"CARLSON: I'm struck, whether you are or whether you're not, by the response of some of your fellow Democrats. Not nice. I want to read you a quote from Tom Daschle. He said this on CNN the other day.
He said, "Springer wouldn't be my first choice for Senate. I understand he was a mayor at one point, but I think we can do a lot better than that, and I'm sure Ohio will." Keep in mind this is a man for whom Bob Torricelli was good enough. How does that make you feel?
SPRINGER: Yes. Well, he may be right. And if we can find someone in Ohio in the Democratic Party that will espouse the point of view from millions of people that are not heard in government, then that's great.
I don't need the job. I'm happy where I am. I have a good life. Being a United States senator isn't going to make me rich. It isn't going to make me famous. I honestly care about certain things. And if no one else is going to run and represent that point of view then I'll do it. That's the point.
I hope one day Tom Daschle will get to like and respect me. But if he doesn't that's not my problem."
CARLSON: Your biography is important to any run that you might begin. That is not the correct float, but I'm going to read you some of the topics on your show.
"My Boyfriend is a Girl," "Your Lover is Mine," "Mistresses Attack!" "My Brother is my Lover!" "I Didn't Know My Fiancee is a Stripper," "What I Did For Revenge," and, of course, "Police Psychics Look For Missing Children."
Look, the point is, you probably know a lot about transgender issues, but I think the average voter is going to say, what else do you know about and why should I know you believe much about it at all?
SPRING: That's a fair question. That's fair. And if I am not able during a campaign, if I decide to run, if I am not able to convey a point of view that relates and touches the people in that community and the state and express a point of view that they want to spouse, if I'm not able to do it then I shouldn't be elected. If people are voting just on the show, I should get no votes. That's going to depend on how good a candidate I am.
CARLSON: Isn't there a knowledge question at some point. People are going to say, Look, if you haven't been in politics in 20-odd years how do you know for instance how to run a government?
SPRINGER: Well, you know what, if that's right it's going to be so obvious during the course of the campaign. But I am prepared to discuss the issues as they relate to the people of Ohio. They're going to judge. That's what this whole system is about.
This isn't about a reward for Jerry Springer. Who the hell cares whether Jerry Springer gets a job or not? That isn't about me. Our country is in trouble. And there are people that think our politics is a bunch of crap, to be honest. They don't think the government relates to them at all.
On these Sunday morning talk shows all these wonderful educated people sit around and they smugly make jokes and talk about how wonderful life is for them. And middle America -- people wonder why no one watches those shows. Why great mass of Americans don't. It doesn't relate to them.
How many years, ever since I was a child people have been talking about, by God our government, we're going to have health insurance for all our citizens. They still can't get it done.
Why doesn't America go on strike and say, Damn it, you have four years to give every American health insurance or you're out of office. We're going to fire all of you. Democrat, republican, we'll just fire you. Why can't they get that done? That's their job."
"SPRINGER: The point is I have a stupid show. It's a stupid show. I know it. Who am I kidding?
BEGALA: We like stupid shows here. This is CROSSFIRE.
SPRINGER: It is. You know, I know it. And I have always said it. You know, it is.
And you know what? I enjoy doing it. Obviously people must enjoy the show, otherwise it wouldn't be on for 12 years. It's a show. It's a show.
But we're talking about going to war. We're talking about the economy, which is an absolute chaos. We're talking about people not having health insurance. I mean serious, serious things. Who cares about the stupid show?
I'll make a deal. You don't go to war, I'll stop the show."
"CARLSON: The question is, "Which party is better at ensuring the safety of the United States?" Republicans, 47, Democrats 16. A spread of 31 points.
CARLSON: Next poll. "Which party is better at keeping America strong?" Republicans 50, Democrats 22. So I guess the point -- or the question I'd ask you is, does the Democratic Party really hope to win on economic issues when there's a 30-point spread on the basic issue of foreign policy, defense and security?
SPRINGER: Why is everything always Republican-Democrat?
CARLSON: Well it's an interesting question.
