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GLENN BECK

Fiscal Tsunami; Is McCain the Man?; Was Hillary`s Crying Jag Sincere?; Bush Travels to Middle East for Peace Effort; Denver School District Considers Maternity Leave for Teens

Aired January 8, 2008 - 19:00:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, with the pressure mounting Hillary begins to crack.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to reverse it, and some people think elections are a game.

BECK: But are the tears real or just a calculated campaign move? I`ll explain.

Plus, President Bush heads to Israel with Iran at the top of the agenda, how our closest ally in the Middle East protects itself from Iran`s terror machine?

And is McCain just the flavor of the month for the GOP? Or does he have a legitimate shot at the White House, again.

All this and more, tonight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BECK: Well, hello, America. The big news from New Hampshire tonight is it cries.

After spending decades stripping all trace of emotion, femininity and humanity, Hillary Clinton actually broke down and actually cried yesterday on the campaign trail. So, I guess here`s "The Point" tonight.

I don`t buy the hype of the tears. I don`t think you should, either. Apparently, Hillary Clinton isn`t just running for president, but she`s also making the run for the best actress nomination. And here`s how I got there.

Believe me, I know what it`s like to get caught off guard and break down occasionally. I mean, I cry on this freaking show like every ten minutes, so don`t get me wrong here. I get it. And I appreciate somebody who can cry. But I`m a big sissy in a purple shirt, and I`m not running for the leader of the free world. You know what I`m saying?

Let`s a take minute here just to look at the Hillary episode where she was responding to the question how do you do it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don`t want to see us fall backwards.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Is it just me? Because I just don`t buy any of her bull crap anyway. I just -- wow. You might want to go grab the tissue if you need one, because the waterworks is just beginning. The tough-as-nails attorney and political animal tried to choke back the tears and dig deep for the words, and she offered this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: This is very personal for me. It`s not just political. It`s just not public. I see what`s happening. And we have to reverse it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: OK, that part I was OK with. But then she went into, and you know, some just people aren`t prepared. And it just seemed like more of the same old-same old.

Hillary, we see what`s happening here. You`re losing, and this is some sort of bizarre, last-ditch strategy to ingratiate you with women, maybe? Or make you seem less like the Terminator? I mean, I`ve -- I wouldn`t put it past you to have your eye fall out and this little red light coming out of your eye socket. I`m just saying.

For those -- for those of you who thought those tears were for our country, I think you`re mistaken there. Maybe, I think, if the tears were real, they were just because of the grind that she is under right now.

Look, I was just on a two-week book tour and a stage show, and it exhausted me. I can only imagine what it`s like campaigning for president of the United States for two solid years. It`s got to be tough.

But here`s the thing you have to never forget: you`re running for the president of the United States. And while that is certainly hard, it`s a day at the beach with an ice cream cone compared to actually being the president.

So America, here`s what you need to know tonight. In the movie "A League of Their Own," Tom Hanks said, "There`s no crying in baseball." I think that should go for politics, as well.

The war in Iraq, the terrorist threat of Iran, rampant illegal immigration and the economy hovering on the brink of collapse. Our next president`s going to have tackle all of these issues on day one. If the emotional strain is too much to bear on the way to Oval Office, how can we expect Hillary to handle it once she`s sitting behind that big desk?

A stunt like this ended Muskie`s career back in `72. And I don`t honestly have a problem with people crying. I just have respect for an honest show of emotion, and I`m not sure that`s what this was. That`s the thing, honest and appropriate.

Joining me now is Greg Hartley. He is a body language expert.

Greg, your gut, when you first saw this, you said, you don`t buy it either. Then you went and looked at it.

GREGG HARTLEY, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Yes. Honestly, you know, I heard "I`m tired of this." And as I said to someone earlier, yes, she`s tired of an election, like a shark`s tired of bloody water.

BECK: Right.

HARTLEY: So as you look at her, in the beginning I didn`t buy it. I said, OK, she`s just playing another stunt.

As I watched it more, I started to notice that her body language actually curls down and to the right, if you notice in that video tape. You`ll see her eyes curling down and to her right and her body actually curving. That`s a pretty good indicator someone`s showing genuine emotion.

BECK: OK. But do you know what the emotion -- I mean, can you tell just by watching this, what the emotion is?

HARTLEY: Oh, yes.

BECK: Because I believe the emotion was real, believe it or not. I just think she`s just tired.

