Can Obama administration fix the VA?

Published Saturday, May 31, 2014 / The Five
With Kimberly Guilfoyle , Andrea Tantaros , Dana Perino , Jesse Watters , Bob Beckel

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," May 31, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: I'm Kimberly Guilfoyle and this is the Fox News alert.

Some very big news at the White House, on two fronts. This morning, President Obama announced the resignation of his embattled V.A. secretary, General Eric Shinseki. And then, just hours later, the announcement of another resignation, his long time press secretary, Jay Carney, will be moving on.

Now, we're going to get to Carney's exit in a moment on "The Five," but first to the changes at the V.A., here's the president earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A few minutes ago, Secretary Shinseki offered me his own resignation, with considerable regret, I accepted. I am grateful for his service as are many veterans across the country. He does not want to be a distraction because his priority is to fix the problem and make sure our vets are getting the care that they need. My assessment was unfortunately that he was right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: And here is General Shinseki today just a short while before the announcement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. ERIC SHINSEKI (RET), FORMER V.A. SECRETARY: I was too trusting of some and I accept it as accurate reports that I now know have been misleading with regard to patient wait times. I will not defend it because it is indefensible. I apologize as a senior leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: The general's deputy, Sloan Gibson, was named as the new acting secretary of the V.A.

So, the political problem has now been fixed, but the issue remains that the vets have been betrayed by this administration. You may remember President Obama promised he'd be cutting the red tape and bureaucracy at the V.A. all the way back in 2009, not long after he took office.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We're keeping our promise to fulfill another top priority at the V.A. Cutting the red tape and inefficiencies that caused backlogs and delays in the claims process.

America will not let you down. We will take care of our own.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: The question is, then, has America been let down? Have we, in fact, left behind those that are most important and valuable to our country, those veterans that fearlessly serve and give so much and ask so little in return? Was this enough today or was it the right move, or is this just going to delay some of the changes that we would hope going to be forthcoming?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: I don't think it's going to make that big of a difference, I don't. I think it's a story today because it's a big deal because so many have been asking General Shinseki to step down, to say they are going to investigate crimes and they're gong to do an HR change is not going to fix a system, the V.A. system, which is government-run health care, single payer, that model, that is fundamentally flawed. This is just, I think, a deflection strategy.

Look, the V.A. has been funded generously by not just Democrats, but by Republicans. And I would call on every single veterans group to stand up today and have Republicans and Democrats take a really good look at this model and consider reforming it for our veterans, because right now, you hear all these politicians, Kimberly, standing up, talking about veterans, we have to put them in first.

We have to do all these different things and reform, and we're going to investigate. Lots of big promises. But until they actually make it an incentive for the performance to be better for these veterans and consider actually radically changing and moving away from this model, it will be the exact same thing we've seen year after year, decade after decade.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. Because the current model operates as a disincentive for quality care.

Dana, talk to me I know it's a sad day I'm quite certain for a war hero, for General Shinseki, who I know really wanted to honorably serve the troops, loves the veterans. Tough day for him.

What did you think of his comment?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: And even up until this morning, General Shinseki followed through on an event that he had planned for homeless veterans, and I think because he was trained in the military, his instinct and his training and his gut was to finish the job and to take responsibility for it.

I think two main words that were important today was: one, President Obama recognized and actually uses the word "distraction." He said that General Shinseki understood that he did not want to be a distraction. But I don't think, as you mentioned earlier, the political problem goes away, I don't think necessarily that that is true. Perhaps in the immediate crisis of the moment, but if you have a problem in Phoenix, I imagine that when we get to the bottom of other systemic problems across the country, that it would be Phoenix times multiples and then the question is one of governing.

The other important word from a messaging standpoint today was that General Shinseki used the word "apology" and one of the things people have been asking for from the administration, from him in particular, was an apology for the lack of oversight.

The governing part of the job in an administration particular in a White House is one -- you know, it's not fun. It's not sexy. It doesn't get you any selfies or hashtags.

But what the White House needs to understand is that -- especially in the last two years, if any sort of scandal bubbles up, that scandal has already happened at the agency level. By the time it gets to the White House, they already have a problem.

So, the management of the agencies becomes even more important in the last two years in my opinion.

GUILFOYLE: OK. Well, well said.

Now, Jesse, so, is this going to be enough? I mean, do you think people are really satisfied? Because we at least, perhaps this is just an interim appointment. But someone that worked right under Shinseki. How does this solve the problem or move it forward for quality care for our veterans?

JESSE WATTERS, CO-HOST: I mean, I don't think it moves it forward at all. This guy was in Shinseki's inner circle. I know he reformed the USO. I don't know if he has the credibility.

I think he was one of the managers that were accepting these, quote/unquote, "lies" from these administrators about these wait times and cooking the books.

