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Jesse Watters confronts Steve Israel and Bennie Thompson

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 12, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: In "Back of the Book" segment tonight, "Watters' World." Recently, two Democratic congressmen attacked the Republican Party, essentially calling it racist.

So, we called Steve Israel and Benny Thompson, inviting them on the program here. They declined. And we thought that was irresponsible.

If you're going to call someone a racist, you've got to back it up, right. So, we sent Watters out to engage the congressmen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jesse Watters with THE O'REILLY FACTOR. I'm actually one of your constituents.

You said that the Republican base was animated by racism. Can you explain that.

STEVE ISRAEL, CONGRESSMAN, LONG ISLAND (D): Well, you know, you are picking up on something that was out of context and happened three weeks ago. So, I question why you would even ask that.

WATTERS: Well, because we've invited you on the show a number of times and you keep declining.

ISRAEL: We need to get away from describing motives and just pass a comprehensive immigration bill. Who cares what people think.

We need to engage in action, pass the Comprehensive Immigration Bill. That would be one of the most important things we can do.

WATTERS: What's your evidence that Republicans are racists.

ISRAEL: You know, I never said that and --

WATTERS: You said the Republican base was animated by racism.

ISRAEL: No, I said --

WATTERS: Yes, you did. We have it on tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISRAEL: To a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ISRAEL: I'm sorry but I have to go.

WATTERS: Congressman, I pay your salary. Answer the question. You're a public official.

ISRAEL: Sir, I appreciate that but you're holding me up for a vote. If I miss this vote, it's going to be because you are standing in the way of the elevator.

WATTERS: You don't want to apologize?

ISRAEL: I've said what I'm going to say. You're literally stopping me from voting. And that's what my constituents pay me to do.

WATTERS: I pay you to do that. Thank you very much.

You said that Clarence Thomas was an Uncle Tom, pretty disrespectful.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENNIE THOMPSON, CONGRESSMAN, MISSISSIPPI (D): Uncle Tom Clarence Thomas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said that, I didn't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMPSON: Well, in the course of the conversation, I've looked at a lot of his decisions, people I represent had a real problem with his lack of sensitivity.

WATTERS: But you don't believe he's an Uncle Tom, do you. That's pretty disparaging, isn't it.

THOMPSON: All I'm saying is I disagree with his opinion as it relates to people of color.

WATTERS: You don't think all black Republicans are Uncle Toms, do you.

THOMPSON: I didn't know the Supreme Court Justice was a Republican.

WATTERS: Well, you said that a lot of his initiatives and policies that he support are Republican policies. Can't you be black and be Republican.

THOMPSON: Well, I didn't say he was Republican. I say I disagree with his opinions.

WATTERS: You also said that opposition of President Obama is based on racism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMPSON: Mitchell Connell would have the audacity to tell the president of the United States that, "I don't care what you come up with, we're going to be against it." Now, if that's not a racist statement, I don't know what is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: How do you know that.

THOMPSON: When you look at the demographics of a district-like mine where a majority of the people are African-Americans who stay in the benefit, they're our problems.

Those individuals lack the sensitivity to oppose that. President Obama's policies have historically addressed many of those needs.

WATTERS: Blacks have suffered a lot under Obama's policies. Record unemployment, record poverty. If going in the opposite direction of those policies is racist, how does that make sense to you.

THOMPSON: Blacks have not suffered under his administration. Unemployment is lower than it's been in years.

WATTERS: That's just new true, with all due respect, congressman. Under the Bush administration, black unemployment was much lower.

THOMPSON: No.

WATTERS: You went on CNN but you didn't come on Fox News Channel. You don't have a problem with Fox, do you.

THOMPSON: CNN asked me for my comments and I gave it. Just like I gave you my comments just now.

WATTERS: But THE O'REILLY FACTOR has been inviting you on for a couple of weeks and you've declined. Why is that.

THOMPSON: Well, I'm not aware of it. But I choose who I talk to. And I talk to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'REILLY: All right, well, he came off better than Israel.

WATTERS: Oh, yes, a little bit better.

O'REILLY: At least he engaged you.

WATTERS: Yes, he stopped and talked.

O'REILLY: Right. He was polite. I didn't see anything. He's wrong about the black unemployment.

WATTERS: Right.

O'REILLY: It was good that you chucked him off.

WATTERS: Right. It was about seven percent under Bush. It's about 12 to 16 percent under President Obama.

O'REILLY: Right, right. He was really wrong on that. But Israel is my congressman, too, --

WATTERS: Right.

O'REILLY: -- all right, out on Long Island. Watters lives in the poor neighborhood.

(LAUGHTER)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: Well, everybody's poor compared to where you live.

O'REILLY: Now, don't give them the wrong impression.

(LAUGHTER)

I live in a regular house. Beaver Cleaver can live in the house. But, anyway, this guy, I mean, what is that all about.

WATTERS: I don't know. You know, I would have followed him down into the elevator but decorum says in --

O'REILLY: No, you did the right thing.

WATTERS: -- you put the foot in the door.

O'REILLY: Right, you backed away when he said he had to vote. But he basically said he didn't say what he said.

WATTERS: Right. And we had it on tape.

O'REILLY: I know.

WATTERS: He was implying that Republicans are racists for being against immigration reform.

O'REILLY: Right.

WATTERS: But this doesn't add up. Meaning, half of the labor unions are against immigration reform. Was he calling unions racists also?

O'REILLY: Well, so we want all the congress people from this "Watters' World" segment, when we invite you, come on. Come on the show.

Because you don't have to deal with him chasing you around, I mean, --

WATTERS: Right.

O'REILLY: -- come on. Because I think Benny Thompson would have been a good guest here. Israel, if he pulled that stuff, would have been chastised.

WATTERS: I don't think Israel is going to be coming on the show.

O'REILLY: No?

WATTERS: No. I'm going to go out on a limb.

O'REILLY: I know where he lives.

(LAUGHTER)

Next time, congressmen, it could be me. Watters.

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