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'H & C' Exclusive: 'The View' Co-Host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Michelle Obama

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 18, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: And welcome to "Hannity & Colmes". We get right to our "Top Story" tonight.

Michelle Obama appeared this morning on "The View" and addressed concerns over how her infamous "proud of America" remark went down.

Here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, WIFE OF DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: Diversity comes in perspectives and then you have conversations and you know one another outside of the discussion. So you can have a heated argument, you can disagree, you can have a hurt feeling. But you know — you know what? This girl is — you know, she's solid. She's got great kids, she's a great mom, she's is funny.

So I can disagree with her on a whole range of points. We can come back together tomorrow.

JOY BEHAR:, CO-HOST OF "THE VIEW": But everybody thinks you're fighting all the time when you disagree because you're women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: Joining us now, the co-host of "The View" Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Good to see you back on our show.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST OF "THE VIEW": It's always good to be here. My favorite show.

Videos: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

COLMES: Is it really?

HASSELBECK: It is, aside from "The View."

COLMES: That's good save. Good save.

Before we get into the "proud of America" stuff, first of all, did you like Michelle Obama today?

HASSELBECK: I did. We had a mutual respect for one another. Like we said on the show it's interesting that just because your politics are quite different.

COLMES: Right.

HASSELBECK: And obviously she has a little bit more personally invested in this election than I do, that you couldn't have a conversation about the kids or what it means to you to get up in the morning, want to get a run-in so you get your stress out and you can deal with the stress of the rest of your day.

COLMES: Right.

HASSELBECK: I mean we have great respect for one another.

COLMES: That little piece where she was praising you and said you're smart and funny, I know we disagree but.

HASSELBECK: I paid her.

COLMES: You did? How much? Yes, but — there was a nice moment here. You really kind of bonded there a little bit, don't you think?

HASSELBECK: We did. I think, you know, here is the situation, especially with "The View," it was all over the news and press that there was going to be a heated debate, you know.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: Circa last year on "The View" set.

COLMES: What do you mean by that, circa last year? What are you referring to?

HASSELBECK: Exactly. I think we all know Rosie O'Donnell.

But we got there today and much to the dismay of many, we actually had a civil discussion.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: Collectively, I'll mention one. When someone comes on as a co-host, they are safe. You know, you want to be able to make them feel comfortable and not put them in a tension zone.

COLMES: You want them to be at ease.

HASSELBECK: No. You want to be able to make our guests. And we did that for Cindy McCain, makes them feel genuinely comfortable and safe.

COLMES: And you want them to come back.

HASSELBECK: Sure.

COLMES: You know when she is first lady of the United States.

HASSELBECK: Sure. Yes, we don't want them slamming the door. No, no.

COLMES: How do you prepare for this? How did you prepare for a show like today's show? Or do you even give much thought to it ahead of time?

HASSELBECK: No, I — of course, I gave it much thought. I think that this is, you know, like you said potentially the first lady. And you want to be able to have a memorable day with her, a civil day with her. And I think that — you know, the preparation is the same that I would do for any day on "The View" in terms of research.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: You know, with two kids at night, it gets a little tricky.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: . with bath time and bed. But it's.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: And "Hannity & Colmes".

HASSELBECK: Exactly.

HANNITY: Thank you.

HASSELBECK: Always. I do not miss this a day, by the way.

COLMES: But you can multi-task. You give the kids a bath while you watch HANNITY & COLMES. Isn't that a multi-task thing?

HASSELBECK: Well, they're in bed hopefully by 8:00.

COLMES: I think, yes.

HASSELBECK: And then I'm out there. And it's always on my TiVo so.

COLMES: That's good to know.

HASSELBECK: I never miss, never miss.

COLMES: Time for you to thing.

All right. So you prepare like any — I mean if it isn't on your mind? You know there can be a lot of attention to this show? People are going to write about it.

HASSELBECK: Sure.

COLMES: Everybody — there's all this expectation.

HASSELBECK: Yes, there is the expectation. And you know, I was listening when the great architect Karl Rove said last week, no one is going to come out on top attacking Michelle Obama. You're just not — especially if you are a Republican.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: And, you know, I took note. And I also wanted her to feel, like I said, comfortable on the show.

Look, you're never going to be hard enough.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: You're never going to be gentle enough with the person who is your guest.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: You're no t going to please everybody. It's never been my.

