This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 2, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, it is election eve all across the country, and here in New York conservatives are preparing to take back the Republican Party. Now all eyes are focused on New York's 23rd District with the departure of liberal Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, has opened the door for conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman to ride a tidal wave of support, all the way to Washington, D.C.
Scozzafava's exit now leaves Hoffman to face Democrat Bill Owens, and Scozzafava was so liberal that she quickly endorsed the Democrat Owens and is reportedly making robocalls on his behalf.
But that is not stopping Hoffman. After racking up endorsements from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, and Fred and Jeri Thompson and many others, the latest Siena polls shows him leading Owens by five points ahead of tomorrow's election.
And joining me now is the candidate himself, Doug Hoffman, along with two of his biggest supporters, Fred and Jeri Thompson of "The Jeri and Fred Show," a nationally syndicated radio show.
Guys, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
JERI THOMPSON, SUPPORTING DOUG HOFFMAN: Great to see you, Sean.
HANNITY: All right, now, first of all, Doug, I mean, you've got to feel pretty good. What did you think about — I was very upset. And I've got to give Jeri who's sitting to your right credit. She was the first to bring this to my attention. And I got to give her a lot of credit because she really pointed out just how liberal Scozzafava was, and then you got Jeri and Fred and then Governor Palin, obviously, played a big role in this and some other politicians followed suit at that point.
Why do you think the Republican Party nominated such a liberal Republican?
DOUG HOFFMAN, C-N.Y., CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Well, I guess we'll never know. The only thing I can say is that it was just party politics behind closed doors, and the bosses just decided to just anoint somebody that was there.
HANNITY: Yes. All right, but, nationally, I understand they got as much as, what, $900,000 from the Republican Party. That has to be frustrating to you. I have interviewed you three times, and you are a Reagan Republican, and this is a woman that supported the stimulus package, and she got the Republican support, and I, frankly, did not understand it.
HOFFMAN: I did not either, and that is why I decided to run. I thought the voters in the district would not have a good choice if I did not put my hat in the ring, and I felt that I had to do it.
HANNITY: Yes. All right, Jeri, I've got to give — honestly, you were the first person, and you send me a series of e-mails as the leader of...
J. THOMPSON: I know. You know what? You could admit that I bugged you. I ready did bug you and I really appreciate your being so kind to not put it that way.
HANNITY: No, no, no.
J. THOMPSON: You're right.
HANNITY: I was not paying attention to it as closely as you were, and then I started reading your e-mails and I started to get — you know, wrapping my arms around it, and it wasn't just me, by the way. I mean there were other conservatives — Mark Levin is another one and we spoke at length about it.
How did you pick up on this race before everybody else? What drew you to this?
J. THOMPSON: Well, actually, Mike Long is the head of the conservative party in New York, and he — and that party of New York had endorsed Fred when Fred ran for president, so we had a relationship there. And we really — you know, believe it or not, actually cared about the things that Fred ran on.
We keep our ear to the ground. We have the radio show. We get to hear lots about what's going on in the country, and we follow these people like you do. And you're right, Sean. It's you and it's Mark Levin and it's the — these grass roots groups are coming up from all around America saying we're not going to do this.
It's not good enough. I'm not going to have — I'm just not going to have — I'm not going to have anything to do with the party that chooses someone like that when I know there's someone out there, like Doug, that's going to stand for the things that we're all fighting for.
And what a great story that he's not a politician. That he's a CPA — he's a small businessman that knows what the Pelosi (INAUDIBLE) are going to do. So God bless him for doing it. We're all here. You should have seen the crowd here. Joe Biden was here and he barely could fill 200 and 100 of those were Secret Service.
John Rich had these people rocking out there. I mean I wish were out there not in here so you could all feel it. But it's really happening, Sean, so thank you to everybody who gave to Doug Hoffman. The $5, the $10, the $50. They worked. And we're here.
HANNITY: Well, it's working. Senator — Doug?
HOFFMAN: I said I'm very grateful for all the support I got from around the country and within the district. The people really stood up and joined my fight, and I think that's why we are here tonight, and we are hoping for victory tomorrow.
