The O'Reilly Factor
A daily summary of segments aired on The O'Reilly Factor. A preview of the evening's rundown is posted before the show airs each weeknight.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Factor Rundown
Congressmen banned from saying 'Merry Christmas'?
"As everybody except the ACLU knows, Christmas is a federal holiday. But last week members of Congress received a memo from the Franking Commission, the folks who tell them who gets free mail and who doesn't. The commission said that a 'Merry Christmas' sentiment is not allowed. The Congressional Handbook says that personal greetings can not be mailed free, only business stuff falls under that banner. But there is a loophole - if a Congressperson sends you a letter saying how great they are, which is what the mail is usually used for, they can tag that sentiment with a 'happy holiday season' or something. But not 'Merry Christmas.' So a federal holiday can not be part of the mailing to you! How dumb is this? Incredibly dumb. 'Christmas' is not a word anyone should be ashamed of - it is the law of the land and federal workers do not have to labor on that day. For that alone we should all be merry."
Mitt Romney in The No Spin Zone
Guest: Mitt Romney

Governor Mitt Romney sat down Monday for an extensive interview. Some excerpts:
O'Reilly: What is the biggest thing you have been wrong about?
Romney: It's probably about the issue of abortion and life. I have always opposed abortion, but when I ran for office I thought, well, I can understand the idea of leaving the law the way it is. The Supreme Court has made its decision, and I'm just going to say I support the law. That was somewhat naïve because when I became governor a piece of legislation came to my desk that would redefine when life begins and authorize the creation of embryos for the purpose of experimentation. So I said, look, I am pro-life and I will defend the sanctity of life. I vetoed that bill ... When I was faced with signing a piece of legislation that would authorize the creation and killing of human life I could not possibly go along with that.
O'Reilly: Do you consider yourself a conservative thinker?
Romney: I am conservative and I've become more conservative over time.
O'Reilly: You weren't conservative when you were running Massachusetts, you were a moderate. What changed you?
Romney: Actually, I think my record as governor was a conservative record.
O'Reilly: 'Romneycare' is not a conservative thing - the thought behind it is that government should get involved with people's health care. That's not a conservative position.
Romney: Actually, the idea came from conservatives at the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich. The idea was that people who don't have insurance are given free care by government. I said, gosh, this is a problem - the premise that government owes these people doesn't make sense, personal responsibility makes more sense. People should take responsibility for getting their own insurance rather than showing up at the emergency room and expecting government to pay for them.
O'Reilly: A lot of conservatives don't trust you, they think you're a phony and you're just doing this to win the primary, then you'll go back to being that Massachusetts guy.
Romney: I had the same posture and the same views in my last presidential campaign four years ago and you can go back and look at my record as governor. I cut taxes 19 times, balanced the budget, and insisted on English immersion in our schools.
The conversation turned to Mitt Romney's assessment of President Obama.
O'Reilly: What's the matter with President Obama's leadership? What is he missing in the leadership component?
Romney: One, he's never been a leader before ... It's wonderful to be an author and editor, but I'm talking about leading an organization, growing something, hiring and firing people. He never had that experience and he never recognized that part of leadership is finding friends and allies across the aisle.
O'Reilly: Is he a socialist?
Romney: I prefer to use the term that he's just over his head.
O'Reilly: But you have to look at his economic plan, which is top down federal leadership. People say, listen, the guy's a socialist and he's going to wage class warfare against you if you get the nomination. Is he a socialist?
Romney: I consider him a big government liberal Democrat who thinks Europe got it right and we got it wrong. I think Europe got it wrong and I'll battle him on that day in and day out. I'm probably not going to be calling him names, I'll be calling him a failure.
O'Reilly: What happens if he wins again?
Romney: I think we hit a Greece-like wall. Before the end of his second term there's a very high risk that we would hit a financial crisis. It's also very possible that we would continue to see very high levels of unemployment. You would see industry and entrepreneurs decide to take their investment dollars to other nations. This President has put together the most anti-investment, anti-growth, and anti-job policies I've seen since Jimmy Carter.
O'Reilly: To me the most serious problem facing the country is the $15 trillion debt. The pinheads in Congress can't even get together to cut $1.2 trillion; how are you going to cut this debt?
Romney: One, eliminate a lot of programs that we don't have to have. 'Obamacare' is the easiest and there are others. Two, take a lot of programs like Medicaid that are growing at an uncontrolled rate and turn them back to the states. And number three, we cut the federal workforce by 10% through attrition and we link federal pay with the pay in the private sector. We also reform Social Security and Medicare, not for current retirees but for the next retirees.
Reaction to the Romney interview
Guests: Juan Williams & Mary Katharine Ham

