Entries in Bill O'Reilly (7)


Jon Stewart vs. Bill O'Reilly: Cable TV Heavyweights Spar in 'Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium'

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It was billed as O'Reilly vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium, a debate between powerhouse media personalities hosts Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart.

It was very much a rumble. There was some yelling, but mostly an honest exchange of ideas, and great laughter for the hosts, the packed crowd at the George Washington University campus in Washington, D.C., and the people who paid $4.95 to see it live streamed on the internet. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

O'Reilly and Stewart, at times mocking the presidential election and the presidential debate from this past week, seriously debated major issues that face the United States.

They took on issues like income redistribution, funding of public television, social security, who is to blame for our economy, security inside Libya, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But they provided themselves and the audience with zingers and a humor not normally seen on a debate stage.

Perhaps most humorous throughout the evening was Stewart's poking fun at the height differential between himself and O'Reilly.

At 5'7" tall, Stewart is nine inches shorter than the 6'4" O'Reilly and to make up for the disparity in height Stewart was armed with a motorized lifting stage. The stage lift behind his podium allowed Stewart to be on eye level with O'Reilly and at times even taller than his sparring partner.

Stewart at one point remarked, "I can see why Obama did badly in the debate, the altitude is rough up here," -- reference to Al Gore's reasoning behind President Obama performance in the presidential debate in Denver, where the altitude is 5,280 feet above sea level.

Both Stewart and O'Reilly expressed their views in a free flowing debate format with topical questions asked by moderator E.D. Hill, who struggled to control the two personalities. At one point O'Reilly quipped at Hill, "Are you still here?"

After one hour of debate at two podiums, Stewart and O'Reilly fielded pre-selected audience questions. Questions ranged from, "If the U.S., were burning, what famous person would you save?" to "Who is your political hero?"

Their answers: O'Reilly would save Oprah in a fire, because she is "worth about a billion dollars" and his political hero is Abraham Lincoln. For Stewart, he would save his "family" in a fire, and his political hero is Robert Kennedy because he had a "depth of belief and passion."

For those paying $4.95 to see the debate live on a web stream, many were disappointed. On social media, people complained that the live stream was not working, making it impossible for some viewers to watch the debate.

In a press conference after the debate, O'Reilly apologized to those who could not watch the debate live but said that people could now get the debate on demand.

O'Reilly explained that "hundreds of thousands of people tried to get on, so the server crashed." He also added, sarcastically, that if "anybody wants the $4.95 back, we'll send it to you."

Despite the live stream issues, the evening ended without one winner, but with two.

Each man holding up championship type belts to signify their victory in pulling off a night of fun, laughter, and substance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bill O’Reilly Accuses Obama, Clinton of ‘Guerrilla Theater’

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Former President Bill Clinton said Monday night it would be “calamitous” if Mitt Romney were elected president. And Tuesday morning conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly called that notion “insane.”

“All of these guys – it’s amusing to me, and I’m sure it is to you, although you would never admit it. It’s all a bunch of theater, it’s guerrilla theater. They run around and they all [say] ‘Romney is going to bring European socialism to the United States.’ Does anyone believe that?” O’Reilly asked.

Although Clinton didn’t use the word “socialism” in Monday night’s private New York City fundraiser, he said Romney would be “calamitous for our country and the world” adding that Romney’s economic policy is “austerity and unemployment now, and then a long-term budget that will explode the debt when the economy recovers so that interest rates will be so high nobody will be able to do anything.”

O’Reilly questioned how Clinton could know Romney’s policy would explode the debt. He said this election comes down to a very basic choice for voters.

“Look, the economy is terrible right now. And voters have to decide two things, whether they want to continue to go with Barack Obama’s big top down government stimulation, which has not worked so far. It might work, who knows,” the host of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News said on ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday. “Or do they want to change to a much leaner, meaner private sector driven economy. That’s what the voters have to decide in November, simple as that.”

A dismal jobs report Friday seemed to crystallize a new conventional wisdom that the race for president is really anybody’s shot. O’Reilly went a step further saying if the election were held tomorrow Romney would win because people are “afraid.” But since there are still more than four months before votes are cast, O’Reilly says Romney needs to run a do no harm campaign because this is a referendum on Obama.

