• With: Karl Rove

    This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 12, 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 "Personal Story" segment tonight, as you may know, President Putin of Russia insulted every single American by granting political asylum to NSA leaker, Edward Snowden.

    The U.S.A. wants Snowden to stand trial for disseminating classified information but Putin ignored President Obama's request to send Snowden back for trial.


    BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I don't have a bad personal relationship with Putin. When we have conversations, they're candid, they're blunt, oftentimes, they're constructive.

    I know, the press likes to focus on body language. And he's got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom.


    O'REILLY: Well, some conservatives did not like the president's statement.


    JOHN MCCAIN, SENATOR, ARIZONA (R): The president, comparing him to a kid in the back of the classroom, I think is very indicative of the president's lack of appreciation of who Vladimir Putin is.

    BRAD BLAKEMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The nicest thing he said about Putin was, "Hey, we don't have a bad relationship." Yet, he called him the kid who slumps in the back of the room in a classroom.

    I mean, is that what you say to a peer. Is that what you say to somebody you respect.


    O'REILLY: Interesting question. But why would anyone respect Vladimir Putin. He's a human rights violator who has spit in the eye of America. Why would you respect him.

    So, I like what President Obama said. I think it's accurate. Putin is an immature and irresponsible leader.

    Joining us now from Washington, Fox News Analyst, Karl Rove. So, am I wrong here, Mr. Rove.

    KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, you can play it in two different criticisms of Obama. Frankly, Senator McCain is probably closer in his view to you than you think he is.

    But let's take them in and look at them separately. Brad Blakeman's point is that if you are dealing with a peer, you don't want to be insulting the peer unnecessarily.

    But Vladimir Putin is a prickly personality. And the president needs to deal with him as the president. And he was dealing with him in a news conference as a pundit. He was falling back.

    And he was moving -- he had good language at the beginning, "We have a constructive relationship. It is candid and blunt and, sometimes, it's constructive."

    He should have stopped there. Instead though, he had to say something that was going to cause Putin to, sort of, say, "You know, the president doesn't think well of me," --

    O'REILLY: So what.

    ROVE: -- "And I want to get back at him." Well, because what --

    O'REILLY: Well, look. We've already gotten back at him. I think that the time for being kind with Putin is over, isn't it. How much more does he have to rub our faces --

    ROVE: There was never any detente with Putin. I realized this, --

    O'REILLY: All right, so blank him and if he's slouching, well, let's call him a slouch because he is.

    ROVE: Look, look, there's no you title n. Doing that what's useful is focusing on policy in disagreements and not doing things that give him excuse.

    O'REILLY: But, wait, wait, wait, wait. What do you mean there's no utility --

    ROVE: Let me finish. Let me finish.

    O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait. No, let me challenge. What do you mean there's no utility in doing it.

    There comes a point when you call out the schoolyard bully and you slap him around a little bit. And that's what he did.

    ROVE: Only if he thinks that you're tough. And let's go back. Let's rhyme this back.

    Obama comes into office and the first thing he does is he stiffs our allies in the Czech Republic and Poland over a missile defense system for Europe, and does so unilaterally with no pre-consultation.

    And Putin looks at him and says, "He'll stab his friends in the back. He's weak." He says, "Oh, I desperately want a reset with you. Let's meet. I'm going to send my secretary of state over with a little button from the, you know, reset button with -- it wasn't easy. And he looks at him and says, "What are you doing." And then he looks at him and says, "OK, the guy says Gadhafi has got to go."

    And then takes no action to make him go. And it's the French and the Brits who make him go. He says, he's weak.

    Two years ago, he says, "Bashar Assad has got to go." And then, Bashar Assad, two years later, is still in power. He looks at this guy and says -- Putin looks at him and says, "He's weak."

    O'REILLY: All right, I'm not arguing with that.

    ROVE: So, you don't want -- you know, it's like the 90-pound weakling --