OTR Interviews

Pres. Obama remains in bubble as NY mourns, cop tension rises

Should the president and Attorney General Holder themselves attended services for both slain NYPD officers instead of sending reepresentatives?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 2, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JEANINE PIRRO, 'ON THE RECORD' GUEST HOST: Joining us our political panel, "The National Review's" Rich Lowry, and the "Wall Street Journal's" Jason Riley.

Good evening, gentlemen.

The president says race relations now are better than when he took office.

Jason, I'll start with you. Do you agree with that?



PIRRO: He says it. He's the president

RILEY: He says a lot of things. No, I don't think they're better. And I don't think he's done much to make things better. This president and administration has shown they're not interested in bridging racial divides. Or I should say they're more interested in exploiting the racial divisions for political gain, and that's what we've seen repeatedly, whether we're talking about Eric Garner or Michael Brown or voter I.D. laws or criticisms of his administration. This is a president and an administration very quick to play the race card.

PIRRO: Rich, you're nodding your head?

RICH LOWRY, THE NATIONAL JOURNAL: I think that's right. Substantively, I think the president is right. Person-to-person race relations are probably the best they ever been in the country. But it's very easy to forget that because every time someone in the last six years has made a criticism of the administration, they're called racist. And when we have these tragic incidents pop up with the police, they're made into modern lynchings by this anti-police movement with the administration playing along. All that serves to poison the well.

PIRRO: Well, and then you have a president who sits Al Sharpton down next to him at the citadel of power in the White House who is really in the business of stoking this racial divide?

RILEY: Absolutely. Unless the president or someone in this administration is going to start telling the truth, which is that there is no epidemic of cops shooting black men, the epidemic is non-police shooting of blacks in this country, which are almost all done by other blacks. Unless they're going to start talking about this, I would rather they stop addressing the issue at all. They're just feeding a false narrative out there. They're making matters worse.

PIRRO: What's interesting is the president is now saying, Rich, that that he's sending FBI director, Jim Comey, to the funeral service Sunday of Officer Liu. Joe Biden came to Ramos' funeral. But it's like one person as opposed to all of those who are sent to the White House for Michael Brown, and this one and that one, and Eric Holder, the chief law enforcement officer in the country.

LOWRY: the other thing that's pretty outrageous is the president still hasn't made an on-camera statement about these assassinations. If he's going to go out on camera and talk about the grand jury not indicting in Ferguson and Staten Island and those are national events that deserved his voice on camera, these murders deserved his voice, too.

PIRRO: Clearly, and with the law enforcement and the statements that have been made that have so anti-law enforcement, you would think that the president would come out and reassure the country.

RILEY: I don't think he has credibility to do that. Again, he's spent --


PIRRO: You know what? You and I agree on that, but the country reelected him.

RILEY: But I don't think he has anything useful to add. They should stay away from these funerals. The administration has chosen sides here. They've chose to side with Al Sharpton, a man making a good living on bashing cops and starting race wars, or trying to start race wars that he profits from personally.

PIRRO: Not to mention that he owes about $4.7 million in taxes.


LOWRY: Next time he goes to the White House, he should be directed down the block to the Treasury Department and told to make good on --



PIRRO: Or a federal penitentiary.


Gentlemen, stay with us.