President Obama races to defend his ambassador

Published Thursday, November 15, 2012 / The Five

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," November 15, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, responding to the Benghazi mess, President Obama said Susan Rice had the best in tail [sic] available.

(LAUGHTER)

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Sorry.

GUTFELD: Freudian.

All right. The best intel available the White House caterer knew this was a terror attack before Obama and Rice did.

Stop it, Bob.

Yes, the president blames some of their actions on the fog of water while claiming to be perfectly clear on others. This is the sort of excuse you get from the kid who broke mommy's vase. Only here it wasn't a vase, it was American lives.

Obama knows, Obama doesn't know. Who knows? Certainly not us. And mommy ain't buying it and she's getting impatient.

Despite Obama's murky explanations and tough guy act at the lectern, the whole affair makes as much sense as left-handed frying pan. Remember, Obama claims he called Benghazi terror the day after, yet Rice said it wasn't, which Obama says, what's his position?

Which leads back to who said -- blame the video? Guess we now know is Obama who ran with his foreign policy instincts hone from years of community organizing. In Chicago, he also learned the value of phony outrage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Let me say specifically about Susan Rice. She has done exemplary work. She made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her.

If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: What is going on here? Is he Ross to her Rachel in a poignant episode of "Friends"?

His rage over criticism of Benghazi far exceeds his rage over Benghazi. And to me, it's kind of sexist. Obama casts himself as Rice's protector, with the juvenile bravado that scared only the NPR correspondent.

He's outraged that they're picking on her. But he doesn't think she can take care of herself. Would he have offered the same protection to a male ambassador? See Benghazi.

Andrea, do you think his anger is legitimate? I mean --

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: No.

GUTFELD: No?

TANTAROS: Let me think about that. No.

He stood up there and said come after me.

GUTFELD: Yes.

TANTAROS: Very easy to say in a room full of reporters that he knows won't come after him.

And it's ironic, he said he's protecting Susan Rice but it's OK to make Hillary your human shield to take the fall for Benghazi?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: She turned that right around and made it --

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: All roads in this blame game shift back to the CIA in the very beginning. And yesterday, Charles Krauthammer suggested that the federal government may have leveraged the affair that Petraeus had to influence what he told Congress. And nobody knows if that's true. And Petraeus will testify. However, you have to wonder -- why everyone kept pointing at the CIA, a CIA that originally got it right, that it was a terrorist attack. But why they changed the story about the video?

BECKEL: If they didn't -- if it's a rumor or it's a theory from the right about Petraeus, why say it? Why does Krauthammer say it? Nothing to base it on.

GUTFELD: You've done that.

BECKEL: What?

TANTAROS: You do it all the time.

BECKEL: It's different when I do it.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: You remember he paid no taxes?

BECKEL: He did pay no taxes.

GUTFELD: He did it again.

(LAUGHTER)

BECKEL: But the point here is he's exactly right. These people could not tell you two things about Susan Rice. They pick out one thing that you politicized.

PERINO: That's not true.

BECKEL: She went out and she did and she never once said it wasn't terrorism, by the way. Read her statements.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: You tell me one thing she said it wasn't terrorism.

PERINO: Senator John McCain has known goes -- has known her for many years and known her work and legitimately raises questions about it, just as Senator Obama at the time raised questions about President Bush's pick for U.N. ambassador, which was John Bolton. And he vigorously opposed it.

And Senator McCain has every right to do that as well.

I do think it was -- I have been in that position as Susan Rice, I would have been buoyed by the fact that President Obama defended me.

Loyalty does go both ways.

I think they have a little bit of a problem here. One of the reasons the story keeps at it is because they are refusing to recognize that there are legitimate questions.

GUTFELD: Yes.

TANTAROS: And they try to make it political when actually, every day, more facts are uncovered that make it look worse for them.

BOLLING: Can I point something out?

GUTFELD: No.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: I don't like Hillary Clinton's politics. I don't like Bill Clinton's politics. I don't like anyone on the left.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Very true.

BOLLING: But Hillary Clinton was a good secretary of state. She was someone that we wanted over there --

PERINO: Why?

BOLLING: -- because she was tough. She --

PERINO: On what?

