Senator Schumer vs. the Tea Party

Senator Chuck Schumer on the IRS' treatment of the Tea Party


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 28, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Unresolved Problems" segment tonight the IRS and the Tea Party. As you may know the FBI is investigating whether or not the Internal Revenue Service has been treating the Tea Party organization unfairly. That investigation has dragged on for some time. But, one senator actually wants the IRS to scrutinize the Tea Party.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: The Tea Party elites gained extraordinary influence by being able to funnel millions of undisclosed dollars into campaigns with ads that distort the truth and attack government. It's clear we're not going to pass anything legislatively as long as the House of Representatives is in Republican control. But there are many things that can be done by the IRS and other government agencies, and we have to redouble those efforts.


O'REILLY: And joining us now from Washington is Senator Chuck Schumer. Now, you seem to be saying the IRS should scrutinize the Tea Party, a conservative group when there are liberal groups like Media Matters and the Center for American Progress where you spoke pretty much doing the same thing. Am I wrong?

SCHUMER: No. You are right. And you cut it off. Your editor's a very good editor, Bill. They cut it off at just the point where I said that you should scrutinize all groups, liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican.

One problem here and you are right about that, is you shouldn't be scrutinized because your political beliefs. But the other problem is that these 501(c)4s, whether they be left or right are abusing the law. The law says you get a tax exemption, you don't have to disclose your donors, you can do unlimited if it's for social welfare. Well whether you're a liberal group or a conservative group and 90 percent of your money goes on attack ads on TV you are not doing social welfare.


SCHUMER: And the IRS has the ability to shut it down, it ought to shut it down equally, left, right, and center.

O'REILLY: But here is the rub, and here is the rub. Number one, you don't mention any specific liberal groups and you were speaking at a liberal group that does the exact same thing the Tea Party does. So that looks a little hypocritical.

SCHUMER: No, no, no.

O'REILLY: Number two. Wait, wait, that's number one.

SCHUMER: Go ahead, Bill.

O'REILLY: Number two, number two, ok. You basically are saying that the Supreme Court, which ruled that this is ok, they are the problem, not and the IRS should not be overriding the Supreme Court. Ok. Take them one at a time.

SCHUMER: First one, I want them to scrutinize all groups. I said that right there at Cap.

O'REILLY: You didn't mention them.

SCHUMER: I brought up the Tea Party -- well, I mentioned liberal groups, ok? Cap is a liberal group.

O'REILLY: Come on.

SCHUMER: No, no, no.

O'REILLY: No you say the Tea Party and then you don't mention the other liberal groups. If you had I wouldn't be on your case. Go ahead.

SCHUMER: The Tea Party does this and abuses it more than anyone else. But everyone, everyone, everyone should be scrutinized. And I said it there at Cap. Which a lot of liberal groups don't like; the environmental groups don't like it, the pro-choice groups don't like it, none of them. But I think all of them should be shut down.

Second, the Supreme Court ruled about certain things. But they did not rule on the social -- what is social welfare. And in fact, the IRS used to say that if you spent more than 50 percent of your money on ads that was not social welfare. Somehow they let --


O'REILLY: All right but here's the deal. Social welfare --

SCHUMER: -- so wait, wait you have got to let me finish -- my friend.

O'REILLY: Now wait, wait, wait, I've got -- I've got a lot of stuff to get to you with. Social welfare I know you would agree with me, is subjective. It's subjective. And so the Supreme Court can never really define it.

Look, I'm on your side on this thing. I think it's being abused by both sides. But I don't think you pointed that out strongly enough. That's my beef with you. All right? I don't want -- I don't want rich guys, all right, like what happened -- do you know how much -- do you know how much Priorities USA spent defaming Mitt Romney in the last election? Do you know how much?

SCHUMER: Hey, I don't know the number but it was too much.

O'REILLY: $57 million.

SCHUMER: If they did it --

O'REILLY: $57 million.

SCHUMER: -- if they did it under the 501(c)4 they ought to be shut down. I'll say it right here, right here liberal group, pro-Democratic group, shut them down.

O'REILLY: I -- you and I agree on this issue but I want you to be fair and balanced when you specifically name a group. That's all I'm asking.

SCHUMER: That's why I'm here on Fox News to be fair and balanced.

O'REILLY: All right. Ok. Now, you know I'm going into the White House to talk to your pal, your best friend President Obama. Ok.


O'REILLY: Number one, what's the biggest mistake and I asked this to the other two senators before you, what is the biggest mistake -- you have been around a long time -- that President Obama has made?

SCHUMER: This is -- I said this at the same speech, the biggest mistake he made and I think the biggest mistake we Democrats made, was when in 2010 the new folks came in, Tea Party and everyone else, and attacked government as the root of all evil, we should have given a more robust defense of government.

The bottom line is there are lots of problems that were not created by government. The biggest one is loss of middle class incomes, loss of good paying jobs which was created by technology and globalization. Above all when you can move a job to China or India, it reduces wages.

And in our view, government, good education programs, building infrastructure, doing scientific research is the answer, the antidote. But we let the other side --


O'REILLY: All right. So you wanted him to fight more for the big government and you don't think he did enough on that.

SCHUMER: I wouldn't call it big government but I would say when they came in and said government is the root of all evil and never the solution we should have said many of the problems are not caused by government and government is the solution -- absolutely.

O'REILLY: Ok. Now, give me one question that Schumer wants me to ask Obama?

SCHUMER: At the Super Bowl? Who are you rooting for?

O'REILLY: Oh come on, you want it to be a softball patty cake cupcake interview? Is that what you want?

SCHUMER: Of course. But if you're not going to do that I would -- I would ask him what is that -- what can he do, assuming Congress won't do anything, to raise middle class incomes and create good paying jobs? That's the number one problem in America.

O'REILLY: So specifically, specifically what can you, the President of the United States do to create those jobs? That's what you want me to ask?

SCHUMER: Create jobs and raise middle class incomes because even people with jobs are finding their purchasing power is declining.

O'REILLY: Well of course, under the -- under the Obama administration it's declined $5,000 per family median income.

SCHUMER: It declined under Bush even before the recession.

O'REILLY: Not that much.

SCHUMER: Oh it declined a lot. It's accelerating. It's not the government. Government didn't cause this problem. Americans know that. It's technology. It's globalization. What do we do to counter it?

O'REILLY: We appreciate you coming on tonight.

SCHUMER: Bill thanks.

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