USS Iowa Controversy Continues in San Francisco

Published February 21, 2006

| FoxNews.com

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 20, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST:Last week I traveled to San Francisco to report about the controversy surrounding the USS Iowa and the proposal to turn the ship into a museum.

One of the guests on that program was San Francisco city supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, who made quite a bit of news with some of the things that he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: Should we give up our weaponry? Should we give up our tools of war?

GERARDO SANDOVAL, SAN FRANCISCO CITY SUPERVISOR: You know, that's a very complicated question, but I would say if you forced me to answer, I would say yes, we should. We should invest our money...

HANNITY: Unilaterally...

COLMES: This is Alan in New York. Let me ask you a question, Gerardo — this is Alan in New York.

SANDOVAL: Hi, Alan.

COLMES: Should we not have a military?

SANDOVAL: I don't think we should have a military.

COLMES: We shouldn't have a military. Wait a minute. Hold on. The United States should not have a military?

SANDOVAL: What good has it done for us in the last five years? That's right.

HANNITY: Oh good grief...

SANDOVAL: What good has it done us in the last five years?

COLMES: Gerardo, wait a second. I just want to repeat that.

SANDOVAL: The billions that we're spending, we're spending right now, if we spent it on schools.

COLMES: The United States should not have a military?

SANDOVAL: We should not. That's correct.

COLMES: Are you kidding me?

SANDOVAL: The United States should not have a military. All in all, we would be in much, much, much better shape.

COLMES: You've got to be kidding me. We should have no military. We should have no ability to defend ourselves. We should have no armed forces in this country?

SANDOVAL: Well, we shouldn't have a military that goes abroad and starts wars.

COLMES: But you just said we shouldn't have a military. Now I don't want to give people — I'm speaking out very forcefully to you, because I don't want to give the impression that Democrats hate the military or don't want a military. We may disagree with certain wars, like the one that's being fought now...

SANDOVAL: No, but you said should we give up...

COLMES: ... but to say that we shouldn't have a military is absolutely absurd. It's incredible. I mean, that is a ridiculous fringe point of view.

HANNITY: That's exactly what I was thinking, Alan. Welcome to San Francisco.

SANDOVAL: If you're saying that we don't have a right to defend ourselves that's different than from we shouldn't have a military.

COLMES: What would we defend ourselves with?

SANDOVAL: Well, you've got cops.

COLMES: Cops?

SANDOVAL: It's called the Coast Guard . There's lots of different things. You don't have...

COLMES: You want to send cops to defend our shores for attack? You want to send cops overseas if we're attacked?

SANDOVAL: You want to send people abroad to start these wars.

COLMES: I don't. Actually, Gerardo, you don't know anything about what I stand for if you can say that. I've been one of the most outspoken people against this administration and the war in Iraq. But that doesn't mean we as Democrats hate the military, or don't want to defend this country. And I'm amazed could you get on national television and say we shouldn't have a military in America.

SANDOVAL: Well, that's the way I think a lot of people feel.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: Alan was right. Who would have thought?

Now, several Bay Area newspapers have written about Sandoval's appearance on our program including The San Francisco Chronicle, which wrote an editorial this morning that read, "Sandoval not only wasn't speaking for San Franciscans on national TV last week, as he tried to claim, he wasn't even doing a very good job of representing his own dreamy views."

Sandoval printed a response in The Chronicle today, reading in part:

"I did not go on the FOX News 'Hannity & Colmes' show last week to launch a verbal war against the United States military. I have tremendous respect for veterans and I have sponsored many resolutions at the board of supervisors supporting veterans' benefits. I did go on FOX News to argue against docking a 10-story battleship on the San Francisco waterfront as a tourist attraction, a position that enjoys strong support in the city."

Joining us now with reaction, Republican strategist Karen Henretty is with us. And also, the author of "The Case for Hillary Rodham Clinton," FOX News contributor Susan Estrich is on-board.

Susan, he's on your side. I think...

SUSAN ESTRICH, AUTHOR, "THE CASE FOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON": No, no, no!

(LAUGHTER)

COLMES: This is the game they play.

HANNITY: No?

ESTRICH: I don't want him. I'll trade him for a first round draft choice. How is that?

HANNITY: Good line. But you know what, Susan? There's one thing Democrats can't get away from. Al Gore, what he said on foreign soil. Jimmy Carter, what he said in The Washington Post, supporting Hamas and the funding of Hamas, the suicide bombing party.

You can't get away from the fact that we can kill Al Qaeda members but, boy, we'd better not record it when they call into this country.

ESTRICH: Sean, that's not fair and you know it. Come on.

HANNITY: The Democratic Party is weak and is perceived weak on national security.

ESTRICH: Well, one of the reasons Democrats are perceived weak is because we don't get in a good answer when you make points like that. And I think what we need to do is step up to the plate and, when somebody is wrong and ridiculous like this gentleman here, you have to do what Alan did, which is say, "You're wrong and ridiculous."

HANNITY: Yeah.

ESTRICH: Now, you know me, I don't agree with what Al Gore had to say before a Saudi audience, and I stood up there and said it.

But you, Sean, have got to also stand up and say when somebody on your side is being wrong and ridiculous.

HANNITY: Listen, I just got done saying to the administration on...

ESTRICH: You don't really think...

HANNITY: Susan.

ESTRICH: You don't really think that I have affection for terrorists, do you?

