This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 12, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Here's part of Sean's exclusive radio interview with Vice President Dick Cheney.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Let's start with the comments made last week by John Kerry. He said he'd fight a more thoughtful, a more sensitive War on Terror. And yesterday, you said that America will not defeat its enemies by fighting a more sensitive War on Terror. Explain.
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, this whole notion that — I'm not sure what a sensitive war means.
But if you look at our history, I can't think of a single one of the wars that was won by being, quote, "sensitive." I mean, President Lincoln and General Grant didn't wage sensitive warfare. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, McArthur didn't wage sensitive — sensitive warfare.
We're talking here about terrorists who do not hesitate to kill 3,000 Americans, innocent men, women and children, and who would use chemical, nuclear, biological weapons and kill hundreds of thousands more if they could.
This whole notion of a sensitive war, especially with the likes of the Al Qaeda terrorists, people who beheaded Daniel Pearl (search) and Paul Johnson (search), this is just goofy. They're thugs and murderers. They threatened to kill innocents around the world. They don't need to be more — treated more sensitively; they need to be destroyed.
HANNITY: You know, and I can't imagine, really, Al Qaeda being impressed by sensitivity.
You talked yesterday, and I understand earlier today, that you said there's a lot of hesitation and uncertainty with John Kerry.
The president challenged Mr. Kerry to answer the question, knowing everything we know now, including that we didn't get the weapons of mass destruction that we thought we'd get, did we do the right thing? Would he have authorized the use of force also? And he said yes.
And the president in Florida said, well, almost 220 days after switching positions to declare himself the antiwar candidate, his opponent has found a new nuance. He now agrees it was the right decision to go into Iraq "even after questioning my motives and my credibility."
What do you make of these — these ongoing changes of position?
CHENEY: Well, I think he's having a major problem here, because he already, through the process, first of all, of having voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, and then coming back around and voting against providing the funds for the resources and the equipment that the troops needed to prosecute that war, he already put himself in a box.
And he did the latter specifically, I think, at a time when he was under a lot of heat from Howard Dean and the Iowa caucuses. Dean was leading. He was running as — strictly as an antiwar candidate.
And Kerry found himself, I think, on the short end of the stick and had to prove his antiwar credentials. So having voted to commit troops to combat, he then turned around and voted against giving them the resources they need when they're in combat. That's a position that's untenable.
And now the president's question that he put to him is, I think, a very good one and it's one that Kerry needs to answer, decisively and conclusively for the country. And he seems to be having trouble doing that.
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