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Hannity

Should Rove Go?

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

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Our top story tonight, Lewis "Scooter" Libby appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to all five counts of perjury, making false statements, and obstruction of justice in connection with the CIA leak investigation. He appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton. And his attorney maintains that Libby will be eventually cleared of all of these charges.

Meanwhile, after their temper tantrum on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Democrats are continuing to throw whatever they can at the White House to see if it will stick. And Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to Vice President Cheney today calling for a, quote, unquote, "house cleaning" after Libby's indictment. Now, this comes just days after Reid called for the resignation of Karl Rove.

Joining us now with reaction to all of these developments, host of "Morning in America," FOX News contributor and friend Bill Bennett is back with us.

Bill, I'm watching the Democrats, no vision, no plan, no ideas, one temper tantrum after another. Do they ride the Joe Wilson train to success here, to victory in an election?

BILL BENNETT, HOST, "MORNING IN AMERICA": I don't think so. They're going to ride anything they can. I think you're right. It's a good description, throw everything you can at it and hope that something sticks.

They thought they had something with Alito, but then you look at this guy's opinions, he is smart, he is a real scholar, very competent, very experienced, so they got off that train. Boy, they were on it quickly, though. They did some very nasty, unpleasant stuff.

So they were waiting for some very good news when the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, gave his report and, frankly, it was a fizzle, given what their expectations were. It is amazing they are still talking about Karl Rove.

You know, this is the phenomenon our friend Rush Limbaugh described, Sean, as making the news what you want the news to be, you know? "We hope that Karl Rove will be indicted." You know, they expect that Karl — he wasn't indicted.

The chief of staff to the vice president was indicted. Serious charges, absolutely, but it doesn't get to the president.

HANNITY: Bill...

BENNETT: ... and so they're going to push it every way they can, but it looks like it's not sticking.

HANNITY: I have in front of me right here a document. It has all the quotes of Bill Clinton, Al Gore. Hillary Clinton, for example, "I voted for the Iraq resolution. I consider the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iraq and Saddam Hussein that could threaten his neighbors, the stability of the world, a threat to the United States of America."

John Kerry, Harry Reid, Evan Bayh, Bob Graham, Dick Durbin, Russ Feingold, Bill Nelson. I have all their quotes. Robert Byrd, it's all right here.

BENNETT: Right.

HANNITY: They all laid out the case of Saddam and the danger to the world of weapons of mass destruction. If you listen to these guys now, the only one that ever said this was George W. Bush.

BENNETT: Yes, no, I know. Absolutely denying history here. We've been playing the audio on my show of these guys.

And, remember, the only person to say "imminent threat" — I used this as a quiz today — was who? John Edwards, Senator John Edwards said it was an imminent threat. And Rockefeller said it, Rockefeller from West Virginia, a Democrat, said that the evidence was unmistakable that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

So everybody thought so. Indeed, all the intelligence agencies in the world thought so. I don't fault them for saying it; I fault them for denying that they said it.

HANNITY: But it's more than that. If you watch this fit that these guys threw two days ago in the United States Senate — and I actually wrote a chapter about this in my last book, because I had a memo leaked to me back in November of 2003, Bill.

And in this memo from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is supposed to be impartial, supposed to put partisanship aside for the sake of the security of this country, in that memo it outlined the political strategy to undermine the president in the war effort. And it was unfolding right before our eyes, just as they basically had planned it and written it just two years earlier.

BENNETT: Yes, well, that's right. That's certainly the motivation. But, you know, Pat Roberts, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, has done his job, when he's not out making these ridiculous statements. Rockefeller has praised Roberts for a lot of the good work he's done.

They made the first report, the first report on schedule. And they're about a month behind on the second report. But as Roberts said, that report will be out. The tantrum was just unfortunate, but it's part of what they do.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: By the way, Scott McClellan said imminent threat. He also said urgent threat, serious threat, all kinds of threats, so it wasn't only the Democrats who said that.

BENNETT: I am talking about elected officials.

COLMES: Dick Cheney said it, too.

BENNETT: Senators, presidents — I don't think he did, but that's fine if he did.

COLMES: Let me show you what Scott McClellan said right after the leak came out and I want to ask you a follow-up question. Let's take a look.

BENNETT: Good. Good.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made. And that's exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals. They're good individuals. They're important members of our White House team.

And that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: All right. He was talking about Libby. He was talking about Rove. And he was talking about Elliott Abrams. It turns out that's not the case, according to the indictment. Should this White House issue an apology for that statement?

BENNETT: No, I don't think so. I mean, if McClellan didn't know, he didn't know. He said they weren't involved, as far as he knew...

COLMES: Maybe they ought to apologize to him.

BENNETT: Well, he can say whatever he wants. But I mean, again, you guys — you go right ahead on this. I mean, you've got this very tough-as- nails prosecutor, who everybody said is strong. You know, he was one of the guys who prosecuted the blind sheikh.

You know, he nailed Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice, and Libby will have to defend himself. He's presumed innocent, by the way. He didn't nail anybody else, and you guys are just hoping that he's going to...

COLMES: Well, he just said they weren't involved, so maybe they didn't tell the truth on McClellan. Let me show you something else...

BENNETT: Well, we don't know — I mean, I haven't heard a thing about Elliott Abrams. I know the wish list still has Karl Rove at the top, but let me remind you that Karl Rove was not indicted. He was not charged.

COLMES: Well, he was talking about Libby when he mentioned three people...

(CROSSTALK)

BENNETT: Libby was involved.

COLMES: Let me show you a number of things the president said as he was running for office and among the promises he made. Let's take a look.

BENNETT: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will swear to not only uphold the laws of the land; I will swear to uphold the honor and the integrity of the office to which I had been elected.

I will swear to uphold the laws of the land, but I will also swear to uphold the honor and the integrity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God.

And I promise that my administration will never forget the dignity and duty the White House represents to millions of Americans.

I would uphold the honor and the dignity of the office to which I had been elected with your help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: Did the president keep those promises?

BENNETT: Those are great clips, by the way.

COLMES: Thank you. You can thank our great staff.

BENNETT: Yes, absolutely.

HANNITY: He's no Bill Clinton.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: He's no Bill Clinton.

(LAUGHTER)

COLMES: Bill, did the president keep his promises made in those great clips?

BENNETT: Yes, of course he did. Let me explain a fundamental distinction for you, Alan.

COLMES: Please do.

BENNETT: Scooter Libby is a staff member to the vice president. He is not the president of the United States. Bill Clinton, who's the guy I know you're thinking of...

COLMES: Let's bring it back to Clinton.

BENNETT: ... was the president of the United States. Well, there is a difference. You hire 30,000 people and one guy gets indicted. I think this president's right.

COLMES: I forgot it's about Clinton. I forgot.

HANNITY: Hey, Bill, he's no Bill Clinton. I mean, it's...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Are you going to do the Clinton impression now? Going to do the Clinton impression?

HANNITY: "I'm not going to do it again."

All right, Bill, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

BENNETT: See you guys, as always.

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