This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: As we inch closer to the 2012 elections, the GOP presidential hopefuls keep hammering away on the campaign trail all the reasons why Obama needs to be a one term president. And my next guest says, well, he might as well just start calling him -- President Obama --the campaigner in chief.
And joining me now to list the reasons why he believes we should trade in President Obama's "Yes, we can," slogan for "We can't wait," syndicated columnist Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer.
Charles, welcome back sir. Good to you see.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Happy to be here.
HANNITY: I read your column. Why is it now "we can't wait"?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, look. He had his "Yes, we can" and it turned out he really couldn't, so now it's "we can't wait," meaning everything is the fault of the Republicans. And yet, so he keeps saying, you know, we've got to get the jobs bill, we have to get all this done, stuff I want. Now, it turns out that he had a decision to make, a very important decision that involved thousands of really shovel ready jobs, big infrastructure project, exactly the kind he says he wants for America, and that jobs are number one. Also a project that would really reduce our dependence on unfriendly sources of energy abroad.
This is the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada that would be carrying out dirty oil, oil shale down to refineries in Texas. A huge project. And the decision went to him. It had been studied for three years by the State Department because it is responsibility when it crosses an international frontier. And they have studied that, the long study for ecological effects of any pipeline in U.S. history. Two conclusions, two studies, huge amount of research on this, it concluded there is no significant risk at all. What does Obama do? He decides, he will decide unilaterally. And what does he decide, he decides to punt this. No decision, more study, for 12 to 18 months, meaning he kicked it until after the election.
Now this is -- and the excuses are, well, you know, it's going to increase global warning. This is preposterous. The Canadians have said if it doesn't go south to the United States, it's going to go west to Asia. They are not going to stop the oil sands. It will be exactly the same effect, if any, on the environment. So it will have no effect at all in changing the environment if we decide not to take the oil. And the second item about the possible danger to the U.S. ecological structure in Nebraska and elsewhere. Again, there was this huge study which said, there's no significant risk.
The interesting thing is that The New York Times and The Washington Post, in reporting on this, have shown how unbelievably, purely, nakedly political was the decision. The Times reports that days before the president's announcement, they had been looking for ways to put the decision past Election Day. Not to improve on the pipeline or study it in any other way, to make it past, because he doesn't want to anger the people on his left, his base, who are against the pipeline. And The Post reported that one of its sources has said that the campaign people, in the Obama campaign, had concluded that approving the pipeline, which everybody expected, Canada expected, everybody expected, that approving it would bring them not one extra vote on Election Day. And, thus, he kills a project essentially, at least for 18 months possibly -- it will never happen if Canada heads it west -- he kills it entirely for political and personal election reasons.
HANNITY: It's sort of like, you know, what we only discovered this week about Solyndra, is that they wanted the firings delayed until after the 2010 elections. So, he's punting here, and that, as you point out, the risks still remain because they're going to send that oil off to China and we are going to pay higher oil prices.
And the other fascinating thing here, Charles, is that Canada had a recession they got out of because they started drilling. Unemployment in North Dakota is 3.5 percent because they are drilling. It seems like the easiest way, the simplest way to get immediate jobs into the economy and help us get out of the recession, the president keeps rejecting that. So the very thing that would help him, I think it would help him despite of what his advisors are concluding.
KRAUTHAMMER: And especially with the oil cracking $100 a barrel again, especially given that after the Gulf oil spill, he essentially shut down drilling, now it's slightly relaxed. But still, the East Coast, West Coast are shut down and Alaska, huge restrictions. This is such an obvious source of recovery, of jobs, of income and of independence. Otherwise, we have to depend on really unreliable countries around the world who don't like us and would hurt us if they could.
HANNITY: All right. I mean -- I'm sorry --
KRAUTHAMMER: And it also is hand and glove with what happened, for example, on this decision he made to wind down the surge in Afghanistan. In September of next year, again, it's election-driven. September makes no sense whatsoever. It is during the fighting season. You either do it earlier in the year or later in the year. And his commanders -- not one commander had recommended a winding down of the surgeons September. Why did he do it? Because he wants to actually have something that he can say in the last weeks of the election, I made a promise on Afghanistan and I kept it.
HANNITY: That's pretty sad.
KRAUTHAMMER: This is all about his re-election. And what galls me is that he keeps saying over and over again that Republicans are the party who put party over nation, elections over the national interests, and these are naked examples of him doing exactly what he accuses the Republicans are doing.
HANNITY: It's extraordinary well-said as usual. But let me ask you one political question here. Because you had some pretty harsh words about Herman Cain, especially on his foreign policy knowledge. These polls that have come out this week, these three national polls that now have Newt ahead, and probably more importantly for a candidate, he came out, there's a poll this week that has him way up in Iowa and now a poll out today neck and neck with Governor Romney in New Hampshire. What do you make of his sudden rise in the polls?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I'm not sure that I believe that, you know, one poll at one time in one place indicates a sudden rise.
HANNITY: I'm talking about five separate polls here.
KRAUTHAMMER: Look, I have nothing against Herman Cain. I think he's a terrific guy. He has a great story and he has terrific talents. What I'm saying is I call them like I see them. Anybody who has watched him in the debate on foreign affairs, anybody who watched his response on Libya, anybody who has watched him in any talking about what is happening abroad, knows, and it's rather obvious, that he's over his head and he's winging it. There's no other way to explain that Libya answer. As if Libya were some strange, obscure country, you know, Tajikistan, which you wouldn't expect anybody to actually know a lot about it. It's a story, it's a war we've been writing about, talking about, arguing about, for eight months. And now this simply -- I call it as I see it.
HANNITY: I got you.
KRAUTHAMMER: It's not reflected in the polls. I'm not offended. Americans have their own opinions and they can reject mine.
HANNITY: Real quick on Newt, what do you make of his rise? Can he sustain it? And do you think it may be coming down? Because we're getting very close here to vacation time and probably not as much attention on presidential politics and January 3rd, the caucuses. Will Newt sustain his rise in the polls or?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, he's right now, this is like a cycle that we've seen over and over again. As soon as you end up in the top tier, all the artillery is shot at you. The story on Freddie and Fannie. The story on the millions he took in with his health care strategic advising. You know, people are going to learn about the ad he did with Nancy Pelosi in which he spoke about global warming and the need to essentially spend a lot of money by the government to counteract it. So, all of these issues which people have not probably been aware of in the past are going to be now out front.
HANNITY: All right.
KRAUTHAMMER: And we will have to see how he answers, how he weathers it, and whether he can make a coherent and defensible argument against all of these new news that people are going to hear.
HANNITY: All right. Charles Krauthammer, always good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
KRAUTHAMMER: A pleasure.
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