But I want to talk about for a second -- Obama said today something pretty stunning. I mean, he was claiming credit for all of these amazing things that were happening. We looked into this, he actually caused some of these disability backlog claims himself and wasn't prepared to handle it.

In 2010, you know what they did? They loosened the requirements to get compensation for Agent Orange and all these things. It created a flood of new veterans claims, about a quarter million, into a system and they just weren't prepared.

Another thing, they created this wait list scandal. In 2010, what they did was say, we're going to link bonus performances to reducing these wait times to 14 days. So, everybody took advantage of it and then they started juicing the system and lying.

So, they are responsible for two of the main components in this scandal and all of a sudden, to say he's accountable, "I'm accountable," the president said, it doesn't make any sense. I mean, I remember the left, I know Bob likes to see it, to hear the left, went after Chris Christie over bridgegate because even though he didn't order the bridge closed, you know, it was the culture of corruption. It was this culture, this bullying culture that infected the rest of this administration.

Was it the president's culture that infected the V.A.? I mean, if you hold it to the same standard, I would love to hear your answer.

GUILFOYLE: Well, it's interesting today too, and I'm going to let Bob have an opportunity to respond to all this, gone on today, in a very busy news day. But I'd like you all to take a listen at home to the president who, on one hand, accepts responsibility, but then also harkens back to the past and a former administration that he feels is responsible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: It's my administration, I always take responsibility for whatever happens and this is an area that I have a particular concern with. This predates my presidency. When I was in the Senate, I was on the Veterans Affairs Committee. I heard, firsthand, veterans who were not getting the kinds of services and benefits that they had earned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: Bob?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Well, let me say a couple of things. One what Shinseki denounced this morning was a series of actions on his part, including doing away with bonuses, and a number of other things, and making sure nobody this year got any bonuses, with the right direction.

I'm not at all convinced that he was prepared to step down. I think his decision was made after that event this morning, and I think after he heard Obama say last night, we're going to have a serious conversation. Probably, he's a smart enough guy to know the writing is on the wall. That's one.

Two, I think that it's fair to say that when Obama took over, the problems in the Veterans Administration hospitals have gotten probably worse, as Jesse points out. On the other hand, you can't deny that Agent Orange was something people should be treated for.

WATTERS: I agree.

BECKEL: But also the backlog of people just getting benefits veterans was almost a million people. That's down to virtually nothing now. That doesn't have anything to do directly with the V.A. hospital, but there have been a lot of things, and veterans homeless people have been taken care of.

So, there has been a lot of movement on the part of the administration. Regrettably, systemically, the hospital side of it has not worked well.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

Andrea, so, do you -- when you hear the president speak, accepting responsibility but at the same time pivoting and saying it really isn't his responsibility, although he still admitted that he was aware of this as a U.S. senator and serving on that committee, I don't think that helped him very much.

TANTAROS: No, and while this is his completely responsibility to oversee, especially now that he is informed, and he did read about the problems in the newspaper, that he wasn't aware before this, it is his responsibility.

But, again, I'm going to go back to this, Kimberly -- every single abusive and dysfunctional issue with the V.A. system, you can find in Europe with a single-payer model. And this is a system that Republicans and Democrats must call for to be dismantled because both parties have generously funded it. They get in these closed door meetings with lobbyists. They talk about reimbursements. They talk about money.

Now, Obama as a president I think is a wrong person to actually improve the management of this thing, because he's constitutionally incapable of seeing the reason that these two health care systems will not work. I mean, he has no understanding of market forces in health care. He doesn't understand choice, competition. He doesn't understand the model. He doesn't believe in it.

This is what he believes in. The single payer system is the system for the progressives.

GUILFOYLE: What he prefers.

BECKEL: If you put the Veterans Administration patients into the private health care system, the estimates of the costs over the currently budgeted amount for veterans will be up to half a trillion dollars. Now, if we want to pay that, if we want to turn it all over to what you consider to be an effective system, which I consider to be as lousy a system as the Veterans Administration, most of these hospitals in America, but you want to turn that over -- if you want to turn that over -- every one of these veterans --

TANTAROS: We spend money on funding surveys on alcoholism with prostitutes and turtle tunnels and all this crazy stuff in Washington, D.C., you waste all this money. So, you are saying it's too expensive to give these veterans a voucher so they can go to private hospitals and get the care that they deserve because this system is failing?

BECKEL: But you are putting -- first of all, I think there's nothing wrong with reports on alcoholism and prostitution. One area I'm very familiar with, the other I'm somewhat familiar.

But the second thing is --

GUILFOYLE: The turtle tunnel?

BECKEL: The turtle tunnel, I know nothing about.

But we put those costs up against a half a trillion dollars, then you are talking about serious --

TANTAROS: Obamacare is a trillion bucks.

BECKEL: It is in the private health care system.

