On Monday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly used his “Talking Points Memo” segment to offer his thoughts on National Review and other conservatives pundits criticisms of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
According to O’Reilly, the writers of National Review were within their rights to criticize. However, he explained that Washington Post columnist George Will and some others dismissiveness of Trump comes across as elitist and does more to help Trump than hurt him.
Transcript as follows:
Conservatives versus Trump — that’s the subject of this evening’s “Talking Points Memo.” When a bunch of right-leaning scribes hammered Donald Trump last week, some Trump supporters were outraged. But why? If you support Trump, you surely know his bombastic style and populist statements, especially on immigration, have angered many people. His generalizations about certain groups have garnered him massive attention, but also much loathing. So there is absolutely nothing, nothing wrong at all with some conservatives voicing objection to Trump. They are simply exercising their rights as Americans.
At the same time it is appropriate for Trump to hit back against his critics. He believes they are putting ideology above problem-solving, and that may be true. Trump is smart not to allow others to define him — his supporters expect him to lash out. For years some on the right have criticized me for not fitting into their narrow view of the world. “The Factor” marches to an independent beat and ideologues on both sides don’t like it, especially because we are a powerful voice.
My recent go-around with George Will illustrates that. By the way, Will and his crew are also dismissive of Donald Trump and come across as elitist in the process, which actually helps Trump. This is one of the few times “Talking Points” can remember that ardent conservatives and liberals agree on something: “No Trump.” However, new polls show Donald Trump still dominating the Republican field despite his unorthodox campaign. That’s because millions of Americans have grown tired of political talk. They want action and believe Trump will bring it.
No question that’s an emotional play and the GOP establishment is rightly worried that there will be more votes lined up against Trump than for him in the general election. But Trump is not worried about that right now, understanding that he has to get the nomination first and scorched earth is the way to do it. Looking down the road Trump believes he will bring in legions of new voters to counter the liberal-minority coalition that gave Barack Obama power.
But in the end independent voters will make the call, not conservatives or liberals. Right now polls say independents are not bullish on Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, so Trump has a chance in that precinct. No matter what your political philosophy you have a perfect right to speak your mind on the presidential election and attacks on that right are irresponsible— the product of small and sometimes hateful minds.
We are a divided nation. That’s reality, but out of robust debate can come clarity and strength. Hopefully that’s what will happen next November. Hopefully. And that’s the memo.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor