Race and Benghazi?

South Carolina Congressman is saying that the Benghazi story and committee are racially motivated


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 22, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight. As you may know the congressional committee investigating Benghazi has been formed. There are seven Republicans and five Democrats on it. The committee will try to find out what exactly happened when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered in Libya.

But some Democrats believe that Benghazi situation is being highlighted simply to harm President Obama.


REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: I said to someone yesterday that I would not be all that concerned, for instance, about this new Benghazi select committee that we just put in place. I seem to remember our history when after reconstruction when people of color gained political presence throughout the south. They drummed up all kinds of things, indictments and accusations.

They drove these people out of the south and many of them some went to Chicago. Some came here to Washington, D.C. and I see the same kind of efforts to discredit this President, this administration.


O'REILLY: Wow, that's quite a comparison and I believe the congressman is saying that the Benghazi story and the committee the congressional committee is racially motivated.

And joining us now from Washington to react Fox News analyst Laura Ingraham. I want to be careful here. I can't read -- I can't read the congressman's mind. But that was a kind of loopy comparison, was it not?

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well I think you're being charitable to call it loopy I mean 1863 to 1877 period of reconstruction a very painful period in our country's history. He is right. A lot of blacks were driven out of the south. There was mass exodus to places like Chicago and Kansas. Other parts of the country and to compare an inquiry into the deaths of four Americans on another 9/11 to reconstruction is both insulting and I think invidious, a silly counterproductive and poisonous to the national discourse.

But -- but Bill, I think this is a common patterned when the administration gets into trouble right. I mean you saw Eric Holder lay down a racial charge of sorts implicitly in front of Al Sharpton's group recently. Even Michelle Obama at that Kansas school speech she gave referenced you know kind of a race question. And this comes up again and again. It even came up in the Obamacare context yesterday with Senator Jay Rockefeller implying that the criticism about Obamacare is racially based somehow.

And all I would say is if the congressman is saying all these things are being drummed up, I have a question for him. Is the fact that median income is flat lining, is that charge drummed up or the fact that we have record number of people on food stamps? Is that drummed up? How about the approval ratings for President Obama? Those low approval numbers from Gallup and Pew and everyone else out there. Are those all drummed up? Are those all racially base as well.

Is there any accountability left in Washington? Are we supposed to hold the bar really low for President Obama simply because he's half black? I mean I think the bar should be high for all of us regardless of what our skin color is. And that's what I thought the hope of this administration was at least in part about back in 2008. But apparently that's not right.

O'REILLY: Yes I still think the congressman is loopy. You know you could have -- if you want to inject race into a congressional investigation you've got to do it better than that because all this is hey why didn't the military mobilize? Why were the security warnings ignored?

INGRAHAM: What was President Obama doing that night? Yes simple question like what was the President actually up to that night.

O'REILLY: Yes all right and it's a legitimate thing the American people should know where the Commander-in-Chief is when people are under attack, sure. And the congressional committee is charged to find those things out, whether they will or not.

INGRAHAM: Don't you think that's more than loopy though, Bill? I mean this is a no spin zone. That's really poison. I mean that's -- that's an attempt to shut down conversation and inquiry to say that this -- that the charges are being drummed up and the only reason these Democrats are basically going this committee I believe is because they want to try to -- they want this to be a circus.

O'REILLY: Well that's Clyburn believes -- he believes that.


O'REILLY: And so do a lot of other African-Americans in their heart they believe it it's not a contrived thing. Now, are they wrong? I believe they are wrong. Are they loopy? Is that loopy historically? It's loopy. That's all I'm saying.

I want to get -- I want to get -- I want to ask you the same question I asked Andrea and Colmes. I don't understand why Barack Obama is so disengaged I don't understand it. As I stated the hard right says "Hey O'Reilly, you're an idiot. It's clear that he wants to destroy the fabric of America as it is now." That's the hard right point of view.

Why do you think is he so disengaged?

INGRAHAM: Well I mean I think it goes back to what we discussed -- you and I discussed back in 2007 and 2008. This really isn't -- it hasn't ever been his area of focus, like the idea of governance. Or managing something really big, running a big enterprise. Not that every governor is going to be a great president. We have had two governors that have had real problems. I mean even the second term of George Bush obviously not easy very difficult made a lot of people really mad. Jimmy Carter.

But at least having some experience in running something I think that's part of it, Bill. I think another problem though with President Obama is that the only thing he ever really learned, it seems, in college and law school was community organizing, political activism. And I think he takes those issues very seriously that strategy of organizing. I don't think you would have such incompetence on Obama's political team. I don't think he would tolerate as incompetent a person, God bless her, as Kathleen Sebelius or even I would say Shinseki and this V.A. thing or so disengaged a person on his campaign as he routinely allows throughout the executive branch.

O'REILLY: In his cabinet.

INGRAHAM: Yes I mean in the political operation.

O'REILLY: All right. You know it's all speculation, it's all speculation, but, efficiency as I said in the T Points is what this is all about now. Miss Laura, thank you.

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