Special Report Online: 12/19/12
Discussion of Obama's press conference
- Duration 28:13
- Date Dec 19, 2012
Discussion of Obama's press conference
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Welcome to another edition of special report on line I'm Bret -- -- have been here before welcome aboard this is a place where it's little more relaxed you can type in some questions or comments.
We try to get to as many as we can if you don't see him in the middle of the screen here.
Don't worry don't get frustrated producers are putting in hundreds by the meant -- -- flowing.
In fact Nancy just said.
Funny how defensive the president got today with Jake -- question we're gonna talk a little bit more about that.
White house press briefing and some of the questions.
-- in from Naples Italy first time viewer Guido thank you very much for typing hands so see how funny can be.
Up back with our panel Jonah Goldberg a large editor national review online fearsome powers -- -- the Daily -- of course syndicated columnist.
Charles Krauthammer Merry Christmas from the producer -- you guys rock.
Lots of people.
Typing in right now com.
Charles OK we didn't have a ton of time because we had a lot in the show.
Any other thoughts about the back and forth today there was so much said.
And that pretty long.
By the president it started obviously with gun control and that the announcement that he was going to -- Vice President Biden to head up this commission.
I have some really even a commission it's it's really just an effort to get his administration to put forward recommendations that he's going to push right away but -- -- Evolved into this.
Full throated defense of where.
He is on the fiscal court.
-- there was -- interest in iron in the flowery talk about the commission.
But -- -- Task force.
He said it's not going to be commission one of those that meet for six months give recommendations which -- then immediately shelved.
Which of course is -- a perfect good description of the debt commission.
He himself had appointed me to be met for six months he gave recommendations and he shall we start I think there was sort of unintended REM and even Sharaud.
If he saw that himself it's clear the press was -- disinterested.
In the gun control because I think -- sort of since seen that coming even the speech he made the memorial speech was basically a political -- Essentially saying I'm going to pursue got to control we have to do something.
So they were really interest in what's happened in the negotiations.
There was anything easy -- -- nothing I mean obviously there's no division movement he wouldn't say it doesn't look as if there's been any.
It was simply a defense of his position and basically a demonization.
Of the era of the Republicans that's what he used that our four and I won't mean as you said with a -- question.
He's got things did he was that's where we want to.
Let's play the -- question time we're gonna bring in Shannon -- by the worship.
-- blocks and -- on this the online show.
We're glad -- -- where Mary pat stage director.
-- a police all the time.
Rocks the -- all the time with him.
Yes that will be delivered moments -- OK.
Jake Tapper asked this question of the president's.
It's a little longer than us but we kind of this.
This is not the first this year the first -- -- political environments.
-- forty years.
Where have you -- well -- years where I've been directed I've been present a United States dealing with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
And auto industry on the verge of collapse.
I don't think I've been on vacation.
Bill I think all of us have to do some reflection.
How we prioritize.
What we do here in Washington.
I haven't been on vacation trips that it was a reasonable answer but the tone was one of irritation and how -- -- -- Well I'm not coming icing on the tone obviously there's going to be an ongoing conversation and you know it it's a difficult one because in the wake of what we've all just experience there is heartbreak there's devastation.
But a number of times and similar measures as to what Democrats are proposing now who knows -- would get from this new coalitions new team the president's putting together.
The Democrats already have a couple of things they're teeing up and they're having a really tough time talking today about how they've.
Reached out to numerous Republican thinking get a single co sponsor on the stuff so.
I think it's still very much an uphill climb.
But every day they -- -- com Friday actually you may even see the NRA move forward with some kind of we're gonna sit at the table and move the ball a little -- Yeah obviously there on clips of there might be something -- mad magazine's I wanted to through Charles about one thing.
Just one huge big.
-- and one thing.
-- If I agree -- if they read it was a reasonable response in some respects but it will leaves out is the big point of Jake Tapper question in the first place.
Which is that Barack Obama and the Democrats have been terrified of touching gun control for over a decade.
And it's made if you watch the NR if you watch -- Lapierre from the NRA do his sort of road show PowerPoint presentation.
He has to run clips.
From Meet the Press in 1994.
-- that was the last time Democrats really came after -- gun rights in this country.
And so the the the response I really -- was yesterday when Jake Tapper asked Jay Carney.
