This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes", April 9, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
MONICA CROWLEY, CO-HOST: It's election countdown time on HANNITY & COLMES: 207 days to go before you cast that all-important vote.
Speaking of that campaign, the gloves are back off. John Kerry on a Midwest swing taking serious swipes at President Bush on some pocketbook issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've got more people looking for work that is there and more people who need the people to do the work that is there, and yet this administration has cut the money that would bring those two together and help to strengthen the economy of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: And candidate Kerry could not avoid commenting on the situation in Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY: This administration has stubbornly refused to involve other countries in the real decision-making. I think that this has been a failure of diplomacy, a failure of foreign policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Valid criticism or partisan politics? We're joined by New Jersey Democratic Congressman Robert Andrews and California Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.
REP. ROBERT ANDREWS (D), NEW JERSEY: Good evening.
DANA ROHRABACHER (R), CALIFORNIA: Let's start with the big political story this week, Dr. Condoleezza Rice's testimony. How do you think it's going to play out politically? Congressman Rohrabacher, to you first.
ROHRABACHER: I don't think that there was is nice or a nice.
Condoleezza Rice demonstrated that she's a responsible person and also through her testimony explained that this was a very complicated issue.
I will have to say that I have several disagreements with the administration that she talked about. For example, I think they should have gone away from the Clinton policy a lot quicker than they did, but Condoleezza Rice explained that there was a continuity of policy between what Clinton did for eight years and the first 200 days of the Bush administration. So I don't think that it's going to be a plus or a minus in terms of the election.
CROWLEY: Congressman Andrews, I noticed Senator Kerry was very quiet over the past few days during the commission public hearings. Is he wise not to say too much about Dr. Rice's testimony? Is he wise not to sort of play that up?
ANDREWS: He is, because the issue is not what she said yesterday. The issue is what the administration's failed to do since 9/11.
Still only 2 percent of the containers coming into this country that could contain a nuclear or a dirty bomb are being inspected. They still haven't compiled what's called the integrated watch list correctly, which is the list of suspected terrorists compiled by the CIA, FBI, and others.
The real story that I think that will come from this commission is not what happened before 9/11 but what hasn't happened since 9/11 to make the country safer.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Hey, Congressmen, good to see you both. It's Alan. Good to have you with us.
Congressman Rohrabacher, I want to talk about what Kerry said, a little snippet of which she showed.
I know polls can change but as of now Kerry leads in terms of what the American people feel, on education, health care and the economy.
And let me show you one other aspect of this poll. When asked about the national economy, 42 percent say not getting stronger; 28 percent say the tax cuts helped strengthen, and 25 percent say getting stronger on its own.
Only 28 percent say the tax cuts have helped the economy, which has been the trump card for this administration. That doesn't really bode too well for what they're trying to sell the American people right now, does it?
ROHRABACHER: If the Democrats think they're going to win on the issue of raising taxes...
COLMES: Two percent, congressman, raising two percent of the people.
ROHRABACHER: They've always said raising taxes for the rich.
COLMES: Two percent.
ROHRABACHER: Everybody knows all they're talking about is taking more money from the private sector...
COLMES: Be honest about the position. Kerry's position. It's two percent.
ROHRABACHER: People do not buy that any more.
ANDREWS: Can I correct this record?
COLMES: Congressman, go ahead.
ANDREWS: I'd like to...
ROHRABACHER: Hold on. I should get a chance to...
COLMES: Hold on. Let congressman Rohrabacher finish and then you can respond, sir.
ANDREWS: I would love to.
ROHRABACHER: Nobody buys -- Look, it comes down to basic philosophy. And the American people understand what the Democratic Party stands for. They understand what the Republican Party stands for.
In foreign policy Kerry wants to depend on the United Nations. We're going to have to go to the United Nations and get permission from the communist Chinese and all the crooks and gangsters to...
COLMES: I was talking about the economy.
Congressman Andrews, let's give you a chance to respond.
ROHRABACHER: In terms of the economy, he wants to tax more money...
ANDREWS: I will let -- friend continue his argument with the U.N. Let's talk about the U.S. economy.
The Bush administration will be the first since Herbert Hoover to have lost more jobs than it gained.
This nonsense about John Kerry raising taxes, here's the facts. Under the Kerry plan, middle class taxes would be cut; 98 percent of Americans would not get a tax increase. People making over $200,000 a year would have their taxes put back to where they were when the Clinton administration left office.
The Clinton administration, by the way, created 23 million new jobs following that philosophy. And we'll be happy to have a debate based on that.
COLMES: Congressman Rohrabacher, go ahead.
ROHRABACHER: Luckily, he had -- Clinton had a Republican Congress that kept him going down the right path. When he first came into office.
HANNITY: It's all luck? That's kind of bad luck.
ROHRABACHER: He had the biggest tax increase in American history...
ANDREWS: And the most job growth.
ROHRABACHER: ... when we took over the House. And of course the taxes that Clinton raised fell most heavily on senior citizens, I might add.
People know out there what Democrats stand for: take money from the private sector and put it into the public sector, give it to the bureaucracy. That doesn't make things better.
CROWLEY: OK, Congressmen, I'm sorry, we have to leave it there. We're out of time.
ANDREWS: We'd be delighted to compare our economic record to their for the last five years. Let's do that.
CROWLEY: Thank you both very much. We've got to get out. Thank you, gentlemen.
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