Former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe and Hughie talk about what’s in and what’s not in Terry’s new book.
HH: Pleased now to welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, author of What a Party: My Life Among Democrats, Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, And Other Wild Animals. Terry McAuliffe, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
TM: Hugh, great to be back with you.
HH: Now, I admire your loyalty to the President a lot, Terry McAuliffe. On Page 180, when you write about the circumstances of you insisting that he allow you to finance his house. I almost applauded. I liked that a lot.
TM: Thank you.
HH: But…and I love this book. I’m going to tell a lot of Republicans, especially, they’ve got to read What A Party for a lot of good reasons. But I wonder, can you handle a tough interview?
HH: All right. You’re not going to get mad and hang up on me?
TM: Hughie, I never hang up and get mad at anybody.
HH: You’re the only person whose ever called me Hughie on the radio.
TM: Right. There you go. Listen, I love going on with you right wing nuts. You kidding me? I live for this.
HH: Okay, so how long do I have, so I can tell the audience if you hang up and get mad at me?
TM: 20 minutes.
HH: 20 minutes? Ah, McAuliffe, give me 30 minutes.
TM: (talking to assistant) What did you say, what did you tell him? How long? Well, let’s get going, then. They said 20, because they’ve got an interview…they’re stacking these things up on me, Hugh.
HH: I know, but you’re talking to a hundred different cities, and the biggest audience of Republicans that’ll ever listen to you. So let’s go to 2:00, that’s a half an hour, and we’ll call it even. Good enough?
TM: Okay, all right, deal.
HH: Look, you’re Bill Clinton’s Bebe Rebozo.
HH: Did you ever take the President aside and shake him for his many ethical lapses?
TM: I’d take the President’s side many times, and congratulate him on…listen, we’re best friends, and I congratulate him on all the great work he’d done, Hugh. I mean, he’s my buddy.
HH: But I mean, you know, good friends, best friends, have to take friends aside and say things, you know, like friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and friends don’t let friends ruin presidencies. Did you ever have that kind of a moment with him?
TM: Now, if you read the book, I tell…
HH: Oh, I’ve read it.
TM: …a lot of stuff that he and I talked about. We went through impeachment, told him what a horrible thing he had done, but I said that in my Catholic religion, you know, you’ve got to move on.
HH: Okay…by the way, we’re going to talk a lot about that from one Irish Catholic to another.
HH: That’s a lot of blarney in here. When did the McAuliffes come over from Ireland, by the way. You’ve left the impression it was, you know, a couple of weeks ago.
TM: Great grandparents.
HH: Great grandparents?
HH: All right. What is Bill Clinton’s legacy, Terry McAuliffe?
TM: I think Bill Clinton’s legacy would be strong economy, budget surpluses, 22 million new jobs, reducing the federal workforce, peace around the world, and stopping a genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo, and bringing peace to Northern Ireland, and getting very close in the Middle East.
HH: So that’s the short answer?
TM: Yeah, I could go on forever, but if you look at the book, I list everything, Hugh.
HH: I know, it’s in there, but now people always say what Bill Clinton’s legacy is, and you think it’s the American economy?
TM: I would say a strong economy. He took us back to surpluses from deficits, and brought peace around the world, and general good feeling for everybody.
HH: I’m going to come back to this. How’d he do on terrorism?
TM: I think he did very well. When he got alerted that they were going to bring in a trunkload of explosives in through Canada, he put the Border Patrol on high alert, caught them as they were trying to come down to LAX to blow it up, had many meetings, had all different folks involved in terrorism, and put a whole interagency task force together in dealing with it. You can always better, Hugh, but he was on it.
HH: On Page 300, you write, “I knew Clinton and Sandy Berger had urged incoming President Bush to take strong action against a group called al Qaeda, and that Bush had ignored them.” How did you know that?
TM: One, that’s what Bill Clinton told me directly.
HH: When did he tell you that?
TM: And it’s in most of the books that are written out there today, that if…read about, that they told, Sandy Berger specifically told to Condi Rice, which, you know, she has not disagreed with, that their number one threat is going to be al Qaeda.
HH: But the President told you that?
TM: Yeah, absolutely. Also, he told me.
HH: When did he tell you that?
TM: Over the course of the last couple of years?
HH: But I mean, not during the presidency?
TM: No, not during the presidency. No, no, no.
HH: Did he ever bring up al Qaeda to you?
TM: I’d never talked to him about al Qaeda. That’s not something he would talk to me about, Hugh.
HH: You never talked to him about national security or…
TM: Never. Are you kidding me?
HH: Nothing at all?
TM: That came from…that wasn’t my department. I wasn’t secretary of state.
HH: But after the presidency, you did discuss it with him?
TM: Sure, when everybody else was talking about different things, sure.
HH: Were you called before the 9/11 Commission?
TM: (laughing) No.
HH: You weren’t, even though…
TM: Why would I be called before the 9/11 Commission?
HH: Well, the President talked to you about all of his concerns about al Qaeda, post presidency. That would be interesting, because he got a lot of criticism for this.
