently, you know, he didn‘t say anything. And now to come out and say, I was against it, it‘s a tough, tough sell, no question.
CARLSON: Well, it‘s because the war—we forget, but the war was incredibly popular. That‘s why you had so much trouble—so much trouble booking guests who were against it.
Here is the most interesting, I think, sentence in the AP story by Ron Fournier about Clinton‘s speech on this question. This just tells you everything about everything.
“In the next 10 minutes, Bill Clinton used the word ‘I‘ in this speech a total of 94 times and mentioned ‘Hillary‘ just seven times in an address that was as much about his legacy as it was about his wife‘s candidacy.”
That‘s the smartest thing that‘s ever been written so far about this campaign, as much about his legacy as it was about his wife‘s candidacy. They‘re really the same thing.
PRESS: If it becomes that, then Bill Clinton becomes a liability to his wife‘s campaign, I must say. And I‘ve sat here, you know, how many weeks...
PRESS: ... and told you that I think he is a huge asset to her campaign. But it‘s got to be about her, about her positions, about where she‘s going to take the country, and not about reinventing the Bill Clinton presidency.
CARLSON: But if you watch Bill Clinton give a speech, he never talks about anything else other than, I was a great president.
FENN: Look, there is no question that—would people rather have the eight years of Bill Clinton and what happened to the country to this past eight years?
FENN: Absolutely, they would.
FENN: But that ain‘t what they‘re voting on. You‘re absolutely right, Bill. I mean, if this becomes, stand by your woman, you know, in that kind of way, which means stand by me, that won‘t work. And his strength I think is to go into those small towns and talk about why Hillary would be a great president and what she would do as president.
CARLSON: But don‘t you agree that...
FENN: But don‘t do the “I, I, I” all the time.
PRESS: And so far, he‘s been doing that.
FENN: That is true. That is true.
PRESS: For the most part. He‘s been doing that, he‘s been on script, he‘s been on target, he‘s been great, I think. But this—this is...
CARLSON: But people don‘t change.
PRESS: ... a problem, I believe.
CARLSON: And Bill Clinton—and I must say, I think Bill Clinton is a good speaker and wonderful with people, with individuals. He‘s remarkable. There‘s no one better.
But this is the motif of every Clinton speech: My presidency was a success. People said it wasn‘t, but it was. I was a great president. Every speech, the text, not just the subtext, the text of the speech is that message.
I don‘t think that‘s attractive. I don‘t think people like bragging. I don‘t think they like rewriting of history. I think they find it unattractive, weird and solipsistic.
FENN: No, wait, wait, wait.
CARLSON: She should leave him, honestly. That‘s her best shot of getting elected.
FENN: I‘ll tell you—I‘ll disagree with you a little bit here.
Those hard-core Democrats who are going to go attend caucuses in Iowa, and those hard-core Democrats in New Hampshire believe that. I mean, they think that this president and this vice president have so ruined this country that they want...
CARLSON: Yes. I agree.
FENN: ... they want back. You know?
CARLSON: Well, that‘s why she‘s—that may be why she is winning. I agree with you, that may be why she is winning so far in these contests in the primary season. But when you get into a general election, I think Bill Clinton is—and I know no one agrees with me—he‘s a huge problem for her. That‘s going to annoy the hell out of people if he talks like that.
PRESS: Look, it just seems to me this is unnecessary. He‘s already most popular politician on the planet and in the country. You‘re right, people yearn for the Clinton days.
He doesn‘t have to use this time to redeem himself. He‘s already been redeemed, I think, in the eyes of Democrats.
Now talk about why Hillary‘s the best, where she‘s going to take the country, why I‘m supporting it. That ought to be his message.
CARLSON: He can‘t. He can‘t. He can‘t control himself.
I mean, not that I can. I‘m not Mr. Self-Control either. I‘m serious. I‘m not casting stones, I‘m just saying, this is guy with limited self-control and a desperate need to prove himself.
FENN: We now have clip from Tucker, “I really like Hillary Clinton.”
I think we‘re going to use that in our ad.
CARLSON: I mean, you know what? She‘s a lot less annoying than her husband. I was just reminded of that. I‘m so glad.
