This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," May 15, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST. Abortion has never been popular in the state of Alabama. Since 1973, when a handful of Supreme Court justices imposed the most left wing abortion regime in the world by fiat, voters in Alabama have strongly disagreed with the ideology of Roe v Wade.
Last night, after 46 years, they finally enacted their views into law. Lawmakers there voted overwhelmingly to ban most abortions in Alabama and by the way, just in Alabama, nowhere else -- a law like this would not pass in Maryland, in New Jersey or Massachusetts or pick a state. It applies only in a state where a strong majority agrees with it, where it reflects that community's values. That's called self-government. It's how democracy is supposed to work.
Our ruling class doesn't care though they no longer believe in democracy. So the idea that somewhere, a thousand miles from Brooklyn in some little town in Alabama, there might be a person who disagrees with their views on abortion, or gun control or name a topic. That idea drives them completely insane. It eats at them, it keeps them up at night, it must be stopped.
Well, CNN is the network for people who feel this way who watches one of their anchors solicits advice on how to subvert the will of Alabama voters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEGGY DREXLER, RESEARCH PSYCHOLOGIST: My feeling is that there are things we can do.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: For people who want to protest, there's laws.
DREXLER: For people who want to protest.
BALDWIN: Like what?
DREXLER: Yes, first of all, we can talk to the men in our lives and figure out who are the men that are not supporting this. We can contribute to Planned Parenthood. We can go and say, this isn't what we want. This really, really -- it is the most restrictive law yet for abortion. Why not do something on a larger scale?
BALDWIN: Dr. Peggy Drexler, a pleaure.
DREXLER: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yes, CNN thinks you should donate to Planned Parenthood. Over on "The View," Joy Behar, who is both the single unhappiest person in the world and also an important figure in Democratic politics went even further than that and called for eugenics. She demanded that Alabama's lawmakers be sterilized on the basis of their sex and skin color.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOY BEHAR, COHOST, THE VIEW: Can we get a picture of the panel of men who did this --
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, COHOST, THE VIEW: In Alabama.
BEHAR: There it is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BEHAR: Gee, what do they have in common?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think there were -- weren't there four women?
BEHAR: They're all men. All white guys.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were four women on there?
GOLDBERG: Not here.
BEHAR: They are all white guys. Maybe we should make it a law that they should all be required to get a vasectomy. That group in particular.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, Behar is a sub-genius, granted, and she is not elected to anything either, at least for now. Bernie Sanders though is. He is a sitting U.S. senator and this morning he tweeted this, quote, "Abortion is a constitutional right," which is almost as dumb as anything Joy Behar has ever said. Abortion is not a constitutional right. It is not mentioned in the Constitution. It's not even hinted at.
The legal reasoning behind Roe versus Wade is a joke. Even pro-choice legal scholars will admit that if you ask them in private. But in public, nobody can say that, nobody can deviate from the party line. Everyone must read from the talking points provided by the abortion clinic lobbyists from NARA, and so they do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, D-MINN., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What they did in Alabama, what they did in Georgia is unconstitutional.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, D-N.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, this is an outrage and it's nothing short of an attack on women's basic human rights and Civil Rights.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, where we saw what happened in Alabama, let us all agree that women's healthcare is under attack and we will not stand for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So this is the modern Democratic orthodoxy. If you love women, you'll encourage them to kill their own offspring. If you acknowledge that children are sacred, that being a parent is honorable and necessary, and maybe even more meaningful than a trip to Ibiza this summer, then you, sir, are an oppressor. You hate women.
In case you haven't noticed, it's almost a perfect inversion of common sense and of nature itself. It's grotesque. So what's the thinking behind it? We will let actress, Alyssa Milano explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALYSSA MILANO, AMERICAN ACTRESS: I don't think there's a human on the planet that is not pro-life. Nobody wants to get an abortion. Nobody. We are all pro-life. But there are circumstances that we cannot avoid. There's the mother's health. There's just not being ready, you know, and what that means financially and for someone's destiny. This is an economic issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Oh, it's an economic issue. So thanks for the honesty, Alyssa. Without Roe versus Wade, women might understand that they have the right to be mothers rather than just dutiful worker bees toiling for some company that doesn't care about them. They are made to start to understand that they could put their families first if they wanted before the interest of shareholders, you can't have that. It might hurt markets.
So our corporate tastemakers push the lie that abortion is liberation. Only in faraway remote places like Alabama, do people miss that message and continue to believe that children are more important than market caps and stock prices.
But everywhere else the propaganda is working as intended. According to a new report by the CDC, America's fertility rate is the lowest it has ever been in the history of the country. It's not that Americans don't want to have children, they do. According to Gallup Americans want just as many kids as they wanted 20 years ago. It's just they can't afford them anymore. Our leaders tell us that's fine. It's totally okay. It's normal. You don't need children. Here is a new iPhone. We will pay for your abortion. Work harder. Stop complaining. Don't listen those people in Alabama, we will make them be quiet. Get back to work. You're liberated now.
