Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer said President Obama’s State of the Union address was full of so many old chestnuts you could call it “The Chestnut Speech,” explaining that, “When he repeated Guantanamo — which is a cause he gave up on himself years ago — you knew he had run out of ideas.”
Krauthammer spoke on a Fox News panel tasked with responding to the president’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. The columnist began with a few kind words for a president desperately in need of them. “Well, there wasn’t a lot in the speech. Of course, he’s playing a weak hand. I was impressed by the fact that he delivered it with conviction, because again, there wasn’t a lot in it.”
“I would call it ‘The Chestnut Speech,'” Krauthammer contended. “There were so many old chestnuts that were shown it was almost embarrassing. When he brought out stuff he tried last year and that went nowhere — with minimum wage, with this idea of extending unemployment insurance — and when he repeated Guantanamo, which is a cause he gave up on himself years ago, you knew that he’d sort of run out of ideas.”
President Obama pledged to close the Caribbean prison on his first day in office in 2009. Since then he has been repeatedly stymied by hard political realities, including domestic communities wary of taking terrorists into their local prisons and foreign governments content to let troublesome citizens rot in Cuba for decades. Five years later the facility remains open, although some prisoners continue to be transferred.
“What I was surprised he didn’t do,” Krauthammer continued, “is to do sort of an overarching theme, the one that actually worked for him in the 2012 election, of this being the party of opportunity. He talked about it but it was not an overarching theme, it was as if he had to push that button to remind people that that is the core idea he has in economics.”
Krauthammer also savaged Obama over his comments on Iran, which the commentator claimed were misleading if not outright duplicitous. “His insistence on the Iran negotiations, saying he would veto a sanctions bill — and if you noticed, that was the most tepid applause of the evening,” he claimed. “There is tremendous support in the House and Senate on both sides against that.”
“And he did say one other thing, that Iran is eliminating its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is simply not true,” he declared. “It is turning it into an oxide, which is a chemical process which is reversible. So he’s very intent on doing this, and he’s trying to sell it, but not entirely directly.”
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