We‘ve got to take a quick break. We‘ll be right back.
Polls show voters have a problem with Mormonism, some of them do, anyway, or think they do. And yet, so far, Mitt Romney has decided not to talk much about his religion in public. But that could soon change and we‘ll tell you why.
Plus, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both want the support of black voters, but only one is winning. Which one could that be?
We‘ll tell you after the break.
CARLSON: Mitt Romney is a father, husband, businessman, Republican, former governor, presidential candidate, and a Mormon. But it‘s the last one that may be causing him problems.
Surveys show many voters are uncomfortable with what they think they know about Mormonism. So far, Romney has not addressed these concerns directly in a speech about the role of his faith in public life, but Orrin Hatch, a Republican and also a Mormon, advises that Romney ought to give that speech to allay the public‘s concern.
Is Orrin Hatch right? And will Mitt Romney listen to him?
Joining us once again, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn.
Peter, here‘s what Christopher Hitchens, who‘s just got a new book out on how religion is bad, has a piece on Slate on this very question. And I want to read you a part of this. It‘s provocative.
“If candidates can be asked to declare their preference between boxers and briefs, then we already have a precedent, and Romney can be asked whether, as a true believer should, he wears Mormon underwear. What‘s un-American about that? The bottom line is that Romney should expect to be asked these very important questions, and we should expect him not to obfuscate and whine anymore but to give clear and unambiguous answers to them.”
Let me just say, I have very ambiguous feelings about this. I really don‘t know what I think. I think it‘s sort of—ought to be out of bounds to bother a man about his religion. On the other hand, why not?
I don‘t know. What do you think?
FENN: I think this is so interesting, because when his father ran for president, of course there was no talk of his Mormon religion. When Mo Udall was a candidate for president of the Untied States in 1976, no one brought that up at all.
FENN: Folks don‘t bring it up in statewide elections. But I‘ll tell you, a couple of things have happened.
One, we‘ve had polygamist going to jail out in Utah.
FENN: We have had a very popular HBO show called “Big Love,” which is kind of funny, actually, but brings up the whole polygamy issue. And there‘s a mystery now.
You know, what is Mormon underwear? People don‘t even know. I mean, I worked for a senator from Idaho. I know what Mormon underwear is. There is such a thing.
If I were—I‘ll tell you, if I were Romney, I would, A, give a speech about this, about his faith and about—about that he doesn‘t answer to the Council of the Twelve, he answers to the American people, just like John Kennedy did in Houston in 1960. But I‘d do one thing different. I would answer every question that was out there.
I‘d open it up, anything that was out there I‘d answer it, and I‘d deal with it that way, and I‘d do it soon. Because I‘ll tell you, I think it is hurting him in Iowa. It‘s definitely—you look at those numbers of evangelicals going to Huckabee, you look at the—the national poll, it says 35 percent of the people have real serious doubts.
CARLSON: No, that‘s right. But why not—OK. So, but, when you get right down to it, Mitt Romney is doing pretty well in the polls, but he‘s basically unemployed. He‘s running for president and he‘s not in charge of anything. He doesn‘t control anything.
CARLSON: I‘m not attacking him. It‘s just true.
Harry Reid is the majority leader of the United States Senate, the single-most exclusive governing body in the world. He is also a Mormon.
I can‘t remember anybody debating whether we ought to ask him about whether he wears Mormon underwear or about the racist past of the Mormon Church or any other embarrassing question about his religion. And I wonder why that is.
PRESS: But I do remember discussing with you whether or not we should ask Orrin Hatch whether he wears the temple underwear.
CARLSON: And I believe we chickened out.
PRESS: We did. We did.
CARLSON: And that‘s when I reached my conclusion that, you know what? It‘s too uncomfortable, I‘m willing to let the mystery stand. But why don‘t we ask Harry Reid about that?
PRESS: But here‘s what‘s going on, Tucker. It seems to me you‘ve got to separate the theory from the reality.
The theory is that one‘s religion should not be a reason for voting for or person or against a person, and we shouldn‘t be talking about it.
