This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 14, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Good evening. Tonight: Reverend Wright is back, and he's fighting. He's attacking FOX News. Senator Obama's embattled former pastor, Reverend Wright, goes after Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. Reverend Wright gave a eulogy at a funeral service for Judge Pincham at his Chicago church on Saturday in front of 2,500 people. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT, FORMER PASTOR, TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: FOX News can't understand that! O'Reilly will never get that! Sean Hannity's stupid fantasy will keep him forever stuck on stupid when it comes to comprehending how you can love a brother who does not believe what you believe!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Reverend Wright took direct aim at Bill O'Reilly. Well, what does Bill have to say about that? We caught up with Bill just moments ago.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you, Bill. And Reverend Wright is taking direct aim at you and Sean Hannity what do you think?
BILL O'REILLY, HOST, "THE O'REILLY FACTOR": Well, I don't know what the beef is. See, I -- that's what I can't get that, Greta. I just don't know why Reverend Wright would single me out at a eulogy for a man who was well respected in Chicago and say I don't -- I don't get what? My reporting has been pretty accurate. I mean, we listened to what he said. We said we thought it was anti-American, which it is, and maybe he shouldn't have said it. And why was Barack Obama there? I don't know what the beef is, Greta. You know, I don't know what I'm doing wrong here. I just reported what happened.
VAN SUSTEREN: Have you invited Reverend Wright on "The Factor," and maybe the two of you could sit down, have a little discussion about this and we could all watch?
O'REILLY: Eighty-seven thousand times we've invited him on "The Factor." Look, he's welcome to come in here any time, tell me anything he wants, clarify his statements or whatever. But look, he does -- what he does by doing this, by saying that Hannity and I are stupid, or whatever we are, whatever he thinks we are, is he keeps the story alive, Greta. Is this helping his guy, Barack Obama? Every time Reverend Wright shows up on national television, Obama's ratings go down 5 points.
So if I were -- and I believe that the Obama campaign has probably said to Reverend Wright, Hey, just -- can't you go on a cruise until November? Because it doesn't do Barack Obama any good to keep this insanity going. See, I was done with this story. I didn't mention it last week. I don't want to do it tonight. But all of a sudden, bingo, there he is, mentioning me, and now again, I got to get back into it and go, What's his problem, because I don't know what his problem is.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, you mentioned the polls and the impact it might have on Senator Obama. Can you position the Reverend Wright issue for Senator Obama against the most recent one, which is where he says that some people who are bitter will cling to guns and religion?
O'REILLY: Look, I like Obama. I've said that a number of times. I think he's done an extraordinary thing by pounding the Clinton machine. I don't think anybody felt that anybody could do that. You've got to give him credit for that. And he's injected energy into the campaign. You've got to give him credit for that.
But Barack Obama needs to understand where he is. He's running for the presidency, and he can't have a nutty reverend tied around his neck and he can't be telling people that the only reason they're against illegal immigration and pro having a gun is because their economics are bad. This is dopey. And no matter what he meant, it isn't going to come out right and people are going to be teed off. He just handed Hillary Clinton Pennsylvania by saying that. He said, Here, Hillary, here's Pennsylvania, bing, just gave it to her. So...
VAN SUSTEREN: How do we -- how do we know, though, or how does a voter know if he really meant that or...
O'REILLY: Oh, the voter doesn't care, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... and believes that or it's just a slip? I know, but it does make a difference. It does make a difference whether it was just, you know, a poorly phrased something versus whether or not...
O'REILLY: But to you and I...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... he might mean it.
O'REILLY: To you and I, it makes a difference. To you and me, it makes a difference, whatever is grammatically correct.
VAN SUSTEREN: Me.
O'REILLY: OK. And I respect that about you, and I do it, too. I want to know what he meant. I want to know, you know, what (INAUDIBLE) But the casual person watching three hours of "American Idol" every week, just hearing stuff in the wind, Greta, they're not interested in psychoanalyzing Barack Obama. They know that he's got a nutty preacher friend. They know that his wife said something controversial. And now they know that for some reason, he dragged guns and church into an economic debate. Greta, come on! This is the president race and people are just going to...
VAN SUSTEREN: But does it matter?
O'REILLY: ... go, Ah!
