Interviews

Tom DeLay Says Rosie Must Go

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 16, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST:

In the "Impact" segment tonight, former Congressman Tom DeLay also got blasted by Rosie O'Donnell today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSIE O'DONNELL, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I think we're in dangerous territory when people like Tom Delay, a man of high moral standards, when people like Tom DeLay want me to be fired for my political opinions. That's a dangerous state of affairs here in democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: All right. Tom DeLay's new book is called "No Retreat, No Surrender". And he joins us now from Houston. I'm sorry you had to be insulted by that woman. I think she's now obviously out of control. And ABC's got a big problem. If you were the CEO of the Disney Company, Michael Iger, what would you do?

TOM DELAY, FMR. CONGRESSMAN: Well, the first thing I'd do is call her in and tell her that anything she says has to be backed up and justified. Then I'd find somebody to put on the program opposite her, so that they can hold her accountable. That's what this is all about.

I write about this in the book, Bill. I've been through 11 years of these kinds of attacks, the criminalization of politics, the coordination of media with these left wing groups and people like Rosie O'Donnell, destroying your character. It's not good enough any more to defeat somebody politically or vilify them publicly. They've got to carpet bomb you and drive you from office, disgraced, bankrupt and your family destroyed. That's what this is all about.

We saw it with Don Imus, and with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson . And now I'm calling on conservatives to stand up and fight for once and go after Rosie O'Donnell. Not for censoring her, but holding her accountable for the outrageous things that she says that are either not truthful or not backed up by facts.

O'REILLY: Well, you did say she should be fired, did you not?

DELAY: Yes.

O'REILLY: And it's Robert Iger by the way. Robert Iger is the CEO. Well, I don't understand. So you don't want to censure her. You want to put somebody on the desk to balance her out, but now you're saying you want to fire her. Which is it?

DELAY: Well, if she continues this after — I meant to say that after she's been warned and she continues then yes, she should be fired. And people around the country should not allow her to use the public airwaves for her diatribes and her screeds.

O'REILLY: See, I wouldn't fire her. But I would do what you suggest and put someone else on the desk that, you know, would be a — like a truth police person. Because what Ms.O'Donnell does, and you also pinpointed this, is she takes the far left garbage like the "wetback" comment, totally out of context. Obviously, that was not meant to besmirch anyone. It was meant to describe what the smuggling industry is down there. And I just used the wrong word for "coyote."

And anybody reading the transcript, as Howard Kurtz said, would know that. But she doesn't care about that. She basically cares about venting her hatred.

Now it looks like she hates her country because she's — you know the 9/11 conspiracy stuff, the — we trumped up the Iran kidnapping thing to start another war, all of these things. And she certainly hates you and I. I guess she perceives us as, you know, some kind of evil ideologues.

But I still wouldn't censure her, sir, because I'm getting to the point now where I'm seeing what the left-wing blogs are doing. And what they're doing is trying to wipe out people, as you said carpet bomb them. And if this starts the domino down, then you're not going to have any commentary at all.

DELAY: Well, no, we need commentary. But we need honest commentary.

O'REILLY: You bet.

DELAY: And they need to be — everybody needs to be held accountable. I'm held accountable when I was an elected official. You're held accountable when people come after you. It just seems that the left are never held accountable.

I mean, this woman has called me a crook. You just saw her on — today saying that — making fun of me and my morals. I've been found guilty of nothing. I've been through 11 years of ethics, frivolous ethics charges, all dismissed. I even had a Rico suit, a racketeering suit, filed against me. I'm presently under indictment for laws that don't exist in Texas by a Nifong-type of prosecutor in Texas called Ronnie Earl , undermining our justice system here in Texas. There is no evidence whatsoever that I'm immoral, number one, or a crook, number two.

O'REILLY: See, I don't think you even have to justify her statement with that. I mean, I just wanted to prove to the audience that the — what she said and what Frank Rich said was so out of context that now they know who the true liars are, and the true people who have moral deficits.

But you don't have to do that. The record shows that, you know, you served your country. They may not like you, but you're a public servant, who's walking around free right now.

DELAY: But.

O'REILLY: Now your book basically says that people have to stand up and fight against this stuff. And I agree with you. I mean, we have to fight against the Rosie O'Donnells and The New York Times of the world, or this country's going.

DELAY: Well, Bill, that's exactly what my book talks about. I call Republicans and most importantly the conservative movement to return to our basic principals of order, justice and freedom. I tell people what I believe in. And I suggest an agenda to fight for the future. And it's all there in the book. We need to put the past behind us and look forward. And conservatives, come together and unite and fight against what's going on out there.

O'REILLY: Yes, listen, I hope they do, Mr. Delay, because it's certainly out of control right now. And most Americans don't like this. They really don't. I appreciate you coming on.

DELAY: Thank you, Bill.

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