ABC News' Raelyn Johnson reports: In a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Nev., Democratic hopeful John Edwards defended himself against Bill O’Reilly’s slamming a regular part of his stump speech that thousands of homeless vets are sleeping under bridges.
“In a country with as much wealth as America has, for us to have as many as 200,000 veterans who go to bed under bridges, go to sleep under bridges, or on grates, and who are homeless... This is immoral, and it’s wrong. And we, America, we have a responsibility to do something about it,” Edwards repeated tonight, speaking at US Veterans, a non profit organization that reintegrates homeless vets back into society.
Last night, on Fox's "The O’Reilly Factor," guest Ed Schultz, a syndicated radio talk show host, suggested that Edwards needs to expand on his two Americas theme. O’Reilly jumped in:
O'REILLY: Well, we're still looking for all the veterans sleeping under the bridges, Ed. So, if you find anybody, let us know. Because that's all the guy said for the last...SCHULTZ: Well, they're out there, Bill, don't kid yourself.O'REILLY: They may be out there, but there are not many of them out there, OK. So, if you know where there is a veteran sleeping under a bridge, you call me immediately, and we will make sure that man does not do it.
Tonight, speaking in front of a roomful of homeless vets, Edwards responded, “I heard that, last night, Bill O'Reilly, who's a talk show host, who's heard that I have said this about hundreds of thousands of veterans who don't have a place to live, and were homeless. And he challenged me about whether that's true or not, whether, in fact, we have that many veterans who don't have a place to live, and some of them are sleeping under bridges. Well, he ought to start by coming to Las Vegas, if he wants to know what's going on.
“America has the responsibility to do something about this. We do. And the fact that this talk show host, Bill O’Reilly, is willing to speak out that blatantly, when he has no idea what he’s talking about, is an example of how America doesn’t understand the problem, doesn’t understand how serious this issue is.”