Menu

Franklin Graham Talks with Hannity & Colmes

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 22, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: He is the most popular preacher in America. And this weekend, the Reverend Billy Graham will lead his — maybe his final crusade in the U.S. The three-day crusade begins this Friday in New York. Reverend Graham will speak for 35 minutes each day before expected crowds of 70,000-100,000 people or more.

For more on this historic event we're joined by Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, who's also the president of Samaritan's Purse and a good friend of this program.

Good to see you. Why do you not like when I call you Reverend?

FRANKLIN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT, SAMARITAN'S PURSE: I'm just Franklin.

HANNITY: But that's your dad.

GRAHAM: Dad is Reverend Graham, yes, sir.

HANNITY: You know something? I just did a lot of reading about both of you today. And besides, we have gone through this story of you were really, really a bad son. No, I'm teasing. But you gave him a hard time. But in so many ways, I see that you have become very much like your dad.

GRAHAM: Well, I love my father. I respect him, admire him. And you know, as he comes to New York, there's a lot of, you know, talk about this being his last crusade.

HANNITY: Is it?

GRAHAM: I don't know. Maybe. But the organization that he started, the Billy Graham Evangelist Association, is doing more in world evangelism today than we've ever done. We're in publishing, radio, television.

The work is going to continue. And if anything, it's has been growing for the last year. So I really believe that we're kind of in the beginning of maybe a whole new chapter as we come out of New York.

But my father's part, the crusades that he has been doing, this may come to an end but it's not going to be the end of the ministry. It's not going to be the end of his work.

HANNITY: And I guess he's proud, too, that you're a part of this, Franklin, and that this is — you have taken on this legacy, this name.

One of the things you always tell me about your dad, and I'm going to have the pleasure — because of you I'm going to get to meet him on Friday. And I'm really looking forward to it. I've never met your dad, and I've wanted to for a long time.

His dad, he's always stood for and lived —and by the way you look like twin brothers here. You know, he's always been — the person we see is the person he's always been. You know, he is the real deal.

GRAHAM: He's the real deal. And for the last — you know, for all of his life for the last, you know, 50 some years of his ministry he has kept to the message and that's the gospel, the simple gospel message that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believeth in him shall not parish but have everlasting life.

And when he gets up to preach at Flushing Meadows on Friday, he's going to give an invitation to those that are watching that do not know Jesus Christ as their lord and savior, that aren't sure that their sins are forgiven, he's going to invite them to come.

HANNITY: How many people over the years, do you estimate, have been to see your dad?

GRAHAM: It's — we keep fairly good records. It's over 200 million that he's been able to, you know, preach to in person over the years.

HANNITY: When you see these videos that we're showing here, what do you — look at your dad, I mean, with all of his vigor. And one of the things I have actually been listening to, to old things that he had said in some ads you guys had put out. And it's so consistent with the Billy Graham all throughout the years.

GRAHAM: It will be the same — the message, now, when my father speaks he's — today, he's an 86-year-old man. He doesn't have this — the energy like you see right now.

But he will be in a softer voice. He won't be moving around or prancing around high on the platform. He'll be just standing. And the crowd, you can hear a pin drop.

HANNITY: Do — is it hard for you — I watched and there was a front page story in the L.A. Times in November when I guess you were in Kansas City together, and he has a walker.

GRAHAM: Right.

HANNITY: And we've asked you about his health. He is feeling a little better.

GRAHAM: He's feeling — he's feeling great.

HANNITY: Is it hard to see that in this man that we see as gets older. I mean, this is your son — I lost my dad some years ago, and it was, you know, very hard.

GRAHAM: It's hard to see him not able to do for himself what he's always been able to do. The walker, he fell last year. He broke his hip. And so the walker now is just — Dad, let's don't do that again. Let's just be careful, be sure. And so he's fine with that.

HANNITY: Yes.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Franklin, it's Alan. Thank you for doing our show. And I'm in Aruba, but I'm planning to be back in New York. And in fact, I got your kind invitation and I'm planning to attend over the weekend. And I look forward to seeing your dad in person.

GRAHAM: Well, great.

COLMES: And I appreciate the opportunity.

GRAHAM: Yes, sir. I'm glad you're coming, and I hope we can get you on the platform or on the front row.

HANNITY: Your dad may be the only one to help him, Reverend Graham. He may — this is it, prayer and fasting.

COLMES: I don't know if you want me on the — Sean has been trying to, you know, change me over to a number of things for nine years, and it's not happening. But I don't know if you want me on that platform.

But let me ask this, Franklin. I appreciate your kindness to me over the years. I've never had the chance to meet your dad. Do you consider yourself following in his footsteps? Do you plan to continue well into the future his work? And do you want to — do you want to be able to speak to those kinds of crowds and do what he does, as well?

GRAHAM: No one can replace Billy Graham. I certainly can't. I love my father. All I can do is do the work that God has called me to do and that is to take the same gospel message and preach it as faithfully as I possibly can to as many people as I possibly can.

I was just last month, or excuse me, last week in Africa, where I preached in Angola, the first evangelistic crusade in the history of that nation. And it was a wonderful opportunity to preach to thousands of people that have never in the history of their country have been able to assemble together before. And I am going to continue to do that.

COLMES: Many people — many people have compared you, and I guess the comparison, especially looking at the pictures, are inevitable. Do you wish that didn't happen? Are you tired of the comparisons?

GRAHAM: No, I love my father. I'm not — you know, he's my father, and I'm proud of him. I can't run from that. I can't hide from that. He's my father. And we believe the same message. We're going to preach the same message.

I have no illusions that I'm going to be Billy Graham. I cannot fill his shoes. But I'm Franklin Graham. The work that I have done for the last 30 years is a little bit different than the work that, you know, my father has done. A lot of it's been in humanitarian work, relief work around the world, as well as preaching, and I'm going to continue to do both.

HANNITY: Franklin, we're looking forward to — I'm looking forward to seeing your dad on Friday. It's always great to see you.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

HANNITY: And it's great to meet — you had some of your family here tonight, and it was great to see them. And we always wish the best for you and your family. Looking forward to seeing you on Friday.

Content and Programming Copyright 2005 Fox News Network, L.L.C. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2005 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, L.L.C.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.