Where has the president -- what have you done.
And Jay Carney said well obviously we've been at the forefront.
Moving very deliberately making a lot of progress on the gun issue I'll refer you the justice department for specifics can you re in a way to see that there are no specifics they just they've been cowed by this and it's a political reality.
I guess -- and when you see the mark Warner's and Joseph mentions in the Kirsten Gillibrand and you know that that kind of moderates that have.
Moved this week you wonder if others will move Republicans.
Who may join the -- Well I think.
Yes I mean to you that is that we talk about why Democrats haven't been going to take the -- because of that NRA everyone is terrified of the NRA and even if NRA isn't supporting you they -- you know that if you come out against them they're gonna come after you and and and what what.
The frustration has been on the laugh the left has been very frustrated with Obama for the fact that he has he hasn't done anything on us at all.
And it's not because he was ending two wars and you know saving the world -- because it was never priority for him of his.
And that's -- so disingenuous about what he set.
You know he's acting like he was just so busy that he couldn't get around to it he didn't want to get him if he would've -- I want you didn't want to get around -- -- and he's not actually.
Doing all of this I mean there is a Defense Department presumably right handling these issues.
So he he that he would have had no interest in it and now he feels like he -- do something about it because of this massacre.
And there are couple other things that he hasn't.
Had a lot of interest.
He wanted cut the deficit in half according.
Campaigning for the first time around it.
It -- he didn't want it he didn't do that that the first term.
You know the deficit that commission didn't get a lot of attention.
Up until now and so we'll see if this the beginning of the next term that somehow gets a little bit more attention.
Can I answer -- because I felt what he said it was.
Reasonable but I didn't like the tone.
Touchy about that.
Another reason why it was -- his priority list which you wouldn't say.
The fact is that homicides in the US have declined by over -- half.
Crime in the streets was a huge issues 60s70s.
But we learned a lot about how to police in the cities.
The broken windows -- phenomenon there other reasons sociological and demographic why there's been a decline.
Homicide with guns has also declined radically so -- a national issue it's nowhere where was.
In the sixties you know the seventies.
Early eighties and you know people would show up dead every day.
On the street in New York show you could you could to make a reasonable case.
That -- a national issue it's less -- and it was a long time ago and I think there is a kind of you know you get an event like this horrible attack.
The same way that we've had other attacks and all of a sudden everybody.
Be so shocked by it that there's this idea that this society.
Has gone mad and everybody is involved in this kind of homicide and -- on the rise it's not.
These are extremely unusual event is to reminds -- of the sixties.
We had basic -- three.
And all of a sudden the theme in the media and in the culture was we are sick society.
Which in retrospect was a ridiculous conclusion from.
Three you mad men nor evil men.
Who did an awful bee -- I think again we draw conclusions from these shocking events which is often -- warranted but we don't see until later.
A couple of quick points I think that -- Obviously weren't such a sensitive time right now but once the dust settles you'll hear more -- -- That publicly what you're hearing quietly.
Gun rights advocates will make these arguments.
Take Chicago for instance some of these strictest gun laws in the entire country and -- a crime rates there are -- -- -- people dying.
At the other end of a gun is off the charts there and asked for being afraid of the NRA think that's accurate most lawmakers many of them whether they'll say publicly or not.
Are concerned about that and but the fact is in this country 47%.
Of homes report that they have a gun and those are the only you know the ones who are admitting -- we can't assume that it stopped at forty.
-- that even if it -- -- That happened Americans out there who are vociferously.
Going to defend their Second Amendment right so I think you know their public and private bouncy pop.
You know show him whenever anybody on this panel uses the word -- Burris he picked up -- no user extra star.
I don't star -- development density that's also very getting their points out -- -- typed in that he saw his post on my screen I've been.
Not type of secret information matters -- separate -- this -- baseball pitcher -- but -- -- I'm out of my league football wise.
Let me ask you about.
This bill -- John the bill that Dianne Feinstein has its proposed.
You know than you you mentioned the magazines and and reducing.
That you know the numbers and the assault weapons that.
It seems that if you talked to you know people -- the medal that they say.
OK I don't -- that you know and I don't problem.
Am a hunter and you know I don't need more time it's in my magazine.
And and you talked some folks -- say -- the slippery slope and this is where they start and then they come after other guns.
