This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Impact Segment" tonight, as we've been telling you, it looks like President Obama is setting up the Republican Party for a very hard fall on both gun control and the debt ceiling.
The President simply will not offer any compromise on federal spending that might get a debt deal done. And on guns, as we just heard, he's threatening executive orders.
So, I think, the President simply wants to damage the republicans rather than solve complicated problems, at least at this juncture. Joining us from Washington with his take, Fox News Political Analyst, Charles Krauthammer.
I see it as a chess game. Rather than both parties working together to get some gun legislation that might help folks control criminals in that area, and rather than getting the debt ceiling done with some, you know, meaningful cuts in spending, the President says, "You know, I'm not even going to bother. I want to alienate the republicans so that people will be angry with them." Am I wrong.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he's been doing that ever since Election Day. I wrote a column on the first week of December, pointing out that his entire strategy for the fiscal cliff was to split the republicans.
It had nothing to do -- his offers had nothing to do with solving the fiscal issue or solving the debt. He showed no interest in reducing the debt since the day he was elected in 2008.
He appoints a commission. Two years later, he ignores it. He has never talked about any structural cuts in entitlements. He has no interest in that.
He wants the entitlement state. If you want a European-style entitlement state, you need European-style taxation. That's all he's interested in.
But his strategy with fiscal cliff, as is his strategy with the debt ceiling, is to split, fracture, and, therefore, neuter the Republicans in the House.
Because that is all that stands between him and total dominance of Washington in his second term. He wants a return to 2009-2010 when he had control of both Houses.
He had a super majority in the Senate, huge majority in the House, and revolutionized healthcare, and pass the biggest-spending bill and the stimulus in galactic history.
That's what he wants. And the only way to do it is to do what he is doing. And it already worked with the fiscal cliff. Fracture the Republicans.
Who was in charge of the last vote, Nancy Pelosi and the democrats. She got nine out of 10 to go with her, a few republicans. She controlled the agenda. That's his strategy.
O'REILLY: And it's working. And I don't know whether it's going to work down the road but he's got two huge things going for him. The media behind him, all right.
And so, they're going to support what he does, generally speaking, on the network news level, in the major urban newspapers, and in the wire services like the "Associated Press."
He's got all of that favorable push. Then he's got a lack of anybody in the Republican Party who can stand up to him, eye-to-eye, man-to-man, and say, "You're ruining the country, Mr. President."
It's the leadership -- look, you might like John Boehner. Most Americans don't know who he is, all right. Marco Rubio will be on this program tomorrow, a rising star, but doesn't have nearly the status of President Obama or the bully pulpit.
And the press, certainly, are not going to give Rubio a break. So that if everything is going the President's way -- and I think that's how he feels, that he's got the momentum and he's going to squash the republicans now, once and for all, during his term.
KRAUTHAMMER: Look, I think you're right in identifying the two factors. But there's one fundamental difference between those two factors. The media, the press, the intellectuals, academia, Hollywood, they're always left. They always were. They always will be.
That's the sun rising in the east. You've got to live with it. And despite that, we elected Reagan, we elected Bush, and then the second Bush.
But the other factor is not constant. And that's where I think you've got it wrong because you were arguing earlier on the show that it is some kind of structural change in the country, the liberals have a direct say on the leadership of Obama and republicans and conservatives are lost.
But that is simply a function of the fact that the democrats have just won the presidential election. When you look at where the democrats were after 2000, when they lost, they had no leadership.
Who was going to lead the party after the Gore defeat. In 2004, who was leader of the party. Nobody even heard of Barack Obama --
O'REILLY: But what you have now though is a changing country.
KRAUTHAMMER: -- in 1984 and 1988, whenever a party loses a presidential election, people say that --
O'REILLY: I understand that but what I think you're looking is the country has changed in 12 years. The minority vote is much more substantial.
The younger Americans are not engaged. They don't really pay attention. And they're going on whim and they're going on trend. And the media is much more rabidly pro-left now than it was.
So, three things have changed. Then, I agree, you know, whenever a party wins, they're going to take some momentum into the next year.
KRAUTHAMMER: Look, every time --
O'REILLY: But I think it has changed America now. I really think it's changed.
KRAUTHAMMER: No, I think you're wrong. Every time a party loses, you get a book coming out saying, "The Permanent Republican Majority," "The Permanent Liberal Majority."
Nothing in the country is permanent. What's important to remember is this, the republicans have taken a beating. Liberalism, I think, we would agree, which is all-tax and all-spend, will not work.
Hochstein once said, "If something can't go on, it won't go on. It will stop." It all stopped in Europe. You can only go on spending, racking up debt and, at one point, the merry-go-round stops.
It's going to stop for the United States. You cannot have trillion- dollar deficits every year.
O'REILLY: Yes, the pain is going to be unbelievable.
KRAUTHAMMER: If liberalism does not work, and it doesn't, it will be rejected. And the conservatives will find their leader. They just always do.
O'REILLY: I'm not disagreeing that will happen down the road. But I don't want a catastrophe before it happens. And I think that's where we're headed.