On Thursday’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Bill O’Reilly hosted his Fox News Channel program from Washington, D.C. and interview White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. O’Reilly had attended the unveiling of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative and lobbied Jarrett for the Obama White House to include other aspects to this effort, including an appearance from first lady Michelle Obama on his FNC program.
Transcript as follows:
BILL O’REILLY, HOST OF “THE O’REILLY FACTOR”: Now for the “Top Story” tonight, reaction — with us senior advisor for President Obama, Valerie Jarrett. And I was pleased you invited me to this. You shocked a lot of people. People were fainting when I walked in.
VALERIE JARRETT, SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: We were delighted to have you.
O’REILLY: Look the President mentioned in his remarks a culture of cynicism on the streets. And it’s not just blacks but it’s the poor and the hard core, or what they call gangstas. You know what I’m talking about, right? There is a culture of cynicism like we can’t make it. We’re not going to be a part of this. We’re going to sell drugs and we are going to do what we want. You’ve got to get in there and I don’t know if you guys see the urgency of that.
JARRETT: Well, of course, the President does. And he said this afternoon. Look we all have a role that we can play here. This is not a big government program. In fact the government’s role is rather minor. And it — and it requires accountability. It requires people to step up to the plate. And work hard. And stay in school and excel and dream.
But it also requires a community around them to provide a safety net. The President talks about his own childhood where there were times when he wasn’t sitting in school.
O’REILLY: No he was very candid with these kids —
JARRETT: He was very candid but he had a mother —
JARRETT: — who believed in education and he had grandparents and teachers.
O’REILLY: He had some guidance.
JARRETT: He had a lot of guidance.
JARRETT: And what he said is what he wants for all of our children is to have that safety net.
JARRETT: But he also told them, look, boys, you’re going to have to work hard and you are going to have to act responsibly.
O’REILLY: Yes and that message has to get across but you have to attack the fundamental disease if you want to cure it. Now, I submit to you that you’re going to have to get people like Jay-Z, all right, Kanye West, all of these gangsta rappers to knock it off. That’s number one. To knock it off.
JARRETT: I think these boys — what these boys need is — they need positive role models as you said.
O’REILLY: Listen to me, listen to me. You’ve got to get where they live. All right? They had idolized these guys with the hats on backwards and the terrible rock — rap lyrics and the drug and all of that. You’ve got to get these guys. And I think President Obama can do it.
And you’ve got to put them on TV and the net and they’ve got to say knock it off. This is wrong. You’ve got to get them all.
And then you’ve got to get the President and First Lady and every other — you had Magic Johnson there today he is a good guy. And you’ve got a bunch of these guys and you’ve got to barrage, barrage, barrage and make it uncomfortable to have a baby out of wedlock. Make it uncomfortable to sell drugs. You’ve got to reverse the peer pressure. Do you see where I’m coming from here?
JARRETT: I see exactly what you are coming from. And what we showed today is that there is evidence that there are wonderful programs out there that can inspire these young people. The President is a terrific role model. The room today was full of role models that these young boys can look up to. And what we have to do is take what’s working and take it to scale.
O’REILLY: All right are you just blowing off my idea here?
JARRETT: No, well I’m just telling you that I think there is a lot of ways of approaching.
O’REILLY: You had Colin Powell in there you have a lot of —
JARRETT: Terrific role model.
O’REILLY: Right, right but they don’t even know who he is.
JARRETT: Actually I think they do.
O’REILLY: All right on the south side of Chicago.
JARRETT: Oh of course they know — of course they know who Colin Powell is. Of course they know who he is.
O’REILLY: No, it’s these gangsta rappers, it’s the athletes, it’s the tattoo guys. You’ve got to get them in there to tell these kids that you’ve got to stop the destructive behavior or you’re going to wind up in a morgue or in prison.
JARRETT: I think don’t underestimate those children.
O’REILLY: I don’t underestimate anybody.
JARRETT: But I would say to you I think when the President of the United States looks at you and he says I believe in you and I was just like you and you can be just like me, that’s the perfect role model.
O’REILLY: Michelle Obama.
JARRETT: That the first initiative — the First Lady an outstanding role model for the young people.
O’REILLY: You know her very well. All right, ok I want you to tell her something from me tonight. Ok I like the nutrition thing. I like the garden I think that’s all good.
JARRETT: Healthy eating, let’s move. Exercise.
O’REILLY: I want Michelle Obama to come on this program right here and I want Michelle Obama to look into that camera and say you teenage girls you stop having sex. You stop getting pregnant. This is wrong. I want her to do that right here. Do you think she would?
JARRETT: Well I think what’s more important than Michelle Obama coming on Fox News is for her to spend time with young girls which she does. She has had a mentorship program for young girls since she first took office. Both the President and First Lady talk about the importance of marriage, the importance of responsibility and she does it all the time. She is with young girls all the time.
O’REILLY: But she’s got to do it in a more intense way.
JARRETT: Do you think coming on Fox is a more intense way? I think her spending time in the classroom one-on-one talking to the children is really important and she does that.
O’REILLY: Are you kidding me? Do you know how many people saw that Super Bowl interview? Do you know how many people saw that? If Michelle Obama comes on this program and looks into that camera and tells teenage girls, not just black teenage girls but all teenage girls don’t do these things because they are destructive.
