Rep. Tom DeLay's Message to GOP: Quit Whining!

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," June 7, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, Americans still believe Republicans do a better job at fighting terror than Democrats, but will that be enough to save the GOP in the midterm elections? It won't be, according to retiring Congressman Tom DeLay. He says his party will lose power in November unless it stops whining, and continues with this woe-is-me attitude.

Congressman Tom DeLay will be giving a farewell speech on the House floor tomorrow. Today, he's talking to us.

Congressman, always good seeing you.

REP. TOM DELAY, R-TEXAS: Hi, Neil. It's great to see you.

CAVUTO: Are Republicans botching it?

DELAY: No, I don't think so.

I think, with all the polls and what they read in the national media — I mean, if you read The New York Times every day, you would be depressed, too. This has a way of having an impact.

But, after the election in California yesterday, the members are in a much better mood right now. I spoke to them this morning and talked to them about, we need to use this as a jumping-off point of coming together, building the kinds of team efforts that we have done over the years, and continue to make history, prove the pundits wrong. We can do it again.

CAVUTO: But I sense that there's a great deal of angst among your party members, sir, that they're afraid to push through a lot of the tax cuts. They're afraid — I'm going to be raising it with Steve Forbes in a bit — to get rid of the estate tax, maybe because it's looking like class warfare, and they don't want to be on the wrong side of it.

Have they lost their mojo?

DELAY: Are you talking about the Senate or the House?


CAVUTO: Well, probably more the Senate. But...


CAVUTO: But, regardless, among many of the heads of your party, there is a concern that they're looking out of step. And they're nervous. They're covering their tails.

DELAY: Well, now, that's exactly what I was talking about this morning.

I mean, we ought to pass a sunset of the IRS and the tax code, making ready for a fundamental tax reform to replace the current tax code with a 21st century tax code. That's what our members ought to be talking about.

We ought to stay tough on immigration. And the House will stay tough on immigration. We ought to stay tough on fiscal responsibility. And the House will.

All of this will be going on during the summer. And then you start talking about the future of changing the tax code, going after judicial activism, redesigning the government, fiscal responsibility. All of those kinds of things will resonate with our base.

And, then, the most important part of this is going to our base, talking directly to the voters, using our campaigns to do that, and don't just raise a bunch of money and put TV commercials up, but get out, get on the ground, go to these households, talk to our voters. And we will be fine.

CAVUTO: Has there been pressure for you, Congressman, to settle charges, ethical charges, against you, rather than drag this out? Would you be open to settling them?

DELAY: The indictments that are against me?


DELAY: I'm ready to go to — I have been ready to go to court since November or December of last year. Unfortunately, it's the Democrats that are dragging it out. They don't want a resolution until after the election.

CAVUTO: Do you think that, ultimately, they will not be satisfied until you're indicted?

DELAY: You mean convicted?


DELAY: I am indicted.

CAVUTO: Yes, that's true.


DELAY: No, I have been indicted on laws that don't exist.

They're not going to get by with this. I mean, they have been trying this for 10 years, Neil. I got my first frivolous ethics charges in 1995. So and almost every election cycle, I get something like this. So, they have no basis to prosecute me with.

I will be exonerated. I will beat Ronnie Earle in Texas. And, in the next few months, six months or so, it will all be behind me.

CAVUTO: And will you run for another office?

DELAY: I don't know.

I'm sort of in the Lord's hand right now. I know that I'm supposed to be out speaking about the conservative world view. I'm supposed to support Israel. And that's all I know right now.

CAVUTO: All right. Tom DeLay, best of luck. We will all be watching the end of this week, see how it all goes for you.

Thank you very much.

DELAY: Thank you, Neil.

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