The Factor invited Mary Katharine Ham and Juan Williams to pass judgment on the conversation with Mitt Romney. "I think you had him back-stepping," Williams said, "because on the abortion issue he just wasn't comfortable saying why he was allowing abortions to go forward in Massachusetts. And you were right when you said conservatives don't think he's that conservative. I don't see voters rushing to Romney's embrace." Ham contended that Romney probably helped his candidacy. "I think it's good that he's doing these sit-downs with folks like you. He had some good moments and he had a great line when he said he won't be calling Obama names, he'll be calling him a failure."
Gingrich's war on 'activist judges'
Guest: Mike Huckabee

Newt Gingrich has asserted that, if elected president, he would rein in the federal judiciary, perhaps even by sending U.S. Marshals to arrest judges. Former Arkansas Governor and FNC host Mike Huckabee evaluated that position. "He has a point politically and it's a great applause line," Huckabee said, "but I am very uncomfortable with some of the things he is saying. When you start talking about defying a court, you just can't do that. You change laws, you amend the Constitution, but you don't just say I don't like a ruling and therefore I'm not going to do it." The Factor suggested that Gingrich's plan may be less radical than it sounds: "Let's be fair to Gingrich - he's not saying he'd defy a court ruling, he's saying that a judge that makes a crazy decision has to come and explain the decision. And if he doesn't, he'll get a subpoena."
NBC forced to apologize after associating Romney with the KKK
Guest: Bernie Goldberg

After an MSNBC anchor stated that Mitt Romney's slogan "keep America America" was once a Ku Klux Klan motto, the network apologized for its "appalling lack of judgment." Fox News media analyst Bernie Goldberg weighed in. "MSNBC management sets the tone where this kind of stuff is allowed to happen," Goldberg declared, "so their apology means very little to me. Here you had a chucklehead anchor and his brain-dead producer who didn't even question why Mitt Romney would intentionally want to associate himself with the Ku Klux Klan. They would never make that same reckless mistake if it involved a liberal Democrat." The Factor contended that MSNBC has actually becoming less strident since being bought by Comcast: "I think it's changing over there, I guarantee they would not have apologized for that a year ago."
Reality Check: Saturday Night Live mocks Tebow
During an appearance on Jay Leno's show, Congressman Ron Paul declared that Michele Bachmann "hates Muslims" and Rick Santorum only talks about "gay people and Muslims." The Factor's Check: "That's not fair, Congressman Paul, not right. Those are cheap shots." Saturday Night Live featured a skit in which Jesus advises Tim Tebow to tone down his religious displays. The Factor's Check: "Hopefully for all of us, God has a sense of humor." Finally, PBS has apologized for using Bill's image in a piece about news propaganda. The Factor's Check: "All right, we're making progress here, we accept PBS's apology."
Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Ward Perry, Boston, MA: "O'Reilly, how is Ron Paul's desire to stay out of another ill-advised war with Iran dumb? The only country to use a nuclear bomb is the USA."

Andrew Bunch, Neptune Beach, FL: "Bill, thanks for discussing Newt Gingrich's comments on federal judges. The changes he is proposing would be a very significant departure from the founders."

Peter Burrascano, Sugar Land, TX: "Newt was right again. Article III, Section two, paragraph 2 in the Constitution gives Congress power over the federal courts."
North Korean propagandists
Monday's Pinheads: The rulers of North Korea, who released video showing women apparently crying and wailing for the finally-dead tyrant Kim Jong-il.