January 6th, 2008
10:10 AM ET
13 years ago

O'Reilly gets in confrontation with Obama staffer

O'Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama staffer Saturday.

O'Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama staffer Saturday.

(CNN) - Fox News talk show host Bill O'Reilly had a confrontation with a staffer for Barack Obama’s campaign that the aide and several eyewitnesses claim became physical.

The incident began when O’Reilly tried to get Obama’s attention after a Nashua campaign event. He allegedly began yelling at Obama’s National Trip Director Marvin Nicholson to get out of the way. O’Reilly then, according to eyewitness accounts, shoved the staffer.

Nicholson told CNN O'Reilly grabbed him by the arm and started "pushing" him. Nicholson also said that when he asked O'Reilly to stop pushing him, the talk-show host responded that he was "low class."

O’Reilly soon got Obama’s attention, and the two men spoke briefly.

"They shook hands and Mr. O'Reilly said that he thought Sen. Obama was great and that he loved him, and he'd love to have him on the show," Nicholson said. "And then the senator said that he would think about coming on the show after the primaries."

Then the Secret Service intervened to ask O’Reilly to step back behind the barricade that marked the press area.

Speaking later on Fox News, O'Reilly said he tried to "gently remove" the Obama staffer so his camera could get a shot of the Illinois senator.

"We're sorry we had to have that little confrontation," O'Reilly added, "but no one on this earth is going to block a shot on The O'Reilly Factor. It is not going to happen."

Related video: Obama aide: O'Reilly shoved me

- CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report

soundoff (775 Responses)
  1. maddie

    Papa Bear's gone wild! Where's Stephen Colbert??? Papa Bear needs him.

    Remember the time Papa Bear almost decked another political analyst when the two of them were being interviewed?

    Stephen, Papa Bear needs your help.

    January 6, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. John

    What a self-absorbed, self-important jerk. Why on earth would anyone watch his show or give even the smallest amount of attention to his opinions?

    January 6, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Richard Taylor

    I have a feeling the Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh era is coming to a close.

    Fox News "fair and Balanced" yeah right, and I am Santa Claus!!!

    What an buffoon this guy is!!!!

    January 6, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Ruth C. Angel

    "...no one on this earth is going to block a shot on The O'Reilly Factor..." Does this man's ego know no bounds? Good grief. It matters not your support nor lack thereof where Senator Obama is concerned, O'Reilly is just out of control. Unfortunately, he gets as much air time as does Ms. Spears...too much, that is. I choose to laugh most of the time except that they really are quite sad individuals, don't you think?

    January 6, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Justin Romberg

    Amazing all these comments are so emotional and from the hip. HOW DO ANY OF YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENED???. Stop being so emotional and use your small brains.

    January 6, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I believe O'Reilly has some kind of problem with respect to certain groups of people and he himself will eventually expose what it is. It's just a matter of time that his true colors will show to end his career. Anyone who resorts to name calling has underlying problems.

    January 6, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. LL


    You read a report in CNN ... then you make your decision about an event. Here is the issue Fox is ahead of CNN so don't expect a clear reporting from them. Second, if a republican candidate's aide block CNN to videotape ane event, is that right?
    We should not let our bias or hate for someone cloud our judgments.

    January 6, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Mike, Owosso, MI

    Wait a second, this many comments and no one has yet suggested that Clinton was some how involved in planting O'Reilly there? This has to be a first.

    January 6, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. B. Martin

    What seems like aggressive behaviour, especially the fact he was out of the designated area, would seem to match his personality....I have never met the man and really do not care to....I like people that are considerate and not pushy and this would sure seem like a pushy guy to make him look good.....over a picture!!....I suggest he matures a lot and tries to be a little nicer for the sake of his reputation and everyone elses....he probably would have got his shot he wanted with a better attitude....

    January 6, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. alley cat

    O'Reilly is a fool, no doubt, but only a little gutless punk would press charges for having someone grab their arm...is that what you folks do?? Would've been better to just push Billo on his ass. This is why you ALL get me sick!

    January 6, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. maddie

    Stephen Colbert, Papa Bear needs you!!

    January 6, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. Greg, Houston

    An irrelevant hack who is trying real hard to matter. If Obama is smart he will not bother to go on his show. It is only about ratings.

    January 6, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Bill

    Staffer should have punched him. Self defense!

