Beck Squares Off With Rep. Dennis Kucinich

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," January 26, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: If President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the progressives really believe that socialism is the best way out of this, and we should be a socialist country, because that's the way to move forward in the world — then, please, just make the case. Let's have an honest debate about it. Let's actually talk about the truth, and allow the American people to decide and not be rushed into socialism and calling it one thing when it's not.

But — you know, what they're doing now, using fear to promote long- term changes to the country is exactly the kind of thing that led us into the biggest deficit of all, the deficit of trust that we now have in our leaders. A recent FOX News poll finds that half of Americans believes we are drifting towards socialism. Do the other half think we're going in a speed boat? Because that's where I think I'm going. Is this really the best way out?

With us from Washington now is a guy who'd say, "Yes, it is," — Ohio Democrat Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Hello, Congressman. How are you?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, D-OHIO: Hello, Glenn Beck. How are you today?

BECK: I'm very good. Now, you're a guy who says "give me an S, give me an O," all the way to socialism. You like socialism.

KUCINICH: Really? I voted against the bailouts. I don't believe in socialism for the rich.

And I also think it is appropriate for us to have a stimulus package. You point out it's not going to be enough. Our economy is going to need more than just a temporary jolt, and I think it's a step along the way.

I don't agree with everything in the stimulus. But I'll tell you one thing, we've got to rebuild America's infrastructure. You obviously agree with that.

We have to find a way to get America back to work. We have over 10 million people unemployed right now. That's not good for our country.

And something I heard you say recently, we've got to look at our monetary policy. You know, with this — the idea of the Fed leading the way of all of these decisions is a dangerous thing. I say they ought to be put under the treasury. We shouldn't have the Fed have more of a role in the economy. They didn't do proper oversight before.

So, you know, there is — we have to look synergistically at the economic stimulus package with the financial stabilization, and unless we do that, we're going to have — we're going to continue to be in a rut. We all want to pull America up and move it forward. That's what the new administration gives us a chance to do.

BECK: Congressman, I — I'm questioning the meaning of life right now. I'm questioning — I don't even know what to do. I — Good God Almighty, I have found common ground with Dennis Kucinich today. You're against .

KUCINICH: Well, you know, I think .

BECK: Go ahead.

KUCINICH: Yes — I agree with you. I agree with you about the Feds.

BECK: But this is, there's — yes, I swear to God, a worm hole .

KUCINICH: The Federal Reserve .

BECK: . has opened up and I have slid through it if you and I .

KUCINICH: Glenn Beck.

BECK: Yes?

KUCINICH: Glenn Beck, the Federal Reserve is no more federal than Federal Express. It is a private organization. And we need to — we need to have public control over this if we're going to have public policies in the public interest.

BECK: Yes. Yes, Dennis! I am (INAUDIBLE) I never thought I'd say — yes, Dennis Kucinich, you're right!

KUCINICH: But we can also stimulate the economy. Look, we need something on the order of a New Deal to get millions of Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure.

BECK: OK. Oh, I'm back to my reality planet. Again, thank you.

OK. No, Dennis, we don't need — look, if you want to do a stimulus package, then you can do a stimulus package. And the fastest way to get to a stimulus is to give people their own money, allow them to keep their own money, and cut taxes. What we've got here is something — why are we in such a hurry for this stimulus package when only — what is it — 3 percent actually gets into the blood system in the next 12 months? That's craziness!

KUCINICH: Well, we have to — we have to make a start and we better start now. We have a new administration. It's time to start.

And keep in mind, tax cuts don't do anyone who doesn't have a job any good. So, we have to get people back to work. The stimulus package over 30 years .

BECK: You know, Dennis .

KUCINICH: . can either save or create 2 million to 4 million jobs.

BECK: Let me — let me just say, let me ask you a question. Have you ever worked — have you ever worked for a poor person?

KUCINICH: Oh, that's what I work for. That's why I'm in Congress. I'm in Congress to serve the poor and the rich alike. But it's the poor needs more help.

BECK: But if I may just have to point out — I believe those people are only poor because you bankrupt the system when you're in it. I'm just .

KUCINICH: Listen, let me tell you about myself. Glenn Beck, you don't know me.

BECK: I don't.

KUCINICH: I'm the oldest of seven. My parents never owned a home. I lived in — we were renters. I lived in 21 different places by the time I was 17, including a couple of cars. I know what life is like for a lot of people. I'm in Congress to make sure that the poor Middle Americans working-class people have a representative.

BECK: Dennis .

KUCINICH: I'm also in there to challenge the way that the system is. It's not working.


BECK: As an American, sir, I respect you for the job that you do. I disagree with you, but you are absolutely in there fighting for what you believe. I wish there were more people in Congress that believed in something. I don't think they do. I think they're just in there for their own power, et cetera, et cetera.

What I meant by the question...


BECK: Hang on. What I mean by the question, sir, was I have never — I've never been employed by somebody who is poor. If you want to create jobs, you don't do by giving the money to the poor. You give incentives to businesses or small businesses to create more jobs. You give them more money. Have you ever run a business?

KUCINICH: Oh, yes. I had my own business before when I was out of politics for a while. It's a communications company. I know what it's like.

BECK: How did it do?

KUCINICH: Well, I went back into politics so I had to let it go.

BECK: OK. Well, you know that if you had more of your money, you could have created more jobs.


BECK: Responsible capitalism is the answer.

KUCINICH: You know, it would be good if we had that. But the fact of the matter is, these big corporations are making money and letting millions of people go.

BECK: So .

KUCINICH: We need — when the government has to be the employer of last resort when the private sector isn't stepping forward to create the jobs. So, we have to do both.

BECK: Let's — you know what? Let's agree .

KUCINICH: We have to create the jobs. The government has to create the jobs, so does the private sector.

BECK: Let's do this. Let's find a place of agreement on that. You're exactly right. We don't have responsible business right now. It is not the place of the government to come in and bail these giant corporations out. They should fail.

KUCINICH: I agree with you.

BECK: They should fail.

KUCINICH: I agree with you.

BECK: It's the worm hole again. Dennis Kucinich, thank you very much. I appreciate it, Congressman.

KUCINICH: Thank you. Let's talk again, Glenn. Thank you.

BECK: All right. Thank you, sir.

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