All-Star Panel: Reaction to Obama economy speech tour

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 25, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Health care costs are starting to slow down, deficits, plummeting. Jobs up, exports up, energy production up. We've cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people. And we've begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable, more sustainable economic growth.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R – OH, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president pivoted this week to jobs, as he has been known to do on occasion. But his speech turned out to be all sizzle and no steak. That assuming that there is any sizzle left after you have reheated this thing so many times.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The president on his second speech in a series about the U.S. economy. It seems by that sentence we played there, that paragraph, that things are going pretty well. If you look at the latest Fox News polls, how do you think things are going in the country? You see not a lot of people were satisfied. 35 percent and 63 percent say they are not satisfied with how things are going. We are back with the panel. Nina, what about these series of speeches and what the president is trying to sell there.

NINA EASTON, COLUMNIST, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: Here is the irony in the president's speeches. Whenever he pulls out his speeches to talk about the economy or jobs, he tends to emphasize income inequality and attacking that over promoting growth. He does mention growth but he is really focused on income inequality.

The effect of the Obama economy is that the middle class is actually suffering. The rich are fine. The rich are -- the stock market, thanks largely to the Fed, is doing gang busters. But look at median income household -- median household income is down five percent since -- over this recovery. The number of people in the work force – the percent of people in the work force has dropped. The unemployment rate remains at historical highs. This is not an economy that's helping the middle class, unlike, I have to say, the Reagan recovery after a very severe recession in '82, '83. It lifted median incomes as well.

BAIER: A couple of other polls – and by the way, these polls, a lot of people ask what the break down is. And we say, we said it in the show, these polls, 40 percent Democrat, Republicans, 34 percent, Independents, 22 percent. That's the internals of the Fox News polls this time around. In the next year, expect the new health care law will -- cost me more money, 47 percent believe that, save me money, 11 percent. There you see stay the same. And what should happen to ObamaCare, repeal the law, now 53 percent, keep the law in place, 40 percent. Juan?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Well, in terms of the president's speeches I don't think there's a need to focus on the economy, and his pitch here is that the Congress has been blocking his initiatives, which is why Speaker Boehner says this is warmed over stuff. We looked at your initiatives and we didn't like them.  And it's not going anywhere and Washington is stuck. Last week you recall Fed Chairman Bernanke said yeah, the government is a major economic activity and Washington, Congress, is not contributing to getting this economy in motion.

BAIER: So essentially, the president is saying I cannot lead Congress to the table to solve this problem. That's what he is saying.

WILLIAMS: and in fact, you've heard this from Republicans on the Hill. Where's the leadership? Where's the White House offering a vision that the Congress can buy into? The contrary point is, why is Congress not supporting more stimulus spending?

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: What is surprising is why he wants the rhetorical pivot.  He's got a lousy economy. He's been in office for a term and half a year, and all he can say is, well, in all that time I've cleared a bit of rubble. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of what he's achieved. He has got one percent growth. He has chronically high unemployment. He's got part-time employment rising, full-time employment falling. And now he is saying, you know, give me another endorsement. And when he says that, the deficits are plummeting. From the historic high he gave us in deficits, his lower deficit now is higher than the highest ever in the Bush years. It isn't exactly a record I think he ought to be running on again as he thinks he is running again.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for what is turning out to be a real nuisance for some Major League Baseball fans.

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