TANTAROS: And don't you think the veterans are worth at least a trillion?

BECKEL: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: You keep talking about deficits, go ahead.

PERINO: No one has been arguing until today until today they tried to do a little bit of cover up on it, that there hasn't been enough money, there are structural problems, this goes back decades with the Congress because everybody wants to be for the veterans, but the oversight and the management of it has not been up to par obviously.

But I -- it's interesting thing about this incentivizing. One of things we complain about is that government doesn't act like a business. So, when you try to have government act like a business, you have to do it all the way. You can't just do it part way because if you do it part way, then you end up with this situation.

There's also an interesting thing, historically speaking at the V.A., you have not had officers being the head of the V.A., because most of the people that are being treated under the V.A. were enlisted people. They weren't necessarily officers, and so, there's always a little bit of wariness between the two.

There was somebody that was a really good head, James Peake. He had been a surgeon in the army. He was a battlefield doctor. He served at the end of the Bush administration.

Somebody like that can maybe pull all those different functions to go under one umbrella with some solid military-style leadership would be good. One thing I would like to throw out there, if we don't privatize the whole thing, what if we just had DOD run it, because even though that is a huge government agency, it's really the only one that works pretty well.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

There's something to be learned from that department, I think, perhaps.

WATTERS: That's a good idea. I don't think we need to privatize everything. I think this is a straw man argument here.

But let's listen to what the president said today. He's bragging about spending $40 billion more or something like that. He's spending all this man. And then in the same breath, he says that these computer systems are all outdated, they are from the `70s, they don't make any sense, OK?

So, where did the money go? OK? And you want the guy that created healthcare.gov to be now in charge of updating the software at the V.A.?

GUILFOYLE: Wow.

WATTERS: And then at the same time, he also said, there's a doctor shortage. OK? This is the guy that took doctors away from people under Obamacare. And all of a sudden, he's responsible for getting doctors in there? It doesn't make any sense.

GUILFOYLE: It doesn't sound like a good idea.

BECKEL: The idea of privatizing, people forget that before Obamacare, if you look back and say it was a wonderful system. It was a terribly managed by the insurance companies and by the hospitals. They functioned worse than the V.A., many of them do, private hospitals, for-profit hospitals.

WATTERS: You're saying for-profit hospitals.

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: People dying on waiting list for private hospitals?

BECKEL: Sure. Sure.

WATTERS: Really?

BECKEL: You know, why because wealthy people got in first, that's why.

GUILFOYLE: Oh my gosh.

WATTERS: This isn't Canada, Bob. This is United States.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Look at United States, and ask yourself in these hospitals, how many poor people get treated the same people who got high level insurance, the insurance companies ripped off everybody from the beginning? I mean, why are you apologizing for the insurance companies?

WATTERS: I'm not apologizing.

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: You want to fix the private system right now, let's fix the V.A., Bob. Not attacking the private sector. Why don't you attack what's happening at the V.A.?

TANTAROS: You can keep the V.A., but why not do charter hospitals as well? The same that we do it for schools. Why not have both?

BECKEL: I don't have a problem with that idea. I don't have a problem with the idea of --

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: Why are they doing vouchers? Why?

BECKEL: Listen, the idea of turning these poor people over the care and (INAUDIBLE) of the insurance industry and the hospitals is obscene and disgraceful.

WATTERS: It's not the insurance companies. It's the doctors.

BECKEL: It's the insurance companies that run it all. Also, beyond - - insurance companies have no oversight at all. They can charge what we want to charge. They keep saying we're living at 50 percent. That's bull crap!

GUILFOYLE: Not without regulation.

Go ahead, Dana.

PERINO: OK. There's not enough time to rebut all of that. Here's one thing I think is a major problem. There -- my instinct that government should be more humble. There should be some humility that you cannot solve every problem by the government.

So, if this is a problem that we all agreed should be solved, then everything should be on the table. And maybe it is a mix of some private sector solutions with some well-run government programs, or you bring some form of private sector to try to oversee it given like ask them to work for a dollar like Mayor Bloomberg did, when he was mayor here. You work for a dollar.

Like we have the talent in America to try to solve this problem and we're not going to solve it here at "The Five." But I think at the White House, they are mistaken if they think they can get over this with one resignation of General Shinseki.

GUILFOYLE: I think you're right. And that's where we're going to leave it, but that is good place to be.

All right. Don't go anywhere, because when we come back, we're going to talk about the other resignation today in Washington. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is leaving too.

And later on, our Facebook free-for-all. It's going to be a good one. You know the drill. Send in your questions for us now on Facebook.com/TheFiveFNC.

The jam-packed Friday on "The Five" back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: I've lost my papers.

OK. Back now with that other resignation today in Washington. After announcing Shinseki's departure, President Obama returned to the podium to reveal that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is stepping down, too. Deputy Josh Earnest will take his place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: You haven't seen me enough today.

