Business of Politics

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 1, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

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STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: While our military grapples with what to do next in Iraq, our leaders on Capitol Hill are battling over what’s right for our country, and joining me now is the House majority leader, Congressman Tom DeLay of Texas. Welcome, Mr. Leader.


VARNEY: Those people dancing in the streets of Fallujah, we saw that video right after the horrific crime of burning those Americans yesterday. It suggests that the insurgency is not confined to a few foreign fighters. Do you think that -- are we winning enough hearts and minds in Iraq?

DELAY: Of course we are winning hearts and minds. These are localized terrorists and dissidents. This is something that you have to understand in the kind of war on terror that we are fighting, and the war in Iraq that we are fighting, that these kinds of things are going to happen. This is an abomination, but if any terrorist thinks that we are going to stop in our efforts to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq, they are going to end -- they are going to find themselves either in a cell or a cemetery.

VARNEY: Do you think that this operation in Fallujah is going to be one of the keys to the election and Mr. Bush’s standing in the polls?

DELAY: Well, frankly, we shouldn’t be talking politics. This is not about politics. This is about bringing freedom to Iraq and winning the war on terror.

I noticed that Howard Dean made an outrageous statement that the president killed these people. And -- because of the war and his lying to the people. This is so disgusting and so outrageous that we are undermining the effort on the ground and undermining our soldiers on the ground, and it has got to stop. We need to unify as a nation, fight these terrorists, wherever we can find them.

VARNEY: Can we transfer full authority to the Iraqis by the end of June if this security situation is not dramatically improved?

DELAY: Well, that is not for me to say. That is a decision that the president has to make. And he has to evaluate where we are, in June, what the future looks like, and then make a decision. That is not for me to say.

VARNEY: Sir, I want to switch gears completely and move to a very different subject, if I may, because today you released some very sobering statistics on child abuse. No decline in America in the past three years in the number of cases. What do you propose to do about this very disturbing situation?

DELAY: Well, we’re going to call for action and we are calling for action. There are 900,000 children last year alone that were abused or neglected in the most horrific ways, and this is probably an undercounting. There are a lot of children out there that are being abused that we don’t know about.

VARNEY: But what are you going do, specifically, what programs will you suggest?

DELAY: Well, if I could finish, there are over 500,000 foster children that are in need of adoption or safe and permanent homes. And we need action. We need grown-ups to get involved in this. The American people to understand that this is going on and it is at a crisis stage. Children are dying and it is grown-ups’ fault.

VARNEY: Sir, if I may be personal for a moment, I understand that you and your wife have been foster parents over the years.


VARNEY: Successfully so. Would you suggest a big increase in the foster parenting program in America?

DELAY: One of the things we are doing, Stuart, back home is we are building a whole subdivision of foster homes, bringing in people that want to love these children and raise -- and actually raise them, rather than warehouse them. It is those kinds of efforts that we need to spread all over the nation, to give loving homes, safe, permanent, loving homes for these children, and more important than that, for those foster children that can be adopted, we need to reach out to people and let them know that there are wonderful children that they can adopt and they can bring them into their families, love them and raise them.

VARNEY: Well said, Congressman, and we thank you for joining us, Tom DeLay.

DELAY: Thank you, Stuart.

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