July 14, 2011

Who's Really to Blame for Debt Ceiling Standoff?

Guests: Juan Williams, Fox News contributor

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 14, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Congressional leaders have been meeting at the White House with President Obama to try and hammer out a debt ceiling deal. But tonight, the White House has announced that lawmakers will not be asked to gather at the White House on Friday. Instead, we have learned that the president will spend his time tomorrow with his fans in the mainstream Obama-mania media when he holds yet another press conference.

And joining me now with reaction to all of this, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams. Juan, welcome back.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to be with you, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. I want to first get into this issue of Eric Cantor's comments and I want to get your reaction to this. He said, the fact that we are here today to raise the debt ceiling is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means the buck stops here. Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices on the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and failure of leadership. America deserves better. I will oppose and tend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.

Reaction?

WILLIAMS: Well, it's just incredible to me that a man who is talking about leadership, a man who is elected to be a great American leader, Eric Cantor, is totally abdicating all responsibility. And saying, you know what? I'm not willing to make a deal. The president is offering $3 in cuts which is what Republicans and Eric Cantor and John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have been asking for, $3 in spending cuts, shrink the size of government for every one dollar he's asking in terms of a tax hike so we can have shared sacrifice, so it is not just weight on the backs of moms and grandmoms and soldiers. That everybody in this country makes a commitment to shrink the size of the deficit. And there's Eric Cantor pointing fingers, playing blame games, contributing to paralysis, so that we don't get out of this hole that he keeps digging deeper.

HANNITY: All right. We are good friends. And I really --

WILLIAMS: Yes.

HANNITY: Eric Cantor didn't say that. Barack Obama said that. Barack Obama said that in 2006, when he voted against the debt ceiling.

WILLIAMS: Right. But that's a different time. Sean, that's a totally different ball of wax. I mean, clearly, Obama as the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate at that time, was taking a political position with the knowledge that President Bush had the votes necessary to raise the debt ceiling. We weren't in the situation we are in today!

HANNITY: Well, but I actually, you are ruing the one time I actually found myself in agreement with Obama, I mean, he was right then.

All right. I'm not trying to play got you. But I'm trying to make a point here. And that is, you know, here we are, this is a mess he's created. This is a mess of his own doing. This is what conservatives like myself and others, warn would happen if we followed his economic model. Now that it has failed and he spent the money, now we find ourselves in this situation. You know, do you think anybody out there would vote for a politician today, Juan, that's going to spend money like this, raise taxes like this, like this president has? Is this what America voted for with hope and change?

WILLIAMS: Sean, my hat's off to you. And I think off to many of the Republicans who right now are so intransitive in their point of view. Because, you know, what? The whole discussion has shifted to shrinking the size of the deficit. That is on everybody's mind. The president has said, it is time to shrink the deficit. We must do something about it. When you hear from Moody's, the bond rating people this week, they are going to downgrade America's numbers. That's shocking news for the whole country. Everybody, I don't care if you are a Republican, Democrat, that's bad news.

So, I think right now, if you say, what are people willing to vote for? I think people are willing to vote for politicians who say, here's a solution to the problem, let's move on. Let's not put the nation's economy at risk by allowing the debt ceiling to stay in place and our debts to run over and then the whole economy, the recession goes away.

Stop going back Sean. Stop going back to what you don't like about President Obama.

HANNITY: Listen. All I've heard for three years is president crybaby blame Bush for all his problems when he begged for this job. Campaigned for the job. And how he's such a crybaby, you know, petulant, arrogant, gets up and complains that Ronald Reagan wouldn't be treated this way. Well, I have news for him, he's no Ronald Reagan. At this point in Reagan's presidency, and he inherited a far worse economy, we were in the middle of a recovery by this point.

WILLIAMS: Look, you are calling him president crybaby. You are going back to things that happened years ago. And you are comparing Ronald.

HANNITY: He compared himself --

WILLIAMS: Let's get back to the substance of this discussion right now.

HANNITY: All right.

WILLIAMS: Let's talk about what is going on right now because this is really serious.

HANNITY: I'm going to give you what's happening.

WILLIAMS: And you just heard from Karl Rove the Republicans right now are trying to get on the offensive because, you know, what? That kind of attitude, which is to say, we delight in saying no, no, no. Is not working with the voters who say, you know, we got a real problem. It's time for big boys to come in the room and get this thing straightened out.

HANNITY: But raising taxes during a recession, another Obama quote, I won't say it's Eric Cantor. Raising taxes in a recession is foolish that was President Obama. Right now, the Gallup poll comes out today, a generic Republican beats him by eight points on every metric and measure on the economy, he is either in the low 30s or high 30s.

WILLIAMS: Now, wait a minute. Now, wait a minute. You're not playing games here, are you?

HANNITY: That's it.

WILLIAMS: You are playing games again because you know that there's not one Republican who is running right now --

HANNITY: I'm not playing games.

WILLIAMS: Who head-to-head beats President Obama. So you are going about some ideal generic, possible Republican candidate --

HANNITY: Eight points?

WILLIAMS: Because you just want everybody who is angry at President Obama to somehow throw him out. But let me just say this to you, Sean.

HANNITY: He deserves to be thrown out.

WILLIAMS: It is time to stop playing these games and talk about the real issue. And the real issue is right now --

HANNITY: I'm going to tell you Juan, one last thing.

WILLIAMS: Go ahead.

HANNITY: You know what the difference between conservative and liberals are, is you know, liberals can be for everything, they could be for health care, they could be for, you know, the social welfare state. They can be for the nanny state. They don't oppose anything.

Conservatives have to make the tough decisions and then they get demagogued by a president who is even using old people as he is in this case as a pawn in this chess game when he's needlessly and purposely scaring them when he knows we have the money to give them their Social Security checks. And he's lying to the American people when he says otherwise.

WILLIAMS: This is ridiculous. And, you know, what? I can't believe this is coming from the same guy who was all about death panels and job killing bills and steering seniors when it came to the health care proposal.

HANNITY: I was right.

WILLIAMS: You were wrong. And of course there is no such thing as any death panel. But let me just tell you something.

HANNITY: You wait.

WILLIAMS: In this instance, right now President Obama is the one that's saying, here is -- here are cuts --

HANNITY: He's scaring old people. I got to go.

WILLIAMS: I'm willing to go forward on serious cuts. I'm even willing to look at entitlements and anger my left-wing base in order to get a deal and it's Cantor and the people on the right who won't even talk!

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

HANNITY: Juan, you should see it's despicable. Don't use old people and lie to the American people when that money is there. We take in $200 billion of money.

WILLIAMS: Money is not there! Hey, Sean, do you think Ben Bernake --

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

HANNITY: We take in $200 billion of money for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and to pay-off the debt. We have enough money.

WILLIAMS: That is not true! Sean, you shouldn't say things like that it hurts your credibility! You think Ben Bernanke the chairman of the Fed --

HANNITY: I'll bet you with the amount of money. I'll prove it to you.

WILLIAMS: Do you think that Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary.

HANNITY: I'll got to run. I'm getting yelled at. They're yelling at me.

WILLIAMS: Do you think that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner who say we need a deal are supposed, are just making this up?

HANNITY: We're going to give you the last word. Juan Williams, good to see you.

WILLIAMS: They are not making it up, Sean!

HANNITY: I'm going to send you the numbers in my e-mail tonight. I'm going to bring it up in our next segment coming up.

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: Alright! But I'm telling you, serious people --

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