GLENN: For anybody who doesn't understand why the -- many of us on the right were so upset at Barack Obama, was because he could talk a good game about law and order, but he didn't do it. And the same thing can be said about Donald Trump. He talks a great game about law and order. Now, how will he perform that duty?
For instance, he talked about law and order recently in Chicago and said, "Don't worry Chicago, you want to solve this, we'll send in the feds." No, no, no, Mr. President-elect. That's not what we do. We don't federalize the police force. We don't do that. We help cities police themselves. We use the Constitution.
The Constitution is not a charter for a corporation. You're not the CEO of America. You're the president. And it's very -- it's a very different role.
But I -- I think -- I'm hoping, that when Donald Trump has constitutionalists around him, he will understand that and he will play along with the Constitution. And we won't do the things that we have done under George W. Bush. And in a massive way, under Barack Obama.
And anybody who is intellectually honest at all will say the things you worried about, under George Bush, that it was going to be crony capitalism, got worse, under Barack Obama. That anybody who worried that the government was spying on people got worse, under Barack Obama.
The constitutional liberties got worse under Barack Obama. The press asks, what?
I don't know. Ask your own fellow colleagues that found themselves harassed or jailed by this president or threatened to jail by this president, on what you would call First Amendment rights.
This president is the worst president for the press since Woodrow Wilson. I offered many times to stand with those on the left in the press, if they would stand up for themselves first, I said, "You would have plenty of people on the right that would stand with you. And you better do it now because you don't know who is going to get in next. And the next guy could be worse."
Now you're afraid that the next guy might be worse. But you're saying it in way where you don't recognize that your guy was really bad. That doesn't help. You have to have intellectual honesty. And you have to have an underpinning of something.
Where do you get your principles?
What is my hope for the Trump administration? It's really pretty simple, and it's actually kind of depressing how low the bar is for anybody in office now. It is that maybe they'll take the Hippocratic oath and first do no harm. Wouldn't it be nice to have somebody go to Congress and first do no harm?
But this document, which was just purchased over the weekend -- I have never seen it before. And it's pretty amazing. Is my hope for this administration.
This is from Ronald Reagan. This was given to his wife, Nancy, afterwards, as a gift. And he wrote in his own handwriting, to Nancy, who brightens the corner where we are. Ronald Reagan.
He then, like his -- like checks, like we used to do with checks, he forgot to make it 81. He made it 12080. It was actually 12081 when he was sworn in, okay?
This is the actual card that he held in his hands, when he was taking the oath of office. And you can see he marked with a black marker, swear, execute, ability, and Constitution of the United States.
So he could see it at a distance. He knew exactly the oath and he wouldn't screw it up. I Ronald Reagan do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States. And will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.
My hope for the last president, is the same hope for this president. That when he raises his hand, he will actually mean these words. This isn't just something that you say. This is a swearing to God and to the people, that you will faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States.
What does that mean? You're going to do your job. Here's the job description: You're going to do your job.
Now, I haven't seen a job description. I wonder if there is one. Can somebody go online and see if there is an official job description for the president of the United States? It would be interesting.
It would be interesting for us to know what the job description is. And it would be interesting -- you should have one when you walk into the Oval Office. These are the things you can do. These are the things you can't do.
I would bet that the job description is in the Constitution of the United States, and that's it.
STU: Article II. Sections 2 and 3. 320 -- 322 words, as I'm reading from --
GLENN: Can you just --
STU: Here's the -- short job description, covers only five areas: The president is commander-in-chief of the military. The president is responsible for ensuring that the laws passed by Congress are executed and enforced as written.
Man, that one was certainly violated the last eight years. The president is allowed to grant pardons for crimes other than impeachment.
I mean, that's in the Constitution. So a lot of people will say, "I can't believe they're pardoning these people." It is part of the role. It's part of the fabric of this country, for the president to be able to pardon people for any reason that they want.
Now, nobody has ever done it to this extent. The average is about, what? Eighteen?
STU: I know Bush did 19 on his last day of pardons.
GLENN: I think 23 is the largest.
STU: And they all do more than that, during their terms.
GLENN: And that's right. Yeah.
STU: But there's usually a last day where they do sort of last act.
GLENN: Yeah, the controversial ones.
STU: They usually hold them off to the end because they don't to have deal with it. Then you have the president could also make treaties, but only if two-thirds of the Senate agrees to the terms of those treaties. The president can nominate ambassadors, Supreme Court justices, and other officers, most commonly cabinet secretaries and federal judges. But he can only nominate them. Again, the Senate has final approval on any of the nominations.
GLENN: Everything else is not part of the job of the president. I will create jobs. Not part of the job. Not part of the job. It would be nice. But that's not your responsibility.
Who has made that the responsibility of the president? The press. What about jobs? Not my job. That's what the president should say. It would be a death knell if he did, but not my job. Not my job.
My job is to faithfully execute the office, to make sure that the laws of the land are enforced. Now, I have the bully pulpit to say, "This law is wrong." But I don't have the right to what this president did and say, "I'm not enforcing that." That's not faithfully -- quote, faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States. That's not faithfully executing it.
But the most important part, "Will to the best of my ability -- will to the best of my ability." How many of us had conversations, either as children with our parents, or have had this conversation with our children or both?
Dad, I did really poorly in this subject. First response. From my parents and to my children. Is that your best work? Is that to the best of your ability? Is that the best you could do?
If they answer yes and I believe them, not a problem. Good job. You did your best work.
Now, how can we help you do better next time?
If they say no, there's trouble. Are you not like that with your kids? I did everything I could -- there was some things that were out of my hands. And that would mean if I see the Constitution being violated, I ring the bell at the bully pulpit. I tell the American people there is a violation of the Constitution and I can't stop it.
Isn't that to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States?
I don't believe this president -- and it may be -- may be to the best of his ability. Because his ability may be gravely hampered by what he believes. He believes the Constitution, in his own words, is a flawed document. So if you raise your hand and take this oath, you really are not qualified to take this oath, if in your own admitted words, it is a flawed document.
Because I can't preserve that document. I can't defend that document. And I mean mentally defend. When somebody comes into your office and says, "Hey, we have to do this, but it's really not constitutional," you say, "Find a pole. And I don't care if you have to pole vault over it, that's a flawed document. Don't worry about it." You're in violation of the Constitution.
What does Donald Trump think about the Constitution? I don't know. I've never heard him talk about it. I heard him recently, in an interview, an old interview, but they just released it, talking about the Declaration of Independence, where he said, "I've never understood the 'all men are created equal.' some aren't. All men aren't created. Some have ability. Some don't. Some have looks. Some don't." Well, that's not what that means. And that shows -- to me, that shows somebody who has read that document and has not put any serious thought into it.
He's seen the document. He's read it. And he's thought, "Well, no. All men are not created equal." But has never really talked about it out loud, never had a serious discussion, because a man as smart as Donald Trump will come to the correct conclusion quickly, when he thinks about it. It's not that all men are created equal. It's that they're all created with equal -- an equal chance under the law, that they have no standing before the law, any less or greater than anyone else.
STU: It was an old interview. Hopefully he has, you know, taken the time in between.
GLENN: Yes. Correct. Correct.
But what does he believe? I don't know what he believes about the Constitution. I have not heard him talk about it. But I'm hoping that the president-elect has spent his time talking to people -- and I know he has talked to Mike Lee, about the Constitution. So hopefully he has done his homework. And when he raises his hand tomorrow, he can say, to the best of my ability, but I will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God. And mean it. Because I don't believe the last one meant it, at least in the way that most of us would, because in his own words, he said it was a flawed document.