OTR Interviews

Female Democratic candidate: Democrats waging war on women

Massachusetts Democrat Marisa DeFranco accuses own party of being anti-woman after DCC snubbed her from poll


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 25, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now an interview you will only see here ON THE RECORD. A Democratic congressional candidate accusing her own party, the Democratic Party, of waging a war on women. Marisa DeFranco, of Massachusetts, saying, who needs Mitt Romney's Etch-a-Sketch when the Democratic machine can just as easily write a woman off with an eraser. Why does she say that?

Marisa DeFranco joins us. Nice to he see you.

MARISA DEFRANCO, MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Hi, Greta. It's great to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Glad to have you.

OK, so what's the problem?

DEFRANCO: So the problem is that the DCCC commissioned a poll. I have been in this race since July 2013, and, Greta, I'm the only person in my race who has actually turned in her signatures and qualified for the ballot. The DCCC saw fit not to include my name. They polled the incumbent and the other challenger, who is another man, but they did not include my name as a choice in that poll.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you contacted the DCCC, what did they say to you?

DEFRANCO: I didn't personally contact them. I guess one of the papers that interviewed me contacted them, and their response was the poll speaks for itself.

VAN SUSTEREN: But the problem --


DEFRANCO: Whatever that means.

VAN SUSTEREN: The poll didn't have your name on it. That's the problem?

All right so --


DEFRANCO: Exactly. So -- go ahead.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell what they're saying tonight. What they are saying tonight is that they are saying that there was another Democrat named John Devine who is also running and they didn't put his name in the poll, and so that justifies not putting your name in the poll. You say what?

DEFRANCO: That's their response? I have been in this -- I don't know how long Devine has been in the race, but I have been in the race since July of 2013. Like I said, I have turned in my signatures and I don't know Devine's background but my background has been that I have been supporting the Democratic Party. I have been supporting women candidates with my shoe leather and with my pocketbook and not just women candidates, but the men candidates, too, up and down the ticket in the commonwealth for almost the last two decades. So I think that answer is complete boloney.

VAN SUSTEREN: They have a form, an FEC form that says, "Statement of Candidacy," dated February 12, 2014. I don't know if that makes any -- I don't know what a statement of candidacy means. I've realized that turning in signatures is something different, but I don't know what that means but that's what the date is and that's their defense to you tonight.

DEFRANCO: Well, you're a lawyer so I'm sure you will appreciate this, Greta. That doesn't even pass the smell test, sorry. But I have been in the race again since 2013.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I do know about smell test. You are indeed right I do know that smell. OK. So, is this because they didn't want you in the race or do you think this is because this is a woman sort of getting iced out of the race you? Say that this is a war on women. Why do you think that you got excluded?

DEFRANCO: I think because they are afraid of someone like me who speaks her mind, independent-minded from the party and it is not going to kowtow to the follow the leader mentality. I have my own ideas on immigration reform. I have my own ideas on health care. I have knowledge and experience. My father, my mother retired physician and nurse. I have a lot of problems with the Affordable Care Act. I have a lot of problems with the corporate, the big corporate written Gang of 8 Immigration bill. I speak my mind, and they don't want people who speak their mind in either party. They just want people to follow the leader, and that's not me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I took a longer look at this to see where the incumbent congressman Tierney is vis-a-vis the Republican opponent and they are neck and neck. Is it that they are trying to bolster Tierney, they don't want the threat from you. Do you think that could be it because it looks like it might be a vulnerable race ?

DEFRANCO: It is, it needs my opponent is very vulnerable and so the Democratic Party if they were smart would support somebody like me who would be a much stronger opponent to the Republican challenger.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of this war on women?


DEFRANCO: Because I have the actual -- all right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask you about this war on women you know, concept of the Democratic Party. What's your thought about it?

DEFRANCO: My thought is that the Democratic Party uses it as a hammer to win races and talk about that instead of talking about the actual issues and getting things done in congress, like representing small businesses like I do. Like revitalizing main street. Like perhaps actually creating some jobs. Actually helping small businesses, maybe tax breaks for small businesses or talking about our border security or terrorism. And the things that I have a background on as an immigration attorney. You know, being from Boston, I wrote a piece, an op-ed, that clearly spells out that the Boston bombing could have been prevented if our existing laws had been followed because that older brother never should have been let back in the country when he went back home to his home country.

VAN SUSTEREN: One quick question, Marisa.


VAN SUSTEREN: I'm sorry, what?

DEFRANCO: Go ahead. I said those are the things the party should be talking about.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. In the event that you don't win the primary and I have no idea how this is going to shake-up, will you consider running as an Independent or not?

DEFRANCO: I haven't come to that. I haven't thought about that Greta because quite frankly I'm going to win the primary because we are very strong. We have a strong grass roots. We had so many signatures and so much enthusiasm being out there in 10 degrees, and I don't know why my other two opponents haven't been able to turn in their signatures, but the DeFranco campaign is smarter, faster, and better than both of them, and my Republican opponent as well. So, I don't -- I might consider running as an Independent because I'm a democrat. And it's time the Democrats cleaned up their own party and actually send people down in D.C. who represents the interest of the hard working people in my district.

VAN SUSTEREN: Marisa, thank you very much and I hope you'll come back as we follow your race. Thank you.

DEFRANCO: Any time. Thank you, Greta.