Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly made a boo boo Wednesday when he dubiously claimed that Republicans were not invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. They were invited, it’s just that none of them decided to attend.
All three of the presidents who spoke at the event were Democrats, and indeed, there were no GOP officials who participated in the ceremonies. This led some to wonder whether Republicans were in fact ousted from participation, but that’s not really the case.
Presidents Bush and Bush declined their invitations citing health issues. House Speaker John Boehner was invited, but declined in order to speak at a Congressional event. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was also invited, but declined to attend a scheduled meeting with oil lobbyists.
Jeb Bush and John McCain declined for unspecified reasons, but every member of Congress reportedly received an invitation.
But O’Reilly was apparently told by his staffers that GOP officials never even got the call. He hosted Democratic strategist James Carville on The O’Reilly Factor Wednesday, and asked why no black GOP officials spoke at the event.
He pointed out the the NAACP and “some other liberal groups” organized the event, and that “no Republican or conservative” was invited to the event. O’Reilly asked if he was wrong about his information, and Carville admitted he didn’t know.
O’Reilly does often correct the record when he’s handed false information, so we’ll let you know if he issues a correction on tonight’s episode.
Here’s the full clip of O’Reilly talking with Carville about the March on Washington anniversary. The full clip, not the truncated one you’ll get at Media Matters.