OTR Interviews

RNC: Everything in Moderation?

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," Aug. 31, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Joining us is the Rev. Jerry Falwell — nice to see you, Reverend.

REV. JERRY FALWELL, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: Good to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Reverend, I told you during break I'd ask you the hard questions. So let me ask you the hard questions. The speakers are moderate. The Democrats did the same thing at their convention. But the Republicans put up their moderate people so far. Do you agree with that? Is that a good idea to do?

FALWELL: Well, I think it is and I'll tell you why. This party, this Republican Party, is made up of three primary constituencies: political, fiscal and social conservatives. Most social conservatives are all three. Many fiscal and political conservatives are not social conservatives. But we only win when all three are energized and all three really go to the polls in November. And our group is energized.

About 4 million of our people did not vote in 2000. They did not know George W. that well. They know him and love him and believe in him now.

And tonight, the two girls — I thought that was just great — and first time the nation, first time I've ever seen them in action. And then their mom? Awesome. It's a family, and I think, it's a role model that the country really sort of needs. I just can't wait for November to see him win.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you talk about fiscal conservatives. Is the fiscal conservative part of the Republican [Party] satisfied? We have an incredible deficit, and it's not getting any better. But are they satisfied by the direction the Republican Party is going.

FALWELL: I think they are, because I think everybody knows we're in a war. Wars are very expensive. I lived through World War II and Korea and all the rest since then. It's a necessary war, in many ways, worse than what we faced before because of the inability to identify the enemy and so forth. And yet, the ruthlessness — this is the first enemy we've ever thought that is willing to die just to kill us. Most of them have wanted to live and that's an advantage.

This president has prosecuted that war. I think we should have gone to Iraq. I think Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, all have been great victories for the president. And I liked everything I — by the way, Liz Dole, Sen. Dole, was a social conservative and she knocked the ball out of the park here tonight.

VAN SUSTEREN: The first lady brought up another sort of controversial issue. She talked about embryonic stem cell research. Do you agree with the president, what the president has done? Would you like to see less research?

I assume you want to see less embryonic stem cell research, but I'll let you speak for yourself.

FALWELL: I agree totally with the president and I don't think he's denying science any advantages. I think that having studied carefully adult stem cells studies and what's available right now and the fact that the private industry is already head over heals in, I really don't see it as an issue at all. It's just something the Democrats are using — and I understand that — against him, come November.

This president is pro-life, right through; pro-family, right through. But he is also Ronald Reagan-esque in his approach to freedom and, if necessary, confrontation with a vicious enemy.

I've been to many conventions in a row and I've been from the opening gallows — and this convention is much like '84, and the excitement level much like '84. And I'm going to predict that the president is going to win by substantial margins.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, we'll hold you to that one. We'll hold you to that one, Reverend. Nice to see, sir - thank you very much.

FALWELL: Thank you.

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