This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, January 21, 2004.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Continuing now with our lead story, the presidential race, joining us from Manchester, New Hampshire is Democratic candidate Senator Joseph Lieberman. All right, senator, I'm going to make the -- I know you're busy. You're doing a million interviews, but let's just make it as simple as possible.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Only one with O'Reilly.
O'REILLY: I know. I know. So even I can understand that.
O'REILLY: I want you to tell me the difference between you and your competitors. Let's start with John Kerry. What's the difference between you and John Kerry?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I'm going to try to be positive about this. Look, I'm running for the presidency based on 30 years of experience. I didn't just get dropped in here. And that 30 years gives voters in New Hampshire and around the country some idea of what kind of president I'd be. I've always stood up and fought for what I believed was right. I've not waffled. I've not pandered. I've done that in this campaign.
Hey, I'm proud to be a Democrat, but I understand that my highest loyalty is to the country. And that gives me the opportunity to bring together people to actually making the country go again and deal with the problems that people have.
O'REILLY: All right, but look, New Hampshireites are up there. And they got you and they got Kerry. And you got...
O'REILLY: ...I'm going to come up and I'm going to say, look, what's the difference? What's the difference?
O'REILLY: He has a lot of experience. What's the difference?
LIEBERMAN: Well, yes, I mean between Kerry and me? I'm the only -- not only Kerry, but any of the others. I'm the only one who has proposed a tax cut for 98 percent of the taxpayers.
O'REILLY: All right, so that's good.
LIEBERMAN: Additional to what they got now.
O'REILLY: Right, the other guys are bigger...
LIEBERMAN: (Unintelligible) business taxes.
O'REILLY: The other guys are bigger spenders than you. OK.
LIEBERMAN: They are. National Taxpayers Union said when they listed the seven of us that I was the least in terms of new spending proposals.
O'REILLY: All right, anything else the difference between you and Kerry? Anything else?
LIEBERMAN: Well, you know, I've been unwavering and took some blows for it, but I believed in unwavering of my support in the war against Saddam Hussein. I took this position, along with John McCain, before George Bush ever became president. But I felt so strongly that Saddam Hussein was a danger to us that needless to say I wasn't going to change my position because it happened to be a Republican who was president.
O'REILLY: OK, weapons of mass destruction didn't change your mind on that?
LIEBERMAN: No, it didn't. I mean for me, the main argument for the war was Saddam, not the weapons of mass destruction. But do I worry that we ought to look back now and have the intelligence community -- ask the intelligence community whether they had it right? Yes, but did they have weapons of mass destruction in the '90s, Iraq? You bet they did. They told the U.N. they did. Everybody thought they did.
O'REILLY: All right.
LIEBERMAN: So no wavering on it.
O'REILLY: What's the difference between you and General Clark?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I've had 30 years of experience. And I -- not only do people know from my records who I am, I know who I am. And I understand government. I understand...
O'REILLY: You know, let me -- look.
LIEBERMAN: I'm disciplined.
O'REILLY: You're my pal, OK? I like you.
LIEBERMAN: All right.
O'REILLY: And everybody knows I like you because I say good things about you.
LIEBERMAN: And I like you.
O'REILLY: Let me give you a big difference between you and General Clark that you can use. All right.
LIEBERMAN: All right, Bill.
O'REILLY: He's for gay marriage and you're not. There's a big difference!
LIEBERMAN: No, that's true. I mean, that's a matter of record. That's absolutely right.
O'REILLY: Yes. So you can use that if you want.
LIEBERMAN: I mean, I'm against discrimination, against people based on sexual orientation, but that's different from gay marriage. Gay marriage...
O'REILLY: Right. Today General Clark said marriage is an art. I don't really know what that means, but that's what he said.
LIEBERMAN: I'm going to discuss that with my wife, Bill.
O'REILLY: OK, I already got my painting stuff. I have no idea what it means.
LIEBERMAN: All right.
O'REILLY: All right, now Howard Dean, he's running second now according to polls, going down.
O'REILLY: Is he -- did he self-destruct in Iowa?
LIEBERMAN: He got hurt. And you know, I've been saying all along that there were real differences, that between Howard Dean and me, there was a difference about what the Democratic party was all about. And he wanted to take it back to where it was before Clinton in '92, when people thought we were against all tax cuts, weak on defense, silent on values, and all rest. And I'm at the opposite side of that. I'm for middle-class tax cuts. I got a great plan to create 10 million new jobs. I'm strong on defense.
O'REILLY: Were you surprised he blew up in Iowa? Did Kerry's win shock you?
LIEBERMAN: Well, we saw it coming, but it -- if you'd asked me two weeks ago, I think everybody thought that Howard Dean was inevitable in the finals for this nomination. And I feel the same kind of thing is happening here in New Hampshire. Folks are very undecided. And they're taking a second look at everybody. They want to know who they can rely on to level with them, do what's right for the country, be a strong and disciplined leader. That's what my whole records says. And they want somebody who can actually get elected.
O'REILLY: Yes, look, if Kerry can do it, you can do it, because Kerry came from nowhere. I mean, they were throwing dirt on the guy.
LIEBERMAN: There you go.
O'REILLY: And so...
LIEBERMAN: There you go. Let's go those...
O'REILLY: ...and it's good for America. It's good for America. I think this competition is very healthy. Hey, senator, as always...
LIEBERMAN: It is.
O'REILLY: ...we thank you. You're always welcome on the program. Good luck to you.
LIEBERMAN: Bill, I love being here. Thanks, Bill.
LIEBERMAN: Have a good night.
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