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CNN CROSSFIRE

Defining the Democrats

Aired November 9, 2004 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left, James Carville and Paul Begala; on the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.

In the CROSSFIRE: Following its latest election loss, is there any life left in the Democratic Party?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I think the worst thing they could do is just kind of roll over and play dead.

ANNOUNCER: Who will emerge as the next leader for the Democrats? John Kerry again? Howard Dean? Hillary Clinton? Barbra Streisand? Defining the Democrats -- today on CROSSFIRE.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Live from the George Washington University, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE.

One week ago today, voters handed the Republican Party impressive wins in elections all over the country. Put another way, voters made pretty clear how much they don't like the Democratic Party. Earlier in the day, it looked like George W. Bush might lose, but then he didn't. Instead, he won. Republicans picked up gains in both houses of Congress. The majority of Americans made it clear which party they think best represents their views and their beliefs.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST: Of course, a stunning majority, almost three-fourths, of President Bush's voters also said that they believe Iraq did in fact have weapons of mass destruction or an active weapons program.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: So I guess President Bush proved Lincoln right. You actually can fool some of the people some of the time.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Which leads us to our no-fooling part of the show, the CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

CARLSON: Well, Democrats have been stomped in three of the last three election cycles. Clearly, something is very wrong with the Democratic Party.

The question is, what is it? Has the party gone too far left, too far right? Is it time to update the slogans, maybe write a snappy new jingle? Probably, but perhaps there is a deeper problem, a structural deficiency. Maybe Democrats just haven't had enough Howard Dean lately. That appears to be Howard Dean's position. Through friends yesterday, the volatile former Vermont governor indicated he may run for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

That's right, Howard Dean at the helm. And why not? He's got the time. He can raise the cash. He's still popular in several smallish progressive towns along the Oregon coast.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: He has got a great set of lungs. And more than anything, he would be a great story, a godsend to cable news. Howard Dean, because what the Democratic Party really needs is more screaming.

Yow! Yow, Paul.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Howard Dean was not my candidate in the primaries. But he did give Democrats back their spine. And Democrats do need a spine. And much better than an Enron lobbyist, who is the guy Mr. Bush put in charge of the Republican Party.

CARLSON: Really?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: No, we actually look for real leaders, not lobbyists, Enron lobbyist.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: That's who Republicans picked.

CARLSON: I know.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: It is.

CARLSON: I know. The Republicans are evil, and so in Enron.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Yes, they are, actually.

(BELL RINGING)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: You were smart enough early on that Howard Dean hated the Democratic Party and he was destroying the Democratic Party. I'm surprised you don't say that now.

BEGALA: Howard Dean did a lot of good for the Democratic Party by giving us back our spine.

Well, despite suffering 10 American soldiers killed and 22 wounded, military leaders say they are encountering less resistance in Fallujah than they had expected. One military source told CNN that he thinks that is because -- quote -- "We believe most of the al-Zarqawi terrorist senior leadership has departed" -- unquote -- which means President Bush's delay in invading Falluja may have allowed the terrorists to escape.

The president himself visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center today. Over 8,000 Americans have been wounded in Iraq. Look, there is nothing more important for our president to do than to personally thank the heroic troops who have been wounded in action. So I'm glad that President Bush honors their sacrifice, unless, of course, one of them ever runs for president as a Democrat, in which case Mr. Bush's right-wing hatchet men will smear him and say his wounds were self-inflicted.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I will say, I think it is a terrific thing that American Marines are meeting less resistance than they anticipated.

BEGALA: I do, too.

CARLSON: And I think it is a little early to blame the president for that. And it is, after all, a good thing.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: I just quoted a military source who said that they've melted away, which is what they've done.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: We're not sure what exactly the reason is now. But I think it is a good thing.

But I will say, it was Democrats who smeared the honorable veterans who had a difference of position with John Kerry, who...

