Fox News host Bill O’Reilly says that, despite President Barack Obama’s denials, he believes the 44th president is “thin-skinned,” and clearly is affected by the criticism that he often receives.
During an interview with O’Reilly before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Obama said the people who don’t like him simply don’t know him.
President Obama When O’Reilly asked whether the criticism annoys him, Obama replied, “I think that by the time you get here, you have to have had a pretty thick skin. If you didn’t, then you probably wouldn’t have gotten here.”
But O’Reilly did some Monday-morning quarterbacking about the interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum. And he made it clear that he does not buy Obama’s apparent indifference, saying he still believes “the president is thin-skinned.”
O’Reilly compared Obama, who in late 2009 tried to urge other media to ignore Fox News reports, with his predecessor, former President George W. Bush.
Bush “really and sincerely didn’t care what anybody thought about him,” the cable news giant said. “I think President Obama does.”
O’Reilly told MacCallum he’s gradually gaining a better understanding of a president whose true nature remains something of a mystery.
“I’m getting a little bit more of a handle on him,” O’Reilly said. “What I picked up yesterday is that he sincerely is a true believer.
“He believes that when he stepped into the presidency, the country was on the brink of depression, and had he not spent all of this money and instituted these big-government policies . . . we’d all be in a bread line today. He absolutely, 100 percent believes that,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly added that he sees Obama as “a very liberal man.” But he believes Obama, whom he describes as ‘supremely self-confident,’ views himself as a pragmatist.
“He doesn’t see himself as a far-left guy,” he said on Monday morning.
“He sees himself as a pragmatic politician. Now, I see him as a very liberal man. But he has a vision of himself that you’re not going to blow him out of that vision. You’re just not going to do it.”
O’Reilly also discussed Obama’s statement that the hardest part of the presidency is being continually “in the bubble,” and largely unable to engage in spontaneous conversations with people.
“I guess some people could say he is a self-centered guy,” O’Reilly said. “I don’t think that I’d dispute that. But I didn’t think that his answer was callous — I don’t think that would be fair.”
O’Reilly has 10 more minutes of the Obama interview that did not air on Super Bowl Sunday.
He said the additional time remarks by Obama will air on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday evening, and will focus on spending and the federal debt.