During the May 7 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, discussing the potential for a presidential election between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, Dick Morris stated: “And the determinant in the election will be whether we believe that Barack Obama is what he appears to be, or is he somebody who's sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system and is more in line with [Reverend Jeremiah] Wright's views?” Morris later claimed, “Now [Obama] has to be not Reverend Wright. He has to go to the Iwo Jima memorial [Unites States Marine Corps War Memorial] and talk about Americans' sacrifice.”
From the May 7 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Look, any story that comes across our desk that we feel folks should know about, we're going to break.
MORRIS: My point is that the source of negatives against Obama in this race --
MORRIS: -- is not John McCain. It's going to be the conservative media. And you're going -- and the liberal media is sort of out to lunch. And they only cover it after a couple of weeks, and then mess it up.
O'REILLY: Yes, but wait a minute. You're diminishing the liberal media; that's a huge machine. NBC, CNN, The New York Times will be outwardly rooting for Barack Obama. They will ruthlessly cut up John McCain. I don't think you just dismiss that.
MORRIS: There will be a lot of that, but John McCain is a given in this race. The variant is Barack Obama. John McCain is like the lever in the middle. And Obama's positives and negatives seesaw. And that will determine the race. And the determinant in the election will be whether we believe that Barack Obama is what he appears to be, or is he somebody who's sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system and is more in line with Wright's views?
And that dialogue is going to be the key event that's going to be going on over the summer. And Obama has to win that dialogue. The reason Obama won North Carolina and almost won Indiana was not that his campaign was great or Hillary was bad or nobody bought the gas tax. It was that he answered Reverend Wright. And that answer really was effective and productive and really good.
Now -- but it's not going to stand the test of time. Because this guy, who used to have to convince people he wasn't a Muslim, now is electable only if he can convince people he never goes to church. Because he has got to persuade people that he wasn't in the pew when Wright talked about his stuff.
O'REILLY: Interesting. Now, if you're advising Barack Obama, he's got to, as you said -- and I agree with you. I don't think it's Reverend Wright. I think Reverend Wright's over, unless there's some other crazy thing that comes out. But I do think it's a race -- a race thing.
MORRIS: Well, the way --
O'REILLY: How do you handle that thing?
MORRIS: Obama got into the election and was popular because he was not Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.
O'REILLY: That's right.
MORRIS: Never mentioned their names, but he said, “I'm the other guy.”
MORRIS: Now he has to be not Reverend Wright. He has to go to the Iwo Jima memorial and talk about Americans' sacrifice.
O'REILLY: Well, what about his wife?
MORRIS: He has to --
O'REILLY: Doesn't his wife have to do that, too?
MORRIS: She does, too, but he has to take -- he has to go and celebrate American action on AIDS, celebrate --
O'REILLY: So on the Fourth of July, he's got to be everywhere.