This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight, part two of my exclusive interview with the former vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney.
Now last night you heard the vice president strongly condemn the White House's decision to hold the KSM terror trial here in New York City and tonight he explains exactly how the trial could jeopardize this country's national security.
Let's take a look.
HANNITY: When I last interviewed you, we brought up the issue the president was going to release the tactics used for enhanced interrogation but not the results of those tactics. In other words, what we gleaned from the terrorists after we used these techniques. So in other words, you think we're now going to reveal to the world every tactic that we used to get information from somebody that's a terrorist?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: I don't know. What I would expect is that the defense attorneys in this case, since they really don't have a case, in terms of the question of guilt or innocence isn't really an issue here, KSM has already admitted his guilt.
But they will have him make a not guilty claim so that they can go after discovery and in fact try to get their hands on sources and methods that we used in order to defend the country.
HANNITY: It's almost inevitable they have to get it.
CHENEY: I think they — I think it's the only course of action open to them as attorneys under those circumstances.
HANNITY: But even Fort Hood, the government quickly seemed to go out in front of the American people and try and persuade everybody that what happened at Fort Hood was not a terrorist attack.
Do you believe what happened at Fort Hood was a terrorist attack?
CHENEY: I do. I think it was a terrorist attack. I think it was clear cut. You can say maybe it wasn't a conspiracy, I don't know. We don't know that yet. But we clearly had an individual with the same ideology, same motivations that the others who have made terrorist attacks, armed himself, and proceeded to kill a significant number of American military personnel.
I don't know what you can call that if it's not a terrorist attack.
HANNITY: I don't know either. Let me — a couple of quick political questions and we'll let you go. Virginia, New Jersey, gubernatorial races, pretty dramatic shift. You look at every poll that's out there now, the president is in the 40's, 43 percent approval rating in the Harris Poll, lowest since his presidency, generic ballot — you look at whatever poll, every indicator is that at least conservatism of the Republican Party seems to be on the ascendancy, the approval rating of Congress is now 21 percent.
As you look at a distance, I know from your favorite fishing hole, the political landscape, prospects for 2010, 2012?
CHENEY: I think the prospects for the Republicans in 2010 are very good. The — you hit the key points, the results in Virginia and New Jersey with independents shifting in a major way back to the Republican side, and two states that Obama carried significantly, I think, has a great meaning.
I think it's an indicator of what will happen in 2010. I think we'll pick up a lot of seats. 2012, I think probably a year ago, right after Obama was elected, there was the view that he was invincible. He can raise more money than anybody else. He had this machine that smashed the Clinton campaign and then won the national election, and that he'd be around for eight years.
And now I think that's changed fairly dramatically. I think looking at the polls again that the unpopularity of his policies, the continued economic difficulties that are now his to account for, all of this is going to serve to make the 2012 Republican nomination well worth having.
HANNITY: You said, I rarely hear Barack Obama speak about the public sector. In that sense is he a socialist?
CHENEY: Speak about the private sector.
HANNITY: Private sector.
CHENEY: He — I don't want to use that kind of a label. I do think — I think on his part he does not have the kind of commitment to the private sector that most of us have and have lived with in the past.
The way we create jobs in this country isn't with TARP money. The way we create jobs in this country is in the private sector, small businesses, that's where we've got growth and opportunity and wealth, and that's what drives the American economy, not what happens in Washington. Washington can screw it up and sometimes does. But we ought to be in the business.
CHENEY: Ought to be in the business of reducing the tax burden on business if we expect to get real economic growth, not drumming up a whole bunch of new taxes to finance a new health care initiative or letting the Bush tax cuts expire which will happen the end of next year.
HANNITY: Off the top of your head, looking at the political landscape, who are some contenders in your mind for president in 2012 and would you ever consider it in any way, shape, matter or form?
CHENEY: Well, my political career is over, Sean. I've enjoyed it and loved every minute of it. I went to Washington for 12 months, I stayed 41 years. It's time for me to move on and a younger generation to take over. But at this point I'd be reluctant to pinpoint anybody that might hurt them more than it would help them coming from me.
I think we're going to have a lot of good candidates out there. I think we'll have a lot of people emerge in the 2010 cycle. And so I'm fairly optimistic that we can do it.
HANNITY: How do you feel Joe Biden is doing as vice president, looking at him, knowing the job as well as you do?
CHENEY: Joe and I have a different approach .
HANNITY: To say the least.
CHENEY: The job and the politics in general. But he's vice president now and he gets his shot at it . I watch with interest and watch the same comedians on the late night shows going after him instead of me.
HANNITY: So in that sense you don't miss it?
CHENEY: Well, no, you do miss it. And I loved being vice president. I loved my whole career in politics and government. It just was a tremendous privilege to be able to do that but you've got to recognize when it's over with and what I'm focused on now with my daughter is writing a book about those experiences and we're having a lot of fun doing that.
HANNITY: Mr. Vice President, thank you.
CHENEY: Sean, it's great to see you again.
HANNITY: Appreciate it.
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