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Fox News Network The O'Reilly Factor Transcript

Location: Unknown

October 28, 2003 Tuesday

HEADLINE: Interview With Al Sharpton

GUESTS: Al Sharpton

BYLINE: Bill O'Reilly

O'REILLY: In the "Impact" segment tonight, a new Gallup poll says 18 percent of Americans want to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq right now. That, of course, would be a disaster for this country, as it would be a victory for the terrorists who are now murdering people inside Iraq.

Just imagine the kind of chaos the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would cause. Al Qaeda would be able to recruit far more easily. Other killers who think that the massive violence would bring America to its knees, and many countries in the world would never trust American assurances of security again.

The only Democratic candidate who openly wants the U.S. to pull out is Dennis Kucinich, but Al Sharpton may be leaning that way. The reverend joins us now.

Say it ain't so.

REV. AL SHARPTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's so. I think that we ought to pull out.

O'REILLY: Really?

SHARPTON: I've said it from the beginning. We shouldn't have gone in. And I think that we have a responsibility to protect the troops and not continue to play Bush roulette with their lives.

O'REILLY: All right, but—I mean, that's a nice little line somebody wrote for you, but let's deal with reality here. If we were to pull out, that would be touted as a defeat for the U.S. You'll second that, right?

SHARPTON: That was the argument that was used in Vietnam. It didn't make sense then.

O'REILLY: No, but...

SHARPTON: It didn't make sense then, it doesn't make sense now. To have a wrong policy, you don't say I did something wrong, therefore, to save face, I'm going to continue doing wrong.

O'REILLY: All right, but it's your opinion that it's wrong. Just more people believe it's right than wrong in America. But I just want to deal with the reality. You're president, OK, President Sharpton. If you pull out of there, OK, then that's perceived as a defeat for the United States, thereby emboldening our enemies, al Qaeda and the others.

SHARPTON: No, if I were to say to the world that we were wrong and we're going to correct the wrong, and would say I will participate in a multi-lateral correction of the problem.

O'REILLY: What does that mean?

SHARPTON: That if we go and have Kofi Annan and the United Nations...

O'REILLY: Right.

SHARPTON: ...not Halliburton, not Cheney's friends, lead the redevelopment in Iraq, I think that you can repair Iraq and also bring...

O'REILLY: All right, so you're going to put the U.N. in charge of Iraq. All right?

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: And you think they're going to be able to stand up to Saddam Hussein and the Ba'athist party? The—they couldn't even stop the Rwanda massacre.


O'REILLY: You think—Saddam Hussein would chew them up for lunch and spit them out.

SHARPTON: Well, first of all, I think that we...

O'REILLY: They'd cut and run.

SHARPTON: I think we would have a multi-national force.

O'REILLY: A multi-national force of who?

SHARPTON: Secondly, I think that we far underestimated what would happen there. We have soldiers dying every day.

O'REILLY: That may be true.

SHARPTON: And we have not...

O'REILLY: We are a much more powerful...

SHARPTON: ...developed an exit strategy that works.

O'REILLY: ...well, wait a minute. We're a much powerful fighting force than the U.N. I mean, Saddam Hussein is somewhere directing these terrorists to kill people. Not just U.S., but they're killing Iraqis. They're killing Red Cross. And you're going to tell me that the U.N. can control the Ba'athists? Come on.

SHARPTON: The reason that we need to stop a wrong posse is exactly that. He is killing people.


SHARPTON: And the question is what are we doing there? And why did we go if we did not have the proper military strategy and the proper moral authority in the first part.

O'REILLY: Well, you have moral authority. I mean...

SHARPTON: I think you can't keep putting bad money behind bad money and put people's lives at stake.

O'REILLY: If a year from now, all right, the Iraq situation stabilizes, all right, and it works out better for the U.S., are you going to say you're sorry on this one?

SHARPTON: You know, I'd hate to be a soldier in Baghdad waiting on the if. I would want somebody to say I love the troops enough to protect them and not put them unnecessarily in harm's way.

O'REILLY: All right. That's not a bad answer. Are you aware of the new Gallup poll that was taken in Iraq?

SHARPTON: I'm not.

O'REILLY: Well, you should be. That most Iraqi citizens are happy Saddam Hussein is gone. They're pleased with the actions. Those are the Iraqi citizens.

SHARPTON: There's two different issues. We're talking about a multi-lateral, as opposed to do unilateral invasion. You're talking about a Gallup poll on whether or not they feel—no one defends Saddam Hussein. No one's saying Saddam Hussein should be there...

