This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Oct. 27, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, the final part of our almost Kerry interview. As we told you in the "Talking Points Memo," the senator is dodging us. No reason to do that other than not wanting to answer specific questions, as we have been fair to Mr. Kerry over the past months.
Joining us now from Boston are two people who know the senator's policies very well, Dr. Jeffrey Berry who teaches at Tufts University and FOX News Analyst Mary Anne Marsh.
Now, for those of you who weren't with us last night, we had Bob Woodward here for the almost Kerry interview, and Mr. Woodward and I agreed there were four questions that the senator had not answered because we didn't know the answer and we're researching like crazy.
The first question — and I'm going to submit this one to you, Professor — is: How is John Kerry going to pay for universal health care and all the other entitlements that he wants to give the American people? And they're estimated by the American Enterprise Institute to cost $1.5 trillion over a 10-year period. Taxing the rich won't even come close to raising that kind of money. How's he going to do it?
JEFFREY BERRY:, PH.D., TUFTS UNIVERSITY: There are three parts to the Kerry answer on this, Bill. The first is that he said it's going to be done incrementally, so there is an acknowledgement, a vow toward pragmatism. Second is the reversing the tax cut for rich people like his wife.
And third — and most importantly — when John Kerry and others talk about 45 million people who are uninsured, that doesn't mean they don't get health care. They do get health care in some form, erratically and expensively, often in the emergency room.
What Kerry wants to do by expanding Medicaid and the CHIP program, the program for children administered by the states, is to take a kid, for example, who has asthma but doesn't get — receive medical care on a regular basis, put them into the CHIP program, and, instead of that child ending up in the emergency room, costing a lot of money, it's actually cost effective to put them in — enroll them in a community health program.
O'REILLY: No, I understand that, and I think we should have it.
BERRY:: So we are spending a lot of money. We're just not spending it in the right way.
O'REILLY: Yes, but this is on top of what we're going to spend. $1.5 trillion over 10 years...
BERRY:: Well, part of it...
O'REILLY: ... is an enormous...
BERRY:: I'm sorry. Go ahead.
O'REILLY: ... amount of money, and it — the tax cuts — restoring the tax cuts for the rich, as they say, which is going to hurt small business owners, is not going to come close.
So, Mary Anne, how is he — where is he going to get the money?
MARY ANNE MARSH, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, the program will only costs $653 billion, and the tax cut rollback will be $860 billion. So it will more than pay for itself. That doesn't even count the tax credits that will be given to small and medium-sized businesses.
O'REILLY: Well, you're — you're going — you're using the stats from Emory University, which doesn't take into account the diagnosing illnesses early that the professor mentioned, the allowing reimportation of drugs from Canada, the ending barriers to generic drug competition.
None of that is taken into account. Also, the college education, eliminated guaranteed profits for banks making student loans, all of those things add up, according to the American Enterprise, to $1.5 trillion. Come on, Mary Anne.
MARSH: Well, first — well, come on, Bill. I think you've got to cite your source there. It's a very conservative institute. The Bush people helped write that plan. So that number is wrong. I'm using the Kerry number, $653 billion. The tax rollback alone, $860 billion. We're not talking about cuts in waste, fraud and abuse.
And here's the most important part: The reason this economy is stalled right now is because small and medium-sized businesses can't afford health care. If you can help them with health-care costs, which this does, they can hire more people. There's more money in people's pockets. They can spend more money, and there's more revenue going back in for other programs.
O'REILLY: Yes, but the GNP is growing at a rate of between 3 percent and 4 percent a year. So that's not stalled.
All right. Let me get to...
MARSH: You talk to anyone...
O'REILLY: I got — look, you can talk to anyone you want. That's the GNP, Mary Anne. It's between 3 percent and 4 percent. It's not stalled. It's higher — it's the highest GNP growth of any industrial nation. Come on.
All right. Three million illegals cross the border, Professor, every year, and what is John Kerry's program to stop that?
BERRY:: John Kerry has said that in the context of Homeland Security that he's going to police up — to beef up policing the borders. I think both candidates have avoided this issue because they don't want to offend Hispanics in this country.
O'REILLY: All right. So he wants to beef up and Bush wants to beef it up. So they're both beef-up guys.
Mary Anne, do you have anything else to add?
BERRY:: Both beef-up guys.
O'REILLY: Do you have anything else to add about beefing up, which, of course, isn't going to stop anything because you just can't — you have to do something else.
MARSH: No, just better coordination with Mexico and Canada, especially on the technology side. The information that you need to make sure you have one main list that everybody has access to.
O'REILLY: OK, but Mexico wants these illegals to come in here because it's the second largest industry they have, them sending money back. So why would they cooperate? They're not going to.
All right. So let's assume that President Bush and Senator Kerry — neither has a policy to stop this. I think that's fair.
MARSH: No, that's...
O'REILLY: Mary Anne, no? No, you're...
MARSH: No, I mean, it's...
