Rove on What's Next From Obama
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: So even as debate rages over Obama's health care plan, and despite the fact that the stimulus has done nothing to address unemployment in this country, President Obama says he's just warming up.
Now there's a pleasant thought.
Now, yesterday, the president marked his very first trip to New Orleans since taking office. And after spending less than four hours on the ground there, he was whisked away on Air Force One to of, all places, San Francisco, California.
And while speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser, he revealed what's next on his radical agenda. And if you thought his priorities were misplaced in the first nine months, well, take a look at what he has in the next nine months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I want everybody to know who our standing in the way of progress. I'm not tired. I'm just getting started. You can throw whatever you want at me. Keep it coming.
We're going get this done. We're going to get health care done. We're going to get clean energy done. We're going to get climate change done. We're going to fix our schools. We are going to deal with the problems internationally that I was elected to deal with. We are at a rare moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Still in campaign mode. By the way, hold on to your wallets. First health care reform, then climate change, then cap and tax, so what will it take to end this administration's spending spree? And does the president at this point have enough political capital to accomplish his radical agenda?
I'm joined now by Fox News contributor, the one and only Karl Rove is with us.
• Video: Watch Sean's interview
Karl, before we get to it, I know you brought your white board with us — with you again tonight. Before we get there, let's look at these polls. Forty-three percent now of Americans, only 43 percent, would vote for him for president today.
You look at his approval ratings, he slipped back into the 40s, but more interestingly, independents, he's losing, 46-41. And on health care, he's losing independents, 53-36. Not a good sign.
KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH ADVISER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Not a good sign at all if you're President Obama or if you're Democrats because as you know congressional Democrats are going to face the voters long before President Obama does.
It's not just independents either. Seniors have moved precipitously against his health care plan. And also interestingly enough, another group that's been sort of unanchored in the last couple of elections, college graduates have moved against the president's health care plan by pretty decisive margin.
And those three groups, seniors, independents, and college graduates, are also driving the generic ballot toward the Republicans and away from the Democrats.
HANNITY: All right. Let's look at the generic ballot. Let's look at — Congress' approval rating is now 21 percent. Twenty-one percent. I mean.
ROVE: I've never seen it that low before. Never seen it that low.
HANNITY: Yes. All right. So you got Jon Corzine in a blue state like New Jersey. He's in the political fight of his life. You got Charlie Rangel, people want to throw him out of being the chair of the House Ways and Means. Harry Reid is in the 30s in his state.
Chris Dodd is in trouble in Connecticut. You got Paterson in trouble and Bob MacDonald is probably going to be the next governor of the state of Virginia.
So is this really a referendum on Obama or is this just the political tide changing?
ROVE: Well, I think it's both. The political tides don't change unless something causes them to change. And over the last month, we've seen — over the last nine months, since President Obama's been inaugurated, we've seen massive new spending, horrific new debt, expansion of government that unsettles a lot of people, and an attempt to take the most personal of decisions, your health care, and turn it over to a government bureaucrat.
So the political tide is shifting but it's not just sort of the normal setting back to the norm. Something set it in motion and that something that set it in motion is President Obama's policies.
Take Virginia. I will bet you a dime to a dollar that Bob MacDonald is the next governor of Virginia and when the results come in, I think we're going to see two very interesting anomalies.
One is that Northern Virginia, which has been trending toward the Democrats, is going to trend back towards the Republicans because of independents and college educated and Southwest Virginia, which has been sort of up in the air in a real battleground is going to end up back in the Republican column. In large part because of seniors. And both of those are going to prove very, very damaging to the Democratic gubernatorial hopes.
HANNITY: All right. Now that brings us to the issue of health care. They were losing independents. They're losing seniors. Now a couple of things happened this week. We had the Baucus bill come out of the Senate Finance Committee although it's not written. We don't have a chance to read it. We only have some of the details that have been quote leaked.
And the Democrats put in motion this week the ability to bypass the normal process of passing a bill in the Senate and they can now use the nuclear option. You have some numbers to show our audience tonight.
ROVE: Yes, look. First of all, let's not invest a lot — I'm going to show some numbers about the Baucus bill but remember, the Baucus bill was a vehicle. It was to get something out of the Senate Finance Committee so Harry Reid can sit in a back room someplace and write what he considers the real bill.
But the numbers in the Baucus bill are revealing for the problem that the Democrats face in writing a bill. And the gimmicks and tricks that they're going to use to — when they write the real final bill.
This was an $829 billion bill which came with $500 billion plus in tax increases and $400 billion in Medicare cuts in order to pay for it. But what we need to keep in mind is that this bill has — it's a 10-year bill. But it doesn't really begin spending a lot of money until the fifth year. It doesn't really ramp up pretty considerably until the sixth year and not fully operational until the seventh year.