O'REILLY: Yes, no one defends.

SHARPTON: But we're talking about whether the United States needs to continue to put our soldiers in harm's way with no military.

O'REILLY: Well, I think we'll all be in a lot more harm's way if we ever receded from that place. That would embolden our enemies. And you, President Sharpton, or anybody else who was elected, couldn't protect us.

SHARPTON: I think...

O'REILLY: Couldn't protect us.

SHARPTON: I think you embolden your enemies when al Qaeda and Mr. Bin Laden hit us, and we go after Mr. Saddam Hussein.

O'REILLY: Well, I think terrorist is a terrorist in my opinion.

SHARPTON: If you want to send a message to the terrorists, bring to justice bin Laden.

O'REILLY: Well, I'd like to do that as well. And I'm sure that whoever you pick for your CIA chief will be able to do it.

All right, let's hit another topic here. Jesse Jackson Jr. today endorses Howard Dean, which means papa will, too. Papa's just cutting his deal with him. You know how that works, don't you?

SHARPTON: I have no idea.

O'REILLY: All right.


O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What do you mean you had no idea?

SHARPTON: I have no idea.

O'REILLY: You know how this works.

SHARPTON: My point is...

O'REILLY: You have no idea.

SHARPTON: My point is, Mr. O'Reilly, everyone can endorse me they want. What I think is questionable here is why Mr. Dean first raises the race card by saying he's the only white that talks to whites. It's about race.

Then they come out and they attack in every way. We're not going to deal any more with non-straight-talking candidates. You can't keep attacking people if someone not responds.

So I said fine. Says we're going to start straight since that was your attack. Explain how you see it, Mr. Dean. That race should not be the factor in affirmative action. That's to the right of George Bush. Since you're not a straight talker, since you said you'd talk...

O'REILLY: All right. So you caught the...

SHARPTON: Let's talk about what you told.

O'REILLY: You caught Dean. OK, you caught Dean in an affirmative action double speak, right?

SHARPTON: Mr. Dean made statements that I think does not represent straight talk. And I think he's been beaten up on all the other candidates. I think that—you know, I have refrained from responding. I'm reading the paper.

O'REILLY: You've refrained?

SHARPTON: Straight talk. I've...

O'REILLY: You've refrained?

SHARPTON: I've refrained from responding.

O'REILLY: That's hard to believe.

SHARPTON: When you stood on stage, attacking PR—I had to deal with race. It reels in the race issue. This is very near and dear to me to talk about...

O'REILLY: I know. The race as you—you're—it's Minnesota.

SHARPTON: Discrimination is near and dear.

O'REILLY: Yes, all right. All right, stop, stop, stop.

SHARPTON: He has denied it.

O'REILLY: All right, good. You don't like him.

SHARPTON: (Unintelligible) like all my...

O'REILLY: Listen, I like you better than him because he's afraid to come in here.


O'REILLY: And there you go.

SHARPTON: Now Jesse Jackson Junior, why is he endorsing me? You'd have to ask him.

O'REILLY: Did you ask—didn't you ask them?

SHARPTON: I raised the points that I'm raising publicly to the Congress and anybody else. They have the right. The congressman (unintelligible), people endorsing me, but you don't have the right to attack others.

O'REILLY: All right.

SHARPTON: And then tell people, don't attack my candidate. You can't have it both ways.

O'REILLY: You think pop is going to endorse Dean?

SHARPTON: I have no idea.

O'REILLY: Come on!

SHARPTON: I really don't.


SHARPTON: People should endorse or support who they want. I'm running...


SHARPTON: ...for my issues and my platforms. I'm—I have—I'm glad, last night, Professor Overtree (ph) and others at Harvard, who are in affirmative action, their deployments are going to be up. Very happy when people endorse me.


SHARPTON: And I think everybody would be proud of who endorses them. But when you attack, people have the right to day wait a minute, you have to be accountable to your own record. And that's what I've raised to Governor Dean.

O'REILLY: All right. Reverend Sharpton, always a pleasure having you in the no spin zone.

SHARPTON: Thank you. Keep not spinning.

O'REILLY: OK. I will.

THE FACTOR will be right back with a harrowing personal story right in the middle of those terrible California fires. We'll take you there upcoming.

Content and Programming Copyright 2003 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2003 FDCH e-Media, Inc.

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