This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Nov. 4, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome back to “Hannity & Colmes.” I’m Alan Colmes.
Coming up next, the campaign signs are barely down and there is already talk about 2008. Who is poised to take the torch from John Kerry? Could it be Hillary? Well, Dick Morris will tell us.
But first, President Bush held his first post-election cabinet meeting today, but the faces around the table in the cabinet room may change during the second Bush administration. Top officials who may be bowing out before Inauguration Day include Secretary of State Colin Powell, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Commerce Secretary Don Evans.
Whose resumes are sitting on the president’s desk and how will new appointments change the Bush agenda? Joining us now, former Mondale campaign manager and FOX News political analyst — his resume I don’t think on the desk — Bob Beckel and former Reagan campaign manager and Republican strategist Ed Rollins.
What do you think, Bob? Let me go to you first about this whole issue — I just want to pick up for a second on this values thing and whether or not the 11 states where there are the, you know, suggestion that there be a constitutional amendment on gay marriage, is that what put it over the top for President Bush?
BOB BECKEL, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, you know, this was the first time we’ve had since ‘72 a three-pronged perfect storm campaign. You had the economy, war and values. We’ve never had them all together for 30 years.
So the answer to that is yes. I mean, when one-fifth of the people cite values, and Ed talked to me about this six months ago and he’s exactly right, that the gay marriage referendum initiatives were something that would bring people to the polls in droves. And if you look where they came from, in the suburban areas and in the rural areas, he was right.
COLMES: I just want to point out, in Ohio, 221,000 more people voted for the president than the anti-gay marriage amendment. And so, you know, that’s an interesting statistic. I just wonder, do you think Democrats now have to retool and have a different message on that?
BECKEL: I’ll tell you one thing they need to do. I wrote an article about this and got beat up about nine months ago, which is you have got to let God back in the Democratic Party. I mean, the idea that you don’t let somebody like Casey from Pennsylvania or somebody else who may be right to life in the Democratic Party or speak to the Democratic Party is crazy.
COLMES: I think we might agree on that, Ed. I think we have a rare moment of complete harmony here on “Hannity & Colmes.”
ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, Bob and I have had many moments, at least, talking about the process.
You know, the Catholic contingency was always the strength of the Democratic Party, going way back, the ethnic Catholics. And what people always forgot, that about 39 percent of ethnic Catholics are pro-life. And the Democratic Party pushed them away and really made them feel very uncomfortable.
COLMES: Let’s talk about where this presidency is going. We’re going to see some changes. What names do you think would make sense in a second Bush administration?
ROLLINS: I think Bush likes people that he’s comfortable with, so I think it will be kind of a reshuffling of his own team here.
COLMES: Who would you look toward? Who would you think would be a good idea?
ROLLINS: You know, I mean, the critical thing, I think, if John Ashcroft leaves, is of his own free will, and obviously they’ll replace with one of his deputies, that I think will be very significant.
You know, Rumsfeld is the big gun that I think people will wait and see. And he is certainly the one with the most controversy, but my sense is he doesn’t want to leave now.
COLMES: Could he be forced out? Will there be any people forced out?
ROLLINS: No, no, no, no. Not this time.
COLMES: And isn’t this an excuse to get rid of people who could be a detriment?
ROLLINS: Well, no, I think Norman Mineta has talked about leaving, and I think he will leave. My sense is Condi Rice wants something else. I don’t think anybody is going to be forced out. I don’t think that anybody sees.
COLMES: Could the president reach across the aisle to someone like John Breaux, for example, has been mentioned as a...
ROLLINS: John Breaux is a fabulous guy, and if for some reason — Spencer Abraham has talked about doing some other things — left, he’d be a perfect energy secretary.
COLMES: And that could be really good for the president’s legacy, couldn’t it, Bob, if he is going to reach across the aisle to someone like, even a moderate Democrat like John Breaux?
BECKEL: Yes, I think it’s a very good point. And, one, we heard this thing about unity with the Kerry voters from the president yesterday. We heard the same thing four years ago, and it never happened.
