“Donald Trump made a tactical mistake by continuing to suggest the election may be rigged,” he said on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Thursday. “That may play well with Trump’s base but he needs to win over independents and people who are skeptical of him.”
O’Reilly also played a clip of the GOP presidential candidate saying he’d “look at it at the time” before deciding whether or not to accept the results of the election.
“Talking Points does not understand why Donald Trump does not understand that stuff like that hurts him,” O’Reilly said.
Earlier in the day, O’Reilly was even harsher in his assessment of the debate performance, telling the “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” radio show that Trump got “sidetracked on this rigged election thing.”
Although O’Reilly refused to say that Trump was done, he certainly didn’t sound like he was planning to attend a Trump inauguration, calling the talk of a “rigged” election a miscalculation that wouldn’t win over any voters.
“You just can’t play to your base because your base isn’t big enough to win,” O’Reilly said, according to audio posted online by Mediaite. “So that’s the mistake he made and I don’t know if he can recover from that.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.