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Far Left Assails Tea Party Over Debt Chaos

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 29, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Factor Follow-up" segment tonight: so much for civil discourse. The far left is out in force, launching a barrage of verbal attacks at Tea Party members over the debt ceiling chaos.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

STEVEN RATTNER, "MORNING JOE" ECONOMIC ANALYST: The problem with this is that it's like a form of economic terrorism. I imagine that these Tea Party guys are like strapped with dynamite standing in the middle of Times Square at rush hour and saying that either you do it my way or we're going to blow you up, ourselves up, and the whole country up with us.

VAN JONES, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: When any faction in America that would put a gun to the head of 310 million people and say if you don't do it our way we will blow your dreams away, we will blow a hole in the American economy, that is un-American. That is not how we do business and we refuse to bow down to those kind of bully tactics.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

INGRAHAM: Joining us from New York is Cathy Areu. She is a contributing editor to the Washington Post Magazine, and David Webb, a Tea Party activist.

So, I -- I'm trying to keep this straight. Domestic terrorist and then Tom Friedman of The New York Times this week writes that if the GOP did not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst it would basically be a suicide mission, and Nick Kristof called them domestic terrorists. Guys, I thought after Gabby Giffords and after this Tucson shooting, I thought there was a new era of civility. The president called for it. He admonished people and I thought we were down this new path of getting along. Cathy, I want to start with you before we get to the Tea Party perspective. Are we going a little overboard here? I mean, the country's still standing the last time I checked.

CATHY AREU, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, a little overboard. But, I mean, this is an emotional time and some of the people in the Republican Party are acting like children and it sounds likeā€¦

INGRAHAM: The Democrats never do that, but go ahead.

AREU: I'm thinking that the parents are saying you're acting like children, it's time to calm down, stop saying no, no, no, no, and you have to work and you have to learn to be a little civilized adult and that's the problem. The parents are reprimanding the children and sometimes it comes off a little rough.

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, I think the parents sound a little silly themselves because the Tea Party is actually the group that got everybody at the table to actually have this discussion. Right now, the stuff that's going on on the Senate floor right now is only happening because of the Tea Party revolution that took place last November. And we might disagree on strategy and we might think the Tea Party pushed a little too much, but there is no doubt about it that the Tea Party is responsible for this current debate. And, David, let's go to you. I mean, I -- you don't look like a domestic terrorist to me. You don't look like a member of Hezbollah, but I guess if you're a Tea Party person in the United States you can pretty much have anything said about you with impunity.

DAVID WEBB, TEA PARTY 365 FOUNDER: Yes, and Laura, look, my mother's watching and they did believe, actually, in positive reinforcement. They didn't call me names. But you know what? Let the left keep doing this and the far left, demonize, marginalize. Americans are basically fair. They believe in disagreement but not being disgusting and disagreeable and, look, according to the -- the left I have Stockholm Syndrome, I'm the house n-word, I'm the Uncle Tom. I mean, it's nothing new. Can you -- can you guys come up with something different? Because most rational Americans on all sides look at -- look at the Van Jones and the Rattners and the Janeane Garofalos and the Mahers and, frankly, whether you want to attack Sarah Palin, and I'm sure Cathy knows about that, and statements you want to make about Tea Party activists, the fact is that people just haven't bought it. Nancy Pelosi said it. Even President Obama tried to play goof on us, and what ended up happening? November 2010. We're the adults in the room. The fact is we wouldn't have this debate if the Tea Party didn't exist.

INGRAHAM: All right. Cathy, you know, I'm trying to put myself in the position of a Democrat who supported Obama. Believe it or not, I can do that. I can actually make myself think that. OK, I'm thinking, I'm thinking. OK. I don't think the Tea Party is who I'd be really upset with now because I kind of know what the Tea Party's all about. I know what they're thinking. I'd be kind of really upset with Geithner, Obama, Biden and the whole crew who seems to have basically shuffled off the responsibility for coming up with any type of framework or plan to other people to do and then they're crying there's no leadership. I mean, I'd be mad at Obama. The Tea Party is the Tea Party, right?

AREU: I think the Tea Party has made a fool out of themselves and I think the American people have seen now what they really stand for, which is what? They don't even know what they stand for. They're making absolutely no sense. They were all about Grover Norquist and his Tea Party was all about lowering taxes and cutting the spending and this is not what this Tea Party is about. They're standing there not comprehending that their actions are going to lead to consequences and these consequences could be horrific for the United States of America.

INGRAHAM: Well, Cathy, were you saying the consequences were going to be horrific for the United States of America when this president spent more in terms of adding to the debt in his first 19 months than President Washington to Reagan combined? Was that a bad thing for the country or was that something to applaud?

AREU: He -- he inherited a horrific economy.

INGRAHAM: So it's Bush's fault. OK.

AREU: Everyone knows that. And raising this -- raising this debt ceiling right now has nothing to do with what Obama has done. These are all debts that were acquired with our previous president. This has nothing to do with more spending.

INGRAHAM: That's responsible and adult. We've got to wrap it up. David and Cathy, I wish we could have you for longer. It's -- it's been a crazy night here. Thank you very much for joining us. We really appreciate it.

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