Laura Ingraham Sounds Off on Last Presidential Debate

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 16, 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: another view of [the last presidential debate]. Joining us from Washington, Laura Ingraham, whose book "Power to the People" is now out in paperback.

All right. I know I'm going desperately wrong. I can see it in your eyes.

Click here to watch the heated exchange!

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: No. Bill, you know what I was thinking when I was listening to "Talking Points" is that if there was only some way that McCain could channel what you just said, your recitation of the facts when it comes to this economy. I totally share your frustration. I was screaming at the television. I was throwing things at the TV with the friends that were watching this.

In a few paragraphs, John McCain could have, I think, destroyed Barack Obama last night. He had his moments though. I don't agree with you that he didn't have his moments on the economy. He did bring up the corporate tax rate issue, which you just brought up. He did point out that we have a ridiculous high corporate tax rate, the second highest in the world. That's an important point. But what I think he didn't do is he didn't look directly at Barack Obama and just say, are you kidding me? We have no money…

O'REILLY: Well, that's exactly it.

INGRAHAM: …for these utopian measures.


INGRAHAM: And there wasn't that anger, I agree with you.

O'REILLY: Here's the frustration. You're sitting there for an hour and 20 minutes, OK. And you're seeing the same things over and over.

INGRAHAM: Same lines.

O'REILLY: It took Barack Obama exactly four minutes to say that he would give 95 percent of Americans a tax break.


O'REILLY: Four minutes, all right? We've heard that 7,842 times. This isn't a complicated issue right now. The American public's furious. Now I told John McCain. I'm sure on your radio you told John McCain.


O'REILLY: We've all told John McCain.

INGRAHAM: They're not listening.

O'REILLY: One issue in America right now, the people feel betrayed. People worked hard…


O'REILLY: …and their money has vanished because of corruption, and you've got to deal with that.

INGRAHAM: Right, but…

O'REILLY: So now they want to do…

INGRAHAM: Right. On the Joe the plumber issue though, Bill, I mean, you seem frustrated.

O'REILLY: It was OK. It was all right.

INGRAHAM: Well, let me tell you why.

O'REILLY: But you don't build your whole debate around it.

INGRAHAM: No. Well, no, but he does put a face on what Barack Obama's tax policy…

O'REILLY: OK. I'll see that.

INGRAHAM: …will do to business. And I find that to be actually quite persuasive, and so I disagree with you. I think people are talking about him for a reason.

O'REILLY: Do you know who NBC News is attacking today?

INGRAHAM: Of course, Joe the plumber.

O'REILLY: Joe the plumber.

INGRAHAM: Because…

O'REILLY: Joe the plumber.

INGRAHAM: And I think your point about McCain showing some indignation and the same kind of indignation, frankly, that he showed toward Mitt Romney during the primary season, where he really hammered Romney…

O'REILLY: Yes, I'm not getting it.

INGRAHAM: …to some effect, Bill.

But look, I'm sure you've seen the polls that just came out late today. Gallup, Rasmussen, Investors Business Daily all have this race tightening to four and three points, OK?

O'REILLY: But they were taken before the debates.


O'REILLY: Look, as I said…


O'REILLY: …it's not over.


O'REILLY: And here's why it's not over.

INGRAHAM: Well, yes.

O'REILLY: Here's why it's not over. That if you look at the graphs since the 21st of September, and this is my newspaper column I write this week, Barack Obama has not really increased his popularity in the country. He stayed pretty much at 49, 50. McCain is the one who's taking the hammer, and he's, you know, that's who's…

INGRAHAM: Well, but…

O'REILLY: It's not the people saying oh, Barack Obama is the savior, he's the savior.

INGRAHAM: No, he's running out the clock.

O'REILLY: It's not that.

INGRAHAM: Bill, he's running out the clock. And…

O'REILLY: Right. That's what he's doing. Sitting on the lead.

INGRAHAM: McCain does have — there are 20 days left. McCain has to do two things: point out Barack Obama's radical leftism in ideology, in policy.

O'REILLY: It's a negative attack though, Laura. You know McCain doesn't like that.

INGRAHAM: Bill, the negative attacks, which the left always want to call off, they want to call off for a reason. They actually do raise questions in people's minds. When he says change, what does he really mean? When he says we're going to invest in this economy, what does he really mean? And how is it informed by these alliances that he's had over the years with ACORN and Ayers and Wright. That is absolutely legitimate. He has to stay on that. And he also has to offer a positive three or four or five point vision on how to grow this economy. That has to be done.

O'REILLY: Let me ask you a question though. Here's my problem with John McCain at this juncture. And I don't have a problem with Barack Obama, by the way, because I think Barack Obama has been...

