This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 12, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Nevada Senator Harry Reid appears to be getting off scot-free after it was revealed that he made an offensive racial comment about President Obama during the 2008 campaign.

The president was quick to absolve him, which is odd considering that during the campaign he and his advisers were, well, less forgiving when it came to the issue of race.

In March of 2008, Clinton adviser and former vice presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro, told a California newspaper that, quote, "If Obama was a white man he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky who he is and the country is caught up in the concept."

Now the Obama campaign did not react kindly. In fact, the president's top advisers clamored for Mrs. Ferraro's resignation.

Now let's take a look at David Axelrod's response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID AXELROD, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We call upon the Clinton campaign to take firmer action in this regard. Congresswoman Ferraro is a member of the Finance Committee. She is a surrogate for Senator Clinton and she ought to be removed from those positions.

The bottom line is this. When you wink and nod at offensive statements you're really sending a signal to your support that anything goes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And for the Democrats it appears anything goes. For Republicans that's not the case. Trent Lott's experience made that abundantly clear. So why the double standard among team Obama itself and between Democrats and Republicans?

All right, joining me now with reaction, columnist, the one and only, Ann Coulter, the number one "New York Times" best-selling author. And the Reverend Al Sharpton, also hosting a radio program.

• Video: Watch the debate

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: And National Action Network. Can I say before we start I hope all of us agree that we pray for the people in Haiti.

HANNITY: Totally.

SHARPTON: I just spoke to Wyclef Jean who's from Haiti. Grammy Award winner, and it's a very bad situation. I hope.

HANNITY: That's what we're hearing.

SHARPTON: I hope Americans rally around.

HANNITY: Well, American will. Americans always do.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

HANNITY: You know, we're the most generous people on earth and I couldn't agree with you more.

All right, let's go right to the comment. Referring to Barack Obama as a light-skinned African-American with no Negro dialect. Now you've come out and pretty much defended Harry Reid, which surprised a lot of people, especially in light of where you stood on Don Imus and where you stood with Rush Limbaugh getting a football team.

Is there a double standard for you?

SHARPTON: Well, first of all, what's the standard? If you are saying that if somebody says something racial, it's racist, I don't agree. To say that someone is light-skinned is not racist.

HANNITY: Negro dialect?

SHARPTON: To — no, I said I was offended by that. You have to concede, Miss Coulter, I said that.

HANNITY: Yes.

SHARPTON: But to act as though Geraldine Ferraro saying he wouldn't be where he is if he wasn't black is nowhere in the same world in saying that someone is light-skinned and speaks a certain way. I don't know how you act with a straight face that's the same thing.

HANNITY: Rush's comments about Donovan McNabb at the —

SHARPTON: I came on your show and said that my problem with Rush Limbaugh was he attacked the NFL players, calling them Crips and Bloods. How can he want to own a team when he has castigated him? Has nothing to do with race.

HANNITY: But —

SHARPTON: Go by what I objected to.

HANNITY: Do you see a double standard in Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: What's the standard?

HANNITY: Hang on a second. Let me ask her.

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: I mean, it's more than just Al Sharpton. You could go through his comments on this and that but obviously there is a double standard.

And I want you to do a man on the street survey where you take a bunch of these comments. Macaca, the Trent Lott thing, what Chris Dodd said praising Bob Bird, Joe Biden calling Obama clean and articulate, now Harry Reid saying this.

• Great American Blog: Do you think there's a double standard?

SHARPTON: And we —

COULTER: Wait a minute.

SHARPTON: … objected to it.

COULTER: And.

SHARPTON: He was talking about former candidates like me. What are you talking about?

COULTER: And Bill Clinton saying — well, I'm not saying it's just Al Sharpton. I'm saying mostly the liberal media.

SHARPTON: But you can't say one about.

COULTER: Hey, stop it!

SHARPTON: See? See? That's what I'm saying.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: If anyone should want a debate is to stop acting up.

