It’s not often that a conservative has problems with the Washington Times and the New York Times on the same day concerning the same issue. But, there it was on Tuesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, as Ann Coulter took issue with statements made by both publications concerning embattled former Congressman Mark Foley of Florida.
When host Bill O’Reilly asked his guest what she thought of the Washington Times calling for House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s resignation, Coulter wasn’t shy about her disgust (video link and full transcript follow):
It's a ridiculous overreaction by Republicans. They so don't want to do what the Democrats would do. They completely bend over backwards.
But, Coulter wasn’t only displeased with the Washington Times, for later in the interview, she went after a more customary foe:
I think their hysterical overreaction to Foley -- when the New York Times ethicist says we should boycott the Boy Scouts, because they don't want gay men camping with a 14-year-old boy, but they think we should be wiretapping a congressman for asking a kid what he wants for his birthday. Their hysterical overreaction to this, if anything, you know, I think it will have the opposite effect.
What follows is a full transcript of this segment, along with a video link courtesy of our friend at Ms Underestimated.
O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.
In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, the conservative "Washington Times" today called for the resignation of House Speaker Dennis Hastert over the Foley scandal. The issue, it seems, is dividing conservatives.
Here now, the author of the best-selling book, "Godless", Ann Coulter.
When you saw the Washington Times or heard about it, what was your reaction?
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "GODLESS": It's a ridiculous overreaction by Republicans. They so don't want to do what the Democrats would do. They completely bend over backwards.
I mean, when a Jerry Feldt (ph) was caught flying a page to Portugal with him, a Democrat congressman, flying a page to Portugal and having sex with him, he turned his back on the House floor when they censured him. The Washington Post's Coleman McCarthy (ph) is defending him, calling it a witch hunt against him. He had sex with a page, had sex with him, and nobody blames Tip O'Neill. That happened 10 years. The Democrats had 10 years to find out about that.
Come on. This isn't the leadership's problem.
O'REILLY: But aren't the Democrats -- I mean, the Democrats are running with this that. We understand that. But it's the Washington Times, which is a conservative paper.
COULTER: Right, right.
O'REILLY: And they're basically saying that Hastert should resign. I believe if Hastert knew about this, the extent of the...
COULTER: That's preposterous.
O'REILLY: You don't think he did?
COULTER: Absolutely not. He knew the same thing we knew when the story first broke.
O'REILLY: How do you know that?
COULTER: Because it's absurd.
O'REILLY: I don't know. I'm going to give Hastert the benefit of the doubt. We've asked him on the program.
COULTER: I'll bet you a week of our mutual incomes, there's no way he's seen any of this...
O'REILLY: I'm not going to bet, but I would like -- I would like Hastert to come on and say that. You know, I appreciate you saying it. I'd like to hear it from him.
COULTER: Yes. I mean, he said -- that's what he said. They knew about the friendly e-mails.
And by the way, this is a perfect example of the Democrats way overplaying their hands. They're talking about, you know, just because Foley is gay and sending, you know, asking a kid what he wants for his birthday, we should have been wiretapping the guy's phone. They don't want to wiretap...
O'REILLY: Unfortunately, Mark Foley...
COULTER: ... people getting calls from al Qaeda, but we're supposed to be taping a guy because he's gay?
O'REILLY: Unfortunately, Mark Foley is a predator, and we can't get around that. And it's embarrassing for everybody. It destroyed his own life. I mean, this guy is through.
O'REILLY: Now, November.
COULTER: Hopefully, he can recover. I feel sorry for him. It's a terrible thing.
O'REILLY: You know, I don't think he's going to recover professionally.
O'REILLY: But personally, you know, he can...
COULTER: But look what he does. He goes -- he does the proper thing when he's caught making a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) scandal. He resigns immediately. He hides in a hole.
O'REILLY: He did it for so long, and he did it in a methodical way, that he wouldn't have resigned unless he got caught. So I can't give him any points.
COULTER: OK. But as far as we know right now, when he's specifically denying it, there was never any sexual contact.
O'REILLY: He's saying -- yes, his lawyer said today that it was all about the Internet.
COULTER: Right. So I think we have a good object lesson, and the difference between Republicans and Democrats.
O'REILLY: You can't...
COULTER: ... Stubbs was having sex with a teenager. He runs again and is reelected. McGreevey, holds -- the former Democrat governor of New Jersey holds a press conference saying he's a gay American. Why don't they go hide in a hole?
O'REILLY: No, but McGreevey's adult. I wouldn't care what -- what Foley did if the kid wasn't 16. That's too much.
Now, five weeks from now, there's a vote. And you've got Iraq, very bad for the Republicans. You've got Foley. Is Foley -- are they going to remember this five weeks from now, or is this just a one-week story?
COULTER: Well, I think Foley is going to lose his seat.
O'REILLY: Yes, he will. Overall?