And that that argument will be made them but.
There are people and and Joseph Manchin is one of them saying hey you know you don't you don't need it.
-- that the magazine's.
Question is is one of these places where I think you'll find.
At least a reasonable disagreement among sort of the Second Amendment you know and -- for one of her work.
You know at national review where it's been a lot of my time in -- we've been running a lot of these pieces about this stuff and and -- generate as one of the problems is that some of this is just serve so quintessentially feel good politics.
In the sense that you know whether that would talk about banning assault weapons well what does an assault weapon -- Sullivan is a as a weapon that was described in a bill banning assault weapons it's -- it's -- bizarre talk college -- going to start for took just -- -- -- -- -- It refers to cosmetic changes to guns not the way that they fire the -- also released -- -- -- it was a completely sort of random assortment of of weapons that got picked as assault weapons and now people think their thing.
And you know John Lott.
It was a big scholar on an economist on on gun stuff.
He notes that.
In the last fifty years in mass shootings.
All of them except for the Gabby Giffords shooting.
Have taken place and gun free zones.
So I you know I'm not an absolutist on some of the stuff I mean I do believe you have Second Amendment right to carry weapons -- -- carry -- weapon our own weapon but.
The simple fact is -- -- of some -- it will actually do anything and I think the real shame is that there -- enormous opportunity for bipartisan consensus on this mental health stuff.
Yeah I think both on the right in the left people recognize that we went down the wrong fork.
In the 1970s with a lot of the some of it for legitimate reasons and I think there a lot of Republicans will be willing to spend more money on it I think there -- a lot of Democrats be willing to.
To that probably spend more money on the do it even though it would violate some privacy stuff.
And and instead we're gonna focus on this the sort of made up stuff about assault -- Yeah I'll -- a couple comments Chris from new -- Second Amendment is based on two premises.
Freedom to own a gun and a tool for citizens to defend themselves collectively over to -- of government I think we forget the second part of this.
Bill says hunting is not covered in the constitution.
You know it's its defense from a tyrannical government set bill and -- -- Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting this must've been a topic today.
We get it and I I think.
We make that clear.
But when people are talking about the need for these.
A -- that's what I'm talking.
When hunters talk about that.
As far as defending yourself from your home.
Do you need that as well -- You don't need automatic weapons to find yourself here in your home I just wanna state.
I think what ends up happening is we have in of people state gun free zones and it worked so there for gun laws don't work -- big gun -- -- -- stupid.
You know they're just a stupid idea we never should have done them they didn't work but that's not -- argument against.
Got lots you know it clearly it sets up a situation where people know you work -- have got some of them were likely to go there is that an -- what I -- as org.
And that he John makes about mental health and and all these other things about video games -- Hollywood the president comes on talks for 45 minutes today he says.
At the beginning that it should be a comprehensive.
Effort but then talks only about gun control.
Sure does not talk about -- should have mental health should not talk about Hollywood -- -- not talk about culture issues he should have talked about the other issues I think and particularly should've talked about culture issues considering how much time he likes suspend and I'm not being Sparky how much time he elects suspend.
With hip hop.
People who have -- -- a lot of them have apps that despicable violent lyrics people that he listens to that he says he listens to.
What better person.
You know any other president would be called a racist if they took them on I mean he he's if you want -- but the gun culture of violence.
You know that that's the gong cult -- term violence but.
I think something has happened.
On guns and a friend of mine was saying to me he had been -- a gun shop and about six years he went in one near his home.
He lives in this area recently -- -- -- just not even the same thing like you can't even believe that guns that you see now.
And I grew up with guns.
We had -- semi automatic weapons.
Everybody went hunting that I live you know an Alaska nobody had semi automatic weapons people manage to live without -- an automatic weapons know what has happened.
Every person now believes.
They use some -- on my what part of these criminals now I've semiautomatic weapons that's what police forces have switched to some I thought that the police forces but NE -- I am perplexed by the idea that people feel like they cannot check themselves in their homes with absolutely adamant people who go to the point that Brett was pointing out that -- segment is about aborting its radical government will say I don't wanna be out arms by my government.
I won a match what they have that's the argument a lot of people make if it's truly about that.
I should be able to have when they -- have liked to have a tough -- really UN military and these.
Really -- you.
