Assessing President Obama's leadership

James Carville weighs in on President Obama's foreign policy


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 20, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: Continuing now with the "Impact Segment" a big restaurant here in LA charging a three percent tax to pay for employee health care and the overseas situation.

Joining us now from Norfolk, Virginia Democrat James Carville. All right. We'll get to the restaurant thing which is interesting because I think it may be a trend now coming. And this is off the health care debate.

Overseas: My basic philosophy is use soft power as much as you can. But in order for that to be effective there has to be backed up by hard power. And right now in the world I don't believe that the nations we have to deal with in an adversary way -- fear President Obama. Am I wrong?

JAMES CARVILLE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well look, the thing in Iran actually, as your previous guest pointed out, the lowest level that they've had in modern -- in recent times and that they're in compliance with the agreement they did. Furthermore, today it was announced that they were going to round two and they'd agreed on a framework and they're restart the talks on March 17th.

Now, whether or not they get there by July I don't know, but these sanctions appear to be working somewhat. And we -- we won't know until July, but it seems to be moving in the right direction --


O'REILLY: Ok and I think that's a fair point. I think that's a fair point. You've got to give it --



O'REILLY: -- some time to see if they're going to comply. But as you know, they're making outrageous statement, they want it back at a year, not six months. Reid is blocking any kind of sanity where you would pass a reintroduction of sanctions if they didn't hit the agreed upon date. That's what they should do. But this dope Reid, and he is -- he is one of the worst. He wouldn't even bring it up to do a sane thing that would protect this country. Come on. You know what I'm talking about.

CARVILLE: Well you know, not just -- I think -- I think actually, you know, we're negotiating but the negotiations have continued and I think thus far it's actually pretty good let's give it a chance. We don't --

O'REILLY: You already said that.

CARVILLE: Actually APAC, which is a very strong pro-Israel group in Washington doesn't want these brought up either. It's not a -- it's not an unreasonable position to take. I'm not --

O'REILLY: I don't know if it's unreasonable, but the wise position is to reinstitute sanctions, to have them there so the Mullahs can see them. If you don't do what you said you were going to do. That's the sane position.

Let's go to Ukraine. Let's go to Ukraine.

CARVILLE: No. Ok. All right just go to Ukraine.

O'REILLY: All right.

CARVILLE: But let me point out that the sanctions set by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton were working and that's what brought the Iranians to the table. But let's go to Ukraine.

O'REILLY: All right, Carville, you know what I'm saying is right. Let's go to Ukraine. You've got this violence and you've got all of this stuff. Then you have President Obama saying there will be consequences.


O'REILLY: Less than 24 hours after he says it the Ukrainian army shoots down 70 people in the street. Then the Obama administration spokesperson is asked is that going to evoke consequences? And he doesn't answer. Come on, Carville.

CARVILLE: First of all, I've worked in the Ukraine. So it happens to be something I know a little bit about. And the Europeans are -- they are -- and it's kind of a European-Russia issue. We're also very involved in sanctions, working with the Germans, working with the French, working with the people in the EU.

Now, the truth of the matter is that Russia's right there. Yanukovych, I don't like him but I certainly worked for the other party, but he was actually elected. It's actually a democratic country.

O'REILLY: Yes but he's now -- he's rolling back freedoms now. And that's what happens.

CARVILLE: And I think he's a -- I think he's a bad guy. But he's elected. And I sure am not for use of any U.S. hard power in the Ukraine. I'm completely supportive of the EU. I'm completely supportive of being part of a solution there or putting pressure on him. And Ukraine now really wants to --

O'REILLY: What kind of pressure?

CARVILLE: I think it really wants to look to the West. Yes you know but I don't want to exercise any hard power in the Ukraine right now -- not at all.

O'REILLY: Well, what kind of pressure are you going to put on them if you're not going to exercise any hard power?

CARVILLE: Well the Germans, they're already limiting travel there. I think they're going to freeze assets. I think they're going to start doing things like that. You can do -- you can put some economic pressure on them. But you've got to remember that the country they have, it's not working very well, but unlike the Arab spring that government was actually elected, much to my chagrin, I might add.

O'REILLY: All right. You know but when an elected government then turns around and starts to take away freedom, that's the problem. All right, Carville. You got it.

O'REILLY: I got it. Thank you.

O'REILLY: All right thanks for coming on.

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