21 Mar 2013 10:45 AM EST
-by Alex Mangini, Staff Writer; Image: Bill O’Reilly (Image Source: Fox News Screenshot)
Controversial Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is no stranger to confrontation when it comes to political figures.
It was, however, surprising to hear him lash out at a fellow conservative last night, when he went after Minnesota congresswoman and former GOP presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann.
Last week, Bachmann attacked the White House and their alleged free spending ways at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
She accused President Barack Obama and his administration of using tax payer money to fund “a lifestyle of excess,” citing “five chefs on Air Force One... two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater... and someone to walk the President's dog” as example of lavish spending.
O’Reilly was not on board with the criticism, which has been condemned as false by several officials and media members, adding his belief that Obama was “entitled to protection, convenience and comfort.”
“We wanted to ask Congresswoman Bachmann about the fracas, but she didn’t want to talk about it, even though this program has been fair to her always. So we did ask her spokesman, Dan Kotman, if we could call him about questions, the congressman’s analysis, after we checked it out. He said, ‘Don’t.’ Don’t call him,” O'Reilly said. “He referred us to a book called Presidential Perks Gone Royal. Apparently that’s a book Ms. Bachmann used for her comments about the president’s lifestyle.”
“Now, this would be much ado about nothing, if not for the fact that trivial attacks on President Obama are obscuring serious problems in this country,” O’Reilly added on his show. “Does the president live well in the White House? Yes he does. Is there money wasted there? You bet there is. But every other president in history has lived in comfort, and it looks like President Bush the younger had a bigger White House budget than Barack Obama does.”
“This is a trivial pursuit, and Michelle Bachmann made a mistake pursuing it,” O’Reilly said. “With the nation now owing close to $17 trillion, I wish the president were more like Pope Francis, who as a cardinal in Argentina rejected all the lavish perks. But Mr. Obama is entitled to protection, convenience, and comfort as he runs the nation.”
“Congresswoman Bachmann and all opponents of Mr. Obama should zero-in on what's really important: the president’s failure to deal with out of control spending, and his core belief that America’s not a fair country,” he said. “That’s what’s important, not who is walking the presidential dog. By the way, that’s the gardener who walks the dog—the gardener has always walked the dogs—and how many movies the Obama watched. Jimmy Carter watched 300 movies—well, that might have been why things were so out of control back then.”
“Now, it’s long past time for partisans on both the right and the left to cut the nonsense and look at things clearly,” O’Reilly continued. “We’ve got huge problems in America, and the president is directly responsible for some of those problems. He’s not willing to compromise, he doesn’t see the big economic picture, and he’s way too far left for a commander-in-chief. That’s what we should be focusing on.”
“Michele Bachmann is playing small ball with the president, can’t back up her criticism, and actually trivializes a huge problem: irresponsible spending by the federal government. Two words: Not good.”