Tuesday, February 4, 2014


BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  Mr. President, thank you  for doing this.


O'REILLY:  Really appreciate it.

I want to get some things on the record.

So let's begin with health care.

OBAMA:  Yes?

O'REILLY:  October 1st it rolls out.

OBAMA:  Right.

O'REILLY:  Immediately, there are problems with the computers.

OBAMA:  Right.

O'REILLY:  When did you know there were going to be problems with those computers?

OBAMA:  Well, I think we all anticipated there would be glitches, because any time you've got technology, a new program rolling out, there are going to be some glitches.  I don't think I anticipated or anybody anticipated the degree of the problems with the Web site.  And...

O'REILLY:  So you just didn't know when it rolled out that this was going to be...

OBAMA:  Well, I don't think...

O'REILLY:  -- a problem?

OBAMA:  -- as I said, I don't think anybody anticipated the degree of problems that you had on HealthCare.gov.  The good news is that right away, we decided how are we going to fix it, it got fixed within a month and a half, it was up and running and now it's working the way it's supposed to and we've signed up three million people.

O'REILLY:  I don't know about that, because last week, there was an Associated Press call of people who actually went to the Web site and only 8 percent of them feel that it's working well, working well.

Why didn't you fire Sebelius, the secretary in charge of this...


O'REILLY:  -- because I mean she had to know, after all those years and all that money, that it wasn't going to work?

OBAMA:  You know, my main priority right now is making sure that it delivers for the American people.  And what we...

O'REILLY:  You're not going to answer that?

OBAMA:  -- what -- what we've ended up doing is we've got three million people signed up so far.  We're about a month behind of where we anticipated we wanted to be.  We've got over six million people who have signed up for Medicaid.


OBAMA:  We've got three million young people under the age of 26 who have signed up on their parents' plan.  And so what we're constantly figuring out is how do we continue to improve it, how do we make sure that the folks who don't have health insurance can get health insurance...


OBAMA:  -- and those who are underinsured are able to get better health insurance.

O'REILLY:  I'm sure -- I'm sure that the intent is noble, but I'm a taxpayer.

OBAMA:  Yes.

O'REILLY:  And I'm paying Kathleen Sebelius' salary and she screwed up.

OBAMA:  Yes.

O'REILLY:  And you're not holding her accountable.

OBAMA:  Yes, well, I -- I promise you that we hold everybody up and down the line accountable.  But when we're...

O'REILLY:  But she's still there.

OBAMA:  -- when we're in midstream, Bill, we want to make sure that our main focus is how do we make this thing work so that people are able to sign up?

And that's what we've done.

O'REILLY:  All right.

Was it the biggest mistake of your presidency to tell the nation over and over, if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance?

OBAMA:  Oh, Bill, you've got a long list of my mistakes of my presidency...

O'REILLY:  But, no, really, for you...

OBAMA:  -- as I've (INAUDIBLE)...

O'REILLY:  -- wasn't that the biggest one?

OBAMA:  But this is -- this is one that I regret and I've said I regretted, in part because we put in a grandfather clause in the original law saying that, in fact, you were supposed to be able to keep it.  It obviously didn't cover everybody that we needed to and that's why we changed it, so that we further grandfathered in folks and many people who thought originally, when they got that cancellation notice, they couldn't keep it or not (INAUDIBLE)...

O'REILLY:  It's in the past.  But isn't that the...

OBAMA:  So...

O'REILLY:  -- biggest mistake?

OBAMA:  Well, I, you know, Bill, as I said...

O'REILLY:  You gave your enemies...

OBAMA:  You...

O'REILLY:  -- a lot of fodder for it.

OBAMA:  -- you were very generous in saying I look pretty good considering I've been in the presidency for five years.  And I think part of the reason is, I try to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan.

O'REILLY:  All right.

Libya, House Armed Services testimony, General Carter Ham, you know, the general?

OBAMA:  Yes.  Right.

O'REILLY:  Security in Africa.

OBAMA:  Yes.

O'REILLY:  He testified that on the day that the ambassador was murdered and the three other Americans, all right, he told Secretary Panetta it was a terrorist attack.  Shortly after Ham, General Ham, said that, Secretary Panetta came in to you.

