Charles Krauthammer: It's 'Rather Pathetic' for President Obama to Blame Economic Woes on 'Bad Luck'

Conservative columnist says it's 'rather pathetic' for president to blame economic woes on 'bad luck'


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 19, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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MONICA CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: Another awful week for the American economy. Today the Dow dropped another 170 points, losing more than 14 percent for the month. To make matters worse, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase slashed their growth outlook for the U.S.A. So it doesn't look like the economy is going to be turning around any time soon.

You may remember that more than a year ago, the Obama administration promised they would be creating a half a million jobs every month. But after spending trillions of dollars and with the economy on the brink of another recession, here's what the president is saying now.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression and got the economy moving again, created two million private sector jobs over the last 17 months. But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck, some things that we could not control.


CROWLEY: Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer's latest syndicated column in The Washington Post examines the "bad luck." Charles joins me now from Washington. Great to see you, Charles. Welcome.


CROWLEY: So Charles, in Obama's blame roulette so far, we have seen him blame President Bush, the Tea Party, a dysfunctional Washington, the Japanese tsunami, the Arab spring, ATMs, the Internet, bad luck, and Big Foot. Now, OK, I just made up Big Foot, but he pretty much blames the bad economy on everything except his own bad policies.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, he promised us hope and change but he never told us, you know, it'd bring the bad luck. Look, I mean, it's rather pathetic for a president. You elect a leader to deal with events, to master them if he or she can but not to go around whining and complaining about events. Dealing with events is what a leader does.

And, you know, in the immortal words of Branch Rickey, "Luck is the residue of design," and Obama had a very specific design for the American economy. The trillion-dollar stimulus, which left not a trace, the heavy hand of Obamacare, and this blanket of regulation, the sort of the burst of regulatory zeal that we have seen everywhere which has essentially shut down our energy industry, which could be a source of economic growth and of jobs. And even so much as trying to shut down the Boeing -- the new expansion of the Boeing plant in South Carolina at the behest of unions, which is bringing prosperity and jobs into that area.

So, I mean, it's clear that his policies have failed. So what he does is he strikes out at two things: luck, bad luck, and also I would also add bad faith. It's the Republicans in Congress whom he says over and over again, he said it on the trip he just had in the Midwest, are not interested in country, interested only in party. Everything is politics. Everything is elections. The Republicans, he gives them no credit for actually having a belief in smaller government, less spending, less regulation. He thinks all they want is power. And as a result, they've shut down Washington and, thus, the bad faith of his opponents, meaning no interest in real change or improvement. Only in their own -- in their own interest is the cause of the stagnation in Washington.

And I guarantee you, if you listen to any of his campaign speeches from now until Election Day, all of the accusations, all of the charges, all of the excuses will fall into those two categories: bad luck, stuff out of my control, and bad faith by Republicans, who are essentially in his accusations acting unpatriotically.

CROWLEY: Charles, as you point out, these policies have been quite deliberate from the beginning. This administration has spent us into a Keynesian coma and over the last nearly three years, we have run their big government, big spending experiment. And now we see the results: staggeringly high unemployment, a housing sector still in collapse, inflation rising, manufacturing sliding and basically nonexistent GDP growth. And yet, this president seems congenitally unable to admit that his far-left approach has failed.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I don't expect he ever will and I think he'll continue to campaign on the fact that he had these designs that would have redeemed the economy. We heard that sound bite at the beginning: I had us on a roll and I had us in recovery and then all of a sudden, six months of bad luck and you know an opposition, the Republican opposition who cares only about election.

And what's so ironic, hypocritical and I think offensive about that charge is you ought to credit the other side at least with principles and ideas. I credit Obama with principles and ideas. He believes in equality. He believes America ought to be more like Europe with a leveled society and he pursues it. But the Republicans have a different idea of a limited government, but he won't credit them with actually having a competing idea, instead what he does is he accuses them of thinking only about election. And the reason it is not only a vile charge but a laughable one is because the Republicans earlier this year the voted in the House of Representatives all but five to radically reform Medicare which everyone knew would be a tremendous electorate risk and could cost many of those Republicans their entire political careers. It could cost the Republicans control of the House. That was a tremendously courageous political act and it was done for the country, for the national interest and to save our economy knowing it could cost them their political lives.

And on the other hand, Obama, who accuses them of having no principles except re-election, he hasn't proposed a single structural change in entitlements, which everyone knows is needed if our economy is going to be saved. Not a single one in two and a half years in office.

CROWLEY: Well absolutely, Charles. I agree with you and, you know, about two years ago, President Obama said of the economy, he said give it to me, bring it on. And when he said it, it reminded me of President Nixon going on "Laugh-In" saying sock it to me. And you know what? They did. And in this case he owns this economy.

Final question, very quickly Charles. What do you expect to hear from the president's speech next month when he gives us yet another address on jobs?

KRAUTHAMMER: He'll go for the usual. It will be the same Keynesian approach but it will be a mini stimulus. He'll try it once again but it'll be coupled with an acknowledgment about debt, so here's what he's going to say. Spend now, cut later. Spend now for growth, cut later for the debt. I can assure you that he'll want to spend; the cutting in the future, I don't believe a word of it.

CROWLEY: So in other words, same old, same old. Charles, thank you so much.


CROWLEY: Great to see you.


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