This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," October 4, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: From the high court to high politics right now, is President Bush (search) losing political capital and backing by conservatives?
My next guest says, yes, he is.
Joining me now, the former education secretary and host of "Morning in America, Bill Bennett (search).
So, Bill, you think he's losing a little mojo, huh?
BILL BENNETT, FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY: He's a little soft right now. It remains to be seen. Your earlier story about the avian flu — if something that like happens, all this stuff becomes small talk, because then you have a real crisis. People will look to the president.
CAVUTO: All right, but if millions potentially die — that's the fear — what's the fallout?
BENNETT: It's not good for any president in terms of that. I mean, it's hard, obviously, tragic catastrophe for the country. And we now have this notion that, if it happens on your watch, you're responsible.
I think a lot the judgment will be the readiness. How much is he doing? Is he preparing the country? Is he preparing the government?
CAVUTO: Well, Senator Harkin said he's not doing enough. Are they pre-gauging the political battle here?
BENNETT: Well, sure. I mean, you can't take politics out of politics, even when you are talking about something like this. And Harkin's bill sounds to me like a political bill, but we will see. It seems to me like the president has addressed this thing pretty directly, talked about it in his press conference, will do so again.
But he has got some problems. With the Miers (search) nomination, conservatives are not sure. They don't like the big spending.
CAVUTO: Well, they wanted him to really put up a nominee who would be feisty. Priscilla Owen or someone like that, right?
BENNETT: Been waiting a long time. And there are about 10, 12 names out there, any of which would have really pleased the conservatives.
CAVUTO: But none of whom might have gotten through the Senate anyway, right?
BENNETT: Well, that all depends. How do you gauge it? Would Frist still pull the trigger? Would we close off the filibuster? Would we make that change, which they were talking about a few months ago?
CAVUTO: But maybe he was saving that for a different fight.
BENNETT: Maybe. But we need two or three justices, in my view, to get this court right, in the right way anyway. So, he can't waste a shot.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you while I have got you here, Bill. You have got a lot of controversy for remarks you made about blacks and whether they had been aborted and all. Were you surprised at the fallout that you got?
BENNETT: Yes. Well, I guess you shouldn't be surprised, being in Washington, you know, but I was surprised at the intensity of it, when it was so clear that what I was doing was introducing an abhorrent hypothetical in order to shoot it down, which I did.
I said, here's a hypothetical. And I said, if you did this sort of a thing, abortion on a large scale, it would be morally reprehensible. I guess the irony is, I'm the pro-life guy. I don't advocate abortion for anybody, any group.
CAVUTO: Which you said.
BENNETT: That's right. And my critics are pro-choice, pro-abortion. But we will clear the air. We will straighten this out and, you know, tell the truth.
CAVUTO: William, always a pleasure. Thank you very much.
BENNETT: Thank you very much, Neil.
CAVUTO: Bill Bennett.
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