Q+A: Tom DeLay Schools Us on Birthers, 'Dancing,' and the Texas Corrections System



Tom DeLay was the first politician on , and now his campaign is over. The former Republican House majority leader had to drop out of the show Tuesday night after suffering from stress fractures in both his feet. He spoke to Pop Vox Wednesday morning.


Two weeks ago, I got a stress fracture in my right foot. Last week I got a stress fracture in my left foot. It was pretty painful to practice last week. Last Sunday I could only do 30 minutes. But I knew the dance, and I wanted to see if I could dance. We took it one dance at a time and it worked out. But I also knew I couldn't go through that again. In order to be in this competition you had to practice, and you had to practice four hours a day. I could only practice for 45 minutes and then ice. You have to have two feet to dance.


I thought it would be a lot of fun. I was a fan of the show. The producers surprised me that they would even call. It didn't take me 10 to 15 minutes to say yes. It seemed like a challenge to me, which it turned out to be. So I accepted.


I think over time, they were trying to find a politician to come on the show to widen their star power. I guess it's pretty easy to get Hollywood types and actors and singers. They wanted to broaden their scope. I think Tucker Carlson was as close to a politician as they could get. I think it's pretty difficult to get a politician, to be honest with you. Most of them are busy. They can't take five to eight hours a day to practice dancing. I wasn't doing much. We had time, and I connected.


I heard that in the course of getting to know these folks. I challenged Bill Clinton on some TV show to come on.


Sure, I think he'd do really great. But I doubt you'd get a former president of the United States on Dancing With the Stars.


I wasn't worried about anything.


I was persecuted and prosecuted. It's unfortunately the paradigm of politicians. They want to destroy you and put you in jail.


No. I don't think a jury is going to convict me on a law that didn't exist in Texas. It's all politics. I've put that behind me. It's been four years.


I've been doing some golfing. I've been helping people rebuild the conservative movement in the Republican Party. I've been working with people. I wrote a book.


Being a whip, counting votes was my talent. I used the Internet, Twitter, Facebook. I contacted my friends who had mailing lists.


It was very gratifying. I got e-mails from liberals. I got one that was really neat: "I've hated you all my life, but I love what you did on the show."

You got into some trouble for saying on TV that you weren't sure President Obama was born in the United States.
What I said was, to answer a question from Chris Matthews, I said: "Why wouldn't the president of the United States show the American people his birth certificate?" You have to show a birth certificate to play Little League baseball. It's a question that should be answered. It's in the Constitution that you have to be a natural-born citizen of the United States to be president.

Do you think he isn't a citizen?
I have no idea.

Are you a big reality-TV fan?
I've watched Survivor. What's the show they have in the house?

Big Brother.
Yeah. Those are entertaining. I liked watching dancing shows. I even watch PBS ballroom dancing.

You almost dropped your dancing partner last week. Had that happened before?
Yeah. You stumble and fall and that stuff happens. The key is, I didn't drop her. I was very proud of the fact that I didn't drop her.

Join the Discussion