MSNBC Scarborough Country - Transcript
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SCARBOROUGH: Congressman King, were hearing this more and more.
REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK: Yes, sir.
SCARBOROUGH: We are hearing about Dick Cheneys two DUIs. Were hearing about the fact that they started out saying that they were just drinking Dr. Pepper on the ranch. And then it turned out into the fact that he drank one beer on the ranch.
Now many people are wondering if one beer means three beers or four beers. And, Peter, the reason why people are still talking about thismy Republican friends dont like me saying itis because they kept the vice president away from the police officers after the shooting.
Will you admit tonight that the White House screwed up, that the vice president screwed up, and thats why theyre having to hear all these conspiracy theories out there by Dershowitz, by Steve, by other people?
KING: Well, first of all, they are conspiracy theories.
No, listen, Dick Cheney could have handled it differently.
SCARBOROUGH: But how do you know that, though?
KING: How do you...
SCARBOROUGH: How do you know its a conspiracy theory?
KING: How can you disprove anything?
Joe, the fact is, if they had contacted the press on Saturday night, they could still be coming up with the same theories. The only people who would know are the people who were there. And they are saying that there was no significant drinking at all. Apparently, the one statement by Dick Cheney is, he had one beer at lurch. It was about three hours beforehand.
Joe, I cant disprove a negative or prove a negative. But the fact is, lets look at this. This was immediately reported by the Secret Service to the local sheriff. The fact is, the person was taken to the hospital. The fact is that this all resulted because the White House press corps, which is the most self-indulgent, self-important, self-anointed group of phonies in the country, is outraged because Dick Cheney did not contact them immediately.
It is not Dick Cheneys style to deal with the White House press corps. I wouldnt have handled it differently. But the fact is, this doesnt go to any question of morality. Its a question of style.
And the fact that Mrs. Armstrong may have had a fact different or a fact wrong or a misinterpretation of the fact, that to me the genuineness. If Dick Cheney or anybody in the vice presidents office was trying to cover up what was going on, you wouldnt send a civilian out to talk to the press. You wouldnt send someone out.
You would have this thing carefully scripted. You would meet overnight with your advisers. You would put together a finely written-out statement, have the lawyers vet it, and then put it out.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, but, Peter, when you got thewhen you got the vice president of the United States shooting a man in the face, you dont want him to wing it.
If you wereyou know, if you were a congressman, you went out hunting, you shot somebody in the face, would you leave it to somebody on Long Island that owned some property to tell "The New York Times" what happened, or would you take control of it?
KING: Well, as far as "The New York Times," I wouldnt care who spoke to them.
KING: Joe, all kidding aside, Joe, all kidding aside, the point Im trying to make is, if there was any ulterior motive here, if they were trying to cover something up, you wouldnt send out a civilian out to do it.
You get all theyou know, the media mavens in. You get the P.R. people in. You get the image-makers in. You go through the statement with a fine-tooth comb and you make sure everybody was saying the same thing.
RENDALL: They acted very suspiciously. They acted very suspiciously here.
And theseand I did not put forth a conspiracy theory. Im saying these are some of the questions that are proliferating in the silence and in the vice presidents refusal to answer to the press. This is not a big demand on the vice president. Vice presidents usually talk to the press when theyre involved in national stories.
These are the...
SCARBOROUGH: Peter King, former speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote this today, that the White House may be thinking about dumping Cheney.
She saidquote"I suspect what theyre thinking and not saying is, if Dick Cheney were vice president, who would bewerentwho would be a good vice president? At a certain point, a hate magnet can draw so much hate, you dont want to hold it in your hand anymore. You want to drop it and pick up something else. Is this fair? Nah. But fair has nothing to do with it."
Reading that, Peter, it reminded me of Newt Gingrich, who became such a hate magnet, that we got rid of him in 1998. You think the same thing could happen to Dick Cheney in 2006?
KING: Absolutely not.
George Bush, President George Bush, will stand by Dick Cheney. Hes a loyalhes the most loyal person I have ever met. And theres absolutely no reason at all. Just because the White House press corps has got itself in a bad mood, just because the left-wing media hates Dick Cheney is all the more reason why George Bush will stay with him all the way.
There are so many important issues here in the world. And the fact
Ithe point I was trying to make before, which seemsno one seems to be getting is, if these was mistakes made here, these are amateurish mistakes. You dont send out a civilian to give your story if youre trying to cover something up.
If youre vice president and you think you did something wrong in shooting someone, the last thing youre going to do is send out a woman who has no sophistication at all in dealing with the media. You get your P.R. guys in. You get theyou know, the media people in, and then you spin the story.
You dont sendto me, if anything proves how innocent Dick Cheney is on this is the fact that he sent out an unsophisticated person, unsophisticated woman from Texas to speak to the media about this.
RENDALL: Shes not an unsophisticated woman. Shes a very high-powered lobbyist.
RENDALL: She knows about public relations.
SCARBOROUGH: ... high-powered lobbyist.
And Ill tell you what. I dont buy this line at all. And I will tell you why. Like Einstein said, God doesnt play dice.
KING: What dont you buy?
SCARBOROUGH: I dont think Dick Cheney and George Bush play dice either.
I think theyretheyre brilliant. Karl Rove is brilliant. They know, politically, exactly what theyre doing.
But, Eric, let me bring you in.
Youre a P.R. specialist. What do you make of this fact that, you know, they send this lady out to talk about the vice president of the United States shooting a man in the face. I dont know what it all means. It justsending Armstrong out makes absolutely no sense on the P.R. front. Why do you do it?
ERIC DEZENHALL, AUTHOR, "SHAKEDOWN BEACH": Well, you know, the great mythology of crisis management is that there are these Machiavellian war rooms, where everybody knows exactly what theyre doing.
The fact is, is theres a reason these things are called crises, because, by nature, they are an absolute mess. And, diagnostically, I think what we have here is what I would call a catharsis. And you have five years of frustration by the news media over an administration that many feel is secretive, that they believe should be having more news conferences, should be more forthcoming, and has justified the secrecy because of 9/11 and the war on terror.
Finally, you have a situation that has nothing to do with the war on terror, and the administration is perceived to be secretive. And, in the court of public opinion, it is not guilt that convicts you. It is suspense. It is the delay. It is the not knowing.
And that is what is causing a lot of this hysteria. And, frankly, while I believe that the administration has every right to be secretive on some things, when you are the vice president of the United States, you dont send out a private citizen to do your bidding.
SCARBOROUGH: But, Eric, you agree, though, with Congressman King that there was no great conspiracy here...
DEZENHALL: I agree with that.
SCARBOROUGH: ... that, sometimes, in a crises, things just happen and
people make stupid decisions
DEZENHALL: My experience with crises is that the general public loves to assume that there is an Oliver Stone conspiracy, but whats really happening behind closed doors is, everybody is terrified. Everybody is an absolute mess. And that explains behavior far more than any strategic thought.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. I think youre exactly thought, Eric.
And you know what? Lawyers always say, and what I learned as a new lawyer, before I wentyou know, went into court, they said, if you give the jury a reason to suspect the worst about your client, they will. And I think thats exactly what happened in this case.
Hey, Congressman Peter King, as always, thank you so much for coming on.
KING: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: I always love seeing you and talking with you.
Steve, thank you for being with us.
Eric, also, always appreciate your insight, too.
And when we come back, its is the jail holding some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. So, why is the U.N. demanding that we shut it down? Investigating whether the U.N. is getting in the way of our war on terror is coming up next.
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