TM: No, I wish I had been called, but no, they didn’t call me up before…
HH: But they couldn’t, could they, because Ben-Veniste was your lawyer?
TM: Ben…as I write in the book ad nauseam, Ben-Veniste couldn’t stop me from doing anything.
HH: No, but I mean, he was your lawyer, and he’s on the 9/11 Commission.
TM: That’s right, yeah.
HH: He probably couldn’t have called you before the 9/11 Commission then.
TM: Sure he could have. He just couldn’t ask me any questions. But if they wanted me up there, I would have loved to have gone up there, Hugh.
HH: All right.
TM: You know, I talked in the book, I love those opportunities.
HH: I know you love the opportunities…
TM: I’m the only guy you know that got a standing ovation at a grand jury.
HH: I think that they ought to call, they ought to reconvene and have you up for a conversation.
TM: I’d love it.
HH: You’re an Irish Catholic kid from Syracuse, from St. Anne’s school, right?
HH: Now did you do eight years or twelve years of Catholic education?
TM: I did eight years at St. Anne’s grammar school, I did four years of Bishop Ludden High School, I did four years at the Catholic University of America, and three years at Georgetown University Law Center.
HH: Can you name your K-8 teachers?
HH: Give them to me.
TM: Sister Agnes Teresa, Sister Mary Helen, Sister Thomas, Miss Boway, Mrs. Anderson, Sister Esther Thomas, and Sister Margaret Madden…how many is that?
HH: That’s pretty close. So they were lousy teachers?
TM: No, they were great teachers. I was the one that was causing all the trouble, Hugh.
HH: But I mean, you often cite Catholic doctrine in this book, and yet you support late term abortions, and judges who impose them on people. How…did you miss those classes?
TM: Hugh, I don’t cite Catholic doctrine all through the book. I say I’d gone to Catholic schools, Hughie, through the book, and I am pro-choice, no question about it. But I don’t pretend to be a priest, and I don’t pretend to be citing…I don’t cite the Bible once in the book.
HH: Yeah, but you do cite your Catholic faith.
TM: I say that I’m a Catholic, sure. Irish Catholic.
HH: You know, it says here on Page…
TM: Which I am.
HH: Page 165, “It might not quit with the lessons of my Catholic faith, but I don’t mind admitting that I couldn’t have been happier when the news broke on July 30th, 1999, that Linda Tripp had been indicted by a Maryland grand jury.” So you know it’s wrong to glory in the sufferings of others, because of your Catholic faith, your Catholic teachings.
TM: Yeah, but I say I have faults, like many people have faults. I wish I could follow 100% the teachings of the Catholic Church, but believe it or not, much to your chagrin, I am not Jesus Christ.
HH: No, but I mean, the whole abortion controversy, that’s just…you compartmentalize that and put that aside?
TM: I can, as can many Catholics.
HH: But I know many Catholics do, but do you think it’s right…Do you go to Mass and all that stuff, Terry?
TM: I go…yeah, I do.
HH: You do?
TM: In fact, I’m up to be on the Knights of Malta right now. They’ve just asked me to join the Knights of Malta.
HH: Oh, we’d better put out a word.
TM: Are you one of those?
HH: I’ve got friends in the Knights of Malta, yeah. You might not come back from your first trip to Rome.
TM: You need to go into the Knights of Malta.
TM: And as you know, the Holy Father himself, John Paul II, blessed my wife’s engagement ring when I wound up being at a private Mass for us in his private chapel.
HH: Nice picture. I know. Did he know about your supporting late term abortions?
TM: Sure, he knew he was.
HH: Is that teaching optional, Terry McAuliffe?
TM: Is what teaching optional?
HH: The Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life?
TM: Hey, listen, I have my views on my religious beliefs, Hugh, you’ve got yours.
HH: But I’m asking, do you think it’s…
TM: And you know, if you want to do a show on religious teaching, that’s fine. I’m talking about my book.
HH: Well, it’s in the book all the time.
TM: I make my statements, you write your book.
HH: No, but it’s in the book all the time about how Catholic you are.
TM: It’s not how Catholic I am. I’m an Irish Catholic kid from Syracuse. It’s probably mentioned five times, Hugh, so please don’t incorrectly characterize my book to your listeners.
HH: Well, it’s in here a lot…
TM: If you want to talk about the book, talk about the facts as they exist. I know you’re a right wing whacko, but don’t make things up.
HH: All right, let’s got to Page 113. Oh, I just quoted to you the page that that was on.
TM: That’s one page. That’s through the whole book? You just said it’s through the whole book, you don’t even remember what you just said. What did you? Go have a martini at lunch or something?
