President Obama's broken promises

Ed Henry on the Presidents unfulfilled vows


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 27, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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Hi, I'm Juan Williams in for Bill O'Reilly. Thank you so much for watching us tonight. Let's get right to our "Top Story". President Obama's broken promises. He's promised everything from closing Guantanamo Bay to restoring trust in government. But many of those vows have gone unfulfilled.


OBAMA: I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo and I will follow through on that.

What I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year an immigration bill that I strongly support and that I'm promoting and that I want to move that forward as quickly as possible.


J. WILLIAMS: Despite those failures to follow through, the White House has a whole new game plan and a whole new set of promises prepared for the New Year.

Joining me now from Washington with the inside story, Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry -- Ed.

Ed Henry, Fox News Chief White House Correspondent: Good to see.

J. WILLIAMS: Let's look back a year, February of 2013. State of the Union Address, three million plus people watching here; 33 million I should say as I recall. Huge audience. The President promised immigration reform he promised tax reform. He promised more money for preschool and after school. He was promising even that there would be increase in the minimum wage. I don't think any of it happened. Am I wrong?

HENRY: No you are right. He had a head of steam coming out of the last election. Got re-elected. Felt like he had a mandate. And so between the inaugural address in January and the State of the Union you mentioned at the beginning of February, those two speeches he laid out a very progressive and aggressive agenda. And almost none of it has been fulfilled.

Why? Well he would make the case and his aides do that there has been steep Republican opposition to a lot of these initiatives like immigration reform we can't ignore that.

But on top of that this President's trustworthiness has taken a big hit. Because of not just, you know, the broken promises from 2008. But more recent after he became president when he said if you like your plan you can keep your plan, period. He put that you know exclamation at the end. It didn't turn out to be true. That has wounded him and that is going to demand a whole new game plan from him in January and beyond if he has any chance of salvaging this.

J. WILLIAMS: Well now you make an excellent point. Because what you see in the declining poll numbers for President Obama is similarly close in terms of tracking decline in people trusting him in part because of the rollout of Obamacare. But I've got to believe people also remember all those broken promises.

So let's look forward, Ed. What's on the agenda? What are his top promises going into 2014?

HENRY: Well look, he's going to make a whole new set of promises at the end of January with another State of the Union address, those laundry lists of some new initiatives. Some things we've heard before.

I think a minimum wage hike is going to be a big part of that. He thinks that's going to rally his base that's going to upset a lot of conservatives who think look, you hiked the minimum wage, it means other people get laid off because these small businesses won't be able to keep up. And they're also getting hit with new regulations from the healthcare law, et cetera.

And so he's going to have new initiatives somewhat on the economy. The problem is he's going to be pinned down on issues like implementing healthcare reform. And so what I think is going to be a bigger part of the game plan, what you will not hear in the State of the Union but what's really happening behind the scenes is bringing on John Podesta, the old Clinton White House chief of staff, a Democratic operative, very close to Hillary Clinton, which is interesting if you look forward to 2016 is that John Podesta is a big proponent of executive orders, executive action.

Forgetting about Congress, he had to deal with the Republican Congress at the end of the Clinton days they had impeachment, all the rest. And so what they did was a lot of executive moves that infuriates conservatives that is because President Obama has done some of that already. I think they are going to do that on steroids. Because I think John Podesta believes don't try to work with this Congress that has blocked you, go around it and so they are going to pile on more regulations having to do with healthcare and Dodd-Frank and the rest.

J. WILLIAMS: Well in fact in this coming year, right but in this year coming up, I mean the campaign, the primaries are already starting. So he's going to be almost a lame duck pretty early in this calendar year his sixth year. And don't forget, if you look back to George W. Bush, George W. Bush lost the House and the Senate in '06, in his sixth year in the presidency.

Even Ronald Reagan lost, I believe, control of the Senate in his sixth year. President Clinton, he lost, I think he actually might have picked up some seats, but he didn't change control of any House of the Congress. So, Ed, what you see is then is more executive action on an issue like immigration, like you know he's promised (inaudible) we're going to do something in immigration. Not go through Congress but say here's another executive order on immigration -- is that going to be the order of the day?

HENRY: I think he'll do both, I think he'll do both. Because you can't do comprehensive immigration reform both, you know securing the borders as well as the path to citizenship without Congress, something grand. But I think there are people on Capitol Hill not just Republicans, some Democrats skeptical now that as he's changed the health care law on his own we've already seen that through executive action they're skeptical that if they pass a big immigration reform bill that he might not tweak it.

So I think he is going to try to do stuff on the margins on immigration, on the economy, other initiatives like that continue to change the healthcare law on his own because he has a Congress that doesn't want to work with him. So he's going to go out and try to be aggressive, rally his base. You are going to see him on the campaign trail even I'm told before the State of the Union address. Usually they travel after the State of the Union. He's going to do it before.


J. WILLIAMS: He is in a campaign mode and we haven't even started since the first of the year yet.

HENRY: The next campaign is coming up as you noted, he is running out of time, Juan.

J. WILLIAMS: All right Ed, thank you so much. That was terrific.

HENRY: It's good to see you.

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