Missouri's legislature is considering its own bill to ban abortions after eight weeks. Elijah Haahr is the Speaker of the Missouri State House and he joins us tonight. Mr. Speaker, thanks very much for coming on. So before we get the bigger question, tell us quickly the state of the bill in Missouri.
REP. ELIJAH HAAHR, R-MO, STATE HOUSE: So the legislature passed the bill in February -- late February of this year. We actually passed it with 117 votes. Every single Republican and three Democrats voted for it. The bill is in the Senate right now and they're considering using the previous question to end debate and actually moved to a vote in the Senate.
CARLSON: So is the point of this -- I mean, let's be honest. Critics say the point of the bill that you are behind the bill that just passed and was signed in Alabama -- is to undermine Roe versus Wade. Is that true?
HAAHR: That's not true, at least not in our case. Our legislation is designed not to attract a legal challenge, but to withstand one and to save lives here in Missouri. What we built today are in this legislation, we believe to be the most comprehensive, boldest, pro-life legislation in the nation.
CARLSON: And so as I understand it, the bill essentially says if the heartbeat can be detected, you can't kill the child.
HAAHR: The underlying bill begins with a heartbeat -- a ban on abortion after a heartbeat is detected. It also would it if fetal brainwave is detected. If that portion were struck down, we have second and third options of banning abortions at 14 and then at 18 weeks under pain capable ban.
We also have a trigger that would go into place if Roe v Wade was overturned, that would ban abortion backed conception. Along with that, we have a variety of other portions of the bill designed to mirror a lot of what the other states in the country are doing. Really what we had the opportunity to do is look at a lot of other states and how they were attempting to tackle this issue, put them all together into one sound comprehensive piece of legislation.
CARLSON: Now, there are people who are sincerely opposed to what you're doing, and that's fair and fine. But there's also a massive effort funded by the abortion lobby that is never reported on ever, NARAL, for examples and is an abortion lobby, funded by the clinic owners. How organized are those forces in Missouri? And what does their spending look like?
HAAHR: You know, they're very organized now. We're fortunate Missouri has always been on the forefront of being a fairly pro-life state. When I began this legislative session in January, I said, in Missouri, we stand for the innocent, the infirm, we stand for the born and the unborn.
Over the past few years, we've managed to whittle down the number of abortion clinics from as high as six down to just one that's still practicing. But one of the interesting things about this legislation, we have a requirement in there for increased insurance for abortion doctors.
In the negotiations to try to end the filibuster in the Senate, that was the first thing that they asked us to remove, was that increased insurance requirement for these abortion doctors. It always comes back to the money.
CARLSON: Yes, it does. That is so telling. That is because the lobbying against it is funded by the clinic owners because this is a very lucrative business. Did that requirement stay in legislation?
HAAHR: You know that even before I came on with you tonight, we were having those discussions, that was the first thing that that the members we were dealing with asked us to remove. And we said, no, we're drawing a bright line on that. That to us was core -- a core part of the bill.
CARLSON: Fascinating. And again, revealing. Elijah, thanks very much.
HAAHR: Thank you for having me.
CARLSON: We're joined tonight by Fox News senior political analyst, Brit Hume. Brit, thanks a lot for coming on. So this is one of those topics that you've seen debated, I guess for 46 years.
BRIT HUME, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's the most enduring moral and political issue of our time.
CARLSON: So I think a lot of Republicans in Washington suspect that if we ever had a real debate on it, they would lose which is why we don't have a real debate on it ever, really? Now we're starting to have a real debate on it. Do you think that the Republican side, the pro-life side will lose?
HUME: No, I think in the long run, the pro-life side will win. No, you can remember that Bill Clinton had a formulation he used to use when he was discussing abortion rights guaranteed by Roe versus Wade. He wanted abortion to be safe, legal and rare. Well, it's by and large safe, I think. It's certainly legal, but it's certainly not rare. We're talking now -- estimates are as many as 60 million human lives -- millions of those with beating hearts snuffed out by abortion since Roe versus Wade was decided in 1973. That is a staggering total of loss of human life.
And you know, I don't think that the -- and I think that the proponents of abortion rights deep down know that it doesn't sit well with people that's why NARAL will call itself the National Abortion Rights Action League, but Planned Parenthood calls itself something it's not, which is about parenthood, it is certainly not about Parenthood.
And you have all these other euphemisms, you know -- women's choice, women's health -- and my favorite of all is reproductive rights. Because if abortions are about one thing, it is not reproduction, it is anti- reproductive rights.
HUME: And once -- you know, you can kind of sense that it is understood on the part of those who adopt such terms, that you know, they're skating on thin ice here, and they better not call this really what it is, which is the taking of innocent human life.
CARLSON: Do you think the hysteria that you see on the subject really from one side, from the pro-choice side comes from the fact that deep down they know it's an atrocity?
