New Poll Numbers Steepen Obama's Uphill Re-Election Bid
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 24, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Tonight we are monitoring breaking developments out of Libya as well as on the presidential election front right here at home. Now in a moment I will be joined live by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. We'll get his reaction to all of this.
But first, we have some new polling data on President Barack Obama that is making his already uphill re-election battle even steeper. Now last night we told you that his overall approval rating has reached an all-time low, however that is only the beginning. A survey released Magellan Strategies now shows that the president's support in the critical swing state of Florida, the Sunshine State, stands at only 37 percent. Meanwhile, 57 percent say they disapprove of the job that he's doing. And that same percentage of people, a majority, 57 percent of those polled in Florida, they said they do not think that President Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected.
Additionally in the president's home state, a study by the Illinois Policy Institute reveals that in the month of July, Illinois lost more jobs than any other state in the union. And you may recall, this rise in unemployment comes only a few months after Governor Pat Quinn signed massive tax hikes into law.
And so with all of this in mind, we now sit and wait for the president's so-called jobs plan -- a plan that he will not unveil until after his luxurious vacation on Martha's Vineyard.
Joining me with reaction to this and much more, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Mr. Speaker, welcome back.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's good to be with you.
HANNITY: All right. You are a historian. These are pretty devastating numbers. Gallup low 38 percent. Rasmussen, his approval index, lowest it's been in his presidency. The optic of him, you know, on a golf course during an earthquake. A plan to be revealed for jobs nearly three years into his administration. Does he have a chance to come back? Is there a way to create jobs without abandoning his rigid ideology?
GINGRICH: Well, you just asked two different questions. Is there a chance he could come back? Yes, absolutely. Either the Republicans could self-destruct or Obama could begin to do things right.
But is he likely to come back? Not without changing what he believes, how he operates. You know, the fact is, class warfare kills jobs. Bureaucratic socialism kills jobs. He believes deeply in both. One of the reasons he can't just come out and give us a jobs speech tomorrow morning is, they are trying to be clever. And the reason they're trying to be clever is, nothing that will really work fits their ideology.
So, I think we are in for a very serious period. The Congressional Budget Office just came out and said we should expect very high unemployment for years and years to come. Now that suggests to me that we ought to have a very dramatic change in direction. And I've been trying to convince Congressional Republicans that they ought to take the lead. Don't, you know, you have a president who you know doesn't understand free enterprise, he doesn't understand job creation. But let's not just talk about January 2013. What could we do in September to set up a series of choices where President Obama would have to concede to the American people the kind of policies that would create jobs?
And I think there are steps that could be taken. One of them is to take a bill introduced by two Democrats, Senators Webb and Warner of Virginia who've introduced a bill that says that Virginia ought to be allowed to develop natural gas and oil offshore. They would then split the revenue with the federal government, 50 percent to Washington, 37-and-a- half to the commonwealth, 12-and-a-half percent to land conservation and infrastructure. I think the House Republicans ought to pass that bill the first couple days after they come back. Send it to the Senate. What is Harry Reid going to do with a pro-jobs, pro-American energy, pro-royalties bill introduced by two of his Democrats? I think it's pretty hard for him to bottle it up at that point.
HANNITY: Maybe, you are probably right. Let me make a prediction. And I don't -- I think I've had a pretty good read on this president from the very beginning. And I'm not patting myself on the back, I frankly wish I were wrong. But I think socialism is predictable, his radical roots, upbringing, policies, you know, this are predictable results. This is Jimmy Carter. This wasn't hard to figure out.
I predict he's going to come back from vacation, he's going to repackage his same old policies with new focus tested, poll-tested words and he's going to use the words investment, and infrastructure. We'll show this later. He's going to try and alienate the country from the Republicans and blame them for all his troubles. And he's basically going to say, we got to raise taxes. Tell me where -- why should I think he's going to do anything differently?
GINGRICH: Look, I think that's -- you have been more accurate than any other single person. I say this with some humility because for about eight months in 2008, you and I disagreed. I was wrong, you were right. You've been more accurate and other person in trying to analyze President Obama's basic ideology and basic commitments in life. If that is true, he will be a one-term president.
But what I worry about is the pain that this drama is causing the American people. There are millions and millions of people out of work. There are more millions of people frightened about what is going to happen. And I think somehow, we need to find ways to provide leadership, despite the president not just to condemn him, not just to attack him. But to try to find, maybe by creating bipartisan majorities with Democrats who are not socialists, not committed to class warfare, and that's why I like the Webb-Warner bill because it's a start.
HANNITY: You might be right. You know why you might be right? Because there's a lot of Senate Democrats now that are up for re-election. And I've got to imagine, and there is evidence and signs now that are building, that in fact Democrats want to separate from the president. You see recent attacks, we'll show this later, for example the Congressional Black Caucus. They are angry with the president. His left wing base is angry with the president. So, there might be an opportunity, especially with unemployment this high, the economy not creating jobs. I would think some Democrats want to separate themselves from him.
GINGRICH: Sean, when you listen to Black Caucus, and I know you're going to cover this later on. When you think about 43 percent black teenage unemployment under this president. That's a level of personal pain, family pain. Virtually every African-American church in this country has members who are now unemployed. And so, I think a Republican Party that says, we are not going to wait around for year and a half of name-calling. Let's find positive ways to create jobs now. Let's find ways to unleash small business now. Let's find ways to reach out and help America now. I think that puts the president in a much deeper box than just getting involved in ideological fight with him. It also lets us start moving to preempt the super committee which I think is a very bad idea and a very dangerous idea. And I think that the Congress ought to have all of its committees and subcommittees doing their job in September, not just one group of 12.
HANNITY: Let me ask you. What is going to happen -- look, everybody wants Qaddafi gone. But has anyone thought about what's going to happen in the short term? Does the president have any idea for the long term. We have these varying factions, some with Islamic extremists, we've got mustard gas, chemical weapons, yellow cake uranium, losing control of this. And, you know, what happens from here on in now that Qaddafi is gone? A potential for an Islamic state?
GINGRICH: Ambassador John Bolton has been warning across the whole region that this administration doesn't understand what is going on. We've seen several incidents now involving Egypt in which the Egyptian government has clearly moved in an Islamist direction, allowed infiltrators to cross the Sinai for the first time I think in 30 years. There are things happening out there that are very dangerous in Libya, in Syria, in Yemen, in frankly Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Egypt. I think there's a grave danger that this so-called Arab spring could turn into a very, very dangerous season before much longer. And I don't see any sign that the Obama administration has any strategy for the region.
HANNITY: All right. Mr. Speaker, always good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
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