OBAMA:  Yes.

O'REILLY:  Did he tell you, Secretary Panetta, it was a terrorist attack?

OBAMA:  You know what he told me was that there was an attack on our compound...

O'REILLY:  He didn't tell you...


O'REILLY:  -- he didn't use the word "terror?"

OBAMA:  You know, in -- in the heat of the moment, Bill, what folks are focused on is what's happening on the ground, do we have eyes on it, how can we make sure our folks are secure...

O'REILLY:  Because I just want to get this on the record...

OBAMA:  So, I...

O'REILLY:  -- did he tell you it was a terror attack?

OBAMA:  Bill -- and what I'm -- I'm answering your question.  What he said to me was, we've got an attack on our compound.  We don't know yet...

O'REILLY:  No terror attack?

OBAMA:  -- we don't know yet who's doing it.  Understand, by definition, Bill, when somebody is attacking our compound...


OBAMA:  -- that's an act of terror, which is how I characterized it the day after it happened.  So the -- so the question ends up being who, in fact, was attacking us?

O'REILLY:  But it's more than that...

OBAMA:  And that...

O'REILLY:  -- though...

OBAMA:  -- well, we...

O'REILLY:  -- because of Susan Rice.

OBAMA:  No, it...

O'REILLY:  It's more than that because if Susan Rice goes out and tells the world that it was a spontaneous demonstration...

OBAMA:  Bill...

O'REILLY:  -- off a videotape but your...

OBAMA:  Bill...

O'REILLY:  -- your commanders and the secretary of Defense know it's a terror attack...

OBAMA:  Now, Bill...

O'REILLY:  Just...

OBAMA:  -- Bill...

O'REILLY:  -- as an American...

OBAMA:  -- Bill -- Bill...

O'REILLY:  -- I'm just confused.

OBAMA:  And I'm -- and I'm trying to explain it to, if you want to listen.  The fact of the matter is is that people understood, at the time, something very dangerous was happening, that we were focused on making sure that we did everything we can -- could -- to protect them.  In the aftermath, what became clear was that the security was lax, that not all the precautions and -- that needed to be taken were taken and both myself and Secretary Clinton and others indicated as much.

But at the moment, when these things happen, Bill, on the other side of the world, people...

O'REILLY:  It's the fog of war...

OBAMA:  -- people -- that's -- people don't know at the very moment exactly why something like this happens.  And when you look at the videotape of this whole thing unfolding, this is not some systematic, well organized process.  You see...

O'REILLY:  Well, it was heavy weapons used...

OBAMA:  -- you...

O'REILLY:  -- and that...

OBAMA:  -- what you...

O'REILLY:  -- that's the thing...

OBAMA:  -- what you see -- Bill...

O'REILLY:  -- heavy weapons coming in.

OBAMA:  -- Bill, listen, I -- I -- I've gone through this and we have had multiple hearings on it.  What happens is you have an attack like this taking place and you have a mix of folks who are just troublemakers.  You have folks who have an ideological agenda.

O'REILLY:  All right.

OBAMA:  You have some who are affiliated with terrorist organizations.  You have some that are not.  But the main thing that all of us have to take away from this is our diplomats are serving in some very dangerous places.

O'REILLY:  But there's more...

OBAMA:  And we've got...

O'REILLY:  -- there's more than that...

OBAMA:  -- and we've got -- and we've got to make sure that not only have we implemented all the reforms that were recommended...


OBAMA:  -- by the independent agency...


OBAMA:  -- but we also have to make sure that we understand our folks out there are in a hazardous, dangerous situation...

O'REILLY:  I think everybody understands that...

OBAMA:  -- and we...

O'REILLY:  -- Mr. President.

OBAMA:  No, but -- but, actually, not everybody does, because what ends up happening...

O'REILLY:  I think they do.

OBAMA:  -- what ends up happening is we end up creating a political agenda...

O'REILLY:  Absolutely...

OBAMA:  -- over something...

O'REILLY:  -- and that's...


O'REILLY:  -- that was my next question.

OBAMA:  -- which Democrats and Republicans should be unified in trying to figure out how are we going to protect people (INAUDIBLE)?

O'REILLY:  I've got to get to the IRS...


