This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The massive oil spill in the Gulf is quickly becoming the new third rail in American politics. Its environmental and economic impact will likely be felt for a very long time, and the spill's political impact could be felt through the 2010 midterms and even the 2012 presidential elections.
So far throughout the catastrophe, let's see. President Obama has found time to play golf, political fundraisers, state dinners — oh, that's right — with Felipe Calderon.
And his inaction in recent weeks has enraged not only the people of the Gulf Coast. Believe it or not, even the mainstream Obamamania media is taking some veiled shots at the administration. Let's take a look at this history in the making.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS FROM MAY 24)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, HOST, NBC'S "NIGHTLY NEWS": The story out of the Gulf of Mexico has not changed in over a month.
The anger and despair there are now taking a toll.
KATIE COURIC, HOST, CBS' "EVENING NEWS": Now the Gulf Coast is waiting. It's a disaster in slow motion like a nightmare where you can see a bad thing coming but are helpless to do anything to stop it.
DIANE SAWYER, HOST, ABC'S "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT": From the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, last chance. The governor tells the White House and oil company to stop the spill or get out of his way!
WILLIAMS: Pressure is building, nonetheless, on the White House to get the government pieces moving, to do more to stop the leak, protect the shoreline from the fallout.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HANNITY: All right. Joining me now with analysis on how this very serious issue could affect the upcoming elections are Fox News contributor Bob Beckel, Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour.
Dithering, incompetence, delay. As soon as every beach has that muck on there, Bob, you've got to admit it's a big political problem.
BOB BECKEL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: First of all, let me try and clarify something. He hasn't been out of action for 36 days. People who are saying this stuff don't know what they're talking about.
And the last guest you had, Stuart Varney, said why don't we get the military down there. What, are they going to take their guns and shoot the slick? This is very complex; it's complicated. Bobby Jindal wants to build an island. Bobby, it takes a few minutes to build an island.
NOELLE NIKPOUR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You guys, it's been 36 days since the disaster, number one.
Number two, have you noticed that Obama has not even declared it a national disaster?
BECKEL: Wait a minute, 36 days. Thirty-six days since what? They were there from day one!
NIKPOUR: This is not like, I mean, Katrina; this is ongoing. And obviously, he's — look, even James Carville...
BECKEL: I understand.
NIKPOUR: ... a noted Democrat strategist, came out and said, "Look, Obama needs to cut bait and take control over this."
BECKEL: Let me tell you where I think the political problem is. This is — I think they did the right — I think they did the right thing in terms of what they could do. What they missed is the political implications of this.
And it's not just going to be isolated in the Gulf. I mean, even if it doesn't churn up the East Coast, it's going to be cost of shrimp; it's going to be cost of seafood.
It's also, to environmentalists across the country who are furious about it. And so I think, really, they were fine on their actions; not very good on the political side of things.
NIKPOUR: But it has lasting implications. Number one, yes, with the environment, of course. And number 2, it's showing, once again, people don't have faith in the government that they're going to take control of anything. Just look. I think it affects the market, as well.
BECKEL: Yes, but what — what would you have them do?
NIKPOUR: You've got to be kidding. Just step in.
HANNITY: But they've been out there with playing the blame game, Bob. But they gave this — this particular rig an award for safety. On top of it, they missed inspections.
Third thing is, is that as soon as this happened, they knew immediately it was going to be massive. And their lack of action in terms of helping and supporting and getting people that have knowledge on the ground and the equipment on the ground, they haven't done that.
BECKEL: That's just — first of all, nobody was going to know what was going to happen on this thing. And they did — within hours they had booms out there.
NIKPOUR: Then they should know something is wrong.
BECKEL: And I was involved in putting the legislation together on this, by the way, after the Valdez. And it was very clearly marked out, Congress agreed that the company who had — had this catastrophe would take the lead, and the rest of the United States government would do what they could. The Coast Guard's been out there...
NIKPOUR: Do what they could? That's unacceptable. They need to do something now.
BECKEL: Have you ever been around an oil slick before?
NIKPOUR: No. Have I been around an oil slick?
BECKEL: Well, I'm telling you...
NIKPOUR: Have you been around an oil slick?
BECKEL: I have been around an oil slick.
HANNITY: What are you going swimming in an oil slick every weekend, Bob?
BECKEL: Well, I used to — I used to swim in the hot water of a nuclear power plant, which may be why I'm so liberal.
NIKPOUR: This is what the problem is.
HANNITY: That may explain a lot.
BECKEL: But I'm telling you, this thing is, people are fast to shoot — to take pot shots about this. It's very difficult to do.
NIKPOUR: Fast? No, we're not fast to take pot shots. It's been 36 days.
BECKEL: But what are you supposed to do?
HANNITY: Hang on a second. Let me add one point.
Bob, I'm telling you, there is a growing cloud around the presidency. When you have James Carville, Mr. Thrill-Up-My-Leg Chris Matthews and you have all these Democratic congressmen and women distancing themselves from this, you've got a political problem.
BECKEL: I just — I just said...
NIKPOUR: He doesn't want to take blame because, in 2012, we're still going to be cleaning up this mess. And he knows that that's re-elect time, and he doesn't want to have this become his catastrophe.
HANNITY: It already is his Katirna.
BECKEL: I'm glad you got that talking point in on that one about 2012. I knew you were waiting — waiting for that.
Look, I agreed. I said that there was a political problem here, and it's a growing problem. What is not fair is that they didn't do anything. I know what they were doing; they did a lot of stuff. But what they didn't do, I would have just sent 10,000 boats down there.
HANNITY: All right. We've got to run in a second. Well, he didn't show up at Nashville, either.
But here's the next question. Do you believe the White House has handled the Sestak matter well?
BECKEL: I think they've handled it as well as you're going to — I mean, I don't see what the big deal is. They didn't want the guy to run against Specter, so what do you do? Let's be honest.
HANNITY: That's against the law, Bob.
BECKEL: No, it's not against the law if you handle it right.
NIKPOUR: It's unethical.
HANNITY: Look at your face. You don't even believe what you're saying.
BECKEL: I don't know — I'm serious. I don't know what the big deal is.
HANNITY: We've got to run.
BECKEL: I mean, this happens in politics all the time. Where their mistake was, why they wanted Specter as opposed to Sestak in the first place. They should have offered Specter a job.
NIKPOUR: Well, we want Toomey.
HANNITY: Let me...
BECKEL: Toomey, yes, there — Sominex sales plummet when that guy talks.
HANNITY: We've got to — we've got to go.
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