Laura Ingraham Analyzes VP Debate

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 3, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, let's bring in radio talk show star and FOX News analyst Laura Ingraham. She is with us from Washington.

OK. My assessment [of the VP debate], is it accurate, brilliant, perspicacious?

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Perspicacious? Yes, I think it's slightly perspicacious, Bill. Look, I think we heard a little bit of Hurricane Sarah last night. It was Category 6. I mean, she blew a lot of the pundits right out of the room and cable television who were expecting that she was going to fall flat or that she was going to stumble. In fact, she looked like she could go toe to toe with Joe Biden and she did. She came out, she was very confident, she seemed to understand what she stands for, her principles. And she has this ability that I don't think after 36 years in Washington, she has this ability to connect with the average person out there. And I got e-mails from people across this country who really aren't that political who said, wow, I was really worried about her but wow. I mean, I heard so many wows last night it was quite stunning.

O'REILLY: OK, but in the polls, the snap polls — and I don't put too much credence in these.


O'REILLY: But the — I don't think FOX News did one — but CNN did one, the others did one. Biden came out the winner…

INGRAHAM: Well, of course he did.

O'REILLY: …in all of the snap polls. Well, why would you say of course he did? Why?

INGRAHAM: Well, I mean, I, you know, tune into some of the other networks to see what the other folks are saying.

O'REILLY: The enemy, Laura.

INGRAHAM: There really is…

O'REILLY: To see what the enemy was saying.

INGRAHAM: I was going to say the enemy.

O'REILLY: Right.

INGRAHAM: But it's Friday. I'm trying to go into the weekend with a lot of goodwill, Bill.

O'REILLY: I got it.

INGRAHAM: So I'm trying to spread the love here as this market is tanking. So look, I was listening to everybody try to figure out a narrative for this now, because it was that she was kind of a flash in the pan at the convention. She could give a good speech. Then she goes on Katie Couric and they were calling her dumb and a dolt and stupid and making fun of her family and all that stuff. And now she comes out again, she comes out on stage and people are saying oh my goodness. I mean, she hasn't been around as long as Ronald Reagan, but I have talked to a lot of people who worked with me in the Reagan administration, Bill. And the word Reagan-esque came up more than a few times last night.

O'REILLY: Listen, she connected…

INGRAHAM: So she's doing something.

O'REILLY: I'm a professional. I've been doing this 35 years on television. I know when people do well on television. And she did well on television. And I'll tell you, I studied that JFK-Nixon debate.


O'REILLY: And it was no question Nixon had much more knowledge about both domestic and foreign — but Kennedy wowed them.


O'REILLY: Wowed them. And that's what I saw last night. I saw this charisma and that's the word. She has charisma.

INGRAHAM: She's the future. Bill, I think what you saw in Sarah Palin, regardless of what happens in November, what you saw in Sarah Palin really embodies the future struggle within the Republican Party. The Wall Street Journal, you know, elite Republicans vs. more of a, you know, down to earth, I think slightly more populist wing of the Republican Party. They're going to be going at each other.

O'REILLY: That sounds like me. But I'm not a Republican, but down-to-earth populist.

INGRAHAM: Yes, well…

O'REILLY: And you're — every time I get down-to-earth populist, you're going we have to have an intervention on O'Reilly. I listen to your radio program.


O'REILLY: Oh, we have to have an intervention. Every time I get populist, there you are. Go ahead.

INGRAHAM: Now when you were screaming about right-wing radio a couple weeks ago, I got mad at you, but let's keep it on what happened last night though.

O'REILLY: You're not mad at me anymore though?

INGRAHAM: No, you know, I have plenty of time to get at you for that. But look, Joe Biden, Bill, screwed up on the Constitution questions, OK? He doesn't even know what the role of the vice president is.