-- -- The founders were -- this document when -- -- were -- -- pouring.
Gunpowder in the mosque and embassies in other words who fought the civil war but we're a little bit.
Beyond that and I think you do you know if there's if the government start canceling elections.
Than anything start to talk about tyranny.
Or locking people up.
Willy Nilly I don't see a lot of evidence of that I mean we use those terms -- us.
Sometimes we don't have a military -- gonna force that kind of stuff I mean that's the thing I can -- and not into the just the idea be of a president that does of the -- to advise the idea that our US military.
The most patriotic people.
In existence are going to enforce that kind of unconstitutional behavior I mean it really is a stretch and then like I said.
I'm sorry people but you can't take on the US military I mean this is not the -- not seventeen certain -- The other you it's actually relates to the board.
Crashing is that there were sort of a moment in the Nixon impeachment where of the Supreme Court said you have to to turn over the tapes.
And the question was was Nixon never call out the tank.
Which it was actually I mean it was so it felt right now is what forty years ago and even the ideas of using today the president.
Will listen Supreme Court orders him to do it so we are so -- you know.
The distance between where we are today he's of the to remain one of the founders were with the British you know laughing about and actually at war with their.
He's quite a distance I'm not sure that this argument is.
It's a sentimental one amateurs at Kensington constitutional.
Scalia and I wouldn't.
The justice nor any European anyway -- -- -- you're welcome and done what which could hasten the weapons -- insurrection -- think about the Heller decision and we got a couple years ago from the court it was pretty strong about the Second Amendment and the ability of individuals be able to maintain their own guns.
But in order to protect themselves against tyrannical government well -- -- he right now and I'm in the united.
He looks to the original intent as you know.
And sell I don't think if he would dwarf the constitution -- -- -- for him that's what did it mean when it when they wrote it -- the rare words mean when they wrote it and it was a pretty strong opinions when you're not without limitation -- the police started.
Start wearing red coats.
They don't be too late in Charles.
That's a good transition hundred quotes -- -- -- By the way American Florida writes are my comments getting through yes if you.
Yes they are apparent.
That's a good transition Charles to Robert -- Died today at the age of 85.
You -- one.
Controversial figure but for conservatives.
We look back at that -- and it was really kind of a moment here in Washington.
It was the start of the most partisan time Washington had ever seen and almost the start of where.
The the C party I think for partisanship gap if you will.
-- not that's right I think that was basically the pandora's box.
Because you know others -- -- is have been have been rejected before.
None of the excuses that are in -- in the past could be applied to Robert Bork.
And you know Joseph Biden had said three days before the nomination.
Look you know if they if they nominate -- what am I gonna do he's qualified we're gonna have to approve -- and I think one of the reasons wine work with such -- the Bork confirmation hearings was so.
Such a touchdown was -- that we -- it was folly when the political system recognize how important the Supreme Court is and how really it is.
A legislative body and that is a body that is is is making law in ways.
And the stakes about who was on the court were finally recognized by the parties and -- became a hammer and tongs fight and Republicans were caught.
Off guard by is one thing you know about.
Did you in my first job in Washington DC was as a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute ran back there now and he was there at the time and -- more intimidating guy at first you could not know.
But I'm as you've got to know them you realize what an incredibly charming decent man he was and what are incredibly knowledgeable man he was.
And -- on unbelievably unfair when he was treated I mean -- -- an anti semite his first wife was Jewish he was called a racist nearly gave up his career to protect the black employee.
And some of the other stuff seems almost quaint mean today when people -- every nook and cranny of your lives.
Back then it was a hugely controversial thing that they look into his videotape rentals.
And so I think that -- -- in the one point but no one else in this panel make about the man is that he is the author and creator of the -- martini.
Which is when most popular pieces he ever wrote for national review.
And he settles a very important legal question about whether or not Asia olives and it.
And I says -- one quote.
All those are to be issued except by people who think a martini is a type of salad.
Robert -- Charles.
Yes I know -- -- IRA.
I do agree with -- of that.
His hearings were they changed everything in Washington the Democrats who rewrote the rules I think that Kennedy's clip that you show.
Which I believe occurred within hours of Reagan's announcement.
And his nomination was the most scurrilous libelous.
Statement I have ever heard in my thirty years in Washington.
