This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 3, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The disaster in the Gulf is already taking a toll on the president's approval rating. But it is also threatening to impact some key races this November.
And joining me now with analysis on which races this crisis is likely to sway and how exactly it will affect them is pollster and president of the Word Doctors group, the author of "What Americans Really Want... Really" really, really, really, really, the one and only, only, only is Frank Luntz.
I know. I can't help myself.
Frank, here's my take. Look, first of all, a couple things came out this week. We're told Monday or Tuesday of this week that they may not be able to cap this thing until August. Wednesday we're told, they may not be able to cap it until Christmas.
On top of that, we're seeing not — oil flowing into the beaches of Louisiana, now the panhandle in Florida, and it's very quickly going to make its way around the tip of Florida and then up the eastern seaboard. When this oil hits, I contend that's when this becomes a political free-for-all for the Democrats and, particularly, the president. Agree, disagree?
FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: Well, it's already a nightmare. And you have to compare this not to Katrina, and I'm not the first one to have said this. You have to compare this to the hostage crisis. People are now counting the number of days.
And if you go back 20 days, thirty days, the promise was this would be dealt with quickly, and it hasn't been. It makes the administration look incompetent. It's very hard for the president to say that he's in charge, that he's in control when he's playing basketball, golf and taking a vacation.
Last night, Sean, you had Rudy Giuliani on the case. I worked with Rudy. I watched him work 18, perhaps 20-hour days after 9/11, weeks after 9/11, dealing with the fallout. When this president says he takes control, it doesn't appear to be serious. And that's why his approval ratings have fallen. But particularly in those four southern states most likely to be impacted.
HANNITY: And Frank, look at what he — last night he's hanging out with Paul McCartney. There's a pool report that apparently, he may be on another date tonight. He's taking a vacation. He's at the correspondents' dinner. He's with Felipe Calderon trashing the United States. He says he's there from day one. He says now they're responsible.
I don't see any effort by the government 45 days into this mess, really doing anything. So you know, what are they doing here?
LUNTZ: Well, Sean, as a tremendous Beatle fan and as someone who likes Great Britain, I can understand the Paul McCartney one. But let's take these four states —
HANNITY: No, no, no, no, I can't.
LUNTZ: Let's do this. Louisiana, David Vitter running for re-election.
LUNTZ: Two years ago Louisiana elected a Democrat. This was a state, because of Vitter's stumbles over the past two, three years ago, people thought that this race might be up for grabs.
You realize that the Democrats are running as fast as they possibly can away from Barack Obama in Louisiana. David Vitter now has an easy campaign.
LUNTZ: Florida, which is the one that I'm watching very carefully. Charlie Crist is — has been out there, has been campaigning, trying to hold Washington accountable, which would in any other circumstance help him. But if you remember, and I don't know if you've got a video of it, his embrace of Barack Obama, his support for the Obama stimulus plan makes it very difficult for him to make hay.
LUNTZ: The Democrat isn't going anywhere. I think this helps Marco Rubio in Florida. So you've got two Senate races in the Senate that's now up for grabs that are directly impacted by this. And then come up the coast, other states in jeopardy.
HANNITY: It's going to be more.
No, I agree with you. I — we were coming to the same conclusion here.
As I watch all of this unfold and I watch the president's lack of reaction to this, I've got to believe that at some point somebody around the president is going to say, you've got yourself a big crisis here. But as of now, I don't — I don't see they have that sense of urgency, as evidenced by Paul McCartney last night. Date night tonight, and all the other events, and vacations, and golf and basketball photo-ops that they've been involved in. I don't think he gets it.
LUNTZ: But part of the reason is because the anger is so great against BP. The CEO of BP is — and I don't know any other scientific word. He's pathetic, in the comments he's made and what he's said, and he's going to be held responsible.
And I think that the Obama administration is hoping that the people in those southern states hold BP accountable. Here's the issue, Sean: at some point they will also hold Washington accountable.
HANNITY: But one thing...
LUNTZ: Barack Obama said — yes. When he said, "I'm in charge," then he is in charge. Then he has to take responsibility.
HANNITY: But look at what happened even in a 2-1 Democratic district in the Pennsylvania 12th, where the Democrat in that race ran pro-life, ran again the stimulus, ran against health care, ran pro-Second Amendment. It seems that — and how many other candidates have expressed they don't even want Barack Obama campaigning for them? This will be — this will have a big impact on the election.
LUNTZ: Let's take a look at it clinically. What the American people want to vote for someone who is an independent thinker, who is fiercely independent. There is a message here for the candidates from both parties. They're not embracing the Democrats. You're right, Sean. But they're not embracing the Republicans either. What they want is independent thought. Whichever party captures that, they're the ones that win.
HANNITY: Lower taxes. They want a strong national defense and they want the government off their back. It's that simple. That's what people are embracing, that I see.
Frank, good to see you.
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