“If I were Romney I would get out of the way. I mean, don’t be overbearing and he has to perform well in the three debates. He has to basically be calm, he has to put himself through it as authoritative, ‘I’m going to solve these problems, alright? We gave the president three years, it’s a mess. If you want to vote again on hope go ahead. But I have the ability to solve these problems,’” O’Reilly said.

O’Reilly’s advice is for Romney to be “lower key” in the campaign and come on strong in the three debates, because that’s one of Obama’s strengths.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bill O’Reilly on Chris Christie: He Won’t Get in 2012 Race

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- Despite the most recent round of speculation over whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will toss his hat into the 2012 presidential race, Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, who appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday, doesn’t think he’ll do it.

“[It's] very hard to raise money, very hard to put a national organization together in the period of time he would have to do so,” said the O’Reilly Factor host, whose new book, Killing Lincoln, is out Tuesday. “And I think that the governor himself, it would be wiser for him to really establish himself in New Jersey because he hasn’t been there very long.”

O’Reilly told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that it would be wiser for Christie to sit back and take his time before making a bid for the Oval Office.

As for the other 2012 contenders, Stephanopoulos asked O’Reilly why Republicans can’t give up the dream of someone else getting in the race.

“It’s always greener over there on the other side," O'Reilly said. "‘Oh he’s better, and he’s better.’ And then when they get in, just like Rick Perry, ‘Oh he’s not so good.’”

Perry has taken some criticism after the Texas governor’s most recent debate performance and second place finish at the Florida straw poll, but O’Reilly said, “[Perry's] 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 are a whole bunch of other debates and maybe he’ll do better.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michele Bachmann Says Campaign ‘Can Turn Things Around’

Tom Williams/Roll Call(CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) -- With her poll numbers plunging to the point that pundits are now questioning her relevance in the GOP race, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann Monday night defended her chances and questioned rival Rick Perry’s support after his rocky debate performance last week.

“Sure, we can turn things around,” Bachmann told Bill O’Reilly from Iowa in an appearance on FOX News’ The O’Reilly Factor. “I won the Iowa straw poll. We had a wonderful response with that. Then, of course, Gov. Perry came into the race and there was an assumption that he was going to walk away with the nomination, but now there’s a re-look at that. People are looking after the debate and they’re saying that they think now they need to look for their champion and I am the constitutional conservative in this race and I’m running to be the people’s champion and their voice in the White House."

“People are looking at the candidates on stage in the debates and they’re taking the full measure of the candidates,” she added. “In the midst of all that, I think people are giving this second look and they’re seeing who we are, what we stand for, what we’re about to do to turn this economy around. And people are saying now that they don’t want to settle because every four years people are told that we need to go with the moderate in the race because that’s the only one that will win and now we’re seeing that that’s not true, that we can really have a true constitutional conservative for our nominee.”

However, a new CNN/ORC International Poll -- conducted between Friday and Sunday and released Monday -- found Perry leading the way with 28 percent and Bachmann buried towards the back of the pack at four percent. On top of that, Bachmann’s support had fallen a whopping six percent since the previous CNN poll on Sept. 12.

At the past two debates in Florida, Bachmann blasted Perry for issuing an executive order -- later overturned by the Texas legislature -- to mandate an HPV vaccine for young girls in an effort to combat a virus that can lead to cervical cancer.

“We have to go through this vetting process so that the voters can take a good look at us and who they want to be their voice in the White House in 2012. This is the key election and people need to know who will repeal Obamacare, who will repeal Dodd-Frank....” she said Monday night before hitting out at Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for their stances on the president’s health care reforms.

“There is such a difference in this race because the two governors have said they would issue an executive order,” she said. “I’ve been in the midst of this fight with Obamacare from the beginning and the one thing I know, Bill, is the only way you can get rid of it is by a full-scale repeal. I am absolutely committed to that full-scale repeal. That is why this is the signature issue for 2012. Who will get rid of it? I will.”

