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Hannity

Power of Third Parties Two Cents

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes", March 9, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: A bunch of third party groups have made television ads bashing the president and Senator Kerry.

A group called Citizens United is behind this ad with a familiar theme that targets Senator Kerry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Forty-two-foot luxury yacht, $1 million.

Four lavish mansions and a beachfront estate, over $30 million.

Another rich liberal from Massachusetts who claims he's a man of the people. Priceless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And a group called the New Democratic Network is behind this ad that attacks President Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: As president, he has not kept his promises. He promised us he would invest $18 billion for the poorest schools. But now he wants to spend billions less.

Write the White House and tell the president that friends keep their word.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Bush, why did you break your promise?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: So can these ads and these groups have a big effect on the election?

Joining us now, David Bossie, the president of Citizens United, and Simon Rosenberg is the president and founder of the New Democratic Network.

Let me ask you, Simon, are you going to use little children in ads and political campaigns? Is that appropriate? Basically using children to call the president a liar?

SIMON ROSENBERG, NEW DEMOCRATIC NETWORK: Listen, if the truth hurts, Sean, you know -- the truth is...

HANNITY: Is the president a liar? Is George Bush a liar?

ROSENBERG: I think he is. Yes he is, because he promised the kids of America that he would fully fund No Child Left Behind over four years now. They're $22 billion behind.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this question. Did you ever -- is Bill Clinton a liar?

ROSENBERG: I think we're going to talk about this election, Sean.

HANNITY: I'm going to ask you -- See, I'm going to see if you're...

ROSENBERG: Sean, you can bring anything you want in this, but let's talk about this election, Sean. I'll be happy to answer any question.

HANNITY: Here's your political litmus test of honesty. You just called George Bush, our president, a liar.

ROSENBERG: Yes.

HANNITY: And I'm wondering -- we know that Bill Clinton lied to the American people. Will you -- Did you ever call him a liar that you can show us where you did?

ROSENBERG: I think that I'm going to stay focused on this election.

HANNITY: So you only call -- so in other words you only attack Republicans?

ROSENBERG: I think the...

HANNITY: You're a political hack and you don't ever -- you're not intellectually honest enough to say the same thing about your own party members.

ROSENBERG: Sean, I'm following your lead in the political hack space here.

HANNITY: Simon -- Simon, wait a minute, when the Republican Party is wrong and I disagree with them. I disagree with the president on campaign finance. I disagree with him on immigration. I disagree with this president on this new entitlement prescription drug program, and I'm very vocal in my criticism.

ROSENBERG: And Sean I have been very critical of my party.

HANNITY: Do you have the intellectual honesty to admit Clinton was a liar?

ROSENBERG: Sean, I'm going to stay focused on this election.

HANNITY: You can't.

ROSENBERG: I'm going to stay focused on this election.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Let me go to David Bossie. David, I want to talk about your ad, of course, where you mockingly look at John Kerry as such kind of rich elitist.

It's OK to be rich if you're a Republican? The Bush family has pretty good money, from what I understand. But if you happen to be a Democrat with money that's a bad thing. Is that the deal?

DAVID BOSSIE, CITIZENS UNITED: No, not at all, Alan. And I agree with you. The Bush family is quite well off. And they are a rich family. There's no doubt about that.

The difference is that the American people know who George W. Bush is. They believe in him. They love who he is, that he comes across as a very likable man and a man of the people, somebody that John Kerry, for instance, is trying to become.

COLMES: Well, that's your view and you're certainly entitled to it.

BOSSIE: So what we've tried to do, Alan, is introduce John Kerry, the real John Kerry to the American people in this spot, and we're going to do that throughout this campaign.

COLMES: By the way, when MoveOn.org came out with some ads, the Republican National Committee sent 250 television stations a rather threatening letter suggesting they take those ads off the air, more than suggesting, and saying that what they're doing was illegal and accusing them of taking -- putting that ad on the air was soft money.

Don't you use soft money in your ad? And if so what's the difference?

BOSSIE: Absolutely Alan. And I have to disagree with the Republicans.

You know, just like Sean, when I find I disagree with the Republican Party, I'm not afraid to stand up and say it.

I think Ed Gillespie, the chairman of the RNC, is just dead wrong on the law on this issue. And that's OK. Ed has his own opinion. The RNC has their opinion.

We're going to continue to do what we do, which is stand up and support the president.

MoveOn.org -- when MoveOn.org called, you know, George Bush Adolf Hitler, when they compare him to a liar and a misleader every day. We're tired of it. Citizens United...

COLMES: First of all, it wasn't Move On that -- Move On rally.

And the problem here, Simon, is that people like to take what some extreme liberals will say that don't represent mainstream Democratic thinking, and try to tar all people on the left with that.

ROSENBERG: What are you referring to specifically, Alan?

COLMES: Well, I'm referring to what David Bossie just said, accusing Move On of referring to Bush as Hitler, making that analogy, which is not the way Democrats think. Nor is that what Move On says.

ROSENBERG: It's also not what Move On is talking about right now. And I'm not sure what he's talking about.

But I think the outside groups -- you raised this today. A lot of outside groups are going to play very heavily in this election.

We're going to be very vocal. We think the president is taking the country in the wrong direction. And frankly, a majority of Americans believe that, as well.

Fifty percent of Americans now, most polls say, they want somebody else to be elected. If the election were held today, President Bush would be defeated. And I don't think that's something this show or, frankly, the Republican Party has really come to terms with.

He's in trouble. Democrats are feeling good.

HANNITY: Simon, we'll see.

ROSENBERG: I think we're going to have a good fall.

HANNITY: We don't need any more of your shrill rhetoric and attacks against the president. It's pretty disgraceful, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

ROSENBERG: Sean.

HANNITY: Thank you, David. Good to see you.

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