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    This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 20, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight: Now, how do you dig yourself out of a hole after saying something like this? In case you forgot, here's Democratic congressman Steve Cohen blasting Republicans during a debate about health care.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    REP. STEVE COHEN, D-TENN.: They say it's a government takeover of health care, a big lie. Just like Goebbels, you say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it, like "blood libel." That's the same kind of thing. The Germans said enough about the Jews, and the people believed it and you had the Holocaust.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    VAN SUSTEREN: So what does Congressman Cohen have to say now? Well, in a statement, he says, in part, "While I regret that anything I said has created an opportunity to distract from the debate about health care for 32 million Americans, I want to be clear that I never called Republicans Nazis. Instead, the reference I made was to the greatest propaganda master of all time. Propaganda which is called messaging today can be true or false. In this case, the message is false."

    So does that clear things up? Former senator Rick Santorum joins us live. Senator Santorum, your thoughts?

    RICK SANTORUM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, just about every politician has made this mistake, where you get wrapped up in something and you compare it to something the Nazis did. It's a stupid analogy. Stand up, say -- it's always a bad -- I don't care what it is, it's a bad analogy. Don't make it. I've done it. I stood up and said it was a stupid thing for me to say, I apologize for saying it. Even though you may have a legitimate reason for saying it, there might be some basis, it's dumb because all it does is inflame people. It hides the entire issue that you're trying to get to. What Representative Cohen should say is, I made a mistake, I'm sorry, and then go and make the point you want to make.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know how -- I don't think exactly the statement (INAUDIBLE) sorry, and I guess it's not...

    SANTORUM: It doesn't say sorry.

    VAN SUSTEREN: It's a little -- it's a little inconvenient for him. On January 11th, he had an op-ed piece in Roll Call and he talks about hateful speech, among other things. But his timing is a little bit bad.

    SANTORUM: Look, he made a mistake. And he has to recognize that he made -- he doesn't. Obviously, he doesn't believe he's made a mistake. He actually does believe, obviously, that Republicans are being propagandists and lying, and he's not going to -- obviously, he's not backing down. He should back down in the analogy.

    VAN SUSTEREN: You know what is sort of peculiar about the whole thing (INAUDIBLE) I mean, it's just an aside note -- is that he said this to an empty chamber. I mean, that was -- I mean, I could sort of see getting revved up if you think everyone's clapping and applauding and get yourself going and saying something really stupid. I can get that. But this was sort of -- sort of unusual in that he was alone.

    SANTORUM: Well, it's a special order, which is after the Congress is in session, they can get up and talk about whatever they want to talk about. And you know, we've all done it. We get up there and we just start going and -- but clearly, he wanted to say it. He meant what he said. And he is not contrite about what he said and -- about Republicans. And that's why this is not going to go away for him. He needs to apologize.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Headline: Nobody died.

    SANTORUM: Nobody died. Right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Nobody died. I mean, so we can all get revved up about it.

    SANTORUM: It's not -- it's not equivalent to the Nazis.

    VAN SUSTEREN: No, not equivalent, but it's also something where it's -- it's unbelievable political fodder for your enemy, but it is of no huge moment, I don't think.

    SANTORUM: It's not. And to try to bring in now Sarah Palin with the "blood libel" -- it's just -- it's nasty. It's vitriolic. You know, if -- if the -- if the mainstream media wants to complain about -- about, you know, uncivil rhetoric, there's (INAUDIBLE)

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think there is something (INAUDIBLE) equal opportunity. I mean, those who went after her unfairly, maybe they want to rethink it now that someone on their side of the aisle has done it. That would be sort of -- that would sort of be the stand-up thing to do.

    SANTORUM: Well, but he's not Sarah Palin. And so as a result, he's going get -- you know, he's some congressman from Tennessee nobody's ever heard of and of no consequence to the national media, and so they'll let it go.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, speaking of saying things to get ourselves into a little bit of hot water, I got a sound bite for you.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    SANTORUM: I find it almost remarkable for a -- for a -- for a black man to say, No, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    VAN SUSTEREN: Race -- are you -- was that a racial...

    SANTORUM: No.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... remark, racial slur...

    SANTORUM: This is one of these...

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... racial whatever?

    SANTORUM: This is one of these great taken out of context, truly taken out of context...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that wasn't...

    (CROSSTALK)

    VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman Cohen said he was taken out of context!

    SANTORUM: Play more than seven seconds of the interview. And what I was talking about was President Obama talking about, during the campaign, when he was asked the question whether -- whether -- what -- what is -- what life is entitled to protection under the Constitution -- he was asked that by Rick Warren, and is a baby in the womb human life? And he said, It's above my pay grade. And I said, Well, really, it isn't above your pay grade, I said, because what we have here is a child in the womb that's human and it's alive, and therefore, it's human life. And what the court has decided -- you know this, Greta -- is that even though it's human life, it's not a person under the 14th Amendment, and therefore is not entitled to constitutional protection.

    And my point was that the 14th Amendment was passed to make sure that blacks in America were protected by the Constitution, were considered people, because tragically, horribly, for 100 years or more in this country, they weren't. And so the point I was trying to make is that here we have another situation where the courts have said that a group of people, a group of human beings, are not people and that they should be. I -- I -- and that they're property. And they can be...

    VAN SUSTEREN: I think where the discussion (INAUDIBLE) sort of, like, goes off the rails and everyone gets all revved up is when the word "black" is used. Everyone wonders whether or not it is done for racial reasons or if it's done for historic reference. You know, what's the purpose of it?