During the May 9 edition of ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg made a surprising revelation to members of the audience. During an interview with Fox’s John Stossel about his new book, "No They Can't: Why Government Fails But Individuals Succeed," Goldberg disclosed that she was a member of the NRA. [Video below the jump.]
During the interview, Stossel jokingly asked, “You packing now?” Goldberg quipped in reply, “You don’t want to find out," a line the audience applauded.
Stossel, who is fairly libertarian, and Goldberg, who is generally liberal, seemed to agree that Americans have the right to keep and bear arms but that the several states have latitude to make different judgments on matters such as Stand Your Ground laws.
But alas, and we all saw this coming, obnoxious liberal panelist Joy Behar to throw in a dopey jab during the interview, complaining that if everyone had access to guns, people would get shot if they cut people off in traffic, saying "I’m not in to it."
Of course, plenty of states have concealed carry laws and high ownership of firearms and such road rage incidents are very rare statistically.
John Stossel's new book can be found on amazon.com.
The full transcript is below.
May 9, 2012
11:45 a.m. EDT
[ Cheers and applause ]
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: In his new book "No, they can't," the always controversial John Stossel takes aims at the hottest topics in the headlines, claiming gun control laws, the TSA and even programs to help the elderly are hurting America and says neither candidate has a plan to make things any better. Please welcome host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network, John Stossel himself. Welcome. [applause] You know, you–you are going to make a lot of people a little angry at you probably right now. But let's start off. You actually say that both the left and the right do not have a plan to make things better. Neither President Obama, nor Mitt Romney could make anything better. Why? Financially do you think one has a leg-up?
JOY BEHAR: No they can’t. Negative. Negative.
JOHN STOSSEL: Big government doesn't solve our problems. They both want to make it bigger. Bush and Obama doubled spending since Clinton. And we're going off a cliff.
HASSELBECK: Right, ok. That’s fair, but who do you think has the plan?
STOSSEL: Ron Paul, but you know, he's going to catch on tomorrow.
SHERI SHEPHERD: Ron Paul?
BEHAR: Ron Paul? He can’t get three people to vote for him.
SHEPHERD: Well John Stossel is one of them.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: John’s one of them.
STOSSEL: I'll vote for him. If his jacket didn't ride up like this.
BEHAR: Ron Paul, is that your hero, He's not pro-choice, are you pro-choice?
STOSSEL: He says it should be left to states. I’m pro-choice, yes.
BEHAR: But he's not.
STOSSEL: Well, I don’t agree with him on everything–
HASSELBECK: What about gay marriage? Do you think that should be left up to the states like we discussed in hot topics?
STOSSEL: I think it should be legal, yes. I don’t see why the government has to be involved with marriage. Shouldn’t be a contract..
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Well, let me say this. You're not a big fan of big government cause you think big government doesn't really help. Are you saying it has never been able to help? Or it's not helping now? Because I have to tell you, uh, Brown versus the Board of Education was big government and they forced --
STOSSEL: But Jim Crow was big government, slavery was big government.
GOLDBERG: Yes, but they made the move, John. That's point.
STOSSEL: They got rid of bad government rules–
GOLDBERG: So are you saying that big government is all bad? Or we just -- we should adjust the government so that it works for the people?
BEHAR: Or just bad government?
STOSSEL: I'm saying limited government that keeps us safe and gets rid of things like Jim Crow. I have a graph of how government’s grown since the beginning of the Republic. It’s amazing. When government–we began it was tiny, less than 5% of the economy. Only since Lyndon Johnson and Bush and obama is it going up at this unsustainable level that it is now. We need government to keep us safe for some pollution rules but all this other stuff just teaches people to be dedependent and its unsustainable.
BEHAR: Well you know, there’s some kind of movement to eliminate things like meals on wheels for old people. I mean that's government contributing to old people's meals who–who are home bound. Why would you ever want to eliminate a program like that? It’s not about being dependent on government
STOSSEL: I wouldn't. This is a rich country. Private charities would take care of that.
SHEPHERD: It’s a rich country, but
BEHAR: Oh, baloney.
