Condoleezza Rice Running for Vice President? Former CPA Spokesman Dan Senor Weighs In

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 7, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: The former coalition provisional authority spokesman told ABC News yesterday that the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is actively courting the Republican vice presidential nomination. State Department's spokesman, Sean McCormick, shot down the rumor, however, saying, "She is technically a tenured professor on leave from Stanford and will be returning there at the end of the year."

Joining us now, the man who broke the story, the former spokesman and FOX News contributor for the authority that we just mentioned, Dan Senor is with us.

Welcome back.


HANNITY: By the way, you just had a baby.

SENOR: I just had a baby.

HANNITY: Congratulations.

SENOR: Ely James Senor.

HANNITY: What's that?

SENOR: Ely James Senor.

HANNITY: And he's a Republican, right?

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Sounds like a liberal name..

SENOR: Well, you know, I'd say he's like a burgeoning neo-con.

COLMES: No, no, it skips a generation!

All right. Why don't you just tell us the story?

Look, I have interviewed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice many times and she — we joke about it. — She wants to be the commissioner of the NFL.

SENOR: Right. That's her first choice.

HANNITY: She doesn't care.

SENOR: That's her first choice.

HANNITY: That's her first choice.

SENOR: Her second choice is probably vice president of the United States.


SENOR: And her third choice is probably being a professor at Stanford.

HANNITY: All right. But she's — every time I've asked her and every — I begin the question, I see, oh, Hannity, there you go again, you're going to ask me this question, both on radio and TV. She has said she doesn't really want any elective office.

SENOR: Right. Well, first of all, first of all, I think she'd be great. I mean she'd be terrific.

HANNITY: I agree. I agree. She's...

SENOR: And I think it's a very difficult job to campaign for or ask for. I think if she were asked to do it, she would do it. I think the challenge for her, which she recognizes, is that there are some concerns among some conservatives about her being on a ticket. So she's actually been pretty good recently about reassuring conservatives...


SENOR: ...that she would be there for them and her message and narrative are compelling as far as they're concerned, and she — and I heard from a number of conservative political leaders in the last couple of weeks, who have met with her, who have seen her speak, and that she felt very reassured by her and want her to run.

HANNITY: Well, you've got the Americans with tax reform, Grover Norquist, the group that — by the way, Grover, I've never been invited.

SENOR: Grover, get him today.

HANNITY: No, I don't want to go. But they meet and they are conservatives and she went there.

SENOR: Right. So there's about 100 or 150 of these conservative political leaders that aren't — it's not necessarily foreign policy issues.


SENOR: They deal with economic issues.

HANNITY: Mostly taxes.

SENOR: Mostly taxes, right. Socially political issues, and he organizes meetings every Wednesday...


SENOR:'s sort of a "who's who" among some of the political leadership.


SENOR: .within Washington and they typically have political types come briefed on various policy issues and political issues. She came.

HANNITY: She came. On her own?

SENOR: Well, I.

HANNITY: Was she invited?

SENOR: I presumed they negotiated something.


SENOR: But it's rare for a secretary of state. You can't imagine Secretary Baker or Secretary George Schultz or one of these former Republican.

HANNITY: Do you think she's lobbying for this?

SENOR: I think.

COLMES: Let me just say that according to FOX News is reporting this source in Rice's office told us, our news organization, it's — and I'm quoting, "laugh out loud, funny that Senor," you, "would know anything about her plans since he," meaning you, "have no connection to her at all.

SENOR: I'm not quoting her or her people. I'm quoting people who met with her, political conservative leaders. But incidentally, there have been a couple of people close to her who have made the case to me in the past that she would be a good vice president. But this is coming — keep on, this is reporting that is coming from conservative political leaders that have met with Secretary Rice, who incidentally think she would be great if she's on the ticket.

COLMES: Has she told them she wants the job?

SENOR: You would have to ask them.

COLMES: I'm asking you.

SENOR: Talk to Grover Norquist. I'm telling what he told me. Let me make the point. The McCain campaign as some point is going to have to consider, what is the right profile for the ticket? Right? You can go one route, which is the sort of unknown, fresh face, outsider, someone to balance out McCain, balance out his Washington experience, or someone to reinforce all of his years of experience and security.

COLMES: And wouldn't McCain wants someone — so he's not branded with, "this is another third term for Bush"?

SENOR: That is.

COLMES: Not the most popular person in the world.

SENOR: That is the downside of Rice or anyone from this admistration is this third term of Bush. The upside is, a tremendous woman of accomplishment, tremendous biography, reinforces his experience, particularly on the security front. I...

COLMES: Does anybody know?

SENOR: And by the way — let me just say one point.


SENOR: When — if John McCain announces Condoleezza Rice or Tom Ridge or Mitt Romney, anyone who has that sort of stature, from the moment they are announced, people will say I get it. That person could be president tomorrow.

COLMES: Yes, because when you are running.

SENOR: And when you are running against Barack Obama, that is important.

COLMES: Does anybody know what Condoleezza Rice stands for? Where she stands on the issues? Where she is on a whole variety of issues...

SENOR: Look.

COLMES: ...that may or may not be where McCain is or — where Bush is. No one knows exactly what her record is. She has none on many, many issues.

SENOR: If she were to be selected she would have to spell those things out, those positions out. Let me just say, the important point I'm simply making is that if McCain chooses someone that can reinforce the notion, on the day that he announces his running mate, experience, ready to lead, the vice president is ready to be president tomorrow, that's a powerful message.

And by the way, Condoleezza Rice has also been fully vetted by the national press. She's had books written by her — about her by reporters from The Washington Times and The New York Times.

COLMES: And this is a story in the news that said that — mushroom cloud cause some trouble, once again, about the Iraq war, not very popular with the American people. She'd have a lot to overcome there.

SENOR: I think that she has an incredibly powerful narrative and biography, an incredible story...

COLMES: Right.

SENOR: ...and is a woman of tremendous accomplishment.

COLMES: Well, John McCain said she bore some responsibility, by the way, for things not going well in the Iraq war.

SENOR: I think there are a number of people who bear responsibilities. I think her story and her accomplishments are compelling and she's got tremendous experience.

COLMES: We'll see. We'll see if you're right.

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