OTR Interviews

Ingraham: Pres. Obama likes to use 'wallpaper children' when his back is up against the wall

White House cries foul over NRA ad as president uses children to draw line in sand over gun control proposals


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 16, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The White House is fuming at the NRA for using the president's children in its latest ad, but today President Obama surrounded himself with other people's children for his gun control announcement. So is there a double standard here or not?

We spoke with Fox News analyst Laura Ingraham.


VAN SUSTEREN: Laura, nice to see you.


VAN SUSTEREN: OK, today the president had a press conference. He had the children behind him. Some...

INGRAHAM: Wallpaper children, yes. It's -- it's always quite a dramatic show when the president wants to put on a choreographed moment. And obviously, these kids suffered enormously. Their parents brought them. But I don't know, something about involving children in a conversation about guns and murder to me seems -- that's a tough one.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the White House is also upset with the NRA, though. While the White House used the children on stage, the -- they're upset with the NRA The NRA has a new ad out...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... in which they talk about the president's children having security at their school. And Jay Carney said that it was repugnant and cowardly, what the NRA did, saying, "Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight."


INGRAHAM: ... Obamas use references to their own children when it came to the BP oil spill, when it came to health care, when he referred to our daughters' illnesses, when we were talking about anti-obesity push and Michelle talked about her daughters' BMI being too high.

I mean, the problem is, is the president from the beginning had a laudable goal, I think, of keeping kids out of politics. That's a laudable goal and I think that's a worthy goal. I think he's right about that.

Problem is the president, when his back was up against a wall, Greta, on issue after issue, used references to his own children and then, as so many other politicians do, used children, period, and he did that today.

So the NRA's point is about -- it's about a double standard, right? The Obama daughters get protection. Of course they should get protection. We all know they get protections. That's not revealing any sensitive information.

But why shouldn't other families get the same type of protection for their children, not Secret Service people, but gun protection or self- defense? I think that's the point they were trying to make.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any objection -- presidents for Republicans and Democrats have always been using -- these are photo ops. I mean, these use people for props. Is it that they're children? Because I've seen presidents stand up...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... with soldiers, with injured soldiers. I mean...

INGRAHAM: Well, the children of injured soldiers -- I know Bush has probably done that, as well. It's something about pushing legislation, though. And the implication -- Marco Rubio made this point on my radio show today. The implication of all this is if you don't sign onto the president's proposals, you somehow are not treating these children or standing behind him with due respect. That's what I find offensive. That's the implicit message here, is, these children are with me. Are you against the children? And that's where I think -- I don't think -- I think he's originally right when he said kids really shouldn't be part of the political discussion. Leave -- you know, leave kids out of it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the whole gun control debate has certainly fired up everybody, but the president said today -- if I can quote him correctly -- that anyone who disagrees with (INAUDIBLE) new gun law opponents want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue.


VAN SUSTEREN: Is there room for a fair disagreement with the president, or even, like -- some of the things he did, but not all of them -- is there room with this president?

INGRAHAM: Well, I don't think so. He talked about the Republican-friendly media the other day. Obviously, he's talking about talk radio and maybe FOX and other Web sites.

This is what he routinely does. Rather than have a real conversation, and say, Look, I think there are a lot of complicated issues involved here, maybe part guns, maybe part Hollywood, maybe part breakdown of the family. Let's have a national conversation about this.

Instead, it's, My opponents don't care about these poor children who are suffering. They're not reading these letters that I'm reading. They don't really care. And in fact, it's all about their ratings.

Well, people who believe in the 2nd Amendment dearly (ph), they happen to have heartfelt views. Maybe he disagrees with them. That's his right. But they shouldn't be demonized.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you the one thing that I was troubled about today. I really don't want another study on this. I mean...


INGRAHAM: ... another study, $500 million total...


VAN SUSTEREN: You know what? If people don't know this is a serious problem, I don't know what more they have to do. All they have to do is pick up the newspaper and see all the death and destruction...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... whether it's the poor 20 children in Newtown - - and also the -- Newtown and also the adults who were killed and their families who now suffered from the loss...

INGRAHAM: Right. It's all --

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do we need a study?

INGRAHAM: Well, because it looks like we're doing something. We keep hearing, We got to do something. We've got to do something. Well, I don't know. There are limits what you can do, frankly. There are limits. And localities and school districts, they're taking their own problems and they're examining what the best path is their safety of their children and their students.

And I think for the most part, this is a state by state issue. And the president wants, you know, everyone to think, Well, look, he cares. He's doing something.

And I think in the end, Greta, like the Centers for Disease Control study on all the different gun bans really -- they showed that not really one gun control measure had much of an effect on violence. This is a societal problem. This is a deep, deep cultural problem that we have in our society.

VAN SUSTEREN: I think we've just become numb to violence. I mean, we see so much of it...


VAN SUSTEREN: There ought to be some sort of self-reflection among all of us...


INGRAHAM: ... on down, yes...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... everybody, you know, whether it's Hollywood or getting guns in the wrong people's hands or whatever it is, but it -- the idea that sort of that we're going to commission a study that somehow is going to do it, you know, I don't know. Maybe I'm just...

INGRAHAM: Five hundred million bucks!

VAN SUSTEREN: Maybe I'm bitter.

INGRAHAM: Five hundred million bucks, all the president's proposals will cost, Greta, if they're implemented. That's the initial estimate for the implementation of some of his ideas.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I posted on GretaWire something that one of the Hollywood organizations said and I -- and I -- about how they're ready to have a conversation. I thought to myself, I don't want any more conversations out of you. I mean, let's -- you know, start looking at yourself and see if you're really satisfied with...

INGRAHAM: Yes, I mean...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... what you're putting out there.

INGRAHAM: Right, Greta, and I think that politicians and very wealthy people all around this country, the elites in Hollywood -- they have entire security apparatus and security force surrounding them. The regular people of this country deserve to be able to protect themselves and not be demonized if they disagree with some of the president's proposals.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. One question. How's the new radio show?

INGRAHAM: It's fun. I like -- you know, Greta, you're an entrepreneur. I read GretaWire all the time. I always tweet about that stuff that you're doing. And the content that you produce I think is so important, and especially for women and entrepreneurs. Owning your own stuff is really great. We're doing a lot of stuff with digital, which I think is really important, along with terrestrial radio. It's really the wave of the future. And people can listen to the show anytime they want. And it's really cool.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congratulations.

INGRAHAM: Thanks, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, nice to see you.

INGRAHAM: Great to see you.