HH: Oh, no, no, no. That would be wrong, Terry, to drink at lunch. I do want to ask you about drinking a little bit later, but first, I want to go to Page 113 and 114. Let me read this paragraph. “Newt Gingrich wasn’t the first Republican to let a little Washington power to go to his head, cloud his judgment, he won’t be the last. I’m not sure he really believed all this stuff he was saying, but he got caught up in the crazed notion that he was some kind of political revolutionary who’d changed the American system of government forever. He truly seemed to think he was entitled to every bit as much respect and deference as the President of the United States, because as Speaker of the House, he was somehow the equal of Bill Clinton. Forget that Newt was elected Speaker with only 228 votes in the House of Representatives, and Clinton was elected President with the votes of 44 million. And last I checked, they hadn’t found room for a Speaker of the House on Mt. Rushmore.” Great paragraph, Terry McAuliffe.
TM: Thank you.
HH: Now let’s substitute Pelosi in for Gingrich. It still applies, doesn’t it?
TM: Both have the title of Speaker.
HH: And they both are not anywhere what the president is, elected by the entire country, and they’d be wrong to think they’re revolutionaries or have mandates, wouldn’t they?
TM: (tone) Ma’am, I’m on the phone. That’s the maid cleaning in my hotel room.
HH: That’s okay. Be nice to them.
TM: Both Speakers…my point with old Newt Gingrich is you know, whining like a crybaby that he said he was asked to go off the back of the plane, and acted like an absolute immature child. Nancy Pelosi will never do that.
HH: But I’m talking about they are not anywhere close to the President in terms of how they speak for the country. She’s only got 228 votes, or whatever votes she has in the House.
TM: As the Speaker, she’s the head of the one of the, you know, the Congress. She’s entitled to her opinions in the Congress, but you do have a President of the United States who is elected by hopefully a majority of the populace.
HH: As Bush was.
HH: Let’s go to page 98. I read the book very closely, Terry.
TM: Hugh, I love it.
HH: I loved that…
TM: You read the book?
HH: You guys had a terrible night in ’94, and a great night in ’98. I want to talk about both of those. But I want to read the paragraph from Page 98 on the class of 1994. “We got the living daylights beat out of us, losing eight Senate seats, 54 House seats, the largest defeat for our party since ’46,” but you told yourself and others that there was good news here. What was the good news? That Newt Gingrich and his contract with America had led to an absolute rout. I was sure their victory was going to be our victory, it was just going to take a while. I think Republicans should be thinking the same thing. They’ve got to read this page again and again about 2006, Terry McAuliffe.
TM: Well, maybe they should. I think I make a very important point. I knew that Newt Gingrich would overreach, which is exactly what happened. Then he ended up being a total hypocrite, going after Bill Clinton on impeachment while he was dating his 23 year old secretary, having an adulterous affair, because people, Hugh, hate hypocrites in this country. And so, you know, he got his for what got coming to him, where he served one wife with papers while she was, you know, sick and dying, and I mean, this guy was no one to go after Bill Clinton, I’ll tell you that.
HH: But the election results of 1994, though, they were a huge win for the Republicans. They really didn’t tell us much about the direction of the country, did they?
TM: Well, I don’t think they won it in 1994 just as I won’t tell you, Hughie, I won’t say we won it in 2006. I think we lost it in 1994, the gay in the military initiative, the health care initiative, you know, the Brady gun control bill. I think those issues, the NRA went down and spent a lot on me, and I think this time, I can’t really say we won it, versus you know, you had the Iraq war, you had this Abramoff scandal, you had Delay indicted, Ney indicted, Duke Cunningham going to prison, you had a pedophile scandal by this guy Mark Foley in Florida. So I think they lost it more than we won it, and I would say the same thing in ’94.
HH: That’s good. That means that we can come back the same way in ’08.
TM: You can come back.
HH: You just mentioned gays in the military.
TM: If we don’t produce, Hugh, there’s no question we will pay a huge price for it.
HH: Now you just mentioned gays in the military. That’s not in the book. Why not?
TM: It’s my book on my life. I had nothing to do with the gays in the military.
HH: But it’s your best friend’s big, big mistake. You’ve got his budget agreement, his big, big success in the early years.
TM: Let him write that in his book, which he did. This is my book, brother.
HH: You have two mentions of Monica Lewinsky.
HH: Exactly. Did your bests friend lie to the country about her?
TM: I told…what I wanted to about in the issue of Monica Lewinsky, I put that in the book. Was he…he was the first to admit it. He wasn’t truthful with the American public on Monica Lewinsky.
HH: And did he lie under oath?
TM: He says he didn’t. I support the President that he didn’t lie under oath.
HH: You really don’t think he did?
TM: Well, I didn’t spend too much attention one way or the other, just as, you know, did George Bush lie to us about the weapons of mass destruction, where we’ve lost 3,000 troops, and billions of dollars spent.
HH: In the book, you write that the Jones case represented the tip of the iceberg of the campaign of character assassination, a group of extreme right wingers had organized against Bill Clinton. So you brought up Paula Jones, but you didn’t tell us what did you think of her allegations?
HH: Paul Jones’?
TM: I thought they were trash.
HH: So you don’t believe her?
HH: There was no mention of Jim or Susan McDougal in the book. Did you know them?
TM: I’d never met them, didn’t really know much about him, also didn’t talk about them. No, I did not know them.
HH: No mention of Webb Hubbell in the book. Do you know Webb?
TM: No. I mean, I had no dealings with Webb.