    January 6, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Scott Crooks

    Another pathetic, low-class attempt by O'Reilly to get some cred as a real journalist. This hate mongering confrontationalist is on his way out, as are all those who make money trying to polarized a nation that is looking for unity. If we ever achieve that vaulted purpose, the O'Reillys of this country would be so out of business. Free speech, when it offers constructive, cooperative alternatives is great, but not when it is hijacked by negative egomaniacs. O'Reilly, your time is fading!

    January 6, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. San Francisco, California

    I heard Bill explained what happened and it appears that the Obama people tried to block Fox camera. Obama is becoming cocky and arrogant...the whole idea that he can be in the middle and get the two party to work together is ridiculous. Bill is not doing anything that any other reporter would not do, it was the Obama people that was playing the anti-republican game against fox. I'm no fan of Fox but this is not indicative of someone who will put party politic aside for the good of the country. BTW, he makes these great speeches making promises that stirred people's emotions, yet, his debate last night was horrific. When it came time to debate real content, where was his????? the best he could come up with to defend his experience to be president is to say that word matter and he would get the people excited and involved so the dems can win the majority in order to make things happen? that is his great change for the nation.....to win the majority? There is nothing substantial to fill the great big hole in the center of this golden egg and Hillary Clinton along with the debate monarator last night exposed Obama for it.......no experience, no actions...just a bunch of talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.....the man obviously spent much time perfecting how to deliver persuasive speeches...I suggest he spend more time compiling experience on domestic and international policies so that the 'CHANGE' he talks of is grounded with much weight on proven implementation results and not just float on and on and on top of the hot air he has been blowing out there to the public.

    January 6, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. sthorpe

    Bill O' Reilly for President!!!! You go Bill !! Thank you for having the balls to do your job and git r done !!! Your the best !!

    January 6, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Forrest

    Billy O'Reilly is delusional with his thought process feeling it is okay for him to cross the line, not follow any rules and man handle anyone because he is 'The Factor'. Well, he touched the guy, he committed an assault and should be charged. The Secret Service should have never allowed the man to get that far if he crossed a line or touched another person. What a pompous nobody he is.

    January 6, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Dawn, Waco, TX

    Attention world: No one likes O'Reilly.

    January 6, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Tom Brantley

    Dr. Ron Paul represents a true threat to the people and corporations that own the main stream media. He represents the common man. This fact is obvious if you look at how his funds are raised. He hasn't filled his coffers with money from special interest groups and large corporations, but rather by over a hundred thousand individuals with an average donation of about 90 bucks. He has been unfairly represented by most of the media including CNN.

    January 6, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    Sen Obama, do not ever go on Bill O'Reilly's show, he is a hate monger, liar, almost as bad a man as Rush.
    I think all of the Dems should refuse to even go on FOX LIES.
    They are a huge reason for all the division in the nation and they perpetuate all of the lies of the Bush Adminstration.
    Do not grace them with your presence, do not make him seem legitimate.
    He has no jounalism backgrond but is just a hack for the right wing liars

    January 6, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Mike Smith

    If anyone thinks Bill O'Reilly loves Barack Obama, then I've got a lot in Lakeview New Orleans to sell them.

    This bigoted hack is running out of controversial stunts and headline making outrageous statements.

    I look forward to the total fizzle of the neocon movement along with the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh. Ignorance has prevailed long enough along with thier poster child, Bush Junior.

    January 6, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Kevin

    I know everyone is going to bash O'Reilly because of this article. I agree the way it is written makes him come off as an ass. But remember who is posting this article. A liberally biased news network like CNN is going to do everything to make the more conservative Fox News look bad. I bet the truth isn't as bad as it is made out to be.

    January 6, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. Sherry

    O'Reilly is sooooo yesterday. Just like a few politicians we know.

    January 6, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. libby

    Oh come on, its all about nothing! Lynn Sweet, another lefty, trying to take
    down Bill O Reilly, she could not come close to Bill's intelligence.
    His ratings are proof, we love him. KUDOS, BILL, don't let these pinheads,
    get the best of you.

    January 6, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Mike

    What an unbelievable loser O'Reilly is. I know a lot of his personality is part of a character he's playing, but it looks like the line between the two has been erased. He is far too convinced of his own significance. As for the poster talking about Obama's lack of experience, Hillary has all of the wrong kinds of experience. A vote for Hillary will be a vote for the kind of pathetic back-biting that has plagued our government for over a decade. It is time for new ideas.

    January 6, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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