Is President Obama disengaged?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: If you want a glimpse into what the future holds for America if President Barack Obama is handed a second term, now take a long hard look at the chaos that is unfolding in the group in Europe.

Violent riots are raging in the streets of Spain and Greece as angry mobs protest against the government and austerity measures there. In Athens, more than 70,000 people descended on the Greek parliament. Molotov cocktails targeted police officers, and similar scenes of disturbing violence occurred in Madrid as well.

But make no mistake, if this president is in fact afforded another four years in office and if he has the ability to run up our national debt, another $6 trillion, look right there, this is what main street in America may very well look like.

Now, the current path we find ourselves on is beyond unsustainable. It is the direct result of nearly four years of reckless spending. Now, forget about Bush. This is the Obama economy. Eight point one percent unemployment. Six trillion dollars in new Obama debt. One in six Americans currently live in poverty in this country. Forty six million Americans are in need of food stamps. Fewer Americans -- fewer -- are working today than when the president took office in January of '09. Gas prices have soared by over 100 percent during his tenure. And today, we learn that the average household income dropped by more than eight percent in the less than four years President Obama's been in office.

And what's the president doing about all that? Well, he is of course campaigning out there all over the country. Earlier today, he stopped by Kent State University in Ohio, now that's a place that he visited back in 2008. Now, let's take a walk down memory lane and see what he said.


THEN-SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: When Bill Clinton was president, the average family income went up $7,500. Seventy five hundred dollars. Since George Bush has been president, you know what it's done? It's gone down $2,000. Think about that. That's a $9,500 swing. Ninety five hundred dollars. That's money out of your pocket. That's money going out of this country because we're borrowing it from China to send to Saudi Arabia to buy oil. That's what's added $4 trillion to our deficit. I mean, think about that. So, we've created a mountain of debt for the next generation that they're going to have to pay off.


HANNITY: Now remember, under Obama's watch, household income has plummeted more than eight percent, and he's added more debt than almost all of his predecessors combined.

But the president doesn't want to talk about his record because it's a record of failure. He's been disengaged from the moment that he took office. Not only is he not willing to meet with world leaders bike Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he's not willing to reach across the aisle to address very serious matters that will have a dramatic impact on our country, our kids, and our grandkids.

Now, massive cuts and our nation's defense are looming. The largest tax hike in American history is imminent. And I'm sorry to report, Mr. President, the solutions to those problems will not be reached by sitting on the couch of the "The View," nor they are they going to be found in Jay-Z's nightclub, nor will they be found in George Clooney's house.

And here to help remind us how he got to this point, both here at home and abroad, is the author of a brand-new New York Times bestseller, "The Price of Politics," Bob Woodward is back. How are you, sir?


HANNITY: Good to see you. You actually said about Obama and the debt crisis, it is a moment of maximum peril. You described a president that was not engaged in terms of relationships to fix the problems that he's failed.

WOODWARD: Well, he worked on it, but he didn't carry it over the finish line. And you have to look at these things not for effort, but for results. And one thing I -- I mean, you make the case against him very strong there. One thing I would agree with you on is that it's beyond unsustainable. We have got to -- I mean, if people are talking about the fiscal cliff coming. New tax increases, spending cuts and so forth. But the real problem is going to be in February when of necessity, whoever is president, is going to have to go to the Congress and say, we need another trillion dollars, maybe $2 trillion in borrowing authority to pay our debts. We have got -- I mean, this is your conservative message which people should -- whether they agree with you or not --

HANNITY: This is real.

WOODWARD: This is real. And we are on a spending binge. Something's got to be done about it now.

Now, to Obama's credit, when I talked to him a couple months ago, when I went through all of this, I think he in a way exquisitely is tuned into the ambivalences of all of this. As we've talked about, he's a progressive Democrat, but he's a smart guy. And he knows you've got to fix this. You've got to do something. Now what's happened in this campaign, unfortunately, is the number one issue that's the number one threat to this country is not being discussed.

HANNITY: To me it is -- I see these scenes -- am I overstating the fact that all that all we see unfolding in Europe can happen here? Am I overstating that?

WOODWARD: Let's hope not.

HANNITY: I hope I'm wrong.

WOODWARD: I think we'll be wise enough to prevent that. But you're going to get to a point where this cracks.

HANNITY: Tipping point.

WOODWARD: Yes. And I mean, it's more than a tipping point. And it's not me, it's economists from the left, from the right.


WOODWARD: The Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, throughout this book, in private meetings, in literally thousands of words is telling the president you've got to fix this. We've got to do something. We will trigger -- now think about this -- a depression worse than the 1930s.

HANNITY: My parents lived through that. My father grew up poor during the depression, spoke about it often. It wasn't pleasant.

Let me ask you, in the book you talk about a president, and you compared him to both Bill Clinton, a Democrat, and Ronald Reagan a Republican, and how, you know, it was always Ronald Reagan tip is at after six, Tip O'Neill they could get along, they can make progress. Bill Clinton is on the phone, we laughed about it the last time you're on the program. "Hey, it's me Bill, yes." You know, he call anybody and we'll be working out a deal.

This president doesn't have those relationships. Now we see the situation on what's going on in Benghazi. Two dead, Navy SEALs, an ambassador -- we haven't had an ambassador killed in 30 years. Another person is dead. All of these embassies, consulates, have you know, been raided, flags ripped down and burned. The question is, we're finding out, this president wasn't engaged with any Arab leaders either.

