Friday Night Fights: Bill O’Reilly Takes on Liberal Extremists Over Boxer's Statements

Every now and then, a debate occurs on television that perfectly represents the differences between conservative and liberal ideologies in our nation. Such occurred on Friday’s “The O’Reilly Factor” when the host invited a Democratic strategist and a civil rights attorney to discuss Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-California) comments to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week (video available here courtesy of our friend at Ms Underestimated).

After he set up the segment, O’Reilly said to his first guest: “I didn't hear this kind of nonsense when Bill Clinton had military action in the Balkans or in Somalia. Why didn't I hear that?” Jane Fleming, executive director of the Young Democrats of America predictably responded:

Well, I don't think that it's a comparable situation, number one. And what Boxer was saying is absolutely 100 percent right is that we are not sacrificing. President Bush has not asked us to sacrifice by raising our taxes. He has not sacrificed by asking us to do more community service. He -- after 9/11, all he did for sacrifice was ask us to shop more. And so.

And there it is. To most liberals in this country, the answer to every problem is to raise taxes. It’s really that simple, isn’t it? In their view, things would be going better in Iraq if people were giving more of their hard-earned dollars to the federal government. Extraordinary, dontcha think?

As you might imagine, O’Reilly was having none of it:

All right, you neatly dodged the question, Ms. Fleming. I'll slow it down. I didn't hear this nonsense when Bill Clinton went into the Balkans and bombed hell out of them. And I didn't hear it when he went into Somalia and our guys got killed if Mogadishu. I didn't hear it. Why didn't I?

When Fleming couldn’t answer the question, O’Reilly moved on to Angela Alioto, civil rights attorney:

She said that she, Condoleezza Rice, doesn't understand the sacrifice of military people because she doesn't have anybody directly affected. That's exactly what Barbara Boxer was saying. Am I wrong, Ms. Alioto?

Alioto answered:

I think that Barbara Boxer was absolutely right on. And I have to tell you something, Bill. Anybody that says that having their child in the war doesn't make the war different than all of the rest of other people's children is just not being honest with you.

O'REILLY: It might make it different, but you don't make policy based upon.

ALIOTO: Of course.

O'REILLY: .who has people in the war. It's the same thing like saying Dick Cheney and President Bush never served in combat so they're not qualified to send anybody else there. And you've heard that argument, Angela. You've heard that.

ALIOTO: Yes, I have that argument. But that's just simply not what Barbara said. Barbara said you, Rice, do not have a personal stake in this. You don't have a family member in it. And she said neither do I. We fight wars with other people's children.

O'REILLY: But that's what happens throughout history, Angela.

ALIOTO: But.

O'REILLY: I mean, you want public servants looking out for the country. I think emotion -- if you have somebody over there, it might even cloud your judgment, Ms. Fleming.

Eventually, Alioto made the typical liberal, Charlie Rangel, John Kerry, Matt Damon comment that really ought to be made into a bumper sticker: “If everybody in Congress had a child in Iraq, we wouldn't be in Iraq.” O’Reilly pounced:

Oh, that's just bull. That's just bull. I mean, you don't make decisions -- the generals over in Iraq, by the way, I interviewed a general over in Iraq whose son lost his arm. His son lost his arm.

ALIOTO: I'm saying all of Congress.

O'REILLY: And the general said we need to be here. And my son's sacrifice was worth it. Come on.

ALIOTO: I'm talking about the people that vote on this. If they had their children there, we wouldn't be in Iraq. Afghanistan, yes. Iraq, no.

O'REILLY: All right, I don't believe that for a second.

Yet, the real defining moment when O’Reilly perfectly exposed potentially the ultimate in liberal hypocrisy occurred when he asked Fleming the following:

Hillary Clinton have anybody in the military? OK? And Senator Obama doesn't have anybody. He didn't serve. Are you going to use the same standards, Ms. Fleming, on Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama if they become president?

Fleming responded, “I never would.”

Nope. And neither will most of her ilk that have been using this Chicken Hawk argument against President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for years. Once we get into election season twelve months from now, military service and having children in the military are going to be totally irrelevant. And, the media, who have furthered the Chicken Hawk debate, will change its stripes as well.

