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Hannity Cites Single Chicago Gang Violence Incident To Wonder If The City Doesn’t Deserve The Olympics

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"Hannity Cites Single Chicago Gang Violence Incident To Wonder If The City Doesn’t Deserve The Olympics"

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Conservatives have been piling on President Obama this week for his decision to take a short trip to Cophenhagen, Denmark, to pitch Chicago as the site of the 2016 Olympics. Yesterday on an RNC conference call, for example, chairman Michael Steele said that “at a time of war,” Obama’s trip was “not necessary.”

Last night on Fox News, Sean Hannity devoted his top segment to hitting Obama over the Olympics. He brought up a tragic incident in Chicago where an innocent 16-year-old boy died after getting caught in gang violence crossfire. Hannity said the murder had turned “political” in light of Obama’s Copenhagen trip — even though the two are completely unrelated and no one else has tied them together:

HANNITY: This is absolutely chilling. Well, now the story has turned political. This Thursday President Obama will travel to Denmark to support Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. But in light of this tragedy and all of the pressing issues facing the country, is the president making the right move?

One of Hannity’s guests was former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino, who agreed that the killing had become “part of a political issue.” She admitted that “this type of school violence, unfortunately, happens all over America,” but quickly added, “But as I read today that this is not the first child that’s been murdered this school year in Chicago.”

Hannity also tried to compare Obama’s Copenhagen trip to sending more troops to Afghanistan, saying that since the President was able to make the first decision so quickly, he should similarly make a snap decision about the war. Watch it:

CNN’s Lou Dobbs made a similar argument yesterday, saying, “The president is heading off to Denmark later this week to try to sell Olympic officials on Chicago, but many say the president’s focus on Chicago should have more to do with stopping the worsening violence in that city.”

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made a jab at Steele and the other Olympics critics, asking, “Who’s he rooting for? Is he hoping to hop a plane to Brazil and catch the Olympics in Rio? Maybe it’s Madrid.” Former Massachusetts governor and head 2002 Olympic Organizing Committee Mitt Romney also endorsed Obama’s decision to go to Copenhagen, saying “I think the people in the IOC want to understand the level of the commitment of the host country. … And nothing says that like having the presence of the leader of that country and, particularly, the case of Barack Obama.”

(HT: News Hounds)

Transcript:

SEAN HANNITY, HOST (voice over): Tonight. Gang violence in Chicago leaves a teenager dead and the shocking events are caught on tape. Should the president be pushing to bring the Olympics to this city?

JAMES TRAFICANT, FORMER OHIO CONGRESSMAN: If they lie again, I’m going to go over there and kick them in the crotch.

HANNITY: James Traficant makes his dramatic return.

TRAFICANT: Don’t call me names. Don’t call me names.

HANNITY: “The New York Times” admits that it missed the boat on the ACORN scandal. All of that, plus Dana Perino, Victoria Gotti, here with a brand- new book.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are upset.

HANNITY: HANNITY starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: And the city of Chicago is still reeling from the murder of a 16- year-old honor student during an after-school fight between two rival gangs. Derrion Albert died of massive head injuries after he was struck with a large board and repeated kicked in the head.

His mother told the FOX affiliate in Chicago that her son got caught in the middle of the brawl because he was trying to help a friend. Now tragically the massive fight and vicious murder of Derrion Albert was all caught on tape. Now we want to warn you that what you’re about to see is extremely graphic and can be very difficult to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Damn!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god. Get closer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Damn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: This is absolutely chilling. Well, now the story has turned political. This Thursday President Obama will travel to Denmark to support Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. But in light of this tragedy and all of the pressing issues facing the country, is the president making the right move?

And joining me now is the host of “Give & Take,” which airs on WNBC’s New York Nonstop, Julie Menin is with us, and FOX News contributor, former White House press secretary, Dana Perino.

That video is some of the most difficult video to watch.

DANA PERINO, FORMER WH PRESS SECRETARY: I can’t watch it. And I think a bout the mom who, not only did she lose her son, but now it’s there on video for everybody to watch and it becomes like part of a political issue. And I — my sympathies go to her and everybody.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: This kid, from all indications, a great kid, honor student. I mean, what are we to make — what has happened that we see — these instances come up periodically. We’ve seen brawls at football games. You can go back to Rodney King and some of the riots that have taken place.

What has happened to these kids that they can take a board and beat this kid to death, kick him in the head, and act like that? What happened?

JULIE MENIN, HOST OF “GIVE & TAKE”: Well, that’s exactly right. I mean this is a terrible scourge on society, gang violence. But I want to get back to what Dana said. It’s not a political issue. I don’t think there’s any political about it. This is a terrible tragedy and it has nothing to do with politics.

HANNITY: Well, it’s become political in this sense — the president is going to convince the Olympic Committee to bring the Olympics to Chicago.

PERINO: Well, the sad thing is that this type of school violence, unfortunately, happens all over America. And not always resulting in murder. But as I read today that this is not the first child that’s been murdered this school year in Chicago. [...]

HANNITY: Dana?

PERINO: So they had — there’s a matter of perception, right? And there will be a perception problem. He probably felt like he had to do this.

The one thing that’s interesting is in the United States we’ve always let the private sector push for our Olympic bids and also for our athletes. And, you know, other countries haven’t done that. And it looks like America is going to.

MENIN: That’s not true. You know, in New York Mayor Bloomberg took a very active role in trying to get.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Right, but not the president.

MENIN: Not president? We have Vladimir Putin of Russia, went to Guatemala.

PERINO: Right but.

MENIN: Tony Blair.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: And President Bush is very supportive of Chicago getting the Olympics and did events with Mayor Daley but did not go and make the type of display. Look, it’s a 15-hour trip. It’s probably not that big a deal.

MENIN: I think it’s.

PERINO: If they get the Olympics, it will be fine.

MENIN: It’ll be wonderful. [...]

HANNITY: But this is the point. He can make a decision to go to, you know, advocate on behalf of the Olympics, but he can’t make a decision about whether or not he’s going to support — give the general the troops that he’s asking for.

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