O’Reilly Interviews Harry Alford After Confrontation with Barbara Boxer

On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC’s Bill O’Reilly gave attention to the recent dustup between Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer and National Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry Alford, as O’Reilly hosted Alford to discuss Boxer’s recent attempt to use other black organizations to discredit Alford’s opposition to Cap and Trade during a Senate hearing. While Boxer declined to appear on the show, O’Reilly defended her in his discussion with Alford, arguing that her attacks on black political figures like Justice Clarence Thomas are rooted more in her opposition to their conservative views than by race, while Alford renewed his criticisms of Boxer. Alford:

It was pure race. It was like down there in Mississippi back in the bad old days when one black preacher would rise up against the big boss. He'd go find another black preacher to fight against that black preacher. You know, it was ugly. And she jumped, she opened up a mud pit that I wasn't going to jump into.

He continued:

I think it's her persona. I don't think she can help herself. When she gets caught up in a rut like that or up against the wall, race comes out. You know, she's the brainchild of Anita Hill attacking Clarence Thomas was Barbara Boxer. You go back to Election 2004 and all of that garbage against Ken Blackwell, the secretary of state of Ohio, saying he rigged the election, that was Barbara Boxer.

O’Reilly, while seeming to mock Boxer somewhat in amusement as he pretended to quote her, argued that her actions were not racist:

Okay, but she would say, Mr. Alford, "I love black people. I love black people. I want the best for, I'm a liberal. I want the best for black people." Now, the two people that you mentioned – Judge Thomas and Mr. Blackwell – are conservatives. Now, she will attack conservatives using any and all methods, as many liberals will do. But if you've got Barbara Boxer, she would say, "I love black people, I will vote for everything that will help them. Affirmative action and down the line." So I think, I don't think she feels that it's a racial argument, it's an ideological argument. If you oppose her views, then we'll come get you. But it doesn't have anything to do with race.

Below is a complete transcript of the segment with Harry Alford from the Monday, July 20, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:

BILL O’REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight. The head of the Black Chamber of Commerce, Harry Alford, was testifying before a Senate hearing about the economics of President Obama's clean energy policy – Cap and Trade, things like that. Mr. Alford is opposed to the climate bill, saying it would reduce earnings for the American worker. When Senator Barbara Boxer, who supports the bill, presented endorsements by other African-American groups, Mr. Alford took serious offense.

SENATOR BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): We'll quote John Grant, who is the CEO of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, quote, "Clean energy is the key that will unlock millions of jobs, and the NAACP's support is vital to ensuring that those jobs help to rebuild urban areas." So, clearly, there’s a diversity of opinion-

HARRY ALFORD, NATIONAL BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Madame Chair, that is condescending to me.

BOXER: If I, well-

ALFORD: I'm the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and you’re trying to put up some other black group to pit against me.

BOXER: If this gentleman, if this gentleman were here, he would be proud that he was being quoted, just as-

ALFORD: He should have been invited.

BOXER: Just as he would be proud.

ALFORD: It is condescending to me.

BOXER: Just so you know, he would be proud that you were here. He’s proud, I'm sure-

ALFORD: Proud, proud?

BOXER: -that I am quoting him.

ALFORD: All that's condescending, and I don't like it. It's racial. I don't like it. I take offense to it. As an African-American, and a veteran of this country, I take offense to that.

BOXER: Offense at the fact that I would quote-

ALFORD: You’re quoting some other black man. Why don't you quote some other Asian or some, I mean, what, you are being racial here.

O’REILLY: All right, now Senator Boxer would not appear, but joining us from Washington is Harry Alford. Before we get to the racial aspect of this, why do you object to the climate industry that President Obama is, wants to build and Senator Boxer supports? Why do you object to it?

ALFORD: Certainly, I want a good clean climate for the globe, but we want and the National Black Chamber of Commerce has been espousing an energy policy that will make the United States self-sufficient. Self-sufficient for its energy needs and also to deliver energy to American families and businesses at an affordable rate. At the same time, help clean up the environment and keep our position economically in the world.

O’REILLY: All right, but they say Cap and Trade and all the green windmill stuff and all the stuff that they want to do will create more jobs, will help all Americans – including African-Americans – and you seem to object to their point-of-view.

