After a two week hiatus, the ladies of "The View" returned to discuss the political issues of the last couple of weeks. Guest co-host Whoopi Goldberg reacted harshly to the president commuting "Scooter" Libby’s 30 month prison sentence. Upon implying that Vice President Cheney has something to hide and Libby will not confess because strange things may happen to them. "look at the old man that went hunting with him," Goldberg said. What all of the co-hosts missed was that Richard Armitage was the source who outed Valerie Plame.
Although Elisabeth Hasselbeck missed the Armitage element, she did mention former President Clinton’s many pardons. Joy Behar dismissed those as "ancient history," but Hasselbeck noted that Clinton is now heavily criticizing President Bush’s actions when Clinton is short on the credibility himself.
Hasselbeck also noted that Libby was not pardoned, but had his sentenced commuted. Although Libby will not have to serve jail time, he still has to pay a $250,000 fine (five times Sandy Berger’s fine for stealing National Archive documents) and two years of probation.
The entire transcript is below.
JOY BEHAR: Paris got more time than "Scooter" Libby. He got no time
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Don't get me started about "Scooter."
BEHAR: One lies under oath and goes free, the other one drives drunk a couple of times, doesn’t hurt anybody-
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Wait a minute, did he lie or not remember something about a crime that he didn't even commit?
BEHAR: Oh, oh, oh, okay, okay.
GOLDBERG: But here's the, here’s the real question. Here’s the real question. Will we ever actually get the information? Because-
GOLDBERG: "Scooter" is not going to say where he got that information from. And you know if it's the big guy, you know he's definitely not going to say it. Because you know what happens to people who talk? Look at that old man who went hunting with him.
HASSELBECK: Oh, Whoopi, Whoopi.
GOLDBERG: I'm just saying, I’m just saying.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: I hear you.
GOLDBERG: I’m just saying.
SHEPHERD: Didn't they, they subpoenaed President Bush and the records?
BEHAR: They're not doing that.
GOLDBERG: Excuse me. Didn't you hear that the vice president -- he is not part of the government. What's wrong with you?
BEHAR: No. He's not part of the executive branch.
GOLDBERG: Part of the exec- to me, that's the government. He's not part of the executive branch because he's the head.
HASSELBECK: You’re also acting like "Scooter" Libby gets off. It's $250,000 he has to pay. He’s got two years probation. And everyone’s all over the pardon. Should we go back to mention, do I need to mention the name Rich to anybody during the Clinton administration?
GOLDBERG: Wait a minute. Here’s the, here’s the thing, wait a minute. It, it, it seems to me that the president made a big issue about releasing the names of FBI, CIA and all operatives.
BEHAR: We're gonna smoke 'em out!
GOLDBERG: He made a huge deal about this. And yet here it is, where it should be investigated, someone should look into it and do as the president said he was going to do, make people accountable, and somehow it just kind of feels like this slid past. I think that's what, all joking aside, I think that's what's bothering most people, because this-
HASSELBECK: You think people are upset about the pardon because they feel as though this is kind of like, you know-
BEHAR: Because he said we're going to get them and then he let him go.
HASSELBECK: Every president, even Clinton admitted, that although it may be controversial, they're right to do, to do what he just did to "Scooter," to commute a sentence or a pardon is their right if they think it the sentence is not appropriate.
GOLDBERG: But they're supposed to, they’re supposed to wait.
BEHAR: But can I say something? Let me say one thing about this.
SHEPHERD: Are you upset about something?
BEHAR: Of course. But listen, if you’re the president. Let's say I'm Bush, okay. My numbers are in the toilet. People can't stand me not only in this country, all over the world. This is not a popular thing to do, to commute this sentence. He does it anyway. Ipso facto, I'm covering up. What other reason would he do it?
HASSELBECK: I think he believes the sentence did not match the appropriate or alleged situation.
BEHAR: Okay, then why not shorten the sentence? Why not shorten the sentence?
HASSELBECK: Isn't that what a commuting the sentence is? It’s commuting the sentence.
BEHAR: No, no.
HASSELBECK: He let him out. It's not a complete pardon.
BEHAR: When he’s out of office, we’ll deal with somebody else.
HASSELBECK: They’re not the same thing. This is different.
GOLDBERG: They are two different things, but true. But, but-
HASSELBECK: What about Clinton's pardons? You don’t-
BEHAR: It’s ancient history. We're talking about now.
GOLDBERG: Wait a minute it has nothing to do-
HASSELBECK: It’s ancient history. We'll remember that.
SHEPHERD: I like that Joy will do all the Clinton jokes.
BEHAR: Listen, I do all the Clinton jokes. And Marc Rich, when he pardoned Marc Rich, I was upset.
HASSELBECK: Susan McDougal?
GOLDBERG: Wait. With this particular issue, this is strictly about the president making a statement about smoking out people who release the names of these operatives. That was the goal. The upset here is not whether somebody else got pardoned or who got pardoned. This is about him not following through with something he made sure we all understood. That's what I think more than anything bothering people.
HASSELBECK: Maybe some people feel that way. I don’t think that way.
BEHAR: But as far as dragging Clinton into every conversation, now a days, everybody is like, see, he did it too.
HASSELBECK: Only because he's been extremely critical of President Bush's move when he has actually done the same thing. He’s pardoned his own brother for cocaine trafficking.
BEHAR: Okay, so he’s a big hypocrite as the Bush administration is. Oh great, so big deal.
HASSELBECK: This is, this is a presidential right. That’s all I’m saying. A presidential right that they hold.
GOLDBERG: It is a presidential right. And if we're all going to look at it and if we're going to operate under a gentleman who said I'm going to change the way things are done, it's kind of sad that he's done things the way everybody else has done it.
BEHAR: His nose is growing.
The co-hosts also mentioned former Vice President Al Gore’s son speeding and drug possession citation. Behar felt he ruined Al Gore’s supposedly stellar reputation.
"But why do kids have to screw up their parents like that, right? The guy is on a roll, he's saving the earth, and now this little pest has to come in and, you know, get arrested with his, you know, it’s just obnoxious."