Whoopi Goldberg on Hollywood Politics

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 1, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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

In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, celebrities and politics. As you may know, we interviewed a number of famous anti-Iraq war actors last weekend in D.C. about policy. And we got a huge response from you after that exposition.

Now, with us is actress and now radio talk show host Whoopi Goldberg. No stranger to politics. Her show "Wake Up With Whoopi" is syndicated nationally. OK.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You got to come visit me on national...

O'REILLY: I'm glad that we finally got you in here, because I've always wanted to talk to you for years.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

O'REILLY: OK now, you are an outspoken person on politics and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We went down and talked to — let's give Tim Robbins. We said to Mr. Robbins, "Listen, what about Iran? If we get out of Iraq and they come down and they cause trouble what do you do?"

And he said to our reporter Porter Barry, our producer Porter Barry, "Well, why don't you enlist?" Now come on. You know, I mean we're asking a serious question, and he's out front on this anti-Iraq thing and goes Porter Barry, "Why don't you enlist?"

GOLDBERG: Well, Bill, did he know he's from your show?

O'REILLY: Yes, he knew.

GOLDBERG: OK. So come on. You know.

O'REILLY: Wait a minute.

GOLDBERG: He could not — you know, he could not answer any other way. The question...

O'REILLY: Why not?

GOLDBERG: Well, because I'm sure that a lot of folks feel sometimes that they're about to be jumped. And so they just stay neutral.

O'REILLY: Porter Barry is 5'8".


O'REILLY: He's a nice guy.

GOLDBERG: I'm sure.

O'REILLY: He asked a legitimate question.

GOLDBERG: You seem to be a nice guy too but people are really...

O'REILLY: I'm not. I'm not. No. If it were me, and I know Robbins, if it were me I would say you are right. Robbins goes, "O'Reilly." But this guy asked a legitimate policy question to a guy who's making a stand.

GOLDBERG: Maybe — maybe he felt that — you know what?

O'REILLY: He didn't know the answer.

GOLDBERG: Well, there might not be answer that you will be comfortable with it or that you want to air.

O'REILLY: But don't you feel it's his responsibility if he or Jane Fonda and the rest and you too are going to take strong policy stands, because people do listen to you...


O'REILLY: ... that you know what the heck you're talking about?

GOLDBERG: Well, I think he's very clear that he is not for the war in Iraq. It's not a new stance that he's had. He's also for years been a peace activist. So this can't come as a surprise to anybody.

No. 2, when I take a stance on something, all I can talk to you about it how I feel about it and why. And I don't have to justify it, and you don't have to listen to it. But it is important for everyone to know that they have an opinion and they have a — have a right to express it.

O'REILLY: But your opinion is a little bit more heard than somebody — than Sally in Charlotte, North Carolina.

GOLDBERG: No different than yours.

O'REILLY: No, but I back mine up all day long with facts and everything else.

GOLDBERG: But you know what? Your opinion is your opinion. And if you want to go...

O'REILLY: Based on facts.

GOLDBERG: And if you want to go and get lots of facts and not go from your heart. I go from my heart. I don't — listen — I'm not — I wasn't a fan of the war in Iran. I'm still not — I'm sorry in Iraq.

O'REILLY: Iraq. Right.

GOLDBERG: I'm still not a fan of the war in Iraq. I think we went in under misguided ideals and with no real way to get out. And now what we're seeing is everybody saying how are we going to get out? How are we going to get out? Democrats, tell us how we're going get out. Republicans, how are we going to get out? Nobody has an answer. Nobody knows how to get out of this, because it's a mess.

O'REILLY: And that's a legitimate point of view.

GOLDBERG: OK. That's my opinion.

O'REILLY: And I respect that point of view. But if you're going to go out and say to millions of people we got to get out of there now, then, I'm going come in and say, "Well, what happens if we do that? Do we put America in more danger?" And it doesn't matter how you feel, you need to — you need to think about that.

GOLDBERG: If you are asking my opinion...


GOLDBERG: Then it does matter how I feel.

O'REILLY: No, you need to think about it.

GOLDBERG: No, Bill. You need to think about it. That's how you do it. I don't do it that way.

O'REILLY: So you don't have a responsibility to back up how you feel?

GOLDBERG: No. I have a responsibility to answer your question.

O'REILLY: What if you — then answer this one.


O'REILLY: What if how you feel puts your family and mine in danger?

GOLDBERG: Well, here's the question. The way you felt seems to have enabled us — and if I'm speaking out of turn you'll tell me. But it seems that everyone who said yes let's go in and do this, yes, let's go in and do this, has helped to create this deep instability which exists right now in the Middle East.

The Shia Muslims, they're now, they're here, they're there, they're there, they're there. We are more unstable now going in and having done this and not going in and doing what we said we were going to do, which is go to take care of Usama bin Laden. That's what we said we were going to do.

O'REILLY: That's a good point.

GOLDBERG: OK, so I'm saying...

O'REILLY: Let me answer.

GOLDBERG: But I didn't finish.

O'REILLY: You got a good point. Don't step on your good point.

GOLDBERG: Oh sugar!

O'REILLY: All right. Your good point is that people like me...


O'REILLY: ... who supported the war in the beginning...


O'REILLY: ... were wrong because of two things. There were no weapons of mass destruction. We couldn't possibly know that, but it turned out. And the Bush administration has fouled up the execution of the war. You're correct.


O'REILLY: But you don't compound one mistake by making another.

GOLDBERG: Which mistake are you talking about? Because you haven't answered yet.

O'REILLY: Because if you cut and run from Iraq...


O'REILLY: ... if you pull out now...

GOLDBERG: You haven't asked me what I think about this. You haven't asked me that.

O'REILLY: I'm going to get to that.


O'REILLY: If you do that now, you create more problems for the USA, and Robbins won't address it. And Sarandon didn't. And you know what — you know what we did? We asked Jane Fonda when we got out of Vietnam three million people were slaughtered by the so-called victors, Khmer Rouge and the North Vietnamese. What do you think about that, Jane?

And Jane says, it was our fault. That's just dumb.

GOLDBERG: Well that's her opinion.

O'REILLY: And it's dumb.

GOLDBERG: Well, but you can't make that distinction of what's dumb is not.

O'REILLY: Sure, I can. Fact is fact. Three million dead people.

GOLDBERG: Then tell me, Bill O'Reilly, now that we have destabilized so much in the world why we didn't go after, and I never can say...

O'REILLY: But you can't violate the sovereignty of Pakistan. You can't go into Pakistan and start ripping through villages.

GOLDBERG: You don't even know what I was asking. Had nothing to do with Pakistan.

O'REILLY: Usama bin Laden, right?


O'REILLY: That's what you asked me for.

GOLDBERG: OK, but then you cut me off. Here's what my question was. If we were so concerned about keeping ourselves safe and keeping ourselves the country that we all believe that we were, why didn't we address the issue of Kim Jong-Il?

O'REILLY: We are addressing that.

GOLDBERG: But why didn't we address it then when he was waving those (UNINTELLIGIBLE) out the window.

O'REILLY: A different situation. Because we can't start a world war with China on their border. We're letting China handle that.

Listen, will you come back?

GOLDBERG: I will. I loved it.

O'REILLY: That was fun.


O'REILLY: That was good. All right.

GOLDBERG: Pleasure to meet you.

O'REILLY: Tim Robbins, check her out.

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