President Barack Obama’s re-election hinges on the economy, and if the unemployment rate does not improve next year, Obama will lose, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive video interview.
“The economy is everything,” said O’Reilly, author of the new novel, “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed American Forever.” “But if we’re looking at 9-percent unemployment this time next year, he’s done.”
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O’Reilly, whose “O’Reilly Factor” news show has had the highest ratings of any cable news show for 10 consecutive years, said he disagrees with Obama’s decision Friday to repatriate all U.S. troops in Iraq by December and would have kept 10,000 soldiers there to secure the region. But the author of nine consecutive political books said the uncooperative attitude of the Iraqi government left the president little room for negotiation.
“You have to protect your people,” O’Reilly told Newsmax. “I don’t think President Obama had any choice but to take them out of there.”
Obama has promised hope and change, but has fallen short, he said.
“I think he’s just going to go and hope the American people buy in to his hope strategy for the second time, and I don’t think they will,” he said.
O’Reilly, who has gone on record saying he’d be surprised if Mitt Romney didn’t win the GOP presidential nomination, told Newsmax he thinks the former Massachusetts governor is tops in the GOP presidential field even though he does not appeal to the “Republican establishment.”
“A lot of conservatives don’t like Mitt Romney,” he said.
In order to change that — and improve his chances in 2012 — Romney should pick Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as his running mate.
“I think he’s got to go to the Hispanic community, so Marco Rubio would probably be the guy that I would be talking to,” he said. “You get an Hispanic American, and you get a conservative.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also is a GOP contender even though businessman Herman Cain is winning the hearts of American everywhere, O’Reilly told Newsmax.
“Who doesn’t like Herman Cain as a guy?” he said. “He looks like a good guy. You’d like to go out and have a beer with him.”
Obama has allowed his liberalism to get in the way of his efficiency, O’Reilly said.
“He tried to revive the economy by the big-government apparatus and spending trillions of dollars,” he said. “It didn’t work. What’s his solution? Well, let’s spend more money.”
He said Obama refuses to change course and try to target the private sector and instead wants to go for stimulus package No. 2 — the American Jobs Act.
“I think that stubborn ideology, something Abraham Lincoln did not have, has stood in his way not only of uniting a nation, but of making the nation better and stronger economically,” said O’Reilly.
He told Newsmax he wrote “Killing Lincoln” because he wanted to illustrate how a great leader can effect change when the country is on the wrong track.
“America’s power is on the descent, and in order to turn things around, we need a great leader,” he said. “It’s not a knock against Obama or Bush or Clinton or any of that, but I felt, as an American first and an historian second…I want to get back to the essence of American leadership, and who’s the best leader? In my opinion, it was Abraham Lincoln.”
Al lot of parallels can be drawn between the status of the United States today and during Lincoln’s presidency, O’Reilly told Newsmax.
“This is a really, really divided country now, and it was divided back then, obviously, during the Civil War,” he said.
Lincoln sacrificed himself — both figuratively and literally — to make the country a better place.
“He put his country above himself,” O’Reilly said. “He knew he was going to be killed. Lincoln was the most hated man in the country when he was president. He put all of his personal concerns aside.
“Lincoln wanted to heal the south,” he continued. “When he was murdered, that whole thing went awry. It set relations between the north and the south, and blacks and whites, back decades, decades. Whereas if Lincoln had survived, the country would have been unified much quicker, and everything would have been different.”
When asked about Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano’s remarks in a Newsmax.TV interview last year that Lincoln bore the least fidelity toward the Constitution out of all the U.S. presidents, O’Reilly defended Lincoln.
If Napolitano were president, he said, “we’d have two countries.”