This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Feb. 11, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: When presidential hopeful Howard Dean ran out of steam in last year's presidential election, many Democrats thought his political career was over. And now Dean is poised to make a political comeback.
On Saturday, the former Vermont governor will become the chair of the Democratic National Committee. But will he be able to put the past behind him and lead the party?
Joining us now is Roy Neel, the former CEO of Howard Dean's presidential campaign.
Roy, good to have you with us.
Of course, you know, the fact that they think that he can't move forward and do this is really absurd to me. And they want to paint him as this far left liberal simply because he was antiwar. When you look at his record as governor, he was moderate and conservative in some areas.
ROY NEEL, FORMER CEO, HOWARD DEAN'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, that's right. Governor Dean was an accomplished governor. He was a fiscal conservative. He had the support of the NRA in his home state. He did some extraordinary things, balanced budgets.
And ran a remarkable presidential campaign. It didn't work out in the end, but he did things that no presidential candidate has done before in terms of mobilizing grassroots support and people who had been estranged from the political process, independents and Democrats...
NEEL: ...and gave them a forum.
COLMES: That's what a chair does. A chair organizes and raises money. I understand his group delivered $600,000 to 634 candidates, half of whom won. In aggregate, they raised $5 million. That's the Dean for America group, what he developed after he ran for president.
But they will not let go of the scream, and they won't let go of him being anti-war and try to tag him with being liberal because of those things.
NEEL: Well, the thing is the scream has become a caricature. And those 440 Democratic National Committee people who are going to elect him tomorrow, they look far past that.
The scream was a year ago. It was an aberration, and what Howard Dean has shown is that he can organize, he can modulate his voice, he can work cooperatively with other Democrats. And I think he's going to be an extraordinarily successful chairman.
COLMES: One thing I want to ask those who -- his detractors. Who's ever voted for a Democrat based -- or not voted based on who the party chair is?
NEEL: Absolutely. And the job of DNC chair is one of organization and fund-raising. And with Howard Dean using this extraordinary Internet technology to do remarkable new things on behalf of the party and Democrats.
HANNITY: Hey, Roy, Al, I hate to break up this Dean love fest. Now, I guess this aberration, if I had another tape of Howard Dean in a similar scream would you still call it an aberration?
NEEL: Look, people in campaigns do passionate things. They do things that come back to haunt them. I mean, look at all the things George Bush has said -- Absolutely stupid things. They don't come back and bite him like that.
HANNITY: Let's look at the real Howard Dean.
NEEL: The scream -- the scream was an aberration, and it was driven into the ground by folks like you who wouldn't let it go.
HANNITY: I know, evil folks like me. Well, tune in next week...
NEEL: Not evil. Trying to get into the tabloid news.
HANNITY: Tune in next week I think you'll get a kick out of something else I'll be playing about Howard Dean.
Now, let's look at his right. He supports the gay agenda, partnerships, gays in the military. He supports unregulated abortion on demand. He said partial birth abortion is an issue about nothing. He's against parental notification for minors seeking abortions. He supports condom distribution to teenagers. He's against school choice. He wants a repeal of the Bush tax cuts.
He says that we take a different approach. We don't as America always have to have the strongest military. Getting rid of Saddam Hussein was, well, maybe a good thing. He supports cutting defense. Tell me where besides the gun issue where is he conservative?
NEEL: Wait a minute. That's a gross distortion of his record to start with. And the fact, he's not conservative. He's a good Democrat. He's pro-choice.
HANNITY: You used that word.
NEEL: And I will tell you this. Howard Dean is much more in the mainstream in terms of -- of solving the economic problems in this country, getting people back to work and fairness and justice for all, much more than this administration.
HANNITY: Let me just point out where I absolutely -- I want America to know Howard Dean in his own words. He says, quote, "We have to take a different approach to diplomacy." Quote, "We won't always have the strongest military."
And he also said, "What happened on September 11 is mostly a product of the enormous disparity between those who have everything and those who have nothing."
Is that your new chairman, sir?
NEEL: Look, Howard Dean has been a chairman of the party to mobilize people to run at every level of government to start rebuilding this party and to get people working their way up through the system.
The Republicans did a good job of this over the last 20 years. They've also done a good job, as your previous guests were noting, in distorting religious values.
HANNITY: Hey, Roy...
NEEL: And I think what you're going to have now is a whole different approach to politics and organizing.
HANNITY: Your party has gone now far left by Kennedy, Pelosi, Boxer, Dean, and I just want to congratulate you. I think you made the right choice, and I applaud your selection of Howard Dean. I think it was -- it's good for -- it's good for the debate in this country to see Democrats for who they really are.
COLMES: We've got to run, but I guess we should ask him...
NEEL: You're going to be real surprised, Sean.
HANNITY: Oh, I'm shocked.
COLMES: I guess we should get the Republican stamp of approval before Democrats make choices.
Thank you very much for being with us, Roy. Thanks so much.
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