This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 14, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The Tea Party Movement went back to its roots earlier today when a massive rally was held on Boston Common just steps from the site of the original Tea Party. And the keynote speaker at the event was none other than the former governor of the great state of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN, R-ALASKA: Boston, if anyone knows how to throw a Tea Party, it is you.
PALIN: And folks, we need your voice now more than ever.
It is time to remind them that government should be working for us. We should not have to work for the government.
This isn't about party machines. It's not about titles or power struggles within. It's not about dividing America and it is not about one individual politician. This is about the people. This is the people's movement.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Alright, now thousands of supporters were on hand for the rally earlier today and on the other hand it was estimated that only 100 anti-Tea Party protesters showed up.
Now that certainly says a lot about whose side the momentum is on right now in America, doesn't it?
And joining me now here in Atlanta with analysis are former White House press secretary Dana Perino, Fox News contributors and Pat Caddell.
Pat, welcome. Dana, good to see you. Thanks for being with us. Welcome, everybody.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
HANNITY: Let me start. It was just yesterday that Steny Hoyer was out there saying we've got — the tone in America is dangerous. We've got to lower the volume here. At the same time, we've got a United States congressman wanting to punch Bill O'Reilly in the nose and saying blank, the f-word, the Tea Party Movement.
Where is the insightful rhetoric coming from here?
DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think that you can't pick up a newspaper today without reading about how angry the conservative movement is. I've read three stories about it today in my local paper, The Washington Post.
And if —
HANNITY: Your local paper.
PERINO: My local paper. But if you look across the board, there is — tensions are high across the board but I think that if you look at any type of the vitriolic rhetoric it comes really from the fringes. But it is coming from both sides.
HANNITY: I want to put up on the screen for our audience. Now there — these were — a local Boston paper had a contest for the best signs to greet Governor Sarah Palin. And I want to put up on the screen so everybody — and by the way, these are the ones that we can put up there.
"God hates Sarah Palin." "Exorcise Palin." Meaning an exorcism. "I usually dig crazy b-words." "Any questions?"" I can see Sarah Palin from my backyard." Mocking, ridiculing, attacking. They've gone after her looks, they've gone after her family, they've gone after her children.
Pat Caddell, what is it with the Democratic Party? They called anybody who goes to the Tea Party, un-American, mobsters and every other name — they compared to the Klan and segregationists.
Why would the Democratic Party do that?
PAT CADDELL, FORMER DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Well, this is why my party is in such trouble. I mean you can't go around attacking the American people which is what we're doing and think that they're going to like it.
You know we have an anger in this country that is much broader than the Tea Party movement. It's in everybody. And let me just say, Sean, people who want to participate tomorrow in their own Tea Party will go to Fox News and we're going to have the taxpayer calculator where you can get up there and you can put how much income you make and then you get to see how much of the programs you're paying for with your taxes. And it'll be —
HANNITY: Well, half the country is not paying anything, Pat, according to the recent statistics that came up.
CADDELL: Well, yes. Well, if you do pay — imagine you pay. You know you could do it.
HANNITY: No, I pay. Pay, pay, pay.
CADDELL: And Beckel says you don't pay enough is the problem.
HANNITY: Yes. Beckel wants every penny I've got.
CADDELL: Yes. Well, he is…
HANNITY: I guess, for example, I never saw the government — I understand why they go after talk radio. Every personality on the Fox News Channel, as you all know, has been attacked by name on a regular basis.
Pat, you're a Democrat. You're a lifelong Democrat, you worked with Carter and Mondale. You are attacked on a regular basis.
CADDELL: Yes. Well, that's the way life is.
PERINO: I think there's something else going on, too, which is that the American people, they're angry, right? The large majorities are angry and they're — they're reaching out and they're crying out.
And the Tea Party movement, in particular, gets singled out for ridicule by elites. And so even when they feel just as disconnected as they possibly could from Washington they want to raise their voice and then they get attacked even for raising their voice.
And I think that is the real problem. And Sarah Palin has been willing to go out and talk to the Tea Party movement at any opportunity. And there's a lot of women that are a part of this Tea Party movement. And independents are moving their way.
HANNITY: But it's interesting, though, because Democrats are saying, no, no, this rhetoric is out of control. This is a violent movement, a bunch of mobsters.
CADDELL: This is what we have here — and understand, we have Washington and the political class, and the media — and we have the people and they could not be further apart if they lived in opposite universes.
HANNITY: Good point.
CADDELL: You know, the American people, you know, we're having tax day tomorrow. You know, we look at Scott Rasmussen's numbers and what you find is 66 percent overall think they're taxed too much.
Now among mainstream America that number is 80 percent. Among the political class, 70 percent say they're not taxed enough or they're not taxed really. So it's a 150 point difference. I mean you might as — I mean I've never seen anything like it.
