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Hannity

Congressional Approval Ratings Drop Through the Floor

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 21, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: A new Gallup poll released today gives the Democratic Congress its lowest approval rating ever, with just 14 percent of Americans having a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress.

Joining us to talk about this, former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum, and chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, Harold Ford Jr., both FOX News contributors.

Congressman Ford, let me go to you first. I contend that it's because this Democratic Congress is not listening to the will of the American people; backed off on a timeline for Iraq. And they have not done what they were elected to do this past November.

Not that they're too liberal. But they haven't done enough to move the country forward in a left of center fashion.

HAROLD FORD JR., FORMER CONGRESSMAN: First of all, good evening. I think...

COLMES: Good evening.

FORD: ... that is part of it. I don't think people are ready to see them pull out. We may differ just slightly on that.

But I do think people living their day-to-day lives are worried that the Congress is a disconnect. There's a disconnect on energy. There's a disconnect on the war. And there's a disconnect with people not believing their kids and their lives are going to improve measurably.

And Congress seems to be arguing over things and debating things that aren't meaningful, aren't substantive and, frankly, don't impact...

COLMES: They're debating immigration. They're debating immigration. I mean that’s substantive.

FORD: But they table it. So people want some action on these things and want members of Congress and the Senate to show courage.

And I think it's — I saw the lead-in about Democrat versus Republican. This is Congress. I think if you label it Republican or Democrat, the numbers would be equal. The good thing about that poll was that the military still ranked the highest.

COLMES: Relatively the highest. And also Rick Santorum, almost every institution ranked lower than it had previously, including Congress, but what do you think about my contention that Democrats aren't doing what they were elected to do?

RICK SANTORUM, FORMER SENATOR: Well, I think the issue that's really hurt them the most is the immigration issue, and it's probably because of both parties. I mean, if you're the average American, you're saying, well, look, the president wants an immigration bill that the leader of the House and the leader of the Senate who are both Democrats are for. And yet they can't get it done.

And you just see bickering. You see it on the war. You see it on immigration. There's just contentiousness. It looks like everybody is just playing politics. I think the election, the presidential election getting so much coverage so early, it just looks like everything is politics. No one is working about — caring about getting things done.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: I started my radio career 20 years ago, 1987. I have never seen it this bad in terms of the disconnect between people in this country and how they feel, and the people in Washington and the way they're acting. And ignoring, in the case of Republicans, ignoring their own base on immigration, and going forward with the Kennedy amnesty bill. I've never seen such anger among conservatives in that 20-year period.

SANTORUM: You know, as I travel around Pennsylvania — but you know, there are other places, people come up to me and they plead with me. They said, “Aren't members of Congress listening to us? I mean, are they that deaf that they don't hear what we're saying out here?” They're pleading with me.

You know, tell them that we're really serious, that we don't like what they're doing or don't like the fact that they're not doing anything on some very important issues.

HANNITY: And I can tell you, the anger towards the Democrats, and I understand people have different views on the war, Congressman. But when you vote to send those kids to war, and then you say to them while they're there fighting that they lost the war, or you start a surge and you support General Petraeus.

And then within three months, you say, the surge has failed. When you cut off funding for the kids you sent there, that has really angered people. They feel like they have emboldened the enemies and betrayed these troops. That's — that's the Democrats', you know, obstacle.

FORD: I think there's a concern, as well, that what we're trying to do, which is win, we're not achieving all that we want.

HANNITY: The war is lost?

FORD: No, no, no. That's not the point. The point is I think we all want a stabilization of Iraq.

HANNITY: I'm not saying you said that, but Harry Reid said that.

FORD: Right. I mean, I don't associate myself with...

HANNITY: I don't blame you.

FORD: I think the country has a right to be concerned. And almost equally repulsed when the president makes comments. And then you hear Democrats making comments.

As you know, I sat on your show after the South Carolina Democratic debate, asked the president to convene the leaders at Camp David, to pull them all away from the press and the spotlight and say...

HANNITY: Yes.

FORD: ... "Look, I want this as much as you do. I want these kids to come home as much as you do. Let's develop a new policy. Let's develop a 21st century containment policy."

COLMES: They're not just mad at Democrats. They're mad at the president. They're mad at Republicans not getting it done on immigration. They're mad at everybody.

FORD: Right. They have to understand that if they don't make tangible progress and achieve results, they won't hold onto the majority, and the Republicans won't win the White House.

COLMES: I agree. Thank you very much, Congressman. Senator Santorum, we thank you.

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