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Month of Bill O'Reilly Transcripts
From: "Month of Bill O'Reilly Transcripts" <mobort () hushmail com>
Date: Tue, 09 Sep 2008 11:47:33 -0400
Forever supporting the philosophies of full-disclosure, it is our
honor to humbly present to you the first episode of our latest
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: our first
conversation with Senator Barack Obama. It's been a long time
coming, as you know. Thursday afternoon, I met with the senator in
Now, we're going to play you the first part of the interview right
now, and the rest of it, which is fairly extensive and provocative,
will be seen next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Roll the tape.
O'REILLY: Well, first of all, thanks for being a man of your word.
BARACK OBAMA, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You bet.
O'REILLY: But I was worried there for awhile. It's been nine months
since we last met in New Hampshire.
OBAMA: It took a little while. I've had a few things to do in
between, but I appreciate you having me on the show.
O'REILLY: OK. Let's start with national security. Do you believe
we're in the middle of a War on Terror?
O'REILLY: Who's the enemy?
OBAMA: Al Qaeda, the Taliban, a whole host of networks that are
bent on attacking America, who have a distorted ideology, who have
perverted the faith of Islam, and so we have to go after them.
O'REILLY: Is Iran part of that component?
OBAMA: Iran is a major threat. Now, I don't think that there is a —
the same — they are not part of the same network. You've got Shia,
and you've got Sunni. We've got to have the ability to distinguish
between these groups, because, for example, the war in Iraq is a
good example, where I believe the administration lumped together
Saddam Hussein, a terrible guy, with Al Qaeda, which had nothing to
do with Saddam Hussein.
O'REILLY: We'll get to that.
OBAMA: And as a consequence, we ended up, I think, misdirecting our
resources. So they're all part of various terrorist networks that
we have to shut down and we have to destroy, but they may not all
be part and parcel of the same ideology.
O'REILLY: But I still don't understand — and I'm asking this as an
American as well as a journalist — how threatening you feel Iran
is? Look, if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, OK, to me, they're going
to give it to Hezbollah if they can develop the technology. Why
not? And they'll say, "Well, we didn't have anything to do with it."
So therefore, the next president of the United States is going to
have to make a decision about Iran, whether to stop them
militarily, because I don't believe — if diplomacy works, fine, but
you've got to have a Plan B, and a lot of people say, "Look, Barack
Obama is not going to attack Iran."
OBAMA: Here's where you and I agree. It is unacceptable for Iran to
possess a nuclear weapon. It would be a game changer, and I've said
that repeatedly. I've also said I would never take a military
option off the table.
O'REILLY: But would you prepare for one?
OBAMA: Well, listen...
O'REILLY: That's the question though, senator. Anybody can say
option. Would you prepare for it?
OBAMA: Look, it is not appropriate for somebody who is one of two
people who can be the president of the United States to start
tipping their hand in terms of what their plans might be with
respect to Iran. It's sufficient to say I would not take the
military option off the table and that I will never hesitate to use
our military force in order to protect the homeland and United
But where I disagree with you is the notion that we've exhausted
every other resource, because the fact of the matter is that, for
six, seven years, during this administration, we weren't working as
closely as we needed to do with the Europeans to create...
O'REILLY: Diplomacy might work. You might be able to sanction
O'REILLY: But that's all hypothetical.
OBAMA: Everything is hypothetical, but the question is, are we
trying to do what we need to do to ratchet up the pressure on them,
to change their...
O'REILLY: OK. We'll assume you're going to ratchet everything you
can ratchet. But I'm going to assume that Iran is going to say,
"Blank you. We're going to do what we want." And I want a
president, whether it's you or McCain, who says, "You ain't doing
All right. Let's go to Iraq. I think history will show it's the
wrong battlefield, OK? And I think that you were perspicacious in
your original assessment of the battlefield.
OBAMA: I appreciate that.
O'REILLY: I think you were desperately wrong on the surge, and I
think you should admit it to the nation that now we have defeated
the terrorists in Iraq, and the Al Qaeda came there after we
invaded, as you know. We defeated them.
