O'Reilly Dismisses Matt Lauer's 'Absurd' Notion That GOP 'Move On' From ObamaCare Opposition

In an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer urged Republicans to abandon their opposition to ObamaCare in order to avoid a government shutdown: "By the latest count, there have been something like 40 efforts in the House to either get rid of ObamaCare or defund it. And yet, as John McCain said last week...'We lost that fight.' The Supreme Court has upheld ObamaCare as constitutional. Do you think the Republicans should move on?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

O'Reilly flatly rejected the idea: "No. It's a bad deal for the folks. That's absurd, why would they move on?" Lauer interjected: "It's law of the land, though." O'Reilly continued: "They can tweak it and make it better. Right now it's hurting the economy. Doctors say they're going to quit. Nobody knows what they're gonna pay."

O'Reilly proposed his own compromise:

If the President were thinking clearly he would say, "You know what? We may have a little thing – we may have some things to iron out here. I still stand behind ObamaCare and I want the health care, but we might have some problems here. So let's give the people an option for a year. You don't have a mandatory, you don't have to sign up. If you want to, you can." And it's problem solved.

Turning introspective, Lauer wondered: "...getting back to this addiction to crisis in Washington, do we play into this as members of the media? Do we love a good crisis, and in some ways, fan the fire?" O'Reilly replied: "We have to report what's going on, but certainly the politicians use us."


Here is a full transcript of the September 30 interview:

7:06AM ET

MATT LAUER: Bill O'Reilly is the host of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News and the author of a brand new book called Killing Jesus, we'll talk about that a little later on. Bill, good morning. Good to see you.

BILL O'REILLY: Is it really?

LAUER: Is it really-

O'REILLY: Is it really good to see me? Come on.

LAUER: Well, it is good to see you. It's always good to see you, especially on a morning when we've got such important news.  Come midnight, look into your crystal ball for me, is the government gonna be up and running or is it gonna be shutdown?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: The Final Countdown; O'Reilly on Looming Gov't Shutdown]

O'REILLY: I don't know. This is why people don't like national politics because these pinheads
– you know, I there's sincerity on both sides, but they certainly could get something done. What should happen is they should extend the government funding for three or four weeks and then sit down and hash this thing out. That's what should happen. That's not hard.

LAUER: They should get something done. Everybody – every expert you talk to says this will be bad for the country, both sides know that. And yet here we are, standing on the edge of the cliff again. Washington is addicted to crisis, why?

O'REILLY: Well, I mean, the Democrats have to stand by their guy, President Obama, and that's his signature achievement. But if the President were thinking clearly he would say, "You know what? We may have a little thing – we may have some things to iron out here. I still stand behind ObamaCare and I want the health care, but we might have some problems here. So let's give the people an option for a year. You don't have a mandatory, you don't have to sign up. If you want to, you can."

LAUER: However...

O'REILLY: And it's problem solved.

LAUER: ...by the latest count, there have been something like 40 efforts in the House to either get rid of ObamaCare or defund it. And yet, as John McCain said last week, he said, "Look, we fought a great fight. We lost that fight." The Supreme Court has upheld ObamaCare as constitutional. Do you think the Republicans should move on?

O'REILLY: No. It's a bad deal for the folks. That's absurd, why would they move on?

LAUER: It's law of the land, though.

O'REILLY: They can tweak it, Lauer. They can tweak it and make it better. Right now it's hurting the economy. Doctors say they're going to quit. Nobody knows what they're gonna pay. Here's the solution. You want to sign up on the exchanges? Good, sign up, starting tomorrow. If you don't, we'll give you a year to shake it down. That's the solution. And the Republicans would buy into that.

LAUER: Taking ObamaCare out of this for a second and getting back to this addiction to crisis in Washington, do we play into this as members of the media? Do we love a good crisis, and in some ways, fan the fire?

O'REILLY: We have to report what's going on, but certainly the politicians use us. But I don't like to be put in with you, Lauer.

LAUER: Sorry to do that to you.

O'REILLY: Ted Cruz is a great example. Ted Cruz wants to be president. And so he's the first-term senator from Texas, how does he get well-known? He gets this. He blows it up. Everybody knows his name. Everybody's paying attention to him.

LAUER: We all cover it.

O'REILLY: And now he becomes a leader in the Republican Party for conservative people. So people use the system and they're smart enough – Cruz is a smart guy –  to know how to do that. Not saying he's not sincere, I think he is. But he's certainly exploiting the situation. So there you have it.

LAUER: Despite what you think, it is good to have you here and you're gonna come back in our 8:00 half hour, we're gonna talk about your new book, Killing Jesus.

O'REILLY: Alright, you'll like it.

LAUER: I have liked it.

O'REILLY: Oh, good.

LAUER: I read it.

O'REILLY: You read it?

LAUER: Yeah, three in a row for me.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC