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Hannity

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Reacts to Obama's Appearance on 'The View'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 29, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: In what was widely considered an attempt to appeal to female voters, President Obama sat down earlier today with the ladies of "The View," and while there he received both criticism and praise from the show's five hosts.

Let's start with the praise. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW")

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST: You signed 200 plus laws into — since you're in office.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Right.

BEHAR: You have financial reform has taken place. You got a health care — I mean you put two women on the Supreme Court. I could go on and on about your accomplishment.

And yet the right-wing, through Fox News and other outlets, they seem to be hijacking the narrative.

Where, on your side, is the narrative? Where do you — where is your attack dog to come out and tell the American people, listen, this is what we did?

OBAMA: Joy, that's your job.

(LAUGHTER)

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right. A funny line. And it was co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck who threw out the toughest questions. Especially on the topic of jobs. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW")

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST: How can you continue and your administration continue to say that you are saving jobs when in fact people are losing jobs?

OBAMA: Well, actually, Elisabeth, what's happened is that we've gained private sector jobs for the last five months. So we were losing jobs when I was sworn in. As I said, 750,000 jobs per month. We've now gained jobs for five consecutive months in the private sector.

This isn't just my standard, Elisabeth, or my administration's standard. There was a report that came out by a couple of economists just today, including John McCain's former economist, that said had we not taken the steps that we took, you would have actually seen millions of more jobs lost and we would be in a great depression. So I know that's not satisfying and it's not good enough. But —

HASSELBECK: I think saved is what's troubling people.

OBAMA: Well, no — well, it makes a difference, though, difference if your job was one of the ones that's saved.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And joining me now with reaction to the president's appearance earlier today is the co-host of "The View" and the author of the brand-new book, "The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide."

You know I got to do this because, you know, I need something to help me.

HASSELBECK: Well.

HANNITY: I don't got gluten problems but I got to do it. But the one and only Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

How are you? Good to see you.

HASSELBECK: Always good to be here, Sean.

HANNITY: Well, we appreciate you — you joining us once again. You know it's funny, because some people are saying, all right, why would President Obama pick "The View"?

I personally think — and I love — I say this to people, the show is a great show.

HASSELBECK: Thanks.

HANNITY: It's a great mix. It's a lot of fun. I thought this was a great choice for the president. That may surprise some of my viewers but I thought it was a good choice.

HASSELBECK: Well, I think it works for our audience. It works for the president. And it certainly works for us. I mean, the show that Barbara Walters created has I think created a format — we saw this during the election — where candidates were able to comfortably come and discuss issues.

HANNITY: Yes.

HASSELBECK: And I believe that because all points of view are given, and questioned, —

HANNITY: All points of view.

HASSELBECK: Yes. They — at least still covered on one angle or another. And I think it was a cozy situation for the president. It was certainly an honor for all of us there.

HANNITY: All right. You know, it's funny because I think you're the only conservative — because I gave you a lot of credit during the campaign. I thought you asked the defining, toughest question on Reverend Wright.

I thought the question that we just aired there was a brilliant question. You're the only conservative I can think of that's ever had an opportunity to answer — to question the president. Have you ever thought of that?

HASSELBECK: No.

(LAUGHTER)

HASSELBECK: It kind of just happens — you know, I think that it's a special job that I have. You know, and it — what a he privilege it is to be able to ask that question, not only when he came with his book but as a candidate and then certainly as the president — sitting president of the United States of America.

Unbelievable. I think I'm still sort of decompressing from it all. But, you know, I think that everybody would love that opportunity.

HANNITY: It is an opportunity.

HASSELBECK: And chance to get some answers.

HANNITY: Yes. And I got to tell you, I said to a friend of mine, a friend of mine one time, we're at a dinner and said, boy, I bet you'd love to have a chance to interview President Obama. And I said to him — I said it would be the toughest interview to ever have because I kind of like if somebody gets off track. I like the ability to interrupt.