So I think one of the things he could do, if he wanted — first of all, he should go on a goodwill tour out there and talk to people who voted for Kerry in large numbers. And also, taking somebody like Breaux would be a very smart move. He’d get a connection with the Senate.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: How are you, Bob? Good to see you.
BECKEL: You, too.
HANNITY: You know, and I actually think the words are right that John Kerry spoke about not — the unity and division. Not having division, you know, but this is the party that gave the seat of honor to Michael Moore at the convention, Bob. This is the party whose leadership referred to the president for the last year and a half as a liar, who misled, who hyped, who did this, who concocted a war for political gain.
You know, you have embraced the hard left. How do you get rid of that? It’s now the party of Michael Moore.
BECKEL: Well, first of all, I don’t agree that it’s the party of Michael Moore. I think you probably could have used a little bit more of Travis Tritt and not as much as P. Diddy out on the trail. But on top of that, the thing I said before.
HANNITY: Travis is a Republican, Bob. Sorry.
HANNITY: He’s a Republican.
BECKEL: That’s all right. But the point is, I think you need to start viewing this thing more in terms of faith, in terms of people who share different cultural mood than you do.
But, I’ll tell you, you’ve been getting a lot of mail. So have I. What I’ve said the last couple of days is I congratulate Bush and his team for doing what they did, but if you think that we’re going to lay down here, I don’t care.
HANNITY: Oh, no.
BECKEL: Kerry gave an olive branch. He could give him a tree for all I care.
ROLLINS: I expect you to now see yourselves as an opposition party.
ROLLINS: Particularly in the Senate. But I think the critical thing is the president obviously wants the rhetoric and the tone of the campaign, but he won the agenda war.
We’ve spent a billion dollars, a six-month campaign, with both candidates fully engaged and he won. At the end of the day, he’s got to go to his constituency and say, "I promised this is what I’m going to do, and he can’t back away."
BECKEL: You know something Ed? If he didn’t have the war in Iraq, he would have won by 60 points.
ROLLINS: No question about that.
BECKEL: The fact of the matter is, the Iraqi war is a bad war. The people don’t — if it was an up-or-down referendum on that war, it would go down.
HANNITY: We already debated that.
ROLLINS: He’s got to go win it now.
BECKEL: Well, if he’s going to win, get rid of Don Rumsfeld and that Wolfowitz and start anew.
ROLLINS: No, he’s not going to get rid of those.
ROLLINS: He’s just not.
BECKEL: Well, they’re disasters.
ROLLINS: It’s his war. He is going to finish it.
BECKEL: That’s for sure.
ROLLINS: And he has to get democracy there.
HANNITY: Let me make one point real quick.
ROLLINS: But equally as important, you have got to rebuild — we have fired every bullet, used every tank. We’ve got to have some big, expensive defense buildups again, because we’re now in a long-term situation where terrorism and other hot spots around the world are going to take some of our...
HANNITY: Hang on, Bob. I want to throw this other thing out here.
Because it’s more than that. The president said today, "I’ve earned political capital and I’m going to spend it." This president is talking about reforming the tax code radically, saving finally Social Security and expending political capital there, and aggressively letting the world on record, we’re going to fight and seek out these terrorists and it’s not going to stop.
There is a mandate attitude here. And I think it’s well deserved with the biggest margin we’ve ever seen in the history of the country.
BECKEL: Sean, he acted in 2000 like he had a mandate, and went straightforward with it, so it’s not going to surprise me that he sees this now as a bigger mandate.
But I’ll tell you, if you all think that we’re going to sort of lay down here and just say, "OK."
HANNITY: No, I want to hear from you and Moore and Franken and all you guys. Keep going.
BECKEL: Now, wait a second. I think, for the Democrats out there, there are things we can do to support the president, but there are other things we’re not going to lay down for. And all I can say is rest up for tomorrow. We ride at dawn.
COLMES: All right. We’ll be on the trail. Thank you.
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