Obama Aide: Bill O'Reilly a 'Bully,' We'll 'Go Directly at Him'

If only the Obama campaign would talk this tough about the Mahmoud Ahmadinejads of the world . . .

Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Robert Gibbs, the communications director of the Obama campaign, called Bill O'Reilly a "bully," and vowed the campaign would "go directly at him."

View video here.

DAVID SHUSTER: I've got a question. I want to help out Willie [Geist] here. And that is, you've seen this Bill O'Reilly meltdown thing [bad language alert], right? I mean, what did you think about it, and has that made the Obama campaign more or less likely to accept O'Reilly's invitation to go on his show?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Shuster, I'm gonna [inaudible, perhaps "freak"].

ROBERT GIBBS: Well, I—obviously—

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Health care. Just talk health care. It's OK

GIBBS: You want me to weave health care into this?

BRZEZINSKI: Robert Gibbs, just do it live [echoing O'Reilly from his meltdown]. Okay, just do it live. Alright, go ahead. Give the answer.

GIBBS: Look, I think—look, I think at some point we will go on Bill O'Reilly's show, despite the fact that—I think you saw video earlier this year of Bill trying to get into a fight with Marvin Nicholson, a staffer that travels with Senator Obama on the road. Look, I think the best way to go about a bully is to go directly at him, and I think that's something that we'll clearly do.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, and he did -- you know, just for the record, guys, he did a great job interviewing Hillary Clinton and he went there. I mean, we had fun with this tape but --

Pat Buchanan showed a keen sense for the story here.

PAT BUCHANAN: Does Barack Obama share your view that Bill O'Reilly is a bully?

BRZEZINSKI: Wow. Poor Robert Gibbs. Just talk health care. Health care. Health care.

GIBBS: Right. Health care is the good answer right now, right?

Almost as noteworthy as Gibbs' calling O'Reilly a bully and vowing that the Obama campaign would go after him was Mika Brzezinski's intervention. I thought the role of a show host [Mika is subbing for Joe Scarborough this week] is to get guests—certainly senior operatives of presidential campaigns—to answer the tough questions. Instead, Mika jumped in to discourage Gibbs from responding, even offering him a subject-changer on a silver platter. Now why would that be?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.