You can have “softballs” or real questions President Obama…, and we’re all out of “softballs!”

President Barack Obama sat down with Bill O’Reilly, February 2, 2014, prior to the Super Bowl, to discuss an array of topics.

As we read over the selected portions of the transcripts for this two-part interview, the difference between how President Trump answers questions and how President Obama answers questions becomes very apparent, very quickly.

Donald Trump is not a politician at heart, and Barack Obama is.  This is something we should all be able to acknowledge.

Donald Trump actually answers questions that are posed to him.  Barack Obama dances around questions, manipulates the English language, and tries to dodge tough questions altogether.  In some cases he even chooses to be deceitful.

President Obama seems upset that someone is actually asking him these questions, as the “biased, liberal, fake news media” regularly gives him a pass on all of this “uncomfortable stuff.”

Since none of the “biased, liberal, fake news media” (CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, et al) chose to “hyper analyze” President Obama’s interview at the time, no one really did, I have decided to perform this community service in retrospect.

NOTE:  My comments will be inserted as “MER,” for MrEricksonRules.

Let’s take a look at this first part of the interview, regarding the rollout of the Obamacare Healthcare.gov website, Benghazi and the IRS scandal.

 

O’REILLY:  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.

MER:  We have now experienced three honest and straight forward answers in a row.  It’s all downhill from here.

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…

MER:  Having been a software developer at one point, there doesn’t have to be an expectations of “glitches,” if the system is properly tested.  In order to properly test a system, it helps to have “users’ who ae competent and intelligent, as well as software developers who are competent and professional.  In this case, it would appear that we had neither.

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.

MER: That is good news that you were able to decide how to fix it.  I’m shaking my head right now.  Oh…, and it only took a month and a half to fix it?!  Like I said, I was a software developer at one point, and this Healtcare.gov program does not seem to be a particularly complex program.  So who were these clowns that were responsible for developing this software, and why were they selected?  The company’s name is CGI Federal, and it’s owned by a Canadian firm, CGI Group.  CGI had done work in the healthcare arena before, and not all of it good.  Its performance on Ontario, Canada’s health-care medical registry for diabetes sufferers was so poor that officials ditched the $46.2 million contract after three years of missed deadlines.  Two good questions would be, why was an American company not selected, and why was this company selected, given its poor track record?  My guess is it would have something to do with campaign contributions, but I’m just cynical that way.

O’REILLY:  I don’t know about that [that it’s working the way it’s supposed to], 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.

Why didn’t you fire Sebelius [Kathleen Sebelius was serving as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services], the secretary in charge of this…

OBAMA:  (INAUDIBLE).

MER:  Excuse me…, what was that?

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

MER: She was obviously clueless like all the rest of them in this administration.  There was absolutely NO excuse for this debacle.

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.

(MRE: No, he’s not going to answer that.)

O’REILLY:  Yes.

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…

O’REILLY:  OK…

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.

MER:  I would have to differ with you at this point O’Reilly.  I’m sure the intent is anything but noble.

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…

MER:  That’s a lie.

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…

MER: I wouldn’t call it a “long list of mistakes,” seeing this is only the second “mistake” that he’s addressing.)

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)…

MER: Ah hah!  The old, dreaded, double grandfathered law scenario!  Nice try President Obama.  We all knew that was a lie, and so did you.  You repeated this lie to the American people well over twenty times!  “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.  If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.  Period!”  There didn’t seem to be any concern about some “clause in the original law” then.  Please note that the “biased, liberal, fake news media” completely looked the other way on this one.  Not one “biased, liberal, fake news media” outlet so much as made mention of President Obama’s faulty claims or questioned them at the time.  Can you imagine if President Trump had made a similar type of claim?  Exactly.

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.

MER:  That’s probably wise.  It would be hard to even attempt to focus on the vast array of fumbles swirling around you!

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…

OBAMA:  — (INAUDIBLE)…

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…

O’REILLY:  Yes?

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…

MER:  Ah yes…, “clueless” Susan Rice.  President Obama’s talking puppet of choice.  Her performances on the Sunday talk shows was especially “swampy” in this case.

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…

MER:  That’s seven “Bills,” just to be clear.

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…

MER:  It was the anniversary of 9/11.  That’s why something like this happens.  On the anniversary of 9/11 all of our foreign entities, especially those in Muslim countries, should be on a heightened state of alert, and response forces around the world should be on a heightened state of readiness as well.  This was just another demonstration of the Obama administration’s ineptitude

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.

MER:  Just for the record Mr. President, they’re called “radical Islamic terrorists.”  They’re not only “a mix of folks who are just troublemakers.”  These aren’t some frat boys trashing a dorm.

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.

MER:  Reeeeeally?!

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…

MER:  I believe the reforms that were recommended were, one: pull your head out of your arse, and two, try using common sense once in a while.  They didn’t even bother to recommend putting the country or the American people ahead of your political ambitions because it just didn’t occur to them that “that” was an option!

O’REILLY:  OK.

OBAMA:  — by the independent agency…

O’REILLY:  I…

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…

MER:  Yes, we do understand that.

OBAMA:  — and we…

O’REILLY:  — Mr. President.

OBAMA:  No, but — but, actually, not everybody does, because what ends up happening…

MER:  Apparently everybody does…, except you and your administration, Mr. President!

O’REILLY:  I think they do.

OBAMA:  — what ends up happening is we end up creating a political agenda…

MER:  Just to be clear…, that is ALL you and your friends do is create and manage your political agenda.

O’REILLY:  Absolutely…

OBAMA:  — over something…

O’REILLY:  — and that’s…

OBAMA:  — (INAUDIBLE)…

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…

OBAMA:  OK.

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.

MER:  Bingo!

OBAMA:  Bill, think about…

O’REILLY:  That’s what they believe.

