Obama Hangs With Paul McCartney as Oil Spill Criticism Escalates

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 3, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: You would think that the president would be focused on the deepening crisis in the Gulf of Mexico which now threatens the entire East Coast. Instead, he spent last night yucking it up with Paul McCartney at the White House.

And from the looks of it, the two spent the evening praising each other a lot.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And over the four decades since Paul McCartney has not let up. Touring the world with the band Wings or on his own, rocking everything from small halls to Super Bowls.

He's composed hundreds of songs over the years.

PAUL MCCARTNEY, SINGER: I mean, getting this prize would just be good enough. But getting it from this president —



HANNITY: Well, isn't that lovely? Now meanwhile the people in the gulf continue to suffer. And given the way Mr. Obama berated the federal government's handling of the Katrina disaster you would think he'd be a little more scrupulous attending to the current crisis.

Now let's take a look at what the president had to say in the wake of Katrina and compare it for what he's now saying.


OBAMA, FEB. 7, 2008: When the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast extended their hand for help, help was not there.

OBAMA, MAY 28: The feelings of frustration and anger, the sense that any response is inadequate is — we expect that frustration and anger to continue until we actually solve this problem.

OBAMA, FEB. 7, 2008: When the winds blew and the flood waters came, we learned that for all of our wealth and our power, something wasn't right with America.

OBAMA, JUNE 2: Right now stopping this oil spill and containing its damage is necessarily the top priority, not just of my administration, but I think of the entire country.

OBAMA, FEB. 7, 2008: We can talk about levees that couldn't hold, about a FEMA that seemed not just incompetent but paralyzed and powerless, about a president who only saw the people from a window of an airplane.

OBAMA, MAY 27: When I hear folks down in Louisiana expressing frustrations, I may not always think that their comments are fair.

OBAMA, SEPT. 3, 2005: We can't respond quickly in a situation where we have a lot of notice, where we have several days in which we see a hurricane building, then how are we going to respond if a dirty bomb goes off in a major U.S. city?

OBAMA, JUNE 1: We have an obligation to investigate what went wrong and determine what reforms are need so we never have to experience a crisis like this again.


HANNITY: All right, pretty unbelievable. And joining me now with reaction to this and the oil spill that continues to spread on our southern coast are Louisiana Senator David Vitter and from Venice, Louisiana, Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser.

Guys, welcome to the program. Well, Billy —


SENATOR DAVID VITTER, R-LA.: Good to be with you, Sean.

HANNITY: First of all, my heart — our prayers go out to the people of the Louisiana, at the entire Gulf Coast and frankly up the Eastern Seaboard where this oil is headed.

Billy, let me start with you. You know, I'm watching the president. He has time for concerts, he has time for state dinners, he has time for golf, he has time for basketball photo-ops. He's very critical of the president during Katrina.

Are you concerned that the lack of diligence and attention and urgency this White House has shown?

NUNGESSER: Well, you know, we were pretty frustrated. You've seen me the last couple of weeks. But — you know, after yesterday's decision to make BP pay for these berms, I got to tell you he stepped up to the plate there. And hopefully, BP will follow through and pay for these berms —

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Wait —

NUNGESSER: The only thing —

HANNITY: Billy —

NUNGESSER: The only that will protect coastal Louisiana and we got to see that project through. So —

HANNITY: Billy —


HANNITY: Here's my question: He was one of the most outspoken critics after Katrina. All right. We had three days' notice this thing is coming. Forty-five days later, we can't use chemical dispersements, we can't get the barrier that — hang on, that the governor wanted.

The booms haven't been delivered, equipment hasn't been delivered. They didn't follow through with the preapproved berm plan that was in place.

Are you saying that now all of a sudden because you get — that BP gets to pay that that's all —


HANNITY: That's all that satisfies you after you have been so critical?

NUNGESSER: No, absolutely not. We've got a long way to go in this thing. Absolutely not. You know we still haven't cleaned up the oil that the governor and I was out for the last two weeks.

BP is still dropping the ball. And we're still trying to figure out who's on the ground in charge. So absolutely not. But —

HANNITY: All right. Let me — let me go to the senator.

NUNGESSER: Go ahead.

