THE FIVE

White House spinning Sandra Fluke flap?

Bolling: 'War on women' is really a fight over entitlement

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST:Ladies and gentlemen, President Obama and his allies in the press are trying to pull a fast one on you. You've heard all about the so-called contraception controversy. Well, there is no such thing. And tonight, we're going to connect the dots for you.

Listen carefully to the question from President Obama's press conference today and then I'll explain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: House Democrats said Republicans in a similar issue are

engaged in a war on women. Some top Republicans say it's more like

Democrats are engaged in a war for the women's vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Actually, it's neither. This whole situation is really about President Obama's entitlement society and his war on freedom of religion in the United States of America. His foot soldier, Sandra Fluke, a contraception activist, is at the center of the storm.

Bill O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg discussed Mrs. Fluke last night. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Here's a woman who is smart enough to get in Georgetown Law. She's smart enough to get in that school. She's smart enough to get into a whole bunch of other schools. Yet she thinks that a Catholic University which she consciously decided to attend should change its values to suit her.

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS: She knew that Georgetown's insurance policy that covers students did not include contraception, when she agreed to go to the school.

GOLDBERG: It should be more of a discussion about that. My only problem is with the content of what she said. She is a poster person for the entitlement society.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: All right. Bob, follow me here. President Obama on the ropes with the economy and women voters getting Mrs. Fluke to create a controversy and the liberal mainstream media puppets play along as scripted.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: You know, it's the fact that they could pull that all together is really an amazing thing. I -- you think still there was an extra shooter in Dallas.

BOLLING: No, but I think she was clearly part of this --

BECKEL: First of all, we have Bernie Goldberg on here, who is the poster child for un-entitlement. He doesn't believe in my entitlements, number one.

Number two, the idea that she was set up to do this by the White House is ridiculous.

And number three, if you say the president of the United States is at war against religion is one of the most outrageous and unsubstantiated comments I think I've heard out of you from the beginning of the show.

BOLLING: Well, I think I said it was an entitlement war and the war on freedom.

BECKEL: No, no, no --

BOLLING: Did I say both? I'm pretty sure I said entitlement.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: Well, you said the administration has no role in picking her as a witness. Bob, you know how the Hill works. I've worked on the Hill. You pick witnesses for strategic reasons.

I guess my question is, from a tactical standpoint, why pick her? Why not pick a woman who works at the university who can't afford to have a baby? Or a woman who, you know, shouldn't get pregnant for health reasons?

Why pick someone supremely radical and part of the fringe gender mania, sex of the university class to testify? I mean, to me, it doesn't make any sense if that's the person that you pick.

BOLLING: What do you think, Dana? It changes the dialogue a little bit. It keeps the emphasis off the economy, gas prices and on something that the liberals think they can sink their teeth in.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Well, I do think that going back to January 20th, when President Obama signed the executive order on the Conscience Clause and called Cardinal Dolan and said, sorry, I know that we had -- you thought I was going to go a different way on this. I changed my mind.

I think that they though, when they did that on a Friday, that by Monday, it would do away. The Planned Parenthood/Komen Thing happened the next week. Then you have this.

And now, it's all of a sudden, it's like whoa -- it's like throwing a lit cigarette out the window in Wyoming in dry season and then you realize, holy cow, I started a bush fire. Now, they don't know how to get control of it.

And conservatives, it takes them a while to get their argument match up -- to meet up with their mouth. But, finally, I think today, now, people are starting to realize, oh, wait a second. Why should this be free? Why can't she pay? I don't understand. Why should the university be forced?

And so, it caught up with them and they don't have enough water to put the fire out.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: If you think this is accidental and she just happens to be the one that went for it and not even close. This was very purposeful and specific. She does have ties. She even said, go on Media Matters. She's directing people to their site because she is engaging in propaganda.

This isn't about women's health issues. This is about trying to put some pressure and put the Republicans in a position of being labeled as anti-women, unfriendly to women, unfriendly to women's health issues. And, in fact, directly against them.

BECKEL: So you think somebody from the White House clandestinely went out of the night, into the Georgetown law school and recruited this woman to do this?

TANTAROS: Yes. I think somebody from the committee did. I absolutely think --

BECKEL: I only wish they were that good.

TANTAROS: I have planned these hearings before, and you go through your witnesses very carefully.

BECKEL: I know you do.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: And I do think to build on both points.

BECKEL: Oh, here is where your politics of you all, I think your political analysis is way off. I think this is driving women to Obama in truckloads.

TANTAROS: But that's what I was going to say.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: If they did this to get that to happen, more power to 'em.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, it wasn't an accident.

PERINO: I don't know about that.

BOLLING: Should we and should the conservatives -- should we refrain this argument? And should we talk about this, whether or not this was a plan? Whether or not Sandra Fluke tells us to go to Media Matters or not, and point out that maybe this is concerted effort between the left and maybe even the White House?

PERINO: I don't think they knew what they were doing. I don't think they knew what they were getting into. But now, then they embraced it. Not only did they -- they had the president call her. Then we have the situation with the radio talk show host and then we had Bill Maher last night. And it goes on and on.

And so then today, this is what I can't understand about the White House -- why announce yesterday that you're going to have a press conference today, Super Tuesday, when they could just have left well enough alone, and let him have his great day on Monday with Netanyahu to kind of patch things up?

Today, he gets himself into the Bill Maher mess by not saying he would return that donation. And now, everybody is questioning the Netanyahu comments from yesterday or his comments to Netanyahu. And instead of taking the opportunity to look presidential, you look just like the numbskulls that he's trying to run against on Super Tuesday.