PRESS: That‘s why we‘re uncomfortable. But the reality is, it is an issue for a lot of people. It was for John F. Kennedy—where does his loyalty lie?
The question—the question is out there. It‘s the, you know, 800-pound elephant in the room for Mitt Romney. He can no longer continue to ignore it.
I believe, as Peter says, Mike Huckabee is playing the religion card.
He‘s playing the evangelical card. His
ad starts by identifying himself as a Christian leader. You know what that is a signal? That‘s signal, go for the real Christian, don‘t go for the Mormon. So they‘re use it against Romney. Romney is dumb as hell if he doesn‘t come out give that speech and say, here is who I am...
CARLSON: Do you really think he‘s going to—I mean, look...
PRESS: ... here‘s what it‘s all about.
CARLSON: ... evangelicals have serious, unchanging theological problems with Mormonism. They think “The Book of Mormon” is made up by a convicted forger, or whatever. They don‘t buy it at all.
Do you think that‘s going to change their minds?
FENN: No, I don‘t. But I think—look, there are things in the bible that a lot of people don‘t buy, there are things in “The Book of Mormon” that the people in Missouri aren‘t going to do the Armageddon. It ain‘t happening.
But this is—this is why somebody like Romney needs to answer these questions. And right now, because he is in trouble with his base.
PRESS: And to bring it back to the Constitution and to the faith and to what America is all about, that‘s what he‘s got to do.
CARLSON: He could probably turn it to his—maybe.
FENN: He could turn it to his advantage.
CARLSON: We‘ll see.
Did Rudy Giuliani used tax dollars to help finance trips to see his then mistress during his final years as mayor of New York City? A new report suggests he did indeed.
We‘ll have details.
Plus, Barbra Streisand explains why she‘s endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. We will hang on her every word, as always.
This is MSNBC.
CARLSON: It is good to be king, unless you got elect to the throne and have to account for your regal spending habits. The “Politico” reported this afternoon that Rudy Giuliani, while he was mayor of New York, spent thousands upon thousands of tax dollars for his NYPD security detail during visits to the Hamptons, a toy beach side enclave on Long Island two hours outside Giuliani‘s jurisdiction. The money for security on 11 different trips, spanning 1999 to 2001, was billed to obscure New York City agencies, like the Office For People with Disabilities.
The timing of those trips appear to coincide with the start of Giuliani‘s then extra marital affair with his current wife, Judith, who happened to have apartment in South Hampton. What to make of all of this? For perspective, we turn to two men who have never done any such thing, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press, and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. Bill, this is—
PRESS: Why are you starting with me?
CARLSON: It‘s a squeamish subject after squeamish subject. It seems to me you don‘t even have to be outraged over the extra marital nature of this, though I think it‘s fair to be outraged about that too. The guy did have a wife who was in campaign commercials for him. But charging city agencies for your security—it‘s one of those small things that destroys political careers.
PRESS: I think the message here is very clear. If you‘re going to mess around, mess around on your own dime. Don‘t charge it to tax payers. I think anybody can understand that. I don‘t see how anybody can defend it. If this is true, and “Politico” is a damn good source and they did some really excellent reporting on this. They got the numbers. They got it through the Freedom of Information Act.
Bloomberg was outraged about it, Mayor Bloomberg, when he saw this. He asked for an investigation. It turns out it‘s Rudy on his free time with Judith Nathan. Let me tell you something, Tucker, I believe Rudy Giuliani is a ticking time bomb. I still can‘t believe that Republicans are going to nominate him. If he does, I think he‘s the best thing Democrats could hope for.
CARLSON: Can I just say one thing to be completely clear, I believe that former mayor, now candidate, Giuliani will come back and say, I did go to the Hamptons. It‘s provable. I needed to take my security detail with me. I think those security details are inflated and ridiculous and a Praetorian guard and I‘m against them. However, everyone else seems to be more them. That‘s fine.
What is I think really suspicious and troubling about this, the cost for those details was charged to things like, the Loft Board and these relatively obscure agencies in New York City, clearly as a way to hide the fact they existed.
