As expected, our trip to the Granite State over the weekend caused a little bit of commotion. Nothing serious, but it was illuminating.
A staff member for Barack Obama tried to block us from photographing the senator when we had a perfect right to do so. Of course, I couldn't allow that intrusion. And in just a few moments we will show you exactly what occurred unedited.
Now Sen. Obama himself was a gentleman. And everybody else, including the Clinton campaign, treated us well.
We went up to New Hampshire to give you an inside view of the primary process there. This wasn't a policy trip. We'll do that in calmer settings. This was just a look at the whole entire process.
New Hampshire's a very tiny state, just 1.3 million people. But right now it's obviously huge in the electoral process. Unlike many states, independents can vote up there. And independents are big in New Hampshire.
What you are about to see is what we saw, beginning early in the morning and ending just before the formal Saturday night debate. We'll show you what happened. Then I'll come back to set up the Obama controversy. Then we'll show you that unedited. So let's roll the tape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next president of the United States, Senator Barack Obama!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The next president of the United States, Mitt Romney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next president of the United States, Governor Mike Huckabee.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.
O'REILLY: All right, so here we are in New Hampshire. And our first stop is at a local high school, where Hillary Clinton's supposed to show up. And there are Hillary people over there.
Now as you may know, we've never spoken to Senator Clinton. I met her one time, had a nice little conversation. What we're going to try to do is get her after her speech so she'll talk to us. Now what are the odds of that happening? You can bet right now.
HILLARY CLINTON: Why don't we go ahead and get started? This young lady right there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Clinton, Bill O'Reilly just asked me…
CLINTON: Bill O'Reilly. Oh, hi, Bill, how are you? Now wait, you got to give him points for courage. Go ahead, dear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bill O'Reilly just asked me what your plan is for removing troops from Iraq. And I thought since you're going to be the next president, you might be able to explain it a little bit better than I will.
CLINTON: Thank you. Well, this question is for you and for Bill O'Reilly. I have said that on the first day I'm inaugurated president, I'm going to ask the joint chiefs, the secretary of defense and my security advisers to give me a plan as soon as possible so that I could begin withdrawing troops within 60 days.
O'REILLY: So here we are at the Obama rally about 30 minutes away from Hillary Clinton. Now the Clinton people, no surprise, say we couldn't talk to the senator. But we left Jesse Watters there to try to, you know, maybe get a few words. We'll let you know how that turns out later on. But for now, we're going to go inside here and see what Senator Obama has to say.
OBAMA: How's it going, Nashua? We can change the world in three days' time. Thank you, New Hampshire. I love you.
O'REILLY: All right, here we are, waiting for him, waiting for Senator Obama. And we'll see if he will chat with us for a minute. Great position, we're in great position here.
Hey, stop blocking the shot, pal. You're blocking the shot.
Senator, we came all the way up to see you. Senator, a word?
OBAMA: Thank you. Good to see you.
O'REILLY: Can we have a word? Look, you're a good man.
OBAMA: I've got a whole bunch of people (INAUDIBLE).
O'REILLY: Can we have a word some time?
OBAMA: How about after the primary?
O'REILLY: All right.
OBAMA: All right?
O'REILLY: That's good. Thank you, very much. You're a good guy.
OBAMA: After the primary, we'll go.
O'REILLY: After New Hampshire.
OBAMA: After the primary, all right? We'll be (INAUDIBLE).
O'REILLY: Meantime, the Secret Service wouldn't let Jesse Watters anywhere near Hillary Clinton.
JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Senator, we're with O'Reilly. Just one moment of your time. If we could just have one moment.
O'REILLY: So she drove off into the sunset. And that tells you why the press can't get any spontaneous questions to Senator Clinton. Now we're trying to get Mitt Romney, which I think, will be a lot easier.
O'REILLY: So a new strategy here, governor?
MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, not so much a new strategy as going back to the basic part of my strategy from the beginning. When I announced I did it at the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation, saying we needed change in Washington. And the message is real straightforward. Washington is broken. It can't deal with the problems we have.
O'REILLY: So that's what Hillary's saying, because I saw her this morning. And that's what Obama's saying. Just came from him. Everybody wants to change deal going on. So now the folks are going to go OK, well, how are we going to change?
O'REILLY: And that's what it comes down to.
ROMNEY: That's exactly right. The only way we're going to win the White House and keep Barack Obama from having it is to put somebody up who can describe how it is we can change Washington.
O'REILLY: But wait.
ROMNEY: And I spent my life changing things.
O'REILLY: You just eliminated Hillary Clinton.
ROMNEY: Oh, I think Barack Obama's…
O'REILLY: You think Obama's the man, huh?
ROMNEY: I think Barack Obama has shown that the Hillary Clinton message that I've been in Washington a long time, I know the ins and outs, that was rejected.