HH: I mean, do you know him? Have you ever met him?
TM: I know who he is. I’ve met him, you know, after he left office, I’d met him.
HH: Okay. No mention of Juanita Broderick. Not important to you?
TM: I don’t even know…who was Juanita Broderick?
HH: No mention of Kathleen Willey?
TM: Why would I write that in my book?
HH: Well, because your best friend’s the President of the United States, and these names are important to him. You’ve never heard of Juanita Broderick?
TM: Hughie, Hughie, this is my book. Let me try and say this to you for the fifteenth time. This is my book of my life.
HH: I know.
TM: Let Bill Clinton write his own book on his life. He’s entitled to do it. This is my book.
HH: Bill Clinton’s in here a lot, though, and you’re talking a lot about Bill Clinton.
TM: It’s my book, brother. I’m writing about my friends, I talk about Duke Kinney, Steve Snyder, I talk about my friends that I grew up with in Syracuse, New York.
HH: I know, but you talk about Bill a lot. Now listen, you also talk about John Huang in this book, on Page 139.
HH: No mention of the Riadys, though.
TM: Never met him, never had any dealings with them.
HH: But did you ever meet Huang?
TM: No, I say that in the book.
HH: No, you didn’t say that, actually. You cite the question that was posed to you.
TM: No, no, I’d never met John Huang.
HH: Okay, did you create a culture of corruption at the DNC in which he flourished?
TM: I wasn’t there when he was there. Read my book.
HH: I know he came after you, but did you create the culture of corruption into which he went, and into which he worked?
TM: When I was at the DNC, we never had to return one single check.
HH: Is that the answer, though, about the culture of corruption? Do you think you had…
TM: That answer is no, and when I was there, we did not return one check. We had the best record, the first time ever the DNC never had to return one check from a donor. I was there ten months. So it was a great ten months.
HH: On page 134, you defend the President and his renting of the Lincoln bedroom. You write that, “The President had invited around 800 people for overnights, and of those, only 200 had given him money, and all of those were close friends.” All of them?
TM: I said that in the book, didn’t I, Hugh?
HH: Is Danny DeVito his close friend?
TM: I’m sure he was.
HH: You think…and so, you checked it out with him? You went down the list?
TM: I did not check it out. This is what had been written after, these were the stories that had all been written of how you qualify who was a friend and who wasn’t. That was in the newspapers.
HH: Yeah, but it’s in your book, all of them were his close friends, and you’re standing by that story?
TM: I’m citing what the President of the United States said, Hughie.
HH: All right. Let’s go on to…
TM: But don’t forget…wait, whoa, whoa, whoa. Don’t forget the other part. George Bush had almost as many people over. When they asked him to release the list, he said oh, well we don’t know which bedroom they slept in. Was it Queen Anne’s or was it the Lincoln bedroom. I mean, come on, what a joke. We should have used that one.
HH: That’s not in the book.
TM: It is in the book.
HH: Oh, I see, it’s two paragraphs lower. You’re absolutely right. I’ve got it right in front of me.
TM: So you talk that and not the other. What do you mean it wasn’t in the book? Now it’s in the book?
HH: No, you’re right. You’re right.
TM: I think you were drunk at lunch today.
HH: I’m very accurate, Terry McAuliffe. I’m very accurate. I want to be very, very, very fair to you.
TM: So apologize here.
HH: I’m very sorry I missed that paragraph.
TM: Oh, it pains me. You should have had one less drink at lunch.
HH: Let’s go on, now. Henry Cisneros is mentioned in your book.
HH: But not Hazel O’Leary or Mike Espy. Why not those two?
TM: I couldn’t go through every one of them.
HH: But I mean, they were the ones who got the President in trouble. They were good Democrats who got in deep, deep trouble.
TM: What did Hazel…I’m not sure anything ever happened to Hazel O’Leary, did it?
HH: Trips for dollars, as I recall.
TM: Well, did she get in any trouble?
HH: I think so.
TM: I don’t.
HH: You don’t recall?
TM: No, no. I’ll bet you a dollar nothing happened with Hazel O’Leary.
HH: All right. Well, I’ll take that bet.
TM: Bet me a dollar on the air.
HH: All right. We’re betting a dollar right now. It’s in contravention of FEC. You’re probably going to try and get me banned. There’s no mention of Craig Livingstone. Did you ever meet him?
HH: Now the first lady, now the Senator, and soon to be a presidential candidate, is a very good friend of yours, correct?
TM: You’re asking me the question?
TM: Yes, absolutely.
HH: There’s nothing in here about her unfortunate episodes, for example, the Rose Law Firm records. Did she ever talk about those with you?
HH: Did she ever talk about the cattle future trading with you?
TM: No. You see, I didn’t know her until after all this.
HH: And so, it never came up in any of your conversations?
HH: You had boring conversations with these people.
TM: I’ve had great conversations. I just didn’t talk about cattle futures.
HH: Okay. Now Dick Morris, he’s not in the book.
TM: You want me to tell about him with a prostitute, sucking her toes?
