Although many Republicans are abandoning Mitt Romney over his ‘gifts’ comments, Bill O’Reilly is doubling and tripling down on them. And he’s darned angry that anyone, ANYONE might think he’s a racist or anti-poor just because he said that people who voted for President Obama were people of color who “want stuff.”
A little backstory for those who have not been following along. On election night, when O’Reilly saw how the returns were coming in, he made some shocking comments that have caused backlash from the likes of The Washington Post and Jon Stewart:
It’s not a traditional America any more. And there are 50% of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it and he ran on it. And, whereby twenty years ago, President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney. The white establishment is now the minority. And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama, overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?
You got that? O’Reilly said it’s people of color who “want stuff," that President Obama ran on that and, because whites are in the minority, won.
Mitt Romney echoed those sentiments recently when he gave this explanation for his loss:
What the president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote.
Thanks to O’Reilly, we know just what color those voters looking for “financial gifts” or “stuff” are – and it’s not white.
In his Talking Points commentary last night, O’Reilly opened by complaining, “Some of us feel they need to kick people when they’re down.” He was ostensibly referring to Republican reaction to Romney’s statement but it soon became clear that the victim he really cared about was his own self.
O’Reilly played a clip of his Election Night statement and added, “That’s the truth.” How does he know? Statistics show that low-income Americans supported Obama in a big way. And to O’Reilly, the only possible explanation for that is, “They want things.”
According to O’Reilly, the left is attacking him “because they don’t want to acknowledge the economics of the vote” and “don’t want to consider the fact that entitlements buy votes.”
O'Reilly can't imagine there's any other explanation. He said, “Ask yourself this question, what do you think those making less than $30,000 a year were voting for?” The other possible choices, as per O’Reilly: “massive debt,” “continued chaos in the Middle East,” “more government regulations that inhibit businesses from hiring people,” and “an 8% unemployment rate.”
“Were they voting for any of that?” O’Reilly asked. “No! Millions of lower-income Americans voted for the candidate who they thought was going to directly help them financially.”
Hilariously, after O’Reilly had spent more than five minutes arguing that lower-income voters were little more than a bunch of moochers, he said, without a trace of irony, that the Republican Party will have to change in the future. “It can’t disparage poor people, it has to engage them.”
How? By “demonstrate(ing) that a healthy economy based on discipline and robust capitalism will lift far more people out of poverty than government handouts will.”
So Republicans shouldn’t publicly disparage poor people (even though O’Reilly was doing plenty of that right then and there) but convince them to be more “disciplined.” And for those who get left behind? Well, I guess it’s character-building for everyone to have the “freedom” to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
“You gotta sell that! Romney didn’t,” O’Reilly explained. And then as an “example,” he talked about how he had been vilified by the Washington Post. His voice seething with anger, he quoted only the parts of an editorial - which was really about Romney - that talked about himself. “How vile, how vile,” he said about the Washington Post Editorial Board. “You disgrace the journalism industry.”
And then he was off on a tear about the “crazed ideologues” who spun an “honest look at the vote as a diatribe against poor people and minorities.” Sorry, Bill, but not only did your election night remarks quack just like a diatribe against poor people and minorities but this segment probably quacked away any lingering doubts.
It also suggested the entire 8:36 rant was about hurt feelings over WaPo.