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, the way -- it almost sounds like you're sort of dismissive of it, and maybe it doesn't matter. But do these things matter, do you think, because...
O'REILLY: Of course they matter. As I just said, he just handed Pennsylvania to Clinton.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there's a lot more than Pennsylvania in this race.
O'REILLY: OK. But if he had competed with Clinton in Pennsylvania and it was close, it would have been over. It would have been over. But now Clinton's probably going to win big there. Then she reenergizes her campaign, and it goes down and back and forth. You know what's going to happen.
You know, somebody said to me, Look, Obama just can't close the deal. He comes very close, but then he says something like this. Now, what should Obama do? He should sit down right here, right here on "The Factor," OK, and 20 million Americans would watch that on this program, on YouTube, wherever it may be, and he can clarify everything he wants to clarify. But he's not going to do that.
He had a great line today. Did you hear the Annie Oakley line? Did you hear that?
VAN SUSTEREN: I did hear it.
O'REILLY: That was a great line and...
VAN SUSTEREN: Great line, but -- well, let me ask you this, though. He had the great line about that, but then he talks about a six-shooter in a duck blind.
O'REILLY: Yes. And he -- and he...
VAN SUSTEREN: Not a shotgun in a duck blind.
O'REILLY: ... tried to make Hillary Clinton out to be a hypocrite and to, you know, say, Look, are you going to vote for this phony over here? Obama is very talented, but he's made some mistakes. And if he wants to be president, he's going to have to rectify those mistakes. And right now, his campaign is not willing to put him out in places where he could do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You said 87,000 times you've invited Reverend Wright.
VAN SUSTEREN: How many thousand times have you invited Senator Obama on "The Factor?"
O'REILLY: Well, he said he would come on "The Factor," as you remember, in the New Hampshire little chat I had with him. So we're taking him at his word, so we haven't pounded his door since then. He said, After the primaries, which end June 3, I'll come on "The Factor." So that's fair enough. We're waiting.
But if he wanted to get ahead of the curve, he'd come on now and say, Look, Bill, this is what I meant about the folks out with the guns and in the churches, and this is what I meant about Reverend Wright and this is what -- he would do it because it can only help him at this point because now...
VAN SUSTEREN: But that -- well, that's just my point.
O'REILLY: ... he's got a lot of weight on his resume.
VAN SUSTEREN: That's just my point. If it is a problem, and you say that it is a problem with voters, he just handed Pennsylvania to Senator Clinton -- wouldn't it be smart to at least try to get ahead of the game and either do "The Factor" or do something...
O'REILLY: It would be to me.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... else, at least to come out swinging?
O'REILLY: Look, he can come out swinging all day long, but it just depends on the venue. I mean, he can run over to CNN and do a little kissy face with them. What does that matter? Number one, nobody's going to watch it, and number two, it doesn't matter. But if he wants to establish himself as somebody who can answer the tough questions and can explain himself, we'll give him an hour. I'll give the guy an hour, a whole show! Come on here. What did you mean by this? What did you mean by that, bah, bah, bah. He can say what he wants to say. That would be very -- I think, get some momentum.
If he continues to do what he -- if it lays this way, he's going to lose Pennsylvania by 10, maybe less, but probably by that. And then Hillary Clinton's going to get out there and say, Hey, I can win all the big states. He can't beat McCain. McCain's going to shove all this down his throat. You got to go with me. And that's a compelling argument.
VAN SUSTEREN: One to ten scale, last question. In terms of the "bitter" remark about clinging to religion and guns and the Reverend Wright being sort of resurrected by attacking you, can be a very serious problem for him politically. Where is he right now on a 1 to 10?
O'REILLY: Five. I think Obama has lost a lot of his mojo with the majority of the American people. He's still got his core. His core is going to stay with him. It might be enough. Core might be enough for him to make it. But certainly, Hillary Clinton has regained some momentum after this weekend for Barack Obama. And I will tell the Obama campaign, somehow, you got to get Reverend Wright out of the picture.
O'REILLY: You got to get him out of the picture because he ain't helping your guy.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Bill, thank you. And you'll be back at the top of the hour for "The O'Reilly Factor." Thank you, Bill.
O'REILLY: OK. Any time, Greta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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