O'REILLY: You're telling me, Mary Anne, that if John Kerry is elected president, he's going to stop the three million illegals? Is that what you're telling me?
MARSH: Stop all of them? No. Do a better job than Bush? Yes. I mean, right now, less than 10 percent of all the agents guard an over 5,000-mile border. So you need to have more people guarding the borders. You need to increase the budget. Bush has only increased it 4 percent.
O'REILLY: All right. So he's going to...
MARSH: That place leaks like a sieve, that's right, but Kerry will do a better job.
O'REILLY: One more. OK. How many more troops, Mary Anne, are going to Iraq, and where will they come from because, when we had you on Monday, you said that was one of Kerry's plans. I have — I've looked, and I haven't seen that anywhere else. But since you know Kerry real well, I'm taking your word for it. How many more troops is he going to send there, and where are they going to come from?
MARSH: First of all, he wants to add 40,000 new troops to the Army, so you can shorten up some of these tours. Then, when you take the other tasks that our military is doing right now, training the Iraqis and other nonmilitary operations, you want to get NATO and our allies to do those specific tasks so our troops can go to do the job they were sent to do...
O'REILLY: OK. So he's going to have...
MARSH: ... which is really the more military operations.
O'REILLY: He's going to bring in NATO which has resisted, as you know, because of France...
O'REILLY: ... and all of that. He's going to do that.
MARSH: I think in a specific task like training the Iraqis or sending the Iraqis to NATO countries to be trained so they are up to speed on having...
O'REILLY: And who's going to pay for that?
MARSH: I think we all have to pay for that.
O'REILLY: We all — OK. More money.
MARSH: And that's NATO — well, NATO and the allies and others chip in because now they have a piece of the action.
O'REILLY: All right. Professor, why is John Kerry against gay marriage since he voted against the Marriage Protection Act signed by Bill Clinton?
BERRY:: He said he's for — against gay marriage because he believes that — like President Bush that marriage is between a man and a woman. So he's against gay...
O'REILLY: But why does he believe...
BERRY:: ... marriage, against the — you know, I think he's — I think he's characteristic of his generation. That is he's traditional. He doesn't see marriage in those terms.
O'REILLY: Do you think it's religious based?
BERRY:: No, I think — I think he's just uncomfortable with it.
O'REILLY: All right. So he's uncomfortable with gay marriage, but he votes against the Marriage...
BERRY:: I don't know. I honestly don't know.
O'REILLY: Yes, I don't know either! I mean...
BERRY:: He hasn't...
O'REILLY: I don't know. Mary Anne, do you know?
MARSH: Well, I think both — in both cases, both DOMA and FMA were federal efforts. He — he supports states' efforts. He wants to leave it up to the states.
O'REILLY: No, no, but him personally, though.
MARSH: Neither one of them had any bearing...
O'REILLY: Him personally.
MARSH: I think personally — I do think it's...
O'REILLY: Why is he against gay marriage? Why?
MARSH: I think — politically and generationally, I think this country — and I believe he believes this country's not ready for that. He does support civil unions. If you look at him over his career, he's more of an incremental person. He's very pragmatic, so...
O'REILLY: I don't know what that means.
MARSH: ... civil — civil unions is a first step.
O'REILLY: Mary Anne, you're — Mary Anne went to the Kennedy School of Harvard with me, and she did this there. She used these big words I didn't understand. Everyone was confused. Mary Anne, look, I'm a simple man. Please keep it simple. Why does the man oppose gay marriage? Why?
MARSH: Part of it is cultural.
O'REILLY: Is it religious based? What it is?
MARSH: Part it is his Catholicism. Part of it. Part of it's cultural.
O'REILLY: All right.
MARSH: And I think part of it's political, that the country and politics — this country isn't ready for it. Civil unions is one step in that direction.
O'REILLY: I still don't know why he doesn't.
Big Dig, Professor. Last question. Federal government kicked in $8- 1/2 billion to the Big Dig. John Kerry blocked $150 million going back to the feds by an insurance overcharge. The insurance company, AIG, kicked 50 grand to Kerry. That doesn't look good to me, Professor.
BERRY:: Well, there is a big — there is a scandal about the Big Dig. It is billions of dollars over budget, and taxpayers from around the country paid for that. It was deliberately underbudgeted, and taxpayers like you paid for it. So all of us in Massachusetts here want to thank you, Bill, and everybody else for...
O'REILLY: And everybody else. But everybody else is a little steamed.
BERRY:: ... building this beautiful new highway system.
O'REILLY: But did Kerry sell us out on this one?
BERRY:: I don't think so. The Massachusetts delegation has been a big supporter of the Big Dig. It's a big public works project, and they went after it aggressively, and it's turned out well for those of us here.
O'REILLY: All right. OK. Just so you remember, we could have had another $150 million in the Treasury of the United States, but John Kerry blocked that and then received $50,000 from that company. Doesn't look good to me.
Mary Anne, Professor, thank you very much. We appreciate it. That was a wrap-up of the almost Kerry interview. Hope you enjoyed it.
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