This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 26, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY HOST:  In the "personal story" segment tonight, Al Gore (search) bitterly attacked President Bush today in a very personal way, speaking at New York University.  Gore said this:


AL GORE:  Today I want to speak on behalf of those Americans who feel that President Bush has betrayed our nation's trust.  Those who are horrified at what has been done in our name and all those who want the rest of the world to know that we Americans see the abuses that occurred in the prisons of Iraq and Afghanistan and Guantanamo and secret locations as yet undisclosed as completely out of keeping with the character and  basic nature of the American people and at odds with the principles on which America stands.


O'REILLY:  All right.  With us now, Robert Zimmerman who ran Gore's campaign in New York last time around.  Gore is saying that Bush is responsible for Abu Ghraib (search).  That's what he's saying there.  Do you believe that?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  I think he's responsible for the climate that allowed it.  I think the fact that the Geneva Accords were disregarded by this administration, the fact that our armies were not properly prepared, and this is not just  according to Al Gore.  This is according to many of our generals on the sites.

O'REILLY:  But in a "Wall Street Journal" op-ed today, former assistant Secretary of Defense said the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists who are out of uniform. So it's not as clear cut.

I mean, I respect both points of view, but it's not as clear cut as Mr. Gore is making it out to be that we're a bad nation under  President Bush because President Bush is fighting terrorism this way.

ZIMMERMAN:  He never said we were a bad nation, Bill.  And that's not the issue.  He talked about this being a bad administration that failed the American people.

O'REILLY:  Betrayal.  He says the American people have been betrayed by President Bush.

ZIMMERMAN:  That's correct.

O'REILLY:  Do you believe that?

ZIMMERMAN:  I think this administration failed the American people.

O'REILLY:  But not betrayed.

ZIMMERMAN:  I didn't use that word.  That's Al Gore's  reference.

O'REILLY:  Do you think that's too much?  And here's why I say that.  Democrats are going to vote for Kerry.  Republicans are going to vote for Bush.  It's the people in between, the undecideds and the independents that need to be persuaded.  To come back and say that Bush betrayed his country, that seems to be loaded rhetoric that might do more harm than good.

ZIMMERMAN:  You know, I think it's important, though, if you look at the full statement of Al Gore's speech and the content...

O'REILLY:  I did, I read the whole speech.

ZIMMERMAN:  I know you did.  And the point is he made a very -- and he does make very factual, thoughtful presentations as to where this country should be going.  But he's always been a man of ideas, Bill.  And that's been his strength.

O'REILLY:  You know what he doesn't say?  He doesn't say what he would do to capture al Qaeda to get them to talk.  And he actually advises John Kerry in a fascinating passage at the speech today, not to lay out a specific strategy in Iraq.  Did you notice that?

ZIMMERMAN:  Let me tell you something.

O'REILLY:  Well, did you notice he did that?

ZIMMERMAN:  I know.  But here's where I don't agree with you.  He pointed out that General Eisenhower, when he ran for the presidency, didn't announce a five point plan to end the war in Korea.   He just said he was going there and he was going to negotiate a settlement.

O'REILLY:  That's very good.  And that shows that you were paying attention.

ZIMMERMAN:  And I think...

O'REILLY:  But right before that, he said that John Kerry shouldn't say how he would right the situation in Iraq.

ZIMMERMAN:  But for good reason.

O'REILLY:  Kerry - but Kerry can't possibly win if he doesn't answer that question.

ZIMMERMAN:  Well first of all, I think Kerry has been very responsive about the need to build a world coalition has been an important underlying principle.  And fortunately, the Bush administration is now coming to recognize that.

But when Al Gore first opposed the war in Iraq, which was in 2002 before the vote, he talked about the fact that al Qaeda is in 87 countries.  And you need to have allies to fight it.  And that was a very important principle that he still believes in.

O'REILLY:  And I don't think he's wrong there.  I think there's much international support as we can get to fight al Qaeda, the better off we are.

I do think that Gore's making a fundamental mistake by allying  himself with the far left.  Moveon.org and a lot of the bomb throwers that hang around in that area and using words like "betrayed his country," Gore actually called Bush a "moral coward."

Now that's offensive to a lot of people, not just Bush  supporters.  The commander in chief in the middle of a war on terror,  you're getting al Gore saying he's a moral coward.  That is Michael Moore kind of stuff.  And I think that Gore has gone way to the left.

ZIMMERMAN:  Well, you know, Bill, I've got to tell you, first of all, if you know anything about Al Gore's history and his record, he's  always been an independent thinker, a man of ideas.  When he wrote "Earth in the Balance," that was an environmental call to action.

O'REILLY:  You can write all you want.

ZIMMERMAN:  He supported the Persian Gulf War in the first Bush administration.  I think to categorize him that way is not...

O'REILLY:  All right, let me redo the statement...

ZIMMERMAN:  I'm more concerned about something...

O'REILLY:  ...let me redo the statement, because we have a minute left.


O'REILLY:  And this is what the R.N.C., Jim Dike, said today.  Al Gore served as vice president in this country for eight years.  During that time, Usama bin Laden declared war on the United   states five times and terrorists killed U.S. citizens on at least four different occasions.

Al Gore's attacks on the president demonstrate he either does not understand the threat of global terror or has amnesia.  So they're basically saying that Gore didn't do anything to prevent 9-11 and the other attacks.  And now he's second-guessing the commander in chief.

ZIMMERMAN:  Quite to the contrary.  In fact, the most harshest - the harshest criticism towards the Bush administration doesn't come from Al Gore.  It comes from the generals in the field, it comes from the former chief of counterterrorism, Richard Clarke.

O'REILLY:  Let's stay with Al Gore here.  I mean, come on, you're zipping out of here.  The R.N.C. is saying the guy was VP for eight years.

ZIMMERMAN:  That's right.

O'REILLY:  They didn't do anything about the - and now he's  second guessing the war.

ZIMMERMAN:  And during that time, they increased funding for counterterrorism by 300 percent.

O'REILLY:  Yes, but they didn't do anything.

ZIMMERMAN:  Well, I don't agree.  In fact, when they did take action, as you remember, the Republicans in the Congress claimed they were wagging the dog.

O'REILLY:  Well, that's fine.  And the Republicans were wrong.

And what did Gore and Clinton do to Usama bin Laden?  What did they do?

ZIMMERMAN:  They took initiatives to fight Saddam Hussein.  And to...

O'REILLY:  What about bin Laden?  What did they do?

ZIMMERMAN:  In terms of bin Laden, they took - they increased funding by 300 percent to fight counterterrorism.

O'REILLY:  You just told me that.  But what did they do?

ZIMMERMAN:  That's the point.  They also passed many federal pieces of legislation...

O'REILLY:  I think the answer is they didn't do anything.

ZIMMERMAN:  No, Bill, they took many important steps...

O'REILLY:  All right.

ZIMMERMAN:  But couldn't do it alone.

O'REILLY:  All right.

ZIMMERMAN:  Including fighting the cash flow issue of bank  laundering.

O'REILLY:  Mr. ZIMMERMAN, always a pleasure to see you.  Thank you very much.

ZIMMERMAN:  Great to see you again.

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