Backlash over Obama's remarks about Americans' success

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

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Just 112 days until Election Day and tonight president Obama and his surrogates are launching more insults at Governor Romney.

Now listen to the latest comment made by DNC Chairwoman Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, D-FLA.: Mitt Romney is running for president of the United States and, you know, he and his campaign team leadership need to put their big boy and big girl pants on and defend his record. They don't want to show us his record. They are running the most secretive campaign for president of a major party in history.


HANNITY: Well, guess what, Congresswoman, your wish is our command. In just a moment, the always outspoken Romney adviser Governor John Sununu will go head-to-head with Juan Williams.

But first, late last week, President Obama insulted every small business owner in America when he said that they owed their success to somebody else. Oh, really? Watch this.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.


And today, Governor Romney responded and fiercely in one of his most impressive speeches today. Romney not only defended his record but the hardworking success of all Americans. Listen to this.


MITT ROMNEY, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To say that Steve Jobs didn't build Apple, that Henry Ford didn't build Ford Motor, that Papa John didn't build Papa John Pizza, that Ray Crock didn't build McDonalds, that Bill Gates didn't build Microsoft, you go down the list, that Joe and his colleagues didn't build this enterprise, to say something like that is not just foolishness, it's insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America. It's wrong.

It also extends to everybody in America that wants to lift themselves up a little further. That goes back to school to get a degree and see if they can get a little better job, to somebody who wants to get new skills and get a little higher income.

The president would say, well, you didn't do of that. All right? You couldn't have gone to school without the roads the government build for you and you couldn't have gone to school without teachers. So, you didn't -- you are not responsible for that success.

Look, President Obama attacks success and therefore under President Obama we have less success and I will change that. I've got to be honest. I don't think anyone could have said what he said who had actually started a business or been in the business.


And joining me now with reaction, the author of "Muzzled," Fox News political analyst Juan Williams. And former New Hampshire governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu is here.

And you know, what? I wouldn't be here, Juan, if my mother didn't change my diapers.


HANNITY: And I wouldn't be here, Juan if she didn't feed me those marked mashed up peas and carrots, you know, or they didn't build the bridge back in 1952, that I get to cross. I mean, how ignorant is this? How out of touch is Obama with what it takes to build a business? I think this is damaging to him.

JOHN SUNUNU, FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: Go ahead before I cover for him.



SUNUNU: No, no, go ahead. I want to hear this answer.

WILLIAMS: Well, I just don't think it's damaging in any way. I think the fact is, Sean, you are a very talented communicator, but the fact is that Rupert Murdoch gave you an opportunity through Roger Ailes to have a show here at Fox.

HANNITY: All true.

WILLIAMS: And you have demonstrated talent and ability and you have built it but...

HANNITY: Well, that's in dispute.

WILLIAMS: But yes, you know what Sean Hannity did this all by himself? No. And to suggest that somehow in America a country that had political stability --

HANNITY: Juan, Juan, Juan.

WILLIAMS: -- that has law to protect business, stop bribery, stop corruption,, that America is the number one place in the world to do business.

HANNITY: And we wouldn't be here if our moms didn't change our diapers.

WILLIAMS: Oh, stop.

HANNITY: And we wouldn't be here if people didn't nurture us, and we wouldn't be here if we didn't have a schoolteacher.

Governor Sununu, your reaction to the president's remarks?

SUNUNU: Look, there are lots of countries with roads and bridges and sewers but they don't create jobs and businesses like America. This is different. We have entrepreneurs here who have a spirit of being willing to make the sacrifice of taking a second mortgage going out and hiring a few people and taking a chance and creating a lot of jobs. And all the president has been doing is condemning success.

How can you be president of America, how can you be president of this country, if you condemn the success that America is noted for? And when you demean the business people, particularly the small business people that you hope will create some of the jobs that this administration hasn't been able to coax out of the private sector? When you insult them you scare them again.

They're not going to make investments here and create jobs with a president like that. I guarantee you that what we are seeing in the private sector is a hoarding of capital. They are waiting to see the results of the presidential election. If President Obama is elected, that capital goes offshore. If Mitt Romney is elected, they buy equipment and they start hiring here.

WILLIAMS: Oh, John, so in other words, the people of America are being punished by the rich right now who is, as you say, are hoarding capital because of some --



WILLIAMS: -- political agenda that they have?


