President Obama Throws Energy Efficiency to the Wayside

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," January 29, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: If one thing brings me to the edge of insanity, it is hypocrisy. Do you remember this from the campaign for president? Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times and then just expect that every other country is going to say OK.


BECK: OK. Can't have our temperatures at — just turn down the thermostat and everything will be fixed. Some people were a little upset yesterday seeing President Obama. He was photographed without his jacket while in the Oval Office, something I will remind you that Ronald Reagan never did.

But Obama's senior advisor, David Axelrod explained, quote, "He's From Hawaii, OK? He likes it warm. You can grow orchids in there."

Wait a minute. What happened to "just turn the thermostat down" kind of guy I thought he was.

Comedian, illusionist, libertarian Penn Jillette. Penn, when I'm going to a magician who lives in Las Vegas for common sense, the world is upside-down.

Video: Watch Glenn's interview

PENN JILLETTE, COMEDIAN: Well, you know, Glenn — and thanks for dragging me with you over to FOX. But I want to say I'm going to — when, you know, there are so few things we disagree on, Glenn, that we have to harp on them.

But I disagree with you essentially about hypocrisy. As a matter of fact, if you go to Starbucks and you buy a tall drink, on the side of it is a quote by me, or could be. It is around now.

One of the things I have been harping on forever is that hypocrisy, although annoying, is not that bad to me, because if someone says one thing, and does another, they have doubled their chances of being right.

BECK: Yes.

JILLETTE: And with Obama, I think that the scare tactics, and the fact that we have to solve global warming through conservation, he's now showing, is really not that dire. If it really were the end of the world, he wouldn't be turning up his own thermostat.

This is actually good news. It shows he is sane, not hysterical and not crazy. And every time there is hypocrisy, it is very likely I'm going to agree with what they say or what they do.

BECK: Right. OK, and this coming from a guy who paints one of his fingernails red.

JILLETTE: Nothing hypocritical about that. I just do it.

BECK: But it's not — hey, you can paint some and don't paint the other ones. OK. Let me —

JILLETTE: I also want to mention something else.

BECK: Yes.

JILLETTE: Go ahead. It's your show.

BECK: Well, thank you. I appreciate that deference there. Let me ask you this, Penn. Somebody — I was doing an interview with a reporter last night, and he said, "So, you know, you're not part of the opposition to the president." I said, "I was part of the opposition with the last president."

And I think there's a lot of Americans now that are feeling like — here's what I'm opposed to. I'm opposed to crazy people running our country into the ground. I'm opposed to anybody who has detached themselves from common sense and attached themselves to this giant government that wants to control every aspect of our life.

JILLETTE: But it's not even common sense. It's sense of geniuses. I mean, what I would like to see in my lifetime, because I have not seen it, is a president who thinks the executive power should be limited, especially in the idea of making war.

Since John F. Kennedy, Johnson, all the way up through Clinton, and Bush, they seem to think that they can do military actions without Congress declaring war. And Obama said in all his speeches that he was going to continue in Afghanistan, and continue in Pakistan, and continue in Iraq. And those are decisions that maybe should be done.

I don't know global politics that well, but I do know the Constitution of the U.S., that it's supposed to be a decision made by Congress. And I don't care who has the power. Bush and Obama are identical to me.

BECK: They are.

JILLETTE: Because they simply should not be making these decisions without an act of Congress. And that's not common sense. That's genius of people a couple hundred years ago.

BECK: Listen, here's the biggest problem. We are changing into this country that all of a sudden — I mean, have you met the people? I bet you if you ask the people in your audience, and you said, "Hey, isn't socialism great?" You would get applause. They would be like, "Yes, socialism is great." When did that happen to us?

JILLETTE: That's a nutty thing. And what shocks me is there were many, many friends of mine — I mean, personal friends who, when Bush was in office, said he has too much power. He's gone too far with the presidency. And then Obama gets in office, and I go, "Well, he has too much power." And they go, "No, there's many people who believe that the problem is not the power but the problem is who has the power."

BECK: Yes.

JILLETTE: And my point is very simply I don't think that the government or certainly one person in the United States of America should have that much power. There is a lot of work done so that that wouldn't happen.

BECK: Right.

JILLETTE: And we have seen — because Congress is so cowardly, we seem to say, "OK, let Bush take all the blame for these wars," instead of actually declaring war. And maybe we do need to declare war, but let's do that instead of, you know, just throwing missiles wherever we want and increasing troops and doing OK.

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