This is a partial transcript from "HANNITY & COLMES", June 30, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
OLIVER NORTH, GUEST CO-HOST: Welcome back to Hannity & Colmes. I'm Oliver North, sitting in tonight for Sean Hannity and trying to keep Alan Colmes in check while Sean's away.
In 1978, Kent Hance defeated George W. Bush in his bid to represent Texas in the House of Representatives. Mr. Hance left the Democrat Party in 1985, became a Republican, and now supports President George Bush for re-election.
But will he always be able to brag that he beat the president of the United States?
Joining us now, Kent Hance from Austin, Texas.
And I have full disclosure here. I once campaigned for Kent Hance when he was running for railroad commissioner down in Texas.
KENT HANCE, DEFEATED GEORGE W. BUSH IN CONGRESSIONAL RACE: That's exactly right. In San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
NORTH: Yes, sir. My birthplace.
And I appreciate very much you taking the time to be here.
Now, Kent, I want you, for the benefit of people like Alan, who somehow seem to always get it wrong, tell us why you, first of all, became a Republican.
HANCE: Well, I changed in '85. But in 1981, as a conservative Democrat, Phil Graham and I helped organize the "Boll Weevils." And Graham carried the budget cuts for President Reagan (search), and I carried the tax cuts — the Carnival-Hance Act (search), it was the largest tax cut for the nation and still is.
NORTH: When you look now at George W. Bush, and you did defeat him in his run for the House of Representatives. Are you looking at the kind — still the same kind of person? I mean, a lot of folks say he did better in Texas than he's going to do in this election. What do you think?
HANCE: No, let me tell you. He is a good guy. I noticed in 1978, when I first watched him campaign in the primary, there were three Republicans, two Democrats running. And we all had to make the same place, the same stops and speeches.
And he was a people person. He had good people skills. He was a great campaigner. He liked people. Felt at ease with them.
And he had the factor that I consider very important in someone getting elected, especially to the highest office, is that people would like to live next door to him.
And you know, not as — Ronald Reagan was the best in that regard. But I think that George W. Bush is a likable person and that that is a deciding factor for people.
NORTH: Is he a good president?
HANCE: I think he is. I think he's done a good job. I don't agree with everything that he's done, but I think his foreign policies have been right on target. I had a little heartburn about the prescription drug deal. I think it's going to spend a lot of money, and it's going to be difficult.
I fully support his tax cuts. You know, you go back in history, Ronald Reagan cut taxes across the board. But the person before that that cut taxes across the board the most was John F. Kennedy in 1962.
NORTH: You're going to vote — you're going to campaign for him?
HANCE: Yes. I am for Bush and I'm campaigning for him. And I have been a contributor and proud to do so.
COLMES: Hey Kent, it's Alan. Good to have you on the show.
HANCE: Hi, Alan. How are you?
COLMES: Listen, since you're the guy who beat George W. Bush, tell John Kerry how to do it. What does John Kerry have to do that you already accomplished?
HANCE: I think — I hope that he does not do this. I don't think Kerry can beat Bush. I think Bush might lose the election, but I don't see Kerry...
COLMES: How would he lose the election?
How would that happen?
HANCE: You know, I think — I look back over the last two months. In the last two months, every time I've turned on my television and watched a network show that I have not heard one positive story about George W. Bush, domestic or foreign policy or whatsoever.
And for him to still be tied in the polls after taking a pounding over the last two months...
COLMES: But doesn't he have to take responsibility for that, because some of his policies are not resonating. There's great division in this country on war with Iraq. We're seeing how this phase of the war has not gone that well, with this timing of the turnover to me seems more cosmetic. And it was clearly timed in the run up for the Republican national convention. You may not see it that way, but clearly many Americans do.
HANCE: Well, I think that they do, and I think they're being encouraged by the Democrats and a lot of people to see it that way. But if you look at what has happened, we have not had another 9/11 in this country. What we're seeing is that we're fighting terrorism. We're fighting terrorism in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in other parts of the world. And that is so important because you do not want another terrorist event happening here in the United States.
COLMES: But nobody want's that. You harangued George W. Bush back then for running on his daddy's coattails. Those are your words. You also put out ads saying you were graduated from the University of Texas Law School, you painted him as a Harvard educated NORTHeasterner. You know, you said he attended Harvard and he also went to Yale.
So you — That was the campaign you ran against George W. Bush. Well, I guess you no longer look upon him as a Northeasterner because you practically presented him as a carpetbagger back then and only successful as he was because of what Daddy accomplished.
HANCE: Well, you know, the thing that we were able to do is get him fully in Texas after that. And he is a true Texan. I will tell you this, that I don't know how Kerry could run a campaign like I did. What's he going to say that, you know, Bush went to Yale and they say, "Well, Kerry where did you go?"
"I went to Yale."
COLMES: But the same things you said about George W. Bush is what the Republicans are now saying about — about John Kerry, right?
HANCE: Well, you know, I think the thing that is important is that they both have a degree from Yale, that they both have some experience. But here's what's going to be the deciding factor in this election. If you want more government, more social welfare, more spending and a weaker defense, weaker foreign policy, where Kerry would check with Germany and France before he made a decision or do you want Bush who's going to cut taxes, who's going to have less spending and is going to have a strong national defense?
That's the key in this case.
NORTH: Same old — Same man I campaigned for. I appreciate very much you taking time to join us.
HANCE: Glad to be here.
NORTH: Kent Hance, great guy.
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