In March, during a discussion about the constitutionality of Obamacare on "The Factor," Bill O'Reilly declared: "This is absolutely a mandate, it's absolutely a force, it's absolutely police powers from the federal government.
The Fox News host then offered a prediction: the Supreme Court would strike it down. "It's going to be 5-4," he said. "And if I'm wrong I will come on and I will play [this] clip and I will apologize for being an idiot."
On Monday, O'Reilly made good on that promise—sort of.
"I'm not really sorry, but I am a man of my word so I apologize for not factoring in the John Roberts situation," O'Reilly said, referring to the conservative Supreme Court chief justice who voted to uphold the mandate. "Truthfully, I never in a million years thought the chief justice would go beyond the scope of the Commerce Clause debate and into taxation. I may be an idiot for not considering that."
During his "Talking Points" segment, O'Reilly posed the question, "Should conservatives despise John Roberts?"
"The truth is John Roberts wanted to find a way not to strike down a congressional law, and he found one," O'Reilly said.
"It is hard to believe Justice Roberts does not understand the enormous power he has delivered to the federal government," he continued. "According to his reasoning, the feds can now use the IRS to hurt any American who does not do what the feds think they should do. How is that different from a totalitarian government using agencies to control behavior? China does that, Cuba does that."
And he went on. "So what should conservatives do about John Roberts? Hate him? Vilify him?" No, O'Reilly said. "The chief justice made a mistake. His ruling gives the feds far too much power. But he did so to avoid judicial activism, so there was a reason. Instead of name calling, the right must put forth something better than Obamacare so that Congress will repeal it."