WASHINGTON — Fox News host Bill O’Reilly told PJ Media that the American public should give President Obama a break, adding that “nitpicking the president” does not do the country any good.
“President Obama’s got three years left in office. I think he’s going to try to make Obamacare work, that’s his legacy. I think he’ll devote most of his time to that but you’ve got to give the guy a break. He’s under tremendous pressure every day with some new crazy thing in this world,” O’Reilly said at the world premiere of Killing Kennedy in Washington on Monday night.
“I don’t think people nitpicking the president do the country any good. I mean, I disagree with him on some big issues, but let’s see if he can pull the Obamacare thing out of the fire. That’s what’s most important right now,” O’Reilly added, referring to the widespread technical issues with the Obamacare website.
Killing Kennedy, a television movie based on O’Reilly’s best-selling book of the same name, airs on National Geographic on Nov. 10.
PJ Media asked O’Reilly if there’s an aspect of Kennedy’s leadership that he thinks President Obama should borrow from in the remainder of his second term.
“That’s a good question. I think President Obama could learn from JFK in the sense that when things go wrong, you’ve got to own it. You’ve got to step up and say, ‘Look, it’s going wrong, we’re going to fix it; this is why it happened and this is what we’re going to do,’” said O’Reilly at the Newseum on the red carpet. “So after the Bay of Pigs, JFK is getting hammered, he’s getting killed because he screwed up but he acknowledged it and he changed a lot of the advisers, he changed the way he did business and he paid more attention to it and his presidency was better for it.”
O’Reilly was also asked for his opinion of the millions of individuals who are losing their private healthcare coverage after the president said, “If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan.”
“I think you have to give it a little bit more time to see how bad that’s going to be and how much more we’re going to have to pay. So you ask me the same question next March, I think I’ll be able to give you a more intelligent, fair answer,” O’Reilly responded.
Rob Lowe, who plays former President John F. Kennedy, Jr. in Killing Kennedy, was asked by PJ Media if there are parts of JFK’s leadership that he would like to see Obama follow.
“I’ve listened to these amazing recordings and in one of them he was really trying to sell his tax cut plan and I thought, there’s a Democrat coming into office that wants to cut taxes, that’s a rarity,” said Lowe on the red carpet.
“He is a type of politician that you don’t see the likes of much anymore, but then again, in those days, the southern Democrats which were a big part of the party were not looking towards some of the reforms that we now have today — so it was just a different world when he was the president, and I don’t know how he would fare today.”
Lowe also said Obama’s job performance has demonstrated how difficult it is for both political parties to get anything done.
“I think that it just underlines how hard it is in this climate for people to get things done and I think the same would be true for regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on, if it’s a climate where people aren’t looking to build consensuses; regardless of how you feel about the president, if people are looking to be divisive, it’s going to be hard for anybody to get stuff done,” Lowe said.
South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune, who attended the screening, said he wants to see Obama embrace Republican ideas on the economy.
“Jack Kennedy of course was somebody we as Republicans point to a lot as somebody who reduced taxes, marginal income tax rates, to grow the economy and create jobs so it was a great success then and I think it would be today,” said Thune.
Thune, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and the third-ranking senator in the GOP leadership, declined to say who he thinks should step up and become the next leader of the Republican Party.
“Tough question, I’m sure I’d leave somebody out but we’ve got a great young bench of leaders, some here in Congress, a lot of them, actually governors doing great things in their respective states and in many respects that’s kind of where a lot of the success of Republican policymaking and policy is today, since we’re in the minority here in Washington,” Thune said.
“Will it be you?” he was asked.
Thune, who was considered a possible GOP vice presidential candidate in 2012, said, “No, I don’t think so. I’m busy with a day job right now.”