HH: Yeah, during the DNC Convention over…
TM: This is a family book that I want to have kids buy in high school. I want to talk about Dick Morris sucking a hooker’s toes?
HH: Yeah, I do, because he was working for you.
TM: Well, he got fired for that.
HH: Weren’t you paying his bills?
TM: I mean, I’m not…listen, I’m trying to get this into high schools. I don’t want hookers sucking toes.
HH: Oh, I want it read in high schools.
TM: I’m not going to put that in there.
HH: You betcha. But that’s why, because you were embarrassed by Dick Morris?
TM: I’m embarrassed to have hookers sucking toes, and he’s sucking a hooker’s toes in my book.
HH: And you were paying for him.
TM: I’m embarrassed.
HH: But you were paying for him?
TM: Who’s paying for him?
HH: You were. The DNC was paying for him, weren’t they?
TM: No, no. How were we paying for his hookers?
HH: I think…as I recall, he was the consultant to the Clinton White House for political affairs, and the DNC was paying him.
TM: I honestly don’t know the answer to that, but I’d be very upset and ask for my money back that I raised if he was using that to have hookers…sucking some hooker’s toes.
HH: Let me give you a compliment, by the way.
HH: I want every Republican to learn how to raise money from you, because doggone it, you’re good at this. Lew Wasserman, tell that story. I can’t believe he didn’t throw you out on your ear.
TM: Which one, though? I’ve got a lot on Lew.
HH: The first time you showed up when you were a punk.
TM: Well, I was 21 years old, I figured out what the heck, I’d give the guy a call, called him up, said Mr. Wasserman, I’m working for Jimmy Carter, can I come see you? He said yeah. I said oh, man, went up to see him in his beautiful office, the black tower over there in Universal…went into his office, still amazed that he never had a paper on his desk. I asked him, I said sir, I need you to raise $100,000 for me for the campaign. He said great, terrific, what title I have. I said you can have whatever title you want. He said you know, you’ll have the money in a week.
HH: You see, that’s what…young Republicans need to be as ruthless as you are in approaching people for money. I like that.
TM: And he and I stayed friends, right up, Hugh, to the day he died.
HH: I’m not surprised.
TM: He was a class act.
HH: I’m not surprised. Did John McCain really tell you, as you say in the book, in reference to George Bush, George W. Bush, my guy is no great shakes?
TM: You know, I’ll be honest with you. In full disclosure, I didn’t want to hurt McCain too much. He actually said a lot worse than that.
HH: What’d he say?
TM: I’m not going to say it, because I don’t want to hurt the guy. I mean, I believe two guys ought to at least have a reasonable conversation, but what he said about George Bush was much worse.
HH: So you’re supporting…you’re trying to cover up for John McCain?
TM: Not trying to cover up.
HH: Terry McAuliffe is helping…
TM: But you know, there’s some times in life, Hugh, maybe you don’t ever do that with people, you know, I get the point across, but I don’t have to absolutely embarrass and smash him down. I just don’t think I need to do that.
HH: But you’re not embarrassing, you’re supporting him. Is John McCain your guy in the Republican side in 2008, Terry McAuliffe?
TM: Yeah, you know what? I’ll tell you one thing. I respect John McCain. This man was a prisoner of war for five years. I grew up, I talk about in the book, my father over in Okinawa, Saipan, Tinian Island, I listened to my father as a little kid growing up about all the battles that he fought.
HH: Was he a Marine? I gather he had to have been a Marine.
TM: Who, my father?
TM: No, he was in the Army. He was a captain in the Army. He was in charge of all the big guns that they brought off the big landing ships first, the LDF put them down, and then they started firing away, and then the landing crafts came in. So always his units were the first…
HH: Okay, because my father in law was a Marine at Okinawa. That’s why…I thought it was all Marines.
TM: Before the Marines came in, my father was a captain bringing all the big guns in that started pelting away…
HH: Believe me, I know your dad. Every Irish Catholic guy I know is just like him. They fought, they served honorably, what a great American.
HH: I think the best scenes in here is Bill Clinton with your mom and your dad. It’s just wonderful stuff.
HH: And that makes me like him. But there’s some problems. Let’s get back to those problems.
TM: You asked me about McCain. That’s one of the reasons I do have a soft spot for John McCain. I can’t imagine being tortured in a Vietnam prison for five years.
HH: I agree. Great American.
TM: So I mean, I do have somewhat respect for him.
HH: Great American, but he said my guy has no great shakes…
TM: He said a lot worse than that.
HH: And he did say that, though.
HH: Okay. Harry Whittington, you spent a lot of time on the Vice President shooting Harry Whittington.
TM: Yeah, because you know, when I give speeches now…
HH: You give the joke.
TM: It’s the best…I always say listen, you know, first he said there was no drinking, then he says oh, we had one beer. I said come on, I’m Irish. No one has one beer. You open one, you open 24. I said the guy’s out there having lunch, got his camo gear on, you know, he’s all jacked up, and then find out that he’d admitted to it, and I said I know the man was in the tank. There’s no question Dick Cheney was tanked. You know, a lot of times, people had disputes, they shoot their business partners, and sometimes, you ever hear people shooting their wives. I said I know Dick Cheney was drunk, because you never shoot a donor.