JARRETT: Well it’s a great pitch — it’s a great pitch to have her come on Fox. I think it’s better if she is actually sitting down in the classroom with the girls. Inviting them to the White House sharing her life experience with them —
O’REILLY: That only reaches a few though.
JARRETT: Well, I believe that anything she does gets covered by the press.
O’REILLY: Can I give you a compliment?
JARRETT: I wish you would.
O’REILLY: I believe that My Brothers Keeper program is going to work. Ok? I think it’s going to work. But it will work a lot faster and you’ll save a lot more lives if you incorporate what I’m telling you tonight, if you get down to them in a way that’s so personal. Yes, do all the other things, and all the other things are good. But you are not getting gritty enough. All right.
You go reply and then I have got two more questions about others. How much time do we have? Do you have a bunch of time with Ms. Jarrett here? I’m sure she wants to get out of here.
JARRETT: No, no. I’m enjoying the conversation. I think there are lots of ways of approaching the problem. And I think that the recognition that this is a problem for all of us that is a segment of our population is lagging behind. That we have to change that paradigm and it requires a lot of effort. And it’s not just either/or. It’s a bunch of different strategies we have to take.
O’REILLY: All right.
JARRETT: And you know what? Maybe if we can find musicians who they respect to come and talk to them.
O’REILLY: Look either tell them they do it or you’ll audit them, ok? That’s it?
JARRETT: No if we did that oh my goodness you would have a field day with that. I don’t think we will be auditing them.
O’REILLY: Everybody would like that. Tell them — they will do it. These pinheads will do it if you tell them to.
JARRETT: You know what Bill that I really like is the fact that you are passionate about this and you care about these young men.
O’REILLY: I care about them. I’m a former teacher. The kids that you saw up there today, I had them in my class.
O’REILLY: All right I had them in my class 40 years ago. And the situation has just gotten worst.
JARRETT: Well it has and that’s why we have to change the trajectory.
O’REILLY: All right.
JARRETT: And that’s what today was really about and I think there is reason to be helpful because we can see the change that’s happening. Those boys today — many of them were at risk last year. And now look at them. They are standing tall and doing well in school.
O’REILLY: I’m going to take, I’m going take three minutes more with Ms. Jarrett, ok, so we will take that off — Henry, we don’t need Henry. We’ll use him but we’ll cut his time.
All right, look. You have the poll CBS thing and it’s bad. It’s a bad poll for you guys. Is it just all about Obamacare do you think driving down the President’s numbers?
JARRETT: Look we’ve been through a challenging time. I think that as a result of what the President did at the State of the Union he changed the paradigm. We’re going to have a year of action. He’s going to be doing a lot of things that don’t necessarily involve Congress. I think people around the country —
O’REILLY: These worry you, these terrible numbers worry you?
JARRETT: You know what the President — the President has never focused on the daily polling numbers. If he did that he wouldn’t have run for president. What he is focusing on is the American people and what he can do. What action he can take to create jobs, create growth, create opportunity and that’s what this year is going to be all about.
O’REILLY: Ok this poll is bad for him.
Secondly, I’m worried you are cutting the army down to pre-World War II levels. I mean you’ve got China, you’ve got Iran, you’ve got the Taliban.
JARRETT: We have the strongest military in the world.
O’REILLY: Yes well, you are not making this stronger though.
JARRETT: By far we have the strongest military in the world.
O’REILLY: But why cut it? Why cut it?
JARRETT: Well, I would think that, you know, not that long ago you were telling us how we needed to get our fiscal house in order and tighten our belts and that requires a lot of sacrifices. But we are not sacrificing the safety or the security of our country. I can I promise you that.
O’REILLY: I’m worried about that.
JARRETT: There is nothing — there is nothing that the President takes more seriously than his responsibility as Commander-in-Chief.
O’REILLY: I worry. I’ve got to tell you as an American, not as a bloviator — I’m worried about that cut. I don’t think you are going to get it through Congress anyway.
Final thing is, I wish the President, I told him this when I — and I’m so presumptuous, I’m glad the Secret Service didn’t arrest me. Why don’t you consider the voucher thing? The school voucher thing? Just consider it maybe you don’t have to do it the way it is now. But private schools have discipline. And you know the kids we saw today, I mean, they could prosper in private Catholic schools. And if you give them the vouchers, let the poor parents make the decision. I just wish you would just consider it just pilot program.
JARRETT: Well you ask as though we haven’t considered it. We certainly have. And the evidence shows that there are lots of other ways.
O’REILLY: I got evidence that says the opposite.
JARRETT: Well, you know what? I think charter schools are a nice way to do experimenting and see what works and then we can take it to scale. But the point is you can’t give up on the public school system.
O’REILLY: Once you give up.
JARRETT: And I think what Arne Duncan has done has demonstrated that we really need to put all of our effort to make sure all of our children, not just some of our children all of our children succeed in public school.
JARRETT: Miss Jarrett, we appreciate you coming in tonight.
JARRETT: It’s a pleasure to be here with you.
O’REILLY: Is it really?
JARRETT: It is. Don’t I look like I’m having fun?
O’REILLY: There you go.
JARRETT: I am.