O'Reilly: Bush, Obama Both Patriots
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 08:14 AM
By: Drew MacKenzie
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has defended his Super Bowl interview with President Barack Obama after being attacked by liberals for being too harsh and by tea party conservatives for being too soft.
On Tuesday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC, “The O’Reilly Factor” host said that a 10 minute interview live was difficult and characterized Obama's as 'the toughest interview of my life'. " He also talked about showing respect to any world leader, including Obama, and that he would never “throw water” on the president like right-wing conservatives hoped he would have done during the chat.
Saying that he doesn’t believe that Obama has some form of evil agenda to “subvert the nation,” O’Reilly said, “I am the toughest guy on the block when it comes to holding (leaders) accountable for what they do.
“Remember in the Obama interview, I asked why did you not fire (Health and Human Services Secretary) Kathleen Sebelius. She screwed up Obamacare. She’s still there. Why am I paying you her salary, for what? She should have been axed from day one. "
“He didn’t answer the question. I said, ‘You are not going to answer that are you.’ And he gave me the old Obama smile. Then I have to move along. I can’t pick up the water and throw it at him, as some of the right-wingers want me to do. I can’t.”
O’Reilly was attacked by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, for asking “inappropriate” questions of Obama in the interview while television commentator Geraldo Rivera accused him of being confrontational with the president and not showing him “the respect and deference that you pay the office."
But O’Reilly hit back against his critics on Kimmel, saying that it was his job to get information and he was only given a 10-minute window with Obama.
“The interview with President Obama is the toughest interview of my life. I’ve never done anything more difficult. You’re up against the clock from day one. And President Obama can do 20 minutes (talking about) socks. I mean, the guy is very eloquent and he can just take it where he wants to take it.
“But my job is to not have him do that, to answer a series of questions. So, therefore, I have to interrupt the most powerful man in the world. Which I did because I’m obnoxious, that's what I do -- part of my charm.
“But you can't do it in a way that denigrates him, that makes him look bad. Now, this is my third interview with Obama. I think I know him pretty well. So I know where I can get in. And before the interview, I say to him, ‘You know it's me, OK? This isn’t, I’m going to ask you one question and you're going to fly with your spin. That’s not going to happen. This is more of a conversation.’ And to his credit, he said OK. And he delivered."
O’Reilly also said that he believes that Obama truly wants the best for America and called him a true “patriot.”
“I like Barack Obama as I liked George W. Bush,” O’Reilly added. “I think they're both patriots. Now, you may not agree with their policies, you may think they're not managing well. That’s fine. Everybody has an opinion. But as human beings, I think they're both trying to do what's best for their country. So I admire that. I respect that.”