October 08, 2012

How has Romney's big debate win impacted the 2012 campaign?

Guests: Ann Coulter, Pat Caddell

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 8, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Governor Mitt Romney's impressive performance in last week's first presidential debate will go down in history as the most decisive victory in history. And Americans must agree, because according to a brand-new Gallup poll, by a record-breaking 52-point margin, 72 percent of voters think that Romney did a much better job than President Barack Obama.

Now, "The Anointed One's" stumbling and bumbling in Denver is costing him in the polls as well, nationally and in battleground states. Now, let's begin with the latest Gallup survey. As you can see, the governor is now tied with the president among registered voters, that's a five-point swing in Romney's favor in the days immediately following the debate. And by the way, it's a seven-day rolling average, and three more days after the debate have yet to be counted.

And according to the newly-released pew research center poll, Romney leads among likely voters -- get this -- 49 to 45 percent. And according to the brand-new George Washington University Politico poll, voter enthusiasm has shifted dramatically in Romney's in favor. And on top of that, the poll shows that Romney is leading among independent voters by a staggering 16 percent.

Now, remember, according to FOox News polls, exit polls in 2008, Obama won the independent vote by eight percent. So that means that's a 24-point shift with only 29 days before the election. All of this has sent the Obama campaign into full crisis and panic mode. The president, his surrogates are now sinking lower than they ever have before, all in an effort to stop the Romney surge. They're plain just desperate.

Now, the strategy is very clear. And that is to try and paint Governor Romney as somebody that the America people should fear. Their Chicago-style politics are now being played out on a national stage, because at the end of the day, well, that's their only option. Now, this is what happens when you are a desperate candidate who has failed his constituents for nearly four years. You're forced to call your opponent a liar pants on fire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA'S SENIOR POLITICAL ADVISER, MSNBC, OCT 4: Plenty of people have pointed out what a liar Mitt Romney is and was last night. I mean, if he was talking -- if he was speaking last night, he was lying.

BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST, "FACE THE NATION"/CBS, OCT. 7: Are you saying that Governor Romney lied or was dishonest?

AXELROD: Well, yes, I think he was dishonest, absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE, "THIS MORNING"/CBS, OCT. 5: Many people are saying now that what they saw was that Governor Romney, that they have known all along, and that what's been the problem in the past is they haven't seen that person, and he finally emerged during the debate.

HOWARD DEAN: So, you mean, he lied through his teeth in the Republican primary when he said he was going to cut taxes for wealthy people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "STATE OF THE UNION"/CNN, OCT. 7: We recall that he is the etch-a-sketch guy. He has transformed himself and quite frankly, we always have to wonder which Mitt is going to show up. And so, if you just lay out lie after lie after lie about your own plan, as well as what the president has been talking about, of course you can look good.

STEPHANIE CUTTER, OBAMA CAMPAIGN, CNN, OCT. 4: We expected an aggressive debater to show up last night on the debate stage with Barack Obama. We didn't expect an aggressively dishonest debater to show up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Perfect strategy, liar, liar, liar, pants on fire, fire.

That's funny, I didn't hear anybody mention anything about the president's record or accomplishments, perhaps because there aren't any. Instead what he's given us, 46 million Americans on food stamps. You didn't fix that, Mr. President. Seventeen million more than when you took office. Twenty three million Americans un and underemployed. Six trillion dollars in new Obama debt and you have four years to fix the worst economy since the Great Depression, and it's no longer George W. Bush's fault.

Now, after looking at the latest polls, it appears the truth is beginning to catch up with Barack Obama. Here with reaction, the author of the New York Times latest book. It's called "Mugged," bestseller, Ann Coulter and Fox News contributor, the one and only Pat Caddell.

By the way, this is -- you know who just lied? The author of the study at Princeton.

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "MUGGED": Right.

HANNITY: This is great. For those who don't know, he points out that Obama purposely took his interpretation of Romney's economic plan out of context, which was -- that means the president lied.

COULTER: I mean, he lied about the conclusion was.

HANNITY: Yes.

COULTER: The Princeton economist supports what Romney says, I'm going to cut, -- which he said a million times from the debate, and I think Americans understand, understand he's telling the truth, no matter how much they talk about lies -- cut rates across the board by 20 percent and eliminate deductions and exemptions, which everybody knows is a scam, and it's mostly taken advantage of by the very wealthy. He can keep the rates for the very rich the same.

And I mean, I think, the most, this lie, lie, lie business, this is exactly how the left reacted to the one issue that was the single most important issue I think in any presidential campaign, where you could point to a single issue, 1988, the Willie Horton ad, liberals' first reaction was to say it's a lie, it's a lie, it's a lie. It wasn't a lie. And then they cried racism. You're getting the same thing with this, lie, lie, lie. And now Harper's magazine has said, when Romney referred to his five boys saying the same thing over and over again, and hoping off to leave it, that was racist because it was suddenly Romney calling Obama boy.