ALFORD: Well, we got the Charles Rivers Associates Group to do a study for us. They're a very reputable group. And it showed that, in the end, if this Cap and Trade hustle were to be delivered to the American people, in the end we would have 2.3 million less jobs than we do now. It does not make sense to have less jobs, higher cost of energy, and still the world is in the same predicament carbon emission wise.

O’REILLY: All right, so your position kind of mirrors my position. It's interesting. Now, you’re not an ideological group, the Chamber of Commerce, right? I mean, you’re just a business-

ALFORD: Nonpartisan, nonpartisan, not for profit. We espouse capitalism and entrepreneurship.

O’REILLY: Okay. So now, you’re presenting your objection – which I think is [an] absolutely valid objection – to the Cap and Trade – you call it a "hustle," I call it "Cap and Con." So we’re pretty much on the same page. And Boxer, in order to debate you, puts up the NAACP, a liberal group, who thinks that Cap and Trade and the other green industries is just terrific. Now, you say that's a racial deal. Explain that further.

ALFORD: Well, first of all, the NAACP had a resolution saying they’re for a better environment. I'm for a better environment. I’m sure Bill O'Reilly is for a better environment.

O’REILLY: Absolutely.

ALFORD: It did not address Cap and Trade. It did not address the Waxman-Markey bill. And her, with her usual embellishments, was trying to make this seem like it was something supporting the Waxman-Markey bill. It was not. But that’s her MO, you know.

O’REILLY: It was a general statement by the NAACP. But you seem to object to the fact that she was pointing out a black group that was countermanding your black group. You didn't like that.

ALFORD: It was pure race. It was like down there in Mississippi back in the bad old days when one black preacher would rise up against the big boss. He’d go find another black preacher to fight against that black preacher. You know, it was ugly. And she jumped, she opened up a mud pit that I wasn't going to jump into.

O’REILLY: Well, you shocked her. You stunned her with that analysis. And she had no answer to it. She kept saying he’d be proud, he’d be proud. I mean, it was almost comical. But you stunned her because I don’t think, Mr. Alford, and maybe you see it differently, I don’t think Ms. Boxer had any intent to bring racism into the debate. She just wanted to win the argument and said, "Well, look, I’ll use the NAACP, I’ll take it out of context to throw the guy off his game." I think that's what she was doing.

ALFORD: Actually, Bill, I think it's her persona. I don't think she can help herself. When she gets caught up in a rut like that or up against the wall, race comes out. You know, she’s the brainchild of Anita Hill attacking Clarence Thomas was Barbara Boxer. You go back to Election 2004 and all of that garbage against Ken Blackwell, the secretary of state of Ohio, saying he rigged the election, that was Barbara Boxer.

O’REILLY :Okay, but she would say, Mr. Alford, "I love black people. I love black people. I want the best for, I’m a liberal. I want the best for black people." Now, the two people that you mentioned – Judge Thomas and Mr. Blackwell – are conservatives. Now, she will attack conservatives using any and all methods, as many liberals will do. But if you’ve got Barbara Boxer, she would say, "I love black people, I will vote for everything that will help them. Affirmative action and down the line." So I think, I don't think she feels that it's a racial argument, it's an ideological argument. If you oppose her views, then we'll come get you. But it doesn't have anything to do with race.

ALFORD: She loves poor black folks, and she loves black folks in their place. She does not love, you take Condoleezza Rice, who I would love my grandchildren to emulate, and the way she treated Condoleezza Rice during her confirmation hearings was just terrible.

O’REILLY: Again, a conservative woman. You know-

ALFORD: Professional.

O’REILLY: I get what you’re saying. I get what you’re saying, but I think Boxer just has it out for anybody who’s [on] the right. Now, after you took her down – and you did, Mr. Alford – what kind of reaction did you get?

ALFORD: Well, I’ve got a great fan club now. A lot of people don't like her. I’ve gotten about 7,500 emails, and 98 percent are cheering me on. I think-

O’REILLY: After tonight you’ll have 25,000 emails. Look, I respect you. You stood up for what you believe, you told her what you thought, she had no reply, and then you came on this program to further explain, and she would not, so I think that everybody knows what's going on here, Mr. Alford, and we appreciate you coming on very much tonight.

ALFORD: Thank you, Bill.