O'Reilly claimed Iran is "up[ping] the violence in Iraq" to benefit Democrats; Morris counseled Bush to engage in something "a little close" to "wagging the dog"
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Warning that "powerful forces want to influence your vote" during the October 6 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly baselessly asserted that "Iran has ordered its killers to up the violence in Iraq for the next month" so that "Americans will hold President Bush responsible and vote in the Democrats, who the Iranians believe are not as aggressive in foreign policy."
Later in the program, during a discussion with Fox News political analyst Dick Morris, O'Reilly and Morris advocated the need for Bush to "change the subject" from the scandal surrounding Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to "real international issues." Morris asserted that "Bill Clinton was perceived as being very weak going into [the] '96" presidential election so, as Clinton's adviser, "I encouraged him to bomb Bosnia." Morris then stated that Bush needed to "change the subject" by similarly "using the power of the presidency to deal with real international issues and focusing opinion on it." He added: "It's not wagging the dog, but it comes a little close."
From the October 6 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight. Some powerful forces want to influence your vote. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
While in Washington yesterday, I was able to talk with some very well-informed people, as well as read the latest dispatch from Stratfor.com, perhaps the best information website in the country. Now, this may surprise you, but the Iraq situation, the Foley scandal, and the Woodward book all have one thing in common: November's election.
The war in Iraq has dramatically changed over the past year. No longer is the primary enemy there Al Qaeda and the Baathists. We are now fighting Iran.
Last summer, the Bush administration was close to a deal that would have brought some stability to Iraq. Shia and Sunni Muslims were close to accepting the new government. But Iran, which now arms and controls some Shia terrorist militias, decided that shouldn't happen. And Iran's killer mercenaries began murdering Sunnis in greater numbers. The deal then fell apart.
Now, Iran wants to keep the USA pinned down in Iraq so America cannot rally opposition against Tehran for their nuclear ambitions and other things. It also wants to weaken President Bush in the upcoming election. You remember Iran destroyed Jimmy Carter's re-election chances in 1980 with the hostage fiasco.
So now Iran has ordered its killers to up the violence in Iraq for the next month, believing that Americans will hold President Bush responsible and vote in the Democrats, who the Iranians believe are not as aggressive in foreign policy.
O'REILLY: OK. So as long as Foley's in the news, which is why the left wants him there 24-7, that hurts Republicans, no matter what happens?
MORRIS: Yes. And the only power a president has is to affect elections is not by campaigning -- that doesn't work -- but by changing the subject. When Bill Clinton was perceived as being very weak going into '96, I encouraged him to bomb Bosnia. Now, he should have bombed Bosnia anyway, should've done it two years before, saved a quarter of a million lives. But it had the ancillary effect of making him appear strong, which was crucial in winning that '96 election.
MORRIS: Bush needs to change the subject.
O'REILLY: He needs to do that.
O'REILLY: Because his father went on CNN, Bush the elder, and said that Woodward was full of hooey. Was that a smart move?
MORRIS: No. You can never win an argument like that. You can just change the subject. And what Bush is doing now is impotent. He's going around the country talking about tax cuts and talking about the Patriot Act. It's not campaigning that's going to change this. What's going to change it is using the power of the presidency to deal with real international issues and focusing opinion on it.
O'REILLY: All right.
MORRIS: It's not wagging the dog, but it comes a little close.