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Fox News "The O'Reilly Factor"- Transcript: The Media Trying to Diminish Ben Carson


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O'REILLY: Continuing now with our lead story: the media trying to diminish Ben Carson. The doctor joins us now from west Palm Beach, Florida. So when we talked on Friday I said I'm believing you but I asked you not to let me down. You said you have always been truthful. Do you stand by that tonight?

CARSON: Absolutely. It's a core of my belief system. And that's not going to change I would much rather lose an election than to lie.

O'REILLY: How are you dealing with this? I looked over the cliff file which is like this high on you today. The usual suspects are maligning you and defaming you. I think you should ignore them but there are people who are powerful in this country who are questioning you. How are you handling that?

CARSON: Well, you know, I am trying to move on. I -- as I told somebody, one of the reporters this weekend. I could spend from now until the election on the defensive about something that somebody is accusing me of because I have written a lot of books and I have given a lot of speeches.

Or we could talk about the things that are important the things that are threatening the future of our children. And that are threatening the world. It seems to me that that might be something that's a little bit more important.

O'REILLY: Now, it's almost a compliment to you that they are trying to smear you. Do you understand that?


O'REILLY: Right.

CARSON: I recognized if they weren't afraid they wouldn't be doing that.

O'REILLY: Right. When I was doing "Inside Edition" nobody cared about smearing me and it was a successful program. I mean it made a lot of money but nobody was caring. Once I got into the political arena with this program and once we started to dominate the ratings, here they come.

And what they want to do is destroy your credibility. Marginalize you as a person because they don't like your message.

CARSON: Absolutely. And the interesting thing is they have been every place that I have lived, that I have worked, that I have gone to school, trying to find dirt and they can't find any. They are getting really frustrated. In a way I kind of feel sorry for them.

At some point maybe they might actually come to the realization that I'm not their enemy and that what we're trying to do is find a way to create the American dream once again for everybody.

O'REILLY: They are never going to come to that point because, A, you are a religious man with a faith based story that the secular press will never accept you because of that and, B, you are a man of color who made it on self-reliance and hard work.

Therefore you blow out the far left narrative that America is a terrible country, that African-Americans have been victimized and can't make it without the large government apparatus to pull them up. So because of those two things they will never accept you and never give you a fair shake.

Let's look ahead to tomorrow night in Milwaukee. I don't think this debate is important for you as it is for, say, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, both of whom really have to shine to continue to -- well, Bush has got to turn it around and Rubio has to continue to rise up to challenge you and Trump.

But it is important in a way that you are going to get some questions about the press working you over. I assume Cavuto and Bartiromo are going to ask you some of those questions. Have you been thinking about tomorrow's debate and what is your point of view going to be?

CARSON: I have thought about that but I'm very hopeful that I'll hopeful that I will get a lot of questions about the economy given who the questioners are going to be and I would much rather talk about that. I'm prepared to talk about virtually anything.

O'REILLY: I think they might throw one or two at you on a personal front but I think it's going to be economically driven.

Now you and I went around and around on the flat tax thing and I told you that I didn't think 15 percent was realistic because you can't pay down the $20 trillion debt at that level. I thought you have to rise it up above 22 into the low 20's on a flat tax basis. But that's just -- that's policy. I mean, you respect that right?

CARSON: Very much. And of course, we didn't get a chance to talk about some very significant cuts that will go into the program as well.

O'REILLY: Like, give us tonight.

CARSON: Like, for instance, we have 4.1 million federal employees. We're not going to replace them as thousands of them retire. We have 645 government agencies and sub-agencies we can count at least 1 percent out of each one of those in terms of fat without any problem whatsoever.

And you know, utilizing things like Lean Six Sigma along the program so that we can get real efficiency out of them. That's going to cut significant amounts of money away. I believe that's going to make a difference. Plus, if we can get rid of the unnecessary regulations and we look at the cost to benefit ratios we will be able to get rid of quite a few and that affects things in a gigantic way in terms of manufacturing jobs, bringing those back. I mean, there is a whole litany of things. This conglomeration is not just a tax program.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, that's a good start. Good start for tomorrow.

I have got to ask you one more quick question and I should know this but I don't. Is your mom still alive?

CARSON: She is still alive. She has Alzheimer's, but she has happy Alzheimer's.

O'REILLY: I just want to re-point out in 1997, in "Parade Magazine", and I was working for them, I think then, she said she confirmed that you had an anger problem when you were a boy and there was a knife incident. And you know you think the press would be able to find that. "Parade" was no little magazine back then. So anyway I want to point that out.

CARSON: I have not been impressed by the ability of the press to investigate when they really don't want to find something.

O'REILLY: Yes. But you have been impressed by The Factor I'm sure you have.

CARSON: The Factor, that's a different story.

O'REILLY: All right. Doctor -- good luck tomorrow night and we appreciate you coming on.


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