This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 22, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: Hi, everyone. I'm Laura Ingraham, in for Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
No "Talking Points" memo this evening. We want to get right to the story. The "Top Story", of course, is President Obama wants more of your money and he says now that Bill O'Reilly agrees with him? Well, in an op-ed for "USA Today," the president once again demanded tax increases on the so-called rich as part of any compromise.
And Mr. Obama claimed that Bill O'Reilly supports his vision saying, quote: "A balanced deficit deal that includes some new revenues isn't just a Democratic position. It's a position that has been taken by everyone from Warren Buffett to Bill O'Reilly". But is that actually true?
Joining us now by phone is Bill O'Reilly, who is supposed to be taking a well-deserved day off today. Hi, Bill.
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST (Via Telephone): Just when they thought I was out, they dragged me back in. You know.
You know, look, that -- that op-ed is a little disingenuous. Everybody knows who watches the "Factor" that I don't want any increase in the federal income tax. Everybody knows that we have said it a million times, all right?
What I would like is tax reform overhaul, a flat tax and perhaps a national sales tax to tap into the $1 trillion in the underground economy that isn't taxed. So revenue enhancement I am for, but not for raising income tax levels.
And the president, of course, doesn't explain that. He is just trying to say that he is being reasonable and you know guys like Warren Buffett and Bill O'Reilly agree. And I don't think he's being reasonable; I think the president is making two major mistakes.
INGRAHAM: Now Bill when -- when you read what happens yesterday on Capitol Hill, "The Washington Post" had a big front-pager. Apparently everybody from John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Mikulski, were reportedly really upset and demanding answers from the top -- top guy there, Jack Lew, on -- on what this deal is with Boehner and saying wait a second. You're -- you may -- you may be about to sell us out here.
So the Democrats actually could, and some -- some are thinking, be the ones to scuttle any deal in the Senate because of cuts, actually.
O'REILLY: Well, and this is the president's major mistake. He has not articulated to anybody what his vision is for getting out of this debt jam. Look, let's -- let's just be really simple because I'm a simple guy as you know, Laura. The first thing is that under President Obama, we are now running up a debt at $4 billion a day. All right?
Nobody has ever come close in the history of this country to spending this much money, $4 billion every single day is added to the debt. That's on the president's plate. He can make excuses for it, he can do a little dance, but that is the fact, Jack.
So now the president has to say here's how I'm going it get the debt down, exactly. And he won't say it, so not only are Republicans furious but now Democrats are getting furious. That is the president's big deficit.
INGRAHAM: And right now there is this debate you and I talked about it last night about who is being more unreasonable here. And -- and I was thinking about leverage today. And like when any of us are in negotiations whether it's contract negotiations or you want to get a house, you try to get your best leverage.
So I guess you can argue that both sides want to get as much as they can out of the other side, including the Tea Party who, let's face it, if it weren't for the Tea Party we wouldn't be having this discussion about money coming in and money going out at all. So I think the Tea Party --
O'REILLY: We that was a -- we had a very robust lively discussion last night, and that was my major point that the Tea Party has done a good job in bringing the issue to the crisis point where it is now. But it's time for the Tea Party to absolutely take a hard look at what's happening.
And I would point to a Fox News poll. This is crucial, a Fox News poll, all right, and the question is, leaders in Washington failed to reach an agreement on the debt limit. Who is to blame? President Obama or Congressional Republicans? President Obama, 32 percent; Congressional Republicans 47 percent.
When you have that kind -- and this is a Fox News poll -- when you have that kind of result, then the Tea Party and the Republican Party have to say, you know what? We are right and I do believe they are but we're not selling it. We're not selling it because most Americans don't understand why we're right.
So instead of being pig-headed and saying I'm not going to compromise no matter what, you go out there and you say we're reasonable people. Let's see your plan, Mr. President, and we'll discuss it. That's my major point.
INGRAHAM: But Bill -- well, one thing though, in negotiations right? Is -- is you don't show all your cards, right. We don't know -- we know what's going on.
O'REILLY: No, but look, look, with all due respect to Michele Bachmann, who I respect and I like. She came on the "Factor" and said absolutely not voting for the debt ceiling rise, no matter what. And there are a number of Tea Party adherents who support that position.
INGRAHAM: Right but that's not those positions.
O'REILLY: Then you don't have any bargaining power; you're just saying it's my way or the high way. And if it's the high way it's going to hurt the country.
INGRAHAM: Well, I think -- well, I think that maybe you could argue though Bill that because the Tea Party has maintained a pretty, you know, hard line on what they won't accept Obama has maybe moved a little bit closer to where they are, maybe. We'll see. So that's kind of a strategy.
O'REILLY: That's ok and that's -- that's probably true. But now is the time for the Tea Party and the Republican Party -- and I know you have Boehner coming on next, ok -- to say we're reasonable people.
Look, the war is a long war to get this country under control. It's not going to be won just on this issue. But hearts and minds will be persuaded if the Republican Party and the Tea Party say we are reasonable people. We are willing to listen.
INGRAHAM: Yes, 60 percent of the Fox News respondents also say they are against the debt ceiling vote. And then the other poll shows that 66 percent are in favor of a balance budget amendment being part of this deal.
O'REILLY: Everybody; it should be 100 percent.
INGRAHAM: Yes, the polls there --
O'REILLY: But my position -- the position that I took, I just want "Factor" viewers to understand. This is the same position that Charles Krauthammer has taken, Brit Hume, Senator Coburn, Larry Kudlow; the list goes on and on and on and on. We're all in this to make the country stronger.
INGRAHAM: Wow, that's for sure. That's for sure.
O'REILLY: Stronger country.
INGRAHAM: Yes, country first, always.
O'REILLY: Yes, country first.
O'REILLY: And I think that the Republicans and the Tea Party have the stronger argument. Don't lose it by being unreasonable.
INGRAHAM: All right. I'm going to follow up with Boehner about that point. The Speaker is going to be with us. Bill thanks so much.
O'REILLY: All right, Laura.
INGRAHAM: All right, thanks so much.