Is the Obama administration soft on Islamic terror?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 17, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BOLLING: In the "Impact Segment" confronting terror.

The Obama administration is famous for refusing to use the term Islamic terrorism.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, you have the term Islamic terrorism which the President refuses to use, even though there seems to be quite a bit of it. If you look around the world, certainly it's there.

If we're going to fight elements that are causing tremendous problems, at least we have to start maybe being not so politically correct.


BOLLING: Does President Obama's failure to define our enemies make it harder to fight them.

Joining us from Palm Springs California former U.S. spokesman at the United Nations Rick Grenell; and from Washington Simon Rosenberg, a Democrat strategist.

Simon -- isn't the President's political correctness hurting our ability to stop the attacks and thereby causing more American deaths?

SIMON ROSENBERG, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: So, first of all, I want to say my condolences to the families of the marines and those who were injured and hats off to the courageous officers down in Chattanooga.

And I will tell you why I don't like the term Islamic extremism or however you want to say it is that when you watch a baseball game on TV the announcers don't talk about the baseball players on the field. They talk about them by position -- shortstop, second base, center field.

I think we have to use the most precise language possible to describe our adversaries in order to make sure that we have effective strategies to defeat them. There is not just one Islamic terrorist there are different groups.

BOLLING: But is that an inaccurate term though -- Simon? Are they not Islamic and are they not terrorists?

ROSENBERG: I think we can use more --

BOLLING: I think both of those adjectives describe what's going on.

ROSENBERG: No, I think we can use more accurate terms. I think we can say ISIS or it can be an Iranian or it can be an American drone. I think there are far more.

BOLLING: God forbid you say Iranian terrorists. Then they're going to say all Iranians are terrorists? You know, you're playing little semantic games right here.

ROSENBERG: No, I'm not. I'm giving you a true answer which is we should be using the most precise language possible so that we have the best understanding of how to defeat our enemy.

BOLLING: All right Rick. What do you say? Is the inability of the Obama administration to call it what it is making it more difficult for us to define it in thereby fight it?

RICK GRENELL, FORMER U.S. SPOKESMAN AT THE U.N.: Of course, this isn't baseball. The analogy is ridiculous. I mean come on. We have now moved beyond partisan politics. You look at what's happened happening in Israel the left and right. All our Arab allies, all agree that Obama is weak.

What's happening right now is Obama is so weak he is putting pressure on those people who are on the front lines trying to protect us because they have incoming targets at a higher ratio than they have ever had. Obama's weakness is inviting ISIS, which now has a country of at least 10 million people. It's no longer a movement. They have a country.

Under Obama they have created a country. That country is attacking us. And we are trying to have a debate. Colonel Peters is right -- this is a war, not a debate. This is not a baseball game. These are our front line protectors that are taking incoming fire at a higher ratio because ISIS smells weakness. We have to defeat them there and here.

BOLLING: Simon -- this shooter, this gunman went from one military installation to another, clearly targeting Americans and clearly targeting American military. I don't know why we have a --

GRENELL: That's a Islamic radical. Look at who he is. Look at who he is. He is Islamic radical.

BOLLING: But Simon you tell us he might not be. Go ahead.

ROSENBERG: No, no, no. I did not say that. What I said is that think it's important to distinguish whether he was ISIS and Sunni related or whether he was involved in Shia.


GRENELL: They hate Americans. They want to kill us.


GRENELL: He is a killer.

ROSENBERG: Listen, we didn't -- when there was conflict in Northern Ireland, we didn't describe the two sides fighting there as Christian extremists. We described them as Protestant and Catholic.

GRENELL: Some people did, actually. Some people did call them.

ROSENBERG: No, no, we used specific terms. We are talking about there is a major element to attack them here.

GRENELL: It's not a term issue -- Simon.

ROSENBERG: -- the sectarian violence and we need to do a better job as leaders in this country describing to the American people precisely about what's going on.

GRENELL: No, I don't care if the killer is playing shortstop or first base. The killer is coming here and trying to get us.

ROSENBERG: He didn't come here. He actually was an American -- the person that we are describing in Tennessee was an American citizen.

GRENELL: Oh no, he's basically --

ROSENBERG: No, no. He was an American citizen who went to high school here. He went to college here. He's homegrown and I think the point is --

GRENELL: Let me tell you he is -- he does not represent the American way.

ROSENBERG: The point is --

GRENELL: His belief came here from a different place. That is not the American way. We will not embrace that.

ROSENBERG: I don't think there is any debate about that. I think the point is that I think it's important to understand whether or not he was an Iranian agent who was brought in to the United States versus a homegrown terrorist in order for us to develop strategies to defeat --

BOLLING: Hang on, Rick. Give me one second, Rick.

GRENELL: You are making a ridiculous argument.

BOLLING: Simon, what is offensive about calling a man who killed four innocent marines on their way to work one day -- what's wrong about calling him an Islamic terrorist. They call themselves Islamic. This man prayed at the Islamic center of Chattanooga.

ROSENBERG: -- I'm not, all I said was my preference. I don't think - - I'm not offended by the term. I'm saying my preference would be to use more precise language so we can develop better strategies. Your question - -

BOLLING: I can't hedge in getting more precise than Islamic terrorist.

ROSEBERG: You asked me at the beginning whether or not the way the President was using language was hurting our ability to actually conduct the war against the terrorists.

BOLLING: Yes, I have to go. I need to go guys.


BOLLING: It's a hot topic but I have got to go. Mr. Rosenberg, Grenell -- thank you very much.

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