FENN: Absolutely. And 10,054 for the Office of Disabilities? This is coming out of people who—I just can‘t believe that he can withstand the criticism of this. And the other thing, it‘s over several years. It‘s not just a couple of times. It‘s over several years. It‘s hundreds of thousands of dollars. I guess she must have been real hard to get.
But also to go to the Hamptons; we have to go to the Hamptons this weekend, dear. Let‘s take our security detail and the limousines with us. Cut it out.
PRESS: You know, he should have used Bernie Kerik‘s love nest down at Ground Zero. That would have been cheaper.
FENN: That the Mafia was paying for.
CARLSON: It would violate my official policy of non-judgment to weigh in on that, so I won‘t. But I do think this is a problem. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Giuliani responds to it. Speaking of a happier story, interesting poll—in fact we can put it up right up on the screen here. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies asked black voters what‘s your impression of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton favorable 83, Barack Obama favorable 74, John Edwards 45.
Why this is such a heartening poll, as far as I‘m concerned, Barack Obama is the black candidate, of course, not leading among black voters, which tells you something really great, I think, about American society. People are not supporting the guy who looks like them just because he looks like them. If this is not a measure of racial progress, I‘m not sure what is. I‘m not a Hillary supporter.
FENN: A couple of factors here. Obviously, the Clintons are extraordinarily popular with African American voters. They always have been. The line, which we have repeated many times on this show, which is, Bill Clinton was the first black president. In their minds, he was.
CARLSON: I don‘t know what that means.
FENN: It just means he understood them, he worked hard for them.
There was no more popular president for African Americans.
CARLSON: That‘s true.
FENN: That‘s transferable. The other thing is as the campaign gets going, I am sure that Obama will increase his voters.
CARLSON: What‘s interesting though is black voters are one of the most if not the single most liberal voting demographic in the country, just on the issues. Yet they support the—black voters support these Democratic candidates in reverse order. John Edwards by far the most liberal, the Hugo Chavez of the Democrat party, gets only 45 percent favorable. Barack Obama 74, the next most liberal. Hillary Clinton, the most conservative, gets the highest.
How strange. People are not voting issues.
PRESS: I agree with Peter. It is because of Bill Clinton. But, Tucker, if it‘s good news for America—which I agree with that—it‘s not good thus for Barack Obama. He cannot even split this vote with Hillary Clinton. He has to win this vote. I remember last week, when I was here, Marion Barry was on the show. I thought Marion Barry said something I never thought of before, is that what kind of bothers him is that Barack Obama is not speaking to black voters. He‘s not dealing on those issues. I think that‘s partly reflected in this poll.
CARLSON: He can‘t. The second Barack Obama seems like an exclusively black candidate, the second he seems like Jesse Jackson—he‘s obviously much smarter—
FENN: He does just the opposite. He goes to black audiences and he talks about strength of family, reading to your kids, making sure that you‘re there and having meetings with the teachers, which I think is very admirable and he‘s not pandering.
CARLSON: He has not, however, gotten the support of Barbara Streisand. That support goes to Hillary Clinton. Speaking of endorsements that may matter, I just want to read to you—this is from an e-mail I received today from the Clinton campaign. It‘s from Barbara Streisand and it explains why she‘s endorsing Hillary, as if you care. I‘m quoting, “I‘m not endorsing Hillary just because she‘s a woman. Although I‘m proud to help her make history. I‘m supporting her because she‘s the most experienced candidate and will give us the leadership we need to move our country forward again.”
That is obviously banal and trite, just as she is. Here is my question, why would the Hillary Clinton campaign think it‘s a good idea to send out an e-mail from Barbara Streisand? Why not Jane Fonda? It‘s like a parody.
PRESS: Let me tell you something, you‘re underestimating the appeal of Barbara Streisand. She‘s hugely popular. She sells out concerts all over the world. She is the most political of all the celebrities today and the most effective. She‘s raised a hell of lot more money for Democrats over the years than Oprah Winfrey ever has.
CARLSON: Has she raised as much as Michael Jackson, who was a leading Democratic fund raiser, as you know, before he got—
PRESS: She‘s raised a lot more.
CARLSON: More than Michael Jackson for Democrats? That‘s huge!