HH: Now it’s a good joke, but do you really think the Vice President was drunk?
TM: Well, he admitted to one beer. I don’t know, you know?
HH: He’s also said no. I mean, do you disbelieve that?
TM: No, he said he started with at least one beer. I don’t know. I mean, how do you shoot a guy ten feet away? I mean, you know…
HH: I’m just asking you, Terry…
TM: I’m a hunter. I hunt, and let me tell you. There was something wrong with that story. You do not shoot someone ten feet from you.
HH: So you really believe the Vice President of the United States was drunk that day?
TM: He could have been.
HH: You’re saying…
TM: I’ve got to come up with some explanation of how you can shoot a guy in the face who basically was right next to you.
HH: Now the politics of personal destruction, which you denounce in this book…
HH: Does it extend to impugning drunkenness to someone in a situation like that?
TM: I think there…either he was drunk, or something happened with him. Maybe the medication was…I’m a hunter. You don’t shoot a guy standing in front of you.
HH: All right.
TM: Hughie, there’s something there, brother. I don’t know if you hunt. You ever hunt?
HH: No, I’m not a hunter.
TM: Well, if you’d hunt, you would understand what I’m talking about.
HH: You gave the impression in this book that you were the only Democrat at the RNC along with Tom Vilsack.
TM: Yeah, we were the Democrats in charge of the oppo, yeah.
HH: Yeah, what, Al Franken? Does he count?
TM: Well, he wasn’t there for the party.
HH: No, but he was there all the time arguing for you guys.
TM: Yeah, but I don’t think he was inside where we were in the hall. He wasn’t…
HH: He was in the hall every single day. He sat next to me at my radio station.
TM: No, no. Well, you guys were in the outer perimeter. I was in the hall.
HH: Oh, we came down every day.
TM: In the hall?
HH: Yeah. It’s what those little gold passes were for.
TM: Who had gold pass?
HH: All the radio guys.
TM: Yeah, I knew where you guys were.
HH: But let me ask you about Franken. He’s a little but nutty, isn’t he?
TM: Well, a little nutty.
HH: But Al Franken’s really out there, isn’t he?
TM: I love Al Franken.
HH: I know you love Al Franken.
TM: I did his radio show yesterday.
HH: You were the last one. It’s gone today.
TM: Is that true?
HH: Yeah, he’s doomed. He’s like the DNC, Terry.
TM: It’s off the air today?
HH: He quit today.
TM: I didn’t know that. (talking to assistant) Al Franken just quit.
HH: Yeah. What do you think about that?
TM: Well, you know, I’ve got a piece of history.
HH: You killed his show.
TM: This is like the grand jury standing ovation.
HH: You did for him what you did for Al Gore. You killed him.
TM: No, but I think he’s actually running for the Minnesota Senate seat.
HH: I know, but you killed him just as dead as you killed Al Gore.
TM: I didn’t kill Al gore.
HH: What do you mean? You were the chair of the party when he went down. Did you give him debate advice?
TM: Hughie, Hughie, Hughie, Hughie, you’ve got listeners. Get your facts straight. You just made another incorrect statement. I was not the chairman. Ed Rendell and Joe Andrew.
HH: Oh, you’re right. You were chair of the convention.
HH: Were you chair of the convention.
TM: Apologize for that statement.
HH: Oh, I’m sorry again, Terry.
TM: You are like drunk or something. I think you were with Dick Cheney on that hunting incident.
HH: But I want to know something. Were you the chair of the DNC convention that year?
TM: I was not the chairman. I was the chair of the 2000 convention…
HH: That’s right, that’s right.
TM: …which had the biggest bounce in Democratic Party history.
HH: Did you botch the Clinton walk? You know, when they were supposed to be doing the lower third that was…Barbra Streisand got all upset about? It was all botched up. Was that your fault?
TM: What does that mean, the lower third? I don’t get it.
HH: Oh, never mind. It’s a TV thing.
HH: Was it a good idea, since you’re an expert on conventions…
TM: Yes, sir.
HH: Was it a good idea for Michael Moore to be in the box with Jimmy Carter at Boston in 2004?
HH: Why not?
TM: Just probably wasn’t the image we were trying to portray, and it wasn’t that Jimmy Carter invited him, it was his grandson that invited him.
HH: But what was the image you were trying to purvey?
TM: I just don’t think…you asked if it was a good idea. I’m giving you my opinion. I’d say no.
HH: What do you think about Michael Moore?
TM: I loved the movie.
HH: You did?
TM: I don’t care if you like him, if you think it’s right or wrong. I thought it was an entertaining movie, and if you like it, great, if you don’t, it’s no big deal. It wasn’t that big of a deal. Everybody acted like it was, you know…
HH: Do you think it was truthful?
TM: Parts of it, sure.
HH: Which parts?
TM: Well, I can’t remember the whole movie sitting right here, Hugh.
