The Fox network used its broadcast of the Super Bowl to bring in Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly to interview President Barack Obama. O’Reilly pressed Obama on Egypt and health care in particular.
Regarding Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his planned departure, Obama said, “Only he knows what he’s going to do… The Egyptian people want freedom, and free and fair elections, Bill.”
O’Reilly said he was going to ask Obama the same question he asked his predecessor, George Bush: “Does it disturb you that so many people hate you?”
“The people who dislike you,” said the President, “they don’t know you–they hate whatever fun-house mirror image of you that’s out there.”
Obama said he thought “the judge in Florida” who declared the President’s health care bill unconstitutional “was wrong.” The President added that he knew what O’Reilly was driving at when he brought up the health care issue:
“I listen to you,” Obama said, referring to O’Reilly’s TV and radio work, “and what I hear you saying is, ‘Don’t make me pay for [other people’s] health care’… People shouldn’t have to go into debt [for their health care].” He said he denied “the notion that that’s a radical opinion.”
“Do you deny that you’re a man who wants to redistribute wealth?” O’Reilly asked. Obama chuckled and said no, he does not accept that interpretation. Regarding his health care plan, he said, “There’s nothing socialist about that.”
O’Reilly ended on a light note, asking who the President was rooting for in the Super Bowl. Obama demurred. “Once my Bears lost, I don’t pick sides.”
In conclusion, O’Reilly said to the President, “I hope you think I’m fair to you.”
Did you watch this pre-game event? What did you think of Obama and O’Reilly?