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Ann Coulter Fires Back at Critics

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 7, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Ann Coulter launched her brand-new book called "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," in which she has very tough words for some of the families of 9/11 victims.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE AUTHOR: It's personal authenticity to have a position on something. What, can I not talk to you about, you know, discrimination against Jews? Can you not talk to me about women in America?

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: No one's stopping you. Look at the broad platform you have.

COULTER: Will I have to kill my mother so I can be a victim, too?

COLMES: But, Ann, these women are not liberal. These women have spoken out.

COULTER: They're always putting for — no, they say they need to be listened to, and we can't respond because they're victims.

COLMES: But you called them grieving, sobbing...

COULTER: Nobody likes being lectured by a victim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: Well, this is how the New York media responded today: "Coulter the Cruel" was the headline of the "New York Daily News." And New York's junior senator, Hillary Clinton, called Coulter quote, "self-obsessed" for her vicious and mean-spirited attack.

A short time ago, Sean got reaction from Ann at a book-signing event.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: Here we are. You got a lot of fans for a book review in Huntington, Long Island.

COULTER: Great to be here.

HANNITY: And here you are.

COULTER: Yes, nice picture.

HANNITY: "Coulter the Cruel." From what I understand, even Hillary was attacking you today.

COULTER: Yes.

HANNITY: And what were her comments?

COULTER: She said the book should have been named "Heartless." It was mean to these women. And I responded to The New York Times reporter asking for a comment that, before Hillary refers to other people being mean to women, she should talk to her husband, who was accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick and was groping Kathleen Willey simultaneously with her own spouse committing suicide. Maybe she should talk to her husband about being mean to women.

HANNITY: Let me start — let's set the controversy for the book, because I actually read the book cover to cover, and I read the chapter in question here.

COULTER: Thank you.

HANNITY: You're making a broader point. You're saying that liberalism cannot be sold by the people in office, and you feel people like Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son in Iraq...

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: ... Jack Murtha, who was a former Marine...

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: ... these four — what you call "Jersey Women."

COULTER: They call themselves "The Jersey Girls."

HANNITY: "The Jersey Girls," they lost husbands on 9/11.

COULTER: Right, along with thousands of other women, yes.

HANNITY: And you are saying that they are being used by the left to make points that they cannot make on their own. Isn't that the point of the chapter?

COULTER: Yes, it's liberal infallibility. They used to have complete, 100 percent control of news dissemination in America. They lost that with FOX News, with talk radio, with the Internet. So then they started complaining about, you know, angry voices, political dialogue has never been so divisive. And then people remember the sweetness and light we were getting from the left during, say, the Bork hearings, so that wasn't really working.

So now they send out spokespeople who, because of some personal tragedy, we're not allowed to respond to, because their husbands died in 9/11, because they have a son die in Iraq. If they're making a point worth making, they are entering the public dialogue, how about letting Howard Dean make the point?

HANNITY: All right, but here's — I guess this is what people are saying. This is why you're on the front page of the tabloids in New York. You're saying they've entered the political arena. Now, I've gone and I've been looking at some of the comments, for example, of the Jersey Women in particular...

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: ... they have been very harsh about Condi Rice, about Karl Rove...

COULTER: Oh, yes.

HANNITY: ... about President Bush, very outspoken. They were on the campaign trail with John Edwards and with John Kerry.

COULTER: Right. They cut a campaign commercial for Kerry.

HANNITY: They cut a campaign. So basically what you're saying is, if they're going to enter the political arena separate from the loss of their husbands, that now this is a dialogue. If they call the president a liar, this is now a dialogue. And you're saying most people won't dare get engaged with them because of what they've been through, which is the purpose of...

COULTER: That's certainly been true until now. I think I've opened it up now. I think I've broken the taboo.

HANNITY: Well, here's — this is, I guess, where people say, "All right, but did Ann Coulter go too far? These self-obsessed women seem genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if it happened only to them. These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and articles reveling in their status as celebrities, stalked by the grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husband's death so much."

COULTER: That's true. That's right.

HANNITY: This is the heart of it. Did that take it out of the arena of debate and go to the personal?

COULTER: The truth cannot be delivered with Novocain. There have been plenty of precious little acerbic articles written about these women.

