Kathy Griffin Calls Bachmann 'Bigot,' Behar: 'I Love It'
On Thursday’s Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News, host Behar cheered on guest Kathy Griffin as she recounted confronting Representative Michele Bachmann and calling the Minnesota Republican a "bigot" as the left-wing actress and comedian recently lobbied Congress for an end to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays in the military. After Griffin repeated a story about storming out of a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee while calling Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss "cuckoo pants," Behar brought up Bachmann: "What about Michele Bachmann? She`s a piece of work, that one. What happened with her? I mean, give me a break. She makes Sarah Palin look like a brain trust."
After cracking that Bachmann is "one of the bigger crazies," and that she "makes Sarah Palin look like a genius," Griffin recalled meeting Bachmann: "I said, ‘Congressman Bachmann, are you naturally a bigot or do you just legislate that way?’"
When Behar exclaimed, "Oh!" Griffin asked: "Was that too far?" prompting Behar to effuse, "I love it!"
Griffin finished her story of confronting Bachmann and concluded that "it was sort of a great fun moment for a comedian."
The left-wing actress also recalled the story of her and Levi Johnston traveling to Sarah Palin's home in Wasilla, Alaska, in an unsuccessful attempt to include a sequence with Palin in Griffin's television show on Bravo, "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List."
Below is a complete transcript of the interview with Kathy Griffin from the Thursday, March 18, Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News, with critical portions in bold:
JOY BEHAR: Today in Washington, thousands turned out to support an end to the military`s Don`t Ask Don`t Tell policy. Kathy Griffin who tells everyone everything was there. She joins me from D.C., now. Hey, Kathy.
KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIAN: Joy, I join you today as a lobbyist and an inappropriate comedian.
BEHAR: How was the rally today, Kath?
GRIFFIN: The rally was fantastic. The turnout was great. And my week here in D.C. has been really fun because I`m learning a lot, but I`m also seeing the ridiculousness that is Washington. And I didn`t know it`s really just kind of like Holllywood. I mean, there`s sort of Washington versions of the Lohans and the Spearses. I just didn`t know it.
BEHAR: Yeah, but they don`t dress as well.
GRIFFIN: They don`t dress as well, but they throw a heck of a party, but I`ve seen a lot of fun bad behavior by our public servants.
BEHAR: I want to hear all about it, but first, I heard after the rally lieutenant Dan Choi chained himself to the White House fence. Why didn`t you join him in the chaining?
GRIFFIN: Well, first of all, it was an honor to meet Lieutenant Choi, and I’d seen him on 60 Minutes, and, of course, heard about him and stuff. And so I organized this rally with several groups, and he showed up, and he said can I come up on the podium. And I said of course and I asked him if he would take questions. And then he then proceed to go to the White House and chained himself to the fence, which I actually think is kind of cool and ballsy. However, I had made a commitment to many, many people that showed up to the rally, and my work there was not done. But I think it`s kind of great that he did that because it`s important that people protest in all kinds of ways. So I`ve been getting in a little trouble for my comments to certain Congress people here and there, but I think that you need people to say outrageous things, and then you need the much calmer, more diplomatic people. And there`s really a spectrum.
BEHAR: Well, you know, first of all, let me hear some of the things you said. You were talking to the whip, the majority whip, James Clyburn. Tell me what happened there.
BEHAR: Did you ask him to whip you? Someone told me that.
GRIFFIN: I did. You know I didn’t really realize that-
GRIFFIN: -in Washington, when you make a joke, they take every joke as a serious statement.
GRIFFIN: And so I had a fantastic meeting with congressman – I mean, I should say Whip Clyburn, and he was just so gracious and he went on camera for my Bravo show, and, you know, he`s helping educate me about this process. And then, at the end of the meeting, I thought it was a natural progression for me to then ask him to whip me. I`m not sure he knew I was kidding, but I will say he has an actual gigantic whip that is framed in his office. So he told me the history of the whip and how it’s from Australia. But I was not able to get him to actually whip me even a little.
BEHAR: Uh-huh. I would love to get one of those-
GRIFFIN: And I`m a taxpayer. I`m a taxpayer so I was offended.
BEHAR: Yeah, don`t you want one of those whips, though? I want one.
GRIFFIN: Oh, who doesn`t? Absolutely.
