This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 3, 2009. 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: How much turmoil is there inside the Democratic machine? Joining us now from Washington, FOX News senior political analyst Brit Hume.
All right. Am I going wrong here, Brit, somehow, some way?
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BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I've got to tell you, Bill, I don't see a lot of daylight between Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and the elements in the Congress who presented him, for example, with that stimulus bill. It was, I thought at the time, you know, that he had let them do it and they kind of ran away with it, but you know, he objected to very little that was in that bill.
And then on top of that, we now have this $410 billion bill to get us through the rest of this year that's got 7 to 9,000 earmarks in it, something that he campaigned against. And he's decided he's going to swallow all of them as well. So you know, there may be something behind the scenes that I don't know about, but I don't see any real disagreement or tension between those two sides.
O'REILLY: All right. So you say they're on the same team. Now Newsweek asserts that because the economy is surprising the Obama administration, they felt it was going to be rough, but not this rough, all right? And because Nancy Pelosi is so hostile toward the Republican machine, and Newsweek does give examples of that, that Obama is getting a little frustrated because he wants to be seen as someone reaching out to the opposition, the Republicans. Do you think that has any credence at all?
HUME: Well, it's plausible to me, Bill, that he may be a little impatient and disappointed with her style and her sort of overt partisanship. But let's remember what his bipartisanship has been about so far. It has been about being a good guy and having people down at the White House and letting people talk and listening to them courteously, all of which is welcome.
But in terms of the substance of what he is producing and what he is offering and what Congress is giving him, the Republicans have had almost no say at all. They peeled off a tiny handful of them in the Senate who are Republicans from basically Democratic states and got them to vote for the stimulus package. They'll be looking to do the same thing on other bills. They're doing it already on the amendments that are being offered to that big spending bill we just spoke about, Bill. So, I don't see that there's any real difference there except as a matter of tone.
O'REILLY: OK. So you say that he's all in as they say in gambling circles, Obama with Pelosi and the far-left people. He wants to see this vision.
Now, what about a wake-up call though? I mean, we gave stats last night. February, the market down 12 percent. Since Obama took office, the market down 1,200 points, falling more today. This has got to be shaking him up a little bit because if it continues to go this way, if The Wall Street Journal is right, and they're pretty smart guys over there, saying that Barack Obama's administration has declared war on capitalism, if this continues, the American people aren't going to back him, Brit. I feel that he's got maybe two or three more months, and if this continues they're going to turn on him with a vengeance.
HUME: I think there's a distinct possibility of that, Bill. And I think that the principle element in this is not the stimulus bill, although I don't think Wall Street much cared for it, or some of the other things.
O'REILLY: It's the budget.
HUME: I think it is — well, the budget's a big problem. But I think the bigger issue right now for the markets and the area where assurance and reassurance has been needed and has not been forthcoming at all is in the repair of the banking system, the credit system. The credits — Bernanke said it again on Capitol Hill today. If we can fix the credit system, the economy will recover. I asked Alan Greenspan when I happened to see him about three or four weeks ago about that same thing. He said if we can get the credit system worked out, the economy will recover. I think that's probably true because of all the Fed has injected into the economy and all the cash that has not begun to circulate properly because the credit system is blocked or stalled to some extent.
O'REILLY: But people don't understand that, Brit. You know, it's macroeconomics.
HUME: I know, but the people who administer funds on Wall Street do understand that. And the people who make investment decisions understand that.
O'REILLY: Do you think Barack Obama understands that?
HUME: Well, I…
O'REILLY: Do you think he understands how to unclog the credit system so that banks…
HUME: I don't — no, I don't think he does.
O'REILLY: No, I don't either.
HUME: I don't think he does. And I don't think Tim Geithner, his Treasury secretary, although he has been wrestling with this problem since way back last year when as the head of the New York Fed, he was working with Hank Paulson and the others in the Bush administration to try to resolve this problem. He certainly had a lot of time to think about it. And he has not been able yet to come up with a plan that satisfies Wall Street that this problem is really being tackled in an effective way, and I think that is weighing on markets more than any other single thing.
O'REILLY: All right, but there's got to be people inside the Democratic Party who are worried right now. There has to be.
O'REILLY: Because I don't think anybody in the White House or in the Democratic power structure anticipated this kind of a negative reaction from Wall Street.
Now, Obama's powerful, but he can't persuade the markets with anything other than performance. And, as you assert, and I think it's true, the performance of the Obama financial people has been weak. The Street sees it. Obama doesn't seem to know how to solve it. So it looks like everything could fall apart within the first six months of his administration.
HUME: Well, he may get a little bit more time than that…
O'REILLY: I don't think so, Brit.
HUME: …if and only if the situation in the credit markets begins to ease. Then we might begin to get the early signs of recovery. And if that happens, then he may get a new lease on life. This remains his honeymoon period. The public still obviously has confidence in him on a personal basis. He remains as a compelling of figure to people I think and as likeable a figure as he ever was.
O'REILLY: Wait till you see the approval ratings in the next two weeks.
HUME: Well, I think it's…
O'REILLY: Wait till you see how his approval drops in the next two weeks.
HUME: Well, I think that they've been at stratospheric levels and they will continue to drift down. But for the kind of fall you're talking about, he'll have to have economic troubles stretching out for a while.
O'REILLY: All right. Brit Hume, everyone. Thanks very much, as always. We appreciate it.
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