HUME: Yes, I think it does. And they also know that it is a legal matter. And you touched on this in your comments. As a legal matter, the decision was an abomination. I mean, and you're correct, that even pro-choice lawyers and legal scholars will admit that.
I mean, the Supreme Court 1968 in a strange case, kind of created out of thin air an all-purpose right to privacy, which is nowhere set forth in the Constitution.
CARLSON: Griswold versus Connecticut.
HUME: Griswold versus Connecticut where this right emanated from the numbers of some section of the Constitution. It's a joke. And then five years later, the Supreme Court invented out of that the right to an abortion out of a right to privacy.
It's pretty -- it's pretty weak stuff. And you know, if it were ever really decided anew on the merits, I don't think it would stand. But I also don't think this Alabama Gambit is going to work, and the reason I think that is that it will get to a trial court and soon, and a judge bound by Roe versus Wade will strike it down.
HUME: It will get to an Appellate Court and I don't think it'll be reversed there. The Supreme Court will then in my judgment, just decline to hear it and that'll be that.
So I think, you know, Missouri may be on to something. They may have -- you know, they've got some fallback positions there that may hold, but I don't think these all out challenges -- head on challenges to Roe versus Wade will work right now.
CARLSON: Do you think that as a political matter, having the conversation describing what it is that we're debating -- abortion, not choice, not reproductive rights -- but abortion, is that an effective strategy for people who think --
HUME: Yes, I think increasingly it is, Tucker, because science is telling us more and more all the time about just how much of a person these fetuses are.
HUME: We now know earlier than we thought that we detect a heartbeat, there's now -- there are studies that indicate you know, as that legislator was just telling you about you know, the sensation of pain. If it ever becomes universally accepted that abortion is painful to the fetus, I think that changes the whole equation.
CARLSON: I think it does, too. Brit Hume, thank you.
HUME: You bet.
CARLSON: Well left demanded a two-year Russia investigation, we got one. Now they're outraged that transparency could extend to the investigation itself. Fun to watch. Details ahead. Plus Joe Biden is dominating the Democratic presidential field. But are there warning signs that he will not be the nominee? Dana Perino on that, after the break.
CARLSON: Well, for more than two years, virtually everyone in Washington decided to ignore America's real problems so the Congress and the press could live in a fantasy world. In that fantasy world, Russian spies were lurking in every restaurant booth at every party under every bed. All of this country's problems reduced to Russia and finding Russian agents justified basically any abuse you can imagine -- spying on Americans, pretending a democratic election never happened.
Now the Russian hoax has been exposed as fraudulent because it is. There's ample evidence to believe the FBI launched a politically motivated investigation on the flimsiest of pretexts. So the Attorney General is launching investigation to find out how this happened, and suddenly the left is in a full blown panic.
"Investigations are bad," they're telling us. Over at NBC, there's a party line investigating an opposing political party is of course fair, spying on a presidential campaign, no problem. But looking at the FBI, that's what the mafia does.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSBNC HOST: It's an embarrassment to have an Attorney General who looks like a Roy Cohn, a guy who will do anything to defend the President and now has become his hitman.
Not only will he play defense, he is out to destroy the government, the FBI everything in order to cover the tracks of the President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So that's the level of hysteria out there, but it's not the extent of the hysteria, it is everywhere, all of a sudden. Trace Gallagher has been on the story and he joins us tonight -- Hey, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Tucker, Democrats have subpoenaed Attorney General Bill Barr, held him in contempt, even asked him to resign and suggested criminal sanctions, none of which stopped the AG from assigning a Federal prosecutor to investigate the origins of the Trump Russia probe.
And John H. Durham, the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut has reportedly been on the case for a while. Durham also has a history of investigating potential wrongdoing among National Security officials, including the FBI's ties to a crime boss in Boston and CIA abuses of detainees.
So there are now three investigations aimed at what some of the GOP call quote, "getting to the bottom of things," and here's reaction on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Think about the chilling message it sends to career nonpolitical people in the FBI and the Justice Department. This is a completely unnecessary investigation by the Connecticut U.S. Attorney.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And to counter three investigations, MSNBC apparently needed three fall guys. Naturally, that's the President, Attorney General Barr and Fox News. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: Who uses the word spying to discuss authorized lawful surveillance on a counterintelligence probe other than Sean Hannity?
JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE CIA: Well, William Barr, clearly and I think Donald Trump as well.
BRENNAN: Well, I think they're trying to imply and to really, you know, indicate that there was a misuse of authorities. That was not the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And today at a National Peace Officers Memorial Service, Ag Bill Barr spotted Nancy Pelosi, shook her hand and said loudly, "Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?" Pelosi smiled and indicated the House Sergeant at Arms was present should an arrest be necessary -- Tucker.
CARLSON: Unbelievable. Trace Gallagher, thanks. MSNBC should be ashamed, running a segment like that. Meanwhile, back in the real world, more than 20 people are now running for President on the Democratic side. The field could soon grow by more.
