Fox's Bill O'Reilly finds something to like about President Obama

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 3, 2014 

President Barack Obama and Fox News' Bill O’Reilly engaged in a bit of mutual admiration Sunday amid a mostly confrontational interview as they faced off at the White House before the Super Bowl.

In a bit from the interview airing tonight on the The O’Reilly Factor at 8 p.m., the conservative commentator notes that there's something the two agree on.

"And I tell everybody," O'Reilly said to Obama. "You help the veterans."

O'Reilly added that he believes the Department of Veterans Affairs "should be doing a lot more than it’s doing," but said that he's approached Obama four times on veterans issues "and every time, you have done what I have asked. And we have raised more than $20 million for wounded veterans and their families. So when they say that you don’t care and all of that, I know that’s not true."

Yet, O'Reilly still managed to land a jab, telling Obama, "fundamentally, the self-reliance thing in America, I think, is going down and the nanny state is going up."

He also asked Obama about Keystone, and took Obama's response to mean that the adminstration will approve the controversial project.

"You’re going to OK it, I assume?" O’Reilly said, contending the recent State Department report found the environmental impact would be "negligible" and it would create 42,000 jobs.

"First of all, it’s not 42,000. That’s that that’s not correct. It’s a couple thousand to build the pipeline," Obama said.

He said Cabinet agencies and the public will now comment on the State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry will give Obama a recommendation.

"I assume we’re going to do that after five years," O'Reilly said.

"We’ll take a look at it," Obama said.

"I’ll take that as a yes," O'Reilly replied.

He gave Obama the last word in the interview, with Obama saying that the biggest honor he's had has been serving as commander-in-chief.

"When you meet our military families and our men and women in uniform, they are so outstanding, you just have to want to help them," he said, adding that O'Reilly had done "great work" for veterans.

And Obama pushed back against O'Reilly's statement that self reliance in the U.S. is declining, calling it "alive and well.

"I think the problem is people don’t see as many opportunities to get ahead," Obama said. "They've got to work hard. They’ve got to be responsible. But if they are, let’s make sure that they can make it in America. That’s what it’s all about. That’s how you and I ended up sitting here talking."

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