Conservative Group Defends 'Jesus' Stimulus Ad

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, let's bring in the head of the American Issues Project, which paid for that ad. Ed Martin joins us now from St. Louis.

So Mr. Martin, am I wrong here? The bill has already passed. Why inject Jesus into the issue?

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ED MARTIN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN ISSUES PROJECT: Well, first of all, we're not injecting Jesus into it. We're using what everybody uses everyday, which is the calendar, to illustrate how much money's spent.

But actually, Bill, I think you're completely wrong, and I actually think your criticism is unfair. Most Americans did not know what was in that bill. And most Americans did not know that most of what was in that bill was stuff that usually goes through a committee process and is more widely understood and scrutinized. When congressman...

O'REILLY: Mr. Martin, if that's the case, if what you say is true...


O'REILLY: may be, it may not be. It's impossible for us to ascertain. It's their fault, because I covered this thing from the first of this year...

MARTIN: Right.

O'REILLY: ...every single night on this program. And so did my compatriots, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Shepard Smith. On this network, we covered it 24/7, OK?

MARTIN: Right.

O'REILLY: So if somebody didn't know what was in the bill, it's on them. Now, here's my thing. Here's my thing. You spent your money on this commercial. And it's your money. You can do whatever you want with it, OK? And so it was an interesting commercial, which is why you're here and why I showed some of it. You know, I mean, it's interesting just to put it in perspective. $1 million a day since Jesus. And that would add up to what we are spending now. I like the commercial. I think the commercial is interesting.

However, it's a fait accompli. It's done, OK. Now all the Republicans, and many, many conservatives, all the Republicans in Congress with the exception of three senators are on record saying we think it's a boondoggle, we don't think it's going to work. Everybody knows that. So why continue to pound it, pound it, pound it?

MARTIN: Well, for one simple reason. All of the talking heads have heard the president and Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid and others say we may have to do this again. We're going to have to do more bailouts.

O'REILLY: All right, now that's — if it comes up again...

MARTIN: Right.

O'REILLY: ...which it won't.

MARTIN: We need to have...

O'REILLY: Which it won't.

MARTIN: Right. Well, no, but it's going to come up again next week.

O'REILLY: No, it's not.

MARTIN: I mean — well, how is it not going to? And if it's not, we need to at least have the American people...

O'REILLY: How's it not going to? Here's how it's not going to, all right. The American people would then blow up. This is it. It's like the Fairness Doctrine.

MARTIN: They're blowing up today.

O'REILLY: There's not going to be any Fairness Doctrine.

MARTIN: They're blowing up today.

O'REILLY: Well...

MARTIN: Right.

O'REILLY: ...if there's a lively debate, and the polls show — the new FOX News poll shows...

MARTIN: Right.

O'REILLY: ...most people still support the stimulus. But it's not — there's not going to be any more stimulus. This is it. This is it.

MARTIN: Well...

O'REILLY: OK, now, I want to know a little bit about your group.


O'REILLY: You started about a year ago...


O'REILLY: ...when Obama was rising in power. Is this an anti — is your group an anti-Obama group?

MARTIN: No, it's a conservative group, a group that formed around conservative principles, particularly looking at how we could get out into the public square. So the Obama ad that we ran that brought Williams Ayers to the forefront was one part. We also ran an ad about Senator Dodd and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And look, today, Bill, what I'm saying is our ad is saying we've reached a real point where capitalism is in jeopardy. I think capitalism and that stimulus bill, it's the end of America. And the American Issues Project is saying we have to get out into the community and be a voice for people to rally.

On our Web site, and we have a texting thing going where people can text. It's 971-80. And if you text the word enough — and we've had thousands of people since this morning. The ad's been only running for five or six or seven hours.

O'REILLY: There's no — Mr. Martin, there is no doubt...


O'REILLY: ...that 40 percent of the country right now, according to the polls, agree with you. And that many, many Americans who haven't really committed are fearful that this country is abandoning the capitalistic...


O'REILLY: ...tenets that made it strong.


O'REILLY: There's no doubt about that. Now, you can continue to hammer the issue. You can do that and I don't have any objection to it. But I'll tell you what, there is an urgency to the recession. And I would like to see a little bit more scrutiny on the government and pressure on the government because, again, they're going to spend the money. It's done. They're going to spend it. So my job now, and I want groups like yours and every other group, it doesn't matter whether they're conservative or liberal, to demand that the spending that is going to happen doesn't go to ACORN, doesn't go to the criminals, doesn't go to pie-in-the-sky global warming theory. That's what we should do now. Hold them accountable...

MARTIN: Right.

O'REILLY: ...every step of the way for the way the money's gonna be spent because it's there and it's going to happen. I'll give you the last word.

MARTIN: Well, on that, we're in agreement on that, Mr. O'Reilly, because I agree with you. But what American Issues Project's doing, and what we're seeing today, is I think it's a lot more than 40 percent. I think most Americans are awakening to what's gone on, and they're very fearful. I agree with you that we need to do something for each other for the recession. But boy, oh boy, $800 billion is a waste and we really messed up.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, that's done. Now let's watch it and make sure that the money is at least spent to help the folks. Mr. Martin, thanks for coming on. We appreciate it.

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