O'REILLY:  -- but I just want to say that they're -- your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn't want that out.

OBAMA:  Bill, think about...

O'REILLY:  That's what they believe.

OBAMA:  -- and they believe it because folks like you are telling them that.

O'REILLY:  No, I'm not telling them that.


O'REILLY:  I'm asking you whether you were told...

OBAMA:  But -- and what I'm saying is...

O'REILLY:  -- it was a terror attack and you...

OBAMA:  -- and what I'm saying is that is inaccurate.

O'REILLY:  All right.

OBAMA:  We -- we revealed to the American people exactly what we understood at the time.  The notion that we would hide the ball for political purposes when, a week later, we all said, in fact, there was a terrorist attack taking place the day after, I said it was an act of terror, that wouldn't be a very good cover-up...

O'REILLY:  All right.

OBAMA:  -- if that's what we were interested in.

O'REILLY:  I've got to get to the IRS...

OBAMA:  Yes.

O'REILLY:  -- because I don't know what happened there and I'm hoping maybe you can tell us.  Douglas Shulman, former IRS chief, he was cleared into the White House 157 times, more than any of your cabinet members, more than any other IRS guy in the history, by far.

OK, why was Douglas Shulman here 157 times?


OBAMA:  Mr. Shulman, as the head of the IRS, is constantly coming in, because at the time, we were trying to set up the, uh, HealthCare.gov and the IRS...

O'REILLY:  What did he have to do with that?

OBAMA:  -- and the IRS is involved in making sure that that works as part of the overall health care team.

O'REILLY:  So it was all health care?

OBAMA:  Number two, we've also got the IRS involved when it comes to some of the financial reforms to make sure that we don't have taxpayer funded bailouts in the future.  So you had all these different agendas in which the head of the IRS is naturally involved.

O'REILLY:  Did you speak to him a lot...


O'REILLY:  -- yourself?

OBAMA:  I do not recall meeting with him in any of these meetings that are pretty routine meetings that we had.

O'REILLY:  OK, so you don't -- you don't recall seeing Shulman, because what some people are saying is that the IRS was used...

OBAMA:  Yes.

O'REILLY:  -- at a -- at a local level in Cincinnati, and maybe other places to go after...

OBAMA:  Absolutely wrong.

O'REILLY:  -- to go after.

OBAMA:  Absolutely wrong.

O'REILLY:  But how do you know that, because we -- we still don't know what happened there?

OBAMA:  Bill, we do -- that's not what happened.  They -- folks have, again, had multiple hearings on this.  I mean these kinds of things keep on surfacing, in part because you and your TV station will promote them.

O'REILLY:  But don't...

OBAMA:  But when (INAUDIBLE)...

O'REILLY:  -- think there are unanswered questions?

OBAMA:  Bill, when you actually look at this stuff, there have been multiple hearings on it.  What happened here was it that you've got a...

O'REILLY:  But there's no definition on it.

OBAMA:  -- you've got a 501(c)(4) law that people think is focusing.  No -- that the folks did not know how to implement...


OBAMA:  -- because it basically says...

O'REILLY:  -- so you're saying there was no...

OBAMA:  -- if you are involved...

O'REILLY:  -- no corruption there at all, none?

OBAMA:  That's not what I'm saying.


OBAMA:  That's actually...

O'REILLY:  No, no, but I want to know what...


O'REILLY:  -- you're saying.  You're the leader of the country.

OBAMA:  Absolutely.

O'REILLY:  You're saying no corruption?


O'REILLY:  None?


OBAMA:  There were some -- there were some bone-headed decisions...

O'REILLY:  Bone-headed decisions...

OBAMA:  -- out of -- out of a local office...

O'REILLY:  But no mass corruption?

OBAMA:  Not even mass corruption, not even a smidgeon of corruption, I would say.

O'REILLY:  OK.  I got a letter from Kathy LaMaster (ph), Fresno, California.  I said I would read one letter from the folks, all right?

OBAMA:  All right.

O'REILLY:  "Mr. President, why do you feel it's necessary to fundamentally transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity and success?"

OBAMA:  I don't think we have to fundamentally transform the nation...

O'REILLY:  But those are your words.

