Obama defends record in pre-Super Bowl interview

BY Kayla Ruble  February 2, 2014 at 6:35 PM EST

President Barack Obama sat down with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Sunday for a pre-Super Bowl interview.

During the brief conversation, the two exchanged words on topics including the Healthcare.gov website, the Benghazi attacks and the IRS audit scandal.

In a tense exchange about Mr. Obama’s handling of the 2012 attacks against two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, Mr. O’Reilly said detractors claim the president delayed calling it a terrorist attack to benefit his campaign. Obama responded tersely, saying, “they believe it because folks like you tell them that.”

Mr. O’Reilly pressed the president on the problematic Healthcare.gov rollout, repeatedly asking why Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had not been fired. He also asked whether the president thought telling Americans that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was his “biggest mistake.”

When posed with a viewer question about why the president wanted to “fundamentally transform the nation,” Mr. Obama said he didn’t think “fundamentally transforming the country was necessary.”

“I think that what we have to do,” he said, “is make sure that here in America, if you work hard, you can get ahead.”

This is the second time Mr. Obama and Mr. O’Reilly have faced off in a pre-Super Bowl scenario. The first took place prior to the 2011 game.

An extended portion of the interview will air Monday on The O’Reilly Factor.