Laura Ingraham on 'Limbaugh Effect,' Brett Favre Crying

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 7, 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: one week ago Laura Ingraham was filling in for me on "The Factor" and spoke with Rush Limbaugh on the telephone.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I want Hillary to stay in this, Laura. This is too good a soap opera. We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically. And it's obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it and don't have the stomach for it. So yes, I'm asking people to cross over and — if they can stomach it. I know it's a difficult thing to do — to vote for a Clinton. But it will sustain this soap opera, and it's something I think we need. It would be fun, too.


O'REILLY: Now on Tuesday, nine percent of all the votes in the Texas Democratic primary were cast by Republicans, but Barack Obama won those votes 52 percent to 47 percent. Joining us now from Dallas, talk show star and FOX News analyst, Laura Ingraham, who is in the Lone Star State, as I mentioned.

OK. A lot of people — and I'm getting mixed calls on this. I'm getting some calls on the radio that say, "Look, radio talk show hosts, you do it, I do it, Limbaugh does it. We have a perfect right to do anything we want. We want to intrude in an election. We want to do this, that and the other thing." OK? And others say, "Look, you've got to respect the process, and there ought to be lines that you don't cross."

How do you see it?

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, look. This clearly was in the interest of many conservatives who decided on Tuesday that, for that one day, their interest in promoting conservatism and seeing that Republicans ultimately win this, and Hillary's interests, you know, intersected. And that's not voter fraud. That's not voter intimidation. That's not corrupting the process. That's democracy. People can go to the polls for the reasons they want to go to the polls. And so I reject this idea that somehow that's polluting democracy. And I hear a lot of calls on my radio show from people here in Texas who actually did pull the lever for Hillary on Tuesday. And let me tell you, Bill, they're still feeling the effects of the Hillary hangover. They're still a little queasy. And I'm trying to help them through it.

O'REILLY: All right. I'm glad. You are a humanitarian.


O'REILLY: But the point is that when you get involved in telling people how to vote, which we never do here on "The Factor." I never, ever do that. I think people are smart enough to know.

INGRAHAM: Of course not.

O'REILLY: I wouldn't. I think that's insulting. I really do.


O'REILLY: If somebody tells me on TV, "You should vote for this person," I'm smart enough to know who I want to vote for.

INGRAHAM: You're above it all though.

O'REILLY: I'm above it all. Absolutely. If I thought it was the right thing to do, I would do it. You know me. I mean, I'm pretty obnoxious, but I wouldn't do that. Now, Obama...


O'REILLY: more of the Republican votes.

Because I think people are smart enough to know who to vote for.

INGRAHAM: Bill, Bill...

O'REILLY: I don't need to tell them who to vote for.

INGRAHAM: Not telling. I didn't tell people what to do.

O'REILLY: Limbaugh said, "Look, cross over, vote for Hillary, create pandemonium in the Democratic Party."

INGRAHAM: Right. And he's a provocateur. And he had a strategy for what he believed would continue this process and ultimately help the conservative philosophy. And it's a little unconventional. Yes, it's a little unconventional.

O'REILLY: OK. Well, people can make up their own minds about it, but it didn't work in the sense that Obama got more of the Republican vote.

INGRAHAM: No, Bill, I hate to ever question you. You know that. I hate doing that, but I beg to differ with you on this point. Barack Obama, among Republicans, was leading in other open primary states by margins of 20 points. States like Virginia, other states, big margins, up to 20 points. In this, self-identified Republicans, I think he won by, what, five or six points?

O'REILLY: Fifty-two to 47.

INGRAHAM: Yes. He narrowed the gap enormously.

O'REILLY: That's an interesting point.

INGRAHAM: Some other significant reports, Bill, that came out today in reporting. Poll workers in Canyon, Texas, and one of them an Obama supporter; one was a Hillary supporter, both of them independently said that person after person in line was revealing that they were there as Republican crossovers because they listened to Rush Limbaugh. And they estimated that two-thirds of all 800 votes cast...

O'REILLY: Maybe that gap was closed from a bigger gap to 52 percent to 47 percent. That could be absolutely possible. Now, Limbaugh...

INGRAHAM: Only 100,000 votes between them.

O'REILLY: And I don't want to make this show about Limbaugh. Because you know, look, I respect him. He's a good broadcaster.

INGRAHAM: He loves that.

O'REILLY: Well, I don't care what he loves, to tell you the truth.


O'REILLY: But this is fascinating though. He says that a black and a woman on the same ticket can't win. But he doesn't say why. I mean, he took a call. How did you react to that?

INGRAHAM: Well, lust like you can't explain what I say on the radio, Bill — I mean, I don't know what Rush is talking about. I'm looking at the turnout numbers across the country. And you know these facts. The turnout numbers are outstanding for Democrats, whether you're a Hillary supporter or an Obama supporter. The numbers of people showing up, the dollars being donated, in small donations coming from across the country, is really a cause for concern for Republicans. So I don't really see that issue. I mean, I think people are playing identity politics. I think maybe he's tapping into that notion and that's clear. I mean, you saw that with Bill Clinton. You talked about that.

O'REILLY: No, because I think the election is going to be very, very close. Very tight.


O'REILLY: That's how I see it. Things could change.

All right. Now, you are also working over Brett Favre. Laura Ingraham, everybody, is working over NFL legend Brett Favre.


O'REILLY: What is your beef with Brett Favre, Laura?

INGRAHAM: No, it's not about Brett Favre, OK. Brett Favre is an American sports icon. He's going to be featured, I'm sure, in a future O'Reilly icon segment. He's an amazing person, wonderful family man.

I merely brought up this issue on the radio today, Bill, that even these big, hulky, strong, impressive men today are in a situation where they just break down blubbering for, like, 20 minutes at a retirement press conference. And women overwhelmingly calling into my show said, "Well, we really like Brett Favre. We think he's amazing, but enough with the waterworks."

What happened to John Wayne and Ronald Reagan and Lou Gehrig and this idea of, you know, leaving the stage gracefully, you know, maybe having a little tear in your eye? But I mean, the sobs, they just never stopped, and it was kind of funny. Sorry. It was amusing.

O'REILLY: Not all of us will cry upon retirement, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Bill, when the last "Talking Points" is done, if that happens, heaven forbid, will you be weeping uncontrollably? Will that happen?

O'REILLY: There is, to quote Tom Hanks, there's no crying in the No Spin Zone, at least not on the host's part. The guests, they cry.

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, it's just an interesting cultural development. I think it's not about Brett Favre. He's a wonderful person. But you know, you had Voinovich crying, Dick Durbin crying.

O'REILLY: Everybody's crying, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Dan Rather crying.

O'REILLY: I'm telling you, but emotional men, they do have an attraction for a certain kind of woman. I don't believe you are that kind of woman.


O'REILLY: Laura Ingraham, everybody. We'll see you next week.

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