And you respect the office so much, you can't do that with the president. And he seems to understand that because —

HASSELBECK: Sure.

HANNITY: He will expound on his answers as long as he wants knowing that he — in most cases he's going to get the respect that the office deserves.

HASSELBECK: Sure. And I think, you know, I hope I wasn't too disrespectful but a couple of times I did jump in there. Just because —

HANNITY: You weren't disrespectful.

HASSELBECK: That's how I'm, you know, trained in the job. But I think it's also important, too, to note that when interviewing, you know this, any politician, I think there's also a format there.

You ask the question. It was more of an acknowledgement of hey, this is going on and a lot of people feel this way. And then typically they have a response that's almost ready to give.

And so I think you'd go with that and you understand it. And you hope that in somewhere in there truth comes out.

HANNITY: Yes. You hope that.

All right. Before we get to some of the specifics, and I really want to go over your question in some detail, a couple of your questions. But you now have had an opportunity to spend time with Michelle Obama and with President Obama, first as a candidate. But this was interesting because this made history. This was the first time a sitting president sat down for a daytime television program, which, by the way, I am fully in support of. I think this is a good thing — the more we see our president, I think the better.

So what are — what were your impressions of both of them? Because politically, I think you and I agree a lot more than, say, you and the president, or you or Michelle Obama. What did you think of them personally?

HASSELBECK: Personally — first of all, I want to go back to one point. I do love the fact that the president came. And I think that he should be speaking to our audience of women. I think it harkens back to the fire side chats that there should be open dialogue there. And I love that as well.

In terms of personally, I had a great conversation with the president backstage. You know, loved what he did with the plates, there was great food out there. I think, as a parent, we shared some moments where we discussed what it's like to be —

HANNITY: Can you share with us what you talked about?

HASSELBECK: Yes, you know, we talked a little bit about what it's like for the girls and how he thought it was a great age for them to be at the White House. We talked a little bit about Michelle.

You know, it's interesting because I think sometimes as a Republican or conservative, you get pinned as hating all aspects of anybody who's on the other side. And I certainly don't. You know I can identify with Michelle as a mom. We've always shared that.

I had an incredible conversation with her on the phone, lasted, I think I timed it, like 29 minutes. I couldn't believe I had it prior to the election.

I think that these — these are parents. They are like us, wonderful citizens of this country. We just have differences in politics.

HANNITY: And — yes.

HASSELBECK: I don't believe that — it's good enough to come on and say, hey, in terms of joblessness, which is chronic now in this country, well, it could have been worse. You're on your heels when you're saying something like that. That's not good enough.

HANNITY: You've never — I love the way you set that question up. But I'll get into that in a minute. Because we have never used that standard. And I thought that's why it was the perfect way to ask it.

I thought he dodged. That was my take on — you pressed him. But I still — I didn't feel that he answered it in a way that was satisfactory because we still lost those three, four million jobs, you know, in spite of the promises that unemployment wouldn't go above 8 percent.

I was thinking this, because we've been friends a long time. I'm a fan of yours. I love when you — I love when you battle. I also like Whoopi. I've always loved Whoopi. She comes on the program.

HASSELBECK: Love her.

HANNITY: Barbara has always been very nice to me.

What I — you now, having met them, would I like him? Would I be charmed, because Lanny Davis swears that if I ever Bill Clinton, oh, I'd fall head over heels and like Bill Clinton.

HASSELBECK: You might.

HANNITY: You think so?

HASSELBECK: I think you would. And I think that we should be able to distinguish the politics from the person. And I think you were such a good person you would be able to do that instantly.

And I do believe that having had the chance to — three time have had the chance to meet the president before, during, after, I think that it is something that is exceptional. I don't take it for granted. But I've also been able to learn him as a person as well. And I think that that's a — that is a privilege.

