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Hannity

Was Obama Awarded Peace Prize to 'Bash Bush'?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 10, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: President Barack Obama joined the likes of Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore earlier today when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

And during his acceptance speech the president said what everyone else in the room and around the world was already thinking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. Compared to some of the giants of history who've received this prize, Schweitzer and King, Marshal and Mandela, my accomplishments are slight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Yes, well, I think that's a bit of an understatement. President Obama also addressed the opinion of some that a wartime commander in chief is not qualified to win a peace prize but in order to appease that crowd the anointed one had the teleprompter cue up to one of his all-time favorite lines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: That is why I prohibited torture, that is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Well, there it is again, President Obama just can't seem to give a speech overseas without bashing America with that same old worn out paragraph.

Joining me now with reaction to all of this is the author of "The True St. Nicholas, Why He Matters to Christmas." He's also the host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Morning in America" and the Washington fellow at the Claremont Institute.

Bill Bennett is back with us.

Bill, welcome back.

• Video: Watch Sean's interview

BILL BENNETT, THE CLAREMONT INSTITUTE: Hi, Sean. How are you?

HANNITY: All right, 26 percent of Americans don't think he deserved the prize. Why do you think they wanted him to have this prize considering he's really accomplished nothing?

BENNETT: Bash Bush, they wanted to bash Bush. That was the point of giving him the prize. And I do agree with you, I — one gets very tired of this mantra about Guantanamo and torture, but at least today it was balanced some, Sean. He did talk about war as a means to peace which apparently hasn't occurred to some of the Norwegians and some of the international community.

But I do think — I'm always hopeful, Sean, as I know, there may have been a baptism of the will here, in making that decision which I think was a 3/4 right decision about the troops in Afghanistan, he did today come out and say they're in the cause of peace. They will wage war in the cause of peace. That's progress for this president.

HANNITY: All right, I agree and I actually highlighted the very same thing on my radio show earlier today. But the only thing is I don't think he really believes it. I almost sense that he sees what's about to happen in the election in 2010. He watched what happened in Virginia and New Jersey.

You know the skeptic in me says this is not genuine, this is not sincere. And he did talk about pulling out in 18 months.

BENNETT: Yes, that — well, that's OK with me. He doesn't have to say — he doesn't have to love me if he just says he loves me. Look, as long as he's willing to pivot, if he's willing to change and change direction in addition to rhetoric, I don't care if he means it or not.

Look, I think we're all still wondering, is this guy a committed left- wing ideologue, or is he a superb politician who's prepared to pivot and change? If he's prepared to pivot and change, fine. But it may be learning-on-the-job, too, Sean.

It may be all those discussions and deliberations, and I thought they went way too long on Afghanistan, taught him something. He came to something of the right decision, didn't he? And for that I give him credit.

HANNITY: All right, what do you think? Karl Rove says we're in a better position now — conservatives for the Republicans than they were back in '93, which I agree as well. And you know this has got to drive the White House crazy. We'll have more details later on.

But there's now a near majority that wished George W. Bush was president. What does that say about his first year in office?

BENNETT: Yes, well, I'll tell you, I mean I remember around November you were saying it, I was saying it, we were saying be careful of your choices, you may regret this. Did you see the poll today? 61-36 about the health care plan. Sixty-one percent of the American people are opposed of this plan that the Democrats are considering, 36 percent in favor. It's dropped 22 percent in a month.

I cannot recall, and I've been around Washington a long time, a major, really major piece of legislation, Sean, where you've got a 61-36 against number and the Democrats are running pell-mell to embrace it? Is there anybody up there with any sense of reality? I mean does it help the Republicans? Yes. Does it help the country? No.

HANNITY: Well, I agree with that analysis. I don't think it helps the country. But John Boehner, he says — the House minority leader. He says this is a done deal. I tend to agree with him. For Harry Reid to come out, say, it's a really good bill, we can't tell you what's in it, it's a really good bill but they didn't give any details.

It seems as though the fix is in and that they will offer whatever they have to offer in terms of incentives and tax dollars to get this done. What are the political consequences?

BENNETT: I still am not sure. I still think there are problems. I still find Harry Reid a distinctively unimpressive person, unpersuasive person. We shall see. But they know this is one for the gipper, their gipper, Barack Obama, because as you remember, Jim DeMint said if he loses this, it's his waterloo.

HANNITY: Do you agree with that?

BENNETT: Yes, I do think that if he doesn't get this, this will cripple his presidency throughout. So they're going to all pitch in on this. But the numbers are very scant and they're very slight.

By the way, a memory here, just recalling something for good conservatives and Republicans. If we had 59 Democrats, 58 Democrats, the situation would be a lot better. All of these races matter enormously.

Boy, do you remember Minnesota? Do you remember the other races? These things really do matter.

HANNITY: What do you think about this whole climate change summit which is coming — become a disaster because of Climate-gate and then on top of it you've got Al Gore denying what was actually in the e-mails and actually lying and saying they were 10 years ago. You've got 1200 limos, 140 private jets, and — have you ever had a caviar wedge, Bill? I don't know what a caviar wedge is.

(LAUGHTER)

BENNETT: The only wedge I've had I think is a pizza wedge. But I probably shouldn't talk about that. My wife.

HANNITY: I've had a few of those .

BENNETT: My wife will get — A wedgie in high school. You remember those? That was something else.

HANNITY: Well, you're really taking us — this is a vivid picture you're painting, Bill.

BENNETT: The book of virtues, I know, I'm embarrassed, I'm very sorry but — but listen, I think it's — it would be funny if it were not so pathetic but I mean the hypocrisy here, as you point out, the limos, the private jets and all that. But also standing there and saying this is absolutely true, do not listen to the critics, do not listen to the evidence that's coming out that's contrary, do not listen to this effort to fabricate evidence and to suppress, people have a dissenting opinion.

HANNITY: All right.

BENNETT: I don't think this thing is going anywhere.

HANNITY: Let me ask you.

BENNETT: And then you had this thing with the big nations and the little nations, too, which didn't look very nice, did it?

HANNITY: All right. What happens in this coming election year? Because I contend that the Republican Party lost their way but they're standing against health care, cap and tax, the omnibus, the big budgets, health care, so I think there's bold differences now between the two parties. They seem to be going back conservative.

Are we witnessing the ascendancy of the conservative movement within the Republican Party once a gain?

BENNETT: Yes, I mean, I think it has been for some time. Really. I think it has been for Reagan — since Reagan. And I think with George Bush we had a lot of disenchantment. The thesis I'm not buying and I don't think you are either, and some of our friends are buying it, is there's no difference or not enough difference between the parties.

There's a large difference between the parties. A huge difference.

HANNITY: And now there is.

BENNETT: Now, you know — yet now there is. But it has emerged. And you don't become a saint through other people's sins, but it's a good place to start. Just say this is Obama and this is not what we stand for. But I think people are stepping up, making a lot o f sense.

I think some leaders are emerging in this party. And when you get a vote that's essentially unanimous against the stimulus, against health care, when you get some very good alternatives, I think it's very promising.

Now there are other factors. If the economy recovers it's going to help Obama. If he gets this passed, it will help him some but not as much as they think because this thing has gotten so unpopular.

HANNITY: All right, Bill, by the way, I love the book. Thanks for being with us. And by the way, you might want to pick up a copy of this fantastic book. It's called "The True St. Nicholas, Why He Matters to Christmas." It's in bookstores everywhere. A great Christmas gift.

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