Fox News
January 27, 2011

Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch Responds to John 'Sly' Sylvester's Vicious Personal Attack

Guests: Rebecca Kleefisch

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 27, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

 

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now, the left wing's relentless assault on civility in politics continues in the wake of the terrible tragedy in Tucson. This time liberal radio host John "Sly" Sylvester is getting in on the act. You may recall that Sylvester made headlines in 2004 when he referred to then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice as "Aunt Jemima."

Now he's turning his sexist and hate filled act on Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. Now, listen to how Sylvester impersonated Kleefisch on a recent show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN "SLY" SYLVESTER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I'm Rebecca Kleefisch. I perform fellatio on all the talk show hosts in Milwaukee. And they endorse me and that's how I became lieutenant governor.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bless her heart.

SLYVESTER: And then I got colon cancer and I ran around the state to help people. Even though I have government health care, screw everyone else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, since making those despicable comments, Sylvester has apologized for making the sexual reference you just heard. However, he is not apologizing for the remarks about the lieutenant governor's battle with cancer. Instead, he reiterated on the show that he believes Kleefisch used her cancer to get elected.

Now, through his radio station's program director, Sylvester wimped out and declined to appear on tonight's program. But joining me now is the person who was subjected to this insensitive political rant, she is lieutenant governor of the great state of Wisconsin, Rebecca Kleefisch.

Rebecca, thank you for being with us.

REBECCA KLEEFISCH, WISCONSIN LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: Good evening, Sean. How are you?

HANNITY: All right. So, you hear what this guy says -- by the way, I'm going to play a tape because I've had a run-in with this guy in the past -- but, that you are making sexual favors, that you are using your cancer -- by the way, you survived colon cancer, correct?

KLEEFISCH: Yes, yes, I'm on chemo right now.

HANNITY: You're on chemo right now which is one of the most difficult things anybody has to go through. And he makes these comments. How did that make you feel?

KLEEFISCH: Well, the comments that he made, as you heard, some of them at least, were vile. I mean, they were violating. You can't really choose many more foul words to say to a woman than what this gentleman -- and I use the term loosely -- chose.

I have two little girls at home. And some day, they are going to be able to search the Internet and I fear some day, they're going to find these comments. I don't want to have to explain to them what these terms mean. This was really unfortunate.

HANNITY: Yes.

KLEEFISCH: And so, I'm glad that the American Cancer Society in the state of Wisconsin, spoke up. They said that this was unacceptable and demanded an apology. And Sly Sylvester did actually apologize. It is disappointing though that it wasn't a full-fledged apology.

HANNITY: Yes.

Well, I got into this with him when he made the comments about Condoleezza Rice back in 2004. And it was the same thing. It is not really a full, complete apology. I'm going to play it for you. And then I have a question out of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: You are doing the show, you're attacking people.

SYLVESTER: No.

HANNITY: You demean them and you insult them, you're mean, you're cruel and you're thoughtless. And this is your way.

(CROSSTALK)

SYLVESTER: Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Did you have me on to talk to me or are you just going to talk over me?

HANNITY: I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Why don't you just do the right thing and give a real apology. I'll give you all the time you need.

SYLVESTER: I did apologize to the African-American community. I'm not going to apologize for her behavior.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: So, this is his gig. He says these outrageous things and he's a moral coward and he gets away and the radio station supports him. Would you like to have recourse of some kind against him?

KLEEFISCH: You know what? I think the best recourse here is to forgive the guy and to move on. Because, you know, the thing that made him so angry, the thing that inspired all this visceral hatred toward me was the fact that I was just doing my job, Sean.

You know, I was elected to be the lieutenant governor of the state of Wisconsin. And you have heard recently, that we have a bit of a border battle going on with Illinois. You know, right now, Illinois has raised their personal income tax. They've raised the corporate income tax. I was making cold calls down to Illinois businesses to show them that Wisconsin is open for business again. And we are eager to foster a great relationship with Illinois businesses and Wisconsin businesses alike who want to grow.

I was doing my job and it got him so angry, that he actually decided to make these comments on the air.

HANNITY: What do you make about the broader issue? The president at the memorial in Tucson talks about civility and he's used incendiary language even prior to the election -- enemies, they can sit in the back, bring a knife, we'll bring a gun -- and now, since then Democrats have referred to Republicans as Nazis, as killers and now -- as we played earlier tonight -- racists. Do you think the left gets away with this more than the right?

KLEEFISCH: It is unacceptable. And I think we had seen it for the last several years when we talk about Tea Party discourse -- this isn't political discourse that you heard on that radio show. This is the type of personal attack that makes us stop passionate debate and have to address comments that are just out and out false. It meant to stop the debate, because --

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Last question, I don't want to interrupt you. Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, conservative women, yourself -- why are conservative women singled out more often?

KLEEFISCH: It's a good question. I think probably because liberals embrace women as a group that sometimes they feel that they take ownership of. And there are some of us who don't believe in the same value system that a lot of these liberal groups have.

We are independent thinkers. We have traditional values. And we stand on our own merits.

HANNITY: Yes, all right. Lieutenant Governor, you've shown a lot of grace and dignity under, you know, difficult circumstances. All the best for your health and your family --

KLEEFISCH: Thank you.

HANNITY: And we really appreciate you being with us, thank you.

KLEEFISCH: Thanks for having me.

HANNITY: By the way, Mr. Sylvester, if you had any guts at all, come here and say these remarks. You're too much of a coward.

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