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Dick Morris Defines Bush: "This is a guy who doesn't believe the President should do much."

Reported by Marie Therese - September 13, 2005

Last night on the O'Reilly Factor [9-12-05], FOX New political analyst, Dick Morris, gave a preview of what the American public can expect from the White House, FOX News and various media outlets in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Pay attention, folks. Morris is giving you the blueprint for what you will see and hear on the the major networks, cable and radio over the next 6 months, complete with brass fanfares and hosannas to President Bush's compassion and dedication to helping the victims.

He described the positive spin that will be put on the rebuilding efforts (ignoring, of course, the fact that the Bush administration has already started the process of giving out the NO-BID contracts to its good buddies at Halliburton and elsewhere). Morris noted that over the next few months the media will air many "heartwarming stories" about personal acts of heroism in the disaster area.

As usual by the end of the interview O'Reilly and Morris managed to bring it back to Hillary Clinton, hoping to paint her as the black-hearted witch. Or maybe it was just another plug for Morris' upcoming book, entitled Condi vs Hillary, presumably describing his pet theory that the 2008 election will see both of these women dueling it out as Presidential candidates.

TRANSCRIPT of Interview between Bill O'Reilly and Dick Morris, 9/12/05

O'REILLY: The polls are pretty grim. Would you say that's accurate?

MORRIS: He didn't have a big fall. He fell four points. That's a hiccup. If he stays hicked and cupped, it's gonna be a problem, but you can recover four points. I have a dramatically different take on this whole thing. I think that Bush is gonna shine in this recovery. There is nothing more to a President's liking than to be ab - than to have to cope with a disaster. He doesn't like the disaster but he does like the ability to cope with it because when a disaster of this sort happens, all of the usual checks and balances are off. Congress gives him whatever money he needs. the bureaucracy will do whatever he tells them to do. He can travel all over the place. The media will cover it. And the bad news from Katrina has basically stopped. The good news is now beginning - that fewer people died. We're gonna watch the recovery efforts. We're gonna watch a city rebuilding. We're gonna watch New Orleans coming back in a wonderful way as sort of a model city. We're gonna have heartwarming stories about people in Houston and Baton Rouge and all over the rest of the country reaching out to the hurricane victims and Bush is gonna be right at the epicenter of this.

O'REILLY: Alright.

MORRIS: This is not a two-day story. This'll go on for a year ...

O'REILLY (overtalks last 6 words): That's a pretty interesting analysis, I have to say.

MORRIS: ... of great visuals for the President.

O'REILLY: Alright. Now, here's why I think you're wrong. If there was nothing else on the resume, I would agree with you. But you've got chaos in Iraq, and that's not gonna go away soon. You've got oil prices that are hurting individuals Americans. I mean the pain is now in the living room. That's how personal that is. And you've got a border situation that could blow up any time. So, while he does the photo op down there - and I think you're right, there'll be a lot of positive stories comin' out - he's got three liabilities and the anti-Bush press has now reached a crescendo of indignation. So, they're gonna keep reminding everybody: Can't handle Iraq. Can't handle Katrina. Can't handle oil.

MORRIS: Is your next line ...

O'REILLY: They won't do the border because the border they don't care about. But those three.

MORRIS (laughing): If your next line, Bill, "tell me where I'm wrong"? OK? If your next line is "Tell me where I'm wrong." Iraq and the gas price would have happened - will be happening anyway. Katrina distracts attention from it. Katrina finally gives George Bush something he can do. He can't do anything about Iraq. He's trapped there. The world energy shortage is caused largely by Indian and Chinese consumption. He can't do anything about that. But, Katrina he can do plenty about and, I believe, that just as 9/11 came to define his first term in office, the rebuilding and response to Katrina will define his second. This is a guy who doesn't believe the President should do much do much. He doesn't believe in aggressive government. He's a Republican. But there are two things he thinks government should do: Fight wars and relieve disasters. And in his first term he found a war and in his second term he's got a disaster.

And politically, the relief efforts, the healing, the positivism, the almost spiritual connection people are gonna make now that this - the hurricane didn't cause the poverty but it revealed the poverty and, if Bush really moves in and deals with it and helps put peoples' lives back much better than they were before - which I think he's gonna do - I think this is a way that Bush can finally vindicate the pledge ...

O'REILLY: Alright, alright, but say ...

MORRIS: ... of compassionate conservatism on which he was elected.

O'REILLY: He should hire you, then, who advise him but say, say you were at the White House ...

MORRIS: I'm doing it, Bill.

O'REILLY: Yeah, I know you are.

MORRIS: Right now.

O'REILLY: And, I mean, they watch. We know. And you're - I'm sure your words are encouraging them. But, if I'm Hillary Clinton - and, you know, and here's how I play it and then I'll give you the last word on it. I basically start - not now but three or four weeks from now, where the emotion now is out, 'cause the story is starting to shift in the Katrina situation. I'd start to slap the incompetence label on President Bush and that's what I'd do every day. Can't handle Iraq. Can't handle energy. Can't handle the storm. Can't handle anything. Look at these boobs. Here I am and I can do it. Now I know - and the press will get on her train - you see what I mean? Don't underestimate the press. 80% of them are on her train or will be, kickin' that same theme.

MORRIS: The problem ...

O'REILLY: Go ahead., I'll give you the last word

MORRIS: The press is too biased for its own good and when the public learns that there were two or three hundred people who died - God help us and God save each of the people who were victims - but two or three hundred, not 10,000, the public is gonna look at this as a press over-exaggeration and then, if Hillary injects partisanship into this and personality into it and starts being acerbic and partisan and political, when the country wants the story of healing and coming together and helping these people and rallying and recovering, and Hillary's back with blaming and castigating and criticizing, it's gonna hurt her. The reason she's doing it now is because she has to be hawk on Iraq, so she's got to criticize him over something.


MORRIS: But it's gonna hurt her.

O'REILLY: Interesting. Very interesting, Morris, that's why we get you on the air.

MORRIS: Thank you.

O'REILLY: And we appreciate it very much.

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