HH: Do you remember objecting to any part of it?
TM: If it’s not in my book, then it doesn’t matter.
HH: How about the Kos kids. Do they worry you?
TM: The who?
HH: Daily Kos?
TM: What do you mean, worry me?
HH: I mean, are you happy to have them? I mean, they’re vulgar, a little bit stupid, a little bit nutty. Are you happy to have them on your side?
TM: I don’t have…don’t really know, don’t pay any attention to it, so I’m not going to answer something I don’t know anything about.
HH: You don’t pay attention to the blogs?
HH: You don’t read any blogs?
TM: I travel all the time, Hugh. I’m lucky to read two newspapers.
HH: Have you ever heard of a Verizon card?
HH: Do you know what a Verizon card is?
TM: I don’t know what a Verizon card is.
HH: All right, never mind. Let’s go…
TM: Like a Visa card?
HH: No, no, it’s not like a Visa card. I know you know what those are.
TM: I have that. I’ve got…I carry American Express with me, man.
HH: Okay, I want to go back to a couple of parts in this book.
TM: Yeah. I’ve already got two apologies out of you, man. I’m going to make a record today.
HH: Don’t worry. I’ll apologize…I love this book. I want everyone to read this.
HH: I want to talk to you about new media and old, but first, it’s clear you hate Rush Limbaugh.
TM: First off, I don’t hate anybody. Do I dislike? Yes.
TM: Hate’s too strong. My wife doesn’t even allow me to use that, because it’s not good for my children. I’ve got five kids, it’s not good.
HH: But I mean, the equivalent of hatred is in here. Can I read Page 274, which you write about Rush?
TM: Please read the whole thing about the little blue pills.
HH: Okay. “You know you’re doing well when the other side starts ripping you, and I soon became Rush Limbaugh’s obsession. Well, his other obsession beyond the pill popping. He would sputter and snort and whine about Terry McAwful all the time, and that was music to my ears. I knew I was getting to them. If they weren’t attacking you, you weren’t getting under their skin. I used to drive them crazy, and the more they attacked me, the more I enjoyed it. If you’re in this business, and you’re worried about what they’re going to say about you, you’re in the wrong game. And who cares is someone like Rush Limbaugh attacks you? The man is a world class hypocrite, a morally upright commentator who rails against the welfare state, but went on unemployment insurance himself in the 80’s, and was so strung out on oxycontin in 2003, that he lost his hearing and had to quit his job as an ESPN analyst after his clumsy smear against Donovan McNabb, the former Syracuse star. I guess it wasn’t just his hearing he lost. He lost because in 2006, he was busted by airport security for having a bottle of Viagra without a prescription. Hey,…”
HH: “Hey, maybe if this radio thing doesn’t work out, Rush can make a nice living as a TV pitchman for the little blue pill.”
TM: That a baby.
TM: Thank you for reading that, Hugh. That’s one of my best…I mean, I took pride in that one.
HH: And why did you take pride in that?
TM: Because this is a guy…just like I said, he’s a world class hypocrite.
HH: And is…
TM: I mean, just what I…Hugh, read the book.
HH: But this is the two paragraphs that define this book?
TM: You said that. I didn’t say that.
HH: Well, you said you loved this.
TM: I said I loved that passage.
HH: You’re very happy with this?
TM: Every page defines…411 pages, every page is unique and special.
HH: Is addiction a funny thing? Or is it something that you think Rush was faking?
TM: Who knows? Rush Limbaugh is the biggest hypocrite in the world. Who knows what he thinks?
TM: I hope he goes off with his Viagra pills, or whatever else he needs a prescription for, and has a great time. I really could care less.
HH: Now, you didn’t want to…
TM: The guy is a world class hypocrite. Let him take Viagra…I could absolutely care less about Rush Limbaugh.
HH: Earlier, you told me you wanted high school students to read this, that you want them to read this part?
TM: Oh, I think they could handle that one sentence about the little blue pills. I think there’d be no problem.
HH: But you want them to…
TM: I don’t want them reading about your boy, Dick Morris, and Fox TV sucking a prostitute’s toes. I don’t want them reading that in my book, no.
HH: Do you want them to model their engagement with the public from these paragraphs?
TM: What’s that?
HH: Do you want them to model how they engage with the public from these paragraphs?
TM: Let them do whatever they want, Hughie. Read the book and make your opinion.
HH: All right. Let’s get…we’ve only got a few minutes left.
TM: All right.
HH: I want to talk about terrorism now. The first World Trade Center bombing is not mentioned in here. Why not?
TM: Uh, didn’t fit into my story.
HH: You do spend…
TM: It wasn’t impacting something I was involved in any way, shape or form. This is not…
HH: A couple of paragraphs…
TM: This is not, this is not, Hugh, let’s be very clear. This is not the all told story of the eight years of the Clinton presidency or Jimmy Carter. This is a book about my life, the things that had impacts on me.
HH: Well, let’s read from Page 300…
TM: I was not sitting around with Bill Clinton talking about the first World Trade Center bombing. I wasn’t.
