Dennis Miller on What He'd Say to Obama and McCain in a Debate

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 15, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Miller Time" segment tonight: what Dennis would tell John McCain and Barack Obama if he were on the floor debating them tonight out on Long Island. Miller joins us from Los Angeles.

I would pay to see that, boy. You know what I — I would love to see them sitting in their little chairs, OK? And then you and I would go up. I'd beat up Bob Schieffer. I'd grab him, all right, and then beat him up. And then you go out and say, "All right. I'm in charge here." Now your first salvo to Obama would be what?

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DENNIS MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first up, I want to send a shout out to Dick Cheney, who broke DiMaggio's record today with his 57th aortic episode this season, thinking about your vice president, and I have not seen anybody who walked through heart attacks like this since "Sanford and Son's" third season. This guy makes Red Foxx look like Lance Armstrong for God's sake.

If I was Schieffer tonight — if I was Schieffer tonight, I would return journalism to some sort of Ed Murrow level and at the beginning set up the — introduce the two guys and say, "Gentlemen, I'm gone. Have at it." I'd walk off the stage, say, "You've got 90 minutes. This has been way too much about the moderators. I'm going to do what journalists should do. You guys have at it for 90 minutes. Let the best man win. I'm out of here." That's what I would do. I think there's way too much — this is all about this little star turn for the moderators, and it's been horrific. I have never learned one thing at the debates.

O'REILLY: But I think that — I know I could bring some provocative questioning to the floor, and I believe you — but I want to know what you would say. It doesn't have to be a question. So there you are and you're looking Barack Obama in the eye, and you've been following him on your radio program now for a year. What are you saying to Obama tonight?

MILLER: Well, first off, you might think you could bring something provocative to it. I'm actually saying I couldn't, or I wouldn't want to. If I was a journalist I'd stay out of it.

Obama, since they're seated tonight, I would tell him that it would probably be imprudent for him to actually take any donations from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac under the table during the thing. I would stay away from that.


O'REILLY: I just have to explain — I have to explain that Barack Obama got a half a million dollars from Fannie and Freddie. So you'd hit him right off the bat with those. And that's not a bad question right off the bat. You hit him with that, OK. You took money from Fannie and Freddie. Now they're out of business. Don't take any while we are debating tonight. It's a little humor, and I like it. Go ahead.

MILLER: I'd also tell him — I'd ask him what he meant by spread the wealth. Listen, Barack, the next time a plumber comes to your house to rooter out a pipe and it's time to settle up, and he asks for 60 bucks, you tell him you want to give him 55 bucks and give the other 5 away to other people who need it more than him. At that point the plumber thinks you're more full of it than the pipe. So that spread the wealth thing, I would ask him what he meant by that.

O'REILLY: Well, I already asked him, and he believes that wealthy people like you, Miller, rolling in money in Southern California as you are, should give some of that money — and the key word is "give" — to him, Barack Obama, so he can give it to whoever he wants to with no strings attached. I mean, that's what income redistribution is all about.

MILLER: It was — it was a plumber. It wasn't the Getty kid who got his ear cut off for God sakes.

O'REILLY: All right. So you get him on contributions from Fannie and Freddie. You get him on income redistribution. Anything else you want to say to Obama while you have the time here and millions of people watching you?

MILLER: I'd say, "Listen, I know you think this is a little further — that you are further ahead than you actually are, and if I was you I'd get out there on Election Day and actually pull the lever for myself, because I know your wont is to vote 'present.' But I'd make sure I voted that day because I don't think, you know..."

O'REILLY: Can't sit that vote out.

MILLER: No. The CBS/New York Times poll I would not trust, because at this point in his life, Pinch Sulzberger tends to, shall we say, see everything bigger than it actually is.

O'REILLY: The CBS/New York Times poll had Barack Obama or Heimlich Himmler, pick one of the two. That did not happen, did not happen, you historians out there.

MILLER: Of course not.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, there's John McCain, and he's looking at you, and he's not liking you so much. So he's trying to intimidate you. You know how they do before they start fighting in the boxing arena. He's giving you that look, Miller. What do you say to him?

MILLER: First thing, I'd do what you just showed in that picture, I'd come out without a tie. I'd sit down, and I would look out and say, "I don't have any clever lines tonight, my friend. What I do have is furrows in my brow, because around a year ago the biggest decision in this country's history, probably since World War II, was whether or not we surged in this war. You said we shouldn't surge. I'm sitting here tonight telling you we killed Al Qaeda's No. 2 man in Iraq yesterday. If we hadn't have surged we wouldn't have won. The Great Satan would have lost once again in the eyes of these pinheads. And at some point there's the economy and there's insolvency, and then there's dead. And I'd rather be alive to be insolvent than dead at any given moment, because dead doesn't go away. Insolvency eventually abates, and this one will, too."

O'REILLY: You're praising Obama in your opening remarks to — McCain, you're praising McCain in your opening remarks to him. Do you have anything critical to say about John McCain?

MILLER: No, I don't, except that he seems a little inauthentic in these debates.

O'REILLY: So you're in the tank. You're in the tank for McCain?

MILLER: No, I'm not in the tank. I'm telling you we're at a point in history — we're at a point in history, Bill, where we're about to put a 47-year-old guy in when the world is at its most dangerous ever.

If I was John McCain I'd come out and say, "Listen, I'm going to cut pork, and I'm going to kill terrorists." And I'd pretty much would leave it after that. All the rest is icing. "At some point I think people know that we spend too much. My records shows I spend less. I was right on this surge. We've got bad guys out there. I'm going to pre-emptively kill them. Now, he'll have to explain himself because that's what I'm going to do."

O'REILLY: All right. So cut pork, kill terrorists, good night, everybody. And that's it? Might do it.

MILLER: Obviously.

O'REILLY: Might be enough.

MILLER: Obviously, Bill, we've set up a thing here where I'm supposed to be the moderator. I first off said I will not be the moderator. I'd let these two men talk about it. I would say to John McCain, "Listen, you're a fighter pilot, damn it. You've taken two passes here. You've got to plant it on the deck tonight."

O'REILLY: He's got to…

MILLER: "I'm not a great man. Don't listen to my advice. You're the guy that two and a half years into a five-year prison stay said he'd stick. You're a wiser, brighter, more courageous man than me. Exhibit that tonight. Show it to me."

O'REILLY: All right. You're firing him up in the locker room.

Dennis Miller, everybody. We appreciate Dennis as always.

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