PERINO: Well, talk about being out of touch. I mean, tomorrow Americans are going to have to — that's the day that your taxes are due. And it is the same day that President Obama has chosen to have a space summit. And not even focusing on the issue that people care about the most.
HANNITY: He's focusing on the economy like a laser beam as we deteriorate into…
PERINO: Well, that's part of his space program.
HANNITY: Yes, part of his space program, not a bad — you know it's…
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
HANNITY: This is a crowd.
HANNITY: Rasmussen — it's very interesting. A month ago, 16 percent of the American people identified themselves with the Tea Party Movement. Today that number is 24 percent. But back to the rhetoric for one second. Because you were the press secretary for George W. Bush.
Two interesting things have come out. First of all, all the things that were said in those years about President Bush — number one. And there was a poll out today that if there was an election between Barack Obama and George W. Bush, it is a dead heat.
PERINO: Yes. What a difference a year makes.
HANNITY: What a difference a year makes.
PERINO: What a difference a year makes and a push for policies that the American people, one, didn't want, two, aren't ready for, and three, some people, I think have buyer's remorse.
And especially when — remember President Obama in the campaign said you'll get to keep your health care and you won't — we won't raise taxes on the middle class as defined by him as somebody who makes $250,000 or less.
HANNITY: We learned today that's not true.
PERINO: It's not true. And so I think people are caulking in their heads thinking well, what's the next shoe to drop? And how much more money could be squeezed out of our pockets?
CADDELL: Look, you know the biggest problem in this country right now is that people think the country is we — that we're losing the country. The American dream is disappearing. The deficits and debt in this country has become the defining symbol of a country that is losing its future for its children.
And that's — everything else is driven from that and Washington — and I say this all of Washington.
HANNITY: Why are —
CADDELL: Because by the way none of them want to not spend money. It's not just the Democrats, the Republicans are spending money. Everybody's spending money.
HANNITY: Wait — but wait a minute, but we never quadrupled the debt like this or the deficit like —
CADDELL: Well —
HANNITY: Here's my question, though, to you. Why aren't more Democrats saying what you're saying? You're a Democrat. You say it, you get beaten up for saying it, why?
CADDELL: Well, in this country right now politically we are so centralized politics that the fear of dissent — and I come from a party which thrives on dissent traditionally. And —
PERINO: Unless you're Sarah Palin.
CADDELL: Well — well, that's true. But you know. Everyone has someone. You know? It's that you have here — what you have is the attack saying we've got to all stand together.
They asked Democrats, and Doug Schoen and I wrote about this before the vote on health care that this is suicidal. That this effort to shove something down people's throats —
HANNITY: Politically —
CADDELL: It's going to be a disaster.
HANNITY: Hang on. We got to take a break now.
HANNITY: The people gathered here, they're fed up with the Obama administration. They're also not the only ones out there.
Members of the Tea Party movement made their voices heard in Boston earlier today when they protested the astronomically high tax increases that the anointed one is now ushering in.
We continue now with former Democratic pollster, Fox News contributor, Pat Caddell, and former White House communications director, press secretary and Fox News contributor, Dana Perino.
A lot of this comes to money. So are we — I've gone, looked at the present tax bracket in America is 35 percent. The Bush tax cuts are going to expire. So that's going to bring it up. We're going to now go to 42 percent, just right there.
They're going to increase the tax on Medicare, 25 percent to 3.9 percent. A millionaire surcharge — if you make a million dollars a year — 5.4 percent. So it's going to be 53 percent and that doesn't include state income tax. That doesn't include their new consumption tax, sales tax, county tax, property tax.
PERINO: Not only that but we have amongst the highest corporate tax rates —
HANNITY: In the world.
PERINO: In the world. So we've become even more uncompetitive when it comes to creating jobs in the country if you're a corporation, where would you rather be? And it might not be here.
HANNITY: Are you suggesting then that business is going to invest overseas, maybe emerging economies with there's cheaper labor and —
PERINO: Well, that's — yes, and that's already happening. I do think that most businesses — most Americans would like to have their business based in America. That is — that would be their preference.
But when it comes down to where they should spend their money they make a different decisions. I will make one other point, Sean, and that is for — that people should be very aware of this Consumer Financial Protection Act that the Democrats today said that they're going to ram through without any Republican support.
They don't care, they're on a pattern. And the one thing about this bill that no one is talking about is that — the way it is written right now, the rules do not apply to foreign banks, only to American banks. It puts us at a distinct disadvantage.
HANNITY: Look, now, this is important because this would allow the Obama administration without any judicial oversight to literally shutdown, sell off private companies that the administration in essence deems too big to fail. Is that what we're talking about?
CADDELL: Too big to fail. And this is the problem with the Republican Party. And I — you know, I'm pretty tough on my party so let me say something about the Republicans, and particularly as it relates to the Tea Party.
HANNITY: All right, everybody, get ready to boo.
CADDELL: Get ready to boo if you want.
HANNITY: Well, I'm teasing.