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Nonsense. Republicans said that Kerry had faked his wounds and his injuries.

(CROSSTALK)

(BELL RINGING)

CARLSON: No. Actually, actually, they were men in some cases who had served like six or seven years in prison in North Vietnam. To call them right-wing hatchet men is unfair.

BEGALA: No. Mr. Bush's right-wing hatchet men impugned Senator Kerry's wounds and his Purple Hearts. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for that.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I can't refight this stupid argument.

But, all right, John Kerry hadn't even conceded yet last week before some analysts, some of them Democrats, were blaming Hollywood for his defeat. Pampered, out-of-touch celebrities, they said, hurt Kerry with their endorsements. Well, now the pampered, out-of-touch celebrity caucus has spoken. And guess what? They don't like you either.

Singer and noted geopolitical strategist Barbra Streisand issued a statement referring to Republicans -- that is, of course, the majority of this country -- as -- quote -- "witches." But no one went further than the London-based expatriate and fervent Democratic activist Madonna. She described Bush voters as -- quote -- "people who don't want to think and who just want to guard what is theirs and they're selfish and limited in their thinking."

Got that? Americans are -- quote -- "selfish," says Madonna, who, at that point, stopped and went back to talking about her favorite subject, herself.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Madonna calls us selfish. I love that.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: I love that.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Let me read you this witches quote. "A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolved, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles." So said Thomas Jefferson, quoted by Barbra Streisand.

(APPLAUSE) CARLSON: But not about Republicans.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: About the Alien and Sedition Act, which was the Patriot Act of the 1700s.

CARLSON: Oh, so, he was attacking Bush?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Look, you're defending Barbra Streisand?

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: No. She was quoting Thomas Jefferson, Tucker.

CARLSON: I know.

BEGALA: Well, you didn't say that in your little alert there.

(BELL RINGING)

CARLSON: It's irrelevant where the quote comes from.

BEGALA: Of course it -- oh, Thomas Jefferson is irrelevant?

CARLSON: No. She was referring to -- she was using the quote to impugn people who voted for George W. Bush.

BEGALA: No. She said the reign of witches will past and the government...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: The reign of witches?

BEGALA: She's telling people, be strong. The American people will get it right over the long haul and these Republicans will be out in time. Don't worry, folks. Barbra is right.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Good for you, Barbra Streisand, actually a learned woman.

Well, the Justice Department has expanded its investigation into Halliburton, the mega defense contractor once headed by Dick Cheney. Investigators have uncovered evidence that bribes may have been paid to Nigerian officials while Mr. Cheney was running Halliburton. The Justice Department is also investigating whether Halliburton violated U.S. sanctions in Iran. We have known for some time that while Mr. Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton, it was doing business with America's enemies in Iran, Iraq and Libya.

And the FBI has asked to interview a Pentagon official who alleges that Mr. Cheney's old firm received favorable treatment in no- bid contracts. Now, who told us all of this? Michael Moore, Howard Dean, Barbra Streisand? No. We learned all of this from Halliburton itself. The corporation made those disclosures this week in FCC filings.

The bad news for liberals, of course, is four more years of Bush and Cheney. The good news for me, four more years of Halliburton, just so I can drive Tucker crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Halliburton. Halliburton. Halliburton.

BEGALA: Halliburton. Halliburton. Halliburton. Halliburton. Halliburton.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I just want to say one thing. I want to look directly into the camera and I want to say something that you said a moment ago. I want to see how it feels.

Good for you, Barbra Streisand. You're a learned woman.

BEGALA: She can quote Thomas Jefferson.

CARLSON: I love that.

BEGALA: She can quote Thomas Jefferson. And she was right.

CARLSON: I love that. I can't believe you said that.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: It's exactly what is wrong with your party, arrogant...

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: As opposed to Brooks & Dunn?

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Right-wing country singers?

CARLSON: Arrogant, pompous, out-of-touch people like Barbra Streisand.

