Can Obama win an election campaigning on the economy?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 16, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, JULY 23: It's like, we tried their plan, we tried our plan, and it worked. That's the difference. That's the choice in this election.

OBAMA, JULY 13: If you have a business, that's -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

OBAMA, JUNE 8: Private sector's doing fine.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST: That was President Obama sharing his economic views. I guess based on those statements, it is no surprise that we are seeing the weekly jobless claims once again surge.

Now this week's report shows the number of people filing for first-time unemployment remained well over 360,000 Americans. Now, President Obama has repeatedly labeled this the worst recession since the Great Depression. He said that during the campaign.

Well, the self-proclaimed, successful policies are not helping because the AP is now reporting that Obama's recovery is the weakest since, you guessed it -- the Great Depression.

Joining me now from the Fox Business Network, Sandra Smith, and columnist Jedediah Bila.

These numbers tell it all, Gallup, on the three issue that matter most to the American people creating jobs, 58 percent disapprove, 37 percent approve.

The economy, 60 percent disapprove of Obama's handling and only 36 percent approve. Deficit, 64 disapprove and 30 approve. Those numbers, if the economy becomes the number one issue, how does he win with those numbers?

JEDEDIAH BILA, AUTHOR AND COLUMNIST: I would also add to that that Rasmussen had a poll out today that showed that 45 percent of people trust Republicans more to deal with the economy and 40 percent say Democrats.

So it's not even just Gallup, it's across the country, and I think it's because of over taxing and over regulation and EPA gone wild. The president's done nothing in the way of energy independence, despite these numbers he throws out there about drilling that are all inaccurate.

People aren't blind. They are out of work. Their families are out of work. They know the prices of goods and services. They know the consumer spending is suffering because they don't have any money in their pockets right now to spend money. It is very real and tangible. They are going to vote based on what is happening in their lives.

HANNITY: This is why I think all the sleazy, slimy smear campaign, obviously, the -- President Obama himself put his seal of approval on, because he is not stopping it.

The reason I don't think it works is because behind every one of those statistics, 25 million un- or under-employed, you know, 49 million American in poverty, 47 million getting food stamps, one in six Americans in poverty.

They are suffering. I don't think they care about, you know, the attacks that are coming down every day.

SANDRA SMITH, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: It's amazing that this president is actually patting himself on the back saying his policies have worked. Theirs didn't. The 5.2 million Americans have been out of work, six months or longer.

If you look back to the Great Depression, we have never been at this point, three years into the recovery, ever, Sean. It makes me think that the president doesn't have his ear to the ground, when it comes to businesses.

Wal-Mart today, worst performer in the Dow. The chief financial officer came out. They had great earnings but they came out and said, guess what? Our customer is having a harder and harder time stretching the dollar to the next paycheck. Consumers are hurting, businesses are acknowledging it. Where's the president?

HANNITY: Let me tell you. I shop at K-mart, Wal-Mart, Target. I go there, you know, I have been there -- a ton of times in my life. Go there, still. Take my kids. Great place to shop. Their prices are really reasonable. You go to the Super Wal-Mart, they have everything, including grocery, one-stop shopping.

If people are struggling and the head of Wal-Mart is saying that, that means this has impacted every single level of the economy, especially the middle class, which Democrats say they have a monopoly on helping.

BILA: Remember how much money was pumped into the economy, over $800 billion in stimulus that was supposed to prevent this from happening. So our deficit has ballooned, our debt has ballooned and there is nothing to show for it at the end of the day.

That's what Republicans and that's what Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney need to be talking about. It is not just that he was sitting around doing nothing and this happened. No, this is your taxpayer money that has vanished and there are no results to show for it.

SMITH: You go back to -- we ran the sound bite of "you didn't build that," comment. We got the numbers, speaking to Sean's point. The numbers are there to back it up. Romney has to focus on that and Obama, he is going to try to distract. We heard from the small business owners index. It fell for the second straight month. It has been dismal.

They don't feel good about what is going on, politically and economically. There is so much uncertainty out there. Sean, it is not just the small businesses, the large corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars, record amounts of cash, but they are not hiring. Why?

They don't know what is happening with ObamaCare, they don't know what's happening with taxes. They have zero confidence right now. It is going to come down to this election.

BILA: This is a perfect time for a Romney/Ryan ticket. You have the guy who was the CEO of a company, strong businessman. Paul Ryan, a budget hawk, willing to tackle entitlements, willing to tackle these serious issues. With the economy and the deficit being the key issues for Americans, I could not be happier with this pairing, right now.

HANNITY: I have to tell you, here's the good news, if Wisconsin is any indication, people are serious about doing the right thing, now. That means looking out for our kids and grandkids. You think that's what the election will be about?

SMITH: It is going to be about 8.3 percent unemployment, skyrocketing gas prices and ballooning debt.

BILA: And the scare tactics are not going to work. Seniors know it's all nonsense and they know what is going on with Medicare is not sustainable. People want solutions and the only people willing to offer solutions are Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

HANNITY: They are offering serious plans in serious times and Obama's surrogates are talking about nonsense.

BILA: And scare tactics. Exactly.

HANNITY: Guys, good to see you all.

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