Bob Woodward’s new book asserts that sequester was Obama’s idea, and says he had a shouting match with Obama’s Economic “Czar” Gene Sperling, and the intimation is that Sperling issued a threat. A couple of things I noticed, after the White House lied, as shown below, no one on either side of the aisle will use the “lie” word (except Darrell Issa), all the while accusing of “being caught,” “willfully wrong,” “not arguing with a fact.” Woodward says “we’ve got to bring this back to the center so we have a reasoned discussion” but ignores that unlike the times before Bill Clinton and Monica, we are now so left of center that “reasoned” discussion isn’t possible – that center is still so very Left, bipartisanship means giving up the soul of America to fight from left of true center. This is a good first step from Woodward, but beware, he has had plenty of chances to tell the truth about this administration and…he lives in Washington D.C.
The first step in this outrage from the White House began in Bob Woodward’s Op-Ed in the Washington Post, February 22, 2013 and it began the dustup you’ll hear about in the Hannity interview:
[Woodward replying to Jack Lew who was Obama’s budget director during “negotiations that set up the sequester in 2011, backed up by the president two days later – Washington Post]
The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.
Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.
Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, “We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them” — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. “It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.”…
At the Feb. 13 Senate Finance Committee hearing on Lew’s nomination to become Treasury secretary, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked Lew about the account in my book: “Woodward credits you with originating the plan for sequestration. Was he right or wrong?”
“It’s a little more complicated than that,” Lew responded, “and even in his account, it was a little more complicated than that. We were in a negotiation where the failure would have meant the default of the government of the United States.”
“Did you make the suggestion?” Burr asked.
“Well, what I did was said that with all other options closed, we needed to look for an option where we could agree on how to resolve our differences. And we went back to the 1984 plan that Senator [Phil] Gramm and Senator [Warren] Rudman worked on and said that that would be a basis for having a consequence that would be so unacceptable to everyone that we would be able to get action.” (second page of Woodward’s WAPO article here.)
So that is the set up for Hannity’s Woodward interview below.
Email from Gene Sperling National Economic Council Director to Bob Woodward after a heated telephone conversation:
“I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the Fall – but feel on the one hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye-to-eye here. But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying that the POTUS asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.” – Sperling e-mail to Woodward, Feb. 22, 2013
David Plouffe tweet:
Watching Woodward last 2 days is like imagining my idol Mike Schmidt facing lie pitching again. Perfection gained once is rarely repeats.
Begin the first video:
SEAN HANNITY: Now folks, let’s remember who Mr. Woodward is. He exposed the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s which ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation, and this is the journalist that the Obama White House is now trying to discredit. Ultimately in the end. I think the Obama administration, they’re going to be the ones regretting this fight.
Hannity introduces Bob Woodward
HANNITY: Let’s start at the beginning. Tell us about the conversation.
WOODWARD: It was a half hour in which he was shouting at me. I’ve known him for 20 years and I emailed back that I don’t worry about shouts but he was really worked up, and then he sent me that email apologizing and saying I’m going to regret taking this stand.
Now what we’re talking about here is not a fact. He’s not arguing with a fact because beforehand he said we’re just not going to see eye-to-eye on this. It’s an interpretation. Obviously, he didn’t like being challenged on this at all, but people have said, well this was a rant, or I was saying it was threat. I haven’t used that language, but it’s not the way to operate in a White House.
As you know, when somebody says you’re going to regret something, particularly somebody in a position of power, Gene Sperling, he’s not just a guy in the White House. He’s the Economic Czar for the president. He did the same thing for Bill Clinton, had the same job, so when he said you’re going to regret challenging us, I think that’s a mistake and if you go back into the history, and what other people are saying now about the Obama White House, of Ron Fournier, of National Journal, Road to Peace, who actually refused to talk to somebody in the White House because of the language he gets from this person is so belligerent.
HANNITY: Do you feel that’s been a pattern with you and this White House? Did you feel at any time threatened during the phone call, or did you feel it was a threat when he wrote the words you will regret this?
WOODWARD: Look, what happened here, I wrote a piece Sunday in the Washington Post on the Op-Ed page and they got caught about being the Father of the sequester. For two or three months they denied that to Jay Carney’s credit, he came out and said, look yes, the idea originated here. It’s not only about who originated it, but think about what the sequester is. It is one of the most irresponsible ideas, and Repblicans signed up – there’s absolutely no question about it, but you look at the details of this and just the way it came about, it’s you and I sitting down and saying what are the things you really love? Let’s cut, let’s pass a law cutting those things, and then let’s take the things I love, and that into law…that’s the sequester.
It’s one of these things that now being debated. What is the impact of it going to be? We don’t know, but they got caught, so this is an old trick. Make the conduct of the press the issue rather than their conduct.
HANNITY: Dealing with the Liberal media, I’ve gotten a lot of it in the course of my career, Bob. A lot of your Liberal colleagues, I’ve noticed, have turned on your.