The Minnesota congresswoman, emphasizing her success at the Iowa straw poll in August, said she is focusing on getting off to a strong start in the Hawkeye State caucuses this winter and then going from there.

“We’re looking at how this is going to play out and Iowa is where we’re putting our time,” she said.

But she reportedly only attracted around 50 people to an event in Cedar Rapids Monday, a far cry from some of the larger crowds who flocked to see her in this summer’s buildup to the Ames straw poll.

Overall, Bachmann told O’Reilly that she did not feel like she was being treated differently because she is the only woman in the GOP race.

“I don’t feel in any way that I’m discriminated against,” she said. “I’m just grateful to be able to be in the race. I think it’s wonderful.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly Spar over 'Common' Controversy

Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show, and Fox host Bill O'Reilly, don’t see eye to eye on much, including the recent invitation by the White House to the rapper Common to appear at a poetry event.

Stewart and O'Reilly clashed over this issue Monday night on Fox, with O'Reilly charging that the White House's invitation to the rapper was improper because of a song he wrote 11 years ago about a fugitive convicted of murdering a state trooper in 1973.

"I am saying that when a president invites someone, in this case the First Lady, the resume has to be put in front of them and they have to select someone who is almost unimpeachable," O'Reilly charged.

“He's not celebrating the killing but someone unjustly charged,” Stewart argued about the controversial song.

"Bob Dylan wrote a song about a convicted killer named Hurricane Carter. He's been to the White House. Why are you drawing the line at Common? There is a selective outrage machine here at Fox." Stewart said.

Stewart argued that by O'Reilly’s standard, any musician who has written a song about people convicted of murder -- including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bono, and Bruce Springsteen -- couldn’t be guests at the White House.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama: I Won't Let the Taliban to Retake Afghanistan

Photo Courtesy - Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Obama says the U.S. is intent on winning the war in Afghanistan by preventing the Taliban from regaining control of the country it led from the mid-1990's through 2001.

In the second part of an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, Obama asserted, "I can say we will defeat al Qaeda and that the Taliban will not be retaking Afghanistan."

The president, who ordered a surge of 30,000 more soldiers to join the coalition effort that began nearly ten years ago, praised American forces as being "on the offensive rather than being on the defensive and we’re starting to transition so that Afghan security forces are taking over."

According to Obama, one of the biggest variables that could either guarantee or squash success in Afghanistan is the performance of its volatile leader, President Hamid Karzai.

Washington has had a love-hate relationship with Karzai ever since he came to power in 2005, and Obama said, "I do think that he’s got some big changes that he has to make in his government to be legitimate in the eyes of the Afghan people over the long term."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to O'Reilly: Egypt Not Going Back

Photo Courtesy - The White House/ Chuck Kennedy(NEW YORK) -- President Obama told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly that even though he doesn't know what Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak plans to do, he believes that the protesters in the streets there have put Egypt on a path towards a more free society.

"Only he knows what he's going to do," said Obama, appearing on the Fox TV network's pregame telecast of the Super Bowl.

"Egypt is not going to go back to what it was," he said.  "The Egyptian people want freedom, they want free and fair elections, they want a representative government, they want a responsive government.  And so, what we've said is you have to start a transition now..."

President Obama said that the United States has told President Mubarak publicly and privately for many years that he cannot continue to suppress the Egyptian people.

"Part of the message that I think we're seeing all around the world is when you resort to suppression, when you resort to violence, that does not work," he said.

Asked by O'Reilly if the Muslim Brotherhood is a threat to the U.S., the president called the group "well organized," but said they are only one faction in Egypt and that they don't have majority support.  He did say that they are anti-U.S.

Asked if he's prepared for his health care overhaul to be struck down in court, the president said the federal judge who ruled last week that the health care law is unconstitutional was wrong.

"Keep in mind that we’ve had 12 judges who’ve just thrown this case out," Obama said.

The interview was lively, but with fewer sharp exchanges than when Senator Obama, at the time the Democratic presidential nominee, sat down with O'Reilly in September 2008.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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