HARTLEY: Well, see, I agree that it`s difficult to tell what someone`s emotion is concerning in this case. If you follow the video out and you watch her eyes as she starts to say, "I believe that some of us are prepared and some of us are not prepared." She clearly then pronounces with body language what she`s talking about. Her eyes turn down and to the right. And she shows what is the most emotional point for her.

So yes, she is emotional -- what she`s feeling.

BECK: Why down and to the right? Why does that make any difference?

HARTLEY: Well, what we discovered is when you`re -- what I interpret as a personal struggle (ph) and you find that people`s eyes drift down and to their right when they`re feeling emotional.

Anyone sitting listening to this can remember the last time you were at a funeral or think of something that is very emotional for you, and you`ll find your eyes drifting down to the right. And as you drift that 13 pounds of dead weight over to the right, your body curves to match it.

BECK: OK, you`re the one that said that it was 13 pounds of dead weight. Not me. I just want to make that very clear, America.

OK. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time.

Let me go now to Jonathan Allen. He is a reporter with the "Congressional Quarterly" and a Republican strategist. Also with him is Andrea Tantaros.

Andrea, let me start with you. Here`s where I have a hard time with her emotion being real. She was just at a funeral of a very long-term friend, and it was -- there was no emotion. She is a woman who is in control of her emotions. And now, we see it here on the campaign trail.

ANDREA TANTAROS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it speaks to her priorities. You know, her best friend`s funeral, and she`s stoic. She doesn`t flinch; her eyes don`t even well up.

But now, we`re talking about the potential end of her career and the Clinton legacy, and that brings her to tears. I mean, I do agree she was tired. She`s exhausted. The boys are ganging up on her.

But when she didn`t want to see us fall backwards, she means her and Bill.

BECK: OK.

TANTAROS: It`s her time, in her mind. She`s saying not now. Not this way.

BECK: Jonathan, I want to make this really clear here, because I really don`t have a problem if anybody is crying. If you -- because I love this country with everything in me. And I have no problem with anybody who disagrees with policies with me. They can love the country so much. And this -- thinking about this country and wanting to fight for this country, has made me tear up, as well.

Is it a bad thing to cry? Is it -- are we still back in 1972 with Muskie, where it`s a bad thing for a candidate to cry? If it`s genuine.

JONATHAN ALLEN, "CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY": I think we`re in a different -- I think we`re in a different place now. I think that it`s possibly all right for a candidate to cry if it`s genuine.

Of course, people have different interpretations of what Hillary Clinton did. You were saying on the top that you felt like it may have been manufactured. You`ve seen it before. Then you have the body language guy come in and say, you know, that it`s not that way; in fact it`s genuine.

I think people who like her will interpret it as genuine emotion. Finally, she`s showing some of that. People who hate her will interpret it as calculating. And there may some little movement in the middle somewhere.

BECK: That is the problem, really, in a way with Clintons. And it says an awful lot about Barack Obama. Most people don`t even know who Barack Obama is as far as what he really, truly believes. He`s almost an empty vessel.

Where she`s the opposite of that, where you look at Hillary Clinton and you`ve already made up your mind on her. You know who she is. Whether you like her or hate her, you know who she is. And there`s not a lot that will change that.

ALLEN: It`s certainly hard for her to move. I mean, I`m up here in New Hampshire. We`re watching this race. It looks like she`s in quicksand. She does nothing against Barack Obama, she sinks slowly. If she starts fighting against him and attacking him -- he`s very popular -- she starts sinking more quickly.

And she`s looking for a branch right now. That branch may be February 5th with the Super Tuesday, could involve a campaign shakeup, perhaps. But she`s looking for something to change the paradigms, to change the situation she`s in.

BECK: So Andrea, why not punch at Obama?

TANTAROS: Because it makes her look harsh. I mean, look, her campaign...

BECK: Is that just because she`s a woman? Could a guy punch Obama and not look harsh?

TANTAROS: I think so. I absolutely think so. For some reason when she does it, she ends up looking very shrill and very angry. And he looks like this happy warrior, compared to her attacking and a campaign of doom and gloom and the world is going in a bad direction. And George Bush is ruining our country. I mean, she really -- people don`t want doom and gloom. They want a positive message. And she`s not delivering one.

BECK: Do you think, Andrea, that anyone can hit at Barack Obama.