In April, Jay came to me in the Oval Office and said he was thinking about moving on, I was not thrilled to say the at least.

I'm going to miss him a lot. I will continue to rely on him as a friend and advisor. My request is that, be nice to Jay on his farewell tour. And be nice to Josh during his initiation which I'm sure will last maybe two days, or perhaps two questions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: So, what's Jay going to do now with all his spare time?

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: What are you going to do? Are you going to join any bands or anything?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I might manage my son's band which is on the verge of taking off, but I haven't made any decisions yet. I've managed over the past months to have some conversations about what my future might look like and I'm excited by some of the possibilities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Well, Bob, the press secretary job is one of the best experiences that anybody will ever have. It's such an honor.

And Jay Carney has served for quite a while under some pretty excruciating circumstances. But he did stay through the re-election, and then he did -- I'm sorry, the 2014 election. There's been some rumors out there that he was going to go. I think I saw some relief on his face today.

BECKEL: Well, first of all, I lost my paper so I'm not sure I can deal with this -- all my research is not here but I'm going to try.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: First of all, Carney had two problems. One, an obnoxious, bloated White House press corps. You may say it's the greatest job in the world for about a year, or a year and a half I imagine. But he also had an administration that gave him no breaks. I mean, the poor guy had been out there having to handle all this stuff, some of which I'm sure he didn't think was accurate, and he had to say those things.

But then you have a press corps that was tide up in the little room in the West Wing of the White House with nothing else to do except to go out and play toys and games, and that had nothing to do except call around the White House and executive office building and yell at the press secretary. I mean, I think they're all -- the worst journalists in the world as far as I'm concerned are in the West Wing of the White House.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Into a tribute to Jay Carney and to congratulate Josh Earnest, who -- OK, Josh Earnest, does he have the best name in PR?

TANTAROS: Let's hope he lives up to it.

PERINO: Well, they'll probably try to hold him to it.

TANTAROS: A lot of people don't feel that Jay Carney was being earnest. So, let's hope, maybe Josh is a little bit more.

On Bob's first point on the fact that he had a really tough, bloviating press corps -- I disagree. I think they were lap dogs for a lot of this. Not all of them.

GUILFOYLE: Not Ed Henry.

TANTAROS: I don't think that after watching Dana Perino deal with what she had to deal with -- in your tenure. It's a similar situation. You had a lot more battle scars, Dana.

BECKEL: She had lap dogs all over that place. What are you talking about?

TANTAROS: There was something in that clip that we played, though, yesterday, where it just looked like he was done and you know that he probably wanted to leave for a while and they didn't want him to leave because it would reflect poorly, and they wanted to keep consistency. But his face between Ed Henry and Jonathan Karl, it just looked so deflated.

Today, it looked like he had a face lift. Who is the happiest guy in Washington right now? It is clearly Jay Carney. He's probably going to have the best weekend anyway.

PERINO: Yes, he will. His wife and his children will certainly be glad to have dad back.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: It's true. When I left -- I stayed until the end. I think this is the other thing that's happening in the White House right now.

GUILFOYLE: Oh my gosh. Look at the FOX News makeover.

BECKEL: Good God, is that you?

PERINO: Bob, that was me.

BECKEL: I'm sorry.

PERINO: Yesterday, Eric Bolling said I was mean and B-word at the podium, and today you said I didn't look very good, which is true. But not the first part, not Eric's part.

This is the point -- at this point in a presidency, we have two years left in a presidency, you have to ask people can they go the distance, and a lot of these staffers are probably thinking, I don't know if I can make it until the very end, and the president needs fresh eyes, fresh blood and Josh Earnest also comes with a lot of background with President Obama.

WATTERS: Yes, he's -- Carney overstayed his welcome. Let's be honest.

Looks like Earnest is born in Kansas City, went to school in Texas. You know, he's an Iowa guy with the president. So, he'd get a little fresh blood in there.

But what I noticed out there today, did you see when Carney went to say good-bye to President Obama, he went for the handshake and Obama went to the hug and then he started kissing the shoulder. It was one of the most awkward thing I have ever seen two men do. OK?

PERINO: It is a little awkward.

GUILFOYLE: We did a little segment on that "The Five."

WATTERS: The bottom line, no one knows who Jay Carney is in the rest of the country, no one really cares. I think it was smart timing to do this on the same day Shinseki left. I think it sucked a little air out of there.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I've seen you kiss Bill O'Reilly on a regular basis?

WATTERS: You have?

PERINO: Not his shoulder.

(LAUGHTER)

GUILFOYLE: Not his butt.

TANTAROS: Not his shoulder.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: All right. That was fun.

Congratulations to Jay and to Josh. It will be fun to watch you and see what you do next.

