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Responds to His Anti-Bush Ad (Interview)

Location: The O'Reilly Factor

December 22, 1999, Wednesday

HEADLINE: Top Story: Anti-Bush Ads
BYLINE: Bill O'Reilly




ANDY MARTIN, REPUBLICAN FOR PRESIDENT: George Bush had a cocaine problem. His brain suffered from alcohol abuse. Don't trust Bush with your vote until he trusts you with the truth about his past. Bush wants to regulate the Internet because he is angry at the Web site He wants to bomb Iraq. Bush is dangerous, and he wants to be president.

O'REILLY: With us now is the man who put that ad together. Andy Martin, a lawyer who is running for president, will appear on the New Hampshire ballot.

That ad's defamatory. That's a defamatory ad, Counselor. How can you—how can you put that on the air?

ANDREW MARTIN ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think—I think it's very truthful, and I find that there's a great generation gap in our testing of the ad. Younger voters, younger people find it very

O'REILLY: I couldn't—I couldn't care less. It's a defamatory ad. And I'll tell you why. You say that alcoholism has hurt George Bush's brain. How do you know that?

MARTIN: Well, that's a medically accepted fact. You talk to...

O'REILLY: Well, accepted by whom? Do you have medical doc—documentation to back that up?

MARTIN: Well, absolutely. You go to any medical school and ask the teaching faculty, ask any doctor...

O'REILLY: Well, George Bush—do you have any medical evidence that George Bush's brain was damaged by alcohol, Counselor?

MARTIN: In a political ad, you're entitled to draw conclusions from certain...

O'REILLY: OK. So I'm taking that as no, you don't have any.

MARTIN: I don't have a medical report, but then Bush hasn't issued any reports.

O'REILLY: All right. OK. Do you have any eyewitness account or any documentation that George Bush ever used illegal drugs?

MARTIN: Well, I don't have an eyewitness account, no, but he's admitted it essentially by...

O'REILLY: No, he has not. He admitted that he made mistakes in the past. He did not admit a specific instance.


O'REILLY: You're a lawyer.

MARTIN: He didn't—well, in law, Mr. O'Reilly, you're entitled to draw conclusions from circumstantial evidence. If Mr. O'Reilly said, "I haven't beaten my wife in the last two days," it would be a fair conclusion that you had beaten her in the past.

O'REILLY: Well, I will tell you this. If you said that I ever beat my wife, I'd sue you for defamation, and I believe George Bush could sue over this ad.

MARTIN: I—I invite him...

O'REILLY: It's defamatory.

MARTIN: I invite him to do so.

O'REILLY: Sure, because it gives you more publicity and you're an attorney who could...

MARTIN: Well...

O'REILLY: ... who can lodge the suit. But, look, I'm talking about fairness because that's what we do here on THE
FACTOR. This ad is...

MARTIN: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: ... absolutely—this ad is absolutely the most unfair political ad I have ever seen in my 25 years of political reporting.

MARTIN: Well, unfortunately, I disagree with you. I think it's a very fair and truthful ad.

O'REILLY: But you can't back up what you say.

MARTIN: Well...

O'REILLY: You cannot—you cannot give me proof that George Bush's brain has been damaged by alcohol or give me any kind of a report that he used an illegal drug.

MARTIN: Well, I don't have a right as his opponent to subject him to a medical examination, and I'm not going through his garbage to test it or check it, but the undisputed facts are that for two decades he—he was an alcoholic.

O'REILLY: No, that's not undisputed at all. He has—he has never said that. That is not on any record and has never been published in any magazine or newspaper that I know of.

MARTIN: Well, Bill, again, reasonable people can differ on what he has said, but he himself indicated that alcohol was posing a health problem for him.

O'REILLY: He said he gave up drinking, but he never said he was an alcoholic or it had influence on his life at all.

MARTIN: Well, very—very few alcoholics call themselves alcoholics.

O'REILLY: Counselor, look, I—I just think this is a cheap way to draw attention to yourself. I—I'm almost ashamed that you did this as an American. This is a—we have a freedom of speech here that you're taking to the limit, and you're in—attacking a guy who you don't know what happened to him. You don't know whether he used cocaine, and you don't know whether his brain has been damaged by alcohol. Yet you're saying it, and millions of people are hearing it.

MARTIN: There's a very simple answer. Let him tell the truth. My ad says, "Don't trust him with your vote until he tells you the truth," and...

O'REILLY: Well, you can say that, and I wouldn't object to that, but you made the statement—you made statements in this ad that are

MARTIN: All right. That's fine. You don't have to vote for me, but there are an awful lot of young people that are upset by the hypocrisy of George Bush, by the fact that he's putting people in jail for cocaine when he was a cocaine user himself.

O'REILLY: You don't know that.

MARTIN: Bill, we're...

O'REILLY: You do not know if he was or was not.

MARTIN: We're entitled to draw reasonable inferences from the facts in our conclusions.

O'REILLY: All right.

MARTIN: I can't persuade you, but an awful...

O'REILLY: You can't.

MARTIN: ... lot of people disagree with you.

O'REILLY: Well, I wish you would pull that ad because I really think it's cheap and tawdry.

MARTIN: I'm going to run it everywhere in the country, and I'm going to defeat Bush because I don't think he'd be a good president.

O'REILLY: Well, you're not going to defeat Bush, and you're not going to run it on the FOX News Channel, but—OK. Thanks for coming in and...

MARTIN: Thanks for having me.

O'REILLY: All right.

Content and Programming Copyright 1999 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 1999 Federal Document Clearing House, Inc., which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, Inc.'s and Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation. Transcript # 122201cb.256

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