This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 2, 2012. 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. We are going to do something a bit different. Joining us from Washington Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume. He used to be a feared White House correspondent for ABC News.
So tonight, I'm going to play the role of President Obama now. I don't know if you've noticed but he has been biting his lower lip a la Bill Clinton a little bit more. So I'm going to do that. And you're going to interview me with the toughest questions you can come up with.
Now we gave you a couple days to get these questions ready. So are you ready for this?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I suppose.
O'REILLY: All right. All right, I'm Barack Obama, everybody. And Brit Hume is Brit Hume, but 15 years ago. All right. Go.
HUME: You said today, sir, that it would be unprecedented for the Supreme Court to overturn your health care reform law. Yet, would it not be equally unprecedented if not more so for Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to force people under penalty of a fine to buy a commercial product?
O'REILLY: Well, no because in 1792, George Washington forced people to buy muskets. You remember that. You were alive back then. And --
HUME: But sir. But -- but sir.
O'REILLY: Yes, you're interrupting the President by the way.
HUME: Well, I'm just asking -- I'm just seeking a follow-up here. Sir, that was not under the Commerce Clause. Can you cite anything under the Commerce Clause where such a thing has ever been done.
O'REILLY: But if the Commerce Clause had been in effect it would have been under it. So that's all I can say. Because we're breaking new ground here for the good of the American people as you know there are 20 million uninsured. And these people would be dying in the streets unless Obama care is upheld by the Supreme Court.
HUME: Perhaps, sir. But can you identify a single case, a single Supreme Court case where -- where an order has been given by the government to purchase a particular product and has been upheld by the Supreme Court?
O'REILLY: No because this is, again, as I said, we are breaking new ground here. We have not been able to get health care reform passed so now we have to force it on the American public and of course, the Supreme Court should uphold that.
HUME: You said, sir, during the arguments over whether to pass Obamacare that the penalty that imposes on those who don't have insurance is not a tax. Yet, your lawyers argued in the court last week that it is a tax. Which is it?
O'REILLY: Well, it depends on what day it is.
HUME: I see.
O'REILLY: That's my answer and I'm sticking to it.
HUME: Can you identify, sir, any indication that Iran as a result of the sanctions that have been imposed on that country so far has backed away in any respect from its nuclear weapons program nor any indication that it is likely to do so based on any future sanctions?
O'REILLY: Well, Brit, as you know the world is now coalescing around my call for sanctions and Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State has done a great job so we are closing in on them and it's just a matter of time before the whole government folds and does what we want them to do, opens up the nuclear facilities in Iran to U.N. inspectors and then walks back from their program and uses their nuclear energy for peaceful purposes because the sanctions are working.
Finally the world has come to its senses and is following my leadership. As you know, we were the first ones who -- to get on board with this. And now they are all coming so we have to give it a little more time.
HUME: With all due respect, sir, I didn't hear you cite any indications that Iran has begun in any way to back away from its nuclear ambitions.
O'REILLY: Well, we don't know that for sure. So I can't say that there is any hard information. But we do know there that the government there is suffering and that the people of Iran are getting fed up with their high oil prices and the lack of food and everything is going up. And they can't now take their currency out of the country, and they can't get currency sent into the country. All of this is because of my embargo and my basic sanctions that the world is now responding to.
So what do you want from me?
HUME: Can you explain under what foreign policy principle you gave military assistance to the rebels trying to overthrow the dictator Gadhafi in Libya but have declined to provide such assistance to the rebels trying to overthrow -- overthrow Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad although he poses a much more direct threat to American interests in such places as Lebanon and Israel?
O'REILLY: Well as you know Brit, NATO imposed the Libyan sanctions not the United States unilaterally. We went along with our allies, NATO, led by France and Italy that wanted to do this. And we backed them and it worked and he was removed.
Now Assad is a different guy. We are going to give material aid and I'm sure we have Special Forces in there killing as many people as possible but I can't tell you that because that would violate all kinds of secrecy. But I believe that's happening. And we're doing a lot more than you know behind the scenes to get rid of Assad.
HUME: So the foreign policy principle for denying direct military aid of the kind that we did within NATO and Libya is what, exactly?
O'REILLY: That NATO was running that show. And we just signed on to do what NATO wanted to do. So it wasn't a unilateral American policy.
HUME: I see now --
O'REILLY: That's pretty good, Brit. Come you've got to give me credit on that one.
HUME: That's not bad. That's not bad, that's not exactly a foreign policy principle but that works. Maybe the foreign policy principle is one of multilateralism and it's either -- we won't do anything regardless of U.S. interest unless, unless multi-national organizations concur.
O'REILLY: Well I'm a consensus guy as you know. I mean, we had a cowboy in the White House and how did that turn out for us for eight years? So now I'm Mr. Consensus. We get everybody on board and everybody helps out and everybody cooperates and therefore the United States is not the big bad guy throughout the world. Of course that makes sense, you know that?
HUME: Is it acceptable to you sir that the U.S. Senate has failed to pass a budget that was required by law for the past three cycles?
O'REILLY: Well this is the same question that little annoying guy, Bret Baier, asked my guy David Axelrod. And Axelrod couldn't -- couldn't answer that question; he just couldn't answer it, so I can't possibly answer it either.
Brit Hume, everybody, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
HUME: You bet, Bill.
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