This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 9, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight: a very interesting back and forth between Laura Ingraham and NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd on the radio. It all began with Mr. Todd explaining a NBC poll on the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: But on one important number that our pollsters say is in there is this idea that is this a long-term setback form or a short-term one? Fifty-four percent said long-term. Our pollsters are concerned. That's kind of numbers you have when the public starts to give up on a president as a problem-solver.
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O'REILLY: The key phrase: "our pollsters are concerned." And yesterday, Laura Ingraham called Todd on that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I don't remember you saying that pollsters were concerned about Bush's poll numbers dropping though.
TODD: I -– I, but, if you look at the trend line, this is just simply in the data. I -- look, I am aware of -- of how people are trying to interpret that line, and it's like, come on guys; there is not hidden bias all over the place.
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O'REILLY: And joining us now from Washington is Laura Ingraham. Now, maybe it was just a slip of the tongue. Jay Carney made one last night. He said "put party in front of country." He didn't mean that.
INGRAHAM: That was classic. Yes.
O'REILLY: Yes, but I mean, I make mistakes like that. You do, too. And we all make mistakes -- verbal mistakes.
INGRAHAM: Yes, sure.
O'REILLY: So maybe Todd when he said "our pollsters are concerned" made a mistake.
INGRAHAM: Or maybe. And look, he comes on my show and a lot of folks won't because they don't want to be subjected to "Factor"-like questioning, so they avoid it. But he comes on and I gave him a chance to explain it he said, "Oh, come on. You guys see bias around every corner." But aren't pollsters just supposed to report the numbers and the facts? To use the word "concerned" that the president is…
O'REILLY: Well, it absolutely looks terrible. It looks terrible.
INGRAHAM: It's a little odd.
O'REILLY: There's no doubt about it and we did a little research on…
INGRAHAM: Yes, go ahead.
O'REILLY: …we did a little research on Mr. Todd. He is a big guy over at NBC News. And he's a Democrat. His wife makes a living working for the Democratic Party. There is a report that Chuck Todd actually worked for Senator Tom Harkin, a very liberal senator from Iowa. We haven't been able to confirm that. But there is no doubt Chuck Todd is a liberal guy. Is he in the tank? What do you think?
INGRAHAM: Well, I -- I don't -- I don't know if he's in the tank for Obama. I mean, I think he's probably to the left of most of the country. Do I think -- that's my gut. Do I know for a fact? No, I don't, but I think it's my responsibility when I have these reporters on to dig a little deeper and to find out what's really going on. And -- and when a pollster is concerned, I think, OK, a pollster is concerned that his poll is not accurate or a pollster is concerned that he should be polling most likely voters.
O'REILLY: Yes, I -- I -- absolutely. Absolutely.
INGRAHAM: Not a concern that the president is not being considered a problem-solver anymore. I thought it was odd then and I still think it's odd.
O'REILLY: All right. And it all goes back to NBC's image as being a promoter of Barack Obama. I mean, that's the Jeffrey Immelt thing, GE used to own NBC. And it -- and it just swirls and swirls and swirls around.
INGRAHAM: Yes. And obviously its cable outlet is totally left-wing…
O'REILLY: Right. Continues to be a promoter of Barack Obama.
INGRAHAM: …and always has a thrill going up its leg for anything Obama says. Yes, of course.
O'REILLY: There is a difference between being left-wing like Dennis Kucinich, who is coming up behind you, and a promoter.
O'REILLY: If you have a major television network, as you did in 2008, actually promoting a candidate, a single candidate, that's a -- that's a problem for the country. But let's get on to the GOP debate. Did you watch it? Did you form any conclusions on it?
INGRAHAM: I did, of course. Yes. I thought -- I thought that both Romney and Perry came across pretty well, Bill. I mean, I do think that right now this is -- this is maybe a two-way, three-way race. And while it's interesting to have all these other points of view up there, and I found Newt Gingrich's line about the media was pretty funny and I liked it a lot. And Rick Santorum made some good points. It gets kind of frustrating after a while because you want -- you want to see the top dogs kind of really settle the score and make it clear for us and yet in these -- in these debates even if -- if you get four percent on any national poll you get a right to sit up there on stage.
O'REILLY: Yes, I know, but that's going to happen.
INGRAHAM: So it gets -- it gets -- that part of it gets a little annoying. But I think what -- what Perry did right is he looked like he was unrepentant in his -- his main point that Social Security right now is a bit of a lie to -- to a lot of people out there. You know, if you are under 50 -- and I still am -- you don't think you're really going to get what you paid in. That's why he calls it a Ponzi scheme. Do I think Mitt Romney is going to be able to -- to take that and kind of scare all Floridians about Rick Perry? I think that's kind of a thin read to hang your presidential hopes on. So I think Perry did fine.
And I think Romney was -- was really strong, especially in the very beginning. I think he came across very authoritative. I still think he comes across stiff though, just his presentation. He has the facts down. He has the economics down. He's obviously going for that a kind of more middle moderate Republican vote. But I still think he has trouble conveying a sense of a relaxed nature and of kind of more natural human nature to the public. And one on one when you talk to him, he's -- he's great. He's fun to talk. He's smart. I don't get it.
O'REILLY: Yes, I don't know if that's going to be necessary this time around. I don't know, Laura. People are looking for technicians.
O'REILLY: They're looking for technicians to do right job.
INGRAHAM: Yes, but he's one of my picks on this debate. I think that's how he came across as a little stiff but very -- very smart and obviously extremely experienced in business.
O'REILLY: All right. I only have 30 seconds here. Michele Bachmann didn't say very much.
O'REILLY: She is losing some traction in the polls. You say?
INGRAHAM: Well, I think that's right. I think Perry came in and took a lot of wind out of her sails. She is devoting all of her time to Iowa right now. But Perry is up in Iowa even though he didn't really compete in Iowa. It's going to be a tough road back, but maybe not insurmountable. We have a lot of time left, so we'll see.
O'REILLY: OK. Laura, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
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