HANNITY

Obama's Laundry List of Broken Promises

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 2, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

RICH LOWRY, GUEST HOST: Despite what he said, the president hasn't closed Gitmo. He didn't put those health care negotiations on C-SPAN either. But those are just his most famous broken promises.

The list is actually much longer and considered as a whole it becomes clear that President Obama is a man who simply can't keep his word.

Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, JULY 17, 2007: Well, the first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I would do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOWRY: The Freedom of Choice Act would have prohibited any federal, state or local restrictions on women seeking abortions. But lo and behold, the president not — never got around to signing that bill into law.

He's also made a major pivot on health care. This is what he said on the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA, FEB. 21, 2008: Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is the reason that people don't have it is not because they don't want it, but because they can't afford it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOWRY: So it's a little odd that the bill he just signed into law requires each and every American, under penalty of law, to purchase health care.

These flip-flops extend to border security, too. Here's what candidate Obama had to say on that subject.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA, MAY 23, 2008: We need tougher border security and a renewed focus on busting up gangs and traffickers crossing our borders. That begins at home with comprehensive immigration reform. That means securing our border and passing tough employer enforcement laws.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOWRY: Given his strong feelings on the issue I wonder why the Department of Homeland Security halted the virtual fence it was building on the U.S./Mexican border just two weeks ago.

National Review's Jim Geraghty has compiled a complete list of the president's broken promises. You can find that on Nationalreview.com. A pretty good Web site if I just say it myself. And he joins us now.

Jim, thanks so much for being with us.

JIM GERAGHTY, NATIONAL REVIEW: Hi, Boss.

LOWRY: So —

(LAUGHTER)

So, Jim, you were the first one I know who pointed out this phenomenon of Obama statements having an expiration date. When did you notice it?

GERAGHTY: Well, probably during the campaign. You know a lot of people are very cynical and believe that politicians lie. I began to realize it, I don't think Obama necessarily intends to lie. I kind of think of him as kind of like the guy in "Memento" whose memory kept resetting every 15 minutes.

(LAUGHTER)

He says these very heartfelt promises and then he just kind of forgets them or — I actually — I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, I'll be a sympathetic guy and say that he actually intends it the moment he says it. And then it gets hard.

And then all of a sudden these promises and these pledges and no matter how heartfelt and absolutely emphatic and pounding the table he was, they all of a sudden don't seem so important a little bit later when the key audience in front of him has changed, and there's not someone in his ear, there's not someone saying, you know, you really need to keep your word on this.

LOWRY: Well, Jim, I —

GERAGHTY: Some of those that you mentioned earlier — sure.

LOWRY: I think I have a slightly more cynical theory. I think any liberal or left-wing candidate running pore president of the United States in the center right country inherently is forced into making statements and representations that he's not going to follow through on if he's really true to his core convictions.

GERAGHTY: Absolutely. And it's probably safe to say that Obama had run on, look, I'm going to, you know, talk a good game on border security and talk a lot about a virtual fence and — then actually fund any of that, or if I'm going to talk about how unwise, I think, individual mandates are and then turn around and sign them into law, that doesn't sell particularly well.

If he can say, well, I'm going to give you a lot of good promises now and then go back on all of them.

LOWRY: So —

GERAGHTY: I think what Obama kind of — sorry, go ahead.

LOWRY: So, how long was this —

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGHTY: He likes to go whatever — whatever is in front of him wants to hear, he wants to, you know, emphatically emphasize and underline that.

LOWRY: So how many items approximately did you accumulate on this list and how long did it take you? Did you just lock yourself in the basement for two, three days and go through all this?

GERAGHTY: Well, you've seen my office, Rich.

(LAUGHTER)

LOWRY: No, I haven't.

GERAGHTY: I got to 33. And that's when the debilitating carpal tunnel set in. Some of those were from back during the campaign. I think one of my favorite ones was when Jeff Johnson, he was a — you know, high ranking CEO who had a giant bonus and not performed particularly well was on his vice presidential selection committee.

And he emphatically insisted look, this guy does not work for me. And then the next day he accepted his resignation, which then raises the question, if he doesn't work for you, how can you accept his resignation?

LOWRY: Yes —

GERAGHTY: That was probably one of the fastest. That was within 24 hours what he had said was no longer inoperable as they used to say. And I think some of them were during the campaign. The first 100 days were pretty busy.

