This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 29, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Bill Bennett earlier mentioned that he was getting some reports from friends of his on the Internet that Brigadier General Keith Kerr, who asked a question about gays in the military during this debate, was on a steering committee for Senator Hillary Clinton. That was certainly something unknown to us, and had we known that, it would have been disclosed by us. It turns out we have just looked at it. Apparently there was a press release from some six months ago.
Hillary Clinton's office saying that he had been named to some steering committee. We don't know if he's still on it. We're trying to find out that information. But certainly had we had that information, we would have acknowledged that in using his question if we had used it at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: That was CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, offering what seemed like a weak explanation for how a member of Hillary Clinton's steering committee was allowed to ask Republican candidates this question at last night's debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIG. GEN. KEITH KERR, U.S. ARMY (RET.): I want to know why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLMES: It seems "the most trusted name in news" didn't take the time to fact-check its citizen videos. A simple Google search would have showed General Kerr's partisan involvement. A statement from CNN now admits that the general should never have been allowed on the air.
But they found enough time to pay for his plane tickets, pay for his hotel and set it all up weeks in advance. They couldn't use the simplest of tools at their finger tips perhaps to find the press releases that tied him to the Clinton campaign. Well, joining us now, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and FOX News contributor, Harold Ford Jr. We welcome back Mr. DeLay and let's start with Harold Ford here.
As the Democrat watching this, what were your thoughts when it came out that this particular individual was tied somehow to the Clinton campaign?
HAROLD FORD, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It had to be an embarrassment for CNN. I have great respect for anybody that has served the country. And I would hope that CNN's apologies would go as they have obviously gone as far enough to say they wouldn't have done it had they known it. I'm not here to defend them, I'm a FOX and News Corp. employee.
But I thought the question was one that gave the various candidates an opportunity to express their views. And it's clear it's one that they believe is a differentiator between Republicans and Democrats. So, it was.
COLMES: I thought it was a good question.
FORD: End of the day, I thought it was a decent question. I just wish they had vetted it better.
COLMES: Congressman DeLay, I thought it was a good question. But you know, they should have put up on the screen or should have indicated in some way that there was a link so there were no questions about affiliations. And I think this would have gone away. It wouldn't have happened if at least we knew the background of the person asking the question.
TOM DELAY, FMR. HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Alan, it wasn't just this one incident of this general who is openly gay and asked a question. It had nothing to do with what people are thinking about today. It was the entire debate. The entire debate showed that CNN has a complete disdain for our presidential election process. They have a disdain for politicians in general. To start the whole debate with that silly outrageous song.
COLMES: I thought it was funny.
DELAY: I hope they are going to have that song — a song like that for the Democrats. They picked — out of 5,000 questions, they picked these questions that reflected their agenda, had nothing to do with what the agenda that is being debated within the Demo — Republican primary and the Republican Party is outrageous.
COLMES: What, immigration is being debated, isn't that one of the big issues? A number of things came up that are very much in play. And by the way, the Democrats had that snowman, Congressman, remember that?
DELAY: Alan, let me — let me tell you something, even the immigration part, which is the number one issue with the Republicans — the Republican Party, even those questions were so shallow and so meaningless, it never got — it never allowed the candidates to get into the meat of immigration. The way that they asked the questions were silly, shallow, and twisted to reflect the "Clinton News Network" agenda.
COLMES: By the way, I have a problem with the fact that 34 people get to ask questions out of 5,000, and nobody is talking about the fact that one of them is a — he was identified as a Republican, Grover Norquist, who is a lobbyist, basically, ties to Jack Abramoff, and here is a guy who gets to ask a question, he has got private meetings with Karl Rove, and this is supposed to be a debate where people of all stripes, the average person who doesn't have access, gets to ask questions.
DELAY: Well, it shows you once again CNN doesn't know what they are talking about when it comes to taxes. Republicans are talking about fundamental tax reform. To scrap the tax code, a 20th Century tax code and build a 21st Century tax code. That is the issue. They could not get past their Democrat liberal bias to even ask the question so that you could get into depth about fundamental tax reform.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Congressman DeLay, I agree with you totally. Congressman Ford, good to see you both again. I actually agree with a lot of the analysis he has here. I thought Fred Barnes had a good piece when he wrote about this. He said, 30-plus questions, six on immigration, three guns, two abortion, gays, exactly the issues, in the view of liberals and many in the media which, for Republicans, make them look particularly unattractive here.
I mean, this seems like a monumental mistake, especially flying this guy in.
FORD: I work for the same network you do. I mean, I'm not going to.
HANNITY : Wait a minute, you are not a Clinton operative?
FORD: I'm not going to be here to defend anybody. But I will say in fairness there were many Democrats who believe that the questions asked at the Democratic YouTube CNN debate also lacked some of the depth and texture that many wanted.
And I would say to my friend and former colleague, Tom DeLay, that the reality, this is where a big part of the country thinks about Democrats and Republicans in politics. This is not to defend CNN. I hope that going forward we...
HANNITY: Well, there is a problem.
FORD: No, no, CNN.
HANNITY: It goes deeper than this, though. You had one woman, Journey, and they identified her "concerned young undecided person." Michelle Malkin, on her Web site, actually put up there that in fact she is a John Edwards supporter. You know, it didn't take Michelle very long to find this.
They found another guy, for example, they identified him as a "concerned Log Cabin Republican supporter." Well, it turns out that if you looked on the Internet, he turned out to be a Barack Obama supporter.
They also had a "concerned undecided mom" who was a John Edwards supporter, Congressman. I mean, it was one after another, including this guy who...
FORD: Again, I'm not here to defend CNN or any of those people. My only point is that when the Democratic debate took place on CNN with YouTube, we had many questions — similar questions. Maybe we ought to do them right all here at FOX and do it right here on "Hannity & Colmes."
HANNITY: It would have been done a lot better. Yes, Tom DeLay.
FORD: . and get the questions right.
DELAY: Harold, Harold, Harold, I have got to tell you, there were — in that Democrat YouTube, there were no gotcha questions like these were. These were nothing but gotcha questions with a liberal bias.
FORD: No, no, no, I have got great respect for you, but...
FORD: ...I'm not going to let you get.
DELAY: Harold, if I could finish.
FORD: It goes both ways. This goes both ways.
DELAY: Harold, I let you finish. Harold, I let you finish. Let me finish.
HANNITY: All right. Tell you what, I will let you both finish, go ahead, Congressman. You have 15 seconds.
DELAY: Well, and this is the way Democrats — this is the way Democrats debate. They try to talk over you.
FORD: Are you calling Sean a Democrat?
HANNITY: All right. Congressman.
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