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'Hannity': Michele Bachmann Defends Tea Party Against Racism Charges

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 16, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The left wing of America was at it again this week, targeting the Tea Party movement and even labeling it at a racist organization at their national convention on Tuesday. The NAACP has passed a resolution condemning the movement as, quote, "explicitly racist."

Now, we've heard this left-wing attack from Democrats and their allies before. For more than a year, the left has waged a vicious smear campaign against Tea Party supporters and town hall attendees. We've learned that anyone who dares to speak out against the president's policies is at risk of being called stupid, un-American, racist and worse.

Watch this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANEANE GAROFALO, COMEDIAN: They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about. They don't know the history. This is about hating a black man in the White House, this is racism straight-up.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And you see folks waving tea bags around.

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF: Carrying swastikas and symbols like that to town meetings on health care.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, then called them un-American. And now the speaker has run with that description.

REP. JOHN DINGELL, D-MICH.: Well, the last time I had to confront something like this was when I voted for the Civil Rights Bill and my opponent voted against it. At that time we had a lot of Ku Klux Klan folks.

BILL BURTON, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: People are showing up to revenge with swastikas, dressed up as Hitler.

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: An overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he's a black man.

BILL MAHER, HBO: The tea baggers, they are not a movement, they are a cult.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right. Now, sadly, we could have filled an entire hour with irresponsible left-wing attacks just like those.

Joining me now in a rare studio appearance with reaction of the smear is Minnesota Congresswoman, the second most-loved Republican woman and hated.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: Oh, thank you! You got it right, thank you, Sean Hannity.

HANNITY: I one time said, the second most-hated after Governor Palin. No, no, I'm also the second-most loved.

BACHMANN: That's right.

HANNITY: I have a quote here, Sheila Jackson Lee actually saying, all those who wore sheets a long time ago may have lifted them off and started wearing and she got applause, clothing with a name saying, I am part of the Tea Party, don't be fooled.

BACHMANN: So, think of that. Here you have a member of Congress saying that mainstream America, God-fearing, freedom-loving patriots who object to this out of control spending, now they are part of the KKK? That's essentially what she is saying. I don't any more of a worse smear that you could possibly have.

HANNITY: No, that's the point. It is one of the worse things you can say about somebody, they are racist.

BACHMANN: Racism is real. Racism is ugly. You hate racism, I hate racism. Most of your listeners out there, it's like, 99.9999 percent of your listeners hate racism.

So, stop saying that normal people are racist when they aren't.

HANNITY: What do you think this is about? Because, as I dig deeper into this, I think especially with the NAACP, we saw in 2000, the James Byrd ad.

BACHMANN: Yes.

HANNITY: You know, George Bush supported the death penalty for the people that committed that evil atrocity against James Byrd, the dragging death, it was absolutely horrible.

BACHMANN: It was terrible.

HANNITY: And so, because he didn't support hate crimes legislation, they run this ad, and it is like my father is being killed all over again. What do you think this is about? I think this is about politics and energizing the Democratic base which they think right now is depressed, heading into this midterm.

BACHMANN: Well, Pelosi and Obama and everyone on the left are scared to death of the Tea Party, because the Tea Party has vibrancy and energy and the movement that's going towards victory this November. And remember, the Tea Party is made up of disaffected Democrats, independents, Republicans, libertarians. You've got probably the most broad-based coalition, Sean, in modern times that are very upset with the Pelosi-Obama agenda.

So, what are they going to do? Smear mainstream America. That is what it is.

HANNITY: Look, we have veterans, stay at home moms, they're showing up.

BACHMANN: African-Americans, the Latinas.

HANNITY: Because they don't like the direction of the country and they get smeared.

BACHMANN: That's right.

HANNITY: Here's what bothers me. What evidence does anybody have?

BACHMANN: That's the point, there isn't any. If you will look at a speaker at a Tea Party rally, the agenda, the blog postings, you don't see it. And, you know, so, I mean, if there is something there, you need to say. Because, again, it is a serious charge.

HANNITY: Obviously, when 38 percent of independents now support Barack Obama, that is not a good number heading into midterm election. Fifty-five percent — I have quoted this all week because it stands out and it is worth putting emphasis on — think the term socialist is aptly applied to the president of the United States of America. So, they can't run on their record that I see. What is the record they are going to run? They're going to run on the stimulus, job creation, the Gulf oil spill? I mean, what do they run on?

BACHMANN: Well, right, because America rejects the Pelosi-Obama agenda out of hand. They reject it. There's no question.

HANNITY: All right. So, 109 days out of the election.