How disgraceful. What follows is a full transcript of this segment.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: But first, the "Talking Points Memo." Senator Barbara Boxer attacks Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice because the secretary doesn't have children.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, the liberal senator from California who opposes the Iraq War said this to Secretary Rice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Who pays the price? Who pays the the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You are not going to pay a particular price as I understand it with an immediate family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Now Secretary Rice was stunned and later said this to FOX News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: I guess it means I don't have kids. Was that the purpose? At that time, I just found it a bit confusing, frankly. But in retrospect, gee, I thought single women had come further than that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: And the White House was quick to react to Senator Boxer's attack. Tony Snow said this on FOX News Radio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Here you've got a professional woman,Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. And Barbara Boxer is sort of throwing little jabs because Condi doesn't have children, as if that means that she doesn't understand the concerns of parents. You know, we're greatly backward for feminism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Well, "Talking Points" doesn't think it has to do with anything with feminism. It has to do with the far left, which Barbara Boxer is certainly a part, using foolish personal arguments to debate issues vital to the country.

I mean, think about it, if you don't have a kid in the military, you can't make policy about war? I wonder what FDR and Abraham Lincoln would have thought about that.

But the far left doesn't care. All it wants to do is throw emotion at complicated problems. I ran up against that with Michael Moore and Phil Donahue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL MOORE, ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST: So you would sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah? I want to hear you say that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHIL DONAHUE: You wouldn't send your children to this war, Bill.

O'REILLY: My nephew has just enlisted in the Army. You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

DONAHUE: Very good. Very good. Congratulations to you.

O'REILLY: Yes. And he's a patriot, so don't denigrate his service or I'll boot you right off the set.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Coming up, this ridiculous display, if Senator Boxer represents a sane view of the war on terror, including the Iraq War, we're all in very big trouble.

We need professionals in Congress, not foolish ideologues. And that's the "Memo."

Now for the top story tonight, two other views of this that disagree with mine. Joining us from San Francisco, attorney Angela Alioto, who knows Barbara Boxer very well. And from Washington, Jane Fleming, executive director of the Young Democrats of America.

Ms. Fleming, we'll begin with you. I didn't hear this kind of nonsense when Bill Clinton had military action in the Balkans or in Somalia. Why didn't I hear that?

JANE FLEMING, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I don't think that it's a comparable situation, number one. And what Boxer was saying is absolutely 100 percent right is that we are not sacrificing. President Bush has not asked us to sacrifice by raising our taxes. He has not sacrificed by asking us to do more community service. He -- after 9/11, all he did for sacrifice was ask us to shop more. And so.

O'REILLY: All right, you neatly dodged the question, Ms. Fleming. I'll slow it down. I didn't hear this nonsense when Bill Clinton went into the Balkans and bombed hell out of them. And I didn't hear it when he went into Somalia and our guys got killed if Mogadishu. I didn't hear it. Why didn't I?

FLEMING: I do not think that you need to serve in the military to understand the military. And that is not what Senator Boxer was saying.

O'REILLY: Sure, she was.

FLEMING: She was saying.

O'REILLY: She said that she, Condoleezza Rice, doesn't understand the sacrifice of military people because she doesn't have anybody directly affected. That's exactly what Barbara Boxer was saying. Am I wrong, Ms. Alioto?

ANGELA ALIOTO, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: No. Quite frankly I think you're right. I think that Barbara Boxer was absolutely right on. And I have to tell you something, Bill. Anybody that says that having their child in the war doesn't make the war different than all of the rest of other people's children is just not being honest with you.

O'REILLY: It might make it different, but you don't make policy based upon.

ALIOTO: Of course.

O'REILLY: .who has people in the war. It's the same thing like saying Dick Cheney and President Bush never served in combat so they're not qualified to send anybody else there. And you've heard that argument, Angela. You've heard that.

ALIOTO: Yes, I have that argument. But that's just simply not what Barbara said. Barbara said you, Rice, do not have a personal stake in this. You don't have a family member in it. And she said neither do I. We fight wars with other people's children.

O'REILLY: But that's what happens throughout history, Angela.

ALIOTO: But.

O'REILLY: I mean, you want public servants looking out for the country. I think emotion -- if you have somebody over there, it might even cloud your judgment, Ms. Fleming.

ALIOTO: Bill, it would not be honest to say that politicians don't consider that as a factor. If everybody in Congress had a child in Iraq, we wouldn't be in Iraq.

O'REILLY: Oh, that's just bull. That's just bull. I mean, you don't make decisions -- the generals over in Iraq, by the way, I interviewed a general over in Iraq whose son lost his arm. His son lost his arm.

ALIOTO: I'm saying all of Congress.

O'REILLY: And the general said we need to be here. And my son's sacrifice was worth it. Come on.

