Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: Voting against the potential president

'The O'Reilly Factor': Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points 10/3

 

The latest FOX News poll has an intriguing question. What is your biggest motivation voting for President this year? Fear the other candidate wins. Fifty seven percent. Enthusiasm for a candidate just 39 percent. Well, that pretty much says it all. The majority of American voters are voting against, rather than for Clinton or Trump.

So why is that happening? Let's take Donald Trump first. His problems with voters originated in two areas. First his business background, it is not compatible with politics. Business people like Trump and to some extent Mitt Romney before him maximize their profits and promote their products sometimes in flamboyant ways. Both of those things can be exploited politically. For example, when the New York Times reports that Donald Trump took $900-million tax loss back in 1995, the paper does so in an accusatory way.

But almost any corporation would do the same thing. If some of your enterprises tank, you are allowed to deduct the losses against future gains. That's a hallmark of our tax system in America. So, of course, Trump took advantage of his faltering casinos and wrote off gigantic losses. Fair minded people can look at it two ways. That Trump is gaming the system because he is not upfront about his tax returns or that he is to be admired for taking losses and then turning his companies around.

As a responsible voter, how you see it is entirely up to you. But there is no question that Mr. Trump is getting hammered in the court of public opinion because his opposition is labeling him a business failure and a greed head. Whether Mr. Trump can overcome the "New York Times" report remains to be seen. It's the same on the woman issue. This whole Alicia Machado deal is basically a contrived situation. Ms. Machado despises Donald Trump, signed on with the Clinton campaign to disparage him. For his part Trump does what he always does.

He took a business situation, the Miss Universe pageant, which he owned and tried to maximize publicity. So when Miss Machado gained some weight in the 1990s, Trump exploited it by taking her to the gym and getting media attention. If you know anything about Donald Trump, that's what he does. Gets attention, sometimes crass attention. So Trump is vulnerable because of his business background. And his high profile marketing strategy. And the Clinton campaign is using that to brand him a misogynist among other things. Of course, the press is playing along with that. Yesterday NBC's Todd Chuck tried to lay a track for Rudy Giuliani about the woman issue and the Clinton marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": She was wrong to stand by her husband?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: No, she was wrong to attack the victim.

TODD: Are you the right person to level this charge?

GIULIANI: Yes. I'm the right person to level this charge. Because I made such a charge and I prosecuted people who committed rape.

TODD: But your past, you have your own infidelity, sir.

GIULIANI: Well, everybody does and, you know, I'm a Roman Catholic and I confess those things to my priest. But I have never ever attacked someone who has been the victim of sexual abuse. Not only that, I put people in jail who have been the victim of sexual abuse and I have never participated in that. And I think you're bringing up my personal life really is kind of irrelevant to what Hillary Clinton did. She is running for president. I'm not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Now, Mr. Todd was totally out of line, trying to set up Mr. Giuliani that way. He owes the mayor an apology. But the central issue is that Donald Trump feels he needs -- he needs to discuss the Clinton marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton's only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself. I don't even think she is loyal to Bill, you want to know the truth. And really, folks, really, why should she be, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Talking Points believes statements like that are a mistake, that American voters, especially women, do not like the personal stuff. They don't like it when Rudy Giuliani is attacked, they don't like it when presidential candidates descend into the mud. Yes, if Hillary Clinton attacks Donald Trump on the women issue, he has a right to defend himself. But he should keep it pithy. Any disparagement of any woman by Trump will drive his numbers down with women voters. And Trump needs more of them if he wants to win the White House.

Now, let's take a look at why Hillary Clinton is not very popular with the public these days. Her main problem stems from the perception that she does not tell the truth. There is little Mrs. Clinton can do about that. Benghazi, the emails, Whitewater, all that stuff not going to go away. The secretary is smart to play down those questions. She will never win on that front. Going on the defensive is not a winning political strategy. But, in order to get away from the perception that she is not an honest person, she must convince Americans that she is really looking out for them.

That her political vision would be beneficial to the country. In order to do that, Mrs. Clinton must talk directly to the folks but she avoids most interviews perhaps of the email and Benghazi stuff. It's a catch-22. You can Google that if you don't know what that means. But, Hillary Clinton has a larger problem. And that is the kind of personality quirk. We saw that the day after last week's debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Did anybody see that debate last night?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Oh, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Now, that looked an awful lot like gloating, which politicians can do to some extent but it doesn't really help if the personality arena.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB WOODWARD, THE WASHINGTON POST: That clip shows this kind of self- congratulation, this self-satisfaction and as we know and as we tried to teach our children, when you win something, don't gloat, humility works and the problem for her is this feeds the notion that she is in this for herself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Mr. Woodward nails it. If Hillary Clinton wants to be president, she needs to back away from it's all about me and make it all about us. Again, the only way to do that is to speak directly to the folks. Summing up, right now we have two presidential candidates who worry lot of voters, if the election were held tomorrow talking points believes the turnout would be low. And many of those who did not vote, who did vote I should say, many of those who did vote would be voting against rather than for one of the candidates.

There is still time for Clinton and Trump to get a more positive policy- oriented message to the voters. But both of them have to stop making mistakes, stop the mudslinging. Stop being self-centered. Finally, Donald Trump is a man who does not take slights well and I can sympathize. I'm the same way. But over the years, I have learned to ignore most of the smears that come my way because I have far more important things to do here on the factor than to deal with personal slight.

That lesson did not come easy to me and I wasted some of your time talking about stupid stuff that I should have ignored. Today, I let a lot of stuff go. And Donald Trump might consider doing the same thing. His supporters, like his policy vision, they don't care about the personal stuff. In the end, Mr. Trump will have to win over more supporters to be elected and policy is the way to do it. And that's "The Memo".