Published March 11, 2009
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 10, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And in "Your America" tonight, we are tracking President Obama's campaign promises. Now he made more than 500 of them on the campaign trail, but how many has he kept? Ainsley is here to tell us all. Ainsley?
AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, it's President Obama's 50th day in office. So we thought enough time had passed to start tracking where he stands on some of his campaign promises.
You know, the president made a lot of those on the campaign trail. So we're going to take a look at some of these.
In fact, the Web site politifact.com compiled a list of more than 500 promises and they are currently tracking his progression their Obameter. They have divided the promises into these categories, promises kept. They track that to be 17. Promises broken, the Web site counts that to be two. Compromises which is we'll take a look at a little later, in a little while is listed as number seven. And three stalled projects. In the works is 40. According to the Web site, the bulk of his promises fall under the no action category at 444.
Well to be fair, it's only day 50. And he has about 1,400 left in term, but some of those promises in the no action category could have seen, we think, some action by now.
Take a look at this. For example, promise number 492. Obama said, quote, "I will immediately sign a law that begins to phase out all incandescent light bulbs." It's a pretty simple task to implement, given it could save all of us Americans $6 billion a year. Politifact.com rates it as a no action. But after 50 days with no action, we count that as a promise broken.
Another promise, number 512, look at this. Obama said "When I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely." The Web site calls this a compromise because President Obama did make sure that bulky earmarks were not in the stimulus bill. But with about 9,000 earmarks in the omnibus spending bill, our stance is promise broken because when you say no earmarks, that means absolutely no earmarks.
Now another issue President Obama felt strongly about on the campaign trail, a pay as you go budget meaning big spending commitments must be paid for by cuts elsewhere or by other new revenue. Politifact calls it no action. But this is just a no-brainer to us at least with a projected deficit in the trillions now. We say promise broken.
Promise number five, to expand the earned income tax credit for workers with more than three children and taxpayers without children. Well, Politifact calls it a compromise because the taxpayers with three or more kids got the credit. But what about all those workers out there without children? Sorry, not for you. So we have to say promise broken. We've got time for just two more so let's take a look at this.
He promised work with the U.N. on climate change and create a global energy forum. Well that is in the works. Also the pledge for transparency in the White House. Well, look at this. We're still waiting on that one.
So now, Sean, we're not trying to say that he's broken all of his campaign promises, just that some things need to be looked at a little more carefully which we'll be doing, of course, over the next 50 days. Back to you.
HANNITY: And joining us to discuss some of these broken promises, FOX News analyst Karl Rove. Karl, good to see you.
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Great to see you, Sean.
HANNITY: Look, broken promises, troubled nominees, no confidence in the economy, no confidence from Wall Street, debt, deficits. You're a chief adviser. Fifty days in, Barack Obama asks for an honest assessment from you on how things are going. What would you tell him?
ROVE: Well, they have got too much on their plate. They are not focused on the important things. They have got a decision-making structure that doesn't appear to stay focused on the big things. And they have failed to put people in place in critical agencies, particularly the Treasury Department. They also confront the big challenges that face the country.
You know, it's 50 days, so you can't expect them to get everything right and get everything done. But on the other hand when it comes to the economy, they are off to, I think, a bad start, and the kind of things that we have seen and their handling of the economy speak of troubling things on other issues if they don't fix the underlying problems.
HANNITY: I read your piece in The Wall Street Journal. You said there is a growing sense in the country that Obama is winging it on issues big and small. Elaborate.
ROVE: Right. Well, it's like the stimulus bill. They went up on December 18th and said we want a package between 670 and 770, but we'll take 850. And of course Congress immediately went toward $850 billion. But then they only described about $150, $160, $180 billion of what actually went into the package. It said to the Congress, you do the rest of it. They did that on the bill for the next six months' worth of funding of the government. They said to Congress, send us anything you want. It has got 8,500 earmarks in it. It adds $24 billion to the base line spending of the government. We promise that we control the deficits. We promise that quote, I'd scour the budget line by line, make meaningful cuts. I have said I am against the earmarks. You violated all three of those promises. But send it our way and we'll sign it.
They are doing the same on health care. They're saying, send us a health care bill. We're going to set aside $635 billion. We're going to get that by taxing energy so that anybody who flips a light switch, drives a car or purchases anything that is manufactured, grown or shipped is going to pay $600 million in taxes. But Congress, it's up to you to write the bill. So they are just sort of winging it on these big issues. That's here at home.
On the international front, Guantanamo is another example of where they were winging it that I put in my piece. But you want the president to be dealing with these and laying out detailed plans of how he is going to do it and working with Congress on the nitty-gritty of it. And right now it's just sort of skimming across the surface like a bug on top of water.
HANNITY: That's a good way to put it. You were ridiculed during the Bush years as, quote, "Bush's brain." It was used as a pejorative. And it's interesting. There have been numerous reports now, even The New York Times now reporting that Barack Obama basically sleeps with his teleprompter, doesn't give a speech without it which is somewhat unprecedented.
But now there is even a report out in The American Spectator that he is actually getting answers and facts fed to him during question and answer period and he actually wants to install this at the podium at the White House. Could you just imagine if George Bush, that you were the guy behind the curtain and George Bush was getting fed the answers from you?
ROVE: Well, remember, we actually had that episode when some photographer picked up what he thought was a device on the back of President Bush's jacket during a presidential debate and the rumor was that it was a device that allowed me to communicate with him during the debate.
Look, the White House press operation looked into the possibility of on the White House press podium having a screen so that during a presidential event, during a presidential press conference, they could pop up facts and notes to the president as he was speaking. You're right about the use of the podium, excuse me, the teleprompter.
We have never seen a president who has relied upon a teleprompter as much as this president has. Presidents have used it for big set piece speeches, to Congress or to some audiences.
But he literally uses it for everything. I mean his opening statement at a news conference is delivered on a teleprompter. I think it's a recognition that he is weak on his speech sometimes.
HANNITY: I think it is sad and amazing to me, the reason he stayed on message throughout the campaign is because he had the teleprompter following him everywhere and staying in campaign mode.
All right, last question, don't have a lot of time. Nancy Pelosi, Freedom of Information Act shows that she is clearly abusing her private jet privileges and even canceling these jets at the last minute. My question, Newt Gingrich didn't have a jet. Why is there outrage at CEOs using jets and not Nancy Pelosi?
ROVE: Well, I have to say after 9/11 there was a conscious decision by the Bush administration out of concern for what's called decapitation of the government that we provide a higher degree of security to the speaker of the House and the — and we did it for Hastert, we did it for Pelosi. It's continued for Pelosi. She has demanded, however, a plane. It used to be that she would have to stop in Aletha, Kansas, and refuel. Now she wants a jet that gets her all the way to San Francisco in one hop. And there are very few of those in the military fleet.
HANNITY: All right Karl, good to see you, thanks for being with us.
ROVE: You bet, thank you.
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