This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," February 16, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JON SCOTT, HOST: A week full of news, North Korea tests a nuclear bomb. Pope Benedict calls it quits, a historic move. President Obama gives his State of the Union speech setting the tone for the next four years. His legacy on the line: a Republican senator gives the GOP response and gets a little thirsty doing it. A major manhunt ends in California. The wanted killer dead in a burning blaze. The New York Times reviews a car, but the real facts are missing. And Sarah Palin slaps The Washington Post for stupidity. Which stories made our list? Find out next on "Fox News Watch."
On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor, Judy Miller. Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of the American Conservative Magazine, and Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers. I'm Jon Scott, "Fox News Watch" is on right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO: Members of Congress. I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you, the president of the United States. Thank you.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you.
OBAMA: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: President Obama delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday night pushing his agenda items. Setting the tone for his second term and trying in part to cement his legacy, bold and aggressive, that's what we heard the speech was going to be. Kirsten, before it was actually delivered, most in the media seemed to give it a thumbs up. You had kind of a different take?
KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY AND DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: Yeah, well, I mean, I thought it was a pretty underwhelming speech, actually. And the reality is you could almost write the articles before they come out or what people are going to say. Every speech that Barack Obama gives, they think is brilliant, even when it's transparently not brilliant. And I think when you talk -- when I talked to a lot of Democrats behind the scenes, they are like, yeah, underwhelming speech. But for some reason, the media continues to insist that every single thing he does is amazing, when it was just very uninspired. A bunch of old rehashed ideas that we've -- pre-K? I mean what? Universal pre-K? Is this 1980, I mean I don't -- you know, it was -- just and yet, they raved about it.
SCOTT: Well, again, yes, Bob Schieffer on CBS said it was much better than his inaugural address, on the "Today" show, Savannah Guthrie, on NBC said, he played the best card he had in a very political fight, which is the emotion card.
JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Right. I think that really gives away the way that a lot of reporters see this is a team. They
are on team Obama. And they have to crush team Republicans, and so, when their -- I mean it's like a football coach says my quarterback is the best quarterback ever.
PINKERTON: They all say it, every year. But even if it's a different quarterback. If you're in the mood of just rooting for the president to succeed and you don't mind displaying it to your TV audience, then you sound exactly like Savannah Guthrie.
SCOTT: Well, is there too much cheerleading, Judy?
JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that if you were a conservative you tended not to like the speech. If you are liberal you tended to like the speech. I think with Kirsten, I have to agree that this has become -- the reaction has become as predictable as the speech itself. But there was at least something from Aaron David Miller who is writing in "Noting Dash", you know, there was no foreign policy this week, and he called Mr. Obama the Extricator in Chief, which was a phrase I rather liked, but other than that, I really found the commentary to be quite dreary about a quite uninspired, but effective speech.
POWERS: But let me just -- to the point of the most liberals like these things. There's nothing in this as a particularly liberal. And it's gotten to the point now, in order to be a liberal you have to like every stupid idea that Barack Obama has.
POWERS: You know, and it's not -- there was really nothing in there that was particularly inspiring ..
POWERS: Again, is it 1980?
CAL THOMAS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well ...
POWERS: I don't understand, like, why are-I mean the economy isn't -- turning around now and he wants to talk about raising the minimum wage? I mean, it just isn't-- this is not an inspiring reaction to what's going on.
THOMAS: Is it really in a column this week, thank you, I have no higher authority than myself to quote. The president's contribution to climate change, apparently is recycling old ideas. I mean the media are so deep in the tank for this guy that if they came up they'd suffer from the bends. Erik Wemple of "The Washington Post" wrote in a blog post this week, he didn't call the president a liar, but he came real close to it. He said all of his claims were fantastic. You got -- he mentioned Head Start. He wants pre-K, three to four, Head Start has been shown to be a failure.
PINKERTON: Wemple is a smart reporter, but I will say one thing, I wrote a piece, speaking of ...
PINKERTON: And my credentials will be on the show, for "American Conservative," in which I pointed out the president did talk specifically about Alzheimer's. He made a point that medical research pays for itself over and over again. If we ever want to get a handle on entitlement spending, the only way to do it is by curing diseases as opposes to caring for the diseases. I think that was fresh and again, I think unfortunately the mentality of just Democrats and Republicans, that point got lost.
SCOTT: And then there was this. Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave the Republican response his speech noted not so much for the content, but for this. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: I mean I've been here in Washington. Nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. The choices in just between big government or big business, what we need is an accountable, efficient and effective government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: Well, after that swig of water, CNN implied that it was a career ender. On MSNBC, they showed a replay of his swig, approximately 155 times.