I mean, I think take ideology out of it. You have to be very clear on this. Ideologically, he is the opposite of Ronald Reagan, but his message of hope and we`re better than this and everything else, it`s the same kind of field that Ronald Reagan had. Is there anybody that can take and challenge Barack Obama, as this campaign continues, and win?

TANTAROS: Well, Glenn, hope is not going to balance the budget. And all of his rhetoric is not going to solve all the problems

BECK: I`m not talking about policies. I`m not talking about policies. I`m talking about playing the game. You`ve got Hillary Clinton, one of the most astute political players out there. She`s unwilling to touch him, and she needs to touch him. She needs to challenge. And she can`t. Is there anybody out there that can?

TANTAROS: Absolutely. The Republicans should challenge him on the issues. They challenge him on his very liberal record. I mean, all they have to do is say, Obama`s going to come in and raise your taxes, which he is. He`s going to immediately bring the troops home, which is not going to be popular with a large part of the electorate.

I mean, they really have to dig into his record and see that -- sift beyond this rhetoric of hope and really get into meat of what he stands for and what he will do, where the policies are.

BECK: Jonathan, let me real quick -- have you seen a candidate get this far as Obama has and not be really tested? And he`s really not been pushed yet at all.

ALLEN: Well, he certainly benefited a little bit from, from the way that he`s come up. You know, he was able to -- I like to think it as drafting, like a bicycle racer or a NASCAR driver.

BECK: Yes.

ALLEN: Staying just behind Hillary Clinton in Iowa and in national polls and letting her take all the brunt of the wind. And then he kind of just zoomed around her in Iowa, and he`s still got momentum now. The question is, will he end up getting the same kind of headwind that Hillary Clinton got?

BECK: All right, Jonathan, Andrea, thank you very much.

Coming up, will the real John McCain please stand up? Is it McCain- Kennedy, McCain-Feingold, or is he conservative? I have no idea who this man is, but he`s gaining momentum in New Hampshire. What that means later on in the program.

And the president`s departed for the Middle East, while an American member of al Qaeda promises a less than cordial welcome. Is our president in danger in the next couple of days, and what is he trying to do over in the Middle East? Find out next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Well, the president leaves for the Middle East tonight. Some feel that President Bush is looking to repair his image, much the way Bill Clinton tried to repair his image in the 11th hour with his Middle East peace deal back in 2000. And it sure worked, huh?

Will it work for George W. Bush? Well, it probably doesn`t help that so many in the region consider him a warmonger, hell-bent on establishing Israeli dominance.

Also, not everybody in the Middle East is going to be thrilled at the sight of Air Force One. You remember that American al Qaeda guy has warned that President Bush shouldn`t exactly be expecting a fruit basket from them in his hotel room.

Is he in danger? Is this trip for Bush too little, too late? Or little more than a PR move aimed at shoring up his legacy?

Dori Gold is the former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. and president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and author of "The Fight for Jerusalem." And Bob Baer is a regular on the program. He`s an intelligence columnist for TIME.com. He`s got a great story on Iran online at TIME.com right now.

Bob, let me start with you. First, yes or no, is the president in much danger over there?

BOB BAER, COLUMNIST, TIME.COM: No, I don`t think so. I mean, his security`s fabulous everywhere he`s going.

BECK: Yes, OK. So, the NIE report that said basically we`re wrong and Iran really has no -- you know, they have no facilities. They`re not doing anything really bad. That has really been turned around. And now, is this trip a change in tactic because of that NIE report?

BAER: Absolutely. I think we have to look at the NIE as Iran is off the table. This country is not going to hit Iran during this administration.

BECK: Bob, you and I have talked about this before. That`s a huge change, is it not?

BAER: It`s a huge change, because it signaled to the Iranians, go ahead, have a field day. Take what you want, do what you want in the gulf. But it is a huge turn turnaround.

BECK: And Dori, this is -- it has taken our credibility away. It has given credibility in the Middle East and the rest of the world to Iran, and nobody was talking about why Iran stopped their program. It was from our pressure, wasn`t it? Wasn`t it? And now, isn`t that pressure completely off them?

DORI GOLD, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Well, there`s a sentence in the NIE report that indicates there was some kind of pressure in 2003.

I happen to think that what`s more likely is that around the end of 2002 the Iranians understood that western agencies had penetrated their program. So they decided to close it down and move it to other locations. The Israeli assumption is that what has closed down has been resumed, and that has been stated by Israel`s defense minister, Ehud Barak, on the record.