Billionaire Mark Cuban says he might get in the race as an independent because the entire Democratic field is so lame, nobody can beat Donald Trump.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MARK CUBAN, AMERICAN BUSINESSMAN AND INVESTOR: I've said it many times, it would take the perfect storm for me to do it. So there are some things that could open the door, but you know, I'm not -- I'm not projecting or predicting it right now.
SCOTT WAPNER, CNBC HOST: Who do you think on the Democratic side right now has the best chance against President Trump?
CUBAN: Nobody right now.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, as of this moment, though, nobody is planning to vote for Mark Cuban. A lot of people though seem to be backing Joe Biden. He is leading the Democratic field and it's not even close. He is way ahead of everybody else.
The question is, will Biden's candidacy survive a year-long campaign? Already, he is not making much sense. Yesterday, he answered a pretty simple question about China with the verbal equivalent of abstract art. It was just bizarre.
Today, Biden endorsed a supporter who called the President an illegitimate Putin puppet. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is an illegitimate President, in my mind. He is illegitimate and my biggest fear is that he's going to do it again with the help of Vlad, his best pal, and we're going to be stuck for six more years with this guy, and that is terrifying. It is terrifying.
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Would you be my Vice Presidential candidate? Folks, look, I absolutely agree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Dana Perino hosts "The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino," one of our favorite people. She joins us tonight. So Dana, everybody assumes that -- two things -- one, that Biden is kind of the adult in the field. He is the most moderate, sensible, instinctively centrist candidate. I'm not sure that's true. And they also assume that he is at the top of his game and he can persist for a full year. What do you think?
DANA PERINO, ANCHOR: So I've got a couple of things. He does have something, right? So there's name ID. Okay, name ID accounts for a lot, especially at this stage. But it's not just name ID because they -- you know, Bernie and those guys, they tried to attack him early on, on all of his problems of touching women inappropriately, didn't put a dent in his poll numbers.
In fact, Biden's numbers with women have gone up since he has entered the race. The other thing that he may be has is that electability question like Democrats, their main concern, as you heard the woman just say to Biden is she can't take another six years of Trump.
It's actually only going to be four, you know how those things work, but I see her point, she is counting today, but the President is not going to be impeached before the election.
CARLSON: Good point.
PERINO: So with Biden, you see something though, like, for example, the Gallup poll today shows his favorability way ahead against other Democrats. But the Quinnipiac poll just came out right before I came up here and it shows him against Trump in Pennsylvania 58 to 38. Okay, so there's something there.
And I think that if you trust the President, President Trump and his political instincts, who has he been going after the most recently? And it's been Biden, because I think that he has this instinct, he knows that people think that. It doesn't mean that there aren't vulnerabilities for Biden, and we can talk about those. But I do think that the President's instincts are correct on this.
CARLSON: Interesting. So unless my math is off, just doing it in my head now, I think Biden, if he were to win would be older on inauguration day than Reagan was when he left after eight years.
PERINO: Right. So again, and now the general population when they go -- when they vote in a general election, if it does end up being Biden versus Trump, will they calculate that in? Probably. Maybe.
I mean, Biden might say, "Well, look, I'm six years older than this guy who I am running against, but you know, there is an energy level that's different and it's obvious."
Now, some people in the Democratic side might say, "We like Biden's energy. We like the calm." A lot of other people are like, "Well, wait, we want the energy," and you and I work with a lot of people who are in their 70s and are kicking rear end and doing well.
CARLSON: We just had what on the set here -- smarter than I am. Brit Hume.
PERINO: Exactly. Exactly.
CARLSON: For sure.
PERINO: And so, I do think, though, that he is vulnerable on a couple of things. One, he started reacting to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, right because she's needling him. I would ignore her if I were the Biden candidate, but he is going back at her. I think it doesn't look right.
I also think that the opponents are playing nice right now. Okay. Everybody is like being nice, everybody is nice. They're going to start attacking him. He hasn't faced one negative ad. But you started to see for today, Kamala Harris, what did she do? She went after him about the crime bill.
She's vulnerable on crime issues herself. But the internecine warfare amongst all of them, we'll see if he can keep that Obama glow and these numbers as high as they've been.
CARLSON: Man, I'm skeptical. But --
PERINO: I know -- a lot -- and I talked to somebody who thinks that there's no way you can be the front runner for 16 months and pull this off.
PERINO: And something -- we all know, something is going to happen. We don't know what it is.
CARLSON: You've got 21 other people in the race. Dana Perino, you should get in.
PERINO: Can I say one last thing?
CARLSON: Yes, ma'am.
PERINO: Happy Birthday Eve from Ingrid and me.
CARLSON: You're sweet. Thank you. I am ignoring it.
PERINO: Have a good one.
CARLSON: But I appreciate that. Thank you. Well, Seattle is home to Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, two of the richest men on the planet. But it's also home to countless people living on the streets -- a massive homeless population. How did that happen? We're taking a close look as our next installment of "Homeless in America" continues after the break.