STOSSEL: Come on, before your beloved social welfare programs, nobody starved in America, even during the depression. There were thousands of mutual aide societies of people helping each other.
BEHAR: (inaudible) But that was not a program.
HASSELBECK: Let me ask you this–It's a tough one for you, maybe veterans programs when they come back, reintegration, what should we doing for them? What’s your position there?
STOSSEL: Well, defense is a rule for government. And so when veterans need help, perhaps that's a role for government. Limited government–
SHEPHERD: Well John, you also give some specific examples in the book. Trayvon martin, you know, after the Trayvon Martin where he was allegedly shot by George Zimmerman, people really screamed out for stricter gun control laws. Now however, you say that's not going to help, stricter gun laws, why is that?
STOSSEL: Look, I grew up in this neighborhood. Joy Behar world, I call it. Where everybody-
BEHAR: I grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
STOSSEL: Ok, well, everybody believes in more regulation. Honestly the idea of everybody packing heat terrified me. But I looked at the data. I mean–wouldn't you be nervous if everybody here could have a concealed weapon?
STOSSEL: It would cati–catastrophic. Well, that's the law in 40 states. And those states have less crime -- slightly less crime, not a big difference.
BEHAR: Catastrophic, yes.
SHEPHERD: With people being able to carry a concealed weapon?
STOSEL: Because the bad guys are a little nervous about who they rob.
GOLDBERG: But it is also, is it also, John, because those folks are saying, okay, here's what I have in my house. I’m letting–the government says -- I want you–I'm an NRA member, as you probably know or don't know.
STOSSEL: I didn't know.
GOLDBERG: Yes. I-I–
STOSSEL: You packing now?
GOLDBERG: You don't want to find out.
[ Applause ]
GOLDBERG: But I don't mind having to register and let them know who-that I have them. What I don't want, and the thing that makes me worried about what you're saying is, I want to know that at least, you know, there's some– some way to prevent folks who are just getting out of mental institutions.
BEHAR: Yeah, for example --
GOLDBERG: well, that's my concern. And I want to ask you, do you think that maybe some of the laws, like the one that is in Florida, should sort of --
SHEPHERD: Stand your ground.
GOLDBERG: Stand your ground–should be eliminated?
STOSSEL: I think that's for the states to decide. We have 50 states, lets have 50 experiments.
STOSSEL: Yeah, 50 states–
SHEPHERD: [inaudible]. Experiments?
STOSSEL: Yeah. You learn from that experiment. When things are legal its easier to police and keep mentally ill people from getting guns.
BEHAR: Too many crazy people out there. You know, you're driving in a car, you cut somebody off, they have a gun, they shoot you. I’m not in to it.
STOSSEL: Do they do it in the other 40 states?
SHEPHERD: No, but I’d–
BEHAR: I’d like to know what those states are–
SHEPHERD: I want to ask about the TSA, because after 9/11, the government put in place the TSA. We talk about the TSA all the time which is helping us stay safe. But now you feel that they should not be involved? And there should be no TSA? How do you feel about that?
STOSSEL: Israel, Europe, most countries they have government management and private contractors doing the screening. Not in America. Tom Daschle said you can't professionalize if you don't federalize. Senate voted 100 to zero for the TSA. They spend ten times what the private screens spent. San Francisco, the one big airport where they allow private screening, I sent a producer there, people said things like, gee, these people are friendlier, and the lines move quickly.
HASSELBECK: So are they safer? Not are they friendlier, are they safer there?
STOSSEL: They sneak through contraband. But San Francisco screeners found 75% of the time the government screeners in L.A., 25% of the time.
SHEPHERD: So you feel it should be a private corporation.
HASSELBECK: Well the statistics say it.
STOSSEL: That's competition. Government never fires itself. Competition means if you do badly, you get fired.
BEHAR: You can get fired in a government job.
HASSELBECK: We always appreciate your perspective. We want to give our thanks to John Stossel. Always controversial. Members of our audience today are going home with his book "No, They Can’t." We'll be right back.