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Gov. Sanford on Tax Day Tea Parties

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 13, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now, this Wednesday, April 15 — we call Tim Geithner Day — I'll be hosting this show from Atlanta's Tax Day Tea Party and check in with some of the tea parties going on across the country.

And joining me now to discuss the way Americans are approaching Tax Day 2009 is South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who over the weekend released what is now being called the first ad of the 2012 presidential race.

Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MARK SANFORD (R-SC): Some say the solution lies in more government spending and deeper debt. The truth is, more tax dollars will be spent in our state this year than ever before, but there must be a stopping point.

Going further into debt will not solve a problem that was created by too much debt. There must be a price that we will not impose on future generations.

For me, the easy thing would be to accept money handed out from Washington, but the easy thing isn't always the right thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And, Governor, thanks for being here. You are coming under a lot of pressure for not taking all the stimulus money. How is it going politically?

Video: Watch Sean's interview

SANFORD: We're surviving it just fine. I think that there is this silent majority, if you want to call it that, that very much fits in with these tea parties that are sort of self-generating around the country, because a lot of people are genuinely frustrated and concerned about the stimulus and its size. And a lot of people are very concerned about the size of government and the way it continues to be growing here over the last couple of months and the last couple of years.

HANNITY: I've noticed that they're trying to politicize this, that you still have some relatively high unemployment in South Carolina, and people say, "Well, why shouldn't we take this money?"

What is your answer back to them?

SANFORD: Well, in other words, again, if people do not want to debate the merits of issue, they always try and politicize it, and that goes with the territory.

But I would say, you know, if solving the unemployment problem in South Carolina — for that matter solving it the national economy — were as simple as printing a bunch of money that we don't have, why stop at the numbers that they're stopping at in Washington? Why not go to huge numbers, although we're pretty close to huge numbers right now?

And so I think that, if you look at the example of Japan in the 1990s, I think if you look at a whole host of economic examples both in this country — in this country over time, that method doesn't work.

If printing money you don't have was the way to economic success, Zimbabwe would be a rich place, and it's not.

HANNITY: Well, Governor, look, I agree with you. And I think there are times when want to be a leader, you've got to take a stand on principle.

But right now, the country seems to, at least, think this is going to be the answer. We want our politicians to do something.

But when you add up the numbers, it's moving America towards socialism. We can't afford it. We're putting debt on our kids and grandkids. Why don't you think that message has gotten out more, the damage that this could cause the economy?

SANFORD: I think that it's slowly sleeping in, which is why we've been pushing it back, as we have in our state, and why I think that those tea parties that are, you know — again, originating around the country, are so important come April 15.

You know, if you look at the numbers, they're absolutely frightening. I mean, you think about the deficit this year, which is looking at 12 percent of GDP. That's a number three and four times anything that we've seen in the past.

If you look at the president's budget, it is close to 28 percent of GDP. You know, that's, again, nothing like anything that we've seen since we were fighting for our country's existence back in World War II against Nazi aggression and Japanese imperialism. And so, you know, these numbers are insane.

You look at the notion of doubling the national debt over the next ten years, frightening implications...

HANNITY: Tripling it.

SANFORD: ... for the value of the daughter and frightening implications for the economy going forward.

HANNITY: It is actually the tripling of it. And 10 percent of Americans pay 73 percent of the tax bill. We almost are at the point where 50 percent of people in this country don't pay anything.

So why would they ever vote for any party that's going to have an — you know, put a tax on them when they feel they're going to get something for free? Are we now impacting or at least creating the potential that it's going to be one group of people against another group of Americans and dividing the country?

SANFORD: There is certainly that possibility, but the reason that I am fighting back, as I am and what a whole host of others are fighting back across this country, is there is that silent majority out there that has a lot more common sense than people will give them credit.

And certainly, we're getting to that tipping point, where more receive than more give to this country, which is the danger zone in any republic. But I think there are a lot of people out there who realize there is no free lunch in life.

And it's, again, our shared hope that enough of them will make noise at this critical point that we find ourselves at, because if not, we're in real trouble as a country.

HANNITY: I've got to tell you, my friend, John Rich, is going to be in Atlanta. You know, says common sense is pretty uncommon. So it's uncommon sense.

And this seems to be a no-brainer to me, but, Governor, I'm glad you're taking a stand on principle. Quick yes or no. Are you thinking about running in 2012 for president?

SANFORD: No, again, everybody wants to talk about that, rather than, again, the merits or demerits of what's going on with the stimulus. We've gotten into a significant fight, because we think if we...

HANNITY: Governor, we've got to run.

SANFORD: ... if we take it all, we'd end up $744 million in the hole 24 months from now.

HANNITY: Thank you, Governor. Appreciate it.

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