Al Sharpton For President in 2004?

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, February 27, 2002. Click here to order the complete transcript of last night's entire show.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  Thanks for staying with us.  I'm Bill O'Reilly.

In the Factor Follow-Up segment tonight, the campaign of Reverend Al Sharpton.  He's thinking about running for president on the Democrat ticket and has just returned from the states of Iowa and New Hampshire.  Reverend Sharpton joins us now.

All right, you're causing trouble, as always.  You're calling Kerry, Lieberman, and Edwards Republicans in what?  Democrats clothing or something?

AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  Well, I think in many issues that are of great concern to a lot of working class people, who were historically the base of the Democratic party, they've agreed with the Republicans more than the traditional.

O'REILLY:  But maybe the Republicans have the better solution.

SHARPTON:  And maybe they don't.  And I think that if we're going to have a democracy that works, we have to have choice.

O'REILLY:  But are you just against anything a Republican says?

SHARPTON:  Absolutely not.  There are many things that Republicans say that I agree with.  But I think there are basic things that give a real clarity to the American public, gives you a clarity.

O'REILLY:  All right.  So not Kerry.  Kerry's a rich guy from Massachusetts, very liberal state.  What's he doing wrong?

SHARPTON:  I think that I would probably disagree with Kerry on situations around the economy. I would not agree with a lot of tax breaks.  I would not agree with a lot of deregulation that he and others have set in the Senate and...

O'REILLY:  Well, give me one example.  I don't know if he's a big tax break guy, I mean.

SHARPTON:  But again, I think that there has not been a real forceful fight from Kerry, or for that matter, Lieberman on deregulation.

O'REILLY:  Like what?  Deregulation of what?

SHARPTON:  Well, I think that the deregulation of business has not had the vocal and aggressive opposition of the Democrats in the senate.  I think there's not been a real aggressive opposition to the whole question of civil liberties, the whole fight that many of us are concerned about with Ashcroft's patriotic bill, the anti-terrorist bill, that gives an Attorney General unprecedented liberty to really infringe upon the privacy of American citizens.

O'REILLY:  Like what?

SHARPTON:  According to this bill, he has the soul discretion, the Attorney General, the right to listen to lawyer-client conversations.  I think that's frightening in...

O'REILLY:  In jail.

SHARPTON:  In jail or out of jail.

O'REILLY:  Not your lawyer.

SHARPTON:  Anybody.

O'REILLY:  No, he can't wiretap you and listen to lawyer.

SHARPTON:  If I'm in jail.

O'REILLY:  Yes, if you're in jail, he can.

SHARPTON:  Well, I spent three months in jail for a protest.

O'REILLY:  Well, then he can listen to it.

SHARPTON:  But it gives him a right to listen?


SHARPTON:  Why?  Why?

O'REILLY:  In jail, because if you're a suspected terrorist, they want to know...

SHARPTON:  But who decides I'm a suspected terrorist?  Anybody in jail he can call a suspected terrorist.  It's at his discretion.

O'REILLY:  Well, you could sue.  And you could tell the judge, hey, there was no evidence that I was a suspected terrorist.  Now I want a million dollars.

SHARPTON:  But the the law says to his discretion.  The judge can't say that he doesn't have the right.

O'REILLY:  He still can sue.

SHARPTON:  I think the Democrats should have really fought that.  I think that is an un-American law.

O'REILLY:  All right, but most Americans want terrorism to be defeated in this time of uncertainty.  See --

SHARPTON:  That doesn't defeat terrorism, though.  Most Americans...

O'REILLY:  Makes it harder for a terrorist to give a message to his lawyer.

SHARPTON:  Clearly, to run around eavesdropping on people, the Attorney General...

O'REILLY:  Oh, stop.


SHARPTON:  ...might not like does not fight terrorism.

O'REILLY:  Look, come on, a terrorist in prison could give a message to a lawyer...

SHARPTON:  If he's a terrorist.

O'REILLY:  Yes, that's right.

SHARPTON:  And suppose if he's not a terrorist.  And suppose if it's...

O'REILLY:  Then he has nothing to worry about, if he's just talking about visitation with his lawyer.