And it was of the low -- of that Kennedy's otherwise.
I think -- careers when leading liberals.
But it was so I mean it was count me from beginning and what was happening as well.
Book would make a decision based on very you brilliant original scholarship.
About a regionalism.
Of saying there is no constitutional.
Right to privacy.
Which at the time was actually.
Arguable and argued Britain right now to accepted as it.
Sort of settled law and it was interpreted as being a policy decision.
Meaning he would deprive women of contraceptives.
Those same way you know if you ruled that role was an over -- on abortion which it was.
Even liberals agreed today therefore he wanted to women to end up with backroom abortions he was so unfair and -- the fact that.
Liberals carried it through.
Hammer and tong for months and months and defeated him.
Played a watershed where Republicans say we are never gonna let this happen again.
And if it happens again -- in a counterattack which is what happened with the Anita Hill hearings.
Couple things major rod and Fort Benning totally disappointed the table did not get what resisting -- too radical regime would take.
And I was -- Not Iraq thank you for -- and thank you for your service -- exactly Channing got a.
And let people know guns -- are over there on the Syrian.
-- and what about Supreme Court.
What we think.
As far as appointments.
Coming -- looks really interesting because you have an aging court and a lot of respects -- mean you have several justices well into their seventies and approaching eighty.
And it's interesting that the supreme -- -- places when you talk about young appointees yourself talking about people in the fifties you know when you think about justice Kagan and -- admire the most recent -- -- the court.
I got to believe in this term the president's gonna get at least one maybe two or even more it just depends on.
The -- of folks like justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is very frail and yet still very feisty from the bench when you're there during arguments.
She's up to the first one out of the gate with questions and she pounds those attorneys -- mean intellectually she is as sharp as they come.
And I -- is the kind of person -- will not walk away.
And less you know she physically just cannot continue but I think the president's gonna -- disk based on age is probably have a couple chances.
So here's an judging by his choice not to go to Susan Rice.
And he -- and -- did.
You know -- through the senate I mean probably could've gotten the votes eventually.
I would have been a tough.
Do you think that he is.
Ready did to battle for some of these nominations including Supreme Court.
Well what I took away from that is that they realize how toxic then got he has I don't think it says anything about -- future nominations.
Well no I'm -- saying that I they didn't want her to go up there because I know what it was it was right specific it wasn't.
A battle that.
Think he's a friend ally it is because it would have opened up the -- got the issue and I think -- it and that tells us everything we need to know basically is that there's a lot there that they don't want people now that's what I took from it.
I think he is willing to fight on nominations and I think he will fight very hard -- Supreme Court nominations come and play as dirty as possible and and -- -- say as dirty as possible just watching that Ted Kennedy clip is just amazing how that's exactly what it's like today.
You know it's just become this -- salute.
McCarthyism almost over whether it's gender or race you know that anybody who oppose it has -- Actual legitimate disagreement on policy is a racist or hates women or in this this is the game that that.
They play we're -- -- and gun control them there for your proved good kid yes you know -- -- that really is what it's what has become and so I think that I would expected to get.
Fairly ugly if people.
You -- Susan Rice and in the people who are opposed her there was a lot of people accused of being racist and sexist not as other things even though we saw John Bolton go through ten times what she went through.
So but they don't have any problem with being an inept and desires -- -- on us about it.
Obama sees himself truly as world historical.
He wants to change United States and I think if -- get too conservative.
Who retires and I hope the -- them hang around you know and duo pointing out for half.
-- -- was on probation.
I was -- the I think he might just go against the tradition.
And go right for a liberal unceremoniously in the court of and that sort of thing you would do and I think he would he would not -- a martyr I think he'd go for -- electric Kagan.
And challenge him and say -- the president won twice and do it and then we're gonna have a Donnybrook.
-- -- Merry Christmas happy belated -- -- Listen if the Mayan calendars correct it's been really nice yeah.
They'll have a couple days left to enjoy them and that's -- -- on the fiscal cliff Penn State.
-- Boehner really doesn't care.
Friday is the but it's hard for a I am gone all next we can come into the new year.
I'm going to take off unless something really crazy happens and I'll be back from Florida -- That's it.
So happy new year to thanks -- into the online show tonight we'll see you tomorrow at 6 PM eastern for special report.
Have a good night control -- -- -- --