White House considers reopening People's House to public

Victory for the people?


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 13, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: We'll get back to the magnificent news today that Pope Francis has been declared father of the Catholic Church a little later in the show. But first, some news right here at home.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This was not a decision that went up to the White House. But what the Secret Service explained to us was that they are going to have to furlough some folks.

Well, I'm asking, are there ways for us to accommodate school groups, you know, who may have traveled with bake sells? Can we make sure that kids potentially can still come to tour?


BOLLING: Well, that was President Obama telling ABC News that he is considering reopening the White House for tours. Perhaps he finally realized that not only the worst kind of P.R. to keep the doors closed, but the White House belongs to the people.

Last week, I offered to chip in to help keep doors open for the tours for the kids. Sean Hannity got onboard and my good friend Donald Trump offered to pick up the entire check.

While the pinheads in the White House work on damage control, this looks like victory for the American people. We spoke, he finally listened. And we are about to accomplish our goal, which is returning the people's house back to the people.

Dana, I want to go with you because President Obama there said, oh, you know, it wasn't my decision. It was the Secret Service. Does it sit well with you?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Not really. Is anything at all his fault? If anything bad that happens, he takes no blame for. Anything good that happens, even if he has nothing to do with it, he takes credit for it.

It's masterful, but I think it's wearing a little thin. When they announced that he was going to do this interview today -- this was two days ago -- they announced that George Stephanopoulos would have this interview, I said, this is not a good idea. They don't have news to announce.

When you put the president down in front of a major anchor, you want him to have something to say. Instead, all they did was this inside baseball thing all day. They didn't drive any message.

And Jill Lawrence of National Journal wrote a piece and she said, what does he accomplish doing this interview today? Plus, he tried to bump the pope off the front page.

BOLLING: Kimberly, Jay Carney had a press conference today in the midday, around 12:30 or so. And he went back and forth on -- he pressed by our own Ed Henry. He clarified this, because at one point he said, yes, the president did make the decision. At another point in the same press conference, he said, they never, the Secret Service made the decision. It wasn't our fault. It wasn't our idea.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Well, this highlights the problem. They have a messaging issue where they can't stay on point or agree, and they make inconsistent statements which everybody knows in court and in trial that's going to show you to be someone that is not credible.

Do we believe you now or what you said before? It's not clear at all. It doesn't seem presidential, just say, look, the president is making the decision. Regrets making that decision and how we're going to move forward, we've listened to the American people and this is what we're going to do.

That would show leadership instead of passing the buck, blaming others or appearing to be indecisive. Now, it looks like he was backed in a corner and was forced to act to correct himself.

BOLLING: Or what about it, Bob, maybe sequester wasn't working out the way he planned, putting everything front and center, maybe he's backtracking now. Who knows what's next.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: The idea that you guys believe that this guy made this decision, I'm sure the president of the United States said let me stop what I'm doing today and decide what I'm going to do to deal with the sequestration aspect as far as the White House is concerned. I am going the stop tours.

Now, that is the most ridiculous, I mean --


PERINO: How come the buck doesn't stop with him? Obviously, he is not making the decisions, Bob, but he has staff that is. Nothing is ever his fault.

And so, it's -- well, it was somebody else. They've passed it off to someone else. I think that that's thing that's most unbelievable.

BECKEL: Well, I could --

BRIAN KILMEADE, GUEST CO-HOST: Jay Carney said we made the decision to stop the tours. The Secret Service said we won't have enough people. So, we made an official announcement.

My thing is, are we pathetic? We heard some kids in Iowa having a bake sales, we might open the tours for them? Can we get motels or Applebee's to sponsor the tour?


KILMEADE: Can anyone can an audible?

BECKEL: It was bad staff work all the way around, bad messaging all the way around. But I guarantee you, they did not stop in the Oval Office and sit down and say --

PERINO: Why doesn't he say, look, yes, the responsibility is mine, I'm changing -- I'm going to change it, I'm going to reverse it, it was a bad decision? And not throw everybody else under the bus as he tries to stay all pure?

BOLLING: We have to go.

But think about this for one second. Guess what? The kids are going to go. They're going to see the White House and there's still going to be Secret Service agencies there. So --

PERINO: But what about the senior citizens? What about the senior citizen groups. They're going to Washington, too.

War on senior citizens.

KILMEADE: You have a bake sale, you can go.

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