PRESS: She is a power house.
CARLSON: It‘s true.
PRESS: I think her endorsement is very important for Hillary.
FENN: And you know something, the white hairs, the gray hairs like us, you know, they remember her from “Funny Girl.” Come on, they love her. She‘ll do fine for her, Tucker.
CARLSON: I just think, Michelle—
PRESS: She is Hillary‘s Oprah.
CARLSON: I just think it‘s embarrassing. Every time I say this, people look at me across the table like, how can you make fun of Barbara Streisand? Didn‘t you see “Funny Girl?” She‘s tremendous. I feel I‘m the only person who finds Barbara Streisand a figure of amusement. But I guess I am.
Michelle Obama is out, put out by the campaign, the idea being she‘s an appealing figure, will win voters over to her husband. I think he‘s very appealing. I disagree with that. I don‘t think she‘s appealing particularly. But here is an interesting quote from her from a recent profile of her. She said, “the selfish part of me says, of the campaign, run away, just say no, because my life would be better. But that‘s problem we face as a society. We have to stop making the me decision. WE have to make the we and us decision.”
That‘s from a “Washington Post” profile of her. Is it really such a selfless act to run for president? I want to be the most powerful person in the world. But I‘m doing it really for you. It‘s the we decision.
FENN: I have to admit, I think that sounds a little saccharine. I think what she really was trying to say, if I were interpret it, is look, you give up a lot of your personal life. We have two young kids. This is not easy. They will be in a fish bowl. I like my life. I‘m a successful person. My husband is a successful senator.
And, you know, it‘s going to change our lives. But the I-we stuff, you know, look, I mean—it‘s an awfully exciting thing to run for president of the United States.
CARLSON: When are we going to get to the free to be you and me of this campaign? When does Marlo Thomas come out and lead us in a free --
PRESS: We‘ll be back to Earth tones.
CARLSON: We‘ve already got Barbara Streisand. This is retro-campaign season.
PRESS: Don‘t cry for me Argentina, Come on Michelle Obama. She was part of the decision to run. Good for her. But don‘t expect sympathy on our part because her husband is running for president.
CARLSON: Bill Press, Peter Fenn, thank you both very much.
FENN: Thanks, Tucker.
PRESS: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: In the words of Pat Buchanan, America is in a crisis from which the nation may not survive. Why this dire prediction? We will ask the man himself. Pat Buchanan joins us. No visit from Pat is complete unless it is followed, of course, with a Britney Spears update. Is the former pop tart with child again? Celebrity pregnancy correspondent Bill Wolff knows and will tell. Needless to say, this is MSNBC.
CARLSON: Is America coming apart at the seems? Can it survive? Possibly not, according to Pat Buchanan‘s new book, “Day of Reckoning, How Hubris, Ideology and Greed Are Tearing America Apart.” Buchanan writes that the country is decomposing and on a path to national suicide, thanks in part to our broken military, the sinking dollar, illegal immigration, among other things. In short, he sees dark days ahead for America.
Joining me now is the author himself, MSNBC political analyst and all around smart guy, Pat Buchanan. Pat, welcome.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you very much, Tucker.
CARLSON: When you say ideology, I think of you as an ideologue. I mean that as a compliment, as someone who is driven by his ideas. How is ideology hurting our country?
BUCHANAN: Well, ideology is—when we talk about each other, we‘re talking about conservative ideologues. That‘s a misuse of the term. I understand what you mean. But true ideology, Tucker, is substitute religion. It is quasi religion. Many people who do not believe in religions adopt ideologies. The one that I argue that George Bush has adopted that‘s been so fatal to his presidency is the ideology of democratism, the belief that the whole world is going to be Democratic, and if it does not become America cannot be secure; that we got to use all our power and wealth and force to change the world to convert to democracy, or otherwise America is insecure.
It is Wilsonism on steroids. That‘s the ideology I‘m referring to. A politics of principle, as conservatism is, is not ideology. Conservatives are realists. We don‘t know exactly what the future is going to be. We know exactly what we‘re going to fight for and why. But ideologies tell the true believers, this will happen if we‘re only true to the faith, marxism, socialism, frankly, neo-conservatism, democratism are all ideologies.
