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Mary Matalin Fibs on the O'Reilly Factor

Reported by Marie Therese - October 14, 2005

A grim, tight-lipped Mary Matalin appeared last night on the O'Reilly Factor and promptly lied in defense of Bush's absolutely abysmal poll numbers. But before that she took a swipe at Dick Cheney's current advisory staff:

O'REILLY: A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has President Bush's job approval rating at 39 percent. And only 28 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction. Joining us now from Washington, Mary Matalin, advisor to Vice President Cheney. And the Vice President's numbers even lower than that.

MATALIN: Former, former. I don't want to take any credit for all the hard work all my friends are doing at the White House.


Matalin, who was scheduled to offer comfort and solace to the faithful as they watch Bush slip slowly into a morass of negative poll numbers, resorted to lying in order to bolster morale:

MATALIN: I think these numbers that are being reported as so apocalyptic are neither apocalyptic, nor predictive, nor permanent. Presidents Reagan and Clinton had similar numbers in their second term. And I think history went on to receive them quite well.

COMMENT: Well, not exactly, Mary.

On average Clinton's second term ratings were consistently above 50%, hitting their highest point at 70% during the impeachment hearings.

"While Clinton's job approval rating varied over the course of his first term, ranging from about 40% in 1993 to about 60% in 1996, his job approval rating consistently ranged from the high 50s to the high 60s in his second term, with a high of about 70% approval during impeachment proceedings." (Wikipedia)

If you are interested in a complete record of Clinton's polling numbers, you can go to Polling Report.

As for Reagan, his second term numbers were less than Clinton's, but certainly higher than Bush's. According to Wikipedia his lowest point (44%) occurred during the Iran-Contra hearings. When he left office in 1989 Reagan's numbers stood at 64%.

So it would seem that Ms. Matalin's comments were somewhat less than truthful.

It was really rather entertaining to watch Bill O'Reilly disagree with Matalin's pie-in-the-sky, everything's-just-rosy spin. It's a measure of how desperate things really must be when the Bloviating Billster, who usually carries water for the administration, distances himself from the President and actually disputes the GOP talking points.

Below is one of the better excerpts. The entire transcript/video is available at FOX News.

Notice how both Matalin and O'Reilly accept the Zawahiri letter as legitimate, never mentioning earlier reports on FOX News and elsewhere that Al Qaeda claims the letter is a forgery.

MATALIN: ... I mean, all good Americans, whether they're Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, libertarian, all good Americans should be praying the USA wins that fight in Iraq. They are winning.

O'REILLY: Because if it doesn't - well, we may be winning, but it's not evident. And I'll tell you why. Here's my litmus test. We have FOX News correspondents as the one - our agencies do in Iraq. They can't go out and get a cup of coffee. They can't go out to dinner. They can't go anywhere, because they would be or might be assaulted. Security in Baghdad is still awful.

MATALIN: It depends where they are.

O'REILLY: They can't go out of the green zone. None of them can go out.

MATALIN: There are three provinces out of 18, Bill.

O'REILLY: Yes, but they're the big ones.

MATALIN: But the insurgency - you just led the show with Zawahiri's letter to Zarqawi. They are losing. They don't have any money. Their top leaders have been taken out.

O'REILLY: I hope that's true.
MATALIN: He's chastising Zarqawi for beheading and killing other Muslims. They're barbarians and they're butchers. And no one in Iraq -I talked to these people. And I've worked with these people who are going to run for offices. They don't call them insurgents. They call them barbarians and terrorists.

O'REILLY: All that is true. But as you know in Vietnam, I thought we were on the side of right. I thought we were doing the right thing trying to give the South Vietnamese a chance at freedom. And it's a very tough slog. And 80 percent of the American media, Mary, is against the war in Iraq. Eighty percent.

MATALIN: I know that. But you know, just because they're against it doesn't make it - doesn't mean that it's not succeeding. We're not just succeeding in Iraq. We're succeeding in putting reform and democracy and freedom all throughout that region.


Rose-colored glasses, anyone?

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