A MSNBC political panel was less than enthused by Bill O’Reilly’s tough interview with President Barack Obama on Sunday, claiming the questions were irrelevant and that O’Reilly himself “lives on another planet.”
The cable network’s Craig Melvin spoke with Republican strategist Susan del Percio and MSNBC contributors Zerlina Maxwell and Josh Barro about the testy interview, which seemed at times to frustrate the president.
MELVIN: Susan, what did we learn that was new yesterday evening?
DEL PERCIO: Nothing! I actually think they had a no-news pact going on in that interview.
MELVIN: It seemed at times like a wasted opportunity!
DEL PERCIO: And the same for the president. The president could’ve really stepped up his game too and he didn’t, but it seemed like they both went through the motions and we heard the same old questions and the same old responses.
Maxwell was less even-handed.
“Bill O’Reilly and the base of the Republican Party live on another planet,” she said, “and so, I think that’s where the questions were formulated. Because you know, the IRS, Benghazi, these have been thoroughly debunked. And then beyond that, just this insistence that president Obama is an ‘imperial president,’ sort of reinforcing that theme for the base.”
“I mean, it’s going to help the base and perhaps right-wing Republicans,” she continued, “but it won’t help anyone get elected in a national election.”
“I just thought it was a very strange reflection of which topics are important,” Barro opined. “Bill O’Reilly had about ten-and-a-half minutes with the president, and about seven of that was on the IRS and Benghazi, then you had the discussion of the health-care website. Basically nothing about the economy in the interview. … But I think it is reflective of topics discussed over and over on Fox everyday, and also topics that conservatives feel like are under-discussed in the media.”
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