COULTER: There's Bill Clinton saying to Kennedy that a few years ago Obama would be getting coffee for us. And then you compare that to eight years ago now, Trent Lott giving a toast at a birthday party. A toast. And no one believes what people say at toasts. This is the best welder ever — who ever lived. Just was something said in a toast. Everybody knew that.

It was silly. But Republicans, conservatives walk on egg shells, this is a one way ratchet to defend the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party which by the way does nothing for blacks, takes blacks for granted. While blacks are voting for the Democratic Party 90 percent, and who appoints the first black secretary of state, who appoints the first female black secretary of state?

The closest woman to Bill Clinton was Betty Hurry his secretary.

COULTER: You just let them take you for granted.

SHARPTON: But, Ann, first of all, you just made a whole tour.

COULTER: Yes, I did.

SHARPTON: And can't name one double standard as I did. I certainly took on Biden when he said that. I.

COULTER: He is the one who made this all about Al Sharpton. I am talking about the media.

SHARPTON: Well, you're debating Al Sharpton. You're not debating the media.

COULTER: You're defending the liberal media.

SHARPTON: I said —

COULTER: And you are part of the problem.

SHARPTON: No, no, no.

COULTER: You're not the sole problem.

SHARPTON: I'm defending what he asked me. He asked me about me and a double standard. I will even take issue what you said with the president. Let us not forget this president denounced the words of his own pastor and left the church. I mean.

HANNITY: He left his church only out of political expediency.

SHARPTON: But he denounced his —

HANNITY: He — no, he did not denounce it.

SHARPTON: So you said — a man to leave his church.

HANNITY: Ann is right about it. Let me.

COULTER: I'm not going to back to Reverend Wright.

SHARPTON: Go back to fit with your distortion.

COULTER: How about what Bill Clinton said?

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: What Clinton said is something you ought to be dealing with. I have said, and you know I've said it that that was far more disturbing.

COULTER: I agree.

SHARPTON: And I think it was far more offensive.

HANNITY: Was it racist?

COULTER: OK, meanwhile.

SHARPTON: If he meant that he would have been serving us because we was black.

HANNITY: What do you think he could have meant?

SHARPTON: Well, that's what I want to know.

COULTER: And what are the Democrats doing about Governor Paterson, the black governor of New York? Obama tells him not to run. Harold Ford, the Democratic Party is against him. Charles Rangel attacked every day on the cover of the New York Times.

SHARPTON: Hold on. Are you saying that President Obama said —

COULTER: Why? Because you left always get away with it.

SHARPTON: … that David Paterson shouldn't run because he's black? I thought we're talking about race here?

COULTER: OK, how — how are blacks doing in the Democratic Party as opposed to.

SHARPTON: No, but I'm asking you a question.

COULTER: On the Republican Party where we don't even —

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: Did President Obama say David Paterson should not run for governor because he's black?

COULTER: Why did White House sent someone and ask him not to run?

SHARPTON: Because he's black?

COULTER: No. But he is black. Gosh, that coincidence keeps coming up.

SHARPTON: Why don't we talk about the hockey game scores tonight?

COULTER: The one Supreme Court justice.

SHARPTON: I mean we're all over the place here.

HANNITY: All right, let me.

COULTER: No, we're not. We're doing the double standard. You're brining up other things like Reverend Wright.

HANNITY: Let me give the standard. Negro dialect.

SHARPTON: I think Negro dialect is the term because of the use of Negro to me is offensive. Is it a statement that equals what you're trying to say? Just say that —

HANNITY: What's the difference between that and Don Imus who is trying to be funny?

SHARPTON: Don Imus.

HANNITY: Hang on a sec. Trying to be funny. He admits he was wrong and that it was offensive.

SHARPTON: All right.

HANNITY: All right. But you pushed him out of his job.

SHARPTON: Don Imus.

HANNITY: Wait a minute, why shouldn't Harry Reid get the same standard?

SHARPTON: Because — first of all you're comparing a disc jockey that attacked —

HANNITY: Yes, to a United States majority leader in the Senate.