(BELL RINGING)

BEGALA: So it is OK -- it is OK for NASCAR drivers to endorse Bush, but not for singers to endorse Kerry? Baloney. I think it's great when anybody wants to enter into the public debate.

CARLSON: Good for you, Barbra Streisand. You're a learned woman.

BEGALA: She can quote Thomas Jefferson.

CARLSON: I love that.

BEGALA: God bless her.

CARLSON: Well, lots of Democrats are feeling a little lost these days.

BEGALA: Halliburton.

CARLSON: Not least, Barbra Streisand, a learned woman.

BEGALA: Halliburton.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: With the defeat of John Kerry, they want someone to take control and lead them out of the wilderness.

Who will do that? Barbra Streisand, a learned woman.

BEGALA: Halliburton.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Is the party really ready for Democrats?

And red state, blue state. Are some states really considering a new state? We'll tell you the lengths some might go in the wake of this election loss. Barbra Streisand, learned woman.

Later on CROSSFIRE.

BEGALA: Halliburton. Halliburton.

(LAUGHTER)

ANNOUNCER: Join Carville, Begala, Carlson and Novak in the CROSSFIRE. For free tickets to CROSSFIRE at the George Washington University, call 202-994-8CNN or visit our Web site. Now you can step into the CROSSFIRE.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.

John Kerry is on Capitol Hill this afternoon meeting with congressional Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi of the House, Harry Reid, the likely new Democratic leader in the Senate. They are said to be discussing policy, politics and, as Ms. Pelosi put it, "saving civilization as we know it" -- unquote.

Meanwhile, Republicans, no doubt, are plotting to end civilization as we know and bring back the feudal system.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: In the CROSSFIRE to debate the lives of the parties, Terry Holt. He is a senior adviser to the chairman of the victorious Republican National Committee. And Ann Lewis, national chair of the DNC's Women's Vote Center.

Good to see you both.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Ann, thanks for joining us.

I know that you're horrified, as all sober Democrats are, by the prospect of Howard Dean taking the reins of your party. It would be a nightmare. He would destroy the party, even more than he already has. But out loud in public on this set, what is the case against Howard Dean? Why shouldn't he be the head of the DNC? He is great at raising money. He has got a large number of followers. Why not make him the head of the DNC?

ANN LEWIS, NATIONAL CHAIR, WOMEN'S VOTE CENTER: First, if we're going to talk about head of the DNC, I have got to say and, you know what? We just had a great chair of the DNC in Terry McAuliffe.

CARLSON: Yes. He did a good job. Yes, I noticed that.

LEWIS: And I hope everybody appreciates the job he did.

(APPLAUSE)

LEWIS: Because he raised the money. He brought the DNC into the 21st century. It is the model for where we have to go from here. The good news for us is, we have got a lot of interesting people who right now have some names out there floating. Sooner or later, it is 400 members of the Democratic National Committee who are going to make that decision.

I don't need to make a case for or against any of those candidates, because you know what? Here's the job description. You have got to be inspirational. You are going to speak for the Democratic Party. You have got to be able to raise money, because, as we just saw with the last four of Terry, we had a Democratic candidate who was competitive, and that was very important.

And every once in a while, you're going to feel like punching bag.

CARLSON: But you left one sort of criterion out of the job description. And that is, you have got to win elections.

LEWIS: Yes.

(LAUGHTER) CARLSON: Something that the current head of the DNC has not done. At the end of Bush's second term, it will be almost 30 years during which Democrats have had a total of one Democrat in the White House.

LEWIS: Who held it for eight years. That's not a small fact.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Well, that's right, out of 28. If that's a ratio you're comfortable with.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: You can look at me right in the eye -- I know the DNC has paid off its building and all that and has better mailing lists and raised a lot of money, but the net effect is, you still got stomped in the last election. You really still McAuliffe is a success?

