This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 19, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: A page tonight from the “Hannity & Colmes” notebook:
He's 87-years-old and currently serving his eighth term in office.Dwight Eisenhower (search) was president when he first walked into the Senate. But now Robert Byrd (search) could be in trouble if he runs for reelection next year.
According to a new poll conducted by the Charleston Daily Mail, Byrd holds a slim three-point lead over presidential — I should say potential — Freudian slip — challenger Republican Congresswoman Shelley Capito (search). That's within the margin of error. Byrd's office dismissed the poll as being too far ahead of a race that's still 17 months away. But it must have Republicans smiling, or at least some of them.
And they are probably also smiling about the attacks that came over the weekend against DNC Chairman Howard Dean. This time, it was two prominent Democrats who fired the shots. Here's what Delaware Senator Joe Biden (search) said when asked if Howard Dean's attacks on Republicans are helping the Democratic Party.
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SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: Not with that kind of rhetoric. He doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric. And I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats. But I wish that rhetoric could change.
COLMES: And former vice presidential nominee John Edwards had this to say at a fund-raising dinner in Nashville. "Dean is not the spokesman for the party. He is a voice. I don't agree with it."
And joining us now is the author of "A Deficit of Decency," former Georgia Senator Zell Miller. We are such a big party, Senator, even you are in the Democratic — see what a big tent we have here?
ZELL MILLER, FORMER GEORGIA SENATOR (D): You do have a big tent. But that quote, Alan, will be played and replayed a million times between now and the elections of 2006. And every Republican candidate running for whatever he's running for, or she's running for, will have it as part of their stump speech.
COLMES: But senator...
MILLER: This quote has gone ahead of the scream to the number one on Howard Dean's hit parade. "I hate Republicans" is number three. And "abortion is just a medical procedure" as number four. And "Tom DeLay (search) ought to go back to Houston and serve time" is number five. And there will be many, many more.
COLMES: All right, Senator, who votes for a candidate based on what the chairman of the party says?
MILLER: Well, right now, it's not so much what he says. It's the kind of ammunition he's giving people to use.
But I'm not a complete critic of Howard Dean (search). He is working extremely hard. He's visiting the red states. He's got more energy than anybody I have seen in the chairman's position in a long time. But that kind of rhetoric will work not to the benefit of the Democrats.
COLMES: You know, Karl Rove (search) calls Democrats dumb. He says dumb as they are, they can catch on quick. The head of the New York Republican Party calls Hillary Clinton a liar, calls Dean — compares him to a woman convicted of consorting with terrorists. And I don't hear the same kind of outrage on the right that I hear about every time Howard Dean opens his mouth. Where's the outrage there?
MILLER: Well, at least he didn't say, "Let's close up Guantanamo." I'll give him credit for that. And as far as John Edwards (search) is concerned, I like him, but no one has been more shill and more strident as far as exploiting class warfare than John Edwards. It was the only issue he had in the 2004 election. It was the only arrow he had in his quiver, and it's the only one he will have in 2008.
COLMES: Exploiting class welfare? When John Edwards talks about poverty, he talks about the two Americas, which is true, an administration that during which we've had the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's documented by almost every economic think tank. Where was John Edwards wrong? He's actually right about the things he said. It's about time we focused on that kind of action.
MILLER: It is something that we ought to focus on. And I think we are focusing it on. But you don't use it in such or an emotional way that you pit the haves against the have-nots, and vice versa.
HANNITY: Hey, Senator, as always, congratulations. Now the book's on the New York Times list for a couple of weeks. Congratulations, your new book.
Alan mentioned the head of Republican Party in New York commenting about Hillary. I'm a Republican in New York, and I don't even know who it is.
COLMES: When you run for office, you will.
HANNITY: We are talking about the head of the Democratic Party, the head of the DNC, who has referred to the Republicans as dark, dishonest, as liars, as corrupt. He said Republicans have never made an honest living. He said, "I hate Republicans." He said Republicans are evil, Republicans are brain dead.
He advanced the theory that George Bush knew about 9/11 ahead of time. And he says, you think Republicans can get enough people to color in the single room? Well, only if the hotel staff was here. This is an ongoing problem now being recognized by even the Democrats about their leader.
MILLER: Yes, it is. And it's going to continue on, as long as he's the chairman. And it's getting pretty bad when you have the Washington Democratic establishment criticizing someone for saying something like that.
HANNITY: Yes, I don't want him to leave that post. I want him to say right where he is. I'm a big supporter of Howard Dean being DNC chair. I think he's doing a great job so far destroying the party, and I just want him to keep on going.
MILLER: Well, one thing that's happening is that — and I'm sure it makes him feel badly — is that he only raised about half the amount of money last quarter that the Republicans raised. And he was going to be the big fund-raiser.
HANNITY: Look, say what you will about Terry McAuliffe (search), but I mean he raised a boatload of money for the Democratic Party. That seems to now be going south.
It seems to me that the only Democrat that is trying — and I think it's a phony manipulative effort — but trying on paper to at least appear to move a little bit to the center is Hillary Clinton.
MILLER: There is no doubt that's what she's doing. I've been saying all along that's what she was going to do. And I think that is what she's doing. But in the final analysis, it will not be the rhetoric, it will be the results.
HANNITY: And could she be elected, not ahead of her ticket — I assume that's a given. Can she be elected president of the United States? Can she convince enough people in the red state America that she's something that she's not?
MILLER: Well, I think that remains to be seen. But she's a very smart woman. She's very hard-working. She's got the best political strategist that there is in the Democratic Party...
HANNITY: Her husband.
MILLER: ... living in her home.
MILLER: And so she will be formidable. I don't know. It just depends on what kind of result she shows between now and 2008, not the rhetoric.
COLMES: Maybe even Zell Miller will vote for her. You might even vote for her coming up in 2008.
HANNITY: I don't think so.
COLMES: You never know, right, Senator?
MILLER: We'll see. But she would have to change — she would have to do a lot of changes before I could.
COLMES: All right. Well, we've all changed over the years.
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