Brit Hume on Far Left vs. President Obama

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, reaction [to the fury on the far left]. Joining us from Boca Grande, Florida, Fox News chief political analyst Brit Hume.

See, I see this as a big problem for the Democratic Party because if they don't get a grip on this soon, it's going to damage the infrastructure of the party. Am I wrong?

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BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think one of the things that's in play here, Bill, is this gives you an idea of why it's so difficult for President Obama to turn toward the center, where he's lost a lot of support among independents in particular and even among some Democrats. The left is his core base, and for him to move to the center would be to further desert them. And they're already disappointed with him because, you know, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed might not be tried in an American civil court or an American criminal court, and the health care reform bill hasn't passed, and in their view, financial reform hasn't passed. They're disappointed, upset. And they're — and he — that makes it very difficult for him to have the freedom of movement he might need for the political value of his own party…

O'REILLY: Here's what I don't get.

HUME: …for the political sake of his own party and for his own.

O'REILLY: Here's what I don't get. Polls say 20 percent of Americans describe themselves as liberal. Twenty percent. You've got to assume within that 20 percent most are moderate liberals. Not kooky, crazy, far-out Michael Moore, Sean Penn liberals. Maybe that number is eight percent. Maybe seven. So the numbers really don't — aren't there. They're just not there. And the Republican Party doesn't really cater to the militia crew and these real far-right. They don't do that. So I'm not — I don't understand why the Democratic Party takes these people so seriously. Why don't they just say look, we can't govern that way, as you pointed out. We'll lose all the independents, and we'll lose the next election. We just can't govern that way, so we'll ignore these people.

HUME: But take, for example, Bill, an outfit like I'm sure you would categorize that as a pretty far-left organization.


HUME: And I think on balance it is. But has been of real benefit to the Democratic Party in terms of the energy that it has shown and young people that it has energized and the money that it raises. And it does a good job at that and the kind of efforts that it can help to mobilize people to get out the vote and so on. So these are organizations on the left, I'm not talking about all of them, but some of them are very important to the Democratic Party and very important to someone like President Obama.

And in the end, you know, when it gets down to it, these tend to be the people who are your — you know, they may be angry or disillusioned with you at times, but they tend to be the most ardent supporters when they're with you. And that matters. Energy matters in politics. You need it at election time. You need it when you're raising money. So they're a big source of energy in the Democratic Party.

O'REILLY: Well, obviously the Daily Kos and MoveOn are the two far-left vehicles that are the most powerful right now. Would you agree with that?

HUME: Well, I think they're both very important, yes.

O'REILLY: OK. So those two, and they're really fringe players. I mean, they are out there. But if President Obama…

HUME: Well, ideologically, you can make that argument. But they are not outside — I don't think they're too far outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party as we now see it constituted, for example, in Congress.

O'REILLY: I disagree with you. I disagree with you. I think that the Democratic Party as it's defined in the Middle West, in the South, isn't anywhere — the people in Virginia who voted for Barack Obama, I don't think are anyone near these people. And I think that's what the Democratic Party is seeing now. They're seeing hemorrhaging because people are going, ut-uh, we don't want this extreme view.

Now, let's just bring it back to the vicious stuff that we heard in the "Talking Points Memo." Now, I was accused in the Dr. Tiller case of killing the man because I reported that he was called Tiller the baby killer. I reported on what the Kansas authorities found out in their investigation of him, all right? That he had OK'd late-term abortions for very, very casual reasons. Maher actually says, you know, now yes, it was a joke. All right, we understand that. But can you imagine somebody on Fox News making the same kind of joke, Brit? What if you made a joke like that?

HUME: Oh, Bill, you know, if I said something like that, I'd be under the jail. I mean, you know, that's just — that is a double standard that exists in the…

O'REILLY: OK, does that say the media is corrupt to you or just biased? There's a difference between biased and corrupt?

HUME: I think it's — I won't get into the corruption question, but I certainly think there's manifest bias. And this kind of thing, which sort of is treated as either trifling or inconsequential when it's said on the left and is a big deal when it's said on the right, it's an example of bias.

O'REILLY: But you don't think it's corruption in the media? See, I think the media's now corrupt.

HUME: Well, you mean intellectually corrupt or do you mean financially corrupt?

O'REILLY: No, no, there are certain rules that the media is trained to follow and they simply don't follow them anymore. There's no fairness.

HUME: Well, that's currently the rules that — well, look, I'm an old guy now. When I came along, you know, editorializing in news columns and so on was simply not tolerated. But things have changed. There's no doubt about that. Things have changed. And the gravity, the political gravity and intellectual gravity in newsrooms all over America is now, and has for a long time, been on the left. It's just that the restraints that used to exist that kept that from filtering into the papers and into the news reports on the air have been lifted.

O'REILLY: Right.

HUME: They're not there anymore.

O'REILLY: So they're unleashed.

HUME: And I thought — well I think — I always thought if Fox News succeeded and certainly Fox News has succeeded, that that would make everybody re-think it. It has not done that.

O'REILLY: No, and it's helped us, that's for sure. Because there's one place to go where you don't get that kind of corruption. That's what I think it is.

HUME: Right.

O'REILLY: Brit, thanks very much, as always.

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