This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 2, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Bad news for Connecticut senator Chris Dodd this evening. Now, a new poll shows the scandal-ridden senator is trailing former congressman Rob Simmons by a whopping 16 points in the upcoming election.
And joining us now is Dodd's opponent Rob Simmons.
All right, Rob. What's happening in this important swing state of Connecticut?
ROB SIMMONS (R), CONNECTICUT SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, Sean, thanks very much for having me on the show, and the poll says it all. The people of the state of Connecticut, the folks back home here in Connecticut, no longer trust Chris Dodd. They simply don't trust him, and that has seriously degraded his standings in the poll.
And by contrast somebody like myself, a military officer with over 37 years of service in the U.S. Army, somebody whose whole life has been public service, I've been boosted up in the polls, so that gives me a 16-point lead right now.
HANNITY: A 33 percent job approval rating for a 30-year incumbent is almost unheard of. Specifically, what are you going to attack Dodd on?
SIMMONS: Well, I think we're all concerned about the free-market economy and free enterprise. And in his oversight of the housing, mortgages, and financial services sector of our economy, he's failed completely in his oversight duties.
In fact, within a few months of taking the gavel of the banking committee, he moved to Iowa in a frivolous presidential campaign. And at a time when people back home here in Connecticut are worried about paying their mortgages, keeping their jobs, or being foreclosed, he gets a sweetheart deal from the company and the people that he oversees. I mean, that's disgraceful.
HANNITY: Now, The New Haven Register called him a lying weasel. There's another Republican in the race that I had on the program the other day. And I asked, "Do you agree with that?"
I'll ask you the same question. Do you agree with the New Haven Register? Is Chris Dodd a lying weasel?
SIMMONS: It's harsh, but I think it's correct. He was asked by CNN whether he had anything to do with an amendment that protected the bonuses of those executives, and he said absolutely not. Within a day he recanted and came back and said that he had, and the Hartford Courant said Dodd flip-flopped.
Now I'm sorry, but the chairman of the committee should know what's in his amendment, and when you say absolutely not, that should mean absolutely not.
HANNITY: Now he said it on the 17th, St. Patrick's Day. The very next day, he said they made modifications because the administration asked for them. So that sounds to me — you don't change unless it's an outright lie, so I think that's an accurate term. But I agree with you, it's harsh.
SIMMONS: It is harsh, but I agree with you.
HANNITY: Let's talk — let's talk about this friends of Angelo Countrywide deal. What do you make of that mortgage?
SIMMONS: Well, he's told us almost a year ago that he would release the documents to the media here in Connecticut and to the people of Connecticut. Almost a year has gone by, and the best he's done is invite a few people, a few journalists — not a lot — into his office in Hartford, show them a stack of documents, read a statement, and say that is that. That's unsatisfactory.
I've had a mortgage, and in fact, I went on TV here in Connecticut and presented my mortgage documents to the TV station and said, "Take a look at them." I don't — I don't think there's anything secret about mortgage documents. Why doesn't he release the documents?
HANNITY: Well, I think it's — the idea that he's a chair of the banking committee, and he's got a special sweetheart deal. But it's not just one. He's got this deal — this deal over in Ireland, a quote, cottage, where he made a fortune there, too.
And I think this raises the question: do you think Chris Dodd is a corrupt politician, as well?
SIMMONS: I think he's gotten very accustomed to the good life down in Washington, D.C. He's lost touch with his constituents up here in Connecticut.
My family comes from Ireland. A cottage — I think you know what a cottage in Ireland is supposed to be, and in this instance it's a million-dollar property, a 10-acre island, with a very modern dwelling or couple of dwellings on it. That's not my idea of an Irish cottage.
HANNITY: Yes. I don't have an Irish cottage either. All right. Fair enough.
All right. So he's got a 33 percent job approval rating. You're up by 16 points. It's a hard state to win. Are you confident you can pull it out?
SIMMONS: Well, look, I used to run marathons, and this is a marathon. We've got about 22 months, 21 months to election day. And it's going to be tough, but you know, I'm ready for it.
And if I can get the support of the people, not only in Connecticut but across the country to help me out, I don't have the rich bankers and some of the rich financial services folks to shake down the way he does. I don't sit on a powerful committee.
So I'm going to need the support of the people. And I urge them to join me and join RobSimmons.com and get behind me, and we can do it.
HANNITY: Everybody's got a Web site. I'm supporting your effort there. I want to see Chris Dodd out. Best of luck. Thanks for being with us.
SIMMONS: Thank you so much.
HANNITY: Appreciate it.
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