LEWIS: Yes, because you know what? The Democratic Party is today in better shape than the Republican Party was in 1992, when they lost. We're in far better shape than the Republican in, oh, let's say, 1964.

The answer is, sometimes, you lose an election. The question is going to be, how do you go forward? What do you have to build on? I wish we had won. I fervently wish we had won. But I look at what we were able to accomplish and say, you know what? We got some things we can build on. And that's what you do. And that's all. That's what the party chair role should be.

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Terry, first, congratulations.

TERRY HOLT, BUSH CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: Thank you.

BEGALA: Well done. You took a high-risk, high-profile job and you delivered for your party.

(CROSSTALK)

HOLT: The president did a great job. I was just lucky to be there.

BEGALA: Well, congratulations. You did a fine job.

Now, having eaten that crow, one of the reasons I think your party won and mine lost is that my party has had a very difficult time connecting with middle-class, middle American voters on their social and cultural values. And I think it is a valid criticism of the party. I was making it on election night as we were looking at the returns come in. But I'm curious, tell me from whence the Republicans claim their moral superiority. Is it from the fact that the president executes retarded people, or that he wanted to put more arsenic in the water, or he takes money from Halliburton, lets tobacco companies run wild? Where is the moral superiority on the Republican side?

(APPLAUSE)

HOLT: Well, I'm not sure about superiority.

But I know that we spent this campaign and we spend many of our campaigns not being openly contemptuous of people of faith. And this campaign, whether John Kerry or the Democratic Party did it, some of its top surrogates, Barbra Streisand the whole Hollywood elite, really went after average people in a way that was insulting to them, and talk about heart and soul of America, that whole controversy.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: What could be more insulting than to tell people who live in blue states that they're not as good a Christian, not as good a Jew, not as good a mom, not as good a dad? That's the whole message of your party, Terry.

(APPLAUSE)

HOLT: No one has ever said that.

BEGALA: Yes, it is.

HOLT: That's ridiculous, Paul.

BEGALA: It was moral superiority and judgmentalism.

HOLT: The Democratic Party has to have an agenda. They need to have a philosophy, a basic set of principles. And they didn't bring any strong message to the table on any of that.

And, ultimately, it is about inspiring people by bringing people into the party. And this party, this Democratic Party today, is cobbled together with spit and bailing wire, where, if you lose a small fraction of any particular voter group, you're going to lose an election, so they really are at a point where they need to look inward and find out whether or not they have a philosophy that they're willing to defend.

CARLSON: Ann, by your description of what it means to be a leader in the Democratic Party, it seems to me the most successful leaders are those who deny reality the most vigorously. That's must be why Nancy Pelosi is such a successful leader of the House Democrats.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: She said -- just the other day, she said to "Roll Call" that no soul searching was needed in the wake of this ignominious defeat your party has just suffered last week. And I'm quoting here. This is her description of the election -- quote -- "We held our own, given what else was going on out there."

So you lose seats in the House, the Senate, governorships and the White House, and that's holding your own? Shouldn't she just admit reality?

LEWIS: I think it is reality to say, given what was out there -- on the House, let me say, Nancy, I think, is an inspired leader. She's been an excellent leader. You know who else what be an excellent example of a Democratic leader, was Ron Brown, who, again, I guess would meet your criterion. He put the party together for the election of Bill Clinton.

CARLSON: Yes.

LEWIS: But if it had not been for those seats in Texas -- I don't want to say the bottom line doesn't count -- but, remember, House Democrats held their own. The reason we went backward in the House is because Tom DeLay engineered some redistricting that cost seats.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: By every other portion, every other state, Democrats in fact were able to move forward. And I think Nancy Pelosi has been a terrific leader.

CARLSON: You described her as inspired.

LEWIS: Right.

