This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 17, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Campaign '08" segment tonight: It didn't take long for the far left to begin attacking John McCain. MoveOn, a radical organization, has just released this ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, John McCain. This is Alex, and he's my first. So far his talents include trying any new food and chasing after our dog. That and making my heart pound every time I look at him. So John McCain, when you say you would stay in Iraq for 100 years, were you counting on Alex? Because if you were, you can't have him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Can you believe that? Senator McCain wants to send baby Alex to Iraq. We can't let that happen, ladies and gentlemen. Not to baby Alex. And then there's this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm voting Republican because I don't really want a cure for AIDS or breast cancer. They're just gays and women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm voting Republican because women just can't be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies. Never, ever, ever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need more minorities in prison.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hybrid cars really suck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just don't feel I deserve health insurance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm voting Republican because sometimes the Constitution is just one big inconvenient headache.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because all other countries are inferior to us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We should start as many wars as we need to keep it that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I can stay in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I can go to Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: The question is: Will that nonsense help or hurt Barack Obama? Now baby Alex was not available this evening. However, with us is Rachel Sklar, a senior contributing editor of the Huffington Post.
This is great comedy. I mean, you'd think that was "Saturday Night Live." But they're real ads. They're running on the liberal television networks, and they cost a lot of money. The baby Alex ad cost more than a half million dollars to produce and place. Half a million. Will this persuade anybody?
RACHEL SKLAR, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, I don't know. It depends how many mothers are watching, right? It's really striking for the most primal instinct there. And I think what's important to notice about the baby Alex ad is that you can't, you know, the mother in question until the very end, doesn't come off in a partisan way. She's talking about something that every mother on either side of the divide can relate to.
O'REILLY: OK, but it's so dumb. I mean, it's almost staggering in its — they don't want to — John McCain wants to send baby Alex to Iraq when he grows up because we'll be there for 100 years. All right.
SKLAR: I mean, you just said it, right? That's exactly…
O'REILLY: But everybody is going to be laughing at it. I believe they're just going to be laughing like I did.
SKLAR: They may laugh.
O'REILLY: And then the other side is over the top, too. So I'm saying to myself, is the American electorate so dumb that they're going to buy this? Is this what they're going to do?
SKLAR: I don't think the ads are assuming that anybody's dumb. I think that they're going for specific targeted fears. With respect to baby Alex, they're talking about, you know, the fear that this war is going to never end.
SKLAR: It's going to reach into the next generation and generations beyond that.
SKLAR: With the, you know, "I'm voting Republican because" ads, that's more the buffet approach. You know, they put out every possible fear that you can have. They talk about, you know, health concerns.
O'REILLY: Absolutely. But it's so absurd that we want...
SKLAR: Well, it isn't...
O'REILLY: You know, we don't care about AIDS because we want women and gays to get AIDS, while President Bush gave more money for AIDS prevention than any other president in history.
SKLAR: It's more meant to refocus on what the issues are that are concerning you. So there is a question of if John McCain is elected, how will the court go? Well, we all know how he voted. He voted in favor of all of Bush's appointees. He's on record as opposing Roe. So when, you know, the person stands up there on the ad and says "I'm voting Republican because I don't think a woman can ever be trusted to control her own body"...
O'REILLY: Right, but it's...
SKLAR: And I think that — but yes, it's a cartoon that works.
O'REILLY: Why — all right.
SKLAR: We're talking about communication.
O'REILLY: I'm just saying I don't think any intelligent Americans, and I believe most Americans are intelligent, are going to see this and say gee, I'm going to vote for Barack Obama and the Republicans are bad. I think they're going to laugh at it.
O'REILLY: I think they're going to laugh at it.
SKLAR: With respect, I disagree. I think that it really raises issues, and it highlights them in such a way…
O'REILLY: All right. Why not have Porky Pig do this stuff? That's how ridiculous it is.
SKLAR: But I mean, then we're talking about advertising here. We're talking about messaging and effective messaging. And I think...
O'REILLY: You think this is effective?
SKLAR: Well, sure.
SKLAR: I think that MoveOn actually found that the baby Alex ad was effective precisely because it zeroed in on a raw basic message.
O'REILLY: Well, I want to reassure everybody, Rachel, you and everybody else, that I will not allow baby Alex to be sent to Iraq until he's 21. OK? So Baby Alex is safe.
SKLAR: Well, that's at least a relief for 21 more years.
O'REILLY: Right. And if baby Alex wants to come on the program, we're set up for him right here. We can provide anything he needs.
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