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Special Report

'All-Star' Panel on BP CEO and Obama Engaging in Leisure Activities During Gulf Crisis

From left to right: Tucker Carlson, A.B. Stoddard, Charles Krauthammer, and Shannon Brea m(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN FEINBERG, BP FUND ADMINISTRATOR: Ultimately in the next few weeks I have to make a decision, what do we keep that's in place, what do we change, how can we make the process more efficient, speedier, and get checks to people who are very angry and frustrated in the Gulf, and I can understand why.

BILL BURTON: And so after a week where the president was taking on the oil spill, got historic agreement with BP to put aside $20 billion to pay claims, I think a little bit of time to himself on Father's Day weekend probably does us all good as American citizens that our president is taking that time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHANNON BREAM, GUEST HOST: To talk about it, let's bring in the panel, Tucker Carlson, editor of thedailycaller.com., A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Welcome to you all. Tucker, happy Father's Day to you. I hope you had a good time. I don't know if you were out golfing with the president. Do you think he is taking too much heat over that over the weekend?

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: I think it does us all good as American citizens because the dear leader's joy is our joy. As a spokesman came out and said it's good for you he's playing golf.

I don't begrudge him his golf time. He has played golf 39 times since becoming president, more than twice as much as Bush did in that period. He's played a lot of golf. I haven't complained about it. It hasn't occurred to me complain about it. But it's a little rich in the fact of this golf playing record, this addiction, I think we can accurately say, to attack a man for bringing a son to watch a boating race. I'm not defending BP or defending the behavior post-spill, but I think it's fair to question the demagoguery of the White House when they make it that personal and go after the head of this company because he went and spent time with his son. I mean c'mon, it doesn't clean up the spill any faster.

BREAM: Let me ask you, it wasn't just the yachting race, but it was his yacht. The fact he owned the yacht. The upper-crustiness of it rubbed some people the wrong way. But it is his yacht. Should we give his a hard time?

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: I thought it was remarkable that he and his son were watching a yacht they owned, that they weren't racing but had had to go there to watch it.

I disagree with Tucker. I think perception is reality for BP and the White House, and as BP continues to disappoint and outrage the American public, and they are in a league of their own eventually it will stick to the administration, whether they like it or not. I don't think they can find enough distance from BP and hard to do when you are playing golf. I do think the president should take time off. And when you are managing two wars and a very troubled economy, you are allowed some time off. But perhaps the Nixon bowling alley or something else is a better place than outside on the links on Father's Day.

BREAM: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: These images only have an effect if they reinforce a previous stereotype. For Hayward, unfortunately, it enforced the stereotype of the, as you say, upper-crusty Englishman who says I want to get my life back when people are suffering.

He might have chosen a cricket match or something, but he chose something on the water with these boats out there for sport on clean water, whereas his company is polluting a Gulf where the shrimpers and fishermen are out there for a living which they can't pursue. That is the reason that that image strikes people as if not offensive, a little bit rich for him to be out there. It's like the John Kerry event. He had this image, as the pseudo-aristocratic, snooty guy that married a rich woman and lives off her money. He tries to fight that, and then all of a sudden, you see it in the famous wind surfing image where he is wearing the tightest and most expensive gear. People in Kansas say who is this guy? Like Dukakis in the tank, if the image plays into the preexisting stereotype, then you really get hurt, and Hayward did.

BREAM: Let's talk about Kenneth Feinberg, the man who was tasked with overseeing these payments that are going to go out. Tucker, who do you make of what he said so far?

CARLSON: In the end, this is how BP will be judged. All the personal attacks with yachting and golfing, in the end people will make determination based on whether these payments are fair. Are people who are suffering economically being made whole? Is BP paying the bill in the end? I actually think he's done a pretty good job of conveying the sense of control, of seeming on top of it. Opinions may differ on that but I actually like to watch the guy. He's believable.

BREAM: He is very plain spoken, A.B.

STODDARD: Yes, and he has good record with the September 11th fund to keep the claimants away from litigation, and he seems like he will be effective manager of the fund.

He is right to say he doesn't know if it's an adequate amount of money because we don't know the extent of damage yet. So that scares people that it might be more, but that's a possibility that we just don't know the extent of how much compensation will be required.

BREAM: Kenneth Feinberg obviously an American, but he is going to be paying out their money. But is he one of the best things that happened to BP at this point, giving creditability to the situation?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think so. I just love hearing him. He sounds like a professor of elocution in a Boston accent. It's a great combination.

(LAUGHTER) It's true. In 9/11 he had to make terrible decisions and basically give a price to a person's life. How much do you give the family if so-and-so died? And had to establish a scale -- lower if he was a firemen or higher if somebody earned more, which is a horrible decision you have to make. But it follows the way the courts allocate these kinds of compensation. So he's an honorable guy with a good track record in an impossible job, and he elicits trust. I think he was a good man that you could choose. I'm not sure I like the process in which $20 billion was established and I think it is overstepping the legal bounds or what the federal government or presidency ought to do, but once we have that, he's a good guy to run it.

