FOX "Hannity" Transcript - the Defecit

Interview

By:  Rob Portman
Date: Jan. 14, 2013
Location: Unknown

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Earlier today, President Obama held the last press conference of his first term, and it was in some respects a nearly perfect encapsulation of a what a reckless and irresponsible and fundamentally dishonest man that he is.

Now, we start by taking a look at this press conference and what it showed us about President Obama. And there are, I think, three points that we can take away from this. Now, the first, it has to do with hypocrisy. Now, all throughout the press conference, Obama blasted Republicans who want to tie raising the debt ceiling to cutting spending.

Now, Republicans who do so, Obama said, are we willing to quote, "blow up the economy," adding that they risk the full faith and credit of the United States, and to do so is irresponsible, the consequences of not paying our bills would be quote, "disastrous."

Now, the charges went on and on and on and Obama made it sound like only an anarchist would ever oppose raising the debt ceiling. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people, the threat that unless we get our way, unless you gut Medicare or Medicaid or otherwise slash things that the American people don't believe should be slashed, that we're going to threaten to wreck the entire economy.
Look, I don't think anybody would consider my position unreasonable here.

Democrats don't like voting for the debt ceiling when the Republican's president, and yet you, but you never saw the situation in which Democrats suggested somehow that we would go ahead and default if we didn't get a 100 percent of our way, that's just not how it's supposed to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right. Hearing that I can't help, but be reminded of Obama's own unfortunate record on the debt ceiling, because it was Obama himself in 2006 when he was a junior senator from Illinois who opposed raising the debt ceiling. That's right, Barack Obama, America's "lecturer in chief" scolding Republicans for linking spending cuts to raising the debt ceiling himself, voted against raising the debt ceiling.

Now, here is what "the anointed one" said on March of 16th of 2006, he said, "Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today on to the backs of our children and our grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."

So, Obama as senator did precisely what he's now saying should not be done. But Obama being Obama and doing so, well, he's demonstrating his insufferable moral superiority.

Now, the second trait that we saw from Obama during his press conference today is his demagoguery was on full display. For example, Obama said, Republicans were suspicious about Social Security and government support for the elderly and spending money on medical research. And then get this, suspicious about programs aimed that making sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat. Now, this is not only deeply dishonest, it is a gross distortion, it's a lecture coming from a man who is responsible for a massive increase in poverty during his presidency.

Now, a third thing we saw from Obama's press conference was how deeply misleading his facts and his claims are. For example, Obama kept saying his plan would cut $4 trillion in the budget in the next decade, but that claim is utterly untrue. As any number of fact checkers have pointed out, the $4 trillion figure comes from number one, it counts one trillion in cuts that were reached a year ago in the budget negotiations with Congress, meaning those savings, they are already in the bank.

Number two, it counts $800 billion in savings and debt payments from lower deficits, as a spending cut. That's a dubious claim.

Number three, Obama is counting a nearly $1 trillion savings from more money than nobody expected to be spent anyway, especially now that the war in Iraq is over and the Afghanistan war is winding down.

So, Obama's entire premise that we need a balanced approach to cutting the deficit is based on a huge fiction which is that Obama's plan will cut four trillion over the next decade. It will do no such thing. Obama is basing his entire argument on a falsity, which is just what he's done from almost day one to since he's been in office, lied, distort, propagandize.

Now, what this press conference showed is that Obama in the second term is going to be if anything worst than Obama in the first term. And what we saw in one single hour was the worst of our president on display. Now, Republicans, they need to understand all of this dealing with Obama. They're dealing with a man who is reckless, ruthless as any president they will ever encounter.

And my next guest says he has a plan that will bolster the Republicans' hand when it comes to dealing with the Democrats on the issue of debt and much more. Ohio Senator Rob Portman is with us. Sir, how are you? Welcome back to the program.

SEN. ROB PORTMAN, R-OHIO: I'm great. It's good to be back.

HANNITY: First of all. What do you make of Obama, who's only 2006, you know, vote against the debt ceiling.

PORTMAN: It went further than that. He said it would be unpatriotic from the vote to --

HANNITY: Well, that was another, I actually have that clip. You want to see it?

PORTMAN: Sure. It will be fun.