CARLSON: Maybe more than any other city, Seattle, Washington seems to represent what America is becoming. Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks are all based in the city or its suburbs. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world lives there.
But along with unfathomable wealth, there is also desperate poverty and widespread degradation. Seattle's homeless population is surging. The city is suffocating under garbage produced by hundreds of homeless camps. Rather than take action, the City Council has enabled the problem and even recently suggested that garbage is really left by middle class residents who are trying to frame the homeless.
Local news broadcast recently grabbed national headlines by worrying that Seattle is dying, the city becomes unlivable for regular families. For day three of our "Homeless in America" series, our producer Charlie Cougar visited Seattle to get an up close look at what is happening there.
Seattle's homelessness crisis is deeply connected to the city's drug crisis. That's what we learned when we visited this sprawling encampment off of Interstate-5.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC NELSON, HOMELESS: It's really sad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Washington native, Eric Nelson is homeless. He lives in a nearby shelter. But he is undergoing methadone treatment. He came to this encampment to visit friends.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think drugs are one of the primary drivers of homelessness?
NELSON: I think mental health is. Mental health is the foundation of you know, a lot of you know, addiction and other things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Mental health and addiction are clearly problems. When we arrived on a Wednesday afternoon, the residents were cleaning up their camp. It was littered with syringes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people would you say, like as a percentage from living out here are doing drugs?
NELSON: I would say a good 60 percent. You know, that's maybe a little short, but benefited out, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How easy is it go get heroin?
NELSON: Really -- it's really easy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Even outside the I-5 five camp, there was evidence of a drug epidemic throughout Seattle. Near a shelter downtown, we found this poster warning drug users about the dangers of fentanyl.
Seattle is a kind of Mecca for drug addicts. Washington State legalized marijuana and Seattle's police force has a program that refers some low level drug criminals to social services instead of jail.
Like San Francisco, Seattle City government has essentially decriminalized quality of life crimes. Misdemeanor citations have plummeted since 2009. The consequence? Well, see it for yourself.
Here's a video of a man passed out in a popular park. This picture shows urine on a public staircase near City Hall. This picture shows human waste a few steps above that.
Homelessness became more visible as Seattle's leaders became more lenient on petty crime. Because of their liberal attitudes and the mild climate, the city as a magnet for vagrants.
Nelson thinks most of the people at the I-5 camp didn't grow up in the area.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NELSON: Probably about more than half are probably not from Seattle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Homelessness is complicated. Drugs aren't the only cause. Take a look at this picture of people living in broken down RVs. In the background, the world headquarters of Starbucks.
Like most of the West Coast, Seattle's economic boom has not been distributed evenly, not close. When wages at the low end of the economic spectrum fail to keep up with the rising cost of living, you wind up with a place where people living in their cars are flanked by billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
So what causes homelessness? Many things -- drug addiction, economic hardship, illness -- but one thing that everyone living on the street seems to have in common, broken families.
In the case of Eric Nelson, he hasn't seen his family since he was 16 years old.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NELSON: We just kind of split. We didn't really have too much in common so I just parted ways when I was 16. And then, I ran out of money. I ran out of everything and so I was homeless.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: It isn't just big city suffering from the homelessness epidemic. Tomorrow night, as our series continues, we'll take a look at homelessness in the college town of Eugene, Oregon. Amazing what's happening there?
Well, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are pushing a cap on credit card interest rates and also a cap on payday loan rates. So why are conservatives letting left-wing demagogues beat them at protecting consumers? Something that virtually all voters are for. That's just ahead.
Plus Beto O'Rourke has a new tactic for turning around his flagging presidential campaign. We'll tell you what it is.
CARLSON: Tuesday was a tough day for Beto O'Rourke. First day to go in "The View" and apologized for his white privilege and he groveled for the crime of appearing on a magazine cover.
It wasn't fun running for President, it isn't very fun most of the time. Certainly, less fun than writing blog posts about your road trip across America, eating at diners, riding your skateboard. Beto needs to get the fun back in his life. So today he decided there's only one way to do that -- give the world more Beto.
Take a swim in the Lake Me. Narcissism on parade. So he went over to have haircut and decided to livestream the whole thing on Facebook as you do. Beto even talked about cutting his ear hair as it progressed, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Cutting out some of this ear hair that you get when you get older. It grows out of your ears and if you don't get it cut, it could be nasty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You'd have to think you're pretty interesting to want to show people that. Does America agree? We'll find out. Good luck, Beto.
Well, Senator Bernie and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez have introduced a bill that would cap credit card and payday loan interest at 15% a year. The only obvious question is why didn't Republicans introduced this bill? It's not their voters are against it. They're totally for it.
A new poll by Business Insider finds that 70 percent of both parties support this proposal. So is there any reason not to pass it right now? Thomas Vartanian is a Professor at George Mason's Antonin Scalia Law School. He is Executive Director of the school's Program of Financial Regulation and Technology. Right in the middle of this issue all the time. So we're grateful that he can join us tonight. Professor, thanks very much for coming on.
