Interviews

Tea Not for Two?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 7, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: "Impact Segment" tonight, far left by Howard Dean believes the Tea Party is now alienating American voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: What they have done essentially is created a monster. Their rhetoric has been so uncompromising, so inaccurate, so ludicrous that they have created -- they have given permission for this wing of the Republican party, which is now -- this is a Tea Party group to say outrageous things and for the mainstream voter, it is frightening to see that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Well, according to recent Fox News poll 70 percent of voters in America support the main issues that Tea party has raised like calling for lower taxes, less govePnment spending and that includes 49 percent of democrats. So, I'm not exactly sure what Mr. Dean is talking about. Joining us now from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Democratic governor of that state Ed Rendell. Do you agree or disagree with Dean?

GOV. ED RENDELL, D-PENN.: Well, I have to admit, Bill, I'm a little upset because I think I do understand what Howard is talking about. I think what Howard is talking about is some members, who call themselves Tea Party members. The basic thrust of the Tea Party is something --as you said many democrats agree with him, partially I agree with. But, there are clearly people who are flying the Tea Party banner, who are saying bizarre and extreme things and it is helping the democrats, because it is taking those Democratic base voters who may be are disenchanted.

O'REILLY: So, you really believe -- Number one, every political party group whatever has extreme nuts in it, you know that?

RENDELL: Absolutely, absolutely.

O'REILLY: So, you really believe that Dean -- Dean says that mainstream voters are becoming frightened of the Tea Party. None of the polls reflect that.

RENDELL: No. Again, it's not frightened of the Tea Party, though. But, there are Republican candidates out there. They are saying some really shockingly disturbing things like, for example, if you are the victim of rape, you have to bear the child of the rapist who raped you --

O'REILLY: But do you think that's cutting across?

RENDELL: That's disturbing to most Americans.

O'REILLY: See, I think the perception in America is that the Tea Party is a positive force for change. I could be wrong I'm just going by the scientific data that's in here. I don't think that the individual kook is really swaying independent voter feeling. I just don't see it.

RENDELL: I think for a while that was the case, and I agree with you the major thrust of the Tea Party is nothing that scares any voters and nothing that energized the Democratic base, because the Tea Party has been around for over a year now, and they haven't energized the Democratic base. But, there are people out there who call themselves Tea Party-ites and you know who they are, candidates who are running for office, who are saying some things that are very, very disturbing.

O'REILLY: OK, but you can say that about the Democrat candidates too, when we got Bernie Sanders sitting senator in Vermont, who is a socialist. I don't know. OK, let's talk about your state. Let's talk about Pennsylvania because Pennsylvania is a barometer. It's a working class state. Blue collar state. First of all you, you are retiring in a few weeks. Your disapproval rate is 56 percent. Your approval rating is 35 percent. Is that all economic-driven because unemployment is high?

RENDELL: Yes, I think so. If you look at governors across the United States, virtually everyone, Republican and Democrat, who is an incumbent has a strong disapproval rating. It's because people have a tendency to take it out on people in office.

O'REILLY: So, it's just flat-out bad on economy backlash on a sitting governor.

RENDELL: Well, yes, I think so because before 2008 my approval rating was over 50 percent. But, again, Bill, politicians concern themselves far too much with those ratings --

O'REILLY: OK --

RENDELL: You can imagine what Abe Lincoln's ratings would have been for his second year in office?

O'REILLY: Sure, Lincoln -- yes, absolutely. Barack Obama in Pennsylvania - disapproved 52, approved 42. That's bad for all Democrats in Pennsylvania, is it not?

RENDELL: Sure. Look, the key for Democrats is to talk about the things that we've done that people like.

O'REILLY: And what might that be? Give me one big one.

RENDELL: For example. We'll I'll give you just --

O'REILLY: Give me one.

RENDELL: If you give me time, I'll run off --

O'REILLY: Just one.

RENDELL: All right, one. We ended insurance companies being able to disqualify 25 year and under children for pre-existing conditions. Every American believes that's a good thing.

O'REILLY: OK.

RENDELL: That's on September 23rd.

O'REILLY: And, that's a good one to point to. All right now, in the senate race, Toomey the republican leads Sestak according to the Muhlenberg College poll, 45-38. In Rasmussen poll 49-40. So, it looks like, you know, republicans are going to take that senate seat. In your race, the Republican Tom Corbett leads the Democrat Dan Onorato, 53-41. So, it looks like Pennsylvania is now becoming a red state here, governor, is that distress you?

RENDELL: Well, Bill -- well, of course it would distress me. But that's not entirely accurate. The Onorato-Corbett race, the F. Franklin & Marshal poll, which is a very good poll --

O'REILLY: This is Rasmussen, and you know it's pretty good. He nailed it on the --

RENDELL: Again?

O'REILLY: 53-41.

RENDELL: Franklin & Marshal has it 3 points and Onorato is clearly coming on.

O'REILLY: Do you want to bet me a steak dinner on that one?

RENDELL: Sure. Absolutely.

O'REILLY: I'm running these dinners up.

RENDELL: On the governor's race. I'll bet you on the governor's race.

O'REILLY: Yes, on the governor's race. I'll bet you steak dinner.

RENDELL: And, don't count out Joe Sestak. He was 21-point behind --

O'REILLY: I'm not counting anybody out. I'm just hungry.

RENDELL: With four weeks to go. With four weeks to go. Hey listen - -

O'REILLY: You know I'm not rooting for anybody. I'm just a hungry guy, governor. So, when I see like you the point spread being 13, I'm taking the steak. I don't care who wins. It doesn't really matter to me. Hey, governor, you are a stand-up guy and --

RENDELL: Well, what do you think Castle-O'Donnell was three weeks before the election?

O'REILLY: Anything can happen. Anything can happen, but --

RENDELL: Sure. Let me tell you Onorato is coming on.

O'REILLY: OK, I'm not making my reservation yet, but I'm writing it down. I'm writing it down, governor. All right, we appreciate you coming on.

(LAUGHTER)

RENDELL: All right. I'm happy.

O'REILLY: Good to see you.