The Oscar race and the 2012 presidential race merged into one on Monday night’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” as Harvey Weinstein talked politics and his company’s spate of awards contenders with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.
Weinstein, who hosted a fundraiser for President Obama in August, defended the president’s record even as O’Reilly pointed out Obama’s poll numbers.
“Everybody has got ups and downs, you and me have ups and downs in show business,” Weinstein said, adding that he doesn’t think that Obama “will have any problem” winning reelection.
“He’s just a man of brave intellect. He’s a man of great moral character.”
Weinstein said that he supported the Buffet rule, but when he said that he would be willing to give up some of his income, O’Reilly pressed him on how much.
“Honestly, I haven’t thought about the percent,” Weinstein said, as O’Reilly, who has chided calls for raising taxes on upper incomes, cited government waste and the Solyndra failure.
“You have to give back something in this country,” Weinstein said.
After some pretty polite sparring over Obama’s record, Weinstein finally concluded, “We just disagree on what is working and what is not working.”
On the economy, Weinstein said, “Obama didn’t start this. He inherited this. At the end of the day, he did not cause it.”
Weinstein said that Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Tom Hanks were some of the stars that could have influence on the public and their perceptions of politics, adding that their appeal comes from being “middle of the road.”
Weinstein is in the midst of promoting three Weinstein Co. Oscar contenders, including “My Week with Marilyn,” “The Artist” and “The Iron Lady.” The latter, a biopic of Margaret Thatcher, has raised suspicion among some conservatives that it would be critical of the legendary British prime minister. But Weinstein noted that the movie received the endorsement of conservative New York Post colunist Kyle Smith.
“Your audience is going to like the movie,” Weinstein told O’Reilly.
The complete interview is below.