This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Politicians, look out! The Tea Party Express has a target list of people it wants to vote out of office. So who's on the list? Joining us live is Tucker Carlson, editor of The Daily Caller. And you spoke at a tea party this afternoon.
TUCKER CARLSON, THE DAILY CALLER/FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Just tonight.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did you do?
CARLSON: I mean, I talked what I know, which is journalism and The Daily Caller, our site. And we're covering the tea party I think in a pretty straightforward way, unlike a lot of people. But I was impressed by the sincerity of the people there. I'm always impressed by that. I mean, I think when you look a political movement, you should take what the people say at face value, at least at first. You ask them why they're there and they all give a pretty straightforward reason, which is, We're upset about spending.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, they -- I think many people were sort of dismissive of them last year, when many of them...
CARLSON: Sort of?
VAN SUSTEREN: ... went to town halls.
VAN SUSTEREN: And then it wasn't until Senator Scott Brown was elected and all of a sudden, they say -- a lot of people woke up, like, Oh, you know, maybe -- maybe there is something to this.
CARLSON: Well, the coverage went from -- and I'm not talking about Fox here, but in general, the coverage went from dismissive and nasty, really nasty...
VAN SUSTEREN: Insulting!
CARLSON: Very insulting.
VAN SUSTEREN: And insulting.
CARLSON: ... to patronizing, sort of patting them on the head. Well, actually, you know, do you know they're not all mentally ill and racist, did you know that?
VAN SUSTEREN: They're not all stupid!
CARLSON: Right! Exactly. That was...
CARLSON: ... but better to just acknowledge the truth, which is they're pretty ordinary people who are, I think, doing a noble thing, which is expressing dissent from the prevailing political program. Like, you're supposed to do that in this country.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, they've got a new list, a new target list...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... of who they're going to (INAUDIBLE)
CARLSON: Wouldn't want to be on it.
VAN SUSTEREN: The senators that they were -- were gunning for are Blanche Lincoln, Senator Blanche Lincoln, Nevada Senator Harry Reid -- of course, he's the...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... very important one, and Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter.
CARLSON: Yes. I mean, I think those are three pretty -- at least two out of three, they got a pretty good shot.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who?
CARLSON: Well, I think Arlen Specter...
VAN SUSTEREN: Blanche Lincoln...
CARLSON: ... would be in trouble, and then I think Blanche Lincoln is definitely in trouble. I mean, the ground has (INAUDIBLE) shifted beneath her feet. I mean, that's a state -- Arkansas is a very complicated state - - I used to work at the newspaper there -- hard to figure out where it goes. But right now, it is not a pro-Obama state. It's hard to see her holding on.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is way behind, but I predict that once he gets through this primary in June, he's got so much more money, and I think he's going to win in November. But anyway...
CARLSON: He's a tough person. I would even say -- and I -- you know...
VAN SUSTEREN: And I didn't think that before, by the way.
CARLSON: He's a mean guy. I will say that. My...
VAN SUSTEREN: Mean?
CARLSON: Yes, Harry Reid I will...
VAN SUSTEREN: Mean?
CARLSON: Yes, I think he's -- I do think Harry Reid is nasty.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's for another segment. I don't know about that. But anyway -- I mean, I don't know that he's mean. He may be tough.
CARLSON: I've had that experience with Harry Reid.
VAN SUSTEREN: I -- that -- you're on your own on that one. OK, Tea Party -- one of the other people that they have targeted is Barney Frank from Massachusetts.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any chance Barney Frank, who's been elected so many times in Massachusetts, could get defeated?
CARLSON: Barney Frank has been elected since 1980. And Barney Frank -- I mean, you can go on the Internet and find video of Barney Frank saying things that are so over the top, basically making obscene gestures to reporters, and he keeps getting re-elected. I just don't see Barney Frank losing his seat.
VAN SUSTEREN: So no matter how much...
CARLSON: But I mean, look, I pray for it. That doesn't mean it can't happen, but it's a tough one.
VAN SUSTEREN: And they have heroes. Florida -- the -- in Florida, one of their heroes is Marco Rubio.
CARLSON: You know, it's amazing. It -- it sounds tonight like the wheels may be coming off the Charlie Crist for Senate campaign. One of his...
VAN SUSTEREN: He's got more trouble...
CARLSON: One of his major backers, apparently, tonight -- and I just got this e-mail seconds (ph) as I was walking into the studio -- has just resigned from the campaign, apparently. It doesn't look good. And there's a lot of talk now that he may, in fact, leave the Republican Party, become an independent. I don't know if that's true or not, but I know that a lot of Republicans in Washington think it's a definite possibility. And they're warning him explicitly, Don't do that, we will run against you if you do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, and it's interesting that sort of the hero to the Tea Party movement is Governor Sarah Palin.
VAN SUSTEREN: And she -- and she was heard on -- that YouTube video, where she says to -- about Marco Rubio, Call me.
CARLSON: Call me.
VAN SUSTEREN: Call me. So that was -- I mean, that's sort of an endorsement, Call me. Yes, right, call me. Michele Bachmann is also a hero.
CARLSON: I saw Michele Bachmann tonight. Michele Bachmann is a terrific speaker. I don't -- you know, I don't know Michele Bachmann. I've met her. I hadn't seen her speak before a crowd like that before tonight. I was impressed! I fact, I was standing, talking to someone -- Who is that? It was Michele Bachmann. She's good! I can see why she is literally despised by the activist left, and she really is. She truly is this figure of hatred on the left because she's pretty effective, I thought.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, with this target list, what is sort of the risk to the Republican Party, I mean, that these Tea Party movement people are going to go out and they're going to be so mad, they're going to vote for Republicans, they're going to split the party, they're going to do like Ross Perot? I mean, is any of this -- I mean, is this really more of a risk to the Republicans than the Democrats?
CARLSON: No, it's far more a risk to the Democrats. I mean, this is -- sure, it's anti-incumbent, but it's -- it's anti-liberal, basically. These are not big spenders. These are small government folks. They really, really are. That's the one thing that unites them all. So it's explicitly a threat to the Democrats. I think the real threat to Republicans comes potentially after the elections when the Tea Party movement helps elect ton of Republicans in places...
VAN SUSTEREN: Where is it? Where's what you promised, you mean?
CARLSON: Kind of.
CARLSON: And where's our leadership?
VAN SUSTEREN: Right.
CARLSON: I mean, they haven't made a secret of being dissatisfied with some -- not all but some of the Republican leadership.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who is the leader of the Tea Party movement?
CARLSON: That's a great question. I mean, I would say Sarah Palin by default. I mean, I -- there is -- strictly speaking, there's no individual leader. But yes, I think Sarah Palin is the most popular. Sure. Don't you?
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, I think Tucker Carlson is.
CARLSON: I'm trying. I'm trying.
VAN SUSTEREN: I know you're trying really hard. Anyway...
CARLSON: I couldn't lead a movement if my life depended on it, but I like watching.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, anyways, always nice to have you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thanks, Greta.
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