SHARPTON:  Oh, so now I'm supposed to have confidence the Attorney General's just going to be fair.

O'REILLY:  What are you going to get prosecuted because he's given you Mars bars?  Come on, if you're not a terrorist, and you're having a conversation with your lawyer, and they hear it, so what?  This is in prison, by the way.

SHARPTON:  Mr. O'Reilly, you're talking about the same Justice Department that at times wiretapped people like Martin Luther King and others.  I'm supposed to have confidence.

O'REILLY:  Illegally.

SHARPTON:  Now they're legally going to be able to wiretap anyone that they want to call a terrorist.

O'REILLY:  All right.

SHARPTON:  That's frightening.

O'REILLY:  I don't think you're going to -- if you going to run on that, you're going to lose.

SHARPTON:  You said to give you examples.

O'REILLY:  I mean, I'm just telling you, if you run on that, you're going to lose.

SHARPTON:  Well, there's going to be many things if I run.

O'REILLY:  Right.  Americans are going to rally people in prison because of terroristic charges.  They're not going to rally to that.

SHARPTON:  No, I think that many Americans will rally that the Attorney General should not have the right to suspend people's constitutional rights.  Particularly we want to tell the world to join with us to protect those rights.

O'REILLY:  Well, there's a terrorism bill that was signed, so you can get a wiretap now on a suspected terrorist that you couldn't get before.  Would you support that?

SHARPTON:  If -- well, if you have a basis for going after a suspected terrorist.

O'REILLY:  Right.

SHARPTON:  But I would not support giving the soul discretion to the Attorney General, a  political appointee of the president of the United States.  No, I would not support that.

O'REILLY:  All right.  Now Enron, you want to profile white guys over 50, right?

SHARPTON:  No, what I said was that if we're going by the pattern.


SHARPTON:  And including what I heard from the governor of Oklahoma on your show...

O'REILLY:  Right.

SHARPTON:  Then why aren't we profiling white males over 50 to go to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

O'REILLY:  I think we are, if they worked for Enron.

SHARPTON:  I don't think we are at all.


SHARPTON:  I just heard a sitting governor say that race can be a factor, and it's all right.  What are you talk about?  It doesn't mean anything.  Like driving an out of state car...

O'REILLY:  Right.

SHARPTON:  ...and doing something illegal and being black is the same thing.  I mean, he says two or three different things like they're all equal.  So now black is a -- it makes you automatically suspicious of a crime?

O'REILLY:  Well look, the profile of a drug carrier is minority, not just black, minority, rent-a-car, out of state, OK, in the middle of the night.  That's the profile.

SHARPTON:  According to who?

O'REILLY:  According to the state police.

SHARPTON:  But I think that that is a race-based.

O'REILLY:  OK, that's fine, but they came up with that based upon seizures.

SHARPTON:  No, they came up with that based on the fact that they have a racial profiling strategy, which means they arrest more blacks.  Therefore, their statistics say more blacks are being arrested for.

O'REILLY:  You can't arrest somebody.  OK, that's an interesting point.  But you can't arrest somebody unless they have the drugs.

SHARPTON:  But if you're only going after certain types, how do you not get more of them because you're not going after the other type?  It doesn't take a brain surgeon...

O'REILLY:  But it's a percentage.  See, if they were going to go after old ladies driving seven-year-old cars, all right?  They wouldn't find any drugs.  They wouldn't.

SHARPTON:  No, but if they found two, it would be 200 percent more than anybody else.

O'REILLY:  No, but they wouldn't find it.  So they say we found a certain percentage of drugs.

SHARPTON:  If they went after young, white males. I'm sure they'll find some drugs.  If they go after young white females, young Latinos, young Asians.  Why would we target blacks and then turn around and say the data says there's more blacks and act like we discovered an ingenious law enforcement?

O'REILLY:  If you were a state police commander in any state, and there were drug traffickers coming through your state like New Jersey, OK?  That was the big thing.  And you had a record of seizures that said this percentage, Malucans, 80 percent, OK, you would say to your guys, "Look for Malucans."

SHARPTON:  All right, we work the New Jersey National Action Network.

O'REILLY:  Right.

