All-Star Panel: President planning end-run around Congress?

Reaction from 'Special Report' All-Stars


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 27, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We're pushing to broker the kind of agreement that would tangibly have an impact on reducing the causes of climate, and the causes of the kinds of pollution that has such a detrimental effect on public health in this country and in communities all around the world.

RICHARD GRENELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: The U.N. needs to focus on the global priorities, which are terrorism and the threats to people's lives right. This idea of focusing on climate change is really just placating the liberal left.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The Obama administration saying that they are crafting an international deal on climate issues in the middle of all of this going on, not really saying how it's going to be laid out, whether it's going to be in Congress. But that would require a Senate ratification. And we're back with our paneling. A.B., what about this?

A.B. STODDARD , ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: It's not surprising that the president has acted again, is using his executive authority to run around the Congress where he cannot get 67 votes to ratify a treaty. He's not calling it a treaty. They're calling it some kind deal where they take components of legally binding language from a 22 year old deal and they pair it with voluntary pledges they hope to shame other countries into complying with. It is really if you look not only at what Rick Bernell was saying about the crises overseas, a war in Ukraine, an invasion, what we're talking about here in Iraq and Syria, what's going on in Gaza, everything that's going on. For him to do this is not only strange because it looks like he's not totally focused on this unprecedented threat to the homeland. But Democrats really could have waited for this to drop in December or January after the election.

BAIER: Especially red state Democrats like Mary Landrieu and others, Mark Begich.

Charles, shaming other countries into climate change moves, we haven't talked about extensively today, we have many times, the situation in Ukraine with Russia, the pressure has not obviously moved the ball there.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: The idea of shaming the butchers of Tiananmen Square or shaming a country that just a week ago buzzed a U.S. airplane at 20 feet, a country that is expanding into the east and south China Sea is sort of the dumbest idea since the Russian reset. It's also based on the same assumptions that the Russians and the Chinese and others act the way Obama does with adolescent idealism when it comes to foreign policy.

So it is an incredibly stupid idea. The idea of having an international agreement on climate change is a very good idea. It's the only one that would work. Anything that we do unilaterally will only kill our economy and do nothing. There's a front page story today on Germany which is abandoning nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and fossil fuels, and its economy is sinking as a result. You want to have an international agreement, but you want to have a treaty. Even treaties are cheated on, but if you can with China, India, and the EU, the Europeans in on a treaty, at least it could be enforced in some way. That would make sense. But the idea of an agreement where you try to shame into voluntary cuts is preposterous, but it's extremely Obama-ian.

BAIER: Electorally ahead of this midterm, is this helping anybody?

STEPHEN HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I don't think this is helping anybody. This is the kind of scheme that I would have expected to get or somebody would expect to get from your crazy uncle whose worried about world government taking over and Obama working with world countries. You can't imagine that this is a real policy.

And it turns out the people who were paranoid about it were actually right that the administration would do this. And the most striking thing about this in reading the "New York Times" story, which broke the story today, the front page "New York Times" story is I think in paragraph three or four you have Obama administration officials in effect talking about how they're going to work around the constitution. You know there's this pesky little thing, this ratification thing that we need to work around, and here's how we're going to work around it.

BAIER: Talked about it today.

HAYES: It's unbelievable that they would actually talk about it in this open fashion. And Josh Earnest, from the podium at the White House, saying, well, you know, this is really how we have to get around Congressional dysfunctional. That's total nonsense.

KRAUTHAMMER: Would you say that it's constitutionally indecent?

HAYES: I would say it's more constitutionally indecent than potential strikes on ISIS.

BAIER: With that, that's it for our panel.

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