This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Bret Baier" from September 7, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE PENCE, (R) INDIANA: This isn't just about the extremist views of one man. The president should suspend any future appointment of so-called czars while the administration and the Congress carefully examines the background and qualifications of the more than 30 individuals who have been appointed to these czar positions.
VALERIE JARRETT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: We were so delighted to be able to recruit him into the White House. We have been watching him, really, for — he's not that old — for as long as he has been active out in Oakland in all of the ways that he has — creative ideas that he has. And now we have captured that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER, "SPECIAL REPORT" HOST: That is Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, talking about Van Jones, who was the green jobs czar until this weekend, when he resigned late into the evening, actually, early Sunday morning.
With the release, the White House tried to step away, saying it was Jones' decision to resign. There you see Valerie Jarrett commenting just two weeks ago, August 15.
Here is part of the resignation statement from Van Jones: "On the eve of historic votes for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide." So let's bring in our panel about all of this — Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of "The Weekly Standard," Mort Kondracke, Executive Editor of "Roll Call," and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Charles, we did a story about how little coverage elsewhere there has been about Van Jones, but the fact that he signed on to this 9/11 petition that said the government was complicit in the 9/11 attacks and some of the other things, a long list that he said in his career, were not talked about in that final resignation statement.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: No, and, look, it's clear that what did him in was the truther's statement. All the other stuff — you know, you can have a communist or two in the White House. You can have a guy who uses expletives about the opposition. But you can't have somebody in government that believes there was a Bush conspiracy to allow, to deliberately allow 9/11. That is beyond the pale. It is a rancid paranoid politics that is beyond radicalism.
If that hadn't happened, I suspect he would still be in office. So that is what did him in.
And here he is protesting it was a smear campaign and lies. If they were all lies, why did he apologize twice?
And then secondly, you get him or his defenders saying that he didn't carefully read the petition. The petition is quite easy to read and plain. It speaks about the government officials who may have deliberately allowed the 9/11 attack.
Now, this is a guy who has been touted as a graduate of Yale Law School. So where is the fine print here? Where is the ambiguity and the difficulty and the difficult syntax that he couldn't decipher?
I assure you that any of the schoolchildren that Obama will be addressing tomorrow would read it and understand it. So his explanation is completely incredible. He obviously knew what he was signing. And that's what did him in at 12:01 on a Sunday, usually the time for executions.
BAIER: On a holiday weekend.
MORT KONDRACKE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "ROLL CALL": I think the most serious thing about all of this was not that not only was Jones not vetted and required to fill out this extensive questionnaire that Cabinet officers and subcabinet officers are required to do, but none of the czars apparently in the White House.
Now, this administration has arranged itself in you in such a way that policy gets made out of the control of the Congress by White House or departmental czars who are not subject to confirmation, not subject to questioning by the Congress, whereas the Cabinet officers and subcabinet officers merely execute policy.
So if they're not — they don't have to go through the confirmation process and that whole vetting system, and they're not even vetted in the White House, who is vetting them? Now, what needs to happen here is that the vetting process needs to be vetted.
FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Yes, I go along with that. Mort is right about that.