COLMES: Well, we all know that in this business, don't we?

HASSELBECK: . job to do that. No. You're not going to.

COLMES: Yes. Now this issue about — when she talked about the pride of America remark and she says the context of a political campaign and the political process, what was your reaction to the way she handled that particular issue?

HASSELBECK: I thought she handled it quite well. I mean she says that she wears her heart on her sleeve and that's what she said. She certainly needed to address it, I believe.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: Just because things can spin out of control. She — I actually defended her on the show the day after she said it, because I believe that this is her husband running to be the president of the United States of America.

It probably means a lot to her. I would just go out there and meet the guest. So when she said that, I don't — I think there are far more important things that can be discussed other than that comment.

HANNITY: Hey, Elisabeth, by the way, good to see you.

It's that crazy, it got in the New York tabloids. Look at this. They actually have here, it says "Tale of the Tape." And there it was you against Michelle Obama.

HASSELBECK: Right.

HANNITY: . in anticipation of the big showdown today, the big smackdown.

HASSELBECK: The big smackdown.

HANNITY: You know.

HASSELBECK: Sorry to disappoint.

HANNITY: Well, first of all, I'm a big fan of you and your show. We're friends.

HASSELBECK: Likewise.

HANNITY: And I thought you did a good job. I did notice one difference. And I — because you were really tough when Barack Obama was on the set and you were there.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: You asked him some really hard questions.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: I got the impression — and this — maybe this is my just little outsider's view, that you look at him as a candidate and she is the wife of a candidate and she is not running and in that sense there is a difference.

HASSELBECK: I think you have a point there. I felt as though I took up the issues that I needed to discuss with Senator Obama when he was there in person. I asked him about Reverend Wright. I got to the heart of issues that were on my mind and I'm sure on the mind of a lot of Americans that are going to be in the polls. And I felt as though that was mission accomplished. I got there with him.

With her, it would be as if someone came up to me and was critiquing me for the play that Tim called on the 20-yard line.

HANNITY: Yes, but listen, people have walked up to my wife in public and said, does he ever think before he speaks? So we've experienced that.

HASSELBECK: You're responsible your actions. I firmly believe that.

HANNITY: Let's show our audience a tape of when Barack was on "The View."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASSELBECK: You chose him again to, you know, marry, to baptize your children. You named a book after one of his speeches. For 20 years, would you think that somehow it suggested that that was a lack of judgment on the man? You had no idea? You never heard about these sermons?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These — the particular ones that you mentioned I hadn't heard. But like I said, this is over the course of 20 years. What you've been seeing is a snippet of a man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now I want to follow up, because this is really important. First of all, I thought you were asked the toughest questions in a very nice way. But in light of what's happened, all that Reverend Wright did since then was reiterate all the things that had been said at the National Press Club.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: . but only now it's different. And you have a different opinion now based on what has happened since.

HASSELBECK: Absolutely not. I think that this is something that — in terms of lack of judgment it seems to be that the people that cause controversy like the Reverend Wright, (INAUDIBLE), aren't the people that Senator Obama thought they were.

That seems odd to me. And we're supposed to place full trust in his judgment. That concerns me. You know, I just — and it bothered me that he seemed for a while more willing to give the fifth bump to Ahmadinejad than our own General Petraeus.

It bothers me.

HANNITY: Yes.

HASSELBECK: It bothers me as a mom, it bothers me as a working woman, it bothers me as a citizen of this country. So that is why — I would ask that same question again. I don't think that — and I think.

HANNITY: Maybe I didn't express the question well, because since that time, all Reverend Wright did at the National Press Club was reiterate everything that he said. Well, those are only snippets. But then after that.

HASSELBECK: Same thing.

HANNITY: . he distanced himself. And I'm thinking, is that the politics of change or political expediency?

HASSELBECK: I said this on the show as well. I — Reverend Wright, I don't agree with a thing the man has said other than the fact that Barack Obama is a politician. And he himself said that Barack Obama was acting like a politician and only distancing himself when the public decided to cry out, look, this isn't OK with us.

HANNITY: Yes.

All right, when we come back, I want to ask you if wives should be sort of treated differently than their husbands. But if they go on the campaign trail and make controversial statements, what we should ask and not ask.

HASSELBECK: Sure.

