Obama's Record Job Approval Low: Change the White House Doesn't Believe In

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 8, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, the question you've all been waiting for! Is press secretary Robert Gibbs just a big baby? Now, why do we ask? Well, President Obama just set a new record, a really, really bad record. According to Gallup, the president's approval rating is 47 percent, or in that neighborhood. Now, that is the lowest approval rating ever for a president at this point in his presidency.

So how did the White House react? Well, not well. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, "If I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I'd visit my doctor. Five days ago, there was an 11-point spread. Now there is a 1-point spread. I'm sure a 6-year-old with a crayon could do something not unlike that."

Ouch! Is Robert Gibbs just bitter at some bad news? Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson joins us live. They have thin skin over there!

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: They have thin skin. Well, they're not used to being criticized after being -- you know, going through a year- and-a-half of campaigning, where the press fawned over the candidate, Obama, it irritates them to get any kind of criticism from anywhere.

I have to say, though, you're are one of the few people pointing this out, that this president is at the lowest point as measured by Gallup of any president in the modern age, lower than Harry Truman, who was deeply unpopular, lower than Ronald Reagan, who was facing tough economic times after his first election. No one mentions it. I mean, if this were Bush - - when Bush's numbers started to drop, you read about it parenthetically in every single news story. You never read this.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, his number was about 47 percent. We've actually heard that it's sort of inching up to about 50 percent.


VAN SUSTEREN: This is the tracking poll. So I mean, I'll give a -- there's a little room (INAUDIBLE) so the good news for them is that it's sort of inching up a little bit.

CARLSON: I actually don't think this is about Obama. In other words, he's got a lot of time before the next election. These numbers will move a lot between now and then. This is an ominous number for members of his party, for congressional Democrats, who are going to have to make some very tough choices about his programs, whether to support them before what's going to be a very hard mid-term for them.

I personally this number is tied to the unemployment rate. Presidential approval numbers almost always track precisely the unemployment numbers, which are terrible right now. Again, Obama has time to recover. Democrats, particularly in swing districts -- and there are a bunch of them -- should be very worried, and they are very worried, by these numbers.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you look at President George W. Bush at 86 percent...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... at this point in his presidency, he was also -- was just right post-9/11...

CARLSON: That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... and the invasion of Afghanistan, an incredible amount of enthusiasm in this country to try to protect ourselves from this terrorist threat. In this instance, I mean, he's got a lot on his plate, President Obama. He's got -- he's got the unemployment, but he does have that stimulus bill out from February that had it done better at this point, I think we'd see higher than 50.

CARLSON: Well, there's just no question about it. I don't think, though, there's any evidence that most people voted for Obama based on his policies. I think smart Democrats even recognize the last election was a rejection of Bush, who was gravely unpopular, and an embrace of Obama the man. He seemed like an appealing guy. How many -- what percentage of voters do you think who went for Obama in '08 did so because they thought, you know, I agree with the details of his ideology, his philosophy, his -- you know, his program? Very, very few. It's another way of saying the support for him, while enthusiastic, was pretty shallow in a lot of ways. And again, I think smart Democrats get that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which, of course, is then -- it bootstraps what you just about the fact that -- if that's why people went out and voted, because they were voting against President Bush...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... come November for the mid-terms, he's not going to get those people out to vote.

CARLSON: He's not. And Obama made them feel good, but that's -- you know, that's -- that's a sand foundation. That's not a concrete foundation. Again, the people watching these numbers -- Robert Gibbs -- I remember Robert Gibbs touting his high poll numbers during the primaries, you know, a little more than a year ago. So his...

VAN SUSTEREN: He's a baby! He's got...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... rough game!

CARLSON: But congressional Democrats, boy, they are upset, and they ought to be.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. There's another poll out that says percent of American voters who feel Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, 26 percent -- or feel -- feel that he does deserve it.

CARLSON: Who are these 26 percent who think he deserves the Nobel...

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know.


CARLSON: ... Peace Prize?


VAN SUSTEREN: You know what...

CARLSON: I mean, I'm not attacking Obama!

VAN SUSTEREN: No, 26 percent say he does not, does not deserve it. I don't know -- where's the...

CARLSON: No, 26 percent...

VAN SUSTEREN: Say he does...

CARLSON: ... say he does. That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right.

CARLSON: Who are these people? Where do they live?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you can't -- I mean, you know, you can't blame Obama for this one.

CARLSON: And I don't.

VAN SUSTEREN: He didn't apply for this, right?

CARLSON: I feel so sorry for him! Can you imagine? This is exactly what you don't want. This is the 16-year-old getting the Lamborghini. Your friends are of envious but appalled because you don't deserve it. You haven't earned it. He didn't apply for it. I don't blame him for it. I actually feel embarrassed...

VAN SUSTEREN: Should he go...

CARLSON: ... on his behalf.

VAN SUSTEREN: How should he accept it?

CARLSON: Well, I wouldn't accept it, if I were him. I would have said, Come on, this -- this is -- you know, this is absurd. I'll accept -- you know, this award is being awarded to America, or you know...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's what he said when it first was given out.

CARLSON: Right. But he's going to go to Oslo and actually accept the award, and that's going to be a painful, painful moment because everybody knows -- he knows -- he's not stupid. He's smart. He knows he didn't earn this, that this is a message, probably an anti-American message being sent by six Norwegian legislators, right? I mean, he's not winning anything! Come on, now! And it makes him, I think, look small. And again, I feel sorry for him. It's not his fault. He didn't ask for it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tucker, thank you.

CARLSON: Thank you, Greta!

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