BOLLING: -- she didn't back down and she had ideas. She thought about things. She did it her way.

Here's my point -- Susan Rice won't be Hillary Clinton. Susan rice will be a mouthpiece for President Obama and not the American people.

TANTAROS: I think they've both been failures.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I'm just curious, let's check this out and see if McCain and Graham had such problems did they vote for her for U.N.? My guess is they probably did.

GUTFELD: The U.N. loves her. The U.N. hated Bolton, which is why Bolton was great. When U.N. loves you, they like somebody that they can roll over.

BOLLING: They may have voted for her but that was prior to her lying to five different news organizations.

BECKEL: How can you possible accuse her of lying? The intelligence committee itself said, the Democrat, she had said that it was the same intelligence that the intelligence committee got the day before she testified.

BOLLING: When you say that, be specific, will you?

BECKEL: I will. Adam Schiff, senior member of the Intelligence Committee released the following statement.

BOLLING: You are one who is always talking about, who are the sources? Who are they? Name them. Give us names.

Remember The New York Times" saying, we talk about President Obama's kill list? Who are the sources? Who are they? Who are the intelligence --

BECKEL: This guy said -- this is Adam Schiff.

BOLLING: No, no, no.

BECKEL: He got this from national intelligence briefing.

BOLLING: No, no.

GUTFELD: I want to get to --

BOLLING: The names aren't in that -- no matter how many times you read that paper, you won't find it.

GUTFELD: This like being at a bar with two guys arguing over their teams.

All right. Congressman Clyburn, real quick, had this to say about -- concerning Susan Rice. He's a senator. Is he senator? He's a congressman.

TANTAROS: He's a congressman, yes.

GUTFELD: Take it away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM CLYBURN, D-S.C.: May I something about Susan Rice?

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Sure.

CLYBURN: I have a real, real problem with my senior senator trying to make her a scapegoat in this. I think it's absolutely a shame for this young lady whose roots are deep in South Carolina soil to get sullied like this by my senior senator who I consider to be a good friend. Susan --

MATTHEWS: Let's talk about the motive here. I mean, why is the hostility to this young public servant? Why are they treating her like somebody to punch?

CLYBURN: That's exactly right. This young African-American woman I'll say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: All right. So, we've got now race into the picture. I always think sometimes I'm happy to see the race card because that means it's proof we might get closer to the truth because when you get closer to the truth, that comes out as a defense.

TANTAROS: I just think everyone goes uggghh.

I don't think the story line is going anywhere soon. I really don't. And it actually hurts real instances of racism. If you're going to pull a race card and woman card all the time, it actually hurts when there is discrimination.

But there are legitimate reasons to be upset with Susan Rice. And Benghazi is that reason. I agree with you, Dana, I don't know what Hillary Clinton did that was so great. I don't know what Susan Rice did that was so great to have her be promoted to the position if that is direction they're going.

They took the Middle East out of Hillary's portfolio and they watered it down and they gave her the Congo. I have seen her doing the running man and Congo. What has she done?

BECKEL: She's done a lot of thing.

TANTAROS: Her tenure has been a joke. It's been a joke.

BECKEL: Been a joke? It's not --

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Let me get Dana the last word here. Just one word, though.

PERINO: Can I do two words?

GUTFELD: Yes, two words.

PERINO: Rick Grenell. It's actually a name. Former U.N. spokesperson who was there almost eight years. He has a piece that he wrote today about the record of the U.N. over the last four years. That is worth reading even if you just take out Benghazi. There would be legitimately reasons of a U.S. senator to question whether or not this would be the best person to be secretary of state.

BECKEL: It shouldn't be based on race card. I agree with you. That was a bad thing for Clyburn to say.

PERINO: But what else does he say? Does he ever say anything --

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: But nobody knows anything about this except for speech you're talking about. I'd like to hear you come up with some reasons she shouldn't be secretary of state, besides intelligence that she was given to report --

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Israel will give you some.

BOLLING: By whom? By whom, Bob, by whom?

BECKEL: By whom, what?

GUTFELD: All right. We've got to move on. I like it with Dana -- Dana is like a teacher. She always gives you homework. You've got to read this article. And here are some other stuff, too, and then she gives you a book.

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