This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 7, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: So we may still be 1,218 days away from the next presidential election, but many prominent politicians are already making stops in some of the early battleground states. And my next guest raised some eyebrows recently when he traveled to Iowa and New Hampshire.
And joining me now is the governor for the great state of Mississippi, Haley Barbour.
Governor, good to see you. Welcome back.
GOV. HALEY BARBOUR, R-MISS.: Hey, Sean, thanks for having me back.
HANNITY: And so I guess I'm not even allowed to speculate at all. Iowa, New Hampshire, just a coincidence? There was no other reason to be there except — are you running?
BARBOUR: Well, look, John Sununu, who used to be the state party chairman, and I, when used to be — governor. Sununu called me and said, "Haley I want somebody to come here to New Hampshire and talk about party build, who's not running for president.
I said, "Well, John, I'm the answer to your prayers." So I went up to New Hampshire and talked about party building. I did the same thing in Iowa. As the chairman of the Republican Governors Situation, I'm focused on electing Republican governors this year. We got New Jersey and Virginia, two critical races. And then next year, Sean, we have 37 governors races. That's what I got my mind on, 2009 and 2010.
HANNITY: All right. Look, it is pretty early to even make a decision, although I have no doubt you'll probably contemplate it at some point.
There some key polling that I want to run at you and what does this mean at you look, not only to elect governors, but as Republicans look to take over the House and Senate perhaps in the future.
But in the swing state of Ohio, Quinnipiac poll has Barack Obama down 13 points from just in May and his disapproval is up 13 points.
And then we have this Gallup poll that shows 40 percent of the country is conservative and only 21 percent is liberal. What does that mean, even though Republicans, conservatives now are in the minority to the extent that they are?
BARBOUR: Well, I think the first thing it means is while President Obama was a charming, charismatic candidate, now that he's in office and the more people see of his policies, they realize these are very far-left policies, and they're not the policies the average American wants.
I testified today in front of a Senate committee about the environmental climate change bill that the administration's pushed through the House.
Most Americans are more concerned about the economy and job creation. And they can't understand why the Obama administration or the Democrat majority in Congress wants to pass a bill like the cap-and-trade tax that will cost us jobs, that will hurt our economy, that will drive up costs for families, as well as for small businesses. But this is why the polling is changing, because when you focus on President Obama, I mean he is a charming, you know, he can sell Fords to Chevrolet dealers, but his policies are not what the American people want. Too much spending, too much borrowing. And ultimately, that's going to bring high inflation and that's going to bring high interest rates for no rewards that we're seeing.
HANNITY: Joe Biden, says hey, we got it all wrong on the economy. They promised the American people that, if that the stimulus was passed, that unemployment wouldn't go above eight percent. Now it's at 9.5 percent.
And more importantly now, after stimulus, after omnibus, after earmarks, after 3.6 trillion in their new budget. After quadrupling of the defect, now they're talking about a second stimulus, and the door is open? How does — how does this country sustain that?
BARBOUR: I lost a little bit of what you were talking about there, but many of us Republicans who were for a stimulus package. And look, my wife thought we shouldn't have had a stimulus package at all.
I thought we needed to do something, but many, many, many Republicans are on record from the start, this is not the right way to go. Spending money on social policies, should have been a whole lot more on infrastructure.
Giving money to state government, it would have made a lot more sense if they had given the states more discretion on how to spend the money where it's needed the most in those states.
Mississippi is different from Minnesota or Michigan or Montana. I don't know where they're going to end up, but the idea that another version of the stimulus package like we just had, I don't think any — very few people in America want to see that.
HANNITY: Well, Laura Tyson, adviser to President Obama, said that the U.S. should now start considering drafting a second stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects because she says the 782 - I'm sorry, $787 billion was too small. So — and the president left open the door in an interview just this week about that.
BARBOUR: Sean, I think almost everybody watching your show knows that this stimulus package was adopted in the spring, could have been much more effective by spending half as much money. We could have created many more jobs.
But it is filled with social policy, ideas that the left have wanted to get passed for years and years and years, and they really took their eye off the ball. Not enough tax cuts. Not enough infrastructure.
I do agree with Laura Tyson, in the first one, there should have been more infrastructure.
HANNITY: Yes, well, I think and also, as we pointed out at the time, that they back-ended a lot of this.
Governor, for whatever reason, I never sleep, so I was up at 4:30 this morning, and I was watching this speech in Russia right here on the FOX News Channel.
And he says the future does not belong to those who gather armies on a field of battle or bury missiles on the ground.
Now, I'm thinking, you know, he's supporting the — the wannabe Honduran dictator. He's giving — Mirandizing enemy combatants. He's cutting back on strategic defense, Governor.
Now, I'm thinking, those of us that believe in Freedom, actually, the future belongs to those of us that have the weapons and the willingness to use it to defend freedom. Does it seem backwards to you? Because it seemed backwards to me.
BARBOUR: Well, one thing is for certain, that we don't need to enter into another bad treaty with the Russians. I mean, one thing Ronald Reagan showed the world, the Russians cannot compete in an arms face with the United States because they have a third-world economy.
Now, they are sitting there with their delivery systems and much of their weaponry that is expiring its useful life. It's become obsolete. If we sit here as a country, and we trade away delivery systems or warheads in order to give the Russians something when we're getting nothing in return, that we wouldn't get in the way. Because they don't have the money to go out and rebuild their weapon systems. They don't have the money to do that.
I think the American people are very smart in understanding our country is very trustworthy with nuclear weapons. We've had them from the beginning. But they have also been critical for keeping the world more at peace than it would have been if it hadn't been for the American nuclear umbrella.
And for us to dismantle that by trying to have a charm campaign over in the Soviet Union when we know the Russian nuclear arsenal is deteriorating, and that they cannot get it back up today, I think this would be irresponsible for the American people to have to be put through that.
HANNITY: Governor, last question. Some have been critical of Governor Palin's decision the other day. Any thoughts?
BARBOUR: Surprised me. I've always liked her. My wife is very fond of her. She was an asset to the ticket. So I was surprised. I'm not smart enough to tell you whether it helps her or hurts her or all that, but I was surprised.
HANNITY: OK. Governor, good to see you. Thank you. We'll talk often. Appreciate you being here.
BARBOUR: Thank you, Sean.
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