Former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card on Barack Obama's 'Bitter' Remarks

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 11, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Barack Obama is under fire for comments that he made at a San Francisco fundraiser criticizing small-town Pennsylvania voters. Take a look at the comments that are exploding tonight.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way explain their frustrations.


HANNITY: Now critics are already saying that the comments make Obama sound like elitist or a snob. Now the Clinton campaign and the McCain campaign have already responded slamming Obama for being out of touch.

Video: Watch the interview

Now we're going to play you Obama's remarks and show you Senator Clinton's response in just a few minutes right here on "Hannity & Colmes."

Now meanwhile, Bill Clinton injected himself into the Bosnia "snipergate" scandal. The former president came to his wife's defense:


CLINTON: She took a terrible beating in the press for a few days because she was exhausted at 11:00 at night and she started talking about Bosnia and she misstated the circumstances under which she landed in Bosnia.

Did you all see all of that? And oh they acted like, you know, she was practically Mata Hari, you know, just making up all this stuff. And then the president of Bosnia said, well, it was quite dangerous when she came, there were snipers in the hills around.

And then General Wesley Clark, who was there trying to make the peace among the Bosnians, said yes, it was really dangerous. Let me remind you three Americans who were on my peace keeping team were killed because they had to take a dangerous road because they couldn't the regular way.

And she had to go up into the cockpit with our daughter in bullet-proof area and all the other people had to sit on their bullet-proof flack jackets because it was dangerous. So she immediately said, OK, I misremembered that. They didn't cancel the welcoming ceremony but it was pretty dangerous.


HANNITY: Now not only has this revived the story from two weeks ago, but now Bill Clinton is being challenged on some of the claims that he made yesterday about the trip. The new Clinton fabrications include that Hillary Clinton made the sniper claim at 11:00 at night when, in fact, the most glaring example of her using the story came during a morning press conference on March the 17th. According to ABC News, she made her false claims about the story several times and none of them were even or ever at night.

And Bill claims the president of Bosnia also thought that there was snipers around when, in fact, it has been reported recently that the then-president claims he never believed that.

And Bill claims that the pilots of the plane that she traveled in had the passengers sit on their flack jackets because of the threat of fire presumably from the ground. But the pilot recently, in a radio interview, said that no one under his command has ever instructed a passenger to sit on their flak jacket.

What a night of news. Joining us now with more is former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.

Andy, welcome aboard.

ANDY CARD, FMR. WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Good to see you Sean. Thanks for having me on.

HANNITY: What a busy news night.

Now I'm looking at these comments by Barack Obama. "It's not surprising they get bitter. They cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them. Or anti-American sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Sounds to me like he's saying to small-town America that they are a bunch of gun-toting, bible-thumping, bigots.

CARD: You wouldn't say what he said in Pennsylvania. He said it in San Francisco to a group of elitists, I'm sure, and I think that he was chameleon trying to fit with an audience in San Francisco that he's comfortable with rather than being the man of the people that he claims to be in Pennsylvania. So yes, I think this is pretty damaging.

HANNITY: Yes. Well, let me ask you this. Does this maybe — can America now begin to interpret this? Does this explain Michelle Obama's comments she's never been proud of her country? Does this explain Michelle Obama saying that America, in 2008 is a mean country? Does this explain Jeremiah Wright? Does this explain William Ayers? Does this put a lot of the pieces of the puzzle together?

CARD: I think all of what you're stating represents a piece of a puzzle that we're now beginning to understand. I was one of those who felt Michelle Obama's comments really [were] comments of a wife supportive of her husband. But I do think there is much more to it. I think there are many pieces of that puzzle and we're looking at the puzzle now where we can identify someone who is not proud to be an American, someone who may not love this country the way they claim they love it, and I'm worried that his campaign is not all about all of us. I think it may be about the elitists in the country that think they have better solutions than the reality that we are living.