BREAM: It sounds like we'll learn more about how the agreement came together and what it constitutes. We'll take a look at that.

KRAUTHAMMER: There was a proverbial gun on the table when the negotiations were happening.

BREAM: It's a done deal now.

That's it for the panel on this topic. Much more coming up. Go to the homepage at foxnews.com/specialreport to check out all the latest news. Up next, is the president dragging his feet on immigration on purpose?

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SEN. JON KYL, R-ARIZ.: Here is what the president said. The problem is, he said, if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform. In other words, they're holding it hostage. They don't want to secure the boarder unless and until it's combined with comprehensive immigration reform.

BILL BURTON: No, the president didn't say that. Senator Kyl knows that the president didn't say that. What everybody knows because the president has made it perfectly clear is that what we need to do is everything that we can to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.

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BREAM: Let's bring in the panel to talk about it again, Tucker Carlson, A.B. Stoddard and Charles Krauthammer. And just to give you the next chapter in the saga, after the comments from the White House from Bill Burton today, our producer Trish Turner ran into Jon Kyl.

This is the last thing he said, "I portrayed the conversation totally accurately. The president cannot say what I said is incorrect." Charles, a senator accusing the White House of one thing, the president and the White House accusing a senator of lying. How serious is this?

KRAUTHAMMER: There is no way we'll adjudicate what actually happened with only two people in the room. It looks as if neither is giving quarter on this and they're all insisting on the truth of their position.

But the underlying argument that the Obama administration, like the left of the Democratic Party, is holding out on enforcement as a chip with which it will purchase amnesty is true. There is no doubt that -- the whole idea of comprehensive is a way of saying unless you give us what we want, amnesty or a path to citizenship, we will hold back on enforcement because that is the only chip in negotiating with you.

And it is a scandal because it is a duty of the federal government, whatever it wants. It has to execute the laws. Illegal immigration is illegal. It has to be enforced. It's a federal responsibility. And not doing it as a way to achieve some kind of legislative agenda is a dereliction of duty at the least.

Now, Kyl is a straight shooter. I believe him implicitly. On the other hand, Obama is a very smart man and I don't know that he would actually explicitly say that, because it really is cheap and tawdry. I suspect maybe something in between happened, where there was a statement about you know, if you guys give us x, we'll give you y, which the two men could interpret differently and that's what I suspect may actually have happened.

BREAM: A.B., Charles makes an excellent point, as always, about the fact that the president is very measured and very smart about what he says. Do you find it hard to believe from that angle that he would give away so much?

STODDARD: He is nothing if not disciplined, and it's stunning to imagine him being blunt and talking that way, particularly with Senator Jon Kyl who has been asking for 6,000 National Guard troops to the border, who's representing Arizona where it's a huge issue. Obviously, the government is now going to bring a case against the Arizona immigration law, a very heated issue.

I wasn't in the room so I'm not going to say that the president acted stupidly. And I'm not going to call, you know, Senator Jon Kyl a liar. He is, as Charles mentioned, one of the biggest work horses in the Senate. He never seeks the spotlight. He is always head down, doing something to legislate and not to get himself on television. And he is the last person that President Obama wants to be in a shooting match with right now about who is lying. This is embarrassing for the White House. This is only going to further excite the border security crowd, who is much more enthusiastic and ready to vote in this fall's midterm election than the immigration reform opponents who haven't gotten anything out of the Democratic leadership or the White House except for promises and talk. This is the upshot of it. Politically it is very tough for the administration.

BREAM: Tucker, are you surprised that such an important nugget to come from Senator Kyl, we'd find out about it through YouTube video snapped at a town meeting?

CARLSON: I think it's odd. I want to restate what Charles and A.B. said. There are some senators one could imagine would pop off and say some lunatic things. In fact, a lot of them do that. But Senator Kyl, a lawyer specializing in water rights, is the last guy to do that. He is eminently believable.

This is an odd way to find out. I know that his office had really no apparent interest in publicizing it. They confirmed in the background that it in fact happened but they didn't want to talk about it. I'm not sure how to account for that. I'm not sure what that means. I will disagree in part with what A.B. just said. I think there may be an upside for the administration in this conversation. There usually is when the conversation turns to immigration, which is one of the reasons that Senator Reid moved it up on the legislative calendar. It does incite part of the Democratic base. Hispanic voters are upset and increasingly so by what they see as the Republican hostility to them and their position. This is a way, this conversation in general -- not this specific conversation, but the general conversation is a way to get the Democratic base to polls.

BREAM: Charles, I'll give you last word. Does this pour fuel on the fire about the immigration debate at this point, the scandal?

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm not sure it changes the underlying dynamics. They will revolve around the law passed in Arizona. There will be a lawsuit. That's where the action will be. All of the energy and the argument will be about that.

So I think it will be a good, substantive argument. I'm glad the courts will look at it. The courts is where we adjudicate these kind of arguments between here and the federal government and the states.

I think this is going to be a blip. It will probably look because it's unresolvable, it will remain as he said, he said, and it will in short order fade away.

BREAM: All right, we'll see. Panel, thank you very much.