Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics

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EXCERPTS from Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Dick Morris, Fox News analyst and former Clinton adviser, on "The O’Reilly Factor," Fox News Network, March 14, 2000. (Copyright 2000 Fox News Network, Inc.)

O’REILLY: ". . . Now the scandals. . . . does it mean anything?"

MORRIS: "Well. . . . if Bush thinks he can run this campaign on Gore scandals and Clinton scandals, he’s falling into the same trap that has kept the Republican Party out of the White House now for nine years. Every single week, every single month, the Republican Party focuses on scandals. . . . And the scandals are real. But what difference does that make? The public does not care."

O’REILLY: "Is that why the . . . network news is ignoring it?"

MORRIS: "Probably. . . . Clinton has kept an over 60-percent approval rating, and what would you guess -- half the coverage of the Clinton administration has been scandals."

O’REILLY: "And as I pointed out to . . . the doctor [Dr. Frank Newport] . . . , his [President Clinton’s] personal rating plummeted and that scandal-ridden aura has attached itself to Gore, which is why he’s so far down." [Excerpt of Bill'O'Reilly's interview with Dr. Frank Newport]

O’REILLY [later]: ". . . Now if you were advising Governor Bush, what would you tell him to do?"

O’REILLY [later]: ". . . Now if you were advising Governor Bush, what would you tell him to do?"

MORRIS: ". . . My advice to Bush would be, 'Do not mix it up with Gore. Don’t get in there in a slug-for-slug fest. This guy’s stronger than you. He controls the White House. He’s better at it than you are, and he’ll have you for breakfast. And if you get into a toe-to-toe slugging match with him, you’re going to lose. Rise above him. . . .'"

O’REILLY: "But, in the debates, they’re going to have to go head to head. They’re going to have to slug it out."

MORRIS: "But . . . Bush needs a place to stand that’s above Gore to be able to win the debates. . . . If he goes in at Gore’s level and fights this tactically, he’s going to lose. . . . It’s like telling a boxer, "Don’t get in close with this guy. He’s stronger than you are."

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