Krauthammer: Obama, Democrats trying to set impeachment trap for Republicans

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 7, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well it's no secret, President Obama is considering using executive action to deal with the immigration crisis. But here's the question: Could taking executive action end up backfiring on the president?

Charles Krauthammer, author of "Things That Matter," which is on the New York Times best seller list for 10 months, joins us. Nice to see you Charles.


VAN SUSTEREN: Charles, what's going on now with the president?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, look I think they're gonna go for a Hail Mary here. They are looking at a very bad election coming up in November. And this is about the only issue that occupies his mind, seems to energizes him - elections. He's a good campaigner, he's not a great president. So, because he's been, as we saw, pretty lethargic on just about every other issue under the sun. So, how are they gonna improve their chances for November? They are talking about -- they have been leaking the story now for weeks -- the president mentioned obliquely yesterday about an executive action to legalize millions of illegal aliens living here in the United States.

And that clearly would be a violation of the Constitution. By Obama's own words, he's on record saying many times, I do not have the authority to do this. We are a nation of laws. He was responding to Hispanic activists who wanted him to do this unilaterally. He said I can't, it's against the Constitution.

Now, they are talking about doing exactly this. Why is he doing it? There are a lot of reasons. But I think the more immediate one is, this would create a constitutional crisis. This would be a huge usurpation of the powers of Congress, a violation of separation of power. And he knows it would spark a constitutional crisis --- and what they are hoping for --- you know about the Democrats have now been talking of impeach him. What they're hoping for is that it would spark impeachment and thus will rescue the Democrats the same way the impeachment over in 1998 bailed out the Democrats in elections they would have otherwise lost.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let me be really snarky into discussion about impeachment. I'm beginning to think that he thinks it's just his only way of getting out fast because I think he hates the job. I'd say -- I don't, I mean I don't get the senses that he is steeped in policy like the Clinton. Clinton was steeped in policy and always looking at things. I don't get the sense -- that press conference yesterday, I didn't see the fire in his belly.

I mean, there are terrible problems facing the world but there also terrible challenges. And we should, you know, we should get up on the horse and do what we need to do. I didn't see that fire in his belly.

KRAUTHAMMER: The only thing I think he cares about is his legacy and his popularity.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he better do something about the problems, if he's concerned about his legacy.

KRAUTHAMMER: On impeachment, there's no way he's gonna be impeached, convicted because you're not gonna get 67 senators.


VAN SUSTEREN: I'm being snarky about my belief.

KRAUTHAMMER: But what I'm saying is by casing the issue and as we saw, there was a study on "The Hill" which shows that Democrats have talked 20 times as much about impeachment as Republicans. They want this. They are hoping for this. It would be a mistake on the part of all of us; it would be suicide, the walking into a trap. But that's their one Hail Mary.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I wish they would concern -- be less concerned about politics and more concerned about 40,000 people trapped on a mountainside [in Iraq]. Or more concerned about what's going on a border and the list of these things than who's going to win in November. But anyway, that's -- I'm taking the last word. Charles nice to see you, 10 months as a best seller, that's fantastic.

KRAUTHAMMER: Thank you! Thanks a lot