(CROSSTALK)

PAT CADDELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Let me just say.

HANNITY: How desperate are they? They seem like they are freaking out, paniced and desperate?

CADDELL: Well, they are. Let's understand something, as every day comes in, and the polls get worse, we go from dishonest -- all the way up through, we started with untruthful, then dishonest, and now lying. And God knows what it will be by the end of this week. But you know, the point is that -- let me just say this. This is the biggest debate victory probably since 1980.

HANNITY: It is.

CADDELL: The single, in terms of a single debate, in terms of the margin. But more importantly, what it did for Romney was, the number of people it gave them a chance to see. And the problem with the liar strategy and everything, is that people, seventy million people watch 90 minutes.

Now, if the Romney campaign were not so pathetic, within five days they would have put up ads promoting their debate victory as opposed to what they do. But the fact is, it was big. But let's understand one thing. It helped Romney a lot.

We went from 30 percent, almost doubling the 53 percent among uncommitted voters that he cared about people, his favorability -- I've been waiting for more polls. We finally got Pew. A lot of the news organizations. But hundreds of thousands of dollars with their negative polls on Romney a week or two weeks ago are little slow on this. But the thing that I find is the election is not over. Obama's still has, Obama has not been defeated. He has an approval rating over 50 percent at 50 percent.

HANNITY: Which poll you're looking at because they --

CADDELL: Rasmussen today. This is important --

HANNITY: That's one poll. There are other ones. Go ahead.

CADDELL: But his approval rating is still near 50 percent. As I said, he's not defeated. And the second thing is consumer confidence is rising in light of those highly suspect job numbers Friday which we could spend a whole show on, which showed unemployment going down. This is -- this campaign by no means is over.

COULTER: I think it is over. And the reason I think it's over --

CADDELL: No, it's not.

COULTER: Of course, I thought it was over last week and the week before and the week before, Romney's going to win. And the reason he's going to win, part of the evidence is, this was the most-watched debate since 1980 when Ronald Reagan ran against Carter, and there was only one debate that year.

CADDELL: A week before the election.

COULTER: What happened that year? That was the first time in the last 100 years Republicans took out an incumbent. The one that this debate in terms of viewership tied with was in 1992 when Clinton ran against Bush. Again, when an incumbent was being taken out.

The reason so many people tuned in is because they know Obama's taking the country in the wrong direction. They know they're underemployed. And I don't care what number the Obama administration gets flashed up on a TV screen, and they know they're out of work, and they just wanted to see if they're comfortable with the challenger.

And they're not only were they comfortable, they're going to keep being comfortable. The reason Romney is going to keep doing very well in the debates is because you never get to see him. The media tells us, you know, gives us snippets, they paraphrase, they do the MSNBC thing. In other words what he was trying to say was, let's see what he said.

HANNITY: Let me just point this out. Look, if you want to look at polls -- we're still 29 days out. Four weeks in a campaign, we've all agree is an eternity, but Pew, battleground, Politico, Gallup, hang on a second -- Rasmussen. It goes deeper than that. Because now Romney is up in Florida in a poll, he's up in Virginia in a poll.

CADDELL: Even in Ohio.

HANNITY: Dead even in Ohio. But it's a two-point race in Pennsylvania. It's a two-point --

CADDELL: Well --

HANNITY: Wait a minute. It's a one-point race in Wisconsin. This now is putting Obama in a position where he has to defend, defend, defend, defend, defend, at least, you know, six, seven states that he won back in 2008.

CADDELL: Let me tell you something. This is all being carried on Mitt Romney's performance. I'm telling you as a campaign they are still way behind the curve. But, let me tell you about those polls. The battleground poll, most of it was conducted before the debate. I'm sorry with Pew, I thought Pew's numbers were screwy before when they had Obama way ahead, so I just write them off as screwy. But they do seem to show that on attributes -- look, debates are not about moving numbers. This moved as many numbers as anything I've seen in vote. It moved the internal structure of the race. It made the challenger acceptable.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this.

COULTER: Yes. Yes.

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Independents, I mean, there was an eight-point advantage for Obama in 2008. Sixteen-point difference.

COULTER: Right.

CADDELL: If it's a 16-point advantage, if he has -- it's over. He will win.

COULTER: And you say.

HANNITY: And a 13-point -- whatever, of the enthusiasm is double digits as well.

COULTER: Right. And you see you don't really trust Pew, they have --

CADDELL: Oh, I just think about -- I think they were skewed before, I don't want to mess with them later.

COULTER: I just want to say, please note that they've never skewed to benefit Republicans. If this is what they're saying, Romney's winning.

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