Bill O'Reilly and John Kerry Shoot It Out Over Economic Crisis

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This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 29, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight: As I stated last week, I simply cannot believe anybody in the federal government didn't warn the folks about the economic chaos. As we've documented, leaders of both parties knew about it for a while, but there was little public exposition.

John Kerry, who has been a senator for 23 years, joins us now from Boston.

So I'm blaming both parties for this, Senator. You know, you are involved, too. You are not on the banking committee, but Chris Dodd, a close friend of yours, is. I just don't know why we weren't warned about this, very explicitly warned. What do you think?

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SEN. JOHN KERRY, D-MASS.: Well, we only have been warned in the last weeks, but many of us have been warning about these problems, Bill. If you go back and look at the record you'll see it very clearly.

In 2004, as a presidential candidate, I personally talked about how we needed to have stronger oversight on Fannie and Freddie about the housing market, about deregulation and the excessive deregulation.

In 1994, Congress passed a law allowing for us to crack down on predatory lending. Frankly, that was blocked. From the year 2000 forward, I have supported legislation that would have cracked down on that funding. We haven't been able to move it.

O'REILLY: This is what I don't understand. In 2005 in the banking committee, Senator Dodd and all the Democrats on the banking committee blocked regulatory action against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They blocked it, 2005.

KERRY: What they were looking for was a specific balance. Look, the problem is — let's talk about the big picture, Bill. It's really what's important here. And in that big picture, everybody understands that Washington has been broken for the last years. But Bill, please, I know you are a man who embraces the truth and you tell the truth. Who has run the Congress for the last seven years, eight years?

O'REILLY: But it's everybody fault. It's everybody's fault, Senator.

KERRY: If you don't mind, Bill, I'm going to disagree with you, and I'm going to tell you why I disagree.

O'REILLY: That's why we have you here.

KERRY: When you are in the minority, you don't have the power to call a hearing. You don't have the power to decide who the witnesses will be.

O'REILLY: Senator, the last two years you have been in the majority. Barney Frank has been the head of the House banking.

KERRY: We have had those hearings.

O'REILLY: Yes, but didn't do anything and you didn't want anybody…

KERRY: Excuse me, Bill.

O'REILLY: Nobody stepped up.

KERRY: Bill, just stop. The Republicans refused to pass $50 billion to help with the mortgage crisis.

O'REILLY: The Democrats control the Senate. You know, look, you vote on it, you vote on it. You have got a Democratic majority, you would have passed it.

KERRY: We did vote. We did vote, Bill. You know what happened? It takes 60 votes. This is unfortunately the bias of you and a lot of other people who don't own up to the truth. It takes 60 votes to pass anything out of the United States Senate and the Republicans have 49 senators, and they muster more than the 41 senators to stop it so you are gridlocked in the United States Senate and nothing passes.

John McCain came to Washington. I was on FOX yesterday with Lindsey Graham, and Lindsey Graham bragged to Chris Wallace that what John McCain had accomplished was at least getting the House Republicans to be on the package. Well, no, he didn't. The house Republicans took a Dixie today and just because their feelings may have been hurt because of something someone said...

O'REILLY: Yes, that's Pelosi.

KERRY: They hurt the country.

O'REILLY: Look, put yourself in their position. First of all, you had 93 Democrats voting against it.

KERRY: I am in that position. I'm in the United States Senate.

O'REILLY: If Pelosi could have rallied her people…

KERRY: She did rally.

O'REILLY: No, you had 93 Democrats voted against it. All you needed was 10 more votes and it was done.

KERRY: The deal, the deal…

O'REILLY: Senator…

KERRY: Just a minute.

O'REILLY: Hold it.

KERRY: The deal was 50/50. Who are we rescuing? We're rescuing George Bush.

O'REILLY: We are rescuing the folks. We're trying to rescue the folks.

KERRY: The reason we are rescuing them is because of the unbelievable greed that has been unleashed by an irresponsible administration that never did the regulating necessary. And it is sensible that some of the Republicans step up and be part of that rescue. And they took a Dixie. They were hoping, they were hoping that the Democrats would bail out this administration all by themselves and they could go back and tell people who don't like this, I voted against it.

O'REILLY: Senator, you are overlooking that 93 Democratic Congress people voted against it.

KERRY: You are overlooking that 60…

O'REILLY: I want the bill. I support the bill. Look, you are also overlooking that Pelosi before the vote gets out and makes it a polemic.

KERRY: That may be ridiculous. Bill, of course, I won't disagree whether or not there were partisan comments made.

O'REILLY: That was absurd what she did.

I will give you the last word. Go ahead.

KERRY: Bill, you bet. Let me tell you something. She summoned a super majority. Sixty percent plus voted for this. The Republicans had a super, super majority, almost veto-proof. Sixty-six percent voted against it today. And just because their feelings were hurt by something that Nancy Pelosi said is not an excuse to screw the guy on Main Street and his savings account, to screw small businesses, to screw companies across the country. It was an act of cowardice and selfishness and pure politics.

O'REILLY: Do you think it's going to get done later this week when you get the politics out of it?

KERRY: Yes. Yes.

O'REILLY: You do think so?

KERRY: Yes, it will get done. It has to get done because we have to pull this country back. We've got to put it back on an economic footing.

O'REILLY: You have to pull the country back together. You can't be dividing the country like Nancy Pelosi did.

KERRY: Wouldn't it have been nice?

O'REILLY: Would have been nice if you all got together and put politics aside for 10 minutes, Senator. Just 10 minutes and get this thing passed.

KERRY: I'm not in the House, Bill. I'm not in the House.

O'REILLY: No, but you are a leader.

KERRY: Yes, and you ask Secretary Paulson and ask Ben Bernanke what I said in our caucus about the need to get this done and get it done soon. I'm in favor of this. I would have voted yes Monday.

O'REILLY: The next time, come here and we will make it a public deal. Because that's what the folks need, public deal. Senator, always good to see you.

KERRY: You need to explain a little more to Americans how this affects everybody. This is not a Wall Street bailout.

O'REILLY: We are on it.

KERRY: This is a rescue of Main Street. Ok, thank you.

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