BACHMANN: Yes.

HANNITY: I love Charles Krauthammer, I thought he a good admonition.

BACHMANN: Oh, he did. He said, don't underestimate President Obama. He's exactly right. That's why nobody should count their chickens before they hatch in November. Nobody should take for granted just because the people oppose the Obama agenda that somehow Republicans are going to win, Democrats are going to lose. One thing Democrats really understand is how to win elections.

HANNITY: Yes, they do.

BACHMANN: So, everybody needs to get out and volunteer and give money and do everything that has to be done to get people to the polls the first Tuesday in November.

HANNITY: No, I agree and Democrats can't run on their record as we were just saying.

BACHMANN: That's right.

HANNITY: So, then, the next thing is going to be about smear, slander, besmirch, attack.

BACHMANN: The Washington Post article.

HANNITY: The Washington Post said they be digging up dirt.

BACHMANN: They'd be digging up dirt on Republicans, that's right.

HANNITY: Well, are they going to find any dirt on you? You can tell us now right now, let's get it out of the way.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Look, they can dig up all the dirt they want on me, I'm not running for office.

But it is interesting, but you can have confidence, but you don't want to be over confident, right? I mean —

BACHMANN: Run on a positive record. I mean, quite literally, we've seen Republicans bear up and really oppose this agenda and expose it for what it is. And Republicans have a lot of great ideas. Despite what the media says, calling us the party of no, we've put our ideas out over and over.

Plus, the Republicans are listening to the American people. We have a website — America speaking out — we've tried to bring information. Plus, I just formed the Tea Party caucus.

HANNITY: You sent a letter Nancy Pelosi?

BACHMANN: I did. Inviting her to go ahead and help us form this caucus.

HANNITY: Yes, that's not going to happen.

BACHMANN: We're getting a little bit of push back. We haven't got approval yet from the speaker.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Well, you got, she has targeted you the number one person she wants defeated.

BACHMANN: That's right.

HANNITY: What do you think it is about you that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats do not want you in Congress?

BACHMANN: Well, I think, part of it is, for years, Democrats have felt that they are the party that speaks on behalf of women, speaks on behalf of African-Americans and speaks on behalf of Latinas.

Well, guess what? We are not stereotyped. Women are capable, they're competent, they're intelligent, they can think for themselves. And I think, now, the Democrats are very afraid, because women are leaving the Democratic Party and looking at what the Republicans have to say.

HANNITY: What is it though about yourself, Governor Palin? When I was out in Minneapolis —

BACHMANN: A great event! It was great.

HANNITY: And there 15,000 people in your event, but I asked you both this question, maybe you have thought about it a little more since then. What is it about conservative women that liberals seem to despise and the vitriol and the hatred towards Governor Palin, yourself and others, where do you think this comes from?

BACHMANN: Well, it's really — I think, part of it is I think people are listening to what we have to say and that is very threatening, because we are exposing their agenda. And that's probably the most.

HANNITY: I think it is more than that.

BACHMANN: OK.

HANNITY: I think you are effective. I think your message resonates. I think you are outspoken. I think, you're an effective communicator and think they hate it.

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: Well, that would be good then. That would be a good thing, if we are effective, that's a good thing.

HANNITY: All right. By the way, you're going to be at — [Saturday] morning for those people in New York, Long Island, you are supporting somebody who I was best friends with from third grade.

BACHMANN: That's what I understand.

HANNITY: My friend John Gomez.

BACHMANN: Even though he's your best friend, I love John Gomez, he's a great candidate and he's running against Steve Israel, that's his opponent.

HANNITY: Yes.

BACHMANN: And I cannot wait to go out there.

HANNITY: Steve Israel votes with Nancy Pelosi, 99 percent of the time. I've invited him along this program, on the radio, he won't come.

BACHMANN: John Gomez told me that he would be a part of the Tea Party caucus in the United States Congress. We welcome him. We need John Gomez. So, I'm just hoping that a lot of people on Long Island will work for him to get on office.

HANNITY: Prediction, how many Republican seats?

BACHMANN: You know, I think, we have to be very careful about that. Because, I think we have a good chance. But it is not a sure thing. Because, again, Democrats really get the first Tuesday in November. And we may win the message war. But we've got to get the people to the polls.

HANNITY: I'd like it that you are not overconfident. I've been urging all my friends —

BACHMANN: Oh, do not be overconfident.

HANNITY: Do not be overconfident.

BACHMANN: Do not be overconfident.

HANNITY: All right. Congresswoman, it's great to see you in New York.

BACHMANN: Thank you. You can come back to Minnesota.

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

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