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O'Reilly Spars With Maher on 'Real Time'

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: As you may know, Bill Maher appears on this broadcast from time to time. So when he asked me to go on his HBO program, I said yes. That's called professional courtesy. Anyway, the conversation was lively to say the least.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MAHER, HOST, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": So, Bill, as I was just saying to you off the air, thank you for hanging around. I know that this is Friday for you. You probably want to get home and the last thing you want to do is talk to me.

O'REILLY: Not true, Maher. I've been looking forward to this for about 35 seconds.

MAHER: He insults me, and he calls me Maher. Now, I'm having trouble. I know you guys won -- or the conservatives, the Republicans won the election big on Tuesday. And they always say that they're taking the country back and that Obama has a leftist agenda. I'm still trying to find out what about Obama is leftist? I know you think he is, but he's never said a word about gun control.

O'REILLY: And that's another good question, Maher. That's two good questions. I'm very impressed. Here, look, in "Pinheads and Patriots," my new book, I have at the end...

MAHER: Yes, I was going to plug it, Bill.

O'REILLY: You don't have to. I'll do it. I have at the end of the book, all right, the interview I did with President Obama in 2008 two months before the election. I printed it verbatim, OK?

And in that interview I say, "Look, what you're saying, Senator" -- at the time -- "is income redistribution. It's social justice. All the programs that you want to add are liberal programs." He doesn't deny it. He doesn't deny it. If you read the interview, he basically is saying to you, "I'm a liberal man."

MAHER: But that's not a leftist or a socialist. I mean, if a president, as he does, wants to...

O'REILLY: Depends on how far you take it.

MAHER: Well, he wants to raise taxes three percent more on people making over $250 grand a year. That doesn't seem like a leftist thing. His entire economic team is Wall Streeters. He's upped the Pentagon budget. He's stayed in Afghanistan. I don't know what about this man could be considered in any way leftist, which is why he's so disappointing to my...

O'REILLY: Let me tell you -- let me tell you the big headline on the leftist front, and I agree with you he's not a doctrinaire Barney Frank kind of guy. He's not that, all right?

He will fight the terrorists. He has kept the Bush anti-terror platform in place, most of it. But he believes in social justice. That is, he wants to raise the three percent on people who make a lot of money like you and me, and he wants to give that money to other people, OK? Give it to them in the form of health care, subsidies, all of this stuff.

And liberal people believe that the Constitution demands that do you that. Conservative people say, no, it's about self-reliance. While they believe in the safety net, they don't want the income redistribution.

MAHER: But you want -- but you want to take the country back. Maybe not you, but...

O'REILLY: I want?

MAHER: A lot of the people want to take the country back to a time where it needs to be restored. Under that era, rich people paid not 36 percent or 39 percent, which is what we're debating now, but 70 percent under Nixon, 90 percent under Eisenhower.

O'REILLY: They didn't pay a dime of it, because they sheltered it in all these cons that they had.

MAHER: Really? Then why...

O'REILLY: Yes.

MAHER: Really? Back in that day, rich people did not pay it?

O'REILLY: Back in that day people were setting up shelters all over the place. It wasn't in their name. It was under another -- come on.

MAHER: A lot of people say, "Why do you talk to O'Reilly. You know? He's this; he's that."

O'REILLY: Because you want big ratings, that's why.

MAHER: Let me just throw a couple of names at you, pinhead or patriot, because your book, "Pinheads and Patriots," I've got to say, it sounds a little like "They're with us, they're against us" to nuanced kind of progressive-thinking people. It makes it sound a little black and white and not like we're paying that much attention but, OK. Pinhead or patriot: John Kerry?

O'REILLY: You know, I think he's a patriot as far as his public service is concerned, but he certainly does pinheaded things like buying the big yacht and trying to dodge the taxes in Massachusetts to go to Rhode Island.

MAHER: So you can be a pinhead and a patriot?

O'REILLY: You can be both. See, Maher, I told to you read this book, man. I told you, you can be both.

MAHER: I'm going to do it right after the season ends. Right after I get the big ratings from tonight. All right. We ran out of time. Bill, I thank you for doing this and giving me the ratings bonanza of a lifetime.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'REILLY: All right. Happy to do it. And to be completely honest, I go on there to sell books to an audience that badly needs to read it.

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