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D.L. Hughley: Romney 'is smug and arrogant'

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight. If President Obama loses the election, there will be many, many disappointed people in the show business community.

Perhaps, the most disappointed of all will be comedian D.L. Hughley, who does not like Mitt Romney. I spoke with Mr. Hughley last night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

So, first up, why don't you tell me what your beef is with Mitt Romney.

D.L. HUGHLEY, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: I think he is kind of smug and arrogant. And I just don't think he should be president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: But you don't like him you said.

HUGHLEY: I don't like him.

O'REILLY: Why.

HUGHLEY: There is a distinction between his qualification to be president which, I think, if the economy is what the American people are fixated on and, I think a large percentage of them are, obviously, he has a level of business acumen that would probably addresses a lot of that.

But I just think he has, to me, what seems to be a disdain for people that he can't relate to, like the 47 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Anybody who says that to the people, the 47 percent, who are then going to serve them their food, either is clueless or never watched "The Help."

I think those kinds of things, and meeting him, and hearing some of the things he has said has led me to believe that he's just kind of a little more distant or kind of lacks a lot of empathy.

O'REILLY: If he wins, which he might --

HUGHLEY: Right.

O'REILLY: -- OK, would that change your opinion of the country.

HUGHLEY: I think the country is -- has done a lot to, in my opinion, to make me believe that it upholds a lot of the tenets that it espouses, and a lot to make me believe that we have a lot further to go.

So, I think that if he wins -- I'm used to presidents I don't like being presidents, so --

O'REILLY: Would you be bitter though.

HUGHLEY: No, I've been through enough things in life that there is not many things that, I would say, make me bitter.

O'REILLY: All right. But you're not going to say --

HUGHLEY: But I would say I'd be disappointed.

O'REILLY: -- so, you're not going to pin it on racism if Romney wins.

HUGHLEY: I think that there is an element in this country who despises the ideology and there is an element in this country who despises race.

So, I don't know where the line exactly is or what percentage we can measure. If he loses, I think it has much to do with that first debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

I've been watching politics for a long time. I've never seen that level of -- I don't know what that was. I was like --

O'REILLY: You're talking about President Obama and not the --

HUGHLEY: -- the first debate. In terms of the way the first debate played out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

I think that I knew that it was going badly. And I -- you know, I'm a comic so I can -- you can kind of sense when things are going badly and make an adjustment.

I just kept waiting for the adjustment to happen, it didn't. And, I think, it changed the landscape of the election.

The first debate for President Obama and the last debate for Romney had a smack of the same thing, two guys who were trying to be -- trying to be perceived a certain way.

I think he wanted to protect his likeability and, I think, Romney, in the debate last night was kind of guilty of the same thing.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, you told Joy Behar, my pal -- you know Joy and I are very close, that you thought Governor Romney treated the President like a servant.

HUGHLEY: I did, very much so. I think there is a certain level of respect, regardless of whether you like someone or not, that is afforded to the Office of the Presidency.

And, I think, that because he was trying to appeal to a lot of members of the right wing who wanted to see Obama taken down a peg that he basically tried --

O'REILLY: But I didn't think he was out of line. That's coming from me. Because, I think, when you saw me interview the President --

HUGHLEY: -- I thought that was out of line, too.

O'REILLY: OK, but if the alternative is to let the President who can basically do 18 minutes on your socks --

HUGHLEY: Yes.

O'REILLY: -- OK, just go wherever he wants. So, what's the worthiness of an interview like that.

HUGHLEY: The difference between interrupting the president dozens of times and letting him get an answer out somewhere in the middle would probably be more acceptable.

O'REILLY: All right. But I don't think he was dissatisfied with either interview I did with him. Did you see my interview with George W. Bush.

HUGHLEY: I actually had.

O'REILLY: It was the same amount of interview. And that's just who I am.

HUGHLEY: Well, you had you to interrupt him because he didn't quite know what was going on.

O'REILLY: Oh, I see. So, difference of respect on the president changes.

HUGHLEY: Oh, no. That's absolutely not true. I think that there was a -- I've never seen -- I had never seen the level of disrespect afforded this president in all types of instances, from calling him a liar, to a terrorist, to a person who had America's -- you know, doesn't have America's best interest at heart.

O'REILLY: This has been a long, long tradition in our history where presidential candidates go after each other in a very intense way.

So, I don't think it has anything to do with racism because I've interviewed President Obama twice and President Bush three times, all right. And I respect the Office of the Presidency.

HUGHLEY: Right.

O'REILLY: But I was not going to allow that interview to turn into any kind of propaganda for either man. And I know people thought I was disrespectful for interrupting.

But I thought I had to to keep it on track and get my questions answered. I'll give you the last word.

HUGHLEY: I thought it was disrespectful. And, I think, a lot of people have taken this president to task about things that he had nothing to do with.

It was as if America ran great and, all of a sudden, this black guy got into office and it tumbled off a cliff. And that's my perception of it.

And so, obviously, I am going to be much more sensitive and much more protective of him than I ordinarily would be of any politician.

O'REILLY: All right. Thanks for coming in, D.L. Nice to meet you.

HUGHLEY: Nice to meet you, too. I appreciate it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'REILLY: And Mr. Hughley has special on "Comedy Central," entitled, "The Endangered List," runs Saturday, October 27th.

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