INGRAHAM: You don't have a problem with Barack Obama? Are you kidding me?

O'REILLY: No, because all politicians to me are people who — no, look at you. Look at you. You see…

INGRAHAM: Bill, how can you not have a problem?

O'REILLY: …you're coming at it…

INGRAHAM: Barack Obama and the Democrats, Bill, want to go after talk radio. They want to silence all their critics.


INGRAHAM: They're going after Joe the plumber. They want to fraudulently affect this election with these voter registrations, and they want to brush off all criticism of Obama and ACORN now as racist.

O'REILLY: Here's the difference between you and me, OK?

INGRAHAM: Yes, I have conservative principles and I stand with them.

O'REILLY: They're not going to do any of that, all right? And Obama has been up front about who he is.

INGRAHAM: No, he hasn't.

O'REILLY: Far-left guy.

INGRAHAM: He lied last night, Bill. He lied about ACORN.

O'REILLY: He comes out and he says…

INGRAHAM: He lied about Ayers.

O'REILLY: He comes and he says — well, if he lied about Ayers, I want to know about it.

INGRAHAM: You don't think he started his political career in Ayers' living room? You don't think that was his first fund-raiser? He lied about that last night. And John McCain didn't call him on it.

O'REILLY: All right.

INGRAHAM: He lied.

O'REILLY: Maybe he did and maybe he didn't.

INGRAHAM: Well, he did.

O'REILLY: But Obama has been very consistent from the jump that he's going to do income redistribution, that he's going to govern from the far left, that his friends are all on the far left, that his philosophy…

INGRAHAM: He's going to cut taxes.

O'REILLY: Look, he isn't a deceiver. You see it and you're going to get it. If he's elected, the country moves dramatically to the left.


O'REILLY: That's why I don't have a problem.

INGRAHAM: I can't believe the No Spin Zone is saying that Barack Obama isn't deceiving anyone.

O'REILLY: If he were lying about who is, if he were lying about who he is — but here's my problem with McCain.

INGRAHAM: Why won't they answer questions on Ayers then if they're not hiding…

O'REILLY: He answered the questions on Ayers.

INGRAHAM: No, he didn't.

O'REILLY: Now whether it's true or not.

INGRAHAM: He brushed it off. He brushed it off.

O'REILLY: Whether it's true or not, I don't know. But he answered the question. He said casual acquaintance in — look, I interviewed the man. He looked me in the eye, casual acquaintance in Chicago politics.


O'REILLY: That's who he is. If it's a lie…

INGRAHAM: If John McCain — yes.

O'REILLY: If you think it's a lie, you think it's a lie.

INGRAHAM: John McCain — if John McCain had had his first fund-raiser at the house of a man who bombed an abortion clinic 30 years ago and never apologized for it…

O'REILLY: The press would kill him.

INGRAHAM: It would be the end. It would be the end of the campaign.

O'REILLY: No, the press would kill him, absolutely.


O'REILLY: But look.

INGRAHAM: Exactly.

O'REILLY: Let me articulate what my problem is with McCain. McCain should understand that the folks are angry. And most of the Independents, even if they side with Barack Obama right now, are not sold on it. They're not sold on it, OK? They're going, I just don't know, but…

INGRAHAM: He's going to be…

O'REILLY: …things are so bad.

INGRAHAM: …a job killer in this country, Bill.

O'REILLY: But he's not — for whatever reason, John McCain is not willing to do what you just did.

INGRAHAM: Well, but this is why conservative talk radio hosts like myself were very uncomfortable with this from the beginning. He's obviously in my mind a lot better than Barack Obama. I mean, that's an understatement, whether it's on the issue of…

O'REILLY: But he won't get passionate the way we get passionate. He won't.

INGRAHAM: Well, I mean.

O'REILLY: And I don't get it. I don't know why he won't. I don't.

INGRAHAM: Well, I mean, I think there are 20 days left. And I think there are a lot of people out there in the old media, Bill. You hear them everyday who want to tell the people out there that this election is over. They want to shut down criticism.

O'REILLY: Sure they do. Absolutely.

INGRAHAM: And they're coming after your microphone next. I promise you.

O'REILLY: No, they ain't going to get my microphone.

INGRAHAM: Yes. They're coming, believe me.

O'REILLY: And if they come for you, I will be there for you.

INGRAHAM: All right.

O'REILLY: I will be — if they come near Laura Ingraham's microphone…

INGRAHAM: Thank you.

O'REILLY: …they got to come through me.

INGRAHAM: My cold dead hands.

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