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FOX "Hannity" - Transcript - Sequestration


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SEAN HANNITY, HOST: It is becoming glaringly obvious that the decision to suspend public tours at the White House is in fact a political one. Now, the administration cited the sequester cuts as the reason for the canceled tours, saying that it saves $74,000 a week. But as we look closer at the numbers and compare them to the actual cost of operating the White House and proposed cuts to waste and fraud waiting at the president on his desk, well, it's kind of hard to imagine the tours would be the first on the budgetary chopping block.

Now, let's run through the jaw-dropping figures to put all of this in perspective for you. The cost of running the White House tours is $74,000 a week or $3,848,000 a year. Now, according to the National Review, the current annual cost of operating the White House, just in household expenses, is $1.4 billion a year.
Now, another interesting figure which highlights just how out of touch the president really is, are his vacation costs. Now, the first family's excursions are running taxpayers $20 million a year -- not really a shocker considering the president and the first lady seem to go separately a lot and leave separately a lot. No need to save money when it's not their own. Now, conservative estimates put one of the Obama family's Hawaiian vacations at $4 million.

Now, no one is suggesting the president doesn't deserve a vacation time or that he forego security that is associated with his leisure travels-- which seems to be constant -- but these astronomical numbers are representative of the Obamas lavish and opulent life style. Now, shouldn't the president who preaches about collective sacrifice, should they be leading by example?
In fact, according to the White House budget and Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa, President Obama has ignored the advice of his own inspectors' general to cut $67 billion in identified waste. Now, the non-partisan group of auditors found thousands of examples of waste, fraud and abuse and the president, he has done nothing but ignore them.

So, 67 billion in proposed savings is sitting on the president's desk. He cancels White House tours that kids want to go see the White House that runs the government $74,000 a week. Politics has nothing to do with it?
Here with reaction, Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Senator, welcome back.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Thank you, thanks for having me on.

HANNITY: All right. There's got to be kids in Florida that want to go see the White House.


HANNITY: And they can't because the president wants to make a point to the country, no?

RUBIO: Yes, I think you've outlined it exactly right. I mean, this sequester, they're going to look for the most painful cuts from a publicity perspective in order to drive home the point that this was a bad idea. And the reality of it is look, yes, there's going to be some spending reductions here and there. But I think people watching this program who have had reductions of 10, 15, 20 percent in their household budgets, some people lost everything, I think they'd be shocked to hear a bunch of politicians belly aching over a two to three percent across the board reduction in spending when in the real world, people have seen massive reductions in their own home budgets and in their businesses and so forth.

So, look, I think you're going to continue -- this is just the beginning, you're going to continue every single day, you're going to see the best known national parks closed down, you know, airports being targeted. They're going to try to make this as painful as possible because they're trying to make a political point.

HANNITY: All right. So, we have nearly nine fewer people in the labor force, we have the highest number of people on food stamps in American history now, close to 50 million people and we've got a president now, he's bringing Beyonce and Adele to a party. He's planning his Martha's Vineyard vacation, he's playing golf with Tiger Woods. That golf trip with Tiger Woods, that would have prevented 340 people from being furloughed.


HANNITY: Is it fair to bring this up about the way -- is the president too lavish in his travel?

RUBIO: Well, I think the president's the singular most visible figure in America and I think you always have to lead by example. I think you said it in your introduction. Everyone understands the president is entitled to vacations, we certainly believes entitled to security they need and so forth given the history in this country in the past, all of those things. But I think you have to lead by example. That's, you know, some of the Congressional offices here have led by example.
For example, in my office when I took office, we reduced 10 percent of our budget, our office budget, at least 10 percent a year because we wanted to set that example. And so, when the sequester hit the Congress this year, it wasn't nearly as big an impact as it otherwise would have been. But even there, we had to cancel staff travel for a few weeks just to make sure we came under those figures.
Now, listen, none of this is foreign to people back home who have had to do this in their own personal lives. I think it's critical that the president and others in public office to the extent they can should lead by example in that regard.

HANNITY: All right. So, tomorrow we're going to get Paul Ryan's budget.


HANNITY: It's -- balance a budget that will getting balance in 10 years, it will defund ObamaCare, it will not increase taxes. You similarly, you're fighting to defund ObamaCare in the Senate.

RUBIO: Right.