BECK: OK. So Bob, what are the -- what are the odds that you think that the NIE is just wrong, that this report was wrong and has caused us much more problems down the road?

BAER: I`d feel a lot better if Iranians opened all of their facilities to inspection and if they really did stop, that they`ve got more to hide. So they should open. And I think, what they have going is a parallel program.

But, Glenn, it`s -- we`re missing the point here. It`s Iranian ground forces in the Gulf, the threat to the Gulf Arabs, the threat to Iraq. They can afford to postpone developing a bomb. I don`t think they have postponed it. But I think they can afford it, simply because they are after our forces, the most predominant military force in the region.

BECK: Is this why, that the Saudis are building a -- call me crazy -- a fence on their border? I mean, you just see the way the rest of the Middle East is positioning themselves. They are afraid of Iran, and if they`re not, they`re playing kissy-face with them right now.

BAER: The Iranians are sending envoys to Riyadh and vice versa every day. Ahmadinejad has proposed a pact the equivalent of NATO to the Arabs. The Arabs are quaking. The 800-pound gorilla is out of the closet.

BECK: So Dori, every president, I mean every president since I was a kid, has gone over in the last year of the presidency and said, "OK, let`s do a Middle East peace deal." It never, ever works. Why?

GOLD: Well, you can`t do these things at the last minute. But I don`t think President Bush had real options earlier. I remember when he sent General Zinni here to push the negotiations forward. And you know, we had bombs going off in Jerusalem just a few dozen meters from here. The situation wasn`t right.

But I`d just like to pick up on the NIE for a minute. When the president convened at that Annapolis conference in 2007, with the Arabs and with Israel on November 27, 2007, the umbrella under which everybody came was America is the leader containing Iranian expansionism.

Once the NIE came out, that umbrella folded. And I think Robert Baer`s right. I think the Saudis, the Egyptians are all now scrambling for new diplomatic contacts with Iran. It`s going to be much harder for the president to utilize the shared threat of Iran to bring the Israelis and the Arabs together.

BECK: Bob, I`ve only got 30 seconds. Can you tell me what that skirmish was on the Strait of Hormuz the last couple of days, with Iran? What are they doing, when they`re threatening our naval warships?

BAER: It`s the carrot in the stick. They`re helping in Iraq for the moment, and they`re also threatening our dominance in the Gulf today. They want us to come to them, hat in hand.

BECK: OK. Guys, thanks a lot. Best of luck.

Coming up, maternity leave for pregnant teens? Welcome to America 2008. A Denver high school is considering that option. And guys, you know, while you`re at, why not just a baby shower in the cafeteria, because nothing says congratulations like a plate full of tater tots. The story is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Well, most experts will agree that maternity is a good thing. Mother and child should bond as closely as possible in the weeks following childbirth. But what happens if Mom happens to be a child herself? That is the question now, believe it or not, that one school district in Denver is dealing with, as expectants mom are now demanding maternity leave.

Jerry Yager is a clinical psychologist, executive director of the Denver Children`s Home.

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. I don`t even know where to begin on this one. Gosh, I want Mom and -- Mom and child to be together. But, really, we want to normalize this even more and let them have maternity leave?

JERRY YAGER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DENVER CHILDREN`S HOME: Well, you know, I think the discussion about maternity leave, has to put into the context of this is a young lady who clearly wants to continue her education and has to be a mom. So...

BECK: Well, hang on just a second. No, she doesn`t have to be a mom. She could clearly adopt that child off, and the child would have a much better chance of survival, if that child was adopted out. So I don`t buy - - I don`t buy into the theory that she has to be a mom.

YAGER: Well, you know, I think that that`s certainly an option for the mom. But if she has chooses to be a mom, it`s very important that there`s some counseling to help her to manage both of these situations.

Because what we know is, is that teen moms one, are at high risk for dropping out of school. So we don`t want her dropping out of school. On the other hand, we also know that infants born to teen moms are at high risk for low birth weights and other problems.

So we want to make sure that both the educational needs of this child are taken care of and the issues of this infant.

BECK: I have to tell you, Jerry, see I may sound like I have absolutely no compassion at all, but it is because one of my children is adopted and adopted from a teen hero, a girl who was in a bad situation and decided not to compound that situation by holding onto that child.

And I was just with my wife over the weekend. And I looked at my son, and I said, "Can you even imagine the life that that kid would have had?" I mean, the opportunity that his mother gave him by giving him up for adoption.