BEHAR: I know. Wait till you read the Tiger Woods sex sting. You’re going to die laughing. We can`t go into that now because I want to keep talking about-
GRIFFIN: I love a good sext.
BEHAR: Oh my God, he`s beyond.
GRIFFIN: I love a good sext.
BEHAR: But you met also Barney Frank, and I heard that you asked him something about Barbara Walters. What was that about?
GRIFFIN: Well I, you know, I know lots of gay people, and I don`t really think Barney Frank is fabulous enough frankly. And so I was wondering, you know, he`s been around for a while, if maybe he had any kind of a tryst with Barbara Walters at any point in either one of their careers. And he said no. So he`s sticking to his story that he`s gay, although I`m not sure I completely believe him.
BEHAR: You don`t believe him?
GRIFFIN: No, that`s a joke, and I`m in Washington, and so I have to tell everyone kidding, kidding, LOLs, joking everyone.
BEHAR: Do they get your sense of humor there? They don`t get your sense of humor there right? No.GRIFFIN: No, they don`t get my sense of humor at all. But I will say that today was a blast, because I went to my first senate hearing as an observer, and it was with the armed services committee, I think. And there were two vets there that had been kicked out of the military because of Don`t Ask Don`t Tell, and they had very compelling stories and had served with honor. And then John McCain was there, who I was so disappointed in because I always respected him, and, even though I didn`t vote for him or agree with him, I always respected him. And if you watched his questioning on C-SPAN he`s so condescending and doesn`t look at these vets when they’re testifying, etc. But then, Saxby Chambliss had his turn, and he seemed like the nuttiest one in the room. And so at one point I didn`t understand that these hearings aren`t a Q and A, and so I stood up and I said, I`m out of here, and I believe I called him "cuckoo pants." And then I stormed out of a hearing meeting, which I thought, you know, people would think was fun and kind of break up the meeting, but I don`t know if they appreciated it.
BEHAR: But, you know Kathy, you should at least say "Senator poo-poo pants." I mean, come on, a little respect for the guy, yeah.
GRIFFIN: Cuckoo pants.
BEHAR: Cuckoo, cuckoo?
GRIFFIN: That`s true.
BEHAR: Oh, not poo-poo.
GRIFFIN: Cuckoo pants.
BEHAR: Cuckoo pants.
GRIFFIN: No, and, you know, it`s baby steps, Joy, because it`s a big deal for me not to use a curse word. So I was kind of proud of myself that I merely called him cuckoo pants.
BEHAR: I know, that was very good restraint on your part.
GRIFFIN: Very mature, very mature.
BEHAR: But, first of all, what about Michele Bachmann? She`s a piece of work, that one.
GRIFFIN: Oh, I know, she’s one of the bigger crazies.
BEHAR: What happened with her? I mean, give me a break. She makes Sarah Palin look like a brain trust.
GRIFFIN: Look like a genius.
GRIFFIN: She makes Sarah Palin look like a genius. And so there`s how much we’ve lowered the bar. But, you know, I mean, I`ve been watching her on the pundit shows etc., and I am impressed that she was able to get elected. You know, hey, good for her. But the statements she`s made show a level of ignorance and bigotry that is really I`m going to use the word dazzling. And so I ran into her at some big Washington mucky muck event I went to last night. I don`t know how the heck I got in. But I saw her and I couldn`t pass up this opportunity.
BEHAR: How did you get in? But how did you get in? Did the Salahis let you in?
GRIFFIN: Yeah, I came with the Salahis and I hid in the trunk. They left me a couple of air holes, and I put on a ball gown.
BEHAR: Good for you.
GRIFFIN: That`s how it works here.
BEHAR: So what happened?GRIFFIN: I saw her, well, one of her staffers whips out the flip cam, and I thought, you know, if you`re going to punk me or flip cam me you better come to play. And so one of her staffers has the flip cam, and I said, "Congressman Bachmann, are you naturally a bigot or do you just legislate that way?"
GRIFFIN: Was that too far?
BEHAR: I love it!
GRIFFIN: I know, and then she said, that`s a good question, I’m going to have to think about that.
BEHAR: Oh, my God.
GRIFFIN: Now, if someone accused you of being a bigot, I don`t think your answer would be, "I`m going to have to think about that."
BEHAR: She`s so lame. She`s on automatic pilot. She answers every question like that.
