This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 24, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The health care debate rages on. Tomorrow the White House will announce that the country is in greater debt than it originally thought. But President Obama is nowhere to be found. No, he is vacationing on Martha's Vineyard and has asked that the press respect his family's privacy while he is away from them.
And what do we hear from the press? This. That's right. Nothing. Now I know — I remember things a little bit differently when George Bush was in office. In fact, every time he took a vacation the press used it as evidence that Bush is lazy, reckless and irresponsible.
Now let's take a walk down memory lane. Remember back in 2004 New York Times columnist, Bob Herbert, he chastised the president for taking a vacation while the country was at war, writing, quote, "Mr. President, there is a war on. You might want to consider hopping on a plane to Washington."
And then over at The Washington Post, Eugene Robinson argued that President Bush' policy, quote, "Amounts to the belief that if he concentrates really hard, and stays in shape regularly by doing the Tour de Crawford on his mountain bike, that he'll be able to summon a miracle."
And there was another person who spoke out against Mr. Bush's presidential vacations from the beginning, and that was Leon Panetta. He said in 2001, quote, "With the nature of the problem confronting the world as well as this country, it would just be a little more comforting to make sure that he's around both departments and agencies and crises that he's got to confront."
So I wonder if he shared those thoughts with President Obama.
And joining me now to discussed this ridiculous double standard, FOX News contributor, author of The New York Times number one best-seller, "Catastrophe," Dick Morris.
• Video: Watch Sean's interview
Dick, good to see you.
DICK MORRIS, "CATASTROPHE" AUTHOR: Good to be here.
HANNITY: Welcome back. First of all, I — look, every president needs a vacation. But this is the land of the liberals, Martha's Vineyard.
MORRIS: You remember the story about Bill Clinton and me on vacation. In '93 and '94 he took vacations in Martha's Vineyard. And I told him in '94 going into the summer of '95, cut it out because of these photographs of you and starlets aren't doing you any good.
I told him you look like a Beverly Hillbillies.
HANNITY: And what did he say to that?
MORRIS: He laughed. And I said, you know, let me — I took a poll and they want you to go to the Rockies camping on vacation.
MORRIS: And then I tested each activity. There was biking, which he could do, golfing he could. Hunting, he couldn't do. Fishing he could. Camping he did. But the real reason he hated it was that he had to live in like this three-person tent
MORRIS: With Chelsea and...
HANNITY: That's not going to work.
That big? That's not going to work. All right. He did — every president deserves a vacation. But you've got to admit, as he goes on this vacation, things could not be worse for him. We've got now a — the lowest numbers, John Zogby, now a 45 percent. You predicted he will be here by the end of the summer, and I did as well. Rasmussen now, 14, minus 14 on the presidential index rating.
But it gets worse than that. Patterson is getting creamed as governor, Democratic governor of New York. Corzine is in trouble in New Jersey. Dodd is in trouble. Harry Reid is losing by 11 points. We'll go over the numbers.
MORRIS: And Patrick who is sort of Obama.
MORRIS: Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts, is behind the Republicans Christy Mihos by five points.
HANNITY: Right. So when you put all of that together, all these numbers, going on vacation, you know, how do you analyze this?
MORRIS: Well, I think the big problem in his going on vacation is these Democratic senators and congressmen who are taking these unending stuff at these town hall meetings.
MORRIS: And they're looking at Obama on vacation. That has to rankle a little bit. But look, the real thing that's going on here is this unbelievable public groundswell against the health care package and of concern about the deficit. And I thought that Joe Lieberman really broke some new ground yesterday when he opposed adopting the health care package as it is now.
• Great American Blog: Should media stay silent as Obama vacations?
HANNITY: And –- more incrementally.
MORRIS: He said incrementally and he said don't try to do it when we have this deficit, we have this recession. Now that was a string of argumentation that really pulls all of the problems together in a very, very interesting way.
I believe the Democrats are going to try to ram this through with 50 votes. I believe that are not going to go for any bipartisan accord. But I believe they may have a hard time getting those 50 votes because.
