Obama Finds Time for NCAA Bracket, Golf Amid Global Turmoil
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 15, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The White House's response to the situation in Japan is raising some eyebrows. And actually, it reminded me of an old Hillary Clinton campaign ad. Maybe you remember this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM 2008)
ANNOUNCER: It is 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House and it is ringing. Something is happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Apparently, the president was groggy when he answered that call, because on Saturday, hours after the quake struck, he went golfing. And later that evening he attended a dinner with members of the mainstream Obama-mania media. And today, the president spent his afternoon filling out his NCAA brackets for ESPN.
Sadly, none of this is a joke. Here with analysis on all of this, Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore, former White House Press Secretary, Fox News contributor Dana Perino.
All right. So, he's filling out brackets, he's going to fundraisers, parties and golfing. And I'm thinking Libya, the Middle East, you know, Japan. I don't -- I don't get it.
DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It is -- his seeming passivity is either considered an admiral quality by some or a disturbing flaw by others.
HANNITY: You think?
PERINO: And what he decides to engage on versus not engage on, it's a moving target, impossible to tell what he actually wants to get across. On Libya for example, there's still deliberating about a no-fly zone. I mean, at some -- you either are going to try to help the rebels or you're not, let's just decide and move on.
Steve, I find his lack of engagement now beyond troubling to me.
STEPHEN MOORE, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes, look, there had been three big crisis in the last few months, first, we have the big budget crisis, we saw what happened to the president's budget, it was simply a punt. Then we have the speech the president gave last week on energy policy. I mean, we've got $100 a barrel oil now, Sean. And what did he say? More green energy, more of the same, no change in policy. And I agree with you, I think it has been kind of callus to see the president this time, you know, an emergency around the world, to be playing golf and filling out his NCAA --
HANNITY: Two weekends in a row with golf. The NCAA tournament picks, I'm sure they're really important for ESPN, but maybe not at this particular time. Nuclear crisis, we've got tsunami warnings. We've got the potential people on the West Coast are scared to death that in fact, the winds may blow it into the West Coast of the United States of America.
PERINO: He probably feels like if he would succumb to all the pressure, to comment on everything, he wouldn't have time even to go to the bathroom. But what surprises me is --
HANNITY: You mean he wouldn't have time to shoot hoops?
PERINO: Well -- shoot hoops, play golf -- but the other thing is, remember, from the communication standpoint what they've done. Today, he did three interviews, with regional news outlets in key battle ground states for 2012. I mean, they are starting very, very early. He still has yet I believe to do an interview with NHK which is the main news outlet for Japan. How reassuring it would be for the Japanese to hear from the president right now.
Another communications points, Steve, is in January, when Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot, that morning President Obama put out a photograph from him in the White House situation room, even after we knew it was lone gunman, I mean, the situation room?
And then Saturday, their only communications was a radio address on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which had obviously been taped days before and they're not going to change it, and his video of him playing golf.
MOORE: But you know what concerns me about this, OK, so we've got -- this is obviously a huge setback for nuclear energy. It may have set it back for many years.
HANNITY: I'm not so sure.
MOORE: Maybe you're right. I hope you are right because I think nuclear is a pretty safe form of energy. But here's the point, if we are not going to have nuclear energy because a lot of Democrats on the Hill today said, well, that's the end of nuclear energy, and we are not going to have oil because we're not drilling, we're not going to have coal because we're not mining --
HANNITY: We have nothing.
MOORE: You know, natural gas they don't want. So, where in the world folks are we going to get our energy from? I mean, I hope, I sincerely hope the president doesn't really believe that we can engine and power a $15 trillion industrial economy with windmills. It ain't going to happen.
HANNITY: It ain't going to happen, and you know, and look at where we are relying on energy, from the Middle East and all its instability, from North Africa, from Venezuela, from Mexico.
MOORE: But all he talks about, Sean, is clean energy.
PERINO: What's interesting is, for years -- and Steve you and I have known this since we go back several years on energy front -- you've heard this phrase, we are not going to drill our way out of this crisis. What's interesting is, our policy in the United States is not keeping pace with technology developments.
PERINO: And now, in terms of natural gas, there's boons all over America in places where they weren't able to get natural gas before and now that's got the renewable energy companies nervous.
HANNITY: There's one thing we forgot, he also talks about, you know, entitlement reform. He punted on his own budget.
MOORE: Tell me about it. You know, the one thing that infuriates me is, the budget debate is going on as we speak. I mean, the House passed their three week extension today. The Democrats keep saying, well, you only want to cut these programs, what about entitlement reforms? That's the mantra of the Democrats. Sean, I've still been waiting from Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama for one entitlement reform that will save money. And the silence has been deafening.
HANNITY: Yes, it's really amazing. Remember he voted present most of his years in Illinois. Guys, thanks for being with us.
MOORE: Thanks, Sean.
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