Are there no consequences in our society anymore? Is it -- is it all about the teen mom wants to do and not what`s best for the child?

YAGER: Well, I -- I think that adoption is -- is an option. And that that`s this family, this mother has to kind of weigh out. But, the -- I think the important thing is, there`s always consequences.

BECK: There`s not. I mean, we`re talking about maternity leave. And there`s a waiting list now in Denver for Single Mom High. I mean, first of all, in Denver, 55 girls out every 1,000 are pregnant. In the suburbs it`s 24 out of every 1,000. It`s one of the highest rates in the country. What the heck is going on in Denver?

YAGER: Well, it`s this mile-high air, I would assume, that we`re dealing with.

But you know, I think that the issue really is, is at this point, we`re dealing with a young lady who has a child and needs to be counseled around what her options are.

BECK: OK.

YAGER: But her education is also very important. Because, what we don`t want is to for her to end up on a welfare system.

BECK: Back in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Well, will early momentum carry John McCain to the White House, or will his true political colors be, I would say exposed, but at least remembered? Can anybody say McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain- Lieberman? We`ll look at the odds of going the distance, coming up in just a second.

But first, welcome to "The Real Story."

If you name any of the real big threats that our nation faces, you are bound to find a large number of respected people who will argue that it`s really no big deal. There is one exception to this, one scenario that we face as a nation that virtually every expert agrees could bring America to its knees. And it ain`t global warming.

The "Real Story" is this scenario is already playing out. And no one from the political realm wants to address it. Tonight, we`re going to.

One week ago today, the first baby boomers became eligible for early retirement under Social Security. Hang on. Stay with me for just a second.

Over the next 20 years, another 78 million Americans will join them. The result is that every single household in America, your home, now essentially owes our U.S. government over $400,000 each.

That`s just to finance those two programs. What, you don`t have $400,000 in cash sitting around? Yes, me neither. You`re not really alone. And that`s the problem, our country is technically bankrupt.

Politicians try to confuse you with all these sorts of complicated numbers and formulas about our financial future. Hold on. You really don`t have to worry about. But it`s very simple.

The government works like your house works. Our government has promised far more than money it actually has or probably ever will have. "USA Today" has calculated that we would need to stash away $58 trillion -- that`s with a "T" -- $58 trillion right now in order to generate enough interest to pay for future obligations.

You may or may not have heard that our current investments total approximately zero dollars, because unlike Al Gore`s stump speech a few years ago, there is no lock box. There`s no dollars hid away anywhere.

Now, I am probably a lot like when you comes to this stuff. I mean, it puts me to sleep like that. But what woke me up was in a book that I was reading, I found something called "The Menu of Delayed Pain." I want to show it to you.

This basically shows the options that we have to pay for our future debts. For example, if we acted back in 2003, we could fixed everything by raising payroll taxes by 95 percent. Sure, not pretty, right?

But now in 2008, because of compounding interest on money we already owe, we have to raise them by 103 percent. And the other options you see there in the right-hand column aren`t much better, unless you happen to be -- you know, enjoying paying 74 percent more in federal income tax.

Unfortunately, the American people never got to see those numbers because they were pulled out of the 2004 budget, just a few days after then- Treasury Secretary Paul O`Neill, who had ordered the analysis, was fired. And why were they pulled?

To me, it`s simple. Because our leaders in both parties believe we can`t handle the truth. Well, you know what? They`re wrong. What we can`t handle and must demand stop are the leaders who refuse to tell us the truth.

So, tonight, I want to introduce you to somebody who`s completely different. Somebody who has no political stake in this game. He is not about left or right. He is not about anything, you know, Democrat or Republican. He is about right or wrong.

He is the head of the Government Accountability Office, the GAO, which makes him our nation`s top accountant. And while it is very atypical for someone in his position to speak out on stuff like this, he has finally come to the place where he says enough is enough, and he is bringing his wake-up call directly to you.

Comptroller General David Walker, welcome to the program, sir. It is really truly an honor to have you on, because you are one of the few brave people that will tell the American people the truth.

First of all, I want to make it clear, you were nominated to your position. You were put into your position by Bill Clinton. It`s a 15-year term, so you`re almost a Supreme Court justice in that way. You have got nothing to lose here.

DAVID WALKER, COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Glenn, I`m in a professional position, not a political position.

BECK: Got it.

