Appearing Thursday evening on The Tonight Show, Bill O’Reilly talked to Jay Leno about why the Republicans lost the presidential election and gave his thoughts on the infamous Karl Rove on-air Fox mutiny.
Asked whether he made a prediction in the days before the election, O’Reilly said no because things were seemingly changing so fast, especially given Hurricane Sandy’s last-minute devastation before Election Day.
After making a joke about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s girth, O’Reilly explained that the hurricane and subsequent response certainly helped the president’s electoral chances.
“I was not surprised,” the Fox host said of Obama’s eventual victory. “In fact, when we went on the air at 8:00 on election night on the Fox News Channel, I pretty much said before everything was in, that it was the president’s night,” he said, referring to his Fox appearance that included the controversial “white establishment” line.
The Factor host then lamented that both President Obama and Mitt Romney declined invitations to come on his show the week before election, adding that he was “amazed” they’d pass up such an opportunity to get a full hour during primetime. O’Reilly claimed that he spoke with “Romney’s people” and warned them that they were going to lose unless they did “something dramatic.”
When asked about Karl Rove’s on-air meltdown as Fox News called Ohio and the election for Obama, O’Reilly said, “That was great! I loved that!”
He joked: “That was the only thing that kept me from falling asleep.”
But O’Reilly also defended Rove as “a numbers guy” who simply thought that the network had called Ohio too soon because there were some key districts that went unreported.
“Why was he so wrong?” Leno asked.
“Because he wanted Romney to win,” said O’Reilly. “He’s a Republican.”
Leno then asked whether it’s because of a “fragmented” media, where, “You watch MSNBC, you get one story. You watch Fox, you get the other. I have to watch them both and then figure out what the real story is all the time. Is that part of the problem?”
“I think there’s enough hard news that people can find out what the story is,” O’Reilly said. “Obviously, opinion is what makes money. Blabbermouths like me make a a lot of money, you know, bloviating…. But people get passionate. And Rove really believed that Romney would be a better choice, and so, when it wasn’t going his way, he set himself on fire, whatever he did. We had fire extinguishers.”
O’Reilly then concluded by declaring, with certainty, that Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016.
Watch below, via NBC:
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