OTR Interviews

Will the Obama campaign return Maher's super PAC money for Sasha and Malia?

If president doesn't give back super PAC money, does that mean there's a Limbaugh double standard?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 8, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Is there a pricetag for decency in the Obama campaign? Well, the campaign and its supporting super PAC will look the other way when it come to bigotry as long as you pony up $1 million.

Now, there are growing calls tonight for President Obama's super PAC, Priorities USA, to return a million-dollar donation from comedian Bill Maher. Why? Well, president Obama has blasted Rush Limbaugh for his degrading comments about a Georgetown law student -- he even called her to console her -- but Bill Maher night after night uses filthy language to degrade women! No. So President Obama should blast Bill Maher, right? Well, he hasn't.

Isn't that hypocritical? Priorities USA founder Bill Burton says there's no comparison.


BILL BURTON, CO-FOUNDER OF PRIORITIES USA ACTION: The notion that there's an equivalence between what a comedian has said over the course of his career and what the de facto leader of the Republican Party said to sexually degrade a woman who engaged in an important debate of time is crazy. But there's just -- there's just no similarity between what Rush Limbaugh said, lying about the argument that Ms. Fluke was making, a law student at Georgetown, and what -- and what a comedian has said in the past.


VAN SUSTEREN: Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers joins us. I should tell you she has a new article on the subject posted on The Daily Beast that is now right now the hottest item on the site called "The left's continued Limbaugh hypocrisy."

Your thoughts about Bill Burton?

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX POLITICAL ANALYST: I have to say, Bill Burton, you are so much better than what you just did, so much better. I cannot believe that they would defend the things that Bill Maher is saying by just writing it off that he's a comedian? I mean, what does it matter? You can call a woman the "C" word and all these other words because it's comedy? Well, what's the joke, Greta? Like, what's the joke?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think it actually -- I mean, there's Bill Burton makes that rather -- I don't know -- I don't know -- whatever he describes -- whatever he's saying. There's also David Axelrod, who is going to appear on Bill Maher's show -- supported in the very near future. So he doesn't care, either!

POWERS: Well, sure. I mean, this is -- they're making all of these distinctions, that you can be misogynist if you're a comedian, if you can be misogynist if you're attacking a public person. This is another argument they're making.

It's just -- you know, and meanwhile, this is the same group of people who claim that they're fighting a war on women, right? They're the people who stand up for women. But yet when women are attacked and horrible things are said about them, there's an excuse. There's always an excuse for why it's not the same thing and why it's OK.

VAN SUSTEREN: You mentioned that Karen Tumulty, who's one of the most respected political reporters in this city -- she's got more stripes than any of these people in any of these campaigns.


VAN SUSTEREN: She just got attacked viciously.

POWERS: Yes. Well, she wrote this week after I wrote my article, she agreed basically that the left was quiet on this stuff. And she talked about Matt Taibbi, who is at "Rolling Stone" now, very highly respected left wing writer, he actually just wrote a blurb for Rachel Maddow's book. And he had written about Karen Tumulty, and like you said, an incredible reporter, amazing woman -- she is a pre-op version of Dave Barry, that she's ugly and a female impersonator. Besides being ridiculous, what does that have to do with anything?

VAN SUSTEREN: I am -- you talk about the Obama administration. Obviously they don't want return that $1 million. But I am not going to let the media off of the hook. I blogged about the Radio Correspondent dinner. You can go to GretaWire.com. The person they have headlining is the most vile words that I ever seen describing a woman. It is unbelievable, GretaWire.com. It is the media headlining their big dinner. I called for a boycott of it. And Tina Brown in New York is holding a big women's summit. Let's see if the women have the guts to stand up to the media on this.

POWERS: The stuff is shocking. And it's stuff we can't say on television. People should look at your blog. And I would hope that they are just not aware that he said this stuff and once they see it they will change their mind. But then again, we aired all of the stuff about Bill Maher, and apparently people don't care because he is comedian. What is the joke? That's what I want to do know. What's the joke when Bill Maher calls Sarah Palin the "C" word. What is so funny?

VAN SUSTEREN: Don't look at me. Anyway, "The Daily Beast" and GretaWire.com they can a whole lot more about this. Kirsten, thank you.

POWERS: Thanks, Greta.