Now getting back to jobs. I think it is easy to dodge it and create this idea that there have been jobbed saved. Maybe. The problem now is that we have joblessness that is going to become permanent for some people. We have a chronic joblessness across the country which is not going to get better necessarily, even as unemployment sort of —

HANNITY: How did you — how did you feel about his answer? Because your answer was very specific about, OK, we've never used the standard jobs saved versus real jobs created.

And I was just curious because I saw you pressed, I saw you went back in. I know you — I know you wanted a better answer on that. What did you think of the answer?

HASSELBECK: I thought the answer was crafty. And I thought it sounded good. But it sounded as though someone who's on their heels. Like I said before if you're answering the question with "it could have been worse," it's not good enough for the American people.

In my home state alone 12 percent across the nation, near 10 percent, but this is a problem because people even over the age of 60 who are now looking for jobs. They're not going to get them. They've been unemployed longer than ever. Longer than 1948.

HANNITY: That's true.

HASSELBECK: People that are unemployed. Over six months.

HANNITY: And they're extending unemployment benefits to 99 months. You — I'm going to give you my observation when we get back, because I thought he was charming, he was a fresh-face on the political scene, et cetera, et cetera.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: I think that works during the campaign. But now that he's had a chance govern I think he's going to be judged on a different standard even though he may go on "The View" and come off as likeable and charming. It's different than a campaign now.

HASSELBECK: Well, no —

HANNITY: Now he's got a record.

HASSELBECK: I think he is campaigning. I think this is his first campaign stop for 2012.

HANNITY: I think you're right. Well said.

All right, we're going to come back. We've a lot more with Elisabeth Hasselbeck straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And we continue now with the co-host of "The View," the one and only Elisabeth Hasselbeck. All right, so here is my observation. I thought the president was — came off as likeable and charming and nice and funny and smart.

You know all the things that I think all the skills that he showed in the campaign. I felt like this — I'm not sure if it has the same impact for this reason. If you are a candidate, that's one thing. Now he's been president for 18 months.

His poll numbers are going down dramatically. Right track, wrong track, people are not happy with the direction the country is going in.

Do you think helps him in that sense? Does he get to recapture some of that magic that he had in the campaign?

HASSELBECK: I think it would help with a specific group. I do think that with his approval ratings right now with independents are 38 percent. OK?

HANNITY: Thirty-eight percent.

HASSELBECK: Largely responsible for his election. I think that our audience would fall into that category, namely women. And I think that if you — you know, tend to reach that audience they can be quite persuasive and act when it comes to the next election.

HANNITY: They seemed very favorable to him in terms of their reaction today.

HASSELBECK: It's a smart move, you know. And I think our audience is incredibly in tune with what's going on. They're intelligent women and they're going to be decision-makers that will influence this next election. And I think why not start now with the impression that they're going to have going forward.

HANNITY: Let me see if I can put it — it's like, and during the campaign they weren't basing their vote on Obama based on his experience. He didn't have a lot of experience.

HASSELBECK: Sure.

HANNITY: I think they were basing it on promises and basing it on the power of his personality. I don't think it was about record because he often voted present. He didn't like to take a lot of, you know, controversial votes.

HASSELBECK: There wasn't a lot there.

HANNITY: Yes.

HASSELBECK: Early on. But I think that there is a — this sort of visceral gut reaction to someone as a person, and I think he knows that.

HANNITY: Yes.

HASSELBECK: And people want to know the person behind the politics. And I do think he's sort of honed in on that and it was a good move for him to come on. And we certainly enjoyed our time.

HANNITY: No, and you should. I mean I think that's a great get for everybody. And —

HASSELBECK: It's an honor.

HANNITY: And I thought you guys did a great job. One of the things I'm surprised, you know, in light of the Gulf oil spill, the high unemployment numbers, the direction of the country with 96 days out of an election, why is Mrs. Obama going to Spain for — with 30 rooms and a five star hotel, then on to Nantucket after a vacation in the Gulf, and a vacation prior to that, in Maine? And there's been a lot of criticism of the president playing golf.