CARLSON: Now, of course, the word inspired literally filled with the spirit, as you know. And that's quite an appropriate description of Ms. Pelosi. She was on Lou Dobbs' show here on CNN yesterday. And throughout the whole interview, unbidden, began going off and talking about God. She quoted the Gospel of Matthew. She was talking about God's creation. She was all but speaking in tongues.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Finally, Lou Dobbs said to her, Leader Pelosi, are you going keep talking like this? Is this what it means to represent values? You're going to become this evangelical on the air? And she said, essentially, yes. Are we going to see a lot more of this?

LEWIS: Tucker, are you contemptuous of Nancy Pelosi expressing her deep spiritual faith?

CARLSON: Yes. Yes. Yes, I am.

(APPLAUSE)

LEWIS: I am horrified. CARLSON: I am. I am. I'll tell you, I am.

If Nancy Pelosi expressed her deep spiritual faith on television, I think it is marvelous. But this is so clearly an effort to respond to the exit polls that showed people were concerned about values.

LEWIS: And just how do you know that? When did you get the X- ray vision? This is a woman who is the mother of five, who has been a grandmother.

CARLSON: Having watched Nancy Pelosi for years. And I like Nancy Pelosi.

LEWIS: And, by the way, a practicing member of her faith.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I know she is. And I like Nancy Pelosi. But she's never talked this way before. That's my point.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Let me ask Terry about how President Bush talks about religion. I can't see into his soul. And I accept that he's a man of abiding and deep faith. And I believe that. I know him a little bit. And I believe that to be true.

So I was impressed when he would go to Christian conservative groups and testify. He would witness in the manner of evangelical Christians. Then I was really struck that a few days before the election in an interview with "The New York Times" he said something very different in a different venue, "The New York Times." Asked -- according to "The Times" here, asked whether he regarded the Bible as the literal and inerrant word of God, Mr. Bush said: "From Scripture you can gain a lot of strength and solace and learn life's lessons. That's what I believe, and I don't necessarily believe every single word is literally true."

Now, why doesn't he say that to conservative Christian audiences and instead he says it to the liberal elite at "The New York Times"? Is that pretty two-faced?

HOLT: You are making a fine distinction between Pentecostalism. Let's get into what this means.

There are different parts of Protestantism. He happens to have his view. And, again, that's what America is all about.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: It is. But why is he so two-faced and phony? Why doesn't he go to conservative groups who believe the Bible is literally true and tell them, you know, I'm not with you; I don't believe the Bible is literally true? He tells different things to different audiences.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Come on.

BEGALA: Of course he does.

HOLT: He does have deep personal beliefs. And he also is the president of everyone in this country.

BEGALA: But why not tell the Christian Coalition, hey, fellows, I'm not with you; I don't believe the Bible is literally true?

HOLT: But they are members of the Christian Coalition that have their own interpretation of that. They're Methodists and Baptists and Protestants of every stripe, Catholic voters. We improved our lot considerably among Catholic voters, as well as with Jewish voters.

BEGALA: By saying different things to different audiences and having different shades of your religious...

(CROSSTALK)

HOLT: John Kerry had this intractable contradiction where he believed that life begins at conception, but still believes in abortion. That means he essentially believes in murder. Those are totally irreconcilable positions on abortion.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Mr. Bush said, embryonic stem cell research is murder, but I fund it. I fund murder, so that's just as...

(CROSSTALK)

HOLT: Well, we could have that talk.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: All right, hang on. We're going to have more. Hang on. Terry and Ann, hang on, because when our guests return, they'll face the "Rapid Fire," where we will discuss the Democrats' secret plan to ban the Bible.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: And, next, Wolf Blitzer has the story behind those incredible pictures between the middle of a highway gun battle in Iraq.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. Coming up at the top of the hour, reports say 10 U.S. troops and two Iraqi soldiers dead in the battle of Fallujah. We'll have analysis from the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General George Joulwan.

A suburban Dallas police chase ended in a gun battle. And it's all caught on videotape. We'll show it to you.

And a New York woman is now the mother of twins at the age of 56. Is that really such a good idea? The Vernon (ph) sisters join us live with analysis.