SPRINGER: I know. I'm not saying you can't ask what questions you want. But I guess my answer is, that is part of the reason why so much of America thinks this is all a bunch of crock of steam.
CARLSON: No, but wait a second. It's not just parties. It's world views.
SPRINGER: Right now...
CARLSON: Wait, hold on. It's not just Democrats and Republicans. It's two different ways of looking at the world. And the American people are making a statement about which one they prefer.
SPRINGER: OK. Well, in fairness on the defense -- and I'm not saying that there wouldn't be more people favoring the Republicans than the Democrats. But let's be honest. The Republicans are the administration in power right now. You know it's Donald Rumsfeld that is holding the press conference every day.
It's Colin Powell that's out there. It's the president that's giving the State of the Union speech on our defense. So let's be honest. Obviously people are going to think that they're talking about it. They're not going to find some congressman in Oklahoma that has suddenly...
CARLSON: Or in Baghdad.
SPRINGER: So that's the reason. So those polls don't mean -- those polls don't mean anything. I'll tell you what. If we are mired in a horrible war which we can't get out of, if there is a -- if there are a lot of terrorist acts here in the United States, if the economy is going down the tubes, it doesn't -- Bush is going to lose.
If the economy is in good shape and we're out of Iraq and we're not having a lot of terrorist activity, then no Democrat is going to beat Bush. I mean that's the reality. Every presidential election is a referendum on the person currently in office on the administration. Every one of them.
And if the country's in good shape, Bush will win. If the country is in bad shape, Bush will lose."
"SPRINGER: I love the part of the tax cuts that go to middle and lower income Americans. What I find offensive, it's giving someone like me a tax cut. Here's what's wrong with it.
COULTER: We don't want to give you a tax cut.
SPRINGER: You sure do. Well, maybe -- but boy, here's what's wrong with that system. The idea of -- the alleged idea of giving the tax cut is if you give people back more money, then they're going to spend it and it will juice up the economy. That makes sense.
But why give a wealthy person the tax cut? Do you think if you're giving a wealthy person a tax cut that therefore they can now afford to buy things? They're already rich. So you don't have to give us a tax cut.
CARLSON: But Jerry, I think it takes place on a deeper level than simply retail sales.
SPRINGER: No, no, no.
CARLSON: Of course it does. It's not simply you're going to...
SPRINGER: Take the money -- take the money that -- the part of the Bush proposal that gives money back to families at middle and lower income, great. But you take the part of the tax cut that goes to people that make a lot of money, and do you know what, use that money to subsidize health insurance for those people in America that don't have it. That would make more sense."
"CARLSON: Well Jerry, one thing you do know indisputably know a lot about and are obviously very good at is television. And I'm wondering why the network newscasts have been losing their audience share consistently over the past 10 years, while shows like "American Idol" and other vulgar displays have been gaining. Wondering what the news -- I'm interested.
What do you think? If you were a producer of a network newscast, what would you do to get more viewers?
SPRINGER: I think if you're in news you shouldn't be worried about getting a lot of viewers. You should be doing the public service.
SPRINGER: You know...
COULTER: Coming from you?
SPRINGER: Yes. Right. I mean, when you're in entertainment -- I mean, you know, as I said, I do a silly show. When you do entertainment, you're selling a product. You want viewers. That's your job.
When you're doing news, that's a public service. And I think television news ought to be there. And on a lot of nights, people aren't going to tune in. But when there's something very important going on in the world, they'll tune in.
And I think the networks ought to understand that and stop trying to trivialize news. That's why news isn't so good anymore. It's because news is trying to compete with show business. They have more and more show biz things on and all that stuff. They shouldn't.
Leave the entertainment to schlockmeisters like me or whatever. That's entertainment. Now let news be serious."
Wow. I knew from seeing some interviews in the past that he had a much better head on his sholders than he's given credit for, but to me that's downright impressive. In my opinion we could use a lot more folks like this in professional politics. Unfortunately it takes someone already rich or famous like Springer to pull off a "tell the truth and try and get things done" campaign strategy these days. At the very least he'd have national attention for getting his views heard.