Glenn Beck on Progressivism in America

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 26, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "At Your Beck and Call" segment tonight: The Glen-meister caused some turmoil at the CPAC convention last weekend by criticizing both political parties. This evening, he is once again at an undisclosed location. But before he left, I caught up with him.


O'REILLY: All right. So here's Beck. And there's a lot of cancer talk at the CPAC keynote address by you.

Click here to watch Beck in the No Spin Zone!

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Made some people uncomfortable. Surprisingly, not cancer patients.

O'REILLY: Your point was that progressivism...

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: the cancer...

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: ...that has seeped into the fabric of America. Did I get it?

BECK: Excuse me. Look...

O'REILLY: You're welcome.

BECK: Can we just talk for a second? May I approach the bench? Bill O'Reilly, in his book "Culture Warrior," it's fabulous. You'll notice two things in this book. First of all, Bill surprisingly had much more hair when this was taken.

O'REILLY: Surprisingly?

BECK: The — well, it's a very nice wig.

O'REILLY: When you are my age, you're going to look like a watermelon, OK?

BECK: You're saying — you're implying that I don't now? OK. This is what — you write — this whole thing is about progressivism.

O'REILLY: Absolutely.

BECK: Yes. So now you're coming down on me about...

O'REILLY: I'm not coming down on you. I'm just asking.

BECK: It's not a cancer? The whole darn book is about...

O'REILLY: I didn't say it wasn't a cancer. I'm just asking about the cancer.

BECK: Yes. Here's the — and here's the best part. You and I have come to the same conclusion. I'm doing a deal at the Lincoln Memorial this summer on 8/28 about restoring honor. From "Culture Warrior," if I may quote: "Don't do stuff — don't say stuff and then not do it. Sloppiness of character. It can become habit-forming. It's very important for the T-warrior."

O'REILLY: Traditional warrior.

BECK: I know. It just bothers me. "To be a person of honor, a stand-up guy or gal. What does that mean? By being stand-up, you tell the truth and defend your principles in public, even if they're unpopular."

O'REILLY: Correct, right. And that's what you did at the CPAC convention?

BECK: Yes. Even though it's unpopular.

O'REILLY: And it was, because both the left mocked you and the right mocked you.

BECK: Here's the thing. My point at CPAC was there is — there is a disease. It is set up to eat our Constitution. That's the whole progressive movement. Progressive movement...

O'REILLY: I don't disagree with you. As you said, I wrote a whole book on it. I wrote a whole book on it when you were just a whippersnapper.

BECK: So then how come you don't...

O'REILLY: When you were throwing water balloons on dopey radio shows, I was writing that book.

BECK: So then how come you don't see the evil invidiousness that is going on, especially in the Democratic Party and the Obama administration, this giant progressive movement that is — that is eating the final bits...

O'REILLY: What do you think we do here every night?

BECK: I don't know. I don't watch...

O'REILLY: I know you don't. That's what your problem is.

BECK: There's no one watching this show.

O'REILLY: You have to watch it.

BECK: This is like a cable access show.

O'REILLY: You have to watch the most successful cable news program in history, all right? We take it apart.

BECK: Right.

O'REILLY: But we don't generalize in a big tent. But let's get to the right for a moment. You get in there, and these are the conservatives, many of them Republicans. You're slamming the Republican Party for big spending...

BECK: Right.

O'REILLY: ...for big government and ignoring the folks.

BECK: And I will say this: if you're going to slam me on anything, you can slam me for painting with a broad brush and saying all Republicans. That's like saying all Democrats are bad. They're not. Especially — I don't ever want to say that all Democrats are bad, because I don't mean the voters. I mean a lot of the people...

O'REILLY: The structure.

BECK: Washington, the party itself. It's what Washington calls...

O'REILLY: Is the Republican Party just as corrupt?

BECK: I think the Republican Party corruption...

O'REILLY: It's just as bad as the Democrats?


O'REILLY: Close?

BECK: It's pretty close.

O'REILLY: According to Glenn Beck.

Now, we had a lively debate earlier this week. Rush Limbaugh mocked me for not saying — not calling, not branding President Obama a socialist. Now...

BECK: I would agree with him.

O'REILLY: ...I know you think he's a socialist and I cited that.

BECK: Right.

O'REILLY: But when I interviewed Obama — and you should look at that interview — I said to him...

BECK: I read his book.

O'REILLY: You are a big — you have to immerse yourself in the "Factor" culture. I said directly to him, he was sitting as close to me as you are right now.

BECK: I just got a chill.

O'REILLY: You are a big income redistribution guy, and that is a socialist tenet. He responded, Teddy Roosevelt wanted progressive taxation. That's what his answer was.

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: But I'm — I'm not soft on Obama. I identify what he does. But I'm not going to say that he's Hugo Chavez.

BECK: If you want to be — if you want to be technically accurate...

O'REILLY: Right.

BECK: ...he's not a Marxist. He's not a socialist. He's a progressive.

O'REILLY: That's right. Exactly. So you're agreeing with me, Beck.

BECK: Never.

O'REILLY: Technically Accurate O'Reilly. That's my nickname. T.A. O'Reilly. Technically accurate. You're agreeing with me.

BECK: The spirit of it.

O'REILLY: OK. I have no beef with that.

BECK: People don't understand what progressive really means. The difference between Marxism and progressivism is Marxism has a revolution, like what Van Jones would like to do. Progressivism says, "Bit by bit, we'll eat at the Constitution."

O'REILLY: Let me make it really simple for you so that you can go back on your show and say this to the folks.

BECK: Do you have a chalkboard?

O'REILLY: Progressivism...

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: ...wants to take your stuff. That's it. That's what it is. It wants to take your stuff.

BECK: Doesn't want to kill you?

O'REILLY: No, because then they won't have your stuff. If you're dead, you can't earn stuff that they want. Right? It's very counterproductive.

BECK: Right. I will go a step farther. They just don't want to take your stuff. They want to control every aspect of your life.

O'REILLY: Maybe. That's a totalitarian thing that Chavez and these guys get into. I don't think Obama cares what you do in your spare time.

BECK: What do you have in your spare time...

O'REILLY: He doesn't care what you do.

BECK: Are you getting — now we're getting to the communist kind of constitutions where you have a right to work and then a right to rest.

O'REILLY: Look, there's no doubt about any of this. You and I agree, which is, you know, why we're successful, because I think the folks agree with us, too.

BECK: I don't know why I'm successful.

O'REILLY: You take it — I don't either, to tell you the truth. But you take it five steps further than I do.

BECK: That was easy. That's beneath...

O'REILLY: Look, if you're going to give it to me, I'm going to take it. It's not beneath me. What are you, crazy? There's nothing beneath me. Watch the show.

BECK: No, I don't watch the show.

O'REILLY: That's why you don't know that.

O'REILLY: Glenn Beck, everybody.


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