In tonight’s Talking Points Memo, Bill O’Reilly fired back at criticism of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s interview last night.

“The Factor” host said that instead of debating what Panetta is saying, some people are questioning his motives.

For the record, O’Reilly noted, “the MSNBC zealots” are failing in the ratings – they have now fallen behind CNN. “That’s because you cannot get an honest assessment from that operation, which is in business solely to promote liberal causes,” O’Reilly said.

But O’Reilly remarked that Panetta isn’t the only one troubled by the nation’s receding power, pointing to polls which show that everyday Americans have little confidence that President Barack Obama can effectively protect them.

“It is up to him to rally the world against evil […] We are the superpower. We are the nation that stands for freedom and justice.”

From the beginning, Obama didn’t want that responsibility, O’Reilly said. Instead, he wanted America to be one of many nations.

“Well, the abdication of leadership is not working,” O’Reilly said, adding that the world is becoming more chaotic daily.

“For my money, Leon Panetta is doing the right and patriotic thing in pointing that out,” he said.

Watch the memo.


ICYMI: Watch O'Reilly's interview with Panetta on Fox News:

O'Reilly Presses Panetta: 'Do Our Enemies Fear Us?'

Panetta: 'Benghazi Talking Points Were Not on Point'

Panetta: Clinton Would Have Acted If She Knew About Benghazi Security Issues