HANNITY: Senator, you really got involved — I assume you were getting the same e-mails I was getting from Jeri.
FRED THOMPSON, SUPPORTING DOUG HOFFMAN: Actually, it was a little more pointed than that, but you are right. You're right. It's on the same source.
HANNITY: No, but in all honesty, you were the first national figure, and then Governor Palin, I think, was the second big national political figure to jump on board this, but — you know, and you're up there tonight, and John Rich is up there. God bless him. And he's been playing music at this event.
F. THOMPSON: He had a great performance.
HANNITY: He's phenomenal. But, you know, what drew you to this race?
F. THOMPSON: Well, Sean, I think something very special is happening up here. This is an unusual set of circumstances, and people are shaking their heads, saying they have never seen anything like it.
And you had two liberal candidates, and the parties' nominees, and then you have this guy coming in from the left field who is not a politician and just, you know, took them all on, and you know, it's — we all know the story of "Mr. Smith Comes to Washington."
This is the real-live case of it. And people are simply concerned about the direction their country is going in. They're seeing things change in a way that's not beneficial. They are moving away from a common-sense values and policies that have made us the strongest and the freest, and they are really concerned.
We are spending the birthright of the next generation, and people are coming together across party lines to say no to that.
HANNITY: Senator, are you as angry as I am? I am kind of angry with the Republican Party because I think — you know, I've been on the radio, has shouted this for the longest time. I'm a conservative. I'm a Reagan conservative, and I thought the Republican Party lost some of those conservative values and conservative principles that brought them to power when Reagan was elected, brought them to power in '94. And then they go ahead and pull a boneheaded move like this, and I'm like, "You are still not getting it."
Do you think this has gone a long way to wake them up?
F. THOMPSON: This is — yes, this has gone a long way. I think that the practical consideration of Scozzafava being the only one that could get elected up here, ruled it out, and, of course, they were wrong on a couple of very important counts.
They misjudged the American people and where the American people are. You know, an ideology, like a conservative ideology, is different from a political party. Political party has to engage in certain practical things, and circumstances change with regard to candidates and positions and so forth.
This case was a no-brainer. But you know, ideology, with not connected to the party, can't always win. It will lose a lot of time. But with a party — a party not connected to ideology has no reason to win.
F. THOMPSON: What have you gained under those circumstances if you don't believe in the things that have made this country great?
HANNITY: It's like what President Reagan said.
J. THOMPSON: Amen.
HANNITY: That was very well said. "No pale pastels." We want bold color differences.
And in this case, Doug, I mean, when Scozzafava pulled out and then endorsed a Democrat, I thought that spoke volumes about the very things that Jeri and Fred of "The Jeri and Fred Show" and people like myself are saying.
HOFFMAN: Absolutely. It's exactly what I was saying when I got in this race. And it just proved that I was correct. She was more liberal than the Democrat.
HOFFMAN: And we all have to stand up and fight it for.
HANNITY: All right. We'll say this. Jeri Thompson, you are very persuasive, and I give you a lot of credit, because you are way ahead of the curve. And you really deserve it because I think this really helps.
F. THOMPSON: You don't know the half of it.
J. THOMPSON: Bless you, Sean, and it was a team effort by everybody in America for standing up. Really. And we haven't won yet. So everyone has got to get out to the polls. We've got to vote tomorrow. Vote, vote, vote. Vote in Virginia. Vote in New Jersey. And vote in New York 23.
HANNITY: And I'm just...
F. THOMPSON: We all have to stand up and fight and vote.
HANNITY: Well, I think this is a referendum on a lot of what's been going on in the country, which is moving radically to the left, and I think this election is going to be watched, and I hope I'm on the air this time tomorrow night, I'll be able to declare you the winner.
Doug, thanks for being with us.
HOFFMAN: I hope so, Sean. We're looking forward to that.
HANNITY: All right.
HOFFMAN: Everybody gets up and fight back.
HANNITY: And by the way, if I did not mention it, it's "The Jeri and Fred Show". It's nationally syndicated.
J. THOMPSON: Thank you, Sean.
F. THOMPSON: Here we go.
HANNITY: All right, guys, thank you.
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