January 6th, 2008
10:10 AM ET
12 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. Donna

    All the vituperative name-calling by most of the commentators is the pot calling the kettle black. If, indeed, it is true a staffer intentionally BLOCKED a cameraman from the O'Reilly Factor I think there is a pathetic lack of fairness and a herd mentality to criticize without waiting for facts. If the staffer is at fault, what will you say then?

    January 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. john williams san diego, ca.

    Bill O'Reilly...a liberals worst nightnmare. He alone has proven that the N.Y. Times is Americas version of PRAVDA and that the A.C.L.U. is a terrorist organization...

    January 6, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Daniel, OKC

    It wasn't the staffer that was blocking the shot, it was Bill's ego. It's sad that he's too delusional to recognize that. Bill lost touch a long time ago.

    Bill probably had this image of himself riding up to Obama on a brilliant white stallion prepared to do ideological battle with the enemy. Bill, with his entourage of squires in tow, armed with cameras, mics, and his magical misquoting notepad, descended into the dark liberal place known as New Hampshire. Humanitarians to the left, educated people to the right, Bill would not be daunted. Sworn to get half the story, he was prepared with all his weapons. Voice dubbing, name calling, mic cutting, and misquoting, were all at the ready. Add a secret cell of undercover Fox special security ready to escort people out of his interviews and he couldn't lose, . . . except he was late and didn't get a good spot so he threw a tantrum. What a tool.

    The only reason Fox keeps him around is because it so hard to find someone willing to do to themselves what Bill does on a daily basis. It's another great example of why the GOP can't depend on Bill to follow their playbook.

    Kudos to Obama for putting up with this nut-job so professionally.

    January 6, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. maynard

    BILL DOES NOT WANT THE TRUE LEADER TO WIN . HE LIKE TO STAB OUR LEADERS IN THE BACK WHEN EVER HER CAN

    PULL THE PLUG ON HIM AND OTHERS THAT ARE CONNECTED TO CNN.

    January 6, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. RM

    I am distressed at the lack of fair and equal coverage given to candidates. The media is trying to steer this election by focusing on only two Democrats, Obama & Clinton. Both of them seem to me to be spouting rhetoric while Richardson & Edwards are offering plans and action. Yet, CNN and other members of the so-called free press give them little coverage. I'm beginning to suspect that big business & special interests are influencing the media to steer the public away from two men who are offering a chance for real change and reform. I challenge CNN to step up & report on ALL the candidates equally!

    January 6, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Constitution Lover USA

    Lillian January 6, 2008 6:27 am ET

    I saw that clip and frankly thought that Obama's staffer was extremely Rude, and you wonder if Obama isn't just as Rude, Guess Obama is Afraid of Bill, Go Bill we are on your side.
    And sadly we are told New Hampshire requies no voter registerations, no Id to vote only a utility bill with there name on it. Gee doesn't that make New Hampshire 's primary vote Really Irrevelant? How many Illegals who don't have a right to vote will be there, may even be paid by candidates. They have been known to do it before,
    And aren't the democrats suing Indiana for passing a bill Requiring a ID? Tells us Democrats are the ones Really Buying the Illegals vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You sound like a typical Bill O'Lielly viewer. O'Rielly isn't the most friendly of people. As far as the whole illegals being paid to vote I think that is nonsense. Its something you heard on O'Lielly. Who is this 'we" that told you that New Hampshire required no voter registration, that is really the most outrage thing I have heard because in every state you need a voter registration card, how you get it differs from state to state. And New Hampshire isn't a place where there are many illegals, say like Arizona where your probably from cause you seem so scared of them you ignorant racist c-bag. As far as paying voters that is as illegal as the occupation we call Iraq. As far as suing Indiana for passing a bill requiring an ID, they are suing because the GOP was targeting people who they ASSumed were not legal, basically the GOP decided to become the voter precint police, which is just as illegal as paying voters to vote for a certain candidate. So go rant with the other sheep on Faux News, oh wait they don't let you comment on thier articles. I guess free speech means nothing to a bunch of racist, hypocrites who think they are god.

