This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 23, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Controversy erupted on Sunday when a speech by Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak was interrupted by Texas Congressman Randy Neugebauer.
Now, the outburst occurred as Stupak, who says he is a pro-life Democrat, described what he saw as efficient anti-abortion language in the bill. But there are many who say this legislation does not explicitly block federal funding for abortions.
Now, that belief caused Congressman Neugebauer to shout out, quote, "It's a baby killer," during Stupak's remarks. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BART STUPAK, D-MICH.: It is the Democrats who have stood up —
REP. DAVID OBEY, D-WIS.: Those who are shouting out are out of order.
REP. RANDY NEUGEBAUER, R-TEXAS: It's a baby killer.
STUPAK: Mr. Speaker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And joining me now for an exclusive interview to explain what exactly transpired is Texas Congressman Randy Neugebauer.
Congressman, good to see you. Thank you for being here. Appreciate it.
NEUGEBAUER: Sean, thank you for having me on the program.
HANNITY: You're from Lubbock, Texas.
NEUGEBAUER: Lubbock, Texas, yes.
HANNITY: All right. Well, you released a statement. OK, in your statement you said last night, "The climax of weeks and months of debate on health care in the heat of the emotion of the debate I exclaimed the phrase, 'It's a baby killer' in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership."
And you've since apologized to Bart Stupak.
HANNITY: Let's talk about what happened on the floor. Explain what was going through your mind.
NEUGEBAUER: First of all, Sean, thank you for having me on the program. I think you have to kind of go back and frame how we got to Sunday night. In over a year this administration has been trying to pass this health care legislation, trying to convince the American people that this was a good deal for them, and not very successfully. And we go back to the summer where we had all the town hall meetings, the American people saying no to this health care bill.
NEUGEBAUER: Overwhelmingly. The letters, the e-mails. And you know what?
Where we are today is that the American people are very concerned about the direction of this country. They're concerned about these record deficits. They're concerned about wasteful spending. They're concerned about the federalization of almost every area of their lives.
And so Sunday night they were watching, unfolding before their very eyes, the government take over of their health care. And since they couldn't sell it to the American people, they started cutting deals. You know, we had the Cornhusker Kickback.
And then the final thing that evening was that I realized that in order to close the deal that we had to jeopardize the lives of the unborn children and make some kind of backroom deal to take that health care bill across the line. It was unacceptable.
HANNITY: Do you think Bart Stupak can claim that he's pro-life now?
NEUGEBAUER: Well, I'm not going to speak whether he could claim it or not. But I know that I'm very concerned about the way that this unfolded.
The language in his amendment I voted for in the House version gives a lot of protection. And it was my understanding that he and his colleagues were going to hold out for that language to be included. Unfortunately, we went to this executive order, which by the way, the president didn't sign today. And I'm not sure that that gives the protections that — for the unborn.
HANNITY: Stupak himself admitted in an interview with our own Megyn Kelly here on the Fox News Channel that it's really not worth the paper it is printed on, because an executive order cannot trump a statute.
NEUGEBAUER: That's exactly right.
HANNITY: So he didn't really get anything in this deal. So the question, then, is why did he go along with this last-minute deal that we all watched unfold all Sunday?
NEUGEBAUER: Well, I think his leadership was very intent on passing this legislation. And they were willing to put the kind of pressure on members. You know the deals had been cut in the Senate and I think deals were being cut in the house. They were putting on a lot of pressure. This was an important piece of legislation.
HANNITY: I predicted — I said for an entire week on my radio show, Stupak will cave. I knew it. I saw it with Ben Nelson and I saw it with this case. I just figured they would do anything they need to do. We don't know all the deals associated with this bill yet, but I'm sure we will.
You said something, you said, "The House chamber is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was — was inappropriate." So, you have apologized. You regret saying that remark. Where does it stand now?
NEUGEBAUER: Well, let me say this. I regret that it was an inference that I was talking about Congressman Stupak. I don't apologize for speaking what I thought was the truth. I believe this bill was a baby killer, and I'm not backing down or apologizing for that.
The fact that some thought I was speaking about Congressman Stupak, that was what I apologized to him about. But I'm not going to ever apologize for expressing my feelings on something as important as this piece of legislation.
HANNITY: What has been the reaction nationwide and very specifically, what has been the reaction to the comment and the controversy in your district?
NEUGEBAUER: Overwhelmingly, the people are calling and supporting, saying thank you for, you know, expressing our feelings and our thoughts. Thank you for standing up for unborn children. Thank you for being a voice.
The American people are looking for leaders in this country, representatives, to stand up and have the tough discussions. And unfortunately, as you know in this process, this bill has had very little debate and discussion. Here is the most important piece of legislation that many of our, my colleagues will vote on while they're in Congress.
We had 120 minutes. So that's 30 — excuse me 27 seconds for every member of Congress to express themselves about this important legislation. And no amendments.
HANNITY: Last question: Any ramifications for this, or it's all over?
NEUGEBAUER: As far as I'm concerned it's all over. But you know, the war on liberty and freedom is everyday.
HANNITY: Did Bart accept your apology?
NEUGEBAUER: He did.
HANNITY: OK. All right, Congressman, good to see you. Thank you for being with us today. And all the best to you.
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