10/02/2012 09:08 am ET Updated Dec 02, 2012

Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham Clash Over Romney Debate Strategy (VIDEO)

Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham clashed on Tuesday's "Fox and Friends" over what strategy Mitt Romney should employ during Wednesday's debate.

Ingraham is O'Reilly's regular guest host, but the two diverged over how Romney should go after President Obama.

Initially, though, the two seemed in agreement. O'Reilly said Romney should shrug off any potential press criticism and "smack the president like Laura Ingraham would smack him." Ingraham heartily endorsed this.

Co-host Brian Kilmeade then said he had a "fascinating point": that Romney will have an easier time than John McCain because he is fighting an incumbent with a record. O'Reilly agreed, and said that Romney should take a page from Ronald Reagan's playbook against Jimmy Carter.

"The way that Reagan did it was authoritative but kind of folksy," he said. "You gotta take the edge off a a little bit ... you gotta do it with more of a twinkle in your eye than a malice." This got Ingraham on edge.

"No, no," she said off-camera. She then said, "Bill, why is 'The O'Reilly Factor' and 'Fox and Friends' so popular?"

"But I don't show malice," O'Reilly said. "One of those crazy right wing talk show hosts is off the air, I understand. Savage? Isn't he off the air? Because he's malicious."

"You call him crazy and right-wing?" Ingraham said. "Oh, I mean, what is -- first of all, Michael Savage, you might not like him, he has millions of people who follow him because he's a talented broadcaster."

"He's malicious, that's what he is, and if Romney starts to do that, if people start to sense that it's personal --" O'Reilly said.

"We're not talking about [talk radio]," Ingraham said. "I'm sorry, Laura. You're wrong," O'Reilly cut her off. "Come on."

"You're creating paper tigers, Bill!" Ingraham said.

Ingraham has been a strong critic of Romney's in the past, but on Tuesday, she said she had recently seen him give some "amazing" speeches in New York.

Watch video via Mediaite.



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