WALKER: I`m a Reagan, Bush 41, and Clinton presidential appointee, each time confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

BECK: OK. Let`s just give a quick thumbnail of what is coming our way. You say by 2040, what`s going to happen?

WALKER: Well, by 2040, based on historical levels of federal revenue, we may just have enough money to be able to pay Social Security and Medicare and that`s it. Nothing else.

We face a tsunami of spending due to the retirement of the baby boomers that could swamp this ship estate (ph). Every year we don`t act the number goes up $2 trillion to $3 trillion.

BECK: OK.

WALKER: That`s twelve zeroes to the right of that 2.

BECK: David, we have a deficit now of $53 trillion. But, when you say a number like that and you don`t hear any politician really talking about it -- they`re all like, oh, well, it won`t make any difference -- put this into perspective for the average American. Wake the average American up on what that mean to us.

WALKER: That means that every American has an mortgage of over $175,000 each. Each household has an additional implicit mortgage of over $400,000 each. But unlike a typical mortgage, there`s no house to back this. And therefore, what we`re doing is we`re mortgaging the future of our country, our children and grandchildren at unacceptable rates.

BECK: OK. If we were a company and you were the comptroller of that company, we would be bankrupt now, right?

WALKER: We`d be out of business.

BECK: We`d be out of...

WALKER: But keep in mind -- keep in mind, the federal government has powers that the private sector doesn`t. It has the power to tax. But what`s going on is, basically by making -- by delaying tough choices, the default is much, much higher taxes than this country has ever afforded before and ever will...

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: And David, it is my understanding that if this isn`t taken care of quickly, there isn`t enough tax to be able to get -- you could take all of the stuff from all the rich, all of it, and there still wouldn`t be enough to cover our debt and our interest.

WALKER: The bottom line is, we cannot solve this problem through tax increases, we can`t solve it solely through restructuring entitlements or restraining spending. We`re going to have to do a combination, and the sooner we get on with it, the better, because as Albert Einstein said, the most powerful force in the world is compounding, and when you`re a debtor, it works against you.

BECK: OK.

Ron Paul is probably the only politician who is out there now saying stop all of this spending. All of this spending. Is there any reason that any of these politicians could believe that they can now go into the territory of universal health care and we can afford this?

WALKER: We have already promised $34 trillion more in Medicare alone than we have in revenues to deliver on. Some people say, gee, let`s offer more health care and we`ll pay for it by not continuing the Bush tax cuts. Look, that`s -- that won`t dial with our problem. Even if we balance the budget tomorrow, we still have this $53 trillion hold that grows $2 trillion to $3 trillion a year by doing nothing.

BECK: OK. David, what`s happening to our country right now in Washington is criminal. First of all, they keep three books, if I`m not mistaken.

You keep the regular budget, then you keep the Social Security and Medicare books. And then, isn`t the emergency spending also off the books? So, when they say we`re -- you know, we have a deficit of $9 trillion, or whatever it is now, the debt ceiling, that`s bogus in and of itself as well.

WALKER: Well, let me give you an example. For the year ended September 39, 2007, we had a cash-based budge deficit of $163 billion, which is what you hear coming out of Washington. But we spent every dime of the Social Security surplus. By that, I mean the government did.

So, the real operating deficit was $344 billion. By the way, these trust funds, they`re not real trust funds. They`re the trust the government funds.

BECK: Yes.

WALKER: If the private sector had trust funds like the federal government, somebody would be going to jail.

BECK: David, I would love to spend more time with you. Hopefully, we can do this on the radio, because there`s so much -- there`s so much more here. And if I`m not mistaken, if we were a company, our stock would be our dollar, and that`s why our dollar is falling.

WALKER: It`s in the tank.

BECK: OK. David, thanks a lot.

WALKER: Thank you.

BECK: And that, unfortunately, America, is the "Real Story" tonight.

Next, John McCain trying to be the least unacceptable Republican candidate? Is that the strategy and will it work?

(NEWSBREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Well, I have an honest question for you. If this presidential election is all about change, then how on God`s green earth is John McCain doing so well?

I mean, this is the guy who first started serving in national politics 40 years before the Space shuttle Challenger blew up. He is the dictionary of a Washington insider.

But, even if you embrace that, you know, he has all this experience, then I don`t see where the passion from Republicans is coming from. How do you get past his policy?