SHARPTON: Do you want an answer or do you want to ask and answer your own point?

HANNITY: I'll answer my own point.

SHARPTON: OK. You're comparing a disc jockey that attacked young black females on a basketball team as nappy-headed hos.

HANNITY: Right.

SHARPTON: With a statement by someone that described a speech pattern that I think he used the wrong term but it was not a derogatory term. You have the United Negro College Fund. Am I going to tell you that people still don't use the term just because I —

HANNITY: Do you think that's what Harry Reid meant?

COULTER: Oh come on, you know it. If a Republican would have used that the Republicans would have resigned.

SHARPTON: How many people said that when Mrs. Clinton went in certain churches she uses certain cadence? How many —

HANNITY: She did.

SHARPTON: So, again.

COULTER: Why didn't Harry Reid support her?

SHARPTON: So, again, were those people being racist?

HANNITY: You answer your own question.

SHARPTON: I'm asking you?

HANNITY: Ann?

COULTER: I mean, you know, why can't we stay on the subject?

SHARPTON: This is a tag team match. Neither one of you can score. Tell me a quote that's he same standard.

COULTER: No, he keeps going off onto the wrong subject —

HANNITY: Go ahead.

COULTER: Do not talk about Reverend Wright.

SHARPTON: I want to know how you could say.

HANNITY: He talked about Reverend Wright.

SHARPTON: I want to know how you could say Trent Lott, saying Strom Thurmond, who I voted for and who we all supported and America would have been a better place if he'd run for president.

HANNITY: We got to break.

SHARPTON: How that's just a toast?

HANNITY: We'll take a break. We'll come back. More with Reverend Al Sharpton and Ann Coulter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And we continue with the Reverend Al Sharpton and number one "New York Times" best-selling author, Ann Coulter. And you were going to say?

COULTER: What was the question?

HANNITY: Well, you wanted to speak. You were complaining you didn't get to speak. And I'm giving you a chance.

COULTER: I'm complaining that your analogies are terrible.

HANNITY: I'm sorry but he brought up Reverend Wright and I was just responding to it. I'm sorry you didn't like that he brought up the point.

COULTER: Or Don Imus. These are politicians.

HANNITY: But why don't you get to your point instead of whining about it? Go ahead.

COULTER: I didn't want to talk about this to begin with.

SHARPTON: I'm so happy that I have the right fighting each other tonight.

HANNITY: Yes. You've done a pretty good job about that.

COULTER: I think we already debated and a good time was had by all.

HANNITY: All right. So you don't think Harry Reid should go and you don't think Harry Reid —

COULTER: Correct. No, I've had it with these loser Democrats pulling out before the November election.

HANNITY: But it's not.

COULTER: But I do want to rub it in to Reverend Al that he and the left-wing media will let Democrats get away with anything while the Democrats promotes absolutely no one. The Republican Party is the colorblind party. The Democratic Party is the party of slavery, segregation, always racial preferences.

And yet you let them get away with anything. I mean either what Harry Reid said is offensive and not, when you do your man on the street poll and try to guess who said it, no one will be able to guess, and they'll say, oh this isn't offensive, or they will say it's offensive. And I bet they won't be able to guess who said those things.

HANNITY: Reverend?

SHARPTON: I think that, again, I have said to Miss Coulter to tell me one example, just one, that a Democrat said something like they would support a segregationist, apartheid.

HANNITY: I'll give you an example.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: No, no. You're going to do Imus again.

SHARPTON: And America would have been —

HANNITY: I'll give you a senator.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: I'm showing up next time —

SHARPTON: Don't say.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Robert Byrd.

SHARPTON: Robert Byrd.

HANNITY: The former Klansman.

SHARPTON: Him being a member of the Klan was despicable.

HANNITY: And he used the N-word just a few years ago.

COULTER: OK. You can't just say it's despicable.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: And that's despicable. First of all, I was out here then with National Action Network at the time?

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You've always been out there forever.

