Cantor: Obama's 'All or Nothing' Approach to Jobs Bill Not the Way to Go

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 8, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: President Obama just unveiled the jobs plan that we've been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for. Just to an address to Joint Session of Congress that sounded more like a candidate's stump speech than a president's policy proposal.

Now, "The Anointed One" and his economic team had months to hammer out the terms of the American jobs act. And tonight, the president proposed a massive give away of government goodies, to everybody, from teachers to small business owners, to construction workers. All paid for with, well, he's not quite sure, except of course for this.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA : While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and most profitable corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets.

OBAMA: We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake.


HANNITY: Now, since it seems like the words stimulus and tax hikes were thrown out by the president's pollsters before the speech, I think that's the president's new call to tax the rich. And given that it was President Obama himself who delivered the speech, it also included a swipe -- what a shock -- at his political foes.


OBAMA: Some of you sincerely believe that the only solution to our economic challenges is to simply cut most government spending and eliminate most government regulations.

OBAMA: But what we can't do, what I will not do, is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.


HANNITY: You know, basic protections, there were always there like Obamacare and "cash for clunkers," you know, urgent legislation that the president used his political capital to ram through when he had majorities in both houses of Congress.

Now if that does not tell you what this man's priorities are, I don't know what does.

Joining me now with analysis, he was in the audience for tonight's big speech, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

How are you, Congressman? Welcome back, good to see you.

REP. ERIC CANTOR, R-VA., HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Good, Sean, good to be on.

HANNITY: All right. I don't know what to say except a yawn, repetitive, doubling down on stupid. You know, I'll let you use your own terms here. But it sounded a lot like the stimulus proposal that he had that created no jobs that cost us millions of jobs. Your thoughts?

CANTOR: Well, my question in sort of reflecting on the president's performance tonight is the approach he took. You know, it was presented as an all or nothing package. And, you know, the president needs a win here. I think the people of the country need a win. You know, they are hurting. We all know the unemployment numbers. We know that people are just plan out of money and out of hope here. So, it is just striking to me that the president would sort of lay down the gauntlet and say, pass my package, all or nothing. Especially after all we've been through here.

Now, as you indicate there was plenty in there and policy-wise, there are some things that sort of resonate with the Republicans. I mean, when you start talking about tax relief for small business owners, that's something that we've been talking about for several years now. When you start talking about streamlining bureaucracy, so that you can get more bang for the buck, if you will, in infrastructure spending, fine.

But, you know, and he mentioned a program in Georgia having to do with unemployment benefits. That Georgia works program was something we've been talking about since December of 2009.

So, there certainly are some things I think that we could some wins on together for the people. But when he says, it is basically all or nothing, you know, that is not how things can get done. That's not a serious way to go and accomplish some policy results.

HANNITY: Yes. But in the end too, this is just shy of $500 billion that we're talking about. And he kept saying, we've got this thing paid for. And then he punts on paying for it by handing it off to the Super Committee. And we are not even confident or we don't really know if they are going to be able to cut the money that they already promised that they are going to cut.

So, he doesn't have this paid for. He's telling Congress, you guys get it paid for.

CANTOR: Well, you know, it was I think not accurate to say it was paid for, at least in tonight's speech. How could it be paid for if then he asks Congress to identify cuts and savings? I mean, come on. So, we're back to sort of the same old, same old when it comes to the kind of spending. And I will tell you, I've not seen the details. But some of the spending language that he used sounded a lot like the kind of language we heard in the stimulus pitch, several years ago. And we all know how successful that was.

HANNITY: Yes. You know, well, look, here's the interesting thing to me is that he seem like he's a little late to this dance, when you really think about it. Because we just had this big debt ceiling debate, he's still never presented an actual plan. It's not a plan that we can go online tonight and read, this is my specific bill, this is what I want the American people to support. So, the devil is always going to be in the details.

But the one thing that is consistent as I predicted last night, yesterday on this program, and on my radio show, is that he used class warfare, repeatedly. He wants tax increases, that means for small business in the end. And as David Plouffe and Pfeiffer,were out there for the last two days, and I have spies -- you may not know this Congressma, I have spies that sat in the little spin room meetings -- they are going to go out there and they are going to say, Michele Bachmann supported the payroll tax cut. And so and so supported this in the past. Is that going to be effective in selling this deal?

