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Not Pullin' Punches: Country Star Trace Adkins Talks with 'H & C'

Trace AdkinsFNC

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 26, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

RICH LOWRY, GUEST CO-HOST: Country music star Trace Adkins has been busy lately. In addition to being on "Celebrity Apprentice," which will start airing in a few weeks, he's got "American Man," his new greatest hits CD, and he pulls no punches in his new book, "A Personal Stand."

He recently sat down with Sean and Alan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN HANNITY, "HANNITY & COLMES" CO-HOST: Here it is, and I love the cover of the book. And I love what you do in the book. This is how I make my living. I give strong opinions on the important issues that really matter to me. I'm right, Alan's wrong.

ALAN COLMES, "HANNITY & COLMES" CO-HOST: And, unfortunately, sometimes he sings, which he shouldn't do.

TRACE ADKINS, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: Oh, no. I've heard that. I've heard it.

HANNITY: You did hear me sing?

ADKINS: Yes, I did. At all your freedom concerts, I heard a little snippet of it.

HANNITY: What do you think?

ADKINS: You should do this.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: All right. Well, that's fair game.

ADKINS: Well, bless your heart for trying, I mean, let's all make a joyful noise. It doesn't matter.

HANNITY: Listen, you're writing books and giving opinions. "The War on Terror is like herpes." You know?

ADKINS: It is.You know, it's not going to kill you. You can live with it. It's going to flare up and cause you a problem from time to time.

HANNITY: I don't know...

ADKINS: I wish you wouldn't have pulled that out of there. I have so much good stuff in there, and you want to pull that out. I also said that it's — that the War on Terror is like — that terrorism is like my aunt's Chihuahua.

I remember, I would walk into her house, and that tiny little mongrel would come up and start chewing on my ankles, and he really thought that he was doing significant damage, you know? And I'd kick him across the room and go on about my business.

HANNITY: You're going to be in trouble with the PETA people here tomorrow.

But here's what I love about — here you are, and anybody that's in Hollywood, the music industry, you were told by your record label, you were told by the people around you, "don't give strong opinions, don't alienate anybody, don't take away a potential audience."

You talk at length about not only the War on Terror, immigration. I love what you said about "no pity parties. — I'm sick of people feeling so sorry for themselves all the time. They live in the greatest country in the world."

ADKINS: Right.

HANNITY: You gave strong opinions in this.

ADKINS: Yes. And I have to say, though, I was not dissuaded by — by my record label or my management company. I wrote this book because I was persuaded and urged by my record label and my management company and friends and people that I've been working with over the years. They've been trying to get me to write this book for years, and I finally just surrendered and said OK.

COLMES: What is it about country music and conservative points of view that seem to go together?

ADKINS: You know, I don't know. I think it's just maybe that blue-collar connection. I really — you know, I don't know. It's Americana. It's the working class, working man kind of perspective on things.

But I don't represent — I'm not trying to represent country music or anybody other than myself.

COLMES: You don't like giving views from the stage, right?

ADKINS: I don't.

COLMES: You don't like performers that do that?

ADKINS: I don't. I don't really.

COLMES: Why not?

ADKINS: Because I don't think that's the place for it. I think that guy sitting out in that audience that paid $56 for that ticket and then $56 for his wife's ticket didn't come in there to listen to me preach to him from the stage.

COLMES: So you did it in a book instead?

ADKINS: I did it in a book. There are venues and arenas for that kind of stuff, and a book is where that stuff...

COLMES: What about doing it through your music?

ADKINS: I don't do it very much. I will do a song from time to time that will, you know espouse one of my views...

COLMES: You did one about the troops.

ADKINS: I've done songs that — I've never done a song that glorified war.

COLMES: No, no. You were in a little controversy around the song "Arlington."

ADKINS: Yeah, a little bit, yes. There were some people that took offense to that, but I've never understood that.

COLMES: Do you know why they took offense, because I'm not quite clear what they objected to.

ADKINS: I'm not sure why. I think that there were some people who — who, just for the sake of stirring up controversy and taking liberalism to an extreme, just thought that I was trying to promote and, you know, glorify death in war, and that's not at all what it was about.

COLMES: You say in the book, you say "liberalism is less moral and more civil and conservatism is more moral and less civil."

ADKINS: Yes.

COLMES: What do you mean by that?

ADKINS: When I wrote that particular line, I was in the context of the way that we deal with the rest of the world is really what I was trying to say. And what I mean by that is I feel like liberals tend to just give everybody a pass, no matter what kind of egregious acts they may be perpetrating on...

COLMES: You really think so?

ADKINS: I do. I do.

COLMES: Have you heard about any of the Republican congressional scandals over the last year or so?

ADKINS: Dealing with international...

COLMES: Just dealing with sexual hijinks, dealing with all kinds of things.

ADKINS: Well, that's not what I was talking — that's not what I was talking about.

COLMES: I wanted to give your audience a chance to know what you're talking about.

ADKINS: Well, I'm trying to say it's in the way that we deal with the rest of the world. And I think that conservatives from time to time will try to force their moral objectives on somebody else, and they will do it sometimes at the point of a gun and be a little less civil about it, is the point that I was trying to make. I'm not saying which one's better. But that was an observation I was making.

COLMES: A lot of people — a lot of people think that going and trying to install, let's say, democracy at the point of a gun or a bayonet doesn't really work that well, as evidenced by some of the fallout we've seen from having done it over the last few years...

ADKINS: And it may not. And I — there's another analogy in the book where I talk about our situation in Iraq. And I don't want to get long- winded about this, but I did spend time in rehab, years ago.

And I met this man in there, and I just felt absolutely terrible for the guy because nobody cared about him anymore. His family had forsaken him. Nobody would talk to him. He didn't have any friends left.

I talked to a counselor about it one day, and he said, "It finally got to the point where we had to tell his family you've got to just turn your back on him. He's never going to get better, because you're enabling him. And he's going to stay this way forever. You've got to show tough love, which means walk away from him, and — because he's not ready to get better."

And I thought, you know, maybe this is what this situation in Iraq is almost like. We went in there. We toppled this evil dictator. We've tried to show them a better way and give them an opportunity to better themselves and have a better life, and maybe they're just not ready to do it yet.

COLMES: And just to wrap it up, when you say the war on terror is like herpes, does that mean we're never going to cure it?

ADKINS: Would you stop talking about that?

COLMES: You wrote it.

ADKINS: Well, they've come out with this new drug...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: We can't really cure it.

ADKINS: Right.

COLMES: We're never going to end it.

ADKINS: We may never get rid of it.

COLMES: Good to see you, Trace.

ADKINS: That's a terrible way to end this thing.

(LAUGHTER)

COLMES: I think it brings it full circle. Thanks for being here.

ADKINS: Thank you. All right, all right. My mama's going to hate this.

(LAUGHTER)

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