Mainstream media giving Obama a 'free pass' on gas prices?

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 20, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, don't laugh. We poured tens of dollars into that graphic.

Today's "B.S. Alert" concerns the following, gas prices soaring, and this guy gets a pass. The exact same happened to his predecessor, and let's just say he did not get a pass. Now, I'm not saying one is right and one is wrong, but if your standard is fury at the White House over rising gas prices, then shouldn't you go after both?

Not when it comes to a mainstream media and the collective powers that be in Washington who would sooner ignore a 34-day spike in gas prices now, twice as bad as the comparatively minor spike in prices that created a virtual uproar then.

To former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis.

Artur, it is weird. That's all I will say. It's weird.

What do you make of it?

FORMER REP. ARTUR DAVIS , R - AL: Well, Neil, good afternoon.

I don't think it's any huge surprise to a lot of folks in your audience that there are two different worlds. There's the one the mainstream media and many of the newspapers in this country tell us about, and there is the one that millions of Americans are living in day in and out.

The reality is that you mentioned one very good example, how gas prices recovered under Bush, as opposed to Obama. There are so many other economic examples. Let's not forget the fact that, over a four-year period, President Obama's job creation total, when you take outs the jobs lost and subtract them from the jobs gained, was a net of 28,000.

Well, every five days in this economy, roughly that many people come into the work force. In four years, he created enough jobs to fill a week's worth of new job applicants in the United States. President Bush had better job numbers than that. Candidly, they weren't great job numbers, but they were better job numbers than that.

And we all remember, particularly in 2003 and 2004, that we heard all this talk about the jobless Bush recovery. You know, the media, of course, didn't give Obama a free pass on the economy, but they didn't cover the Obama economy with anywhere near the kind of ferocity they covered the Bush economy.

CAVUTO: Yeah. All I'm saying is when it comes to this sort of stuff, if you're going to be aggressive on one, be aggressive on all, sort of like we were raising earlier with the coverage of Jesse Jackson Jr. and all of his problems, if you are going to go after Republicans and their improprieties, you might as well go with equal zeal covering Democrats and theirs.

I'm saying that that is the answer, but consistency certainly is a good way to start. But, on the economy stuff, we are led to believe that we are in the middle of a gangbusters recovery, when in fact even to date we're still net jobs down under this administration, to say nothing of not even keeping up with the increase in population that you astutely pointed out.

But I wonder, as I see this going forward some years, whether even in coverage of the whole sequestration, right, it's Republicans being intransigent, wanting to control spending, and not Democrats who seem to be equally zealous not wanting to control reining it in. I'm just saying what is good for the goose ought to be good for the gander.

DAVIS: Well, Neil, let's pick up on that point.

What's happening with sequestration -- and a couple of your guests earlier alluded to this -- President Obama has a political strategy. This is act three in a three-part play. Two years ago, when the debt ceiling debate happened, President Obama said, Republicans in Congress, you have got a choice. Either give me what I want, or you are going to get blamed for the economy cratering.

We saw part two last December. President Obama said, give me the tax increases that I want, or you're going to be blamed for the economy contracting. Now we see part three. Give me the tax increases I want, or you're going to be blamed for sequestration happening next week. It's a political tactic. And I guess that you could argue that it has worked because he got away with it the first two times.

But sometimes what is smart politics is exactly the opposite kind of governance, and it's the irresponsible. So, as a practical matter, I don't think any of us know what will happen next week. I would be as surprised as you are if Barack Obamas' administration allowed some of the cuts to happen that the president has been talking about the last few days.

CAVUTO: Oh, sure.

DAVIS: This is political gamesmanship.


DAVIS: And it's political gamesmanship that's going on while for middle class Americans, not only are the gas prices going up, but they got a hike in their Social Security taxes, and, by the way, most Americans or a good chunk of middle class Americans, I should say, pay more in FICA than they do in income taxes every month.

CAVUTO: You're right about that.

DAVIS: Well, President Obama did nothing to renew the hike in FICA taxes.

And, in addition to that, the consumer confidence is starting to slow down again. And everyone in your audience ought to appreciate that in the last quarter of last year, we had contraction in this economy. We had this economy not just slow down.

CAVUTO: Reversing.

DAVIS: We had the economy contract. We had it go in reverse.

CAVUTO: And we get another quarter like that this year, we're -- we're -- we're back in a recession.

DAVIS: We would be literally back in a recession.

CAVUTO: All right.

DAVIS: You saw the housing data today. This is the weakest recovery. And it continues to be the weakest recover in my lifetime.

And I know Democrats like to call that Republican talking points. The reason we keep saying it is it keeps being the reality.

CAVUTO: Yeah. All right.

DAVIS: And we all know that if John McCain had won four years ago, and had a recovery this miserly, we'd be hearing about the pathetic McCain recovery.

CAVUTO: Well, we never got to that.

Artur Davis, thank you. Good seeing you again.

DAVIS: Thank you, Neil.

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