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Palin Needs O’Reilly To Prompt Her Before She Can Answer His Questions On Immigration

Reported by Ellen - July 9, 2010 -

Is Sarah Palin in favor of granting legal status for the undocumented immigrants already in the country? She seemed to be last night, before she seemed to walk it back. Whatever she's for or not, Bill O'Reilly doesn’t seem to have much respect for her "insights" on the subject. For the second time in a few weeks, he virtually destroyed her credibility when she was poised to use his show to boost it. Tonight, she was the guest for the “top story” on immigration. Just as when Palin appeared on The Factor to discuss the BP oil spill disaster, O’Reilly was obviously not going to just hand over his platform without making her work for it. And just as the last time, Palin could not offer any specifics when asked for them. It wasn’t until O'Reilly threw out suggestions that Palin adopted them. It was clear she had no real ideas about how to deal with immigration, only shallow talking points.

O’Reilly began the segment magnanimously enough. He asked, “If Sarah Palin were president, could she solve the illegal immigration problem?”

O'Reilly said, “So you’re president of the United States, Sarah Palin, you send how many National Guard to the border right away to secure it?”

Palin couldn’t answer that one, other than to say, “However many you need.”

O’Reilly gracefully prompted, “So you’d send maybe 10, 15 thousand National Guard down there to assist the border patrol. Yes?”

Palin nodded and said evasively, “Whatever it takes.” She obviously had no idea what that might be.

So O'Reilly asked what she would do with the 12 million people already here illegally. “Are you gonna deport them? What are you gonna do?”

Palin, who undoubtedly remembered how bad he had made her look the last time she appeared with O'Reilly rolled her eyes and tried to change the subject: “First let me go back to the importance of securing the border.”

O'Reilly interrupted. "No, but we got that. We got that, Governor! Everybody – all Factor people… "

Palin pursed her lips, clasped her hands, shook her head and said, “Mmm, No, we don’t.”

O’Reilly interrupted her. “Yeah, the people watching this program have it. We have it. We assume that you, as president, would secure the border. I have confidence that you would do that.” He pressed her to answer what she would do with the 12 million people.

“You’re not gonna give them a free pass,” Palin said. She continued by saying that she wouldn’t allow people to get in across the porous border.

O’Reilly interrupted again. “So no amnesty. But what do you do with these folks? Do you make them register with the federal government? Do you tell ‘em they have 60 days to get out of here before we put you in jail? What do you do with them?”

Now Palin had an answer. “Do we make them register with the federal government? Yes, we do.”

“And if they don’t register with the federal (government)? Say you give them 60 days to register with the federal government… Say they didn’t do it.”

"You deport ‘em," Palin said.

So O’Reilly asked what she would do with those who do register. “Then what? Do you give them green cards to work right away? What do you do with them?”

Palin obviously had no idea. “You know, there has to be that expectation that they will work and that they will contribute.” Then, she changed the subject by saying, “Bill, it makes me uncomfortable that we’re even going down that path...”

O'Reilly shot back, "You have to go down the path because it’s gonna come up."

Palin, in her condescending, schoolmarm tone, lectured, “American citizens who are here lawfully, they need to be the ones with the first shot at getting these jobs. We cannot make it easy on those who have chosen to be illegally here."

But O'Reilly was not going to be lectured by her. "They’re here and we can’t starve ‘em to death… This is where it gets very complicated, Governor."

Palin pursed her lips even tighter. Don’t tell me she wasn’t piqued. “Then we won’t complicate it any more. Let’s keep it simple and let’s say no. If you are here illegally and if you don't follow the steps... to somehow allow you to work, if you're not gonna do that, you're gonna be deported."

O’Reilly got the last word, underscoring her poor command of policy. He reiterated, “Whoever the next president is, is going to have to deal with 12 million people and that’s going to be very, very difficult."

Then he tossed her a bone by asking about Mama Grizzlies.

I'm finding these O'Reilly/Palin segments fascinating. Palin knows she's being skewered but she's probably got no standing to go whining to Fox that O'Reilly - their number one host - didn't treat her fairly by asking her questions she couldn't answer.

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