An Unforgettable Interview About Hillary Clinton

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 26, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O’REILLY, HOST: "Back of the Book" segment tonight, a new book about Hillary Clinton (search) and her run for the presidency. It's called "The Case for Hillary Clinton," written by FOX News analyst Susan Estrich. I spoke with Susan last night, and it was, well, interesting.


O'REILLY: I guess you want Senator Clinton to be the next president of the United States, right?


O'REILLY: All right. Why?

ESTRICH: I think the best qualified candidate should win. I think the best qualified candidate should win, Bill, and I think in this one the best qualified candidate is going to be a woman, and it's going to be an historic election. And I think it's going to be very exciting to see a woman, to be there that night and hear the words, "We've elected our first woman president."

O'REILLY: Is it all about gender? How about what's good for the country?

ESTRICH: No! I think it's not all about gender, although the gender piece will be exciting. I think she's also incredibly smart.

I think what New York voters have seen in pushing her numbers through the sky is what other people are going to se, which is this is a mature, grown-up woman who staked out a moderate position and is going to emerge as really kind of unbeatable.

O'REILLY: Why does Senator Clinton support the war in Iraq?

ESTRICH: Well, you know, that's an interesting question. I think what she actually supported was giving the president authority.

O'REILLY: No, no, she's held on to supporting the war in Iraq.

ESTRICH: I think it's about the boys and girls who are over there. And I think she's turned out to be a lot more supportive of the troops and a lot more moderate in her own views than people thought she would be.

O'REILLY: What would she do differently than President Bush in Iraq?

ESTRICH: I think — I would hope — look, I can't speak for her on that. I'm not her mouthpiece.

O'REILLY: I know, but the reason I'm asking you this question, Susan, is you're supporting her for president but these are fundamental questions and you don't know. I don't know, either. Nobody knows.

ESTRICH: Well, but I can support — I agree with you. But I can support her values. I can support her competence. I don't think anybody can...

O'REILLY: All right. Well, let's have Mother Teresa (search) be president then. Values — you've got...

ESTRICH: I don't think she's been in equivalent situations.

O'REILLY: What would Senator Clinton do...

ESTRICH: I can look at Condi Rice (search) and say she is not managing that war quite as well as I'd like her to.

O'REILLY: You can pick anybody apart. But look, we don't know what Senator Clinton thinks about Iraq. I think that's fair to say.

ESTRICH: We know some of what she thinks.

O'REILLY: How about illegal immigration? What will she do to abort it, to stop it?

ESTRICH: We know some of what she thinks about that. You know, she's taken a much tougher stance there, as well. But...

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, who, whoa. Susan, Susan, what's the tougher stance? I mean, what is she going to do?

ESTRICH: Well, I think she is going to prosecute. But I don't think she is going engage in...

O'REILLY: Prosecute who?

ESTRICH: Prosecute illegal immigrants.

O'REILLY: Really? Hillary Clinton is going to prosecute to poor illegal immigrants? Really?

ESTRICH: No, not the poor ones, just the rich ones. How about that?

O'REILLY: Let's put it down we don't know what she's going to do on the border. How about...

ESTRICH: Let's not.

O'REILLY: ... government funded health care.

ESTRICH: Let's go through the tick list and I'll bring it back. She's not going to...

O'REILLY: You write a book, "The Case for Hillary Clinton," but you don't know what Hillary Clinton thinks about anything.

ESTRICH: Yes, I can.

O'REILLY: Let me ask you another one.

ESTRICH: ... to her list. Sure.

O'REILLY: They're easy. You got a book, "The Case for Hillary Clinton," but you don't know...

ESTRICH: Give me an easy one.

O'REILLY: Here is an easy one.


O'REILLY: Does Hillary Clinton support universal health care? That is health care for all Americans, paid for by the government?


O'REILLY: She doesn't?


O'REILLY: Are you sure?

ESTRICH: She doesn't, yes, I'm sure. Isn't that too bad?

O'REILLY: Who gets health care? Who gets it?

ESTRICH: The lucky people get it.

O'REILLY: The lucky people. Who might they be?

ESTRICH: That's true. There it is.

O'REILLY: The lucky people. Is there any definition of the lucky people? Or there's just a lottery that we just...

ESTRICH: No, it's not a lottery. Obviously, some people get it through their employer and some people are going to be able to buy into it.

O'REILLY: But we don't know exactly who.

ESTRICH: Because — no, I'll tell you exactly who. But, you know, we're playing a game, so we're having fun in the spin zone. Anyways...

O'REILLY: The no-spin zone and I'm not playing any games. I want to know what the woman believes in and where she stands.

ESTRICH: I'll tell you as much as I can.

O'REILLY: All right. "The Case for Hillary Clinton." Susan Estrich, thank you.


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