This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 24, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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JOHN GIBSON, GUEST HOST:
another story that is causing enormous controversy and stirring a load of passion from Ground Zero to the halls of Congress. Pressure mounting on the White House, White House adviser Karl Rove to apologize or resign over comments he made in Manhattan on Wednesday night. Here is what Rove said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL ROVE, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding to our attackers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIBSON: Well, that certainly got a lot of liberals upset.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: There's a certain line that you should not cross. And last night, Karl Rove crossed that line. He just didn't put his toe over the line. He jumped way over it.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Karl Rove doesn't owe me an apology, Mr. President. He doesn't owe Democrats an apology. He owes the country an apology.
SEN. TIM JOHNSON (D), SOUTH DAKOTA: For anyone to suggest that there are differences of motive about protecting America, about responding to 9/11, is beyond the pale.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: To have someone like Karl Rove go to New York City and say what he said is just almost unimaginable. And so we believe that he needs to retract those comments.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIBSON: With us now, Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers. So they came down pretty hard on Rove. Why?
KIRSTEN POWERS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, because I think what he said was pretty disgusting. He came into New York City. He attacked a mainly Democratic city, saying liberals don't...
GIBSON: He said liberals, though. He didn't attack Democrats.
POWERS: Well, actually, if you look at what he said, he did mention the Democratic Party. But liberals and the implication was Democrats.
GIBSON: Yes, but he was talking about Moveon.org, and there's no question what Moveon.org said. They wanted to prepare indictments and conduct therapy sessions, just as he said. How is that so out of line?
POWERS: Look, I read his remarks.
GIBSON: I read them, too.
POWERS: They were in the "New York Post" today.
GIBSON: Yes, I read them.
POWERS: OK. He referred repeatedly to liberals.
POWERS: Now, while he may have gone into Moveon in the discussion, he repeatedly said liberals. He was casting aspersions against liberals. He was talking about something that affected a lot of liberals in this city. And it was in very bad taste.
GIBSON: Well, look, I don't think anybody is quibbling that Chuck Schumer, and Hillary Clinton, and Anthony Weiner, and other liberal Democrats in New York City have been some of the most hawkish pro-war Democrats in the country. There's no question about that.
But Rove specifically was talking about people other than them, Moveon.org in particular.
POWERS: OK, it is true that he did name Moveon.org. What I think is disingenuous to say he was not attacking liberals. He was attacking liberals. He was making very broad, disparaging comments. And taking what one liberal group did and applying it to liberals in general, when we know...
GIBSON: Well, one liberal group -- George Soros and Moveon.org have almost funded the Democratic Party...
POWERS: So every time a right-wing Republican nutso who funds the Republican Party says something, does that mean that...
GIBSON: Well, wait a minute. Isn't this about something else, Kirsten?
GIBSON: This isn't about Karl Rove, either. It's about Dick Durbin, isn't it?
POWERS: No. That's what you guys would like -- that's what Republicans would like it to be about, but it is not -- no.
GIBSON: Dick Durbin got slapped around bad for doing what he did. This is payback.
POWERS: No, absolutely not. If Karl Rove had -- if Dick Durbin had never said what he said, and Karl Rove came into this city, I can tell that Democrats...
GIBSON: Would be upset.
POWERS: ... would be upset. They would think that it was...
GIBSON: Would they be demanding a resignation?
POWERS: I think they would be demanding an apology. And I think that's completely within our rights to be asking for something like that.
GIBSON: Come on. Why should I not believe, as I do, that this is political froth to stir up, "Oh, yes, Durbin was bad, but so was Rove," "Oh, they're all about the same, it turns out to be a wash"?
POWERS: Yes, well, I can tell you honestly that I really don't think that's true. I think that had Dick Durbin never said what he said...
GIBSON: You know how I'd get out of it? Are you going to disavow Moveon for what they said? Are you going to disavow them for seeking indictments and therapy rather than war?
POWERS: Well, I don't remember them seeking therapy.
GIBSON: Yes, they did.
POWERS: But I will say -- I mean, what I'll say is, I don't think that Moveon.org is the Democratic Party. And I say this all the time.
GIBSON: Will you disavow?
POWERS: And I think -- disavow them for what?
GIBSON: To say we don't seek -- we don't therapy.
POWERS: Seeking therapy for terrorists?
GIBSON: We seek war for terrorists.
POWERS: OK, I don't want to seek therapy...
GIBSON: Kirsten Powers, good deal. Thanks a lot. Appreciate it, Kirsten.
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