HANNITY: Let's show the videotape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 3, 2008)

OBAMA: The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years, is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents, number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. Thirty thousand dollars for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now at 16 trillion and $52,000 for every man, woman and child without unfunded liability.

PORTMAN: He posted $6 trillion ago actually. Another thing that he said, Sean, I think is equally important, is that this means Republicans don't want to pay our bills. I think he's missing the point entirely. It's not about not paying our bills, it's about changing what the bills are going forward. It's sort of like, you know, you have a kid who exceeds the credit card limit. I mean, the first thing you do is probably tear up the credit card but then you look at the spending.

And so, the Republicans are willing to pay for past bills, this is about future bills, and I think what the president is missing the point here which is we are on an unsustainable right path now. He's talked about that generally, but when he taxes Republicans he seems to forget it.

Finally, he said it's unrealistic to tie the debt limit to deficit reduction and he says it always has been separate. That's just not factually accurate.

HANNITY: The last 30 years, every deal is tied.

PORTMAN: The last 27 years, the only major deficit reduction we've had in Congress has been tied to what? The debt limit. Starting with Gramm Rudman, going through the 1990s, all three budget reduction agreements, in fact the most recent one, budge control act, the reason we've been talking about sequestration is because of a debt limit discussion.

So, in fact, this is an appropriate time for us to raise the issue. Look, and he also said, people voted for him because they wanted to increase the debt limit. I don't think so. The polling shows that people want us to get the spending under control.

HANNITY: For one brief hour today, the Obama media, which really did not do a good job, from my estimation during the campaign, they kind of woke up a little bit. They actually challenged him and he looked very angry, especially on the hypocrisy, what he did in 2006. How would you deal with a president that is very good at politics, demonizing and pushing Republicans into a corner? What's the best strategy to deal with him?

PORTMAN: Well, I agree with you. I thought the press conference was pretty interesting because you had reporters saying wait a minute, you said just the opposite, $6 trillion ago, but they also said the point we just made a second ago, which is, why are you saying it's always been separate and that, you know, it's not relevant to the debt limit when in fact deficit reduction has been tied to it time and time again. That's what we have to do, point out the facts to the American people.

I know that, you know, we lost the election and, you know, he is our president, but it's also true that even the exit polling in that very day when asked people said, not by a plurality, but a majority, government is too big.

HANNITY: Yes.

PORTMAN: They didn't say, government is too small. When asked now including last week in a poll, three quarters of Americans say, spending is the problem not revenue. So people are receptive to our message, Sean, we just got to get it out there and let them know what the facts are. One-hundred-and-thirty thousand dollars per family, that's the debt today.

HANNITY: It's insane. It's unsustainable.

PORTMAN: And another thing that he said, I thought we're irresponsible today talking about Republicans wanting to gut Medicare and Social Security? We want to save and preserve it for the future. He also said that we want to slash spending? No, it's about how much spending increase you have over the next 10 years, the next 20 years.
So, I think when we take this to the American people, we have a great opportunity.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, you're going to have to vote on a couple of nominees, Brennan, Hagel, Lew, Kerry. Any problems from your perspective for any of them?

PORTMAN: Yes, you know, we have to ask the tough questions. I think with regard to Chuck Hagel in particular, on a bipartisan basis, there's some deep concerns about the positions he's held, about what he has said. I was on the armed services committee until recently, I won't have that opportunity asking questions in committee, but I am going to, you know, put forward some questions, as will others. I'm very concerned. Jack Lew, look, we need to talk about --

HANNITY: -- said we're going to have a deficit last year.

PORTMAN: Yes, well, we need to talk -- I'm a former budget director as he is, you know, so you know, we've shared that, I guess, but we have to talk about whether we're really going to do something on the debt and deficit. And look, it's good that we're going to talk about the part of spending that Congress appropriates every year over the next few months, because we're going to both have a debt limit discussion, end of discussion on sequestration and a discussion on the budget, all that's going to happen whether the president wants to or not.
But we also have to talk about the biggest part of the spending and the fastest growing part of the spending, which is on autopilot, the very important and vital programs, like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but are not sustainable in their current form. Those are the questions I'm going to ask Jack Lew.

HANNITY: Senator, good to see you. Welcome to the studio.

PORTMAN: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: I appreciate it.