All those stories, much more, only minutes away on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."

Now back to CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. It is time for "Rapid Fire," where the questions and answers come quicker even than Democrats' post-election recriminations and they're almost as fun.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Joining us, Ann Lewis, national chair of the DNC's Women's Vote Center, and Terry Holt, senior adviser to the Republican National Committee.

BEGALA: Terry, what does it say about your party's moral values that our president from your party signed into law a law taking away the child tax credit from 9.2 million of the poorest Americans and giving the money to giant corporations?

HOLT: Well, over the course of the last several years, the Republican Party has taken millions of low-income families out of the tax...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I'm sorry. This is "Rapid Fire." This is not rapid enough for me. I'm going to have to jump in.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Ann, you want to hear some really grim statistics from your point of view? Clinton won 72 percent of the Hispanic vote. Gore won 62 percent of the Hispanic vote. John Kerry won 54 percent of the Hispanic vote.

LEWIS: You're right. We have got to do a lot better in talking to Hispanic voters.

CARLSON: They don't like you that much.

LEWIS: No, I think it is that we have got to talk to them a lot more directly. For example, we know education is a really important issue to Hispanic Americans, because they care about their children's future. We have got to do more talking about what we think we can do for education. We have got to talk more about the economy, about raising the minimum job. We have a powerful story. We did not -- apparently, from those numbers, we didn't get through.

BEGALA: Terry, your party put out a flyer in West Virginia that said the Democrats wanted to ban the Bible. Which Democrat wanted to ban it?

HOLT: I'm not familiar with the piece. Could you maybe put it up on the screen?

BEGALA: The Republican National Committee put it out. You work for them.

HOLT: No, I'm not familiar. Ban the Bible?

BEGALA: Ban the Bible in West Virginia, Democrats will do, so alleged your party. That was scummy, wasn't it?

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: That was scummy.

HOLT: The hostility the Democrats have shown to people of faith is part of the reason why they find themselves...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Ann, one word. I'm going end on this word. Yow! Tell me you're not excited. Tell me you're not excited.

(BELL RINGING)

CARLSON: Howard Dean running your party.

LEWIS: Not nearly as excited as you are, Tucker.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: I'm so excited. I'm so excited.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Ann Lewis, Terry Holt, thank you both very much.

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Congratulations.

CARLSON: A lot of Democrats said they would leave our country for Canada if George W. Bush won the election. Now some may be thinking about moving the border instead.

We'll explain right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Welcome back.

Do you remember the two Americas John Edwards used to talk about during the primaries? Seems like a long time ago now. Well, this map is popping up on the Internet and some people are suggesting states that Kerry won should secede from the U.S. and go north to become the United States of Canada.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: The states carried by the president would be called Jesusland.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Well, Democratic Party insider Lawrence O'Donnell tells "The Washington Times" the red states get more federal benefits than they pay for, so they're living off the largess of the blue state taxpayers.

Well, if you go, we will miss you, Democrats. But just remember, it is cold up there. Curling is a major sport. A lot of people speak French. And one out of every three citizens is actually a sled dog.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: It is true that the blue states make and the red states take. The blue states produce and pay the taxes and the red states consume them. So, if we want limited government, let's cut all the welfare queens in the red states off, their farm subsidies, their mining subsidies, their oil subsidies.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I don't want to talk over you.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: One suggestion from the Democratic Party to your benefit, showing pure, unadulterated Lower East Side, Upper West Side, West Hollywood contempt for the red states won't get you reelected. It won't get you reelected.

BEGALA: I'm from the red states. I'm from Texas. But let's have limited government. Let's cut Texas off all the federal benefits.

CARLSON: Yes, attack the red states. (CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: From the left, I am Paul Begala. That's it for CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: And from the right, I'm Tucker Carlson. Join us again tomorrow for yet more CROSSFIRE.

"WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" starts right now.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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