Vilsack Breaks Down Obama Berlin Speech

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 24, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to route the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets.

This is the moment when every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow. Free from the shadows of yesterday.


ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: That was more of Barack Obama speaking earlier today in Berlin, Germany.

With us now for analysis, former Iowa governor and former Democratic presidential candidate, Tom Vilsack.

Governor, welcome back. Good to have you with us.

TOM VILSACK (D), FORMER IOWA GOVERNOR: It's great to be back, Alan.

Video: Watch Sean and Alan's interview with Tom Vilsack

COLMES: I hear my esteemed colleague and partner here talk about how Barack Obama is popular because he's echoing some of the views of Europeans. It seems to me what he — one of the reasons he's popular he's talking about the views of Americans on Iraq, on health care, on education, on the economy, about which people are angry and upset, that's why he's so popular.

VILSACK: I would agree with you, Alan. I would say it was a great speech today. Senator Obama basically laid out a future for America that, I think, is very consistent with the way we see ourselves — a beacon of hope, a leader around the world, a moral leader, tough power, but also using the marketplace and the opportunities that could be created in this country and across the world as a way of reminding people of which is the right way to go, and I think Europeans and Americans are welcoming that kind of approach.

COLMES: I think Americans welcome the idea that we know we live in a world where we have to get along, especially with our allies, and that seems to have been sorely lacking for the last eight years, to have a relationship, yes, with Europe and other countries in the world. And this seems like — I mean certainly it's a great misstaging(ph) perspective in terms of the photo-op which is a large part of what a campaign is.

VILSACK: Well, there's no question that America's standing in the world has suffered in the last eight years, and I think the rest of the world is looking for America to lead on terror, on climate change, on energy policy, on a variety of fronts, and I think Senator Obama basically said under his administration America would be prepared to provide that leadership.

It's sorely been lacking the last eight years, no question about that.

COLMES: Who would you like him to choose as a running mate?

VILSACK: Well, I'm partial to Senator Clinton. Obviously I supported her during the course of the campaign, and I think she's a terrific person. I think she'd make a great vice president, but it's, obviously, something that Senator Obama has got to decide, and I'm sure he's going to make a great choice.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Governor, your favorite conservative, Sean Hannity. How are you?

VILSACK: Sean. I'm good. How are you?

HANNITY: I'm good, thank you.

You know President Reagan did have large crowds, but most of them were protesting him. And I think there's a reason for that. I look at the agenda of Senator Obama, and it's pretty much, you know, typical quintessential socialist, redistribution, national health care, appeasement as it relates to foreign policy, the willingness to talk to the likes of Ahmadinejad without preconditions.

So I think he's in synch with, you know, that left socialist view. So that — I'm not surprised at the warm reception he got.

VILSACK: Well, first of all, Sean, I'm not sure that Senator Obama is proposing a national health plan as you've suggested it. What he is suggesting is using the marketplace and using a partnership with government to provide access to health insurance care coverage for all Americans, something that, I think, the majority, the vast majority of Americans, want.

I think he's also suggesting.

HANNITY: Here's what he's proposing.

He's proposing, quote, "more redistribution, higher taxes on the rich, raising taxes, capital gains, corporate taxes, windfall taxes, Social Security taxes." 47 million Americans will get health care, according to the Obama plan, $1 trillion in new spending and 16 months out of Iraq regardless of what the generals say.

Seems like that fits him with the European model.

VILSACK: Hey, Sean, how come you forgot the middle class tax cuts that he's proposing?

HANNITY: You mean.


HANNITY: Wait a minute. He wants the Bush tax cuts to expire. Those were the middle class tax cuts.

VILSACK: Well, you know what — well, you and I have made perhaps a different definition of middle class. But there's no question that working Americans need a tax break and that's what Senator Obama has proposed.

In terms of Iraq, it's obvious now that the entire world, including the Iraqis, understand it's time for them to take over responsibility for their government and for their security.

HANNITY: All right, last question.


HANNITY: The IRS came out with the latest figures they have just this week for 2006. The top 10 percent of wage earners pay 70 percent of the federal tax bill. The bottom 50 percent pay 2.9 percent.

How much more do you think, the quote, rich, should pay till you get to your definition or Barack Obama's definition of fair?

VILSACK: Well, I will tell you, someone who is struggling today with high gas prices, with high insurance costs, with home mortgage payments that they may not be able to make is looking for a government that understands and appreciates the dilemma.

HANNITY: No, no, but wait a minute.

VILSACK: That's what Senator Obama.

HANNITY: But that doesn't address my question.

VILSACK: Yes, I'm answering your question. I'm answering your question. That's what Senator Obama — that's the focus of Senator Obama's plan. And that's where it should be.

HANNITY: All right.

VILSACK: The reality is over the course of the last several years the top 1 percent of this country has received the lion's share of the benefit of a growing economy.

HANNITY: Top 1 percent.

VILSACK: That's not fair.

HANNITY: . pays 50 percent of the bill, Governor.

VILSACK: Well, they got a tremendous amount of the growth.

HANNITY: All right. We've got to run.

Governor, good to see you.

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