Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics

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EXCERPTS from Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Dr. Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup poll, on "The O’Reilly Factor," Fox News Network, March 14, 2000. (Copyright 2000 Fox News Network, Inc.)

BILL O’REILLY: ". . . [W]hy don’t you explain why Bush has the lead [49% to 43% over Al Gore in the latest Gallup poll] right now."

FRANK NEWPORT: ". . . One question may explain it more than any other. Vision and leadership versus issues. . . ."

O’REILLY: ". . . So it’s emotion -- emotion driving the Bush lead right now."

NEWPORT: "Emotion and . . . . The man, the person . . . as opposed to issues."

O’REILLY [later]: ". . . Now this campaign finance deal . . . why is this not going to be an important part of the campaign? "

[In the next segment of "The O’Reilly Factor" (read excerpt) Dick Morris, Fox News analyst and former Clinton adviser, echoed Dr. Newport’s sentiments that the "Clinton scandals" are not viable campaign issues]

NEWPORT: ". . .Voters simply tell us . . . that’s not an important issue to them. . . ."

NEWPORT [later]: ". . . I think there’s an . . . indistinct kind of reason that people vote for one candidate over the other. It has to do with charisma. . . ."

O’REILLY [later]: ". . . . [T]he coverage of his [President Clinton’s] scandalous administration has hurt Al Gore. There’s no way Al Gore should be running behind in the Gallup poll right now. After eight years of prosperity in this country? There’s no way he should be running behind, is there? . . . . In my opinion, Doctor, no way a sitting vice president in an economy that’s prosperous should be running behind the governor of Texas. No way. And the reason he is is because it’s a scandal-ridden administration or at least perceived to be. . . . We’ll have more with Dr. Newport in a moment. I’m lecturing him. . . ."

O’REILLY [later, after commercial break]: ". . . I figured that the Republican Party is going to try to keep Gore on the defensive with the scandal-ridden nature of the Clinton administration, but you implied in our first segment that Americans don’t really respond to that. So would that be bad strategy?"

NEWPORT: "Well, how well does it make George Bush look to me, is the question. I think a good strategy and -- what we saw from John McCain is that a candidate that has charisma and a positive sense of moral character and integrity can do very well with the public. . . ."

[Owing to "fair use" copyright constraints, Bill O’Reilly’s numerous references to issues, which occurred throughout the interview, are not included in these excerpts.]

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Last updated March 17, 2000