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George Allen Fuses Politics, Sports in New Book

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 24, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: At first glance, the Washington beltway and the world of sports don't seem to have much in common. In politics, rules change at a moment's notice, and it seems as if members of a certain party, they're always trying to change them to further their political ambition. In sports, teamwork is essential, cheating is frowned upon, and the rules don't change.

So can our nation's politicians learn anything from what takes place in the word of sports?

Joining me now is author of the brand-new book, "What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports," former Virginia Senator George Allen.

I love the book. I love it because you want to talk — every time you come in, we talk sports.

GEORGE ALLEN, AUTHOR, "WHAT WASHINGTON CAN LEARN FROM THE WORLD OF SPORTS": We do. Your son is growing up in sports.

HANNITY: Yes.

ALLEN: I grew up in sports. And a lot of this book is a reflection on what my father taught me, growing up.

HANNITY: One of the greatest coaches.

ALLEN: Well, and a great father.

HANNITY: Great father.

ALLEN: And my mother is still kicking, and I learned a lot from her, as well. And one of the things you learn in sports growing up, is that level playing fields, equal opportunity for everyone.

You don't care about someone's religion, or their race, or where they're from. What you care about whether they can help the team win. It's a meritocracy.

HANNITY: Right.

ALLEN: And that's what we should aspire to in our society, as well.

HANNITY: What you say in the book is equal opportunity not equal outcome is the American way.

ALLEN: Right.

HANNITY: But unfortunately, we've got to the point where I imagine at some point people are going to say everybody in school gets an "A." Because the kids that work hard and get an "A," and then some kids get an "F." You know, redistribution is all right. We'll give everybody a "C."

ALLEN: And in sports, you ever think they would take away World Series championships and say that the Cincinnati Reds and give them to the Pirates.

HANNITY: No.

ALLEN: And take away the Steelers' Super Bowl trophies and give them to the Detroit Lions? Obviously not. You have to earn it. It is not equal results, it is equal opportunity.

Folks get into contests, and they don't look forward to, "Gosh, I hope this ends in a tie." Or, "Let's all cross over the finish line together holding hands." That's what I write about in the book. That's the way government wants to do things, and that's not the American way.

HANNITY: Look what's happening in the schools now. They don't want kids to keep score in the sporting game. As if they're not going to keep score.

ALLEN: Well, I've refereed even soccer games for kids, and they are all keeping score. And indeed, when you go to a basketball game, you don't guess what the score is. There's a scoreboard.

And in fact, in one chapter in my book, "What Washington Could Learn From the World of Sports," is what gets measured, gets better. And so you have to have measurement to make sure we know children are learning how to read and write and speak the English language and higher levels of math and science and history and economics. And students that are doing poorly that need more help. You don't just socially promote them from grade to grade.

HANNITY: Sports mirrors life. Both my kids — my little boy is 11. My little girl is 8. They're both competitive athletes. But what I love about it is you've got to — you've got to learn to win. You've got to learn to be a gracious loser at times. You've got to learn to work hard to achieve a goal. As much work as you put in you'll benefit on the other side. And I try and tell them that's what life is about.

ALLEN: And when you don't win, you learn. You get back...

HANNITY: You probably learn more when you lose, don't you?

ALLEN: That's true. I've learned, because I haven't always won, and I've lost. And you do learn from losing. And what you learn is, all right, what mistakes were made? Where can you improve? What can be done better? And so long as they don't kill you, you keep fighting.

HANNITY: As long as they don't kill you, make you stronger.

I was surprised you brought up the issue of the videotape in your last race and Macaca and all that. Why did you bring that up for this book?

ALLEN: I brought it up as a lesson learned. Some of the things in sports, with the banter in the midst of a description of the Army-Navy rivalry and all the pranks and the hijinks that also go on.

But after the game both academies come together because we're all part of team America. And sometimes when you say things in sports it's understood. The taunting and so forth doesn't always apply in politics.

That particular situation was a mistake. It was not with any malicious intent. It was inappropriate to bring into this debate this young man who was following me all over Virginia, to dozens of events. I was trying to tweak my opponent and shouldn't have brought the young man in. And I...

HANNITY: You looked right at the camera. You knew he was there. You knew he was following you everywhere.

ALLEN: Yes.

HANNITY: Wasn't that kind of a little bit of evidence that you didn't think it was any type of slur?

ALLEN: On, if I had any idea...

HANNITY: You wouldn't be looking at a camera and saying it.

ALLEN: Not only that, if I knew it were — could be considered a slur, I wouldn't have said it.

HANNITY: ... wouldn't have let you do it?

ALLEN: Absolutely not. And — and the — it diverted the campaign away from ideas and issues. I regret what it did to the campaign. I regret what it did to my family. Campaigns are tough enough on families. But — and it also allowed my opposition to mischaracterize the person I am.

HANNITY: We're running out of time. Don't you think every kid should play a sport because it does mirror life?

ALLEN: Oh, I think it's great, because you learn self-discipline, hard work, and if it's a team sports, you learn teamwork. If it's a sing — if it's a single sport that's pushing yourself. And you realize that you can push yourself further than you thought.

In whatever endeavor one gets into in life, sports teaches great lessons.

HANNITY: Well it's a great book.

ALLEN: And — and also what you were talking about, sportsmanship as well.

HANNITY: Governor, good to see you. Thanks for being with us. It's a great book. I love it.

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