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Hannity

Has Hillary Changed Her Mind About Our Iraq Strategy? Lanny Davis Weighs In

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 21, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA: One of the things, the important aspects of this race is role modeling. What good families should look like.

In my view if you cannot run your own house, you cannot run the White House. Can't do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: That was the wife of presidential hopeful Barack Obama taking what some interpret as a cheap shot at Hillary Clinton. While Obama denies the connection, not everyone is convinced. Michelle Obama may not be the only thing standing between Hillary Clinton and victory.

The New York senator, who has been vehemently anti-war has flip-flopped again yesterday while speaking to veterans and actually said the surge is working.

Joining us now, GOPAC chairman Michael Steele and former White House counsel, and special counsel to President Clinton, author of the book, by the way, you see right there, "Scandal." We have Lanny Davis here in studio.

It's so much easier when you're on the other side of the camera, I can be mean to you that way. Look, I may surprise you here. I know what the talking points are because I actually heard what they are: “This had nothing to do with the Clintons. We didn't mean it in any way.” Do you really buy that?

LANNY DAVIS, AUTHOR, "SCANDAL": Well the full quote is the very next sentence that you didn't show, which is she talked about how the Obama family is dealing with their children. And making sure that they give their children...

HANNITY: That's fair. One of the things — I would have preferred that Barack Obama turned out to be a stronger candidate. For some reason, Hillary Clinton, when she called him naive and irresponsible when he said he would meet with Ahmadinejad and Kim Jung-Il and no preconditions.

Then he says he takes nukes off the table. The idea that he is going to bomb an ally in the war on terror in General Musharraf and possibly invade them. Now this, he said our troops are air raiding villages and killing civilians.

He is finished and he is done. She has got the nomination. I wish he were a stronger candidate because now Hillary will just be after the Republicans.

DAVIS: Well, first of all, I have a great deal of admiration for Senator Obama's theme, which is the theme of my book, that gotcha politics is destroying America and that both parties have to learn to have civil debate the solve people's problem.

I think Hillary has the experience to make change happen as opposed to Senator Obama, who is a future great candidate but not right now.

HANNITY: You know something, I'm listening to Lanny Davis, Michael, and I believe he is sincere. But it is kind of hard to believe the Democrats are capable of it. The president is a liar. Barack Obama saying our troops are killing civilians, air riding villages, not true. John Kerry made some statements and Murtha has made some. The most vitriol is coming from the left and from high-ranking Democrats today.

MICHAEL STEELE, GOPAC CHAIRMAN: Well, that is always the case. And I frankly took Hillary Clinton's flip- flop, if you will, to heart. I think as Republicans we should be lauding her coming around to common sense and waiting to see the surge unfold and in fact acknowledging begrudgingly, but acknowledging that there has been progress made. So I'm less concerned about that part of it.

HANNITY: Here's the question. How do the Democrats — don't throw this to Lanny Davis here. Hillary has flip-flopped all over the map. And by the way, we are going to show it all in its details Sunday night on “Hannity’s America” because I think it is important to do that here. But how do the Democrats — the surge is working.

James Clyburn said if the report from Petraeus comes back and we have good news, that is not good for us. How could it not be good for Democrats if our troops are winning, the surge is working and the shift in strategy has been effective? How is that possible?

DAVIS: First of all, I love Michael Steele. He is one of...

HANNITY: That was not my question. I don't have time for him.

DAVIS: Flip-flop is inaccurate.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: She did not flip-flop.

DAVIS: This is my answer. What she said is what I would say. In some respects the surge is working where there are American soldiers in place, it is working and we hope it does work. But Whack-a-Mole means when they leave the insurgents come back.

And the other half is the politics are not working.

COLMES: Michael, Democrats — Republicans — I should say Democrats keep getting blamed for accusing the troops of doing these horrible things. Barack Obama said we have to get the job done in Afghanistan. And that requires us to have enough troops so we are not air raiding villages and killing civilians. That was what Barack Obama said. What John Kerry said was backed up by the Red Cross, that there were civilians who were being terrorized.

But Hillary Clinton was quite clear and she said it was working in Anbar Province. She said that we have to make sure that the Iraqi government that is involved are doing the right thing or there is no point and we have to start getting our troops out of a civil war. And that is no different than what she said in January when she said pursuing a strategy that under present circumstances cannot be successful. Those circumstances being the Iraqi government. There was no flip-flopping here, Michael.

STEELE: I am going to concede that point. I do not think it is so much of a flip-flop so much as it is the rest of the story. What Hillary is not saying at the end of all that is, “When I am president of the United States, American troops are not coming home in six months. American troops are going to be on the ground in Afghanistan, they are going to be on the ground in Iraq.”

Because this process is an unwieldy one. It is one in which we still have to make certain that the government there is established and functional and the United States cannot afford under any circumstances under any administration to pull them out. So Hillary's problem is...

COLMES: So Lanny, she is saying we have to get out in a more methodical way than we got in and that is what she is saying.

DAVIS: We got in irresponsibly and we have to get out responsibly with a deadline and that is what all the Democrats are saying.

HANNITY: She voted to send them there. And coming up, embattled Falcon quarterback.

COLMES: Not true.

HANNITY: She did vote for the...

COLMES: She voted to give the president the authority.

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