Is President Obama a Tough Politician?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight: The purveyor of wrote a column on his website opining President Obama is really a very tough political guy. Bernie now joins us now from Miami to explain. So you point to Congressman Paul Ryan to make your argument, correct?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, that's right. You know, I think it's easy to forget that because of Barack Obama's great smile and easy-going personality, it's easy for a lot of people not to notice, especially a lot of independent voters, not to notice who Barack Obama really is. And who he really is is an old-fashioned, at times downright nasty Chicago politician who gives hypocrisy and cynicism a bad name.

And, Bill, I don't come on this show and routinely berate the president of the United States. But here's a man who invites Paul Ryan to sit in the front row as he delivers his budget speech last week and practically calls Ryan, and by extension other Republicans, un-American. He implies, thinly veiled, that Ryan and the other Republicans care more about millionaires and billionaires who don't want to pay their fair share, as they like to put it, than they do about old people or even children with cancer.

This is the same Barack Obama who said that the partisanship and pettiness and immaturity has to stop because it's poisoned politics for too long. This is the same Barack Obama who said we can disagree without challenging each other's patriotism. This is the same Barack Obama who said, "I will listen to you, especially when we disagree."

Look, Bill, I'm not saying Barack Obama has a monopoly on hypocrisy. There are plenty of politicians on the left and on the right who speak out of both sides of their mouth. But Barack Obama sold us. He sold himself to the American people as somebody who was different and better. He's not different. He's not better. He made a great first impression, but you can only make a first impression once, and his act is getting a little old.

O'REILLY: OK. But in this issue of cutting government spending, as opposed to keeping the entitlement in place, don't you have to, if you want to win the entitlement argument, demonize the opposition, as Brit Hume pointed out, as being heartless, as throwing in with the corrupt corporations and rich people and not caring about the old lady down the street or the kids in school who are going to get their school lunches cut? You almost have to make that argument personal to win the debate in the face of a $14 trillion debt.

GOLDBERG: If you're going to do that and make it personal, then don't tell me that we've poisoned the well of politics for too long and don't tell me that we have to get beyond all this stuff. If you're going to be an old-time Chicago politician, don't tell me all this other stuff. Barack Obama is running on the George Bernard Shaw school of philosophy. If you rob Peter -- any government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul. And since there are more Pauls in this country than there are Peters, Barack Obama may be on to something. But you know what? It really -- I think even Paul is getting tired of this act.

O'REILLY: Well, if it doesn't hit this time, if they don't reject it this time in the face of Standard and Poor's today warning the United States on its debt, it will never happen.

All right. I want to get quickly on to what we were talking to both Mary Katharine and Juan. Really don't want to call the media corrupt tonight. But I think this is the greatest example that I can possibly provide at this point in time. If the Tea Party had behaved the way the anti-Tea Party people did over last weekend, it would lead every network news broadcast. And I didn't see it on any of the morning shows today. I'm sure I'm not going to see it on the evening shows. What do you say?

GOLDBERG: No, you're not. There are two reasons. One I think is legitimate for them to downplay it or ignore it, and the other is illegitimate.

The legitimate reason is the Tea Party people are an important cultural and political force in this country, and if they ever pull that kind of stuff, it is legitimate news. These people are an angry band of morons actually. I mean, they're hateful, angry, despicable people who are really not important. So in that sense, you could play it down.

The illegitimate reason is liberal journalists have a long history of going deaf, dumb and blind when liberals behave badly, as they did during these demonstrations.

O'REILLY: OK. So it was basically a calculated choice.

Finally, are you -- Ms. Martha is going out there to cover the royals. Are you going to be on the edge of the seat for that? Is that newsworthy?

GOLDBERG: No, no. Am I going to be on the edge of the seat? No. Do I care? No. Is it newsworthy? Yes, you've got to do some news about it, but I don't care. I mean, I don't even know what -- who's getting married? Is it Prince Andrew or Harry?

O'REILLY: No, William.

GOLDBERG: I don't even know that.

O'REILLY: Prince William. Andrew already got married to Fergie, and that didn't work out.

GOLDBERG: You see that?

O'REILLY: But a lot of people – a lot of Americans are going to watch it. I'm going to -- I'll cover it a little bit. I mean, with Martha and Gretchen, we'll cover it a little bit. I think we might have -- Robin Leach might come on.

GOLDBERG: Bill, please, I'm begging you, do not ask me about it next week.

O'REILLY: OK. How much is it worth to you for me not to ask? We'll talk about it.

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