ABC News' Brian Ross on Bachmann Bodyguard Scuffle

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 20, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Now for the "Top Story" tonight, let's bring in correspondent Brian Ross, who joins us from the ABC News studios here in New York City.

First of all, do you think the congresswoman's security was out of line? I mean, the guy that blocked my shot -- we didn't show the whole tape because it goes on for about two minutes. But he -- was actually stalking my photographer and not letting us even get pictures of the senator. The guy was really out of line. Was it like that with you?

BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well in this case, this congresswoman's security were actually around her. I was never closer than 10 or 12 feet to her. It was the people around her -- I don't think she even knew what was going on -- who recognized me and came up and identified themselves as with the staff said they knew who I was. And the blocking was all about me. Other cameraman, other reporters were allowed to get close.


O'REILLY: But why would they want to do that? I mean --

ROSS: Because I -- I didn't -- she read a statement about the migraines. They are more than headaches, Bill, they are migraines, which can be very, very serious and put people out of action. And my question was based on reporting that we had done and the other media had done was she may have missed some votes.

Headaches -- her migraines were so severe she may have had to miss votes. So could she be entrusted with what they call the "nuclear football"?


O'REILLY: OK but let's --

ROSS: So, my question was had she missed any votes because of the migraine.

O'REILLY: Ok but let's -- let's backtrack just a little bit because I want everybody to have that clip. So you show up and they know you want to ask about the migraines. Did they know that, did you tell them before hand?

ROSS: I told them that. Yes, I did.

O'REILLY: OK, so they knew that you wanted to ask one specific question about how the migraines affected her job on the Hill. And they didn't want her apparently to be questioned by you, it was quite obvious.


ROSS: That's right.

O'REILLY: They singled you out and they said we don't want Ross to ask her that question.

Now, that's not -- that's not smart. That's not the way to handle this because it is a legitimate question. I don't think I would have run down to South Carolina and asked it, with all due respect, but I think it's a legitimate question to ask.

So when you -- when you saw that they were trying to block you, how did you react? I mean, I react like an imbecile. Ok, I pushed the guy. I -- you know, that's me. But you didn't do that, right?

ROSS: Well, first they held me and then I sort of squirmed away from them --


O'REILLY: They held -- they -- they actually held you like this?

ROSS: Yes, they kept me from going closer. So then I try to get away and they held me. I broke away and went around to another part where she was going to enter her motorcade and was able to sort of shout the question to her which she did not answer.

O'REILLY: What did you think when they laid hands on you, Brian?

ROSS: Well, you know, it's -- it's -- I have seen it so many times on campaigns with the congressional people, at conventions. You know, corporate executives. The people around them are doing their best to protect them, not as a matter of security but from kind of annoying reporters like me asking a question that is a very penetrating question and the answer could be, yes, or no.


O'REILLY: I don't know if it's that penetrating. I mean, it is just --

ROSS: You don't think so?

O'REILLY: Not really.

ROSS: Well, she has yet to -- she has yet to answer that question.

O'REILLY: And she should ask and we -- we have invited her on the program and she should answer the question. But even if she has migraine headaches, where she missed a vote or two, everybody has maladies and everybody gets ill once in awhile.

ROSS: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: I don't think this is incapacitating and I think the media is -- look, on CBS Radio today -- you don't know this. But the guy named Dave Ross takes what happened and says oh, you know what, it's [that] Michele Bachmann doesn't want national healthcare and yes, she can afford medicine for her headache and other people can't. And it's so dumb. I mean, you are just going like this.

ROSS: No, that's -- that's not my issue. But my issue is --


O'REILLY: No, I know.

ROSS: -- but my issue is -- is she, as commander-in-chief, she really has to be available on a 24-hour a day basis.

O'REILLY: But you have to release your medical -- well, no, you don't. Bill Clinton didn't.

ROSS: No, you don't -- you do not.


ROSS: You do not. And as you know, candidates have been reluctant to do that. And I think it's a threshold question for voters, is this candidate able to carry out the massive responsibilities --


O'REILLY: But in her statement she said she didn't have any problem doing her job. So she already answered the question. She just didn't answer it to you.

ROSS: Well, I don't know if she answered the question whether she missed any votes because former staffers and insiders say in fact she has. Now, that's why I asked her that specific question.

O'REILLY: OK. Do you think that this is getting out of control now that the candidates know the 24/7 news cycle and the Internet picks up everything. And that their overly protecting themselves? Is it just too much?

ROSS: Well, you know, listen, Michele Bachmann was, you know very -- she was -- she reacted very well with the crowd. They reacted well to her. She is a powerful candidate, she's going to do well clearly and because of that, we are focusing on her.

She is running for president for the first time. She really hasn't been vetted by the national news media. In the sense of like, what are the issues that could affect somebody running for president? Now this wouldn't be a question you ask of the average citizen. A Congress person, you might be a local story. But for us it's a national story when someone runs for president.

O'REILLY: All right. Brian thanks very much. We appreciate it and as I said, we have invited Michele Bachmann on the program and we hope to see her soon.