Bill O'Reilly slings nonsense at Democratic candidates: "Sanders makes Trump look like Lincoln"

It's unclear exactly how Trump is like Lincoln, but congratulations to O'Reilly for getting them both in a sentence

By Scott Eric Kaufman
Published January 19, 2016 1:13PM (EST)
 Bill O'Reilly (Credit: Fox News)
Bill O'Reilly (Credit: Fox News)

On "The O'Reilly Factor" Monday evening, host Bill O'Reilly -- who fancies himself something of an expert on all things Abraham Lincoln, having written about a book about killing him -- claimed that the rhetoric of Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is so extreme as to make frequent "Factor" guest Donald Trump "look like Abraham Lincoln."

The actual basis of the comparison is unclear -- Is Sanders supposed to be Stephen Douglas? Where does Hillary fit in? -- but the point seems to be that Sunday night's Democratic debate provided O'Reilly with an opportunity to put Trump's name in the same sentence as Lincoln's without being laughed off the television.

"The media loves to mock Donald Trump for dubious things he says, but Sanders makes Trump look like Abraham Lincoln," he said. "Here's what Mr. Bernie wants to do: Destroy Wall Street and the big banks. Provide each American with free healthcare -- kind of."

O'Reilly characterized Sanders' health care plan as taxing "affluent Americans to pay for the government-run health industry and [outlawing] private health insurance. Also, free tuition at all public colleges and universities, free childcare for millions of Americans, and mandatory family leave whereby companies would be forced to pay for both men and women to take time off after babies are born."

In short, he said, "this list of Sanders' freebies is endless, and the unintended consequences of this are simple: a bankrupt nation."

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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Abraham Lincoln Aol_on Bernie Sanders Bill O'reilly Elections 2016 Fox News The Democratic Party Video