This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 29, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now, the president spent months touting his accomplishments, like the stimulus bill, but we never hear about the costs associated with all his stellar work. Now, it's estimated that a college grad making roughly 45 grand, hoping to retire by 70, will spend thousands paying off only interest on the national debt.
Now, let's take a look at these numbers. An average 50-year-old can expect to pay $81,000 in interest during their working lifetime. And it gets worse. A 40-year-old can expect to fork over $132,000 in their lifetime. And for a young person just starting out of college, well, it's estimated that they will pay over $114,000. So can this country survive if our leaders in Washington continue to be this careless with your hard-earned money?
Joining me now is the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele. Mr. Chairman, always good to see you.
MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: Good to see you, Sean.
HANNITY: Well, when you look at that debt — and I use the term unsustainable — $806 billion on interest on the debt the CBO says we're going to pay.
HANNITY: What does this mean for the average American family? And are they really aware of this?
STEELE: Well, Sean, A, number one, I don't think they are fully aware of what it means. But let me tell you what it means — based on the numbers you just put on the screen, what it means for my household of four people, my wife and my two sons, 17 and 20 years old. We are now looking at $500 million out of our pockets between my wife and between my two sons as a result of what this president has put on the budget in the last 100 days. That is $12 billion a day this administration has saddled this country with, and I don't think it's a price that we can pay.
But I don't again think people really appreciate what it means, and I think what you're doing is showing what it breaks down to, what's it going to cost you in terms of your retirement, what it's going to cost you in terms of your savings, in terms of your livelihood. People need to put that in proper perspective because I don't think Americans are out there right now, Sean, and I think you agree with me on this, are saying, Hey, this just creates a debt because I'm afraid of what it — you know, what my circumstances are now. They're just as much afraid about their circumstances down the road, and this administration is not going to solve that fear.
HANNITY: Well, you know, I got to tell you something. The fact that the media — now, they did a study where they literally discovered that Obama in his first 50 days got more coverage than George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined. And not only was it more coverage, it was far more favorable.
HANNITY: I — look, I will tell you this. There's some of our so- called competition, which isn't really competition, Michael...
HANNITY: But I got to tell you, it's like today that they were preparing for him to come out and walk on water and raise the dead...
STEELE: Yes. Yes.
HANNITY: ... and with their tingly feelings running up and down their spine. Is journalism hurting the American people's ability to make decisions about whether or not he's guiding this country in the right direction?
STEELE: I think there's a certain degree of legitimacy to that, Sean. In fact, there proof in the pudding for me was a conversation I had with some European journalists last week, in which they effectively said, in Europe, at least, among certainly the elites in the journalistic class there, they see Obama as some form of messiah. And I thought that was very odd. And I was, like, Well, are you serious — well, yes, you know, he's — he's — he's talking about helping the world. And I'm saying to myself, well, does that color your view of covering his helping the world and how is he doing it and how is it impacting people.
So I think there is sort of a blinded loyalty to the success of this presidency, as opposed to stepping back and being objective as to the impact these policies are going to have...
STEELE: ... not just today but on future generations.
HANNITY: So much has been made of Arlen Specter leaving. You said about this that, quote, "He left to further his own political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his liberal, left-leaning voting record."
STEELE: Yes. Absolutely. Without hesitation, and I repeat it again, and I thank you for doing it. The reality of it is — you know, let's not get sanctimonious and teary-eyed and weepy about this. As far as the Republican Party is concerned, there are no apologies for this man leaving the party.
STEELE: This is the same party, Sean, that took it on the chin for him in 2004, you know? So if all of a sudden, our conservative values, which he rode into office on, I might say...
STEELE: ... in 1980, have suddenly, you know, turned sour on him...
STEELE: ... that's not our doing.
HANNITY: Well, the amazing thing is he's trying to claim the party's gone hard right, but he was also talking about the Reagan days. Reagan did define conservatism. If anything, the Republican Party...
HANNITY: ... abandoned their Reagan views and went left. All right, let me ask your general views, though, on the press conference in general tonight and on the first 100 days. Generally speaking, how do you grade Barack Obama's performance tonight and in the first 100 days?
STEELE: I thought the performance tonight, and I think Karl referenced it before, was a little bit slow. It was — it was — it was anticlimactic, given particularly the build-up that some of the competitors out there have been touting this first 100 days to be. I thought that the president avoided answering questions that I thought were pertinent on Pakistan. I thought he avoided answering questions that were pertinent on a number of other social and economic issues, like abortion.
So I think the reality here is that after — as we finish the 100 days and get ready for the 101st day, the test for the media, as much as it is for the administration, is to be honest with the American people about exactly what's happening right now and what it means. And I think this first 100 days has been a $12-billion-a-day boondoggle that has cost us money, that has put us into debt, that has borrowed too much, spent too much — and I'm predicting this, Sean — next year will tax too much because the bill will come due when inflation starts creeping in to all of this money as a result of all this money churning through the system.
HANNITY: Yes. I couldn't agree with you more. Michael Steele, it's always good to see you. Thank you for being with us, tonight.
STEELE: You got it, friend. Take care.
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