O'Reilly and Beck Debate Whether There Is Too Much Criticism of Obama

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 27, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "At Your Beck and Call" segment tonight: A new USA Today/Gallup poll says 53 percent of Americans believe President Obama is handling the oil spill badly. Forty-three percent saying he's doing OK on it. As you may know, the president's overall job performance polling averages about 45 percent, and that's not really good.

Here now, one of the president's persistent critics, Glenn Beck.

Click here to watch Beck in the No Spin Zone!


O'REILLY: What do you mean no? Of course you are.

BECK: No, no.

O'REILLY: And you don't — the interesting thing about Beck, if you don't watch his program, is that he's not a — not partisan, like the Republicans or better. He just comes at it like is this communist or socialist or whatever name you have for him this week, and destroying the republic and all that.

BECK: Well, yes, but George Bush did a nice job towards the end there, too.

O'REILLY: Yes. You were hard on him. You do provide some backup for your opinion. You know, you have the blackboard and...

BECK: Some backup?

O'REILLY: Yes, some backup.

BECK: I contend that we have more backup on our show on — per topic than any other show in America.

O'REILLY: Well, that would be absurd, because "The Factor" just kicks your butt in the backup area, but that's OK.

BECK: Are you buying your own billboards? "Dominates cable news, No. 1." Blah-de, blah-de.

O'REILLY: I see. All right, now...

BECK: What's on at 8 p.m.? Really?

O'REILLY: Let's define a couple of things. Would you say that I'm a critic of Barack Obama? Do you watch the program a lot? I mean...

BECK: Never see it.

O'REILLY: OK. So you wouldn't really...

BECK: Food channel.

O'REILLY: Have you heard — would you say that I'm a persistent critic of Obama?

BECK: No. I would say that you are a cream puff, and you are starting to move into maybe something that is just cream-filled but has a harder edge.

O'REILLY: All right, so that would be — I take that as I'm not a persistent critic of Obama?

BECK: No. You are somebody who is growing to be a critic.

O'REILLY: I would say I'm a targeted critic.

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: That in certain areas, like the border...

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: ...it's totally ridiculous, OK.

BECK: How about the oil spill?

O'REILLY: Well, we'll get to that in a moment.

BECK: All right.

O'REILLY: I'm just — I'm not — I'm not coming at it like the guy is worse than Millard Fillmore. I'm not doing that yet. But you are right. You're right, as a guy who doesn't watch the program and just watches the food channel, you're right. In the last six or seven months...

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: ...I've become more critical of the president...

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: ...because the evidence is mounting that he is moving to the far left. He's even moving further left.

BECK: No, no. You're just discovering.

O'REILLY: No, no, no.

BECK: Come on, he has always been there.

O'REILLY: I watched him from the jump.

BECK: He has always been there.

O'REILLY: He hasn't always been there. Look, you can look at the War on Terror and the drone predator stuff. A far-left guy wouldn't do that. Afghanistan, he's conducting that war responsibly. So come on. But let's get back to the persistent criticism of him.

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: All right. Does it get to a point where it hurts the nation? I mean, if the world thinks that we have another James Buchanan. You're a presidential guy. You're running into the president — you know, is that going to hurt his — "Oh, boy, you know, they've got so much problem with this guy. We might not invest in there. We may just stay away." Is that possible?

BECK: I don't think anybody's criticism of Barack Obama could hurt investment in this country more than Barack Obama's policies.

O'REILLY: Of what — what do you think hurts investment the most of his policies?

BECK: I think the — the new financial regulation has been, or it will be an absolute nightmare.

O'REILLY: The oversight of the companies?

BECK: No, no, no. No, no. Just the openness of it, where it's all - - it's all regulators that are going to decide exactly which company is too big to fail, an open checkbook for the Treasury secretary just to write a check, doesn't have to go to Congress anymore. If you're too big to fail and I think you're going to fail, the Treasury Department can decide, "We're going to save you or we're going to seize your private property."

O'REILLY: And make sure you don't go under.

BECK: Make sure you don't go under.

O'REILLY: See, I don't — I don't like that, but I think it's the absolute out-of-control spending that hurts the economy, is worrying the world more than that. A $13 trillion debt with no pay-down.

BECK: Where do you even start? You can't. It's exactly what happened with FDR. You can't — you don't know how to do business here; it's always changing.

O'REILLY: Sometimes — sometimes riding in, I listen to your radio program on WOR. And in fact, you took my slot. When the "Radio Factor" retired, you stepped in there. And you discuss a lot of things. But then I switch on some other talk radio, and it's just "hate Obama" fest for three hours. I mean, the guy can't brush his teeth right. He has bad shoes. The lawn mower he has...

BECK: He has very nice shoes.

O'REILLY: ...is a socialist lawn mower. I mean, you know what I'm talking about.

BECK: Probably. On that one, they're probably right.

O'REILLY: For three hours.

BECK: Right. You know what? I don't hate Obama. I don't hate Obama. I strongly wish that Obama and the people in his administration would stop playing the word games and stop talking about hope and change and actually say what they mean. Very few times has he said it, but he reveals himself. That's why I say he wasn't moved left.

O'REILLY: You're right. He's not going to admit to being as left wing as you thinks he is. That's what...

BECK: As he is.

O'REILLY: All right. I've got a couple letters here I have to read to you. These are from viewers.

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: Susan Renton (ph), Fairfax, Virginia: "Bill, I saw the Bold Fresh Tour in Norfolk. You aced it." No mention of you. By Susan Renton (ph). No mention.

"Bill, I saw the Bold Fresh Tour. You aced it." Me, I aced it. You — apparently, you weren't on the Bill.

BECK: She felt bad for you.

O'REILLY: OK, here's another.

BECK: She knew you walked off-stage — she knew you walked off-stage going, "I stunk when I was next to the fat man." So she wrote.

O'REILLY: Dana — Dana Marcum (ph), Suffolk, Virginia: "I was in the fourth row..."

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: "...at the Norfolk, Virginia, Bold Fresh show. My husband looked over to me and said, "This is better than Van Halen." Whoa! Huh?

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: And I was onstage at the time.

BECK: No. I don't see that in there. I don't see that in there. I don't see that. The Spandex pants. It was a little...

O'REILLY: I don't know why you wear those. You know what I'm talking about?

BECK: Right.

O'REILLY: You know if you're going to do the Dunkin Donut ads, you can't wear the spandex.

BECK: I know. I know.

O'REILLY: Only three dates this summer. BoldFreshTour.com. Columbus; St. Louis; Westbury, New York.

BECK: You don't want to miss it and Bill in his Spandex pants.

O'REILLY: All right. There you go. Beck, everybody. I aced it. No mention of Beck.