OTR Interviews

Krauthammer: Obama 'doesn't care about the Constitution,' would be impeached for his abuses of power if he were a Republican

With the Supreme Court limiting his recess appointments and a lawsuit from Speaker Boehner brewking, two branches of government are attacking Obama's executive power

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 26, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: President Obama taking a one-two punch right between the eyes, all over what critics call the presidential power grab. First, House Speaker John Boehner threatening to sue President Obama. And today, the Supreme Court telling President Obama, in a 9-0 opinion, he went too far making recess appointments.

Joining us, Charles Krauthammer, author of the book "Things That Matter." Nice to see you, Charles.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is the decision a rebuke to President Obama?

KRAUTHAMMER: It's a major rebuke. This is -- when you are -- when there is nine and nobody on the other side, including the two justices you appointed. When the opinion leading liberal in which it shows contempt for what the president did, he obviously trampled on the constitutional powers. And the way it was written, the Breyer decision was the president is allowed to make a recess appointment if the Senate is in recess. And Breyer writes the Senate is in session when it says it is in session, which means the Senate is in recess when it says it is in recess. The Senate said it wasn't in recess. And it was not. And the president presumed to tell the Senate it was in recess and he makes the appointments and he got really smacked down. This is a major statement to the president to watch how you are walking over outside of the boundaries of what you can do.

The reason it's important -- if it was a stand alone decision, it wouldn't be important. The reason it's important is precisely because of what you said. Boehner is challenging the president on all other the instances in which the president has gone way over the line: the non enforcement of immigration laws, the non enforcement of drug laws, the post facto changes, 38 of them, to the Affordable Care Act.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: And the exceptions he gave to some and not others.

KRAUTHAMMER: The exemptions. This is arbitrary government at a very high level and a tremendous level of arrogance. I think this may be a signal that the Boehner lawsuit, if they get standing before the court, might succeed and Obama might lose.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think the president doesn't understand this or, you know, I mean, he has gotten slapped down a little bit today. He doesn't see that maybe, you know, that he might be overreaching? Do you think what he truly believes what he is doing is within the bounds?

KRAUTHAMMER: No. I think he knows he is way beyond the bounds. No one could read this decision and not know that there was a major abuse of power. But I don't think he cares. He is in a second term. He is not running again. They will never impeach him. He has nothing to lose. He has an ideological agenda he wants to enact. He got half of it with health care. The rest of it he wants the EPA and energy and carbon regulation. There's stuff he wants. And he truly believes that if the Congress won't cooperate with him, it's being kind of un-American, and he is the one acting in the national interest. So even if he has to abuse the Constitution here and there, what is he doing is so good for the country, he is sort of obligated to do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Imagine if he had developed a relationship on Capitol Hill and worked with Capitol Hill. That sounds insane at this point, but the presidents do do that. President Clinton did it and he was being impeached by the Senate and the House, and he still could work with them.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, he is not a natural politician. I don't even think he likes politics, which is odd for a man who is president. He clearly has completely failed at doing what the president has to do, which is, work with the other side. But the worst part of it he doesn't care about the Constitution. There will be presidents after him. If he gets away with all this overreach, creating laws, rewriting laws, ignoring laws, it will be a terrible defeat for the country and for the rule of law. And I think that's the worst part of this. If this were a Republican, he would be impeached now over all of these abuses.

VAN SUSTEREN: Charles, thank you. Nice to see you.

KRAUTHAMMER: Pleasure to be here.