O'Reilly claimed Edwards "has no clue" over claim about homeless veterans

››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE

On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly stated: "As for John Edwards, good grief, this guy has no clue." He then aired a clip of Edwards saying: "And tonight, 200,000 men and women who wore our uniform proudly and served this country courageously as veterans will go to sleep under bridges and on grates. We're better than this." O'Reilly commented: "The only thing sleeping under a bridge is that guy's brain. Ten million illegal alien workers are sending billions of dollars back home, and Edwards is running around saying nobody has any money. Hard to believe." While it is unclear what O'Reilly found "hard to believe," Edwards' claim about the number of homeless veterans is supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

During the January 4 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, discussing the January 3 Iowa caucuses, host Bill O'Reilly stated: "As for John Edwards, good grief, this guy has no clue." He then aired a clip of Edwards' speech following the caucuses, during which Edwards stated: "And tonight, 200,000 men and women who wore our uniform proudly and served this country courageously as veterans will go to sleep under bridges and on grates. We're better than this." O'Reilly responded: "That was Edwards' concession speech last night. I mean, come on. The only thing sleeping under a bridge is that guy's brain. Ten million illegal alien workers are sending billions of dollars back home, and Edwards is running around saying nobody has any money. Hard to believe."

While it is unclear what O'Reilly found "hard to believe," Edwards' claim about the number of homeless veterans is supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

About one-third of the adult homeless population have served their country in the Armed Services. Current population estimates suggest that about 195,000 veterans (male and female) are homeless on any given night and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year. Many other veterans are considered near homeless or at risk because of their poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and dismal living conditions in cheap hotels or in overcrowded or substandard housing.

The Washington Post confirmed the veracity of Edwards' claim, reporting on January 7:

Several readers have asked us to check this surprising statistic, often used by Edwards. The language may be overly dramatic, but the figure is an official one, from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The department believes that one-third of the adult homeless population of the United States "have served their country in the Armed Services." A posting on the department Web site says that about 195,000 veterans are "homeless on any given night" and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year.

From the January 4 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly reporting tonight from Boston. Thank you for watching us. We're on our way to New Hampshire. We'll be there tomorrow. Anything could happen. And we hope you tune in on Monday to see how our journey up there works out. I can promise you this. It's going to be different.

Now the "Talking Points Memo" this evening, where each presidential candidate stands right now. Congratulations to Senator Barack Obama. He ran an excellent campaign in Iowa and won big. He deserves much credit.

And congratulations to Governor Mike Huckabee. He also ran an excellent campaign, deserves a lot of credit, and has made the Republican race very interesting.

The reason Huckabee won is that 60 percent of the voters described themselves as evangelical Christians, and just about all of them voted for the governor. He will not have that luxury in New Hampshire. So that state is a key test for Huckabee's staying power.

Mr. Obama won because of Iraq. He captured the Iowa anti-war vote, and that propelled him to victory. Iraq will be in play in New Hampshire, so Obama could also do very well there.

As for Hillary Clinton, she just needs to hang on. Once the campaigns roll into the big states, the senator's powerful organization should kick in. However, she has been rocked and must improve her campaigning style.

As for John Edwards, good grief, this guy has no clue.

EDWARDS [video clip]: And tonight, 200,000 men and women who wore our uniform proudly and served this country courageously as veterans will go to sleep under bridges and on grates. We're better than this.

O'REILLY: That was Edwards' concession speech last night. I mean, come on. The only thing sleeping under a bridge is that guy's brain. Ten million illegal alien workers are sending billions of dollars back home, and Edwards is running around saying nobody has any money. Hard to believe.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Military Personnel & Veterans
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
Stories/Interests
John Edwards, 2008 Elections
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