Barbara Walters Shares 'Billionaire Secrets'

'View' co-host previews special on wealth


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 27, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: And in the "Impact Segment" tonight, more arrests here in New York City last night as the Occupy Wall Street protest continues. About a dozen protesters taken into custody to try to block city streets in sympathy with those arrested in Oakland, California.

But the subject of money continues to fascinate not only those demonstrators, but most Americans. And on Friday on ABC, Barbara Walters has a special called, "Billionaire Secrets: What they know that can change your life?" It will run on 20/20.

Ms. Walters joins us from the ABC studios in New York City. So good timing here as rich Americans are in the news every day now.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Absolutely. Speaking of making money, I hope you're making a lot of money on your "Lincoln" book. This is unsolicited testimonial. It is a very good book. OK.

O'REILLY: Thank you, Ms. Walters, I appreciate that.

When you talked to these billionaires. ...


O'REILLY: You talked to one guy, Paul Mitchell, co-founder, that's the hair spray people and the cosmetics people, right?

WALTERS: OK, let me tell you why we picked these people. These days -- and you are right, I mean, with the marches and everything being a billionaire is almost a dirty word.


WALTERS: But we chose four people who started from very humble beginnings. You mentioned John -- John Paul Dejoria. He used to sleep in his car with his son because he had so little money. I will tell you about each of them briefly.

But what we wanted to do was to show you four people who made it themselves. They are not bankers. They are not hedge funds. They are people who were entrepreneurs who had failure, who succeeded, who will tell you maybe what it takes and who are giving back. And besides they happen to be very interesting, entertaining people.


O'REILLY: Now you don't have to tell me about them. People can watch your special. But the theme of it is, listen, these people --



O'REILLY: -- succeeded in our capitalistic system, all right?



O'REILLY: They have risen to the top. Here is what they did that you might learn from.


O'REILLY: In your own life. OK so we like that. That's all positive. It's all positive.


O'REILLY: But the subject of money now in America has taken on political implications.


O'REILLY: And you know, you're a wealthy woman. I'm a wealthy guy. You started -- your father was a little bit more elevated. He was kind of a show business guy.


WALTERS: Lost everything.

O'REILLY: Yes I know he lost everything, right.

WALTERS: Lost everything and that was -- that helped me because I had to work. It wasn't, you know, oh well if I work it's OK and if I don't -- I had to. So that's part of the story of these people, too. They had to work.


O'REILLY: But I wanted to ask you, do you feel guilty about money? Because I don't feel guilty about money. I give a lot away. But if I -- if I can do something, you know, and I have it, oh, man I have it -- I don't feel guilty about it, I worked for it. I didn't hurt anybody to get it.

WALTERS: But I didn't think that we should feel guilty and I don't think that's not what the marchers are talking about. They are not saying that any of you who have made it or any of you who have been successful should feel guilty. What they are saying is that there are certain aspects of our society where they feel they were taken advantage of; where they feel that things should change; where they want either different things in government or different things in the financial area that should be changed. Not -- we are a capitalistic society.


O'REILLY: But they don't -- most of those people don't want us to be. They want us to be quasi-socialistic and have rules and regulations about distribution.


WALTERS: I don't think that's true, Bill. No Bill, I don't think that's true.

O'REILLY: Really?

WALTERS: I think there are all different groups of people who are marching and that they are saying we need to have some changes. Some of them don't want changes. Some of them, you know.


O'REILLY: Well it's hard to generalize about any group but the theme that is coming across to us.


WALTERS: That's right. I don't think they are saying we want socialization; we want capitalism wiped out; we don't want anybody to be successful. I think they're --


O'REILLY: No, no I don't think they are saying that. They want the government to control the success and too distribute the success. So you see a difference between these people in America and the people in Greece and Italy who are basically blowing things up because the government is saying you know what, we can't give you as much as we used to give you. And they are going wild because they want that socialism. You see a difference between the two groups.

WALTERS: Well, we are not a country -- we are not Greece and we are not -- what was the other country you said?

O'REILLY: Italy.

WALTERS: Italy. You know they have their problems. England has its problems. Most of the countries in the world now in the Western world primarily have their problems. It's not that I don't see the difference. I don't think that every marcher wants a socialist country.

I think what they want is changes in the financial world, maybe some things that help them get jobs. I don't think they are saying if you make money then you are no good because most of them would like to work. Most of them would like to make money. Most of them would like to support their families. So I don't like this blanket indictment.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, maybe they can go to work for Herman Cain because he needs guys. He only has six according to the New York Times.


O'REILLY: Now, one of the people who has given capitalism a bad name is Bernie Madoff, this thug, all right? Now, you went to prison and you interviewed Madoff without a TV camera so you don't have any actualities there.

WALTERS: Well let me tell you --


O'REILLY: Why did you do that?

WALTERS: -- TV cameras are not allowed in the prison.

O'REILLY: Right.

WALTERS: And neither are tape recorders. Although Bernie Madoff can make collect calls and be -- and be recorded.

I think this is unfair to electronic journalists. You can come in with a pad and paper and write anything down but you can't come in with a tape recorder. That's not something that I'm in charge of. That's something that --


O'REILLY: But -- but Madoff told you.

WALTERS: OK, so let me finish.

Madoff told me things that I could write down and then quote him exactly.

O'REILLY: Right.

WALTERS: And that is what I did. If I had a camera, sure.


O'REILLY: And one of the things that caught my eye -- one of the things that he told you was he doesn't really feel that bad about the people he defrauded. He feels bad his family got destroyed and turned on him but the people -- the quote that you told "Good Morning America" was "I made rich people richer."

This guy is a narcissist. He is a sociopath. Is he not?

WALTERS: That's a different thing. He may be both. But in many cases he says that there was greed. He was greedy. You know, he kept people's money. He didn't want to admit that he was doing terrible things and a lot of these people felt that -- that -- that they should feel guilty, too.

He tried to return the money sometimes. They didn't want the money. They stayed with him because they thought they would make more and more money.


O'REILLY: You don't sympathize with him do you?

WALTERS: No, I'm -- you're asking me what he said. I'm reporting. I'm not sympathizing.


O'REILLY: No I know but you've met him now. Do you sympathize with him at all?

WALTERS: I -- I don't -- when I'm reporting on something, I don't make character judgments. You can't sympathize with this man. He did terrible things.

What I was trying to say is this is who he is. Some of the things he said were amazing to me that he is happier being in prison because for the first time in 16 years he feels safe. He is not afraid. The people look up to him, especially the young people. He thinks that's wrong in prison. This was a chance to see a portrait of the man as he is now.


O'REILLY: Now, listen I would have done it, too. OK, Ms. Walters as always. We'll watch "20/20" Friday night for the billionaire special. Thanks, we appreciate it.