In an interview with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Fox News' Neil Cavuto not only failed to ask DeLay any questions about his indictment by a Texas grand jury on charges of money-laundering, he did not even mention the indictment.
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During the March 9 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto interviewed Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) regarding the recent decision by Dubai Ports World, the company owned by the government of Dubai, to transfer management of U.S. ports to an American company. During the interview, Cavuto not only failed to ask DeLay any questions about his indictment by a Texas grand jury on charges of money laundering, he did not even mention the indictment.
In September 2005, DeLay was indicted on charges of conspiracy and money-laundering involving alleged illegal corporate contributions into Texas state elections. Because the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives bar members who are accused of criminal activity from assuming leadership positions, DeLay was forced to step down as House majority leader. The indictment centered on DeLay's involvement in raising money for Republican candidates for Texas legislature seats in 2002. Texas Republicans gained control of the state House that year for the first time in 130 years, paving the way for a redrawing of the congressional district map in Texas that altered district demographics in ways favorable to Republicans. Texas Republicans subsequently gained five U.S. House seats in the 2004 election. In December 2005, a judge dismissed the conspiracy charge but upheld more serious charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Soon after, DeLay announced he would not seek to regain his post as House majority leader.
From the March 9 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
CAVUTO: Well, the Dubai port deal collapsing under the enormous weight of all this intense opposition -- even some of the president's closest allies were against the deal, including my next guest, Republican Congressman Tom DeLay, who joins us now. Congressman, you never liked this. How do you feel now?
DeLAY: Well, I feel very good. I think it's a win-win situation, Neil. I think the president will still be able to carry on his relationship with Dubai and UAE, because he stood up for what he thought was a good deal. And I think the American people win by answering this problem that I have always had, and that's foreign governments owning corporations and coming in and -- and competing with American corporations, what I think is unfairly. I don't mind foreign investment, as long as it participates in the market. But the whole notion of the deep pockets of a government owning a corporation, and, of course, the biggest issue being national security which we all had real questions about, I think it's all taken care of now. That's what good government is.
CAVUTO: Were there any -- any divisions, sir, with the president? I mean, did you, in either conversations with the president, get the feeling that he was being, I don't know, felt like Custer?
DeLAY: No, no. This president stays focused, I got to tell you. His leadership style and his management style is very good. Yeah, there was breakdown. These -- this decision probably should have -- not probably -- should have gone higher, with Cabinet secretaries making the final decision, rather than underlings. It was -- it was a botched mess. But the president understood it, got it right quickly, started working with people. And this solution looks like it's a very good solution.
CAVUTO: I -- I guess there's a different spin on it, Congressman, and that is that the president really never did get it. He was pushing for this deal, earlier threatened a veto. Then, of course, there was this 45-day stay, if you will, but that he was going to stick to his guns, even though he had only lately come to those guns.
DeLAY: Well, he --
CAVUTO: What do you make of that?
DeLAY: He thinks the deal is a good deal. He -- he thinks -- and he still stands by that. We disagreed with him. I -- I think he also understood that we probably need to look again, with an -- with an emphasis on national security, I mean, answer questions like, yes, now, this Dubai company, owned by the Dubai government, will have easier access to visas to come into the United States to so-called work for their -- for their company. How does that play out? How do the visas come? I mean, those kinds of questions are very important, as it relates to keeping -- holding security in our ports and keeping the American people safe. So -- I -- but I think all this now is being answered. And -- and it's the way a problem should be worked out and a solution found.
CAVUTO: Very quickly, sir: If you were majority leader at the time all of this broke, would this have gotten to be such a tempest?
DeLAY: Oh, I don't know about that. I mean, who knows. I don't -- I -- I think everybody understood the problem. And, thank goodness, they found a solution.
CAVUTO: All right, Tom DeLay, great having you again. Congratulations on your primary win. We will see what happens in November.
DeLAY: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Tom DeLay in Washington.