HANNITY: No. No, I don't.

ESTRICH: OK.

HANNITY: But you know something, Susan? I do believe your party — and I was saying this earlier to Arianna Huffington — is consistently wrong and weak on national defense and haa undermined the president every step of the way while we're at war. I think for example — hang on.

ESTRICH: Who is my party?

HANNITY: I think the president is wrong on...

ESTRICH: Not Alec Baldwin.

HANNITY: ... this issue with the UAE. But I want Karen to weigh in here. Go ahead.

KAREN HENRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think it's great that Susan and Alan want to stand up to Sandoval, but who we really need to hear from and who we haven't been hearing from in all of this Cindy Sheehan/Lynn Woolsey controversy, and now the Sandoval controversy, is U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Look, she lives in San Francisco. She lives in a $16 million mansion in San Francisco. She probably voted for this guy.

HANNITY: She said she's embarrassed, actually.

HENRETTY: Why is it that the Democrats won't stand up?

ESTRICH: She's embarrassed. She has.

HANNITY: She said that this is not the San Francisco I grew up in.

ESTRICH: She did. Right.

HANNITY: And she's the one that got the money to bring that ship to San Francisco.

ESTRICH: That's right.

HENRETTY: And she should be outspoken, and Barbara Boxer should be outspoken.

ESTRICH: They are.

HENRETTY: And the Democratic Party leadership should be more outspoken.

HANNITY: I agree with that.

HENRETTY: Because from what I've seen, they've been kowtowing to the Cindy Sheehan/San Francisco liberal crowd.

ESTRICH: No. That isn't fair. I mean, this Sandoval, nobody who's respectable has stood up for him.

COLMES: Yes. An amazing thing has happened.

ESTRICH: And Alec Baldwin is not the leader of the Democratic Party.

HENRETTY: Let's see if he gets re-elected, whether or not he speaks for San Francisco.

COLMES: An amazing thing has happened: Sandoval has caused Sean Hannity to sit here tonight and defend Dianne Feinstein. This is an amazing day.

HANNITY: Oh, I said you got it right.

COLMES: She's the woman who brought the money to San Francisco, who's fighting for the USS Iowa to be docked there. And Karen, it's unfortunate that everybody, when somebody like a Sandoval makes a comment, certain Republicans will run to the idea of tying that to every Democrat, as though that's what Democrats stand for, which it is not. Or try to make the argument that Democrats are weak on security, which they're not.

Let's not forget that 9/11 happened on George Bush's watch. The Iraq war, which has been a debacle, on Bush's watch.

HENRETTY: Oh, so 9/11 was George Bush's fault? Is that what you're saying, Alan?

COLMES: No.

HENRETTY: Are you saying it's his fault?

COLMES: But if it happened on Clinton's watch, you know you'd be yelling about it.

HENRETTY: Very interesting. Sandoval is part of a much larger problem in the Democratic Party. And if it was a stand alone situation, I don't think it would be the story that it is right now.

COLMES: It is. It is. You want to make it a bigger story.

HENRETTY: You want to include Sandoval into everything else that's going on in the Democratic Party and how they are allowing these San Francisco Democrats to co-opt their party, co-opt the message they should stand up and have that message.

COLMES: It has nothing to do with the Democratic Party, Karen. It has nothing to do with the Democratic Party, because the Democratic Party is standing up for the USS Iowa. Dianne Feinstein is bringing the money in.

Susan, Sandoval does not represent the Democratic Party.

ESTRICH: Of course not. Look, what's going on in the Democratic Party, whether you like it or not — and I think I know what's going on if my party pretty well — is that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the frontrunner for president. And she is running, much to the chagrin of my liberal friends, on a pro-war platform.

HANNITY: Oh, good choice, Susan. Good luck with that.

ESTRICH: Now you can like that or not like that, but the Democratic Party has moved to the middle.

HANNITY: No.

ESTRICH: That is not a pre-9/11 mentality.

COLMES: You would like, Karen to — paint every leftist statement, every crazy statement, every time some leftist crazy loony tune calls Bush a bad name, you want to tie that to every Democrat and say that's what defines the Democratic Party. And it's very effective for you, but Democrats need to speak out and say that's not what is happening.

HENRETTY: Only when they sit, cowering under their desks and refuse to stand up to them.

COLMES: That's not what Democrats think.

ESTRICH: But we're not. I just keep saying he's wrong.

HENRETTY: You know, when we Republicans say things, when loony Republicans say things you require that the Republican leadership go and denounce them. You have had plenty of loony Democrats in your party who are out there saying outrageous things, and your people aren't standing up to it.

HANNITY: All right. We've got to run. But I've got to tell you something. It like a Democrat unhinged a day: [Howard] Dean, it's Kerry, it's Kennedy, it's Clinton. It's like every day there's something outrageous they say to undermine the president on the war. It's Carter, just straight on down the line. You guys have to defend them.

HENRETTY: And they're branding your party.

HANNITY: But it shows America that you are a party weak on defense.

ESTRICH: But why did he call you a rabid talk show host?

COLMES: That's not true.

HANNITY: Anyway, we've got to run. Good to see you both. Thank you for being with us.

Now, the response from last week's interview with Sandoval has been so great that we have actually posted the original segment in its entirety on our Web site at www.foxnews.com/hannityandcolmes.

You can see it for yourself right there.

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

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