CANTOR: No, it's not. Again, I mean, the president is saying something is bipartisan basically suggests that he knows what we would be for. Again, that's not how you get a win here. That's not how we are going to produce results for the people that are out of work and for the people that are hurting in this country.

So, I really do think there's a better way. And the president, I think, missed an opportunity to put his best foot forward to say, hey, we know Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals are not going to agree on a lot of things. But there are some things that we can do if we transcend those differences and stick to what the mission here is. And that is to get entrepreneurs back into the business of job creation.

HANNITY: I got the sense that the president tonight sounded like a used car salesman trying to push clunkers out the door as fast as he could. Pass the bill. Pass bill. Pass the bill. Let me show you what he said.


OBAMA: I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away.

OBAMA: You should pass this jobs plan right away.

OBAMA: Pass this jobs bill. Pass this jobs bill.

OBAMA: Pass this jobs bill.

OBAMA: You should pass it right away.

OBAMA: Pass this jobs bill.

OBAMA: You should pass it right away.

OBAMA: Pass this jobs bill.

OBAMA: Pass this bill.

OBAMA: Pass this jobs bill.

OBAMA: Pass this bill.

OBAMA: Pass this jobs bill.

OBAMA: You should pass it again, right away. Pass this jobs bill. You should pass this bill right away.

OBAMA: You should pass it. And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.


HANNITY: You didn't realize -- and by the way, they were all individual cuts.

CANTOR: Right.

HANNITY: You know, but as I watched this, beyond it being bad writing, he can't say the word stimulus anymore. That Nancy Pelosi has now outlawed that word. So, they use the words investment and building and infrastructure.

Is this a plan -- and it is a serious side to this and you referred to this earlier -- is this a plan that is going to help the American people, the 14, 15 million people unemployed, the underemployed, those whose homes are underwater, is this going to get our economy back than what he outlined tonight?

CANTOR: You know, they way he outlined it is not going to effect a result here. But I would say, if you start with small business tax relief, his ideas may be somewhat different than ours. But if the sense is, we've got to provide incentives for entrepreneurs, small business men and women to start creating jobs again, that is something that we can embrace too.

And look, Sean, when we were talking about the stimulus bill, you know, several years ago, we Republicans, we said we didn't support it. None of us voted for it. And the reason was, is we had an alternative that was squarely based on trying to deal with small business people trying to get them back in the game of investment and job creation.

So, those are the things we believe in. But not if he sits here and preaches pass the bill, pass the bill, and oh, by the way, I'm taking it to every corner of the country if you don't.

HANNITY: Congressman, I was very happy with the fact that the Republicans, you guys did keep a lot of your promises to repeal health care, you voted to do that. I wish we did a little better on the 2011 budget. The debt ceiling thing I really wanted you guys to stand firm. I think you know this. Some of your colleagues got mad at me, because I like "Cut, Cap and Balance."

But the point is, you guys have passed the Ryan plan. You passed "Cut, Cap and Balance." And then you started negotiating with the McConnell plan and this other plan. Will the Republicans stand united on the principles that will get the economy running again this time? In other words, I don't want to see the Republicans competing against each other. Is that a fair --

CANTOR: I agree with that Sean. We ought not be competing against each other. Because I think we are on the side of the American people. They want to see government spending brought under control. They want to see job growth again. And the way we do that, is we stand for entrepreneurialism and free enterprise.

And look, let's face it, you know, we are in control of the House. So, we're blocking things that would be harmful to business growth. Trying to get going on an agenda, we need some help in the Senate and we need some help in the White House. We are going to be embarking upon the next 10 weeks of rolling back regulations that the Obama administration is putting into place that is going to harm job growth. We are also going to be for advocating for tax relief for small businesses that helps create middle class jobs.

These are the things that we are going to stay united around. And hopefully, the president will stop this all or nothing demand and join us in trying to do some good for the people that so desperately need it across this country.

HANNITY: All right. I fearwe may be headed for a lost decade. It seems exactly the path Japan chose, one stimulus, another stimulus and they never recovered.

Congressman, good to see you. We'll be watching this very closely in the days ahead. I appreciate you being with us.

CANTOR: Thanks, Sean.

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