O'Reilly to Axelrod: Does Obama Respect Sharpton?
Bill O’Reilly tonight pressed David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, on ISIS, Obama’s relationship with Al Sharpton, and more.
“Correct me if I’m wrong,” O’Reilly told Axelrod. “Barack Obama doesn’t see a disjuncture in history, he doesn’t see that his strategy to fight ISIS and the other jihadists is failing.”
Axelrod countered, “He’s said from the beginning that this was gonna take a long time to degrade ISIS.”
“The Factor” host called for a ground force, charging Obama with repeatedly looking away from the threat of ISIS. But Axelrod said that many of the same voices who are calling for ground troops are the people who supported invading Iraq.
“The question is what then? What happens then? Are we gonna stay there in perpetuity?” Axelrod asked.
“We kill them and then we leave,” O’Reilly fired back.
O’Reilly also asked Axelrod about Obama’s controversial remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, where the president compared ISIS to the Crusades. O’Reilly asked him if Obama knew that “all hell was gonna break loose.”
“I think he knew what he was saying, he knew that it was provocative,” Axelrod said, explaining that Obama’s point is that one-quarter of the world’s population is Islamic, and the vast majority have nothing to do with extremism.
“His point is let us not define that entire quarter of the planet by the actions of extremists. Let’s isolate the extremists, just as we wouldn’t blame every Christian for the acts of some Christians, every Jew for the acts of some Jews,” Axelrod said.
Axelrod also weighed in on the much debated Bowe Bergdahl swap, telling O’Reilly, “I think that [Obama] would stand behind what he’s done.”
Watch part one of the interview above.
In part two of tonight’s interview, O’Reilly pressed Axelrod on why Sharpton has been to the White House so frequently.
“You don’t decide and I don’t decide who leaders in a community are,” Axelrod said. “Al Sharpton is widely regarded as a leader within the African-American community.”
O’Reilly asked, “Do you think the president respects him?”
“Well I think he respects his leadership on […] these civil rights issues, yes I do,” Axelrod told him.
O’Reilly noted that Sharpton owes millions to the IRS, questioning if anyone else who visits the White House owes that much money to the government.
“I haven’t gone through the tax returns of people who come into the White House,” Axelrod said.
Later, O’Reilly told Axelrod that he believes Obama’s main goal is to be remembered for social justice.
Axelrod said that he thinks Obama will be remembered for leading the nation through the worst economic crisis in history, bringing troops home, and health reform.
Watch part two of the interview below.