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Did Conservatives Gift Obama Lame-Duck Victories?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 22, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: Continuing now with our lead story on President Obama's legislative accomplishments in the lame-duck Congress. Some conservatives think the GOP didn't pick up enough policy wins after the November elections -- me. And did Obama get the better of the Republicans?

Let's bring in Dick Morris, the purveyor of DickMorris.com, who joins us from Stamford, Connecticut. Dick, am I wrong to be a little bit depressed this Christmas season given the Republicans' performance on the START Treaty, on some of the other key issues, on the stimulus that was in the tax cut deal and some of these other matters? Am I just -- do I need to just -- is it better than I think?

DICK MORRIS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it showed some disturbing signs of Republicans selling out. Start with the basic fact that this was not, as he euphemistically described it, a post-election session. It wasn't what we call a lame-duck session. This was a session in which 20 percent of the congressman and senators were defeated. They are not supposed to be there. They were repudiated by the voters. And yet they used the intervening last gasps of breath to jam through legislation that a Congress of elected officials would never have supported. Start with that.

Let me go to the deal they made on tax cuts. Within the foul lines the deal was OK. I think you would have had to extend unemployment benefits anyway. I obviously am happy the tax cuts happened. And the payroll tax cut, I'm always for a tax cut.

But what is crucial to focus on is they didn't get any spending cuts in return. Had the Republicans simply said no dice, this is an illegitimate lame-duck session of people are not entitled to vote because they were defeated and we're not going to pass anything and we're going to do it on January 2nd and then we're going to demand spending cuts, which now will have to be fought for in the debt limit ceiling or in the new budget and in the meantime the deficit keeps clicking. So the Republicans could have easily had Obama on January 2nd…

INGRAHAM: Dick, November 2nd happened. It was monumental in the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi was on the skids. Liberalism was on the run. And suddenly Republicans end up giving in on this tax deal that has all of these tax credit extensions for American Samoa and other initiatives for green energy and all that. None of that is what the voters voted for on November 2nd. In a principled stand by Republicans would have, as you said, been defensible and also been winning, and forcing the president's hand, he would have had to go along with those spending cuts. I believe there is no way he wouldn't have gone along with that in the end.

MORRIS: He would have had to. Then you get to the START Treaty. Now, there are five Republican senators who I hope bought themselves primary contests against real conservatives…

INGRAHAM: Name names.

MORRIS: …when elections come around in 2012. First, Olympia Snowe, who's up in '12, from Maine. She deserves a primary. The second is Bob Corker of Tennessee. He deserves a primary. He voted for START because he is on the Foreign Relations Committee and he's part of that club that sold out America. Thad Cochran from Mississippi voted for the START Treaty. He deserves a primary. And you -- so those are the people who are up in 2012 who ought to get primaries.

Let me put it in specific context for these folks. Iran is now selling Venezuela ballistic missiles. Those missiles are going to include the Shahab-3 missile and the newly developed Shahab-4, which are capable of sending electronic pulses over the southern part of the United States. I would like to see Senator Cochran explain to the voters of Biloxi and Jackson, and Corker explain to the voters of Memphis and Nashville why he voted to prohibit the United States from developing a missile shield against Venezuela.

And by the way, let's also look at Johnny Isakson in Georgia who is not up until '16, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee who is not up until '14 who also voted wrong.

INGRAHAM: Yes, the lesson here though is that the Tea Party and all the grass roots folks out there have got to keep the pressure on Republicans in this new year.

MORRIS: Absolutely.

INGRAHAM: I think they think no one is paying attention in the last two weeks before Christmas. All hell breaks loose. Wait a second. How did the START Treaty end up getting ratified? And what happened to this Republican opposition? Where are the principled conservatives? You have Jim DeMint and a few others. Have they disappeared?

MORRIS: And then you have two other conservative senators who four weeks after they got elected, Mike Crapo of Idaho and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma voted to approve the Bowles-Simpson Commission deficit reductions that included $1 trillion of tax increases, eliminating the deduction for mortgage interest off of charitable contributions and a 50 percent increase in Social Security taxes. These guys claim to be conservative. They were re-elected by the voters of Oklahoma and Idaho as conservatives, and they knew at the moment they were re-elected that they were planning to endorse $1 trillion in tax increases.

INGRAHAM: Dick, you're absolutely right. They think it's smooth sailing once they are elected.

MORRIS: On my web site DickMorris.com, I have all the…

INGRAHAM: We're out of time. Suddenly Lindsey Graham is the tough guy.

MORRIS: Laura, I was about to say if you will let me on my website, I have all of their contact information. Please be in touch with them and tell them you are going to remember.

INGRAHAM: Call a senator for Christmas. We are making our list and we're checking it twice. Dick, it's great to see you. Happy holidays.

MORRIS: Thank you.

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