WASHINGTON – President Obama told Bill O’Reilly Monday on “The O’Reilly Factor” that he was waiting to get an official recommendation from Secretary of State John Kerry before proceeding with the Keystone Pipeline.
Obama also took issue with the number of jobs the pipeline would create after supporters said it would create tens of thousands.
“Keystone Pipeline, a new study comes in, environmental impact negligible, 42, 000 jobs. You’re going to OK it, I assume,” O’Reilly asked.
Obama responded, “Well, first of all, it’s not 42,000. That’s not correct. It’s a couple of thousand to build the pipeline.”
He said the next steps in the pipeline approval process would be to get “agencies to comment on what the State Department did, public’s allowed to comment, Kerry’s going to, then, give me a recommendation.”
On Friday, supporters and opponents of the Keystone Pipeline project both were quick to claim victories following a report released by the State Department. The oil industry and many congressional Republicans have asked the Obama administration to move forward with the project that would ship 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to Texas refineries.
Shifting topics, O’Reilly asked Obama to comment on poverty in America, specifically why the median income has dropped 17 percent among working families in the United States.
O’Reilly also asked the president why he and the first lady did not have a campaign to reduce the number of babies born out of wedlock in African-American communities.
“I’ll send you at least 10 speeches that I’ve made since I’ve been president talking about the importance of men taking responsibility for their children, talking about the importance of young people delaying gratification, talking about the importance of when it comes to child-rearing, paying child support, spending time with your kids, reading with them,” Obama said. “So whether it’s getting publicity or not is a whole different question.”
The interview, part of a two-night prime time special, brought together the two men and their work with veterans.
“I have come to you four times,” O’Reilly said. “And every time you have done what I have asked. And we have raised more than $20 million.”
Obama ended the interview by saying “self-reliance is alive and well in America. I think the problem is people don’t see as many opportunities to get ahead.”