Will the government shut down over Planned Parenthood?

Weighing the pros and cons of the GOP political strategy on 'The O'Reilly Factor'


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 21, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS HOST: Hi. I'm Eric Bolling, in for Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching this special edition of The Factor election 2016.

Should the GOP shut down the government over Planned Parenthood? That's the big question lighting up the campaign trail. The government is due to run out of money at the end of the month if there is no new budget deal. But after a series undercover video showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts, many Republicans are now saying they can't support any new spending bills that include federal money for the abortion provider.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We shouldn't be sending $500 million of taxpayer money to funding an ongoing criminal enterprise. I will tell you the fact that Republican leadership in both Houses has begun this discussion by preemptively surrendering to Barack Obama and saying we'll give in because Obama threatens a veto.

You know, Obama is committed to his principles, his liberal principles. He will fight for them. He says I will veto any budget that doesn't fund Planned Parenthood and Republicans surrender. We need to stop surrendering and start standing for our principles.


BOLLING: And the stakes got even higher now that the House voted 241 to 187 to defund Planned Parenthood despite a veto promise from President Obama. But is risking a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood good politics?

Joining us now from Washington, D.C., Sandy Rios a pro-life radio talk show host and from Tampa, Florida Adam Goodman a Republican strategist.

So Adam let's start with you. If you are advising a Republican presidential candidate would you tell them to support a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding?

ADAM GOODMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I will tell you this should bother everybody right now that public outcry over the practices of Planned Parenthood has turned into a potential calamity of a government shutdown and a riff within the Republican Party that's being refereed by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. I mean leave it to Washington to come to that.

What is really worrisome to all of us and in terms of this impact on the presidential campaign, Eric, to your question is that we are seeing another example of how an act of conscience is being punished instead of rewarded and you have to ask yourself --

BOLLING: So -- but Adam would you risk a government -- and we know the Republican brand got hurt badly the last time they went through with a shutdown of the government -- everyone blamed the Republicans. Would you advise Republicans to go that far to shut the government down over the $530 million?

GOODMAN: I would not. And the reason for that Eric is simply this. This whole thing would be turned into an argument not over the practices of Planned Parenthood but over the demerits of shutting down government and everything that comes with it is a Trojan Horse that the Democrats and others are marching into this presidential campaign that deceives and misleads people from the real issue at hand which is the real attack on human life that we saw in these tapes that Carly Fiorina and others have certainly commented on and very passionately.

BOLLING: All right. Sandy -- would you advise -- are you in favor of shutting down the government completely over dispute of this $500 million to Planned Parenthood?

SANDY RIOS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Eric, I think that's the wrong question. I think this is part of the problem. The debate is this. Would the President be willing to not fund a bill that would fund the government if it doesn't pay for what seems like it's the largest abortion provider in the nation who, likely is taking live just-born babies and cutting them apart to sell their organs. Now, if the President can't sign a bill that funds the entire government but just doesn't fund this then he is shutting down the government. The whole issue is framed the wrong way.

BOLLING: Yes. There's no doubt, you can end up pushing it towards the President if it goes that far that it passed -- like we said this week, it passed the House. It may run into a stumbling block in the Senate but if it didn't President Obama would have to veto it and then you are laying the government shutdown -- basically he would be saving the American people from a shutdown.

RIOS: Well, first of all Adam and I probably very much agree on the atrocities that we have seen in these undercover videos. And by the way, I would advise every person listening to me. It doesn't matter if you are pro-choice, pro-abortion, this is really not an issue of abortion. This is issue of (inaudible).

BOLLING: But Sandy -- you're handing a victory to President Obama. You are saying Republicans want to shut down government and now I have come through and at the last minute I'm going to veto their efforts to shut down the government. I need to keep government open. He won't even have to eat it on whether or not he is pro-abortion or not.

RIOS: Eric, ok. The end of the world is not shutting down the government. The end of the world is watching this and doing nothing. Some things are worth fighting for. And I would argue if you want to talk political strategy, there has never been a more opportune time to stop this barbarity.

BOLLING: No doubt. No doubt. I totally agree with you because what they showed on those videos that they were breaking the law. You cannot sell body parts for profit number one. Number two, technically, Adam you are not even supposed to be able to use taxpayer money the Hyde amendment for abortions. But isn't that what Planned Parenthood is doing?

GOODMAN: It's absolutely what they are doing. And this is the reason, Eric, why in the presidential campaign ahead people are all but screaming for the next leader of the free world to fix what's broken, invest in what's working and stop fighting among ourselves and start fighting for this country.

This is one of these issues, one of these acts of conscience that should be awarded. And I have to ask, when was the last time that's ever happened in Washington? I think we have it all backwards. And it's about time we started to show when an issue of conscience like this not politics, but purpose, that goes back to the very founding ideals of our country and the very best instincts in all of us.

BOLLING: So let me throw something out here. I want to start with you Sandy on this idea. I'm sitting here trying to figure out what is this all about? This seems like it's a fight that both sides want to fight for their own reason.

Let me solve the problem. Planned Parenthood splits up into two groups. There is Planned Parenthood, the main company and they provide services like cancer screenings, contraceptives, et cetera. And then there is Planned Parenthood abortions. The taxpayer money can go to the first group. It cannot touch the second group. Your thoughts on that?

RIOS: Well, you are the money guy. I would say that money is fungible. Planned Parenthood has been telling us for years, "Oh no, we don't use tax dollars for what we do," but I don't think that you can separate those two things, Eric because you find out a way to do that.

BOLLING: Well, you do it. You separate into two different groups. I mean it seems very -- Adam, let me throw it to Adam. Then there is no fight. Look, you are not making a case whether or not abortion is legal or illegal. You are simply saying taxpayer money will not be going to abortion. And everyone seems to at least for the moment be ok and government doesn't shutdown.

GOODMAN: I think that's a reasonable point of view. That should be something that reasonable people would engage in, discuss, debate, and hopefully pass. Unfortunately, you know, going back to the last comment this is not the way that Washington plays it. They think this is a game.

If you watch these tapes, this isn't a game. This is real life and seen in a very horrific way. We have got to start doing better than this as a country. And leading our way through not just issues like this but coming together to advance the common purpose of not just life, but the American experience and this is a very bad example of that on all of us.

BOLLING: All right. We'd have to --

RIOS: Eric, Eric -- there are some things worth fighting for. If it's not the dismemberment of live babies I don't know what we are doing.

BOLLING: No, Sandy -- that wasn't the discussion. I agree with you 100 percent.

RIOS: But it is about that and that's why we have to fight.

BOLLING: My point for the discussion was would it be worth it to the Republicans to shut down the government over this pool of money -- you're not changing abortion law.

RIOS: Absolutely because it's right.

BOLLING: You are just simply talking about the pool of money. That's all I was trying to --

RIOS: No. We have to stop it out of conscience. We have to stop it whatever it takes.

BOLLING: Good enough. Fair enough. All right -- Sandy and Adam, we're going to have to leave it right there. Thank you very much.

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