James Carville & Paul Begala Talk with Bill O'Reilly

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 27, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, there are all kinds of theories about why President Clinton got angry with Chris Wallace. As you know, the president asked Chris if he had directly questioned Bush administration officials about Al Qaeda.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, "Why didn't you do anything about the [U.S.S.] Cole?" I want to know how many people you asked, "Why did you fire Dick Clarke?" I want to know how many people did you ask...

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Did you ever watch "FOX News Sunday", sir? We asked plenty of questions.

CLINTON: You didn't ask that, did you? Tell the truth, Chris.

WALLACE: About the Cole?

CLINTON: Tell the truth, Chris.

WALLACE: With Iraq and Afghanistan, there's plenty of stuff to ask.

CLINTON: Would you ever ask that?


O'REILLY: Well, take a look at this Chris Wallace exchange with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.


WALLACE: Looking back, sir — excuse me — and I understand this is 20/20 hindsight, it's more than an individual manhunt. I mean, what you ended up doing in the end is going after Al Qaeda where it lived.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Which is the only way to do it, in my view.

WALLACE: So, the question is, pre-9/11, should have been thinking more about that?


O'REILLY: All right. With us, two close Clinton confidants, James Carville and Paul Begala, the co-authors of the paperback book right now, "Take it Back: A Battle Plan for the Democratic Victory."

All right, Carville, now look, you have been running around hot-shotting this FOX News and you're empowered or you're thrilled or whatever you are.

CARVILLE: I am. We're delight.

O'REILLY: We're fair to Bill Clinton here. Wallace worked for ABC for 25 years. He didn't turn into a werewolf when he was hired over here. OK?

You want to pick on somebody, pick on me or pick on Hannity, but not Chris Wallace, OK? This is ridiculous. They were legitimate questions. Wallace grills Rumsfeld. I grilled Rumsfeld. And come on.

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-AUTHOR, "TAKE IT BACK": First of all, I don't think that FOX has been fair to Bill Clinton. I like you. I like Chris Wallace. I like Sean Hannity. I don't think in any way, shape or form that...

O'REILLY: Give me an example of unfairness.

CARVILLE: You know, just like Bill Clinton said, you never asked him — how many times was Rice on that show?


CARVILLE: How many times did Clinton (ph) go on that show?


O'REILLY: What are you talking about?

CARVILLE: Chris Wallace...

O'REILLY: Does this come from Media Matters?

CARVILLE: Did you ever read them? They're terrific.

O'REILLY: Hired guns.

BEGALA: Actually, that came from the Center for American Progress...

O'REILLY: These far left web sites you guys take this information off, these are paid to smear people they disagree with. Do your own research.

You can't sit there and think Chris Wallace is in the tank for the Republicans. I mean, this is ridiculous.

CARVILLE: I didn't say he was in the tank, that's your term. You asked me, do I think that FOX News network has been fair to Bill Clinton? The answer is no!

O'REILLY: You can't give me one thing. You can't.

CARVILLE: You know what? I can watch where it has been completely misrepresented about what he did about Al Qaeda. I can watch and state it completely...

O'REILLY: Give me an example.

BEGALA: Clinton just gave you an example.

O'REILLY: You knew you were going to come in here. You knew this was the topic, documented and you don't have an example.

BEGALA: Bill Clinton gave a good example. He said to Chris Wallace, not did you ever ask him about Al Qaeda, generally. I'm sure Mr. Wallace has. But he said why didn't you ever ask those conservative Republicans from the Bush administration why they didn't retaliate for the Cole bombing?

He asked Clinton right out the shoot? It's a legitimate question, the president said, and he's right, it was. Wallace had a right to ask it. But why hasn't he asked in the dozens of appearances that Steven Hadley the national security advisor has or the vice president has or Dr. Rice has, or even the vice president. Never were they asked about why we didn't...

O'REILLY: If I had more time, I could have used that whole Rumsfeld interview. And the thing was, what Wallace said was, listen, you're fighting in Iraq, but you're not going after the guys who did the Cole, did the embassy bombings and did the World Trade Center on 9/11. That's what the question was. Now that is a tough question for Rumsfeld. And I ask Rumsfeld tough questions when I talk to him, too. What?

CARVILLE: Let me ask you this. You go back and see how many times that senior administration officials have been on FOX News Sunday and compare it to the other Sunday shows. Why is it that Dick Cheney will only watch FOX News?

O'REILLY: He won't come on this program.

CARVILLE: Well, I don't know why he won't come on this — I come on this program. I love it. Bill, I don't think my wife [former Cheney adviser, Mary Matalin] is objective. I like her. I appreciate being on the show, but doesn't mean if you ask me...

O'REILLY: You guys — you guys spread propaganda that these far left Kool-Aid drinkers believe that this network is trying to promote the Bush administration and run down the Clinton administration. That is flat out false.

BEGALA: Guilty.

CARVILLE: Guilty. Guilty. We're guilty. We like you! But we...

O'REILLY: Not only are you both guilty; you're both stupid.


BEGALA: We're right. We didn't go to Harvard. Bill went to Harvard. He's much smarter than we are! I went to Texas! We're better at football.

O'REILLY: That's the first — first astute thing you just said. Bill is much smarter than you.

Greta Van Susteren is very friendly with Bill Clinton because of her husband. Alan Colmes adores Bill Clinton and would be his valet.Shep Smith never says anything politically one way or the other.

And Brit Hume is a conservative leaning guy, but he's gone out of his way — all right — to be fair to Bill Clinton. And at ABC, Brit Hume received a great accolade from Bill Clinton, as you know. Now these are the main players. So if you're going to put it on me, fine.

CARVILLE: John Gibson... Sean Hannity?

BEGALA: Brit is conservative, and I'll say when he covered the Clinton White House, he was fair.

O'REILLY: And he's not fair anymore?



O'REILLY: Give me an example.

BEGALA: I don't have one top of mind...

O'REILLY: You don't have an example!

BEGALA: Look at his lineup. Look at his lineup. He has moderates and conservatives. There are no liberals sitting there on his all-star panel.

O'REILLY: Ceci — whatever her name is from The Washington Post. Mara Liasson— they're liberal people.

BEGALA: Smart people, I watch the show...

CARVILLE: Ceci Connolly is...

BEGALA: It's lively and it's fun and it's interesting, and it's highly watchable, but it's conservative! Come out of the closet!

O'REILLY: I don't believe it for a second.

BEGALA: You all are conservative.

O'REILLY: That is bull.

BEGALA: Just admit it.

O'REILLY: I'm not going to admit it because it's wrong. OK? You guys need to get away from the far left web sites and open your eyes. If you go down the guest list, the 24-7 guest list we will provide for you, it's 50-50. And on this program it's more left than right. It's more left than right on this program.

BEGALA: It maybe, my hat is off to you, for example, for even having us on.

O'REILLY: You're welcome any time. Look, you guys are now becoming propagandists and I'm looking out for you. Don't do that. Last word.

CARVILLE: We are. Last word. We are propagandists. We think that FOX News is a right-leaning, anti-Clinton network.

O'REILLY: All right.

CARVILLE: We thought that before we came here. We're going to think it...

O'REILLY: Gentlemen, thanks very much. All right?

CARVILLE: Appreciate it.

O'REILLY: You both are going to be beaten to a pulp.


O'REILLY: We'll be right back, in a moment.

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