Rep. Michele Bachmann turned up on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor, where host Bill O’Reilly desperately tried to drag a little sanity out of Bachmann. No less than three times O’Reilly asked Bachmann whether she agreed with Obama forcing BP to put up the money, but Bachmann dodged him every time, and refused to give Obama one shred of credit for getting the victims fund.
Here is the video courtesy of Crooks and Liars:
After O’Reilly leveled Bachmann’s claim that victims compensation fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg is a political hack, Bill-O tried to get her to talk about her extortion comments. At about the two minute point in the interview she went on the backpedal, and claimed that she was taken out of context. At about the three minute mark in the segment, things got ugly for Bachmann when O’Reilly said, “I think Obama did absolutely the right thing by putting a maximum amount of pressure on these weasels…I’m OK with that. I think it is the best thing that Obama did in the whole mess.”
Bachmann answered by trying to blame Obama, “No one is saying that this fund shouldn’t be set up. The question is who administers it, but here’s the other part, there’s also a point of investigating what was it with responsibility from the administration. Remember, the administration signed off on the inspection. The administration said everything was fine going on the deep water rig. We haven’t had that investigation yet.”
O’Reilly asked her about her BP extortion/ shakedown comments, and Bachmann defended BP again, “I think they put pressure on them when remember he previously said he wanted a criminal investigation, so the people were around that table were thinking they might end up in the slammer, so they could end up in the slammer….you think about it, you think about, here you have the President of the United States threatening criminal action. They could end up in the slammer, so are they going to take money from the shareholders to give to the President to maybe keep themselves out of jail?”
Bachmann then claimed that Obama is an extortionist, “There’s nothing wrong with the President saying that. The point is. Is he putting pressure on with the threat of a criminal trial which is the force of government so that they’ll give him money? That’s crossing lines that we have to be careful of.” Notice that Bachmann was so desperate to get Bill-O off her back that she changed what she was most concerned about four times during the interview. O’Reilly was giving her every chance he could to sound reasonable and sane, but it was hopeless.
What has gotten into O’Reilly this past week? O’Reilly leveled Sarah Palin after Obama’s Oval Office address, and then he justifiably tears apart Michele Bachmann. I would argue that O’Reilly has his finger more on the pulse of what Fox News viewers are thinking than the rest of his network does. Michele Bachmann is a prime example of what happens to ideologue Republicans when they are challenged. She couldn’t handle O’Reilly’s questions when they pushed her at all. She folded up like a tent, and kept trying to dodge the subject. Bachmann, Palin, and the rest of the Tea Party crowd fancy themselves as the future leaders of the GOP, but if they can’t handle Bill O’Reilly, how would they handle governing?
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association