Late Night Cat Fight

J$P Instant Transcript! Susan Estrich and Ann Coulter

From At Large with Geraldo Rivera August 28, 2004:

GERALDO RIVERA: So, politics as usual?

SUSAN ESTRICH: Oh, the worst Geraldo. You know, I thought I'd seen bad politics. I thought I'd seen smear politics. I thought I'd seen it at its worst. But I hadn't. This is worse than I could have ever imagined. I just think this is gutter politics, gutter politics at its worst.

RIVERA: Mademoiselle?

ANN COULTER: I assume she's talking about Kerry's attacks on his fellow veterans when he came back from the war...

ESTRICH: NO, I am not Ann!

COULTER: ...and called them baby killers and implied that when he picked up Jim Rassman, you know, the other swift boat veterans were going to leave Jim Rassman behind, even though...

ESTRICH: No that's not what I was talking about.

COULTER: ...there's all these other putt-putts floating around there. But he's suggesting that the rest of his men were going to leave him behind. So yeah, I mean, Kerry really stepped in it. He brought it up and now we have 264 swift boat veterans who remember it differently.

ESTRICH: I think it's the most disgusting thing Geraldo. Look, you got one guy who didn't serve. I don't know if you saw the recent Ben Barnes video that just came out, the Lt Governor from Texas, who says when he walks and sees those names on the wall, he remembers...

RIVERA: The guy who got Bush into the National Guard?

ESTRICH: ...I cannot imagine any of my Democratic friends forming a group of families whose kids died because George W Bush didn't serve in the war. I just can't imagine us doing it. We don't play that way. And yet here are these guys. We have a war hero on the one side and a guy who's a draft dodger on the other side. And here are these guys who put up this sham group and front, have been running a campaign that's in the gutter. Does it work? You know better, Geraldo. This kind of stuff always works. And it did. And Kerry was slow...

COULTER: Are you calling Bush the "draft dodger" here?

ESTRICH: Yeah. Yeah.

COULTER: I think that's part of what the swift boat veterans were getting a little testy about. Kerry's running his entire campaign on the basis of...

ESTRICH: We didn't call him a draft dodger.

COULTER: Well Kerry did.


COULTER: And he's running his entire campaign on the basis of what he did 35 years ago.

ESTRICH: No we aren't. We're running about the future.

COULTER: And like I say, 264 remember 35 year old events differently.

RIVERA: What does it do to the...

COULTER: Kerry only has 14 on his side.

ESTRICH: Look, what does it have to do with the price of tea in China, Ann? The future...

COULTER: Why did Kerry raise it? That's the only thing he's running on.

ESTRICH: He didn't raise it. You guys...

COULTER: And it turns out when he was over there he fled combat, he lied about what he did...

ESTRICH: That's wrong.

COULTER: ...he now has admitted that he lied when he was arguing against aid to...


COULTER: ...the contras, and said that it was seared into his memory that he was in Cambodia. OK, he lied about that. He lied about the wounds--he's now admitting that maybe the first Purple Heart was self-inflicted, as we know from his own diary.

ESTRICH: No, he never said that. See, this is what the game is. I mean, this is just a, we got people in this...

COULTER: No, his campaign did have to admit that.

ESTRICH: No, that's wrong Ann.

COULTER: No, it is true, because in his diary he admitted ten days later, and this is the diary everyone is relying on, that they had not come under enemy fire yet. If he wasn't under enemy fire...

RIVERA: Where do we go? Where do we go? Are we going to start [unintellible] people's mothers? I mean, where do we go from here?

ESTRICH: where are you going to stop?

COULTER: Wait, you think this is like an Anita Hill type charge?

RIVERA: No, believe me, is the same as the swift boat vets. I don't think there's any difference. I think that you start to...

COULTER: Who raised this issue?

RIVERA: But the swift boat...I, I...

COULTER: The man who stood up at the Democratic National Convention and said, "Reporting for Duty"? The man who had his Viet...

ESTRICH: But what has that got to do with attacking George Bush?

COULTER: ...the man who had his band of brothers talking about what a hero he was? He's the one who's running on being a war hero.

RIVERA: I get very queasy. People stay home...

COULTER: His daughter said at the convention, my Dad actually is a hero. No, this is what the guy is running on, and you think this can't be contested?

ESTRICH: Who did he attack? Who started this attacking business? This is just, this is why people...

COULTER: Yeah, John Kerry.

ESTRICH: Can I finish? Can I finish?

COULTER: And your people called him a draft, called Bush a draft dodger.

RIVERA: You take 20 seconds, and you take 20 seconds.

ESTRICH: This is why people hate, hate politics, and I agree with them.

COULTER: This is why I love it.

ESTRICH: Let me finish my 20 seconds Ann, and stop it. People in this country have got real problems, and they want to hear somebody talk about them. I have been in this town now 24 hours, and I have not heard one Republican talk about one issue other than swift boats.

COULTER: OK, your time is up, now I talk. If you want someone to deal with your problems, I would think that the character of that individual would be important. If what the swift boat veterans say is true, you are talking about someone who makes Bill Clinton look like a man with character. This is just... [hard break]

posted: Sun - August 29, 2004 at 01:11 AM       j$p  send