This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 31, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: Well (INAUDIBLE) BP is searching for ways to stop that oil from spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, and it's not an easy task. The company's latest effort was declared a failure over the weekend. So now there's mounting pressure on the White House to find some way to deal with this situation, a lot of questions about whether or not there is a whole heck of a lot they can do at this point.
Joining me now is Andrew Breitbart. He's the publisher of Biggovernment.com. And Kirsten Powers, Fox News political analyst. She's in D.C. tonight. Welcome to both of them.
Kirsten, you know, the president said he wakes up every morning thinking about this. He goes to bed every night thinking about this. He said he was outraged when heard that this latest effort did not work. You know, politically, what's he supposed to do at this point?
KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, that's a great question, and I'm sure it's keeping a lot of people up at night at the White House. I think that this is one of those circumstances where they got so far behind, they're now doing make-up. And I think that a lot of the outrage is very -- you know, people keep saying, Oh, this is his Katrina. Well, I think there are some pretty obvious differences. The reality is, it's similar politically in the sense that once the damage was done with the Bush White House, it was very difficult for them to fix the problem. And in this case, we now know this is going to keep going on. They're saying now at least until August. And you know, people, I think, are just going to be furious about it. And I don't know what the White House can do, other than just keep coming out and acting engaged and trying to fix the problem.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, Andrew, is there any -- I mean, really, is there anything they can do at this point that is going to, you know, stop the situation, make it any better? I mean, they can't swim down there, and you know, cut the pipes themselves and put the cap on.
ANDREW BREITBART, BIGGOVERNMENT.COM PUBLISHER: Well, this has been going on now for 45 days. And to me, this is a media scandal first and foremost because when you have the Joe Sestak scandal going on at the same time as the oil scandal down in the gulf, these are two mega-scandals of epic proportion that the Bush administration could certainly not -- could have withstood. It would have been almost overwhelming. So all eyes are on whether the media is going to treat this as the scandal that it's emerging to be. We're 45 days in to this, and Obama seems disengaged. He will not listen to the boots on the ground. He will not -- he could have set up that berm that could have kept that oil from...
MACCALLUM: That Jindal asked for.
BREITBART: ... yes, that he -- and the fact that he didn't -- this is not about going down and touching sand...
MACCALLUM: You know, in the beginning, though -- and Kirsten, I want you to weigh in on this. In the beginning, the administration tried to distance themselves from this. They said, you know, this is BP's issue. And you know what? We all looked at this initially, I think, and said, you know, tragedy, 11 people killed, a horrible fire, a big explosion. You know, I didn't realize in the beginning that this was going to turn into what it is. But you want -- I think people want their government to figure out that it's a big problem before they do, instead of after.
POWERS: Yes. Well, definitely. But also, I have found it very curious -- I haven't heard a lot of people talking about this, but I have found it very curious that they keep saying over and over, and Carol Browner said it again yesterday, you know, it's very important that everybody understands that the government has been in charge since the very beginning.
And I keep thinking, if that's true, that's an indictment of the government.
POWERS: You know, they haven't done anything. And so this idea that they're trying -- they're really intent on going back and convincing us that they were really engaged, when they really weren't engaged. But even if they could convince us, all they're telling us is, We're incompetents. I mean, that's the way I take it.
MACCALLUM: And that, unfortunately, is in, you know, editorials that are being written everywhere right now. And you were talking about this in terms of Sestak. You know, talk to me a little bit about how you see the media tide changing right now with regard to that story.
BREITBART: Well, you know, the media is a pack. It's an organism. There is media bias, and the media does tend to favor Barack Obama. But what you're seeing right now is that some of the people who are breaking away from the pack that were at forefront of getting Barak Obama elected. When you have a conservative like Peggy Noonan getting on board the Obama bandwagon and now having to -- with chagrin, having to admit that perhaps she was wrong, where's the competency -- when you have Maureen Dowd, you know...
MACCALLUM: She -- Peggy Noonan wrote on Friday, calling the president incompetent. And in one sentence, she basically -- she said, I don't see how he survives this.
BREITBART: Yes, I think -- and when you see Bill Maher, you know, going on his show on Friday night -- when the comedians start ridiculing you and your lack of your ability to act as the leader that you claimed that you were going to be, that you were going to be the antidote to George Bush -- you know...
BREITBART: ... Barack Obama got elected saying, I'm not going to be the guy that screwed up during Katrina.
MACCALLUM: Yes, you know, I -- let's talk a little bit about Memorial Day, as well, in the context of all of this. The president was in his home state, got some criticism for not being at Arlington. And then, you know, you talk about a difficult media image. He walked up on the stage at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery -- pouring, pouring rain, Kirsten. And then he had to say to the people in the crowd, You know what? You all better go back to your cars because this could get dangerous.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At its core, the nobility and the majesty of Memorial Day can be found in the story of ordinary Americans who become extraordinary for the most simple of reasons, they love their country so deeply, so profoundly that they were willing to give their lives to keep it safe and free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: All right, and that clip that we just showed you just aired about an hour-and-a-half ago. President Obama came back to Washington and he gave that speech in lieu of the speech that he was going to give earlier. Kirsten, go ahead.
POWERS: Oh, I was just going to say, I mean, I just think the -- you know, the heavens sort of opening up on him is just sort of a metaphor, you know, for everything that's going on right now. And this is the way it tends to go. Things are just not going very well for him. A lot of people are turning against him.
And I think that a lot of the reason you see people turning against him aren't -- isn't just about the oil spill. It's a frustration that liberals have with him over various decisions, not the least of which was supporting offshore drilling. And you know, and I think there comes a point where it's just the straw that broke the camel's back and the -- it just -- the flood gates open up.
MACCALLUM: You know, I can't help but -- when you look at from it a historical perspective, Andrew, and presidencies over time, every presidency I can think of went through a very difficult time, when it looked like there was no way that this guy could pull it -- you know, pull it out. And invariably, you know, the economy changes, things -- the tide turns, and the guy who looked like he was on his last leg ends up looking pretty good at some point in his presidency. It's a four-year stretch.
BREITBART: Well -- well, tides certainly can change. But one thing I am noticing right now is that there is a lack of -- the alleged -- the tea party crowd, the people that are the ones that -- are the ones that have been most vociferous about the policies and the plans of this administration have not so personalized it to the degree that the left claims.
This is not about a personal attack upon Barack Obama. It's on his policies. What I'm missing -- what I'm seeing right now is it is not personal. I think the people would like for him to have shown up at Memorial. They would like for him to behave --
MACCALLUM: Why do you think he didn't? I asked that a question a lot today. I got the same answer. I would have liked to have seen him there.
BREITBART: Well, I think that he should have, because there are things that people think he's a pro-environmental kind of guy and you would think he would have a grip on the environmental stuff. But when it comes to the military, that's not something that he's known for. And I think there's an opportunity to shore up that crowd of people.
And for him not to have shown up that he got the clouds and rain it seems like a fitting --
MACCALLUM: I to go Kirsten, but real quick, if you can, why did you think he didn't go to Arlington today?
POWERS: There's no explanation for it. It is a no-brainer. I honestly cannot give any kind of explanation. I'm sure there is some back story of why he had to go to Chicago. Politically, substantively, what is the correct thing to do? He should have been there. I think a lot of people feel that way.
MACCALLUM: Kirsten Powers, thank you very much, Andrew Breitbart, good having you here. Thank you very much.Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.