OBAMA:  I think that what we have to do is make sure that here in America, if you work hard, you can get ahead.  Bill, you and I benefitted from this incredible country of ours, in part, because there were good jobs out there that paid a good wage, because you had public schools that functioned well, that we could get scholarships if we didn't come from a wealthy family, in order to go to college.

O'REILLY:  Right.

OBAMA:  That, you know, if you worked hard, not only did you have a good job, but you also had decent benefits, decent health care...

O'REILLY:  They're cutting me off...

OBAMA:  -- and for a lot of folks, we don't have that.  We've got to make sure that we're doing everything we can to expand the middle class...

O'REILLY:  All right...

OBAMA:  -- and work hard and people who are working hard can get into the middle class.

O'REILLY:  I think -- I -- you know, I know you think maybe we haven't been fair, but I think your heart is in the right place.

Projection for the game -- who's going to win the Super Bowl?

OBAMA:  I can't make a prediction.  I don't know.  These guys are too evenly matched.  I think it is going to be 24-21, but I don't know who's going to be...

O'REILLY:  You don't really know?

OBAMA:  -- 24 and I don't know who's going to be 21.

O'REILLY:  Mr. President, thanks very much.

OBAMA:  I enjoyed it.

Thank you.
BILL O’REILLY - One of my, uh, points on the Factor is that poverty is driven by the dissolution of the American family, that is the prime mover, okay. On your watch, median income has dropped seventeen percent among working families in this country. That's not a good record, it’s not all your fault, part of it was this terrible recession, we all know that. Everybody knows that.
O’REILLY - All right. But 72 percent of babies in African-American community are born out of wedlock.
O’REILLY - Why isn’t there a campaign by you and the first lady to address that problem very explicitly?
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Actually, Bill, we address it explicitly all the time. I-I’ll send you at least 10 speeches I’ve made since I’ve been president talking about the importance of men taking responsibility for their children. Talking about the importance of, uh, young people, uh, delaying gratification. Talking about the importance of, uh, when it comes to child rearing, paying child support, spending time with your kids, reading with them. So, whether it’s getting publicity or not is a whole different question.
O’REILLY - But —
PRESIDENT OBAMA - This is something that we focus on all the time.
O’REILLY - Would you say it’s been a hallmark of your administration to make that issue, because I don’t believe it has. I know you’ve given the speeches, and I know you know — understand the problem, because you’re a community organizer from Chicago.
O’REILLY - All right? But I don’t see the pressure from the Federal government to go in and say, this is wrong, this is — this is killing, um, futures of babies and children.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Well first of all, I’ve just got to say, Bill, we talk about it all the time, we’ll continue to talk about it, we’re convening, for example, philanthropists and business people, city by city, who are interested in addressing these kinds of problems at the local level. There is an economic component to it as well, though.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Because — because what’s interesting, when you look at what’s going on right now, you’re starting to see in a lot of white working class homes, similar problems — when men can’t find good work, when the economy is shutting ladders of opportunity off from people, whether they’re black, white, Hispanic, it doesn’t matter. Then that puts pressure as well on the home. So you’ve got an interaction between the economy that isn’t generating enough good jobs for folks who traditionally could get blue-collar jobs even if they didn’t have a higher education, and some legitimate social concerns, uh. That compound the problem and so we want to hit both. We want to make sure that we’re putting folks back to work and making sure that they’re well-paid —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - But this is —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - We also want to make sure that we’re dealing with some of the social issues that you’re addressing.
O’REILLY - The secret to getting a je — good job is education. And in these chaotic families, the children aren’t well-educated because it isn’t — it isn’t, um, encouraged at home as much as it is in other precincts. Now, school vouchers is a way to level the playing field. Why do you oppose school vouchers when it would give poor people a chance to go to better schools?
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Actually — every study that’s been done on school vouchers, Bill, says that it has very limited impact if any —
O’REILLY - Try it.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - On — it has been tried, it’s been tried in Milwaukee, it’s been tried right here in DC —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - And it worked here.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - No, actually it didn’t. When you end up taking a look at it, it didn’t actually make that much of a difference. So what we have been supportive of is, uh, something called charters. Which, within the public school system gives the opportunity for creative experiments by teachers, by principals to-to start schools that have a different approach. And —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - You would revisit that? I-I just think — I used be, teach in a Catholic school, a-and I just know —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - Bill — you know, I — I’ve taken, I’ve taken — I’ve taken a look at it. As a general proposition, vouchers has not significantly improved the performance of kids that are in these poorest communities —