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: He keeps doing that.

BECKEL: He took your advice with Netanyahu yesterday. I want you to know that.

PERINO: I know, but then he ruined it today.

BECKEL: Well, the idea they put the press conference together today to ruin Super Tuesday for the Republicans is about as lame brain analysis as I can think of. It was lame brain without --

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: Come on. We debated this, like we do every Tuesday, and we admitted that if it were us, we would have done the same thing --

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I would have done it in the conversation on Israel, sure, which -- this is a big thing to talk about. But to get yourself out there and have yourself, get into this embroiled in what's his name --

BOLLING: Whoa, wait, wait, Bob. Wait.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: And announced a housing plan.

BOLLING: There were two obligatory questions on Israel right off the top and then they went right into this issue. They framed it right into --

GUILFOYLE: Well, they're trying to capitalize on it.

BOLLING: The Republicans have a war on women and --

GUILFOYLE: Come on. This is an election season. It's Super Tuesday, he's going to try and have the talking points.

BECKEL: Well, it's not -- first of all, a lot of people were not going to stop and lead the polls and come back and listen to his press conference I assume.

But, secondly, I don't see what he said that is going to overtake the headlines from the Republican.

PERINO: Exactly, that's the point.

GUILFOYLE: Background noise.

PERINO: They announced another -- yet another housing program for speculators in the housing market, which I thought we didn't like speculators.

And then the other thing is, if they thought that wouldn't encourage people to get out there and vote today, if you are a Republican, that it was a reminder that I better get out --

TANTAROS: And they also talked about military families, which -- really, who is going to come out against what he is talking about today. Let's talk military families. And at a press conference, it's like, I'm the president and I don't like cancer.

BOLLING: Let's be fair. Obama has started his first press conference of the year with a redistribution of your wealth. And then he can get in who --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Kimberly --

GUILFOYLE: Yes?

BOLLING: Was it smart of Obama to bring in his wife? He talked about Michelle in one of the questions and he talked about Malia and Sasha, brought his daughters into the rhetoric on women's issues.

Is that smart move on his part?

GUILFOYLE: It's a calculated move. You know, it's going to be tough to find criticism. You're not going to want to be against them, against the first lady, against the children. It does soften his image.

He's trying to show he's a family man. He loves his wife. He has two daughters, he cares deeply and passionately about women's issues. He's going to play that card.

BECKEL: Listen, the fact is, he is a great dad. And have you seen any two children who have had less publicity than these two have? And have been better protected. Or a first lady who as -- her popularity is higher than anybody else in Washington. But I still get back to this point --

BOLLING: How did they get mixed in this, though? Here is my question, why --

BECKEL: Eric, this is called the bully --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: -- when the issue is over here.

BECKEL: This is the bully pulpit you're talking about here. Now, whether they use it correctly or not all the time is an open question. But you do in a presidential year what is necessary to disrupt the opposition. I would.

GUILFOYLE: That's what we said. So, you agree with today and what they're doing.

PERINO: I think today, he was just speaking from the heart and he mentioned his daughters because they were --

BECKEL: I think that's right.

PERINO: I don't think it was -- I don't think that part was calculated. But --

BOLLING: Is the phone call to Mrs. Fluke calculated?

PERINO: Absolutely.

And let me just tell you about this -- if any adviser -- I can't imagine going in to the president's office and saying, excuse me, sir, I have a great idea. I think that you should call you this woman. And him saying, that's a great idea, I'm going to do it.

I think the commander-in-chief would say, do you really think that's what the commander-in-chief should be doing today?

And so, now, they took away their own best talking point.

GUILFOYLE: They do that often. Yes.

TANTAROS: I think that they're nervous that's why they're playing politics in the Republican primary. We saw it with the Biden editorial in the Des Moines Register. He tried to step on the Michigan story last week --

GUILFOYLE: The same thing.

TANTAROS: -- with the speech at UAW.

So, I do think they are very, very nervous. And that's why they're doubling down -- hold on, let me just finish.

It's the war on women. And to go back to this Fluke character, when you look at who she really is and what her message is, a lot of people look at her going, you don't like her, you should have went to Yale, you should have went to another school -- because think about what she is saying. Government, stay out of my life. Liberals always make this argument. Once I need -- once I get pregnant, then it's my body. But before then, before it starts to cost me money, you know.

GUILFOYLE: She chose that to demonize the Catholic schools and highlight it.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: It's singularly the most -- I mean, I don't get it all. Out there in the country, nobody is trying to dice this thing like this. Out there, it comes to women, Democrats have won this battle hand down.

TANTAROS: It wasn't even her own testimony. Look at the transcript. She is talking about her BFF ovaries, not her own. Why aren't these girls up there?

BECKEL: Stay on values and stay women and we'll love you all the way to November 2nd.

BOLLING: The thought that kept coming to my mind when he was talking about Sasha and Malia, Sasha and Malia, pick up the phone and make sure Sasha and Malia don't ever encounter this. Where is the phone call to the returning, the veterans and families of veterans who are --

BECKEL: Wait a minute, Eric.

BOLLING: Where is the phone call to Border Agent Brian Terry's family --

BECKEL: Wait a second.

BOLLING: -- who was shot possibly because of some failing policy --

BECKEL: That is worse. This guy spends a lot of time just like George Bush did, with people who've lost soldiers in battle with the families. He does it. He does it quietly, but he does it.

GUILFOYLE: He doesn't do it quietly.

(CROSSTALK)

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