CARLSON: Interesting. Pat, it‘s always such a blessing to have you on, because you say things like that that I didn‘t know. Why are you not more hopeful though? America is a pretty resilient country and has had crisis before and weathered them. Why are we at a place now where we‘re in peril?
BUCHANAN: You used a very good term, resiliency, recuperative powers; no other country in the world has the kind of recuperative powers we do.
We have enormous latent strengths. My concern, Tucker, is this—it‘s not
simply the—it‘s the inability of the political class to control the
borders and do the things that are necessary that a great leader would do
to preserve this country. And the real fear I‘ve got is after the mass
immigration, you‘re going to have 167 million more people here by 2060. At
the same time, your culture has not only collapsed, it‘s disintegrated,
We‘re in a cultural war. You get ethnic, racial entitlements, all these differences and angers and animosities. It seems to me we‘re becoming what Teddy Roosevelt warned against, a tangle of squabbling nationalities. And that‘s the real danger, that we will never again be the one nation, one people we were when I grew up, and for most of the time when you grew up.
CARLSON: So, why would people—why would that necessarily happen? Just explain, if you would, the psychology of it. I come here as an immigrant. I risk a lot to get here. I work hard once I‘m here. Why wouldn‘t—why would I want to be at war with the nation I‘ve risked so much to join?
BUCHANAN: That‘s the—the immigrants who came from 1890 to 1920, not nearly as large as now, they came to become Americans. They crossed an ocean. They weren‘t going back. They were going to raise their kids to be Americans. The folks coming here now, especially enormous number of Hispanics, they‘re coming here to work. They‘re proud Mexicans. They want to keep their language. They want to keep their culture, their history, their music, their own TV, their own radios.
And they got a contiguous nation, a nation believes we stole the American Southwest from them, 58 percent of whose people believe our Southwest belongs to them. And these folks are not assimilating. More than that, Tucker, the melting pot has been repudiated by American‘s elite. They say it‘s cultural genocide to force these kids to learn English. You can‘t do that. They should keep their own culture.
Every multi-cultural, multi-national, multi-racial country or society on Earth is in danger of Balcanizing and breaking apart. This is my fear; the things that hold a country together and a nation together and make it one, and make Americans a new people, those things are breaking down. The centrifugal forces are become predominant over the centripetal forces.
CARLSON: Pat, if you can just quickly give me a sense of when you think this deep strain of masochism you describe in American culture began. When did the people who run the country decide the country wasn‘t worth preserving.
BUCHANAN: I think the roots of it probably go way back before the 1960s, Tucker. There‘s no doubt about it. There‘s always been, as Orwell said, you know, the English have—the only country in the world the elites hate their own country. I think there was some of that in this country. But when it really percolated up was in the 1960s, the whole culture war, social, moral, all across the board, where one side said America is a rotten, awful country. The other said this is the greatest country on Earth; it‘s providential, god‘s country. Made mistake, yes, but we‘re blessed here.
There‘s—an enormous division broke out there on all manner of issues, history, heroes, holidays. That‘s the source of a general culture war. Since then, frankly, the winners in the culture war have been the other side. We prevailed politically, conservatives did from Nixon in ‘68 all the way through Reagan. And Bush is an aftermath to that. But I think culturally—and culture dictates politics—the other side is prevailing.
CARLSON: Pat Buchanan, the smartest person on this channel, that‘s for sure. Thanks, Pat, author of “Day of Reckoning.” I appreciate it.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: It‘s been several minutes since we first asked if Britney Spears is pregnant again. Has that situation changed in the meantime? Our man on the story knows and explains it next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. At a red light on my way to the office today, somebody knocked on my window and asked the question all America is asking, is Britney Spears pregnant? I had no idea. We‘re about to find out now. Bill Wolff joins us with that news. Bill?
BILL WOLFF, MSNBC VICE PRESIDENT: Rest easy, America. If you smelled smoke around the office today, it‘s because the Internet was on fire with rumors that the tire fire herself, Britney Spears, was knocked up again. “In Touch Magazine,” which is rarely wrong, ran that story on its cover, claiming that the ex-Mrs. Federline had been inseminated by music producer J.R. Rodom (ph), who‘s official other title is, some guy.