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Some charters — some charters are doing great. Some Catholic schools do a great job, but what we have to do is make sure every child —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - I got three more questions.
O’REILLY - All right. Keystone pipeline, new study comes in, environmental impact, negligible. Forty-two thousand jobs. You’re gonna okay it, I assume.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Well first of all, it’s not forty two thousand. That’s — that’s not, uh, correct, it’s a couple thousand to build the pipeline, but —       
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Forty-two all told.   
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Well, that, bottom line is what we’re gonna do is to, uh, the process now goes agencies comment on what the State Department did, public’s allowed to comment, Kerry’s gonna, uh, give me a recommendation, uh —        
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - All right, so I assume we’re gonna do that, after five years —
O’REILLY - Okay. I’ll take that as a yes. Little Sisters of the Poor, come on, give them the little waiver that they don’t have to —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - They have, you know —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Come on, the Little Sisters of the Poor? Give them what they want.
O’REILLY - Right now. Let’s-let’s just do this.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Bill, take, here-here’s the way this thing works. All they have to do is sign a form saying they don’t — they are a religious institution —
O’REILLY - And then they get what they want, right?
PRESIDENT OBAMA - And — and they get what they want. What they — the problem is they don’t want to sign the form —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Well, we’ll —
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Because they think that that somehow, uh, uh, makes them complicit.
O’REILLY - I’m happy now that the Little Sisters are going to get what they want. Uh, now. Um. FOX News. Uh, I can’t speak for FOX News. All right, but I’m — I’m, you know, the table setter here [INAUDIBLE] -.
O’REILLY - Do you think I’m being unfair to you, do you think I’ve been giving you —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - Absolutely. Of course you have, Bill. But, I like you anyway, Bill.
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Okay, but — give me how I’m unfair.
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - It-it-but — look —
O’REILLY - Give me how I’m unfair. Come on, you can’t make that accusation without telling me.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Bill — we’ve just run through an interview in which you asked about health, uh, health care not working, IRS where-where we, uh, wholly corrupt, Benghazi —
O’REILLY - All right.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Right, so the list of issues that you talk about —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - But these are unanswered questions —
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Yeah, but-but-but they’re defined by you guys in a certain way. But this — look, this is okay. This-this is —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Do you not —
PRESIDENT OBAMA - If you want to — if you want to be President of the United States, then you know that you’re going to be subject to criticism, and —
O’REILLY - But if it’s unfair, I-I want to know if it’s unfair. Is it un — criticism is criticism. It’s my job to give you a hard time.
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - Here — here — here’s what I would say. I think regardless of whether it’s fair or not, uh, it has, uh, it has made FOX News very successful.
O’REILLY - But if I’m unfair, I want —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - Here’s what — here’s the thing you guys — here’s what you guys are gonna have to figure out is what are — what are you gonna do when I’m gone? I’m telling you —
O’REILLY - Ah-ha-ha — ask President Clinton. Ask President Bush. I gave President Bush a real hard time. Are you the most liberal President in US History?
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Probably not.
O’REILLY - Probably not?
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Probably not. That’s-that’s fair to say.
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Who-who would be?
PRESIDENT OBAMA - You know, the truth of the matter is, is that when you look at some of my policies, um, in a lot of ways, Richard Nixon was more — more liberal than I was. Started the EPA. You know, uh, you know, started, uh, uh, a whole lot of the regulatory state that, uh, has helped make our air and water clean. Um.
O’REILLY - That’s interesting — Nixon — that’s interesting. I thought you were gonna say FDR.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Well, FDR — Johnson. But I tend not to think about these things in terms of liberal and democrat — or liberal and conservative because at any given time, the question is what does the country need right now? And what — right now what the country needs is, uh, roads, bridges, uh, infrastructure, we-we got 2 trillion dollars worth of, uh, unmet needs. We could put — be putting construction workers back to work right now, folks that you like to champion. Why aren’t we doing it? That’s not a liberal or conservative agenda —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - Well, why-why aren’t we funding it? The, uh, when it comes — comes to something like basic research to keep our innovation edge. That’s the thing that sent the man to space, that’s the thing that created the internet. Why aren’t we — why aren’t we funding —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Because we have a seventeen trillion dollar debt. We can’t do these things.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - No, the uh — but the reason we don’t do them is because we’re not willing to make decisions, for example, uh, our tax code is rife with loopholes —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - That’s true, you can’t —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - And for us to close those loopholes, we could put people to work right now. Is that a Democrat — is that a Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal thing? It’s neither. It’s common sense. That’s what we should be doing.