Hannity then talks about Woodward’s book which he says 1) reveals the sequester was Obama’s idea and 2) he’s lied about it. He lied about it in the debate with Mitt Romney and he’s lied about since…
HANNITY: You also expose moving the idea of the goalpost as the president requests tax increases associated with this. Do you acknowledge…do you think the president lied?
WOODWARD: No, look I’m not going to use words like that. I think we need to tune down the rhetoric. Out in the great public, which is much more than those of us in Washington, they’re wondering what the hell is going on here. These people cannot talk to each other. They can’t make arrangements to protect the national security. I’ve thought this a little bit. The biggest story in Washington now is the town itself.
HANNITY: You’re standing by your reporting, standing by your story? You’re saying it was Obama’s idea. He claims it’s not. He said it was not, so you’re standing saying that he’s not telling the truth, in other words, use whatever words you want, and that he did move the goalpost. They deny that and it was Jay Carney after your article came out in the Post that said you were willfully wrong. Sounds to me like he’s accusing you of lying.
WOODWARD: I spent two months on reporting on how they came to the sequester and how the SuperCommittee worked. The White House was really not involved in this. They monitored it. I spent a long time…in fact a producer from 60 Minutes called me up and said we understand (when I was working on the Price of Politics [his book] you are doing a book about the SuperCommittee. I said no, it’s just a part of it. Well everyone says you’ve got all these notes. You’ve talked to people, you’ve got diaries…as best as anyone can, I have the story of what happened here, and it came from the Obama White House. It was something designed to never go into effect. It’s going to go into effect. God help us that it is not the spark that send the economy down. The people in business, the people in politics, the people in Washington are dumbfouned and bewildered.
HANNITY: Why should matter, if the president suggested Sequestration and then the president denies that he requested the Sequestration, and the president had a deal that he wasn’t going to ask for further tax increases, and then he later does, and later says no, no that’s not true, and they attack you as being willfully wrong. Why should this matter? Don’t we deserve our government to be honest with us?
WOODWARD: Exactly, and I’m almost 70 years old and I hate to acknowledge. I’ve done this for four decades. I will keep doing it in some form, but the White House saying you’re doing these things when you’ve worked months on it and you have the documents and Jay Carney actually acknowledges paternity for the sequester from the White House – the problem is, there are all kinds of reporters who are much less experienced, who are younger, and if they’re going to get roughed up in this way, and – I am flooded with emails from people in the press saying this is exactly the way the White House works. They’re trying to control and they don’t want to be challenged or crossed.
VIDEO 2 opens with more talke about young journalists.
HANNITY: My concern is that they become an extension of the White House and are not in anyway critical or asking questions of President Obama.
WOODWARD: Let’s get this out on the table. It’s important. We live in a hyperpartisan era, extreme partisanship. Fox News is a cornerstone of part of that partisanship. There are also a group of people, MSNBC, a lot of people who support Obama who just believe he can do no wrong. We’ve got this division and somebody who is a traditionalist in reporting – like myself – says let’s find out what happened as opposed to sometimes it falls this way, sometimes it falls that way, I get calls and emails from people telling me I am insane to come on your show, and I say, you let me say what I want. You dig into things. There is no bleep-out button and I believe in the First Amendment. My view, I suspect it’s not your or Roger Ailes…we’ve got to bring this back to the center so we have a reasoned discussion.
HANNITY: I would say this in defense, the Washington Post has an opinion page on the opinion page. Then there is opinion programming and there is objective news reporting, and I’ll be honest. I am very proud to work with some great reporters here at Fox that do dig into issues like Fast and Furious, our reporting on Benghazi. I would argue the fact that the president was never asked a lot about the $6 Trillion in debt he accumulated prior to this election, and in his first election wasn’t asked about his association with Bill Ayers, was troublesome to me, I think we’ve got a media that is not as critical as it was in the days of Watergate.
WOODWARD: I agree with that and we need to be very aggressive and it’s one of the judges who said, Democracies die in darkness. I think that’s true. If we we don’t know what’s going on…if they can erect these barriers…Mike McCurry, who was Bill Clinton’s press secretary, he was quoted the other day saying this White House does things that I wouldn’t even dream of trying to get away with.
The barriers have come up. We know less about what goes on. On the other hand, I’ve interviewed Obama for my two books, for hours, people answered questions. They were very serious about answering them in detail. That’s how I found out where the sequester started, and that’s where I found out lots of little manuevers and the budget and fiscal debates that they’ve had, so they’ve responded, and I think that’s important.
The problem I have with the Gene Sperling email and, this comes after a shouting match…lots of people shout at me, and he says I’m going to regret – that goes into the coded – you’d better watch out.
If the videos will not play, or disappears, view them here.
Sean Hannity with Bob Woodward on – The Sequester Was the President’s Idea (video)