This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 5, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Fired up! Right now, the very first National Tea Party Convention is steaming! It is brimming with enthusiasm in Nashville, Tennessee. Organizers say it's packed, and Saturday night, Governor Sarah Palin will be the keynote speaker. Will this be the first of many national conventions, or is this a one-time deal?
Well, let's see what Glenn Beck thinks. Glenn joins us in St. Louis. Nice to see you, Glenn.
GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": Hi, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: So Glenn, what is it? Is this a one-time deal or is this truly the beginning of a movement, the Tea Party Convention?
BECK: You know, I can't tell you about the tea party movement. You know, I don't -- I'm not really sure what exactly is going to happen with the tea parties. I know that there's a lot of people that would like to co-opt any of these movements. That would spell the end, the doom of any of these movements, you know, if the Republicans decide, Hey, yes, we're just like you guys, and then it becomes a Republican event.
If that doesn't happen, if the tea party-goers -- and I think they're pretty shrewd, at least the people in the movement that I've met -- they know. They know that they've been used by Republicans and Democrats for a long time, and they're not going to do it anymore. They want a true independent movement that looks at each party, each candidate, and says, Do these people have my values, my principles? And are they going to put the country on a sustainable path?
VAN SUSTEREN: Is this, though, a civil war within the Republican Party? And is it sort of a threat? I mean, we saw what happened with Ross Perot and President Bush 41 back in '92. Is that what this is to the Republican Party?
BECK: I mean, I love the way everybody talks about the tea party movement as if this is a Republican movement. You'll notice that it is an independent movement. If you look at the polls, the poll numbers of the Republicans are like this. The poll numbers of the Democrats are like that. Independents are now the leading...
VAN SUSTEREN: But wasn't this typically -- but weren't a lot of these people who are in the tea party movement, to the extent that it's a movement -- weren't they typically people who'd be more inclined to vote with a Republican platform?
BECK: I think, originally.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. So I guess that's why...
BECK: Yes, I think, originally...
VAN SUSTEREN: I guess...
BECK: No, no, no.
VAN SUSTEREN: I guess that's why it's seen...
BECK: No, no. Wait.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... as taking from...
BECK: No, no. No, wait.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... the Republicans.
BECK: No. Wait. They are people that have traditionally -- I think, in the beginning, traditionally people that voted for Republicans. But the Republicans -- this is the part that the media never covers. The Republicans -- a lot of the people who are not just die-hard zombie "I'm going to vote for whatever my party says I should do" -- those people, they're still Republicans.
But the people that started looking at George W. Bush and went, Wait a minute, this is an unsustainable path, wait a minute, prescription drugs doesn't work, what's happening on the border, they're not telling us the truth -- those people were independent of Republicans. Those people went, Wait a minute, OK, I -- this isn't working. They were the first out.
This is not about just Barack Obama and the Democrats, and that's what everybody misses.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think...
BECK: They were disenfranchised by the Republicans first.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I think that's -- I think that's...
BECK: Now there are Democrats joining.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I think therein lies the problem for the Republican Party is that they were originally, as you just noted, Republicans who went independent. And so they are taking a huge chunk of the Republican vote, or what would typically be thought of as the Republican vote.
BECK: No. Greta, the latest Fox News/Dynamic poll shows that even 77 percent of Democrats say that the Founders would not be happy with what's going on in Washington right now. This is not a Republican-Democrat thing. It is an American constitutional idea!
VAN SUSTEREN: But isn't...
BECK: It is people!
VAN SUSTEREN: But isn't this, though, sort of a group that thinks they're sort of disenfranchised because the two parties have not -- have not been loyal to the Constitution, or whatever their particular issue is? Isn't that -- aren't these people sort of disenfranchised from the conventional parties?
BECK: Yes. Both.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. All right, well...
BECK: They are a threat...
VAN SUSTEREN: You and I agree on that.
BECK: They're a threat to both parties.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So...
BECK: Yes. They're a threat to both parties.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So but who are they a biggest threat to, do you think, come November? Because, come November there are going to be two main parties on the ballot in terms of the mid-terms, Republican and Democrat. So who's sweating it more that this movement is getting some steam?
BECK: Liars, cheats and thieves.
BECK: That's who they're going to be -- lookit, let me take -- let me take Scott Brown. Scott Brown was washed in by this tea party movement. But I said, at least, on television and radio, Do you really know who this guy is? If this guy says, Hey, I'm just like you, and then he's not, if he turns out to be a liar, cheat, thief, he's in even bigger trouble because if you elect somebody like, yes, I've always kind of been kind of smarmy, I'm just your typical politician, that person is in trouble when it comes to the polls and when it comes time to be reelected. But the person who disguises themselves and says, yes, I'm for the Constitution, I'm just like you -- that person, if they're exposed, they're in deep trouble.
VAN SUSTEREN: You see, I...
BECK: Deep trouble.
VAN SUSTEREN: I thought that Scott Brown -- the reason why he got elected, or the primary, was because on December 19th, Martha Coakley, his opponent, was up about 20 points in a Democratic state. And then the unthinkable happened. They had the Christmas Eve vote and the Nebraska deal, which $300 million got funneled off to Nebraska in some special deal that offended even people in Nebraska, and then early January, you had the behind-the-doors meeting at the White House with the unions, and it wasn't so much -- it wasn't so much what the tea party movement, is that everyone was appalled at the sneaky stuff. It wasn't being tea partied, it's just, like, you know, how -- how could -- what was Martha Coakley going to do?