OK. Next for us, we now know what Hillary Clinton wrote in the Benghazi chapter in her new book. You're going to hear that coming up.

And I'm excited for one more thing later. I made this public plea last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: I have been wrestling with a guy who put up a YouTube video about a frog on a sprinkler, and I love this video. And he will not respond for permission for me to show it to you. So, if you are watching guy with a frog on a sprinkler, please respond, and I can show the video.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Guess what? Mr. Frog Sprinkler Guy heard that and I'm going to show you the video. Bob thinks I've overhyped it, but you'd be the judge. Don't miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TANTAROS: A lot of people have questioned Hillary Clinton's legacy as secretary of state, but President Obama isn't one of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She couldn't have been more effective, more loyal.

If she were to run for president, I think she would be very effective at that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TANTAROS: If she does decide to run, she's going to face a lot of questions about her response to the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. A lot of people were wondering what she was going to say about it in her new book, but the wait is over, folks. We now have excerpts from the 34-page Benghazi chapter.

About the criticism of her response, she writes, quote, "I will not be a part of a political slug fest on the backs of dead Americans. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me."

Regarding her infamous comment on the Hill, "What difference does it make," she says, quote, "Many have conveniently chosen to interpret that phrase to mean that I was somehow minimizing the tragedy of Benghazi. Of course, that's not what I said. My point was simple: if someone breaks into your home and takes your family hostage, how much time are you going to spend focused on how the intruder spent his day as opposed to how best to rescue your loved ones and then prevent it from happening again?"

OK, Kimberly, on the first point, where she says, "I'm not going to participate in a political slugfest," a Clinton -- oh, yes -- not wanting to do a political slugfest, isn't it a strategy of putting everything in a book, getting it out there so she can just say, "It's in my book, people. I've already addressed it. Let's move on to something else"?

GUILFOYLE: That's exactly what she is going to do. It's probably a good idea, politically speaking. And if you're a Clinton, that's the way they do business. So she's hoping this is going to, like, put a bow on it. Let's move it on down the table, slide it to the end, hope it falls off, and nobody talks about it anymore. I don't think that's going to be the case. Too many people with vested interests here that want to make sure that she's held accountable, you know, for her time, as well as the Obama administration and for Benghazi.

Well, it's true, Bob, there are people that want to make sure that she's not in the White House. Is that not -- is that not a fair statement?

BECKEL: That's true.

GUILFOYLE: So they're not going to just let her write about it in a book and just forget about it, let bygones be bygones. So great for her if she got the book. I'm sure she'll do well on speaking tours, although I heard one had a hard time filling out. Right? In your state, Dana.

PERINO: Oh, really?

TANTAROS: Dana, on the second point that I read, where she talked about "I didn't want to focus on what happened leading up to it. I want to focus on how to prevent this." Have they really focused on how to prevent this? I mean, they haven't brought anybody to justice, and there really hasn't been an explanation on what they've done to really secure from future terrorist attacks?

PERINO: She says, "We may never know what happened." OK, so that is the line you're going to hear between now and if she decides to run, all the way through the campaign. And everybody will be on the same page on the Democratic side, and they will say, "We may never know what happened," and that will be their way out.

I do think that, yes, actually it is important to find out why the -- if you take her analogy, why the hostages were taken in the first place. I think that's worth knowing so you can prevent it in the future.

And also, I've got to tell you, Andrea, the answer about who pushed the video, still not answered, very murky. I understand why they released this today, because she's going to do all these interviews next week, and she wants a clean slate. She doesn't want Benghazi brought up.

But I think that, while she looks great on the book cover, I question the title of "Hard Choices." I think that -- I think it's a bad title and it's not a hopeful one, and it's one that begrudgingly, she's going to give us the gift of running for office.

TANTAROS: And you would also think, too, because he was a personal friend, she would want to find out how the intruder got into the house.

PERINO: Right.

TANTAROS: They were supposedly close, according to her.

A couple more excerpts, and then I'm going to get Bob and Jesse to respond. OK. She also had some thoughts on the media. Here's what she writes.

She says that "There has been a regrettable amount of misinformation, speculation, and flat-out deceit by some in politics and the media."

She weighs in on Susan Rice. She said that, look, "Susan stated what the intelligence community believed..."

PERINO: Not true.

TANTAROS: .".. rightly or wrongly at the time. That was the best that she or anybody could do."

And then she addresses why it was Susan Rice and not her on those Sunday shows that infamous morning. And she says, "As if appearing on a talk show is the equivalent of jury duty, where one has to have a compelling reason to get out of it. I don't see appearing on Sunday morning television as any more of a responsibility than appearing on late- night TV."

Bob, are you satisfied with those answers?

BECKEL: First of all, the idea that anything is infamous about those ridiculous Sunday talk shows is just -- there's a small pack of people here and in Washington paying attention to it.

