This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 11, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The lead story tonight: President Obama taking his health care message to New Hampshire. In front of a friendly crowd in Portsmouth, the president went on the offensive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The way politics works sometimes is that people who want to keep things the way they are will try to scare the heck out of folks, and they'll create bogeymen out there that just aren't real. Every time we come close to passing health insurance reform, the special interests fight back with everything they've got. They use their inference. They use their political allies to scare and mislead the American people. They start running ads. This is what they always do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Things were not as calm for Sen. Arlen Specter, who appeared in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in front of largely hostile crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER, D-PA.: You want to be — you want to be led — you want to be led out of here? You're welcome to go. Now, wait a minute, now, wait a minute, now, wait a minute. Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You want to leave? Leave.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am going to speak my mind before I leave because your people told me I could. I called your office, and I was told I could have the mic to speak. And then I was lied to, because I came prepared to speak. And instead, you wouldn't let anybody speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Well, very intense. Joining us now from Washington, FOX News analyst Karl Rove.
All right, let's take President Obama first. I thought he was better today in getting his message out in New Hampshire. It was a friendly crowd. They stacked it, I think, you know, to make sure that there was no disrespect. Now, President Obama submits that the insurance companies have rigged the health care system and that the only way they can unrig is the government to put out standards to help the insurance companies must follow and create a parallel universe where the government would offer health insurance to drive down the price. That's basically what this is all about. You say to that what?
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, look, we don't need a government insurance company to compete with 1,300 private insurance companies in order to guarantee competition. You know, that logic would say that on the other essentials in life, you know, automobiles, we need a government automobile company. We need a government food company. We need a government clothing company. Also that we can have competition. We don't need that. We don't have, you know, look, he, himself, made this point today. FedEx and UPS, he said are doing well. It's the post office that's in trouble. Well, guess what, the post office is the government-run entity. So I — you know, I thought he did better today, Bill, but I got to tell you, it sounded like a campaign, not a president. And somebody ought to go through and line by line look at the misstatements that he made. I've been reading the transcript of it this afternoon. And you know, for example, he says the AARP is onboard and endorsed our plan.
O'REILLY: They haven't.
ROVE: Well the AARP issued a statement yesterday saying no.
O'REILLY: Well, they were on our show last night, and they said they didn't.
O'REILLY: And that was a misstatement. But rather than snipe at Obama's misstatements, let's take what's very important to all the American people right now. You've got a situation whereby you can't buy from the 1,300 insurance companies that you mention. You can't, because each state regulates which insurance company can be in a state.
O'REILLY: So the first…
O'REILLY: ...thing that has to happen is, you got to take that rule away.
O'REILLY: All the insurance companies that deal with health care…
O'REILLY: …can compete in every state. That's No. 1.
ROVE: Absolutely. Yeah. Congressman John Shaddick of Arizona has been advocating this for a long time. And you're absolutely right. Look, auto insurance, you can buy your auto insurance.
O'REILLY: From any place.
ROVE: Any company.
O'REILLY: From a lizard. A lizard will sell it to you.
ROVE: A lizard in Bethesda. Yeah, a lizard in Bethesda, Maryland. But we do not allow people to buy health insurance across state lines.
O'REILLY: That's insane, OK.
ROVE: So the 25-year-old guy in Northeast Pennsylvania pays one-third the cost of the guy living right across the border in New York 30 miles away. Higher in New Jersey than in Connecticut. Higher than in North Dakota than in South Dakota. That is nuts. A national market would insure more competition, lower prices, better product.
O'REILLY: OK. Then there are the insurance companies who hose people. And believe me, I've been hosed myself because I buy my own insurance, OK? And I think the government has to regulate those kinds of things. Do you disagree with that?
ROVE: I don't. But we got to be careful about it, how much regulation we have. And I'm particularly concerned. I don't have a good answer for this, but the idea of pre-existing conditions, of requiring companies to accept pre-existing conditions, I worry about this a little bit from both perspectives.
O'REILLY: You see, I wouldn't. But here's what I would do. I wouldn't require private companies to insure anybody, because that's not capitalism. I would set up a government insurance — health insurance agency that would do that. See…
O'REILLY: ...you can set it up whereby if you want, if you have a pre-existing condition, the government should help you out a little bit, OK? That's where the government can go. So, anyway.
O'REILLY: Go ahead. Go ahead.
ROVE: There are ways to get about it.
O'REILLY: Yeah, there are ways to solve…
ROVE: There are ways to deal with it. That's right. Short of taking the whole system, turning it upside down, and making…
O'REILLY: Well, I agree with you on that.
ROVE: …a large amount of people dependent on government health care.
O'REILLY: If I could get Barack Obama in here with you, I think the three of us could come up with a health care plan that would pass and could sail right through. If he…
ROVE: Well, I'm not sure because a big component of it's also got to be tort reform, medical liability reform to get the junk laws…
O'REILLY: All of that has to happen.
ROVE: ...to keep lawsuits out of the system. Got to happen. And he has not been willing to step up to the line.
O'REILLY: But see, Mr. Rove…
ROVE: I think it's part of the dialogue here.
O'REILLY: Here's the mistake you're making. With you and me sitting with him, we would persuade him, all right.
ROVE: I'm not certain — it's up to you.
O'REILLY: All right.
ROVE: Not me.
O'REILLY: You made headlines again today. Karl Rove made headlines.
O'REILLY: This is the Associated Press: "Former White House political adviser Karl Rove was deeply involved in the firing of a U.S. Attorney in New Mexico, according to White House e-mails and transcripts of closed door testimony released today." And you say what?
ROVE: Anybody can go to Rove.com and read the testimony. And that's not what it says.
O'REILLY: So the AP lied?
ROVE: What it says was — AP has not read the document. Go read the — they got to go read the transcript of my interview.
O'REILLY: All right.
ROVE: What I said was this. I passed on to the White House council's office to pass on to the Justice Department complaints about the performance of the U.S. Attorney in New Mexico, that he failed to go after ACORN in clear cases of vote fraud, that he bungled a high prosecution — a high-profile corruption prosecution by interfering with the career prosecutors, and that he was treating an indictment of people in a courthouse corruption case very politically by refusing to indict them when the case was ready but waiting for nine months, 12 months, 14 months until after an election. These were charges that were made about him. Allegations. I was not in a position to find out whether or not they were accurate. That was up to the Justice Department. But I had an obligation to pass those on through the appropriate channels.
O'REILLY: All you did was pass them along.
O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Rove.
O'REILLY: OK, I want people to go — give the Web site address again so they can see for themselves.
ROVE: You can go and look at my statement on this issue, and you can look at my entire interview.
O'REILLY: All right. And then compare it, they want everybody to compare it to the Associated Press report. Mr. Rove, always a pleasure. Thanks very much.
ROVE: Thank you.
O'REILLY: And we'll try to get that meeting with the president together. I'm sure he'd be pleased to have that.
ROVE: I'll be there.
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