This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," October 15, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST: A big dustup in the news over the last day, over whether the Rev. Jesse Jackson did or did not suggest to a newspaper that Barack Obama would not be the same friend to Israel that President Bush has been.
Obama's and Jackson's reps were quick to criticize this story just as soon as it was published. But FOX NEWS contributor Dick Morris started a second firestorm on the issue this morning by saying this on "FOX & FRIENDS" today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK MORRIS, FORMER CLINTON ADVISOR: It is very clear that anyone who is concerned about the future existence of the state of Israel and ranks that as a priority in their thinking needs to be voting for McCain. Obama will not sanction aggressive work against Iran. Obama will not permit Israel to over-fly American territory to strike Iran. McCain will, and whether Iran develops a bomb or not, in large part may be determined by this year's presidential race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Joining us now with more, FOX NEWS contributor and professor American studies at Temple University, Marc Lamont Hill, and conservative radio talk show host James Harris. Hi, gentlemen.
JAMES HARRIS, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hi, good to be here. How are you doing?
ELLY: Thanks for being here. Marc, do you mind if I call you Marc?
MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN STUDIES, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY: Sure, please do.
KELLY: Thanks. I don't know if I have heard O'Reilly call you professor. But then I feel like that's rude to the other guest at any event.
All right. Let me ask you about Dick Morris' comment, coming out swinging at Barack Obama, saying he essentially won't be a friend to Israel and that's an issue that's been lost in this election. What say you?
HILL: I think that's a very curious comment. I respect Dick, but I profoundly disagree with him. Barack Obama has gone to extravagant lengths, I think even excessively so to show who much of a friend he will be to Israel and how protective a posture he will assume on our relationship with Iran. He said nothing is off the table with regard to Iran. So there is no reason to think that he won't be a friend to Israel.
KELLY: What say you, James? Do you think Dick Morris has a point or do you have some reservations on this?
HARRIS: Well, first of all, Megyn, you are not insulting me by referring to this gentleman's, you know, qualifications as doctor. I appreciate the fact that you invested all your time and energy and that you have your degree.
What do I think? I think that Dick Morris is correct. I also think that Jesse Jackson meant what he said. And this may be a little bit of the promise that he was making earlier this year to, you know, basically get back at Barack by cutting off his ads(ph). And this is exactly what would happen because, if Jews believe that Barack Obama would not be a friend to Israel, he's going to lose a key swing state in Florida.
KELLY: Well, you know, he did - well, go ahead, Marc, because, you know, he did make clear - Jesse Jackson - there is a serious question about whether there is a real friendship between these two men, given what he said about Barack Obama.
HILL: Yes, I think you're right. I mean, those are the two issues. The first issue - I consider myself a friend and advisor to Jesse Jackson. And I can tell you, his stance on Israel is not what was represented yesterday.
But even more so, for the last three months, people have been trying to say that these two are mortal enemies and he wants to castrate him. And now, they are saying he is a surrogate for Barack Obama. We can't have it both ways.
Even if Jesse Jackson said those things, which he did not - I don't believe. You know, they don't represent Barack Obama. And they never even had a conversation about foreign policy. So it's not fair to lump those two in.
KELLY: Yes. What about James, because, you know, Jesse Jackson came out and he did take issue with how "The Post" reported the story. But then, he said, "Look, not only was I not speaking for Barack Obama, I have never even spoken to Barack Obama about his policy on Israel. And you know, essentially, I don't know what it is." So he admits that he was speaking out of turn. Doesn't that put an end to the issue?
HARRIS: No. Jesse Jackson is just as - Rev. Jesse Jackson is just as radioactive to the Obama camp as I am. Listen, he is part of the civil rights generation, and they have never been in the bag with Barack Obama until very late in this campaign.
I believe that he has to come out and be against him, because he doesn't want some of the blowback that I have been getting from my coming out against the Obama campaign.
HILL: Well, let's assume you're then. If you are 100 percent right and Jesse Jackson is against Barack Obama deep down, then why are we using Jesse Jackson's comments as a measure of Barack Obama's stance on issues? If they're enemies, why are we relying on him? He can't be a surrogate if they're not on the same team.
HARRIS: I don't believe he is a surrogate. I believe he is just like Bill Clinton. He sees a Barack Obama presidency as a massive loss of power for himself. But he can't come out against it. Otherwise, they're going to call him (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Uncle Tom, just like they're doing me.
HILL: This is a beautiful moment. I'm agreeing with you. We agree.
KELLY: I'm sorry. We have to cut off the beautiful moment. They're playing the music, which means it's truly over. Marc Lamont Hill and James Harris, thanks so much for being here. We appreciate it.
HILL: Always fun.
HARRIS: Thank you for your time.
KELLY: Yes, we appreciate it.
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