THOMAS VARTANIAN, PROFESSOR, GEORGE MASON'S ANTONIN SCALIA LAW SCHOOL: Great to be here, Tucker.
CARLSON: So why do you think 70 percent of Republicans would support this?
VARTANIAN: You know, I don't know because history is replete with problems that have occurred from rate controls and tinkering with pieces of the market, because it forces certain things to happen in other parts of the market.
VARTANIAN: So for example, we put a 15 percent rate control on, there's no doubt that consumers deserve the best services they can get at the fairest price.
But when you put a rate control on, what you are effectively doing is shrinking the credit pool. And guess who gets kicked out of that credit pool when it gets smaller? The people who need the credit the most.
So that's the problem with --
CARLSON: Well, I agree. I mean, I certainly agree that there are always unintended consequences to these things, and you can't tamper in markets without changing outcomes you didn't intend to change, no question about that.
But credit card debt in the United States is a trillion dollars. The average family with credit card debt owes $15,000.00, and they're paying an average of 21 percent interest on that. That's a disaster. So why would it make us sad to stop that?
VARTANIAN: Well, the problem is that not everybody is paying 21 percent. Twenty one percent is the median and that's a little bit deceptive, all right.
If you go online today, you can find credit cards at eight and a half percent. You can find credit cards being offered by hundreds of different credit card companies. So you can argue that the market is not competitive.
CARLSON: Well, you can also find in the mid-36 percent. But the point is the median is still 21, which is multiples -- many multiples of what you could borrow money from a bank and for whatever reason, this is working for the banks, that's when they made $170 billion in interest and fees last year on it.
So again, why would it be bad to reduce the outstanding credit card debt in the country?
VARTANIAN: The reason it would be bad is because it would take away credit from the people who need it the most. It's not the way to go after that problem. I think there are other better ways of dealing with that problem. But when you shrink the credit base, the people with the lowest credit ratings and the worst credit history are going to lose their access to credit.
Bobby Kennedy wrote a letter in 1964 to the New York state legislator after he had done all that work, investigating organized crime, and he asked him to eliminate usury rates in New York, because it was the one thing that was forcing people to go to loan sharks because couldn't get legitimate credit.
CARLSON: I think that's probably right. But in 1960, or whenever, there's no doubt that Americans were less in debt, less enslaved by debt than they are now.
And so why is it bad to say maybe we should all try -- rich and poor -- among us to live within our own means a little bit, and going into debt is actually not freedom. It's the opposite of freedom. Why wouldn't we say that?
VARTANIAN: That is absolutely correct. Americans are in too much debt. There's no doubt about it. But the way to go about dealing with that debt is through financial literacy. The financial literacy rate in this country is abominably abysmal.
CARLSON: Really? So if you're paying 391 percent interest, that's what -- that's the average interest in payday loans, okay. You don't need to be financially literate to know you're getting totally shafted, and yet millions of people do that anyway.
VARTANIAN: Yes, no, I don't think it's --
CARLSON: Why wouldn't you stop that? I mean, people are really being abused and taken advantage of?
VARTANIAN: Yes, well, look, I think the abuses need to be taken care of, but we're not talking about abuses here in terms of this 15 percent limitation, you're talking about changing the markets in the country dramatically.
CARLSON: Yes, I am.
VARTANIAN: Right. And it's -- so the abuses need to be dealt with. But you don't deal with an abuse by capping everybody's interest rate and saying to everybody who is following the law, who is dealing with their customers fairly, "We're going to put you in a bind," because when you put them in a bind, they're going to put their customers in a bind.
CARLSON: Yes, I would do it anyway. Just like I wouldn't let people sell their kidneys or their children in slavery.
VARTANIAN: Well, the last -- the last time we did something like that, of course is the savings and loan crisis. So I think when you tinker with the market, you have to be ready for the consequences.
CARLSON: Yes, right. Well, this would be one good consequence. Professor, thank you very much.
VARTANIAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: I appreciate it. The U.S. government announced today that is pulling all nonemergency staff out of the American Embassy in Iraq, as well as our consulate in Erbil there. They're getting evacuated and it's in response to a possible attack that we're being told is being plotted by Iranian-backed forces of some kind in the region.
In any case, it is the latest escalation of tension there. The U.S. has already deployed a Carrier Battle Group to the Persian Gulf. The "New York Times" says the President is presented with a plan to deploy up to 120,000 American troops for potential military action against Iran.
Iran is also tonight being blamed for a sabotage attack on several Saudi ships docked in the UAE, though so far that link has not been proven. As the "Onion" said today, an attack on the Saudi tanker is an attack on America, which basically is the case they're making in Washington.
Every day, we seem to get closer to a conflict with Iran. Before that actually happens, we'd like at least one question answered -- what critical American interest would going to war with Iran serve?
No one has even bothered to address that question. Hopefully somebody will. We will keep on it.
