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GOP Candidate Gunning for Murtha's Seat in High-Stakes Battle

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 17, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Voters in a number of states across the country will head to the polls tomorrow. And one race in particular that is getting a lot of national attention is the special election in Pennsylvania to fill the seat that was occupied for more than three decades by Congressman John Murtha who passed away in February.

Now former Murtha staffer Mark Critz is running on the Democratic side, but the man who is looking to win the seat for the GOP is businessman Tim Burns who joins us now from Pittsburgh.

Well, the race could — what is it, 48-47? You're — the latest poll has you up by one point in a district that is, what, 2-1 Democratic?

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE TIM BURNS, R-PA.: It's 2-1 Democratic. But we're still doing very well here.

HANNITY: Alright. Now the one thing you might take away from this poll that interested me is voter intensity in terms of people being excited to vote. It's 62-38, in your favor. Why that disparity?

BURNS: Well, I mean, Sean, the atmosphere here is electric. People are tired of Washington as usual. They are upset with the out of control spending. Not happy that the health care bill was passed. They don't want to see cap-and-trade. They don't want amnesty for illegals. And they see race as a great opportunity that send a loud message to Washington that they're not going to stand for it any more.

HANNITY: What I found interesting about the race, if you can explain to people, we've seen this happen a lot in the past. Your opponent is basically running away from Barack Obama and the Democratic Party on every major national issue.

Your opponent, a Democrat, is an opponent of abortion rights, gun control. He said he would have voted against health care reform, the climate change bills — the opposite of the way Murtha has voted.

Do you think that candidate was put in there on purpose to seem conservative?

BURNS: Well, I mean, here you have a guy, Sean, who is trying to play both sides of every issue. I mean I called on him three times to state his position on the health care bill. He waited until after it was passed and said well, I wouldn't have voted for it, but I don't think we should repeal it.

You know, we have a guy who's going to Washington, he's raising money with Nancy Pelosi. Joe Biden comes to the district. Bill Clinton comes to the district. He raises money with these liberals all to buy advertising say that he's not — to say that he's not liberal.

You know, I believe that the voters here understand that Nancy Pelosi wouldn't be working this hard to get him elected if she thought for one minute that he wouldn't be another vote for her liberal agenda.

HANNITY: If that's the case, is he purposely misrepresenting himself to the people in your district?

BURNS: Well, you know, I believe that he's — he's willing to do or say anything that he can, anything that he has to get elected. I mean he'll go Washington and tell Pelosi and Obama one thing. He comes back to the district and says whatever he thinks he has to in order to get elected. I think it's typical for the left.

HANNITY: Well, there's one interesting thing. Now I know the president — when Arlen Specter switched parties, he went out there and said he has my full support. Well, he's got to be flying, I think, to Ohio tomorrow and he has a chance to campaign for Specter, he could have gone there over the weekend and campaign for Specter, and he didn't go there. Nor did he go to your district for your candidate.

Do you read anything into that?

BURNS: Well, I mean his negatives here are very high. He's very unpopular. You know, people are tired of Washington. They are tired of the Obama-Pelosi agenda. They are willing to do whatever they have to do in order to, you know, slow it down and hopefully put a stop to it here in November. They see this race as a great opportunity to take the next step toward that.

HANNITY: Obviously the president didn't help in Massachusetts, New Jersey or Virginia. Would the president help or hurt if he did come to Pennsylvania right now?

BURNS: The president would help me tremendously. I would love him to come to Pennsylvania.

(LAUGHTER)

BURNS: And I think that would ensure victory tomorrow night.

HANNITY: Even if he's going to raise money for your opponent? That would help you?

BURNS: I'll tell you what. I — President Obama here is so unpopular I don't care how much money he raised. I think that would be the nail in the coffin for him and then we would ensure our victory tomorrow.

HANNITY: You know, one of the — it's just become a common tactic. It's right out of Rahm Emanuel's playbook and Charles — Chuck Schumer's playbook. They get these candidates, they sound conservative, then they go to Washington and they vote with the party leaders. It seems to me that this would probably be another case of that.

So it's going to be interesting to watch. 2-1 Democratic against you, you got an uphill fight in that sense.

BURNS: Well, I mean, we do have an uphill fight, Sean. But what you have to realize is these are conservative Democrats. I can't tell you how many Democrats I've run into that they said look, I'm a Democrat but I'm not this kind of Democrat.

I don't agree with this Pelosi-Obama agenda and I'm going to vote for you. And I'll tell you, people are going to be surprised. We're going to do very well tomorrow and I can ensure you we're going to have a victory and there'll be a loud message sent to Washington saying that we are not going to put up with it anymore.

HANNITY: Alright. Tim Burns, probably within 24 hours, right here in this program, our election coverage tomorrow night. We'll be following this race among the other primaries around the country.

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

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