Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
Is Howard Dean in trouble? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." You may remember, I said I didn't think Governor Dean had a lock on the nomination. In fact, I predicted the Democrats would not choose him. Of course, I could be wrong. I have been in the past.
But according to the latest Zogby poll, Dean has slipped four points in Iowa. Richard Gephardt (search) is very close to him. And John Kerry (search) is coming on strong. In New Hampshire, Wesley Clark is surging. And "The Boston Herald" says the general could overtake Dean. Not good news for the doctor. And predictably, Dean lashed out today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I love what Rush Limbaugh and -- who's that guy on Fox television, O'Reilly or something like that. I love what those guys say because the more they say it, the more we hurt them, and the more we're going to beat them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Beat us? Beat us, how? What's this guy talking about? Hurt us? We have nothing against Governor Dean. We haven't played the gotcha game with him as so many other media people have. We simply asked him to do an interview. And he refused and insulted us. Why? I don't know. There's no history of bad blood between Dean and me. And all the other Democratic candidates, with the exception of Clark, have come on "The Factor."
What I do know is that Dean has been successful demonizing those with whom he disagrees. And he feels he can mobilize his base by attacking people he thinks liberals don't like.
This is an immature strategy, and is one of the reasons I feel Dean might have problems in the long run. Petty attacks don't look good coming from a potential president.
Now I actually admire Dean's energy and passion and would enjoy talking with him. And I bet you'd like to see that interview as well. Of course, it's far easier for the governor to take shots at us and avoid any some kind of conversation, but that ruse is pretty transparent.
Once again, Howard Dean is welcome on the broadcast any time. He would be treated with respect, as all the candidates have been. With his poll numbers going down, you might want to reconsider, governor.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Actress Julia Stiles (search) is a young woman who's doing very well in Hollywood. She's currently in the movie "Mona Lisa Smile." She also has some political views.
According to various report, Ms. Stiles said, quote, "I was worried that some soldiers over in Iraq who are actually younger than I am would think that I was attacking them and not the government that put them there. And I was afraid that Bill O'Reilly would come with a shotgun at my front door and shoot me for being unpatriotic."
Wow. Well, you can rest easy, Julia. I would never shoot you. I don't have a shotgun. And you're far too good looking for that kind of demise. It would be ridiculous, the same way your comments are.
--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org