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Dems Say No Nader at Convention

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 26, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: I'm Bill O'Reilly, reporting all this week from the Democratic Convention here in Boston. DNC Chief Terry McAuliffe (search) has banned Ralph Nader from attending this convention, refusing to give him credentials. Apparently, he's mad that Nader is participating in the presidential race. So joining us now from Washington is Ralph Nader (search), whose new book, which we all want you to checkout, is "The Good Fight: Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap."

So you're banned in Boston here, Ralph. I mean, how did that ever happen?

RALPH NADER, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, the Democrats sabotaged our convention in Portland, Ore., surreptitiously, so I thought I'd ask for credentials just to go in and observe this big corporate party as an underdog confronting the corporate fat cats who are wining and dining these Democrats and making sure that they forget their historical roots when they used to stand up for the blue collar guy, for the working families in this country.

O'REILLY: Well, they don't like you because they think you're going to siphon votes away from Kerry. And indeed, in some states, the Republicans are helping you get on the ballot. I would let you in the convention. Everybody should be welcome under the tent. But I know why they're angry with you and you know it too.

NADER: Well, first of all, I'd wish they'd stop whining, Bill. You know, they ought to pay attention to the 8 million Democrats who deserted Gore and voted for Bush, try to get him back. They ought to start actively registering 9 million African American voters. Instead, they're trying to harass us, dirty tricks, getting us off the ballot in Arizona, denying millions of Americans the right to vote for the candidates of their choice, the Nader/Camejo ticket.

And that's what people are getting more and more fed up with; that the two parties think they own the voters in this country and they're turning the country into a one-party district by carving up the districts and either having a Democrat or a Republican. And that isn't even an election, because an election involves selection. It's a coronation, just like that raucous convention you're covering now.

It's a coronation where all kinds of corporate bigwigs are cutting deals over wine and whiskey with these politicians. And did you know the taxpayer is paying for this Democratic Convention: $13 million.

O'REILLY: Yes, I did. More than that, Ralph.

NADER: Yeah.

O'REILLY: More than that, because a lot of the security costs are going to be picked up by the feds as well. Now, I haven't talked to you in a while and the name of your book is "The Good Fight," which is ironic, because the one thing I want to talk to you about tonight is this: Say you had been elected president last time around and 9/11 happened, which it would have, no matter who was president. How would you have fought back against Al Qaeda right away? Explicitly and specifically, what would you, President Nader, have done?

NADER: Bill, I anticipated something like this in the early '70s when the hijacks went to Cuba, trying to get the FAA to toughen the cockpit doors, harden the latches. The FAA was influenced by the airlines. They said no, no, no, in the '70s, '80s, '90s.

When I saw 9/11, I almost threw up, because this could have been stopped with something very simple, which now, the airlines, after the tragedy, finally are putting in so that any hijacker couldn't break through, hijack the plane and turn it into a flaming missile.

OK, 9/11 happens. What do you got to do? You got to go after the backers of the attackers, because the attackers are no more. They committed suicide. So you go after them under the doctrine of hot pursuit. It's very important to do this under international law, which allows us, with other nations, to send commandos, spies and bribes to zero in on wherever we think the backers are.

Instead, we're now bogged down in Afghanistan, 98 percent of the country run by massively predatory and brutal warlords. They're now the biggest opium producer in the world, when we gave them $40 million in early 2001 for the Taliban, because they cut out the opium trade. And then we go into Iraq and you know, you've...

O'REILLY: But let's keep on Afghanistan.

NADER: Yeah.

O'REILLY: So you would do a police action.

NADER: Yeah.

O'REILLY: Now, I'm going to submit to you, President Nader, that a police action does not overthrow the Taliban, that you don't have enough force to overthrow them, that you create a virtual stalemate and have more United States casualties on the ground than they did by the saturating bombing that led to the Taliban's defeat. I'll submit that to you. You'd rebut how?

NADER: How? They haven't caught him yet. So they've failed...

O'REILLY: No, no, no, but if you did a police action, it would have cost more American lives.

NADER: No, it wouldn't. The Taliban were very weak. We knew where they were. The backers on the Afghan-Pakistan border, they were very weak. We had overwhelming force. Instead, we got diverted in Afghanistan. We got massively diverted, as many generals, intelligence officials have pointed out to us, in Iraq.

We're now a magnet for terrorism. We're a recruiting ground for a massive increase in the number of terrorists. You don't pursue terrorists with policies that produce more terrorists. Now, I'll tell you, you could spend the next year on your program with very tough combat veterans and intelligence officials and former spies who would attest to the mistake of the Bush regime in that respect. And I pointed out in the book...

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: But you're a fair man. President Nader gets told by Vladimir Putin (search) and Russian intelligence, "Weapons of mass destruction are in Iraq." He gets told by MI6 and Tony Blair, "Weapons of mass destruction are in Iraq." He gets told by his own CIA the same thing. What do you, President Nader, do when three separate intelligence agencies are telling you that a brutal dictator that has ties to Al Qaeda through Zarqawi and other people, has weapons of mass destruction like anthrax? What do you do, Ralph Nader?

NADER: Bill, you know there are people in the CIA who were not telling him that. The key intelligence...

O'REILLY: No, from Putin, Blair... and Tenet.

NADER: Wait, wait. The key intelligence unit in the State Department had it accurate. There were people in the NSA that had it accurate. Hey, come on, Bush wanted this war. Cheney wanted this war. Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld wanted this war.

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, so you're telling me that you wouldn't have listened... look, Clinton thought they had WMDs, all right... Putin thought they had them, Blair thought they had them. But you, Ralph Nader, wouldn't listen to them.

NADER: Hey, wait a minute. The U.N. inspectors didn't find any WMDs. They were on the ground. They weren't...

O'REILLY: That's right. But it was after the fact.

NADER: ... they weren't politicians with axes to grind. They were right there on the ground. We knew that they had a lot destroyed in the '90s, the WMDs. We knew Saddam was a tottering dictator presiding over a dilapidated army that wouldn't fight for him and surrounded by hostile nations who were much more powerful, toward which, if he made one move to Israel, Iran, or Turkey, they would have obliterated him.

O'REILLY: If those guys are telling me that Saddam has anthrax, I'm not letting him sit there. One last question, 30 seconds. Do you think Osama bin Laden fears you?

NADER: I think he likes Bush, because Bush is playing right into his hands by inflaming the Islamic world with that crazy invasion of Iraq that's picking off our troops, draining our billions of dollars, and in effect, a magnet for more terrorism.

O'REILLY: All right.

NADER: Hey, Bill, you didn't talk about the book again, how concentrated corporate power is affecting everybody's daily lives and how this corporate greed and power is going to create a popular rebellion if this trend of corporate crime and corporate welfare and control of our government extends. Here it is, Bill. Read it.

O'REILLY: We will do it.

NADER: You'll be proud to.

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