INGRAHAM: …in the Constitution. What I'm saying is he's been there for 36 years, OK? He doesn't know the provisions of the Constitution that govern the legislative and executive branches. I think if Sarah Palin had gotten both of those points wrong last night…

O'REILLY: Maybe.

INGRAHAM: …you would never have heard the end of it.

O'REILLY: But don't you feel that the folks are tired of the gotcha game? I do. I just think the folks are…

INGRAHAM: No, you know what I think they're tired of, Bill? I think they're tired of politicians who go to Washington and say they're going to represent the people…

O'REILLY: Oh, there's no doubt.

INGRAHAM: …and as you demonstrated last night with Barney Frank with the interview that should be — is an award-winning interview and a takedown of Barney Frank. That was fantastic.

O'REILLY: What award though? I don't know who is going to give me that award. It's not going to be…

INGRAHAM: Well, you won the sound bite contest award for the whole week on the Laura Ingraham show.

O'REILLY: And I'm flattered.

INGRAHAM: Yes, radio show gave it to you.

O'REILLY: Let me explain what this is.


O'REILLY: Laura Ingraham's radio show, one of the most popular features is sound bite of the week. And I, your humble correspondent, am the recipient award winner of the week. Which sound bite was it?

INGRAHAM: It was when you called him a coward and basically said he was a total liar. That is what everybody loved. And the reason people liked it, Bill, wasn't just the entertainment factor of it. People want accountability here.

O'REILLY: You bet.

INGRAHAM: And what Sarah Palin could have said last night, but I think they wanted her to stay very positive, you know, kind of a nice image.


INGRAHAM: What she could have said is look, the people of this country demand answers. And everybody left, right, and center who is involved in this, who profited from this, who got mortgages that were phony bologna out of this, every single person should have to testify on Capitol Hill. And we demand real structural reform. That's what we demand. She didn't say that last night.

O'REILLY: You're absolutely right.

INGRAHAM: And I think she was constrained by the McCain…

O'REILLY: Well, she did in a way. She said it a few times, but you hit on a very astute point. She was told to keep it positive. Don't go in…

INGRAHAM: Exactly.

O'REILLY: …and try to be negative. Sell yourself.

INGRAHAM: No naming names.

O'REILLY: Sell yourself again just like you did at the convention. Sell yourself again, and she did. She came out and sold herself again.

INGRAHAM: Yes, but that's not going to be enough, Bill.


INGRAHAM: Bill, that is not going to be enough…

O'REILLY: You're right.

INGRAHAM: …for the next 30 days, no way.

O'REILLY: She's got to come in here. I understand Greta van Susteren is going to be talking to her again next week. And Greta's a good interviewer, but she's got to come here. She's got to come on your show. She's got to go up…


O'REILLY: …and answer some — now she's back in the game. Back in the game, OK?

INGRAHAM: But Bill — yes.

O'REILLY: But Tina Fey and all these little snarky people, they can't get away with this now anymore, OK?

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, Bill, what they — when McCain is winning, McCain is reviled by the media. If he thinks the road to victory is paved with niceties coming from all of his old friends in the media…

O'REILLY: He's got to get tough, I agree.

INGRAHAM: …he's wrong.

O'REILLY: He's got to get tough.

INGRAHAM: He's got to be tough, he's got to hit hard, he's got to name names, he's got to paint Barack Obama for what he is, very far left on most issues. When he does that, Bill, when he does it consistently with the Paris Hilton ad all of that, he wins. If he doesn't do that, it's over for him.

O'REILLY: All right. Laura Ingraham, everybody. I appreciate the award. Do I get something, Laura? Do I get a present?

INGRAHAM: The plaque is in the mail. And you get the whole version on the Laura Ingraham radio show.

O'REILLY: Did you send one to Barney, too? He ought to share in the victory.

INGRAHAM: I think he's still recovering. I sent him a fruit basket today after that interview.

O'REILLY: You are a compassionate conservative. Laura Ingraham, everybody.

INGRAHAM: I am. Thank you.

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