Bill O’Reilly, who was ousted by Fox News two-and-a-half years ago following decades of sexual-harassment allegations and payouts to victims, made a desperate bid for relevance this week when he decided to live-tweet the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate.
Among O’Reilly’s insights were that he found the “Trump bashing festival” by the candidates “boring,” he wanted Joe Biden to “fight back” harder and that Elizabeth Warren “wants a wealth tax to pay for free stuff, lots of free stuff. Lots.” Later, he added, “The Democrats on the stage hate Turkey. The country, not the meal. They might be right.”
Then came former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s answer to a question about Warren’s wealth tax proposal.
“I think it's part of the solution,” he said, before going on to accuse Senator Warren of being “more focused on being punitive and pitting some part of the country against the other instead of lifting people up and making sure that this country comes together around those solutions.”
“I think of a woman that I met in Las Vegas, Nevada,” O’Rourke continued. “She's working four jobs, raising her child with disabilities, and any American with disabilities knows just how hard it is to make it and get by in this country already.”
It was this anecdote that caught O’Reilly’s ear. He wasn’t buying it. “Beto says he met a woman working FOUR jobs,” he tweeted. “And raising a special needs child. I don’t believe him. Sorry.”
The response from O’Rourke came with receipts.
Along with a photo of the woman and her disabled daughter, he replied, “This is her. Her name is Gina. Her daughter's name is Summer. The problem with our economy is she has to live in her car—while a disgraced TV host like you makes millions.”
O’Reilly, who at one point had enough money to shell out at least $32 million in sexual harassment settlements before Fox News finally decided to cut him loose, had nothing to say in response to that.
But the tweet did get a response from health care expert and former Obama administration official Andy Slavitt, who tweeted, “I would invite @BillOReilly to get a real understanding of what life is like for many in the disability community or raising a special needs or chronically ill child. But that would be cruel to the people who’d have to meet him.”