ALIOTO: I'm talking about the people that vote on this. If they had their children there, we wouldn't be in Iraq. Afghanistan, yes. Iraq, no.

O'REILLY: All right, I don't believe that for a second, but I want to get back to Jane Fleming.

Now Hillary Clinton might be the next president, if you have anything to say about it, Jane, she will be.

FLEMING: Senator Edwards maybe.

O'REILLY: All right, Hillary Clinton have anybody in the military? OK? And Senator Obama doesn't have anybody. He didn't serve. Are you going to use the same standards, Ms. Fleming, on Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama if they become president?

FLEMING: I never would. And I have not with Condoleezza Rice. I am not saying that she is not equipped make military decisions or be the Secretary of State because she has not served in the military. That is not what I am saying.

What I am saying is that the president needs to ask America to make sacrifices to pay for the war.

O'REILLY: All right, but that's a different argument. I'm not -- look, that's a totally different argument. You should be on another program. All right?

This discussion is about a sitting senator who accuses the Secretary of State of not understanding the military conflict or not being sensitive enough to it, because she doesn't have somebody directly involved.

That's dangerous. That's dangerous. And that's what I resent. Look, the Michael Moore poll is saying nonsense. Donahue, you heard. Same nonsense. You don't make vital decisions for the country based upon what your children's circumstances are.

FLEMING: I absolutely agree with you. And I agree with you. And I don't think that is what Senator Boxer was trying to say.

O'REILLY: Of course she was. Ms. Alioto just.

FLEMING: No, do you think that Laura Bush was saying the same thing when she said Condoleezza Rice wouldn't be able to run for president because she didn't have any children and she didn't have any family to support her?

O'REILLY: I don't remember Mrs. Bush saying that.

FLEMING: She did (INAUDIBLE) time.

O'REILLY: But it has nothing to do with public policy.

Now Ms. Alioto, here's the big picture here. And this gets me very angry. I want responsible voices of dissent in this country. All right? I think it's absolutely necessary that we debate Iraq and that we acknowledge that it isn't going well. And you know that. If you watch this program, you see me. And I'm not pushing anything here.

ALIOTO: I agree.

FLEMING: You do. And you actually said you would pull out of Iraq.

O'REILLY: You can't have a responsible dissent -- Barbara Boxer has just lost all credibility. She's done.

ALIOTO: Well, that's absolutely.

O'REILLY: She's through.

ALIOTO: .that's ridiculous. She has been the dissent and she has been an incredible voice for us in the Senate, not just as women, but for all Americans. And she's been that way for the last, what, 20 years.

You know, let's not forget it was President Bush's son George Bush now president who was in the National Guard protecting Texas during Vietnam.

O'REILLY: So what? So what?

ALIOTO: He wasn't in Vietnam. My point is if he had been in Vietnam, how long would that war have gone on had his father been president?

O'REILLY: Who knows? I mean, it's ridiculous to make that assertion. It's an absurd assertion. You can't make it - it's - you're basically tying into if you don't have a kid on the front line, you can't make a decision.

ALIOTO: Absolutely not.

O'REILLY: You know, it's baloney.

ALIOTO: You can make all sorts of decisions, but the war doesn't have a face on it. We talk about.

O'REILLY: Sure, how do you know?

ALIOTO: We talk about.

O'REILLY: How do you know these people don't? I know for a fact President Bush feels very deeply about everybody who has gotten hurt and killed in Iraq.

ALIOTO: We talk about casualties.

O'REILLY: I know for a fact he does.

ALIOTO: We talk about casualties every night. We talk about injuries. We don't talk about human beings. We don't say 3,000 dead.

O'REILLY: Oh, you can't fight a war that way, Ms. Alioto. You can't fight a war on terror by agonizing over every death. It can't be done. It has to be this is the military, this is their job, they're going to be taking casualties. And we can't say we're never going to fight because we're going to lose people.

ALIOTO: But Barbara Boxer never said she was never going to fight. You've got to get it straight if you're going to get it. She never said we're not going to fight.

O'REILLY: She denigrated Secretary Rice, because Secretary Rice...

ALIOTO: That is not true.

O'REILLY: .doesn't have any children.

ALIOTO: She would have said the same thing to a man. She would have said the same thing to a man.

O'REILLY: Listen, I'll agree with you there. She's nutty enough to say the same thing to anybody. Ladies, we appreciate it. We got to run.

ALIOTO: That's ridiculous.

FLEMING: Thank you.

O'REILLY: All right.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.