Factor Interview: John & Teresa Kerry

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 2, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.

In the "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight, what to do about the planet. It's getting warmer. It's getting more dangerous. New book by Senator John Kerry and his wife, Teresa, called "This Moment on Earth" deals with the environment, and of course, Senator Kerry deals with the terror war every day.

The couple joins us now from Portland, Oregon.

Mr. Kerry, we begin with you. Your first appearance on "The Factor". We're pleased to have you on here.

You know, you seemed so close to being in the White House. Would you want to be there with all the chaos in the world, with all the intensity? Do you think back, would you want to be there today?

TERESA HEINZ KERRY, CO-AUTHOR, "THIS MOMENT ON EARTH": Well, I think if I were there today I would be worried about the very same things that I am concerned about. I'd be trying to support my husband, as I think Mrs. Bush is trying to support her husband. It's a very tough job, I'm sure.

But I think we are all concerned about the same concerns. So I try to do my little bit in the work that I do, and if I had been there I would have been doing it...

O'REILLY: All right. I think you might be better off not being there, myself.

T. KERRY: Personally, I agree with you.

O'REILLY: Senator, we're talking about the danger from Iran at the top of the program here. Congressman King and Ambassador Soderberg on. Let's say you were the president at this juncture. How do you handle Iran?

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), CO-AUTHOR, "THIS MOMENT ON EARTH": Well, I think you have to engage the entire region, and you have to engage with greater effectiveness than this administration has, obviously, Bill.

One of the things you have to do is not overplay it. It's outrageous, what they've done. It's wrong. But the more you kind of play to them in that role alone, the more you make this issue a larger crisis.

I think it would be more important to hold their nuclear renegade status up and to be moving on the other issues of the Middle East, to put them more on the defensive.

The Arab countries of that region are prepared to be aligned with us. They're concerned about Iran. And I think you could create a much more effective front against the Iranians than we have.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, it's an ongoing problem, obviously. I mean, every month — and I think that they've humiliated Great Britain and the USA. To a lesser extent here.

J. KERRY: But part of the problem, Bill, part of the problem in fairness. I listened to Nancy Soderberg before. And she's right about our loss of influence in the region. The Saudis, the Jordanians, the Egyptians, all of these countries. I visited them recently, and I think that our position in the entire region is much less than it was four or five years ago and much less than it ought to be.

O'REILLY: That may be true. But we still have to deal with them now, and when they try to humiliate Great Britain, as they are, you really have to start a plan.

J. KERRY: Absolutely. And we are united with Great Britain and with the rest of the civilized world against Ahmadinejad and his absurdities. But the best way to handle is to gain the high moral ground in the region by having policies that people respect and understand.

O'REILLY: All right. You know, I don't know if the civilized world, Senator, is united against Iran. If they were, I don't think Iran would be doing any of this.

J. KERRY: Well, I think Iran is — I think Iran is...

O'REILLY: But I think there's a lot of enablers out there, starting with Putin.

J. KERRY: There are a lot of people...

O'REILLY: Go ahead.

J. KERRY: Absolutely. But there are a lot of people who duck for cover. But part of the reason is that we have lost what we had previously. I think we can regain it very rapidly. I think there's much more we can do to leverage against Iran.

But you've got to have credibility. That is the starting point. Right now we've lost a lot of credibility in the region.

O'REILLY: Now, your book, why should people invest time and money, Senator, in buying another book after Al Gore's book. Why should they do that?

J. KERRY: Well, as Al says on the book itself, this is very different. This is not just about global climate change. It's about a broad group of issues that concern all Americans. And it connects everybody. Red state, blue state, Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, they all have a stake in this.

And what we've done is taken the example of average Americans around the country, some of whom — one woman, Tweedy Blancette in New Mexico, was a Bush coordinator in 2000.

Rick Dove, who is a river keeper down in North Carolina, is a Marine, 67 years old, retired from a career in the Marines. And now he's working full-time trying to protect the surroundings around him.

These are the stories of people who are fighting to make a difference in their local communities but who are proving there's an enormous amount of money to be made by companies. There's a lot of jobs to be created. American dominance in the world market is at a stake. This is about jobs and our future. And it's a win-win if we do it right.

O'REILLY: Anything that gets us to clean energy and away from the Gulf and Hugo Chavez is all right with me.

Now Mrs. Kerry, when you hear Al Gore attacked for his big house in Tennessee. You got a lot of big houses. You guys are rich guys. And then, you know, some people who don't like you say, "Why are these people telling me what to do? Look at them. They're on their private jets. They've got their big mansions."

How do you respond to that?

T. KERRY: First of all, this isn't a book that divides Americans to who has and who doesn't have houses, apartments or whatever. The important thing is what do I do or what does anyone do about protecting our natural resources, whether it's oil and energy, whether it is planes and carbon sinks, whether it is cars and hybrids.

And more importantly, it's an invitation to other people to join us in figuring out how we live more reasonably. We don't have all the answers either. We're looking for them. It's hard.

And I am making a lot of changes and have been. And I'm not there yet. But we are both doing it.

O'REILLY: All right. Listen, again, I think you're right. I think that all Americans should come together and try to make this the cleanest country in the world and get away from these bad guys who are just exploiting us like crazy. And I think both parties will come together. I hope they do. But Senator...

J. KERRY: We hope we do, Bill. But you know, we're doing a lot of things like changing the kinds of vehicles we drive, trying to, you know, alter our homes, alter the energy use, the grid we use, the light bulbs we uses. I mean, all those kinds of things.

O'REILLY: Yes, everybody should do it. But isn't, you know — when you saw the grief Gore took for his big house, was that fair? Is it a fair shot?

J. KERRY: Well, actually his house, he buys from an alternative energy source. He buys carbon neutral and he buys green. So in fact, he's taken solid steps to try to address the fact he lives in a larger house.

The bigger issue is what are we going to do about the larger question of the emissions of carbon? If we build 140 coal fire plants the way we're planning to, and if China builds one coal fired plant a week over the next years, we're finished.

O'REILLY: Yes, I know. I'm big on nuke.

J. KERRY: We have to do...

O'REILLY: I'm big on the nuke energy. If France can do it, we can do it.

Senator, Mrs. Kerry, thanks for coming in. Good luck with the book. We appreciate it very much.

J. KERRY: Good to be with you.

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