CADDELL: But I — you know, we'll see what you think. But the fact is, that the Republican Party keeps — and I don't know why, they keep supporting the institutions like banks which are giving 2/3 of their money to Democrats.
Too big to fail, the question of regulation. I mean, don't think if they give you money you don't get something for it. It's like they did with the support of the drug companies that are supporting Obama's health care.
HANNITY: No, wait —
CADDELL: My bigger point is, look, we had an election in Massachusetts with Scott Brown. That was the model. Somebody new from the outside. Now Democrats decided to pretend it never happened. And Republicans thought it was open invitation to bring back every old hack that was involved in helping bring deficits in, whether it's a coach in Indiana.
Instead of going and getting new blood, the American people — the Tea Party movement is bigger.
PERINO: I disagree.
CADDELL: And they want new blood.
PERINO: There is some new blood. There is some great new blood.
CADDELL: There is some of that but we have —
PERINO: And candidate recruitment is great.
CADDELL: — candidate after candidate —
PERINO: And I'll give you an example. If you look at somebody like a Tim Burns in Pennsylvania who's going to try to run for Murtha's seat, this is an interesting young conservative. You have Ryan Frasier of Colorado. You have five women running for the Republican Party for Senate races across the country.
There's a lot of new blood. A lot of good ideas and they are putting them forward. And yes, let's talk about people bringing back for reruns, people who have already been in government. The Democrats do that, the Republicans do that —
PERINO: Probably that's because you have the experience.
CADDELL: All I'm saying is the party — the problem is that is the problem with Washington. I think that's what people in the Tea Party are saying. We want control of the country. We are tired of the political class —
CADDELL: — having control. The Republicans are going to win but they better look at how they win.
HANNITY: No, no, but here's where we are.
CADDELL: A party that votes for earmarks.
HANNITY: Billy Shafley wrote the following on town hall today, April 15th, by the way, which is tomorrow, everybody. Divides America into two equal classes. Those who pay for services provided by the government, and she uses the term free loaders. And she goes on to say, the worst of it is the bottom 40 percent, 50 percent don't pay any income tax.
Forty percent not only don't pay but they are benefited by those that are dutifully paying.
HANNITY: Now hang on.
Now Americans are split according to Gallup about whether their income tax are too high. Of course they're split. The people that aren't paying, they don't have a problem with taxes being high. And then the rest of America that's paying feels like they're paying too much.
CADDELL: He warned that the thing that would destroy America, if anything did, was in fact if we ended up with some paying for the government, other people —
HANNITY: Well, it's 50/50.
CADDELL: And this is a problem. Now listen, I'm for responsible government. Responsible government. In my party and the country. Everyone has got to be in the same boat. If you're not on the same boat, we're not in the same country.
HANNITY: Alright, so —
CADDELL: And these people in power want — understand they want to keep in power or they want to get it back.
HANNITY: Alright, last question for Dana. Because what I think — I think what Obama, Reid, Pelosi are doing, they want the power. They want dependency. They want us looking and bowing at their altar because they're in control. They have everything. And we have to go to them for whatever crumbs they — you know, they want to — you know, push down to us.
PERINO: They have a different view of the world, that's for sure, at least from my point of view. Do I think at the end of the day do we all want a strong America? Yes. Do we have different ways of getting there? Absolutely.
And what I would love to see is that for the 50 percent of Americans who are not paying federal income tax, for them to be able to have the type of lifestyle, job and education that can bring them up so that they can start paying as well.
And I would bet you that most of them probably at the end of the day would prefer to have that lifestyle than not paying any taxes at all.
CADDELL: Last question, why aren't we doing more to make the economy work? We have the largest number of people been unemployed for a year or more. People are not finding work. And we are distracted with —
HANNITY: And how do you do that? You do what Reagan did. You cut taxes, you unleash the entrepreneurial spirit. You eliminate government bureaucracy, red tape and regulate —
CADDELL: And let me just say this. And what you also do, I am for stimulating, I am for the fact that you have to give people incentives to make jobs in the economy. It doesn't come from the government.
The problem, though, too, is what we have is crony capitalism in which we have companies and government hand-in-hand in which they are benefiting their own, that kind of welfare, and it is not free enterprise.
HANNITY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. As much as you would talk about corporate malfeasance, there is nothing as mismanaged as government. You want to waste money, government mismanages money more than anybody.
CADDELL: I didn't argue that, Sean. I'm not arguing there's not government incompetence.
CADDELL: The problem is, is when it's being sold and bought on the open market. That's the problem because it's the ordinary people are getting —
HANNITY: If — I'll say this last word. If any corporation were run as ineffectively, as corruptly, with the bribery and the intimidation and the —
CADDELL: You mean like Wall Street was last year?
HANNITY: Wait a minute. If any corporation were run like the U.S. government, the leaders would be put in jail.
HANNITY: That's the difference. Alright, guys, good to see you. Thank you for being with us.
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