HH: Let’s read Page 300 and 301, then.
HH: “This was the day, 9/11, that people in the know had been worrying about for four years. Bill Clinton had talked to me often about the growing danger of a terrorist threat against the United States.” By the way, that’s pre-his resignation, or pre-his retirement. “I had no idea…”
TM: I didn’t say al Qaeda there, not terrorist strike…
HH: “I had no idea who was responsible for this barbaric attack and the death of untold numbers of innocent civilians, but I knew Clinton and Sandy Berger had urged the incoming President Bush to take strong action against a group called al
Qaeda, and that Bush had ignored them. Clinton had lashed out against Osama bin Laden, striking at his base camps in Afghanistan in August of ’98 in retaliation for the African embassy bombings. And cynical Republicans tried to pretend they thought Clinton issued the attack for political purposes, rather than to protect the national interest security of the United States. Now every American understood how much damage terrorists could do to us, ever at home, and understood how right Clinton had been to order those air strikes.” Now you’re very critical of George Bush’s reaction upon assuming the presidency to the threat of terrorism, very.
TM: I say, which I believe is correct, that he did not have one meeting on terrorism, they did not convene a meeting until September 10th.
HH: And so why did the Clinton administration not strike back after the Cole was bombed, and American sailors killed?
TM: I think, and I touch this in the book.
HH: I know.
TM: …is that nobody, and many times, he asked, would Louis Freeh, or the FBI, say unequivocally, yes, they were responsible. As I say in the book, which has been researched and noted appropriately, never would they be given the go ahead that yes, indeed, al Qaeda could be held accountable for this.
HH: So it’s Louis Freeh’s fault?
TM: It’s the FBI…whoever’s fault you want to say, it is common knowledge today, Hugh, that they would not give the President, the FBI would not say unequivocally that they were responsible. You just can’t start launching bombs against people unless you intelligence and your FBI concur that these are the people responsible. He was never given that. Louis Freeh does not deny that to this day.
HH: Have you read The Looming Tower?
TM: I have not read The Looming Tower.
HH: Have you heard of it?
TM: Yeah, I’ve heard of it.
HH: And what do you hear about it?
TM: I just heard it’s a book out, and deals with the issues of terrorism.
HH: Have you read any books about terrorism.
TM: In fact, I have sitting right on my desk right now, Fiasco.
HH: That’s not about terrorism, that’s about the invasion of Iraq.
TM: Well, it talks about all the terrorists.
HH: Terry, how about al Qaeda? You do any reading out there to inform your worldview about this?
TM: What do you want me to read? I read the papers every day.
HH: I don’t know. You wrote a lot about how great President Clinton was on terrorism, and how bad Bush is, so I thought maybe you had some book learning behind that.
TM: Don’t have to do that. All you’ve got to do is read any newspaper today, or any day, and it’ll give you a full analysis of what’s happening in the country. That’s not that complicated, Hughie.
HH: Okay.(laughing) I just love that. Let me just ask you a couple more questions about…
TM: Quick, you’ve got 2:00, and I’ve got one call right behind you here.
HH: Last call, then.
TM: Okay. Last question, not call.
HH: Last question.
TM: Geez, I’m telling you. You’ve got to knock off the booze at lunch.
HH: And do you expect Mrs. Clinton will have the same success of Al Gore and John Kerry? Or will she have a better team than they did? And who, specifically, would you not have near her? Bob Schrum?
TM: You know, if you read my book, I’m not of the nature of singling out people. Will she have a better team? Yes. I promise you this, Hughie. She will not be swift boated. John Kerry should have responded immediately. I can promise you that. John Kerry, as you know, went to Vietnam twice, killed people, people shot at him. George Bush was roaming around the hog fields of Alabama, drinking beer, got nothing against…however, his commander says he never saw him. Now I promise you, that’s not going to happen to the Hillary Clinton campaign. You hit us, we’re going to hit you back harder.
HH: Yeah, I know, just like Jeb Bush was going to lose in ’98. Will you do me a favor? Repeat after me…
TM: What do you mean Jeb was going to lose in ’98?
HH: You said it, not me.
TM: Hughie, will you get your facts right.
TM: Yes, you’re four years off.
HH: You didn’t predict he was going to lose in ’98?
TM: I mean, it’s like you don’t read anything.
HH: Oh, I read this book.
TM: Or you’re drunk or something. I mean, you’re four years off. Get your facts straight.
HH: I think what’s wrong with me is I read this book.
TM: It was not 1998.
HH: Would you do me a favor?
HH: Just repeat after me. I’m Terry McAuliffe, and you should listen to the Hugh Hewitt Show every day.
TM: I’m Terry McAuliffe, and you should listen to the Hugh Hewitt Show every single day, the greatest radio show in the United States of America.
HH: See? That’s how you sold Bill Clinton. People might actually believe you.
TM: Good. They did the last time.
HH: The book is What A Party by Terry McAuliffe. Always a pleasure.
TM: Hughie, we love you, you right wing whack.
HH: Take care, my friend.
TM: Bye, bye.
End of interview.