O'Reilly and Trump Debate Medicare Reform

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 10, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: Even though he is not running for president, Donald Trump is remaining in the political fray:


DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MAGNATE: Paul Ryan's plan, the timing of this plan was so bad. I happen to think the concept was bad also. It almost seems as though the Republicans have a death wish. When they tamper with Medicare, which happens to be a good program but there is lots of fraud and waste which we should take care of. But when they tamper with Medicare, they have a death wish. This is not going to happen. Frankly, I would protect Medicare.


O'REILLY: With us now on the phone from the 17th green in one of his 10,000 golf courses is Donald Trump. See, this is the difference between you and me, Trump. I work for a living. You are out on the golf course.

TRUMP: Well, you see I can call it work because I own the course. So I consider that to be work.

O'REILLY: I know. What a scam.

TRUMP: What do you mean by Trump doesn't have the basics when, in fact, I was leading in every poll before NBC offered me a ridiculous amount of money? What does that mean?

O'REILLY: You weren't leading in every poll, you don't have the political organization, and you are on the golf course seven days a week, all right?

TRUMP: No, I'm not. No, no, no. That's not so.

O'REILLY: You make Dwight Eisenhower look like a piker.

TRUMP: Very rarely do I play golf, but I do love the game.

O'REILLY: OK. I'm glad. That means a lot. Do you have any idea what the deficit on Medicare is just this year alone?

TRUMP: The deficit is very large on Medicare and it's getting larger...

O'REILLY: Right. Do you know how much it is just this year?

TRUMP: Bill, the problem with Medicare is not just the deficit; it's the fraud and the waste.

O'REILLY: Yes. That's what Obama said. Obama said he was going to clean that up, too. Yes, thanks. It's $40 billion just this year, and if not arrested…

TRUMP: How much of that is fraud? Bill, how much of that is fraud and waste?

O'REILLY: About 20 percent. About 20.

TRUMP: Let me ask you the big question. We have a problem with lots of different things beyond Medicare. In the meantime, you're losing elections and you're going to lose elections all over the place. There was no reason for Paul Ryan to come out with this plan so early to get all of his friends to vote for it and half of those people are going to lose their elections, just as the woman from Buffalo or upstate New York lost her election in a Republican district where it was impossible to lose.

O'REILLY: Tactically…

TRUMP: There was no -– Bill, there was no reason for him to do that.

O'REILLY: All right. Tactically you are probably right.

TRUMP: Well, he is not a chess player, Bill. It was Obama's problem. He came out early and now the Democrats are smiling all the way to the bank.

O'REILLY: You say on your little YouTube video -- is that what it was, YouTube?

TRUMP: It was just a quick one because I have had thousands of people calling up for my opinion.

O'REILLY: All right. So do I, but I don't have a YouTube thing. So you say though you are going to stand behind this program. This program has to be modified, Donald. It has to be. The deficit in 2019 on it is $300 billion and we don't have the money and there is no way to raise it.

TRUMP: Bill, I'm not talking about programs. I'm talking about something much more basic. It's called "The Art of the Deal," a book I wrote many years ago which was, I think, the biggest selling business book of all time. There was no reason for Paul Ryan…

O'REILLY: I ceded that point.

TRUMP: …to come out so early with this plan and destroy the potential of the Republican Party winning the election.

O'REILLY: I ceded that point but you say in your video you are going to stand behind the program that is basically insolvent. You have to modify the program. So Ryan is right in spirit. He just was wrong in timing. Would you cede that?

TRUMP: Bill, if we could get the economy going and if China would stop taking all of our jobs because our leaders are not smart -- in fact, I'll go a step further -- because we have stupid leadership, and if South Korea and all of these other countries that make all of our products and, in particular China, would let us have our jobs back, if we had intelligent people negotiating, where all of these countries -- by the way, China, what they are doing with their currency in terms of manipulation makes it impossible for our people to compete. So if we took our jobs back and we made this country strong again and we made our own product and we got together, not -- you don't get together -- if we did something with respect to OPEC, who is ripping us off like nobody's ever ripped us before, Medicare would take care of itself.

O'REILLY: It wouldn't take care of itself. That entitlement stands alone because of the medical costs, and the medical costs have to be arrested. And the reason -- the way to do that is competition, which is what Ryan wants to impose. And I agree with that.

TRUMP: Bill, Medicare is a problem because we have become a poor nation. We've become almost a bankrupt nation.

O'REILLY: All right. You know, maybe if you -- look, if the economy gets better, you can raise more revenue. I understand that, but let's just go on for a minute with you. So, your strategy now is to stay involved in this race through YouTube?

TRUMP: Totally.

O'REILLY: You are going to stay involved. And when you see something you are going to go out and you are going to criticize it. That's what you are going to do?

TRUMP: No, not necessarily, Bill. Look, I have tens of thousands of people asking me to stay involved, asking me to run, frankly, for president. And you know that when I told and when I made the statement and I told you about it that I wouldn't be running as a Republican, I was leading in the polls. But there is plenty of time because my contract expires with NBC in 11 months from now. And if I see a number of things, if the economy continues to do badly, which I predict it will because we have nobody that knows what they are doing on top. And if the Republicans pick, and I say respectfully, a weak candidate, or as we say in New York a stiff, if the Republicans pick somebody that's not a good candidate, I may very well run as an independent, and I think I would win.

O'REILLY: As an independent. All right. That would be good and then you'd get a reality show showing the campaign and a double-dip. Now, I want you to do a humanitarian service. Are you ready to do one?


O'REILLY: Can you give Anthony Weiner a membership in the golf club? I mean, the guy needs something. You've got to throw him a line.

TRUMP: Well, what he's done -- and you have to understand, Bill, I have known him. He has been asking for political contributions from me for years. I have known this guy well for a long time. He is not a good guy and obviously he has got some serious psychological problems.

O'REILLY: Yes. OK. So that means no membership, huh? No membership?

TRUMP: I would rather not have him in my clubs. No.

O'REILLY: All right. Donald Trump everyone. Go back to your game there. I hope you win.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, Bill.

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