BECK: Liars, cheats and thieves. Liars, cheats and thieves. Look, we're -- you know, the progressive movement for 100 years has known we have to disengage the American people away from the Founders, away -- make them white, racist, rich, you know, store owners. That's all they cared about. No, that's not true. These were enlightened men who were struggling with the ideas of their time, but then said, You know what? We can create a better system.
Most Americans still believe in the free market system. They still believe in the Constitution. They still believe that if left unguarded, you will be ruled by liars, cheats and thieves. And that's why the Constitution is so important. And that's what people are wanting. They know that you're going to -- you know, we're going to have a bad politician from time to time, but they're tired of being lied to, they're tired of being called names because they think differently. We've unpegged from the American experiment.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, who do you admire today who is a politician in office, and why?
BECK: In office? Let's see. I like Michele Bachmann. I'm really not willing to give my -- my endorsement on anybody because I don't trust anybody.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm not looking for an endorsement.
BECK: We've been burned over and over again.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm not looking for -- I'm not looking for an endorsement, I'm trying to think, Who do you think keeps the most true to your principles? I mean, who...
BECK: I think -- here -- here...
VAN SUSTEREN: There must be someone who...
BECK: Here you have...
VAN SUSTEREN: OK.
BECK: There's two people. There's two people. There's one is Michele Bachmann. She was doing the tea party thing before tea parties were doing tea parties. She knows what she believes in. I think you have Senator DeMint is very good. On the other side, I've got one guy who I can't name right now who is so liberal, he makes my eyes bleed.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why can't you name him? Now I'm curious.
BECK: Because I'm doing something with two members of Congress. One is a just staunch conservative, the other is one of the most liberal people in Congress. But they agree on one thing -- liars, cheats and thieves need to be ejected. And in the next month or so -- I've been working with them together, trying to get everybody to trust each other -- me, them -- to trust each other to say, Look these are the principles. Now let's go root out corruption.
So there's somebody else who I don't agree with on any political issue, but he agrees on liars, cheats and thieves. And those people are in trouble.
VAN SUSTEREN: That is quite a tease. That is...
BECK: Those people are in trouble.
VAN SUSTEREN: That is quite a tease. You -- I mean, can you give us, like, initials or something, or like, you know, height, weight, anything...
VAN SUSTEREN: Anything like that?
VAN SUSTEREN: Nothing at all?
VAN SUSTEREN: Nothing at all.
BECK: No. No. It would blow -- it would blow -- it would blow the great tease.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, well, you got me. I confess that now it's bothering me. I'm dying to know. All right, so I guess in one month, I'll learn? Is that right?
BECK: Yes. I mean, I just -- I just had a conversation with one of them, and I think we're close. We just have a lot of tests back and forth with each other on honor, where we have, you know, said OK, poke around, test me, you know, see if I really believe what I say I do, because we are so far apart on policy that we shouldn't -- we shouldn't get along at all.
VAN SUSTEREN: What -- what matters...
VAN SUSTEREN: What matters more for you in a candidate, character or agreement on issues?
BECK: Character. Character. I don't agree with Joe Lieberman on very much. Character -- I think he's a man of character. You know, I need a guy who I can say, Look, how are you going to vote, and he'll say, Well, not this I hate this. Well, I'm not really sure yet. I'm still looking at the issues. The vote's in 10 minutes! But I'd rather have somebody like Joe Lieberman, who says, Glenn, I can't vote -- I can't vote your way, and here's why -- this, this, this, this, this -- instead of a guy who tells me, Oh, I'm -- you know what? You're making some good points, leaves the room, closes the door and then tells everybody, Boy, that sucker! I got I him!
VAN SUSTEREN: So you don't want...
BECK: I want somebody I can trust.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you don't want to be had.
BECK: Yes. If -- look, you know, that Barack Obama poster that said hope -- where does hope come from? Hope comes from the truth. If you don't know the truth, then you have false hope. The only way we're going to be able to fix things is the truth. Just tell me the truth. I'm big enough. I don't have to agree with you on everything. You're not my enemy if -- you know, I got 10 issues. We agree on 7. What, I can't vote for you?
VAN SUSTEREN: All right...
VAN SUSTEREN: One quick last question. I'm in studio...
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm in studio H here in New York. Is that your studio?
BECK: I don't -- I don't go that deep into the alphabet. I don't know.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think -- I think I have your studio...
VAN SUSTEREN: I think I have your studio. It's quite fancy. I really like your studio, so...
BECK: It's not.
VAN SUSTEREN: It's very nice.
BECK: I mean, you know...
BECK: You're a bigger fish. I think I'm -- I think I'm using your New York studio on a daily basis.
VAN SUSTEREN: No, no. I think -- I think, like, you have it way too good here. So anyway -- anyway, congratulations on your success. Glenn, thanks for joining us.
BECK: Thanks a lot, Greta. Thank you. You bet.
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