HANNITY: We'll continue more with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

And then, "Drill Here, Drill Now, Save Money," the president urges Congress to remove the ban of offshore drilling so will lawmakers heed his request as Americans move closer to $5 a gallon? The former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, on why he thinks drilling here at home is imperative.

Plus we're going to have more with Elisabeth on the Michelle Obama appearance right after the break. Straight ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA: That's what I like about Laura Bush. You know, just calm, rationale approach to this issues. And you know, I'm taking some queues, I mean, there's a balance. There's a reason why people like her, is because she doesn't sort of, you know, fuel the fire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: "Top Story" is brought to you by.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST OF "THE VIEW": "TIME" magazine had a cover story entitled, "Will Michelle Obama Hurt Barack in November?" which highlighted the quote that's been repeated again and again and again, you know, "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country."

So what is your answer to all of these attacks?

M. OBAMA: Well, you know, you — I take them in stride. It's a part of this process. We're not new to politics, but just let me tell you, of course, I'm proud of my country. Nowhere but in America could my story be possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was Michelle Obama responding to a possible Obama- Clinton ticket on "The View" today. Well, actually, it was not, but that's what they're telling me, but that was actually responding to the issue — the comment that she has made.

You know, first of all, I love Whoopi Goldberg. I've always liked her. She's — we've debated. She's fun. I like her.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: She's — I consider her a friend.

HASSELBECK: She is one-of-a-kind. I love her.

HANNITY: And she emphasized that we're really — we have to put it into context, the associations that you mentioned earlier, but she had also said at one time that she thought that America was a "downright mean country in 2008."

The "Chicago Defender" quoted her as saying — talking about America as a divided nation, a cynical nation, a nation that is just too mean. So she had said that about America.

HASSELBECK: Yes. She did.

HANNITY: Should we reconsider that, even though she's not running for anything and it is her husband running?

HASSELBECK: Well, first of all, I think it's perfectly strategic that that's happening, because he does it represent that hope and will continue to speak that way.

Meanwhile, she is out, you know, saying things like that, that America — Americans are cynical, they're down in the dumps, they're — they need someone to pull them out of the slump. And, therefore, we're focusing on her. Look what's happening. We're not focused on him.

I do believe that, in most cases, if you're out on the campaign trail, you're fair game, unless you're after your co-host on the "View."

HANNITY: OK. But you know what? Look, I've been on "The View," and — but for Elisabeth, I was attacked and — the last time I was there, Rosie was there.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: By the way, do you miss Rosie?

HASSELBECK: Try it every day, Sean.

HANNITY: Well, do you miss Rosie? That's the main question. I'm sure America wants to know.

HASSELBECK: Every day.

HANNITY: You wake up in the morning.

HASSELBECK: I do.

HANNITY: All right. We'll go back to that in a second.

COLMES: Is your tongue in your cheek right now, by the way?

HASSELBECK: Well into the cheek.

HANNITY: Well into the cheek.

The "New York Times" today had the story about she's in the middle of a make-over.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: She's got a speech maker. The first answer she gave is what "The New York Times" said that she was going to say. She's going to emphasize her background.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: . her roots, the south side of Chicago.

Do you feel that, in that sense, she is scripted?

HASSELBECK: I do. I am a person who believes that anything that happens in this election is planned and is part of a great strategy. I just am. I have a hard time looking at this election thinking everything that someone says on either side is not perfectly planned.

HANNITY: Yes. Let me ask you another comment that she made this morning. She said people are — aren't used to strong women and that elements of racism and sexism, that will go on.

The charge was brought up a number of times about sexism in the campaign. Do you think that was a fair charge, and the Hillary campaign, when some of her supporters made similar statements? Do you think that was fair?

HASSELBECK: I do think there's a bit of misogyny in that we're not fully addressing. I do.

HANNITY: Explain that.

HASSELBECK: I believe that there were comments made about Senator Clinton that were intended to put her down as a woman.

And I believe that — look, and I'm not a supporter of her politics at all, but as a woman, when you hear things that even Senator Obama would say, she gets moody sometimes — you know, they were things that.

COLMES: You would say that about a guy.

HASSELBECK: Absolutely not.

HANNITY: Wait a minute. He's.

HASSELBECK: Absolutely not.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You should see him on one of his liberal temper tantrums.

COLMES: But I have a lot of estrogen. Anyway, so.

HASSELBECK: You and me, both.

COLMES: Yes, well, we have something in common.

HANNITY: I'm out of this.