WILLIAMS: They don't care about making money? They don't care about providing jobs to the American people? John, I think you are hurting your argument and your candidate.

SUNUNU: They are scared stiff of the incompetence in the White House.


SUNUNU: And policies which are every day being touted as we want to punish you for your success. We are going to tax you more, we are going to regulate you more, we are going to impose ObamaCare on you more, we are going cut your ability to create jobs. And we are not very happy with an American agenda of success.

WILLIAMS: Oh, yes. That's why this president, President Obama, is the one who gets blamed for bailing out Wall Street. Oh, my gosh, look at all those capitalists. This is a president whose cut taxes, you know, I believe he's got more taxes than President Bush cut beforehand.

HANNITY: Hey, Juan. He raised taxes, Juan.

WILLIAMS: So, I mean, John -- I mean, I just don't see this.

SUNUNU: Juan, Juan, he raised taxes. With all due respect --

WILLIAMS: On what?

SUNUNU: This president raised taxes with ObamaCare.

HANNITY: Health care.

SUNUNU: There are 21 taxes in ObamaCare.

WILLIAMS: Oh, come on, John.

SUNUNU: You don't believe ObamaCare is a tax?


SUNUNU: Talk to the Supreme Court.

WILLIAMS: No, John even if you say -- OK.

SUNUNU: Talk to the solicitor general that he sent to the Supreme Court.

WILLIAMS: Look, even if I say, OK, that's something that's perspective and it would only apply to people who don't have health insurance. There is no tax right now if you have to stay on that basis, Governor.

HANNITY: Juan, Juan, wait a minute, Juan, that's not true. The original plan that Obama sold to the country said it was a penalty not a tax. He also said his estimate was $900 billion. Now that estimate has creep up to $2.6 trillion. Let me point -- let me just give you the facts on the economy. First time in American history we've had a downgrade. We've got federal spending percentage GDP highest since World War II. Federal deficit, federal debt, percentage of GDP highest since World War II. Long-term unemployment highest since the 1930s. Fewer people working now than when Obama took office. Home ownership the lowest rate since 1965. Black unemployment, the lowest, the highest in 27 years.

SUNUNU: Picky, picky, picky.

HANNITY: Wait a minute.

SUNUNU: Picky, picky, picky.

HANNITY: Are we better --


Well, I mean, but these are real -- but this was important.

SUNUNU: I know that. I know that. That's the point.

WILLIAMS: Do you think Sean has a point here?

SUNUNU: Come on, look, look, we have a president whose statement this weekend was an absolute disgrace. For him to tell the people that take the chances to create jobs that they didn't do it, I think is insulting. I cannot imagine, I cannot imagine how that thought popped into his head. I do notice he went off teleprompter, and so that's probably part of the reason. But for him to reveal his real feelings about the country that way, I think was not very smart in a political campaign.

WILLIAMS: Well, let me make a suggestion as to what was in his mind. Obviously I don't know, but what was in his mind was that we all, and I think the three of us are pretty successful Americans, the two of you are in another category, but let me just say, all of us owe something to America and all of us should...

HANNITY: Everybody agrees with that, Juan.

SUNUNU: He was talking about business creators.

HANNITY: Hold on, hold on.

SUNUNU: He's not talking about people with a good job, he's talking about business creators.

WILLIAMS: Yes, people --


WILLIAMS: Correct and they should be paying -- they should be paying their fair share taxes and you know, what? Overwhelmingly the polls indicate Americans agree with President Obama. People who are rich in this country should pay something back and help future generations define their footing.

HANNITY: Juan, Juan, the top one percent pays 39 percent. The bottom

50 percent pays zero in federal income tax.

WILLIAMS: That's like GE. That's like GE. That's like, look, effective tax rates on corporations is 23 percent. That's highly competitive around the world.

HANNITY: You didn't answer my question. The top -- percent pays 39 percent of the tax, the bottom 50 percent of wage earners pay nothing. And then you take a sledgehammer to the one percent, to the people that pay the bills and you lecture them that they don't pay their fair share.

WILLIAMS: The rich are fleeing America. The rich are feeling by the minute. Oh, we've got to stop it. Oh, come on.

SUNUNU: They are. Canada had more Americans except for one year, more Americans look for permanence to move into Canada to do business.

Juan, it doesn't make any difference what I think, it doesn't make any difference what you think. What makes a difference is that what he has created in the mind of the job creators of America, and they are scared stiff of this president.

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