Does Obama Agree With Radical Viewpoints Surrounding Him?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 3, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: After his controversial statements and alliances were revealed, green jobs czar Van Jones was forced to step down late Saturday night after midnight. Now it would be easy to dismiss Jones' appointment as a fluke and to assume his radical allegiances were accidentally overlooked by administration vetters. But that is not the case.

Van Jones signifies the radicalism of this administration and he was appointed to his position precisely because of his radical beliefs. Now the White House itself has testified to this fact. Just last month senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett told a crowd just how long she'd been watching and admiring Van Jones. Let's take a look.


VALERIE JARRETT, OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Van Jones, we were so delighted to be able to recruit him into the White House. We've been watching him, really, for — it's not that over — for as long as he has been active out in Oakland and all of the ways that he has — creative ideas that he has. And so now we have captured that and we have all of that energy and enthusiasm in the White House.


HANNITY: All right. So we know the White House sought out Van Jones which begs the question how many more like him are serving in our government? Is Van Jones just the tip of the iceberg?

We know for example there's John Holdren, the science and technology adviser, who has advocated compulsory abortion. And then there is Cass Sunstein, the Harvard Law professor who wants to ban hunting and grant rights to livestock wildlife and pets.

Now we can only conclude that it's time to take a much closer look at who exactly this president has now serving in our government.

And joining me now to discuss all of this, Chairman of the GOP Michael Steele.

Watch Sean's interview

Michael, it raises so many different questions.


HANNITY: Let me get your initial thoughts about what happened with Van Jones and I want to talk specifically whether or not you think there are people that should be fired in this administration. But your thoughts on him first.

STEELE: Well, I think on the Van Jones case I think is emblematic of all the czar positions that are out there that we just don't know, Sean, that much about them, but what we're beginning to understand is that there is at least an intellectual link between these individuals and the president of the United States which goes back to what I have been saying since 2008.

And that is that we don't know what his philosophical grounding is so, when this pops up, all of a sudden you're like wait a minute, this guy isn't an avowed communist. He has said.


STEELE: He signed this petition. Is the president in bed with this? Does he support this? And I think what the Washington press corps needs to do right now is ask one question: Mr. President, did you or did you not agree with what Van Jones articulated and stood for?

HANNITY: All right, but —

STEELE: Because that begins to open up a number of doors, an understanding why the rest of this is playing out the way it is with these other czars.

HANNITY: We spend a lot of time on this program, Michael, talking about the history of Barack Obama's radicalism, Rasheed Khalidi and Father Pfleger and Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and Reverend Wright.

STEELE: Yes, but, Sean, you — you were dismissed, Sean. That's the difference now. See.

HANNITY: No, I was beaten up. I was beaten up for it.

STEELE: Yes. Well, you.


No. You were that. There is no doubt you were that. But what you — you did your homework. You said, all right, fine, let's take a look at and see what the philosophical orientation of the man who wants to be president is because that's what we've done with ever other president.

HANNITY: All right. Let me show you something —

STEELE: We had some grounding there but you didn't in this case.

HANNITY: All right. But now with that's set up. The history of radicalism that we know about. I'm looking at a number of people that I want to examine.

Let's go back, first of all, this was a guy, for example, that supported Mumia Abu-Jamal, the cop killer. This is guy that signed this 9/11 Truth Commission whether or not our government was responsible or knew about 9/11. The day after 9/11, you know, he goes on to support solidarity for — you know, those who are victims of American imperialism.

And then let's roll this videotape of Van Jones talking on two separate occasions on race issues.


VAN JONES, FORMER GREEN JOBS CZAR: You've never seen a Columbine done by a black child. Never. They always say we can't believe it happened here. We can't believe it's these — suburban white kids. It's only them.

I said, wait a minute, you know, you're regulating but you're not regulating equally and the white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of colored communities because they don't have a racial justice frame.


HANNITY: It's like, is it possible they didn't know? Is it possible?

STEELE: Yes — no. They knew. No, they knew and this was, again, like the other czars that you've referenced, this is part of a package of philosophies that the president is bringing to his administration. I think Congressman Mike Pence this weekend said it best in calling for a further examination into this and having individuals who are in these roles scrutinized under the Cabinet process of government to make sure that we understand fully where they are coming from and whether or not these are the beliefs and the ideologies that make sense for our country.

HANNITY: All right. See, I think the issue of the president's entire credibility is at stake here. Because when the issue of Jeremiah Wright came up, during the debate with John McCain, you know, he said oh, I'll check in with Warren Buffett and Joe Biden, and very mainstream people.

Here's the question I have. When you have Eric Holdren, his science adviser, who supports — spoke out in defense of compulsory abortion and sterilization.


HANNITY: When you have a State Department lawyer Harold Koh, who says the U.S. should follow Shariya Law in some cases. This guy Cass Sunstein who wants to give rights to pets and ban hunting. You know, the question is, this is not just one mistake here.

STEELE: Right.

HANNITY: What does this tell you about this president? Is he presenting a more moderate face to the American people but in reality he is a radical himself?

STEELE: I think that that's more the script right there, Sean. I think that there is this moderate picture and tomorrow night in the speech you're going to hear a very moderate speech with very conservative undertones to it to try to, you know, continue that image.

The problem is the president himself said, judge me by the people I surround myself with. And if this is the standard, then you are explaining a lot by not saying anything. In other words, we understand exactly what you're thinking because it's reflected in the writings, in the words and utterances of the very individuals you brought into your Cabinet. Into your inner circle in the West Wing and czars.

HANNITY: Are there any.

STEELE: And so...

HANNITY: Go ahead, finish.

STEELE: No, I was going to say. So my question then becomes, do you agree with the philosophy that calls for — you know mandatory abortions? Do you agree with the philosophy that says, as Van Jones did, you know, that Columbine was basically a white thing?


STEELE: Do you agree with all of this and, if you do that tells us something.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this.

STEELE: If you don't, then why are you bringing these people into your circle?

HANNITY: Are there any other people that I have mentioned, though many — are any other people that have pretty radical views that you think, as the chairman of the RNC, that you think should be removed and removed immediately or that you want investigations into?

STEELE: Well, I think, quite frankly, the fact that the situation with Van Jones has elevated to the level that it has that all of these czars, every last one of them should go through a vetting process that's public, that is complete and that involves the advising consent function of the United States Senate.

These are individuals, Sean, who are writing the policy of this nation for our secretaries who would formally write them to execute. So you've now — inserted a whole another level of government here and a process that I think needs a little bit more scrutiny than has been given. And it says a lot of about this vetting process, vaunted vetting process, that the administration talked about at the beginning.

HANNITY: I think it also says a lot about the president.

STEELE: Not so good now.

HANNITY: I think.


HANNITY: And that — all right. We have a lot more to come on this. Michael, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

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