Actor Jon Voight Defends His Controversial Obama Comments

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: plenty of controversy at a big Republican fundraiser in Washington this week. First, Sarah Palin was denied a speaking role. But not so for actor Jon Voight. He really spoke.


JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: We are becoming a weak nation. Obama really thinks he is a soft-spoken Julius Caesar. He thinks he's going to conquer the world with his soft-spoken sweet talk and really thinks he's going to bring all the enemies of the world into a little playground where they'll swing each other back and forth. We and we alone are the right frame of mind to free this nation from this Obama oppression.


O'REILLY: Wow! Here now, Mr. Voight.

So what is your essential beef, when you just cut down — it was a long speech you gave — with President Obama? What's the main complaint?

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VOIGHT: Well, it is essentially this, Bill, if I had to break it down. We were warned by Hillary Clinton that he had no experience, that he had no qualifications. We were warned by his now vice president, Joe Biden, he had no experience. So he was a novice. And now we're getting what we could have expected, if we had listened. We have a fellow who's bringing us to chaos and socialism.

O'REILLY: I don't see any chaos. In Iraq he's pretty much doing what Bush did. He's keeping the soldiers there. There may be chaos when we start to withdraw, but right now it's...

VOIGHT: The chaos I'm speaking of is economic chaos.

O'REILLY: OK. But let's stay — let's stay with foreign policy and we'll get into...


O'REILLY: ...because you made some points about Julius Caesar, wants to convince the world. Obviously, you feel he's naive and idealistic.

VOIGHT: Well, I feel he's weak.

O'REILLY: You feel he's weak?

VOIGHT: Just exactly why we have this muscle-flexing from Korea. Nothing's happening. They...

O'REILLY: What would you do though? I mean, you know, we've talked this over. It's a very tough situation in Korea.

VOIGHT: Well, this is — there must be a response.

O'REILLY: What kind of a response?

VOIGHT: Well...

O'REILLY: See, now we're getting into a really tough area.

VOIGHT: No — are you — do I have the experience to say something that deeply needs to be said? I have a, you know, a head on my shoulders, and I can think of a few things. But certainly they should be let to know that there are going to be consequences.

O'REILLY: I think you're right. I think that Obama will have to basically say to them, look, you can't be kidnapping American citizens and if you do, you'll pay a price. But he — as we said, Kim Jung Il wants Obama to overreact.

Now, going back to the (INAUDIBLE)...

VOIGHT: Is that what you think it is?

O'REILLY: Oh yes, I think Kim Jung Il...

VOIGHT: I think he doesn't...

O'REILLY: ...wants...

VOIGHT: I don't think he thinks there's going to be any response whatsoever.

O'REILLY: You may be right, but I think he wants one. He'd love for President Obama to send over some bombers and do something. He would love that. That's what Kim Jong-Il wants.

VOIGHT: How do you know that?

O'REILLY: It's an educated guess because I followed the man. He's a provocateur. He has no value of life at all. He's like Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein thought he'd get away with it and he wound up dead. Kim Jong-Il, same mindset. Tyrants are always like that.

Now, when Obama got elected, were you willing to give him a chance or from the jump were you saying this guy is going to be a disaster?

VOIGHT: Well, look. I have — we all want our president to be supported by our country and do the right thing. But I knew a little bit more. Look, he was a fellow who was associated with all the wrong people. The signs were up. His associations with Bill Ayers, Alinsky, with ACORN, with Pfleger, with Wright. But no one seemed to take the warnings. And his inexperience was quite evident.

O'REILLY: Millions of people voted against him. It's just that more that voted for him. But you were willing to give him a chance?

VOIGHT: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You were. What turned it for you? So, he's been in office now for less than six months — it seems longer. Does it seem longer? It seems longer. But, it's been less than six months that he's taken over. What, in that period of time, in the six months, turned you to saying, the guy's a disaster and he isn't going to get any better?

VOIGHT: Well, take a look at the stimulus — the so-called stimulus package — the stimulus package and his proposed budget. What is it? What is it going to do for our country?

O'REILLY: What do you think it's going to do?

VOIGHT: It's going to leave our grandchildren with great burden and great debt. Is it going to get us jobs? Has it done anything to get us jobs? Obama himself said we're going to hit a ceiling of eight — eight percent unemployment. We are not at 9.4 percent unemployment.

O'REILLY: Now, my colleague Glenn Beck thinks it's going to be economic Armageddon, that that's what's ahead. Do you think that? Total collapse of the economy? Unemployment at 12, 14 percent?

VOIGHT: That's where we're headed.

O'REILLY: You think so?

VOIGHT: Well, listen. Here's a very simple aspect. If you're going to have business — if you're going to encourage business, which of course is going to provide jobs, you know, you don't do it the way this administration is doing it. They're actually attacking entrepreneurs. They're attacking business.

O'REILLY: Not yet. If they raise taxes, they will be.

VOIGHT: They're attacking the wage payer. As Abraham Lincoln said, you don't encourage, you don't help the wage earner by attacking the wage payer. It's very simple stuff. It's not very complicated.

O'REILLY: Are you — do you listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio?

VOIGHT: Actually I don't.


VOIGHT: I'm sorry, Rush.


VOIGHT: I've heard him several times. I heard his interview with Hannity…

O'REILLY: You sound like Mr. Limbaugh. I mean, you guys are pretty much on the same parallel track, that this guy, President Obama, is a disaster and, you know, things are going to really come to a head.

So my final question to you is, is there anything that Obama could do at this point to change your mind?

VOIGHT: Well, listen. Pravda said that we were amazingly speeding towards Marxism at an amazing rate. Pravda, which was the, you know…

O'REILLY: Russian news agency.



VOIGHT: I think it's evident. I think people just have to acknowledge it, say, yes that's what's happening here, fellows. This is a very extreme agenda.

O'REILLY: I think it could, but I don't think it is there yet. I think that there's a lot of decisions to be made. I think that next November, we'll know. Mr. Voight, thanks very much for picking up, whether you agree or…

VOIGHT: I don't agree. I think we're…

O'REILLY: I was going to give you a compliment. We got to go. Whether you agree or disagree with you, you are absolutely exercising your free speech rights and I wish more Americans could do that. You're very courageous. Thank you.

VOIGHT: Thank you for that.

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