So what we're really doing is — in this bill is they're front loading the revenue and backloading the expenditures. Otherwise, this bill would not be $829 billion. It would be a bill well in excess of $1 trillion. It's going to be in excess of $1 trillion for its first decade. It's — of operation.
It's just that it's going to begin seven years from now and operate — be fully operational and in the 10 years after that, it's going to be well north of $1 trillion. And in all likelihood be in deficit. Because they've got a bunch of — they got $644 billion of expenditures in the last four years and $250 billion worth of revenues in the first five years.
They're front loading the revenues, backloading the expenditures. And relying upon a bunch of gimmicks.
ROVE: Let me give you just one example. You know the Cadillac health care plans? They're going to tax them with a 40 percent excise tax in the Baucus bill. And yet the Congressional Budget Office helpfully said if you tax it, what's going to happen is in the second decade of the plan's operation, those revenues are going to grow 10 to 15 percent a year.
There's $200 billion in the first decade and an even larger amount in the second decade. And that's simply not going to happen. If you tax something 40 percent, you're going to get less of them and less revenue, not more.
HANNITY: All right. You see I think this is all part of a grand scheme. Maybe this is the conspiratorial side of Sean Hannity here. You know these numbers get confusing. We had a House bill that we analyzed. Then we got the Baucus bill. They've got to merge that in the Senate with the Kennedy bill.
In the House, we have Nancy Pelosi saying she won't accept a bill without the government option. So then that's going to be merged with the Senate bill. Whatever that ultimately looks like. So it almost seems like they just think the American people are going to get confused, they're not going to pay attention to all this, and they're going to — you know, sort of pass this in spite of the will of the American people. Does that work?
ROVE: Yes. Well, you know, it might be. And like you, this whole process is making me a little bit concerned about the cynicism in the White House. But the games they're playing in all these bills to stay in line with what the president said, I want something less than $1 trillion and I want something that is deficit neutral, they're playing games that assures that while it may hit those two goals in the first 10 years, it ain't going to hit them in the out years and they all know it.
So yes, they may just be banking on the American people being angry in July and August, but not hot and bothered in October and November and December when they're actually trying to pass the real bill.
HANNITY: All right.
ROVE: And you're right. They got five different bills. Three in the House, two in the Senate. Merge them all into one bill and run it through during the holidays and don't give us time to look at it.
HANNITY: Well, and that's the thing. They won't even give us the 72 hours that the president promised during the campaign that he'd give the American people.
Here's a political question I have for you. See, I don't think the people around the president are serving him well. They let him go to Copenhagen, frankly, when he should be paying attention to the troops. They're engaged in a war against the Fox News channel.
I think they're getting distracted very, very quickly. Unemployment is now close to double digits here. And more importantly, it seems, if the president in that clip we just played, if he's going to force health care, if he's going to force cap-and-tax, these Democrats and these marginal districts, if they are pressured to vote for this, I think he's forcing them to walk the plank, their careers are over.
So is he being served well politically is the question.
ROVE: Well, there are two answers to that. No, he's not being served well because look, the number one problem facing the country is the economy. And he's talking about everything but the economy. But I do think, look, I think there's a very cynical attitude in Rahm Emanuel's office that says you know what?
We've got 178 members of the House and if we lose 20 or 30 because we make them walk the plank on cap-and-trade and on health care bill, the deficits and spending, that's OK. We'll still have a majority.
But, you know, a lot of members are going to be looking at what happens in Virginia here in a couple of weeks and New Jersey. Even if Corzine somehow gets in by spending vast sums of money, you know, people are going to say that was — he shouldn't have had that kind of problem and Obama is a weight on us.
And then if Virginia goes the way I think Virginia is going to go with Republicans taking the governorship, lieutenant governorship and AG, this could be a real signal that the American people are revolting against all of these spending and deficits and government expansion that's the hallmark of the Obama administration.
But I think frankly they're looking there saying you know what? We can suffer to lose a bunch of those moderates. Let's make them vote for the — to give the tough liberal San Francisco liberal vote. But if they get defeated that's their problem, not ours.
HANNITY: You see I also think they want to pass this before — they want this bill finished before these elections. These gubernatorial races.
I got to thank you by the way. I wasn't feeling well yesterday. You filled in for me at Liberty University. I owe them a trip. And thank you very much.
ROVE: Well, I was happy to do it but boy, you're popular there. It was sort of — you know, it was sort of embarrassing to go there and say I'm the stand-in for Sean Hannity. They all went ohhhhh.
HANNITY: You know you're killing me here. All right, Karl Rove, good to see you. Have a great weekend.
ROVE: Thank you. Same to you, Sean.
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