THE FIVE

President Obama vs. Hanoi Jane?

Obama: 'To our shame' Vietnam vets didn't always receive respect they deserved

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," May 17, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: That place they're talking about was Vietnam War. One of the great tragedies of American history and those of us who protested the war, yesterday the president of the United States gave a Medal of Honor Award posthumously to a Vietnam veteran. And in the course of that, he said something that sort of hit home with me when he suggested that my crowd, who were against the war perhaps didn't treat people right.

Let's take a listen to the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This month, we'll begin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. A time when to our shame, our veterans did not always receive the respect and the thanks they deserved -- a mistake that must never be repeated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKEL: I don't agree with the president about that. I mean, there were some people in the anti-war movement that did treat veterans badly.

That's true.

But as a group, as the whole, the anti-war movement which was huge, millions and millions of people did not treat veterans that way. Who treated veterans badly was the Veterans Administration, who didn't take care of them very well. But it wasn't the anti-war movement that did that.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: I say good for him.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Yes. Yes.

BECKEL: Good for him what?

GUTFELD: Good for Obama for saying that.

BOLLING: Good for President Obama to take time out of his campaigning with George Clooney and Ricky Martin and sit down and do something really respectful and respectable.

BECKEL: You can't even give the guy compliment without throwing that --

BOLLING: I think it's fantastic. He stood up for the military for once instead of using it as a photo op.

GUTFELD: The interesting thing, though, is where's the anti-war movement now? You think about that group that just plagued Bush, he can't say that about the movement now because they aren't anywhere. It's like the green movement with the BP spill.

BECKEL: The anti-Vietnam War movement was millions and tens of millions of people. It was not your Occupy Wall Street. It was huge. It did start with some people who were off campuses.

And by the time it finally reached its fulfillment, it was people from the suburbs whose kids were getting killed in a disgraceful war that was built on a lie.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: I think you can disagree with the war. But I do think you can't disagree with the way our troops were treated by some people.

And I think Obama did the right thing and it wasn't just the people who spit on our troops. It's Hollywood that somehow perpetuated that Vietnam vets are crazy -- "Platoon," "Taxi Driver," Robert de Niro, he is crazy and he's some psycho.

I mean, the constructs put in place by Fonda, by Kerry, by Oliver Stone, they've hurt our veterans.

Interesting on the politics of this particular speech yesterday, as I read it, that sentence that we -- that the sound bite that we used, you could have taken that out of the speech and the speech still hung together. So I don't know how often -- how many times he reads his speeches beforehand. That would be one of those things where you might say, you know, I don't know if I need to go there in this speech. So, it's a question of whether they just didn't realize or he was actually trying to make a point.

BOLLING: There is a little bit of a shift, though, you've noticed this, right?

BECKEL: I think he was making the point directly but, you know, Dana has raised an issue about Fred Hyatt of the "Washington Post" who wrote an interesting article saying that the Democrats division is between those of us who were nostalgic -- he calls them nostalgic liberals, versus accountability liberals which is generally older liberals versus younger liberals. Older liberals who protect the FDR tradition, we protect government programs and those who are accountability liberals who believe in things that -- if you don't have programs that work, they believe in things like having vouchers for schools. We don't because we think it will ruin the public school system.

Yes, there is this divide and it's generally the baby boom generation versus generation x, y and millennial generation, but it's real and I can see that Hyatt made a good point.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: H wrote it a little while ago, in the heat -- after the wake of the 2010 elections, remember, it was a question of the establishment versus Tea Party and then we had that conversation for a while but then -- and the media loves to talk about division amongst any party but in particular the GOP. When it comes to the Democrats, though, there is this growing divide and I don't think we have -- we've heard enough from people who are smart political analysts to tell us how -- what does that mean for the future of the Democratic Party?

GUTFELD: Here's the thing. I see division but I see it between, I would say, the blue collar Democrat and the academics. Right now, America is at war with the faculty lounge who dictated almost all public policy.

They provide the weekly story of government overreach that we talk about every, you know, every single day. I think that's what the split is.

BOLLING: It's not -- it's not a fiscal split, you know, where the Tea Party says we're fiscal conservatives, we don't venture into the social aspects of conservativism. Is that the neo-liberal?

BECKEL: No, I don't think so.

Go ahead, Andrea, you want to say something?

TANTAROS: No, I was going to say I agree with the nostalgia liberal, but accountability liberal? To me, that's an oxymoron. Hold on, it's like jumbo shrimp, or dry ice. I mean, some of the things that we're seeing, I've never met a liberal that wants to reform Social Security. I mean --

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: An accountability liberal I know is someone who switches parties and becomes a Republican. That's what accountability liberal is.

BECKEL: Did you have to mention shrimp?

(LAUGHTER)

BECKEL: The reality is there is a difference. One thing that does unite us is the Republican Party who we just cannot stand.

PERINO: And vice versa.

BECKEL: And vice versa. There you go.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.