O'REILLY: So you think Obama's the guy now?
ROMNEY: I think Obama has caught the message that — is listening to what people are saying, which is they're tired of seeing business as usual in Washington. They want change. And what I can bring is — I've been bringing change to everything I've touched.
O'REILLY: All right, here we are in a last go-around. And you see the rocking chairs there, a little Arkansas down-home for Mike Huckabee. Now we looked for Fred Thompson, couldn't find him. Looked for John McCain, couldn't find him. We did find Rudy Giuliani, who couldn't work out logistics, and we didn't even look for John Edwards. So our sojourn up here to New Hampshire comes to an end with Governor Huckabee.
Well you're our last stop, governor. We just talked to Mitt Romney. He knocked out Hillary Clinton. He said Obama's got a firestorm. And he thinks he's going to carry it. What do you think?
MIKE HUCKABEE, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Obama has definitely got momentum and so do I. I think we both came out of Iowa surprising people.
O'REILLY: So you'd rather face Obama if you get the nomination on the GOP side than Hillary?
HUCKABEE: Well, frankly, I'd like for both of them to drop out and recognize I'd be a better president.
HUCKABEE: Short of that.
O'REILLY: There you go.
HUCKABEE: I tell you one thing I do believe that if it were Obama and Huckabee, I believe it would be a very civil race.
O'REILLY: Do you think the Clintons are going to throw that mud at you? And you know them pretty well in the Arkansas deal.
HUCKABEE: Oh, yes. I mean, they — I've run against their machine of the Clintons every time I've ever run for public office. I'm the only person running for president who actually understands it from the inside out.
O'REILLY: It's a tough machine.
HUCKABEE: It's an incredibly tough machine. It's more like a sausage grinder than it is just a machine.
O'REILLY: Last question: Is Chuck Norris going to be your VP nominee? And I saw Chuck the other day — he's starting to dress better.
HUCKABEE: Chuck's — he's rested, he's tanned, he's toned, he's ready. Of course, Chuck's always rested, tanned, toned, and ready.
O'REILLY: Chuck might do well. You send him over to the jihadists, you know what I'm talking about? Who would you rather face: Chuck or Dick Cheney? Come on.
HUCKABEE: You know, look, Chuck takes the whole thing down in two days. He gets, you know, Osama in a choke hold and puts him away once and for all. It's done.
O'REILLY: Governor, good luck to you, man.
HUCKABEE: Thank you.
O'REILLY: Nice to see you.
HUCKABEE: Thanks for coming to New Hampshire and coming to see us on the road. I'm sorry that not all the campaigns were as accommodating as we've tried to be. But you know what? We don't have to be afraid of O'Reilly because the truth never hurts.
O'REILLY: All right, now the Obama incident. At many campaign stops is what they call a rope line, where folks and the press stand to greet the candidate. "The Factor" was in place as Senator Obama came toward us.
Now suddenly, a 6'8" guy, who apparently works for Obama, walked over and stood directly in front of my photographer. Now my photographer was very polite. He moved a few feet to the left, but the guy then moves over and blocks his shot again. Well, that's a total violation of press freedom. So I had no choice, ladies and gentlemen, but to uphold the Constitution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Hey, stop blocking the shot now. You're blocking the shot. No, you're not. You're doing it on purpose.
Don't block the shot. Don't block the shot, got it? Don't block the shot.
No, you're not. You're blocking the shot. Get over there. Get him out of there.
You don't want to do that. We have a right to be here to shoot the shot. Son of a (EXPLETIVE).
Yes, that's really low class, pal. Really low class. And everybody in the world will see it.
Hey senator, a word, please. Senator, a word, please. Senator, we came all the way up to see you. Senator, a word?
OBAMA: Let me shake your hand.
O'REILLY: Thank you.
OBAMA: Good to see you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OK. Now as you saw, Senator Obama himself was a gentleman. And the Secret Service did its job monitoring its proceedings and allowing me to speak with the senator when he turned around. All in all, I chalk this up to an overreaction by one Obama guy. And I'm just glad he was four inches taller than I am. Can you imagine the headlines if this was a little guy?
Pinheads & Patriots
The "FOX & Friends" crew is on a roll. Last month — December — Gretchen, Doocy and Kilmeade were up 17 percent in the ratings year to year. CNN gained nothing, and MSNBC morning's disaster lost 33 percent, one-third of its audience. They didn't have any audience anyway, year to year. Can anyone say Titanic?
We say the "FOX & Friends" gang are patriots, because they put on a good, honest program.
On the pinhead front: Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet completely lied about the Obama incident. You saw it at the top of the program. Much of the press was misleading, but Ms. Sweet was the absolute worse.
We invited her on "The Factor" to explain, but she is hiding under a New Hampshire snowdrift. So if you see that woman, tell her she's a pinhead.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads and Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org