    January 6, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. The Saint

    That's right, CNN. Ignore my comments, just like you ignored the strong runner-up finish by John Edwards in Iowa.

    Why don't you stop running these free commercials for Obama and pay attention to what's really going on?

    Do you think the American people didn't notice that your last 'poll of likely caucus goers' had Clinton beating Edwards by 12 points? That's BS and you know it.

    Your credibility is waning. Everyone sees what you are trying to do with this Obamathon fluff.

    January 6, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. djk_hello@aol.com

    Bill is an idiot, sexist, jerk.

    January 6, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. MKW

    Who knows what really happened? O'Reilly could have tugged on the man, wanting him to get by or he could have pushed him harder. Either way, it's no reason to cry foul. People need to learn to save their energy for the battles that matter...

    January 6, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Richard

    And for those that keep talking about Jesus... lets keep this on a non-fiction level... that means no Easter Bunny, no Spiderman, no Homer Simpson, and no Jesus. If I wanted to talk about made up characters, I would talk to my son.

    January 6, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Daniel, WA

    I SEE THERE ARE NO COMMENTS. WHAT CAN ANYONE SAY ABOUT OREILLY? THE GUY IS A JOKE. WHEN HE PULLS THESE ANTICS I WISH THE MEDIA WOULD SIMPLY IGNORE HIM. BY PUBLISHING HIM YOU ONLY ENCOURAGE THIS GUY.

    Hmmmm.....wrong. How come we don't get to see what Obama's staffer was like....think about it, FOX, CNN....conservative network, liberal network. Don't just read CNN headlines, find out the story!! "Praising Obama"?! Please, CNN should own up to this silliness

    January 6, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. tntalk

    Right or wrong, what doesn't O'Reilly confront? That is what he does.

    January 6, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Cleareye

    The man is a low grade imitation of Wally George. He actually believes that his opinions are important and useful and would be better put to use as a side show barker. I trust Obama will not degrade his candidacy by appearing on his "show."

    January 6, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Brandon

    Patty D; Bill O'Reilly has been firmly past the deep end since day one.

    January 6, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. doug

    Where were the Secret Service and who made the decision to allow this violent man near Senator Obama?

    January 6, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Kevin

    Billy boy, you're a glib, low class, loud mouth. Period.

    January 6, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Kevin

    Get out of the way Billy boy. You're a glib, low class loud mouth.

    January 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Tinker Bachant, Sautee, GA

    Don't y'all know that Dubya and Cheney are in Rupert Murdoch's pocket? C'mon, get smart about Fox and ALL their jabber mouths.

    January 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. kevin

    figured my previous post wouldn't make it to the board.funny thing is I watch CNN just as much as I watch any other news channel. I guess I didn't bash bill o enough to make the cut with you people. must have missed the {anti-bill only }somewhere on this page before I posted.

    why is this news station so afraid of showing more than one side to
    there views on anything?I don't get it.

    January 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Jon Dossett

    CNN, pay attention to your use of English. According to the story, it did not sound like there was a 'confrontation' between O'Reilly and the staffer. It sounded like O'Reilly 'assaulted' the staffer. No, he didn't hit him, but laying his hands him and shoving him is legally assault.

    January 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Lisla Lee, Dallas, TX

    O'Reilly is such a pompous jerk. Not much else to say about him other than he disgusts me. His mother should be ashamed of him... I certainly would be if he were my son.

    January 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. sageboy117

    pretty dumb

    January 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Grant Devereaux

    O'Reilly's breakdown is every bit as obvious and as frightening as Britanny Spears'. This man is clearly wacko. Why isn't FOX news getting the guy some help? If they don;t do s9omething soon, I see a very embarrassing if not tragic event very soon. The man is a powder keg.

    January 6, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. DC

    the bottom line is that this country is not ready for a minority prez

    January 6, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Gerard Metzler

    O'Reilly is lower than a puke. He's whale puke at the bottom of the ocean. Not only that he's a stupid moronic lummox who gives Irishmen everywhere a bad name.

    January 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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