GRIFFIN: And I said, "Bachmann, you have to just at least deny it." I know, but, I mean, and then I asked it again because I thought, you know, maybe she just didn`t hear me or maybe there was a lot of ambient noise in the room. And so I said, you know, I`m here on behalf of Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell and repealing it. And she said, "Well, you’re not going to get me on that one." And I said, "So I`m going to go back to the bigotry question, were you born a bigot or is it something you fell into?" And then she said, she actually said, "That`s a very good question. I’m going to have to think about that." And then she kind of looked heavenward, so it was sort of a great fun moment for a comedian.
BEHAR: All right, Kathy, I`m not done with you yet. We`ll be back with more from Kathy Griffin right after this break.
BEHAR: I`m back with my second favorite redhead, Kathy Griffin. Who`s my first? Carrot top? All right, this is all going to be part of your new season of the D List, right? I guess this would be your-
GRIFFIN: Joy, I`m so excited to actually hear jokes because all week in Washington, you know, I`m hearing words like rhetoric, and I’m thinking, "Does that mean penis joke?" You know, I`m trying to translate Washington into English, and it`s quite a job.
BEHAR: Okay this is my favorite thing with you. On this season`s D List, I hear you go to Levi Johnston’s – with Levi to Sarah Palin`s house.
GRIFFIN: Yeah, my lover, my lover.
BEHAR: Your love, yes, we all know that.
BEHAR: I mean, it`s beyond cougar, at this point, Kathy, but, look, mazeltov to you-
GRIFFIN: No, it`s basically, at this point, it`s pretty much a Chris Hansen, "To Catch A Predator." moment, I admit it, I get it.
GRIFFIN: I`m waiting for him to offer me some sweet tea. But anyway-
BEHAR: First of all, did they let you in? I`m sorry, go ahead.
GRIFFIN: No, they didn`t let me in. I`m just saying my life on the D List, you know, it ain`t the Kardashians. We’re working hard for you. All right, I`m getting kicked off Capitol Hill, I`m getting kicked out of parties. I`m getting kicked out of Senate hearings. I mean and so one of the episodes is, we decided to go to Wasilla-
GRIFFIN: Because I have some questions for Sarah Palin that I don`t feel she`s answered yet. And so, yes, we went to Wasilla, and I did a show in anchorage. And we went all around. By the way, Levi called it "the Cilla," so we kicked it in the Cilla, cilla-style. And we didn`t bother too much with those city folks down in Anchorage with their big city ideas. So we actually did, we went to Sarah Palin`s house and Levi was in the back seat of his red truck, and I knocked on the door bold as brass as a neighbor.
GRIFFIN: You know, just with some friendly questions. And, in fact, I found out that the day that I went to her house, the house was, by the way, gutted because she`s doing a remodel.
GRIFFIN: And I found out that at the very time I was there, she was at an Oscar gift suite in L.A. getting some free swag.
BEHAR: Oh, yeah, baby.
GRIFFIN: So what’s up with that picture?
BEHAR: Oh yes, was there any pink moose on the lawn or anything?
GRIFFIN: I was afraid that I was going to be the next dead animal because Levi said, "Now, you know, you might get shot because we shoot people here." So, you know, anything for a laugh. I haven`t been shot yet but, you know, I could have been. I did leave her a nice note, though, by the way, inviting her to my live show which she did not attend for some reason.
BEHAR: I can`t imagine why. Now, while I have you here, how are you handling the breakup between Sandra Bullock and Jesse James?
GRIFFIN: I`m not taking the breakup of Sandra Bullok and Jesse James well at all, not to mention their lost puppy. And, by the way, what`s so great about being here in Washington is, as I walked off the dais of my big rally to repeal Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell, good old TMZ was there saying, "What do you think about Jesse James` lost puppy and broken marriage?" and I thought, "Finally, I`m with my peeps again." This is something that I can talk about. Well, I`m crushed, I`m devastated. And, you know, I`m picturing the two of them sitting at the Oscars, and he`s welling up looking at her with pride and the whole time there`s possibly a tattooed lady of the night on the side and nobody has a low jack on the puppy? I mean, what`s happened over there?
BEHAR: It`s very odd. I mean she was the last person to know. All right thank you very much Kathy for coming on. Good luck over there.
GRIFFIN: Thank you, it’s my pleasure. Wish me luck.
BEHAR: Good luck, thank you for watching, everybody. Good night.