This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 18, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: This week in Washington a group of very wealthy, very powerful far-left activists got together for a top-secret strategy meeting, and they didn't invite me. And according to reports, uber-liberal billionaire George Soros made it very clear he is not happy about the shellacking that Democrats took at the polls a few weeks ago.
So despite the results, Mr. Soros, however, remains defiant and he says: "We have just lost this election. We need to draw a line. And if this president can't do what we need, it is time to start looking somewhere else."
So what's the next move for disgruntled liberals in America? Joining us from New York is former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, and with us in Washington is Joe Trippi, Fox News contributor and former campaign manager for Howard Dean.
Gentlemen, great to see you. You know, speaking for the far left today, I guess, is you, Joe Trippi. What's going on with Soros? I mean, he put a lot of money into this election. He's obviously supporting a lot of groups that are helping Democrats, and they got a pretty big blowout in the House of Representatives, at least. Do you think he's serious about this? Is this like a warning shot to Obama?
JOE TRIPPI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I don't -- maybe, but I think, look, what he's worried about is that Obama is going to do what Bill Clinton did at the end of -- in '94 when we lost the House and try to start compromising and going down the middle.
INGRAHAM: Like doing what the American people want?
TRIPPI: Right, right. Exactly. I mean, I think that's what he's concerned about. And he wants to run -- you know, he wants it to be a lot different. And it didn't work, you know? Doesn't think the president fought hard enough.
INGRAHAM: He has a lot of money in this game, and he has a lot of influence because he has a lot of money. And Ari, look, we know that the Center for American Progress, which is a group that George Soros helps fund, very close to the White House. They basically put out a memo yesterday or the day before about how the president can use his executive authority to basically do an end run around this new Republican-dominated House of Representatives and, you know, obviously stronger Republicans in the Senate. So they're all scrambling on the left to see how to blunt this effective Republicans. Are you surprised about this?
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Oh, no, I'm not surprised. They want to try to figure out how to go around the will of the election any way they can. Laura, you talked about disgruntled liberals. Well, that's redundant. They are always grouchy about something. And here is the big thing, because you ain't seen nothing yet that they're going to be grouchy about. Just wait until July of 2011 when the president has to make a decision about withdrawing from Afghanistan. I wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal the other week.
FLEISCHER: And I said that if there is not a meaningful big withdrawal from Afghanistan in July '11, the antiwar movement of the Democrat Party very well -- very may run a primary against Barack Obama. I can't see them winning, but boy it's a terrible spot for the president to be going into his re-election.
INGRAHAM: Yes, you're shaking your head.
TRIPPI: That's not going to happen. That's not going to happen. Look, there are legitimate issues here. If you're extending the Bush tax cuts, right, a lot of Democrats and progressives like myself would like the fight of tax cuts for -- of not extending the tax cuts for the rich. We want to make the case that...
INGRAHAM: It's going to be extended.
TRIPPI: No, no, no, but my point is -- and Soros is saying that's what we need. Somebody who's going to put that up and fight for it. So it's not -- it's not moving away from where the American people is. You've got to make the fight that you're going to fight for the middle class or not.
INGRAHAM: But the left, obviously -- it's like the conservative base of the Republican Party, which is more the mainstream of the Republican Party today. But the left is going to say, look, lame-duck session, you have got to push the DREAM Act. You have got to push "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." You've got to give us something before you go down this road of, "At least I'm going to appear to be working with the Republicans," right? I mean, those two issues are going to be front and center.
TRIPPI: Absolutely, yes.
INGRAHAM: And that's what -- they're going to demand that.
TRIPPI: Of course. But actually, that's the problem with both parties right now. There are going to be people in there demanding action on things that don't necessarily match up with where people are.
INGRAHAM: All right. Let's move on to these interesting developments. Already for 2012, we knew this was going to happen soon. But now we have Sarah Palin out there, right? She does this interview with Barbara Walters, and she said that, "Look, I'm considering running for president. I'm going through the process of thinking about this." And Ari Fleischer, just her mentioning that she's considering it is driving all of these people on the left to this frothy frenzy. I love it. It's like, I like seeing them scatter every time she says something like this.
FLEISCHER: Well, she does attract ink, doesn't she? And, you know, I just finished her book, too, which actually is a great read. But, you know, what do you expect anybody to say who's thinking about running for president? "I may run, but I know I'm going to lose." Well, of course, she's going to say that. I think it's a wide-open question whether she does or doesn't. It looks like this Republican field is going to be totally wide open, very contrary to the history of Republicans. We almost always appoint whoever was in the on-deck circle from the previous election. This one, wide open. Who knows who's going to win it?
INGRAHAM: Huckabee out there, Ari. Huckabee and Palin. Those are going to be...
FLEISCHER: Gingrich looks like he is in.
TRIPPI: Trump said today that he might try to make...
INGRAHAM: He was good today on China. I love Trump on China. He's fantastic.
TRIPPI: Right. And so what you see is by having this -- this wide field is Sarah Palin could get the nomination. I mean, she literally could pull it off.
INGRAHAM: Now, is this what you're hoping for, Joe Trippi? This is my sodium pentothal. I'm injecting it into you right now.
TRIPPI: No, no, no. I think, actually, this is how Republicans might insure Barack Obama's re-election. Absolutely.
INGRAHAM: You think Palin is the silver bullet for your re-election?
TRIPPI: No, no, because I think that that might get an independent like Bloomberg or someone else in the race, you know, so we don't -- this thing is going to be a wide-open 2012 race right now. And it's not clear where the Republicans are going to end up for a nominee.
INGRAHAM: Now Ari, you were just at the big Bush Library dedication, and I know that was a lot of fun. Everyone got together and talked. Was there any scuttlebutt that you can share? You don't have to attribute it to anybody. What do the old Bushies think about the rise of Sarah Palin and her influence in the Republican Party? Anyone talking about it?
FLEISCHER: Well, you heard President Bush talk about Sarah Palin as very exciting, and I think a lot of Republicans agree with that. In terms of her electoral prospects, I think it's way too soon to guess. And my take on it right now is she's got a lot to prove before she shows she has presidential mettle. But that's what a campaign is about, and that's going to be her task.
You know, for me personally, I'm looking for a brand-new face in the Republican Party. The ones who intrigue me the most are Mitch Daniels of Indiana and John Thune of South Dakota. I'm keeping my eye on those two, and we'll see what the other, a little more experienced candidates, who have run...
INGRAHAM: Yes. Joe Trippi is mumbling something about Joe Miller over here. Are you mentioning Joe Miller?
TRIPPI: No, no. Both of those will be a problem. I think those would both -- both of them could be problems for Democrats in 2012.
INGRAHAM: Interesting. Great to see you both. It's fascinating. I say the more the merrier. Get into the race. I love it.
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