This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 6, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Tennessee Democratic congressman Steve Cohen is the state's first Jewish congressman and represents a district which is mostly African- American. Looking to unseat Cohen in the fall is Nikki Tinker, an African- American woman, and in her efforts to win, she's been running this highly controversial ad all over Memphis.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, POLITICAL AD)
WALTER BAILEY, FMR. SHELBY COUNTY COMMISSIONER: This park was named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a major slave trader and one of the founders of the KKK. It is unconscionable to continue to honor such a despicable human being.
When I tried to change the name, the only person that voted no was Steve Cohen. This makes you wonder who is the real Steve Cohen?
Join me on August 7th and vote for Nikki Tinker for Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLMES: And that ad has caused quite a stir and an uproar, and some are asking should Senator Obama step in and quiet the nasty race card in politics? Late today this new development also came to our attention.
Congressman Cohen got into a shoving match with a camera man in his home earlier today. The cameraman has — had entered the house for a press conference with other members of the press, but apparently Cohen didn't want him there.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on a second here. You come out. I want to talk to you. Come out of here.
UNIDENTIFIED CAMERAMAN: I need my stuff. Can I get my stuff?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, out of here. Out of here.
UNIDENTIFIED CAMERAMAN: I need my tripod.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of here, Charles(ph).
UNIDENTIFIED CAMERAMAN: I need my tripod.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's out of here. Let's start over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLMES: Joining us now former Bradley campaign manager Jacques DeGraff, and the president and founder of BOND, the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson.
Jacque, let me go to you first. This has nothing to do with Barack Obama as far as I can tell. I know of any local racist where John McCain is getting involved. I think it's a despicable ad, and I don't think Barack Obama has any interest this early in commenting on this particular race.
What do you say about it?
JACQUES DEGRAFF, FMR. BRADLEY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I agree with you. There are 435 congressional races, and now we're going to ask Senator Obama to be referee amongst Democrats? I think the Democrats in Tennessee are perfectly capable of making an — wise and informed decision.
COLMES: And what about this ad, Jesse Lee Peterson, trying to link this congressman to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK, as if he has anything to do or anything in common with this person? She also claimed he was against prayer in school, something he never voted about. It's a dirty campaign to have a commercial like this.
REV. JESSE LEE PETERSON, BONDINFO.ORG: You know, if I'm to say that, most blacks, not all, but most in Tennessee, and especially in Memphis, Tennessee area, are still living in the '50s and '60s. They are so racist that they don't even realize that white Americans have moved on, and so whenever there is a campaign like this, such as this, they always use racism in order to intimidate white Americans.
The interesting thing is that Steve Cohen just supported a resolution in Congress that offered an apology to.
PETERSON: ...black America, and it passed, but because he is white, because he is Jewish, and running against a liberal black Democrat, they're going to usher in the race card.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: All right, let me.
PETERSON: ...in order to get the.
DEGRAFF: Did he just say that 40.
HANNITY: Jacques, hang on a second, Jacques..
DEGRAFF: The majority of African-Americans in Memphis and in Tennessee are living in the '40s and '50s?
HANNITY: Hey, Jacques, let me ask you a question.
DEGRAFF: Did he say that?
HANNITY: Barack Obama is post-racial candidate. Remember he said that? Now when John McCain — when the North Carolina Republican Party ran ads that mentioned Jeremiah Wright, which by the way, is a legitimate issue, John McCain was lectured by Barack Obama supporters that he should condemn it.
So why shouldn't the post-racial candidate — and that's Barack Obama — condemn the use of the race card?
Bill Clinton said that Obama played the race card against him as did John McCain.
DEGRAFF: Bill Clinton has said a lot of things, and he's had time to reflect on them.
DEGRAFF: And fact of the matter is that your guest just said that the majority of blacks in Memphis and in Tennessee are in the '40s and '50s. That's completely out of touch.
HANNITY: Excuse me, you're not answering my question.
DEGRAFF: That's what he said.
HANNITY: I'm asking why.
DEGRAFF: No, but you're not listening to what I am saying.
HANNITY: If Bill Clinton says he played the race card, if John McCain says he plays the race card, if he uses the words , oh, by the way, they're going to try and make you fear me, after all, I'm black, that's not — that's not playing the race card?
DEGRAFF: He's not in this Tennessee race.
HANNITY: No, I'm talking about the.
DEGRAFF: Do you understand that?
HANNITY: I'm not talking about that.
DEGRAFF: Barack Obama is not in that race.
HANNITY: He said it in Jacksonville.
DEGRAFF: And he's given a major — you can't ask the question and answer it also.
HANNITY: I actually can.
DEGRAFF: Barack Obama also gave a major address on race during this campaign.
PETERSON: Barack Obama.
DEGRAFF: We haven't heard anything from John McCain about race since these races begun.
PETERSON: Barack Obama is not going to say anything.
HANNITY: All right, hang on, Jacques, let me go to you.
PETERSON: Let me tell you why. Barack Obama is not going to say anything because — well, first of all, Steve Cohen endorsed Barack Obama before this black woman did but because this woman is black, she's a Democrat, he's not going to say anything for fear of losing the black voters.
HANNITY: All right, Jesse, let me ask you this.
PETERSON: So it's more about race than anything else.
DEGRAFF: Thank you for your penetrating analysis, but the reality is.
HANNITY: Hang on, Jacques, let me get Jesse in here.
DEGRAFF: Ask the question, what is McCain saying?
HANNITY: All right, let me go.
DEGRAFF: What is John McCain saying about race?
HANNITY: Let me ask you.
DEGRAFF: What has he said?
HANNITY: If you hang on, we're going to ask Jesse a question.
Now Bill Clinton said that they played the race card against him, meaning Barack Obama, and that they had planned to do so from the very beginning.
HANNITY: He said in June that he said they're going to, you know, say he has a funny name. They're going to try and play a fear card, and after all they're going to tell you he's black. Now he's saying he doesn't look like those guys on a dollar bill.
Is that the race card and did he, as the McCain camps claim, play it from the bottom of the deck?
PETERSON: Without a doubt. It is the race card. It works for black liberal Democrats because he has managed to intimidate white Americans. Barack Obama understands that this will work.
You have to remember that Barack Obama sat on one of the most racist preachers in America teaching black liberation theology for 20 years, so he had to be doing that because he agreed with it. Let's not forget Louis Farrakhan. He spoke at his rally.
So it is about race and Barack Obama understands that.
HANNITY: All right. We've got to break. Thank you both.
Jesse, good to see you in studio, appreciate it.
HANNITY: Appreciate it. And, Jacques, thank you.
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