No, the truth comes out screaming and bops people on the head. Now, Americans recognize this, and I think, in the future, they won't fall for this practice of liberals foisting their unassailable political opinions on us by using a victim we're not allowed to respond to.

They immunize the message by choosing a messenger with a tragedy. I've had it with that.

And, by the way, all of this great pain and hurt my book has caused them, Breitweiser’s response to it was to say, "To respond to Ann Coulter is as ridiculous as Congress debating gay marriage." Now, does that sound like a woman who's hurt or does that sound like a woman who's appealing to her Hollywood set?

HANNITY: Let me ask this. You feel sorry that these women lost their husbands?

COULTER: I feel sorry for all of the widows of 9/11.

HANNITY: Everybody.

COULTER: I do not believe that sanctifies their message or deserves special sanctions...

HANNITY: Their political message?

COULTER: Their political message. That is what we're talking about here. They're the ones who claimed to be responsible for the 9/11 Commission, a total Clinton whitewash commission. They have attacked Bush; they have attacked Condoleezza Rice. They're cutting campaign commercials for Kerry, but we can't respond because their husbands died.

HANNITY: But that's still...

COULTER: No, I've had it with this liberal infallibility, and I think a lot of Americans are seething with anger that we can't respond.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTER: Put up somebody we can respond to.

HANNITY: There were some very specific charges by some of the women from Jersey about the president and how the president should have responded, how the president didn't react.

COULTER: Right, right.

HANNITY: And in the book, in this specific chapter, you go into a long dialogue about, well, the leading up to this in the Clinton years.

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: And so what you're saying is this is...

COULTER: But they like what Clinton did.

HANNITY: But the point here is, is that they have taken a strong, a harsh line politically against the president, that they name call on their side, and that now it's time to challenge them, based on what these issues are, because they've gotten a pass because of their positions?

COULTER: Right. And it is entirely premised on a tragedy happening to them. And as I was saying — I think Alan interrupted me, so it may not have gotten out — I think this is one of the ugliest things the left has done to political dialogue in this country, this idea that you need some sort of personal authenticity in order to make a political point.

I mean, can I not talk to you about the Irish potato famine because I don't understand it? Can you not talk to me about women? No, how about let's just debate and cut the personal authenticity?

Moreover, you know, liberals have managed to eliminate the idea of manly honor. Instead, all they have is womanly indignation. They just love being indignant, indignant. Does this mean they accept the other ideas in my book? Does this mean, you know, Darwinism, everything I say about Darwinism being a crock, that's all settled here?

No, they just settle on one little thing, that they can express indignation.

HANNITY: Well, let me tell you what we've done.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You have accepted a challenge to put on the air on the issues. You will debate any of these women or all of these women tomorrow night, if they want to come. And you've accepted our invitation.

COULTER: Sure, but I'm not going to treat them like victims, as, you know, Cindy Sheehan — and, oh, you can't talk about respond to Joe Wilson, because he has a wife at the CIA. Well, the only reason he has any knowledge of which he claimed to have insider knowledge was because his wife worked at the CIA.

So to immunize his attack on the president by saying, "You can't mention his wife works at the CIA," I mean, if that was so dangerous, which it wasn't — she wasn't undercover — but if it were, how about not writing an op-ed for The New York Times attacking the president? Don't keep up putting up messengers we're not allowed to respond to.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: All right, Ann Coulter, thanks for being with us.

COULTER: Thank you, thank you.

HANNITY: Appreciate it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLMES: Look, I find what she said absolutely appalling. And when she went on to say, "How do we know that their husbands, the husbands of the people who died on 9/11, weren't planning to divorce these harpies," that is an absurd comment there's no way to prove or disprove. It's a ridiculous statement.

HANNITY: It's interesting how Hillary has gotten into the match and what...

COLMES: Good. Good for Hillary for speaking up.

HANNITY: And I think what Ann has done very sharply, Hillary has never had to answer whether or not she believes the women who have made these allegations about abuse of women, and I think Hillary should have to answer that question in this election.

COLMES: I don't think Hillary has to answer to Ann Coulter for anything.

HANNITY: I think she should answer to the women of America...

COLMES: I'm glad she spoke up.

HANNITY: ... and the women of New York in particular.

COLMES: "Do we know these husbands were planning to divorce these harpies," you approve of this statement?

HANNITY: She'll be here tomorrow. Why don't you ask her tomorrow?

COLMES: I will.

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