SHARPTON:  Eleven percent of the people that travel the New Jersey Turnpike are black.  72 percent of those they stopped were black.  So if my records show that, it's because I'm stopping them seven times more.  You can't put the cart before the horse.  The reason you're getting more seizures of blacks is you are seizing more blacks.  And other races are getting away because they don't fit the profile.

O'REILLY:  That's a valid point.  But they're not being stopped solely because they were black. They were being stopped because there were other factors involved.  Rent-a-car...

SHARPTON:  Because they were black and..

O'REILLY:  No, rent-a-car, out of state plates, the way they look, that kind of thing.

SHARPTON:  All right, but the danger is if you rent a car, out of state plates, and you're not black, you say go on to the next car.  That's race and that's not fair.

O'REILLY:  Well, you have some validity to that.  Now what do you really want, if you were president?  You're not going to be elected, by the way.  There's no way.  I mean, I told that to Gary Bauer.  I told that to Alan Keyes, so I got to be fair and tell it to you, but you'll make the race interesting.

SHARPTON:  And I'll win.

O'REILLY:  No, you're not going to win.  I bet you your watch you're not going to win.  You want to bet right now?  Do you want to put up your gold watch?

SHARPTON:  Just ask me for my first White House interview.

O'REILLY:  Look, do you want to put up your gold watch right now?  You're not going to win.


O'REILLY:  See, all right, you know.


O'REILLY:  You're in there to raise...

SHARPTON:  No, Bill no, because...

O'REILLY:  I think there's worthiness to that.

SHARPTON:  The reason I won't put up my gold watch is I don't want you to have Pat Robertson on tomorrow night, condemning me for gambling as a clergyman on your show.

O'REILLY:  Yes, I know.  You are unbelievable.  But look, if you were elected president, and I know a lot of people are going, "Whew."  What would be the first...

SHARPTON:  A lot of people are saying, "Go, Al, go."

O'REILLY:  Some.  What would be the first thing, the first piece of legislation that you would want to be passed in a Sharpton administration?

SHARPTON:  I would pass what was when I was growing up the Humphrey Hawkins bill.  I would pass a full employment economy legislation.

O'REILLY:  Everybody works?

SHARPTON:  I would -- no, everyone has to have a climate to create employment for a full employment economy.  That would include training programs.

O'REILLY:  You'd pay for all of that?  The government would pay for all of that?

SHARPTON:  If the government can bail out major corporations, the government can clearly sponsor public works programs that create jobs.

O'REILLY:  All right, you'd have to raise taxes in order to do that.  I make a lot of money.

SHARPTON:  All you have to do is make taxes fair.

O'REILLY:  All right.  Fine, I make a lot of money.  What percentage on the dollar would you want me to pay?

SHARPTON:  I would want you to pay your comparative fair price.

O'REILLY:  What?

SHARPTON:  Well, I don't know.  Again, we'd have to...

O'REILLY:  You don't know?  I mean, how am I going to vote for you if I don't know how much money you're going take out of my wallet?

SHARPTON:  You're giving me a hypothetical question, I'm giving you hypothetical answer.

O'REILLY:  You got to answer those.

SHARPTON:  I think it would be irresponsible for me to grab numbers out of the air.


SHARPTON:  Because then I'd be doing voodoo economics like some of the people you have voted here.

O'REILLY:  I'm sitting right here.  I make a lot of money.  Tell me how much money you take?

SHARPTON:  I don't even know which bracket you're in.  So how can I say that?

O'REILLY:  I'm in the highest bracket there is.  How much money are you going to take from me based on a dollar, 80 cents?


O'REILLY:  70 cents?

SHARPTON:  I would say that in terms of where we would be in the economy, you should pay your fair share.

O'REILLY:  Which is what?

SHARPTON:  Which I'm sure you're not paying now.

O'REILLY:  Which is what?

SHARPTON:  Again...

O'REILLY:  I'm paying 50 percent now.  Is 50 percent too low?

SHARPTON:  If 50 percent probably is too low compared to where everyone else is.

O'REILLY:  I'm not voting for you.  Nice to see you.

SHARPTON:  I'm really shocked and personally hurt.

O'REILLY:  Right, I know you are.  I want that watch.

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