Forget about the attack ads. All I have to say is, McCain/Feingold, McCain/Lieberman, McCain/Kennedy. If you really want to know if he`s a conservative or not, just ponder those things.

So, somebody, please, explain to me how this guy is appealing to so many Republicans.

Jim Geraghty, he writes the "Campaign Spot" blog for The National Review Online.

Jim, I`m sorry. How are you, sir?

JIM GERAGHTY, NATIONALREVIEW.COM: Doing good. Glad to see you back on your feet, Glenn.

BECK: Thank you very much.

Help me out on this. I like John McCain because he does what he believes in. But at the same time, what he believes in, for a conservative, is almost every time wrong.

GERAGHTY: Yes. Well, I guess one of the upsides for conservatives, if you put John McCain in the presidency, he can no longer co-sponsor legislation with Democrats. You`ll stop the McCain/Feingolds and stuff like that.

BECK: Right.

GERAGHTY: No, it`s one of those things where I guess it depends on your issue. You`re looking at a Republican field where none of these guy has a perfect record in terms of being orthodox conservative. So you kind of have to pick your poison.

You know, does campaign finance reform...

BECK: Well, hang on just a second. Wait a minute just a second.

Let`s go on the troop sure. He was the only guy that was right about the troop surge.

GERAGHTY: Absolutely.

BECK: He was the only guy who stuck to his guns on that one. And God bless him, when it come the war in Iraq, specifically, he was right. But then you`ve got to go to Guantanamo and torture, and I don`t think I stand with him on that. Then you go to McCain/Feingold, talk about free speech, this guy has done more damage to free speech in this country than I think the ACLU has done in 40 years.

GERAGHTY: Well, I guess it`s one of those things where you have to pick your poison.

I noticed that, you know, a lot of conservative journalists who look at the way McCain/Feingold is being applied, and who kind of look at this as being something where some day you could see lawsuits like the one against Kirby Wilbur up in Washington State apply to anyone else, and you could have the government actually trying to tell you what you can or can`t say on talk radio, an issue that I know is near and dear to your heart, Glenn.

BECK: You ain`t kidding.

GERAGHTY: It`s one of those things where this seems to aggravate this segment of the conservative base a great deal.

BECK: OK. As a conservative, these are pretty damning poisons. He was on the wrong side of illegal immigration, he was on the wrong side of global warming and global treaties. He`s on the wrong side of free speech.

Is this just the New Hampshire independent spirit that is coming through and saying, I like somebody who`s independent? Is that what this is?

GERAGHTY: That`s some of that. In fact, the latest polls have him carrying New Hampshire Independents in the neighborhood of two to one. So that could very easily provide the margin of victory if he wins tonight.

But I guess a lot of is, you mentioned the surge earlier. There was probably not a single political consultant in the country that would tell John McCain stick with the surge.

BECK: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGHTY: John Edwards used to call it the McCain surge. And, you know, McCain likes to joke that he doesn`t call it that anymore.

BECK: Yes.

GERAGHTY: If you see the war on terror as the preeminent issue of our time, and if you see the war in Iraq as a key battle in that, and the decision of -- you know, in 2006, I think a lot of folks even on the right were ready to say, all right, this country`s a mess, it`s never going to get any better, let`s bail. John McCain, you know, stood there, articulated a policy that was extremely pretty unpopular, and against, you know, a great -- you know, pretty considerable odds. He appears to have made some considerable progress.

BECK: Why is no one -- when he`s searching in New Hampshire, why is no one except for Romney really going after him? He seems like such an easy target for conservatives.

GERAGHTY: Because right now, every other guy in the race has a strong motive to see Romney knocked out first. Romney has a personal fortune of, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars.

BECK: Yes.

GERAGHTY: He can self-finance. And it`s one of those things where nobody wants to see the Romney personal fortune converted into attack against them.

BECK: OK. So this is not about McCain, this is about Romney.

GERAGHTY: Well, there`s some level of personal respect and admiration. I think he and Rudy Giuliani are good buddies.

BECK: Yes.

GERAGHTY: And you watch these guys during the debates. They seem to get along pretty well.

Put it this way, when it comes down to McCain versus somebody else, they will -- you know, you`ll see the claws come out.

BECK: OK.

Jim, thanks a lot.

Now I have to ask you, America, where am I wrong? The McCain candidacy, I don`t think he`ll ever beat a strong Democratic candidate because real conservatives lack any kind of passion for him because there`s too many poisons on the table.