O'REILLY: If we didn't, they would have used it as a staging
ground. We've also inhibited Iran from controlling the southern
part of Iraq by the surge, which you did not support. So why won't
you say, "I was right in the beginning. I was wrong about that"?
OBAMA: If you listen to what I've said, and I'll repeat it right
here on this show, I think that there's no doubt that the violence
is down. I believe that that is a testimony to the troops that were
sent and General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. I think that the
surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated, by the way,
including President Bush and the other supporters. It has gone very
well, partly because of the Anbar situation and the Sunni
awakening, partly because of the Shia military. Look...
O'REILLY: But if it were up to you, there wouldn't have been a
O'REILLY: No, no, no, no.
OBAMA: No, no, no...
O'REILLY: If it were up to you, there wouldn't have been a surge.
OBAMA: No, no, no.
O'REILLY: You and Joe Biden, no surge.
OBAMA: Hold on a second, Bill. If you look at the debate that was
taking place, we had gone through five years of mismanagement of
this war that I thought was disastrous. And the president wanted to
double down and continue on an open-ended policy that did not
create the kinds of pressure on the Iraqis to take responsibility
O'REILLY: But it worked. It worked. Come on.
OBAMA: Bill, what I've said is — I've already said it succeed
beyond our wildest dreams.
O'REILLY: Why can't you say, "I was right in the beginning, and I
was wrong about the surge"?
OBAMA: Because there's an underlying problem where what have we
done. We have reduced the violence.
OBAMA: But the Iraqis still haven't taken responsibility, and we
still don't have the kind of political reconciliation. We are still
spending, Bill, $10 to $12 billion a month.
O'REILLY: And I hope if you're president, you can get them to kick
in and pay us back.
OBAMA: They've got $79 billion.
O'REILLY: I'll go with you.
OBAMA: Let's go.
O'REILLY: We'll get some of that money back.
All right. Let's go to Afghanistan. Look, there's no winning the
Taliban war unless Pakistan cracks down on the guys that are in
OBAMA: You and I agree completely. Right.
O'REILLY: We all know that.
O'REILLY: You gave a speech in Denver — good speech, by the way.
OBAMA: Thank you.
O'REILLY: But you bloviated about McCain not following him to the
cave. You're not going to invade Pakistan, senator, if you're
president. You're not going to send ground troops in there. You
OBAMA: Here's the problem. John McCain loves to say, "I would
follow them to the gates of Hell."
O'REILLY: But he's not going to invade either.
OBAMA: And the point is what we could have done...
O'REILLY: No, not could. Let's stay in now.
OBAMA: What we can do...
OBAMA: ...is stay focused on Afghanistan and put more pressure on
O'REILLY: Like what?
OBAMA: For example, we are providing them military aid without
having enough strings attached. So they're using the military aid
that we use to Pakistan, they're preparing for a war against India.
O'REILLY: So you're going to pull it out and let the Islamic
fundamentalists take them over?
OBAMA: No, no, no, no. What we say is, look, we're going to provide
them with additional military support targeted at terrorists, and
we're going to help build their democracy and provide...
O'REILLY: We're doing that now. Negroponte's over there, and he's
OBAMA: That is not what we've been doing, Bill. We've wasted $10
billion with Musharraf without holding him accountable for knocking
out those safe havens.
O'REILLY: So you are going to — again, more diplomacy, and we need
it, absolutely, trying to convince the Pakistan government to take
a more aggressive approach. If you don't, we're going to pull…
OBAMA: And what I will do is, if we have bin Laden in our sights...
OBAMA: ...we target him, and we knock him out.
O'REILLY: But everybody would do that. I mean, that would be the
biggest win Bush could have.
OBAMA: Of course.
O'REILLY: If you send ground troops in, all hell breaks loose.
OBAMA: We can't — we can't have — and nobody talked about some full-
blown invasion of Pakistan, but the simple point that I made was
we've got to put more pressure on Pakistan to do what they need to
O'REILLY: All right. Again, the rest of the interview will be seen
on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and it is lively.
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- Month of Bill O'Reilly Transcripts Month of Bill O'Reilly Transcripts (Sep 09)