Is President Bush Done or Can He Make a Comeback?

If you missed Friday's "Factor," the Senate did pass the child protection bill, thanks in fact to "Factor" viewers and listening, urging Senator Kennedy to allow a vote. He did. Now it goes to the House and we expect President Bush will sign it soon. I have a special message to all of you about this posted on

The Talking Points Memo this evening: Is President Bush done or can he make a comeback? A new Gallup poll has the president's job approval rating at just 31 percent, the lowest ever for him. Only 52 percent of conservatives approve of the job Mr. Bush is doing and that's his base. Only four presidents have scored lower approval ratings since the Gallup poll began tabulating Oval Office performance: Truman, Nixon, Carter and Bush the elder. The question now is: Can Bush the younger regain the confidence of the American people?

Now there's no clear answer to that question. But one thing is certain: Mr. Bush can only turn things around himself. No surrogate can do it and the president must speak directly to the folks because the press isn't going to help him. We all know that.

Here's what the president must do right now:

Go to the Southern border and announce concrete steps to stop the millions of people trying to illegally cross into this country. Whether it's a wall or the military or a massive deployment of Border and Homeland Security agents, securing the border is a must if the president wants to win back conservative support.

Hold monthly press conferences about Iraq only. Open with specific remarks on what progress is being made and answer all questions directly. Demonstrate he has the Iraq situation under control.

Appeal to the oil companies to hold the line on pricing and quickly develop ethanol. We're fighting a War on Terror in this country. Profiteering on a vital necessity cannot be allowed. Get tough with big oil, Mr. President.

Stop the spending madness. Cut back discretionary spending by 10 percent now by issuing an executive order. Push to make tax cuts permanent. Those cuts have created a dynamic economy that is the biggest strength of the Bush administration.

And finally, make more changes like the CIA chief. Americans are losing faith in the Bush administration. New players give new hope.

Talking Points understands that President Bush believes history will exonerate him, but the USA needs to solve some tough problems now. The border, Iraq, oil prices, take those on directly, Mr. President and you can be the comeback kid. Stay the course, and, well, there will be some very unfriendly new faces on Capitol Hill come November.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

The ratings for April are in, and for the nights I anchored 'The Factor',” we improved our total audience over April 2005. A nice achievement since the pope died last April, and there was huge interest in that story. So we thank you all very much.

But if you read some of the FOX-hating print press, you'd never know how well we're doing, actually, because the writers in The Los Angeles Times and Rocky Mountain News, among others, want to prop up our competition.

But Brian Lowry, aTV writer for "Variety" is an honest man. And he chides CNN and MSNBC for misleading the public. Says Larry, "Whichever midget is taller, the truth remains that the vast majority of young adults have no interest in either."

And here's more truth. Last Thursday evening, in total audience, "The Factor" beat CNN by more than 300 percent and MSNBC by an astounding 500 percent.

“The Factor's" third rerun at 4 a.m. actually beat MSNBC's 8 p.m. original.

“Hannity & Colmes” and "On the Record" with Greta also clobbered their competition.

So the next time you read nonsense about cable news ratings, please understand it is disseminated by people who despise this network. What counts is that millons of Americans continue to choose FOX News over the competition and that, of course, is never ridiculous.