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Hannity

Second Thoughts?

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 3, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: The 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania spans the mountains and valleys east of Pittsburgh. It's home to more than 640,000 people who are politically divided.

In 2004, John Kerry carried this once Democratic stronghold by just two percentage points over George W. Bush. A reflection of the president's support of quotas on steel imports.

That's because Johnstown is home of the western Pennsylvania coal and steel industries. More than 200 years ago, it was the birth place of the Whiskey Rebellion and most famously, the sight of the Johnstown flood of 1889 that killed more than 2,000 people.

Today, Johnstown is also the home of Democratic Congressman John Murtha, who has represented the area for more than 30 years. But it wasn't until last fall that he made a national name for himself when he publicly called for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.

Since then, this once-camera shy congressman has become something of a national celebrity. But what about the residents of the 12th congressional district? Do they still support the man who they first elected in 1974?

Well, we recently took our cameras to western Pennsylvania to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRANK FILIA, JOHNSTOWN RESIDENT: I agree with what Murtha says.

I think Murtha has shaken Bush up, which is good, to make him change his tactics.

PAM GUSKEY, JOHNSTOWN RESIDENT: I agree with what he has said to bring these troops home.

BOB BENDER, JOHNSTOWN RESIDENT: Murtha represents our district well. In fact, I think that 90 percent of the people are in favor of what — from our area here— are in favor of Murtha's viewpoint.

ROBERT HARVEY, JOHNSTOWN RESIDENT: I do agree with many of the things he did say. And what he's — what he's attempting to do. I think a lot of the things he has said is — really, it comes down to being the truth.

CHARLES BATES, JOHNSTOWN RESIDENT: I think Congressman Murtha does an excellent job. I mean, he's got a hard job to do, and everybody criticizes what he says and does, but you know, he does it for the better of all the people in this area.

JOHN FRANKO JR., JOHNSTOWN RESIDENT: Agree with all of the comments that Congressman Murtha has made about the military. He's 100 percent on the right trail as far as I'm concerned. I think he's doing a very good job, and I hope he stays in there.

FREDDIE JACKSON, MOTHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER: He's been great towards me. He went to Georgia, and for every soldier that was killed at Fort Stewart there's a tree there. And below the tree there's a marker naming each soldier. And he went down there, and he took a picture beside this tree with my son. I will treasure that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: It sounds like they support him, right? But take a look what happened when we presented the same people with some of the quotes, some of the things Murtha said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I'm concerned the Army is broken.

FILIA: No, I don't think they are broken. They're fighting over there. They're doing the best they can under the worst conditions.

GUSKEY: I don't think the Army is broken. It's just what's going on. Nobody wants to join the Army anymore.

BENDER: I would disagree with that statement. The Army is not broken.

FRANKO: I would not agree with that, that the Army is broken, in any way, shape, or form. We're Americans. We never break.

MURTHA: Given the sorry state of our Army, you've got to believe President Reagan is turning over in his grave.

BATES: I don't think sorry state. That's kind of a harsh statement.

FRANKO: I wouldn't call the Army a sorry state. We have good soldiers. We have good equipment. I don't know where that quote came from.

MURTHA: All of the top military people agreed with me, we can't win it militarily.

BATES: I don't think that's true. I think that we can win it if — you have to have goals and establish parameters. You can't go in there and just go haphazard one place and another. We did that before; it didn't work out. And we have to have a goal. Some kind of time frame in mind when they're going to start and finish and accomplish whatever they need to do.

JACKSON: Knowing my son, he might not agree. I don't know. He might not agree, because he was a strong believer in doing something. And if he was going to attempt to do something, he was going to finish it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLMES: Of course, we didn't speak to all of Congressman Murtha's constituents, but our report does reflect a trend among the dozens of interviewees in the interviews we did conduct in Johnstown. So fascinating to — but overall, it seems like they agree with his general...

HANNITY: I got a kick out of "I agree with him 100 percent," and then when you hit with what he said, "I don't agree with that."

COLMES: We hit them with some of what he said.

HANNITY: A lot of what he said. The main points. The main points.

COLMES: They all agree, though, that we should have a plan, have an exit strategy. They think we have to get out.

HANNITY: People — people when they get the real comments and the recklessness of it, they're like, "Oh." They don't want any part of that. A lot of people don't know what he said.

COLMES: In any event...

HANNITY: I think it's reckless, absolutely.

COLMES: I don't think his constituents would have said reckless either.

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