Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday dismissed the pro-Obama talking points repeated by Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos. After quoting the President regarding 2012, Stephanopoulos parroted, "And it's clear that the President and his team, there's a strategy here. They think that the Republican base is way outside of the mainstream right now."
An almost incredulous O'Reilly snorted, "So, wait a minute, George. You're telling me, this is shocking to me, that the President doesn't like Republicans, that he's going to criticize Republicans. Come on."
[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
O'Reilly also declared that Obama will be defeated next year: "I think that the economy is so bad that if the Republicans run a candidate with credibility, the President will lose, unless something happens."
Stephanopoulos uncritically repeated Obama's smears on Republicans:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Meanwhile, President Obama really going after this. You saw him in these fund-raisers out on the west coast. He said, he told them, "Has anybody been watching the debates lately? You have got a governor whose state on fire denying climate change. You have got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don't have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they're gay. That's not reflective of who we are."
ABC News journalist Jake Tapper on Monday offered more context than his colleague in regard to the GOP presidential debates. Tapper explained, "We should, of course point out, George, that it was than less than a handful of individuals doing that inappropriate cheering and booing."
A transcript of the September 27 segment, which aired at 7:08am EDT, follows:
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GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And for more on this, let's welcome back Bill O'Reilly, anchor of the O'Reilly Factor on Fox, author of a new book Killing Lincoln. I've got it right here. We're going to talk about it later in the show. But, let's get to the politics, Bill, right away. This Christie boomlet, what do you make of it? Do you think he's going to get in?
BILL O'REILLY: No. Very hard to raise money. Very hard to put a national organization together in the period of time that he would have to do so. And I think for the Governor himself, it would be wiser for him to really establish himself in New Jersey because he hasn't been there very long. So-
STEPHANOPOULOS: He told Diane Sawyer he's not ready.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He told Diane Sawyer he doesn't think he's ready to be president yet.
O'REILLY: Look, I don't know the governor. But just for tactical things, it would be wiser to sit back. He has got some time. But, look, it's chaotic in there. There's a lot of people. It's tempting. You know, you can be president! That's big.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, how do you explain why so many Republicans won't give up this dream of somebody else getting in? We saw, even former First Lady Barbara Bush trying to convince Mary Pat Christie, according to the New York Post, get in.
O'REILLY: Well, because it's always greener over there on the other side. You know, "Oh, he's better." And he's better than this and that. And then w hen they get in, just like Rick Perry, "Oh, he's not so good." You know, pretty soon, you're going to be getting a call, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Not from the Republican side. I don't think so.
O'REILLY: That's right. You're not a Republican.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your Fox colleagues have been so tough on Rick Perry. Bill Kristol says, the debate last week, close to a disqualifying two hours. Brit Hume: "He's one half a step away from total collapse."
O'REILLY: Hume also said he thought he barfed on himself. I was eating popcorn. Wow. Hume said that? Look, it's the build 'em up, tear 'em down game. Not to say that Kristol and Hume are wrong. He didn't have a good debate. But so what? I mean, that happens a lot.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You think he can come back?
O'REILLY: Sure. I mean, he is a guy that has a good record in Texas, that has a conservative base that likes him. Yeah. He didn't do that well. But there's a whole bunch of other debates and maybe he'll do better.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Meanwhile, President Obama really going after this. You saw him in these fund-raisers out on the west coast. He says, he told them, "Has anybody been watching the debates lately? You have got a governor whose state on fire denying climate change. You have got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don't have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they're gay. That's not reflective of who we are." And it's clear that the President and his team, there's a strategy think the Republican base is way outside of the mainstream right now.
O'REILLY: So, wait a minute, George, you're telling me, this is shocking to me, that the President doesn't like Republicans, that he's going to criticize Republicans. Come on.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, he thinks it can work for him.
O'REILLY: Do I think it can work for him? No. I think that the economy is so bad that if the Republicans run a candidate with credibility, the President will lose, unless something happens. Rhetoric walks right now. People are angry. Americans are angry, all right? And when they're angry, they take it out on who is in power. And if the Republicans can put forth someone, to convince Americans that they have a better handle on the economy, the Republicans will win.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that person in the field right now?
O'REILLY: Is what?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that person in the field right now?
O'REILLY: I don't know yet. You have got to give them me, these guys. It's not the easiest thing in the world, all right? You have to see how they handle themselves over a period of time. And Americans are watching closely. But most Americans aren't even engaged yet. I mean, we are here. This is our business.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And most Americans are incredibly fed up with everyone right now.
O'REILLY: And they should be. They should be. Look at the state of the country. We're in chaos. They should be fed up with all of them. I mean, if I- just wipe the whole place and bring in regular folks. Regular folks couldn't do worse. Could they do worse? Bring in regular folks to run the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Who's the regular folks?
O'REILLY: Just people who don't do politics for a living. I mean, all of these guys that put their finger up to the wind. You know, which way is it blowing? That's the way I'll go. Why don't you do something right for the country once in a while, instead of thinking about your career.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think there's a danger- I shouldn't say danger. Do you think that's likely to happen next year? Everybody does gets wiped out? The President loses and the Republicans are wiped out?
O'REILLY: I think the Republican Party is poised, if they don't blow it, and believe me, they could, to really win big because the Democratic Party has run up more than $5 trillion in debt. Just in four years. And that's just outrageous.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We have a lot more to talk about. We're going to come back in the last hour and talk about Killing Lincoln, your new book.
O'REILLY: All right, George. Thanks. And you read it, I understand.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I did read it.
O'REILLY: Which is shocking.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Shocking? You don't think I read?
O'REILLY: I'm very flattered.