Interviews

Is Obama a Divisive President?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 28, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Unresolved Problems" segment tonight: In The Wall Street Journal today, two former advisers to Democratic presidents have an op-ed titled "Our Divisive President." They make this provocative claim:

"Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship."

Is that all? Joining us from New York, one of the co-authors of the piece, Doug Schoen, who was a pollster for former President Bill Clinton. He's also a Fox News analyst.

Now, Doug, it's great to see you. I've been reading your pieces and looking at your polling data over the last couple of months. And you say that this president, far from being post-racial, is in many ways the most racial figure that we've had in the office for some time. Why?

DOUGLAS SCHOEN, DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANT: Well, Laura, if you look at what has happened recently with the Arizona immigration law, which you were discussing, it's clearly an attempt to divide and mobilize the Hispanic vote. The Shirley Sherrod case last week is a case-in-point. The president and the Skip Gates case rushed to judgment. This isn't the kind of behavior you would expect from somebody who said he was going to unify the country, bring people together and be post-partisan and hopefully beyond race. It's very sad, I think.

INGRAHAM: In my book "The Obama Diaries" I have two chapters. One is called the "Audacity of Narcissism" and the other is called "Demonizing the Enemy." Both of those factors come into play here, don't they? Because part of this is demonizing those who disagree, let's say, on immigration. That means you're a xenophobe and racially intolerant. The other part is, you know, is really saying come on, America, I'm historic. I'm cool. I have a beautiful family and you should follow me. Plus, I'm going on "The view" and that means I'm more popular.

SCHOEN: Well, in the book "Game Change," President Obama was quoted as saying, "It's a great gig being Barack Obama" and indeed it is, and he is a historic figure. But you would hope and want him to use that position to bring people together. And the demonization, Laura, that you speak of is exactly right. He would say to bankers or to corporate executives, either you're with me or we'll go against you. Look at the polls and, by the way, do you want to make a campaign contribution? And the point is not that I'm saying anything illegal happened, but it's, again, not the way we wanted or expected America would be governed in the Obama presidency. It's very disappointing.

INGRAHAM: At some point, you would think that the Democrats would see that tying their own boats to the Obama dock is probably not going to save them in the next political storm. But right now, the Democrats are holding pretty firm with him. He's still going out and will be campaigning for some of the candidates in the fall. But if you're running in a tight contest, let's say for governor -- in a governor's race, Doug, depending on where you are in the country, would you want President Obama to come in let's say if you're in the South or maybe if you're Suzanna Martinez and running against her in New Mexico for that governor's office?

SCHOEN: The only reason you're going to want President Obama now in a swing state or a swing congressional district is to raise money. But as Election Day approaches, I think more and more Democrats are going to be afraid and more and more Democrats are going to distance themselves from the administration.

INGRAHAM: Doug, it's always great to see you. Thank you so much.

SCHOEN: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

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