Well, Ed Henry, our friend has a new book coming out. He is here to reveal what it's about. He is doing that exclusively on the show, not to brag -- one hint, it's about baseball. That's next.
CARLSON: Time now for an intermittent segment we call "The Friend Zone" where we invite one of our actual friends from Fox onto the show. When he is not serving as Fox's chief national correspondent, Ed Henry writes and reads books. He has already written one about Jackie Robinson, and he's here tonight exclusively to reveal the theme of his next book, Ed Henry.
ED HENRY, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I've been waiting -- I'm so excited about this and I'm waiting to do this -- hang on, actually. Okay, actually, we have a Fox News Alert. I'm going to hold off on the book. We've got some breaking news. It is Tucker's birthday. And this was an elaborate hoax. I'm not writing a new book. But I'm bringing in a couple of our good friends to help celebrate.
CARLSON: Well, I was not aware of this at all. Thank you. I'm glad were live. Oh, what are you doing here?
HENRY: They wanted to tell stories about you. It's kind of a roast.
CARLSON: Well, this is so nice.
HUME: I don't have any.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Your cake is covered in wax. I think it's been lit --
CARLSON: Of course if I had known this is going to happen -- thank you, Louie. That's amazing.
HENRY: It's a big one.
CARLSON: And you actually have the right number on there. Oh, Emily.
INGRAHAM: Blow it out before -- oh my gosh, look at all. Just think --
CARLSON: I'm trying -- I'm trying to take this in good humor. I can't believe you did this. Is this actually on TV?
INGRAHAM: Fifty is good for a fine Bordeaux, you're just getting into your prime now.
HUME: Tucker, I can say that at the age of 50, you've got everything you need for your career going forward, because you have all your hair and as far as I can tell, most of your teeth.
CARLSON: And it's mostly real.
INGRAHAM: And half of your wit.
CARLSON: It's mostly real. And actually my wits are in great decline. I'm not as fast as I used to be. By the way, I had literally no idea this was happening. And I said to our beloved Emily Lynn, whatever you do, I don't want you to acknowledge my birthday in any way, which is actually tomorrow because it's so depressing. And I've spent all day brooding about mortality.
INGRAHAM: You look --
CARLSON: Until I talked to Britt who said, "Wow, 50 is not a big deal. Wait until you get to be 75." I was like, "Yes, you're right. I am whining."
HENRY: Can I talk about the impact you've had all around the world.
CARLSON: Yes -- all around the world. Yes, you may.
HENRY: So I was in Scottsdale yesterday for this Fox Nation, so we had a great time with over a thousand of our viewers who came out. And they were waiting out in the heat. So I went out there with John Finley, one of our bosses and we were handing out water. We were taking pictures, shaking hands, and Erik Wemple of The Washington Post" was there. And he wanted to do a story on it.
And you've made him famous with this mug. I don't know if we can -- and this is the best part. People in the crowd -- let me hold it up. They recognized Erik Wemple.
CARLSON: From the mug?
HENRY: From the mug. They were like, "You're that guy on Tucker's mug."
INGRAHAM: That's all he's accomplished in 50 years?
HENRY: That's about -- that's what Tucker -- and here is the thing, they were like, "You look better in person." And so to Erik's credit, he wrote a story about it.
CARLSON: ... the picture on the mug?
HENRY: Yes, it's pretty rough.
CARLSON: It was not his best moment, I am glad we commemorated it. I don't know. Making Erik Wemple famous, maybe that's not much of a legacy, I am starting to think. Actually, you made me feel a little sad.
HENRY: I'm sorry. Maybe I made it worse.
CARLSON: I am getting older.
HENRY: You still have time, Tucker. That's just one small --
INGRAHAM: Tucker, you've not -- I've known you for 20 something years.
CARLSON: Yes. Many years.
INGRAHAM: Doing events with you and all the kind of -- and Tucker is literally one of the people who never ages. He looks the same. You never age so you don't have to worry. The rep tie -- I mean, you've had that since what?
CARLSON: Yes, many years. Well, I used to have rep bowties, but I gave those up.
INGRAHAM: Yes, and we got you a birthday cake flavored vape, you know, vaping pen, so --
CARLSON: I've totally given that up.
INGRAHAM: Oh, shucks, well --
CARLSON: For my 50th birthday, I got off the Nicorette. And that's what - -
HUME: Did you really?
CARLSON: I really did.
INGRAHAM: He had to quit it.
CARLSON: After 36 years, I got off it.
HUME: How long ago did you do that?
CARLSON: I did it one month and three days ago.
HUME: And do you still ever -- is there a chaw in your cheek every now and then?
CARLSON: Not a chaw. I gave it up. No tobacco of any kind.
HUME: No tobacco of any kind? How long has this been going on?
CARLSON: Well, for 36 years.
HUME: No, I'm talking about abstinence.
CARLSON: It's gone on -- abstinence has gone on for one month and three days.
HUME: How do you feel?