However, according to the website PerezHilton.com, one I frequent frequently, Britney‘s closest hanger on Sam Lufdi (ph) sent a message to Ryan Seacrest‘s radio show this morning, saying that the story is, quote, fake, completely fake, end quote.
Sources told MSNBC News services—I am not making this up—that Britney could not be pregnant because she had liposuction surgery just two weeks ago. She wouldn‘t have been allowed to have the fat sucked out of her if she were knocked up again. Plus, an irresponsible pregnancy with some random music producer she barely knows just doesn‘t seem like Britney, Tucker.
CARLSON: Everything about that story blows my mind. It‘s like this whole parallel universe, sites I‘m only vaguely aware of. Perez Hilton?
WOLFF: It‘s the second best. There‘s one that is better called DListed.com. I highly recommend it. Though it‘s not safe for work. You know what I‘m saying? Plus, it all happened on the Ryan Seacrest radio show.
CARLSON: So great.
WOLFF: She‘s a tire fire. She keeps burning and smells kind of funny. Tucker, you sir have been spared the snide and snarky remarks of American “Dancing With the Stars” obsessed. That‘s because Marie Osmond has taken that presumably unwanted spotlight away from you by losing the finals of DWTS in dramatic and disturbing fashion, as you can see on your monitor there. On Monday night‘s dance-off, Miss Osmond chose for her freestyle performance to dress up and make up her face like a doll.
She had her dance partner use a big handle to wind her up and then she embarrassed herself to an unprecedented degree on a show designed for self humiliation. In the words of Judge Bruno, her performance defied criticism. Turns out Marie Osmond is a super freak for dolls. She‘s got a website about it. And now she wears the scarlet DWTS, congratulations on your regained freedom, Tucker Carlson.
CARLSON: I‘m tempted to say snarky things about her. I‘ll be the only person in America with empathy. I look at her I say, you know, honey, I‘ve been there. I judge you not.
WOLFF: There but for the grace of god would you have gone.
WOLFF: You had a little doll outfit ready to go. If only you had made it to week two, we‘d have seen it.
CARLSON: I was so excited.
WOLFF: Maybe next time. Maybe they will call you back for a repeat performance. May I ask—we don‘t discuss “Dancing With the Stars,” you and I. Do you watch the program, have you watched it since you were on it, may I ask?
CARLSON: Oh, yes. I know the producers of it. They‘re great people, actually some of the nicest people I ever met in television, not that that‘s saying much. But they are great people. I like the show. I haven‘t seen her too much. I have—for the record, I know someone who knows her very well and says she‘s a solid, nice person.
WOLFF: I absolutely believe all of that. I‘ll give you a little inside scoop, one of the bookers on “Dancing With the Stars,” also a booker on Bill Maher‘s show on HBO. That is high brow.
Finally, Tucker, a warning to our fitness conscious viewers, please, do not try to imitate what you are about to see as part of your daily regimen, no matter what you think it will do for your gluts or your abs or your lats or whichever muscles you‘re trying develop. To the Internet we go, courtesy of LiveLeek.com and Berkeley Wilson of NBC News. Just doing a little work out, getting the gluts ready to go.
Oh, Jesus, I‘m stuck! Then somebody come and—see what you‘re doing here is you‘re extending—but then you‘re stuck. Then the guy drops the pad. You‘re going to be OK. It‘s going to be fine. Tighten up—see, feel the burn. Here is where the burn really starts to—who, right there. That is brutal. Just some embarrassing video for you, Tucker. Right? Come on.
CARLSON: Is there some database to which you alone have access of horrifying video?
WOLFF: I received that via e-mail from an actual news gathering person here at MSNBC News.
CARLSON: Unbelievable. We‘re doing our job.
CARLSON: Bill Wolff, the vice president of this news gathering operation. Thanks, Bill.
WOLFF: You got it.
CARLSON: That does it for us, thanks for watching. We‘ll be back here tomorrow night. Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris. Have a great night.
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