OTR Interviews

Krauthammer: No one cares what Pres. Obama says, that's what's happened to American power and influence

The president appears to be more fundraiser-in-chief than commander-in-chief during crisis situations


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 18, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Developing now: At least one American among the innocent passengers murdered at 33,000 feet. And while the international crises explode, where is President Obama? Well, last night he was out fundraising in New York City and joining us is Charles Krauthammer, author of "Things That Matter."

Charles, he's getting some heat for fundraising from everyone - or not everyone, but some people. Is that -- can he multitask or is this a tin ear or something else.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST/FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, this is not the first time during a crisis he has been thinking about fundraisers. The night of Benghazi, he went very -- the next morning he flew to Las Vegas for a fundraiser. You've got to remember, also, just what was it, a week ago, during the crisis on the border, he goes to Texas for a fundraiser and doesn't go to the border. And now, we have a plane falling out of the sky, shot down obviously with a Russian missile. We have a real flare-up in Gaza - and he goes to a fundraiser.

It isn't as if he can't multitask, but you would think a president would (A) Show concern and (B) Actually work very hard to gather as much information as he can and to think through possible strategies and alternatives would come to the White House, get his team together and get working right away rather than be out are at the Hamptons.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. He's not coming to Fox News so we can ask him why. But I'm curious, what do you think, if he were seated here, if I said to him why did you go to those fundraisers instead of dealing with this and why did you go to the fundraisers and not go to the border? What do you think is going on in his mind about now?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think the president would say that his role is to project calm, never panic, you know. They said it during the campaign, he's Mr. Cool. He never gets riled up. He thinks that the posture he takes, which is during a crisis, to act in a way that's, you know, almost animatronics.

The press conference today about the shoot down of the plane was quite puzzling. He gave less information than his own U.N. Ambassador had given at the U.N. He was very vague. He propose no measure whatsoever of any importance. He kept saying, you know, there ought to be a real investigation. Well, he's a president of the strongest country on Earth. Why isn't he insisting on something happening or organizing something happening? But he didn't. And he has this kind of reserved, laid back, as if the world will take care of itself. He doesn't have to it intervene. That's been the theme of his foreign policy. It isn't only the substance, it's also the style.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, one of the things that he asked for today and I thought it was perplexing, he called for immediate cease-fire to allow for international investigation. I thought to myself, "Has he developed sort of the international posture so that people will listen when he calls for a cease-fire?" Or -- I mean, I thought to myself, "Who's listening to that?"

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, this is the man who said Assad has to go three years ago. He is the man who said if a chemical weapon is used, we will intervene. Nothing happened. He is a man who's always saying this is unacceptable, absorption of Crimea. The word "unacceptable," coming from the president, this president, has no meaning. You know, just a few days ago he tried to get the Europeans to join him on sanctions. The Europeans said no -- why should they say yes? What is there that he has done which it either persuades them or in any way make them think they will suffer a consequence or two if they don't acquiesce? No one cares what he says, and that's what's happening to American power and influence under his presidency.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let me ask you, a group -- I'm going to list a group of places and issues and tell me where you think he's done the best job. The border, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, this plane going down, dealing with Israel and Syria. What's his best?



KRAUTHAMMER: Fundraising. They are all a disaster. He knows it. We know it that's why there is this chaos in the world.

VAN SUSTEREN: Charles, always nice to see you. Thank you. Your book is doing great. Thank you.

KRAUTHAMMER: Pleasure, thank you very much.