COLMES: The idea.

HASSELBECK: It's not the politics. It is the estrogen.

COLMES: That's what it is.

Anyway, so the fact of the matter is, that, you know, it's really not about the wife. Most people don't vote on — like or the husband or the spouse. Would you vote based on — now you've met Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama.

You're a conservative. You're probably going to vote for John McCain, but would you make a decision based on the spouse of the person?

HASSELBECK: I've had the opportunity and been fortunate to interview both Senator Obama, Senator McCain and both of their wives. Absolutely not would — I would never make the decision based on their wife.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: I never would. There's enough there, there's enough information there to make it on the two husbands.

COLMES: Or the husband if Hillary Clinton happened to be the person leading the ticket.

HASSELBECK: Never. Never.

COLMES: You would not do that.

HASSELBECK: No, I think it's unfair.

COLMES: I'm interested what happened behind the scenes. Did you have much of a conversation with her off-camera?

HASSELBECK: I did. Actually Michelle and I spent — the majority of our morning meeting together talking.

COLMES: Really?

HASSELBECK: Yes.

COLMES: And what was that conversation like?

HASSELBECK: It was great. I mean I definitely brought up a few things that I could see made her uncomfortable.

COLMES: Really? Like what?

HASSELBECK: And I decided — I asked her — you — we're talking about the quote that was in "The New York Post," about the Jeffrey Dahmer quote that I threw out one day and where it came from.

And I let her know. I said look, it was in reference to the Reverend Wright.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: And I could sense in the dressing room that, you know, there was a little bit of tension when that came out.

COLMES: A discomfort, yes.

HASSELBECK: Yes. And I respect that. Look, if that wasn't something, if that was going to make the rest of the show tense, I wasn't going to go there. I respect our guest. I respected her as a co-host.

COLMES: Right.

HASSELBECK: As a woman, as a mom, and I'm not going to make that the ultimate issue. I'm not. It's not what our audience wants or deserve.

COLMES: What did she reveal to you, though, in that conversation that give you a little insight, perhaps even off camera, into her personality and character?

HASSELBECK: She chose in that moment not to reveal too much. In terms of the Reverend Wright.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: . not that much. In terms of our — personal lives, I mean, we love to work out. She's a strong mom. She's confident woman. She loves her kids.

COLLINS: Yes.

HASSELBECK: I mean we have a lot in common in terms of family and how we choose to spend our days.

COLMES: Maybe you'll get an invitation to the White House.

HASSELBECK: I'm not sure about that.

COLMES: All right. We'll take a quick break. More of Elisabeth's reaction to Michelle Obama's appearance on "The View."

And still to come later in the show, former speaker of House, Newt Gingrich, will be here to tell us why we — according to him — must begin domestic drilling now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALTER: Do you think that Hillary Clinton should be your husband's running mate?

M. OBAMA: You know.

(APPLAUSE)

WALTER: (INAUDIBLE)

M. OBAMA: Yes, I know, I know. You know my answer to is, and people have asked me this before, I think the one thing that a nominee earns is the right to pick the vice president that they think will best reflect their vision of the country, and I'm just glad I will have nothing to do with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR:: Do you feel there was any sexism in the media?

M. OBAMA: There is — yes, there is always a level of — people aren't used to strong women, and I don't think that there are times we don't even know how to talk about them, and so, yes, there was, obviously, there was also — you know, there are elements of racism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: That was more of Michelle Obama on "The View."

We now continue with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. We touched on that. Do you agree with what she said in that particular segment?

HASSELBECK: I do. I do.

COLMES: That there's elements of — certainly Hillary Clinton iron my shirt, and some of the things, some of the people on, you know.

HASSELBECK: Absolutely.

COLMES: . television said about her? And the same in this.

HASSELBECK: Absolutely.

COLMES: . in terms of racial elements in this campaign?

HASSELBECK: Without a doubt, I think that we're going to be facing that throughout the remainder of this election and going forward, unfortunately.

COLMES: Who's your closest friend on "The View?"

HASSELBECK: Oh gosh. That's tough. You know we have relationships like family. You know we have our individual relationships there so unique. I think that.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: This is probably — the script is fun right now.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: It's fun.

COLMES: Wasn't it always that way?

HASSELBECK: No. No.

COLMES: Anything you want to say about, perhaps, some of the personnel?

HASSELBECK: It was. I meant I wasn't, and then it is now.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: That's.