CARLSON: I feel honestly like the contents of my head have been emptied. Yes, I feel --
HUME: You don't feel noticeably --
CARLSON: I feel like an untethered balloon actually floating above looking down.
HUME: You remember that time not too many months and years ago when you were with CNN and there was the embarrassment about the phone number.
CARLSON: I do remember that.
HUME: And you came over to the -- you came over to the Bureau to chat --
CARLSON: You're the only person who remembers that. This was 2001 or 2002. I was hosting a show at CNN. And as a joke, I gave out the Fox News Bureau number on air.
CARLSON: On the air, yes, on the air. And Fox News, which always hits harder came back, gave out my home phone number on its air. Yes. And so I stormed over to the Fox News Bureau. By the way, I've worked at Fox News for 10 years today, which is amazing.
CARLSON: Many years ago, and I stormed over there and I ran into James Rose and I said I want to get in there and tell him what I think, and I saw Brit who I lived across the street from Georgetown as a kid and really respected and Brit Hume comes out and says, "Tucker, I don't think you can win this one. Maybe you should just give it a rest." Then I walked back to the CNN Bureau with my tail between my legs.
HUME: Well, you said that -- you said at the time that you were afraid of Roger Ailes.
CARLSON: I was afraid of Roger Ailes. Yes.
HUME: Who ended up hiring you, right?
CARLSON: Yes. Who I wound up loving, he is really a great and wise man.
INGRAHAM: Tucker is one of the -- well, we have a lot of great people at Fox who support what women are trying to do and advancement of young careers. But Tucker is actually one of the people, Brit, you're another, okay, Ed, you're fine.
HENRY: Okay. I'm all right.
INGRAHAM: But Tucker and I, and we do the primetime thing. And so we hit hard and we're also targets. There are a few people I'd rather be in a foxhole with taking the shots than Tucker Carlson because we're just like, it's like incoming. It's like bing, bing, bing, bing and we deal with it every day and it's just -- you've been a great help to me and a great inspiration and I want to thank you.
CARLSON: Well, thank you.
INGRAHAM: Even though we don't -- we don't hang out. It's like we don't hang out. Tucker in the hallway is like, "Laura Ingraham," and then he just walks by. I'm like, "Hey, that's Tucker." "Laura Ingraham, Raymond Arroyo." He just yells your name and --
HUME: And he always actually -- I think that he is delighted that he recognized you.
INGRAHAM: Right. It's like "Whoa."
HENRY: And then he lets out that laugh.
CARLSON: Well, I'm deep in space. That's -- no, but we spend a lot of time texting.
INGRAHAM: We do. We talk. We talk a lot offline and you've been -- you've been a great help and it's such a great addition to this network across the board.
CARLSON: Well, thank you. Would you -- I just have to ask in closing, Brit Hume, would you have any advice for a man entering this stage of life? This is a -- I'm asking you this question cold. So if you have no good advice, it's okay.
HUME: All I can say is longevity is tough in this business.
HUME: Hair and teeth are important.
HUME: So go to the dentist, right.
CARLSON: Brush and comb.
HUME: Brush and comb. Go to the dentist, right. Keep your health. Don't get fat, right.
CARLSON: That's a tough one.
HUME: It is a tough one.
CARLSON: It is a tough one.
HUME: And go to the gym.
CARLSON: Yes, off, nicotine, getting birthday cakes. Yes, it's tough.
HUME: There you go. There you go. And keep on doing what you're doing.
CARLSON: Climb back on the Stairmaster tomorrow. How long do you -- I am not going to ask you any age-related question.
INGRAHAM: Thank you.
CARLSON: How long do you have to go until 50?
HENRY: Two more after this July.
CARLSON: Would you offer any advice? A man on the on the lower end of it looking up?
HENRY: I like the teeth idea. I didn't think about that because -- I think about the hair, but the teeth. I think Brit is absolutely right and don't eat that cake.
INGRAHAM: Tucker, don't become one of those old people who just talks about their ailments because if you sit around the table and you start getting into that conversation --
CARLSON: I would never.
INGRAHAM: I have a goiter --
CARLSON: I would literally never do that.
HUME: The organ recital bit.
INGRAHAM: Yes, we don't need to hear about that.
HENRY: But you're the original happy warrior and I think that came across.
CARLSON: Well, I am a happy person. And by the way, if I had a goiter, I would never mention it.
INGRAHAM: We were going to be --
CARLSON: I would pretend it wasn't even there.
INGRAHAM: We were going to be smug and pomposity tonight with a t-shirt, but we didn't have time to print them up.
HENRY: Happy birthday.
CARLSON: Thank you, guys. I appreciate. Thank you very much.
INGRAHAM: For the next --
CARLSON: All right, we're out of time. That was weird and great. We will be back tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. The show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and especially groupthink which is in oversupply in Washington as it is probably everywhere.
Anyway, thanks for joining us tonight. Good night from Washington. We have a special surprise, untapped for the 9:00 p.m. hour and for the whole duration, by the way.
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