This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 13, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Joining us from Washington, former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts.
J.C., good to see you once again. Thanks for being here.
J. C. WATTS: (R), FORMER OKLAHOMA CONGRESSMAN: Alan, thank you.
COLMES: The Homeland Security Department has been floating this idea, supposedly talking to justice about contingency plans for delaying the election if there happens to be an attack on the United States. Is that a good idea?
WATTS:: Well, Alan, I personally don't think it would be. That's kind of a win for the terrorists. And I think it somewhat breaks our resolve to say that we're going to see this thing through.
I don't know how serious they are. And they may just be floating it just to see what the response is going to be. But I really don't see that being a realistic or I wouldn't take that as the gospel.
COLMES: I agree with you on that. It's good to have you and I agreeing. But I'm surprised they even floated it. Clearly it was floated. I find that disturbing, that it was even floated.
WATTS:: Well, you know, this is Washington. So, it shouldn't surprise you. But I don't think I wouldn't put a lot of stock in that. I really don't see that happening.
COLMES: How confident are you about the re-election of President Bush?
WATTS:: Well, I think it's going to be tough, and I don't think the Bush team is under any illusions about how difficult it's going to be.
I do think in the end, he wins, in spite of all of the name-calling and all the rhetoric that you hear. I think it's going to come down to issues. It's going to come down to who the American people trust their security future to and I think George Bush has done a very good job in that area, under some very difficult circumstances.
I do think that John Kerry, you know, once the dust settles and they can really get focused in the last 60 days on issues and get beyond the conventions, I think the rubber is going to meet the road and the cream is going to rise to the top. And they're going to find out they don't like what they see in John Kerry and his running mate.
COLMES: You know, it's interesting, his running mate, you know, there is a little bit of a bump. I mean, according to the Gallup polls, Bush is down a little bit, Kerry is up a little bit. And there's some dissention, it seems, about whether Cheney should stay on the Bush ticket. You heard what former Senator D'Amato said.
Is there a great division in the Republican Party and shouldn't you guys be a little more united at this point?
WATTS:: Well, I think you have to ask the question: Do you think Dick Cheney has done a good job? I personally think that he has. I kind of like our chances with Dick Cheney and John Edwards in a debate.
I think the vice president has served this president and this country very well -- again, under some very difficult circumstances.
I'll take that match up. He'll be well prepared. He'll know what the facts are. He'll know how to talk about them.
But you know, Alan, in 1992, we heard rumblings about Dan Quayle leaving the ticket. Don't be surprised what you hear before Election Day.
Anything can happen in politics, Alan, but that's not one of the things that I see happening on...
COLMES: Bush 41 was not re-elected with Dan Quayle on the ticket, so I wonder if that's something that they may look at and say, "You know what? We want to be a little more sure of a victory here."
WATTS:: Well, no -- again, no telling what you'll hear in politics. But I personally don't see that; I don't see that happening.
I think we have to look at what George Bush is happy with. And I think this president is happy with this vice president and I think he'll be on the ticket come Election Day in November.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hey, Congressman, good to see you.
WATTS:: Hey, Sean.
HANNITY: How is it possible, in 2003, leading up to the war in Iraq John Kerry says, "If you don't believe Saddam is a threat with nuclear weapons, you shouldn't vote for me?"
He says, "We need to disarm Hussein, a murderous brutal dictator, that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction pose a grave and real threat to the United States."
How does he get to say that then and then now go on "60 Minutes" and say he's against this war? How does he get to pull this off and maneuver and take both sides of this? And he seems to be navigating through this successfully?
WATTS:: Sean, you've been asking that question now for some time and I think that's a legitimate question.
You know, minus all of the politics and all the debates and all of the fighting and all the partisanship that we'll see in the political arena, I think that's a very legitimate question for him to take a position, you know, in 2003 when we were debating whether or not to go to war, what threat Saddam Hussein was.
We were debating that and then when he gets the nomination, he does a 180. And I think that's a legitimate question.
HANNITY: Jay Rockefeller, Edwards, Kerry, Clinton -- everybody says the same thing. But the only one that gets blamed for it now is President Bush.
Jay Rockefeller went as far as to say over the weekend that this war wouldn't have been authorized. So, Ted Koppel, I thought, did something clever. He went back and asked the Senators, and all of them, with the exception of three, would have voted the same way.
I don't understand how he seems to be able to be straddling both fences here -- and somewhat successfully -- and he's not really being pinned down and called on this. Should the administration force him to explain these positions?
WATTS:: Well, Sean, I believe if you all would go back and look at the tapes of a couple of times I was on this show, I made the point that any Senator or any member of Congress could have gotten any general, the secretary of state, any official in this administration in their office to question them about the intelligence and about the data that was being shown, that they were being talked about -- that was being talked about.
You know, they saw the same thing. We all saw the same thing that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were saying. And then, in the end, when they don't think things are going as well as they think they should, then they try to distance themselves from it and it's disingenuous.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this: Here you have the number one liberal, Kerry, the number four liberal, Edwards -- which is amazing to me. I think it was such a bad choice.
At the convention, we're going to hear from Clinton -- Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy. You couple that with we see happening at the NAACP convention and the rhetoric that's used there and I've got to ask myself, where are the moderates in the Democratic party? Do you see them?
WATTS:: Well, Sean, it's a tough road to hoe for the moderates to conservatives in the Democrat Party.
You know, the blue dogs in the House -- when I was in the House of Representatives, the blue dogs -- Collin Patterson, Ralph Hall, who eventually switched to Republican. I mean, people like that who saw themselves as moderates to Republicans -- I mean, to conservatives, they just did not feel like they had a place.
But you know, they've stayed there. They've fought the good fight. But nevertheless, in the end, they get closed out.
HANNITY: There's been a controversy this week and I want to get your take just real quickly on this. We have the NAACP convention. They ran the ad in 2000 against President Bush.
They can't understand why he won't come when they refer to Republicans as the Taliban, neofascists, the white people's party, et cetera. The president makes the right decision by not going?
WATTS:: Well, Sean, pretty soon, if Alan sticks his hand out as the hand of friendship to me and I keep slapping it down, pretty soon he's going say, "I've only got two cheeks, J.C."
I don't think that the NAACP is the only way that you can communicate with the black community. And all of the things that this administration has done for the black community, I hope people would look at the record and what he's done...
COLMES: We got to run...
WATTS:: ... not his ignoring the NAACP.
COLMES: Thank you, J.C., for being with us.
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