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Hannity

Madeleine Albright Speaks Outs

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," May 3, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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ALAN COLMES, HOST: Recently, I spoke with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLMES: Madame Secretary, welcome. Good to talk to you again. Thanks for being here tonight.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Good to be with you, Alan.

COLMES: Tell me about this luncheon coming up, because you have been encouraging women in emerging democracies. You have got the first annual Madeleine Albright grant coming up.

ALBRIGHT: Well, what happened is the National Democratic Institute, which really believes in party building throughout the world, is focusing particularly on how women can become involved in party activities abroad and learn to become politically empowered, do their campaigns, and really become a part of the political system within their countries.

And we have been meeting a lot. But tomorrow, we are having a luncheon in which we are going to honor women from Indonesia who have been working together in framing their political message.

COLMES: This also happens in Afghanistan and Iraq. And the argument is that women are now being empowered. Isn't this one of the arguments the Republican administration is making in terms of why it went into the Middle East, that it's having this effect on emerging democracies?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I have to tell you. We all started this a long time ago. In fact, the National Democratic Institute has been in operation for 20 years. Because we have believed all along that empowering men and women is something that's essential for spreading democracy.

So I think it all is something that has been going on a long time. And I hope it does work in the Middle East. I'm very encouraged by the fact that there are women in the Iraqi cabinet, that there are women involved in the political system in Lebanon, and obviously, throughout the Middle East and in Muslim countries.

COLMES: I want to get into Iraq in a moment. First, let me ask you this. John Bolton, very much in the news. Should he be U.N. ambassador?

ALBRIGHT: Well, obviously, every president can make his own decision about whom he nominates. I question very much why this particular nomination was made, whether it is something where President Bush is very determined about reforming the U.N. And in that case, he sees Ambassador Bolton as somebody who has been very tough, and as people have said, kind of the Nixon to China.

Or, on the other hand, I think it can be seen as a real slap in the face of the U.N. because Mr. Bolton has not exactly been known for understanding the importance of multilateral relationships.

And I do think it's up to the Senate in its role in advice and consent to really examine what kind of a record Mr. Bolton has accumulated and whether this is the kind of message that the United States should be sending to the United Nations.

COLMES: Would you be voting for him if you had a chance to vote on something like that?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I personally would not. But I think that it is up to, obviously, every senator to make up his or her own mind. I was briefed by Mr. Bolton when he was assistant secretary and when I became ambassador to the U.N. And his whole briefing about how I should feel about the U.N. made me wonder why I would ever want the job. I loved it there, and I saw it as a very valuable forum for the United States.

So if he gets confirmed, I hope that he does see the U.N. as a very, very valuable forum for our country.

COLMES: How is Condoleezza Rice doing as secretary of state?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I think it's still very early to judge. She clearly has her honeymoon. I had mine. And I hope very much that she enjoys it, because I also can tell you from experience that hard times come along and you have to remember the honeymoon times when you go through rough times.

COLMES: By the way, who would you recommend for U.N. ambassador. Do you have a candidate you think would be a better one that John Bolton?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I thought that a suggestion made, I think by Tom Friedman, that former President Bush be sent up there. I enjoyed always talking to him about the fact that we had shared the same job. And he is somebody who I thought always understood multilateral diplomacy.

And the interesting part, Alan, is that, you know, the U.N. had a revival after the end of the Cold War. And it was really the first President Bush who, along with Mr. Gorbachev, was the one who led that revival.

But there are so many in incredible people in this country, many of them skilled diplomats, who have a great deal of respect for the U.N. while also feeling very strongly that it needs to be reformed. And choosing the one person who doesn't like it, you know, was not something that I would do.

But I honestly do believe that President Bush has his right as president to name whomever he wants and for the Senate to fulfill its constitutional role.

COLMES: Condoleezza Rice had some strong words over the last couple of days for Kim Jong Il and missile testing that took place in North Korea over the weekend.

And Andrew Card had this to say on "Meet the Press." He was asked by Tim Russert about this. "Could it be said," said Russert, "that President Bush was so focused on the Iraq war that another far greater threat emerged and that six nuclear bombs were developed by North Korea on his watch?" And Mr. Card said, "Or on President Clinton's watch."

Was that a proper response or fair response?

ALBRIGHT: Absolutely not, because what we did during our watch was to freeze the nuclear program. And I think intelligence un-skewed has shown that it is in the last three years that this nuclear capability of North Korea has emerged.

And I have been saying for the last three years that, in fact, North Korea is the most dangerous place in the world. And if I were Kim Jong Il, I would read the message of the invasion of Iraq, if I don't have nuclear weapons, I get invaded, and if I do, I don't get invaded, because we didn't invade the Soviet Union or China.

So I think that the Iraq war has not sent a great message to Kim Jong Il.

COLMES: Madame Secretary, we thank you very much. And best of luck on that luncheon. Congratulations on the work you're doing honoring women in emerging democracies. And thank you very much for being here tonight and talking to us.

ALBRIGHT: Thank you, Alan.

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