Fox News host Bill O’Reilly devoted a seven-minute segment of his Thursday night show to lecturing the wide range of presidential candidates, especially Republican real-estate mogul Donald Trump.
“It is clear that Donald Trump is setting the pace and his mistakes have not yet hurt him,” O’Reilly said of the Republican front-runner.
O’Reilly said Trump is making two major errors on the campaign trail. He cited a recent Rolling Stone profile in which Trump was quoting mocking rival Carly Fiorina’s face.
“First, he gets waaaay too personal in defending himself against criticism,” O’Reilly said. “Trump says that he was just kidding, but a president can’t do that. And Donald Trump should be thinking of himself as a president. That’s how you win. He’s not a reality star anymore.”
O’Reilly said Trump’s second mistake is going out of his way to launch “petty” attacks against his opponents.
“Instead of lobbing verbal grenades, he should begin putting forward some incisive, problem-solving statements,” he said.
“It would serve him well to knock off the petty stuff and make some better editorial decisions. Rolling Stone magazine? Was The Moscow Times not available? Why would you allow them access? They hate you, Donald!” O’Reilly exclaimed.
The Fox host went on to give some advice and critical commentary for many of the other candidates. He started with the Republican field:
- Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson: “He needs to sharpen his message as well into soundbites that really bite. Getting into a faith controversy with Trump doesn’t do the doctor any good. Comparing Obamacare to slavery is provocative but you need to hammer home your point.”
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R): “I don’t know the governor very well but my advice is: You’ve got to be more controversial about the things you believe are wrong. Show some passion.”
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R): “The Trump factor is obliterating their messages and standard ideological campaign rhetoric.”
- Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina: “Most voters still don’t know who she is, and her business record is dubious — two enormous hurdles.”
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R): “[They’re] trying to break through but are having a hard time getting media attention because Trump’s getting most of it. Both have to break out in next week’s debate to establish some momentum, which they do not — do not — have now.”
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky): “Rand Paul is done. His isolationist platform [is] not appealing in the age of ISIS and Iran. It’s that simple.”
O’Reilly was clearly no fan of the Democratic campaigns, either:
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “Hillary Clinton’s campaign is a mess. She should fire [campaign chairman] John Podesta and the political assassins she has embraced — and put her husband in charge of her campaign. … Bill Clinton needs to take over that operation, and fast.”
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont): “Bernie would drive this country into a depression if he ever got elected. But he’s not going to get elected. However, I give Bernie Sanders a lot of credit: He’s a true believer who wants to do good. He just doesn’t understand.”
- Vice President Joe Biden (who is weighing a run): “I expect to see him in the race shortly, most likely after the pope departs at the end of the month. … The vice president is a savvy player who has one huge stone around his neck: He’s exactly the same as President Obama. There’s no difference.”
“In a debate with Trump, for example, Biden would get hammered beyond belief,” O’Reilly concluded. “But just lay off his looks, OK Donald?”
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