WOODWARD: Well, The New York Times had a story just a couple days ago saying exactly that. And this is the difficulty at home. For some -- I mean, take the president's own party. Harry Reid, the Democrat. The leader of the Senate, the second most powerful Democrat in Washington. He goes down to the White House and to wake the president up, he has to use his chief of staff to tell him, I'm disappointed in you, the president, in the Oval Office, that we didn't have a fallback plan for all the shenanigans in 2011.

And then, there's the -- you know, one of those moments where you wonder, could this really happen, that Reid is leaving with his chief of staff in the car, and he says, you know, I'm glad, you did a good job. Someone had to tell him that. No one was telling him that?

HANNITY: Nobody can tell him the truth.

WOODWARD: So, the Democratic leader needs --

HANNITY: An aide.

WOODWARD: -- to go into the Oval Office at 6:00 on a Sunday night to kind of wake everyone up, including the president of the United States?

HANNITY: It's frightening.

You know, and I really loved your book. And I actually went back and I started re-reading it, knowing you'll going to be on the program here today. I look at this president, and I think of Woodward, and your partner who's a little more left-wing, and Bernstein and Watergate, and all that you've been through in your career. We have a situation where I believe the president of the United States is purposely lying.

And let me tell you what I mean. When he keeps referring to this attack on our embassy, and all of the evidence, including the Libyan president, there were two waves of attack, mortars were used, I don't think a spontaneous attack which we were first told, somebody is holding in their back pocket oh, it just happened I have a rocket-propelled grenade with me. It's on the anniversary of 9/11.

And the president keeps going back to using this movie trailer that nobody saw released in July as an excuse. That seems to me the type of story that the media would jump on and say, give us the facts here. Why didn't we have beefed-up security on 9/11 at our consulate, at our embassies? Where did we drop the ball here? They don't ask him.

WOODWARD: Well, I have not done original reporting on that, so I don't know. But on the issue, which I think is the one that is going to come and bite this country in a way, where we'll be back talking about this in four, five, six months, and we'll say, see, we laid it out in a very, very direct way. And one of the things the president has said is that we've cut a trillion dollars. Not so. It's all postponed to 2013. Governor Romney has said we're going to do things with the tax code, we're going to cut everyone's taxes and get more money. Not clear how that's going to happen.

I hope in the coming debates the people who are the moderators who are very smart and policy savvy won't let them just give an answer and -- you have to follow up and say, now wait a minute, that doesn't square. How are you going to do this?

What is the expectation the public can have? I mean, and this is most interesting. If you think about who is going to become president, they are going to have to do some really unpopular things.

HANNITY: Very much so.

WOODWARD: To fix this.


WOODWARD: I mean, you look through the book, and it was John Boehner, the speaker who came to the president and said, we need to do tax reform, entitlement reform. Those are hard. They take a long time.

HANNITY: We need it.

WOODWARD: It's just got to be done.

HANNITY: We need it. Look, I accept means testing. I don't like it, but I accept it. I accept that they're going to raise the eligibility age. These are all basic things. And Mitt Romney to his credit said that on "60 Minutes" this weekend.

Here's this question for you that I have though, as it relates to media. Can you imagine, we're 40 days out of a presidential election, and I argue that we didn't vet Obama in 2007 in '08. And I was widely quoted on my radio show saying, the President is laughing his ass off at the media in this country, because if he says there's a donut in the sky, they're going to go regurgitate it. That's how, I think the media is falling down on their job.

We haven't asked the president, you promised you would cut the deficit in half in your first term, you didn't do it. He's never been asked. Six trillion in debt. You promised at this point, if we passed your stimulus, you predicted 8 million more jobs, we have fewer Americans working. These are fundamental questions, Bob.

WOODWARD: And we know those numbers. I mean, the real question now is, what is the plan to get us out of this? What are you going to do? Are you --

HANNITY: But don't you think he's got to be asked why he didn't do it the first time?

WOODWARD: Well, I mean, we know the numbers. Sure. Look, I think in our business, you can't be too aggressive. When I interviewed the president for an hour and a half a couple months ago, this was not a kind of, how do you feel about this? It's you said this, you did that. What happened?

HANNITY: That's my point.

WOODWARD: Well, I know you don't like him, but to his credit he answered the questions. And he let him in. And he let me in the White House, because I had documents and notes, and I said I'm going to play this straight. I believe I have at this -- you know, as somebody in the White House said, this is not a happy story.

HANNITY: You know, I got to tell you, if I was advising any president, I'd tell them to stay as far as away from you as possible. I'm kidding.


HANNITY: No. But you ask tough questions. I like it.

WOODWARD: Yes. The transparency works.

HANNITY: I agree.

WOODWARD: You know, this is democracy. And people need to answer those questions. And, you know, let's hope in the next whatever 40 days before the election --

HANNITY: I hope so.

WOODWARD: -- we have some people who are moderators of those debates to also be a little tough and say, excuse me, Governor, excuse me, Governor, excuse me, Mr. President, but I don't think you've answered those questions.

HANNITY: I love the book. Good to see you. Congratulations.

WOODWARD: Thank you.

HANNITY: Another huge New York Times bestseller.

WOODWARD: Thank you.

HANNITY: Bob Woodward, thank you very much.

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