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Crises Erupting Throughout the World and Nation, Obama Plays Golfs, Fills out Basketball Bracket
While Obama is out playing golf, filling out his brackets, and planning a vacation to Rio de Janeiro, crises are erupting around the world as well as in our own country. Obama is showing no leadership, and the American public is noticing. Newt Gingrich went on "Hannity" Thursday to discuss President Obama's crisis management. "I think what is increasingly clear is that we have a spectator in chief instead of a commander in chief."
View the video clip and transcript below:
SEAN HANNITY: And tonight, the nuclear emergency in Japan continues and the turmoil in Libya is at a boiling point. And finally today, after days and days of inaction, the Obama administration took some time to address these growing crises. Now, first on Libya, U.S.-supported no-fly zone resolution was approved by the United Nations Security Council. Now, the vote went down just a short time ago and authorizes -- quote -- "all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya" including air strikes. And if you keep the score at home, that means it took this White House 31 days to layout a coherent strategy to address that situation.
And on the disaster in Japan, President Obama took a break from golfing and filling out his brackets to visit the Japanese embassy in Washington. He also delivered a brief statement about the uncertainty surrounding the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant this afternoon. But as usual, he refused to take questions from the press.
So, what took the president so long to grapple with all of these crises going on? Here with his take, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Mr. Speaker, good to see you. Thank you for being with us.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's good to be with you.
HANNITY: Well, first of all, let's start with Japan, which, you know, we're watching all of this. You know, he was out playing golf and the tsunami hadn't even receded at the time on Saturday. He's taking time for brackets. He's meeting, you know, all about St. Patrick's Day today -- your reaction?
GINGRICH: Well, I think what is increasing clear that we have a spectator in chief instead of a commander in chief. And I think each situation is very different. But the way in which -- remember, this is in a background still of terrible economic news. It's in a background of rising gasoline prices. It's in a background where the deficit is enormous and he's showing no leadership on the budget. It is maybe the most passive and out of touch presidency in modern American history. He makes Jimmy Carter's micromanaging the tennis courts at the White House look tiny compared to the degree to which he's avoiding doing his job right now. And I think you have to go sort of item by item.
On Japan, we ought to have a scientific commission made up of nuclear physicists and nuclear engineers -- not politicians, not people who already have a predisposed opinion -- but real experts to start digging into what has happened, what is happening, what are the implications for American policy. I think that's a very important first step. We've obviously indicated we will do all we can to help the Japanese and we should. I've talked to a number of people who are close to the American military who realize we have considerable military assets and personnel taking some real risks to try to help the Japanese. It is a tremendous tragedy. And all of us should I think keep the Japanese in our prayers, this is the worst crisis they've had since World War II. And we don't know yet how bad this whole thing is going to be. It's an enormous crisis.
HANNITY: All right. So, we've got...
GINGRICH: On Libya --
GINGRICH: Go ahead.
HANNITY: Well, but I'll just want to put -- he is taking a trip, another vacation to Rio. He has played golf 61 times. He played the last two Saturdays. He's filling out his brackets and making a big deal about this. The only thing on his agenda today was meeting with people from Ireland and that one quick comment that he made, fundraisers that he's been too. And you are talking about that he should have immediately set up a commission of some of the best, brightest, smartest nuclear minds and engineers in the country and help the Japanese out, but he didn't do it.
GINGRICH: Well, he didn't do it. And if you look at Libya, on March 3rd he said, Qaddafi had to go. There is no evidence Qaddafi is going to go. There is no evidence that the no-fly zone by itself will be effective. Americans need to realize that once the American president has publicly said a dictator has to go, if that dictator survives, it is a considerable defeat for the United States. The whole region is in turmoil. You have problems everywhere from Bahrain, the Saudis may be in drifting towards a confrontation with the Iranians. You have problems in Yemen. Problems in Egypt. Problems in Tunisia. Problems in Libya. The president seems somehow to be disengaged. You had a terrible terrorist attack in Israel where a three-month-old baby was deliberately killed by a terrorist in a very gruesome way. The United States basically said and did nothing about it, even though the three children and the parents were massacred, deliberately by a terrorist in a very horrible way. The administration has just sort of checked out.
You know, the president has this fixation with the Final Four. Spent time on ESPN giving us his version of what really mattered to him, which was the Final Four. I like basketball. I think the president knows more about it than I do. He may well be right about Kansas. Although I must say, I have a personal affection for Duke. One of my best friends from high school, went to that school, and they have a great coach. And I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for Duke winning. But Kansas is a great school. So, maybe the president is right.
But what is strange is, with all of these crises, how could you focus that kind of time and attention as president of the United States? Not as a private citizen, not as a spectator, not as a hobby. I put out today my Final Four. And I said, the Final Four for the president should have been one, enough jobs to get unemployment down to four percent. Two, enough American oil and gas production to get gasoline prices down to two dollars. Three, balance the federal budget with a much smaller federal government. And four, control the border.
Now, I would suggest to you, my Final Four comes a lot closer to what a president ought to do than Obama's. It makes you wonder what he thinks his job is.
HANNITY: Yes, in that 31 day interim up to today, Gadhafi said, he was going to win. And that he's been using, literally, bombings from the air, a massacre of literally -- we'll probably never know the accurate number of slaughters taken place. You mentioned the slaughter in Israel, the massacre, 3-year-old child, an 11-year-old, and a family has wiped out. Not a word. And the White House just sits passively. It's frankly a little shocking.