Presidential Hopeful John Edwards Attends Lunch With Actor Danny Glover

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," June 6, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The "Big Outrage": Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards is making the rounds in South Carolina today, and his Hollywood friend actor Danny Glover is tagging along for the ride. Glover is a big time supporter of anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. In fact, Chavez offered Glover $18 million to finance a new film.

So what is John Edwards doing having lunch with a friend of an enemy of the United States? With me now is Brian Darling, who is the director of Senate relations at the Heritage Foundation.

I guess, you know, there might be one excuse that Edwards doesn't know what Glover's relationship with Chavez is, but that probably wouldn't wash. So how do you explain this?

BRIAN DARLING, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: It's hard to explain. This is a big outrage for the American people. It shows desperation on the part of John Edwards. It's a huge mistake. His poll numbers are stuck at about 15 percent, and he is looking for somebody who can help him out, help him to get to the far left of the Democrat Party.

Well the best place to find the far left of the Democrat Party is in Hollywood and with the likes of Danny Glover. And I can't imagine that John Edwards hasn't heard the stories of Danny Glover going to Manhattan and escorting Hugo Chavez into this country to come speak to Americans and denounce President Bush and call him the devil.

GIBSON: Well what does this get Edwards? I mean, if he is embracing the guy who is embracing Hugo Chavez — Edwards and Glover, Glover and Chavez — Edwards is campaigning with a friend of the anti-American dictator. How does this help Edwards?

DARLING: Well Danny Glover is a charter member of the Hollywood hates America club. He is going tacking to the far left to try and find those individuals — and a lot of them are in Hollywood — that hate President Bush, that believe the war should end immediately, and they're concerned that the leaders of the Democrat Party right now aren't doing enough to end the war.

So there is a lot of dissatisfaction within the Democrat Party, and he is trying to tap into that dissatisfaction to try and jump-start a campaign that seems to be slowing down.

GIBSON: Yes, but nobody likes Chavez. I mean, you know, Chavez called the president the devil at the U.N., you know, I still smell the sulfur. I can understand how Edwards wants to go left, but this is so far left it's off the charts.

DARLING: It is way off the charts. When you associate yourself with the likes of Danny Glover or other people like him, like Rosie O'Donnell, Sean Penn, Michael Moore and all these people that are driven by a dislike of President Bush, maybe a hatred of President Bush and a dissatisfaction with America that blames America first for a lot of our problems, that's going to be a problem for him. I think people see through this.

And yes, a lot of people know Danny Glover. He has been in a lot of movies, a very prominent actor. But what he represents, when people learn more about his personal beliefs and that he associates with the likes of Hugo Chavez, I don't think it is going to help John Edwards.

GIBSON: Brian Darling, with the Heritage Foundation, thanks very much.

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