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John Kerry on The O'Reilly Factor

Reported by Chrish - June 30, 2006 -

A pre-recorded (yesterday, 6/28/06) and edited interview with John Kerry was shown in part on The O'Reilly Factor tonight 6/29/06. Kerry, who O'Reilly thinks will take another stab at the presidency in 2008, is now on the record with O'Reilly on Iran, immigration, and alternative energy. At the end of the interview "Factor holdouts" appeared on the screen above pictures of Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore .

First up was the NYTimes article that has been the subject of much of FOX's ire this week. Asked if they should be investigated, Kerry said yes, there should be an investigation of the leaks - he hates 'em and they should be prosecuted. Somehow I get the feeling he is talking about something else. Asked about NYTimes executive editor Bill Keller's (corrected 7/1/06) decision to run the article despite pleas from elected officials, Kerry made the point that this administration does not have the trust that it wants/needs - "there's a long track record here that leads people to make a different judgment."

O'Reilly tried to put Kerry on the spot by argiung that IF the NSA surveillance is illegal, Congress ("you guys") hasn't done anything - no indictments, no impeachment... Kerry stated that what he has done is sign onto Russ Feingold's call for censure, and when O'Reilly shrugs that off as "not getting anywhere" Kerry asks him - who runs Congress? O'Reilly acknowledges that Republicans run Congress but Democrats say Kerry is "crazy" for signing the censure. Kerry ignores that latter, saying "there's your answer. The Republicans have been unwilling to hold people accountable, and I think the American people see it, and I think they resent it."

We abruptly cut to O'Reilly asking if Iran is "our most dangerous enemy?" Kerry answered that they are potentially our most dangerous enemy, and are our most dangerous challenge, along with Al Queda. Kerry states his belief that Iran is intruding into the Iraq war, and O'Reilly wonders, if he sees the danger from Iran and knows it's intruding in Iraq and we withdraw from Iraq too early, won't that make Iraq a more dangerous place? Kerry states he's never suggested pulling out too early - he wants to "stand up" the Iraqis, fight the war on terror more effectively, and ensure that Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon.

O'Reilly still doesn't understand how Kerry can make the previous acknowledgment and still want to set a timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq. Kerry explains, slowly, that Iran is delighted that we are bogged down in Iraq. He advocates keeping troops around Iraq, in Qatar, Kuwait, and elsewhere and, as General Zinni has advised, we should be negotiating a regional security arrangement. The Iraqi people want us out.

O'Reilly then asks if Kerry would allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. When Kerry says "No" O'Reilly ramps up the rhetoric and says "you would be prepared to use the full force of the US military to stop them from having a nuclear weapon." Kerry says we should never take any options off the table, but if you talk to military planners and smart security people, they'll tell you what a risky and dangerous option ultimately that is.

Comment: Call me cynical, but I think the presidential wannabe just delivered a sound bite that will come back to bite him in the butt. When the Bush administration pre-emptively attacks Iran, as they're clearly signalling they intend to do, and all hell breaks loose, Kerry will be made to look as though he endorsed it which will alienate a growing number of voters.

After the break O'Reilly addressed several topics with Kerry: immigration (Kerry says he's always supported going after employers of illegal immigrants and tightening the borders by putting more people there, which he's proposed in an amendment to the Senate immigration bill);
English as the official language (O'Reilly was shocked that Kerry voted against it: "you're a patriot, served your country in Viet Nam"); and the environment.

O'Reilly says, you're a big environmentl guy. You, and Al Gore, big environmental guys. And I'm a big environmental guy. Comment: I guess by that he means he likes to breath, because I've never seen O'Reilly get on his high horse and stand up for the planet and against the administration and their corporate sponsors. Yes, he's stated a few times that he "believes in global warming" but as far as I know that's the extent of his activism. Big environmental guy - pffft.

O'Reilly wants to know why, with their combined decades in the Senate, "How come Gore and Kerry didn't get us ethanol? How come?" Brazil is going over to that fuel next year and the US is no where near it. Kerry explains that he voted for ethanol every time it came up, but Bush's energy policies stood in the way. He acknowledged that not enough was done during the Clinton years too.

Making political points, O'Reilly says "You and Gore couldn't get it done." Bam! Two Democratic leaders in one swipe.

Squinting and incredulous, he asks "do the oil companies buy influence??" We all know about the environmental damage (well, now we do, thanks to An Inconvenient Truth) and the oil sheiks and Hugo Chavez, (bam!) so how can Congress year after year not pursue cow-manure based ethanol? Do the oil companies bribe them? What happens?

Kerry goes off about the oil companies pursuing their interests in the halls of Congress and BOR interrupts to ask What does that mean? Do they give campaign contributions? When Kerry says "sure" BOR says So you're telling me they're bought? This disengenuous act is preposterous - how can you be a "journalist" of some thirty years and pretend to not know how campaigns are financed in this country? Kerry plays along and says the entire political system in America is overly dependent on campaign contributions.

O'Reilly speechifies: "If it's better for every one of us not to be oil dependent, every single American, in thirty years the Congress could not or would not make it happen, you're telling me that the Congress sold us out, and so did four presidents. You have to arrive at that conclusion."

Kerry agreed: "I believe the American people have been sold short by the United States Congress with respect to the energy future of our country. And it is regrettable because millions of jobs have been lost, our security has been put at risk, our US technological lead in that area has been set back, our health has been set back, the environment has been set back - the overall security interests of our country have not been well served. Both parties at fault."

The interview ended on that note, propitiously deflecting part of the blame for the oil wars, the Cheney energy policy, and the Bush deregulations on to previous presidents.