HANNITY: You're in the minority obviously in the Senate. How does that happen?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, ObamaCare is a disaster. This is not politics anymore, we're talking about the impact that it's having on real people's lives. You are soon going to start to see people who are going to get laid off because their boss wants to get under the 50 employee threshold to avoid all the cost that come with this. We're already seeing businesses that are moving their work force to part-time, that's hurting people as well.
Not to mention some of the other hidden costs that are in ObamaCare that aren't going to be hidden much longer. So, just implementing ObamaCare is going to be a disaster. I think we've kind of lost the side of that here since the Supreme Court ruling last year. I'm glad that Ted Cruz, the new senator from Texas, he filed an amendment to the continuing resolution to defund ObamaCare.

What I've said is look, I don't vote for continuing resolutions, but if we can pass that amendment, I would be willing to vote for that continuing resolution. I know that's pie in the sky to some people, but I'm telling you, this ObamaCare bill as it begins to be implemented is going to cost people their jobs, their raises, their hours. It's a disaster implementation and I'm glad to hear the House is taking a lead in their own budget in that regard.

HANNITY: You know, what? They don't have to fund it. I mean, this is the beauty of having at least one house which is in republican control and a lot of pressure is going to be brought to bear on these guys and I think this is a test of the direction that they're going to go.
Here is what we know. The president sold us at $900 billion, latest estimates have it at 2.8 trillion, so it's tripled already in what the president told us, sold this as, and we know that over a long period of time it's going to add $6.2 trillion to the deficit. So, why would we go forward with this?

RUBIO: But first of all, and that's just the governmental cost. I mean, who is accounting for the jobs that are going to be lost, people that are going to get laid off, people that are going to lose their hours. Look, we have a health insurance problem in America, but you don't need a government takeover of health insurance to solve it. How about letting any American and every American buy insurance from any company that will sell it to them in any state of the country. Allowing Americans to buy the insurance they need, insurance that meet their needs, not some government mandate. Allowing Americans to buy their insurance pretax the way their bosses buy it for them.
And these are some innovations that we could think of right now that would improve to quality of access to health care. We don't need a government takeover of the health care industry in order to offer health insurance to more Americans. I mean, that's important.

HANNITY: What do you think of -- the president made a big deal about reaching out to Republicans who is on his weekly radio address this weekend and started to be a little more conciliatory just days after he was saying, what are we going to cut, poor children or disabled children, and claiming that the sea would turn into blood and pestilence would be taking over the land.
So, what do you make of that? Is it the poll numbers are down? That he oversold this? That this was a case of jumping the sequester as the Wall Street journal put it? Is this going to last long especially after Ryan's budget comes out?

RUBIO: Well, I don't know, you might be shocked to learn that they didn't call me before doing that to consult what I thought, but, let me just tell you --

HANNITY: What a shocker.

RUBIO: -- a couple of things. First of all, I think that's good, if it's a sincere move in that direction, I think it's positive anytime our leaders can talk. I think people are getting tired of this manmade crisis every week here in Washington, D.C. They have enough to worry about in their lives, the last thing they need is their politicians creating crisis.
On the other hand, we have a fundamental difference in this country. We all agree that we need to grow our economy, but the Democrats believe that the way you grow the economy is through more government spending, and we believe the way you grow the economy is through the private sector and that government's job is to make it easier for the private sector to create jobs and incentivize them to do that. That's a big difference, and that's what we should be having a debate about. Because history and evidence is on our side.

HANNITY: All right. One last question, Senator Rand Paul had his big filibuster. You took part of it last week. Ted Cruz did, Mike Lee did. You four guys seemed to be like the new guard and more conservative, advancing ideas, more willing to fight than maybe some of the old guard. What did you think when John McCain referred to Rand Paul and Ted Cruz as whacko birds?

RUBIO: Well, look, I know that Senator McCain feels very strongly about national defense, we all admire his service to our country and I have a good working relationship with him. I think we're always best served when we don't -- especially in our own party and our own movement -- call each other's name. And let me just say this about the filibuster, I stood for the right of the senator like Rand Paul or anybody else, if I was a Democrat, I would have said it too, to have a serious question answered. Now, we have some diversity of opinion about drone programs. You know, obviously I think he raised a very legitimate issue about how they would be used here in the U.S. He deserved an answer and I'm glad he got one.

HANNITY: All right. Thank you. Senator, always good to see you.

RUBIO: Thank you.

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