Dirty politics

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 14, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Unresolved Problems" segment tonight. Dirty politics. In San Diego, Republican Carl DeMaio, challenging Democrat Scott Peters for a congressional seat. Mr. DeMaio is gay and has been personally attacked in the past. Two years ago while running for mayor of San Diego, a race he lost, a fake political group put this vicious flyer showing Mr. DeMaio next to a drag queen. The Ethics Commission of California fined three people $7500 in the case and found out they are actually Democrats, the party of inclusions. Joining us now from San Diego is Mr. DeMaio. So, in your current campaign from Congress, have you been smeared at all, has your homosexuality been an issue?

CARL DEMAIO (R-CA), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, I haven't really been focused on the nasty attacks from the other side. I'm trying to focus on the issues that matter to Americans. The economy, the national debt crisis, holding government accountable, the problems at the V.A., the list goes on and on. But yes, the other side, Bill, has been engaging in some pretty shameful tactics. Just last week my opponent, Congressman Scott Peters promoted on his official campaign Website a blog post that used a gay slur to refer to me. And, again, some groups nationally called him out for it. He didn't even have the courtesy to apologize himself. He blamed it on a staff member.

O'REILLY: But I want to (INAUDIBLE) what happens. So, he has a Web site and they run comments from bloggers on the Web site. And there was someone who said something disparaging about you using a gay slur. And it showed up on his Web site. I assume they took it down though real quick?

DEMAIO: No. No actually, Bill, it was worse than that. Scott Peters campaign proactively posted this item themselves.

O'REILLY: So they put the -- they went out, sought it out, and then put it on?

DEMAIO: Correct. Correct.

O'REILLY: Wow. That's pretty tough for a Democrat congressman ...


O'REILLY: You know, you should make a campaign ad out of that.

DEMAIO: You know, the American people don't care about these issues. What they care about ...

O'REILLY: No, they do care about character, though. Wouldn't you say? Wouldn't you say they care about character?

DEMAIO: At the end of the day, they don't' want to see a food fight. What they want to see are my ideas for moving the economy forward, fixing the national debt. And holding government accountable. That's my record, Bill. And I think that the American people are sick and tired of the shiny object games that go on in these political races. They want to see people who are willing to step forward, offer real ideas to solve problems and focus on those.

O'REILLY: All right. Character component in every race. So, let me ask you this. San Diego, your district, a lot of conservative people, our military people down there. Do you think that your homosexuality will lose you votes in the Republican precincts?

DEMAIO: No. Not at all. People in San Diego don't think of me as the gay politician. They think of me as the reformer who gets results. When I went onto the city council after a successful career in business, I inherited a city on the brink of bankruptcy. And yet, I put together a coalition, a budget plan and a pension reform initiative that helped save the city, balanced our budget without tax increases, and helped us even restore some important services.

O'REILLY: All right. So you are running on fiscal responsibility. Do you have any gay issues that you, you know, gay marriage? Does that come up? Do you look at the social landscape and try to change things there?

DEMAIO: Well, absolutely. I believe that as a gay man, government ought not to be deciding what happens for my individual rights or anyone else, for that matter.

O'REILLY: But I mean are you promoting gay marriage? Are you in favor of gay marriage?

DEMAIO: I support gay marriage. I also believe that people should be treated with dignity and respect with equal protection under the law.

O'REILLY: OK. Let me ask you one more question, because I'm ...

DEMAIO: Politicians should stay ...

O'REILLY: Yeah, I'm running out of time. But this is a key question. So you support gay marriage. Most Republicans don't. In your ...

DEMAIO: But I'm increasing the number - are indeed supporting marriage equality.

O'REILLY: Yes. And marriage equality is gaining traction. In your state, there was a vote, all right, that marriage is to remain between a man and a woman. The judges overturned that vote. Were you happy?

DEMAIO: Yes, I was. Because I think the Supreme Court was - took the right position that people.

O'REILLY: To disenfranchise the voters?

DEMAIO: And I would like to see this issue be left to individuals to decide. Not politicians, not on elected judges. Let it up for people to decide.

O'REILLY: OK, but the people did decide in California. They didn't want gay marriage and then it was overturned by judicial fiat and you are telling me you supported that.

DEMAIO: So, you think that a majority should go and decide how each individual should live their lives? I actually want to let individuals to decide.

O'REILLY: Listen, if it's a private matter I don't. If it's a public matter, and marriage is, you know that because you have to register, I think the will of the people should be taken into consideration. But we wish you the best, Mr. DeMaio, and your campaign.

DEMAIO: Thank you very much, Bill.

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