MORRIS: I think that the Democrats are beginning to really sense that they have to run for cover.
HANNITY: Is —
MORRIS: And you know, you count it out. Byrd and Kennedy are not going to vote. Kennedy can't vote. And Kennedy's replacement won't be there. Lieberman is off. Nelson of Nebraska is probably off the reservation. Lincoln of Arkansas, a tough reelection fight. She's probably not going to go with that. Landrieu may not.
And you're getting to 53, 52 votes. You get it down to 49 and you win.
HANNITY: Max Baucus, speaking of polls, and by the way, I misspoke last week when I said Max instead of Spencer on Social Security and I apologize, Senator. But Max Baucus's numbers among Democrats in terms of his handling of health care.
MORRIS: Yes, were very bad.
HANNITY: Were very, very bad. And so, is that.
MORRIS: There comes a time in every political situation where you're confronted with the one thing you can never predict, which is a politician's propensity to be willing to commit suicide. And you just can't judge that. But generally, a president who's going to be there for four years at most, you know, or eight at most, is more willing to do that then a senator or congressman.
And I think that you may find a lot of these guys jumping off very quickly as this thing begins to move towards a vote.
HANNITY: What do we get with.
MORRIS: By the way, he'll pass something. But it may not.
HANNITY: It may just be face-saving.
HANNITY: All right. But, you know, look at what they're going to announce tomorrow, Dick. That their own estimates are off by $2 trillion. In other words, a 25 percent higher deficit estimate. And one of the things we've been predicting, you know, when they first proposed Medicare, it was nine times higher than the original projections.
HANNITY: This $2 trillion, that's 25 percent higher. How is that going to impact this debate?
MORRIS: Well, I think it's going to be devastating for him. And you know, my wife and I titled our book "Catastrophe." The catastrophe was not the stimulus package. The catastrophe was not even the recession. The catastrophe is the debt.
And what that is going to mean in the next year, in 2010 and '11, I think it is very, very likely that with this high deficit, you're going to recover a little bit and then enter another depression.
The economists are calling it —
HANNITY: Double-dip recession.
MORRIS: Drop, up, drop.
HANNITY: It's called double-dip.
MORRIS: And on the second dip that's going to — that will happen maybe in '10, you may also have humongous inflation, which means that the Fed cannot stimulate the economy without risk of having the inflation go completely crazy. And you know how a patient dies when you have two things that are you're sick with and you can't treat them both.
HANNITY: Right. Right.
MORRIS: Something like being unable to be stimulated because of the inflation and have to stimulate because of the recession.
HANNITY: Dick, what you're saying, I have an article here in front of me.
MORRIS: And this would be totally unnecessary if he hadn't passed the stimulus package.
HANNITY: Well, as a matter of fact, the Financial Times Web site this weekend, this guy Roubini, he's a professor, they call him Doctor.
MORRIS: Predicted everything, yes.
HANNITY: He predicted everything here. He's saying this recession could last another two years with just an anemic, slight, quick recovery. But exactly what you're saying and no employment as part of it. So the inflation comes. The interest rates go up. And we really got ourselves one very dangerous economic situation in this country.
MORRIS: Precisely, because we can't control the inflation by raising the interest rates because that's going to cause more unemployment and recession.
HANNITY: But then here's the question I have for you. Then what is the political fallout of that scenario unfolding?
MORRIS: It's a disaster for the Democrats. You could literally, at this point, just see 100 seats changing in the House.
MORRIS: If you — if we go into a double-dip recession and then there's the bailout of Chrysler and all of that stuff, and then that causes the stagflation.
MORRIS: Then you absolutely — all bets are off. It's just unbelievable. And this guys is absolutely headed for it. All I can say is he's headed for a "Catastrophe."
HANNITY: "Catastrophe." Good title for a book.
MORRIS: Yes. It is.
HANNITY: All right, Dick, but it's frightening for the country.
HANNITY: Thanks for being with us.
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