Ferraro: Vacant N.Y. Senate Seat Is Not About Caroline Kennedy

Published December 23, 2008

| FoxNews.com

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 22, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Caroline Kennedy's interest in filling Senator Clinton's Senate seat has critic questioning both her qualifications and her stance on key issues.

According to her spokesman, Kennedy supports gay marriage and opposes the Iraq war. However, her stance on taking the rich — taxing the rich, that is, balancing the state and federal budget and other fiscal issues remains unclear.

Joining us now former VP nominee Geraldine Ferraro. She also wouldn't say whether she would support the Democratic nominee for governor — mayor. It turns out she has some of Michael Bloomberg's people working on her behalf.

Video: Watch the 'H&C' interview

GERALDINE FERRARO, FORMER VP NOMINEE: I have said that I would support Michael Bloomberg for re-election. I think he's done a superb job.

COLMES: Let her say that then, she would have.

FERRARO: I don't think a party, you know, necessarily defines.

COLMES: Well, he might run as a Democrat next time, for all we know.

FERRARO: I don't care what party he runs.

COLMES: Yes.

FERRARO: He's been a good mayor and I — I'm supporting him. I think he's done a good job.

COLMES: Right. But she would not say that. Is — has she been — first of all, should she be the next senator from New York?

FERRARO: Well, let me just go back, because this — Senate seat is not about, you know, Caroline Kennedy. It's about the people of the state of New York. It's about the needs of the state of New York.

It's about the needs of the state of New York. It is about the state. It is not about anything else. And to be quite frank, when this all started, when Hillary was first being talked about, even before the nomination was complete, this was November 15, I was at an event at which Governor Paterson was being honored, and he got up, you see he was very funny at the very beginning because he'd been introduced by Carl McCaul.

They talked about how they had each had gotten into their positions or how Carl had run for the positions and not made it and David Paterson was kidding about it. And then he got very serious and he started talking about the budget, and he must have spent 25 minutes talking about the state, the state is in.

COLMES: Yes.

FERRARO: The economy. And what this financial crisis means, he was quoting statistics. I turned around to John, and I said to him.

COLMES: Your husband. Yes.

FERRARO: ... here's somebody who was — you know, he's virtually blind, and he was totally just from memory.

COLMES: Yes.

FERRARO: Everything just incredible. I couldn't do it with notes. I mean he was just amazing.

COLMES: Right.

FERRARO: When it was all over, I went home and I started talking about a whole bunch of things with John, we sat down and I said this isn't a state that you should — and people at my dinner table were talking about who — they wanted the job and all that stuff. And I said what we should do is — I'm sending the governor a note. And I sent a note and I said — you know, not that he asked for my opinion — I sent a note and I said, you know, this race, we have to take a look at how things are, in the financial crisis in this country, in the world, the financial crisis.

COLMES: This is a long way of saying that she's not...

FERRARO: And I said — no, it is not. And I said at the — she wasn't even a thought at that time. I said what I think you should do is put an incumbent member of Congress into this spot so they can hit the ground running as soon as they get down. They know the process, they know the issues. They've been spending time with it.

COLMES: Yes.

FERRARO: For the last — they're going to be there to represent the state on day one. We have — the president's going to be ready on day one, so should the person. And being me, I said you have six women members and Hillary is a woman in her state.

COLMES: Did you get a response?

FERRARO: I never heard from the governor, I didn't. And so I said, you know, I don't know if any of the six women want to do that, ask them. And that was it. I unsolicited, sent it off.

I didn't get involved in this thing and don't intend to get involved on a specific individual.

RICH LOWRY, GUEST HOST: Well, we're going to try to drag you into it.

FERRARO: Drag me into it.

(LAUGHTER)

LOWRY: Because — Geraldine, isn't this — it's about Kennedy nostalgia. If her name were Caroline Colmes there wouldn't be this groundswell.

COLMES: Excuse me?

(LAUGHTER)

LOWRY: ... of support for her.

FERRARO: Excuse me. No. No.

LOWRY: I mean it's obvious.

FERRARO: No. The thing about it is, it's interesting to see how she's running a campaign. And you know, it's terrific. She should run in a primary, when — you know, when the seat is up for election.

But this seat right now the governor has to take a look and see who can best represent the state immediately. Again, I keep repeating, it's not about Caroline. You know there are lots of people want this. They're being a little bit more discrete. They're not running a campaign.

You know, does Andrew Cuomo want it? And you know, I haven't spoken with Tilda lately, but I would bet that he does.

LOWRY: Yes. So you don't have liberal pundits.

FERRARO: You know, I would bet also...

LOWRY: ... swirling over Andrew Cuomo, and I'm not a huge fan of his, but at least he's run for office.

FERRARO: Well, it's just the media, you know?

LOWRY: ... have been a public servant with a record.

FERRARO: Yes.

LOWRY: Where does Sarah Palin go to get her apology? You have the same pundits who were killing Sarah Palin for being — for lacking experience, someone who actually worked her way up through politics, became a governor, had an 86 percent approval rating, the same pundits swooning over this woman who has no elected experience whatsoever.

FERRARO: Yes, yes. That's — I have to tell you no elected experience doesn't really bother me because we elect senators constantly who have no elected experience.

(CROSSTALK)

LOWRY: But they get appointed.

FERRARO: The people — the people of the state elect the person.

LOWRY: Correct.

FERRARO: And so if the person screws up, you know, the people did it. It's not an individual. But you have to have...

LOWRY: Does this appointment process at all makes sense just in general?

FERRARO: It wasn't.

LOWRY: Shouldn't we have an elections.

FERRARO: No, we can't.

LOWRY: ... so the governors can't sell them and you know, the senators can't engineer their sons to get the seats eventually?

FERRARO: This has been going on for how long already. I mean, we have — obviously we have a situation in Illinois, that is — it is extremely unusual. You know, I — keep on looking, when people turn around, they say you know all politicians are no good.

Not so, folks. 99.4 of 100 percent are like ivory, they're pure. But it (INAUDIBLE) in both parties. I mean they're down there because they want to work hard, they want to do the job, and they want to make sure that they're represented.

LOWRY: But, but.

FERRARO: Some are crummy. Some are crummy.

LOWRY: The minute, when a seat is open in the House.

FERRARO: Just like all of us.

LOWRY: When the seats open in the House, we have special elections. We managed to do that.

FERRARO: That's the way it was set up. I mean, in the end.

LOWRY: Shouldn't we change in the Senate?

FERRARO: Well, sure. Do whatever you have to do if you want. Do it. But they do have special elections. This is now — if she had resigned or retired before she would have had the special election earlier. But because of the time she's — you know, it's two years until the special election.

LOWRY: Right.

Geraldine, thanks so much.

FERRARO: Right.

LOWRY: Merry Christmas.

FERRARO: Thank you. You, too.

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