COULTER: That's why you don't want to pin it just on him —

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: That's only because you think I've been out here forever. We're talking — she is acting as if there is some standard that a Republican did and a Democrat did the same thing.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: They are never going to be the exact same thing. They're far left — when a Republican doesn't —

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: It has to be in the same world you can't compare.

COULTER: You have to go back eight years.

SHARPTON: Do you realize that Strom Thurmond left the party to run for the reason that he wanted to support segregation?

COULTER: And do you know which party he left, Al Sharpton?

SHARPTON: The Democratic Party.

COULTER: Yes, OK, I don't like it anymore than.

SHARPTON: Because the Democratic Party was supporting.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: Because the Democratic Party was supporting the civil rights. He left to form another party to fight civil rights.

COULTER: He wasn't running as a Dixiecran —

SHARPTON: And your candidate said.

COULTER: No, no, no.

SHARPTON: . that I voted for him and America would have been better if he won. Is that not true, Miss Coulter?

COULTER: No, you are wrong. When Strom Thurmond was a segregationist, he was a Democrat. When the Democratic Party he did not ran as a Dixiecran, he ran as a Dixiecrat and he went back to the Democratic Party.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: He ran as a Dixiecrat and then he found his home in the Republican Party where you claim is so colorblind.

COULTER: Because the Democratic Party is the party of slavery and segregation on racial preference.

HANNITY: Let me ask you.

COULTER: And I'm going to show up the next time you're being honored for something and when they say you're the greatest civil rights leader, I'm going to yell out, it's a toast, don't believe it.

SHARPTON: OK.

COULTER: Because that's what Trent Lott was doing. It was a toast and do not say he was saying anything about Dixiecrats. And by the way it's Republicans who don't put up with that.

SHARPTON: If someone were to toast you and say to you that you were a supporter and part of an anti-female —

COULTER: He didn't say that. He didn't say that.

SHARPTON: No, he didn't. He said I voted for him. He said I voted for him and we all supported him.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: And eight years later we are still talking about this Republican which shows the double standard right there —

HANNITY: Let me ask this.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Robert Byrd used the N-word just a few years ago.

SHARPTON: When? And.

HANNITY: It was on "Fox News Sunday."

SHARPTON: Robert Byrd used that word and not quoting someone then I'd say —

HANNITY: No. He talked about —

COULTER: How can you not remember that?!

SHARPTON: I'm asking — you don't remember, you can't tell me when he said it.

HANNITY: No, I can. He said it on "Fox News Sunday" five, six years ago when he used the term white "N-word."

SHARPTON: Well, I think that that is outrageous.

COULTER: That was in context. He apologized. It's contemptible, you forgive him.

SHARPTON: I didn't forgive — again.

COULTER: You forgive all these Democrats and —

HANNITY: I'll play you the tape.

SHARPTON: What Democrats? We have consistently —

COULTER: What about Bill Clinton.

SHARPTON: I just said — why aren't y'all talking about Bill Clinton? You know why? Because Bill Clinton is not.

COULTER: I keep bringing him up.

SHARPTON: He's not in charge of the Senate. He's not the one pushing health care. You're taking a statement that you know is nowhere near what Clinton is accused of saying.

COULTER: OK. Back to the —

SHARPTON: … and going after Reid.

HANNITY: We have 10 seconds. We're going to wrap it up. Go ahead.

SHARPTON: Purely political reasons. This is all about the health care bill.

COULTER: OK. The most important issue tonight is not the rematch. It is that Massachusetts voters are about to vote for a woman who kept an innocent man in prison, knowingly, for four years.

I think a lot of Democrats who are about to vote for her would be appalled if that's what she's doing. If you cannot bring yourself to vote for a Republican, Massachusetts voters, write in the name Gerald Emerald. The man she kept in prison who was manifestly innocent.

HANNITY: All right. Thank you both for being with us. Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: I don't have a chance to respond and talk about Huckabee?

HANNITY: A lot more news —

COULTER: Vote against him, too.

(LAUGHTER)

— Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2010 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.