HASSELBECK: You know — and I'll separate the two. And I've said this on the show before. I wish that people wouldn't focus so much on what the first lady is doing because I don't think it's harmful. I think it's helpful she's spending time with her daughters. Fine with that.

I think a garden is a good idea. I hope to help her maybe in that with some tomatoes. I've got some background in that with a Sicilian family.

HANNITY: Is that part of the gluten-free diet?

HASSELBECK: It is. And I would hope that people would focus on what's not being done. Because there are things that are not being accomplished right now in this country. And when you see that unemployment stat, Sean, you know — that's actually generous and gentle because it doesn't even include those who have been out of work longer than six months.

It doesn't include those who were in fulltime jobs, parents with jobs and the benefits, and they're now only working for part-time or scrap hours. I mean we are in — we are in dire straits right now.

My problem is, the sort of cavalier approach to what's going on that we did see a little bit of on the show.

I wanted a little bit more grit. And I did want to see a little bit more angst and I don't think we did see that.

HANNITY: OK. What do you think — I thought this was an interesting piece of news. He wasn't invited to Chelsea Clinton's wedding. That kind of struck me. I would have — look, he might — I think that he would say OK, I don't want to draw attention away from the bride. So we wouldn't — maybe it wouldn't be appropriate for a sitting president to be there. But not to get the invite caught my attention.

HASSELBECK: Yes, you can't really imagine what it would be like to be there if you haven't been invited, right?

HANNITY: Good point.

HASSELBECK: Think —

HANNITY: That's true.

HASSELBECK: That was sort of thinking, putting the cart before the horse.

HANNITY: Yes.

HASSELBECK: But I do think that — I mean it's got to be not troubling but I think overwhelming enough to have one president at your wedding already, namely your dad. And you want to make sure that he's walking you down the aisle, not you walking him.

HANNITY: Yes.

HASSELBECK: And I do think that it is her moment. Politically, it could — it seems to send this sort of idea of a rift. But I think that the Clintons are incredibly generous and smart and they probably did want it to remain a close-knit group of family and friends.

HANNITY: There was a lot of substantive questions, you asked a lot. There was a fun moment here. My good friend Joy Behar once called me dangerous, by the way. She asked, you know, how in touch is the president about Lindsay Lohan, about Twitter, about Mel Gibson. Here's how that went down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

BEHAR: Should Snooki run as mayor of Wasilla?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I got to admit, I don't know who Snooki is.

BEHAR: You don't?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I was on "The View" yesterday and somebody asked me who Snooki was. I said I don't know who Snooki is.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: But I know some really good teachers that you guys should be talking about. I didn't say the teacher part.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Oops, I guess he knew about Snooki, who, by the way, I don't know anything about.

HASSELBECK: Snooki?

HANNITY: Nothing.

HASSELBECK: So maybe you have that in common with him. See, you do have things in common with the president, Sean.

(LAUGHTER)

HASSELBECK: You really do.

HANNITY: Well, he did know about it because he mentioned it once before.

HASSELBECK: Yes, on May 1st, actually.

HANNITY: Yes.

HASSELBECK: At the White House Correspondence Dinner, correct?

HANNITY: That's correct. You got it right.

HASSELBECK: He did. And he mentioned — Snooki actually used her to make a point, which I'm thinking are you using Snooki to make a point? Do you not know about Snooki? Where are we here? Because I would hope that you're not just reading off a speech that someone wrote for you.

HANNITY: That's — that was my guess. All right. Elisabeth, honestly, we love the show. I thought you did a great job with the president. And thank you for coming in and giving us the behind-the- scenes. We love having you.

HASSELBECK: Anytime.

HANNITY: And "The View" is 11:00 Eastern weekdays.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: If you don't watch it, it's a fun show.

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