Bill O'Reilly: Are Republicans Retreating Over Medicare?
By: StaffMay 27, 2011
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By Bill O'Reilly

Dick Morris and I had an interesting debate Wednesday night. He says the GOP should back away from Medicare reform because it is not a winning issue for them in 2012.

That opinion on the heels of a Democrat getting elected to Congress from upstate New York in a heavily Republican district. The woman used the Medicare issue to frighten senior citizens, and it worked.

Now, I disagree with Morris that Republicans should back off from reforming Medicare and other entitlements. The GOP has to be strong in saying the national debt, driven by entitlements and wasteful spending, is putting America in grave danger.

Apparently, Bill Clinton knows that. Listen to this back and forth with Congressman Ryan recorded by an ABC News camera:


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm glad we won this race in New York, but I hope the Democrats don't use it as an excuse to do nothing on Medicare.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS.: My guess is it's going to sink into paralysis is what's going to happen.


RYAN: And you know the math. I mean, it's -- we knew -- we knew we were putting ourselves out there, but you got to start this. You got to get out there. You got to get this thing moving.


Mr. Clinton is a smart guy. He knows Medicare has to be reshaped, not done away with. But it has to change, or America will go bankrupt.

But many Democrats will not acknowledge that, and because of the Democratic victory in New York state, they are emboldened:


JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE COLUMNIST: For the last two years, Republicans have been lambasting Barack Obama, who is right in the middle of the political spectrum, a mild liberal, as being a wild-eyed socialist. Well, there isn't anything that he has proposed that is purely socialistic as our Medicare program, a single-payer program run by the government, and the folks love it.


The Republican Party must convince the folks, as Mr. Klein puts it, that there is a better way to meet their medical needs.

Also, once the feds get deficit spending and the debt under control, if they can do that, the U.S. economy will explode as confidence in our system comes back. That will lead to many more jobs and better income for workers, who in turn should be able to invest in their own medical future tax-free. That is the vision the Republicans have to sell if they want to regain the White House in 2012.

On Thursday the Senate voted on Medicare, and reform was defeated 57 to 40. Five Republican senators -– Snowe, Brown, Collins, Murkowski and Rand Paul -- voted against reform. So you can see the GOP has a problem.

But as "Talking Points" stated Wednesday night, America's debt is the most vital issue facing we, the people, and you can't get the debt under control until you figure out Medicare.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

For some reason, 30-year-old Kim Kardashian has become very famous in America for pretty much doing nothing. And now she's engaged to basketball player Kris Humphries, who apparently gave Ms. Kardashian a ring worth more than $2 million.

Now, we believe in true love, but that seems to be a bit much. A $1 million ring would have been nice, and then you could have used the other million to help people who need assistance. Ms. Kardashian and Mr. Humphries are pinheads.

On the other side, Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and abused at age 14, spoke about her ordeal after her assailant was sentenced to life.


ELIZABETH SMART, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: I would encourage, and I would ask parents and everyone everywhere to continue to pray for children who are still missing, to keep an eye out, keep looking for them, because miracles can happen, and they still do happen today.


Obviously, Miss Smart is a patriot.

— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on Send your comments to:

Transcript Date: 
Thu, 05/26/2011
Transcript Show Name: 
O'Reilly Factor
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