Secondly...

TANTAROS: But I...

BECKEL: ... I think it was the most brilliant political chapter I have ever read. In answer to your questions, she did -- she's exactly right; she laid it where it should have been laid and said to everyone Republican who's now making politics, everyone over dead bodies. She laid it out; she's talked about these cretins and the secret people, starting with (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Said he's a secret man.

She also answered the question about why she had that, quote, "infamous" comment she made at Capitol Hill. I just want to say this today: this is the last time I'm ever going to talk about Benghazi. I never talk about it. And I hope every other patriotic American joins me...

PERINO: Oh, please.

TANTAROS: Do you think this will work, Jesse?

WATTERS: I'm going to poke holes full of this whole thing. OK, first of all, she was never interviewed by anybody in the committee that investigated this, No. 1.

The political slugfest on the back of four dead Americans, what was she doing in Iraq? She was ripping Bush a new one the entire time we were in during the Iraq war. Is that...

She said Rice had the best intel at the time. Not true. OK? The intel community did not say it was a video. OK?

She also said that they had been forthcoming about this the whole time. We have had -- and people have had to sue to get these documents, one of those documents, the memo showing that the White House pushed the video. OK?

And then she claimed it was a group of random attackers motivated by all different kinds of things. That's in direct contradiction to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report that said it was an al Qaeda-led event. I don't -- I don't think this is a brilliant chapter. What are you smoking, Bob?

PERINO: Bob, if you're not going to talk about it anymore, I'm just going to run the sound bite every time of how you said that Obama and Hillary together made a political decision to save his reelection effort, and that's why they lied about who pushed the video. I'm just going to play that over and over.

TANTAROS: ... in this book and you during the commercial break yesterday, we talked about this; this is a good strategy for her to put all the propaganda in a book so she can point to it. And say, "I don't want to talk about it."

WATTERS: We finally found the way to make Bob stop talking. This is brilliant.

TANTAROS: Bob, if you fall off that chair, I will laugh so hard. You have no idea.

BECKEL: Uh-huh.

TANTAROS: All right. Don't move. Our Facebook free-for-all is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WATTERS: All right. It's time for "The Five's" "Facebook Free-for- all." It's my first one, so I'm looking forward to this.

OK. Here we go. To Andrea, from Andrea V.

TANTAROS: OK.

WATTERS: What is one of the gutsiest actions you've taken, businesswise?"

TANTAROS: I -- I quit my job on Capitol Hill to move to New York to work on a campaign, and it was a very risky campaign. It was very, very shaky. And there was no guarantee you're going to win. but I did that a number of times. I moved to different cities. I moved to Buffalo once to work on a campaign. And you risk it all, because when the campaign ends, you don't have a job. And...

WATTERS: Yes. It paid off?

TANTAROS: I ate ramen noodles every day. Yes, it did. It paid off. I took a lot of risks.

WATTERS: OK. And also from Maryanne O., "My husband Phil wants to know who you wave to at the end of every 'The Five' show?"

TANTAROS: It's a secret.

WATTERS: You're not going to disclose?

TANTAROS: I can't tell. I'm not going to tell. It's somebody very special.

WATTERS: All right. Next one. Bob. This is from Stan M.

PERINO: It's about Benghazi.

WATTERS: What other career would Bob have chosen to do if he could?

BECKEL: Well, I couldn't, so -- but if I had to choose one, I think I probably would be a writer of children's books.

TANTAROS: Are you serious?

BECKEL: I'm serious.

GUILFOYLE: Are you trying to get dates right now?

BECKEL: I just think I would love to do that. It would be fun.

WATTERS: OK.

PERINO: You could still do that.

BECKEL: I still could do that.

PERINO: Rush Limbaugh did it.

WATTERS: Right on your level, Bob.

TANTAROS: Won't be the first book. Think about it.

WATTERS: Next question. This is from James C., OK, not James Carville. "Bob, would you rather have dinner with Dick Cheney or Kanye East?"

BECKEL: I wouldn't have not only have dinner with either one of them. But actually, I would with Dick Cheney. He's actually -- he and I have talked. He's a pleasant guy. He was a lousy vice president.

But -- and Kating (ph) East is -- is -- I mean, I don't know who the guy is. He sounds like a thug, and I could -- if his wife came along, it would be even worse, so I would say Dick Cheney.

WATTERS: Dick Cheney, OK.

PERINO: You would have fun.

WATTERS: I'd wear a vest.

OK. Next one. Here we go. To Dana from Corrine B. "Dana, how do you maintain such a close friendship with Bob when you have such differing political opinions?"

PERINO: Oh, because it's just politics, and we have a kinship, Bob and I.

BECKEL: We do.

PERINO: Don't we?

BECKEL: Yes, we do.