LOWRY: He had eight — 18. Eighteen I believe promises —

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGHTY: — that stands out in there.

LOWRY: Eighteen promises in the first 100 days, he didn't follow through on.

GERAGHTY: And then I kind of — after a while, I kind of used this mantra, all statements come from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.

I'll admit I stopped emphasizing this point, you know, kind of as the first year wore on, because I don't know about you, I didn't encounter that many liberals who wanted to argue that he was good at keeping promises. Even they were kind of acknowledging that yes, he — you know, I think Obama became very well defined — I think it was a Jimmy Fallon joke. It was right around Christmastime of last year. And he said that Michelle Obama wasn't going to get too excited about her presents because she's used to Barack promising a lot then not delivering anything.

(LAUGHTER)

I think that kind of became the book on this president. That, you know, it's one of those things, look, yes, he'll tell you the stimulus is fantastic and it will create a million, trillion, katrillion jobs within the first couple of days. And we're hearing all kinds of — you know, the health care bill is even better than Jesus showing up at your door and healing you personally.

You know, everything always gets overpromised and oversold and then he forgets about that at down the road. And you know, one of our friends, Mary Katherine Ham had observed at one of his speeches after signing the health care bill, that he went from this bill will fix everything to the now let's be very patient.

LOWRY: Yes.

GERAGHTY: This bill won't fix everything, in the same speech.

LOWRY: Yes, well, I think he realizes how he got caught out overpromising about the stimulus. It was going to be 90 percent jobs are going to be in the private sector. His administration said we'll keep unemployment under eight percent.

And he's made representations during the health care debate that will just — it turned out to be flatly untrue. Premiums are not going down. Costs are not going down. So I think he's going to have a real stimulus effect, and he realizes that, and he's trying to dial it back now that they've actually got the bill passed.

GERAGHTY: Never mind the promise that it's going down 3,000 percent, I would have settled for three percent. I have a suspicion we're not going to see this.

You noticed during the discussion of the bill, no one ever talked about oh we're going to see $100 million hits to companies immediately.

LOWRY: Right. They never mentioned that.

GERAGHTY: … caught off guard by that phenomenon.

So it's one of those things where if Obama was not posing as Santa Claus, if he was not coming along as obviously giving you all these wonderful goodies and he had to sell his pieces of legislation as well, there's going to be some drawbacks and it's going to work as well, you know, Democrats who already had to be twisted around like Stretch Armstrong to vote for this thing would then say look, I'm not putting my career on the line for a bill that's not going to work.

I wonder if the same stimulus bill went before Congress now whether it will still pass.

LOWRY: Clearly the most consequential, though, of these shifts is in the individual mandate, where during the campaign he opposed it when Hillary proposed it. And it's funny. For such a thing — an item that's so important, that his signature initiative, this health care bill, he really didn't have a mandate for this version of it because he opposed the individual mandate. He never mentioned the tax increase. He never mentioned the Medicare cuts. He just said it was going to cut premiums for families, you know, $2400, and the rest of it would be, you know, sugarplums and ice cream.

GERAGHTY: Yes. It's kind of interesting when you watch the debates between him and Hillary Clinton at this point. At one point he mentioned how he doesn't like the individual mandates, how he thinks the problem is not that the — the problem with health care isn't the people aren't being punished sufficiently if they don't have it, the problem is they can't afford it.

And there's an applause at that line. This was an applause line that he used against Hillary Clinton. Obviously she's in a very different position now. And I'm not — she's not going to be the one who's going to jump out and say hey, you've gone — quickly gone back on what seemed like an important line there.

But I think, you know, this was an administration that had spent something like $30 million on campaign ads against John McCain claiming he was going to tax health care — tax health benefits as if they were income.

And then during this health care debate the administration —

LOWRY: Right.

GERAGHTY: — kept giving signal after signal well, we're open to it, we're considering it. You saw recently that he's establishing his deficit reduction and asked are tax cuts —

LOWRY: All right, Jim —

GERAGHTY: — and they asked our tax cuts —

LOWRY: Jim, we — unfortunately —

GERAGHTY: — less than $250,000.

LOWRY: We to get out of here. But in a year's time we'll give you another two or three days off to update the list. All right?

(LAUGHTER)

GERAGHTY: Sounds good.

LOWRY: Thanks so much for being with us. Thanks, Jim.

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