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

MER:  Are you calling Bill O’Reilly and Fox News “fake news” Mr. President?

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

(LAUGHTER)

MER:  I do believe he is calling you “fake news,” O’Reilly!

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…

MER: The Benghazi attack took place on Sept. 11, 2012 (on the anniversary of 9/11) and into Sept 12, 2012.  This was a good month and a half prior to the 2012 presidential election.  You and your administration, Mr. President, did in fact perpetrate a cover-up and the deception of the American people.

According to an article by Kelly Riddell, for The Washington Times, June, 28, 2016, “A post Benghazi report points out Obama, Clinton lies.”

The scandal of Benghazi, and yes it was a scandal, reflects the effort by the Obama administration to deflect attention from failed American foreign policy and the rise of terrorism, through a conscious spin effort that hid the truth from the American public.

According to the House Benghazi report, “The Obama administration knew attacks on the consulate were because of terrorism, but they knowingly changed the narrative to blame an ‘inflammatory’ viral video, to escape any culpability of the attacks so close to a November election. In the 2012 campaign, Mr. Obama repeatedly spoke of not only killing Osama bin Laden, but how Al Qaeda had been ‘decimated’ under his watch.  Any word Benghazi was actually a terrorist attack would undermine this narrative.”

In her first public comment on the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, Mrs. Clinton blamed the attack on a viral video.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today,” said Mrs. Clinton, then secretary of state. “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

The next day, Mrs. Clinton told the American public the administration was “working to determine the precise motivations” of those who carried out the assaults, but that “some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet.”

Privately, she told the Egyptian Prime minister: “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest. … Based on the information we saw today we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”

Another day goes by, and publicly Mrs. Clinton continues to blame the internet video in her remarks in Morocco.

On Sept. 14, White House spokesman Jay Carney, answering a question about Benghazi during a press conference, said: “We have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack. The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims find offensive. And while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know of, or to U.S. policy.”

This was a blatant lie.  But it was spin directed from the top, Mr. Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s political future was at stake, after all.

An email sent to officials from White House foreign policy adviser Benjamin Rhodes, with the subject line, “goals,” shows the Benghazi narrative was: “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

But IT WAS a broader failure of U.S. policy!

CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell said in a written statement to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence a few days later, “The critically important point is that the analysts considered this a terror attack from the very beginning.”

Mrs. Clinton blamed her changing public statements on differing intelligence reports she received in real-time.  But there’s no evidence to suggest Mrs. Clinton had anything but clarity, right from the evening of the attack, that it was indeed terrorism.

Her public and private statements remained consistently at odds with each other. Privately, there was no doubt the attack was terrorism; publicly, it was blamed on a video and protesting, despite there being no eyewitness accounts of a protest.

She knew. The administration knew. But it wasn’t politically expedient to admit.  So a lie was created, the narrative set, and everyone stuck to it.

MER:  At this point, what difference does it make!?  Oh…, I’m sorry Hillary…, that was your line!

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?

Why?

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.

MER:  I wouldn’t say the head of the IRS should “naturally be involved” with anything other than collecting taxes, and certainly not with “taxpayer funded bailouts!”

O’REILLY:  Did you speak to him a lot…

OBAMA:  — (INAUDIBLE).

O’REILLY:  — yourself?

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

MER:  Out of 157, that’s 157, visits to The White House, President Obama doesn’t “recall meeting with him in any of these meetings.”  Now that’s what I call a good example of “plausible deniability!”

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.

MER:  Yes, we remember these great hearings, highlighted by Lois Lerner and her refusal to testify, but somehow make a statement anyway.

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…

O’REILLY:  OK…

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.

O’REILLY:  (INAUDIBLE).

OBAMA:  That’s actually…

O’REILLY:  No, no, but I want to know what…

OBAMA:  — (INAUDIBLE)…

O’REILLY:  — you’re saying.  You’re the leader of the country.

OBAMA:  Absolutely.

O’REILLY:  You’re saying no corruption?

OBAMA:  No.

O’REILLY:  None?

OBAMA:  There were some — there were some bone-headed decisions…

MER:  Now that we can believe!

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.

MER:  “Not even a smidgeon?”  The “biased, liberal, fake news media” even felt obligated to chime in regarding this obvious abuse of power:

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow said: “There is a reasonable fear by all of us, by any of us, that the kind of power the IRS has could be misused,” she further said that this scrutiny of Tea Party groups was “not fair.”

Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart stated that the controversy “threw doubt on President Obama’s ‘managerial competence’ and had proven correct ‘conspiracy theorists.’”

ABC News’ Terry Moran wrote that this was: “A truly Nixonian abuse of power by the Obama administration.”

NBC’s White House correspondent Chuck Todd said, “It didn’t seem like they had a sense of urgency about it, a real sense of outrage,” and further; “This is outrageous no matter what political party you are.”

Even MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said, “This is tyranny,” and talked about “unspeakable abuses by the IRS.”

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.

MER:  Just because President Obama has said he wants to “fundamentally transform the nation,” numerous times in the past, this doesn’t mean he actually wants to do it, O’Reilly!

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…

MER:  President Obama’s idea of “expanding the middle class” is making sure everyone has a “good paying job” at a fast food restaurant, enrollment in Obamacare, and all the food stamps you can get your hands on, along with any other government benefits that may apply.

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.

MER:  Not even that is a fair statement, Mr. O’Reilly.

 

Please note that the full transcript of this interview is available on-line as well as the full video record of the interview.  Watch the video if you want to get the full effect of President Obama’s condescending tone which we all know and love!

 

NOTE:  If you’re not already “following” me and you liked my blog(s) today, please scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Follow” button.  That’ll keep you up to date on my latest posts.

Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

O'Really and obama cropped

 

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