PERINO: It's easy. Everybody can do it. Well, maybe not with Bob.

WATTERS: OK, next one. This is from Jim C. also, for Dana, "Being from Colorado, how good a skier are you?"

PERINO: I'm -- I'm not a skier. My parents did not ski. We did not ski as kids. So I am not a good skier.

BECK: But she's a good dope smoker. Man, I tell you.

WATTERS: OK. Blowing her cover now.

Next one, Kimberly, this is from Karen T. "Kimberly, what is your get ready routine and how much does time does it take?"

GUILFOYLE: We don't have enough time to go through all that. Let me tell you.

BECKEL: Get behind her in the makeup chair. Jeez.

GUILFOYLE: That's his favorite -- second favorite thing to say.

But yes, we've incredible hair and makeup artists teams here at FOX. And so they make it great, and they can do it really fast.

WATTERS: Lickity-split.

BECKEL: No, not -- not like that.

WATTERS: O. Next one is from Ken C. "Kimberly, your best advice for someone entering the criminal justice field?"

GUILFOYLE: OK. So my advice is that you should get an internship in the district attorney's office or, if you want to be a defense attorney, in the public defender's office. That's where you get the most hands-on experience. You really see what it's like.

So I would do it right away. In fact, my first internship was when I was in college. And I started working at the Yellow (ph) Country district attorney's office up by UC-Davis.

And it was invaluable and I kind of took it from there. And it also kind of sharpened my focus and my certainty that that was the career that I wanted to pursue.

WATTERS: That's great advice.

PERINO: OK, I'm going to ask you your questions, I want to ask you your questions, because it's weird to ask yourself your own.

WATTERS: Yes, you stole my cards so I could see.

PERINO: OK. This is to Jesse from Linda W. Do you find the people on "Watters World" or do they find you?

GUILFOYLE: Yes, right.

WATTERS: That's a great question. I do seek people out. But some of the dumbest people will be the people that come up to me while I'm just running around and say, "Can I do an interview?" And that's easy. They're sitting ducks. So yes, sure, why not, and then send them on their way.

PERINO: All right. From Greg T.: "Watters, who is more intimidating, Beckel or O'Reilly?"

WATTERS: That's not even close.

TANTAROS: Beckel.

WATTERS: O'Reilly.

PERINO: O'Reilly.

WATTERS: Whoa. Whoa, look at those two handsome men. Wow.

PERINO: You have to read the one for everybody.

WATTERS: OK. You know what? We have to go.

PERINO: We do? Oh, my gosh.

WATTERS: Yes, we've got to get going, unfortunately.

GUILFOYLE: He just got wrapped.

WATTERS: All right. Ahead on "The Five," "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson talks about his faith and his critics. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKEL: Awful music.

President Obama held the first ever concussion summit yesterday at the White House to address head injuries and safety in youth sports. NFL executives were also in attendance. The league is partnering with the government to make sports safer for kids. Concussions have also been a growing issue for the NFL, as well.

All right. We have a very short period of time of this. Obviously it's a liberal block, but go ahead -- Andrea.

TANTAROS: I do think it is an issue. You and I agree on the fact that the players' union had the opportunity to buy safer helmets for their players, and they did not. So there definitely is a concern.

I do not think it should be a priority of the president of the United States with everything going on, especially the V.A. -- the crisis at the V.A. hospitals. I think it just makes him look completely checked out and detached from reality.

It's not -- it's not in his job description to worry about this.

BECKEL: Dana.

PERINO: I agree. The government cannot do anything about this. They should not do anything about this. They should just let the NFL figure it out, let the market figure it out. I cannot believe that they had the president do this event today. They should have canceled that -- canceled that interview with Kelly and Michael and have him go to a V.A. hospital.

GUILFOYLE: Totally right.

BECKEL: Jesse.

WATTERS: There's always going to be concussions in football. I don't want to change the score; I don't want to sissify it. I know it's a serious problem. I had a concussion myself when I played lacrosse. They found me wondering in the locker room. I couldn't remember my locker combination. I couldn't find my book bag. They took me to the hospital. I had a mild concussion or whatever and I sat out a week.

But, you know, they try to do this where they fine these guys for helmet-to-helmet hits already, and it didn't work. People just go low and go for the knees. I don't know how you regulate it. I think it's almost impossible. I don't want to see the sport changed.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. There's a lot of concern, healthy concern on both sides of the issue. I think this timing was -- it was poor today. I think they set up the president for failure in this regard, because he shouldn't have been addressing a concussion summit. It was a very large news day. Significant concerns should have been paid attention to yesterday. Because this is not what we should be focusing on right now as a country. So it seems like he's a little bit out of touch or misguided.

PERINO: And did the football players want him to be -- do they want the government to be involved?