Agree or disagree? Go to CNN.com/glenn right now and cast your vote.

Now it`s time for tonight`s "Real America," brought to you by CSX.

When a parent first heard that their child is going off to war, that parent has a choice, how do I feel? A lot of times it is complete despair. But one mother decided not to focus on the sadness. Instead, she decided to focus on helping her son.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECK (voice over): Patty Patton Bader calls herself an ordinary mom who just wanted to do something for her son stationed in Iraq.

PATTY PATTON BADER, SOLDIERS` ANGELS: When they get on that plane and leave America soil, your breath just stops. You can`t breathe. Nothing is the same. And you feel powerless until you can do support things, until you can do things to help them.

BECK: Immediately, Patty started sending her son Brandon (ph) care packages. But she never imagined those small packages would help so many soldiers.

BADER: Brandon (ph) called and he goes, "Yes, mom, we`re getting the packages. It`s wonderful." He goes, "You and a couple of the wives are the only people sending things, and so I`m sharing. So we`re completely out."

And I said, "OK, don`t worry, son. More packages on the way."

And I hung up the phone and I turn to my husband, and I said, "We`re going to need more people involved in this."

BECK: What started four years ago with Patty and her friends sending letters and packages to soldiers, has grown to the nonprofit organization called Soldiers` Angels.

BADER: We started out with about 800 members. We now have 180,000 volunteers. And there`s a lot you can do at Soldiers` Angels.

If you don`t have a lot of money, you have some time, help us write letters. Our letter-writing team is putting out over 20,000 letters a month.

If you don`t have a lot of time, you have some money, give us a donation. And if you`re in between, like I am, help adopt a soldier. Send a car or letter a week, a couple of care packages a month to one soldier, one-on- one.

You know, they equate having their names called at mail call to Christmas. So, all year long you can provide a Christmas for them, which is fantastic.

BECK: Now, Soldiers` Angels is supporting over 90,000 soldiers. An ordinary mom -- well, maybe. But one ordinary mom doing extraordinary things for our troops.

BADER: May no soldier go unloved. May no soldier walk alone. May no soldier be forgotten, until they all come home.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BECK: You know, so many people tell me, you know, Glenn, I wish you would do more positive stories. Well, there`s a ton of stories just like this at CNN.com/glenn. Look for the "Real America" section.

Tonight`s "Real America" sponsored by CSX, how tomorrow moves.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Well, I told you yesterday about some of the details of my horrific episode I had over Christmas vacation with some surgery. And this morning, I was given an opportunity which, for some strange reason I accepted, along with my wife, to talk again about my butt surgery and how we need to put "care" back into the health care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: The triage nurse comes out eventually, after about 20 minutes of waiting, and my wife had -- I laid down on the couch, and she`s helping me get up as he calls my name. And she`s helping me get up, and she`s struggling to even stand.

He actually puts his hand on the door and starts rolling his fingers and goes -- and I`m thinking to myself, my gosh, he never even made eye contact with me. He starts to take us back into the E.R. Somebody else finally, one nurse, looks at her carrying me and says, "My gosh, do you need help?" I started to cry not because I needed help, but because finally somebody had compassion for my wife.

And every time I closed my eyes I was seeing horrific images from movies like "Saw" that were horrible, unspeakable things, Robin, to the point where I didn`t want to live anymore. I had been convinced that life wasn`t going to change, it was just not worth living. It was a scary place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You give a lot of credit to the woman sitting right next to you, your wife, Tania.

TANIA BECK, GLENN BECK`S WIFE: I called him and said, "How are you doing?" And you know, he said, "I`m OK." And was kind of drowsy a little bit.

And I said, "I`m going to come." You know, "I`m coming back. I`ll be there in a little bit."

And he said, "Well, don`t come back. I don`t want you to come back." And I could just hear it in his voice, that there was -- you know, something wasn`t right. And that`s -- you know...

G. BECK: I didn`t want her to see me like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In that kind of a situation.

G. BECK: And she took charge, and she took me into a shower to get me cleaned up. And there were used bandages on the floor in the shower. And she got in with her clothes on and cleaned me and then held me like this for an hour as I fell back to sleep. And it was because of her that things opened back up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

G. BECK: And that is true as ever.

By the way, it`s my eighth anniversary today.

Tania, thank you for marrying me.

Tomorrow on radio and television, back here, we will have the results of the primaries and what it means to the elections and our country.

Until then, good night, America.

END