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Rep. Bart Stupak on Receiving Death Threats After Health Care Vote

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Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. (FNC)

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Threatening voicemails, bricks through windows, and if that isn't horrifying enough, try this one: gunshots. Everyday, things are getting uglier. First the Democrats under siege, and now it is the Republicans being threatened. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor took to the microphone this morning, announcing his office was shot at and he is receiving threatening e-mails. Congressman Cantor says the incidents should not be politicized.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC CANTOR, R-VA., MINORITY WHIP: It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain. That is why I have deep concerns that some — DCCC chairman Van Hollen and DNC chairman Tim Kaine in particular — are dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Republican Congresswoman Jean Schmidt getting a hostile voicemail for her "no" vote on health care.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm glad the president passed health care. Yes. You (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Republicans hate that, don't you? Jean Schmidt, when you got hit by that car or you fell or whatever, you should have broke your back (EXPLETIVE DELETED) You and Boehner (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and Mitch McConnell, all you racist Republicans, why don't you all change your party name to racist?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Democratic congressman Bart Stupak is also getting threatening voicemails for changing his "no" vote to "yes."

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman Stupak, you are one big piece of human (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And think about this. There are millions of people across the country who wish you ill.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: So what is going on? Earlier, Congressman Stupak went "On the Record," and we asked the congressman about the threats.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. BART STUPAK, D-MICH.: We're taking a little heat. Goes with the territory.

Click here to watch the interview!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it seems to be amped up a little bit. I mean, there are threatening calls to members of Congress.

STUPAK: Oh, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman Cantor just reported that there was a gunshot fired at his campaign headquarters. You know, Democrats, Republicans are both getting it.

STUPAK: Yes, immunity, it's — well, you saw it over the weekend. It was pretty ugly here with the demonstrations. And it's a really commentary on our lack of civility, not just on the House floor but also in general in society.

VAN SUSTEREN: There's a difference though between the protests, people out expressing peacefully their views, even if strong...

STUPAK: Well...

VAN SUSTEREN: ...between — there's a difference between that and being outright rude, and violent, too.

STUPAK: Well, I agree. I agree. But you saw that over the weekend, too. I mean, the racial slurs, members were spat on. It's just a bad time right now, so — so yes, yes, I mean, there's a lot of the threats. And I've probably had more than most of them because I've sort of been in the eye of the hurricane. So be it.

VAN SUSTEREN: But it's sort of interesting, you getting it from both sides. You're getting it from the pro-life and the pro-choice.

STUPAK: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Both sides — both sides think that — my word — you're the villain.

STUPAK: Yes. Well, that — I guess that must mean I did a good job, I got both sides mad at me. That means — that means I got good legislation (INAUDIBLE) that executive order is very strong language to protect the sanctity of life. That's why pro-choice people are mad. Pro-life wanted statutory language, but you can't get more than 45 votes for pro-life legislation in the Senate, where you need 60 votes. So if they could (INAUDIBLE) another 15 votes, we'd put that statutory language in. So I mean, yes, that's right, both sides.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any problem with the fact that the president signed your executive order — I say it's yours because you sort of led the charge on this — that he signed it without the TV there? I mean, it seemed to me...

STUPAK: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: You don't have any problem with that?

STUPAK: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why?

STUPAK: Well, I don't even remember seeing TV coverage of an executive order signing.

VAN SUSTEREN: But this isn't a routine one. This was a rather important one...

STUPAK: Well...

VAN SUSTEREN: ...because this was the make or break — if you hadn't gotten that executive order and — you said you weren't going to vote for it...

STUPAK: Sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: ...so there'd be no health care bill.

STUPAK: Sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: So this is not just any old executive order.

STUPAK: But George Bush did an executive order in 2007 on the embryonic stem cell research, and that wasn't...

VAN SUSTEREN: He didn't run on transparency.

STUPAK: That was a big issue.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, but he ran on transparency, and this is the one that the whole — I mean, everybody was watching.

STUPAK: First of all, I have no problem with it. We had the major bill signing the day before. Secondly, I did see myself on TV walking in and out of the White House yesterday for the bill — executive order signing, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: We do chase you.

STUPAK: ...someone had cameras there.

VAN SUSTEREN: But inside, I mean, I think that, you know, there are many people who might have wanted to be right inside (INAUDIBLE) hear what the president said to you, what you might have said to the president, I mean, because whether you're for it or against it, this was an important occasion.

STUPAK: Well, I think the president — in fact, I know they did release photos of the bill signing ceremony — excuse me, the executive order signing. And I think if I want to have a conversation with the president, I don't think the media has to be there.

VAN SUSTEREN: No, but this is — I mean, it doesn't have to be, but I guess the reason why I'm being a little bit argumentative with you is the fact that it's transparency and it was such a monumental signing. It's not just any regular one. And — and people...

STUPAK: Well, to tell you the truth...

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm sort of curious. What did the president say to you? Say anything to you?

STUPAK: You know, why the media wasn't invited, I guess that's a White House call. Made no difference to me. We got the pictures. We put out our press release saying it was done, it was completed. So you know...

VAN SUSTEREN: What did the president — did the president say anything to you?

STUPAK: Well, the president reiterated his commitment, as he said throughout this whole debate, that he'd like to see the current law, the Hyde language, the no public funding for abortion, remain in this new health care bill, and that's what was doing with his signature. In fact, he said it was an ironclad commitment that there would not be public funding for abortion in this new law, and his administration would enforce that principle.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I guess we should point out that ringing, that buzzer is the way they summon all of you. It's like you guys are on the end of a buzzer. They're buzzing to you, come vote.

STUPAK: In a few minutes, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: In a few minutes. Thank you, sir.

STUPAK: You bet.

VAN SUSTEREN: And good luck, sir.

STUPAK: Thanks, Greta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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