Krauthammer assesses Obama's response to the storm

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 30, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: And joining us now to react to the political implications of the storm, Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer who is in Washington this evening.

So I didn't see the President do anything wrong today. I mean, he did what he should do. He is the symbolic head of the country. He can't do anything about any of this other than to say to the agencies, the federal agencies just get on it as anybody would and you say?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, if I wanted to be cynical I would say that his advice as we just heard it is to deregulate as you go along in the -- in the recovery efforts.

But look, you're absolutely right. He's doing what you're expected to do. In one sense you are the father of the nation you speak on behalf the nation expressing sympathy the way he did after the shooting in Tucson. This is an expected role. And then you pretend that you're going to be directing the red -- the restoration efforts whereas, in fact, you know that almost all of it happens at the gubernatorial level.

What the President does is releasing a lot of money to help all of these states and also to try to manage FEMA, which, as yet, is not engaged. It's more the immediate response is at the local level, the FEMA is for the longer. So he's done ok. There is no criticism of that.

O'REILLY: He's done -- and I don't think anybody should be sniping at either him or Romney. Romney the same thing, he's got to be sympathetic. He doesn't have any power to do anything but he's got to show his concern. They both cancelled some appearances.


O'REILLY: And all of that.

KRAUTHAMMER: I wasn't -- I wasn't sniping. I was just --

O'REILLY: No, no I know that.

KRAUTHAMMER: -- what I would say if I were cynical but, of course, I'm not so, you can discount that.

O'REILLY: Yes. You are Little Bo-Peep.

Ok now going forward, tomorrow is a hybrid news day. You still have storm stuff.


O'REILLY: But the story will be intensified and then the political stuff will come back. And then on Thursday, both Romney and Obama will regain, you know, they'll start to campaign again.

So looking forward, I don't see Sandy as a big factor here do you?

KRAUTHAMMER: No, I don't. I think it might have some marginal effects. It does show the President is presidential. But people expect that in a national emergency.


KRAUTHAMMER: So that's -- that's not really stuff. You might say that if you look at where the storm has spread. It's now in Ohio and Virginia. These are places where the Obama campaign had counted on early voting and they made a big effort on that. The President himself cast the ballot early first time in U.S. history as the way to encourage others.

Democrats thought that that might be advantageous for them. In fact the Gallup show that more Republicans than Democrats who voted early. So again I think that's probably a wash. The one way in which it might affect things as you say when we resume the campaign. Tomorrow is going to be a half and half day. By the end of the week we'll be back to campaigning.

When you have this emergency and you have this tragedy and the lingering effects of the tragedy are going to go right through Election Day. It is not a one-day deal. There is an imposition on the candidates, a requirement to have a kind of solemnity that you wouldn't ordinarily have in the last couple of days when people are throwing all kinds of charges around.

And since the Obama campaign is far more negative. I have seen it in the ads I have seen in the last couple of days still really harshly negative on Romney because they really don't have a positive agenda, that's going to restrain what the Democrats can do to some extent in the closing argument.

O'REILLY: But it also --

KRAUTHAMMER: But again I think it'll be marginal.

O'REILLY: -- it also distracts people from actually watching this stuff. Here in the northeast, which is Obama country, so we expect the President to carry every state in the northeast with the exception of New Hampshire.

KRAUTHAMMER: Right, exactly.

O'REILLY: But Pennsylvania, believe me, Pennsylvania is in play and the Obama campaign was counting on a lot of those negative ads. People aren't going to be paying attention to them because that storm is ripping right through that state right now.


O'REILLY: So he's losing three days of ads, three days in Pennsylvania. So all of that you know and the psychology and the money -- the money at the federal level that's going to have to be used to restore the northeast, we're talking billions and billions of dollars.

And it just heightens the fact as I was saying in the "Talking Points" memo, we don't have enough money to upgrade our electrical grid in this country you know. We're 40 years behind where we should be there. So there's a lot of stuff floating.

I'll give you the last word.

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes well this is going to effect the election but it does make you think that $800 billion stimulus which was sprinkled you know hurled out at airplanes and helicopters and left not a trace ended up in Solyndra and other places.

Imagine if we had chosen a single project like Eisenhower picking the Interstate Highway system and it had been let's say the electrical grid or burying every wire in the country underground he might have had something to look back on.

O'REILLY: Absolutely. That's a very, very good thought.

KRAUTHAMMER: And there is simply that the money was spent, wasted and it is written on sand.

O'REILLY: That's right. I mean if we had done a TBA or Interstate and you could see it.


O'REILLY: And it would have put people back to work which was suppose to be you know what the stimulus was all about. Charles as always thanks very much.


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