All-Star Panel: 100th day of Obama's second term

All-star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 30, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JONATHAN KARL, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: Congress has ignored your efforts to try to get them to undo these sequester cuts. There was even a bill that you threatened to veto that got 92 Democrats in the house voting yes. So, my question to you is, do you still have the juice to get the rest of your agenda through this Congress?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you put it that way, Jonathan, maybe I should just pack up and go home, golly.


I think it's a little, as Mark Twain said, rumors of my demise maybe a little exaggerated at this point.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: President Obama's first 100 days, press conference today.  We're back with the panel. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Pack up and go home? Not a bad idea. Look, I think the essence of this is that Obama was really riding high Election Day, then he crushes the Republicans on the fiscal cliff, and he thinks he is the king of Washington and he has got an open road. And then all of a sudden, he runs into sequester, the Republicans called the administration's bluff and they won on that. The administration has been embarrassed on all of the elements of sequester. They had to cave on air traffic control, which is going to be a way to push the Republicans into accepting tax hikes on gun control. The president was unable to get the minimal of what he wanted, simply a reporting and on background checks. He has had a really bad couple of months. I think the momentum out of Election Day is over. He is treading water right now.

BAIER: He was asked, Kirsten, about a standoff at Gitmo, basically a sit-in, starvation basically by the Gitmo detainees. Take a listen to his answer.


OBAMA: Congress determined that they would not let us close it. And despite the fact that there are a number of the folks who are currently in Guantanamo who the courts have said could be returned to their country of origin or potentially a third country, I'm going to go back at this.


BAIER: Going to go back at this, try to close Guantanamo Bay.

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: He's going to do that on his third term probably, I guess. This is something he railed against in the campaign. It's something that is a complete blemish on the United States in my opinion. I don't quite understand why he is so helpless. It's always somebody else's fault. This is not something he's made a high priority. I think this is the first time he's probably mentioned it. He was asked about it.

So I do think this first 100 days thing is a little arbitrary and maybe unfair to the president. He hasn't had a great start to his second term, but at the same time, you know, I don't know that all of that is his fault.  The gun control stuff is -- was a little bit out of his hands because I think Congress is so under the sway of the NRA. And there is still a lot of time for him to get perhaps a big deal on immigration, which would be a big win for him.

BAIER: I should clarify. The detainees are not taking meals. They are being force fed liquids and they're being sustained there, but it is a standoff with the guards.

On ObamaCare, Steve, the president said that it is going to be implemented but it could get sticky. And like any government program, he says, everything won't be perfect. There will be glitches and bumps.  There will be a lot of stories. That it'll be bumpy along the way.

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I suspect this is the kind of comment that will strike people who are listening to this as home as totally out of touch. The president is basically asserting that there is no difficulty with the implementation of ObamaCare and that those people who are either confused or are having difficulty following the rules or understanding the rules have their own problems.

For the people who are actually having those problems, they are not going to be persuaded by the president insisting that they are not having those problems. So I think this is an argument that's not going to make a heck of a lot of sense.

What was more curious in my mind is when the president in fact said, well, look 85 percent of ObamaCare has been implemented, and we have got 15 percent that basically deals with these uninsured or underinsured people, but if you are not in that group, you are not going to have to worry about it. That is complete and utter nonsense on stilts. If you look at the people who are having to deal with this question right now, it's small businesses who don't know, if you have 50 employees or less, are you going to be subject to these new regulations? If you co-own a business with your father or your mother, are you going to have to split the business in two? These are the kind of questions that small businesses are trying to answer every single day in consultation usually with a team of lawyers right now. For the president to down play that, it's not an argument he can win, because this is going to get more difficult as we go along, not less.

BAIER: Senator Max Baucus in recent testimony, a Democrat from Montana, who said the implementation was a train wreck in his eyes. So we will see.

That's it for the panel. Stay tuned for the latest innovative idea that some consumers appear to be embracing.

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