Krauthammer 'surprised' by personal White House apology

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 1, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: While the president has made a habit out of apologizing for America overseas, when it comes to the vile attacks the administration lobs at its political opponents, no matter how inaccurate they are, team Obama just cannot be bothered to say the words, I'm sorry. That's why yesterday's White House apology to Charles Krauthammer was all the more shocking.

After a week of feuding, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer admitted on Tuesday that he was wrong and that the president did in fact return the bust of Winston Churchill to Great Britain. Now, on a blog post on the official White House Web site, Pfeiffer wrote, and I quote, "I take your criticism seriously and you are correct that you are owed an apology. There was clearly an internal confusion about the two busts and there was no intention to deceive. I clearly overshot the runway in my post."

And here to tell us if he accepts this rare apology, the man himself, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer. Charles, I am waiting for an apology, the President, you know, was going to send this guy Mr. Burgouis (ph) to tear me up -- you've got the apology -- I have not gotten my apology. Your reaction.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: You know, I you must say, I was as surprised as anyone. I actually wrote in my column on Monday, giving my side of the argument. And I ended it by saying that, you know, I tried to show the evidence that I was right. And I just said, I am asking for a retraction and asked for an apology. I said, I don't really expect it. I would assume -- I would expect that the Nationals to win the World Series before I see an apology. And within six hours, I get the apology, which means that the Nationals are going to win the World Series. Put your money on it.

HANNITY: No, that means they are not going to win the World Series. My Yankees are going to win the World Series. And that's 100 percent, Charles.

All right. But you felt that something was missing. What's the something?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, look, it was -- I made a very simple statement that Obama had returned the bust of Churchill that had been lent to the United States to the Bush administration in the Bush years. And I thought it was pretty unobjectionable. It was not the major point of my column. It was all about the Romney trip and some of the slights that our allies have experienced from the Obama administration, over the last three years. And then all of a sudden, I get this furious attack on the White House Web site, which is not exactly, you know, a small megaphone, saying that I was pedaling ridiculous rumors and this was 100 percent false, et cetera, and showing what appeared to be photographic evidence of the claim that the bust had not been given back to the Brits, but had had been moved to a different part of the White House.

Now when I read that -- that blog post, I was amazed because this is not something -- my statement was not something new. It had been around for years. The Brits had written about this fashionably in 2009. And it turned out, of course, that the White House ultimately had made a mistake. It was returned. I called the British embassy and within hours, they issued a statement that the bust that was given by the British government in 2001, was now residing in the British ambassador's residence in Washington. And that the bust that was shown in the picture that was -- purported to be the one that was simply shifted from one part of the White House to the other was actually one that'd be given in the 1960s and had nothing to do at all with the issue at hand and the sculpture at hand.

HANNITY: All right. Listen, you know what? It's gracious of you -- which, by the way, you know, for those of us that know you, you accepting their apology.

Let me move on. The polls, we pay attention to them. They now begin to matter. Ninety seven out of an election, they are beginning to matter especially in swing states. But we see this pattern in the media where the Democrats are over sampled, you know, nine points, 11 points, 10 points.

Latest poll, New York Times, CBS poll, Quinnipiac poll that came out. They've looked at three swing states. Let's go to Florida first, and as you can see right here, OK, it's a pretty big margin, six-point margin by President Obama, 51-45, but they over sample Democrats by nine percent. If you look at Ohio, they over sample Democrats by eight percent. And if you look at Pennsylvania, not a state that Governor Romney has to win, a little bit closer, as only by six percent. What extent do you think this has an impact as we look at these models that will not exist in this election year?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, if I could just say one last thing, is that I want to say that I do appreciate the apology from the White House. It was I think a gracious one and the case is closed. I don't want to continue that. I just want to make it plane that this -- I appreciate what was done. And it was unexpected and something that I think the White House can actually point to as an expression of its good will.

HANNITY: Oh, it's nice to hear them not apologize for America for once -- but, you know, but I digress.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, those are separate issues. Yes. I know, somebody actually has said that I am not the only enemy on earth other than rogue states, that has received an apology from the White House. But I don't want to repeat that, so it's just between you and me.

HANNITY: No, don't repeat that. Just between us.


Now, on the polls, I think the one that is a little bit suspicious here -- and I say "suspicious," I am not implying conspiracy -- is the Florida poll. Because the over sampling here, I think he said was nine points. Now, the important thing is not the amount of over sampling of Democrats over Republicans, but the comparing the over sampling to what was in the exit polls in 2008.

So in the State of Florida, the actual turnout was three percent more Democrats than Republicans. So, you have a poll that shows nine percent more, you know it's skewed and probably a little bit wrong. And the other two states, I think the over sampling of Democrats is closer to what was the result in '08. So it's the one in the Florida poll that I think is a little bit misleading.

Now, I don't think there is any deliberate attempt to mislead by the pollsters. I think it's just a matter of technique and how they decide who is likely and, you know, who you include, who you exclude.

But I think there is one thing you've had to remember, the most important thing in these numbers is the enthusiasm for Republicans versus the Democrats. It is way up, compared to '08 among Republicans, significantly down among Democrats compared to '08. And that will determine who turns out. So even though you get somebody speaking on the phone, that isn't anywhere near to telling you who's going to show up at the polls on Election Day.

HANNITY: All right. Charles Krauthammer, thanks for so much for sharing that story with us. We appreciate you being with us.

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