Miss America's RNC Speech Sneak Peek

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Aug. 30, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: One of the featured speakers at the convention is Miss America (search) 2003 Erika Harold. And here she is, everybody. Tomorrow night...

ERIKA HAROLD, MISS AMERICA 2003: Tomorrow night's the big night.

O'REILLY: So what's your message? What are you going to tell everybody?

HAROLD: Well, I'm going to be speaking about faith-based initiatives as they relate to prisoner rehabilitation and I'm going to be talking about a visit that I took to a maximum security prison and some of the observations that I saw about the successes of the faith-based initiative...

O'REILLY: All right, so you believe that if prisoners, convicts can get involved with god to some extent, this helps in their rehabilitation?

HAROLD: Well, I don't think they should necessarily be forced to get involved with religious service if they don't want to, but I think it should definitely be an option, because at this particular facility, they were able to bring down rates of violence against prisoners.

O'REILLY: So you think that there should be more access to this kind of a thing in the prison system.

HAROLD: Absolutely. I think they should give them a more holistic approach and not just treat them as criminals, but try to treat this whole...

O'REILLY: Even the violent ones?

HAROLD: I think that should be an option, because it's incumbent upon them to find a way to protect society as well. Now, obviously...

O'REILLY: OK, so it's an interesting message.

HAROLD: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Now, you're not a real controversial woman, but a little bit. You've been the abstinence woman, right? Are you still the abstinence woman?

HAROLD: The abstinence woman, yes.

O'REILLY: Are you still that?


O'REILLY: And some people got mad at you. The last time you were here, I kept trying to figure out, why would anybody be mad at anybody because they're not having sex? Why? I mean, if you don't want to have sex, don't have it, right? Why are they mad at you? Did you ever figure that out?

HAROLD: You know, I really didn't. And so, I stopped trying to figure out exactly what the problem was and just focused on reaching the young people.

O'REILLY: But some people were mad at you for not having sex, right?

HAROLD: Well, I don't know if they were mad that I wasn't having sex. I think they were mad that I was talking to young people about that.

O'REILLY: Talking about not having sex.

HAROLD: Exactly, exactly.

O'REILLY: It's OK if you didn't have it, just don't talk about it.

HAROLD: As long as I didn't — exactly.

O'REILLY: What is that, the Hugh Hefner wing of the — I don't know what's going on.

HAROLD: I don't know what constituency group that is.

O'REILLY: Why do you think 90 percent of African Americans vote Democratic?

HAROLD: I think because the Republican Party hasn't necessarily been as proactive in engaging them in a dialogue and saying what is it that we need to do to be able to reach out to you. And I was involved in some outreach with RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie (search) this past summer, at least asking African Americans for the vote. I think that's where it starts, acknowledging the party hasn't necessarily done enough and then saying we would like to make amends and start now.

O'REILLY: We're watching Bush the elder walk into the convention, of course, being held. Actually, Gerald Ford (search) is the senior member of the GOP, the 80-year-old former president. And there they are.

HAROLD: I don't know if they'll be dancing tonight.

O'REILLY: I'll tell you what, this guy can dance; he can jump off an airplane, at 80-years-old...

HAROLD: Gerald, I believe you.

O'REILLY: The only guy I know that's more impressive than him is Mike Wallace, who's 86, and Wallace is following me around, so that's why I'm saying it. But I'm saying it's true. But Bush the elder is some kind of physical specimen, that's for sure. My last question is: You're going to Harvard Law School starting this week, right?

HAROLD: Yes, Thursday.

O'REILLY: And is that because you want to be out here running for office someday?

HAROLD: You know, I used to think I definitely wanted to run for political office and that's not something that I've necessarily ruled out. But I've decided to go into law school with an open mind and not necessarily be myopically focused on a five-year plan for running for political office.

O'REILLY: But you should get into public service. I don't say run for office, but you should do something, because you do command the media and people listen to you and you could do a lot of good, you know. You don't want to be working for Enron, making $200,000 and just pushing — no, public service.

HAROLD: Well, I definitely want to be involved in public service and I wanted the scholarship money so I could graduate from law school debt free.

O'REILLY: Erika, thanks for coming in.

HAROLD: Thank you.

O'REILLY: We'll look forward to your speech tomorrow, Tuesday.

HAROLD: Thank you very much.

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