HANNITY: Senator, we're destroying the fishing industry, destroying the tourism industry, the beaches. Every request — we see what's happening to the environment and wild life, which is — which breaks your heart.

And it seems to me that the administration — every effort that there's been in place that they have acquiesced to the environmental movement and they've been beyond slow in terms of reacting and showing, in my mind, no urgency.

What's your reaction?

VITTER: Well Sean I agree. Look, this is an emergency situation, a crisis it needs to be handled on a wartime footing with that sort of response. And there has not been that tone set by the president. There has not been that level of response by either the federal agencies or BP.

Everybody on the coast gets it like Billy, like Louisianans. There — they are on a wartime footing. But still not the federal agencies and not BP.

HANNITY: Yes, all right. I want to put up on our screen the — the landmass that we're talking about here. And we've known about this now every single day. This is how much landmass would be covered with this oil spill.

This is what — this is the impact area total that we're talking about here which is unbelievably massive. And I — you know, I guess — look, Rahm Emanuel — I mean, you're talking about all of New England here.

You know Rahm Emanuel said it, Hillary said it, Senator, and the president himself said it, never let a good crisis go to waste. Now the president is talking about using this to stop offshore drilling and — on the one hand and to advance his cap and tax policies.

VITTER: Well, Sean, I'm very concerned about this moratorium on the Gulf. You know the recession is bad. The oil crisis makes it worse in terms of lost jobs. But this moratorium on top of that is costing us more jobs and making the pain even worse and worse than it has to be.

I'm suggesting directly the administration that they do emergency very quick, very rigorous testing of deep water platforms inspections, but don't shut everything down. Don't shut these 33 deep water drilling rigs down.


VITTER: Inspect them, be very rigorous but only shut down if there is an issue on an individual rig. Don't cost us jobs with that over reaction.

HANNITY: Well, I saw your press release on this. Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, also said, you know, we're talking about thousands of Louisiana jobs that would be lost here.

I guess, Billy, I go back to — OK, we — there's going to be plenty of time. The administration wasted no time in sending lawyers down there. There's going to be a lot of payment from BP. They have 24,000 people as I understand that they've hired to help contain this and clean this up and stop this. Everything they've tried at this point is stopped.

Here's my point. The federal government — why aren't they allowing the berming? Why aren't they allowing the chemical dispersements? Why are they still slow in giving the state of Louisiana the equipment that they've asked for from day one?

NUNGESSER: Well, let me tell you. You know, right now they are clearing land to put up camp for 1,500 people. I found out about it through the contractor. I have no idea what these 1,500 people are going to do. They can't walk out in the marsh and clean it up. You know —

HANNITY: But Billy, I didn't ask you that.


HANNITY: If the federal government —


HANNITY: — is not going to allow a berm plan, chemical dispersements, if they're not going to give the equipment that the governor and Senator Vitter have been asking for, at what point are they culpable in this as well as BP?

NUNGESSER: Well, you're right. We need — we need to have the whole package. We can't just build a berm. We can't just pray. We've got to have a uniform plan that's weighed out —

HANNITY: Billy, where is it? Where is it? It's 45 days later.

NUNGESSER: It's not — it's not there.

HANNITY: Senator?

NUNGESSER: It's not there.

HANNITY: Have you spoken to the president?

VITTER: The only plan I've seen — Sean, the only real plan I've seen has come out of the state of the Louisiana. Local leaders like Billy, the governor. They have come up with plan after plan after plan. The only thing the federal agencies have done is throw up roadblocks.

We need a partnership so that we use the tremendous assets of the federal government and BP to accelerate this. Not just slow it down.

HANNITY: Yes, well, you know, I find it interesting. Spike Lee saying — well, the rap now is the president — he's so cool under pressure that he hasn't been able to — or show enough emotion to the American people.

I don't think it's going to fly when he's going to concerts, he's throwing state dinners, he's hanging out at the Washington Correspondents Dinner, he's playing golf and he's having basketball, photo shoots.

Mr. President, it's time for you to organize and get the right people down to Louisiana. People are losing jobs, industries are being destroyed, and our environment is suffering and, frankly, I don't think they put the attention that is necessary.

Guys, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

VITTER: Thank you, Sean.

NUNGESSER: Thank you so much.

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