Whoopi Goldberg Talks Obama With O'Reilly

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight: There is a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times today saying some liberals are disappointed with President Obama because he's not left-wing enough, at least so far.

A few days ago I sat down and talked with actress Whoopi Goldberg, who has some expectations of Mr. Obama as well. Roll the tape.

Click here to watch Whoopi in the No Spin Zone!


O'REILLY: What do you want the president to accomplish?

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I think more than anything, I want him to remind us about talking, how to talk to each other, and that the idea of going across the aisle is not a freaky thing, that it's OK to disagree with people you like.

O'REILLY: So you want him to set a tone of civility in the country?

GOLDBERG: I would like that.

O'REILLY: But Bush was very civil to the opposition.

GOLDBERG: He didn't say much of anything to the opposition. I mean, he didn't say much to his own people, which got them up a little bit in arms at one point also, you remember.

O'REILLY: But I never saw anything mean-spirited from President Bush. He wasn't — he didn't attack. And he wasn't that kind of guy.

GOLDBERG: No, but, Bill, I think a lot of people by the end of his term felt like he didn't care about us. I think I want the president to be present for most of it, even if I'm not agreeing with him. I want to hear from him. I want to know what he's doing.

O'REILLY: OK, so you want a tone of civility set by President Obama and him to explain as much as he can explain?


O'REILLY: OK. Now that's reasonable. Last week he goes on...


O'REILLY: ...for a first press conference. He certainly was explaining. He explained so much I almost fell off the chair. It was pretty dull. He only took 13 questions in 60 minutes. I think he did that on purpose. I'm not sure that all the explanation is going to get us any further than where we are today.

GOLDBERG: They always say, "Well, what about the transparency issue? He said he was going to be transparent. Why don't we know what went on over here? Why didn't they let us shoot the thing where he had to do the oath? Why didn't we see it all again?" So it's like if you talk too much, people are up your butt. If you don't talk enough, people are up your butt. People are going to be up his butt for the next four years.

O'REILLY: Up his butt. Is that a "View" expression?

GOLDBERG: Bill, I'm incredibly hurt by that. I thought you knew my work.

O'REILLY: Did you see the interview I did with Obama? Did you see it?

GOLDBERG: I heard it.

O'REILLY: You heard it?

GOLDBERG: I didn't see it. Yes.

O'REILLY: You heard the whole thing, pretty much the whole thing?

GOLDBERG: Pretty much.

O'REILLY: OK. It was a good back and forth, and he handled himself, I thought, very well. I thought he was pleased with it, too. That's what he said, at least. But he was challenged for perhaps the only time in the campaign. He got a really soft ride by the press. Very soft.

GOLDBERG: I know. I hear this all the time. I mean...

O'REILLY: Do you agree with that?

GOLDBERG: No. I think they all got their butts kicked by the press, you know, whether...

O'REILLY: You think Obama got his butt kicked by the press? What press was that?

GOLDBERG: You don't think the William Ayers thing was tough or the thing on Michelle was tough? Yes, everybody got their butt kicked.

O'REILLY: That was talk radio. That's not the press.

GOLDBERG: That is — well, you know, it's very hard sometimes to tell the difference between who's who. So if you're all — if you're talking heads, you know, then you have the journalists who, I guess, are not the press because this is the press.

O'REILLY: The press, the network news, The New York Times, all the people that you hang with, they were very easy.

GOLDBERG: Excuse me, Bill. You know what? Do me a favor, OK? Don't bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED) me, OK?

O'REILLY: No, I never do that.

GOLDBERG: Because, you know, I love talking to you. I don't mind talking about stuff, but you've never done that before. You have never said that about me. I hang with my own people.

O'REILLY: Who are they?

GOLDBERG: And my people are very middle of the road. Some of them are incredibly conservative. Some of them are liberal. But I kind of ride the middle of the road. I told you this before. I own guns, and I'm for abortion.



O'REILLY: "The View," the show that you do everyday, has a perception of being a left-wing show, and let me give you a reason why.


O'REILLY: When you had John McCain on, and you were nice to McCain, but Behar wasn't. And Barbara, for one of the few times, and I've known her forever, I really like her and respect her, looked at the floor when she was talking to him. Then you had Michelle Obama on and it was like the Mardi Gras. Now...

GOLDBERG: Think back, Bill, before you say that. Think back, think back, think back.


GOLDBERG: Michelle Obama was a guest co-host, as was Cindy McCain.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: Both had a great time.

O'REILLY: Was it different than a guest?

GOLDBERG: Yes, it was very different.

O'REILLY: I stand corrected then.

GOLDBERG: I just wanted to say that.

O'REILLY: You see the point that McCain was treated a little bit harder than Barack Obama. He wasn't a co-host, and you had him on.

GOLDBERG: Barack Obama didn't get treated any different. Elisabeth was up his butt.

O'REILLY: Elisabeth is one, and you guys are four.

GOLDBERG: You know what? She was up his butt. But I guess what I'm saying is, you know, everybody gets chewed up by the press. Everybody.

O'REILLY: Barack Obama didn't get chewed up.

GOLDBERG: Well, you know, I guess...

O'REILLY: He didn't.

GOLDBERG: ...if I were Barack Obama, I would beg to differ.

O'REILLY: Oh, I believe Barack Obama knows he got very generously treated by the media.

GOLDBERG: OK. I don't know. I hear this all the time.

O'REILLY: Sarah Palin, now if you compare the treatment Sarah Palin got from the mainstream media to what Barack Obama go, it's not on the same...

GOLDBERG: Well, no, it's not. Then let's compare them as women. Not Barack Obama, but let's compare the treatment that the women got...


GOLDBERG: ...who were running this year. And the men were not very nice to them, whether they were talking heads on the radio or whether they were on television.

O'REILLY: I was nice to them all.

GOLDBERG: Yes. You were — you had you a couple of rough things with her. Come on.

O'REILLY: With who? With who?

GOLDBERG: Well, suddenly you don't speak English. You know who I'm talking about.

O'REILLY: Who? Who did I...

GOLDBERG: Clinton. You didn't say — you were very respectful towards Clinton the whole time?

O'REILLY: Hillary Clinton?


O'REILLY: Yes, I was. And she had an interview with me that I think everybody says was the best interview that she's ever had. I wasn't disrespectful to Hillary Clinton.

GOLDBERG: OK. Well, I'll double-check. If I'm wrong, you know, I will come back and say, "You know what? I made a mistake."


O'REILLY: Well, she may have to, because we didn't do anything to Hillary Clinton.

Now, part two of the Whoopi Goldberg interview is tomorrow. She's got a beef with me on Helen Thomas. Wait until you see this.

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