O’REILLY -All right.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - In fact, you and I, if we sat down, we could probably agree on —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Well, I’ve said that on air. We don’t disagree on —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - Raising the minimum wage, something that you —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - But one — one thing we do —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - I support this.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - I know. And that’s —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - You have to do it.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - And that’s —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - You want to get people off welfare, you raise the — minimum wage.
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - That’s not a liberal or a-a conservative agenda.
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - No, fine. But I think that you are much more friendly to a nanny state than I am. I’m more of a self-reliance guy, you’re more of a big government will solve your problems guy.
O’REILLY -That’s it.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - And I disagree with that because I think that what used to be considered sensible we now somehow label as-as liberal. Think about this — Social Security, Medicare —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - But you pay into that. It’s the freebies that are the problem.
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - Is it? What-what freebies are we talking about? Welfare, actually is worth less now than it was 20, 30 — it’s worth less than it was under Ronald Reagan. And the uh —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Take a look at the disability explosion. I mean, it’s insane. The workplace isn’t any more dangerous now than it was it was 20 —
O’REILLY — years ago, it’s through the roof. You know people are conning you.
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - You know, Bill, the point is, we have not massively expanded the welfare state. That’s just not true. When you take a look at it, actually, that-the-the levers of support that we provide to folks who are willing to work hard, they’re not that different than they were thirty years ago, forty years ago, fifty years ago. You and I took advantage of certain things. I don’t know about you, but I got some loans to go to college.
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - Nah, I painted houses, I didn’t get any —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] - The, uh, well, I, no —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] - See, that's who I am. I —
PRESIDENT OBAMA - I painted houses during the summer too. It still wasn’t enough. So, the, uh, so my point is is that that’s not a nanny state. That’s an investment in the future generation. G.I. Bill — is that a nanny state? My grandfather came back for World War II, you’re about to write a book on World War II. Smartest thing we ever did was make an investment in the American people. When those guys came back from war, that’s what created our middle class. We-we suddenly trained up and created skills for folks. We gave ‘em subsidies so they could go out and buy homes. Through the FHA, those things weren’t giveaways. We-we understood that what that would do would create a base middle class of folks who were able to, uh, work hard and get ahead.
O’REILLY - The work ethic was different then than it is now.
O’REILLY - All right, last questions.
PRESIDENT OBAMA -We’ll have to improve the work ethic.
O’REILLY - And here’s something that you and I agree on.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - What’s that?
O’REILLY - And I’ll tell everybody. You helped the Veterans. Now I believe the VA should be doing a lot more than it’s doing. But you, I have come to you four times, and every time you have, uh, done what I have asked, and we have raised more than twenty million dollars for wounded veterans and their families. And I — you know, so when they say that you don’t care and all of that I know that’s not true. But fundamentally, the self-reliance thing in America I think is going down, and the nanny state is going up. Last word. You get it.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - Here’s-here’s-here’s what I believe. First of all, biggest honor I’ve ever had and will ever have is serving as Commander in Chief, and when you meet our military families and our men and women in uniform, they-they, uh. They are so outstanding. You just have to want to help. And you have done great work, Bill, uh, on behalf of our veterans. Number two, I think self-reliance is alive and well in America. I think the problem is people don’t see as many opportunities to get ahead. My job as President, as long as I’m in this office, is to give them the tools to get ahead. They gotta work hard, they gotta be responsible, but if they are, let’s make sure that they can make it in America. That’s what it’s all about. That’s how you and I ended up sitting here talking.
O’REILLY – Mr. President, thanks, always a pleasure to talk with you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA - I enjoyed it, Bill. Thank you very much.

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