This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", April 16, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: New York’s Republican Party launches a stop-Hillary effort as we go “Beyond the Beltway.”
While we in Washington focus on Hillary Clinton's (search) presidential ambitions, New York’s GOP is focusing on her Senate reelection, which is next year. It’s a national fundraising effort aimed at raising millions of dollars to unseat Hillary in ‘06. The only trouble is, New York Republicans have yet to come up with a challenger, which is a pretty big trouble.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Right. Rudy Giuliani (search) won’t do it.
Look, actually there are two stop-Hillary movements. One is the “Stop Hillary” campaign, which is the official New York Republican campaign. And then there’s the “Stop Her Now” campaign, which is a national campaign, run by Arthur Finkelstein (search), who was a New York Republican.
KONDRACKE: But, this is a national campaign. And it’s Arthur Finkelstein that Bill Clinton went chasing after on the grounds that he’s gay, and he must be a self-hating gay, because the Republicans are antigay.
BARNES: So Bill Clinton was gay-bashing.
KONDRACKE: He was.
KONDRACKE: He was. OK.
BARNES: Just want to be clear about that.
KONDRACKE: Yes, yes, OK. Now, there are two Hillary, iffy Hillary campaigns. There are also two Hillary Clintons. One of them is smart, one of them is moderate, one of them is pro-defense, and one of them, you know, could actually be elected president.
The other one is the one that showed up in Minnesota last week and declared that George Bush (search) is establishing a brave new world of extremism. Now, that Hillary, not only being liberal, is also vindictive, is also conspiratorial, you know, the vast right-wing conspiracy. It’s a question of which Hillary shows up and actually runs for election.
Now, in New York state, a Marist poll showed that, that Hillary’s popularity rating is actually pretty good at 56 percent. Fifty-one percent say that they would vote to reelect her, but only 44 percent think that she ought to run for president in 2008.
BARNES: Which Hillary is married to Bill?
KONDRACKE: That’s the confused one, I think.
BARNES: Or are there two Bill Clintons too? Maybe three or four. Yes, look, those numbers for Hillary, they’re OK, they’re not really great, but they’re OK, and I certainly don’t doubt that she’ll get reelected.
But I think she makes a mistake being these two Hillary Clintons. She wants to become a moderate or to be seen as a moderate. It’s hard to achieve that for her, because she has such a deeply set image as a liberal. I think she ought to just stick with this stuff about saying nice things about pro-lifers. She doesn’t need to agree with them. And, and Christians in politics and how they are people of, of great moral standing and so on.
Go ahead and say that, and not do these rants, because she, look, she’s in a unique position in running in New York and for president, where she can move to the middle, hold onto the liberals, and also attract some moderates. But the rants don’t help, that’s for sure. OK.
Well, I hope there won’t be a stop-Mort campaign after this week’s tip sheet.
KONDRACKE: There won’t be.
BARNES: But you never know. You sure?
KONDRACKE: There won’t be, there won’t be.
BARNES: Then that means you’re ready.
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