OTR Interviews

No PSY of relief: Why President Obama should have stood up for our troops against South Korean rapper

Should President Obama have attended performance in wake of uproar over 'Gangnam Style' rapper's past anti-American lyrics


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 10, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: All right, so he once rapped about killing American troops and their families, and now South Korean superstar PSY gets to hang out with President Obama! His "Gangnam" rap has nearly a billion YouTube views since July, but now he's under fire for this rap that surfaced from a decade ago with these lyrics. "Kill those blank Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives. Kill those blank Yankees who ordered them to torture. Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers. Kill them all slowly and painfully."

So despite these hurtful and outrageous lyrics, President Obama is seen laughing during a PSY performance in Washington, D.C., last night, even shaking hands with the now controversial artist. On Friday, PSY apologized for his offensive rap, saying, "While I'm grateful for the freedom to express oneself, I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate, and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words."

Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz joins us. Jason, I think a lot of people across America were surprised. You know, they've heard this song. They've seen it on -- all the videos, a billion YouTube views -- many people have seen it -- got it all going on on the football field. And then all of a sudden, you find out that, Whoa! He had a very different past than what anybody would have thought today.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UTAH: Well, what's troubling about what President Obama did is he gave this guy an audience with the president of the United States for somebody who's advocating the killing, the death, of Americans and their family members!

And I got to tell you, I was just out on the USS Eisenhower. These people put their lives on the line. And when you go out and you say we should be killing these people, that raises it to a different level! The White House had a choice! They didn't -- there was no consequence for these comments! They didn't dismiss him from the program!

How about the president actually standing up for our servicemen and women and saying, You know what? That's not acceptable. You do owe an apology, and you don't get to go to the concert. But that's not what happened. That's what's so worrisome.

PERINO: I can understand why people are very upset about this. I do think it's important that it was 10 years ago. It wasn't even a song that he wrote. He was performing another person's song. And at that time, in 2002 and 2003, you'll remember the South Korean people were very angry at America about a situation that had happened in Iraq that was tragic that involved a South Korean. Do you think, though, that when he apologizes, is that enough?


PERINO: You know, to be able to be granted a chance to perform at the annual Christmas in Washington show?

CHAFFETZ: No, there should be a consequence to this! He didn't do it just once. He did it twice. It was at a protest rally against Americans! And now that, supposedly, you know, he's popular on YouTube and everybody's kind of seen him dancing around and doing all that, doesn't mean you get an audience with the president of the United States in one of our most celebrated holidays.

He shouldn't even be on the -- he should be on the no-fly list for what he did, for goodness sake, let alone meeting with the president of the United States! It just doesn't make sense. It's offensive to the servicemen and women, their families, their loved ones, who are out there in harm's way, to put this punk out there with the president of the United States in one of our most celebrated holidays! It's just wrong!

PERINO: I wonder if he has had any -- like, a true change of heart? We've got the apology from the publicist, but I wonder if having a chance now to have this wild success, and especially in particular in America, if maybe he has changed his thoughts about what America stands for because that's why I think people are so offended by the comments originally, that America's this great, wonderful nation. We helped save Korea, South Korea. We gave you the chance to be who you are today. I wonder if it's going to change his mind at all.

CHAFFETZ: Well, I hope on a personal level that he does. We're a very -- you know, we're a country that forgives people. But how about the message to the men and women of this country? I want our commander-in- chief to have a zero tolerance attitude, to say, I'm standing up for you first and foremost, not some punk from South Korea who's going to go out advocating the death of your children and your wives!

And that's what the president needs to do! That's the message that he should be sending to the world, not trying to go out and protect this punk so that he can have more YouTube hits! That just -- that's not having your priorities right!

PERINO: I think that's a pretty good point. I want to ask you maybe a bigger picture question, which is that for the last several years, there's been this integration between entertainment and Hollywood and politics. And you guys have a lot on your plate there in Washington, but it seems that we can't get away from the Hollywoodness of the presidency.

CHAFFETZ: Well, that's one of the worries, that the president is more concerned about appearing with celebrities and being liked by celebrities, as opposed to maybe sitting down with Republicans or even Democrats, talking about maybe some of the lofty things that are out there that are going to affect every American's lives, like the fiscal cliff and some of the other big, major things that are out there!

And that's -- look, every president's got obligations and parts of his job and duties that he has to do, and you know that firsthand. But come on! We don't need to put this punk up there, be out talking to him about the top of the newscast when we've got so many other things! But the president does this to us! And these are presidential decisions! And I don't think he's very well served by his staff that puts him in these positions.

PERINO: That's a really great point. And we are going to continue to talk about all the things that you have on your plate. We're really grateful that you joined us tonight. Thank you so much.

CHAFFETZ: Thanks, Dana.