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Hannity

Political Cartoonist Ted Rall Condemns Reagan Legacy

This is a partial transcript from "HANNITY & COLMES", June 8, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD REAGAN: My fellow citizens, those of you here at this hall and those of you at home, I want you to know that I have always had the highest respect for you, for your common sense and intelligence and for your decency. I have always believed in you and in what you could accomplish for yourselves and for others.

And whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will report that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty's lamp guiding your steps and opportunities arm steadying your way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Is this an appropriate time for critics of the former president to voice their dissent? Our next guest certainly thinks so. He's penned a column condemning Reagan's legacy, "His clown-like dyed hair and rouged cheeks disgusted us. We hated him during the dark days he made so hideous, and, with all due respect, we hate him still."

Joining us now columnist and political cartoonist Ted Rall. I don't see where the respect is.

TED RALL, COLUMNIST AND POLITICAL CARTOONIST: There is no respect for a man who...

COLMES: So why say with all respect? Isn't that hypocritical? Because you're not showing any respect.

RALL: It's called sarcasm, Alan.

COLMES: Look, Ecclesiastes says for everything there is a season and I think there's a time. I've spent many years being critical of Reagan's policies, and I'm sure the time will come once again to debate those things.

RALL: Clearly, I mean, I'm just...

COLMES: You need to understand my question.

RALL: Sure.

COLMES: Is there no appropriate time to hold your fire and to show some grace, at least, if for no other reason, than to respect the office of the presidency?

RALL: I think I respect the office of the presidency to the extent to say that President Reagan is entitled to the flag at half-staff, the state funeral, all that kind of thing.

COLMES: That's kind of you.

RALL: But he's not -- Well, I wouldn't say that about George W. Bush. When he dies, he shouldn't be...

COLMES: He should not have a flag at half-mast, should not have a state funeral?

RALL: He's not legally elected. He's not the president of the United States.

COLMES: We have a Supreme Court. You need to respect -- Let's not even get off into that.

RALL: That's a sore subject.

COLMES: And that's where I have problems with my fellow liberals who can't get over the election of 2000. They should be focusing on winning 2004.

But you, by doing this, make those on my side look bad by showing know grace, no compassion, no sense of humanity for a man who served this country, whether or not you agree with the things he stood for.

RALL: Well, I have more sympathy for the 290 million Americans who are living worse lives under a worse economy, being paid less with worse health care, with more homelessness and more poverty than there would have been, had Ronald Reagan never become president.

So for me, you're right, I don't have much sympathy for him.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: You said you hated him then, you hate him still. You also said, "I'm sure he's turning a crispy brown now."

RALL: If you believe in heaven and hell, you've got to say, if anyone qualifies for hell it's a guy who lets five hundred thousand people died of AIDS.

HANNITY: Are you happy he's dead?

RALL: I don't care that he's dead. I think -- right now, the press is on both sides is examining the man's legacy, and we're not going to have this discussion in two weeks or two weeks ago. It's now.

HANNITY: You're the guy that said after Pat Tillman who after 9/11 was so motivated he gave up millions of dollars and a football career, you also called him a sap and an idiot.

RALL: And he went and got himself killed by our own guys with friendly fire.

HANNITY: And this is -- And his family is back here, and here, they're suffering, just like the Reagan's are suffering, whether you like them or you hate them, in your words, or not. And here you come, and you want to pour salt in their wounds. Here's...

RALL: No, what I'm really trying to do, I'm really trying to save other Pat Tillmans from making a similar stupid mistake and going and getting themselves killed for no good reason.

HANNITY: Act as altruistic as you like. You are mean. You are cruel. You are thoughtless, and you are a hateful human being. You don't have a soul. And you don't care about anybody but yourself.

And you do this for shock value so that your name could be noticed. You're a slob. You're an absolutely -- you're a hateful human being to do this to families that are suffering.

There's no excuse for it. There's no rationale for what you're doing. You're mean, cruel and thoughtless.

RALL: Well, there you go again, Sean.

HANNITY: Telling the truth about you.

You are a mean person to do this to the Reagan's. You were mean to do it to the Tillmans, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. And you ought to take this opportunity to look into that camera and say you're sorry.

RALL: I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself, Sean, for promoting policies and for -- for indulging in this insane hyped ideology of Ronald Reagan that you've had going throughout this entire show.

HANNITY: He ended the Cold -- he ended the Cold War...

RALL: No, he didn't.

HANNITY: He confronted the Soviet Union. The world is safer because of his leadership.

RALL: That's not true. That is a lie.

HANNITY: He doubled revenue for the federal government.

RALL: That's a lie.

HANNITY: He had the longest peacetime economically in history.

RALL: Absolutely not true.

HANNITY: And he created 20 million new jobs in this country.

RALL: None of this is true.

HANNITY: All of which is true.

RALL: All lies. It's not true.

HANNITY: You are thoughtless, mean, hateful liberal.

RALL: He had a three-year economic boom.

HANNITY: And all liberals ought to condemn people like you.

RALL: Well, you know, I would say that we can turn this around and say the same thing about you guys.

HANNITY: I don't know any conservative that would say that.

COLMES: All right, we've got to go.

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