Is the GOP cheering for Putin?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 5, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight, little movement in Crimea as Russian troops continue to occupy that part of the Ukraine allegedly. The Western powers are getting some kind of sanctions against Russia together but I'll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, some Obama supporters are saying Republicans are actually rooting for Putin.


SALLY KOHN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Republicans are practically cheering for Vladimir Putin today. He's given them a new excuse to bash President Obama. Republicans are out in droves suggesting that if the President weren't such a weak leader Putin wouldn't be threatening the Ukraine.

First of all, did the same Republicans call George W. Bush weak when Putin invaded Georgia in 2008? No.


O'REILLY: Joining us now from Washington with reaction, Republican Kate Obenshain and Democrat Kirsten Powers. So do you think Sally Kohn is onto something here, Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, yes absolutely. I think that this is -- I mean I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that they're cheering for Putin but they seem to be blaming Obama for Putin's behavior. They seem to be suggesting that while they'll claim that President Obama is so naive he doesn't understand, you know, evil dictators but then they'll turn around and claim that Putin wouldn't have done something but for Barack Obama when of course this is something that he would have done regardless of who was President of the United States.

O'REILLY: I'm not sure that's true. I mean I'm not sure he would have done it had Andrew Jackson been president.

POWERS: This is a regional conflict, Bill. This isn't a regional conflict. He didn't sit around and think about oh, if the United States is going to do something I'm not going to do it. And if that's true, then Sally raises a point that I've been raising. Why wasn't George Bush blamed for what happened in Georgia? I mean it's -- and I'm not saying and I don't think he should have been.

But I'm just saying that's if that's true then it has to be true that that was the case with Bush. And I don't remember Republicans blaming Bush.

O'REILLY: These are all points that have to be debated. So let's go to our Republican presence tonight on THE FACTOR. Kate Obenshain.


O'REILLY: All right Sally Kohn have a point?

OBENSHAIN: -- actually, back in 2007, before the invasion, you'll remember John McCain famously sort of mocking President Bush's naivete, saying about how he looked into his eyes and saw his soul and McCain said, well, I looked into his eyes and I saw a K and a G and a B. And then Lindsey Graham, who's been one of the most outspoken critics of President Obama's foreign policy actually at the time wrote a "Wall Street Journal" editorial back in 2008 that said that Russia's action was threatening to the world order. He wasn't direct but he's generally was critical of the U.S. policy.

So look, I don't think that it's limited. And if you're going to say Republicans are rejoicing, then the Democrats were rejoicing over Saddam Hussein and rooting for him? I don't think so. I think what this is, is an overall criticism, very legitimate one, by the way, of Barack Obama's weak foreign policy. And I think there is some consensus over that that since day one with the world apology tour and as it went on to sort of this bowing and scraping, doing everything he could to bend over backwards to the world's dictators, to our enemies, be it in Iran with the pro-democracy protests and Iran's acquisitions of nuclear weapons and Syria, and all around the world I think that you can see a pattern. And obviously Vladimir Putin --


O'REILLY: Well, you missed a big one.


O'REILLY: The big one -- let me pose the question. Let me pose the question. Kate missed a big one, which is Syria. That's what I think --

OBENSHAIN: I said Syria. I mean the red line. Absolutely. There are so many, Bill.


O'REILLY: That emboldened, you know, they were watching.

POWERS: That's ridiculous.


O'REILLY: See I said at the time if I had been President Obama and a guy had gassed after I said don't gas and if you do -- I would have bombed the airport. Ok? I would have taken out all his fleet of planes -- Assad's planes. I would have done just something.

OBENSHAIN: If you say it, you've got to do something.

POWERS: And you know I just -- I can't handle it anymore listening being lectured by people who supported the Iraq war and all these genius decisions that George Bush made, you know claiming that they're the experts.

I mean, why are Lindsey Graham and John McCain the experts? They have led us down these trails into these horrific -- the Iraq war is going to go down in history as one of the stupidest things that this country has ever done. And they have the nerve to go on television and lecture people.

O'REILLY: But Powers you don't think --

POWERS: The other thing I want to say, no, hold on, let me finish.

O'REILLY: We got your point.

POWERS: No you haven't gotten my point because Obama is not weak. You can criticize a lot of things about him. But the guy is bombing the crap out of a couple countries with drones. He has killed somebody extra- judicially, assassinated an American citizen. These are not good things. These are things that a weak --


O'REILLY: So you -- you Kirsten Powers, and I'll give you the last word, Kate.

POWERS: He invaded Libya. You know he killed -- he killed Osama bin Laden.

O'REILLY: Can I get a question in, please?

POWERS: Maybe. All right, Bill.

O'REILLY: Can I get one in? And then I'm going to have Kate wrap it up. So you, Kirsten Powers, you believe that Putin and the other --

POWERS: You're going to ask me a question and have Kate wrap it up?

O'REILLY: Yes well, you can answer but quickly. You believe that Putin, the mullahs, North Korea, all the villains, fear Barack Obama? You believe they fear him? You Kirsten Powers believe that.

POWERS: I don't think they fear anybody. I think they're crazy.


POWERS: I don't think they're -- they're not sitting around making rational decisions. I mean, seriously, North Korea? Did you seriously just say that? North Korea.

O'REILLY: I've been pretty fair to the President. I think everybody knows that. I don't think anybody fears him. Anybody.

All right last word, Kate. Go.

POWERS: But do you really got a rational decisions happening in North Korea?

OBENSHAIN: Yes I have to say -- I have to say that at least during President Bush's presidency al Qaeda was on the run, Kirsten. And now that Obama has pulled out without even any reserve forces they are rampaging --


POWERS: I just can't even believe you have the nerve to suggest he had a good foreign policy.

OBENSHAIN: I can't believe that you're not acknowledging that al Qaeda is on the rise as a result frankly of this policies -- the policies of feckless impotent policies of this President who refuses to stand up, to take a stand for pro-democracy forces around the world. And work with American interest around the world.

O'REILLY: All right I don't like that word feckless that's a cliche. I'm going to make one point and I've got to go --

POWERS: But you lose all credibility when you invoke George Bush as a great foreign policy president.

OBENSHAIN: You invoke George Bush you've got to -- the Republicans were just as critical of him --

POWERS: No, they weren't. These are two people who criticize people all the time.

O'REILLY: It's not -- it's not a telethon, ladies. It's not a telethon I've got to go.

Number one, they did fear Dick Cheney, whether you like him or not. People feared him. Ok.

And number two, number two it's not fair to lump everything into one container. But I don't believe Barack Obama is generally feared around the world.

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