BECKEL: Sure, listen, I played the game for a lot of years, and I have a number of concussions, which probably most people attribute to my liberalism.

But the reality is this is probably set up in months in advance, by the way. It wasn't something they decided to throw on the schedule.

But the fact is that there are a million concussions a year, a lot of them in youth sports and public schools, and they don't have the helmets that they should have. If you -- if the government is going to say you have to have airbags, then certainly they should say -- they can mandate that you have air -- larger air bubbles in football helmets. I mean, if you want to do it with airbags, fine. Then I'll buy into it with you. But I think that would be crazy, because it saves lives every year. This will save lives.

These NFL players who are suffering from concussions are killing themselves. There have been suicides among them. They have dementia. And it is...

TANTAROS: Bob, our veterans have dementia. Our veterans are killing themselves.

BECKEL: Yes.

TANTAROS: Our veterans are dying. Sit-down with Michael Strahan, who I love, and Kelly Ripa, who I also love, today could have waited.

WATTERS: Go to a V.A. hospital instead. That's where I'd love to see him.

BECKEL: All right. "One More Thing" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUILFOYLE: Hi. Time now for "One More Thing," and we begin Dana Perino. You ready?

PERINO: It was the moment we've all been waiting for for two days. This is a video that Dan Egan took. It is on YouTube. I loved it. It's a frog on a sprinkler. This is exactly what this week needs. Take a look at this.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my gosh.

PERINO: Amazing. Bob, it's actually funny. Look how the little...

TANTAROS: No, it's actually not.

GUILFOYLE: I'm actually worried.

PERINO: The frog is right there on top, Bob.

BECKEL: He's riding it around. That's actually funny. It is funny.

GUILFOYLE: I worry about his legs are going to get chopped off or something.

BECKEL: That was funny.

PERINO: Dan, I loved your video, and thank you for getting in touch with me on "The Five."

BECKEL: Dana, it was good. Is that frog alive or not?

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my God. That was like a "you complete me" kind of thing.

PERINO: Yes.

GUILFOYLE: OK -- Jesse.

WATTERS: All right. Phil Robertson, "Duck Dynasty" guy, was on "Hannity" last night, in case you missed it. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You think people don't understand where you're coming from?

PHIL ROBERTSON, REALITY TV STAR: Possibly. You know, if you had no biblical training, had no idea about the spiritual realm and just raised up in an environment where there was no God, no Jesus, you know, what do you expect?

Our job is to go out there, show them we love them, tell them the good news, and we get on down the road. I would never judge or condemn anyone. I mean, the Almighty, that's his job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: Great beard. Love it.

GUILFOYLE: Love the whole thing. Andrea, what do you got for us?

TANTAROS; OK. So this is the question we didn't get to for everybody. Question from Jan S., Facebook Friday: "What is always in your fridge?" Quick answers. Kimberly, go.

GUILFOYLE: Salami, baby. Just bought some more this morning.

TANTAROS: Bob.

BECKEL: Vegetable juice, believe it or not.

TANTAROS: Hmm, OK.

PERINO: Skim milk.

TANTAROS: Oh, my God.

WATTERS: Of course it is. Heineken and watermelon.

Bob's bummed out. He can't come over.

TANTAROS: Mine is champagne and Fresca. Not a stitch of food.

PERINO: Everything bubbly.

TANTAROS: Yes, wine and Fresca.

GUILFOYLE: I know what's in your fridge.

TANTAROS: And because Hannity is hanging out with the Robertson family this evening, I will be hosting "Hannity," so be sure to tune in. And Dana Perino joins me.

PERINO: It's going to be awesome.

TANTAROS: Yes. Not as good as a frog on a sprinkler.

GUILFOYLE: Don't miss it, people.

PERINO: That frog was having a good time.

BECKEL: I'm still thinking of the frog. It was very funny. It was funny.

And the national spelling bee was held, and for the first time ever, there were two co-champions, because the judges ran out of words. And as you can imagine again...

GUILFOYLE: How cool.

BECKEL: ... where it seems to be, like, the 20th year in a row, they are Indian-Americans who won the spelling bee.

PERINO: And aren't they cute.

GUILFOYLE: I think that's amazing.

PERINO: I love how they celebrate and then it's on ESPN. That's awesome.

GUILFOYLE: All right. There you go. I got one. Yes, come to me.

All right. So the whole NBA Clipper deal, they're reviewing the deal. The Sterling trust agreed to sell it, and the lucky winner is Microsoft chief executive, former executive, Steve Ballmer, for $2 billion. Can you imagine having that much money? "I'm just coming over here to buy a team."

BECKEL: Doesn't he own a football team?

GUILFOYLE: We would sell for that, right, Bob? "The Five"?

Don't forget to set your -- roll them, baby -- DVR so you never miss an episode of "The Five." We're going to see you back here on Monday. Have a great weekend.

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