COULTER: No, not at all. I mean, this is -- like I say, Democrats, if I knew as little about Islam as they know about American Christians, I would be guilty of a hate crime. No, of course not. Christians feel sorry for the sinner, the same way we feel about the woman who has an abortion.
O'REILLY: So do you think Republicans -- do you think the Republicans will maintain both houses?
COULTER: No, but I never did.
O'REILLY: You think they're going to lose?
COULTER: I think it's going to be a bad year for Republicans. I don't know the numbers. You'll have to check with Michael Barone on that.
COULTER: But it has nothing to do with Iraq. It has nothing to do with Foley. This is going to be a very tough year for Republicans.
O'REILLY: Why? If it doesn't have to do with Iraq or Foley, with gas prices coming down, people working, what does it have to do with?
COULTER: Midterm election. The party out of power is supposed to be picking up 60 seats. This is their 1994 election.
O'REILLY: So you don't think there's anything driving the anti- Republican sentiment?
COULTER: No. To the contrary, I think their hysterical overreaction to Foley -- when the New York Times ethicist says we should boycott the Boy Scouts, because they don't want gay men camping with a 14-year-old boy, but they think we should be wiretapping a congressman for asking a kid what he wants for his birthday.
Their hysterical overreaction to this, if anything, you know, I think it will have the opposite effect. And the same on Iraq, gas prices, everything else. But this is going to be the Democrats' year.
O'REILLY: OK. So you think Democrats will win both houses?
COULTER: I don't know what the temperature will be election day. I don't know the numbers. You have to do it seat by seat. I think it's going to be a bad year for Republicans.
O'REILLY: OK. Now, President Bush poll numbers, rebounding a little bit but still in the 40s, low 40s. It's Iraq-driven, I believe, you know. Americans want to win in Iraq. I don't think they object to the war on a moral basis. I think they object to the fact we're not winning it. It's a stalemate.
COULTER: I don't think it's a stalemate. I think we are winning it. I think what's happening is we're getting the same carping, carping, carping that we got before we even went into Iraq. And even the conservatives, as with the Washington Times, are calling for Hastert's resignation. Even conservatives go, "Fine, fine, we're losing." They just can't keep making the point. Nothing has changed.
O'REILLY: You think we're winning, but most Americans don't, and that's because the level of violence keeps rising? Which is the barometer...
COULTER: No. Because the level of hysteria from the left does not let up.
O'REILLY: Look, they're not going to like Bush whatever he does. We know that. OK? The left is going to hate Bush no matter what he does. But the facts are the level of violence is rising in Iraq, that Iran now is taking a much more aggressive tone in undermining that country. You know that. Everybody knows that.
COULTER: Look, we've had three elections. We got al-Zarqawi. We're attacking terrorists from around the region, instead of fighting us literally in New York, in America. We haven't had an attack on our embassies. We haven't had an attack on U.S. soil. It is -- yes, OK, it's a war. They're shooting back. That is not depriving (ph) North America.
O'REILLY: How long do you stay?
COULTER: Until we win. Can you imagine FDR having to go through this?
O'REILLY: Well, look, you know, the Algerian insurrection for the French. I mean, the French were there for decades, and they couldn't stop it. They finally had to get out.
COULTER: We're more powerful fighters than the French.
O'REILLY: Yes, that's true. But I'm not sure about this Iraq thing. I'm praying we win. I think it's great if we do. I think it's terrible if we don't. But I'm not as optimistic as you are.
COULTER: The only thing that makes me pessimistic is the fact that this is the Democrats' year to win. Republicans can't keep winning everything. We already picked up seats in the midterm election. And if Democrats take the House and the Senate...
O'REILLY: The Democrats can't do anything about the Iraq war.
COULTER: Yes, they can. They can preside -- they can withdraw funding. That's what Congress does. They hold the purse.
O'REILLY: Never happen. Never happen.
COULTER: Probably not. That's why I don't believe these polls on Iraq, because every time there's been a vote since 9/11, gosh, Republicans and Bush have gotten everything they want, including no trials for Guantanamo detainees.
O'REILLY: Is there anything that could make you vote Democrat? Is there any scenario that you could envision you supporting the Democrat candidate for president?
COULTER: If Zell Miller were running against John McCain.
O'REILLY: You're not a big McCain fan, are you?
COULTER: No. Actually, I don't really like any of our front-runners.
COULTER: I think it's going to be somebody else.
O'REILLY: I think it's going to be Mitt Romney.
COULTER: Actually, of the ones they talk about...
O'REILLY: I think Mitt Romney is the...
COULTER: ... he's my favorite. It's somebody out of the blue.
O'REILLY: ... is the guy on the inside track that very few people know about.
COULTER: And as he's pointed out, although his...
O'REILLY: All right. One more question real fast. You didn't get e- mails from Foley, did you?
COULTER: Yes, I did.
O'REILLY: We'll talk about them.
COULTER: Yes. They were highly appropriate.
O'REILLY: Ann Coulter, everybody, "Godless", the book.