HANNITY: But is he — do you agree with my assessment, that he is telling middle Americans, small towns around this country, hey, you're bunch of gun-toting, bible-thumping bigots?! That's how I interpret this. Do you agree with that interpretation?

CARD: That's what I hear in the words that he said in San Francisco in a forum that wasn't designed to be public.


CARD: So yes, I think that's what he believes.

HANNITY: I got to wonder what the reaction is here because he pretty much has this — at least according to my count, I mean, he had this campaign wrapped up. Is there any chance that this would revive Hillary's campaign?

CARD: Oh, I think it still pretty dynamic, especially in Pennsylvania, although I do believe Hillary Clinton's campaign is in trouble. But I think Barack Obama has had a stumble and this is not the first stumble but it may be his biggest one.


CARD: And you know, he also proved that maybe what he said in San Francisco reflects why he only bowled 37 in 10 frames.

COLMES: Andy, what do you — well, it is about bowling, by the way, this guy. Why is it OK for you to put down San Francisco and call them a bunch of elitist? You don't like the fact that — excuse me, may I speak.

CARD: I don't think San Francisco represents all of America.

COLMES: I keep hearing Nancy Pelosi, "San Francisco values." I keep hearing people on the right put down San Francisco. But it's OK to put — it's not OK to put down Pennsylvania but it's OK to put down so-called elitists in San Francisco.

CARD: Well, no, I think it's just stating a fact. I think that many of the people in San Francisco are elitist and they do not share the same concerns that people in central Pennsylvania are concerned...

COLMES: Well, not as American?

CARD: America is a fabulous country. We've got all kinds and we should have all kinds. But I don't think that what San Francisco people decide, when they go to the polls, is what America would decide when it goes to the polls.

COLMES: But wait a minute, they're part of America. I mean — you say — you just said in the last part of the interview with Sean, that she is not — Michelle Obama, you are talking about, is not proud to be an American because of the things she said.

CARD: Well, that was the — no, I was — that was the pieces of the puzzle begin to look like that. You just wonder if that's their mind set.

COLMES: You don't know what's in her heart. To say that that someone's not proud of their country...

CARD: I don't. She said that.

COLMES: ...and you're putting down an entire different segment of the country.


COLMES: You're putting down people from San Francisco which I don't think is proper.

CARD: I like people from San Francisco. They're smart, but I don't claim that they represent the common views in America.


CARD: They represent views in America. They're important views in America. But I don't think they represent the vast majority of concerns that need to be addressed in this country.

COLMES: But the whole point is that we're — we are, as David Jenkins, former New York mayor said, a great mosaic.

CARD: We are a great mosaic.

COLMES: And that we think in many different ways.

CARD: I come from Massachusetts.

COLMES: I have lived there. It's a great state.

CARD: It is. It's a commonwealth.

COLMES: And you know people have been negative about Massachusetts calling it the socialist Commonwealth of Massachusetts, putting down.

HANNITY: Taxachusetts!

COLMES: Taxachusettes, when that — Michael Dukakis was — so people have put down your state.

CARD: And the label fit at the time.

COLMES: Well, but the point is, why put down any part of America? I understand the concerns about what Barack Obama said about Pennsylvania. But to call people of a particular geographical location a name like elitist or anything else and single them out is no better than what you're accusing Barack Obama of doing.

CARD: I apologize. Guilty as charged. I didn't mean it as a slight. I meant it as a description.

COLMES: And you're also slighting someone's patriotism when you say that Michelle Obama, you know, is not — doesn't love her country or the Obamas don't love their country as if you love your country more.

CARD: I'm taking the words that she said.

COLMES: .if you think on your side of the plate.

CARD: I'm taking the words that she said and giving it an interpretation that I think is credible. That doesn't mean that I think she is less than a patriot. I don't think that her words represented words that a patriot would say.

COLMES: All right, Mr. Card.

CARD: I'm sure she didn't mean them as they were said but that's what she said.

COLMES: Yes. We thank you for being with us tonight. And...

CARD: Thank you very much.

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