COLMES: Were you hurt at all? I mean you went to a personal — was it all personally difficult for you? And how did you cope with those times when it wasn't always that much fun?

HASSELBECK: I only wish that there was better closure to the whole situation. I'm a person who likes to kind of, you know, tie it up as much as possible when it comes to relationships, and I think that Rosie and I — that's who you're referring to, right?

COLMES: I'm guessing.

HASSELBECK: I just wanted to just double check.

COLMES: Well, I don't know if I just left it open for you to jump in there but go ahead.

HASSELBECK: You know, I think it was a tough time because things weren't always that bad and people will focus on that week that it got a little gritty, and.

COLMES: Yes.

HASSELBECK: . we had a good working relationship. I don't think I realized how maybe bad things were until it was out of.

COLMES: And it was over.

HASSELBECK: And it was over. And I think that, unfortunately, it ended the way it did, but it's in the past.

COLMES: Has there been an attempt to talk about closure on either party's part to reach out to the other to kind of wrap that up?

HASSELBECK: Sure, sure. There has been communication. There've been e-mails back and forth. And we certainly aren't friends. I'd be lying if I said that. And do I wake up in the morning feeling less stressed when I go to work? Yes, I do.

COLMES: Yes. Really? So it's a.

HASSELBECK: And that's just the truth. I'm not going to kind of.

HANNITY: How bad did it get? What was the worst moment?

HASSELBECK: I mean the worst moment, I was able to share with everyone who was watching that day. That was — it was the moment you don't want to have.

HANNITY: Is that the big infamous split screen?

HASSELBECK: Yes, it was the split screen.

HANNITY: Yes.

HASSELBECK: Because you — there was no way out. There was a wall in between us in terms of communication, and, you know, I am not the type of friend who is an enabler and I think what she felt was that I didn't come to her defense, and I think the best defense is letting your friend know that something they're doing is putting them in harm's way.

HANNITY: As an objective person, I thought she was downright mean to you on a number of times, and you know, she had said things afterwards, and, you know, to this day, she seems not to be able to let it go, and I think I know you. You're — you would be willing to let it go.

HASSELBECK: Sure. I'm willing to — I am all for reconciliation and moving on, and I think that that's possible. You know we've certainly had several e-mails go back and forth. Like I said, we're not texting each other throughout the day, but I feel as though slowly there has been healing, and I think only time can do that.

HANNITY: Is a fair statement to say you're glad she's gone?

HASSELBECK: You know I think that may be a.

HANNITY: Alan Stein just be able to just one day say, I'm glad Hannity is out of here.

HASSELBECK: No. No.

COLMES: I think you were (INAUDIBLE) there?

HANNITY: Would that be unfair?

HASSELBECK: It wouldn't — that wouldn't be my choice of phrase.

HANNITY: That's fair.

HASSELBECK: I think I believe that things are really good now. There are really great now between, you know, Barbara and Whoopi and Joy and Cherry, and we're at table and I feel like things just click, and they are working in a way where we're right there with our audience.

We get to talk everything from brawls to Baghdad, and it works, and it feels good.

HANNITY: You mentioned the e-mails back and forth. When was the last you've e-mailed and what have you said to her and what she said to you?

HASSELBECK: The last e-mail — I don't — you know, I won't discuss it. The personal e-mails, back and forth. But there was — her e-mail was nice to me. The last that she sent was really nice so.

HANNITY: Do you like Senator McCain? Is that somebody you're supporting passionately? Do you have disagreements with him?

HASSELBECK: I am a strong supporter of Senator John McCain. You know a lot of the times he comes up in terms of Iraq and strategy, and I really give him so much credit for not rolling and writing on the fact that he has two sons in this military, and I think that if anyone has a vested interest in a safe, secure, and sound exit in Iraq, it's him.

HANNITY: You know I asked him about his son, and he did not want to talk about it.

HASSELBECK: He doesn't.

HANNITY: He wanted to keep it, you know, separate. So.

HASSELBECK: He doesn't want to use it for political gain. I think that he is the man to lead this country.

HANNITY: All right, Elisabeth. We love having you, by the way. Love the show.

HASSELBECK: Thanks.

HANNITY: Tell everyone there we said hello.

HASSELBECK: I certainly well.

HANNITY: And appreciate your being with us.

COLMES: Thanks for being here. Thanks very much.

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