Published January 14, 2015
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Congressman Eric Massa is now a former congressman. Just a short time ago, he said, I resign. Former congressman Massa says someone tried to bribe him.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. ERIC MASSA, D - N.Y.: The future of the Democratic Party rests on passing this health care bill. They could get anyone to say anything about me concerning anything at all! And in fact, they did. I've had union leaders tell me point blank, We are not going to contribute to your campaign unless you vote for this health care bill! Is that or is that not a bribe?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Rick Santorum joins us live. As I was talking with Rick Klein, this has gotten really bizarre.
RICK SANTORUM, R - PENN., FORMER SENATOR: It's bizarre.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK!
SANTORUM: You know, look, I'm sure he's under a lot of pressure for a lot of things. The bottom line is that his leaving makes it easier for Nancy Pelosi to get this health care bill passed. If you look at the numbers right now, there are 216 Democrats sitting in House of Representatives who voted for the health care bill back last summer. Now they need, because of his resignation, 216. Before that resignation, they needed 217. So they would have had to flip somebody, maybe him. But now they only need 216. They need to hold the line. So it was a very important...
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think he did that? I mean, why didn't he hold out -- I mean...
SANTORUM: Well, you know...
VAN SUSTEREN: He voted no in November. And I mean, he's had this weird sort of salty language excuse last week. First he'd had a health consideration...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... he said. Then the salty language. And then this.
SANTORUM: I -- it's -- it's irrational behavior. I don't understand why he's doing it. If he was as angry as he was at being forced out, he should have stayed. I mean...
VAN SUSTEREN: But was he really forced out? They're having an investigation. I mean, his behavior -- I mean...
SANTORUM: Yes. Investigating someone is not forcing someone out. I mean...
VAN SUSTEREN: Right. He was being investigated.
SANTORUM: He was being investigated. And I understand, you know, he's obviously under a lot of pressure. There's all these bizarre stories about Rahm Emanuel and -- and what -- you know -- I don't know. I don't know...
VAN SUSTEREN: The nakedness in the shower. We got that on "Hannity."
SANTORUM: Yes, OK, good. I...
VAN SUSTEREN: We don't have to do the naked shower one.
SANTORUM: Thank you. Thank you. I really don't need to go through that. But I mean, there's some bizarre stories out there. The bottom line is, he could have stayed, made them get the extra vote and just -- and you know, just, you know, hid in his office and then -- then resigned after the health care vote. So what he's doing is complaining about the people and then helping them as he leaves, which makes no sense.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let's switch gears. We'll clean it up a little bit.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, your state, Pennsylvania. Today President Obama went there to sell the message on health care. Why do you think he went there?
SANTORUM: Well, I think he's going to a lot of the key states like Pennsylvania. There's a big governor's race, big Senate race. There are eight congressional districts in Pennsylvania where Democrats hold them that there are eight legitimate chances for Republicans to pick up seats. He's going to go to places like Pennsylvania and Missouri and where there are Senate -- Senate seats up, where there are lots of open House seats, and he's going to try to mobilize the base and try to encourage these guys who are in tough races to stay with him. The idea that Obama is trying to sell to his folks -- remember, he's not talking to independents anymore. He's not talking to conservatives anymore. He's not talking to Republicans. He's talking to the base, and he's saying...
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, is this is a campaign or was this...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... was this to sell health care?
SANTORUM: No. Well, it's -- but -- but health care is about reassuring members that it's not going to hurt them politically. And he's trying to say, Look, the problem in '94 when Clinton failed was that we didn't get it done. And as a result, our base was not energized because we failed, and that's what's going to happen this time. Unless we pass this, our people will be dissatisfied. They'll be depressed. And as a result, you're going to lose your election. So even though you may not like what we're doing here, this is only your only chance to save your hide. And he's going out and he's trying to show that the Democratic base is still behind him, which, hopefully, will encourage Democrats.
VAN SUSTEREN: So that is a more effective way than bringing them over to the Oval Office and sitting around, talking, and saying, Look, you know, I need your vote. He needs to go out and actually do some legwork.
SANTORUM: He has to prove to them that there's -- there's -- there's political sense to making this vote. And right now, if you look at the numbers, the politics are all against it. He's trying to change that political dynamic.
VAN SUSTEREN: And drawing a bunch of people to a rally in Pennsylvania is an effective way to do that? I mean, in Pennsylvania. I mean...
SANTORUM: I mean, is it effective? How else can you do it? I mean...
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know. That's why I was asking.
SANTORUM: It's a hard thing to do. I mean, he's tried going on television. He's tried, you know, making the case. I mean, he's given 35 speeches. He's done national addresses, and it's not moving the numbers. And so what I think he's trying to show is that the base cares. And how do you show the base? You turn them out and you get tens of thousands of people there screaming and shouting and saying, We're going to -- we're going to work for you. We'll be there for. That's what I think he's trying to communicate.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, sir.
SANTORUM: My pleasure.
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