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Obama: "In A Lot of Ways Richard Nixon Was More Liberal Than I Was"

PRESIDENT OBAMA: If you want to be president of the United States, than you know that you're going to be subject to criticism.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: But if it's unfair I want to know if it's unfair. Is it -- criticism is criticism. It's my job to give you a hard time.

OBAMA: Here's what I would say. I think regardless of whether it's fair or not, it has -- it has made Fox News very successful.

O'REILLY: But if I'm unfair I want to know

OBAMA: Here's what you guys are going to have to figure out. What are you going to do when I'm gone? I'm telling you.

O'REILLY: My ratings were high when you weren't here.

OBAMA: I bet big money [inaudible]

O'REILLY: And President Clinton and President Bush. Alright? I gave President Bush a real hard time. Are you the most liberal president in the U.S. history?

OBAMA: Probably not.

O'REILLY: Probably not?

OBAMA: Probably not.

O'REILLY: Who would be?

OBAMA: You know, the truth of the matter is when you look at some of my policies, in a lot of ways Richard Nixon was more liberal than I was. [He] started the E.P.A, you know, started a whole lot of the regulatory state that has helped make our air and water clean.

O'REILLY: That's interesting, Nixon. That's interesting. Well, I thought you were going to say F.D.R.

OBAMA: F.D.R. Johnson. But I tend not to think about these things in terms as liberal and Democrat or liberal and conservative because at any given time the question is what does the country need right now?

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