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Hannity

Top Five Obama-Biden Gaffes

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 18, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, over the past year President Obama and his sidekick Joe Biden have been no strangers to controversy. And in the time since the dynamic duo was elected we've seen that when the teleprompter fails, disaster strikes.

So tonight we're going to review the top five gaffes of the anointed one and Vice President Joe Biden. And joining me now to help me count them down is Washington Times columnist and the executive vice president of Edelman PR, Tony Blankley.

Tony, good to see you again.

TONY BLANKLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES COLUMNIST: Good to see you again.

HANNITY: We start at number five. Now I got to think that this is sort of a basic thing, you respect former first ladies. After all, anybody that attacks Michelle Obama is excoriated pretty quickly but of course that didn't stop President Obama from attacking Nancy Reagan. Let's roll the tape.

• Video: Watch Sean's countdown

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:, NOV 7. 2008: In terms of speaking to former presidents, I've spoken to all of them that are living, obviously, President Clinton — I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: You know, Tony, did you notice the one thing that's missing there? No teleprompter.

BLANKLEY: Yes, it's always difficult when we work without teleprompter. He was speaking, of course, of Hillary Clinton who said that she had communed with Eleanor Roosevelt.

HANNITY: Yes.

BLANKLEY: ... to gain some in advantage. Now it is true that Mrs. Reagan — I worked on the Reagan staff. She did give astrological consideration to the president's schedule. Now, I have to say that senior historians are now saying that Ronald Reagan is one of the four greatest presidents in history, so maybe the president should ask Michelle to start setting astrology and work on his schedule.

Right now he's flying to Copenhagen where there's a snowstorm where they're going to discuss global warming. So it worked well for the Reagans, maybe it will work well better for Obama and his wife.

HANNITY: I think that's very well said. The snowstorm — and he's is about to give away $100 billion a year of taxpayer dollars which is the frightening part.

BLANKLEY: Yes. I mean what's $100 billion among friends, right?

HANNITY: Look, listen, with this amount of debt I mean we might as well go for broke — well, I'm sorry, there's no treasure in the treasury.

BLANKLEY: We are broke.

HANNITY: We are going for broke. All right, remember, he gives the Queen the iPod and remember it had downloads of the anointed one's speeches. You know, so but then he gives Gordon Brown DVDs. This is what — you know, he gives the prime minister, and I'm thinking, you know, can you think of something a little bit better than a DVD collection?

BLANKLEY: You know, clearly if there were a Nobel Prize for gift giving he would not be in contention. Now I have to say in fairness that most of us men would not be in contention for gift giving. I tend to think you can't overdo buying, you know, Victoria's Secret for your wife and my wife thinks maybe you can overdo that.

HANNITY: Gee, thanks, Tony.

BLANKLEY: So men are not very good.

HANNITY: A little bit more information than we wanted but.

BLANKLEY: Yes.

HANNITY: But these DVDs, they can't even use them in Britain. That's a part of the problem.

BLANKLEY: No, no. Look, it was clearly an embarrassing situation. He has advisors from the State Department on protocol that can help the president, you know. I know with Reagan we had all those people. They're always there. They're career civil servants and they figure out the right gifts to give.

And I think the president now ought to just rely on his professional staff rather than sort of improvise himself.

• Great American Blog: What are your favorite Obama-Biden gaffes?

HANNITY: All right, now, one of the big controversies is when the president, for whatever reason, when this Cambridge police incident happened and the Harvard professor, his friend was involved in this thing. You know he comes out and he says the police — acknowledging he didn't know any facts — acted stupidly. Let's roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:, JULY 22: No, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Can we make a rule? When you start out a sentence, "not having been there and not having seen all the facts." Shut up. I mean, at that point, it's over.

BLANKLEY: I mean it's interesting. That is sort of like a classic mistake that people can make. To say I don't know the facts but here's my opinion is to describe a prejudgment, as the word phrases go.

And look, I learned a long time ago never use the word "stupid" about somebody else if you talk in public because we all make mistakes and are vulnerable to that charge, but it was a particularly remarkable moment for him to say, I don't know the facts but here's what I think.

I mean most of us do that but we try to hide that first statement before we do the second one.

HANNITY: Yes. There's got to be a rule. You know, I wasn't there and I don't know all the facts. That's it. Until I do, I'm going to be quiet until then.

BLANKLEY: My hunch is he won't make that mistake again.

HANNITY: My hunch is — again, you take away the teleprompter and he's in trouble which is, you know, we're going to spread the wealth around.

All right, let's go to Joe Biden. Here the country is worried about the H1N1 virus and he goes on one of the morning shows, I think it was "The Today Show," and he makes this statement, you know, I'm telling my family, don't ride the subways, don't go where there's large groups of people.

This is the vice president of our country. Let's roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICE PRESIDENTJOE BIDEN, APRIL 20: I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's your in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me.

I would not be at this point, if I — if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Wow. I mean.

(LAUGHTER)

BLANKLEY: You know, you've got to love Joe. I mean this is what Michael Kinsley called a Washington gaffe, which is he told the truth but you can't tell the truth. The truth is, obviously, that if you are worried about contamination from some disease, you don't want to be within six feet of a lot of other people.

Now, unfortunately, the policy of the Obama administration was to encourage people to continue to use buses and trains and airplanes and the vice president went out there and said what he would in fact do, what you and I would do if we're worried about our loved ones, don't go around in a point of contamination.

The truth is, interestingly, that there wasn't great danger from the swine flu, we've now found out all these months later.

HANNITY: Well, there was, I mean.

BLANKLEY: But the government was wrong.

HANNITY: One in six got it and there was, what, 10, 20,000 people that died from this so I mean.

BLANKLEY: Yes, but which is less than from the normal standard seasonal flu.

HANNITY: All right, let's go to —

BLANKLEY: But nonetheless.

HANNITY: I don't know how —

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: We've got to go to the last one. I don't know how you justify this. Maybe it's because you go on a comedy show, he's on with Jay Leno and politicians always get themselves in trouble when they actually think they're funny and try to be funny and here's the president joking about the Special Olympics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, FORMER HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO SHOW", MARCH 19: I imagine the bowling alley has been just burned and closed down.

OBAMA: No, no, I've been practicing.

LENO: Really? Really?

OBAMA: I bowled a 129.

LENO: No, that's very good.

OBAMA: Yes.

LENO: No, that's very good, Mr. President.

OBAMA: It was like Special Olympics or something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: What can you say to that?

BLANKLEY: Well, I think the president failed to read Gore Vidal's book, "The Best Man" where Gore Vidal said a president should never use too much humor. He should just smile like Eisenhower because when you try to be funny you put your foot in it. And God knows the president put his foot in on that one.

HANNITY: I'll tell you what, if I was the president never give up the teleprompter and lend one to Joe. That's my advice for 2010.

BLANKLEY: Cling to that like the old rugged cross, right?

HANNITY: Exactly. All right, Tony Blankley, good to see you. Thank you.

BLANKLEY: Thank you. Pleasure.

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